A Burned Spy in the Unchartered Territories – Chapter Four
Pilot appeared on the clamshell and the two newcomers looked at the image in shock.
"Commander Crichton a Peacekeeper ship has just appeared on the outer limits of Moya's senses" Pilot announced.
"Do they know we are here Pilot?" Chiana asked.
"Yes, and their Captain is asking permission to speak to Crichton" Pilot relayed.
"Patch the message through" Aeryn said.
The two new humans from Earth were not exactly forgotten, but everyone turned their attention to the screen as a previously unknown Peacekeeper Captain appeared before them. He was a black man of solid build and an uncompromising demeanour. He spoke first.
"My name is Commandant Tobrok Liarn. I extend my Greetings to you Commander Crichton, Officer Aeryn Sun, and to the rest of the crew of your leviathan"
"Thankyou" Crichton responded. His tone seemed friendly and unconcerned, but Michael sensed that John Crichton was on his guard. Aeryn stood behind her husband with their child in her arms, and the Peacekeeper Captain shot her a brief look of disgust. Fiona did not fail to notice that look.
"We wish to ask a favour of you and your crew at this time" Liarn continued. "I would like to send a small team of two diplomats and two attendants aboard your ship to write a news story about the recent treaty and to interview you about your part in it. This story would serve to inform the peacekeepers of important details and will be filed in our history data banks.
"So you want to send the intergalactic paparazzi aboard to interview the soldiers of the hour" John stated.
"No" Aeryn said forcefully. She held Dargo close to her body as she addressed the man on the screen. "You will send no diplomats and we will give no interviews Commandant Liarn. Pilot end the transmission." The image and audio was cut abruptly.
"Well that was rude" said Chiana.
"Why can't you keep your mouth shut woman?" said Rygel.
"What did I do?" asked Chiana.
"I meant Aeryn" said Rygel. "There is a reason why soldiers shouldn't negotiate deals. You have no tact, no finesse, no diplomacy skills at all!"
"Oh shut up Rygel" said Aeryn as Dargo started to fuss. "I'm not letting any Peacekeepers anywhere near my baby. They think he's an insult to racial purity."
"Well at least now they know what's what" said Crichton. "I doubt that there's any way we could have said 'no' that they'd be happy with Sparky. Not even with your razzle dazzle."
"So uh" Fiona's voice sounded louder than normal. "Who was that?"
"Peacekeepers" Aeryn answered. "I used to be a Peacekeeper. We are raised as part of the military on a Command Carrier in space. We helped facilitate a truce between the Peacekeepers and the Scarrens, but neither side really likes us. They fear us" she clarified.
"So you were raised as a soldier from childhood?" Michael asked.
"Yes" Aeryn answered briefly.
"Come on everyone" said Chiana. It's time to eat."
Even with the few words they had exchanged, Aeryn could tell that Michael Westen was not innocent and soft like Crichton had been when he'd first joined the Moya crew. The difference between them was that Michael and Fiona were already soldiers, while Crichton had transformed into one through necessity. She had encountered very few real soldiers during her stay on Earth as she and the Moya crew has usually been accompanied by private security guards who never conversed with them. These two embodied discipline and intelligent creativity. She sensed they were elite. Both of them were less emotional than John. They had their fear firmly under control.
"Luckily for you two, we have enough supplies for everyone at the moment" said Crichton as they walked down yet another corridor. Chiana and I did some cooking earlier so we have stew and some fresh fruit. It's pretty decent food. Take a seat." He indicated toward the dining table and the chairs in the galley kitchen. Bowls and utensils were stacked neatly next to a pot of stew and another bowl containing fruits which looked like custard apples.
"We also have water" said Chiana as she fetched a jug and cups. "Nothing stronger though."
Michael and Fiona still looked wary but they sat down and accepted the food John placed in front of them.
Pilot's voice was then heard through the comms.
"Moya is nervous about the close proximity of the Peacekeeper Command Carrier" he informed them. Prepare to starburst in ten microts"
"Is that wise John?" Aeryn asked. "Shouldn't we stay here to see if these two arrived via wormhole?"
"No we shouldn't" Rygel said in annoyance. "We were on our way to Hyneria before these fahrbot humans came on board. I demand we keep going. My subjects demand the return of their true Dominar"
"Well the quicker we get there the sooner we'll be rid of him" said John.
"Moya and I have marked in our logs the exact position we were in when we first noticed the humans" said Pilot. "We can return here if we need to, besides which there was no evidence of wormhole activity when they appeared."
At that the ship surged forward into Starburst and Moya left the Peacekeeper Command Carrier far behind.