Jerry learns of his promotion
“So, you are going to Sippar?” Jerry asked.
Namazu smirked and turned back. He was reminded of the first time he met her. She looked at him like he was an insect whose wings she would pull off.
Moving her face to within an inch of his, almost sadistic, she continued. “Not only me.”
He pulled back, feeling her breath.
“You’re goin’ too, little buddy.”
He creased his forehead and looked out at a human military ship descending into the Lunar Base. Noticing silhouettes of human soldiers through ship portholes, he thought of how afraid they must be to travel so far through space.
Looking back at her, almost desperately, he drew a breath to ask.
“You are being promoted,” she smiled, interrupting, reaching over and unbuttoning his collar button.
Her reached up to button it again.
“You know that button won’t stay fastened, so why engage in futility?”
He buttoned it anyway.
She moved away from him and looked out at another human ship, now disgorged of passengers, leaving the base. “You haven’t heard?” she teased.
They heard the ping of the metal button falling off his collar onto the metal floor. She looked down and smiled. “Sagar will tell you anyway. You are now the Tayamni Ambassador to the Kataru Alliance.” She reached down and picked up the button.
“Oh, I know,” she continued. “Don’t forget, I can read your thoughts. You haven’t learned to block me yet. It feels more like a punishment than a promotion, doesn’t it? That’s what I thought when I was promoted,” she slurred the word, continuing, “to Supreme Commander.”
He sighed and looked back towards the window. “How many human soldiers to we need anyway?”
She reached down and took his hand. Lifting it to her face, she kissed it and continued, “I love humans, but these are probably as good as dead. They don’t know how to fight aliens. It’s too early. They haven’t been trained properly. But, what do I know? I’m just the Supreme Commander. Parliament already made the decision. It’s a done deal.” She turned his hand upwards and placed the metal button on his palm.
“We leave in two days,” she sighed, looking back towards the entrance.
Jerry looked at her, dumbfounded.
“No, you don’t have time to go visit my sister,” she added. “Remember what I said about futility?”
The first thing he saw was a bot hovering above him. The electronic eye, almost organic in appearance with lenses moving over and retracting from its curved surface, aimed lasers at electronic controls surrounding him. Moving up and down his body, focusing on his head, chest and groin, more lasers took readings from organs and glands. The bot moved to the other side of the electrical box he’d been sleeping in for over week and repeated the same movements.
“Wetet enhancements complete. Subject functions at optimum capacity,” the bot said with a soothing female voice. Then she, if indeed it were a she, moved on to the next patient.
He felt rested, even energetic. It was strange to feel alert after sleeping so long.
He moved his hands to his face and thought he felt structural changes, then up to his head and felt a full head of hair. “What?” he said, and sat up sharply, bumping his head on the lid only half a meter above the wetet.
He looked down at his legs and saw his skin was a lighter shade. His legs were hairier and more muscular.
“Ambassador Le’u, please remain in the wetet until permitted to stand,” the bot hovering next to him warned.
Jerry wondered who Ambassador Le’u was, and moved both hands to the side of the cavity in which he lay, to push himself upwards.
The bot suddenly appeared to his right. “Ambassador Le’u?” the bot said.
Jerry looked into the electronic eye as if to ask a question, when he remembered. Sagar told him he would be given a Tayamni name. “Oh,” he whispered. “Am I Ambassador Le’u?”
“Yes,” the bot answered. “Ambassador Le’u, please remain in the wetet. Lie back and relax. You will soon be permitted to stand.”
Small cylinders extended from panels at the side of the cavity, rolling over his skin. He immediately felt more relaxed, calm, unconcerned.
Feeling a gentle touch on his arm, he opened his eyes he thought he was still sleeping. Above him stood an angel, long blonde hair, beautiful blue eyes, soft lips and skin. She was bent over him, smiling affectionately. He blinked his eyes again and began to awaken more fully, realizing he’d fallen asleep. Sagar was standing above him.
“Ambassador,” she whispered.
He reached up to rub his eyes. Trying to pronounce her name, he had difficulty making a sound. His voice broke, like a boy entering puberty.
She laughed. “Don’t try to talk yet. And, you’d better move slowly. It will feel like you have a new body. You must get used to it.” She reached down to take his hand. “You can try to stand now.”
Moving his hands onto the edge of the cavity, he saw interlocking shapes of metallic layers, slide aside. He was surprised at how easily he raised himself to a standing position. It reminded him of the first time he tried to walk on the moon. He almost leapt out of the wetet. Sagar laughed again.
“You will find that parts of your body have been regenerated. Don’t be surprised when you look in the mirror. You look like you are in your mid-twenties,” she offered. Walking towards the entrance of the chamber, she turned around to face him again. “You need to drink a lot of fluids now. You are a new man.”