In this second article in the Mekeer series, extraterrestrial specialist Marc Fiszman introduces the aliens' plan to rescue humanity from self-destruction.
I walked to the side of Kodahr, the two of us flanked by two of his assistants. They were dressed as he, in soft, hooded robes, though in blue rather than the shimmering white which flowed down and about the tall Prophet's body. The assistants were around my height, average for a human, a foot or so shorter than the man who led us. The hoods kept all of their faces cloaked in shadows, or even something more, for try as I might, it was impossible to see anything but pure blackness inside.
We passed a steady stream of others - these Mekeer, I now knew - as we moved along a wide, white, gently curving hallway which continued into the far distance. A few wore the same hooded robes, a mixture of blues, yellows and reds, but most were dressed in what I presumed was the ship uniform, brown, leather-looking trousers and a tunic done tight to the neck, the whole thing hugging their lean bodies. Their black boots made no sound on the white ground.
Many of them seemed occupied and paid our group little or no attention, speaking quietly among themselves. Others took greater interest, looking at me and smiling. They all smiled when they looked at me, and even those who weren't smiling, who were busy with other matters, seemed happy and involved. Nearly all of them looked to be in their early twenties, in human years at least.
"They are the crew," Kodahr said, "the ones in uniforms. Those in robes belong to the three main spiritual sects. They are preparing for a conference, where I will speak. There are citizens on other levels. The ship holds one million."
They looked not so unlike humans, these Mekeer, a little taller, perhaps, with larger, more oval-shaped eyes, but otherwise pretty much the same. There was as broad a range of hair colour and skin tone as you would find on Earth. I recall noticing the smoothness of their skin, looking for imperfections and finding none. All of the men were clean shaven, and it was hard to imagine hair on their faces.
We were walking down the centre of the hallway, the flow of people parting to make way for us, where necessary. The crew would sometimes offer a quiet nod to the Prophet, a brief closing of the eyes and gentle dip of the head; those in robes nodded as well, though they did so without exception, and in a more pronounced fashion.
It was not as bright as it had been in the meeting room, the light appearing, as there, to come from nowhere. There were silver panels at regular intervals along the inner wall; rectangular portholes with rounded edges lined the outer one, looking out into space. A misty, purple planet and two bright moons floated in the distance.
A panel just ahead slid open with a whoosh and Kodahr placed a hand to my back, directing me towards it. We passed through and into a darker room. Uniformed people sat in white chairs at black consoles, working quietly at screens which floated before them. The screens seemed holographic, or something of that nature, presenting grids in different colours with scrolling rows of numbers, stars and planets, geometric designs. It was unclear how the crew interacted with the screens. Many of them seemed to just be sitting there, staring; others ran their hands across the smooth, empty surfaces in front of them. There was barely a sound.
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