|| All My Aliens - Sci-Fi Soap Opera #107|
Peliix put on what he felt was his most engaging smile, and answered Bard. “Well, surely, a great Eldestan like you could use an assistant! Truly, give me a little training, and you will be amazed at the results. I would swear my allegiance to you forever – well, at least for as long as I live!”
Bard nodded, “Well, I suppose with enough training it might be possible. What assurances do I have that you will not be spying for your former masters, the Examinators?”
“Spy for them? You must be kidding! I hope I never see another Examinator in my life. They were cruel masters, unlike the honored Eldestan!” Peliix bowed to Bard and Bird. “Really I should have known better, quite a few tried to tell me. I found out for myself that they care nothing for their minions, and turned on us at the slightest excuse. I’d rather be dead than go back to them. I give you my word and my pledge!” ...
“Good enough,” responded Bard, “I will hold you to that Peliix! So, we will start with training – I will call Glaboo and you will begin immediately. Work hard, little one – I will be keeping a close eye on your progress.”
Not many minutes passed before an Instructor came to claim Peliix. “Come along,” the little alien was told, “you are going to be so busy, even a Zetlinz will be hard-put to find time to get into mischief.”
Alone again, Bird asked her brother, “Are you sure Bard? Did you really want an assistant? I’m sure Glaboo can find something for him on the ship.”
Bard smiled and said, “I think there is a reason Peliix has been brought to us, but time will tell. Time will tell.”
Several minutes later, the sound of tiny running feet briefly preceded Peliix’s reappearance. He was clearly proud of himself, feeling that he was proving his worth to Bard, who only laughed in acknowledgement. The chagrined instructor was not far behind - and none too pleased. She produced, and quickly snapped a locator bracelet around her charge’s wrist, shaking her head, “You don’t leave much choice, young one – now let’s try this again.”
Dave had just finished his soaking when Barbara returned to find him. Together they went to pick up Shadow and Peanut. Shadow was so excited to see his friend and partner that his antics knocked a still weak Dave off his feet. Laughing, he allowed Barbara to help him back up, but not before she gave Shadow a good scolding for over-exuberance. Shadow hung his head for a few minutes, but then his wagging tail and chagrined look won Barbara over, and she found herself laughing at his antics.
Back on Earth, the lake-side village, where the latest kidnap attempt of Barbara had taken place, was swarming with Ufologists – all eager for the latest news. Groups and individuals were combing the beaches and woods for any potential clues.
This ended up being a good thing, from the viewpoint of the O&N agents assigned to cover-up any telltale remains. The snow, combined with this many people stomping around everywhere, leaving their garbage, along with their footprints, made it almost certain that nothing important or indisputable would be found. Nonetheless, the two agents got out there and joined the searchers – listening to the scuttlebutt passed from one searcher or group to the next. Some of the rumors were amazing – and some of them had been spread by O&N – there were ways to use this kind of hysteria to their advantage.
The journey home seemed incredibly long for the shepherd, yet the same time was passing almost unnoticed for Jonglire. He was finally heading back to the planet of his birth, though it was unlikely that he was even aware of it.
Word of Jonglire’s attack on Bard preceded him. Many wondered and worried about where he had been while missing for so long, and how this might have affected his appalling behavior. Jonglire had little awareness of the events or concerns surrounding him, since his people had been forced to psychically lobotomize him.
Now it was beginning to look less likely that Jonglire would return to a farm to live out the rest of his life in vegetable-like solitude. With the growing evidence of the depth of Jonglire’s betrayal, there were Eldestan suggesting that it might be important to try to restore enough of his mental functioning that he would be able to detail recent travels and events.
Many questions remained about what other actions may have been set in place by Jonglire or those he was working with. The problem was the very few times psychic lobotomy had needed to be performed throughout Eldestan history – and not at all in thousands of years. It was a solution generally avoided at almost any cost. As a result there was absolutely no previous research on restoring functioning in one for whom this had been the only option.
To be continued…
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