I always wanted to see the planets – Episode 13

Our first contact didn’t go so well

As soon as I stepped off the shuttle in the cargo bay, the third officer was waiting for me.

“The captain asked me to escort you up to his day room.”

Unusual. The captain could have just called me on the private communicator if there was a need for secrecy, if that was what this was.

“Any reason why he would send you?”

“Didn’t want you getting lost, sir.”

I knew I should not have admitted to him that I had got a little confused finding my way around, but that was because the dockyard people had blocked off several passageways.

“No. I guess not.”

The Third was a man of little humour, and particularly didn’t think any of my jokes were funny. On station, he was all serious and unamused.

Now, he had his serious face on, and I thought it best not to ask what to expect.

He took a different route to the bridge than what I would have taken, a much shorter and more direct route. It was obvious he had studied the plans of the ship and knew it backwards. I on the other hand, was not that prepared, but it meant I would have to.

He went as far as the door to the day room, and left me there. I didn’t need to announce myself, the doors just opened, whisper quiet, showing me the room I could expect one day when I got my own ship.

Or at the very least, I could dream.

The doors closed behind me, and I walked forward into the room proper, and first saw the captain sitting at his desk, and then a figure standing beside and back a step, behind him.

There was a weapon in his hand, but it was by his side.

And something else I noticed, the figure looked just like the three I’d seen on the other ship.

The captain saw me looking at him.

“This is the captain from the vessel that just arrived as those assailants on the cargo ship were ‘rescued’.

He, or she, looked human under the clothes and helmet, but could be almost anything.

“Does he…”

“Speak our language, yes, and a lot of others. And he would like our help.”

© Charles Heath 2021

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