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     At the edge of the Phoenix-Gamma system space rippled and boiled as if the temperature had risen, and elemental particles pulled together forming protons and neutrons then atoms and molecules which combined into structures creating a Kazon scout ship fully formed and functional. Seth, the pilot, dazed and confused, released a breath after the succession of the pain, a side effect of the entanglement transit.

     He started the engines setting the velocity to one-thirty-second light-speed and vectoring towards the fourth planet Kryth near the outer rim of the Kazon empire. It was situated technically outside the empire’s control, but because the Kazons are wary of others they check nearby systems regularly, hence the scout mission. Seth, a cat-like creature, expected to find nothing unusual during this routine surveillance mission. He ran a paw over his head fur laying his ears back and yawning.

     After switching on autopilot, he retired to the sleeping bay to rest. It would take six days to reach Kryth, so relaxation would occupy him for the duration. Another routine information-gathering mission, he thought and yawned.

As the ship approached the fourth planet an alert beeped to tell him the location. He cut the speed to thirty-five thousand kilometers per hour to establish an orbit around Kryth. Once stable, Seth gazed down at the great blue ball below as he switched on various monitors, to photograph, record sounds, test air, check the weather, etcetera. Lush green forests of enormous trees that rose three hundred meters from the forest floor covered three-fourths of the land masses while grassland and deserts covered the rest. The oceans made up two-thirds of the planet.

     Seth was to be in orbit for two weeks before heading to his next destination. Again, little to do while the ship recorded its findings. But a brief time after the monitoring started, a soft beep alerted him to an abnormality. He slid into his seat and checked the display to discover a settlement among the tall trees. It was a moderate size of two to three thousand inhabitants. This is not right; he tapped a pad with his extended claw to increase the magnification for more detail. This planet was supposed to be uninhabited and not scheduled for colonization.

     The display zoomed in on the settlement showing people walking through the streets, into and out of buildings. Some lingered speaking to one another before continuing about their business. The ship recorded every detail while running comparisons of all known species. A message flashed on the display identifying the species as human. Seth stared at the information for a couple of seconds in disbelief. This can’t be, his claws extended and tapped the arms of his seat. “Check for other colonies,” he ordered the ship.

Two days later he compiled a message to the Kazon home world describing his finding of a human settlement on the fourth planet of the Phoenix-Gamma system. He pressed send knowing something was not right.

                        *                                  *                                  *

     Bove Sandle dozed on his bunk aboard the Ibex waiting for clearance to land. The trip from the edge of the Sol system took six days and the crew was anxious for some free time. Those days were exhausting and Bove was having trouble keeping his eyes open. Sleep pushed at his mind demanding he relent and soon he found himself giving way to peaceful slumber.

He felt a hand touch his shoulder pulling him wake. Slowly he opened his eyes expecting one of the crew to tell him they had received permission to land, but instead, before him stood Kabluff watching him as he realized the truth. “What?” Bove said, still half asleep.

“Yes,” Kabluff said, “we must talk. Many things have happened, and you are needed once again.”

Bove shook his head trying to clear it, “No, these visions are over! This can’t be!” He sat up, ran a hand through his hair, and looked around.

     Kabluff watched him for a moment then said, “Do you remember your commitments? Your redemption? You must honor what you have committed to, and you must do it now.”

     “What? I’ve done everything you asked.”

     “Yes, you did, but that’s only a beginning. Your redemption is not complete until we are satisfied that you are truly committed to continue to do as we ask.”

     “What?” Bove had committed to stop acts that may harm someone. He had committed to keeping people safe, to protect them by doing the right thing. Not to do what Kabluff asked. “I didn’t commit to do your bidding.”

Kabluff raised a hand stopping Bove, “We only ask that you do the right thing. The thing that is best for everyone, including you humans.”

     Bove took a breath and looked around, he was in a small room with a couch on which he lay, a chair, and a small table. There was a single window that looked out at a field of grass and flowers. “Where am I?” he asked.

     “It doesn’t matter,” Kabluff said. “Your colony on Kryth has been discovered by the Kazons.”

     “Who are the Kazons?”

     “They rule a section of the galaxy near Cetus which is close to Phoenix-Gamma and Kryth. And they are very touchy about anyone coming close to their territory.”

     “What does that have to do with me?”

     “You, Bove, must intercede with the Kazons and the humans to avoid conflict. You failed to stop the colonization and now since the Kazons have discovered your colony they will not let it remain.”

     “How do you know what they’ll do?” This was like all the other visions, Kabluff telling him what to do whether he agreed or not. But in the end, they would get their way because Kabluff saw it as Bove’s commitment, and then there was the bog. They say it is to help everyone, but still, who are they to impose their will on him?

     “Experience,” Kabluff said. “No more needs to be said. This situation will quickly escalate if someone doesn’t step in to stop it. And that someone must be you.”

     “No, I have no authority to speak for my government, and I’m sure the Kazons won’t listen to me. No, you need to find someone else, someone more qualified than me.”

     “The Kazons will make an issue of this, no doubt. They have in the past over smaller things. They consider Kryth within their territory, or at least close enough that it should be theirs. They will do something, and your colonists will be in danger. You must consider this.” Kabluff said then added, “There is the bog to keep in mind as an alternative.” And with that, he waved his hand in front of Bove’s face.

     Bove woke with a start when he heard a soft knock on his door. He shook his head trying to clear the vision from his mind and said, “Enter.”

     Jack stepped into the cabin, “We received clearance to land.”

    “Good, I’ll see you on the bridge.”

    Jack left and Bove stretched and shook his head again wondering about the vision and how important it might be, but he couldn’t give it much thought, there were more important things right now.

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