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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 - 69. Chapter 69

Was that some sort of political non-talk they taught the higher ups? Dr. Vikrish and now this woman had both said it was an ‘unexpected development’ that the Four Arms claiming Ardra as a planet they had used for centuries as a resource planet in their territory. This was on the edges of the Galactic explored space, which is one of the reasons I’d applied to the Rinta. I would have far more opportunities to explore new biological environments on the fringes of society than if I’d signed onto a ship that patrolled closer to known space.

Of course I’d known the spacers on the ships that went farther out were tetchy and often had sketchy reputations, but it was an Institute and Council sponsored ship, so I thought I’d be safe.

Ha bloody ha. Literally. I’d broken a few noses before some of the more predatory types backed off. Few women enlisted, but those who did were equally forced to be a badass or carry a weapon. It was something I wasn’t sure those in charge knew about.

I was independent and tough enough to steal a skimmer after manipulating the assholes, land on an uninhabited planet, and survive first constant with an insular species who were apparently in the midst of a whole species upheaval. I could handle Institute higher ups.

“Essell? What are you doing there?”

Oh, I’d spaced out for a bit too long. My mother was standing in the room beside Dr. Margo, my father standing behind them both. How had they gotten there so fast?

“Hello, Mother. Father, it’s good to see you.” They were both dressed well, power colors and their Institute badges glinting on their chests. The Norsk looked drab beside them

“An explanation if you please.”

“This is Gar’jah. He is the leader of security for not just his ship, which is what I thought at first, but his entire planet. We met here on Ardra, but due to an unfortunate exposure to a native plant that was damaging my body, a doctor on their ship had to change my body.”

My father looked intrigued at that, but it was my mother who took the lead as I knew she would.

“My name is Dr. Adelina Deray. It is rare we meet such a technologically advanced race, if you were able to create such changes in my son.”

“It was necessary to prevent loss of limbs and potentially his life.” Garjah reached out and ran a hand down my back, and I leaned into his touch. Screw what my parents would think. I needed the comfort of his closeness, and his shoulders eased as soon as we touched too. “He is important to me, and Timok knew that. He did much research on humans as soon as Essell came aboard our ship.”

“So he entered your ship willingly?” My mother glanced at me briefly, but she stayed focused on Garjah. If she thought I wouldn’t have warned him about her not-so-subtle interrogation tactic to assess the threat level from a newly discovered alien race, she was more naïve than I thought. I didn’t have to say a word.

“No. He was with Bouncer, which is the cerops you see here.” Hearing his name, Bouncer turned his head toward Garjah. He nuzzled his lower hand, and Garjah rubbed one of his large ears. “I wasn’t sure if he’d been harmed or not, but I couldn’t risk getting injured or allowing my presence to spook it and prompt an attack on either of us. I didn’t know he’d bonded with the creature at that time.”

“He doesn’t seem so dangerous.”

“Actually,” Dr. Vikrish broke in and cleared his throat. “We have observed one incident with this species attacking a very large animal. It appears they have a toxin in their claws or bite; I’m not sure which. Within seconds of piercing the flesh of the grazing beast, it crashed down despite being at least five times this cerop’s”—he glanced at me for verification so I nodded—“general domesticity.”

Bouncer chose that moment to let out a huge yawn, showing off the razor sharp teeth he had tried using on me when we first met.

“The toxin is in their claws. I will be happy to speak more with your researchers about what I’ve noticed is consistent with his species, but his behavior is not valid for studying. And he’s not safe to study; he’s very intelligent and he’s close to me. It would be unwise to provoke him.”

I stared right at the screen, at my mother, as I said those words even though I was speaking to Dr. Vikrish.

Siever chose that moment to speak up, of course. “We haven’t detected any other ships in the area. How do we know any of this is true?”

My father raised an eyebrow. “I can assure you, my son was not born with four arms,” he said dryly.

“What I’m saying is there’s no proof this alien comes from here. Your son is on this planet on an unapproved mission. Frankly, he’s not even here by record, he’s on the Rinta.”

I’d had about enough of this guy. My mother was treating Garjah like he was a potentially hostile race, which was bad enough. My father was clearly upset about the genetic modification if that is where he went first with his argument, or he wanted to study it, and I wasn’t sure which was worse.

“I’m here. Garjah’s people were here. They can come back, but we didn’t want to startle anyone here with what could be interpreted as a hostile approach by a more advanced ship.” I turned to face the officious soldier. “Because let’s face it, he’s bigger, stronger, adapted to heavy gravity, has better technology therefore better weapons… and he’s standing here unarmed and answering questions. How about someone gives Garjah and me the benefit of the doubt and we have a frank conversation about what happens next.”

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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Chapter Comments

Go Essell!! About time you stood up for yourself and what you are wanting to discover.  I do hope that Bouncer does not decide to test the taste of one of the guards that are with the scientists.  That could be an interesting chapter. 


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I binged about ten chapters and got caught up. Essel's story is as good as ever. In fact I think you've ramped up the drama! No wonder Garjah's people have been reluctant to make contact. Looking forward to more! Thanks. 

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