Despite the aggression that was briefly displayed that evening in the Consortium, the Tulgucks and Gorderians did honor the decision of the council. Actions were quickly arranged to set up a full time analytics team that could both monitor the state of the planet as well as study the population of AV32784 further. There was a bit of scrambling to figure out a system of semi-permanent air purifiers to deal with the oxygen atmosphere, but all in all, things were set up without a hitch.
The first forty solar cycles after the analytics team arrived were relatively unexciting. Aside from facts and complaints about the flora and fauna on the planet, the council was provided little more than a few interesting tidbits of astronomical data.
It would seem that the planet was known as "Earth" or "Terra" depending on what the analytics team found. Likewise, the planet's solar cycles were known as "days" as were their solar rotations known as "years". Both were drastically shorter than Merrinians'. Initial guesses were that the planet ran something in the range of one hundred times faster than their own.
Darrian figured it would be the last he'd be hearing from that hellish wasteland for a while.
He was wrong.
It was on cycle Forty One after the analytics team arrival when the first priority message was delivered to the council chambers.
With a heavy sigh, Darrian made his way out of his office and back down the hall towards the meeting room. Ferris and Cherryl were already waiting in front of the door, rapidly talking with each other.
Ferris, who had not been present at the Consortium meeting, had been brought into the fold to assist Darrian with the council details. Cherryl, on the other hand, was the ambassador for the Celestial Commissionary in that sector and was the main liaison between the analytics team and Merrinian.
"Dare I ask?" Darrian questioned Cherryl as he approached.
"Don't bother. She won't tell us anything before the meeting." Ferris grumbled and gave Cherryl a nasty look.
"I-I can't." She stammered in her normal soft tone. "You'll know soon enough though."
Darrian motioned towards the door and they both filed into the meeting room. He followed quickly after them and the three of them settled into their spots around the table. The old judge was already at the front of the room and a number of others had already taken their places. The council was primarily Merrinian with a handful of alternate species from the Consortium on hand to represent their individual interests.
Once everyone was at the table, the door sealed with a soft hiss and the old judge spoke up.
"Alright everyone. As you were aware, the analytics team that we recently stationed at AV32784 was sent there with specific instructions to monitor the population for any changes that might effect the global community."
"When last we discussed this planet, the "human" population had demonstrated a capability for space travel, but had only shown an interest in a few lunar excursions and utilizing orbital technologies. That has changed."
"Changed?" asked Juag-e, the lone Tulguck emissary. "That quickly? We only just got there."
"Correct." agreed the judge with a nod. "Just like everything else on this planet, it seems that minds change quickly as well."
The judge reached down and clicked a few buttons on his datapad. The room darkened and the holographic imager lit up to reveal the soft featured face of a human. For a minute, Darrian wondered if somehow a human had somehow discovered the analytics team and sent the message, but his fears were abated when Harris's snarky voice came out of the creature. However, there was no sarcasm or attitude in his voice this time.
"The humans have initiated a program to reach and colonize their closest planet. Much like their 'race to the moon', the species has begun a seeming competition to send colonists to the fourth planet in their solar system. It would seem that dissatisfaction at one of the current organizations "NASA" has instigated a sudden boom of interest by a secondary organization to try and accomplish this task. While their technologies are still very limited, further initiatives may allow for or prompt research into deep space travel. The first ships are said to leave within three to six cycles. Please advise. Over."
The imager went black once again and everyone sat in silence for a minute. Finally, it was Ferris who broke the quiet.
"Sound like we sent a team at just the right time."
"Yes." agreed the judge with a nod. "It would seem so."
"Did they really say three to six cycles? Do we even have time to respond?" asked Ugul, the massive Jigger who sat at the end of the table.
"N-not really." said Cherryl with a shake of her head.
"Do we have any data on the planet they're trying to colonize?" asked Illiquina, the Cadrax of the group.
"Quite a bit actually." responded Cherryl quickly. "It's a deserted planet and hasn't had life for quite sometime. It was originally home to the Guillae but according to Harris's reports, the humans like to refer to it as 'Mars'."
Start at the Beginning
(Hello Lovelies. So, you may have noticed that we have yet more Xenophobia! While, I know that it's October and I had talked about started Spookytober, I want to keep the ball rolling for as long as I can. Xenophobia continues to be very well received and, unlike some projects, it's flowing smoothly without trouble. I want to keep producing as long as I can and, should my attention drop off a bit, then I will switch over to Spookytober. I hope you enjoyed and check back again for the next Chapter! Ta!)