The outskirts of her district were the farthest south that anyone could grow crops. Here, the irrigation problems were a total nightmare as most of the spring storms occurred further north, nearer the equator.
Jolene flew over an abandoned homestead that had been left untended two years ago when the last homesteaders had died of the plague before her arrival. This parcel of land could be awarded out to some deserving soul or family the next time she held court in her new Goddess’ Temple. It would be viewed as a magnanimous gesture of good will, she hoped.
Jolene was not very popular, although she was as fair-minded as any other goddess who held her own court. But people remembered that it was she who had ordered the only execution since the goddesses arrived and created their 'new order'.
She wasn’t too worried, though. It wasn’t like she didn’t have the time to prove her benevolence to the people in her district. She had all the time in the world. If nothing else, she would simply outlive those who remembered that single act of cruelty.
There were two more abandoned farms she wanted to check out, so she banked left. Noticing a pleasant updraft, she spread her wings wide to take advantage of it, stretching her entire body ecstatically as she was swept upward.
Jolene doubled up and folded her wings forward as a sudden cramp seized her belly. Then she stared down at her stomach in amazement. She was covered with blood! As she watched, a hole appeared in her right breast. It hurt like hell, causing her to lose her balance.
She spiraled dizzyingly downward, unable to keep her wings stretched and level, mostly because of that terrible cramp in her stomach. As another hole appeared in her chest just below her left breast, she realized what was happening.
“I’m being shot!” she exclaimed out loud, still not wanting to believe it.
Madly seeking over the wildly spinning landscape, she tried to determine where her sniper was, but she couldn’t concentrate, and she was spinning and falling too rapidly.
As the ground rushed up to greet her, she spread her wings despite her agonizing pain and madly pumped against the rushing air. A hole punched into her diaphragm just beneath her breastbone, knocking the wind completely out of her. Jolene hit hard, face first, and lay unmoving on the ground, bleeding from several large holes in her back where the shells had gone completely through her slender body.
“Nice shootin’, Jed!” a voice from half-a-field away called out.
“Couldn’t help it – landed right on top o’ me!” Jed called back, not about to admit that he'd been terrified that the creature was coming right at him to vengefully tear him apart.
Russell trotted across the weed-covered field toward where his brother was bending down over their trophy. By the time he reached Jolene’s crash site, Jed already had her wings bundled up and tied neatly behind her.
“Almost done,” Jed said, grinning and looking up as his brother trotted up, breathless from his short run. “About the size of a small deer, wouldn’t you say?”
“A bit puny for my taste,” Russell replied, grinning back. “But I reckon she’ll cook up okay.”
Russell helped Jed pick the little vampire up and heave her over Jed’s shoulders.
“We can have some fun with her before we cook ’er, ya know?” Russell grinned, running his hand over Jolene’s blood-streaked bare rump. “She may not be human, but she got all the necessary parts…”
They both laughed, agreeing that they would, indeed, have some fun with their dinner.
“Didn’t Momma ever tell you it ain’t proper polite to play with yer food?” Jed laughed.
“I ain’t gonna play with it,” Russell laughed. “I’m gonna fuck it! And then I’m gonna eat the part that I fucked!”
“How many shells it take to bring ’er down?” Jed asked. “I got her at least twice…”
“I got her twice, too!” Russell replied. “Make sure we git all the shot out ’fore we eat ’er.”
“What ya suppose she is?” Jed asked. “Ever seen anything like ’er before?”
“Nope, not in real life,” Russell replied. “But, there’s pitchers of winged things like her in a book Pa had. She's like some kind ’a demon straight outta hell!”
“Think it’s safe ta eat ’er?” Jed asked. “If she’s from Hell, she might be poison…”
“Well, we can feed part of her to the dog, reckon,” Russell said thoughtfully. “Then if he don die, we’ll eat ’er!”
“Good thinkin’!” Jed agreed. “Hate to see good meat go to waste! Here – it’s yer turn to carry ’er!”
Jed rolled the limp form down off his shoulder and onto the ground in front of him.
“Didn’t bleed very much,” Jed observed. “Fact, I can’t even tell where I shot ’er!”
“Weird!” Russell observed, thoughtfully wiping sweat off his forehead. “Look! She's breathin’! She ain’t dead yet!”
“Better shoot ’er agin!” Jed yelped. “Don’t want no angry demon swarmin’ all over us like a mad hornet!”
“Use the shotgun on ’er!” Russell hollered.
Jed anxiously unslung his long double-barreled twelve-gauge and shoved it against Jolene’s chest, right between her breasts. She opened her eyes and stared at him in horror, then arched her back with a guttural grunt as a hole appeared where her heart used to be. She flopped backward on the ground; her eyes rolling up into her head, her chest, belly and neck spattered with fresh blood.
“Shit!” Russell exclaimed. “Now she gonna bleed all over me!”
“Well, we could wait a few minutes ’til she done bleedin’…” Jed replied. “I need a rest anyway from carryin’ ’er. I ain’t afraid t’ tell ya this demon girl scares the beegeebers outta me!”
After about ten minutes, the bleeding seemed to stop and Russell hoisted her up. As he lifted her, her wings flopped loose and spread out behind her.
“Aw, shit, man!” Russell complained. “You done shot the ropes off! I cain’t carry ’er like that!”
“Grab a leg,” Jed replied. “We’ll just drag ’er…”
With one burly brother on each ankle, they dragged Jolene, her limp, useless wings flopping over the ground behind her, toward the abandoned homestead where they were staying.
Béla raised her head, feeling dizzy from all the blood Elaine had taken, and grinned at her barely conscious sister, her own mouth bloody as well. Her pussy was still twitching from that last series of orgasms, and she was pretty sure she could get at least one more if she worked at it.
‘What was it Beth said?’ Béla wondered, partially dreaming. ‘Oh, yeah! If you’re still conscious when you’re done, then you aren’t done!’
‘I aren’t…’ the thought came from somewhere in the direction of Elaine’s head.
‘You will be…’ Béla thought back, and moved her leg so that Elaine’s slippery pussy was pressed against her thigh.
She began humping weakly against Béla’s thigh, giving Béla a free ride on her own thigh.
“One more time…” Béla muttered, her voice barely a whisper.
Then she was grinding her pelvis down against Elaine’s leg and slamming her leg up against Elaine’s cunt. Both sisters groaned as another orgasm flooded through their bodies and into each other.
“Don’t stop…” Elaine grunted.
She kept humping, trying for yet another orgasm, then, achieving it, rolled back on the bed and passed out cold.
Béla lay half on top of her sister, gasping weakly. As she passed out , she dream-walked out of her body, deciding to go see Jake. It had been almost a month since she’d visited, and…
‘Help me… Please… Béla…’
“What?” Béla asked, so startled that she vocalized the word with her sleeping body.
‘What’s wrong?’ she asked the air around her. ‘Is someone here?’
‘It’s me! Jolene!’ Jolene’s ghost cried. ‘I’ve been killed… shot!’
‘Where are you?’ Béla cried into the ether surrounding her.
‘Right here!’ Jolene said, sounding very upset that Béla couldn’t see her.
Suddenly she was visible in the dream image she was creating. Béla stepped into the image and joined her.
“Look!” Jolene exclaimed, pointing to her bloody corpse being dragged along the ground. “I’m dead! These hunters... They shot me! They were talking about eating me; like I’m food! One of them compared me to a deer.”
“That’s terrible!” Béla cried. “Where are we? I need to get here, fast!”
Jolene showed Béla in her mind.
“Oh, God, Jolene,” Béla said, really upset, now. “You’re at least a day away! I’ll never reach you in time! Wait! Father’s ship! Let me see what they can do!”
Béla faded from Jolene’s dreamwalk image, leaving her alone to watch her body. A short while later, the brothers arrived at a farmhouse and dragged her into a barn.
Getting her winged body onto the cleaning slab was awkward and cumbersome, as her wings kept getting in the way of any handhold they could get on her slender, blood-slicked torso.
‘Oh please oh please oh please! Hurry, Béla!’ Jolene kept chanting desperately to herself in her dream state, having absolutely no idea what Béla could do from so far away. ‘Oh, God! They’re going to cut off my wings! My arms!”
She was right. Jed had taken an old, rusty saw down from its rack on the wall and was oiling up the blade.
“S' been awhile since this was used,” Jed mused as he smeared oil up and down the blade. “Hope this don’t break… Hold her wing out tight, now, Russ.”
He took a stroke and sawed into Jolene’s left wing, right at the shoulder. Jolene, still in her dream state, screamed in terror even though she couldn’t feel it. She could see it, and that was enough!
The top of the barn exploded and a blinding flash filled the entire inside of the structure. The saw fell to the straw-covered floor, its wooden handle in flames.
“Jed!” Russell screamed, not seeing his brother anywhere. “Where you at, Jed? … Jed!”
Realizing that his brother had been struck by lightning or something, Russell dropped to his knees and wept. After a few moments, he noticed that the barn was on fire and he was pretty much surrounded by flames.
“Oh, God!” Russell whimpered. “I gotta git outta here!”
He started to lumber toward the open door, then remembered their prize. Jed may be gone, but he wouldn’t want the last kill they made together to go to waste. Turning back, he hoisted Jolene over his shoulder, wings and all, and ran across the burning floor. Once outside, he dropped her to the ground. She hit with a thud and a grunt, then pulled her wings forward, reforming her arms.
Russell stared at her transformation, radiating a mixture of terror and rage.
“You’re alive?” he asked, daring her to tell him she was.
Jolene lay on the ground, still too weak to move much, and stared up at her tormentor, blinking and swallowing rapidly as her body began to function again. She coughed heavily several times and spat out some blood. After that, her skin color began to return to normal and she began to breathe more easily.
“You kill my brother you Hellspawn!” Russell spat at her.
There was an axe wedged in the chopping block next to where he was standing. With several frantic jerking motions, Russell yanked the axe free and raised it over his head. The look of fear and hatred on his face told Jolene she was about to be cut completely in half.
She cried out weakly and tried to roll out of the way, seeing him correct his downward stroke to pin her to the earth even as she began to roll. Another blinding flash sent the axe sailing out across the barnyard and left a perfectly round hole smoldering where Russell had stood a second earlier.
Jolene lay sobbing on the ground, her shoulder torn and bleeding. Terrified and not understanding what had happened, knowing only that she had been about to be murdered and now somehow she wasn’t, she let go and passed out completely.
It was warm, and someone who smelled really nice was kissing her forehead and murmuring softly into her ear. The breath from those sweet lips tickled her flesh around her ear and neck. That was what had awakened her. She opened her eyes.
“Béla!” Jolene said, smiling up at her rescuer. “How… where? … Are you really here? Am I dreaming you again?”
Béla grinned down at her sister and nodded. “No, Sweetie, I’m really here. And you’re safe.”
Jolene struggled to sit up, her body sore and stiff from lying on the cold ground for the last…
She wasn't on the ground. She was lying on a bale of hay. The remains of the barn smoldered nearby.
“How long…” she started to ask.
“It took me a day to get here,” Béla said softly, almost apologetically. “I flew part of the way, got a railcar to Providence, then flew from there to here.”
“All that flying?” Jolene asked. “You smell really good for that much of a workout.”
“I’ve been here several hours,” Béla explained. “I let you snack, but then I had to clean up a bit. I gave you a bath, too, and laid you out in the sun to dry.”
Jolene grinned. “Thanks.”
Then she jerked her head around, wildly searching as she remembered…
“Those men!” Jolene cried out. “They tried to kill me!”
“They’re gone,” Béla said, her voice still soft. “They won’t hurt you anymore.”
“But… but,” Jolene tried to say, but not finding the words, she switched to imagery.
An image of a dead woman tied to a lamppost. She was burning. Jolene had ordered her death. An image of Béla promising the populace of her district that such a violent and savage reprisal will never again occur, no matter the provocation.
“What happened to those men?” Jolene wanted to know. “I saw one… explode!”
“I saved your life,” Béla told her. “As ‘Carte Blanche’, I overruled my own law and commanded the bridge officer, Chief Raman, to protect you – even if it meant killing those two ‘hunters’. He had his gunner use the laser cannon on them.”
“So once again I’m responsible for the loss of valuable human life,” Jolene murmured.
“No!” Béla insisted, hugging her tightly “They would have murdered you! You surely didn’t go looking for them, did you?”
“Of course not!” Jolene replied defensively. “But… I thought you were angry with me for ordering the execution of…”
“Stop!” Béla demanded. “I was never mad at you! I was upset, but only until I viewed the court records. I never faulted you for your decision.”
“No, but there are those who do,” Jolene replied. “I feel it in people’s minds, and in their attitude toward me. Sometimes I bend over backwards to give a really light judgement, and that plaintiff’s resentment hits me right in my face!
“Then I came up with the idea of awarding people unused land for doing good things and flew up here to check out what was available. As soon as someone got me alone, they shot me out of the sky and did their best to murder me! That shows how popular I am...”
She showed Béla her image of waking up and discovering a shotgun being jabbed into her chest, then being killed as her heart and lungs were blasted out through her back.
“I’ve never been shot before,” Jolene murmured, upset and still bewildered by the experience.
“Well, that’s something you won’t forget very easily,” Béla replied, not really knowing what else to say.
They sat in uncomfortable silence for a few moments. Jolene would have gladly fled if she’d been strong enough to fly away, but she couldn’t, and Béla seemed to be pretty much determined to stay with her until she was stronger. So they sat, silent, for the moment.
“There is something I should mention,” Béla said, breaking Jolene’s reverie. “You said something about ‘light judgements’?”
“Yeah?” Jolene replied, wondering what Béla was going to say.
“Well,” Béla continued, “being in people’s minds so much, I’ve found that most people – the decent ones, anyway – most of them know what they deserve and what they don’t deserve. If you give someone a break, and they know they don’t deserve it, that person will thank you profusely and be ‘ever so grateful’… But… in that instant when you felt bad and gave him a break, you lost his respect.”
“What?” Jolene asked, confused now.
“You didn’t play fair with him,” Béla explained. “You played him as a favorite. And he will eventually come to hate you. Things that happen to him will somehow become your fault. I don’t really understand why people react that way, but often, not always, they do. I think it has something to do with each person’s ability to be responsible – either they’re responsible for what happens to them, or you are.”
“God, that’s wicked!” Jolene exclaimed, understanding a little better. “It’s possible, I suppose, that what you said could be what’s been happening in my district. I’ve been too lenient. ‘Unfairly’ so, so it seems.”
“It could be,” Béla agreed. “Plus, if someone brings charges against someone who has wronged them, and you let them off, you lose their respect as well. If that’s what you’ve been doing, any problems you’ve been having in that area aren’t really likely to be because of that one decision to execute the Lady Sarah.”
“I need to lie down for awhile,” Jolene said. “That’s a lot to think about, and I still feel pretty weak. I’m just glad you aren’t mad at me.”
Béla smiled and kissed her sister. “You need another feeding.”
She lay down across the hay, almost pushing Jolene onto her back, and presented her neck.
“I’m awake now,” Jolene protested. “You don’t need to do that!”
“I like doing that,” Béla replied. “I was in the middle of doing that when you cried for help.”
“Oh. Sorry,” Jolene said sheepishly.
"Don't be," Béla replied, and showed Jolene the image of what she and Elaine had been doing.
Béla had just passed out from blood loss when Jolene, dreamwalking, had called for help.
“Ooo, you make that feel so sexy,” Jolene grinned, embarrassed at sharing such an intimate, obviously female moment.
“It is sexy,” Béla replied, smiling back. “And now that I know you’re all right, I’d like to show you some things that can help you if you ever get shot up again.”
“What sort of things?” Jolene asked, not having the slightest idea of Béla’s erotic fascination with guns.
“Well, for starters,” Béla began, “I want you to watch what I do when I get injured.”
She showed Jolene and image of being shot, and how she could convince her nervous system to dissipate the pain more evenly so that it didn’t all hurt in one spot.
“The dissipation of the pain makes you tingle all over,” Béla explained. “That can actually be pretty arousing.”
Image of Jake shooting her in the belly button with a twenty-two rifle, and Béla having an orgasm because of that. Then she was lying on a rotting log and coming over and over as her inner thighs and pussy were shot full of holes.
“Whoa!” Jolene exclaimed. “You can do that?”
“Sure!” Béla laughed. “Once you get used to it, it feels great! And your body will just digest the bullets. It’s not like you’d die, or anything…”
“I don’t know…” Jolene murmured, not really convinced.
Béla stood up and looked around the barnyard. No guns from Jolene’s recently evaporated kidnappers were readily visible, but there were tools and several sharp objects lying around. Béla went over and picked up a long, wicked-looking metal shaft, pointed on one end and round on the other. After looking at it for a moment, she recognized it as a crowbar.
“This’ll do,” Béla said, mostly to herself, then louder, “Hey, Jolene! I found something we can practice with!”
Jolene didn’t get up. She was still feeling weak and disoriented from her ordeal. Béla then remembered that she’d offered Jolene her blood, and threw the crowbar gently in the direction she had to walk to get back to Jolene’s side. If she wanted it later, she wouldn't have to walk so far to get it.
“Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself,” Béla said as she dropped down beside her sister. “Let’s get you healed, first.”
Lying down on her side, she patted the hay next of her, indicating that Jolene should lie down with her. She did, radiating anxiety and nervousness mixed with some dizziness.
“Come on, Honey,” Béla said softly, exposing her neck. “You need to feed. No more nonsense about it. Okay?”
Jolene stretched forward, her nipples brushing the tops of Béla’s breasts and she delicately began kissing and licking her neck.
“This feels really awkward,” Jolene mentioned, not ready to go through with it.
“Let me help, then,” Béla replied, and bit down hard on Jolene’s neck, breaking the skin with her teeth.
“Oowww!” Jolene howled, trying to pull away.
Béla wouldn’t have any of her sister’s prissy attitude. Holding her tightly so she couldn’t get away, she locked her teeth into Jolene’s neck muscles and sucked. Hard.
“Jesus! Stop!” Jolene cried out, terrified at the sudden attack after all that had happened to her.
‘Bite me!’ Jolene heard in her mind. ‘Bite me back!’
Having no choice, and starting to get pissed (finally!), Jolene bit down on Béla’s hard little neck muscles and tried to gnaw her way through.
‘Not like that!’ Béla thought at her. ‘Haven’t you ever done this before?’
“God, no!” Jolene yelped. “Why in the world would I do this?”
‘Well, what did Elaine do when she initiated you?’
‘We bit each other between the legs, you bitch!’ Jolene yowled into Béla’s mind. ‘Isn’t that how females do each other?’
Surprised, Béla let go, kissing and licking Jolene’s neck wound and radiating her apologies. Jolene lay, fuming and gasping, as the cruel gash began to heal.
“You didn’t have any trouble sucking on my neck when you were unconscious,” Béla mentioned, no longer needing to lap the blood from Jolene’s nearly healed neck wound.
She lay back on the ground and spread her legs. “If this is where you want to go, that’s fine with me. But you’re weak and you need blood. Don’t make me force-feed you…”
Jolene was doing her best to ignore her irritation with this sister who’d been handed the freedom to do whatever she wished, knowing that no amount of protesting would win anything from her. With a defeated sigh, she gave in, and leaned forward.
“I really don’t feel like it, you know,” Jolene murmured sullenly as she lay her head down on the inside of Béla’s right thigh.
“You’ll feel better in a few minutes,” Béla replied, ignoring Jolene’s attitude. “Now feed!”
Béla twitched as she felt her sister’s lips and tongue caress her sensitive flesh. Jolene was feeling out the muscles and tendons where the inside of Béla’s leg met her crotch, and Béla was starting to get aroused from all that concentrated licking. Finally finding the spot she wanted, Jolene gently bit down on the most sensitive, soft area of thigh that she could find, knowing full well what that was going to do to her dominating, overbearing sister. That was exactly why she did it.
Béla groaned and did her best not to thrash about as she felt Jolene suck her soft flesh up into her mouth and bite down gently with her teeth. Then her whole body was on fire as Jolene’s sharp teeth bit down into tender tissue, tearing through sensitive, soft flesh. Béla remembered being shot there once, and her whole body had reacted just like this. She held her trembling body tense, determined not to kick her sister’s head away or interfere with her sister’s necessary feeding.
‘Where in the hell did she learn about that spot?’ Béla asked herself frantically. ‘Holy shit! That’s more sensitive than my clit!’
Jolene was into her feeding, now, and firmly holding onto Béla’s thigh and hips as she sucked, making joyful little swallowing sounds. With her sister’s firm grip on her body, Béla let loose a little and bucked her pelvis a few times, finally allowing herself to orgasm.
Jolene raised her head for a moment. “Like that, do you?” she grinned, blood running down her chin, then returned to her warm, sticky feast.
Béla couldn’t answer. She was too aroused to form words. Reaching down with her left hand, she dug her fingers in between her legs and began rubbing her ignored clitoris furiously, then radiated an incredible orgasm through her sister, less than an inch away.
As Jolene felt her sister come that second time, she stopped feeding and nuzzled her wet, blood-sticky face over another inch into Béla’s sexual center, nudging her masturbating fingers out of the way.
Kissing and licking through Béla’s soft, sexy flesh, Jolene’s tongue found that hard little nub that Béla had been paying so much attention to a few seconds before, and pressed down hard against it. Béla’s hips rose up in answer as she tried to get her entire vulva into her sister’s warm, wet mouth.
‘This is what Elaine and I did that first time,’ Jolene thought into Béla’s mind as she gently surrounded her clit with her lips and teeth. ‘It’s a great way to learn how to handle sexual feedback…’
She bit down. Béla shrieked and humped her hips up into the air, nearly bucking Jolene right off her. Hanging on and forcing her sister’s body flat again, Jolene opened her mouth to suck in more of Béla’s girl-flesh and bit down again. She bit through the soft skin in a slightly different place each time, careful not to tear any off.
Béla cried out and came again, not arching her back quite so high this time, but definitely changing her mind about that now-neglected soft spot where her thigh and pelvis connected being more sensitive than her clitoris. Nothing could possibly be more sensitive than that tender, explosive bit of flesh that Jolene was so casually chewing on right this instant!
Her head held tightly in place with both Béla hands, Jolene kept biting her sister and sucking on her bleeding flesh while Béla thrashed wildly against her. Jolene was finally getting excited by all the orgasmic radiation coming from her sister’s undulating body and kept her eyes open as she fed so she could watch Béla’s tight, sexy belly muscles dance and flutter as she thrashed back and forth and up and down.
“Nnggaaawwodd!” Béla hollered as she came for maybe the fifth or sixth time.
She’d completely lost track of how many orgasms she’d had in the last few minutes, but somehow she didn’t care anymore. All she cared about was that next orgasm coming right… soon… right about… RIGHT NOW!
Another pure animal sound came out of Béla’s throat as she came again. Somewhere way off from the center of Béla’s extremely limited attention span, she could feel Jolene’s laughing mind – Jolene total in control, Jolene making her come and come and come again…
“Witch!” Béla managed to yell, then was consumed by her next orgasm.
As Béla came crashing back to the ground, Jolene released her suction grip on Béla’s clit and let her just lie there, twitching and moaning. Béla shuddered in the aftermath of that last orgasm, her body still experiencing smaller orgasmic shocks, much like the aftershocks of a major earthquake.
Jolene sat up, feeling much better after her feeding, and casually wiped the blood off her mouth and chin with her bare arm, then licked her arm clean. Béla was still lying in the hay, panting heavily, her eyes staring unfocused into the air, her pussy bleeding slightly as it healed.
“That was for biting me in the neck,” Jolene said when she was pretty sure Béla would be able to hear her. “Next time, ask.”
“Gnnuhh,” Béla moaned. Then she passed out.
When she came to a little while later, she was alone. She sat up and looked around.
‘Jolene?’ Béla called out with her mind.
‘In the house,’ came the reply.
Along with the reply was an image of food being prepared on an old electric stove.
‘She must have found something to eat in there,’ Béla decided, then staggered up on her feet and wobbled toward the nearby structure.
She let the screen door slam behind her and leaned wearily on a dusty countertop. She gazed across the room at Jolene, still naked, but clean, now. Jolene was watching a pot on the stove.
“And here I always thought you were a bit of a cold fish,” Béla said, trying to make light of the ecstatic torture Jolene had done to her earlier in the name of revenge.
“I can be sexy,” Jolene replied, looking over at her still-exhausted sister. “I just never thought that you…”
“Me, neither,” Béla laughed, still sounding tired. “But we have Elaine in common, it seems.”
“I was actually looking for her when I found you,” Jolene admitted. “I didn’t really know what to expect… you know? You’re… Well, you’re pretty high-handed sometimes, and I halfway expected you to side with the two…"
“You ordered them killed!” Jolene continued, more urgently now. “I thought you were against killing! Even criminals!”
“You thought wrong,” Béla replied, not upset by the accusation that she might defend the rights of some butcher over the rights of a wounded and dying sister. “My rules and laws apply to decent people – not vicious animals hiding inside human skin.”
“So,” Jolene said, more quietly now, “we’re not so different after all.”
“No,” Béla agreed. “I can kill as readily as any of my sisters. I have killed, in the past, to protect people I cared about. I didn’t care if the person I killed had a family or children who loved them or not. It didn’t matter. They were threatening or harming others, and I don’t tolerate that. If someone viciously harms another, that person’s rights are forfeited by his actions.”
“I’m glad it was you that noticed me, then,” Jolene said. “I don’t think Elaine would have had the necessary ‘Oomph’ to order Chief Raman to execute someone using the ship’s cannon.”
Béla laughed. “Being ‘Carte Blanche’ has its advantages, I suppose. But she would have found a way to save you, regardless. Of that, I’m certain.
“What are you fixing?” Béla asked, putting her attention on the steaming pot, now.
“Some canned soup I found in the cupboard,” Jolene replied. “Mushroom, I think.”
“Smells good,” Béla grinned as she pushed up from the countertop she was almost lying on. “I’ll find some bowls.”
It was later, and the two girls had cleaned up the kitchen in the abandoned farmhouse. They had also cleaned up the mess the two vagrant ‘hunters’ had made over the (apparently) several days that they’d lived there.
“This homesteading idea of yours sounds pretty good,” Béla was saying as they walked back outside. “My district is too close to the equator, though. I don’t think there are any abandoned farms there.”
“I’m hoping it’ll work out,” Jolene replied. “I just hope there aren’t any more of these vagabonds loose out here.”
“Let’s go find out, shall we?” Béla asked, grinning at her now very-healthy looking sister.
“You’ll help me?” Jolene asked, stunned by the offer.
“Sure!” Béla grinned. “What are sisters for?”
The two of them launched themselves into the sky. Béla kept the fact to herself that she was deeply disturbed at the discovery of sub-humans like the two who’d attacked Jolene existing in what she considered ‘her’ paradise. She planned on making sure there weren’t any others.