By the time the aliens responded to my message we were so close all we could see was their ship. The stars hidden behind a billion tons of alien metal.
So close we could see shadowy shapes behind the distance portholes.
“Greetings, Leader Kaine. Consolidations from Leader Vronel. We, eager to meet you.”
Eager to spring a trap, no doubt.
“Greetings, Leader Vronel,” I sent back. “It is an honor to meet you. Though concerned you should use such, unfriendly, methods to gain our attention.”
“We required you to listen to our proposition,” Vronel sent back. “We can become mutually profited by a combined venture.”
“Where is Kayla?”
“Your engine-people will be returned once contracts are dealed.”
Hey, a deal, I could handle a deal. I could handle any deal.
“What is your proposition?”
“We require 40 of your family units, for display at our entertainment centers.”
“Kaine, you can’t.” Arni said.
“In exchange, one thousand ton units of platinum.”
”...think about it.”