A/N: Unfortunately my beta reader isn’t very well at the moment so this installment is un-edited. As soon as she’s better I’ll replace it with the edited version.
“What’s our status?” Amanpreet asked when she woke from her nap a couple of hours later.
“We’re making good progress,” Kane said over the intercom. “We’re clear of the Transit and should be at a good point to drop back into normal space near Talis Station within the hour.”
“We’ll need to be quick to reassure Talis base that the Fish isn’t there to attack when we leave hyperspace,” Amanpreet said.
“I’ll compose a flash and send it as soon as we drop out of hyperspace,” Niobe said. “Did Administrator Midori give you a code phrase to preface messages with to guarantee we weren’t under coercion?”
“Yes,” Amanpreet said. “It’s voiceprinted to me as well so you’ll need to record it. I just hope I can say it with a straight face.” She took a breath as Niobe started the recording. “Potassium Lime Koala Drift.”
Niobe stared at her for a moment before shaking her head and stopping the recorder. “That’s random… though I guess that makes it less likely that anyone would guess it.” She turned back to her console. “I’ll compose the message and let you approve it before we drop back into normal space.”
Three hours later they were docked back at Talis Station and being ushered to the central hub. The Fish hadn’t been trustful enough to dock in the Mez sector of the Station so they’d arranged for it to dock in the bay next the Whisper in the human section. An environment suit had been delivered to the Fish for Storm to use and now Amanpreet and her crew were waiting on the dock for her to emerge. When she did she had elegant spirals of luminous paint on her hide which were visible through the window on the suit. She turned to Niobe and spoke briefly.
Niobe grinned. “She apologises for the delay. She had to make herself presentable.” She paused and snorted. “And she’s really cheeky as well as political. Those particular designs are only supposed to be used by large morph Mez.”
“Good for her!” Amanpreet said before turning to the Talis Station staff member who was waiting for them. “Sorry for the delay.”
“Not a problem,” the man said. “Administrator Umi is waiting for her sister in the administration hub. I am to take you there.”
“Excellent,” Amanpreet said. “Lead on.”
Amanpreet watched from the human side as Storm entered the Mez section of the Administration Hub and immediately exited the environment suit and flying over to her sister. She and Umi touched heads and entwined several sets of their tentacles in an obvious show of affection before breaking apart and talking with each other excitedly. Amanpreet looked over at Niobe who shrugged.
“Umi was asking if she was okay and Storm was reassuring her. Now Storm’s telling her what happened and that she wants to take the Fish to the Council.” She listened some more. “Ah! Umi agrees with her. She says they’ll send a message direct to Aletheia before heading there so their government can’t try and stop them.”
“Would they?” Amanpreet asked.
“They seem to think so,” Niobe said.
“Given that she’s been censured by them for telling us about the level four Fish and getting them chastised by the Council I’d say that’s a given,” Midori said from the door. “I told the Council about their reaction and there’s a debate about a secondary motion to chastise them for that.”
â€œI would think so,â€ Amanpreet said.
â€œI couldn’t agree more,â€ Midori said. â€œBut let’s allow them to catch up. I need to debrief you and your crew.â€
â€œThey can communicate in Hyperspace?â€ Midori said.
â€œYes,â€ Amanpreet said. â€œBy singing. It’s lovely.â€
â€œAnd you can hear them.â€ Midori pursed her lips thoughtfully. â€œMore importantly they can hear you… that’s interesting.â€ She touched a keypad on her desk. â€œIs Airini currently station-side?â€
There was a pause then the duty officer’s voice came from the intercom. â€œYes, do you want me to fetch her, Midori?â€
â€œPlease do,â€ she said.
â€œYou think it’s got something to do with this spaceborn syndrome as well?â€ Amanpreet asked and Midori nodded.
â€œIt’s the most likely explanation,â€ she said. â€œAnd if these Fish can hear you and visa versa there is a good chance that spaceborn people will be able to hear each other in hyperspace.â€
Amanpreet felt her eyes widen. â€œI never thought of that. It does seem possible.â€
â€œYes, and we need to test it.â€ Midori turned to the door of her office as Airini came in. â€œThank you for coming. I need you to contact your sister.â€
â€œI can do that,â€ Airini said. â€œWhat do you want to know?â€
â€œCan we get another hyperspace born,â€ Midori said. â€œThere’s something we need to test.â€