Pan Post 65 returns to Space Camelot where Camelot has come into contact with a fleet of tree-looking space ships from the planet Jupiter. The Jupiterians, who look strikingly human, question Arthur about the origins of Camelot. While Chancellor Ctatherine attempts to be diplomatic, Admiral Ltexi outright accuses them of stealing it. Ultimately Ltexi reveals that she wishes to board Camelot to inspect it as comparison to her own vessel of the exact same design - The Hopeful.
Characters: King Arthur | Queen Guinevere | Sir Lancelot | Sir Bedivere | Sir Kay | Morganna le Fay | Merlin the Younger | (Sir) The Black Knight | (Sir) The Faerie Knight | Tom a'Lincoln | Prince Mordred | Chancellor Ctatherine | Admiral Ltexi
King Arthur: "Space trees!"
The viewscreen shows images of the unknown ships which, as Arthur points out, look a lot of trees. In space. Clearly made of wood of some matter they resemble huge wooden structures of various sleek shapes and designs but each has its down individual and massive tree sprouting from it. The trees are bigger than any castle on Earth and usually resemble oak trees, though others do appear to exist too. When one of the ships turned away from the main fleet its tree's leaves begin to glow white with beams of blue and red raining down from each leaf towards the ship itself. Then, in a matter of seconds, the ship is engulfed in this strange energy before it vanishes from the area.
King Arthur: "Their space-jump device is way better than ours!"
Tom a'Lincoln: "I think a communication message is coming through."
He and Merlin huddle over a magical-box as they try to figure out how to work it. Then several images appear on the screen appears when Tom pushes a button. There's six of them and each box has a focal person in each one, though the views are very different. The first of these people to speak has their camera slightly side on and pulled back, allowing Arthur to see crewpersons walking around behind her. He notices that the interior of their ship looks to be made of polished wood too.
Woman: "Greetings human. I see your people have finally remastered the technologies of your ancestors. We are surprised. Our researchers estimated a very different time-frame for your technological advancement."
Arthur glances at Merlin before turning back to the monitor.
King Arthur: "Uh... right. Nice space trees you have."
Merlin: "Ah! Sire! Perhaps we should have a... professional ambassador do this job?"
King Arthur: "What? Why? They should know who their future ruler is!"
Merlin's face drains of colour.
Woman: "Such an entertaining sentiment. It seems I spoke too soon. Scans reveal that this ship is ancient. Where did you get it, exactly? What civilisation gave you this vessel?"
King Arthur: "None of your beeswax! Who are you anyway?"
The woman sighs.
Woman: "I am Chancellor Ctatherine."
Arthur sticks his tongue out in verbal anguish.
Chancellor Ctatherine: "It's a silent t."
King Arthur: "Oh. Weird I didn't hear it that way. Anyway. Chancellor. I am King Arthur and all your base--"
Merlin: "Ah! Y-your majesty! Wait! Erm.. I mean... if you would please hold before--"
Queen Guinevere: "Arthur, my darling, are you annoying the space aliens?"
Guinevere strolls onto the Command Deck and seems to radiate grace. Her dress is elegant and delicate and her face a mask of serenity.
King Arthur: "I'm just talking to this Chancellor person. Honestly, they don't even have the decency to send their king."
Chancellor Ctatherine: "Our Queen... this is a matriarchal society."
Arthur gasps with horror.
King Arthur: "What madness is--"
Queen Guinevere: "It is always a pleasure for me and my husband to engage with new and interesting cultures, Chancellor. I am Queen Guinevere."
Chancellor Ctatherine: "Honoured to meet you, Queen Guinevere. Although we congratulate your people on becoming space-worthy we are... concerned also. Your species does not have the greatest reputation in our galaxy."
Merlin: "There are humans already in the galaxy? She did say something about our ancestors..."
Chancellor Ctatherine: "I can hear and see you, woman in robes..."
Merlin looks very embarrassed.
Merlin: "Sorry! We are still learning how everything works!"
She calls out and looks around the room, unsure where she's being watched from.
Tom a'Lincoln: "I don't think you need to shout, Merlin..."
Merlin: "Oh right..."
One of the other screens is facing a woman from a low angle. Although she is wearing a white jacket with a high collar and shoulder pads, she has tight spandex pants that perfectly form to the shape of her legs. Her jacket is sleeveless to expose her arms which appear strong though not incredibly muscular. All of the screens, save one, are women-centred and they all seem to be very well toned and fit. The single male is incredibly muscular, exceeding even Arthur's own knights. Arthur wonders how the man can even move around with muscles like that weighing him down. He sits there with his chest bare and exposed for his entire crew to admire and Arthur to be offended by.
The low-angled woman leans across the arm of the chair to look pointedly at the camera.
Second Woman: "Tell us who you stole this vessel from..."
King Arthur: "Stole!?"
Chancellor Ctatherine: "Please forgive Admiral Ltexi. She's very blunt at times."
Admiral Ltexi: "Silent t."
King Arthur: "I gathered... we didn't steal this ship. We found it. And finders keepers!"
The aliens look disgruntled. It never crossed the mind of Arthur that they look human but the minds of everyone else in the room are certainly perplexed by this. Merlin, certainly, had been expecting more aliens like those on Venus.
Chancellor Ctatherine begins talking but nobody on the Command Deck can hear her - she's speaking on a muted line to the other ship captains. To Arthur she looks like his own wife in many ways, having similar grace and style of features. Her hair is a strange colour of blonde that looks almost pink. She is wearing an outfit that would make any lady of Castle Camelot blush, a brassiere of metal that Arthur is pretty sure won't be of any use in battle.
King Arthur: "I'm getting bored of this..."
Queen Guinevere: "Did you think we'd be slaying space dragons, my love?"
King Arthur: "Of course!"
Arthur puts his hands on his hips and fumes.
King Arthur: "Where are my space dragons, dammit? Or at least a good space demon. Or pretty much and old space beastie would do. All we have are walking rocks and women-in-underwear."
Male Jupiterian: "I'll have you know, I am male."
They jump at the sudden sound of his voice, which has a very Eastern-European sound to it.
Merlin: "You most certainly are, aren't you?"
Arthur and Guinevere both turn to stare at the bald-girl whose head then becomes a tomato as she realises she'd said that out loud.
Male Jupiterian: "Our society is quite progressive now. Men are even allowed to vote!"
Tom a'Lincoln: "I suppose that's more progressive than ours since no one can vote--"
Arthur glares at his captain and the man slaps his hand over his mouth and tries to shrug off his unthinking words.
Tom a'Lincoln: "Not that we need to vote on anything, Sire. You're the wisest man in the whole kingdom!"
Chancellor Ctatherine: "Sorry to keep you waiting. Admiral Ltexi would like to look around your ship..."
Even Guinevere seems dubious about that.
King Arthur: "Not sure I want her poking around my ship."
Admiral Ltexi: "Your ship. You bloody stole it!"
King Arthur: "Oi! I resemble that-- wait, I meant resent! I resent it!"
Admiral Ltexi: "Look. I'm not after your secrets, oh human king. I just want to have a little look at your ship for comparison."
Queen Guinevere: "Comparison?"
Admiral Ltexi has her hand to her chin and looks at Queen Guinevere intently, as though sizing the other woman up. It is the Jupiterian that relents.
The screens of all the other captains vanish and the admiral is clearly swapping palettes about until a new image displays upon the screen. The Camelot crew reel in shock. Arthur points dumbly at the image.
King Arthur: "Is that my ship?"
Admiral Ltexi: "No. It's mine. I call it The Hopeful."
The grand old ship looms above the red world of Mars, quite away from the main Jupiterian fleet. To compare to Camelot it would be nigh identical save for the obvious battle damage done to The Hopeful that Camelot seems to have been spared from.
King Arthur pouts.
King Arthur: "And you accuse me of stealing!"
"This post, and subsequent sub-plot involving Ltexi, was designed to expand the mythos of The Hopeful and Camelot and connect the Story Arc of Space Camelot and the thread Clear and the Hopeless together to mutually explore the history of the ships. It was also meant to further develop the character of Ltexi and put her in a historical position prior to being trapped in time to better give sympathy for her displacement to the reader." ~Britt the Writer