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The Euclidian:

The Unforeseen Alliance







Jay Cannon





Copyright © 2012 Jay Cannon (JC)



All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used, reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means whatsoever or stored in a database retrieval system without written permission except in those cases of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.



For more information contact the author at EuclidianBook@gmail.com.


First edition: December 2012

Cover illustration by Igor Kieryluk

Editing by Joel Palmer

Book design and formatting by Cheryl Perez








For my sons Davon Joharri and Dakar Jorré and all those who dare to chase their dreams.


Prologue



“The Euclidian have arrived on Earth and started stripping it of its resources. Earth’s defenses have been rendered ineffective with the removal of all military vehicles, ships, personnel and nuclear weapons. The XO of the Andrea in his greed decided to overthrow the captain while Morgan and Pico gain unexpected allies.”



Chapter 1

The Awakening

“Somebody stop the pain, the pain. I can’t stand it anymore. Where am I? HELLO! Can anybody hear me? Please help me,” she cried out to no avail. She was in the midst of an overwhelming darkness. Am I blind or have they shoved me into some dark pit? “Oh the pain,” she cried out. I know I’m not dead because the pain I’m experiencing is too intense. But how can I be alive when my body is in so much pain? She whimpers uncontrollably not understanding her condition or her fate. She lets out a low groan and passes out. Hours passed before she came to. She attempted to take an inventory of her surroundings, but her senses were fractured. She couldn’t see anything and was not sure why. The only sound that shared the darkness with her was her own breathing. There was that familiar smell again, a recent smell, but what was its origin?

She tried to feel around for something, but all she felt was the dampness of the floor. She tried to get up, but the pain prevented her and she passed out.

She awoke, but how long had she been lying there? She could feel the hunger inside her, but it was not her focus. Her pain was the distraction she could not ignore. She tried to wipe her face, embarrassed by her beslobbered state.

I soiled myself, I wet myself, my nose is running and I can’t stop crying. I have to be bleeding as well considering how bad I hurt. I can’t possibly live much longer with all this loss of fluid. Is this how I die? Is this how it ends? In the dark. A million light years from home. My fate unknown by anyone I know. I wanted my life to make a difference. I wanted to make life better for my people, but now my moribund life will probably end in a career of insignificance. She started to whimper uncontrollably then passed out.

She came to again. The pain had subsided a bit. Partially due to the numbness that had engulfed the left side of her body. She looked around once more and tried to see something; anything. But there was nothing to see except the darkness. She tried to remember how she got there, but didn’t have a clue.

The last thing I remember was being with that asshole Cobalt. Wang ba dan! Once again I give myself to a man and he screwed me over. Obviously even alien men enjoy abusing me.

Li Xiao thought back to happier times during her childhood. She would spend all day in the rice fields with her parents. In the beginning she would ride in a pouch on her mother’s back. As she grew older she worked beside her mother tending to the rice fields on her father’s farm outside of Nanjing. Her mother’s mother also lived with them. Her mother’s father and father’s parents were killed during the Eight Years' War of Resistance. Her parents did not want the farming life for their daughter. They felt she was a bright child with a future and when Li Xiao became a teenager she was sent to her aunt and uncle’s house in Beijing to go to a private school with her cousins Ema and Maya.

While in school Li Xiao excelled in languages. She liked the new sounds she could make with her mouth. She wanted to find a job where she could use her talent for languages. Maybe she could even prevent another occupation of their land. She decided that she would be a diplomat and see the world. Possibly help change the world. Evenings and weekends she practiced her language skills by being a guide at the Forbidden City or giving private tours of the Great Wall and sites around it. Upon graduating from college she decided to join the military as a way to give back to her country and learn self-defense skills. She spent every day, after basic training, learning small arms, sniper and martial arts techniques.

After completing basic training Li Xiao was assigned to a general who worked with the American military. She was to be his translator and assistant bodyguard. She spent a great deal of time learning how to protect him, though there was little danger of him being attacked. She was more in danger from the foreign officers and diplomats that he met with. They would often get drunk after all-day meetings and come on to her. When going to the bathroom Li Xiao found herself using the Adrien stall maneuver, where she would have one foot on the floor and one on the stall door to keep the drunks from bursting in on her. She learned that maneuver from Adrien, an American friend who worked for the American military as a translator. She met Adrien in a bar in Amsterdam where the women’s restrooms were less than ideal. Adrien warned Li Xiao about patrons bursting into the stalls and taught Li Xiao her technique.

Li Xiao was resigned to the fact that fending off drunken diplomats was probably going to be her destiny until one fateful evening while she was guarding the general and a Chinese diplomat alone. They were leaving a bar in the Soi Cowboy district of Bangkok, when they were approached by three men looking to rob them. The men saw that the general and diplomat were drunk and viewed Li Xiao as little consequence, being she was a woman. They pulled knives on the three and demanded money. When Li Xiao protested, one of the men swung his knife at her and laughed. Li Xiao backed away and took a karate stance.

“You want to dance little lady?” Laughed the assailant. “How about I dog collar around your neck and make you my bitch for the rest of the night. I’m sure my friends would enjoy partying with you.”

“How about you leave before I make you my bitch?” Li Xiao replied. “Otherwise, the only party you three will be attending tonight will be in a hospital emergency room.”

“Just let them have our money so they can go away,” the diplomat protested.

“Too late for that,” the assailant replied. “Cutesy here wants to dance and I’m going to make her dance on the end of my knife.”

The assailant smirked and then jabbed at Li Xiao with his knife. She shifted to the left, broke his right elbow and shoved his knife into his thigh. She then spun to her right to engage one of the other men that was coming towards her. She grabbed him by the wrist, pulled him towards her and chopped him across the throat. He went down gasping for air and the third guy ran off. The general and diplomat stood there looking at her stunned.

The next day during breakfast the general asked Li Xiao if she would be interested in leaving the army and becoming the diplomat’s body guard.

“What about my military obligation?” She asked.

Don’t worry about that,” replied the general. “The army will gladly accept your resignation. After all, being a translator and bodyguard to the Chinese Ambassador to the United States is still serving your country.”

Li Xiao was surprised, excited and honored at the offer. “How can I possibly say no?”

“Then it’s done. I’ll start the paperwork once we return to Beijing.”

“Li Xiao,” started the ambassador, “I am delighted that you would accept this position. After saving my life last night I knew you were someone I wanted to add to my team. Welcome aboard,” he stated extending his hand to her.

Her assignment would be in Washington D.C. where she could perfect her English. She loved living there. She had a beautiful little apartment with a view of the capital building. She got to attend diplomatic balls, stay in nice hotels during trips across America and meet the President of the United States. She spent most morning jogging around the National Mall and practicing her martial arts skills.

Her assignment soon took a negative turn when she found out that it required her to be a pawn in diplomatic negotiations, which included that she be more than friendly to foreign diplomats. When she protested, her boss lectured her about the obligations of her position and her patriotic duty. If she refused to support her boss, she risked being sent back to Beijing in disgrace.

She reluctantly agreed to entertain foreign diplomats as ordered. In return she was showered with lavish gifts, to which she quickly became accustomed. A few months later after helping complete a negotiation to the Chinese benefit, she was introduced to the countryman she helped to complete the negotiation. He turned out to be the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations. He was slated to become the Secretary General of the United Nations and wanted her to be his attaché and part-time lover during times when his wife was away. He assured her that she would not have to sleep with anyone else.

“Miss Li Xiao, this will be a very important position,” the U.N. ambassador stated. “You will assist me with all of my foreign negotiations, attend diplomatic social events and travel with me across the globe. I know you have a passion for languages. At the U.N. you will have an opportunity to learn and practice almost any language you desire.”

“Sounds appealing, but New York can be an expensive place to live,” she replied.

“Very true, but don’t worry I have been given an extremely generous budget and I assure you that you won’t want for anything while under my care.”

“Then how can I possibly say no,” Li Xiao smiled.

She accepted the offer and a few weeks later she was staying in a beautiful apartment on the upper-eastside of Manhattan. This time the number of diplomatic events, foreign travel and introductions to foreign dignitaries increased enormously. She couldn’t believe her luck. She finally got the dream job she had always hoped for. She didn’t like sleeping with her boss, but felt it was part of her diplomatic duty. Anyway, she never had time for a real relationship.

A year and a half later that all changed, when she was replaced by a younger, prettier version of herself and given a menial job with a lot fewer perks. In addition, she would no longer be able to afford her posh upper-eastside apartment.

Before being forced to move out she was contacted out of the blue by what she thought was a Chinese agent. He made her an offer to get her job back in return for information about all nuclear weapons that might be a threat to China.

“In addition to getting your job back,” the agent stated, “I can make sure that new floozy is made to scrub toilets while I make you a very wealthy woman.”

“Well, how can I possible say no to that offer,” replied Li Xiao with a smile.

Li Xiao later found out that her benefactor was Cobalt, an alien from another planet that recruited spies in order to gather reconnaissance on planets before they were to be attacked. That’s when she decided to see if she could hitch a ride on the ship from her generous benefactor. Learning Earth languages is one thing. To be able to learn intergalactic languages would just be wonderful.

However, just when she thought things were going well he shot her with some sort of beam from a gun he was holding and the next thing she knew she was waking up in this impenetrable darkness.

Her left arm, which was in pain, was now numb. Her right arm, while still sore, was movable. She pushed along the floor to see what she could feel. The floor was sticky as if some fluid had dried on it. She thought it might be her own blood, but she smelled it and recognized the smell of the Lardexian Mind Bender Cobalt had given her. She could also feel bits of glass on the floor.

Cobalt must have come to visit me, saw my condition and dropped the glass full of the beverage next to me. She began to whimper again, but soon composed herself.

I’ve got to try to move. Try to get up. Maybe I can get out of here somehow.

She twisted her body around to see if she could feel a wall or furniture that she could use to pull herself up. She swung her arm back behind her and it hit a wall that moved slightly. The wall had a familiar feel and sound to it. It couldn’t be! She thought. She made another effort to throw her arm back behind her and this time she attempted to reach under the wall and she grabbed the edge of a door. She recognized the door and started to cry realizing where she must be. She had to be lying in the bottom of her shower. She had no idea what that meant, but knew she had to pull herself to a phone before she died in there.

Li Xiao used her right arm to grab the edge of the shower and pulled herself out of the shower towards the bathroom door. It took what seemed like an eternity to reach the door. She reached for the door handle and twisting it down, pulled the door open. Peering into the adjoining room, she confirmed that it was indeed her bedroom by the familiar clock sitting on the nightstand. The only thing left to do was reach her phone and dial 911. Slowly Li Xiao dragged herself across her floor feeling pain in every movement. Her muscles ached, breathing was difficult and she found it a struggle to keep her senses about her. There were moments when she wasn’t sure where she was anymore. Maybe her disorientation was due to a drug-induced delirium.

She found herself losing consciousness, but fought through it. After what seemed like hours of clawing and crying she yanked the phone from the nightstand, poked away at the keypad and rambled indiscernibly at the voice at the other end. In a daze she went from darkness to looking up at flickers of light as she was pushed down the hallway in a gurney in an emergency room being worked on. In her stupor she saw Cobalt smiling down at her.

“Don’t worry Xiao,” you’re going to pull through this,” his voice said.

“Yea, and when I do I’m going to pull your heart from your chest,” she responded.

“Did you say something?” The doctor asked leaning close to Li Xiao’s mouth. But she had drifted into unconsciousness.

After a thorough examination it was determined that Li Xiao had suffered a dislocated left shoulder, cracked ribs, a bruised hip, two twisted ankles, lacerated lips and a concussion. She lay in her hospital bed medicated for several weeks healing from her injuries. I’ve been given a second chance here and I don’t want to waste it, thought Li Xiao. Once I’m out of this hospital I’m going to focus on making a positive difference for my people.

When Li Xiao was finally released, a nurse wheeled her to the front door of hospital where she caught a cab for home. She arrived home limping, but alive. The first thing on her mind was investigating her shower. With the lights on she noticed the remains of a broken glass and a Jimmy Choo bag with twenty million Euros spilling out of it.

She pushed the money into the bag and sat on her bed to count the money. She dumped the money from the bag onto the bed to count it and in the middle of the bundles of Euros she found some sort of device. It was like a Windows phone, but square and about 13 centimeters on a side. There was a blank display window in the middle, a button in each corner and on the sides and a bar centered at the top and bottom of the device. There was a glowing line at one edge that she decided was the bottom of the device. She turned it over and looked it up and down. She finally figured that it had to of come from Cobalt’s ship. He had left her a gift.

She finally decided to see what it would do. One by one, she pushed each of the buttons until something happened. Pushing the top right button turned the device on. The screen showed the room where she was sitting. She slid her finger across the screen and the image moved across her apartment and then out the building. She used her finger to slide the display back into her room. She then pinched the screen with her fingers and she saw the image on the screen move above her. When she spread her fingers across the screen she saw the apartment below her. Twisting her fingers around the screen turned the image around on the screen. However, the view only looked down.

Li Xiao wanted to be able to pan around the room. She tried moving her fingers around the screen in different ways with no results. Then she rested her hands on the screen to think and spun her fingers around and she saw the viewing angle change. How clever she thought!

Li Xiao played around with different viewing angles until she had it perfected. She was amazed that she could see the back of her own head. She even looked inside her head, which she found a little creepy. Somehow it was able to show images inside her head where she presumed there would be no light.

She decided to see if she could find her parent’s house outside Nanjing China. She pinched the screen until the image was above the planet Earth. She then slid her finger sideways along the screen and then down until she was over her hometown. She then spread her fingers across the screen until she was over her parent’s house and then inside where her family was preparing for evening tea. She adjusted the angle of the camera so she could see the entire room. Her father was sitting at the table while her mother and grandmother were setting the table.

She watched for a while amazed that she could see them. She then started pressing the other buttons to see what they would do. She pressed the bar at the top and noticed that she could hear them speaking. They were unable to hear her though when she tried to speak to them. She pressed the top left button and it displayed a list of items on the screen using characters she did not recognize. She pressed the button again and the screen was cleared.

Li Xiao pressed the button on the left and a glowing outline appeared around her mother. Then the screen did something strange. It started following her mother around as she moved. She moved the screen and it stopped following her. Her grandmother walked by and she pressed the button again and her grandmother was outlined and the screen followed her. She pressed the button on the right, which was similar to the button on the left and the screen switched to her mother. Pressing the button over and over again toggled between the two women.

Pressing the button on the left removed the outline from the person at the center of the screen and the screen stopped following her. She pressed the bottom-left button and it didn’t seem to do anything.

She pressed the lower bar and suddenly fell on top of her parent’s table, knocking the teapot, cups and plates onto the floor. Her parents and grandmother looked at her in amazement.

“Where did you come from Li Xiao? Asked her father. “You seemed to fall from the ceiling.”

“I just jumped into the room to surprise you and lost my footing,” she lied hoping they would believe her.

They did not quite understand her explanation, but took her at her word. She apologized for the distraction, put the device in her pocket and helped them cleanup. While her sudden appearance was disturbing they were happy to see her and Li Xiao was happy to be able to visit home after being away for such a long while. She spent a great deal of time speaking with her parents and trying to understand how life was for them.

For the most part her family was happy. The government provided the security and health care that they needed. They had plenty of money to sustain them. They were concerned at the way some people were arrested or even killed for speaking out against the government. Her parents felt that governments should embrace criticism as a way to improve themselves.

Li Xiao had a final cup of tea with her family, hugged them all, walked out the door and beamed back to her apartment. She adjusted the location so she would fall from the ceiling, but set down gently upon her bed. She spent the next couple of days playing with the device, but there were still some features she did not understand.

Chapter 2

The Tammarians

Tammaria was a planet in the Storm planetary system. It was used as an outpost for the Euclidian military. They had several bases there. The planet consisted of one well-known humanoid species. The Tammarians were primitive hunter gatherers that lived in tribes. They had yet to advance beyond using stone tools. They lived in small huts made from the surrounding vegetation.

For the most part, the Euclidian left the planet intact. The only thing they harvested from the planet was the famous abbig fruit, from which Tammarian grog was made. The grog was an alcoholic beverage that the Tammarians learned to make eons ago. The Tammarian taught the Euclidian how to make the grog. In return, the Euclidian taught the Tammarians how to grow the fruit more efficiently in order to increase its yield. In that way they felt they compensated the Tammarians for the fruit that they took from them every year.

The fruit was not very tasty on its own. But after being turned into a beverage it became quite a delicacy. A person drinking the elixir experienced immediate euphoria. The effects lasted about 30 minutes and those partaking in the grog would experience no ill side effects. The feeling the grog gave individuals was not inebriation or lethargy, but exhilaration. It was also an aphrodisiac. It cured depression, pessimism and sadness. More importantly, it worked on all species, which made it very valuable.

The Euclidian held exclusive rights to the planet and therefore the fruit. As such, they kept all others away from the planet. For that very reason Chaell was surprised when one of his scouts captured an Alpha wandering around the planet while they were there picking up several tons of the abbig fruit that had been recently harvested.

“So what were you doing on the planet?” Chaell asked the Alpha male they found.

“I was left behind when the crew from my ship left in haste,” he replied. “I was camping in a remote region and when I returned to our encampment everyone was gone. I can only assume they were trying to avoid being seen by your ship.”

“That sounds a bit flimsy. You couldn’t use your communicator to call your ship?”

“We don’t have the fancy ones the Euclidians use. The ship was out of range by the time I realized I was left behind.”

“Is anyone else left on the planet?”

“Not that I have seen.”

“Why don’t I believe you? How about I let my guys work you over a bit until you are ready to tell me everything you know?”

“How about you shove a Tammarian beetle up your nose?”

“You can be insolent if you want, but we have ways of getting the truth out of you.”

“Go ahead. I’m sure your government would be happy to hear how you treated me.”

The treaty with the Alphas forbade their mistreatment. Though Captain Shisal did not care for the Alphas he did not want to risk crossing the government over a supposedly lost Alpha.

“Relax, we’re just having a friendly conversation. No reason to start making threats. Just relax here in this cabin and I’ll have my crew bring you some food. For security reasons I can’t have you wandering around the ship. We have Deltas onboard and they may not treat you very kindly.”

“So transport me back to Euclidia.”

“No reason to waste valuable energy. We’ll be back on Euclidia before you know it. I’ll hand you over to the authorities once we return. I’m sure they will want to hear your story.”

“There’s no reason to make me wait.”

“There’s no reason to accommodate you either,” Shisal ended. He then stood and left the Alpha in his quarters.

Initially Tammaria was occupied by the Alphas. They were using the planet as a launching point for a raid on the Euclidian home planet. After the Euclidian repelled the Alpha attack, they systematically went through each planet in their system cleansing them of any Alpha presence and claiming the planets for themselves.

The Euclidian were only recently aware that there was a second race of humanoid creatures on Tammaria called the Magi. They lived in caves in a sparsely populated region of the planet. They used their persuasive powers over the other Tammarian species to prevent knowledge of their presence from spreading.

The Magi were short people, not much taller than 160 centimeters. Living in the dark caused their eyes to evolve to permit them to see well in low light conditions. This ability was augmented by their phosphorescent blue eyes, which emitted light. This light permitted them to see in the darkest parts of their caves.

The radiation from their eyes had a strange effect when directed at the eyes of humanoid creatures. It would cause their resistance to be lowered making them susceptible to suggestions. The Alphas discovered the Magi when hiding in their caves to avoid the Euclidian. They noticed the Magi’s ability to influence people while watching the Magi interact with the Tammarians and Euclidians. The Magi would convince the Tammarians to share their fruit and cloth with them.

The Alphas understood this power and decided to exploit the Magi for their own benefit. Kenyon Filo was an Alpha commander that devised the plan using the Magi to seek revenge on the Euclidian for destroying their home planet. He used one of their cloaked ships to visit the Magi undetected to start the execution of his plan. His ship was in orbit around Tammaria just close enough to the planet for Commander Filo to beam down to converse with the Magi. Unfortunately one of his crewmembers got captured.

Commander Filo had never been to the Magi caves so he took his aid Lieutenant Lephi Swantik with him who had made several visits to the caves. He prepped Commander Filo about what to expect based on his experiences.

“Commander,” Lephi began, “the Magi caves are an enormous labyrinth. They are dark and have numerous, difficult to navigate pathways that can only be learned by traversing them while living there, as there are no maps. Each cave, path, cavern and even large stones have names, which the Magi use for navigation. Unfortunately they have no written language, so there are no signs. They just memorize the name for everything.”

“So how are we supposed to find our way around once we get inside?” Asked Commander Filo.

“I found us a guide to take us through the exterior caves and into the central cavern, which hosts the seat of their government. She speaks Euclidian from conversing with the ones that are based here. She is one of the ones I saw charming the Euclidian soldiers with her eyes.”

“So how do we protect ourselves against their charms?”

“The lenses I placed in our goggles should help protect us. Just in case, we must also be careful not to simultaneously look into their eyes.”

“I hope you’re right Lephi. A lot is riding on this. So where do we meet our guide?”

“Just inside the cave entrance ahead of us. We just need to climb a few more meters and we will be there.”

“I don’t see anything?”

“The entrance is situated at an angle. The Magi modified all of the entrances to obscure them from view unless you are right on top of it. We’re almost there. Let me just catch my breath.”

“Me too. I’m not use to this kind of exercise. So how do we convince them to help us?”

“We have to let them think that we are looking to improve relations with our Euclidian friends. They are not likely to help us do anything that might hurt the Euclidian. Since they don’t need money and have plenty of resources, we’ll just have to enter into conversations with them to understand what might be of interest to them.”

“Doesn’t sound very hopeful, but considering the enormous potential we had better continue to pursue this possibility.”

“Let’s get going, she’s probably waiting for us.”

“If they don’t have technology, how do they tell what time it is?”

“They use the level of a water pool which reacts to the position of their sun to determine the start of the day. They then split the day into one hundred equal periods using water clocks. At the beginning of each period they send a signal throughout the caves to synchronize the time. It’s not real precise, but it works well enough for their culture.”

“Yea, that is a bit crude. Are we there yet? I may need another break.”

“As a matter of fact we are. Just look to your left behind this boulder,” said Lephi pointing to the cave entrance.

“My goodness. I never would have noticed that.”

“Let’s go in and see if she is there.”

***

“Lephi, how am I supposed to see in here?” Asked Commander Filo after entering a few meters into the cave.

“Put on the goggles I gave you. They will permit you to see in the dark. They project an invisible wave out that reflects off of objects and back into the goggles as images. We can’t use light in here as it would hurt the Magis’ eyes and keep them from interacting with us. They also have those special lenses I told you about.”

“This is marvelous look at the bevy of activity all around us. It’s as if we walked into some fairytale world.”

Commander Filo took a moment to soak it all in. There were flying creatures of all sizes flying throughout the cave. Lizard-like creatures climbed the walls of the cave. Luminescent water bubbled up from odd places inside the cave adding a bit of light to dark areas. Water ran through the cavern carrying food that was eaten by the Magi. Some Magi could be seen tending to some small plots of land where they were growing different types of moss that were distributed and eaten by the villagers throughout the cave system.

“Are the Magi the large creatures darting about with the blue glowing eyes?”

“Yes.”

“How do we possibly find your contact in this mass of similar bodies?”

“She said to wait here near the entrance of the cave near this blue gurgling water.”

“Hello Lephi, who is your friend?” Asked a Magi appearing out of the darkness.

“Hi Yoyo, this is Commander Filo.”

“Hello Commander Filo, I am Yoyo Snarky. I will be your guide during your visit.”

“Pleased to meet you Yoyo. I’m surprised you speak Euclidian.”

“I learned it meeting with the Euclidian from time to time.”

“You are obviously pretty smart. I’m looking forward to visiting this home of yours,” replied the commander looking at her in amazement. She was a few centimeters shorter than him and wore dark clothing that clung to her body. She had long, light hair tied behind her back. He could not see much of her face except her glowing eyes.

“It can be very difficult to navigate this place. I placed a glowing yellow ring around my sleeves to make it easier for you to keep track of me. If for some reason you lose sight of me just yell out my name and I will be sure to stop and find you.”

“That’s a great idea Yoyo,” replied Lephi. The last time I was here you promised to introduce me to your chief so I could get her input on a business venture.”

“And so I shall,” responded Yoyo. Follow me and I will take you there now. Watch your heads. The height of some of the passageways may be a little low for you two.”

The three started off on their journey, which turned out to be a long one. They went through several kilometers of passageways, caves and huge caverns. Magi people darted in and out between them as the two Alphas struggled to keep up with Yoyo.

“Yoyo, can we stop for a moment?” Asked Commander Filo.

“Certainly,” she responded. “There are some flat rocks over there where we can rest.”

“Thanks I certainly needed this,” said Commander Filo sitting down.

“Where can we relieve ourselves?” Asked Lephi.

“Each cave has an area with a discharge pool. There is one just over there,” Yoyo said pointing to a corner of the cave they had entered. “You relieve yourself in the pool and the enzymes in the pool neutralizes the waste materials. The pools are continually replenished to maintain their effectiveness. You can clean off your hands and other body parts in the pool as well.”

“Thanks Yoyo. I’ll be right back.”

“I think I’ll join you Lephi,” stated Commander Filo getting up.

“I’ll wait here for you two,” said Yoyo.

“Lephi, do you think she is giving us the run around? We’ve been walking for over an hour so far.”

“I don’t see why she would. She has nothing to gain by doing so and nothing to fear from us.”

“Okay, I’ll be a bit more patient. It’s not like we could find our way out if she decided to abandon us. I certainly don’t remember the way out and our communications devices don’t seem to be working inside of these caves.”

The two finished relieving themselves and returned to their spots next to Yoyo.

“Yoyo, I had no idea this place was so enormous and beautiful, it would be interesting to be able to see it with your eyes,” said Lephi.

“I have to say I enjoy all of the different lights, colors and sounds in the midst of the darkness,” replied Yoyo. “Outside the caves one can certainly see everything more easily, but it doesn’t have the same magic as this place.”

“Yoyo, what is your main job here?” Asked Commander Filo.

“I mainly work as a liaison between my people and the Tammarians and Euclidian. I mostly just manage the exchange of goods between our people. The other part my time I work with the food producers to make variations of our grog. I enjoy the drink well enough, but I enjoy the effect it has on others much more. So I spend a lot of time trying to perfect my version of the grog recipe.”

“Very interesting. What do you know about the Euclidian?”

“They are an extraterrestrial species that visits our planet from a planet far from here.”

“How does a cave dweller know so much?”

“I’m curious and when they arrived I spent time getting to know them.”

“How would you like to see the planet where they come from and many other places?”

“I like the idea, but you will have to speak to our chieftain about that.”

“So let’s go see her.”

“No problem. I’ll take you to her. We’re just another few minutes away.”

The three of them left their seats and proceeded through another series of caves and passageways until they entered into an enormous cavern that was illuminated by colorful, phosphorescent material that covered its walls. In the center was a large crystal palace. A large, arched entryway at the front of the building was full of traffic from visitors entering and leaving the facility.

“This is where our chieftain lives,” started Yoyo. “I will introduce you to the chieftain and you can negotiate what you need with her.”

“Does she speak Euclidian?” Asked Commander Filo.

“No she doesn’t.”

“How about Tammarian?”

“Of course.”

“Good. Why are there so many people going in and out of the place?”

“Our chieftain has collected artifacts over the years and the place has sort of turned into a museum that attracts lots of visitors. Come with me and I’ll take you inside so you can see the palace.”

The three of them walked into the palace amazed by its grandeur. Commander Filo and Lephi were enthralled with all the items in the interior. There were wide walkways on both sides of the entrance separated by display areas in the middle and along each wall. Yoyo gave a brief description of each of the items as they passed by them.

“On this side are skeletons from various cave animals. On the other side are early tools that were found inside and outside the cave. Here we have early pottery and clothing made from various animal skins. I don’t know the words the Euclidians use to name them. Here we have the various vegetation that you can find in our caves. Below each one is a plaque describing them. On the other side are different luminescent minerals and liquids that are used to light some of the areas in our caves including this palace.”

“Why isn’t the pool at the end lit up? Has the chemical worn out or something?” Asked Lephi.

“Not at all. Although it is plain water it contains a mineral that sparkles when you run your hands through it. Go ahead and try it,” urged Yoyo.

The two Alphas ran their hands through the water and watched as sparkles appeared around their fingers.

“This is quite clever,” stated Commander Filo.

“Watch this,” said Yoyo grabbing a handful and throwing it into the air. The water hit the nearby wall and lit up like miniature fireworks. The water sparkled all along the wall and continued as it hit the floor. Soon afterwards it evaporated.

“My kids would have loved to have some of this to play with,” said Commander Filo.

“I can get some to take home with you if you like,” replied Yoyo.

“That won’t be necessary. They died when the Euclidian attacked my planet.”

“That’s unfortunate. They don’t seem like violent people to me, but I’ve only had very little interaction with them.”

“Trust me, they are very violent people.”

“I’ll just have to take your word for it. Let’s continue on,” suggested Yoyo.

The three of them moved through a corridor into another open area that was less dimly lit.

“Here along the entire length of the wall on both sides is the robe, sandals, orb, necklace and headgear of our chieftains, dating back thousands of years. You can see how our culture and artistry has changed over the years.”

“I’m surprised that nothing has been destroyed or stolen,” stated Lephi.

“Somehow I think we have just been lucky. No one has ever tried to steal anything that I’m aware of. In general our people are very honest. Just in case, the Magi in the blue robes help to guard the place. To help preserve the items, we keep it dry in this chamber and coated the clothing with a preservative. After all that, the older items have still become a bit ragged. Let’s continue up the stairs to the receiving area.”

“How is this place so big when it seems so small from the outside?” Asked Commander Filo.

“It’s built into the cave wall,” responded Yoyo. “It goes on for a ways inside the cave wall and then comes out the other side into another large cavern.”

“How clever!” Stated Commander Filo.

“Clever indeed!” Agreed Lephi.

They reached the top of the stairs and there was a small reception area with chairs across the walls and several Magi guarding a door carrying spears.

“This is the first time I believe I have seen weapons here,” stated Commander Filo.

“Yes, this is the entry way to the chieftain’s quarters. While we have never had attacks here in the past, we don’t take any chances. No one else here carries weapons. We don’t war with each other and outsiders would have a difficult time navigating the caves in order to get here so weapons aren’t really necessary. In addition we have so many deterrents made from the minerals and liquids in the caves that an invading army would find it too costly to attack us to get what little we have in here. Hold on, I need to let the guards know that you are here to see the chieftain. I’ll be right with you.”

Yoyo spoke to one of the guards in her language and then disappeared through the door, returning a few minutes later.

“Our chieftain can meet with you in two periods. In the mean time I can take you through the rest of the palace on the lower floor and then out for some food. By the time we finish our chieftain should be ready to meet with you.”

“That sounds like a grand idea,” replied Lephi. “Go ahead and lead the way?”

Yoyo headed down the stairs while Commander Filo and Lephi followed after her.

***

Commander Filo and Lephi were surprised at how well they enjoyed the food and drink that Yoyo had found for them. She even treated them to her own brand of Tammarian grog, which they thoroughly enjoyed.

“Yoyo, you make the most amazing blend of Tammarian grog that I have ever tasted, and I have drunk a lot of them. I could drink yours all day,” stated Lephi.

“Then you would be in no shape to see our chieftain,” replied Yoyo. “We should probably be heading back.” Yoyo lead them back to the reception area and disappeared through the door to the chieftain’s chambers.

“She’ll see us now,” stated Yoyo sticking her head through the door.

The two Alphas entered the door behind Yoyo and were surprised to see the ornate nature of the hall. The floor was covered in tapestry. Chandeliers lit by luminescent balls hung from the ceiling. The walls were covered in various types of art. The baseboards were made of a shimmering, gold-colored material. At the end of the hall were large doors with more guards. The three proceeded through the door into the hall beyond it.

The hall was a large room full of activity. People everywhere were chatting with each other. There were village chiefs, elders and dignitaries carrying on their business. The three stood for a moment to take it all in. Yoyo described the people waiting to speak to the chieftain.

“The three people in the blue gowns are chiefs from the Wochowo region discussing distribution of their new fungus crops to the other regions. The two in the loin cloth are Tammarians looking to barter to get some Keegon fish from us. We served them some at a state dinner and they can’t get enough of it. The group behind them are construction planners. They are planning an extension of our cave system.”

“It sounds like they are arguing,” stated Lephi.”

“Yes, there are concerns that it would make it more difficult to communicate across the many villages we have today. There are also concerns that there may be problems removing the rock from the construction the long distances to any cave entrance. The interior minister is worried that the expansion will cause an increase in population that will place a strain on our resources. It takes time to develop additional sources of food, waste services and educate people about the new.”

“Interesting problems,” said Commander Filo rubbing his chin.

“Let’s continue on. The chieftain’s throne room is just through those doors,” said Yoyo pointing just ahead of them.

The three of them stood at the door and waited to be announced. There was a Magi village chief just finishing up with the chieftain. He walked out and the chieftain’s yeoman escorted them in.

“Yoyo,” the chieftain stood smiling. “How have you been?”

“Chieftain Hilma I am just fine,” replied Yoyo clasping her hands and bowing. “I am with two Alphas that wish to discuss a business proposition for you. This is Commander Filo and his aide Lieutenant Swantik.”

The two clasped their hands and bowed as Yoyo introduced them.

“Greetings Chieftain Hilma,” Commander Filo started removing his goggles, “I represent an Alpha delegation that is interested in having formal relations with the Magi people.”

“To what end? You are free to communicate with us as you wish,” replied the chieftain.

“We would like to setup more formal relations with your people by exchanging dignitaries. We could have someone representing our people stay here in your caves and one of your people could spend time with us on our ship and planet. There is so much we could learn from each other.”

“We are generally against mingling with outsiders. I certainly would not wish for you to take our people away from this planet, which I believe is what you are proposing,” she stated with a stern voice.

“You are quite right,” Commander Filo stated bowing. “I feel there is so much we could share with your people. It would be much easier to express opportunities with someone who could spend time with our people. And likewise, your use of chemicals and minerals could be of great use to our people. Having your people embedded with our would be so productive for our engineers.”

“Sounds interesting, but I’m concerned about the possible exploitation of our people and the negative influence that your culture could have on our culture. Yours is an advanced civilization. I understand the corruptive forces of technology and the greed that comes with that. Modernization does not come without a cost.”

“I understand your hesitation chieftain. If I could have a second audience with you I believe I could demonstrate my sincerity and provide specific example of how the Alphas might be able to assist your people without disrupting the harmony of your culture.”

“I am skeptical of your claim, but I am willing to hear you out. Yoyo, why don’t you bring them back in two days and let’s see what they have to present.”

“Yes chieftain. Be well,” Yoyo ended bowing and walking out.

Yoyo escorted Commander Filo and Nephi out to the cave entrance where she met them. “I’ll see you here at the same time two days from now.”

“Yoyo, I appreciate your assistance with getting us an audience with your chieftain. I feel it was a productive meeting. I look forward to seeing you again. Let me know if there is anything I can bring you the next time we meet,” requested Commander Filo.

“I am happy to help out. I don’t require anything at this time. I am merely doing my job,” replied Yoyo. “I’ll see you in two days. Goodbye,” Yoyo ended disappearing into the cave entrance.

“Commander what do you have planned?” Asked Lephi, starting down the mountain.

“I’m not sure yet. Let me make a few calls and we will discuss it in the morning. I see the Magi as a great opportunity for us to enact our revenge on the Euclidians and I refuse to let it slip through our fingers without a fight. Let’s get back to our ship and get some distance between us and this planet.”

That place is wondrous, thought Commander Filo to himself. I didn’t realize there was so much going on there. Those people have formal societies with villages full of huts, roads and communications, though primitive. But what don’t they have? They don’t seem to have a need for money, food or resources. However, their desire to expand could be the key to gaining their cooperation. I need to find a way to show them that the Alphas can assist them with their plans without interfering.

***

“So where is Yoyo?” Asked Commander Filo impatiently.

“I don’t know,” responded Lephi. “We are inside the cave at the exact same spot as we were before. Unfortunately the Magi are very liberal with meeting times. They only have a crude way of tracking time inside their caves and no one wears a time piece.”

“So how do we know if she will show up? The chieftain could have changed her mind, she could be sick or dead or maybe she came earlier and decided we stood HER up! I don’t like the casualness of these meetings.”

“If she doesn’t show up in an hour I can contact one of their other emissaries and try to setup another meeting. In the meantime, have a seat on one of the boulders and try to relax.”

“It’s bad enough I have to wear these goggles, I’m not going to sit on a hard rock. Anyway, that would be unprofessional. I will stand here until she arrives. If she doesn’t arrive we keep trying with her or someone else.”

Another few moments passed and Yoyo appeared in front of them.

“Hello Commander Filo and Lieutenant Swantik,” greeted Yoyo.

“Hello Yoyo,” Commander Filo replied clasping his hands and bowing.

“No need to be so formal. I’m not the chieftain.”

“Still, I am happy to show you a little respect after the assistance you have given us. We have been here quite a while. You are late today.”

“No, that is not possible. I came when I was ready. To come earlier would be a waste of our time.”

“Forgive me, I expected you about the same time as last time.”

“And that is when I arrived. So shall we go?”

Commander Filo not willing to belabor the point nodded and gestured for Yoyo to lead the way. Lephi simply looked at the commander shrugging his shoulders and Commander Filo looked back at him with a smirk.

Yoyo led the two Alphas to Chieftain Hilma’s chamber where Commander Filo proceeded to present his case.

“Chieftain Hilma thanks for meeting with us again,” started Commander Filo. “We continue to feel that there is much to be gained by an exchange of diplomats. As I mentioned previously, your use of chemicals, minerals and cave technology is of great interest to us. In return I believe that we could provide you some assistance with your expansion plans. You have a huge cave system that is difficult to navigate and communicate across. You also don’t have precise timing devices. We could provide a wealth of technology to you that can address those difficulties.”

“Commander, we are not interested in bringing your technology into our caves. We have survived thousands of years without it and I have no desire to have my people spending hours learning your devices and thus cripple them by having them rely on some foreign technology, subsequently extinguishing years of our culture.”

“Point well taken Chieftain. I would not want to disrupt your way of life for the sake of diplomacy. There is also the matter of the expansion of your cave systems. We have technology that we could use to carve out the rock and remove it in no time. We could then transfer any items you need into the new space. The Alphas could manage all of the work so your people would not have to deal with using the technology.”

“Those proposals sound a bit more acceptable, but I don’t want life to become too easy for my people. Maybe we could look at a mixture of Alpha technology and Magi manpower. One thing we do not have is metal reinforcement to shore up our cave structures.”

“That is something we would be glad to be able to assist you with. We also have a means for stimulating the growth of plants and animals. That could help you get started with providing additional food for your expanding population. Once we have increased the size of your food sources they should be able to sustain the continued growth needed by your people. As a sign of good faith I brought along a device that can be used to stimulate the egg laying capabilities of your sea life. I would be happy to demonstrate it on two isolated animals and you can verify that it does not harm the creatures in anyway.”

“That would be a worthwhile experiment to test out. Yoyo, could you be so kind as to have one of our marine biologists setup an experiment before they end their visit with us?”

“Yes, chieftain,” responded Yoyo.

“I believe we have enough information to start working out an agreement between our people. Commander, what were you thinking in the way of an exchange of representatives?”

“Since Lieutenant Swantik already has a relationship with your people I was hoping that he could be the Alpha Ambassador to the Magi people. There would be some additional people in his delegation to assist him with administrative work and assisting with any exchange of information. Likewise, I would like to propose that Yoyo be appointed as the Magi Ambassador to the Alpha people, with your permission of course Chieftain Hilma. I would also like to see others join her in order to improve our ability to exchange ideas.”

Yoyo’s mouth sprung open as she was taken aback by the proposal. She never saw herself becoming the ambassador to another planet. As ambassador to the Alphas her dream of travelling the stars would be realized. But could she be successful while still having fun?

“Are you still with us Yoyo?” asked Chieftain Hilma.

“Forgive me chieftain. I was just momentarily lost in my thoughts.”

“So what do you think of the idea of being an ambassador Yoyo,”

“I would be honored and delighted,” replied Yoyo bowing to her chieftain.

“You’ve done an excellent job working with the Tammarians and Euclidians. I think you are the perfect choice for the position. Do you think you can find some of our specialists that would like to join you?”

“Of course chieftain.”

“How do you feel about the choice of Lieutenant Swantik as their ambassador?”


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