“As captain of this ship, I insist you show me the contents of that box.” I emphasized my demand by pointing to the locked box in Attalla’s cabin.
“I am afraid I am unable to comply with your request,” Attalla answered formally as he picked up the box and headed past me to the pod bay.
We had arrived less than an hour ago at our destination and he was on the move.
“I will return in approximately one of the planet’s revolutions,” he said over his shoulder to me. “Until then remain onboard your ship,” he ordered in a commanding voice unlike any I had ever heard from Attalla Five.
“Attalla,” I called to his receding back, “I am going to lodge a formal complaint with the Galactic Forces if you do not tell me what your plan is and what you are doing.” I knew it was an idle threat. This galaxy had been at peace for hundreds of years. They did not even belong to the Galactic Forces treaty group – hence the existence of the Attallas.
He put down the box onboard and pushed me back off the platform of his pod.
“Stay here,” he ordered. “Ma-rye-a, Are you recording?” he asked.
“Affirmative,” she replied.
He looked me directly in the eyes.
“I will not be responsible for your safety should you follow me down to the planet’s surface. I am officially ordering you to stay onboard your ship until I return.”
With that, he turned and entered the pod – the hatch firmly clanging shut behind him. I heard the lock engage and had just barely enough time to duck behind the booster shield before he hit his thrusters and was gone – on his way to the planet’s surface.