The spacemen have, they believe, convinced the Fallowfolk that they wish to build homes on the planet and raise their families there. Thinking their clever plan is proceeding apace, the three men, minus Lt. Brasker who has been kept safe, come to the palace of Lower Windfallow…
As they approached the castle the men assumed they would be stopped and asked their business. They were ready to give account of why they had come, but no one barred their way. They walked up the wide steps and through the tall doorway into the reception hall. Here they stopped and looked around for they appeared to be unobserved. Smith stepped to a wall and ran his scanner over it. Sure enough, the screen flashed emerald. He knelt and did the same with the floor expecting to see a reading for amber. But, to his amazement, it read out gold. He grabbed Dobrowski’s arm. “Look at that!” he whispered, “We’re walking on pure gold!”
“May I help you, sirs?” They whirled around to find a tall fallowman standing just behind them.
“Yes,” Smith regained his composure. “We’ve come to see the king about our house materials. Can you take us to him?”
“Of course,” B’delli motioned them to follow him and led the way to the King’s chambers. He indicated a doorway and turned away.
The men stepped into a room hung with rather dull tapestries and long curtains that billowed into the room through tall openings. The King was seated at a large desk with papers upon it and appeared to be writing. He stood up as they entered and motioned them to take seats. The chairs were comfortable if a bit worn looking. “You have come to talk of the materials for your homes?”
Smith stood again. “Yes. We have the plans finished and just need your approval to order the stone.”
“That will be taken care of after we have eaten supper if that suits you. I’m sure you are tired from your long journey.” The King clapped his hands and several fallowfolk came in bearing trays of food. These were set on one of the tables in the room and the humans were invited to sit.
“Where is your family, sir?” asked Kiota who knew they must have all the royal family here if a coup were to take place.
“Why, they are visiting the royal family in Windemere,” the king answered. They will be back in a few days.”
“Well, then, I guess you will have to do.” Smith stood up and took his lasgun from its holster. “I hereby declare this palace to be our headquarters on Windfallow and you to be our prisoner.”
King Terah remained seated and asked, “What is it you mean by this, Captain Smith?”
“I mean you are a prisoner and must do as we say.”
“And what do you say?” The King was calm and collected making the humans begin to doubt their superiority in spite of the deadly weapons they carried.
“I say call all the people who are in this castle and have them gather in this room.”
The King clapped his hands a second time and the room began to fill. Smith and his men leaped up on the dais that held the throne so as not to be surrounded. Smith demanded, “Is this everyone?”
As the King nodded, Smith raised his voice so all could hear. “Listen to me! You are now taking orders from the three men you see here. Do you understand me?’ No one moved or spoke. “This castle belongs to us now. All of you will leave quietly and go to your homes. Tomorrow we will tell you what the new rules are. Now, leave.”
No one moved. “I said leave!” Smith waved the lasgun. When he got no response, he yelled, “OK, I’ll show you what this can do to you!” He pointed the gun at a fallowman. But before he could pull the trigger, he was encircled by the arms of a seven-foot Alari. His arms were held at his waist in an iron grip though he could see no one. “Men, shoot to kill!” But Dobrowski and Kiota were in no position to follow orders. They also were disabled.
The king turned to Smith. “Captain, you were a guest here and you were shown every courtesy. Now, you will be sent away with nothing. No gemstone, no gold and no memories. Mr. Kiota, the demon whose domination you have been under is being destroyed at this moment. Before we send you away, we will let you see what you could not see before.” Suddenly the veil was lifted from the eyes of the humans. Brilliant colors shone through the walls, the tapestries and chairs that had appeared dull were now rich and heavily embroidered with gold, silver and copper threads. Then the King raised his hand. “Golden, you may take these men back to their own time.”