Texas Sized Trouble

We findout there's more going on than just a little domestic strangeness. As to the 'blue skin' hate... Look. We're human. You cannot tell me, given the lessons provided by a look even at fourty years ago there were similar predjiduces against blacks in america, and a hundred years before that there was thought amongst the more comitted racists that blacks (and indians and mexicans) weren't precicely human and thus up for abuse guilt free.

"Wait whats this mean anyway?' Julian looked about Edward's sparcely furnished apartment before sitting in a well used recliner. "I don't see the problem, it was either do what you did or everyone dies and those monsters fly free to terrorize other ships all along the gulf-"

"Immaterial, as any who come here to study this world up close must be absolutely invisible." Edward tried cutting in before Julian could finish."

"Not ot mention the lives saved because they managed to get those medical supplies to a different ship-" Julian continued, apparently heedless of Edward's attempt to rign him in before he had a good head of steam.

"A ship that also likely carried weapons so they can keep their war with China going." Edward commented humorlessly. "The point isn't what could have happened. The point is I'm here and they're apparently sending somebody after me... or something like that anyway."

Julian thought for a moment, "How do you know? All the signal proves is at least something's being talked about. Maybe they're trying to get back in touch with you to hear your side of what happened."

"They already have Sara's flight recorder so they've got what matters." Glum Edward was. That is right before Julian popped him in the face. "What the hell'd you do that f-" Pow. Again with the percussive anti-depressent.

"Then why not come up with me to see what they're actually saying instead of sitting here staring at the paint peeling off th walls ya big palooka." Julian stood there halfway daring the giant that was Edward to hit him back, "Always better to know ahead of time."

"I suppose."

"You're dead right. Now lets get your Martian hide over there and find out!"

With a grunt and a sigh Edward grabbed his overcoat. The blows didn't do any lasting harm, though each hurt. Even with the sort of physiological addons and adjustments Edward had as compared with the bog-normal earthling variaty of human getting hit in the face causes pain. Too much important stuff there for things not to hurt at the slightest touch. I have been more than a little mopey lately haven't I?

Once inside the building's radio room and Julian had relocked the door Edward arched an eyebrow. "They gave you a spare key to the building?"

"What?" Julian said somewhat defensivly as he switched the different pieces of equipment on to warm up. "I come from an Old Money family and I've been working for somebody else from Old Money. I have no reason to want to steal anything from here." He pulled a pair of ear-covering headphones out of an equipment bin and pulled a pair of chairs over to the reciever. "They also know my hobbies and the maneger is also a licensee. Can't stay up nights so whenever I can't sleep I come here and handle traffic, make notes on local nighttime conditions," He flashed Edward a sly grin as he worked the unit's controls, "And occasionally I get a few of my records playing over the building's speaker system when nobody's around."

Allah be merciful... that garbage thrumming through this place. Edward was careful to keep his expression neutral as he slipped the headphones on and tookthe controls. "Not tonight though."

"Not tonight, don't worry." Julian watched as the other man worked the knobs and frowned. "Why don't you do tha twhite blood trick you did when the squid showed up, wouldn't that be faster?"

"Maybe," Edward continued tuning slowly, switching filters this way and that, occasionally switching bands and in general looking to Julian's trained eyes like the man had no idea what he was doing. "Though that was to transmit a complex data-burst thorugh a pod's worth of interfearance from the krakken. Since i"m just listening headphones work well enough, plus I wouldn't want to ruin somebody else's equipment needlessly. Would you?" Before the other man had a chance to respond Edward held a hand up for quiet.

> Can't believe he would have done such a thing.

> What's done is done. Is there a fix on his current location?

> Without a craft in orbit we only have an approximate based off predictivs.

So they are looking for me. I knew it! Edward's face was a careful unreadable mask as his mind made sense of what he was listening to.

> That's a large search area. Do you believe his preasence is that grave a risk?

> Potentially. The trouble is his heart is too involved in how he decides. Even without Sara or some other craft backing him he could prove quite formittable compared to native capabilities.

> The question is now whether risking a larger incursion to retrieve one man is worth how wewill be seen by the Federation.

> No, no I think not at this time. Though an observation team in orbit would be a safe compromise between no action and full intrusion don't you?

> Indeed. Perhaps we may commune again under less strained conditions.

> I would like that.


edward grimaced at the reciever. "That was strange."

"What?" Julian's voice was full of excitement. "Are they letting you go?"

Headhsake as Edward pulled the headphones off. "I am going to be placed under observation." His mind played the conversation back again and it still felt somehow wrong. "Though the entire thing feels off. I connect right as my fate is discussed and it is as if two persons are having a casual talk with none of the usual formalness. Think maybe they were hopingI'd listen in?"

"Maybe. Important thing is they're letting you go about your business. Le'ts get outta here and get some shuteye." Julian then glanced over at the radio then to his companion, "Unless you want to stay while I work a few late night contacts."

Eyeroll from the Martian. "Not a chance. I'm glad it makes you happy but seeingsomebody crouched over one of these things for hours on end is not my idea of fun."
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