The four members of the high council – maybe
There was a man in a red suit, a man in a blue suit, a woman in a green suit and another woman in a grey suit.
Grey suit spoke first, “Are all you people from the earth as tiresome as you are Captain?”
She was either the lowest rank or the highest.
“We are an interesting bunch when you get to know us, which, despite this turn of events, I hope we do. We have a predilection for interfering in matters where we see injustices.”
“Be that as it may, I would like to remind you, that what might pass as acceptable behaviour on your planet, might not be on ours. You should be aware that in your travels, everyone you may or may not meet has their own specific rules, customs, and regulations which can and will be a lot different to yours.”
“I accept that, and in fact, in the briefing we had before leaving earth, it was impressed upon us that very premise. And I understand that we may be seen to be interfering in matters that are not our concern. But, and there’s always a but, that’s how we humans think and rationalise the many situations we often find ourselves in, we don’t like injustices.”
“Does what might appear an injustice to one, not be one to another? There is ample evidence in your history that points to those overlooking so-called injustices for the greater good?”
“That may be true in the past, but we like to think we have evolved into a better civilization. But we are not perfect, as you point out. However, this instance does not qualify as an instance for the greater good, it is simply the selfish whim of a single person. We have people who are supposed to set an example too and don’t, because they don’t believe the rules apply to them, and I would like to believe that you, too, would not tolerate this sort of behaviour in your leaders. Your people have been living on our planet for some time, I gather, so you should know that.”
Blue suit had been looking rather severely at me. “It was a mistake to let you people develop space travel capability. Our efforts to delay it haven’t been as successful as we had anticipated. You are not ready.”
That someone or something had been manipulating our progress would probably not come as a surprise to some back home. My knowledge of the steps we took to get where I was now pointed to several disasters that set the whole program back nearly twenty years, if not more.
I wonder how the Admiral would react when I told him. If I told him.
“It was inevitable, like everything we do. Unfortunately for you, we thrive on adversity.”
“You are not the only warlike race in the galaxy you know. You may want to hold off meeting them for as long as you can, but they know where you are, so there’s more than one inevitability.”
“By uttering those words, does that make you look more like the aggressors than us? The thing is, we’re out her for better or for worse, and I think you know what has transpired here is an injustice, but the ramifications are unpalatable. We have an expression; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Blue suit looked as though he was going to explode. “It is no use talking to these primitives.”
Grey suit glared at him. “It is your house that is not in order, and we have tolerated it for long enough.” She looked at her fellow members and received nods. Blue suit disappeared, most likely transported back to the planet.
Grey suit: “You are, using another of your sayings on earth, “treading on very thin ice.”
Green suit took up the narrative. “We believe you would not adhere to a request to turn around and go back home, so, before you alert the galaxy that you are now participants in intergalactic exploration, take heed of this warning. Not all species are friendly. Most are bound by customs and rules which are nothing like yours, and it is possible you will commit the most heinous of crimes by just acting normally.
In this instance, you may have uncovered a problem that we were not aware of, and lucky for you, is a minor transgression in accordance with our customs. We are no longer those people and will rectify the issue. The prisoner in question will be allowed to remain on your vessel to do with as you wish. If you are to continue your travels, I suggest you do so with caution.”
Grey suit again, “We acknowledge you are not going to go away. So, as the first gesture of friendship between our worlds, we would like you to return the Princess to her home world, and before you do, we will provide you with an advisor to help you navigate the protocols of her world. We will also grant two members of your crew an audience with our scribes who will give you knowledge of our worlds and people, and that of others in this galaxy. The other ship does not get this privilege and must leave immediately. If they do not, they will be destroyed. There will be no negotiation on this matter. Do you agree?”
It was probably the best we could hope for under the circumstances.
Grey suit to their captain. “I’ll leave you to work on the details.”
With that, the remaining three were gone.
© Charles Heath 2021-2022