Captain’s Log - Nov 16, 2157 - Alpha Tauri - Yellow Alert
We’ve spent the last 11 days travelling in HyperSpace heading towards the Taurus Constellation on auto-pilot, but our helmsman had to take over the controls and steer us clear of the cluster of ships as we moved past the Olber Constellation that had converged on us while we were still at Procyon when we were trying to find some stray Ilwrath ships on which to use the ’Caster.
Once we made it past Boötes, the Avenger ships that lagged behind approached the edge of their sphere of influence and dropped their pursuit, and it made me wonder why the Ilwrath’s home star would be so far removed from their SOI, but then I recalled that the Ilwrath were sent down to attack the Pkunk by the Umgah’s heinous trickery, so they probably sent their main fleet to embark on this vicious onslaught of birds that are going extinct faster than dodos!
We have now just arrived on the outskirts of the Alpha Tauri System, and it is the centrally located green dwarf star of the 5-star grouping of Taurus (which means “the Bull” in Latin) but the Ilwrath regard this star as being denoted as the “Eye of Dogar”. This system also has 5 planets, where all but the 2nd planet is currently being occupied by Ilwrath patrol groups:
Planet 1 - Medium Green (temperate zone) (1 Ilwrath)
Planet 2 - Small Yellow (cold zone begins)
Planet 3 - White Gas Giant (1-2 Ilwrath?)
Planet 4 - Green Gas Giant (1 Ilwrath)
Planet 5 - Red Gas Giant (1 Ilwrath)
We placed a time portal and began scanning the system while monitoring the Ilwrath’s movements as they circled their respective planets. No sooner than we had finished up with our system-wide preliminary long-range scans than another Ilwrath contingent emerged from one of the gas giants and flew towards the innermost planet, whereas it disappeared from our sensors as it reached a closer distance. I doubt their home would be on a moon like the Spathi had there for a while, and the 2nd planet doesn’t seem like a likely contender, so that first world must be the location of the Ilwrath homeworld!
Just as was the case in Epsilon Volantis, as soon as we sounded the ’Caster, the scary-looking arachnids were on the screen, but unaware of our presence, thinking that the broadcast we were transmitting was coming directly from their gods, Dogar and Kazon… Well, come to think of it, I’m only assuming they can still be classified as arachnids as opposed to decapods, considering they have 10 legs instead of 8 (even though on the battle screen window it seems like they only have 5… and are black instead of red for some peculiar reason), but the 8 total in question is not technically an indicative prerequisite for something being an arachnid; that term actually comes from the Greek word ἀράχνη (aráchnē), and is attributed to the weaver Arachne who was turned into a spider, so I suppose “spider-looking” is reason enough to still call them arachnids, not that it really matters that much right now, so I don’t really know why I even brought it up in the first place.
Anyway, Greek mythology stuff aside for the moment, the Ilwrath were all bowing down towards the emanations in a prostrated position, asking in a lowered, respectful and humble tone what they could do for their gods. I paused, looking around in confusion for a few moments, and with a cutthroat gesture I ordered the communications officer to mute the transmission momentarily.
The channel was silent but still on for listening purposes, and we could all hear the Ilwrath leaders and such softly yet persistently groveling in a sprawling fashion with low, barely heard groans of reverence, as if they were chanting a shared prayer. I asked for recommendations of how we should respond to the Ilwrath, and we began to brainstorm, and from the present indication of the Ilwrath’s contentment in their recumbent state, it was clear we could take our time if we wanted.
Some suggested that we tell them to continue to worship us, and others said we should play some tricks on them and see how they’d respond, but the more level-headed officers insisted that we somehow get them to move away from Procyon… but how? We couldn’t just say, “Your gods Dogar and Kazon demand you move away from the slave-shielded world of the Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm because… uh, well… because we said so, that’s why! Obey us!” My first officer recommended that we tell them to seek out new prey, and in that way we could accomplish the goal of getting the Ilwrath to vacate Procyon II, while simultaneously ceasing their hostilities towards the Pkunk, essentially killing two birds with one stone! Er… I mean, kill one bird and save another with one stone!
Unfortunately, before we could suggest an appropriate race for them to target, such as the Ur-Quan or better yet, the Kohr-Ah -- the Ilwrath contemplated the notion and took it upon themselves to decide to travel towards Draconis and kill every Thraddash they can find! Yikes as well as ooops! Yeah, this is probably bad. I will not take part possibly in the genocidal destruction of another race, even if they are reported to be part of the Ur-Quan Hierarchy. There must be another way! I know I can revert things back to the way before, but for now, what’s done is done, and there is still much more we can learn, so we continued to examine our options.
In a moment of weakness (along with the constant pestering of my bridge crew) I instructed the Ilwrath that they would be doing things differently from now on, and I was thinking something along the line of them being nicer to folks and making contributions to charitable organizations, going door-to-door selling cookies and other mutually beneficial things along those line, but some of my officers had other ideas…
Before I knew what had happened, the Ilwrath had replaced many of their words for others, substituting the word ‘worship’ with ‘warship’, and ‘we’ with ‘dwe’, and ‘you’ with ‘youbuu’, and now they no longer call themselves the Ilwrath, but rather the Dill-Rats:
However, as the conversation continued, Lieutenant Thompson became irritated when they immediately changed back to saying ‘we’ and ‘you’, and not ‘dwe’ and ‘youbuu’, along with the other newly formed stand-in terms. Commy, the comm. officer, explained that Ilwrath don’t speak our language or even anything close to it. In fact, their language may not even have an actual alphabet, but is more about sending audible sounds through clicking their mandibles and making slurry, screechy, whistling-like sounds with other mouth parts together to transmit waves that can be picked up, or listened to, via their leg cilia.
Therefore, asking them to substitute the word ‘warship’ for ‘worship’ merely makes it a homonym of the former word in their vocabulary, or whatever the closest equivalent phrasing is in their vernacular, or adding an additional specific clicking sound or something as a prefix in ‘we’ or suffix in ‘you’. So, it’s not as if they are actually saying the word ‘youbuu’, even though I must admit that it does sound funny coming over our speakers. Hence, the Precursor translation computer re-analyzes their speech and replaces their word being said as ‘dwe’ to become ‘we’ for our translation, since we don’t use the word ‘dwe’ or ‘youbuu’ in common speech.
“Basically,” our comm. officer continued, “It would be more like singing an old church hymn, but replacing the word ‘worship’ with ‘battle cruiser’ or something like that.” Commy then said she could always fill in the dialogue manually, but the Lieutenant was thoroughly perturbed by this point.
But then Thompson persisted, “Ok, then what about ‘Dill-Rats’? Explain that!”… “Well, their name Ilwrath would become substituted with whatever comes closest to describing a small, furry animal sprinkled with an herbal seasoning!”… “Yeah, and they probably like that!”
We have ended communications and will rethink our current situation, but I’ve already implemented and added a time portal entry point, so we’ll set a course for the innermost planet to see what else we can learn. This might be a mistake; I hope I don’t regret this. Captain out.