36) Abduction

In the former industrial town of Vuldecep, Nahvar sat with his back against the wall. It was beginning to clear. The sun was trying to break through. He had no idea how many suns had past. This was the first one he could see. Again, Pheledra had failed him.Out of the dark northern sky, a light appeared and Nahvar’s heart sped with expectation. He formed the picture of Nelyani biting into a blue apple.

Pheledra had just checked on Biltar and Nelyani when the image flashed strongly. She donned the headpiece. Nahvar, again I’m so sorry, the Anadine Galactic Council is preventing me from getting you …

Pheledra, what do you mean? his impressions returned, I see a light, it must be the Firefly!

You see a light? It’s definitely not us!

Not you!? What is it then?

I don’t know …, Pheledra was perplexed.

just a minute … a light …, Nahvar gasped as he was bathed in brightness, then spiraled upward as he lost consciousness.

Pheledra erupted from her chair shouting. “Fabby, scan down and see what’s happening to Nahvar!”

“It’s a Kultaki scout craft, Pheledra. It was the one that went to Avengarone. It’s right on Nahvar’s location … Pheledra! I believe it’s Ana and Cobi… they’re getting Nahvar!”

“What!?” Immediately, Pheledra searched for Ana’s mind and found it easily.

Ana, Ana, I’m so sorry. I’ve made a horrible mistake! I thought you were dead. I can’t tell you the elation I feel knowing that you and Cobi are still alive!

Ana’s voice was strong in her head. We’ve got Nahvar. We’re bringing him up to the Firefly. Cobi and I need sanctuary. We want to help you and I have important information.

How’s Nahvar? Pheledra felt the energy of excitement running through her body, producing goose flesh on her arms.

He’s unconscious – our doing – for easy transport. He’s been poisoned by the black rain but has no radiation sickness nor any injuries. The deadly cloud from the meltdown missed this area. He’s scared and worn out. He hasn’t seen us. We’re bringing him up.

“Fabby, prepare the Protoron, they’re bringing him up!”

“But, Pheledra,” said Fabby, “we have no biological archtype disc for Nahvar!”

“That’s okay. Just use a general program to purify his blood. Ana says he’s okay except for being exposed to the black rain.”

“I’ll have it set in a micron.”

The Firefly was back in the exact place from where it had left, in the upper atmospere of Miraba. Pheledra started to go up to the observation deck when Wave slid down.

“We need to talk, Wave,” Pheledra said quickly.

He went right past her without a word right into the shop to continue working on Violet. Pheledra went on up through the hatch. Inky and Ginger followed and settled down on their pillows watching everything.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, through the observation dome, Pheledra saw the scout craft come near and slow.

We will take you into the Firefly. Pheledra was using the psychotronic adjuvant to insure that the details of her docking instructions would be completely understood and also to insure that their communications were not monitored. Pull up underneath us and fly in as soon as you see the bottom open. Fabby will get Nahvar into the Protoron and I’ll beam you two up onto the observation deck. We can talk.

She took off the headpiece and set the controls for the transfer station to beam up the two Kultaki women. Soon, they materialized on the pad and stood before her.

Pheledra couldn’t say anything, only gaze at the two Kultaki women in amazement. Her soul was filled with joy. She gestured for them to come and sit around the small round table. She just looked at Ana and Cobi for a long time. How foolish she’d been to discount them. Now, they were suddenly the most important part of the picture. Pheledra felt new hope.

Ana looked back at Pheledra, drinking in her mind. Cobi was very nervous and kept glancing back and forth between the two, wondering what Pheledra would say.

“You are here by your own free will?” Pheledra asked. “Yes,” replied Ana, “we want to join forces with you. We fear Lance and … I’m curious.”

“Cobi,” said Pheledra, “I can tell you are a bit doubtful about all this. I hope you will feel better soon. I won’t bite and neither will the Council. They are watching all this, so we must do everything properly and not overstep our bounds. Right now, you are here because of Ana, am I right?”

“Yes,” Cobi finally said after a long pause.

“Do you realize that your devotion and love for her already makes you in violation of your negative polarity and the Kultaki code of conduct?” Cobi nodded slowly. “I don’t care,” she said, “Lance will try to kill me now because I helped her and stole the scout craft. He will consider me to be a traitor worthy of death … or worse. I don’t understand you, but Ana thinks she does … and … she has some information for you. I am here because I no longer have a choice. She is here by choice. Where she goes, I must go because … she’s all I’ve got.”

“I understand, Cobi. This is amazing me as much as it is you. Just try to remain open to what these synchronicities may bring. I was told from a higher source that something unusual was occurring between polarities. I tried to put it out of my mind … but … this must be it. Let’s watch together as it unfolds.”

“Fair enough,” said Cobi.

“Pheledra,” Ana said, “I want you to know that Lance is using a very powerful type of energetic mind-control. Two doctors who are specialists in psychology have downloaded some new technology. Lance is influencing minds by enhancing psychological tendencies already present in the subconscious. Have you been experiencing any anomolies?”

“Yes, Ana …. come to think of it, indeed I have … my whole crew has.”

Just then, Fabby came up from below. “Pheledra, the Council is calling for us. They say that Anadia and Cobishandra are also being called before them as material witnesses. The Council will talk to us one at a time and then together. They want Lance, Cobi and Ana first, then you, then me and finally Wave. Lance is going before them now. Cobi and Ana will be called next. We are all to remain here until summoned.”

“Oh no,” said Cobi, “if they make us rejoin Lance we’re dead!”

“Cobi,” said Pheledra, “the Council will not force you to do anything against your will. You need to decide right now what you really want.”

Cobi looked at Ana then at Pheledra. “I want … I want to discover what Ana’s discovering. I want to know her soul … and your soul. That is my choice.”

“Okay,” said Pheledra, “don’t worry about anything. Just open up and be honest about what’s inside you. They already know and are just waiting for you, and me, to bring an honest assessment of our own situation. I’ve got some tall explaining to do. More than you.”

Pheledra looked intently at Ana and Cobi as they agreed. “Regardless of how this turns out, I respect you two and always will. It is I who have erred and I must own up to it.”

Just as Pheledra finished her sentence they all heard a clear and gentle voice within their minds.

We are the Anadine Galactic Council. Private interviews are the protocol at this moment. After you have been heard individually, everyone will attend a group session for discussion and final judgement. We have finished our private interview with Ambassador Felance. Because of pressing business, he is being allowed to return to his ship and will be summoned again for the group session. If anyone else has the necessity to do likewise, please inform us now.

Pheledra slightly shook her head, knowing that the Council already knew what was in their minds.

Very well. Now we summon Anadia and Cobishandra. Come into our midst!

An intense light filled the room. Ana and Cobi were gone. “Fabby, how’s Nahvar?” asked Pheledra.

“He’s undergoing Protoron treatment. He’s still unconscious and knows nothing about what’s going on. It’s probably better that way.”

“Have you talked to Wave?”

“He’s hurt and bitter at the moment. He won’t talk to me at all now. It’s probably best to just leave him alone for the time being. He’ll be all right once this business with the Council is over.”

“I hope you’re right, Fabby.” Pheledra sounded very sad.

Pheledra tried to call upon Aramanda in her mind but there was no response. Aramanda is no longer dealing with me, she thought. She’s left me on my own to work through this. Pheledra gathered her emotions. “Fabby, Orange and Blue will be in charge of the Firefly while we are up before the Council.”

“Good,” he replied.

Wave came up through the hatch. “So, this is the moment of reckoning eh?”

“It’ll be all right,” said Fabby.

“Oh sure, Fabby, it’ll be all right. But how do we regain what we’ve lost? Tell me that. We can’t just pretend all this hasn’t happened, can we?”

Pheledra tried to improve his attitude. “Wave, something wonderful is happening. Cobi and Ana have requested sanctuary. They’re somehow … switching polarities.”

“That’s impossible!” Wave said. “It just can’t happen! You know that as well as I do! This is nothing but confusion and we’re all mixed up!”

“Wave,” said Pheledra, “Lance has been using mind-control. He is enhancing some of our inner psychological tendencies. Perhaps our arguments and disagreements were …magnified? …”

“There you go again! You’re tryin’ real hard to wiggle out of any responsibility, aren’t you?”

“No, Wave … I just want to make things right … between us … and …”

“I’m not saying anything else!” Nestingwave got a glass of geyser water and sat down at the little table.

Fabby sat next to him and tried to reason. “Wave … let’s just … don’t try to anticipate anything. We don’t really understand what’s happening. Things are changing, and …”

“Shut up, robot! Leave me alone!”

“Certainly,” said Fabby, “we’ll talk later. Just tell the Council what’s on your mind.”

“You already know what I’ll tell ’em.”

“Wave, please don’t feed your guilt and bitterness,” Fabby pleaded.

“The truth is the truth. I am guilty and miss smarty here totally botched her mission.”

Fabby looked at Pheledra. Her hands were on her forehead and her eyes tightly shut. Nestingwave shrugged as the voice of the Council filled the room.

Pheledra, come into our midst.

A bright light filled the obsevation dome and Pheledra vanished.

“I’m next,” said Fabby looking over at Wave. He grunted and took another drink of geyser water.

After awhile, they called Fabby. The summons took him and Wave was left alone on the observation deck. He went over to the communicator but hesitated a moment, then opened a channel to Ambassador Lance.

The Ambassador looked very relaxed. Ranilla and another Kultaki girl sat beside him. “Well … hello, Mr. Nestingwave. I’m surprised to hear from you.” He glanced at the two girls beside him. “Oh … this is Ranilla and Petuva.” He squeezed them and they both giggled a little. “Is everything all right with you?”

“Yes. You know, your Excellency, I … I feel somewhat responsible for what happened to your starship … and … I’m being called before the Council any moment now and … I thought … well … I thought I would talk to you a little first.”

“Well, Wave, I’m glad you called me. I was thinking about you and your situation. It seems you and the crew of the Firefly have been at each other’s throats lately. I must confess that … indeed, I’ve been a little responsible for that. I’m doing a bit of experimentation with this new thought machine and … well … it brings out tendencies that people may not know they have. Very interesting.”

“Yes, we heard about that. I guess you can get away with it because you don’t actually put anything into a person’s mind but merely enhance what’s already there?”

“Enhance … yes … that’s the word … enhance. Very revealing, eh?” He smiled and squeezed Petuva.

The Ambassador looked back at Wave. “How’s your sex life, Wave?”

“My sex life!? Well, I’m an older man, you know and …”

“Nonsense! Wave, you just need to get out of that box you stay in. You need to open up a little. Look at this beautiful thing.” The Ambassador ran his clawed fingers across Petuva’s face and she rippled with solf pastels. “She’s been good for me, Wave. And I’ll bet she’d be good for you too. It might give us a common ground, so to speak … to view one another’s perspective. She’s very mammalian, you know.” The Ambassador pulled her top down to expose her breasts.

“Well … I …” Nestingwave was a bit shocked and embarassed.

“Look … it’s going to be a little while before the Council calls you. Besides, this new thought machine has some really incredible capabilities. I can manipulate time. Oh yes. I can compress many zerons into a fraction of a fraction of a micron. If you wanted to, you could come on over here and … meet Petuva and I’d have you back before the Council calls you.”

“I couldn’t do that, Your Excellency … uh …”

“Oh sure you could, Wave. Then, later at the joint hearing of the Council, we can all talk and iron things out. What do you say?”

“Well…”

“Ah come on. No one needs to know. Get a little wild. I’ll bet you want to, right?”

“I’ve, ah, never done anything like that before…”

“See what I mean? You’re trying to live in a box that just doesn’t fit. Come on.”

Wave thought for a few moments and then said, “Pheledra and her pride is responsible for all this … and …”

“No Wave … I’m not going to talk to you anymore unless you come on over here and get a little relaxation. It’ll take your mind off your worries and help you to think clearly.”

Wave looked around. He hadn’t counted on this. “Look, Ambassador, I really don’t have the time …”

“Time … time … a fraction of a micron? Come on, be real.”

There was an eternity of silence. Then, Nestingwave made his choice.

“Beam me on over, then. I’ll be on the transfer pad in four microns.”

“You’ll be glad you did, friend. You’ll be glad you did.”

When Wave materialized aboard the Kultaki command carrier, the Ambassador, Ranilla and Petuva were all smiles.

“Welcome, my friend,” said the Ambassador, who stepped forward to shake Nestingwave’s hand. “From now on, you can call me ‘Lance’, and I’ll call you ‘Wave’ okay? Petuva has something to show you … down in the spa. Just you and her. Go along.”

Petuva smiled, put Wave’s arm around her shoulder, ran her hand across his behind and led him down through a hatch toward a small private room with a full view of space and lots of crystal fixtures with aerated hot water.

When they were out of sight, the Ambassador smiled. “He’s a great guy. It’s always wonderful to make new friends. It broadens my perspective.”

Ranilla looked at him for a moment, and then burst out laughing.

CONTINUE: 37) Her Testimony

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