David Darello shields his eyes from the blinding light. A warm feeling engulfs him. He lowers his arm and as he gradually opens his eyes he is suddenly taken aback by the view. In front of him is a majestic city, unlike anything he’s ever seen before. As the initial shock wears off, David is startled to discover a presence next to him. As he turns to his left, he finds a strange looking man standing next to him, smiling. Like the impressive city in front of them, there is also something off about this man. David blinks and tries to shake off, what is obviously a hallucination.
The man introduces himself; however, David cannot understand what he is saying. It sounds like a few barks and clicks. The man stops speaking as if in the middle of a thought. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small device. As he hands it over, suddenly David feels the same warmth from before engulf his body once again. All of a sudden David can understand the strange man’s language as if he himself had spoken it all his life. The being explains that they are no longer on Earth and that David has been transported into another world. The strange man continues on and describes how the citizens of this city are enamored with the culture of Earth in the early 1900’s. “Well that explains why everything looks odd,” David thinks to himself. The odd man quickly agrees leaving David unsure as to whether he accidentally said what he was thinking out loud.
The entire city is a sort of futuristic/alien version of Earth’s early 1900’s, late Art Nouveau, Art Deco style of architecture, vehicle design and clothing style, but noticeably uh…….”different”. The alien technology looks to be extremely advance
After some exploration and a few limited interactions with the almost humanoid and somewhat strange inhabitants, David comes to what looks like a hotel. Perhaps there are more accidental travelers like himself here in the city? The warm carved wooden doors with familiar if not slightly “wrong” ornamentation opened smoothly on their own as he approached. As he entered the small lobby, he was met by a well dressed , what he could only describe as a robot, who happily chirped, “ Welcome to the Athénée.” it was funny hearing the french in perfect inflection, but disturbing at the same time.
With a nod of his top hat and focus of his large class eye, the robot motioned David towards an extravagant and elegant front desk.
Standing before that desk was an attractive if not exotic woman looking directly at him as he entered the alcove. He tried not examining her luggage too much as the some of the oddities were confusing his mind and frankly, started giving him a headache. What he couldn’t ignore was the her intense eyes and a rather good sized feline flanking her right side with almost as much a predatory stare as the woman in front of him.
She put her hand on her hip and thoughtfully said, “ My my, don’t you have an odd look about you, and whatever are you wearing? This won’t do at all, get a room from Monsieur Dumont “, motioning to another well dressed robot behind her ”, and we’ll get you fixed up. Lady Monroe, loves a challenge.”
What is going on wondered David. This is too much. He definitely had a headache. All he could say was. “Well, OK.”