Mede and Isto’s space ship edged closer towards the fleet that was arrayed around the planet, or what was left of it.
The huge capital ships seemed to regard the vessel with interest, their pointed front ends turned to follow the ship as it wound its way past the behemoths. James peered out of the view screen, feeling slightly unnerved, exactly the way he did when he had been at high school and older, bigger students towered over him, threatening to bully him.
They followed the other alien ships that had entered the Rail before them, heading towards one of the space stations orbiting the destroyed planet below. A gaping hole appeared on the side of the station letting their vessel enter. James noticed other ships parked inside the station like planes on an aircraft carrier.
The ship slowed down and the space around it shimmered as if it was meeting some kind of invisible resistance.
‘Atmospheric force field,’ Mede said without looking up.
James guessed that must be keeping the aliens safe from the cold empty space. The ship rotated 180 degrees so that the view screen faced out of the docking bay. James could see the planet and the fleet surrounding it. He also saw a giant magnifying glass in orbit, at least that’s what it looked like. Behind it a tunnel, formed of spinning light, weaved off into deep space. James assumed he was looking at the Rail he had passed through to get here. His description of it being a giant magnifying glass was accurate. The rim of the glass section was made of segments and the tunnel extended out into space from those segments.
It was then James realized he truly had traveled across the entire galaxy.
Earth was now so far away, he was all alone out here.
The only reason this wasn’t freaking him out was that Mede and Isto had made sure it wouldn’t.
He was thousands of light years from Earth with no way back. His mind was blank and despite being filled with vast amounts of info, it offered no solutions to his predicament.
The ship settled down in the huge docking bay.
‘Follow us,’ the two aliens said.
James continued to stare out into space for a moment as the Rail shut down and the tunnel faded away.
To him it was if a door had closed…forever.
He then followed his abductors.
The trio went back to the rear of the ship and Isto opened the door and a ramp from within the vessel extended down to the floor. The mist inside the ship flowed out and dissipated into the cavernous cargo bay.
As James crossed the threshold of the door and went outside he breathed fresher air than he had on the Mede and Isto’s ship although it still had a recycled, stuffy taste to it. He marveled at the docking bay, crystals grew from various points in the floor and ceiling like stalagmites or stalactites, they seemed to James to be part of the superstructure of the station itself. He looked for lights, but could see none. Just like on Mede and Isto’s ship the light came from the air itself. Running around were many aliens attending to vessels and moving materials around.
Immediately his eyes were drawn to the amazing things on the ceiling. All the way down the bay, equally spaced apart, were small shacks each with a cylinder underneath projecting a beam of light. Each one was passing between them the crates that littered the docking bay, using nothing but a beam of light from the cylinders.
Whoa, he thought.
‘Is that all the scouts?’ A voice asked, not in English, instead a new language to James, which sounded like someone was running their hands down a chalk board, it grated on James ears. James partially understood it because his expanded mind, now filled with languages, could recognize what was being said. The voice came from a procession of aliens that were ready to meet him and his abductors.
All but one of them were short, green, reptilian like aliens with huge pointy ears and massive yellow eyes like melons. The reptiles were all five feet tall, James’ memory identified them as the Cameeleos, and they reminded him of gremlins.
The one who spoke however was a completely different alien, and one James didn’t recognize from memory. It was encased in a black mechanical suit, which had an intricate pattern engraved all over it. The design looked like vines crawling up the suit. It stood head and shoulders above the reptiles and James.
It was shaped kind of like a dinosaur, but it had two very long tails and spines growing out of its back and didn’t hunch like one. Its head was also much bigger. Two glowing red orbs on the side of the helmet gave the appearance of eyes.
One of the Cameeleos responded to his earlier question.
‘Yes sir all scouts have returned through the Rail, all assets outside of our territory have returned.’
‘Excellent, move the Rail back to the primary star system and begin dismantling it for the test,’ the dinosaur shaped alien said. ‘Is this it?’ he then said to Isto.
‘This is it,’ Isto said nodding his head towards James.
‘What’s going on?’ James asked.
The black suited alien moved so quickly James didn’t have time to react as the dinosaur smacked him across the chest.
James spun as he fell and clutched his chest. It felt like he had just got in the way of a fully inflated football, which had been kicked by a professional footballer.
‘Do not talk unless given permission human,’ the suited alien said its scratchy voice caused James to twitch. ‘Take it to the Lab for probing,’ it ordered and immediately James was grabbed and pulled away from the ship by two aliens.
They had the same number of limbs as a human and were far taller than James, but also very fat. The fat was contained though, like a net had been draped over them then tightened around their bodies. When they grabbed James the flab on their fingers flowed over his arm as the fat washed over him. It felt like a poorly inflated balloon being pushed onto his skin. They were also bright pink.
James tried to get his breath back as he was dragged by the arms and when he tried to resist the aliens hold over him, one of the pink aliens jabbed him in the stomach and he cried out in pain. ‘You will be scanned for biological information,’ one of the pink aliens said. ‘Do not resist.’
He got the message.
With that James was taken out of the docking bay and away from Mede and Isto, who didn’t give him a second glance.
The two aliens never relinquished their hold on James all the way up to the Scan Lab. It was a huge room, dome shaped with a chair in the middle and above it an assortment of equipment and around the circumference of the room was computer after computer after computer.
‘What’s going on?’ James said. The aliens didn’t reply they merely forced him to sit in the chair. It wasn’t exactly suited for a human being, it had holes in the back for extra legs and the seat was curved rather oddly almost in a complete bowl, when James sat on it, it was like sitting in a tractor tire. As soon as James had been seated he used the arms of the chair to pull himself back up and he stood.
‘What is going on here?’ he asked, but immediately the two pink blobs that had escorted him to the room raised their guns. The guns were gun oozed a meanness that James instantly sensed.
He raised his hands in submission and sat down again, sliding back into the bowl of the chair and was kept there by the pink aliens who still held their guns pointed directly at him.
There was nothing he could do except check out the room. Working the computers were two of the familiar Cameeleos aliens dressed in lab coats similar to those scientists wore on Earth except there was no stitching or any seams on the clothing.
The two scientists started talking to each other in their own language that James translated in his head.
‘Ready the full biological scan,’ one of the scientists said.
‘Ready,’ another scientist alien, who was manipulating the controls, responded.
James hated being deprived of certain information when he was in earshot. It was like entering a room during a conversation you knew was about you, but the people you interrupted just said “nothing” when you asked what they were talking about.
He then heard the whirl and clicking of machinery above him as all the equipment started moving, lowering itself down towards him. He instinctively ducked as a number of probes almost touched his head, but they stopped before that happened. He relaxed a little and sat up straighter and as soon as he did the equipment activated.
James couldn’t move, as suddenly every muscle in his body became tense, all he could feel was something warming the top of his head then it stopped and he went limp and sank into the chair like a deflated balloon. He tried to move around, but his limbs and fingers responded feebly.
‘Whaaat ttt did yoooouuu doooooo,’ James said slowly, barely getting the words out.
‘You’ll be like that for a while,’ one of the reptiles said who then turned back to the other scientists in the room. ‘Well we’ve updated our information on this species, it can go.’