39.2 \ 221

Moonshadow watched the Vedani leave the cozy nook, then scanned the area and released air from its vents. Attendants that beep are cute. Of course they know that a vehicle like Moonshadow can understand ordinary language, but it is strangely comforting to be recognized in nonlinguistic tones.

It went over to the purple gemstone. This is a thrilling material. As programmatically instructed, it used its tools to snap off and chemically pulverize a portion of a point, which it took into its system. Moonshadow supped on a few additional fuels and mulled over this combination. It calculated a strong boost in certain propensities, which it hoped to practice with someone soon. This stone was a very nice gift from their Aureny friends.

Moonshadow began tabulating, organizing, and updating its translation logs. Being asked to translate on Ombd was unexpected, but the results of increasing that ability with the encouragement of Rosy Glow had been so enjoyable. Moonshadow likes learning with non-Vedani. It was also neat imparting some programs to the human-Vedani spaceship Drift X, before it left Ombd. Moonshadow also likes teaching. Maybe there would be other machines or programmers to talk to via the terminal.

Reflecting on all that had happened, Uixtr decided he liked the idea of mitigating antagonism between factions. That had been the core of the Vedani approach toward the Pan-Galactic Imperium. They only changed their tactic when not met in kind, and many opinions had been soured by violence, his included. Of course sentient lives were worth saving, but he thought beyond the recent event to the personal exchanges which he was appreciating more and more. The human pilot Wendel Harper had gained command of the modifications to her ship, some experimentally improvised, with quick familiarity. She herself must have made some unconventional fixes on the fly and worked with it. They had, naturally, built with the machine’s existing personality, and she knew her vehicle as though she communicated with it like a Vedani. On the topic of natural pilots, Soleil, the Imperium’s Scion Princess, continued to surprise and impress in other ways as challenges surfaced.

These peoples share space now, short of one set eliminating the other. That would truly be a horror, one which Vedani were only partially prepared to confront.

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