|| All My Aliens - Sci-Fi Soap Opera #106|
Bard and Bird listened in horror as Song described what had been learned about Jonglire’s travels – in fact, medical personnel came rushing in when the room monitors indicated unhealthy changes in bodily functions, such as breathing and heart rates. Bard quickly waved the attendants away, despite their wish to check his status more thoroughly. Few argued with Eldestan.
The agents Glaboo had sent to Earth to help cover-up the battle between O&N and the Examinators were amazed when they awoke to several inches of snow and more to come. They hoped it might help in their efforts to cover any oddities or signs that might have been left behind. Bard, Glaboo and Bird had expended a lot of energy in the clean-up, but they were rushed and already tired – not the best of circumstances. Humans on a mission could be very persistent, and the two men who’d had close to a day erased from their minds, were the curious kind. UFO enthusiasts were arriving in large number, and hypnotists were lining up to take their turn in trying to recover the lost memories. Luckily for the hypnotists, the men in question were rather well-to-do, and had no problem hiring and firing one after another, when results were not produced. It was a rather unassuming young woman who finally had some apparent success...
Tilly and Suli figured there was no reason not to answer Al’s question about whether they had morphed before appearing on Earth – chances were he would run into some of their kind, unchanged, during the stay on the ship anyway.
Suli answered him, “Why we sure did, Al! I think just about everyone did, except maybe Dave and Shadow, who come from a planet so similar to Earth, that some people wonder… well, never mind about that for now. Anyway, later, I’m sure you will have a chance to meet some Qwetzles who have not morphed, there sure are plenty of them on the ship. Shall we head to the animal housing for now, then? I’m sure you will find the many species very interesting...”
“Let’s go!” Al responded enthusiastically. Then suddenly realizing that Peliix was no longer holding his hand, he moaned, “Uh oh!”
Tilly asked, “What’s wrong Al? I thought you wanted to see some alien species! You don’t have to be frightened, we won’t take you anywhere dangerous, you know!”
“It’s not that Tilly,” Al interrupted. Then speaking in a soft voice, his head hanging, the Earth child added, “It’s Peliix! He’s gone! Got away somehow, guess I didn’t do a very good job of watching him.”
Tilly laughed, “Don’t worry, Al. I expected it from the moment we set foot on the ship. I’ll just call security – they’ll scoop him up in no time. I’m sure he is just exploring. Those Zetlinz are a mischievous lot, even when they think they are behaving themselves - and young ones like Peliix are the worst. They do make good agents once they settle down a bit though.”
Walking over to the nearest wall, Tilly pushed a pale colored bar that seemed to run the length of all hallways throughout the ship, and reported Peliix missing. Apparently, he had already been found wandering, and trying to pocket a few “souvenirs.” After some consultation, he had been left with Bard and Bird for them to deal with. Al was relieved that no one was angry or disappointed in him, and glad to be rid of the responsibility. He wanted to focus all his attention on the amazements and amusements of the ship.
Tilly and Suli took them first to an ‘aquarium’ where gelatinous-looking blobs used their bodies to flash colored lights at each other and the visitors. Tilly showed them how to listen in to the conversations using the translation devices that were an integral part of the ship’s ‘zoos.’ The Earth group listened in delight, but after a while decided to move on, as the conversations were mostly about water temperature, food, and the ugly creatures looking in at them.
Next on the tour they came upon numerous varieties of land animals – all herbivores and many of which wanted to be touched, patted or fed. So many curiously crowded around Al, that he was knocked down, laughing, and claiming that the animals were tickling him.
Grandpa Joe reached down and plucked him out of the heap, smiling. Once standing though, Al headed right back for more. Their colors, appendages, shapes, noises, and so much more were nothing like he had ever seen, yet all the alien critters in this section were friendly and enjoyed contact with others.
While Al played, Barbara asked her parents if they would mind staying with Al and continuing the tour without her. “I would really like to go back and check on Dave – Shadow and Peanut too. We’ll meet you back at our rooms for dinner in let’s say, one ship time unit – about 98 minutes on Earth, if that’s okay?”
Amy, shooed her on, assuring her daughter that she’d be glad to keep an eye on Al, and was enjoying the tour immensely herself.
Relief was apparent on Barbara’s face as she left. Luckily her previous trip for training on the ship allowed her to find her way easily.
“So, Peliix, is it?” Bard asked. “What do you have to say for yourself, and what do you expect us to do with you now that you are free of the Examinators?”
To be continued…
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