by Michael Keegan
Walking home to her small apartment from another long night of studying at the library, 23 yr old Amanda Mittlesohn was just about exhausted. That, combined with a horrible night's sleep the night before, she would be lucky to get home in one piece. But, home she got, and the cool A/C felt good. Most of the lights were off save for the porch light and the small hallway night-light.
"Good, Vicki's out at a party somewhere. Hopefully, whoever she decides to screw tonight takes her to HIS house." She mutters to herself, walking into her bedroom and stripping for a nice hot shower.
Starting the water in the tub, she checks her face in the mirror, sets her glasses on the back of the toilet, then, squinting to see the shower controls, sets them to her liking. Climbing in, she loses herself to the pulsating water jets, as they literally pulse the stress out of her sore muscles. After a soothing 20 minutes, and quick check of the calendar she and Vicki share, she realizes that her cycle is coming.
"Great. In 3 days, I get a week of pounding headaches, feeling as fat as an elephant and forced to wear sweats in 90 degree heat. Lovely." She sighs as she wraps the small towel around her head and a towel around her chest. Stopping at the mirror, she moves the towel down to her waist, and checks each of her 34B cup breasts for lumps. Her mother, the family matriarch, beat breast cancer at 54, and now she and her sister, Elizabeth, check themselves religiously.
Gasping as she's not paying complete attention to what she's doing and scratches her left nipple with a fingernail, she sighs and re-wraps the towel around her top and moves out to her bed. Switching on the small TV on the dresser, she enters the channel for the local news.
" and tonight's solar flare activity should give amateur astronomers quite a show tomorrow night, right Teresa?"
"That's right Tom, with the right equipment, and enough distance from the city, you should have one heck of a show. Weather and sports after this."
She switches off the set, moves from her bed and looks at the telescope still sitting in it's store packaging.
The Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT had been a gift from her father before she went down to Texas.
"If you ever get bored, just look up. Plenty to see up there." He had said, but between her course load and her two part-time jobs, one at a pawn shop as the accountant, and the other at a Taco Cabana taking orders, she rarely had time to study, let alone go see stars. But, if she didn't take a break soon, she knew she'd go bonkers. Finals were over, but she really needed to push this last week or so, if she wanted a good internship over the summer.
"What the hell, I need a night off. Tomorrow night, I'm gonna go see stars!" She said proudly, dropping her towel and grabbing a bed-shirt. It was pink, with the image of Tweety on the front, the big-headed canary flipping off anyone looking at it. Laying down, she was asleep in seconds.
The next morning started as it always did. Waking to the smells of fresh brewed coffee and the staccato-speech patterns of Billy Banks talking Vicki through his advanced class of do it yourself at home Tae-Bo.
Except, when Amanda slowly staggered toward the kitchen, she didn't find Vicki dancing, whirling and jumping about. She found her grunting, writhing and moaning under a blanket, being serviced by 'insert random college jock's name here'.
"VICKI! Dammit, you have a room too ya know!" Amanda yelled at her, which brought an abrupt end to the activities under the blanket and the blonde girl's head poking out of one end.
"God, you are such a prude. Go get laid how about it! I got three days before I'm a bloated wreck, so I'm trying to enjoy myself beforehand!" She replied as the hunk with her, leaned up, kissed her nose then gathered his stuff and fled. She threw up her arms in disgust.
Vicki, on the A&M cheerleader squad, made up for her lack of curves by being extremely flexible, both in her body and attitudes. Every night was a different guy, literally, and once she even brought home two, though she kept both for herself as Amanda was already asleep.
"Hey, I'm saving myself for the right guy. I'd rather not have a ton of rug rash to show that special someone."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever. Being a virgin is hardly a selling point in this day and age, unless you marry an Amish. Most guys want a girl who knows what the hell to do 'tween the sheets, ya know?" She replied quirking an eyebrow at her prudish roommate.
"Knowing what to do versus being an unpaid prostitute? I think I'll stay a virgin, thank you very much." Amanda sighed, pouring herself a cup of coffee. Vicki scuffed and marched naked to her room, slamming the door. Adding sugar and milk to taste, she checked the fridge to see where she was going today.
Professor Matthews at 9, to discuss an internship with NASA as a Physicist.
Class at 10:30, Modern History (Bleh)
Lunch at 12
Class at 1:30, Quantum Theory (Her favorite)
Taco Cabana by 3 until 6:30.
Study group at 7. But tonight, she was going to go see stars. 'Billy Roberts will have to stare at someone else's tits tonight.' She thought to herself.
As her day drug on, all Amanda could think about was her star-gazing trip. She gassed up her jeep at lunch, which she was sure would get a phone call from home, considering it cost just over $80 to fill it.
"Well, if Daddy complains, I'll just tell him that the 99 Grand Cherokee was HIS idea." She said to herself as she wheeled into the Taco Cabana parking lot.
3 and a half hours later she was pulling up in front of her duplex. Vicki's Mustang was missing, so she was out and about. Running in and grabbing her 'scope, she stowed it and headed west on hwy 44 out toward Alice.
Just west of San Diego, she found a pad site that looked to be a failed gas well with a broken gate. Swinging it open, she drove out to the middle of the site, and began setting up her telescope. It would be dark soon, and tightening bolts in the dark didn't appeal to her. Laying out her sleeping bag and setting up her folding chair, she sat and waited for the sun to finish setting.
2 Hours later...
The clouds that normally obscure the sky in and around Corpus didn't exist out here, and the view of the sky was spectacular. She could see most of the constellations and even had a good view of Jupiter. As she watched it however, a speck of white streaked across in front of Jupiter. Grabbing the frame she tracked the streak of light as it moved across the sky. She looked around to see if she was alone, and indeed she was. She didn't see any searchlights in use near Corpus, so it wasn't that. Looking back through the scope, she couldn't find the streak. She moved the frame back and forth looking for it, and until she swung it back toward where she was looking last, she found it.
It was a lot bigger though. Looking up but not through the scope, she saw the object high in the sky. It seemed to hover above where she was, off set to the east, as though it were searching San Diego. Then it moved toward her location. It was easily 2 to 3 miles up, but whatever it was, it was BIG! She couldn't make out it's exact shape, but it was more oblong, like those annoyingly huge pills she was given once for a cold. Backing away from her scope, she moved slowly toward her Jeep. It stopped almost directly over her and as she looked up, a cone of white light settled around her...
She awoke to find a colony of fire ants moving beside her face. She jumped up, brushing the nasty little things off of her. Her telescope was right where she left it, as was her Jeep, but it was almost dawn.
"Shit! What the hell?" She swore, checking herself. She was still dressed, same as she had been the night before. The only thing amiss were the two energy bars and the bottle of water she had brought with her. They were gone and the water bottle was empty. Her stomach grumbled almost a second later.
Gathering up her telescope, she tossed it into the back of the jeep, climbed in and headed back to town.
Just east of Alice however, she had to pull over. Stopping on the shoulder, she flung open her door, leaned out, and vomited. It was bluish-green with white chunks in it. Eyes wide, she launched off of the shoulder, nearly getting hit by a sand truck in the process and raced for home. She arrived 30 minutes later and finding Vicki to still be out, parked and ran inside, making a beeline for the bathroom, where she again vomited up more of the bluish-green stuff with white chunks. It left a weird taste in her mouth, like a cross between pine needles, blueberries and tofu. Since she wasn't a health food eater, none of that made any sense to her.
Staggering to her room, she stripped out of her clothes, fell atop her bed, and passed out...
The soft chirping of her cell phone woke her. Opening one eye, she saw her alarm clock, which said it was 8:45, but it was dark outside. Only when she grabbed her cell did she realize it was 8:45 at night! The text messages she had were all from her night job at Taco Cabana, asking if she was coming in. Her manager was a nice Latino lady who knew her time of the month was coming, and in the third message wished her well and told her she set her a light schedule for the coming week. Clearing the messages, Amanda moved into the kitchen and began rummaging through the cabinets looking for food.
She was starving!
Not finding anything that wouldn't take 30 or more minutes to cook, and seeing nothing but milk, beer, a half drunk bottle of vodka and something that used to be pizza in the crisper, she grabbed the menu from Pizza Hut, and ordered two large meat lover's pizzas. She almost ate that thing in the crisper waiting for her food to arrive, and after throwing all her cash at the delivery guy, she had eaten a whole pizza before she realized she'd done it! About two slices into the second pie, she got her wits back.
Looking at the pizza boxes, she dropped the slice in her hand back into the box, disgusted that she was actually eating pizza. She wasn't a health nut, but she did know that all of the big chains were basically the reason most American's were fat. Belching rather loudly, she moved to the bathroom to shower.
That's when she saw the mark.
On her left thigh, she had what looked like a cattle brand, except it didn't hurt. It had a flowery look to it, almost like a rose. Quickly, she checked the rest of her body, looking for other marks but finding none. Eyes wide, she slipped a finger into her vagina, checking to see if she was still a virgin. She hit resistance a few inches in, and let out a sigh of relief.
After her shower, she put the rest of the pizza into the fridge, but throwing out the thing from the crisper, before it ran up a flag and declared its independence. Feeling bloated, she moved back to her bedroom and lay down. She was asleep in seconds...
As she slept, dreams both vivid and frightening whipped through her mind, of strange rooms, being poked and prodded by strange beings with angular features but human like faces, music that was both eerie yet serene and of a smell, a mix of lilacs, bearing grease and burnt wiring.
She awoke with a scream as Vicki shook her. She jumped back with a shriek.
"Jesus fuckin' Christ on the goddamn cross, scare me half to death how about it!" She said, trying not to freak out as Amanda looked all around.
"Who, where?" She looked totally out of it. Vicki arced an eyebrow at her.
"Ok, who rocked your world last night? And damn, I hope you got pics because I so wanna see the stud muffin you gave your cherry to!"
"My cherry?!" She gasped, as she slipped a finger into herself and checked again, but as before, she was still a virgin. She let out a sigh of relief.
"Ha! Still a virgin!" She said, sticking her tongue out at Vicki, who merely shrugged then went to her room.
Rising from her bed, she stumbled and hit the floor hard.
"Ugh!" She gasped, picking herself up. The flowery brand was still on her thigh, and she pulled on her PJ bottoms to hide it from Vicki. Pulling on a t-shirt, she moved out to the kitchen.
Pouring herself a cup of coffee, she drank half of it before she realized she hadn't added any cream or sugar. Shrugging, she finished it and poured another. Vicki came out of her room a minute or so later, looked at her roommate and smiled.
"So, rough night last night? I saw the pizza in the fridge, so..."
"To be honest, I don't remember much. I do remember a bad case of food poisoning however."
"Ouchie. Anyway, off to work for me. See ya!"
Casting a glance into the sink told her Vicki wasn't holding up her end again. But, she knew unless she wanted those annoying little flies in the house, she'd better do the dishes and just take it out of Vicki's hide later.
Starting the hot water, she dropped the drain plug into place, squirted a shot glass worth of Dawn into the sink and let it fill, switching the hot off halfway. Pouring another cup of coffee, she sipped it as she grabbed the dish scrubby sponge and went looking for silverware first. Reaching into the warm water, she found one of the sharper knives first, cutting her finger.
"Ouch!" She yelped, jerking her hand out of the water. She looked as the nasty cut ran ruby red for all of a second, then the cut healed like it had a zipper!
"What the fuck!?" She shouted, looking her finger over and over, but the wound was gone, and her finger looked fine. Reaching back into the soapy water, she again found that knife the hard way, yelping in pain as it sliced the side of her hand open. Pulling her hand out she looked at the deep cut, knowing she was emergency room bound for sure, when that cut sealed and healed as well. She sat down hard on the chair she had been sitting on drinking her coffee, staring at her hand.
"That's not possible!" She gasped, looking at her hand. Rising, she opened up the junk drawer and pulled out the carving knife her mother swore she'd need.
"You can use it to ward off a would be rapist!" She had said. Amanda laughed.
Taking several deep breaths, she held the knife in her right hand, edge to her left wrist, and in a quick slice, cut her wrist wide open.
"OW! FUCK!" She screamed as blood shot across the kitchen, but as before, before she could cover the nasty wound with a rag, it healed. She sat back down, staring then laughing.
"God damn, I'm like friggin' Wolverine!" She said to no one. There was no lingering pain, in fact, all the pain stopped after it healed.
"Damn, that dream... Was I really abducted? Did they do this to me? If so, why?" She asked out loud. Her phone chirped, derailing her train of thought. Moving into the bedroom after cleaning up the blood from everywhere it had sprayed, she looked at the number.
It was the Professor. Her internship at NASA had been accepted and she'd need to be in Huntsville, AL in 10 days.
"YES!" She yelled, as she danced around her tiny living room. Moving into the bathroom, she showered, then dressed for a casual day on campus. Jeans, a t-shirt over the pink lace bra she thought she'd never wear and her seldom worn tennis shoes. She looked at herself in the mirror, and before she could grab her glasses, she realized she could see just fine without them! When she tried to put them on, they actually hurt to try to look through! Turning, she looked at the small sign hung by the front door, the one asking for strength.
She could read every word!
"Oh my god! I can see!" She danced happily around the apartment now, stopping and looking at herself in the mirror once more. Taking her hair down from that horrible looking bun, she shook out her reddish blonde locks and smiled. The natural curl she had always had was still there, as her hair framed her face in just the right way.
"Wow, I'm beautiful." She said in shock, as though seeing herself for the first time. Quickly, she changed t-shirts to one a size smaller, and looked as it hugged her curves. Readjusting her bra straps lifted her bosom into a more comfortable position as well as really showing off her curves.
"Now I see why Vicki is so jealous. If I walked into her bar tonight, I'd be going home with the cutest guy, for sure." She said to her reflection with a smile. The words left her lips as her brain slammed on the brakes however.
'What am I saying? Is this how I'd act if this were really me?' She thought, looking again at her new self in the mirror. Her jeans hugged her hips in just the right way, her shapely legs obvious even through the boot cut of them.
"Who am I kidding? This IS really me!" She said with a grin, and, grabbing her phone, keys and wallet, jumped into her jeep and headed for Roxie's.
Vicki had just finished serving a table of rowdy sailors when a redhead she thought looked really familiar walked in and caught the attention of the entire bar. The new arrival walked in slowly, not sure where she should be going, when one of the guys that she thought she was going home with, took Amanda by the arm, and led her to the bar.
When Amanda looked up into the eyes of this stranger, his smile took her breath away and it was all she could do to not start drooling.
He was very handsome, high cheekbones and chiseled chin, very Bavarian in look, with short cropped brown hair and ice blue eyes. His handlebar mustache, which turned down to his chin, was well groomed and she sensed an air of confidence about him, as though he were someone accustomed to making snap decisions. She scooted her little butt across a bar stool, while he took the stool next to her.
"Scotch for me, and for you?" He asked her, but all she could do was stare at his eyes.
"So..soda?" She said meekly.
"Scotch and a Coke, got it." The bar tender said, as he turned to pour the ordered drinks. Vicki was just about to the bar when a sailor with a little too much alcohol-induced bravado, reached over and grabbed her ass. She squealed and Amanda's would be date was by Vicki's side in a second, the sailor's wrist held in the man's hand, forcing the would be flirt onto the floor then his knees.
"Apologize for what you did! Or your CO will have a new report to read come morning, Seaman Garcia!"
"Ow, ok, ok, I'm sorry!" He said, and the man let go of his wrist. He moved back to the bar but before he got there, Seaman Garcia had a bottle in his hand and threw it at his would be attacker, his buddies clearing out of the way of the bar brawl they saw coming.
"Look out!" Amanda screamed, as everything seemed to slow way down. Her mind, she swore, was playing tricks on her, as time itself seemed to almost stop. She jumped from her bar stool, and tackled her new found date to one side as the bottle spun slowly past where he had been standing. They landed on the floor, she on his chest, looking down into his very commanding eyes. He blinked a few times, then time itself returned to normal, at least from her perspective.
"Jesus, did you see that?" One bar patron said.
"How did she move so fast?" Another whispered.
Even Vicki was stunned, as she suddenly recognized her roommate.
"Amanda!?" She gasped, as Amanda's date stood, helping her up as well.
"We should go. Shore Patrol likes to arrest everyone." He whispered into her ear. She nodded. Turning to Vicki she smiled.
"Don't wait up roommate, time for me to lose something tonight."
As they walked out into the parking lot, two Hummers, black in color, with SP on the doors, tore into the parking lot, as white suited cops ran into the bar. Taking Amanda by the elbow, he led/drug her to his car, a Challenger. Unlocking it as they approached, he helped her in, then ran to the other side and jumped in, but he didn't start it.
"Aren't we leaving?" She asked.
"Not yet. If we tear outta here, they'll come chase us. Here, lean close." He said, as he pulled her close to him, and planted a lip lock on her that curled her toes...
This was a first for Amanda, as she hadn't been kissed by a boy since 2nd grade. She knew how to kiss, well, sorta, from various love scenes in many different movies and TV shows. As they sat there, exploring each other with their tongues, Shore Patrol officers walked up and down the lines of parked cars. A few flashlight beams shined in through the windshield but then kept moving. He broke off the kiss a few moments later. She blinked.
"Ok, I think it's safe to move now." He said as he started the car. The engine roared to life, startling her.
"Oh. Umm, where are we going?"
"Up to you. Want to go catch a movie?" He asked, as she looked at him again and smiled. His appearance in the bar was softer in the dim lights of the car.
"You're my age, aren't you?"
"I'll be 23 next month. You?"
"24 in 9 months. And, actually, I'd like you to take me home, please?" She asked shyly.
"Ok, where's home?" She gave him her address, and in a few heart-pounding minutes, they were there.
"Damn, you must be a fighter pilot the way you drove us here. I'm surprised we don't have a swarm of police chasing us."
"I'm lucky that way, and yes, I fly F/A-18's off the Reagan." He said as he got out, ran around to her side, and opened the door for her. She smiled and walked to the door. Luckily she had her keys, and was able to get in. She turned around and saw him heading back to his car!
"Wait! Where are you going?"
"Oh? I thought you wanted a ride home. I figured the kiss was too much and I scared you."
"No, actually, I want you to come in, and well, come inside, and I'll explain."
He ran back around to her door, activating the car's alarm as her front door slid closed. He took a seat as she grabbed a couple of beers from the fridge. Popping the tops, she brought him out one but left hers on the counter.
'If I do what I think I'm about to do, I want to remember all of it.' She thought to herself.
Handing him the beer, she sat next to him on the love seat. He made her feel so tiny. He was easily 6'3" and at least 220. Compared to her, he was big.
"So, what did you want to ask me?" He said with a smile. She blushed bright red.
"Well, did I surprise you when I tackled you? I mean, I still don't know how I did it myself, I just saw him pull back to throw that bottle and reacted."
"Yeah, I mean, in a blink you were on top of me and we were on the floor. Thank you again for that. Garcia is from the Reagan, and I know his deck boss. He'll get his in..." He was saying but found himself in another kiss. He put his arms around her, pulling her to his chest.
One thing led to another, and before she knew it, she was rocking up and down on his waist, that one thing that always scared her about sex actually feeling really good...
The next morning...
She lay cuddled against his chest on the big blanket usually wrapped around Vicki. A small reddish-brown stain just below the small of her back would tell Vicki not to tease her anymore. He awoke to her drawing small circles on his chest.
"Morning." She said with a smile.
"Hey." He said, pulling her close and kissing her tenderly. She returned his loving kiss, it making her coo softly.
"Why didn't you warn me you were still a virgin? I would have made your first time more memorable then a horny sailor quickie."
"You say that like I'm complaining. I'm not. As a matter of fact, let's go again." She said as she slid on top of him and they made love for most of the morning.
Just before noon, Vicki came home to find that blanket writhing on the floor. She was stunned, to say the least.
"HEY! You do have your own room ya know!" She yelled, finally getting payback. Amanda looked up from the under the blanket and smiled.
Vicki just giggled.
"So, who's the lucky guy?" She asked, as he stuck his head out from under the blanket. She smiled back.
"You know, I never asked you your name." Amanda said with a smile. He nodded.
"This is true, sorry for that. Guess I got caught up in the moment. Mike, Mike Davis. My buddies call me Dagger."
"Hey, I read about you in the Navy Times!" Vicki began. "You shot down three Iranian jets during the Israeli attack on their nuke plant, right?"
"I'm sorry, that's classified. No, I'm kidding. Yes, 3 older F-14's. A models I think. They're fast, but they handle like trucks. Real easy for a hornet to out-fly." He said, as Amanda gave him the head jerk toward her bedroom. He smiled, as they stood and she raced to her room, not even bothering with the blanket...
"Ok, this has been one awesome night, morning and day, but I'm starving." He said, as she again lay cuddled against his chest. Vicki knocked gently on her door frame as he slipped past her to use the bathroom.
"Hi Vicki, what's up?"
"Umm, I know you used to be pure and all, but did you look at our calendar lately?"
"Yeah, I get my period tomorrow, allegedly, why?"
"Have you guys been using any protection, you know, rubbers and such?"
Amanda's eyes went wide!
"Oh crap!" She yelped, but before she could go into total freak-out melt down, Vicki handed her two pills and a glass of water.
"Here, now you can't say I never did anything for you."
"What are they?"
"Morning after pills. Birth control for the morning after. In case you forget the night before."
"Do they work?" She asked, taking both and flushing them down with half the glass of water.
"Do I look pregnant to you?" She replied, striking a side profile pose of her rail thin figure.
"Oh, good." She said with a sigh as she laid back down on the bed. The beeper on her nightstand suddenly started going nuts, and Dagger came running in. He grabbed it, read the code, then leaned down and kissed Amanda lovingly.
"Deployment order. Can I see you again when I get back?"
"I'd feel really insulted if you didn't. I consider you my boyfriend now." She said with a smile.
"Boyfriend I am. See ya in 60 to 90!" As he hopped into his pants and ran out the door. The roar of his Hemi shook the air as he left their neighborhood amid the sounds of tires squealing and dogs barking...
"So, how the hell did you move so fast last night? I never picked you for an athlete. A Mathlete maybe, but not anything physical."
"I dunno, I just freaked when that sailor picked up that bottle. I didn't want anything to happen to Mike."
"Yeah, well adrenaline can make you do some extraordinary things. Anyway, I have work tonight. You left your Jeep at the bar. It's still there. Ride in with me and you can get it back."
Moving to her Jeep as Vicki walked inside the bar, an idea struck Amanda. She needed to see if there were any clues left behind while she was out star-gazing.
45 minutes later, she arrived at the pad site and began searching. Other then a discarded water bottle, and not even her brand (Ugh, Aquafina) there was nothing. No tracks, no burn marks, nothing. The ground was the same white caliche that made up all the drill sites in Texas. Moving back to her Jeep, she climbed in and sat back thinking.
'Ok, so I get abducted by aliens, they give me awesome healing powers and super fast reflexes. I wonder what else they did to me?'
Stepping back outside, she looks down the access road that leads to another abandoned pad further back onto this ranch. Setting herself as a track runner, she does a short countdown and upon hitting zero, launches herself forward. Breaking into a fast sprint, she looks down the road and her vision blurs for a second, but when it clears, she's at the first turn! She slides to a stop, looking back down the road to where she parked, almost a quarter mile away! Walking back down the road, feeling just a bit overwhelmed, she sees no footprints in the caliche.
"Wait. I couldn't have jumped this far." She says to herself. Looking again at her Jeep, she focuses on it but as she takes a step forward, she runs into it! Looking down, she's leaning against the front fender.
"Whoa!, No way!" She shouts, looking around. Other then the occasional car going by on 44, she is totally alone.
"Ok, let me try this for real." Looking far away, she sees an oil pump slowly going around and around, on the same ranch as she's on, but easily over a mile away. She only sees it because the terrain in this part of Texas is very flat. She focuses on the pump, narrowing her eyes so as to only see it, and concentrates on it, leaning toward it. Her vision clouded for a second and she was leaning against the fence surrounding the pump!
"Holy!" She shrieked, turning and looking at her Jeep, way back there, toward the road. The only sounds out here with her was the engine that droned as it ran the pump.
"Ok, so I'm not jumping, I'm teleporting! And no horrible scent of brimstone afterward either!" She finishes with a grin.
"I wonder, how far can I go? I'm guessing I would have to see my destination, lest I teleport into a solid object, and that would surely be bad." She says to no one. Looking up, she sees a jet fly high overhead, cracks a small smile, and focuses her vision on the underbelly. Her vision narrows, blurs and for a brief instant she's hugging the underside of a 757! She then begins falling, from some 30,000 feet up.
"Sh...sh...sh..shit! C...c...c...co..cold up he..he...here!" As her vision slowly goes black from hypoxia. After a minute she comes to, still falling, the ranch where she parked some 9000 feet below.
She resists the urge to scream, but she hopes that those cuts she gave herself were only the tips of the iceberg, having not really thought this whole stupid stunt through.
'Well, if I heal, hopefully the fall will only hurt like hell. But damn girl, abducted by aliens, fucked senseless by a hot fighter pilot, my virginity gone forever and now falling to a certain death after kissing the bottom of a passing jet!' She thinks as the ground gets closer and closer. Flattening her self out, she rolls onto her back, so she can't see the end and says a silent prayer to St. Michael.
"THWUMP!" As she lands on the caliche field of the pad site near her Jeep. Her vision goes black on impact, the pain so sudden she didn't even have a chance to scream. Lucky for her, no one saw her fall or land, only a few steers seeing the sudden puff of white dust from her collision with Terra firma...
She coughs once as she swats away a few flies that were landing on her sweat stained face, trying to gather the moisture there. She sits up slowly, looking around where she landed. She wiggles her toes and balls her hands into fists. Sighing that everything still works, she gets to her feet. Pulling her cell phone from the holder on her waist, she sees the shattered face and sighs.
"Well, not everything repairs itself." She sighs, tossing it into her Jeep. Turning the key through the open window, she looks at the clock. 8pm.
"Ok, I left Roxie's at 5:45pm, it took an hour to get out here, then 30 minutes running and porting all over, so call time of death around 7:30. So, it took my body 30 minutes to recover from a fall from 33,000 feet." She says softly, doing the math. She sits down as what she's thinking just sounds so crazy! But here she is, a living skid mark on the underbelly of a jet and a survivor of the 33,000 foot fall. Leaning back against the front tire, she hangs her head and cries, the moment completely overwhelming her...
Amanda sits there for the rest of the early evening, dragging her sleeping bag out of the back of her Jeep, and laying beside it as night falls.
"Maybe they'll come back, and give me some answers." She says to her Jeep. She lays there most of the night and into the early morning hours when a serious craving for a cheeseburger shakes her back to reality.
"Or maybe not." She sighs. She figures she's just a lucky experiment, one that survived all the probing and tests, and with some neat new abilities to show for it.
Driving back toward home, she stops at the Whataburger in Alice. As she pulled into the parking lot, her headlights shined across 4 figures near the rear of the parking lot; 3 Hispanic males beating up a smaller black male. Throwing her Jeep into 'park', she jumped out and into the fray. She had almost no training in hand to hand combat, but as she waded in, she found herself kicking, punching and throwing the three much bigger boys around like rag dolls.
Spinning to her left, she threw a well placed front kick into the groin of the biggest boy, him doubling over from the pain, then spinning off of him, clenching her fists together and delivering a powerful 'polish hammer' into the jaw of the brute to her left, grabbing his shirt front and launching herself up, over and behind his staggered form, spinning to face the last one, as he pulled out a switchblade.
Extending the blade with a 'schnick!' he lunged at her, sinking the blade deep into her abdomen, she feigning a mortal wound, then delivering a 1, 2, 3 rabbit punch to the stunned brute's jaw. Stepping back, she grabbed the handle of his knife, and pulled it free of her gut, the wound healing in seconds. His eyes went wide as he suddenly crossed himself as she set her stance, and bade him to attack her. He merely grabbed his two buddies and they fled.
Turning to the man they had been attacking, she finds him curled up on the ground, holding his stomach, blood oozing past his fingers. He'd been stabbed at least 3 times, and was now bleeding out. Kneeling beside him, a thought crosses her mind.
"What if my healing is universal? What if I can heal others too?" She says softly to herself. Rolling him onto his back, she shushes him and moves his hands aside, so she can see the damage. Laying her hands on his wounds, she starts thinking about healing him. Her hands begin to glow a soft white color, and after a few minutes, his wounds are gone. He looks up at her, shock and amazement playing across his features.
"Wh...who are you? Are you an angel?" He asks, as he also crosses himself. She stops and thinks about this.
'What if I am? What if I was chosen to help set the world right? What if I really am an angel?'
"You just lie still. Give your body a chance to recover." She said, trying to buy herself some time to think. If she really was given these powers, they were given to her for a reason. She had always liked the thought of one person trying to make a difference. Maybe that was now her calling.
"If I am an angel, I assume you don't see any wings." She said confidently.
"Did you lose them?"
"No, I have to earn them, by doing a world's worth of good deeds. You are the first, and god willing, you won't be the last."
"Do...do you have a name?"
She thought about this for a short moment before blurting out something she knew she could have thought out better, but after running it through her head a half dozen times, she decided she liked it.
"I am called Angelina. But, you can call me Angie."
"Wow, a real live angel." He said, reaching up and stroking her cheek. She held his hand in hers, then stood, helping him to his feet.
"What did those boys want with you?" She asked, but was surprised when she heard two different answers, one verbal and one in her mind.
"I dunno, I'm new to Alice." He said.
'Damn Pendejos are jealous because I boned some sweet Latin hoe last night, and she was a sister to one of them. She loved it though.' Is what she heard in her mind, as though she had just read his mind!
"I see. Well, try to keep your cock in your pants next time, and maybe they won't beat you senseless, Pendejo." She said with a sly smile.
"Oh Damn! You really ARE an angel! You read my mind! Damn! I'm sorry, I shouldn't have lied! Please, forgive me!"
"Done. Now, I'm no guardian angel, that's a whole other division upstairs. I'm like an angel in training. Run along, and keep it in your pants, ok?"
He did so, waving back to her as he ran off. Looking around, she saw she was alone in the parking lot, and moved back to her car. Climbing in, she drove through the drive through, put in her order and was soon back on the road to Corpus.
Looking down at Earth from their currently cloaked position in La Grange 3, Iris turned to her professor, Mannis.
"So, our experiment is off to a stellar start. She fancies herself an angel. How long until full manifestation of all she'll be able to do occurs?"
"4 more of this worlds revolutions. Her brain is slowly acclimating itself to it's new found ability at full access." Mannis replied, adjusting their position to continue monitoring their subject.
"What do we do with her after she is fully aware? Kill her?"
"Nonsense. She has a remarkable sense of right vs wrong. I say we leave her here, and return in 25 of this planet's solar transitions. Set course for Epsilon 3, Arkadea. Titania will be expecting our report and we still need to find Lorelei. Assuming she wants to be found that is."
"Course laid in, Commander."
"Proceed. We have much to do. Much to do indeed..."
"Ok, so now I'm an angel in training. Damn, I can't stay here. Not with all I can do. I'm wasting my talents trying to go explore stars, considering NASA still uses Wile E. Coyote technology." She says to the little stuffed Penguin in the passenger seat. It was the boss penguin from the Madagascar movies.
"Time to say my goodbyes."
Wheeling up to an ATM machine, she slots her debit card and checks her account balance.
"Hmm, must be the loan for summer classes. Good, I'll need the money." Driving back to her apartment, she sees Vicki's Mustang out front and a Miata in the driveway.
'Oh boy, she has yet another date. God this girl is the queen of one night stands.' She thinks to herself as she unlocks the door and walks in. Surprisingly, there's no one on the floor on the living room, but then a scream of pain rips through the duplex! Amanda runs for the bedrooms, kicking open the door to Vicki's bedroom and finding Vicki tied to her bed and a guy standing over her cutting her stomach open!
"Nooo! She screams, throwing her hands up in front of her, but before she can charge the brute, he goes flying off of Vicki as though he were just hit by a truck! He crashes into and through her closet doors and lands in a crumpled heap atop her shoe collection. Moving to the bed, she sees Vicki is bleeding badly and unconscious.
Laying her hands atop the wounds, she concentrates, willing the wounds to heal. Her hands glow with that same soft white light, and all of Vicki's injuries heal as though they were never there. She doesn't wake up though. Checking her for a pulse, she finds one, and guesses that she is still out cold from the shock.
Moving into the closet, she grabs the would-be rapist/murderer and drags him out the front door, then, looking out across the bay to the blinking light of a drill platform, she thinks about sending him to it, and he disappears!
"Awesome! I can teleport others as well as myself. This is just way too cool." Running back inside, she checks on Vicki, who's still unconscious, unties her hands and feet, throws away the rope and packs her duffel. Writing a quick note, she explains that she's off to Huntsville for the summer on an internship, and won't be back even after it's over.
A single tear hits the page as she finishes her goodbye. Sending off an email to Professor Matthews, she thanks him for his help, but a family emergency has forced her to return to Madison and it is unlikely she'll be returning to her studies. She then disconnects her laptop, packs it into its bag, and heads out.
Looking at the car in the driveway, she looks up and down the street, and, seeing no one, decides to see how much is too much.
Looking again at that light in the bay, she wills the Miata to go to it, and her vision swirls and she finds herself staring up at the night sky.
She looks to her left, and sees an empty driveway, and to her right, the front porch of their duplex.
'Ok, so, really heavy things are still a struggle to teleport. I'll have to practice that more.' She tells herself, as she climbs into her Jeep, and heads for Leopard St, and the cheap motel district.
Fast Forward 60 days...
Mexico Field Desk
Central Intelligence Agency
Sifting among the piles of data transcriptions, eyes only reports and sat-photos, Dave Sherman looked furiously for the intel his guys on-scene in Reynosa had sent him.
Seated 5 miles due South of the town of McAllen, TX, Reynosa was a hotbed for the Los Zetas, one of the bigger drug cartels plaguing Mexico since the early 2000's. Lately however, there had been scattered reports of Zetas just plain disappearing, that a scarlet haired girl, obviously American, had moved into Reynosa and was teaching students English at a local school, and had been beaten by a few Zetas thugs, and then those thugs disappearing not soon after.
"Ángel del Fantasma?" He said, reading the report. What the hell does that mean?"
"Ghost Angel Boss." Came the reply from his assistant's office, Dale Parker.
"Ok, so, what does that mean?" He asked Dale.
"Well, according to this intel, the Zetas are taking a beating by this white-clad woman who literally, are you ready for this, walks through walls and makes Zetas disappear." Dale finished, as Dave chuckled.
"Maybe some people should stop using their own product. Ok, what else we got going on down there? Is Gulf Cartel still in charge on the coast?"
Home of Eugene Stewardson
12343 Kawihua Drive
Surfing through the various images the Hubble had taken in the last few hours, Gene was thoroughly bored. Once you've seen one gaseous nebula and supernova shell, you've seen them all. He sent an email to space control, asking if they could task Hubble to shoot images of the moon. He had his reply an hour later.
On his desktop was Luna, in all of her splendor, as he began bit-mapping the viewable surface, crater by crater, across the Sea of Tranquility. 45 minutes of mapping later, he began the arduous task of scanning each bitmap, looking for photographic anomalies.
Two hours and half a pot of coffee later, on frame 37, he spotted something. Blowing up the image, he grabbed his magnifying glass off the edge of his desk.
Looking closely through it, he tried to make out the image.
"Damn, what is that?" He said to no one. Taking a print-out of the image, he threw on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, hopped into his dune buggy and drove to the observatory.
"Hey Kona, look at this image, tell me I'm seeing things!" He said to his old friend, nicknamed Kona for his style of surfing, lots of turns and twists, as he rides the wave front.
"Hey Gene, what's shakin'? You abusing the poor Hubble again?"
"Man, seriously, blow up this image or zoom in on it's coordinates, and tell me I'm seeing things." He said, handing over the image.
Kona fed it to his scanner, but when he couldn't make it out, he fed the co-ords to the array, and looked through the aperture. His eyebrows shot way up.
"Who else has seen this photo?" He asked his friend, as he picked up the receiver to his land line.
"You're the first man. So, am I dreaming?"
"Yes, this is Matthews at Mauna Kea, let me speak to the Director, give him pass-code Icarus."
"Matthews? I thought your name was Manaheia? Gene said looking around as the door behind them opened and when he turned around a dart struck his neck, right at his jugular. He collapsed onto the floor a second later.
"This is Jamison, go ahead."
"Director, Matthews here. We have confirmation of AA. I'm faxing the photo to your secure line now."
"Destroy the original, clean up whoever found it, sanitize and return. Understood?"
"Aye sir. See you in 24." And with that, he hung up the phone. Turning to the two Polynesian strong men he had on retainer, he pointed to the body on the floor.
"Roll him off of curve 32, nice and fast, like he lost it in the curve. Then go to his home, neutralize everyone you find, bring back his computer, take anything valuable as well. It needs to look like a robbery. Got it?" They nodded, the smaller one lifting Gene's body and they both turning and leaving.
He looked again at the image on the screen. Deleting it, he shook his head.
Looking one last time at the grainy image Gene had brought, he looked at the spot he saw with a magnifier.
"Damn, AK-47s on the moon. Who'da thought that was possible?"
Amanda loved her job. The kids loved her. She hadn't felt this fulfilled in years, and it surely beat sitting in a library studying. The Zetas still tried to make trouble for her kids, but with Angel Del Fantasma on the prowl, the Zetas were slowly losing control of this mid-sized border town.
And the honest Federales, while overtly superstitious, didn't hassle her considering the similarities between the hot Anglo language teacher and 'Ghost Angel'. She made her costume herself, combining a white lace teddy with thigh high white leather boots she found in a dress up catalog, and a long, flowing white cape she made from cotton (outer) and Kevlar (inner). The white eye mask was the final touch, and Ghost Angel was born.
By day, she taught the children of Reynosa, those that still lived here, how to read and speak English, to help them when they moved to the US to find work. By night, she was the cartel busting heroine, Ghost Angel, utilizing her considerable talents to rid the surrounding area of all Zetas she came across. Once, she had to endure a beating because they raided her school during the day, and her cover had to be maintained. But that night, using her ability to hear thoughts, tracked the guilty Zetas to their safe-house, and sent them all to meet Luna. She hoped no one looked at the moon surface anytime soon, or they'd see the small pile of weapons slowly accumulating up there. She took all the money she found, teleported all the drugs 150 miles straight up, and left.
The cash she used to help the head master of her school buy books, claiming that she simply wired her daddy, telling him she needed money for a good cause, and because her daddy loved his little girl, would basically give her anything she asked for. The fact that her father was a fairly well off dairy farmer in Wisconsin notwithstanding, she had to explain the thousands of dollars she was donating to the school somehow.
Of all the things she did miss however, was Dagger. She'd been virtually a Nun since she arrived in Reynosa, as most of the cute guys were either spineless because of the Zetas or were Zetas themselves. She didn't have a contact number for him, and calling Vicki would no doubt raise more questions then she cared to answer. So, she did without. It did suck at times, because that one day really left it's mark on her, and she kinda understood Vicki's position on sex.
"You do only live once." She said, as she set out the quiz sheets for the next class...
"Hey Vicki!" Dagger yelled to her over the loud music at Roxie's. She turned and smiled to him when she saw who it was. He pulled her into a hug and whisper-yelled into her ear.
"Where's my girlfriend?"
"Huntsville! Internship with NASA!" She yelled back. He looked dejected.
"Didn't you give her your cell number?"
"No, I forgot. You got hers?"
"Yeah, but she must be in an area with no signal, she never calls me back. Want her email?"
"Yeah, if you don't mind." Vicki took out her order pad and a pen, scribbled something quick, and handed it to him.
"Gotta get back to work! Good luck!" She said, disappearing behind the bar and pouring drinks. Dagger left a moment later.
Sitting out in his car, he fired up his net-book, and sent off an email, which immediately came back with a vacation message.
"Hi, this is Amanda, I'll be teaching under-privileged children in Mexico for the summer. NASA holds nothing of value or interest for me anymore. Ciao!"
"Mexico? But where in Mexico?" He asked the net-book, trying another email to her. He got the same reply however.
"Hmm, ok, time to play sleuth." He said to the dashboard, and started looking at local news reports for the regional Mexican area. On the third page he found the report of a school teacher being beaten for speaking out against Los Zetas. The image was of Amanda!
"SWEET! Reynosa here I come!" He said as he fired up the Challenger, and tore out of Roxie's parking lot, headed for Mexico.
24 hours later...
Driving most of the night, Dagger eased his car into a motel parking lot. The flashing neon sign, written in spanish, conveyed two simple facts: It was a dive for sure, but they had rooms available. Parking the Challenger, he cut the engine, grabbed his duffel and set the alarm. A few minutes later found him asleep in the somewhat lumpy queen-sized bed in his room.
Amanda seemed tense. She felt something stir in her sub-conscious, as she sat grading her student's papers by the faint light of her desk lamp. Set on it's lowest setting, the glow it gave off shed just enough light to see the papers in front of her and not much else, which is what she preferred these days.
Even though she had sent a fair number of Zetas to meet the moon, their numbers seemed to grow by the day. One she had captured and interrogated had said they were here looking for her, and that a 5 million dollar price had been placed on her (Ghost Angel's) head. After sending him to meet Luna, she shelved her alter ego for a while.
That was two weeks ago.
The stirring in her psyche wouldn't subside, so, pushing aside the papers and lesson plan, she began tracking the feeling she was sensing. It was very familiar to her, though it's immediate significance was still a mystery. She had walked/jogged almost a mile around Reynosa before she came to Hector's parent's Motel, on the edge of town. Spotting a very familiar black Challenger, she ran up to the door in front of it, and peeked in through the partially opened blinds. A tall, well built gringo lay sleeping on his right side on the bed. Looking at his face, she immediately recognized Mike Davis, aka Dagger. Composing herself best she could, she looked down at her choice of night time excursion clothing and gasped. Evening robe, bedtime slippers and black lace panties. So overpowering was that feeling, she neglected to get properly dressed before heading out. She giggled at last, knocking on his door with a sly smile. She peeked in again, and saw him rising from the bed, a 9mm pistol in his hand. She gasped, but then realized as an American serviceman in Mexico, he was smart to have brought a gun.
"Yes?" He said through the door.
"Dagger?" She asked, her voice a near whisper. The locks were thrown, and the door flew open suddenly, she coming face to face with him. He lowered the pistol and drug her inside.
"Amanda! Wait, are you staying here too? Did I wake you when I pulled in?" He asked, noting that his car's aftermarket exhaust system made it louder than normal.
"No, don't be silly. Hector, one of my student's, recognized you from my tellings of you, and called me when you checked in. His parent's own this motel." She lied, and did it so convincingly, he believed her! He scooped her into his arms, kissing and hugging her. She eagerly returned both, pushing him backwards towards the bed...
The next morning...
Dagger awoke to Amanda sitting in the only chair in the room, turned to face out the window. She sat there in only her robe, sipping at a cup of coffee. Leaning up on an elbow, he smiled when she turned to face him.
"Got another of those?" He asked with a smile, indicating her coffee.
"You shouldn't be here Mike. It's not safe for you here. Zetas are flooding in everyday, looking for the Angel."
"I know, I read the newspaper reports. If it didn't seem so incredible, so absurdly ridiculous, I'd almost think Ghost Angel was you. The descriptions fit you almost to a T." He said, swinging his legs out of the bed, eying the small coffee maker and moving toward it, pouring himself a small cup of black mud.
She weighed what he said with careful measure. No one knew who she really was, and that secret weighed heavily on her soul. She really did love Mike, though she never told him, but if he had half the intellect she gave him credit for, he'd have figured out her true feelings for him by the way they made love. Not just sex, but true love making.
"What would you say if I told you I was Ghost Angel?" She asked softly, turning back to the window. A small gang of young men had assembled across the street at a local taco stand, some pointing at Mike's shiny Dodge.
'They're planning something!' She thought to herself, as Mike's arms encircled her. She jumped only slightly.
"I'd say it fits you, but unless you're some super athlete with multiple black belts, which I know you don't have, after talking to your former roommate, I'd say no, I don't think you are." He said finally. She sighed against him, still watching the group across the street. When two of them produced small machine pistols, Amanda knew it was time to go. Being daylight, she couldn't do anything to them, as there would be too many witnesses, so turning in Mike's arms, she hoped he loved her as much as she loved him.
"Mike? Please, try not to judge until we have a chance to sit and actually talk, ok?"
"Talk about whaooooo!" He began, as his view swirled from the dingy motel room to a finely decorated bedroom. Shades of pink and purple adorned every piece in the room, from the 4 post king sized bed to the walls and even the carpet. It had a woman's touch for sure, but what threw him sideways was how he got here. He fell backwards into a sitting position on the bed, she sliding onto his lap, straddling his waist. Looking down into his eyes, she could read his mood, mind and emotions.
Surprise, love, and shock, to put it mildly. He wrapped his arms around her, holding her tightly to him. They kissed for a long time before she broke it off and looked into his eyes. He smiled back to her.
"You, you aren't surprised how we got here?"
"Honestly, no. It's been a long time since I'd seen anyone with your abilities. Mannis' work no doubt."
"Wait, that name! I know that name!" She said, her turn to be surprised.
"Abducted by aliens, right?" He asked with a sly smile.
"Ye-yeah, how'ed you know?"
"I know them. Intimately you could say. It wasn't until you 'ported across the bar did I recognize Mannis' handy work, since humans on this Earth haven't even scratched the surface of their mental capabilities." He said, letting her out of his hug. She turned a shocked expression to him, then sat back down.
"How do you know of these aliens? I mean, you don't look like them. Hell, they looked almost elven."
"Mannis put me here, on this Earth, to protect me from an off-shoot faction of his people. I lost quite a few good friends in battle against them, including my wife." He said sadly, the grief of that loss playing across his face. She gasped, not just from his loss, but it thoroughly sinking in that he wasn't from 'here'.
"Ooook, so if you aren't from 'here'. as you put it, where are you from?"
"Oh, I'm from Earth, just not THIS Earth. Mannis' people are extremely advanced, and access to alternate dimensions is completely possible for them."
"So, like that old TV show, 'Sliders'?" She asked, still sitting, scanning his mind for any signs of deceit or deception.
She found none.
"I'm not totally familiar with all of this world's pop culture yet, so I'll have to take your word on it." He said with a dashing smile. She almost melted.
"Is Mike Davis your real name?" She needed to know, needed to break through whatever mental barrier that was keeping all the knowledge she wanted, no, needed to know from her.
"No, it's my cover identity. Again, Mannis' idea. My real name is Alex Carlson, and MY Earth is three dimensions to the right, so to speak."
"Is your Earth the same as this one?"
"No, mine is about 320 years ahead of yours. I was born April 2, 2301, in Strasbourgh, Germany, but soon after my birth, my family moved to Australia. It's the reason for my slight accent."
"I mis-took you for a British ex-patriate. Glad I didn't jump to that conclusion."
"How do you really feel about me?" She asked, since even though she could read his surface thoughts, she wanted to hear him say it. Say that he loved her.
"You, Ms Mittlesohn, have won my heart, and I think with your abilities and my advanced knowledge, I can go home and take back that which was taken. You once thought yourself an angel, well, come home with me, and be that angel. An angel of vengeance. And yes, Mannis and I talk from time to time, hence how I knew of your angelic beliefs."
Amanda thought all of this through with the analytical mind she thought she had forgotten. She was beating herself up here, trying to stop the Zetas, but out there, in the great void, she realized, that was her true calling. Smiling to him, she stripped and began dressing in her Ghost Angel outfit. Turning after pulling on her boots, she caught sight of his erection through his jeans, her most favorite part of his considerable anatomy. Smiling, she sauntered up beside him.
"You like it?" He answered her with a soft kiss, pulling the small medallion from his front pocket, and pressing the faintly glowing green stud on it's shiny surface.
Amanda felt as though every fiber of her being was being torn asunder then reassembled nearly an instant later. Looking around her, she found herself in a finely appointed bedroom, much like her own, though this one had walls that looked like steel.
"Where are we?"
"Home, well, my home. And now your's as well. Welcome aboard the 'Richelieu', Amanda. First and last ship of the line, from her majesty's Imperial fleet, First Terran Empire, Empress Jennifer the First presiding."
"What year is it here?"
"2375." He answered, as the entire western wall turned into a TV screen, the image on the screen throwing Amanda for a loop: What looked to a be a ship's bridge, back lit in red, and a humanoid skunk looking at her and Alex!
"Hey Cap! Glad to have you back! All systems are go, and we can leave whenever you say so, whoa! Who's the girl?"
"A friend. Contact Lorelei, let her know we're coming. Set course for her, best speed, Jett."
"Aye Cap, course laid in, Folding in 5."
To be continued in I.C. Volume 7, Coming of the Kanin, Round Two...