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Colonial Authority: Chapter 7 – In His Company

**Note: Although the following is part of a previously self-published eBook, portions have been modified. However, it has not been professionally edited and likely contains typos and other errors. It is offered as an example of raw science fiction storytelling.**


Cristina focused on Chase’s eyes as he settled in to join her at the most secluded table in the restaurant. “I didn’t tell you all that much for a very good reason,” he responded to her accusing him of omission.

“I’m listening.”

“Did he frighten you that much?” he asked.

“I don’t know if I would call it fright; it was one of the weirdest experiences I have ever had, though. You could have prepared me better.”

Chase glanced down.

“I may never forgive you for letting me go into it blindly.”

“Regardless, you needed to go into the mission ahead of you with no preconceptions. There is a thin line between preparing someone and revealing too much that might prejudice judgment. Besides, I am not sure there is any way to properly prepare anyone for that sort of meeting.”

The waitress arrived at the table to take their drink orders leaving them menus to study as she departed to fetch their cocktails.

“You have the attributes,” Chase stated in near whisper, then glanced around to ensure no one could have overheard. After, he continued the conversation in a low volume. “That is what the engineers have decided to call the traits each of our mothers passed on to us.”

Cristina glanced up. “You too?”

Chase nodded.

“What was the point of seeing Raven?”

“It was necessary because he told me it was. I was expecting to meet someone and to direct him or her to another Courier and then Raven contacted me regarding you. He called me saying that I knew someone already.”

“How long have you known Raven?”

“As I told you, I have never actually met him. I just know a little bit about him. He is an accomplished artist, but he has remained very obscure and lately aloof. I have spoken to him only on the Comnet.”

“Do you have an orb?”

“A Courier named Eagle gave me one,” he said without producing it in evidence.

“What is with the names of extinct Earth birds?”

“It was a code they devised to use for the safety of the Couriers.”

“How many are there?”

“I don’t know. I know that they deliver orbs to us,” Chase said. “They are Couriers of the orbs, I guess.”

“Raven said the orb will teach me, but he hinted that there was more to it.”

He looked away.

“Chase, I know that you know something that I don’t. I can tell it without even seeing your eyes.”

He flashed a brief smile as he allowed his eyes to meet hers. “The orbs will be a burden for us both, I’m afraid. You will start collecting others who are like you, like us. I am fairly new to this and you are only my second contact. You are the first since I received my orb.”

“And the other?”

“She is the one who contacted me.”

Cristina looked into his eyes and from somewhere in the depths of her soul she knew. “What happens when two of us mate?”

“Mate as in having intercourse?”

“What other mating is there?”

“I was just startled by the abruptness of the question I guess.”

“Surely you have thought about it.”

“Of course, I have. Since my first contact was female, yes, I have thought about. And we have even discussed it.”

Cristina smiled. “You have not considered advancing our relationship to that point.”

“It is not a proper question to ask.”

“Then what is the proper way of putting it?”

“As much as I would love the experience, there is no time or place for it. You are not the one. I suspect that she is, but I am not even certain of that.”

Cristina scooted back in her seat.

“Possessing an orb is a strange thing to get used to. You suddenly realize your place in the overall purpose. And you know you cannot really deviate all that far from it,” he explained. “At first you also feel very incapable and wholly not up to the task.”

“I don’t like any of this.”

“It is not something you can like or dislike. It simply is what it is,” Chase pronounced as if it were a sentence handed down from a judge. “Besides there is a thing called professional decorum between the two of us, you know. We work together. You are my client.”

“That is violated constantly.”

“I don’t violate my professional relationships.”

Cristina started to laugh, but then thought better of it. She focused on his eyes again and felt something in response – something definite, the result of her wanting to know. Then she pulled back. “What’s her name, your first contact? The one who possesses your heart…”

Chase stared at her for several silent moments before he finally responded. “Julie.”

“Is she like…?”

“Of course she is,” he said. “I guess it shouldn’t surprise me how quickly you are beginning to assimilate the knowledge of the gifts.”

“The attributes you mean.”

“Despite the burden they really are gifts, Cristina. The Couriers, all of them up to Sparrow and Hummingbird – the leaders – despised what mankind had done to them and to one another. We are different from them, more evolved in the attributes. We are almost as different from them as we are from ordinary humans. That’s part of the point. We are not so different as to be easily detected but we are the next step, the second generation. Maybe we are a completely new species. We have enough distinct characteristics in common that we should not be called human anymore.”

“My mother was one of the first generation.”

“And your father understood it. When he knew the full truth that your mother would die in childbirth. Despite his wanting to fix it somehow, he eventually accepted it. He hated it and dreaded it. But her acceptance of it apparently made it easier for him. At least that is what I have been told is always the case.”

“So how long do you think we will live?”

“How would I know? I suppose we live until our purpose is somehow served.”

“Raven said he is over 270 years old.”

“Eagle was 305 when I met him. Julie’s mentor was over 320. The only conclusion that can be drawn from that is this process began well in advance of the conditions that mankind created that ended their ability to inhabit the Earth. There was something intelligent in control of the overall design that allowed for the genetic mutation to begin long ago.”

“I’m not sure I want to believe it or that I’m a mutant.”

“Have you ever wondered about the stories of people in the distant past that lived very long lives?”

“You mean like the legends about people living for hundreds of years?”


“I have never taken any of that literally,” she said. “My father wanted me to attend church with him. I think he needed the comfort of the belief that Mom was in a better place. So, even after I began to doubt what I was hearing in the services, I still humored him.”

“You were a good daughter.”

“It was strange, Chase. I mean everyone I knew at the time was either atheist or agnostic. To me the Bible had always seemed a fairy tale. I discussed my feelings with my father at one point. He told me he would never presume to tell me what to believe. But he had been a lot like me when he was younger and felt that the educational system had turned his attention away from the truth and toward what he called ‘a great deception’. He said that after he met my mother he had no doubt in preordained destiny. She was exactly what he had been seeking in a woman and so he listened to her and came to believe as she did.”

“Then he was happy.”

“I challenged him in that Mom had lived with him for five years before she died giving birth to me. He told me that he had learned that a day is of a thousand years in the eyes of God, and so he had a full life and he looked forward to joining her in paradise.”

Chase wiped away a tear that was welling in the corner of his eye. Then he asked, “What do you believe?”

“I don’t know anymore. When I graduated from the university, I really thought I had a handle on everything. Then dealing with my father and his untimely death, I guess I started to appreciate the spiritual aspects of my existence. Even if I still doubted the existence of a Supreme Being and an evil usurper, Paradise and Purgatory meant nothing to me.”

“There could be something to it,” Chase said. “My father seemed content to believe without questioning anything. He admitted there were probably errors in the Bible, because it was written, translated and then retranslated by men. The original message of God if it was there at all might have been distorted. But he told me that he still had faith in the potential salvation of mankind. He seemed to think that we stand on the threshold of the new millennium. The old millennium of suffering and persecution was over.”

“It’s a stretch.”

“Well who was there back when the Bible was written that could have imagined we would be living on a planet many light years from Earth. They had no concept, no reference.”

Cristina looked into his eyes. “Why are we here?”

“What if the first humans on Earth, even in the Biblical accounts were nearly pristine humans? I mean they were merely a few generations from the original prototype, weren’t they?”

“What if none of it was true?” she countered.

“Granted, it has some of the qualities of a fairy tale.”

“And it borrows heavily from other cultures and their folk lore,” Cristina pointed out. “The ancient Sumerians for one.”

“But that is just it and really my entire point. There is something that happened in the remote past on Earth and every culture has something about it in their traditions. I think that in the distant past the Earth may have even been terraformed.”

The waitress returned with their drinks and asked if they needed more time.

“We can order now,” Cristina said. “I’ll have Fettuccine Alfredo.”

“That sounds really good,” Chase said. “I’ll have that too and bring us a bottle of wine, not the house wine, a good vintage wine.”

When she waitress left, Cristina looked across the table. “That’s going to be expensive.”

“Hey, we had a very successful tour, right. So, we’re celebrating the end of a long drawn-out process of becoming famous.”

“I don’t think we have quite arrived there yet.”

“Trust me. Great things have been set into motion in support of this tour. Maybe you have been too close to the process to see the big picture, the view from a couple of kilometers up. But Duae Lunae has a growing following of avid supporters and you personally have a large following. So, I think all of that deserves a little splurge on the expense account.”

“I don’t think I have ever had a vintage wine.”

“There you go. This has been a tour of firsts. So, it’s fitting.”

She was quiet for a few moments, but Chase could tell she was thinking. Then, what was on her mind erupted as if there had been nothing intervening in conversation or even a pause. “If some ancient extraterrestrial engineers came along terraforming planets, why only the Earth?”

“Because it was easier.”

“Don’t you think that the humans that lived on Earth would have found some evidence of the terraforming?”

Chase was ready. He had already thought through to the answer of the same question he had once asked himself. “Maybe the master race that seeded us gave us some room for our own colonial expansion. Besides, just because there’s no apparent evidence doesn’t eliminate the possibility that it happened. There are many artifacts of ancient civilizations on Earth that have never been explained. Perhaps you don’t know of all the strange artifacts on Earth that suggest things beyond the technologies of the people who lived there at the time, but they are definitely there and still in evidence.”

“Some technologies are lost. Some things can be explained different ways. It’s just that we lack the insight.”

“And some may be unexplainable except for allowing the intervention of extraterrestrials.”

“I suppose a civilization more technologically advanced than we are now could have seeded life on Earth,” she permitted.

“They could have had much longer spans – maybe been immortal. They could have been the source of all the concepts of deities.”

Cristina sampled a garlic bread stick while she considered the implications of Chase’s statements. She chewed, and then she swallowed and sipped from her drink before posing, “What I want to know is why they didn’t come back?”

“Perhaps they did, covertly. They could have been the ones responsible for seeding the potential mutations within our ancestors. It could have been the reason for all the reports of alien abductions that seemed to have begun around the time that humans discovered the means of annihilating everyone.”


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