I guess there was more to be worried about than a few scorch marks on the side of a ship.
It did beg the question, in those milliseconds I had to pull myself together, that the agreement everyone was a party to on Earth was that we were not going to have ships with weapons, and the ability to attack one another in space, was just that, between nations on Earth.
What if there was life other than on Earth?
The person I was looking at didn’t look like an alien, or at least not one of our endless stereotypes, but what if there was life other than us, and this was a representation of it?
I guess it was time to take the first step.
“I’m assumiung this is some sort of dispute over cargo, or perhaps interstellar freight lines, and if it is, there are proper channels to resolve your issues, not at the end of a laser.” I looked at the weapon in the person’s hand and it looked nothing like anything I’d seen before.
Well, not outside our weapons lab, our there on the edge of space where the occupants were not likely to get snooping visitors.
The helmet with the reflective glass panel gave no indication who was behind it.
“It is not an issue over freight.”
OK. A humanised voice, spoke slowly as if by one feeling their way around the language. Yes, English, but why didn’t they pick French or Spanish, or even Japanese? English was not exactly universal, and the translators in our ears reduced everything to our native tongue. Myrtle’s language was Italian, so she would not be hearing this in English.
“Space lane violation?”
Yes, there were lanes in space so ships didn’t crash into each other. There was some degree of civilization out her in no man’s land.
Time for a different tack.
“Just exactly where are you from?”
In that same moment I heard the Captain’s voice coming over my private communicator, in a very uncaptain like manner. “What in God’s name is that?”
© Charles Heath 2020-2021