Book: SWEET HOME ALLE BAMMA (SOLBIDYUM WARS SAGA) by Dale Musser Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dale Musser
Captain Stonbersa.
    “I haven’t a clue,” Marranalis said.  “I’ve seen lots of life forms during my time in the military, but none like that.”
    While we talked, Stonbersa activated the motion on the image again.  We noticed that he had very small hands.  Also, he chewed his food rapidly in small bites that reminded me of Earth creatures called squirrels and chipmunks.
    Kerabac said, “I’ve tried running his image against all the species in the computer database; nothing matches.  I have no idea where he’s from.”
    Suddenly, the image on the screen froze its ears attentively in one direction and then quickly fled from the camera and around a corner just as crew members came into view.  Kerabac continued, “The oddest part is that he disappeared into a long corridor that’s basically a dead end.  There is one outlet that loops back to tie into the central corridor; but we have another camera there that didn’t show him coming out, so he’s got to be back there somewhere.”
    “So far there is no evidence of him doing any harm to anything or anyone on the ship,” added the captain.  “If he’s up to something, he hasn’t showed any signs of attempting anything destructive.  Repeated attempts by the crew to locate and capture him have been unsuccessful.”
    I turned to Marranalis.  “You’re in charge of my security operations, Marranalis.  Locate and catch him, but I don’t want him hurt.  No one is to take any forceful actions against him, unless it’s in self-defense, understood?”
    “Understood,” he repeated.  “I’ll get right on it.”
    Right after Senator Tonclin and his daughter left the ship Captain Stonbersa gave orders for the NEW ORLEANS to return to Megelleon to deliver the reactor and solbidyum.  Up until this point we had not opened the real solbidyum container.  It remained hidden within a compartment behind a wall on the NEW ORLEANS , while a fake container constructed by Lunnie had been turned over to the rebels on the DUSTEN during the recent conflict.  Instead of holding the solbidyum, the fake container hid seven troopers and me inside so that we could get aboard the DUSTEN to reclaim the ship and free the hostages.  Now that we were ready to commence delivery of the solbidyum and the reactors we needed to gain access to the real solbidyum container once more.
    Only the admiral and a few highly placed individuals in the Federation had access to code that opened the container without activating the lethal booby traps that protected its contents.  For the first time since I met the admiral I actually saw him sweat.  His hands trembled slightly as he punched the codes into the keypad on the container.  I don’t think any of us had a clue what to expect, since it had been over 500 years since the container was sealed.  I suppose we all anticipated the unlocked container to open at the top like a jar, leaving us to stare into a large container full of something that resembled sand.  Instead, we heard a slight hum and a click before a small door opened about waist high below the key pad.  The container apparently worked like a dispenser.  In this small space was a capsule about the size and shape of a typical medicine pill used on Earth.
    The capsule was clear and inside was a single sparkling grain of quartz-like sand.  An astronomical number on the small digital display screen by the key pad decreased by one and below it in a new row appeared a value of one.
    The admiral sighed in relief and picked up the small capsule between his two fingers , peering into it at the tiny crystal. “It looks like it dispenses just one grain of solbidyum at a time.  That certainly simplifies things.”
    He nodded to one of his staff who stepped forward with a small metal case lined with foam padding.  The admiral carefully placed the capsule in the center of the case and closed the lid.  He then entered a code into the keypad on the box after which the aide and four

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