The walls began to stream with a black oil, the table expanded 
leaving us as spokes divided by eight gelatinous shapes pulsating in 
rhythm with each other.

"Hello. We are the Protectorate of Nalmyke, and weld-come you to our home,"
they collectively said in atonal harmony. "Thank you for returning 
Satellite to us."

Niceties were exchanged and introductions made, before coming to 
the business at hand. The invading force was successfully resisted, 
but the cost was great. The Nalmykians developed a genetic solution 
to their troubles and merged their carbon-based DNA with a silicate 
construct similar to a virus. This new lifeform speaking to us now 
was left behind to launch the last cruisers forgotten in space. 
Centuries alone with nothing to do but think, and wait for their 
planet to fall into their sun.

"What do you want from us?" Hex intoned, absent-mindedly flipping a 
tarot card between her fingers.

"We seek refuge."

"We aren't really a passenger ship" said Mr Swarm.

"You have seen the space and resources one of ours requires. It is 
infinitesimal in comparison to your Commander Cranium alone. Our 
scout reports you have ample surpluses and we have ample resources 
for us both to benefit from co-operation."

By the looks of things Hex and Cranium were on the same page, 
leaving Swarm and I in the dark. I offered that they had already 
repaired our hyperdrive, and none of us had noticed any losses 
while under their guidance.

"How many of you are there?" the commander asked.

"Trillions and trillions, we are all you see before you. These 
forms were chosen in accordance to your ratios, but this is the 
last of our species." they echoed without delay.

"And what species is that?" asked Mr. Swarm.

"The Protectorate of Nalmyke," came the chorus of nearly human 

"We, ourselves, are lost in space; can you help us find our way 
home?" I asked.

"The Protectorate cannot, but we can take you to those who can."