"Get up! a strange voice says. "It's time." Lance is lying prone, feels a pinch on his arm, and makes to swat it. He instantaneously reaches for the something causing the pinch, and finds that what he grabs is a small hand. She spins around, making sure his grip is strong so the person does not get away, and he pulls the person close to him so he can see. It's an alien.
He whips the alien back with such a force the alien falls to the ground, landing on it's butt, and supporting itself with his hands, one of which is clutched around a syringe with needle exposed. He stands up quick, and settles himself against a wall. The image of the alien was a blur, and Lance tried hard to focus. That was when he realized it was an alien all right, but it was not a he but a she.
"What are you doing?" Lance shouted, feeling guilty for tossing a lady.
"Shhh!" the lady alien said, placing her finger to her lips. "You don't want them to hear you." She was wearing a black toga, similar to the one's of the slaves, only she had a black scarf wrapped around her neck, the ends of which dangled on either side of her neck. She had an under toga that was only visible because it went down to her knees while her outer toga went down to her thighs. She had nice sized breasts, something Lance never thought of when he thought of aliens. But here in real life, she looked as appealing as a girl in a high school classroom. She had long wavy, blond hair, some of which was secured by a bow in the back, and it was a fine compliment to her blue eyes. Her shoes appeared to be wooden.
"Are you done studying me?" she said, smiling. It was a pretty smile.
"Why do you poke me with that," he motioned to the syringe in her hand.
"Oh, that? I'm waking you because we have to go for a walk," her voice was soft, mellifluous, and most pleasing. "My name is Mary. Do you like it?
"Woh! That's a pretty name. It's an earth name. How did you get it?"
"I chose it for myself. I thought you'd like it."
"Oh! um", Lance scratched his oily head. "I do."
"We have to get that cleaned for our big day."
Lance shook his head. "Big day?"
"The sun is bright," she said, motioning to the beam of light through the window. "Father is in town. This is a great day to meat him."
"Where am I? How long was I out?"
"No time for such answers now. We must get you read for dinner."
"We must get you read for dinner," she said, "That means we must prepare you." He looked down and realized he was exposed. He quickly made to cover himself with cupped hands. "No need for that," she said. "I have seen many of you this way, and can do nothing with it."
"What do you mean?"
"I am a eunuch."
"Oh, how so?" It was a dumb question, perhaps allowed to slip due to whatever drugs were in his system.
"It is a long story. I will tell you it if we ever get a chance. Now I must get you read." She reached into a basket and pulled out a large white cloth. "I made this for you. It will make you look nice for the queen. We will have lunch with her today." She set it on the bed, and pulled out a much smaller white cloth."
"Well, what I meant was," Lance said, "'I have seen many of you this way.' What did you mean by that?"
"Oh," it was squeak. She stood over him as he sat, the beam of light glittering off her shiny hair as though she were an angel, her expression, Lance figured, was nonplussed. "I am the fixer of humans."
"I don't know if that's something to smile about or frown about," Lance mused.
"To be honest, neither do I," she said. "Stand."
He stood, and she wrapped a cloth around his waste and secured it with a tie. It's a loincloth. Here he is in some futuristic place, where they live in the past and dressed the part. What irony, he though. He looked around the room. It was small, although there was plenty of light, compliments of the sun shining through a large window next to a thick log door. The dark curtains of the window were pulled open, and a warm breeze felt good. Outside the window he could see what to him looked like a deciduous tree.
In this room Lance saw of course the slave girl, the eunuch, and her basket of goods. It was a large brown basket, the sort that she saw some slave girls carrying the other day as he and Para were marched into town with Mistoosha. There was a bed, the one he slept on, which was covered with white and black blankets and a pillow. The bed was low to the ground: perfect for the smaller aliens, quite inconvenient for the larger earthling.
Next to that was a nightstand, and there was one table under the window which had an oil lamp on it. Yet the lamp was not needed at present. A third table set at the end of the bed, and on this was set the slave girl's basket. Also on the table was an ash-tray like thing, with some kind of flaming powder in it. A light, white billow of smoke wafted above it, bending slightly in the breeze.
The ground under his feet was cool, and he figured it must be some type of clay. Or, maybe, as the walls were build of mud brick, so too must be the floor. And even on such a warm day, the clay felt cool to the touch.
"Arms down," she said, and she placed the toga over his head and slid it down so it covered him to below the knees. She wrapped a belt around his waste, and tucked some of the toga into it, lifting the lower part of the toga so that it now only went down to his knees.
"There," she said, "You look sharp. You look really nice for a human."
"So do you, for a Sassa woman."
"Thank you," she said.
"So who are you? Why am I still alive." He took in a deep breath, and with it came a smell of incense. It was a sweet smell, one that gave him an eerie sense of dejavu. Where did he experience this before? Was it on earth? Alton One? Alton Two? or right here on Alton. His mind was so fogged up he couldn't tell where his memories came from, or if they were even his own. Perhaps it was all a dream, or a figment of his imagination.
"You are in my house," she said. "I am in charge of healing the slaves. I am from Alton," she said. "I was once an Alton queen. I was kidnapped while on a mission to save a boy from being killed by hanging who was wrongfully accused of raping me. It's rare that an Altonian is beheaded, but actions against the queen are not looked highly upon, even for a boy. There are no second chances. This job is my reward for being a queen. Queens in Alton are trained in caring for the men who are wounded in battle. That is what I did before I became the queen. So here I am doing that for you."
"You are a nurse," Lance offered.
"Nothing," Lance said, "So, what are we getting ready for?"
"You were presumed dead, Lance. After the beating you were left for dead. So they tossed you into the dessert to rot. But you weren't dead when I found you."
"What are you talking about?"
"It's understandable you don't remember. They put so many drugs into your system."
"So what happened?"
"I do not know it all. I do know, however, that you were offered to the Queen. She took you in as her slave. You were thrown into the arena with the Lioscats."
"What are those?"
"Scary beasts," she said, smiling. She reached up high, on her tip toes, and touched Lance's shoulder. "Sit." He did, and he collapsed to the bed. He didn't think how low it was. He sat up, his bare feet on the floor, his knees bend to his chest. He wrapped his unfettered hands around his knees.
She sat next to him, her feet going to the ground, bending easily at the edge of the bed. He was like a giant towering over her, yet she had all the power in the world over him, mainly due to his ignorance, and now due to his lost memory.
She said, while looking at the window. "There is a lot to tell you." Lance peered over in that direction too, and a bird that came close to resembling a robin landed in the window. "I'm sorry, the picka means it's time for us to go."
She hopped off the bed. He made to get up as well, but she motioned for him to stay seated. She reached into the basket and pulled out a pare of sandals. "I hope these fit you." She bent down before him, and placed a sandal on his left foot, then his right. She secured them snug, and said, "Go ahead and stand. Walk."
He did. The shoes felt comfortable.
"It's time we meet father."