Jim was sitting on a plain white chair, in a nondescript white room on a ship heading for the Galactic Council, wondering how he got there. He had heard the news, hell everyone had, how could you not. It was the biggest news in human history. Aliens were real and there was lots of them, hundreds even. And they wanted us to join the Galactic Council. Earth’s governments debated for several days before they had to select someone. None of them trusted any politicians, so they decided that a non-partisan lawyer would be needed. And they chose Jim Smith, an American business lawyer that had no ties to any one business, no political or religious affiliation, and had a good record with creating deals that worked well for all parties.
And now, Jim was representing all of earth. He had no political experience, only took the minimum classes required. He only occasionally voted, only federal, because he didn’t keep up with local politics, since he was always moving to negotiate the next deal. Half the time he wasn’t even in the country, negotiating deals for multinational companies. He had no family, as his parents had already passed. He had no residence and kept all his clothes in two large suitcases that traveled everywhere with him, including now.
He sat wondering what kind of deals he would be working on, or if he would just be an ignored voice in a crowd of bigger players. As he contemplated his future endeavors, his Galactic Council liaison, Nelix entered. Nelix was a giant caterpillar like alien called a Copil from Gratiun 4. He walked on what Jim thought was about 10 pair of legs. He never stopped moving so Jim was never able to count them. Nelix also had 4 pair of arms that ended in small claw like fingers. He handed Jim a tablet and told him it contains all the rules and regulations for the Galactic Senate. It has 287,345 pages. He explained the beginning has the important rules and procedures that he will need first. It is about 3,000 pages. He tells him it will take 7 days before they arrive, so he will have some time to familiarize himself with them.
This wasn’t the first time Jim had to read a large “book” of rules before making a deal, so he thought 7 days for 3000 pages, no problem. It would end up being the most boring 7 days of his life. At least half of what he read did not apply to humans, mostly about body parts, smells, sounds, and other things he had no clue as to what they were. After looking one of the things up, he had no desire to know what any others were.
After a while, Nelix returned and took Jim to another room and explained how the food replicator works and told him it had been programmed with thousands of foods from earth. He also showed him where his room for resting was. It contained a large bed, a small table next to the bed, and his two suitcases. The bed had a single sheet on it. Jim asked about a blanket as it was quite cold in the ship, but Nelix said they had none. He explained that most species prefer colder environments, and this is the warmest this size ship can be. Jim opened a suitcase and got out a sweater and would have to dress warmer while on ship.
For seven days, there would be the same routine. Eat, study, eat, study, eat, shower, study, sleep. The best part was the shower, it at least had hot water, so he would be good and warm then. He started wearing extra layers of clothes in an effort to stay warm.
On the last day, he finally started reading the procedural rules. How to make a motion, how to submit a help request, how to vote, etc. It also detailed some requirements that he had to follow. Some of which included the rule that he had to have a bodyguard, a courier, and a personal assistant, that will be provided by the council. He thought that would be a good thing, but he was concerned when he read that they have to be with him at all times, unless running errands for him. He wasn’t sure if it was a translation error, or what, but it did not sit right with him, the way it read. It also talked about his allowance, that will allow him to buy goods anywhere in the Galactic Council, and provide for his three servants. He wondered what it meant by provide.
They arrived at the Galactic Council and Jim was able to get a view screen to display it. It was a very large space station, barrell shaped, with docking arms extending from it. This ship was small enough, and since it was carrying a diplomat, that it had a landing bay to enter. Nelix told Jim to leave his cases and they will be brought to his place. He then led him down a long hallway until they connected to another large, wide hallway. This one was being used by dozens of species. Jim was almost overwhelmed with all the different types of species, some scary, others cute looking, other that made you want to grab a can of bug spray. It was quite a system shock. They crossed to the other side of the hall and turned right and proceeded to the next door.
As they arrived at the door, another Copil arrived and handed Nelix a card. Nelix then held it out to Jim and asked him to put his thumb on the card. He did and it beeped. Nelix handed Jim the card and explained it was his identity card. It will let him into his room, and can be used to purchase goods from the stores on the outer side of the main hallways. Nelix explained how the door worked with the card, and how if someone else swipes their card, it will notify him and he can decide to allow them in. Jim swipes his card and the door opens and he enters inside.
The door opened into the main room of his residence. It was about 15 meters by 15 meters. In the middle was a large table and several types of chairs surrounding it. To the left, was an area that looked like a kitchen. There was also a door on that side that led to a bathroom, a very weird bathroom. To the right of the door was a large wicker basket looking chair. On the right wall was a door leading into the bedroom and a large display screen. There was also a separate bathroom in there that was suited for humans. Jim was happy about that, as the other bathroom scared him.
The far wall from the entrance door contained a large double door. It open to the balcony that gave a view of the central hub of the station. Looking into the hub, Jim can see hundreds of other balconies, some below, but most of them higher. They range in sizes, and some look to be at least twice as tall as his. He can see different species on their balconies here and there, but can not make out any details. There are also a lot of large birds flying around, mostly traveling from the top balcony on the opposite side to individual balconies lower.
As he was looking around the balconies, his card buzzed. He pulled it out and there was a picture of something on it, and a name? There was also two buttons, Allow and Deny. Jim walked over to Nelix and asked him if “this” was expected. Nelix said yes, so Jim pressed Allow and the front door opened. The thing entered, and Jim was still not able to process what he was seeing. He could not make out any thing as it seemed to shift around, almost giving him a headache. But it was carrying his suitcases. Jim said he could just set them down, and it did and then left. Jim asked Nelix what that was and why he could not see it correctly. Nelix explained it was a Xyxzyiz and that they exist in multiple phases at once and that most species cannot resolve more than one.
Jim grabbed his bags and took them into the bedroom. In there was two wardrobe looking cabinets, a large bed, with sheets and blankets! It was much warmer in here but now he had blankets. There was also a nightstand next to the bed. Jim set the suitcases down at the end of the bed, deciding that he would deal with them later. He exited the room just in time to have his card go off again. This time is was another Copil named Merdix, maybe the same as the last one, Jim wasn’t sure. He pressed allow, and the door opened. In walked the Copil, followed by three snake looking beings. They looked to be about 5-6 meters in length, and about a half a meter in width at the widest. They also had 4 arms, short only about half a meter is length, situated about a half meter below their head. Their head was just like an earth snake except the eyes, they were more protruding and completely black and situated horizontally. They were wearing a vest with pockets and two holsters with a weapon in each.
Nelix explained to Jim that he needed to pick one of the Cossis presented to be his bodyguard. Jim looked at them, and the only difference was a slight color variation, with the farthest one have a slight iridescence to it. That one also is the only one that turned a little bit to look at him, so Jim selected that one. The other two left with Merdix and Nelix introduced Sissill to Jim. Jim had to stifle a laugh. Of course there would be esses in the name, it is a snake. Nelix asked Sissill for her card and he pressed a few buttons and had Jim press his thumb, then he handed the card back to Sissill. Nelix then explained that Sissill will go with Jim whenever he leaves this apartment. Nelix then instructed Sissill to “scent” him. Sissill then went over to Jim with her tongue flicking constantly, and went around him up and down and then backed away and announced that she had his scent. She then went to the entrance door and coiled up next to it.
A few minutes later, the card beeped again, with Merdix at the door. Jim allowed him in and he entered followed by three bird like aliens. They stood about a meter and a half tall. They had three claws on what would be their wrist of their wing and had a three meter wingspan. They wore a pouch on their chest strapped around its neck and behind its wings. Two were very similar in color, a mottled brown, but one was unique. It was yellow, with a red stripe on its wings. It also had orange plumage on its head. Nelix explained to Jim that he had to pick one of the Farnier as his courier. Jim selected the unique one, as it would stand out as it flew and he would be able to pick it out easier. Merdix left with the others and Nelix asked the remaining Farnier for its card. Nelix pressed some buttons again and had Jim press his thumb and handed the card back as he introduced [unprintable tweets/whistles], but that he could call her Tittle. Tittle bowed to Jim and went over to Sissill so she could get her scent, then she went to the wicker chair and “sat” down.
Nelix started explaining about the lights above the balcony door, and how they indicate when something needs to be retrieved by the courier, and when someone is speaking so they can be watched on the display. As he talked, Jim noticed something, or someone was in the kitchen, hiding in a nook in the back. Jim asked Nelix about it, and he explained that it was a lesser Carnid that was the maid for this apartment. Jim asked about being introduced and Nelix said that the maids were normally not to associate with anyone. Jim said that was not how he did things and wanted to know everyone that would be in his apartment. Nelix tapped a few buttons on his data pad to look up her name, Tabura. He called her in and told her to introduce herself. She was a biped, about 150cm tall, covered in fur, mostly brown, with black, white, and tan splotches. Her ears were big, round, and furry, like a red panda. Her eyes were like cat eyes. Her short snout was like a raccoon, as were her hands, very thin and long fingers. She also had a 18cm long bushy tail. She was wearing some old looking clothes that were pretty ragged. She looked at Nelix before saying anything, and he prompted her that it was Ok. She introduced herself and Jim reciprocated. She then turned back around and returned to the kitchen nook.
Jim was starting to feel uneasy about this situation. The way she was dressed, her hesitancy to speak, her manner, that was not the way an employee acts. Nelix explained a few more things and told Jim that it would be tomorrow midday before any more Council business would be conducted. He also said that his personal assistant choices should be arriving shortly, and that they are rarer so it takes time to find available ones. This was a lie, but it was in Nelix’s best interest to stay out of political maneuvering. Nelix had Jim give his thumb one more time to finalize the personnel assignments. Afterward, Nelix said they were now officially his property. Jim was shocked, and asked what he meant by property. Nelix said they were now his property, he owned them. Jim asked if he meant like slaves. Nelix said yes, slaves, all of them, even himself.
Jim had to sit down. He couldn’t say anything. Everytime he tried to ask a question, he would stop not wanting to know the answer. Nelix told him that he needed to read the sections of the Galactic Council rules about slaves as he would need to know them soon, and then he left. Jim did a search on his data pad and started reading. After an hour, he could only manage one word, “FUCK”.
Jim found out the Galactic Council was basically a slave trading organization. Each member must provide either tech or materials that are needed, or slave labor, and he could guess which one humans were wanted for. And it was not optional, some offers can be turned down, but not all. Not accepting any offers defaults to total enslavement.
Jim looked up the Cossis and how they became slaves. He found they did it voluntarily. Their world had developed a plague that wiped out all their food animals. Any new animals imported would catch the plague and die. With no other planet to go to and no other Galactic Council member willing to allow the entire species to move in, they had no choice. Because of their strength and speed, they mostly became security guards, police, military.
Jim looked up the Farnier next. Their ancestors refused all offers and were forced into slavery. Their world was then razed of all resources and is no longer habitable. They now exist as couriers and messengers around the galaxy. Jim was starting to get really depressed.
He looked up the Carnids next. Their ancestors took the deals and gave the lesser Carnids as slave labor. Eventually they started running out of lesser Carnids and had to start using greater Carnids as slaves, until their entire species was enslaved. Jim needed a drink. He went over to the kitchen area and asked the replicator for some alcohol, any kind, and it gave him a small glass of whiskey.
As he sipped his whiskey, he remembered that Tabura was over in the corner. He stepped back there and saw that she was sitting/laying on a shelf. She looked frightened at him being there. He assured her she had nothing to worry about, and asked her how long she had been a maid. She replied 27 cycles. His data pad converted that to 30 years. He then asked how old she was when she started. She replied 13 cycles, which converted to 14 years. That put her at his age. He asked if she had always worked here in the Galactic Council member apartments, and she replied yes, that she had. He asked how many different ambassadors had she served. She replied many tens, but she did not know the exact number. He asked about family, and she said she had a sister named Tabara, that is also a maid here, but she seldom sees her.
He came out of the kitchen area and went over to Sissill and asked her the same questions. He found out that she was a guard before being promoted to get a chance at bodyguard service. She had been doing it for 12 cycles and she was 12 when she started. She said she was born on another world with 5 other brood mates, and that she is the only one here. The rest joined the military. He then asked Tittle the same questions. She said that she is 16 cycles old and this is her first assignment. She too was born on another world with 3 nestlings and they were still there last she heard.
Jim’s card beeped and he saw Merdix was back so he let him in. Following him was two Carnids. They were 165 cm tall and were both a solid cream color. Their tails were at least a meter long. They were wearing very sheer, nice looking dresses. Merdix said that these were the only personal assistants available and one of them was being offered by Braburn, the ambassador from Harventra 4, for him to use. Jim had him clarify that they would still be owned by Braburn, and that he would not own them. Merdix confirmed that was the case. Jim recognises an enticement when he sees one and expects that Braburn would be one of the first to ask for something. He grabs his data pad and looks up the rules. He confirms with Merdix that he has to pick a Carnid to be his personal assistant. Jim called in Tabura and said that he will choose her. The other two Carnids giggled as she entered. Merdix exclaimed that she was a lesser Carnid, not a greater Carnid. Jim said the rules do not specify which. He then said that she does not know how to do the job, and Jim replied that she can learn. Merdix was obviously rattled and did not know what to do. He told Jim that he made his choice and then left with the Carnids in tow. They turned and stuck up their nose as they left, making Jim glad to not be around them.
Nelix was walking up to Jims door as he saw Merdix and the Carnids leave. He buzzed Jim and was let in. He entered the room and looked around and asked where is personal assistant was, and Jim pointed to Tabura. Nelix started to say “But…”, but Jim stopped him and said the rules don’t specify. Nelix stood stunned for a second and then asked Tabura for her id card and she had to go get it out of her nook. She gave it to him and he pressed a few buttons and had Jim put his thumb on it. He then entered a few commands on his data pad and then told Jim that it is done, she is now his personal assistant. As Nelix was leaving he asked Jim why he chose her, instead of the offers from Braburn. Jim said “We have a saying on earth, This aint my first rodeo.” Nelix initially looked confused, but then his facial expression changed to what Jim thought was a smile. Jim asked him one more thing, could he ask for someone specific to replace Tabura as his maid. Nelix said he will see what he could do.
Merdix arrived back at Braburns apartment with both the Carnids. When Braburn saw both of them back, he started yelling, wanting to know who dared make another offer when he was next to get a new deal. As he stomped around yelling and occasionally throwing something, Merdix tried to explain, but could not get a word in edgewise. Finally Braburn stopped long enough to allow Merdix to answer and he explained that Jim picked his maid. Braburn was shocked and asked why Jim picked his maid. Merdix said he did not know that he only asked if he would own the one he chose or if you retained ownership. Merdix then explained that Jim looked up the rules and saw that it did not specify lesser or greater Carnid required, just Carnid. Braburn remarked that Jim is not going to be a pushover and he may need to adjust the proposal.
Jim was sitting at the table reading more rules. He discovered that he cannot free any of his slaves, they would just go back into the slave pool to be selected or reassigned somewhere else. Tabura just sat there looking at Jim. Jim noticed that she looked like she wanted to ask a question, and he announced to all three of them that they could ask him anything they wanted. He went further and explained that he does not believe in slavery and that he will not treat them that way, when alone he would treat them as equals and expects them to treat him the same. He said that when they are around others they would have to maintain the status quo for now.
Tabura asked Jim why he selected her. He asked her who she was loyal to. She looked puzzled a bit and said she has not been associated with anyone to be loyal to. Jim then asked her who she thought those other two would be loyal to. She replied that they would be loyal to Braburn, their owner. He said that is why he chose her, and that he hoped that he could trust her. She did not know what to say, or even think at this point. This was unheard of, but she had been around long enough to know what a personal assistant does. She was not sure she could do everything required, not everything. Before she could say anything, Jim asked her if she knew Braburn. She said that she had worked for him for a while many cycles ago. Jim asked her what she could tell him about Braburn. She said he was a Gaburragon. Jim looked that up and saw he was a large short legged quadruped, with two arms on a very short torso and a bull like head but with stubs for horns. Tabura saw the picture and said that Braburn was much fatter than that picture. She said they control mining systems and needs slaves to work the mines.
Jim looked at his data pad and realized it was late. He got up and announced that he was going to bed and end this nightmare of a day. Tabura asked him why he said nightmare. He said he just found out that he is responsible for the enslavement of his species, and that was a nightmare. He walked into the bed room and made it four steps and stopped. He realized that he has not seen a place for his personal assistant to sleep. He turned around and Tabura was a step behind him. He started apologizing and said he did not realize that his personal assistant was intended to be that personal. He assured her that was not the case here, and that he did not expect that kind of personal care. Tabura was relieved.
He got out some clothes and went into the bathroom and showered and changed. He came out and Tabura was sitting on the end of the bed. He asked her if she wanted to shower and she said yes, so he got out a t-shirt and a pair of shorts and gave them to her, showing her how to cinch up the shorts. She took her shower and changed and came out. She asked if she should go back to her cubby and Jim told her no, she did not have to, the bed was plenty big enough. She climbed on the bed on top of the covers and Jim told her she can get under them. She did and laid at the edge of the bed.
When Jim woke up the next morning, Tabura was laying almost next to him, with her head barely on his chest. He reached his arm up and put his hand on her shoulder. This caused her to stir and wake up. She realized where she was and moved away and started apologizing for lying on him. He told her it was ok and he did not mind. He got up and got changed and got some breakfast and sat down to eat. He noticed nobody else was eating, and asked if they were going to. Tabura got up and got her something.
Jim asked Sissill if she was eating, and she explained she had to have live, or freshly killed food and there was only two places on board to get it. She also explained that she can go 180 days without eating, and usually eats every 90 days, but it was up to him since he had to provide it. Jim asked her how often she wants to eat, and she replied that eating every 30 days would keep her at full strength. Jim said he will make it happen and asked when was the last time she ate. She said it had been around 60 days and Jim said they would take care of that today.
Jim then looked up the rules to see what he was required to provide for everyone. He saw that he had to get food for Sissill and Tittle. He also had to provide anything else they needed. He told everybody that they would be going shopping in a little bit. He finished eating, and they left to go shopping. He looked up the station layout to see where the stores were and where they had to go the get Sissill some food. They left and started shopping, first getting some clothes for Tabura. When she initially started looking around, the store attendant started to scold her and force her to leave. Jim had to step in and show his ID and say she was with him. He had her get double the casual clothes she selected, and 6 formal dresses. He also had her grab a garment bag to hold the clothes while travelling. They would have to return for the dresses as they had to be altered for her smaller size. They stopped at a store to get Tittle some food, and a “feeder” for it. Ha also had her grab many other snacks or treats that she might like. Jim saw another store he wanted to stop at and went in. After looking around for a bit, he bought two single beds, with several full linen sets and blankets, to be delivered to his apartment. He asked if Sissill and Tittle if they needed or wanted anything and they said they did not.
They then proceeded around to the first of the Cossis food suppliers. Sissill said they probably want to go to the other one because this one is a little violent and some species cannot handle it. Jim said that is fine and they continued to the next place. They went in and Jim had Sissill get what she wanted and they waited as it was delivered, already dead, and she ate it. Tittle was a little unnerved at the sight of her eating. Tabura was unfazed, and Jim was fascinated. He always enjoyed watching the nature shows that featured snakes and wanted one as a pet when he was little. He now realizes how having a pet like that is really close to slavery.
Once Sissill is ready they head back. They stop at the dress shop and pick up Tabura’s dresses after she tries them on. Jim notices they make her look completely different, not the dresses themselves, but the way she held herself. He could tell she was excited to be wearing dresses like this and it definitely helped her esteem.
They headed back to the apartment and arrived as the beds were being delivered. Jim had them set up one in the bedroom and to leave the other in the main room. After they left, Jim verified that it would fit in the back of the kitchen area and removed the shelf to allow it to be positioned. He asked Sissill to help him move it. While they were working on it, Jims card beeped and he looked and saw who it was. He asked Tabura if she would get the door.
Tabura opened the door, and on the other side was Tabara, who was looking down and said that she was here to be the maid. Tabura grabbed her and pulled her inside and closed the door. She hugged her tight as Tabara realized who it was. Tabura explained what happened and asked her why she was here, and she explained that she was requested. Tabura looked at Jim, who was hanging a sheet up enclosing the space in to give it some privacy. She ran over to him and hugged him and thanked him. Jim told her to give her sister some of the clothes they got and let her take a shower if she wants.
The sisters went into the bedroom and started talking. Tabura told her sister what Jim had said about how he did not believe in slavery and would not treat them as slaves. They only needed to keep up appearances around others to keep any problems from arising. Tabara was initially sceptical, she told Tabura about the Oscaling ambassador and how he thought the same, but within a cycle he was just as bad as the rest. Her fears were allayed a little after she saw the clothes and separate bed.
A couple of lights came on above the balcony doors indicating that the Council was about to start. Jim turned on the view screen and walked over to the balcony doors. He opened the doors and stepped out, but did not get two steps before Sissill shot passed him and patrolled around the balcony from right to left. Jim was amazed at her speed, as he walked over to the railing. He could see a lot more different species today since the Council was in session. As he stood there looking at all the different species and the Farnier flying around, Tittle came out and said that another light came on and she had to go get a package for him.
She leapt off the balcony and stared flying toward the center where there was an updraft to assist in their ascension to the top. As she flew up, Jim could easily pick her out from all the others and watched as she got up to the top. She was there just a few seconds and took off again. She flew toward the edge, out of the updraft, and plunged straight down, divebomb style until she was a couple of floors above Jim, then spread her wings to slow down quickly. She landed fairly hard and pulled the satchel out of her pouch and handed it to Jim. She then went back in to sit on her chair as Jim went to the table to open the package. Another Farnier landed on the balcony and walked to the door and started scolding Tittle for diving like she did. Jim apologized to the Farnier and said it was his fault, that he told her to get back as fast as possible, and did not realize that would get her in trouble. The Farnier looked at him and apologized saying that he did not realize she was told to do it, and that it is not safe so they do not normally allow it except in emergencies. Jim said that it would not happen again. After the Farnier had left, Tittle asked Jim why he lied for her. Jim looked at her and then the rest of them and said that he was there for them as much as they were there for him.
Jim sat down with the satchel and started looking over the paperwork. He wondered why they still used paper and asked no one in particular. Sissill said it was for security reasons since they could not be eavesdropped on during transmission. Tittle also added that some species transmit information using scents and chromatic displays that cannot be replicated electronically perfectly. As he suspected, this first offer was from Braburn. 2 million slaves for mining and manufacturing of carbon silicide on Gabathon 4, in return for 15% of the output, enough to build a dozen transport sized ships per cycle. Jim wondered why they needed so many slaves, so he started looking up the operations of the mines. He was astonished to find that they used almost all manual labor, from digging the ore to hauling it. A quick check and he finds they have been doing it this way for thousands of cycles. Accidents are common and breathing issues occur quickly so life expectancy is 5-6 cycles.
The lights turn on again and Tittle flew to get another satchel. She returned this time slowly as to not get in trouble again. This time it was from the Karzazzraz. 1 million domestic servant and manual labor slaves for a single FTL engine each cycle. Jim got some lunch while he read through the details. Mostly factory work and janitorial work, some construction workers.
It wasn’t long before the light turned on again and Tittle was on her way to get another satchel. This one was an offer from the Opjorbag. They wanted 1 million slaves to run their gas refining plants orbiting the gas giant planet Namnomin 2. Mostly maintenance workers and operational staff. As Jim was looking up the detail of why they needed so many slaves, a different light came on and the view screen announced a vote was being called for. It listed the order number and gave three options, yes, no and abstain. Jim selected abstain as he had no idea what is was for and was not going to choose sides in any negotiation this early in his position. When he got back to looking at the needs for the slaves, he found that they mostly are fixing leaks due to the age of the equipment. He also found there was lots of explosions and deaths among the workers. Looking through its history, originally it had only a few thousand workers, but as the equipment got older, they just added more slaves instead of replacing the worn out equipment.
The light lit up again and Tittle headed out. When she returned, she had two satchels. The first was an offer from the Yiti. 1 million slaves for crop harvesting in exchange for access to their quantum computing cluster and their scientific data banks. Fairly typical farm work and it is at least safe.
The other satchel contained an offer from the Vasparians. They wanted 100 thousand slaves for fishing on the planet Vaspar 3, for 20% of the catch. Jim looks at the details. Vaspar 3 is a water world, with only a couple small islands for processing. The primary fish is a type that lives for three years, lay eggs and fertilizes them and them floats to the surface where they will live out the rest of their lives, around 200 days. This is when they are caught and with two seasons, northern and southern hemisphere, there are always a supply. The problem is there is a large predator fish that is 100 meters long, with a 10 meter wide mouth, that will attack anything on the surface. The average life expectancy of a worker is 150 days. This is the primary food for the Vasparians and they would quickly starve without it.
The light lit up again and Tittle flew to get the package. Jim began to wonder how many offers he will have to look at. Then he began to wonder how many other Council members there were and would they all want something. Tittle came back with two more satchels. Jim open the first one and this time it was a business agreement between two other members. As Jim looks through it, he also looks up some of the rules and sees that all business transactions between Council members must go through and be accepted by all the Council. This insures that trade agreements and sanctions are enforced, and no secret deals against other members can be made. Violation of these rules is severely punished, up to the entire enslavement of the species responsible if the offence is great enough. Occasionally a pirate will trade around the rules on a small scale, but if they are caught, they are executed, so they are rare.
Jim opens the other satchel and it too is a business deal between two other species. As he reads through the details, and bell sounds and the video display indicated that today’s session is over. As he continued reading, Nelix arrived and Jim let him in. He said he was stopping by to verify that the replacement maid arrived, and see if there was anything else he needed. Jim asked about how long he could expect “offers”. Nelix said that most would have arrived the first day but others could arrive tomorrow or the next day. Jim asked about traveling back to Earth so he could consult with the governments there. Nelix said his ship is always available, he just has to schedule pilots, and pay for them. Jim asked how much notice was needed and Nelix said a few hours is usually enough. Jim asked when he could leave and Nelix replied that he needed to be there the first three days at least, that is when all deals have to be submitted by paper. After that he would still be able to get a video feed of the discussions and vote while on board his ship, but there would be a time delay. Jim then asked Nelix to verify that he had 30 days to give an answer and he confirmed it.
Jim had a lot of work to do. First he researched the value of the offers, and compared them to the labor needed. He had an idea, but he was going to need enough information to allow specialist to make decisions. He would spend the next two days copying videos and gathering information so he could create presentations to “sell” it back home. After two days, when he got word that the pilots were ready, he gathered his cases and the big and small blankets and they headed to the ship to go back to Earth.
About six hours into the trip, Jim noticed that Sissill was acting different. He asked her about it and she said that the cold has her sluggish. He had her follow him into the bedroom and get on the bed and he got out the large blanket and wrapped it over her. She said that it would help her from losing heat as fast, but since it does not generate heat, it will not warm her up. Jim called in Tabura and Tittle and ask them to sit with her to share warmth. Tittle could only sit on the blanket because of her wings. Jim then went to talk to the pilots about the possibility of getting electricity access, and they showed him how and explained the output. It of course was different from earth but a converter could be built.
He went back and got his data pad and headed into the bedroom. He had everyone shift around a bit so he could sit up and work. He would be on one side of Sissill and Tabura was on the other. Sissill wrapped her tail down Jim’s legs and up the other side. Jim was able connect his data pad with the video display and create the presentations needed. One for the leaders and then one for each of the specialist groups. They spent the entire trip sitting like this when awake and laying down in the same order when sleeping, so they would stay warm.
When they arrived at earth, Jim felt he was ready. He gave the pilots the coordinates, and how to measure them, that were on the phone that was given to him by the Secret Service, FBI, MIB, or some other group that grabbed him and stuck him the ship that started this “nightmare”. The location led to a place where the president could meet with foreign dignitaries and heads of state. The ship landed in a field near a large house. As it landed, agents came out from everywhere and surrounded the ship. Jim was unable to get a signal from inside the ship, so he opened the ramp to exit. Once the door was starting to open, he was able to get a signal and called the number programmed in. He identified himself and told the person who answered to tell the agents to stand down. It took a bit longer than he liked, but the agents lowered their guns and most put them away. Jim explained he has guests with him and would very much like for them to not get shot, and that they needed to get the president and other world leaders here as soon as possible. Jim headed out with the others following, but as soon as Jim stepped on the ground Sissill was down circling around him as they walked to the house.
They entered the house and went into a large conference area. Another agent entered and introduced himself as Michael Worner. Jim explained the time sensitive nature of what he had to discuss and the ramifications are extreme, so time is a luxury they did not have. It would be 2 days before the leaders could gather. In that time Jim spent the time researching the experts that would be needed. He also placed a few orders that would be delivered to the front gate despite the concerns of the agents. He gave Michael the specs for the adapter he needed and had him have it made.
Jim would talk to the pilots and see if they wanted to come in instead of sitting in the ship the whole time. They explained that they are Binars and that they prefer to be alone as other beings thought patterns cause them discomfort. Their species must be in at least pairs as they communicate telepathically and can utilize each others brains for faster thinking. They have a natural ability to detect gravitational waves, faster than the ships equipment, so they make excellent pilots. They also have a unique condition that makes them ideal, when they are paired up, only one of them can sleep. The other cannot sleep until the first wakes up, so there is always someone alert.
Shortly after the heads of state arrived Jim sat down with them and explained the situation. They were incredulous. They started arguing about what to do. Things started getting heated as some said we should accept the deals and others saying we needed to start building weapons and prepare for war. Jim had to interject in the argument and everyone stopped to listen as he explained the slaves were perpetual, they have to be continuously replaced if they can no longer work. Jim also explained that arming ourselves would be pointless, humans were completely outclassed. It would be like unarmed ants trying to take on a blue whale with weapons, we couldn’t even touch them. These revelations changed the rooms whole attitude.
Jim told him he had a plan and it is just a matter of whether it can be done. He then started his presentation and explained that he wanted to counter offer three of the offers, the mining, fishing, and gas extraction offers. He would offer to take over the entire operations guaranteeing them the same amount of output, with humans getting the rest. He could take all the extra production and convert it to gold and materials that are rare on earth and require lots of destruction to mine. These materials would be sold to generate income to pay the employees. As he went through the presentation, he showed how inefficient they operated and how they relied on manual labor for everything including not performing standard maintenance. He should be able to sell the deal to each of the other species as they are getting the same amount of product, but do not have the overhead, so it would be more profitable for them to accept the deal.
With the proper automation and maintenance, production should be able to be increased in all industries. This would give earth a lot of bargaining chips for getting all the other things being offered. After he finished the presentation, ha gave them all a list of all the specialist that he could find and they needed them, and the necessary translators, to get here as soon as possible so they could figure out how to accomplish everything. Several of the leaders were concerned with costs, and Jim asked what price is too much to keep humans from becoming another slave species. He then explained how each of his three companion species got into the position they were in. He also said that if thing work out the way he plans, earth will become a dominant player in the Galactic Council.
It would take two days for the specialists to start arriving. The first to fully gather was the group for the Vasparians offer for fishing. This group included admirals, shipbuilders, and marine biologists along with fishing industry specialists. Jim explained the situation, and what the job was and what the problems were. He showed them videos of the predator fish attacking a boat. It was relentless in its attack and would eventually sink the boat. Everyone was in agreement, they were going to need a bigger boat. He also outlined a few other ideas to get production started sooner, like using dirigibles to scoop up fish and haul them to processing plants on land. He left them all the relevant information, including size limits for hauling a boat, and videos to allow them to start working the problem and deciding a plan as he left to work with the next group.
The next group was the specialist in gas refining and transportation. Jim explained the situation and what was at stake. He showed them the videos and explained how old the place was and how no maintenance has been done except when absolutely necessary. He said they are running at 30% capacity and that the Opjorbag was happy with that. He explained that we would take over operation and give them the same amount of product they are getting now and that humans would get the rest. He left them the videos and all data on the operation that he cold get and the transport limits so they can get started devising a plan.
The last group was the miners, steel mill operators, and large equipment manufacturers. He gave them the run down and started showing the videos. He explained how much they currently produce and that the Gaburragons would get 85 million “tons” and earth 15 million. They could not believe how much manual labor they used. Jim explained that he would write up the contract to have humans deliver 85 million tons and keep the rest, so if production can be increased humans could greatly profit by it. THey agreed that production should easily be able to be increased. Jim explained that there were natural propane gas vents on the planet, two are used to run the furnaces and he other two are just burned off. If equipment could be converted to run on propane, then they have a fuel source. The equipment manufacturers said it can be done. Jim reminded them of the time frame they have and they were not sure they could do many by then. Jim mentioned they could go ahead and use diesel to begin with to get production started, but they would have to ship the fuel, and eventually swap them out for propane versions. Some of the gas refining experts would join in to discuss the propane capturing ideas.
For the next five days they would plan. Phone calls were made, other experts were called in. In the end they were ready to present their ideas to the heads of state. They arrived the next day as planned and each group presented their plans, one a day, so they could have plenty of time to deliberate and make changes. During this time, Jim would spend some time with a certain lieutenant he met named Debbie. They would flirt and chat when they could, but they were never far from Sissill and the others. On the third night, after the last set of ideas was debated, Jim told Sissill that he may disappear to a back room for a while, and that she did not need to be concerned or follow. She looked at Debbie and back to Jim and said she understood. Shortly they would disappear.
It wasn’t long before Tabura noticed JIm missing. Se looked around a bit and asked Sissill if she knew where he was. She said of course, it is her job, and that he went to the bed room in back with Debbie. Tabura stood there with Sissill and Tittle and the three of them started talking about Jim and what they thought of him. They wondered if he would change like all the other new ambassadors have done. Tabura said they start off nice, but then either get mean, or become indifferent, and eventually quit. While they were talking they noticed a smaller human girl watching them intently. Tabura waved at her and she walked over to them. She said hi and they replied, but the little girl could not understand. She said that they had very pretty voices. Tabura removed her translator earpiece, and bent down to show it to the girl and then reached up and placed it in her ear. Once in place, Tittle asked if she could understand her now, and she started giggling and said that she could. Sissill asked her what her name was and she said it was Mei. Tittle asked her age and she said 10.
Tabura stood there as the other continued talked to Mei, thinking more about Jim. He definitely was different than the other ambassadors she has served under. The others were all lecherous old males who treated their personal servants like pieces of meat. She always tried to stay hidden in her cubby, so as to not attract attention, or see what was going on.
Mei’s parents came over looking for Mei and making sure she wasn’t causing any problems. They asked Mei if she was having fun trying to talk to the guests from another world. Mei explained that she could understand them due to the thing in her ear, and pulled it out to show her dad. He put it in his ear and introduced himself and thanked them for entertaining their daughters inquiries. He gave his condolences for their situation and said that he will let Jim know that he will help them in any way he can. He removed the translator and handed it to Tabura and once she had put it back in, he bowed to her and thanked her for allowing his daughter to have this experience.
As things started winding down, Jim and Debbie emerged from the back and joined everyone else. As Jim was saying goodnight to everyone as they were leaving, the Chinese ambassador came over and talked to Jim and expressed his gratitude for his associates politeness and told him that if he needed anything to just ask.
The next day everyone went over the plans one final time so Jim would know how to create the counter offers. Jim said that with the acceptance of the offers, a communications array will be set up to give access to galactic databases and allow faster communications. Jim talked to Michael and got the converter he asked for, and told him that they wanted to make one stop before they leave. Michael said he would make sure they had clearance to the coordinates. Jim headed to the ship and as they boarded, several agents brought out the items that Jim had ordered. Jim and Sissill carried them in taking several trips. The first item was a futon sofa that was placed in the bedroom, and the next was a wicker chair with a cushion also for the bedroom. Several boxes were also brought in.
Once everyone and everything was on board, Jim gave the pilots some new coordinates to stop at before they leave. While they traveled to the location, Jim went into the bedroom to open the rest of the boxes. He first set up the converter which conveniently had several outlets built in. He opened the largest box and pulled out a heating blanket. He spread it out over the futon and showed Sissill how to use it. Next he opened a box and pulled out a heating pad and placed it in the wicker chair and showed Tittle how to use it. The last box had a ceramic space heater that he plugged in to help keep the whole room warmer.
Shortly the pilots indicated they were approaching the coordinates. Jim went in to the cockpit and saw a good clearance for them to land and instructed the pilots to land there. They opened the door and stepped out and they saw that they were surrounded by enormous redwood trees. Jim explained that he read that Tittle’s home world was like this area, and that he thought she might like to experience it. She took off and flew up around checking out the surroundings. Tabura told Jim that was a very nice thing for him to do. Jim said he wished he could do more. After nearly an hour, Tittle came back and was exhausted. As they boarded the ship, Tittle gave Jim a hug and thanked him. She said she has always wanted to be able to fly free like that, and that the scenery was just like she imagined it from the stories her mother told while she was a nestling, stories they passed down for generations. Jim now felt bad. He hadn’t thought about her not being able to freely fly around. If he had, he would have made sure she could have done it the whole time.
The whole trip back, Jim would work on the counter offers and rejections. He would check and recheck every statement. He would add enough legal jargon to obfuscate the real intention and keep focus on what they are getting. They would all look like they are getting the better end of the deal, so they should not care the slight changes that would benefit humans. Of course that is assuming that humans could make the improvements that they saw. But it would have to work, the repercussions of failure were too high.
Once they arrived back he printed a copy of each, including the rejection letters, and would review them one more time. He would sleep on it and in the morning once he was sure, he printed the required 13 copies of each and placed them in the appropriate satchels and had Tittle return them to the Council leaders. Then he just had to wait. It would be two hours before the light lit up and Tittle had to go get a satchel. When she returned, it was a message from the Karzazzraz thanking him for considering their offer. Shortly after the light lit up and Tittle got the satchel and returned. It was a message from the Yiti also thanking him for considering their offer.
When Braburn opened his response, he started laughing. He remarked that the humans think they can operate it better than they can and still make a profit with only their meager 15%. Then he realized that it was not 15%, that they would get anything over 85 million tons. But as he thought about it, even if they increased production a little, they still would not be able to profit enough to keep it running. He thought within a few cycles, they will be begging him to renegotiate the contract to get out of the mountain of debt they would have amassed. He also noticed that they are requesting 120 cargo haulers, even though it operates with only 100 now. He continues reading and it explains that the haulers break down periodically and to insure they can meet the required deliveries, that they wanted the extra haulers to use while repairs are made on the others. He will conceded that is a good idea, but will counter offer with 110. Overall he thinks they will profit greatly, and if the humans fail, he will have the slaves to run it, so it is a no lose situation. Though, he still thinks there is something else there, why else would they make this kind of offer. He would contact his leaders and give them the counter offer and see if they approve.
The Vasparians were overjoyed with their counter offer. Giving control to the humans, so long as they get the proper amount to feed their citizens, would save them time and lives. Slaves were not the only casualties doing this job. If they created a bigger market and made a profit doing it was not their concern, they only wanted food. The humans wanted 2 extra cargo ships to insure they make all deliveries on time, and that was not unreasonable and they had extra available. They also wanted all 3 ship transports and with how often the ships have to be replaced, they would need them.
The Opjorbag were cautious about their counter offer. Ceding control of the refinery was not an ideal situation, but if the humans keep up with their end, they would profit tremendously. The fact that they wanted 4 ships was also problematic. They currently operate with 2, so they do not understand why they want more. But they would allow 1 more, but worry that if they try to increase production they will cause more deaths, or worse, damage the refinery.
When it became lunchtime, Jim took Sissill to eat and for him to look around a bit. As he walked through the shops, he was looking to see what type of things they sell, and if there is any other opportunities for trade. He would introduce himself to several shopkeepers and give them his contact information.
Sissill asked if she could eat at the first place, they had a kind of animal that she was particularly fond of. JIm said of course, and they stopped there. Jim quickly understood why she said this place was a little violent, they serve all food live. They have “hunting” grounds that they can release the prey and allow customers to stalk them. This helps relieve some of their natural instincts to kill smaller beings. Sissill ordered her prey and went in to one of the hunting areas. They released something akin to a small deer. Sissill would spend a few minutes stalking it, before finally catching it. It only took a second for her to kill it and she would spend the next 10 minutes or so eating it.
They made their way back to their room and found the council just starting back up. The light went on and Tittle had to go get a satchel. It was from the Vasparians accepting their counter offer. It would still have to go for a full senate vote, but to get this far means the dozen senate leaders gave their approval. It was not long before the light lit up again and Tittle headed out. This time is was the same offer with the appropriate Council seals indicating their approval. They would call for a vote sometime later, once everyone has had time to look over the details.
Several more satchels were retrieved and one was the reply from the Opjorbag wanting a couple of changes. Jim agreed, expecting to get only one extra ship, always ask for lots more, usually get some more. He signed the paperwork and gave it to Tittle to return. The other satchels were deals between other species. It was interesting how they worked these deals. One deal would usually included multiple trades, dozens even. Jim would have to ask about that, it may just be consolidation to reduce paperwork.
Tittle returned with another satchel, this time the reply from Braburn. As he expected, they would only allow 10 extra ships instead of 20. He also would not budge on the time frame for first delivery. Jim had asked for 150 days, but Braburn replied with 90, same as the original offer. Surprisingly he offered an extra slave transport ship, even though Jim did not think they would need it, but it is always good to have an extra ship available of any kind. Jim signed the paperwork and sent it on its way.
A few votes were called for, including the Vasparian deal with Humans. Jim accepted them all. Tittle returned with the offer from the Opjorbag with the council seal of approval. As it was getting late, the Council closed the session for the day. Jim was pleased. They accepted the deals he drafted and humans should be able to provide results.
Jim looked over at Tittle and asked her if she was ok since she had been flying a lot today, and if she wanted anything. She said she would not mind some true sweetwater. He asked if anyone else needed anything, and Sissill said she could use to replace a clip on her harness. He turned to Tabura and Tabara and Tabura said no. Tabara looked like she wanted to ask something but was hesitant. Jim asked her again, and told her it is ok to ask for something. She asked if she could listen to music. Jim asked if she had something to play music and she said she had her card, but it costs credits to listen. Jim grabbed his data pad and looked up how it worked. There was a small royalty to listen to music. It calculated to about 140 songs per credit. He pulled out his card and transferred credits to Tabura, but Tabara was not available on his list of transferees. He contacted Nelix and and asked about it and Nelix first asked why he would need to and Jim explained it was so she could listen to music. He tilted his head and gave a quizzical look then tapped a few buttons and said he could do it now. Jim transferred 100 credits to Tabara and told her to have fun.
Jim started heading out with everyone in tow. They first stopped at a tailor shop that had harnesses. As they entered, Sissill stopped and looked at an item. Jim looked at it and saw it was a shield that was on the back of the harness and would slide up to guard the neck and head of the wearer. As Sissill was talking to the proprietor, Jim walked up and looked at her harness. It was fraying a bit and had a couple of small tears, so he told her to go ahead and get a complete new one. She said it was not necessary, but Jim told her to do it anyway and go ahead and get a shield if he wanted one. She said the shields were only worn by the elite guard or guards for higher ranking officials and if she wore one it could be seen as him declaring that he is higher in status than he is. Jim thought about it for a moment and told her to go ahead and get it if she wants it.
Once she was fitted, they left and went to the store for the water. Tittle showed him what she wanted, true sweetwater was made with real water, not synthesized and tasted better. Jim grabbed a case and carried it out. Tabura asked to carry it but Jim said it was too heavy. She protested and tried to take it from him, but quickly realized it was quite heavy and she could barely hold it. Sissill volunteered to carry it, but Jim said he needed to carry it, he had a reason.
As they continued, they passed another ambassador, and his entourage, who made a comment about Sissill having a shield. Jim just replied “Nothing but the best for my girls”. The ambassador smugly answered with a remark about him having to carry his goods himself, but realized that is was for his courier. Jim just answered “A gentleman does not allow a lady carry a heavy item herself”, as he looked at the ambassadors personal assistant, who was struggling to hold a large bag. He then just continued walking and heard some noises coming from some of the entourage members. Jim was not sure if they were laughs or exclamations, but he was glad it elicited a response. They would pass several more ambassadors who would give them strange looks, but did not say anything.
When they got back to their room, Jim put up the water in a lower cabinet and asked Tittle if she wanted them cooled. She said yes and he placed a few in the cooling unit. Tabara asked if she should keep them stocked and Jim replied that she could if she wanted to, but that he would also keep an eye on them. He got himself something to eat and drink and sat down at the table. As he was eating, Tabura was sitting there looking at him. He asked her if something was bothering her, and she hesitantly asked what he meant by “his girls” when he was talking to the ambassador. She thought he did not believe in ownership of someone. He explained that he did not mean it in terms of ownership, but in terms of the females that he takes care of, just like he would do with a mate and female offspring. He also said it that way to differentiate between his assistants and the other ambassadors assistants. He may not be able to make other ambassadors treat their assistants better, but he could lead by example and maybe a few well placed comments to shame a change in someone.
Jim asked Sissill if she liked her new harness. She said she did, it was much more comfortable than her old one. Jim asked if she ever took it off. She said they are designed to require someone else to unlatch them. Tittle said hers was the same way. Jim offered to remove them, but neither of them wanted to, just in case something happens and they need them.
The next day, everything went about the same. Several more deals to approve, a council approved version of the agreement with Braburn, a few other agreements. Votes were called for and everything was approved, but not unanimously. There was also a declaration accompanied with formal documentation, congratulating humans for successfully joining the Galactic Council. In the paperwork, it outlined how a network communications relay would be installed near earth allowing for real time communications and access to the galactic net. There would be one more day before Jim could return to earth and let them know how things went.
When they boarded the ship to head back to earth, and it left port, Jim went over to Tittle and reached behind her and unhooked her harness. He then did the same for Sissill, saying they will not need them until they return. Sissill rebuked that she would need hers when they land on earth to insure she could protect him.
They arrived at earth aout the same time as the communications array was being finished. They received the rest of the equipment and then set down at the prescribed coordinates. It did not take long to gather up the necessary people, as they had been busy while Jim was gone. They had created a new world agency for dealing with the Galactic Council and all the trade and work agreements. While waiting for everyone to show, Jim asked one of the agents to go get him some things for him. They would return later that day with the items. When everyone arrived, Jim gave them the news, and they gave him a rundown of their work so far. They started coordinating times and pickup locations to start carrying people to the locations so they could get a better idea on what they needed to do, as the videos did not show everything. They also went over the communication array and protocols to connect. They quickly determined that there would be limited access due to rules and regulations that could easily and inadvertently be broken that could result in severe penalties. In most of the galaxy, jail means slavery. Plus they would not want to crash the galactic net when everyone tries to download alien porn at the same time.
That evening, Jim took the puzzle books and pencils he got earlier and gave them to the pilots and explained how to solve them. Sudoku and other number based puzzles, and word searches, were most of them. All puzzles that can be solved without knowing what the symbols mean. They took them enthusiastically. He would also try to call Debbie, but her number was no longer in service and no one else knew where she was.
Jim would spend a few more days there working out details and schedules. Tittle would go flying every day, staying close by. Eventually it became time to leave and as they walk out to the ship someone jumped out from the bushes brandishing a gun. Before anyone else could react Sissill had positioned herself between the gunman and Jim. The gunman opened fire getting a couple of rounds off before being tackled by nearby agents. One of the rounds hit Sissill, ricocheting off and barely missing an agent. The gunman was yelling something about its what people deserved, but Jim did not care. His only concern was if Sissill was ok. Sissill said she was fine and that it just stung a bit. He thanked her and she said it was her duty. The agents around said there have been a few radicals that think humans should be put to slavery for how they have acted.
For the first few hours of the trip, Jim tried to pamper Sissill asking her if he could get her anything, making sure she was comfortable. Eventually she asked him to stop because it was too much and he replied is was not for someone who saved his life. He would slow down though just to appease her. They would arrive back and as they made their way down the hall they passed the same ambassador from before, but this time he was carrying his own bag.
Over the next three months, Jim would create several other deals, one for distribution of puzzle books. Music would turn out to be very lucrative, but mostly instrumentals as lyrics did not translate to other cultures well. Tabura would spend a lot of time with her sister. One night she asked her if she wished she could have had offspring. Tabara told her of something that happened 23 cycles ago with an ambassador, that nearly killed her and she was told that she would never be able to have offspring. But even despite that, she would not want to have an offspring brought up in this situation, she would rather she their race go extinct. Tabura hugged her and cried, and after a while she commented that she thought of it, if only to feel the embrace of someone even for a little bit. Tabara told her she had Jim, but Tabura said he did not want her. She told her how the first night, she woke up with her head against him and he went out and bought a bed for her that next morning.
At the halfway point of the first year, everything was on schedule to easily make all goals. Jim had spent the time shuttling around to each outpost and making sure they were getting everything they needed. One night, Tabura came out from her shower and Jim was sitting up in bed reading another proposal. She sat on the edge of the bed and asked him if he wanted to get a different personal assistant. Jim said no and asked why she asked. She said he never asks her to do anything and it makes her feel useless. He explained that he did not want to ask anyone to do anything and treat them as slaves. The only reason he has Tittle take the satchels is because he can not fly. That caused her to smile a bit, and Jim said that he would not want anyone else and is glad that she is there with him.
Over the next half cycle, Tabura would start to do things for Jim without his asking, getting him a refill, taking his empty plates, etc. Eventually she would start getting closer to him, sitting next to him at the table, holding his arm as they walked down the halls. She would look over his shoulder as he read, resting her head on his shoulder, occasionally brushing up cheek to cheek. On the trips to other planets she would start sleeping under the same blanket as him, waking up next to him. On the last morning of the return trip, before the first cycle anniversary, Tabura woke up holding Jim and he had his arm wrapped around her. She laid there relishing the moment, not wanting it to ever end. This feeling of being wanted, even if it was not completely true, was what she has craved her whole life. Jim awoke and gave Tabura a bit of a squeeze. She tried to pull away, but Jim held her tight and pulled her closer. He reached over with his other arm and fully held on to her. She nuzzled tighter into his chest and they laid there for another hour before getting up.
A few days later would be the first anniversary of humans acceptance into the Galactic Council. Jim would receive congratulations from all three ambassadors and the Galactic Council leaders. This would trigger some new allowances for humans, including access to greater technologies. It would be a great day for earth’s scientists. That night after Tabura took her shower, she came out wearing nothing and closed the bedroom door. Jim asked her if she forgot something. She said no, and as she climbed up the bed, she said she wanted her intentions to be absolutely clear and kissed him.
When Jim woke the next morning, Tabura was laying there looking at him. She had not slept a wink, afraid that if she slept, she would wake up and it would have all been a dream. Jim kissed her and said he needed to get up to use the restroom. This confused her because she thought they were in the restroom and he went into the bathroom. She just smiled to herself and went to sleep. When Tabura got up, she went into the main room and Jim asked her if she wanted any pancakes. She asked what they were and he replied never mind it is just a meta joke.
In three cycles, humans had increased productivity and output in all three endeavors. The fish from Vaspar 3 was a delicacy on earth. So much so, and because it was massively abundant, that most commercial fishing companies folded. This allowed the fish stocks to have a chance at rebounding, and also created an increase in small scale fisherman as variety was still needed, just not in mass quantities.
Jim had created deals with the Karzazzraz for FTL engines in exchange for material from the mines on Gabathon 4, and they were starting to be delivered. Back on earth they were creating ships in preparation of delivery of the engines. With the increase of materials from the mines and from the gas refinery, prices of goods started to drop. Jim would keep the levels where the profits for the Gaburragon and the Opjorbag were at least above where they were before the start of the deal, else they could contest the deal as unfair. Any additional material they produced was stockpiled at earth to be used for building space stations and planetary domes.
After 5 cycles, humans were making many times more profit than the Gaburragon and the Opjorbag. Both of them filed grievances with the council. Jim had to appear in front of the Council leaders and defend humans from the accusations. Jim explained that they were honoring the agreements to the letter and that the accusers are making the same amount of profit as they were making before. He also pointed out that the agreements does not say that humans could not make more profits than them. The council leaders consulted for a while and concluded that no violation had occurred.
It would be shortly after this that Jim would start to receive offers from others species to ask for consulting help in streamlining their operations. This would end up being the most lucrative venture for humans in the galactic scene. Humans hatred of manual labor and their ability to automate most tasks would make their skills in high demand. Jim would set up most of these deals costs to be a percentage of the savings generated, which would make them very lucrative. The humans coffers would start quickly filling up.
Jim would also find that the Vasparians were starting to come up short with their food supplies. Jim would voluntarily offer to increase the quantity of fish being supplied to insure they had enough. He would also rewrite it so there would be an increase as their population increased. They asked why he would do this without any compensation from them. Jim explained that it is the humane thing to do, they would not allow anyone to starve when they could do something about it. Jim would file the amendment and although it was met with initial skepticism, it was passed without problems.
After a couple more cycles, Jim was reading some of the obscure rules when he found an interesting rule. He did some more research and then made a call. He contacted the Chinese ambassador and told him of his plan and asked if he would bring it up there and see if everyone would agree to it. He agreed is was an honorable gesture and that he would champion it for him. It would take a couple of days before he got back with Jim and said that everyone is on board.
Jim would draft a new resolution to submit to the Council. He would check and recheck it to make sure it was right. Once he was sure, he had Tittle deliver it to the Council. It did not take an hour for lights to come on and Jim was called to the Council leaders. They asked if he was serious with this offer, that Humans wanted to buy out all the Farnier slave contracts. Jim said that the offer was genuine. He explained that the rules say that any species that does not have a seat on the council, can be represented by any other member. He then explains that since the Farnier no longer have a home world, they have been given sanctuary on earth and full citizenship making them all members of the human race. The rules also say that any member may buy out any slavery contracts for their members. One of the Council members asks Jim if he understands how many credits they are talking about, and Jim replies that he does and it is about 1.25 trillion. He asks him why earth would be willing to spend that much credit on a different species. Jim replied that it was the humane thing to do. It would be debated for two days with a couple of amendments added concerning current critical assignments continuing to be staffed until replacements could be made and an increase in salaries to account for the increase in cost since they will have to pay them and one also outlined pay rates for the majority of jobs they do. It was finally passed with a few abstainers saying it was setting bad precedent.
After the vote was finalized, Tittle asked Jim what this meant. He explained that all Farniers were now free. If they want to leave their job, they have to continue working until replacements can be found, but now they will be paid. He told her that all Farniers are now residents of earth and can move there at any time. She did not know what to say. Jim walked out on the balcony and she followed. There were Farniers flying all around tweeting/singing and generally celebrating. Jim told Tittle she should join them and she did.
Jim went back in after watching for a few and having several Farniers fly down and thank him. He then explained to Sissill and the sisters that, unfortunately, humans would not be able to do the same for them, their situations are different and the rules would not allow it, but that he would continue to try to figure out something. When Tittle returned, Jim told her that whenever she wanted, he would apply for a replacement and she could move to earth, find a mate and raise a family. She turned her head a bit and Jim would swear she blushed, and said that she had already met someone.
Jim was shocked, and wanted to know more. She said he was a courier for another ambassador and they met in flight a few cycles ago and that is the only time they get to talk. Jim told her she should have said something, he would have found reason to meet with that ambassador and try to generate some deals with them to give them time together. Jim asked if he could meet him and Tittle went to the balcony and called out. Down flew a Farnier that was the same size as Tittle and had the opposite coloration, red with a yellow stripe. He also had a plume of orange atop his head. Tittle introduced him first with his name and then said everyone calls him Wattle. Jim introduced himself and then the others and said he was glad to meet him. Wattle said that he wanted to thank him and that all Farniers owe him their gratitude. Jim told him that they owe him nothing, that this is attributed to all of humanity. He would usher them out the balcony door and close it leaving them alone.
Jim would meet with that ambassador and even though they would not find anything to trade or deal with, they both agreed to let the two love birds spend some time together. After several months Jim would buy a nest for two and they would spend the nights together.
Over the next cycle Jim kept reading rules and also started to study Galactic Council history. In his studies of war and how the Cossis was used, he discovered that no one, outside the Cossis themselves, ever tried to figure out what was causing the plague on their home planet or how to create a vaccine or cure it. He made some calls to the CDC and found that they were receptive to taking a look. They would spend a year getting a safe mobile habitat built that would protect them from the plague as they may be susceptible to it being mammalian. Jim would “hire” several Cossis to work with the group to do collections for them and other outside work that kept the humans inside and safe. They would go and spend 90 days on Zassiss and collect samples and check infection rates with the test subjects they brought. Once they had everything they needed, they headed back to earth to do the complete study. As they did their analysis they would check with the galactic archives for similarities and eventually they came to their conclusion. They contacted Jim and let him know what they found, the virus was engineered, and it seemed to have been created by a now extinct species called the Vinnix. Jim told them to put it all together with all the proof and send it to him.
He looked up the Vinnix and found that when the Cossis were first used, the Vinnix was in the middle of a civil war, with several of their outer colonies demanding autonomy. Jim would put it all together and create a resolution to condemn the act and submit it to the council. They would start their own investigation and half a cycle later, conclude that it was the Vinnix home world that engineered it. They did it so the Cossis would become warriors for them and help them defeat the uprising. But in the end both sides ended up developing and using biological weapons against each other and that would eventually kill them all. The council would pass the resolution condemning the act and acknowledging that the Cossis were enslaved without their true consent.
By this time, the researchers on earth had developed a vaccine for the virus and Jim worked with some representatives for the Cossis to start to repopulate their homeworld. From earth they would gather thousands of rabbits, hares, wallabys, and smaller varieties of deer and vaccinate them and release them. Thousands of several other types of their food prey from other worlds would be gathered and vaccinated also. Regular shipments would continue for several cycles until they were able to breed in sufficient number to allow hunting.
Another cycle and Tittle and Wattle said they were ready to settle down and start a family. Jim and Wattles ambassador would apply for replacements, which would end up being drones, and Jim would get them passage to earth and set them up in whatever area they wanted. Tittle said she would like to live near the big trees and Jim made the arrangements for that to happen. A cycle later and Tittle would contact Jim to tell him that they had a male offspring. She told Jim his name and that he would go by Jimmy at school. Jim told her that he was honored and he congratulated them and wished them continued happiness. That night Tabura would ask Jim if he regrets not having kids. He says that he feels he will leave a legacy behind and that is enough.
One day after returning from a trip, they arrived to find Tabara ill and in failing health. They called the medics who rushed to retrieve her and take her to the infirmary. After running tests, they said there was nothing they could do other than relieve her discomfort and that she probably only had a few days left. Tabura would spend every minute with her. She would pass quietly in her sleep. She was cremated and the ashes pressed into a memorial cube. Tabura would keep the cube with her.
Jim realized that he did not have much time left. He would spend all his time for the next two cycles getting other ambassadors to back a new resolution that would allow slave owners to actually free their slaves instead of them being put back into the slave pool. It was not what he truly wanted, but it was a step in the right direction. It was passed and every ambassador that voted for it would free all their slaves within days. Jim and Tabura would celebrate that night and Jim told her he had another surprise. He would be announcing his retirement and they would go to earth to live out their days.
Jim would say goodbye to Sissill and thank her again for saving his life. She said she was going to head to her homeworld and maybe see about starting a family as she is just now entering into her prime. Jim and Tabura would head to earth as soon as the replacement ambassador arrived. They would get a place near where Title and Waddle settled down and live there for 8 years before Tabura passes. Jim would follow two years later. The funeral would be attended by every Farnier within a days flight and many world leaders. They would be buried next to each other in simple graves near their home.
On the 100th anniversary of humans joining the Galactic Council, the current human ambassador, April Johnson, submitted a new resolution, that would be the first in the history of the Council to pass unanimously without any abstains, making slavery illegal across the entire galaxy. Within minutes, the Cossis ambassador would submit a new resolution commissioning a statue to be made in honor of Jim Smith. It would be the second to pass unanimously.
It was installed in the great hall on the top floor and directly across from April’s apartment, April stood at the base, it was inscribed with his name and one message “Because it is the humane thing to do.” She looking up to Jim and told him how her grandmother told her of how they met and how she knew he was going to do great things. That is why, when she found out she was pregnant, she did not tell him. She knew he would have dropped everything and gone home to raise her mom. It was the reason she worked her whole life to get this position and carry on her grandfather’s legacy, to bring humanity to the galaxy.