Author: Kei Lynnette

“Is it just me or do power and tea go just wonderfully together?” The Empress’s companion laughed and replied, “It’s just you Empress, and if you don’t mind me asking, how did you come into so much power?” The Empress only smiled. “Don’t tell me it’s because of your ‘sunny disposition’.” her closest companion said with a sarcastic smirk. The Empress looked out to the spectacular view of her empire and sighed contentedly. “You could say that it was a happy coincidence.”

The fancy hotel room was a cleaning service’s nightmare. Soiled sheets lay twisted in large heaps and what used to be a comfy bed was now of no use. The culprit of this mess stood on the defeated bed with her arms crossed and her face the picture of anger. Lennon Walter was understandably upset about being kidnapped, and by aliens no less. “This stupid room is of no use to me anymore! Show me a better one now!” Lenny yelled loudly.

Her captors showed Lenny to a larger room with an even larger TV. The girl didn’t hesitate to power the TV on. Promptly, Sunday morning cartoons started playing in full volume. Lenny cackled at the stupidity of the characters and was surprised to hear soulless laughing coming from behind her. “That’s new,” Lenny says, these creatures had not shown any emotion until now. Lenny and the aliens watched poorly animated cartoons for about an hour until she turned off the television so as to order the aliens to get snacks. She was not expecting the group of aliens to turn on her angrily. “Oh crap, sorry! Sorry -” she clicked the show back on. ” – look it’s back.” The aliens turned back towards the screen as though nothing happened.

Like everyone else that watched cable TV, these aliens despised commercial breaks. It was during one that Lenny yawned and said sleepily “You fellows had an extreme lack of dopamine.” the aliens only gave her confused looks. Her eyes widened “I thought beings from space were eggheads, you don’t know what that is?” When no one answered, she sighed, “Well, dopamine is called the happy chemical,” Lenny tried hard to remember what her teacher had said about this topic. “Dopamine helps humans, and you guys, plan while also helping us find things interesting.” She stares pointedly at the TV “Like funny tv shows for example.”

The aliens nodded, but before they could go back to watching, the TV powered off. Lenny ignored their cries and calmly but firmly said, “I’m going to need some answers before we continue. Why did you capture me?” she smiled slyly. “No answers, no TV” The aliens hurried to explain that they had come to Earth after discovering that an heir for their empire was there. Lennon was that heir because her great-great-great-grandfather had bought a star that eventually became their small empire. The aliens had taken Lenny from her boarding school in hopes of convincing her to lead their failing empire and make it as powerful as it was in centuries past.

The young Empress continued her story “Of course I accepted their offer, what do you take me for? We hopped on the nearest space bus and blew that popsicle stand. Only painful memories and a troubled past were on Earth. But that’s another story for another time.” She glanced around as if thinking an invisible enemy was around before leaning in close with her friend and saying “There are other heirs you know, the leaders of other empires.” she gave her trademark sly smile “I think that needs to change very soon.”

End of Step 1