Every time I think my life is as unusual as it can get, something comes along to make it all the more unusual. Here on Htra-deg I am performing all sorts of firsts and yet no one from the record books is here to record them. It's for the best anyway. I always disliked record books. After all how can one get excited about someone with 23 inch long fingernails or a limousine so long it can't be used on normal streets? No, contributing content for some sort of freak show is the least of my concerns, and yet for some reason as I stand here on another world, it feels momentous and that some sort of celebration is in order. While I've been to Htra-deg before, briefly, for some reason I'm more aware of the true significance now.
In the distance a group of women, dressed similarly to Yal-hune, leisurely walk towards one of the crystalline buildings.
No one reacts like my appearance is unusual at all. There is no pomp and circumstance or on the opposite end of the spectrum, no xenophobic containment facilities keeping me separated from the people of Htra-deg.
"So this is what it feels like to be on another world. A vastly more advanced world. A world millions of years in advance of the Earth. It feels good."
"Yes. It should be a coming home of sorts."
As she says it, she triggers a whole new pathway of thoughts in my mind - which, of course, was her intention. A wave of realization crashes over me like the pounding surf breaking against the rocks. I have lived here before, on Htra-deg, and these skies, these buildings at once appear quite familiar to me.
"When did I live here? Did I know you?"
"You've known me for sometime, but when you lived last, this was long before I was born."
It really hits me now. I'm not really human. Sure, I look human, I was born on Earth and live there, but I am not human. I've lived on many worlds and in many sentient species. That's why I'm here. That's why my brain isn't melting under the stress of what's happened to me and my life.
"Yes. Well today you get to come face to face with some of the results of your lives, not only on this world but other worlds. Follow me."
Yal-hune walks gracefully towards a crystalline building that glows greener than the Emerald City of Oz and which has a tall crystalline spire of pink emerging from it. The structure is hard to scale, but it most easily measure a mile high - maybe two. In this enormous sky, it is not that imposing, nor does it seem that large.
The wall dissolves as we approach. Inside the glow is no longer green but appears quite bright white. I wonder how accurately my human eyes can perceive the broad color spectra here. Two men, at least 8 feet tall, stand in attention just inside the entrance. I've never seen someone here with anything resembling a militaristic bearing, but these two seem closest to it. Militaristic isn't the right word. Stoic, perhaps or serious is more appropriate. They look very serious and focused.
"The Sentries are more symbolic than anything. They assist one if one needs assistance. Somewhat like doormen on Earth, but with an infinitely broader range of abilities and skills at the disposal of visitors."
"What exactly is this place?"
"This is the Htra-deg Confederation Affairs Building. This building is where most of our affairs with other worlds are conducted."
"Lead the way."
I follow Yal-hune. The bright light seems to come from everywhere and nowhere. It is almost like the air itself is charged and glowing.
"You are actually quite right. The air here does glow. It radiates light from certain component molecules. Just like the charged gases in the atmosphere on Earth when hit by cosmic radiation become the Northern Lights - the air here is designed to emit light. There are no lighting fixtures or lamps anywhere in this building. The air itself is targeted and irradiated and emits as much or as little light as needed."
"That is very cool."
"I knew you would like it. You have and will continue to learn to wield light in ever wiser ways."
Yal-hune walks through a wall that fades away and I follow. We stand for a moment and then I can feel we are being teleported.
We reappear in an enormous room.
"Yes. There are no elevators or stairways. All movement here between floors is done by machine or personal teleportation."
It is shaped like a great vortex. It spirals down toward the center in an logarithmic pattern. I see people standing, floating and working consoles of various kinds A hundred and one holographic type displays catch my eye. As we walk down the path off to the sides are compartmentalized segments with people discussing various things and talking about different planets. They are not speaking aloud. The room is almost silent. All communication and interaction with the devices in here is mental. There is no cacophony of voices. It is very tranquil and orderly. Yes, orderly and efficient - that is the word I am looking for.
"There are many floors like this one. Each floor handles about 30 worlds. This floor employs those whose job monitors Earth."
I follow Yal-hune and we are stopping. I see the people that are in charge of handling Htra-deg's affairs with Earth. These are the one's who sent Yal-hune as an Emissary to Earth. They all look at me and are smiling. The power of their minds is quite overwhelming and they possess deep historic knowledge of Earth and other worlds as well.
One woman, an older looking woman. speaks. I know she must be very old - thousands of years old for her to have an aged appearance.
"Welcome to Htra-deg. This is a very joyous occasion, yet also very grave. We are pleased you could come to visit us with our Emissary Yal-hune."
"It is my pleasure."
"It is our job to, how shall we put it, coordinate and manage the interactions our world has with your world. We monitor human affairs on Earth and other worlds that interact, or attempt to interact with the Earth."
A man steps forward. He's easily 8-1/2 feet tall and possesses a very wizened look about him.
"We have very important news. Your world has been targeted for a full scale invasion."
"Lal-atha's world is preparing to assault the Earth. Diplomatic channels have failed and he and his world are determined to perpetrate a violent attack on humanity. As you can imagine, this greatly concerns us. We have for hundreds of Earth years prevented any attacks from occurring and have played a large role in preserving your world's quarantine from other worlds.
"Can't you stop him?"
"Our mission is to protect the Earth. Three worlds of the Confederation have been assigned to your world and its preservation. However, we do not return negative with negative and do not fight wars in space or anywhere else. We have set up new barriers to shield your world from Lal-atha's space fleets and invasion armies. However, these things tend to turn out poorly. Technologies are only so powerful and there is a galaxy full of technological worlds selling new technologies to beings intent upon destruction.
I can't believe it. My mind is hearing all this stuff and it's just too much to believe. Earth invaded? There must be someway it can be stopped.
"Why does Lal-atha want to destroy the Earth? Can't a deal be made?"
"Lal-atha is not much for deals. You know his history. He is degenerating quickly and something like this was bound to happen. Intergalactic wars occur with high frequency on non-Confederation worlds. The galaxy is testament, filled with the scars ignorance has scoured upon it. Evidence of destroyed species and the loss of so many promising worlds can be found from one end of the galaxy to the other."
"So why are you telling me this now? What can I do?"
"You are one of the key players. Your presence, and the presence of others on Earth is something that infuriates Lal-atha. He has monitored the fundamental frequencies of the planet and keeps tabs on those who arrive from more advanced worlds. As you understand, Lal-atha was desirous of keeping Earth in a stagnant position. His goal has been to insure that humanity remain little more than animal like, with low technocracy, no space travel and open to external control."
"Yes. I am aware of these things. When you say 'key player' you really mean I knew Lal-atha and he knows and hates me and these others he knows that are now on the Earth?"
"Yes. You and Lal-atha have interfaced in the past, when he was on a more positive trajectory. He holds great resentment towards his associates from this past period and has targeted them, to prove he is superior. You were targeted and three or four others on Earth who knew Lal-atha."
"Let me get this straight. You are saying Lal-atha plans to invade the Earth to get revenge upon his old acquaintances?"
"Yes. That is what we are saying."
"Surely the Confederation has the power to keep him in check and protect the Earth...don't they?"
"The situation is quite critical. Lal-atha is part of an anti-confederation of worlds in opposition to ours. All the worlds which compose it are generally less developed, prone to violence and which resent the Confederation and what it stands for and has accomplished. No one wants a galactic war to erupt over the Earth. While the Earth is very important - many worlds are important - and an error in judgment could bring about another terrible darkness over the Galaxy. Non-violence, non-interference and positive action we know to be the most intelligent response to violence and negative action. We are telling this to you so that you can prepare yourself and your world."
"Prepare my world? Prepare it for an alien invasion? I don't think such a thing is possible. It would just cause hysteria and more violence and destruction."
Yal-hune turns to me.
"They are saying you must look closer at your past lives with Lal-atha and find what magnetics draw unto you this violent confrontation. When you do this, your fields change and you change the magnetics of this scenario. That is the type of preparation they intended you to pursue."
"You must also find and gather these others who knew Lal-atha. You four are the primary targets. They must also be made aware so they can change their magnetics as well."
"I just come up to perfect strangers and say, 'Hi. You knew an alien who is about to attack the world, come with me, you're in danger.' and that will convince them? I don't think so."
"You are a very bright person. You will be able to find a way to convince them of the truth of your words."
I experience deja vu. It is brief, but somehow I knew this was going to happen - alien world, invasion and all.
"Yes. These futures are foreseeable from a certain level of energy and perspective this level affords. We have seen many futures of Earth and that is why we contacted you. Earth has a better chance when we inform you of what is about to happen. We realize it is interference, but it is a very small interference we are willing to perform and accept the repercussions it generates."
I realize I desperately need a plan.