”What planet are you from?” he asked me again. “I- um- I’m from the planet Thesurok,” I stuttered. “Hmmm, you’re a long way from home,” he mumbled. Shocked I asked, “You know about my planet?” He gave me a curious look and said, “Come inside kid. We have a lot to talk about.” I stepped in feeling warmth wrap around me. As I scanned my surroundings my eyes landed on a woman sitting near the fire. She looked up from the book she was reading and gave me a soft smile. “Hello dear, what’s your name?” she muttered. “My name is Altair Lyrae,” I answered while bowing my head respectfully. “It’s okay my child, no need to bow. Come, take a seat near the fire,” she told me. I sat down across from her and she met my gaze with her warm eyes. “Tell me, my child, why are you wearing tattered clothes?” she asked. Nervously I played with my hands. “I’ve been trying to find my way back home but I’ve been gone so long. I’m lost and my journey has brought me to many different planets,” I whispered. “Don’t be scared child. We have spare clothes and you can wash up once we are done here,” she stated in a soothing voice. I felt myself beginning to relax until the man came and sat next to me. He looked at me with an expression I couldn’t read and said, “Altair, we too are from Thesurok.” My body became rigid and I looked at him in pure shock. “Who are you?” I questioned. “You can call me Mark and she is my partner Connie,” he answered gesturing to himself and the woman.
So many questions ran through my mind and I just didn’t know where to begin. Connie could sense my struggle and grabbed my hands to comfort me. “We have plenty of time to explain. Right now I want you to go upstairs and freshen up. The first door to your right is a spare bedroom and the door beside it is a bathroom with a shower. I’ll lay some fresh clothes out for you and when you’re done come back down for food,” she instructed me. As if my stomach could hear her it grumbled loudly. She squeezed my hands lightly and said, “Go, my dear. There’s a switch on the wall near the door to turn on the lights.” I stood and slowly made my way up the steps. Reaching the second door I opened it and blindly searched for the switch. Once I found it the room lit up. Seeing the toilet my body ached for relief. After relieving myself I began to peel my clothing off. It took me a few minutes to figure out the shower but I finally got it to work. Stepping under the warm water tears formed in my eyes. I watched as the filth ran off of me and down the drain. Closing my eyes I stood there enjoying the feeling this shower brought. After washing myself I stepped out and grabbed a soft cloth hanging on the wall. I wrapped it around my body and peeked out the door before making my way to the other room. As I walked in I spotted the clothes Connie had laid out. I slipped the t-shirt over my head and pulled the sweat pants over my legs. I couldn't remember the last time I felt this comfortable in clothes.
"Hello dear, do you feel better?" Connie asked as I reached the bottom of the stairs. "Yes, I do. Thank you I'm very grateful for your kindness." I told her. "Of course, now follow me into the kitchen so you can eat," she said with a sweet smile. Following her into the kitchen the most delicious smell hit my nose. Mark was seated already waiting for me and Connie motioned for me to join him. Not long after she set a bowl in front of me and a basket on the table. I looked at the food curiously not knowing what it was. "It's called pot roast my dear and the basket contains bread," Connie explained. I took the utensil and picked some of the food up. It tasted amazing and I couldn't hold myself back. I dove in barely leaving room to breathe. I grabbed a piece of bread and soaked up the juices with it. They both chuckled as I looked down feeling the heat coming to my face. "It's okay kid, don't be embarrassed. Connie is a great cook and there's plenty, eat as much as you want." Mark assured me. After eating about three helpings and a few more pieces of bread I was extremely full. Mark looked at me and said, "Tomorrow we will tell you everything but tonight you need some rest. Go up to the bedroom where you found the clothes and go to sleep." I thanked them once more before making my way back up the steps. Walking into the bedroom I closed the door and crawled under the blankets. It wasn't long before I drifted off into a deep sleep.
I awoke to a soft knock on the door, "Altair dear, breakfast is ready." I heard Connie say. I got off the bed and stretched my body. I felt so rested from the night before. It was the best sleep I've had in a while. I opened the door to see her waiting for me, "Good morning! How did you sleep?" she asked. I smiled at her and replied, "I slept well, thank you." We made our way down to the kitchen in comfortable silence. She gives me a motherly feeling but I still can't read Mark. Taking a seat she puts a plate in front of me. Giving me a smile she says, "Eggs, bacon and pancakes. Take this syrup and put it over the pancakes." I followed her instructions and started to eat my breakfast. "Mmmm, Connie every thing you make is amazing!" I praised. Giving me a big smile she thanked me for the compliment. After we were all finished I helped her wash and put away the dishes. "Lets all go into the living room to talk," Mark tells us. As we settle into our seats the room is very quiet, Mark lets out a big sigh and says, "Where do I begin?"
"This is going to be a tough story to hear Altair. Before we left Thesurok and found Earth, Connie and I worked for The Upper Authority," he explained. Knitting my brows I remembered my parents working for The Upper Authority too. "You see, they have this top secret experiment called Transport 31. Where they find and take anyone who shows powers of being able to teleport or read minds. They prepare and brainwash them and then send them on their missions. With the ones who are able to read minds they use them to infiltrate the leaders of other planets. The ones who can teleport, like you, are made to train until they become unstoppable. Then they are sent off to exterminate the beings on the other planets. Their ultimate goal is to take over their entire galaxy and become more powerful than anyone has ever known. As far as we learned they had succeeded with four planets but that was over ten Earth years ago." he said finishing the story.
“Wait, what? I thought mind readers and teleporters were really rare?” I asked confused. “That’s what The Upper Authority wants the public to believe but in actuality about 35% of the population are born with either of these abilities,” Mark stated. “Also, how long is an Earth year?” I asked still confused about the whole situation. “An Earth year is 365 days. On Thesurok our year is 400 days, so they aren’t too far off from each other,” he said. “Okay, so how did you find all of this out and how did I find you?” Sighing low he closed his eyes and began to speak, “You see I was a trainer. My job was to help teach the teleporters to control their powers and also help with combat training. I had no part in their brainwashing, I didn’t know the reason behind any of it. The Upper Authority made it clear that this was going to be my job and I didn’t need to know anything else. I trusted them, just like anyone else in the public would. One day an overseer came to check in with me about how the newest recruits were doing with their training. He had mistakenly left a tech chip behind on my work desk. I didn’t know if I had placed it there at one time but when I went to check it out I was met with this information. We ran as soon as we could, if they knew we found out they would more than likely kill us. As for how you found us, I’m not sure.” I hung my head as the information I heard set in. How will I go back now? What about my family? Lifting my gaze I caught a quick glimpse of something across the room. Shooting out of my seat I rushed over to the object carefully placing it in my palm. I blinked a few times just to make sure what I was seeing was real.