"To try and avoid making this briefing too long, I will be starting with the arrival of the Antarians to planet Earth. The reasons behind our need to leave our own planet are numerous and cross several centuries, hence I won't be going into too deep detail about it. Maybe I'll tell you more later."

He paused, maybe expecting protests, but the human-alien circle was silent.

"The Antarian government sent two ships to Earth. The travelers were mostly young adults, handpicked with respect to their special abilities and their personalities. Unfortunately, some youngsters got their spot on the ship because their families had struck deals. This is how we ended up with Antarians equipped with some dangerous traits on Earth."

He took a deep breath and shifted in position. He was still standing up, at the north end of the seated listeners.

"Antar was once a monarchy, ruled by a king. The royal bloodline was truly blood-based, meaning that those of royal ancestry had more magnified abilities due to genetic differences."

My thoughts backtracked to what I had been told about Command. About how he had royal blood, meaning that he could adopt abilities - even special ones - and make them his own.

I shuddered at the prospect of a whole planet being ruled by men with that kind of power.

"Then came the Blood War. Just like on Earth, there was a movement away from the royal reign as the people started to demand more rights for themselves. The war spanned many years, but eventually the people overthrew the royal domination. Rulers were chosen by the people and a large governmental apparatus - much like the ones in a majority of the countries on Earth - developed."

I squeezed Max's hand. He was as still as the rest of the group. I could tell from his mind processes that he had heard all of this before, but he was still paying strict attention to what was being said. As if he might learn something new.

"Unfortunately, the price for changing the ruling authority was very high. Not only were hundreds of thousands of Antarian lives lost in the war, but our planet had been severely damaged in the process. The new government was exceedingly scientifically oriented, with great research facilities and great minds, enabling them to postpone the inevitable for much longer than should have been possible. But still, the planet was deteriorating and the project to try and save Antarians through space relocation was initiated."

Dresden inhaled deeply. It was a loud sigh, uncharacteristic of an alien, considering that the aliens I knew did not display exaggerated mannerisms.

What he was intending to say next was most likely something of great importance.

"Antarian scientists visited Earth a long time ago. Even before the Blood War. Intellectuals were worried about the increasing instances of inbreeding within the royal families. By marrying within their own group, they could sustain the power of their abilities and become stronger."

I felt Max stiffen behind me. Something about that information did not sit right with what he had learnt as a child.

Dresden's gaze moved steadily around the circle, pausing a second too long on Max and I before continuing, "What you need to understand is that Antarians are a peaceful people."

A broken halted sound came from behind my neck, from Max. I assumed it was supposed to be a snort, but he was too puzzled to get it right.

Instead his defensive and irritated thought flew through my mind, Peaceful my ass.

And from what I had seen, heard, and first-hand experienced about the aliens, I could do nothing but agree with Max. With their lack of empathy, their lust to use humans for their own purposes and their need to dictate over their own people, I had seen nothing 'peaceful' about the ones calling themselves Antarians.

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