“We didn’t get shot down on sight,” James said. “So we can call this a success,” Chloe smiled.
He found himself with Chloe, Eric, and fifteen others in the Kraz’ox transport ship gunning towards Earth. James overheard that they were supposed to land in Central Park out of all places for some reason.
“Yeah,” Chloe said with a sigh. “But that was an easy part, the hard part begins now.”
Jammes nodded and shifted in his seat, looking around the small transport ship his eyes darted towards Four Kraz’ox who guarded them in a small room with two benches at each side where all the astronauts were sitting. They were not bound, but the Kraz’ox was pretty straightforward that they are going to be interrogated and kept a close eye on until this situation resolves and they explain how they managed to capture the Anoi ship, something Kraz’ox was never able to, without it self-destructing in the process.
The voice over the speakers said several words in Kraz’ox and the guards clicked their boots which made them stick to the floor, then they grabbed nearby pools. The voice then continued in English announcing that they were about to enter the Earth’s Atmosphere, and everyone should be seated and belted.
The entering into Earth’s Atmosphere was rough, but the landing went smooth James didn’t even notice they touched the ground before Kraz’ox opened the ship’s door and proclaimed it was safe to remove their helmets.
Removing a foreign object from their heads after days in it felt amazing. Luckily for James and the rest of the ISS crew who spent years in space, they now had state-of-the-art Anoi space suits that helped their bodies easily adapt to Earth’s gravity. Krazo’ox said it was best for them to leave to suits on to avoid any health complications before they give them necessary treatments.
All the light on the bright sunny day was overwhelming and James felt light-headed, but he managed to push through it. They were met by a lot of Kraz’ox in battle armor and a small Human-Krazo’ox delegation consisting of several Kraz’ox in robes and five humans including Katie Garcia, their superiors in the ISS project, she had a proud smile on her face looking at all of her astronauts safe and back on earth.
“Welcome home ladies and gentlemen,” A soldier in his mid-thirties, sweat pouring down his forehead said and came forward wearing only camouflage pants and a black t-shirt. “My name is Lieutenant William Grant, sorry to welcome you back like this, but we were mid-training session when you appeared.”
“No problem, Sir,” James said solution to the officer, others following reluctantly. “What’s the deal with Kraz’ox, the Anoi said they were going to occupy or destroy the Earth,” James asked.
“The Kraz’ox said the same about Anoi,” Lieutenant William said, “And they also said you helped them escape somehow and that our governments were involved and so on. But it seemed far-fetched, and luckily for you your friend Garcia over here explained that you only welcomed someone in distress and that rest of it was out of your control.” William swiped the sweat from his forehead.
“You could say it went something like that Sir,” James said. “What happens next with us?”
“Our friends over here, let me introduce you,” Lieutenant William said pointing towards Kraz’ox in robes standing a few feet behind him. “This is Uox, Veix, Troux, Ioox and Woyx. Each of them is the head of one of their organizations. Woyx over there,” Lieutenant said pointing towards the tallest alien. “Is their Military leader equivalent to our Generals or even higher, their military ranking system is confusing. He is going to have some questions for you, but some of the humans are going to be in a room with you, don’t worry about it, just say the truth and you will be free to go in no time.”
“That sounds… reasonable,” James said genuinely surprised by the situation on earth, in his mind Kraz’ox were scary monsters that already completely enslaved the Earth.
James and the crew were given an hour to get ready for the interviews and get something to eat, drink or rest. James used that time to call his father and tell him he was fine and back on earth. His father broke down crying, he thought James was gone for good. James felt the tears forming in the corners of his eyes, but he held them back, and after the phone call ended he pushed through it.
On his way to the interview, James stumbled upon Katie who surprised him with a hug.
“I am so happy you are all well,” She said with a huge grin on her face. “I just talked to Chloe and Meng they said you did really well.”
“I did my best, but Chloe really stepped up whenever the situation called for it,” James said. “How are you, how are things going on here, this all seems surreal even tho we just traveled from to the end of the galaxy and back?” James asked.
“It was pure chaos when they first came, but the things are getting under control in the last few days, they have the technology to wipe us out in seconds probably, but so far they have been great towards us,” Katie said.
“Good, listen…” James said reluctantly. “After this interview or interrogation whatever it is, I need to speak with you in private.”
“Sure, what is? You can tell me anything…” She said.
“Something crazy happened, but let’s talk later, somewhere no one will be able to hear us,” James said before one of the soldiers called for him, it was time for the interview.
“You got it,” Katie said and James walked towards the Kraz’ox ship.
The interviews were happening on the Kraz’ox ship, the third completely different ship in the last week or so that James was aboard if you count a few minutes Qhiks used to show them off their ships. Kraz’ox ship was closer to something you could see in sci-fi movies or tv shows, with a grey minimalistic interior with few windows looking out, sliding doors, and black chairs, they had a theme it was apparent.
James was led to the room with a small table in the middle and a few chairs around it. He was joined by two Kraz’ox in robes and Lieutenant William.
They allowed him to say his side of the story and what happened, from the day Anoi arrived until today when they arrived back in Solar System. James stuck to the story he and the crew practiced, Anoi forced them to jump away from Earth, their ship was badly damaged so they needed a few days to repair it. The crew used that time to get familiar with the Anoi suits and once they found out how to enable battle mod they easily took over the ship. Eleven of the Anoi resisted and were thrown out in the cold space, after that four remaining easily agreed to take them home.
What proceeded after that was a burst of short questions from one of the Kraz’ox who tried to poke a hole in his story, but James held well and was sure they bought the story.
The interview lasted almost two hours and James felt exhausted. The Kraz’ox were satisfied by the end and allowed him to leave freely for the night but report again tomorrow. James was escorted out of the ship, doors closing behind him and Lieutenant William following close by.
“James, wait up,” Lieutenant shouted. “Come here.” He said pointing towards one of the human tents.
Once inside he ordered everyone out.
“James, there is something you are hiding,” Lieutenant William said. “The Kraz’ox don’t know us well to notice it, but I do, I see your little ticks, and the way you said the story, it was obviously rehearsed.” William looked him straight into the eyes and James felt busted.
“It’s the whole truth,” James said and William nodded in dismissal.
“Also, one of my soldiers overheard your talk with Katie,” He said. “She is on her way here. If there is something you need to tell her, you can trust me as well, I have only one goal in my mind right now and that’s to ensure humanity’s safety as best as I can.”
One of the soldiers brought Katie a few minutes later, holding the tent door for her before leaving into the night.
“Can we trust him?” James asked bluntly pointing toward Lieutenant William.
“From everything, I saw these past few days and heard from other people, Lieutenant William is the best of the best and a truly good person on top of that,” Katie said looking at Lieutenant William, and James noticed a tiny smile forming at the edge of his lips.
“Fine, I am tired and a way too deep in this,” James said with frustration in his voice. “We need a safe place to talk, so Kraz’ox can’t overhear us.”