Portar, the Benzite scientist, emerged from the turbo lift. He quickly walked around the bridge looking over the shoulders of the on duty crewmen as he evaluated each of their efforts. He passed in front of Captain Dorra d’Hexplora before taking a seat beside her. He leaned towards her and said, “The experiment is ready. It’s time to begin, Captain. May we proceed?”
“The communications channel is open,” announced the Tech girl manning the communications station on the Command Carrier’s control center.
Dorra looked around the bridge for a view screen. It was crowded, and significantly larger than the bridge on the DaVinci. Yet, she still had no idea which one of them was Captain Molayne, if he was even here. For her plan to work, she needed to not only be heard, but also seen by her crew. “Where do I – ?”
Scorpius pointed to a cube that hung from the ceiling right in front of her.
Dorra nodded. “Is it audio only? Or will there be a visual component? My crew won’t follow my orders unless they can see that I am not under duress,” she explained.
“They will be able to see you,” Scorpius reassured her.
“Good,” Dorra said, as she crossed her arms and stepped backwards. She hoped that Fraps was paying attention. She had taught him and the rest of the bridge crew d’Drexian sign language as a means of non-verbal communication in case of emergencies. Finley was the most proficient of the crew with it, while Fraps’ attention span often wandered. But, with enough eyes on her, they should be able to get the message.
Finley saw her stance and immediately knew that she was going to communicate secretly with the DaVinci. He stepped to the side and turned for a better view of what she was going to tell them.
“Commander Fraps? Are you there?”
The cube transformed into a holographic projection of the DaVinci bridge with Fraps standing center stage. “Yes, Captain. We were starting to worry about you.”
Dorra began to sign her message as she watched his eyes for a sign that he noticed her message. There, he had seen it.
He cleared his throat and nonchalantly got the attention of the bridge crew to help him watch for Dorra’s message.
As she relayed her actual message through nonverbal cues, Dorra spoke slowly and confidently. “Fraps, I need you to get Mr. Portar on a shuttle and send him through the wormhole. We’ve got a very special assignment for him. We’re going to be exchanging technology with our new friends in the spirit of peace,” Dorra lied, “and he’s going to be our Ambassador.”
“That’s good news, Captain,” Fraps replied. “I’ll have him start packing his bags.”
Dorra knew that he couldn’t keep track of the signing and had already lost track of what she was saying. A quick glance around the bridge revealed that the others were still paying attention. “Tell him to hurry. Our friends are eager to meet him.”
“Very well, Captain. His shuttle will be leaving in fifteen minutes.” He glanced around the bridge to make sure that everyone had been following along with the Captain’s instructions. They were staring intently at her image. He breathed a sigh of relief, and turned back to the viewscreen. “When should we expect you back?”
“I’ll be returning to the ship shortly with Mr. Finley. We could use a hot meal.”
“Consider it done. Talk to you soon.”
The transmission ended, and Dorra was confident, that they would follow her instructions.