After 2972 BC, in southeast Brazil. Kairos lifetime 37: Wir’a
“We have visitors,” Decker yelled as he rode up from the wing. He pointed to the sky where the travelers were able to make out a black dot against the clouds. The dot was moving and appeared to be getting bigger.
“Back up to the trees,” Lockhart commanded. The travelers had just come out from a thin forest and started across the grassland that stretched out across the land for as far as they could see. They turned and spurred the horses to hurry.
“The ship turned in our direction,” Elder Stow reported as he floated up from the other side, scanner in hand.
“Do you think we have been seen?” Boston asked.
“Not unless they were looking right at us,” Alexis responded. “The chances of that are pretty slim.”
“Another adjustment in its trajectory.” Elder Stow read from the scanner. He was tracking the UFO. “The descent pattern will bring it down not far from here.”
“Looks like it is headed toward us,” Katie said.
They watched the dot become a ball before it showed a shape more like a rectangle as it drew near and slowed. “Cigar shaped,” Lincoln called it. He pulled out the database to see what might be in the historical record.
When the ship came close to the ground, they began to hear the engine noise. At the same time, a spotlight came from the ship and bathed the trees where they were hiding in a pinkish light.
“So much for going unnoticed,” Lockhart said. He pushed his horse out from the bushes and the others followed. They could clearly hear some kind of retro rocket whine that slowed the craft by then, and they also heard when the engines began to power down.
“Marzalotipan,” Lincoln read from the database. “Flightless bird-like is how the database describes them, along with the word annoying.”
“It is a big ship,” Alexis said. As one of the Men in Black, she had seen any number of alien ships in the future. Her judgment was usually good about such things.
“My guess would be a cargo ship of some kind,” Elder Stow said. “Not much in the way of life signs on board.” He put his scanner away as they moved across the grass. There were several rises in the land between them and the ship. This was good grazing land, maybe for cattle, but it would be difficult to farm, being filed with regular rises, like waves in a storm at sea. On the third rise, they paused. It was a very big ship.
Boston remembered what the Kairos once said, though she did not repeat it too loud. “Hey! This planet is off limits. You can’t park here.” She turned her head and saw both Katie and Alexis grin at the memory.
“Not parking,” Decker said. He had out his binoculars. “Looks more like he is setting up shop.” The big back end of the ship was open in a giant ramp and pieces of equipment were being floated out to the ground for display.
“Come, come.” The travelers heard the words. Clearly, the Marzalotipan had a loud speaker system. “Come, come,” they heard the words again when they got closer. “I was beginning to think this wretched planet had no goods worthy of trade.”
Lincoln said one more thing before he put the database away. “Interstellar used car salesmen.”
When they arrived, they agreed the creature was probably male, though it was hard to tell. The Marzalotipan had claw-like feet which laid fat to the ground and carried the creature well enough. It had pants of a sort, and a shirt, but mostly feathers. It was roughly human size and shape with two green eyes that showed a sharp intelligence and probably two ears beneath all the feathers. It had a beak for a nose, but its lower lip that hid the teeth looked puffy, but normal enough. And it had two hands at the end of two arms that were wing-like, but clearly not wing-like enough for flight.
Lockhart spoke first for the travelers. “Do you have a permit?”
The Mazalotipan ignored his comment as his eyes seemed glued to the horses. “I suppose the beasts of burden are not for sale,” he said. He looked up into their faces and appeared to smile. “Mind you, I have a Sevarese ground transport on board that could whisk you to your destination in no time and no trouble.”
“What do you take in trade?” Alexis asked.
“Precious metals, fuel stocks, uranium or plutonium if you have any, precious gems. Diamonds and rubies are especially valuable if cut in the right way. Any advanced equipment.” He looked at Elder Stow and cocked his head as if trying to figure out what the Elder had and how it might work. Elder Stow said nothing. He knew his equipment was thousands of years more advanced than anything the Marzalotipan had ever seen. “I take planetary artifacts if I feel there is a market.”
“We haven’t got –“ Katie started to speak, but the Marzalotipan interrupted.
“Those projectile weapons look to be well made. Might I see a demonstration?” He whistled and a floating ball came to his side. He attached a foot-long square of something like wood or plastic to it and sent it out five hundred feet to hover over the grass.
Decker, as expected, had his rifle out and ready. He took a second to attach his scope and fired a short round at the target. He figured it would not hurt to give the bird-man a little demonstration.
“Very good,” the Marzalotipan said as the target whipped in close and he changed to a second target, sent it out again and picked up a weird looking rifle. He fired and obliterated the target. “Mind you, this Blueblood canon has a wide angle attachment guaranteed to ruin any oncoming horde. But I might let it go if you have a second projectile weapon.”
“Elder Stow?” Katie noticed the Elder moved close to some of the non-lethal equipment on display.
“Wondering if he has something to charge up my equipment. You know my weapon does not have a limitless charge.”
“Gott-Druk? Did I say that correctly?” People nodded. “We have a fine assortment of the latest Gott-Druk weapons and equipment.”
“And how did you come by it?” Lincoln asked while he watched Boston and Alexis dismount and move up to some of the cloth on display.
“All fair trade, or properly scavenged,” the Marzalotipan said. “There is a war on out there you know. Now that is the finest Dilodian silk. It was made out of, I would have to call it spider webs for you purposes. See how lovely, how it changes colors in the wind.” The cloth rippled with dark red, green. blue and purple strands.
“People!” Lockhart raised his voice to get everyone’s attention. The travelers all stopped what they were doing and returned to their horses. “We are not here to buy.” Lockhart turned to the Marzalotipan. “This planet is off limits as far as I know.”
“To fair trade?” The Marzalotipan acted like that was unheard of.
“You need a written permit from the Kairos. Boston. Distance?”
Boston pulled out her amulet. She looked up in the correct direction and took a moment to calculate. “Roughly twenty five miles that way,” she pointed where she was looking before she got back up on her horse.
“You get authorization to trade on this planet, then maybe we will talk.”
“Is it a city? Did I miss it in my initial survey of the land?”
Lockhart shook his head. “I don’t know his disposition. But his name –,“ he looked at Lincoln.
“Wir’a,” Lincoln said.
“Go to where you find people and ask for Wir’a.” Lockhart turned his horse to the grasslands. The others followed, though Alexis looked back once at the Dilodian silk.