Wherever the wind blows
Episode 1: Meharo's Hunters
Part 1: Everything has its start
Part 2: Shadows of the past
Part 3: Rats, mice, and crocodiles
Episode 1: Meharo's Hunters Part 1: Everything has its start
Alwatan is an unknown star system somewhere in the infinites of space but some-how you feel a sense of familiarity after hearing the description: One sun, one moon, an inhabitable planet… No, stop, that's not true! Not only one planet was able to be a host for intelligent life, there were even seven. The one most alike earth is called Dun-yo. It is the home of our people, the humans. But something is different, and the feel-ing of familiarity disappears with this thought: Magic rules here.
In the alwatanian mythology it is said, that mother sun is the source of life and the world was created by her with seven breaths.
The population talks about the sevens winds and in every world this wind blows a bit differently. But not only mother sun is deciding over life as father moon is also a part of the whole. It is him who offers the Alwatanians something, our solar system can not provide, magic. The power of the moon is the reason for witches and wizards not be-ing myths. However, not everyone in this world is blessed with magic and those who are not, found a way to help themselves.
The power of the moon is no less important than the mother sun's energy. Even though everything is powered by solar energy, some parts of the alwatanian population are so dependent on their magic, they would be helpless without it.
Every problem can be either solved with magic or with technology but only few have both at their disposal. And if they do, they are lucky. Actually, it is just fair you might think. Nevertheless, it hardly needs to be mentioned that this situation also offers a lot of conflict potential.
There is a large organization for solving conflicts in Alwatan, that cares about unity, respect and security: The Intergalactic Union, better known as IGU.
After a wave of wars, a peace pact was the solution leading to the creation of this community. Every inhabited planet has his very own representative who is elected by quite different cultural criteria. For Dunyo that is Teni Gendoi, a horribly aggressive men who is surprisingly well gifted in resolutely enforcing the wishes of Dunyo's peo-ple.
The election of this representative did admittedly trigger what was preventable for a long time, until 512 after the foundation of the IGU, in short 512 a. IGU, to be exact.
There was an outbreak of violence and the community didn't see any other way out than founding an independent unit of law enforcement officers for the intergalactic space. The Team is called "intergalactic law enforcement unit", ILEU for short. It serves mediation between the complete intergalactically union and is also structured similarly. The team thus has seven members who only have the power to intervene in Alwatan's political system if they are doing it together. None of them are really able to decide something in politics because they are bound by instructions, but their opinion is quite essential for a good reason: the ILEU belongs to the favorites of the interga-lactic people.
Here is a list of the representatives:
Dunyo: This is the planet of humankind and has only got a little percentage of magical influence. For representation the dunyon people have voted for Mira ti Igberaga, daughter of the eccentric billionaire Alaksoso ti Igberaga and his late wife Iwara do Nio. While only living on the planet for 27 years, Mira is a crowd-puller on Dunyo. As a high ranked person in military and a very popular woman she was invited to overtake this important part for the IGU. Against all expectations they had to extend this invitation twice because she declined the first time. The community of Dunyo had to move mountains but finally they were able to persuade her to accept the position.
In terms of appearance, however, Mira ti Igberaga is a real exception for a human. Over the course of experiments her skin served as a playground for a cyberneticist who transformed her skin into a living armor. Talented hands then installed an efficient, electronic system in the cybernetic skin to further extend the advantage. The woman with night blue eyes has made the best of it and is celebrated as human weapon all aver the media.
Nekomis: Here rule the big cats. These furry two-legged creatures are living in clans and have learned to live in harmony with nature. They still master the walk on four paws if they practice enough, but usually only two legs are used. With the creation of artificial meat and meat substitute two religions started to develop: The feline predators and the velvet paws. One of the proofs that there is a middle way is Silent Paw Tiho, who devours both the one and the other with pleasure. The male cat is seven years old for the second time – quite young for an adult cat – and hopes that time will not pass too quickly because the process, when he uses up one of his seven lives, is anything but pleasant. Visually, Tiho is a leopard with red fur, black dots, neat whiskers, black nose, yellow eyes and short, velvet hair. He belongs to the clan of the shadow warriors and has been chosen for representing Nekomis in the IGU because of his inner peace and common sense. Nekomise people are well known for the best defensive capability in Alwatan.
Havugalagudu: Like the cats, an animal species has prevailed here without really changing their former appearance. The lizards, living in villages only with their family members, are among the most successful traders. Anatomically suspicious is their enormous physique, the scaled skin and the obviously too many limbs. This is expressed by the numbers of paw links, legs, heads or tails. Sometimes there is even an abnormality in the numbers of eyes, starting at one eye up to…. Nobody knows. The forked tongue is troublesome in speaking the short "s" and makes Alwatanian, introduced during the foundation of the IGU, a rarely and reluctantly spoken language.
That's Tanikaratanikis advantage, who is a blue scaled lizard with a violet spiked comb, four arms and jet-black eyes. He used his linguistic talent to become the representative of his people. He is also a pretty good staff fighter and an outstanding guard.
Atlantida: Once Atlantida was very similar to Dunyo, but centuries of rain submerged the planet. The inhabitants started to move more and more in water and developed an own respiration system and gills for living in it. They are sea people now. Their lungs managed to separate the oxygen-containing water and use it accordingly. Drinking and breathing are all in one. Only staying outside of water is a matter of habituation and one that needs quite a while.
One of those people used to fresh air and ground under the feet is Jalapadme, daughter of Salas. The curios snoop wanted to be an investigative journalist in the big, big world and promptly solved a murder case while researching for a story. With her pale blue skin, the white hair with the aquamarine strands and her fragile built she is almost indistinguishable with her folk but her curios nature and her well known puppy-eyes make her unique.
Lytse Minsken: Just imagine, you were once 1,60 meters of height and forced to live underground because of natural desasters. The aisles down below are narrow, the light is mostly artificial, there is barely fresh air and your meals are always fat and sweet. It is therefore to be expected that in the course of evolution you will shrink, see excellently in the dark, hardly need air to breathe and turn out somewhat stronger. You have become a real dwarf.
One of the most famous of this kind is Ingon bato Uta. The tunnel lord and master of explosives has gained himself a high rank among his peers with his own hard work. He is roundish but strong, his brown beard is hanging down in a braid and reaches the breast. His hairstyle is identical to the beard and even his eye color is fitting. His eyesight is even used to sunlight, which is a rare phenomenon among dwarfs. This started with a visit to the surface with the goal to improve the ventilation system and ended with him being chosen for the IGU.
A7194, Robotropolis: This was once the only uninhabited planet in Alwatan but then, the dunyon people colonized it. For many years A7194 with his originally very small colony was the most important industrial area of the dunyon economy. Because of a lack of employees, the industries started to build robots for doing the work. This is how the name Robotropolis came into existence.
The colony continued to expand until one day the artificial intelligence suddenly became independent and started a war against its creator. Humans got eradicated and it was not until the end of the war that the robots started to get along with humanity again.
But there is one robot, one of the model series CLMEX, who wishes for nothing more than becoming humane. For achieving this CLMEX/S379-466 has done everything thinkable. He exchanged his cyber-robotic head for an all-in-one-computer and downloaded as much human data and facts as possible from the internet. As for looking like a human he chose template of a random person for using as an avatar. With a self-created program, he is able to read the emotions of people via algorithm and answer them with programed mimics and gestures. This skill and the fact, that he is an office-machine, has saved him a seat at ILEU. For celebrating this achievement, he gave himself a new image: He calls himself Mex now and is female. She is a yellowish-gray robot, who is roughly the size of the large lizards, but is only two-armed, clumsy and ungainly.
Aelfenheim: This is the home of the elves, which refer to each other as aelfen. For many this might not be a huge difference, but for the proud pointy ears it is a serious matter because the change only took effect with the accession to the Intergalactic Union.
The whole planet is dependent on the moon because there is almost no non-magical elven alive. The most important sense of the aelfen is their sense of hearing, which is why their ears have lengthened over time to detect every little noise
What hasn't changed is their non-existing will to accept worldly changes and for a long time they never put up with other nation's traditions. That is the reason why they had only one voluntary, who wanted to be sent to the headquarters of the ILEU for the job as representative. This exceptional elven modelled his own lifestyle after the dunyon culture and has done a great job by doing that. The blonde elf with green eyes has cut his hair short and sharpened his eyes. As he regularly exposes himself to the sun, he has unusually tanned skin for an aelfen and his choice of dressing is disliked by the old-fashioned folk. Instead of wearing the elvish long garments he follows the recommendations of the fashion magazine "Trendsetter". His love to the human culture contributed to his great popularity amongst the human members of the IGU and his style and self-assurance made him a true womanizer. Omorfos Silver Arrow is his name and he wants to be known wherever he may go.
The spaceship LM 510, affectionately called "Lovely Maja" by Jalapadme, is a comfortable war fortress. You can imagine it as a house with a garage and a terrace, whereby former is more like an airport and latter is a glass dome, under which you can find real plants. For keeping the glass above the garden secure you can put up a metallic shield. There are smaller spaceships for travelling in the garage because a ship the size of an apartment block has no chance to land on a planet: The travel-spacecraft Altairan Rajul T4 including a transport bus for moving on land and a small personalized ship per capita. These are custom-made spaceships from the home planet of each member and are adapted to their skills.
The crew has been together for six months on behalf of the IGU and starts to feel like a little family. And this is where this story begins.
"Movie night", Omorfos "Omo" calls and jumps over the backrest of the blue sofa which is placed in the middle of the room over the left corner of a white carpet with a blue square pattern. Next to it on the other corner of the carpet stands an identical sofa and between both of those is a fitting armchair located, that is currently being claimed by Ingon, who has the ideal size for it and came at the same time as the blond elf. While heaving himself onto the seat he laughs: "Yeeha! Something with a lot of kaboom!"
"Must there always be so many explosions?", asks Jalapadme, who is joining them. The elf, who is lying stretched out on the entire surface of the sofa, bends his legs so that a gap is formed between his knees and the backrest, and right there the white-haired girl sits down and makes herself comfortable. "Yes!? Everything else is boring!", blares Ingon out while watching the two lovebirds, who have been flirting with each other since day one. However, they are still in no further in their relationship than being teammates.
Then another woman's voice from the back says: „I would prefer something exciting to do over watching an action movie." Everyone turns in their seat and watches Mira walking around the right sided sofa to sit down on the far end of it with the armrest in her back. She removes her house shoes before putting her feet on the sitting surface. Afterwards she pulls her legs to her chest to make herself comfortable. For no real reason Padmes gaze wanders to Omos feet, which are naked and spotlessly clean. Playfully she tickles his soles and makes the elvish man laugh out loud, causing him to bend over.
"You are right, but we can still watch a good movie for distracting us from dying because of boredom!", Omo agrees, still giggling and trying to annoy the white haired woman with his toes.
While doing so, heavy steps can be heard, followed by a hissing sound and the squeak of the metal sofa frame, which has to withstand a lot of weight. "I'm ssssso bored! We've already watched ssssssso many moviesssss!", Tanikarataniki sighs and lets his tongue snap out, making another hissing sound. Mira, who was waiting for the arrival of the lizard has already made enough space for him and his long, long tail. While Taniki and the cyborg are trying to do their final adjustments for the most comfort, Tiho is meandering around the chair and the sofas and sits himself down on the carpet. "Have you chosen a movie yet?", he wants to know as he turns back and forth and finally lies comfortably on his stomach, letting his tail twitch back and forth. "No, but it is about time!", Ingon calls out, kicking against the chair with his feet, on which he is wearing thick brown wool socks. "Right.", confirms Taniki immediately and crosses all his four arms in front of him. "Rescue approaching, mates! I've finished downloading the newest blockbuster from the dunyons!", informs a somewhat feminine voice out of a speaker and the well-known sound of Mex wheels under her feet is hearable. "Which one?!", Padme wants to know and tries to move herself into a position, in which she can look at the robot's monitor, but she does not have enough space to turn in her small, but comfy, seat and gives up, only grimacing. "Shadows of the past, that's the title!", is the answer of the human-thinking sort of machine, "Do you want to see the trailer, or shall we just commence watching it?" Mex stops behind Ingon and retracts her wheels with a strange sound. Now the dwarf turns around in this seat, standing on the sitting area and watching the robot while peeping over the backrest. "Ya promise it isn't boring?", he asks. "She said it is a blockbuster, a high-budget movie. It should be fine.", Mira comments. Omo confirms: "Generally speaking, yes. I expect nothing less from blockbuster than it being great." "Okay then. If everyone is with me, I will start the movie!", the robot announces and Tiho raises a paw while support himself with his second. "Please don't turn up the volume too high, my ears are still ringing from last time.", he requests. "Heaven, you are oversensitive!", grumbles the dwarf taking his seat again. He now looks at the television, hanging in the perfect height on the wall, where the first sounds of the movie are coming from. "Don't be so nasty to him. He has sensitive ears. It's the same with Omo, except he is already used to your shouting!", Padme says defensively and the blond one nods. ""Hussssss. It ssssstarting!", Tanikarataniki hisses and Mex dims the light while watching the intro.
Finally, the first dark scenes are on the screen showing a destructed city. A deep male voice starts to talk: "My home… or what is left of it. Horrible things have happened here. I…", when a bright fat lettering crosses the picture multiple times pointing out that there was a call to pick up. Even the clear beeping sound of the communication system overlaps the movie and Mex decides to accept the call as fast as possible using her programming skills. The last time someone was disturbing the group, it was Jalapadme's father, Salas, who's calling at least once a week, annoying everyone, to ask about the welfare of his daughter. Therefor the team is pretty surprised by the sight of the young dark-skinned face of Mooi Prenti, Teni Gendois secretary. "Good evening, team ILEU. I'm calling on behalf of mister Gendoi who wishes your immediate change of course to the IGU's mother ship.", she passes the info on. "On behalf of whom else would you be calling instead?", wants Omo to know and with this comment he manages to embarrass the black-haired woman. "You don't need to be that meticulously polite, Mooi! We know you too well for that.", Tiho declines the formality and pushes himself up into a kneeling position. "However.", Mira interferes the discussion, putting on her house shoes, who look like slippers and gets up. "Always being the dutiful one, Mira. We will see each other soon at Mr. Gendois place!", the secretary praises. "Sure thing, Mooi! See you soon!", everyone is saying their goodbye and the monitor goes black. "Great, you asked for it. That was a horribly fast end!", Ingon complains, causing Taniki to intervene: "She's only correcting our course. Afterwards we will still watch the movie. Everything needs its start. The rest will go on by itself. You'll see!" Everyone nods in agreement and waits for the pilot to go to the cockpit.
Despite the scrummage of Ingon the group is waiting for the moment of Mira's return, so they can start the movie all over again. They can feel the spaceship leaning to the side and picking up speed. It's a good thing that everything is screwed tight and that the crew is already used to it. But now it's time for an adventure, for the first real mission, as everyone hopes.
Part 2: Shadows of the past
The movie „Shadows of the past" is about a man who became a millionaire by doing drug deals. After achieving his goal, he stops the illegal business and changes it to a rightful one, but his past is always with haunting him. It proves impressively to the group, that no one can escape their past. All of the seven team members feel a bit contrite, but the good mood returns after Ingons words: "The film wasn't bad at all. I was ready for the worst!" „The story was horrible enough, don't you think? This guy was a criminal and nothing more!", reacts Padme immediately to it and climbs out of her especially-comfy seating position of the sofa. For that she needs to push herself over Omorfos feet who starts again to tickle her with his toes. This time she ignores it completely. "But it is quite realistic.", Mira comments, putting on her house shoes before adding: "We should be soon at the jump gate Get ready for it and take your seats in time. We are awaited directly at the other side of the gate." The rest is nodding, and she leaves the living room to go directly to the cockpit to get ready for the hyperjump.
After a short checkup of the radars and quite a while later Mira is trying to get in touch with the nearest space station in her direct environment over radio communication: "LM 510, ILEU, Mira ti Igberaga, asking for response!" And she is lucky because she immediately receives an answer. "Station Havugalagudu, Sergeant Rishad Mul ready for service!", it resounds out of her headset. "Requesting hyper-jump to sector Nekomis!", she transmits. "Confirmed. Opening jump-gate will be initiated. Reduce speed until further notice.", the sergeant answers. "Roger!", Mira says. Like at least trained for a hundred times Mira minimizes the flying-speed of the spaceship and rotates a regulator on her headset. With this she changes to the open channel of the ships own communication system to contact the other team members. Only after both her hands grip the controllers again, she passes on the information: "Hopefully you are already sitting because in a few moments we will start with the hyper-jump." "Understood! Mex confirms. The pilot switches back to the station's channel which is coming closer now.
The station coming closer can be compared visually with nuts on a screw. At the down end there is the cockpit with a good visible laser. This part of the ship can be undocked, if it is necessary. Behind the cockpit there is a long, wide piece with a blue glowing ring around it. On the backside, comparable with a gear wheel, there is a hangar where ships can start and land. The big ring starts spinning in this moment and produces a blue ray of light shining through space in shape of a cylinder. Right on to this light Mira is now steering the LM 510 and finally gets Sergeant Mul's approval: "Jump gate ready. Have a save trip!" "Roger and Thanks", she says in return and commences to accelerate the ship. Faster and faster the "Lovely Maja" hovers through the cosmos until she reaches her maximum speed. At this point she hits the cylinder of light which gains a solid consistency and skids the ship throughout a steep tunnel. The routinized pilot pulls up the nose of the spaceship to escape a catapult effect, gaining the necessary hyper speed and reaching the upper end of the tunnel. For a moment it gets completely dark until the end of the tunnel loses its consistency again and ends in another light cylinder. Finally, the LM 510 leaves the jump gate and a sparkling surrounding greets the newcomers.
„Mother Star, Chief Constable Manja Otentha to LM 510, ILEU, please land directly in port 3.", instructed a voice just a moment later. The group is already awaited and for there must be an urgent reason for this. Mira is sure about that, because normally she always is the first one to get in touch with the mother star to receive landing instructions. Now everything was already prepared for their arrival.
With this the change of channel is unnecessary because she only need to pass the information to the team. "Today it seems to be stricter than normally. Something is up. We should be ready to meet them before wo finished the docking-process. The IGU met us halfway to pick us up. We are already in visual contact.", she says before switching to speaker-mode for dress up in uniform herself.
The enormous sized spaceship of the IGU has the ground plan of a falcon in nosedive and is high enough to allow a more than easy landing. This happens on the abdominal side of the ship. Its back is equipped with mighty turbines for a fast traveling.
After parking the LM 510 in the hangar, the spruced up and uniformed Team of ILEU leave their ship in order to get welcomed from the big number of people waiting for them. In the background a cleaning crew is ready for duty and next to them there is a high stack of boxes, probably containing stocks of all kind. In the front stands the council member Mr. Gendoi with Mooi by his side. While the dark-skinned woman looks small and fragile, the man seems to be a tough and robust senior. Unfortunately, patience and the fine art of diplomacy were not given him by birth, and he is not caring for it anyway. He appears in black patent shoes, black suit, a dark blue tie highlighted by a white chemise, and tinted glasses. In the with-gloved hands rests a silver walking stick with elaborate engraving which he is thumping on the metal ground while complaining: "I thought that I need to wait the whole night for you. Now hurry up!" The unit for secure the intergalactically order saluts and follows the strict old man. Mooi smiles excusing and shrugs her shoulders with a tablet in her hands during moving herself to keep up with her boss walking through the hangar.
At the end of the airport there is a suspension railway. In front of the silver wagon there are ice blue glowing plates placed every few meters. These are used for mov-ing the train. Inside of the vehicle everything looks bigger then from outside. Even Mex and Taniki have enough space in it. Ingon is impressed enough to compliment it: "That's no train, that's a tank!" But all he hears from Mr. Gendoi was: "For such fat people like you there must be enough room. Be grateful, dwarf!" The beard-ed small man growls and wants his pay-back, but he is shut up by a shy smil-ing male cat by putting his paw over the mouth. "Of course, we are grateful for this luxury you are offering, sir!", Tiho tries to save this situation and seems to be successful because there is no reply.
In this very moment the doors are closing and the suspension railway starts to move, gaining speed every single second. Mooi, who was standing at the control panel, joins her boss again and stands there in silence. This hushed atmosphere is kept up during the hole way through the labyrinth of hallways of the "Mother Star" and is not even broken by the arrival at the meeting room close the command bridge. The only sound everyone can here is the whirring and beeping of cameras, the hissing of doors and gates and the monotone hum of the ventilation system.
Inside the now reached conference room you can see a long table using up the complete length of the room. The chairs are arranged for moving comfortably around it without even touching the metal wall. On the ceiling in front of the table there is a swiveling projector mounted and on the opposite wall, estimated 15 meter away, there are nine monitors, frame next to frame strung together forming a long and probably four meter high line. Above each monitor a camera is hanging and a speaker, split up into to rings.
Mr. Gendoi takes a seat in the middle of the table while Mooi is sitting at his left side. Mira, who is coming from the same planet as the continuously angry white-haired man, is wordless forced to sit with her compatriot and follows this solicitation also in silence. The rest is randomly spread around the free sides of the two women.
After everyone has taken his seat, the council member makes a shooing gesture, whereupon his dark-skinned assistant hurries to finaly starting her tablet. By doing so, the monitor in the middle gets activated and a blond woman with strictly pinned up hair, first wrinkles and the usual uniform appears. "General Chand, please forgive me letting you wait that long. The team was not able to move their butts faster to our place.", Mr. Gendoi says to the woman. He clearly shows her more respect than to the almost equal-ranked unit next to him.
It needs the addressed general a while to tautens the shoulders and to talk herself: "Good evening, even it is almost nighttime. Thank you for following my request this fast, Mr. Gendoi.", then she press some buttons on her console in front of her. At this point it is important to know, that the intergalactically union introduced additionally to the now shared language a unified clock time. Not everyone is fine with it, but it is helpful if you try to define a time for a meeting.
In this short break the old man is talking: "I still cannot understand why you are insisting on getting this group involved. You could also have sent for the hunting unit for take on the pirate-scum."
This brings the general to lift the gaze and to pull up the corner of her mouth. "That's because this mission needs more than just a hunting-unit. Miss ti Igberaga surely can confirm it."
Immediately everyone's gaze is now locked on Mira who is chewing tensed on her lip but manages to keep up a very straight face. "General, you are not talking about this pirate captain calling himself King of Rats, are you?", she chooses to speak before Mr. Gendoi can do so. For this, the man hit the table with his fist in anger. But the female agent does not care about it. She is too focused on her conversation partner, who is nodding. "Indeed. I'm talking about Captain Arratoi." "Pirates… Mira, when you messed up with pirates?", Omorfos wants to know now. "They are jointly responsible for me being here. But I will explain it later to you.", the dunyon woman declines, crossing her arms in front of her body. "I am conducting the conversation!", the member of the council barks in this moment and slams his fist again on the table. Currently everyone is silent again, the white-haired man clears his throat and continuous: "This smelling rats are still on the loose and the only reason we need this gypsy-clan is that one of those nasty females had a confrontation with them?" General Chand and Mira seem to be unimpressed by his choice of words, but it is Padme feeling a bit attacked by it. Mex is not getting the point and with this, she is not able to react as needed. But she is a robot, and this is a thing she is immune against.
"I would like to explain it to you if you please. The story behind my wish to put Miss ti Igberaga with the rest of the team on to this mission is her prior knowledge and an important move which made it possible for the IGU to go against these pirates at Dunyo at all." "What are you getting at?", demands Mr. Gendoi to know. "Meharos Magic and the Acquisition of one of the pirate's ships. For what reason I had sent you the Preliminary Report?" "I told Miss Prenti that I'm not interested in this frippery. I must obtain more important things than playing with some rats. You do all as you like but I will not accept any responsibility for it. But taking about that ship: I still can-not comprehend why there was no immediate action afterwards. Every single one of my requests and orders got rejected and at the top of it she was recruited after all and with-out my consent!" These words are guided by a murderous glare to his compatriot, who replies it immediately and with the same intensity before defending herself tiredly: "In fact I returned the ship to his owner." Her comrades' jaws drop, and everyone is making big eyes. Only Mex notices that Teni Gendoi has risen from his chair after his last sentence and was on his way to leave the meeting room.
Finally Omo can't hold it and laughs: "You, as a preacher of laws, has stolen a ship?" "I have taken it from the pirates for getting a civilian into safety… In my eyes every-thing was handles correctly.", she explains a bit frustrated about the dog-ear in her curriculum vitae, even it wasn't classified as such and turns again to the general on the monitor. She cannot hide her concern about Mr. Gendois reaction as she speaks: "I do hope there really will be no aftermath… I was assured that everything was just fine." "Don't you worry. I had taken care of everything. You were not chosen as a worthy candidate for nothing. But back to the topic. Meharos Story, the one you were on it's trails and is surprisingly true could be now a big threat for the intergalac-tically union." "So Captain Arratoi did it…?", Mira couldn't finish her question because of Ingon's shouting: "What's next you hide from us? You're the like this horrible guy in the movie!" "Don't be that missssstrussssssting jusssssst becaussssse ssss-someone issssss not telling you everything!", Taniki hisses afterwards and Mex comments: "The probability that each one of us has broken a law already is by 99,763 percent." "Would you please let these two finishing their talk? We can press her out after-wards!", Padme tries to calm everyone down. Tiho keeps his distance to the matter, is only listening and exchanging glances with Mooi who is still waiting for time to pass before following her boss. She is not interested in bothering him during his fury.
Somehow Mira makes it to lead her focus again to the general who was now explain-ing: "The stone plate has been stolen by the pirates according to the two ghosts on Jazirat Alkunz and we believe that this thieves will try to find more magic artefacts.. and that they will be able to find them for activating old spells. But Meharos Magic shall not be awakened again. It would be fatal if our experts are right with this." "And we will be able to hunt them down… how? We haven't any leads.", the dunyon woman tries to receive a clear answer. For her it was enough that her shadows of the past caught up to her and she was not pleased by adding an impossible mission to it. "That's not correct. We do have two members of the pirate gang caught while they were trying to steal back the spaceship you took from them. We would have pre-ferred a long prison sentence for them but because there is a much bigger problem with their gang, we had to decide against it. The deal the siblings were offering was too tempting to reject it.
Mira gained a gloomy look abruptly and General Chand takes the opportunity to reveal the true extent of this affair: "The department for safety together with the Intergalactically Union has decided to accept a game with double agents. In exchange for their help at the pirates-hunting every punishment for both will be suspended if they are willed to help and chalk up success. You and the rest oft the Intergalactic Law Enforcement Unit have to take care of the well-being and the safety of our informants. The rest of the mission includes the return of the stolen stone plate of Jazirat Alkunz and if possible, gather Meharo's relicts. Travel as fast as possible without turning the night away to the dunyon headquarter and take the pirate-siblings in your care. The Intergalactically Union relies on this taks force and is convinced that the ILEU will cope with ease. You, alltogether, are not classified at as elite without any reason. The last details you will receive in a completed report. Questions?" „Well, actually yes.", Omo announces but Taniki blocks again: „That'ssssss not a fitting topic right now!"
Mira shakes her head while the dunyon general makes a wide gesture: "If that's so, I wish you a pleasant night. We will see each other hopefully tomorrow or at least in two days." "Good Night, General." With this the call ends and Mooi switches of the monitor, reassuringly smiling. "I've read the complete report. You can do it, I am sure about it! But for now, I will take you to your quarters. You will sleep inside of the ‚Mother Star' of course and will eat breakfast with me also." "Thanks, Mooi! You are the good soul of your department.", purrs Tiho und smiles brightly. "Yeah, give a cheer for Mo!", Omo tunes in and Ingon's voice also sounds in blaring. Taniki rears a battle cry and Mex' avatar is happily laughing. Mira is the only one not in the mood for cheering because many memories are swirling in her head now and she is not sure how to handle these unpleasant trials in her life.
Mooi had as promised taken care of the Accommodation of the ILEU and had left them alone after saying good night. But after reaching the office of her boss, she was also sent to bed. That's the reason she's able to pick up the space-travelers in front of theire rooms soon enough to let nobody wait. Together they all go for a breakfast basically everybody enjoys. The exception is again Mira, obviously even more grumpy than the day before. "You are not able to forget about yesterday's meeting, mhm?", Tiho ask her, sitting by her side at the table and watching her poking spiritless around her breakfast porridge she normally likes pretty much.
"Yesterday? With my luck that will haunt me not only today and tomorrow, but the days after that day… weeks… maybe months. This little adventure on this damned vulcanoid island turned everything in my life upside down. But in this moment, I do not want to talk about it.", the dunyon woman grumbles and crosses her arms defensively. "You know Mr. Gendoi as a grouchy who loves the unluck of everybody else. Of course, he tried to step on your toes. But except that he is a good guy.", Mooi is still trying to straighten things but her efforts get turned down: "I actually do not care much about my direct and not unimportant contact not liking me. I'm just not in the mood for go-ing all over this pirate-crap again. "Oh, Mira… but as mentioned… I believe it was Taniki yesterday, … everyone of us has a corpse in his cellar, that's for sure.", Jalapadme jumps in. The lizard, starting to eat his third plate of sausages, hisses in confirmation. Ingon mutters something incomprehensible no one else than the nekomisian cat and the elf can understand. The feline predator even smiles at the comment and wants to spread his good mood: "The dwarf wants to apologize for his statement yesterday." He is a bit faster than the pin-ear who keeping his mouth opend up but closing it again. "That is not true!", the meant one snaps and animates Tiho to make a soothing gesture. He chuckles and says: "Okay, okay, sorry."
For a moment everyone looks at the male cat but a second later Omo gets an idea and asks: "Hey, if you do not like to chat about the pirates, why not telling us about Meharos Magic? I, as a magician myself, got curious!" „I would also like to record the story for my archives. Can I start already?", pleads Mex also for a little storytelling of her friend. "Alright. If you insist.", she agrees to it and starts with the tale:
"It was a long, long time ago on Jazirat Alkunz, an island on Dunyo, where jungle-people were living under the rule of King Meharo, who was quite unpopular. His own people hated his ways of ruling, but every riot was crushed, protests got ignored and nobody was able to do anything against Meharo's wheeling and dealing.
But two men, twins to be exact, both magicians, decided to plot against the king as in wanting to shrink his powers behind his back, giving the people around them more of their freedom. Those twins were called Asinatu and Insinatu, always together but very dif-ferent in many ways. But matched up together they were known for their tricks and sorceries on the hole island.
Meharo only knew them as masters of entertainment and never thought anything bad about them. So he accepted offer of their service to entertain him. 'I'm really bored, alright. Get me those 'Brother Sinatu'.", he demanded. His folk obeyed. Just a little while later the twins got their chance to prove themselves in the old temple, arriving dressed colorfully but traditionally at the throne room. Instead of pull of one of their ordinary shows they changed their style to the situation. Both were mocking highly respected dignitaries as intriguers, even copying them by using shape shifting. They joked around the stupid people in the village and a simple magi-cal trick was followed by the next, always with the same message. They really tried hard to tell King Meharo, that only them were able to understand his great and glori-ous powers.
The royal consultants tried to hint their king out, that he was dealing with charlatans but the joy of the ruler about the praising was to great. Angry about the criticism against the two entertaining wizards Meharo defrocked all his consultants and went along with the idea, that those magicians were enough for him as company. He really believed them to be the only persons understanding and honoring him. And it really happened: King Meharo announced Asinatu and Insinatu to be his left hand, wishing for their help by going through this hard time of unpleasant critics. The first goal was reached.", for a short moment, she pauses, then there was the continuation:
"After a few months, the joy of King Meharo remains unbroken. The two jugglers kept his mood up and he forgot to tyrannies his people. But that was not all. They even found out about their ruler being a magician on his own, using magic it against the folk. Not his power of authority made the inhabitants of the island living in fear, it was his witchcraft. With this they also knew that their magic was not of any sort of inter-est for the king. The only thing he wanted was the announcement of their loyalty. For the twins, the idea was fixed: Meharo was not allowed not keep his magical powers. They start-ed a new plan, preparing a new trick to free the people in their village once and for all.
They scratched a text in a stone plate, combining it with a special spell. As soon as the king would read the lines out aloud, every little bit of his magic should be split up and stored in his crown, this scepter, his ring, and his necklace.
The brothers hoped to persuade the ruler of Jazirat Alkunz, that this spell could be his key to make his people finally loved him as we always wished it to be and lucky them, the plan worked. Filled with pride and high expectations King Meharo organized a banquet where he read the text of his new consultants out loud but there was no effect at first. But after a moment, the ruler of the island started to get tired, his face got pale and scepter, ring, crown, and necklace started to glow red. The moment he fell unconsciously to the ground , the magicians jumped up, picked up the now magical items and the stone plate and rushed out of the king's palace. The four created artefacts were placed in equal counted boats, which were prepared in advance. Each of it was enchanted, traveling out the see and disappearing at the horizon in all directions. Proud of their success, the magicians watched the last boat floating down into the unknown. They saved their people.", the narrator makes a short break. Her listeners just nodded to her to make her continue, what she does:
"Well, unfortunately not everyone was fine with these events. The former consultants of the king and alliances of them used the show to win back their place at the side of their ruler and sent some tribal warriors to catch Asinatu and Insinatu and they succeed-ed. But at the execution date, opened with the legendary words: "Meharo's protection ends here. Every further step leads to your doom.", the brothers Sinatu were able to escape. During their run they divided the stone plate into halves and the siblings rushed away into different directions into the jungle, hoping to see each other again still being alive.
Insinatu was captured a few days later and finally executed. Traditionally he could choose this own way for dying by using the options given by the meanwhile recovered king. Those were: Being hunted down and being bitten to death by the hunting-dogs of Meharo or being left alone on the island of doom, which is only made out of grey stone, hours of canoeing away. Insinatu, who never planned to make the king happy, not even on his execution-day, decided to enchant himself. What really happened, no one can tell, but it is said, that he had chosen the name-less death. I believe it is just a phrase for suicide. HIs part of the stone plate was taken by the king himself and was stored in the holy temple.
Asinatu at the other hand was able to hide himself for many followed years, using hideouts and magic for staying alive. But even he could not keep it up forever and one day he broke down in a cave. Just a few days later his dead body was found, and the second part of the stone plate was reunited with the first one. The artefacts of King Meharo, sent away by his left hands, never found the way back to the people of the jungle. Many of the folks called the brothers Sinatu heroes, for the others they were just another prove for lies and deceit never be able to win."
"Wow, and now somebody tells me again that only our last watched movie went deep. The real life offers enough of crazy stuff.", Omo could not stop himself and his choice of words. Padme also has something to say, or more to ask: "And this story really is true?" Mira nods conformingly. „That meanssssss we are now hunting down your…", Taniki emphasizes the word 'your', "Ssssssadowssss of the passsst." "Yeah, right. Just harp on it a bit more.", Mira growls losing again the will for taking about the unloved topic. "I don't think that you made a mistake in you line of actions. I read the report, you remember. So, keep up the good spirits. But you should go now, if you do not want to let General Chand wait longer den necessary.", is it Mooi stopping the discussion. Reluctantly everyone accepts her pushing and hurry to return to the ship.
Part 3: Rats, mice, and crocodiles
The voyage of the ILEU to the dunyon sector begins throughout the same jump-gate they had arrived in the sector of Nekomis. The procedure is the same as on the day before except the destination is a different area of the star chart of Alwatan. This time though they have to park the LM 510 and leave it behind because the ship is too oversized for the allowance to enter the orbit of Dunyo.
The teams transfers to their smaller travel-ship, the Altairan Rajul T4, taking all their necessary luggage with them. The huge residential ship is docked onto the bridge of the dunyon space station and will stay there until the return of its owners.
It takes two hours from the space station to the orbit where they steadily glide along before entering the stratosphere. During the whole flight Mira has not left the cockpit and was still piloting it while thinking about the report of the female general.
Another hour has passed when Mira commences the descent, diving into the atmos-phere where the pressure is rising with every second. The ship made for that sort of entrances stays stable and does not overheat despite excessive temperatures hitting it from the outside. By being able to use enough power to push through the natural shield of the planet the ship continues its decent and finally reaches the airspace. By now, the ship is bound to gravity, but the intelligent machinery makes is possible to resume the journey like a normal airplane.
Ventilators are opening, sending fresh air into the spaceship and refilling the tanks. The lower the ship sinks, the clearer the silhouettes get and finally it is said for sure: They are now right over an ocean. The eyes of the team-members dart out of the windows for watching the landscaping passing by while landing. Mira keeps up her concentration and establishes contact with the ground crew down at the dunyon headquarters of the IGU for receiving landing instructions.
Some moments later the airstrip gets in view of the headquarter, positioned directly in the middle of the sea. Softly and with skill Mira touches down the ship on the runway and throttles the speed without haste. At the end of the track she can see an enormous dome made of armored glass. Many systematically planted light-emitting diodes are blinking red, greeting the newcomers.
Directly in front of the nose of the aircraft but behind the dome wall two guards are posted. A bit behind them a hut made of metal and concrete can be found, probably a commanding console and guards-house.
Shortly before the ship can smash into the dome, sliding glass doors open, losing steam around their frame, lulling the flying machine in. The moment the wings of it reaches the door, it is open far enough to pass without a scratch. Out of the front window of the cockpit the pilot can see the wide area between the airport and the rest of the building belonging to the IGU. Two Marshalls are waiting there in a mini pickup. One is driving, the other one is standing on the load platform, sending instructions via light panels.
With their help Mira finds the parking lot reserved for the ship of the ILEU which she switches of properly. After shutting of the machinery, she stands up and leaves the cabin. Outside the door she flips a big red switch for the release of the safety door and calls out: "Everyone, you can get off the ship."
The moment everyone has left the aircraft Mira is already talking to three of their colleagues. There is one woman and two men and in the background the ground crew is unloading the luggage. "Is everyone out now?", she asks. After a short nod of her teammates she continues: "That is Captain Rautt Skegg…" The dunyon woman points at the light-skinned blonde man who is wearing a captain's cap and afterwards at the other two comrades: "… Laiminga Siela and Cepat Jaruterban."
Laiminga is clearly a mediterranean woman and seems to enjoy it to rub her roundly very big breast almost practically under the nose of Omo, who can't stop staring at them. The elf is suddenly hit surprisingly hard by Jalapadmes elbow and turns around to meet her angry glare. Laimingas fellow native who has understood the situation cannot stop himself from laughing: "You can't resist her, never." "A dashing woman, really!", a voice is heard from down below and everyone catches a glimpse at the dwarf who is standing in front of the pretty woman, examining her breasts himself within fascination. "Darn it! Stop that nonsense!", Mira criticizes her teammates, ashamed of their immature behavior. Tiho, who doesn't seem to be con-cerned about the perilous overtone of hers, purrs: "Oh, just let them have their fun!" With this, he is able to calm the cyborg down for a bit. By now the rest of the ILEU is reacting to the three strangers… except Mex. She's the one wanting to know: "Could you please tell me, what's up?" "Mexsssssss! Sssssstop the sssssstupid questions ssssss. You won't undersssssstand it for ssssssure!", it is Taniki, who also has no interest in listening to this sort of chatter. He acted faster than Mira, who was already on the brink to snap but swallowed her own words fast. Instead of an outburst she sighs: "Can we keep moving?" Lucky for her she regains their attention and all to-gether the group is leaving the airport for getting to the scheduled meeting. The cy-borg goes ahead having Captain Rautt by her side. Tiho is the last one of the team ILEU and overhears a conversation he is not supposed to listen at: "If I wouldn't know Mira, I would have to doubt all of them. " "I doubt them anyway." It is Laiminga talking to Cepat for exchanging their opinion and the silent paw is questioning himself, if his own comrade would agree to their mindset. He decides to ask Mira in a matter of time to avoid any frictions before they can come up. For him it seems that almost no one is believing in team ILEU even they have had no chance to prove itself by now. He really is hoping that thinks will change soon.
Starting from the airport they all need almost up to half an hour to arrive at a big con-ference room where they are seated at a round table. A maybe two-meter-wide opening gives the head of the conference the possibility two position himself in the center of the circle. From this point, he can turn to everyone quite comfortably. In this case, the He is General Chand, who is standing in this center and commence speaking. She finishes her greetings and, without further delay, gets to her point:
"Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, I assume you all know by now about the precise rea-son, why you all were called to this meeting." Omo is raising his hand but is reminded by Mira, that they are using a button on the desk to make himself noticeable. Embar-rassed for a second, he scratches the back of his head, grins widely and press' the little button in front of him, that sends out a "ding"-sound, accompanied with a faint violet light.
"Yes, Mr. Silver Arrow?", the older blonde Woman in the middle of the round turns herself to him. "I just don't understand why we had to show up at the Mother Star before we were allowed to come here.", he remarks while deactivating the light on the desk with another pressing. The answer: "We allways have to inform the concerned council members first to gather an authorization for the chosen teams. In your case Mr. Gendoi was against the involvement of the intergalactic law enforcement unit. So, I had to put us all together in a pre-scheduled meeting. We are lucky that we were able to finally receive the authorization to instruct you with this upcoming mission.", no one likes and Ingon grumbles: "Bureaucracy." After that everyone fall silent.
"Well, let's continue.", states the female general and walks around the inner circle of the table while resuming: "Captain Arratoi has been a thorn in our sides for years. Every time we were so close to finally catch him, he managed to disappear in the vastness of space and was not seen or heard for la long time. While hunting him, we discovered, that his pirate gang became a very big criminal organization, already working at intergalactic level. And this pack has clearly gone one step too far."
For a moment, no one says a word but then, Captain Rautt press' the button in front of him, getting the attention of General Chand. "What was the difference in the first maneuver of those pirates, which was foiled by Miss Ti Igberaga and the now suc-cessful one? Except her presence I mean." „Dark magic.", was the answer.
Judging the facial expression, the captain is quietly irritated, and it is Omo, who of-fers an explanation: "Dark magic is rare and really dangerous. The witchcraft of those who use it originates from negative emotions and is far powerful and uncontrol-lable than the light magic, based on positive emotions. According to this there must be someone conspicuous known by the Magic Inspection." "Unfortunately, not.", re-ports General Chand, picking up a tablet from the left rim of the table-opening. She wipes around it a view times and informs: "That's from a written statemen of the Magic Inspection… Despite multiple examinations the traces of this dark magic couldn't be assigned to any known magician. By using a description of witnesses a manhunt was started but ended up unproductive… and so on."
General Chand again puts away the tablet and checks the emotional situation of her round table. Since there are no open questions, she starts again: "Despite everything we do have a glimmer of hope. As you have been informed, two of those pirates under the wings of Captain Arratoi were captured. They are twins and they are willed to work with us against their own gang." With a bang, Ingons fist hits the button on his table and he growls: "They will play stupid and double-cross us! If the head of this pack is called the Rat-King then nothing good will come from his followers. That's my opinion and it didn't change since the first time, this topic came up." Everyone is looking at the dwarf, anger written in their faces and almost no one seems to under-stand his outburst. So, the female General sighs: "I do understand this point of view, but the Intergalactically Union is already believing that only a small part of the information will be correct, given by the word of a pirate. Our target is to gain the pirates trust and pull them over to our side." "That's crazy.", the little man sticks with his last statement. "The mission was point-blank and the IGU is not accepting objections…" And with that, everyone, and this time really without any exception, state clearly that they are against the idea of this mission and that they will not cooperate. Especially the team of ILEU knows about their right to simply veto against every single decision not given directly by the council and their ability to force reconsideration of the request. The council itself must go over those plans again now.
The General looks beaten and groans: "With this, this meeting is pointless. You can leave now. I will take another way to get my support." These words only lead to discussions during dissolution. Everyone want's to get rid of his thoughts without getting protocolled so nothing can come back to them. The satisfaction about the dropping of this unpleasant topic is significant.
Mira, who wants to leave the room with the rest of the group, is called back before she could step out of the door: "Miss ti Igberaga. I would ask you the stay a bit long-er for a personal word with me." That's enough to make her stay and waiting for the moment, the last participant of the meeting left the room. Then she closes the door and rejoin General Chand.
The moment she is unwatched by the outside world of officiality, the facial expres-sion of the blond and normally strict woman became soft and she changes her tone: "Mira, I know that this all sounds like the biggest mistake on Dunyo… To trust two pirates who helped to provoke this whole mess… But my instincts are telling me, that these two crewmembers of Captain Arratoi are truly willed to work for getting back their freedom. So I ask you again, this time as a friend: Do me the favor I did for you. I've put a lot of effort into keeping your name clean and I hope that you will do the same for me now." "Oh, Nivida… I was sure about you using this as your trump card. And you know that I will now turn you down. But I must confirm Ingons statement. It is crazy after all." "Come on! Your method you used on the island was no way more conventional then mine now… Oh and in addition, one of the pirates was exceptionally interested in meeting the 'thieve' who stole his aircraft, which was stolen and modified by himself before. Maybe you can elicit something." With this, Mira finally gives up any discussion: "Okay, okay… I'll do it and whether my team-mates like it or not, I'll dragging them all into this. But I want to meet those pirates before you push me into even more trouble." "I knew I could count on you!", Nivida Chand is truly delighted and wants to introduce her friend to her new allies needing her support.
In a small chamber, guarded by four members of the IGU, onto two rather uncomfortable chairs there are the Pirate-Twins sitting. They have not the same sex but are certainly look-alikes of each other. They have the same brown frizzy curled hair and the tallness of two meters. Cora and Aaron belong to the crew of Captain Arratoi since their birth and play their parts for the self-pronounced Pirate-King and his named Rat-Folk. The nickname rat is an important compliment inside of the organization und both used to be called like this for 28 years.
Cora, bored but stretched out completely lays her legs on the table while sitting on the chair while asking: "Can I at least have a cigarette? The waiting is making me sick!". Annoyed she drives through her wild hair which is held together by a red and white curlicued and scrolled up hairband.
Her twin conversely wears his hair cut short in the neck, his curls are jumping away in every direction possible and runs up and down not having any use for the energy he has left in his muscles. From time to time he scratches his practically hairless chin with one hand and press the other into his hip. While doing so, his fingers brush over his purple coat, made of synthetics. A soft sparkle elopes from the fabric and offers a hint of magic. Truly it is a magical clothing item, keeping his wearer during every weather and in every life situation comfortably warm, even if this means cooling him down for the effect. It is his first achievement in his pirate-life, stolen by only himself.
Aarons sister is dressed more lightly. Her thin and tight blouse covers barely her breast, leaving the rest of her upper body in the open air. Her red-brown leather trouser on the other hand is more robust and leads to knee-high brown boots with a flat and low heel. Her question stays unanswered and it seems that she is just ignored. "Hello?! I asked you guys something! If you are keeping us here, you surely can manage to keep us busy!", she grumbles. But this grumble is going on the nerves of her brother who is snarling: "Now you can finally quit this fucking smoking!" "Not on my list and it is none of your damn business. You're to blame that we are here now." "It isn't my fault that a stray robot creature got enough brashness to hi-jack my ship just like it is nothing! That is my fucking job!" "Which you failed horribly!"
The bickering is continuing until the door is opened and two women walk in. One of them is General Chand, who already had several talks with the twins. The other one can be identified as the person who has stolen the ship and who has destroyed the good reputation amongst their fellow pirates.
"Oh, that was one of the crocodiles, I see!", says the brown-haired female is not sur-prised. Aaron is more puzzled than her. The person of his memory was looking more robotic than the woman now before him. She is too much human for being a robot. "Android?", he wants to know. "Do not insult her.", the General remarks and walks togeth-er with Mira to the table. Standing on the opposite side of the piece of furniture, she continues: "She is your ticket to freedom… If you really plan to seriously cooperate." „Hah! Whoever believes that!", Cora spits out, pulls her feet down from the table and leans across the writing surface, "But it was my suggestions after all, so I can only blame myself for having to live with a crocodile now. I hope it is toothless." "I'm nei-ther a toothless crocodile nor a android and I swear to both of you. If I go along with this and you too are nothing more than trouble for me and my teammates, I will drop you in a rescue capsule somewhere in the wide space.", Mira hisses back. She has not planned to accept any sort of stultification. But she has also not planned to need another fifteen minutes struggling with the annoying pirates.
"So, we ship rats are supposed to play little mice for you crocodiles and you make sure that we are not dying from boredom?", Cora ask after this quarter of hour, standing tall in front of Mira, looking down at her, hand pushed into her hips. The member of the ILEU folds her arms and looks up to the nearly 30-centimeter taller woman with the gaze not really beaming with joy. "How often do you need to hear it? Yes! In addition, we will make sure that you dear captain is not ripping of your head in case he finds out about you passing down information to us. Do we finally agree?" „Do we get a plasma-television?", is everything Aaron has left to ask. This guy was not willed to get up and is still sitting on the chair. "For all I care…", mutters Mira, eye-rolling. After hearing this, he finally stands up and calls for a handshake: "That's the way doing business, Miss Croc!" "Just explain, why I'm always compared to that good for nothing crocodile.", the agent insists.
"That's an ordinary term for us. Take it as it is: We are the rats and we play harmless mice for you. You are the crocodiles who wants us to eat. Got it?" Another eye-roll is performed by Mira then she quickly shrugs it off, shaking her head and finish her un-nerved reaction with a confirming gesture. This signs Aaron interprets as an explicit conformation and calls out: "Great!" He makes a handshake with her but uses the time for another question: "And I really can watch every channel I want?" "Ahhhr-gggh! Yes!" The General, standing now in in the background tries hart not to laugh and excels in it. She doesn't want to push her friend too far to the limits because she was not interested in a draw back of her.
"You did what?", Ingon cries out in disbelieve throughout the whole community area while sitting at the table eating. "Getting myself talked into it, okay? If I am in your depts you will ask me one day for a payback, won't you, dwarf?", Mira tries to explain herself even though she is annoyed and tired because of this drama. "We are getting the chance to prove ourselves. So I think we should just accept it.", Tiho interposes softly, taking sides with Mira. This was a chance he waited for. He wants to win her sympathy before he plans to ask her his special query. Omo, who had pushed his index fingers into his ears to avoid tympanic injuries through Ingon bato Uta's shouts pulls them out again slowly for being able to listen to the others. Then he wants to now: "Are they cool?" "If you mean tediously, like you can be it yourself with your sometimes provokingly unworried acting than yes. In this case they are really cool.", the dunyon woman remarks casually, leaning back.
She loses her appetite. Padme pushes her plate closer to her and says: "Don't fret. Okay, it is now something personal. But think, you can move into my room. It will be fun. We will get to more beds and everything will be fine." "I will have a sssssarp eye on them. Are there any ssssstarting pointssss for thissss misssssion?" "Yes, but we will talk about it on the ship.", persists Mira on that topic being unsuited for a table talk. "I'll take care of the surveillance if Taniki gets sick of the goat… Is it said like this?", Mex announces and Padme nods in confirmation. "And where are the two pirates now?", the cat wants to know, putting a smile in his face. "At the moment they are ordering their basic equipment. We can't take them with us without luggage. Ex-cept someone wants to share his toothbrush or pajamas with his two-meter-human-giants.", Mira comments, picking up her cutlery again. "Two giants? Do you have to offend me as a dwarf? You're quite a woman.", Ingon grouches for the uncounted time. "If you can't beef, you can't be happy it sssssseemssss.", hisses the lizard in an angry tone. "I'm just not happy about taking those rats on board with us.", the short-legged and bearded man snorts back. "You didn't have to say that.", mumbles Padme in agreement with Omo, who nods.
Mex pushes herself in the front, pouncing up and down on her two feet, jumping around: "I got word that the beds are arriving and the television is too! I will open the luggage-door of the ship for them. Are there more Furnishing requests?" "Don't you dare making it too comfy for them!", Ingon demands for emphasize his opinion for the umpteen time. Mira was exhaling: "Do what you have to do." With this, Mex nods and her avatar does it too. Next moment she was running away with staggering steps.
Directly after the meal the rest of the team walks back to the ship where the cargo consisting of two beds, the television, and a stack of boxes for Cora and Aaron is already delivered. Before entering the ship, everyone builds up arms and prepares himself for the upcoming event of the departure. Taniki strongly believe that the two pirates will try to steal the Altarian Rajul T4 for making an escape. But this accusation starts another discussion which is a reason for Mira to draw back from the loading space to the inner ship of the 'Lovely Maja' to get the reserve bench ready for the two now fellow travelers. Her enthusiasm is still lacking but she remembered herself that she accepted Nividas request and with that there is no return to an argument.
The moment she made the bench ready for use, the debate outside becomes louder and louder. But the dunyon woman is keeping herself away of it even though every singles word reaches her ears right through the open door. She tries to find another opportunity to keep herself busy and finally runs into Tiho, whom she didn't hear coming. "I hate this sneaking up on me!", she barks. The cat makes an apologetic gesture and reminds: "I'm not called 'Silent Paw' for nothing." "Yeah, yeah… right… what's up? You are looking expectant." "Well there is something I want to know from you. It's a matter of…", he cannot finish his sentence because Omo calls: "Mira, your house guests have arrived!" Thereupon the called person is making a sound of des-peration, and demands briskly: "Ask me later again, whatever it is." As she passes him, she sees his disappointed glance in his eyes and stops again. "I'm sorry… it is not your fault… but please, do really ask me later, okay?", she pulls herself together which the cat takes very well and makes him smile again and nodding. Only then Mira indeed leaves the ship to greet Aaron and Cora.
Twenty minutes later the complete team of ILEU is ready and armed inside of the Lovely Maja. Mex is also with Mira in the cockpit what is a rare sight. The space in the passenger's area is needed by Taniki and his electro-modified combat staff, by Omorfos and his magician staff and by Ingon with an hand-canon in an impressive but daunting style. Tiho finds no need to keep a weapon in sight and is sitting relaxed on this seat. Padme only has a small pistol for self-defence with her. She is the only member who had to learn to handle a weapon after she joined the team and really hopes that she will never needs using it.
Cora and Aaron are sitting on the long side of the passageway where every move-ment is seen by the others. The brown-haired female giant chews a chewing gum in sheer boredom while her twin examines his new traveling companions. "Can I touch that?", he asks Tanikarataniki, sitting directly across him, and points at his fighting staff. "How ssssstupid do you think I am?", asks the lizard back, pulling staff and tail automatically closer to himself. "Boring croc.", the pirate now informant for the ILEU growls and leans forward, the arms resting on his thighbones.
Through the communication system Mira can be heard: "Everything ready?" "Yes!", confirms Omo, buckled up like everyone else. "I would prefer flying by myself.", Aaron re-marks which is rejected by everyone with an unanimously shout of: "No!" "This time you accepted the conditions. Not me.", his sisters remind him, leaning over to him. This second the ship starts to move and rolls throughout the doors of the dome to the assigned runway strip.
Some moments later the aircraft is gaining speed and soon takes off directed to the space station where the LLM 510 is parked. Doubtful Mira looks at the monitors allowing her to gain an overview of the passenger's area and sighs. "My analysis has resulted in confirming your decision as the right one.", the robot explains, sitting on the seat of the Co-Pilot and using up all the remaining space. "I certainly hope so.", remarks the dunyon woman and hushes up as Mex starts to flood her with numbers, facts, and statistics. Her only thought to that is: "This is gonna be a long, hard time..." Rats, mice, crocodiles. Every single word used on one day is more than she can take. She feels like a tamer in a circus and wishes for nothing more than the mission may not end in an absolute disaster.