Tommy reached out and put the last symbolic link in place. The planets and stars dissolved away to reveal a thick, leather bound book sitting on the desk in front of him. Tommy reached out and pointed to the cover which promptly flipped open to reveal the title: A History of IBoMB: Excerpts of Lehnair.
“Whoa!” the wristband blurted out as it began glowing and vibrating.
“What’s wrong with you?” Tommy thought back.
“I’m recharging. Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.”
“What?! I only read the title of a book.”
“Then do it some more! That’s the most energy I’ve gotten from you yet!”
Nearly shaking, Tommy thought back, “you mean to tell me, that all I had to do was read a book to get you to send me home?”
“I guess. Don’t let me distract you now though! Keep going!”
Flicking his finger toward the title page, the book opened to the first chapter. Adjusting his eyes to the bright white page hovering in front of him, he began to read…
“Will you please be quiet!” Tommy mumbled out between his teeth.
“Forever the rich, and forget the poor.” Lehnair remembered those words from one of his father’s numerous lectures….
Tommy’s eyes perked wide open as he continued.
It must have taken some time to get through the information, as Tommy looked over at Sabreen before reading the final segment and noticed she was asleep on Leij’s lap.
“I’m sorry for taking so long,” Tommy whispered to Leij.
Leij replied in a similar quiet tone, “you’re fine. Please finish.”
The room had become incredibly quiet after he started reading. Leij’s whisper was the loudest noise in the room. Glancing about, Tommy saw only a few operators still performing the point-and-watch dance at their stations – the rest were all staring at him!
Most were watching him with two eyes, but some, the ones who had been perceptibly plastic, only had a single eye to use. Some had green skin, and others were purple. The purple skinned ones had four arms, while the green only had two, but both had the single glowering eye, inset above a flat nose in their smallish heads. The upper set of arms on the purple-skins were large, and Tommy imagined they were strong enough to throw him several meters if that was their intention.
Tommy sat there, frozen, staring at the aliens who were staring back.
“It’s alright. Please, keep reading,” Leij interrupted in something a bit more than a whisper.
Peering back at the book, while keeping one eye on the aliens, he started reading the final memory segment:
…on to Chapter 14 The Merger