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Kiraling – Part 35 (Chapter 288-294)

Written by anonxyzus :: [Tuesday, 18 June 2024 23:28] Last updated by :: [Thursday, 20 June 2024 08:33]

­Chapter 288

Until now, I’d never had a reason to visit the Dugway Proving Ground. It’s huge, with its own small town. And it is equipped to handle any kind of live fire exercise.

The Holiday Inn is comfortable. There is no room service but there are picnic tables and barbeque grills. The hotel serves a continental breakfast in the morning and there is a guest reception dinner every Wednesday night. That routine was going to change for this exercise.

Dugway is isolated. The nearest city is 50 miles away. Salt Lake City is 90 miles away.

Access to the post is, of course, controlled. Severely. Everyone needs a pass. No cameras are allowed. Special arrangements had to be made.

First, the Pentagon brass reserved every room in the Holiday Inn. Second, they arranged for daily breakfast, lunch and dinners. No one, outside of the hotel staff, who wasn’t in on, or was going to be in on, what the Supremis are, was going to see the ladies.

The decision to reserve every room was made after I had briefed the ladies. Sharon was thrilled that she wouldn’t have to share a room. Only Xara and I would be sharing a room. Sharon wasn’t thrilled to find out that she wouldn’t be allowed to (discreetly) visit Colonel Moore. She and the colonel talked about this before traveling to Utah, and Sharon understood that the colonel couldn’t risk her career for girlfriend time with one of the Velorians. Sharon understood but didn’t like it. But she did promise Kara that she wouldn’t make trouble for anyone.

We got there and found our rooms, then went to dinner with Colonel Moore. She gave us the details of the units we would meet the next morning.

We weren’t the only ones on the ‘official list’ who were present. But we got the most attention. The waitstaff seemed quite interested in our little party. Five drop-dead gorgeous women, one beautiful woman (Colonel Moore) and me. A really ugly guy.

There were soldiers and airmen of all ranks in the dining room with us. They had been told to keep their distance from the ladies. The Supremis could hear their conversations which resulted in a lot of giggling. Bri-an, Juliet and Sharon were checking the men out, and Sharon was checking the women out too; Kara had to tell them to behave themselves.

The next morning, we headed out to one of the ranges where Colonel Moore and I would do our best to convince men and women who took their jobs very seriously that it was okay to shoot at the blondes.

We rode in a van, the others, the soldiers and airmen, rode in buses. We were all required to give up our phones before we boarded our vehicles.

Sharon saw the van and rolled her eyes so hard I thought they would fall out and roll around on the ground. It wasn’t what you would call a luxury van. It was pretty basic. Colonel Moore drove.

We drove for about half an hour and pulled up in front of a large tent that had been set up. There, much to my surprise, we were met by General Rosenthal. He told Colonel Moore that he would like to make a brief introduction to the soldiers and airmen before she and I took over.

Everyone went into the tent except the Supremis. They stayed in the van to change into their flight suits, then waited outside the tent.

Inside the tent, Colonel Moore called attention as General Rosenthal walked up onto a raised platform. He told those gathered to sit down.

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” he began, “what I am about to tell you is top secret. You are going to participate in an exercise this week meant to demonstrate to our Canadian friends, and to some members of our government, that our planet is under a great threat from extraterrestrials.”

That set the entire room abuzz. The General let this continue for a while before raising his hands to call for silence.

“You find this hard to believe. Once I did too. But after today, you will believe it. Colonel Moore”

General Rosenthal sat down, and Colonel Moore stood up.

“Any record made of your activities here this week will be considered top secret. You are not to speak of what you do here, or what you see or learn, to anyone. Do you understand?”

The room murmured its agreement.

“We are not alone in our galaxy. There are two warring factions. One of these factions is attempting to take over our planet. They have successfully taken over other planets, other civilizations, using the most brutal methods they have at their disposal. Staff Seargent Ricci will describe this to you.”

I stood up. Colonel Moore handed me a laser pointer and started a projector. She and I had put together a slide show from the pictures I brought back from Xanadu.

“This is Staff Seargent Ricci,” she explained. “Please pay attention to his presentation.”

“Our enemy,” I said, “has advanced weapons. And they themselves have advanced physiques. They fight to the death and take no prisoners. This is what they did on another planet.”

I showed them the bodies burned and rotting in the cities and the destruction around those bodies. I showed them the school where the children had been gassed. I showed them the field of battle where hundreds of Xanadusians had lost their lives killing a few Arion Betas.

“This is the body of one dead alien. There were several more like it. Note the number of wounds. These wounds were made by a rifle powerful enough to take down deer, elk or bison. It took many hits to bring down one of these aliens.

“The enemy is known as the Arion Empire. There are two types of Arions, called Primes and Betas. The bodies you see here are those of Betas. Besides being much tougher than we are, they are also much stronger.

“The other type of Arion, the Prime, is much stronger, much tougher, and invulnerable to every weapon we have.”

More murmuring. I let it go on until it settled down. A captain raised his hand. I recognized him.

“Staff Seargent, are you saying you have seen these Arions on another planet?”

“Yes, sir, I am.”

“And these Arions are preparing to attack earth?”

“Sir, they are already here. On earth they appear to be attempting to infiltrate our institutions. For reasons I’m not allowed to get into, and that I don’t fully understand myself, earth has special meaning to them, and they want to take us through political and economic means, not open warfare.”

“If they are here, Staff Seargent, how do we find them? How do we fight them?”

Colonel Moore stood up. “The Arions are opposed by an alliance of planets that have their own ‘super soldiers’, and you are going to meet some of them right now.”

And on cue the blondes walked into the tent and onto the platform.

“These women are from the planet Velor, and they are here to protect us from the Arions.”

I swear, if General Rosenthal hadn’t stood up at that moment the tent would have devolved into bedlam. This was hard for the people gathered here to believe. I didn’t blame them.

Colonel Moore turned to Kara. Kara said, “My name is Kara. This is my daughter Xara. This is Bri-an, and this is Juliet. We four are Protectors, it is our job to protect your planet, which we call Terra, from the Arions.

“This is Sharon. Sharon is what we call a Scribe. She is a non-combatant whose role is to document the activities of myself and the other Protectors.”

And then Xara floated two feet into the air, came over and landed next to me and put an arm around me. You could have heard a pin drop.

“Unlike my mother, and the others here, I was born on this planet. I’m a California girl, and Staff Seargent Ricci here is my husband.” And then she kissed me on the cheek.

She’d told me she wanted to show me off. I wasn’t expecting it to happen right then. General Rosenthal had to stand up again to get the room under control. A soldier, a sergeant, raised his hand. General Rosenthal recognized him.

“Sir,” he said, “If any of the other ladies are looking for a husband, I’m ready to volunteer.”

That generated a lot of laughter and more than one man speaking up to throw his hat into the ring. Sharon blew the guy a kiss. The blondes all loved it. General Rosenthal let it go on for a bit, then raised his hands in the air and called for quiet. Everyone sat down.

Colonel Moore began speaking. “The Velorians are here, at Dugway, to demonstrate the power of their species, so our government visitors from our country and Canada can appreciate what we are up against. And this is where you come in.

“Your job will be to try to kill Kara and Xara using small arms, heavy arms and air power. I assure you; you will not be able to harm them.”

Hands went up. Colonel Moore recognized an Air Force captain.

“Mam, I’m here with an AC-130 and my crew. Am I to understand that I’m to fire upon these women?”

“That is exactly what you are here for,” replied the Colonel.

Bedlam. They couldn’t believe it. Xara said she overheard more than one soldier or airman say that he would refuse the order.

General Rosenthal looked to me. I stood up and asked for order.

“I understand your reluctance. So I am going to demonstrate for you, today, that you cannot harm any of these women.”

A captain raised his hand and asked, “How exactly are you going to do that, Staff Seargent.”

Before I could answer, Xara stepped forward and said, “Like this.”

She had a service pistol in her hand. I didn’t know where she got it. She told me afterward that she had worked it out with Colonel Moore, who had provided the weapon.

Xara held the pistol up, ejected the magazine and showed that it was loaded, replaced the magazine, racked a round into the chamber, stuck the barrel in her mouth and pulled the trigger.

To say the room was shocked was an understatement. But there stood Xara, unharmed. Everyone heard the report, everyone knew there was at least a blank in the chamber, if not a live round.

Xara blew smoke out of her mouth and spit the spent bullet into her hand, then made a sour face and said, “Yuk! I had no idea it would taste that bad.”

And then she tossed the bullet, or what was left of it, to the captain who piloted the AC-130 (he happened to be in the front row.) He examined it and passed it to the man next to him. I think that spent bullet made its way through the entire group. I think it did. We never saw it again; someone took home a souvenir.

The room was quiet again, though there was a lot of nervous shuffling going on.

“Gentlemen and ladies,” announced Colonel Moore, “please board your busses for the next phase of your orientation.”

Everyone got onto their buses. I got into the van again with the ladies and we drove a few miles out to a firing range. We disembarked and Colonel Moore directed the soldiers and airmen up onto viewing stands that had been set up. After everyone was settled the ladies slowly ascended about twenty feet into the air. Kara and Xara flew out about 50 feet and landed. Juliet and Bri-an hovered about 100 feet off the ground, half way between me and Kara and Xara. Sharon went to the viewing stand. There were cameras set up and big screens, big bright screens, they had to be, the Utah sun is bright, so everyone could see what was happening with Kara and Xara.

Colonel Moore addressed everyone over a PA system. “For the purposes of the demonstration, Kara and Xara will be the targets. They will be your targets. Juliet and Bri-an will act as range safety officers. Their job is to make sure that none of us, none of us Terrans, as they call us, are ever in any danger. Sharon here will be describing what is happening and what Kara and Xara are doing.”

The Colonel put down her mic and nodded to me. I had a table with a number of weapons laid out. I picked up an M4, loaded it, took aim, and sent three round bursts down range, alternating between Kara and Xara. I could hear the crowd murmuring behind me, and over them, Sharon describing in detail what was happening to the rounds that hit Kara and Xara.

Every round I fired hit and either bounced or ricocheted off my wife and mother-in-law.

Next, I picked up a .50 caliber sniper rifle. Damn that thing made a lot of noise. I fired twice at each lady. When I fired my second shot at Xara, she turned to the side and let the round pass her, then disappeared in a blur and came back and handed the round to me. I turned and held it up for the spectators to see. They were amazed.

Then Xara picked two grenades up from the table and flew out to Kara. The two of them moved to a position 150 feet away from me. They held up their grenades for everyone to see, then, still holding them above their heads, pulled the pins. A few seconds later the grenades exploded. Almost immediately Bri-an and Juliet flew down between me and the ladies. They returned to the viewing stand and showed everyone that they had caught the shrapnel that was heading in their direction. The viewing stand was far enough back to avoid the shrapnel, but they wanted to make the point that they could keep everyone safe.

Sharon, who had been keeping up a steady narration until then, said, “We’ll take your questions now,” as the other four Velorians flew back to the viewing stand.

The questions started coming loud and fast. Sharon giggled and said, “One at a time. I’ll call on you.”

All the hands went up. Sharon pointed to someone who stood up and asked, “Staff Seargent, what is it like being married to a superwoman?”

I chuckled and said, “It’s an adventure.” That got some laughs. Then Xara said, “For the fellow who wondered what it’s like to fuck me, it’s spectacular.”

There was stunned silence for a few seconds, and then all the blondes started giggling. I raised my hand for quiet, and when I got it, I said, “One of the challenges of being married to one of these women is that their hearing is just as super as the rest of them. They can hear every whisper. Both sides of a telephone conversation.” I wasn’t going to tell them about the connection. We, and by we I mean the blondes and I, had decided to keep that between ourselves. Colonel Moore knew about it, but she agreed to keep it out of the ‘official record’ too.

Sharon recognized another questioner. “Are you like Supergirl from the comics?”

“Close,” she answered, “there are some differences. We don’t have a kryptonite that can harm us.”

The questions went on for about half an hour. How strong are they? How fast can they fly? What other abilities do you have? For that one, Sharon smiled and said, “You’ll see at the demonstration.” Are the Arions like you? Sharon explained that Arions can’t fly, that except for that the Primes are much like the Velorians, and the Betas are weaker, but much faster and stronger than Terrans.

Then a corporal, a woman, asked, “Can I shoot you?”

Sharon rose up into the air, floated to her, picked her up and floated back to the table with the weapons and set her down and said, “Take your pick.” Then flew out 50 yards away.

The corporal picked up the M4, put in a magazine and charged the weapon, then pointed it at Sharon and emptied the magazine. Sharon, for her part, danced in the stream of bullets, at one point pulling down her flight suit to expose a nipple and pointed to it. The corporal hit it. I mean, she wasn’t that good a shot, but Sharon made sure she hit it. Of course, the cameras caught it all.

The guys all loved it. So did the women.

At that point Colonel Moore ordered everyone back onto their buses. I got into the van with the ladies. While Colonel Moore drove us back to the hotel the ladies changed into shorts and halter tops. The halter tops didn’t hide much. I knew none of the soldiers and airmen would object.

At lunch the ladies all sat at different tables and talked to the men and women who would be trying to kill them in a couple of days. Kara believed, and she was right, that familiarity would help reduce the anxiety the military people would have at shooting at friendlies. Very beautiful, very feminine friendlies.

Xara sat next to me at my table and made a point of holding my hand or putting her arm around me.

After lunch all the military people left for conference rooms, depending on their role, to get briefed on their assignments. Kara and Xara rotated through the rooms to take questions and help clarify what they were expecting. I was in the room with the armored group when Kara and Xara told them what they would do to their M60s and M113s when they had shot off all their ammunition. They were amazed, bordering on incredulous. Xara asked them if they had any loose change they wouldn’t mind losing.

Everyone dug into their pockets and gave her their pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Enough that she had to cup her hands to hold them all. Which she did, and then she folded her hands over and mashed all the coins together into one amorphous chunk of metal. Then she rolled it and smoothed it into a ball.

She passed it around for everyone to see. When it got back to her, she asked everyone to stand back a few feet. She looked at the chunk of metal in her hands and in a matter of seconds it was red hot.

“That was done with my heat vision. We call it that, but it is more than that. We can emit a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum through our eyes at very, very high energies, and we can collimate the beams. If I had kept going, I would have melted this, but I didn’t want to risk some of it bubbling over onto the floor.”

She let it cool then broke it into little chunks that she gave away as souvenirs.

After their briefing everyone left on buses again to look at the range and build their plans. The ladies changed back into their flight suits and flew out. I rode in the van with Colonel Moore. Xara offered to fly me but I declined. I thought she had made her point that I was her husband, and she was my wife, and I didn’t want to over emphasize the point. Yeah, I know. That isn’t something you can overemphasize, but at the time I thought it best to get just a little bit of separation between us. She understood.

After an afternoon looking at the range and settling plans we returned to the hotel for dinner. Again, the ladies sat at different tables with the men and women and Xara sat at a table with me.

The pilot of the AC-130 was at our table, and he had a lot of questions for Xara about how, exactly, the ladies were able to fly. She described the Volatia that reside under Velorians breasts as biological propulsion organs. He asked how fast she can fly. She said she didn’t know.

“In the atmosphere at low altitudes I have to be careful about creating a sonic boom. That could be very disruptive. Outside of the atmosphere I have accelerated to relativistic speeds, but at some point, I always stop, if for no other reason than to get home in time for dinner,” she said that with a smile and the officer chuckled, “accelerating hard in one direction means accelerating hard in the opposite direction when it comes time to return.”

“How do you breathe outside our atmosphere,” the captain asked.

“We don’t need to breathe,” replied Xara.

“Do you have lungs?”

“Yes, we do.”

“You evolved with lungs, but you don’t need them, so they just stayed around, like an appendix?”

“We didn’t evolve,” responded Xara, “we were designed. Our designers took people from this planet and modified them into … us. And our species, the Supremis, the Velorians and the Arions, look to this planet as the place of our origin. Our roots. And it is special to us.”

“It’s special, and the Arions want it?”

“They want the planet and its resources and its population. And we Protectors pledge to keep that from happening."

“How did you and Staff Seargent Ricci meet?” he asked.

“We don’t talk about that,” said Xara. “It’s a very sensitive topic.”

“Sensitive? How?”

“I’m sorry Captain,” she replied. “It isn’t something we talk about.”

He stopped asking questions after that and just made small talk with us. Or rather with Xara.

As people left the dining room they were given back their cell phones. Even the blondes had to give up theirs earlier in the day.

We saw Sharon take hers and then head to her room, which was next to our room. When Xara and I got to our room I started to talk to her and she hushed me.

“She’s talking to Deb,” Xara said to me in the connection, “and they’re fighting.”

“What are they fighting about?”

“Sarah.”

“I don’t want to know!”

We heard Sharon leave her room. Xara watched her, through the walls. “She’s going to Sarah’s room.

“Sarah let her in. They’re undressing each other.”

“Geez, Xara, please stop with the play by play. I don’t want to know. I don’t want to be in the middle of all the drama.”

“Are you sure Joe? It’s hot!”

Xara isn’t bisexual. At least she’s never shown any tendencies that she is. But like all Velorians, at least all I’ve met, anything and everything having to do with sex gets their motor running. Xara was emitting pheromones, and I was getting turned on. Next thing I knew I was on my back on the bed, Xara was nude, and she was undressing me.

Sometime during the night Xara woke me.

“Knock, knock.”

“Come in.”

“Sharon went back to her room.”

“That’s nice. Let’s go back to sleep.”

“They had an argument.”

“Who had an argument?”

“Sharon and Sarah. After they were done having sex. They had an argument.”

“Do I have to hear about it?”

“Yes. They were arguing over Deb. Then Sarah asked what is so special about you and Sharon got very calm and said, ‘he saved my life, that’s what’s so special about him,’ then dressed and went back to her room.”

“Sharon said that? That’s supposed to be a secret. Isn’t it?”

“Yes. Mom will not be happy.”

“Maybe we shouldn’t tell her.”

“Darling, I love you, but sometimes you can be so dense. If I heard it, mom heard it.”

“Xara, why do I have to hear about this?”

“It might affect you. Don’t you want to know about stuff that might come back on you?”

I sat up in bed. I opened my mouth to speak, and Xara put a finger to my lips to hush me. “Sharon can hear us. Keep it in the connection.”

“Xara, I don’t like being part of their drama. Colonel Moore is unhappy enough that your mom is making her go through me all the time now.”

“Do you want that to change?”

“No, for me, it’s better this way. I just don’t want to get involved in anything that is going to make my superior officer more unhappy with me.”

“Mom won’t let her do anything to damage your career, Joe.”

“I don’t want it to get to the point where I need Kara’s help with the Colonel. It makes for bad feelings all around.”

“I know. Go back to sleep darling.”

Too late for that. I didn’t get back to sleep. Xara did, but I didn’t.

There are worse things to do at night than looking at the beautiful face of a sleeping Velorian goddess.

Chapter 289

Everyone had to surrender their cell phones again. At breakfast so many people were requesting selfies with the blondes that General Rosenthal decided that he had to step in and confiscate them. Kara asked to address the room. Colonel Moore made sure everyone was in it, and that meant rousting more than one person out of bed. And she was in a foul mood, no doubt due to her argument with Sharon. She wouldn’t make eye contact with me, and I wasn’t going to go near her, if I could help it, until her mood improved.

“We understand that you’d like to have pictures with us,” Kara began. “But we can’t take the chance that any of them will end up on social media. As you’ve noticed, our appearance is quite distinctive.”

That drew laughter. “Quite distinctive” is quite an understatement.

“Our Arion enemies know that Velorians are on this planet. If they saw a picture of you with one of us, they would try to extract any information from you that they could. The Arions are both brutal and relentless. You wouldn’t survive the interrogation. For your own safety, please, follow the rules. Keep this exercise confidential. Don’t discuss it with anyone not directly involved in it.”

Then General Rosenthal reinforced the message in a way that only a general can. He mentioned solitary confinement in Supermax more than once. Everyone got it.

After breakfast there was a little bit of time before the units would begin their final briefings and rehearsals and prepping their equipment. During this time Kara called me and the blondes, and Colonel Moore, into a conference room. Kara wasn’t happy but she wasn’t acting angry.

“Sarah, you should know that all the Velorians heard you and Sharon last night. While we don’t mean to eavesdrop, keep in mind that when Velorians are nearby you need to adjust your concept of personal privacy. Frankly, by now I thought you would be aware of that.”

“I am,” replied Colonel Moore.

Kara nodded and said, “Sharon shared with you something she should not have. As you are aware, my agreement with your government states explicitly that questioning our relationship with Joseph is forbidden. It was a breach of protocol for Sharon to tell you what she did.”

Sharon was looking at the floor. She wasn’t making eye contact with anyone, certainly not Kara.

“Since the cat has been let out of the bag,” said Colonel Moore, “I suppose the Staff Seargent here must have saved all your lives.” She meant Kara, Sharon and Xara. “I can’t imagine how that could have happened. How one of us could have saved one of you, let alone three of you.”

“And that,” said Kara, “must remain confidential, and not be shared with you or anyone else. Your life could depend on it.”

“And you two,” meaning Sharon and Colonel Moore, “need to get your problems straightened out. What you do in your relationship is your business, but I will not tolerate Joseph being drawn into the middle of it. Sarah, our relationship with Joseph is very important to us. To all three of us. If that is a problem for you, I will request that you be replaced.”

“It isn’t a problem,” said Colonel Moore. I didn’t believe it. Neither did Dixon and Johnson, but I wasn’t going to say anything.

“Sharon, whatever the problem is between you and Sarah, either fix it or end your relationship.”

Sharon nodded. She still didn’t make eye contact.

“All right, Sarah, you have work to do. Joseph, please stay here. The rest of you may leave.”

She meant the rest of them had to leave.

When we were alone in the room Kara waited until the others were far enough away that they wouldn’t hear us.

“Joseph, if you ever decide you need to be working with someone else tell me and I will see that Sarah is replaced immediately.”

I nodded and said, “I will, Kara. And just so you know, we aren’t there. I just want to do my job without being caught in the Moore, Sharon, Deb drama.”

Kara chuckled and said, “I think it’s the Moore, Sharon, Deb and Joseph drama.”

“Well, I want out of the drama.”

“I’ll talk to Sharon.”

Xara was listening in, in the connection. I felt her reach out and give me a hug. That was … different. Different, but it felt good.

I left the room and immediately ran into Colonel Moore.

“Staff Seargent, we’ve had a request from the Commander of the Dugway Proving Ground. He is asking a favor of the Velorians: He’d like them to police the range, to locate and make safe any undetonated ordnance they can find out there.”

“Yes ma’am. I’ll talk to Kara.”

“Very well Staff Seargent. Let me know what her answer is.”

I looked around and didn’t see Kara. No problem, I still had the special watch she had given me with the ‘page Kara’ function. I pressed the button and 30 seconds later she was there.

I passed along the request, and she thought a moment, then smiled and said, “Yes, we can do that. Tell Colonel Moore that we would like the Commander and any other officers here for the exercise to watch. From a safe distance, of course.”

I found Colonel Moore and gave her Kara’s reply. In an hour I was in a helicopter with the Colonel, the Commander of Dugway Proving Ground, and General Rosenthal. There were two other helicopters with officers who were invited by Rosenthal to observe.

Once we were in the air we followed the blondes, all five of them, out into the desert. After a couple of minutes, Kara turned and hovered in front of our helicopter and gave a prearranged signal that this is as far as we were to proceed. All three helicopters hovered there.

Kara joined the other blondes, then they disappeared in a blur. They were moving so fast we couldn’t see them, but there were explosions happening all over the place. The explosions, at first, were all happening on the ground. Then they started happening in the air!

“Joe, watch this!” said Xara to me in the connection.

Through her eyes I could see what was going on. The ladies were picking up unexploded shells and bombs and throwing them at each other. Sometimes they would explode on contact. If not, there would be a burst of heat vision followed by an explosion.

“What the hell?” asked General Rosenthal.

“Sir,” I said, “I think the ladies got bored and decided to have some fun. They are throwing bombs and shells at each other.”

“I don’t know why they wanted us to watch,” said the Dugway Commander, “but I’m glad they did. This is amazing!”

“Sir,” I replied, “If there is one thing I’ve learned from my association with these ladies, it’s that they love to show off.”

General Rosenthal picked up his binoculars, they were motion stabilized to counter the effects of the chopper’s vibrations, and said, “Oh my God! I can see that now!” And he passed the binoculars around so everyone else could see it.

The explosions stopped, and Kara flew back and hovered in front of us and motioned us to follow her. She flew to another section of the proving ground, signaled for us to stay put, then the process started again.

There was a lot of unexploded ordnance. The helicopters had to turn back because they were running low on fuel before the blondes were finished. As we were heading back, Xara flew up next to the helicopter I was in, which had no doors, matched speed with us and leaned in and gave me a kiss. Then she went back to the game the blondes were playing.

General Rosenthal looked at me and smiled and said, “Ricci, you are one lucky man,” to which I replied, “I tell myself that every day, sir.”

Of course, we were all wearing headsets, so everyone in the helicopter heard the exchange. Colonel Moore turned and looked at me for just a second, and then turned back to looking straight ahead.

Chapter 290

At last the big day had arrived. The day of the demonstration meant to convince the Canadians that extraterrestrials did exist, they were here, and there were two factions, one bent on conquering earth and the other committed to defending it.

There were numerous weapons arrayed against Kara and Xara. The M109A7 Paladin, a self-propelled howitzer. They would shoot at the ladies, but they wouldn’t retaliate against it.

M1A2 Abrams tanks. Again, they would attack the ladies, but the ladies wouldn’t attack them.

M60 tanks. They would shoot off their ammunition and then the crews would abandon them. After that Kara and Xara would attack them. Or as Xara put it to me, play with them.

M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and M113 Armored Personnel Carriers. They would fire their own weapons against the ladies while deploying infantry to join the attack. When they’d shot off their ammunition the infantry, M3s and the M113 crews would retreat, leaving the M113s for the ladies.

There was a bunker set up with mines in front of it and heavy machine guns placed inside. After they shot off their ammunition the soldiers would abandon the bunker.

After the ladies had dealt with the bunker A10 Warthogs would attack them with missiles and gatling guns. Followed by an attack from an AC-130. Then the ladies would take to the air and would be attacked by F-16s. The ladies would either avoid the missiles from the F-16s or take the hits, then attack them. The F-16s were to do anything and everything to avoid being ‘tagged’ by the ladies. Tagged as in a game of tag. The ladies would fly up and tap on the canopies.

Okay, so what is the point of the air to air combat? Arions can’t fly. Kara explained that, but no one questioned why the F-16s were involved. Well, I knew the answer. The F-16s were involved because Kara and Xara wanted to show off. No one from the military objected because they wanted to see it.

The same viewing stand as before was used. There were high resolution cameras set up and the gun cameras in the aircraft were modified to transmit their video.

The Secretary of Defense opened by explaining to those gathered pretty much what had been laid out to the troops a few days earlier. That extraterrestrials exist, that there is a threat, that we have allies. He described the capabilities of friend and foe, and there were more than a few expressions of disbelief from the crowd.

All the blondes came to the viewing stand and the Secretary of Defense introduced Kara. Kara introduced the rest of the blondes. I wasn’t introduced, but I knew Xara would find a way to take care of that later. I didn’t want her to do that. I didn’t ask her to do that. But she was going to. I didn’t even try to argue with her. And honestly, to have a wife like that, with that kind of beauty and power who wants to show off her husband … I didn’t object, at least not out loud, or in my thoughts when I thought she might be listening in. So maybe, if I’m being honest, I did want her to do that.

Kara and Xara took their places out on the range. Sharon was in the stands, mic’d up to the PA system and wearing her flight suit. She would describe what was happening.

Juliet and Bri-an were overhead watching out to make sure none of the Terrans were harmed.

There was a contingent of about 50 Canadians. There were twice that number of American government personnel, civilians, along with the military observers.

It started with the tanks and artillery attacking Kara and Xara. They advanced firing round after round at them and engaged them with machine guns. Of course, the explosions from the artillery and tank rounds raised a lot of dust and obscured the view, so Kara and Xara simply floated up above it so everyone could see, on the screens or with binoculars, that they were unhurt. Sharon, on the other hand, could see through the smoke and the dust, so she just kept on with her narration, describing what she could see.

It drew gasps, followed by oohs and ahs when the people in the stands could see the tracers hitting the ladies, and they didn’t even budge. There were no more disbelievers.

Now if this attack had been against Arions, even Primes, they would have been knocked all over the place. They can’t fly. Kara and Xara used their flight power to stay in place. But no one brought that up, and if it had been Primes, they could have counter attacked and avoided the incoming fire.

The tanks and artillery shot off their ammunition and withdrew, except for the M60s. Their crews abandoned their vehicles and retreated on foot. And that is where we had the first, and only, casualty. One of the M60 crewman climbed out of the turret, jumped down onto the deck of the tank, and then broke an ankle jumping down to the ground. He got up and started hobbling, his crew saw that and turned back to help him but before they got to him, he was in Bri-an’s arms being flown back to the aid station that had been set up at the viewing stand. I talked to him later. He said he’d gladly break the other ankle to get another ride like that. He said he’d break an arm too if that would get him a date with Bri-an. I understood.

Next came the M3s and the M113s. They fired on the blondes as they approached, and then disgorged their troops who fanned out and opened fire. When everyone was out of ammo the troops climbed into or onto the M3s and retreated, leaving the empty M113s.

There were four M60 tanks. Kara and Xara each attacked one with their heat vision. There was no ammo left to cook off but they had fuel in their tanks and there were combustibles aboard. Looking at the screens, we could see the tanks begin to glow red, which was something because the sun was bright, and then the barrels of their main guns started to sag and then their fuel tanks blew. Flames rose from the tanks as their bodies started to sag and melt. Kara stopped. Xara greatly intensified her attack and in seconds her tank was just a molten mass of steel.

Then I found out what Xara meant when she said they were going to ‘play’ with the tanks. They each went to one of the two remaining tanks and using a combination of their strength and flight powers lifted the front of the tanks then worked their way to their center of gravity and picked the tanks up, completely off the ground and balanced on their hands over their heads.

Next Xara showed me what she was doing, in the connection. She dug into the steel at the bottom of the hull of her tank so she could grip it. Then she tilted it back, just a little bit, and threw it at Kara. Kara did the same and the tanks rose into a shallow arc and smashed into each other.

Both tanks landed right side up on their treads. Dented for sure but I’m not sure they were destroyed. Then, they each approached their tank and began shoving their arms into the steel and pulling out chunks. Xara jumped up on the deck of her tank and made a show of tearing apart the turret. There was no doubt what would have been the fate of the crew if they had been in there and she decided to kill them.

Kara, for her part, jumped up on the deck of her tank and buried her fingers into the steel where the turret met the main deck, and pulled it off and onto the ground. Then she jumped down, grabbed the main gun of the tank and used it as a lever to pummel the turret into what was left of the deck.

There were two M113s. The ladies simply ran towards them and through them. The M113s tried to slide back on their treads but the ladies had the advantage of kinetic energy and momentum and crashed through the front armor of the vehicles. Then they tore them apart from the inside. And just for good measure punctured their fuel tanks and ignited the fuel.

Then they tidied up. They picked up the vehicles, and the scraps of vehicles, and piled them onto the molten remains of the M60 Xara had melted.

Next up was the bunker. The ladies advanced on the bunker on foot. The gun crews opened up on them and we could see, on the big screens, tracers reaching out and hitting them. The ladies never slowed down, they just kept advancing at a brisk pace. About 100 yards out from the bunker they stopped and waited for the gun crews to run out of ammunition. When they did the crews exited out the back of the bunker.

Kara and Xara didn’t have to wait for them to clear the area. Juliet and Bri-an, who were getting bored watching the action, swooped down and picked up the soldiers, two at a time, and flew them back to their assembly area. Two trips later and everyone was safe. We could all hear the whooping and hollering from the soldiers back in the assembly area cheering for Juliet, Bri-an, and their very willing passengers.

There were mines buried in front of the bunker. Kara and Xara located them effortlessly and just as effortlessly set them off, either by using heat vision or just stomping on them. Then, like the M113s, they just ran at the bunker and through the front wall. Reinforced concrete was flying everywhere. They pummeled the bunkers into dust and rebar.

The bunker had been built into a small hill or rise in the ground. They went to the highest point of it, which wasn’t all that high, and waited. Two A10 Warthogs attacked them, first firing hellfire missiles, which didn’t dislodge the ladies from their perch. While the Warthogs were coming around for their second attack Kara and Xara repositioned themselves a few yards behind the pile of wrecked armor. The A10s came in with their gatling guns, which ripped through the steel of the destroyed armored vehicles, and then just bounced off or flattened against the Velorians. That was spectacular, because the observers could see how devastating the depleted uranium rounds were against armor yet did nothing to the Supremis. Now, again, against Arions the results would have been different. I have no doubt the rounds would have gone through and killed Betas. Primes would have been knocked on their ass. But because Xara and Kara have Velorian Volatia organs they can use their flight powers to remain stationary, absorbing the full force of the attacks with their bodies.

As the A10s came around for their third and final run at the ladies, Xara rose up into the air about 100 feet. One of the A10s concentrated on her, the other on Kara.

As the A10s opened up on them, Xara suddenly disappeared. Then reappeared about 100 yards away from where she had started from. The camera operators caught up to her and it appeared she was holding something. After the A10s completed their run Xara flew up a couple of hundred feet then flew towards the viewing stand. No one knew what she was up to. When she got close, she changed course and flew straight to me and landed in front of me. She handed me a PGU-14/B depleted uranium Armor Piercing Incendiary round.

I’d never held one. It weighed less than a pound.

“They were firing two types of bullets at us,” she said, “the other one is explosive, I didn’t think it would be safe for you. This one breaks up on contact and burns but doesn’t explode. I let it pass me then caught up with it.”

She leaned forward and kissed me on the mouth and said, “It’s a souvenir for you.”

Then she flew back to where Kara was standing.

I was standing on the ground, below the viewing stand. Everyone saw. Everyone was wondering what was going one. Then I heard Sharon say, “The young man Xara kissed is her husband and Kara’s son-in-law, Staff Seargent Joseph Ricci.”

That raised a murmur with the crowd, but Sharon quieted them down when she said, “The AC-130 is about to begin its attack.”

As the attack started Xara said to me, in the connection, “Are you mad at me for doing that?”

“No,” I replied, “not at all.”

“Oh good! Do you want to see what I’m seeing?”

“Hell yeah!”

“Okay. Sit down so you don’t get disoriented.”

I sat down.

The AC-130 is a close air support system. It’s a variant of the C-130 Hercules transport. It has three guns that stick out of the left side of it. A 25mm Gatling gun, a 40mm Bofors autocannon which, surprisingly, was designed in the 1930s. And if that wasn’t enough, it also has a 105mm howitzer.

The AC-130 rotated around the ladies several times, firing off its weapons. It raised a lot of smoke and dust, which obscured the view of the ladies, but it was obvious to all watching that no one could have survived an attack like that. And then, when the AC-130 left, Kara and Xara floated up above the dust and the smoke and waived at one of the cameras. The people on the viewing stand broke out into cheering and applause. It was amazing to see. For just a second, I thought they had forgotten about me, but when the applause and cheering died down, I turned to look and saw more than a few people looking and pointing at me.

Oh, the pile of armor that the ladies had been standing on or behind was just splintered metal. Nothing much was left of it.

Sharon came on over the PA System. “Next Kara and Xara are going to engage in a dog fight with four F-16s. The gun cameras of the F-16s have been modified to broadcast what the pilots are seeing. The Air Force tested this system, and it worked well, but it will take quite a bit of piloting skill to keep Kara and Xara in their sights.

“But I’ll be able to see what is happening, and I’ll describe it to you.”

As was prearranged, the F-16s flew low over the viewing stand and then went to altitude.

“By mutual agreement,” said Sharon, “the Velorians and Air Force F-16s will not fly below 3,000 feet. This is for safety. Your safety and the pilots, not the Velorians.”

The F-15s went to an altitude of about 8,000 feet, and the cameras on the ground began tracking them. Sharon came back on the PA.

“We Velorians have a very small radar profile. But we can tense our muscles and make our bodies hot, hot enough for the F-16s infrared sensors to detect us.”

And then one of the screens showed the infrared signal the F-16s saw. Two warm bodies, flying together. One of the F-16s fired a heat seeking missile at the ladies. They saw it and one went up and right and the other went up and left. The missile made a decision and followed whichever one went up and right. It caught up and detonated and the view in the screen became over exposed for a few seconds, and then, when it did whatever it did to reach equilibrium, you could see the heat signature of the Velorian it had attacked.

One of the other F-16s followed the Velorian who had gone up and left. It fired its missile, and it began to overtake her, but then it didn’t get any closer. The Vel had increased her velocity to match the missile and she started flying around, juking left and right, up and down and the missile followed her but didn’t get any closer.

All this moving and juking was too hard for the cameras and sensors to follow. All we could see was the smoke trail from the missile. Sharon described what was happening. Finally, the missile ran out of fuel and began falling to the ground. At that point either Kara or Xara detonated it with a blast of heat vision.

The ladies flew back until they were right in front of the F-16s about 100 feet or so away and then went from a horizontal position in the air to a vertical position. So it was like they were standing up in front of the jets, flying backwards at the same speed of the jets. Then one went left, the other went right, and two F-16’s followed each of them.

“I’ve been notified,” Sharon said, “that the pilots are going to attempt to follow the ladies and fire on them again.”

Almost as if they had heard what Sharon said, Kara and Xara began taking evasive action. I sat down again because Xara was showing me what she saw.

The jets tried to follow them and get missile locks, but Kara and Xara literally flew circles around them. Eventually they did get their missile locks, because they fired, but the missiles were never able to catch up with either Velorian. In the connection, Xara said, “Watch this!” and she flew around behind the missile that was trying to kill her and grabbed it. Then she hugged it to her chest, and it burst apart.

Then the ladies started chasing the F-16s. Those pilots did everything they could, (according to Sharon’s narration) to avoid them, but once Kara and Xara were behind them, nothing they could do would shake the Velorians.

At this point someone flipped a switch somewhere and we could hear the F-16 pilots communicating. There were a lot of f-bombs. And then Xara flew up beside one of the jets and tapped the canopy. The pilot had been looking over his other shoulder trying to find her and let out a series of expletives, many starting with the letter ‘f’, and announced to his buddies that he was leaving as he’d just been killed.

This was repeated one more time by Xara and twice by Kara, with fewer expletives, I think someone told the pilots they were on speaker phone, and the pilots all left to land.

Then Sharon put down her mike and rose into the air and met the other four who all hovered, in a line about 20 feet above the viewing stands, holding hands, and took a bow, like you’d see in a theater. The crowd went wild. They loved it!

Then the ladies all landed and the crowd came down out of the stand to talk to them and ask questions. They would have asked for selfies too, but, again, no phones were allowed.

Bri-an separated herself from the group and flew over to the aid station to check on the soldier who broke his ankle. He, the soldier, told me later that he gave her his number and she promised to call him.

Chapter 291

Between Colonel Moore, General Rosenthal and SecDef the crowd was herded into buses and brought to a building with an auditorium. I rode in the van with Colonel Moore. The ladies flew. Everyone went in and when they were seated, the Velorians came in and Kara began her presentation.

She gave a brief history of the Arion war of conquest, leaving out the history of the Arion conflict with the Velorians. I don’t really know anything about that, the ladies always manage to change the subject when I ask, and for whatever reason, it didn’t occur to anyone in the auditorium to ask about it.

She showed some of my slides, of the photos I’d taken on Xanadu. She said that while the heavy weapons she and Xara faced that day would kill a Beta, small arms fire would have to be massed to be effective. She illustrated this with the photo of a dead Beta surrounded by dead Xanadusians. And she emphasized that none of the weapons would be effective against a Prime. She stressed that if they found someone they suspected of being an Arion they should contact her, through Colonel Moore, and let her and her team handle it.

Without going into a lot of detail she described the Arion operations she had broken up on earth, or Terra as she calls our planet. She noted that the Arions are being more subtle on Terra than they had anywhere else and explained that because the Supremis were developed from ancient Terrans, this planet holds a special place in the mythology of both Velor and Aria.

She opened the floor for questions. All the hands went up. She picked someone at random.

“Kara, how did your daughter meet Staff Seargent Ricci?”

She smiled and, I’m sure in her mind, deftly sidestepped the question. From the look on her face, I knew she was proud of giving a non-answer. She recognized the next person.

“Did Xara and the Staff Seargent go to school together?” Next question, “Did you approve of their marriage?” Next question, “Can they have children together?”

That she answered. “No, Velorians cannot have children with Terrans. Our biology prevents it. Terran sperm cannot penetrate Velorian ova.”

And then, “I know you are all curious about the relationship between my daughter and son-in-law. The details of how they met, how we met the Staff Seargent, are confidential and we will not discuss them.”

She said that last rather forcefully. That brought the questions back to the nature of the Arion threat. But there were other questions too.

“Was that a Velorian or Arion spaceship that crashed at Roswell?”

Kara floated up above the floor and said, “No. We don’t need spaceships, and to my knowledge no Arion ships have crashed on this planet.”

“But it could have been Arion, right?”

“I doubt it,” Kara replied.

And then someone on the Canadian side got serious.

“We understand you and the U.S. Government think there may be Arions operating in Canada? Have any been here before this?”

“Yes,” replied Kara, “and I’m happy to tell you about it in a more confidential setting.”

This was a very confidential setting, but Kara wanted to limit the number of ears getting certain details.

General Rosenthal ended the meeting with an announcement that the buses were ready to take everyone back to the hotel and a reminder that dinner would be in this auditorium in two hours.

Colonel Moore and I waited in the van while the Velorians changed out of their flight suits.

“Xara made sure you got a lot of attention,” said the Major.

“Yes, ma’am, she did. She’d said beforehand that she wanted to show me off. I wasn’t sure what she had in mind. I guess I know now.”

“It didn’t occur to you to give me a heads up?”

“No ma’am, it didn’t. Does the Colonel think she could have done anything about it if she did have a heads up?”

She sighed and said, “No, Staff Seargent, I don’t suppose I could have.”

The ladies came out of the building and piled into the van. Bri-an was talking about the “nice young soldier who broke his ankle. He gave me his number and I promised I’d call him.”

Colonel Moore didn’t approve. She didn’t say anything, but her knuckles were turning white as she gripped the steering wheel. Kara noticed.

“Bri-an,” Kara said, “we should talk to Sarah about the appropriateness of you forming a relationship with a soldier.”

“Really?” asked Bri-an. “Sarah, if you have any concerns I’ll listen to them. But I did promise to call him, and I don’t break my promises. Beyond that I’m open to hearing your concerns.”

Colonel Moore nodded and said, “Thank you, Bri-an. We should have a conversation.”

Meanwhile, Xara had an arm around me and was practically sitting in my lap.

“Joe, that was so much fun! You should have seen the reaction that first pilot had when I tapped on his canopy.”

“I heard his reaction. We had them on the PA system.”

Then she whispered in my ear, “We have nearly two hours before dinner. You have no idea how destroying all that equipment and showing those Terrans how helpless they are against me turns me on.”

I knew what that meant. Colonel Moore didn’t hear what she said, but the Velorians did, and they giggled.

“Am I missing something?” asked the Colonel.

“Xara built up a lot of sexual energy today that she’s going to work off with Joe,” said Juliet. And they giggled again.

“Too much information,” said Colonel Moore, sounding exasperated.

That only made the giggling worse.

But that statement, about how helpless we are against her, stayed with me. Xara can be scary sometimes. But it also turned me on, knowing that a goddess capable of so much destruction with so little effort wanted me.

We got back to the hotel and Xara took me by the hand and all but dragged me to our room. She undressed in a hurry, and for a Velorian, that’s saying something, then she started to help me undress.

“Xara! Let me do it, you’ll destroy my clothes!”

“Then hurry the fu..” she began, but was interrupted by a knock on our door.

“It’s mom,” she said. “She wants to join us.”

Xara opened the door and said, “He’s mine mom. Maybe tonight.”

Now that was new. Xara had always been willing to have a threesome or foursome with Kara and Sharon. Hell, she’d scold me if I objected.

“Then give me that damn bullet!” Kara said.

Xara took the depleted uranium bullet off the table I had set it on and gave it to her mother then shut the door. Less than 30 seconds later the building was shaken by a sonic boom.

My clothes were off, and I reached out for Xara. She said, “Darling, I can’t wait for you.”

Then she hit me with the strongest dose of pheromones I’d ever experienced, from any of the Velorians. I was turned on. I was hard. I couldn’t think of anything except fucking the woman in front of me.

By the time I got that thought out she wasn’t in front of me anymore. She was on top of me, and I was on the bed. I don’t remember how I got there.

I was thrusting up into her as hard and as fast as I could. She was matching my movements, going down when I was going up and going up when I was going down. She started going faster. I couldn’t keep up, so she put her hands under my hips to help me. That became awkward, so she rolled us over, so I was on top, and she grasped me by my hips and used me like a Raggedy Andy doll with an erection.

I was about to orgasm, so she rolled us over again so she was on top and then squeezed me so I couldn’t ejaculate. That forced her to shorten her strokes and slow down. When her first orgasm came, she relaxed her grip and I started to scream out my orgasm. She put her hand over my mouth to muffle the scream and said, with a laugh, “We don’t want the neighbors to hear.”

The pheromones kept coming and I stayed hard and kept going. I don’t know for how long. Wait, yes, I do. I looked at the clock when Kara knocked on the door and we finished in time to shower and dress for dinner. So we must have going on for an hour, maybe an hour and a quarter. We’ve had longer love making sessions than that, but except for that time on Xanadu, never anything that intense.

When she was satisfied, Xara opened up the sliding glass door of our room and the pheromones dispersed, and I gradually came to my senses.

“What just happened?” I asked.

“You don’t remember?”

“I do, but I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that before.”

“Joe, I was so turned on, I had to … oh, darling, you’re bruised.”

I stood up and looked in the mirror. I had purple blotches forming on my hips.

“Do they hurt?” she asked.

I poked at one. Yeah, they hurt.

“They do if I poke them,” I said.

“Showing off your powers got you that excited?” I asked.

“It was more than showing off my powers. What I said before, about Terrans being helpless against me, that was a big turn on. But it’s more than that. I felt like a goddess among insignificant little insects that I could crush without even knowing they were there.”

“You see us as insects?”

“No, darling. But in the moment … it does feel that way. And it is sexual. You wouldn’t believe how sexual that feeling is.”

“Um, Xara, I think I just experienced that.”

She laughed and said, “We can talk about this more later if you want. We need to get ready for dinner.”

“Just then there was a knock at the door.”

“It’s mom, she’s returning the bullet.”

Xara opened the door and Kara handed her the bullet. Xara closed the door and held out the bullet to show me and laughed. It looked like it had been bent out of shape and someone had taken a hammer to it, or maybe a blow torch and a hammer, and tried to straighten it out.

“Did she wreck it, then try to fix it?” I asked.

“I think so,” said Xara. And then she giggled.

We showered together. We soaped each other up and down and she was very gentle around my hips. For a second or two I thought she wanted another go there in the shower, but she didn’t.

The dinner was a dress up affair. I brought my Class A uniform. Xara brought a shear, slinky red dress that had just enough material in just the right places to just barely cover up her most interesting bits. And, of course, she didn’t wear underwear. The Velorians didn’t really understand the concept, they thought is was redundant. She also had a small matching clutch.

We met the other ladies in the lobby of the hotel before getting into the van to drive back to the auditorium for dinner. Their attire resembled Xara's, more or less. And they all had matching clutches. Dixon wondered who spent their time making sure handbags and clutches matched elegant gowns. Johnson said there is probably a lot of money in it.

Colonel Moore, who was dressed in her Class A uniform stopped and just looked at the ladies.

“I’m not sure what the General and Secretary of Defense are going to say about your choice in evening wear,” she said.

Kara said, “They both know what to expect, Sarah.”

“They do?”

“I’ve been to formal occasions with both of them, and their wives,” she answered. And then instead of filling in the details, she left us hanging.

As we walked out of the lobby Sharon leaned down to the Colonel and said, “So have I.” Johnson, Dixon and I thought Sharon was just messing with the Colonel, but with Sharon you could never know.

We got into the van, which had been cleaned since using it earlier in the day, and the Colonel pulled onto the road to drive us to the auditorium. Kara looked at me, and then said to Xara, “I thought you learned your lesson on Xanadu.”

Sharon then looked at me and said, “Xara, the last time your mother bruised him you ripped her a new one.”

Colonel Moore asked, “What’s going on?”

Juliet said, “Xara injured Joe during sex. He has bruises.”

“So they like rough sex, what’s the big deal?” the Colonel asked.

“Terrans can be as rough with us as they like,” replied Bri-an, “they can’t hurt us. But we do not hurt Terrans during sex. We are trained not to. And we especially would not hurt a Kiraling.”

Xara was looking down, not making eye contact with anyone. She wasn’t talking to me in the connection either.

Kara opened her mouth to speak again, but I cut her off. “Enough! This is between me and Xara, husband and wife. We’ve had this discussion before. Xara and I will handle this, in private. And I’m sure the Colonel doesn’t want to listen to us discussing what we do behind closed doors.”

Dixon said, “I bet she does.”

Johnson agreed with him.

In the connection, Xara asked, “Are you angry with me?”

“A little bit. We’ll discuss it later. Let’s enjoy our dinner.”

She leaned into me and put her head on my shoulder. The other Velorians saw that and exchanged glances. I’m sure they were wondering what Xara and I were saying to each other.

Chapter 292

This dinner wasn’t meant for the soldiers and airmen who had been arrayed against my wife and mother-in-law. This was for the Canadians and Americans who had been in the viewing stands. As for the military attendees, I was the only enlisted man there. At one time I would have been nervous and felt out of place. But I have long since learned that when I walk into a room in my dress uniform, with my face that looks the way it does and a Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart on my chest, even the highest ranking officers treat me as if I belong.

Bri-an looked around and when she couldn’t find who she was looking for asked me if the soldier she had cared for that day would be at the dinner.

“No, this is for the Velorians and the people in the stands,” I told her.

She was disappointed.

Dixon said, “That’s going to be one happy son-of-a-bitch when she calls him.”

“Yeah, I almost feel sorry for him,” replied Johnson. Then they started laughing and I had to stop myself from joining in. If Bri-an follows up with him and goes on a date, he’s going to have the time of his life. If she decides she likes him and wants to keep seeing him, he’s going to be holding on for dear life.

“You should warn him,” said Johnson.

“He’d never believe it,” replied Dixon.

I agreed. I could try to explain what he was in for, if Bri-an truly took an interest in him, but I’m not sure he would believe me. And if he did, he wouldn’t be able to do anything about it anyway.

There was an open bar prior to dinner being served. Seating was assigned with no more than one Velorian to a table, but there were more tables than Velorians. Everyone was encouraged to meet the Velorians before dinner. I knew that Xara was about to be surrounded by people who wanted to talk to her, not to me, so I asked her if I could get her something to drink.

She looked at the bar, and then said, “Get me a glass of Pinot Grigio. I’ll find our table.”

So I headed to the bar and was stopped five times. Turns out, people did want to talk to me. The guy who is married to a Velorian is almost as big a celebrity as the Velorians!

“Don’t let it get to your head,” said Dixon.

“Too late,” said Johnson.

Everyone wanted to know what it was like to be married to a Supergirl.

“Well,” I said, “Just look at her. What do you think?”

I must have used that line a dozen times that night, and everyone who heard it, at least the men, laughed and said something to the effect of, “yeah, I get it.” Usually followed by “lucky bastard,” or something like that.

The questions from the women were a little different, and a little more circumspect. I finally realized that they were trying to figure out what is was about me that Xara found attractive. And not in a, “I don’t believe this shit,” kind of way. More like, “He must have something she wants.” The women were all very nice to me and listened to me when I spoke. It was great!

Anyway, I finally got to the bar and got a glass of Pinot for Xara, then went looking for her. The crowd parted just a little bit and I could see that she had General Rosenthal, SecDef and Colonel Moore in a corner, and she was jabbing her finger at them. She didn’t look happy. I made contact with her in the connection.

“Xara, is something wrong?”

“They put us at different tables! I’m telling them to fix it.”

And then she cut me off. The group broke up and Xara came over to me to get her wine. I saw Colonel Moore huddled with a waiter or maître d’ looking at what I suppose was the seating chart. Then the maître d’ changed some cards around at a couple of tables.

When she got over to me, I gave her the wine, and then we were surrounded by a group of men and women, civilian and military, who wanted to know about us. Not Xara. Us!

One woman asked us how we divide up domestic duties. “Does she mean how we decide who’s on top?” Xara asked me in the connection.

“No,” I replied. “She’s talking about housework.”

“Oh,” said Xara, We probably shouldn’t tell them about the robot.”

“I’m a full time student,” said Xara. “I usually take a very heavy class load and have a lot of studying and course work. So Joe does most of the cooking. He is busy at times too, so we have someone who helps with cleaning and laundry.”

They all assumed she was talking about maid service.

“Joe likes to do maintenance on our house and vehicles. Sometimes I’ll help him change the oil in our cars.

“I lift the front of the car up so Joe can get to the oil filter and plug.”

“You lift the car up?” asked one of the civilian women.

“Yes,” replied Xara. “It gives us time together, and I’d worry about Joe getting hurt if a jack failed.

“And one time we had a flat tire. Joe started to get the jack and the tools out of the car, and I told him to just get the spare tire. I unscrewed all the lug nuts by hand then lifted the car up so Joe could take the flat off and put the spare on. Then I tightened the lug nuts with my right hand while holding the car up with my left hand. Joe told me not to tighten them completely until I put the car down. So I left them just a little loose, then set the car down and finished tightening them.

“How long did that take, darling?” she asked me.

“A lot less time than if I did it with the jack,” I replied.

Oh my God, they loved it! She had them eating out of her hand.

“And I told you Joe does the cooking. He’s a very good cook. We’ve had Velorian diplomats to our home and they all raved about the dinners Joe made.”

“You have Velorian diplomats visit you?” asked a woman who, according to her name tag, worked for the State Department.

“Just once,” Xara replied. “Velor sent a diplomat and staff to witness our marriage. So it would be officially recognized on my mom’s home world.”

“Your mom’s home world?” the State Department lady asked.

“Yes,” said Xara. “I was born in California, so I’m a U.S. citizen. But as the child of a Velorian with an off-world assignment, I am also a Velorian citizen.

Then a woman asked the question everyone wanted to hear the answer to.

“What attracted you to Joe?”

Xara thought for a second, then looked at me, then said, “Joe is the most decent person I’ve ever met. And he’s brave. We were having lunch in a little diner once, and there was a disabled veteran bussing tables, his parents owned the diner. A group of big guys came in and were giving him a hard time. Joe got up from our table and confronted them and made them leave him alone.”

She didn’t mention that she, Gloria and Mona had a hand in it.

Xara continued. “I look at Joe, and I see all the trauma he has been through, and how well he handles it, and how well he has treated me since the day we met, and I can’t help being in love with him.

“And he’s the most gentle and unselfish lover I’ve ever had.” Then she sighed and said, “He takes very good care of me.”

And then she kissed me. It was short, but it was good.

One of the military men, a Major, said, “Good for you, Staff Seargent.”

Johnson said, “She doesn’t make love to him. She rapes him.”

And over the connection, “I heard that!”

Then Dixon and Johnson were gone.

The biggest surprise, at least to me, was that the people gathered around us were genuinely interested in us! Not Xara, us, Joe and Xara, as a couple.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the women, but I expected the men to be gawking at Xara. But they weren’t. That wasn’t the experience the other Velorians were having. The men around them were trying to hide it, but they were all undressing the ladies with their eyes. Which didn’t take much, considering what they were wearing. Still, Kara, Juliet and Bri-an managed to keep the conversations centered around the Arion threat, and why Velor had Protectors on Terra.

Sharon … she was lapping up the male attention. And the female attention too, though there wasn’t as much as that. She’d answer serious questions with serious answers, but she was having a great time flirting too. It wasn’t over the top, er, it wasn’t over the top for Sharon. But Deb would have been very unhappy if she had been there. From the look I saw on Colonel Moore’s face, she wasn’t happy about it.

The question came up, from a military man, an Army Captain, about how the physical prowess of a Prime compared to the Velorians, and he wondered why there weren’t any male Protectors assigned to our planet.

“The answers to those questions are a bit technical, but not too hard to understand,” said Xara.

“Protectors are designed. Our DNA is tweaked to make us faster and stronger than other Velorians. You must have wondered how we can be so powerful yet have bodies that look like yours. Underneath our skin we are quite different. We don’t metabolize oxygen like you do. Our bodies are able to tap into an energy source we call Orgone. Orgone is stored in our cells, especially the cells of our breasts. Females have larger breasts than males, we can store more Orgone, and as a result we are faster and stronger. There are no male Protectors, the men aren’t strong enough to face a trained Prime.

“Arions do things differently. Their female Primes are stronger than their men, but theirs is a much more patriarchal society than Velor’s. So they will send both male and female Primes into battle against us. The Betas, who are not as strong as the Primes, operate differently. Male Betas are stronger than female Betas.

“Part of our design, of a Protector’s design, is a drive to fight to win. All of the Protectors who are here tonight have fought and defeated Primes.”

“Have any of you ever lost to a Prime?”

“We fight to the death. So do the Primes. Protectors are trained to recognize when it is time to retreat and fight another day. None of the Protectors in this room has ever been in a situation where they decided to retreat.”

The group became very quiet as they thought about this. Then a bell rang, and we were asked to find our seats as dinner was about to be served.

Colonel Moore had changed the seating chart and had me sitting across from Xara. She was between two men, a civilian and an Air Force officer. I was seated between two women, both civilians. And they flirted with me! Not too much, but those sitting near us noticed. I caught Xara’s eye and she smiled and winked at me.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if you were propositioned tonight, darling.” She said over the connection.

“You manipulated them by talking about my love making to set this up, didn’t you.”

“I did. Does it bother you?”

“You know it doesn’t! I think I’m getting an idea of what it is like for you when men surround you.”

She giggled in the connection. It’s a unique experience.

Xara turned to the Air Force officer who was asking a question. When she did, the woman on my right slid a business card under the lip of my plate. I looked at her, surprised, and she smiled and said, “Next time you’re in D.C. give me a call. We can have coffee.”

The woman didn’t think Xara heard her. Xara giggled in the connection again. It’s a unique experience.

“Should I be worried, darling?” she asked, then giggled again. Another unique experience.

No, I’ll aways be faithful to you. And not because I’d know that you’d know if I cheated on you.” And then I attempted to giggle in the connection.

“Nice try, darling. Leave the telepathic emoting to me.”

Then something totally unexpected happened, something I hadn’t experienced, with a Terran woman, since my first deployment. The other woman seated beside me brushed her hand against my knee, held it there momentarily, smiled, and then withdrew her hand.

“Do you want to invite them back to the hotel for a foursome?” And then that giggle.

“This is freaking me out, Xara.”

“Don’t worry, darling. I’ll protect you from all the big bad, horny women.” Another giggle.

Freaked out may not be the right way to describe how I felt. It was disorienting. Yeah. Disorienting. The blondes treated me well for a reason. I was Kiraling. I saved their lives. If that situation had never occurred, I don’t think they would have ever given me a second look.

But now, these women could see my face. And it didn’t matter to them. They were interested in me, they wanted me, because the most beautiful and powerful woman they had ever seen in their lives had made it clear that she considered me a catch. A woman who could have any man she wanted at her beck and call had chosen me. Because they knew that I had value in Xara’s eyes, I now had value in their eyes. I was having a hard time getting my head around it. But I enjoyed it too.

“All this female attention your getting has my motor running, darling. There’s an empty closet in the kitchen we could use. Want to get away for a quickie after desert?”

“Xara!”

More giggling. In the connection. It’s a unique experience.

“Their motors are running too. I can smell it.”

“Really?”

“Yes darling, really. Maybe they’d like to join us in that closet.”

“Xara!”

Giggling. Of course.

As usual, the dinner we were served was more than I could eat. I had steak with a huge baked potato, Xara had chicken with broccoli. She ate all her dinner, and when she saw that I had stopped eating, reached over and traded plates with me. When the desert came, I just gave mine to her. The people around us noticed. Xara kept eating and pointed at me.

“You have no idea how much Velorians can eat,” I said. “They never get full. They never get fat. They never put on weight from eating. If you looked at what we spend on groceries you’d think we were feeding a family of six.”

The civilian Xara was sitting next to asked, “You said they don’t put on weight from eating. Do they put on weight some other way?”

Xara put down her fork, put her hands under her breasts and said, “When I absorb energy, say from flying close to the sun, it goes here. That puts on a little weight.”

“You fly close to the sun?” he asked.

“Uh huh. It’s the only way I can get a decent tan.”

He had a very confused look on his face. “It’s true,” I said. “It’s the only way she can tan.” Yeah, I was yanking his chain a little.

“But … close to the sun?”

“Those weapons that were used on us today may as well have been squirt guns,” said Xara, “child’s play really. We can handle a great deal more than that.”

“Nuclear weapons?” the Air Force officer asked.

“We could get a tan from that,” said Xara. “But it wouldn’t hurt us.”

He was stunned.

“You’re here to protect us from the Arions, who protects us from you?” the Air Force officer asked.

Xara put down her fork. She looked at him and said, “We protect Terrans from Arions. We don’t interfere with your development. We don’t take sides in your conflicts. The idea of a Velorian hurting a Terran without good reason is anathema to us.

“One of my earliest memories is of my mother teaching me how to live with Terrans and not hurt them. She consistently reinforced that lesson time and time again.

“A few years ago, I became upset with, well, it doesn’t matter why I was upset. Joe tried to comfort me and without even thinking I pushed him away so hard that I injured him. He had to be hospitalized. My mother was furious, and she sent me out into the solar system to practice my control. She said I couldn’t come back until I knew that I would never accidentally hurt Joe, or anyone else, again.”

“You said you wouldn’t hurt one of us without good reason,” said the Air Force officer. “What would be a good reason?”

“Hurting my husband or threatening to hurt my husband would be a good reason,” replied Xara.

“And what would you do?” asked the woman on my right, who had slipped me her business card.

“Whatever I did would be a measured and appropriate response,” said Xara. “It isn’t something I think about or dwell on or plan for.”

“So if one of those men in the diner had taken a swing at Joe …?” asked the Air Force officer.

“Oh, he wouldn’t have needed my help. The veteran they were trying to bully is a former Army Ranger. His disability is aphasia. He can understand what people say, but he can’t express himself verbally. But otherwise, he is fit and healthy. And Joe, he can fight. Those three men were in more danger than Joe and the former Ranger. And they figured that out.”

No, they didn’t figure it out. Gloria, Mona and Xara intervened. But she’s right, between me and a former Ranger with an attitude, the three guys would have been on the losing end.

“Are you a fighter, Joe?” asked the woman on my left.

Before I could say anything, the Air Force officer said, “Those medals on his chest attest to that.”

The woman on my right asked, “What did you do to earn those medals, Joe.”

I sighed and said, “Ma’am, it’s not something I like to talk about.”

She persisted. “Can’t you give us a general idea?”

I pointed to the Silver Star and said, “I got this for having the worst day of my life.” I pointed to the Bronze Star and said, “I got this for having the second worst day of my life.” I pointed to the Purple Heart and said, “I got this for,” I pointed at my face, “getting this.”

The she said, “You don’t want to talk about it, but you came here wearing the medals? I don’t understand that.”

The Air Force officer jumped in. “Ma’am, those medals are part of the uniform. He is expected to wear them. I hope he takes pride in them, but whether he does or does not, he is not under any obligation to explain them.”

“Ma’am,” I said, “I don’t mean to be rude, honestly. But it is very hard for me to talk about the events behind these decorations.”

“You aren’t being rude,” she said, “I was being rude, and I apologize.”

“Thank you, ma’am,” I said.

“Joe, ma’am is not my name. My name is right here on this name tag. Please use it,” she said with a smile.

“Xara, you said you went out into the solar system to practice control. How do you practice control?” asked the civilian seated next to Xara.

“Oh, there are various ways. One way is to juggle something hard and something soft, using just enough pressure to not destroy either of them. Or using enough pressure to destroy the hard object but not the soft one.

“Or set up objects of various mass and using fine control push them each an equal distance, one with my right hand and one with the left, then switch it up.

“Something I can do on earth is juggle rocks and eggs, squeezing them each just as hard as I can without breaking them.”

“Oh,” he said. I don’t think he really knew what to say.

At that point SecDef announced that the bar would be open for another hour, and he encouraged everyone to socialize with each other and ask the Velorians any questions they had.

Everyone got up, headed for the bar, then surrounded the Velorians and peppered them with more questions. Xara looked at me and I nodded. I stepped back and let her leave to talk to people.

After about half an hour Colonel Moore found me. “The people at your table were quite impressed with you and Xara.”

“We had a good conversation, Colonel.”

“They certainly have everyone’s interest.”

“Yes, ma’am. I wouldn’t expect anything different.”

“I’m curious as to their wardrobe choices. Why did they pick gowns that leave so little to the imagination?”

“That’s a good question, Colonel. Perhaps we can ask them about that on the ride back to the hotel. And when I say ‘we’, ma’am, I mean you.”

She laughed at that.

I was approached by two women, Canadians, who asked me a little about myself, and then gave me their business cards with a request that I call them if I am ever in their area.

“You’re getting hit on!” said Xara in the connection.

“I guess I am,” I replied. “How ‘bout you?”

“Always. At least they aren’t doing it right in front of you.”

“What are you telling them?”

“I’m playing stupid.”

“Are they buying that?”

“A couple of them did, it just made them try harder. So I stuck my wedding ring in their face. That made them stop.”

After an hour SecDef started letting people know it was time to leave. The blondes and I made our way with Colonel Moore back to the van.

In the van the Colonel asked, “Why did you dress so provocatively? Doesn’t that detract from the seriousness of why you are here?”

Kara answered her. “Possibly, a little. Dressing this way was my decision. It’s an intimidation tactic. People see our power and our strength, and they are intimidated. But when we dress like this and show off our beauty in such a conspicuous way, it ramps up the intimidation.”

“You’re saying that people are intimidated by your beauty?” asked the Colonel.

“Yes,” answered Kara. “The men see us as desirable women they can only dream of. The women are jealous, they want to be us. The result is that we are in complete control.”

“I made women want Joe,” said Xara, with a smug look on her face.

“Do tell,” said Sharon.

“Well,” I replied, “at dinner one woman put her hand on my knee, and three women gave me their business cards with an invitation to call them if I’m ever in their area.”

Bri-an opened up her clutch and took out a handful of business cards. “I got fifteen,” she said.

Juliet took cards out of her clutch. “I got eight.”

“I got twelve,” said Kara.

“I’m a married woman. I discouraged them,” said Xara. “So I only got four.”

Sharon opened her clutch and pulled out a bunch of cards. “Let’s see,” she said, counting them, “twenty-seven. I got twenty-seven cards.”

“How many from men?” asked Juliet.

“Eighteen,” answered Sharon.

Colonel Moore was gripping the steering wheel so hard her knuckles were turning white.

“I wish Sharon wouldn’t do that,” I said to Xara in the connection. “Colonel Moore is going to have a stroke.”

“Should I say something?” asked Xara.

“No,” I replied. “I think that would only make it worse.”

“I’ll talk to mom.”

“Good idea,” I said.

We arrived back at the hotel and as we were heading to our room, we saw Kara take Sharon by the elbow and lead her off.

“I don’t think I need to talk to mom,” said Xara, in the connection.

“I think you’re right,” I replied.

We got back to our room and Xara sat down on the bed and patted the mattress next to her. I went there and sat down.

“You want to talk to me about this afternoon,” she said. It wasn’t a question.

“Yes, Xara. Honey, I want to be a full participant in our love making. This afternoon you piled on the pheromones so hard that I couldn’t think. It was like …”

“Like I drugged you and raped you,” she said.

“That’s a lot harsher than I wanted to put it, but yes.”

“I’ll do better, Joe, I promise.”

“I believe you,” I said. And I did. I believed she would try harder. But the thing is, Velorian women were designed for sex. And a result of that design is that they have a very high sex drive. And power turns them on, even if it is their own power. It left me wondering if displays of unearthly power is part of Galen foreplay.

We went to bed and cuddled until I fell asleep. In the morning, I woke up with a pheromone induced hard on and a very beautiful part Velorian, part Galen woman gently riding me. She only used enough of her pheromones to keep me hard through three orgasms for her and two for me.

We took a shower together and went to breakfast. This last day of the conference the blondes would meet with small groups of Canadian and U.S. military and government officials in conference rooms to answer any lingering questions and to describe the intelligence Xara had collected on the Arion who was referred to, by the Arions, as “the doctor.”

Colonel Moore and I were in each meeting. Everyone was told that their point of contact was Moore and that I was the Velorian’s point of contact. So they contact Moore, Moore contacts me, I contact Kara. And it works the other way too.

Oh, there were questions about that, and Kara didn’t screw around. She laid her cards on the table.

“Kara,” asked a Canadian, “why two layers? Why not have a single, senior, point of contact between us?” Meaning why not eliminate the middleman: Me.

Kara’s answer, “While Staff Seargent Ricci is the Terran who is most familiar with us, I decided it would be valuable to have someone based in the center of government who could act as a filter to ensure he would only have to deal with matters relevant to our mission. I chose Colonel Moore to be that filter.”

Right there, she established that I was an important part of her mission. Am I important? Or has my Kiraling status clouded her judgement? I decided to put off exploring that question until after the conference. The last thing I was going to do was raise my hand and undermine someone who can melt a Main Battle Tank with her eyes.

And this was said in front of Colonel Moore and her superiors. For a second I envisioned myself being broken down to buck private spending the rest of my career on permanent KP duty.

Xara explained what she found on the Arion ship after she had killed the occupants. The FBI explained that they had done a thorough search and had not found any female doctors who had assumed an elected position in local government anywhere in the United States.

When the Canadians asked why we thought she could be in their country Kara pointed out that the Arion on the ship Xara had destroyed had U.S. ID. So the Arion planned to pass herself off as a U.S. citizen, and that strongly inferred she would be working with “the doctor” in an English speaking country.

At the end of the last meeting, we all left. While the Terran participants rode busses to the nearest airport, the Blondes all flew off. Including me. Xara took me home in a pod.

As we ascended to … I don’t know how high we went. But the sky was starting to get dark, Xara said, in the connection, “I have to catch up on my course work,” she had skipped a few days classes for this demo and conference, “I’m sure that by next week we’ll have time to go to Mt. Washington.”

I didn’t say anything.

“You thought I’d forgotten, didn’t you.”

“Yes.”

“Don’t worry darling, I won’t let anything happen to you.”

“Xara, you’re doing this to learn how to anticipate problems that could kill me when you take me to the moon or Mars or wherever. The whole idea is to put me into dangerous situations. Of course I’m going to worry.”

She just laughed, in the connection, which is a unique experience, and told me I’m cute.

Chapter 293

Three weeks after we got home Xara changed our plans. The temperature on the summit of Mt. Washington was a balmy 35° F with a wind chill of 20°. She wanted something more extreme. So she decided to take me to the Empty Quarter in Saudi Arabia where the temperature range for the time we were going to be there would vary from a cool of 84° F at night to a high of 118° F in the afternoon.

I said okay, I’ll do it. Then did whatever I could to banish Dixon and Johnson so they wouldn’t spill the beans.

I don’t know if Xara somehow forgot, or it just didn’t occur to her, but I spent my first deployment in Iraq and experienced temperatures like that. I knew how to handle it, I knew I’d be okay. Especially since I’d be in a Kelsorian air conditioned space suit.

She spent an afternoon with the manual programming functions into the space suit. Until she showed me, I didn’t know that the suit had a terrestrial inertial navigation system and an astronomical navigation system. The way it worked was you activated it and it began taking readings. Angle of the sun over time. Orientation of celestial bodies, that kind of thing. And it recorded distance, speed and direction of movement. It had a magnetic compass and 3-axis accelerometer, a 3-axis gyroscope and a 3-axis magnetometer. Not sure why it had both a compass and a magnetometer. Maybe to check each other?

She picked the suit that had mechanical assists built into it. It would measure or estimate (I’m not sure which) my exertion and then supplement it with built in motors in the exoskeleton of the suit.

She also programmed it to collect my sweat and urine and purify and recycle them. Sound gross? It did to me.

She packed food and water into a large pack that could be attached to the back of the space suit. It was her own design. We filled the suit’s internal water bladder. I can get to that via a tube that I can have pop up into the helmet, so I don’t have to take the helmet off. That bladder was also the repository for recycled water.

I could squat and poop into the suit and have that recycled, or I could poop into the suit and then eject the poop. I was all for ejecting poop.

There was another bladder for a nutritional paste that I could access the same way. Except the paste is Kelsorian and we didn’t have any. So I’d have to take off my helmet to eat.

“If I have to remove the helmet to eat, may as well get water from a bottle instead of the internal bladder.”

“No, I want you to try this out.”

“Okay.”

“I’m going to fly you into the desert in the pod, then take you out of the pod, turn on the pod’s beacon, then take you to some spot a distance away. You have to make your way back to the pod before you run out of food and water.”

“Why are we doing this?”

“If we’re on the moon or Mars and we get separated I need to know you can navigate to a point without my assistance.”

“Don’t you always know where I am?”

She does. That is part of the connection. She always knows where I am relative to where she is.

“We’re going to pretend I don’t,” she answered.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because I want to know you can function and survive without me.”

“Xara, if I’m on the Moon or Mars, and you can’t get to me, aren’t I screwed?”

“We’re going to assume I can get to you, just not right away.”

We went on like that, back and forth, for about twenty minutes before I just gave up. She wasn’t going to budge on this.

“Okay,” I said. “I want to add one more piece of equipment. A small tarp that I can use to create shade.”

We ended up spending about $45 for three space blankets. The space suit had pouches I could store them in.

She scouted the area before she took me there. There are oil fields in the northern part of the Empty Quarter, and she wanted to avoid those. And there are Bedouins along the borders between Yemen and Oman, so she wanted to avoid those areas.

That left a lot of room.

So she flew me to the Empty Quarter and dropped down onto the sand at about midnight local time. I got out of the pod. She activated the pod’s beacon. Then she picked me up, with my bag of food and water, and flew me some distance away, put me down, took the pack off me and activated a beacon in it then picked me up again.

“Uh, Xara, don’t I need that?”

“You’ll have to find it.”

“What?”

“I need to know that you’ll be able to function if we get separated. The beacons will guide you to the food and water, and to the pod.”

I don’t know how far we flew after dropping off the pack. She didn’t tell me. She dropped me off, had me lift my visor so she could kiss me, then took off.

“Do your best Joe. If you get in trouble, I’ll be minutes away. You don’t need to be afraid.”

I wasn’t afraid. But I was miffed she hadn’t told me the whole plan.

So the first thing I did was activate the suit’s navigation system and let it get a reading of the stars. Plenty of stars. Out in a desert, no clouds, no lights anywhere. The little dipper was visible, and I instructed the suit to use Polaris as a mark for true north. Then I had it calculate the magnetic declination from true North.

Then I turned in a circle while the suit sent out radar or sound waves or whatever it did to get a picture of the local terrain.

Next, I had the suit home in on the two beacons. It displayed two bearing lines on my heads up display, one to each beacon. They weren’t in line with each other.

I picked a direction and walked about one hundred yards, then plotted the bearing lines over the top of the previous lines. The suit did some calculations and gave me the distance to each beacon. The food and water was closer, to I started heading towards it.

The suit had night vision capabilities and the stars provided all the light I needed. The moon was waning and was close to New Moon, so there wasn’t any light from it most of the night. The suit also had infrared sensors. I had been walking towards the food pack for about two hours when the infrared sensors picked up something alive. Several somethings alive. There is a zoom function built into the heads up display. I activated it. Camels. There were three camels off in the distance.

I didn’t see any other wildlife, but I heard some. Strange to think that anything could live out here, but there is life in the Empty Quarter.

Around 4:30 am the sun began to peak over the horizon. I knew from experience that the temperature would go up rapidly. I didn’t know how much of a strain it would put on the suit’s power cells. I was still about eight miles from the food pack.

I looked around. The desert was flat. There was no source of shade. I could dig a trench if I had to, but I didn’t know if that would be necessary.

Because the suit kept me comfortable, and its exoskeleton motors were helping me carry the weight of the suit, I hadn’t used much water. And looking at the instrumentation on the suit, it looked like my sweat was being purified and stored back into the bladder.

I decided to continue and see how the suit did. If it appeared to be straining to keep me cool, I would stop and dig a trench and get in it. I’d dig it deep enough to be out of the sun with a space blanket over it. I didn’t have tools for digging. Didn’t need them. The exoskeleton could handle it.

But I did have to take a shit. So I dug a trench, squatted over it, shit into the little shit compartment of the suit and then dumped my dump into the trench. Then I covered it up.

I started walking again, keeping an eye on the outside temperature and the suit power cells. It got hotter and hotter, and then it started to warm up in the suit. The cooling system wasn’t keeping up. The power cells weren’t draining any faster. But I was getting warmer. So I stopped, looked around, and right there started digging a trench.

I dug a trench about 36 inches deep. I piled the sand around three sides of the trench and dug a slope into the fourth side to make getting into and out of the trench easier. The trench was just a little wider than me and the suit.

There were rocks everywhere so I gathered some up and used them to hold down one of the space blankets. It was large enough to cover the trench. Then I crawled down into the trench and made sure my entire body, and the suit, were under the blanket. Almost immediately I started to feel cooler. The suit cooling system was able to keep me cool now that it was out of the direct sun.

I made a note to talk to Xara about that. Maybe the Kelsorians could improve the cooling system. Beef it up a bit. Spoiler alert: There was nothing wrong with the suit’s cooling system. There are settings that control how much power it will use for heating and cooling. If we had paid more attention to the manual, we would have known that. But either Xara didn’t read it in the manual, or it didn’t make an impression on her. I certainly didn’t read the entire manual. It’s long. So, lesson learned: RTFM. Read The Fucking Manual.

Anyway, at the time I didn’t know that, so I spent the rest of the day under the blanket. I had water, but no food, and I was getting hungry. Fortunately, I could get a physical assist from the suit, so I wouldn’t end up crawling on my hands and knees, but I still needed to eat.

I’d been awake all night and was tired, so I set an alarm in the suit for about local sunset and went to sleep.

When I woke up the sun was very low on the horizon and the outside temperature was dropping. I got out of the trench, folded up the blanket and put it into its pouch. I drank some water then checked my bearings and set out for the food and water pack. It was about six miles away. The desert was flat, and I made good time, arriving at the pack before midnight.

I sat down next to the pack, opened it up and pulled out a couple of protein bars and granola bars and ate them. I washed it down with water from a bottle in the pack, it was warm, but I didn’t care. Then I ate a couple more protein bars and granola bars.

Yeah. Protein bars and granola bars. If Xara had told me what I’d be doing, I’d have liberated some MRE’s from JBLM. But she didn’t. Fortunately, we packed a lot of protein and granola bars. Unfortunately, protein bars melt under high temperatures, so it was messy eating. I didn’t care, I was hungry.

The suit navigation system was great. It got me right to the food and water. So now I needed to get to the pod. I checked the bearing and started out. It was about ten miles away.

I decided to walk until sunrise then dig another trench and sleep through the day. I figured with luck I’d get there the next night. Ha!

There are sand dunes in the Empty Quarter. I hadn’t seen any yet, but before sunrise I found one. It was sixty feet tall. About two miles from one end to the other. I tried to climb it. Bad idea. I couldn’t get anywhere, I just kept slipping back down. So I decided I’d have to go around it. But the sun was starting to come up, so I dug another trench, covered it with a space blanket, got in it, ate more protein bars and granola bars, and fell asleep.

Sand dunes move. They can move a lot. I found that out when my alarm woke me. I had to dig my way out of the trench, and it wasn’t easy. I nearly panicked and called Xara, but I managed to get out of the trench. I even recovered the space blanket.

I looked at the sand dune again, had the suit measure some distances, and headed off towards the nearest end. That only took me about twenty-five minutes. I got around the end of the sand dune, checked my bearing and headed in a straight line towards the pod. About halfway there I ran into another sand dune. I’d have to take another detour. On the other side, I found another sand dune. By now the sun was rising and I stopped to dig a trench.

I checked my food and water; I was in good shape. As I ate and drank, I thought of how it would be nice to have a small drone with a camera. Dixon and Johnson pointed out a drone wouldn’t be able to fly on the moon. We weren’t sure about Mars.

I took me two more nights to get to the pod. I was about to contact Xara in the connection when Sharon landed next to me.

“Hi Joe,” she said, “you made it back all by yourself! How are you?”

“I need a shower. Have you been waiting for me?”

“Kara wasn’t happy when Xara told her she was leaving you out in the desert. She’s had one of us watching you the entire time.”

“Really? So Xara was watching me?”

“No. She wanted you to do this on your own and said if you got in trouble, you would call her with that telepathic thing you do. But we live on the other side of the planet and Kara didn’t want you to wait half an hour for help if you only had minutes to live.”

“Minutes to live, that’s a bit dramatic, Sharon.”

“That’s what Bri-an said. But you are Kiraling.”

“Well, I didn’t get into any trouble.”

“Juliet said she almost intervened when that sand dune started to bury you. She was very relieved when you got out from under it on your own.”

“I’ve had desert survival training. I did spend two years in Iraq.”

“Well, you did very well, Joe. Xara is proud of you.”

“She is?”

“She kept very close tabs on you. Between her telepathic connection with you, and the rest of us in the air above you, you were never alone. Someone always knew your status. But you survived this,” and she waved her hand around at the desert, “on your own.

“I have a question for you though. Why did you decide to travel at night and bury yourself during the day?”

“The suit’s air conditioning couldn’t keep up in direct sunlight. But under shade it handled it well.”

“That’s strange,” Sharon said, “the suit should have easily kept you cool here. Are you ready to go home?”

“Yes, I am.”

I got into the pod, Sharon closed the lid and forty-five minutes later I was back at home in the shower.

I spent a lot of time in the shower. By the time I got out Xara was home. She came into the bedroom as I was dressing and said, “Don’t do that!”

So I undressed, she undressed, and we laid down on the bed facing each other.

“Darling, I am so proud of you! You didn’t ask for help. You solved all the problems that came up. I was afraid putting the pod behind so many sand dunes would discourage you. But if didn’t!”

“Xara, you know I spent two years in Iraq. I had desert survival training. Oh, that feels good!” She was stroking my genitals. They were responding.

“Tell me darling, why did you sleep during the day and walk at night?”

“Well, like I told Sharon, the suit’s air conditioning couldn’t keep up with the heat. In the shade of the blanket, it was just fine.”

“It should have been able to keep up.”

“That’s what Sharon said.”

“After we make love, I’ll fix dinner and then we can look at the suit manual.”

Then we made love, and I fell asleep. I woke up three hours later to a steak dinner. It was great!

“This sure beats the hell out of protein and granola bars,” I said.

“I’m sure it does,” she replied.

“Since you were sleeping, I checked the manual for the suit.” And then she told me about finding and adjusting the settings for internal climate control.

“Next time we’ll know, so you won’t have that problem,” she said.

“There’s going to be a next time?” I asked.

“Well maybe we’ll do some dry runs to test out all the suits’ functions. But Joe, don’t you see, we discovered this problem in a safe setting. We should do a little more of that.”

“Okay, Xara, I can see that.”

“And I’ll stay with you, so you don’t get lonely.”

“Sharon said I was never alone.”

“No. Mom, Sharon, Juliet or Bri-an always had you in sight. And you didn’t feel me, but I was with you in the connection.”

The next day we went through everything that came with the suits and discovered a small plug in module that provided an interactive interface to the suit. And that’s all the manual said about it. It was an interactive interface to the suit. No other details.

So we plugged it in, and after cleaning the inside of the suit (days of accumulated BO) I put the suit on and powered it up.

“I don’t see anything different on the displays.”

“Nothing?”

“No, nothing that references an interactive interface.”

And then I nearly jumped out of the suit and my skin when I heard a woman’s voice say, “Welcome to the interactive interface. The language is set to Terran English. Is this correct?”

I said, “Yes.”

“Okay. Would you like a tour of the interactive interface?”

I spent the next four hours in the tour. I kept the default voice when given the opportunity to change it.

Basically, once the interface is activated, I have access to all the suits settings and functions via voice. And if I don’t know what the settings are, or if there even is one, I can ask, and it will tell me.

All of the suits came with this module. So for the rest of the day and the next we plugged in the module and went through the tutorials and tours, which were pretty much the same, but we needed to make sure.

I wondered why a copy of the manual wasn’t included in the suit. Now I know why. Then I wondered why the interactive interface module wasn’t mentioned in the manual. So I asked the interactive interface. It didn’t know why either. Well, it said it didn’t understand the question, but that’s the same as not knowing.

Chapter 294

I’m not sure what is going on with my wife. Is she having a crisis of confidence? Is she confused about what she wants to do with her life?

Since coming home from Xanadu Xara has reduced her courseload from 18 – 21 credits/quarter to 12 – 15 credits per quarter. When she started college, she planned to graduate in three years with a degree in biology, then go to medical school. Instead, she’s pursuing degrees in biology, chemistry and physics, and is on track to graduate at the end of the next Spring quarter.

We were having a barbeque. Xara’s school friends, and most of the biology department were invited. The Arions and their boyfriends came. And all the blondes showed up. In a surprise to everyone, Kara brought Peter Jackson. He flew into SeaTac from the D.C. area. Kara flew in, on an airplane, from California. They rented a car and drove to Bellingham. Peter had no clue what Kara was.

Deb wasn’t there. Colonel Moore, who told me to call her Sarah, was there. And to the delight of the blondes (except Sarah), Skar-El was there. I’m not really clear about his name. Is it Skar-El, or Skar El or … the Velorians don’t think it makes any difference. I don’t understand their naming conventions.

Anyway, he was there. Xara worked on a cover story for him, and said he was Scandinavian. His accent sounds roughly Swedish or Norwegian. And much to his credit, he had learned English. It was passable.

So all these people are here. Those who had them brought their children and, as I’ve mentioned before, the blondes have a real soft spot for the little ones. So they were chasing the kids around, taking them out on the jet skis and making sure they had a good time. And interrogating Peter. More about that later.

Gloria and I were working at the grill when Xara and the biology department head wandered our direction on the way to the cooler with the beer when I heard her tell him that she was thinking about staying at Western and pursuing a master’s degree.

That caught me by surprise, she hadn’t mentioned it to me.

Now, about Peter. All the Supremis were curious about him. Even Skar-El. Now, Skar-El is at least six and a half feet tall. And in a T-shirt and shorts was quite impressive. And when he took off his shirt … women’s jaws dropped.

He didn’t show up in a T-shirt and shorts. Xara had bought them some time ago so he could wear something skimpy but not as curious, to Terran eyes, as his flight suit. Talk to the blondes long enough about Messengers and you’ll find out that they all have clothing he can wear. Anything they could do to keep a Messenger around longer, they would do.

Anyway, at first Peter found Skar-El intimidating. What man wouldn’t? But Skar-El is a very nice guy and that comes through as soon as you start talking to him. Peter didn’t have to talk to him for more than a few minutes before he was completely at ease with him.

I have to say this: It is hard to be resentful of the Messengers. The ones I’ve met are all guys you’d want to have a drink with. And none of them ever acted towards me like assholes who knew my wife drooled over them. They don’t do jealousy. They don’t try to create jealousy. Do they know they are sex gods? I don’t know. I think they just take it for granted that if Velorian women were around they were going to have sex. No Messenger has ever lorded it over me. No Messenger ever made comparisons between us.

So Peter and Skar-El are getting along and are with Juliet, Xara, Mona, Sharon and Bri-an who are trying to learn more about Peter.

Sarah came up to me and said, “They don’t even hide it, do they?”

“Hide what?” I asked.

“What they want from Skar-El,” she replied.

“They aren’t there for him,” said Gloria. “They are questioning Peter.”

Sarah raised her eyebrows. Gloria shrugged.

“Kara has been dating Peter,” I said. “She’s the Planetary Protector, they all look up to her. So they want to find out about her boyfriend. And Xara wants to know more about the man her mother is dating.”

Kara had been in the house. She came outside and saw what was going on.

“You’d better rescue him,” said Gloria. “He’s next to Skar-El.”

Kara hurried over to the group and gently maneuvered Skar-El away from Peter and the ladies.

“Why did he need rescuing?” asked Sarah.

“Four P1s and a Messenger,” said Gloria. If one of them starts emitting pheromones they all will and then Peter will be lost. Mona too.”

“The female equivalent of a sausage fest,” I said.

Gloria looked up and thought for a moment, and then said, “Clam bake?”

“That sounds right,” I said.

“You two are terrible,” said Sarah walking away.

Kara brought Skar-El over to me and asked if there was anything he could do to help.

“Yeah,” I said. “Skar-El, can you move that cooler into the shade?”

Xara had bought a huge cooler at Costco. We filled it with beer and soft drinks and ice, and it was very heavy. Xara had put under a tree in the shade before our Terran guests arrived. Now, in the afternoon, it was in the sun. We’d been refilling it with drinks and ice as needed, so it was still very heavy. Skar-El picked it up like it weighed nothing and put it in the shade.

Gloria had taken a sip of beer and almost spit it out through her nose when she saw how Harvey reacted to seeing Skar-El move the cooler. Skar-El came back to see if there was anything else he could do while Harvey and Harold went to the cooler and tried to lift it. They couldn’t. But they kept trying.

“Just leave them to it,” I said to Gloria.

“Oh, I will,” she replied, “it’s great entertainment.”

“Skar-El, are you getting hungry?” I asked. Stupid question. Velorians are always hungry. Even though they never are.

“Yes,” he replied.

“Gloria, let’s fix Skar-El a plate of food.”

Gloria put six cooked hamburger patties and five cooked hot dogs on a plate for him. I filled another plate with potato salad, then pointed to a chair next to me and Gloria and told him to sit down.

He was about halfway through his plate when both he and Gloria started laughing. “What’s so funny?” I asked.

Skar-El replied, “Sharon and Bri-an are questioning Peter about his sexual technique. He is blushing. Kara is trying to extract him from the group. She isn’t succeeding.

“Now Xara is helping her.”

Kara and Xara brought Peter over to us. Xara put out a chair for him next to Skar-El and Kara fixed him a plate of food.

Skar-El and I were grinning at him. Kara was frowning at us.

“If you want to keep seeing Lisa,” I said, “you’d better get used to it. I have to put up with it all the time.”

“Is anything off limits to them?” Peter asked.

“Not if it has to do with sex,” I said with a laugh.

“Peter,” Kara said, “Don’t feel like you have to answer their questions.”

“They’re scary,” said Peter.

“You don’t know the half of it,” I said, grinning.

“Joseph! Be nice to him.”

“I am being nice, Lisa. I’m helping him understand what he’s getting into.”

That made Kara scowl at me, and that made Peter laugh.

Xara looked over at Harvey and Harold and asked, “What are those two doing?”

Gloria answered, “They saw Sven move it.”

We introduced Skar-El as Sven.

Kara and Xara both giggled. Peter asked, “What’s so funny?”

Kara said, “Sven is strong, very strong. He can lift that cooler, they can’t. But it’s cute to watch them try.”

Peter put his food down and went over to help Harold and Harvey. The three of them were able to get it off the ground a few inches.

“You gonna tell him, Lisa?”

All the Terrans know Kara as Lisa and Xara as Danni.

“I don’t know,” said Kara. “I’m not sure yet.”

Eventually, Harold, Harvey and Peter lost interest in trying to move the cooler and went out on the boat. The blondes mingled with our Terran guests and took kids out on the jet skis.

Professor Home Wrecker had been invited but didn’t show up, which was a shame. I had been plotting to get him to challenge Skar-El to arm wrestling. Or thumb wrestling. Oh well. It wouldn’t have worked anyway. Skar-El was too descent a guy to humiliate a Terran just so I could have fun watching it happen.

Sarah and Sharon were going to spend the night at the house. Kara and Peter too. Bri-an and Juliet … I don’t know what they were going to do, because Xara had called dibs on Skar-El for the evening.

Gloria and Harvey and Mona and Harold stayed to help clean up after the guests left. Sharon, Sarah, Kara and Peter pitched in too. So did Skar-El.

When I got Xara alone, I asked her about her conversation with her department head.

“Joe, the thought of going away to medical school scares me. We have such a good life here, and I love our home. I don’t want to give any of it up.”

“Why would you have to give it up, Xara? There isn’t a medical school in the country more than a half an hour from here for you.”

“I know darling, but from everything I’ve heard the courseload is very heavy. I’d have to devote a lot of time to it.”

“Xara, you’re thinking like a Terran. Would the work be all that difficult for you?”

“I suppose you’re right. It’s just … it’s a change I’m not sure I’m ready for.”

I knew she was ready. She did very well on the MCAT. She had a perfect GPA. She was on the Dean’s List every quarter.

I would be willing to move anywhere to support her, but that really wasn’t practical, given the alien upgrades to our home. Who would we sell it to? If Gloria or Mona revealed themselves to their boyfriends, they could rent it or buy it. But that hadn’t happened. So most likely I’d stay in the house and Xara would get an apartment in whatever city she ended up with and would fly home when she could.

We agreed to talk about it later. She wanted to go off somewhere with Skar-El and I didn’t want to deny her that.

Dixon and Johnson reminded me that I did want to deny her that and I told them to shut up.

Xara and Skar-El waited patiently for Sharon and Kara to get Sarah and Peter to their bedrooms and then left. I went to bed wishing my wife was with me instead of Skar-El. I fell asleep trying to find a way to hate the guy, but he was just so nice, I couldn’t find anything wrong with him. Even if he was fucking my wife. Right at that very minute.

Shortly before sunrise Xara slipped into bed beside me and put her arm around me and held me close.

“You are so patient and understand my darling, and I love you so much for it,” she said in the connection.

“I didn’t expect you back so soon,” I replied.

She kissed me. We cuddled for an hour and then we got up. Kara and Peter were up, as were Sarah and Sharon. Skar-El was sitting in the living room watching the Cartoon Network with a bemused look on his face.

We hadn’t planned for the stayovers, so we were short on groceries. Leftover potato salad didn’t appeal to me for breakfast, so I told Xara and our guests that I’d go to Fred Meyer and get something for breakfast.

“Joe, why don’t you take Sven with you,” suggested Xara.

“Sven, do you want to come along?”

“Yes!” I think he wanted something more to do, I don’t know.

So we got in the car. I showed Skar-El how to adjust his seat all the way back, then lower the back so his head wouldn’t bump up and through the roof of the car.

Skar-El told me he hadn’t had much time to spend in Terran “sale stores” and he was fascinated by all the items, and the amount of them in the store.

“Terrans buy all this?” he asked.

“Yes, they do,” I answered.

“How many Terrans live here?”

“90,000, give or take,” I answered.

“And they all come here to buy their food?”

“No, there are other stores. This one gets a lot of business, but there are many other stores to buy food at.”

He was impressed. He wasn’t the only one. While Skar-El was looking at the shelves the women in the store were looking at him. He seemed oblivious to it. Maybe he expected it, and it wasn’t unusual for him. But he was certainly an unusual sight for the shoppers in this store. The men looked at him too. But not the admiring, dare I say lustful way the women were.

We bought our groceries and put them in the trunk. It was early on a Sunday morning, so the parking lot was mostly empty. As I pulled out of my parking space a couple of cars loaded with kids, high school or young college students, drove in and started racing around the lot. Then they started to harass us. They’d pull in front of my car and hit the brakes, then peel rubber and drive around us, feigning like they were going to hit us.

It pissed me off. Skar-El didn’t care for it either.

“How could I disable their vehicles?” he asked.

“See the tires,” I said. “The black wheels they run on. You could blow them out with your heat vision.”

“They are being disrespectful to my Kiraling, and endangering him,” he said. “But Kara would be angry if I took action against them without her permission.”

I thought about that for a second, then said, “I won’t tell her if you don’t.”

He nodded. I lowered his window and maneuvered so he could see the tires of the other cars . Man, he was fast. He blew out the left side tires of one car and the right side tires of the other. The punks stopped their cars and got out to look while I drove past them giving them the finger.

“What is that?” asked Skar-El. “What does it mean when you extend that finger.”

“It means fuck you,” I said.

“You want to have sex with them?”

“No. In this context it’s an insult.”

“Oh! You mean…” and he said something in Velorian. “That’s how we would say it,” he said.

“How do you say it?”

He spent the drive back to the house teaching me how to cuss, swear and use profanities and vulgarities in Velorian. Like I said, you just can’t find a reason to dislike the guy, even if he is fucking your wife.

Breakfast was pancakes, bacon and eggs. Peter was impressed with how much Skar-El ate. Sharon, Kara and Xara were scarfing down large quantities of food too, but Skar-El really stood out. I think because he stands out everywhere. He’s very good looking and has an amazing physique. You can’t help but admire him, even if he is fucking your wife.

The blondes, and Sarah, were also admiring him. Peter didn’t seem to notice. Or maybe he did and understood.

Sarah was hard to figure out. Her sexual partners are exclusively women, and she has issues with men who have sex with Sharon, including yours truly, though Kara and Sharon have both warned her, sternly, not to interfere in the Kiraling relationship. She’s nowhere near as bad a Deb; she likes men fine as friends and colleagues, but not as sexual partners. But eating breakfast, she kept looking at Skar-El. And it wasn’t the I-don’t-like-you-having-sex-with-my-girlfriend look. It was more the oh-God-you-are-so-hot look. Not what you would expect from Sarah at all. But then again, Skar-El is something else. He exudes virility and masculinity. Greek gods would be jealous of his build. No wonder my wife wants him.

After breakfast Kara and Peter left in their rental car. Sharon helped Sarah into a pod and flew her back to the D.C. area. Skar-El helped to clean up and then put on his flight suit, in the living room, did I mention horses would be jealous of the way he is hung? And said he was meeting Sharon on the moon and left through the lake entrance.

“Is it hard for you?” Xara asked.

“Is what hard for me?” I asked back.

“It’s obvious you like Skar-El. The two of you carried on as if you were friends from childhood. He likes you very much, he respects you.”

“He is a very nice man. And he can be fun too. He taught me some things this morning.”

“Oh?”

I rattled off a string of Velorian insults and vulgarities that had Xara’s ears turning red while she also laughed.

“How did that come about?”

“He saw me give someone the finger.”

“Why?”

“You have to promise you won’t tell your mom.”

“Oh, interesting. I promise.”

I told her about the assholes in the Fred Meyer parking lot.

“Well, he’s right, mom wouldn’t approve,” said Xara. “But I do. I would have done the same thing.

“But is it hard for you? Is it hard for you to reconcile being friends with someone who spent the night with your wife?”

“You just had to say it, didn’t you. Yes, Xara, it is hard for me. And talking about it makes it harder. Can you understand that?

“You set the rules, and I agreed to abide by them. I have abided by them, and I have never asked you to stop seeing Messengers”

“You never really did say you agree to follow my rules.”

“It was implied when I said, ‘I do.’ It may as well have been written into the vows. I’ll say it explicitly now. You said either of us can have sex with any Velorians we want, and neither of us can have sex with other Terrans. I agree to it. But please, Xara, don’t make me talk about it.”

She thought for a few seconds and said, “You like having sex with mom and Sharon, don’t you?”

“Of course I do,” I said. “And with Juliet and Bri-an too. But have you noticed that I have never asked any of them to have sex with me?”

“Yes,” she answered. “I’ve noticed. We’ve all noticed. We’ve discussed it. Joe, you can ask mom or Sharon to have sex with you anytime.”

“And it would be fine with you?”

“You know it would.”

“And maybe that’s my problem. Because I don’t want to have sex with anyone but you. You are enough for me. You are more than enough for me. You know that. We’ve talked about it.”

She nodded. Then said, “You know you can ask me for sex, don’t you?”

“Well, yeah.”

“You never do.”

“You’re kidding, right? You always take the lead. It’s like you know when I want to have sex before I do.”

She laughed and said, “Yes, you’re right. I do know before you do. I can smell it on you. I can see it in your body’s movements, and I always take the initiative before you have the chance to.

“But it would be nice to hear it from you once in a while.”

I thought about it and then asked, “Do you wanna get naked and have sex?”

“I thought you’d never ask.”

And then she made me forget all about Skar-El. Which is something, considering that just a few hours earlier he had been fucking my wife.

“This again,” thought Janelle. She knew there had been a lot of turnover at Near Earth Command (NEC) and she had hoped they’d get better quality personnel. But it appeared High Command had only idiots to offer.

Chouridgde and a group of Protectors were now believed to be in Canada, based on a rumor a source in the United States had heard. A Terran source who was in a cell of one or two.

NEC was asking Janelle if Canada was far from her location, and if she could go there to search for Chouridgde. When she had first been sent to Terra, NEC had briefed her on the geographical and political environment of the planet. Obviously, the Betas and the Prime who had briefed her were gone, replaced by dolts who either didn’t know how to read a map, or didn’t know that NEC had maps.

She replied with the distance to Canada, and the geographic area the country occupied. In no uncertain terms, she told them that if this rumor was the best they could do she wouldn’t even consider trying to find Chouridgde. What she didn’t add was that if he existed, she wouldn’t consider trying to find him if he was surrounded by Protectors.

Honestly, this was getting ridiculous. So far there was no proof that Chouridgde even existed, let alone was a Terran married to a Protector. In her opinion, this was nonsense.

She had her own problems to worry about. She had determined to pacify her town. That meant eliminating the criminal element and the corrupt structures that took advantage of the citizenry and lowered their quality of life.

She’d gone through all the drug gangs. The corrupt union bosses had all been replaced, either because they were voted out of office by the union rank and file or because she had killed them. Sometimes both.

She always enjoyed killing frails. Especially when she masturbated with them. But lately she’d gotten down to just a few corrupt old men in the union hierarchies and a couple of abusive old priests. The problem with them was that they just didn’t last. They had heart attacks and died before she could climax. Or their bones broke easily, and they died from internal bleeding. Two of them had strokes just as she was getting started with them.

So she had begun trolling for common criminals and rapists, which was very hit and miss. And even then … twice she had been about to capture young men who wanted to rob her when she recognized them as the sons of people who were loyal to her. In both cases she had force marched them home, in a way that was very uncomfortable and painful to them, but left them intact, and made them tell their parents what they had been up to.

The parents, to their credit, were mortified and promised to deal with them. She had one of them cleaning her clinic after school three nights a week.

She gave up trying to masturbate with old men. If they couldn’t entertain her with their pricks and their screams, she’d get by with just their screams. One old codger in his 80’s had been accused of abusing children when he was younger. The children he had abused were now adults, and she interviewed them. She was convinced they were telling the truth. But something about the vagaries of the legal system allowed the old man to stay free. So she took him out into the forest, stripped her clothes off, then stripped his clothes off, and tortured him. They were on the edge of a narrow canyon, a river flowed through the bottom of it.

She dismembered the old codger, alive. Pulling off fingers and toes, then his major limbs. He didn’t live past losing his arms, but she continued until he was taken apart and threw the parts over the ledge into the river far below.

She knew there were plenty of corrupt officials in the surrounding towns and cities. She knew the drug gangs were still there, they just gave her a very wide berth. She decided it was time to branch out. Become mayor of this town and then run for regional office, on the promise that she would “clean up,” as Miguel put it.

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Yay another chapter of Kiraling!

Funnily enough I was just about to message asking if you wanted help writing the combat parts of this, but I see you beat me too it. It was enjoyable seeing the soldiers reactions, and from what I’ve heard I can...
Yay another chapter of Kiraling!

Funnily enough I was just about to message asking if you wanted help writing the combat parts of this, but I see you beat me too it. It was enjoyable seeing the soldiers reactions, and from what I’ve heard I can well believe they would have fun doing something like this.

Of course things aren’t going so well with Colonel Moore, I expect there are going to be more problems between her and Sharon soon. I hope Joe can avoid being caught in the crossfire! Incidentally I was wondering why so many of your non-Velorian characters are also blond, like Sarah? Although I am rather biased because I really don’t like blonds.

The survival was also interesting and clearly well thought out. It was good to see Joe using some of his skills and succeeding without any help from Supremis. I’m really looking forward to reading about their space adventures once the habitat arrives.

Also how long is it going to take before Peter, Harvey and Harold realise they are dating superwomen!

Anyway as always a very enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to the next chapter.
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The Highlander
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Are most of my non-Supremis characters blonde? I didn't realize that. I myself am partial to blondes.

For the Velorian power demonstration I ended up researching a bit about the location and the weapons systems, then made a bunch of stuff up :)

I...
Are most of my non-Supremis characters blonde? I didn't realize that. I myself am partial to blondes.

For the Velorian power demonstration I ended up researching a bit about the location and the weapons systems, then made a bunch of stuff up :)

I ran across a NY Times article by one of their photojournalists that had a picture of camels in the Empty Quarter, and that gave me the idea to use it as the setting for the survival test.

How long will it take Harvey, Peter and Harold to figure out their girlfriends are Supremis? I've been thinking about that. Harvey and Harold live with them, so they should figure it out first, or start asking questions first. They already have, earlier, when they noticed their girlfriends don't shave or have feminine hygiene products. It's bound to come up at some point. Seeing Mona lift something heavy, or Gloria taking the eggs out of the boiling water by hand, something will eventually give it away.

Peter is a different situation. He doesn't live with Kara. But she is a friends with his parents, his father is a senator, and both his mother and father know what Kara is. And the senator is ill and not expected to recover. How do I handle that? Does the Senator die, and then the governor appoint Peter to serve out his term? Does Kara then feel the need to clue Peter in, so she has an ally in the Senate? How does their relationship progress after that? Kara lives in California. Peter doesn't, and if he is appointed to the U.S. Senate he would be spending a lot of time in the D.C. area. There is a lot to think about.
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anonxyzus
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The excellence continues. Here we get a little War Against The Blondes action, some political intrigue, and the ongoing amazing obtuseness of self-proclaimed goddesses. Fun and Games in the life of Joseph Ricci.
Seriously, your saga grows, your...
The excellence continues. Here we get a little War Against The Blondes action, some political intrigue, and the ongoing amazing obtuseness of self-proclaimed goddesses. Fun and Games in the life of Joseph Ricci.
Seriously, your saga grows, your description and characterization stays on point, and as always, one fun read. You get better with each outing. Can't wait for more!
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mechjok
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Thank you!
anonxyzus
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