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“Yeah, pretty boring name if you ask me,” KJ said.
“Not to mention it really puts the racism out in the open,” Kate said, adding: “We put ‘other’ right in their name.”
Julio shrugged. “I don’t know—you’ve seen them. Don’t they seem pretty OTHER to you?”
“Please, this is bad,” Green suddenly spoke. “Sorry my Earth speaking is still not good, but the Galak-Ga are a space nation of many different people. We know this hate but we over come it. We must. Peace and unity command it.”
“Your English is really getting there, Doc,” I said.
“Based on my analysis, however,” Jim began, “I believe she means the Galak-Ga are a confederation of many alien nations, many peoples.”
“Jim, we got that,” I said.
“Jim, what did I t-tell you about c-c-correcting her? Please stop it!”
“I was just trying to help her.”
“Help her when we are not in a meeting. Julio, please continue.”
“To Kate’s point, we can call them Conva. I work with some people who are racist. I’ll admit it.”
“Call them whatever you want. I am just trying to understand what is going on with them now.”
“The War Conva, as some of us have come to think of them, are the problem. M has been gunning for them since probably before they were even a thing. The Peace Conva, they obviously want to peacefully—”
“Whoa—hang on hang on,” KJ said, “Is this some shady false flag deal or something where we create our own enemy?”
“Word—and who’s this M guy?”
Green spoke next: “If there is a Peace Conva, then why not they control War Conva to not be war type?”
“Yeah, yeah and yes, all good questions. I don’t know exactly what a ‘false flag’ is but maybe the War Conva were inspired by our concerns. Like, maybe they thought if we were suspicious of them, they thought they should be suspicious of us.”
“Because we’re the type to be suspicious,” KJ said.
“And this ‘M guy’ isn’t a guy, it’s a department. Department M is this department that seems to specialize in advanced tech. But not just exo-tech. Insanely advanced stuff from here on Earth.”
“What do you mean? Like the iPhone 15 or something?” Kate said, on the edge of her seat.
“No, stuff waaay beyond that. Stuff I’d swear was exo based on what it could do but not by the parts. The parts looked like stuff from Earth. Guys, I can’t tell you how nice it feels to speak all this stuff out loud.”
“You been playing the game for a long time, huh?” Jill asked sounding a bit cynical. Julio smiled weakly and nodded. Jill smiled and made a pushing motion with her hands. “Well, keep going!”
“OK! So, Department M is like a DARPA only more secret.”
“DARPA!” Dot said out of the blue. Julio eyed her suspiciously and continued speaking.
“Yeah, those guys. Only M is more locked down. Serious dark agency stuff.”
“Word. So wait–you said M was out to see the Conva as War Conva before they were War Conva? So you mean, like, the whole department was seeing them as bad guys from the start?”
“Yeah, it seems that way. I came in late so I’m going off of what I was told. The point is, I think the Peace Conva can win, but the War Conva are pretty focused. The rumor is that they are planning an invasion.”
“So, we’re beyond the whole ‘rattling saber’ stage,” KJ said.
“That’s the rumor. I can’t get a straight answer as to whether it’s actually happening or not. I’m just in FFD, Front Facing Development.”
“That was one of my q-q-questions when I still worked there–what’s back facing?”
“I still don’t know.”
“But you’ve interacted with the Conva yourself, haven’t you? How did you deal with them when you got us out of the network hub?” I asked. Julio just stared at me. He clearly had no idea what I was talking about. “The hub? I have interacted with the Conva before. That’s the other thing that makes me feel a little hope that we can have peace between our people and maybe avoid this cold war getting hot.”
“I’m about tired of that metaphor,” Dot said.
“Me too,” Green said.
“So, it sounds like we need to gather more facts before we move on,” Jill said.
“Wait–you didn’t answer,” Green said.
“I’m sorry, what was your question?”
“Why can’t Peace Conva control War Conva?”
“That question is a good one, Dr. Green. Simply put, war mongers are always the loudest–the most dramatic, I think.”
“I know these types. Back home. Fear is a tool to them,” Green said.
“Yes,” Julio said. “But if the other rumor I’ve heard is true, that there is an ecological disaster in their dimension that threatens them all, then the fear is probably one hundred percent warranted.”
“It’s true,” I said. “One hundred percent.”