As the Merday observed the earth below, the news spread that we could go home. The Nextousians promised to send our messages home, and to take all who wanted to go back. There was great joy and much angst as so many now had families here. Some wanted to take their families with them, and others wanted to stay. There were several hundred souls here, and the ones who were here the longest elected to stay. Morkious didn’t give us a time frame because he wanted to be sure the Merday weren’t going to start a war over the earth. He was sticking around to make sure of that. In the meantime everybody made plans. Gloria was perplexed, she wanted to see my world, but wasn’t so sure about leaving earth permanently. I was prepared to go along with what ever she decided. There was no guarantee of ever coming back, Doob was in the same boat, and so was Yanis. He and Evelyn had become close and she knew no other world, only what her father had told her about Guanos. The earth was her home now, and Yanis was going to stay by her side. What a development for a long time we wanted nothing more than the chance to return home. Now at long last it was here and we decided to stay. We composed a message to our people back on Aranjaynion, to let them know we were all doing well. Since we now had an IGT they could answer us directly on the moon. Hell they could visit if they wanted, they now knew where we were, and it was an open invitation.

       On the third day two more ships arrived from Nextousia, and as Morkious asked they stayed on the dark side next to his ship. They were prepared to deal with the Merday who had no idea what was waiting for them. A day later several smaller Merday ships arrived and joined the first. As they began to organized, it became clear to Morkious, who looked into their conversations that they intended to invade. Truly they had no idea what lay in store for them.

      Morkious and his lieutenants had a strategy meeting and included Bullocks, and the rest of us, Doob, Dolian, Con Yo and Koinus. The Nextousians had several plans to deal with the Merday. They could lock them into a magnetic tow and fling them into the expanse. Their superior weapons could blow them out of the cosmos. But that was a last resort as it would create an explosion that on earth would look like a super nova. It would surely expose our presence. They could also immobilize their ships by neutralizing their electrical systems. They would be left helpless, floating in space, and unable to move. They could also combine some of them, like neutralizing their energy and then towing them out to the expanse. That seemed to be the wisest, but they wanted to contact the Merday, and give them the opportunity to leave of their own free will. But first they prepared to present them with a show of might, an example of what would lay in store for them if they refused.

      “Brother those are our options, what do you think, can you or your people add anything?”

       As Bullocks mulled over his question, Doob asked,

      “Could we gas them?”

      “Gas them?” Zeuyou responded.

      “Why yes Bullocks responded.”

      “How,” was Morkious response.

      “When we found the conspirator’s enclave, we had several options but all of them would’ve led to terrible blood shed. Then Doob here asked us about knock out gas. Which we had in case the locals ever stumbled upon our presence. It knocks them out for several hours, and when they awaken, they are weak, feeble, and don’t remember very much.”

      “Do you have any?”

      “Very little. It’s a liquid and when exposed to air it becomes a gas. Methinks you can
easily create more in your labs on board.”

     “That’s a grand idea, sir.” Zeuyou,” exclaimed.

     “True we could teleport it into their ships and put them to sleep.” Another officer added.

     “Brother, give us what you have and we’ll make it so. If they don’t respond in a friendly manner, we’ll put them to sleep and tow them out into the expanse. Do you have any of their people here?”

      “Yes there’s about a dozen or so. Not all of them are bad, some are decent people.”

      Then see who wants to stay and who wants to go back home. Those who want to return will need to be reprogrammed. They will be teleported unto their ships along with the gas. We will also reprogram everybody on board all their ships then tow them out. We don’t want any of them to ever remember being here.

     “How soon can you give us the gas?”

     “It’s being done as we speak.”

      “Then we must return to the ship and contact them. They won’t be around much longer, I guarantee you. As soon as they’re gone your people need to be ready to get on board.

      “Oh, they’re ready now.”

      “Are you returning home?”

      “Yes I’ve no family here…well there’s Evelyn, my adopted daughter. I love her dearly and can’t do anything without her. But she recently found somebody,” he smiled at Yanis, and continued, “I’m sure he’ll take good care of her. They’ll be alright.”

      “Is she Nextousian?”

      “No, her parents were from Guanos, a world in the Xnabis system. Her father was a good friend and when he died I adopted her. They’ve decided to stay here. But who knows maybe in the future they’ll visit me, anyhow they can communicate with us. So yea, I’m coming home brother.”

      Morkious smiled, and there was a small tear forming in the bottom of his right eye. Doob and I and looked at one another then at Yanis who smiled back. Bullock’s words were indeed a blessing directed to him.

      Aboard the Merday ship the commander was hailed by Morkious.

      “Commander I’m Morkious commander of the Musha from Nextousia. Although you’re in cloak mode, we’ve identified your position. We need to know your intentions with the world below.”

       “With all due respect commander that is none of your business. And what are you doing here?”

       “We’re here on a rescue mission, and for another it is our business. Nextousia opposes acts of colonizing where ever they occur. We need to know you aren’t planning to colonize this world.”

      “Like I said before it’s none of your business and for another there’s nothing you can do about it. I’m sure you also know I’ve several star ships with me, and we out number you.

      “Obviously you’ve not seen our strength and so do not know of our superior power.”

      “We’re powerful Merday ships and are prepared to take your worst. So do what you will and we’ll respond in kind. Do what you will at your own risk.”

      “Consider yourselves warned!”

      Morkious cut the conversation short, and the Merday smiled. On his screen he could see and hear their glee as they gloated over their triumph.

      “I guess we backed him off, uh, commander.” The first officer exclaimed.

      “He hee heee…haw haw haw. They laughed.”

      Aboard the Musha, Morkious and his crew smiled.

      “Sir, they know not what they do.”

      “Ignorance can be so tragic sometimes. We warned them. Soon they’ll reap what hey have sown. Zeuyou is the gas ready?”

      “At your command sir!”

      “Then do so!”

      The Merday never knew what hit them. Gas canisters appeared releasing their dreams all over their ships at the same time. When the Nextousian forces boarded their ships they found them happily dozing. Along with them they brought all Merday wanting to return home. Once the ships were secured, they placed mind control devices in all sections of all their ships. They were movement sensitive devices, programmed to unleash their mind bending blue haze at the slightest movement. When the Merday stirred the blue haze permeated their ships, and back to la la land they went. Aboard the Musha Morkious’ people reprogrammed them. They would never remember ever having been in this Galaxy. Then they towed them out into the expanse far from the Nebula of this system. Within twenty four hours, the Musha returned by itself.

      ‘Bullocks my brother, we’re ready to return home, and to take these souls back where they belong. Have they said their goodbyes? Are they ready? Do any of them need to be reprogrammed?

      “Morkious they’re ready, and we’ve reprogrammed all who need it. It’s time to board and go home.”

      Before the Musha departed, they had one last reunion. They perhaps would never see each other again. They all came from so many distant worlds and many would never return. It was a joyous reunion with their favorite earthly meals and refreshments. Fruits, water, soft drinks, juices, spirits, and proteins were spread out for them to enjoy. Many embraced and kissed those who were staying. Evelyn cried as she embraced Bullocks.

       “Hey you can come visit me one day. Nextusia will keep an eye on this place just in case some ignorant Merday remembers. You can always text me on the IGT, we’ll be in contact, and should you  ever need me I will there for you. Perhaps you and Yanis will come visit me, uh.”

      Yanis smiled and responded, “I would love to come and visit you.”

      “That would be wonderful and perhaps you may bring your little offspring too,” he respond as he hugged him.

      “If they ever do I would love to come with my family too,” I added.

      “Me too, the old lady and I would love come,” Doob smiled.

      “You three remind of Alex Dumas!” he responded with a big smiled.

      “Alex who,” I asked.

      “Oh, he was a wonderful French novelist from the 19th century. You should read some of his works, especially the “Three Musketeers.” You guys remind me of them.”

      “How so?”

      “They were paladins of their era and had many adventures such as yours,” he smiled.
Gloria came for the occasion, and so he turned to her, and “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you. Sadly it may be our last unless Yanis brings you to Nextusia some day.” He hugged her, kissed her cheek and squeezed her hand. She smiled and responded, “Sir, the pleasure is all mine. Indeed perhaps someday we’ll visit, so please don’t say never because you never know.”

      Then Morkious announced, “My friends, sadly we must leave as we have so many place to go. Nextusia wishes all well and we extend one and all an open invitation to come and visit us.”

     Those who were staying slowly teleported back to the moon. Then from the windows they saw the huge ship reappear. They were in awe watching the multitude of colors spinning from its disks. Then as suddenly as they had appeared they vanished. Back on the moon the festivity resumed but it seemed like a wake for dear friends now gone. There were many, some whom we would never see again. But we stayed because the paradise below was now our home. If ever any alien invaders come, we will be ready to defend it. We all agreed to keep ourselves incognito as we have always done. The people here are not yet ready to meet us. We still live amongst you.”

        I find this tale incredible to believe, but as my friend told it to me, I’ve told it to you. He never told me how or where he met Yanis nor where he lives. That would be understandable as they want to remain hidden. But somehow it explains a lot of mysteries that have occurred over the centuries. I’m still somewhat skeptical and so I leave it to you come to your own conclusions.



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