The Emparian Threat

By C.L.Horler All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Adventure

Chapter 20

The lights scattered around the ship grew dimmer as the day progressed onwards, Emparians all migrated to the corridors walking away from where Louisa was stood beside a floating carrier that held a number of dirty dishes. With a small yawn, Louisa continued against the crowds going away from her meeting many sneers and looks from fellow workers and Emparians.

‘Louisa take your load down to that room, and meet us back here, we shall take you to where you can get some food.’ One of the white beings with bright blue eyes she had originally encountered said. His companion stood in silence and gave a small smile, as they both watched Louisa take the small journey to drop off her work load. ‘Louisa, come this shall be where you come to take your meals, and if you have free time there are a few lounges and other rooms that are for us to use.’

A sour smell reached Louisa as she entered a large hall way the size of a tennis court, round tables scattered as workers sat round them collecting in small groups. Many now gave their attention to Louisa and her companions, hushed whispers travelled round. Her companions claimed a table nearby and glanced round to all those paying such attention to Louisa.

‘They’ll lose interest with time, come eat,’ the white being said as a neon approached their table carrying a tray with numerous plates.

‘So this is the human who everyone thought may rid us of the Emparians, well your Ascorts friends have not shown up have they. In fact, I was rather surprised that your species had gained an alliance with your race. There is nothing your people can offer to them, so they must need some mineral or resource that your planet has an abundance of. Anyway, enjoy your meal this will be one of the few joys you will have to look forward to, now that you are in the service of the Emparians,’ the Neon said and bowed to her companions and left.

An aroma of powerful scents whiffed in the air, most unusual smells giving a twang of salt and floral scents. Set out in a colourful display, sauces travelled over bulky vegetables and meats. Cakes sat to the side in a basket beside a large jug of black liquid. Her companions wasted no time and got stuck into their meals. Handling a cake she rolled it within her palms and paid much attention to those around her of who had returned to their own meals and conversations.

Picking at the cake, she eventually filled her plate with a selection of food that sat before her. But, the only void it filled was the hunger, there remained the longing to return home and escape this madness. Unfortunately, the first day merged in with the following days that turned into weeks and weeks into months. The work that had been set out rooted her in a mundane daily routine.

Sat alone on a table she played with her food, she sighed with loneliness, many fellow workers refused to even converse with her. Arrogance being the reason; being from a low technological world, one that has not developed a world government, our species remain fragmented broken into smaller civilisations of different religions/cultures. The tarnish spilt over her kind was helped by Emparians, Joive, who delighted in such treatment of her.

Glancing her work schedule, she noticed her usual list of chores had disappeared, instead an order to report to Joives section appeared flashing before her. Knowing that when such a message flashed, it was a matter of the upmost importance and she is expected to arrive within a matter of minutes. Shooting up from her spot she hurried away from the workers quarters and took to the now familiar corridors that led to the blue zone that contained Joive's working quarters along with many other high ranking Emparians.

Approaching Joive’s familiar black chair sat upon a two tier pyramid. She glanced briefly at the workers stationed at the control panels that travelled round the vast room. Each worker kept their heads low and concentrated on their tasks in hand. To the Emparians sat beneath Joive’s chair - themselves in deep concentration looking to the many screens before them. Straight ahead of her, not far from the window looking out into space, Joive stood with an Emparian that had been at his Excellency’s side when she first came to the Quorum.

‘Joive, I believe you requested me here?’ Louisa said bowing down, to both Joive and his companion. Who both had turned each carrying their own snide smiles.

‘Yes, I require you to assist with the catering for some important talks today. You shall follow your device’s direction. It shall take you to the suite. You shall be responsible for ensuring it is of the required standard and that refreshments are laid out,’ Joive’s companion ordered and then turned away from her returning to his conversation with Joive.

Looking down at her screen a new map had appeared with a route for her, already mapped out. Through areas, she had not been before. Not wasting a further minute she left Joives’ working quarters and travelled out of the blue zone and into a silver zone; usually was out of bounds for workers such as herself. But, today was a different day and the Emparian guards that filtered those who were allowed to enter and those who were not, allowed free passage for Louisa.

Travelling down silver corridors lined with bronze carpets, the occasional Emparian guards’ eyes followed her as she passed. But, escaping such glares her device alarmed and said she had arrived at her destination. Before two doors carved with numerous planets and stars, she stood until taking a further step caused them to slide open. A room bathed in violet appeared, rugs of silver, blues, reds and purples sat on the floor displaying star alignments as a dozen silver egg like chairs sat still floating in mid air making one circle. Connected to each chair a small table sat to the side. Looking further round she noticed a trolley that she was so use to pushing sat to one corner. Making her way over to it, she opened the side and saw a number of jugs and dishes of snacks packed neatly.

At once she began to unload the jugs to the side tables of every chair that floated and placed a dish of nuts like snacks, and crystal glasses that glimmered against the silver of the chairs. With five minutes the collection of chairs were all set out ready, and steps sounded not that far away, and soon the entrance opened. A number of small grey beings entered of various sizes. Joive was one of the last to enter and looked round in an assessing gaze. A final nod was given to Louisa who stood in silence in one corner with the trolley that had spare drinks and snacks.

Taking a few steps towards the exit, an invisible pull from behind prevented her from going any further, looking up she saw Joive shaking his head and then nudged it towards the trolley. Frustrated, Louisa returned to her original spot and stood amongst the shadows.

Silence occurred with the occasional wave of a hand, nod or shake of heads from those seated. ‘His Excellency, would never meet the demands of your council despite what your alliance would give us in regards to technology. We have not built up this great Empire, to lose it all.’ Joive said his eyes shot over to Louisa for a moment with a slight smirk that evaporated as soon as it appeared.

One of the shorter beings flicked his gaze to Louisa as with many others, ‘You have breached every agreement that you made with the Federation. The Federation will not stand to watch the Institute of Planets come under your dictatorship. Your reasons for such expansion have no justification whatsoever. You are threatening the peace of our universe, there must be some compromise you can reach for the greater good.’

‘How can you say that we threaten peace, the space that we govern has been at peace since the start of our empire. We have the best intentions for those who we govern and they shall thrive with us. The Federation would do well under our governance, and if Emparians and Ascorts came together as one people, we would be guardians of the known universe and maintain the peace that we have created,’ another Emparian spoke aloud.

‘You give no opportunity to allow those you govern to thrive or develop. They work to further the Emparian cause. If we were to join. We would expect all future plans to be sanctioned by our council; where we would agree the terms for the worlds involved.’

‘Do not think you would gain such authority or have you council held in such high regard. We have always known we two peoples would reunite to form our original society. You act for being guardians, grows weaker, already you have taken a step that we made millennia’s ago. Your hold of Earth grows stronger; people wish to believe there is something special in regard to these humans. But, we have not found anything of significance, on the contrary, you have tight reins of their governments - you keep them feeding off from minor technology, but for what benefit? Earth has no significance, we rather believe your path as a people have come to join ours, so that we can do what is destined for us - to govern our known universe and expand into the unknown.’

Louisa stood stunned and shocked to silence, there was no safety net anymore, no one was safe. What were the true intentions that the Ascorts held with Earth, and exactly what had happened to gain their alliance, why us? Was it as the Emparians suggested they had reached a point where they wanted to intervene at a more parental governing body? Voices continued to mutter across the room, but Louisa could not stay focused. Rather she grew sick with what hovered in the air. Her gaze stretched across the room, a number of jugs sat empty, despite how hard it was to serve those before her, she emptied the trolley bare and began to follow instructions held on her device to restock.

Walking on the outer most corridors that enjoyed the continual view of space, she noticed how the corridors were disserted. And on observations, she noted some small wing that hung out with a small ship that sat like a grape to a vine. With a sudden rush, she abandoned her trolley and walked down the only corridor that led towards this wing. A rush of adrenalin came, her body went into a repetitive shock with every turn she made a turn that took away from her station. To a tiny landing bay, a private luxury for some Emparian, one of enough importance to be granted such a privilege. Then heavy footsteps came towards her, finding a storage room she hid and watched two Emparian guards stroll past. One stopped for a fraction, glanced round and then continued.

A soft ringing tone sounded over some communication channel, ‘They must have agreed on an alliance, why else would his Excellency call us to his great hall?’ The other Emparian asked and continued further down the corridor his companion rushing to join him as they left Louisa with her own company.

At a jogging pace, Louisa reached the end of the corridor that opened up to a circular clear glass observational wing, a door lay before her, that slid open to reveal three seats embedded in the black metallic work of the ship. No control panel sighted, rather the central chair had hollow three digit hand prints either side of the seat.

Looking round, she took a step but tripped up over the uneven flooring. Sitting herself up, she slid without intention into the seat and one hand slid into one of the hollow hand rests. At once the ship came to life; red, blue and yellow lights grew in strength. Her head rest began to mould to her head, and some metallic head piece came round to sit on her forehead. Pictures of Earth, and then Asker and finally rested on the Federation of Planets.

A feeling of weightlessness occurred and a screen of stars appeared before her, stars that once stood frozen began to move slowly, creeping up in speed. Before she knew it the ship had shot off like a shooting star, only blurred white ora shone at the screen and must have continued around the ship as it travelled within the darkness of space.

Palpitations set in as her hands trembled and her forehead had beads of sweat develop. Worries came to mind as to what punishment she would have to suffer for her explorations. But, she began to suffer double vision, as the screen twisted like a spinning tube mirror; colourful shapes whirled round and round as the ship plunged into a wormhole that had opened.

The ship shook as if an earth quake had struck, but then tranquillity settled as the ship left the worm hole and at leisure drifted through space where the familiar egg shaped federation sat. Where it’s several tubular rings circled round the central base, each at different angles where small arches would emerge at various points and wrap round the structure like a vine would, creating a complex maze to the eye. Two rows of red lights lit up, and a flight path became apparent to a docking station that shone in pure white.

The ship glided to a halt, where coloured specs rushed round on the landing bay she was getting ready to land. a small electronic arm emerged from a wall and attached itself to the ship, the bright lights dimmed as the ship returned to its slumber. The head rest unmolded from Louisa’s head and the forehead piece disappeared. A gust of cool air invaded as a doorway appeared. Turning Louisa saw her exit and escaped onto a platform that had over twenty people bowing.

With a glance over the crowd, she made a quick escape and ran through the masses that now gasped and gossiped with many surprised looks.

‘Impossible,’ a neon said as he stood dumb strucked.

‘Umm thanks, bye,’ Louisa said running through the crowds that collected through the corridors. Running through numbers of corridors she emerged within an open planned dining hall. Where hundreds of different species sat, many sighted her, claws, hands, tentacles and other limb like structures began to point in her direction. The hall ablaze with murmurs, but one table held deep yellow gazes that bore onto Louisa. Their bodies glowed brighter with every step she took to them.

‘You’re Dovians?’ Louisa asked gulping, as the dining hall flooded with people.

‘Louisa,’ one said from the table with shock, ‘how did you escape?’

‘I drove one of their ships back, it was easy enough, but where is Nevis, Mantine or Systea. I need to speak to them as a matter of urgency.’ Louisa said keeping watch of the company she had.

‘They have been placed on another mission; they will not be coming back to the Federation for some time. But, you have no reason to fear the Emparians - you can seek the protection of the Federation.’

Stood still in her position she shook her head, a grim smile she wore. ‘How certain do you think the federation would hold together if the Ascorts and Emparians re-united to form their original species?’ Louisa rose an eyebrow, as the Starians and his company wore looks to each other.

‘That would not happen,’

‘Really? They have been discussing an alliance between themselves - already the Emparians have left the Federation, many Ascorts have joined their brother race, with many others beginning to take their line of thinking. The Ascorts have already begun to take steps that the Emparians took many, many years ago. Do not trust either species; in fact, if I were you I would have some plan in place in case such an eventuality ever took place.’

‘Louisa, we know you must have been most grieved to have been captured, but do not share your hatred or spread such rumours. The Ascorts are one of our principle representatives when it comes to dealing with the Emparians,’ the Dovian said and made room for her to join them.

Louisa sat amongst and an array of bright yellow eye, a glass handed to her - some sort of tea - infused with fruits and herbs. Lifting her head she noticed a collection of grey beings a mixture of Emparians and Ascorts that stood huddled together in groups scattered around the parameters of the dining hall- their eyes gleamed in her direction. And then three vanished into orbs and drifted away, a feeling of dread came over her, she looked over at other areas of the dining hall and the same picture - the Emparians and Ascorts huddled together. They had united - and it seemed she was the only one who could see it.

A desperate need to escape this ship came at a sudden rush - like a gut instinct. She stood up and noticed how more groups of Emparians and Ascorts gathered round. They slipped into the crowds and scattered round. Their eyes wore hidden messages one that only she could pick up. And with a smile, she nodded her head and departed her Dovian company, and retraced her steps down the corridors that led her to the landing bay she had come from. To see the same space craft, standing ready for its next journey - connected to many tubes and wires. Planting a hand upon its surface - a door opened automatically. Twisting her head round no Emparian or Ascorts had followed but, species governed under the Emparians stood on the edge and watched stunned at how the Emparian technology worked so well with Louisa.

With a heavy sigh, Louisa looked up and round to those who surrounded her and then to the window. Already gasps sounded as multiple black holes appeared and great warships appeared. With a rise in her heart rate Louisa stormed into the ship and slipped herself into her seat, focusing her mind on Asker, the ship hovered from the landing bay, and glided away from the multiplying invasion forces of the Emparians and Ascorts. Rays shot across the far reaching parts of the Federation ship, sections were blown away, rubble orbited around as a number of ships tried to flee, but fell victims to the war ships bent on victory.

With the head piece sat upon her forehead, the ship weaved in and out of the ranges of fire - and took to worm hole travelling missing two war ships that trailed behind her. Into the hypnotising glare of worm hole travel, the ship was spat out to another war zone, the Institute was under attack - Asker had fallen victim to the Emparians and Ascorts already their ships were stationed round the planet with one mother ship that sat like a third moon to the planet.

Great sadness built up within her, she had only one place to go now - back home, her mind focused on a most precious photographic memory. Within a jump of space, the vast blue skies and green land masses of Earth lay before her - her home, England a tiny spec from this height but nonetheless carried much importance to her.

‘Louisa,’ Joive's voice echoed around her hollow environment and appeared as a holographic projection before her.

‘I wish to return to my home before you people come to invade Earth. His Excellency must be most please with the workings of today - the Federation and the Institute how will he top that?’ Louisa asked crossing her arms.

‘Yes, we Emparians and Ascorts have much to celebrate. Earlier than we expected but we could not have people listen to your warnings. Now His Excellency has given me one task - to govern my persons working within my jurisdiction. There is only one punishment that would be both fitting and pleasing to me...’

Nervousness grew within as she watched Joive snarl develop into a grin.

‘It is surprising how much fun you can have with holographic projections... a fleet of warships led by your ship... on their way to invade Earth – or so the governments of Earth believe!’ Joive replied grinning. ‘They have targeted their pathetic nuclear weapons upon your ship, and holographic fleet, they will not allow you to enter the atmosphere.’

‘What? ...But How?’

‘Unfortunately Louisa, I have disabled every defence that your ship holds ... you can die at the hands of your own kind.’

‘No!’ Louisa said in disgust.

‘Your governments see us as their most treasured guardian here to protect the world from the evils of space!’ Joive said laughing.

‘Surely they can tell a holographic projection!’ Louisa said dismayed.

‘You give your people far too much credit. You, humans, have barely created a civilisation; you do not even have a world government. No, your people remain in your tribes fighting over lands and borders, or wars as you call them! No wonder why the Emparian race has ruled out adding your planet to our great civilisation, for now. But, we shall be here to watch the human race to ensure that you people will never pose a threat to us. We shall continue to use your governments as our puppets for our gain. You better flee before Earth decides to fire their pathetic weapons at you,’ Joive said with a smile that blossomed along with the many colleagues within his presence.

Louisa froze in complete silence, tears formed in her eyes.

‘Oh, by the way, Louisa, the Federation and Institute are part of our Empire now, an Empire where you have been outlawed and banished. You will never be welcomed to any planet within our Empire Louisa. You shall remain outlawed for the embarrassment you have caused our civilisation and to myself,’ Joive continued to bring his twig like hands together.

‘But!’ Louisa replied shocked ‘I’ll die out there...’ she gulped looking between Earth and the holographic projection of Joive.

‘That’s the plan...,’ Joive said smiling as he cut his communication off.

A sob escaped, as she saw several Rockets launched towards her ship, ‘dam it! Stupid Governments...I’m not going to be killed by human hand...’ she returned her sights to Earth one last time, for a glimpse of what was her home before she allowed her ship to drift back into space.

Growing tired she fell to sleep only to wake to find alarms sounding as her ship drew into the wormhole central to the Milky Way galaxy. The ship shook most angrily getting drawn minute by minute into the eye of the wormhole, utter darkness soon invaded as the ship lost power due to the electrical storms striking the ship. Slowly Louisa lost consciousness due to the smoke inhalation that resulted from such impacts.

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