This was going too fast. She’d only just met him a few moments ago. A real-life alien! Now he was asking her to go to his home world with him. How do you prepare for something like that? It was one of those moments in life where you just needed to decide. And of course, she knew what her answer would be. What it would have to be. It was the only answer she could possibly give. If she didn’t agree, she’d spend the rest of her life wondering what could have been. “Alright,” she replied.
He reached out to her, the jewel in his palm beginning to glow. As soon as his hand made contact with hers, their surroundings changed. The woods were gone, replaced by… what was that? Metal? Plastic? It was a translucent yet opaque and bright white. Everything was made of the material. The floors, the walls, everything. It felt like she was in a clean room and yet they were outside. They stood in front of a building that was so tall, she couldn’t see its top from where she stood. In fact, most of the buildings faded off into the deep blue sky.
Her host noted her curious look, “Our civilization is more technologically advanced than yours. We can build as high as we want without the worry of our buildings falling over.”
“Oh,” she said, still marvelling at her surroundings.
“Please, follow me,” he said, leading her into the building they were standing in front of. The doors disappeared as they approached and reappeared when they’d walked past. They walked over to group of white, circular pads. The material they were made of was slightly different, but still white. “These are a bit like your elevators, except that ours don’t have any moving parts. They’re based on the same technology that allows us to travel in space,” he said, stepping on one of the pads. He motioned for her to do the same.
She did and in an instant, their surroundings changed. Everything was still white, but the configuration of the room was different.
“We’re on the seventeen-thousand and twelfth floor.”
“Yes. Come this way.” He said, walking past a pair of doors into a dimly lit, vaulted chamber. There were twelve people sitting in a semi-circle in the room. They looked similar to the form he’d revealed to her earlier in the woods on earth.
“Colleen Banks. We are the council of twelve,” an enveloping voice said. It sounded like it came from everywhere in the room, yet it was spoken softly, as if by a person standing next to her.
“Hello,” she replied. She wasn’t quite sure what else to say.
“Please, have a seat,” the voice said, a chair materializing behind her.
She sat down.
“We are the Tellurian people. Our civilization spans numerous planets across multiple galaxies. As you have no doubt been told, our people mastered space travel long ago with the creation of the Cassandra jewel. With our ability to traverse great distances instantaneously, we were able to locate and colonize suitable, uninhabited planets across the universe. As you can imagine, the Cassandra technology also allowed us to access resources that would normally be impossible to attain. Whole planets made entirely of rare ores were ripe for the picking. It was thus our civilization prospered.”
“It sounds like you’re doing alright. What could you possibly need me for?” she said.
“It may not seem like it from here, but beyond our planetary forcefield a war is raging. Our people are locked in a bloody conflict with the vicious Renaxi. They are after Cassandra.” A long pause. “They are also after another of our technologies.” Another pause. “Our people are on the threshold of a new age, miss Banks. One where we control not only space, but time itself.”
Her eyes grew wide. First space travel in the blink of an eye, and now time travel!?
“With the war underway, research into time travel was far too sensitive to conduct on one of our own planets. It would be vulnerable to Renaxi attack. We needed to hide it on another world. One that was far away, unknown to the Renaxi. We chose Earth. Our lead researcher traveled to your planet and began his work in earnest. He managed to integrate himself into an Earth government’s secret research facility where he was able to pursue his work without interruption. Everything was proceeding as planned when we suddenly lost contact with him. It’s been about four of your Earth years now that we’ve been unable to contact him.”
“So you want me to try and find him? Is that why you came to me?”
“No. We want to warn your people. A Renaxi spy found out about Earth and they’ve dispatched a battle fleet to your home planet. They want the time travel technology and they won’t stop until they have it.”
“So you want me to warn Earth?”
“Not Earth, just your brother. He is still the President of your ‘United States,’ isn’t he?”
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