|| Science Fiction: All My Aliens - Sci-Fi Soap Opera #111|
“Alright, Griff,” Joe announced, “time to start talking ‘turkey,’ so to speak! I want to know exactly what your plans are for my planet, what part I can choose to play, how you are going to protect my daughter and grandson from the Examinators. And that, my alien friend, is just for beginners! In addition, I think you need me and people like me. My farm is a great place for a few agents to stay and operate, but by my way of thinking, you’re probably gonna need a whole lot more! I do have a network of friends...”
Grrphh looked a little startled by the Earthman’s vehemence, but then nodded in acknowledgement. Joe was absolutely correct. “Well now, since you ask... In fact, why don’t you come with me – there are a few things I can show you that may make things a little clearer. And perhaps some training will be approved for you before you leave. We shall see, I suppose it will be up to Bard, Glaboo and that lot – but nothing says we can’t get in a bit of a head start!”
Naturally, Bard, Bird, and the O&N staff were listening and watching this exchange ...
In fact, Joe’s reaction was the final piece that fell into place and confirmed the decision all were leaning toward – Barbara’s family would all be accepted as agents. They had proven themselves time and again!
Glaboo was relieved, no less than Bard and Bird. Grrphh and O&N were lucky to have contacted this particular family. These things were rather hit or miss much of the time.
A formal dinner was quickly arranged for that night to make the announcement. It was considered an honor to attend, so various agents and staff throughout the ship were jockeying for an invitation – as soon as word began to spread. Glaboo had really wanted to keep their decision a secret from the Earthlings until the announcement could be formally made – an increasingly difficult task as the day wore on, and the news and excitement spread.
Joe was well-occupied with Grrphh, and Bard stepped in to provide a diversion for the others. He brought Barbara, Al and Amy to some less traveled, but interesting sections of the ship, hoping in that way to avoid any accidental slips of the tongue. The Qwetzles were the worst danger, however, so Tilly and Suli were quickly excused to spend some time in training. They were not particularly pleased, but understood the reasoning. They were thrilled that all of Barbara’s family would be accepted. They knew that as part of Grrphh’s team, they would be invited to the dinner, so they had that to look forward to.
Although Bard’s tour was quite interesting, Barbara and her parents could not help feeling anxious. Al seemed totally unconcerned and quite sure that they would be accepted.
“I don’t know why you guys worry so much – we are heroes afterall! Of course they are going to want us as agents!” Al told his mother and grandparents. They nodded and smiled and hoped he was correct. Bard let nothing show on his face, one way or the other.
The dinner was wonderful and the announcement came as a surpise, as hoped. Though when the Earthlings entered the room and saw the formal setting and all the guests – they were pretty sure the answer was going to be positive. Al and Grandpa Joe were about bursting with pride at having been accepted as O&N agents, Amy wore a quietly satisfied smile.
A brief overview of their responsibilities and future training was discussed – but mostly there was merriment, good food, and sweet mild intoxicants for the adults. Shadow and Peanut were not left out, and had a convenient area for their own dining enjoyment. Glaboo had made certain, this time, that all those attending felt positively about the Earthlings’ inclusion in O&N. And truly there was little resistance throughout the ship – most realized the complexity and seriousness of the situation on Earth and were glad for any help they could get.
Barbara and her family would spend that night and the next day on the shjp – each to receive some training, and were then to be returned to Earth. Additional training would certainly be needed, but for now they had been on “vacation” quite long enough – no use in arousing additional suspicions.
Peliix was very heartily surprised and quite overjoyed to find that he was also to be elevated to the status of agent. He had assumed, to his great dismay, that he was in for weeks or months of training before being freed from the almost unbearable study regime he felt was required of him. He leapt from his chair and did a dance at the news, managing somehow to bow to almost everyone in the vast dining room.
Bard had recommended that Peliix be accepted as an agent at this time as well, despite his species known mischeviousness and Peliix' lack of training. The training Peliix had had with his former masters - the Examinators, still had not been totally counteracted, according to his teachers. But Bard promised to take personal responsibility for him, and so it was settled.
Far, far from Earth, Jonglire’s past actions were still of concern. The Eldestan had brought together their best and brightest, from far-flung corners of the universe to work on the problem of reversing the damage in Jonglire’s brain. It was a dangerous undertaking, but lack of knowledge of his past actions might well be even more dangerous...
To be continued...
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