A new house suddenly appears at the end of the road and Adrienne is the only one that seems to notice. She also can't remember the inhabitants, Grayson and his brother Lonzac who is too good to be true and wants Adrienne to go away with him. But where?
What follows is an adventure that is literally out of this world.


20. Chapter Twenty

“It’s so pink,” whispered a scratchy voice.

“Szli said he couldn’t believe how fast it worked,” replied another.

I reluctantly opened my eyes to find Osmutt and an unfamiliar alien staring at me. Realising that I was awake, Osmutt gave a deafening squeak, his/her orange skin wobbling as s/he stepped backwards in surprise. The other alien, however, continued to examine me with six, unblinking, red eyes in two lines. Its skin was navy, almost black and it had ridges lining its neck and head.

Scratching its chin with a three fingered hand, the alien said roughly, “It doesn’t look very intelligent.”

I was very tempted to reply with a snarky, “Have you seen your reflection recently?” but I didn’t. Instead I sat up and rubbed my eyes, saying, “Is this your room?”

 “You were right about it being able to talk, Osmutt.”

Annoyed, I got to my feet. “I can do more than talk.”

The alien held my gaze for a moment before laughing. It was a sound that reminded me of a rockslide. "What’s your name?” It asked, acknowledging me for the first time.

“Adrienne,” I answered. “What’s yours?”


I stood up and stretched. “Nice to meet you.”

Ionbta reached out and placed a warm thumb on my forehead. Seeing my confused expression, it said, “That is how my people greet each other.”

“Oh, on Earth we shake hands.”

Ionbta shook my outstretched hand. Osmutt watched silently looking slightly worried. Embarrassingly my stomach rumbled. Ionbta and Osmutt were shocked.

My cheeks reddened and I mumbled, “That was my stomach. I’m hungry.”

“Well let’s get you some food.” Ionbta chuckled, slapping a horrified Osmutt on the shoulder.

The dining area was on a higher deck so I followed Ionbta and Osmutt as they led the way through corridors and stairs that had obviously been patched together from several other ships.

“You’re a long way from home, aren’t you?” Ionbta asked as we entered a large circular room.

The layout reminded me of a cafeteria; there were several tables, one of which was occupied by a hulking alien, as well as what looked like a small kitchen area. Ionbta strode over to a heavily scratched red robot that closely resembled the Medbot.

“Three portions,” Ionbta ordered, leaning against the counter.

I observed curiously as the robot came to life and moved around the kitchen in a blur preparing our food. Osmutt was watching me and let out an alarmed squeak when I turned to look at her/him. Its skin wobbled at it hurried to move away and sit with the other alien.

“Just ignore him,” Ionbta told me with a wave of a blue hand.

There was a shrill whistle and the robot slid three trays over the counter.

Handing me one of the strangely textured silver trays, Ionbta said, “Unfortunately the robot seems to only be able to make the same meal over and over. I hope you like daltranae stew.”

I eyed the lumpy brown stew warily and sat down next to Ionbta at the table with Osmutt and the other alien. It was six foot tall and two foot wide. The ship’s uniform of overalls covered its huge body and its plate-sized hands were in black gloves. Even its face was concealed behind a mask of some kind. There were three circular pieces of something like glass in a horizontal line in the middle of the mask which must have been for the alien’s eyes, though I couldn’t see anything behind them.

“Raenol this is the human everyone has been talking about. She is called Adrienne,” Ionbta introduced me.

Raenol didn’t say a word. Ignoring us, it removed a glove to reveal a four-fingered, black skinned hand with webbing, and held it over the food in its tray. A minute or so later when it lifted its hand away, returning it to the glove, the tray was empty. I blanched. Was its stomach in its hand? I didn’t feel that hungry anymore.

“Is it true that when your escape pod arrived you were in Cairani clothes?” Ionbta asked shovelling stew into his mouth.

Raenol stood up suddenly making the table shift. It clenched its hands into fists before storming from the room.

I gazed after the alien. “Umm what was that about?”

Ionbta shrugged. “Raenol isn’t a fan of the Cairani. Don’t worry he mostly keeps to Deck 6.”

I made a mental note to stay away from that particular deck.

“Gwoj told me that she has one of those special necklaces,” Osmutt whispered not so quietly.

Gwoj could talk? Narrowing my eyes at Osmutt I absently checked that I was still wearing the necklace Lonzac had given me. I was. The liquid metal filled sphere was the same temperature as my body.

“You have a Cairani lover?” Ionbta sounded intrigued and surprised.

“I suppose so,” I answered, my heart giving a pang at the thought of Lonzac.

Where was he? Were we even in the same solar system anymore?

“Why were you in an escape pod?”

I focused on my uneaten daltranae stew. “It was an accident.”

“Well I’m sure you will be reunited again.”

I smiled at Ionbta gratefully. I liked him. It was a shame his many eyes were so creepy.

“You know what, I might be able to fix the robot,” I said, pushing my tray away.

“Szli said that you are good with your hands.”

“I guess we’ll see.” I grinned.

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