Chapter 4 A Plea

J'Gareth sighed, rubbing his aching head. Snark hadn't mentioned this side effect. He felt through all the alien concepts, feeling his way through all the twists and turns of meaning as he sat back in the lounge of the small ship he had been given. It was an official courier, it's makings clear to any of the Exiles they would recognize it and the codes contained in the ships computer would start broadcasting once they had entered the United Worlds space.

He needed to integrate all the knowledge crammed into his brain and quickly. He reached forward and hit the switch of the recorder Snark had installed. Snarks voice filled the room and for a moment J'Gareth couldn't understand the speech before a switch in his mind flipped and he understood what he was hearing. He grinned, Snark had decided to speak the human tongue. It would give him practice, which he supposed was the point.

J'Gareth, it is my wish that you let the council for the United Worlds see you only as an alien. J'Gareth started. They will eventually learn the truth, but I want them to judge you and by extension all of the Exiled on your own merits, not by the past. Let them know about the Nightmen, but only as outlaws that prey upon an outsider. We need them to not blame the Exiled.

It is my thought that you call our peoples by the Keorn names, their language is far enough from the old, that they should believe it an alien tongue. I think you could call us the Dherathian Solad, which as you know essentially means The Exiled Unity in the Human tongue, so it isn't even an untruth. It should be some conciliation to you that your people will be getting a new name.

J'Gareth grinned at this, the name that his people had been given, had been a sore point with him ever since he had read about the original meaning of the word as a child.J'Gareth listened to the rest of the tape, it mostly listed the names that the peoples would be known to the humans now.

He leaned forward as he heard what Snark had to say about the allies. The three races that hadn't been from the Exiles. One of these were native to the Central world of the Unity as the Exiles had come to call their Government. They certainly didn't wish to remind themselves of the United Worlds and all they had lost in their exile. So, they were to be an alliance of 16 united races, as Snark would have put it, it wasn't even an untruth.

After the tape was done, J'Gareth looked through the other tapes Snark had provided. A History of the United Worlds was one. J'Gareth smiled, It wasn't as if there was anything else for him to do. The ship was automated and it would be three days until he arrived at the United Worlds and another day before he made it to their station.

Across the border, well within the space claimed by the United Worlds, three ships hung in space, silent and running cold. The captain sat back and listened to the chatter of the few ships in this section of space. Who to choose next, he thought to himself.

D'Theran a Sidhe who had joined his cause looked up at the thought. He frowned slightly and the other looked away. Damned telepaths, he thought to himself as he watched the other flush as he picked up the thought. They had their place though. He wouldn't have been able to use more than one ship in a raid without them, but he wished they wouldn't snoop.

"Captain" the whisper came close to his ear. It was Leandor the Willeth who acted as second in command. His large dark eyes were opened wide, his pupils opened in the darkness he preferred to keep on his bridge. His own people preferred the dark. As a Nitche darkness was always welcome.

Very rarely among his people, one would be born different from his fellows. Gifted with a leap in intelligence and ability which was always coupled with the ability or curse to remember what the ancestors had lived, up to the time they had been human, but no further. He himself would rival even the Sidhe, who were known for their mental gifts.

He looked at Leandor as the other continued his report "There is a ship of the people nearing the border. It is heading directly into human space" he paused, waiting for his orders. The Captain pondered before signing.

We make no war on our own, let him be. But watch as long as we can see his ship. I want to know where he goes.

His Second nodded and went to relay his orders. The Captain sighed silently, there was one drawback to keeping the light level down, since he could only sign and not speak for the safety of his crew, it was hard for them to get his orders when they were engaged in the raid. That was one time that he kept one of the telepaths by his side to act as his voice.

They watched as the ship continued into Human space unhindered, the Captain started as a signal blasted into the silent bridge.

What the hell was that? He signed to D'Theran.

"The ship is sending a signal to all who listen" he said, frowning as he tried to figure out the code, it was one they hadn't heard before.

The Captain frowned, he was starting to rethink his stance on what to do with the ship, but it was too late. The ship was out of range and rapidly gaining speed as they watched.

Do you know where it's headed? He signed.

"If it keeps to that course, it will arrive at the central station of the humans in about a week" was the answer he was given.

Damn, the Captain thought with enough force to make D'Theran flinch.

Whendler bowed to his clan mother, waiting for her hand on his shoulder before he rose.

"You called for me?" he asked softly, his concern clear in his voice.

She nodded and turned looking out the leaded glass of the main window of the Clanhouse, before turning back to him "Counciler Fennal Rhinan has contacted me recently." she said.

Whendler looked confused and she sighed "Her mother was of the blood, so if she wished we would welcome her. But until now she has chosen not to contact us. She would rather have her freedom than the Clans care."

"Then why contact you now?" he asked, waiting for her answer.

She glanced back at him, her face worried "She is concerned about the missing ships in the Deneris sector."

He nodded "I had heard about that, but why would she contact us about that?"

"She knows that it must not be random, she has enough of the blood to feel that. She is untrained, but still she feels the flow of things."

He looked surprised and she nodded "Yes, she wished one of the blood to investigate. She knows enough of the Clan to know that we can find what others wouldn't be able to."

"But why me?" he asked.

"You have experience with nonhumans, it is your gift and you know the area" she said.

He closed his eyes, who would have thought, his sense of adventure was coming back to haunt him. He opened his eyes and nodded "As you wish" he almost whispered.

She patted his arm, a relieved look on her face "I knew I could count on you" was all she said.

Herself, the thought cut through her slumber.

What? She woke up completely as she realized the mind contacting her was familiar and dear. Snark.

Yes, it's me. One of mine is coming to the United Worlds diplomatic station to parley

Are you mad? She asked. A cold thread of fear ran down her spine. It's too soon, they aren't ready.

We have no choice, not if we want to avoid a war. The fear grew as she thought about what he had said.

War would ruin everything. Her voice was almost too quiet for him to hear, even in his mind.

Yes, the man I am sending is one of the Sidhe. They are the closest to humans in appearance, even attractive to humans. They will accept him. He felt her amusement at the thought of humans accepting someone only on appearance, but they would take what they could. If it worked they would use it.

She nodded, though he was too distant to see, she knew he felt the gesture.

I want your people to watch for him and make his way easier Snark said.

I will do that. Her mind ran with all the plans she needed to make now and which ones she needed to set in motion early. She felt Snark withdraw, leaving her to work her magic. He trusted her, she thought with a warm feeling growing, it almost drowned out the fear. Almost.