Omori Shi, his entourage and the governor walked slowly down a corridor with Alexa in the lead. Omori Shi finally broke in. “George Washington, one of your planet’s founding fathers once said that true friendship is a plant of slow growth and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.” Omori knew from Alexa’s blank look she had never heard of him.

Alexa moved dejectedly to the back of the group standing behind Tor, looks a little startled, and then stares at the floor. “Was he a wise man?”

“I see.” Omori pondered again for a moment and again addressed Alexa. “That is the most profound thing I have ever seen from you. You’re risking your life to beg for this spaceman! Well, that won’t happen. He has no fear, not this one. He won’t back down, got a lot of Aurora in him.”

“They’re willing to negotiate.” Alexa said almost apologetic. “We had no choice.”

“How it is that this human as reduced you to a state of weakness.” Alexa seemed surprised by Omori’s appraisal. “He is not you master. WHAT IS A MASTER, BUT A STATUETTE TO A NATION WHO IS WORSHIPPED BY THOSE BENEATH HER? Great power and privilege is not enough for you?”

“What about respect?” Alexa was back for a moment.

“Respect, yes! Certainly,” Tor said trying to intervene in Alexa’s behalf. “She respects this human. Not since her father has a man possessed the impressiveness the Major does.”

Omori made a sound apparently of aggression. “You of all should stay quiet. Your life is not worth what it used to be.”

“We Ascourian’s are cold blooded species not hot blooded like you. And, we still have the favor of the Orions. What you’re arguing to do will not please them.”

“And what do you suggest we do?”

“I suppose we can just leave the planet.”

Alexa was shocked. “Would you take us with you?”

“I don’t know.” Omori Shi was dour and quite serious. A guard came briskly into the room and whispered something to Omori. “I’m very sorry but I must attend to this immediately. Excuse me. Please, continue.”

Tor looked as anxious as a Reptoid could. His fears were well warranted and he rubbed his scaly hand through Alexa’s hair. This took her by surprise. “What was that for.”

“You have lovely hair, don’t think I hadn’t noticed. For a human, you are the most attractive.”

“Are you coming on to me Leeg?” Alexa laughed.

“SIS,” Sean yelled as he ran into the hallway. “The Earthmen have all left the surface.”

“Oh, my gods, all of them?”

“Every single one.”

A despondent Leeg Tor looked at the ceiling, “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE OMORI SHI?”

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