The door slid open quietly, but a loud voice announced, “There’s been a security concern. We have to lock down this hall. Suckers, and Digi, if you want to exit, come now.”
The poid scientists both looked affronted. In unison they said, “I’ll stay.”
The poid host waved a tentacle and promptly sealed the door.
“What was that all about?” Karen asked.
“I have no idea. Shall we continue?”
“You’re locked in here now, with us?” Karen asked, bemused.
“Yes. They know we can access the ample supply of water suits if this goes on long enough to need them.”
Karen nodded, still wondering what the problem was.
A long science lecture ensued. Karen didn’t try to understand it, knowing Ike was doing that.
“Oh!” Ike suddenly said. “I wish I could tell this to my colleague Scott D’Amour. He’s … ah, visiting Fabar.” He glanced at Karen, who winced.
“I’m sure Dr. Weinz will know what to do with it. He doesn’t want to travel off ship, but you should be able to e him from here.”
Ike fiddled with his Pocod then frowned. “Actually, there’s no internet at all.”
“Sufra!” Karen called.
The computer science head was busy on a laptop. “I’m already looking at it.” A minute later, she said, “There’s nothing I can do, it’s been blocked.”
“Blocked!” the Ambassador said with alarm.
“It happened the same time as the security lockdown. We’re stuck in here with no communications.”
Suckers looked concerned. His fish eyes bugged out even further than usual, and all the tentacles he wasn’t standing on wiggled. Then three of his tentacles stopped the other tentacles from moving. “I’m sure the planet security poids will get things settled soon.” He gasped a bit. “Perhaps it’s time I put on a water suit. Excuse me.” He went to a spot marked on the wall and slid open a closet stocked with suits and water tanks. Digi joined him at the closet, followed by Unice.
“Yes, it’s time, isn’t it,” Digi said. “What do you suppose the problem is?”
Suckers shrugged, six times at once. “Ah,” he said, “message coming in.”
“For me too,” Digi said.
After they both read their messages, they stared at each other for a minute, then looked at the humans. Digi pointed to the closet and said to Unice, “We have to suit up in here. We’ll be out in a few minutes. Maybe you can catch up on the presentation you missed while we were talking.”
Inside the closet, Digi said to Suckers, “You don’t believe this, do you? Unice is wonderful. She’s only concerned with making the Fbar living DNA strand harmless to her people.”
Suckers released his tentacles, and they flailed wildly. “I don’t know, I’m scared. We don’t really know how to read these people. Can you read me your message to make sure it’s the same as mine?”
“Sure,” Digi said in poid speak, in a calm, smooth, feminine tone. Despite being more muscular and chunky than Suckers, she was quite ladylike. In a seminar voice, she began.
We’ve decided to inform you of the situation so you can take precautions. A long-distance message was sent from the Earth spaceship Chiron saying, “I think our true purpose might be discovered soon. Come with at least one ship to rescue us!” Coordinate were sent.
Suckers squeaked. “It’s the same. So these Earthers are planning to invade us? Can you believe it?”
“Well, hang on. It says rescue, not invade,” Digi said calmy.
“True, true. What should we do?”
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