“I’m famished, how about that breakfast we never had?” Duke wandered towards them already phasing his left limb back into a human looking hand.“Yeah, starving, but what happened?” Duke glanced at Hans’ hand and then towards the time-locked alien. “You stuck your hand into that orb and then you got this strange look on your face. A few seconds later everything disappeared and it was just you standing there with a tentacle instead of a hand.”
“It’s hard to explain.” Hans scratched at the back of his head and frowned. “It was incredible. They talked to me and told me about themselves and another race of aliens and about a war that destroyed most of the Milky Way Galaxy. I’m not sure how the tentacle thing happened, but I have a pretty good guess. What’s important is that the other race they told me about are coming back and they are not very nice.”“How not nice?” Honora asked.
“Very. All they care about is war and they will destroy all species in the way of their expansion.” Hans sat down on the floor and the other two followed suit. “I think we’re going to have to make a whole new plan on what we’re going to do once our alien here wakes up.”“Is that what you were doing?” Duke glanced at the monstrous alien still locked away behind the glass and shuddered. “Are you sure it’s safe?”
“They’re the good guys here. From what I understand, we do not have the technology to compete with the Afioxox. They’re relentless, but Ohaehim here has access to technology that we don’t have. Technology that will help us survive a war we cannot avoid.” Hans looked Duke straight in the eyes, his tone grave. “To be honest, I’m not sure we can win even with their help.”“How did you learn all this in just a few seconds?” Honora interrupted her eyes were wide, but her voice was steady.
“It wasn’t a few seconds to me. It was…” Hans searched for the right words to explain such a unique experience. “It was like forever, but without any sense of time. It’s so hard to explain. I saw what they were talking about – their entire history and the conflict with the Afoixox. I even felt what they were feeling. I wish you could have experienced it. There really is no way to describe it in words.”“So we have to just take your, and their, word on this?” Duke had already started making the breakfast they had missed with the excitement of earlier. There was no denying how hungry they all were – it had been a long morning.
“If you had been there you’d understand Duke.” Hans leaned back against the wall and stared across the room at the Ohaehim.“Well I guess we can’t all be so lucky as to burn a hand to a crisp and have it turned into a weird alien tentacle thing.” Duke kept his eyes fixed on the cook stove and what he was doing, but Hans could almost hear him rolling his eyes with that statement.
“Ohaehim should be ready to wake up in just a few hours. He’s been time-locked for a very long time.” Hans decided it was best to ignore Duke’s statement for now.“So what’s your guess on how you got the funky hand?” Honora said into the silence that had taken over the lab.
“Well, the Shai Halad are brilliant genetic engineers and they had created these nanobots that were everywhere in the world. So long as a being was still alive, they could repair it, but they had a limited shelf life. I think some of those nanobots were stored in the artefact I had found and were released when we activated it. They’ve never seen human DNA, so they fixed my hand as if I was Shai Halad.” Hans shrugged. “But it’s just a guess.”“So cool. Our nanotech isn’t nearly that advanced!” Honora grinned. “I mean, we have nanotech for identification purposes, but nothing that can work without instruction like that. I mean, if we could learn from their technology just imagine the benefits for the human race!”
“Gee, I never pegged you as being secretly a Soch, Honey.” Duke grumbled as he split the food onto three plates.“You know I’m not Duke.” Honora rolled her eyes as she grabbed her own plate of food. “It’s just that there is so much potential technology that can be used to better life for everyone. Just because I choose to live outside what society considers normal doesn’t mean I hate the whole human race. I just don’t trust the government.”
“And I think it’s safe to say none of us really trust government, especially not after seeing this. There is no way that they haven’t discovered other sites like this on other worlds.” Hans said as he grabbed his own plate of food.“Speaking of which, what are we going to do once big, bad and ugly wakes up? It’s not like we can just stroll him on through the mining town like it’s an everyday occurrence.” Duke said, pointing out the obvious.
“Like I said earlier, we may have to rethink what we were planning to do. This is much bigger than just getting the truth out there. As much as we distrust the government, we might have to bring this to them.” Hans frowned at the thought.“So they can what? Just go ahead and cover this up as well? You said it, we can’t trust them.” Duke glared at Hans.
“No, but can you imagine the fallout if we took it straight to the media?” Hans shook his head. “We can’t go straight to the media and that would be the only other option.”“He’s right Duke. We can’t take something like this to the media.” Honora sighed. She wasn’t happy about having to agree with Hans on this matter. “There really is no other option than going to the government, but in saying that – we don’t have to be stupid about it.”
“Got suggestions on how we tell the government in a smart way that doesn’t end with us being dead, missing or mind wiped?” Duke glared at Honora.“Well, we just need to get in touch with people we can trust. I mean, Hans, you have to know some people that you still trust in the Armed Forces? I bet they’d be the best government branch to talk to and you know people in it so that’s a bonus.” Honora tapped a finger against her lips as she thought about what she was going to say next. “I mean it would still be risky, but I think it would be our best option. So, do you know anyone Hans?”