Azibo’s guests headed back to Earth in a very quiet and somber mood. The craft exited the Azibo-Earth wormhole and headed for the dark side of the moon, where the Intergalactic Visitors maintained a base. The abductees disembarked from the ship and were grouped according to continents. Niterider saucers small, black flying craft that could hold a dozen people would escort individuals to their homes.
Everyone was eager to go home and most would be changed forever. Much explanation would have to be given for their two-day disappearances. But how would they go about doing that? Their minds were used to being crammed with knowledge, details and statistics, but otherworldly experiences overwhelmed even the most genius of minds. How does one explain that one has been abducted, taken to another planet and met beings from other worlds, without sounding like a fool? Each attendee would have about two hours or less to ponder that before being dropped off at his or her respective home.
Lily had been in Mexico prior to her abduction. She figured that her showing up at home would be a welcome surprise, but her parents knew her through and through. If she was off of her usual center, they would detect that something was going on. Her past two-day experience twisted reality away from normal human comprehension. She knew that she was not going to be able to mask her changed demeanor once at home; she would have to tell her parents the truth regardless of what fallout of disbelief would occur. Her only proof that she had traveled to a different planet was the four-pound diamond given to her by the Wise One. Despite the high hurdle of her pending explanation, Lily was actually looking forward to going home to regroup in a familiar place.
Home for Lily was a South Side of Chicago neighborhood called Hyde Park. She had lived there most of her life in a Victorian house. Hyde Park was home to the University of Chicago. The presence of the university attracted intellectual, culturally sensitive, progressive-thinking people. The neighborhood was an interesting melting pot that represented cultures from all around the world. Lily had friends from multiple ethnic backgrounds, which made for an exciting childhood. Even though Hyde Park was in the midst of a big metropolitan city, it had the charm and feel of a small town. Neighbors knew and helped one another. They had keys to each other’s homes to house-watch for vacationers. Residents in the community would gather on front porch swings for intellectual chats, sipping lemonade while they oversaw their children playing together in the front yard. Lily was also very, very proud that the 44t President of the United States, Barack Obama, came from her neighborhood. The social justice vibe of the area was bound to produce someone special!
Lily’s green mark near her house was very evident. Half of the neighbors on her block had solar panels on their homes. The quantity of sun-powered homes trickled down to other houses on nearby blocks.
Lily was in her mid-thirties and still living at home. Her fantasy was to buy a condo in a high rise building in Lincoln Park overlooking the lake. But because of her constant traveling all around the world, having a condo wouldn’t be practical because she’d never be home, so her folks’ home was her home base. It was always comforting to return to a familiar place. Lily still would hold on to her personal dream of one day madly falling in love, getting married, having some kids and establishing a home of her own. Even though her current reality was not yielding those circumstances, she could still dream, fantasize and entertain her mind with the possibilities.
The niterider saucer that Lily was on hovered about ten feet above her backyard. A black slate-like landing disc detached from the underside of the saucer and lowered to the ground with Lily standing on it. The saucer ascended up and disappeared into the sky. When she stepped off the disc, it moved laterally along the ground and parked itself under the back porch. It was 3:00 a.m., and Lily knew that her parents would be asleep. Her unannounced, middle-of-the-night homecoming would make them worry. Since she had no keys on her, she had no option but to ring the bell at the front door.
She rang the bell and waited. A light from her parents’ bedroom came on, and she could hear her dad’s heavy footsteps approaching the front door. “Who is it?” Her father asked with authority.
“It’s me, Dad.”
Earl pulled back the curtain on the door’s window and saw his daughter standing there looking very pensive. He opened the door and was very puzzled. “Lily, what are you doing here? I thought you were in Mexico. Are you OK? Are you hurt in any way?”
Lily’s mom, Joyce, heard her voice, and she came to the door. “Come on in here, baby. What is going on?”
Lily stared at them trying to find the right words. They guided her over to the couch to have a seat. Her parents had expressions of deep concern on their faces. Lily had to come up with something to say.
“I’m OK. I’m fine. I…Left Mexico a couple days ago. I needed to travel somewhere else.”
Her dad went back to the front porch looking for her luggage, which he thought he had missed. As he looked on the porch, he noticed there was none. He slowly closed the door, perplexed. He peered over at Lily and noticed that she didn’t have a backpack or purse, either. All he saw was a very colorful big wad of fabric in her hand. His concern deepened, and he approached her, with his fatherly stature taking on a lordly stance over her.
“What in God’s name is going on, Lily?” He huffed.
Lily looked up at him. Her brain was so scrambled; she could not mouth any words.
Her mom sat next to her, placed her arm lovingly around Lily’s shoulder, and offered comforting words. “We are here for you. If you are in any kind of trouble, we can help.”
Lily took a very deep breath and explained. “I’m not in trouble, and I’m not harmed in any way.”
“Did something happen in Mexico, Lily?” Her mom asked.
“Ma, something happened in Mexico and Azibo,” Lily stated hesitantly.
“Azibo? Where is that?” Her dad asked as he sat on the other side of her.
“How do I explain this? Do you remember when we were on the back porch on Labor Day about eight years ago, and we saw those UFOs in the sky?” Lily asked.
“Yeah, we remember,” her dad, replied.
Lily’s voice begged for reassured agreement. “The whole family saw ‘em. We all saw them together...right?”
“Yes, we saw the lights in the sky,” her mom confirmed.
“Well, UFOs are very, very real.”
Lily’s dad stood up and gave her a long sideways stare. “Were you abducted, Lily?” He whispered.
Lily erected her posture and looked her dad seriously in the eye and said, “Yes, I was, Dad.”
Her mom looked at Lily, and then looked away, not knowing what to say or think. They all remained silent for a few moments. Joyce became fixated on the colorful cloth in Lily’s hands.
“What’s that in your hands?”
“It’s a gift from the Wise One from Azibo. It’s a diamond.”
Lily began to feel a bit of excitement since she figured this could be proof that she’s not crazy. She looked at her dad, then her mom. “It’s quite beautiful. It’s magnificent.”
She began to peel back the cloth exposing the diamond. The sparkling heart offered dazzling fiery flickers of light that shimmered around the room.
“Holy Mother of God!” Her mom exclaimed.
“That can’t be real,” her dad blurted out.
Lily passed the diamond so that each could examine it.
“This is bigger than the Hope diamond. How can this be?” Her mom asked.
“Azibo is an Earth-like planet. They have water, green lands and people from Earth live there. You know how the Anasazi mysteriously disappeared? Well, they were part of a mass abduction. Beings from other worlds helped the Anasazi to live a good life on Azibo.”
Her dad abruptly interrupted Lily. He grabbed the diamond from Lily and exploded.
“This is nothing more than a fancy paperweight! And you must have gotten some magic mushrooms or some kind of funny-weed down in Mexico! Lily, I thought you were better than that! I thought you were better!”
Her mom began to fuss at her dad. “Come on Earl. Don’t yell at her like that. Maybe she’s tired, fatigued or stressed. Maybe she is traumatized in some way.”
“Come on, baby.” Her mom attempted to pull Lily off of the couch to guide her in the kitchen for something to eat and drink.
Lily didn't budge. She was stunned. ‘They don’t believe me, and they won’t believe me. I can’t explain it to them,’ she thought.
She got up, walked quickly to her room, closed the door and dove onto the bed, burying her head under a pillow.
Her mom knocked on the door.
“Forget it! I’m just not going to be bothered with any of this! Just leave me alone right now!” Lily shouted.
Her mother backed away. Lily was mentally, emotionally and physically drained. She had not had any real sleep for what felt like days. She was in a familiar place, her bed. In that moment it was sanctuary. It took about an hour for her to wind down and drift off to sleep.
Twelve hours had passed since Lily had fallen asleep. The door creaking awakened her as her mother checked in on her. Her mother was worried because Lily had slept for an abnormally long time. She lifted her head to notice her mom’s silhouette against the light in the hallway.
“Lily, are you up now?”
Lily was totally grogged out but managed to utter, “Yeah.”
“It’s going on about four in the afternoon. What would you like to eat?”
“Maybe something later, Ma.”
And with that Lily’s head hit the pillow, and she slept for two more hours.
Coming out of her deeply needed sleep, Lily heard the familiar voice of a man in the house. It took her a few moments to match the voice to whom she knew it to be. ‘Yeah, that distinct Indian accent is Mr. Shah from down the street,’ she recalled as she began to stretch to further wake up her body. ‘Why is he here, and why is his voice so excited?’
Then it hit Lily like a ton of bricks. “He’s a jeweler!” She shouted as she popped up in bed. “Oh no, they have the diamond!”
Lily scrambled to the door and ran into the kitchen where everyone was gathered at the table. Mr. Shah could not contain his excitement. He rushed over to Lily. “This is amazing! It’s flawless! Where did you get this? This is unreal! It’s a miracle! It should not exist!”
Lily’s parents were awestruck. Her dad walked over to her and apologized.
“I’m sorry I doubted you, baby. I mean, who would believe this is a real diamond…and where you got it from?”
“Give me the diamond, please! No one should ever know about it!” Lily demanded.
Mr. Shah was still giddy. “Come on, Miss Lily. The whole world should be privy to this exquisite wonderment of a gem.”
Lily became very firm. “Mr. Shah, I don’t want anyone near it or knowing about it!”
“You can’t be serious, Lily! I…I…”
She abruptly grabbed the diamond from Mr. Shah and stuck it in her pocket.
“Mr. Shah! Please don’t tell anyone!”
“Well, I’m sorry. I was so excited I did tell my wife, and the whole neighborhood may know by now.”
Lily was enraged and began to pace in the kitchen. “Aw come on! Oh, what am I going to do now?”
“Lily, maybe we could put it in a safe deposit box at the bank?” Her dad suggested.
“It’s not that. It’s a special gift; and, anyway, thieves would find a way to take it from a bank vault. Mr. Shah, tell your wife you were just joking. Who’s going to believe it anyway? Tell your wife it’s a paperweight.”
Lily then urgently darted off to the bathroom as the detox juice Tuwa gave the day before began to kick in.
Earl turned to Mr. Shah, “We have to do what Lily said. It’s a joke, ha, ha. It’s not real. Please, my daughter really needs some peace of mind.”
“But it’s the find of the century! It’s incredible!” Mr. Shah pleaded.
“I guess it was my mistake to ask you to come over here behind my daughter’s back. I now regret it since she is so upset about it. Please, we’ve been friends for fifteen years. I’m asking you to keep this discovery to yourself. I’ll pay you for your time coming over here.”
“No, no need to pay. It’s fantastic! I’m going to burst to try and keep it a secret, though.”
“Hajji, you are the only other person who knows. If word leaks out, it was you who told. Our lips are sealed,” Joyce said.
There were rapid knocks on the front door by a very anxious person. “Hajji! Hajji!”
The three walked to the door. “Hey, Saima.” Joyce said.
“Hi, Joyce. Hi, Earl. Hajji what’s this about a four-pound diamond? Are you serious?” Saima asked of her husband.
Mr. Shah paused for a moment and hesitated. It took every ounce of gumption he had to lie to his wife about his fantastic discovery.
“Oh no, honey. False alarm. You’ve been punked! Ha, ha, ha.”
She was mad. “What Hajji!? I rushed home in traffic because you said…”
Hajji put his arm around her to redirect her attention and guide her out of the doorway. “Let’s go home, dear,” he encouraged. “Yes, it was all a big joke. The Kings are going to take us out for a fancy, expensive dinner this weekend,” Hajji said as he looked back at Earl and Joyce to make sure that they heard him. Earl gave a head nod and thumbs up.
Lily was ravenously hungry. She went to the fridge to search for something immediate to eat. Her parents returned to the kitchen after saying goodbye to the Shahs. Earl sat at the kitchen table, and her mom pulled a casserole from the oven.
Her dad attempted an apology. “Sweetheart, I am very sorry for going behind your back to have the diamond examined. I guess I just needed something…something to” he couldn’t find the words.
“I didn't ask for any of the things that have recently happened to me, and they are very difficult for me to explain.”
“That’s what we are very, very concerned about, Lily. What did happen to you?” Her dad pleaded.
Lily had a plate of food, sat at the table and began to eat. It was quiet. She contemplated how the discussion was going to take place.
Lily finished eating, and she knew she’d have to choke up some explanations. A common denominator was needed, so she took her time and chose her words slowly and carefully.
“If man knew that the world was going to end and people had to get right before God, how do you think people would act? What would they do? What would they stop doing?”
There was silence. Her parents were thinking about it.
“What do you know, Lily?” Her dad calmly asked.
Lily began the explanation of her saga. “The pyramids in Chichen Itza are ancient docking stations for UFOs. I was abducted. Yep, I was! I was scared, and I didn’t ask for it to happen. I was taken aboard a craft and met many different races of beings from other solar systems, galaxies and planets.” Lily stopped to determine if her parents were still accepting her explanation. They seemed to be intently listening.
“Go on,” her mom nodded.
“I was taken to a planet called Azibo, and I met an Anasazi woman named Tuwa. Tuwa explained that her ancestors agreed to a mass abduction to Azibo. Well, they evolved way beyond any humans here on Earth. They participate in space travel, they live for hundreds of years, and their existence is admirable and beautiful. I met a person who was hundreds and hundreds of years old. This person spent part of the day in a pyramid made from a single carved huge diamond. This was a very spiritual and wise being with a very powerful and overwhelming presence. That is who gave me the diamond as a gift.”
“People live hundreds of years there?” Her mom asked.
“Yes, they try to be more spiritual and this keeps their body going. I even met beings that did not have a body. They were just a light…the purest essence that we all are.”
“That sounds like such a surreal experience,” her mom commented.
The three sat at the kitchen table for a couple of hours, as Lily filled her parents in on all of the details of her Azibo visit.
“Meow, meow, meow, meow.”
Lily was awakened at 6:00 a.m. by the sound of Mamita, her cat. She could hear the cat clearly, but the meows were coming from an odd direction. Lily got up to check. She went into the kitchen, where she thought she heard the cat. “Mamita! Mamita! Where are you?”
The sound was coming from the outside near the kitchen window. “Oh Mamita, did you get caught in the bushes again?”
Lily went to the window and opened the curtains. Right outside the window was Mamita floating in midair on the black disc that had been under the porch. “Oh my God! The cat is on the disc! How…why is it floating Mamita in the air?”
It was as if the cat’s intentions had interfaced with the disc, causing the disc to rise at a level where she could call into the kitchen window and say, “Hey, look at me.”
Lily fell out laughing, and she needed a good laugh too.
Joyce was in bed but awake. Her mind had been way to busy to sleep for most of the night. She heard Lily laughing in the kitchen and got up to see what was going on. Right away when she entered the kitchen, she saw Mamita floating on the disc outside the window. She was startled, and she gasped. “What in the devil? Lily, what’s that?”
Funning with her mother, she replied in a Transylvanian accent. “It’s the disc I came in on in the middle of the night.” She began singing the Twilight Zone’s theme song, “du-du-du-du-du-du-du-du.”
“Why is the cat on it?!” Her mother asked.
“I guess cats just want to have fun,” Lily joked.
Her mom put her hand on her hip and gave Lily a skeptical stare.
“OK, OK, Ma. That disc brought me into the back yard last night. It came off of a larger spacecraft. I’m supposed to use it when it is time for me to go to the Intergalactic Visitors meeting.”
“Lily, that disc has been here the whole time? You could have shown that to us last night.”
“Ma, my head feels like it’s been caught up in a hurricane. I forgot all about that disc.”
“Does the disc have any radiation or harmful chemicals or anything?”
“I don’t think so. They tend to deal with a lot of pure and natural things on Azibo.”
“What’s interesting is that the cat doesn’t seem to be scared, and she seems to be in command of that thing,” Joyce observed.
Suddenly, the disc started to move laterally along the side of the house and to the back door, the normal spot where Mamita would wait to be let in the house. The disc was on the floor of the porch with the cat still on it. Lily opened the door, and the cat walked in and stood in front of her dish as usual wanting to be fed. Mamita had enough of the carnival ride. The disc moved opposite the door, slid itself under the railing and disappeared underneath the porch. Joyce just had to see where the disc went. She walked down the back porch steps and peeked under the porch. The disc was hard to find as it was camouflaged with the soil. She then discovered it parked in the far corner.
“That thing moves itself,” Joyce, said, as she started back up the steps to go into the house. A neighbor two doors down was staring at her with a blank look of disbelief.
Joyce was embarrassed. “Oh my God Lily, I think Mrs. Jenkins saw the cat on the disc. She was standing in the yard looking at me like I was crazy.”
“Well, ahhh…Ma, Mrs. Jenkins and everyone else will be seeing a lot more objects flying in the sky real soon, so don’t worry about it.”
“Too bad your dad slept through this.”
“Well, I can show him the disc later. He’ll see it,” Lily assured her mother.
Lily wanted some tea. She shuffled through the cabinets through the various boxes and came across a box of tea that she had shipped home from Africa.
“Ma, I want you to try this Rooibos tea from Africa.”
“Awww, honey. What’s in that exactly?”
“Mother! Come on. You know I wouldn’t give you something that’s not good for you. It is full of antioxidants. Just try it.”
Lily took the teapot from the stove and went to the faucet to fill it up. When she turned the water on, a strong noxious smell of chlorine stunned her nasal membranes. “Whaooo!” That’s a lot of chlorine in the water!”
Lily’s mom intervened by pulling a bottle of distilled water from a lower cabinet. “Here, Lily, I meant to tell you that we have stopped drinking water from the faucet. You should use this for the tea.”
“What’s up with the bleached water?”
“Well, there is a factory along the shores of Lake Michigan that has been dumping its wastewater in the lake…using the lake as its own personal sewer. It is nasty. Your father and I have been drinking bottled water from sources other that the Great Lakes.”
Lily became enraged. “What gives them the right to crap up the lake from which millions of people drink and bathe?! That makes me mad! There is hardly any fresh water left…anywhere! How can that happen? It’s ridiculous!”
“There were a lot of people who protested, but the authorities said it was OK to dump in the lake, so they started dumping.”
“Huh! So, it’s OK that we should drink bleach from a faucet!?”
“There have been boycotts of the factory, and they are trying to pass laws to keep this from happening again. But nobody seems to care about anything anymore. If they can make a dolla, nobody cares.”
Lily completed brewing the tea and offered it to her mother. Her mother thought that the tea was pleasantly different.
Lily was irritated about the lake being polluted. She was also annoyed by the strong smell of pollution in the air.
“Ma, I had to close my window last night because it smelled really bad out there.”
“Yeah, there are some factories here in the city and maybe in Indiana too that blow their smokestacks at night. The smell does seep into the house. One night, Earl took out the recycling to the alley, and the smell was so strong he came into the house complaining of feeling dizzy. The fumes were that strong.”
“This world is just going down hill real fast. How come the world doesn’t realize that we can’t keep living like this?”
Lily knew that her stay was short, and she wanted to spend some quality time with her folks. So Lily, her mom and, eventually her dad spent the day discussing the Intergalactic Visitor’s mission and catching up on ordinary family events.
Lily was in her bedroom packing a few things in a gym bag. Her mom was leaning in the doorway trying to figure out how to say goodbye to a daughter who was about to embark on a world-saving quest. Lily turned her head to look over her shoulder at her mom.
“Ma, I hope you won’t worry. I know this is all very strange dealing with space people, but…they are good people…good beings. It’s fascinating, and I’m very excited about all of this. I’ll be OK.”
“All I can do is to put you in God’s hands.”
Lily turned and walked toward her mother to give her a hug. “We are all in God’s hands, Ma, and this is a weird and unusual situation, but they are from God too. They are here to try and wake us up to what we are doing to our world and ourselves before it’s too late. They are not here to harm us; we do more harm to ourselves.”
The two separated a bit so they could be face to face. Lily offered her mom reassurance. “I will actually be here on Earth for this meeting with the Intergalactic Visitors, so I’m close now, and I’ll try and contact you when I can.”
“Where will you be?’
“I will be in the Atlantic Ocean near Puerto Rico. The Intergalactic Visitors told us that they have an underwater base there. We wanted to see it, so we voted to hold the meeting there.”
“Space people are living underwater?”
“Yeah, and they have been here for millennia. They have seen us evolve.”
“That’s fascinating. What about oxygen for you to breathe and the pressure of the ocean? How will you survive?”
“The base is surrounded by some kind of bubble. Everything is OK. I’ll be fine.”
“I’m supposed to get picked up soon.” She reached for another hug. They embraced very tightly. Lily gathered her bag and walked to the kitchen where her dad was sitting at the table still a bit shell-shocked.
Her father began to reminisce. “You used to sit here at the table with me before you went off to kindergarten. We ate cereal, and you sang your ABCs. You were my little girl with pigtails and ribbons, and you had nothing to worry about except what color sweater you wanted to wear or who’d you play with in the yard after school. Now you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. I don’t want you broken.”
Lily felt that. “Dad, I need to do this so that more girls and boys can sit at the table with their dads and enjoy a bowl of cereal. We are getting to the point where that may not happen anymore because the environment is about to collapse.”
They all looked at each other very somberly. Lily looked at her father. “I love you, Dad.” She looked at her mother. “I love you, Ma. You guys have raised me to be ready for this challenge. They chose me!” Lily stopped to ponder that and was amazed. “Out of the six billion people who live on this planet, I was one of the chosen to do this. It’s a little scary. I admit that, but it’s amazing. So be proud of me…please. Don’t worry about me.”
Father and daughter hugged very tightly, then they all walked into the backyard. It was after midnight and most of the neighbor’s homes were dark. Lily had been instructed that the comings and goings of the niterider had to be at a time when there would be few or no witnesses. The transport disc automatically moved itself from under the porch to six inches away from Lily’s feet. She gave one more hug to her parents, and then stepped onto the disc with gym bag in hand. She surveyed the nearby houses to see if anyone was watching, and she didn’t detect anyone. Her parents kept their positions in the yard. They were quiet, as they did not want to draw any attention to the situation. The three stared at one another, each with their own cascading thoughts. A few moments passed, and above Lily’s head, rapidly descending was the niterider. It stopped about forty feet in the air. The center of the craft opened, revealing a soft glowing light inside. The disc with Lily standing on it slowly began to rise towards the niterider. She waved to her parents as she ascended. Lily entered the craft, and the circular door immediately shut. The saucer stayed in place for a moment as Lily was securely seating herself. Earl and Joyce were stunned at what they were seeing. Their daughter was in a spaceship. It was totally unreal.
The darkened lights around the perimeter of the saucer suddenly gave two quick bright flashes. It was the ship’s way of giving acknowledgment winks to Lily’s parents below. The niterider then took off at such a great speed that in three seconds, it had vanished.
The pair stood in the yard for a few moments trying to comprehend what had just transpired.
Over the next few hours, Lily and a couple hundred other people from around the world were transported via their individual transports to a mother ship that was docked on the dark side of the moon. They were escorted into long cylinder cigar shaped crafts that held fifty people each. The ships were pressurized so that the delicate human passengers wouldn’t explode upon entering the Earth’s atmosphere and when diving in the ocean on the way to the alien’s underwater base. They were in for a journey that no human had ever experienced.