|| All My Aliens-Sci-Fi Soap Opera #81|
The Examinators held a rushed and unpleasant meeting, in which it was decided after much arguing, that their base in Sol’s solar system must be abandoned immediately. There could be no second attempt at this point. Everything remaining that could be moved, was hurriedly packed up and loaded onto all available ships. During the chaos, and with the many vicious disagreements, the Examinators managed to kill off about 10% of their own remaining forces near Earth before actually vacating the system. Gartan was seriously injured after a couple fights, but managed to leave in his own small ship – though he’d had to battle for it, with all available space filled with those fleeing or their equipment.
Meanwhile four Eldestan were expected to arrive on the O&N mothership, and another, an old friend of Bard’s was heading straight for Earth...
After Bard’s discussion with Glaboo, he and Dave headed back in to the party, their spirits dampened. Silver and Shadow, quite able to understand their friends’ discussion, chose to remain outside. Given past experience, one couldn’t be too careful. Dave, in particular, expressed his thanks to the two ‘animals.’ He would feel just a little better about things, knowing that a watch was being kept. Shadow and Silver had already proven themselves a number of times in the past.
Dave came through the door first, and at the look on his face, the room quieted – with everyone looking at him and Bard expectantly. The telling of the incident with Gartan had already spread through the group, and agents who had been with O&N for many years already, sensed that something more was amiss.
“We do have news,” Bard announced, “However, I would like a few moments to discuss the matter with Grrphh before we hold a planning meeting, if you might excuse us for a bit? Dave, I think you should accompany us.”
Dave would have preferred staying inside with Barbara, but sighed and followed Grrphh, the O&N leader in this sector of Earth. Since Dave didn’t really have anything to add to the discussion, he made a round of his property and Barbara’s with Silver and Shadow.
Already on guard, and worried, Dave and the ‘animals’ were temporarily startled and ready for another attack, when a blue light appeared a few yards from them. Silver quickly whinnied in recognition, and though Dave did not recognize the being that emerged a moment later, there was little doubt that an Eldestan stood before him.
The two eyed each other for a moment, then Dave spoke, “Well, I guess you must be looking for Bard. He is close by. I’m Dave, O&N agent, planet of origin – Acalidar, where Bard recruited me as a child.”
The newcomer nodded, and held out his hand as if for Dave to lead the way. Before the two took more than a few steps, Bard found them. He had sensed the arrival of one of his own, instantly. A broad smile lit his face as he greeted the newcomer, they had practically grown up together, though it had been centuries since their travels had brought them together.
“This is a fine surprise, indeed, Jonglire! Have you come to this sector to be of assistance in the pursuit of the Examinators? We sure could use the help, are you up-to-date on the happenings?” Bard asked. At his old friend’s nod, he continued, “Yes! Well, then, tell me where you’ve been and what you’ve been up to since we last saw each other in the Ckzi’tsuk sector."
Jonglire, burst out laughing, “That would be quite a tale indeed! Perhaps there’ll be time for me to mention a few highlights later. More recently though – I had just ran into Bird when the call came through that the Examinators had made another kidnapping attempt here. She’s one of those on the way to Glaboo’s ship.”
Bard was delighted, “Well, then, it really will be like old times! I haven’t seen my sister in, hmm… I’m not sure how long – it was definitely before Ckzi’tsuk though! I only wish the situation wasn’t, again, so serious. Maybe once it would be nice to meet up with old friends just for fun, and not because of an emergency, wouldn’t you say?”
Catching up with Bard, Grrphh was introduced , then asked to inform the others of the current situation, as Bard wanted to spend a little time with Jonglire to discuss any new information and possible options.
Returning to Dave’s house, Grrphh began by explaining that another Eldestan just had arrived, an old friend of Bard’s no less! John and Martha exchanged knowing looks – two Eldestan needed on Earth – that sounded like trouble was due.
Upon hearing the name of the new arrival, Cecelia, who had been rather less difficult of late, burst into an unexpected stream of outrage. “I don’t care if he is an Eldestan, or a friend of Bard’s – he’s trouble, and I’ll never trust him again. Not after what happened on Haverick, it was as a direct result of his inappropriate actions that my love, my mate, ended up dead. I don’t care what anyone says, I won’t work with him again. I want a transfer Grrphh – off this planet!”
The other agents were completely taken aback, none had ever heard anyone speak in such a way about any Eldestan. No one spoke for a few minutes. Finally Grrphh took charge, “We will speak later about your claims Cecelia,” and gave her what he hoped was a sufficient warning look.
“Now,” Grrphh continued, “there is other news. As I think everyone is aware, Barbara and Suli’s return was delayed because of an emergency. What you may not know, is that the agents who took their place in Transport were responding to a report of an Examinator presence in Iceland. They did not reach their destination! They were grabbed by Examinator forces as they left the ship. It is the opinion of Glaboo and Bard that the kidnapping attempt was aimed at Barbara and Suli!”
There were a few gasps from the group, both Barbara and Suli looked shaken…
To be continued…
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