Mission Born: Space Twins - Chapter 9


Friends,

We are back with the ninth chapter of, "Mission Born: Space Twins!"  If you have yet to meet the twins, or if you need to catch up, find all previous chapters at the appropriate link below:


If, however, you're wondering what lies in wait at this asteroid base, read on, dear friends, read on.



                “You know, Jess…  The more I hear our story, I start to see a major problem.  Something is happening in this universe that is not the way they taught us back on Earth.”  Walter looked over at her with a head tilted in thought, from one of the two simple chairs in the plain gray bunkroom. 
                “You mean like nuthin’?  ‘Cause that’s what they taught us Wally.  An’ this end o’ the universe seems crazy!  The Council is up to sumthin’, it don’t look good neither….”  Jess shrugged and leaned over the caution-painted side of the bunk.
                “Yep, I was thinking that it looks like some kind of genocidal mission.  But, if that’s the case, then who’s next?” 
                Looking at Walter, Jess could see this was really bothering him. “It’s okay brother, we’re gunna figure this out.  Hopefully these guys are gunna help us.  Maybe we can figure out a bizness partnership.  They look like they could use som ‘elp, maybe delivr’y wise.  They got an obvious thing ‘bout ships….”
                “Yeah, Sis, but we need to find out who is really on the right side of things here.  This looks like a warship manufacturing plant to the next level, which means these guys could be the bad guys, too.  We know the Council is bad now!  They just blew up a base that had innocents living on it as well!  The Orcs attacked our ship, true, but if they knew what was coming….”
                “I know, Wally.  I just wanna make sure we are fine in the long run.  Our life tagether is more important ta me than anything else.  Whatever all these people are doin’, it ain’t really our problem!”  She huffed the last words out and then laid her head on the pillow.
                Walter hung his head and then put his hand to his temple.  “Well, we’ll see what they thought of our story, soon I hope.  I am tired of laying back when we could be doing something….  And, since the other guys were orcs, what do you suppose these guys are called?”
                “I have no idea, you’re the reader o’ ‘istory.  You tell me!”  Jess turned to the wall quickly, almost bumping her nose against it.
                “Well, okay, let me see.  Orcs were mythological creatures made up by some Old Earth authors, soooo….  Maybe, if I have my myths right, they might be Kobolds, since they are yellow and small.  That’s just my guess….”  He smirked at being so bookwise. 
                They both sat upright at the sound of the swish of the door gliding into the ceiling.  Jess came up short of hitting her head.  A figure walked in that was taller than the leader they had seen before, and it wore a gray lab coat.  The figure was more feminine and had a higher pitched voice when they started talking, so the twins assumed it was female.  “Hello, and, no, we are not called Kobolds.  Our people are called Gnomes, and we are a ‘ship’ making facility, not always warships.  You two are quite talkative.  I enjoyed it, very much….”  She sighed and then sat down elegantly on the chair opposite Walter.
                Jess literally growled, “YOU! You listened in on us!  You mangy cowards!”
                “Jess, hold on!  Let her talk.  We would have listened in on any new being sitting in our hold, and you know it.  It’s just plain smart, that’s all.”  Walter held his hands out at Jess in a defensive manner.  This tended to calm Jess, having complete trust in her brother.
                “May I continue?”  The gnomish woman pulled a set of spectacles out of her pocket and placed them on her nose.  She, then, looked up at Jess from above the rim of her glasses.  After a few seconds of grumbling silence from Jess, she chose to move the conversation forward. 
                “I know that you both are surprised by what the ‘Council’ has kept from you.  We are willing to allow you to continue to live with us for a bit, while you become accustomed to our ways and history.  You, Walter, will be allowed access to our library, it is quite extensive.”  She smirked and then continued, “Jess, you will have access to the docks and manufacturing bays throughout the facility.  I am sure after you see what we have to offer, you will want to make modifications to your own ship.  We suggest you do. For right now, many of the species on the facility would see it as an insult, being of the design of Templar ships.  Do you have any questions?”
                The female gnome turned back and forth to each of them until Jess started speaking.  “Those terms seem overabundant, seein’ as you just met us and all.  We don’ know you from anythin’.”  She looked at the gnome with one eyebrow raised in concern. 
“I see.  Well, my name is El-4, does this help?”  El-4 looked quizzically at Jess.
                “Um, sure, but why’re ya bein’ so ‘nice’?”  She said the word ‘nice’ as if it left a bad taste in her mouth.
                “We are giving you access, because we have listened to your story and how you have spoken with each other, and our voice analyzers have denoted no hint of subterfuge or deceit….”  El-4 stared at Jess as if her answer was the clearest thing on the planet.
                Walter held his hand up to Jess, to forestall anymore comments that might be considered insults.  “Jess, they believe us, and they seem to want to help us.”  He turned his head toward El-4, “I can understand being allowed to tour your base, kind of, but why are you sharing your resources with us?”
                El-4 looked into Walter’s eyes, “That can be answered once you have read through our library.  We do not wish to hinder anyone that wishes to earn a life in this universe, and we may be able to have YOU help us, once you yourselves have been helped BY us.”  El-4’s orange pupils left a sense of hope in Walter. 
                He slapped his hands on the armrests of the chair he was sitting in and stood up, “Well, I agree to the terms.  I hope we can both benefit from the results of our foray into your base…and library!”
                Jess looked at both of them like they were some kind of space anomaly that she couldn’t quite understand, and then silently hopped out of the bunk and whooped loudly, “We are gunna start our life brother!”  Jess flung herself into a hug that was warmly returned by Wally.
                El-4 stood up and bowed to them both. “I hope you both have a productive time, and I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.”  She got up and was about to leave, when she turned around and held out two metal cards.  “You will need these to access the areas important to you.  If you have any questions, you may find me, and I will attempt to answer them.  I am your liaison for the duration.”
                The twins both looked befuddled, and then smiled widely and whooped once more - this time in unison.


                Walter started to slump in the chair he was in, and the book he was holding started to fall over his face.  Suddenly, Jess appeared in the doorway of the library and shouted over to him, “Come on lazy!  I got sumthin’ ta show ya’” He flung his arms wide, and the book flew across the room.  Almost hitting one of the data banks that filled the library. “You know, you don’t have to yell everywhere you go, right?!”  She smirked and then left the room like a breeze.  He shot out of the chair and ran to catch up with her.
                “So, according to my research, this place...”  He tried to catch his breath as he started explaining his findings to Jess. “…is hundreds of years old.  It was built after they had tried to mine the volcanic moon, and after being there, they actually nano-evolved into the beings we see here.  They are from Earth Jess!  These are the colonies that were established by the people that left Earth in the Arks!”
                Jess looked at him cross-eyed and then spit out a laugh.  “You kiddin’ me brother?  These are not earthlings.  They couldn’t be human if they wanted to….”  Jess realized her mistake when she suddenly though about Tyke and his story.  “Wait a minute!  Tyke was Orc, but looked human, you mean the orcs had the same thing happen??”
                “YES!  Isn’t it amazing?!  I mean there are so many species of human now Jess.  I read through what I could so far, and there are at least ten different species that the gnomes, themselves, know about!”
                The shock on Jess’ face, made Walter snicker a little, getting a frown from Jess to replace it.  “Okay, Wally, now I get to shock you!”  Her face twisted into an evil grin as they rounded the corner and she activated an accessway.  The door shot up into the ceiling, and there, in front of Walter, was their shuttle.  He stutter-stepped into the hangar with how amazed he was.  Where before the shuttle had a sleek hull, it now had an angular shape.  The ship had a body that was like a large triangular-prism from the side.  The front tip of the shuttle was as sharp as a knife point.  The tip top of the vessel was sharp and then curved into a half-moon toward the rear section.  It looked like one of the curling waves he could see on the surface of the Earth’s ocean, near the cliffs.  The wings were no longer straight but curved around the vessel and met at the rear, like the rings of Saturn.  As he started to look closer, he noticed vents all over the hull. 
                “What did you do?!?”  He looked at her with questioning eyes, in a hope that she had not just ruined the ship.
                She laughed and her eyes lit up, “Just wait til you see the insides o’ her!”  Jess literally bounced as she walked to the rear of the ship and the ramp started coming down as she pushed something on her index finger.  She turned and flipped him a silver ring.  “It’s a new remote!  These gnomes have the best technology I have ever seen!”
                The tip of the ramp extended to the floor of the hangar, and they both walked into the ship.  The accommodations were the same.  But, the way up to the gun turret was now a seat, which elevated into the swiveled turret, allowing a greater amount of space.  Jess came over to a switch in the wall and flipped it.  Red lights started to spiral around two columns that were set into the wall, about ten feet apart.  The section between the poles slid away and a metal platform slid into the room.  Walter looked at the platform closely and realized that it had multiple cloth-like bands interwoven and recessed into its surface.  She grabbed a box which was resting near the elevator seat.  She pulled one of the bands up and rested the box under it, then released the band.  It clicked after being released and tightening onto the box.  She then pulled a perpendicular band to the other and rested it on top of the box.  This band also clicked into place.  Walter walked over in awe.  He pulled on both bands to see how much give there was in them.  He could feel the strength of the bands and almost over-exerted himself in the process of pulling.  He then checked to see how much damage there was to the boxes.  After a methodical analysis, he found that there was no damage, and that there was no indent from the straps themselves. 
                “They have the best sensors I have ever seen, Wally!  The sensitivity o’ the gears inside that mechanism are as light as a feather, with the tension o’ a steel beam!”  Jess was smiling like a giddy child.
                “Okayy….  But what are all the vents on the outside of the ship for, because that seems insane!”  He shrugged his shoulders at her in emphasis of his statement.
                Jess’ smile couldn’t get any bigger…until now.  “They are maneuvering thrusters Wally!  The ship can maneuver like you wouln’t believe!  We woulda got away easy peasy if we ‘ad those thrusters ‘afore the chase!”
                “Okay! That’s enough!  Why are they GIVING all this stuff to us?  I mean the knowledge I can understand somewhat.  But, THIS!  This tech must have cost them quite a bit.  What do they WANT from us Jess?  It isn’t going to be something small…. Nothing is free….”  He slumped his shoulders and fell into a chair nearby.
                Jess lifted her eyebrows in a look like she was about to wage war. It fell from her face and she rested her chin in her left hand and held her right forefinger to her lips in thought.  “Ya know…ya got a point kid.  What d’ya think they want?”
                “I have no idea.  I know the Council is against them.  They know that we are fugitives from Earth.  They are helping us prepare our ship for God knows what.  I have access to all their history.  From that, it could be anything really….”  He slumped back into the chair again, this time with his hands dragging over his face until the tips of his fingers made his lips make a raspberry sound.
                Jess giggled, “Ya know, there’s only one thing to do, right?!”
                Walter looked over her with that same deterred and confused look.  He rested his chin in his hands and then cocked his head to the side, waiting.
                “We go ask, Wally!”  She thumped him on the head softly with her fist.
                An ‘Oh” escaped his lips as Jess started leaving the ship without him.  He scrambled out of the chair almost falling onto the floor.  When he reached the ramp exit, Jess was standing there, leaning on one of the struts.
                “Ya know, it’s hard being the older sister.  Now try’n keep up.”
                Walter followed Jess to their meeting, hopefully, with the truth.

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