The continuing adventures of Jake, Béla, Frank and Tanya.
The Adventures of Béla, the Vampire Girl
Book 3: Wrinkles in Time
Chapter 1 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“What does it do?” Frank asked, looking at the ancient piece of pewter. It was about six inches long and an inch in diameter, shaped like a small rocket ship; the kind he used to play with as a child. But this device had four long, narrow slots in it, one every quarter turn. On the flat end, there was a lever. He moved it back and forth. The first time he moved it, there was a ‘click’, but nothing happened. He had no idea why this would be part of the collection of torture devices from the Spanish Inquisition.
“It has to be warm first,” the smooth-talking, bearded proprietor told him. “Here – let me show you. I’ve already demonstrated this to several people today, so I am prepared.”
It was his job to interest potential clientele in these superfluous ancient artifacts in order to get the best price for the museum. He enjoyed his work.
Other museum relics were set up behind him on a table, actually functional. An old-fashioned Bunsen burner was heating an old tin pan of water. The placard on the table described the gold rush of the 1840’s and how these devices played their modest roles in feeding the miners. But, there was another, darker reason for the display of these simple, mundane utensils.
“You’ve already triggered this insidious device,” the proprietor was explaining, “so let me demonstrate what happens when it reaches body temperature.”
He placed it into the pan of warm water and stood back, waiting. It was longer than the pan, so only one end was underwater.
In less than a minute, the device jumped and rattled around the pan for a second. Frank flinched slightly at the sudden, unexpected motion. The proprietor picked the device out of the water and held it up. Four, narrow, rust-covered blades had sprung out, one from each of the long, narrow slots. Each blade was razor sharp and double-edged.
Frank held the instrument at the base and, gently placing a thumb and finger on the flat side of one of the blades, moved it back and forth. It was hinged, spring-loaded to trigger when the restraining ring inside the tube expanded due to body heat.
The proprietor took it from Frank, moved the lever on the flat end back to its original position and twisted the base. The slotted end turned with the base and the tiny blades disappeared back into the slots. Frank tried to imagine the action that would occur as the blades were released.
‘It spins around at the same time it releases the blades! Jeez! Cunt meat sushi!’
“The brownish residue covering the blades isn’t rust, as you may think,” the proprietor said, sounding smug, “but is instead the blood of its last victim.”
He smiled as Frank blanched, sickened by the realization of how this insidious device was actually used to butcher women during the Great Inquisition.
‘Holy Shit! Wouldn’t Tanya just love a cunt-shredder like that!’
Frank ended up donating an enormous amount to the museum for that and a wicked breastplate from a different period that was also designed for exquisite torture. At the simple movement of a lever in the side of the breastplate, a dozen tiny needles would suddenly pierce the tender flesh of whomever was unfortunate enough to be wearing the device at the time. A matching chastity belt set him back another twenty-five thousand credits.
‘I’m beginning to believe that I support this museum! I know this gentleman thinks I do!’
But, the breastplate and chastity belt set would be the perfect Halloween costume for Tanya.
‘I’ll give her the little rocket-shaped shredder tonight!’
He could hardly wait to get her into bed, to be holding her tightly in his arms, embracing and kissing her passionately when that insidious little device goes off and twirls around inside her.
Tanya was in the kitchen, looking for something to do. Her body was super-energized with sexual need, and had been ever since the vampire Beth had shown her how to control pain. She could hear Boris Karloff voice speak in her mind from a hundred years earlier; “I’ve created a monsta…”
Tanya grinned at the irony of it all. She’d always been obsessed with fire and pain, and in her early teenage and adult years burned herself thousands of times with matches and Fourth of July Sparklers.
Then, when Béla had saved her life by injecting some of her vampiric blood into her veins, she found that she could be very seriously injured or wounded, and not die. In fact, her body could heal in an hour what would normally require months of enforced bedrest.
But, there was still the problem of pain. Getting injured or wounded hurt. Tanya didn’t really care to get hurt, although since she was, for all practical purposes, immortal, now, she was a lot more careless when she and Frank were on a field assignments, and had managed to get shot several times over the years.
Béla’s blood didn’t reduced the trauma of having a bullet rip into your body at all. Tanya discovered that getting shot was just as painful after her ‘immunization’ as it was the first time. But each time it happened, she was grateful for her ability to heal quickly. That meant the pain went away more quickly, too.
That morning when Tanya had kissed Frank goodbye, she knew he would be going to the museum auction on his way home. She had seen the ads on the Tri-d about the ‘Chamber of Horrors’ that was going to be displayed there. She hoped he would find something that would give her hours and hours of pure, exquisite torture.
She felt her body tense and her belly tighten as she remembered it was time to burn off her excess body hair, again. Every Friday she was going to depilate her body in the flame shower, then rinse the burnt hair off with scalding hot water.
She had wanted to masturbate with scalding water ever since Béla had done it that very first day they’d met. But now that she was addicted to pain, she tortured herself as often as she could, in as many different ways as she could figure out.
She walked down the hallway to her special room. The sign on the door, put there by Frank as a lighthearted jest, read, ‘Tanya’s Sanctuary’. The second line read, ‘No Clothing Allowed’. Tanya smiled as she entered the soundproofed room, remembering a third line that she had suggested, but Frank had declined to include on the sign: ‘All Horny Naked People Welcome!’
She stepped into her shower and spoke to the unit. “Shower on.”
A single, double-jointed arm detached itself from the wall it had been folded against and began clicking. Tanya always flinched when that metal arm started to move. She didn’t know why. It was just an instinctive reaction. Her doctor/son – Frank Jr. – had explained that she was unnerved by ‘sentient’ contrivances because she had grown up in an era where inanimate objects didn’t move by themselves. His explanation didn’t help. The damned thing still spooked her.
After a few seconds, a small yellow flame burst out from the showerhead.
“Wide spray,” Tanya said. A blossom of yellow flame erupted from a dozen tiny holes where one might normally expect water to come out.
“Legs,” she told it.
She had programmed it to be able to concentrate its ‘spray’ on one area of her body at a time if she wished. Otherwise, the ‘showerhead’, when it was on ‘single’ flame, would simply twirl around, leaving a swirling trail of happily scorched flesh as it moved up and down her body.
She spread her legs and tightened her muscles against the delightful, crisp sensation as the showerhead swirled around only an inch away from her legs, burning away the few hairs that had dared to show themselves since last week. She hissed as the showerhead lingered an instant too long in one spot before continuing its swirling, scorching journey up and down her long, smooth legs.
“Upper,” she commanded.
As the showerhead swirled its way up the outside of her thigh, it continued on up the side of her body, changing its area of motion to include her torso, breasts and shoulders. She flipped her hair back behind her and held her head tilted to the right so that her hair wouldn’t catch fire as the flaming showerhead delicately scorched the tiny hairs off her stomach and swirled its way around to her right side.
She tilted her head to the left, getting her hair out of the way, again, then reached behind her and flipped her mass of hair over her left shoulder as the showerhead continued around her right side and began caressing her back. After it had completed its swirling journey completely around her torso, she took hold of the spinning nozzle and directed it under each arm for a few seconds, making sure it depilated her there, too.
Burning off the hair between her legs was a little trickier. She had to stand, bent backward with one leg in the air, while the flaming showerhead, in ‘single’ flame mode, scorched the hair off her pussy, then bend forward, half out of the shower, holding her butt cheeks apart while it moved up and down the crack of her ass.
Now it was time to play for awhile. This was the good part. Tanya positioned the showerhead a ways off the floor so that it was slightly above her knees, pointing almost straight up and into the shower stall.
“Hard spray,” she told it.
The soft yellow blossom of fire she’d used to depilate her body turned into a single, four-inch-long flame coming out of the center of the showerhead. Lifting one leg and resting her foot on the tile bench, Tanya positioned herself so that the heat from the flame was concentrated between her legs. She breathed softly through clenched teeth as she moved her pelvis back and forth through the invisible gases above the flame, learning to enjoy the sensation of scorching her clitoris.
She moved back and forth, letting the heated gasses lick her ass, pussy lips and clitoris; back and forth, back and forth, getting more aroused with every passing second.
‘I’m fucking a penis made of fire… No… it’s a tongue made of fire. That’s it! A fiery tongue that licks me clean and renews my flesh… Oh, fuck! That feels sooo good…’
Giving her lower half a break from the scorching heat, Tanya raised the showerhead up level with her breasts and swayed back and forth, letting the fiery little tongue lick, kiss and blacken her hard nipples for a few moments. The more aroused she became, the easier it was to hold her sensitive nipples directly in the flame for a second or two.
“Whole body,” she commanded the device, finding it difficult to control her voice enough so that the VR system would obey her command.
The showerhead began spinning around again and moving up and down the length of her body as she swayed back and forth, the ‘hard spray’ caressing and scorching her tender flesh as it traveled. The only thing she really had to watch out for was keeping her hair out of the flame. So far, she’d been lucky and had yet to burn off or even discolor any of her gorgeous blond hair.
After about ten minutes of letting the little flame lick up and down her body, she stopped, and began fucking it again as she had before. By now, she was so deeply aroused that she could move her pussy directly into the flame, letting it burn her clitoris and the flesh between her legs. She cried out as she came, her powerful orgasm worth the burning, scorching agony.
She leaned back against the shower wall and sank down onto the narrow footrest, her legs cramping from the tension of forcing her body to hold still while she had scorched herself black. A side benefit she remembered from the first time she’d done this, last week, was that her skin down there would be a lot more sensitive to Frank’s touch when he came home. Also, Frank absolutely loved her new, bare look. He hadn’t seen it for many years.
‘I wonder if he’d like to watch me burn it off next time… Maybe he’d like to burn it off me, himself… I could get him a hand-held blowtorch…’
She smiled as she thought of things he could do to her with a blowtorch…
Her legs still wobbly from her orgasm, Tanya staggered out of the flame shower and rinsed off in her regular shower. She discovered that she’d scorched herself so badly that the warmest she could tolerate the water was ninety-seven degrees. Warmer than that was simply too discomforting.
After a few moments in her normal shower, she stepped out and delicately toweled herself, patting dry her delicate, newly regenerated skin, rather than just rubbing the water off with the towel like she usually did.
Then she lay down on her massage table in the middle of the sunlit room. Attached to one side of the table was a motorized arm with a huge, thick magnifying glass about 11 inches across attached to it.
Tanya estimated that she had about an hour before the sun shining through the glass panels of the sunroof was no longer shining on her massage table. The magnifying glass’ movement was controlled with a hand-held remote, unlike the voice-activated flame shower. She had already programmed a few motion patterns into the controller so that she could have a concentrated beam of scorching sunlight to play with.
Pressing ‘one’ drew little concentric circles around her nipples. Program two would draw a crosshatch of lines up and down on her torso, making her skin supersensitive to even the slightest breath of air. Program three simply concentrated an intense beam of sunlight down around her crotch for her to masturbate with by wriggling back and forth, moving her body around so that the heat of the sun wouldn’t burn a hole into her tender flesh down there while she fucked herself with it.
Using Program ‘one’, she was starting to get aroused again as the burning sensation from her breast was dissipated into a sensual tingling throughout her entire body. She slowed the movement down so that the heat scorching her breast was a lot more intense. She hissed as her skin actually smoked from the scorching beam drawing circles on her breast.
Getting impatiently aroused, now, she pressed ‘two’, changing the action of the magnifying glass so that it began drawing burn lines up and down her belly. After another ten minutes, Tanya’s torso was so scorched she looked like she’d been whipped. She actually came twice; once while the sunbeam was burning its way down toward her hip and once when it had reached the top of its travel and stopped on her right nipple for a moment.
She pressed ‘off’ and listened to the motorized arm move the magnifying glass into its ‘parked’ position, her eyes closed against the bright sunlight. Thoroughly sated, for the time being, anyway, she slept for awhile, enjoying the natural heat from the sun through the glass roof.
When Tanya woke up, the sun had moved so that it was no longer shining on her. She sat up, feeling stiff from not having moved for several hours, then slid off the table onto her feet. She looked around the room at all the stuff she had collected in the two weeks since they moved in.
There were chains on the wall with rings that she could hold onto while being whipped by an electric rotor with several six-foot straps attached to it. She had done that yesterday. The hard part about being whipped was handling the remote controlled rotor at the same time. After about five minutes, she decided it was too hard to concentrate on moving the whips around while her back was being shredded. It would be easier to let Frank do the controlling while she leaned against the wall and let him shred her flesh apart.
‘Now I need to get him two things: a blowtorch and a bullwhip.’
She went to the fridge and poured a glass of juice, gulped it down and poured another, taking it with her as she fumbled toward the main bathroom and its sweet, relaxing Jacuzzi. The scalding hot shower she’d planned would have to wait until another time. Her body was simply too heat sensitive to do something like that right now.
‘There can be too much of a good thing, after all…’
It was almost dark. Frank let the autopilot land his flitter behind the house. All day at work, he had been tense and excited about his morning’s purchases and couldn’t wait to show them to Tanya. The most fun about showing her the stuff he constantly bought for her was using them on her. He hoped she was in a receptive mood…
Tanya was sprawled across the bed, fast asleep, when he found her. He admired her sleeping form as he undressed, realizing (again) how lucky he was to have the love and adoration of such a beautifully stunning woman. Frank turned her over onto her back and began to wake her up in her favorite way. She smelled sweet and a little smoky down there as he licked her bare pussy awake.
Tanya woke up to the sensation of a liquid brook running between her legs, tantalizing and teasing her. As she came, she remembered the day’s sexual activities and smiled as she realized she was no longer alone. Frank was here, pleasing her with his tongue. The warmth she felt just from his presence made her eyes moisten.
‘I didn’t even realize I was lonely…’
Frank climbed up on the bed beside his unusually quiet wife.
“Hi. I brought you something special,” he said, kissing her shoulder with his slippery face.
She turned over and hugged him tightly, moaning pleasantly to herself. Then she kissed him passionately on his mouth, enjoying the taste of her own juices on his face. Then she hugged him again.
“Well, did you miss me?” Frank asked, half jesting. Then he noticed her tear-filled eyes. “What’s wrong?”
‘Uh-oh! How long has it been… three weeks and four… Yep! It’s that time again…’ Frank suddenly realized.
He returned her hug. “I missed you, too,” he said, realizing that this wasn’t a sexual thing, it was a ‘just hold me tightly forever and tell me you love me every five minutes until I fall asleep in your arms’ thing.
“I love you, you know,” he said, whispering it into her ear.
They held each other for a long time. Tanya didn’t answer or say anything at all. She was happy that Frank was who he was and that he loved her, even when she was moody and withdrawn. His complete acceptance of who she was helped her to get through her periodic moods swings without too much turbulence.
After what seemed a long time, Tanya noticed that there was an uncomfortable hardness pressing against her belly. She lay for a while longer, wondering what Frank would do if she just ignored it. She already knew the answer to that. He would wait until she fell asleep, then go out and fix supper or find some work to do around their new house. She loved him even more for being that considerate. She reached down between their bodies, deciding to play with him until he came.
She kissed him passionately and played with his cock until he sprayed all over her belly. Tanya rubbed his cum into her belly, then pushed Frank onto his back and slid down to lick him clean. The smell and taste of his cum always made her feel more… female.
Afterward, she lay with her head on his shoulder. She felt much better now. Frank was home and she had someone to talk to. The machines and toys in her private little sanctuary were fine, but she was already getting bored with them (although she’d never admit that).
‘It would be nice, though, to have someone I could share my little torture chamber with…’
She was discovering that the type of extreme sex she really liked was whatever she could get Frank to do to her. No matter how much she masturbated or how much she tortured herself reaching for sexual extremes, when it was over, she was still alone, surrounded by lifeless machines and toys.
‘That reminds me…’
“What did you get me?” she asked, remembering that he’d said something about a present earlier. “I hope it’s something so totally evil that I die having an orgasm when you use on me…”
“Well, it is something that I can use on you,” Frank explained, “although it is possible to do it yourself. And, believe me, it’s totally evil! It was used in the fifteenth century to butcher young women in the worse and most vile manner…”
“Ooo!” Tanya cooed. “Can you show it to me? Or do I have to wait for a special time… My birthday’s not too far away…”
‘Only five more months… Christmas is closer!’
Frank got up and went over to the doorway where he’d set down his bag of goodies and gotten undressed. He rummaged through the clinking, noisy bag full of metal until he found the wicked little rocket shaped device.
“A dildo?” Tanya asked, curious about how that could kill anyone. “What did they do, fuck them to death?”
She looked a little disappointed.
“Are you in the mood for some ‘special’ loving?” Frank asked, raising his eyebrows.
Tanya understood that special, in this case, meant something that would cause excruciating agony. She smiled.
“Maybe… does it involve lots of kissing and hugging and holding me tight while I die a wonderfully agonizing death, writhing in uncontrollable pain and agony?” she asked.
“Yes, to all of the above,” Frank promised, “and then some. I promise you that this is the most painful way to die that’s ever been invented by man!”
Tanya eagerly spread her legs and waited while Frank knelt down over the end of the bed.
“Yikes! That’s cold!” Tanya yelped, half laughing and trying to hold her legs open to receive the rough-edged pewter device.
“Sorry,” Frank said. “It’s been setting on the floor. But, I can’t warm it up because it only does its thing when it reaches body temperature.”
“Oh!” Tanya said, with some trepidation. “This is one of those manglers I read about. And you want me to experience that?”
“Well, I thought you’d like it, after that time with the acid,” Frank explained. “This won’t do any more damage than the acid did to your insides, and this has the added element of surprise – you don’t know exactly when it’s going to go off.”
Tanya thought about it for a moment, then realized he was right, especially about the not knowing part. It could be incredibly erotic, just waiting for it to happen.
‘Especially if you’re holding me…’
She nodded her assent and, with the help of some of her personal lube, Frank worked it up inside her pussy. Then he climbed up on the bed next to her.
“Dim lights,” he said.
The lights obediently dimmed at his command, then he and Tanya wrapped their arms around each other and started kissing. Tanya was trembling.
“Are you scared?” Frank asked, holding her naked body against him.
Tanya nodded, still shivering.
“That thing is huge! And it’s freezing cold in there!” Tanya said, breathing into his mouth. “It’ll take forever to warm me up…”
Her nipples were hard against his chest and she had goosebumps all over her arms and breasts.
“Well, then, I’d better get busy…” Frank held her tightly against him, even putting one leg over her hips so she could snuggle even closer to him.
“Hmmm, this is nice,” she whispered quietly, cradled in his arms.
She kissed his neck and exhaled her hot breath against his skin. He kissed her neck and shoulder, giving her chills down her back. She was starting to feel really aroused and very warm and friendly even with that icicle freezing her insides. She stretched her body up against his and put her arms around his neck, pulling herself up and kissing him passionately.
“Is this how you want me?” she asked, whispering into his mouth.
Her body was in full contact with his. His arms were wrapped around her, holding her as tightly against him as he could. She knew he wanted to feel her every reaction to the exquisite agony she was about to experience.
They had been making out for about fifteen minutes, now, and she was really getting aroused from all that kissing and caressing. Tanya didn’t think it wouldn’t be much longer. She could feel her pussy warming up as though it was eagerly looking forward to being shredded. She was already leaking a little…
Frank knew Tanya was getting really aroused. He was aroused, too, but he wasn’t about to stick his dick in her while that (What did she call it? Oh! A mangler!) was in there. She was starting to twist her hips in her desire, rubbing her belly against his. Then suddenly every muscle in her body went tense. She inhaled a ragged breath, then was unable to breath at all, her body convulsing in agony. Her back arched in an almost ninety degree angle, her hips bucking as she tried to escape the indescribable pain.
Frank pulled her hard against him, wanting to feel every twitch, every convulsion she made. Then she was breathing short, ragged gulps of air, in and out, in and out, trying to scream, but unable to get enough breath. In desperation she bit down on Frank’s neck, sucking in blood and air with each convulsive breath, and began to shake with orgasmic agony.
Frank held onto Tanya as she shook and trembled violently, sobbing and trying to breathe in mouthfuls of his blood. He was shocked when Tanya bit him on the neck, but he let her suck, realizing that, psychologically, it might help her to endure this.
“Are you coming?” he asked, after she had been shaking continually for about a minute.
She was able to nod; her teeth still embedded in his neck. After another moment, she was shaking and sobbing almost hysterically, finally able to verbally articulate her agony. After several more moments she stopped shaking, passing into unconsciousness.
It took Frank almost half an hour to get the slippery, blood-soaked device to retract its blades so he could get it out of her. He was glad that Tanya was unconscious while he worked with the wicked device. He knew he was doing a lot of damage in there, but the only other option was simply pulling it out with the blades extended. He imagined that simply pulling it out was the usual method of extraction back in the Middle Ages, whether the girl was still alive or not.
Tanya may have liked him shredding her pussy like that, but he privately believed that her desire for any more sensation in there was sated. She’d experienced enough pain and agony in the last half-hour to last the rest of her life.
‘Hopefully, she’s not shortening her lifespan by forcing her body to do all this healing…’ Frank thought to himself.
Chapter 2 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
She’s running through the woods, falling forward in her terrified flight as she stumbles on a tree root. Catching herself with her hands, she pushes herself back up and continues her mad flight, almost falling again as her foot slides on the snow-covered ice. She sobs with each ragged breath she takes; her lungs and throat burning from exertion and the freezing cold.
The girl was pretty once, with long, blonde hair and nice clothes. Now there is a knife wound on her face, one of several cuts she received only moments earlier. Her hair is dirty and unkempt from her month long captivity and the snow and mud she flees through in her mad flight to freedom. What clothing she has on is torn, dirty, wet and cold; not suited to winter weather in upper New York or to the treatment it receives as she flees, terrified and desperate, through the dark, silent woods.
She staggers across a clearing, her feet crunching down through the snow and turns around, exhausted, desperately fearing that her pursuer is right behind her. Not seeing anyone, she stands unsteadily for a moment, hands on knees, breathing raggedly and trying to catch her breath. Her blouse is torn and bloody where she was stabbed when she surprised her kidnapper and finally overpowered him by knocking him in the head with a piece of wood. Once she worked her ropes loose, she had fearfully waited until the second man had gone hunting to improve her odds of escape, hoping and praying that no one would check her bindings before then.
Getting her second wind, she turns to continue her flight and runs right into her second kidnapper!
She tears herself out of his grip and races, topless now, back out into the clearing, leaving him holding her empty, shredded blouse in his huge, ham-fisted hands.
Snarling, he throws the useless garment aside and raises his arm over his head Carefully aiming his axe at her fleeing, naked back, he throws, grunting with the effort. The axe spins through the air with a whooshing sound and buries itself in the blonde girl’s back. The girl pitches forward and hits the ground hard, face first.
Amazingly, she’s still alive. She lies on the ground, twitching, still trying to run, still trying to breathe while her lungs fill with blood. Her eyes are wide open in pain and terror. After a few seconds, she realizes she’s lying on the ground and tries to crawl away.
She can hear his boots in the snow coming closer! He’s coming for her! He’s going to kill her!
The desperate young girl gasps in agony as the huge man wedges the axe up and out of her back. She somehow manages to turn herself over to face her tormentor. She's coughing up blood, now, and she knows she’s going to die. She tries to scream as the axe descends, chopping deep into her torso. It chops down two more times, splashing blood and gore all over her face and breasts. Then she is still, her face forever contorted into a mask of terror.
The blood splashed onto her unmoving face by the axe slowly travels down her cheeks and the sides of her face, almost like red tears shed in her despair.
It starts to snow; large flakes falling onto her butchered, naked body, sticking to her unmoving eyelashes and falling unnoticed into her open mouth.
In the middle of the snowy clearing, her pale corpse lies in a pool of her own blood that stains the snow. There is no wind and the snow dampens all sound.
As her bloody corpse is gradually covered with snow, everything is silent and peaceful once again.
Tanya pressed ‘pause’ on the remote. The image on the Tri-d froze.
“Wow! That was wicked!” she exclaimed. “You’re getting really good at this stunt girl stuff!”
“Uh-huh,” said Katie. “The hardest part was lying there and not breathing while they dumped that fake snow on me for almost two whole minutes. I didn’t dare move a muscle or I’d’ve ruined the shot.”
She leaned over and kissed Katie lightly on the cheek. Then she got up and started walking toward the kitchen.
“That was so realistic!” Tanya continued. “I could actually see the blood splatter when you were knocked down by that horrid axe. I remember when Tri-d first came out – everything looked really tacky. The special effects that looked really good on flatscreen were just dreadful in Tri-d.”
The sound of her voice diminished somewhat as she entered the kitchen. Katie got up and followed so they could continue their conversation, stretching her back and shoulders as she remembered filming the scene they’d just watched.
Tanya looked up at the kitchen door as Katie entered. “Hungry, dear?”
‘I shouldn’t need to ask. Katie’s always hungry!’
Katie smiled. “What’cha got?”
‘Something smells good – almost like she knew I was coming…’
“Well, I hate to say…” Tanya paused, teasing Katie, “but, it just might be spaghetti and mushroom casserole.”
“Hey, my favorite!” Katie exclaimed. “You sure you didn’t know I was coming, Mom?”
“No,” Tanya insisted. “It’s your father’s favorite, too! He should be home any minute.”
Almost as though he heard his queue, Frank opened the front door.
“There’s a blue Lincoln ram-jet parked outside,” Frank exclaimed. “Do we have company?”
“We’re in the kitchen…” Frank heard two female voices yell.
He crossed the room and stuck his head through the entrance.
“Hi, Daddy,” Katie said, grinning elfishly.
Then she grabbed him and hugged him tight, kissing him fiercely on the cheek.
“Hey! My baby!” Frank cried happily. “She's come back to the nest. Our new nest!”
He hugged her in return, genuinely happy to see her.
“Well, I heard you moved,” Katie chirped, “and I was between shoots, so I thought I’d drop by and check out your new digs!”
“Great!” Frank said. “Is Doc Junior still your manager?”
He was referring to Frank Junior, their middle child. While the three Tabor kids were growing up, they discovered they shared their parents’ ability to heal much more quickly than normal kids did and learned at a very early age to hide that ability.
What fascinated Little Frank was that normal people couldn’t heal themselves. His interest led him into twelve years of medical school and twenty-eight years as a general practitioner.
Now, he was his younger sister’s manager and medical consultant. Besides keeping her special healing ability hidden, it was now his job to keep her alive and healthy when, for instance, she got struck in the back with an axe, or got set on fire and had to run out of a burning building, or fell off a bridge into raging rapids. Katie might heal fast, but if he hadn’t cauterized that back wound from the axe when it missed that ‘special’ skin-colored padding, she would’ve bled to death before it healed.
“Of course he is, Daddy,” Katie grinned. “Ol’ Frankfurter’s saved my butt a couple of times, now. Where’s the silverware, Mom. I’ll help set the table if you want.”
“It’s in the middle drawer, there,” Tanya said and pointed. “So, what do you mean, ‘he saved your butt’? Are you telling us that those stunts are for real?”
“Well, yeah!” Katie exclaimed. “Girls like me get a ton of money to do that stuff – ’cause it’s really dangerous! There’s a reason we’re called snuff girls, after all…”
She got silverware and an armload of plates and started setting them out on the kitchen table.
“I made enough money just from that last scene you watched to buy this house,” Katie said into the uncomfortable silence of her parents. “That is, if I’d wanted to… buy it, I mean…”
She stopped talking. Frank and Tanya were just standing there, looking at her. Katie couldn’t tell what either of them was thinking, but she was pretty sure it wasn’t heartwarming approval of her calling.
“I liked it better when you were teaching,” Tanya said, breaking the silence.
“Teaching? God! That was ages ago!” Katie exclaimed with some emotion. “I hated that! Besides, now I’d have to get certified by a corporation so I could teach their employees’ kids. And it’s all different! There’s too much company bullshit and not enough real education and they put psych drugs in the food…”
She stopped, not wanting to get onto her favorite soapbox with her parents. She, as well as her older siblings, had been home schooled until college. During her short career as a teacher, she’d discovered an appalling illiteracy level among her children that she’d been unable to overcome.
In addition, behavioral and discipline problems were solved with drugs which dulled the soul and creative ability of the children taking them. Those quiet, lifeless young eyes had driven her away from ever wanting to teach again. She quit her job and started throwing herself off buildings for a living. That was much more satisfying.
“I like what I do now,” Katie said quietly. “It’s like going out every week and finding out what my real limits are.”
“It’s still suicidal,” Frank said. “What kind of precautions are you taking?”
“Hey, I don’t just let people shoot me in the head, okay?” Katie exclaimed. “I wear padding and stuff just like normal stunt people. But when somebody needs a stunt done and the regular talent won’t do it, they call me.
“If you really must know,” she continued, “I turn down more jobs than I take because they’re simply too dangerous. I’m not going to try something that’s sure to get me killed. That’s when the producers have to go to CGI. Those computer people make even more than I do, even if their special effects suck.”
She looked at her troubled father. “I’m not trying to kill myself, Dad. I may be hellish mad at the world, but I’m not ready to leave it…”
She reached her arms around his neck and kissed his cheek.
“So, is Doc Junior with you?” Frank asked, changing the subject.
Tanya dropped the loaf pan into the middle of the table, startling the other two, and sat down, still upset with her youngest daughter’s career choice.
“Um, no,” Katie stammered, sitting down at the table. “He went to D.C. to visit the great horny toad.”
That’s what she’d called Alicia ever since she was fifteen and caught her older sister bouncing on Uncle Jake’s bed, doing that thing with him!
“Now, you shouldn’t hold grudges,” Tanya said for the ten-millionth time. “After all, he didn’t pick her, either!”
Tanya knew that when her daughters were young, both were completely enamored with their adopted uncle. But only her oldest, Alicia, had been ambitious enough to try and make him hers. Her baby, Katherine, was too unsure of herself with her mousy brown hair and her flat chest to do more than worship Uncle Jake from afar.
“Besides, that was ages ago,” Tanya continued. “Pass your plate, dear.”
Dinner was a little quieter than it could have been. There were the usual complements to Tanya for the casserole and that it was nice to have someone to share dinner with.
Frank retired early, claiming fatigue. He’d bought a new toy for Tanya and had expected to spend the evening using it on her, but now his fun and games would have to wait while Katie was here.
Tanya watched the other disks that Katie had brought to show her parents the stuff she’d been doing. They talked for hours, catching up on things in Katie’s life – her most recent girlfriend and their breakup, and some rather frightening tales of her early stunts.
“I only told you half of what was so hard about that scene in the snow,” Katie confessed. “I finished the scene perfectly with the snow falling on me and everything because I had actually passed out with my eyes still open. Frankfurter thought I was dead.”
‘I was, but Mom doesn’t need to know that…’
“When Harvey, he’s the actor, threw that axe at me, he missed my back pad and took out three ribs and my right lung. That blood I was spitting up was real! I didn’t need to bite down on the blood packet. I don’t even think he realized it at first. We finished the scene – he spattered me with the fake stuff just like he was supposed to, simulating chopping me up and I grunted and cried out and died, just like in the .
“When the director yelled ‘Cut!’ and I didn’t get up, that’s when Frankfurter realized there was a problem. He carried me to the trailer and cauterized the wound in my back. It took a few hours to heal, but I had to wear a body cast for the next month and go on medical leave to make it look like I was injured. It was a good thing my gory little death scene was good on the first take…”
Katie yawned and checked her body monitor. Her free radicals were up and her blood sugar was over two hundred. It also registered that it was three thirty in the morning. She needed to get some sleep so that her body could restore itself to normalcy.
Mother and daughter, they each fumbled happily into their respective beds – Katie curled up in the guestroom and Tanya snuggled up with her snoring husband.
Chapter 3 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
‘I smell… Sausage!’
After all these years, there was still nothing that would wake Katie up like Dad’s fixing breakfast. She smiled and stretched, feeling like the innocent child that she’d been when she would wake up to his cooking every Sunday.
Sitting up, she looked around the guest bedroom in her parent’s new house.
‘Yes! I have my own bathroom!’
Fifteen minutes later, she was dressed in jeans and a cotton shirt and showed up in the kitchen, hair still wet, beating her mom by only seconds.
“Ha, ha, I won,” Katie crowed.
“No fair!” Tanya whined. “I had more cleaning up to do than you did.”
Frank looked at them both, then kissed his wife, apologetically.
“I could’ve let you sleep,” Frank suggested, almost whispering in Tanya’s ear.
Then he turned back toward the stove.
“You do and you’ll sleep alone,” Tanya replied. “I like the way you wake me up…”
She hung her head on his shoulder and watched him trying to crack eggs with her weight hanging on his arm.
“Mom… Gross!” Katie complained.
“Hey!” Tanya turned to face off with her daughter. “I may be over a hundred, but I’m still twenty, just like you!”
She folded her arms across her chest and stood with one hip out, acting just like her daughter had when she was a teenager in a snit.
Katie held her hands up, readily backing down. She sat down at the table and waited. She wasn’t about to get into an argument about sex with her mom. Especially not when, genetically, they were both the same age…
‘That reminds me…’
“The great horny toad sez that your vampire girl is back,” Katie mentioned, changing the subject.
That was one of the reasons why she was visiting. She wanted to meet this paragon of immortality that had affected all their lives so dramatically.
“Stop calling your sister that!” Tanya said, getting annoyed. “I get tired of hearing it! Sometimes I wonder what nicknames you have for us!”
‘Now I remember why I left…’
“I’m sorry,” Katie mumbled. “I was just… well, I was hoping to meet Béla. I mean, except for the fact that I heal really fast and I passed retirement age years ago, I’ve never had any proof that she really existed. And then the… Alicia… called and told me she was alive and living with Uncle Jake.
“Is she?” Katie asked, looking up hopefully. “Really alive? I mean… It just seems so incredible…”
Frank swung around holding the skillet and slid the first three eggs onto Katie’s plate. He was grinning happily. He turned back to start the next batch.
“Yep!” Frank exclaimed. “She's not only back, but she brought a sister with her!”
“Why didn’t you tell me last night?” Katie asked her mom. “We talked for hours…”
“Honey,” Tanya admitted. “Even after all these years, I’m still getting used to the fact that you hire yourself out to be killed for a living. We just didn’t get around to talking about Béla. I wasn’t trying to keep you from her.”
Katie didn’t look convinced. She looked at her eggs cooling on her plate, then picked up a piece of toast and ‘murdered’ the yolks. Squishing the crisp bread down into the little yellow lake and soaking it for a minute, she quickly raised it up and sucked the flavorful bite into her mouth. Half a sausage on the end of her fork quickly followed.
“Besides,” Tanya continued, “I think that you should meet Béla’s sister, Beth. I mean, meet her personally. Um, intimately… She can teach you some things about mental control that just might keep you alive in a bad situation – especially in your, um, occupation.”
“Intimate? Like in, sexually?” Katie asked, her eyebrows raised. “Why would you ask me to do a thing like that?”
‘Are you implying there’s something wrong with my sex life?’
Tanya sat for a moment under her daughter’s judgmental stare. They both sat silently while Frank finished serving breakfast around the table – a plateful of sausages, several fresh pieces of toast, and a pile of scrambled eggs for himself and Tanya to divide between them.
Frank looked at his wife for a moment, then decided to help her out from underneath her daughter’s condemning glare.
“Um,” Frank cleared his throat. “What she means is that Béla and her sister are telepaths. They are so powerful that when they get close to you, your mind just naturally merges with theirs. It’s just natural to want to have sex with them.”
‘I don’t believe I just said that to my own daughter! Now she’s giving me that look!’
“Look,” said Tanya, suddenly released from her daughter’s headlight glare, “We’re not saying do it or don’t do it. We’re just saying that when you meet these girls, you’ll want to… do it…”
‘I think I’ll just eat breakfast, then crawl under the table and hide from her the rest of the day...’
Katie smirked. “I have never met anyone with that kind of power that they just, with one look, can make me want to hop in bed with them…”
She stopped, suddenly remembering Ronnie, her best friend back in high school and her very first ever! She smiled sadly to herself.
‘She’s probably died of old age by now…’
The minor parent-child tensions that had occurred during the two meals Katie shared with her parents weren’t nearly as exciting as Katie’s discovery of her mom’s private playroom.
“How can you be so goddamned judgmental about my sex habits and what I do for a living! You had me believing that my ‘career choice’ was some sort of psychotic problem ‘I’ had!” Katie screamed into her mother’s face. “You do the same goddamned fucking thing!”
“Now, Katie,” Tanya whimpered defensively. “It’s not like that…”
“No? What the hell is that?” She was glaring at Tanya’s spike wall. “There’s blood all over the wall! Tell me how that got there, and I’ll let you off the hook!”
Frank came through the door. Tanya was standing there, beet red from head to toe. Chuckling to himself, he came up behind her and wrapped his arms around hers and clasped his hands together in front of her breasts. He swayed her from left to right and kissed the back of her neck.
“Katie, don’t yell at your mom,” Frank said, his voice perfectly normal.
“Dad…” Katie whined, then shut up.
She was upset. She finally had the goods on Mom, and Dad wouldn’t let her use it on her. How could he be so one-sided about this?
“This is our playroom, Sweetie,” Frank informed his daughter. “We’ve been experimenting with some new ideas, which I’m sure you’ve figured out. Now if you want to use this room for anything, you can ask us. Otherwise, please butt out. Okay?”
“Grrrr!” Katie grumbled. “I have to ask if I want to use Mom’s perverted sex room? No, thanks! I’ve got my own stuff!”
“I bet mine’s better,” Tanya ventured, feeling more belligerent now that her husband had rescued her and was holding her up.
In the end, they all agreed, somewhat unwillingly, to let both mother and daughter do as they wished, despite the fact that each one strongly disapproved of how the other was conducting their lives.
Katie didn’t get to meet Béla this trip. Frank Junior called that afternoon to tell Katie he had a shoot lined up for her in South Carolina scheduled for the next afternoon. They were doing yet another remake of King Solomon’s Mines and needed a new stunt girl for the cannibal scene as their snuff girl was badly injured when the cooking pot rolled into a rock and shattered at the bottom of the hill.
“That’s just twenty four hours, Bug, so you’d better get your tail out here pronto,” he told her.
‘Bug? Katydid it, but I won’t tell if you give me a dollar…’ Childhood memories of nasty older brothers…
She repacked her things and said goodbye to her parents, then hopped in her brand new Lincoln and got the hell out of there before they could nag her any more about her chosen career.
‘It’s a good thing they didn’t bring up my body-piercing Goth girl years… Now Mom’s finally going through that ‘phase!’ Gross! Double gross! Just… Ugh!’
Chapter 4 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
‘Close your eyes and concentrate. Incorrect. Relax a little more. She's more relaxed when she does it. Correct. Create an image of being in the very, exact center… Correct… Let go.’
‘What do you mean, ‘let go’? I’m not holding onto anything. I’m just lying here!’
‘It is required that you relax. Correct. Now. Let go… Surround your body with your mind…’
Elaine disappeared off the bed.
‘Now I have to push out… the Praetor can’t give me instructions from in here, wherever here is…’
Her ears popped as she reappeared in the center of New Eden. She couldn’t get her breath and she couldn’t stop spinning around.
‘Praetor! What’s wrong! I can’t breathe!’
‘The air is thinner where you are. You won’t suffocate. You have a moment before you begin to feel oxygen-deprived.’
‘Great! All the time in the world! Now get me down from here! I remember what happened to Béla when she got stuck out here…’
‘It is required that you relax and make an image of your destination.’
‘Alright. I’ve got one. This is a lot harder than just teleporting objects from room to room…’
‘You have learned the steps of the exercise and do not need prompting to complete each step. Now complete your exercise.’
Elaine surrounded herself with herself, and shoved herself into her image of her audience chamber in the goddess’ temple.
‘If this didn’t take so much effort, I could get fat from lack of real exercise,’ Elaine thought to herself.
The audience chamber was empty, so she walked into the adjoining room where her buffet would normally be set up. It was empty, both of warm bodies and food.
‘I forgot. It’s almost dark time. Everyone will be out working the fields getting the crops in before everything freezes.’
That was the one thing about her idyllic new world that she hated – five months of relentless, freezing darkness with no relief except for the endless orgies she threw to keep from going crazy every winter.
‘Dark time. They don’t call it winter, here. It’s worse than any winter!’
She left through the great stone doors and flew the short distance to her mansion, barely exercising her wings enough to notice they’d been used. Her evening lessons with the Praetor were finished until she was ready for her next sleep period. Most of the household staff were in their sleep period, now.
‘That means there won’t be any food available for a few hours, yet. One of the disadvantages of using my sleep time for education.’
Elaine mentally reviewed the checklist of exercises the Praetor had planned for the next week. She and two of her sisters would team up and learn how to synchronize their ability to teleport large objects. All the goddesses were to be taught in small groups once each goddess’ basic teleporting ability was adequate. She wondered which two of her sisters she would be matched with.
She climbed back into her own bed and wondered where all this training would take them. She was alone in the bed, for once, and, surprising herself, went directly to sleep – not dream-walking, not exercising her mind – just sleeping.
Chapter 5 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Incoming transmission from Surveillance Team Alpha,” the wall secretary said in its mechanical voice.
“Thank you, Charles,” Blacker told the machine. “Open a line.”
I’ve got to reset that thing with a female personality one of these days…
“Line open,” Charles, the wall secretary said.
“This is Chief Blacker.”
“Uh, Sir,” the voice on the other end of the line said. The loud whir of a rotor-powered flyer nearly drowned his voice.
‘That would be the personnel flier I issued to enhance Alpha team’s ability to observe the Pestova residence.’
The two aircraft Blacker had issued his Alpha and Beta teams were an all-plastic design with virtually no electronics, making each team invisible to any electronic navigational scanners or radar devices. They could go anywhere. If no one heard or saw their craft, no one would know they were there.
“Sir,” the voice continued. “We have retrieved the package and are in route to safehouse six for debriefing.”
‘Retrieved the package? They actually captured one of the alien females from the Pestova residence?’
Blacker had begun to believe that the little cabin in the desert was a stronghold. The incredibly expensive MAS-DEC system had stopped transmitting its data within a few days of the females’ arrival. The most annoying thing about that was…
‘It still works for them!’
“Is the package intact?” Blacker asked.
‘Is she alive?’
“Negative,” the voice replied. “The package has been damaged.”
‘They had to kill her…’
“I’ll review the data,” Blacker told his inept operative. “I’ll debrief you personally!”
‘This had better be good! They had strict orders to observe and not make contact! Somebody’s head is going to roll for killing that…’
Calming himself and taking a deep breath, he sat back down.
“Charles, open the microwave package that arrived with that last transmission; large display.”
He sat back to look at what his surveillance team had recorded. Both surveillance teams had standing orders to observe and do not make contact unless capture was possible without damage.
Alpha team consisted of two members; Gary Terns and Joanna Cooper; both experienced trackers, both stealth and assassin trained.
‘It’s not like them to have to terminate their target in order to make a capture.’
The recorded feed from the scrambled microwave transmission began:
The sound of a personal roto-flier roars through the room, then diminishes as the computer compensates for the sound.
‘They’re coming back this way! Land over by those rocks,’ a male voice says.
A rocket powered flitter passes, high overhead, descending down toward a valley.
‘We go on foot from here,’ Joanna said. ‘They should be right over the next ridge.’
She grabbed a Tri-d recorder, leaving the stun gun for Gary.
He fast-forwarded the recording while the team traveled over the rocks, traveling in the direction of the descending flitter, stopping when he noticed them talking again.
‘… shots. Maybe they’re hunting,’ Gary suggested.
‘I don’t think so,’ Joanna said, catching her breath from the rapid, ground-covering trot they’d been maintaining. ‘It sounds more like target practice – each shot would sound different if the target was moving…’
Gary grunted agreement. They crept forward, searching the area ahead of them. After some time, the sound of a flitter taking off caused them to duck under cover for a moment.
‘It’s going the other way,’ Gary said. ‘Away from us…’
They stepped out from behind the rocks and looked around.
‘Holy shit!’ Joanna heard Gary say.
She turned and stared, wide-eyed, at the bloody corpse of what appeared to be part human-part bird remains. It had a human torso and legs. It had once been female. But where the arms were, huge fragile wings were folded neatly over the body.
Gary walked around the remains, his gut churning at the cold-blooded butchery. The creature’s breasts and sexual organs had been shot off. Its entire torso was ravaged with bullet holes.
‘Well, now we know what they were hunting…’ Gary said, trying to sound hardened and uncaring as he stared down at the mangled body. ‘Looks like he wanted to make damn sure this thing was dead!’
Joanna was using the Tri-d recorder and discovered what the female observer in her didn’t want to believe.
‘Oh my God!’ Joanna turned to the side and threw up, retching several times before she regained her self-control.
‘What?’ Gary wanted to know. ‘What is it?’
‘He…’ she swallowed again, trying to keep her stomach down. ‘He killed it, and then he dead-fucked it!’
She moved the recorder down to get a good image of the creature’s shot-up lower abdomen and upper legs.
‘It looks almost human,’ Gary said, ‘except for those god-damn wings. I imagine this is what the Chief is looking for.’
‘Yeah! Well,’ Joanna said, ‘you’ve got the gun. I’ll go get the hopper.’
She trotted off, relieved to be away from the grisly scene. She wasn’t looking forward to preparing that… whatever it was… for transport back to MAS-DEC.
It was almost dark when Joanna landed the hopper next to Gary. He was pretty spooked by that time. Twice he’d jumped up, ready to shoot the grisly abomination himself. He was sure the creature had moved each time, but was able to convince himself that it was just the wind picking up and catching under the unearthly corpse’s unnatural wings.
‘This is like a nightmare out of a really bad monster movie!’ Gary told her when Joanna stepped down from the hopper.
Between them both, they were able to roll the creature up into a net and secured it to the underbelly of the hopper.
Handling it wasn’t as blood curdling a task as Joanna had feared. Although the thing was mostly covered with blood, the bullet wounds hadn’t torn up the body as much as she had originally believed.
‘It still feels warm,’ she said. ‘Almost like it’s still alive somehow.’
‘Well, you know that’s impossible,’ Gary replied, grunting as he tied down the awkward wings behind the body. ‘You know, these wings are both broken. He must have shot it down when it tried to escape.’
‘What should we do with its headgear?’ Gary asked.
The odd looking helmet had fallen off while the two of them were rolling the creature up in the cargo netting.
‘I don’t know. Throw it in the back and we’ll take it with us,’ Gary replied. ‘Why would it need a helmet? Do you suppose it was intelligent?’
‘What do you mean ‘intelligent’?’ Joanna wanted to know. ‘The head is almost completely undamaged and it looks human. The creature was obviously female – maybe a hybrid of some kind. She probably had at least ‘normal’ human intelligence.’
‘Yeah, well, her ‘human’ intelligence and those wings didn’t keep her from getting killed, now, did it? Do you suppose she could really fly? And if she could, why didn’t she just fly away?’
He climbed into the hopper as Joanna fired up the rotor. She shook her head, not having the slightest idea of how to answer.
So, Blacker realized, his agents didn’t kill the alien. Evidently, there was some sort of falling out and Pestova had lured the alien female out into the wilderness and violently murdered her. Blacker was admirably impressed by the amount of over-kill this Pestova character had demonstrated in executing the alien female. It was obvious that he knew how hard these creatures were to kill, and had made certain that this one, at least, would never rise again.
He grabbed a topcoat as he left to meet his incoming team. It was getting chilly outside.
‘This close to discovering immortality, I don’t need to die of pneumonia…’
Dissecting the alien was going to be fascinating. There was no limit to the possible secrets they might discover… and that helmet she was wearing – if it’s as alien as she is… or was… it could be full of secrets, too.
Blacker decided against filing a preliminary report with ‘the man’, upstairs. A few hours wouldn’t make much difference, especially now that their prize was just a dead piece of meat. Plus, there was the very real possibility that Hedron would try to take this prize for himself.
He grinned as he stepped out into the windy street, wondering what new discoveries would be learned tonight.
Chapter 6 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The cold metal gave her goosebumps all up and down her arms. Her nipples were hard, both from the cool sensation of the metal cups pressed against them, and from the sexual excitement she felt as Frank strapped the chastity belt around her waist and between her legs.
Tanya spread her legs to give Frank better access as he tightened the strap around her waist and stooped down in front of her to insert the inverted ‘protective’ cone that would prevent anyone from being able to violate her. She gasped as he pushed the smooth, cold hollow cone up inside her. Then he fastened the strap between her legs to hold it in place.
“Wow! You look great!” Frank said, admiring his wife’s sexy figure.
Tanya danced around for a moment, showing off for him. She was gazing at his hot costume as she swayed back and forth.
Frank was wearing a decorative codpiece that attached to a chain belt around his waist. The back of the codpiece was fastened to a leather strap which ran back between his legs, up between his buttocks and hooked to the chain belt in back. Tucked around the belt was a large, ragged piece of deerskin, just long enough to cover his butt cheeks, but open in front to display his codpiece.
His chest was covered with a short chain-mail shirt ending just below his rib cage. Over that, he wore his old deerskin vest. Tanya licked her lips and danced up against him, rubbing the codpiece against her chastity belt.
“You are so hot, hot, hot!” she whispered, breathing the words into his mouth as she ground her hips against him.
Then she backed away to let him finish dressing her. A thin leather strap was supposed to wind down her leg from her chastity belt to the top of her boot. Frank was going to have to wrap it around her leg because she couldn’t bend over now with that hollow metal cone shoved up inside her.
‘Knowing Frank, there’s sure to be a nasty little surprise inside that thing just waiting for me to warm it up or something…’ Tanya thought excitedly to herself. ‘I’ll probably bleed down my legs all evening from the damage it’ll do every time I take a step…’
Tanya stood in her spike-heeled boots with her right hip jutted out while Frank wrapped the leather ties around her right leg. Frank decided it looked so sexy that he wrapped another leather tie around her left leg. She could already feel the sexual energy building up inside her as Frank tightened the second leather tie. She was so aroused it was hard for her to stand still.
“Tell me…” she gasped, as Frank finished tying off the leather strap.
“Tell you what?” Frank asked, his eyes feasting on her smooth creamy flesh as they traveled up her leather-strapped legs, past the cruel metal chastity belt cutting into her hips, on up her smooth, soft belly and up her ribs to her metal-incased breasts.
“Tell me what the surprise is,” Tanya begged, whispering hoarsely. “This costume is making me so horny I’m going to come in about a minute. Tell me… What’s going to happen when I do?”
Frank didn’t say anything. He watched her with lust growing stronger in his eyes. Tanya briefly smiled at him, nervous and excited.
“It’s another mangler, isn’t it?” she guessed, her wide eyes staring into his. “How does it work?”
Frank pulled her into his arms and kissed her hard on her mouth, then began kissing her face while he told her. Her breathing was more uneven as her excitement and anxiety increased.
“It’s an old British design, made to help young ladies learn to control their sexual desires. When a young lady becomes improperly aroused, her private parts become moist. A sponge inside the tube expands as it sucks up the moisture. The expansion pushes little needles out…”
He stopped talking. Tanya was trembling and gasping. He held her tightly, hoping she wouldn’t tear into his neck again.
After a moment, she took a deep breath, seeming to regain control of herself, and stopped trembling.
“And the little needles teach the innocent young girl to control her desires?” Tanya whispered unevenly, finishing his explanation.
Breathing heavily, she kissed him passionately, grinding her lips against his.
“God, I love you,” Tanya whispered, breaking her kiss and still breathing heavily. “We are a unique pair, you and I. Traveling through life together for hundreds of years. Tell me. Do you ever tire of me?”
Frank looked at her while he processed the question. Then he smiled.
“No. I could never tire of you,” he promised, gazing into her glistening eyes. “You are the sun that lights my day. You are what gives me life. When I think of tomorrow, I feel happy because I’ll be sharing it with you.”
Tanya smiled, “I love it when you talk dirty.”
She kissed him again lightly, teasing him, loving him even more for his sappy declaration.
“Now on to something a bit more serious,” she added, forcing her tensed-up body to relax in his arms.
“How do you get these darling little needles to retract?” she asked, and smiled into his face, still breathing a little heavily, the air hissing through her clenched teeth.
Frank frowned. Ever since the vampire, Beth, had bedded Tanya, Tanya had been a glutton for physical, especially sexual, torture. He was sure Beth had done something to her mind – making Tanya more like they were – willing to experience incredible amounts of pain for what seemed a small amount of sexual satisfaction.
Personally, he liked the change and was willing to help Tanya explore the depths of sexual perversion, to help her discover her new limits. That’s what her new ‘playroom’ was all about. But with this ‘new’ Tanya, Frank kept forgetting that some of those perverted activities might actually hurt her. She was still human, after all, unlike the vampire sisters.
“Are you in pain?” he asked, concern showing in his voice.
She shook her head, then shrugged. Her metal breastplates made a tiny scraping sound as they moved against his chain-mail vest.
“No, not really,” Tanya confessed, closing her eyes and trying to think.
‘How can I explain this?’
“Well,” she continued, “I can feel it, pricking me inside. Right now, it doesn’t really hurt, but I won’t be able to walk without doing some serious damage to myself. It’s like… I can separate myself from the pain it causes. When I do that, the pain… disperses… so that it’s not so intense. When that happens, then my whole body tingles with sensation… with energy. It’s an incredibly sexual experience – almost like being made love to with the point of a dagger.”
‘Does that make sense? Will he think I’m crazy? Does he realize I’ve become a slut for pain?’
“But,” she concluded. “I need you to take it out of me, otherwise, we’ll never make it to the George’s party…”
She licked her lips, indicating that she wouldn’t really care if they missed the costume party. They could have their own party, right here…
Frank grinned nervously.
“The only way the needles retract is when the sponge dries up,” he tried to explain. “When that happens, then the young lady being ‘treated’ can be considered ‘cured’ of her ‘unholy’ desires.”
“I’ll be stuck with this thing forever!” Tanya wailed, only half-serious.
‘I know he knows a way to disable this! He would never put me in real danger… I hope…’
Frank helped Tanya lay down on the bed and unstrapped the belt holding the device between her legs. While Frank was trying to determine how to get the insidious device to release his wife, Tanya’s mind wandered over their recent conversation.
‘When did a young lady need to be ‘cured’ of ‘unholy’ desires anyway?’ she wondered.
“Was this used in some kind of monastery or something for women?” Tanya asked, curious.
“Funny you should ask,” Frank muttered, working between her legs.
‘I think I’ve almost got this… There!’
“This particular chastity…”
“Ow! Be careful down there!”
“…chastity belt was reputedly worn by Guinivere during her last conversation with her king, just before Mordred’s knights destroyed the remnants of Arthur’s loyal army, bringing an end to the Age of Camelot.”
Tanya yelped as Frank pulled the little sponge out of the hollow tube inserted inside her, the motion vibrating the needles inserted in her tender flesh. Then the mechanism retracted the needles, allowing him to pull the tube out of her sore and bleeding pussy.
“Wow, that really looks inflamed,” Frank exclaimed, examining her closely. “Do you want me to put something in there?”
“You’re a dirty, little man,” Tanya answered sweetly, curling her body up into a ball, relieved to have that thing out of her.
“I meant a salve, or something,” Frank explained patiently. “However, if that’s how your mind works… I could think of something else to put up there that might ‘sooth’ the pain…”
‘After all these years, I’ve still got the hots for her sweet cunt…’
“Well, what you get to put ‘up there’ depends on your answer to my next question,” Tanya said playfully.
“And what would that be, my queen?” Frank responded.
“Is there a secret device in the breastplate, as well?” she asked, her hopeful voice a little uneven with desire.
She grinned back at him as she saw Frank smile at her and curled around so that her back was against the mattress. She raised her arms above her head and pressed her breasts against the now warm metal encasing them.
“Show me…” she whispered.
She bit her lip and held her breath as she felt Frank’s hand snake up her left side. His fingers reached under the metal strap, his nails scratching her flesh as they pressed against her rib cage. She heard the tiny ‘snick’ of a metal slide.
Then her breasts were on fire.
“Aaiiee!” she screamed, arching her back into the air.
She grabbed the breastplates with her hands, but that only pushed the needles deeper into her flesh. Then one hand was between her legs. She masturbated furiously as she came. Then she came again. After her third orgasm, Frank, his hand still beneath the strap of her breastplate, pulled the lever back, releasing the tiny needles from her tortured flesh. A trickle of blood ran down onto his fingers.
Tanya collapsed onto the bed, tears streaming down her face. She was gasping, momentarily unable to catch her breath. Frank snuggled up against her sweating, sticky body, his mouth only a few inches from her ear.
“So, do you like your Halloween costume?” he asked quietly.
Tanya turned her head toward him, their noses almost touching. Then she squashed her nose against his and kissed his lips. She turned her head straight up again, chuckling to herself.
“I think, if I remember properly,” Tanya said, closing her eyes, “Arthur and his Round Table were only a fairy tale. They never really existed.”
“Hmm,” Frank responded. “It kind of makes you wonder where the chastity belt came from then, doesn’t it?”
Tanya laughed lightly, then said, “I hate to think it, but it probably was used to help young penitents stay true to their vows of chastity, back in the ‘Olden Days’.”
“Are you trying to tell me that people were actually tortured so that they stayed true to their beliefs back in the middle-ages?” Frank exclaimed, pretending astonishment.
Tanya laughed and pushed him away, accidentally striking his codpiece with her legs as she turned over toward him. Frank hissed, nearly doubling over in sudden agony. Tanya stared at him, wondering what was wrong. Comprehension slowly dawned on her. Then, she curled up into a ball, laughing so hard she began crying again.
“You… You didn’t!” she cried, trying really hard not to laugh at him. “Tell me… (sniff!)… Tell me you didn’t…”
She closed her mouth, spraying him with saliva as she bravely tried not to bray right in his face with laughter. Now, she had the hiccups.
“Tell me you (hic!)… you didn’t (hic!)… Damn!” she said, clenching her teeth in frustration.
She tried again. “(Hic!)” she said. Then she nodded and pointed down at him.
“You did!” she accused him. Then she burst into laughter again. “You hee-hee-hee-hee-hee… really did…”
She buried her head in the pillow, trying desperately to stop her maniacal laughter. After another minute, she was able to get her hysterics under control.
“I’m sorry, darling,” Tanya whimpered weakly, wiping her eyes. “It’s just that…”
She closed her mouth and put her hand over her face, trying not to break out laughing again.
“It’s just that,” she began again, “all these torture devices you’ve been buying for me, and then you get one of those…”
She started laughing again, but she was able to stop after a few seconds. Then she sighed, seeing the anguished frustration on his face.
“Here. Let me help you get this off, okay?” she offered, bending down toward his codpiece.
She was right. Tiny drops of blood were dripping off the end of the metal codpiece.
Reaching around behind Frank, she found the hook that fastened the leather extension to his chain belt and released it, then pulled the leather extension out from between his buttocks so she could lift the codpiece off his dick.
“Ooo! What a sore little stiffie,” she cooed at it, once she had it free of its torturous surroundings.
She kissed it, making it instantly harder as it tried to grow right into her mouth. There were several shallow puncture wounds on it. They looked like they might be healing.
Tanya licked her tongue over his dick, cleaning off any remnants of blood that remained. When she finished, it was hard and pulsing in time to Frank’s heartbeat.
“We should commingle our wounded parts together,” she suggested as she straightened up and pressed her body against his, “so that they may heal properly.”
In another second she had him inside her. They both hissed as his sore penis rubbed against the tiny puncture wounds inside her vagina. Then they were both too aroused to care how much it hurt.
Their lovemaking was quick and intense. They embraced each other’s metal-clad bodies and rammed their pelvises together as hard as they could. Frank’s orgasm made her hot, slippery pussy even slicker as he kept pounding into her and spurting at the same time, unwilling to stop and enjoy his own orgasm when Tanya was so feverishly close to her own. Then they slammed together one final time; every muscle in Tanya’s taut body tense and quivering as she orgasmed so fiercely she couldn’t even take a breath to cry out.
Afterward, they lay on the bed, wrapped around each other, their faces and bodies wet from the exertion and their passionate kisses. Tanya blinked back tears from the burning sensation of Frank’s salty cum washing against tender, half-healed flesh inside her.
“How do you do it?” Frank asked, still breathing hard after several minutes. “Control the pain, I mean. You and I do things to your body that would kill almost anyone else, and it just makes you hotter and more aroused. How do you do it?”
Tanya closed her eyes. Her body was beginning to relax, finally!
“I don’t know,” Tanya said and sighed.
She lay there for a moment. “Beth,” she said.
“The night the girls arrived,” Tanya explained, “you took Béla and left me and Beth… No, that’s not right. After all the years you and Béla had been apart, you two needed some time together. You both needed to heal the wounds you had between you, so I led Beth away to give you some privacy.
“I knew you and Béla were going to make love,” she continued, “so I decided to seduce Beth. You know when you touch them, you can see inside… you can feel them in your mind. It’s like, when you make love with one of them, you merge with them – on a mental level as well as a physical one.”
Frank nodded, understanding only too well what Tanya was saying.
“Well, with Beth,” Tanya told him, “it was like a window opened into her soul. She was willing for you to look at what she shows you, but if you look around, the view through the window lets you see a lot more than what’s right in front of you.”
Frank pondered what Tanya was saying. With Béla, he didn’t get sight and sound. When Béla shared her mind with his, he only received the sensations and emotions she was experiencing. He nodded, indicating to Tanya that she should continue.
“I’ve looked inside Beth’s mind, Frank,” Tanya explained. “There’s a whole universe of things she’s seen and experienced that I never even knew existed.
“Looking in her mind, I’ve seen other planets, the insides of a spaceship, cultures that existed hundreds and thousands of years ago. I’ve experienced sex the way that only another vampire can experience it – violent, sadistic, exquisitely painful and incredibly beautiful.”
“I had a bit of a glimpse into Beth’s violent sexual makeup that night at Renee’s, when we were all mind-linked together,” Frank interrupted. “She just couldn’t wait to get that knife blade inside her, could she? I’ve never felt sexual anxiety like that!
“But then, she tore his throat out,” Frank continued, not understanding the violence of the action when he compared it to the emotion that Beth was feeling at the time. “She loved what he was doing to her, so why did she kill him?”
Tanya shrugged, not completely understanding it, herself. She had been there, too. The violent murder of the kidnapper had surprised her with its suddenness and intensity. She remembered that Beth had actually felt remorse for what she had done, but only for a moment. The dead meat beneath her was only an animal, after all – an animal that preyed on others more helpless than itself for most of its brief, wasted life.
“Maybe she was hungry,” Tanya suggested, trying to lighten the mood to what it had been a moment ago.
“Well, she tried to tear your throat out, too,” Frank answered as he remembered that frightening moment.
“Yes, but she’d already let loose by the time you pulled her off me,” Tanya explained, for the first time. “Even though she was rip-roaring drunk, she was already trying to stop herself from doing it. Otherwise, my throat would’ve still been clenched in her teeth when you threw her across the bed. Her species is really strong – I don’t think anyone could stop her if she didn’t want to be stopped…”
Frank didn’t like the idea that he might not have been able to protect Tanya from the vampire girl if she had seriously attacked either one of them, but he knew it was probably true. Beth’s sister, Béla, had easily killed several highly trained and heavily armed combatants when one of them shot Tanya and threatened others that she cared about. And Tanya was right, as usual. The two vampire girls were of the same unnaturally powerful species.
“Well, I’m glad they’re on our side, then,” Frank grinned.
They laughed, then kissed.
“Are we going to go to George’s party?” Tanya asked brightly, breaking their kiss.
She raised up on the bed, supporting herself on one elbow. Frank raked his gaze up and down her tight, sexy body and grinned at her.
“You really want to?” he asked.
“I always want to!” Tanya chirped. She was now being Tootsie, Frankie the Third’s favored ‘slut-bod’. “Parties are my life, baby!”
“But,” Tanya added, being Tanya again, “I think we should leave the little center piece out of my chastity belt this time… and maybe deactivate your ‘codpiece’, just in case you see something that interests you…”
She raised her eyebrows at him.
“Only when you’re around,” Frank teased back. “Are you going to clean up? You smell pretty funky…”
Tanya licked her upper lip and dipped her hand down between her legs. Then she smeared the juices she found there all over her belly. The scent of her sex and Frank’s cum filled the room. Tanya took a deep breath.
“I like the way I smell. Don’t you?” Tanya asked, dangerously polite.
Frank held his hands up in front of him and backed off the bed. He wasn’t about to get into an argument with her about sex, and that included her scent after they did it.
‘She's getting as ornery as Béla used to be…’
It took them both a few more minutes to get ready. Now that the wicked hollow tube wasn’t rammed halfway up to her belly button, Tanya could finish dressing herself. She quickly strapped her ‘chastity’ belt back on (sans tube), then stuck her face in the makeup kit. It painted a lovely leafy vine down one side of her face and darkened the entire other side of her face so that she looked like two halves of a mismatched doll head. The mask she wore was painted on – a slash of black across her face and eyes.
They both wore ‘armor’; strap-on arm and leg bands with short, rounded spikes coming out of them. The last part of Tanya’s costume was created just before stepping out of the limo at George’s. Tanya pressed herself up against Frank’s costume, puncturing her bare belly with several tiny wounds that bled just enough to leave little trails of fresh blood on her body before they healed.
Also, true to her word, Frankie’s little slut-bod, Tootsie, used her own scent mixed with Frank’s cum as her perfume that night, letting everyone know the real reason for their fashionably late arrival. As a result of how she smelled, she was very popular at the party and slipped away several times to help some poor slob come in his pants while making out with that rich Tabor kid’s personal slut-bod. Privately, she let Frank know each time she was about to ‘slip away’ with someone, allowing him to slip his leash and pay some attention to some other sweet little slut-bod that was trying to ‘up’ her status by being snapped with him.
All in all, it was a fun costume party. By the time they left, Frank and Tanya were both so horny from teasing the locals that Frank snagged her against the limo when it arrived to drive them home. They made sure they were snapped doing it, giving the local news media something to talk about the next morning. Next year, George’s Halloween party was going to be at least twice as big, mostly because of the free publicity.
‘Thank you very much! We’ll send you a bill…’
Physically exhausted, but sexually sated, the pair finally escaped into the limo. Tanya, still playing ‘Tootsie’, licked her tongue up the side of Frank’s face, while winking at the poor guy trying to snap them one last time before the door closed. He got the shot.
‘There’s your week’s pay, pal! Enjoy it!’
Frank and Tanya relaxed in the limo, giggling and getting crazy on the heady scent of each other’s sex. The limo was reeking with it. After a moment, Tanya noticed the blinking red light on the message monitor. She pressed the button, starting the recording. It was Béla and Jake. They looked very upset.
“When you get this message, please call us!” Jake was saying. “We need to know if Beth is with you at your Halloween party. She mentioned the other day that she might go with you when you talked with her, but she didn’t tell us definitely that she was going. I took her ‘hunting’ yesterday. She usually ’ports home by herself, but she wasn’t here this morning.”
“Please,” Béla said, looking much more worried than Jake, “tell us she’s with you. It’s night, and I should be able to feel her, but I can’t. I’m so scared…”
She turned and buried her head in Jake’s shoulder.
“It’s okay,” they heard Jake say. “It’s going to be okay, baby.”
The transmission ended.
“Boy, she’s really starting to show,” Frank mentioned, referring to Béla’s fat little tummy.
“Get serious!” Tanya said. “Beth is missing! Where could she go?”
“No idea,” Frank replied. “What did Jake mean, ‘hunting?’ He doesn’t hunt.”
Tanya’s eyes widened as she realized what he meant. It was right there in her memories. Not her memories, exactly, but the memories she had from Beth’s past. One of Beth’s intentions was to get someone to shoot her ‘many, many times’. In fact, she recalled Béla offering to let Jake hunt them both while Béla was convincing Beth to stay with her on Earth. Back on the spaceship, being a target had been one of Beth’s favorite sex games.
“No,” she said, correcting him. “Jake said he took her hunting. He wasn’t hunting with her. He was hunting her!”
Frank watched as Tanya’s incredible analytical mind began to function. He was always amazed by her ability to focus and pick out details. Her recent retirement from fieldwork was hurting their business more than he let her know.
“He also said,” Tanya continued, “that Beth usually teleports home by herself! That means that he just leaves her lying on the rocks or wherever it is he guns her down! When she recovers, she simply thinks of home, and she’s there. Knowing Jake, he probably races to see if he can get home before she does! It’s obvious that, not only did he beat Beth home after he shot her full of holes yesterday, but, she never made it home at all!”
“So what happened?” Frank asked.
He was so used to Tanya spitting out the right answer that he actually expected her to know.
Tanya thought for a moment, reviewing her images of Beth’s memories – especially the sexy ones of Beth and Béla playing their violent games on that huge spaceship they traveled in.
‘Beth can take a lot of punishment. There’s no way that Jake could actually kill her with just a rifle. Look at this! She just blew up her own breasts! Now she’s just lying there! Wow! I didn’t know you could actually transmit an orgasm. That must have been what happened to us at Renee’s… She came, we followed…’
“It means, she never woke up! After the violent sex the vampire girls seem to need,” Tanya conjectured, “they seem to be helpless for hours afterwards, just lying unconscious wherever they happen to be while they regenerate.”
“For hours?” Frank asked, trying to understand what could take hours for someone who recovered from injury as fast as Béla did.
He was beginning to understand what Jake and Beth had been doing.
“It’s quite possible she was abducted, Frank,” Tanya decided. “It could be the same people that poisoned her back in our old apartment. They must have found her and drugged her again.”
“Yeah, it could be,” Frank said, thoughtfully. “But then Jake, I mean our grandson Jake, would know where she is. If she was kidnapped yesterday, he would have called by now.”
“Maybe he did,” Tanya suggested. “Or, maybe somebody did something farther down the line from where he is and he hasn’t heard about it, yet.”
“We’ll set up our lines when we get home,” Frank said, deciding to take the lead with this new operation.
‘This is just like old times, girl. You and me against the bad guys…’
He gazed at her; the intense look she got when faced with a serious challenge, the gaudy makeup, the metal breastplate, her sexy belly tucked into that silly chastity belt.
‘She sure has changed a lot in the last few months, but she’s still the same, inside. She's like a shooting star, blazing brightly as she passes across the sky. I only hope I can keep up with her…’
Chapter 7 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A loud, droning sound assaulted her ears, bringing back memories of the personnel carriers that traveled back and forth from the storage depots of New Eden to the great ship parked in the center of that hollow, little world.
Her body still tingled from the violent destruction of her sexual organs after Jake had raped her, as she lay helpless and broken on the ground. She felt fresh and renewed. A frigid wind whipped briskly across her naked body and up through her hair. For some reason, though, she couldn’t move her arms.
‘I must still be half-asleep…’
She opened her eyes.
The world fell away a mile beneath her into bleak and utter darkness! On the horizon beneath her feet were thousands of lights, slowly getting closer.
‘My feet are tied together! I’m in some kind of net! My arms are tied behind me! My wings… Oh, God! My wings…’
Her wings were wrapped and folded unnaturally behind her, caught as her captors rolled her up in the netting that was binding her.
‘Oh, God… They’re still broken…’
Beth closed her eyes against the dizzying display of lights that were now passing beneath her. She figured out she was tied to the bottom of some kind of aircraft.
‘These must be the people who made me sick at Tanya’s apartment. How did they catch me way out here?’
She was still a little angry about being poisoned while she was asleep. The fact that someone was probably spying on her while she and Jake were playing their sex games made her even more angry.
‘They’re just going to keep coming back and pestering me until I convince them not to. What could they possibly want with me, anyway?’
She decided to stick around and find out. The two in the aircraft were just hired help, not really understanding what they had captured. She could feel it in their minds.
‘They’re just lackeys. They do what they’re told and they get rewarded with the comforts of life.’
Beth looked at the image of where they were taking her. Somebody called ‘the Chief’ was going to meet them and take over their ‘package’.
‘That means me…’
Then they were expected to rest for the remainder of the night before they returned to spy on Jake’s cabin!
‘That’s how they caught me! It’s a good thing they didn’t go after Béla while she was alone. They might’ve hurt her baby before she killed them!’
Beth nervously watched the landing pad rushing up toward her and mind-linked with the female pilot so she could tell what was going to happen. Then the noisy little craft was on the ground and the rotors were shut down. The pair climbed out of the craft and, one at each end, unhooked the netting containing her. A third man was driving a platform out to meet them. Beth was tossed unceremoniously onto the platform as it arrived beside the little craft. It took a lot of effort not to grunt or cry out as she landed.
‘They think I’m dead, after all… No reason to upset them with reality.’
The ride across the asphalt was slow and bumpy. Beth had landed face down and couldn’t see where she was going. She closed her eyes, putting her body to sleep, and dream-walked out, looking around carefully.
‘There’s a large door in the side of a building. Wow! The door is the size of the entire building! My body’s being moved into a metal wagon… oh. A truck; he calls it.’
She raided the mind of the driver to find out where they were taking her. It was a place called Evan Stephen Hospital and Institute for Genetic Research. The trip would take about fifteen minutes.
‘The package, that’s me, again, is to be taken deep underground to a secret research facility, whatever that is. My God! They plan to carve me up into little pieces!’
She woke up and tried to get her wings loose. They were still painfully broken and still wrapped up, folded unnaturally into the netting she was wrapped in.
‘Okay, I’ll just have to kill them all!’
Beth didn’t even consider trying to escape. People who hunted other people rarely gave up unless they themselves were incapacitated or killed. Escape would mean that Béla and Jake would still be in danger.
‘After I take care of this little nest of vipers, I’ll go after those guys that are spying on us!’
The truck braked to a halt. Beth lay still while the rear door was opened and the netting containing her was dragged back to where she could be lifted out. She could feel the minds of the people around her. There were two people that alarmed her. One could only be ‘the Chief’.
The other was a doctor/scientist. At least, that’s what he believed himself to be. As Beth raided his mind, she realized that the doctor was certain that he was the only living being in the entire universe who mattered and that everyone else existed either to torment him or was there for him to experiment on.
The excitement of those two as she was carefully unwrapped increased dramatically as more of her body was revealed.
“I thought this creature was supposed to have been shot to death with a projectile weapon,” she heard one say. “There doesn’t seem to be much tissue damage…”
“If this… bird girl… is supposed to be dead, why is she still warm?”
There were a few seconds of silence, then Beth opened her eyes and tried to get out of the way. If her arms, (my wings!) had been healed and didn’t get snagged in the netting, she might have been fast enough…
The hiss of a needle gun was the last thing she heard.
Jake Hedron was looking at the tiny image of ‘Grandpa Frank’ as his words filtered through the fifteen national security problems he was already dealing with and impacted against his mind.
Three days ago, the vampire Beth disappeared into the mountains near his namesake’s cabin. The other (original) vampire girl, Béla, was pregnant and her pregnancy was disrupting her (powers?) and her natural ability to detect her sister’s location. (Well, telepathic messaging between twins has already been proven, so, it’s possible she isn’t a sham…)
“… and Grandma has determined that Beth was abducted by the same people that bugged our apartment and drugged Beth before. It’s likely that they were watching Uncle J… your father’s cabin and followed them into the mountains. Your grandmother’s rarely wrong about stuff like that. Her intuition is why our own business has been so successful all these years, you know.
“With the scenarios we’ve come up with, we’ve determined that Beth is either too drugged to escape, or she’s… Well, we’re hoping that’s the case.”
“Well, Gramps, I’ve been keeping Chief Blacker on a tight leash and monitoring all his reports, but his reports are suspiciously overdue, right now. In fact, I was going to inquire into his slacking on that subject, but now, it’s obvious why he hasn’t contacted me. If that is the case, and he has her, I’ll find out in the next twenty-four hours, maybe even less. I’ll be in Albuquerque by late evening.”
Frank smiled nervously and signed off. Frank didn’t like bringing his grandson in on what should be a private case, but this was also a family matter. Beth was Béla’s sister, and Béla was the reason why the Tabors were who they were.
Jake Hedron, the Chairman of Tomlin Security Corp., stared at the silent monitor after his grandfather signed off.
‘If I remember the stories Gramps told me, their species is incredibly aggressive when threatened. It’s possible that this ‘Beth’ girl didn’t even consider ‘escape’ as an option and tried to take on Blacker and his goons all by herself.’
Jake was furious. Blacker’s team had likely been experimenting on the vampire girl for at least three days. He may have already discovered the secret of her immortality. It would certainly be obvious, after three days of probing and poking, that she was at least a huge evolutionary step beyond normal mankind, just from the way her body repaired itself.
‘Humanity can’t afford to have a viper like Blacker in control of mankind’s immortality. It would be the end of any kind of democracy!’
He visualized a civilization of masters and slaves – very few masters and billions of slaves, willing to do anything the master race desires for a taste of that magic elixir…
“Prepare immediate transportation to MAS-DEC in Albuquerque!” he said to the wall secretary.
“A Tomlin Air Limo is currently available on the roof-top landing platform,” the wall secretary informed him. “The pilot and steward are presently being notified of your request.”
Chairman Hedron finished up the papers on his desk and typed a few entries into his desk-link to forward computer access to the air limo on the roof.
“The crew for the air limo has reported in. Departure time will be in fifteen minutes, immediately after preflight maintenance.”
The Chairman looked up. “Thank you.”
‘I wonder what I should call this thing, anyway. The clientele aren’t very impressed when I address it as ‘Wall’. I’ll have to admit it does lack a certain… decorum.’
“Do you have a name preference?” Jake asked.
“Please restate the question,” the wall replied.
“What do you wish to be called?” Jake asked. “ ‘Wall’ seems a little undignified.”
‘I’m asking a machine for its opinion!’ Jake thought, snickering to himself despite the serious gut feeling he had about this situation.
“I do not have a wish to be called any particular name,” the wall replied. “My function is to expedite your wishes. I do not have wishes.”
“Do you have a name?” Jake asked, beginning to feel exasperated.
“Your father called me ‘Reggie’, if you wish to address me by name,” the wall replied, “that name would suffice.”
“Thank you,” the Chairman replied, “Reggie. Please transfer my desk-link to air limo…”
‘Which one is it, anyway?’
“Air limo number 5, sir,” Reggie replied.
“Thank you, again,” Jake said and shook his head to clear it. Then he was out the door.
‘Rescuing this girl just might blow my cover as a ‘long-lifer’, completely ruin my Chairmanship and any chance I might have for election to the Supreme Board. Damn Blacker anyway! Who does he think he is, going off on his own that way! I know what he wants – the same thing his grandfather wanted! Blacker is the best argument in favor of ‘mental hygiene’ I’ve ever met!’
Once aboard, he was informed that the trip from Boston to Albuquerque at Mach III would take a little over an hour. He would get to watch the sun rise in the west, if he wanted to visit the cockpit of the air limo.
“No thanks,” he replied. “I’ve got too much work here.”
He entered the plans for a possible solution to France’s problem (Why is it always France?) with a South African company that had begun commercial non-stop flights from the South Euro Union of Sovereign Nations over French national airspace.
‘The real problem here is that France, last century’s center of commerce and tourism is being completely bypassed and ignored in favor of that new artificial mountain that’s turned Greenland into an international ski resort.’
He chuckled to himself, remembering a visit to Florida’s various resorts and tourist attractions when he was a child.
‘Boy, that was a long, long time ago!’
“… that a team from Tomlin-Paris investigate the possibility of Air Africa setting up a franchise in, oh, somewhere in the south of France, with a special tax break for a fledgling international company just starting out. The property could be leased from the French government at whatever rate they want – with subsidies and the usual kickbacks from World-Net Enterprises.”
World-Net was a special committee that governed and often subsidized business transactions between the old commonwealth and newer organizations that were expanding into the world market. The organization was subsidized with dues paid by all corporations doing business on an international level.
Jake sighed to himself and transmitted the document. The seat console folded down out of sight. The steward, an older gentleman with a British accent, noticed the Chairman finishing up his work and brought Jake a drink.
“Sir,” a voice from the cockpit announced. We’ll be arriving at the MAS-DEC landing pad in five minutes.”
Jake watched Albuquerque float by underneath. The entire city was bathed in golden light from the setting sun. Down beneath the golden facades of glass-walled buildings, streetlights were beginning to blink on. On the ground, far below this golden valley of skyscrapers, much of the city was already in darkness.
Two MAS-DEC security men were in the private executive elevator rising swiftly toward the roof.
“We’re actually doing to take out the Chairman of Tomlin Securities?” one asked, not really understanding, but knowing that the Chief had ordered it.
“We’re to ‘escort’ Chairman Hedron to see Chief Blacker,” the second man clarified.
He was the senior of the two, therefore he called the shots. They both knew what Chief Blacker did with traitors, no matter what echelon of government they may claim as protection, and Blacker had told them that the Chairman had something to do with the enemy alien captive. Earth was in danger of being invaded, and Hedron was part of the conspiracy.
The limo touched down lightly on the rooftop landing pad. Jake watched as two security attendants approached to escort him to MAS-DEC reception. An incredible brightness suddenly blinded him. He held his hand in front of his face, protecting his burnt-out retinas from the searing, white pain. He smashed into the bulkhead as the air limo was swept off the roof by the shock wave from a nuclear blast.
A huge fireball of nuclear energy, suddenly released from its stable atomic structure, rose swiftly from beneath the ground a few blocks away. The expanding fireball obliterated the Albuquerque skyline and formed into a magnificent mushroom cloud that expanded and spread as it reached the edge of the stratosphere.
Béla and Jake were in their upstairs bedroom. Jake brushed his hand through her silky, black hair.
“I love you, you know,” he said.
In the last four months since she’d returned to him from, as far as he was concerned, beyond the grave, he’d said those words at least a million times. Béla was certain of it, but she still loved to hear him say it.
“Mmm,” she replied, her eyes closed.
She was enjoying his attentions, now that he had finally halfway-convinced her that Beth was probably all right and that she probably took off to admire the city lights.
“They would be visible as a glow on the horizon when she woke up,” he’d told her. “Maybe she was just curious. Her helmet would keep you from being able to locate her…”
Maybe Jake was right. Beth did have an insatiable curiosity. She just hoped her sister’s curiosity didn’t get her into some kind of trouble she couldn’t handle.
‘What kind of trouble could she get into? She can kill as effectively as I can. She can teleport anywhere she wants to go. What could overpower her against her will?’
That was the ‘kicker’. Against her will, not very many people could do anything to her. Wherever Beth was, she evidently had agreed to be there. Realizing that, Béla was more relaxed now with Jake caressing her and massaging the tenseness out of her.
Knowing that her dear friends, Frank and Tanya, were avidly searching for her sister was also comforting. What annoyed Béla the most was the constant bickering that seemed to be occurring between her body’s immune system and the immune system that was developing in her baby.
Her baby wasn’t conscious yet – at least, Béla couldn’t detect any semblance of a mind attached to the newly developing body. Still, the presence of another body developing its own autonomic nervous system was disrupting to her own.
In Béla’s entire almost-five-thousand-year existence, she had never, ever thrown up. Now, she was doing it almost every day. That and the fact that she couldn’t even concentrate enough to teleport an orange out of the refrigerator really depressed her. She couldn’t even dream-walk when she was asleep.
“Whose turn is it to fix supper?” Béla asked, wanting to get up and away from her morbid thoughts.
She knew Jake would fix something if she asked. Jake liked to cook, which, according to Tanya, was somewhat unusual.
‘But Frank liked to cook… Maybe I’m just attracted to men who can cook…’
Despite Jake’s protests that she should stay in bed and rest, Béla climbed out of bed and headed toward the staircase.
“If I don’t get any exercise, I’ll get too fat!” she exclaimed, using her ever-expanding tummy as an excuse to do something!
Béla heard the shower start upstairs as she crossed the downstairs living room. There was an unusual brightness on the eastern horizon.
‘Why is the sun’s coming up?’ Béla wondered, looking through the glass wall of the cabin. ‘It just went down – it’s not time, yet…’
An electromagnetic wave pulsed through her mind, causing incredible agony. Béla staggered back, tripped on the edge of the couch and fall to the floor.
Then she was being attacked!
A screaming, raging entity made entirely of white fire slammed into her, knocking her flat against the floor again! Béla tried to fight back, but her hands were scorched black as she tried to fend off the vicious assault.
She tried to teleport out from beneath the supernatural nightmarish specter and discovered that the teleportation dimension was also full of white fire. The force of the blast that erupted through the dimensional rift that Béla opened as she tried to teleport completely knocked her out and raged across the living room. The rift vanished the instant Béla was knocked out, but the walls and furniture were ablaze from the single instant of contact.
“Hey! What happened to the lights?” Jake called out.
Except for the eerie light coming through the transparent wall, the cabin was dark. In a few seconds, backup power came on.
“Alert! Alert! There is a fire in the living room!” a voice shouted from the wall, now that the power was back on.
Jake could hear the whoosh of the built-in fire suppressors as they were activated. His ears popped as all the air was sucked out of the cabin for a few seconds. Then carbon dioxide was pumped back in. Jake, secure in the now locked-down bathroom, could hear a foam sprayer downstairs, dousing the hot spots.
‘That must be where the fire is!’ he realized. Then, he panicked! ‘Oh my God! That’s where Béla is!’
“Security admin code Vampire!” Jake said to the wall, anxious to get out, but knowing how the cabin’s ‘mind’ worked. “Open this damned door!”
The door slid open. Jake, still soaking wet, raced naked down the stairs. The cabin, following his activity, began pumping oxygen into the living room.
“Béla!” Jake shouted.
He fell over the foam-covered couch and landed next to her prone figure. Béla was unconscious. Her skin was burned black. Jake looked around frantically, trying to understand what could have happened to her. An area around Béla was blackened, as though she were the source of the fire. There was another round, blackened area on the front door.
‘Something must have come right through there!’ Jake realized. ‘But what?’
Jake scooped up Béla’s unconscious form and carried her into the kitchen, placing her gently on the table. He’d missed her too long for a little smoke, fire and burnt flesh to keep him from her now. He placed his head against her charred chest, listening for a heartbeat.
‘She's alive! That means she should be all right… in awhile, anyway. What about the baby?’
He pressed his hand against Béla’s abdomen, ignoring the crunchy feel of her charred flesh as he tried to determine, ‘how deep do the burns go?’
Unable to determine the status of his unborn child, Jake realized he should be glad that Béla wasn’t dead. Something had evidently tried to kill her – blasting right through the door to do it. He couldn’t think of anything that could make a two-foot wide scorch mark in a door and not blast a hole right through it.
‘And how could someone with a weapon like that know exactly where she would be?’
He decided to call Frank and Tanya. They could solve anything.
‘And they can be here in an hour… I can’t handle this alone!’
Chapter 8 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tanya grunted with each thrust of Frank’s hard cock as he shoved her repeatedly against the spikes in the wall in her playroom. She cried out again as he pulled her upright, off the inch long spikes impaling her breasts. Frank moaned with lust as he ran his hands over his wife’s blood smeared belly and squeezed her shredded breasts.
They slowed down their frantic action, each needing to catch their breath. Tanya held herself up and away from the darling spikes with her arms.
“Turn it lengthwise?” Frank gasped as he breathed heavily against the back of her sweating neck and shoulders.
She nodded agreement, herself gasping for air. Frank reached around from behind her and reprogrammed the wall vertically so that the top spike was just level with her shoulders.
‘That should be about right…’
“Ready?” Frank asked, still panting.
He unwrapped his arms from around Tanya’s sticky, red-streaked waist. He didn’t want those damned spikes shredding his flesh.
“Okay!” Tanya gasped, and pulled her arms back away from the wall.
Frank shoved his cock up her ass again and slammed her into the wall. Tanya cried out, both from the fresh assault on her tender ass and from the spikes ripping into her belly.
“Squeeze my tits!” Tanya screamed as she pushed the upper half of her body away from the wall with her arms. Her torn breasts were beginning to regenerate. In her insane, aroused state of mind, her tender, new flesh badly needed Frank’s rough attention.
They fucked frantically for another moment, then Frank was shooting his hot, sticky cum deep into her ass. As Tanya felt his salty gift being massaged into her tender, burning ass, her own orgasm began. She twisted and turned against the spikes, increasing the incredible sensation of being ripped open as she came.
Frank let go of her blood-sticky breasts and collapsed against her, impaling his wife solidly on the wall of spikes. Tanya lay against the wall with her legs spread out behind her. They were both gasping for air. Tanya pushed against the wall with her arms, trying to stand up and separate herself from the spikes.
“Ohhh Fuuuck!” she cried out, another orgasm beginning deep inside her belly.
Then she started to slide down the wall, the spikes ripping into her belly. Frank was quick to pull back and lift her off the spikes before she ripped her belly completely open on the damned things.
He lowered her to the floor, unable to keep his hands off her sexy, bloodied body. He caressed her sticky belly and breasts as they healed, smearing blood on his body and his face as he worshipped her with his mouth and tongue. Finding his way down between her legs, Frank tongued her to another orgasm, loving the sweet smell and taste of her juicy pussy and the drying blood that had run down between her legs.
By the time Tanya came again, Frank had another hard-on. Tanya rolled over and sucked it into her mouth, then spit it back out and began running her tongue up and down the sides of his shaft. After she got used to the smell and taste of her own ass, she took his cock back into her mouth and began sucking on it again.
‘It’s a good thing I played with the water rod today – otherwise this thing would probably be covered with shit!’
After a moment, the vein running up from the base of his cock began to fill all along its length. Tanya backed off so that the tip of Frank’s cock was in just past her lips. Then she began encircling the tip of his cock with her tongue. Frank grunted, then held his breath and tried to jut his cock forward, further into her mouth. Then he was coming, spraying his cum into her mouth and coating her tongue with it. She liked getting his cum in the front of her mouth before it was mixed with her saliva rather than him shoving his cock all the way in and shooting his cum down her throat. She thought it tasted sweeter this way. After a moment, she swallowed, forcing the whole mess down her throat.
Tanya looked down the length of her sleek, red-streaked body to her husband. He was watching her. He was always watching her. She smiled at him and laid her head down at an angle so that she could still see him, but didn’t have to hold herself up. Some of her hair fell across her face. She smiled again, knowing that she looked pixyish and sexy.
“I don’t know why I thought you’d forget about me once you had all these toys,” Frank sighed, still catching his breath from the incredible sex.
“You’re the one who does it for me…” she whispered and blew him a kiss.
His male ego satisfied, Frank staggered to his feet and helped her up. They showered the sex and blood off together, then showered again after they made love, soaking wet, just standing up and doing it the regular way.
Afterward, Tanya went into the kitchen to begin supper. Frank sat down in front of the Tri-d set and turned it on. Jake would be calling soon – Little Jake, that is – the Chairman of Tomlin. Hopefully, he would find Beth and the two vampire sisters would be reunited.
There was an old documentary – a satellite image of the destruction of Jerusalem, or something. He changed the channel. It showed the same image. He frowned and changed the channel again. The same image was on that channel, too.
‘What the hell’s going on?’
“Incoming transmission,” the wall unit announced.
Frank turned off the sound on the Tri-d and answered. It was Jake. The wrong Jake. Frank sorted out the words in his mind as the jumbled story of the strange attack on Béla unfolded.
“Yeah, sure!” Frank replied, earnestly. “We’ll be there as soon as we can!”
He leapt up from the couch and ran into the kitchen to get Tanya.
The look of horror on Tanya’s face stopped him cold. She was watching the Tri-d in the kitchen. There were tears running down her face. She looked over at Frank, standing in the doorway.
“It’s… it’s gone,” she whispered. “The whole city… It’s… I think there’s going be a war…”
Her voice sounded strained and tiny, and very scared.
Frank caught Tanya as she started to collapse. He held her in his arms while she recovered, listening to the Tri-d.
“Once again, you are looking at a satellite view of downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico, where, moments ago, an unknown person or group detonated a nuclear device, destroying much of the city. Further news will be forwarded to you as it arrives…”
Frank listened and watched as the news feed repeated, not believing what he saw right in front of him.
‘Oh my God! First Béla gets attacked by someone with an new type of energy weapon, then Albuquerque gets nuked? Is there a connection of some kind?
‘Holy shit! Little Jake was supposed to be in Albuquerque!’
“Ohmygod!” Frank gasped, and, nearly dropping his wife on the kitchen floor, he rushed to the kitchen console.
“Give me a line to Jake Hedron, Priority Family Emergency!” he shouted at the console.
“There are no lines currently available. Please try again in a few moments.”
Frank sighed disgustedly, then decided to try another tactic.
“Open a local line to Pestova Investigations, Network.”
“Line open. Awaiting instructions.”
“Scan secure lines of Jake Hedron, Chairman, Tomlin Security. State time and location of last transmission.”
‘That should locate him! God – please don’t be in Albuquerque…’
“Last transmission occurred at 6:07 pm local time. Location, MAS-DEC Building, Albuquerque, New Mexico.”
Frank listened to the machine announce the death of his nephew with increasing horror. Then he stared at the Tri-d monitor for a long time as it played and replayed the destruction of the city, over and over, again.
After a while, Tanya stirred, and looked up at him, her bleary eyes dry for the time being.
“The force of the detonation is the equivalent of the amount of energy that a hundred and ten kilo mass would release when materialized inside a solid object,” she said, very matter-of-factly.
“What?” Frank asked, distracted from his grief for a moment by his wife’s confusing statement.
“A hundred and ten kilo…” she began.
He interrupted. “How the hell would you know that?” Frank demanded, angrily.
“The voice…” she sighed and started again. “Sometimes, there’s a voice in my head. It tells me things, like why the vampire girls need violent sex and how things work. I asked it what happened, and it told me.”
‘God! Little Jake’s dead, Albuquerque is a radioactive hole in the ground, Beth is missing (and probably dead if she was in Albuquerque), and now my wife’s just admitted she talks to God! What else could go wrong?
‘Béla’s baby!’ he realized, with fresh, new horror.
“Honey,” Frank said quietly, holding his wife tightly by the shoulders, “we have to go to Jake’s cabin. Béla’s been hurt and they need our help. Do you understand?”
Tanya nodded, numb with grief and overwhelmed by all the disastrous calamities that seemed to be happening at the same time. She allowed Frank to lead her down to the underground garage where they kept their private car.
Ten minutes into the flight, they reached Mach III. The controls were on automatic, allowing Frank to think. He looked at Tanya. She hadn’t said a word since she announced what the voice in her head had told her had happened in Albuquerque.
‘A hundred and ten kilos – overweight man, perhaps? What did she mean ‘materialize inside a wall’?’
“Incoming transmission – Priority; Family – Alicia,” the console announced.
Frank pressed a button and Alicia’s beautiful blond face appeared in the tiny screen on the instrument console.
“Hi, baby,” Frank said, then realized…
‘Oh God! Her son…’
“Hi, Daddy, I was just calling to see if you were… What’s wrong?” Alicia said, gazing into her father’s face on her wall console. “I know that look! Tell me! Is it Mom? She wasn’t in Albuquerque, was she? Why are you in your car? … I’m tracking you! You’re going to Albuquerque! I can see it on the console! Please tell me Mom’s okay…”
Alicia was starting to come apart and she doesn’t even know, yet. She thinks it’s…
“No, dear,” Tanya replied. “I’m alright. But…” she stopped, unable to tell her that her son was probably dead.
“It’s Jake,” Frank said, relieving Tanya of the emotional burden. Now all she had to do was sit and watch her oldest daughter come apart at the seams.
“Jake?” Alicia asked, then looked at her console again. “Yes, I see that’s where you’re going.”
Then Alicia was silent, not wanting to ask the question.
“Jake, your son,” Frank said quietly, “was in the MAS-DEC Building in Albuquerque.”
He watched as Alicia slowly absorbed what he had told her, then the screen went dark.
“Transmission ended,” the console replied.
Almost three seconds passed before the console spoke again.
“Incoming transmission – Priority; Family – Frank Jr.”
“Hello, son,” Frank said, his voice sounding numb.
“Wow!” Frank Junior replied. “I can see you’re all right. I’m relieved about that, but something is definitely wrong. What is it? Does it have something to do with the bomBéla”
“Where shall I start?” Frank replied. “I just told your sister that Jake Hedron was in Albuquerque with the bomb went off.”
“My nephew?” Frank Junior asked.
He hadn’t known Jake that well, and thought of him more as ‘The Chairman’ than his nephew.
“I’m sorry. I’ll contact Alicia later tonight,” Frank Jr. continued. “Was that it? Or is there something else? What’s that noise? Are you airborne?”
“Yes,” Frank admitted. “We’re… Tanya and I are going to Jake and Béla’s. Béla has been hurt, somehow. She's pregnant, and Jake doesn’t trust that any doctor would actually help her without wanting to dissect her first. We’re going down to give him what help we can – mostly moral support, I imagine.”
“Dad, I can be there in three hours,” Frank Junior offered, “just as soon as the Bug gets done with her shoot.”
Frank smiled at his son, tears coming to his eyes. “I would love to have you there, Frank. I don’t think any of us could handle losing Béla again.”
They signed off, Frank Junior promising to be there soon.
The little silver Masarati raced through the night sky. As their destination neared, Frank and Tanya could see the glow of the burning city on the horizon. Hundreds of lights in the sky over the glow indicated the mass of traffic that the destruction of the city generated – ‘mostly looky-loos, news choppers and rescue workers, I imagine…’
Chapter 9 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
He woke up and opened his eyes. There was no light. He knew his eyes were open because he could feel his eyelids move when he blinked. His left eyelid felt sticky, like someone had spilled honey on him. He reached up to touch his forehead and discovered that he couldn’t move his arm. He could feel his fingers move, but something was holding his arm down.
“Status Report,” he said into the darkness, not knowing if anything at all was working.
“Heart Rate – 115 pbm, Blood Pressure – 125 over 60. Fluid Levels are down ten percent,” his body monitor said into his ear. “You have been unconscious for five hours and twenty-eight minutes.”
‘Well, at least my body monitor works…’
Feeling around with his right arm, he determined that he was lying on a bulkhead of the air limo. Immediately on top of him and holding him in place was the bulkhead from the other side of the craft.
‘Great! The limo is only a foot wide now, and I’m right in the middle of it!’
He was able to scoot sideways a bit. After an hour, he had scooted about two feet. Then he found the steward. He was dead – crushed when the air limo had accordioned to its present size, or killed by the impact when the limo was blown off the roof and hit the street, if it hit the street.
‘If I’m on the street level, there’s not going to be any light. The power will be down.’
After another hour and a half, he managed to feel his way an additional fourteen feet to the nose of the craft. The pilot wasn’t in his seat. That was probably a good thing, because the seat was crushed into the six-inch space that existed between the floor and the overhead. Through the shattered glass panels, his questing fingers discovered a solid wall of concrete that nothing could get through, not even light.
‘Mom’s going to be royally pissed…’
Exhausted from his efforts, he passed out.
Chapter 10 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jake was exhausted from worry, but couldn’t sleep. He sat on the coffee table. Frank and Tanya were half-asleep on the living room couch, Tanya resting her head in Frank’s lap.
‘Always a dangerous idea… especially with the swell of her breasts pressed up like that…’ Frank idly observed, much too upset to do anything with her right now.
“Albuquerque is gone,” Jake whispered.
He still couldn’t believe it, even with the glow in the sky that had lasted most of the night from all the fires the blast had caused.
‘Albuquerque is gone in a cloud of radioactive dust, along with Beth and whoever took her…’
He knew he shouldn’t have left Beth alone in the mountains after their hunting games. The first time he took her hunting, he offered to wait around for her to heal and then take her home with him. Beth didn’t like the idea. She knew that Jake and Béla needed their ‘alone-time’, and she didn’t like Jake sitting around for hours just watching her regenerate. It was just too creepy.
‘A girl needs her privacy, after all… Besides, I bet you could blow me full of holes and stave my head in with a rock and I’ll still get home before you!’
So far, Jake had beaten her home every time by at least an hour.
‘Yay! Score three points for me! But if you really want to know, I’d rather have her here than dead…’
He was tempted to go up to the guestroom to see if, magically, she’d simply teleported in from somewhere.
‘Oh! You mean me? Missing? No, I was just curious about…’
Frank Junior came down the stairs, interrupting Jake’s morose thoughts.
“Well, Béla’s still asleep. It’s amazing that she’s even alive. The stories I remember… Anyway, the baby seems fine. I can hear a heartbeat. It’s really strange, working on a different species. She looks so human, you know?”
Jake and Frank’s eyes met for a few seconds.
Tanya sat up, her son’s voice having awakened her.
“What happening?” she asked.
The voice in her head answered her.
‘Béla is asleep. You are at Jake’s cabin. Your two Frank’s are here. Katie is asleep in the guestroom. The child has awakened. The Phoenix will give birth to the Second Phoenix. What the seeker has predicted will come to pass.’
“The child has awakened?” Tanya asked, sleepy and confused. “What are you talking about?”
“What?” Jake asked. “Nobody said anything.”
Tanya shook her head.
“She gets voices in her head,” her husband explained. “The voices keep her informed on what’s occurring when she asks. It must have thought she was asking it something.”
“The Praetor speaks to you?” Jake asked, astounded. “How did you get to be so lucky?”
“Praetor?” asked Tanya, scrunching her eyebrows. ‘That sounds familiar…’
“You mean that box that Beth used to talk to? I don’t even know where that’s at any more,” Tanya informed them.
“Beth talked to a box?” Frank Junior asked. “Katydid’s been carrying a metal box around for the last couple of months. She won’t let it out of her sight, in fact. And she talks to it! She even brought it with her – insisted on going all the way back to the trailer to get it.”
“She has a Praetor?” Jake asked. ‘Everybody has one of these things except me!’
“What are you talking about?” Frank asked. “What’s a Praetor?”
“Well, it’s a…” Tanya started to say.
“A judgement device used by the old race,” Jake said. “It judged Béla once.”
‘More than once have I passed judgement on the Carte Blanche,’ the Praetor said into all their minds. ‘The Carte Blanche is a key to the survival of your family. Another key is the Second Phoenix, which the Carte Blanche will birth shortly. You would do well to stay together as a family or a tribal unit. Your survival in the future will depend upon it.’
“Whoa!” Frank Junior said, sitting down on the stairs and holding his head. “What the fuck was that?”
“That was the Praetor,” Tanya volunteered, before anyone else could speak. “You heard it too?”
She looked around the room. Evidently, everyone heard it!
“It talks to me, too,” Katie said from the top of the stairs.
Frank, her brother, looked up at her as she trotted past him.
“How’s the head, Bug?” he asked, holding his hands up, concerned that she might trip on him as she went by.
“Better, thanks,” Katie told him, ignoring the ‘Bug’ part of his question.
“What happened to her head,” Tanya asked, wanting to know if her youngest daughter was injured.
“She fell off a mechanical dinosaur and it stomped on her head,” Frank Junior said cheerfully. “Just a mild concussion…”
‘That would have killed anyone else!’
Katie said, “I heard that,” referring to his private thought.
“So did I,” Tanya said, concerned. “Are you two keeping secrets from me?”
The two siblings both shook their heads.
‘The less you know, the better, Mom…’
‘You think so, huh?’ Tanya thought back at them.
An image of tying them both to a ceiling fan by their naked little toes…
“What the hell is going on?” Frank angrily demanded.
He was more frightened than angry, but he didn’t want to show it.
‘It’s the Praetor! It’s mind-linked to all of us, so now we can hear each other’s thoughts!’
‘I don’t want my… Well, get it out of my… Cool! No more secret… Is that even p…?’
“Everybody be quiet!” Jake shouted. ‘Bunch of noisy fuckers!’
“Praetor,” Jake said into the air.
Nothing happened for a moment, then the Praetor answered.
‘Do you have a question, Jake? the Praetor asked in all their minds.
“Please disconnect us from each other,” Jake requested.
‘Wait! I like this!… Thank God!… Damn! There goes another chance…’
‘Not everyone seems to agree with your request, Jake,’ the Praetor replied.
‘I’ve got it!’ Tanya said in their minds.
Out loud, she said, “Praetor, make it so that we have to touch each other before our minds merge – that way, if we want privacy, we can have it. Can you do that?”
‘That is your request,’ the Praetor replied. ‘It is possible to do that, so long as I am not again removed from your presence. I arrived with the Carte Blanche and the Princess Beth, then was brought to this location by the Princess when she returned from a visit to your apartment. Shortly afterward, you, Tanya, made me an addition to your new home when you teleported me back into your bedroom where your daughter, Katie, who eventually returned me here, discovered me.’
“I never!” Tanya vehemently denied. “I don’t even know how to teleport!”
‘You were asleep at the time, and dream-walking – another form of teleportation.’
“Dream-walking?” Jake responded. “I know about that…”
“Is this… dream-walking… is this something you can teach us?” Frank Junior wanted to know.
“Oh, sure!” Katie popped in. “It can teach you a lot of things!”
‘Your ‘Bug’ is correct,’ the Praetor replied. ‘One of my primary functions is as a teacher. The Seeker sent me here to teach you the knowledge of the… old race.’
“The Seeker?” Tanya asked. “That’s Elaine, isn’t it? And the Cartel whatever… That’s Béla?”
‘That is correct.’
“Would it be all right if you just used their names?” Tanya asked. “I get confused by all these different titles you use for the same person. For instance; Béla is a Princess, a Cartel Blanched, and a Phoenix. Is that correct?”
‘Carte Blanche. That is correct.’
Okay. So far, I’m following you. So,” Tanya wanted to know, “who is the Second Phoenix?”
‘Yeah! I’d like to know that, too!… Good question, Mom…’
‘The Second Phoenix is the Fire Princess, the first granddaughter of the Regent, Sibilius, she who was sent to Earth to protect the Princess Béla. She who is now the child, upstairs, yet to be born.’
“Alright,” Tanya said thoughtfully, her mind working overtime trying to keep up with all these new concepts.
Everyone, still mind-linked, watched and listened intently, letting Tanya’s sharp mind do all the evaluations even though each could feel Tanya’s concern that she was missing something seriously important.
“So, tell me, Praetor,” Tanya continued. “Why is Béla’s child the Second Phoenix? Is it because Béla is the first Phoenix?”
‘That is a plausible suggestion,’ the Praetor replied, still speaking in all their minds. ‘However, the true reason is unrelated to the fact that they will be mother and daughter. That relationship is only one of several possibilities that could have occurred.
‘The Second Phoenix was physically destroyed in the nuclear fire you observed last evening. She sacrificed herself to protect those she loved. The unclaimed child the Carte… the Princess… Béla harbors is her new home. The fetus has already mutated to accept the soul of the Second Phoenix, who arrived in a ball of fire immediately following her sacrifice.’
They all sat silently, trying to understand the information the Praetor was offering.
Then Katie spoke up. “You’re still doing it, aren’t you? The Second Phoenix this, the Second Phoenix that! You may be a machine, but you certainly do love your mysteries and innuendoes, don’t you?
“What are you trying to protect us from?” Katie demanded. “Who was the Second Phoenix? What was her name? Before she died!”
‘Before the Second Phoenix died, her name was Elisabeta, daughter of the Regent of Deimos and a goddess in the realm of New Eden.’
‘Elizabeth? - Beth!’ they all realized, together.
‘Then she is actually dead…’ Tanya gasped at the unwilled thought.
“But, she’ll be reborn?” Frank offered, his voice uneven with uncertainty.
He was upset by the news and still uncertain of the ideas and concepts that were so new in his mind.
“Does this happen often?” Frank Junior wanted to know. “Death and rebirth, I mean?”
‘As near as can be determined,’ the Praetor replied. ‘Over thousands of years of collecting data, I have observed it several times. A life force cannot be destroyed. It can be changed – altered – and it can remember and forget. No matter what host form it chooses, it is always aware of itself.
“By ‘host form’, do you mean ‘body?’ Tanya asked, finding all this too hard to comprehend, let alone believe!
‘That is correct.’
“So, when Mom said, ‘the child has awakened’, does that mean Béla’s baby is aware of itself, now?” Frank Junior asked. “I mean, ‘because’ a life force has chosen it?”
‘The age-old question – when is a fetus alive?’ someone in the room thought.
‘That is correct,’ the Praetor replied.
“Then, ‘the unclaimed child’ would be…” he couldn’t find the words to express himself.
‘The fetus didn’t have a soul yet – and now it does… Wow! This sure changes religion around… Frank and Jake were thinking.
‘That is correct. The fetus was uninhabited,’ the Praetor informed them.
“So… Next question:” Frank Junior continued. “If a baby was born, and it didn’t have a soul, what would happen? Would it be like, there’s nobody in there? Or what?”
‘I have documented only a few cases,’ the Praetor informed them. ‘Once an uninhabited newborn is separated from the protection of the mother’s soul, and unless it is claimed by another disembodied soul, it withers and dies.’
“So what you’re saying is,” Frank Senior interrupted, “that every living thing has a soul?”
‘Unknown,’ the Praetor responded. ‘I have only studied two individual species. The conclusions I have offered pertain only to them. The Princess Béla once inquired whether or not a potato had a soul. I do not know. The data that she gave me is that it thinks very slowly and seems aware only of heat, cold, light, darkness and moisture. She did not seem to think that it was aware of itself as an entity.’
A muffled cry from upstairs interrupted the Praetor’s group of fascinated listeners.
“Béla!” both Franks and Jake cried.
Frank Junior, already sitting on the stairs, was the first one to the top. Katie, athletic stunt girl that she was, simply jumped straight up, caught herself on the upper landing and back-flipped over the banister. She got to the master bedroom first.
Béla was still asleep. She’d kicked off her covers. Her horrible burns were almost healed, now. Katie sat down on the bed and picked up Béla’s hand, holding it in her own.
“She's dreaming,” Katie said, holding Béla’s hand. “I can feel her in my head! I can feel the baby, too! They’re both here – inside me!”
She sat for a moment on the edge of the bed, simply holding Béla’s hand while her brother checked her vital signs.
After several minutes of fussing over her, Frank Junior pronounced Béla was as “healthy as can be expected, and the baby’s heart is still beating strong.”
The group filed out of Béla’s room and back down the stairs. They began discussing sleeping arrangements.
‘Praetor,’ Katie thought, still sitting on the bed. ‘Please disconnect me from the others. I want to be alone with Béla and her baby. They need someone to watch over them.’
She felt the dissonance of her family’s individual minds fade from her consciousness. ‘Wow! What a weird feeling that was! I love them all, but I don’t think I want to be that close to them all the time…’
Katie lay down and closed her eyes. She dream-walked into the darkness around her that wasn’t part of the room. ‘Béla? Hello? I’m Katie; Frank and Tanya’s daughter. May I dream-walk with you? I have lots to talk to you about…’
Chapter 11 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Elaine pronounced her final case of the day. The Bard Geoffrey was in accord with her decision and the court attendant went off with the two petitioners to ensure that the Goddess’ pronouncement was carried out.
She blinked back weariness, trying to get her eyes to focus.
“Too much sex and not enough sleep, goddess,” Jeff said gently.
“You should talk!” Elaine said, grinning. “You and Terri broadcast your lovemaking throughout the manor. No one gets any sleep when you two go at it!”
Jeff returned her elfish grin. He knew that what the goddess said wasn’t true. The other servants in the manor weren’t affected by his intense lovemaking with his new bride. The goddess Elaine was the only one who could detect their broadcast, and he didn’t believe she snooped.
‘If she did listen in, I would be able to feel it in her mind when we mind-linked for court duty.’
“So, what is the problem then?” Jeff asked.
He could tell she was worried and upset during their earlier mind-link that afternoon. Most of her attention was somewhere else. And last night, she had nightmares and woke everyone up with her broadcast grief and terror.
‘Half the planet probably went on alert until the other goddesses realized that it was only a dream.’
“I don’t know, Jeff,” the Golden Goddess replied. She sounded tired. “I need to check the Praetor for new data entries. There’s too much going on for me to keep track anymore.”
‘She means keeping track of the activities on the Great Ship and what’s happening with the Goddess of the Land, her unborn child,’ Jeff realized. ‘And her other sister, the one her nightmares are about – the goddess Beth.’
“How is the Goddess of the Land getting along with her pregnancy?” Jeff asked, being polite.
He was more interested in getting back to the manor and trying to impregnate Terri and get his own family started, but was willing to listen to the Golden Goddess vent her problems if she needed to.
“I don’t know. I asked the Praetor last night before my trio began practicing our mental exercises. It said it was ‘currently out of touch with the princesses’ but would let me know as soon as it receives new data,” Elaine sulked. “I think, after practice tonight, I’m going to visit Earth again. I need to apologize to Béla, anyway.”
Jeff smiled. His Golden Goddess had come a long way from the sex hungry, carefree, irresponsible little slut of a goddess she was a year ago. The Goddess of the Land had been correct in assigning her replacement.
‘But I still miss her,’ Jeff thought as he rose to leave.
‘Me, too!’ the Golden Goddess replied in his mind, letting him know that, ‘You’re broadcasting your thoughts again… image of a very horny Geoffrey chasing an irresponsible little blond slut of a goddess around his library.’
“Let’s go eat, shall we?” the Bard Geoffrey suggested, properly chagrined.
‘I caught you, didn’t I?’ he thought right back at her.
‘Yes! And it was wonderful! I’d be jealous of Terri, but I love her too much!’
Her mood lightened somewhat by the light banter with her old friend and lover, Elaine allowed Jeff to escort her out of the goddess’ temple and down the wide, white steps outside.
Elaine was in a much better mood after dinner. There were three new students for the university. All during the meal, not one of them could take their eyes off her. They broadcast their lust for her and their upset with each other, each one fearing that one of the others would claim her before he could.
By the time she’d finished eating, Elaine was so aroused she couldn’t sit still. She decided to hold a ‘let’s get acquainted’ service just for them in her private third-floor audience chamber.
‘What was Béla’s number one rule for orgies? Oh, yes! No fighting over the nooky! I should make a sign and hang it on the wall…’
She led the three into the lavish room. There were several overstuffed couches, a long, low table in the center of the room with cushioned red leather tatted onto it and her huge four-poster bed that she sometimes actually slept in. In addition, there were around fifty pillows strewn about on the floor. One could simply drop down, wherever one was, and begin to fornicate – assuming, of course, there was someone close enough to grab.
She stopped and turned toward her new parishioners, smiling at each one as she spoke.
“I am the Goddess Elaine. I am the district goddess, as well, and am called the Golden Goddess when I hold court formally. I hold weekly services, but you are not required to attend.
“If you come before me in court, your attendance or lack of it will not sway my judgement, no matter how adoring you are to me. I must be fair to all who petition. I hold my weekly services in the goddess’ temple, a few blocks from here. When several new students show up, I often hold a special ‘get acquainted’ service here, like this one.
“What is your name?” she asked, walking up to the closest man to her.
She began unbuttoning his shirt as she waited for him to respond.
“Um, my name is… it’s Tolliver, miss… goddess,” he stammered.
‘This stunning goddess is unbuttoning my shirt!’
“I’m Stephan, goddess,” the man next to her said, not waiting for her to ask.
He radiated anxiety, thinking that he was about to be passed up for this ‘Tolliver’ fellow.
Elaine looked up and mind-linked with him, furious at his jealous attempt to control her. She broadcast her fury at him, then cut the link between them. The other two didn’t feel a thing. After a moment, she turned to him.
“No fighting in my presence,” she said quietly, radiating her acceptance of the embarrassment he broadcast. “There is enough of me to go around…”
She toyed with the buttons on his shirt for a moment, unfastening several of them.
‘I like your scent,’ she spoke into Stephan's mind.
She turned to the third man, who was smiling at the antics of his friend, Stephan.
‘I told you to go lightly, boy,’ he was thinking when Elaine mind-linked with him.
“You two are friends?” Elaine asked, smiling up at the third man. “You watch out for him?”
The third man nodded.
“We’re brothers, goddess,” he explained. “I’ve always watched out for him, but he still manages…”
Elaine held a finger up to his lips and smiled, shushing him. She held her arms out sideways.
‘You may take off my gown, if you wish,’ she suggested, mentally.
The man grinned, and thought back to her, ‘Seth is my name, goddess, and I thank you for the privilege of undressing you.’
While he was unfastening her buttons, Elaine radiated her acceptance of the other two, letting them know it was acceptable for them to participate now.
‘No rushing or nobody gets any!’
Then her gown was in a pile at her feet and there were hands all over her. Stephan was kissing the back of her neck, admiring the fine golden hairs that grew there. He was discovering that her neck was as far down as any hair grew on her body. Then Seth carried the goddess over to her red leather table and set her down, gently, like a fine piece of porcelain.
Elaine lay down and stretched her hands over and behind her head, feeling for Tolliver’s belt as she arched her back, jutting her breasts up into the air for someone to play with. She left her right leg dangling off the edge of the table so that she was ‘accessible’ down there, too.
‘This is turning out to be a lovely evening after all…’ she thought to herself.
Then she had Tolliver’s cock in her hands. With her head upside down and hanging over the edge of the table, she licked its tip with her tongue. It instantly grew, almost doubling in size as she held it to her hips and breathed on it.
She expanded her awareness, mind linking with all three new worshippers, again. Stephan was exploring between her legs, his older brother having let him go first. Seth gently massaged her breasts, sliding the fingers of one hand up and down her smooth belly every few seconds.
‘She is so beautiful… Hey! I can feel her… It’s true then, she really is a goddess… She's too sleek and young to be a thousand years old! She seems barely twenty… She feels so good… You mean like this? Okay…’
Seth and his brother shared her lower half, each standing and holding her half off the table, sideways, Seth’s larger dick in her ass, while Tolliver fucked her upside-down face. Elaine’s legs dangled out into the air uncomfortably and she broadcast that down to the two overly enthusiastic brothers as they both pummeled her. Seth reached down and held her up by her thighs, helping her to be a bit more comfortable.
‘Comfortable? With that in my ass? Ho Boy! Harder, please…’
After they’d worked her over and each had come at least a couple of times, the Golden Goddess cheerfully kissed them, hugged them and threw them out with instructions to go find the attendant at the university so they could be assigned rooms.
She walked back across her room, luxuriating in the feel of the brothers’ cum leaking down the insides of her thighs making everything feel slippery and loose down there. She caressed her breasts, massaging the remains of Tolliver’s second orgasm into her soft, warm flesh.
‘I should have taken more time with them,’ she thought as she climbed onto her bed. ‘They would have lasted all night!’
‘If you are ready, your sisters await you!’ the Praetor interjected into her mind.
It was time for her to practice her teleportation exercises. Elaine closed her eyes and focused.
‘Dawn… Where are you?’ she thought, sending the psychic search thought outward.
She saw an image, and mentally pulled her body off the bed toward it. Then she was there, floating high above the clouds, near the center of New Eden next to Dawn and Annalisa, the two sisters that the Praetor had teamed her with.
‘My trio…’ she greeted them, radiating her love.
‘Ha! Ha! Dawn, you’re outnumbered this time!’ Annalisa chortled into Dawn’s mind.
Annalisa was speckled with cum, as well as Elaine.
‘I’ll lick it off you, if you lick it off me…’ Elaine suggested to Annalisa, broadcasting new lust at the dark-haired beauty.
Annalisa grinned wickedly and reached for her blond sister. Then they were licking, kissing and biting each other while they tumbled in the air.
‘Don’t leave me out!’ demanded Dawn, jealous of the sensations her two sisters were radiating.
Dawn formed her wings and wrapped them around both two sisters, making a tight cocoon of sexy, cum-scented bodies. In only a second or two, she felt a wet tongue between her legs and sharp teeth biting her breasts. Dawn hissed in pain and radiated her pleasure, arching her back and offering her body readily to her two lusty sisters.
Dawn cried out as she came, Elaine’s teeth biting into her pussy lips, then unfolded her wings, freeing her sisters to ravish each other. Floating freely and doing a slow somersault, she luxuriated in the expansive space around her and the incredible sensation of free fall.
Reforming her arms, Dawn caressed her wounded breast and cunt, enjoying the sensations her two sisters broadcast as they tore into each other. She came again as the combined simultaneous orgasms of her sisters radiated through her.
‘If you are sufficiently warmed up, it is time to begin this period’s exercise,’ the Praetor said into all three minds.
An image of the sisters facing off in a triangle. ‘What? We’re going to play ball? That’s it?’
One sister throws the ball as hard as she can into the space between the other two sisters. The sister who successfully teleports herself in front of the ball and catches it, wins the point.
‘We need a ball,’ Dawn pointed out.
Elaine held out her hand.
Image of a ball.
A ball appeared in her hand.
‘Wow! How’d you do that?’ Annalisa wanted to know.
‘I learned how to make things just by thinking about them!’ Elaine chortled, grinning at them all.
‘Teach me!’ both the other sisters demanded happily.
‘I’ll make me a man who can fuck me forever – nonstop!’ Annalisa said, laughing.
‘With two dicks!’ Dawn added, ‘one for each…’
‘It is unlikely that Elaine created the ball out of nothing,’ the Praetor suggested, interrupting their lusty banter. ‘It is far more likely that she unknowingly found a physical universe location containing a ball and simply teleported it here.’
“I made it!” Elaine insisted, folding her arms and pouting. “I can change the color (it’s red, now!), its size (expand into a basketball!), and its very existence!”
The large, red ball disappeared in a ‘pop’ as the air surrounding it smacked together where the ball had been.
“And, I can prove it!” Elaine insisted.
‘Ball, where are you?’
Elaine found herself standing next to a small, lizard-like child who was crying and holding a large, red ball. She looked around.
‘This sky is green! Where the hell am I?’
Elaine gasped in surprise as several larger lizard beings began moving menacingly toward her. She choked on the air.
‘I can’t breathe! This isn’t air!’
Image of Dawn and Annalisa! ‘Take me back! Now!’
Elaine found herself back in the center of New Eden, next to her sisters again.
‘Where’d you go?’ Annalisa asked, dumbfounded.
‘Wow! You stink!’ Dawn exclaimed, then formed her wings, fanning the methane-scented air surrounding Elaine to dissipate it.
Still not entirely understanding what she’d done, Elaine broadcast an image of what had just happened to both her sisters and the Praetor.
‘It seems as though you have discovered another inhabited world,’ the Praetor informed her. ‘However, I would not try to make contact with them again. The Saurians’ atmosphere is very toxic to your species.’
“You know who they are?” Elaine asked, incredulous.
‘Knowledge of their species exists in the historic records,’ the Praetor replied. ‘You should begin your exercise.’
“We need a ball,” Dawn said, repeating her earlier statement.
‘Let me try!’ Annalisa suggested excitedly.
Image of a ball – ‘not being used by anyone!’
She could see it – a rounded pocket of another place in front of her. There was a ball in its center. Wide eyed, she reached in and picked it up. As she held the ball up in front of her in awe, the pocket that had contained it faded.
‘This is really scary! Do you realize what we could do with this kind of power?’
‘Are we upsetting some sort of cosmic balance by moving stuff around like this?’ Dawn asked the Praetor.
‘It is unlikely that any balance is being upset,’ the Praetor replied. ‘What you are doing is comparable to dipping a cup of water out of a brook and drinking it. The brook continues, only slightly disturbed.
‘However, your discovery today warrants a reward,’ the Praetor continued. ‘You may spend the next two training periods in any manner you choose while I teach the other groups your newfound skills.’
‘You mean no exercises?’ Dawn lamented.
She looked forward to each session with her sisters and the Praetor.
“We can still get together,” Elaine suggested, trying to ease her sister’s upset.
‘We can spend our exercise time dream-walking to Earth! There’s always something going on there!’
‘Well, if that’s it, I’m gone!’ Annalisa called out into her sister’s minds. She disappeared with a cheery little goodbye wave, taking her new ball with her.
‘Things to do – men to fuck…’ was her parting thought.
Forming her wings, Elaine glided over to Dawn, then reformed her arms and stopped her forward motion by holding onto her sister’s shoulders.
“We’ll get together tomorrow,” she promised, then made an image of her bedchamber.
‘I have a lot to do, too…’ she said mentally to Dawn. ‘But you can visit for a little while before you go back to your own province.’
She and Dawn landed on Elaine’s big, four-poster bed.
‘Hey, I remember this…’
‘If you want, you can come directly here… I’ll also invite Annalisa if it’s all right with you. We can get a bunch of students together and have an orgy!’
Dawn smiled. “Thanks. I’ll be here. I like Annalisa. You can invite her. I won’t mind.”
The two sisters kissed for a moment, Dawn having no illusions of why Elaine would bring her into her bed. As they became more intimate, Elaine noticed that Dawn was holding something back – not completely mind-linking with her.
“What is it?” Elaine wanted to know, breaking her warm, luscious kiss with Dawn so she could speak.
“I was talking to Melinda the other day,” Dawn explained, “and she was telling me how she and Beth used black powder on each other.”
“What do you mean – used on each other?” Elaine asked. “Maybe it would be easier if you mind-link and show me.”
Dawn projected an image of two naked girls in a lavishly ornate bedroom. Elaine recognized the personality as Melinda, although the girl’s appearance was different than that of today.
“A package from Arabia?” Melinda excitedly whispered as her handmaiden entered the room. “Come in! Shut the door!”
“It’s taken forever!” the handmaiden whispered back, sounding just as excited.
Elaine then recognized the handmaiden. It was Beth.
“Quickly!” Melinda exclaimed, still whispering in her excitement. “Help me get undressed!”
The girls pulled each other’s clothes off, then were naked together on the bed – caste forgotten along with their identifying clothes as the two lovers embraced.
“What is it that excites you about this package,” Beth asked anxiously.
Melinda untied it. Then, using a ladies’ dagger, she carefully punctured a hole in the corner of the hand-wrapped package.
“Lie down!” Melinda commanded her lover/servant.
Beth lay back, excitedly waiting, and watched as Melinda poured a tiny amount of black powder onto Beth’s stomach.
Carefully setting the package aside, Melinda tore a piece of cloth into long, narrow strips. Beth grinned, remembering the last time they had made the little handheld wicks and set them on fire. The little wicks were too small to get lethally hot, but each one provided a few seconds of agonizing pleasure when Melinda dropped one onto her belly while she had that wooden device with the pointed knobs on it up inside her.
“Don’t spill that!” Melinda snarled as Beth anxiously stretched out to make herself more readily available for whatever mayhem her mistress had planned for her.
“That magical substance is very expensive,” Melinda explained as she bent over her maidservant’s midsection and carefully, with a small brush, made a line of black powder.
Picking up the package again, Melinda created a thin circle about the size of the bottom of a pitcher, surrounding Beth’s belly button with it. As she finished, instead of closing the circle of black powder, she sent one end spiraling in toward the center. She finished her modest design with a small pile of powder that filled Beth’s belly button.
“Now, don’t be frightened,” Melinda said, grinning wickedly at her servant. “You remember how much fun the little fire-wicks are, don’t you?”
Beth eagerly nodded, hoping for another such adventure as she remembered her mistress dropping lit stripes of cloth down on her belly.
“Well,” Melinda explained, as she stood up and lit a tiny wick. “This is just a little bit more fun than that…”
Melinda draped the burning wick across Beth’s right breast, just to let her enjoy the fiery touch of the flame for a moment. Somehow, despite their caste differences, they were blood sisters, sharing similar familial traits, specifically longevity and the ability to quickly recover when injured. Melinda had discovered that when she’d tried to punish her new maidservant for speaking up to her.
Beth held her body as still as she could, but she was unable to keep from gasping at the incredible agony of the burning wick scorching her breast and nipple.
“Do the other one, Mistress,” Beth implored her. “Make me feel the fire inside me!”
Melinda grinned. “Oh, you’ll feel the fire, all right. I just wanted to make certain you were ready!”
She lit another long, slender piece of cloth and brushed the flame against Beth’s hooded clitoris, causing Beth to gasp in new wonder and undulate her belly, ever so slightly, as Beth knew that her mistress had earlier commanded her to hold still. She hadn’t said for how long, though, and Beth needed to bank the rapidly growing fire growing inside her, or lose control as it ran wild and consumed her.
Sensing exactly what her maidservant was feeling, Melinda laughed, and lifted the tiny, almost completely burnt wisp of cloth from between Beth’s legs. Then she dropped it so that the flame touched the outer edge of the spiral design on Beth’s belly.
“Remember, I commanded you not to move!” Melinda grinned as she let go of the burning cloth.
Beth let out a shriek of terror as the black powder ignited. She arched her back while at the same time sucking in her belly in an attempt to escape the sudden, fiery agony without disobeying her Mistress’ command. The smoking, spitting flame rapidly burned its way around and into the little pile of black powder in Beth’s belly button, erupting all over her belly and breasts at the same instant that the fire inside Beth’s belly erupted in orgasm.
“Wow, that’s pretty intense,” Elaine said as Dawn withdrew from the image she’d created. “But, I already know that Beth is nuts about stuff like that. That black stuff is called ‘gunpowder’, now. And Beth used it a lot on the trip she made with Béla to Earth.”
“Oh,” Dawn replied, not having known any of that. “Melinda showed me this image only two days ago. She said she’s been dreaming about Beth. Terrible dreams about Beth being… ruptured… with black powder.”
“It was only a dream,” Elaine replied, not wanting to tell Dawn of her own recurring nightmare, which was somewhat different that the dream Melinda claimed to have had, but had the same end result.
“But,” Dawn told her, sounding much more upset. “I dreamed about Beth, last night. She was calling out, pleading for help. And… she had…”
Dawn didn’t have the words, so she made an image of what she’d felt. It wasn’t clear enough to see, but Elaine recognized it. It was her nightmare.
“I’ll dream-walk to earth this sleep period,” Elaine told Dawn. “I’ve been planning to visit, anyway. I’ll visit Béla and Beth, then let you know the next time we practice. Okay?”
Dawn seemed satisfied that Elaine would fix whatever was wrong. Kissing her sister goodbye, she vanished, leaving behind a fading image of her own, neighboring domain.
Elaine lay down on the bed, still excited by her new ability to find and teleport objects (and herself) across great distances to go to sleep.
‘Spaceships are obsolete, now. At least for us…’
Then she realized she was starving! She teleported down to the kitchen and for the next twenty minutes ate as much of everything that was left out as she could find. Then, deciding she needed the exercise, she physically climbed back up the three flights of stairs to her room, showered, and lay back down.
After tossing around for quite a while longer she decided she needed help.
‘Praetor, put me to sleep, please…’
She felt the tranquil energy sweep through her mind. Then she was standing next to her sleeping body, watching it as she dream-walked.
‘I didn’t need to do that – I could have teleported directly to Earth!’
‘Dream-walking is much safer, daughter of Sibilius,’ the Praetor spoke into her sleeping mind. ‘When you returned from the Saurian world, you were eight kilos lighter than when you left. Teleportation requires energy. If you were to teleport a large object a long distance you would need an external power source.’
‘Oh, that must be why I was so hungry…’ Elaine realized.
She made an image of Béla, then was standing next to her and Jake. Béla was in tears, her self-image one of helpless fury. Something had stripped her of her mental abilities and, surprisingly, Béla wasn’t upset with the cause. She was upset because…
‘She can’t find Beth!’
‘Beth is missing? Uh-oh… Please don’t be where I think you are…’
Elaine created an image of Beth to search with.
‘Beth, Where are you?’ she asked the image.
Elaine was suddenly standing in a brightly-lit chamber. Her senses told her she was deep underground. She looked around the room. There were several vials and tubes in an insulated chamber over by the wall. Elaine reached out and touched her fingers to the chamber, asking it for its purpose.
Several fetuses were growing in the chamber. Alien fetuses. From the captured alien female.
Elaine got goosebumps all over her body, not wanting to believe where she was and what was happening, knowing it was true, recognizing its familiarity…
‘This is my nightmare! Oh my God! This is really happening!’
She looked frantically around for Beth, not wanting to find her, knowing the nightmarish ‘thing’ she would find, the horrible truth of the evils of humankind…
She followed a heavy-set man through a door into the next room. Beth’s body was there, strapped down to a table. Beth was unconscious. Elaine cried out as she stared at her sister’s body. Her torso was split completely open in half and held apart with grotesque, cruel metal clamps.
‘God! I can see her heart beating! They’re not letting her heal!
‘Beth’s arms are gone! Those bastards cut them off!’
Through her tear-filled eyes, Elaine looked around, recognizing the leathery, dried-up wings rolled up on another table.
Elaine couldn’t get her breath! Her own body was going into shock as her mind merged unwillingly with Beth’s, pulled in by a desperate, pain-filled mind full of terror and agony, unable to escape, too drugged to cry for help, discovering Elaine’s mind so close, so accessible –
‘Help me! Please! Help me! It hurts so much…’
‘Beth! It’s me! Elaine! Sister, grab my hand!’ Elaine fought the churning wild flashed of red and black energies as they stormed through Beth’s mind. Then, the two sisters hugging soul to soul, Elaine helped Beth stabilize so she could dream-walk out of her body, hugging each other desperately for several moments as Beth sobbed with relief.
Still mind-merged, Beth became aware of what Elaine had seen in this chamber of horrors. She turned around to look at herself as she lay on the table, then turned back quickly, holding her hand over her mouth to keep from screaming.
‘They’re harvesting my eggs!’ she cried to Elaine. ‘I could see it in their minds. They cut off my wings so I couldn’t mutate back. They drugged me! I couldn’t teleport – I couldn’t dream-walk! I couldn’t go for help! Oh God! I messed up really bad.’
Elaine held her sister while she regained her composure, somewhat.
‘I’m going to die, aren’t I?’ Beth asked, shaking, tears still running down her face.
Beth turned back toward the remains of her body, not waiting for an answer. They both watched the gruesome activity as the large man in the white lab coat carefully, cheerfully, collected another microscopic egg from Beth’s torso, humming happily as he worked. Elaine could feel Beth’s rage growing.
‘You should leave,’ Beth said quietly. ‘Please tell Béla I love her…’
She turned and hugged Elaine tightly. ‘I love you, too,’ Beth said passionately. ‘Thank you for rescuing me… Now, I have to fix this…’
She turned away, back toward the evil man in the lab coat that had destroyed her life and was looking forward to harming so many more with his new creations… the vampire fetuses he was growing in his lab. He would be able to control them using the technology in the helmet! In a nearby building, they were constructing a device that could control an alien adult…
‘Not Béla! Oh, God! I have to destroy it all…’ Beth suddenly realized.
‘Go! Now!’ Beth commanded to Elaine.
Elaine backed away, uncertain of what Beth intended. Beth’s mind was tightly shielded, no intentions or emotions radiating out. Elaine was amazed at the power Beth demonstrated in going from complete emotional terror to fighting mad in only a few minutes.
Elaine shielded her own mind and relocated herself across the room, letting Beth believe she’d actually left.
‘Do you really believe I’d leave you like this, sister?’ Elaine thought to herself.
The large man looked up, startled for an instant as Beth cruelly raided his mind. She sent the information she’d gleaned from him to her Praetor, wherever it might be, along with what she remembered had happened to her.
In those few instants, Elaine also saw what Beth intended to do. Suddenly terrified, Elaine located the image of her bedroom and fled toward it, running as hard as she could. She leaped into the image of her bedroom and was closing the image of earth behind her when it erupted into a pure, blinding white wall of energy.
The blast followed her through, blowing her completely off the bed and igniting half her bedroom into flames. Elaine was slammed into the wall and dropped to the floor, unconscious and surrounded by fire.
It seemed like a long time passed.
‘Is she going to be all right?’
‘Yes. She's regenerating quite nicely. She should wake up soon.’
‘Does anyone know what happened?’
‘We… we were messing around with… with interdimensional teleportation earlier. Maybe she opened a hole into a star or something.’ That was Dawn’s mind she recognized. She was back in New Eden.
‘No, opening a hole into a star would have probably blown up the entire town, at least.’ Annalisa was here, too, it seemed.
Elaine opened her eyes. ‘I’m in Béla’s old room.’
She looked around at the familiar, loving faces surrounding her. Her tears began to flow as she remembered what happened.
Jeff and Dawn held her while she sobbed. Dawn mind-linked with her sister, gently right-finding to see what was wrong.
“Oh my God!” Dawn exclaimed suddenly. “Beth!”
She radiated her grief throughout the room. It was echoed back with shock and surprise from several of her sisters, the shocking image of what had happened visible to them all.
“Okay, everybody out!” Jeff demanded, not knowing exactly what was wrong, but knowing that this many goddesses breaking down into grief wasn’t good for Elaine.
He herded the staff and Elaine’s other sisters out of the room. He shakily drew in a deep breath. Blinking the tears out of his own eyes, he walked almost reverently back to the bed and held the two sisters, Elaine and Dawn, while they cried into each other’s arms.
Chapter 12 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
No one on the bridge of the huge spaceship noticed her. Katie looked around, awed by her surroundings. The ship was manned by tall, wispy beings appearing almost too delicate to move without breaking. It was easy to recognize who was in charge. A tall, elegant, redheaded woman with bright green eyes radiated an aura of quiet competence, a certainty borne of knowledge and authority.
That must be the captain, if that’s what they’re called…
Katie moved from one manned position to another, not understanding how she knew what these strange devices were as she examined them.
‘This is the gunner’s station – that’s a range finder. Neat. It connects right into your mind. Hello! Do I know you? I’m looking for Béla. My search brought me here.
‘She can’t hear me. This image must be thousands of years old! Ancient history to anyone alive today. I wonder whose memory this is? Am I even in Béla’s mind?’
Katie watched as a battle unfolded before her eyes. An Arcadian ship appeared on a scanner. Arcadian? How do I know that?
A smart-bomb approaches, knowing its target. Katie can feel it in her mind.
‘Holy crap! That thing is intelligent! It intends to blow itself up! And us along with it!’
She could feel the confusion as one of the bridge crew fed it false images of their location – where they were, how far away… The smart-bomb veered off, losing itself in the vastness of space, chasing an empty promise…
‘It thinks we’re somewhere else. My God! It could still be out there, floating around, searching for this ship…’
Katie seriously doubted that the vile device could survive, lost and confused, wandering around the solar system without running into an asteroid or a planet, or running out of fuel.
‘The smart-bomb has a magnetic solar drive. It will never run out of fuel.’
‘How do I know that? Could it still be out there, somewhere? Why am I seeing this image? Béla, where are you? I need to talk to you!
‘Where am I now? Where did all these trees come from? And a roof? Boy, this room is… big! Look at that huge crystal. Wow! Talk about artificial sunlight…
‘There she is! I recognize her! There are two of them! That must be Beth! Wait! Why are you two fighting? Stop! I need to talk to you!
‘Wilted, ruptured hot dogs! This is another fucking memory! They aren’t any more real than that weird space ship. I can’t interact with them because this has already happened. Oh! That gash looks ugly! Béla, why are you letting her do that to you?
‘Holy Double Hockey Shit! She likes it! This is some sort of ritual… No… This is sex! Man, that is the freakiest shit I have ever seen! Whoa! I felt that! Oh, man – this is incredible! I had no idea that pain could feel this good! I’m such a novice and I do this for a living! Wow! How do you do that?’
Katie dropped to her knees, trembling, unable to take her eyes off the two bloody lovers. She watched as they savaged each other with cruel, wicked looking blades. She put her hand down to her crotch and squeezed, trying to control the turmoil in her own body. The sexual mutilation was abhorrent, yet fascinating… erotic… ‘Oh, shit! I’m coming!
‘After this, I’m going to need an hour or so alone in my dressing room – just me and my jewelry… and maybe a knife, next time…’
Katie closed her eyes, wishing herself elsewhere.
‘I need to find Béla! Whose memory was that, anyway? Béla, where are you?’
It was quiet and dark. There were people milling around – military types.
‘There’s Béla! Hey! I want to talk to you! That’s not Béla – no, yes. It is! She looks younger, somehow. It looks like she’s been fighting. There’s Dad and Mom!
‘Hey, guys – how’d you get here? Hello?
‘I get it – this is another memory. This must be from when Béla was here before. They don’t make helicopters like that any more. Now, they use pulsejets and air cushions.’
She turned away from the image.
‘I won’t find her by looking in her memories. How did I get stuck in here, anyway? At least, now I know whose mind I’m in…
‘Béla, where are you? The Praetor sez for this to work, I have to really want to know.
‘Where did this old dirt road come from? If I follow it, will Béla be at the other end? Or is this some sort of permanent purgatory? Oh, well, at least, it’s warm and sunny here. Ouch! And buggy…’
Katie walked down the rutted path that was almost a road. There was a horse-drawn cart some distance behind her – the horse ambling along no faster than she was walking. Up ahead, someone was lying on the side of the road – a small body, half covered with dirt and straw as though someone had attempted to conceal a murder.
‘Her head’s all bloody. There are flies buzzing around. Damn, that poor woman’s dead, and she’s barely grown.’
The horse-drawn cart creaked up behind her and stopped. Katie turned around and watched an old lady covered in a long shawl and a heavy quilted garment wearily climb down from the seat. In a slow, stooped-over gait, the old woman shuffled past her and gazed down at the dead girl in the ditch, mumbling to herself in Italian.
‘I can understand her! This must be another memory. But where’s Béla?’
Katie looked down at the dead girl in the ditch. ‘Oh, God! That’s her down there!’
The old woman continued to chant as she carefully crawled down into the ditch, her voice shaking with age and weariness.
‘Let it be at last that I have found you, child of the night. Is this the face of the girl for whom lifetime after lifetime I have quested? If so, then lift the curse of the strange knowledge I possess and let it pass on to you – perpetual child, living forever… whose very soul has drawn me from across the centuries…’
The old woman reached down, wrapped her gnarled fingers around the girl’s arm and turned her over, exposing her face. It was Béla! Filthy, blood-smeared, barely conscious.
The old woman’s eyes gazed triumphantly into the eyes of the girl in the ditch. As their eyes met, their minds merged together, each immortal being exchanging centuries of knowledge and experience. The ancient woman shook under the impact of the exchange.
“My quest is ended!” Katie heard the old woman mumble. She seemed pleased. “You, I have found, at last – Immortal Child of the Night!”
Katie could see and feel them both in her mind. The old woman would become Béla’s foster grandmother. They would spend another five years together before the old woman passed on.
Katie could see the memories of the old woman, almost as easily as she could see her own. Her most recent name was Katrina Velasquez. She had been young, once, but that was true of everyone. Like Béla, Katrina had been born fully-grown. Unlike Béla, Katrina had been created in a mystical white fire that had destroyed everything around her, twelve hundred years before. The face of the filthy, half-alive girl lying in the ditch mind-linked with her, was a face she had sought, traveling and searching across the known world for several hundred years.
‘Child of the Night,’ the old woman began, ‘There is evil roaming the land these days. Isabelle may sit the throne in these parts, but the evil from my homeland ravages the minds of those who would listen to it, and undermines civilization even as it pretends to enlighten.
‘You will need an identity to survive here,’ she continued, her voice growing stronger and more certain, ‘therefore I name you Maria, and offer you the protection of my clan, the Velasquez. You have already stolen from my mind what I would teach you, child. Therefore, you are free to stay or to go, as you wish. If you decide to go, I still offer my hospitality and fresh clothing.’
Katie already knew that Béla, now Maria Velasquez, would stay with the old woman. Katie thought she recognized the old woman’s soul.
‘She seems so familiar! I should know her… maybe she was one of the people on that strange spaceship… but which one of the crewmembers had been Béla?’
Katie turned away from the image.
‘Béla, are you avoiding me? Why are you showing me these memories? I need your help. You need mine. Please let me talk to you. I brought your Praetor with me…’
She was gazing into a fire – a funeral pyre. It was so close her skin was blistering and her clothing threatened to ignite, though she had doused herself with water earlier to prevent that from happening.
‘If I burn with him, I wouldn’t care… Why do I live on while others around me die and turn to ash? If I could burn with my love and end it all, I would.’
A later memory of walking into a flaming hut intending to die and waking up days later – the only survivor of the savage raid on her village – driven by thirst and starvation until she could find sustenance, then regaining her youth, her beauty, her hair – reclaiming a life that couldn’t hide the emptiness inside her from losing too many loved ones.
‘And never, ever having a child of my own – in all those thousands of years…’
‘I understand, now. But you will have a child! You are alive and asleep in Jake’s cabin. Your child lives within you, waiting to be born. I can feel her! Can’t you? Please, let down your barriers and wake up!’
Katie was suddenly in a raging river, surrounded by freezing water and hard, sharp chunks of ice. She struck hard against a rock and sank, trying to hold her breath. Then the unforgiving currents heaved her up and threw her out into the air. As she tumbled through the air, she admired the water as it fell with her, down, down… spattering as it fell against the rocks of the cliff, then down again.
‘It’s a waterfall! Look! I can see a rainbow…’
Katie stirred in her sleep, mumbling a little, then began breathing more deeply, sleeping peacefully. Frank Junior came into the darkened room and checked Béla’s vital signs. He smiled as he listened to her heartbeat.
‘It’s not beating so wildly as it was. She’s actually sleeping now. I don’t know what you did, Bug, but I think Béla's going to be all right.’
He checked the baby’s heartbeat. It was still there – not pounding like it had been, but beating normally. He leaned over and across Béla to kiss his sleeping sister lightly on her cheek.
“Sleep tight, Katydid,” he whispered, “I don’t know how, but I believe you helped her.”
‘Perhaps you’ve helped us all…’
He went back downstairs to join the wake for his lost nephew.
Chapter 13 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Someone was shaking her shoulder.
‘Go ’way,’ Katie mumbled and shrugged the hand away, snuggling closer to Béla. The hand shook her harder.
‘Wake up!’ It was a girl’s voice, and one she didn’t recognize.
Katie rolled over onto the sharp knee of whoever was sitting on the bed behind her.
‘Ow! What is it?’ she asked sleepily.
Blinking the sleep out of her eyes, Katie looked up at the annoying girl that had awakened her.
‘Béla?’ she asked, stunned.
Katie quickly looked down at the sleeping body next to her. It was Béla! The girl who woke her was also Béla!
‘I’m dream-walking!’ Katie realized. ‘This is what the Praetor was talking about!’
She was awake now, dreaming, and very interested in what was happening. She sat up and looked down at herself, sitting half in and half out of her own sleeping body. ‘Wow! This is neat!’
Then she turned to the dream-walking girl who woke her up.
‘My name’s Katie,’ she said, offering her hand. ‘I’m, um, I’m Frank and Tanya’s daughter.’
‘I know who you are,’ Béla told her. ‘You mind-linked with me earlier, remember?’
‘Um, yeah, I think so,’ Katie admitted. ‘The Praetor said that I might have trouble remembering ’til I get used to it.’
‘The Praetor, huh?’ Béla replied. ‘I suppose I should thank you for bringing it back to me. If I’d had it a week ago, Beth might still be alive…’
‘I’m sorry,’ Katie said, somewhat defensively, ‘but I didn’t take it from you. I borrowed it from my mother. I thought it was hers.’
‘Your mom with a Praetor?’ Béla asked. She laughed. It wasn’t a friendly laugh. ‘Tanya wouldn’t know what to do with it!’
‘Well, evidently, she learned to teleport with it!’ Katie said, defending her mother. ‘You know, you’re a lot more agreeable when you’re unconscious!’
Béla didn’t say anything. Katie could feel her in her mind, though. Béla’s mind was shielded, but she was clearly raiding Katie’s.
‘What you’re doing is very impolite!’ Katie exclaimed angrily. ‘Please stop!’
The annoying, almost painful presence in her mind withdrew.
‘There is no way you can defend yourself against me,’ Béla told her. ‘Why did you risk my ire by walking through my private thoughts without my permission?’
‘I wasn’t walking through anything!’ Katie denied. ‘I was trying to wake you up. I was just doing what the Praetor taught me. I was trying to help you, dammit!’
‘You’re a student?’ Béla asked, surprised. ‘Why would the Praetor teach an earth girl anything?’
‘I don’t know!’ Katie exclaimed. ‘I asked it to! Why don’t you ask it yourself? It’s a lot more agreeable than you are!’
Katie started to lay back down. ‘I’ve got to wake up and get out of here!’
Béla grabbed her shoulder, preventing Katie from merging back into her body and waking up.
‘Stop pushing me around!’ Katie demanded. ‘I didn’t do anything to you!’
She flailed her arms wildly, actually managing to backhand Béla across the mouth. Béla snarled and crouched on the bed.
‘I could kill you with a thought!’ she exclaimed angrily. ‘Who are you to come here and interfere with my life!’
‘Kill me? I’ve heard stories about you all my life,’ Katie argued back, defending herself. ‘The Béla in those stories hated killing! I don’t know who you are, but you are not that Béla! And besides – you can’t kill me! I know the protective words!’
Katie could feel malevolent energy gathering around her. ‘Praetor! Protect me!’ she cried out fearfully.
She held her arms in front of her to protect herself from whatever Béla was going to do.
Béla sat back, stunned by the words uttered by this ignorant earth girl. Her irrational anger dissipated into emptiness. She sat on the bed, blinking rapidly, realizing that she’d almost killed this girl, and she didn’t even know who the girl was. The two sat on the bed staring uneasily at each other for several minutes.
Finally Béla spoke. ‘The Praetor can’t hear you in your dream state. But the words did protect you. They made me remember who I am.’
Katie was so shook she didn’t dare speak. She nervously waited to see what would happen next.
‘Why are you here?’ Béla asked quietly.
Katie breathed a sigh of relief. She wasn’t going to die in her sleep, after all. Béla was rational again, and treating her with the same respect that she was known to treat everyone.
‘I… My nephew died two days ago,’ Katie explained, her voice shaking from the adrenaline letdown. ‘I can’t do anything about that, but Uncle Jake called my father and said that you were hurt. My brother is a doctor…’
Béla sat up straighter, suddenly more wary.
‘He’s my brother – Frank and Tanya’s son!’ Katie said, trying to keep Béla from getting upset with her again. ‘Frank, my father, called him to come and help you! The Praetor told me to come, too. My brother’s been caring for you, making certain that, physically, you were all right. The Praetor explained to me how to mind-link with you to wake you up. You’ve been unconscious for more than two days!
‘It also explained to me what your sister did in Albuquerque,’ Katie continued, ‘and that she did it to protect all of us – you and my dad’s family. She didn’t know that she would kill one of us. They were growing… Oh, God! I can’t say it!’
‘Then show me the image,’ Béla replied.
Katie closed her eyes and imagined the Praetor’s explanation in her mind. She watched Béla even as she felt her looking over the images in her mind. The angry fire returned to Béla’s eyes, but Katie was relieved to realize that it wasn’t directed at her, now.
‘Your nephew - that was Alicia’s child?’ Béla asked.
Katie nodded, wondering why Béla would ask that or how she even knew Alicia.
Béla remembered her tryst with Jake when she’d dream-walked with him a year earlier on the mesa where they’d fallen in love so long ago. He’d been upset that Alicia had birthed a child – two children – by him and not told him about either of them.
And now, one of them, his son, by Alicia, was dead.
Then she realized that it really was quite possible. Her Uncle Jake had always found the ‘Great Horny Toad’ hard to resist.
‘Is it confirmed that he’s dead?’ Béla asked.
Katie wasn’t sure. ‘He was in Albuquerque when the… when it happened, We don’t know what happened to him. He’s been missing for two days. He’s the first one of us to actually die since you… well, since you… created… us. Our family.’
Katie sat silently, not knowing what Béla was thinking.
‘It just occurred to me that I initiated this dream-walk,’ Béla said, sounding interested. ‘I haven’t been able to do anything on my own for awhile – my baby’s developing nervous system has been wreaking havoc with mine. Now, all of a sudden, I have my powers back. What did you do when you were walking through my mind?’
‘I, uh… it’s all kind of vague,’ Katie stammered. ‘There were strange images; space ships and gypsy wagons… I kept calling out to you, to try and get your attention. Then I was swept over a waterfall. That’s the last thing I remember.’
‘I remember that waterfall,’ Béla told her. ‘There was a…’
‘Rainbow!’ they both said and laughed...
‘Just before I hit the bottom,’ Béla said, finishing the sentence on a sad note.
‘I didn’t hit the bottom,’ Katie confessed. ‘I think you shoved me out before that happened.
‘I don’t think I really did anything,’ Katie continued, ‘to help you regain control over your nervous system. The Praetor says that your sister is inside the baby. Maybe she did something.’
‘My sister?’ Béla smiled sadly. ‘She blew up a city – millions of people lived there. How many did she kill?’
‘I don’t know,’ Katie replied quietly. ‘Two – three million?’
Three million souls snuffed out in the blink of an eye. It was still too hard to comprehend. One, Katie could understand. Her nephew Jake was that one. If not for her brother, Béla could have been another casualty.
Funny word – casualty –nothing ‘casual’ about it at all…
‘The Praetor told you that Beth came to me?’ Béla asked, frowning. ‘That she's stolen my child?’
‘She didn’t steal anything,’ Katie replied. ‘As I understand it, Beth… is… your child – or she will be, anyway. The Praetor sez that it was destined to happen – one of several possibilities, it said. I guess that means that Beth was bound to exist in some relationship to us – either as your sister, or your daughter.’
“So I am to be my sister’s mother,” Béla said, almost to herself. “How much will she remember, I wonder? Will the memories of her old life affect her future?”
Béla sighed, realizing that, once again, things were happening that were beyond her control. The first thing she needed to do in order to regain control of her life was – find out what really happened.
‘Show me this city,’ Béla commanded.
Katie closed her eyes and looked down at the destruction she and her brother had flown over two days earlier. Then she was standing next to Béla in the center of a crater almost half a mile in diameter. It was late evening. The sun, already below the horizon, painted the dust still hanging in the sky in pinks, yellows and reds. There were at least a dozen different types of aircraft and rescue carriers swarming overhead.
‘What was here before?’ Béla wanted to know.
Katie didn’t have the slightest idea. Buildings? Béla touched the palm of her hand to the ground and insisted on an explanation.
An image; a room with several people in it appeared around them. Beth and Elaine were standing together, watching a paunchy-looking guy in ‘whites’ carefully separate out some tissue from the clamped-open torso of a mutilated woman. The four dream-walking girls watched, the first pair unaware of the second pair’s presence.
‘Those are eggs,’ something said in her mind. ‘They’re harvesting my eggs!’
‘Oh my God!’ Béla exclaimed, holding her hands to her mouth. “Jake made love to her in her natural form! Beth was pregnant!’
Then Elaine was running, fleeing, broadcasting terror.
The scientist disappeared. Katie heard him scream for an instant in her mind, then everything turned blinding white around them. Katie could feel Béla’s mind protecting her from the heat and pressure of the blast. She looked around, amazed. There was absolutely no sound!
‘I’m at ground zero watching a nuclear explosion! How did she do that?’
After a fashion, she was even able to ‘see’ the mushroom cloud form overhead as the shock wave knocked buildings down and away from her in an ever-expanding circle of destruction.
Béla moved the image forward several hours so she could observe the damage after the fires died down. Although it was night, there was enough light from the fires reflected in the mushroom cloud high overhead to see the destruction.
‘This, my sister did to protect you and your family?’ Béla asked in Katie’s mind.
‘From what I understand,’ Katie informed her new companion, ‘they were cloning Beth. She was protecting everyone who still lives from what you would be without your soul.’
She recalled the snarling vampire princess who had awakened her an hour earlier and projected that image to Béla.
They walked through the debris of the nuked city. Strangely, there were no bodies. Almost everyone at this range was either vaporized or burned to ash.
‘Béla?’ Katie asked, after a long period of silence.
‘What is it?’ Béla replied.
‘The blonde girl who was in the laboratory with us,’ Katie inquired. ‘Was she one of you?’
‘Did she die?’ Katie asked. She wasn’t sure she wanted to know, especially if the answer was ‘yes.’
‘I don’t know. I don’t think so,’ Béla said solemnly. ‘Let’s go back. I’ve seen enough.’
Chapter 14 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“She's sleeping normally, now,” Frank Junior said as he reached the bottom of the stairs. “I think Katie is a good influence on her, even though they haven’t met, yet.”
“It’s nice to hear my daughter’s name on your lips instead of the feudish little nicknames you kids use on each other,” Tanya quipped.
“Hey! I love my kid sister!” Frank Junior expounded, cheerfully rejecting his mother’s unwelcome comment. “I’ve saved her life at least a dozen times this year, alone!”
“Saved her life?” Jake asked, surprised. “I thought she was a teacher.”
“That was years ago!” Tanya interjected. “Now she jumps off buildings for a living!”
She was clearly displeased with her youngest daughter’s career choice.
“She's a stunt girl,” Frank Junior told him, trying to rescue his sister’s reputation. “She hires herself out…”
“To be killed!” Tanya interjected unhappily, verifying her already known opinion.
Her son sighed and began again. “She does stunt work that other stunt people won’t do.”
“You mean snuff work?” Jake asked, his eyebrows raised.
Frank Junior nodded. It was called snuff work because, more often than not, certain stunts were practically guaranteed to send a stunt person to a hospital, or, just as likely, to the morgue.
There was a certain minority of people who specialized in that type of work. Often, they were people who lived for the thrill of almost being killed or people who didn’t figure they had anything left to lose and needed to support their drug habits. They usually didn’t live long, although a few had a reputation of somehow magically avoiding death – The Kinevil Syndrome, they called it. There was also a name for those people…
“Katie’s a snuff girl?” Jake asked, incredulous. “Tanya’s right! They hire themselves out to be killed! What the hell does Katie think she’s doing?”
They had all seen Katie jump straight up into the air and back-flip over the second floor banister. Jake realized as he observed her supple movements that she was incredibly athletic, but he hadn’t suspected from her lively attitude and perky smile that she had a death wish!
“Alright, everyone calm down,” Frank, Tanya’s husband said. “Katie’s always been into ‘edgy’ stuff like that. During her ‘Goth Girl’ stage, she wore dozens of pieces of decorative jewelry pinned right to her – right into her skin!”
“You’re right,” Frank Junior replied. “She's almost always wearing five or six pieces of heavy body jewelry. When she needs to do a nude scene, she takes them out so her skin can heal. Then after the shoot, she sticks them back in. When I work on her, I don’t even think about them anymore. I just work around them. I just figure it’s Katie…”
Tanya didn’t reply. She was remembering that that horrible blow-up when she’d walked in on her fifteen-year old daughter and caught her with two dozen safety pins attached in two neat little rows going from her barely developing nipples down to a ‘V’ shape between Katie’s legs. As a result of that little encounter, Katie had disappeared for a week and Frank and Tanya nearly bankrupted their company trying to find her.
They finally located her in a section of condemned buildings where a teenage commune of runaways had settled. Katie was living with two older boys, Davie and Mick. They had her tied up on a mattress in the corner of a roach infested room.
‘She gets too violent from the drugs, man; she keeps trying to fight us. She tried to jump through a window, so we tied her down. It was for her own good, man…’
Surprisingly enough, their family physician said that Katie hadn’t been raped. The two young boys were simply trying to keep her from committing violence to herself after they’d shot her full of amphetamines. Tying her up was the only solution their drugged minds could come up with. And they were too stoned to take advantage of her.
‘What? We don’t do that to each other, man. We’re just trying to get away from impossible family situations, you know. We’re just trying to stay alive…’
Katie was never tempted to do drugs after that, though. She knew she wouldn’t get high on that stuff. The special healing qualities in her blood would prevent it. Drugs would only make her very, very sick, and maniacally insane.
“Incoming transmission,” the wall console said into the shocked-silent room. “Restricted access. Code Alicia. Reject call?”
“What?” Jake asked, surprised out of his melancholy. “Um, No… Yes! Open the line.”
‘Crap! Now everybody knows I’ve been refusing her calls!’
“Hello, Alicia,” Jake said into the air.
A sad little laugh sounded in the air around them. “Well,” Alicia said. “No visual? I suppose I should be grateful that you even took the call. It’s nice to know there’s a limit to how much you’re willing to pun…”
“Alicia,” Jake interrupted, before she embarrassed him even more by dragging out their private feud in front of everyone.
“Sorry. I just didn’t expect to hear your voice,” Alicia said quietly. “I assume everyone is there?”
“Yes,” Jake admitted. “The immediate family – your mom and dad, and the two kids.”
“Well, soon there’ll be three kids,” Alicia told him. “I’m coming to the wake. He was my son, too, after all.”
She was silent for a moment.
“He was your son,” Jake said quietly. “It’s too bad that Jake and I never met. I can see the telemetry on your call. We’ll expect you in a couple of hours?”
“Yes, that’s why I called,” Alicia admitted. “I’ll see you then…”
“Transmission ended,” the wall console said.
Frank Junior chuckled, mostly to himself, trying to lighten the mood in the room.
“It looks like Katie’s little ‘horny toad’ is still chasing Jake,” he said.
Everyone just looked at him.
‘Boy, that was really lame…’
Tanya got up and walked over behind Jake. She began massaging his shoulders.
“He was your son, too, wasn’t he?” she asked quietly. “I know my daughter too well not to recognize the real cause of the rift between you, especially when it’s right in front of me.”
Tanya sighed and walked over to her son, perched in his favorite spot at the foot of the stairs. She tousled his already mussed-up hair.
“Are you keeping secrets from me, too?” Tanya asked. “Is there something about you that’s going to rear up and slap me in the face?”
“No, mother. But Katie told me yours – about the playroom, I mean,” Frank Junior said, determined to lighten the mood of the room.
He chuckled as his mother’s eyes widened.
‘I’d better finish this little story fast…’ Frank Jr. thought anxiously.
“You know what upset her the most?” he asked, still pretending to chuckle.
Tanya nervously shook her head.
“She didn’t find out about it in time to try it out. She would’ve happily confessed about her own little perversions just for a chance to spend an hour in that room.”
“So,” Tanya sighed as she crossed the room again and sat down next to Frank on the couch, “it seems everyone has their own little secrets. We should get together more often…”
There was a heavy thump on the ceiling, then silence.
“Somebody fall out of bed?” Jake asked.
Then they were all racing up the stairs to the master bedroom.
Chapter 15 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Look! You’re not in any condition to drive!” Walter said, holding onto his wife’s shoulders from behind. “Please, darling, I can have a limo take you. I can go with you, if you want. I’ll cancel the rest of my appointments and we can spend the next few days…”
He sighed, casually brushing a loose hair off her shoulder.
‘I’m not getting through to her. Doesn’t she realize I’d follow her through hell just to stay by her side?’
Alicia turned around and put her arms around her husband.
“I know you’re concerned for me,” she said quietly. “I don’t want to make that long drive by myself, either, so I’ll accept your offer of the limo. But, I won’t force you to come with me to my son’s wake. He wasn’t your son, after all. You only met him once.”
“I know, darling,” Walter said. “But I liked him. And he accepted me and wasn’t upset at all about you marrying again so soon after the death of his father. He was a man who knew his feelings and where he stood in life. That’s rare, these days. I want to go with you and pay my respects.”
‘At least, she’s not saying ‘No’. That’s a good thing, I think…’ Walter thought hopefully.
‘He wants to get involved with my family,’ Alicia thought to herself. ‘He has no idea how many secrets we have. If he comes with me, everything I’ve achieved in the last fifty years could become unraveled!’
She smiled. “Your work here is important. I’ll be back in a couple of days. You don’t need to put everything you’re doing on hold just for me. I’m an old-fashioned girl – I believe that the wife should be there for her husband, but not necessarily the other way around. That’s what you said attracted you to me in the first place, remember? My ‘unwavering support for my husband – my fierce independence and inner strength’ – Those were your words, I believe.”
She put her hand up and placed a finger on his cheek – a quiet request to accept what she said and let her go. Walter sighed again and gazed into her eyes, unwilling to let her go on this trip alone.
Alicia smiled and kissed him lightly on the lips. “Do you really want to sit and listen to me complain about how uncomfortable I am for the next week?”
Walter let his gaze drop down to his wife’s expanded belly. She was seven months pregnant with their first child. “I worry about you,” he told her.
“I know,” Alicia whispered, moving her lips against his cheek as she spoke. “But I’ll be fine. Really – I promise.”
She felt his shoulders slump slightly in resignation. “I’ll call the limo.”
“Thank you,” she said quietly.
Two hours later, the air limo settled down on the landing pad near Jake’s cabin. Two hours of doing nothing was a long time for Alicia. She didn’t like solitude; she didn’t like having time to think, or feel, or regret, or ponder the meaning of events beyond her control…
‘Such as the loss of my son… Jake’s son! I wonder if he knew how often I thought… still think of him…’
“Thank you, Donald,” Alicia said as he opened the passenger compartment and held out his hand to help her down. She had only one bag with her this time. As Donald got it out of the carrier compartment, Alicia held out her hand for it. Obediently, he handed it over.
“Tell Walter I’ll call him when I’m ready to come back,” she said somberly.
“Yes, mum,” he replied.
He looked concerned. He stood by the limo and watched Alicia walk bravely toward the lonely-looking cabin in the middle of this vast and lonely desert, knowing that his charge was city-bred and uncomfortable with too much empty space. He wondered how he would feel if it was his son that had died in that…
‘I don’t need this. I feel bad enough for all the people who perished – and I didn’t know any of them.’
He climbed into the limo, glanced once more at his employer’s pregnant, young wife to make certain she was out of the range of any lift-off debris, then launched his craft into the air.
Alicia stepped wearily up onto the porch and walked slowly toward the door, old memories of Jake, young Jake, Mom and Dad, her younger siblings and her childhood swirling through her mind.
The door opened as she reached it. Alicia looked up and stared into Jake’s eyes. Her mouth dropped open.
“Hi, Mom!” Jake Hedron said, smiling cheerfully. “Come on in!”
“I thought I was dreaming. I could hear voices – like they were in my head. I opened my eyes, but I couldn’t see anything. But in my mind, I ‘saw’ these two girls walking through the ruins of the city, like they were just walking down to the corner market or something. At first, I thought they were ghosts, more of the hundreds of people that floated through my mind while I laid there, trapped in that foot-wide airspace. Then I recognized Aunt Katie.
“Anyway, she and her friend turned away, so I yelled at her. And here I am!”
Jake Hedron finished explaining to his mother. Alicia, still stunned by her son’s miraculous rescue, looked around the cabin. Most of the kitchen chairs were now in the living room to accommodate everyone who was here.
Alicia’s entire original family was all in one place for the first time in about forty years. Jake was here. She recognized Béla from the pictures she had seen when she was growing up. It was strange, thinking of the Vampire Girl carrying Jake’s child, as well.
That was the only secret that was visible in the room, but she could feel many more. She could feel something special about Jake’s child. She could feel something special about the way Katie and Béla stayed close together. It didn’t appear to be sexual; it was more… defensive. The most amusing was that her mom and dad kept looking at each other like they were teen-age lovers, unable to get away…
Jake and Frank Junior were talking to each other about something. Her dad had gone out into the kitchen to fix something to eat. In her brother’s conversation with her old lover, Jake, the word Praetor kept coming up. Alicia wondered what it meant.
“Hello, Alicia,” Béla was suddenly standing next to her. “I’m glad to finally meet you! If you want, I can show you someplace where you can stretch out and relax after your long trip.”
Alicia followed Béla upstairs to the spare bedroom; two women, both carrying Jake’s child.
Are you sure that’s only four months? It looks more like six or seven, but you’re pretty small…
“Your folks are sleeping on the couch downstairs. Your brother and sister have been staying in here, but I’m sure you guys can work out who gets the second bed and who has to share. The water… bathroom’s right there. If this one’s busy, the other one’s right around the corner.”
“Thanks,” Alicia said.
She looked at Béla for a moment, wondering what to say to an icon – a legend that she grew up learning about.
“So, um, is this your first baby?” Alicia asked.
‘Boy, that sounds lame! Of course it is! She's been dead decades and has only just now come back!’
Béla smiled, easily seeing Alicia’s anxiety, correctly recognizing it as travel lag mixed with the happy but unnerving discovery that her son was alive after all.
‘Humans don’t like surprises – no matter what the surprise is. No matter how happy it makes them, the surprise itself upsets them. How odd.’
“This is the first child I’ll have carried to term,” Béla answered. “I’ll have Jake bring your bag up.”
She turned away and went back downstairs, not really wanting to be friends with someone who obviously considered her a rival for her own husband’s affections.
‘Wow!’ Alicia thought to herself. ‘Touchy subject… Does she suspect that it’s Jake’s child that I’m carrying, and not my husband’s?’
Her brother Frank suddenly appeared in the doorway.
“Your bag, madam,” Frank teased, formally bowing and dropping her suitcase on the second bed. “You and the Bug can have the beds – I’ll sleep wherever I can find a corner to curl up in.”
Alicia got up and hugged her brother. They’d hugged when she first arrived, but then, she’d been much more interested in why she’d been misinformed regarding her son’s death.
“Long trip?” Frank asked.
“Well, you can go ahead and relax and sleep for awhile if you want,” her brother said. “Jake’s stashed enough supplies to feed him and Béla for at least a year. Should last us a couple weeks, anyway.”
Alicia laughed at her brother’s little joke, remembering only too well how much a family of five immortals could eat in a week – there were seven here, and both she and Béla were eating for two.
‘And there are only three beds and a couch…’
Alicia left two days later. She would have gone sooner, but that was as soon as her husband’s limo could return for her. She actually enjoyed visiting her relatives one at a time, but the entire bunch packed under one roof was more stressful than she cared to admit, especially since she’d awakened with morning sickness every morning since she got here.
Over the last sixty-two years, she’d borne eleven children and had never (that she remembered) gotten as sick as she was now. After she found herself sniping at her siblings over who wanted what last biscuit that she couldn’t even eat, she spent most of her time in the spare bedroom conducting her affairs from the portable console there.
The newsies reported the miraculous discovery of Tomlin Security’s Chairman of the Board wandering lost in the desert outside the ruins of Albuquerque. He had no recollection of how he got there. He was transported immediately to Boston Medical, treated for exposure and dehydration, then released.
Frank and Tanya left the same day as Alicia and returned to their new home outside Bozeman.
Frank Junior and Katie stayed on to help around the cabin. Katie spent several hours mind-linked with the Praetor every day, asking questions and discovering new things.
What Katie learned was limited only to her imagination and her ability to phrase her questions. If she could think of a question, the Praetor usually had an answer for her. If it was something she wanted to learn how to do, the Praetor would determine if it was possible and made up exercises to teach her how. She could already dream-walk, and was learning how to teleport.
“I realize that you’ve bought into this ‘reincarnation’ thing hook, line and sinker,” Frank replied, haughtily. “But this is a brand new baby. I don’t think it can formulate an intelligent thought yet, and, since I can’t tell if it’s male or female, I doubt very much if you can!”
“You’ve heard the Praetor in your mind!” exclaimed Katie, surprised that her brother would argue such an obvious point. “That’s Béla’s sister in there! How can you not believe what it says?”
“Look, Bug,” Frank replied, trying to be patient. “I can program a computer to do everything I’ve seen this Praetor do. I don’t believe it’s the unique, self-aware, artificial alien intelligence you think it is. It’s just a very sophisticated, alien computer!”
In answer, Katie teleported his empty coffee cup above his head and let go of it.
“Ow! You little cretin!” Frank exclaimed. He reached down and picked up the cup off the floor where it had fallen after it bounced off his head. “And you want me to believe you did that?”
Katie got up and walked rapidly into the kitchen, a strange growl coming from her throat. She paced back and forth for a moment, wishing there were a way out without going back into the living room.
‘The pantry door leads down into the basement parking garage.’
Katie was halfway down the dark steps before she wondered how she knew that. The lights lit up the garage area as soon as she entered. Jake’s little Mitsui flier and his old motorcycle were the only vehicles there besides Frank’s van. Her blue Lincoln was parked in a storage garage in South Carolina, three hours away if she hijacked Jake’s little flyer.
She gazed lovingly at the old motorcycle, then straddled it and sat down. She had no idea what make or model it was, but it was old; possibly as old as she was – her actual age, not her apparent one.
She sighed, remembering her own motorcycle many, many years ago.
‘On the motorcycle, the Carolinas would be a two-day trip. But man, would that be a wonderful two days!’
Almost automatically, she reached down and flipped open the gas line. Turning the key, she kicked down on the starter. Her legs and arms tensed with forgotten pleasure as it started on the first kick. She almost tipped it over as the floor started to move and the exit door began to slide open.
Laughing with almost childish exhilaration, she tipped the cycle and kicked up the stand. With her body tensed for that familiar rush of acceleration, she twisted the throttle and ran it up the ramp into the bright, brisk October afternoon.
She cried out with joy as both wheels left the ground at the top of the ramp, and cried out in fear as she almost flipped when the rear wheel came down. Then she was accelerating out across the desert floor with the occasional tumbleweed and tall grasses whipping against her vibrating legs.
She made a wide circle around the cabin and, twenty minutes later, stopped as she crossed the tracks she’d made in the dirt when she left. She was breathing heavily and freezing cold. She could barely move her numb fingers to let go of the handlebars and every muscle in her body earnestly informed her that her motorcycle days were behind her.
Almost standing on the front wheel, Katie rode the bike back down the ramp to the underground parking deck – her hands so cold and tired that she could barely hold onto the brake to keep from crashing into the far wall.
As she dismounted, she noticed a stairway leading back upstairs. It wasn’t the way she’d come down, but she was curious about where it went back up. When she got to the top and pushed open the door, she was back in the living room, under the staircase that went to the second floor. Her brother looked up from his journal console.
“Exploring?” he asked. He seemed to have completely forgotten their earlier disagreement. Katie just nodded and continued on up the next flight of stairs.
Chapter 16 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It was January First – New Year’s Day and Béla writhed on the bed, sweating and delirious, with a body temperature of a hundred and six. The baby inside her was a lot hotter than that.
‘She's burning me!” Béla cried. “She wants out!”
Katie and Jake held Béla down on the bed while Frank Junior got a hypo ready.
“This should induce your labor,” he told Béla.
‘I only hope to hell it works on her species…’
He shot the needle gun into her belly. Béla curled up in a ball, a growling scream coming from her throat.
“Praetor! Tell me what to do!” Katie cried, half lying across Béla’s feverish, sweaty body, desperately holding her down as her contractions started.
‘You must mind-link with the child and find out why she is behaving this way.’
“Why can’t you do it?” Katie asked the voice in her head. “I’m pretty busy here!”
Béla’s elbow cracked her in the jaw as she tried to escape from the agony in her belly.
“Put her to sleep or something, will you?” Katie cried out.
A few seconds later, Béla slumped limply back.
‘The princess is asleep. She will not remain asleep for long. Her pain is too great. She must stay awake and stay hydrated.’
Katie lay down next to Béla and put her arms around Béla’s hot belly, resting her head against her side. She closed her eyes and tried to ignore the heat radiating from Béla’s belly.
‘Elizabeth! Where are you?’ Katie thought, concentrating on the search-image of Beth.
Then she was standing in white fire, frozen in time. Her gutted body was slowly being vaporized microsecond by microsecond in the nuclear fire she had created by teleporting the evil doctor into the wall. A dark-haired image stood next to her, radiating her fury.
‘That’s not me! It’s… Beth!’
‘Beth!’ Katie cried.
She grabbed hold of the dream-walking girl’s shoulders and shook her, distracting her from the image of her body slowly vaporizing in the slow motion explosion.
‘Who are you?’ Beth exclaimed, upset and angry. ‘How can you be here? Leave, or you will die here with me!’
‘I’ve already lived through this explosion once,’ Katie said earnestly, ‘and so have you! You aren’t really here, now! You’re dream-walking – you’re having a nightmare!’
Beth looked confused. ‘I’m already dead! What do you care where I am?’
‘I care because you’re hurting Béla!’ Katie explained. ‘You went into Béla after you died. Don’t you remember? You’re going to be her child!’
‘What?’ Beth said, now thoroughly confused and started to get upset.
‘Please, Beth,’ Katie insisted. ‘We need to get you away from here! This image is burning you both!’
Katie took Beth’s arm in both her hands. Thinking hard about a quiet brook surrounded by trees, she pulled. They both fell into soft, dew-covered grass.
The white fire was gone. Katie blinked in the comparative darkness of the early morning light. An unfamiliar songbird twittered from the top of a tree.
Beth sat up and looked around ‘Where are we?’
Katie shrugged. ‘No idea. Not Albuquerque. We’re somewhere in China, I think. I’m still learning how to do this. This is the first time in all my practicing that I’ve actually managed to arrive somewhere I haven’t been before.’
‘Holy crap!’ Beth exclaimed. ‘You brought that with you!’
Katie turned around to see was Beth was staring at, then held her hand over her mouth to keep from screaming.
‘Nnugh! It’s your body!’ Katie exclaimed. ‘I didn’t mean to… I mean… Oh, K-rap!’
She stared at the smoking, half-cooked, half-dissected, armless mess on the ground in front of her. Its flesh was badly charred and most of the hair on its head was burnt off from the few microseconds it had been exposed to the nuclear fire.
‘Is it still alive?’ Katie asked, trying not to heave. ‘The Praetor said you’re supposed to be Béla’s child! Doesn’t that mean you have to die first? Look! Your heart’s still beating!’
That was all it took – Katie bent over sideways and threw up all over the grassy bank. She spewed quite a bit into the brook, much to the delight of the hungry minnows there.
After Katie finally got up enough nerve to pull the clamps off that were holding its torso open, it visibly began growing back together. Beth stared at her armless (wingless?) body for a long time, just watching it lie on the ground, slowly healing.
‘I have awareness of both places,’ Beth said, finally. ‘I can feel a part of myself as Béla’s child, but the greater part of my consciousness remains here – like I’m split in two, but unevenly. It’s almost like I’m my own twin…’
‘Beth, you’re going to live, dammit,’ Katie said earnestly. ‘I don’t know how, but I got you out of that fire! That means the future’s been changed. You can heal and be yourself, again. I remember something that Dad said about Béla, a long time ago, “Their blood helps us, and our blood helps them!” I’m going to give you some of my blood. It should help you regenerate.’
She couldn’t find a knife. She stood up, looking around for something sharp to cut herself with. Finally spying a twig with a sharp edge on it, she jabbed it savagely into her wrist, then held her arm out letting the blood dribble down her fingers and into the open wound running the length of Beth's torso. Where her blood dripped, the wound began healing more quickly.
Katie laughed, a little light-headed from shock. When her right wrist healed, she did the same with her left, offering Beth several ounces of her life-blood from each wrist.
‘When the princesses are regenerating, they quickly become dehydrated. They must be given lots of liquids.’
‘What?’ Katie asked, looking around.
Beth shook her head, just watching.
Her wrists healed, Katie was currently wringing water from her blouse that she’d soaked in the creek into Beth’s unconscious mouth and rubbing her throat to induce swallowing.
‘You know you’re only dream-walking, don’t you?’ Beth said, finally.
Katie looked up at Beth’s dream image strangely, in response to her comment.
‘Does that mean what we’re doing here doesn’t matter?’ Katie asked, beginning to despair that her hopes and efforts might be going to waste.
‘That depends on the power of the mind controlling the dream,’ Beth replied. ‘You’re an earth girl. The Earthers minds are weak. It’s possible that what you are attempting to heal is simply an illusion and my real body was vaporized… back there.’
‘You don’t believe that,’ Katie said, hoping she sounded sure of herself. ‘If you did, you wouldn’t still be sitting here and waiting to see if you’re going to live or not!’
Beth watched Katie as she traipsed back and forth from the brook several more times, each time soaking her blouse in the brook, then coming back and wringing it out, carefully forcing as much water down her patient’s mouth as she could manage.
‘Here, let me,’ Beth offered, holding out her hand as Katie struggled to rise one more time and head back to the brook. ‘If you want, I’ll go back and forth, and you sit there and just wring it out into my mouth. Okay?’
Katie, nearly exhausted, gratefully agreed. Beth returned a moment later with the blouse freshly soaked and knelt down next to Katie while Katie wrung it out and forced more water down the comatose throat of her patient lying on the ground.
‘I’ve been thinking about what you said,’ Katie said, slurring her words slightly from exhaustion. ‘What happens if I go to sleep while I’m dream-walking?’
‘You will wake up where you were originally,’ Beth told her, being very candid and matter-of-fact about her own life and death. ‘And this will all fade away…’
‘Then it’s all for nothing after all…’ Katie blinked back tears and carefully wrung more water into the unconscious Beth’s mouth.
On her next trip up from the brook, Beth found Katie with her head hanging down, holding herself up with her arms locked in place, trying desperately to stay awake. There were tears in her eyes, both from grief and exhaustion. Beth knelt down beside her, dropping the soaked blouse on the ground, and stroked Katie’s hair.
‘Don’t despair, earth-girl,’ Beth said quietly, hugging Katie. ‘You fought bravely. Sleep now. It’ll be all right…’
Katie collapsed into Beth’s arms, her tears falling on the prone form that she’d worked so hard to save. After a moment, she faded. Beth waited for the image surrounding her to fade as the energy from Katie’s mind creating it dissipated, wondering where she’d wake up…
‘If I wake up…’
After several minutes, she was still here.
‘Well, you’re stronger than the average Earther,’ Beth thought to the departed Katie. ‘You actually managed to teleport the real me to a real place. It’s too bad you couldn’t have given me arms, too…’
She lay down next to her body and went to sleep. The morning sun warmed the air and the ground around the dark-haired girl as she slept in the grass next to a babbling brook. The great wound running the length of her torso continued to heal while tiny wings sprouted just behind her shoulder sockets.
Chapter 17 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“… and according to the findings of the Joint Chiefs of the Military and the Supreme Council, the Stevens Genetics Research Facility was determined to be the site of the detonation – Ground Zero, as it were.
“The exact cause of the detonation is still unknown. The type of energy discharge that destroyed most of downtown Albuquerque was not, in fact, a nuclear device. There was no discernable radioactivity either during the detonation or afterward, and there was no radiation in the debris cloud that passed over most of the Eastern Seaboard and out into the Atlantic.
“All documents concerning the Evan Stevens Research Facility are…”
Jake turned off the Tri-d. He went back upstairs to check on Béla and Katie. Béla’s body temperature was almost normal, now. He knew that Katie had done something, but she was still unconscious and couldn’t be questioned yet.
Frank Junior was lying on one of the beds in the spare bedroom staring at the ceiling when Jake entered.
“Trying to figure out what happened?” Jake asked, sitting down on the bed next to Frank.
“No,” Frank admitted. “I know it was Katie… At the same time that Béla’s unborn child stopped cooking her, Katie’s body mass dropped by six kilos. It set off her body monitor. And she’s severely dehydrated.
“The equipment I have here tells me that almost fifty percent of Katie’s brain is active, right now, while she’s apparently asleep. That’s unheard of, for a human. She's evolving, Jake… She's leaving the rest of us behind and becoming something that’s never existed before.”
“So you think it might have something to do with her exposure to that machine – the Praetor?” Jake asked, pondering a possible explanation. “Alien technology designed to boost the little human monkeys up the evolutionary ladder, perhaps?”
He smiled as waited for Frank to answer. Jake loved discussions like this, but only when the subject matter didn’t get garbled up with religious dogma.
“I don’t know,” Frank replied. “She believes that. She ‘merges’ her mind with that machine several hours every day. Then she works out for another two hours to keep her body in shape. I was sparring with her yesterday and clipped her right across the face – cut her pretty bad.
“What was weird – well, the first thing that was weird was that her reflexes are a lot faster than they used to be. For ten minutes before I actually clipped her, I couldn’t even touch her. And I was really trying! Then she let her guard down, almost like she wanted me to clop her a good one.
“The other thing is, when I did cut her cheek, it healed in about two seconds. It would take an hour for a cut like that to heal on me.”
Frank laughed to himself – a private joke perhaps?
“What’s so funny?” Jake asked, curious.
“Well, Katie’s a snuff girl,” Frank said. “I imagine that, with her improved reaction time and her newfound ability to heal even better than the rest of us ‘long-lifers’, she could pull off a lot of stunts now that she couldn’t before. That is, if she still wants to pursue this lucrative, suicidal profession. She could get very rich, very quickly. People pay a lot of money to watch young, pretty girls get butchered.”
“Well, that Praetor device is certainly something I’ve not had much experience with,” Jake admitted, “although Béla seems to think it’s necessary for the very survival of her people, whoever they might be. Who knows what it can actually do?”
It was a rhetorical question that didn’t expect an answer. It also effectively ended the conversation.
“Well, I’ve got to check on the girls, again,” Frank said, stretching and getting up from his short rest.
When he entered the master bedroom, Katie was sitting up, rubbing Béla’s stomach. Katie looked up when she saw her brother enter.
“She's asleep,” Katie said quietly, her voice sounding scratchy. “Her baby is quiet, too. It doesn’t appear that the labor inducer you gave her had much effect. Her body must have negated it somehow while it was healing.”
Katie tried to clear her throat several times, finally giving up in a fit of coughing.
“What’s wrong with me?” she groaned, her raspy voice grating against her brother’s ears.
“You’re dehydrated,” Frank explained. “And if you check your body monitor, you’ll also find you’ve lost about four pounds. Let’s get you downstairs so you can refuel that starved body of yours, and you can tell me all about whatever it is you’ve been doing in here to make your body react like that.”
Katie was so stiff and sore that she could barely lift herself up to get off the bed. Frank helped her to stand up and led her to the doorway. Then she ended up swaying wildly, high in the air, riding down the stairs on Frank’s shoulders, hoarsely yelling with fear and wild excitement, her hands tightly clasping her brother’s face and chin.
Katie was on her third sandwich and her fourth glass of juice, trying animatedly to tell them everything between huge mouthfuls of food.
“Anyway, I was… just wringing water into her… mouth, over and over, trying to help her… heal. You know? The burns on her body were healing, so…”
Katie didn’t tell them about slicing her wrists and bleeding for the fallen vampire. She was certain her arrogant and overprotective older brother would harangue her for days about that. As it was, it was obvious that he didn’t believe what she was telling him, anyway.
“Beth suggested that I was just dreaming the whole thing,” Katie decided to say, placating her brother, Damned Doubting Frankus! “Then I woke up. Béla was okay, the baby was okay, and I was four pounds lighter from working myself to exhaustion in a dream!”
“Humph!” Frank said, clearly not accepting what his sister was saying. “Well, you did something that used a lot of your energy, and whatever it was, it seems to have stabilized both Béla and her baby. If that’s how your mind interprets what happened, I guess we’ll have to accept it – at least until we learn more about these new mental abilities you have.”
‘God hath spoken!’ Katie thought, fuming. ‘I just told you what happened, you… you ignoramus!’
‘What you have done is recorded and is a part of history, now,’ Katie heard in her mind. ‘Regardless of what your brother believes, you have accomplished something new that has not been done before. You changed the past and teleported the Princess Beth out of danger and relocated her in the present. Originally, the princess perished. You changed history that has already been recorded. You have the honor of being recorded as the first being to successfully travel through time.’
“The Praetor says that I’m the first person to ever travel through time,” Katie said smugly, unable to keep from blabbing to her unbelieving brother. “Why don’t you believe me?”
Frank glared at her for a moment, decided not to say anything about the food smeared on her face, and left the room.
Chapter 18 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Annual Consortium of Freaks was crowded – mobbed with sightseers, tourists, and people in amazing costumes. There were hundreds of booths, representing everything from Astrology to the worship of Zeus. Booths were dedicated to Flying Saucers, Vampires, and all sorts of S&M paraphernalia. There were people dressed as witches, sorcerers, and alien characters from their favorite sci-fi movies. In one booth, several teens had stripped naked and were getting wild, kaleidoscopic designs painted on their bodies.
Tanya pressed through the crowd. A booth nearby was blaring out a newscast about a Sasquach being spotted in Idaho. The blurred Tri-d image she saw could have been anything. The next ‘news’ item was about a giant spaceship that was eating the world’s glaciers. She grinned when she heard it.
‘That one is true…’ Tanya thought, laughing to herself.
Finally finding what she was looking for, she stopped. The booth contained a few dozen items from the middle ages – body armor, a few swords and daggers, a couple of dented shields. The proprietor, recognizing her from a fair two months ago, grinned widely, showing an uneven row of teeth.
“Ah, Tasha, dar-ling!” he spoke, using a thick foreign accent. “My desirable little deviant. What brings you here to my humble little booth?”
He rolled his ‘R’s a little too heavily to be convincing, but Tanya smiled up at him anyway. He held his arms open with palms out to welcome her.
Tanya smiled wickedly up at him and stepped behind the railing, taking a deep breath and gritting her teeth at the electric shock that was intended to discourage looky-loos from handling the supposedly thousand-year-old artifacts.
Pretending distress, the proprietor reached toward her, careful not to actually touch her while she passed through the electrical field. She stopped, chewing on her lower lip while she waited for him to say something. Her hair was flaired from the static charge, almost standing straight out.
“I would have turned it off,” he stated magnanimously. “But I forget myself. You live for the pain, don’t you?”
It wasn’t really a question. He remembered the last time she’d visited him, searching for personal little torture devices. She had even insisted on trying each one out before she purchased it. He had taken great pleasure in showing her just how cruelly delightful those nipple clamps were. He also remembered that she had insisted he put them on her – including the cruel little pin that was inserted through each breast. The heavy pins didn’t through the nipple, but through the soft, meaty part of her pectorals, the foundations of her breasts – to hold the chain around the clamp in place.
She’d also purchased a little metal skirt with inverted spikes in the belt. She’d made him put it on her, then tighten it securely. Then, with little rivulets of blood running down her torso and her legs, she let him have his way with her, giving her an incredible orgasm with a spiked ring around the base of his penis. She was so pleased that she purchased all three items, not even questioning the exorbitant price he quoted.
She’d left his booth wearing just the items she’d purchased from him, leaving her blouse and slacks behind and carrying the bloody cock ring in a small bag. On the way back to where she parked the flier, Tanya got a lot of stares from shocked passers-by, a few smiles of admiration, and two genuine offers to be sodomized.
When she got home, Frank was already there. Tanya let him ‘disrobe’ her, pulling the pins out of her breasts and letting the chain fall to the floor and yank off the nipple clamps, and carefully disengaging the inverted spikes in the belt from her bleeding torso.
But the best part was when Frank discovered her already-abused and well-used pussy. She put the spiked cock-ring on him and let him tear her cunt apart with it for almost an hour, coming at least a dozen times. Frank was so aroused that he added three loads of cum to what was already there and came once more in her ass before he became too exhausted to fuck any more.
“So what brings you here today,” the proprietor asked. “Are you searching for some more little treasures like the ones I had before? Because if you are, my torture-hungry little friend, I regret that I have nothing to offer you, currently.”
Tanya looked somewhat disappointed.
He added, “However, I do have a contrivance which may interest you. I purchased it from a Japanese sorcerer. It is almost seven hundred years old.”
He pulled the curtain back, allowing the gorgeous little blonde to enter his ‘private domain’. Tanya smiled at him again, and stepped forward. The storage area was dark and smelled like a dirt cellar.
Abdullah flicked on a light switch. Tanya blinked at the sudden brightness assaulting her eyes. She waited for him to show her what he had to offer, hoping it was what he had promised, two months earlier.
He threw back a cloth, uncovering what looked like a metal chair of some sort. Tanya smiled, recognizing what it was.
“This,” Abdullah said, grandstanding his pose for a moment, “is a Nipponese Torture Chamber. You can see the hinges and the puncture mechanism. It is in perfect working order. But, my little pain pervert, I must insist that you not try it personally – at least not here! I am not prepared to face a police investigation into your demise. I’m certain you understand…”
He demonstrated how the device worked and all the different positions that were available. Tanya decided she wanted it (she already knew that), and they agreed on a price. This time, Tanya bartered him down to a third of what he originally asked before handing over her card. As Abdullah lifted the card out of her hand, he discovered underneath it the special cock-ring he’d sold her before. He looked up at her, one eyebrow raised.
“A parting gift,” Tanya said quietly, “for you to use as you see fit…”
Abdullah picked it out of her hand, noticing that it left a slight ring in her palm. It was sticky with a dark-red coating. He brought it up to his nose and sniffed it. It smelled of blood and girl-cum.
“Your blood?” he asked, realizing what she was offering him.
That cock ring, coated with fresh female blood and her sex juices, was worth as much as what he was asking for the ancient Japanese artifact, especially if he knew who would want such a memento to feminine torture, and he did.
“Are you proposing a trade?” he asked.
Now that he had the spiked cock-ring back, he wanted both the cock-ring and payment for the torture chamber.
“It would be worth more if I could prove that what it appears to be is, in fact, the, um, ‘real’ thing,” he said, deciding to work out a deal with her.
Tanya looked at him, understanding he wanted something special from her.
“If you want to make a recording of using it on me,” Tanya replied, “you can only show me from the neck down. Too many people would recognize who I am. I don’t want to jeopardize my… social standing.”
Abdullah smiled. He knew she was currently young Tabor’s favorite slut-bod. Evidently, she liked it where she was, and wasn’t interested in losing her status.
“Of course, my dear,” Abdullah replied. “You realize that you will have to ‘pretend’ to some distress – unlike the previous time I used this on you…
“It would be an added bonus if your facial expressions were visible,” he added. “Perhaps you could wear a mask?”
Tanya brightened up. She had an idea.
“There’s a body painting booth down the aisle,” she told him. He knew about it, of course, but hadn’t thought of it as a method of disguising who she was. “Where should I come for the recording session?”
“There is a booth at the other end of this aisle,” Abdullah replied. “Everything, including the torture chamber, will be ready for you when you arrive.”
‘This is too easy!’ Abdullah thought to himself, feeling ecstatic.
Tanya left, almost skipping in her excitement. She’d found the torture chair she’d seen in a movie almost thirty years before. She was going to get her body painted up like an exotic dancer, and then she was going to do her very first snuff job! She could hardly wait. She could hardly wait to do it, and, she could hardly wait to show it to Frank.
‘One very busy day for one pain-happy little cunt…’
There was a line of teenagers waiting at the body-painting booth and Tanya found herself standing next to the ‘Weird News’ booth, again. This time, there was a Tri-d of a sea serpent taken by a tourist on a cruise ship, then a short documentary about a group of Chinese monks who actually captured the fallen archangel who had arrived to bring about the end of the world. According to the monk being interviewed, the female archangel represented the evils of mankind – famine, sickness, death. To rid the world of these evils, the archangel was put to death – cleansed of her evils by fire. Tanya glanced up at the Tri-d just in time to see…
‘Oh my God! It’s Beth! Tied to a stake and burned to death!
‘No, It can’t be. She's already dead!’ Tanya thought to herself relaxing after her initial reaction. ‘But it’s a real shock, seeing someone who looks so much like her…’
Her eyes went back to the macabre scene on the booth’s Tri-d. The girl tied to the stake seemed to have little wings where her arms would be. As the flames blazed up around her, she seemed to wake up. She screamed once, then popped out of existence.
‘That is so totally fake!’
There were only two kids ahead of her, now. Tanya put her mind back on Abdullah and the reaming she was going to get performing in front of a Tri-d recorder. But, that performance was going to net her a free Japanese torture chair. Her belly tightened in excited anticipation of how she expected the rest of her day to turn out.
Chapter 19 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Alicia quietly pulled the door closed and turned around. Her husband was right behind her. She put her arms around his neck, at the same time feeling his hands on her waist. She smiled as she kissed him.
“He’s asleep,” she whispered quietly into his ear, almost giggling like a teenager sneaking off with her boyfriend to do the ‘big naughty!’
“Perhaps we… have a little time… to make a little… brother… or sister to… keep him company,” she gasped between ardent kisses.
Walter gallantly scooped her up and carried her into their bedroom. With his building contract business tripled with the fervor of clearing out and rebuilding New Albuquerque, he and his gorgeous little blonde wife had chalked up a lot of undelivered promises lately. Now it was time to deliver.
He unceremoniously dropped her on the bed. Alicia emitted a sexy squeal as she landed. Then she got up on her knees and was pulling his shirt open between the buttons, finding little places to kiss him on his chest and belly. He chuckled at her enthusiasm as he unbuttoned his shirt as fast as he could. He didn’t want her to start tearing his buttons off, after all.
‘And why not? It’s only a shirt…’
After a moment, Walter had his shirt off. Being typically Alicia, Alicia hadn’t waited and was already working on his lower half, caressing his growing cock right through his pants. It had grown hard very quickly and was tingling with his need as she outlined its hiding place with her fingernails, one on each side as she moved her hand up and down its length, teasing him unmercifully.
Walter unbuckled his belt and pulled it off. As he tossed it into a chair, Alicia’s hands were already unfastening the front of his pants. Then his pants were falling down around his ankles and Alicia was teasing him like she was before, only this time with her lips and teeth – caressing his cock right through his underwear. He stood, helplessly succumbing to her ministrations, running his hands over her head, mussing her luxurious, thick blond hair. His heart was pounding in his chest and his legs shook.
‘God, she makes me feel like a schoolboy getting his very first blowjob!’
Alicia looked up at him and grinned wickedly, a mouthful of his underwear still gripped in her teeth. She pulled her head back and let go, snapping his briefs against his hard cock. Giggling, she raised her arms, wrapped them around his neck again and pulled herself up for a passionate kiss.
With her lips locked to his, she pulled him down to the bed with her. They both bounced with the impact. Walter could taste blood where his lip had been pressed against his teeth when they hit the bed. Somehow, it made their lovemaking even more exciting.
With feverish kisses, he kissed and licked his way down the side of her face to her neck, pausing to kiss and suck on the side of her neck until she giggled again and he could feel goosebumps on her flesh. Then he moved on down to her beautifully engorged breasts, licking and kissing his way around, completing his lustful journey with her left nipple in his mouth.
He gently caressed it with his teeth and tongue, then began gently sucking. Walter didn’t actually like the taste of her milk, but he knew the sensation she experienced when he did that could make her come in less than a minute – especially if he put his hand down and began caressing her between her legs, gently running his fingers and nails up and down each side of her pussy lips, like he was doing right now.
Alicia squirmed under his weight, moaning her pleasure to him. Walter switched to the other breast (you have to keep them symmetrical, after all) and began sucking on it, increasing the pressure of his fingers between her legs. In a few more seconds, Alicia’s belly and legs twitched several times as she came. The area between her legs was suddenly damp. Walter moved down to lick the girl-cum up as it leaked out of her pussy.
Moaning softly, Alicia put her hands on his head and pulled him in harder against her, pushing her pelvis up and grinding her cunt against his teeth. He took the hint, and began gently chewing on the girl-flesh surrounding her clitoris. A few seconds later, she came again. Walter took that as his queue and swung around to shove his hard cock up inside her.
He could never last long once he began fucking her. Alicia was too beautiful and sexual a creature and the way her pussy gripped his cock when she came – he simply didn’t have enough control. Each time, to make up for what he considered poor performance, he would make certain that she enjoyed herself during their foreplay, and then licked her clean afterward, making her come once or twice more.
Alicia felt him enter. His cock felt good inside her. She loved the attention he gave her whenever they made love. She felt her cunt contract around his girth as she came again. She gave him a couple of extra squeezes, knowing that her vaginal caresses would make him lose control
‘Yes! That’s it! Pump it all inside me! Fill me - make me pregnant!’
After he came, Walter pulled her leg around so he could shove his fingers into her soaked, cum-filled cunt. He worked his fingers in and out of her for awhile, finally feeling her shudder with another orgasm. After that, she curled up with her head on his chest and went to sleep.
They slept like that for about an hour, then the baby monitor woke them. Alicia groggily sat up, then leaned back down and kissed her husband several times on the chest and once on his lips. Then she slipped on a robe and went to change and feed her son.
Walter got up after a moment and padded down the hall to the open door of the nursery. He watched as Alicia held his son, Zachary, against her breast. He could hear slight sucking sounds as she cooed to him.
“Yes, baby. Daddy’s been there, too. Can you taste him? Ooh, you smell so yummy I could just eat you up! Oh, your hair’s starting to get so thick. I’m going to have to take you to the barber; it’s getting so long. Yes, sir! You are getting to be such a big little boy, yes you are!”
Walter watched quietly as his wife fed his child on her breast. After a moment, he turned away and returned to their bedroom. He didn’t understand why watching Alicia with their baby aroused him so much, but he would have a pleasant surprise waiting for her when she returned to bed.
‘And I promise to last longer this time!’
Chapter 20 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Katie sat with Béla on the bed. They were mind-linked. Béla was studying the image of Katie and Beth trying to revive Beth’s mutilated body.
“It’s strange,” Béla said, finally. “I don’t feel her or the baby in my mind. Do you suppose she’s still alive, somewhere?”
Béla missed her sister badly. They’d grown more than close during the long voyage from New Eden to Earth. Their feelings toward each other were more than just sexual. She loved Beth, and it still hurt inside, not being able to feel her presence.
“I don’t know,” Katie replied quietly.
She was sad, too. She’d tried to return to the little brook she’d created, but discovered that she evidently had to be really stressed before her mind-power kicked in. When she wasn’t excited or upset, mentally she was no more powerful than any other…
‘What did she call us? Oh, Yes… Earthers!’
“At least the baby isn’t trying to usurp my nervous system any more,” Béla said, trying to pick good things out of what had happened.
She rubbed her extended tummy. The baby was a lot larger than it was a week ago, but Frank had assured her that the fetus was developing normally, again.
“You want to try coming downstairs?” Katie asked, offering her help. “If you want, you can use me as a portable crutch…”
Béla grinned. “I would love to get out of this bed. But first, if you want, you can help me take a shower. A week in this bed…”
She didn’t need to finish the sentence. Katie laughed, waving her hand to dissipate the odor, and helped her up.
Once on her feet, Béla discovered she was stronger than she thought she’d be. She was able to take care of her own toilet, and climbed into the shower stall by herself.
Katie waited anyway, preferring Béla’s company to that of her overbearing brother. She still preferred not to be around Jake too much – even after all this time, she still got heated up inside thinking about Jake and Alicia all those years ago.
‘That great, horny toad! Why do I feel so possessive? Jake belongs to Béla, now. How come Jake and Béla don’t bother me like Jake and Alicia do?’
“Oh! This feels sooo good!” Béla exclaimed as the swirling showerhead pummeled her back.
Katie smiled and decided to go change the bedding. Béla, once clean again, would really appreciate fresh-smelling sheets to lie on.
Katie just finished the fresh bedding program when her brother stuck his head in the door.
“Hey! You’re up!” Frank grinned. “Here, Bug, this just came for you.”
He held out a disc. It was from Claremont Productions. Katie felt her heart leap.
“Is that a job offer?” she asked, suddenly excited.
Her brother grinned, holding the shiny disk just out of her reach. She laughed and grabbed his arm with both hands, climbing up his body to get to her prize. She squealed as they both fell onto the bed.
“Hey! Don’t break it!” Katie said excitedly as she wrested it out of his hand.
“Don’t worry,” Frank told her. “I’ve already downloaded it into the console.”
“Oh! Well then, what is it?” Katie wanted to know.
‘It figures my pesky brother would read it first!’
“Claremont wants you to go to Bolivia,” he explained. “They’re making another one of those relic hunter movies. You get to play a lead role.”
“What?” Katie exclaimed. She was really excited now. “Who do I get to play?”
She was already halfway out the bedroom door, heading downstairs to find a console to stick the disk into. Frank followed her down, still talking at her backside.
“You get to play one of the bad guys,” Frank continued. “It’s not exactly a leading role – you’re only in a half dozen scenes. You get to steal the relic from the good guy and leave him trapped in some underground maze, then you get killed off trying to get away.”
“Typical,” Katie said, still happy about the offer. She looked at the screen display as it scrolled rapidly by. “Hey! I have a last name in this one. I’m coming up in the world!”
‘Finally! I get to play somebody besides Suzy the sexy schoolgirl who gets kidnapped, raped and murdered, or some no-name victim in an opening scene to some bizarre, third-rate thriller!’
“Wow! Half a mil!” she exclaimed. “Did they send details? No, of course they wouldn’t. We haven’t accepted yet. Tell you what, manager, You get in touch with them and if they can get the shoots done in the same week, we’ll do it!”
“Before you make up your mind, you’d better read your death scene,” Frank admonished her.
The seriousness in his voice got her attention. She paged down to her death scene and read it carefully.
“Well. No wonder they asked for me,” she said, more quiet than she was a moment earlier. “They probably can’t get anyone else to do it.”
She sat thoughtfully for a few minutes. Bolivia was in the Andes, and it was always cold there – cold enough to ski even in the summer, which it was, down there. In fact, Bolivia was so cold that snow skiing was a summer sport there.
“Alright. Tell them okay, I’ll do it,” Katie decided. “But I still don’t want to be gone more than a week, okay? Béla needs me, too!”
Frank grinned. He was pretty sure she would accept the job. Even if her part made her miserable, there was a ski resort near La Pas where the shoot was taking place.
‘She may hate the cold mountain weather, but she loves to ski… and the mountains down there are irresistible!’
Katie went into the kitchen – Jake’s favorite haunt since his cabin was now occupied by everyone else – to tell him the good news.
“Hey, I heard,” Jake said as she entered. “I’m fixing a special breakfast – my favorite and yours, I understand – Flapjacks!”
“Ha-ha!” Katie said, pretending sarcasm. “It’s everybody’s favorite! Mostly because it’s the only thing you can fix without mucking it up!”
“Hey! No fair!” Jake exclaimed. “When I fix them, you always eat them, so they must be your favorite!”
Katie grinned at her adopted uncle. “The only reason I eat them is because you starve me by fixing all that other inedible stuff!”
She stretched up and pecked his bristly cheek, then half skipped out of the room.
‘Get away while everything’s still pleasant – don’t want too much possessiveness starting up, here…’
She was halfway up the stairs to tell Béla the good news when she heard her scream. Katie raced the rest of the way up the stairs, followed closely by her brother. They both pushed their way into the bathroom – Katie almost falling over
‘Béla is lying in the middle of the floor! She all burnt! What happened?’
Katie looked up quickly, shocked by the sound of an almost hysterical sob. Béla was standing, naked and soaking wet, still in the shower, eyes wide and staring down at them. Katie looked back down at the smoking, burnt girl on the floor. She was moving, trying to turn over.
‘My God! She doesn’t have any arms! Holy fuck! It’s… Beth!’
“Beth!” Katie cried. “Ohmygod! Ohmygod! Frank! Help me get her to the bed!”
She tried to control her hysterical shaking as she held Beth up, getting her off the floor. Frank had her legs and feet, his face a mask of disbelieving shock.
They manhandled Beth through the bathroom door and onto the bed. Béla trailed close behind and pushed her way past Katie once Beth was lying down.
“Beth, darling,” Béla cried. “What did they do to you?”
Her earlier images gleaned from Katie’s mind hadn’t prepared her for the mutilated body Beth now inhabited. She looked up and savagely snarled at Katie.
“You showed me her burns were healed!”
Katie backed up against the wall at the vehemence of Béla’s voice.
“They were!” she cried. “These must be new ones…”
‘I don’t know! How can I be sure? The whole thing might’ve been a dream!’
“Come on, honey,” Béla crooned to her sister. “It’s feeding time… You’ll be all right soon. You’re home, now. You’re safe.”
Frank started to reach for Béla when he realized what she was trying to do. Béla bared her teeth and snarled at him. He yanked his hand back like he was afraid she’d bite him.
Then Beth’s hungry mouth was on Béla’s neck. Katie and Frank listened to the unearthly mewling sounds coming from both vampires as Beth fed.
Frank recovered first. “Think about your baby, Béla. Don’t let Beth take too much…”
Béla blinked several times, seeming to come out of a trance. She nodded, not angry now, and pulled away from her still-feeding sister. With an almost silent moan, Beth lost what little consciousness she’d roused herself to when offered her sister’s throat. Her skin was already turning a mottled pink as it began to heal.
“Oh, so that’s how it’s done,” Katie murmured quietly. “I used my wrists…”
“What?” Frank asked, incredulous. “You’ve fed her your blood?”
Katie backed up again. ‘I really need to get this ‘fear of sibling confrontation’ thing handled…’
“She needed it!” Katie exclaimed fiercely. “I’d do it again!”
Béla watched the two argue for a second or two.
“Help or leave!” Béla demanded. She mind-linked with Frank, willing him toward the bed. “Find out what’s wrong with her! She's asleep and I can’t access her memories right now. I can’t even get her to dream-walk!”
Frank left to go across the hall and get his medical kit. Katie sat down on the bed with the two sisters.
“Maybe I can help,” she offered. “I’ve linked with her before when she was in an unreachable state of mind. Maybe I can do it again.”
‘Earth Girl,’ Katie heard Béla say in her mind. ‘She named you that?’
Katie recognized the respect that Béla granted her by speaking mind-to-mind as though she were one of their own.
‘You gained my sister’s love and friendship with your actions. You represent everything that is good about the Earthers. Perhaps you are correct that you can reach her now. But remember, Earthers did this to her – she may be unwilling to compromise herself again…’
Béla moved back, allowing Katie to lie down next to Beth. Somewhat self-consciously, Katie put her arm over Beth’s stomach like she had with Béla, before, and laid her head against Beth’s side, just under where her arm should be!
‘Oh Christ! I’m so sorry! How will you ever believe there are good people in this world?
‘Beth, where are you?’ Katie asked in her mind, trying to remember the drill as the Praetor had taught it to her. She closed her eyes and tried again. ‘Beth?’
Frank came back into the room. “What’s Katie doing?” He couldn’t decide if he was upset or relieved to see her lying there, apparently asleep.
‘At least, she can’t stick her nose in while I examine Beth…’
He brought out his portable scanner and set it on the bed next to the sleeping girls. He could monitor them both, now. He watched as the device calibrated itself and began to give off readings.
“Interesting,” he said to Béla. “Both their heart rates are exactly the same.”
“They’re mind-linked,” Béla explained quietly. “Katie said she could reach her, and, evidently, she did.”
“What now?” Frank asked, although he already knew the answer.
Chapter 21 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“You were magnificent!” Abdullah exclaimed, as Tanya offered her arm to him.
He pulled her up and out of the limo and gazed lustfully at her blood-streaked, painted torso as she stood up and tried to straighten out. Even though she healed unnaturally fast, had an unusually high metabolism and an incredible tolerance to pain, he had still her to perish when that Japanese torture chamber had slammed shut, perforating her sexy body with a dozen long, needle-like spikes. She squirmed, screamed and bled appropriately, then fainted.
That was the final scene in his little snuff film. Distributing it would make him millions. He’d been planning it since the sexy pain slut first walked into his booth two months earlier, ever since he discovered her unnatural abilities.
Earlier that day, when Tanya had walked in to the recording stage to tryst with him, he was already recording. He recorded her being strong-armed up against the torture chamber rack, then secured with two large metal clasps that literally ‘nailed’ her into the contraption, one over her breasts and one over her hips. She was already bleeding quite profusely when he had the chamber raised into the air and positioned so he could violate her with the spiked cock ring she’d returned to him.
All throughout the thirty-five minutes of non-stop recording (it had to be non-stop, or it wouldn’t be believable), Tanya reacted like a typical female, crying for mercy or screaming in agony as she hung, perforated and clamped tightly to the rack, repeatedly violated.
Right up until the moment when Abdullah shoved his cock up inside her, he wasn’t certain that she was faking her pain and terror. After all, her flesh was actually being cruelly pierced with the clasps holding her against that hinged rack. But the wetness in her pussy gave her away. That, and the way she clamped down on him every time she had another orgasm.
When he was through with her, he slammed the torture chamber shut, administering its cruel and usually fatal coup de gras. Tanya gurgled her ‘last’ breath through punctured lungs and let her head fall back, actually managing to faint with her sightless blue eyes staring wide open into the recorder and blood dribbling out of her mouth and up into her gorgeous blonde hair. The only editing required was the fading out of the ‘red-eye’ effect of living tissue to her natural blue eye color as her life-force presumably faded.
It wouldn’t have mattered to Abdullah, of course, if she had actually died while making the recording. He would still distribute it, and he would still make millions. The recording showed a typical American girl being sexually tortured and killed. It didn’t matter if it were true or not. It would be very popular in many parts of the world.
“My copy?” Tanya said wearily, holding out an unsteady hand.
Abdullah grinned at her and produced a disc. He handed it to her. She clasped it in her hand and turned unsteadily toward her front door. Abdullah reached out to keep her from falling. He still expected her to drop dead from internal hemorrhaging and he preferred that she not do it while still in his company.
“The device will arrive here, as agreed, tomorrow morning, my little pain diva,” he said ardently. “I won’t even charge you for the shipping.”
Tanya looked up at him and grinned weakly, not saying anything. She was starting to feel nauseous, again, and needed to get inside and lie down.
Abdullah helped her to the door of the Tabor mansion and led her inside. He seriously doubted if she would live until morning. There was no way that she wasn’t hemorrhaging somewhere. But he would be true to his word. The device would be delivered on the morrow. If she died in her sleep tonight and was unable to accept delivery, and that was very probable, then it would be returned to him.
Frank was home and met them at the door, shocked at the sight of his bloodied wife, but not so shocked that he called her by her real name. The original ‘Tanya Pestova’ had been ‘dead’ for many years. The only ones outside their family who knew her real name (besides Jake) were the three people that helped him run Pestova Investigations. And they didn’t know who she really was, or her true age.
Thanking the strange gentleman profusely for returning his naked, painted slut-bod from what was obviously a wild party gone bad, Frank rewarded the Good Samaritan with a tip card and helped ‘Tootsie’ inside. Once alone, Tanya held up the disc, grinning triumphantly, if unsteadily.
“Wanna see what I did?” she asked, trying to sound intriguing. She managed to sound slightly drunk, instead. She blinked several times, trying to focus her eyes, then collapsed in a naked, painted, bloodstained heap on the floor.
Frank got her up and onto the couch. He carefully placed the disc where it wouldn’t get damaged, then went into the kitchen to get some orange juice for her. An hour later, she was much better, especially after the two burgers he fixed for her, an entire pot of coffee and another quart of orange juice.
“You’ll get fat, eating like that,” Frank teased her.
“No, I won’t,” sighed Tanya. “I work it off when you’re not here.”
“You mean like today?” he asked. “What were you doing at the Freak Fair?”
“Making sure something that was promised to me would be delivered…” Tanya said.
“Great! What is it?” Frank asked, suddenly more interested.
Anything she might pick up at a place like that would certainly have a sexual angle to it.
“It won’t arrive until tomorrow,” Tanya said. She grinned at his apparent disappointment. “But, if you’re really nice to me, I’ll let you watch it being used on me…”
Taking the hint, Frank looked around for the disc, then slid it into the slot on the Tri-d. When he sat down on the couch, Tanya slid her rump halfway up on his lap, her legs spread wide with one leg raised over his shoulder and dangling behind his neck, making herself easily available for him. The recording started.
He watched his wife step into a dark room. She was sporting a sexy design painted on her nude body. Paint was the only thing she had on except for her spike heels. She called out to someone, then yelped as two male strangers immediately assaulted her from both sides. They grabbed her, one on each arm and held her off the ground, preventing her from being able to use her legs to defend herself with any effectiveness.
Kicking and screaming, she was carried over and roughly shoved back against a metal rack of some sort. Then a heavy metal clasp was slammed down across her chest, effectively holding her down. Another one was clamped across her hips. Blood seeped out from beneath the clasps. The recorder moved in for a close up of the struggling girl, showing the spikes penetrating her tender flesh and causing her to bleed.
Frank felt his cock leap at the sight of the spikes perforating his wife’s breasts. He lightly caressed her pussy with his fingertips, as she lay half-straddled across his lap. He looked over at her painted breasts, for the first time noticing that there were irregular little dots of flesh that weren’t painted.
‘Those must be where her skin grew back…’
Mixed in with the kaleidoscopic design painted on Tanya’s body were a dozen or more rivulets of dried blood. Frank was just now noticing them. There was also sticky, almost-dried blood between her legs.
“Where did that come from,” he asked, rubbing the flesh between her legs a little harder, indicating the blood down there.
“Watch… and see,” was Tanya’s half-spoken, exhausted reply.
She wasn’t watching. She was enjoying Frank’s gentle caresses with her eyes closed.
The cruel rack holding Tanya was hoisted up into the air and swung around wildly for a moment. It knocked into the wall several times, jarring her and tearing her tender flesh as the jagged spikes held her in place. Then a truly evil-looking man (Hey! That’s the same guy I just tipped a grand for bringing her back!) walked onto the stage, completely naked. He held up his hand for Tanya to see what he held. Tanya became hysterical, crying and begging for mercy. The recorder moved in closer to show him holding the spiked cock ring.
“Hey! I remember that!” Frank exclaimed.
His cock was getting harder now. He never realized that watching his horny little wife getting seriously tortured could be such a turn-on. Tanya shushed him and put his hand back between her legs. As he stroked his fingers between her legs again, Tanya opened her mouth and sighed slightly. She lay her head back, listening to herself screaming on the Tri-d and feeling gentle fingers being inserted into her pussy.
Tanya was being lowered down to where the man who had brought Tanya home was waiting. The contrivance struck the floor hard, bouncing Tanya’s naked body against the spikes holding her in place and causing fresh rivulets of blood to flow from beneath the clasps. Finally she was in an acceptable position for the vile man to shove his cock up between her legs. He put the cock ring on. Tanya screamed and started pleading fervently for him to let her go.
He smiled and rammed his cock all the way up into her cunt on the first thrust. The spiked cock ring mashed into her tender girl-flesh and came away with its tips dark red. Little dots of red appeared between Tanya’s legs and quickly turned into pretty lines of dark red fluid that ran down her legs.
The man rubbed his cock against her bloody vulva, smearing it with her dark red offering, then shoved his cock back into her, ramming her again with the spiked cock ring. Tanya screamed in agony and wept as she was rammed again and again with the cruel instrument.
Frank looked over at Tanya, her eyes closed, enjoying his ministrations. Her screams had been so real. He moved his fingers back and forth inside her making sure she was all right. She responded by squeezing his fingers lightly with her cunt muscles. He decided she must have enjoyed it, despite her obvious torment.
After ripping the flesh around her cunt apart, he rammed his cock up her ass, his red-sheathed cock ring finding and mutilating the fresh, undamaged flesh of her ass cheeks. By this time, Tanya was only moaning weakly, having been tortured into near unconsciousness. The man shoved his cock into her ass one more time, extra hard, jabbing the spiked cock ring even deeper and causing her to renew her cries for mercy. He came in her ass, then fucked her cunt for a few more strokes while the recorder did a close-up of his cum dribbling out of her ass, mixing with her blood and running down onto the metal rack.
He walked around to the side of the rack, warily watched by Tanya as she sobbed her misery and pain out to anyone listening. He flipped a lever on the side, loosening a section of the rack. Tanya cried out in terror as the rack lurched and increased her attempts to escape from the spikes holding her down. Her efforts only increased the damage the spikes were causing her, making her blood flow more freely from the enlarged puncture wounds in her breasts and lower belly.
He walked around to the other side, his long half-hard cock dangling between his legs, dark-red from her blood. He reached up and took hold of the other lever.
“No! Please!” Tanya cried out, her voice shaking from pain and terror. “I’ll do anything… anything you want. Please don’t kill me! Not like this!”
Her voice quivered. She sounded very convincing.
Frank looked at her again. She was completely ignoring the Tri-d. Her pussy, however, was getting very wet.
“You are doing what I want you to do already,” the evil man said.
Tanya sobbed. It was so obvious that she was afraid to ask.
“What is it you want me to do?” she said in a tiny, fearful voice.
“I want you to die, of course,” he replied cheerfully. “Why do you think I asked you to come here?”
He released the lever. Tanya screamed. The trap clanged shut. Tanya’s scream ended in a gurgle. Her head fell back as she fainted dead away, her dead eyes staring into the recorder, blood running from her punctured lungs out through her mouth, up her face and into her golden hair. The recorder moved slowly down, showing her torso and the long metal spikes running completely through her and protruding out her back, then down to the dark little pool collecting beneath her as blood dripped down from the long spikes protruding from her back. The scene faded.
Frank felt Tanya twitch slightly at the sound of the metal trap slamming shut. Then his fingers were coated with girl-cum. He watched the Tri-d until the scene faded.
“Enjoyed that, did you?” Frank asked.
He twisted his fingers around inside her cunt, emphasizing his question. She responded by coming on his fingers again.
Frank didn’t see how anyone could survive that; even a long-lifer like Tanya. He wouldn’t have even put Béla in that thing!
‘Although she’d probably love it!’
When they made love, Frank came twice before his raging cock threatened to go down. Tanya, well, she just came… and came… and came…
And then she slept for two days straight while her body finished healing deep inside. Frank had to accept delivery of the Japanese Torture Chair from two delivery men who seemed very disappointed and reluctant to leave the device behind, although, because Frank had the receipt given to Tanya, they had no choice.