Chapter One

Now, in the 2,287th Season From The Beginning, the exploratory ship Bright Sword, under the command of Warlock Gray Deer, entered an uncharted system in the southwest sector of The Union of Spiritist Planets. The system had only two gaseous giants, and only one of them had two small moons.
2 They were about to depart, when another ship entered the system coming from the opposite direction. It took up orbit about the same planet which they circled and crept steadily nearer. "Full shields." ordered Gray Deer, "charge defensive batteries. Communications, are they trying to contact?"
3 "Yes, sir," the Communications Officer answered, "but our computer cannot decipher the language. Shall I transmit language learning series?"
4 "Affirmative! " ordered Gray Deer.
5 The ship's computer began to send out a series of video pictures along with spoken words that was designed to teach another computer their language. The other ship was silent for some time, then they, too, started transmitting a similiar series. It only took a few minutes for the two computers to decipher each other's language and the transmitions stopped.
6 "Give me a hailing frequency," commanded Swift Deer, "Greetings", he began, "This is Swift Deer, Warlock in command of The Union of Spiritist Planets, exploration vessel Bright Sword. We are on a peaceful voyage of exploration. Kindly identify." He repeated the message a second time and waited.
7 Finally, the speaker came to life. "This is Commander Grey Ocean of The Holy Godden Empire, exploration ship Lord's Wisdom. Greetings! I believe, Commander, this is an historic day, if like us, you have not met any other intelligent beings."
8 "True, Commander" responded Grey Deer, "you are the first aliens we have ever contacted. Do we greet in peace?"
9 "Let our greeting be in peace, in The name of The One True and Almighty God. I assure you we will commence no hostilities. I turn my weapons away from you and shut them down, and lower my shields to half force."
10 "In The Name Of The Lords Holy!" responded Grey Deer, "I, too, swear peace. I shut down my weapons, and turn my shields to half force, aIso. May I send a shuttle and meet you half way so we may speak face to face? You transmit no pictures so we cannot see you. Are you receiving the video we transmit?"

11 "My apologies" continued the other Commander. "I was not aware that we were not transmitting video. That will now be corrected."
12 The main screen in the front of the command deck lit up, and The Hashons could see the command deck of the alien vessel. The man speaking was standing. If their equipment was similar he was almost their height. His legs and arms looked thin, and his fingers looked bony. What of his body they could see, was covered with soft, plush fur except for an area around the face. From his back protruded two large, leathery wings that were, at the moment, folded back.
13 Those on the bridge of The Bright Sword looked at each other in stunned disbelief. "The Winged Ones!" one of them whispered, "The Oneness Of The Stars!"
14 Grey Deer motioned them to be silent. The Commander of the other ship was in conversation with his crew, and they
had shut off their audio.
15 Finally he pressed a button on the stereo phone he was holding. "No offense, Commander, " he remarked, "but my medical staff advises against direct contact at this time. We would like, however, to send over some small experimental animals and have you send some back in return,

to see how they survive in our respective atmospheres. These animals are fully immunized against all our known diseases. Do you have such animals?"
16 "Affirmative," said Gray Deer, "and my Medical Officer agrees with your caution. Do you wish us to send a separate remote, or shall we send OUR animals back in your carrier?"
17 "Our carrier will be sufficient," the other Commander smiled.
18 "Our docking bay awaits." announced Gray Deer.
19 Several minutes later a small object emerged from the stern of the alien vessel and approached The Bright Sword. The Bright Sword's docking bay opened. The device entered, the bay closed, and pressurized, the medical technicians went down and removed six small creatures that amazingly resembled their own bats. They put in five small lizards, left the bay, and the capsule returned to the alien ship.
20 The little bats were friendly and playful, and their wings had been slit so they couldn't fly, so the Technicians handled them easily.
21 For several days the two ships flew side by side, while the two crews talked with each other. The Hashons learned that the aliens called themselves Angels, and came from a planet called Haven many leaps away. They were reluctant to explain what leaps were, but finally admitted they could travel from star to star in the blink of an eye, by the use of a crystal burned in their positive/negative matter drive. The Hashons were surprised. Their drive was matter/anti-matter.
22 "Much too dangerous," remarked the other Commander, "negative/positive fuel is far safer and gives you far better speeds."
23 "It is information," agreed Gray Deer, "that may well be worth trading for. I am sure we, too, have knowledge that you will find valuable."

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