The Day the Earth Went Dark Episode 17: Forcing the Hand

Since the meeting with Third Guardian Dalton proved short and unproductive, Xal found himself in planning mode the days following. Still locked in his room on an unexplained quarantine by Adonis’s command, Xal couldn’t see him as Fleet Admiral Boon. Xal worked through possible scenarios to get the outsider inside his room. After a few days of isolation and no new messages from Dalton, Xal found the answer. Xal checked his watch and knew that Adonis would walk past his doorway for the nightly bed check as if they were back in Space Force Initial Entry Course. As soon as Xal saw Adonis’s dark hair, he ran to the door and started pounding away.

“Fleet Admiral Boon!” Xal screamed, “I received a message from a Vega ship. They will be docking with the ship in thirty mikes.”

The thirty-minute timeline in space would mean that a foreign ship could still be far enough away to remain invisible to the naked eye. It would take time to run the sensing programs to identify the vessel and its position from the main bridge. It wasn’t the best excuse anyone could come up with, but if Adonis didn’t know enough about other elements that could or couldn’t be in space.

The claim had the desired effect as Adonis froze and turned sharply to face Xal’s door. A nod from the alien and heavy metal locks clicked before the door swung open.

“Shut the door once I enter,” Adonis ordered. “Send a technician to run diagnostics on Spaceman First Class Robinson’s claims. If I’m not out in ten minutes, open the door and restrain Xal.”

With that, Adonis entered the room and stood face to face with Xal. Time to play the game.

“You know that there’s no other ship,” Xal said. 

Adonis nodded and then began to walk Xal’s room.

“The men would become suspicious if I didn’t act on a possible enemy approaching,” Adonis said. 

If they aren’t already, they should be now. Vega was a codeword dated back to SPFIEC, and every Spaceman joked about in hopes that they’d never see it happen. In basic definition, it meant the ship would be going down, and the crew should prepare for evacuation in the time frame stated afterward.

“Yes, they would,” Xal said. “So the real reason I asked you in here is to find out what you want and if you will spare the others on board.”

Adonis laughed and then gave an earnest look.

“Oh, Xal,” Adonis said. “I’ve already achieved what I’m after. My time onboard is simply to see if any of your men are Creare Compound Material. Though, I won’t tell you who I’ve chosen to join me. But yes, once we leave, I swear by Doc himself that I will let you and your crew resume their normal duties upon Dark Specter 1. There isn’t much of a home to return to if you can even survive, that is.”

Xal kept a stoic face as he noticed a red-light flash behind Adonis. Who could be sending me a message? The receptor pointed towards Earth. Maybe my father? Xal needed to get Adonis out of his room without him seeing the light. There was only one option, so Xal tackled Adonis to the floor and began to rain blows down on the man.

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