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Chamachies – Scientific council

"What have the scout ships gathered recently?" the Chamachie chief scientist asked.

For some, the scene would be quite shocking. Around a circular table, seven reptilian humanoids were sitting and discussing the latest achievements of their species, the Chamachies. Of course, for them, the brightest mind of their kind, this was the usual routine.

The rest of the scientists were quiet, looking at one of their colleagues slowly getting up. In one of his four arms, he was carrying a little device which showed a large amount of data at lighting speed. The Chamachies' brains were fast enough to assimilate such a stream of information without even blinking.

The Chamachie speaker cleared his throat, gave a look to his partners, all of them staring at him with their chameleon-esque eyes, awaiting for his words. He touched a screen pad from his device and the center of the table opened, revealing a holographic projector that immediately showed a map of the current galaxy information. It was a simplified tridimensional model, but enough informative for this meeting.

"Only two of our ships sent new information back, as the rest of the fleet is still in course," he began his exposition as two points of light shone in the galaxy model. "First of all, the 'Odissey' arrived on a paradise-like world, where the native creatures that called themselves the Arbryls have established contact with our researchers and accepted their collaboration," and as he was saying so, the model had zoomed to this planet in particular, then zooming to another region of the galaxy mdoel. "Secondly, the 'Discovery' sent a disaster signal right after their arrival. The bits of data we received..."

The rest of the Chamachie council looked at each other, mumbling at such news. The speaker held his free hands and the rest of the council shut up. Now their curiosity was mixed with something close to fear.

"As I was saying, the bits of data we received detailed a critical failure in the Nanowave Manipulator engine..."

"I thought we made it clear that it was an experimental engine and it was never to be equipped to any spaceship until we had run all necessary tests!" one of the eldest Chamachies exclaimed, hitting the table with his lower hands. "How could this travesty happen?!"

The speaker could only shake his head. The chief scientist silently asked the angry Chamachie to clam down and sit, which happened in that right moment. The speaker then resumed his speech:

"The report has already been sent to the propulsion laboratories at the City of Enlightenment. Those responsible for this unforgivable mistake will have to respond to it, I assure you all."

The rest of the council was feeling more and more nervous. How could this happen? All they new about this Nanowave Manipulator engine came from a bunch old notes they found in some ancient ruins some days away from the City of Enlightenment. And this ruins supposedly belonged to a civilization far more advance than them but now extinct, gone eons before the first Chamachie came to this world. And the notes they found were far from complete despite being extremely detailed.

Never had the Chamachies witnessed a mistake this fatal before. Equipping a spaceship with an experimental technology was heresy for the Chamachies. And they wished the responsible ones would pay for it.

"I wish this is an exception... an exception that will never happen again," the chief scientist muttered. "Now let's move to another topic: the reports from our current investigations."

"Terraforming is due to be concluded, we need some little more tests in one of our moons," the speaker quickly said. "Habitats are completely functional, and Murgatroyd has already come with a new hypothesis."

"Good old Murgatroyd with another hypothesis?" if the chief scientist had eyebrows, he would have raised one of them as in a "not again with his theories" attitude. "Very well, we'll let him continue with this, he might get bored soon..." he sighed and looked back at the speaker. "Any reports on the robotics department?"

"Microrobotics are still in progress..."

"Tell them to double their efforts," the chief interrupted him. "We need those nanomachines to automatize many of our activities. That would further our current investigation."

The speaker silently nodded. Before he was asked for anything else, he concluded his speech, and the chief scientist stood in front of his colleagues.

"Very well, gentlemen. I'll wait for you tomorrow in order to evaluate any further progress," he looked at them and barely smiled. "Despite some little inconveniences everything is going quite smoothly."

The Chamachies nodded. Some were sure their progress was what they expected, while others had doubts about it. After all, one of their ships was lost and their robotics investigation was slower than they expected.

They quietly left the room, leaving the chief scientist by his own. He was still standing up, his four hands on the table, pondering...

How long had it been since the first of these "evaluation meetings" was created? Decades at least, but how many?

Too many, perhaps, since those visitors from outer space warned the Chamachies about the imminent Cataclysm that would wipe their whole planetary system. These strangers showed many proofs that hinted a fatal event was to happen to their star. They still had no idea when this Cataclysm would happen, when their planetary system, specially their own home planet, would vanish in an uncertain violent disaster. One day, everything they loved, everything the had lived for would disappear, with no trace left.

Chamachies were known by their ability to work under high pressure. Stress made their bodies and minds work harder, and what better stress than the thought of their possible extinction at hands of an unknown Cataclysm. The desire to abandon not only their planet, but also their planetary system, out of the effects of the future Cataclysm, had launched their species to a research and development race. A race that made them leave their rudimentary society to their current hi-tech one in a matter of decades.

Chamachies were eager to expand their knowledge, to colonize the stars far beyond their own one, to claim other worlds, to meet new species. A very hard work. But for a Chamachie, hard work was a synonym to pleasure.

A buzz brought the chief scientist back to reality. He turned to one of the room's corners. He approached the little computer in there, and pressed a little button on it. The screen showed the face of a much younger Chamachie scientist.

"Good day, sir. First of all, I'd like to apologize if I disturbed you."

"Our meeting is over, if that's what you ask," the chief replied. "So what's the matter."

"Fine... We have just received reports from three of our scout spaceships. I'll transfer the data to the holographic projector, sir..."

The chief scientist turned to look at the hologram, still zoomed at where the lost ship should be, changing to show the whole galaxy model again. Three of the little points that represented the millions of stars in their galaxy shone with a red light.

"Give me the details, please."

"Yes, sir," and the hologram zoomed to one of the red stars, now marked as green. "The Panacea planetary system, our 'Friendship' vessel's first target, holds three planets that could be inhabited." The hologram changed to another section of the galaxy, showing the second star, far away from Panacea. "Our ship 'Pizarro' arrived on the Chippendale system, with five planets, but unfortunately the biggest of them is a planetary wasteland. However, in one of the other four planets we received what could be an alien transmission signal."

It was quite a triumph to have met two species in such a short period of time, the chief scientist thought for himself.

"Our third ship, 'Conqueror', has arrived on the Nougat planet system," and this star was showed instead of Chippendale. "Two planets which might contain life. The ship reached the furthest of them and have reported of ruins. The scientists designated to the 'Conqueror' await for you to allow them to begin a xenoarchaeological expedition."

The chief scientist nodded. "Granted. I'll send the confirmation myself." He stayed quiet for a short while. "Anything else?"

"Nothing else, sir. We'll inform you if new data is received. Good day, sir."

As the screen shut down, the chief scientist could finally pick his things and leave the meeting room. And this time, his smile was bigger and more confident.
After appearing in other species' stories, the Chamachies got their own one! They're Ascendancy's mascot species, so to speak, as they star the short cinematographic intro and are also featured in the game's main menu.

The Chamachies are six-legged reptiles known for their intelligence. They work under stress pretty well, being able to finish their investigations in barely a day.

Also, the in-game story for the Chamachies mentions this unknown Cataclysm and that's what launched them to their own scientific race. An interesting species, I tell you, and also a good example on how to make reptilian beings be the good guys rather than the usual villains.

---

Chamachies and Ascendancy (c) The Logic Factory
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September 27, 2011
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