The Admiral was having dinner with a few members of his staff along with his son, Manolo.
“Manolo,” he began.
“You know we have not picked up any indications of space travel or technology that we were expecting.”
“We have picked up a couple of simplistic probes that we passed on the way coming into the sector,” the Admiral said.
“Yes, Sir, we’ve all been briefed,” Manolo replied.
The Admiral looked over to his Intelligence Officer Lieutenant Commander Torres and nodded.
“Lieutenant Marinero,” Torres began saying.
“What the other team leaders have not been briefed on is this; we are concerned that Earth does not have the resources we seek.”
“We believe this whole mission was a waste of time,” Torres stated.
“Has it occurred to anybody in your section,” said Manolo.
“That Earth may have at one time had technology that was far more superior to ours but due to some cataclysmic event they have reverted to simpler times?” Manolo asked.
“Ah, no Lieutenant, my section does not dealing with speculation or in wild scenarios,” Torres declared.
“But nevertheless, Commander, that could be a possibility,” the Admiral surmised.
“It could Sir, and your orders?” asked Torres.
“We need to work out more of the kinks on these new weapon systems,” he began.
“The professor has told me he has a few more thoughts regarding this new stealth technology that he’d like to investigate further.”
“While he is doing that have all the audio transmissions that we have picked up from the Earth transferred over to my son,” he requested.
“Yes, Sir,” said Torres.
“If there is nothing else,” Admiral Marinero said.
“Then I bid you a good night, Commander and pleasant dreams,” the admiral ordered.
“But not for you my son,” he warned.
“We have more things to talk about,” he concluded.
After all the naval personnel were gone, the Admiral unbuttoned his top collar and sat in a well-used easy chair.
“I swear these dress uniforms are getting smaller by the year,” he confessed.
“It’s the desk job, it will do it to you every time, father,” his son admitted.
“Spoken by a young man full of life,” the Admiral stated.
“Sit down this might take a while,” he advised.
He sat and studied his father.
“I’ve respected your need for secrecy regarding these new weapons as to how they were created and about who designed them,” the Admiral began.
“But I can’t keep putting my staff off when they keep asking pertinent questions regarding how we acquired them at so opportune a time,” he confessed.
“I realize it makes you look a little shifty to them,” said Manolo.
“But I’m not at liberty to divulge how they came about or who designed them, Father.”
“I’m sure you know the need for secrecy surrounding the designer of these deadly weapons,” he added.
“If it was just my staff,” Admiral Marinero said.
“I could hold them off, but I now have the Dominican delegation breathing down my neck.”
“They are crying to Holy Heaven that these weapons are the work of Satan’s,” he admitted.
“They are not any more a work of Satan’s than I am,” confessed his son.
“And what’s that supposed to mean?” asked the Admiral.
“It means,” Manolo began.
“That in a fashion I had a hand in developing two of the weapons.”
“So unless they want to accuse me, then they need to back off,” he continued.
“If you knew who designed them, you’d be ashamed of yourself for even considering the friar’s nonsense.”
“Father, they are misleading you, don’t let them get away with it,” he requested.
“You know as well as I do, these weapons are a God send.”
The Admiral took a deep breath and slowly let it out.
“You are right,” he began to say.
“I do believe they are God sent.”
“But I don’t have the luxury of not listening to the friar’s complaints, son.”
“The Dominicans have a huge following and even some of my staff is guided by their ideology, Manolo.”
“So, please do me a favor,” he requested.
“Keep a constant watch your back.”
“You don’t know who could be friend or foe,” he warned.
“Lieutenant, may I say something?” asked Scrak.
“By all means, Vice Member,” replied Marinero.
“Admiral Marinero, there is a very small number that know the identity of the individual responsible for these miraculous discoveries,” he admitted.
“The reasons are self evident.”
“Could you imagine the results if one of the friar’s followers gained knowledge of who this person is?” he asked.
“The ‘Hounds’ are not known for their compassion or reasoning skills, Papa,” warned Manolo.
“We have to safe guard her…” began Scrak.
“Her?” the Admiral interrupted.
Scrak looked over at Manolo.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything, Lieutenant,” he said.
“I am sorry,” he apologized.
“Don’t say another word,” his Father said.
“I cannot hear any more of this.”
“If this weapon’s designer is a female,” he began.
“Then we have to protect her with our lives.”
“I have read the history books regarding the Blessed Joan of Arc.”
“If God has blessed us with another Joan, I’ll not have a gaggle of hysterical clergy burning her at the stake again, not as long as I take breath,” he announced.
“By God we must learn from our mistakes not compound them!” he exclaimed.
Of course, the two friars could not have heard what the Admiral just said and even if they did hear, they would totally disagree.
After the weapon’s demonstrations were over and the crew settled back down to their routine jobs, the two friars got busy.
They not only went to the Admiral on several occasions to persuade him to discontinue the testing and scrap the weapons project altogether, they also started meeting in secret with some of their most ardent military followers to implant their own distrust and fear of these new weapons into their supporter’s hearts.
One of their last meetings before they would take matters into their own hands was with the Admiral’s second in command, Capitan de Fragata Alverez.
“Commander Alverez,” began Friar Diego de Morillo.
“We are pleased that you took time from your busy schedule to meet with us.”
“No es nada, it’s nothing, friar,” Alverez replied.
“We thank you regardless, Commander,” said Friar Antonio de Jesus.
“We have spent many hours in prayer and in consultation with other members of our order aboard and have reached a decision,” he admitted.
“Regarding what, Brothers?” Alverez asked.
“These new weapons,” stated de Morillo.
“These abominations!” declared de Jesus.
The Commander sat back in his chair and stared at the two brothers.
“You are not happy with these new weapons?” he asked.
“They are the Devil’s work!” declared de Morillo.
“Only a spawn of Satan could have come up with such morally repugnant devices,” admitted de Jesus.
“You do realize,” Alverez began.
“That this ship and all of the ships of the Empire are defenseless against this new foe?” he asked.
“Yes, we do,” admitted de Morillo.
“But these weapons are against God’s will.”
“They obliterate God’s own handiwork,” confessed de Jesus.
“Therefore,” Alverez said.
“The new weapons that were created on our mission are not inspired by God, but by Satan?” he asked.
“Si, commander,” de Morillo began.
“He would not create or have one of his servants create such abominations.”
“Even should these weapons will save the Empire and the Church?” Alverez asked disbelievingly.
“In the words of our Lord,” began de Jesus.
“‘Porque ¿qué aprovechará al hombre si ganare todo el mundo, y perdiere su alma?’” he asked.
“Or ‘For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’”
“Does God want us to throw away our immortal souls just for the sake of a few lives?” asked de Morillo.
“I see your point brother,” admitted Alverez.
“What can I do to help?” he asked.
Manolo was restless after the dinner and meeting with his father so he decided to go down to the secure work place where the group would meet.
He opened the hatch and walked in to find Angelica and Sister Maria talking.
The Sister had just finished laughing at something Angelica had said and covered her mouth when Manolo entered.
‘I did not know nuns could laugh,’ he thought.
“I’m sorry, did I interrupt something?” he said aloud.
“Not really, Lieutenant,” Sister Maria said.
“We were just reminiscing about a lesson in alchemy that went horribly wrong,” she confessed.
“Enough to laugh about?” he asked.
“Not at the time, no but years later, it is a bit funny,” she admitted.
“What went wrong?” he asked.
“Ann…, I mean Angelica,” the nun began.
“Was just learning a few basic compounds and was too eager to want to be taught them the right away,” she continued.
“I’ve always been a little anxious,” Angelica admitted.
“Just a little anxious?” Sister Maria asked.
“Oh, just go on with the story,” requested Angelica.
“Right, she always wanted to rush things,” Maria stated.
“Why know everything before you start experimenting?” Angelica asked.
“It takes all the fun out of it.”
“So, you have always been this way?” Manolo asked.
“I don’t know what you are talking about,” she said innocently.
“Anyway,” Maria said.
“She wanted to make a fizzy bath for her mom as a surprise.
“She was all excited that she could actually make something like that for her mom,” admitted Sister Maria.
“So what happened?” he asked.
“She blew up her mom?”
“Well, not exactly,” said Maria.
“She had all the right ingredients; citric acid, cornstarch, baking soda, vegetable oil, fragrance, and food coloring but she also wanted to add a special ingredient to the mix,” she continued.
“She blended them all together and stored them properly for a couple of days and then presented them to her mother in a pretty package, laced with ribbons and bows.”
“That’s sounds like a lovely present to give your mother Angelica,” Manolo said.
“I thought so too,” she replied.
“Until her mother used the present that night for her bath,” informed the nun.
“Let me guess, it turned her green?” he asked.
“Not exactly,” Angelica said.
“It seemed that the special ingredient was something that Angelica happened to like very much,” began Sister Maria.
“So, in her six-year-old mind, she thought it would be perfect for her Mother’s bath as well.”
“Let me think, what do six year old girls like?” he asked.
“I happened to love chocolate chip cookies,” she confessed.
“And your special ingredient was?” he asked.
“Chocolate chips, silly,” she stated.
“Needless to say,” Maria began.
“Her mother could not stand the smell of chocolate chips after that for a couple of months.”
Sister Maria ended chuckling.
“But her hair smelled wonderful, just like a bakery,” confessed Suarez.
“And what did your father think about all of that?” Manolo asked.
“The look on my mother’s face as she shot out of the bath was too much for him,” she confessed.
“He fell to the floor laughing.”
“I didn’t know any different at the time, so I fell on the floor and laughed too,” she stated.
“It must have been quite the sight,” admitted Manolo.
“And smell,” added Sister Maria again chuckling.
That got Manolo laughing as well, lifting his mood slightly.
“I left my father a few minutes ago,” he began.
“I was wandering around aimlessly hoping to find something to distract me.”
“I don’t know if this story was what I was looking for but after hearing it and sharing the moment with you, I realized it is exactly what I needed,” he confessed.
“Thank you both for sharing,” Manolo said.
“You’re welcome, Sir,” Suarez said.
“Anytime you need to hear about any of my past embarrassing moments feel free to ask,” Anna said smiling.
“One of these days I might share some of mine, Suarez.”
Angelica saluted him from her chair.
“I look forward, Sir with great anticipation.”
“And on that bit of sarcasm,” he said.
“I must leave you.”
“Ladies, have a lovely talk and don’t stay up too late Warren Officer,” he warned her before exiting the room.
The next day as they were leaving the sim’s area and Marinero motioned Suarez over to him.
“Yes, Sir?” she asked.
“I forgot to mention something last night when I saw you,” he began.
“I am sorry but I didn’t think about it until this morning when I looked into my ‘in’ box and saw a massive download of work my Father assigned to me last night sitting there,” he admitted.
“And?” she asked.
“Let’s walk and talk, shall we?” he asked her.
She nodded and they left the sim’s bay and headed down a passageway.
“It’s almost lunch let’s pop in there and get a working lunch,” he said.
“Working lunch Sir?” she asked.
“Yes,” he said smiling.
“You just got volunteered to help me sort out some of this audio traffic we have been picking up from the Old World,” he advised her.
“Welcome to the Space Navy, Warren Officer.”
“Thank you, I was expecting more balloons and flowers, Sir,” she said stoically.
“Oh and when did I volunteer, Sir?” she asked.
“Last night when you held up your hand,” he stated.
“It could have been a mock salute but then I would have to put you on report for insubordination, so I just interpreted it as a volunteer gesture,” he said.
“Well that’s me alright,” she said.
“Give all for the team.”
“Be the first in line kind of person I am,” she ended sarcastically.
“That’s the spirit, Warren Officer,” he said.
They got to the galley just as they opened and were the first in line to grab lunch.
They got it to go, of course and then headed down to the workroom to do some work and eat.
They had been working for a couple of hours when Scrak made and observation.
“Lieutenant,” Scrak began.
“I have been breaking down these particular electromagnetic waves and have come to realize that some of these audio waves are piggy backed on other light waves,” he announced.
“They create a different type of wave than we are familiar,” he added.
“And that’s important because?” Manolo asked.
“They are a primitive visual communication,” Scrak replied.
“Alphie, please check Scrak’s findings and if he is correct, please show these visuals,” Angelica requested.
“Give me a moment,” Alphie said.
“The communication is really are quiet crude and he is correct in his assertion.”
“I’m adjusting the flow and will download the file to the bigger monitor so you both can observe,” he informed them.
In a moment, the bigger monitor on the wall flickered to life and started showing an old television show called, “I Love Lucy.”
The Lieutenant and Suarez had no idea what they were watching and could not understand the language but the interplay of the characters on the monitor was unmistakable.
‘Alphie, please scan all the files,’ she asked him nonverbally.
“Pick out this particular language, break it down for me and then upload it to me.’
‘I need to know this language and I need to know it now,’ she pleaded.
‘And just how are you going to be able to download and retain a language you’ve never heard before, Warren Officer?’ asked Scrak inserting himself in their nonverbal conversation.
‘Double Crap!’ exclaimed Alphie.
Anna took a sideways glance over at Manolo to find him glued to the monitor watching the action in front of him with delight.
‘He’s not linked to us is he?’ she asked Scrak.
‘Not at the moment, no,’ Scrak replied.
‘Angelica,’ Alphie warned.
‘Can’t be helped buddy,’ she offhandedly said.
‘He’s a Vice Member of the Council and should be above reproach.’
‘Why are my credentials of such importance now?’ Scrak asked.
‘Because the Princess is about to tell you who she really is Vice Member,’ answered Alphie.
‘Ah, Alphie,’ she said.
‘I believe you just did.’
‘Oh, my,’ he said.
‘I’m so sorry,’ he apologized.
‘Infanta?’ Scrak asked.
‘I prefer Anna,’ she began.
‘Or at the moment, Angelica or Warren Officer Suarez, Vice Member,’ she confessed.
‘And the final piece of the puzzle falls into place,’ he exclaimed.
‘I understand it now.’
‘Of course, you are Infanta Anna Clara Eugenia of Nuevo Hispania, how could you not be?’ he asked.
‘Well, I really don’t know how to answer that question Vice Member Scrak,’ she stated quizzically.
‘Your demeanor,” he began.
‘Your manners, your ability to create these fantastic weapons, your ability to manipulate the military records, and your transfer,’ he stated.
‘All of these things you could do because of who you are.’
‘Yes, well sometimes it’s good to be me,’ she said.
‘Anna,’ warned Alphie.
‘And sometimes it’s not,’ she stated.
‘So now that you know my little secret, you can’t speak a word of this to anyone, not even the Lieutenant,’ she warned.
‘Of course not,’ he replied.
‘Absolutely, you have my word on it,’ he pledged.
‘Fine,’ she said.
‘Now let’s get back to this language.’
‘Already scanned,’ Alphie informed her.
‘I am about to upload to you.’
‘Are you ready?’ he asked.
‘As ready as I can be,’ she noted.
‘Go ahead, please.’
The time it took Lucy to stuff another chocolate down her mouth off the conveyor belt, Anna had a working knowledge of this new language.
‘How did it go?’ asked Scrak.
‘Fine, like it always does,’ she confessed.
‘And do you understand this new language?’ Scrak asked.
‘Yes,’ she replied.
‘It is called English.’
‘From the country called England?’ Scrak asked.
‘The sworn enemy of the old Spanish Empire?’ he further inquired.
‘Yes,’ she began.
‘But it is also different.’
‘It appears to be a combination of Old English, German, Latin and Greek,’ she informed him.
‘It sounds very confusing but I am sure we will have no trouble translating this over to Spanish, Princess,’ Scrak stated.
‘Please don’t call me that,’ she told him.
‘Even when we are linked and can’t be heard,’ she warned.
‘Sorry,’ Scrak said.
She looked over at Manolo who was laughing at the antics on the monitor and he saw her.
“So what do you think?” he asked.
“About?” she asked him.
“What’s going on, on the monitor, Suarez?” he asked.
“Let me answer that, Lieutenant,” Scrak said.
“Sure,” he replied.
“We have had the chance to translate the language that you are hearing,” he began.
“It is in a language called English and it would appear that what we are seeing is a comedy play.”
“Of course the Spanish playwright, Lope de Rueda, would not recognize this work,” Scrak added.
“Recognize it or not, this is very funny,” stated Manolo.
“I’m glad you are enjoying this Sir,” Suarez said.
“And you are not?” he asked.
“Yes, it is funny,” she began.
“But I’m sure your father had something else in mind when he wanted you to review these files,” she said.
“You’re right Warren Officer,” he confessed.
“Scrak you or Alphie please do a quick review of the files, find the ones are similar to this one let’s review those first,” he ordered.
“And while they are working on doing that?” she asked.
“I wouldn’t mind watching this some more of that crazy lady, how about you?” he asked.
Before she could answer, the hatch opened up and Sister Maria along with Carreta entered.
The Sister looked up at the monitor and asked, “I hope we are not disturbing you?”
“Not at all Sister,” Marinero said.
“We are just reviewing some files that we have managed to capture coming from Earth,” he informed them.
“Is that what this is?” asked Carreta.
“Yes,” he replied.
“As near as we can tell it’s the earth’s version of a play, we think,” he admitted.
They watched for a few minutes until Alphie interrupted their viewing with an update.
“We have completed a brief catalogue of the files that you requested Sir,” he stated.
“There are a few files that we’d like to show you first.”
“They seem to be of significant interest to our mission,” he concluded.
“How so?” asked the Lieutenant.
“Was it a consensus of the intelligence department that Earth never had space traveling abilities?” Alphie asked.
“Yes,” Manolo said.
“It was, why?” he asked.
“What we are about to show you contradicts their theory, Sir,” warned Alphie.
During Alphie’s brief discussion with the Lieutenant, Anna had contacted Brother Delgado via the mind link to update him.
He arrived shortly after Alphie finished his last remarks.
She had linked him into the conversation as it transpired so when he entered the room he was currently up to speed with what was going on.
“Ah, Brother Delgado,” began Carreta.
“We are about to witness some interesting information that Alphie and the Vice Member have uncovered regarding Earth’s space traveling capabilities,” he announced.
“I’m aware,” Delgado confessed.
“Warren Officer Suarez linked me in to your conversation as I was walking here, please continue,” he requested.
“Let me set this up for all of you,” Scrak began.
“What we are about to show you is, what we believe to be, historical plays recreating actual events,” he continued.
“Unfortunately the language they are speaking is called English, and we have not had time to translate it yet for this demonstration,” added Alphie.
“But you will?” asked Brother Delgado.
“Yes, and then upload it to all drones aboard,” replied Scrak.
“All drones?” asked the Lieutenant.
“Si, all drones,” Scrak replied.
“We cannot have some knowing and others not.”
“Their affiliation with another group than ours cannot be a determining factor,” stated Alphie.
“We need to have all drones knowledgeable to perform their allocated duties, Lieutenant,” said Carreta.
“That includes having a working translation of English.”
“You’re right of course,” acknowledged Manolo.
“But allowing the other side to know something crucial goes against my better judgment.”
“The other side, as you put it, would know within a short period of time regardless Lieutenant,” announced Scrak.
“Knowing that we provided them with something crucial makes it easier for us to hide essential information from their prying eyes,” he confessed.
While this discussion was going on Sister Maria had a private conversation with Angelica.
‘Have you uploaded the translation yet?’ the nun asked.
‘Yes, I have,’ she confessed.
‘Alphie supplied it to me the moment he had it cracked.’
‘Very useful your personal bodyguard,’ Sister Maria stated.
‘Yes, he is and he is much more than just my bodyguard, you know,’ Angelica admitted.
‘I’m beginning to understand that,’ Maria began.
‘On another note, spending more time with the handsome and suave Lieutenant Marinero I see?’
‘What do you mean by that?’ Angelica asked defensively.
‘You were both down here alone for hours it would seem by the amount of debris scattered around the room.’
‘Yes we have been working long hours but far from being alone as you put it,’ she began.
‘The two drones were with us all the time and we have been too busy with work to have wandered into any kind of ‘extra’ activity, Sister,’ she stated.
‘Just remember who you are my dear,’ mentioned the nun.
‘I can hardly forget who I am Sister Maria,’ Angelica said sadly.
‘I am constantly reminded everyday especially when I get a ton of data shoved into my head.’
‘And whose idea was it to stowaway?’ Maria asked.
‘You are ever going to let me live that down?’ Angelica asked.
‘Child,’ the Sister began.
‘You are not safely at home with a palace full of servants or guards to protect you day and night.’
‘You are in the real world now, by your choice, and yes, I am going to constantly remind of you of that fact until I see you at home in the arms of your parents!’ Maria declared.
‘Fine, then great!’ exclaimed Suarez.
‘Now I have two bodyguards to keep me safe.’
‘By the way,’ she confessed.
‘Out of the two, you are by far the scariest.’
‘I’ll agree to that,’ injected Alphie.
‘Now can you two please get back to the ongoing discussion,’ he requested.
“Is everybody ready?” asked Scrak.
“Good then we’ll start.”
“Alphie and I will try to translate as best we can while you are viewing the action, except of course for Warren Officer Suarez,” he advised.
“But why?” began asking Manolo.
“Because,” interrupted Sister Maria, “Angelica could always pick up languages quickly Lieutenant, she was one of my brightest students when it came to that.”
“She was also very interested in England’s histories and picked up the language from books,” she explained.
“Why am I not surprised?” he asked.
“Suarez is there anything you can’t do?” asked Manolo.
“She is a treasure,” answered Scrak.
‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ asked Brother Delgado nonverbally.
‘Oh, I’ll tell you later,’ Anna replied.
“Please everybody get comfortable, here we go,” announced Scrak.
For the next five hours they watched seven episodes of “Star Trek” including the one episode with the ‘Tribbles’ and didn’t quite know what to think of that one.
While they watched and listened, they ate a brief dinner supplied by a galley Stewart.
After viewing all the episodes and eating, they began their discussion.
“I knew they were capable of space flight!” Manolo said excitedly.
“And did you notice all the different races that they came across during their journeys?” asked Scrak.
“Some were good and some were very bad it would seem,” said Brother Delgado.
“I wonder if those ‘Klingons’ or the ‘Romulans’ are the ones we now face?” asked Manolo.
“They very well could be,” answered Carreta.
“This Federation they speak of, I wonder why we have not run across them in all of our years of space exploration?” he finished asking.
“Space is big, Vice Member,” said Angelica.
“As Captain Kirk said at the beginning of each adventure, ‘Space the final frontier’ it really is that.”
“A vast frontier that is wide and unlimited.”
“Who knows, we may have almost run into them and didn’t even know.” she replied.
“That opening statement before each history lesson concerns me,” reflected the Sister.
“He talks about ‘our five year mission,’ what if their mission has been over for countless years?” she asked.
“What if indeed,” asked Brother Delgado.
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