Ch 18 Talks with the Clar

AU Teams Shuttle Hanger
Planet Kartan
December 23, 1999

The last of the shuttles was almost assembled.  The last seven were equipped with the new rail gun cannon.  The lead squad of each team would each fly one.  The squads with Will and Leslie’s other three children and Richard and Laura Hunt’s squad would fly the other four.  Their proficiency with personal weapons as taught by Alyca had translated well to the shuttle-mounted weapon.  That meant that Robert, Claire, and Nancy would be flying the AU-1A shuttle and not Kevin and Jane.  Kevin and Jane could out fly anyone in the teams except when it came to using the new rail gun.  To be fair, none of them had had much time with the single shuttle with a rail gun that was available on Friendship.  There would be no flying on Kartan until they were ready to leave.  Every Life-Mate pair and the one triple had had a chance to fly the shuttle and fire the rail gun but there had been no time to really practice.  The Three-Fold Life-Mates had easily outscored Kevin and Jane.

Robert and Kevin were holding the last hull plate in place while A-tye and Reeemmii fastened it in place.

“Kev, we would be much happier with you doing the piloting if we were not expecting to run into Qoof warships.”  Robert looked at his distant cousin.  “You and Jane just need time to practice.  We never expected when we said that the shuttles with the cannons would go to the squads with the best scores that we would outshoot you and Jane.”

“Well it was my fault that you even competed.  I just wanted the three of you to have a chance to compete.  We didn’t even place in the top eight.  If we had done that we might have flown one of the other shuttles.”

“No, we want to keep the squads together.  The two of you are part of the squad.  Shifting you and Jane to another shuttle would lose us more than we gained.  It was embarrassing that none of the other species was able to place in the top ten.”

“No, everyone expected the Maclaren’s to be at the top.  I just expected to do much better.  Even Keyvan and Sandy beat us.”

“You should know not to under estimate Keyvan.”  Robert stopped and got a distant look for a few seconds.  “There will be a change of plans.  Keyvan and Sandy will be flying this shuttle.  We need to add seats for JJ, Jevron, Myrtle, and Todd.  Nancy had another hunch.  A high-level Qoof master will be observing the attack in a courier spacecraft.  It will probably stay at the edge of the star system.  Squad AU-2B will have the job of capturing her with JJ and Todd as backup if the Qoof master gives them any problems.”

“There’s Keyvan.  I haven’t seen him hurry like that before.”  Kevin was looking beyond Robert.

“They have over three times as far to go.  They will have to leave as soon as they can to be in place before the Qoof master arrives.”

“Where will they find the Qoof spacecraft?”  Kevin knew that the hunches were not that precise and that there had been fewer of them lately.

“The outer most planet.”  Keyvan answered.  “They will need it to hide.  The Clar will scan the entire system once they detect the approaching fleet.”

Robert, you need to send two more armed shuttles.  Will told his son.  Your sisters were born working together and they shoot almost as well as Alyca.  The Clar master may have other spacecraft for protection.  It would not hesitate to throw those lives away in order to escape.

That will leave us with only four armed shuttles.  Jane commented.

And an armed Clar fleet.  Robert understood what his father was thinking.  In fact, it makes more sense to have Kevin and you fly than us.  We are not the primary military force defending the system.  The Clar fleet is.  Our major addition to the battle will be keeping atomic warheads from exploding near the Clar.  He paused to confer with his Life-Mates.  We do not have combat experience.  We may not be the right ones to lead in combat.

Nonsense.  Willy told his brother.  The three of you are the best at putting information together and drawing a conclusion or even a guess when it has to be done fast.  In this case, you didn’t have to react instantaneously.  You need to seek advice when you have the time for it.  You have a lot of experience in the Teams.  Make use of it when you have time.

We still need more experience.

We all will get it in the next few days.  Keyvan remarked.

Qoof Fleet Expected to Attack Clar in Kartan Star System – Douglas Richards, The Scotsman
 
December 23, 1999 – A Qoof fleet is expected to attack the Clar settlements in the Kartan star system in the next week.  The Australian teams are advancing their departure for their trip to meet the Clar so that the meeting can occur prior to the attack.  Actions by the Clar in the Kartan and Mossly star systems had led to speculation that the Qoof have been using oxygen breathing species in their attacks against the Clar.  The Qoof attack that was observed in the Mossly star system confirmed this.
 
When I questioned Robert Maclaren about the risks of approaching the Clar as they ready for the attack, he said.  “Nancy’s premonition of the Qoof attack allows us to move up our departure so that we can approach the Clar before the Qoof fleet will be detected.  When we join together with Hand in sing the song “You Got A Friend”, we expect that the Clar will have the same reaction that we all did to the Hand’s version of the song.”

Conference Room
MME Headquarters
Townsville, Queensland, Australia
December 25, 1999

The meeting was unofficial since the humans did not represent their species and some of them were not government officials.  The four Glazens also only led a portion of the Glazens but in their many reincarnations, they had often led their people.  The two Swizz were the former members of the AU-1A squad who were now on the AU science Team.  Those that normal spoke for the Kin were with the Teams on their way to meet the Clar.  Leslie Lawrence Kin-bond mate, Claveria who was Moairia’s sister, had informed them that she would represent the Kin.  Charles and Karen Blake were the only ones there that did not have a relative among the Teams that were journeying to meet the Clar.

When will they sing out to the Clar?  Karen Blake asked.

After the Clar notices them.  Claveria was still surprised sometimes by the fact that the others didn’t immediately share important information among themselves.

They approach in a non-threatening manner.  O-bat thought of the last minute discussion that had been held after the possibility of a hidden Qoof master was foretold.  The Three-Fold Life-Mates had sought advice, but only one major change had been made.  Additional help to keep the Qoof master under control had been added to the three shuttles.  Jason and Teresa would be going with Mary and Ben.  KA and Mike would be going with Brenda and Charles.  It had made no one happy except the four children that they had been the best choice.

It is so strange that their introduction will be a song.  Lisa Hunt was concerned that the lives of her three children depended on a song.

It is more than a song.  It embodies the relationship between our five species.  Marion Che-Tohe was also concerned for her four children who were also members of the Australian Teams but she also knew that what they did was necessary for the survival of the five species and probably many others as well.

I wish we were with them.  Marie Maclaren Lawrence had transferred out of an active Team into a scientific Team.  This left her and her husband, John Harvey, planet side while her sister, two of her children, a nephew, many cousins, and her best friends went to meet the Clar.

You are too valuable.  As it is, we risk many that may be impossible to replace.  Jess told his daughter.  I think that we will gain and learn much when the five species are joined.

And we will need to take the time to learn and explore what we have.  Will told his cousin and the others.

Yes, we have not even visited all the adjacent worlds.  Jimmy Hunt wondered what they would find on those worlds.  How can we defend so many worlds?
 
The forces that I have gathered on Lotatt were for attacking one world.  We don’t have people to attack both the Qoof and Nartak empires.  O-bat though the Glazen had never fought an interstellar war was familiar with smaller actions.
 
Those are some of the reasons why we need to learn and explore.  The Qoof and Nartak have fought for three thousand years.  We don’t want to get caught up in the same kind of conflict.  We have to learn more about what our five species can do together especially since we have new abilities.  Also, we need to find out about the adjacent worlds and how we can take advantage of them.  Will expanded on his previous statement.

We are also relying heavily on young people that are learning while they are doing.  Dave Clarke was thinking mainly of his daughter and her two Life-Mates but knew that it applied to the Team members of every species.  The inclination to join a team was strongest with younger people.

Grandfather, the Clar have noticed the shuttles.  Jerome, Eric, and Less mentally communicated to Jess.

AU-1A Shuttle
Kartan System
December 25, 1999

Everyone, prepare for zero gravity when Kevin releases the connections between the shuttles.  Claire addressed the fleet of twenty-four shuttles.  Form each Team into a line so that the Clar can better count us.  Remember to leave space for the other three shuttles.  They had decided to let the Clar know how many they were and that three of them were elsewhere.

The shuttles moved into three lines perpendicular to the flight path.  By the time they were in position, the Clar had noticed the changing of the disposition of the fleet of shuttles.  They immediately returned to their previous flight configuration.

Clar Space Command Space Station
Hardy, the Fourth Moon of the Inner Gas Giant, Sparkle
Kartan System
December 25, 1999

“Admiral, the shuttles returned to their previous configuration.”  Commander Sweet Voice, the officer in charge of space surveillance, was confused.  “Why did they change configuration twice?”

“They showed us how many shuttles they had, but why the holes in the lines?  Admiral Rising Wind of the Long Legs Sept responded.

“Sir, I checked the recordings for the planet Kartan after enhancing the images.  These shuttles left from the surface.”  The junior surveillance officer paused.  “About four time units prior to that, three other shuttles left the surface from the same area.”

“They were telling us that there were three other shuttles.”  Rising Sun realized that they were expecting them to find them.  “Where are the other three shuttles?  Where did they come from?  Is there a starship in the system that we don’t know about?”

“Sir, they are heading for the dwarf planet, Ice Ball.  It appears they are already decelerating.  They must have been under power at a high acceleration the entire trip.  I calculate that they will reach there before the other shuttles reach here.  How can a shuttle carry that much fuel?”

“Very good question, Ensign Quiet Eddy.”  Why are they drawing our attention especially to the three shuttles going to Ice Ball?  We have nothing out there.  We sent a ship to investigate what the Qoof ship was doing there during their last attack.  That is it!  Admiral Rising Wind realized what they were telling them.  Before he could issue an order, Commander Sweet Voice interrupted.

“Admiral, they are observing us.”

“Of course they are.  They are coming here.”

“No, I mean they are observing us personally.”  She takes a pause to marshal her thoughts.  “They changed the configuration when you started to observe the surveillance images.  They returned to the prior ship configuration when you observed the changes.  I mean the exact same time with no delays.  They can observe us inside the space station without a delay for the distance.”

The admiral was shocked, but he looked at the surveillance records.  “Commander, I agree, but more importantly they did it so that we would know.  They could have changed the timing of the configuration changes and we would never have known.  They are purposely giving us information.  They are not afraid of us, since they are coming here in shuttles.”  He remembered when he was an Ensign just like Quiet Eddy.  He had also been assigned to the surveillance console when Lieutenant Fallen Rock had destroyed the Glazen starship and colony.  Captain Double Star had thrown the Lieutenant in the brig.  The court marshal had found the Lieutenant guilty and he had not been allowed to reproduce.  “Open communication using the protocols for contact with the Glazen.”

“Recording begins for Space Command Space Station in the Whirlwind System.  Date-time is 7844.326.  Broadcasting to all spacecraft and colonies in the Whirlwind System.  Messenger drones readied for reporting.  Those present will identify themselves.”  A computer-generated voice commands.

“Admiral Rising Wind, commanding Space Command forces in the Whirlwind System.”  The others in the command center followed the Admiral’s lead.

After the last individual had identified himself, the computer-generated voice spoke again.  “All present responded and identities confirmed.  What is the nature of the situation?”

“Twenty-two shuttles from the planet Kartan are on course for the planet Sparkle.  Three additional shuttles are on course from Kartan to the planet Ice Ball.  Origin of shuttles is unknown.  Species operating the shuttles is unknown.  Their actions indicate that they can observe our activity in the command center in real time because of timing of their actions.  Assumption is that they are not afraid of us as they are supplying information that would be helpful to us if hostilities occurred.  I assume that they are Glazen since they are coming from Kartan where the Glazen colony was.  The shuttles on course for the planet Ice Ball, lead me to believe that they are aware of the Qoof attacks.  At this time, I am placing Space Command forces on alert for possible Qoof attack.”  The Admiral watched his display screen as ships indicated that they were going on alert.  “Forces on alert.  I will now open communications with the Glazen shuttles.”

As soon as the audio channel was opened, the Hand’s version of the song, You’ve Got a Friend, was heard.  The command crew and all the spacecraft and colonies listening were stunned, and then Commander Sweet Voice joined in singing the song.  Admiral Rising Wind looked at his daughter Sweet Voice.  The Seer had been very firm that Sweet Voice was to be his daughter’s name, but though her voice had been very good, he now understood the name.  He had never heard such a beautiful voice.  No, that was not true, of those singing on the shuttles there were those that matched hers.  Too soon, the song was over.

“Greetings, I am Claire Clarke.  A Human.  We also have Glazen, Swizz, and Kin with us.  We have come to give a helping hand for the Qoof attack that will soon occur.  First, who is the singer?  Her sister-singers wish to greet her.”  Claire spoke in flawless Glazen.

Before the computer could translate the Glazen language, the Commander called out.  “Sweet Voice.”

AU-1A Shuttle
Kartan System
December 25, 1999

The squad members watched as Sweet Voice joined mentally with the other members of Hand.  Those that had been present when the other members had met saw that this was more than the other times.  Hand was complete.

Nancy broke into the mental conversation of the five singers.  “Sweet Voice, I am Nancy Tohe.  You need to tell the Clar what has just happened.  You will find that you can remain in communication with your sister-singers while you talk.  We must make sure that we are ready when the Qoof attack.”

Sweet Voice again was surprised.  This was another Human.  Like the one, Claire Clarke, that first spoke.  In fact, Nancy and Claire were connected along with a male human.  Moreover, they were connected to pairs of the other species and two human pairs.  There was also connected to similar groupings in the other shuttles.  However, she and her sister-singers were unique.
 
Yes, you five are unique.  The important thing to know and tell the Clar is that our four species are here to join with the Clar so that we may be complete.  Just as you completed Hand, with the Clar we will be complete and be something new and unique.  We need to teach the rest of the Clar to communicate mentally so that we can explain what we know.
 
Nancy’s comments make Sweet Voice realize that she had been communicating mentally.  I will tell them.
 
 
Clar Space Command Space Station
Hardy, the Fourth Moon of the Inner Gas Giant, Sparkle
Kartan System
December 25, 1999

“Admiral Rising Wind, I have been in mental communications with the oxygen breathers.  The time of The Return is here.”

 
AU-1A Shuttle
Kartan System
December 25, 1999

The Return.  Another prophesy fulfilled.  Nancy grinned at her stunned Life-Mates.

I think that the Clar joining with us will go easier than we expected.  Claire felt upbeat.

But why do they need us for The Return?  Robert wondered how this would fit in with what they had been tasked to do for the Qoof and Nartak.

Clar Space Command Space Station
Hardy, the Fourth Moon of the Inner Gas Giant, Sparkle
Kartan System
December 25, 1999

Admiral Rising Wind was ecstatic but he realized that what was said here was going out to all the Clar in the system.  Also, he expected that an attack by the Qoof would soon occur.  “Commander Sweet Voice, report to the Clar what has occurred.”

Sweet Voice quickly remembered that what was occurring in the Command Center was being transmitted to the Clar throughout the system.  It was also being recorded so that it could be sent to Space Command Headquarters.

“When the audio channel was opened to communicate to the shuttles that were approaching, the first thing we heard was a song sung by the four species on the shuttles.  It is a Human song but the Glazen, the Swizz, and the Kin were also singing it.  What pulled me into joining into the song were the four females, one of each of the four species.  I heard them and I knew the words to the song.  I joined them in singing the song.  Afterward, I found myself communicating with them.  I did not know at first that I was in mental communication with them.  They are singers that met when the four species met, which was a short time ago.  They have sung on worlds of each of the four species.  They have joined the others so that they could lead the greeting to us.  They have come here to join with us just as I have joined with my sister-singers.  They will teach us mental communication just as the Humans, the Glazen, and the Swizz have learned.  They know that the Qoof will be attacking soon.”

“How do we know that they are not working for the Qoof?  The Qoof control many oxygen breather species.”  Admiral Rising Wind asked.

“Everyone heard the song.  Are the Qoof capable of anything like that?”  Sweet Voice asked.

“The mind that attacked us when the Qoof were here last would never be capable of anything beautiful.”  Ensign Quiet Eddy remembered the savageness of the mind.  He remembered having to help restrain Ensign Quiet Stream, his twin.  Quiet Stream had been unable to return to duty.  He and the few others that had been turned against the Clar have been under medical restraint since the attack.  No one had been able to figure out how to help them.

“No, that is nothing like anything we have every heard about the Qoof.  Let us hear what they have to say.  In case I am wrong, I am arming the self-destruct system for this station.  The computer has chosen the Captain with the identity 13724.  If we are taken over, please destroy this station and those shuttles.”  Admiral Rising Wind realized that the Glazen translation program had told those on the shuttles what he had just ordered.  “You heard what I have ordered.  We have had problems with Qoof turning our people against us.  We will not allow that to happen.”

“We are here to cause problems for the Qoof.”  Claire’s reply is in the Clar language.  It was rough but understandable.

“I supplied the words for Claire to speak that reply.  She has asked me to take over speaking their words for them.  I am passing on what is said here to them mentally.”  Sweet Voice looks to the Admiral for his reply.

“It is not apparent that you are communicating with them.  You are doing two things at once.”

“No, three things.  I am learning more of their songs and teaching them ours.  I will have to wait to sing them.  They are beautiful.  We will create a song about what happened today.”

“How can you do so much?”  Ensign Quiet Eddy knew he was different in that he could think on two separate tasks at once.

“My mind has grown.”  Sweet Voice paused.  “Quiet Eddy, you and Bright Dawn will join the squad of Claire and her Life-Mates.”  She addressed the Clar by looking at where she knew one of the visual cameras was located.  “Nancy, one of Claire’s two Life-Mates, is given small visions of the future.  Actual, more than one type of them.  Different from our seers.  When Quiet Eddy spoke, she recognized in him one that was destined to join them.  When she ask me where his mate was, I said that he had a special one but they were not ready to mate.  She laughed and said that she and her Life-Mates were not ready to mate yet but they were the ones for her.  The three of them as Life-Mates is unique among humans and the other species.  Well, when I thought of Bright Dawn she recognized her as Quiet Eddy’s Life-Mate.”  She turned to the Admiral.  Sir, if you will permit Bright Dawn to come here, we will have a demonstration of what it means to be Life-Mates.”  She laughed.  “They are also very eager to see what happens.  They say it will complete them just as I completed Hand, the singers.  It will also help when they teach us to mentally communicate.”

“Where is Bright Dawn stationed?”  Admiral Rising Wind asked Ensign Quiet Eddy.

“She is a junior weapons officer on the Deadly Bull.”

“Captain Shining Sun, will you bring your officer Bright Dawn to the station.”

“Sir, I need to maintain my station.  I will send my daughter, Lieutenant Bright Dawn, to the station in a shuttle.”

So Shining Sun has the assignment to keep us from being taken over, but he is willing to send his daughter.  It looks like I am not the only one that finds this convincing.  Should we shift the responsibility to someone else?  No, Shining Sun will not hesitate to blow us up if he finds that we are taken over.  We have all seen what it does to those that have fallen prey to the Qoof.  “Very good, Captain Shining Sun.  You know what you have to do.”

“The shuttle with Lieutenant Bright Dawn will arrive about a quarter shift before the shuttles from Kartan.”  Quiet Eddy had calculated the arrival time while following the conversation.  He was eager to see Bright Dawn.  They knew that there was something special between them.

“Admiral, Claire has asked if their shuttle may accelerate so that they can be here when Bright Dawn arrives.”  Sweet Voice passed on the request.  “Also, where would you want the other shuttles to stop at until things are settled?”

“Do they want to come on board?”  Rising Wind asked.

“They would like to but they figure that our need for security would not make that easy to do.”

“Why not?  Would they take over the station?  We have over seven thousand troops on the station.”

“No, they said that their shuttle would keep us from blowing up the station.  That was one of the items that they have to help us with the Qoof.  They have a device that stops atomic explosions.”

“That is a very useful device.  Captain Shining Sun, do you agree that if they have that device that they are not with the Qoof.  In which case, if their shuttle could keep the station from being blown up then there is no need to blow up the station.”  Admiral Rising Wind addressed the captain that he suspect had the responsibility to blow up the station to keep it from blowing up.

“I would request that the shuttle be moved from the station when the Qoof show up.”  Shining Sun replied.

“Once they teach us the mental shielding ability they say that we will not need to fear the Qoof with the fleet.  They expect that with the way our minds naturally shield that we will have no problems handling a stronger mental attack by the Qoof.”  Sweet Voice tells them.

“Can they move the shuttle from the station when the Qoof arrive?”

“They expect to be done before then, but the pilots will stay on board so it can be moved away once everyone else enters the station.”

“I thought they were in a hurry to teach us.”  Admiral Rising Wind asks.

“Finding Quiet Eddy and Bright Dawn have changed things.  They were expecting that it would take a while to find them.  They recently taught a Glazen world and a Swizz world the mental abilities that they will be teaching us.  It took just longer than the time since we noticed them for each world.”  Sweet Voice did not tell them of the mental connection between all the mentally trained individuals across the nine planets.  “My sister singers have just returned from those worlds.  They say they were on six different worlds in four different star systems in less than fifty shifts.  That is how they got to Kartan.  They have a way for stepping from world to world.”

“Why do they need spacecraft?”  Rising Wind was dubious about this claim.

“Only worlds of a similar size and orbit can be connected.  The power source they are using to power the shuttles was invented to power the window that they use to step from one world to the next.  They have only had them for half of the orbit time of Kartan.  Earth, the Human home world, and Friendship, the Kin home world, are worlds that one can step to from Kartan.”

“Would they sell us one of these windows so that we can check for other worlds similar to what Clar Home use to be?”

The Hand and the Three-fold Life-Mates had been communicating with Sweet Voice.  Claire had been suggesting what to tell the other Clar so that they would have time to adjust to what was coming.  Sweet Voice, what happened to Clar Home?
 
A solar flare destroyed the atmosphere.  We have not been able to find suitable worlds to live on.  We have had to move to worlds much farther from their suns.  They are much colder than Clar Home.  Most of our people live in space.
 
Tell them, that we will help the Clar find the worlds you need.  How to make the windows and the power source for them will be among the many things that we will share with the Clar.
 
Sweet Voice passed on the information.

Admiral Rising Wind knew that what they offered was almost priceless.  “What is the price for this help?”
 
Both the windows and the power source are of enormous value.  How would we pay for them?
 
Sweet Voice, we named our group Hand to represent the union of the five species.  Jenni Wavi explained.  We knew that we would find you and then Hand would be complete.  All of our species have hands with five fingers.  When the Clar join with the Kin, the Glazen, the Swizz, and the Humans, then the five species will be complete as something new.  Remember how it was when we sang together.  Was that not much more than any singing that you had done before?  So will it be when the five species join together.
 
Sweet Voice, you can understand that since you experienced what it is like to be a part of Hand.  They will not understand until they have learned the mental abilities.  Nancy wondered what foreseeing abilities the Clar seers had.  Have the seers told you when you will find the worlds that you seek?
 
Yes, it is a silly saying.  When the thumb has found its fingers, the hand will open windows to let fresh air onto Clar Home.  Then the hand will end the fight between the parent and the offspring.  No one had ever understood what…  The first line now makes sense.  The Clar is the thumb and your four species are the fingers.  Your windows will allow us to find the worlds we have been looking for.  The part about the parent and the offspring makes no sense.
 
The Nartak created the Qoof!  Robert spoke for the three Life-Mates.

Clar Space Command Space Station
Hardy, the Fourth Moon of the Inner Gas Giant, Sparkle
Kartan System
December 26, 1999

Kevin and Jane had dropped the rest of the AU-1A squad and the group Hand off and then stood off from the Clar space station with the rest of the shuttles.  After they had gone through a very brief decontamination, they had been greeted by Commander Sweet Voice and Ensign Quiet Eddy.

Four members of Hand greeted their new member with hugs.  With the spacesuits they wore, the four members of Hand would always have a physical barrier with their Clar sister but mentally there were no barriers.  When the team members had learned the orbit size of the planet Clar Home, they had realized that they would not face the large temperature difference that they had been expecting.  The gases that the Clar breathed were still deadly to the oxygen breathing species; therefore, they still need their space suits.  They did not need the heavy insulating over suits that they had developed for the meeting.  They would be able to meet in the same room without one side freezing and the other over-heating.

We will be meeting on the bridge.  Admiral Rising Wind felt it would help us to discuss the coming Qoof attack.  Sweet Voice informed them.

“Also, it is where you have the best setup for transmitting the meeting to the rest of the Clar.”  Robert’s smile is unnoticed by the Clar but the fact that he had learned the Clar language in a few hours is noticed by the Clar.

“You know our language.”  Quiet Eddy voiced the surprise of all the Clar but Sweet Voice.

“I have been teaching them.”  Sweet Voice’s happiness makes her voice sparkle.  “I am also learning their languages.  We will be able to hold the meeting without translators.  All will know what is said.”

Quiet Eddy nodded.  “I will wait here for Bright Dawn.”

“No, we want to have her meet all of us where it can best be observed.”  Nancy allowed some of the ability to command that they had learned from JJ to accompany her voice.  “It will illustrate for the Clar the changes that occur when we join together.  We will also be sending out the meeting to the other four species.”

Quiet Eddy knew that Nancy had tried to do something but it hadn’t worked.

“As I thought, Quiet Eddy is not susceptible to being mentally commanded.”  Robert looked at Nancy.  “The ability to command is different from what the Qoof do.  You and Bright Dawn will join our squad as our Clar members.  We will explain that later but it is similar but different from what Sweet Voice has found with Hand.”

“Though the command was not directed at Sweet Voice, her connection with Hand allowed her to totally ignore it.”  Claire had monitored the five members of Hand during the test of the command voice.

“You were testing us.”  Quiet Eddy was a little annoyed.

“Only if you expand us to include all of us here.”  Nancy told him.  “We have been a little disturbed at the vast limits we have found on our abilities.  We are happy when we find that we do have limits.”

The Three-Fold Life-Mates are unique.  Moiria’s thoughts go out to Hand, the squad and Quiet Eddy.   Hand is unique.  Both will find that their limits well beyond all others, but their limits and abilities are different.  The Three-Fold Life-Mates will lead our five species as we deal with the Qoof and the Nartak.  Hand will sing the songs that will lead to the binding of our species together.

We will lead through this squad and our teams.  Only with all five species working together will we be what we must be.  Claire did not deny what Moiria had told them.  The Over Mind told us that it had been told to tell us that.

Over Mind.  Sweet Voice had not known of it.

Combining our five species has created an Over Mind that is the total of all of us.  It first became apparent when the four species had joined together.  It can connect us all wherever we are.  When the Clar joins us, it will start to learn what it is destined to be.  Nancy realized that she has confused the two Clar.  That, which gives your seers their knowledge, also gives it to some of us in the other species.  That information is what has led us to each other so that we may join.  The Over Mind is part of what it intended to create.  We are another part.  In fact, our five species have been guided by it for some time.  We have much to learn about what its intent for us is.
 
“That is much more than I expected.”  Quiet Eddy was stunned by the revelation.
 
“We have had a continuing expansion of what we were learning for half the time that Kartan takes to complete an orbit.”  Robert had also switched to words.  “We have seen recently on both Glazen and Swizz worlds the impact of getting all that we have learned in a short time.”  He motioned everyone towards the exit.  “We need to tell this to more than just the two of you.”

*******

When they got to the command center, they were impressed by the well run efficiency that they saw.  Sweet Voice mentally coaxed then through the greetings of the Admiral and his staff.

“Your three shuttles have arrived at Ice Ball.  They appear to have landed.  We may have detected a ship approaching Ice Ball from outside the system but it is too distant to tell anything about it.  We have detected no other ships except one of our freight ships coming from another direction.  They have passed our clearance test.”  Admiral Rising Wind passed on the latest intelligence.

“That ship should be able to reach here before the attack fleet arrives.  I hope that you do not have any more ships arriving for a few days.  It would be hard to protect them across the system.  There are three Qoof ships approaching Ice Ball.  They are all scout ships.  A high-level Qoof master is on one of them.  We believe that the other two are for her protection.  All are fully crewed by Qoof.  Our intentions is to capture the Qoof master and as many of the other Qoof as possible.”  Robert informed the Clar.

“You are not afraid of their mind powers.”  Quiet Eddy remembered what they had experienced during the last attack.

“We expect to be able to handle them with the crews of the three ships.  They have additional help with them but hope not to use them.”

“Why are you concerned about using your reserves?”  Admiral Rising Wind asked.

“None of us have had the training we need.  This is the first time that we have used these shuttles for longer than a few hours at a time.  The first one flew less than three weeks ago.  The reserves on the three shuttles are children.”  Robert could tell that he had really surprised the Clar with this information.  “They are the strongest available in the abilities that we wanted as backup, but we had planned to leave them on Kartan.  The opportunity to capture this high of a Qoof master led us to this risk.”

“We have lost millions in fighting the Qoof.  You have less that hundred in the three shuttles.”  Admiral Rising Wind wondered if these possible allies would be able to stomach the losses of war.

“Oh, they are at very little risk of dying.  We need this attack to appear to be repelled by only the Clar.  We do not want to let the Qoof know what they now face.  We expect that we will be able to keep the Qoof ignorant as to what happened to their three fleets.”

“Three fleets.  We barely held off one fleet during the last attack.”  Admiral Rising Wind was worried.

“But now their missiles will not blow up your ships.”

“I have three hundred and twenty-one major combat ships, dozens of space habitats, and our colonies on the moons.  You have less than six hands of your shuttles to prevent the explosions.”

“We have twenty five hundred and seven devices for you to place where you need protection.  These are the third generation models.  They have a two thousand kilometer radius for the sphere of protection.  We anticipate two problems.  The first is one or more of the fleets disengaging and getting away with information about what is happening.  The second is their ships getting in close where their ships are also protected from nuclear explosions.”  Robert smiled.  “With the higher Qoof master watching from Ice Ball, I believe that the second situation is what we are going to see her order.  That is where our shuttles come into play.  We can close with their ships and neutralize the Qoof in command.  We expect that this will lead to the crews mutinying and killing the Qoof.”

Claire took over the discussion from Robert.  “First, though we want to teach all the Clar in this system the mental abilities that our four species have learned.  This will give you even more advantage than the nuclear suppressors.  We would like to get this done now so that we can take out the ships at Ice Ball in case they notice anything.”

“You have been waiting so that you can check to see if the Qoof can detect what you will do.”  Admiral Rising Wind comments.

“No, we have been waiting for Bright Dawn.”  Claire addressed Quiet Eddy.  “Please wait for her here.  We want everyone to see.”

Sweet Voice puts her hand on Quiet Eddy’s shoulder keeping him in place.

Just then, the Clar lieutenant briskly entered the room and made her way to Admiral Rising Wind.  Her eyes looked over the strangers present but lingered briefly on Quiet Eddy.  “Lieutenant Bright Dawn reporting as requested Admiral.”

Rising Wind’s amusement was apparent even to the non-Clar.  “Lieutenant, I’m not sure how much Captain Shining Sun told you but you are here for a demonstration by our new found friends.”

A look of confusion passed over her face.

“Bright Dawn, you and Quiet Eddy are now off duty.  Go stand beside him.  I think that holding hands would help with the demonstration.”  Admiral Rising Wind barely held in a laugh at the look on her face as she went and did as she was told.

When their hands touched, it was obvious that something had happened between them.  The touch turned into a full embrace that surprised all the Clar.  They quickly broke apart as they realized where they were and how many were watching them.

“We can communicate mentally.”  Bright Dawn said in surprise.  Then she turned as she sensed the approach of the visitors.

“That is just the start of what you will find that you can now do.  I am Nancy of the Humans.  I and my Life-Mates Claire and Robert greet you.”  The Three-fold Life-Mates hands reached forward and touched the two Clar’s hands that they were still holding.  Again, it was obvious that something had happened.

The humans stepped back and the others greeted their new squad mates.

“Bright Dawn, would you describe what just happened?”  Admiral Rising Wind asked.

Bright Dawn came to attention and turned to face the Admiral.  She still held Quiet Eddy’s hand.  “Sir, when Ensign Quiet Eddy and I touched, a closeness unlike anything that I have heard of came into being between us.  We communicate mentally but it is more than just thoughts.  What one experiences so does the other.  We are communicating mentally now as I talk.”  She paused and proceeded when the Admiral nodded.  “When we and the others touched, a similar closeness developed between us and the members of the squad.  In some way we are all part of one.” She hesitated then looked at one of the Kin and smiled.  “Moiria says we are a being on many parts.  There are four other Humans that are also part of us.  Kevin and Jane, who are the pilots on the shuttle that they came in, and Jason and Teresa, who are with those at Ice Ball.  Those two are young children but…”  She looked at Claire.  “We are all one.  Claire says we need to teach the rest of the Clar throughout the system.  We have detected the three fleets.”

“They are approaching your detection limit.  They need some time to get ready since they are three separate fleets under Qoof masters who if given the opportunity would turn on each other.  We have the time to teach you and then we will see what we need to do.”  Claire sensed that the Admiral had a question.

“The detection of the fleets seemed to occur after you joined?”

“Yes, we are complete.  Our thumb has joined its fingers.  Our hand is complete.  We needed to join the Clar with us.  The Hand will be complete and The Return can begin.”

Claire’s words shocked the Clar.  The Return to Clar Home.  None had expected how the Seers’ prophecy was coming true.

The teaching of the Clar went much like the teaching for the others but what resulted was much more than what had previously occurred.  Then the Over Mind made itself known.  It also was complete.  Well not complete for only for the Humans and the Kin were all the individuals of the species joined, but it was essentially complete.  It didn’t stay in contact long after it addressed all of those joined to it across the several planets.  It knew that it wasn’t needed and it had much to learn about itself.

Chapter 19 – The Qoof Attack

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