Star Guardian
Chapter 11: Ori High Command

Copyright© 2018 by Duncan7

About 4 hours later, we received a hail from the Ori patrol vessel. As before, Koluna and I responded to the hail. The screen showed commander Quon.

“Koluna, Brian, I have an update for you and those aboard your vessel. An escort will arrive soon to ensure safe passage to your destination. Once they arrive, you will be directed to follow them. I wish you a safe journey throughout your visit to the Ori Confederation.” The screen went blank, not even giving us a chance to acknowledge him.

A few minutes later, three Ori military vessels arrived and took positions around Ship. The patrol vessel moved away, no doubt to resume its patrol activity in this area. The lead vessel gave us directions, and we let Ship take care of traveling in formation with the Ori military vessels.

A few hours later, we arrived at the star system Ori Major. We proceeded as directed to the third planet around the star, and into a stationary orbit above the planet. The three Ori military vessels remained in formation. Soon after we received a hail.

“Foreign vessel, we will send over a shuttle to dock with you for transport to Ori High Command. Those of your delegation, who are coming to the surface, please be ready in a few minutes. To the rest of your crew, we ask you to maintain your position here until further notice.” Said the commander of the lead vessel.

“Commander,” I said. “In our hold we have the Ori escape pod from the freighter Opolu Naa. We should like this to be taken as material evidence. The rest of the evidence, I can have transmitted to wherever you direct.”

“I will arrange for transport of the escape pod, and I am transmitting details on where to download the data now.” Said the commander.

“Thank you. There will be two in our delegation.” I said. The screen went blank.

“Ship, you can take care of the escape pod and the data download?” I asked.

“Confirmed. The download will begin once you leave. Their shuttle is on the way now.” Said Ship.

We had a brief hug and then Koluna and I proceeded to the airlock. Jem remained aboard as planned.

As we went through our and their airlocks, military personnel greeted us. They were armed although their weapons were not drawn. We were unarmed of course. They scanned us for weapons and scanned our ID chips to re-verify our identity. So far, they were polite and professional about the process. We were asked to take a seat for the journey down.

The spaceport reminded me somewhat of Central Spaceport back home on Tian Prime. We were escorted politely to a ground transport, which took us to Ori High Command offices. Then things kind of went sideways a little.

Koluna and I were separated. I was taken into what reminded me of the interview room back home on Tian Prime. I was left to wait there for some time. There was no food dispenser or washroom in the room. I figured I was being watched, so I became Tian again. That is, I sat quietly, and kept my thoughts and emotions to myself.

Eventually a tall Ori male entered the room and sat facing me. I looked at him, all cool and calm. If they wanted to rattle me, they would have to try harder.

“Bri-an, I am here to determine the veracity of your story.”

“Is this how you welcome your citizens?” I asked calmly. I could win a staring contest with any Ori.

“Yes, your credentials are interesting. We have sent a message to the Ori ambassador at Tian Prime, for confirmation of your status. Bear in mind, it will take a while to get a response. Meanwhile, you will be our guest, until we work things out.” He said. I think he was trying to intimidate me.

“I assume you have the data download and the escape pod? Perhaps you should study them before you proceed with interviewing me.” I said helpfully.

“In due time.” He said. Of course he would decline my suggestion. “How about you tell me your story? I can compare it with the testimony of your crewmate, and then I can compare it with the evidence you have provided.”

I decided the quickest way through this was to give him what he wanted.

“Of course. I joined the Opolu Naa at Tian Prime, reporting to captain Jegho. Our last stop prior to being attacked was a place known as the Trading Post. A few days after that, we were attacked by pirates. In the confusion, I grabbed Koluna, and we both hid in an escape pod. By some miracle, we were ejected and not killed in the explosion. Are you recording this?”

“Naturally. Your Ori is very good.” He said.

“I studied foreign languages at Tian Prime. My Ori crewmates also helped me.”

“Please continue Bri-an.”

“Koluna and I drifted along in the escape pod. I activated the emergency distress beacon after about two days, to give the pirates time to vacate the area. Several days later, the Baglogi vessel rescued us. We were invited to join their crew, and since we owed them what you would call a life-debt, we accepted.” I said.

“You know about that custom? Interesting. Please continue.”

“After swearing in as crew, our first mission was to hunt down the pirates. We backtracked to the final location of the Opolu Naa, and then tracked down their ion trails back to a star system. We deployed a cloaked probe into the system to confirm the location of the pirates.”

“A cloaked probe? So you possess stealth technology?”

“The Baglogi do. I merely serve aboard as crew. If the Ori Confederation is interested in trade for any Baglogi technology, I suggest you defer that until a later date once a formal alliance is established.” I said.

“Naturally. Please continue.”

“The pirate base was on the surface of a moon orbiting the second planet in the system. There were at least eight pirate vessels identified. The probe intel will be in the data download.”

“And how did you eliminate all those vessels? Surely one vessel against eight is too much odds for any warship.”

“We sent two cloaked probes into the system, armed with nano-bots. The probes deployed the nano-bots against the pirate ships. These nano-bots are microscopic devices that consumed the hulls of the pirate ships, replicating more nano-bots. The result was the destruction of all pirate vessels in the system within a matter of minutes. We have provided video and scan data in the download.” I said. He took a couple of minutes to consider what I described.

“Are you saying that the Baglogi can destroy all vessels in a system in minutes? And you have that capability in orbit above us now?” He asked. He now looked visibly pale.

“The Baglogi vessel came here peacefully, seeking an alliance. We would never use that on our ally while under the terms of safe passage.” Some research with Koluna and Ship had me familiar with Ori laws. “I am an Ori citizen. I came here in peace, to report that we have neutralized the pirates that destroyed the Opolu Naa. We have avenged their deaths, and the pirates will cause no more harm to anyone.”

Although this Ori was taller than me, I think he underestimated me. Perhaps it was because I was smaller. I don’t know or care. I knew I had his attention, so I pressed forward.

“That vessel above us belongs to a race known as the Baglogi. I suggest you look the name up in your archives. I am not only an Ori citizen, but I am on the Ori diplomatic staff. I have brokered a provisional alliance between the Ori Confederation and the Baglogi, for peace, mutual protection and trade between the two races. I am in a unique position, in that I represent both parties. As crew I represent the interests of the Baglogi. I would invite you to locate your senior diplomat who is authorized to formalize this alliance. I expect they will be eager to realize an opportunity that is of mutual benefit to both the Baglogi and the Ori Confederation. I might further suggest that prompt action would earn you credit with your leadership.”

“Your testimony is quite convincing. I will need to consult with my peers and review the analysis of the data download.” He said. Perhaps there is hope for him yet.

“One last request before you consult.” I said. “As both an Ori citizen, and a representative of the Baglogi vessel in orbit, I request that I be moved to more suitable quarters. And once you are finished interviewing Koluna, I ask that you return her to me. We came here under protections afforded by the terms of safe passage. If you are in any doubt, please consult with your senior diplomat when you locate them. I understand that terms and protocols for handling our arrival may seem ambiguous to you. How you treat us will go a long way towards establishment of cordial diplomatic relations between the Ori Confederation and the Baglogi.”

I had learned a lot watching the Ori lawyer on Tian Prime and he had inspired me. Koluna had helped me with a lot of the correct Ori words and phrases during our trip here. I looked the Ori in the eyes while he processed all I had said. I kept silent. A moment later, he had reached a decision.

“Of course. I must leave now.” He almost bowed as he got up and left the room.

About another hour passed, then I was escorted to what I would describe as living quarters. There were all the usual things, and by now I was grateful for the washroom. After, I got a beverage and sat at a table. Not long after, Koluna arrived and crying came into my arms.

“Bri-an, that was terrible. They treated me more like a criminal. I have never experienced such before. Why were they like that to us?”

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