Darala Starr, Tau Ceti Superwoman – Earth Mission Alpha – Chapter 13
Written by Darala Starr :: [Wednesday, 17 July 2019 20:27] Last updated by :: [Thursday, 18 July 2019 10:00]
CHAPTER 13 – THE ‘KEY’ TO A MYSTERY
Jason and Tina were silent and stunned. Darala dropped the crushed metal cylinder to the ground where it clattered a moment.
Tina asked, “How do you know it’s not real?”
Darala said, “The frequency is wrong and the signal strength woefully inadequate to be the interstellar transponder.”
“What does this mean, Darala?” Jason asked.
Darala said, “It means the real transponder is still out there… somewhere, and I’m running out of time to find it.”
Darala placed hands on her hips, lightly resting them on the band of her satin shorts. She drew in a deep breath and sighed.
Tina said, “But, Darala, how did you know it was here? I don’t understand.”
Darala looked at Tina thoughtfully for a moment.
“Tina,” she said, “I’m so sorry, but I haven’t told you everything. Last night I left your guesthouse and came here. I suspected I might find something and… I did.”
Jason asked, “What was it?”
“Not what…who,” Darala said. “Deputy Brown was here. I caught him leaving this shop in the dark. He had a flashlight and a set of keys he used to lock the door.”
Tina was shocked. “Deputy Brown? That’s impossible, he doesn’t have keys to this store—no one does but me, and my employees would never share their keys!”
“Well,” Darala said, “I don’t know how he might have gotten access, but he did. And he’s the one who planted this fake transponder.”
A dawning realization hit Jason and he said, “Which means he knows more about you than he’s admitted.”
“It also means he’s connected with another creature that’s here in town. A Torellian,” Darala said.
“A what?” Tina asked.
“A being from a world in the Andromeda galaxy,” Darala said. “They are notorious shape shifters which means they can imitate other life forms, at least to some degree. But the eyes always give them away. When I first arrived, he’s the one that captured me.”
Tina felt overwhelmed and then realized something. “Yes, I remember those eyes of his… like they were electric or….”
Her thoughts began to race.
Jason said, “It sounds like he and the deputy have some sort of working relationship.”
Darala nodded. “It would appear so. No doubt the Torellian has told him everything about me.”
“Which means finding the transponder quickly and getting you safely back home is vital,” Jason added.
He planted determined fists on his hips and said, “Okay, Darala. What’s our next move?”
Darala smiled warmly at him, feeling evermore affection for Jason. The thought of leaving Earth and not seeing him again was beginning to weigh heavy on her.
“Well,” Darala said, “The last place I left the Torellian was locked in that holding cell. I placed him in there myself and closed the bars on him so he couldn’t escape.”
Tina asked, “So he’s not strong like you?”
“No,” Darala said. “Torellian’s have very average physical abilities. Come to think of it, he did have a large ring of keys in his hand when he first captured me. He must have had one for the cell door.”
Tina said softly, “Keys. That’s it!”
Jason said, “Locksmith. He’s the locksmith!”
Darala crossed her arms in front of her chest and grinned. “Then I think we need to pay him a visit,” she said. “But first… there’s something I should fix.”
Tina looked puzzled and so did Jason.
Darala stepped past them and circled around to the front of the vault door.
Nodding to the deformed locking wheel, Darala said, “This is physical proof of my abilities. I think in the interest of keeping things, as you say,discreet… I should probably restore this. With your permission, Tina,” She added.
Tina thought about it.
“Okay,” she said. “I’ll just stand back and be amazed.”
Darala smiled and was about to grab the wheel when they heard footfalls on the staircase. It was the young woman with big glasses and Darala quickly withdrew her hands and stood in front of the vault door, hiding the wheel.
“Hi,” the woman said, sheepishly. “I don’t mean to interrupt, but… is it okay if I go to lunch now? It’s pretty quiet.”
Tina glanced at Darala and Jason and said, “Um, sure, Mary, that’s fine. Um, before you go… did you come down here this morning for any reason?”
Mary thought about it and adjusted her glasses.
“No, why?” she asked.
“You didn’t’ notice anything about the room?” Tina asked, and then wondered if she’d said too much.
Mary shrugged and said, “I never come down here. Except that one time you told me to grab something for a customer. That was last week.”
Satisfied, Tina said, “Okay, well, have a good lunch. See you later this afternoon.”
Mary nodded and then trotted up the stairs. After a few moments, they heard the bell of the front door chime and then the sound of it close. The store was empty.
Tina said, “Okay, Darala. Go ahead.”
Darala nodded to Tina and Jason, who smiled approvingly.
She grabbed the wheel in her hands and this time closed her eyes. She was feeling the shape of the steel, deciding where to apply the most force in order to restore its original circumference. She took a very deep breath, her chest expanding beneath her t-shirt. She firmly rocked her hips in those satin shorts, gaining a powerful stance.
Taking one last deep breath, Darala unleashed her strength, her eyes still closed, her biceps exploding into rock hard peaks of otherworldly power and might. The steel howled and cried, bending slowly wider in her hands, inch by inch back into a rounded shape. The big spokes of steelbegan to straighten with loud moans and creaks.
And although they’d seen her in action before, Tina and Jason stood back and marveled, each one, their mouths open in disbelief and their eyes large with wonder.
With her eyes still closed, feeling that euphoric sense of her own might, Darala repositioned her grip and pivoted on her hips. She pulled hard again, her hands reforming the steel before their very eyes. The last few inches of the bend produced a prolonged, stress related screech from the door, but it was finally done! The wheel appeared almost completely restored to a ring shape!
Darala released her grip and stood back, her chest heaving with breath from the effort. It was right then and there that Jason decided he could not wear his nylon running shorts around Darala ever again.
“There.” She said, satisfied, catching the last of her breath. “I think that should do it,” she said.
From upstairs they heard the bell of the front door ring and friendly voices. Customers.
“Just in time,” Tina said. “You area wonder, Darala!”
Tina hurried up the stairs and disappeared.
Darala dropped her hands on her hips and smiled at Jason. He crossed the room to her and got very close to her.
“I can’t help it,” he said in a low, hushed voice. “Darala, I just don’t have the words to tell you how I feel about you. And I know I’m not like you; you’re from a whole different world that I could never visit. It’s not just your great strength, although watching you… bend steel with your bare hands is a wonder. I just want you to know….”
It took him by surprise, but Darala gently put her arms around his neck and kissed him. And Jason kissed her back, passionately, his hands now resting on her satin hips. The feel of her lips was beyond his wildest dreams. Very slowly their lips parted, Darala looking deeply into his eyes, her supernatural beauty breathtaking.
“Oh, Darala…,” Jason said. “What have we gotten ourselves into.”
Darala wondered the same thing.