The Lost One: Part Four

The scout ship was quite surprised when they saw where the portal the refugee ship took led to, seeing as it went to a neutral zone that existed between the Multipians and the Vallerians, one of the three allies who were signatories to the Treaty of Multi Prime for mutual defense. There was a friendly discussion between Lisbeth and the captain of the ship regarding the neutral zone and the systems that were found in it, which were often left alone and thus would likely be areas that smugglers would feel confident in. As it happened, though, there was a Multipian portal in the area and they decided to take that one and find a spot in the asteroid belt that was most likely to be in the system that the ship was headed to, as it was a system that the ship they were chasing would have to go through if they were going to go into Vallerian territory and had some planets that were capable of being settled with modest effort.

Lisbeth used the time to work on studying the diplomatic aspects of the system and what a neutral system meant, while also making sure to keep in touch with the Vallerians who had interests in the area. The Vallerians had much less settlement close by than the Multipians did, but it was no great problem to point out that a joint condominium of the area would be preferable to leaving it open to exploitation by smugglers that both empires viewed with considerable suspicion. It was by no means easy to see what sort of ship was being sent to the system in the first place. It was guessed that the ship would allow for human cargo as well as the plants and animals that would allow for a successful settlement, and that meant that there would have to be substantial cargo, but it was not known that Gorman 3 had a large amount of ready pioneers to engage in such a settlement effort, seeing as they were known largely as smugglers, and smugglers with a fairly low demographic expansion rate in the first place given the lack of interest that the population of the Gorman system had when it came to agriculture.

As it happened, though, the investigation that had taken place on Gorman 3 revealed that the ship was made up of refugees, and that they appeared to be refugees of the Amish kind. This made Hephizbah’s situation far more interesting, as she was able to comment on reports of what her own family had endured in the escape from old earth and in the difficulties that they had in handling their own shipping and in learning how to travel in space without violating their customs and ways. Lisbeth was fascinated by the stories of how it was that the Amish managed to find a great deal of success because the first emperor had taken their cause and provided them with a safe place to live their lives in peace and a generally high degree of prosperity. Still, that had still been complicated by the hostility that many people showed to the Amish as well as the exploitation that had been involved in their attempt to purchase a ship that they could run for themselves, which proved to be a hazard in deep space that endangered their lives. It was likely, Hephizbah thought, that the Amish in this situation were similarly vulnerable to exploitation, which is why they had been trafficked by the people of the Gorman system, no particularly honorable people in the reputation of the galaxy as a whole. Of course, such people people might not know what to do with a dinosaur, but they were unlikely to have been movers and shakers in smuggling a baby dinosaur with them in the first place.

Meanwhile, despite all of the conversations the people on the ship had, there was not much they had to do for the moment. Their job was a simple and a straightforward one, and that was to wait for the ship to come to them, in a place where it would be possible to board the vessel and ensure that the korinthidon was safe and sound. There were only a few possibilities here, and there were reasonable plans that the small group had when it came time to interact with the ship. Moreover, the Multipians figured that the cargo ship, such as it was, would likely be unaware of what they were about and what they were looking for. This surprise was viewed as being possibly a good thing but also possibly a dangerous thing. No one thought that the Amish themselves were likely to be aggressors against the Multipians, but the behavior of the Gorman shippers was a different matter entirely, and this was where the unpredictability happened, at least in the eyes of the Multipians.

What was of interest, but was more difficult to understand, was that there had been a new arrival, a baby boy dinosaur that was born to a breeding pair on the scout ship that had been born around the time that they left Multi Prime. Watching a young baby dinosaur in action in space was rather entertaining, and the parents did not seem to mind the observation of the human beings. It was usually thought that reptiles were not very loving or attentive as parents, but that was clearly not the case with korinthidons, who learned a great deal from parents as to how to behave and how to communicate. This gave Lisbeth and Hephizbah a certain degree of concern about what would happen to a baby dinosaur who was unable to learn from any other dinosaurs around. This was a situation they had never seen before, and they hoped that the lost one would not suffer too much for being alone for the first few months of life. But they would not know if that was the case or how much it was the case until they got in touch with the dinosaur. And no one knew exactly how long that would take, even as the ship continued to move towards where they were, although stopping seemingly at random along the way and not moving there very quickly at all.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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