Later on James (the Med. Tech) and I were escorted back to the village, and given some fruit and vegetables and water. They gave us a place to sleep in a loft above one of their barns, where the Finxians stored grain. The Chief told us we could stay as long as we wanted. I told him that another ship would come shortly to pick us up. He looked a little saddened by that.
James was scared as hell and getting sick from something in the air. We were both ready to go, but I was no longer worried.
While James and I lay, trying to sleep that first night, I asked him: "What did you think about lying to the Finxians? I mean, before they killed everyone."
We laughed nervously. " Honestly, I felt like it was a terrible idea. Since day one I felt that we shouldn't have treated them like such savages. Most of the crew was a dishonest bunch of asses, and they got what they deserved."
"Yeah," I said. "But why didn't they kill us?"
James shrugged. " Maybe they knew we didn't want to kill them."
"But how would they know that? How would they be able to know Rogers was lying to them?"
"Maybe they saw the ship smoking from the burning engines, and knew we weren't gods but just a bunch of screw-ups. Maybe they saw the dishonesty in his eyes. Maybe they're really good at reading body language. They say 80% of all *our* communication is through body language. I don't know." He shrugged again.
"Do you know they have no inhibitions? And in their language, they have no word for liar, or lying? Or war, either. What if they have a sixth sense - a biological lie detector?"
"Or maybe they just aren't used to politicians," he said.
We laughed and said nothing more to each other, though both of us slept very little that night.
Nothing of significance happened after that. We helped them on their farms, and they gave us whatever we asked for. When the rescue ship came, we said our good-byes and left, grateful to get back to our own deceitful world.
But during that whole week, in all our small talk among them, neither one of us had dared tell even a little white lie . . .