The sound filled her ears before their feet reached the pavement behind Duncan nearest the elevator. She looked up but could see nothing as he pressed the button for the elevator and she continued to watch the slightly sifting night sky in curiosity before her thoughts were interrupted by the “Ding!” of the elevator as the lights fell down above her. People walked out of the light and spotted her, running towards her with what looked like weapons. She turned to run but Asar had already grabbed her arm and pulled her into the elevator, pressing the button for the 5th floor as he back hit the elevator.
“What the hell just—”
When he turned around, his hands pinned her to the wall of the elevator and she could feel the elevator stop somewhere in between the pressure on her lips, her panic, and the light seeping through her eyelids. Her knee flew up to meet his gut only to be forced back down and pinned by his legs. No matter how hard she struggled he held her there with an indifferent strength and she glared into his eyes until he pulled back and set them aflame. Her body froze against the door as the elevator door opened and he stepped back, apparently under the impression that she was actually paralyzed. She couldn’t believe that this was happening for the second time that night and now she was faced with glowing eyes that were glaring white.
Before he could react, her arm flew out to break her other hand’s knuckles on his jaw and run over him and out onto the sundeck of Duncan, but there were people in glowing blue and black suits waiting for her there. She barely heard his voice before they were upon her and she was swinging with as much force as she possibly could. Her leg met with something solid as metal and her head flew back with the force of a punch as the pain seeped in: she’d broken her leg on kicking someone.
The world was falling as she could hear Asar’s voice again.
“Odton gengea! Danst wond, Leniteantu!”
“Get your alien ass off me! I don’t do lasers, I don’t glow, and if even see a probe I am kicking your ass—!”
Her body went stiff with the force of something at the back of her spine before her body relaxed under the firm weight of a soldier, everything shifted to shadows then silence and finally to black.
Asar sighed as his head lieutenant got off her and apologized for harming her. He would have to deal with that later he decided as he scooped her off the ground, careful not to jostle her leg too much and signaled that they were able to leave. They arrived in the transport room and he carried her to the medical ward to lay her across the first available bench and set up the system that would allow him to treat her. He laughed a little at the memory of her screaming at his soldiers. She really had a way with words.
Melaney was screaming at the top of her lungs and running to the stairs, barely dodging the arms of an invader with glowing orbs in its face. Unfortunately, Jonathan wasn’t fast enough and evaporated in the arms of his captors. A hard bank left and up the stairs, they were faced with more of them on the 3rd floor, mere feet away from her suite with Meagan, Marina, and Lex.
“Fuck!” Jon cursed as they were coming closer and it was Gabriel who lashed out first. They were all afraid and hyped up on adrenaline. Jon’s leg shot up and out to meet the face of an attacker but it wasn’t enough as they all vanished before her eyes and she was also engulfed in light.
Eyes readjusted to the slitted darkness of the library, surrounded by the female members of Rice University. There was screaming as more lights flashed around her and she could hear cries of “Let me Go” and indistinct words that sounded like soothing.
What the hell was going on? She looked around the room for someone she recognized and realized Lex was hitting one of the soldiers over the head with a baton and telling him something in a language she’d never heard before.
Lex was in on it? She knew she should have refused to live with that girl in sophomore year but somehow she’d let herself get swayed by the words of her friends. Lex noticed her and came closer to crouch at her eye level and she sneered at her.
“I knew there was something wrong with you.”
Lex snorted a little, “Relax. No one’s going to hurt you.”
“What the hell are you?” She asked.
“We’re aliens…here to probe you and gather intelligence about your planet so we can destroy it.”
Melaney’s eyes widened and she flinched at the words until Lex started laughing at the ridiculousness of her own statement.
“I was just kidding Melaney. We’re not here to hurt, we’re here to help actually. Sit tight and we’ll have everyone back to their normal activities in a moment.”
With that she left, the trail of blonde hair seeming to float and sway behind her as men saluted her and left the Library. She was given a microphone and spoke into it.
“I’m sorry for the inconvenience. It seemed like some idiot didn’t get the memo that you were to be contained within your colleges. As for what happens now, you are free to leave the library and return to your previous activities.”
“What do you want?” Someone screamed. “You round us up and let us go like that? What are we cattle?”
“Unless you moo and have utters, I don’t think so. You have not been tagged, we have done nothing to you. We were only trying to recover a few of us among you and everything is fine now. We have nothing more to do with you, the rest is with your government.”
Why did she feel like this was going to be like ID4? Melaney tried to ignore the feeling but it wouldn’t go away, not even when she reached the room and realized that neither Meagan and Marina had come back, nor would come back for as long as she waited. She went down the hall while texting the two girls only to find that Dylan had not come back either. Something extremely odd was going on. She waited with Rene, Jon, and Chase for the rest of the night only to find that neither of them would be back.
He couldn’t help but smile as he watched her sleep, perched on the edge of the chair at her bedside. She was very adorable wrapped up in his comforter and underneath the much cooler Theran sheets of the bed she occupied. She moved a little in her sleep with a groan and opened her eyes to see him sitting beside her.
The face was familiar but not really, lit in odd places around the eyes and underneath the eyes that glowed with an inner light.
“Did you sleep well, Meagan?”
She screamed, rolling off the bed and reaching for the nearest object to hit him with it only to find everything in the room bolted to the ground with some force that she couldn’t overcome. He watched her in amusement as she began to yell at him.
“What the fuck, Dylan? If that is your name, where the hell am I, and what the hell did you do to me while I was sleeping?”
Her rant continued until he stood and she went quiet as he stepped over the bed to arrive on her side of the room and back her against the window and trap her between his chest and the wall.
“I’ve never heard you so angry,” he told her. “Or so quiet.”
She glared at him as he pressed his hand against a wavering square in the wall and the placid blue melted away to darkness and the glowing blue, white, and brown of the planet below them. Her eyes were drawn to the sight and she stared for much longer than he’d estimated.
“Yes, that’s the Earth.” He told her. “You are in space, and yes I am an alien.”
She screamed again and lashed out at him. He didn’t really hear what she was screaming about as he caught her flailing arms and pinned them above her head, trapping her body between his and the wall and waiting for her to calm down. It didn’t take long until she was staring up at him with fearful and brave eyes that promised vengeance if he were to harm her. He almost smiled at her and kissed her cheek gently, an act so out of character it scared her and frightened her more when his arms wrapped around her tightly and he sighed into her shoulder, holding her off the ground so he could bury his face in the crook of her neck and hold her close.
“Yes,” he asked softly.
“What are you doing?”
“What does it feel like?”
“It feels like you’re being extremely weird.”
He laughed a little and breathed a little more, hugging her tightly.
“I’m hugging you, Meagan, I mean you no harm.”
“Why?” He didn’t answer her for a moment, pulling back to look at her.
“Soon,” he told her. “Let’s go see if Marina is up.”
She didn’t argue but followed him into the hallway and down a system of hallways that gleamed metal but shined like panels of light. The winked in greeting and glowed with pureness and wonder as the Earth girl followed the alien towards a parlor, bedroom like a room on the ship. There were three beds there, lined up along the wall. Dylan opened the door to the sound of Marina’s voice.
“Where am I!”
“I guess she’s up,” Dylan commented as they walked into the room. Valon shook his head, looking up at the entrance of Dylan and Meagan who crossed the room to hug Marina and sit with her. Valon sighed as Dylan took a seat on their side of the room.
“Did she scream when she woke up?”
“No, just tried to hit me with a lamp.”
Valon laughed, “I can’t wait to see what happens with those two.”
Dylan shrugged, “It’ll be his fault, whatever happens.”
Valon agreed as the two Earth girls drew their attention.
“Are you going to tell us what we’re doing here?”
“Nope,” Dylan replied leaning forward with a smug smirk as Valon grinned. “We’re just going to start the probing sequence now.”
“What?” Meagan shrieked.
The two men laughed at their expressions and shook their heads. They were so silly sometimes as they started promising retribution and pain to the first person that touched them. It was bound to be funny to the boys. The door opened with the appearance of their youngest brother, looking more harried than usual and Elle floating through space behind him, asleep and glowing in patches.
“What happened to her the reason she’s asleep?”
“What the hell did you do, Bright Eyes?” Meagan and Marina yelled.
She drifted onto the bed closest to the window and that’s where she lay as the two brothers stood to greet him. Meagan and Marina scrambled to wake Elle up as the three left the room, sealing the room shut as they left. The points of injury were encased in a bright glow, her hands, her legs… she looked like she’d been in a fight with a lethal force.
“They’ll be safe in there won’t they?” Valon asked.
“As safe as they can be,” Asar replied. “At least this way they won’t freak out as much if they’re all together.”
They shrugged and headed towards the command room to greet their parents at last.
Elle woke up to the sounds of Meagan cursing her once favorite person and Marina saying something about Chinese Water Torture with a good dose of Hood Pain. She chuckled a little as her eyes opened to perceive the world again. For some reason, she didn’t feel the broken bones as pain, they felt normal.
She sat up and shook her head clear of the fog of whatever drug she’d been injected with while Meagan and Marina began talking about what they were going to do.
“What do you mean, what are we going to do? We’re in outer space! Who knows how far from the planet Earth with no way to get away!” Meagan claimed.
“Don’t be so optimistic Meagan,” Elle told her while rolling her eyes.
“They aren’t stupid,” Elle said. “It’s obvious their sentient, they are a lot like us. If you had a ship, wouldn’t you have lifeboats?”
“Well…yes,” Meagan said. “But we don’t speak their language…”
“How difficult can it be to pilot a plane? There are only a few ways to go, forward, sideways and back.”
“Elle, this sounds like a really bad idea,” Marina said.
“It’s really ironic that now that we’ve been dropped into the middle of crazy that I’m the one coming up with crazy plans isn’t it?”
She got off the bed moving towards the bed with a strange sense of the room. She placed a hand to the panel. She doubted that they were actually in space. It was all too perfect an imitation of what an alien takeover would be. But if they weren’t, she didn’t doubt that there was something on board that would carry them back to Earth safely, with or without their help.
“How do they get down to Earth?”
Neither could answer that as she watched the darkness beyond the glass like panel. It was all so quiet and calm as little pods raced by heading towards the planet.
“There are escape pods, and I bet if we could get to one, we could get the hell out of here.”
Marina shook her head, “We don’t know what they speak? How they speak it—”
“We’ve got a linguist, a computer science chick, and a girl that is really good with her hands,” Elle said shaking a tiny device that looked like glasses with a smile. “What could possibly go wrong?”
They looked at it and it wasn’t until they put it on that they realized exactly what it was that she was holding in her hand. A translator, that linked to the knowledge that the wearer had and translated anything that was seen into the language of the user.
“You’re brilliant,” Meagan commented.
Elle shrugged, “When in doubt, pickpocket the attackers.”
They nodded in agreement and hoped that whatever plan they could come up with would be good enough to get them out. After a brief pass around, it was Meagan that began exclaiming the amazing technology. Elle could only say, “I knew you’d like it.”
There was a map that would lead them straight to the escape pods, around the main centers of guards. With Elle’s bum leg and Marina’s perpetual bad sense of direction, they reached the agreement that Meagan would take the glasses since she was the fastest runner and the one with the most technical experience, they sighed and waited until their hour of opportunity came in the form of some poor guard coming to bring them food.
Dylan, Valon, and Asar congregated in the main console room speaking with their generals and advisors for as much information as they could possibly get on the situation. The President had made no moves to respond to them and it seemed that the U.N. wasn’t exactly getting with the program. They didn’t have time to be dealing with this. Human slowness was probably the main reason why the original plan was supposed to be a hostile takeover, but since they were going for allies rather than slaves, it was quickly switched to something a lot more reasonable.
“Sir, we have word from the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Britain,” a soldier said coming up.
“What are they saying?”
The two faces appeared on the glass over the conference room and they looked up into the eyes of two great leaders of Earth with a calm that came with superiority not used to enslave.
“Greetings,” Zaher said with a smile. “I apologize for any panic we may have caused, it seems that our messages did not come through as clearly as we’d hoped.”
“What exactly are you here for?” President Obama asked. They could hear the cautious murmuring of people in the office with him.
“We’re here to warn you and to hopefully gain allies on Earth,” Zaher explained. “There is a war coming.”
The two men frowned and there was a great uproar of noise behind them as Zaher continued speaking, showing hem flight trajectories and battle plans from the last few years of the war. The darkness that had swept across their planet, their system and was now sweeping across the galaxy was coming to Earth and there was no real telling when they would all be swallowed by it.
When he was finished the two men looked more grave than they had before and told him that they would get the U.N. together in a few day’s time to get a plan in motion. Zaher nodded and bid them goodbye with a grateful sigh before turning to his sons and asking them about their plans with the dignitaries of the other eight planets and the sun.
“We’ll be meeting with them shortly, father. We’ve divided up the Milkyway between us and should be covering the ground soon.”
Zaher nodded in approval and told them to eat before heading to bed and make sure that their human captives were alright. The night shift began and he crawled into bed with his dear wife to have a deep sleep, one more peaceful than any he’d had since the war began. His sons were safe and within a reasonable distance and things were starting to go properly. If only it could stay that way for just a little longer.