tagSci-Fi & FantasyA New Encounter Ch. 10

A New Encounter Ch. 10


A/N: Sorry for the delay in getting this chapter completed, but for some reason it just wouldn't cooperate. I thank you for your patience. This store is going on hiatus for the time being as I am not sure where it can go yet.


Shipboard morning came and Kladnira's implant woke her gently. Her eye's fluttered open and for a moment she was confused as to just where she was and who was in bed with her. Her mind cleared and she realized that the she was aboard the royal yacht on her way to possibly stop an invasion. Her bed partner was none other than her new security chief, a child who had snuck aboard the shuttle that took her from her planet to the yacht. Kladnira had made the child her new chief of security mostly to tweak the tail of her chief still on planet.

The child Bartleda was currently sound asleep and spooned in front of her and holding on to Kladnira's arm like a treasured doll to keep the bad dreams away. Kladnira smiled down at the child and used her trapped arm to shake the child gently awake. The girl's eyes snapped open and she looked around for any threat. She rolled over to face Kladnira.

"Mistress?" she questioned.

"It is time to rise and face the day Bartelda," Kladnira said gently. "I need to be in command soon to take the watch."

"Oh Mistress, I should be waking you and be ready before you rise. I have failed you."

"No Captain," Kladnira said gently, working her arm loose and wiggling her fingers to restore the circulation. "You cannot do everything yourself. You are my only security officer on board and you need proper rest to protect me. Your body is still on planetary time and not in sync with the ship yet. It will take some time for you to adjust. Now let's get ready."

"Yes First Mistress." Bartleda said jumping out of bed and rushing into the bathroom, her arms to her chest. The hatch slid shut and Kladnira heard a soft laugh from the main door. She looked up to see Teagin standing in the hatchway holding a cup of steaming tea.

"How does it feel to have to be the adult?" Teagin asked with a smirk as she passed the tea over. Kladnira stuck out her tongue at the older maid who only laughed harder. Before Kladnira could finish her tea, Bartleda rushed out of the bathroom, still damp and said that she was finished and would be ready before Kladnira was done bathing.

Kladnira slipped into the bathroom and quickly showered and returned to the bedroom in her underway uniform. Teagin and Bartleda were both dressed the same and ready to go. Kladnira took one look and knew something was wrong. Bartleda was standing with her feet shoulder width apart, and her hands behind her back, her space black suit fitted her properly and she wore the belt and holster of security, but the holster was empty. Kladnira walked calmly up the girl and extended a hand. Bartleda looked at her Mistress with an expression of complete innocence that fooled no one. Kladnira simply twitched the fingers of her extended hand and raised an eyebrow. Bartleda almost sighed and brought her hand from behind her back and handed over the baton she was holding.

Kladnira looked at the baton and tried very hard to not show any change or surprise. One quick glance was all it took to confirm that it was a fully armed security baton. It was slightly too big for Bartleda, but still small enough for her to wield it properly, once she was trained.

"Where and how did you get this?" Kladnira asked as calmly as she could.

"From the armory Mistress." Bartleda said casually. "After you sent me off the command deck last night, I went to the armory and drew my weapon. The ship recorded your message to your security team, making me your new chief of security and I was given access to the armory."

"You cannot keep a weapon, even as the chief of my security, until you are trained." Kladnira said.

Teagin shook her head, snatched the baton from Kladnira and tossed it high to Bartleda. "Ready position," she commanded.

Bartleda leapt up and snatched the baton out of the air; her fingers found the correct buttons without looking and she spun the baton three times over her head as it extended to slightly taller than she was. She brought the staff down behind her back, extending sideways from her body, her left arm extended straight out in front of her, her feet slightly cocked, left foot forward. Her face was set in a complete non-expression. Bartleda's stance was a perfect match the display in the manual for the use of the staff.

"Ease." Teagin commanded and Bartleda snapped to attention, the staff rigid beside her, shoulders square, chin level, chest thrown out.

"Where were you taught that," Kladnira asked.

"I have a second level achievement in Selkre Mistress." Bartleda responded confidently. Kladnira was shocked. Her security team were only fifth level, she was a fourth level and that had taken her several rotations. If the child was already a second level, she was more than qualified to carry the baton. She looked down at the earnest face of the child and sighed inside.

"Only two spins as the staff extends, anything more is showing off." She said scowling. "Let's go, we are needed in command."

Kladnira led the way from her quarters, much to Bartleda's displeasure, and was on the Command deck just in time for change of watch. She relieved the first officer and took command before she turned to Teagin and Bartleda.

"All is secure here," she said formally. "Bartleda, while we are on board, you will be referred to by name or in cases where your rack is necessary, Major. There can only be one captain on board to avoid confusion. Teagin, take Bartleda to medical, she needs her comm implant and nannites while she is on board then return here. The doctor will let us know when she is ready for duty. Bartleda, when you are finished in medical Teagin will return to bring you back to command and you can take that station over there," she indicated an empty workstation. "You have school work to complete."

Bartleda nodded and moved to the hatch with Teagin without comment and Kladnira took the bridge and waited as patiently as she could. Teagin returned quickly.

"She will be in medical for several vestos Mistress." Teagin said quietly.

"You knew about her didn't you," Kladnira said, it wasn't a questioned.

"While you were humiliating your former security team, I checked the planetary database and pulled everything I could about her. She is not lying, she does hold a second level of Selkre, and she is beyond brilliant. She has topped her classes every rotation since she started formal training. Her instructors have been giving her more and more advanced work to do. She is so far ahead of her class mates that she could have already qualified for training at the university, but her teachers and mother wanted her to remain with her class mates for socialization."

"You could have at least warned me," Kladnira said darkly.

"If you had asked, I would have been pleased to inform you of your new security chief's qualifications." Teagin said with a careful non-expression. Nira shook a finger at her, and then took the command chair.

Bartleda returned after the ship's doctor had released her and went directly to her station and brought up the files that Teagin had loaded for her. Kladnira caught a glimpse of the file as it opened and had to turn to hide her astonishment. The child was working on advanced FTL drive design. Kladnira let her work and focused on the watch. The ship was in FTL and that required the officer of the watch to remain alert. At the end of her shift, the second officer came in and took the watch and informed Kladnira that the captain was waiting for her in her day cabin. Kladnira nodded and led Teagin and Bartleda from the bridge.

"You needed to see me Captain?" Kladnira asked as the entered the captain's office.

"Yes Mistress, I thought that we could continue going over the scrolls and try to find an answer to this issue." Jazzdel responded.

"Excellent suggestion Captain," Teagin said as she settled into a chair and looked expectantly at Nira.

"Yes, we need to solve this." Kladnira sighed. "Major, you are dismissed, we won't need you here."

"Mistress, I am required to remain with you at all times." Bartleda said firmly.

"You have other duties to attend to. Teagin and the Captain will be sufficient guardians until we are finished here."

"Mistress," Captain Jazzdel interrupted what looked to be a long argument. "She has heard all that is going on from our previous meeting in your quarters. She was in the closet don't forget and I will wager anything you care to name that she heard every word."

Kladnira looked at the others in the room as the chief engineer arrived and sighed heavily.

"Fine." She said sitting down in a huff.

"Excellent," Jazzdel said, "now I think we need to look at scroll three nine two, that may help..."


Captain Divel looked around the theatre before the rest of the attendees arrived and made sure that everything was perfect. The chairs were ready, each place had a carafe of water with ice, glass and computer interface on the arm. The room was freshly cleaned and the holo-projector was on and the test pattern shone brightly in the slightly darkened room. The temperature was slightly cool, but she was still sweating under her uniform.

She had never briefed a more senior group in her entire career and she was more than a little nervous. She made one last check of her dress uniform, ensuring everything was perfect, she even checked her tail to make sure that it was still properly brushed. Then she checked her notes and the controller for the holo-projector.

The Admiral's aide came in through the open door and looked around the room quickly and then turned and left Divel to her own devices.

'Easy for her' Divel thought coldly and the retreating aide. 'She has set up hundreds of meetings for the Admiral, and she doesn't have to stand up here and explain why this is such a bad idea. Not to mention the reception I got from Commodore Leqan for going over her head. But if I didn't and what I'm afraid of happens, I could not live with myself.'

Following her meeting with the Fleet Admiral and Prime, on their direct orders, she was covered for jumping the chain of command, but that didn't change Legan's opinion. To make matters worse, Admiral Nordaltim had assigned her the complete review of the alien database and promoted her to project head, and ordered the upcoming briefing. Legan had gone over the top at that, she had one of her pets set for that slot, and Divel had yanked it out from under her, not something that Legan was going to forgive, and never forget.

The door slid open again and the senior officers began to file in. Admiral Nordaltim was preceded by Prime Senior Councilor Byrocnel. The rest of the admiralty followed quietly, talking other matters as the assumed their seats. Their aids and staff followed, descending in rank. Divel frowned slightly when she saw the sour look on Legan's face, but there was nothing she could do about it now. She waited until the officers had found their seats and then looked up sharply as the members of the council entered and took the seats right in the front row. This was going to be worse than she thought. Admiral Nordaltim moved to the lectern and Divel moved back from it to give the Admiral room. Nordaltim nodded politely at the Prime and received a nod in return as the Prime settled herself in the comfortable chair.

"Be seated," Admiral Nordaltim said calmly and waited for the officers to settle themselves. "We are here to review the analysis of Senior Captain Divel of the alien database and to discuss the implications of her recommendations." Divel blinked, she was only a Captain, Senior was still several rotations away. She schooled her expression into one of calm, especially when she saw the look of hatred from Commodore Legan. This would make her senior to every one of her special pets. "Senior Captain." Nordaltim said as she returned to her seat. Divel waited until the admiral was in place before she moved back to the lectern.

"Thank you Admiral Nordaltim, Prime, Mistress' of the council, fellow officers." Divel stated formally, activating the recording system. "Please note that this entire presentation is being recorded, full holographic systems for your review later in case there is a point you wish to review in detail later."

"I was assigned the task of reviewing the database supplied by the alien Ambassador from this planet called 'Earth'. There were several of us involved, and I would be less than truthful if I did not inform you that most if not all of the other analysts disagree with my conclusions, some rather vehemently." Divel looked directly at Legan and saw the look of anger shot her way. "However, I would not be doing my duty if I failed to bring this to your attention. I have focused on the sections sent by the "American Ambassador" as was my assignment. I have reviewed the portions that he displayed to the council during their conference and additional data supplied." Divel deliberately paused at this.

"It is my belief that the images that he presented are accurate representations of the life on their planet. Further, I have tested these images for signs of computer generation and while I did find several thousand files with such enhancements, they were clearly marked for entertainment purposes only. The files that were supplied from their media sources, their "News nets" appear as they are described, unaltered images of the outright barbarism of their species."

"While it is well noted in our own science, no race capable of doing such damage to itself could have survived beyond its own barbaric period; this race seems to have done just that. In addition they appear to be one of the few predatory species that will even prey on itself. This is of significance as if they are willing to attack themselves, then I believe that they will not hesitate to attack any species."

"Further," Divel continued, "they are not aware of other species throughout the galaxy, or universe. Their governments, social-political ruling bodies for different cultures, are actively denying such evidence should it be uncovered. Their entertainment displays seem almost obsessed with the discovery of such life in the universe, but the arrival of such life is treated general with extreme violence." Divel could see Legan starting to protest and moved to cut her off.

"This last statement is based on review of their entertainment displays only as that is the only example we have to guide us. There is no empirical data to support this conclusion, with one exception. The previous emissaries that were sent to this planet, when they reveled themselves to the governments were immediately imprisoned, in most cases the confinement was not harmful, but there were incidents in the other extreme."

"I have selected several examples of their technology and violent history for you to examine." Divel said and the lights went down even further and the holo-projector activated. The same images that Kevin had shown the council appeared, but Divel had added several more. She narrated each image as it appeared.

"This is a scene from a conflict early in the last century, their term from one hundred rotations." The scene should the battles from the trenches of World War 1, gas attacks, charges, and the aftermath, including the hospitals. "At the time this was recorded, please not that this was the state of the art medical car." She heard the shudder as it passed through the room.

"We now move on to the second conflict in the middle of the last century, what they called World War Two."

"Senior Captain, did you say World War TWO?" Came a disembodied voice from the darkness, the podium identified the speaker as Commander Piloramata.

"Yes Commander Piloramata," Divel responded for the record. "That is correct; the first images were from the conflict they called World War One, some twenty to twenty five rotations prior to this example." The scenes were much more detailed and ran longer as Divel had more footage to work with. She showed the Blitzkrieg through Europe, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the invasion at Normandy, the fighting through Europe and the Pacific. She paused at the liberation of the camps in Germany and let those images sink in. "I think if you review these images and see what they are capable of doing to their own then I think that you will agree that they can do any number of things to a species that they consider alien."

"From this conflict we move forward to the end of the war, which the government that supplied these records show was concluded by the government of that time by employing primitive atomic weapons on their enemy." Divel turned the holo-projector down and showed the bombing of Japan. The gasp that went around the theatre was unmistakable.

"From here we move on to what they refer to as smaller conflicts or "brush wars". The major ruling governments seemed to have understood the necessity of reducing the size of their conflicts. One side would supply troops to impose their will on another area and the competing government would only supply material and keep the troop presence to a minimum. This allowed them to wage war on a more limited scale. However, the impact on the populace of the areas involved seemed if anything to become more brutal." Here Divel produced images from Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War.

"At this point the conflicts seemed to shift focus from large army formations, to small insurgent groups and some even smaller, single or dual personnel acting in concert to complete what are termed 'Suicide Missions', so called due to the fact that the attackers would go on such an attack with full knowledge that they would not survive. The largest attack of this type was something they term as '9-11' during which a small group of attackers took over several atmosphere only shuttles, called 'planes' and flew them into buildings containing others of the species. This was done as a matter of religious differences." The footage of the attack on the twin towers appeared in the hologram and the effect was disquieting.

"This led to a prolonged conflict in the area called the 'Middle East', shown here." Divel brought up an image of the earth and had the area highlighted. "This war was largely inconclusive. From here they moved forward to another conflict called the War of Separation. Countries started to declare their independence from their previous allies. There are several more examples in their database and I will ensure that you all have access for your individual review."

"Moving on to weapons, please see here a schematic of their standard weapon of choice." Divel brought up a cut away drawing of an H&K MP5. "Design will vary from model to model; however, the basic premise remains constant. A chemical explosion forces a solid projectile out of the weapon and into the target. There are no ..."

"This foolishness has gone on long enough." Came a voice from the theatre that Divel recognized. She turned up the lights and looked at the angry countenance of Commodore Legan. Divel gripped the podium hard and kept her face unreadable.

"This entire presentation is nothing but one officer's created fantasy." Legan started to move out from her seat and towards the aisle. Her aide tried to hold her back, but Legan pulled free and strode forward. "Prime, Admiral, I have fifteen other analysts in my section and none of them have come to this conclusion. In fact their analysis is that this database is nothing but an artificial creation to force us to leave this planet alone. It is my conclusion that we should move forward with all speed with invasion plan currently in motion and approved by the council and not take the advice of an officer who is letting her fears colour her judgment." The indrawn breath in the auditorium reduced the air pressure enough that the fans came on. Legan had just come out and all but accused Divel of cowardice, the worst sin in their people's history.

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