* Thirty - Two *
"It was nice of your Uncle David, Engineer DeAngelo and your personal counselors to give you both a little break away from your security and engineering duties." Robert Jackson told his son and daughter as he, Amber, and Eric rowed their boat out on Round River.
"I imagine that you had something to do with that." Amber Jackson replied as she took in the beauty of Round Forest from the center of the river.
"We couldn't have gotten time off if it hadn't of been for dad, sis." Eric Jackson said as he look over the edge of the boat to see the different species of fish swimming through the water that was as clear as glass.
"I told Davadra and Donald that we weren't to be bothered except in an extreme emergency." their father told them as they passed under tree branches that were intertwined and covered with moss across the river. "I really came out here with the two of you so that I could wind down and cool off over the fact that I had to turn Valakadria, Keletivia, and Dara over to the new witch of Zaleena."
"There was nothing that you could have done otherwise dad." Amber said as they moved onward at a leisurely pace.
"I've been telling myself that very same thing over and over again ever since I left the three of them behind. I just wish that I believed it enough to leave it be and---
"Isn't that Rea Warner waving at us from the shore?" Eric Jackson said cutting his dad short as he waved back.
"She wants us to row to shore, dad." Amber said as she waved along with her brother.
"---get on with my life." Robert Jackson finished saying as he waved right along with his children while they rowed ashore.
"May I come aboard, Admiral?" Rea Warner asked as she stood on the sandy beach portion of Round River.
"Sure, climb on in and let's get under way before we get caught." Jackson answered as Rea got into the boat. "Rea, as soon as we're through with our little mission to Calistra, we'll be headed back to Earth where I can make a fool out of myself in Washington and the whole wide world."
"Oh, I think that you'll do just fine." Rea replied as the boat made its way back to the middle of Round River.
The Sclorsenians were coming from afar, just as the Zanarian unitor, Zueaston Zonalua said that they would. They were still a great distance from the galaxy but that distance was rapidly closing fast as they approached at never heard of nor conceived of ultralight speeds. The Sclorsenians had not only mastered traveling at these magnificent speeds; they were also experts on the complete annihilation of any race any where once they were called upon. They are an insectoid race that resides in the andromeda galaxy, called to this galaxy by the Zanarians. How the Zanarians knew of their existence was at this point in time irrelevant. The Zanarians called them by deep space mind projection ages ago after their first disastrous contact with the Zaleens and the Dorkons. It was shortly after this that the Consortium was established. The Zanarians sent their distress call out to blanket the galaxy for help, never knowing, that someday soon, their call for help would be answered, not by any race in this galaxy, but by another race from an alien galaxy, where someone was always listening for signs of life beyond their own realms of space. The Sclorsenians would answer the call to finally rid this galaxy of the Zaleens and the Dorkons to the very last breathing male or female of both species and, nothing would or could stand in their way until that mission was completed. That is, nothing but another call from the Zanarians to end the extermination process once it had started. That call would never come. Not that it couldn't come after a portion of time had passed, before it was almost too late. No, that call would have to wait until certain things had happened at another time and place, in the not to distant future.
"I'm glad that you have such faith in me." Robert Jackson said as they all continued on with their little trek around Round River in Round Forest aboard the star ship Orion as it headed from the Glammadren system to the Bendu system where the planet Calistra was located, the second world from it's sun.
"All you have to do is to tell them the truth about our mission into outer space." Rea said as Eric and Amber paddled the row boat under the self supporting bridge below Round Forest Galley.
"You make it sound as if it's going to be the easiest thing that I've ever done in my life, Rea." Jackson told her as he gazed up at the bottom of the bridge.
"I know that you'll probably be nervous at first in front of such a large assembly---
"It's not that part that will make me nervous ... it's the telling of our journey out here where no man nor woman from Earth, other than we ... have traveled." he said as they passed from under neath the bridge.
"Your really worried about Valakadria Tawn and Dara Tekka, aren't you?" Rea asked, as she looked him straight in the eyes.
"You're right on the money, Rea, I'm extremely worried about the welfare of Valakadria and Dara."
"You'd really of had no other choice, but to drag us into a war that none of us would have been prepared for." she replied.
"I didn't have the time to---." Robert said as Captain Celane signaled his vid-com wrist watch.
"Admiral Jackson, we are entering the Calistra Bendu star system, sir." she said from the bridge.
"Signal me again, once we've put into orbit, Captain." the admiral replied into his wrist com unit.
"Very well, sir, Celane out." she said, cutting the transmission.
"Admiral, you're right about not having the time to do much of anything." Warner told him as they looked for a place to dock their boat once the second call from the bridge came.
A grappling arm had attached to the top of the admiral's shuttle and lifted it a few feet up and off of the deck door.
As soon as the oval door slid open the thirty foot long Patricia Gayle was lowered into it's first air lock chamber where it waited until the deck door slid shut above it.
Once that door was sealed above them the next one below their shuttle would slide open so that the Patricia Gayle could be lowered into the last air lock chamber just seconds away from being released into space.
The middle door slowly slid open and the shuttle was lowered into the second air lock chamber where it waited until the middle door slid shut above it.
Once that door was sealed above them the outer shuttle bay door below their shuttle would slide open so that the Patricia Gayle could be lowered into space, just seconds away from being released by the grappler arm.
During this time Donald April began his start up procedures. The outer door slowly opened and they continued downward, or at this point, outward, into space. They hung suspended in space until the oval shuttle bay door slid shut above them and the grappler arm had detached from the top of the admiral's shuttle.
Donald April moved the Patricia Gayle further away from the Orion, as it orbited the beautiful world of Calistra, so that the admiral's personal shuttle could make it's decent to the medical facilities on the planets surface below.
"Admiral," Commander April said as he turned to face his best friend. "What the hell just happened?"
"Commander," Admiral Jackson said as he turned to face his best friend. "We just left the ship."
"That's not what I meant, Robert." April said. "We came out here and dumped Valakadria, Dara, and Keletivia off to that unemotional witch of Zaleena, and that's about all there was to it?" he explained.
"No battle, no war, no nothing, other than the loss of the Kalaketvia Tawn and the near loss of Keletivia Torl, this has been a pretty boring mission."
"It has been anything but boring, Donald." Robert Jackson replied. "Nerve racking is more like it."
"Why didn't we just blow Kalindra Vohaydren into the past and take the chance that the rest of the Zaleens would leave us the hell alone once they knew that we wouldn't tolerate their crap?" Donald April asked as he flew their shuttle down through the atmosphere of Calistra.
"I, or should I say ... we, prevented a full scale galactic war from breaking out should there have been that slightest chance that the rest of the Zaleens wouldn't leave us the hell alone and show us that they wouldn't tolerate our crap." Robert Jackson answered as their shuttle descended through the clouds.
"In other words, we just showed them how weak we are and how strong they are." April replied.
"Yes, I guess you could put it that way for the lack of explaining it any other.," Jackson said as their shuttle suddenly broke through the cloud layers over the continent of Morden Zore.