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The Ambassador, Chapter 18

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  • The Ambassador, Chapter 18

    Don was, in fact, going slightly ballistic about the whole “first contact” arrangements. He thought that JFK was substantially further from where we were going than was proper, and that we should be putting the shuttle down a whole lot closer.

    I inquired about where he would suggest that we insert the shuttle. He noted that Central Park had plenty of open areas which would serve just fine and were massively closer. He added that he had Scott and Isiah on the case in the negotiations, having designated them as our security liaisons for this little venture. He had them holding out for putting the shuttle into the UN Plaza. There was enough room, although it would be a tight fit.

    I inquired if he'd thought of having the shuttle transit in over the East River. As far as I knew, that wouldn't matter to the shuttle, and as long as we were close enough to the bank to get the ramps extended onto them? I was pretty much being sarcastic, and was slightly disturbed when he smiled and noted that it was a great idea, and he'd have his people throw it into the mix as one of our suggestions.

    It occurred to me that I'd better check and make sure I hadn't sent him off in pursuit of a ghost rabbit with that idea, so I got Mike on it. It turned out that transiting in over water was just fine. Rough water, like an ocean, got a bit problematic at times, because the shuttle was going to maintain a mean altitude above the surface. Over land, or a water surface that was smooth, like a small lake or a river, it was going to be stable. Over rough ocean water, it was going to be moving up and down as the mean height of the surface below it changed. That could get uncomfortable. It could also be compensated for, but it was a lot of work, and still had some error that resulted in some vertical movement, because really rough water didn't tend to comply with mathematical models any too precisely. The East River, however, would work.

    Nothing else of note went on until Wednesday evening. About 1900 ship time, Mike let me know that the Feds were at the shop in Rock Springs. I asked if Kayla had called.

    “No. We are monitoring the security system there.”

    “I figured they'd have shut that down, first thing. It's their usual M.O.”

    “They believe that they have done so.”

    “OK. Can I get the video?”

    I could. I made sure that Ian was in the loop, and spent about five minutes watching the goon squad terrorizing poor Kayla before I got annoyed and decided that it was time for this crap to come to a halt. Since there is no reason to take halfway measures, I set up a three level approach to putting a stop to the whole thing.

    First off, I had Mike start the wheels in motion to get a call through from me, as the Karn Director of External Affairs, to the United States Attorney General. At the same time, Allan was getting a call put through to the head of the FBI. I made sure that Ian had access to his hologram equipment, and we started on site while the calls were getting through.

    We got the big-screen TV in the central area turned on, and put Ian on it, in his human hologram. He started speaking to the Feds present, addressing them by name and title. After about five minutes of them dithering around and insisting that it was a recording, he got them convinced that it was not, and obtained their attention to the point where they were paying more attention to him than to the fact that they could not get the TV turned off.

    He then explained to them that, in the first place, they needed to quit picking on Kayla. She'd been the Secretary managing an empty office for about a week, and had no idea of what the rest of us might be doing. Beyond that, he noted that the legal grounds that they may have for making the raid in the first place were quite shaky, and could collapse under them.

    Reason and logic were met with bluster and the waving of warrants and threats of arrest and demands that he turn himself in immediately. Ian responded to that by switching his hologram off. He simply stated that the fully legal business that they were raiding was property of the Karn, and that they should really consider the potential for Diplomatic repercussions if they did not go away and find someone else to bother. He suggested that they should relay that information to their superiors, who would probably be hearing from their superiors quite soon, as we were in the process of contacting them as he spoke.

    The goon-squad was stubborn. They weren't going anywhere just yet, but they did stop tearing stuff up, and backed away from Kayla and quit questioning her. Ian spoke to her, and informed her that when these people went away, which he expected that they would soon be doing, she should just take the rest of the week off. He also noted that if any of them bothered her any further, either now or in the future, that she should let us know, and we'd send forth the appropriate remedies for it.

    About that time, my call to the Attorney General went through. We'd quit doing any masking of our location, and it wasn't that hard for anyone with the proper equipment to figure out where our calls were coming from. Since all their tracing data said that they were being called from the L5 point, they were willing to assume that it was from the Karn, and the people setting up the call made it clear to everyone on the Earth end that it was an official call from me, in my august role of Director of External Affairs. I had the AG on the line in less than 15 minutes.

    He, of course, had no idea of why he was getting the call, and politely asked how he could assist me, and the Karn. I explained it to him.

    “Well. Actually, I'm kind of embarrassed to have to ask you about this, but it seems that we have some kind of issue going on. We've been in the process of making some preliminary arrangements for our first official contact with you Humans for a while now, and have set up a few business operations on your Earth. I'll note that we have been quite careful to maintain everything in complete conformance with all of your laws, and have retained several Law firms to ensure that we were doing so.”

    He replied with something inane. He still had no clue of what was going on, and probably had no idea that anyone was raiding anything anyway.

    I proceeded to give him the names of the Legal firms that Universal Distributing had consulted and retained, then went on to explain.

    “We have a business operating in Rock Springs, Wyoming. For some reason, your FBI and other Law Enforcement agencies seem to have decided to conduct some sort of assault on that business about an hour ago. We would really appreciate it if you would have them stop doing this.”

    He offered that he was unaware of any such operation, and that he would look into it immediately, as I
    Alle Kunst ist umsunst Wenn ein Engel auf das Zundloch brunzet (All skill is in vain if an angel pisses down the touch-hole of your musket.) Old German Folk Wisdom.

  • #2
    Re: The Ambassador, Chapter 18

    was requesting. I gave him the address of the shop, re-emphasized that it was in Rock Springs, Wyoming, and casually added that if there were any other businesses that he was considering sending assault forces to visit which were owned by Universal Distributing or any of it's subsidiaries, we would really appreciate it if he would just talk to us directly about whatever issues he may have with them. I gave him a number to call should such other instances arise, and thanked him.

    He assured me that he would get right on it. I thanked him again and ended the conversation.

    Allan had gotten through to the Director of the FBI about a minute before I'd been connected with the Attorney General, and had given him the same song and dance.

    Something worked. We were monitoring the shop, of course, and less than five minutes after I got off the call to the AG, three of the folks doing the raid got almost simultaneous telephone calls, None of them had any comments to whoever they were speaking to other than to say “Yes, Sir” two or three times. Then they all departed at flank speed, taking nothing with them that they did not have when they arrived.

    Ian apologized to Kayla for the situation, and noted that we had planned on explaining to her that she was working for the Karn in a somewhat less abrupt fashion, but circumstances had intervened. He then asked if she would please summon our security folks so that he could talk to them, and added that he would appreciate it if she'd keep this under her hat for the next day or so, until after the ceremonies at the UN tomorrow. After that, she could talk to anyone she wanted to.

    She went out back and got the three guys who were there. When they got back, Ian and Don were on the screen, and Ian had his hologram back on.

    All three of them had questions for Don. They announced that they had been rousted by Homeland Security, the FBI, ATFE, Treasury, and probably NSA, EPA, and the Coast Guard, all at once. Everyone alphabet agency on the map had been there. About the time that they were getting off to a good start at tearing the place apart, they stopped and left. They all wanted to know what was up with that, and how could they learn to do that trick.

    Don calmly noted that it had to do with who they were actually working for. He then advised them that what he was telling them was under full Security classification for the next 24 hours, and turned to Ian. “Go ahead and show them.”

    Ian once again turned his hologram off. He addressed each of the three by name, and once again apologized for springing this on them as a surprise, and again noted that the circumstances had made it necessary. He thanked them for their assistance in this matter, and left.

    Don stayed around, and gave instructions. He promoted a couple of guys to be site Supervisor and Assistant site Supervisor, told them that there would be a dozen new security people arriving tomorrow, and that they should get them lined out. He noted that the other four should get themselves moving, because he wanted them at JFK in New York by 1300 tomorrow. He also added that he'd call the two guys who were off duty and confirm these instructions.

    He ended the conversation there, and I got back to waiting for tomorrow.

    We had pretty much gotten the agenda for tomorrow finalized. We were going to bring the shuttle in at JFK. For whatever reasons, it was impossible to convince anyone on Earth that we were not going to fly the thing in. They couldn't stand the thought that we were just going to appear somewhere. We had to have a flight path and an approach lined out, and we finally just gave up and let them clear out some air space, since it made them feel better.

    They'd started out with the intention of shutting JFK down for several hours. That was totally unnecessary, and we kept beating them back. They first agreed to only four hours, then we got them down to two hours, and finally one hour. If the truth be told, and we kept telling them the truth, we only needed about two hundred yards radial clearance. A couple of miles vertical would be good, not because we were going to use it, but because when the shuttle transited in, it was going to displace a lot of air. We channeled that air vertically as much as possible, to avoid blowing down any trees or suchlike, but an aircraft a mile above the point we entered at was going to get hit with a nasty updraft which could cause it a problem. That was all the clearance we really needed. We got an hour's worth.

    We were going to have a motorcade from there to the UN building. We kept our people to a minimum, and were only going to need seven Stretch Limousines to move everyone. This was not going to be a Parade. We were going to get into the Limo's and we were going to move them at speed. We'd get to the UN, and enter for a full session of the General Assembly. The Director General would speak, following which our Chairman of The Board would address the General Assembly. Then our UN Ambassador Designate would speak to them.
    Alle Kunst ist umsunst Wenn ein Engel auf das Zundloch brunzet (All skill is in vain if an angel pisses down the touch-hole of your musket.) Old German Folk Wisdom.


    • #3
      Re: The Ambassador, Chapter 18

      After those speeches, the General Assembly would vote on admitting the Karn to the family of Nations. After the vote, the Chairman of Board would address some more brief comments of thanks to the Assembly, and then introduce the Director of External Affairs, who would also deliver a speech to the Assembly.

      I was working on that one fairly hard. Regardless of my inclinations, I could not be sarcastic or humorous. I had to be dead serious, proper, and politically correct. Or, at least, I had to try to be as much so as I could. The whole object of the exercise was to spend at least a quarter of an hour saying absolutely nothing that committed us to anything other than to be a member of the UN and to participate in such UN activities as we felt we could without compromising ourselves in our dealings with individual Nations. I had four Karn from my Department reading every line as I got it written and picking any fly crap they could find out of it. They were finding a fair amount to pick out, and we were getting it honed down.

      The whole object of the exercise for Wednesday night was to try and sleep late Thursday morning, because we were going to be gaining five hours when we switched from the ship to New York. I might have managed an extra half hour before Miss Rover developed urges that required her presence outside, and informed me that it was time.

      I spent the first hour of the day in my habitual fashion, and the next hour working on my speech, drinking more coffee, and playing with the dog. Everyone else drifted in for our regular morning kaffeeklatch between 0730 and 0800. I spent a while making sure that Heather was lined out about where she was to go and what she was to do when we landed.

      When we got out of the front of the shuttle, in the full focus of the TV cameras and suchlike, she and about a dozen Karn would be getting out the opposite side and boarding their own transportation. We'd rented a building to serve as a temporary Embassy. It took up the best part of a city block. The bottom two floors were set up as retail space and a restaurant on the ground floor, and office space on the second floor. The four floors above it were apartments, with about 48 total sets of living quarters. It had an underground garage that doubled as a loading/unloading zone, with a freight elevator up to the first floor. We'd be doubling a lot of folks up with roommates if we were in there too long, but could make do for the time being, and it gave us some space to operate from on the ground. It even had a “garden” area in the back. It wasn't a lot of room, but Miss Rover could play a little ball out there, anyway. It had the additional benefit of being grass. Miss Rover will pretty much burst herself rather than go on any hard surface.

      We'd rented the place about a month ago. It was a brand new building, and was costing a flat half-million dollars a month to rent, but it'd save us a lot of time. We could shuttle everyone back and forth every day if we had to, but it would be massively inconvenient and time consuming, so we weren't going to if we didn't have to.

      Don's four guys from Rock Springs were just about to land at JFK on my aircraft when I asked him about progress on that front. They were going to go to the new Karn Embassy and help the four guys who were already there secure the place. They'd also be along to provide security for the group who was headed directly there from the shuttle. We'd made the NYPD aware of the location of our new Embassy and asked that they keep an eye on the place, but were not expecting any major issues there right out of the gate, so had not requested any unusual measures be taken up front.

      Other than that, we hadn't told anyone where it was, and didn't plan on doing so. There was an underground parking garage that we could enter and leave through, which meant that the neighbors wouldn't be seeing any Karn coming or going through the doors, and we'd just be keeping the blinds closed for the time being.

      When the sun came up in New York, the crazies started coming out of the woodwork. I was expecting some of that, but had severely underestimated the amount of woodwork available for them to be hiding in, by any reasonable analysis. There were the “The Aliens are going to destroy the world” folks, who were assembling at one side of the UN Plaza. The folks who maintained that “The Aliens are here to save the world” were assembling on the opposite side, and the NYPD was keeping a healthy line between them to prevent a pitched battle from developing.

      By about 10AM Eastern, there were around ten thousand folks in each group, and the police line was starting to look a bit thin. About then, a long line of OD green trucks pulled up and disembarked about a thousand National Guard troops in riot gear, who moved to re-enforce the police line between the various brands of crazy. At least someone was thinking ahead.

      There were probably fourteen flavors of theory among the crazies, but they mostly came down on one side of the police line or the other. There was a group of about five hundred conspiracy theorists off to one side who were convinced that the whole thing was some kind of fakery intended to institute the New World Order, but neither of the two larger groups of crazies were having any of that, and they just stood off to one end of things, staying out of the way and looking forlorn.

      The Churches were surprising me by what they weren't doing, which was getting involved. They were still mostly staying completely out of it. The Roman Catholic Church had announced that they were thinking about the whole thing. The Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox Churches quickly chimed in that they also were thinking about it all, and that they'd let everyone know when the reached a conclusion, which may or may not happen within the next year or so.

      There were some of the really hard core Fundamentalists, mostly independent individual Churches, who were quite suspicious that the Karn were the work of Satan, but mostly they either wanted to supply Missionaries or just didn't know how to approach it yet. The mainline Protestants were not sure how to approach us, since we were not a Revolutionary Front, underprivileged, or homosexual, but the Karn were aliens, which might get them to qualify as a racially oppressed group, so they were all pretty much staying out of the whole debate also.

      The Buddhists, Hindus, and Shintoists just didn't much care one way or the other, except that the Buddhists were trying to decide where on the Wheel of Karma the Karn were. Various Moslem clerics had issued forth with opinions that the Karn were Muslims who just didn't know it, that the Karn were Jinn, the Karn were Haram and subject to various fatwas and should be met with Jihad, and that the Karn were halal and should be greeted as long-lost brothers. No two opinions were the same. They were rioting about it all in Pakistan, and several various hard-line groups in Syria and Libya that came down on opposite sides of the question were shooting at each other over it. There were unconfirmed rumors of outbreaks of violence in Iran, too.

      I phoned home, and talked to my wife. I didn't tell her anything specific, but did note that she should watch the Karn become members of the UN this afternoon, because she might see someone she knew. She requested to know if I was involved in all of this whole Alien thing. I replied that I might be.

      She proceeded to inform me that if I was, she was certain that this would wind up being the beginning of the first interstellar war, because she knew how I felt about the UN, and she expected that if I was in any way involved, something there would explode before the day was over. I love it when the people who know me best express their confidence in me that way. I pointed out that I was neither some sort of psychopath or criminally insane, as far as anyone had noted,
      Alle Kunst ist umsunst Wenn ein Engel auf das Zundloch brunzet (All skill is in vain if an angel pisses down the touch-hole of your musket.) Old German Folk Wisdom.


      • #4
        Re: The Ambassador, Chapter 18

        She agreed with that, but noted that no really competent psychoanalyst had ever taken a run at me. We kicked this and that around, I got brought up to date on the adventures of my kids and grandchildren, along with another helping of abuse for ignoring them. I noted that I should be more available in a week or so, and that we might should get the kids and grandkids together for a while before school started and the grandsons had other things to do. She squawked about the cost, and I noted that I thought we could afford it. She agreed that she'd think about it, and we got off the telephone.

        I went and put a suit on. I also put the P-14 on and added two extra extended magazines to the collection of junk I was carrying. Between my usual stuff, the extra mag for the P-14 and the field generator and battery, I was carrying almost 22 pounds of metal. I had found a leather worker among the Karn, and gotten my belt modified with carrying straps to put the field generator and battery into. My suit coat covered them, and you couldn't tell they were there when I was standing up.

        At about 1630, our transportation arrived, and we all loaded up and headed for the shuttle. I didn't even bother to bring any spare clothing, on the theory that I could get whatever I needed in New York. I did bring a backpack with a change of underwear and socks, two cans of dog food, two containers of dog treats, and two tennis balls. I had Miss Rover on her leash, and was ready to go.

        We were the first arrivals. Don had gotten us there early for whatever reason. He had already distributed field generators to the rest of the guys, and gave one to Heather also. It took her about five minutes in the restroom to get it put on and attached so it didn't show too badly through her clothing. When she came out, I asked why she didn't just stuff the thing into her purse. Don informed me in no uncertain terms that she could lose her purse if things got exciting, but if it was attached to her, it would most likely go wherever she went.

        He then offered me one, and I replied that I already had one of those, and that it was a very nice one, too. He gave me a narrow look. “I suppose it's a one-way one that you can shoot out through, too.”

        I smiled. “Why yes, it is.”

        He swore. “They told me they were making 28 of them, and then I only got 27. I should have known.”

        “I've got friends in high places. One of those friends just happens to be the Boss of the folks who were making them for you.”

        “I'd tell you not to get involved if something happens, but it won't do any good, will it?”

        “If it's any comfort to you, until the Chairman introduces me to the UN here in a few hours, everyone is going to think I'm Security anyway. I'm going to be putting on my best act at being such, too. That might involve doing something more than acting if it gets stupid, but that's the way it goes.”

        The rest of the group started arriving. We were taking six Board members, counting the Chairman. Allan, Ian, the Chief Engineer, Our Lady of Environmental Control, and myself. Each of us had an entourage of between four and seven Karn assistants.

        We all got loaded up onto the shuttle at about a quarter til One, Eastern. Everyone got settled into a seat and belted into place, and the Chairman gave us a little pep-talk. I had my video display pad on, and the media were running a shot a runway at JFK. They had a big countdown clock at the bottom of the screen. A banner across the top read “Aliens Arrive On Earth”, and a banner around the clock announced that this was the time remaining before the Karn arrived. At about the four minute mark, I could hear the ramps coming in and the airlock chambers disconnecting and pulling back into the hull.

        We planned on coming out of transit when the clock was precisely on zero, and everyone assured me that there was nothing to it. They had a big white X marked on the runway, but they were going to be disappointed in that part. We were going to pop in about 500 yards further toward the terminals than where they'd placed their X mark. I'd been about to suggest doing such a thing yesterday morning, but Don beat me to it. He's got a nasty and suspicious mind. I like that.

        At 0:34 by the media clock, the shuttle announced transit warning for transit in 34 seconds, and everyone just kind of sat there waiting. I thought the clock still read 0.02 when we kicked it, but that could have been time lag in the signal. There was a fairly solid bump, and I could see the our shuttle on the screen on the pad. I loudly announced “Welcome to Earth, for those of you who are visiting for the first time. For the rest of you, welcome back to Earth. Please step to your appropriate disembarkation stations at this time, and thank you for using Karn transit services.”

        I was still watching the view from outside on my tablet as we moved to the exit doors. Two ramps extended outward from the visible side of the shuttle. I knew that there was another one going out the opposite side, but that was not the one everyone was watching, and that was how we wanted it. Our transportation and escort vehicles all cranked up and moved toward the ramps as they extended fully and tilted down to contact the runway. I put my tablet away as the door in front of me came open. Scott, Isiah, and I led a group of Karn down our ramp, and Don and Curly led a group down the other ramp. We loaded them into the nearest Limousines, and then went back and got a second group and repeated the procedure. We each loaded a third group of Karn, and Don and Curly boarded that Limousine with them. Scott, Isiah and I went back up the ramp and collected the Chairman and the rest of the Board members, and ushered them down the ramp into the last limo. About half way down the ramp, I suggested to the Board members that they should wave at the cameras. Allan and Ian immediately complied, which prompted the rest of them to do so also. We got them all inside, and then climbed in ourselves.

        The thump from Curly closing the last door hadn't quit when we started rolling. I turned my tablet back on and got a helicopter shot of our motorcade. There were motorcycle Cops in front, with lights and sirens. Then there was a phalanx of Cop Cars, followed by a limo, followed by more cop cars, then another limo, and so on. I tired to count the number of Cop cars involved, and never could get an accurate count before they moved the camera, but I was over a hundred and hadn't gotten back as far as limo number six.

        The whole trip took almost fifteen minutes. There were a lot of folks out on the streets watching us go by, from what I could see on my tablet. I tried looking out the window, but it's hard to see much when you are trying to look through the windows of the police car that is alongside.

        When we got to the building, each of the limousines peeled out of the swarm of police cars and drove into an underground garage from where we would enter the building. The protocol having been discussed, the other cars each stopped until the one with the Board members in it got there, and we pulled up close to the elevator doors first, and unloaded the important folks. Scott and Curly got out and led the way to an elevator. I had the rear guard, and monitored behind us as we walked to the elevator. The Karn all got into the elevator, and I followed them in. Scott and Curly remained behind.

        We rode the elevator up to the lobby of the main building. I popped out of the elevator doors as they came open and scanned the room. There was a receiving line of dignitaries between us and the main doors to the General Assembly chambers on the opposite side of the room. We'd expected this, and everyone had been prompted on how to act. I nodded back through the elevator doorway and the Karn emerged. They fell into a single file, and each of them picked up a side boy as they approached the line. The side boy announced the title of his Karn to the person in line, announced the name of the dignitary in question to the Karn he was with, and there was handshaking and a few words of greeting exchanged. There was a spare side boy, but he never caught a clue, and just stood there looking flustered. Twice in the first couple of minutes someone tried to move me away from the Karn. I was following along behind and slightly off to one side of them as they worked up the line. The first time, I told the guy who tried to grab my elbow and lead me off to go away, and he did. The second attempt involved two guys, but it also got nipped in the bud when the last Karn in the line, who just happened to be the Chief Engineer, turned to them and announced coldly that I was with them, and would remain with them.

        One of the two guys who were trying to get rid of me spoke into a microphone in his sleeve, and that was the end of that for the time being, although I did keep getting some strange looks from the folks in the line.
        Alle Kunst ist umsunst Wenn ein Engel auf das Zundloch brunzet (All skill is in vain if an angel pisses down the touch-hole of your musket.) Old German Folk Wisdom.


        • #5
          Re: The Ambassador, Chapter 18

          It took the best part of a whole hour to get through the line, but we finally made it to the other end. Once we got to the doorway, they ushered us in and directed the Karn to a group of seats off to the right and slightly in front of the lectern. Again, once the Karn were seated, an attempt was made to get me away from the group. This time the Chairman himself spoke up. “He is with us. You have already been told this once. Is it something that we need to make more clear?”

          Everyone within about ten feet of me suddenly remembered somewhere else they needed to be, and I sat down in the sixth seat. Other than the fact that I was having to sit up really straight to keep the battery from digging into my back, it wasn't an uncomfortable chair.

          Mike gave me a message from Don. “Boy do you have some folks wound up. The whole Security apparatus is about to go nuts over the fact that the Karn have a human security guy, and he's with them on the floor. It's a total protocol disaster, and the Karn are insisting on it, so they don't dare do anything.”

          I responded “See. I done tol' ya' they were going to think I was one of your guys anyway. If you think they are worried about protocol now, wait until they find out what I actually do, and that they treated me like a Security guy this whole time.”

          He sent me an internet smiley face in response.

          The room was filling up fast now, and about ten minutes later, someone got up to the lectern and called the meeting of the General Assembly to order. He then announced the Secretary General.

          The Secretary General came to the lectern, and spent fifteen minutes going on about how hugely historic this occasion was. He proclaimed that he personally and the United Nations as an organization were both proud and humbled that the first Alien race to be met by humans not only saw humans as equals, but were willing and even eager to join with humans in their efforts to secure peace, harmony, and prosperity for Earth, and now both for Earth and even beyond it. He went on and on in that vein, and I guess it all is pretty cool, if you quit being cynical for a minute and overlook that he was speaking to the biggest collection of unindicted criminals ever collected up in one place in the history of the Earth.

          He finally ran down, and introduced the Chairman of The Board of Directors of the Karn. The Chairman took the lectern to polite applause, and proceeded to give everyone another ten minutes of platitudes and generalities about progress and advancement and prosperity and wealth, not to mention full employment, two cars in every garage, two chickens in every pot, two big-screen TV's in every living room, ludicrously cheap high-speed broadband wireless worldwide, and serious advances in clean power and medical technology.

          He didn't actually promise them much of anything except the worldwide high-speed broadband, though. We'd determined that we could work that up by piggybacking it onto some things we wanted to have in orbit anyway. It's a generous gift from your new best buddies the Karn, who now can monitor the entire Earth's surface 24/7/365 for anything coming up from the planet that we might consider a threat, but we didn't mention that even being part of the package of communication satellites we're putting up there.

          He concluded by noting that he'd like to introduce this august body to our United Nations Ambassador designate, and that the candidate Ambassador had somehow been conducted up into the visitors gallery. He would appreciate it if someone would please guide him down to the lectern so that he could deliver some remarks to his prospective colleagues.

          That's one in your face, you dumb thumbsucking Diplomats. I loved that part, and it was strictly ad-lib on the Chairman's part. The Karn had made the assumption that if they didn't know who was who among us, they would have enough sense to ask. I'd offered to wager Allan that they wouldn't, but he would not bet me, and I was not at all unhappy to see this bunch making themselves look bad, so I'd just shut up and let the chips fall. The Ambassador-designate was one of my First Deputy Directors.

          The poor dude. He had the Karn equivalent of a PHD in both Xenoanthropology and Interspecies Relations, and had been so under utilized in External Affairs that he'd taken a job as a Machinist just to have something to keep himself occupied. When I selected him for the UN Ambassador job he was so happy I thought he was going to cry.

          People were dispatched, and he was freed from his exile in the visitor's gallery and escorted to the lectern. The Chairman turned to the microphone and announced “Ambassadors and other distinguished representatives of the Nations of Earth, I give you your prospective new colleague.”

          He got a nice round of applause, and in excellent Diplomatic fashion, made no mention of having been slighted by being shuffled off into the peanut gallery. His speech was positive, but a bit longer on details than the Chairman's had been. He noted that the first thing that must be done is to address the education aspects of the situation. He elaborated by noting that while the Karn did not think that humans were in any way less intelligent than the Karn, we were fully aware that humans were not as technologically advanced as the Karn were. We proposed to address that as one of our first priorities, by opening schools where both new students and current Educators could be taught the expanded sciences which we were in possession of.
          Alle Kunst ist umsunst Wenn ein Engel auf das Zundloch brunzet (All skill is in vain if an angel pisses down the touch-hole of your musket.) Old German Folk Wisdom.


          • #6
            Re: The Ambassador, Chapter 18

            He got a nice round of applause, and in excellent Diplomatic fashion, made no mention of having been slighted by being shuffled off into the peanut gallery. His speech was positive, but a bit longer on details than the Chairman's had been. He noted that the first thing that must be done is to address the education aspects of the situation. He elaborated by noting that while the Karn did not think that humans were in any way less intelligent than the Karn, we were fully aware that humans were not as technologically advanced as the Karn were. We proposed to address that as one of our first priorities, by opening schools where both new students and current Educators could be taught the expanded sciences which we were in possession of.

            He noted that we suggested that we should educate both new students and current Educators at the same time, since that would allow humans to both have the skills to produce and build the things that the Karn had, and would also allow the Educators to pass the knowledge on to more of their own students, thereby relieving the Karn of the need to fill these functions which should be more properly performed by humans. He noted that he expected that the expansion of manufacturing and technology which would come out of all this would in all probability create a new prosperity that would be unlike anything the Earth had ever previously seen. He went on some more about that sort of thing, emphasizing all the good things we were going to make available. I'd told him to plan on speaking for about fifteen minutes, Earth time, and when he finished, I asked Mike how long he'd gone, and was informed that it was 14 minutes and 53 seconds. I gave him two bonus points on that one.

            The Secretary General came back out, and stated that it was time for the vote on accepting the Karn application for membership in the United Nations. He offered that he intended to preside over the voting himself, since it was such a historic occasion. He said that the voting would now open, and he would consider it closed when everyone had voted. He requested that the tally board be uncovered and started up.

            Someone in the membership started yelling something. He was yelling in some Slavic language, as near as I could tell, and Mike translated for me. He was demanding that the Karn be accepted by acclamation. Within the next couple of minutes there were at least two dozen folks shouting “Acclamation” in various languages.

            The Secretary-General hushed the group, and said that while he agreed with the sentiments expressed, he was obliged to remind everyone that a recorded vote was required by their rules and bylaws, and that he thought it would be best to maintain the forms which had served them so well to date. He noted that if everyone would simply go ahead and vote, the process would be completed quite rapidly, and that all the proper methods and rules would have been observed.

            Everyone started going along with his request, and inside of five minutes, the tally board was showing all green lights, with the exception of four or five which had not yet voted. The room started buzzing, and there were some harsh looks starting to be thrown at the holdouts. Everyone came around fairly fast, and within another five minutes, all of the lights on the tally board were green except one.

            Someone came up to the Lectern and briefly spoke to the Secretary General. He then returned to the microphone and announced that the Ambassador from San Marino was not present, and that San Marino would be recorded as not voting. The results were otherwise unanimous, and the Karn were officially recognized as a full member of the United Nations, with all the privileges and responsibilities that such membership incurred.

            He gave us five more minutes on what a historic occasion this was, and then re-introduced our Chairman for some more remarks.

            The Chairman started out by promising to be brief. He said that the main purpose he had in making these additional comments was for the purpose of introducing their Director of External Affairs to this illustrious body. He noted that the Karn had searched extensively for the best possible fit for the position of Director of External Affairs for the difficult mission of getting our relations with Earth, and all of the Nations thereof, off to a good start. After a search that they were beginning to feel was futile, they had finally located the one person who they felt could do justice to the job. He added that they had found the person, offered him a position, and he had accepted it. Finally, he added that the Karn were most grateful, because they had stolen their External Affairs Director from Earth. “Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you our Director of External Affairs, Mr. Jefferson.”

            I stood up on cue. There was dead silence in the room, except for the fair number of jaws that I heard hitting the floor. I walked up to the lectern and decided that before I went into my prepared remarks I was going to ad-lib just this once, because we had left something out that seemed important now.

            “Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen of the United Nations. I am proud and happy to be here as a Representative of the Karn, who are now my people. I am a Citizen of Karn. As should be apparent from that, I can tell you that we have had some of our people present on Earth for almost a year now. I hope that everyone will forgive our secretive intrusions, but we had to be sure that we had chosen the proper place to locate our new Hub, and we felt it necessary to do some observation for ourselves from the ground. Those observations confirmed that we had, in fact, chosen well.”

            From there, I went to my prepared text. I first emphasized the amount of work that we were all going to have to do. Our plan was ambitious, but we felt that we could have enough humans educated and trained well enough to start handling their own production of a lot of Karn technology within ten years or so. In the meantime we would make available such things that would be of the most benefit and which we could provide people to support and maintain, or administer in the case of medical technology. I noted that our Ambassador to the United Nations had already covered that topic fairly well, and that I'd leave them with him on that part and move on.
            Alle Kunst ist umsunst Wenn ein Engel auf das Zundloch brunzet (All skill is in vain if an angel pisses down the touch-hole of your musket.) Old German Folk Wisdom.


            • #7
              Re: The Ambassador, Chapter 18

              I noted that we desired to have Diplomatic Relations with all of the Nations of Earth, but that there were some difficulties that were going to have to be overcome on that front. In the first place, we were a small nation, with a population of slightly less than a half-million. Half of that population was currently located about 200,000 light years in that direction. (I pointed down and to my left.) and would not be coming here for another couple of years. We were underpopulated at the present, and were sorely lacking in qualified diplomatic personnel. We had an education program of our own already under way, but that was going to take some time.

              I then noted that there was also a matter of transportation. At present, any movement between the Karn ship and the Earth was going to be via one of the Karn shuttles, and we currentl only had five of them. I explained that we had left almost all of them with the other half of our people who were in the process of finishing the construction of our second ship. We were also in the process of building more shuttles, but once again, it was not a process which happened rapidly. I compared it to the building of a medium sized marine vessel on Earth and noted that a couple of years from start to completion was not unusual.

              I casually tossed out the thought that we were considering asking if someone could provide us with an extraterritorial enclave where we could host the Embassies of Earth Nations until such time as we had adequate transportation on a regular scheduled basis to allow us to properly host those Embassies on one of our ships. I noted that this would be a temporary expedient, and that we would only be asking for extraterritorial jurisdiction for perhaps ten to fifteen years at most.

              From there I got off into how we planned to proceed with establishing Diplomatic Relations with the various Nations of Earth. I noted that we would naturally be starting out with the largest Nations. I suggested that we would be starting with about a dozen Countries, including the five Veto powers within this esteemed body, and working on from there. I noted that we intended no slight or slur toward anyone, but that for reasons based on our own capabilities we were going to have to take it one step at a time.

              I added that we really wanted to get the Diplomatic Recognition process under way as quickly as possible, because we planned on starting to do a fair amount of hiring in the near future. We were going to be manufacturing some things that we thought would be useful to the folks here on Earth, and that they might not want to wait for while we taught people how to make them here. We also had to start building our Hub, which was going to take some fair amount of help. We could probably do one or the other with the labor force we had to hand on the ship, but if we planned on doing both at once, we were going to be needing a whole lot of willing hands. I noted that those willing hands would be generously compensated, so I suspected that it would work out well for everyone involved.

              I explained that we planned on outsourcing the production of a lot of simpler components for some of the things we also planned on building here on Earth. We'd also be buying some other stuff, mostly agricultural products. That would include foodstuffs, but also a fair amount of wood and cloth. I explained that we used those in much the same ways they did, and that a new source of different woods and cloth would be very welcome to the average Karn, since we'd been working out of our stores of those kinds of goods for a fair number of years now. I added that the average Karn individual was as appreciative of new and different things at about the same level as the average human was, so I expected that there would be some new fads and fashions on the ship as a result of the importation of these things from Earth.

              I wound up with about five minutes of praise and platitudes, and looked forward to a bright and wonderful tomorrow where humans and Karn worked together to create a happy and prosperous world. It sounded really good, but my cynical side longed to offer an over/under number on how many months it would last before some idiots stirred the pot and got things all messed around. My current personal bet was that it would last about four months before the first wheel fell off. I wasn't willing to bet that some idiot wouldn't try to steal the jack before we managed to get the wheel back on, either. I didn't say any of that, but they can't hang me for thinking it.

              I thanked the Assembly for their attention, turned left, and went back to my seat.

              Whoever the guy was who officiated when the Secretary General wasn't doing it came back out and announced that this session of the General Assembly of the United Nations was closed. We collected ourselves up and got reunited with the rest of our people. It wasn't even dark yet, but everyone among our group had experienced a long day already, and was ready to get something to eat and kick back and relax, at the minimum.

              There were a lot of folks hanging on us, wanting pictures with the Karn and suchlike, but we managed to shed them fairly quickly. They were Diplomats, not paparazzi. We split into two groups. About a dozen of us were heading for the new Embassy because we were staying on Earth for the time being. The rest of the Board Members, other than myself, were going back to the ship. We put the Karn group in a limo and headed them off to the Embassy accompanied by Isiah and Scott. Curly, Don, and I joined in the motorcade back to JFK. When we were about halfway there, someone on the ship called the JFK tower and asked for clearance to bring a Karn shuttle down. They dithered around for about five minutes, and our people informed them that they had a perfectly good opening coming up in about two minutes, and we'd use it and put the shuttle on taxiway one about a hundred yards from the terminal. The shuttle popped in right there, right on schedule. We saw everyone aboard. The shuttle then called the tower and requested clearance to depart. That was simply being polite, because they still hadn't gotten it two minutes later, and they went ahead and popped out anyway.
              Alle Kunst ist umsunst Wenn ein Engel auf das Zundloch brunzet (All skill is in vain if an angel pisses down the touch-hole of your musket.) Old German Folk Wisdom.


              • #8
                Re: The Ambassador, Chapter 18

                Don held one of the limousines for our use, and we got ourselves ferried to the Embassy. I handed the driver $600 in Canadian money, and his feelings did not seem hurt in any way by the fact that it wasn't American. We got inside, and discovered that Heather had been getting a workout. She had drafted a couple of the security guys, and made about four trips through various local food stores and one pass through a liquor store. She'd also gone and bought some cookware.

                We had food, and we had drinks of all sorts, soft to hard. We had coffee, tea, and paper plates and plastic utensils to eat it all with. Better arrangements were going to have to be made tomorrow, but for this evening we were at least equipped with the basics. Somebody had dropped the ball on this place, and I had a funny feeling that it was me, since it was an Embassy, and I was the guy where the buck stopped for that sort of thing. Oh, well. I figured I'd regret being neglectful sometime tomorrow or Saturday, or whenever I got around to it. For now, I was just glad that today was over.

                We got something to eat. Heather had probably planned to use the ham and eggs for tomorrow's breakfast, but I appropriated them. Don chopped some potatoes and onions, which I fried up separately from the ham, and when the potatoes were done, I broke and stirred up a dozen eggs and scrambled them up with the vegetables. That and a couple of chunks of fried ham each and some toast fed Don, Curly, and I. Isiah and Scott had come in just in time to catch the leftovers from what the the Karn had eaten. Heather had ordered up Chinese delivery for them, and they had damaged it badly enough that there was barely any left by the time Isiah and Scott had shown up. They got enough, but there wwre only slim pickings remaining by the time we late arrivals got there.

                I went and found my backpack and got a tennis ball. There was one can of dog food missing, as well as a package of treats, so I was comfortable that Miss Rover had been fed. On the way back through I stopped at the refrigerator and looked in. There was beer, of a sort. Heather had the taste in beer that I'd expect from a twenty-something. Bud, Bud Lite, and some kind of Apple Ale. I snagged a Bud and took Miss Rover out into the garden area, such as it was.

                It was only about 100 feet deep by 125 feet wide. It had a nine foot wall around it. It was purely impossible to throw the ball very far in there, but I discovered that I could throw it so that it bounced back off the wall. I got some very evil looks from Miss Rover the first three or four times I did it, but she figured it out pretty quickly, and started waiting for it to rebound and catching it coming back off of the wall. We played the new game for about 20 minutes, I finished my beer, and decided that it was time to call it a night. I figured that I'd been up for 21 hours, and it was not the least stressful 21 hours I'd put in lately.

                I went back inside and inquired how the rooms were being assigned. I was informed that mine was #3A and handed the keys to the room. Miss Rover and I took the stairs, and naturally took the ones at the wrong end and had to walk all the way down the hall back to the other end of the floor to find our room. I rapidly discovered that there was furniture, but no bedding. I looked in the closets, and there wasn't any there, either.

                Oh, well. I was tired, and it was summer. I turned the AC off. Then I unloaded all twenty odd pounds of stuff I was carrying, took my suit off, and flopped on the mattress. It took me about an hour to get to sleep. New York is way too noisy for us country boys. It was either police sirens, fire trucks, squealing tires, car alarms, or some idiots yelling a half a block over. I think I heard a gunshot too, but it might have just been a vehicle backfiring. If I was going to be here regularly, I could see some serious soundproofing going on.

                Once I got to sleep, I did manage to tune everything out and stay that way.
                Alle Kunst ist umsunst Wenn ein Engel auf das Zundloch brunzet (All skill is in vain if an angel pisses down the touch-hole of your musket.) Old German Folk Wisdom.