“I hear they’ve got seventeen eyes and ten legs and they wriggle about like insects.” The girl’s eyes bulged as she spoke. It made him smile.
“you hear a lot of things, kid.”

Jack tapped at touchscreens as he pulled his way into the bridge. Tahli’ah tailed him the whole way.

“So when do you think they’ll get here?”
“Any minute now.”

She floated past him as he climbed into a workstation. She looked out the window onto emptiness and he clicked at keyboards.

“How do they do it?”
“Wormholes let them in. Dunno how it works- I’m just a delivery boy. The math is beyond us anyhow.”
“Well that’s dumb.”
“Yes we are. See if you can get that sunshade up- you’re gonna wanna see this.”

She swooped down to a monitor and poked at it. The tint over the windows faded releasing a thousand extra stars. The monitors flashed green and out of nowhere from beyond the glass a glow came from a tiny ball. It burst outward bathing them in red. After a few seconds, a clean white sphere birthed from the small sun, taking up the whole universe as it absorbed the red back into nothingness.

“It’s beautiful!”
“It’s late. Come on- I’ve gotta prep the cargo.”

He hopped out of the workstation and threw himself down the hallway. Tahli’ah kicked off after him.

“Will we meet them?”
“No; they take the cargo as soon as we release it.”
“Why? Can they not speak our language?”
“Call it that.”

He felt uneasy- he never quite liked them or what they did. But he was here to get a job done and that was enough for Jack.

They came to a hatch at the end of the hall and Jack made to open it.

“What kind of cargo do they take?”

Jack pulled the hatch door and motioned for her to go in.

“See for yourself.”

She climbed through the hatch and looked about. When she started to scream Jack closed the door.

“I’m sorry,” He said, and punched the cargo release, “you weren’t supposed to wake up.”

He turned around and kicked back towards the bridge. When he got there, he watched them from the window for a moment as a beam of light focused the cargo towed it in towards the sphere.

Jack climbed into the work station with a whistle. Then he activated the sunshade, and in the darkness he plotted a course back home.


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