Click here for Part 1
So I’m not 100% happy on the conversations or introductions of characters. But I barely know them yet. All I know right now… well before I wrote this all I knew was it was in space and there were ambassadors. I still don’t actually know where the plot is going to go… or who the “villain” will be. We’ll find out!
Now they assembled in the docking bay to await the first orgalla ambassador in history. Communication itself had proved nigh-impossible with the species; the war had never been officially ended. The orgalla had withdrawn when the combined human, kikital, and devallo forces which created a barrier of fighting to a stand-still. The orgalla had simply stopped attacking and after much argument the joint forces had agreed not to pursue the powerful race.
Twenty years passed and then the silence was broken with the first radio signal from orgalla space in history. They requested – in Standard no less – a meeting with their ambassador to work out a peace treaty. It took two years to establish a secure place and the appropriate team who would attend. The orgalla communication had assured them that there were no special considerations required for their ambassador, who would arrive with only one guard.
The shuttle landed and Captain Chou straightened, surprised at how nervous he was to meet the strange creature. He had only ever seen dead orgalla or vids of them during combat. He had only just been drafted when the fighting ceased. Now was going to be his first in-person encounter with a species that had threatened not just humanity but three species.
The shuttle did not dock in the bay but abutted the side of the bay and clung with leg-like appendages to the end. A ramp unfurled like a monkey’s tail into the space and opened into the shuttle bay. There was a shift as the darkness within was lit with light and then the orgalla stepped down.
Orgalla were thin, reminding most humans of insects like a preying mantis but were a single body part – not having separate heads, thorax and abdomen. They had a variety of long appendages, two on their top-most piece being eye stalks with a third near their tail-region being another eye stalk, but the third usually remained closed unless they were standing still. Generally they had between four and six “leg” and to or four “arms” which they could adjust as needed. Their skin was actually very soft and supple the vids claimed, and alive they looked irridescent. Many kids thought that was a production value, because in death they faded to a dull grey. Their “uniform” consisted of a similar material which was vaccum-sealed.
Behind the orgalla a young woman stepped down from the orgalla ship. The entire delegation burst into a buzz of talking except the three ambassadors and Captain Chou. The woman was probably in her mid-twenties, brown hair braided back from her face in a very simple military-style braid. Her clothing was a similar to the orgalla’s military uniform as well, clearly vaccum sealed around her throat. A small blinking light along the collar was the mechanism that could allow the material to snap like a venus fly trap around the head and face. The orgalla in front of her wore its “face” covered.
The three ambassadors slowly moved forward with Captain Chou, watching the young woman cross with confidence towards them. She held out her hand and spoke in standard, “My name is Talia Lost. I am here to represent those you call orgalla.”
Captain Chou took her hand and found her grip to be just slightly tight for polite company, he slowly spoke, “I am Captain Chou. On behalf of the Earth-human alliance, welcome to the Sunburst.”
“Is this a proper noun or the scientific term? Should I have concern of electromagnetic pulses?” the young woman asked. He blinked in surprise.
“No, the ship is just named Sunburst.”
“But it is not alive.”
Her face showed no expression, but after a bare moment she nodded and said, “Like the Santa Maria or HMS Beagle.”
“Yes,” again the captain was surprised. She looked him in the eye and said, “An honor to meet you Captain Chou of Earth alliance.”
Ambassador Poul had pushed himself forward despite his rather junior stance so he was introduced immediately after Ambassador Irvine. The kikital were next and lastly the two devallo ambassadors. To each the young woman listened intently and then had a minute pause as though translating this information. She then would nod and tell them it was an honor before going to greet the next.
The captain led the young woman to an ambassadorial cabin they had situated near the shuttle bay, a six-room suite larger than the captain’s own quarters. The orgalla held up two appendages and moved into the rooms first while the young woman waited. She didn’t seem impatient while the guard pulled out a small mechanical object and went over the rooms. The guard disappeared into a second room and then Talia stepped into the main room.
“Thank you very much captain.”
The captain led the ambassadors to the meeting room and they all sat down. Ambassador Irvine spoke first and said, “Well, I see why we were told their ambassador didn’t need any special considerations. How the hell did she…”
“Are we sure she is human?” one of the devallo asked sharply.
Captain Chou blinked and asked, “Do you think she’s a shapeshifter or something?”
“Perhaps.” Ambassador Risyk was almost certainly the one doing the speaking although devallo could be difficult for humans to tell apart. “Or a clone injected with inhuman dna. We all know orgalla do not communicate like us. Their ships have few radio-based devices and it has long been assumed there is some kind of telepathy or something. A trait which is not known in humanity.”
“At least not that has ever been proven,” Ambassador Irvine said calmly.
The young man Poul scoffed and said, “And just what are you implying. This girl is some kind of gypsy?”
“Earth still uses such offensive terms?” Irvine replied with apparently curiousity, but there was an undertone which silenced the earth-man. Captain Chou ground his teeth silently, embarrassed that Earth had sent this stupid boy. Irvine continued as if the comment was not worth more, “No, what I mean is that there have been centuries of odd skills within humanity- the ability to remember detailed events or count all the objects dropped in nanoseconds. Perhaps this girl has a similar odd genetic trait which the orgalla were able to exploit.”
“So you think she was an experiment?” Ambassador Yewoul asked.
“I don’t know,” Ambassador Irvine said. “But I think we shouldn’t assume anything yet.”