The Vordan was cuffed but did not look uncooperative. Alice, Mirowen, Emile and Fyodor pushed up close to see. Sergeant Thomas fingered his holster. Finally, Glen had to tell everyone to take two giant steps back.
“Not you Miss Summers.” He took Alice’s hand to keep her at his side. “Time to change,” He simply said it and went away from there. A woman appeared. She was no looker, with ordinary brown hair and light brown eyes. She stood about five-five and in every way looked like just any normal woman. Alice gasped.
“What is it?” The woman asked. Her words were colored by some kind of heavy accent.
Alice wanted to say something, but shook her head. “Nothing. No, nothing.”
The woman turned to the Vordan, adjusted something on the choker she wore around her neck, and spoke. “My name is Althea. Are you understanding me? The Vordan nodded. “Good. I am the Traveler, the Kairos, the god of history and defender of this world. Do you understand this?” The Vordan certainly understood something because it dropped its eyes. “I have three things I must do at present, and the first is I must have your hand.” Althea made a bit of a show by waving her hand and snapping her finger. The cuffs popped off the Vordan and fell to the grass. Althea held her hand out. The Vordan obviously considered its options before it slowly put its hand in hers.
“Alice.” Althea asked for a hand from her as well and when she gave it Althea lit up with a bright golden light like a woman on fire. She glowed while the light passed from her or through her up and down both Alice’s and the Vordan’s arms. When Althea let go, the light vanished and Alice and the Vordan both collapsed.
“They are fine,” Althea insisted. “Fyodor and Sergeant Thomas, would you be good enough to fetch the table and chair from the corner of the hut?” Even as they left, both Alice and the Vordan began to come around.
“I feel funny.” The Vordan said. It was a deep voice and still very gravely, but understandably English.
Alice could only say “Gluk, gurk, rock” and similar things until she tossed her hair back and looked up. “What am I saying?”
“Very good words.” Althea made the pronouncement. She lifted her hand and a box of stationary, envelopes and a fine cross pen appeared. “Miss Summers, would you take a letter in your best handwriting?”
“My handwriting isn’t very good.” Alice got to her feet, but was wobbly. The Vordan stayed on the ground and touched its lips.
“Come, come. You are a lawyer, not a doctor.” Althea nudged the woman before she turned to the alien. “May I help you up?” Althea put a hand out to the Vordan. It shook its head and scooted back on its rear a good yard. Taking that hand was suddenly a very scary idea. “Now I need your help so it was only a fair offer.” Althea turned around while they brought out the table and chair for Alice. She smiled for her elf, Mirowen. “Later.”
Mirowen curtsied as well as she could in her overalls—and it was remarkably graceful. She mouthed the words, “My Lady,” while Althea went away and Glen came home.
“So do your best,” Glen said, referring to the writing. “Besides, I need this in Vordan.”
“But I can’t write in Vordan—“ Alice paused and her eyes got big. “Yes I can. My God! Do you know anyone who is French? I could have used the help back in college.”
“Ahem.” Glen framed his thoughts. “To his Imperial Admiral Gukky the Right Honorable Commander of the Seventh Spear Point Squadron of the Magnificent Vordan Empire. From the Traveler in Time. Peace to you.”
“Glucky, not Gukky, and how did you know it was the Seventh Spear Point.”
“A lucky guess,” Glen said in a way that made it clear there were some things he was not going to explain. “In the future, the Vordan and Human races form an alliance of mutual support and mutual respect. This alliance does much for the mutual benefit of both peoples. Thus in this present crisis and in order to insure the good relations to come, it would be in both of our best interests to cease hostilities in a truce. I will send you home, alive and with honor, but I ask that you wait patiently until I can arrive to discuss the matter in person. Please accept the return of this valiant and now talented young soldier as a sign of good faith. He did his duty well and told us nothing of your military disposition. Until tomorrow afternoon, live well.”
“The Vordan don’t tell time by the sun.” Alice interjected and paused to focus on her thoughts. “They are weird, but I have expressed it in a way so they will understand your timing. Also, the traditional salutation is live well and die well.” She paused before she answered her own thought. “I guess you left the die well part off on purpose.”
Glen took the letter with one comment. “You have until tomorrow afternoon to find what we need in the treaty and get it translated into Vordan.”
Glen stepped over to the Vordan and signaled for the soldier to stand. “The third thing I have to do is give this to you. You need to take this to your commander.” He pointed to the waiting Vordan fighter.
“Why?” The soldier asked in his guttural English.
“Because I have made you too valuable to kill. Because I mean what I say about wanting peace and sending you home. Because suicide is for cowards.”
The Vordan went to the ship, carefully. He expected to be stopped at any moment. He appeared surprised when he was actually allowed to get into the cockpit.
“The weapons have been disabled.” Glen shouted up to the cockpit. “The self-destruct also.” He waited for the Vordan to look in his direction before continuing. “The coordinates have been programmed into the ship, and remember, I haven’t told you anything about our military disposition either.”
The Vordan shook its head, whatever that meant. “I will be courier,” it said and started the engine. The cockpit closed, the ship lifted straight up before it headed off into the west.