First Draft Excerpt: A New Embassy (continued)

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This is most of the rest of what I have so far. As I said, this was an idea that wouldn't let go until I wrote some of it.

The first piece is here

It took more than a day for the first response to reach them. The distance was to blame for three hours of it, but the rest was government dithering. Even so, all they did was ask for more verification. "Please detail survivors name, rank, and family den."

The human embassy promptly sent the requested information, adding, "They are not prisoners, and we are not asking anything in return for them. We will gladly repatriate them at the place and time of your choosing, regardless of further welcome."

It was another day before the Embassy received another set of instructions: Deposit the survivors in the biggest crater on the far side of the outer moon, a small lifeless body perhaps two isquare in diameter. Leave them enough air for a day, and the Morelli would send a ship for them.

"Looks like they're concerned about contamination," Tess told the four Morelli, "We've been asked to drop you on your planet's outer moon. Sergeant Mitrisa has inquired about a flight path, but she can't get a response for at least another two hours thirty."

At that moment, Ambassador Deel Konosh entered the room, along with Xenologist Tamana. I'm sorry, he sent to Tessa and the four aliens, Our experience in contact situations leads us to believe that in situations like this, the odds are that your government regards you as an embarrassment to be disposed of. We can offer you two other choices. We can set you down in a thinly inhabited zone of your main planet, or any other colony of yours, or we can take you to a human exile planet, as we don't permit non-humans within the main part of the Empire, in which case you will at least still have every chance to live out your lives.

"WHAT? They'd simply kill their own people?" Tessa screamed, shocked.

I kept telling you you didn't understand, Tamana explained via datalink, Different species have different responses, but the responses of governments, at least governments not governed by M'Don's Equations, are far more consistent. If they were willing to receive us, they might ask about cross-species diseases, rare as those are. But we had our Morelli guests checked for likely cross contaminants and they haven't caught anything from the people they've been exposed to, and nobody has caught anything from them. We don't worry about it because of our healers, but most alien species have more limited responses. But if that was their worry, we'd work out a quarantine protocol, and they'd agree to accept our embassy.

If they simply wanted their people back but weren't willing to accept the embassy, they'd have us bring them to a base somewhere, or make rendezvous with one of their spacecraft, Ambassador DeelKonosh continued, Instead, they're having us drop the inconvenient survivors away from any other installation, where they can be disposed of with maximum ease.

"Would the Empire do something like that?" she asked, incredulous.

The Ambassador shrugged, I'm not familiar with that ever having been done, but it the situation required it, yes. I can't think of one, as our Viceroys are not subject to the same political constraints as most of those governments we encounter. Political embarrassment is not a threat to us. But our understanding is that the Morelli are governed by a class oligarchy, similar to many Earth nations

Suddenly, Tess knew the Ambassador was right. Heartbreakingly correct. Political embarrassment was everything. Earth governments - even the alleged democracies - relied upon inconvenient facts being buried. She suddenly understood that was a near universal truth among governments.

"I have to try," Motafo declared, "I'm an officer of the Community forces. It is my duty to report what I have seen."

"Can't report anything if you're dead, sir." That was Grido Cosur. His rank was the rough equivalent to a Chief Petty Officer in an Earthly navy. "On the other hand, we'd be hunted the rest of our lives, and none of us here is exactly a rural medisti to survive in situations like that."

"So what do we do?" Tammo Sajopil wanted to know, "This is the Community. We take care of each other. The commander's aunt is a Councilor. Wouldn't she would want to help us?"

"Commander Hashot was a political appointee," Cosur replied, "What do you think his aunt's peers would have to say about Hashot getting the ship destroyed?"

"Why would they even look for us if they think we're dead?" That was Tammo Bojoka, the final survivor of Dominion. Like the other three, he'd been in the ship's Engineering Department. But he was a finagler, the sort who was always looking for a way that came out a little bit better for him. "What do you think they're going to do, order another crew that they don't want to know what happened to come in and shoot us and report the number of bodies?"

Cosur replied, "No, if the human is right, they'll order them to bomb the spot. A big bomb, to make certain they destroy whatever threat the politicians invent. Big enough to obliterate the evidence."

"The rest of you could try to disappear," Motafo suggested, "If they do what they said, you can always step forward later."

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This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on June 19, 2023 7:00 AM.

Rediscovery: An Overview was the previous entry in this blog.

Excerpt from Empire and Earth is the next entry in this blog.

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