Thursday, May 30, 2013

October 6, late

Boy, is it ever quiet in my dorm without Mom’s chatter.  I am really not good with all this silence.  It’s wearing on me.

Dinner started off almost as bad.  With all the excitement Dusa and Esak are working extra hours, so I sat all by myself.  Then who walks in but Matt King.  His eyes lit up when he saw me, as if he’d come in just to speak to me.

He headed right to my table.  “May I join you?” he asked, as smooth and friendly as before.

“Sure,” I said.  “I’m solo tonight.”

Matt settled in a chair right next to me, not distant in the least.  “Let me start off by saying how sorry I am to hear about your mother’s illness,” he said, his smile dropping away.  “It is hard to see someone who has already had a time of it suffering even more.”

“Thank you,” I answered.  “It really does feel like a case of adding insult to injury.  Fortunately, she’s expected to get much better, especially after she gets treatment on Kalquor.”

“The aliens have been such a welcome surprise.”  Matt punched in his dinner order at the table computer, a mix of Kalquorian and Earther food.  He really wasn’t just giving our needed partnership lip service. 

“A lot of Earthers would beg to differ with you on that score,” I muttered.

“I have to admit that I was deeply suspicious of the Kalquorians at first.  After all that propaganda we were fed about their evil, and then Armageddon hit ... well, I let the government and Church think for me.”

“As they wanted you to.  As we all did, to some extent.  In a way, life is easier letting others make all the decisions, even when you know it’s wrong.”  It was nice to be able to talk to someone of my own species about how things had been.  I appreciated the freedom of openness and not have to worry about being hurt.

Matt sighed.  “Now we’re coming under attack here at the Academy, Earther and Kalquorian alike.  I’m really worried about how many angry people are out there, eager to kill not only our former enemies but also those of us they no doubt believe are traitors.”

“Commander Nang is concerned too,” I said.  “The soonest reinforcements are still three months away.”

“Really?”  Matt’s eyes widened.  “That’s a bit frightening.  What is his plan in the meantime?”

“He’s got squads out there trying to track down the attackers.  He’s hoping to find out their numbers and strengths.  Then he can figure out the next move.”

“Smart man.”  He gave me another one of his approving smiles.  “You are doing such good work with the Kalquorians, Shalia.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.  Others do too, though they are too afraid of our disapproving few to say so.”

Well, that was good to hear.  I’d thought everyone pretty much hated me.  Was it true that I had more friends than I was aware of?  That simple fear kept would-be allies from approaching me?

The rest of dinner was nice.  Matt and I traded a little of our histories.  It turned out he actually had been a politician before Armageddon, but only a local commissioner who worried more about keeping his jurisdiction under budget than ruling his fellow man.  And I, Shalia Monroe, hater of all things political, actually like this guy.  The other Earthers were smart to make him their spokesman. 

So, it turned out to be a pretty good end to a pretty crappy day.  Okay, so maybe it wasn’t so crappy.  Mom’s getting better, the attack didn’t get any of us killed, Nang was nice without trying to climb in my pants, and I found out I’m not the most despised Earther ever.  I’m missing Dusa and Esak tonight, of course, and still thinking we don’t have nearly enough time together before I have to leave.  But overall, I think I can count on some decent rest tonight ... aw, please tell me I didn’t just jinx myself by writing that!

Monday, May 27, 2013

October 6, later

Just another fun-filled day.  It turned out the Academy was under attack, just as I’d feared.

I got halfway to Medical before the lockdown announcement came on.  When that happened, my Nobek guard picked me up and slung me over his shoulder.  Usually I wouldn’t take that too well, but it turned out this was the same guy who’d loaned me his knife when I left the Academy to track down Mom after she’d been kidnapped.  So I kind of have trust in him.  His name is Anlod, by the way.  He’s a little older than Esak and unclanned.

I did yell to him, “Not back to the dorm!  I have to be with my mom!”

“I know,” he called back.  “Just hang on.”

He did that freaky faster-than-the-eye-can-follow running, smearing my surroundings as we went.  How the Kalquorians can do that and not lose their lunch is beyond me.  The sight of moving that fast was so nauseating that I had to close my eyes.  The sensation wasn’t entirely pleasant either.  There were more sounds of blasters firing from a distance away.  I was convinced we were going to be shot at any moment.

What would have taken me twenty minutes to walk or six minutes to run, Anlod managed in what must have been seconds.  Good grief, those aliens can move.  He accompanied me into Medical and waited outside Mom’s door with her bodyguard.

Mom’s one eye was open, and she blinked at me when I came to her side.  The left corner of her mouth twitched upward, like she was trying to smile.  I guess I was overwhelmed by the sound of fighting, the crazy way I’d gotten to Medical, and my worry over her.  I leaned over her, embracing her as best I could without disturbing any of the monitors strapped to her.  I wept.

“You know I love you, right?” I whispered in her ear.  “We haven’t always been on the best of terms, but I love you no matter what.”

I held her for a bit, feeling how small and frail she felt.  How not-Mom she was.  When I finally straightened and let her go, her eye had closed.  She seemed to be asleep, but she still had that hint of a smile on half her lips.  Or maybe that was just wishful thinking on my part.

I spent hours with Mom, sitting there watching her.  The blaster fire stopped after only a few minutes.  I hoped no one else had gotten killed.  At some point Dr. Dad came in.  He said all three entrances to the Academy had been attacked this time, and two of the attackers had been injured and brought on site.  They were being treated elsewhere in the building and Nang was on his way over to question them.

When I asked about Mom, Dad brightened.  “We think she’s as aware of what is happening around her as her dementia allows.  She’s in there, Shalia.  It’s just a matter of her brain recovering from the shock of the stroke before her body will start responding again.  Dr. Ginna thinks the longterm effects will consist of weakness on her right side, perhaps some difficulty walking and using her right hand.  He’s also sure that most of that will be reversed once she receives treatment on Kalquor.”

I had to cry some more over that news.  I would get Mom back.  I was so happy.

Some time after lunch Nang stopped in.  He looked tired and angry, but he did his best not to show it, especially since Mom was looking around with her one good eye.  I’d begun teasing her about putting an eyepatch on the one that remained stubbornly closed and telling her she was going to be swabbing the decks from now on.  One-Eyed Eve, I dubbed her.

Nang behaved with more politeness.  “I see you looking at me, Matara,” he said with a smile as he bent over her. “I am so pleased your prognosis is good.  We’ll have you up and knitting again very soon.  My Imdiko sends his best wishes and wants you to know he’s still enjoying what you taught him.  He finds knitting very relaxing and has made some lovely bed covers ... I think you call them afghans?  He gives them to all his friends, some of whom also want to learn to knit.  I think you've started a craze.”

A Kalquorian knitting circle?  I bet Hell just froze over.

I went out into the hall with Nang after he’d finished his pleasantries.  “I’ll be right back, Mom,” I promised.

Nang let some of his worries settle over his features once we were out of the room.  “You look like you feel terrible,” I told him.

“I do,” he said.  “None of our men got killed this time, thank the Mother of All.  Unfortunately, the attackers are getting bolder.  The men we captured can't really talk, given the injuries that were inflicted on them.  My men tell me it looks like this gang is performing a systematic testing of our defenses.”

“What does that mean?  That they’re planning on trying to take over the Academy?” I asked.

He nodded.  “That also means we haven’t seen all of their offensive capabilities or numbers yet.  They’re scouting us, figuring out where any strengths and weaknesses lie.”  Nang sighed.  “I wish we had more forces coming in sooner.”

If Nang was worried, you know Shalia Monroe shook in her shoes.  “What’s the soonest reinforcements arrive?”

“Carriers full of ground troops are still three months away.  I can make an appeal to the Atlanta site for help, but they've got their hands full too."  He blew out a heavy breath.  "When we came after Earth, it was with the intent to hold your people hostage rather than actual occupation.  All we were planning on was to intimidate your government into surrendering and ending the war, not having to fight you here on your home turf.”

We’d been over that in preparing Nang’s presentation to the refugees who had made their way to the Academy.  Kalquor’s space fleet of destroyers had been the attack force that showed up, while the majority of their ground troops fought ours on colonies and allied worlds.

“Can you hold out for three months?”  I was getting really scared.

“That remains to be seen.  I’ve sent men out to track down these attackers to wherever they are based.  I want to get a head count and find out how well they’re armed.”

I shivered.  “It can’t be good.  If they’re bold enough to plot taking over the Academy, then they must think they can win.”

Nang reached over to stroke my hair.  “Your bodyguards have instructions to evacuate you to a safe place should the situation become dangerous.  All Earthers, medical, and support personnel will be taken care of.”

It was good to know he had a contingency plan.  It made me relax a little.  “I hope it doesn’t come to that,” I told him.

“That makes two of us.”  He smiled at me.  “I’m sorry I can’t stay and talk more, but there is a lot of work to be done.”

“Of course.  I appreciate you stopping in to see Mom.”  That had been a really nice gesture since Nang undoubtedly had a full plate without checking on invalids and their frightened daughters.

Nang leaned close and pressed a kiss to my forehead.  I let him, needing the comfort though I really don’t want to encourage him to have the wrong ideas.  I thought it would be okay this time.  I think the commander is capable of simple kindness.

He murmured, “I will always make time for you, my little Shalia.”

With that, Nang left.  When I went back to Mom, she was sleeping again.  It’s been quiet for the rest of the day, and the lockdown has been lifted.  Weln stopped by to check on us, and he says at the end of his shift he’ll sit with Mom while I go get some dinner.  He’s due back any time now, so I guess I should sign off for now. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

October 6

I’m jotting just a quick note here before I go over to sit with Mom again today.  I need to be with her, but at the same time, I dread looking at how she is.  Does that make any sense?  God, I’m feeling her mortality right now.  I know we’re not eternal, but at the same time I feel like my mother should be.  A universe without Eve Monroe?  Not possible and yet all too real.

I had the worst time leaving her last night.  It felt like I was abandoning her and the act of doing so would somehow determine whether or not she’d still be here in the morning.  (I’ve already commed Dr. Dad, and he confirms Mom is doing as well as hoped.) 

Dusa and Esak showed up in Mom’s room late last night after pulling double shifts.  The poor boys were no doubt exhausted, but they spent at least half an hour learning of her prognosis and speaking to her, though we’re not sure just how much she’s aware of.  Then they pushed me to come back to my dorm to get rest myself.

I couldn’t relax though.  I was so tired, and yet my mind wouldn’t shut off.  So my sweeties sat down to spend some time letting me decompress.

We talked.  I told them that I’d have to take Mom to Kalquor as soon as the transport arrived.  As I did so, I realized how hard it was going to be to leave Dusa and Esak behind.  They have seen me through so much angst and trauma.  They’ve been my strength when I’ve wanted to just curl up and quit.  I’m not sure how I’m supposed to handle things without them.  Even without the seemingly never-ending trouble, I simply enjoy being with the two men.  Something inside me lights up when they’re around.  It makes me wonder, am I in love with them after all? Is that the real reason I resist romping with Nang and why every time I’m in his arms I immediately compare him to Dusa?

I confess the conversation I had with Dusa and Esak has got me in a bit of a tailspin right now.  After I told them Mom and I would be leaving soon, both looked at each other with unhappiness and resignation.

Dusa sighed.  “It will be hard to let you go, Shalia.  In all honesty, Esak and I want to clan you.  We want to make you our Matara.”

Esak almost sounded angry.  “We cannot, though.  Even if we had Weln as our Imdiko right now, it would be an impossibility.”

I felt a little sick inside.  I was really going to have to leave them behind, and I wasn’t liking it.  All my protestations of not being ready to join a clan, though they are probably true, sounded vaguely ridiculous in the face of the inevitable.  “I know someone has told me how this works before, but my brain isn’t processing so well right now.  What exactly stands in the way of me joining your clan?”

Dusa traced the grooves on the table with a fingertip as if they contained the secrets that would unlock the answers to all our problems.  “A clan must show they have the financial and emotional stability to give a Matara a worthy home.  From the financial standpoint, that means they must possess not just the bare essentials of what the government provides, but funds that will assure her comfort.  We don’t have that yet with our low rank.”

“What constitutes this emotional stability you spoke of?” I asked.

Dusa said, “The three male members must be established as a clan for at least a year together to even court a Matara.  Females are too precious to be given to a clan that hasn’t learned to work well together.  The stress of such a situation is not conducive to her well-being.”

“It’s never been done before?” I asked.

“One of our empresses in the past did join an incomplete clan,” Esak said.  “But that’s royalty, and they can usually find a way to bend the rules.”

“Like the current Imperial Clan,” Dusa said.  “They were supposed to clan a Kalquorian Matara, but they met Empress Jessica and wanted her instead.  Then the woman they were supposed to clan went insane, so they got the woman they preferred.”

“But how did that other empress manage to get past the restrictions on partial clans?” I pressed.

Dusa shrugged.  “It was a complicated case.  To begin with, hers was to be an arranged clanning anyway.  Most royal joinings are like that.  Her entire parent clan, the Imperial Clan, was killed before all the Crown Princess’ clanmates were chosen.   For the one that was arranged, she got the Royal Council to waive the restriction since the match was already set.  After that, there was a rush to find suitable men to fill out the remainder of the clan so she would be kept as secure as possible.”

Esak added, “It was a special problem, one that affected the whole Empire.  They agreed it was proper for her to have at least the one clanmate for her protection and care.  Kalquor was desperate to get him into place.” 

“For her protection and care?  You sure are a paternal bunch,” I said without rancor. 

Esak managed a smile.  “Women are very important to us, for survival and happiness.  Even our own women find us to be smothering at times, but we can’t help the instinct to protect your gender.”

Dusa reached over and took my hands.  “It’s killing me to say what I am about to say.  Though we’ve grown attached to you, I must put your needs ahead of our wants.  Shalia, you must go to Kalquor and find a clan to take care of you and Matara Eve, one that will provide a good home and everything you deserve.”

Tears filled my eyes.  He was so sweet and sincere.  I saw how much he and Esak cared for me.  I felt how much I cared for them.  But is it real love?  I just don’t know.

They took me to bed.  They removed my clothes carefully, as if I’d suddenly become some fragile being that would shatter apart at the least rough touch.  I pulled at their formsuits, uncovering them and kissing all that I found.  Soft smooth skin over granite bodies soothed my lips.  I bent to suckle one man’s livid cocks while my hand pleasured the other’s.  Then I switched, giving them both the attention they deserved.  Back and forth.  I couldn’t get enough.

Dusa knelt on the bed in front of me and picked me up.  While Esak held his Dramok’s smaller cock out of the way, Dusa pierced my vagina with the other.  Then Dusa held the cheeks of my ass in each hand, supporting and spreading me open at the same time.  He rose up on his knees, holding me in the air with my legs locked around his waist.

Esak pressed close from behind and I groaned as he filled my offered rear with his larger cock.  I was between the two men, filled tight with them.  Their movements were slow and careful.  They kissed me and each other as they fucked me.  It was the first time I’d seen them display romantic intimacy with each other, and I was not disgusted.  They were beautiful men and seeing them like that only enhanced my pleasure.  I could see the love they shared.  There was nothing ugly about it.

Our passion grew as we moved our sex-slick bodies against each other.  Our juices flowed with the friction, making soft, moist sounds as their cocks slipped in and out of my eager body.  Dusa and Esak steadily grew stronger against me.  Their breaths came louder and faster.  Whispering moans punctuated soft gasps.  I surged up and down between them, caught in the rising tide of our passion.

They quickened even more as need made its relentless demands on their young, virile bodies.  Their groins slapped against me, growing forceful.  I cried out often as pleasure drove searing spikes in me.  The gentleness we’d started with had passed, and the men drove hard, making me accept that excruciating bliss that bore down on us all.  There was an endless crescendo of growls and the nonstop thrusting of masculine steel into accepting flesh. 

I think we climaxed at the same time.  Dusa howled and Esak yelled as my body erupted with a burst of pure elation.  I was out of it for a little while, knowing only the exploding white sun of orgasm that made me blind and deaf to anything else.  I could have hid in its brightness forever, quitting this world with all its doubt and worry.

But of course that couldn’t happen.  I returned to hear the gasps of the men and to discover that we’d collapsed on the bed in a tangle of bodies that no one wanted to untie.  We fell asleep that way, not rising until Esak’s chronometer went off this morning to send him and Dusa off to work again, popping stim tabs to get their tired bodies moving.

Well, I’ve wasted enough time writing.  I need to ge

Oh shit, I think I just heard an explosion.  Good God, are they shooting percussion blasters?  It sounds like we might be under attack again.  I have to go to Mom.