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Chapter 1: Arrival
Chapter 2: Dinner with Gellor
Chapter 3: Waking Transformed
Chapter 4: Threat Response
Chapter 5: Doctor's Lab
Chapter 6: Up, Up in the Air
Chapter 7: Founding a Species
Chapter 8: Migration
Chapter 9: Sextet Forms
Chapter 10: Earth First Attacks
Chapter 11: Conversation with Nano
Chapter 12: Dynatech
Life With Nano
By M.R. Leenysman
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Chapter 1: Arrival
My name is Paul Thomas Gould. The date my story begins was August 6th of 2025. Until then, I was a career diplomat working for the U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, the deputy ambassador, in other words. Until the day that the Marnotts arrived and changed life on Earth forever, including mine most dramatically. I was on track to becoming an Ambassador myself when I wound up walking into making First Contact with the Marnott.
The press and the historians still insist that the Marnotts first landed at the U.N. headquarters in New York. The strict truth is they landed near the U.N Plaza, not at it, on a vacant plot of land to the south of the U.N. that was once a ConEd power plant. It had gone undeveloped for decades with nothing being built, after ConEd sold the land to developers and the power plant was removed. The Gorlak Embassy to Earth was built there, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
I was returning from lunch at a Greek restaurant to the U.S. Mission across the street from the U.N. headquarters when the Marnott ship landed. The first sign of their arrival was that the chain link fences around the vacant property were smashed outward, sounding like the crumpling of tin foil held an inch from your ear. Along with the fencing, the bus stop along that side of 1st Avenue also crumpled. Thankfully, the stop was empty, as the bus had just picked up passengers a minute earlier. Several cars stalled and were also pushed away from that side of the street, without any collisions occurring. Their drivers exited the cars and ran, thinking that a bomb must have gone off.
I am told that I was the only person who didn’t run as far away as possible. So, I was the only one still in the right position to see the sun shimmer in the sky over the East River, right before the ship stopped camouflaging itself and settled to the ground at the river side of the lot, with no sign of dirt being blown away from retro jets. I found out later that their landing systems were electro-magnetic instead of using fuel as propellant, which explained the metal of the fences and bus stop being affected first.
My first impression was that the ship looked like a giant Hershey’s kiss, wrapped in gold. My second was of the poop emoticon come to life, complete with two apparent windows where the eyes would be. I would not be the last to make that comparison.
I cannot recall a conscious decision, but I walked across 1st Avenue and over the fallen chain link and the Jersey barriers that the chain link fencing used to sit upon. I was nearly 20 feet from the ship when the “What the fuck are you doing?” thought crossed my mind. That’s when a portal opened on the side of the ship and a ramp extended to the dirt of the lot. I continued my approach.
“Hello, sir. What is your name?” said a shadowy figure from the inside of that door. In perfect English.
“Paul Thomas Gould. I work for the United States Mission to the United Nations. On behalf of mankind, welcome to Earth and the United States of America,” I answered, blankly. “You speak English?”
“Certainly,” the being answered. “What kind of diplomats would we be if we did not gain your languages before arriving on your world? Every language you have broadcast since you discovered radio, we have learned. I myself have the knowledge of 12 of your languages, including English.”
The being stepped forward into the light, and I got my first clear view. Nearly six feet tall. Humanoid in basic shape, the immediate differences between us and them were blue hair, gold eyes and skin under a tunic and pants which extended into simple shoes around a broad foot. The ears reminded me of elves and Vulcans, lobes rising to a definite point. The long hands had six fingers with no thumb, but the hands were jointed in the middle so that the two halves could fold together, like a clam shell, with the three fingers on one side able to touch the three on the other. The eyes, nose and mouth were human looking, and the overall impression was of a tall, cute, but very boyish looking woman, with no breasts to speak of, but I had no way of knowing if that was accurate at all. This could be a male instead. Two more figures appeared behind it, even taller.
“Let me introduce myself,” it said. “I am Gellor Tukta, from a planet we call Marn. Our species is called Marnott, both singular and plural, although we will accept Marnotts as plural as well, since that is the English standard. I am a Contact Initiation Counselor for the Gorlak Alliance, uniting over a thousand sentient species along the Orion arm of the Milky Way galaxy. It is my job to make first contact, leading to establishing an Embassy here. I am not the Ambassador, so should be referred to as Counselor Tukta.”
“Are all of those species humanoid, Counselor?” I asked.
It laughed, at least that’s what I interpreted it to be doing, exposing teeth that had a second set of canines among the top row, saying, “Not hardly. Perhaps 40% are even bipedal, but quite variant in other appearance. However, it is traditional that first contact duty is assigned to the species within the Diplomatic Service which is closest to the new civilization’s appearance, as well as having the physical ability to speak your languages. As you become adjusted to the idea of other species, you will be exposed to those who do not look like you at all. Make no mistake, however. We Marnott are a different species from your Homo Sapiens, we simply evolved a similar appearance and mode of reproduction. There are differences, plainly, from our hands and feet, to not being mammalian in the sense we do not produce milk for our young as your species does. So, while I am a Marnott female, I have no mammary glands, no breasts, nor even a nipple as your males do. My aides behind me are male, however.”
The two males came forward, and I could tell that they were both taller and bulkier than Gellor, at least 6’4”. I wondered whether the difference in size between the sexes was inherent in all humanoid species, or just another similarity with humanity leading to the Marnott being assigned to Earth. I would be rude to ask, so I remained silent.
I heard sirens approaching, and said, “Well, Gellor, we’re about to have the company of a lot of gun-toting police officers. What’s the plan?”
“Their guns will not fire, I assure you,” she said. “Our ship is suppressing the explosive capability of their gunpowder as we speak. Once we establish communications with the local authorities, we expect to converse with your Secretary General and the Security Council. We landed by your United Nations for a reason, Mr. Gould. Or is Paul acceptable?”
“Paul is fine. Is Gellor acceptable, or should I continue to call you Counselor Tukta?”
“Gellor is good,” she said with a smile. “You mentioned that you work for the U.S. Mission. I would like if you could be our liaison for the time being, to help smooth things along?”
“Freeze!” the first cop over the barrier shouted, before I could answer Gellor.
I turned with my hands out and said, “Officer, stand down. As you can see, Earth has its first Identified Flying Object. These are the Marnotts and they are here to establish diplomatic relations between a galactic alliance and us. They are not being hostile, and I would like to see that continue, understand me?”
“And just who are you?” the cop asked, not lowering his gun.
“Paul Gould, assistant to the Deputy Ambassador from the U.S. to the U.N. And as of this moment, the liaison to the Marnotts, at their request. I was walking along First Avenue when they landed here.”
The officer lowered his gun and leaned towards a radio mike on his shoulder, and as another dozen officers reached the scene, they kept their guns holstered. Soon, they were holding back a crowd of onlookers, whose curiosity finally overcame their fright.
In less than an hour, the Secretary General and the Permanent Representatives of the five permanent Security Council nations (U.S., U.K., France, Russia and China) were all striding across the open lot. They were followed by various staff, some of whom were security people. Before I introduced anyone, Gellor welcomed each of them by name, in their native languages. She then asked the six of them to arrange a place to meet for the afternoon, to prepare for an address before the General Assembly the next day. So much for needing a liaison.
Still, Gellor insisted I attend the meeting, along with the two male Marnotts who she introduced as Kesstel Sushma and Grell Arktor, who weren’t very talkative, although they spoke English quite well when they spoke.
Prior to the meeting, U.S. Ambassador Smalls said, “I guess you’ll definitely make the history books, Paul. First contact with an alien civilization. It’s hard to imagine, even now, seeing them in person.”
I shrugged. “I was just at the right place at the right time, Carly. If I had gone to lunch another place or time, someone else would have been first.”
The ambassador said, “Well, Counselor Tukta appears to like you, so I’m approving your continuation as liaison to them, for now. The President might have a different opinion. He's apparently fuming that the Marnotts did not land on the White House lawn to meet with him first. At least they didn’t land at Red Square or Zhongnanhai instead.”
The meeting that afternoon was as much a briefing as anything else. A history of the Gorlak Alliance that soon became world wide news, how they detected Earth had achieved technology based on its radio transmissions and a diplomatic mission was organized after the Apollo Missions showed we were branching out into space. How the Alliance used subspace transmissions to communicate, which was why our SETI programs were not detecting them.
Gellor related a series of conditions that Earth would need to meet before the Gorlak Alliance would establish an embassy. Then she related another set before Earth would be granted full membership in the Alliance. Both sets of conditions brought frowns from the attendees.
“So, this is how you negotiate surrender?” asked Chinese Ambassador Li, his words repeated by translators for each of the others.
Gellor did not need a translator and responded, in Chinese, “No surrender, Ambassador Li, for we are not at war and do not wish war with your planet. Membership in the Gorlak Alliance is voluntary, I assure you. The Alliance does not expand through conquest, but through cooperation. Interstellar war, in addition to being difficult and expensive, is destructive and pointless as all it produces are dead worlds, not subservient ones. Or have you not realized yet on your own world that conquered peoples rarely stay conquered for very long and a resistance always arises? It is far easier for the Alliance to achieve expansion peacefully by making it a choice. Nearly 30% of the civilizations approached by the Alliance decline the invitation.”
“Without repercussions?” asked Li.
She paused before saying, “Any consequences are of their own making, Ambassador. Of those 30%, a third change their minds within two generations, a third remain stable but isolated and stagnant, and the rest either decline over several generations or trigger an extinction event, which I would predict as Earth’s fate, if you choose to remain on your current path. My own planet was one of those that initially balked, then we changed our mind a generation later. That was five thousand two hundred and eight of your years ago.”
“So, why are these changes necessary first?” Russian Ambassador Petrov asked.
Gellor responded in Russian, “They are all to ensure that you would be a peaceful and productive member of the Alliance. Eliminating your nuclear weapons, managing your climate and putting an end to strife between your separate nations, your separate religions or your separate races is both for your own survival and our safety. Otherwise, your world would be blockaded so you do not ever attempt to attack us. If it survives long enough to rise to a technological capability to do so. Without knowledge of how to enter subspace, you would not even reach us to make an attack.”
"And this is not to make it easier for you to invade?" Petrov asked.
Gellor smiled slightly, baring her canine teeth in what I thought was a calculated way. "Your current technology would not prevent an invasion in the slightest, Ambassador. If that were our goal. Any war would have already have been won today, every one of your weapons destroyed or incapacitated, from purely defensive measures on our part. We wouldn’t even need our offensive weapons at all. Imagine the combustion of gunpowder and other explosives being suppressed world-wide, including your nuclear weapons. Or the combustion of any of your fossil fuels and a shutdown of all of your electronics. You could improve upon your weaponry for a thousand years and still not match what could be brought to bear against you. That is, if you do not destroy yourselves in your own wars first."
"I do not believe you," Petrov said. “You are bluffing.”
Gellor raised her wrist to her mouth and spoke several words that I guessed were Marnott, then turned to Ambassador Petrov and said, "Contact your Kremlin and your military, Ambassador. The nuclear reactors on three of your submarines in the Atlantic have been shut off by Gorlak forces in orbit as a small demonstration. They are safely operating on battery power, but have begun to surface to send distress calls. Once you have received confirmation of this, we will restart those reactors."
Petrov blanched and turned to an aide, who scurried out of the room. Within five minutes, the aide returned and nodded. "It is as she says, Ambassador."
Gellor raised her wrist again, spoke briefly and said, "Those reactors are working again. Our engineers even improved their performance by 10% during their shutdown, as a show of good faith."
"Good faith. Hah!" spouted UK Ambassador Brown. "This feels like extortion, to me."
"Ambassador Brown," Gellor said, "Your species has a phrase, 'Trust but verify.' I was only establishing that Ambassador Petrov could believe what I said is truth, that if it were our intent to conquer you, it would already be over, in the short term. Hence, this is not an invasion. Nor is it an attempt to mislead you. We are only showing you the road to a future as an equal member of the Alliance. We are not pushing you onto that road or punishing you for not traveling it. Yes, it is a lengthy road to travel. Yes, there is a toll, to extend the analogy. It is your choice, as a species, whether to pay it, to meet our requirements. The first major one is to unite as a species, not these quarreling nations and other conflicting groups. Consider this an incentive to let go of the idea that war and division is something that benefits you in the long run. It marks you as socially immature, instead. It is time to grow up. I believe the relevant metaphor is to ‘join the adult’s table’. Once you are members, you would be expected to participate in the defense of the Alliance, but only once you demonstrate the ability to live in peace with yourselves and you are no longer a threat to the Alliance from within.”
“And if we decline?” Brown asked.
Gellor opened her hands in a gesture I equated to a shrug, and said, “Say 'no' and we depart, leaving only monitoring stations in several locations in your solar system so we can keep track of you. Convene your General Assembly for tomorrow at noon, Ambassadors. Mister Gould, if you would be so kind as to join me on our ship for dinner?"
I glanced at Ambassador Smalls, who nodded briefly, and I responded, “It would be my honor, Counselor.”
Chapter 2: Dinner with Gellor
I accompanied Gellor and her two aides back to their ship. We were waved through the police cordon and ascended the ramp, which retracted once we were onboard and the hatch closed behind us.
Gellor turned to me and said, “If you will follow me, Paul, I’m told that our dinners are nearly ready.” Her two aides went in a different direction as we turned down a passageway. The walls were an off-white, but periodically dissolved into images, of strange-looking places. The walls flowed overhead into an arch, and the images continued there as well. It felt just like I was walking down some alien street.
“Are these images of Marn?” I asked.
“Some are,” answered Gellor, “But they are all from places familiar to the crew. Although we are all Marnott, some of the crew were born on worlds other than Marn, and may only travel there once or twice in their lifetime, mainly as the equivalent of your honeymoon. So there are images from their birthworlds as well as planets this ship has visited. The ship keeps them on a random rotation for variety.”
“Is the crew all unmarried?” I asked.