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Old May 28 2014, 02:08 AM   #22
Rear Admiral
Re: UT-TFV: Quality of Mercy


I don't know if this next passage sheds much light on what's going on, but maybe it just might.

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Detention Center
USS Aldebaran

By the time the Awokous stepped into the brig, the room was filled with other members of the crew. Both Narcissa and Loto were there, as was a full security contingent. Science Officer Dryer was nose deep in his tricorder. Lt. Shibata was consulting with Nurse Beacham. The two seemed to be sharing a joke.

The captain cleared his throat and it caused both of the junior officers to jump. He tried to frown but couldn’t hide his smile. Shibata nervously rubbed the back of his head.

“Are you two conferring about the aliens?” Awokou asked.

“Ah,” Nurse Beacham opened her mouth. The violet-haired woman reddened terribly.

“Not…uh, quite sir,” The communications officer admitted.

“Personal business on personal time,” The captain injected as much sternness in his voice as he could muster.

“Of course sir,” Shibata said. Awokou roved his eyes over the rest of the room. Some of the other crew was trying hard not to laugh. He did catch Lt. Narcissa in mid-eye roll. He smiled at the Orion.

“Lt. Shibata have you established communication with the aliens yet?” Rozi stepped forward. Banti’s eyes finally found the aliens. There were two of them.

He had never seen the species before, which wasn’t really a surprise to him. They were both tall, with spindly appendages. Their skin tone was light blue, with darker blue stripes running across their faces and exposed hands. Three fingers on each webbed hand and their boots accommodated three toes.

Their jutting faces were vaguely humanoid though squat, with two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. Two long tendrils bracketed their mouths. And two sharp ridges ran along their chin lines from the opposite sides. They were hairless, the ceiling lights glinting off their bald damp heads. Their eyes were as black as obsidian. Banti inspected both beings. He couldn’t tell what sex they were, or even if they had different genders. The captain took special note of the slick black space suits each being wore. Within them, he saw a network of tubes, with fluid sluicing through them.

“Their outfits serve as some kind of hydration units?” He asked.

“I believe so sir,” Lt. Dryer answered.

“Lt. Shibata, I’m still waiting for an answer,” Rozi demanded.

“We have been able to establish communication with them ma’am,” a chagrined Shibata said. “Though they aren’t saying much.”

“Elaborate,” Captain Awokou commanded.

“They’ve said they will have no congress with butchers, or something to that effect.” The communications officer replied. Banti looked at his wife askance. The first contact specialist was similarly puzzled.

“Butchers,” Captain Awokou repeated.

“Perhaps I should take a crack at it,” Rozi offered.

Shibata didn’t look convinced, but he said, “I’ve already adjusted the universal translator for their language.”

“Thank you,” Rozi said. She was about to step forward when the captain placed a hand on her shoulder.

He leaned in close to her and whispered, “Are you sure you want to do this? These people just kidnapped you.”

Rozi looked at his hand and Banti removed it. More gently, she said, “I should want to know the reasons why more than anyone on this ship Banti. Let me do this.”

Banti nodded. Sometimes he had problems letting go. Sometimes he foolishly thought her too fragile. He stood firmly behind his wife as she approached the force field. The aliens focused on her. One of the beings stepped forward. The captain noticed gill slits on the lead alien’s neck. The way the creature glared down at his wife gave Banti the chills.

He steeled himself not to intervene further. He hopefully hadn’t undercut his wife too much already.

“We mean you no harm,” Rozi said, with open arms. “So why did you abduct me?”

The alien continued glaring at her. “Harvest us and be done with it.” His voice was deep, masculine. Banti assumed he was male. The alien turned away from her.

She looked at her husband, this time seeking his assistance. The captain stepped forward and with his best stentorian voice, declared, “I’m Captain Banti Awokou, commander of this vessel, and I demand to know what you mean by that!”

The lead alien spun around quickly, “I don’t know how much the Vidiians are paying you, but it won’t matter once our fleet gets here!” He hissed. “Your blood money will be as worthless as your lives.”

“What are you talking about?” Awokou took a step back, perplexed. “Vidiians? Blood money?” He looked at his crew. “Does anyone have any idea what he’s talking about?” Everyone looked at each other, confusion reigning in the room.

Lt. Dryer snapped his fingers loudly and began rapidly typing on his tricorder. He frowned, and held it up. “Sir, I don’t think you are going to like this.”

The captain took the proffered device and looked down at the tiny screen. He shook his head, “Son, I think you’re right.”
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