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Each year, vast numbers of people disappear from the world. Now, Jill appears to be one of them. Is she in hell? If so, why is she being treated so well? One thing she knows for certain is that she is definitely not on Earth anymore. She’s in a land of grand palaces, human slavery, shape-shifting aliens, humanalien hybrids, and an exiled race of giants once thought to be gods. As far as she can tell, she’s on a dark planet in a nearby solar system—and she’s getting the definite impression that she’s been brought to this place for a reason. The prophecy proclaims that only a repentant spirit can save them.

Is she the one destined to lead them all home?

To survive, she will need to make new friends in strange places. She decides to become whatever she needs to be to fulfill her apparent destiny as savior of this place and these people. Humanity will no longer be slaves or playthings for the amusement of their alien overlords—not if she has anything to do with it. And her new band of allies will do what they need to do to make it happen. After all, what do they have to lose—other than their souls?

Could the theorists proposing ancient astronauts have it right? Have these beings from the stars really been here all along?

Dark blackness extends forever in every direction. Never before has Jill seen so many stars all around. Not even they could entirely fill the immense void. The emptiness inside her feels just as devoid as the expanse before her.
       Optical distortions deceive her senses whenever she moves. The pit of her stomach turns, every time she tries to take a step or turn. She has to keep still or feel as if she is falling. Before, with K’mara’s hand on her shoulder, she felt secured. Then she hadn‘t noticed any distortions. This time she is utterly alone with the stars.
       A certain kindred spirit exists between them, when she isn‘t falling towards them. Absolute stillness helps her to descend farther into them. She feels as if she is floating with them. They call to her, as they attempt to fill that empty void, with light.
       She is unable to recall a more peaceful feeling, loving her time alone. She looks at the rings on her feet, three more and she will have to start piercing her ears. She still cannot place a name to the number. She knows that a name exists for the count but she cannot remember how to say it.
       She tries even harder to recall anything before her arrival. Unable to shake the haunting whispers and vestigial forms of a previous life, she forces herself to recall as many as she could. They would not let her rest inside. Nothing seems to sooth her in this restless dream state.
       Finding everything about this place increasingly boring, she can no longer bring herself to care. She is becoming cluster-phobic, to the point of agitation, by the smothering attention. Her absence is certain to be, even now an issue. All she wishes for is to be left alone, just for one peaceful moment.
       It is not like she could go anywhere. There is nothing but empty space between her and whatever, wherever she must be from. She could not remember any of it anyway. None of it matters anymore.
       K’mara’s words reverberate, inside. “The past is irrelevant. One must be present in each and every moment, to rule one’s day. Moment by moment, lives are made, built one day at a time. One’s future can depend on how we embrace this day. Today is that tomorrow, which is here now!”
       This is the day that she would find out her true worth. It must almost be time, by now. Overwhelming anticipation catches her in between fear and curiosities, dreading the unknown either way. Fear, in the face of courage, is winning by a landslide. Again, she contemplates what it all could mean. What is it she is to be prepared for, anyway? What is this place? Why can’t she remember anything before?
       Maybe, she has always been here. Maybe this feeling of a forgotten past is just a dream she cannot remember. The confusion keeps her head spinning. Doubts mixing with subconscious whispers of instinct, consume her focus. Her self-worth diminishes as she tries to feel anything, or just something. Just wanting to understand anything, she struggles with her thoughts.
       What is a life worth, anyway? Is it possible to be the property of someone else? She still could not believe it possible. Could someone else hold life and death, over the head of another? Jill, at times feels a feigning regret. She almost wants to feel guilty, for not wanting to stay.
       Except for the occasional smacks and threats of eminent death, she has been unexpectedly pampered. No punishment has yet to cause a single bruise. She cannot remember her skin feeling so soft and young. Her Reddish hair is thicker, healthier, and more radiant than when she got here. The confusion is too much to take, at times.
       There are no mirrors here, to see her own face. She does not even know what she  looks like. Not even in her own memory. Sometimes she can catch a reflective glimpse, in the bath. It is not a stable image though. Sometimes there are doubts, if she even exists at all. Just a shimmering reflection in a pool. Even the stars seem to shimmer, like seeing them through water. The distortion travels slowly back and forth, from horizon to horizon.
       She had not noticed that before, but then there was no time to study them. It doesn’t seem to look real, at times. It makes her feel movement, when standing still. She has trouble understanding many things here. Nothing makes any kind of sense to her. Everything catches her off-guard. She never knows what to expect next. 
       “There you are!” K’mara’s voice breaks the solitude, filled with frustration from having to use her emergency code. If not… She expresses her concern. “Someone could have decompressed the docking bay.” Now, there’s new frustration from having said too much. Now, someone would know she had been here. She would have to find some excuse, to just deal with it.
       Jill, almost flinching, recovers quickly. The very response is involuntary now. “Forgive me, My Lord‘s Mistress. I did not mean to disobey. I was just passing, on my way…”
       “I do not require, excuse. You have been warned! Have you not?” The power in K’mara’s words demand respect. She grabs Jill by the arm, to pull her along.
       Jill speaks before thinking, again. “Yeah! What are you going to do, slap me some more?” Breaking K’mara’s strong grip, she pushes her away.
       At this point in time, she no longer cares. She feels she could take whatever would be coming. “Just give me something sharp, I’ll do it for you. I think I would rather just die anyway. Just get it over with!” Jill could no longer contain the dam of emotions. The tears have been held back too long. Eventually, something had to give.
       Some things are contagious, like laughter and tears. Something tugs at K’mara, from within. Emotions, are brought out now by Jill’s tears. Together they would stand there helping, supporting each other. She hates what she must do.
       Jill has to be shown, death is not the worst thing that can happen. She is not sure, if she could witness it again and not also be affected. The thought of it makes her tremble. She actually, likes Jill.
       She hoped to avoid showing Jill this, so soon. She has a strong spirit, seemingly very attached to it also. K’mara hates to have to break it. She hopes one day, to call her as a sister. Her defiance however, dooms them all. This she has to restrain, before it too could spread.    
        In that moment, for the first time ever, K’mara feels guilty. Her life as she was born into, here without a choice is now in question. It really starts to sink in, with Jill‘s emotion and defiance. A place exists, where women can have a strong will. Free choice only belongs to the Royalty of Gods.

ALOTTA MONKS is the pen name for a group of siblings of a large family, sharing a common dedication to strong morals and realistic thinking. As a result, they have learned how to use their quick wits to work together.


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