Yuck! I mean, yuck, yuck and yuck again. What were the things thinking? I was only fifteen and I was human -- and I had absolutely no intention of being anybody's queen. Yuck.
"No way!" I burst out, before I could stop myself. "You've got to be kidding me." The doctor looked at me in surprise, his eyes wide beneath his eyebrows in an effort to try and warn me not to lose my temper. "That is just gross."
"You insult us," hissed The Voice. "This is a great honour we bestow upon you. Do not reject it, human!" I looked back at the Management, but they were still and implacable. So much for this hospital being intended to make me better. It was just a killing machine.
"Why do you even need me? Haven't you got your own people to be your, uh, queen?" I demanded. "I hardly think that, as a human, I'm the best candidate. I mean, yeah, flattered and that ... but the answer's no."
"There are no females left of our race." Eww, that was even worse. They wanted me to be queen over hundreds of random male aliens? No way! I stood up straight, pushing my shoulders back and my chest out. This was the moment to use the power that I was sure I had in me.
"Just give me one good reason why I shouldn't smash your head in right now and run off before you can completely destroy my life," I told them. "You've done enough already. So give me one good reason."
"If you strike me down, ten more will take my place. You can't win, Michelle." Huh, like that was original. I hadn't heard that one before. Oh, wait -- maybe I had. Just in every clichéd famtasy or sci-fi novel ever.
"They will have no leader." I looked to Dr Waltham for reassurance. He smiled tightly, but it was strained, so he was no help. "Make me your queen -- but you'll have to catch me first."
So saying, I ran out of the room. I would have slammed the door but the doctor was still inside, so I contented myself with leaping down the stairs four at a time in order to give myself a decent head start.
It was only when I passed through the double doors of the main hospital that I started to wish I had signed up for those running sessions.