Alice put her hand gently to Glen’s shoulder. “This life hasn’t been easy for you, has it?”
Glen looked up at her and Mister Smith. “Actually, that was one I was glad to forget. I really would have had nightmares for the next ten years.” That was not necessarily what Alice meant but he did not feel like talking about it. Naturally, the empathic Mister Smith picked right up on that.
“I think we have all we need. Let us hope these Vordan accept the terms,” the Zalanid said and pointed to their work on the treaty.
Glen nodded before he shook his head. The Vordan were not an accepting people, at least not at this point in history. They were militaristic and full of themselves. Not unlike the human race, he supposed.
Josh brought the Kargill craft in low and stopped in mid air before he lowered the invisibility screen. As soon as they were visible, the Vordan scrambled their fighters. They still had thirteen with some auxiliary craft, and it was a marvel to watch how efficient they were. Of course their weapons had no penetration on the Kargill screens, even when they concentrated their fire, and once they saw that, Glen knew the Vordan would try something else. One of the Vordan cruisers fired its main gun. It was nearly point blank range, but it did not even show up as a spark against the screens or a blip on the power gauge.
“Okay, Wilson. Put their fighters back on the ground like we practiced,” Glen said.
Wilson did his best, but it was hard for his mind to encompass thirteen craft coming at him from so many different directions. He tried to imagine himself above it all in order to grasp each ship, but he was not entirely successful. Eleven of the ships got planted back on the ground, but two of them crashed more than landed. Then the Vordan engines burned out so they would not be able to fly again.
“Okay, set us down.” Glen nudged Josh the pilot and he landed the Kargill craft without too much of a bump. With that, Glen stood up straight. That was not an easy thing to do in that cramped control room, but he was not so tall. He felt sorry for the marine, Sergeant Thomas, who had to stand hunched over the whole time. He looked ready, though. The marines were always ready. Mister Smith looked relaxed, but Glen thought that might be natural for the Zalanid. Alice looked much more human. She was nervous and he did not blame her.
“Not before I say, Mister Smith,” Glen said as he went away from there and let Nameless take his place. Nameless immediately vanished from the cockpit and reappeared in the doorway at the back of the ship where the others would eventually exit the ship. He walked from there. Sure enough, as soon as he was outside the screens around the Kargill ship, the Vordan opened fire. With his first thought, he disabled the weapons systems on the three main warships. He hoped that would signal the soldiers, but the small arms fire continued so with his second thought he disabled their weapons as well.
He paused, caused a table and chairs to appear under an awning against the hot sun and caused the Vordan Admiral and his legal Adjutant to appear in those chairs, along with the Vordan pilot who had exchanged languages with Alice the Lawyer. He deliberately spoke in English and let the pilot translate, but he keyed his words to the Admiral’s and Adjutant’s thoughts to be certain the Vordan got the gist of it even if it was mistranslated.
“Do not be afraid. No one is asking you to surrender. You have not been defeated or disgraced in any way, so far. If you persist in these foolish attacks, however, I cannot make promises. This is a Kargill planet.” Nameless looked back and mentally gave his permission. Alice, Mister Smith and Sergeant Thomas vacated the Kargil ship and began to walk in his direction. Nameless paused. The Kargill ship was barely bigger than a shuttle, like nothing compared to the size of the Vordan warships, but like some women he knew over the millennia, and maybe a few that he had been, she was small but mighty. He turned back to the conversation with barely a pause.
“The Reichgo, whom I see in your mind that you have met, have no authority here and only limited visitation rights. This meeting is to negotiate fairly so that as representatives of the Reichgo, you may also be granted some reasonable visitation rights. After that is settled between the Vordan and the Humans, I will return you across the uncountable stars to your home planet with your honor intact, provided you cease behaving stupidly.”
“Alice Summers speaks for Earth.” He waited until Alice got within hearing distance to say that. “Sergeant Thomas is an observer for the military. Humanity has no intention of giving away any military secrets.” That actually impressed the Vordan. “And Mister Smith is here to facilitate the process. He is neither human nor Vordan and so he has no vested interest in the outcome. His people negotiated the original treaty between the Reichgo and Kargill that ceded this planet to Kargill space. It is only right that a Zalanid be here on this historic occasion to oversee the peaceful negotiations between the Vordan of the Reichgo and the Humans of the Kargill. Are these conditions for negotiation acceptable to all parties?” Nameless waited.
The Vordan Admiral rose slowly and bowed to Nameless and then offered the same consideration to Mister Smith. “Zalanid we know,” he said. “We are honored.” Alice breathed and Nameless spoke.
“Then I leave you in Mister Smith’s good hands.”
“Wait,” Alice looked up from her seat. “Where are you going?”
“I am going to the Asteroid belt. Don’t worry. I’ll tell Boston to take good notes. And yes, Admiral. I will be sending them home as well.” And he vanished.