Lieutenant William Grant chose the army to follow in his father’s steps, but he quickly learned that life was not for him. Due to a lack of options, he stuck around, luckily for him, mostly on domestic soil. He was looking for other options before the Aliens arrived and now with the twist of fate, he found himself in charge of the New York region, as appointed by the Kraz’ox.
William took James and Katie to one of the empty military bases in the region, telling Kraz’ox that the military would investigate on their own ISS crew’s disappearance and sudden reemergence. To William’s surprise, Kraz’ox welcomed his proactivity and didn’t have anything against it.
Once at the baste William, on James’s request, checked to make sure they weren’t followed by anyone. William didn’t know the range and the whole arsenal of Kraz’ox equipment, but to his knowledge they were safe here, no one would be able to listen to them.
James was visibly nervous, getting back to Earth was always going to be a problem for him, but getting back with all of this extra weight on his shoulders was something else, he couldn’t wait to let it all out and share the burden of humanity’s fate with someone else. James didn’t wait long before he started spilling everything out, starting with the ISS crew’s adventures with the Anoi, getting intercepted by the Qhiks, going through the gate to their original system, and everything that followed until they appeared back in Solar System.
“So, we are the ants, Anoi and Kraz’ox are anteaters and there are even bigger predators out there who are afraid of something they don’t even know what is exactly?“ Lieutenant William said while rubbing his stubbled beard. “And they want us to go after that thing, the void as you said, and explore it for them?”
“Yep,” James answered weight of it all finally being shared with someone outside of the ISS crew. “You summed it up pretty well…”
“And how are we supposed to do that? We can barely make it to Mars on our own?” Lieutenant William asked.
“Ohh yeah, I forgot to say, the Qhiks have given us access to their old technology, pre-transformation with source, here,” James said as he fished inside of the Anoi battle suit and took out a device that looked like a similar external hard drive.
William took the device in his hands, but it had no holes for any adapters or cables. “What do we do with it?” William asked.
“I don’t know, they said we would be able to open and read it, as they translated all of the contents to English, but I am no expert in technology,” James answered.
“Let me take a look,” Katie said and took the device from the Lieutenant’s hands carefully inspecting it. “I don’t know either, but I know someone who might, if you agree I can call him.”
They spent almost an hour discussing additional details of James’s adventures, William asking most of the questions before two men showed up at the front door, they could see them over the surveillance system. William buzzed them in, and Katie went ahead to bring them in.
Two men that walked into a room were similar in height and build to James, average on both fronts. The one on the right that was talking with Katie as they walked was visibly older, his face showing the millage.
“This is Mark,” Katie said, “my friend from college days and these are astronaut James and Lieutenant William” Katie pointed to two of them standing around the table.
“Nice to meet you,” Mark said. “This is one of the best experts I know, that’s why I brought him here with Katie’s approval of course.” He said pointing to a man next to him.
“Hello, I am Marcus,” He said with a polite smile. “I’ve been appointed to learn from Kraz’ox about their technology, can I see the device?” Marcus asked.
Lieutenant William passed him the devices and Marcus fiddled with it for a moment. “I believe I can access the information, Kraz’ox use a similar technology I believe. But I will need some of their devices to do that.” Marcus said.
“I doubt they would give you that willingly,” Lieutenant William said.
“Can my suit help maybe?” James asked. “It’s Anoi.”
“Let me take a look,” Marcus said and walked towards James.
After almost two minutes of inspecting it, Marcus was sure he could access the device using James’s suit. He took James’s helmet and used what James knew about Anoi technology and got to work.
“Fuck yea, I am finally in,” Marcus yelled startling James, Katie, and Mark, only Lieutenant William being able to keep his calm demeanor.
“What does it say?” Lieutenant William asked.
“There are thousands of files, I will upload them to one of our computers,” Marcus said.
The upload process took some time in which five of them discussed everything that has happened so far, William shared everything James had said with the two newcomers to the party.
“Here, the upload is finished,” Marcus said.
They went over the documents for hours, they showed everything the Qhiks have said it would. From how to build a spaceship and hyperdrives from scratch to various medical advancements humans could only dream of in this day and age. But in order to do anything with it, they would need scientists, eagerness, doctors, physicists, and many more. There was a huge task ahead of them and a turning point for humanity, play along with Kraz’ox or go behind their back on Qhiks instructions, and all eyes in the room were pointed towards Lieutenant William.
“Let’s do this, humanity deserves better than to be a workforce to some alien race we know nothing about,” William said with a confident tone.