In the spirit of the holidays, our loremasters went to great lengths to bring you something in keeping with the season…
[Transcript of audio recorded by Nova during repairs and modifications, 19959.348]
//NOVA NOTE: I sure wish that Ghalt, an actual qualified UPR engineer, was doing these modifications. Heck, I’d settle for Toby. These guys are just throwing light strips, red paint, and plants all over me.
//NOVA NOTE: Also, I wish that my voice box hadn’t been overridden to play this cheery music.
PHOEBE: "Egg...grog. Please, tell me you're joking."
PENDLES: "Egg-grog's nothin' to joke about, it's an important part of the rich Roguish tradition of Newshines Day!"
PENDLES: "Day, yeah! Oh, it's a riot, everyone swaps their external navigation lamps to all sorts of brilliant colors, you put a mylar blinder over ya helmet, you get an excuse to put on your ugliest space suit for the Brightwalk and watch good ol' Solus flare up, out there with your egg-grog--"
MONTANA: "Just a minute chief, how d'ya drink egg-grog while you're wearing a space-suit and helmet?"
//NOVA NOTE: I’ll just send them messages instead of talking.
[open mail client, begin message: “Hey Montana, could you please put that engine back where you found it? I know how much you like big, heavy things, but that one is MY big heavy thing. Thanks!”]
//NOVA NOTE: There, sent. Any second now, he’s going to get my message and put my engine back.
PENDLES: "Sorry mate, trade secret. Anyway, at midnight, you have the best part, the Newshines Shoe-Shine!"
PHOEBE: "I'm sorry, I must have misheard you—did you just say you only shine your shoes once a year?"
PENDLES: "Well, no—Newshines Day is pretty new, I'd say that strictly speaking, I've shined my shoes once every 20 years, give or take, and that wasn’t so much a shine so much as it was stepping in a particularly clean puddle. But going forward, yeah, that's right, once a year, Newshines Shoe-Shine. You take a gob of spit and some elbow grease, you wipe away all the muck and grime you slogged through to get from where you were to where you are, and BLA-DOW! Your sneakers are prepped for a fresh new year of sneaking experiences."
PHOEBE: "Spit and elbow grease? How...charming."
//NOVA NOTE: Aaany second now.
PENDLES: "Oh yeah, and I s'pose you lot in the LLC have got something that's right BRIMMING with charm, do ya?"
PHOEBE: "As a matter of fact, we do!"
SHAYNE: "Pfft, 'oh-kay', what's your dumb holiday got, besides no egg-grog?"
//NOVA NOTE: I’m dying of boredom. This is it. This is how I die. Engine-less, entombed in light strips and wet paint, to the dirge of twinkly bells and happy choral melodies. Somehow, I knew this is how it would end.
PHOEBE: "Well, you get to take the day off..."
AUROX: "YES, AND?"
PHOEBE: "That's...that's it. OH! and the Friday before is Casual Friday, so, you can wear silver trimmings instead of gold, if you like."
REYNA: "Damn. Y'all LLC really know how to let loose. And uh, just what do you call this day of debauchery and indulgence?"
PHOEBE: "Wellll, the name is still being workshopped a bit, and the Guild hasn't decided whether it will be recurring or not, but for now, they're calling it—"
EL DRAGÓN: “—Company Holiday 17! The greatest of all holidays!"
//NOVA NOTE: Obviously, he’s forgetting Severance Day. I bet he took one too many blows to the head. That’s why I keep mine stored behind armor-plated paneling. In space.
SHAYNE: "Sounds lame. Everyone gets a day off, big deal."
EL DRAGÓN: "A-ha, but it is the BIGGEST of deals, because EVERYONE gets the day off, and for liability purposes, everyone HAS to take the holiday. INCLUDING internal security, the legal team, everyone! They can't hold LLC employees accountable for any damage to company property or staff for 24 hours!"
MELLKA: "WOAHHHH hold on, now this is getting rad! So you have a grudge day where everyone just does what they want and you can steal and fight and vandalize junk to vent all your pent-up frustrations?"
EL DRAGÓN: "I...I never thought of it like that, I mostly used the day to practice my Super Sentry submission holds, but, I suppose you could? The offices are mostly empty though, it would be hard to find opponents, but...yes, yes! With the access code to the Galactic Holo-Arena, or with robot-arms strong enough to rip the doors open, you could host THE FIRST LLC BATTLE ROYALE! Finally, Jen from the mail room will suffer the mighty wrath of EL DRAGÓÓÓN! We'll see how much she likes eating other peoples' lunches when she has no TEETH! HAHAHAAaaa...Please excuse me, I must make a few calls."
//NOVA NOTE: That actually sounds fun as heck.
[open mail client, begin message: “Dear Kleese, robot suit.”]
//NOVA NOTE: Send. I’m getting good at this.
[open mail client, begin message: “Dear El Dragón, sign me up.”]
//NOVA NOTE: Send. I wonder if his new arms are detachable like his old ones.
MELLKA: “Man, I wish the Eldrid would have a battle royale. All we have is ‘Lightbloom’.”
RATH: “What in the world is ‘Lightbloom’?”
MELLKA: “Eh, it’s this thing where everyone gives a ‘gift’ in the morning…”
SHAYNE: “Oo, like a second birthday?”
MELLKA: “Kind of, but the gift is usually a plant or something, sometimes an egg, sometimes a rock, but whatever you get, you’re supposed to be thankful because it represents…something.”
THORN: “Life, child, it represents the natural beauty of life.”
MELLKA: “Whatever. And then the night of Lightbloom, you open your gift, or it blooms, or hatches, or…sits there, if you got a rock. You tie the flower, or the shell, or rock to a moonbulb, which is like, this glowing, floating plant from Ekkunar, and then you let it float off into oblivion.”
SHAYNE: “So you guys just get a bunch of flowers and stuff you can get from outside and trade it around?”
//NOVA NOTE: I went outside once. That was nice.
MELLKA: “No, everyone just gets one gift. Anyway, the Green Observer says it’ll help to regulate the migratory patterns of the amber starhawk, since the sky is, you know, disappearing.”
BENEDICT: “Well, speaking as somethin’ of a hawk myself, that sounds confusin’ as hell. How does everyone know who gets what? And how do y’all make sure the gift blooms or hatches or whatever at the right time?”
MELLKA: “I honestly have no idea, I was wondering the same thing the first time, but it just kind of worked out—I mean, you may as well ask me how the claw knows when I want to stab someone with it.”
BENEDICT: “Hey, yeah, how the hell DOES it—“
MELLKA: “I said I have no idea, Benedict! Eldrid science is weird that way. Just trust me, it works.”
BENEDICT: “Y’all need to take a page from the UPR Field Manual and keep it simple. That’s what I like about the BUF Festival, all you have to remember are the 3 F’s: Fireworks, Feats of Strength, and Falafel! As long as you’ve got those, your party is good to go!”
PHOEBE: “And what, pray tell, does ‘BUF’ stand for?”
OSCAR MIKE/MONTANA/BENEDICT (in unison): “Bright Universe Festival!”
//NOVA NOTE: If I can just reach…that…control panel…I can turn off the music and reactivate my default voice parameters and…no. No, wait. That’s right, I don’t have hands. Dang.
KELVIN: “So, the UPR celebrates the rekindling of Solus with the ‘Bright Universe Festival’ Festival, with 3 F’s?”
WHISKEY FOXTROT: “Kelvin, don’t bother, I’ve already tried explaining to these jackasses—“
OSCAR MIKE: “Heck yeah!”
KELVIN: “…Very well.”
[negligible background noise for 15 seconds]
//NOVA NOTE: This is WAY awkward. And funny. I wish I had some popcorn. Oh wait, I’m a virtual construct, I can make pretty much anything in my cyber-brain.
//NOVA NOTE: Hey, that worked! This popcorn virtually tastes great. I wonder what else I can do in here.
[negligible background noise for 4 seconds]
[ambient temperature spike, fuel combustion hazard]
//NOVA NOTE: This is way less funny. Get out of here, virtual popcorn, momma’s got work to do.
[open mail client, begin message: “Dear Ambra, please don’t blow up Nova. Have you ever tried just chilling out? You should try it sometime. Also, please check your messages.”]
//NOVA NOTE: Aaaand send. That ought to do it. Way to go, me.
AMBRA: “…No one is going to ask? No one is the LEAST BIT CURIOUS as to the Jennerit peoples’ cultural festivities?”
SHAYNE: “Does it involve blood sacrifice?”
KLEESE: “A day of gladiatorial games and sad music on the organ?”
ALANI: “Oh, oh, I bet it involves triangles!”
MELLKA: “The Triangulation Ceremony!”
SHAYNE: “Does it involve blood sacrifice of gladiatorial triangles?”
AMBRA: “No, no, no, NO, NO! It involves, and is named, none of those things! Now see here, you filthy little—”
DEANDE: “—Solus Day.”
[ambient temperature falling]
[open mail client, begin message: “Dear Deande, less-than-symbol, three. Damn this transcription software, what do you mean ‘special characters not allowed’, it’s a NUMBER. Wait, don’t transcribe that part.”]
//NOVA NOTE: I don’t even care anymore, send.
DEANDE: “It’s just called ‘Solus Day’.”
DEANDE: “Or at least, that’s what we’re calling it. I was going to message it out to the other factions’ leadership as a proposed name we can all agree on. Starting at dawn, Exodus, our orbital mega-ship, follows Solus’ path across the sky, gradually eclipsing more and more of Solus until it reaches its zenith.”
AUROX: “YES, AND?”
DEANDE: “And then there’s an artificial total eclipse. It’s quite a thrilling spectacle. Exodus overtakes Solus, the eclipse ends, there’s a Viper flyover, a masquerade, et cetera, et cetera.”
OSCAR MIKE: “Oh, man, that sounds amazing! I wonder if we’ll see the eclipse from Nova.”
WHISKEY FOXTROT: “No, Mike, that’s not how…you know what, screw it.”
DEANDE: “If you’d like, you’re more than welcome to join us.”