Diversity:

Chapter 7

“Just to make sure everyone’s clear, the plan is to loop around sector G-13 and fly through soryier territory. This should buy us enough time to get out of radar range. Most importantly, Larren will be duct taped to a chair for the entire procedure, because if I launch him out the trash chute it might start a mutiny. Any questions?” Conmer glanced around the bridge, checking to make sure everyone was on the same page. “No? Great, then everyone get to their stations, 65% power to thrusters, and we should be there in an hour and a half.”
“Manri, reporting for duty, sir!” Conmer turned around, nearly walking straight into Manri, who had been hanging upside down only an inch behind him. She was wearing a t-shirt, jacket, skirt, and cargo shorts. She also had two holsters with sleek steel pistols strapped to the cargo shorts and hidden underneath the skirt. The holsters were upside down and the guns were held in with Velcro straps, so that she could easily access them with her feet.
“Good. Now sit down, and I’ll fill you in on the plan.”
“That’s it? That’s your reaction?” Manri dropped from the ceiling and cartwheeled over to a chair. “Could’ve at least shouted in surprise or somethin’. Moving on like nothing happened is so boring.” She clambered up on the back of her chair, crouching down and gripping it with her feet. “Oh, and you don’t need to fill me in, I overheard the whole thing. We loop around sector-”
“You misunderstand. You’ll be on the ground team, helping me scout the planet – after we lose the Alliance. Before that point, your assistance won’t be needed.”
“Oh.” Manri scratched her head. “I was wondering what you needed warriors for if we weren’t gonna leave the ship. So, for real this time then, what’s the plan?”
“Right…” Conmer pulled a piece of old plastic paper, covered in a long lost language. “I found some documents about an undiscovered human colony a while back, and figured I’d go check it out. Collect some quick cash off of the reward. One million if the colony had died out, five if it hadn’t, and untold riches and fame if it was Earth.” Conmer sighed. “However, luck was not on my side, and it turned out the planet was… weird. It was a forest planet, with Earth like ecology, and active radio waves. All signs pointed to a thriving new species of human descendants, save for two problems. No agriculture, no pollution, and no sign of large scale infrastructure. That meant there was industrial age technology, but no means of producing it. I had no idea what I would find if I actually landed, so I didn’t land. I left, and decided to come back only when I was truly desperate for the reward money.”
“Huh. So all we have to do is fly down to the planet, confirm the existence of living human descendants, and then report it to the Alliance?” Manri jumped off of her chair. “If I’m being honest, I’m more concerned about the third step than the second.”
Conmer nodded. “The Alliance has a formidable army, and a grudge or two to settle with us, but they are a known factor. I have over a dozen plans to deal with them. This planet though, is an unknown factor, and nothing – I repeat, nothing, is more dangerous than the unknown.”

 

A note from the author ninja:

The Alliance has a bit of an… obsession with humans. They, along with much of the galactic populace, have basically deified them.

 

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