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PNPC Rover - Two Feet


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((LtCmdr Rennyn’s Quarters, USS Atlantis))

::Rover continued to roll lazily on the floor of Spotted One's quarters, and tell the captain what symptoms had brought him to this low state.::

BLUEHEART: Do you wish to return home, Rover?

ROVER: What? What? ::He made the whirring noise that meant he was thinking it over.::

BLUEHEART: I mean, Fido was last seen in the Partha Expanse. It would make sense to resume our search for him there. ::quickly adding:: I’m sorry the search for him got put aside.

ROVER: Rover has been learning about bipeds. Rover has learned much. Rover wants to share with his packmates.

BLUEHEART: Then let’s make it our next mission. The search for Fido! Once we’ve wrapped up this mission, we’ll head back to the Jenatris Cloud and begin our quest anew. How does that sound?

::It sounded good. But Rover had never expected Atlantis to make his needs its main goal. He didn't mind being a quiet observer, waiting and watching while others took their turn in the spotlight. He liked hanging around Spotted One, who, like Rover, was hard to miss, but rarely in the spotlight. It was always someone else's turn, but Spotted One was there without fail to be supportive and help build excitement. Rover thought that if he were a biped, he would want to be a supporter like Spotted One.::

::Those who stand on legs require support systems. Those who float free crave connection.::

::Rover missed his packmates in a way that went beyond homesickness. It was hurting him physically. It was changing him. Cloud Dancers were made to float together, to connect, to meld and be as one as often as they roamed free on their own. He needed that togetherness. Otherwise, whatever was happening to him now might not stop. And he didn't know what consequence it would bring.::

ROVER: Rover misses Fido. Rover will be happy, Captin. Thank you, Captin.

BLUEHEART: In the meantime, let’s focus on getting you feeling better again. From what you’ve told me, it’s a problem of retaining your energy. You seem to be losing energy faster than you are receiving it.

ROVER: It does not stay...

BLUEHEART: You require more kinetic energy to be in gaseous form. A solid state of similar mass requires less. ::pause:: Just a thought, but if your condition deteriorates before we reach the Cloud and we haven’t yet found a solution to your problem by that time, we might have to turn you into a solid of small volume and, well, freeze you.

ROVER: It is hard to be solid!

::To demonstrate, Rover tried to gather himself up, but utterly collapsed back into a gently rolling cloud, pale and unflashing as he lately had been.::

::When Cloud Dancers die, they become one with the pack. But when they are killed, when their energy is stolen for other purposes as when the Krayav kidnap and misuse them, they become small, hard things like rocks. Instead of energy going out forever to the pack, finding eternity in the power of the Cloud, the stolen energy pulled from the Cloud Dancer dissipates until nothing is left but a small mass of diseased matter, wasted and destroyed.::

::Rover knew this was not what Blueheart intended for him. If Rover could gather enough strength to become solid, they could freeze him until Atlantis returned to the Jenatris Cloud. They were so far from the Cloud now, that he couldn't feel it at all anymore. He hadn't realized he needed to be close to it in order to maintain his energy. Atlantis was so far into Federation space that the Cloud was like a distant memory. Rover's molecules ached to be once again in its proximity.::

ROVER: You will help Rover become a cloudsicle?

BLUEHEART: ::smiling warily:: Yes, something like that.

ROVER: Okay. Okay. ::Rover whirred again, thinking it over.::

::He knew Blueheart was going to leave, called away again on other business. Rover did not want to hold him up. He wanted to be a helper, not a botherer. He gathered himself and flashed as brightly as was possible now, so he would look less sick. He bravely floated up from the floor, though he hardly had the strength to stay airborne.::

ROVER: Rover will be right here. Rover will be okay. Thank you, Captin.

::He hung there in the air, fighting through the pain and the weakness, showing what strength he had, until Blueheart left for the bridge. Rover had no legs, but if he'd learned anything from the bipeds, it was how to face adversity by standing on your own two feet.::

PNPC Rover
Sentient Cloud

simmed by

Lt. Commander Rendal Rennyn
HCO
USS Atlantis
NCC-74682

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