An interesting conversation
The bridge was subdued as I came out of the elevator and made my way to the chair. Number one was standing next to it.
“Where are we?” I asked him.
“Close enough to open communications.”
“The ships behind us?”
“Slowed to maintain distance, at the moment still out of communication range.”
“Time of arrival at the ships?”
“We’re being hailed,” the comms officer said, turning to look at me.
To Number One, “Tell the General to get his team together and be ready to mobilise in 15 minutes.”
“Sir.” He rushed out. He would be back in 5 minutes or less.
To the communications officer, “On screen then.”
A male, one that looked very much like the others we had met earlier, and it made me think that at one time all the people in this part of the galaxy got along well enough to share the longevity technology to make them all look the same.
There were slight changes between them, because the man I was looking at had more human skin tones, whereas the others were much paler. Perhaps they had advanced the technology to make them more lifelike.
“Captain. I am assuming you are the vessel from Earth recently at Grurzek?”
“You would be correct. To whom am I speaking, and don’t say that it is irrelevant.”
“I am a Commander of the Foroi. I believe you have one of our people aboard your vessel.”
“We are bringing her back to her home world, yes.”
“We will take her from here. We understand you are on a voyage of discovery, and you have come out of your way to deliver her. We can relieve you of that responsibility.”
And what would happen after she boarded their ship? I could only imagine, but one possibility that reached the top of the list, imprisonment and possibly death.
“I was charged with delivering her in person to her family members. That means I cannot pass that responsibility to anyone else.”
There were no recognisable expressions on their faces and odd thought, but I would hate playing poker with these people.
But, by the length of the silence, I assumed my statement didn’t go well.
“I understand you are an honourable man, but we are dealing with matters I’d state which I’m sure you can understand, as you have these back where you come from.”
Did everybody know about us?
I glanced over at Number One, breathless but hiding it well and who nodded to confirm the General was in place, he was as intrigued as I was. As was every member of the bridge crew. They had the most experience with these new people, and for them, it was the reason they signed on.
“Matters of state indeed, but a promise is a promise, and I will be completing the mission.”
“That would be a very dangerous undertaking.”
Once again, the notion of threats was raised.
“What do you know of Earth?” I thought I’d take a different path rather than take the bait.
I guess I was wrong about expressionless beings. He was genuinely surprised.
“More than you might think.”
“Then can I assume from that all of you in this part of the galaxy was once united, sharing technology and intelligence?”
It wasn’t a leap to see that these people once lived together in harmony. We on Earth were heading in that direction and would be interesting to find out what happened so we could avoid the same mistakes.
Not from this commander though.
“Then you’ll know that we will die for an ideal. You will also know we have weapons that can cause a life extinction event. No one has used it yet, more by good luck than good management, but we carry those weapons, just in case. We call this weapon a deterrent against foolhardy.
“So, if you are thinking of coming here by force and taking her, and perhaps destroying any evidence of us, I’d think again. We have a weapon aimed at each of your three vessels. We have scanners that can pick up signs you are about to deploy weapons, as I’m sure you do.
“Take a deep breath, and we’ll talk again soon.”
A nod to the communications officer cut the feed.
“Are we dancing with death, sir?” The first officer was a little tense, but we’d been here before.
“Sir, weapons are on each of the vessels, awaiting your orders.” The General had been monitoring the conversation.
“Very good. You know the drill if anything happens on the bridge.”
For a minute the air on the bridge was so thick you could literally cut through it with a knife.
The communications officer broke the silence, “one of the ships behind us is hailing.”
© Charles Heath 2021-2022