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    Cia
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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 - 76. Chapter 76

Now we were getting down to the churning core. I surreptitiously squeezed Garjah’s hand. We’d wanted to get to this point sooner rather than later without having to explain too much about who he was and why none of the Kardoval had come to negotiate on his people’s behalf. Or really explain why their culture was so strictly regimented. Treaties took trust on both sides, but trust takes time to earn.

“We are a simple people. Our culture is made of binary genders with equality between sexes. Our rulers are not elected, but they are the best equipped to rule and do so by consensus from the population. We have been space going for thousands of years, and met with older cultures, but many within your Galactic are young. This has led to us avoiding your space.” Garjah spread his upper hands. “Out of caution as we watched how your society would develop.”

“The Galactic signed the first treaties over four thousand years ago.” The disbelief in the councilor’s voice was clear. “And quite the distance away.”

“Yes. Our technology is very advanced.” Garjah’s terse answer frustrated many of the councilors. One flushed purple, another snorted repeatedly, and the robe on the Togoi was moving over his wings. Even the Cheegre males were whispering until their matriarch hushed them with a quick slash of both her front antennae. They crouched down, bowing with heads tucked inside their arms in exact unison. Strange little hive people. I wondered if they hid a similar secret, maybe a hive mind for their groups, like Garjah was trying to hide his people’s memories.

“I mentioned how they basically considered my suit useless, right?” I was sure I’d told someone that at some point. “Trust me, if Garjah’s people have hostile intentions, nothing the forces in the Galactic could do would stop them.”

The Olnux councilor stood. Its high-pitched voice hooted across the room, creating a slight echo. “So why approach us now? If you’re so advanced, what do you want?”

“We expect sovereignty within our planets, freedom from incursion and invasion, and benefits from the protections and trade terms usually available to those holding treaties within the Galactic.” It was less about wanting something from them, and more about the ability to move freely about space that was growing more and more crowded.

Though there were people who wanted to explore the worlds and races closest to them. Until he’d met me, Garjah hadn’t understood it. He said he did afterward. Maybe the biggest changes between us hadn’t been the physical changes I’d gone through, but the mental and emotional ones he’d experienced.

I marveled that I hadn’t even really thought about it explicitly before. Of course, this wasn’t the time for it.

“We should break for a midday meal for those who need to refresh themselves and come back to this after,” Alae said. Lipros ate frequently, so they were mindful of meals.

“Thank you,” Garjah said politely, inclining his head. “We would love to return to discuss matters further.” His hand was still firmly with mine, and I had a feeling he wouldn’t be letting go until we were off this planet.

My mother and father stood behind us. “Well—” Mother’s lips were pinched, and she had one eyebrow arched. “That could have gone better.”

“It could have gone worse.” I ran my hand down Bouncer’s head and back of his neck. Most of the councilors had left by then, so I figured it was safe to walk him out.

“If you say so.”

My father was watching me pet Bouncer with fascination. “Can anyone touch him?” he asked.

“You know, I have no idea.” I realized then that no one but me, and occasionally Garjah, ever touched Bouncer when he was conscious. Was it because they were afraid of him or that he didn’t initiate touch with anyone else? “But he’s always hungry. Meat and a few vegetables wouldn’t hurt the get to know you phase.”

Smiling now, please to get to experience a new animal and gather data, my father was eager to get started. His long, lean legs lit up the distance between the council room and the dining hall we’d apparently been assigned to ourselves.

I glanced around when we entered, expecting the other people from the room, but it was just us. “Where are we?”

“Guest quarters,” my father said.

“Guest… quarters? I thought I was here to help plead Garjah’s case and face punishment for leaving the ship to fly to Ardra. Nothing was going quite like I expected it. My mother was more standoffish than my father, strange for a first contact.

I helped my dad feed Bouncer, and he marveled at his skin, his eyes, his ears, and asked to see his claws which I refused. He wasn’t a trained pet.

“Wait for a report from the planet, Father.”

The entire time my dad had been talking to me about Bouncer, and touching him, I’d watched to see if there were any signs of comprehension. He didn’t preen or lash out, not really reacting at all except to arch physically into the touch.

Sentient my ass.

 

The rest of the afternoon was a haggle. Individual points of territory, specific terms for ambassadors, and establishing a common understanding of the trade policies the Galactic upheld. No raping planets, or people, of their resources.

“Nature is preserved in all major cities and landmasses on my planet.” Garjah rolled one hand toward the window. “This level of industrial building does not happen.”

Oh no, he didn’t. He had. I resisted the urge to bury my face in my palms—barely. This was the seat of the Council. The Galactic’s pride and joy. Temperate, sparkly at night, home to millions who’d never step foot on another surface because they loved this one.

This was the place to be. And he just waved it off, like nothing.

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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On 2/2/2022 at 6:52 AM, drsawzall said:

Well now...that was a fine how do you do!!!

Time the Galactic got over themselves...understanding they aren't the top dog after all...and realize they are quite assbackwards in some respects...

“Nature is preserved in all major cities and landmasses on my planet.” Garjah rolled one hand toward the window. “This level of industrial building does not happen.”

Mom, meet my advanced species alien partner, he was asking why the council allows such trashing of the planets? Could you pass the tea please…

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