As Diana’s feet hit the pavement, she wished she had worn sneakers. She glanced over her shoulder, arms pumping at her sides, and saw all three men were coming after her. She didn’t know who they were, but they were clearly after her.
This side of town was unfamiliar, as she rarely came here for anything but glorious donuts and coffee. Soon she was lost, and they were still hot on her heels. She turned down another street, only to find that it was a dead end alley. Turning to run back out, she found the three suits were blocking her exit. She was trapped, and the sense of calm she had been maintaining waivered.
She slowly backed up, fighting down her fear. “I can defend myself.” She tried to sound more confident than she was; she had to curl her fingers into fists to hide their shaking.
“You will come with us,” one said, his voice exactly like that of the first one to speak. “Our master commands it.”
“No!” Diana yelled, desperately searching for an escape.
Her hand started to tingle. Looking down, she saw it was dematerializing! Diana opened her mouth to scream, but the next thing she knew, she was lying on a cold floor, the alley gone.
She pushed herself up and looked around. Elegant red tapestries swirled around her. Something about them seemed distinctly male. She glanced up at the high ceiling, which was decorated with a strange metal that looked somewhat—but not exactly—like gold.
She closed her eyes tightly before opening them again. “Not dreaming,” she confirmed, and tried to ignore the hysteria she heard in her own voice.
She stood and reaching into her pocket for her phone. No service. She cursed, telling it exactly how she felt. As she shoved it back into her pocket, the door to her left suddenly opened on its own. Diana took a few steps back, looking for somewhere to hide but bumped into a golden archway instead. A perfectly tanned man with long black hair entered. He was an entire foot taller than her and had the face of a god. Looking startled to see her, he closed the door securely behind him. He moved fluidly, like a man who knew how to seduce or kill.
“How did you get in here?” he demanded, his hand going to something on his hip.
“I don’t really know,” Diana answered uncomfortably. “I don’t even know where ‘here’ is.”
He strode towards her across the room. “How did you access our transporter?”
“I don’t know,” she responded, overcome by how handsome he was. “I did break into pieces. That was weird.”
He studied her face. “You’re of the species homo sapiens.”
She almost started to laugh. “That implies you’re not. Where am I?” She said stricken.
“Look out there,” he said, jerking his chin. “See for yourself.”
Diana watched him warily as she backed up to the place he pointed. She pushing back a curtain she saw Earth floating outside in all of its blue-and-green glory.
“I think I’m going to be sick,” Diana whispered. She tried to take deep breaths to calm herself down.
“You really don’t know how you got here,” he said, taking his hand off a strange hilt by his hip.
“I already said that,” Diana snapped, forcing herself to take her eyes off of her home planet. “Why are you here? If it’s to invade Earth, I’m going to set you straight right now.”
“I have no interest in your misused planet,” he responded, coming closer. “I am looking for the wearer of the Cosmos Gem.”
“What’s a Cosmos Gem?” She said almost dreamily, affected by his closeness.
“It is not of your concern.”
All the emotions that had been overlapping one another were suddenly replaced with just one—anger. “I may not be a space-traveling alien, but I don’t deserve your attitude,” Diana countered with a glare as the euphoria of his proximity wore off. “Now send me back.”
“Gladly,” he said, clearly annoyed. “Are all females of your species so obnoxious?”
“I am arguing with an alien,” she said softly to herself. “This is such an unreal day.” She paused and looked at him curiously. “How is it that I understand you?”
“That is an excellent question,” he said, his eyes falling to her neckline. “A Babel Stone? Where did you get a Babel Stone?”
“A what?” Diana responded clearly confused.
“The stone around your neck, human,” he said, pointing.
Diana looked down, and her hand immediately went to the necklace. “When I was a little girl.”
“It appears you are more than you seem,” he said, taking a step closer.
“You and your alien pheromones stay back!” she demanded, holding her hand out, trying to keep the affect he seemed to have on her at bay.
He smiled slyly. “You find me attractive, human?”
Diana resisted the urge to flinch; in all the excitement she had been too honest. “My name is Diana, so stop calling me human or female,” she responded, pointedly taking a step back. “It is insulting.”
“I have been alive for four hundred years,” he purred and her eyes went wide. “In all those years I have not tried a human.”
“Well, this human is not interested,” she said, although all the blood ran from her toes up into her face. “Especially not in some four-hundred-year-old alien with pointy ears. Send me back.”
“You were sent to me as a gift,” he said, leaning forward playfully as her back hit the wall. “I intend to unwrap you and the mystery around you.”
When he reached down to touch her, another flash of red appeared, a wave of power and energy. She straightened, startled, as he was thrown back. It was the same wave of energy as she’d witnessed in the parking lot. When the tingling started this time, she screamed.
“Bearer of the Cosmos!” he called out to her as she began to dematerialize.
Today was just getting better and better.