The Shimmering Ship
The Radio Rancher
Edited by The Radio Rancher
The Radio Rancher
Edited by The Radio Rancher
Once Dorn had Korash's approval; it was just a formality to receive permission from the rest of the council to return to Earth and to be with Ellen and Jamie.
The Dawntreader was refitted with a new more powerful cloaking device, which was supposed to be more stable and which was supposed to be impenetrable to anyone who wasn't attuned to it.
As the boys and Fred Braxton stood outside the ship, the new circuit was turned on, and, to Greg and Marsh, the Dawntreader slowly faded away.
Fred smiled as he looked at the beautiful sight of a glittering shimmering spaceship standing there in front of him as visible as ever.
"Interesting," said Fred, "I can still see it, as plain as can be."
The field was turned off and the boys saw the ship fade back in.
"I don't understand why I can see it," said Fred.
"I think we should do a deeper DNA scan on you, Fred, and see if we can find a link somehow to our common genes." said Dorn, who was taking a keen interest in the phenomenon. Now that Dorn was again assigned to the Dawntreader, and had very good reason to compare the two races, it seemed to become his overpowering passion to solve the mystery and find whatever link existed between Arphoans and Earthmen. Dorn and the medical team at the space center on Arphoa examined and tested all the Earthmen, with every instrument and scanner anyone had ever seen. All the data was entered into the Arphoan medical database and downloaded to the ship's database as well.
"This will give me something to work on while I'm on Earth.," said Dorn. "I love a challenge and this is certainly a challenge."
A medical laboratory was fitted into the Dawntreader before it was given clearance to leave.Bish was given instructions that made him very happy. He had been hoping to have those particular instructions ever since his first visit to the beautiful green planet on the edge of the spiral arm of the Milky Way Galaxy, commonly called Earth by most of the civilized worlds.
"Bish, do whatever is necessary to bring Earth into the Interstellar community. We have waited far too long to put them there." Korash had said.The crowd that gathered at the spaceport was huge. Everyone wanted to be present at the launch of this historic voyage of the Dawntredder. Everyone cheered as the ship rose into the sky and headed toward Earth.
Then, An hour into the flight....................................
Marsh and Greg heard it first. It was faint and ragged. It was a call for help.
Fred came into the room and said, "Did you hear that?"
"Yes!" said Greg and Marsh together. "It's Delaren."
"I wonder what kind of trouble he has managed to get himself into this time," said Bish.
"Right" said Fred.
"We'd better answer him, don't you think?" said Greg.
"Of course," said Marsh." Let's send it together. He sounded pretty weak and far away."
They concentrated and began to send their question together to Delaren.
"What is wrong, Delaren?" They asked.
"I have found a ship adrift in space. There are several living beings inside, but they will not last much longer. Their atmosphere is almost gone. I can provide them with some energy but not enough." said Delaren.
"Give us your coordinates," said Greg.
Delaren gave the location to Greg and Marsh and they passed it on to Bish.
"We can be there in an hour," said Bish.
When the Dawntreader arrived, they found the ship with six people unconscious and no other life signs. Dorn and the Earthmen quickly transferred the people to the Dawntredder's sickbay.
"Get these people on life support, Stat!" said Dorn. "I always wanted to say that," he said.
"Check their suits and find out their atmosphere requirements," said Dorn.
He was in his element. He had to save these people's lives.
Greg, Marsh, and Fred were being bombarded with cries of anguish from the people from the ship. They were frightened and weak. The canisters attached to their suits were all but empty.
Hack came in and handed Dorn the details of the atmosphere in the spacesuits air canisters.
"Get those helmets off of them," said Dorn. "They can breathe our air."
"There were thirty three people on that ship and we were only able to save six of them," said Dorn. "Three men and three women.
"Twenty seven lifeless bodies on that ship. It is such a shame," said Bish.
"If Delaren hadn't heard their telepathic cries for help and called Greg and Marsh, they would all be dead by now," said Dorn." I need to try to develop that ability myself. I would think that would come in very handy. Can you teach me how to do that? The funny thing is, I think I did hear something when Delaren called us," said Dorn. "But I was not sure and I thought I was imagining things."
"Most people react that way," said Fred. "That's why the talent is not widely known. People think they are nuts when they hear voices that they couldn't possibly be hearing."
The three telepaths shuddered when they "heard" the mental screams of terror. Dorn flinched as well. "I sensed that, too," he said. The faces of the newest passengers aboard the Dawntredder were pale and ashen as they regained consciousness. They opened their eyes and found themselves surrounded by strangers.
"Where are we?" one of them thought spoke.
"You are aboard the Dawntreader." replied Greg. "Delaren heard your distress call and contacted us to come and help you," said Marsh.
"Is mind to mind speech the only way you communicate with each other?" Greg asked.
"For the most part, we think to one another," said the largest man from the deserted ship. It was the first time any of the new people had spoken out loud.
"Your call for help was not strong enough to reach us from where we were. You are lucky that Delaren heard you and called us. He has a lot of power in his mind speech," said Greg.
"Who is Delaren?" asked the man.
"He is a large entity who lives in the vacuum of space and sustains himself from the energy given off by the stars," said Marsh.
"He was very concerned about you when he heard you calling for help. He did pass on some of his energy to your ship, but it was not much help. He had no place to take you where you could get any air. So he asked us to try to save you. We were only able to save the six of you. All the others were dead when we arrived." said Dorn sadly.
"What is your home world?" asked Hack.
"Regulus," said the man with a look of horror on his face.
"We can take you back there if you want," said Bish, "but from the look on your face, I would guess that you would prefer that we didn't do that." he said.
"They would kill us before we set foot there," whined the man.
"Why would they do that?" asked Fred.
"We can't tell you," said the man. "You would hate us."
"Don't be silly," said Bish, "You haven't done anything to make us hate you. We saved your lives, Remember?"
"But our kind have been banished from Regulus for all time and forever." said the man. "We are an abomination!"
"For heaven's sake, tell us what you did. We won't hate you. Those laws don't apply here, whatever they are."
"Oh all right. I will tell you. I--- we--- can--- read people's thoughts." said the man as he hid his face in shame.
"Well, that doesn't seem so terrible." said Bish.
"It was thought speech that saved your lives," said Greg, "and besides, we use thought speech all the time with each other, those of us that know how to do it," he said sheepishly, "of course."
"Everyone on our world uses mind speech, but we can read thoughts of other people when they are not sending, or at least when they are not directly sending to us, and that is not supposed to be done," said the man.
"You mean that if you read someone's thoughts, they banish you from the planet?" asked Marsh with astonishment. "That is just so wrong and stupid, too." He added.
"I personally would think it was rude to probe someone without asking them, but it doesn't seem that it should be a reason to banish you from your world." said Greg.
At that all six of the people who had been rescued seemed to relax considerably.
"I have to ask you something," said Bish.
"What?" said the man?
"If you can probe people's minds, why didn't you probe ours? You would have known that we wouldn't hurt you, for having the ability. I would say that you should be careful how you use that ability. Namely, only for good, and not for selfish reasons, but that is a moral judgment, not a law." said Bish.
"We didn't dare use it, because anyone who is familiar with the use of mind speech can detect if someone is reading them, and we were stuck between a rock and a hard place, so to speak. We were scared you would hate us and we were scared to find out if you would hate us. After all the very act of checking would doom us on our world, as in fact, it did. The first punishment is banishment and if the person returns, and is caught, they will be executed without further trial or questions," said the Man.
"Well," said Bish, "I can assure you that no harm will come to you for having a talent, or for using that talent, for that matter. We could use people with your talent to determine the intent of a person, or a race that we might encounter on our missions to new worlds."
"You have a rare gift and it should be nurtured and encouraged." said Dorn.
"You might be able to teach us the technique," said Marsh.
"Right!" said Fred.
"We were on our way from Arphoa to Earth, when we got your distress call from Delaren." said Bish. "We could take you to either place or if you have a preference for somewhere else, we might be able to arrange to get you to somewhere else. I have never been to somewhere else, so it might be fun to go there sometime." laughed Bish.
"If we may, sir, we would like to stay with you," said the man.
"What should we call you?" asked Bish.
"I am Arlen, Arlen Spencer." Said Arlen. "This is my wife Stacie." He said as he reached over and took her hand in his, pulled her to him gently, and held her lovingly in his arms.
The other two men from the derelict ship looked at one another and held out their hands to each other. "We are together, as well." said the Tall dark haired man as he lovingly stroked his partner's back and held him close.
"My name is Parker Avalon." he said, "and this is my love, Finchly Byrd." said Parker.
"And you ladies?" asked Bish.
The red haired, heavyset woman spoke first. "I am Mary Luman. My husband Bob was among the casualties still on the other ship," she said. "There are so many lost souls over there, but as my husband used to say 'let's think about living' and not spend time worrying about the dead and gone."
The other lady was a stunning blond with tight curly hair and a pair of the most beautiful green eyes anyone had ever seen. She said, "I am Carla Banks. I was one of the first people on our world to discover that I could read other people's thoughts and I had no idea that I was doing anything that couldn't or shouldn't do, until my neighbor was thinking lustful thoughts about me and I assumed she had said them to me, so to speak, which is typical in mind speak. I was arrested as soon as she told the authorities that I had, stolen her thoughts, as she put it."
"Well," said Bish, "We are glad to have you with us, and you are welcome to stay as long as you please. We will be staying on Earth for several weeks to take care of some urgent business and then we will be heading back to Arphoa to do some family arrangements, then things are rather unscheduled from there on." Bish chuckled.
"There will be a wedding on Earth and probably a reenactment of the wedding on Arphoa when we return there." said Dorn. "We would like you to attend the wedding if you want to come. I promised to marry my wonderful Ellen over six years ago, but I was called away on an assignment and couldn't get back till now. I had given her a son, before I left but I didn't know it at the time. I am not sure if telling my superiors that I would soon become a father would have made any difference in my assignment, but of course that is all in the past now anyway. I am now going back to Ellen, the love of my life, and beg her to marry me," said Dorn.
In the two days that it took to reach Earth, Greg and Fred had just about mastered the mind reading technique that the newcomers had used. Marsh could do it to a certain extent, but his reliability was not as good as he hoped.
The surprise was that Fred had much more ability than even he thought he had, once he started concentrating on it, he was able to easily reach the two boys and even Dorn and Bish. Dorn and Bish were slowly picking up the technique as well. Once the technique was learned, all it took was practice. Very soon almost all the Arphoans and all the Earth people were able to send and receive mind speech as well as search for thoughts, in all the other people. Of course they did ask permission before reading someone's mind.
"Surface thoughts are easy to read," said Arlen. "I am, in fact, sure that almost everyone who has used mind speech has, at one time or another, read a thought or two by simply 'listening too deeply'," Arlen said, "and if you don't use it against the person who's thoughts you receive, they probably won't even know you brushed their mind. But Inner thoughts are much harder to reach, and a person trained in mind speak would definitely know you were looking at their deep thoughts."
"A non sensitive person wouldn't notice, no matter how deep you were to probe. We have some people on our world that are unable to mind speak or listen to mind speech. We consider them handicapped and they are treated with love and some pity, but they can function in most cases by using electronic equipment that was developed to aid them." Arlen said.
"Most Earthmen are unable to read or speak mind speech," said Fred, "some of us have developed our abilities more after using it for several years."
Dorn pointed out that he had just recently discovered he could use the talent, and he was sure that with enough practice he would become very good at it. He was doing quite well at it already.
End of part 4
to be continued.......................................
Comments gratefully accepted at firstname.lastname@example.org