Tony stood quietly by one of the windows on the launching Deck. He held his hands behind his back and looked thoughtfully out at the Earth as it spun in its elliptical orbit. It seemed so big to him, and yet, at the same time, it seemed so small. The planet was merely a dot in the fabric of space. Life on Earth was a queer thing to consider now that everything had been turned upside down. He could hardly believe he had lived there a few days ago. He could hardly believe he had been human a few weeks ago. It all seem-ed like a dream or a fantasy in his mind; the truth was turning out to be stranger than fiction after all. Earth just didn’t feel like his home anymore; it felt more like a foreign country. Even the glorious sun had lost its luster in his eyes.
It was like living in an office cubical down there, thought Tony. It was as if we were caged in by our own surroundings. Humans are so limited in their understanding of what really goes on in the universe. We know nothing about other worlds. We lived our lives totally oblivious to what really takes place among the stars above.
His eyes slowly ran across the distant continents and shores. He pondered the many seas and the lakes that lined the valleys and planes. He reflected on the fluffy white clouds as they churned gracefully in the heavens. His mind drifted through a thousand avenues of thoughts and memories, until he came to the one that meant the most to him. The one about seeing his family again. In all the struggles that had taken place on the ship he had forgotten about them. He had put them in a dark corner of his mind.
“Soon I will see my parents again,” whispered Tony. “I hope they weren’t too worried about my disappearance. Knowing mom, she probably freaked out and called the cops. She probably filed a missing persons report and had the National Guard on stand by,” Tony chuckled at the exaggerated imagery; his mom would do something like that. She was always worried about the little things. “I hope they like their new look, because they’re going to be seeing green for a long time. The age of the human race is at an end. I especially hope they like Evila.” He lifted a hand and set it on the glass in front of him. He ran his rough fingers down its smooth surface and stopped halfway.
He sighed apprehensively; Evila was still in her accountability meeting with the Tenatian Ambassador. He had arrived a few weeks ago to get things in order on the ship. Evila had to report to him about stealing cloning experiments and changing the human race without authorization. She had told Tony to wait on the launching Deck for her, but that had been over three hours ago.
“If she doesn’t get back soon we might miss the ship to Earth. My parents will be disappointed. I told them we would be there today.”
To pass the time Tony recited all the lessons he had learned during the weeks of preparation on the ship. Evila had shown him practically all there was to know about genetics and astronomy. She had run through the basics of synchronized physics and complicated mathematics. She had labored to get him to understand the Tenatian culture both inside and out.
Tony smiled as he compared his old ‘human’ self with his new and improved self. The differences were amazing. It would have been quite a task to learn all this complic-ated information as a human. I don’t think I could have done it all. I don’t think I would have lived that long to do it. Evila had been such a big help—she had shared her knowledge freely with him. Every time Tony had a question about something on the ship, she would answer it both verbally and emotionally. She would send him mental pictures of her past experiences with things and people, and Tony would soak it all in. It was the best way to learn. He got to see bits and pieces of Evila’s home planet ‘Terx’. He got to see pictures of the landscape and the people. It was amazing.
Tony really liked being this intricately intertwined with her and her thoughts. It was like they complemented each other in a million different ways. They made each other better and happier than either could comprehend or grasp. On any given day what-ever she learned, he learned. Whatever she felt he felt. It was a perfect union. They were vibrating at the same frequency all the time… well, almost all the time. There were some things he couldn’t understand about Evila. Like how she could do a hundred different things at once and not stuff up. Or how she would reach a conclusion through a complex series of thoughts and deliberation with herself. She was running at the speed of light and Tony was still trying to catch up to her. The female mind was a maze of wonder, filled with dangerous traps and outstanding beauty, especially inside someone so amazing as Evila. Without this telepathy I don’t know where I would be.
“I do,” said Evila from behind. She had been listening to his thoughts the whole time. He hadn’t noticed her creeping into his subconscious. Tony smiled slightly; how much of his thought pattern had she read? “Do you really?”
Evila’s voice sounded sarcastic. “Yep, I do. Without your abilities you would be nothing more than a clueless primate.”
Tony turned around and smiled really big at her. He sent her a good vibe as he spoke softly, “It was a rhetorical statement. I didn’t want an opinion on it.”
“Well then, you should probably stop thinking aloud. I could hear your boring thoughts from the hall.” Evila smiled. She liked teasing him in any way she could, “And that’s pretty far away. It’s a good thing I am the only one who can hear you. People on this ship might think you’re crazy.”
“People on this ship already do think I’m crazy. Wherever I go I am always talking to you openly, even if you’re not around physically. They give me the weirdest stares, and not because I am different.”
Evila walked over to him. “You really need to learn how to speak to me in your mind and not with your mouth. It might help.”
“I already do speak to you like that.” He sent her his feelings of love and comfort. It tingled through her senses like a rush of cool water. She closed her eyes and breathed it in deeply. The sensation was desperately needed.
“How was your meeting with the T.E. Ambassador? Is he pleased with what you have done with the Earth? Are you off the hook?” asked Tony.
Evila opened her eyes and looked away. Her face became more distant as she recounted the whole accountability meeting in her head. A lot had been said, both good and bad, about the human hybrids. She didn’t know where to start.
Tony was growing impatient with her profound silence. He was about to invade her personal thoughts and pry the answer out when she spoke up. “The T.E. has pardoned me for my criminal behavior, and they have also confirmed through the security system that we did not kill the detective. But we are far from off the hook, as you humans say. Ambassador Hugo has a lot of concerns.”
“What do you mean? Is he going to punish us?”
Evila frowned. “No, he’s not going to punish us. He actually thanked me for my scientific achievement in the field of genetics. What he’s going to do is hold the human race accountable for what happens next.”
“What? What does that mean?” Tony was getting a little anxious. He almost didn’t like the sound of a new world order that would take place on Earth, “The human race should be neutral in this matter. They shouldn’t have to be accountable to anyone. We didn’t ask for this change.”
“I know; humans are the victims in this whole ordeal. However, Ambassador Hugo has a lot of conflicting opinions about what they’re capable of now. Before he left my home planet the T.E. council was torn on the issue of human expansion. Some leaders thought it was good, while others saw it as a bad omen. He thinks the new hybrids should be proven before they can be accepted as one of us.”
“So you’re saying he hates us.”
Evila groaned. It was getting harder to express this. “Its not that he hates us, it’s just that he’s stubborn. He follows the laws without leniency or variance. He thinks if the human hybrids are to be true citizens of our race, they need to prove themselves. He told me that they still need supervision. They need a leader!”
“How so?” asked Tony. He looked confused.
Evila grabbed Tony’s hands and squeezed them tightly. Her neon blue eyes gazed into his deeply and affectionately. “Some of the human hybrids on Earth don’t want to be counted under the Tenatian rule. They’re naturally rebellious to the new world order being established. We have sent people down to negotiate with them. They refuse to be a part of what’s happening to your world. They will not relinquish command of their people to our leaders. The ambassador sees this as a really big problem. The hybrids are powerful and strong.” Evila sent a jolt of blue electricity though Tony’s body to prove her point more fully. It tingled slightly as it ran up his arms and into his chest. “We are really powerful now. The ambassador doesn’t want us to become a threat for the future. He wants to keep an eye on our people. He wants order and diplomacy.”
“What does he intend to do then?”
Evila shook her head and rested it on Tony’s chest. She didn’t like talking about this so openly, especially before going to see his parents. “It’s really bad… he intends to silence the rebellious ones with a war, that is, if they will not cooperate peacefully with him. After the rebels of Earth are dealt with. He plans to hold a ‘High Mans Competition’ to see who will be the new governor of Earth. The Tenatian people run this contest every time a new planet is populated in the universe. They only want the brightest and strongest people to govern a new colony. Only the finest breads of men can inter the trials for a new colony. He plans to leave someone in charge.” She put her arms around his waist and pulled him in tight. She breathed in his sent and relaxed.
Tony pushed her away slightly. He gazed into Evila’s eyes and ran a hand through her bluish green hair. “He is going to go to war with the nations of Earth?”
“Yes, he will go to war, but only with the nations that reject his offer of unity and peace. Your world has to submit to the T.E. command or suffer the consequences. Those who don’t will be crushed by the T.E.’s armies when they arrive in a few months. Our people have never lost a battle with an enemy.”
“And what happens to those who accept his offer?”
“Those who accept his offer of peace will have their loyalty proven through service to our government. Ambassador Hugo sees this as being fair.”
“Service!” said Tony suspiciously. “What kind of service?”
“For the men, he wants them to serve in the military for a few hundred years; for the women he wants them to labor industriously for an equal amount of time. Half of your people will be moved to our planets in the Tenatian solar system for this proving process. The other half will remain to help build the new economy and government. The ambassador hopes to have everything under control in a few thousand years.”
Tony shook his head with bewilderment. “That sounds like slavery to me. Who is going to be the ruler of Earth?”
“The Ambassador will take command until everything is settled. Then he will appoint a leader under the Tenatian code…as I have said he will hold a competition to see who will get the governorship, only the strong with survive the trials” Evila scooted even closer to him. “If all goes well then Earth should be another habitation of the Tenatian Empire. Things should be better off.”
“What about the slavery of the human hybrids?” Tony asked.
“It won’t last long, Just for a few hundred years and then your people are in the clear. The Ambassador says this will be a way of merging our peoples together once and for all. Of helping the Tenatians adapt to this new species.”
“I don’t like it,” said Tony as he embraced her.
Evila nuzzled him playfully. “Ambassador Hugo wants to meet with you also, Tone’i. He wants to understand your people a little bit more, and maybe even give you a leadership position on Earth.” he looked up at him, “but you also need to prove yourself. He might ask you to do something noble.”
“Great, just great!” stated Tony anxiously. He didn’t like the sound of him having to prove himself to anyone. It was hard to even think about. “Well I guess that’s positive to hear. Does he want to see me right now?”
“No, he says he can do it after we meet your parents.”
Tony smiled. He was grateful that he didn’t have to think about it just yet. Meet an ambassador from a universal power sounded completely scary, “Okay, maybe I can cool things down with your people, and mine. Maybe we won’t have to work so hard for our citizenship. Maybe if things work out, I won’t have to prove myself so hard either to him.” He let go of Evila and stepped back. “Are you ready to go?”
She nodded her head yes. Tony put his arm around her and kissed her passion-ately. His senses went wild as she invaded his mind with intimate gestures. Tony pulled away and looked at her in the eyes, “Okay let’s go. I think the launching ship is ready to take off. You came at the right time. I thought I was going to have to call my parents and tell them we can’t make it.”
“Do you think your parents will like me?” whispered Evila. There was a bit of concern in her voice and Tony could feel her hearts pounding in her chest. She was a little nervous about the whole thing.
“I think they will. Just be yourself.”
“I can’t wait to show you to my parents,” said Evila. “I think they will love you.”
Tony laughed uneasily. “I think that should be interesting.”
They were about to enter the loading terminal when someone called out to them from behind. Tony and Evila stopped abruptly and turned around. They could see Fri’a and Rie approaching them from behind.
“Evi, wait, I want to say goodbye!” yelled Fri’a.
Evila laughed and shook her head back and forth. Her room mate seemed more happy and bubbly now that things were worked out between the both of them. She had told Fri’a everything, “Fri’a I am not going to be gone all that long. I am just staying on Earth for a few days. I’ll be back in no time.”
“I know, I know, but I just wanted to see you off before you go. I really hate it when you take off on trips with out me…but…you have a boyfriend now,” She stopped right in front of them and smiled. She was breathing hard from the exertion; she had run the whole way to the launching Deck to catch them before they left. Her soft green eyes looked merrily at Tony and Evila.
Rie came up slowly from behind Fri’a. His expression was mixed with a thousand different emotions. Each one was as grim and dark as empty space itself. He looked like he was holding something painful and bitter inside his soul. When he got to the rest of the group he put his arm around Fri’a. He forced a smiled to come to his lips.
“Sorry about this guys. Fi here insisted we ditch class and be here for this moment of departure. I said you guys probably wanted some privacy and what not; she ignored me like usual and went anyway,”
Fri’a shoved him in the side with her elbow. “Stop joking around with them Rie. You wanted to see them off just as much as I did.” She turned to Evila. “Remember to wash regularly while down there. The planet Earth is a dirty, nasty place. I don’t want you coming back with a virus or a cold or something. We would have to quarantine the whole ship.”
Evila laughed. “I’ll be fine. Surprisingly Earth is a very clean planet. My immune systems should have no problem destroying any foreign pathogens.”
“Just be careful. Earth is a wild place!” said Fri’a suspiciously.
“Hey, I used to live down there,” said Tony firmly but playfully, “let’s have some respect. It’s not all that bad.”
Fri’a smiled politely and looked over at Tony. “You had better look after Evi here. I don’t want her getting hurt on that planet of yours. I wouldn’t want her being eaten by a giraffe or a deer or something.”
Rie and Evila laughed at this absurd statement.
Tony chimed in. “Fri’a, how many times do I have to tell you, deer and giraffes don’t eat meat. They are herbivores. They eat plants.” He had told Fri’a about the wildlife of Earth several times, but she had never really seemed to understand it all completely. She always mixed her facts with other things.
“Don’t worry, Tone’i, she does the same thing with me,” said Rie reluctantly. There was good humor in his voice as he continued, “It gets so confusing sometimes. It’s amazing to me she even got into this academy.”
“Shut up Rie,” barked Fri’a as she punched him in the arm. Rie gasped his muscle tightly. He faked like he was in pain.
“You don’t have to worry, Fri’a” said Tony as he put his arm around Evila. He pulled her close. “I’ll look after her. She’ll be completely safe with me.”
“She had better be or I’ll…” Fri’a took her fist and slammed it into her palm loudly. She started to grind it back and forth vigorously.
Tony laughed at the gesture.
“Well, I think we should be going now.” said Evila. She looked over to Tony with raised eyebrows. “We wouldn’t want to keep your parents waiting.”
Tony shook his head. “Nope, we wouldn’t.”
“Oh, you two look so good together!” exclaimed Fri’a with delight. She ran up and hugged Evila. “I remember when you brought Tone’i here, to our dorm. I thought to myself, Fri’a, Evila has found a real keeper.”
Evila laughed. The whole situation seemed more funny now that she thought about it, “No, you didn’t, Fi. You walked in on me performing the experiment on Tony and thought the worst had happened. You thought that we were fooling around.”
Fri’a frowned. “Yeah, I suppose I did, and man that was awkward. But now it’s all over. Now everything is cleared up and we’re friends again.”
“I think Dean Redder blew it big time with that announcement,” said Rie. “He acted liked a crazy guy.”
Fri’a looked over to Rie. She looked shocked. “Let’s not talk about him here. This is a happy time; we should we happy. We don’t need to spoil this moment with doom and gloom. The old dean was insane!”
“I agree,” Said Tony, “but we have to go.”
Fri’a hugged Evila again. “Have fun on Earth and bring me back a souvenir or something; that is, if you can.”
Rie nodded his head at Tony. “You’re a lucky man to have Evila. She’s a stellar girl. Maybe when you get back from Earth we can play a game of neodymium ball and get to know each other better. You know have a little man to man time with each other. Leave these girls behind.” He grinned almost devilishly, “I can show you the ropes.”
“Sounds good to me, but you have to go easy on me.”
Rie laughed with a sly smile. “Okay… but I can’t promise you, you won’t get hurt. Everyone gets hurt in neodymium ball.”
Tony laughed a little, “sound’s good. I enjoy pain.”
“Well then you will enjoy it.”
“Okay, okay,” barked Fri’a, “we get it. Have a nice day!”
Evila and Tony turned and walked brusquely into the loading terminal. Their foot-falls thudded loudly against the hard steel floor. When they reached the ship they boarded and buckled up. Evila sat next to Tony and held his hand. After a few minutes of waiting the ship’s Captain spoke over the intercom system.
“Hello, this is Captain Dan’i. We are just about ready to launch from the hanger. I ask that you buckle up and stay seated for the whole trip. It should be a quick one. If you have to throw up, do so in your waste tubs, located on the armrests. Thank you and have a nice day.” The speaker cracked and turned off.
Tony looked over to Evila. “What does he mean when he says a quick one? I thought you guys were careful with these re-entry procedures.”
“He means this flight shouldn’t last long, that’s all.”
“I really don’t like flying.”
“Well, if you think about it, it’s not really flying at all. It’s like falling,” said Evila with a broad smiled. She liked getting under Tony’s skin and playing with him. “The ship is going to leave this docking hanger at 34,000 miles per hour and fall to the Earth. It should be over in a few minutes.”
Tony’s eyes got wide and his hearts started pumping rapidly in his chest. He could tell that Evila was making this hard on him. “Did you say the ship will leave this hanger at 34,000 miles per hour? That’s crazy!”
Evila smiled at his funny expression. “Yes, I did say that. Although the re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere should slow us down a bit. I am counting on a lot of friction to take place, so the ship may rock back and forth.”
“Wow,” Tony shifted in his seat uneasily. “Maybe we should go see my parents at another time. I am sure they will understand. I could just call them up and—”
Evila cut him off. “Don’t be silly. It’s really not that scary. The academy moves way faster than this piece of space trash we’re in now. You have nothing to fear, we’re safe. There hasn’t been a crash in eons.”
“I hope you’re right!”
There was heard a loud clicking noise from outside the spacecraft. The titanium stabilizers were being pulled away from the casing. They retreated back into the walls and closed tightly. The engines fired up and could be heard in the fuselage. The loading plank folded away from the ship as the back port opened slowly behind them. The gears began grinding and cracking loudly, like the chains on a rollercoaster.
“Here we go!” said Evila as she raised her hands high above her head, “I like this part the most.” Tony gripped the arm rests and breathed out a heavy sigh. The ship engaged suddenly. He screamed as it launched out into open space at Mock 30. Evila giggled the whole way down.
Tony had never experienced something so wild before in his life… well, at least not yet. The beginning had only just started.