It was still dark outside. The slight glow from the quarter moons in the sky barely gave them enough light to see where they were walking. It didn’t seem to matter. Everyone was curious enough about what awaited them that they continued to follow in the Captain’s wake until they all stood outside of the dome. It wasn’t long after that the sun began to peek through the twilight and bring the first signs of color to their world as the sky turned shady hues of pink, then orange, then blue in various stages of sunrise.
In some ways the rising of the sun felt anticlimactic. It wasn’t a bright warm sun like it was on Earth and it didn’t light up the world to make it crystal clear like they were used to, but at least it wasn’t dark or dingy. They could see well enough to know what they were doing, and best of all the sky was a blue. It was a deeper shade of blue than on Earth, but still close enough to give it that touch of familiarity everyone seemed to need.
Adele walked up to Captain Tremont’s side and placed her hand on the sleeve of his uniform with a shaky hand and quietly announced.
“They are coming.”
The whispered words Adele uttered spread through the crowd like a tsunami and was quickly followed by the sounds of thousands of wings that caused dust and dirt to whirl into the air. Everyone shielded their eyes from the particles of soil and when it settled enough so they could safely uncover their faces, a ring of winged people surrounded the ship. One lone male stood apart from the others and it was obvious that he was slightly older, for he was the only one who appeared to have any signs of grey in his hair. He smiled at them as he spread his arms in welcome and spoke into their minds.
“We, the inhabitants of Tantalus, bid you and yours welcome.”
As the Tribunal Elder finished speaking, four others like him stepped forward and bowed. Each held a box, which they presented to Captain Tremont and whoever stood with him as assumed representative for their people. Captain Tremont passed the box he was given to Cara then bowed back at the winged men who had given him their gifts before responding.
“Your welcome overwhelms us.”
One of the men who had accepted one of the boxes opened his to gape at the treasures it contained.
“Black pearls. On Earth these would be worth a fortune. This box alone would pay for the ship and voyage it took to get us here.”
Other gasps were heard as the news of the gift was spread from person to person. This went way beyond anything anyone had expected, they were happy just to have a place to call home and not lost in the void of space. If there were a way to send one of these boxes to their home planet, they would be out of debt. It might even entice more of their people to come, though some wondered about the wisdom of that idea. They weren’t so sure they wanted to share this world with millions of people like those they had left behind.
“These are our people.” The Tribunal Elder introduced those who stood behind him. There was a winged man standing every thirty feet from his neighbor with his black wings wrapped around someone in front of him. Mitchel telepathically called out the order to begin the greeting ceremony and the men unfurled their wings to reveal their mates. The women stepped forward to give a slight bow as they also spread out their wings; in their case their feathers were white. Not a sound could be heard anywhere as the two species studied each other curiously. The unmated winged people then flew in to set up a second ring around the domed city. It didn’t take long for the young Human girls to notice that most of the people in the second circle were males, very impressive looking men dressed in leather skirt like wraps that were decorated with black pearls.
“Holy shit.” Trevor whispered to his brother as he leaned towards him. “I have died and gone to heaven. Look at the bodies on those angels.”
One of Trevor’s friends was quick to respond as he ogled the women. “I wouldn’t mind getting a taste of something like that.”
“Our women are off bounds to your men.” The Tribunal Elder warned.
The Tribunal Elder’s words were reinforced by the sound of snapping black wings, as the men from Tantalus fully extended them. Again the field went silent as the Humans viewed the winged people with awe. A few sighed as one of the younger children spoke.
“It must be wonderful to be able to fly. I wish I could.”
Captain Tremont grinned as he agreed, in fact he agreed with most of what had been said. The women were drop dead gorgeous, every one of them and the men were in the type of shape every man dreamed of attaining, but few ever did. To top it off, they had wings so they could fly? That wasn’t fair.
Derek’s mouth had fallen open within the first few moments of seeing the indigenous life forms fly in. This wasn’t natural. It couldn’t be. He could even hear them, though their lips never moved. Witches. Warlocks. They had to be. Evil displayed in clothing meant to entice and lead men astray. Who knows what perversions they would subject an unsuspecting person to? He had to protect his people from harm. It wasn’t enough that he had failed to purge the ship of the witches traveling with the good people there, but now they had reinforcements. Men and women who had even more power than the ones on Earth had.
Derek’s eyes wildly glittered in the muted sunlight as these thoughts and more raced through his mind. He noted the leaders and how the ladies wore nothing but pearl laden tops that covered their breasts and skirts of the same materials to cover them below. Chains of finely worked gold looped from the costumes and golden torques decorated their necks in patterns that matched their mates. The men were just as bad with only those wrap skirts to hide their male parts. How could he stop his people from succumbing to the lure of this evil beauty? He could only think of one way. If he killed their leader they might stay away from the ship and his people. The evil and corruption that still existed amongst his people still needed to be eradicated, but that could take a back seat. These creatures would have to be taken care of first. Those who had traveled from Earth with him might not understand his motives immediately, but they would eventually and then they would see he was right to act. Some people needed time to see the light.