Thursday, June 27, 2013

October 16

Dr. Dad caught me crying yesterday.  I was sitting with Mom, who had fallen asleep.  As I was trying to get the motivation to stand up and walk the distance to Esak’s room, I had a weak spell.  I huddled on my chair, tears pouring down my cheeks as a wash of pure sadness walloped me.

I didn’t know he’d walked into the room until I heard his concerned voice speak my name from right behind me.  “Shalia?”

There was no hiding my pain from my Kalquorian dad.  I couldn’t even find the strength to wipe my eyes and pretend I’d been crying because I was so relieved Mom and Esak would be okay.  I just sat there and shook.

He picked me up and cradled me like a baby in his arms.  Then he carried me to his office.  He sat on the edge of his desk and rocked me.  Dad didn’t say a word.  He simply held me and let me cry until I finally got enough control over myself to stop.

Finally he said, “It’s been a rough time, hasn’t it?”

That got me going again.  Dad took his com out of his belt pouch and spoke into it.  A few moments later, an orderly came in with an injector.  I didn’t have the will to resist as he pressed it to my neck.  Then he left me and Dad alone again.

Seconds later, the depression lifted.  It was like the first sunlight after a long, dark night.  I felt calm.  Good, in fact.  I stopped crying.

“Better?” Dad asked me.

“Tons,” I told him.  My head rested against the hollow of his shoulder.  This was the safest I’d felt in forever.  “Hide the blasters from me.  I might go on a crime spree, stealing your supply of that stuff.”

He chuckled and hugged me tight.  “Let’s talk about what’s making you hurt.  All of it.”

I don’t know if whatever they’d given me loosens tongues as well as makes the pain go away, but I spilled my guts.  I talked and talked, telling Dad all my fears about leaving, how one second I wanted to join Dusa’s clan so I wouldn’t lose them, and the next second I was terrified it would be a huge mistake.  I talked about all my fears for Mom.  About how hard it was going to be to leave Earth, even though it was dying.  About having no idea about what the future held.  I fretted and whined nonstop for what felt like forever. 

Dad let me talk myself out, until I’d covered and re-covered all the terror and pain I’d kept stored up.  There was never any sign of judgment, no impatient interrupting, no condescending and meaningless words of comfortless reassurance.  He listened, nodded, and held me like I’d always wished my own parents would.  I even told him I thought of him as my father, that I called him Dr. Dad in my head.  He smiled at me and blinked hard, as if fighting his own tears.

“I would be honored to have you for a daughter, Shalia,” he said.  His palm pressed against my cheek, and I leaned into its warmth.

Finally I ran out of words.  For awhile Dad said nothing, letting me settle into the silence and comfort of being held and not being so unhappy.

When he did speak, his voice was quiet.  “I can only imagine how adrift you feel.  Your old life is gone, your present life is a shambles, and you have no way of knowing things are going to get better.  Those you share strength with are about to be left behind.  Of course you’re miserable, Shalia.  Anyone in your place would feel the same.”

“I feel pretty good right now,” I told him.  “Your drugs are awesome.”

He laughed at my silliness.  “I’m going to have you continue to take something for a little while.  At least until you get some measure of stability again.  Meanwhile I want to give you something to think about, daughter of my heart.”

“I’m listening.”

“You are in the care of the Kalquorian Empire now.  You may feel like you’re on the edge of a cliff, ready to fall at any moment.  But though you can’t see it, there is a safety net beneath you.  As long as you remain with us, you will be kept as safe as we are able.  Your mother will get the care she needs.  You have all the trip to Kalquor plus the two years you remain in the lottery to decide on your future.  During that time, we will take care of you; your shelter, food, all the basic needs.  And though you’ll be leaving behind those of us involved in the rescue effort, you can contact me whenever you wish.  I’m sure Dusa and his clan will tell you the same goes for them.”

I hadn’t thought of that.  I would be able to com the friends I’d made here.  Though we’d have so much distance apart, I could still see and hear them.

So my far-off future remains uncertain.  I have time to figure it out before it gets here.  Okay, I could handle that.  And though Earth was still a corpse waiting to happen, I could handle the grief tied to that with everything else turning out to be not so horrendous.

“You should have been a dad for real,” I told Nayun.  “You’re really good at it.”

He laughed.  “Thank you.  Are you ready to face the world again?”

I slid off his lap.  “Shalia Monroe, reporting for duty, sir.  Ready to go back into battle.”  A wave of sentimentality broke over me as I looked at Dad who smiled at me with pride I doubt I deserved.  I flung my arms around his neck.  “Thank you, Dad,” I whispered in his ear.

“You’re welcome, my daughter.  Promise me you won’t let it get so bad next time.  Talk to me before you start to fall apart again.”

“I will.”

I kind of hate depending on the anti-depressant he put me on, but I don’t want to be immobilized like I was.  So I’m being a good girl and taking it as ordered.  It’s keeping me strong for Mom and Esak and everyone else who needs me, so I’m willing to do what I have to.  Dad says we’ll revisit my emotional state in a week with a counselor and see if I can handle life again without the chemical help.

I think of all the Kalquorians I’ve met, Nayun is the most important.  Even more than Dusa and Esak.  He really is the dad I was meant to have.

Monday, June 24, 2013

October 15

Esak is getting stronger and stronger.  He’s already asking when he can get up out of his bed, making enough of a pest out of himself that we’re threatening to put him in a stasis field.  Nobeks don’t stay still very well, even when they’ve nearly had their heads blown off their shoulders.  At least with operations suspended Dusa and Weln can stick close to him and make him behave.

I’m still doing my back-and-forth between rooms.  It’s giving me plenty of exercise since Esak and Mom are at opposite ends of the building.  Dr. Dad says he’s going to get me some Kalquorian-grade running slippers since I’ll soon be wearing out my sneakers. 

I should be grateful that things are improving for those I care about.  I’m trying to be happy about that, I really am.  Yet I mostly feel sick inside.  I don’t show it to anyone, but I am in a serious funk.  I am constantly sad.  I don’t know if it’s because of Mom getting sick recently and then Esak’s close call.  Maybe it’s the continued threat of attack.  Or perhaps it’s the realization that I will soon be leaving Earth for good, that my planet is truly dead and I’ll never see it again, and maybe I’ll never see my favorite Kalquorians either.  It’s probably a little of everything.

I try to camp out overnight in Mom’s room when Dad isn’t looking because I can’t stand to sleep in my dorm room all by myself.  When I try to sleep in my quarters, I end up crying myself to sleep.  It’s getting harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning.  I never knew how much effort simply putting on clothes and brushing my hair could be until recently.  Sometimes during the day I have to go into the bathroom where no one can see me and cry.  Every little thing is overwhelming me right now.  Even Mom and Esak’s improvements, as wonderful as they are, can’t seem to snap me out of this.

I don’t want Earth to die.  I don’t want to leave Dusa, Esak, and Weln behind.  Sometimes I think I want to find a way for them to clan me so I’ll have at least that tiny bit of stability.  I wish I had more time with them, enough so I could decide if I could spend the rest of my life with them.  But to chain myself to these three, no matter how wonderful they are, just because I feel alone and scared?  That’s stupid, and I know it.  On the other hand, I also know that once I leave Earth, it will be a long time if ever before I’ll see them again. 

Great, I’m going to cry some more.  It’s just that nothing is certain.  Nothing.  I don’t think I can take this not knowing what to expect.  If I don’t find something I can depend on, something solid and real, some kind of light at the end of the tunnel, I might go insane.  I really think I could.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

October 14

It’s been a few days.  And now that some things are settling down again, I’ll see what I can write.

I’ve waited to see if Esak would regain consciousness first.  The very first night he was on guard at one of the old service entrances to the Academy -- where vendors used to bring in supplies and that kind of stuff -- about twenty people attacked from the outside.  The bastards had old-style hand grenades, really old antique explosives.  Where they found them, I can’t even imagine.  While half the group shot with blasters, the other half threw these grenades at the guards.   Only six exploded, but six were more than enough.  Four Nobeks were killed, and Esak and two others were badly injured.

My poor Esak.  They had to shave his head to treat the skull fractures he received from the attack.  He’s bald now with a bunch of scars.  But he’s alive.  Thank God he’s alive.  

It’s taken this long for him to wake up, which had the doctors really concerned.  Dusa has nearly paced a rut in the floor of Esak’s treatment room.  Weln has been at his side the whole time, talking, reading to him, and keeping Dusa sane.  I’ve bounced between Mom and Esak’s rooms, trying to keep an eye on them both.  I'm doing lots of praying.  For once, my prayers have been answered.

We did get good news on Esak.  There’s no sign of long-term brain injury.  He’s answering questions, acting alert, seemingly in possession of all his marbles still.  He’s going to be all right.  Let’s hear it for those tough Kalquorians.  The crazy Nobek even insisted Dusa take still photos of his healing scalp, so he can show off evidence of his scars once his hair grows back out.  He’s taking this whole ‘marks of honor’ business pretty seriously, but I’ve been told that’s normal for his breed.  He proudly repeats the phrase I taught Weln who told it to him:  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  It’s become Esak's motto.  I’m glad he went back to sleep because I swear if I hear him say those words one more time, I’ll kill him myself.  He scared me.  He scared us all.

Not to make light of Mom’s condition.  She’s still doing better, getting stronger.  She’s getting some serious squeezing power back in her hands.  I even asked her if she was going to break mine in her grip.  She whispered in a slurring voice, “Want to knit, Shalia.”  I told her, “I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.  The way things are going, you’ll be giving Santa a new cap, scarf, and gloves when he shows up Christmas Eve.” 

Then again, we won’t be on Earth this Christmas.  Wow.  I never would have suspected last Christmas that it would be Earth’s last.  Damn it, now I’m thinking how I’ll be on my way to Kalquor and Dusa, Esak, and Weln will still be here.  Dr. Dad Nayun too.  That maybe I’ll never see any of them again.

This has been such a screwed up week.  I haven’t seen or talked to Nang since the last attack.  No surprise there.  This place has become a fortress.  We are as if under siege.  All operations except security and basic support like Medical have been suspended.  Meals are delivered to dorms and here in Medical rather than having a bunch of people gather in one place, making them susceptible to attack.

Life has gone crazy.  Again.  But at least those most important to me are still here.  I’m taking whatever good I can find in this situation.

Monday, June 17, 2013

October 10

Well, another notch in Shalia Monroe’s belt.  I’ve now had my first Imdiko.

I really don’t think either Weln nor I had sex on our radar when we ate dinner together.  Our conversation wasn’t even slightly flirty as we ate.  We simply worried over Dusa and Esak, whom we assumed were still catching up on their rest.  We talked about the new rules that said non-authorized personnel and absolutely no Earthers were to go within fifty yards of the Academy’s outer perimeter fences.  We talked about my mother and her progress.  There was nothing untoward in our conversation.

Even during the walk we took afterward, with my bodyguard trailing several steps behind us, neither of us hinted at anything sexual.  We were like a couple of old school friends catching up on the latest.  Discussing work, people we knew, amusing anecdotes, that kind of thing.

My invitation to Weln to come into my dorm was innocent.  I would swear that fact to God himself, looking him straight in the eye while I did it.  I asked if Weln had tried wine, having a nearly full bottle Dusa had given me a week or so ago.  He had not and was curious, so he accepted my invitation.  We went in, and I set out the bottle and a couple of glasses.

Out of the blue, we were in each others’ arms and kissing.  Just like that.  I couldn’t tell you who made the first move.  It was simply one moment I was uncorking the bottle, the next I’ve got a delicious mouthful of Weln. 

Despite the tempestuous start, it was nothing like the wild, almost bestial sex I usually have with Dusa and Esak.  Weln’s hands on me were ... well, kind of polite.  If you can call being touched all over the girlie parts ‘polite’, that is.  He was gentle, taking all the time in the world to explore.  First he caressed my body over my clothes.  Then he carefully took my blouse, skirt, and underthings off.  Weln looked at me for a little while, which made me a bit self-conscious.  But he smiled and told me how beautiful I was.  While I don’t see myself as any great beauty or even a run-of-the-mill beauty, he was obviously aroused so I guess he really did like what he saw.

He lifted me in his arms then and laid me on the bed like I was a fragile piece of china.  Then he explored me all over with his hands again.  It was as if he was afraid he’d miss something.  Weln was very thorough with his explorations, testing to see how much pressure I liked on my clit, gauging every reaction while he flicked, rubbed, and stroked it.  When his fingers entered me, he found my hot spot almost immediately.  He spent quite awhile fucking me with his fingers, his other hand pressed down on my pelvis to keep me pinned to the bed.  I moaned and writhed beneath his attentions, my pussy gushing wetness on his talented fingers.

When he pulled free of me, I was more than ready for him to strip and mount me.  However, that teasing Imdiko was in no hurry to claim what I was more than happy to grant.  No, instead he explored me all over again, but this time with his mouth.  If there was a square inch of my body Weln didn’t taste, I’ll fuck a Tragoom.  He seemed determined to have every bit of me and would not be rushed through it.

When his mouth latched onto my pussy, I cried.  I’m not sure why.  Was it to relieve the stress of the past few days?  Ha, ha, probably more like the last few months.  I lay there, sobbing my heart out while Weln’s lips and tongue tasted every bit of my sex.  He sucked on my clit, lapped all the eagerly flowing juices, and shoved deep into my core.  My moans of pleasure and whimpers of whatever sadness had seized me only seemed to encourage him. 

He kept at me until my pussy seized, choking my bawling off.  I came hard, my fists clutched in his hair, my feet kicking in the air over his shoulders.  Only after the last tremor had passed and my cries ceased did he rise and take his clothes off.

Oh, what a beauty Weln is.  I could barely breathe, looking at him.  So tall.  So strong.  That boy is like a dark Adonis, too stunning for mere mortals with his sculpted chest, narrow waist, and granite thighs.  His cocks were swollen thick, shining with his natural lubrication.  Despite still trembling from orgasm, I couldn’t help but slide my legs wide apart, begging him to fill me.

He smiled his sweet Weln smile and crawled on top.  His purple eyes held my gaze as he lowered his hips to mine.  Beyond words, I mewled a soft plea as the tips of his cocks found my ass and pussy.  He slid slowly, tenderly into me, letting me feel every hot inch of his sexes as they filled me.

When we were utterly joined, Weln lowered down, covering me with himself.  My legs folded over his ass, gripping tight to press him as far in as he would go.  He kissed me slowly, savoring me like a connoisseur. 

Weln’s lovemaking was as unhurried as the foreplay had been.  I lost all track of time as he slid back and forth inside me, loving me as if we had forever to spend in each others’ arms.  I am positive that no man has ever been so meticulous in his taking of a woman.   My insides felt like they glowed and pulsed as he painstakingly brought me back to full arousal.

“Come for me, Shalia,” he whispered, staring into my eyes.  I was gasping as I writhed beneath him, totally under his thrall.  He kept encouraging me.  “Come for me, my beauty.”

Under that quiet, constant encouragement, I obeyed.  My pussy clenched in a long, muscular spasm that seemed to go on for several minutes.  Then there was that gorgeous white-blast brightness clutching me deep inside before erupting to spew molten trails throughout my body.  I climaxed, aware Weln was watching all the while.

Only after I quieted again, softly weeping with the last tremors of elation, did my lover release his own pleasure.  He groaned from deep within his chest.  I felt the telltale pulsing of his cock releasing warmth into me, filling me up.  He trembled against me as he spent, his breath loud in my ear.  Then he kissed me for a long, long time, as if to thank me.

All I can say is, the gratitude was mutual.