I was still conscious, but in some kind of temporary paralysis. Made sense, seeing as the Verisat were so big on weird drugs.
"Good God!" the Duke exclaimed, "We've witnessed a miracle!"
What an idiot.
"The process has only just begun," Sher sighed, "You must keep caution when it comes to this man."
"Of course." he replied, gesturing to the doorman, "Carry him out of here."
Sher shook her head.
"Leave him be. It will be best for him to remain under our direct supervision."
"As you wish."
As I watched the Verisat sat down to a meal with the Duke, surprisingly well-mannered for their kind.
Their conversation only drifted in one of my ears and out the other. It wasn't on purpose, but the drugs had started affecting my attention span too.
Sher looked at me and smirked for a split-second. She probably hadn't wanted me listening in.
All I heard was something about "Her royal highness" and "the Queen of France" before their voices blurred into a puddle of mush.
"Get up, Preston."
I opened one eye tentatively and, seeing Maidie, opened the other.
"What's going on?"
"You have to purify yourself."
My curiosity was enough to get me to sit up, and as soon as I did Maidie pulled me to my feet and ushered me into another, smaller room.
Almost instantaneously she shoved a metal disc into each of our mouths and started talking.
"This is just so that I know nobody's listening. You'd be surprised how nosy these nuts are."
"Where are we?" I demanded, wanting to confirm what the old man that had found me had said.
"England. When you decided to run back from the zoom tube you made a rip in the time-space continuum. Sher knew you could wreak havoc on the time stream so she followed and naturally we all ran in too. For some reason the later we entered the tear the earlier we ended up appearing here.
You'd be right in thinking that what we're doing is a cover. Killing anyone who saw us falling out of the sky would have essentially been risking our future. This was the only explanation we could figure would appeal to a faith-centric society."
"What are we going to do?"
"I don't know. Keep up the charade. Try to erase any impact we had whatsoever. Sher's trying to figure out a way to get us back but I have no idea how long that's going to take."
"What's going to happen to me?"
She shrugged, smiling.
"You're still our prisoner. We could have you killed here or anywhere without a second thought, but Sher's too big on knowing absolutely everything to let that happen. And right now preserving our cover should be your priority too, so you're almost one of us."
After that she held out her hand and I looked at it with confusion.
"Give me the disc, idiot!" she chided, "Unless you want me to yank it out for you."
I quickly obliged and breathed in relief once it was gone.
She took her own mask off and gestured to the tub full of water in the middle of the room.
"You can clean yourself up. There's some clothes here too."
I cleared my throat when I noticed she was making no move to leave.
Maidie chuckled, wagging a finger.
"You have to be supervised at all times, remember? Don't go getting bashful on me, Preston."
It was only after a good five minutes of staring at her in annoyance that I gave in and, turning away, peeled away my then-filthy clothes.