//WARNING – This is based on the Perfect Dark series, which I did not create or own. I would not recommend reading this unless you're familiar with the Perfect Dark series, as there may be SPOILERS//
'How did you manage to set this place up, Dan?' Melissa asked in a feigned coy manner. 'I'm sure the suits would have a lot to say about what goes on around here.'
'What the suits don't know won't hurt them,' replied the charismatic Scotsman. He chortled to himself. 'I'll tell you something, there are things going on here that'll make Ames blush.'
'It's very hard to make the President blush,' Melissa said. 'I'd know. I'm always showing off my legs to him. Nothing.' The two laughed as they turned a corner, emerging into the open foyer of the Carrington Institute.
'Flash him when he gives an address or something,' Carrington suggested.
'You'd like that, wouldn't you?' Carrington simply smiled at his guest. He had no time to respond with even more banter as a loud humming noise dawned on them. Melissa seemed slightly shocked, but Carrington continued his tour.
'One of the Maian's ships,' Carrington explained. 'It's about time too! They should've been here hours ago.' Carrington changed course and guided Melissa downstairs to the hanger where the ship was landing. Melissa had never encountered the Maian's before. She'd heard Carrington's numerous tales about them, but had never seen them in the flesh, not even a picture of them.
'These frequent then?' Melissa asked.
'Oh my, yes!' Daniel chortled again. 'Skedar aren't the only hostile race out there, you know.'
'The Skedar are finished,' Melissa reminded him. 'Will I be able to meet the agent responsible for that today?'
'In time, in time' Daniel said as he opened the hanger doors. He stopped moving so suddenly, Melissa walked straight into him.
'Dear God!' she gasped.
Although she'd never seen a Maian ship before, she knew this one was in a state of disarray. Panels were cracked and appeared to be burning, lights on the exterior were fading. Even the crew looked battered. This was when she really gasped. Hunched over and apparently bleeding, grey figures were staggering out of the open cargo hatch. Boxes were secured in place in the hold with several more Maian's leaning against them. One alien attempted to salute Carrington, but merely collapsed.
'What happened?' Melissa asked. Carrington shot her a serious look before crouching down beside the alien. He placed his hand under the alien's head, supporting it.
'Fritz,' Carrington said softly, 'I'm here. What's the damage?' Melissa thought the name "Fritz" was unusual for an alien, but she was already told by Carrington that the legendary Maian "Elvis" had started a trend in the Maian's names
Fritz groaned and spoke with an almost comical squeak.
'We were attacked… dataDyne tried shooting us down over Nevada… lost… three men.' Carrington bowed his head in apparent grief. Melissa didn't know what to do, she felt out of place. 'The cargo,' Fritz continued 'is safe. We made sure of it.'
'You've done a good job, Fritz,' Carrington said. He had always told them to ensure the safety of the crew and not the cargo, but now was not the time. He ordered help and the rest of the Maian survivors were taken to be treated. Carrington and Melissa went above ground where he called an emergency meeting with the President, Elvis and his number one agent.
Joanna Dark entered Carrington's plain office just before the meeting was about to begin. Two video screens had been set up, one showing Elvis' large head and black eyes, the other being blank. It would soon be displaying President Ames' dull, saggy face.
'Joanna!' Elvis exclaimed. 'It's so good to see you!' Joanna smiled, ignoring Melissa.
'It's good to see you too, Elvis. Where are you?'
'My home world, but I'll be getting to Earth very soon!' Carrington stood up, breaking the reunion. Joanna smiled at him, and he returned the favour, before introducing her to Melissa.
'This is out government liaison, Melissa Hanham,' Carrington said. 'She keeps the President in the loop with everything we do.'
'Not everything,' Melissa said, shaking Joanna's hand. 'Just the things Dan let's me.' Joanna frowned. She never called Carrington "Dan" or even "Daniel"! Why did he like her so much? Joanna suddenly thought why and shuddered slightly as he let go of Melissa's hand, a little too fast. Melissa noticed this and there was an awkward science for a moment, before the other monitor flickered to life, showing President Ames. He did not look happy.
'Mr President,' Carrington and the others greeted. Ames merely nodded.
'I understand there are a few problems at the Institute,' Ames started. He was known for cutting to the chase. As everyone relaxed, Carrington explained the situation.
'Well, sir, as you're aware, back in '23 we made first contact with the hostile extra-terrestrial race known as the Skedar.'
'Who attacked the previous President and tried to destroy your institute, yes.' Carrington nodded.
'As previously thought, the destruction of the Skedar home world meant the destruction of the Skedar race. Agent Dark attempted this mission with Elvis after the Institute was attacked.'
'You destroyed the Skedar, yes. Your point?' Joanna was irritated by Ames. He didn't seem to even acknowledge the effort she and Elvis had put in to stop the Skedar threat.
'Well, sir, we believe that either we have another hostile alien threat on our hands, or…' Carrington found the next words difficult to pass through. Melissa gave him a kind look. 'Sir we think the Skedar are still alive.'
'Impossible!' the President yelled. Elvis recoiled in shock. 'I've seen your shots of their world. It's in tatters! We nuked the surface to make sure!'
'Mr President,' Melissa said in a soothing tone, 'the bombs didn't account for remaining Skedar ships that were scattered around the universe.'
'If I may,' said Elvis sheepishly. 'On the ship me and Jo,' he paused, '…anna were on when we launched the attack had records of all the Skedar ships in the fleet. We destroyed most of them and some were taken back to my home world to be studied. I believe you have one here on Earth, too.'
'I'm still very torn up about that, Carrington!' Ames said. 'If I had my way, those ships you gave me would have been destroyed! I don't see the point in allowing any more research being conducted.'
'We're not conducting any research, sir,' Carrington said.
'Not by you, by dataDyne! They've been examining the ships for ages!' Joanna let out an audible gasp. Carrington went red and Elvis fell out of his seat, disappearing from view.
'Are you insane!?' Joanna screeched.
'Ms Dark, I know you're the hero of this operation and I know you single handily destroyed that nasty cyborg ring, but that gives you no right to talk to me that way! In fact, you don't have any right to even be employed by this institute! The works going on here, Carrington are dangerous and illegal.'
'Mr President,' Melissa said, trying to defuse the anger in the room, 'I believe Ms Dark has some strong opinions about dataDyne which she didn't know how to express in an appropriate manner.'
'Damn right I've got some opinions about them!' Joanna yelled, enraged by Melissa's patronising comments. 'It's because of dataDyne my Father-'
'Your Father was a good man,' Carrington said, 'and you are a fine agent. You should be treated with more respect, along with the whole Institute, Mr President.' Ames stared loathingly them. 'If it wasn't for the Carrington Institute, our soldiers would be exposed out there. We've developed weapons, shields and cloaking devices. It's true that dataDyne are doing the same, but you can't honestly say that their methods of working are more ethical than ours. We invited you to view our work, while dataDyne blocks you out with bribes and smoke and mirrors.'
'I have a better understanding with dataDyne than my predecessor had with you,' Ames said in a low voice. 'This conversation is over, Carrington. I'm going to be sending more people to your Institute to make sure what you're doing is safe. Mark my words, anything screws up, ANYTHING, and you're fired.'
Ames turned into static.
'How did a strategy meeting end up as a threat from the President?' Elvis asked.
'It makes sense though,' Joanna said. 'If dataDyne have Skedar ships, then they've probably launched them or even duplicated them to build a whole new fleet. They can just have people operating it instead of Skedar.'
'Why are dataDyne attacking the Maians then? Melissa asked.
'Because they hate us,' Carrington said.
Thanks for reading guys! Don't worry, I'll update real soon. In the meantime, tell me what you think of it! Ciao for now. Andy.x