Thursday, May 22, 2014
February 10 evening, post-dated entry
It has been some time since I last wrote. What happened between then and now ... well, it was not a happy time.
So that I can keep things straight, I am going to write what happened in chronological order as best as I can figure it out. I know the date of when things went all to hell, and I know when the nightmare ended.
Has it ended? No, not really. I know the trauma will haunt me for weeks or even months ... hell, maybe years ... to come. All I can do is write it down in the attempt to purge it out of my system.
The dates might not be accurate, but as I wrote, I’ll do my best. What else is there to do?
Early on the evening of what would have been February 10 on Earth, I rushed out alone to do one final round of shopping before we were to leave Xniktix Space Station. Candy and Katrina were getting ready for one last night of dancing, Betra and Oses were on duty until later, so I went on my own. I saw no reason not to. Little Creep hadn’t been seen in some time, I hadn’t run into any hostile Earthers, and I’d been able to avoid pissing off any Bi’isils. I had a few funds left to burn, so off I went. I planned to meet up with my guys at the agreed-upon time for our frolic in the Alneusian underwater forest. I was feeling very independent and happy.
I was enjoying having new and flirtier clothes to wear, plus I’d seen the ugly things available on the transport for later in my pregnancy ... yuck. I was determined to have pretty things for when I got ‘round and ripe’ as Betra put it. Remembering his description kept giving me fits of giggles as I roamed the shopping tiers of the station. I had the feeling that Betra’s assessment of a big ol’ pregnant woman being attractive might change when I hit month 7 or 8. Still, I could have something nice to wear so I didn’t feel like a hippo when the time came.
I’d been shopping for some time. I was hoofing it between stores, noting that I had twenty minutes before I was to meet Betra and Oses when I saw it out of the corner of my eye: that flash of shiny green, low to the ground. I turned quickly.
There stood Little Creep, he of the green waistcoat, spikes of red hair, black eyes, and tombstone teeth. He was looking and smiling right at me. My heart froze. Evil, my mind whispered.
This ghoul-leprechaun looking thing bowed, as courtly as a gentleman. I didn’t move. He walked up to me until he was only a foot away. I say walk, and his little legs certainly did stride, but he almost seemed to glide rather than step.
There was no reason for me to be so terrified. Yet instinct knew this was no kind creature, nor was he harmless. I didn’t know that for a fact at the time, but some primitive part of me understood it right away. Every fiber of my being screamed at me to run. If I hadn’t been so scared to the point where I couldn’t move, I would have. However, my body wouldn’t stir the least little bit.
“You are an Earther female. You are going to Kalquor. Yes?” Little Creep asked.
I blinked, and a lot of the fear eased away. The creature was ugly and scary to look at, but that voice – it was like the chiming of the sweetest bells ever heard in a cathedral. It was clear and melodious and I ached to hear him speak again. I even smiled at him. My gosh, that voice was beautiful. I can still hear it in my head ... it curdles my guts now, but at that moment it beguiled me.
I said to him, “That’s right. Are you from Ofetuch?”
Little Creep bowed again. “I am. I am surprised you have heard of my world. We are not well known.”
I was entranced by his voice. I had even begun to lean down so I could get my ears closer to his mouth with its blubbery wet lips and those awful teeth.
Barely aware of the words coming out of my mouth, I said, “My Kalquorian friends told me about you after I saw you looking at me the other day. They tell stories about Ofetuchans to scare their naughty children.”
Little Creep laughed, and the sound was like a cascade of pure gorgeousness. I moaned to hear it and leaned closer still. I was almost near enough to kiss him ... ugh, the thought makes me nauseous.
“I’m sure they do tell stories,” he said when he’d recovered. “I have a few stories myself. Would you like to hear them?”
“Please,” I whispered. Anything to hear him talk.
“We’ll go somewhere that is private. I have much to tell you. I have waited for you to be alone so we could get to know one another.”
Somehow, he’d taken my hand in his without me noticing. Even crazier, we were already moving towards the station’s in-house transport car. Little Creep was taking me somewhere, and I was following as if under a spell.
The scare it put in me was enough for me to regain my senses. I straightened to my full height and tried to pull away. “I can’t go with you. I’m due to meet my friends.”
Little Creep’s jolly-scary smile turned more scary than jolly. “They can wait. Come along, girl. I have a special place for you.”
His beautiful voice tried to beguile me, but I was too scared for it to have the same effect as before. I wanted to get away, and fast.
His fingers had these suction cup-type bits that had latched onto my hand. I yanked, but they stuck to my skin. Little Creep’s face became a snarl and he grabbed my arms with all four hands.
“Listen to the sound of my voice. Come with me, Earther. You want to.”
“Like hell I do!” I yelled. “Help me! Somebody, help!”
There were people of all species walking past us, shopping much as I had done. Some were even Kalquorians, men wearing the fleet uniforms of my transport and the destroyers that kept it safe. They didn’t react to my screams. It was like Little Creep and I weren’t even there.
Part of my brain registered that Oses had said something about the Ofetuchans might be cloaking themselves so they couldn’t be seen. Apparently, that went for sound as well. This nasty little bastard was trying to kidnap me, and no one knew about it. We even bumped into others as we struggled. Or at least we should have bumped against them. No one reacted to us, however, and I would find out later why. For that moment, we didn’t exist as far as the others around us knew.
Most of me was involved in escaping. When I realized I was going to have to get myself out of this mess, I doubled my fight. I kicked the fuck out of that little monster. He tried to grab my legs to stop me, which only made me kick more desperately. I had an awful vision of Little Creep dragging me through the station with his four sucker-fingered hands keeping me helpless. He was tiny, but he was strong as hell.
All the while, he kept talking. Apparently he was trying to use that sweet-toned voice to mesmerize me. It didn’t work when I was so scared, and it really didn’t work when he was gasping between every word. “Stop – fighting – come – quietly – bitch – that – hurt – fucking – behave!”
We flew about the concourse in this wild waltz, with me swinging him around like a doll and kicking as hard as I could. I finally landed a good one right in the breadbasket. He lost his grip on me and disappeared.
An Adraf citizen slammed right into me, and spewed flustered words I couldn’t understand. What I did understand was that when Little Creep lost his grip on me, others could see and hear me once more. And he was nowhere to be found.
I screamed like a banshee, getting all sorts of attention. Within seconds half a dozen Kalquorians on shore leave surrounded me, asking what was wrong.
“Commander Oses! I need Commander Oses right now!” I shrieked. Before anyone could summon him, I grabbed my personal com and yelled for him myself. Since we were supposed to be meeting up soon, I was sure he was somewhere on the station. I was right.
“The Ofetuchan tried to kidnap me!” I hollered when he answered. “He tried to make me go with him! He can make himself and anyone he touches disappear!”
I kept yelling hysterically, not giving the weapons commander a chance to answer. I made quite the scene until Oses showed up, shoving my confused but valiantly guarding Kalquorians aside.
“Shalia! Are you all right?” he exclaimed.
Seeing my big bruiser of a Nobek lover had an immediate calming effect on me. The panic subsided, and I could talk with some sense once more.
I told Oses and the other Kalquorians surrounding me what had happened with Little Creep. As soon as my tale was done, Oses started barking orders into his com. I had no idea what he was saying since he was speaking in Kalquorian.
The other members of his crew who had come to my rescue listened carefully to all he said, to the response he got, and kept looking all around us as if to protect me. The cold, vicious looks they gave passersby kept everyone else far away.
I looked too, frightened of seeing spiky red hair or a swirl of a green coat. I saw neither.
Oses finished his conversation and looked around at the others. “You got all that?”
They nodded. “I will be happy to go back on duty right away,” one man told him. The others murmured agreement.
“There should be no need. Just keep your eyes out for the gurluck, especially in the vicinity of our Mataras,” Oses said. “The rest should arrive right away to investigate and guard.”
The men nodded. Still looking around carefully, like watchdogs who’d caught the scent of a predator, they began to drift away.
“What’s going to happen now?” I asked Oses.
“I reported the incident to my second-in-command, who is on duty. He is putting an alert out for the Ofetuchan and sending in more security squads. He’s also getting with the liaisons to find out how many of you are on the station right now. More guards will board and keep an eye on all the Mataras so the Ofetuchan doesn’t try to capture someone else.”
“Are you going back on duty?” I asked. Now that I felt safe and secure, I felt disappointment that my date with Oses and Betra might be cancelled.
To my delight, Oses shook his head. “My second has things in hand. He’s a good officer, and I have faith he can handle this. If he runs into problems, he knows he can com me.”
“So we’re still good for our underwater excursion?” I gave him my most evil smile. Having the indomitable Oses at my side made all the terror go away. I was safe, and since I was safe I was more than ready to put Little Creep out of my head. Who was going to try to steal me with this monumental Kalquorian at my side? No one with sense, I was sure. I had so much faith in Oses.
Oses’ leer was twice as wicked as mine. “No stupid little – what did you call it? A bogeyman? No such thing is going to keep me from that. Let’s head over and I’ll com Betra to see how long he’ll be delayed. I’m sure he’s busy momentarily making sure his charges are all accounted for and protected.”
Oses’ conversation with Betra bore that out. “I just heard from the Weapons Subcommander,” came my liaison’s voice from the Nobek’s communication device. “Most of my Mataras are still getting ready for a last night out. Shalia and one other are the only ones on the station right now.”
“I’ve got Shalia, so you’ve just the one to set guards on. A complement of more security will be ready to accompany the rest when they come onto the station.” Oses looked pleased.
“Is that such a good idea, Commander? Maybe we should recall everyone.”
The Nobek scowled. “We have the situation in hand, Betra. Let the women have their final night of fun in the dance clubs. We’ll keep them safe.”
I could hear the laughter in Betra’s tone, though he managed to not sound too amused. “I did not mean to cast doubt on you or your men’s abilities, Commander. My priority is the Mataras, so I apologize if I have offended you.”
One corner of Oses’ mouth quirked upward. “You could never offend me, Imdiko, especially when it comes to you doing your job to keep these women secure. Get here as soon as you can. We’ll be waiting.”
“I just got the message that the one other Matara on the station has been located safe and sound. A detail is now keeping an eye on her. I’m going to brief the rest on the precautions they’ll need to take, and then I’ll be at the Alneusian aquatic environment in a few minutes.”
“We’ll see you soon.”
Oses snapped off his com and smiled at me. “Our water fun is still a go.”
I fairly skipped at his side in my excitement. I think the adrenaline rush of my near-abduction was still with me. I would have thought the last thing I should have wanted was sex, but all cylinders were firing instead. I was giddy with relief and lust.
Oses and I reached the Alneusian ‘neighborhood’ of the station on Level 33. Apparently, that species cohabitates in the open, without care for shelter of any sort. On their planet, the entire ocean is their home. These temporary quarters are where their people stay when they visit Xniktix. It’s like a massive aquarium.
I was essentially going to have sex with my guys in the Alneusians’ hotel room. I am a freaky girl, huh?
“So we’re going to be watched,” I said as I paced in front of Oses. I was dying to trigger the door so I could get a peek at the huge aquarium-environment.
He nodded, a grin slowly eating up his face. We had the area entirely to ourselves. No one else traveled the concourse in front of the Alneusian quarter. I assumed the Alneusians themselves were either doing business on other levels in their environmental suits or in the tank hidden behind that tempting door.
Unlike me, my Nobek lover stood still, almost as motionless as a statue. He leaned up against the wall, his arms crossed over his chest. He watched me, but his eyes also kept scanning the balcony where we stood.
“We’re going to be watched, vid-recorded, and our activities studied and reported on to the Alneusian scientific community,” Oses told me. “The unique pairing of Earther and Kalquorian will add to their knowledge of other species.”
“Why do they study everyone like that?” I asked.
“The Alneusians are curious about everything. Not so much ideas or concepts, but they do want to know how things work. Anything of a scientific bent fascinates them, whether it is technology or biology. Thanks to them, many advances in the sciences and engineering have been made for the good of all Galactic Council member planets.”
“Sex for science,” I giggled. “I feel so productive now.”
Oses chuckled. It was the last real laugh we had for a long time.
I had no idea what was going on when Oses’ legs began to slowly fold beneath him. His arms, which had been crossed over his chest, dropped to his sides. It happened so gradually that it seemed like he was doing it on purpose. He slid down the wall he leaned against, his smiling face going slack.
I thought he was goofing with me, or maybe just kneeling down to rest. I mean, who loses consciousness at that kind of measured pace, a rather deliberate-seeming relaxation? Oses, who was always alert and ready to defend or attack, succumbed without a moment of realization that he was going down. It wasn’t until he was halfway to the floor, his eyes rolling over white, that I knew something had gone terribly wrong.
By that time, it was too late for me too. I hadn’t realized I too was sinking down, or that someone was there, making sure I didn’t crash hard to the floor. A steady hand held me about the waist, guiding me down to rest on the ground. Spiky red hair, a tombstone-filled smile, and a green waistcoat filled my vision for an instant, blocking out Oses’ drooped form.
Then all went dark.