CHAPTER 32: THE EVACUEES

“Currently there are 279 individuals here. Unfortunately we were unable to resuscitate a few of them. For the most part their physical condition is good, of course their muscles need time to recover from stasis. We encourage everyone to participate in a body movement regime in the morning, and a stretching regime in the evening.” Dr. Q’osp is the lead medical professional on Xinood 5. Because his specialty is species other than Xinoods, he is the lead on the medical team serving the evacuees on Gaznzul.

“What about their mental state?” The Muse of Mischief asked.

“Some of them will need some time. As you can imagine, some of them are delirious. Left in stasis for so long, they resigned themselves to accepting that this was to be their eternity. Now that they are free, they have to change their outlook. Sadly, there are almost thirty beings that I suspect will not recover from the dementia. They have been moved to a special facility, where they can be properly cared for.”

“How many different species have you identified?” Agent Brzko asked.

“Identified? Seventeen. There are several that none of us have seen before. Most of them are humanoid, but not all of them. Luckily we have some very skilled veterinarians, they are helping to create the proper environments for the lesser beings. We suspect the species we’ve never seen before are from a different universe. Assuming of course that it’s true that the VReoria can travel the Multiverse.”

“We think it’s true.” M said. “In fact we suspect they hid there when Dragona fought them off. The Dragons were convinced that they had eradicated them, but they may have been hiding in a different universe.”

“That would make sense.”

“Do you have a list of the evacuees by species?” Brzko asked. Dr. Q’osp handed him a tablet with the list. “There were humans? The VReoria had humans?” Brzko asked, looking up from the list.

“Yes, as you can see there are four.”

“Are you aware of humans any place other than Earth?”

“Actually yes. There is a small colony of them in the Glion Galaxy, I’ll have to research exactly where. And interestingly these four all have similar genes, they are related.”

“I know there was one young Dragon found on the second ship, were there any others?”

“No, there are no Dragons here, but there are a few haplogawas. Luckily they are too young to be dangerous.” As Brzko scanned the list, with M looking over his shoulder, Dr. Q’osp continued. “We’ve already begun making arrangements to transport anyone who has recovered to their original home. So far, every official we’ve contacted has been willing to help the evacuees reestablish their lives.”

“I’m glad to hear that.” M said. “What about the new species, what’s the plan for them?”

“We don’t know yet. I think that there are concerns for not only their safety but the safety of others, given that we know nothing of them. That is a decision for the Universal Coalition. Would you like to meet some of the evacuees?”

“Yes! We definitely would.”  M said.

“Follow me.” Dr. Q’osp said. He turned and headed to the entrance of the barracks.

He scanned a key card to gain access, just inside the door was a small reception area, there was someone seated at a desk, reviewing information on a tablet. He looked up, took note of Dr. Q’osp and returned to his work.

The main room is a large day use area. One side of the room opens to a cafeteria style counter with small tables and chairs clustered in front of it. There is a sitting area with sofas and stuffed chairs, and a few gaming areas. There are a variety of individuals scattered about, some eating, some talking, some sitting quietly.

“Come, follow me please.” Dr. Q’osp headed across the room toward a sitting area with several yellow individuals. Zri had returned from Misko, he was there with a large tablet spread on the table in front of them.

“Oh, Muse of Mischief, Agent Brzko, I’d like to introduce you to some new acquaintances of mine.” He said standing up. “This is Numia, Chuna, Bloma, and Scomia. They are Keaterans, we were just trying to locate their home world.”

The Keaterans are bright yellow humanoids with pointed ears. Each clothed in bright red sarong type garment. Following Zri’s example, they all stood to receive M and Brzko. After the greeting, everyone took their seats again.

“You honor us with your presence, thank you for rescuing us.” Numia said.

“You’re welcome Numia.” M said. “I’m glad to see that you all seem to be faring well. Do you need anything?”

“We are attempting to find our home on these navigational maps but we do not see our planet. In fact we do not see anything we are familiar with. These planets are all different.”

“Is that chart from the Suus?” Brzko asked.

“No, it’s actually from the Jinn – who have more detailed charts.” Zri said.

“How many galaxies have you looked at?” Brzko asked.

“We’re most of the way through our Universe.”

“Does anything look familiar?” Brzko asked.

“Yes, the position of the planets in this area is similar to an area I worked in, but it is not precisely the same.” Numia said, scrolling to a map of the area near Trella with a hand made up of a thumb and two wide fingers.

“What type of work did you do?” Brzko asked.

“Cargo. Chuna, Bloma, and I worked on a cargo ship. We mostly hauled food to and from Keatera. Our captain did not survive the fight, she was killed when the VReoria overtook us.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. So was your crew entirely female?” Zri asked.

All four of the Keaterans tilted their heads, and slowly blinked their almond shaped eyes as if Zri were suddenly speaking a language they could not understand.

“Yes, Keatera is a matriarchy. Males do not usually leave their homes.” Numia said.

“Interesting.” M said smiling. “I can see the benefits of that! What were some of the characteristics of the planets in that area that looks familiar.”

“Tren is a unique planet.” Chuna said.

“How so?” M asked.

“It is entirely pastel, with colors that are beautiful but not normal.” Chuna explained.

“So what planet on this chart is the closest to where you would expect to see Tren?” Zri asked.

“Here.” Numia said, pointing to Trella.

Zri looked up, he M, and Brzko stared at each other for a few seconds. He looked back at the tablet and called up images of Trella. “Does Tren look like this?”

“Yes! That’s Tren.” Numia said.

“Interesting, this is actually a planet we call Trella. So, it would seem that you are from a different universe.” Zri said.

“How do we get back to our universe, to our home?” Chuna asked with desperation.

“We don’t know.” M said. “The VReoria are the only species we know of that can travel purposely from one universe to another with accuracy.”

“We don’t want to rush you into making any decision, but please consider what you would like to do now that you’re here.” Zri said. They all four just looked at him. “There are many planets that will take you in, help you establish housing, employment, a place in the community.” They could see the disappointment on their faces. “We’re not suggesting that we will give up on trying to find a way to get you home. But, living here at a temporary medical facility? Well that doesn’t seem like a good option.”

“You’re right.” Numia said. “We are all still in shock about our situation. We need some time to think about it. Do you think it would be possible for us to work together on a cargo ship again?”

M decided to jump in. “Yes. I have a friend that does a lot of shipping, his planet produces an element called ronaid, they ship it all over this Universe.”

“That might be a good fit for us. We will discuss it. But a ship is no place for Scomia. She needs to finish her education in a stable environment.” Numia said.

“If you decide you’re interested in shipping ronaid, we may be able to find a home for her on the same planet. What do you think Scomia, are you interested in continuing your education in a home on the same planet where Numia, Chuna, and Bloma work?”

She shrugged, again looking at her feet. “OK.”

“If there’s a different place that you’d like to live please feel free to tell us. We’ll try to accommodate your request.” M said.

Again she shrugged. “OK.”

“Well, Brzko and I need to check in with some of the other evacuees.” M said, standing up. “If you need us for anything, just ask one of the medical staff to contact us. They can reach us anytime.”

M and Brzko made their exit and walked a ways away from the group of Keaterans. “Hey, I need to go see Emperor Bartala. Empress Nalau sent me a message while we were chatting. I need to go see them.”

“So what did she tell you when she got off the ship, before she left for home?” He asked.

“Well, basically… she wants to work with us.”

“OH!” His face displayed his surprise. “I see why you need to speak with Bartala, I’m assuming he’ll try to stop her.”

“Of course. So you can see why I need to go to Ploosnar, I need to verbally slap some sense into  him.”

Brzko laughed. “I’d love to watch but…” He hugged her. “OK be careful M. I’m going to visit with a few more of the evacuees before I call it a day. I’ll see you at home later.”

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