2. The Consortium

Part 2. If you missed the previous chapter, click here.

Central Oregon Coast, August 2120

The diminutive lady T-Rex swung the gavel down as the room erupted in noise and confusion.

“Order, please! May we have order?”

She slammed the gavel on the desk again – it was not so much an actual gavel as a carved and shaped bone of an unknown creature-  resulting in a chastening thwack! that finally quieted the room full of aliens and humans, with the exception of a large, aubergine-colored praying mantis who was chuffing loudly.

“Will the ambassador from Cygnus Major please refrain from making that sound?”

“So very sorry, Madam Arbiter,” the mantis clicked and clucked while the translation box in front of her formed her words in a vaguely Asian accent. She chuffed again and in doing so dislodged an oblong lavender egg from her abdomen and quickly secured it in a wrap she wore around her front, then peered around sheepishly, clearly embarrassed about the unfortunate timing of her brooding. “I am finished now. Please proceed.” She said as she lowered her triangular head and closed her beautifully shimmering multifaceted eyes.

“Thank you. Let the record show: we are here to determine the cause of the temporal incident at- Space/time coordinates of the incident…Skeevas?” she glanced at the aide to her right, a small pterodactyl with a lighted pad. Skeevas cleared his throat.

“Ahem. Incident occurred at the following galactic coordinates: longitude 179° 56′ 39.4″, latitude +0° 2′ 46.2″ and distance 7,940 ± 420 parsecs. Subject planet is the third from a common yellow star and the only planet in the system to contain lifeforms—wait a minute, this an error. There are at least eight moons near middle of this system that have-”

“Skeevas, the location, please.”

“Yes, Madam Arbiter. Incursion occurred in a place called ‘England’ which is located in the northen hemisphere on a sub-continental island known for its rain coats. Time stamp t-minus 261 local solar years.”

 “Thank you, Skeevas. In attendance were Nalla and Jyilla of Sesspressenny in the galaxy of Andromeda.” She adjusted her spectacles which rested near the end of her dinosaur snout. “Andromeda??” She said with a note of doubt in her voice and tilted her oblong lizard head in disbelief. A gossamer butterfly seated, or rather floating, halfway around the table bobbed its antennae in a gesture of affirmation.

“Yes, Arbiter. That is the location of the current Gleeze home world.” Its wings moved together to create a friction from which emanated a tinkling sound and fairy dust that was quickly and efficiently translated by the box in front of it. The T-Rex shook her head slightly and continued.

“Go on.”

The butterfly shuddered its wings in a fashion that the translation box interpreted as a throat clearing.      

“We were alerted to the fact that this planet had activated several Irises and we came to investigate.”

“Thank you. And the Irises had been activated by humans, who are the- supposedly- sentient life form on this planet.“ She looked around at her pterodactyl clerk, “I’ll be the judge of that.” She said dryly. She inclined her scaly head towards the group humans located at the opposite end the large egg-shaped table.

There was a young woman with dark blond hair pulled back in a ponytail, wearing a tattered Victorian gown, a young man in a lab coat with dark rimmed glasses, a slightly older man with enormous mutton chop sideburns who was wearing a waistcoat, and who was clearly quite put out. Standing behind them and looking dazed were another man and woman in pressure suits, a motley bunch of Renaissance minstrels, part of a Roman centurion garrison, a Neanderthal and a very annoyed Attila the Hun. 

 The young woman squirmed on her bench and looked at her human companions who urged her with gestures and looks to answer.

“Yes, Madame Arbiter. That is correct. We were able to activate the wormholes, er, Irises in our..um.. lab.” The Arbiter peered over her spectacles.

“I see. To what purpose?” The human woman looked up thoughtfully and sighed. Good question, dinosaur lady. To what purpose indeed…