A Fiction Agreed Upon. Episode Eight: Eschewal. Part Four.


Rain had taken her sedative upstairs and passed out in her bathroom, propped against the toilet when they went looking for her. Despite the fact Richard didn’t really think it would do much good, he dragged a chair from out of his room, and jammed it under the door-knob.

Leonardo was busy downloading information he though had been useful from Rain’s database, maps, records, biographies, and some of the older more digestible medical textbooks he’d found. He sent Robespierre down into Rain’s private lab to take what batteries and cords he thought they would need. The Frenchmen originally protested this.

“That’s still her property.”

“It’s for a common need, and from what I’ve gathered, talking to her, Rain could replace anything we take three times over. I wouldn’t worry too much about if we’re going to leave her bereft or not,” Leonardo placated him, although Robespierre still did not look entirely convinced.

Richard busied himself by stripping the bedding from the beds, and stuffing them in all bags he could lay his hands on. Most of them were flimsy looking, made with thin slippery material, and delicate looking stitching. He scowled, but resigned himself. If they happened to come upon anything better, Richard felt confident he’d be able to trade for it.

Within a quarter of an hour, the three men were leaving Rain’s house. Before they’d left, Ava had grabbed Richard’s wrist and growled.

“Stay.” He ordered, taking his hand back. To his surprise, the hound obeyed and sat down, watching him mournfully.

“Good girl,” he said at last, giving the dog a scratch. Robespierre patted her on the head.

“Smart dog,” he cooed. Richard rolled his eyes.

“Let’s go, I don’t think that alien will be out much longer.”

Leonardo nodded and slipped out ahead of them, bag with the electronics slung over his shoulder. Richard gestured to Robespierre.

“Traitors first,” he said. Robespierre didn’t say anything, but Richard could see the disdain that shone in his eyes for a moment, before he turned and followed Leonardo.

Richard was careful to relock the door, and jammed a large stone in front of it for good measure, although he didn’t imagine it would hold either the alien or Rain for very long.

Leonardo was in the shed next to Rain’s house, studying one of the vehicles. He walked around it, muttering in Italian. Richard was more than prepared to walk the distance into wherever the ocean was to catch a ship, but Leonardo insisted that this would be much faster.

“Do you know how to work it?” Richard asked, frowning.

“Theoretically, it’s simple enough.” Leonardo smiled at him. “Simply start the engine and then enter the destination of where you want to go.”

Robespierre, looking hesitant, asked, “Do you know how to start it?”

Leonardo revealed a data chip in his hand. “No, but this does. Apparently it’s something that Rain was working on. Get in and we’ll see how it works.”

Richard sighed and eyed the vehicle. It resembled a horseless carriage, however it was made entirely of metal. It sat on the ground, and looked entirely immobile. He consoled himself by remember the horrifying journey here, and thinking that at least this mad Italian was not asking him to be unmade and sent thousands of miles.

All things considered a horseless carriage he could deal with.

Richard, after fiddling with the lever on the door, eventually made his way into the front of the carriage. A smooth panel was in front of him.

Leonardo slid in after him, with considerably more grace.

“Robespierre, you will have to sit in the back, there is no more room here.”

Richard smirked to himself.

Leonardo fiddled with the panel and it lit up under his fingers. He found where to insert the tiny metal bit and slid it in carefully. The panel flickered, once, twice, and then it beeped.

“User accepted. Destination?” A smooth male voice asked.

Leonardo fished in his bag for the map.


The panel flashed red.

“Negative destination. Florence sank in 2310. Please select another destination.”

“Sank?” Richard muttered. He and Leonardo glanced at each other.

“Well I suppose it was built on a swamp,” Leonardo said sadly. “Any other suggestions?”

“Paris,” Robespierre said from the back seat. The panel flashed green before Richard could demand London instead.

“Destination accepted. Please fastened seat-belt and prepare for lift-off.”

The three men exchanged looks. Leonardo mouthed the term, ‘lift off’, and frowned.

Richard’s concerns were closer to home.

“What in the saints names are sea-AHHHHH!”

All three of them screamed as the vehicle let out a beep and went from motionless to quickly rising, crashing straight through the shed’s roof. Richard watched with wide eyes as the ground dropped away. He had the funny feeling his guts had stayed. He shut his eyes and gripped the leather bench tightly.

“We’re flying! My god, we’re really flying!” Leonardo seemed to have recovered the fastest, and was laughing in delight. Richard grit his teeth as he could feel the carriage change direction. Robespierre seemed to share his issue, since he could hear him wretch.

“Richard, Maximilien! Open your eyes, it’s incredible,” Leonardo said, shaking his arm like a child. Richard shook his head and wrenched his arm away.

“Absolutely not.”

“Are you mad?” Robespierre demanded, sounding shaky.

Leonardo sighed, and Richard bristled. “For heaven’s sake. It’s perfectly safe in here, and you can see the whole of North America. We’re surrounded by clouds and all the sky is spread out under us. The sun is shining and we’re flying. Please, I’m sincerely asking that the two of you open your eyes and join me.”

Richard pressed his lips together tightly. He didn’t want to see how high they were from the realm of men, from what he knew. But he also understood the logic behind what Leonardo was requesting. He couldn’t very well spend his entire journey to Paris with his eyes shut.

He took a deep and calming breath before slowly opening his eyes.

The whole vehicle was awash in bright sunlight, glittering off the glass panel in front of him. The leather was already warming under him and Richard cynically wondered how long it would be till it became unbearable. However very slowly he looked around, eyes going wide and round.

They were surrounded by fluffy white clouds, the kind that always beckoned him out of the castle as a child, and reminded him of summers spent riding with Ned and George. The sky was a rich royal blue, and when he gathered his courage and looked out one of the glass windows the earth below them was a wash of greens-browns-greys. He could make out massive glass buildings, some of them rising into the clouds with them.

He looked over at Leonardo, who had tears sparkling in his eyes.

“We’re flying. I’d dreamt of it for so long, and now,” he touched the glass that separated them from the outside. Richard couldn’t help but feel moved by the other man’s sincere emotion.

“It’s so far away,” Robespierre whispered from the back. He too had his hand pressed to the glass.

A Fiction Agreed Upon. Episode Eight: Eschewal. Part Three.

Part Three.

It took a long time to convince Richard back into his chair, and even longer to get Robespierre unstuck from the wall but it was eventually accomplished.

“How did you find me?” Rain asked Maltass. They had been plied with a tall glass of iced water.

“Doctor Pless admitted what had happened almost immediately. Because this is sacred knowledge, I was the only one who could handle this discreetly.” They scowled at Rain. “Aliens are not supposed to know how to use our technology. If you do not return all of our data and technology the treaty with your Federation will be nullified.”

Maltass curled they’re lips back. “The Komali have superior technology. If you do not surrender everything you stole, most assuredly we will make you surrender it by force.”

“And the men?” Rain asked calmly. She placed her hands around her coffee cup to keep them steady.

“Yes, you’ll need to surrender them as well.”

“What will happen to them?” She noticed Leonardo, Richard and Maximilien straighten up, staring at her with wide eyes.

They knew nothing about this world. They were powerless. Helpless. She’d probably killed them all over again by doing this.

They’d never survive.

“Of course we cannot let this indiscretion get back to our government. They will be taken and disposed of.”


“And the men?” Rain asked calmly.

Richard noticed that her hands were shaking.

“Yes, you’ll need to surrender them as well.”

“What will happen to them?” Rain continued to speak as if Leonardo, Robespierre and Richard were not sitting there with them.

“Of course we cannot let this indiscretion get back to our government. They will be taken,” Richard stiffened and Robespierre drew a sharp breath, “And disposed of.”

Rain nodded slowly, her eyes staring unblinking at the Ambassador. “I…see.” With the tiniest of head movement’s she looked at Richard, and in that brief moment of eye contact, the ex-King understood what he had to do.

The ambassador was looking around at them all. “Well? Do you want to-” their sentence was cut off as Richard swiftly stood up and the crushing force grabbed the alien’s head and brought it down to meet the kitchen table with a sickening crunch. The ambassador did not move when Richard let go of its head.

Rain surveyed the whole scene without moving a muscle even as Robespierre and Leonardo jumped.

Richard turned to Rain.

“Would you like me to do the same to you or, do you have a sedative to take?”

Rain considered it for a moment. “You know, I think I will take the sedative. I’ll be back in moment.”

She got up and limped towards the back of the house. Richard nodded his head decisively. He started moving around the kitchen, opening drawers and cabinets and pulling out the sparse amount of shelf stable food Rain kept on hand.

“What are you doing?” Robespierre asked, still staring, horror struck at the unconscious alien on the table. “You might have killed him!”

“I didn’t do it that hard,” Richard said gruffly. He was pulling out knives from the knife block and selected a paring knife, which he slipped into boot and the chopping knife, which he placed in the small pile of food he was gathering.

“You’re running away.” Leonardo stated calmly.

“I am. You heard the ambassador, their intention is to kill us. I won’t be here when they turn up with reinforcements.”

Leonardo titled his head, watching as Richard struggled with the replicator. He hissed when it beeped a negative at him again.

“Blasted machines.”

Leonardo went over and calmly punched in the access code. “It should work now.”

Richard looked at him suspiciously. “What?”

“Take us with you,” Leonardo said.

“What?” Richard said, incredulously.

Robespierre also looked up, surprise all over his face.

“You said it yourself, they intend to kill us. You are clearly the expert at surviving on the lam, I understand this technology the best of the three of us, and Ma- Robespierre is the only one who has studied the maps of this city. Out best chance of survival is to work together.”

Richard looked Leonardo up and down.

“You can come. He stays.” He tilted his head, indication the Frenchman. However before Robespierre could protest, Leonardo frowned and grabbed Richard’s wrist in a vice grip.

“No. Both of us, or I will go nowhere.”

Richard grunted, his fingertips going oddly numb as Leonardo steadily increased pressure. He grittted his teeth, staring down Leonardo, who did not even flinch.

“Fine. But if he slows us down, I’m leaving both of you,” Richard finally conceded. Leonardo let go of his wrist and smiled charmingly.

“You’ll hardly noticed us.”

A Fiction Agreed Upon. Episode Eight: Eschewal. Part Two.


Rain’s worst fears were confirmed when she opened the door and a member of the Komali was standing on the porch, shading their eyes and starting to sweat under Earth’s sun.


“Hello, may I help you?” Rain asked pleasantly, carefully holding the door so the alien could not see past her shoulder into the house behind her. One of the dogs was behind her, a cold wet nosed pressed to the skin at the back of her knee.

“You are Doctor Rainbow Miller?” The Komali asked.

“Yes. Do I know you?” Sweat ran the back of her neck.

The alien frowned. “No. I am the presiding ambassador of the Komali for your Federation. I am Maltass.” They dipped their head, bird-like.

Rain dipped back, and prayed that Leonardo’s or Richard’s curiosity wasn’t going to get the better of them.

“It’s wonderful to meet you  ambassador Maltass. Is there something I can d-”

The Komali’s face, usually so placid and pleasant, with the droopy eyelids and full lips, and soft pastel colored skin tones, only marked by the stripes of darker color, had hardened and their lips drew back into a grimace.

“You can return what you stole!”


“Who do think that is?” Robespierre asked quietly, twisting around in his chair to watch Rain’s retreating back. They heard the door open and Rain asked in a loud, and falsely cheer voice, “Hello?”

Richard was leaning over the table, trying to see. “I can’t tell, maybe someone from the government?”

Leonardo shook his head. “Why wouldn’t they just contact Rain through her connection, if they need her?” He shook his head again, brushing his hair from his face. He couldn’t wait until it was long enough to tie back and away again. “I think it’s probably her old assistant, Kamala Mason.”

“The one who left? Why would she come back?” Richard challenged him.

Leonardo shrugged. “Perhaps she changed her mind?”

You can return what you stole!

All three of them jumped and Ava’s ears prinked up. Pallas growled from under the table.

The door suddenly slammed and heavy footsteps started down the hall towards the kitchen. Richard leapt from his chair and backed away, towards the counter, where some knives sat in a block.

Leonardo too, moved from the table when he realized there was no way that any normal human could be causing such as noise, and quickly proven correct when a figure, over seven feet tall, with pale purple skin, and no hair burst in.

Robespierre shrieked, and quickly cut himself off, clapping both hands over his mouth, even as his whole frame bucked backward from…from whatever it was. Richard dropped the paring knife he grabbed.

The thing frowned, and whipped around to confront Rain, who came limping quickly after it.

“I knew it! Your government tried to protect you, but-”

“These are my relatives, cousins on my mother’s side,” Rain cut in smoothly. The thing, monster, dragon, thing, sneered.

“I’ve been on earth for over six months, and have no one that looks like them,” it waved a hand at Robespierre, Richard and Leonardo, all of whom were still too stunned to speak.

Indeed, Richard looked like he might never speak again.

“Besides, does it have a ID?”

The thing grabbed Robespierre around the neck, and Leonardo caught sight of a fear far more primal than a simple distaste of touch would allow for. The man’s face was utterly white, the scare tissue disappearing and making him appear much younger. The thing brushed the hair at the nape of his neck away and bobbed it’s head.

“Is expected. Nothing.” It release Robespierre, who stumbled away, back to the wall, looking ready to flee. His grey-green eyes had lost all of their usual sharp, able stare instead reverting back to that of a much younger man’s, terrified and speechless.

Rain stood frozen, staring at between the thing and Robespierre, to Leonardo and Richard back up against the counter. She rubbed her forehead, advertising her thought process.

“Leonardo da Vinci, Richard the Third, and Maximilien Robespierre, please meet ambassador Maltass, of the Komali. They are an alien,” she clarified at Leonardo’s lost look. Rain turned to the alien ambassador.

“Won’t you please take a seat and we can talk about this?”

A Fiction Agreed Upon. Episode Eight: Eschewal. Part One.


For Rainbow Miller the next week passed disappointingly.

Far from the Historical Figure think tank she’d anticipated, the three men seemed to be avoiding both her, and each other.

Richard spent most of his time physically out of the house, and for some reason, Ava seemed to have become fascinated with him. The dog had started to follow him everywhere. Rain figured that at least with this, if Richard tried to do a runner, she would be able to track Ava to find him if nothing else.

She had rarely seen Robespierre, who was staying to his room, claiming illness. It occurred to Rain that she hadn’t properly inoculated any of the men. It retrospect, this seemed like a problem, since now Robespierre was refusing to even leave his claimed sanctuary and if he had something like smallpox, she would be responsible for bring back one of the most infectious diseases of all time.

The upside was that, upon doing some hasty research, it seemed Robespierre had regular bouts of illness, most of them brought on by exhaustion, and possibly psychosomatic. In the end Rain finally concluded that leaving Robespierre to his own devices was the safest rout she could take, and when he was out of his self-imposed exile, she would burn everything that could carry an infection and make all three men have their shots.

Rain was most disappointed in Leonardo. He seemed to seek distance from her, deliberately avoiding her invitations to go down to her lab and spending all of his time absorbed in the tablet Rain had given him. When Rain teased him, “What are to so entranced in? Already have a crush Leonardo?” He simply smiled enigmatically and shook his head.

Rain hated to admit failure, but so far she had to admit living with the dead was not nearly as exciting as she had hoped.

It was a week that they had relocated back to Colorado that there was a knock on the door.

Robespierre had finally rejoined them, and too his credit, Rain did think he looked as if he’d been ill lately. His pallor was grey and it almost appeared that someone had punched him in the eyes, so dark and blue were the circles under them.

“After breakfast we’re doing inoculations for you all, and that’s final!” She declared.

“Inno-que-what?” Richard asked.

“Prevention against illness,” Leonardo mumbled tonelessly, staring into the tablet as usual.

“How-” Richard started but was cut off by a sharp knock at the door.

Rain froze.

She was not expecting anyone, and other than Kamala no one knew that the men were here. Kam knew better than to come here unexpectedly, especially after her temper tantrum back at the lab.

Most likely it was someone from the Federation, coming to bother her about some problem or wanting her for a mission or a lecture or other nonsense. She swallowed hard.

Rain waved a finger at the three men, all of them staring, transfixed at her. “Stay. Right. Here. I’ll get rid of them.”