Desde Chile para el Mundo.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Knap 4
Tale of science fiction
Part 2 and final

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CHAPTER FIVE.A ROMANCE.
"My daughter is nubile; we must find her a suitable husband.""Your daughter , only ? It's mine, also!"- the Empress , Queen Magata said, rising two tentacles in a menacing way.Emperor Great Tuboloso expelled a big amount of ink, saying : "Let's not stop in trivialities , please ! Have you any idea how many Ghamcounin young males are available nowadays ?"Empress Magata turns herself black, saying :" I don't know how many stations could be ready to spoil my daughter's freedom ! I say, let's wait another couple of years more ! Why the rush ?" The Great Tuboloso moved a couple of tentacles to a cage with eels, and grabbing and eating a couple of them, said :" Oh, I wonder when she'll be married ! She has twenty years old already, and you married me at your seventeen !"And departed; Empress Magata called for her maids, and said :" This husband of mine , trying to marry our daughter in a rush ! I must study the different families , and what they can offer !"So, she summoned all the courtesans with young bachelor males to her side of the 11002royal Palace and one by one was interviewed by the Great Chamberlainto know if a) they were interested in a Royal Marriage , b) If the bachelor did prefer females , c) How big was their wealth.Amazed was the Great Chamberlain , when hearing some enumeration of the wealth of those pretenders ! Short, some time, to be as wealthy as the Emperor's treasure chamber itself !11015When hearing about it, the Great Tuboloso poured black ink in fury, and said :" I will beheaded this cheaters ! Always wailing about how much income taxes did they pay, and look here what they are saying !"But the Empress Queen Magata cut short his outburst , saying :" This inquiry was made by me, and there will be no beheading while I'm alive ! Give thanks to the Destiny that you have wealthy subjects in your Kingdom, or it would be a nation of Beggars !"With that, Emperor Tuboloso was calmed by his wife ...Soon the pretenders were set aside from the rest of the Court; their parent's fortune was analyzed . Then, the queen Magata said to his husband :" See ? Now we could begin speaking with property about your first born daughter 's future marriage !"The Great Tuboloso heard about the wealth and merits of each pretender 's family , and soon he realized that there were three families with equal chance to obtain his daughter's tentacle ."I see you managed it all so well, I cannot put a tentacle on this whole matter; for me, any of them is worth the while !"- The Emperor said.Queen Magata made a clucking sound , the equivalent of a chuckle , and said :" I figure you was going to say that !""Yes, darling, now it rests the trifling matter of to obtain our daughter's concourse for her marriage !" - Tuboloso said, farthing.11017Princess Misiga was idling near a sunny spot, when her mother, the Empress Magata, come into the room as flying ."Darling ! I have wonderful news to tell you !"- She said, standing near the young Princess Misiga , with anticipated delight ."Another trip to a remote corner of our Kingdom, mother ?"- Misiga asked her."Not quite so, but a trip certainly could be involved."- The Empress said."Oh, how good this is it ! I was boring myself stiff in this environs ! When we departed, mother ?"- Princess Misiga asked, eagerly .11019"This is more serious than that, daughter ! Me and your father had decided it's time you get a compromise to get married , had a husband and a house full of servants only to yourself."- Empress Magata explained.The Princess Misiga expulsed some detritus , alerted with the sudden notice, and said :" To get married ? Me ? But I am too young !""Dear love, you certainly are young. But I tell you, I get married with your father younger still ! At a younger age we married , and then you and your brothers and sisters get born ." - The Empress said.The Princess moved herself around the room very quick, and splashing herself against a wall, she said :" I assume I stop to be a child and became a whole squid dame in a second, just because mom says so !"- And there were hints of resentment in her tone, that the Empress noted; she get closer to her and replied :" Oh, sweet darling, stop thinking we are going to throw you into a marriage from one day to the other ! This pre nuptial arrangements could take hundreds of days in completion ! So, stop feeling hurt, and help me went shopping !"Hearing that, the Princess Misiga relaxed herself a lot and soon afterwards they were in an auto - bubble, in search of stores where to buy special novelties .
..
"You will treat her as a yellow jellyfish ! Remember she belongs to the Royal family, and that she will rule the Ghamcounin Empire when her parents passed away !"- Gorg02 , the father of Ducko308, was saying to him.11023Ducko308 308 yawned, and said :" Oh, Father ! What a bore ! You know I'm a happy bachelor ! I love to roam the skies and spent my time in Deep Space !"Ducko308 308 was light green, with a big eye, and strong tentacles - what was called a handsome male."I know ! Time you'll have to travel, after you get married !"- Gorg02 said, but in his inner self he knew that at the minute the marriage begins , freedom would be an alien word to his son."I know your are lying , father , as sure as we are of the Kingdom Animalia , Phylum Mollusca, Class Cephalopada ." - Ducko308 said."I'm impressed ! Are you studying again ?"- His father asked, with a pang of pride on his principal tentacle."Of course ! I have a good example to emulate !"- Ducko308 308 said....The struggle to obtain Princess Misiga as a wife between the bachelors aforementioned was hard ; presents and gifts were impressive; costly jewelry was thrown as confetti over the head of the desirable Squid female."Oh, mother ! This is great ! They visited me, give me presents, and everything I say it's so valuable for them !"- Said she to the Empress Magata."Didn't I tell you ? Now you are passing through the soft and creamy phase of courtship ! Everyone of them is trying to obtain your heart !"- Empress Magata told her in reply."I wish this could had started a lot earlier ! Oh, how bored I was in the past !"- Princess Misiga said dreamily ...Ducko308 83 was forever in the front line, and pretending having a great fun, but after the three customary hours with the Princess Misiga, he raced to his sport model of flying saucer and raced away from that Palace and the hindrance of to be courting the Imperial Princess ...11035That day, three months later, he stop his vehicle near the big Cosmodrome of Gritia, and get inside of the "Globe Bar", to chat with his bunch of friends."Hey, Lover, how is your courtship ? "- Gash 30 , and old classmate of him, said. Forty five other males were there, drinking mild seal's milk with some liquor poured inside the bottles ; their hides were dark with the alcohol ..."Fine, thanks you ! And it's a bore !"- Ducko308 yawned, and asked for some Seal's drink to the fat and old Bartender."It figures."- Gash said, while the rest chuckled , moving their tentacles up and down ."Wish I wasn't so important , so I could be not an elegible bachelor ! But I am sure she will choose another fellow."- Ducko308 said, while receiving his bottle with liquor."Then, you must be the most persistent and dumb of them all !"- Rocko 83 said, doing a circle with one of his tentacles."Yeah, mate ! The minute you appear indifferent to her, she'll get immediately interested in you ! Schick's ways !"- Gash said."All right ! Well, some race for to-day ?"- Ducko308 asked ."Yes ! Me and Murro 32 are going to race around the Third Dome five times , and the winner takes the enemy's vehicle as a trophy !"- Gash said.Murro bubbled and said :" I don't give a seal's bottle for your vehicle !"- And they all burbled, as Gash's sport vehicle was a battered old one.Some time elapsed, a female squid appeared; she was glossy and pink in some interesting sites, with a big shining eye , and fat mating tentacle. They all cheered her, and Gash said :" Hey, beauty ! Want some nice company ? Come on here !"She approached the grotto, and said :" You, Gentlemen, are what I'm searching for !"They bubbled and moved as helixes; they were all very excited ; the female squid mated each of them expertly , and while they were drooling around her, she said :" It isn't all sex and merriment what I'm here for , Gentlemen ! I'm Sicka9, third daughter of Count Lugulone."They all stared in amazement ; they were thinking she was a whore ."And what do you mean by that ?"- Ducko308 asked . She caressed his head with a fine tentacle- the fifth - and said :"A little favor - I'm traveling to a far and distant star in a few hours , and I wish you could hide me from my father's ghouls."- And she turned almost white with restrained emotions.Gash, Ducko308, Rocko and the rest begin scurrying away, when she added :"And I could made rich persons those who helps me ."Gash returns , and said :"Well, now this turns out to be some kind of business ; let's talk about it."Sicka9 said :" I had rented a fast vehicle and all is set for its departure ! All I'm asking it's a safe place where to hide until the hour of departure and of course, some subtle means to arrive to the Cosmodrome without being noticed.""Seems fun."- Ducko308 said."We'll hide you ! Let's get going !" - Gash said; soon the four of them were aboard inside a small Ovo vehicle ( similar to a bubble of glass, provided with a turbo - motor.Gash drives it fast, and soon they were far from the city of Gritia , in the open sea. They weren't alone, as the Ghamcounin were beings of the sea, so there were a lot of crafts traveling along tourist lines; Sicka9 said :"You must have a good hideaway ! Father is very persistent !""Don't you worry, darling ! We'll be as secure as in a cave !"- Gash 30 said.One hour later, they were real far and deep into the ocean . In the border of a cliff 398 meters deep, Gash maneuvered the Sphere , and get inside a cave."But this is ridiculous ! A simple cave !"- Sicka9 begin to say, but Gash as a sonic vibrator ; pushing a button on it, and the front of the cave descended, closing the cave's entrance ."I'm impressed ! "- Sicka9 said, opening the door of the sphere. Lights begin to shine, and she realized there was a well kept place, for at a side, the entrance to four doors were available, with dull color locks. "You really have a good place here !"- Sicka9 said."I designed it , with the help of an architect ! Well, let's drink and be merry !"- Gash 30 said, and soon they were talking and drinking in a comfortable room."Now, tell us where are you going !"- Ducko308 asked her."To a different place ! Where people walks by the surface of the land, and creatures such as you and me are mere animals."- Sicka9 said.Gash expulsed some air, and said : "Squids are squids."Sicka9 laughed, doing a bubbling sound, and said :"Squids have differentiated from their ancestral mollusks in such a way that the body plan has been condensed antero - posteriorly and extended dorso-ventrally. What before may have been the foot of the ancestor is now modified into a complex set of tentacles and highly developed sense organs, including advanced eyes similar to those of vertebrates.The shell of the ancestor has been lost, with only an internal gladius, or pen, remaining.""You are talking about us... or those animals ?"- Gash asked her."The difference lies in the brain. They are called Loligo Vulgaris, where their main body mass of the squid is enclosed in the mantle, which has two swimming fins along each side. The fins are not the main source of ambulating. The skin of those creatures is covered in chromatophores, which enable the squid to change color to suit its surroundings. The underside of the squid is also found to be lighter than the topside, in order to provide camouflage from both prey and predator."- Sicka9 said."Gee ! I guess we are twins."- Gash said."Of course ! Like us, the under body are openings to the mantle cavity, which contains the gills (ctenidia) and openings to the excretory and reproductive systems. "- Sicka9 said, moving her tentacles.:"You seems to be a scientist !"- Gash said." And I am ! I want to learn from them; perhaps they have one or two improvements we could use."- Sicka9 said."Reverse bio engineering - from an animal ?"- Gash asked ."Not only an animal- they are also aliens."- Sicka9 replied, expelling small air bubbles."A scientific female ! ' - Rocko said, clicking his beak."Speak more of that place."- Gash 30 asked her."I wish to give a complete account ! But I know so little ! My antecessor was there, many years ago; when he passed away, I saw all his archives and objects; a whole year I spent studying their different findings in a myriad of expeditions.""So, you want to emulate your grandpa achievements ?"- Ducko308 asked her."Yes ! I was well received at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ; I 'm 11050booked into an expedition to those sectors ! But my father finds out, and opposed at the next second !"- Sicka9 said."Must be dangerous."- Rocko pointed out."It is . Those creatures are hominids."- Sicka9 said, moving a pair of tentacles , mimicking a pair of arms.Outside, three hundred vehicles from the Army , searched the surrounding area of Gritia City , but as Sicka9 and the guys were 398 kilometers away, they hadn't much chance to discover her."Let's see : we'll hide as best as we could - the thing it's : you get to be on board that spaceship when departing !"- Rocko 83 said."Why ? You are risking thirty years of your life in a far away outpost, if Sicka9's father finds out !"- Ducko308 said."Why don't you love me ? "- Sicka9 asked him, entangling her tentacles with Ducko308's ... soon they were mating !Afterwards, a lazy Ducko308 was saying :"I'll risk my whole span of life , just to see you aboard that spaceship!"- And she finds his change of will as the most common of things - a proper male behavior .Half an hour before departing, the three males, carrying bags, walked up the ramp of the "WHOME", the special chartered spaceship that was going to travel to the Solar System."What are you doing here, Sirs ? This spaceship is going to depart any minute now !"- A crew member told them at the Lock."We had something to deliver here !"- Rocko said, and opened his bag; Sicka9 went out of it, saying :"Stinky bag !""Oh, Miss Sicka9 ! We were worrying about you !"- The man said, looking at her in surprise."Of course ! Well, friends ! It rests the little detail of your payment, right ? "- Sicka9 asked them."Yes ! "- Gash, Ducko308 and Rocko 83 replied in unison.11052She expel some ink, and said: ' Sorry, boys ! I was only inducing , tricking you into this ! ""Not an ethic behavior, if you are really a scientist !"- Gash 30 replied."The goal justifies the means ! But if you think you deserves something more, why don't you go with me to my cabin ? "- And Sicka9 blinked one eye."Well, let's go with her ! At the least, she did have something nice with what to repay us !"- Gash 30 gasped.At her cabin, she said :"You have been a wonderful team of friends ! Pity , you are going to disembark.""Are you kidding? We have our families. And I have a bunch of debtors to be worried off ! "- Gash said."I understand your worries ! Who's going to be the first ?"- Sicka9 asked ...Two hours later, Rocko said :"Well , guess I cannot ask for money after this ! It has been a real reward."-"It was nothing ! Well, you must go, or the spaceship will depart with you inside !"- Sicka9 said, making some bubbles. The three friends went to the Lock room, and three crew members stopped them short, saying :"The spaceship is in orbit, Sirs !""What ? "- Rocko 83 said, expelling some ink , with astonishment."You must return to your cabins now ! The spaceship is in orbit, and soon we'll leave for the S- Brana ."- The officer said. He was worried: his necessary presence at the Royal Palace could be read as a dismissal from the "race to the Princess , and at Sicka9's cabin, he complained bitterly.11053"We are circling the planet Knapp already ! Could you talk to the Captain, in order to let us disembark ."- Ducko308 asked her."Of course! I understand ! I'll go and talk with the Captain immediately !"- And with them, swim to the Central Cabin."Captain Pevon : this friends of mine want to disembark, at once !"- Sicka9 asked of him."Friend of yours ? I wasn't informed that they were on board, or else, I would had them disembarked at the proper hour."- Captain Pevon replied, looking with his eyes to the troubled bunch."But I think this impasse could be solved with a bit of good will ! Perhaps the transference to a Space Station."- Sicka9 suggested.The captain's body turns red, and said :" Of course, good will is a very praiseworthy feeling ! Return to your cabins , and wait for my call !"- Captain Pevon replied.The friends returns with Sicka9 to her cabin, in high spirits . They waited for three hours , and so Sicka9 finally said : " Why don't you go to Captain Pevon and asks him about our disembark?"11055Gash 30 went there; the Captain Pevon wasn't at the Bridge."What can I do for you, Sir ?" - The first officer, Kream, asked ."Captain Pevon said he is disembarking us at some spatial station. How much must we wait for it to happen ?"- Gash 30 asked."Oh! Well, the Captain Pevon isn't here now - must to be in other part of the spaceship , due to a malfunction - but don't you worry ! If he said he'll disembark you, he'll do it. He's very professional . " - The First Officer said."We would be in a lot of troubles if he isn't so professional . "- Gash said, returning to the cabin."And?"- Rocko asked him, when he set tentacles on the cabin."Nothing yet ! "- Gash fumed - " The squid is somewhere else ; I spoke with some other chief !"- "I found all of this very strange ! "- Ducko308 said. Sicka9 approached him, saying :" Why did you say that ? "- And she caressed his head with three of her smaller tentacles."The captain Pevon should had arrived to that confounded space Station by now !"- Rocko said.They slept; eventually, Sicka9 sneaked out of the cabin, and finds Captain Pevon at the Torpedo section ."Captain: The boys are asleep ! And they are asking themselves why you hadn't carried them to the space station yet !"- Sicka9 said."There's no Space Station ,since our defeat ! Humanoids had two spy satellites orbiting Knapp - both of them working with tampered devices inserted by us . There is no way , Miss Sicka9, that I could carry those people to a place non existent . "- Captain Pevon replied."No Space Station ..."- Sicka9 mumbled."I cannot choose now, Miss Sicka9 ! I'm already heading to the next Brana ! Sorry, but the University has a tight budget for this Project ! A return to the Cosmodrome means weeks subtracted to our original schedule. "- Captain Pevon explained."I wonder if I will have the courage to tell my friends this terrific news."- Sicka9 told him." No need, Miss Sicka9 ! I'll send one of my men to tell them ! Free hostage lodgings, two free meals per day, idling time all the time for them ! Plus some action and adventure at our destination point . Just to see a humanoid walking will worth the time ."- Captain Pevon said, expelling some green acid juice .Later, Sicka9 arrives to her cabin, and her friends were already notified of the bad news."This is all your fault ! You bring us here, delayed us with your eroticism , and now we're embarked in a loony expedition to the Barbarous Rims of Outer Space ! "_ Gash 30 said, looking very black.A sound alarm prevents further comments, and they strapped to the walls ; soon the spaceship jumped from one Brana to the other."Nice jump, first Officer ."- Captain Pevon praised the officer, at the main Deck."Thanks you, Captain ! With this new engines, the Jump is more easy than before."- First Officer Kream replied."Improving always ! That's our Scientists motto ! And to think this machines are made by our slave race, the humanoids from Malsiderion. "- Captain Pevon remembered."Mammals will never achieve our level of intelligence ! "- First officer Kream said, with conviction. Captain Pevon didn't reply, or add, at this last remark ; he has serious doubts about the "superior intelligence " of his race, and the ways to measure it - he knew about inventions not made by his race , but to his First Officer he wasn't going to inform about ! There were lots of infiltrated personnel of the Royal Security Forces in every ship of his Majesty ! They were for ever informing authorities about behavior , specially at Spaceships, that could abandon so easily the boundaries of the Great Tuboloso 's Empire ...11059The Solar System was very well guarded ; not withstanding the level of weaponry that dwindles after the Great Elocorote's War, there were enough Dreadnoughts to scare any alien invasion.But Captain Pevon wasn't going to invade ; his only intent was to serve the University that hired him and his spaceship ; so he rushed to the atmosphere, and in the brink of to burn the spaceship, went through the atmosphere , and then dive into the Pacific Ocean."Bottom in thirty seconds, Captain !"- First officer Kream said."Any enemy submarine in this waters ?"- Captain Pevon asked to the radar squid, Sedolf."Yes, captain ! But I correct myself : only alien manned subs ! I am seeing they're Chilean ."- The radar squid said."Fine ! Send them a message - a message of peace ! Encoded."- Captain Pevon remarked."Sended - wait ! The response is arriving!"- Sedolf said."Speak up!"- Captain Pevon urged him - he wasn't prone to stay "in the air' about important matters ."They are saluting us and inviting us to a meeting."- The radar - radio squid informed."Tell them we come in peace - we are scientific expedition as always ! Give them our future landing site, their coordinates; we'll be happy to receive them at our spaceship."- Captain Pevon said, knowing that was the cause Chilean mammals kept their Navy at peace with the Ghamcounin race.11061They landed - thirty two kilometers of sea water was above their heads- a terrific idea to a mammal, but this people were squids- they equalize the pressure of the inside with that of the outside of the hull, and the tourists and scientific personnel went out by the lock- Captain Pevon remained on board, together with the Spaceship " Diensten and Marsten, two of the biologists, captured a squid not a hundred meters above the spaceship, using a electrical stunning rifle; they take aboard the spaceship, and dismembered it on a table - Diensten was recording the findings, using a video holographic camera . He said to the camera : "Here it is one of our inferior similar cousins of outer space ! You can see ,at the front of the mantle cavity, that lies a siphon, which this squid uses for locomotion via precise jet propulsion. This is done by sucking water into the mantle cavity and quickly expelling it out of the siphon in a fast, strong jet. The direction of the siphon can be changed in order to suit the direction of travel.Inside the mantle cavity, beyond the siphon, lies the visceral mass of the squid, which is covered in a thin, membranous Epidermis. Under this are all the major internal organs of the squid. In female squid, the ink sac is hidden from view by a pair of white nidamental glands, which lie anterior to the gills. There are also red-spotted accessory nidamental glands. Both of these organs are associated with manufacture of food supplies and shells for the eggs. Females also have a large translucent ovary, situated towards the posterior of the visceral mass.Male squid do not possess these organs, but instead have a large tests in place of the ovary, and a spermatophoric gland and sac. In mature males, this sac may contain spermatophores, which are placed inside the mantle of the female during mating."While the biologists keep up with their findings, Sicka9 tried to enlighten the minds of her friends with an amicable chat. "See ? This whole voyage is like a vacations trip!" "Well , bored it's not !"- Gash 30 said."I wonder what is saying Princess Misiga about me ! I was one of her approved official pretenders ! Hope she don't feel offended by my absence !" - Ducko308 said.11062They traveled by the bottom, that was full of rocks and very dark ; their eyes, notwithstanding it, could see it all in a pale blue luminosity, thanks to the micro - organisms presents in the deep.The scientists were taking samples : they had perforated bags, where they collect those alien samples.Ducko308 swim up, and soon he was achieving great velocity; down there, their companions were unaware of this - for several minutes they didn't notice his disappearance , until Sicka9 asked about him : " Where is Ducko308?"Nobody could tell her where; they all had some interest or other while on the bottom, so she went back to the Spaceship in a hurry."Fool ! He must be lost in this dark and profound waters."- Captain Pevon said."Can you help him ? He was one of the pretenders to Princess Misiga ! An important person."- Sicka9 said."I can help by being here, while you and some of my men searched the area ! More than that I cannot aloud ."- The Captain ascertained her." Do you mean, we are permitted to search ? And what about the sonar ? Perhaps he could be identified by that instrument ."- Sicka9 said." No if he's not wearing something metallic ! And of course, as far as I know, he hasn't even a helmet or any other kind of contrivance ! "- Captain Pevon said in a bored way..."All right ! I'll go searching."- Sicka9 promised. Soon, twenty three explorers begin searching for Ducko308; half of them begin searching by the bottom of the sea, and the rest went upwards , at the upper levels of the ocean.Sicka9 saw lots of strange animals down there : crabs three meters long, blind fish, worms . Some of the team eats them, as squids, like all cephalopods, have a complex digestive system. Food is transported into a muscular stomach , found roughly midpoint in the visceral mass. The bolus is then transported into the caecum for digestion. The caecum, a long, white organ is found next to ovary or testis. In mature squid, more priority is given to reproduction and so the stomach and caecum often shrivel up towards the later stages of life. Finally, food goes to the liver (or digestive gland), found at the siphon end of the squid, for absorption. Solid waste is passed out of the rectum . Beside the rectum is the ink sac, which allows a squid to discharge a black ink into the mantle cavity at short notice.The other team kept rising and looking around; they saw large fish, some of them get closer to see them ; the crew members had sonic rifles , so they used them against those sharks . Bleeding, they went away, being the prey of those who weren't harm .At the surface, they saw the night sky, sprinkled with stars."How similar to our own sky ! But the stars are sprinkled in a different way ! ! "- Rocko 83 said.]"We'll spread to find Ducko308 ! Take care not to get astride !'- The Commander said; the eight crew members spread their searches , followed close by the tourists; one of them saw a big seal , and soon the seal was chasing them ; the sonic weapons had little effect on the big animal !Soon the seal trapped one of them : Ogg , the helmsman , who was crushed to bits, after being swallowed . The rest escaped to the bottom of the ocean ..."WHAT ? My helmsman died ? What a disaster !"- Captain Pevon said."The animal attacked us with fury ! Forty meters long, and with a big nozzle !"- Officer Kream assured him."Call them all back ! This are dangerous waters !"- Captain Pevon said, and using the radio sonar, the Radio Squid called all the teams back to the Spaceship."One of our crew is dead ! Eaten by a giant of this ocean !"- Captain Pevon said."Ducko308 is lost."- Rocko said."Ducko308 must be found !"- Sicka9 said."We came here to study the Oceans ! A search for him will consume our time and resources ! "- Captain Pevon assured them.Later, they decided to leave a message at the exact spot where the spaceship was landed , telling Ducko308 to wait there for their return....Ducko308 climbs to the surface, and he saw the stars shining above; several octopus were near, searching for easy food ,and to look at the sky such as he does."I'm Ducko308 ! What is your name ?"- He repeat to everybody; the octopus weren't capable of thought such as he does, and just made inarticulate sounds.11067Ducko308 was fascinated with that race, so similar to him, and at the same time , without the attributes to stand as a person; they had three hearts, two brachial hearts, that feeds the gills, each surrounding the larger systemic heart that pumps blood around the body. The hearts have a faint greenish appearance and are surrounded by the renal sacs - the main excretory system of the squid. The kidneys are faint and difficult to identify and stretch from the hearts (located at the posterior side of the ink sac) to the liver. The systemic heart is made of three chambers, a lower ventricles and two upper auricles . . Certainly a octopus is not a squid, but they are very related...He followed them - eight in number - while a sea current carried them all to shallow waters. When the sun shines on that part of the world, Ducko308 discovered new colors and beautiful polyps , corals, mollusk , bivalves, plants, rocks of strange forms spread by kilometers on end ! He grabbed some mollusks and eat them; small fishes were hard to catch , but he managed to grab a couple; other squids followed him, and a pair of females urged him to mate, thing he did- and to his utter surprise, it was nice; an old squid try to scare him , but Ducko308 defends himself with several sharp rocks, so the challenger one departed with lacerated tentacles.Ducko308 was very troubled by his own delay; he was sure his companions weren't happy with his departure - a thoroughly search for him was a sure thing they were going to perform ; so at the fifth day , Ducko308 mated as many females as he could, and went back to the profundities ...He searched for twelve hours ,and went up to rest; while he was there, a Japanese factory ship passed by, with its nests, trapping fishes. Among them, Ducko308 was captured , and heaved up and dumped on a big steel chamber where, among other mollusks and fishes, common squids and octopuses, lie. The ship arrived to the harbor; soon the cargo was dumped again; this time to a truck. As soon as Ducko308 was inside, he smelled danger, so he use his tentacles and jumped out; the sea was fifty meters away; but there were men working , so he hide himself among some debris. The truck, loaded, went away in a cloud of nasty smoke.Ducko308 waited.At night, he crawled and splashed his body into the pestilent waters of that dock - boxes, bottles, pieces of dead fish floated."Filthy people ! "- Ducko308 thought - it was an ill place ; he swim out of that harbor.At open sea, he begin to search the spaceship's site; aided by the stars, remembering the positions he saw first, soon knew that several days were going to be spent while swimming.He saw several flying fish, and they splashed after short flights; he saw a big ship, brightly lit - tourists were enjoying their money with a trip like in the old days of steamships11070while other tourists prefer to fly to exotic planets.Ducko308 slept the morning among rocks; he saw, when awoke at midday , how several sharks were chasing seals; he decided to crawl at the bottom, not giving hint of his presence to those dumb and ferocious beasts .In the profundities, he found several strange forms of squids, one of them small and black, with eight arms and two fins; it could light his body with spheres and swim with the aid of two fins.At last, he finds rocks a hole where to sleep not far away from the spaceship and the message; he was going to wait around the spot, where no much food was available - he was reluctant to eat his own species , no matter how alien could it seems !He waited....MEANWHILE, the Sphere was exploring the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, much to the delight of the Scientific team; they take a thousand samples of crustacean , fishes, squids and octopuses; even a humane was taken on board, but later released , as he begin to wail and cry the minute a dry cell was provided to him . "It is time to get back home, and put an end to the explorations ! "- Captain Pevon told the scientific team that night."Well, we had collected a very large number of specimens ! Our work is donned ! "- Rocko 83 "We must ascertain where is our friend Ducko308 ! Perhaps he is waiting for us in the dark !"- Sicka9 said."Most probably .We'll depart at 05.00 hours to-morrow."- Captain Pevon said.Sicka9 was tired of the whole project ; also she was very concerned about Ducko308, who was the son of important people at his society- his disappearance could rise a fiery debate , a thing the University will deeply deplore.At the next day, the vehicle arrives to the Beacon; Sicka9 went out with the team, armed with weapons. They find a circle of stones near the small beacon , and inside the word " Wait" ."He was here !"- Sicka9 said, twisting her arms."Yes ! Let's see if he is in a wider radio."- Gash 30 said; and one of the crewmembers finds him half asleep in a hole."Mister Ducko308 ! Nice to see you !"- The crew member told him 11074"What ? Oh, is you , from the Spaceship ! Good to see you too!"- Ducko308 said, going out of his enclosure."The spaceship is ready to depart, Mr. Ducko308 ! Let's swim now !"- The guy told him."Of course . Tell me the news ! Which are the scientific team finds ? Something spectacular , or just tiny weenie clams and sea - horses ?" - Ducko308 said."There was a dead crew member during the searching for you , Mr. Ducko308. We all find your unexpected disappearance from the group very inappropriate !"- The crew member said."Oh, that ! "- Ducko308 said, gloomily . He had remorse now - in fact, he was in debt to all the explorers ! So , when he arrives to the group , under the shadow of the spacecraft, he couldn't find happiness .Then, on board of the ship, Ducko308 finds Sicka9 at a corridor."Sorry I wasn't out there to greet you! But I'm very disappointed about you."- She said."Why ? They are all very upset against me !" - Ducko308 replied. Rocko 83 appeared, saying :" Why don't you talk in somewhere else , guys? You're blocking the whole corridor !""Come to my cabin, Ducko308! Seems we are bothering somebody here ."- Sicka9 said, tugging him by an arm. He looked at her, while she closed the door lock."You're thinner !"- Ducko308 said."Yes ! I did a lot of swimming in your behalf ! Two days when you departed , I had been swimming back and forth, seeking in caves, crevice and at barren lands ! You should had told Captain Pevon about your trip!"- Sucka reprimanded him."I'm ashamed of myself ! I'm going to ask everyone on board , for their forgiveness ! And of course, to you specially."- Ducko308 said. Sicka9 looks at him for a while, and embrace him with her arms. He also embraces her, lightly."I see you accept your responsibilities ! So I guess you'll accept that your income , in this trip, should go to the deceased squid's family !" Sicka9 said."Of course. I'm ready to repay , in any way I could."- Ducko308 said.11076"And what do you find, in your trip?"- Sicka9 asked him."Several octopuses and brute squids, some of them very queer : The head end of this squids bears 8 arms and two tentacles, each a form of muscular hydrostat containing many suckers along the edge. These tentacles do not grow back if severed. In mature male squid, one basal half of the left ventral tentacle is hectocotylised - it ends in a copulatory pad rather than suckers. This is used for intercourse between mature males and females.The mouth of this squid is equipped with a sharp horny beak made of chitin, used to kill and tear prey into manageable pieces. The mouth contains the radula (the rough tongue common to all mollusks except bivalvia and Aplacophora."
"Very impressive. What, do you take a course on biology, or what ?"- Sicka9 laughed, expulsing a lot of bubbles."I read when I have a spare time; a routine I learn when at the school."- He replied." - And to tell you the whole story, I saw some great and dangerous animals, capable of to cut a squid in two bits; a ship from the humanoids , with a long wide nest, captured sea life while sailing, and I was captured in it; I spent a whole day in hidden, before I could escape ."- Ducko308 said, with a sigh."Oh, yes ! Fine story ! And what did humans look like ?"- Sicka9 asked, to see if Ducko308 was saying the truth- she has seen the lonely fisherman from Australia walking on a dry room."They are a meter and seventy centimeters tall, (humanoid measures) , walks on two legs, had two arms ending in five prehensile fingers. All really strange, but they needed those bones , to sustain their bodies in a dry and hard environment."- Dicko explained."Sometimes I wonder how it would be to have a bony structure ; to walk like them, eat raw meat and fruits ."- Sicka9 said."Oh, I never wanted to change with them! I can swim and I need scant food to live; also, the weather is always mild." - Ducko308 said.11077"And do you know how they mate ?"- Sicka9 said, embracing him."No idea."- Ducko308 said."Better you don't inquire about those things !"- Sicka9 said , beginning the sexual contact .....At the return of the expedition, the Three friends received but small amounts of money from the University of Gritia; their families , believing they were dead, have great joy when they reappeared."Welcome , my boy ! Your mother was very upset because of your sudden disappearance "- Gorg02, father of Ducko308, said."Oh, it was a real adventure, father! And I'm here, as sound as new, mother !"- Ducko308 assured them.Soon his father remember his project... "Now you must present before our Princess Misiga and try to be nice with her. I had sent a note, telling her your adventure ; many females get interested in heroes.""But , father ! I'm not a hero!"- Ducko308 said, but his mother begin convince him that he did was an hero...11078"Not any squid did what you perform ! To be among humans in their own world!""But I hide myself ! I never talked to them , either !"- Ducko308 said."Look here, son ! Stop being a clam !"- Gorg02, his father, told him."Father !"- Ducko308 said, angrily."Yes, son ! You must accept your father's counsel ! Just say what we want you to say, and all will be fine !"- Giona, his mother, said, caressing his head.11079Ducko308 wants no problem with his parents, as he also loves them; so he said :" I'll do whatever you want, but I cannot compromise myself to keep on for every with this drama!"- So, the next time he presents before the Princess Misiga, he was surrounded by an aura of heroism, made by the gossip originated by people paid by his parents ."Ducko308! You are here, again ! Bad boy, you left me without further notice ! I was worried about you."- Princess Misiga said, thinking in the jewels he didn't brought to her in all those days ...They were at a submarine garden inside the palace, together with the rest of the Pretenders to her tentacle..."I beg your pardon, Princess ! But all was so suddenly , I couldn't send you a note."- Ducko308 replied."I forgive you ! But, tell me all about your trip ! There are some bizarre gossip about your voyage , that I want to know the truth by your own beak !"- Said she.11080"Oh ! It was a rescue mission, your Majesty ! Me and twenty four other males went to Earth, in order to rescue a lady in distress ! We fought humanoids and after some clever maneuvers , we found the lady in a secluded place; using cunning methods, we freed her, loosing one of our team members , and using a fast spaceship , arrives here unharmed. My personal behavior was really humble in all of it !"- Ducko308 repeated what his parents told him to say, and he hoped not to rise suspicions in the rest of the pretenders, whom were there hearing it all.The three hearts of the Princess jumped inside of her body, believing it all and embellishing the whole story; to such an extent, that when repeating it to her parents, the Lady in distress became a famous lady, the dead in the ocean rise to six, and Ducko308 rise to astonishing heights of valor .Why did this happens ? Because, at the Princess Misiga 's daily life, the action packed heroism was totally missing, and also because at her inner circle nobody was an hero !The great Tuboloso expelled some ink, eats a clam, and said: " Incredible ! A real feat of bravery, just under our beaks , and me, thinking we were in the middle of a time of peace and slumbering routine strife ! I must know this squid male of yours ! Tell him to come here to dinner !""To-morrow, dear ! We have a small reunion to-day, with the Charity Association."- His wife remembered him promptly."Yes, to-morrow will be fine ! Perhaps his future is in the Army !"- The great Tuboloso said, eating another clam...Soon a messenger arrives to the house of Gorg02, father of Ducko308; he delivered the invitation, verbally:" Your son has been invited to dine with the Emperor to-morrow night ! Please see that he arrives before twenty hours sharp!""Thanks you, and we'll see he'll be there in time !"- Giona replied."Is this invitation just for our son, or are we invited, too ?"- Gorg02 asked to the messenger."I just deliver the message they told me, Sir ! Further news must be asked at the Palace."- Said the messenger, and departed ."I am sure we are also included ! Dinners at the Royal Palace are meant for hundreds of people all the time !"- Giona said, hissing some water.Ducko308 receives the news at 23.00 hours; he said:" Mother, surely this invitation is due only to ask me about my little trip ! What can I say?"11082"Obviously, son, you must repeat your story, without adding or subtracting a comma ! The minute you change the story, you'll be in deep dark waters !"- Gorg02 said.At the next day, Ducko308308 entered the Royal Chambers with his parents; invited or not, he wasn't going to loose them of sight !Princess Misiga was already clustered by her pretenders, but when the Ducko308 name was called by the Usher, she approached to salute Ducko308 and his parents."But, what a good surprise ! Father invited you, and you brought your family ! Nice gesture! I heard my mother speak of you as the new hero ! I wonder if you really went to Earth!"- Princess Misiga said."I'm here after some adventures in deep space, but you don't believe me now ? What changes your mind?"- Ducko308 asked her."I'm sure you have some witnesses for your explanations?"- She asked."Of course I could try to find them ! Not that I could ! Some of them are my friends, almost all abducted by a lady ".-Ducko308 explained.The eyes of the Princess Misiga blinked in surprise , and said :" This turns more interesting ! But I see your parents are here - please come to our corner of the room- there are some clams really delicious, and drinks!""Thanks you, Princess Misiga ! But your parents invited us to dinner, and I wonder if we are in the right place at the Palace."- Ducko308 said."We really appreciate your kindness, Princess Misiga, and our son had suffered so much in outer space ! He even was captured by the Hominids!"- Giona told her."What an adventure, Ducko308! Oh, I am really interested in your adventure !'_ Prince Misiga said, but to the trained hears of Giona, she was lying ...They were guided to the Royal Dining Room, a huge hall full of tables and in the center, the place of the Emperor and his wife, Queen Magata; apart from them , 390 squids were present, representing half of the court."Good evening, Ducko308 ! Oh, I see your parents could attend , too! "- Emperor Tuboloso said.They placed themselves near them, but in a lower level and while they were served exquisite meals, they talk; the Emperor asked him about the trip, and Ducko308 repeated the same story. Princess Misiga, who also was there, asked :" But you could give us some other names ! Or do you want all the glory for yourself?""Of course not , Princess Misiga ! I was in the spaceship of captain Pevon, first officer Kream; my friends Rocko83 , Gash30 and lady Sicka9, third daughter to Count Lugulone ; it was a trip to study the submarine fauna of planet Earth; of course, they study just a bit of the whole. There was no money to stay longer, they told me."- Ducko308 said.The Emperor said :" Those hominids defeat us and destroyed our beautiful planet of Malsiderion ! The ice caps were melted with nuclear bombs dropped by hominids ! Our Tunicado Empire still lives within each of us, squids !Now you go there, Ducko308, and some others you just named here , thanks to the doubts of our daughter; I don't doubt ! Our race is a brave one, and not only a scientific team could achieve his goal! "- They all leave bubbled . There were no more questions to Ducko308 from the Emperor; but Princess Misiga said:' I will see if your witnesses exist ! Hope you don't feel bad because of it ?"-"Of course not, Princess ! I only said the truth, and that is what you are going to find."- Ducko308 said."Well, you really give important verifiable data: the University's name, the name of your companions, the captain of the supposed spaceship ! All very consistent.""As it is the truth."- Ducko308 added, somewhat disappointed by the reluctance of Princess Misiga in accepting the story as true.After some hours there, the Emperors leaves the dining room, and Princess Misiga went to her private quarters."You see ? Princess Misiga is as comprehensible , understanding young squid as the squid next door !"- Gorg02 told his son."Really!"- Ducko308 said, as he knew there were thousands of microphones at the Palace - and there were just swimming out by a long corridor."Wish you were right, father ! But I'm afraid she don't trust me."- Ducko308 said."Why do you say that, son ?"- His mother asked."Too many asking for proofs ! She should trust my word!"- Ducko308 said.11087"Oh, come on ! She just speaks like that ! I'm sure she don't need any proof of what you are stating!"- Gorg02 said.Giona, his mother, wasn't so sure , but she distrusted, also, those long corridors where any quantity of gadgets could be hanging from the ceiling ...And she was right : their image and sound was being recorded by the Royal Security Officers - while some others begin searching the people and machines Ducko308 mentioned."He could be lying."- Misiga was telling her cousin, Hohelaa ."Every male is a cheater ! But not him ! Is so naive !"- Hohelaa said."Do you think like that ? Well ! I give names to my officers ! If he lied to me... he'll be regretting it the rest of his life !" - Misiga said, with a dangerous glint on her eyes ... Hohelaa chuckled, knowing the Princess Misiga wasn't in love with anyone of her Pretenders !11088Sicka9 was taken from her chamber at the University of Gritia; Rocko 30 , Diensten and Marsten were taken from their homes ; the Spaceship under the command of Captain Pevon was located (but it was deserted of personnel) at the 893 site of the Gritia Cosmodrome, and asked the Control Tower, gives the same destinations Ducko308 said before."What do we do with the culprits, Commander ?"- Olet03 asked by radio to Headquarters."Bring them all here ! We'll ask the Princess Misiga what she did wanted to do with them- later in the morning!"- Olet03 said, looking at his clock- that shows the 22.04 hours.Ignoring it all, Ducko308 went out of his parent's house at 21.09 hours, to depart at his accustomed Bar. The Bartender serves him a Friskten Special : Ducko308 saluted some friends at the joint, and told them his version of the adventures on Earth, just in case some spy from the Royal Security Forces could be near. And not only one it was, but three agents were there, following him, recording and spying on him , under Royal orders !...At the next day, the friends of Ducko308 plus the two scientists from the University were summoned by Agents, who interrogated them during three hours ; later, the abridged information was sent to the Royal Palace."Read this for me."- Princess Misiga told her cousin Holehaa, while on his bed chamber.She read on a screen the information : the story of the pretender Mr. Ducko308 had a rock hard base."Very well ! Tell my Guards that they must ask total silence about this to the witnesses , and also give them some presents, to enlighten their day." - Prince Misiga said.Sicka9 returns to the University of Gritia, together with the two frightened scientists , being the 16.30 hours ; she leave the scientists at the hall, and went alone to her chamber; he grabs the Holographic phone , and called Ducko308."Ducko308? I need to talk to you."- Sicka9 said. He was mildly surprised - he never thought the female squid was going to call on him ."For what ? I'm working now in a draw."- He said." I need to talk to you now ! Cannot wait. I'm at the chamber 935 in the University. I'll be waiting for you.""I'm on my way."- He replied; he takes his father's personal turbo bike , and soon he was travelling by the channels to that University.11090Unbeknownst to him, eight Agents from the Royal Security Service were following him in a similar way; when he stopped and begin ascending the funnel to Sicka9's chamber, two of them were very near to his person- but having no order to detain him , they only stared.Sicka9 opened the door of her chamber, and Ducko308 saluted her :' Hello, Sicka9 ! I come as soon as I could.""I see you come here fast ! Thanks for that !"- She said, closing the door and notwithstanding that, the electronic gadgets of the Royal Security Service could keep on listening , no matter the wall."I'm very afraid, Ducko308!"- She begin by saying."Why? Is there someone harassing you ?- Ducko308 asked." I don't know for sure ! But everything that happens connected you with it ! First, several secret police agents , not using badges of course, come here and force me to go , last night, to a police station , where they interrogate me and some other members of our scientific team, more than four hours straight ! ""Curious ! And what they wanted to know? About the Earth exploration?"- Ducko308 said, feeling the icy fingers - or tentacles- of fright , running down his body ..."Yes ! About the whole trip ! What we did there, names, how we save you, and if you were really kidnapped by aliens !"- She bubbled out."This is a scheme from the Princess ! Must had been her ! I told her our story, with a little embellishment , I must say - nothing harm, just to make it look more exciting ! She was eager to know if my tale was based on true facts !" - Ducko308 said.Sicka9 turns herself pink with rage, and said :' Damn it ! She seems to be very jealous !" Ducko308 hovered to the other side of the room, saying :" She has never give me credit to believe she's specially interested in me !" Sicka9 was silent for some minutes, and grabbing Ducko308 by a tentacle, she said :" You are in danger, my friend ! Just to be one of her pretenders makes you a Moving Target !""Not that I want to be in this predicament ! My parents are doing all of this for economical reasons ! And me, 11092not being an officer, not being someone important "per se", have little significance to Princess Misiga - except for my father's wealth."- Ducko308 said."That must be huge, I presume ?"- Sicka9 asked." Yes, so they say ! I really don't know much- he is a one- squid - Army himself ! He abhor to be relinquishing prerogatives on anyone !"- Ducko308 said."Do you think they could come for me, again ?"- Sicka9 asked of him ."I cannot say for sure ! But I guess they obtained what the Princess Misiga wanted to know: furthermore, I'll speak about this happening ! It's not right to molest innocent people out of an ill understand self pride !"- Ducko308 said, caressing her head ... Sicka9 gives him her mating tentacle, so they enjoyed each other for quite a while. When departing, he said :" You would do a good wife for me !""Silence ! They could be hearing you !"- Sicka9 said, but she liked the insinuation , as her body turns a nice shade of pink color ......11093 "My friends were molested by your Royal Security Police, your Majesty ! Why was that perpetrated ?'- Ducko308 asked, at the next occasion he was aloud at the Royal Palace. Several Pretenders stopped in mid - waters , not believing their hearing systems , as Ducko308 was almost questioning the Royal sovereignty ! "Who told you so ?"- The voice of Misiga was a hiss."Sicka9. The woman that invites me to that trip."- Ducko308 said. Inadvertently , he uses the word " invite", and Princess Misiga grabs that word for her counter attack ."Now we are understanding each other ! Invited ! And you accepted ! No abduction here !"- Said she, rising her voice , alerting her retinue, who approaches and stood between the Princess and Ducko308. The Princess , seeing he was totally spellbound, retreated and swim away.As the Guards had no reason to stop or retain Ducko308 , they let him go."Guess there's no point being here, or in being an aspirant to be the husband to the Princess !"- And swim away. Instead of to return home, he went to visit Sicka9."What was wrong ? You look grey !"- Said she, opening the door.He went in and talks about what happens with Princess Misiga ."Well, guess she has her ego above the clouds !"- Sicka9 said."I'm out of that race ! I was a Pretender to her tentacle , but now I will do things my way ! My parents expend a lot of money doing gifts to that lady, and that was wasted money !"- Ducko308 said."Call her and tell her that you want your gifts back != Sicka9 said, embracing him."Good idea; that will complete her hate against me ! "- Ducko308 bubbled out. Sicka9 hugged him and said :" I'm here to help ! A little revenge will do no harm ! But first , I'll call my dad !"Soon Count Lugulone was waiting (with a big retinue) at the front of the building, called by his daughter."Well, now you tell me what is going on!"- The Count said to Ducko308:"I was absent for my courtship of Princess Misiga, due to some University of Gritia's expedition - when I came back our Princess Misiga doubted of my word : I was almost kidnapped , but she want to find some woman in the version !" - Ducko308 said.11096"Kidnapped ? " - Count Luculento didn't understand too much ..."It was my fault , father ! I was so eager to went in that scientific expedition , that I asked Ducko308 to help me hide from your thugs, and arrive to the spaceship ; suddenly we were traveling to Earth, and Ducko308 was inside the vessel."- Sicka9 explained ."Well, I was cheated by this same youngster, and now I am asked to help him !"- Count Lugulone sniffed out."Ducko308 was a good companion in my travel to Earth, and back ! Also, he is a fine squid."- Sicka9 bubbled out."So he did went against his will ! But now what do you want ?"- Count Lugulone asked."He want his gifts back ! You see, his parents gives her a lot of costly jewels ! And now she is breaking the engagement by being rude with Ducko308."- Sicka9 said.Count Lugulone turns red and said :" A gift is a gift ! You cannot ask them back !'- "But father ! Ducko308 wants to give those present back to his parents - and then, to marry me !'- Sicka9 said.Count Lugulone turns himself sepia color and said : " That changes everything ! Let's go to the Palace !"Soon they were waiting at a big hall, for the Princess Misiga to appear . Half an hour later , she did appears, together with her Personal Guard. It was cold 11097suddenly."Count Lugulone ! Good to see you ! And Ducko308! What are you doing here, together ?"- Princess Misiga asked."We had come to ask you the devolution of all the gifts Ducko308 has brought here. The Suspicions you have against him forbade any romantic intention; and as the gifts were giving with that goal in mind, the whole matter is rotten and finished." - Lord Lugulone said with a thunderous voice.Princess Misiga stays in one piece, as if made of marble, for eighteen seconds . Then, her mind reassume functions and said :" Of course. I understand. I'll send the jewels to his father's home.""If you don't mind , Princess Misiga, we rather wait in here, until you give it back to Ducko308 in person." - Count Lugulone asked now." This is an offense ! Why do you think I will not sent this jewels where I said I will ?"- Princess Misiga asked.11098"No, Dear Princess Misiga ! But you see, I will keep those jewels in my safe box , until Mr. Ducko308 fulfill his promise to my daughter Sicka9, here present."- Count Lugulone said, with a grumbling noise."And may I know what bizarre promise did he give to your daughter ?"- Princess Misiga asked, now white as a parchment."As a wedding gift ! It is the customary thing to do ! I expect you don't feel revengeful , Princess ? "- Count Lugulone asked her."I ... "- The Princess was spellbound ."Of course not ! You are a member of the Imperial family, the richest one of all; those gifts means small thing among your other jewels, am I not right ?" - Count Lugulone asked her.The Princess sent for a servant , to fetch the jewelry , saying :" Lweoi ! Go and bring here my second jewel box ! " "Thanks you, Princess Misiga ! My daughter and I are very in debt with you ; this jewels will seal the union between them."- Count Lugulone said." Hope this will end here ! Perhaps Mr. Ducko308 will ask the jewels a second time; and I am sure you will be very disappointed if he did that to your daughter."- She said, enraged."I hope not, Princess Misiga ! Time will tell; in this matters where the hearts are mingled, nobody could say what the future will bring."- Count Lugulone said.The box was brought in front of the Princess, and she takes the rings among others, and gives them to Ducko308, who was very nervous; then she said:" I hope you don't have more things to ask from me."- "I .."_ Ducko308 said, but the Count Lugulone cuts it short, saying :" I am sure he will not, Princess. I also wish your Majesty a fine day."- And departed with Ducko308 and his daughter.Princess Misiga went to her bedchamber to cry, and her cousin Hohelaa was with her , helping the deception didn't hurt too much.Count Lugulone leaves the couple some five blocks from the Palace, saying :'Here we part ! I must go minding my other business , and I recommend you two not to get close to Princess Misiga!" "Thanks you, father."- Sicka9 said, caressing his head. Ducko308 turns himself white, saying :" I'm in debt with you, Sir."Later, Sicka9 arrives with him to his chamber at the University, and said :" Well, guess I give a great help to your parents, to -day ! ""Also you help me, greatly. I'll be in debt with you and your father for ever !"- Ducko308 said."See you later, lover !"- Sicka9 bubbled out, and went inside her chambers.11100Ducko308 went to his father's home, and delivered the bag to his mother, saying :" Mother ! Here are all the jewels you give to Princess Misiga during our short courtship ! The engage is broken; she doubted my words, about the spatial voyage."Giona, mother of Ducko308, was silent and shocked ; she takes the bag and stared to open waters ... Ducko308 leaves for the street .At the Bar, he asked a double Turtle ; the Bartender made a chuckling sound, and said :" That bad it is ?""Worst."- Ducko308 replied; he takes the drink while the Bartender said:" Tell me what went wrong ! Perhaps I could be of help.""The courtship is over ! Princess Misiga is not sure of my word ! She doubts my intentions , about that forced travel to Earth."- Sicko said, gloomily."Oh, you are in a tight spot, my friend !" - The Bartender said."And my father bought a lot of jewelry , as a gift for the Princess ! I went to-day and finished the whole rigmarole ! Count Lugulone helps me recover the jewels."- Ducko308 informed ."My squid ! Your friend has courage ! I mean, you should be pride of a friend like him !"- The Bartender gasped."He is the father of a female who went with us to Earth."- Ducko308 explained."Enough! You're intimate with the female , no ?"- The Bartender was yellow with laughter."I will not answer that question."- "Whatever ! Well, my verdict, dear client, is that you must avoid that Palace; also, they're following you."- The Bartender said."What?"- Ducko308 was startled."That couple of guys, second table ... they enter after you , asked for mild Croken, and stared at you all the time."- The bartender informed him."I hadn't committed any illegal action !"- Ducko308 said."Guess you don't understand ! The Princess is a female squid, and a female cannot stand that one of her Pretenders could change of opinion and get married with another female in the course of a couple of days !"- The Bartender said."I will marry Sicka9 - that's her name - because we were very friendly while traveling to Earth."- Ducko308 said.The Bartender didn't speak more with him, as the clients begin to pour steadily inside the Bar; Ducko308 stayed for another two drinks, and then approaches the table where the spies were drinking, and said :" You are from the Royal police ! But I tell you this: nobody in this planet will make me marry with her !"The guys didn't move a tip of an arm ; Ducko308 went out, while the Bartender moves his head in sorrow...Soon Ducko308 was entering the University of Gritia; he swam to Sicka9's cabin, and after a while of knocking on the door, a male squid opened the door."What do you want, pal ? I'm busy !"- The squid said."I'm searching for Sicka9 ! Is she here now?"- Ducko308 asked, amazed to see that male in there."No."- The male said, but Sicka9 appeared from behind , and said :" Get out of the door, Bere ! He is my friend Ducko308 !""Hello"- Said he." Hi! Sorry about Bere. Sometimes he thinks he owns me."- Sicka9 said. By those same words, she was telling him not to believe she was only for him. That produces a chasm in Ducko308's feelings - a before and an after the dark guy. He also realized he was like a child running to mum when someone hurts his feelings."Oh, nothing so important ! I'm bothering things here ! Bye, Sicka9 !"- He said, swimming down the shaft.11103"You're acting strange."- Sicka9 said, closing the door.Ducko308 returns to his father's house , just to hear, night and day, how he spoil his life by being proud - that was the lesson his parents try to hammer inside his head , at all times. So he began urging his friends for a job far from town !"You get to help me ! Princess Misiga is mad at me !""Don't make me laugh ! You, afraid ? The hero who fight humanoids with one tentacle?"- Rocko 30 asked him. They were at a square, with people going and coming in their daily errands."It's serious ! I don't want to produce pain for my parents."- Ducko308 said, thinking in his own death."You trouble yourself too much !"- Rocko 30 said, idling."Guess you don't measure the dimension of my troubles !"- "Why don't you approach those guys from the University ? Perhaps you could give the founds for another expedition."- Rocko 30 suggested."Could be - if I was a millionaire ! Perhaps my father could help."- He said, but if so, some economic gain must be shown to his father - the man was for every trying to gain some more money.11106Later in that day, he return to Sicka9's chamber; while he was waiting in front of that door, he realized Sicka9 was his only bound to a better future."You, again ? I'll give you something!"- The same obscure male said, and he begun to fight. Ducko308 was no weakling, and soon the other guy was having the worst part; his eyes were a-popping while Ducko308 was pressing his head as much as he could; Sucka appeared by the door, yelling " Stop, don't fight !"But it was too late; Ducko308 was enraged, because she was not a faithful squid, and the black male was his lover; then that body became limp and floats in mid waters ."You killed him !"- Sicka9 cried, while some other tenants approached with the yells ; Ducko308 leaves the place and went home.Two hours later, his father arrives from work, and seeing him at a corridor, he said :" Now you're not a Pretender to the Princess , so you must work as everybody else ! I gave you three more days , and if at the fourth day you are not working, I'll find you an occupation myself !"So, Ducko308 was reprimanded and he begin to think in his future as a worker. Later, he went to the Bar."Hi!"- He told to the Bartender.- "Bring me a Mollum !" - And that drink tastes sour."Oh, the Pretender comes to pay us a visit ? How's that humor ? "- The Bartender asked him."Just fine; now I must to work."- Ducko308 said, receiving the bottle. Around him, people were talking or just idling; Rocko come in and seats next to him, saying :" Hi, lover ! All things O.K.?"11108"Not quite; things keeps on getting worse ! Father threaten me to-day."- Ducko308 said, while Rocko was asking for a drink; he was not wanting to tell his friend he just happened to kill a squid , out of pure jealousy ."To work, eh ? Harsh words ! But you could be a spaceship crewmember , if you decide it so ! You have some experience."- Rocko said."Yes, I guess I will go to the Cosmodrome soon ! Even as a cook I will depart; this city is rotten for me: first the Princess was more interested in debunking my story than in to love me; and then, Sicka9 was my part time lover, and I found her with another guy, to-day; my love life is shattered to pieces."- Ducko308 confided him."Forget women squids ! Too much problems with them ! Focus on a good job ."- Rocko said, squeezing the rest of the liquor in his beak. At the next day, Ducko308 presented himself at the Docks- he talked with three different clerks at three different companies, that worked there with the cargo fleet. The answers were very similar: he must give copy of documents stating his skills , tell his aspirations, and then wait until called. Ducko308 visited also Rickia's chambers, at the University, but the apartment was being used by another person . "She leaves the University ; some problems with the Police , I think . "- The new tenant told him; she was young and pretty. "Sorry to hear that."- Ducko308 said, and he went to see Count Lugulone , at his mansion ; soon he was ushered inside and stayed in front of the wife of the Count, who said :" So you are Ducko308 ! You know Sicka9 is being accused of a murder at the campus ? "She was fat and talked with pauses; she was at a big room, full of adornments."I'm sorry to hear that. Where is she, now ?"- Ducko308 asked her."I don't know; his father takes her away - he doesn't want the Justice had a second thought, and takes her in prison, for lack of a better suspect in that case. Your name is familiar to me; were you not in a certain voyage ?""Yes, milady; we went to Earth, in a scientific expedition."- Ducko308 acknowledged."Oh, now I remember the rest ! You are the one who accused her of kidnapping !"- The lady turns 11110himself red colored. "I'm sorry if I spoke like that. Now it's all forgotten , and I wonder where could I find your daughter, Milady; I end a courtship with Princess Misiga , and this town is no longer healthy for me."- Ducko308 said.The lady thinks about it for a while, and then said :" I should not tell you , but you seems to be an honest person. Only a little weak; search at the Cosmodrome. Pier 83.""Thanks you, Milady ! You have been a wonderful help."- Ducko308 said, swimming away. At the Cosmodrome of Gritia, he saw a red and silver metaluna - class spaceship ; a veritable vintage model, one of the first models capable of to flight through Branas."Entrance is forbidden."- An old KB600 robot said, at the lock."Is Miss Sicka9 inside the ship ? Tell her Ducko308 is here."- He told the machine."Wait here. Sending electronic message. Received . Answer is : Go away, Ducko308! End of message. You can go now, Mr. Ducko308.""Tell her I'll wait here.""Message received. There's no reply,."- The KB600 informed him. Ducko308 was sure she will come down , out of pure curiosity, so he waits- half an hour; then she comes down, and said :" You are very persistent, Ducko308 ! What if they see you here ? Come on, climb inside !"- And she looks really angry. Ducko308 was happy to see her, but in his inner self, he knew some clouds weren't going to be dissipated, no matter how he try; a mating process is a simple matter between squids; just a handshake, so to speak; not the complicated by sentiments humanoids have ( to put an example); but as the intelligent race of squids has honor and family ties, the polygamy was solely for the lower classes; she wasn't from that strata; she should had been loyal to him !They arrive to her cabin; she closed the door, after they were inside, and said :" Now, I know you were at my house and talk with my mother ! She is an old lady, not used to receive visits !""Sorry, but I had to see you right away !"- He replied, touching one of her arms."Now you are here; I'm all hears. Tell me what you want to say, and out you go!"- She said."You are really upset against me ? Sorry I killed that guy , but he was attacking me first ! And I didn't use weapons; guess the guy was too weak at the time of our fight."- He said, meaning the exertion a physical relation produces ..."Very funny; but they were taking me declarations, and nasty questions were asked all the time; I said I know who the dead guy was, but no who where the killer; I lie because of you, understand ? I save your head !"- She said, panting."Sorry and thanks a lot; I was very jealous, you know. You , matting with another male ! I never suspected you could do that to me; also, as you saw, he was the aggressor."- Ducko308 said."I know he was the aggressor ! But also, you use full force ! Not needed ! Well, we cannot rise the dead from their tombs by talking about it ! What do you want here ?"- She said, looking more calm."I give the jewels to my mother; there are spies tailing on me; I wonder if they want to kill me or to make me harm - not now, but perhaps in the near future ? I want to disappear from Gritia , at least for a time; a dumped Princess cannot bear the insult, don't you think?"- Ducko308 asked her."Princess Misiga is a revengeful brat ! Always had things her way ! I am sure you wasn't interesting her, but to see you are going to marry me ... makes her yell ! Also, the recovery of the jewels must be an insult for her, no matter she looked calm in the end ... yes, you are in danger. "- Sicka9 said, caressing his head; Ducko308 takes her love tentacle, and begin the mating process right there; she giggled and made bubbles; soon they were entangled and bouncing around the bedroom !Later, they fell asleep."Is moving !"- She said, and Ducko308 recovered his conscience ; wide awake, he sensed the movement of the spaceship. " Not again?"- He said, looking at her; she laughed , doing a lot of bubbles, and said :" Kidnapped again !""Guess it's the best thing to happen ! But where are we going ?"- Ducko308308 asked her."To our retreat on the ocean ! Don't worry ! We are not going to leave Knapp ! Soon they will dive and we'll be in the Ocean."- She said, embracing him."Fine ! But perhaps your father will be not happy to see me on board !"- He mused."Perhaps ! But also, he is not going to stay with me all the time ! She is just carrying me to one of his secluded sites ! He is going to erase my participation in that incident ; he needs some days to do it so; and me out of the way . So, he will leave me at his winter house, for a while, and now I have you to entertain me !"- Sicka9 said."And I was looking for a job!"- Ducko308 murmured."A job ? Well, your job will be to keep me satisfied at all times !"- She said, slapping his head with one arm.The spaceship dive to the sea, and soon it was in a secluded place, where five towers provide a canopy - a force field to detain any dangerous threat."Well, third daughter , I'll leave you here until I arrange that situation . Your friend could stay her or went back with me in the spaceship."Ducko308 was not interested in the least into return to a city where the ruler was mad at him ...so he said :"I wish to stay here, Count Lugulone . I am capable of work in anything here, if need be."-"Very well ! I'll leave you here - perhaps you could be of service , too."- The Count said.The Terraluna - type spaceship went away, and Ducko308308 looked the surroundings, with Sicka9 near him.11114"See ? My father is a generous man, and you and me could now have a wonderful time - alone."- Sicka9 said, bubbling."Yes, the happiness could be attainable here! No pretenders in sight."- Ducko308 said."Don't be silly ! "- Sicka9 said; a bunker 300 meters long was built there, with thirty eight people maintaining the site going.Sicka9 shows him the place where they were to be most of the time; several big rooms, and one enormous dining room, used to socialize in the free time."You see, the dining room permits a life in society. We can socialize , if you want, with the rest. Me, I prefer to have my meals at my own quarters." - She said." If I am to work with them, I forcibly must socialize from the beginning."- Ducko308308 said." Do as you like."- Sicka9 said, expulsing some ink.At the interior, the lights were orange, but at the outside just a green pallor was permitted. Ducko308 asked it to the Administrator, Guf02, who replied :" Not to attract attention, Sir. Both to humanoids or to other dangerous species."That night, they slept in her quarters. She gives her - again - mating tentacle ( the left) and they enjoyed sex for quite a while ...At the other day, Sicka9 said :" I knew the surrounding areas. Plenty of interesting places.""Let's go, then !"- He said, but at the lock, chief Guf02 said : "Where are you going? There's danger outside the Force Field, as there are several huge animals lurking in the dark."Sicka9 bubbled out, saying :' Nonsense ! I had been there, before ! I hadn't seen anything dangerous around this buildings.""Not anymore, Milady ! Five months ago, a person was strangled by a creature, to the south of here. The force field was erected in response." - The chief Guf02 said. "Well, when I was here before, there were no force field, either."- She conceded."See ? Pity, but you better stay this side of the force field."- Guf02 said."Right. Ducko308, lets back to my quarters."- She said."It's a pity; all of the ocean awaiting there , and we eat at a chamber."- He said, but followed her immediately.Once inside the chambers, she said :" Stupid guard ! But we cannot defy them, or else father will be very upset. But there is another way: we could by-pass him - there's a secret runway that leads out : some five hundred meters to the south.""Out of the security perimeter ! I wonder if it's a good idea.'- Ducko said."There's no real harm outside ! The Chief is just trying to scare us out of our plans ! "- Sicka9 said, while opening a panel by pressing a button in a upside corner of the room; lights flickered inside of a large corridor. "See ? My father always had another way of escape : it has saved his life - twice."- Sicka9 remembered. The corridor ended on a steel door; she said :" The other side mocks a rock ! You'll see."And she opened the door. Immediately, a strong tentacle gets her, and takes Sicka9 out ; Ducko308 reacted and went outside to fight, but he stops in mid water, looking stupidly at the greatest beak he ever saw: an Colossal Squid was there, in front of him ! His eyes were round and malignant."Help !"- Sicka9 yelled - her eyes were already popping out ,under the great pressure that giant was doing while retaining her with his tentacle.The arms of the squid now grabbed Ducko308 ; he was unarmed , and soon he was gasping like a fish out of the water . Suddenly, he sensed a flash of light, hand the pressure of the Colossal Squid subsided; he saw administrator Guf02 near him, saying :" Are you all right ?""Yes, but now save Miss Sicka9 !"Sicka9 was almost drowned ; several bruises on her breathing system were damaged , crushed gills by the force of the giant of the seas, that now remains limp, burned by the discharge his sensory organs.Several other people helps Sicka9 now, carrying her to the Laboratory; there, Doctor Chikor3 gives her the first aids; Ducko308 was waiting at a corridor, when he saw the doctor went out of the Infirmary, and asked :" Doctor ! How is she ?"The squid turns his eyes on him, saying :" She is in a dangerous state; we should carry her to a Hospital with better equipment ! Pity we had no vehicles here.""Call his father ! This is an emergency ! "- Ducko308 said."Not possibly, either ! Doctor Chikor3 said:" The boss told us never to use a radio , as its signal would give up our position. No, we just must wait until his return - he said it was to be soon."Ducko308 waits until Sicka9 recovered her conscience ; two days elapsed, her eyes opened and saw all with a pink color ; then she said :" What happened ?" - He replied:" Don't you remember ? The Colossal Squid was behind the door , waiting for us ! That beast almost kill you ! ""And you save me ?"- She coughed ." No ! Administrator Guf02 wanted to offer us some food, and seeing the corridor opened, went inside and found us in the verge of death ! He fired and called the guards ! "- Ducko308 explained."Certainly efficient ."- Sicka9 said."We called on your father- doctor Chikor3 was worried about you. He said you should be better at an Hospital."- Ducko308 said."Certainly."- Sicka9 replied." But we must wait him; you are recovering , none the less."- Ducko308 said."Yes. My gills hurts. Sorry I will not speak anymore now."- She said."Well, I don't want to tire you off ! I'll come to-morrow."- He said, going out of that chamber. He saw Director Guf02 ,who said " Want to join me ? I'm going to lunch.""All right ; but I'm not hungry."- Ducko308 replied."Wait until I tell you what' s in the menu."- Guf02 said."The Colossal Squid ?"- Ducko308 marveled."Exactly ! "- The Administrator replied; and added :" Now, are you hungry ?""Right!"- Ducko308 said, and he saw everyone were eating that dish ...During five days he was visiting Sicka9 by the afternoons, until she said : "Doctor Cherun told me I had recovered amazingly well.""I congratulate you."- Ducko308 brightened up."Yes ! That misadventure was very disappointing for us, as we couldn't saw the marvels that surrounds this place."- Said she."I should had gone out first, and using a weapon."- Ducko308 said."Sorry about the past ? Don't regret about what happens ; some other time we'll be more lucky."- Sicka9 said.That same day , the Metaluna Class Spaceship owned by the Count appears; he was very concerned with what happened and summoned both of them to his cabin at the Metaluna spaceship."How do you feel ?"- He asked of her daughter."I had been better ."_ Said she, as a pair on the gills were hurting her."Sorry to hear that; Ducko308: was you not told nobody should leave the compound ?""Yes, Count. I disobeyed ."- Ducko308 assumed his guilt, as he wasn't going to put the blame on Sicka9."And at which work do you ascribe , during your stay here ?"- Count Lugulone asked."To none, Count."- Ducko308 replied."I see. And what do you pretend to do with your future , now I erase all blame on you too, pertaining to that murder at the University fields ?" "I want to work in some spaceship , Count Lugulone. I can pilot them, and also I am able to attend the radio and radar scanned systems. " - Ducko308 said, as he learned that in his student's period."And you , dear Sicka9 ! It's being time you think in your future , too. I wonder what will became of you, idling and not studying as you should at the University. Your average there is minimal . I talked with the Dean about you, and he said you have the capacity but you are lucking the will to study ." - Count Lugulone said."Me, lacking will to be a medic ? Please, father ! You was misinformed ! I have good notes ; I pretend to finish my career."- She wakened up."When ?""As soon as classes begin ! That is, in seventeen days ! I was very upset about my future, but now you take the problems out of the way ! I am sure I will be able to finish the career I am fond of ! Trust in me, father !"- Sicka9 said."All right, I will ! I had studied the case, and from this day on, you'll live at hour mansion at Gritia; I will hire the best teachers to help you with your studies at the University, and I already appointed five guards , who will take care of you at all times. And your old car model I will sell and you'll have a new one. What about that ?"- Count Lugulone asked.She caressed his head, saying :" You are the best father in the world!"Ducko308 was feeling out of place there, and went out of the room; he was half relieved about the murder case; but troubled about his future . He would had gone from there, if only he would have a vehicle.Later, a servant approaches him, saying :" Count Lugulone says you must aboard the spaceship . They will return to Gritia now."Ducko308 swim into the ship, and Sicka9 embraced him, saying :" Did you hear my father's words ? He is going to help me achieve my tittle ! Now I will put all my capacities into the study ! No more parties for me , either !""Of course. I'm happy for you."- He said."And about you, I asked some job, but he says that you must apply to the merchant shipping companies, and seek there your future."- Sicka9 remembered."Of course. It'll be easy."- He said ,but thinking otherwise - he didn't want to spoil her fine moments , with gloomy ideas ...Two hours later, they departed. The compound dwindled in the distance, while the ship headed to Gritia, this time traveling under water only."Father told me there's a new order from the Government, as a hominid manned spaceship arrives to this planet. Emperor Tuboloso don't want to give notice of our existence . " - Sicka9 informed."Pity - now the Hominid Empire is weak, we should had taken this planet for our race."- Ducko308 said."That phrase would be answered by my father as : " With small data you cannot make predictions !"- Sicka remembered.Four days they traveled underwater ; the sonar detected seventy eight long living creatures during the trip; the majority was at the bottom , but two of them were very near the surface of the sea. That shows those animals could sustain low pressure as well as higher ones.Count Lugulone worked at the laboratory , analyzing (together with another scientist) the animals they could capture while the ship was moving. Most of the fauna were unknown , notwithstanding the fact the Ghamcounins were now for three decades at the Knapp planet. They arrive without further misadventures to the coast, and so the pilot climbs and soared into the sky for a few minutes; then he asked permission to land at the Cosmodrome, and it was granted.Ducko and Sicka was together when disembarking, but Count Lugulone said: "Well, daughter of mine, you must be as good as your word ! Now say good bye to your friend, and begin to study !""Yes, father... Ducko308, was a pleasure to meet you and have a good time, but now I must think in my future, and so I must dedicate myself to the study; you could search for me in a couple of years ; I am sure I will be waiting you."- She said, with moist eyes."Yeah, sure ! I will search a job and I'll wait."- Ducko 308 replied; soon the pair was gone; he walked to the offices at the Cosmodrome, asking for a job; there were three spaceships ready to deploy, and he was accepted at the "DESTRUCTION" Orb class spaceship. It was a big space-fearing vehicle, with three hundred squids manning him, and later he saw a lot more people, but this ones were tourists .
CHAPTER THREEThe Orb and the mission to Star 6345 .CHARACTERS ;Ducko308Captain Pod30 of the Orb 309 C First officer Whomer2 , radio squid Amaf32 , female second officer Maio8 , Chief engineer Warion50 . Commander of Orb 303, Xarning634 .
Captain Pod30 was a very fat and old guy; with a keen eye for female squids- he also was a second cousin to Emperor Tuboloso, so nobody contradicted him in any point; he had no chief above him capable to fired him , so he did as he likes inside the spaceship - the ship owners were always very nervous with his trips. Notwithstanding Ducko308 was a pilot, he was posted as a second radar - squid, so he seats at the main deck, to the left and rear of the room, looking at some big monitors that covered that side of the Deck. "Hi, my name is Amaf32; the radio man."- A small dark squid told him."Hi, Amaf.32."- Ducko 308 replied."This job is very important, but also, there is little radio emissions; mostly we listed."- Amaf32 said."Queer.""Yes ! But as the Rule. Radio signals ... the bad boys could heard."- Amaf32 remembered.The big spaceship begin to deploy; soon they were circling the planet, and Ducko308 were hearing the orders - he realize they weren't enemy ships in sight, by the length of the messages themselves."Want to see the hominid city ?"- Amaf32 asked him, from the side of his place."Of course, must be quite an spectacle !"- Ducko308 replied. "But only in the radar ! Look."- And the machine blinked, showing a white color on the border of a continent."So there they are, the enemies of our Empire !"- Ducko308 expressed ." Not so ! They're the indigenous race of this planet, as the former enemies came from planet Earth, at another Brana , to deploy a terrible bomb that ultimately defeat an alien race very far from here - they don't know that us, their former foe, is here, secluded at the bottom of the ocean."- Amaf32 explained.Later, Ducko308 slept at his cabin soundly. It was a nice cabin, with several communication devices inserted on the walls. They could call on him , and he also could call any other section and cabin at the Orb spaceship, provided he knows the one being called.As he was new on the Orb, he had not too many acquaintances . At the main cabin, Captain Pod30 was reading the instructions for his new mission; it was a very simple one : to see if there were remains of what once was the Elocorotes's main starfleet, and /or pieces of equipment. Captain Pod30 looked at his first officer and said :' We're going to recognize 6345 planetary system; looking for remains of the Elocorotes.""Oh, yeah ? Guess there will be trouble with the debris - but what are we going to see there ?"- Whomer2 said."Only debris, possibly ! But we must seek to find something serviceable for our Empire ! Weapons, treasures, survivors ! Who knows ? As the spies said, the Hominoid race just went out and the place is now deserted."- Captain Pod30 said."Guess they are clever guys ! Radiation must be strong in those pulverized planets."- Whomer2 said."Radiation could not enter this craft; if too strong, we could stored the findings in the outer hull. "- Captain Pod30 was thinking in the mechabots ; they, as metallic artificial intelligence beings, could bear the radiation ; once inside the ship, they could rinse the radiation on the special showers at the lock section."Interesting mission, Captain. When do we jump?"- Whomer2 asked, moving his arms in a nervous way."At six o'clock tomorrow morning; a good time to jump."- Captain Pod30 exclaimed."Six it will be, then ! " - The first officer told the pilot, who was close to him at the consoles.Just for four hours was his shift at the controls; they were recorded far away signals, nothing important. Ducko finds the people very nice, and when his shift ends, he went to slept some more at his cabin ; it was a nice cabin with several communication devices inserted on the walls, so he could call the information center and also any other cabin on the spaceship, if needed be; he also has access to the databank of the spaceship, who was full of wonders.At the main cabin, Captain Pod30 was reading again his instructions; a scout spaceship was the informant to Headquarters about the Hominid- Elocorotes's war, now ended; the Elocorotes were exterminated and also half of the Hominid's space fleet.The orders received stated that he must proceed to the now demolished Elocorote's nest, at Star 6345 and try to find wrecks from that race.Captain Pod30 told his first officer ... " We are going to the Elocorote's coffin in the sky ! A difficult task; most be a million asteroids going astride around the paths that usually performed those two blasted planets."- Whomer2 turns green, and said :" I always tremble when around asteroids."- "Well, you'll be a nice shaker out there ! Pity, I cannot let you desert ship now."- Captain Pod30 said.Meanwhile, at the mess hall, Ducko308 saw the doctor of the spaceship; he knew the doctor from the Academy ."Hi, Doctor ! Remember me , Ducko308 ?"- Said he , and the doctor said :" Class of the 398be ! Of course; one of the good students I had that year ! How do you end being here ?"- He asked, while he eats some clams." Affairs de la vie, professor ! I was out in the street, with no job to do, so I say : Why don't be on the Squid Fleet ? And here am I."- Ducko308 wants to sound happy, and he was forcing the situation."I understand ! And you obtained your title, of course."- Doctor Shrenko40 was not sure of that ; too many disciples to remember well."Pilot ! I am a pilot; pity here they receive me as a simple aid."- Ducko308 said."Aid of what ? Second pilot ?"- Doctor Shrenko40 asked him."No ! Just assistant to the radio squid ! Not so charmed , of course."_ Ducko308 said."Don't you worry about promotions ! Here on deep space, things runs fast ! I will be not so much surprise you end by being the captain of the whole ship!"- Doctor Shrenko40 said, drinking some wale milk."Hope you're right !"- The eyes of Ducko308 were big as saucers with the news..."I am studying the Hominids; so little that we know about them, and how many years we discovered them ! "- Doctor Shrenko40 said, eating some caviar."Don't tell me ! "- Ducko308 eats some clams with wale butter."Of course; in every planet where surface life is possibly, the steps to the Hominid is the same. The dinosaurs originated from diapside reptiles which survived the mass extinction at the end of the Permian as swimming archosaurs . From those emerged bipedal archosaurs , among other two groups of bipedal herbivores , the short necked ancestors of the ornistichian dinosaurs , and long necked ancestors of the saurischian sauropods . Later emerged the short necked meat eaters , ancestors of the carnosaur dinosaurs. From a lineage of small bipedal , tree - mounting bid ancestors the various groups of bird like , coelusaurs branched off . The dinosaurs disappeared as a consequence of growth of forests of deciduous trees. Some mammals were born, and had their habitat at a gorge; isolated by a fracture in the land, they mated between themselves until a race of primitive hominids became the leading horde, by using weapons- soon their brains increased size thanks to their better nourishment : meat was added to their diet- and from then on, the fate of the rest of the animals was doomed.""Strange tale."- Ducko308 said.After the lunch hour, the Captain Pod30 sent seven groups of four squids to see the outer hull, for possible damage ; Ducko308 saw the stars while crawling outside, and finds it very interesting ; the void was absolutely transparent and the feeling of emptiness was great.11154Later, after the arrival to star 6345 planetary system ,Ducko308 was spellbound looking at those rocks being hurled by the magnetism , in all apparent directions."Our work now is great ! Pay attention to the bigger ones ! The small ones will be destroyed by our plasma cannons ."- Captain Pod30 said by the Intercom, to everyone to hear him.When it was necessary a change of course, a faint ring sounds at the pilot's console, showing him where the object was coming and in which direction to move the Orb.The pilot, Suffoor77, was almost white with his inner emotional state. Really, he wasn't doing much : the Main Computer was changing course when necessary - but he could go manual at any time, if he thinks the M.C. was doing a wrong decision . At the same time, the computer was using every scan he got, in order to detect any metallic object among the turmoil of asteroids that crossed the Orb's path.Suddenly, the pilot went manual, and the Orb makes a jerky movement , sending everyone not attached or secured to something, to the other side of the room, corridor or cabin. A big rock, thirty eight kilometers long, was eluded and the captain Pod30 said:" Land on it, Mr. Suffoor77 ! We'll see if there's something for us in that chunk of rock."With dexterous tentacles, pilot Suffoor77 gives a U turn , avoiding two smaller rocks, and landed at the asteroid."We'll send I. A. only ! No need to 11160risk squid life here."- Captain Pod30 said. Soon, five I. A. Class 8 went out, handling Geiger counters.The place was full of rocks and ravines, but the eight footed I. A. Used the almost nil gravity existent there, so they hovered giving some kicks on the ground to maintain due course. At their heads, light torches brightly lit permitted them to see everything in a crystal clear environment.The asteroid was huge; they traveled very fast , and suddenly they were descending by a steep slope ; half way down, they noticed a metallic shrine at the bottom of the chasm ; soon they were signaling home what was in front of them." A spaceship ? Are you sure ?"- Captain Pod30 said, bubbling fast."Yes, captain ! It is embedded on the soil ! The object is without an entrance, and we ask permission to dig a hole unto it , to explore the interior."- I. A. 8 - 600 said."No, no , and of course, no ! Just stay there, and see if there's something moving at the interior ! " - An over - excited Captain Pod30 almost yelled by the radio transmitter ."Very well, Sir. Out."- I A 8 - 600 replied."Condemned I. A. 's ! Well, I want five heroes now , to go and see that object by themselves ! "- Captain Pod30 bubbled out.Ducko308 offered himself , among others , and soon he was out of the Orb , and hovering to the radio beacon."Lako7 here ! I'm in command , so obey my orders and stay behind me !"- The squid officer said, by radio. Ducko308 was using now a laser rifle, same as the other volunteers.He saw the object - it was streamlined, with its prow embedded on the soil by several meters .Captain Pod30 , by radio, told them to try and find the lock ; Ducko308 examined the spaceship by several parts; there was no entrance visible."Guess this artifact had the locks by the rear part - the one that's smashed against the surface ."- Lako7 said by radio.At the same conclusion the commander arrives, but a lot time later ; he ask permission to the Captain to drill." If it's no other way , proceed ! We are in danger here, with the Orb landed while rocks are being hurled ! We had detected several collisions in the last half hour !"- Captain Pod30 informed.The I. A. Begin to cut a hole at the roof of the vehicle. Soon the outer hull was cracked and they all saw vapor of an atmosphere gushing out of that section. When the hole was wide enough, the I. A. Went inside, arms ready."Talk to me, I. A. 8- 600 !"- The commander Lako7 told him by the radio."It's a mess here ! Everything is bent or out of position ! Two bodies are here, smashed against an odd console ! They look like chickens. "- The I. A. 8 - 600 said by radio."They are the Elocorotes, then ! "- Lako7 said, to all the group to hear - also, he was heard at the Orb, at the main cabin. By then, volunteers went inside, and Ducko308 said :" Two bodies are smashed here ! Their helmets are broken ; several instruments are lying on the floor.""Try to save every instrument intact ! Later, bring it to the Orb !"- Captain Pod30 urged them, sending all the I. A. Available at the main ship, to help carrying things; they were handling tools to begin dismantling apparatus at the alien spaceship.The I. A. 8 -600 heard noises at the next section's panels . .. " Listen ! There are people inside !"- A. I. 8- 600 said by the radio apparatus."I wonder what kind of atmosphere they breathe !"- Commander Lako7 said.At that moment, I. A. 8- 600 was knocking at the wall - from inside, they replied him with a staccato of sounds on the walls.11163The I. A. Made another hole, but this time they put a glass on the aperture. Now they can see each others ... the Elocorotes were like birds, and their beaks were wide open with surprise ... the I. A. Alarmed them ; the silhouette of the Ghamcounins were also ominous to them. But the I. A. Had the language of the Elocorotes inside their memory chips ; so they begin talking to them, through a device on the wall.It was hard to convince them that they weren't allies from the hominids - but they weren't in any position to refuse being helped, so they accepted to go where the Ghamcounins want : the Orb.The strangers went out of their cockpit , and carrying several bags and electronic apparatus. At the Orb, Captain Pod30 said :" I'm well aware you breathe air; my technicians had prepared a sound cabin for you. Hope you'll be comfortable there.""We are tired and several of ours died on the impact."- One of them replied, always using the radio, and with the translation made by a I. A.Unbeknownst to them, the special camera was provided with several gadgets to record what they do and said; so they could be spied day and night, in order to learn things about them the easy way.11164In the meantime, the I. A. 8- 600 were busy, with the others, dissembling vital parts at the Elocorote's busted machine."Wish they find usable things. This voyage costs a lot, so if we come back empty handed, our Emperor will be very disappointed with me."- Captain Pod30 said, at the Main Deck."Don't you worry, Sir ! Now you have five Elocorotes alive, and two at the freezer ! By the way, what did the Elocorotes eat ?" - First officer Whomer2 asked."Maize ? I don't know ! I'll ask some I. A. When they get back."- Captain Pod30 said.11167Ducko308 went, that afternoon, to see the Elocorotes; they were 1.50 meter tall, birdlike, breathing air and making clucking noises ; despite they alleged intelligence, they didn't use a toilette, so the entire floor was smudged with debris - excrement. "Nasty creatures !"- Warion50 said, who happened to be near, looking at the monitor."Incredible. How did they build machines, if they have only wings?"- Ducko308 asked."Look at their feet ! They use it like hands , they say."- Warion50 said; another person come in , by the corridor: second Officer Maio8 , who said : "Looking at the Elocorotes, mate ? Funny creatures , I think." "The last remnants of an Empire."- Ducko308 remembered."What do you know about Empires ? "- Maio8 asked." The gal wants to impress ."- Warion50 said." This creatures were known to us, and almost everyone of their principal accomplishments are at the Imperial Secret Database; or so they said."- Ducko308 commented."Permission to retire ! I get to work, now."- Warion50 said, and he went by the corridor to the Engine Room . Warion50 asked him : "And what do you do in our Orb, private ?""Not too much, Second Officer ! Just help with the radio signals.' - Ducko308 answered."I see; sounds you are disappointed about your present assignation."- The Second Officer engineer said.11168"Of course ! I have a diploma stating I'm a pilot, and here I am as an assistant to the Radio operator ! "- Ducko308 saidMaio8 laughed, bubbling , and said :" I see you are upset ! Why don't you come with me ? I have something to show you. It pertains to your present condition." "Of course, Second Officer ! "- He said, and followed the Second Officer to a cabin, who said, after they were inside : "I'll close the door; this is something very personal. ""Thanks for your confidence in me, Sir."- "Don't mention it ! Let's see ... in this box, I have a set of holographic photographs ; you can see in that screen."- And he show a flickering to life monitor on a wall.The projection lasted twenty minutes ; while Ducko308 learned how the Second Officer Maio8 rise from a simple private (with an engineer degree ) to Second Officer of a Orb, Maio8 revised some diagrams on another screen. On shelves , some trophies stand showing Maio8 was someone who excelled at some matters."Astounding."- Ducko308 said, when the projection ends."With this, I'm sure you think different now."- Second Officer said."Of course ! Doctor Shrenko40 told me the same thing."- Ducko308 said."Then, believe him and not me !"- "Please ! You seem a nice person."- Ducko308 said, caressing her head. She lent him her left tentacle, so they enjoyed ten minutes of passion. "Guess you are lovable."- Ducko308 said." Guess you are in love. I'm fat and ugly."- She said, and probably was right, but Ducko308 was happy with her , as he was a lover , in a ship loaded with males ! And he also start a routine : his shift, and then his lover; in reality, it was not much love but sex ; but without an ounce of love, the sexual act means nothing - that is why he offered her at least some love.While on that asteroid, people begin to explore it entirely ; there were rocks and glass, and the splendid vista of a Universe spinning over their heads. After the usable pieces from the Elocorotes wrecked spaceship were loaded into the Orb, Captain Pod30 called them back all the squids back to the ship ,saying :" Now we are going to proceed with our mission; pilot, search another big asteroid, and land on it."Soon another big chunk was detected; forty eight meters wide and a hundred and thirty six kilometers long. Iron pieces of buildings give the alert, but it was mostly molted metal .11172Ducko380 was for ever escaping from the radio - room, giving himself as volunteer ; he saw his life out like a ride on a carrousel : the stars revolving while the rock turned on its chaotic path.At the Orb, Captain Pod30 was receiving a radio signal, by way of Amaf32, who , contrary to Ducko380, never leaves his place . The message come from Head Quarters asking the captain to be at certain coordinates with the Orb, in eight days from then on.11173There were people from the mother land; everyone at the Orb were very astonished . The Commander of Orb 303, Xarning634 , said :" The High Command commissioned me to bring the whole scientific team that was rescued from a subterranean silo at moon Asdrin; sorry to say that moon is heading to the star."They all felt the immensity of the loss; notwithstanding the moon was (before the hominid attack) in Elocorote 's grasp, they knew it was a beautiful place in the sky. Then, a hundred and eighty two 182) new passengers passed by a pneumatic tunnel between Orb 303 and Orb 309 ; commander Xarnin said to Pod30:" Well, they know what to do already ! You just carry them wherever they want ! Remember their intelligence , skill and capacities brought us to the stars in older times.""Of course, and rest assured I'll do my best."- Captain Pod30 said, looking at the screen.Orb 303 went away, so he went to the Mess Hall, where almost everyone were assembled ; the newly arrived weren't like them : their figure differ : Nautilus.One of them looked at him, ask for silence, and said :" Captain Pod30: sorry about this imposition Headquarters lay on you , but it was necessary . Us, members of the Nautilus Macromphalus, Belauensis, Pompilius , Stenomphalus ... wish you could have patience with us ! Certainly, we invaded your ship- but I assure you , that it will take not much time when us, together squids and Nautilus, finished the job. Our task here, in what was once seven beautiful orbs orbiting star 6345 , and now it's an ugly place where planets could head straight into the furnace any day."Captain Pod30 assured them that the crewmen weren't feeling themselves invaded , and also said he wasn't worried if their stay on board could be for a long time .The primitive eye of the chambered Nautilus does not have a lens and works similarly like a pinhole camera . The rest of the cephalopods have well developed eyes and can focus images. Also, the Nautilus has a adhesive portion attached where the shell and the arms begin , and this was for protective measure - shielded arms.They all bubbled somewhat, in order to mean they were a community, and also to approve what was being said . Nautilus had a very keen olfactory system, so they could help their eyes with the smell they were capable of. They were all very amused by the small size of the N. Pompilius Pompilius : twenty centimeters long ; a special care should be maintained not to bump on one of them ; injuries could be done easily. Their work, from old times, was the nano technology .The one who made the first speech, Acleb, said :" Thanks you, Captain. I'll remember your words after we went away." He was being funny.Soon they were lodged in big tanks close to the poop section. Acleb and Murgin were the Chief of those scientists ; they were eager to get back to the asteroid maelstrom at star 6345 planetary system."We had heard of great advances in science, made by the Elocorotes . We need to find evidence of it on the rocks."- Murgin said."And we want to talk with the Elocorotes you rescued."- Acleb said."Of course; they are in a dry tank, but of course you could talk to them by radio."- Captain Pod30 said."Of course. Could it be right now ?" -Acleb pressed the matter."Follow me ! It's in the third level ."- Captain Pod30 said, thinking that the best way to get ride of that scientific personnel would be fastening the proceedings.At the third level , the Elocorotes were talking among themselves , so the invisible (for them) scientific couple heard what they were saying. Acleb said to Murgin, the second chief of the scientific team of Nautilus stock :" We must ask if there are recordings of their conversations; then we must proceed to make contact with them.'"I guess it's the best; but for now, please let us listen to them "- Murgin said.Soon the scientific couple understand that the Elocorotes there caged were remembering over and over again the destruction of their environment at the Star 6345, and musing about the possibility that more Elocorotes could be alive somewhere. They listened three hours, and then asked for the recordings; they heard them until 21.00 hours, and then went to sleep; at the next day, they went to the chamber next to the Elocorotes, and heard what they were talking - "All right, they rescued us , they are studying us, and what comes next ?"-"I cannot say ! This race - sea life - totally strange for me."- Other said.Acleb , with the help of one of the crew members, was ready to talk , using one of the I.A. with a phone; he said :" I can answer you that."- The voice, mechanical, was heard by the Elocorotes ."Who are you ?"- One of the Elocorotes asked." I'm a member of a scientific team recently arrived to this spaceship ; we are here to help you in any way we could." - Acleb ask the I. A. To say ."Fine. We like being here, but also, we should be better under the light of a sun."- The Elocorote said.' You are five Elocorotes, the first we found in this havoc. We need your names and what they were doing on your spaceship. "- Acleb asked them."I am Askarod, second pilot of the "Defiant" ,crashed on debris from our Second planet . Our crewmen alive are Cous the Gunner , Shirrk at the radar systems, Saak the engineer, and Biik at the communication systems. Our captain Odieii and Misoo the rear gunner we saw dead when we leave the spaceship. "- Askarod said.'Thanks for your sincerity; we had nothing to do with that war; we were attacked by the hominids years ago, and we also loose our planet ."- Acleb declared."Tell me, you that apparently come from other places, are there some more Elocorotes alive ?"- Askarod asked." No. You are the first we find; Captain Pod30 's spaceship is the only one searching for survivors."- Acleb said."Why do you worry about our destiny ? "- Askarod asked , not believing so much generosity." Our government sent us; perhaps there are more motives, but we aren't informed about that; now: there are things you could help us do: where to go to see if there are more survivors, and where do you think your race had hidden bunkers , to see if there are survivors there."- Acleb said."We could not tell that; we ignore those things; our spaceship was small , not fit to travel much . "- Askarod said."But you could , or one of your team, remember some conversation, or information of old, about those things ! You had, in the past, seven planets, of whom the first it's too near the sun, so you weren't there ; but at the fourth and fifth planets, you could had bases. "- Acleb said."I really don't know."- Askarod replied. "Very well; I believe you. Now, we are traveling among the debris , searching for some remains ; that is why you possibly should be here for some days more. "- Acleb said, and Askarod speak no more.At the main cabin, Acleb finds Captain Pod30, and said: " We talked with the Elocorotes; sorry, but they don't know about bases on planet fourth or fifth. Guess you should keep on searching around this area.""Yes; but we had a mission here no matter how difficult it could be . We had revised two big asteroids, and there are millions. Perhaps in one of those we hadn't visited, there is a fine surprise for us."- Captain Pod30 said."I congratulate you for your optimism." - Acleb said, and went back to his cabin; soon he was talking with the other chief , Murgin."The Elocorotes we had, are just a tiny group of astronauts; and their vessel was small; they said they know nothing about secret bases on the remaining planets."- Acleb said."Of course, we must believe in half of what they declare ! They suffered a terrible loss, and it's logic they distrust any one ."- Murgin said."And I talked with Captain Pod30; he is decided to keep on searching around this chaos ! I find it very difficult we could find something usable in all of this rubble ! I'll call Headquarters, to see if they could find a way to tell our Captain, to abandon this useless and dangerous search, and instead, send him to the fourth and fifth planet, in search of a base."- Acleb said.Murgin release some ink, and said :" Well thought; I don't feel specially interested here, risking my shell among so many asteroids ."They eat some clams, and Acleb said :" The Hominids are recovering from that terrible war; I wonder if our Emperor Tuboloso will made peace with them; they had ingenious and they had come up with some real cool inventions."Murgin replied :" What ? They invented two or three things ! The rest, old news for us. "-They bubbled a little, and then Murgin went out, saying :" Good night, hominid lover!"Acleb looked out the corridor; there were nobody in sight; he wasn't happy to be called that, as after the war, everything connected with the enemy was taboo. He closed the door, and take the remnants to the incinerator; after that, he swim to rest, in a green net nailed in a corner. At the next day, he went out and talked with the Captain Pod30 :" Captain, I must send a message to Headquarters. When could be that possible ?""Right away, of course ! No need to hide our transmissions from here, as there are so many asteroids, that any sound pilot will think it twice before coming here."- The captain said."Fine."- Acleb said, following the Captain to the radio cabin. There, he told Amaf32 to send as many messages as Doctor Acleb demands... Acleb was amused with the captain; he already studied the man, and he was sure the Captain was eager to see them out of the ship, that possibly he thought it was his. He send the message to the Headquarters, saying :" We need to search at the remnants planets here on star 6345 planetary system; please give the Captain of the Orb 309C to accomplish what I am requiring."Soon the response arrives :" You have total control of that ship, and we needn't give any more orders . See to it. Signed , Admiral Solovin.""Better still."- Acleb said to himself; and then he searched for captain Pod30 and said :" Captain, I could go any way I want, with you as my driver ! Do you knew that ?""Of course, Doctor Acleb ! Why do you tell me this ?""Because we must go to planet four and five, here in this planetary system, before they collided and the secret Bases from the Elocorotes will be destroyed for ever."- Acleb said, making it sound urgent; in fact, as they knew, the planets were going to be erratic for several million years in the future, but in the end, they will replace the missing planets in their orbits by planet four and five, and so life could rise again at the Elocorotes's realm.But the trip was not easy to do; as they were inserted in the debris sector, the ship was avoiding one by the one the obstacles in its path, and that was a slow move. Two days traveling , and they were almost in the same spot; Captain Pod30 passed the problem to the main computer, and waited for a solution. It come very fast, and with thirty options; the main option was to find a big chunk of rock traveling in the direction needed; for that, the main computer had elected seventeen big rocks, of whom two of them were going almost in the most desired path to be out of the debris sector and facing the fourth orbiting planet."General assembly in seventeen minutes, please ! Mess Hall."- Was the voice addressing; soon everyone were there, who was packed with people. Soon the time was up, and Captain Pod30 spoke on the microphone, saying :' Crew and passengers of Orb 309 C : I had received order to go to the fourth planet of this system, but the debris forbade a swift travel; asked the main computer, that think for us all (bubbles of the concurrence), I had decided that to accept the insinuation of the MC is the bet ..., no, best (bubbles) solution for us all . This is : to land on rock 398 and staying with it and carried by it, we'll be out of this mess ... oh, asteroid belt, in six weeks forty two hours . "They all bubbled and talked for some minutes, and then captain Pod30 said :" If we don't do as the main computer said, I am sure we could be stamped on some rock, or some rock could be stamped on us. So there is not a good option to go on as we had been in the last two days , that we had traveled more to the side than to the front. "Acleb asked to say a word, and the captain Pod30 said : " Mr. The scientist Acleb, chief of some part of the scientific team, has a word for you.""Thanks, Captain Pod30. Yes, I am some kind of a chief here, but don't be mislead, as the scientists rarely obeyed me .(Bubbles of laughter) I guess the Main Computer knows what is best for us, and we are more interested in to arrive in one piece to the Fourth planet of star 6345; guess we should need to occupy our minds and tentacles in research , useful occupations and the like; I will device several options of work for my team, and I expect the other chief will do likewise, Mr. Murgin ?"Mr. Murgin, the other scientists team director, approaches the microphone, and said :" Good day, assembly. Well, I am sure I could device some work for you, as I had been doing in the past two years." (Bubbles of laughter.) "And I expect you approve my directives and made true their objectives, not like in other occasions." (More bubbles.)"There you are, Captain Pod30 ! You have a happy scientific team, ready to follow you wherever your computer said."- Acleb said, releasing the microphone. They all were very light hearted ."Thanks for your support, Doctor Acleb, Doctor Murgin; now, we'll be moving in an hour elapsed, not to lost the target among the debris. I ask of you to secure on your posts or wherever you see a handle, as perhaps the movements will be somewhat jerky ."They all bubbled in approval, and then they went out , in order, out of that hall.At the main Deck, captain Pod30 asked the pilot to land on the elected asteroid , so he could made the necessary trajectory calculus . CHAPTER 4 FOURTHE ORB AND THE ROCK .
Ducko308 was at his personal Nirvana with lady Maio8, when a buzz told her she had a message. She reluctantly retire her love tentacle from him, and positioned in front of a visor, and connected the visophone. The face of captain Pod30 was there, and said :"Good morning, Second Officer ! I know you don't need to be here at the main cabin, as you are out of shift by now, but we need you here.""You mean, you need me ."- Maio8 replied, not happy to be called when occupied ..."Of course, lady Maio8 ! Sorry to disturb you in your palace."- Captain Pod30 said, and hung up. She looked at Ducko308 and said :" Sorry, lover ! Duty calls.""I understand."- He said, and when she went out, he follows; at the main cabin, the Captain Pod30 was looking at the blackness of space, and said :" Second officer, there is trouble with the second engine; please go and help the engineers down below.""Yes, Captain."- She said, and went down by a shaft, followed by Ducko308; she saw several mechanics and two technicians at work in one of the plasma engines."What's wrong, mechanic Soeur38?" Said she."Soeur38 was a yellow squid, female, and she said :" Something is fused at the third calibrator ; we must dissemble the whole Cogorit . ""Of course; let me help."- She said, and was working there, aided by the technicians, for eight solid hours; Ducko308 helped the best he could, that wasn't much, and at the end the engine was repaired and tested."Fine ! This is a good work you had donned. "- Captain Pod30 said, after he tested the systems from the main deck.Maio8 enter her shift, and Ducko308 went to the mess hall, to drink some sour beverage; he wasn't tired and his shift was four hours ahead; he saw one of the Nautilus close at hand, and said :" Hi ! I'm Ducko308, aid to the radio controller.""Hi ! I'm Aluya, engineer ."- The other said ; she was a female."We repaired one of the engines. Hard labor, but of course, me , being a pilot, little did I help."- Ducko308 said."Must be entertaining to be repairing so vital machines ! Me, I just study the nanobots and how to improve their efficiency."- She said."Also an interesting thing; you can change bodies and create strange things."- Ducko308 said.She laughed , bubbling, and said :" Everyone has a splendid idea about our work ! But sorry, it isn't so fashionable"- "No ? I guess I remember there was a war, not so long ago, when opponents used the nano technology as weapons."- Ducko308 said."OH, the Elocorote - humanoid war ? Yes, but they used the nanotechnology in a devious way ! We just cure and help people live longer."- Aluya said." Good work." - Ducko308 praised." Sometimes not so good ! We have our mistakes, now and then. Do you know there are some investigations on Elocorote's biology ? "- Aluya said." Elocorote ? How ?"- Ducko308, beginning to be scared."The dead ones ! The captain and the gunner ! We had taken samples, and we are rising new Elocorotes here ! Fine stuff."- Aluya said." Cannot imagine what would sprout from your experiments ! Could I see it ?"- Ducko308 asked of her.She lower her voice, saying :" Look, you seems to be a nice squid ! But you must shut your beak about what I'll show you - not too hush hush, but as the general public knows nothing about this, you must be silent until you hear people talking about this; also, you cannot say I show you a thing, or my post as Chief Executive would go to the trash can !""I understand . You a chief executive ?"- Ducko308 was impressed."Yes !"- She bubbled out, laughing. "Come !"- And she guided to the scientific section, where nobody not being of that team could enter; the guard at the lock saw her and feigned not noticing she was going in with a squid...At the core of the section, several engineers were busy with strange machines (to the pilot's eyes) and a buzz was for ever going on, as they were talking in whispers about what were doing there.Two small elocorotes were inside a dry cage ; they were like chickens, but they communicate between themselves and also with a pair of I.A s. Who knew how to coo in their language..."See ? They are alive... from two feathers !"- Aluya said, bubbling ."It's amazing ! And how old are they ?"- He asked ."Five days ! Of course, we engineered things to fasten a little - so there you see them, like Elocorotes one year old."- Aluya said, proudly."Guess you worked hard ! "- Ducko308 said, looking at the creatures, in their dry environment."We want the Elocorotes to grow in numbers, and be again a happy race, in some of the thousand worlds they could inhabit ! They deserve that, you know ? They rise to be a spatial race, with spaceships and matter converters - brains we need in the desert sands of the Universe."- Aluya said, with that bigger than life sensitive way of life scientists had.After a while there, where Ducko308 was presented to several other scientists, they went out, and she said :""Do you want to see where I live ?"""Of course ! I have two spare hours yet ! "- Ducko308, referring to his working shift ; the cabin was a very comfortable one, with the usual communicators and also some new stuff those scientists brought ; she handed him her body, saying :" You can caress me, if you want; I'll do likewise."She was very hot; and soon Ducko308 was blaming himself not to be a Nautilus, to give her the bag with spermatozoa ; squids weren't supposed to mate like Nautilus people, but certainly a good time could be spent while caressing....Later, he went to his shift, with the promise to return soon to her cabin, in certain hours... While working at the radio station, he was thinking in what a mess he was doing with his love life; once the Maio8 creature knows about that freaking relation, all would be ended between them ... The asteroid was traveling out of the asteroid belt; attached unto it, the Orb was also trying to get away from danger; Captain Pod30 saw it was possibly to give some work to his team, by sending them together with the A.I . out of the spaceship, in order to search for remains of the deceased Elocorote civilization ... Ducko308 presented himself as a volunteer, not to be too much in the inner circle of the spaceship, where his relations with dames was beginning to seems problematic .So, in a team with two I. A. and five male crew squids from the Orb , they begin to advance to the other side of the asteroid, where they would be by their own - so to speak. Soon the night surrounded them; the asteroid was traveling without dancing or twisting on the void, as Captain Pod30 used gadgets to neutralize their bamboozling movements. It was like a big ship traversing a sea of blackness, with white rocks traversing its path; from time to time, the whole asteroid tremble, when some other smaller object smashed against its surface; to prevent being trapped between rocks, they had - the I. A. Has - pocket radar machines, in order to prevent it. So, from time to time, one of the I.A . would yelled : Take cover ! , and they all swim to some crevice or other, or sometimes just swim as fast as they could, to put some hill of projection in the way.At the border of the "other side", they find a big spade looking rock projection; like a saber thrusting the stars that shinning so far away looked like a vapor thrown out by a invisible volcano. On a closer look, they notice the rock was metallic and under the wider portion, a cave was found; using the light torches, they find four big cellars , where they find 9 bodies and several craters with Elocorote's meal.Captain Pod30 asked to take the meal inside the Orb, and soon he was talking with one of the Elocorotes, Mr. Askarod, saying (via one of the I. A.) : " We found a lot of meal on a cliff; why is it ?""Our Imperial Government thought in advance, and hide the meal for the ones like us, survivors , to eat while on war, or afterwards; pity the planet split in two."- Askarod crowed."Well, we had several tons to feed you."- Captain Pod30 said, and went to the Main Cabin; there appears Doctor Murgin, saying :" Could I send a message to Headquarters, Sir """Of course, Doctor."- Captain Pod30 said, handling a recorder, so the other could speak his message; Murgin takes the artifact, and said : ' To General Jouie, at Headquarters; Sir: we had found meals in quantity, for the five rescued Elocorotes; I ask permission to land the five of them, plus some clones, at a suitable planet. There is no reason we could not do this, General, as on board they are totally useless.""That is all ?"- Captain Pod30 said, when receiving the recorder, and Doctor Murgin replied " Of course; why, don't you think it's enough for to give a headache over there ?""Yes."- Captain Pod30 said, bubbling ; the doctor was a funny Nautilus !Soon the answer came : " Accepted. Signed : General Jouie."Murgin said to the captain : " You can forget your previous orders, Captain Pod30 ! Now please try to find a suitable planet for those Elocorotes- please, search for a very distant planet- we don't want the Hominoids went there and make a barbecue with our friends."Captain Pod30 remembered the hominoids did eat the chicken family entirely , at their home planet - he was well aware, also, that hominoids have special reluctance when eating sentient beings; but the phrase of Doctor Murgin has another meanings : Hominoids were Able to finish their labor, if they saw them again.He searched on the Databank, and finds a good planet, not as far as Doctor Murgin wants, but he was not going to do a search risking the whole crew just to give those aliens a better chance; enough with saving their lives and also, on top, giving them several clones with whom to mate .But they were forced to wait until the rock abandon the sea of debris; six weeks and there was no better option ...While they waited there, the scientific team was told, by Dr. Murgin, to made as many clones as possibly; soon 300 eggs were hatching and little Elocorotes were milling around seven dry cabins; Dr. Acleb was giving them stuffed meals."They eat all you can give them ! They don't know when to stop."- Murgin said, looking by the window at the I.A. who was feeding the babies."They require a lot of water, too ! Guess our Captain Pod30 will resent this creation of us."- Acleb said." We aren't going to inform him ! In five weeks elapsed time, I am sure this clones will be as good as a one year natural hatched Elocorote ! Who knows how it would be the environ at their new habitat."- Murgin said."Who knows." - Acleb repeated, looking how the small aviary creatures fight for their share of food...During those five weeks, Ducko308 was being visiting Miss Aluya as often as it was possible, that was a lot; he was thin looking and they all were aware that something was going on between a squid and a Nautilus; small jokes were going round inside the spaceship , until Captain Pod30 knew about it and sent for Doctor Murgin."I called on you, Doctor, as I have a problem, and it's not a common one."- He begin his speech."I'm all hears, Captain Pod30 ."- Murgin said, floating in front of the officer." There is a love affair between one of my men, and with one of your females."- Captain Pod30 said.Murgin bubbled and said :" Why do you worry about it, Captain ? No offspring is possibly, so why you worry about ?""It's not so simple, Doctor ! I want to know if some monster could be hatched from that queer union."- Pod30 said."No union could be possible, either ! You know, we are different; of the same specie, but different when speaking about reproduction ! I guess you are worried about their mental status, too ?"- Doctor Murgin asked."Of course ! It's not common this love affair they have ! Ducko308 and your Aluya scientist meet every day at her cabin ! And the squid is thinner each day it passes !"- Captain Pod30 stated.Murgin give the case a second look, and said : "Well, if he is being harassed physically, guess we should stop this nonsense ! I will ask her to be in quarantine, supposedly because some virus or other was found in her section ! Not very unusual, those things ! And you could see you send your squid out of the scientific section the day before she ends the quarantine- time heal this kinds of wounds, you know... love affairs didn't abound, also.""Perfectly clear; we'll be in contact, to see how we manage this."- Captain Pod30 said.So, the beautiful Nautilus was put unto quarantine, and two days before the departure from the rock, she went out of the quarantine area; she searched for Ducko308, but was told he was working in the energy section, where he was not allowed to went out until further orders; so she waited with confidence in a future reunion with her lover..The spaceship abandoned the rock, and fastened in the direction of the new star : soon they were landing on planet Two of that system; they disembarked the whole lot of Elocorotes: 289 of them ; five naturals and the other were clones; Captain Pod30 leaves two I.A. with them, with orders to feed and see they were safe in the new environs; later, he abandoned the planet, and said to Doctor Murgin :" We did all you want, Doctor, and now I am going to ask you to tell Headquarters our mission is ended; our crew is very tired to be out in the space, and they are already dreaming with their homes."Murgin called Doctor Acleb, and explained the situation."I see why not to return ! In those asteroids there is no life; perhaps in planet four and five could be some survivors; we should go there to see ."- Acleb said.Murgin pressed /Captain Pod30 , saying :" The crew members are longing to be at home; perhaps it is dangerous for us all, to remain in this solitude, searching for survivors ! "Acleb said :" Well, if you are worried about the mental situation on this ship, I am willing to do as you want. And what do you really want ?"- "To return home; we have several samples and artifacts to show at home; our squids want to be with their families; it's fair to do as Captain Pod30 is asking."- Murgin mumbled."All right ! We return now ! "- Acleb said, to the captain. Pod30 told the pilot to set a course to Headquarters, and while the spaceship was turning round to return, they saw three hominid cruisers appearing in front of them."Alarm ! Alien ships ahead !"- Whomer2 said, by the intercom; everyone brazed themselves for impact; five missiles went zooming before their prow; captain Pod30 said :" Pilot, use any course available , but get ride of this pest !"Pilot Suffor77 asked all the necessary power to the engines, and with transponders screaming high, he sent the Orb away from there; the enemy vessels begin the chase, but they were no match for a new Orb; soon they were left behind."Enemy lost, Captain Pod30."_ The pilot said by the Intercom; in every section of the spaceship, bubbles of release were seen ...In the turmoil, Ducko308 saw his lover, young Aluya; they get inside a deserted cabin, and make love with frantically dedication ; four hours they were there, speaking about themselves to one another, and then Ducko308 said :" I am sure they want to separate us, my love ! I had heard of no disease spreading inside the spaceship ! And my new work at the engines have nothing to do with an urgent reparation ! So I guess your chief and my captain has something to do with our separation !'"I had been thinking about our separation, too ! And I adhere to what you are saying ! "- She said, embracing him with her eight arms...Later, when normality returns, they were forced to be apart again, but never they complained overtly, as they were sure the minute they opened their beaks, things would be worst for them.When they arrive to Knapp, with the story of the Elocorotes , many people asked for authorizations to go and visit those at the new Colony; but his Majesty the great Tuboloso said it was no good : "Our people lives in the sea. We had nothing in common with the aviary people. We cannot mingle of socialize with them in our natural habitat. Our own food is totally different to what they use for food. "Ducko and Aluya asked their leave from the Imperial spacefleet , adducing different motives : she because dizziness while on null gravity, and he adduced mental problems with the void. Later, they rented a small apartment in the city of Gritia, where they lived together.Aluya begin working at a grocery's store, as a manager, and Ducko308 employed himself at a factory, as designer engineer."Sorry we could not have children, but our love is greater."- Aluya said every time they knew some of their acquaintances gets their offspring ; they attend the crematory ceremony soon afterwards, as female squids gets their children after 20 months, and die afterwards .
The End.AJF, 8 april 2007 RM 23.24 hours .

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