I think I have to apologize for this chapter. It is a history chapter. History is always boring but since the last chapter was so action packed and the information is needed I will spend one chapter on the history of the Faree. Faree is pronounced /Far – long e/ you can see how humans accidentally changed it to Fairy. Like moose Faree is both the singular and plural version of the word. That is the nice part about making up words you can decide the rules.
This is the story that Captain Ritzer told. I told Charis to record it. I don’t know why I did it at that time. I guess even then I felt that no one would believe my story without some proof and with computer graphics as good as they are today I doubt that any one will believe me anyway.
Lance had just finished making the tea. He had found some dry cookies. I had cut a narrow beaker with a laser so Captain Ritzer could have some tea. Ann sat in the corner she had her legs folded under her. She was wearing one of my jumpsuits. The jumpsuit was too big for her. I had insisted she give me her black outfit. I did not want her wearing it and disappearing from Charis’s sensors. Lance might have decided that she was harmless, but I still did not trust her.
After we were all seated in the kitchen, Captain Ritzer started his story. My people, the Faree, have had space flight for a long time. We destroyed most of the natural vegetation on our world. Many years ago we decided to create a small farming colony on Earth. We settled on an island in the Northern Hemisphere. We knew that people lived on Earth, so we built our colony away from them. We had farms and grew many of the herbs, grains and greens that we could no longer grow in our world. My people are used to life in space and working in a large group toward a common goal. They decided create large farms and have them worked by a team of workers.
As time passed people migrated and settled on our island. We traded and lived happily with most of the first settlers. Later more people came. They were jealous of our ability to fly and some of our technology. We decided to move into the hills away from the new settlers. Then the Romans came and built roads so people could move quickly over the island. We had no place to hide from the people so we decided to start a farm colony on a different planet. This one was completely uninhabited so we knew we would not have to move. A few of the Faree decided to stay on earth and see how the people would change. They built a cavern system under the hills. It was quite comfortable place to live. Every 10 years a small ship would carry supplies to the colony and take the children born on Earth back to our planet to go to school. I was one of those children. My parents wanted me to return to Earth after I went to school, but I decided on a life in space.
Over the centuries there have been people who found our small colony. From what I understand most people have allowed us to continue to live our lives quietly.
The colony was doing well and sending its yearly reports until recently. I guess recently is the wrong term considering I have been asleep for more then 100 years.
“What do you mean asleep” Lance interrupted. “If I had been asleep for 100 year I would not have waken up. You look to be only 30.”
Ritzer waved this consideration aside, “The Faree do live very long. We live around 500 Earth years. I was 30 Earth years old when I left Earth. The sleep I talk about is cold sleep. While we are in our pods we “sleep” we don’t require much nutrition or oxygen, the pod provides us with the little we do need. We also don’t age while we sleep. I seem to have lost a few pounds while I slept. They were not design to last more then a hundred years. I hope that my Cormellia has not lost weight also. She was too skinny already. But I am getting ahead of myself. Where was I in the story?
“Yes, the colony was not sending its yearly reports. We had heard they survived both World Wars. That had not been a problem. The settlement was in the country and underground. So it was perfectly safe from the bombing. When the messages stopped the council asked for volunteers to see what happened. My wife and I volunteered, since my family was still on Earth. My parents had had a daughter while I was on Tarna and I have never met my little sister. Jobo and his wife Amair also volunteered. They too had family on Earth. Cormellia and I immediately liked Jobo and Amair. That is important when you are going to be on a small ship for a long time.
We used my own ship. I had made a living as a trader. The ship had been a wedding present from Cormellia’s family. I was the captain. Cormellia was the pilot. Jobo was an engineer, and Amair kept us well feed. The trip was fairly boring until we hit your solar system.
It seemed that your planet had put up several satellites since I left earth. This explained why the colony had not sent there messages. If they were to remain hidden they would have to remain silent. We had to take a round about route not to be detected. While we were hiding in the asteroid belt one of the smaller asteroids hit our ship. I ordered the evacuation. I made sure everyone made it to the escape pods then I got into mine.
24 hours after entering my escape pod. I put myself into cold sleep. That was the last thing I remember until three weeks ago. The computer was programmed to wake me when I was in an oxygen environment. There were people around my pod and they were tying to open it. I had the pod put me back to sleep until 48 hours after the people left. I did not like the looks of those people.
I just woke up a few hours ago. While I was deciding what to do, I read the messages that the pod had collected over the last 100 years. The colony was evacuated shortly after we tried. My people tried to find us but with the extra satellites this solar system was declared off limits. I was deciding to take over your ship and find them myself when Charis told me that it was safe to come out. We talked and she convinced me that I should talk to you.
This was my turn to jump in. “Charis why didn’t you tell me?”, I asked.
Charis answered in her normally calm voice. “Well you were worried about Ann and I deducted that a calm voice would convince him. You did add diplomatic conversation to my programming just in case it was ever needed. You know the rules of space. You help anyone in need, just like the mining ship Sky Hawk helped us when you ran out of fuel. That rule does not state any human.”
“I think we should help him,” Lance put in. “The only reason I wanted to get to Jupiter Station was because I have never been there. Well I never have been on a space hunt either.”
Ann quietly joins in “I am no longer safe on earth any where in space is fine by me. I can grow enough food for one more or four more if we find his friends and family.”
With that every one turned to me. What could I say? I now had an instant crew and they wanted to do a search. How could I say no? “Well, I guess we have a rescue mission to plan, first thing in the morning.”