"Stay by my side, Amnika," her father said.
Groaning, Amnika trotted towards her father. "But I wanted to see it!"
"You can see it once it lands." Zeth took his daughter's hand the moment she came close. "We do not want one landing on you. It would squish you flat."
Amnika giggled as she glanced around her father at Zakkon and his wife. Anias peeked around his father and smiled at her. Amnika smiled back and waved. She could sense the excitement in the room.
"Two years and it came to this," Zakkon said. "Let's hope that it's worth it. From what I understand, they have enough niaka crystals that we can lessen the load on the Natisiens. They'll be able to focus more on expanding the city."
A grunt came in from the opening of the hangar. Amnika looked up to see Nahaeda walk in with Rhada. She could sense the surprise from the adults, but they didn't say anything.
Rhada looked at Amnika and smiled. He was a little larger than she remembered him. Amnika returned the smile and leaned up against her father's arm.
"Is it that time, already?" Zeth cast a thought to Amnika.
Amnika almost responded, but the roar of the Hemerian ship filled the hangar as well as the smell of the acrid burning fuel. The Inersiens coughed, and Amnika felt ill.
"Remind me to have the workers set up the dome with a filter," Zakkon spoke over the roar of the engines. "There's no way we will let those ships near the hanger again."
Amnika watched as large, menacing ship touch down outside of the entrance. She could feel the roar shake her insides, unlike any Natisien yell or growl. She buried her face in her father's arm.
Zeth, sensing Amnika's nervousness, pulled her hood over her head.
Looking up to her father, she saw his reassuring smile. She took a few deep breaths to calm herself down like she has seen her father done. It worked, but she decided to keep her hood on.
After a few moments, the doors to the ship opened. Out stepped two upright beings along with two smaller versions. Bright rikta ceiling caused their scales to give off an iridescent sheen. Their clothing
"Why would someone wear information crystals?" Amnika cast a thought to her father. She noticed one of the gems to be the same type of crystal they use for storing data.
"I'm not sure," he cast a thought back. "I guess it's because they think it looks nice."
"Hopefully it's not because they're rare." Rodgistan stood close enough to Zeth and Amnika to pick up on their conversation. "Our research did show that the planet is rich in niaka crystal."
Amnika watched as one of the researchers passed out translators to the newcomers. The newcomers caught on to the demonstration quickly and put
Amnika studied them for a moment. Both of the newcomer adults were wearing similar clothes. There weren't too many discernable features between the two except one wore the headdress, and the other did not.
"Which one is the male and which one is the female?" Amnika cast a thought to her father. "I can't tell the difference. I can't see their parts."
Zeth did all he could to keep from laughing. Rodgistan stifled a chuckle, and he stepped in front of Zeth as if to tell him something. Instead addressed Amnika in the Inersien dialect, knowing the newcomers wouldn't understand him.
"You should wait until we are in private to even cast such thoughts," he said to her under his breath. It was long enough for Zeth to regain his composure.
Amnika caught on to what was going on.
"I'm sorry," she cast to Rodgistan, "I didn't mean to cause trouble."
Rodgistan put his hand on her head. "I know." Seeing that his friend regained control, he went back to his wife's side.
One of the smaller newcomers stared at Amnika, making her a little uncomfortable. She wearily watched him as the adults made their introductions. On hearing the clicks and trills of the newcomer's language, she leaned on her father. "There's no way I can learn that," Amnika cast a thought to her father, never taking her eyes off of the creature.
"Well," her father cast back, "That's what the translators are for. It's also why it took two years before we could make this meeting. We had to work out the details of their language."
Amnika glanced up at her father and then back at the newcomer child. It appeared that the youth inched closer and she tightened her grip on her father's hand.
Nahaeda noticed Amnika's discomfort and moved closer to them.
"These two are my sons," The translator on the newcomer adult said. It was one with the headdress. "This one here." he pointed to the youth next to him. "This is Kinka. That one," He pointed to the youth staring at her, "Is Kinku."
Kinku took a few more steps closer. He covered a lot of distance in the brief moment and now was only standing a Natisiens gait from where Amnika stood.
"I don't like this, father," She cast a thought to Zeth.
Zeth was watching and looked a little nervous himself. He glanced up at Nahaeda who was now within reach of Amnika.
In spite of her cape, her fear heightened enough that it caught the Inersien adults' attention.
"Call your child back," Zakkon said, "He is frightening her."
"Nonsense," the Newcomer said, "He only wants to play."
The adult Inersiens looked at the newcomer with indignant surprise.
The brief moment of inattention was the moment Kinku was waiting for. He slid around behind Zeth and tried to reach for Amnika. Amnika immediately caught on to Kinku but didn't notice Nahaeda was reaching for her. She ran in front of her father to get away, but Kinku switched directions.
Trying to get away, Amnika saw Nahaeda, and she turned towards him. At that moment Kinku grabbed Amnika's arm. Amnika felt a sharp searing pain right below the crease of her elbow. Her squeal was so loud, it startled Kinku, and he let go of her arm.
Amnika ran to Nahaeda who was already stooping. She climbed up onto his back and straddled his neck. The Natisien straightened up, and Kinku tried to reach for Amnika. Nahaeda grabbed Kinku with one hand and set him by his parents.
"She does not want to play." Nahaeda's voice was low and gruff. He growled as he took a step back.
Amnika rested her chin on Nahaeda's head, peering over the top at the newcomers. They looked at her for a moment, and they started to protest. Amnika could imagine Nahaeda glaring at them because after looking at his face, they decided against it.
Amnika buried her face into Nahaeda's hair. Nahaeda walked back over to Zeth and stood next to him.
"Amnika?" Rodgistan asked.
The sound of concerned made Amnika peered above Nahaeda's head to look at her father and Rodgistan.
"I'm trying to calm down," She cast a thought to him.
"Just don't shut us out for too long," Rodgistan cast one back.
"It's only until I can calm down. I'll share with father when I'm done."
Right before she buried her head again, she could sense her Father's pride.
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