Admiral Namazu receives data from sensors across the system
Namazu received data from camouflaged buoys at Venus. Sensors also reported activity at the Jovian moons.
“50 ships at Sol 2,” Namazu said.
“Protecting something,” Erish responded.
“In the asteroid?” Erish asked
“Supplies, logistics,” Namazu said, while examining the spherical map. “Storage.” She moved her forefinger up to the map and continued, “Ten ships on the move. Headed to the Earth-Sol corridor.”
“The Tiamatu can guard the passageway,” Erish suggested.
Namazu nodded, and pressed hieroglyphs on the console, sending a message to the Tiamatu commander, Agu. Looking back up at Erish, she continued, “Don’t know if I trust him.”
“E5 trusts him,” Erish responded. “Good enough for me.”
Changing the subject, Namazu offered, “We know the Tlalocs have 140 ships in the system, so where the hell are they?”
“We’ll find out,” Erish responded shaking her head.
Namazu sighed, “Yeah, but too late.”
A new message appeared on the display. “Damn,” Namazu winced and stood.
“What?” Erish asked loudly.
Namazu turned back to face her, “They want those moons.”
Looking at the message again, Erish read aloud, “40 ships at Jupiter.”
“Can’t get there in time,” Namazu shouted. She pressed a hieroglyphic shape on the console, “Abandon the Jovian Portal,” she directed.
Looking at Erish, she continued, “They can’t do much with it. Maybe send messages. Only a skeleton crew there.”
Erish sighed, “The Potacas have ships at Ganymede, Europa, Calisto. Those are the ones, minerals, water.” She looked at the spherical map hovering above the console. “We should move ships there.”
The Jovian Temporal-Portal at Io monitored changes in the timeline. Most Tayamni, on reaching maturity, had almost physical response to changes. The more you traveled through time, the more sensitive you became. They developed a sixth sense. This conflict was already called the Second Tlaloc War by those who sensed upcoming changes.
“No Enkara?” Namazu asked.
“On their way. That’s what I heard three hours ago,” Erish sighed, looking at the display.
“OK,” Namazu said, her face drawn and tense. “I’ll head to Luna Station on the Lahamu,” she turned around, looking at the bridge of the Aldebaran, Captain Erish’s ship. She saw two Tiamatu watching a display near the front window. Down below, seated at a weapons console, was slight looking Chava.
“We don’t want you at the Solar-Portal,” she said touching a hieroglyphic shape.
“Why not?” Erish asked.
Namazu considered telling her what they had learned about her abduction. Before she could deflect, Erish saw something pass across Namazu’s thoughts.
“What?” she asked again.
Namazu sent her information telepathically.
Erish drew her brows together and looked down at the floor. Then, looking back up into her friend’s face, she continued, “On the other hand, knowing beforehand, makes it more likely that I will defeat them,” Erish offered.
“Out of the question,” Namazu responded.
Erish’s face flushed red, “You forget who I am.”
“I know who you are, and I love you, so forget it,” Namazu responded, turning around to walk back to the transporter.
“You no longer have faith in me,” Erish offered.
Namazu stopped. She was looking at the elevator doors to her left. She turned back around and walked back to her. “I can’t allow it. It has been foretold. How could I live with it? Surely you know.”
“You make me feel like a coward.”
This was the worst thing she could have said. Namazu knew, in her place, she would have felt the same. She never should have explained.
“I should have just ordered you somewhere else,” she said.
“If I don’t guard the portal, who will?”
Namazu looked to the side; then looked up into her face, with fear. “I don’t know? One of the allies?”
“They don’t know the Potacas like we do.”
“I can’t let you.”
“May I choose who will?”
Erish stood. They looked at each other for almost a full minute.
Namazu nodded, “I don’t want you anywhere near the Portal itself. Hang back. Defend it at a distance.” She pressed her hands, and turned to go. “I’ll take the Lahamu to Luna within the hour,” she announced.
They both knew the dangers presented by time travelling technology falling into the hands of the enemy. The Tlalocs would be able to go to ancient times and take Earth before defenses were in place.
Reaching the elevator, Namazu turned back, “You better take care of my ship,” she tried to laugh, realizing she had relented. Erish would guard the Solar Portal.
Another message appeared on the display, reading, “Suspected logistics containers stored at asteroid belt.”
“What about some good news for a change?” Erish asked aloud.
As her ship sped towards Luna, Namazu looked down at Bosmat on the lowest level of the bridge. Telepathically, she asked her to come stand near her. Until Amun returned, she would serve as second in command.
“Admiral,” Bosmat said aloud. “We continue to receive updates.”
“What’s the latest?” Namazu asked, looking down at the console. On the display were shapes showing them in the lead position. Four Amelu ships were close behind. They planned to intercept the Tlalocs. J3-258, a small cyborg of indeterminate gender walked up to them, placing her forefinger on a spiral hieroglyphic shape.
“Two other races have joined the enemy,” she reported. “Your diplomats are acquainted with one, the Anurians.”
Namazu looked into Bosmat’s face. “The amphibians?”
Bosmat nodded, “We know them well. But,” she broke off, looking at the Amelu Cyborg. “They must have given up on joining the Alliance.”
J3 shook her head, and responded, “We were protecting them, helping them recover from slavery and deprivation. They are not in a good place.”
Distracted by information on the display, Bosmat didn’t answer. “Enemy ships at Mercury,” she stated flatly.
Namazu shook her head and added, “I don’t know what we would do without your sensors. We’d be blind.”
Bosmat, realizing Namazu was praising her efforts, nodded, but kept her focus on the display. “There are missing ships. But where?”
Namazu sighed with frustration, and looked at the screen to her right, showing the Lunar Base. “We can’t have sensors everywhere.”
“Tiamatu are arriving at positions on the corridor,” Bosmat explained.
Namazu nodded, “That was fast.”
Bosmat continued, “25 Amelu ships at Venus, 25 more headed to the Jovian moons.”
Namazu nodded again.
“Hmmmm,” Bosmat looked at the display with concern. Namazu looked at her quickly. “It seems there’s another group of Tiamatu with the Tlalocs.”
“What?” Namazu asked sharply.
“The ships could be stolen, but I don’t think so. They’re similar to our Tiamatu allies.”
“The Lukur,” Namazu responded.
J3 interjected, “After independence, some Tiamatu colonies were captured by Tlalocs.” She looked at Namazu, “That is all we know.”
“What are they doing?”
Bosmat pointed to the display, “They are moving, with Potacas ships, towards the Solar-Portal. They came from the other side of the Sun. Looks like they were on the dark side of Mercury.”
“Send an alert to Erish,” Namazu ordered. “She probably knows, but, send it anyway.” It occurred to her that the Potacas they encountered a few days ago at 3800 BCE, could be among those attacking the Solar-Portal now. Temporal issues were confusing; the Potacas moving to the Portal now, in 1962, going back to the ancient past, where she had already been days earlier. She and Amun captured two of them. She would know soon if these were the same. In any case, they sent them to the Lunar Base for questioning. She didn’t relish untangling temporal events.
“Yes, Admiral,” Bosmat responded, sending an alert to Erish via the console.
“Ask her which ship is guarding the Portal,” Namazu ordered.
Bosmat nodded to a Tayamni woman sitting at a console below them, “Please do,” she said aloud, responding to the woman’s telepathic request to contact Tiamatu allies.
“Tiamatu enemies, and Tiamatu allies,” Namazu said, shaking her head.
A young man stood near the front nose of the bridge. He looked back at Namazu with a panicked expression.
“Spit it out!” Namazu ordered.
“Admiral, five Tlaloc ships headed to Luna,” he responded.
“Then, it’s good we’re on our way,” Namazu countered.
“They’ll be there 20 minutes before us,” he stated.
“Damn it!” Namazu shouted. “Give us any more speed.” she commanded, looking at another Amelu at the helm.
“We are at maximum, Admiral,” she responded.
Bosmat looked sharply at Namazu.
“What is it?” she asked.
“The Potacas are firing on the Solar Portal,” she responded.
Namazu breathed in deeply. Her face was gray. She walked to the captain’s chair at the front of the bridge.