On Board Rogon Starship
Alchibah star system:
Lew DeWalt settled deeper into the chair “My, that’s some good scotch much better than any we’ve got” The mug in his hand, although designed for coffee, was quite suitable for a double malt scotch on the rocks.
“One thing we had on Orion was plenty of cargo space, and we stocked up for a long voyage” Hunter St. James continued, changing the subject “I can’t believe they couldn’t come up with a better name than Deathfang, anything would be better than that.”
“You have to understand sir, they’re all kids…hell, I’m really still a kid” DeWalt began to explain “When the snakes came, I had just graduated from OCS; Your fleet was already preparing to go to the black hole… So the UN surrendered, and you left…what? about 30 days later” The Navy Captain simply nodded to the Army Captain, DeWalt went on
“At first things didn’t change much, people just kept watching tri-V and didn’t notice.” He took a drink before continuing “The first problems began in the Muslim states, the Rogons began to purge all the UN leadership and the Muslims had the most to lose. Peacekeeping turned to reprisals, it got real nasty. There was, and still is, lot’s of trouble in South America, and the Alliance of Independent States is in open revolt, but it’s guerrilla war… on again, off again. Anyway, the Rogons cleaned out all the top brass too, army majors on up, navy about the same; You’re not just senior officer here… You’re senior officer anywhere.”
Hunter pondered this information; he posed his question carefully trying not to show his anxiety “So was the whole world in revolt? Wasn’t there quiet anywhere?”
“Oh sure in India they got practically delirious…seems eight legged gods are part of their religion, they love the Rogons. And North America and Europe aren’t nearly as messy as some places, though there are rumors that the Rogon brass are actually having the most trouble behind the scenes there. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’ve heard they’ve had some serious problems with the anti-UN rebel groups.”
“Anyhow the result is a young military with a lot of police actions under our belts; things had quieted down a lot most everywhere but the AIS by the time we left… just over two years after you.”
St. James pounced on that “Two years how could you get here that fast”
The Army captain explained “It actually took us about 10 months I’m told, but most of that was at light speed. Time slows down, so it seemed like about 10 weeks, we’ve been dogging you the last 4″
“Right I should have figured that out myself, but I’ve had a lot on my mind” But what was on St. James mind was calculating the trip home.
It was a bad time for an interruption as an UNWG corporal popped open the door “Snake coming sirs!” he said “It’s the one that talks”
DeWalt came up out of his chair “Be ready for anything sir, this won’t be good.”
At that point a Rogon entered the room, St James sensed a smoothness about the alien unlike any he’d met before, but he totally unprepared for what happened next.
“Captain St. James” the being said “I’ve waited so long to meet you” hunter was speechless but the alien didn’t seem to expect a response ” I am Shintok; krett-N, but call me krett…I’ve studied your race my entire life; so naturally when we planned this trip I made it a point to look up your file. I was so impressed I made a little project of studying you, what an amazing career you’ve had… the man who crushed the Ceres rebellion, and now I get to meet you”
Hunters head was spinning “That was a complicated, unpleasant mess I never wanted it to turn out the way it did” he said
“Of course not” replied the alien humanologist “But you did your duty as a man of honor will. We Rogons share that quality with the best of your kind…knowing where duty and loyalty belong”
“Well thank you I guess” Hunter began, but the Rogon was not quite finished “While I was studying your life, I made a little trip to San Diego, to visit your family”
For a second, the universe froze…time froze…the infinite blackness of space closed in…but just for a second.
“Sharon?” his voice was barely a whisper, the alien seemed not to hear for by some magician’s sleigh of hand, he produced a glass ball between two claws.
“Oh don’t worry, they are just fine, take a look” and from the little globe a perfect hologram was projected into the air between them.
Blue sky met the blue sea and waves gently broke on a sun lit beach. In the distance a green finger of land extended into to sea. He knew this beach, it was Coronado Island with Point Loma beyond, but he wasn’t concentrating on the background.
In the center of the field of view a pretty blond woman stood with two teen age girls, the girls were waving furiously and he could see they were speaking, without sound, he still heard their voices “Hi Daddy” they were saying in his head. A Rogon moved into to picture—It was krett.
The scene collapsed, the Rogon reached out and dropped the ball into Hunter’s shaking hand “It’s your’s” he said “Now perhaps we can talk about your mission?”