Canto Forty-One – Back Aboard the Mother Ship
Biznap hurried up the ramp and through the mist-filled corridors of the Command Center. Xiar was going to do something about this. He had to! Biznap had always thought of Farbick as just another underling before, just another yellow-skinned Fmoogish boob… But the truth he had come to embrace was that Farbick was the only other Telleron besides himself on this whole mission that could possibly make things work out in the Tellerons’ favor. He felt slightly guilty about the fact that he was alive now only because of the sacrifice Farbick and Starbright had made.
“Commander Biznap!” Docking bay officer Oogsblotter was surprised to see the second-ranking Telleron of the entire mission hustling up from the bay all by himself. At least, he was definitely submissively bowing out of the way like a yellow-skinned Fmoogish boob.
“I need to see Xiar and Shalar, now!”
“The Captain is busy in the control center, and Science Officer Shalar is away on a recovery mission.”
“A recovery mission? Looking for who?”
“Well, you sir… and apparently some of Xiar’s tadpoles stole a ship and went down to the planet too.”
“Merciful Crocodile Gawd! Where’s Harmony then? …My wife, I mean?”
“She is the leader of the recovery mission.”
Biznap was stunned at the news. Nobody to rely on for help other than wishy-washy old Xiar and… himself. Well, it had to be done.
“I need to see Xiar, and I need it to happen now!” His voice was powerful enough to shake Oogsblotter down to his socks, as if Tellerons wore socks, and the docking bay officer fell all over himself scrambling to comply.
“I will get him immediately, sir!” The officer crawled off on all fours to get to the Command Center and alert Xiar. It felt kinda good to have that kind of power and respect. Before the invasion of Earth no one had looked up to Biznap. They secretly laughed at him for always striving to do his best and go by the regulations. But then he survived the invasion, came back with the beautiful Harmony Castille as his prize, survived Commander Sleez’s insurrection, and ended up with Sleez’s job as First Officer. They weren’t laughing any more. Biznap was a rare thing… a Telleron who could accomplish things.
“Biznap?” said the hustling Xiar while making his way into the docking bay, “what has happened? Where is Farbick and your crew?”
“Two are dead and two captured, but we located a key moon base from which Tellerons could operate as the dominant space force in this system.”
Xiar looked shocked. “B-but you know we are not a large force. We can’t stand up to overwhelming numbers of vicious, Telleron-eating lizard-guys.”
“We actually don’t have to. This planet has decimated itself through greed and lust for war. There are only two lizard-guys on the moon base, and only one of those is a soldier. We could take them easily, and maybe rescue Farbick and Starbright at the same time.”
“You mean actually fight? Not a secret invasion like on Earth?”
“We can do it, Captain. I have learned a secret from Farbick and our experiences with the Earther primates. If you care about one another and fight for your friends and family instead of yourself, you can actually win. The fight means more, and you can do a better job!”
“Ooh, I don’t know if I could do that…”
“Your new wife, Shalar, and some of your children are already caught up in this. Their lives are at stake. You need to do this for them. Just like I intend to do it for Harmony.”
Xiar bit his lower lip and seemed befuddled.
“You love them don’t you? You have learned about love from everything Harmony and the Morrells have taught us… haven’t you?”
“Well,” said Xiar, apparently drawing the conclusion that Biznap intended, “maybe I do.”