Ch 10 Stepping Without A Window

Stanford University
Palo Alto, California, USA
Thursday August 5, 1999

When the rest of the group arrived, Robert, Claire, and Nancy met them in the parking lot.  Marie was going over her presentation for Saturday with Sheila, which was keeping Sheila from paying close attention to what was going on around her.  Sol and John Harvey had been dropped off to talk with the Stanford administration about the planning for the speeches.  Mei-lei hustled the others into the building, but paused to let two coeds exit the building.  When the two coeds caught sight of the five by the van, they shrieked and ran towards them.

To which of you do these groupies belong? Nancy asked her Life-Mates.  Girls, actually older women sometimes would usually approach Claire as the President’s daughter who had explored worlds and met aliens or Robert as the young handsome Maclaren that had accompanied Claire on her adventures.  Almost all women ignored Nancy.  They suspected it was the idea of her having upset the perfect romantic image that the press had written about Claire and Robert or that they didn’t know how to take the threesome of the Life-Mates.  Guys were not hung up on that problem.  Nancy had been surprised that she had almost as many male admirers as Claire.

“Professor Lawrence!”  The two coeds slowed down a couple of steps from Marie and Sheila.  They had realized that the way they were acting was not how you approached a mathematician of Marie’s stature.  After a glance between them, the brunet was the one that spoke.  “We hadn’t expected to see you here on campus before your presentation on Saturday.  We have tickets for your student talk on Sunday.  We waited in line all night and got the last two.”

The surprise on Marie’s face was no less than that on the faces of the other Team members.

“How many more were in line that didn’t get tickets?”  Marie asked.

“At least a couple of hundred.  The couple behind us had driven up from UCSD.”  The short haired, blonde answered.

“That would be too many for the talk.  Could the talk be put on the campus television?”  Marie asked.

The blonde answered.  “The faculty is having the presentation and the talk televised on all the University of California campuses.  The networks will also be broadcasting your presentation.  I am Jane Hardesty.  I am a doctoral candidate in mathematics.  This is Sherry Johnston.  She is a doctoral candidate in astrophysics.  We met at one of Doctor White’s lectures on the Adjacent World Theory.”

“You are Life-Mates!”  Sheila said with a broad smile.  “You are the first ones that I have met that aren’t male-female except for Robert, Claire, and Nancy but they are a rule unto themselves.”

“You are not upset that we are both female.”  Jane asked.

“Jane and Sherry, Life-Mate bonds aren’t by your choosing.  I guess that you had your sexual orientation before you met.”  They both nodded.  “You don’t select your Life-Mate and I believe that most people don’t select their sexual orientation.  The Kin-Human bonds aren’t a matter of selection either.  With Life-Mate, we have learned how to tell if two people are Life-Mates.  If they are known to us even if they have never met each other, we can tell.  That means that the Life-Mate bond isn’t a matter of the two individuals choosing to be Life-Mates.  Just like Sheila, we all could tell that you were Life-Mates when we met you.”  Marie wondered if her mother had known about the possibility of same sex Life-Mates.

Are their abilities as strong as I am sensing.  Marie asked the AU Team 1 leads.

Yes, they are definitely Team material.  They are stronger than Chelsea and Jamie, who are Team material.  They might prefer a scientific Team rather than one of our action Teams, but I do not think that they would have a problem with fitting in with one of the action Teams.  We just do not have to have everyone in an action Team.  We would be more comfortable if you switched to a scientific Team.  Your expertise on the Adjacent World Theory is unique.  We understand why you want to be on Team 2 but I just have to say it again.  Robert wasn’t the first person to make the argument that they would be happier if Marie wasn’t on one of the action Teams.

I will have to discuss it with John.  The interest of so many people in hearing her talk had started Marie to reconsider her determination to stay with the action Teams so she could be close to her children.  Maybe, we should have some more children.  The last thought was directed only to her Life-Mate over at the administration building.

We could train these two either place.  They could decide now or make a change later.  Since we have figured out how to move Life-Mates between Teams, it is not a permanent assignment.  Robert had been asked by his mother to keep an eye out for likely candidates for the scientists that they wanted to gather.  Life-Mates would be preferred but wasn’t a requirement.

“Please excuse my rudeness.  I was surprised at the eagerness that so many people would have to hear me speak.  This is Sheila Hunt.  I have taken her on as an apprentice much as my mother did with me.  My children don’t have a deep interest in nor understanding of mathematics as Sheila does.  This is my cousin Robert Maclaren and his Life-Mates Claire Clark and Nancy Tohe.  They are the leads for AU Team 1.  We were just going upstairs to Nancy brother and sister’s apartment.  Would you care to join us?”

“They are back.  I haven’t seen them since I met Jane.”  Sherry was excited.  “Ben is the one that talked me into going to Doctor White’s talk.  I want to thank him for meeting Jane.”

That lets you off on this pair of Life-Mates.  Nancy told her brother.

They head up to the apartment with Marie and Sheila asking the two Life-Mates questions about their understanding of the Adjacent World Theory.

I suggested to dad that C-SPAN should cover Marie’s talk with the students.  Claire tells her Life-Mates.  He suggested that Mei-lei give a talk on the comparative biology of the five worlds and we should work up a talk on the Kin, Glazen, and the Swizz.  We brought Sol into the discussion.  He had not realized the student interest in hearing Marie.  He agreed that the other two talks would also be of interest and also suggested that Brenda and Mary Steele give a talk on how what has been learned in the past few months will affect medical science.  He sees the need to set up professional meeting on each of those topics.  I suggested that we meet more of the students on campus and see what other interest turns up as well as check for more Life-Mates to direct to the Teams in the United States.  Sol will be setting up a press conference for Monday.  He will mention that scientific Teams will also be forming.  I suggested that the three new sets of Life-Mates be at the press conference as examples of the range of Life-Mates that we are looking for.

We will need to set up a process to screen those that are interested.  We also do not want to be seen as going to countries and taking some of the best Life-Mates back with us.  We can invite the leads of the Teams in California to attend the press conference.  Afterwards, we would meet with them to discuss things.  Robert’s concerns were implementation problems.

Are Jane and Sherry ready to let their families and the world know about their relationship?  Nancy had not told her parents about the relationship she felt with Robert and Claire.  They were as startled as everyone else was when the three of them met.

We will have to make sure that everyone is comfortable talking to the press.  Not everyone has Claire’s experience to draw upon.  Robert remembered how Claire mental comments had helped him get through the press conference the day they met.

Remember how all our younger Team members enjoyed talking to people after we met the Fuscos.  The people both young and old were eager to speak to them.  Out imbedded reporters’ stories have been drawing a lot of viewers.  We need to contact Lisa and Tom to come here and help us with the talks with the public.  Claire suggested.

Let us contact mom as well as Lisa and Tom.  We will need her help to get them here in time.  Robert contacted them.  We found more Life-Mates that will be joining the AU Teams.  They told us that there is a lot of interest in hearing what Marie has to say.  We also are planning talks on other subjects.  We want to set up an informal meeting where young people could talk to our young Team members.  Lisa and Tom, we would like you to help us set these meeting up.  He got an eager agreement from the Life-Mate video reporting team.  Mom, would you help them to get here as soon as they are able?

We should have the other reporters plan some interactions here between the public and the teams.  The trainees from the Teams in other countries have started to arrive.  We can work something from their perspective and include some of our Team members and scientists.  Leslie suggested.

That sounds better.  Lisa realized that Tom’s and her work would also include public relations for the Teams.  We need to bring the inclusion of all the Teams into our planning.  Doug may want to come with us.
 
I think Doug will be working closely with Amy.  Leslie’s next comment was sent only to her son and his Life-Mates.  Something is definitely developing between them.
 
Yes, we had wondered how long it would take them to accept it.  Nancy told Leslie then switched to include the two news people.  We have to go.  We have a first meeting of Life-Mate.
 
Mary Steele is about to meet her Life-Mate Leroy Brown?  Lisa was showing that she could find out what was going on in the Teams.

Claire’s amusement could be felt through the mental contact.  I hope you used something besides candy this time with the young kids.  Their parents were not too pleased for them to get more candy that Easter and Halloween combined.  No, Leroy’s brother Tom is Sheila Hunt’s Life-Mate.  He is also nearly as good at mathematics as she is but he also has an excellent understanding of physics.  Marie is very, very happy but she has had us keep it in so we can surprise them.  Then as we were ready to have them meet, a Life-Mate pair came up to Marie and treated her like a movie star.  They are doctoral candidates in mathematics and astrophysics and they are of a quality that we want both on the Teams and at JCU.  We have decided to go ahead with forming the scientific Teams.  Lisa, get with the others and consider reporters we would want to be embedded in a Team that has as its major emphasis science.  Your access to a science Team will be no different from with any of the Teams.  We just need someone that has the ability to explain the science that they write about and will be able to keep up with the science Team when they go in the field.
 
Well that is certainly not me.  Lisa commented.
 
We got to go.  Claire told them.  Even with the speed of mental communication, they only had a very short time to get to the apartment with the way that Marie was hurrying.

Marie had slowed Sheila down at the last moment with a question about the presentation.  This had allowed Ben to guide Sherry and Jane so they could watch the surprise first meeting of the two new Life-Mates.

Once again, the Teams had arranged the surprised meeting between one of their Team members and their Life-Mate.  The Team Life-Mates were using the meetings to study what happened when Life-Mates meet.  They all had been through it but they still didn’t understand the changes in the individual when Life-Mates met.

Again, the Team members watched as Life-Mates discovered each other.

That is what happens when Life-Mates meet.  It is more pronounced now that almost everyone can mentally communicate.  That is why we don’t question any Life-Mate bond.  Jane, I am Ben Tohe.  I am personally glad that you found each other.  I have known Sherry for a long time.  She is one of the people that I wanted to see if she were interested in working at James Cook University.  After the way you impressed Marie and my Team leaders, we want to talk to the two of you about joining one of the Teams in Queensland.  We have the current Teams but we also have a scientific Team that meeting the two of you and Tom Brown has shown us that we were ready to form.
 
You are mentally communicating with us.  We learned how to make a shield so that we didn’t have to deal with all the bigoted remarks that a lot of people would send to us.  Jane was upset that they would once again deal with the hateful remarks.
 
Excuse me.  Ben was embarrassed by how he had acted.  I should have asked before bypassing your shields.  We are so excited to have you join us that I forgot my manners.  Once you get trained, each of you will be able to put up a shield that will be hard for a Qoof master to break.  The two of you will have a shield then that few of us can get by.  It would take a multi-race union or one of the prime Life-Mate pairs to get passed.  You also will learn how to by-pass or even breech shields.
 
The two young women were surprised at what Ben had told them.

Sherry asked her friend.  Ben, Marie wants to work with us.
 
I think the first thing we will teach you is how to drop your shield with respect to a person or a group.  Until then, drop you shield so that Marie can communicate with you.  She is more polite than I am.  Ben smiled at the two women.

They dropped their shield.

Sherry and Jane, you have abilities that we are looking for.  More importantly, you will be able to help me in finding the answers for all the questions that the Adjacent World Theory has raised.  Will you join us?  Marie’s sincerity in working with them was apparent through the mental contact.

Yes, we very much want to work with all of you.  Sherry answered for the two of them.
 
 
Ben and Linda Tohe’s College Apartment
Stanford University
Palo Alto, California, USA
Thursday August 5, 1999
 
It was late afternoon before Sol and John Harvey arrived.  The plan was to start when the other world was in daylight when they explored, so they planned to start eight hours later in the day than when Ben and Linda first visited the other world.  This also allowed time for naps for the younger Team members since they expected to be working late.

The introductions were short since everyone had mentally met the four new Team members.

Sol took Sherry and Jane aside.  “I am glad you have chosen to join us.  The two of you provided the spark that we needed to decide we were ready to start the first science Team.  The science Team will be set up similarly to the action Teams but without the training for exploration or combat.  The emphasis will be on scientific investigation.  We have learned much from the other races in addition to the changes that the Adjacent World Theory has made in our understanding of the universe.  We expect to learn much more as we visit other worlds and solar systems either through the windows or with spacecraft.  We believe that Life-Mates will have an advantage in understanding much of what we will encounter so we were especially fortunate when we found the two of you.”

“We have been talking with everyone while we helped to get things ready.  The idea of a science Team was something that we had never heard of or every dreamed of being a part of and.  We are honored by the offer, but we would like to join one of the action Teams.  We haven’t felt such a feeling of belonging as we do now.”  Sherry nodded in agreement with Jane’s statement.

“You know that there will be times where you and your teammates may be the only people on a world for weeks at a time.  The Teams may also run into the Nartak or the Qoof.”  Sol was concerned that the two young women may only be looking at the action Teams as a place of refuge where they were accepted.

“The way we heard it was that the Teams were going out to look for the Nartak and the Qoof.  Conflict wasn’t something that we ever thought about getting into, but from what we heard those two species need to be brought under control.  As to the exploring, we are a couple of country girls that escaped to Stanford because we didn’t want to deal with how we were treated in a small town.  Our families weren’t the problem.  It was just a few people but they are hard to avoid in a small town.”

Sherry took over explaining from her Life-Mate.  “It is not as though we wouldn’t still be doing scientific research.  Ben and Linda are looking to tie what they learned from their parents in with what we learn about the adjacent worlds and the mental abilities.  Being on the front line will be where we can learn the most.”

Sol smiled at them.  “I know.  Why do you think that Mei-lei and I have no problems with our kids being on the Teams.  It was their decision but we completely back them.  Dave was almost as happy to have a Life-Mate so that he could be a full member of the Team as he was to have found Fran.”

“Dad, I think I have convinced him which was the more important happening.”  Fran had walked up behind Sol as he sat talking.  She gave him a hug and a quick kiss on the cheek.  Her wink at Sherry and Jane was cut off by her sharp cry.  She turned around to face her attacker.

“Fran, behave yourself.  You don’t want to give Sol any reason to sent Dave to a boarding school.”  Teresa told her sister.

“As if Dave and I get any time alone with you and the others keeping an eye on us.”

“We let you have time alone, just not how you want it.  I cannot wait for Jason and me to be big enough to fly one of the flyers.”

“Yes that was fun.”  The two sisters walked off talking about the flyers.

Sol face was red.  “I’m not sure what we did to deserve Fran.  Dave was bad enough.”

Sherry and Jane were laughing.  They are just one big family.  Sherry told Jane.

Not they, we!  Jane corrected her Life-Mate.

Sol realized that Sherry and Jane weren’t laughing at him or Fran, they were laughing because they were happy.  Two more have joined our family.  He stood and walked over to Marie and John Harvey.  “Will they be replacing you?”

“No, they will be on Team 1.  They will be the ninth squad.  It will allow Kim and Rob or Eric and Lisa to stay behind when the women get close to their time.  I expect that we may have to add a fourth “baby” Team as a reserve to allow couples to rotate in and out of the action Teams.  Sheila and Tom should join Team 3.  This will give us people that will understand the Adjacent World Theory in each Team.  John and I will stay active in Team 2 except when my pregnancies are progressed enough to conflict with what we have to do.  We need to staff the Teams to at least fifty percent over what we had planned.”

*******

It was almost time for the first attempt to step into the other world.  All of the equipment had been checked.  Of the four new Team members, only Tom Brown had not been assigned a task.

Charles, what are the priorities of the first-in Team after you have entered the world that Linda and Ben visited?  Sol asked.

The first priority is to avoid detection even if we must return early.  The second is to take the measurements that will allow Marie to calculate the window settings for this world.  The third is to collect samples of the local flora and fauna.  The fourth is check if there is an intelligent species on this world.  The last is to identify a possible site to set up an observatory to determine the location in space of the world.  If we become endangered, we will discontinue our work and return here.

Robert, what is the job of the backup squads?

We are to ensure the protection of the first-in Team.

Mary Steele, what is the job of the medical squad?

Provide medical care here on Earth and to be ready to step over to the other world to provide medical care if ordered.

John Harvey, what are the tasks for the youth squads?

Jason and Teresa are to maintain mental communication with the first-in Team and anyone else that goes over to the new world.  KA, JJ, and Less are to be ready to control any hostile life forms.  They will stay here until you or I direct that they step over into the other world.  If they go over into the other world, Willy and Linda are to accompany them and protect them.

Marie, what is the task of the science squad.

We are to monitor what is happening and record the data about the new world.  Additionally, we will suggest additional testing that might be necessary.

Jenny, what is the task of the security squad?

We are to provide protection here on Earth and to monitor the area around the apartment for potential threats.

My job is to ensure every ones safety and that all of your missions are accomplished.  Sol turned to Tom Brown.  You are the only one without an assigned task.  What I want you to do is observe what is going on and look for anything that we are missing.  If you see anything tell me, John Harvey, or the person involved.  Additionally, if someone needs something or needs something done you are the person to whom they will go.

“You make it sound like more than something to keep me busy.”  Tom says.

“Keep to mental communication so that we all can know what you say.”  It is.  Mei-lei was to have handled this task, but I believe that you are the better choice.  You maintained your calm when your brother was about to be beaten, but you continued to try to help him.  You are not familiar with how the Teams operate so you will be able to provide an outside view of what we are doing.  Sol looked over at the Life-Mate pair that was new to the Teams.  In fact, Sherry and Jane, if you should see something that we are overlooking let us know, but most of your attention should be on the tasks that Marie would give you.

They acknowledged the extra assignment.

Ok, if no one has anything else, we are ready to go.  First-in Team can make the attempt when they are ready.  Sol sat back and watched their preparation.

In the living room, the three sets of Life-Mates joined hands and started to meditate as Ben and Linda had taught them.  They were standing where Ben and Linda had crossed earlier.  The others were scattered about the apartment as well as Sherry and Jane’s apartment.  It had helped to have the second apartment since they would have been cramped in just one.

As Sol watched the first-in Team, he had thought that he had blinked because suddenly they were not there, but everyone else had also reacted.  All six had disappeared simultaneously.

They are on the other world in a small clearing.  It is a cloudy day.  Brenda reported that the world has intelligent beings but the nearest village is thirty-seven miles away.  Jason reported.

Sol thought about the report of the intelligent beings.  “Tell them to continue, but keep a watch for anyone approaching them.”

We were also able to stay with them when they went to the other world.  This world is not in the larger group with the others we have visited and it is one of several in a new group that we can sense.  Marie, you may have a hard time with the window settings.  These worlds are less Earthlike than the other worlds.  For us it is a matter of adjusting to the differences.  I am not sure how you would adjust the parameters for them.  Claire reported the findings of her Life-Mate triad.

How are the worlds different?  Marie asked.

We have not checked the other new ones.  All of our concentration is for the world to which they went.

Could you step over to the new world?  Sol was only interested in the one world for now.

We have a very slight difference in altitude, so we have gotten up on the couch.  The difference is only a couple of inches so our return should be no problem.  Willy, Linda, Alyca and Bruce were able to identify how to step into the new world.  Alyca reports that Townsville is about a thousand feet above the land level on the new world.  We would need to tunnel down to access the new world from there.  The new world is smaller and the location here must correspond to some very high ground.

So all the Team primes could follow the first-in Team into the new world.  Jason, ask Ben about the gravity on the new world.  Marie requested of her nephew.

He said that they noticed the difference right away and that he measured gravity at 94% of earth norm.  Jason passed on Ben’s observation.

That is too big of a difference for the difference in altitude.  Maybe the core is less dense.  Marie commented.

Let us take a few minutes for everyone to learn how to step to the new world.  Willy and Linda, would you stay ready to back up the first-in Team?  Robert directs.  When we are done, all of us will have access to the new world in case anything happens.

*******

“That finishes up the measurements that Marie needs.”  Ben started to stow the equipment away.  “It is nice that we can send the information back and not have to write it down.”

“Brenda and Linda, as soon as Ben and Mary have everything put away, you can start collecting your samples.”  Charles told them.

Quiet!  We have three aliens approaching us.  I don’t think that they have spotted us.  They appear in a hurry.  Brenda told them.

Yes, they seem unaware of us.  Charles passed the information back to Earth.  We have three aliens in a hurry approaching us.  The problem is that they are on a path that leads to the clearing where we are.  I don’t see how they will miss us.  Even if we return, they would notice that we have been here.

Any signs of weapons?  Robert asked.

Knives, bows, a spear, and a one-shot pistol.  I would say from the other stuff that they are carrying that they are traveling on foot and plan to camp out tonight, but right now, they are running from something.  Charles answered.

Are you facing the direction from which they are coming?  Nancy asked.

Yes.  They are a couple of hundred yards off and will be here in less than a minute.
 
We are in that direction in Sherry and Jane’s apartment.  We need to keep them from getting away until you are done.  We will step over and be behind them when they get to the clearing.  We need to hold them until we finish collecting the information that we planned to get.  Robert has taken charge of the emergency situation but he realized that he had time to check with Sol. Sol, do you concur?
 
Sounds good.  You should also question them.  We can learn a lot that way.
 
It will give away some of our mental capabilities.  Robert replied.
 
I think that will be acceptable.  They will know that we are from another planet.  Sol judged the information well worth letting a less developed species know that they had mental abilities.

You could do an alien abduction scenario.  Tom suggested.  Bring them back here.  Interrogate them, and then return them without a memory of it.
 
We don’t have the power to make them forget.  Sol replied.
 
“Dad!”  JJ looked at John Harvey.

JJ can do it.  John Harvey was unhappy to let others know but it was the right reason for using the ability.

The announcement surprised KA, Less, and Marie.

I had a private talk with JJ about what he could do, when I became aware of his ability.  I explained why changing a person’s memories might be a bad thing to do.  JJ agreed to keep the ability secret and not use it without my permission.  We kept it a secret between the two of us.
 
I had wondered with the way JJ could persuade, interrogate, and know whether someone was lying, whether he could change someone’s memory.  Nancy told her Life-Mates.
 
Yes, it does fit with the other things he can do.  Claire replied.
 
We may need to learn the ability.  Nancy felt that what she was thinking was very important.  I suspect the Qoof may have this type of ability.

The three Life-Mates’ personal discussion was interrupted by Charles warning that the alien trio was almost to the clearing.  They are almost here.  Have they entered into the area where you can sense them?
 
Yes, we can perceive them.  Clair replied.
 
Sherry and Jane were standing in the opening to the kitchen watching the three armed teenagers stand on the couch prepare to step to another world to confront three aliens.  They were confused but excited.
 
Nancy had been watching them.  She was happy at how they were taking things.  It looks like you two would definitely be more interested in joining one of the action Teams.  She smiled.
 
The two new Team members smiled back and nodded.
 
They stopped.  They must have sensed something.  Robert announced.  We need to step in and grab them and step back.  Just like in the rescues that we practiced but we will need to subdue them.

One second the three were on the couch.  A second later, they were standing on the floor with three aliens.  The shock of the change of location stunned the aliens, which allowed them to be easily disarmed.

“How did you do that so fast?”  Sherry was startled by the three aliens in her living room.

“Practice.  A lot of practice.”  Claire was also surprised at how fast it had happened.  It was another one of the lucky coincidences that the aliens had stopped so close to where they would enter the other world.

The three aliens looked around.  They had first seen Sherry and Jane but continued to look around until they saw the three Life-Mates.  The shock of seeing the three Life-Mates is much greater than their finding themselves in an alien world.  They drop down to the ground with all four legs folded under them and with their two arms crossed across their body.  They each face one of the three Life-Mates and speak the same alien words.

Sherry and Jane did not know what to make of this, but the three Life-Mates had been able to understand the aliens’ thoughts and the mental messages that the aliens had shared.  What had surprised them was the meaning of the words that they had read in each mind.  ‘We ask for the Guardians protection.’

Claire responded while Robert and Nancy undertook other tasks.

We mean you no harm.  We will protect you from those that pursue you.  We need to know more about your world and recent happenings there.  Claire told the aliens.

Charles, they were being pursued.  Can you sense the pursuers?  Robert asked.

Let us check.  Charles and Brenda joined hands.  No, there is no one pursuing within our range.  We will continue collecting the samples but keep alert for pursuit.

They have requested our protection.  They called the three of us the Guardians, which is the name that came into their mind when they saw us.  They had come to these hills seeking our protection, but they were surprised that they had found us.  Their thoughts are like on a different frequency from our thoughts and those of the three species with which we are friends.  Nancy tells the others gathered in the two apartments.

Robert had waited for Nancy to finish her explanation.  Sol, they were being pursued.  Charles said that they couldn’t sense any pursuit.  We need to have Jason and Teresa step over and check for the pursuers.  We need more of a warning than we did with these three.

John Harvey, do you agree?  Sol asked.

Yes, I agree.  Willy and Linda will join us for protection.  They have a longer range, but Marie and I should help interpret what we find.  We might as well learn as much as we can.  Mei-lei, will you work with KA, JJ and Less.  Dave and Fran, be ready to take the three of them over if we need their help.  They made preparation for the additional Team members to go over to the new world.

“Sherry, would you offer them some water.  I expect that we will be here for some time.  Then the two of you should sit and be comfortable, I expect that this will take a while.”  Claire and her Life-Mates sat on the couch and regarded the three aliens.

A few minutes later after the aliens had accepted the water and Jason had reported what they had found, the three Life-Mates took up the questioning.

No one has pursued you into the hills.  There are three groups at the beginning of the hills, but they seem more ready to fight each other.  Claire was leading the questioning.

The smallest of the three answers.  They are from our families.  They await your servants before they can enter your hills.

How should we communicate with them that they are not to pursue you or enter into the hills.
 
Your servants have the ability to communicate as you do with us.  That is how it is known that they are your servants.  The alien replied.

Are the three of you our servants?
 
We must be since we spoke with you.  Claire could tell that they were not happy about being their servants.  None have ever spoken with you or met you before.  It was told to us by your servants that you would come one day.  You would lead us to other worlds where we could be free.
 
Do you wish to be our servants?
 
No, we wish to be together and mate.  Servants do not mate.
 
Why should you not be together and mate?  You are Life-Mates.  They had realized that they were Life-Mates as they disarmed them.

Servants do not mate.  They serve you.  The smallest alien who had been doing all the communications with them replied.  The three aliens had been communicating between themselves as if they didn’t realize that that communications was open to the humans.

What are Life-Mates?  The largest alien asked.

Ones that have the close relationship with each other as you do and who communicate readily among themselves as the three of you do.  Claire told them.

You know what we say among ourselves.  The third alien was worried about what they had learned.

Yes, all of your thoughts are available to us.  Do you not know how to shield them from others?

Only thoughts that you send to another can be known.
 
No, you know that is not so since your thoughts are available to each other.  Can you not hold hands and think as one?
 
Yes, but that is something we can do but not others.  They cannot be one.
 
Jason interrupts.  Your servants have arrived.  He was laughing.  Robert had been forwarding the interchange to all the other members of the Team.

Our servants have arrived.  How should we communicate with them?  Robert asked.

You should communicate as one not as you have been with us.  The smallest alien answered.  It was the dominant one in their relationship just as was the case when three of the Mossen joined as mates.

Let us return to you world and tell these servants that you are with us and none should enter the hills.  That we will be communicating with the three of you.  We will also tell them that we look favorably on the three of you being one.  You should be allowed to mate.  Nancy told them.

The White’s Home
Palo Alto, California, USA
Thursday August 5, 1999

Later that evening after the three Mossens had been returned to their world, the humans have gathered at the White’s home to discuss what they had learned.

“There was a war a few generations ago between the three families or nations.  ‘Our servants’ stopped the war, how is unclear but since then the Servants of the Guardians have maintained the peace.  A couple of generation later, their industry was destroyed from space.  They have tried to rebuild but any time that they started whether it was a large factory, shipyard, mine or other major industry.  It has also been destroyed.  They have found that small industries were ignored.”  Claire summarizes.

“Sounds like the Clar.”  Linda Steel says.

“Yes, that is what we thought also, but the Mossen have had no contact with who is doing it.  They were just entering what we would describe as the steel age when their industries were destroyed.  They have some observatories, but they are smaller ones that are hidden.  Large observatories face the same fate as the industries.”

“Well we have the three of them acting as our emissaries on the planet.  We need to get one of the local Teams working with them.  Meanwhile, the automated observatory was set up in the clearing and we should have an idea of where this world is located.”  Sol adds.

“We have identified 17 additional worlds that we can step over into.  I will be working to see if we can calculate what the settings are for these worlds.  Luckily, I now have four apprentices and the calculations are a lot of work so I will use it for their training.”  Marie’s comments set off moans from her apprentices.

“It will be a while before we have enough automated observatories to place one on each world that we can access.  Once we have those we will know the location of the worlds and be able to monitor some of the happenings in each of the solar systems.  Later we will set up outposts on worlds where we can and have shuttles that we can use to place satellites in space to report on what is going on.  Hopefully we can have other Teams trained so that they can do much of the work.”  Sol told them.

“What will our Teams be doing?”  Jane asked.

“Training.  Visiting Mars.  More training.  Going to talk to the Clar.  Still more training.  And that doesn’t even take into account the schooling that we will be taking.  We should have had more training before what we did today, but it was too important to delay.  Things just came together and this was the time to do it.  And we gained four more Team mates.  Life-Mates for two of the family and another Life-Mate pair to join our family.”  The groans at the first of Robert’s words change to cheers at the last ones.

“But we are not related to any of you.”  Sherry is happy at their acceptance but is confused.

“A lot of us were not that long ago.  The Fusco tied the Whites and the Stanleys to the Maclarens just over a month ago, but we were part of the family before then.  We have met you and we know you are family.  How we are connected by blood and Life-Mates is nice but is not really what this family is.”  Dave White said.

“Fran, it seems that his hanging around with you is doing my son some good.”  Mei-lei told her son’s Life-Mate.

“Something has been bothering me about the Mossen.  Why was it important that we meet them?”  Claire saw that besides her Life-Mates with who she had been discussing the question that most of the others did not understand the problem.

Willy understood the question when Claire voiced it.  He also realized that most of them had not understood what Claire was asking.  “Rephrasing the question.  What is so important that the Mossen had been told to expect the arrival of the Guardians?”

“Of course, so many coincidences happening must mean that meeting the Mossen is important, but why?  The Kin, Glazen and Swizz are all part of our group mind.  I think we can all agree that the Mossen are not.”  Sol understood what he and most of them had missed.

“They said that the Guardians were sent to help them.”  Less had been very curious about who they needed protection from.

KA had sensed her sister wondering from whom the Mossen would need protection.  “Yes, who do they need protection from?  It is not the Clar.  They only wanted to keep them out of space.”

Chapter 11 – The Football Team

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