The Labour Planet - A Working Title - Part Twelve - 991 words
The Labour Planet – A Working Title - Part Twelve - 991 words
When Whittaker and Georgia went back to see how Jamie was they were once again surprised to find him in a state of high animation; as if he was having a conversation with some invisible person.
‘Jamie, how do you feel now?’
‘Better, thank you Georgia.’
‘You don’t look better.’
‘No, you don’t, but do you feel up to answering some questions?’
‘As we approached you seemed very animated almost like you were having an interesting conversation with someone.’
‘That is exactly what I was doing.’
‘But with whom; there is no one here?’
‘No, the Grusaliens were transferring information to me and I was transferring back.’
‘All this talk of Grusaliens, Jamie. We think it’s the result of that nasty head wound.’
‘No, Tom, I swear to you everything I’ve said so far is true. They do exist, and they can communicate with me.’
‘Well, then why don’t they communicate with us too?’
‘I don’t have an answer to that but I will ask them.’
‘We will only communicate with you, Jamie.’
‘Why is that?’
‘Because we don’t want the Federation’s attack force, the Templars, to know that we can communicate with other species and you have a Shape Shifter living in your community whom we haven't identified..’
‘Okay, I understand. But what is the Federation?’
‘Our captors come from Red Star One, the most warlike of the Red Star Federation and we are a peaceful planet with little desire to fight and with even less fighting ability.’
‘So who is attacking them now?’
‘We think a group of planets from our Galaxy have combined forces with the last of our Grusaiders. It is probably the only way to stand a chance of defeating the Federation.’
‘Have these other planets been attacked by the Federation too?’
‘Yes, the inhabitants of Red Star One are the most dangerous but they are all marauders, by that I mean all three of the Red Stars that form the Federation.’
Suddenly alarms started screeching everywhere the noise was deafening and then the ship started to drop dramatically. Then, over the speaker system they heard,
‘Attention! The ship has been compromised. Our defences have been breached. I repeat; our defences have been breached. By express order of your Commander all Guardsmen to your posts immediately.’
They could hear the guards racing to get to their posts.
‘First wave Guardsmen Cadets go forward. Second wave take up reserve positions. All Guardsmen Templars to remain at their posts until ordered to move forward.
All Templar Officers report to the Commander immediately.
‘This sounds bad, judging by the note of desperation in that voice.’ said Georgia.
‘Yes, I don’t know whether we would be better off if the attackers did manage to defeat the Templars or whether we would be worse off. Either way we are as dependent on this ship for our safety as they are, so I’m not sure how to react to the idea that the ship has been damaged.’
‘Yes, I was thinking the same thing,’ said Georgia.
‘Providing the ship manages to keep flying and doesn’t just drop out of the sky, I think we will be better off,’ said Jamie.
‘Oh, why is that?’
‘Because the Grusaliens have told me that the ship is under attack by the inhabitants of a group of planets from their galaxy who have combined forces with their own Grusaiders. They think that is possibly the only way the Federation will be defeated.'
‘ Jamie, enough of this talk of Grusaliens and Gruse…what did you call them?’
‘Grusaiders then. I’m afraid I don’t believe in your Grusaliens or Grusaiders, and you don’t seem able to provide any evidence that they exist.’
‘Tom, please believe me I’m telling you they do exist. It’s just that they will only communicate with me.’
‘Oh, what’s happening now?’ said Georgia her mouth dropping open.
‘I don’t like the look of this,’
No, why are they herding everyone together?’ said Jamie, his voice rising slightly.
‘You three, line up with the rest of the group. You are being moved.’
‘Where to,’ ventured Whittaker.
‘My Officer has been commanded to get all cargo up to the Flight Deck.’
‘Is that what we are?’ said Georgia, ‘Cargo.’
The guard looked at Georgia, a tiny flicker of sympathy momentarily in his eyes.
‘Get a move on, it is too dangerous for you to stay down here. The attackers have breached our defences.’
This guard seemed to Whittaker to be the most approachable.
‘Will it just be us going up?’ said Jamie.
‘Why, why do you ask that question?’
‘Oh, I just wondered if there were any other containment areas like this one?’ he said, tilting his head to one side.
While Jamie was talking Whittaker noted that there were three other Templars herding the group to get in line.
‘How many of you have had to be taken off defending the ship to get us to safety?’
‘I think twelve…no, sixteen because all the battalions had to supply four Templars as that is how many will be needed to get all the cargo up top.’
Whittaker smiled inwardly as the Templar had given him the very information he was seeking. He was trying to work out numbers and so far he had learned that there were four battalions, but now he needed to find out how many were in each..
‘That must leave you very short of Templars and Cadets to defend the ship?’
‘No, there are ten cadets and ten Templars to each battalion.’
‘Oh, I see,’ said Whittaker quickly doing the math…
‘So, there are forty of you all together.’
‘Yes. No, each battalion has an officer, so that makes forty-four.’
‘Not forgetting your Commander,’ said Whittaker putting his hand over his mouth.
‘And will you all be needed to stay and guard us?’
‘Some will have to stay because we can’t keep you separated as easily as we can down here.’
‘Keep us separated from…’ said Jamie.
‘You are asking too many questions,’ growled the guard, realizing he had said too much.
Whittaker just looked into the distance, a satisfied smile replacing his usual stern expression.