Traveler: Storyteller Tales: The Vordan Named

            The woman nodded to the word, “lawyer,” but her eyes were darting around.  She gave the impression that all of this suddenly caught up to her and she was feeling a bit overwhelmed.  “Corporate contracts and such.”  She managed to say that much.

            “Good.  My name’s Glen.”

            The African-American woman pulled out a thin billfold.  “Roberta Brooks, FBI.”  She showed her I. D. but the woman lawyer shook her head.

            “The FBI doesn’t have flying saucers.”

            “Carlson is with the State Department.”  Ms Brooks pointed at the man who was still in the doorway.  “Sanchez, here is with the ATF.”

            Glen handed Sanchez his car keys.  “Glad you didn’t crush my car.  It’s that silver Ford.  Tell my wife I’ll be late for supper, will you?”  Sanchez looked briefly at the black woman.  She nodded her head and Sanchez smiled.

            “I’m only sorry I’ll miss it,” Sanchez said as he headed toward Glen’s car.

            Glen returned the smile as he once again took the pretty blond by the hand.  He began to pull her forward as he and Ms Brooks started toward the ramp and the saucer.  “So Bobbi, what are the Vordan doing here?”  Glen asked.

            “Vordan?”  Ms Brooks said the word as if tasting it for the first time.  “We did not even know who they were.  You tell me.”

            “Mister Smith not around?”

            “No, and that concerns us as well.  There are three battleships on the dark side of the moon, and we only found out that much by accident.  Normally, Mister Smith shows up with that kind of information, but no one has seen him.”

            “Can’t be time for…”  Glen stopped walking.  Clearly he did not finish his sentence.  “Still, this is a Kargill planet by treaty.  The Vordan have no business being here.”

            The high pitched wail that came from the parking lot caused them all to hold their ears.  Apparently there were some Vordan still on the ship and they were taking off for the skies.

            “Get them.  Can’t you get them?”  The woman lawyer asked.

            Bobbi shook her head.  “We got lucky to find them on the ground.  Despite appearances, our vehicle is just a modified stealth bomber with Harrier capabilities.  We are not a space corps.” The Vordan vehicle was already out of sight.  Glen turned and once again held out his hand, but this time the woman balked like before.

            “Do you have a name?”  Glen asked.

            “No.  I’m not getting in that saucer thing,” she protested.

            “I need a lawyer.  How are you with treaties?”

            “I’m a lawyer,” Bobbi protested.

            “When was the last time you practiced or dealt with binding contracts?”  Glen asked and Bobbi said no more.  Glen turned again to the woman.  “What do you say we hire you, name your fee.  After all, I assume there isn’t time to send this out for bids.  By the way, are you any good?”

             The woman stood up straight.  “I am very good,” she said, proudly.  “But wait.”

            “Oh, come on,” Bobbi said.  “Glen won’t bite.”

            “Not hard anyway.”  He and Bobbi shared a knowing look.

            The woman lawyer still hesitated.  “How long?”

            Bobbi shrugged, but Glen responded.  “One day at a time,” he said.  “You can go home anytime you give the word.”

            “Promise?”

            Glen crossed his heart.  “See?  On the left just like you said.”  That got the woman to smile as they walked up to the ship entrance.

            “So who are you people?”  She asked.

            “Men in black,” Glen answered.

            “I am not a man,” Bobbi said.

            “But you are black,” Glen countered as they stopped in the doorway.  Bobbi slapped Glen in the elbow where the short sleeve of his armor did not quite reach to the long gloves he wore.

            “Don’t you ever get tired of that joke?”  Bobbi asked.

            “It’s always like the first time for me.”  A serious expression came and went across Glen’s face, but then his smile returned as he stepped aside to let the women in first.  “So what is your name?”

            “Alice.”

            “Well, Alice.  Welcome to wonderland.”

            The inside of the saucer looked more like a corporate jet than the inside of an alien craft.  While the ship lifted straight up, Bobbi took Alice by the arm and pulled her to the front.  Glen fell in behind.  “Let me introduce you.”  Bobbi pointed to a middle-aged pilot and a co pilot who looked close to Ms Brook’s age of somewhere in the mid sixties.  “Captain Stoloyovich is an ex-astronaut who went twice on shuttles to the International Space Station.”

            “Fyodor,” the man said.  He turned his head briefly and smiled but did not move his hands or take his real attention from his tasks.

            “Alice Summers,” Alice responded, kindly.

            “Alice is a lawyer the Traveler picked out.”

            “Congratulations, I think,” Fyodor said.

            “Hi, I’m Glen, I think.”  Glen spoke in a strange tone of voice and as he looked at Alice, he added a thought.  “Was I someone else back there?”  Alice nodded, not knowing what else to do.  “Diogenes.”  Glen gave the young man a name, but when he looked at Bobbi he added another thought.  “I think.”  He shook his head.  “Too much memory coming back to me too fast.  Maybe I need to sit down.”

            “Who are you?”  Alice finally asked, now that Glen reminded her that he had briefly been a completely different person.

            “WhoamI?”  Glen ran the words together.  “Maybe you should just call me WhoamI for now.”

            “Can’t.”  The old copilot looked up and turned toward the group.  “Jackie Chan already did that one.”

            “Lockhart!”  Glen yelled.  He shook the old man’s hand, vigorously, even as he noticed that the man was in a wheel chair.

            “How’s the Princess?”  Lockhart asked, and Bobbi had no trouble slapping the old man in the shoulder despite the wheelchair.  Lockhart looked appropriately humble for about three seconds.

            “We’re not supposed to tell him about lifetimes he does not remember for himself.”  Bobbi explained to Alice who nodded but was becoming very confused.  Glen, meanwhile, had no trouble answering Lockhart’s question.

            “She is great.  Good as ever.  Still young, too.”

            “It isn’t fair, you know,” Lockhart complained, though he looked like he would not mind seeing the Princess again, young as she might be.

            “Unfair?  Tell me about it.”  Glen also complained and rubbed his lower back as he stepped over to a table where a chair seemed to be calling to him.  The table was full of papers, and three people, two men and a woman, who were working their way through some rather large files and typing furiously on computer consoles in their off moments.

            Glen sat heavily and ignored them all.  Bobbi and Alice came over to sit in comfortable chairs where they could watch him.  Bobbi only paused briefly to speak to the three at the table.  Lockhart followed them after a moment and brought his own chair with him.

            “I would say you all have some explaining to do.”  Alice spoke again as soon as she had a chance to breathe.

            “Actually, we know nothing about the Vordan.”  Bobbi responded.  “We do not even know if they are hostile.”

            “I imagine she is thinking of something else.”  Lockhart pointed at Glen.

            Alice agreed.  “Look, I get the Men in Black bit.  I saw the movie.  So we got aliens on the moon.  So I look good in black, but I am engaged.  Actually, all of this sounds like a show my fiancé would like, if only there was some football in it.  Anyway, I was talking about him.”  She also pointed at Glen.

            “That is a little more difficult to explain,” Bobbi said.

            “Is he an alien too?”  Alice asked.

            “No,” Bobbi said emphatically.  “He is one of us and that is what makes it so difficult.”

            “Not so hard,” Lockhart said as they watched Glen put his head in his hands.  Glen appeared to be mumbling to himself but was otherwise in his own little space.  They spoke around him. 

            “I tried Vordan under every possible spelling.”  One of the paper shufflers interrupted.  “All I can find is a reference that says see Gaian, but when I looked under Gaian it said, mind your own business.”

            Neither Bobbi nor Lockhart knew what to make of that, but there was a little chuckle from the cockpit, and Glen paused briefly in his introspection to grin.  “Keep looking.”  Bobbi decided, and Alice took the stage again.

            “Well?”  That was all she had to say.

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