Leaning against a cold boulder, the sky illuminated by the fresh rays of a new dawn, shadows laid to rest. Warmth swamped the land as a fresh floral breeze blew past a mirage of water in the far distance. Alone with her own thoughts, tranquillity and peace existed very few were awake. Yet, thoughts troubled her; what was this federation and what would happen. Nerves grew as dawn came and life returned to the base, footsteps passed by on mass, chatter hovered.
Already a collection of soldiers had massed together on some training the majority wore grey one piece uniforms with a black ring circled at the top of each sleeve. Two rows formed, and several Askans wearing one piece black uniforms circled round these rows inspecting and issuing commands. Two had turned round one of the trainees had spotted Louisa, now everyone focused upon her - one Askans wearing a black one piece uniform started to approach her.
‘Trienz, morning,’ Louisa said recognising her housemate.
‘Morning, I guess you did not enjoy our company?’ Trienz asked planting himself next to her.
‘Oh no, I wanted to watch your sun rise, it’s a spectacular view. I guess there are a few people searching for me.’
‘How did you guess?’ Trienz laughed wearing a grin.
‘Actually, you have several military teams dispatched on the search for you, now how about we go back and find the research team.’
‘I guess I better get some breakfast. I have no idea how long I’ve been gone, come on Trienz help me up.’ Louisa said raising her hands up.
‘Get up yourself, lazy,’ Trienz said shaking his head.
A groan was Louisa’s reply as they both made their way back to the base those they passed stood as if time had frozen. Only their vision followed their path, back to the busy corridors filled with mainly Askans, but the rare sightings of Aranians, Gladovians and other peoples of other worlds. School kids were the only ones to break the silence, many shouted greetings, others tried to converse with Louisa. Desperate to find out more about the people that had built monuments in exact replications of star correlations.
‘Go away the lot of you,’ Trienz shouted and slapped one resilient child away.
‘Louisa, I am of the mind to banish you to your quarters then least I would know where you are at all times!’ Puden said sighing as his complete team sat with him having breakfast.
‘You can’t treat me like a prisoner, I shall go where I like...’ Louisa said.
‘Louisa, get some breakfast we have no idea when your friends shall come to pick us up,’ Steros said.
‘In the morning Steros, that’s when they said they would be picking us up.’ Louisa said and walked off to choose a selection of food for her breakfast returning to a greater gathering of people.
‘Glad you cared to join us, Louisa,’ Dopian said with a slim smile as he spoke to an Askan dressed in a black robe with lined with silver.
‘Morning Dopian,’ Louisa smiled and sat beside Miya who shook her head a frown sat upon her face as the other team members sighed. ‘I saw the most beautiful sun rise.’
‘I shall bear in mind that you like sightseeing, the next time you decide to disappear,’ Dopian’s company said with a slight smile.
Biting into the green flesh of a fruit that sat neatly in her hand. She ignored the ramblings of her company and tucked into her food and drink. Until people ran to windows as several red orbs danced in the sky, and with a metallic thunder crashed together where a red cigar shaped craft took form and bright lights shone brightly as the craft landed on the open land mass.
‘Look at that,’ Dopian said in awe and aspiration, and retrieved Louisa, marching her through the corridors with the rest following behind. Crowds of people flooded into the open grounds, many inspected the craft, as others stared at the Dovians that massed in front of the ship’s entrance.
‘Hey,’ Louisa said waving a hand to Nevis, Systea and Mantine that emerged from the crowd smiles rested upon their faces as they greeted each other once again. ‘Nice ship,’ Louisa said as she stroked the silk-like structure of the ship.
‘We better get going Louisa, even with worm hole travel, we have a way to go.’ Mantine said gathering Louisa within an arm. ‘Come Dopian, and those chosen to represent the Institute of Planets.’
‘Not worm hole travelling, you know how sick that made me feel last time,’ Louisa said rubbing the dread of her face.
‘You do not feel it quite so much with our ships,’ Systea said and entered an open room where seats were scattered around but floated in midair - no support visible.
‘How is this possible?’ Louisa said laying across a sofa like structure her hands running underneath through the air.
‘Louisa, here taste this,’ Nevis said and handed her a drink.
‘Sweat... anyway why do I need to be here... unless you’re planning to return me home?’ Louisa said with excitement building in her core.
‘As we said earlier Louisa, we are all here to discuss intergalactic issues. Now occupy yourself by the window,’ Nevis said and nudged her away.
With a click of her tongue she walked away and Systea, Nevis and Mantine began introductions with Dopian and his company.
‘Why have the Emparians decided to launch an attack on the Institute?’ Dopian asked.
‘They are a species that hold high importance in expanding their Empire. They have been dormant for many, many years, but I believe their need to expand has serviced once again. And their sights rests on your collective alliance. Now the best option that we have is to get them to stand down their invasion forces. But at what price I have no idea what they will ask or expect,’ Nevis said.
A holographic display came up of a being where seaweed like skin drooped off the body and yellow lizard like eyes bore into any soul that looked upon it. Gills flapped open and closed as a slimy voice etched itself from a yellow mouth. ‘Greetings Louisa, Askans and other peoples of the Institute from the Neon people, we have prepared a room for you to rest in till the Federation begins its meeting.’
‘Thank you, friends, we shall take what hospitality you are kind enough to offer us,’ Systea said bowing her head to the holographic picture.
‘Be careful with these people, their own ambitions are as slimy as how they look. They are, unfortunately, under the rule of the Emparians. Treat them all as spies. Do not trust them.’ Mantine said as he walked out from the room. ‘Louisa, stay close to me,’
Staring out to space she saw a beehive structure of some space base, where ships disappeared and appeared in a mirage of colour. Small lone rogue hexagon structures drifted where black holes came alive spitting out great ships or receiving them.
‘Louisa,’ Puden said.
‘Hmmm,’ Louisa nodded and came to a platform that held a gathering of neon people dressed in red robes. Their eyelids closed like curtains numerous times, whilst they focused on the gathering, but centred on Louisa, until a spokes person spoke up.
‘Come,’ with the motion of a scaly green hand they were led to a lavished room. Draped with red curtains, numerous cushions scattered around, crimson coloured drinks scattered around on tables, together with bowls of black, purple and silver fruits. ‘Please rest here, when the Federation has collected together we shall take you to the appropriate places,’ the neon said and then bowed along with the rest of his company and left.
‘Do these Neon people have toilets, I sure could use one,’ Louisa said.
‘There should be some outside,’ Mantine said as he wore a nervous look as he glanced around the room.
‘Ok,’ Louisa said leaving the room to enter red corridors. Walking for some time, she gained a number of curious stares. Sighting a Neon girl, ever so small compared to the others. Smiling, she approached ′ umm do you know if there are any toilets here?′ Louisa asked.
A nod the neon girl gave, swallowing a nervous gulp she pointed to a door a few feet away.
‘Thanks,’ Louisa said and entered a metallic room that was empty, bare a circular ring that decorated the floor. ‘alien toilets...great,’ frozen in position she stared not knowing what to do, a giggle sounded behind her.
The neon girl had gained some friends and was peeping through the door. One of them ran before her and stood central to the ring on the floor and then within seconds. The ring floated up and down for a good minute and then rested back down into the floor. With a smile, the girl ran past back to her friends. ‘Oh, so that’s how you go.’ Louisa walked to the centre of the ring, and a buzzing noise began and then the ring lifted and floated up and down, hovering spinning as a strange sensation of pins and needles invaded around her. The metallic ring floated back down to the floor, any sensation of needing to go to the toilet had disappeared.
‘Your Louisa, the human,’ another neon girl asked.
A nod was given, as she glanced to the floor.
‘Is it true you fought Joive?’
Again Louisa nodded and started to make an exit back to her room.
‘You won, didn’t you - you equalled his abilities.’
‘I better be going back,’
‘I hope you did, we need someone to retaliate against this Empire,’
‘What I did was all in defence, nothing more now I better be going,’ Louisa said escaping back to the corridors that led back to her room.
‘You know our people were willing to fight to the last man, women and child, but to what result, the Federation got involved and we lost our planet to the Emparians, you bring hope.’ The neon girl said and then disappeared amongst the crowds with her friends.
Turning her head, Louisa, watched the Neon girls disappear, but she blew a heavy sigh out, she knew she would be no help to them. Their hopes were wrongly placed, she was one human she would not bring an entire empire on its heels. She returned to the room, ignoring the glances from other Neons.
‘Their only concern is to ensure that intergalactic war does not erupt,’ Mantine said as sympathy rested in his eyes and rested a hand on the shoulder of Dopian. Who wore a pained look with his fellow Askans and other company.
‘What’s happened?’ Louisa asked looking around the room.
‘Nothing, Mantine was telling us more about your friends the Ascorts. We are not sure how much help they will be to our cause, their main concern is to keep peace within the universe,’ Rufus said.
The door opened again neon people joined their company, ‘we have been given the coordinates of the Federation, your ship is ready. Good luck with your endeavours, and let’s hope you are more successful than we were.’
‘Thank you, my friend,’ Systea said and led the way back to their ship.
‘We shall leave you to your journey, but it has been an honour and pleasure to meet you all,’ the neon said, his gaze resting on Louisa, and then abruptly turned and left them.
Soon the ship floated to a newly charged wormhole that sat within a hexagon floating in solitude. Then like a twister reaching out the wormhole sucked the ships that shook with turbulence. Creaks and aches sounded in the body work as nausea took hold of Louisa once again.
‘We are here,’ Mantine said reaching Louisa, who now sat on the floor leaning against the wall of the ship looking ghastly.
Given a helping hand, Louisa was on her feet again and walked amongst the crowd to a window. A central oval egg-shaped, metallic black mass the size of Earth, several tubular rings circled around the central base, each at different angles where small arches would emerge at various points and wrap around the structure like a vine would, creating a complex maze to the eye. Two rows of red lights lit up, where a flight path became apparent to a docking station that shone pure white.
The Dovians collected together, soon bright white light invaded the ship as the door opened and the people gathered collected together onto a large balcony, where a form of an invisible shield stood. Federations ship lingered parked with the backdrop of space itself.
‘Greetings Systea, and companions,’ an unknown Dovian said embracing Systea and nodded to fellow Dovians. ‘This way please,’ he continued and a golden triangle shaped door slid open. Gold corridors led deeper into the Federation until glass walls came showing a smaller egg shaped structure sat central to this ship, three gold bridges led to the three entrances. Each carried masses of people, like ants entering a nest; crowds grew all around them and went in one direction towards a golden gate that sat before a bridge.
‘We shall take you to your seating area that shall be representative of the Institute of Planets. Louisa, you shall have to join them, despite not being a member. You will not be able to hold your own seat since your people have not mastered space travel. And therefore, cannot be considered part of the Intergalactic community,’ Mantine said leading the way across the golden bridge, with many, many other species each filing out into the smaller corridors that travelled around the central egg shaped structure.
Through a bronze door, Louisa and her company entered a room of numerous colours, where seats lined the walls and a central desk sat, numerous buttons decorated its surface. A multicoloured tiled floor created a display of space itself, colourful circlets formed a path to an archway where a balcony sat before them. To a black abyss before them, but around the edges sat petal like balconies that were coloured individually, so that every spec of colour in the spectrum had been used. Tiny dots rested on the balconies furthest away, whilst those nearer people could be distinguished.
Dopian and other heads of department walked ahead and stared out to the collective mass. The team stood in the background with Louisa and stood mesmerized at the sight. Taking in deep breath mixed with apprehension, Louisa followed Dopian and stood at the very edge of the balcony rested her hands on the metallic walls. Her eyes roamed the sight before her, and then a holographic picture of a Dovian appeared filling the large central space.
‘Welcome members of the Federation and guests, we have gathered together to gain an understanding to the Emparians intentions and what breaches of the peace treaty have been committed.’
‘We have not breached any peace treaty within the federation, the Institute is outside the Federation and should not be under its protection. It is the Federation that is interfering with lesser civilisations, ’ an Emparian hologram said dressed in gold robes, eyes black as death itself, as anger took form.
‘It is not the federation that has threatened peace within the known universe,’
‘Peace, define peace...’ The Emparian said as a battle of words played before the pair. ’I have taken a decision to remove the Emparians from the Federation. We no longer see the benefits of such an organisation.
A third Emparian took to the central stage, ‘Your Excellency before you decide on such a measure can we not discuss certain matters in more privacy.’ The Federation is stronger with your people as a member.
‘Until the Federation takes on the same stance on Ascorts for intervening with lesser planets in the same way that it takes on us, we have nothing to discuss,’ the Emparian said cutting off his communication.
‘That was rather useless,’ Nevis said shaking his head as he stood amongst the crowd.
‘You know it’s one of their diverting tactics. We just need to work out what their intention is with the delay they are causing,’ Mantine said resting himself upon the balcony’s wall.
‘Their intention? I think we all know what their intention is,’ Dopian said.
‘So what happens now? Do we wait until someone decides to talk again?’ Louisa asked.
‘No, senior members of the Federation shall be having talks with the Emparian representatives and we wait.’ Systea said entering the seated area once again.
‘Oh great...’ Louisa said rubbing her head, ′ I think I need a stroll outside I have a nasty headache.
‘Very well, don’t stroll too far, for it will take us ages to find you,’ Mantine said with a smile as he made himself comfortable in the sitting area.
Walking upon the golden bridge she entered golden corridors once again and began to walk the span of the viewing point to the central core. The corridors were bare with people, she was the only person who thought it was necessary to take a break. That was until coming round the curvature of the corridor, a group of small grey beings appeared - Emparians. Panic rose within her and she began to retrace her steps and hoped that they had not noticed. But, as she turned she faced Joive and his fellow colleagues once again. Each wore smiles, as the Emparians she discovered closed round behind her.
’At last, we wondered how long you would ignore your headache. Well, this is what we came here for, let’s deliver her to His Excellency,′ Joive said an evil smile appearing as Louisa was snatched.
Fierce hands grabbed either arm as nausea struck, and dizziness came to her mind. A bright light struck at her core and travelled across to her entire body. In the vast distance, Miya stood frozen as she witnessed the event, and then disappeared from sight.