Chapter 1, Part 3
The young man acknowledged his orders, and then called over another agent, this one a tall female from a world where the dominant special had narrow tails of soft green fur, who let Citlally over to one of the counters that was set with computer terminals and various devices that were presumably used for identification verification. Then the male security agent led Endan over to his own part of the counter, where he was asked for his galactic passport and several other identifying documents. He was used to having to carry so many items, though it surprised him that he was actually being asked for all of them, since most station security checkpoints only requested one or two. Still, if it mean that they were safe there, he was more then willing to oblige. He knew that he had nothing to hide, and he rather liked knowing that everyone was being asked for such documents, because it meant that any undesirable entities would easily be weeded out.
For several minutes, the agent said nothing, but clacked away at the keyboard of his computer terminal. Endan looked him over, noticing the blue-green hue of his skin, but reminded himself not to stare. Instead, he gave Citlally a sidelong stare, puckering his lips towards her once or twice when he saw that she was looking. She giggled softly, but stopped as soon as the security personnel looking over her file cleared her throat in a clear show of frustration.
“It says here that you have a DNA profile registered with the Galactic Security Coalition. I take it your kind completes this examination using blood?”
Endan blinked for a moment, then replied, “W-well yes, we do, but is that really necessary?” Besides that, he wondered why she had even asked him about the method, since that fact would have also been in the database.
“The captain’s orders are to verify all points, sir,” the agent replied, his tone showing that he very well intended to verify Endan’s DNA. “You would not want a false agent to come in with anything altered.”
When he her a cry of “Ow!” from Citlally, he looked over to see that she had already placed her hand in a round, black device; she had consented to the DNA verification.
“I have no reason to argue the point,” he sighed, though deep down he resented being poked with needles. Even with all of their modern technology, most blood draws were done without anesthetic; it was reserved for children and those with deep-set fears or needles.
The security agent gestured to the black device at his own station. “Place your left palm inside,” he requested in a pleasant enough tone.
Endan obliged, feeling the soft texture of the foam-like material beneath his skin. The device close around his hand, and he felt warmth on each of his fingers in succession. Then, without warning, a needle pricked through his ring finger, and the device tightened further for a moment before a green light in the back flashed and it released his hand.
“Sample successfully obtained,” the security agent noted while Endan winced and shook out his hand. The agent peered up at him, opened a small drawer below his terminal, and slid a small flat rectangle over to him. “You can travel this far across the galactic arm, yet your people still use such archaic methods.”
Endan grimace but did not refuse the bandage. He peeled off the wrapper and wrapped it around his finger, where another bead of blood was forming. “Then why not teach us how you do it so much better?”
Shrugging, the agent replied, “It is a question of compatibility.”
“Fine,” Endan sighed, the frustration starting to get to him, as well as a certain amount of fatigue. “Am I cleared for check-in now?”
“You blood sample is still being processed. Please be patient.”
“Still? I thought you had advanced computer technology.”
The agent let out a weary sigh and replied, “Sir, Terran biology being what it is, you cannot expect an immediate analysis. Your DNA is filled with errors, repetitive strings of code, and all sort of other irregularities. Even with our computers, your genetic code is difficult to analyze.”
Endan let of a disgruntled harrumph and leaned on the counter. He rather liked his telomeres, whether or not other-worldly species had so-called more efficient code. After another couple of minutes, the agent working with Citlally raised her arm and another agent walked over to her. Endan watched as they looked over the screen and nodded to one another. They handed back her stack of documents, and she thanked them, a kind smile on her face. Strangely enough, she was not excused from the counter right away.
“You are waiting for him?” he heard the second agent ask Citlally, who confirmed her guess. They agreed that she would wait there and then be escorted together once he was cleared.
“Rate of decay conformed,” Endan’s security agent read off the screen. “DNA is genuine and unaltered. Individual identity code is a match to what is in your file. All Inconsistencies are within normal range for your species.”
He raised his arm and the other agent left Citlally to come over and check his terminal. They looked over the screen, which Endan had no hope of ever seeing, and then the second agent nodded.
He also sighed. “Human DNA is such a mess,” she muttered in a thick accent. “It has such a wide margin of error that it makes them the easiest race to…” She glanced over at Endan and stopped herself from saying anything else. “You are lucky that those ships have ample radiation shielding.”
“I am forever grateful,” he told her, trying not to sound sarcastic. However much he denied it, he was offended that she had insulted his race for its DNA; how was he to control something like that?
“You are cleared for check-in,” she added. “You two may follow me to the front desk and I will inform them that you have passed security clearance.”
The male agent handed Endan his documents, which he placed in his shoulder bag as soon as it was brought back to him from the scanner. He turned around to see Citlally walking up to his side, and gave her a relived smile. She wasted no time in grabbing his hands in hers, and leaning towards him for a kiss that lasted long enough to try the security agent’s patience and prompt her to clear her throat twice before their lips separated.