_ So, tell me a little bit about yourself Mr. Crumb.
Oh, you can call me Nicholas. I enjoy a good read. Do you read?
Yes, I do.
What have you read lately which piques your interest?
Um, actually “Sense and Sensibility”.
Ah yes, Ms. Austen speaks with a mellifluous voice, the truth of which channels straight through one's soul when reading her books aloud. Do you not agree? Though, I do prefer Henry James, “Portrait of a Lady”. And what may I call you?
Melinda is fine. Several of your teammates have hinted around this “Breaking” event. Can you tell me what it is? When it occurs?
I’m sorry dear, may I ask where you live?
On the coast, why?
Hmm, where does your original family live, Melinda?
Do you mean my parents? They live in Montana.
That’s in the middle of your continent, right?
Yes, but what does that have to--
You should move there.
What? I don’t think so, I--
—no, you should really re-locate there. It would be of a cornucopias benefit to your health. Do you have children?
—for their sake, the fresh air will do them good.
Are you trying to tell me, my family and I aren’t safe here? This has something to do with this “breaking”?
I didn’t say that, but it would be an insightful deduction.
You can’t tell me anything else about it?
None of us can interfere with the past; there could be unseen consequences that could affect the future in a disagreeable way for us.
You seem very easy to talk to, easier than some of your teammates. Some of them just shut down when I asked that question. They seemed a little...uncooperative.
Ah, you mean obstinate Ray. He may speak with a vitriolic deportment, but he’s usually harmless.
He has his moments. May I ask how many children you have Melinda?
Heavens! Four children, what a blessing. Tell me; is there one that needs a little more attention than the rest?
Sure, Zach has his moments.
So, you are the designated liaison with aliens for your team, what is that like?
Always intriguing. Although, if I may point out, a majority of the outside agencies in the Universe speak telepathically, and do not utilize an actual addendum, organic language. Not like us. They converse in complex transmissions, which requires we humans to become immersed in highly specialized training to interpret correctly. As a race, we mentally process through random thoughts most of the time, which can be interpreted as grossly erratic to an alien's mind. As a liaison, I am more than a translator - I act as a linguistic, mental buffer to avoid misinterpretation which can lead to misunderstanding and mistrust.
Interesting, and thank you for your time Mr. Crumb.
Of course, and Melinda, promise me you’ll take Zach and your family on an extended trip to your Montana, very, very soon.
I ah—ok. I’ll try.
Try very hard Melinda.
_ You are the Man at Arms for the Peregrine Falcons. So I take it, you are strong and well versed in the form of physical combat?
Well versed. How about you? Are you versed in the physical as well?
Huh?-I ah, well sure I work out. Anyway, I was told you take care of the team’s physical protection, what does that entail?
Making sure no one overpowers any of my teammates. Their safety and a means to protect themselves, is my top priority.
Would you say you’re an expert in strategy?
I’m an expert with all forms of strategic maneuvers. Would you like to see some of my maneuvers?
I don’t see how...we’re not in the same room, not to mention time…
You sound sexy. Tell me what you look like.
I--ahh...how do you prepare your team to protect themselves?
By physical combat sessions, are you a red head? You sound like a red head.
What does that have to--never mind. Mr. Butherson, are you hitting on me?
Do you want to be hit on?
I’m still interviewing you.
I know. Tell me what you like and--
—please, I’m married.
I won’t tell if you won’t.
Are you always this incorrigible?
I always get what I want. Especially when it comes to the ladies.
So, do you have a girlfriend?
Really, why so many?
Hey, when you have honed bod like mine, everyone wants a piece. And don’t get me wrong, I love everything there is about the finer sex. They just love me more.
Wow, you sound conceited.
In all the right places.
Ok, this interview is over.
_ You are the Science Officer for the Peregrine Falcons?
What is it you do?
With the Chief Engineer is in charge of technical gear and the Healer takes care of peoples physical needs, where do you fit into the Fathis team?
Are you seriously asking me this? For your information, we don’t touch a planet until I give the ok. You think an engineer can grasp theoretical physics? Or the composition of a toxic atmosphere? I don’t know why Na’tan asked me to do this, are we done here? Because I have more important things to do then talk to some asinine woman from before the Breaking.
I’m sorry, I’m almost done. I’m sorry I didn’t mean to insult you.
What is “The Breaking”?
When humanity broke.
What made humanity break?
Everything. Are we through?
_ Thank you for your time. Tell me Thatcher Griffin, a little bit about the technology you deal with in the future.
I deal mainly with Nanites.
And what are Nanites?
Microscopic robots whose components are … nanometer (10−9 meters). The devices ranges from 0.1-10 micrometers and constructed to…molecular components. I believe you have them in your time.
I think we have a problem with the connection, you’re coming in and out. And I don’t think we have Nanites. It sounds interesting. I was told you are the second youngest on the team.
Yes. I am.
As the Chief Engineer of the Peregrine Falcons, do you deal with space ships?
Sure, but they are bio-form, not mechanical in nature.
What does bio-form mean?
They are an organic propulsion system, plant life. An alien ship…your time with one…back engineered them. Nicholas is really the one you need to talk to about it.
Sorry, the connection still seems to be bad. Nicholas Crumb? Your team’s Intelligence Officer?
Nick’s specialty is communicating with non-human life forms. Is that better? Sometimes I forget.
To talk out loud.
Ok…what about weaponry?
Engineers mainly deal with shielding. Weapons would be Cornac or Kealin.
What kind of shielding?
One use would be using the Nanites as a suit. All Fathis teams wear Nano Suits when on assignment. The suit creates an all-encompassing body-forming shield around the wearer, protecting them from the elements of an inhospitable world, or weapons fire.
Well, tell me something that has changed technologically from my time, to yours.
I’m not sure if you had developed molecular memory storage yet…
I don’t believe so, what is it?
A technology that use molecular atoms as the data storage element. In a molecular memory device, each individual molecule contains a bit of data, each atom leading to massive data capacity. For example you could take a sugar cube and on each individual atom, store information. It would then be possible that your continent’s internet could be stored onto one sugar cube.
Wow! This all sounds so amazing. It seems everything is technologically smaller but more powerful there.
Of course, why would someone want bigger?
Again, thank you for your time.
_ Henry, you are a Healer. That sounds amazing. To be able to go into a person’s body and fix them with your mind…
It is truly. It amazes me every day. But, there are times when even I can’t manipulate cells with my mind the way they need to be. It takes a great deal of energy and concentration, so many struggle with this form of our abilities.
And you can cure anything, even cancer?
Why yes. Many live as long as they please now.
Really! How old is the oldest?
I’m not certain, but I know there are quite a few that are 250 or more.
Wow! That old? Wouldn’t that make them born in during my time period?
Why yes, many were born before the Breaking occurred.
What is this “Breaking”?
I’m so sorry dear, I cannot divulge that information to you.
That’s alright. So I was told you have a family?
Yes. I have a little girl Megan and a boy on the way.
Congratulations! I was told children a rare in the future.
Yes, yes. Sad but true. Many were sterilized when the X flares burned through here. Too much radiation. But Annie and I are blessed.
So can you tell me a little bit about your society? Schools, Healthcare, military?
Sure. Well, the population is much smaller now and with the Ethereal, it much easier to sustain us. Any and all are schooled, and well healthcare, is available to all because many can heal themselves. A great many are involved in healing planet Earth. It’s mainly the oceans that are being cleaned up now. And government is very small and unobtrusive. As for the military, ummm I suppose the Fathis teams are the military, or police. We don’t really look at it that way.
Wow! It sounds like a Utopia.
Yes, I am glad to be alive here.
We are all spiritual people, but organized religion collapsed under the Breaking.
Interesting, well thank you for your time.
_ Ms. Kealin Divol, tell me, what does a Tor on a Fathis team do, exactly?
I attack with the Ethereal. Oh, I was told to say, “protects with the Ethereal”.
I don’t know. With my head.
And the Ethereal? What is that?
It’s a power on the other side of our dimension...Geesh! I was told to say, “It is a non-physical energy beyond the veil of our reality that we can access with our subconscious mind”.
What do you think of the previous Tor before you, being killed by an Annunaki?
I try not to think about it.
You’re 14. How does it feel to be the youngest Tor in history?
The same as I felt yesterday. Wait! I want to change my answer,
Sure, go ahead.
No, I will not change my answer!
But…I’m sorry? …I’m confused, are you speaking to me?
Na’tan, he’s always trying to control everything.
I’m sorry, I still don’t understand.
The entire team is bonded to each other.
I’m sorry, I still…
I’m not good at it yet, I can’t block anyone, but all Fathis teams are bonded to each other. We can hear each other’s thoughts; feel each other’s emotions-it’s REALLY aggravating!
So this “bonding” is some form of telepathic communication?
Yeah, and it bites.
That’s incredible! So you’re speaking with Na’tan, while I’m speaking with you? I would think it would be amazing.
You try being a teenage girl bonded to six grown men-it’s embarrassing!
I see your point. So you have an ability to use this “Ethereal”, is it hard to use? What can you do with it?
Get out of my head! Sorry… he just doesn’t shut up.
Oh, all sorts of stuff. And it’s harder to walk than it is to use it.
What kind of “stuff”?
You know, pick up stuff, tear things up, or crush them, freeze things, heat things, move electricity, the list goes on... Each of my teammates are good at using it in different ways, but I have more power than the rest. And better control.
So the Ethereal is a form of kinesis?
Yeah. Well, it might be a little broader than that, but yeah.
And you’re the strongest on your team? At such a young age--
Not you too! Geesh--I know! I’m fourteen. You don’t have to rub it in.
Sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you. It sounds like a sore spot.
Every one harps on my age.
Well, at such a young age, does being on a Fathis team scare you?
Sometimes. I mean, to deal with the aliens that tried to take over the planet during the Breaking is scary—Oh! I wasn’t supposed to tell you that…god, now they’re all yelling at me.
Yeah, I gotta go, I’m gonna get a splitting headache any minute now.
Nice to speak with you Kealin, and good luck with your new position on the team.
_ So you are the Captain of the Peregrine Falcons, is it a demanding job? If so what would you say is your most difficult task?
It is upon occasion, demanding. I’d say a daunting task of late, is keeping the team cohesive. There are seven personalities that need to mesh well together.
What is it you do as a Captain of a Fathis team?
I’m in charge of the team and the success of the mission the Command Center assigns to us. When on assignment I determine the best way to achieve our goal. For example, if I am dealing with a matriarchy on another planet, it might be wiser to let Kealin, the female on our team to speak for us, instead of our normal liaison, which would be Nicholas.
We interact with outside agencies as a liaison for the Galactic Assemblage.
But I make all the decisions for the Peregrine Falcons. The team’s safety ultimately falls to me.
I’m used to it.
Tell me about this contract with the…Galactic Assemblage?
Ha! That’s usually the first question I’m asked. It’s simple; teams from Earth patrol the Milky Way Galaxy for the Assemblage.
Why is it “teams from Earth” doing this? Are there other planets patrolling, as well?
From what I understand, we are the only planet working for the Assemblage. As to why us, well, we’re that scary guard dog behind the fence no one wants to face. They use it to their advantage. Though, so do we.
So, it’s true that alien races are afraid of us in the future?
Let’s just say, they have a healthy fear that we, as Earthlings, have no interest in rectifying this characterization.
So your saying, this fear they have of us, doesn’t interfere with your missions?
Oh no, I didn’t say that. I’m just saying, it benefits us more than interferes with our interactions with outside agencies.
Outside agencies? Aliens?
And why do they fear Earthlings?
I’m sorry, I cannot disclose that information.
For fear it may alter the future.
Ok, then…who would you say you are closest to on the team?
Hmm, that’s a hard one. I relate to each on a certain level. As a captain I must know each of my teammates as intimately as possible. This is so I can understand my team’s strengths and weaknesses, so I can use these strengths and weaknesses to benefit my team’s success on our missions.
For example Thatcher may be one of the weakest physically and mentally, yet no one can match him with his mechanical expertise, and no one can Remote View like him.
It has been interesting. Thank you for your time Captain.
No problem whatsoever. And I will schedule appointments for each of my teammates to interview with you.
Who is your favorite singer?
Mint Chip Ice cream, Krispy Kreme donuts, homemade pizza, pralines, Chinese chicken salad...mmmmm!