Yal-hune and I stop for a bite to eat at a Chik-fil-A. As fast food places go, Chik-fil-A is pretty good. Friendly service, very clean and the food is a notch above. I order myself a chicken sandwich and Yal-hune has a salad. We sit inside and several children attending a birthday party in a nearby table give Yal-hune some long stares.
I switch over to mind communication while I enjoy the sandwich.
"Those kids find you fascinating. I wonder if they suspect -"
"That I'm not from this world? No. They are sensitive to anyone who offers up something new."
"That child with the balloon in his hand hasn't looked away yet."
"Adam! Turn around and eat your cake!"
Adam turns back around at the sound of his mother's voice, but I sympathize with him. Once one has Yal-hune in sight one doesn't feel like turning away.
I notice something. The very tall man standing by the napkins and condiments wasn't there a moment ago. He's wearing a trenchcoat and a hat. While not unusual for other parts in the nation - in Arizona it still is unusual garb. I try to get a read on him., but am finding it difficult.
Yal-hune looks concerned and not frightened. When she is concerned,I get frightened.
"Let's step outside."
Yal-hune places her almost finished salad in the waste receptacle. I throw away the rest of my chicken sandwich and catch Adam taking one last look over his shoulder at Yal-hune as she walks towards the doors and goes outside. I casually keep my eye on the large man as I walk out.
"The man you observed - I cannot read him."
"YOU cannot read him? Does that mean he is an android or synthetic human? Is it another Norchan abduction attempt?"
"No. I can identify the synthetic humanoids easy enough once they are near. This is a sentient being that has a blocking field of immense intensity. I know of no one on your world that has such development - which means this stranger is not of this world. And since it seems the notion of two extraterrestrials eating at the same restaurant at the same time being a coincidence is rather absurd - I figure we better get out into the open and away from all the children - including Adam there."
"Do Norchans have that ability?"
"Not like this - and in this close proximity I should have been able to get a read on almost anyone. So I am concerned. I've already contacted my brother and he is scanning. We should know who he is very soon."
All of a sudden the tall man appears in front of us, standing between us and our car. Yal-hune instinctively puts up a force field around us and I watch as people around us slow down again.
"That wont be necessary. I am not here to harm you."
To my left I see Yal-hune's brother materialize. With him are three beings who are of his same stature - maybe even larger, between 7'6 and 8 feet. Suddenly at 6'2" I feel tiny.
"You are in violation of Earth quarantine, Lal-atha, you must leave the Earth immediately."
"I merely wanted to meet the brave emissary who chose Earth and the struggling human who has captured her affection."
The stranger removes his tan trench coat and underneath is a garment unlike any I have ever seen. It is gold, silver, and has a chestpiece that looks like a tesla coil going hyperactive.
"You're not going to try and force me to leave are you? After all force is interference and interference incurs feedback you know."
His face is still in shadow because of his hat. I can't make out his features, but I can see he's not human looking.
"The human wants to see my face? Well that's easy enough. Here you go."
The being takes off his hat and I realize the hat had some sort of blocking field too. His features are very alien, with large elliptical eyes and a nose which also is elliptical and flaps or pulses up a bit as he speaks.
"You...human...my name is Lal-Atha. I've been watching you and Yal-hune interfere with the development of this world. I thought you might enjoy a true demonstration of real interference."
"What do you mean?"
"Poor human. You fight your own tiny intellect at every turn. You think you are interfacing with extraterrestrials because you share a home with Yal-hune here? You haven't a clue as to what is out there and what you are dealing with. You think all developed worlds are nice and send pretty emissaries out to help other worlds? This is your wake up call, human. Your world is the galaxy garbage dump and everyone born here is effectively kept harmless, living little better than the animals they eat. At the restaurant back there I found the talking cow quite amusing. It seems humans realize they are intellectual equals of the animals they domesticate."
"That's quite enough Lal-atha. Do you leave willingly or do you get force teleported?"
"You think you can force teleport ME? I would love to see you try!"
Instantly, Tho-rey and his men depress some sort of device in their hands. Three flashes of white light emerge and all three hit Lal-atha. The light shimmers but Lal-atha has some sort of counterfield in place. From Yal-hune's thoughts I realize he is an infamous galactic criminal of sorts.
Lal-atha's hyperactive chestplate glows reddish and a red field emerges around him. He pulls a metallic device which appears the size of a small pocket watch.
Yal-hune and Tho-rey are both in my mind simultaneously.
"He resisted teleportation. The Confederation authorizes any action necessary to remove Lal-atha from Earth. He is being powered by a pinpoint beam traveling across the galaxy. However, we can't breach the signal."
"You see human? Your alien friends from Htra-deg and the Confederation are not the most powerful beings in the galaxy. We let Earth survive, because it is harmless. The moment the Earth stops being harmless is the moment it stops."
Lal-atha is doing something with the watch sized device and a red snake like pulse of energy emerges from it. Oh my god...it's some sort of energy demon from some lower plane of existence - like something Dante would describe.
Yal-hune's force field gets brighter and much stronger.
"Do not be afraid. Keep your consciousness up. Help is on the way."
An enormous white being appears. Thirty feet tall, maybe taller. It has no discernible features - only an aura of immense light. It extends an arm in our direction and the energy demon disappears instantly. So does Lal-atha.
The sheer power of energy around me is intolerable. It is beyond my capacity to consciously acknowledge and my body and my mind lockdown. In another instant the enormous being is gone. A few seconds later I see Tho-rey vanish with his men.
Only Yal-hune is left with me and I realize I am seriously out of it. It seemed eerily familiar and I know these enormous white beings from some place.
"Here. Hold on. I'm going to help you re-achieve equilibrium."
Yal-hune oscillates with me and nurses my mind back to a more balanced level. I realize I was in a state of shock, not just physical but my energy anatomy too suffered a jolt from all that transpired.
"What just happened?"
"Lal-atha is a criminal. He used to be a very developed being many thousands of Earth years ago. Then he started back sliding and all his good has been reflected to the negative side of his development. He comes from a world which controls many other worlds and exploits them. A sort of anti-confederation. They manage to acquire many stolen technologies and they are assisted by even lower forces. The Confederation's major headache, if one could call it such, is this group of planets. Lal-atha has been teleported back to his homeworld."
"Who was the giant white being?"
"That was a being from, almost, the very center of the galaxy. They are more 4th dimensional than 3rd dimensional. They assist us - sometimes - but very, very rarely. Their non-interference understandings extend much more completely than do the Confederation's. They are not even members of the Confederation, as such. However, beings of many levels realize the value in having Earth exist as a starting point for billions of souls"
I see even Yal-hune is somewhat distracted.
"Yes, so much has happened even since we started talking. Lal-atha has been returned to his world but his world is brewing more trouble. Earth has been awarded another planet's assistance to help monitor and enforce the quarantine. At the same time many have voiced opinions that they think I should depart and that this would bring about normalcy again.
"You can't leave!"
"I don't intend to. Our world has no intention of letting any planet bully our welcomed emissaries off any particular world.
"There's much more to relate and discuss, but we need to recharge a bit - let's go home."
The people start moving again and we climb in our car and drive home.
"Now every time I see the "Eat Mor Chikn" sign I am going to remember Lal-atha and his anti-human barbs."