* Chapter Six *
"Ah, Slorpan Sliver, I see that you've finally decided to report to me for your first training session!" thundered the security chief, Commander Jalep Adeez, who was sitting behind his desk in the security unit.
"You may be my commanding officer, alien twerp, but you and I are gonna get one thing straight! David Jackson said as he leaned over the desk and gazed down at Jalep Adeez.
"I can whip the crap outta you any day of the week, month, or the year, got that, carp face?" thundered David Jackson, as he shoved his finger into the alien's face.
"Earth man, you do show promise and have great potential. I'm going to mold you into a first rate security officer." said Jalep, now standing and gazing up at my brother.
"Look here piglet, is everything that my brother told me about this flying carpet with its Mickey Mouse crew and why you're all here, true?" David asked, shoving the commander back down in his seat.
"Your brother, I presume, is going to be the captain aboard this ship?" asked the alien security chief, standing up once again.
"Yeah, the Wizard of Oz. What a joke on us all. Some ignorant alien fool critter off of his rocket made my brother a Starship captain!" David thundered, once more shoving the Perinnan back down in his chair.
"Anyway, ferret weasel, is what he told me the truth?" he blurted out, slamming his fist on Adeez's desk.
"What did he tell you, Thrug Shalurtling?" asked the commander as he stood one more time.
"Looks like you're headed for another fight!" David thundered. "Call me a pig will you!"
"I found out what a Slorpan Slimer and a Thrug Sherbet was, you baboon!" David said, as he moved nearer to Jalep Adeez's desk.
"That's Sliver and Shalurtling, Earth ... man!" the security chief said
"Whatever, I don't like being referred to as a pig in a slop pen, creep!" David continued as he grabbed the commander and pinned him to the wall behind his chair.
"There's something that I don't like about you alien, and I'm gonna find out why I don't. I don't believe all the bull crap that I've heard or seen so far, so you had better be doing some serious talking if you value your life, peanut brain!" said David as he tightened his grip.
"Is .ard .o .alk .hen .ome .ody is .hoking ..u .o .eath." said the Perrinan as his face was deepening in color.
"Sounds alien to me, speak English." David told the poor creature as it hung suspended in his death grip.
From out of nowhere a club like weapon came crashing down quickly over David Jackson's head, felling him to the floor as he still clutched the little Perrinan by its neck. The club should have knocked David unconscious but David's head was thicker than the club, which shattered.
"That done did it, now you've gone and made me mad, so if you're gonna mess with the best, you're gonna have to suffer like the rest!" he told him just before the fight broke out.
On the Orion's twelve outer pylon view decks, anyone could come there and be able to see out and into space from the large oval windows that spanned the pylons entire length on both sides on any of the four decks that they may be on at any certain time of the day or night shifts aboard the ship. Robert and Patricia Jackson's two children, five year old Eric, and four year old Amberle, along with their Uorexuan care taker had entered on to one of the view decks.
"When are you going to take us to the hospital to see mommy?'' Eric asked while his sister walked over to one of the windows and gazed out at the Earth down below.
"It's called Med Bay, Eric." answered their alien baby sitter.
"Where's daddy?" Amberle asked as she turned from the window to face the female Uorexuan.
"He may be on the command bridge, Amberle. Do you know what a command bridge is?"
"Does it cross a river?" Amberle asked as Eric stood by one of the windows gazing out at the moon.
"No, it does not cross a river."
In another place aboard the Orion, David Jackson's wife, twenty seven year old Janice was being informed of her new profession.
"I'm going to be doing what?" Janice Jackson asked, surprised to have been told what her duties would be aboard the ship as the Talmurran female swiveled her chair around so that they were face to face
"I've told you once already, you shall be an educator, teaching the children aboard the Dorion Adriakar about your world and its histories." the Talmurran answered her for the second time. "I'm beginning to think that perhaps I've made a serious mistake in having chosen you."
"I don't believe that I'll be staying here for very much longer, whoever or whatever you are!" David Jackson's wife thundered.
You would leave your mate and children behind---
"Hey, he'll find a way to get us all home!" Janice Jackson boomed aloud.
"Janice, even if you should choose to return to your home world, and we will give each one of you here that option, the Zaleens may destroy it." her captor or savior replied.
In the Captain's Ready Room, Robert Jackson was having his long awaited meeting with Admiral Mazanurra.
"Admiral, my wife is in your medical section aboard this ship and my two children, Eric and Amberle, are hopefully being taken care of, while I try to make sense out of our current situation. I would like to be able to visit with them as soon as it is possible to do so, sir." I said as I sat in my chair behind the captain's desk while Mazanurra stood in front of it.
"In due time Captain, I will check in with the medical staff myself as to her health and welfare." the admiral replied as he took the liberty to sit in the chair in front of my desk.
"I should hope that in due time, means soon, Admiral." I said. "I haven't seen my wife nor our children since you brought us aboard your ship."
"And for this, I am truly sorry, Captain Jackson, but there are some things that we must take into consider---
"Security alert! Security alert!" said the voice and image on the vid com screen that arose from the top of my desk. "Security to Security! We have a problem down here! Admiral Mazanurra, Captain Jackson, can you come down here to Security?" asked the voice.
"On our way." answered the admiral over his vid com watch.
"Your brother David, Captain?" asked the admiral as he stood up from his chair and made haste for the security section.
"It would be a good bet, sir." I answered as I came around from behind my desk and raced out into the busy corridor and bumped into my yeoman, Zaella Zaranazi."
"Yeoman, follow me, and the Admiral." I ordered.
It seemed like it took us an eternity to get from the officers' deck to the security section of the ship, but once we had arrived there we got the surprise of our lives.
My brother David lay on a stretcher on the carpeted floor along side Commander Adeez and another alien security officer.
"Hey bro, Captain, they fin . . .ally managed to get the . . . best of me." David said as he lay there wincing in pain. "But not be . . . fore I taught these aliens a thing or toof."
Jalep Adeez gazed up at the admiral and rather painfully tried to articulate his side of the story.
"Admurl Masnur, if all my ovver recoots pud up haff as muff fight as viff Earffing, then we've nuffing to worry bout, sir." he said, grimacing in severe pain while spitting out a bloody fang.
"He's exceptionally good." said the alien security officer who lay there beside them.
"It took five of us to get him off of Commander Adeez and Lieutenant Lumada." said one of the more fortunate ones as Jalep Adeez turned to my brother and placed his left hand on David's right shoulder.
"First lesson and training session over, Loot Manner, ackson." he said as he spit up blood.
"I still don't like you for some . . . reason." David said as Commander Jalep Adeez passed out just before medics began hoisting them up from the floor. "I guess I must have passed my first test."
"Get a cleanup detail down here, Lieutenant Tholari." ordered the admiral as he turned to exit the security section.
"Yes sir, Admiral." said security officer Lekton Tholari, from the planet Sanarta.
"Your brother knows how to fight rather well, Captain Jackson." Mazanurra said as he stepped around the overturned desk of Jalep Adeez.
"He hasn't lost his touch, Admiral." I said as I gazed upon the overturned furniture, broken glass, and the few heads that got thumped by my brother.
"Zaranazi, let's leave this mess to those who are better qualified at cleaning it up, unless you want to lend a---
"Just looking, Captain, just looking." she replied as she turned about and exited the disaster zone.
"It's twenty hundred hours, Terran solar time, Captain." the admiral said as he turned to face me in the corridor.
"The next shift is coming on duty." my yeoman replied as we began to move on down the busy corridor as a cleanup crew passed us by.
"You're all relieved to take any liberties aboard this ship that you and your friends deem it necessary for you to take, in order that you may acquaint yourselves further with this vessel." the admiral told them.
"Thank you Admiral." I replied as he continued on down the corridor while shaking his head in disgust at the way things had been going so far.
"Yeoman Zaranazi, you don't talk much, do you?" I said as I passed her my transcribe pad. "I hardly know that you're around at times."
"I am more of an observer and a listener, Captain." she replied as I neared a vid com tower.
"I don't doubt it Zaranazi, so where might I make an inquiry about my children, Eric, and Amberle?" I asked my yeoman as she stood beside the communications tower.
"Ask the ship's computer, Issac, and he will provide you with the information that you seek, Captain, sir." she answered.
After getting the information that I needed from Issac, Zaranazi and I proceeded on our way to find Eric and Amberle. It wasn't long however before the two of us ran into James, Darla, and Summer.
"Hey Robert, Zebra Nosey, over here!" yelled my twenty six year old brother Jim, who was walking casually down one of the ship's corridors with his wife twenty seven years old Darla, and their seven year old daughter, Summer
"It's Zaranazi." Zaella said correcting my brother.
"Still sounds like some kind of nasal condition to---
"Jim, Darla, wants to join Yeoman Zaranazi and me?" I said. "We are going after Eric and Amberle and after that it's on to the med section to visit with Patricia."
"That's where we're headed ourselves." Darla replied. "Sure, we'll tag along with you."
"Zaranazi, I have a question to ask you about something that has been worrying me." I said as I gazed down at my niece.
"And what would your question be Captain, sir?" my yeoman asked, as Jim, Darla, and Summer listened.
"Yes, Yeoman, it's about the children aboard this ship?" I began. "The Orion's not going to be a very safe haven for them once we engage the Zaleens in an all out space battle."
"Neither were the planets safe that they all called home, Captain." she answered.
It's a crying shame that neither side that fights against one another gives thought to their children and how any battle will affect them, before they decide to kill one another off. "Some great role models that we are to our children. The dead that fought to have, have lost all, and those that are still alive have to clean up the mess and suffer to fight again another day. Why do we not try to live in and at peace with one another in harmony?" I asked, as Zaranazi gazed up at me in deep thought.
"Captain, when we encounter the Zaleens, they will care for nothing, for they believe that with the passing of time, they will be the only life left in this galaxy." Zaranazi explained.
"And we just happen to be next in line for extermination." my brother James uttered, as he picked a wrapper up from the corridor deck. "Our children aren't safe anywhere."
"Now, Captain, do you understand why we have come to Earth to seek you out?" Zaella asked, as she looked me straight in the eyes.
"If it's for experience in commanding a Starship, no. If it's because I care about my family, relatives, friends, both from earth and elsewhere, yes, but caring does not qualify me to command this ship or to give orders to kill another soul without justification." I said as we moved along in the corridor.
"And when do you determine that the killing of another soul is justifiable, Captain?" my yeoman asked.
"Whenever the Zaleens want to take our children's lives and futures away from them, and that includes our home worlds." I answered. "I still believe that you've made a mistake in choosing me for---
"That poses a problem, Captain, you do not have faith and you do not believe in yourself." Zaranazi replied.
"How's Patricia, Robert, or I mean---
"I know what you mean, Darla." I answered as we passed by our fellow Galaxians in the corridors leading us to the medical facilities aboard the Orion. "The last account that I received earlier was that she was still out of it."
"I know that I'd want to be out of it now. She's probably better off by being out of it. I would hate to think what would be going through her mind at a time like this." Darla replied.
"Let's just face the facts as they are, we're all in deep Doo Doo up to our knee caps." my brother Jim said as he handed the wrapper back to the alien that dropped it.
"You drop something?" he asked the Sanartan.
"Don't tell me that you touched it, Earthling?" the Sanartan asked in return as we made a sudden stop in the corridor.
"Yes, why, is there something wrong with my having picked it up?" Jim asked with a worried look on his face.
"No, not at all, I just wanted to see the reaction that you would give me." the Sanartan answered and began to laugh. "I'm Doctor Seladan Sarn, at your---
"Doctor, there will be no littering on this ship. Use a waste receptacle!" James thundered.
"That's an order!" I said, before the Sanartan physician should happen to want to drop it again.
"Yes sir, Captain, I was just checking his phys---
"Excuse me, I'm sorry . . . Candice, it is you, James, it's Candy!" I said excitedly after having bumped into our twenty one year old sister.
"Robert, James, Darla, Summer, man am I ever glad to see somebody that I know here in this madhouse of freaks." Candy asked with tears in her eyes. I pulled out my handkerchief and passed it to her. "Thanks, where the fu . . . oh, I mean where the hell are we, and are you guys dressed up for a party or something?"
"Sis, where have you been hiding?" I asked, as she stood there wiping her eyes.
"Hiding, yeah, I've been in hiding alright." Candy answered, as she passed my handkerchief back to me. "This place scares the sh . . . sorry, hell out of me."
"No sis, you keep it, I'll get another one, and tell me something?" I asked.
"What do you want to know." she replied as she stood there with us.
"You mean to tell us that you've been in hiding all this time and have no idea where you are?" I asked.
"Yeah, I've been in hiding, and no, I don't know where the fu . . . hell I am, so tell me, if it's not going to be too hard to believe." she answered and I grabbed her by the shoulders.
Come along with us, because if Patricia's awake then she'll want to know too." I told her as I let go. Let's be moving a little quicker I've got to find Eric and Amberle before their bedtime."
Finally, after locating Eric and Amberle, we made it to the med bay area and all of us stood just outside Patricia's room in the corridor.
"Yeoman, stay out here until I call for you, I'm not sure as to what kind of reaction Patricia would have at seeing you with us at this time." I ordered before entering my wife's room with James, Darla, Summer, Eric, Amberle, and Candice.
"Hi honey, how are---
"Robert, where am I?" she asked right off the bat. "And why are you, Jim, Darla, and the children, all dressed the same, except for Candice?"
"I'm just a party pooper." Candice said as she walked past the foot of Patricia's bed and dropped herself into a chair while Eric and Amberle found places to sit on both sides of their mother's bed.
"How are you feeling?" I asked as I bent over to brush a loose hair from her face with my right hand. Patricia's green eyes darted about the room, gazing at each one of us before she spoke again.
"I ... I ... I guess I'm feeling okay, just a little disoriented, that's all." she replied as she gazed up at me. "Wow, what a crazy amusement park ride the children and I were---
"Mommy, we're on a space ship." Eric said as he laid his head on his mothers left arm.
"Yeah mommy, a real spaceship." Amberle added.
"Robert, where . . . are . . . We?" Patricia asked nervously as her heart went racing.
"We're all here with you Pat." Darla said, as she sat down on the bed and took Patricia's right hand in hers.
"Where's here at, Robert Andrew?" she asked, really wanting a truthful answer from me and James decided to give it to her.
"Well, it's not the hospital." Jim answered for me. "At least not the one back home on Earth anyway."
"Not . . . on . . . Earth, Robert Edward Lee Andrew Jackson, where are we?" she asked having used my full birth given name, letting me know that I was in a heap of trouble.
"Patricia, we are on a real space ship in the orbit of Earth under clo---
"For real Robert, you and my brother Donald need to grow up." she said as she managed to sit up straight in bed.
"Has anyone here informed you as to where you're---
"No, and I'm scared." she answered.
"You're not the only one that's scared, Patricia." Candy replied as she stood up from her seat and began pacing the floor.
"Have you seen any non human looking doctors or nurses since you've been here?" James asked as he placed his right hand on my left shoulder. "Like they're all dressed up for Halloween or a costume par---
"No, I haven't, just Doctor Henderson as usual." Patricia answered as I sat down on the edge of her bed.
"She's scary enough." James Jackson said as a monitor, on the wall and up over the patient's head in the next bed over, began making a chirping noise .