by Mara Levina
Jack, meet evil Emperor; Evil emperor, meet Jack
| Jack sipped his Brew (Clyton speech for beer) at the back of the main room, watching the masses of species, all different colors and configurations dance to the to the techno-ish beat. Destiny had gone to the ladies' room after a few dances in which she realized dancing wasn't one of Jack's strongsuits, and as she was laughing she brought him over to the bar, bought him a drink, and excused herself.
So, here I am God, what now? Jack wondered as he finished his Brew. It tasted a bit like Guiness, only purple and a bit more fizzy. Either way, not so bad. Through the strobing lights and corner lamps, Jack saw tall creatures that looked like tall Elves with human pigments; short creatures with greenish-blue skin with a waxy look and what looked like webbed feet; and all around them, and seated at the corner tables, were luminous-skinned, bald creatures, in regal-looking robes and an air of snobbiness to them. They weren't very tall, about 5'5", but Jack could tell they were in charge, by the way they moved to the fact that all of the servants were of the Elvish race.
"How did you like it?" asked Destiny as she sauntered up next to him, her dress defining her outline against the dim backlight. Jack nodded his approval, strainghtening his tie. Just then the music faded, and the lights went up. The dancers started clearing the cloor, some of them headed for the bar they were standing in front of. Destiny slipped her arm in Jack's and pulled him towards the wall under a lamplight. nder the better light, Jack saw up close how much Destiny looked like the Elvish race. He asked her if there was any relation, to which Destiny smiled, a small blush forming on her high cheeks.
"Yes, but we're not 'Elves', we're called the Pavis. As a Pavi, you are a servant of the Laou, unless you receive special permission from the Laou government to be employed differently." Before Jack could ask how Destiny had become employed by God, a Laou tapped him on the shoulder, its tranculent finger thin but strong.
"Follow me please," it said, the voice only slightly higher than a human's. The red sash it wore meant rank of some sort, for as the trio made their way through the crowd, both Pavi and Laou alike bowed to them as they passed. Destiny's arm held a little tighter as they left the room and traveled down an ornately decorated hallway. The hooded look in her eyes told Jack everything; they were going to meet the Emperor.
"Destiny, my dear, how wonderful to see you again," came the voice from across the LARGE dressing room. Closets lined all four walls, mirrors at the front reflected the image of a Laou, purple robe, gold sash. Several Pavi were in the room also, milling around, putting things away, primping the Emperor for his entrance into the main party room.
"Hello, Emperor Satishe." Destiny bowed low, her long hair touching the ground slightly.
"How are you, Jack?" the Emperor turned to face them and began to walk towards them. Destiny stood up, smoothing out her dress and smiling faintly. Jack bowed as she did, not wanting to offend, still shocked that the Emperor knew who he was. As if reading his mind, the Emperor laughed loudly, shooed the Pavi away with his hands, and smoothed out his sash as he made his way to Destiny and Jack.
"Yes, I know who you are; on Clyton 8, most of the Laou females are Readers. I was told by my 15th wife that you were coming to overthrow me. Is that true, little human?"
The last two words were said with such distain, Jack was immediately offended. In true 'Jack' fashion, he smiled, chuckled, and as he put his hands in his poockets, he said, "Not overthrow you. I've come to kill you, Emperor."