Chapter 12: The Ori Confederation
Copyright© 2018 by Duncan7
Koluna and I awoke the next day, in our guest quarters at the Ori High Command. A day can make all the difference, and I felt refreshed and more positive. Even Koluna looked calmer. She was Ori after all, and if she were not happy here, I would not want to stay. We did our morning ablutions and were preparing to head out when we got an invitation to join the minister for breakfast.
A non-military Ori escorted us to an elevator that took us up several levels, and we came out into some kind of dining lounge with a spectacular view of the surrounding area. Our host, the minister was waiting to greet us, together with two other Ori. It did not take me long to guess who they were.
“Mother! Father!” screamed Koluna, as she ran into their arms for a hug. I stood back and watched as they shared their joy at being reunited. Seeing her happy with her family made me feel good. It confirmed that at least once in my life I had done something right when I saved her. I looked at the minister, and he smiled back. I bet he had arranged this. I gave him a slight nod of my head, which I hoped he would understand as my thanks.
I was content to stand back and watch their reunion. But Koluna grabbed my hand and introduced me to her parents. “This is Bri-an, he is from Tian Prime. He saved me when our freighter was destroyed.”
“I am pleased to meet you.” I said. I was not sure how they would react, but I should not have worried. Her parents were suddenly hugging me. I was not sure of the appropriate response, so I smiled and waited for them to finish.
“Your father and I got a call from the minister last night and we caught an overnight transport to be here.” Her mother told Koluna. “This morning we got the news that the Opolu Naa had been destroyed. At first I thought the worst, but the minister said you survived. He was just updating us on some details of your adventure.”
“It was chaos. There were explosions and smoke and confusion. Then suddenly Bri-an came by; he grabbed my hand and pulled me into an escape pod. If he had not done so, I would be dead. We were the only crew to survive the attack.” Said Koluna. Her parents looked at each other and then turned their gaze on me. I shrugged in response. It made me feel uncomfortable to be in the spotlight like this.
Before her parents could squeeze the life out of me with more hugs, the minister interrupted. “As much as I am reluctant to disturb this reunion, perhaps we could move over to the table and take a seat. I would enjoy sharing a breakfast with you all, but I am on a tight schedule.”
Koluna sat by my side, and between her parents and me. The minister sat across from me. This was obviously some kind of luxury diner as there were two waiters who promptly came over to take our orders. I was not used to this style of dining, and I was concerned I might embarrass Koluna and myself. I asked Koluna to order something for me. The minister whispered something to the waiter. The waiter looked at me and came over and ran an ID scanner over my arm, to confirm that my order would be safe for me to eat. You never can be too careful.
“Are you feeling rested this morning?” The minister asked me. He was obviously used to this kind of life.
“Yes, thank you. Yesterday was quite an experience.” I said. I smiled to make it clear there were no hard feelings.
“This morning we released the news of the destruction of the Opolu Naa. We included that two crewmembers escaped the destruction, and the subsequent destruction of the pirates by an allied vessel that was in the area. So far, the reaction has been positive.” Said the minister.
“You kept our names out of it?” I asked.
“Yes, although in time they may work out who it was.” He said. The waiters returned and delivered our breakfast.
Koluna’s mother asked me “Bri-an, are you planning to stay here in the Ori Confederation?”
“Actually no. A Baglogi vessel rescued our escape pod, the same one mentioned in the news. Both your daughter and I have joined their crew. We owe them our lives.” I said. Both her parents nodded at this.
Koluna looked her mother intently in the eye. “Mother, I owe both Bri-an AND the Baglogi for saving my life. I will go with him and serve as crew once our visit here is over.” I felt she was saying more in the special frequency only females operate on.
“Of course. Your sense of duty brings us honour. I hope your travels provide you both the opportunities to visit us occasionally.” Her mother said. “And Bri-an, welcome to our family! You must tell me about your parents on Tian Prime.”
Welcome to their family? I kept my face calm. “My mother died when I was younger. I did not know my father. I lived in an orphanage until I was old enough to live on my own.”
“Oh you poor being! Well, you have family here from now on.” She said. I am not sure if I was insulted by her pity, or touched to have someone who was so kind as to offer me somewhere to call home. I was still bothered by the family comment. I started on my breakfast to avoid further discussion. They took the hint, and we all began to eat.
After breakfast, the minister had to leave. “Enjoy your visit Brian and please convey my respects to the Baglogi crew. Perhaps another time we can meet some of them face to face?” He said.
“I will convey your respects and your wishes. Thank you for your part in resolving matters yesterday.” I said.
“You are welcome Brian. Goodbye everyone!” And he left. I turned to Koluna. I knew her parents had travelled to be here to see her. I thought it best to let her decide what to do next.
“Mother, I was planning to do some shopping today, would you like the four of us go along together?” Koluna asked.
“That would be delightful.” Her mother said. Koluna took the communication device from me and called Ship. Soon she had downloaded a wish list of items to get. Purchasing was her speciality. Who better to resupply our vessel?
I offered to pick up the bill for breakfast, but the waiter said the minister already covered it. We left and took a ground transport to the commercial district. We were not too far from the spaceport, and there were plenty of businesses that focused on supplies and materials for visiting vessels. Koluna was chatting cheerfully with her mother for the whole journey.
I sat and looked out the window of the ground transport at this world. It was only the second planet I had ever been on. As a developed and space-faring society they had a lot in common with Tian, but some things were different. The climate was warmer although it might just be a seasonal thing. Many people were going about their business. Life continued, oblivious to the carnage that was out there in space. If they had been aboard the freighter, and experienced what I had, they might see things differently now. I felt a bit exposed here on the planet surface, and I was already looking forward to returning to Ship.
At the commercial district, Koluna set about meeting vendors and buying various things per the list from Ship. I could tell from observing her that she was in her element. When she asked for the goods to be transported to our vessel, I learned that the minister had made a shuttle available for our use. The purchases would be sent to the shuttle and that was that.
After completing purchases of supplies for our vessel, Koluna moved on to more personal shopping. I had never accompanied females on a shopping trip before, so this was a new experience for me. Her father had, and he suggested it was best to be patient, keep quiet and let them do their thing.