Quest For Earth

Free Quest For Earth by S E Gilchrist

Book: Quest For Earth by S E Gilchrist Read Free Book Online
Authors: S E Gilchrist
impart any knowledge. Besides, she wanted to examine her odd reaction before she flagged her interest to anyone. She spared a deep wish that Bree could be with her. Had her friend located the ruins of her home? As soon as the meeting was over, she intended to fly out and join her.
    The light changed to green and the doors swung silently open and Sherise shook off her ruminations about the strange man and Bree’s wellbeing. She needed to concentrate on the task ahead.
    Rothe led them through and began to climb the marble staircase. Silently, they followed until they’d passed three levels and arrived at another set of double doors.
    They filed inside. The room was rectangular in shape and contained a long table with chairs positioned both sides. One wall of the room was made of glass and stationed along the other wall were individual tables crowded with silver containers and bottles of clear liquid. Several young girls hovered nearby, dressed in beige tunics and trousers, their hands neatly clasped before them. Facing the doors was a group of older people.
    â€˜The Board,’ Rothe announced.
    â€˜At last,’ wheezed Barid. He raised his chin and strode forward to greet them. With swift courtesy and practised diplomacy, he took charge of the meeting.
    The Board consisted of a group of six men and six women, of middle to elder years and all with broad smiles wreathing their faces. They were dressed in identical white tunics and trousers, although the women’s were filmy, revealing the line and pale skin-tone of their legs. They exuded excitement and pleasure at this, their first personal contact with an alien species. In fact, they gave the impression of eagerness to assist the Darkons in any and every way possible.
    Sherise smiled and responded when spoken to and did her utmost to remain in the background, taking careful note of every nuance of expression and voice. Her senses told her these people appeared genuine and she relaxed enough to stroll over to the panel of windows to look down on the city below.
    She wondered where the strange male was now, then frowned, hastily shoving him out of her mind as she realised everyone was moving to sit at the table.
    The negotiations were about to begin.
    At the far end of the table, Commander Dyrke turned his face away and Sherise saw his lips move. No doubt a message from the Quinnie . But then he glanced in her direction. There was a darkness dimming his aura.
    Sherise’s stomach rolled over.
    Bad news.
    ***
    â€˜I believe that went very well indeed,’ pronounced Lord Barid, rubbing his hands together when they stood outside the Corporation’s Headquarters waiting for their transport to arrive.
    â€˜A pity they say they have little to offer us by way of technology,’ Dyrke said.
    Sherise noted his grim face and knew they shared the same concerns. ‘They will give us food and shelter and, if the Quinnie cannot be repaired, a place to call home.’
    The Commander stared along the road, unwilling to meet her eyes.
    She laid a hand on his arm, feeling the muscles bunch under her gentle touch. ‘It is a good alternative and one which will, at the very least, see our people safe.’
    â€˜We will continue our efforts.’ Dyrke swung around to face her. ‘I received a message during the meeting. The shuttle with your friend and the Relic on board has crash landed. Engine malfunction, possibly due to our collision in the Vortex. Do not fear, they are not injured.’
    â€˜Thank the stars.’ Heart thudding, Sherise gripped her hands together. ‘Have you sent a rescue team?’
    â€˜It is on its way.’
    â€˜Good.’ She hesitated. ‘What is their ETA? If they are still far out, perhaps we could go instead?’
    Dyrke stroked his chin. ‘They are some distance yet from Earth. I must return to the ship immediately, however, as the chief engineer has requested my urgent attendance.’
    â€˜You

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