The darkness inside the compound seemed all consuming. In the longer corridors, supplemental lighting had turned on. The lights had been put in place in case of a widespread power outage and operated on a different electrical grid using stored energy from backup generators locked in a subspace of quadrant one. Duncan was incredibly thankful for their existence as he was marched toward the Prime Minister’s office.
It was true that the alien beings could have just taken the compound by force, but they considered themselves a superior species and as such, they were determined to convince the humans to come with them of their own free will. At least, they wanted to give the appearance that they had been given an option. In truth, there was no option. They needed the laborers in order to run an efficient world and they would have taken them, deal or not.
“This one has been plotting,” the being leading Duncan along spoke to his commander. “This one thinks the humans have a way out of this.”
The commanding officer gave what appeared to be a chuckle. “Let him plot and plan. They will not escape their fate.”
Duncan halted as the caravan came upon the door of the Prime Minister’s office. It was large, nearly the size of the entire wall, and one of the only items in the compound made entirely from heavy wood. It was dark in color, cherry Duncan believed he’d heard as a child, and it creaked each and every time someone swung it open. He marveled at the intricate detail in the carving of the lion’s head in the center. Suddenly it had become one of the most beautiful things he’d ever seen.
“Should we knock?” the being asked his commander?
“I believe it is customary in this culture. Knock first. If they do not answer, blast it open.”
Duncan’s captor stepped forward and gently tapped on the door.
“I think you’ll have to knock a little more loudly,” Duncan spoke quietly. “The door is thick. They may not have heard you.”
His captor knocked again, this time with more force. No one came toward the door to answer.
“Blast it open,” the commander gave his orders. The being at the door opened the palm of his hand and pushed it forward toward the head of the lion. The massive door split down the middle, splintering and cracking from the ceiling to the floor, and with a gentle tap, the alien beings pushed their way into the Prime Minister’s office.
The room was dark, sans one candle flickering in the corner. After a quick search of the room, Prime Minister Griffin was found huddled in a closet with a few members of his cabinet. They had been cowering in the shadows, hoping that the threat would pass.
“Do not be afraid, human,” the commander spoke calmly. “We have come to make a deal.”
“Wh..what kind of deal?” Griffin was visibly shaken. “We’ll give you anything you desire. Just leave us enough to live and leave us in peace.”
“Oh, I’m afraid not.” The alien commander walked around the room, glancing at the photos and trinkets on the wall. “I haven’t even introduced myself,” he said tracing his long narrow fingers over a bell that sat on a table in the corner of the room, “how rude of me. I am Enebrian. These are my people.” He gestured toward the other beings standing at his back. “We have come to offer you a way off this planet.”
Prime Minister Griffin’s ears perked up. He stood up straight and moved behind his desk. “And what would you like in return?” he asked.