“I don’t really have any option in being a part of this, but you both do. You can back out now if you want to because I don’t know what we’re going to find. I don’t know if someone will be waiting when we come out arrest us or maybe even make us disappear. So tell me now, if this is too dangerous for you, no judgement. You can back out now and forget all about it.”Hans let several minutes pass by, but no one said a word. He smiled at Duke and Honora. It was hard to believe that these people that had just fallen into his life were now his most important confidants.
“Okay then, moving on. We do need to be prepared for all possible outcomes. We could find anything down there. We won’t really know what to do until we know what we’ve found. If it is alien technology than what are we going to do with it? Do we alert the media or do we approach the authorities with this knowledge? What do you guys want to do?” Hans hoped that they could all agree on a course of action.“Not the authorities.” Duke spoke firmly. “I don’t trust the authorities and I don’t think any of us should.”
“I’m with Duke on this. I’m not too sure about the media either though. I mean, we honestly won’t really know what to do until we find out what’s down there. It could be nothing or it could be something that we cannot even begin to imagine right now.” Honora pressed a hand to her chest where her alien artefact was hidden.“I’m on the same page as you Honora. Mostly, I just wanted to get you both thinking about it because this is going to be a very real discussion on our way out and we won’t have a lot of time to decide on what we’re going to do. Not to mention, we may not be given any options if there is the wrong kind of someone waiting for us when we come out.” Hans reminded them.
“Then consider the bug planted in our brains. I’ll keep it in mind, but I do think we can all agree on one thing. No authorities, right?” Duke said.“Yeah, I think we can all agree on that one thing. So, it’s more or less settled unless there are any concerns that either of you want to bring up at this time?” Hans waited for either them to speak. He felt sure that he had to have missed something.
“I think you’ve covered everything you could - except for one thing.” Honora spoke up. “Weapons. I think we should have weapons on us just in case things go badly for us. I’m not keen on having to shoot anyone or anything, but, as you say, there might be the wrong kind of someone waiting for us and I really do not have any intention to go quietly and be forgotten.”Hans was surprised to hear those words coming from Honora. He had expected Duke to put up more of an argument. “Weapons, okay, I can go with that. We’ll each arm ourselves from the ship. If someone checks, which would be unlikely, it’ll put up a lot of big red flags then, but no one should check on something like that. Duke?”
“What?” Duke looked up surprised.“Do you have anything that you want to add to the conversation?” Hans asked.
“Well, I wasn’t going to say anything, but last night you were talking about getting lost. Do you really think the Armed Forces are watching that closely and is disappearing going to be a real option?” Duke was scratching at his chin again – a sure sign he was thinking hard about something. “I know you’re not being paranoid, but do you really think they have any idea of what you’re actually up to?”“I have no real way of knowing, but I suspect. To be honest, I may have been a good pilot, but I wasn’t just any pilot.” Hans sighed.
“Yeah, you were a legend!” Duke snickered remembering the scene from the night before.“I was more than. I was being groomed for a job with the Special Services. It’s kind of a catch-all title for those who aren’t on regular duty. Everything from elite infiltration teams to levels to top secret that I don’t think most of the regular Armed Forces even know they exist. I know this organization and I know what they are capable of if provoked.” Hans said. “Haven’t you ever wondered why I’m so good at so many borderline illegal activities? I learned them from my first job.”
“I guess that does explain one or two things about you. No boy scout then, eh?” Duke reached out and gave Hans a playful punch on the shoulder.“No, I’m definitely no boy scout, but I do like to be prepared. So, if that’s all than I’ve got something to show you both since I’ve only mentioned it before I think it’s time I showed you.” Hans got up from the table and walked back into his bedroom. He came back out carrying something wrapped in a blanket and placed it on the table.
“This is the artefact that I took from the cavern when I went down there last time. I still have no idea what it does or why it does what it does, but we’ll be taking it back with us. It might come in handy, I have no idea.” Hans carefully unwrapped the blanket.“It does look just like mine, but bigger. I think the symbols on are different though. Do you think it’s some sort of writing or something?” Honora leaned in closer to get a better looks as she spoke. As she reached out to touch it the artefact gave a soft beep and split in half. Honora backed away from it quickly and looked to Hans for reassurance.
“It’s never done that before, not without me throwing it against a wall.” Hans leaned in closer for a better look. It had split differently than before. This time there was no button begging to be pressed, there was just an indent in each side about the same size as the artefact that was hidden on Honora’s shirt.“I’m thinking that this has something to do with the one that you have Honora. See that indent there? it’s about the same size as yours.” Hans pointed out the indent for them both to see. Honora reached under her shirt and pulled out her own artefact and visually compared the two.
“It does look about the same size. Do you think we should…?” Honora never finished the sentence before Hans was shaking his head.“We don’t know what will happen if we do, but we could always try it later, if we’re desperate. Right now, all we know is that mine emits some sort of bright light and yours may have turned an entire ships crew into nothing more than dust. So, I say we wait if no one minds?” Hans saw both Duke and Honora nodding their agreements. Carefully he reached out and pushed the two pieces back together. They sealed quickly and he wrapped it back up.
“So last thing last, when do we want to do this?” Hans asked.