Canto Forty-Eight – The Moon Gundahl
The Telleron mother ship loomed large in the sky over the moon base as Golden Wings 27 and 42 sat down upon the bombed and pitted tarmac. The bright red space kite trailed outward from the mother ship’s top antenna, being blown by solar wind from Galtorr’s sun.
“Xiar, we are down,” said Biznap’s voice over the radio channel.
“We are down too, Commander,” Xiar replied.
“What do you want me to do now?”
“Well, you left them here with no way off, right?” Xiar asked.
“Yes. They had weapons of their own available. Farbick may not have succeeded in taking control with Telleron tech. If that’s the case, then we may be fired upon when we enter.”
“Do they have any of our skortch weapons?”
“No. I do believe Farbick would never teach them how to rebuild the ones we destroyed, even if they tortured both Starbright and himself to death.”
Xiar nodded at the comm panel. Yes, he did believe that Farbick was capable of that kind of heroism that you saw every Saturday on Earther-television Jungle Jim movies. He had seen it in action during the failed invasion of Earth.
“You lead an assault team, then, and my men will follow. We’ll link up when you’ve secured the base.” Xiar heard a low whistle of discontent from the other end after giving that command, but he didn’t care. This risking your life thing they kept doing for no visible gains really had to stop somewhere. And he was still the Captain, wasn’t he? Who better to give the orders and bring up the rear?
Out the front viewing screen, Xiar saw a flood of Tellerons come boiling out of Golden Wing 27 with skortch pistols raised high.
Commander Biznap waved a weapon in Xiar’s direction. The fool was leading from the front. How could he be doing that? Didn’t he care if he lived or died? In their last invasion, more Tellerons skortched themselves than killed their supposed enemies. Of course, that turned out to be a good thing for everybody but Corebait and Sleez. They had all benefitted from contact with the Earther primates. But Galtorrians were different… weren’t they?
Biznap was rushing the front doors when the doors suddenly opened and some actual Galtorrians walked out. They were all small. Many of them were wearing short pants. They looked like… children.
“Captain?” said Biznap through the communicator. “They are not offering any resistance. In fact, they want to give us this base.”
“They say that Farbick told them if they gave the moon and this base to us, we would feed them with our material synthesizers. They will give us this entire world to live on if we are willing to feed them. They are all children.”
Xiar’s mind raced back to the troubles given them by Earther children… the stolen Golden Wing, the tadpole rebellion, the changes made to how Tellerons treated each other…
“Do we feed them, sir?”
“YES! Our problem of being homeless is solved! We can live here. How is Farbick doing?”
Biznap took a moment to talk to these unexpected children. He didn’t appear to react well to what he was told in answer.
“Xiar, Farbick and Starbright are gone. These kids say that Senator Tedhkruhz came and took them, along with the two Galtorrian overlords.”
“Oh, no.” Xiar was truly saddened by the news. Farbick was supposed to be an inferior yellow-skinned Fmoog. Green-skinned Tellerons were supposed to hate them for their inferior skills and buffoonery But he liked Farbick. Farbick was soft-spoken and as competent as any Telleron he had ever known. And he realized for the first time that he had never admitted that to himself before. But that would change… if only he could get Farbick back.