|| All My Aliens-Sci-Fi Soap Opera #82|
Upon Grrphh’s pronouncement of the Examinator’s attempt to kidnap Barbara and Suli, Dave took one look at Barbara’s face and rushed to her side. Tilly, unusually silent, fiercely hugged her sister, clearly relieved that they had been spared that experience.
Barbara’s brain was racing, she was expecting Al back in the morning. “What have I done?” she wondered, “If I am in such danger, then how is it possible that Al won’t be in danger just by being near me!” The Earth woman’s recent excitement and pride over her achievement in becoming a full-fledge O&N member, Earth’s first, had now turned to horror. She had put her son in danger because of her involvement with these aliens, for trying to help. She tried reminding herself that she had done this to benefit her planet and it’s people, but the thought was not very consoling.
“It wasn’t supposed to be like this!” she found herself blurting out...
Martha approached her and patted her gently on the back, “I know you must be worried about Al, not to mention your own self – we’ll figure something out to make sure you both stay safe, no matter what. As soon as Bard returns we can talk to him about it. We have the very best on our side, you know!”
Barbara could only nod in response, what was there to say?
Back at the O&N mothership, Glaboo was welcoming her honored guests - four Eldestan! Four! She was somewhat overwhelmed, though it turned out that one of these was actually her Aunt. Glaboo had never met her father’s sister, Bird, prior to now. She felt an instant connection, however, with the female Eldestan and immediately relaxed a bit. Bird informed her niece that another Eldestan, Jonglire, had already joined Bard on Earth.
Glaboo briefly noticed an odd expression cross Bird’s face, but there was no time to pursue it. Making her esteemed guests feel welcome and offering them every possible amenity, was paramount in the O&N chief’s mind. Her guests answered almost as one, that being shown to their rooms would be quite sufficient for the moment. Glaboo personally escorted them to their quarters.
The Examinators had left the vicinity of Sol as quickly as possible, all but one ship had made it. The ship lost was the last to leave, and had, according to sensors, activated it’s self-destruct mechanism. When they were far enough away to satisfy minimal caution, the remaining ships landed on a sterile moon and regrouped. It was decided that at best, they could hope a few of the agents left behind on Earth would remain undiscovered. Perhaps these would be able to accomplish something toward their goal. There was no question of trying to return in any sizable force.
Gartan was found, and a proposition made to him. His small ship would be refitted and every possible signature changed, so that not even an engineer from his home planet would recognize the ship as their own. In exchange, the recent O&N traitor would return to Earth’s vicinity and take any opportunity possible to land, rejoin with the agents still there and carry out the current mission to abduct Barbara.
While Gartan was glad to be offered a refitted ship, he was not too excited about going anywhere near Earth. With O&N buzzing like a bee-hive, and the likelihood of more Eldestan and other back-up arriving, Earth was about the last place he wanted to visit.
Noticing his reluctance, the Examinators made it extremely clear that his life with them, if he did not cooperate, would be miserable and short.
Cooperation, on the other hand, would immediately elevate him to officer’s status. It was then very clearly explained to the disappointed Gartan, that his ship – like every Examinator ship, would contain a self-destruct button. He was also informed that should he fear to use it, if needed to avoid capture, or should he decide to betray them, there was the option of remote detonation.
Gartan was given a few minutes to consider his options. He appeared agitated, and vehemently denied any intention of taking off on his own, and finally agreed to take on the mission to Earth. There would be only one other being accompanying him. A number of Examinators had apparently developed a fear (which might indeed be well-founded) that the Eldestan could just about smell them within a lightyear’s distance.
Bard and Jonglire spent about an hour wandering the nearby woods together. Jonglire regaled his old friend with tales of adventures past, but seemed to avoid questions related to more recent events. Bard, for his part, enjoyed catching up with this childhood friend, but sensed something...
As Jonglire talked and asked questions about Bard’s knowledge of the current situation, the Eldestan let these concerns slip to the back of his mind.
Bard had wanted to hear more about his sister, Bird, but apparently Jonglire had caught up with her only minutes before the alarm had sounded about another attempt on the Earth woman. As a result, Jonglire had little to tell him. Bird had gone with others to Glaboo’s ship, while Jonglire had decided to come directly here, to Earth and Bard...
To be continued…
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