as if Nico had suddenly become a deity in our presence.
‘That’s why I’m bringing it to you sir. Most would call me a crackpot, but you were the one man who I knew wouldn’t scoff at our inevitable contact with a superior race. But I’m just a civilian. This gift is beyond me. I’m giving it to you so that when our visitors arrive, they can locate you by the relic and speak to a true man of power.’
‘You’ve done the right thing my boy,’ the man said and pounded his desk. He licked his lips. ‘May I?’ He pointed at the hunk of UFO.
Nico nodded and the man took the jagged, triangular piece in his hands.
‘Lightweight, but rigid and unbreakable. Metallic, but a metal unknown to Earth. And these pictograms. What could they mean?’
‘I might be able to help with that,’ Nico smiled.
‘They . . . they told you?’
‘I must know!’
‘It’s hard to translate into words.’
Nico sighed, closed his eyes, and said in a calm, trancelike voice.
‘A man who would imprison another race will never rise above his own.’
* * *
It had been my idea, and a risky one, but Nico pulled it off. After our meeting, the congressman cut all ties with the private company