That meeting dragged on like nothing else.
The next meeting wasn't any better. No Jin'thun. No word of whether they had rallied support or the Gorderians had gone to the Tulgucks aid.
It was like this for a dozen cycles.
During this time, the humans were already making immense progress with their colonization of Mars. The colony ships from both China and the United States had arrived safe and sound and had quickly begun the process of creating life-support habitats for the colonists. Once they finished their construction, the humans immediately sank their time into agricultural and scientific endeavors.
One thing that struck the council as odd was the fact that the humans from the two ships remained separated and seemed to make no attempt to actively interact with each other. Despite their only difference being geographical location on Earth, their groups remained separated aside for occasionally checking that the other was alive and well.
Darrian thought he'd never understand how humans disregarded their own species so much.
The humans' presence on Mars created a number of unique problems for the analytics team as well. Unlike on Earth with it's rather massive population, a lone individual or group of individuals stuck out compared to the general populace of Mars. It wasn't a matter of simply slapping on a holographic imager and walking into the crowd. Every human knew every other human and they couldn't simply walk into a mess hall as an unknown.
But Harris's team was talented.
Utilizing a combination of technological infiltration and carefully hidden listening and viewing devices, a small group of the analytics team was able to monitor the humans as they progressed into their colonization. It proved challenging keeping their craft hidden, sometimes in orbit and sometimes on the surface, and it was not nearly as informative but they made it work.
"I just don't get why they don't really interact with each other." grumbled Ugul.
"Hmm. Do you think it could be the whole 'language barrier' thing that Harris had mentioned before?" said Cagool snidely.
Darrian couldn't help but feel that the Yool had become absolutely insufferable as of late. While he had actively denied any interaction or affiliation with the Tulgucks or Gorderians, his mood swing seemed too conveniently timed. Ever since Jin'thun's disappearance, he couldn't seem to keep his condescension to himself. Maybe he just liked being the contrarian.
"Many of the colonists speak each others regional linguistics, Cagool." groaned A'alan't 32.
"Well, maybe this is a new batch. Who knows? With how short lived they are, maybe they had to reproduce on the ship before the original batch died of old age. Did we think to check?"
"Would you just shut up?" snapped Ferris in an unusually bad mood.
Maybe he was just used to being the sarcastic one or maybe Cagool was just getting under his skin. Either way, Ferris had more venom then normal.
"I feel like you haven't had anything useful to add to these meetings in a while." Ferris added quickly.
"What's there to add?" asked Cagool. "We're basically just watching a virus grow in a petri dish while we wait for the doctor to come and destroy it."
"Cagool." warned the old judge.
"What?" he said as he looked around the table. "You might not like it, but facts are facts. The Tulgucks are on their way right now to wipe them off the map."
The old judge glowered at him and a few of the other councilors looked uncomfortable.
"Even if the Gorderians decide to try and stop them, which they probably won't, the Tulgucks have good headway. I'd give it another few cycles before for the first warships show up and then we can start doing something better with our time."
"Cagool. Are you suggesting that this is a waste of time and that we should be supporting the Tulgucks in their vicious slaughter of a young species?" demanded the old judge.
"Hey. I didn't say it. You did."
Darrian could feel his throat tightening and was about to say something when the light on the holographic imager started flashing.
The old judge reached down and hit a button on his datapad and Harris, not in his human disguise but instead his proper Merrenian form, appeared above the table.
"Harris?" asked the old judge. "Is something wrong? You have this labeled as a priority one message."
"I bet the warships just showed up." muttered Cagool quietly.
"Would you just..." growled Ferris.
"Shut it!" snapped the old judge. "Harris?"
Harris adjusted himself and cleared his throat.
"Yes. Well... I'm not sure how to put this. As you are aware, the humans begin their scientific research on the surface of Mars. Some of that research includes extensive digging. Archaeologic searches and the like..." his tone was hollow and he looked nervous.
The room fell quiet. Even Cagool didn't have something snide to add.
"What did they find, Captain?" asked the old judge with hesitation in his voice.
Harris seemed to look around the room as if he was considering what or how to say whatever it was needed saying. After a moment, he sighed heavily and looked back to the old judge with a stern expression.
"The humans have found a Guillae, sir."
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