Slvastas screen went blank. She sighed. Not unusual. There’d been power grouping issues for the last six months.
“Not tonight…” she growled under her breath, rolling over the bed to pick up her discarded IFSheet. “I am not being late, Not again”.
The Well-Being Union was holding the final public meeting about the Hydro-Sink in less than two hours. It was important. Yes, it could be a solution to the power and comms fluctuations (and how typical that there’s been one tonight to strengthen their argument) but it would potentially destroy the crystal lattice formations. Hell, they were the reason we settled this planet in the first place.
“IF, open Sink Presentation”
The IFSheet didn’t respond.
“Kuti Sheet Shit piece of crap” Slvasta cursed, rolling back over the bed in the single room apartment.
Besides, forget the crystal lattice formations, Klevan had said she would be there tonight.
Slvasta glanced at herself in the mirror. The implants around her eyes were still swollen. Perfect. Now she’d be late, with an unfinished presentation and puffy eyes. Klevan, of course, would look perfect. “Kuti power groupings…” she muttered.
The main view screen and the hand-held IFSheet simultaneously flashed back to life.
“Well about ti…”
Slvasta stopped as she saw the screen. A symbol dominated the display, unfamiliar. Glancing at the IFSheet she saw the same image.
Then, a voice, guttural but speaking the common tongue.
“.. Submit to the Path of Tulak, lay down arms, do not resist, your strength can be proved in other ways. The Path of Tulak welcomes those that choose to tread upon it. We are the first of many…”
Slvasta scrambled to the small window, throwing the bamboo shutters wide to look up at the public view screens mounted to the vast Highway 12 Bridge.
The same symbol. The same voice.
“… the Dominion has arrived and you have been chosen to be tested upon the Path. Submit immediately or face the might of the Tulaki Dominion…”
She could see other people filtering out of their apartments. Hassan, from the home watch group was simply standing outside his door looking up. Up? Slvastas eyes followed.
Ships in the sky. Branded with the same symbol.
“…Submit to the Path of Tulak, we bring the information needed for your salvation, we bring the way to strength, we bring the future…”
Was this… an invasion? It would take anyone a week to get out to the Edge and New Peshawar had nothing of any real value at this stage of its colonisation process.
On the screen, the symbol abruptly disappeared, replaced by a terrifying serpent like face, vaguely human-like in proportion but with scaled brightly coloured skin and feathers sprouting above its ears.
“I am the Herald of Tulak. I am here to speak. I am here to teach. You cannot understand the strength your future holds. You have been chosen as worthy to learn the unspoken words”.
Slvasta knew, the world had just changed. Hell, the kuti Galaxy had changed.
Turning off the view screen, she closed the window and started to put makeup around the edges of her implants. May as well face this looking her best.