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    Cia
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Ancalagon - 68. Chapter 68

The rest of the team was ushered about their business while Dr. Vikrish, Soldier One, and two of his lackeys ushered us into their shuttle and further through the corridors toward the control center. We made an interesting parade for those crew who’d stayed behind. Dr. Vikrish lead the way, a soldier behind him and in front of us. Garjah and I were clearly newcomers on a planet reported to be unoccupied, and a wild animal with a lethal gait and roving gaze prowled at my hip. Soldier One and another soldier brought up the rear behind us.

That made my skin crawl, and I’m sure it was worse for Garjah.

It got better when we reached the control center. There weren’t enough chairs for everyone but Garjah and I were ushered into the seats at the edges of the room for the observers. Bouncer sat between us. I put a hand on his head and rubbed; he tilted his neck and I scrubbed the edge of his jaw and under his chin. He yawned, as he always did if I tickled him, exposing his sharp teeth.

He flicked his tongue out when I stopped before closing his mouth and rumbling in his chest in displeasure that I’d stopped. He eyed Soldier One who was nervously eyeing him.

Or maybe I hadn’t observed Bouncer’s kind enough to gauge his intelligence. They’d avoided the scientists as a species, and Bouncer clearly knew the biggest threat in the room. How? I wasn’t quite sure.

“Shh.” I rubbed his jaw again and tried to calm him in a low, quiet voice. “It’s fine. Don’t worry.”

I tried to stay calm as the questions began. How did I get on Ardra? The skimmer they’d found us at made that seem fairly self-explanatory, but I answered anyway. What was I doing here? I’d uploaded the data synced with the skimmer’s computer with a spare data pad I’d found, and showed them the notes I’d made before Garjah had found me.

How did he find me? Garjah fielded that one, explaining they had the planet monitored but only used it for resources. That’s why it’d taken a few days to arrive and find me. That’s when it got interesting.

“So your kind are not part of the Galactic?” Dr. Vikrish asked.

“No, we avoid socializing with your races.”

“Why?” Specialist Siever asked. He’d introduced himself, so I was no longer calling him Soldier One in my head, but I didn’t really want to know what he was a specialist of with that much aggression. He remained standing, feet spread, arms crossed over his chest. He was human but his back up pair were both Corle warriors, their orange skin with black dots and exaggerated features exposed without their suit helmets.

“A part of our culture. We have species who reached out to us when we were new to space exploration, but as a rule we do not trade much with others who are… new.” Based on what I knew of Garjah’s genetic makeup, that word was nearly an insult to their kind.

“That’s—”

“Interesting,” Dr. Vikrish interrupted Siever. He glared at him. “We need first contact specialists. I know I am not trained to handle this situation, though it appears to be very unique.”

“So it’s time to contact my family? My mother is a first contact specialist.”

“That she is,” Dr. Vikrish agreed.

“I’m going to contact my superiors.” The way Siever said that was almost a threat. Garjah and I exchanged a look, and I knew he heard it too. He was a security expert, so maybe he had a better grasp on where Siever was coming from though.

The Corle warriors didn’t move. They were a quiet, stoic race and rarely showed emotion so that didn’t surprise me.

“Here, I will bring up the call on the main screen. I believe your parents are actually at the Institute right now, so this call may serve a dual purpose.”

If that was his way of warning me that my parents would be among colleagues and this call would be more than a family message to let them know I was alive, if not the same son they’d once known, he was a bit off. We were not that kind of family, and they would never have an emotional bond like that with me. If anything, my dad would want to study me. My mom would want to analyze every second my exchanges with Garjah and his people.

Exhausting. That was the word.

I sighed. “Thank you.”

It took a few moments for the space relays to align for the signal to go through and then the alert hit the Institute’s system. A tech appeared.

“Dr. Vikrish. Dr. Margo has been waiting for your call.”

“I apologize for the extended delay. We have an… unexpected development,” Dr. Vikrish said carefully. “I believe Doctor Adelina and Corvi Deray are on the premises? We need them to also attend this meeting.”

“And why is that?” An older female Norsk appeared on the screen. Her robe was deep green and complimented her pale skin and green tinged hair. Her gills worked furiously even through she was out of the water and on dry land to draw in air lending her words a whispery quality.

“Ardra is not unclaimed as we thought; we found an institute trained biologist, Dr. Essell Deray, who had made previous contact with an alien species who claims Ardra as part of their territory.”

“Part of their territory?” She raised a wispy brow.

“Yes, they are an advanced spacegoing species previously unknown to us, but we are not unknown to them.”

“Indeed.” Her face became impassive. “That is an unexpected development.”

Copyright © 2020 Cia; All Rights Reserved.
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Dyaus, I think mama is a real piece of work. I figure jealousy and vindictiveness for his sensational happenstance.

Until next Wednesday,😃

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We in the Galactic already have a “few” with the council that try to “respect” the resources…but the majority thinks we have found a pirates treasure of resources to be harvested at will; now you bear witness to an unknown alien species laying claim to our booty? Yeah, an unexpected development…that’s sure to get slow rolled in diplomatic haggling…until the superior forces show up and establish habitat and no share protocols.

Obviously having no concept of first contact diplomacy, or even self preservation when assuming the alien race has no defensive capabilities, or superior forces; and let alone the little pet velociraptor that can probably incite pack defensive reactions by pure instincts found within herds.

Maybe Essell and Garjah need to establish a pack for bouncer; now that’s a security force with some teeth to it!

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