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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Ancalagon - 65. Chapter 65

“Records from last exam?”

That didn’t sound good. Were they running in-depth scans on the skimmer? “Look, I know you were probably all over the place looking for me, but I’m here. I’m safe. I have a lot of information I can share with you, but those weapons make me nervous, which make the cerops with me nervous. If we could all stay calm, I think things will go better.”

Dr. Vikrish had turned to face the younger scientist who had tapped on his shoulder. As I spoke, he turned back toward me, his head cocked to one side. “Looking for you? Mr. Deray, we didn’t even know you were here.”

The pit in my stomach sank to my feet, and I was glad I was crouching. I braced my lower hands on the floor. “What?” I said faintly. I blinked at the mix of Institute and Fleet staff. Institute because I was one of their own, and Fleet because I’d gone missing form a ship. Surely Sonez reported the theft of the skimmer.

“We are here to study the planet, and unusual energy pulses brought us to this area.” Dr. Vikrish hummed. “You can see why we are feeling so cautious.” He spread his hands and indicated the soldiers.

“You didn’t even know I was here? Sonez didn’t report me… missing?” I hesitated and then replaced the original word I planned to say. No need to implicate myself.

“If Sonez is responsible for overseeing your placement, then I am not aware of any report of a scientist of your name, description, or general location being missing. One would think the Council would have notified scientists that one of our own was stranded on a planet we were going to if they knew.”

“One would think,” I repeated faintly. Bouncer pressed against my side, and Garjah touched his fingertips to mine from where he was jammed just out of sight. I couldn’t decide if that made this easier or harder, to be honest. I’d had a little time to strategize, and one of the angles I’d thought about was using my family name.

Looked like that was going to be my number one plan moving forward. I cleared my throat. “Well. Be that as it may, whatever the miscommunication was, I am here now. As I said before, I am Essell Deray. You are probably aware of who my parents are?” Having parents who was so successful in their fields and sitting on the board of the Institute was finally going to work in my favor.

Something needed to.

“The Doctors Deray are your parents?” He sounded awed, and I wished I could see his face but none of the others had removed their helmets.

“They are. As such, I’ve been embroiled in Institute business and whisked off to locations unknown and unexplored my whole life. Ardra was my chance to discover the planet’s secrets for myself. Things went… sideways.”

“Did they?”

“No one here has touched the weeds in the desert region, right?” How many were in their party? Had they lost any to the same parasite that attacked me?

“No, we haven’t left this continent. There is too much to sample here, but we have sent drone flyovers there.”

Which wouldn’t show them the danger. “There are planets on Ardra that seem to be alive. They have the ability to camouflage themselves and have evolved into deadly predators. The wildlife is more so. For my sake, I was latched onto by a juvenile cerops who decided I was a better bet than his mother who must have recently rejected him for younger offspring.”

Bouncer huffed.

“His kind are predators, armed with claws, teeth, large ears and eyes. His skin is naturally armored. And he will not hesitate to act if we feel threatened.” He’d taught the Kardoval that. Maybe I needed to remember that and pay close attention to his actions.

“Who is we?” Dr. Vikrish posed his question again, waving away the soldier who tapped his back when he stepped forward between two of the imposing men.

Make or break moment. “Two days after I landed on Ardra, another ship landed here too. Or moved into range, because frankly I have no idea how their technology works. All I knew was Bouncer was scared, an alien showed up standing right in front of me in practically nothing, and then I was out. Knock out spray or injection or something I couldn’t feel.” I rubbed my neck. It still stung from time to time when I thought about it.

“What?” Soldier one started snarling, and the remaining guards closed the scientists off with a high-wall of bodies.

“Quiet down. Quiet.” I tried a third time but was drowned out even faster. “Enough!” the scientist finally shouted. Silence fell over the chattingering boxes.

“Are you saying you made first contact? With this cerops?”

“I made first contact, but not with the cerops. I call them, Four Arms. I don’t quite think our voice boxes go low enough to make the sound of the word for their species in Galactic.” I took a breath, recognizing their tension and knowing this might be the truth bomb that set them off. “And they’re already a spacegoing race that knows all about the Galactic.”

“What?” That was the soldier in the lead, and he was reaching for the communicator at his side.

“Don’t do that,” Garjah said in his deep, gravelly tone. “It won’t do you any good. I’ve blocked all the signals in this area until we are sure you will not act rashly.”

Chaos descended, just what I was trying to avoid. Half the team wanted to know who Garjah was, why he could set the shields but not avoid detection in the first place, or better yet, if he was from a ship, where other ones were.

“I can only answer one question at a time!” Garjah was holding my hand now, and I had twined our fingers together in a death grip.

They whispered to each other. “I think it’s time you all come out,” the soldier said, and I couldn’t argue with hat.

Copyright © 2020 Cia; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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“His kind are predators, armed with claws, teeth, large ears and eyes. His skin is naturally armored. And he will not hesitate to act if we feel threatened.”

I named him Bouncer, but as he is getting older perhaps I should call him Shredder; would you like to see me feed him?

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Geez, are these guys really soldiers or contracted security guards? Their chattering, lack of discipline, with little respect for a chain of command, does not bode well for predictability. These scientists are not prepared for first contact observation and communication; they threaten Essell with hostile actions, while having no patience to hear or understand the communications from the entity of questionable familiarity. Whether alien or familiar these actions, amid no hostility, are far from desired for first contact with aliens of unknown patience or tolerance for forceful challenges.

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7 hours ago, astone2292 said:

I was wondering when Doctor Linguini and his Trampolining Sheep were going to visit the ceiling fan convention. It seems like it's time for the sheep to hit the fan (joke accreditation to Colin Mochrie).

These soldiers need to take a chill pill. I'm going to make the assumption they haven't had first contact training. Let the scientists handle this before bullets start flying... 

The fecal oscillator is set for maximum dispersal should….sheep happen! These guards are untrained for anything  fruitful and are more likely to back themselves or someone more dangerous than themselves into a corner…kinda like poking at a caged animal.

It reminds me of the old joke…Did you hear what happened to that gal that backed into a guillotine….disaster. Even small movements in a hostile environment can be catastrophic.

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