Team Shuttle Base
Monday, January 3, 2000
Jamie Wong and Bruno Fusco preceded Jess, Leslie and Will Maclaren who were the last to arrive. The lead squads of the now seven AU Teams were already present as well as Patty and David’s squad, the leaders of all US West Coast Teams. They had responsibility for the Mossly system. The new Clar squad members were the only ones not physically present. They were with Admiral Rising Wind in Captain Shining Sun’s spacecraft in orbit around Kartan. It would be three days until the Clar quarters would be ready for the Clar to live on the surface of Kartan. After that, it would be over a month until the Clar craftsmen and technicians had installed all the facilities that the Clar would need.
Robert rose as his parents took their seats. Everyone is here now. Although mental communication allowed some communication between worlds, physical presence at a meeting was still preferred for important meetings. Being in the same room would no longer be possible unless some wore spacesuits. The first item is the reorganization of the Australian Teams. We have added two science Teams. AU-6 will specialize in researching the changes needed in the Adjacent World Theory and related science. Heading that Team will be Marie and John Harvey Lawrence’s squad. Luckily, her math apprentices and their squads have chosen to stay with the action Teams. Marie laughed. AU-7 is studying our five species. We want to combine the medical knowledge of our five species as well as understand what it is that gives us the mental abilities that we now have. Additionally, what is it that our five species share but other species such as the Mossen do not. Kim and Rob Reynolds’ squad will head that Team. They will be joined by the former sixth squad of AU-5. That leaves AU-1, 2, and 5 each down one squad. Additionally Alyca, Bruce, and Avla will be transferring to AU-6 for the birth of Alyca’s and Avla’s triplets. The AU-2B squad will take over lead of AU-2. KA and Mike will take over as the Human Life-Mates for AU-2A. U-tet and I-ver will be the leads for AU-2A.
We will need to transfer from an active squad in three months. I-ver and her Life-Mate had been among the Glazen that had been stranded on Kartan. All of them had forsworn having young under the dire conditions under which they had lived. They had decided to start a family.
Roott and I will also need to transfer then. Rickk and her Life-Mate were the Swizz members of AU-2A.
I believe we will need to discuss this later after we have checked with our Team members. We will have to find a better way to handle this or our teams may end up with the only long-term members being the teens and sub-teens. Robert told the meeting. To his Life-Mates, he added. Is this why we are so young and leading all this?
It is one of the reasons. Another is so that we and everyone else can get use to us being a triple. Nancy added.
Later, after Jamie Wong had spoken on income from patents and other sources, Bruno Fusco had discussed expenditures.
There are sufficient funds for all the projects that I know about. Using the gold to pay for some of the major items like contracting for the use of the converted ships for passenger movement between Earth and Mars actually resulted in lower prices since everyone is unsure how to value currency. This leaves the Teams with the 150 tons of gold that you requested for spacecraft building. Bruno Fusco finished the summary of Team finances.
Thank you, Bruno. You make it so much easier for us knowing we do not have to wonder about how much money is being spent. You are right, we have more projects we will have to fund, but I think that the mention of the gold has surprised Admiral Rising Wind. Admiral, what is the Clar need for gold. Claire and her Life-Mates had noticed the reaction of all the Clar to the mention of gold.
Our planets are very poor in gold and we haven’t found much elsewhere in this system. He paused. We know that planets closer to stars usually have more of the heavy minerals but it is hard for us to explore and mine in the oxygen rich atmosphere. If you were able to supply us with some gold, it would be very helpful for our spacecraft industry.
We had wondered why you weren’t using gold bonds more in you micro circuitry. Bruce mentions one of the questions that they hadn’t had time to ask the Clar about their technology.
We cannot afford to use it except where it is essential.
How many tons would you want right away? Do the other Clar systems, especially the system with planet Mossly have the same need? Would 100 tons within a month be enough? Claire’s readiness to supply the Clar with so much gold stunned the Clar and the members of AU-4 and AU-5. We should also see about setting up mines on Kartan and Mossly for gold and other heavy elements that you need.
It was reported that you only had 150 tons that you were going to use for shipbuilding. Admiral Rising Wind was confused.
That is what we have left from the asteroid we found a few months ago. Claire smiled as she realized that she had been casually giving the Clar billions of dollars in gold. We have the ability to find more. Probably we should have Eric and Jerome find gold in some asteroids in this system. That way we don’t have to move it through a window and transport it out to you.
Admiral Rising Wind was even more stunned at Claire’s latest statements. Claire was more concerned with transporting it than giving it to us. That is more gold than we have found in this system. Yes, gold is scarce on all of our worlds.
Good. I am glad that we can be of help. Willy and Linda, would your squad meet with the Admiral and his staff later and discuss with them what material shortages the different species have and how we may be able to help each other. David and Patty, your squad should join that meeting. You will need to work with the Mossen to supply the Clar in their system with much of the same material. Structure it such that the Clar supply them with items that will help them to industrialize and otherwise advance the Mossen. Work with Leslie to supply mining equipment and mining technology and techniques to the Mossen and Clar both. Now before we get to the issue of prisoners, let us talk about an expedition to Clar Home to see what we can do.
They are going to supply us with gold and other material that we cannot easily mine. Captain Shining Sun turned to Admiral Rising Wind.
You will be trading for it. What we mine from gas giants is not readily available to them. The windows change the rules for trading between star systems. Quiet Eddy sat holding Bright Dawn’s hand.
Admiral Rising Wind, can you supply us with the location of Clar Home and information about all the planets in its star system? Marie Lawrence wondered if they would find another surprise.
The data that was supplied showed the Clar home system was over two months travel by the Clar from both the Kartan and Mossly star systems, but it was also farther from the Qoof than those systems. Clar Home was the second planet from the star and with an orbit between those of Venus and Earth. When information for the third planet was given, Marie started laughing. She was very familiar with the orbit information.
The third world of your home system matches the planet Mars in my home system. We can get you there in a few days once we set up windows for you to cross over to Earth. You could do it now using spacesuits but enclosed areas with your own atmosphere would be better. The first expedition will be small. How many of the Apache and Hohokam shuttles can we divert to the Clar home system? Marie looked at Patty.
Dad said that the first of each of the two new batches of shuttles just completed test flight. They were not hustling the build as much as we had for the first batch. They found no major problems so changes in the design were minor. It will be less than a week until they can start releasing the kits. Patty had talked to her parents just before the meeting.
Our first shuttle of these designs will not be available for four days after that. O-dof had also gotten an update on the two Glazen worlds Lottatt and Stroven.
The Swizz shuttle program is at least twenty days further behind on first deliver. Fllaazzii, one of the co-administers of the Planet Lyysssiisss, reported.
I think that we can take the time to assemble proper groups from both the Kartan and Mossly star systems. We can have our people on Mars move the Clar Home system to the top priority for windows to access the star system. Admiral Rising Wind, you may want to consider sending some spacecraft to Clar Home so that you can have something better than shuttles and small building to handle all the people that will be going there. We also will need to consider building Clar versions of the shuttles. Robert looked at Bruce. You should set up a group to co-ordinate shuttle and spacecraft design between the different planets. That should help to keep you busy until the triplets are old enough for the three of you to return to the action Teams.
Yes, we will need more time to decide who will be going. Including Clar from the Swift Water system will help us deal with complaints that the East Wind system started The Return without telling anyone. Admiral Rising Wind had been concerned that most of the Clar wouldn’t know about what they planned.
Admiral, how were your star systems named. Nancy felt that the question was important.
For the Captains that found the star systems. They led the survivors to them and most also helped to set up the colonies. We had built ships to colonize a world that we had found but then we learned about the Qoof. They had just entered that sector. We had to abandon our plans for that world. Then the disaster struck our home world. We moved as many people as we could into space but most died. The search began for somewhere to live. We had lost ninety-six percent of our people and if we did not find someplace to go then we would lose more. We sent out ships to search. After a year, they started returning but they had not found any world like Clar Home. People were dying because of the conditions. Some decided to try and live on one of the marginal planets that had been found. It was sixty-three years before the last person gave up and abandoned Clar Home.
They continued the discussion about the Clar Return.
Our next item for today is our prisoners. Claire was now running the meeting. The Three-Fold Life-Mates knew that they would need her personnel skills for this portion of the meeting. To help us, we have invited some of those that have been studying the Qoof and the Nartak.
Most of those who entered the room took seats to the side. All were scientist except for the AU-2B squad. Keyvan toke a seat at front center with the rest of the squad ranged around him.
Before we can decide what we need to do with the prisoners, we have a question for Jess and Will. The Three-Fold Life-Mates gaze fastened on the two cousins. How far from Alice’s dreams, do we go before we need to question what the goal that we are being guided towards really is?
Keyvan was the only one in the meeting that wasn’t stunned. He had mentioned his concern to them about not knowing the purpose towards which they were being driven with the dreams, hunches, and lucky coincidences. They had acknowledged that they were aware of the problem. They waited until they had met the Clar to bring the problem up, since it was something that all five species together would have to address.
It was over a minute until Jess broke the silence. We are far from what Alice’s dreams foretold. That something has to be done about the Qoof and the Nartak is obvious. They have been fighting for three thousand years and they continue to expand their empires crushing other species in their need for resources to continue their war. His eyes showed his confusion.
But the Group Mind told us that we were to end the conflict between them. Jaaiiff, who with his Life-Mate Fllaajjii would represent the Swizz in the upcoming meeting between the five species of the Hand, reminded them.
The goal is not the problem. How we are being guided to accomplish it is the problem. Keyvan answering surprised most of those present. I have been guided by hunches most of my life. It is unsettling way for an individual to live, for our five species, it is much worse. We have to plan what we need to do. For that, we need information, as much as we can get. We cannot wait for a hunch to provide important information.
Keyvan’s thoughts explained the problem that he and the Three-Fold Life-Mates had seen.
We had wanted to bring this up first with all the representatives of our five species, but the Humans may take a while to decide on their representatives. Claire paused. Again, we reiterate that we will not influence this selection. She smiled. What we will do is help set us on the course that we see that the teams need to go. To do this we need to have more information about what we face. We much learn about the Qoof, the Nartak, all the species that they control and any other species near them. The other information we need is how we will work together. Without both of those sets of information, we cannot make a plan that would have a chance of success.
Therefore, we need to gather information. We propose that we release as many of the prisoners as we can and as soon as we can. She raised her hands to quiet the talk that had started with her announcement of freeing the prisoners. Only one Qoof, Quirta. He was unconscious when captured and we have made sure that that condition continued. From what we have found from talking with the Risari and the captured vassal species, Quirta is not typical for a Qoof. We consider the differences something we would like to see spread among the Qoof. We have an idea for a plan that we would like to discuss after we hear what has been learned about the Qoof and the other species. Keyvan, would you start with what your squad has learned from interviewing the Qoof.
Quirta is the only one of the surviving Qoof we haven’t interviewed. Planet Master Quirta is luck that the Risari rescued him. Eight Qoof that had injuries were left with the other Qoof. We had thought that they would know best how to care for their own. They were all killed. The Qoof believe that the weak should die and any Qoof that allows itself to be injured is weak. They also have a dislike for doctors and medical care. They equate them to the Nartak. They discourage medicine on the planets that they capture.
That explains the poor medical facilities that we found on most of the captured vessels of the vassal species. Only the Risari had good medical facilities, though the Lesira, Mirami, Openna, and Norrata had converted areas that they were using to treat the wounded. O-dofi had led the medical mission to help the species that had been under Qoof control. All were wary at first but then they were very appreciative of our help. All the medical staff that we found on ships other than the Risari’s had primary duties other than medical, which we had found very strange. The Mirami captain had said that Planet Master Quirta had allowed them to set up medical facilities but they did not dare to risk a doctor near a Qoof. What you have told us explains what we found.
Keyvan continues his report. We have also found it best to keep the Qoof isolated from each other. Sub-sector Master Quwart and Planet Master Quheffa were from the beginning housed separately. The others started to form into groups and attack individuals. The squads monitoring them repeatedly had to intervene. The need to continually mentally shield the Qoof was taxing enough on the Team members but having to enter the compound to break up the fights put them at risk and required a second squad since we could not risk losing the shielding.
Yesterday when the captured Silent Ones arrived from Lyysssiisss, we brought one to the Qoof compound. When the Qoof saw the Silent One, they all put up shields but it was obvious that only a few of them had shields that fully shielded them from the silent ones. I explained to the Qoof that they were being held on an island in the middle of the ocean. We had a couple of hunting packs of Silent Ones and that they were going to be kept on the island. Keyvan smiled. Even Sub-sector Master Quwart is being more cooperative. Though she and most of the rest of the Qoof are lying and misdirecting us every chance they get. The two that are fully cooperating are extremely scared on the Silent Ones. We have separated them from the others.
He paused. A full squad of any of the Teams, which means having all five species, can handle even a Sub-sector Master like Quwart. Only a few of our stronger Team members like Jason can handle Quwart by themselves. Individuals, Life-Mates, and partial squads vary in their abilities. The captured Qoof are a constant danger to us. We need a better way to handle them.
Killing them is one solution. Admiral Rising Wind seemed hesitant to mention it. That is what we would have to have done before your arrival, but we would have lost if they had gotten that close.
That is a solution that we are not ready to address, but cannot be ruled out if we cannot come up with a solution that is safe. Claire showed her unease with killing even a dangerous enemy that was in their control. We next will hear what was learned about the vassal species. For that, we brought in academic experts. Professor Keellii had been studying Human, Kin, and Glazen interaction with the Swizz. We selected her to lead the study of the species under Qoof control.
At first, I was reluctant to give up my study of the five species of the Hand but I acknowledged the need to understand what the Qoof had done to the species under their control. Now, I wish I could duplicate myself. Both studies are very interesting and extremely important.
Let me suggest a course that combines both. Nancy smile seemed to suggest that she knew that what she had to say was going to bother the Professor before actually helping her. We need to understand how the Hand and the species under Qoof and Nartak control can work together. Therefore, we need to study all the species that we encounter. We already have Teams planning to go out and learn about the different planets that we encounter. We need to send Teams to each of the species that we encounter. That means that we will need to have a group coordinating this effort. This is something that we are not ready to do, but it is something for which we need to plan.
The professor thought about what Nancy had said. Yes, that is something that I would want to work on. Let us discuss what we have learned about these species under Qoof control. The most important thing that was learned was that Planet Master Quirta has instituted changes that are quite radical for a Qoof Master. He has been cautious in instituting them since he has had to show the value of the changes to the Qoof under him, but he has allowed the Lesira, Mirami, Norrata, and Openna more freedom and a less erratic rule. The Risari actually operate independent of all Qoof but Quirta. While the four other species are grateful for the changes, they still have a hatred of the Qoof. The relationship and the feelings of the Risari for Quirta, I am unable to understand.
We had a long talk with the Risari. Claire interrupted when the professor paused. Continue but do not dwell on the Risari except to contrast them to the others.
Everyone could tell that the Three-Fold Life-Mates had learned something important that they would be presenting later.
Professor Keellii wanted to know what they had learned but knew that she would have to finish her report before she learned what they knew. This helped to keep her report from becoming long winded. When she was done, everyone understood why the Qoof were not winning the war. Besides the infighting that they were constantly doing, the way they treated the species under their control slowly destroyed them as effective civilizations.
The Nartak must treat the species under their control just as bad, or they should have won a long time ago. Leslie comment sends those gathered into private discussions.
Let us take a fifteen-minute break, and then we will discuss the Risari. Claire’s statement changes the tempo of the discussions. The discussions would not cause the break to be extended.
We went to meet the Risari during the flight that brought all the prisoners to Kartan. They were surprised at our youth and that the girls were armed just as I was. When we checked on how they were caring for Planet Master Quirta, we found that he would soon awake. We mentally commanded him to sleep. The Risari were caring for him the same as one of their own. We informed them that we were keeping him unconscious while we talked to them to find out how we could work with them. Our talks continued until we arrived at Kartan. This is the story they told of how the Risari became allied with Planet Master Quirta.
The Risari had known about the Qoof for over a hundred years prior to their meeting. A Norrata space ship fleeing from the takeover of their home planet arrived at one of the Risari colony worlds and requested help repairing their ship. They were willing to trade anything that they had for the help. The Risari offered them a place to live on their world. They learned much from them but the most important thing was that the Qoof had mental powers that made fighting them almost impossible. The Risari built upon what they learned from the Norrata but they could not find a way to counter the Qoof mind powers for they have none themselves.
Fourteen years ago, Planet Master Quavta’s fleet arrived at Lastarna, the Risari home world. The Risari Queen feared that her people would be slaughtered if they resisted since they had no way to counter the Qoof mind powers. The night before the fleets would be in range to engage, she had a dream. The ruling family has an ancient history of dreams guiding them but none had occurred for a long time. When she told her councilors that she had a dream that they should invite the Qoof to negotiate, none of the councilors knew of any reason that they should not since the only course that they saw was for their fleet to flee far away and start a new colony, which is what they had planned to do. The negotiations would allow the fleet to pull away from the planet without first engaging the Qoof fleet.
Planet Master Quavta readily agreed to the meeting. He expected to take control of the Queen and her councilors and through them the Risari. He and his son Quirta went to meet the Queen. Now Quavta was not your typical Qoof. He was much stronger than most Master but not at the Grand Master level, but he had no ambition to content with other Qoof for a higher position. This was an attitude that he passed on to his son. He was quite old and he had not sought to take over another species since he had conquered the Norrata. He was using the Risari conquest as training for his son who he expected to soon kill him and take over.
When they met with the Risari Queen, he tried to take over her mind but could not make contact with it. The Risari mind operates at a different level, just as the Silent Ones do. He tried the councilors and everyone else nearby but neither Quavta nor Quirta could command any of the Risari. Then Quavta had a stroke. The Risari Queen called doctors to aid him. She feared what would happen if she let him die. Quirta was helpless to keep the doctors from helping his father. The Risari did not know of the Qoof fear of medical treatment, so they thought he was just worried for his father’s care and sought to comfort him. Quavta was conscious within a day but the stroke had cost him his mental powers. Quirta had come to realize that he might have an advantage over other Qoof with an ally that was not susceptible to other Qoof’s mental powers. He and his father discussed it then worked out an agreement with the Risari. In exchange for their military support, Quirta would leave the Risari independent. They were allowed to keep their four colonies and trade with the other species under Quirta’s control. They would also allow Quavta to live among them as Quirta’s ambassador. The Risari readily agreed. They would lose no starships or people that day. They would supply some ships to support Quirta but that would also give them a chance to learn more about the Qoof and other species.
Quirta is no more ambitious for conquest than his father was. He saw that his agreement with the Risari worked better than his domination of the other species under his control. He has been consulting with the Risari on how to improve his dealing with the others. Robert paused. We see some possibilities here.
How did they communicate with the Risari? Jamie Wong asked.
They had a Norrata interpreter.
Why had Quirta’s fleet previously attacked us here? Admiral Rising Wind saw that as differing from the no expansion description that the story had of Quirta.
Sub-sector Master Quwart had become suspicious of Planet Master Quirta. He was prospering too much under his radical ideas. She ordered him to take this system though she knew from other combat with the Clar that he had very little chance of succeeding. Quirta knew that he did not have a chance so he did not commit any of the Risari ships in the first attack. He got handily beaten but he had not lost any of his strongest fleet. When Quwart ordered him to participate in the last attack, he knew that he was endangered since one of the other Planet Masters might try to kill him. He brought some Risari ships with orders to protect him.
When Robert saw that there were no more questions, he asked his own. What do you think that we should do?
Have Quirta take over the sub-sector. That will keep him busy for a number of years during which we can learn more about the Qoof and the other species especially the Risari. They were looking for a way to break free. They can work with Quirta and guide him away from considering attacking the Clar while he gets control of the sub-sector. Will was smiling for he felt that things were looking very promising.
Will not Quirta, wonder about the battle here. O-dof asked.
He is unconscious and can be kept that way until he is out of the system. The Risari can tell him the story that we will work out with them. Nancy explained. He will be glad to have survived the attack by the other Qoof.
Will we be able to place researchers on Qoof controlled planets? Professor Keellii was excited.
Not right away. Nancy explained. We do not want Quirta or any other Qoof to encounter any shielded mind. We need to go slow and work out how much we can do without raising suspicion. You need to learn as much from the other species from the other prisoners that we cannot yet send back to their own worlds so we will know what we can do.
I like this plan. Flaajjii thoughts were less concerned than they had been. We would turn all of the prisoners in to allies against the Qoof. We would gain much from that alone.
We should have a mixed group of all our species negotiating this plan. I think that Will and I can work with the representatives of the other members of the Hand to work out an agreement for the Teams. We should be able to do this before the Human representatives are selected. Leslie nodded to herself. Your squad should sit in on the negotiations. I think that you will learn from our experience.
Yes, this is a Team matter. Claire agreed. We would welcome the help in negotiating an agreement and would appreciate the opportunity to learn.
Team Pool Coverage – January 7, 2000 – Douglas Richard and Amy Tuckey
The Teams have negotiated a release of all prisoners except the Qoof. Most will remain on Kartan. A group led by Professor Keellii from the Swizz world Lyysssiisss will work to learn more about these species and the Qoof. Keellii sees this as a great opportunity to learn about the Qoof Empire. She is looking to form a team of over a hundred to conduct this study. They will be based on Kartan with the former prisoners from the Qoof vassal species.
Two of the Risari ships are returning to their home world Lastarna. There they will inform their Queen Sewreista of the events that have happened. It is expected that she will send some of her councilors to negotiate a treaty. The Risari are not susceptible to Qoof mind control so they were the only species captured in the space battle that could return to their home world without alerting the Qoof to us.
As they wait for the Human representatives to the negotiation on how to unite the five species of the Hand, the other representatives are talking with the former captured species and Team leaders to reach a better understand about what we all face. They have set up in their own compound on Kartan, which will allow for the best accommodations for the Clar.
Selection of the Human representatives remains stalled. Russia, Germany, and India are insisting on inclusion in a large team for the negotiations. Persia, China, Mexico, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and the United Kingdom are backing David and Susan Clarke for the Human representatives. President Clarke has said he would resign as President of the United States if they were selected. He stated that the representatives represent their own species so they should not hold any other position. He is contacting Russian, German, and Indian leaders as well as leaders of uncommitted countries to discuss their concerns. France was the most recent country to announce their support of the Clarkes.
ET Commercial – January 9, 2000
Mary and Brenda Maclaren will discuss with Suzii Swanson details of their wedding plans. The Maclaren twins plan a double wedding to their Life-Mates Ben Tohe and Charles Koloski. Will Claire and Nancy be their Maids of Honor? Tune in to find out.
Team Pool Coverage – January 12, 2000 – Lisa Saunders-Farrel and Thomas Farrel
The Three-Fold Life-Mates led the registration of AU Team members enrolling at James Cook University. JCU has vastly expanded with Professors from Swizz and Glazen Universities as well as universities from around the world. Kin lecturers will also provide seminars. Next semester Clar professors and students are expected after facilities for them and mixed environment teaching facilities are built. Beside the AU Team members, students will include members of all five species, both Team and non-Team.
Nancy Tohe plans to concentrate in medicine and art. Claire Clarke studies will cover multi-species studies, mathematics, and comparative government. Robert Maclaren will study military science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. They also will be working with the research group studying mental abilities. When asked about the wide range of studies that they were taken, Nancy said that they had wanted to include more studies but they had to restrict what they took or they would turn into perpetual students. She expects that they will finish their studies in four years. They would be spending a lot of their times overseeing the Teams, but expected not to have as heavy of a schedule as they had over the last six months. `We have a lot to learn. We were able to get by so far but we want to be better prepared in the future.’ They are encouraging all Team members to spend the next few years learning since the joining of the five species of the Hand and meeting with so many other species will increase our knowledge enormously. They have requested that Team resources be spent to help Team members that are unable to fund their own education. Universities similar to the plans underway at JCU will be set up on all worlds of the Hand. Members of all races will attend them. Each planet will subsidize members of other species attending their universities.
Claire mentioned that JCU was setting up pre-university education institution for younger Team members. She said that her brother Tommy had really taken to learning over the last few months. He has tested out as having learned enough to skip two grades. She said that was typical for the young Team members of the original three AU teams.