2069 a.d. - Dream Walker - Béla visits some old friends in their dreams.
Tanya woke up. She was in complete darkness, lying on something soft and bony that really stank. Like badly rotted meat, it left a heavy greasy lining in her mouth and throat that made her want to choke with every breath she took.
She tried to sit up and slipped, her head banging on a very low, concrete ceiling. Blindly feeling around her environment, she realized with some dismay that she was in a tomb, or something equally horrid. There were several decomposed corpses within an arm-reach of her. She was glad now that she couldn’t see them – some of them had felt… incomplete.
'Status report,' she subvocalized, activating her body monitor.
Her inner ear resonated with the response. 'Blood pressure one sixty over ninety-five. Heart rate is one hundred ten. Your blood sugar is sixty-eight. You are eighty-five percent hydrated. You have been unconscious for seventy-six hours. Location is… unknown.'
“What do you mean, ‘unknown’,” she asked out loud. “What is my GPS position?”
'No GPS signal is being received,' the unit responded. 'Your transponder is not transmitting.'
'Damn!' Tanya thought, angry, disgusted and a little frightened. 'Fucking thing must have broke when I fell! Frank won’t be able to find me! Seventy-six hours! Christ – that fucker must have killed me with that last shot… I must be buried with the rest of his victims! I've got to get out of here!'
Feeling her way over yet another dead body (this one was still slippery and was the main reason the air smelled so bad), Tanya found one side of this strange crypt she was in and managed to slide up the wall and stand up.
'Your pulse is one thirty-five and your BP is one eighty over one fifteen.'
Where she was at now was some kind of overhead vent. Where she had tried to stand originally, the ceiling was much lower. Standing on her toes, she reached as high as she could, but couldn’t feel the top of her compact little prison. But, at least, the panic she felt was lessened simply by the fact that she could stand up here.
The narrow vent, or chimney, where she was, was about four feet from side to side. Pressing her shoulders and head against one side, she began walking her feet up the other side, determined to climb up the shaft, spider-style.
'It’s a good thing I keep in shape,' she thought to herself as she struggled and grunted her way up the chimney. 'All that fucking makes good, strong stomach muscles. But my ass has never felt so heavy…'
It was a hard fifteen-minute’s workout to reach the top of the shaft. Tanya was sweating profusely and gasping with the closeness of the air. Her feet, shoulders and arms were rubbed raw. There wasn’t much oxygen in here, especially in the narrow little shaft she was in, and her legs and back were starting to cramp really fierce.
'Warning! Your heart rate is one hundred eighty and rising. Your blood press…'
Holding herself as steady as she could, pressing her shaking legs against the far wall, Tanya reached up and pushed against the top of the shaft. It didn’t move. In that instant she felt defeat and started to let herself slip. Savagely gritting her teeth and forcing every muscle in her body taut, she stopped her downward slide and, gasping for air now, worked her way back up to the top of the shaft.
Pushing upward as hard as she could this time, she felt the top move up, then drop straight back down, still in place. Panting for a moment to catch her breath, she realized it was now or never. She was out of air and starting to feel dizzy from the intense effort of holding herself against the sides of this rough, gritty shaft.
'If I don’t get this lid off now, I’ll die down here!' Tanya thought angrily. 'Frank will never know what happened to me…'
The thought of leaving her lifemate behind helped a lot. Tanya shoved heroically against the top of the shaft, turning it as she pressed upward so that the corners wouldn’t fall back into place this time. When it dropped down again, there was a large gap. Fresh air flowed in and Tanya took several grateful lungsful, then started shoving the top sideways as quietly as possible until there was a large enough gap for her to climb through.
There was enough light coming through for her to see now. She didn’t want to know what she was covered with. It smelled bad enough that she didn’t have to guess. She reached up for the edge of the shaft.
Her legs suddenly gave out, completely numb, just as her fingers grasped the top of the shaft. She dangled there for a moment, taking several deep breaths to calm her frayed nerves, then desperately pulled herself the rest of the way out and rolled over onto the floor. She lay there several more minutes gasping like a fish while she recovered from her incredible ordeal.
Sitting up and looking around, she found herself in a game room. There was a pool table, a ping pong table and an old-style computer console. An old-style mechanical pinball machine was providing the only light in the room from its display cabinet.
She grinned at her own annoyance at the flickering lights coming from the pinball machine.
'Tommy Walker should see so well,' she thought to herself, amused.
There were no windows, so she imagined that she was in a basement, or possibly even further underground. She pushed the entrance stone to the underground tomb back into place, then stood up and started searching for an exit.
In the next room, there was a staircase. There was still no light, but she heard footsteps on the ceiling above her. She nearly cried out when the light came on over the staircase, completely blinding her. She staggered blindly into the shadows underneath the stairs as the door opened above her. Someone stepped onto the landing over her head and closed the door.
Whoever was up there didn’t start down the stairs. Instead, they stood there for a moment, occasionally moving, scraping a foot against the platform and, perhaps, waiting.
Then Tanya heard the doorlatch. It sounded like it was being locked.
“Cats Eyes,” she heard a male voice say. The overhead light went out. There was still light radiation. It made her eyes hurt, but she couldn’t see. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, it seemed to be reddish, rather than pitch black. Once again, the only visible light was the flickering of the pinball machine in the next room.
“I know you can hear me,” the voice called out. “I can tell you’ve escaped. The smell of the crypt is unmistakable.”
He started down the stairs. “How do I know you’re loose? You tripped a motion detector – a simple, but extremely effective alarm. If you show yourself now, I promise you a quick death. If I have to find you, I promise that you will know the loss of each arm and leg before you die. You will learn what your entrails taste like. Choose quickly, for I grow impatient.”
Tanya couldn’t see where he was, but she could hear him. He was so busy blowing up his ego that she was on top of him before he saw her with his night goggles. She saw his eyes widen in shocked surprise in his lighted goggles just as her stiffened fingers crushed his throat.
As her hunter crumpled to the floor, his fingers squeezed the trigger of the energy weapon he was holding. The bright flash was blinding as it sprayed its fury across the room. Tanya twisted desperately to one side to avoid the blast, getting her left hip cooked in the process. The beam continued across the room, setting fire to the walls and furniture. After a few more seconds, it went out, the weapon’s energy depleted.
Blinded and badly wounded, Tanya lay gasping on the floor. The fire was making her surroundings more visible, but it was also using up all the air. She dragged herself to the stairway and started up, then remembered that she had heard the man lock the frigging door. Crawling back to the body, she searched frantically until she found a key.
“Thank God for stone-age technology!” she declared, then started crawling up the stairs and into the smoke collecting near the ceiling.
It only took a minute to crawl up the length of the staircase, and ten seconds more to unlock the door, once she found the keyhole, but in that time, she was completely blinded and was suffering from sever smoke inhalation. She was nearly defeated when she found that the door opened inward and she had to move out of its way in order to open it. Even though her microwaved hip was almost healed, she nearly fell off the landing and back down to the basement floor, catching herself just in time on the burning banister. It tore loose in her hand just as she climbed back up.
“This is just too fucking many near misses in one goddamned day,” she told herself.
She staggered through the door, filthy, naked and coughing violently, followed by a thick plume of blackish gray smoke.
She was almost to the outside door when she heard someone scream. There was someone else in the burning house. Taking a deep breath and venting it out in frustration, Tanya turned back and began exploring.
“Where are you?” she yelled out.
“Help me!” a woman screamed from another room.
Tanya turned in that direction. “Keep talking so I can find you!”
The smoke was getting thick and the floor was getting hot. She would have to leave soon or she’d find herself in the basement again. She suspected she wouldn’t get out so easily next time.
She went around the corner into the next room, then stopped and stared. Then she threw up.
There was a woman strapped to a table. She was cut open and surgical clamps were holding her abdomen open. The woman was alive and conscious, and probably in a good deal of pain.
“Help me!” she cried weakly. “I don’t want to be burned alive…”
“You want me to kill you?” Tanya asked, her voice unsteady and her eyes blinded with smoky tears.
“I don’t want to burn…” she replied, hesitantly.
Tanya blinked her eyes clear for a moment. The woman was an adult, probably only in her mid-thirties, but the look in her eyes told Tanya that she knew her life was over.
“Do you have a monitor?” she asked the woman on the table.
“He took it out,” she replied and moved her eyes to show where it was.
Tanya picked it up and pressed it back into the woman’s neck where she was still wounded. It crawled inside and immediately began to blink.
“Help is coming!” Tanya told her, hoping that the monitor’s transponder was still working.
Forcing herself to look at the butchery that was done to the woman, Tanya noticed that she actually wasn’t bleeding much. That fucking bastard may have been a butcher, but he knew his way around the inside of a body, and had evidently wanted to keep this woman alive for awhile.
She looked at the table. 'It has wheels on it!' Tanya noticed, suddenly becoming ecstatic.
Checking around the table carefully to make sure nothing was attached to the woman and there was nothing that would impede the table’s progress to the front door, Tanya shoved it out of the room and into the hallway.
The floor was smoking, now, and very hot on her bare feet. She knew that it would ignite in a few more seconds. She pushed the table down the hall to the front door, then switched ends.
Quickly opening the door, she lifted the wheels over the doorjamb and pulled it outside.
Checking on the state of mind of the woman strapped to the table, Tanya noticed that she was much more relaxed and realized that her body monitor was probably controlling her hormone levels now, preventing her from going deeper into shock.
As carefully as she could, she lowered the table down the three steps to the dirt of the front yard, then pulled it a little farther from the smoking house.
“Have you noticed that we’re always burning out the serial killers we find?” Frank’s voice came from behind her.
“Frank! Oh my God!” Tanya shrieked, then she was wrapped joyfully around him.
He quickly unwrapped her arms and pushed her away. “You smell terrible!”
“I was in a crypt!” she yelled at him, upset that he rejected her so readily.
He grabbed her arm as she turned angrily away and pulled her back against him. Obviously holding his breath, he kissed her several times on her mouth and cheek. Then he let go again and shoved her away. He took a deep breath
Then he noticed Tanya’s rescued victim. “My God! What happened to her?”
“This is what he does if he doesn’t kill you outright,” Tanya explained.
“Will she live?” Frank asked.
“I think so,” Tanya replied. “She's not bleeding much, and everything seems to be there. I must have interrupted him by escaping from my tomb before he could start taking his next victim apart. What took you so long and how did you find me, anyway?”
“I lost your signal like, three days ago,” Frank explained.
“That must have been when he killed me and threw me into that basement crypt he has,” Tanya said, recalling the last thing that happened to her before she woke up.
“He killed you?” the woman on the table asked weakly.
“Well, Hon,” Tanya replied, smiling down at her, “He thought he did, but I was lucky. You’re lucky, too. You’re gonna be all right, you know?”
The woman smiled and closed her eyes. Her voice was still weak, but had some humor in it when she said, “If you move away… a little, I could be better… right now…”
Tanya laughed tiredly, patted the woman’s arm, although she probably didn’t feel it, and moved downwind.
“How did you find me?” Tanya asked, feeling more like her regular self, now.
“I was responding to the emergency aid signal I got just a few minutes ago,” Frank told her. “You didn’t send that?”
“Well, not directly,” Tanya explained. “I reinserted that woman’s body monitor and it sent the emergency transmission. Mine’s broken. Transponder got shot up, I guess. It’s not transmitting, anyway.”
The sound of a hovercraft was getting louder. Frank took his backpack off and opened it, producing a shirt and a pair of shorts.
“Company’s coming,” Frank told Tanya and handed the clothing to her. “You should probably put something on.”
There was a medivac chamber on board the hovercraft. The two crewmen put the rescued victim into it, table and all, and it took over administering the drugs needed to ensure the woman’s survival.
“You saved her by putting her life monitor back in,” one crewman was telling Tanya. “That was a pretty brave thing to do by yourself.”
He was congratulating her, but made sure he stayed upwind of her, and both crewmen insisted that they were unable to transport her and Frank back with them – low fuel, you see, payload limitations… stuff like that.
Within the next fifteen minutes, three foam carriers arrived and buried the cabin in thirty-five feet of soapsuds filled with carbon dioxide. They wouldn’t give her a ride, either, but they did spray her filthy, stinking body down with a small suds dispenser.
Tanya ended up bathing in an icy stream a mile down from the no-longer-flaming cabin. Once clean, she and Frank hiked out to where their own flitter was parked.
“I know you like to be the ‘bait’, and take the main risk,” Frank said as they hiked down the trail and after Tanya told him what happened, “and I know you love the life and death struggle of it all, but if you don’t update your monitor, you don’t get to play anymore! You scared the hell out of me when your signal went dead!”
“I don’t get to play anymore?” Tanya asked playfully. “What if I let you fuck me in the ass?”
“Really?” Frank asked, teasing her back. “In your ass?”
“Yeah,” Tanya replied. “In my ass.”
“Deal!” Frank said cheerfully.
He stumbled once when she hit him in the back of his head with her pack, then they continued on down the trail.
They got home late and Frank had barely fallen asleep…
Béla stood in the sand, naked, her wings folded, her wing tips dragging behind her as she approached him.
‘There you are! I might have expected that you wouldn’t be too far away,’ she told him, almost laughing, happy to see her old friend. ‘You never did like moving around much, except maybe to follow me…’
‘Is that really you?’ Frank asked her, incredulous. ‘Tanya, wake up! Béla’s here!’
‘What? That’s impossible!’ Tanya replied, sleepily. ‘Go back to sleep.’
Frank grabbed an arm and dragged her from the bed into the desert scene created by Béla in their sleeping minds.
‘See, she’s right there!’ Frank said, pointing at Béla.
Tanya was overjoyed. Running over to Béla, Tanya hugged her tightly. Frank, afraid to touch Béla before, for fear she might vanish, came up and hugged her, too, tears of joy streaming down his face.
‘What’s with the wings, kid?’ Tanya asked her. ‘You an angel, now?’
Tanya ran her fingers along the line of one smooth-skinned wing as it was folded behind Béla, never having been this close to her wings before. ‘Wow! I didn’t even know shoulders could bend that way.’
‘This is my natural form,’ Béla told her oldest living friends. ‘I haven’t tried to change it in my dream state, yet. Give me a little space and I’ll try now.’
She raised her wings high in the air and forced her shoulders forward. Her wings metamorphed into arms. Both Frank and Tanya watched, astounded, as the delicate supports folded neatly against her rib cage, becoming indistinguishable from her ribs. The two bones that made up each forearm and the bones of her hands folded back together, her thinly stretched flesh and muscle quickly regenerating into its smooth, youthful appearance.
‘Well, it works!’ Béla grinned, and reached out to hug them.
Her body was tingling sensually from her metamorphic transformation. In addition, their enthusiastic hugging and kissing got very sexual in a very short time.
Frank and Tanya practically carried Béla into the image of their bed, where they proceeded to lick, kiss and suck her all over in welcome abandon. As she and Tanya passionately glued their faces to each other, Frank was down between her legs, caressing her clitoris with his tongue and working his hand up inside her.
Béla kept coming at an amazing rate. She knew it had been a long time, but hadn’t known she was this hungry for the pure, raw, loving sex her oldest living friends offered her. As Frank finally got his hand into Béla’s dripping cunt, Béla began exploring between Tanya’s legs with one hand.
Then Frank opened his hand inside her. Béla arched her spine and threw her head back, making a pure animal sound as she came on Frank’s hand. Tanya, her kisses and caresses interrupted, leaned over to see what Frank was doing to make Béla respond like that.
‘Wow! What are you doing down there,’ she asked, leaning down by Frank’s face as he licked Béla’s clitoris. Tanya saw Frank’s arm ending at his wrist. ‘Oh my god! You’ve got your whole hand in there!’
Béla screamed again as she writhed on the bed, ecstatically impaled on Frank’s arm.
Tanya sat back, wide eyed, and watched her husband torture Béla into orgasm after orgasm. She knew this kind of sex existed, and had tried fisting shortly after their wedding, but being ripped open down there simply hurt too much. Seeing it demonstrated, and the obvious results it gave, she planned to have a serious fuck session with Frank when he was through with Béla. She was going to learn how to accept his hand inside her if it killed her!
Frank was pretty relaxed about the whole ‘Béla coming back from the dead’ thing. He kept clenching and opening his fingers inside her, and she kept coming in one long, constant orgasm, crying and pounding on her own hips and pelvis with her tiny fists. The bed was getting soaked with girl-cum as it oozed and squirted out past his wrist.
Tanya was gently caressing her fingers up and down Frank’s hard-on as she watched Béla come, over and over. The smell of her sex filled the room around them.
‘How long does this go on?’ she asked him in wonder.
‘Sometimes over an hour, then she passes out,’ Frank told her.
Tanya looked at her husband, watching him fist-fuck this dead vampire girl. He couldn’t determine what she was thinking from the look of surprised shock on her face.
‘I wanted to make sure it was really her, okay?’ Frank said, finally. ‘This was her absolute, favorite way to orgasm.’
After about twenty minutes of writhing helplessly on the bed, Béla came one final time and collapsed onto the bed, unconscious, her sexual energy totally depleted. She faded from view, disappearing right off the end of Frank’s arm.
Tanya awoke and sat straight up, despite the fact that she was stiff and sore from her afternoon’s workout. She looked over at Frank and smacked him on his rear, waking him up.
“You have just got to do that to me!” she exclaimed.
As she slid around on the bed to get into her favorite ‘Eat me ’til I die’ position, her leg passed over a large damp spot where Béla’s rear had been in her dream. The smell of Béla’s sex still filled the room. Frank and Tanya looked at each other.
“Did you dream?” Frank asked, staring at his tousled looking wife.
Tanya nodded, staring back.
“Give me your hand!” Tanya insisted.
Frank held out the hand he had worked up inside Béla. Tanya brought it up to her face and sniffed it. Then she breathed deeply, inhaling Béla’s aroma of sex deep into her lungs.
“Frank,” Tanya said, cautiously, “she’s alive!”
“It’s been what, like, seventy-five years, Tanya,” Frank replied disbelievingly. “How is it possible?”
“Well,” she said, “they say true love conquers all. She’s figured out a way to come back from the dead. Jake said she was half space girl. Maybe the aliens can do that.”
“But,” Frank asked perplexed, “why did she wait so long?”
“Maybe it just took that long for her to get back!” Tanya exclaimed. “I don’t know where ‘dead’ is!”
They didn’t make love that night, after all. Instead, they went out into the kitchen and made coffee, neither wanting to be in the bedroom right now. After a couple of hours of conjecture, they went back to bed in the spare bedroom and slept, holding each other tightly.
Béla tapped Tanya on the shoulder, waking her up again. Tanya pulled herself loose from Frank’s embrace and turned over, looking up at her long lost friend and lover sitting, still naked, on the bed next to her.
‘I forgot to ask,’ Béla explained, looking very apologetic for waking her. ‘Do you know where Jake is?’