Things looked good with the volcanic planet, it hadn't exploded and the activity appeared to be slowing down. The scans we could do also revealed that the resources had been moved around and were now more evenly distributed. The Tirtris had also launched their first mining ship and had started to collect the resources they needed to continue building the station, the process was much slower for them, but they were very proud of this achievement and we were happy for them. They had also been improving their communication technology after rebuilding it, they had seen what was possible with it and had made their systems work with ours. This would be a great help for both of us as we knew our time here was coming to an end, at least for now. We had much to do and had to continue on, plus the planet wouldn't be ready for us for quite some time, so we would rely on their communication system to keep track of when we might be ready for the next phase of the plan. To monitor the planet we set up our own satellite, it would orbit the planet and keep all of us up-to-date on its activity. Once we had everything in place we bid them farewell and got ourselves back on course towards the next cube.
Nira had been busy while we had worked on getting the Tirtris settled on the station. With the changes in the heavy energy storage she found new potentials with the virtual world, namely that she could put some actual resources and plants in it and instead of being virtual food that we would eat it would be actual, though it would take a little time for it to grow, there was no way to force the plants to grow faster. She also had to spend some time reconfiguring some of it to produce more accurate signals to fool the plants, they were much pickier than we were. This of course meant we would be keeping Evan busy when we uploaded the new data to him, but I was sure he wouldn't mind. This would also make it so we didn't have to maintain a garden section of the ship and wouldn't be nourished by just basic substances but instead actually have the thing we were perceiving ourselves eating. It was an odd thought, being able to eat foods in their heavy energy state without them ever being outside of this state. Once she had the plants in the virtualization she had begun changing the garden area into something else, but this she blocked off, saying it would be a surprise for sometime later when it was finished. She had already surprised us many times already, so we let her keep this secret area and instead focused on finishing up our virtual houses and projects.
The interface had been finished on the outside, but I didn't want to test it until I had the same one on the inside, it would allow a very interesting way of interacting between the two when they were both complete. It didn't take long to finish it and shortly after entering the world I was leaving it again to check it out. It could function from either side of the virtual barrier, but it had the most potential when outside of it. Once I had strapped myself in it took only moments before my vision was filled with all the different interfaces, including the virtual one on the inside of the simulation. Ambri was there and had been watching, she described it to me as the equipment suddenly coming alive and my image slowly filling the technology, like I was being pumped into the equipment, expanding until I was whole. I imagined it to be like a water balloon, expanding as the water was put in it, but she had no idea what a balloon was yet. I then began focusing my attention on the different displays, each one was a different system or sensor within the ship. Most of them had been automated and only a few remained that Nira controlled, we just had not been able to figure out how to automate them yet. Once I started getting the hang of the different displays and systems I then opened up the rest of the capabilities and felt the full weight of control over the ship. Nira was sharing it with me and instructed me in using what I felt, after a few hours and a couple breaks in between sessions I was able to do as she did with the ship, though I could not access the room she was working on as she had encrypted that particular section. With this control I could now better understand the ships systems and further free Nira from her burden, it also provided anyone who took the time to learn it the ability to be as Nira had been, a living ship. You could feel what the ship could feel and do as the ship had capability as well as work its evolution as you saw fit. It was truly an amazing change to our systems and would drastically change how we used the ship. Once I was done Ambri wanted her turn with it and so I turned it over to her while I worked on the adjustments we needed to make to free Nira completely.