I’ve been falling behind with this story and now I will likely fall behind even further because this below is the last that I have actually written on it. I know how it is going to end but I am not sure when I will be able to sit down and write it all down. To be honest I don’t know if anyone even cares about this story at this point. Nevertheless, it will get written and will eventually be compiled and edited and be available somewhere. I hope someone has enjoyed this. Let me know, or better yet buy THE MASK OF ETERNITY (see sidebar) for a complete Solis DeLacey novel
So, here’s part ten:
Solis picked up an overturned chair and waved it menacingly at the first suited figure. The figure paused in its approach and held up its hands as if to try to calm Solis down. Solis gestured menacingly at the figure with the legs of the chair and the figure stopped its approach. She whirled around to menace the figure that was coming up behind her. That figure had gotten alarmingly close while her back was turned. It, too stopped.
Solis blinked back tears of frustration. She slammed the chair onto the floor and sat down upon it, hunched over clutching her stomach.
The figures approached her silently. One took her arm and gently but firmly drew her to her feet. Silent as ghosts the suited figures guided her out of the structure.
Outside Solis saw a ship. It was one of the ships that had carried out the assault on the Kruath the night before. It had its landing gear deployed and it was sitting in the field while the suited figures moved silently around it.
“Human girl!” Solis heard Ovrafa shout. She was being similarly guided by another suited figure. “Are you alright?”
“Yes,” Solis said. Neither tried to get away from their captors. Solis guessed that both had come to the same conclusion about the futility of that.
The ship was obviously their destination. It was configured unlike any ship that Solis was familiar with and whatever engines were powering it seemed to work in an unnatural silence. The side hatch was irregularly shaped and had a small step. The suited figure guided Solis up the step and inside.
Solis’ stomach tightened as she stepped into the dark. Her eyes had not adjusted but the suited figure kept guiding her onward. Solis stumbled once and the suited figure stopped to allow her to regain her balance. The figure did not loosen its firm grip on her arm.
Her eyes were adjusting now. They had come through what Solis assumed had been an airlock. The inner hatch was what had tripped Solis up. She was standing at the entrance of what looked like a cargo space. There were a number of items scattered about. Most of it was tied down. The suited figure guided her to a bulkhead and gestured for her to sit. She sat, her back against a bulkhead.
Ovrafa was guided in as well and was encouraged to sit beside her.
“Who are they?” Ovrafa asked in a whisper. “They aren’t Kruath. Are they another Hegemony race?”
Solis shook her head. “They wouldn’t have attacked the Kruath if they were. Hegemony races don’t fight amongst themselves no matter how much they may hate each other.” The races that made up the Hegemony were all of them thralls to one master race, the Taarkaan, who rarely left their homeworld.
“Where are they taking us?” Ovrafa asked.
Solis could only shake her head.
The space began to fill up with suited figures. There were nine in all. Three continued on through a hatch on the far side to what Solis assumed was the ship’s control area – a cockpit of some kind, perhaps.
The other suited figures occupied a part of the bulkhead that formed a kind of bench on either side. Three on one side. Three on the other. Three more suited figures in the control room and two frightened beings without suits sitting on the cold metal deck with their backs up against a bulkhead.
Solis felt the deck below her shift and the room seemed to rock for only a moment. The craft was taking off. There wasn’t the tell-tale sound of engines firing that she was used to with shuttle-type craft. This craft was unnaturally silent, just like its crew.
The artificial gravity kicked in and Solis noted that it was a lot lighter than the local gravity. She almost felt like she would soon float off the deck. Instinctively she searched for something to hang on to.
The suited figures became animated then. With the lighter gravity they seemed to relax. They began removing their atmosphere suits and Solis heard them begin to speak to each other in a language that she did not recognize.
One of the figures closest to her reached up and unsealed its helmet. As the helmet came off Solis was shocked to see that their captors were Urwaldian – or, at least, similar enough to have evolved from a similar subspecies. The Urwaldians they had met on the surface had been short and stocky. These Urwaldians were tall and had delicate features, almost brittle. They had the same red eyes and structures that swept up from their heads as well as the same blue skin coloring. But their complexions were lighter, more even. They also seemed not to have the same bark-like appearance that the Uwaldians on the planet had possessed.
As the figures began to remove their suits one other fact became clear. All the Urwaldians on the planet had been male. These Urwaldians were all female.
The figure closest to her stood and addressed her in her language. Solis shook her head to indicate that she did not understand. “Why have you captured us?” Solis asked in Koh. “Where are you taking us?”
The tall female stared at Solis quizzically then she replied using Galactic 1 “It is not safe on the surface. The Kruath have been scattered but they still have a ship in orbit. They will send reinforcements. We are going where they will not detect us. We are going to Monat.”
“We are going to the moon.”
…to be continued…