Buck Rogers in the 26th Century
Written by: Erin Weinstock
Novelization verison by: Reba Grayladyfalcon

I don't hold any of the copyrights in this story, and this story was made without profit.

Three Z-87s are flying next to a large cargo ship. Wilma is in the lead fighter, while Buck and Fox are on either side. The cargo ship is colossal. There are many lights running down the front of this rather large ship..

"What was the first alien race to come in contact with the Alarrs?" Fox asked.

"The Ked... In what year was the moon landing?" Buck asked.

"2207," Fox replied.

"No, not when the first ambuquads landed and started building Galileo City. When did the first human set foot on the moon?" Buck asked.

"1969... When did Fasp Colo become president of Henasvern?" Fox asked.

"2179?" Buck answered not being sure.

"Correct," Fox replied.

"Who won the 1996 United States presidential election?" Buck asked.

"Martin Sheen," Fox answered.

"Oh dear god, I've got to set the history files straight on this one," Buck said.

The ships are coming up on a star-port. Its shape was like a giant "V". There's a space station at the top of it. Each pin point looks to be the height of a two story building. The color of the star-port is grey.

"This is Colonel Wilma Deering requesting go, do you copy?" Wilma asked.

"Go is granted for you and all Z-87s in your company. Cargo ship Ocean-class, how much weight are you bearing at this present time?"control replied.

"This is the cargo ship Sunfall, I am free of extra pounds at the moment star-port 4. Like you've given my escorts, may I have my go now?" Teddy asked.

"Go is granted Sunfall,"control replied.

"What is that?" Buck asked in awe.

"It's a star-port, they jump us all over the galaxy. This one, star-port 4, will take us to Miahgo in just moments, instead of years," Wilma replies while she set her course on the main panel.

"Wow, so that's how we can move across the big black so fast," Buck said amazed at the technology that was before him.

"Heading in, star-port 4," Wilma said leaning on the throttle a little.

"Bring back oranges," control said just before she entered the star-port.

"I'll see what I can do," she replies laughing.

The massive pieces of the star-port that look like memory modules, begin to admit an energy with a prism of color look. Quickly this energy becomes beams which streak in to the center. Of the "V" these three streaks of energy stay beaming in the center of the "V." All the ships start moving towards the center where the energy is going. As they move forward, the Z-87s start folding up like a Japanese fan moving upwards instead of inwards. The Sunfall starts folding sideways. The more the ships move in to the star-port, the more compact they get. Finally when they all look like thin hairs they move into the star-port. A short time later all the ships emerged on the other side. They start taking back their original forms. Once back to normal.

"Houston, what the heck just happened?" Buck asked checking to see if he was all there.

"The star-ports act like black holes but obviously they're safer. When matter moves through it, it has to be compacted down in order to move through it, the micro-par stream," Wilma explained.

"Why did the space-port need to know the weight Sunfall is carrying?" Buck asked.

"The star-port needs to know the weight of the ships that move through it because if the administrator doesn't know the weight to put in to the port's computer LAN system, the micro-par steam could rip a ship to shreds," Wilma explains.

"Why didn't he need to know our weight?" Buck asked.

"The Z-87s were built to move through star-ports without trouble. They can only hold one person, and the ship's rigid design lets it fold in faster than normal ships," Wilma replies.

On Buck's screen he sees a planet coming up.

"Coming up on Miahgo," Fox annouces.

"The Hubble never sent back pictures like this. What are these people like, are they like the Draconians, the Saurians, the Winjanas?" Buck asked with a sarcastic voice.

"First of all Buck you've only met a few of each of their species. You know you can't just judge people by the acts of one man. Second there are two species down there. The Humdos and the Candos," Wilma replied. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 1

Inside the cargo shed was ample room to hold many things. It's loaded with all sizes of boxes, and equipment to haul it. The ships have been parked on the floor in the order they traveled from the star-port. Buck, Wilma and Fox see Humdos and Candos moving about, but mainly Candos. These are Hauler-Candoses wearing bland jump-suits. They have matted long hair that's in peaks of black mixed in with grays and tans. They have yellow eyes, and a thin coating of gray fur. They have long fingers with short claws on the ends. They can be seen about, pushing and moving things around the cargo-shed, doing grunt work. The Humdos are tall compared to the Candos who are about human height. They wear robes that are very colorful. Their skin is smooth and amphibian-like and their heads are large. Their eyes widely set apart from each other and have no nose.

Wilma and Teddy are standing near the Sunfall with a Humdos in front of them.

"So how long will this loading take?" Teddy asked while looking up at one of the Humdos.

"It will take only a few hours; not all the parts have been sent here from the west. In the mean time is there anything I can get you fellows?" The Humdos asked.

"You got a game of 10 and 11 going on that needs another player?" Teddy asked smiling.

"No, but I believe there is a game of Stringer that's going to be played soon in a pub that's close by to here. I'm told by the ones who play this, they're always looking for new competition to enter. Deering, is there anything I can get for you in your wait?" Humdos asked Wilma politely.

"Nothing, I'm just going to browse the market place. There's a man at star-port 4 I owe and I want to see if I can get him what he wants," Wilma replies smiling back.

"Very well Ms. Deering, but I must warn you be careful. I've heard there's been trouble with some of the local Hauler-Candoses," The Humdos warned Wilma.

"I'll warn the others, you don't have to worry about us. But thank you for the advise," Wilma replied.

Wilma and Teddy start moving off in their own directions.

Shortly after Wilma and Teddy left, two of the hauler-Candoses started to stare at the Sunfall.

In the market place, it's busy and crowded with many shops set up in the open air, but some enclosed with nice looking walls. Buck is sitting on a stool with another Candos sitting across from him. There's a canopy overhead, with wares are set forth on a counter by their side. This Candos looks different from the ones Buck saw earlier. It's another breed, and a female. The hair is still matted but with yellow and pink peaking through shades of tans, and the fur is light tan. The two of them are smiling away while having their talk.

"So tell me more," she says looking at him with wishful eyes.

"We made it through the storm. It was a tough ship, so what of we didn't have gas, the Rockyshark was best of the fleet," Buck continues with his story.

"But if the ship had no fuel, how did it ever make it back to port?" El-Key asked with a puzzled expression on her face.

"Well when ...." A Humdos hand comes down on one of Buck's shoulders.

"She's mine, if you want a Tomidi-Candos of your own. There's a shop a couple blocks from here, where you can buy one," the stranger says.

"Buy one?! You can't buy another sentient being!" Buck replied.

"Human, the Candos are simple creatures. They are nothing more than servants and pets. "El-Key" here is my pet, and a prize winner in her breed. Now leave her alone, I don't want you to muss up her training or pelt!" he said.

"El-Key, do you want me to go?" Buck asked.

El-Key didn't respond. She looked back and forth between the Humdos and Buck before putting her head down in submission to the Humdos.

"Leave here human," the Humdos said as he grabbed El-Key by her arm.

Buck stood up from where he was sitting. He gave the Humdos with an odd look, then turns and leaves.

Buck sees Fox up the street and quickly walks up to him. "Fox, what do you know about this planet?" Buck asked.

"What do you mean? What do I know about this planet?" Fox asked.

"Back there, I was talking with this alien lady and ..!" Buck said as he's pointing backwards in the street, while he's still facing Fox.

"Buck, we're the aliens here," Fox interrupted.

"Anyway this giant salamander...!"

"A Humdos?" Fox asked.

"He said he owned this woman, and that she was some prize pet of his!"Buck said.

"She was Candos, right?" Fox asked.

"The Candos are pets?" Buck asked with a confused look.

"That and most of Miahgo's work force," Fox explained.

"Why? Why are they treated differently?! She was a smart lady, nobody can own another person!" Buck said with a bit of anger in his voice.

"But she wasn't a person," Fox explained to Buck.

Buck is silent for a moment, staring at Fox. "And you say you know history? All that is of relevance in our species past,"Buck replied.

"What did I say?" Fox asked.

Buck still angry. He waves one of his hands, closing his eyes for a moment.

"When we get back to Earth, I'll help your dad with the history files. I can see very well now they need some work," Buck said as he walks away from Fox. Fox watching Buck walk away soon follows.

"Tell me what I'm missing?" Fox asked walking behind Buck.

Buck not turning around to face Fox. "Haven't you ever wondered what the faces on Mount Rushmore meant?" Buck asked.

"I don't wonder, They were great men who long ago shaped the United States," Fox replied.

"Do you know how they shaped the United States?" Buck asked.

"They did great deeds?" Fox stops and thinks for a moment. "I guess you're right, knowledge has been lost," Fox replies.

Buck stopped walking and turns now to face Fox. "The Candos are being treated as property. Long ago we, our people, humans did this to other humans," Buck informed Fox.

"One of those men stopped this, didn't he?" Fox asked walking up to Buck.

"Lincoln," Buck replies.

"Were we bred like them?" Fox asked.

"No, thank goodness. However we did do that to another species," Buck replies.

"Oh? Which one?" Fox asked with some curiosity.

"You know, you know what dogs are right?" Buck asked.

"Ya," Fox answered with a little confusion in his voice.

"We made them," Buck said.

Something catches Fox's eye off to the side, and he turns his head to see what it is. Wilma is in a shop, getting fitted. A Candos with white fur, and orange-cream colored hair is doing the fitting. The eyes of the Candos have silver dishes covering them.

"Check this out," he says pointing to where Wilma is.

Buck turns to look. Buck and Fox walk over to the store where Wilma is.

"What's all this about?" Fox asked.

"I tried to break up a fight some Hauler-Candos were having with a couple of Humdos. The Candos ripped my sleeve," Wilma replied pointing to her uniform sleeve.

"I wonder what started the fight?" Fox asked.

"I bet I know," Buck says growling to himself.

"The Humdos I helped said he'd pay for my new outfit; isn't that nice?" Wilma asked with a smile.

"So what are you getting?" Fox asked.

"The latest in Masrex fashion. Oh, here it comes now."

The fitter came walking back along with another Candos. The other Candos looks like the first, but its fingers are very odd. They look custom-made for different kinds of acts like an Aye-aye lemur's. The fingers have been designed to act like a sewing machine: one needle like one, another blunt and huff-like to act as a thimble. They look so on like this on all of them. The fitter holds up the one piece outfit for Wilma to see. The outfit looks like something straight out of a Golden age space comic book.

"I love it, Wilma said turning to Buck and Fox. "What do you guys think?"

"It looks lovely," Fox replied with a smile.

Buck is trying not to laugh but is having a hard time. "Buck!" Wilma said loudly.

"Hello Katie Comet," Buck said chuckling.

"What?" Wilma asked with a puzzled look on her face.

"It was a comic book space hero that was a theater serial series during the 1930's. That outfit looks straight out one of those shows," Buck replied still chuckling.

"Well that's what you think. It's the latest in Masrex fashion, and I plan to wear it for special events," Wilma replied smiling at the two Candos.

"Like what...Halloween?" Buck asked laughing.

Wilma glanced over at Buck with a hurt expression on her face. She gathered her new outfit and started to walk back towards the loading docks. Buck and Fox followed a ways back.

"Why did you say something that?" Fox asked looking towards Buck as they walked.

"I couldn't help it. It does look like something from a comic book," Buck replied still smiling.

They reached the loading docks and was met there by Teddy. They entered their fighters and started the engines. With in minutes they were air-born. The three Z-87s left in the same formation as they arrived earlier, with the Sunfall nested in between them. They started to approach the star-port. Fox glances over at Buck's fighter.

"So you're saying it's wrong to have a pet?" Fox asked.

"No, I'm saying it's wrong to own a being that can think well past its own natural instincts," Buck replied.

"Did you ever have a pet, Buck?" Fox asked.

"When I was a kid, my family had a cocker-spaniel named Tramp," Buck replies.

"Was Tramp smart?" Fox asked.

"Tramp was a loyal, great dog, but he ate bees for the fun of it. So I wouldn't call him a pup with much brains," Buck replied watching the star-port aproaching.

"Star-port 11, I have request for go, do you copy?" Wilma asked.

"All Z-87s.. you have clearance. Ocean-class, how much weight are you bearing?" the female voice asked the Sunfall.

"Just my pick-up, 20 tons of the mechanics, and tin shells. Needed for making these fine ships you see about me," Teddy replies.

"Ocean-class cargo ship, you have clearance," the female voice said.

The Star-port begins to power up and letting loose its energy beams in to its center. Just before they enter the star-port the fighters and the cargo ship begin to fold and flattening. It looks like thousands of sun beams, all headed sideways against a white background, with pale colors wisping about fast. One of the ships.. the cargo ship looks like a brick as it folds. It looks larger than the fighters. It moves steadily like the others but then all of a sudden, it starts shaking.

Chapter 2

The fighters and the colossal cargo ship emerge out of the star-port. The space quickly gives way to normal looking space. The Z-87s reform correctly, but the Sunfall reforms dented, the lights on the Sunfall flicker in and out.

"Teddy! Are you OK?" Wilma asked with concern.

"Don't.. sssssss.. Can't tell.. ssssssss.. emergency power.. sssssssssss .. Something's gone.. sssss," Teddy trys to reply but his response is broken up and is hard to understand.

"Star-port 4, we have an emergency situation with the Sunfall, can you assist?" Wilma asked.

"Sending help right now," Star-Port 4 replies.

A small ship detaches itself from the underside of the space station that's at the top of the star-port. The small ship has a ring-like appearance, with four rocket jets. One on the top of it, one on the bottom, and one on each side. The little ship heads over to the Sunfall. When it reaches the Sunfall its rocket jets turn off and reverse themselves in how they're positioned. From the sides of the ship inwards, it starts closing in like a door.

"I've made a porthole on the Sunfall's side for docking. Anyone who cares to help me with repairs may come now. But while I'm here, be advised the star-port is closed," the small ship's pilot says.

"Understood." Wilma replies. "Buck, Fox I'm going in."

"Is there anything I can do?" Buck asked.

"Just stay where you are," Wilma replies.

"But there could be danger, the ship isn't in proper form," Fox says with a concerned voice.

"Your comrades are right. I'll send for another driller ship by remote," the repair ship's pilot states.

"Buck, you're with me. Fox, you keep an eye out for other ships, and alert them of the situation if needed," Wilma ordered.

A short time later another driller ship detaches itself from the underside of the space station. It does the same act as the first one did, only this one latches itself on to another area of the Sunfall's hull. Almost at the same time, Buck and Wilma move to the driller ships and the newly made portholes.

Wilma guides her fighter in with its nose turned up and backs into the driller ship. Buck repeats Wilma's moves and attaches to the other driller ship. Both fighters lock themselves in to place.

As Buck and Wilma enter the Sunfall, it's dimly lit and once more the lights are flickering. There's a metal-mesh walkway, and below it a long drop to the mechanics of the ship. It's a tight and tall room. The pilot of the driller ship is standing on the walkway. He holds up a hand to Wilma who's standing above him. Wilma glances down and takes the pilots hand.

"I didn't know where the walkway was when I was drilling. Here, let me give you a hand down," the driller ship pilot said.

"Thanks," Wilma replied as she steps down on to the walkway below her.

"You're Colonel Deering, aren't you?" he asked.

"I am," Wilma replies.

"Where are my oranges?" he asked jokingly.

"I gave it a try getting them on Maihgo, but there was a fight in the market place I was at," She replies giving a quick point to where her outfit has been ripped.

"I hope you got something to replace that?" he asked.

"I did, but I've been told by one of my pilots I shouldn't wear it. Speaking of that pilot, he's somewhere else in this ship," Wilma said looking around.

"First things first, we must find the man who pilots this craft and find out what happened. Second we find your pilot," the driller ship's pilot replied.

"I'm sure he means to do the same thing we're doing," Wilma replied as they are walking towards a door. "It's not a Phasoft-door," Wilma said.

"Most cargo ships don't use those. When people are moving around the ship's haul, they tend to need both hands in their work. Only the loading door is a Phasoft," he replied.

"So the doors open for them, so they won't have to drop their work?" Wilma asked.


Wilma begins trying to force the door open, then the driller ship's pilot starts to assist her.

Buck's in another room that the one Wilma was in but much smaller. But it doesn't have the same drop in it.

"Hello, can anybody hear me?" Buck called out.

Noises can be heard elsewhere. Buck moves forward on the path that he's on towards where he believes the noise is coming from. He comes to a door , he hesitates then starts to pull it open. On the other side of the door was Teddy is staring straight out at Buck.

"You're one of the Z-87 pilots?" Teddy asked.

"The name's Buck, I'm here to help." Buck looks around. "What happened?"

"There must be more weight in the cargo hold than I was told of. That's the only thing I can think of that could have done this," Teddy replies.

"Any idea where the extra weight is coming from?" Buck asked.

"No, but I'd sure like to get down to the hold to check that out," Teddy replied as he moves out of the cockpit and goes past Buck. Buck follows close behind.

"I thought I heard those noises coming from your cabin but I can still hear them. I'd like to think they were coming from my comrades trying to find you. But I don't think they'd go about it making that much noise," Buck said.

"Someone must be on board that's unaccounted for. That must have been the extra weight," Teddy replies glancing over his shoulder at Buck.

"How could they have gotten on board?" Buck asked.

"It must have been when the loadin' was takin' place. That's the only time it could have happened," Teddy replied.

"They should have used a thumb and let you know ahead of time. Would have been safer travel," Buck said.

Teddy stops and turns to look at Buck. "A thumb? How would that have done a thing?" Teddy asked with a confused look on his face.

Buck smiles. "Never mind, lets find your stowaways. I'm sure you want to have a word or two with them," Buck replied.

"You bet straight I do," Teddy replied as he turned around and started to walk away.

The massive Phasoft door for the Sunfall's loading and unloading changes from white to gray, then disappears all together. A Hauler-Candos floats out in to space, followed by the ship's cargo. Then a Z-87 comes out slowly.

The door that leads to the cargo bay starts to bow. Wilma and the driller pilot look on.

"It must have depressurized in there somehow!" the pilot said.

"Is there anything we can do?" Wilma asked.

"No, there's nothing we can do at this time." Just then the door stops its creaking inward. "That was the Phasoft loading and unloading door I bet. It just sealed itself back up," he replied.

"That means someone had to put their hand on it to open it! But that's an insane thing to do! We're in the middle of outer space!" Wilma said.

The new Z-87 is heading away from the Sunfall. Fox starts to follow it in his fighter. "Guys, I know you said stay with the ship, but this doesn't seem right. I'm going after this unknown eagle," he informs Buck and Wilma.

The power blinks on and off inside the Sunfall for a moment before fully coming back on.

"Nice to see the girl still likes me. I'm gonna head back up to the captain's seat. Ol' Sunfall's computer will tell me in a jiff what's occurred here," Teddy said to Buck as he started to walk back towards the control bridge.

"Do you need me for anything?" Buck asked.

"No, you just go back to your ship. Give this girl a-fly-around, tell me what the computer don't know about what needs fixing," Teddy replied patting Buck on the shoulder as he walked by.

"You got it," Buck replies as he heads for the driller ship that he hooked up to. Buck made his way back to the driller ship and climbs back in to his Z-87 and starts the engine. Once safely away from the driller ship and the Sunfall, the Z-87 turns down its nose to normal flying level.

Buck moves around the Sunfall and sees that Fox is missing. Then, moving further around, he sees the trail of cargo floating away.

"Fox, this is Buck. Could you tell me just where in the big black you've gone off to?" Buck asked as he starts to guide his ship around the outer hull of the Sunfall.

"I'm following an unknown eagle that came from the Sunfall," Fox replied.

"I thought all the Sunfall had in it was just the parts and hulls. Not a whole ship," Buck said.

"Well there was one, and in a sad note to top it off, a Candos," Fox said.

"How do you know that?" Buck asked.

"It came floating out along with the cargo and the ship," Fox replied.

"What a way to gain freedom, the poor bastard. So much for wondering who the stowaways are. You told me they made up most of the work force. Bet they knew how to make your unknown eagle," Buck said.

"Are you going to help me get back our bird?" Fox asked.

"I'll help you get our bird back. I just won't take the dog back to its pound. Wilma, are you there?" Buck asked.

Wilma who had just climbed in to her ship and started the engines. "I heard you loud and clear. Coming to head up the rear of the chase," Wilma replied.

She pulls away from the Sunfall. The nose of her Z-87 falls down to normal flying level, and she heads off.

Chapter 3

Inside the Defense Directorate building. A Hauler-candos sitting in it glaring. Waves of violet blue energy pass over his image.

"I say we return him to Miahgo, tell them of what he's done. Let their government deal with him," Jade said.

Buck and Jade are standing in a hallway lined with many of these holding cells. The violet-blue energy can be seen passing over of all the holding cell doors.

"And I say we don't return him. I have a feeling his government won't give him a fair trial," Buck replies looking at the Hauler-candos.

"Oh and why do you say that?" Jade asked.

"He's a Candos. They aren't treated as equals to the Humdos on that planet," Buck replies. Buck walks a little closer to the cell. "Please tell, why did you make and steal the Z-87?" Buck asked.

"To be heard," De-Pas replies.

"To be heard? Did you plan on taking that ship all the way back to Miahgo?" Buck asked.

"Yes," De-Pas replies.

"The star-port was closed down when you where flying. Unless you found another star-port to fly through, it with have taken you years to reach Miahgo," Buck said.

"Then I would have been too late," De-Pas replies.

"Too late for what?" Buck asked taking another step closer to the cell.

"The new breed," De-Pas answers.

"What new breed is that?"Buck asked.

"You don't know? You're like the Humdos, you should know of the new breed," De-Pas says as he stands and starts to walk towards Buck.

"What makes me like a Humdos? Tell me, I'd like to know," Buck asked.

"I am your captive, under your rule," De-Pas replied hanging his head.

"Well you may be a captive at the moment, but that's only because you stole a Directorate ship," Buck replied.

"I am under your rule," De-Pas repeats.

"You are not under my rule. You are equal with us here. You may be being held captive for what you did, but you have rights!" Buck explained.

"But I am Candos. I'm nothing more than a worker," De-Pas replied looking at his hands.

"That doesn't matter here. Here you're a being, a "person" with the right to live in whatever way you choose, after the computer council has had their say about what you did with the Sunfall," Buck said.

"Why is there a new breed of Candos? What is the purpose of it?" Jade asked.

"We want better, we want what is to be had here. Freedom, we speak and they do not hear. We put lack in our work, that's why the Humdos want a new breed," De-Pas replied.

Buck turns and faces Jade. "If the old horses won't pull the plow, just get new ones." Buck turns and faces the cell again. "They're making a new breed of Candos to replace you, the Haulers?" Buck asked.

"They want a new, more loyal breed to serve them," De-Pas replies.

"Well I can see now why you have some mighty reason to want one of our ships. You know now that you have a voice here, maybe you can talk to someone who will bear good weight with the Humdos. Because in my opinion using that Z-87 to speak for you would have only helped the Humdos gain more weight with others who support them on breeding a new breed of Candos," Buck explains.

A man is walking towards Buck and Jade. "Dr. Huer would like the Candos in his office.. now," Chris says glancing over at the Candos.

"He has a name," Buck replied.

"Fine.. whatever the Candos's name is, he's wanted in Dr. Huer's office," Chris repeated.

Buck looks over at the Candos. "What is your name?" Buck asked.

"My name is De-Pas," De-Pas replied.

"Well Mr. De-Pas, it's time you answered for what you've done," Chris replied.

Chris walked over and punched in a few numbers and the security shield went off in De-Pas's cell. Chris then escorted De-Pas to the office of Dr. Huer.

"You won't have to worry about acts of terrorism from this mongrel anymore, Doctor. When he is taken back to Miahgo, he will no longer be a threat to anyone. I'll see to that myself," Nik-Yuk said gleening at De-Pas.

"And just how do you plan to see to that, Sally?" Buck asked.

"Buck!" Huer said looking over at Buck. "I'm sorry for how he is acting, he's had little experience with cultures outside of Earth," Dr. Huer said.

"You find something wrong with my people, Rogers?" Nik-Yuk asked.

"Only that you treat the Candos like a lower life from. Something to keep underfoot at all times," Buck replied.

"But they are a lower life from. Why just look at them those teeth, those claws, and their fur! If we, the Humdos, hadn't taken them in to our hold and bred them in to what they are today, then they'd be nothing but a species of savage animals, roaming the lands, and eating only the lower animals that crawl beneath them," Nik-Yuk explained in a sarcastic tone.

"So you see yourselves as genetic perfection?" Buck asked glancing over at Nik-Yuk.

"We are genetic perfection, ape," Nik-Yuk replied sarcastically.

"Oh I can see that, no nose," Buck replied turning his back on Nik-Yuk and walking away.

"Buck, will you please leave here!" Huer demanded.

"No, I'm not going to leave. Doctor, do you know how De-Pas is treated on his home planet?" Buck asked walking over to Dr. Huer.

"I know what I've been told by the Humdos. De-Pas, is there anything I haven't been told of, of your people?" Huer asked.

"They cut out our eyes," De-Pas said as he pointed to his eyes.

"Lies, look at him! He has eyes!" Nik-Yuk said in anger.

"You cut out the eyes of the Sho-Candos, and put in plants in their place," De-Pas said.

"The Candoses with the silver disks where their eyes are?" Buck asked.

"They are the ones." De-Pas lowered his head. "The Humdos cut out their eyes because they don't like to see they're yellow," De-Pas said with his head still lowered.

"Is this true, Nik-Yuk?" Huer asked with concern.

"We don't want to see them. The Sho-Candos work in the shops, if the customers saw their true eyes they'd never want to return," Nik-Yuk replies.

"You hear that!" Buck said loudly pointing over at Nik-yuk.

"Nik-Yuk, what do you plan on doing with De-Pas when you two return to Miahgo?" Huer asked.

"Public execution. The Candos need to know where they stand in society, were they will always stand," Nik-Yuk replied pointing at De-Pas.

"Not for long," De-Pas said softly.

Huer looked over at De-Pas. "What do you mean not for long, De-Pas?" Huer asked.

"The Humdos are creating a new breed of Candos artificially," De-Pas replied pointing at Nik-Yuk.

"Creating a new breed artificially?" Huer asked.

"The Candos we selected to breed together to create the new breed have refused to do their job, so their genetic information has been taken from them to be used in artificial wombs," Nik-Yuk explains.

"The new breed won't ever have had parents to bring them up. They'll only have the Humdos to tell them who they are," Buck said as he looks over at Dr.Huer. "Doctor, this is a control game, with the Humdos making themselves the winner without resistance. You know if the Humdos find the eyes of the new breed as offensive as those of the Sho-Candos, you know what they'll do with them," Buck said.

"Rogers, leave now!" Huer shouted pointing towards the door.

"I don't want him to leave," De-Pas requested.

"Why?" Dr. Huer asked.

"He is for my people, he tells me I have rights. I want him to stay, please?" De-Pas asked

Huer glanced over at Buck. "Fine then. Buck you may stay. But no more outburst," Huer ordered.

Buck walked back over and stood next to De-Pas.

"But he has no rights," Nik-Yuk said looking at De-Pas. "You have been told lies."

"Not on this planet. De-Pas, you have rights here, and I'll see to that!" Huer said.

"What!" Nik-Yuk shouted gleening at De-Pas.

"He might have stolen a Directorate ship, a very punishable crime, but I can't allow you to take him back to Miahgo. There will be no public execution!" Dr. Huer said.

"Then what will you have of this mongrel?" Nik-Yuk asked.

"He will live here on Earth, but under house arrest under constant observation till we at the Directorate feel he is no longer a threat," Huer replied glancing over at De-Pas.

"What about the new breed?" Buck asked.

Chapter 4

There are lines of what look like very large metal pills with rope size lines coming from them and going in to the floor. A Humdos is walking over to De-Pas, Dr. Huer, and Buck. It's holding a cloth wrapped bundle in its arms. The Humdos hands the bundle over to De-Pas, who takes it carefully.

De-Pas unwraps the bundle carefully and sees that it's a calico Candos baby.

"The new breed will have parents, De-Pas. And when they are mature, it will be up to them whether or not they want to be under the rule of the Humdos," Huer says with a smile.

"How did you get a government controlled by Humdos to let that happen?" Buck asked.

"This planet has had very good trade with Earth for many years. I told them if they wanted to continue that good trade, they'd have to make changes like this in how they treat their laborers," Huer replied.

Not taking his eyes off the baby. "Can I keep her?" De-Pas asked looking up from the baby to Dr. Huer then back down at the tiny life he head in his arms.

"Yes, but you'll have to take her back to Earth because of your being under arrest and confinement at the Defense Directorate." Huer hesitated for a moment. "She'll need a mother, are there any females you know who you wish to join you in your stay?" Huer asked.

De-Pas looks up from the infant smiling.

In Buck's quarters, a female Tomidi-Candos is sitting on Buck's couch with the baby in front of her. It's giggling and making all sorts of playful infant sounds. The woman entertains the child, as a human mother would. Buck is near De-Pas who is crouched down eyeing Twiki. Dr. Huer looks on.

"We will have a place of our own here?" De-Pas asked.

"The preparations for that are being made as we speak," Huer replied.

"So you know everything there is know about the Z-87s?" Buck asked.

"I put one together with the help of my friend," De-Pas replied as he lowered his head.

"But you understand how to work with the mechanics of them?" Buck asked.

"Inside and outside, top to bottom," De-Pas replied.

"How would you like to work for us as a mechanic while you stay here?" Huer asked.

De-Pas looks up from Twiki. "I thought I had the right to do as I wish within the confines of here?" De-Pas asked looking up at Huer.

"You do, but while you're here, if you would like to do something of use," Huer replied.

"I don't have to do this if I don't want to.. right?" De-Pas asked.

"We won't force you. But the offer stands," Huer replies.

"I'll think about it," De-Pas replies then turns his attention back to Twiki.

"De-Pas, I have to ask you. What IS your great interest with Twiki?" Buck asked.

"What is Twiki?" De-Pas asked with a puzzled expression.

"Twiki is an ambuquad, a robot," Buck replies.

"And what do they do? There aren't any ambuquads or robots on Miahgo," De-Pas asked.

"I serve," Twiki replied.

De-Pas looks at Twiki in shock. "Do you want to do that?" De-Pas asked.

"Do you want a wedgie?" Twiki replied.

"A what?" De-Pas asked confused.

"Twiki has free will, I gave it to him," Buck said patting Twiki on his back.

"So it's "free" to do as it chooses?" De-Pas asked.

"And I choose to leave here now," Twiki said as he heads towards the door and out of Buck's quarters.

"Ge-Ja and, we haven't named her yet, they'll be free to move about?" De-Pas asked with a smile.

"So long as their activities aren't criminal, yes." Huer replied.

"This may be my jail on this alien world, but I've never felt so free in my whole life," De-Pas replied looking up at Buck and Dr. Huer.

The End

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