A feeling of pins and needles occurred throughout Louisa’s body, but darkness enveloped her. Pulled by forces unknown to her, a constant low tone sounded. Her body crashed into a cold metallic hard surface. Footsteps sounded all around her, glancing up dozens of black eyes stared at her. More Emparians gathered some appeared from thin air having travelled with her, others drew nearer from a collective mass of shadows that lined the edges of her vision. Dragged up by invisible forces, she came face to face with Joive in his Emparian appearance, who circled round her. His eyes gleamed as others joined him on his inspection.
‘So this is Louisa, the human who has gained so much interest from the Federation,’ an unknown Emparian said eying her as the mass of small four feet to five feet grey beings, with distinct large oval black eyes, large heads, a small slit for a mouth and two small holes for a nose grew in numbers.
‘You have no business with me,’
‘And neither do the Ascorts!’ A voice shouted across the room, ‘No right have they, interfering in matters that do not concern them!’
‘You cannot hold me responsible for what has happened with the Institute of Planets, you would gain more by speaking to the Federation.’ Louisa said spinning round trying to work out who had spoken to her.
‘But, we do. You have not been easy to kill, to such an extent that your survival has impressed us. So we want to know exactly - why your people have an alliance with the Ascorts; our brother race.’
‘Not you lot as well,’ Louisa said drawing her hands to her face but froze and looked awkwardly towards Joive. ‘Brother Race?’
‘Yes, we originate from the same species, but our values and beliefs were different and thus we went our separate ways many, many thousands of years ago. So please, enlighten us in regards to our brother race, and why they are so interested in Earth and your people,’ Joive asked as he continued to circle her along with two others that bore their gazes to her.
‘I...I don’t know, you will have to speak to the Ascorts,’
‘Well if you cannot answer, let’s have those Ascorts that crossed over to our side, explain.’ Joive said his twig like fingers wrapping round Louisa’s neck as she was forced to kneel before him.
‘Joive, we have given what information we have, none of us were on the council we believe the information is of the strictest confidence.’
‘You lie the lot of you. Spies, all spies as far as I am concerned.’ Joive said as he pulled Louisa closer to him, to an extent that strands of her hair would move with every breath he took.
‘Huh?’ Louisa said, her eyes moving from Joive to the small collection of shorter grey beings having the exact same appearance as the Emparians. Looking round other beings merged into the crowds. Two stood out; they were the tallest in the room seven foot, pure white and hairless beings with bright blue eyes that glowed. One carried a tray of crystal glasses full of a yellow drink. The other lagged behind, eyes down-casted, hands held together, but for a brief moment the being looked up to Louisa and then looked away.
‘Joive, we have been instructed to show Louisa to her room, his Excellency, shall see her once the Federation meeting has finished,’ white being bowed as they spoke.
‘Fine,’ Joive said pushing Louisa into their bowing trances as he took a drink from the tray and walked off with a gathering.
‘Louisa, this way,’ one of them said with a masculine voice, waving her along. Silence prevailed for a while whilst she passed many guarded corridors. Emparians lined either side dressed in grey robes. After a fair walk, the corridors were disserted, glancing at his fellow colleague he looked round and sighed. ‘Louisa, fate has not been kind to you, come you must prepare for His Excellency. He shall want answers, and answers you must have. Hear our warning; he is not a reasonable being. But, come this shall be your quarters until ... well...’ silence came.
A metallic wall vanished from in front of then that revealed a grand room. An open planned room, where several seats floated and faced a small window revealing space. Facing the two beings again one smiled, ‘so it’s true... you hold certain abilities that can... challenge an...’ the being froze for a moment looked round and whispered. ‘An Emparian.’
Louisa nudged her shoulders looking round at her new prison.
‘You held off Joive and his colleagues when they tried to capture you. And because of that, they see you as a threat, but Earth as an even greater threat. For some reason, the Ascorts have focused on protecting your planet. But the Emparians have found nothing with the research they have undertaken in secret most recently, nothing astute in likeness with you, ’ one of the beings said.
‘Great; research subject to galactic threat!’ Louisa said collapsing onto a chair.
‘Your only a threat if they discover that your people are in reality; a threat. So you are going to drink this so they do not discover anything to give them a reason to destroy your planet.’
‘Destroy?’ Louisa replied her voice drying up.
‘Do not think they would not do the ultimatum, they destroyed our planet only a few thousand of us remain.’
‘Why?’ Louisa asked.
‘We had telepathic abilities. A few of us were as strong if not stronger than that of the Emparians – but it was not enough! We attacked as they increased their threat, and we were defeated after three days of battling, those who were left were collected, tagged and sent off to carry out duties!’
‘Tagged?’ Louisa asked.
‘Yes tagged, it weakens our telepathic abilities,’ one of the beings said lifting his robe and showed an ankle bracelet.
‘No, they cannot destroy Earth,’ Louisa said realising she may have jeopardised her people.
‘Not whilst Earth has Ascorts protection,’ the white being continued.
Louisa replied with a look that bore sorrow and pity for her company.
Smiles broke through, ‘any challenge to the ’Emparians supreme rule’, brings joy and happiness to those under their rule. Anything that makes them panic is a small victory for us but... but that is all we can hope for... now drink up,′
‘It will lesson what abilities you have, we may be under their rule, but we shall help you as best as we can.’
Sour taste ran down her throat, ‘what about Joive he had the same drink.’
’We do not need to worry about him, his abilities have been diminished from his recent battles with you and your Dovian friends. ’Now rest yourself. We shall bring some food in a little while. The being said where after playing with a control panel two lights floated from the ceiling and then projected a sheet of blue light that materialised into a floating cushioned bed. Both beings bowed down and left her alone.
Pressing down upon the cushioned fabric, the floating bed did not move but warmed to her touch. Planting herself upon the bed, she sat down growing familiar with her empty living quarters. But, a pool of tiredness overcame her and sent her beyond the realm of dreams. One that held twisted dreams and strange people came to mind, but one stood out, her grandfather stood amongst several other spiritual beings. Each rested their gazes upon her and then drew some form of yellow essence from her core. ’Until you are out of the realms of the Emparians you shall not have access to these powers, the divine can give and take away.′
‘Louisa, Louisa come wake up you are expected.’
Pulling her eyelid apart, fussy white figures stood above her, bright blue eyes stared down as they continued to tug at her arms.
‘I’m awake!’ Louisa said as she fought off her company and sat up, tiredness overcame her. ‘Blimey,’ Louisa said rubbing her eyes as she stood on the floor feeling somewhat disorientated.
‘Come walk over to that ring on the floor over there.’
‘Oh the toilet thing,’ Louisa said recalling it from her stay with the Neons.
‘Come, we are short of time,’ we shall have to programme clothing as well, his Excellency expects a certain level of dress code whilst you attend his Quorum.
At once Louisa crossed her arms, ‘And what’s wrong with what I have on?’ Louisa frowned with a raised eyebrow. ‘Your plain trousers and top will not do well in the Quorum, now stand in the centre of the circlet,’
‘Fine,’ Louisa stepped into the centre and bought her arms to his. Several metallic rings swept up and floated up and down, spinning round, making a whooshing noise as air rushed through the rings. Then heated vapours shot out, and melted what she wore away. Then syrupy liquid shot out of the rings and like seeped together, then individual arms leapt out from the machine and like a loom, combed the collections of the liquid together. The liquid dried very quickly, and metallic silvery blues fibres as smooth and soft as silk rested upon her skin.
‘Good,’ one of the beings said, ‘You just need something to tie round your waist,’ he played with a panel on one of the rings, and the ring created a gold rope- like belt in mid air, had landed within the beings hands, who began to wrap round it round Louisa’s waist, in the same fashion as in ancient Greece. The other being had managed to create gold ribbons that he slithered through her neatly curled hair. ‘Come with us now, the Quorum is waiting,’ both beings led the way and vanished beyond the hole in her wall that closed as soon she left where the corridors were busier with Emparians.
The cold stares she had already gained, made her up tight and what strength she had gathered together, swarmed her mind and heart as she prepared for this ill fated meeting. Walking further she entered gold corridors, dimly lit as two great black doors with gold lines emerging like vines that crawled up. People gathered in front of her and behind as they collectively went through the drawn doors, into a hall buzzed with short grey beings their eyes gleamed against the golden lights that lined the walls. An array of colours shone before her, a collection of gold, bronze, silver, pastel colours as with more earthly colours set the background as silence invaded.
‘Louisa,’ a voice echoed.
Peering up Louisa saw a gold throne mounted on a tiered pyramid each level bore a different metallic colour. Upon the throne sat an Emparian dressed in black and gold, a gold ringlet sat upon his head.
‘A child, a child Joive, has kept you from your latest mission.’ his Excellency laughed, together with everyone in his company. ‘Well come here,’ he said tilting his head as he drew a hand under his chin and glanced at two other companions that stood to his side.
With each step that echoed, her heart beat matched the noise of blood that rushed to her ears to pound against her ear drums, her palms became mottled. Taking a gulp she stood a short distance from the pyramid throne. Where a companion came to stand beside her, at once a three long fingered hand waved in front of her face and emitted a bright white light that travelled to her head. Into a trance, Louisa entered and memories of her child hood, personnel life and school life seeped out and travelled into the mind of the beholder that had started the invasion.
Transfixed for five minutes, the world past by without any acknowledgement, instead light diminished and blackness took hold as consciousness was lost. Onto a cold surface, Louisa laid, and voices rose above her, dismissive voices and wars of words fought between different Emparians. Pounding pain stung on every pressure point that touched the floor, pushing herself up she sat up rubbing her head and faintness took hold.
‘What abilities that this human possesses come from a finite resource, she, nor her people shall be any threat to us. But, as you wish Joive, you may examine this human to seek where this power came from. Report your findings to your commander I see no reason to waste any more time on this human. Take her away.’
‘Louisa, come on get up we will take you to your quarters where you can recover,’ a vague white being said his outline unable to be made out.
Two hands took hold of her arms and lifted her up as they began to force her to move.
‘Take her to my office, I shall lead the research once his Excellency has dispelled the Quorum,’ Joive said as his voice rose and fell back into the crowds that had massed.
A sigh came from one of the beings that led her away, ‘this way then,’ leaving the gold corridors, they entered black scenery, the walls narrowed and divided at numerous points like a spider’s web. Each interconnected in some way, but so tangled that those who guided her had to retrace their steps. Until they reached a blue zone, where a wall disappeared and several other beings came out. Each greeted her company and then turned to face Louisa subtle smiles came her way.
‘This way child, we have been commanded to begin our research, but do not fret you shall not be aware of anything. Rather you shall be lost in sleep, where no troubles will you have.’
‘Until I wake up,’ Louisa said shaking her head as she was taken to a floating bed within an empty room.
‘And then we shall see what duties you can carry out, you will, after all, be expected to serve the Emparian Empire.’ One of the beings who had escorted her said a gave a curt nod as he left with his companion.
A sharp pressure was applied to her neck as a brown hand applied pressure on a nerve that made her reality disappear. But, in no time hands passed over her, and her senses grew stronger as her eyelids flickered open, and dim light surrounded ghostly figures that stood to the edge of the room. Some moved tables away whilst others left the room.
‘Louisa... Louisa...Louisa,’ her name repeated brought her around battling heaviness in her head. A sound was all she could mumble, so weak and disorientated she was as she tried to focus on the blurred sights before her.
‘Let us help her go back to her quarters, she must be given a few days to recover, she cannot work like this.’
‘Very well, but Joive has requested that she works under his jurisdiction, his Excellency has approved his request.’
‘Huh, who am I working for,’ Louisa asked, using the floating bed as a stand aid as she struggled to remain standing.
‘Come, you must rest for now,’
Both arms held in a supportive manner and her feet trailed along at a slow pace. Until she reached another floating bed where those supporting her helped her up, where on laying down she once again lost any connection with the reality she was in. That was until burning pain brought her round, to strange quarters where four other beds floated round. But, emptiness filled the room with no other furniture or decoration present.
Standing her joints ached and her muscles bore the grunt pain that shot through her. Rubbing a tender arm she undid the gold cord to her dress to allow the robe to flow freely, where burnt marks of a hand print existed that consisted of three elongated fingers joint by a small palm. Examining other burn marks there were; triangles, squares, circles and further hand prints that her body decorated with.
Taking a few steps away her body seized up, a soothing hush sounded, ‘careful, you have not fully recovered.’
Twisting round Louisa faced one of the white beings she had met initially. ‘What has happened to me?’ Louisa asked glancing down to all the bruises.
‘You were researched upon, a most disappointing research for Joive though, nothing of significance was discovered. So now you’re dismissed from any research project held on the human race and shall be assigned to some station tomorrow. But, get back onto the bed, try to rest yourself,’ The white being said. Leaving her alone once again darkness filling the room and warmth from the bed gathered round her. Until she came back to reality, the same white being stood over her, as three other shadowy figures hung in the background.
‘Louisa, Joive has requested your presence,’ the white being said and lead her away out of the room and through a number of corridors until they reached a familiar blue zone leading to a silver framed entrance. Where two Neon guards stood frozen in place, ‘Joive is expecting you until we meet again,’ the white being said nodding his head and left her company.
‘Louisa?’ Joive asked, hidden from view. ‘Well come on in, I have enough for you to get started on.’
Crossing the threshold, Louisa passed through the doorway and entered a large open office. A black chair sat upon a two tier pyramid rested looking out into space through a window that took up the entire outside wall four other seats rested beneath and were occupied by four other. Emparians each gave a lazy stare towards Louisa but returned their concentrations to the holographic screens that floated before them. Surrounding the seating area there were many panels full of controls that attended by species governed by the Emparians, each kept their heads low and concentrated on their tasks in hand.
‘Don’t dwindle, come here,’ Joive said gripping the hand rails of his chair as he rested his gaze upon her like his colleagues. ‘Unfortunately, since your education would not come close to what we require to place you in any work station that lacks personnel. You shall instead focus on manual work. First, I expect you to have breakfast laid out for myself and my colleagues, then you are to clean our living quarters and work station. You shall also be expected to lay out our lunches and other meals when we do not dine with His Excellency, and what other jobs it pleases me to give you. That will be it, take this,’ A small flat screened black device was handed down, it’s reflective screen came alive when handled by Louisa. A map appeared, with a small x marking Louisa’s position. ‘The device shall take you through your daily routine. Now we shall be lenient with you today, perhaps tomorrow, but no further. I shall warn you. I do not take well to slackers and am prepared to dish out punishments when I feel it is necessary. Now go.’ Joive said turning from her as he returned his concentration to his colleagues.
The device vibrated, and small red dots began to move the X that represented her and led her through black corridors that grew closer and closer together. Loud metallic crashes began to sound together with the sound of wind pipes whining in the background. Passing a corridor that broke away, her devise gave a vibrating cry the red dots went down the corridor that she had passed. With a heavy sigh, she retraced her footsteps and soon found herself come to some open planned kitchens. Operated by robots and aliens unknown to her, one yellow creature that bore a beak and black button eyes squalled a cry, and pincher like hands pushed some silver trolley her way. Inspecting the trolley she pressed a button that opened a side, but at once the alien gave a harsh commotion, slamming a claw onto the button she had pressed, and then wheeled the trolley onto the corridor making a harsh commotion - nothing of which made sense to Louisa. The device whipped out of her hands and placed onto the trolley - already a red dotted line showed up.
She soon found that she was retracing her initial journey and re entered Joives’ quarters where several stern faces greeted her. One worker came over and took the trolley from Louisa; others flicked their eyes nudging their heads to the entrance.
‘I obviously have not given you enough work to be dealing with, if you have time to stare at us,’ Joive said. ‘Come show me, how much of your work you have done,’ waving his hand Joive called Louisa over to him.
Frozen for a moment, Louisa looked down to the screen she carried, and then up to where Joive now impatiently stared at his open hand his twig like fingers moving like a wave, a side way glance was made. At once Louisa hurried herself up to his side, where he tweaked her screen, and from a list that appeared - several others added.
‘There... now get to work and don’t delay unless you can work without sleep.’