Prologue

It couldn't be considered an early part of the invasion anymore. But it also couldn't be considered the end. It couldn't be anywhere near the end. They were still reproducing, and their children could take souls. On this planet, just like all the other planets, the invasion would never be over. Most of the humans, though, had already become inhabited, but there were still a few who were trying, and trying successfully, to evade the souls. Therefore, the insertions and comings around were still somewhat smooth, and the healer hadn't come to hate his calling. Yet.

So, for this soul, whose former planet he didn't know, he didn't feel bad. This particular human had turned herself in, something unheard of. No human had ever turned themselves in to be taken over by some other being. They liked being human, and wanted to stay that way. But since this human had turned herself in, the seekers had treated her nicely. The only horrifying thing she had had to endure was being sedated knowing that when she woke up she wouldn't be there anymore. She'd be replaced by an alien. Another reason humans never turned themselves in.

As he held the soul in his hands, overtaken by its beauty as always, Sierra, his nurse, alerted him the host was ready. Usually he would prepare the body, but she was new to this planet, and thus, new to healing. She needed the practice, even though insertions were normal among souls.

Having kept his name of Skyward Bound, he couldn't understand why she had opted to keep her host's name. He'd always thought that the names of this planet were ungraceful and, to be perfectly honest, quite ugly. They had no flow, and they rarely had any meaning behind them. Any soul keeping their host's name was just wrong to him, though he would never say that to anyone but his councilor.

Watching the soul attach itself to its new body and surrounding, he wondered what to call her when she woke. He didn't know her previous planet, something that rarely happened here on Earth. There was also the pressure to name her correctly. In their way of living, the name given to a soul upon waking was a sign of respect and welcome to their new world and body. As the nurse finished her procedure, he thought of a name any soul would love, and a name any soul would keep. It was generic, but, though he didn't know where she had been before Earth, he had known she had been to many different planets. He was sure in his choice, and, had he been given it, he would have loved it just as much as he loved Skyward Bound.

"Welcome to Earth, Jumper," he said tenderly as Sierra sealed the incision at the base of the skull. She finished the procedure, something she was getting very good at, and, when she had finished putting the materials back where they belonged, turned to talk to Skyward Bound.

"Do you ever feel bad, when you give a soul a name and they don't keep it, and instead they keep their host's name?" she asked, her voice soft as it always was when she would ask him questions about his, and her soon to be, calling. He did appreciate how she always showed compassion when speaking about anything, but that was the way souls spoke of things.

"I feel, not bad, but more sad. Their names are usually chosen as to what they were before, and it has always been a sign of respect. Now that they are inhabiting pre-existing beings, there are so many things we do not know that could possibly happen, like keeping a name other than what they were given," he said gingerly. He was saddened by their choices to take the host name, but he could not change their mind or decide what they would do, after all. It also scared him, because, as he had said, there were too many things they did not know about what could happen with these resilient hosts.

More to come, read and review please.