The quiet whine of the sleek, off-white Type 9 shuttle's engines dissipated as the machine powered down, bringing the new arrival, one Dr Jaxyl Veran, xenobiologist. But where Diana might expect a single person exiting, or two if she'd read up on the Dalacari species, she was instead greeted by four. The two bioforms of Jaxyl Veran - identical down to their clothing aside from a black armband worn by one, the singular form of Mora Veran looking skittish and miserable, and a rather burly looking drone with white and blue plating. The drone seemed entirely preoccupied with caring for the singular female Dalacari form, even as the twins that made up Jaxyl spied Diana and approached, wearing a pair of smiles, one of them extending a warm hand in greet.
"Ah, Commander Reisz, I presume?" One of the identical twins spoke, the other taking seamlessly taking over. "Lieutenant Junior Grade Jaxyl Veran. Call me Jax. It's a pleasure to meet you."
"A pleasure to meet you as well," Diana offered in response. She was unsure of which hand to shake first, so she grasped both sets of hands and squeezed in welcome. "I'm so glad that you arrived. Was it a difficult trip?" She asked, looking past the Jaxs to the lone Veran in the rear.
"No more than expected. All long journeys are." One of the Jaxyls said, keeping his firm attention on Diana, as the other bioform, the one wearing a black arm-band, glanced over at the single Dalacari and the drone as well, following Diana's gaze. "Commander, I'd like you to meet Mora Veran, my beautiful wife." smiled the one looking back, though both twins expression carried a hint of sadness.
Mora glanced over and gave a shy, distracted wave. "Hello." she offered, her voice quiet, as she remained at a safe distance.
"It's nice to meet you, ma'am." The frailty and distance wasn't lost on Diana, who prudently put forwards an offer for peace. "Why don't we get you to your rooms since it was a long trip and then reconvene at the main labs. I'm excited to give you the grand tour when you're rested and bright-eyed."
Both Jax twins turned their attention to Mora now. "What do you think, love?" Asked one, though the reply took a moment of thought it seemed for Mora. "I'll be fine, Jax. I have Tristan. You go - ... stretch your legs." she took the drone's hand.
Said drone, in turn, spoke in a warm and gentle tone of voice. "She is in good hands, Master Jax. By your leave, I will escort the lady to your new quarters and make sure she is comfortable, Sir." Jax gave a nod. "Good man, Tristan. I shan't be long, love." they smiled at Mora, who managed a smile back.
That taken care of, both Jaxyl twins turned their full attention back to Diana, the one without the armband speaking up. "I should very much like to see the ship, Commander." Though he trailed off, the other twin taking over without missing a breath. "She seems a beauty, and quite an imposing sight from the outside."
"She is imposing," agreed Diana with a smile and a nod. "Like the Margaret Thatcher of ships or something of the sort. And she's more labs than anything else- it's amazing. Everything from thermal labs to biomedical to astrophysics to audiology. If your hearts yearn for it- you'll have it my friend. You have a very, very large playground here."
Jax couldn't help but watch Tristan and Mora slowly leave the shuttlebay on the way to their new quarters, though he made sure to always have on twin's full attention on the captain at all times. He couldn't help but smile ad the mention of 'hearts', plural. "You are familiar with my people, Commander?" he simply asked, falling in line for the tour.
"Only in passing. I'll have to educate myself further," she said apologetically, waving him on towards the hall. "My focus has always been geosciences. Ask me about a planet or a type of rock, a weather pattern: I can answer that. Specifics on races not so much. That I have to learn."
"Well, it's a good thing I am a xenobiologist, then." both the Jax twins smiled. And once again, the other took over seamlessly from the first one speaking. "In short, we are a binary people, with two bioforms forming a single identity, a single consciousness, spread over twin bodies." as they walked, focus switching once again. "Just think of me as one individual and you'll be fine, I'm sure."
"Okay. I can do that. Do you have any specific needs that I need to know as your CO?" Diana asked, rolling with the questions as they walked.
"Well, anything that affects one twin, the other feels as well. Think viruses, illness, even injuries." Jaxel followed Diana, each twin taking turns in speaking. "We are omnivores, so no special dietary requirements. No special allergies either. I'll make sure the computer - " then back to the other, without dropping a beat. " - has our medical details on file. Oh, our bioforms can't be separated. Our link has a six to seven meter range. If we're apart any further than that, well ... "
"... bad things happen."
"So away mission have to be thoughtfully planned. Got it. Not that we ever plan for things to go wrong, but they do and they will eventually. I know that people think that science vessels are the easy out. The place to go hide and nothing ever happens on them, but that's not true. We have to be even more careful because we don't have the big weapons or the fighters and such to call out to cover us. And with us testing, you never know.." Diana's words trailed off for a moment. "Depending on what we're testing, who leaks what and what it's worth. I've been there and dealt with that. Hopefully we'll run a tight enough ship that that won't happen."
"Hopefully, yes." Jaxyl agreed. "But look at it from the other perspective. Yes there is risk. Yes, much of the work will be routine and boring. But some of it - " The focus shifts were quite jarring, a voice just suddenly switching from one side to the other, without missing a beat " - will also be rewarding. Exhilarating, even. Just imagine the things we might discover. If we get lucky we might even - " and back again " - discover something so grand we get to name it. Imagine, the Veran Nebula, or a species of superpredator, the Jaxylius Veranus Reiszi." Both bioforms grinned, showing an almost concerningly sharp set of fangs.
"Trust me, I'm sure that we'll have a little of both. This isn't the first science vessel that I've served on. They can be anything but quiet at times." They hit the turbo lift when Diana turned back with an arched eyebrow that was all trouble. "We're going floor by floor with this as almost every deck has a lab that you'll be overseeing to some aspect. Are you ready?"
"I believe I am as ready as I'll ever be, Commander." Jaxyl smiled, rubbing both sets of hands together in glee. "Has the science chief arrived on board yet? I'm also quite looking forward to meeting them." the other form added.
Diana blinked once, her face tilting to the side just a bit. "..Did it not detail on your records what position you were to hold on the Newton?"
"Assistant chief." Jaxyl furrowed two sets of brows. "At least, that's what it read two - " Now the other one took over again " - days ago, when we set off from outpost 32. Has there been a mistake?"
"You're the chief, chief," the commander said with a grin. "You're coming up in the world."
Jaxyl blinked and looked at himself, though his double look of confusion quickly made way for a double smirk. "Well, that's certainly a thing." said one form. "Congratulations, you handsome devil." chuckled the other form, though turning his attention back to Diana again. One might be forgiven to think he stood a little bit more upright, his shoulders a little bit straighter. "Lead on, Commander." he smiled, motioning ahead broadly in a mirrored gesture.