Canto Sixteen – Falling Out of Orbit
Alden and Gracie Morrell, along with all the Telleron tadpoles were gathered around the communicator.
“We welded our ship into the side of the space station,” Davalon said to the voice on the speaker.
“Why the Hrrasskattoon did you do that?” said the angry female voice.
“Hrrasskattoon?” asked George Jetson.
“It probably means blogwopping,” said Tanith.
“Blogwopping?” asked Gracie Morrell.
“You don’t really want to know,” said Davalon.
“Oh,” said Gracie, suddenly realizing.
“We crashed into the side of the station and there were holes in the bulkheads of both vehicles. We would’ve eventually had explosive decompression if we hadn’t made the two vehicles into one.”
“Resourceful,” said the angry voice, “but you are trespassing on my property.”
“Are you somewhere here on board?” asked Davalon.
“Of course not! I know better than to be aboard an unaerodynamic space vehicle when I am trying to salvage it and bring it down to the surface through the atmosphere. I might burn up.”
“You are crashing the station?” Brekka was horrified. “We’ll all die!”
“You’re lucky you are not dead already,” said the voice. “But since you are there, you can do some repairs for me that will help me bring you down safely. I’d rather not burn the station up if I can help it. Especially now that I can see you have Earth humans with you. They might be worth a lot to me if I can get them down here alive.”
“Tellerons are not worth anything to you?” asked Menolly.
“Of course they are. But I could still eat a dead Telleron, couldn’t I?”
Menolly and Brekka grabbed each other around the necks and did the hugging thing they learned from humans. Both girls began shivering violently.
“So you are planning to eat us?” asked Gracie in an angry tone.
“No. I can use all of you if you live through this. You may have noticed that my world has been devastated. I am trying to save what is left of it. I’m not ready for the reality of planetary extinction.”
“How can we help?” asked Davalon.
“I need the anti-gravity coils repaired so I can float the whole thing down. That will keep the whole station from burning up on re-entry.”
“What if we don’t know how to repair anti-gravity coils?” asked George Jetson nervously.
“I will guide you through it step by step. You don’t think I would rely on Telleron intelligence, do you? We often refer to your people as Space Clowns. There’s a reason for that,” said the voice with a sneer.
“A good reason,” Davalon said softly to himself.
“Say! How is it that you speak English?” asked Gracie.
“The same reason your Telleron friends speak it,” said the voice. “Television. I particularly like the Brady Bunch. It is my favorite show. It’s how I know you two Earth people are mere children. I especially like when Marcia bosses around Greg and Peter. They almost act like Galtorrians sometimes, though much funnier… and less killing and eating each other.”
“My name is Davalon,” said Dav. “I am the leader of this expedition. Can I ask what your name is?”
“I am called Sizzahl. But we need to be getting to work before your orbit degrades any further. As far as any of you are actually concerned, my name, for the next few hours, might as well be GOD ALMIGHTY.”
“Oh, good,” muttered Alden Morrell, “a religious lizard-woman.”