The hatchway read ‘Sick Bay – Lab’. Frank opened the hatch and pulled himself through.
“Hello, Frank; Ember,” Frank Senior said, greeting the engineering officer and his son. “How’s it coming? Did you find out anything about the device that dead soldier was holding?”
“Hello, Mister Tabor,” Ember, the Chief of Engineering, said. “I sure did! This little device is quite remarkable. It doesn’t affect normal people, it only affects those who have been receivers of her alien blood.”
“So this device is meant to disable Béla’s people?” Frank asked, confused.
“It seems so,” Ember replied. “Watch!”
Ember pointed the device at her assistant, Rog, and pressed the button on the side. Nothing happened. Turning it completely around, she pressed the button again, and swooned, nearly dropping the device on the deck plating. Frank quickly grabbed her and helped her remain upright.
“It only affects the ‘alien’ in us,” Ember said when she was comfortably supporting herself again. “And Béla is the most alien of any of us. It seems to have hit her the hardest. It doesn’t affect me as much as it did Tanya and Tabatha, but that’s probably because I was initiated by Béla’s daughter, who was three-quarters human.”
“Will she be all right?” Frank asked, dreading the answer.
“She’ll wake up eventually,” his son, Doc Frank answered. “There’s nothing wrong with her body that needs healing, but she’s had a lot of emotional trauma. I believe it’s affecting her willingness to wake up and face reality.”
“That’s because we’ve lost everything,” Jake said, his voice strained. “Our world, our daughter. All I have now is Béla. It’s strange. When I had the whole world, she was all I wanted. Now, she’s all I have. If she ever wakes up…”
Frank looked at Jake, trying not to be too patronizing, knowing that Jake would hate that. “She’ll wake up. Just make sure that you’re there for her, because, like it or not, you’re all she has left, too. She’ll need your support, not your self-pity. You’ve both lost a daughter. Macario lost his wife. We’ve all lost our homes, and our world.”
The two men glared at each other for a moment, then Frank turned and left.
‘Ready to launch!’
“I want to go to the bridge,” Béla pleaded, still too weak to use her own mental abilities.
“Okay,” Tabatha replied. “I’ll take you.”
Putting her arm around Béla’s waist, Tabatha teleported. The two vanished from Sick Bay and appeared on the bridge. Amber was there (she was always there), along with Jackie and two bridge officers.
“You girls ready?” Commander Cutberg asked, grinning at both of them. “I’m glad you woke up, Béla. I’d hate to have you miss this!”
“Me, too, Amber,” Béla grinned weakly.
They all looked out at the blue and brown planet. There was more brown than blue, now, but the delicate white swirls were still there, still declaring that this was a special place.
The bulkhead that everyone had been holding onto as they watched the Earth swirl beneath them suddenly became the floor as the Phoenix began to accelerate. There was some dizzying sideways motion as the gyroscope in the center of the ship changed the ship’s attitude and direction, pointing it toward deep space.
Béla gazed with tears in her eyes, watching Earth move across the sky away from them as the great ship turned away. She felt strong hands on her shoulders and looked behind her, blinking rapidly to keep her eyes from flooding with tears. Jake was standing behind and watching with her. Grateful for his presence, she leaned back against him.
“The shadow of the dome of pleasure,” Béla whispered quietly, tears running down her cheeks, “floats midway on the waves…”
Jake grinned, recognizing the phrase from the old poem describing the destruction of Xanadu. He hugged Béla tightly and kissed her cheek just in front of her left ear and whispered, “You can be my Abyssinian maid, and play on my heartstrings, and your song ’twould win me such a deep delight.”
Béla turned and stared, astonished, at her husband for several seconds, then buried her face in Jake’s chest, sobbing uncontrollably.
“Shhhh, Darling,” he whispered. “Paradise still lies ahead of us, and, I promise, we shall drink deep… It’s all ahead of us, now.”
“I wish… I wish she… could be here with us,” Béla sobbed. “I didn’t know… when we arrived that… that I would be going back without her, you know?”
“I know,” Jake whispered, holding her tight, knowing there was nothing he could say to ease her heartbreak. “But you’re not alone. I promise you that you’ll never be alone…”
“No,” Béla murmured, her voice almost buried in his chest, “but she is…”
After a few minutes, Béla looked up and outside, again. The curve of the earth was a barely visible silhouette at the edge of the overhead dome. There was no moon – it was probably on the other side of the world. If she wanted another glimpse of Earth, she would have to find another part of the ship where the transparent hull was accessible.
She took a deep breath and sighed, surprised at how the air cleared her head. She was actually leaving Earth. It was really happening. Whatever was still there and never completed would be left undone behind them.
‘That includes Lisa,’ Béla realized, forlornly.
“Come on,” Jake said, prodding Béla gently. “Alicia wants to show you something.”
“Alicia?” Béla asked, trying to think through the fog of grief that had settled over her mind. “What could she want with me?”
Jake grinned softly and kissed her. “Forgiveness, for one thing. She's not the power hungry woman you used to know. And she, along with the other Femmes, have created something that I think you’ll like.”
“If I’ll enjoy it so much, why can’t I see it in your mind?” Béla asked, then realized that he was shielded – probably with a lot of help from the Praetor.
“Even the Praetor’s in on it, huh?” Béla said, forcing a smile. “All right, show me this… whatever it is that your would-be soul mate wants me to see.”
Béla and Jake stepped into the central lift that had been constructed for use during space travel. It didn’t work properly in null-gravity, but now that the Phoenix was powered up and accelerating, the lift would take them to any level of the ship.
“Grotto,” Jake said as the door panel slid shut. It began to descend and stopped one level above Engineering.
“Grotto, huh? This used to be ‘Life Support’,” Béla grimaced, hoping that this wasn’t going to be some silly ‘Come-On-Get-Happy’ party someone dreamed up to make her feel better.
‘Oh, God! I’ll be glad to be back to normal again!’ Béla thought to herself, lamenting the lingering effects of that psychic blaster the Confederate soldier had used on her.
She hated being psychically blind, and wondered how the Earthers had managed to create a weapon like the one that had been used to knock her senseless. That had been almost a week ago, and she still felt the effects of it – mostly in her ability to perceive beyond what she could see with her eyes.
The lift door opened and Jake practically shoved Béla through. The first thing she noticed was the bright sunlight – sunlight that didn’t hurt inside her head. The second thing she noticed as she blinked her eyes, trying to adjust to apparently being outside in bright sunlight, was the smell.
“I smell… flowers?” she asked, her tearing eyes gazing at Jake as she blinked rapidly in the bright, cheery sun. “And water! Is that a lake over there? What is this place? How did you do it? I hear a waterfall!”
Opening her eyes wide and forcing them to look around in the brightness, Béla discovered she was standing in a large park. There were trees, and hundreds of people – not crowded around but spread out like they were all enjoying the large, recreational area. Looking around further, she saw the waterfall; a large opening, seemingly right in the side of the ship, letting sunlight in. A river was flowing through the opening as well, and dropped a hundred feet or so down into a…
‘Real, Live, Lake! Oh My God!’
“There are people actually swimming in it!” she exclaimed.
“Ho… How?” Béla stammered, overwhelmed with delight. “How is this possible?”
Tabatha and Tanya suddenly appeared beside her. Tanya cheerful greeted her. “Hi, Space Girl. Glad to see you up and about!” They both hugged her warmly.
Then Alicia was there, standing off to one side, letting her mom do the talking. Surprisingly, Alicia was naked, just like the rest of the Femmes.
“This whole place was Alicia’s idea!” Tanya explained. “We needed water and air for eleven hundred people, and this is what she came up with!”
“A park?” Béla asked, surprised, but delighted at the artistic effects – the trees and the waterfall, the sunlight…
“Yep! A park!” Tabatha said, repeating Béla. “That big hole up there connects to the lake behind the mountains – the one that Lisa made. We only use a tiny bit of it. Interposed right on top of it is a time portal that lets soft sunlight in – no x-rays, no radio emissions!”
“So, with just two time-shields, you see,” Tanya interrupted, “we have everything we need. Alicia did all the planning. And we all helped by teleporting the dirt and the trees and stuff.”
Béla looked around, her eyes streaming tears again.
“I wish Lisa could see this – what you did to her little life-support station.”
“That’s why we did it,” Alicia spoke up for the first time. “For Lisa. And for you…”
“How did you come up with the idea?” Béla wanted to know.
“Well,” Alicia stated, “We all, us Femmes, I mean, we all have certain jobs that need to be done that the Normals can’t do – like me, for instance. I was assigned to life-support for twelve hours a day when we got back from raiding that Campbell’s Soup Plant, since everyone except Jackie was incapacitated.
“I’ve overseen the construction and revamping of dozens of parks and recreational areas during my life as a wealthy socialite. I even designed Solar City for us to use when everything fell apart. This was actually pretty simple.
“What was here before was a… I guess you could call it a ‘wormhole’ for air, and a wormhole for water. That was all that was needed for life support. My job was to mentally hold those psychic ‘tunnels’ open.
“Mom got a little creative,” Jackie, Alicia’s daughter, said, rejoining the group. “She started quizzing Tabatha on just exactly what was possible to do with her teleportation abilities. Since these ‘wormholes’ are just fancy ways to teleport stuff, well…”
“She also had us Femmes expand the life-support area to include the whole deck,” Tanya butted in excitedly. “That gave her enough room for a reservoir!”
“Oh, My, God!” Béla exclaimed. “I think I need to sit down.”
“There are picnic tables,” Jake offered. “Follow me!”
Then noticing his wife looking a little wobbly, he picked her up and carried her.
“We’ve only been under way for a little while,” Béla mentioned. “How did you get the water to stay in the lake with no gravity?”
“Oh, we had gravity here,” Tabatha replied. “I dream-walked a portal underneath the lake bed and attached it to a real lakebed back on Earth. Voila! Gravity! Not much, but enough to hold the water in place.”
“You are too clever!” Béla laughed.
There were several more minutes of uncomfortable silence, mostly due to Lisa being missing and no one knowing how to talk to Béla about it.
“The working name we have for this park is Lisa’s Grotto,” Alicia finally said, quietly. “Pending your… input? No. Pending your approval.”
Béla thought for a moment. “I don’t think any of us will have any trouble remembering Lisa.” She looked up at Alicia. “Let’s just call it ‘The Grotto’, okay?”
Alicia nodded. Several of the others nodded, too. “The Grotto,” several murmured, knowing that they would remember Lisa whenever they said those words.
Béla closed her eyes and just let the sounds of the kids playing and the splashing of the waterfall flow through her soul.
‘This is healing,’ Béla realized after some minutes. ‘Let there be peace in my soul…’
They spent several hours that day sitting and just watching. There were children playing in the water, and a lot of people just lying and sitting around on the grass. Many of them were eating, having brought food with them from the mess hall.
Gradually, Béla began to feel the other minds around her. Mostly, they pointedly were not paying attention to her, which of course meant that every spare unit of attention was on Béla, carefully observing every reaction she had to this marvelous creation.
“You guys must consider me pretty important,” Béla mentioned, as all the covert attention began to register on her. “Is my approval of your ‘Grotto’ that vital to everyone?”
The little group of Femme Fatales and their spouses looked embarrassed. It was obvious that each was having trouble putting the words together to express themselves.
Jackie spoke first. “Yes, your approval is important to us. We would keep the ‘Grotto’ anyway, whether you liked it or not. But, your happiness – your… peace of mind? That’s it… Your peace of mind… is important to us. I want you to be happy. We all do.”
“Yeah,” Tanya added, sounding earnest, “If it weren’t for you, none of us would be here. No ship, no survivors, nothing. You’re important to us – to all of us, Béla, and we love you.”
Several girls agreed, nodding, their voices blending in together in agreement with each other.
“I… don’t know what to say,” Béla whispered, tears coming to her eyes again.
“I do,” Tanya replied.
She sat down next to Béla and kissed her gently on the lips, then opened her mind and showed Béla the private little orgy she’d stumbled across several days earlier – Lisa’s wake.
Tabatha sat down next to Béla on her other side, her own mind able to see the images as well. “I think that’s a good idea. Come with us.”
The two of them, mother and not-daughter, each took an arm and helped Béla to her feet.
“We’re going around to the adult side,” Tanya informed Frank and Jake, then vanished, taking Tabatha and Béla with her.
Béla looked around as she opened her eyes again. Not too far away were a couple making love on a blanket. Farther down the beach, several young girls were lying in the sun with a man. Although the man was lying face down on a blanket, one girl was sitting astride his buttocks and was giving him a very loving and sensual backrub. There was not a stitch of clothing in sight.
Béla smiled and turned away to give them their privacy. Tanya magically produced a large blanket and spread it on the ground, then dropped down on it.
“C’mon down, Sweetie,” she grinned and patted the blanket next to her.
“I really don’t feel like sex right now,” Béla pleaded, trying to beg off. “I keep thinking about Macario and how badly he must be feeling – missing his wife…”
“Lisa’s clique is taking care of Macario,” Tabatha replied. “And right now,” she sat up and looked down the beach at the girls and the guy who was now on his back with the girl still on top of him, “I don’t think he’s missing her too much…”
“Whose idea was that?” Béla asked, starting to feel upset and not really understanding why.
“Lisa’s, of course,” Tanya replied. “She's was always worried about how Mac, or any of the guys actually, would take it if, somehow, one of us didn’t come back from a mission. So, she started the ‘Dead Girl Club’ by teaching some psychically gifted girls how to mind-link. To join the club, the girl had to promise that she would take care of any Femme’s lifemate if something happened to that Femme. When the last two discovered that the other members were all twins, they renamed themselves the Necrotwins!”
“Until I found you floating in deep space,” Tabatha continued the story, “the Necrotwins were concerned that they’d have to split up – three for Jake and three for Macario.”
“She thought a bunch of fornicating girls would be able to assuage the grief that Macario must feel?” Béla asked, her voice rising now that she understood why she was upset.
“Of course not!” Tabatha exclaimed. “They loved her, too! They share his grief by mind-linking with him. They didn’t know it was Lisa they’d be replacing…”
“They even gave me solace,” Tanya added softly. “They let me understand that she was missed by all of them, even as they made love to me.”
Béla lay back and closed her eyes, not wanting to see her blood-sisters right now, certain that they didn’t understand how she felt.
“I don’t want to be made love to,” Béla said quietly, tears streaming down from the corners of her tightly closed eyes. “I just want my daughter back!”
A soft cry of grief escaped Tanya’s lips as those words echoed through her mind, bringing alive her memories of teleporting into the wrong reality and discovering Katie was dead and missing and had been for weeks.
Tabatha quickly reached over and embraced Tanya. “It’s okay,” she whispered against Tanya’s cheek. “It’s okay, Mom. I’m here, now. You be here for us, now, okay? Béla needs you.”
Tanya sniffed back her tears and quickly nodded. Tabatha wiped her pseudo-mom’s face with a handkerchief she materialized from her dresser. Then they both lay down, one on each side of their grieving blood-sister.
“We just want to hold you, Honey,” Tanya said, her emotions under better control now. “Just hug you and share with you. But if you want, we’ll leave you alone…”
Béla swallowed and opened her eyes to gaze at Tabatha, who was lying in front of her. After a moment, she spoke. “You can stay. I don’t want to be alone.”
Tabatha smiled and watched as Béla raised her arm to put it over her waist, then put her own arm around and hugged her in return. Tanya pressed up from behind and hugged them both. They both opened their minds and let Béla’s grief flood over them, sharing their blood-sister’s loss in an intimate way that no one else could ever do.
Some time later, Tabatha awoke, her body sticky and wet where her bare skin had been pressed against Béla’s. She was still there, lying beside her. Another warm kiss on her neck, and Tabatha suddenly realized that a kiss just like that had awakened her.
Keeping her eyes closed, her lips sought out the side of Béla’s head and the top of her ear, then began returning her soft kisses, encouraging her with a quiet moan, deep in her throat.
Tanya awoke and sat halfway up as Béla stirred. She watched as Béla began kissing Tabatha’s neck. Then Béla was licking Tabatha’s neck. Strengthening her mind-link, she realized something that Tabatha needed to know.
“She's still asleep,” Tanya whispered hoarsely. “She's dreaming that you’re Beth. Be careful, darling – they got pretty rough with each other at times.”
Tabatha, forewarned now, merged her mind fully into Béla’s and entered the image of Béla making love to her sister, Beth, on the great ship.
“What do you want to do today?” Tabatha heard herself ask.
“What do you want to do?” Béla asked in return, with an evil grin on her face.
“Gut you, of course!” Tabatha/Beth replied, grinning back at her horny sister. “But first, I want to fuck you!”
Sliding around, Tabatha/Beth spread her legs and scooted over halfway on top of her sister. A moment later, they both had their legs wrapped around each other’s torsos, front to back, with their pelvises pressed against each other. Twisting around some more, they both managed to sit up, still pressing their clits together.
“Hot, huh?” Tabatha/Beth asked, slightly out of breath from achieving this position.
“Oh, yeah!” Béla agreed, and pressed her pelvis harder against her sister.
They twisted together for a few more minutes until Béla reminded Beth, “You’re supposed to gut me, remember?”
The two wicked fighting knives that they often used to carve so lovingly on each other were suddenly in Tabatha/Beth’s possession; one in each hand. She handed one to Béla.
“Just do what I do,” Tabatha/Beth said excitedly. “Exactly!”
“Okay,” Béla agreed cheerfully.
She wiggled her pelvis against her sister’s pussy some more, and Béla did the same.
“Feels good,” Béla commented, then copied her sister’s motion as Tabatha/Beth pressed the point of her blade against Béla’s soft lower belly.
Pressing in ever so slightly, the blade pierced Béla’s flesh, allowing a single drop of blood to appear at the end of the blade. Béla copied the motion, lovingly doing the same thing to her sister.
Beth began moving the blade up toward Béla’s belly button, leaving a thin, delicate line of bright red showing where the sharp blade had been. Béla jerked at the incredibly arousing sensation, then did her best to copy the motion, drawing a bloody and slightly darker line up Beth’s sweet, tight belly.
“We’re going to ruin each other, you know?” Béla hissed as her pussy became wetter and began to hum with sensation.
The sisters leaned forward to kiss each other’s lips, Tabatha/Beth biting down on her sister’s lower lip while Béla bit down on Beth’s upper lip.
‘We’ve done this before,’ Tabatha thought to herself, feeling erotic and excited. ‘I wonder where this is going to go… Should be gruesomely entertaining…’
Tabatha/Beth watched herself pull the knife away and press it against the bottom of Béla’s left breast. Smiling, Béla did the same to her sister.
“Now I follow you,” Tabatha/Beth said, her voice silken soft with arousal.
“Alright,” Béla agreed.
Béla began pushing her blade straight up against her sister’s breast where it bulged out beneath her nipple. The tip of the blade disappeared into soft, jiggly flesh, then gasped as Tabatha/Beth did the same. Both sisters pressed their blades straight up through each other’s breasts as slowly as they could, hissing their breath through their teeth at the sensation of it all and twitching their pelvises against each other.
Despite the fact that Béla had started first, her breast was the first to be skewered all the way through – mostly because her tits were smaller than her sister’s were.
A few seconds later, the tip of Béla’s blade poked out of the top of Beth’s breast, and both girls pulled their blades back out, gasping and shuddering at the intense sensations each was causing the other.
“The one who comes first gets gutted first,” Tabatha heard herself say.
Béla laughed, then leaned back and said, “Then gut me, Sister, for I have come!”
“Okay, Sis, with pleasure!” Tabatha/Beth laughed.
Sitting up and untwining her legs from around her sister’s, Tabatha/Beth shoved the knife up into Béla slit. Béla shrieked and arched her back at a ninety-degree angle, pointing her breasts to the sky and resting the top of her head on the ground behind her rump.
She twitched wildly in orgasm, but held her sacrificial position while Tabatha/Beth slowly carved her pelvis open from her pussy up to where her original pinprick of a wound had been. Pulling the knife out of her sister’s bloody guts, she moved to one side and squatted over Béla’s knife hand, impaling herself on Béla’s blade.
Tabatha/Beth felt herself moving up and down, fucking herself on the blade as Béla’s hand held it up – each downward motion slicing a new wound up into Beth’s pussy. After about the fourth downward motion, Tabatha/Beth screamed in orgasm and plunged her blade into Béla’s belly. Then she pulled free and did it again.
Tabatha/Beth fucked herself up and down on Béla’s knife six more strokes before she was finished with her orgasm. With each slashing stroke into her pussy, she speared her knife into Béla’s stretched out belly. Béla grunted and moaned with each impact, offering one orgasm per knife wound to her sister as she created all those wonderful, exciting holes in her torso.
Finally overwhelmed from the sensation and weak from her orgasms, Béla collapsed unconscious to the ground, her belly still arched upward as though offering herself as a bloody morsel to be consumed by the immortal gods.
“Fuck!” Tabatha heard herself say. “She beat me again…”
Weakly pulling her bloody torso off Béla’s limp knife-hand, she pulled her blood-soaked knife out of her sister’s shredded belly. Spreading her knees wide, Tabatha/Beth knelt down again, holding the knife in the hara-kiri position.
“I sacrifice this perfect belly,” Tabatha heard her own voice intone, “to the Goddess of Lust!”
She grunted as she shoved the long blade deep into her own stomach and trembled as her shredded cunt responded with an orgasm. Pulling the knife out, she stabbed herself again, rewarding herself with yet another orgasm.
As her pussy settled down, Tabatha/Beth left the blade buried in her soft stomach and teleported two blasting caps, one into each breast.
“I sacrifice my perfect breasts!” Tabatha/Beth intoned.
Tabatha yelped as Beth exploded the blasting caps inside her breasts. Blood and tissue spattered her neck, face and shoulders, then flowed down her stomach. Tabatha/Beth grabbed the slippery knife handle and fucked it in and out of her belly several times as she came again, carving her belly wound up almost into her rib cage. Then slowly falling forward, she curled her ruined torso around the blade and passed out.
Tabatha jerked awake and felt around her body, radiating pain and terror.
“I’m okay!” she exclaimed as Tanya grabbed her shoulders fearfully. “It was just a dream!”
The commotion caused Béla to stir as well. She looked up at Tabatha, who was radiating pure desire – desire for sex, desire to be penetrated, desire to be shredded in the way that Lisa loved.
“What’s going on?” Béla asked, feeling herself being swept up into Tabatha’s needs and desires.
There was no answer. Instead, Tabatha quickly fell on Béla and kissed her hard and full on the lips, flooding her needs and desires into her blood-sister’s mind. Béla’s mind responded erotically, just as it had when Beth had done that to her. Then they were rolling around on the ground, biting and tearing at each other.
Tanya, alarmed, teleported back a few feet and suddenly noticed that two of the Necrotwins were sitting next to her.
“Hello, again,” one of them said, smiling at her. “I’m Tara.”
“I’m Tia. We felt our sister’s mother dreaming,” the other explained, “and came to watch…”
“You could see what they were doing in their dream?” Tanya asked, surprised that Lisa’s playmates were that gifted.
They both nodded. “Mac felt it, too. The others are soothing him,” Tara said.
Tanya suddenly realized that these two were twins, like Amber and Ember.
“We’re all twins,” Tia said, reading Tanya’s thought without any effort. “That’s one of the requirements for being in the club. Lisa only recruited twins.”
“Are you long-lifers, too?” Tanya asked, suddenly needing to know.
They both nodded. “Lisa didn’t want our abilities to die when we did, so she made us immortal, like you. Like Mac. Mac will never be alone, again. And besides, we love him. All of us love him. And he’s learning to love us.”
‘Wow! What a great recruitment pool for the Femmes!’ Tanya thought, then felt embarrassed as she realized that the twins heard her.
“Sorry, I was getting selfish there for a minute,” Tanya apologized.
“That’s okay,” Tara replied. “We’ve always admired you Femmes. Lisa said that you’d probably want to train us once you knew about us.”
“As a group?” Tanya asked, surprised again. “But the war’s over. There isn’t any danger now that our raiding is done with.”
“That’s okay,” Tia said. “There’s still stuff that we can do, and we have all the time in the world now to learn.”
“Yeah,” Tanya agreed. “I guess you do. Wait! What are you doing?”
“Making love to you, of course!” Tia said, laughing as she pulled Tanya down onto the grass. “I thought that’s what you came over here for.”
“No, not act… Oh! That feels good!” Tanya replied, changing her mind as one twin each attached themselves to each of her nipples.
‘This isn’t what she expected!’ Tanya heard one twin think into the other’s head.
‘No, but this is what she wants, now,’ came the reply.
‘Oh, yes! I definitely want this!’ Tanya mind-spoke to both girls.
Laughing delightedly, one twin headed down between Tanya’s legs while the second took over massaging the sticky, wet breast her sister had abandoned.
Suddenly, the girl between Tanya’s legs jumped and looked up.
“No!” she cried, scrambling to her feet.
Tanya sat up, alarmed. “What happened?”
Then she could see. Tabatha was lying and writhing on the ground with a long fighting knife buried in her belly. Béla was sitting back, radiating shock and horrified disbelief.
“Damn! I told her to be careful!” Tanya exclaimed, jumping to her feet.
In an instant, she was at Tabatha’s side, cradling the girl in her arms.
“I’m sorry!” Béla was crying. “I didn’t mean to… I thought she was…”
Tanya looked over at her blood-sister, grief-stricken. After a few seconds, she realized that Tabatha was in shock, but not in any real danger. She was immortal, after all.
“It’s okay,” Tanya told Béla. “She did this to herself. She’ll be all right.”
“No! I did it!” Béla insisted. “It was Beth… and then she was…”
“Take care of Béla!” Tanya ordered the twins. “She grieves, too.” Then, to Tabatha, “Come on, Baby, let Mommy pull the knife out of your tummy, okay?”
Tabatha/Beth was completely unwilling to let go of the knife buried in her belly. Tanya relaxed, knowing that Tabatha was having some sort of identity crisis from having played the part of Beth in Béla’s erotic dream. She was hurting, but she wouldn’t die from this. Tanya had survived much worse at the hands of her loving husband during their own often violent sex play.
“Feels good… coming… again…” Tabatha grunted, and twisted the cruel knife even deeper into her own stomach as she trembled in orgasm.
‘Praetor, put her to sleep!’ Tanya thought into the air.
As Tabatha’s body relaxed, Tanya teleported the blade out of her and dropped it on the ground. Almost immediately, the angry, bloody wound began to close.
“Where did you get this?” Tanya asked, looking at Béla as she was sandwiched between the new girls.
“Tabatha created it,” Béla whimpered, sounding worried and anxious. “She said, ‘Remember this?’ and produced it out of thin air, just like Lisa, I mean Beth, used to do. God, Tanya, what’s happening to me? Who are these girls?”
“Relax,” Tanya replied, trying to sooth her blood-sister. “These girls were friends of Lisa… No, they’re Lisa’s blood-sisters – a secret part of her family that no one knew about.”
“Really?” Béla asked, looking from one twin to the other. “They look just alike!”
“Lisa had a thing for twins,” one of the said, grinning at Béla.
“But what’s happening to me?” Béla asked, still confused and not understanding how she’d gutted her blood-sister. “And how did…”
“You and Tabatha were acting out a dream, that’s all,” Tanya interrupted. “Tabatha tried to mind-link with you while you were dreaming and she got caught up in the role of Beth.”
“Oh, God!” Béla gasped. “But that was a dream!”
They both looked down at Tabatha’s sleeping, bloodied form.
“It may have been… at first,” Tanya said quietly. “But then you both woke up. I don’t think she knew she was awake.”
“Her erotic flow was really powerful,” Béla murmured. “She just bowled me right over – just like Beth used to…”
“It’s okay,” the twin on Béla’s right said softly. “Things like this happen when you lose someone you love.”
She closed her eyes and showed Béla how she and her twin sister had torn into each other, enraged and grief-stricken, upon feeling Lisa’s dismemberment and death, neither of them willing to experience the loss of their blood-sister.
“That pretty much happened to all of us,” the other twin added sadly.
Béla, mink-linked with them now, understood a lot more, now.
“You two are wonderful girls,” she told them. “Would you like to be Femme Fatales?”
They both smiled, blinking back tears, and nodded eagerly, both reaching to hug their matriarch warmly.
As their grateful hugging and kissing became more sexual, Béla suddenly had the realization that these girls had been recruited by her daughter for one very specific reason.
“No!” Béla cried as the reality of the situation flooded through her.
Lisa had fully known that she would self-destruct one day, and had recruited this particular pair – to replace her and become Béla’s daughters! The twins mind-link was so similar to Lisa’s own, perhaps because Lisa was the one who’d taught them, that it was just like having Lisa there in that empty space in Béla heart where Lisa had been.
“You can’t…” Béla whimpered, “Please… no.”
The twins stopped their sexual advances and lay beside their distraught matriarch, their queen. Their awe of Béla and their devotion to their purpose was overwhelming. Béla shielded her mind from them and called out to the Praetor.
‘Have these girls been mind-wiped?’ she asked. ‘Have they been brainwashed into this?’
‘No,’ the Praetor replied. ‘I can detect no tampering with the minds of these two. They are both orphans and were singled out for special training by the Second Phoenix a few years ago. They were informed that their purpose in life was to ease your transition from life with Lisa to life without her. The Second Phoenix also promised them that she would return when she could, and that their position in your family was not permanent unless they and you wished it so.’
Béla lay, letting the twins gently massage her arms and stomach while trying to digest everything that had happened.
‘Lisa knew she was going to die?’ Béla asked the Praetor. ‘How did she know?’
‘The prediction of the demise of the Second Phoenix was in Tanya’s mind,’ the Praetor told her. ‘When your sister Princess Beth first arrived, Tanya began to fall in love with her. To prevent her future grief, I showed her the Seeker’s prediction.’
‘You mean that Elaine sent Beth here with me KNOWING she was going to DIE?’ Béla cried out, sitting straight up and startling her twins.
‘That is correct,’ the Praetor replied. ‘It was necessary to insure your survival and the survival of your created family.’
‘But Lisa was part of that family!’ Béla screamed in her mind. ‘And she didn’t survive!’
‘That is not correct,’ the Praetor replied patiently. ‘A lifeforce cannot be destroyed. Because I cannot locate her does not mean she no longer exists. She is simply either not in this time or not in this part of the universe.’
With a great cry of grief and frustration, Béla threw herself backward onto the ground. She sobbed for a moment even as she realized it would do no good. When she opened her eyes, she saw what Lisa had planned for her – to help her through this inevitable emotional crisis – two beautiful twin faces staring down at her with adoring, loving eyes.
Finally surrendering to her obviously well planned and executed fate, Béla sighed and looked from one to the other of them.
“What did Lisa want you to do with me, my children?” she asked, her voice empty and forlorn.
Both girls smiled and leaned forward to kiss their new mother’s cheeks. Then they went to work on her, caressing and loving, helping her to believe that there could be happiness in her future.