Dan concentrated on the Image of the moon, without even thinking his left ring finger pressed the control. Suddenly the holographic control display plotted a spiral path intersecting with the moon, the path appeared as a red dashed line. Dan pressed the control panel with his right middle finger and the line turned solid amber and blinked. He was wondering what to do next when Seleot interrupted telepathically, “Sir you must select a mode of motion.”
“How,” asked Dan?
“That depends on how much energy you wish to expend. The energy supply is not a problem, but you might not want to stress untested components of the artifice with extreme demands on performance.” Seleot replied.
Eddie busted in with, “Giver hell Dan, wanna nother beer?”
“Yeh!” Dan said. “Whip one on me.”
Eddie reached in the ice chest pulled out a brew, popped off the lid and passed it to Dan. Dan pressed the button again this time with his right middle finger, as Phil’s hand reached out to the ice chest seeking a brew, the red curved tracking line turned into a straight vector to Luna and everything became blurry. Instantly, the moon appeared as big as the Earth. Phil popped off he lid and threw it on the floor amazed at the size of Luna. The sun appeared as an orb of extreme brightness. Looking off to his right, Dan could see the big blue marble of Earth, to his left a bright shinning days-side Luna and beyond a bewildering mass of stars.
Colmotdn spoke by voice, “Please sir go down close to the surface before we are shot down.”
Phil busted in, “Just who the hell is going to shoot us down?”
“Reptilians have had a presence on Luna for centuries, they regard this satellite as their own. Mostly they inhabit the backside to keep from influencing Earth cultures and meet UGC treaty requirements. It is possible that if they were on the day’s side at this time they might believe this test vehicle belongs to the Grey Worlds. Since we are now at war they might kill us with a plasma beam.” Said Seleot.
Dan plotted a course to the surface. Colmotdn said, “I’d choose to travel a little slower, Luna has some high terrain.”
A huge cliff loomed in front of their path of travel. Dan put the UFO in a hover and said, “No more surprises! If you know something that might be dangerous let us know, OK!”
Seleot broke in with, “We have a policy of non-interference when evaluating a culture’s inclusion into the UGC so we can intervene with information only when it is needed to preserve the mission.”
“It would have been nice if you brought this up, before we find ourselves looking down an Acturian death ray”, Eddie burst out.
Seleot spoke to Colmotdn telepathically in a near panic, even his brain wave, wavered, “I wonder if they sense an Acturian presence?”
Colmotdn replied, “They have not been seen in this sector of the galaxy for at least 30 years, we can only hope we never have to deal with them again. Should we tell them about the plasma beam device we installed?”
“Can’t,” Utters Seleot, “Transmitting an untranslatable Gray cussword.”
The Gray’s have two cuss words in their vocabulary this was the worst for vulgar.
“ZZtnnDtt the damn treaty anyway. What are we doing here catering to these Earthlings when we could be making big currency on implants.”
Colmotdn said, “Just following orders . . .”
Phil joined in telepathically, “I’m reading you Grays and your scaring me.”
The two Aliens looked at each other eye-to-eye, eye contact between two grays will get your attention right away.
Eddie asked, “Can we dimension shift so we can’t be detected, like when we exited the hanger?”
The two Aliens in unison shook their heads no. Colmotdn said in his raspy voice, “This is dangerous work even when we do it. The Reptilians have technology that will sense dimension shifting. Dimension shifting is a very bad idea; they would know we are here right away. The best tactics when dealing with Reptilians is to outmaneuver them, they have very slow reflexes, but good technology. Reptilian weaponry systems are excellent, but not as good as our plasma weapons. Another item to keep in mind when dealing with the Reptilians is that their vision is not too great; they depend on thermal sensors more than visual. So keep cool.”
Eddie broke in, “Is he trying to be hip or does he mean, turn off the heat?”
“Turn off the heat.” Said in Phil.
Phil shut of the energy to the artifice and the craft plunked to the ground. Things started to cool off right away, even on the days side Luna is no tropical paradise. He un-strapped from his seat opened a hatch and started pulling out space suits, “Quick put these on it are going to get cold fast.” When he pulled the suits out of the locker it was obvious which suits went to the Aliens, the helmets were bigger and the suits were much smaller.
After about an hour setting quietly on the surface of the moon and peering into the view screens, they saw it. Gliding silently over the rim of the crater, it was an irregular shaped vehicle with no streamlining, obviously made to function in a vacuum environment. Colmotdn telepathically opened a previously inconspicuous console. Visible on its screen was the alien vehicle. The console shows an obvious weapons lock.
Eddie whispered, “I think we should have just let that old Buick set in the garage.”
“They can’t hear talk us can they.” Asked Dan.
Seleot replied verbally, “No but they might hear your thoughts, suppress your fear. Your broadcasting and we are barely able to mask it.”
The alien craft glided over the crater and disappeared from sight.
In the Batchelor Officers Quarters, Susan was making a snack when she saw the alien. He walked up to the refrigerator opened it and took out a beer, popped off the lid and sat down in the lounge.
“Excuse me, but you’re not exactly from around here are you?” Susan was saying this in her head only.
Speaking out loud by voice, the alien responded. “Neither are you Susan.”
“I’m sorry but I’m at a disadvantage, I don’t know your name.” Susan said aloud.
“Sorry Susan, My name is Zpath I’m a military ambassador working for the United Galactic Council, UGC. I want to get to know you a little bit and discuss your son Dan’s unusual talents. Have you noticed any precognition or telekinesis in your son?” Zpath spoke using amazingly human sounding voice, sounding too much like Leonard Nimoy.
Susan quipped, “Now I’m expecting the Vulcan Salute.”
“Hard to do with just three fingers.” Zpath seemed to grin if that’s possible with a mouth that tiny. “I can change characters if you like. In fact I can use Phil’s voice if you would prefer.”
“Please continue with the Vulcan flavor, right now I’m missing Phil a lot.” Susan dropped her head a little and a drop of moisture could be seen in the corner of her eye. “You’re doing this in my mind, aren’t you?”
“Sorry for the intrusion into your centers of speech, I’ll not probe any further into your psyche; we gather good data concerning your son by doing so. Since his talent is inherited genetically it would be interesting to discover if your genetics contributed to his talent.” Zpath said.
Susan was watching and Zpath didn’t move his mouth at all. “She thought this is just too weird.” Aloud she asked, “Where are Phil and the boys I haven’t seen them for a couple of days?”
Zpath went into what appeared to be a short trance then he said, “They are on the moon hiding from a Reptilian warship at the moment.”
“What’s a Reptilian warship?” Susan asked.
“Pretty much what it sounds like, hostile possessive Reptilians who don’t want humans on Luna. The boys have to complete the mission that Eddie defined. It’s a test for the UGC to circumnavigate the back side of the moon and return home.” Zpath said.
Susan asked, “I need to get out of this place and into my own home to grieve for my guys. I’ll keep quiet; can you convince the powers-to-be around here that I’ll cooperate? Phil will know how to find me when they get back.”
Zpath went silent for a few minutes then said. “I’ll talk to Colonel Thompson and see if I can work something out for you.”
Dennis was lying on his back ready to tack weld a piece of plate on his dune buggy when Wanda, his wife hollered from the house. “Phone!”
“Can you bring it down here?” Dennis asked.
After a minute or two Wanda hollered back, “It was Jake he was wanting to know if you’re going to organize the spring Slammers Bike meet soon? He said that He had talked to Doris and remembered it was time to have a club meeting.”
“I’ll get to it tonight, some of the members have email addresses only I’ll get the computer to send out a notice to all the members to meet at One Shot Charlie’s Bar on Saturday night. We can have a few and talk it over Ok?”
Wanda closed the door without replying. Dennis flipped down his hood and struck an arc.
How the hell did he ever get this secretary job anyway? He chuckled as the flash of light from the arc played in the glass of his hood. Doris should have got the job but she didn’t have a computer. Darn! He would have to get Wanda to call the beauty shop.
Eddie said. “We’ve been hiding in this crater long enough lets go up and take a peek.”
“Dad can you switch the power back on? We’ll keep these suits on for a while.” Dan replied.
Phil switched the power on, the consoles lit up and the view screens once more displayed the surroundings. They were setting all alone in the lunar crater.
“Take her up and be ready to plot a quick course out of here if we see that lizard ship again.” Eddie said.
Dan once again used the control pad to slowly bring the ship up to the crater rim. Both aliens were busy at their defense and weapons console, that secret was pretty much out now. Nothing showed anywhere, but endless miles of empty craters.
“Take it slow and easy follow the terrain closely, keep alert. We’ll do our reconnoiter and see if we can learn something.” Eddie said.
Eddie asked Phil, “What’s the name of this ship anyway?”
“Electra, in consideration of the prototype.” Replied Phil
Dan plotted a course to circumnavigate the moon. He set an altitude of 100 meters and a speed of three hundred kilometers per hour. They found themselves zooming over mountains through craters and into the dark of lunar night using the terrain avoidance system the military had installed.
After about two hours travel Phil cleared a crater rim to see lights on the surface, instinctively he veered the craft behind another ridge.
“I hope the Reptilians didn’t spot us?” Said Dan.
The two grays hovered over their console not saying a word.
Eddie said, “I want to go out and peek over the rim of that crater. Can you get a little closer Dan?”
Dan maneuvered the Electra to a point just behind the craters ridgeline and set the craft on the surface.
Seleot said, “We need to pull a vacuum on the cabin by compressing the cabin atmosphere, venting would be detected by the Reptilian security sensors. It seems as if we weren’t detected by their security when we cleared the ridgeline, they didn’t react. Venting will take at least twenty minutes.”
“Damn! Can’t even have a beer in this darn space suit while I’m waiting.” Eddie said.
Colmotdn took an appliance from his cabinet, pulled a can of beer from the now dry ice chest, punctured the top of a can bulging from the cabin vacuum and plugged it into a tube on Eddies suit. “You may drink from the mouthpiece he said.”
Phil watched as the boys had their liquid reinforcement, after the twenty minutes were up the hatch was popped open and Dan and Eddie headed out for the crater rim.
They didn’t dare talk on the radio so communication was by hand signal. Eddie took his camera pointed at the flash and shook his head. Dan nodded. Eddie pushed buttons on the camera till the display indicated the flash was off.
They crawled on their bellies up to the ridgeline and viewed the Reptilian base, it was huge and well lit up by massive floodlights. Eddie started snapping pictures they could see several reptilian aliens and some people in space suits working on equipment on the surface.
“What the Hell! There are people down there.” Eddie looked at Seleot asking, “Why are people, human people here on the moon and just what the hell are they doing?”
Seleot answered, “Sir be aware our radio communications are line of sight keep your antenna below the ridge line when you speak.”
Eddie moved down below the ridgeline.
Ok! Explain why are humans on Luna at an alien base?”
Eddie could sense the alien’s reluctance to speak.
Colmotdn spoke up, “The reptilians have used humans as beasts of toil for centuries. Humans have been used as labor and for body tissue for thousands of years here on Luna.”
Dan spoke up, “Slavery is bad enough, but discussions of body tissue is just too much. What body tissue and how do they use it?”
Colmotdn continued, “They take blood routinely from the humans, when they expire the flesh of the deceased is used for food. Reptilians like rotting meat, that tissue is exported it is extremely valuable and brings great profits on the home world. The UGC prohibits that behavior, but this operation is allowed to continue using a grandfather clause in the treaty. No new humans have been brought here for a thousand years.”
The boys were too shocked to speak, They both peered over the crater and watched a tiny person in a space suit walking around picking up small crystalline objects and putting them in a basket.
“What’s he doing?” Asked Dan
“The human is picking up ice crystals for use as water and fuel for the facility. See how the crater is all white? A comet impacted here centuries ago and the ground is littered with its ice. That’s why the facility was sited here.” Said Colmotdn.
They watched as the tiny figure moved to better pickings close to the crater rim.
Colmotdn and Dan turned to return to their spacecraft. Eddie was not to be seen. Keeping their communication antennas below the crater rim they tried to contact him by radio. He didn’t answer.
“Awww Keerapp! Eddie is off to grab that kid.” Said Dan.
Colmotdn replies, “Please Sir return to the spacecraft immediately it would be best if you were at the controls in case we have to make a quick exit under fire.
Tia, the tiny one, gathered crystals for melting. Glancing around she could see that the guard had gone to sleep where she stood. Tia could now safely approach the crater rim and find bigger crystals without the guard punishing her. She could then fill her bag with crystals and go into the warm habitat; she was so cold.
Tia was working around the crater rim when something grabbed her and pulled her behind some big rocks. She looked into the faceplate of a survival suit unlike any she had ever seen before. She saw the face of a beautiful man. Tia didn’t see many men the Reptilians took most of them away for food. Tia had been told that their seed was kept for making more babies; the women were kept as long as they could have babies.
The man put the glass of his helmet against the glass of her faceplate. She could hear him speak, “Come with me Darling, I’m going to take you with me.”
Tia didn’t understand a word, but the smile warmed her heart. She didn’t have her momma any more. Momma had told her she was going to be taken because she couldn’t have any more babies and now that Tia was old enough to feed herself they would take her away. Momma had cried a lot, so had Tia.
Eddie picked up the little girl and started leaping and running for the ship. It was time to get the hell out of here. They reached the Electra without incident and found the airlock open, waiting for them to board. As soon as they entered the airlock door Colmotdn slammed it shut and the system started pressurizing. Soon the pressure was up and helmets were off, Colmotdn said, “It would have been best if you had not removed that child from her owners, they will consider that abduction a threat to their culture and will respond with force.”
“Forget it, now that I know what’s going on there I’m coming back for the rest of them. I’ll whack lizards till Luna is smeared with green guts, got that?” Said Eddie.
Colmotdn said, “It won’t be that easy. We will be lucky to get away at all. The only advantage we have is Dan’s piloting skills and our beam weapon. When we get to Earth it will be necessary to remove the child’s implant before they track her and take her back.”
Seleot emitted the alien equivalent of a grin, it would be necessary to fill the cranial void with an implant and of course he would get the royalties from the data returned. He wasn’t too worried about Dan’s ability to shake these crude Reptilians so things should work out well. He darn well wasn’t going back with Eddie though; the reptilians will be mad and waiting for revenge.
Eddie finds Tia harvesting crystals. The story continues . . .
4/2/2006 3:34:31 PM 3038 Word Count