A dream sequence - without much sex, although Sibilius conducts a rather sexual experiment on his lifemate.
The blue-white sun filled the afternoon sky with light too bright to look at directly. The soft, summer breeze was mesmerizing as it kissed his bare chest and caressed his arms and legs, making him put off awakening as long as he could.
A few blades of grass that weren’t trampled down brushed against his cheek, stirred in the light breeze that carried the scent of the surrounding forest and some nearby blooms to him. The grass gently brushed his cheek again, then a shadow passed over his closed eyelids. On his next breath, the blade of grass went up his nose.
Snorting with surprise and flustration, Sibilius grabbed at his nostrils only to find that the tiny blade of grass was no longer there. A delicious tinkling of laughter brushed against his eardrums from right next to him.
Alana lay naked beside him, her sparkling emerald eyes radiating her mirth. This was her last day of shore leave, so they had spent the afternoon making love. Tomorrow she was to take a new assignment – only temporarily, but it meant that, for the first time in almost ten years, they would be separated.
“You are going to sleep our last day away?” she asked, smiling up at him.
“Never, my beloved,” Sibilius whispered, then stretched his naked body along the length of her own.
She stretched out to receive him and, as their bellies touched, they made love once again, this time putting their mouths together so they could breathe each other’s air. Alana soared on her orgasm, finally breaking her lips away and gasping for air as she trembled and wept at how wonderful he could make her feel.
“You are like the seeds of an orchid to me,” she whispered. “You are the center of my very being. If you could only penetrate into my womb once again…”
This wasn’t the first time Alana had wished for the sensation of deep penetration, and Sibilius had what he believed was a solution. As a bioengineer, he had created a special life form with a very specific purpose. He had already tested it on one of his lab assistants who had already birthed her own children.
It worked, and, if it satisfied Alana’s biological cravings, it would revolutionize sex between lifemates who had already procreated. He reached over into his pouch, breaking his body-long caress.
“What is it?” Alana asked, his sudden withdrawal bringing her instantly awake.
“I brought you a gift, my love,” he replied, smiling and concentrating as he held it up.
It was several inches long, transparently thin, and multi-veined. It looked like small green handkerchief. Alana had seen leaves similar to this growing in Sibilius’ lab, and thought she recognized it.
“A plant?” she asked, a little confused. Then she smiled, “Will it grow flowers for me?”
“No, Beloved,” Sibilius informed her. “It will grow roots for you.”
“Roots?” Alana asked, feeling lost and bewildered.
“You’ve told me how wonderful it felt when I impregnated you,” Sibilius said, “and of the incredible sensations of birthing our children, my love. This plant is designed from my own DNA with the sole purpose of burrowing into your womb, growing into its adult form, then burrowing its way out just like our children did – all in a single afternoon.”
“What?” Alana laughed, staring at her lifemate like he was the Mad Incarnator.
“This little plant,” he explained again, patiently, “will give you the sensation of becoming impregnated and giving birth all in the same day. And you can use its descendants over and over again to produce the same incredible sensations.”
“Sy,” Alana said, thoughtfully, “most of the sensations I felt were because of my deep love for you. I don’t think a plant can replicate those feelings.”
“Of course not, my love,” Sibilius hastened to reassure her. “I’ll be right here, making love to you as well. I can roll this up and it fits like a sheath around my rod. When we make love, your body moisture awakens it and it will burrow into your womb. It will feel the same as when I impregnated you.”
Alana shrank back a little at the idea of something alien burrowing into her to grow inside her womb. “Has this thing been tested? Does it work?”
“Lannie,” Sibilius implored her, using her childhood name, “I would never do anything to threaten you. This entire project is simply to let you relive your impregnation and your child birthing. You are not the only woman to lament the artificial biological changes in us that were made to prevent our overpopulating the world again.”
“You didn’t answer my question,” Alana replied, looking more sternly at her beloved. “Has this been tested on a live woman? And, did it work as you claim?”
“Yes, and yes,” Sibilius promised her. “Turin made love to Ivana while wearing a leaf just like this. She swore afterward that it was as good as the sex on their Day of Bonding. The entire process took less than two hours from impregnation to birth.”
“What did she bear?” Alana asked, her stomach churning at the horrid thought of plant roots growing wild through the trunk of her body.
“The plant from which I picked this very leaf, Beloved,” Sibilius crooned at her, holding it out.
Alana reached out and touched it with the tips of her fingers.
‘Warmth,’ it radiated at her.
“It talks!” Alana laughed, suddenly delighted with it. “It feels like my children before they were born. I could feel their minds as they developed inside me.”
“I know,” Sibilius replied softly. “I designed it that way.”
“You made this for me,” Alana whispered, love in her eyes once again.
“Then how can I refuse?” she said, lying back on the grass beneath her. “Do you have the liquid fire?”
He pulled out a small vial. Alana’s eyes lit up. She could actually relive her impregnation. She knew it was this base, selfish desire that had nearly destroyed their world’s fragile ecological balance sixteen thousand years earlier, but she didn’t care. She was a creature of thought, second. First, she was a creature of love.
Sibilius popped open the vial and handed it to Alana. She downed it with one swallow in her greed, then arched her back to display her breasts to the sky as her body reacted to the narcotic stimulant.
“Do it,” she implored him. “Make me pregnant, my love!”
Her stomach was arched toward him, her groove already opening with her need. She watched, fascinated, as Sibilius released his long rod and carefully wrapped the leaf around it. Then they were lying body to body. Alana was already moistening up inside as she approached orgasm.
Suddenly she cried out and arched her back at the overpowering sensations of something burrowing deep into her belly. Her nipple protrusions didn’t form as they had before – she no longer had that capability. But everything else was as good as her Beloved had promised.
She writhed against him as the plant made its home in her womb and rapidly began to grow back together, feeding on her life-blood seeping from the holes it had burrowed deep inside her belly.
“Warm… wet…” she felt it murmur inside her mind. “Growth.”
“Beloved,” she gasped barely able to speak. “I can… feel! It’s… Feel it growing! Oh, Zanath! It’s wonderful! This is exciting!”
Alana lay on the ground, her bloodied belly slowly healing (another artificial improvement made to her species eons ago) while the as-yet unnamed plant continued to expand inside her womb.
“How… long?” she asked after almost an hour. She was feeling extremely lethargic. Her ‘offspring’ seemed to be sucking away all of her life energy.
“Are you in pain?” Sibilius asked, naturally concerned for her well-being.
“No, it still feels wonderful,” Alana gasped. “But it’s growing so… fast. I’m not certain I have the energy to birth… this… Oh, my! I can hear it! My Darling! I can hear you inside me…”
Alana smiled weakly at her lifemate lying next to her as he absorbed as much of her radiated emotions as he could. “How much longer…”
“It will stop feeding on your life-blood when it reaches maturity,” Sibilius promised. “Probably another ten or fifteen minutes. This one is growing faster than its parent plant.”
“Do you… suppose it…” Alana gasped. “It’s evolving? Some… something you didn’t… intend to happen?”
“I didn’t mean for you to suffer like this, my beloved,” Sibilius whispered ardently to her.
“No…” Alana protested, panting as her body continually attempted to adapt to the growth in her womb. “Not suffer… Feel wonder… So alive… It’s just happen… so fast!”
Suddenly Alana screamed, completely terrifying her lifemate as she arched her swollen belly upward. Sibilius realized after a couple of seconds what was happening, and did his best to hold Alana down.
“It’s all right, Darling,” he grunted, holding her still with all his strength. “It’s coming out, that’s all! It’s perfectly okay!”
Just like when her children were born, Alana’s swollen belly burst outward, showering her breasts and legs with bright pink blood and dying flesh. Alana was unable to move, now, and simply lay on the ground, gasping in her agony. Sibilius stood up and pulled the newly matured plant out and away from its mother.
There was something different about it, but he needed to insure that Alana would heal, first, so he laid it on the ground and returned to his lifemate’s side. Carefully, lovingly pressing her ruptured flesh back into the opening of her womb, he held it in place until he was sure she was healing properly.
Returning his attention to his creation (it was her creation, too, now), Sibilius noticed that the transparent leaves on this plant were even larger than the ones from its parent plant, which had been larger than the original hybrid. In addition, attracted by the moisture in the ground, it had taken root, again.
Realizing it wasn’t going anywhere, Sibilius returned to his lifemate’s side. Alana was barely conscious of her surroundings, the liquid fire having finally passed through her system. She was aware of what had happened, though, and knew that she wouldn’t be walking for a couple of hours, yet, until her body had healed enough.
“You know what I missed?” she asked, half-joking as they waited for her to heal and watch the giant blue-white sun go down behind the mountains.
“What?” he had to ask.
“We didn’t get to do the exchange this time,” she grinned up at him, remembering the exchange of pieces of their livers between them.
“Maybe next time,” he lied. There would be no next time. He wouldn’t ever subject her to this again. If he used this plant again with its increased size and adaptability, it would kill the next woman who tried it.
It was almost dark before Alana could sit up. Sibilius helped her to her feet.
“It didn’t work, did it?” she asked, knowing something had gone wrong but not knowing what.
“It did what it’s supposed to do,” Sibilius told her. “But it picks up new traits from each birthing. After the first use, it’s too dangerous.”
“Too bad,” Alana said, consoling him. “You could have become very, very rich…”
“I am very, very rich, my beloved,” Sibilius informed her.
Alana looked at him, a question in her eyes.
“I have you,” he explained. “You are all the riches I require.”
Despite her extremely weakened condition, Alana insisted on making love one last time before returning to civilization. But afterward, Sibilius had to carry her skinny butt down the mountain. She was too weak to walk.
“He dreams more than he’s awake these days,” someone whispered quietly.
“But he’s alright, isn’t he?” another whispered with a sharp pang of grief mixed with irrational fear radiating out before being sharply brought back under control.
Elaine sighed, “Béla, Sister, Father dreams more than he’s awake, now. Eventually, he will dream and not awaken. I’ve studied Father’s people, and this… is normal for someone his age. His mind will slip more and more into the past, until he is completely gone. It's actually very peaceful and a humane way to die.”
Béla felt tears running down her face, knowing the truth of what her golden-haired sister was saying. All of her beloved father’s accomplishments were behind him, now. He had nothing to look forward to. Bravely swallowing her tears, Béla walked to the side of her father’s bed table and touched his shoulder.
‘He’s still dreaming!’ she suddenly realized as she felt herself being carried in his arms.
“Father, wake up!” Alana suddenly said, startling Sibilius into almost falling and dropping her. “Why do I feel so weak? Help me, Father!”
Béla collapsed to the floor. Elaine rushed around the end of the bed and knelt down beside her. She immediately mind-linked to find out what was wrong.
“Wow! Where are we?” Elaine asked, looking around in awe. “There are three moons!”
“I think we’re on Father’s home world,” the red-haired, green eyed beauty in Sibilius’ strong, young arms replied, also looking around in awe.
“Who are you?” Elaine asked, staring at Béla. “You sound like my sister, but you’re one like Father!”
“What’s wrong with you?” the red-hair girl asked, sounding very upset. “It’s me, Béla!”
“What’s happening?” Sibilius demanded, looking down at the little pink being while he settled his beloved on the ground. “What species are you?”
“Father, it’s me! Elaine! Don’t you recognize me?”
“No, I’ve never seen the likes of you!” exclaimed Sibilius. “But you sound like Alana’s friend, Eliannai, who is studying to become a seeker. How is it that you are in this little pink body?”
He had asked her the right question.
‘Eliannai, why are you in this little pink body?’
Elaine dropped to her knees as her memories came flooding back into her mind. She gazed from one to the other of her dearest friends, her Captain, Alana and Alana’s lifemate, Sibilius.
“You’re alive!” she whispered in awe, then reached out, trying to hug them both, tightly.
When she stood back, she was of the same species as Alana and Sibilius.
Alana jumped back away from her, suddenly frightened.
“Elaine? What happened to you?” Béla cried out from Alana’s body.
“Alana, Sister, don’t you recognize me?” Elaine/Eliannai asked her.
“Who’s Alana?” Béla asked, still not understanding. “I’m Béla! What have you done with Elaine?”
“I’m Elaine,” Eliannai explained, “and I’m Eliannai, as well.”
“That’s enough of this nonsense,” Sibilius exclaimed. “Alana is very ill and I’m taking her to get medical attention!”
He grabbed his lifemate and pulled her to him, then stopped. Béla looked at him, not understanding what was happening.
“What’s wrong with your eyes?” Sibilius asked, almost horror stricken.
Elaine stared into Alana’s almond dark eyes as well, comprehension suddenly dawning on her face.
“Oh, Zandu,” she whispered, distressed. “You’re still Béla!”
The dream dissolved as Sibilius, thoroughly upset now, began to wake up.