Emergency entry, Zane's implanted data storage device in his frontal cerebral cortex, ship time, unknown. Location, unknown. Date, unknown. Outside input.
Zane, can you hear me? The voice in his mind was loud and dominating.
From a cold, dark corner of his thoughts, Zane replied, Who are you? He couldn't see anyone in front of him other than the Banshan warrior who was escorting him to see Erkla. The voice had been coming from within him. But how was that possible? He was possessed, a host to an eternal. Since when did they communicate with their victims?
I am Motac, the eternal within you, and have activated your recording implant so I can talk to you without anyone getting suspicious.
Zane then realised he wasn't moving his lips to speak, but talking in his mind. It was true, the eternal within him was talking to him. That alone was just as scary as seeing Mirko and Tink being taken away. Anger welled up to consume the only place in his mind where he resided.
Listen and listen very carefully, Motac continued. We don't have much time before we are presented to Erkla, so you must understand this when I say, I am a coalition eternal and I am here to try and help you.
Zane, without hesitation, thought, Prove it, you bastard.
I can't do that yet, but soon I will show you all you need to convince you I am speaking the truth and my intentions are to keep you safe.
I don't believe you.
If I were lying, why would I need to have this conversation with you? If I was a shadow eternal, I would simply take you over and drain the energy of your friends, sending you backwards and forwards in time to accomplish that goal.
Zane remained silent. His thoughts were his own, he'd give Motac that much. From what he knew of eternals, when they took over they didn't leave a trace of the one they occupied. He thought of poor Thomas...how he'd committed suicide in the end to get rid of the fucker. That gave him an idea. Fine. But if you do make me do anything to either Tink or Mirko that'll hurt them in any way...or any of my friends, I'll kill myself...with you inside me.
Zane was taken through numerous crystalline corridors, caverns and ante-chambers, deep into the heart of Parenthesis itself. He had to admit if the alien reptiles were nasty looking from a distance, they were even more so up close. They stank, too, like a combination of sweaty socks and stale vomit.
Many times Zane tried not to dry heave, resulting in watery eyes and a lump in his throat. Motac had to remind him that if he did anything to raise any suspicion, all of their lives could be at risk, including Tink's and Mirko's and two members of the coalition, if not many more.
He breathed through his mouth.
Not long after they entered the inner sanctum of Parenthesis crystalline control--the area Mirko and Zoltan were trying to lead them to in the first place--they came across Erkla. Zane could see why they wouldn't have made the journey to the heart of the eternal homeworld in a blue fit. The place was heavily guarded with more stinking Banshan warriors than he'd ever seen in one place.
The throne room--for want of a better word--where Erkla sat was impressive. It was also exclusive, and the leader of the shadow eternals sat alone, overlooking his empire. There were many control stations around him, but unlike on Tink's realm-shifting spacecraft, the eternals used living crystalline technology to do their bidding.
Do exactly what I tell you, Motac said. Any delay in your response will be considered abnormal, and as such could put us all in danger.
Yeah, yeah, I got it.
"Greetings, Motac," the Banshan leader said. He got up from his study, coming to greet Zane and the spy within him. "How is your new body treating you?"
Zane bowed. He didn't know why, but he did. Perhaps it was Motac's influence within him. Perhaps it was his deep, desperate desire to make sure nothing happened to Tink or Mirko. "My new body is goin' okay."
Don't use any inflections. You'll have to speak like me. Try and pronounce everything as succinctly as you can, Motac said.
All right, keep your pants on, Zane chastised him in his mind, finding the experience quite disorientating. Talking to three people, one of whom was inside his mind, could get kind of tricky. This wasn't going to be easy.
There was a moment of pause from Erkla, but to Zane it looked like the leader was more preoccupied checking him out. After all, Zane's cock was there for all to see, him being naked. A Banshan's genitals were on the inside until required. He guessed the leader liked the look of Zane's appendage, by the amount of time he spent staring at it.
When Erkla had done a complete circuit of Zane, and with Motac telling him to keep as still as possible while under scrutiny, the alien lizard finally said, "I really don't see why eternals would bother with such a weak species like humans. Banshan are more than capable of ensuring the eternals' rule is complete."
Motac said, Tell him it's because humans are resourceful, curious and survivors.
Zane did so, adding, "Imagination" to the list.
"Bah! Humans are pathetic. They cannot last more than a few days without water, a couple of weeks without food, and if naked, no more than a few hours in an extreme environment. What good are they, really?"
Say that the Banshan are the warriors while the humans are the cattle. After all, the greatest colonies in the universe require diversity, even if they are enslaved.
I'm not sayin' that. Us humans have kicked eternal arse, and we'll do it again if we have to.
I admire your spirit, Zane, but remember, you're me...so act like it. The truth of the matter is that humans are easy to enter and therefore easy to control. There are also plenty of you. Don't forget that.
Zane, without anymore argument, replied, "Humans are a more compatible vessel." He left it at that.