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Kiraling – Part 26 (Chapter 188-197)

Written by anonxyzus :: [Friday, 25 February 2022 22:13] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 05 March 2022 21:22]

Chapter 188

The Scalantrans got back to us, through Skar-El. The Fesussians were interested in getting more cats and were willing to pay more, much more, than they did for the first set. Apparently somewhere, out there in the vast cosmos, is a planet full of beings who are crazy about cats. And for whatever reason, the Fesussians haven’t figured out how easy it is to breed them. Why will they pay more? Because the Scalantrans are demanding more for their services and splitting the take with us. It’s like they are our representatives.

That’s going on.

Xara’s class load this quarter is heavier than ever before. Not because she’s taking more hours, still taking 20 hours a quarter. But she’s taking more advanced classes. 400 level, and even some 500 level that are usually reserved for graduate students. But Xara is being recognized as a prodigy and has gotten waivers to get into graduate level classes, which are a lot more work. And now departments are starting to compete for her. She started out as a chemistry, biology double major. But now the physics and math departments are trying to woo her.

So that’s going on.

Despite all the work, she still has time to work on perfecting her cooking skills. She’s learning everything I can teach her, and now we are both learning new skills. I think if she decided to quit college, we could open up a restaurant together.

So that’s going on.

And she just told me that there are professors, she won’t tell me who or how many, who have been trying to woo her romantically and are not dissuaded at all by the engagement ring she wears. I’m having more of a problem with it than she is. She expects it. Makes sense that she would, I guess, I mean, she’s gorgeous, kind, lights up a room when she enters it. And men have been trying to get her into bed with them since she hit puberty. But it pisses me off. Which I guess is why she won’t tell me who they are.

So that’s going on.

And Xara is getting stronger. Both physically and mentally. One night she gave me a little squeeze with her vaginal muscles, she’s done it lots of times, and it hurt! So she went off somewhere into the solar system for a day and came back and said she confirmed that she is still changing and becoming more powerful. And she says making a connection with me is getting easier, though I wonder about that, because it’s seemed pretty easy to me all along.

So that’s going on.

We have yet to hear from Kelsor about when our house will be ready. Kara has advised us to start moving stuff into storage as we may not get a lot of advanced notice when they are ready to deliver. So I’ve rented a large storage unit and have begun moving things we don’t need into it. It’s winter, we don’t need any of the lawn furniture. Or the lawn mower. That’s the kind of stuff I’m moving. When the house is ready to be delivered, we’ll have to move everything we want to keep. We’ve already bought our new appliances and put them in storage.

So that’s going on.

We still go on morning runs together. We’re getting up and heading out before dawn. When we get back, if the weather isn’t too nasty, she puts on gold, and we go into the backyard and spar. She wants us both to have top notch fighting skills, which is a little odd, because she doesn’t want me fighting at all. But she says I should always be ready and able to protect myself. I think some of Gloria’s thinking is rubbing off on her. Gloria’s fighting skills have certainly rubbed off on her. And gold isn’t affecting her the way it used to. It still dampens her strength, but not as much. She has to be more careful with me when we spar than she used to. And she has some heat vision wearing gold. Not much, but a little.

After sparring I take a shower while she fixes breakfast. We eat together and then she leaves for school.

So that’s going on.

Now that she’s taking upper level and graduate level courses, she gets invited to faculty-student mixers. Spouses and significant others are also invited so I attend them with her. I watch the professors closely, trying to figure out which of them is hitting on my fiancé. But I never catch them. Xara says they are too smart to risk having an angry soldier, with the reputation I have, after them.

What reputation is that? Xara, apparently, talks about me, a lot, whenever there is a social situation and the subject of spouses or boyfriends, or girlfriends comes up. Everyone I meet at these mixers already knows that I had multiple combat tours, that my appearance is due to those tours, and that I have been awarded the Bronze Star and Silver Star. She also tells them I was the guy who broke up the shooter incident in Arizona.

People will gather round me and ask me to tell them about my experiences. I have learned that people who haven’t served, who haven’t been in combat, don’t understand it at all. And they don’t want to hear about the blood and the guts and the savage reality of war. Nobody wants to hear about the aftermath of a suicide bomber attack on an elementary school. So I have a script that I memorized and stick to that.

Occasionally someone, usually someone who has had a few drinks, wants to debate the morality of the war and our involvement in it. They can get very obnoxious about it. I handle that by explaining that the last decision I made about the war was my enlistment. After that someone else was telling me what to do and where and when to do it.

Often, I’m not the only veteran in the room and they will intercede if they think things are getting out of hand, and I am grateful to them for that. If nothing else works, and they get too obnoxious, Xara steps in and apologizes to whoever was trying to argue with me and tells them that she needs my attention for one thing or another.

Get a few drinks into some of these guys, and it’s obvious they look down on me. They think Xara is too good for me and don’t understand what she sees in me. Can’t get too mad at them about that, I’m not sure what she sees in me either.

So that’s been going on.

Sharon and Deb seem to be up and down, a lot, and lately it’s been mostly down. Sharon has even flown out several times and asked if she could spend the night at the cabin. Seems strange; she’s rich, she could stay in any hotel she wanted to. Xara says she thinks Sharon wants to be around friendly and sympathetic friends, and I’m okay with that. I understand.

So that’s going on.

And Xara lectured me about our Christmas. Seems she thinks we were rude because we didn’t offer to let Sharon or Kara have sex with me. She says she’s partly to blame for not realizing it at the time, but I’m also to blame for not volunteering my services.

My services. Right. When a Velorian has sex with a Terran, she is in complete control. It doesn’t matter how good or experienced the Terran is at satisfying a woman because whatever his limitations, and to them we are horribly limited, they will make up for it. Xara confirmed that and then said, “Yes, Joe, but we’ve all gotten very close to you, and that closeness enhances the experience. And besides, you’re Kiraling.”

“Oh. So, it’s more than just sex. Love makes a difference,” I said, smugly.

Xara just rolled her eyes at me and said, “You Terrans can be so obtuse.”

Anyway, Xara “volunteered” my services, so sometimes when Sharon is here, she sleeps with me. She spends the whole night with me and is very affectionate. It’s always nice with Sharon. But cuddling? She wants to cuddle. And I’m okay with that.

So that’s been going on.

We’ve had some heavy snowfall this winter and without Xara I’d be snowed in. The county doesn’t plow my road anymore since Kara did whatever it was she did regarding the “political” status of my property. But who needs snowplows when you have a Velorian? Two feet of snow on the driveway and road? No problem. In minutes Xara had it all vaporized. It snowed while she was at school? Cleared in a couple of minutes when she came home.

Xara still wants us to make love flying, and it isn’t working. Sharon and Kara are skeptical that it ever will work. And that brings up something else: Velorians overshare. I’ve always known this, but still, it is a surprise to sit down for breakfast with your fiancé, her mother and Sharon, who Xara thinks of as an aunt, and have the three of them critique your lovemaking.

“But Joe, we’re just trying to help you get better at it.”

So that’s been going on.

What isn’t going on is that I’m not making any progress identifying Arion activity. Kara put those devices she salvaged from the Arion craft into orbit, expecting to intercept messages, and we haven’t seen anything. She says the Arions have, surprisingly, changed how they operate. They seldom do that. She thinks that is a reaction to getting their teams ambushed in space.

There is still that drug cartel activity going on in Central America. I’m keeping on top of that, in the hope that I’ll develop something that makes Kara decide to look into it more closely. Or at all.

And what else isn’t going on is Xara is still refusing to talk to me about what taking a more active role in protecting this world means. She says she is still working it out in her mind, and when she’s ready she’ll tell me what she is thinking and ask for my input, as well as input from Kara and Sharon.

Chapter 189

We didn’t have any idea when the Fesussians and Scalantrans would show up to take delivery of more cats. We did know we’d get a few days’ notice. So I went out to Home Depot and bought the chicken wire and wood and hardware to make more cat cages. And more tarps to cut up to cover them. Despite her heavy schedule, Xara made time to help me put the cages together. We had cages for 20 cats, 10 male and 10 female. We had the last cage put together when we got a message from Kara that we had three days to gather up the cats. So the next night Xara went hunting for more cats, and like before, it was very easy for her to find and capture them.

A few nights later a huge storm rolled in and a few minutes later there was a Fesussian and a Scalantran at the door. The Scalantran was the same one we’d met before. Not that I’d recognize him. Or her. Xara explained that the Scalantrans are somewhat territorial about the areas they trade in. It would be highly unusual if a different trading group arrived. Apparently, there are no galactic antitrust laws.

The Fesussian, at least the boss Fesussian, was the same one we’d dealt with before. Again, not that I’d recognize him. They all look the same to me. But Kara told me he was the same one, and the Fesussian obviously remembered me.

Just like before, the Fesussian came downstairs and inspected the cats, then tablets came out to get the paperwork out of the way, money was transferred, and the boss called in his assistants to haul the cats upstairs and out to the Scalantran ship in my backyard, which I couldn’t see because it was cloaked. Then, before they left, Xara placed our order with the Scalantrans for the spacesuit accessories we wanted. And there was money left over, so this time she did order the cleaning robot.

Oh, before they left, when it was just us (me, Xara, Kara) and the Scalantran, the Scalantran told us this likely would turn into an ongoing business arrangement. He guaranteed that it would be very profitable for us. Hearing that, Xara checked on our remaining balance of galactic moola, and decided she wanted to submit a change order to the Kelsorians. She wanted them to also expand the lair to add a room for cats, plus additional space for us to expand into.

I told Xara that we could probably just start breeding cats ourselves and dispense with the whole hunting process. She vetoed that. Said she’d get too close to the cats and would find it too hard to give them away. I could see that, so I didn’t argue the point with her. She really does have a kind and sensitive heart.

Chapter 190

A few days after the Scalantran and Fesussians visited, Xara was going through her voicemail at breakfast. She had the phone on speaker, which she usually doesn’t do, because she can hear so well, but for whatever reason this morning she had it on speaker. The message was from a professor, who was calling to ask her if she’d made up her mind on attending an academic conference with him. She deleted the message and sighed, then looked at me.

“That’s one of the faculty who’s been hitting on me. He wants me to go with him to a conference.”


“Yes. Really. And he’s married too.”


“Yes. Really.”

“What are you going to tell him?”

“I’m going to tell him no. Again.”

“You told him no before? From the message, it sounds like he’s been waiting for an answer from you.”

“I told him no the first time he asked me. He keeps asking me. Joe, I’m not going to go with him. But I’m hoping for a good recommendation from him for medical school. And he’s hinted that going to this conference with him would help that process along. I’m afraid if I turn him down too harshly, he won’t give me a recommendation.”

“What are you going to do, Xara?”

“I don’t know Joe. But I have to leave now. I’ll see you for dinner.” She kissed me goodbye and left.

I cleaned up the dishes and went down to the lair. I was going through recordings to see if there was anything useful in them, when I felt a light breeze that indicated someone was coming through the lake access pressure chamber. It was Sharon, arriving unannounced, which wasn’t unusual, on a Monday morning, which was. She had a business to run, after all.

“Sharon, this is a surprise.”

“I know, Joe. I needed to get out of town. Far out of town.” She thinks I live in the sticks.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“Terran problems,” she said.

“As in Deb?” I asked.

“And Sarah,” she replied.

This was unusual. Usually asking about Deb is where she would shut down the conversation, but she didn’t this time.

“If you want to talk about it, I’ll listen,” I said.

She sighed and asked, “Can we go upstairs where it’s more comfortable?”

Velorians can be ‘comfortable’ anywhere. That’s what they always tell me. But I nodded and got up and followed her upstairs. She sat down in the living room while I went into the kitchen and put a kettle of water on the stove and got out a couple of tea bags.

Sharon walked in and said, “Here, let me help you.”

She poured cold water into a couple of cups, then boiled the water with her heat vision and dropped the tea bags into them. Then she carried them out to the living room and put them on coasters on the coffee table.

I reached out to pick up my cup and she grabbed me by the wrist and said, “You’d better let that cool a bit.”

I said “Okay,” as I pulled my hand back. She reached down and grabbed the teabags by the little strings and bobbed them up and down in the cups.

“Deb is unhappy that I’m seeing Sarah. Sarah is unhappy that I won’t commit to her, and both are unhappy that I have sex with you.”

Well, duh.

“I can bow out, Sharon. That removes me as the common enemy.”

“You’re not the common enemy, Joe. We, you and I, are.”

“Do you have a plan?” I asked.

“Yes. Move in with you and Xara.”

“Do you have a plan that doesn’t make my superior officer mad at me?”

“I don’t know what to do Joe. I care very deeply for both and don’t want to hurt them. Or lose them. And cutting you out of my sex life is a non-starter.”

“Sharon, why tell me about this now? In the past, whenever I’ve asked about Deb, you’ve shut me out, completely. What’s changed?”

“I need someone to talk to, and you’re a good listener. I didn’t share with you before because of all the times I’ve lectured you on the inferiority of Terran relationships. I didn’t want you to throw it back in my face.”

“Sharon,” I said, “I would never do that.”

I really wanted to throw it back in her face. Dixon and Johnson did too.

“Do they see me as a threat?”

“I’m not sure ‘threat’ is the right word, Joe. They know I screw other men, and Deb has been able to live with that, and live with me taking a female lover from time to time.

“But this is different. You aren’t a one-night stand or a short fling. You are Kiraling. That relationship lasts until one of us dies. And if you have children, even beyond your lifespan.”

“I didn’t think Xara and I could have children.”

“You can’t. But if your marriage were to break up, and you were to marry and have a child, your child would be under our protection too. Even if you had an affair and had a child out of wedlock.”

“Really? For how many generations?”

“Just the one, your immediate progeny.”

“So you’d be jumping into bed with my children?”

She laughed and said, “They wouldn’t be Kiraling, Joe. Let’s just say they’d have a very powerful auntie Sharon watching over them.”

I decided to drop this subject. Xara and I can’t have children.

“You said Deb has been able to live with your dalliances. What about Major Moore?”

“Sarah is her own set of problems. She doesn’t want to share me with anyone. She wants me to leave Deb and live with her.”

“And you won’t do that because …?

“Deb is enhanced, Joe. I shouldn’t have done it, but I did. And with her attitude, it’s too dangerous to abandon her. And I don’t want to, I love her.”

“You said that before, that she is enhanced. Remind me, what does that mean?”

“It means, Joe, that her DNA has been partially overwritten with Velorian DNA. She doesn’t have all my strength, but she is much stronger than a Terran. She isn’t bullet proof, but no one will ever be able to puncture her skin with a needle. Which is okay because she’ll never get sick either. She may live longer, or not, there is no way to know.”

I was just opening my mouth to ask her more about it when she put her finger to my lips and said, “I shouldn’t tell you anymore, Joe. Just understand that it complicates things.”

“I can see that,” I said.

“Sharon, I know you said you don’t want to do this, but what if we ended the sexual part of our relationship? Wouldn’t that make things easier with Deb and Sarah?”

“First, Joe, I said that is a non-starter, and I meant it. We aren’t going to go there. The only way I’ll stay out of your bed is if you tell me to, and if I think for even a nanosecond that you are doing it because of Sarah or Deb, I’ll hit you so hard with my pheromones that you won’t be able to think straight for a month. Which will be about right because I’ll also fuck you so hard and for so long that you won’t be able to get out of bed for a month.”

She said this with a straight face. No, not a straight face. A threatening face. I believed her. 100%.

“Second, taking you out of the equation still leaves the two of them in it, and they’ll just turn their attention to each other. No, Joe, ending my relationship with you, sexual or otherwise, won’t fix things.”

“I wish I knew what to tell you Sharon.”

“You’ve helped a lot by listening, Joe. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. Can I tell you about a problem we’re having?”

“You and Xara? Certainly!”

I told her about the voicemail from the professor who wants to bed her.

“Well, if it was up to me, I’d tell Xara to go to the conference and fuck him. It’s a win-win. He gets the best sex of his life and Xara gets an outstanding recommendation.”

Dixon said, “We should throw that morality shit back in her face.” Johnson agreed. I was tempted.

“But,” she continued, “Xara has made a commitment to you, and she wants to keep it. She has been keeping it. It’s a testimony to her love for you. And as much as I think she should just go ahead and bed anyone she wants, she has drawn a line and we need to respect it. And that means the professor needs to respect it.

“And this could become a habit if the professor thinks he has leverage over her, that all he has to do is bring up the subject of the recommendation and she’ll come flying to his bed.

“So this has to be stopped.”

The next thing I knew, Sharon was on the phone to Kara and an hour later they were both in my living room waiting for Xara to come home.

I was in the kitchen making dinner when Xara came in through the garage.

“Hi mom, Sharon. I wasn’t expecting to see you two here. What’s up?” What’s up, she asked. She picked that up from me. I think it’s a sign that we are evolving as a couple.

“Sharon,” I said, “came up to consult with me about her sex life. Then I told her about your amorous professor, and she called your mom.”

“Oh?” Said Xara. “What advice did you give Sharon?”

“I offered to break off our sexual relationship. She threatened to fuck me into oblivion if I tried. Then she said you should just screw your professor and get the recommendation.”

“I won’t do that. And you know if I fucked him once, it wouldn’t end until I graduated.”

“That’s what Sharon said. So then she called your mom.”

“What do you think I should do, mom?”

“There are several tactics you could use, honey. All of them would work.

“You could reveal a little of yourself to him and explain where the two of you fit in the hierarchy of the universe, while dangling him a mile offshore and a hundred feet above Bellingham Bay.

“Or you could expose him to your fear pheromones and tell him to give you the recommendation and stop bothering you.”

“Or,” said Sharon, “your mom and I could set him up, get some pictures and threaten to give them to his wife if he doesn’t shape up.”

“Or,” I said, “you could make a connection with him and do an attitude reset on him, like you did that guy at the restaurant.”

“The other options would be more fun,” said Sharon.

Kara agreed. Johnson, Dixon and I did too but didn’t say anything.

We, or I should say, they, talked about it during dinner.

“The blackmail idea would probably be very effective,” said Kara, “unless he and his wife have an open marriage. If she’s okay with him fucking his students, it wouldn’t work. Xara, has he approached other students?”

“Yes,” she answered. “I’ve asked around. He has a reputation among the women in the biology graduate program. He’s a serial predator.

“I’ve also seen him at department social functions. His wife is always with him and always stays close. She may know about him, or suspect. If she does, I don’t think she approves.”

“We don’t have to stick to one strategy,” said Kara. “Sharon and I can get him into a compromising position and take pictures and threaten him with them. If that doesn’t work, dangle him over the bay.”

“Couldn’t you just report him to the department chair?” I asked.

“I could, Joe, but that would very likely jeopardize my recommendation if I wasn’t successful.”

“Why wouldn’t you be successful?” I asked.

“The professors of the biology department are very good at circling the wagons and protecting each other,” she answered. “And as I said, he’s been doing this for years, and nothing has ever been said or done about it.”

In the end, they decided on the blackmail approach, with dangling him over the bay as a fallback tactic. Xara sat down and wrote up a letter of recommendation for him to sign and made multiple copies. Then she called him and told him she decided to attend the conference. We all listened in. He said he would make the hotel reservation for them, getting adjoining rooms.

That gave us one important piece of information. He didn’t want her in the same room, at least not officially, he wanted to keep it on the sly.

“But isn’t it obvious he is up to something if he’s reserving two rooms next to each other?” I asked.

“No,” said Xara. “It’s quite common for a department, or an attendee, to make room reservations for everyone who is attending. This won’t raise any eyebrows.”

They even included me in the plan.

“Joseph, you will go with Xara, and stay in her room with her. That way, if this goes south, she can claim she had no intention of sleeping with the professor.”

“Because …?” I asked.

“Because she brought her fiancé with her,” Sharon answered.

Oh. Duh.

A few days later the professor confirmed that he got a room reservation for Xara, or Danni as he knew her. Danni then called the hotel and added me to her reservation.

“It has a balcony overlooking the harbor, Joe!”

“Great! What harbor?”

“Vancouver Harbor. The conference is in Vancouver B.C.”


It was a three-day conference over a weekend. Xara got her conference welcome package in the mail that week.

Janelle was furious. She had just finished up a campaign luncheon and was going back to her car with Miguel. As Miguel was about to open the door for her, she caught a scent, and grabbed him by the wrist and pulled him back.

“Stand back, Miguel,” she told him. “Something is not right here.”

She slowly walked around the car, examining it, looking through all the panels and seats and such, and saw, under the car, attached to wires that led to the engine, a bomb. She quickly turned to Miguel and, keeping her body between him and the car, lifted him off his feet and carried him back fifty feet.

“Senorita, what is wrong?”

“There’s a bomb under the car, Miguel. Someone is trying to kill us.”

Miguel turned white and his knees got weak. She caught him before he collapsed, and gently sat him down on the sidewalk.

Later she would examine the emotions she was feeling. Anger that someone would attack her, and fear that Miguel could have been injured or killed. She’d never really cared that much about what happened to frails. They seemed to be accidents just waiting to happen. But obviously, she was changing. It wasn’t love, at least not in the romantic sense, she knew that. But she would defend Miguel, with her life if it came to that.

She went back to the car and examined it again. It was a crude device, explosives stuffed into a pipe with a detonator wired to the car’s wiring harness. She assumed that as soon as a current was applied to it, it would explode.

She went back to Miguel and said, “We will walk home. We’ll come back tonight and disarm the bomb.”

“You can do that, senorita Janelle?”

“Yes, Miguel. I can. I just need you to be a lookout for me. No harm will come to you. Do you trust me, Miguel?”

“Yes, senorita, I do.”

She had dinner with Miguel’s family that evening and then, after dark, she changed into casual clothing, jeans and a pull over, and went back to the car with Miguel. Miguel brought tools with him.

She stationed Miguel about a hundred feet away from the car where he could watch for people approaching while she crawled under the car. As she suspected, once she removed the wires from the detonator, then the detonator from the pipe, the bomb was harmless.

With the bomb stashed in the trunk, she had Miguel drive her to a nearby store where she bought two prepaid cell phones. She then had him take her home. She got on her computer and brought up her VPN, then created two anonymous email accounts, and used those accounts to activate the phones. Then she sat down and began modifying the detonator so it could be triggered by a phone call. Once she had a working phone activated bomb, she turned off her lights and went to bed.

The next morning, she had Miguel drive her around the town, looking for people reacting with surprise. She didn’t see any, so she decided she would have to find her would be bomber without being subtle.

She thought of asking for help from Near Earth Command, but they were almost useless. Besides issuing new communication equipment, which took longer to program, could only send short messages in brief bursts and then locked out transmissions for anywhere from four to seventy-four hours, they were still hung up on this ridiculous hunt for information about the Terran supposedly marrying a Protector.

Fucking waste of time and energy. If NEC couldn’t help her, at least they could get out of her way. But no, they wanted her to use her valuable transmission windows to give them further updates regarding the local politics. And tell them of any progress she made running down the stupid wedding rumor. She assumed they were asking this of all Arion agents on the planet. She wondered if they had access to maps of Terra. From what they said, this wedding was a continent away. How would she have any information about it?

Chapter 191

The weekend of the conference, Xara and I drove up to Vancouver B.C. At the border crossing we were stopped and asked to pull over and come into an office to be interviewed.

My appearance. My ugly face. That’s why they stopped us. They took our passports, put us in separate rooms and disappeared. After about ten minutes we were reunited, and a Canadian Customs official apologized for delaying us.

“I’m very sorry for delaying you Sergeant Ricci.”

“Why did you delay us, sir?” I asked.

“It’s very embarrassing, sergeant. I’m afraid that our people reacted very badly to your … wounds. I apologize.”

Xara was holding my hand, and we were in a connection, and she was making it very clear to me that she wasn’t happy with the way they treated me.

“Xara, it’s no big deal, let’s just get out of here.”

“It is a big deal, Joe. But okay. I won’t burn anyone’s face off. Today.”

I accepted the officer’s apology and we left.

We got to the hotel and checked in and went up to our room and unpacked. Then we went to the convention center where Danni Banks checked herself in and registered me as a guest. You can do that, bring your significant other along and get a guest pass for the lectures and sessions.

When we got back to our room, Xara looked through the wall and saw the professor was in his room. She went to our balcony, looked up, and waved. Fifteen minutes later there was a knock at the door, and I let Kara and Sharon in. They were both dressed to kill.

After a few minutes we heard a rattling at the door between Danni’s room and the professor’s. The door was locked on Danni’s side. She unlocked it and opened it and the professor walked in and was surprised to see me there with Sharon and Kara. I’m leaving his name out, I’ll just call him x. Or professor x. Or Dr. X. He does have a PhD. The agreement specifies that … I’m getting ahead of myself.

“Danni, you brought Joe with you,” he said, with some irritation in his voice.

“Why yes, Dr. X. I thought he’d enjoy coming up here with me.”

He’d been focusing on me. He was about to say something when he looked past me and saw Sharon and Kara, and his mouth just sort of hung open.

“Dr. X, I’d like you to meet my mother, Lisa, and my aunt, Sharon.”

Kara and Sharon stepped forward and held out their hands to him, and then suddenly there were pheromones everywhere and I was reaching for them. Kara and Sharon each put an arm around Professor X and navigated him back into his room, closing the door behind them. I was trying to follow when I felt myself lifted off the floor, by Xara, and carried out to the balcony.

She made a connection with me, without asking first, and told me to breath.

“Breath Joe. Come on, nice deep breaths. In and out.”

I did as she said, while still trying to get loose to follow Kara and Sharon. In a minute, maybe two, the pheromones had cleared my system and I was in control of myself, except I still had a raging hard on and was quite … aroused.

“I’m sorry Joe, I should have had you come out here before I let X in the door. Are you okay now?”

“I am. Except for,” and I pointed down.

Xara laughed and said, “I promise you I’ll take care of that tonight. Now, I’ve got some pictures to take. You should stay here on the balcony. Okay?”

“Okay,” I answered.

Xara grabbed her phone and went into X’s room, closing the door behind her.

An hour later all three ladies came back into the room. Kara and Sharon were naked, carrying their clothes. Xara was fully clothed.

“Well, how did it go? Did he agree to give Xara the recommendation?”

“Not yet,” said Sharon. “He isn’t able to think clearly and is sleeping it off.”

“I left his balcony door open,” said Kara. “He should have a clear head soon. I’m hungry, let’s eat.”

Sharon and Kara dressed, and we went out for dinner. Sharon knew of a nice Chinese place. After we ordered Xara pulled out her phone and showed me what she got. And Jesus Christ, she got a lot. She had photos and video of him in bed with Kara and Sharon, in all kinds of positions doing all kinds of things. And if the photos and video were not enough, Kara pulled a vial out of her purse that had a bit of his semen in it, DNA evidence she said.

We were in a corner of the restaurant with a fair amount of privacy, which was a good thing, because the ladies were having a great time describing to me in detail what they did and how they would position themselves and X to make sure Xara got the best angles.

After dinner we went back to the hotel. Kara said X was awake, though still in bed, and since he hadn’t locked his side of the door, we all just walked in on him. Xara picked up his phone and told him to look at his messages. She’d sent him a few pictures. He opened the messages up and turned red.

“Here’s what’s going to happen,” said Kara. “You’re going to sign some letters for Danni. And then you are never going to bother her again, or your wife gets these pictures, and much more. Show him Danni.”

Xara showed him a video of him kissing Kara while Sharon sucked his dick.

“You wouldn’t dare!”

“Sure I would,” replied Xara.

“I’ll get you expelled for this! You’ll never get into medical school by the time I’m through!”

“Oh.” Said Xara. “Gosh, I’m sorry you feel that way. I’ll just send these to your wife now. Her number is …” And she repeated his wife’s number to him.

“She’ll never believe you! I’ll tell her the photos and video are fake!”

“How will you explain this?” Asked Kara as she pulled the vial of his semen out of her purse and showed it to him. At the same time, Xara brought up the video of Kara collecting the semen.

“Go ahead and deny it, Professor,” said Xara. “I’ll just propose a simple DNA test to prove this is all real.”

Suddenly all the bluster was gone. All the fight was gone. He was defeated and he knew it.

“What do I have to do?” He asked.

“I have some letters for you to sign,” said Xara. She went back into our room and came back with a file folder with fifteen letters in it, all of them the same, all of them only needing his signature. She gave him the letters and a pen, and he signed them all.

“How do I know you won’t show her the pictures anyway?” He asked.

“You don’t,” said Sharon.

“You can trust us,” said Xara. And as she said it, I felt a little bit of fear, and then a lot of confidence that she was telling the truth. Sharon and Kara looked at her quizzically, and then I knew, it was her pheromones. Xara was using both fear and trust pheromones. More trust than fear.

“And if I hear of you pressuring any other students to have sex with you, everyone will see these. Your wife. The entire biology department, they will be all over the internet. Do you understand?” Asked Xara. And I felt just a little more fear, and a lot of confidence that she was telling the truth.

He sighed, nodded, and handed back the signed letters.

We went back through the adjoining door to our room, and Xara locked our side of it.

“Xara,” Sharon said, “I was actually afraid! I can’t remember the last time I felt fear like that.”

“Ugh, you didn’t have to put up with her early teenage years,” said Kara.

“Are you okay?” Xara asked me.

“Yes, I’m fine. I felt the fear, and the trust too. You used more trust than fear, right?”


Xara kept her promise to me, and I had a wonderful night’s sleep afterwards. The next morning, we went to breakfast, then Xara’s day was starting. The pass she gave me allowed me to attend all the sessions with her. And I learned something important: when going to a scientific symposium drink plenty of coffee.

Xara loved it. She took copious notes and asked a lot of questions, and the presenters were quite impressed with those questions. As for myself, I didn’t understand most of what I was hearing and seeing. But Xara held my hand, and we were in a connection, and she’d silently explain some of what was going on.

I behaved myself. I really did. But Johnson and Dixon were both bored and wanted to talk about something else, or just leave. Xara caught some of that, I could tell by the way she was glancing at me. I did my best to shut them down and had some success when I suggested that I should call Kara and ask her to fly my meds up.

Professor X attended several of the sessions that Xara went to. He made a point of sitting as far away from us as he could. I made a point of waving and smiling at him.

Chapter 192

The conference left Xara downright inspired and questioning her decision to go to medical school. On the drive home she called Kara and asked her to meet us at the cabin to discuss her new idea.

Kara met us at the cabin and while I fixed dinner Xara talked to her mother about changing her plans. I was able to hear the conversation.

“Mom, you employ medicinal chemists, right?”

“Of course, dear, they are central to the development of new drugs.”

“Mom, I attended two sessions on medicinal chemistry, and I think I want to go that way in my professional career, rather than medicine.”

At this point there was some back and forth as Kara explained the similarities, differences and connections between medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, medicine and other disciplines, most of which went over my head. If you want to know the difference between a medicinal chemist and a pharmacist, Google it.

“Xara, I’m always looking for talented people for my company, and there is opportunity all over the world for talented medicinal chemists. And it isn’t uncommon for people starting out in these disciplines to move between them. And if you’re thinking of medicinal chemistry, you should also look into pharmaceutical chemistry.”

“I think I’m going to look into it, mom.”

“Think about it, honey, and if you’d like to, I can arrange for you to talk to some of my people.”

At dinner I asked, “What is the difference between medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry?”

“They are very similar, Joseph. Medicinal chemistry can often be thought of as a subset of pharmaceutical chemistry.”

“It sounds like a religious argument to me,” I said.

“Get these guys and gals in the same room together,” answered Kara, “and it looks like a religious argument. But I need both and I employ both.”

I bring this up because it became a pattern. One day she was intrigued by pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry, another day she was looking at Environmental Engineering, another day it was pure math, and another day it was astronomy. Astronomy was intriguing because she thought she could add to the field through direct observation. She already could tell you everything there was to know about traversing a wormhole with a blackhole at the center of it. They all have blackholes at their centers.

Kara was concerned, but I wasn’t, I knew what was going on. Kara flew up one day to discuss it with me while Xara was on campus.

“Kara, a defining moment for me, in my life, was the September 9/11 attack. I joined the Army, and the Army turned me into a man with a purpose. Has Xara had any formative experiences like that?”

“There was the day the Arions captured us, Joseph, and we met you. But other than that, no.”

“How long has she wanted to be a doctor?”

“Since she was a little girl. She could spend hours looking at people’s organs and then drawing pictures of them.”

“Has she ever wanted to be anything else?”

“No, not until recently.”

“Kara, she’s still a kid. She may look like a grown woman and have all the powers of a goddess, but she’s still exploring the world and herself. She’s figured out that she can do just about anything and wants to explore her options.”

“Yes, I see what you’re saying, Joseph. Sometimes I forget that she’s just barely an adult.”

“Yeah. I’m okay with it, I think it’s healthy. But I’m worried that she might look at me one day and wonder if she can do better.”

“I don’t think you have anything to worry about, Joseph, but maybe you should have this conversation with her.”

I told Kara I would, and then Kara left. About an hour later Amazon delivered a box for Xara. I set it on the dining room table. An hour after that Xara came home, saw the box and said, “Oh! My police scanner is here!”

Janelle was growing more popular, not only in her own district, but across the entire city as people were hearing about how she wasn’t afraid of the gangs, and that the church was supporting her. She didn’t realize how popular she was until a nervous young man walked into her clinic and asked to talk to her.

“Dr. Janelle,” he began. Doctor, not senorita. This was becoming more common as her reputation spread. “There are some people trying to hurt you. They talked about putting a bomb in your car.”

“What is your name, senior?”

“Antonio, Dr. Janelle,” he answered.

Janelle picked up her phone and called Miguel and asked him to come to her office. He was with the car and arrived in less than a minute.

“Antonio has some information to share with us, Miguel,” she said. “Go on Antonio.”

Antonio looked around nervously, then said, “I work at Barra de Rosa. I was clearing tables when I heard three men talking. They said they put a bomb in your car, but it didn’t explode. They were talking about putting another one in your car, soon.”

“I see,” said Janelle. “Do you know these men?”

“No, Dr. Janelle.”

“Do they come into the bar often?”

“I’ve only seen them this one time, Dr. Janelle.”

“Do you live near the Bar, Antonio?”

“Yes, Dr. Janelle.”

Janelle turned to Miguel.

“Barra de Rosa is not in our district, senorita Janelle. It’s in the 4th district several miles from here.”

“Antonio, thank you for this information. But please, tell me, why did you bring it to me?” Janelle asked.

“Dr. Janelle, the people all say that you can stop the gangs. My priest speaks of you, and the good you can do. The gangs killed my sister, Dr. Janelle. My parents and I are very afraid of them. I thought, if you are not afraid of the gangs, if you can stop the gangs, then telling you what I heard might keep you alive to do your work.”

“You have been very helpful, Antonio. Miguel will see you out and give you his number. If you see these men again, please call him and let him know. Miguel, I have a patient waiting to see me. Come back here when the patient leaves.”

When her patient had left, and Miguel had returned, Janelle ushered him into her office.

“Miguel, it seems we will have to wait for our would-be bombers to strike again. For the next several days stay with the car, constantly. At night, park it under my apartment window and leave it there. Perhaps we can catch them in the act.”

“And if we do catch them senorita Janelle?”

“I will take them to the forest, where they will tell me who they work for, and then entertain me.”

She almost laughed aloud when the color left Miguel’s face and he involuntarily shivered at this news. Almost. She didn’t want to insult the man or make him think she was mocking him. But still, it was priceless the way he reacted when he understood what she could, and would, do to those who crossed her.


Chapter 193

“Xara, why did you buy a police scanner?”

“I’ve been thinking of how I can be more active in Terran affairs, and I thought maybe I can be a crime fighter!”

“Like the superheroes in the comic books?”

“Yes! Supergirl is a fictional character, but I could be the real thing, swooping in to save the day!” She said this taking up the classic superhero pose, hands on hips, looking up towards the … ceiling fan.

“So you’d go public with who you are, and let the world know?”

“No, silly, that would make my private life difficult, or non-existent. Not to mention all of mom’s rules I’d be breaking. I’d have to stay out of sight of the authorities or wear a disguise.”

“That would be some disguise, Xara. You know you stand out everywhere you go, right?”

“Well, then I’d stay out of sight. At least out of sight of the police and government agencies.”

“I don’t think you’ve thought this through, Xara.”

“Yes I have Joe! Don’t be closed minded, I could do a lot of good!”

“Okay, explain to me how you’ll do it.”

Xara thought for a moment and said, “I’ll listen to the police scanner, and if I hear something I can help with I’ll fly out and check it out. I’ll stay high and out of sight until I determine what I can do and how I’ll do it, then I’ll take care of whatever is going on.”

“And when will you do this? You spend so much time on campus, when will you have the time?”

“Nights and weekends!”

Before getting the scanner, Xara had no idea how much minor traffic stops filled the airwaves. Or false alarms from private alarm systems. It was a good lesson for her. She started having second thoughts the fourth time she investigated an alarm that was set off by someone’s cat or dog.

Janelle bought a pair of two-way radios and gave one to Miguel. Outside the city there was no cell service, and she needed a way to have two-way communication with him. She had been watching him closely, she always watched him closely, and she knew that when she was torturing and raping her ‘guests’ at her playroom, the screaming was very hard on him. She thought it might help his nerves if she could tell him to park far enough away so that he couldn’t hear, which wouldn’t be far, Terrans have terrible hearing, and then contact him on the radio when she was ready to leave.

The evening of the day she bought the radios she had Miguel to her apartment for dinner. The car was parked under her window, as she had requested, and she didn’t have to look down on it to know if someone was snooping around it, she would be able to hear it.

She gave one of the radios to Miguel and showed him how to use it. Then she started what she hoped would not be a too difficult conversation with him.

“Miguel, I’ve never asked you how you feel about my … anti-gang activities. Will you tell me?”

Miguel thought for a moment. He didn’t want to insult Janelle. He liked her, and more than that, he was afraid of her. But she always treated him well, so he took a deep breath and answered her.

“I have always been afraid of the gangs, senorita, and have often wished I had the courage to stand up to them. I am happy to see that you can and do.”

“Miguel, does what I do to them bother you, or frighten you?”

“Yes, senorita Janelle, it frightens me very much. The screams are awful and hard to listen to. But the gangs have made people scream too with their tortures.”

“Miguel, do you want me to stop hurting them?”

“Sometimes I do, senorita, but other times, when I think of them attacking my wife, then I don’t want you to stop.”

“Very well Miguel. From now on, when I take my captives into the forest, you can park away from my building, and I will call you on the radio when I am ready to leave.”

This settled, at least in Janelle’s mind, she changed subjects.

“Miguel, I want you to watch this video with me.”

She opened a laptop and brought up a video from an American TV show. It was about using bamboo for torture. After watching the video, she asked Miguel if he could make a box to plant bamboo in. He said he could. The next day he went shopping for materials, and then he and Janelle went to the forest, to her playroom, and found a spot near the building they cleared and built a kind of planter in. Then they transplanted some bamboo there. Bamboo was plentiful in the area.

“You are really going to do this?” Miguel asked Janelle as he drove stakes into the ground at the corners of the box.

“I won’t ask you to watch if it is too disturbing for you,” she answered.

Chapter 194

Bellingham isn’t crime free. Far from it. But for a busy student who only has limited time to listen to police calls, there isn’t a lot that can keep a Supergirl busy. She briefly toyed with the idea of quitting school, but I managed to talk her out of that quickly and easily. But instead of giving up on the idea, she decided to broaden her horizons. The equipment in the lair, it turns out, can receive VHF marine bands and shortwave single side band Coast Guard traffic. It can even record it for later reference. So now I go through that a couple of times a day in case anything comes up that might be of interest to Xara. She makes it worth my while. The things she can do with her mouth, lips and tongue …

And something did come up. It was a Saturday, and I was in the lair working out on the Bowflex while Xara was fiddling with the receivers when she heard Coast Guard stations talking about a fishing boat that had sent out a distress signal somewhere in the waters off the Aleutian Islands, between Kodiak and Chignik. She changed into her flight suit and was off in two minutes. I picked up the phone and called Kara and let her know what was going on. Half an hour later she and Sharon were in the lair with me, listening to the radio transmissions.

Listening to the broadcasts we could pick up, it seemed a fishing boat was in trouble in rough seas. Boats and helicopters were on the way, but the weather was rough. The fishing boat was reporting that several of the crew were in the water and the boat was floundering.

“They’ll never survive in the water,” said Kara.

“No, they won’t,” said Sharon.

We didn’t have perfect reception and couldn’t hear all the transmission of the rescue teams that were on their way. But we did hear the helicopter report that all five crewmen were alive and on board, and that they weren’t sure how it happened, which was strange. And got a response back to repeat their transmission. If they repeated it, we didn’t hear it.

About 20 minutes after that Xara came through the lake entrance into the lair. We all gathered around her; she was obviously excited.

“I found the boat about the same time a Coast Guard helicopter arrived. There were four guys in the water …”

Kara interrupted her, “In the water, and they survived long enough for you to get there?”

“They were wearing these cool suits, mom.”

“Suits?” Asked Sharon.

I Googled Immersion suits and showed them pictures.

“Yes, exactly,” said Xara. “That’s what they were wearing!

“Except they only had four, and there were five of them. The four with suits were in the water. The one without was still on the boat.

“The helicopter arrived, so I plucked the guys in the water out, one at a time and brought them up to the helicopter.

“When I finished doing that I went back to the boat, and it had capsized. I flew under it and found the last guy; he was in an air pocket that was filling up with water. I told him to take a deep breath and then used my heat vision to burn a hole in the bottom of the boat and flew him through that up to the helicopter.”

“All those men saw you,” said Kara.

“They did, mom, but they didn’t have any cameras aboard the helicopter, and the helicopter crew were too busy working on the boat’s crew to pull out their cell phones and take pictures, and it was dark to boot. And they were so stunned by seeing me, that they didn’t resist at all when I initiated connections with them.”

“Connections?” I asked, “Like you do with me?”

“Yes, and I didn’t exactly wipe their memories of me, but I introduced confusion. None of them are sure what they saw, or how the boat’s crew got into the helicopter.

“Xara,” said Kara, “this is reckless. You shouldn’t have done that.”

“Mom, they may have died if I didn’t. The wind and water were pretty rough, I don’t know if the helicopter crew would have been able to get those men out of the water. They certainly wouldn’t have gotten the one still on the boat, he would have died.”

Sharon and Kara were getting ready to lay into Xara, I could tell, and she was going to stand her ground, because, well, she’s Xara.

I put my arms around Xara and pulled her into me, away from Kara and Sharon and said, “I am so proud of you! You did a wonderful thing today.”

She gave me a huge smile and hugged me.

“Kara, Sharon, Xara saved lives today. I think we should celebrate.”

Kara sighed and asked, “You’re sure they won’t remember you?”

“Whatever they do remember, mom, will be confusing and befuddling.”

Kara sighed again, and said, “Okay. How do we celebrate?”

“What!” Exclaimed Sharon. “You’re going to leave it at that?”

“I don’t know what else I can do, Sharon.”

“If Velor finds out about this, they may recall you and send a bounty hunter for her.”

“Velor has bounty hunters?” I asked.

“They’re P1’s who failed their Protector training for some reason or other. They are used to track down Velorians who have gone rogue and return them to Velor,” explained Sharon.

“No one is going to remember me,” said Xara. “And if Velor has a bounty hunter who thinks she can capture me, I’d like to see her try.”

Sharon didn’t have anything to say to that.

“I’ll be careful, mom. I won’t do anything that would jeopardize your status.”

“Kara,” I said, “I’ll work with her, make sure she is being discreet.”

“Ha!” Said Sharon, “As if you have any control over her.”

Xara put her arms around me and kissed me, then turned to Sharon and said, “He does, Sharon. More than you know.”

Apparently more than I know, too. But I kept my mouth shut.

We celebrated by ordering Chinese takeout and Sharon went into my wine stash and picked out a couple of bottles. Dinner was delivered and we sat down at the dining room table to eat. And then I discovered that Kara had no intention of capitulating to Xara’s desire to “interfere in Terran affairs,” as Kara put it.

“How far are you willing to go, Xara?” Kara asked.

“What do you mean, mom?”

“Will you kill a Terran to save a Terran?”

“I don’t know … no, I won’t. I’ll find a way to avoid killing.”

“What about Josh and his friends?” I asked. “You said there was no chance they’d make it out of the wilderness you dropped them into.”

“That’s different,” said Sharon.

“Yes, Joseph,” Kara said, “that is different. They had killed, they were going to kill a Kiraling, and they were trying to lure Xara to her death.”

“So if I wasn’t Kiraling …?”

“By the customs established by the Protector’s Council,” said Sharon, “you would have been left to die.”

“Lucky me,” I said.

“Yes,” said Kara, “lucky you. I know it sounds unfair, even cruel, but interference in Terran affairs is not our place.”

“Aren’t you interfering in Terran affairs by developing new drugs?” I asked.

“A purist would say so.” Answered Kara.

“Mom, I will avoid killing as best I can.”

“Will you involve yourself in Terran wars?” Asked Sharon.

“Xara looked at me, then said, “No, Sharon, I will not get involved in Terran wars.”

“And you’ll keep our presence here secret?” Kara asked.

“Yes. I will. If I stop a crime, or rescue someone, I’ll make a connection with them and confuse their memory.”

“Suppose,” Kara said, “there was a fire in a high rise apartment building. And the police and the firefighters were there in force, and there was a large crowd gathered, and you were the only way to get people out of the building. What would you do?”

“I don’t know, mom.”

And that’s the way the evening went. Sharon and Kara kept throwing out hypothetical, but reasonable situations where Xara’s intervention could not be kept secret. And in the end, she admitted that she hadn’t thought it out completely and agreed that she would only intervene if there was absolute certainty that she could do so without revealing herself.

“If everyone knew about you,” I asked Kara and Sharon, “would you get involved in Terran affairs?”

“On disclosed planets,” answered Sharon, “there are strict ethical guidelines about what Velorians may and may not do.”

“Yes,” said Kara, “we may not take sides in a war or most other disputes. In the burning building scenario, rescuing people would be permitted if that was the only way to save them. In other situations, the Velorian Ambassador would make the decision. Such as a hostage situation. Or a standoff between law enforcement and criminals.”

“But care must always be taken,” said Sharon, “that no Terrans be killed or injured unless absolutely necessary, and that is a very high bar.”

“High enough,” said Kara, “that in most cases where the possibility of killing or injuring a Terran exists, the Velorian would opt out of involvement.”

“It doesn’t seem right,” I said.

“I know, Joseph,” replied Kara, “but we aren’t the Arions. We cannot allow ourselves to be the arbiters of right and wrong on Terran worlds, or the worlds of other species.”

I won’t say I didn’t believe them, that wouldn’t be true. But they did do some major harm to Josh and his guys, first by cutting off fingers and then dumping them in the wilderness and leaving them to die. And over time it had occurred to me that Major Aldrich’s car crash may have had more Velorian involvement than any of them had ever admitted.

So yes, they believed in the ideal, but they weren’t beyond reinterpreting their rules of engagement when it suited them. And where I, as Kiraling, was involved, all their rules went out the door. But I wasn’t going to say anything. They would have just denied it or rationalized it.

After Kara and Sharon left, it was obvious Xara wasn’t finished thinking about this.

“I can pick a medical school in a big city, with lots of lights. At night, if I stayed above the lights, people wouldn’t be able to see me.”

“Can they see you here?”

“No, but in big cities, there are more opportunities for me to,” she put her hands on her hips and looked up at the ceiling fan, “save the day!” And we both started laughing.

Janelle inspected the body of the frail. It was dead, and from the looks of it, it was a slow and painful death.

Janelle and Miguel had gone out one night in the van and Janelle caught a gang member. They drove into the forest, to her playroom, where Janelle took it to the place she and Miguel prepared, stripped it, then tied its hands and feet to the stakes, positioning its torso, face down, over a bamboo shoot that hadn’t broken through the ground yet.

It had demanded that she release it, then asked her to let it go, then begged her for mercy. She had laughed at it. It offered her money. She said she didn’t need any. It offered her drugs. She said they didn’t do anything for her. It said its gang would track her down and kill her. She said any who tried would end up the same as it.

Five days later she was back. The top of the bamboo shoot was very sharp and had penetrated about five inches into the thug’s body, and then, apparently, stopped growing. Satisfied that this actually worked, she cut the body loose and threw it over a ledge into a river.

She didn’t think she’d use this method much, if at all. While she liked to take her time torturing and killing frails, and enjoyed listening to their screams, this method was a bit too slow. Maybe if she timed it right, so she could be playing with a couple of frails in her playroom while one screamed outside, she could get some pleasure from it. Or if she was going to be spending time at the playroom doing upgrades, this would help pass the time. But, when she thought about it, if she had Miguel helping her, that would be too hard on him.

She called Miguel on the radio and told him to drive back to the playroom. He was parked about a mile away. When he arrived, she got in the car. Miguel looked at her, and she said, “It works. Just like it did in the video.”

With that they drove back into the city.


Chapter 195

Things are getting back to normal, or as normal as can be in a family of superwomen. Xara is back to wanting to be an MD. She never really changed her mind, but she isn’t looking at other careers now.

She tried “patrolling” Bellingham and Whatcom County in the early morning before sunrise and at night after sunset, looking for crimes to stop or people to rescue. It turns out that being a caped crusader is more difficult than the comic books, TV and movies, make it out to be. She did break up a domestic violence incident, a couple were drunk and had gotten into a fight. She wasn’t sure which one of them started it, but she made connections with each of them and put them to sleep, long enough, she hoped, for the two of them to sober up.

The pace of wedding planning is picking up. We picked out a cake, that was just the two of us, and Mona helped Xara pick out flowers. Of all the members of the Rack Pack, Mona is the one most in touch with her feminine side. Not that the others aren’t, except for Gloria, but Mona more so. And Crystal too. I know I haven’t talked much about her. She is enhanced, and works closely with and for Kara, so in some ways she has one foot in the human camp and the other in the Velorian camp.

I’m expected to be present at all wedding planning meetings and to be a full participant. That’s the expectation of the ladies. When I speak up and offer a suggestion, they all look at me and smile and nod their heads, then go back to it as if I wasn’t there.

The guest list is a challenge. Knowledge about the Velorians is supposed to be Top Secret, need to know, that sort of thing. But it seems every Federal government agency with a law enforcement role is in on the secret, at least at high levels. So the FBI knows about them. The ATF knows about them. All the armed forces know, of course, as does the Secret Service. I don’t know if the IRS is aware, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

So there is a lot of pressure on Kara from cabinet level people, through Senator Jackson and the President, and from the Pentagon through General Rosenthal and the SECDEF. Did I mention that the State Department wanted in too? They were seeking an opportunity to talk to Kara about establishing a more official Velorian Mission in Washington, and a U.S. Mission on Velor.

A U.S. presence on Velor. That would never work. I had asked Kara if I could someday visit her home planet and she explained to me that the atmosphere was not breathable, not for Terrans anyway. And that Velor had a gold core, not a molten iron core, so there was no magnetic field to deflect solar radiation. And the gravity was higher than on earth, and the air pressure was higher; in short, Terran life could not survive on Velor. Not even for a visit.

I asked if one of my space suits could mitigate those factors. She said, “no,” because even if I could bring along enough air to breath, the gravity would be too much for me.

I wondered aloud why no one in my chain of command was trying to get an invite through me. Sharon and Kara just looked at me like I was an idiot. Xara said, “Joe, everyone knows the family of the bride makes all those decisions.”

Just more proof that weddings are all about the bride and her mother, and the only reason there is a groom is because you can’t have a wedding without one.

At one of the meetings Sharon asked Xara if Professor X was behaving himself.

“He is. And what’s more, none of the other faculty are hitting on me anymore. He must have got the word out.”

She didn’t sound happy about that.

“Xara, you don’t sound happy about that.”

“I miss it, a little.”


Sharon and Kara laughed out loud. Xara looked down at the floor.

“Joseph,” Kara said, “it’s an open secret among Supremis, we love attention from the opposite sex …”

“Or same sex,” interjected Sharon.

“Yes,” continued Kara, “for some of us, same sex, and when we don’t get it, it’s a little bit deflating. It’s an ego thing.”

“Xara?” I asked.

“Mom’s right, Joe, it’s an ego thing. I’m not going to try to get their attention back.”

Well, of course she didn’t need to get their attention back. If I am a judge of male character, and when it comes to beautiful Supremis women, I am, they still paid attention to her. They just didn’t act on it anymore. But I was fine with that.

“Okay,” I said, “I’m fine with that.”

There was a local celebration in the neighborhood, in observance of one of the many “saints” the people of the region she was in recognized. Janelle was invited to say a few words from the steps of one of the many churches in the city, about her candidacy. The bishop had told her to keep her remarks friendly and brief. She wasn’t exactly sure what the protocols were, but fortunately she had Miguel to help her with that.

Janelle had been meeting with the bishop inside the church, and when the meeting was over, she went outside to join Miguel, Juanita and their girls. As she stepped out, she looked up and saw two men on the roof of a six-story building about two blocks away. Her eyesight being what it is, she was easily able to see that one of them was setting up a large caliber rifle with a scope and the other was setting up a spotting scope. And they were pointing them in her direction.

She anxiously looked around and saw Miguel and his family and rushed to them.

“Miguel, Juanita, do exactly what I say! Turn around, form a single line, and walk into the church, not quickly, but get in there.”

Miguel and Juanita knew enough to do as she said. They put Juanita in front, followed by the girls, followed by Miguel, who was followed by Janelle. She hoped that if the man with the rifle opened fire, her body would shield the others.

When they got into the church, Janelle told Miguel what she had seen. “Stay here until I come for you,” she said.

Janelle made her way through the sanctuary, into the sacristy, and out a door on the opposite side of the church. She took a route that would lead her to the back of the building the gunman and his spotter were on without being seen by them.

When she got to the back of a building, in an alley, she looked up and judged the distance, took off her shoes, and leaped up to the top of the building, landing lightly and soundlessly on the roof. The gunman and his spotter were scanning the steps of the church, likely, she thought, looking for her. She looked through their clothes and saw that they both had gang tattoos. From different gangs. Apparently, she thought, they were uniting against a common enemy, her. To them, she was sure, this was just about removing a political threat to their rule. They had no idea who they were dealing with. And these two never would.

Quickly and soundlessly, she ran up behind them, grasped them by their belts, lifted them up and threw them off the building. She meant for this to be all business, no pleasure, but she couldn’t help but giggle as she heard the men screaming on their way down to their deaths on the concrete below. The splattering sound their bodies made was very satisfying. She left their weapon and equipment where they were. Let the gangs try to figure this out!

She retraced her steps back to the church and found Miguel and told him it was safe now. They heard sirens in the distance as they went outside, and Janelle heard someone in the crowd tell someone else that someone had jumped off a nearby building.

Janelle was introduced, made her brief remarks about her desire to represent and serve the people of the district, then went into the crowd where people were eager to meet her and shake her hand.


Chapter 196

I’ve become involved in an intragalactic incident. Intra-solar system incident? I’m not sure what to call it, but if you want a good deal on a used truck, van or Hummer, give me a call.

It was a little after noon on a Sunday. The Family was at the cabin, along with Crystal and Major Moore. The ladies were all at the table discussing the wedding arrangements and plans, when the cabin alarms went off, alerting me, or us, that there was a vehicle or vehicles coming down to the road to my cabin. I’d ordered several pizzas for lunch and thought it was the delivery guy. I went to the front door and saw vehicles, with government license plates, pulling up and disgorging over a dozen men and women, all of them armed, wearing hats and vests marked FBI, DOJ, ATF, and I’m not sure who else.

One of the guys wearing a DOJ vest came up to me and shoved a piece of paper in my face and said, “Joseph Ricci, we have a warrant to search you home and confiscate any computers, weapons, or foreign or alien sourced items we find.”

I knew I couldn’t let them in, there was too much alien technology in the lair.

“Stand aside Sargent Ricci.”

“Not until I read this warrant,” I replied. I was stalling, trying to think what to do.

“Stand aside now Sargent Ricci or you will be taken into custody and charged with obstruction.”

“Not until I read this warrant,” I repeated, still trying to stall.

I thought I was staying cool and calm, but Johnson and Dixon were going nuts.

The head DOJ guy tried to push past me, and I shoved him aside. He stepped back and two other guys came forward with zip ties and I fended them off. I don’t think they were expecting any resistance. The next thing I knew there were half a dozen handguns pointed at me and then there was blonde hair everywhere.

There were gunshots and screams and someone pulled me back into the house. I fell down in the entryway and when I got back up, I saw Crystal standing there, blocking it. I think she is the one who pulled me back in.

It didn’t last long. When I went outside, I saw that the ladies had everyone huddled up against one of the trucks. Their weapons were in a pile being guarded by Gloria. Xara was bouncing the head DOJ guy off the side of one of the trucks, over and over and she was pissed. He lost his footing, he couldn’t stand up, and she reached down and lifted him up and threw him into the side of the truck again. As she was reaching for him again, I ran up beside her and grabbed her arm to stop her, and she did, of her own volition, because there is no way I could have stopped her from doing anything.

“Xara, it’s okay, I’m alright.”

She turned to me and wrapped her arms around me and nearly squeezed all the air out of my lungs. I couldn’t say anything, but I didn’t need to, she had made a connection and realized what she was doing and relaxed her grip.

“Joe, I was so afraid they’d shoot you!”

“Well, they didn’t, looks like you took care of business.”

“Joseph?” Called Kara.

I turned to her. She pointed up the road a little way where the pizza delivery guy was sitting in his car, mouth open, trying to process what was going on.

“Got it,” I said. And I went to the guy, paid for the pizzas, gave him a very generous tip, and told him he’d be better off forgetting what he saw. He just nodded, gave me the pizzas and left. Crystal came and helped me carry the pizzas into the cabin. When you order food for the Supremis, you order in bulk.

Another one of the DOJ guys, apparently the second in charge, was trying to be macho and tell the ladies that they were in serious trouble and blah blah blah. Xara walked up to him while he was still blathering, mussed her hair and stuck it in his face, and then he was crying and wetting himself and calling for his mother.

“Who is in charge?” Kara demanded.

A couple of them pointed to the DOJ guy Xara had been dribbling off the truck. He was in no shape to speak. Kara turned to Mona and said, “Tend to their injuries,” then to Crystal and said, “Put the pizza out on the table. I’m starving!”

Then to Gloria and Sharon, “See to it they stay right where they are.”

Xara was still pissed. Really pissed. She was going up to the feds, one by one, and giving them a dose of her fear pheromone, telling them what she’d do to them if any of them, “ever point a gun at my fiancé,” again.

I followed Kara into the house. She walked up to Sarah, Major Moore, and shouted, “What the fuck! Do you know what this is about?”

Major Moore doesn’t scare easily, but Kara had her turning white as a sheet.

“I have no idea, Kara.”

Kara picked up her phone and called Senator Jackson and told him what had happened, that she was pissed, and that if she didn’t get an explanation within an hour, she’d be making a forceful entrance into the White House, through the roof, in an hour and twenty minutes.

Forty minutes after she hung up she got a call. The President, General Rosenthal, and several cabinet members who knew about the Velorians, and the Senator, were all on the call. Kara put them on speaker so I could hear. The President swore up and down that he did not authorize the raid, but he would get to the bottom of it.

Kara reminded him of the status of my property and the President promised that he’d see that nothing like this ever happened again. Then he asked to speak to whoever was in charge of the raid.

I followed Kara out. By this time the head guy had regained his senses. Kara handed him the phone and said, “It’s for you.”

He took the phone and said, “Who the hell is this?” Then he went white in the face when he heard who it was.

The phone wasn’t on speaker anymore, so all I heard was, “Yes, sir. Yes, sir.” Then he rattled off several names I didn’t recognize, said “Yes, sir” a couple of more times and gave the phone back to Kara.

“We’ve been ordered to leave, mam,” he said to Kara. Then to me, “Sergeant Ricci, I apologize. This won’t happen again.”

Then to his people, “Let’s go everybody. This was a mistake.”

Kara said to Sharon and Gloria, “Let them go.”

The injuries they suffered were minor. Scrapes and bruises and a couple of minor burns, I suspected Xara was responsible for those.

Some went to the vehicles, some to retrieve their weapons, and Kara yelled, “STOP!”

They all stopped and looked at her.

“I am confiscating your weapons and vehicles.”

The head guy looked like he was going to object but stopped when Kara said, “I can call the President back if you want to argue about it.”

“No, mam,” he said. “All right folks, we’re walking.”

“When you get to the end of the road,” I said, “you can call for cabs, or Uber. We even have Lyft here.”

Kara demanded accountability, and she got it. If you are geeky about following everything that goes on in our government, I mean really geeky, you would have heard that several mid-level appointees in several Cabinet departments submitted their resignations, all on the same day. The explanation Kara got was that these people thought there was something fishy about what was going on with supposed aliens, and all the breadcrumbs they could find pointed to me, and since their superiors showed no interest, they’d taken things into their own hands.

I’m keeping the newest van, and one of the trucks will come in handy when it’s time to move everything out to take delivery of the new house. I thought about keeping the Hummer, it was nearly brand new, but a vehicle like that attracts a lot of attention and cost a small fortune to gas up. For the rest, Kara said it was up to me. She arranged for the vehicle titles to be turned over to me and I’ll probably advertise them on Craigslist. Except for the Hummer. Sharon wants it. Which surprised the hell out of me and Xara. Sharon’s tastes run towards luxury and sports cars. Luxury sports cars. That’s what she likes. But she thought the Hummer would be fun. She offered to pay for it, but after all she has done for me, I just handed over the keys. I thought she’d ship it home, or fly it home herself, but she got into and drove it back to Colorado.

I’m keeping all the weapons too. There were a couple of sweet fully automatic rifles with nice optical sights. They’re going to be fun!

I’d been thinking about the raid, and the feds soiling themselves when Xara dosed them with fear pheromones, and I wondered how bad it could be. I’d experienced those pheromones before, but never like that, and I wanted to know what it felt like. So I asked Xara to dose me.

“Why Joe? You’ve seen what it does, why would you want me to do that to you?”

“For the experience, Xara. So I understand better what they do. In training, the army put us in a room wearing gas masks, then filled the room with tear gas and told us to take our masks off. Believe me, I now fully appreciate what tear gas can do and what I have to do if I encounter it.”

“Joe, there’s more to it than the immediate effects. Most people will have nightmares for several weeks after exposure to a high concentration of the pheromone. Mom and I experimented with volunteers from her company, people who are fully read in on what we are and why we’re here. It can be pretty bad.”

“Can’t you fix that when we’re in a connection?”

She sighed and said she could, and after about ten more minutes of ‘discussion’, she relented.

“You’re the one who wants this, Joe, so you’re going to clean the mess.”


“Undress and get in the shower. I don’t want to have to deal with Terran excrement in the laundry.”

I laughed. I was that stupid.

I undressed and got in the shower. She mussed up her hair and hit me with the pheromones. I immediately understood that I’d made a huge mistake. Well, understood is too strong a term, because I was in fear, terrorized, I wanted to run but there was nowhere to run to. I thought I was going to die, and then I wanted to die. I was screaming for help and tried to climb up the wall of the shower.

Xara turned on the bathroom fan. Then she reached out to me and I screamed and tried to get away, but I couldn’t, there was nowhere to go. At that moment, I was deathly afraid of her. Leading up to it, I wasn’t. I didn’t know what I was afraid of, and when she backed off, I wasn’t afraid of her. I was still in fear, more fear than I ever experienced in combat, and believe me, I wet myself more than once, but the fear wasn’t focused on anything that I could identify, if I was thinking straight enough to do, which I wasn’t. I asked her about it later, and she said the pheromones turn on the part of the brain that is responsible for fear, but without anything specific to cause the fear, the brain associates the fear with whatever it can focus on. She said if she handed me a teddy bear my brain would have focused on it as the cause of the fear.

Eventually the ceiling fan did its job and I started to calm down and found myself sitting in the corner of the shower crying. There was shit on the shower floor and my legs. There was urine flowing down the drain. I’d also puked all over myself. Xara said if we had any neighbors, they would have been calling 911 because I was shrieking and screaming and calling for help, and for my mother.

“Was that all you expected, Joe?”

“It was way more than I expected, Xara, I shouldn’t have asked you to do that.”

“No, you shouldn’t have. Don’t ever ask me to do that again. Clean yourself and this mess up, I’ll start dinner.”

I’d thought that knowing what was going on, that it was all chemicals, I’d be able to rationalize my way through it. I was totally wrong about that. Once the pheromones took over, I was lost.

While I was cleaning myself and the shower, feeling my heart still beating hard, with shaky, unsteady arms and legs, it occurred to me that I had never seen anyone react that badly to it. At dinner I asked Xara about that.

“Outside of the experiments I did, with volunteers, I’ve never given anyone as concentrated a dose as I gave you. And I exposed you to it longer than I did the volunteers too.”

“You did? Why?”

“Because you needed to be taught a lesson. My pheromones are very, very powerful. You’re young and very fit, your system can handle the stress. Others, older, not as fit, could be pushed to a heart attack.

“Joe, my abilities are more, much more, than you can withstand, and I’m growing more powerful. I need you to trust me when I tell you that testing me is a bad idea.”

“Message received.”

For the next two weeks she intervened in my nightmares, through the connection, five or six times a night. After two weeks the frequency of the nightmares started dropping off. It was a month before I stopped having them altogether. Xara said some of the volunteers she experimented with had them for months.

Xara told the rest of The Family about it, and Mona and Gloria thought it was hilarious. Xara asked them if they thought they could do better. They did. Xara took Gloria out to the woods, where she wouldn’t be able to hurt anyone if she got out of control. I heard screaming that was cut off immediately after it began, and then, forty-five minutes later, they came back. Gloria was shaking like a leaf. Xara told us she put her hand over Gloria’s mouth to muffle her scream, that’s why it had cut off. And she held on to her tightly so she couldn’t get away or do any damage to the forest.

“Do you want to try?” Xara asked Mona.

Gloria said, “Don’t. It’s worse than you can imagine.”

Mona had enough sense to demure. Neither of them made fun of me anymore, at least not about that.

Xara told me the next day that she gave Gloria a more prolonged dose than she gave me, because “making fun of my Kiraling and fiancé like that is not acceptable.”

Chapter 197

We’d gone for our morning run and, as the weather wasn’t too nasty, had a sparring session in the backyard. I was in the shower soaping myself down when Xara made a connection.

“Knock knock.”

“Come in.”

And then I suddenly realized that I was alone in the shower.

“Hey! Where are you?”

Xara giggled as she opened the bathroom door and stepped in.

“How did you do that?”

“I don’t know. I was in the kitchen, and I felt you, like I do when I’m about to ask your permission to make a connection. So I tried from out there, but you didn’t respond. So I came closer and closer until, from the other side of the bathroom door, I was able to reach you.”

“How long have you been able to do that?”

“About two minutes. I just discovered it.”

“How does it work?”

“I don’t know, Joe, it just does.”

“I heard that in my head!”

“I know! This is cool!”

Xara was excited and she got on the phone and called her mother to tell her about it. Then we started experimenting. At first she could only reach out and connect with me from a few feet away. By the time Kara arrived, she could connect to me from the next room.

She tried it with Kara and couldn’t make the connection unless they were touching. Soon Sharon joined us, and Xara found she could also only make a connection with her if they were touching. The ladies hypothesized that this new ability, the ability to make a connection with me without making physical contact, was a consequence of Xara and I having so much sex together. This didn’t surprise me because for Velorians the first answer that pops into their minds for an amazing number of questions is sex. It’s how they are wired.

We did some more experimentation. We went to Fred Meyer, which has long aisles, and figured out how far apart we could be and still connect. At first it was about fifteen feet. Then a few minutes later it was twenty feet. A few minutes after that it was fifty feet. Then I moved to the next aisle, out of her line of sight, and we could connect. The number of aisles between us didn’t make any difference. Soon Xara could connect with me from over one hundred feet away.

We tried some more experiments. When we are in physical contact, she can see what I can see, and she can project what she is seeing into my mind. So I went several aisles away and picked up a box of cereal and heard her, in my head, describing the box and reading the writing on it. Then she projected what she was seeing to me, as she slowly turned in a circle. Which was very disorienting, and I fell flat on my ass and saw Xara running towards me, only it was from her perspective, not mine. She picked me up and asked if I was okay and I said I didn’t know, I was still seeing through her eyes.

“Oh, I’m sorry! Is this better?”

“Yes, I can see you now. I’m okay.”

“What happened?”

“When you started turning, I became disoriented. It was like the room was spinning but I wasn’t.”

Several shoppers and a store employee gathered around me and asked if I was okay. I assured them that I was. The store person wanted to call 911 but Xara talked her out of it.

We left Fred Meyer and took our experimentation to Home Depot. We weren’t there for long when we discovered that Xara could connect with me from clear across the store, and it’s a big store. And more than that, in her mind, she could locate me in 3D space.

“3D space? What’s that like, Xara.”

“I’ll project it to you.”

“Wait, let me find a place to sit down first”

I sat down in a chair in their outdoor furniture display area.

“Okay, I’m sitting down.”

       She began the projection. In my field of view, I saw a dot at a distance.

“I’m moving away from you now.”

The orientation of the dot changed and moved away from me.

“I’m turning around now.”

The dot started rotating in a circle in front of me.

“I’m coming to you now.”

The dot was in the front of my field of view and getting closer. I tried to reach out and touch it, but my hand could never quite get to it. When it was very close it moved in a tight circle, and then I was looking at Xara.

“That’s amazing, Xara!”

“What could you see, Joe?”

I described the dot to her, and said it seemed to be suspended in front of me, and even when she was turning around it never left my field of view.

“That’s how I experience it too, Joe. Even when I’m facing away from you, I can see it in my mind. And I can even see your perception of it.”

We experimented some more before we went home. The more Xara exercised this new perceptive power of hers, the greater the distance it would work. By the end of the next week, she was making connections with me from campus.

It was two-way in some respects, and it wasn’t in others. When she was seeing through my eyes, and hearing through my ears, she could see and hear through her own eyes and ears too and have no trouble separating the two sets of ‘inputs’. But when she projected her vision and hearing to me, they dominated what I could see and hear. She could drive while in a connection seeing through my eyes just fine, whether I was in the car with her or not. If I was trying to drive while she projected her vision and hearing to me, we tried it in an empty parking lot, I was too disoriented to drive.

By the end of the week after that, she flew out into space and connected with me from the opposite side of the earth. Then she flew to the moon and made a connection, then she flew to the side of the moon that always faces away from earth, so that both the moon and the earth were between us and made a connection. Then she got really excited.

“Joe, I want to try an experiment. I’ll start counting to twenty by odd numbers, you count by even numbers. Don’t go to your next number until I’ve gone to mine. Okay?”







And so on up to twenty.

“Joe, do you realize what is happening?”

“I’m talking through my head to my fiancé who is on the other side of the moon.”

“Yes, yes. But what else?”

“Umm, you can count in a vacuum?”

“Joe! No. Well, yes, but did you notice a delay in our count?”



“Exactly what, Xara?”

“Joe, we’re over 1.3 light seconds apart. For you to hear me say a number, then for me to hear your reply should take over 2 ½ seconds. But it didn’t, it was instantaneous! Our thoughts are traveling between us faster than the speed of light!”

“Shouldn’t that be impossible?” I asked.

“Yes, it should. And Joe, I’m accelerating away from you, right now, as fast as I can. Let’s do the counting experiment again.”

We did, and there was no difference, no delay. She could connect with me instantly, from anywhere, or at least from twice the distance to the moon, with no delay in our communication. And she could locate me too. She told me to call Kara and let her know.

By the time Xara got home Kara, Sharon and Gloria were at the cabin, and they were all very excited. Sharon explained the physics to me, though there wasn’t all that much to explain, at first. I followed along easily up until she started talking about quantum entanglement. And then I got lost. It’s like Xara and I are two linked particles that, no matter how far apart we are, our “states” remain linked. Except we aren’t itty-bitty particles. And then I got really lost when they tried to connect quantum mechanics to sex. And I can’t initiate a connection. Xara has to do that. Doesn’t that mean that we aren’t in the same ‘state’, whatever the hell that means?

And then Gloria got excited.

“This could be a great tool for gathering intelligence!”

By ‘this’ she meant me.

“Joe can go places where we can’t, where a Velorian or Arion would attract too much attention.”

“Look at me, Gloria, I attract attention everywhere I go!”

“No, not that kind of attention, Joe. Velorians and Arions are very recognizable to each other. Arion agents, Betas or Primes, wouldn’t flag you as a threat.”

“You want to put Joe at risk using him as a spy? That’s not going to happen,” said Xara.

“Would he be at risk?” Asked Kara. “You can see and hear everything he sees and hears. You can locate him anywhere. If he remained a passive observer the risk would be minimal, and you’d always be able to find him, get to him if he needed help.”

“If he wasn’t dead before I got to him,” said Xara.

They were still discussing it when I went to bed. Apparently, Xara wasn’t completely opposed to the idea as long as the Supremis could guarantee my safety. Never once did any of them think to ask me what I thought of the idea. Which was fine with me, because Dixon, Johnson and I were hatching a plan. What if we, I mean I, proposed a proof of concept. Send me down to Central America to snoop around those drug gangs which were still taking unexplained personnel losses.

We were working on details of the plan, how we’d present it and convince Kara it was a good idea, and get Xara’s blessing, when the bedroom door opened, Sharon came in, stripped, got into bed with me, and released her pheromones. I couldn’t think of anything but her after that.

Categories SWM Library | Kiraling

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