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 Uncommon Journey

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Contessa
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Goat
Posts : 5217
Join date : 2008-12-13
Age : 63
Location : Urs Buhler, The man of my dreams!!
Humor : I found it and as always the joke is on me!!

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PostSubject: Re: Uncommon Journey   Uncommon Journey - Page 2 EmptyThu Jun 21, 2012 8:16 pm

CHAPTER 24
LEARNING THE LANGUAGE

“Tomorrow, my heart, you must begin to learn the language of Lira. It is time for I tire of speaking in your tongue. I have to translate it into my tongue, think of the response, before going back to your language. For a short while it was fine but for the long run it will be easier if we can speak directly.”

“Ah -- so the rubber hits the road now does it? What if I don’t have an affinity for languages sir? I have never attempted to learn any of Earth’s many languages, other than English that is.”

“Other than American you mean. I daresay that English and American have become two completely different languages.”

“Never. They are two dialects of the same language. I understand them perfectly and they understand me.”

“As for affinity, that doesn’t matter. We will bypass your brain and go directly to your mind.”

“That’s a strange statement. Aren’t my brain and my mind the same thing?”

“Your brain is your instrument. It will die when your body dies. Your mind is much more durable, it will last as long as you do, and who you are will never die.”

“Is this some religious thing? It sounds like church to me.”

“Your churches have a small portion of it right. That we all live forever is true. You and I are in process of living eternally right now and will keep going through all the worlds of ’He who rules us all’.”

With that he pulled her into their usual spooning position and they both drifted off to sleep. They were both perfectly happy and contented with their life and with each other.

But Kathleen had a niggling thought.

The next morning, first thing after they had brushed their teeth and gotten juice and cheese, an exotic cheese that was tangy but not too strong. Kathleen began with questions.

“Ursus, you mentioned all of the worlds of God. How many are there?”

“I have no idea. We will probably never know because it’s not as if we are conscious of it when we are going through them. I mean, we have a kind of amnesia for all that has come before and I imagine that this loss of memory is necessary to stave off the boredom and complete ennui that we would experience if we could remember all of the things that we have been through.”

“Or the terror. We don’t remember anything from one life to the next. As far as I am concerned I started when I was born and placed into an orphanage.”

“I don’t think you started there at all, my love, you are too skilled, too sure of how the world works. I think that all of you were handpicked to come here. It seems unusual that such a high percentage of you women have such high vibrations. Believe me the average vibration of the humanity found on Earth is not nearly as high as the average of you women.”

“Who could have chosen us?”

“Perhaps it was the Pleiadians acting according to the will of ‘He who rules us all‘. That would be my guess. Did you know that the humanity on Earth came from us, the Lira?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that you were not created from the dust of the Earth. When our planetary system evolved into the higher vibration that we now enjoy, all of the people, humans all, who could not live in the higher vibrations were taken by spaceship to the lower vibrations of Earth. You are remnants of us.”

“You’re kidding. We of Earth look similar but there are quite a few differences. Admit it, Earth people are somewhat different.”

“You were scattered all over your new planet. We spread you out. We now know that we were led to scatter you so that you could use finding your way back to each other as a method of growth, which you are doing nicely by the way.

“The differences that you see are due to differences in environment and being separated one from the other. You have many looks, many languages while we only have one look, one language. Perhaps the plan is to now bring us, the Lira, back together with you, our remnant, and that is why we fit so well together.”

“So, all your women had to sicken and die, be prevented from childbirth so that we could come together.”

“There is no death. They did not sicken and die they just left this planet. They will be where they will be.

"But for now, let’s talk about the language lesson that we are going to have this morning. With me away, you will need to understand our language. Our pod mates will look after you but I need to know that you are aware of what is being said not just with the voice but the nuances of the conversations, for that you will need to speak Liran.”

“How long before you go?”

“One week. During that time I must also assure that my ship Volta is outfitted and is space worthy. We will now go into the meditation room and begin after you finish your juice.”

They went into the empty room and he knelt and motioned for her to kneel facing him. This was the barren room that she had noticed on the first night when he had given her and Rose the quick tour. Since then, she had not questioned the purpose of this room, nor had she felt the need to enter it because it was empty. Now she wished she had brought along a pillow for her knees. She had a feeling that before they left it, she’d be tired of kneeling.

“Now my love, try as best you can to quiet your mind. Allow the thoughts to arise and then allow them to drift off as clouds, right out of your sight and your mind. Place yourself in a green field with clouds overhead. A slight breeze is blowing, not enough to disturb you but allow the gentle wind to exhilarate you. That’s just right. It is very pleasant." He droned on for a while in a monotone.

And so, as it was when she first tried lovemaking, he led her. This time it was through a simple exercise and in the doing of it she became amazed at the changes that came about.

The first thing that she noticed was that this previously empty room contained streams of thin cloth, perhaps muslin that hung from the ceiling and drifted slowly in the wind providing a pleasant feeling of airiness. Next came the sound of trickling water and in the corner was a fountain, about three feet high with water that bubbled as if a stream ran through the room.

No sooner had she thought of the stream than it too appeared. It became a meandering brook that bisected the room and flowed off to parts unknown but left her with an altogether satisfied feeling.

She was buoyed up, off the floor for about two feet into the air, she was not at all surprised or alarmed, for Ursus’ voice held her steady.

She opened her eyes to look at him and he was serene, with a light shining around his body; an aura, surely. She wondered idly if this light was there all of the time and she was suddenly able to see it or if it was there now only for the time being.

That thought too drifted away, as did the room, the brook, the fountain, the streamers and she entered a void, a cocoon of nothing but warmth and comfort.

As surely as she could feel his hand as it reached out to clasp hers again, she felt his mind reaching out to her, testing, checking for susceptibility, for an entryway. Something within her that was larger than her, yet familiar to her, allowed her to relax and release her vigilance.

The knowledge of their language did not trickle in, it flooded into her mind full blown, as if she had spoken it all of her life. Cultural preferences, ways of looking at their world all came too, and she could examine the world from whence she came and still look at his world and understand the commonalities and the differences. This was turning out to be a truly a mind-blowing experience.

Unaware of how much time had passed, she opened her eyes to a new day. This meditation had brought about a form of renaissance and that rebirth had only taken a short while out of her day but it had taken untold amounts of energy. He released her mind and her hand and she felt the need to seek her bed. She barely had time to lie down when she felt him place a light coverlet over her. There she slept the rest of the morning and the afternoon away.

He stayed in the living room and chose to work on coordinates in his head, reviewing the pathways that he’d take and who knew what else but whenever she roused, she was aware that he was nearby.

Finally she came completely awake and padded to the entry of the room where he sat. She spoke to him in Liran.

“Ursus. When I was deep into the contemplation, I saw things that are not normally there. Are they there or did I imagine them?”

“I would say that they are always there but not on this energy level. Once you raised your vibrations, you could see them. That is exactly what happens when we make our final transition, out of this life. We are made aware of a whole other world that exists all around us that we never could see before.”

“Was I near death then?”

“Oh no never. I would not allow you to do something that would endanger your life. From a purely selfish point of view, your presence is too precious to me and I don’t want to exist without you, not for a day, not for an hour. I want to be able to find you in this world, on this planet whenever I have to need to do so, and that is every day of my life.”

“But could you see those things too? The brook, the fountain, the colors. Could you see those things?”

“I could, I did. I see them often. They are just things that form a gateway that is all.”

“There was one other thing. Ursus there is a child. I think it was saying that I will be its mother.”

That brought him out of his contented mood and put him into one of excitement. "What was said? Was it a male or a female?”

“He was male. He seemed to tell me that he is already with us. He says the joining process began last night. He promises to try to be a good son, but Ursus, he has a sense of humor too. He says that we will get just the kind of son that we deserve and then he laughed.”

“That’s amazing. You know children are not always lesser souls than their parents. Sometimes they actually lower themselves to teach their elders some lessons. I hope that is not the case with our son. I had high hopes of sharing my great knowledge with him,” and Ursus laughed, a laugh that sounded amazingly like the voice that she had heard. “Perhaps I will learn from him. Who knows? If you are up to it let us go out into the common, I want to tell the guys our good news.”

“But what if it was just a fantasy? What if I’m mistaken? Maybe we should keep it quiet until we’re sure. We don’t want to look like idiots, going around predicting the future.”

“It’s not a dream love, I too had glimmerings of what you saw but it was less clear. Anyway, you can show off your new found linguistic skills even if you don‘t mention the child. I’ll leave it up to you. Wear one of your flowing dresses tonight, I feel like celebrating even if no one knows exactly the source of our joy.”

That evening they walked out into a scene of old world of grace and charm. It seemed her husband had ordered a celebration but not just a casual one. He had had a long table replete with crystal, formal silver ware, white linens, in imitation of a 19th century dinner party on Earth.

The men were in black Tuxedos with tails. High pointed collared pristine white shirts. The women, following their husband’s lead, had worn their best. The mood was festive and the historical formality added to the event.

“So what are we celebrating?” Bas asked, mindful of the smile that his buddy sported even though he could not read its source through the cloaking of his thoughts. “Dare we hope that the mission has been cancelled?” It was a credit to Bas’ discretion that he did not even try to venture into Kathleen’s more open mind.

“Not a chance. But Bas, I would that you stay behind. Since we are taking fewer than 500 men, it would be too bad to leave the others rudderless.”

This suited Bas fine and his wife even better. She reached down and gave his hand a squeeze.

Ursus continued, “Of course, you will also want to provide support for the women’s council and just insure that everything runs smoothly in our absence.”

“So, if it’s not a cancelled trip, what it is? Come on. We know something is up, we can tell by the look on your face,” Cain added with a wiggle of his eyebrow in his lady’s direction.

Kathleen spoke up, but in the language of Lira, taking them all off guard. In essence she said, “Now I understand the sweet nothings that he whispers in my ear.”

The other ladies, of course, didn’t have a clue as to what she had spoken but they were perhaps just a tad envious because Lady Di and Amy both wondered why their husbands had not seen fit to teach them their language.

“Was it difficult Kathleen? How did you do it?” The women all became engrossed in hearing Kathleen’s experience, Maggie included, while the men realized that they would have to go through the same thing with their mates or forever give up on any peace in the household.

Ursus hadn’t been at all sure that it would work. He didn’t know if it would work for the other three. It might be a case of working for one or two but not three. It all depended on the trust that the subject had in the leader and the willingness to allow a slight chink so that the mind could be entered. It was not easy for human to give up control of their minds to another. He was gratified that his wife trusted him enough to allow it. He was positive that she would not have had success with another.

The food was served to them tonight, a luxury that they didn’t often indulge in being that this was a more egalitarian society than the one that they were play acting about, pretending that they were lords and ladies of several centuries ago.

The menu was a very good imitation of roasted chicken, braised salmon, and the appropriate side dishes. All of the meat dishes were approximations of those dishes since meat was not eaten on this planet. The women said that it was a good imitation though and everyone ate heartily.

The conversation gradually turned to “The Procedure“. Lady Di started the conversation out of the blue, but everyone could tell that this had been on her mind for a while.

“Now you all brought us here to have babies. That we understand, but why in heavens didn’t’ you tell us about taking them early and putting them in a box to let them grow there? That was a pretty big omission don’t you think?”

Ursus waited for Di’s husband to answer her question but he was silent. Everyone was looking at him to see what he would say. Was it a good decision not to tell? These were thinking, reacting women, not robots. What could he say? That they, the men, had tried to play God? That they had left some things out so that they’d be more likely to come with them?”

He wiped his mouth with the pristine white napkin and placed it to the side before answering. “Believe me Demeter, it was not intentional. It was a combination of making assumptions and neglect on our part. My -- our -- only excuse is that as men, we never give any consideration as to how babies actually enter into the world. Those thoughts, once they are conceived that is, are not one of our priorities. We know how they are born, at least how they are born on our planet, and we did not consider that our way might be a bit alarming to you.”

“We thought you’d be pleased“, Cain cut in, now that he could see the direction this was going in, “pleased that you did not have to endure what we see as horrors, more than horrors, torture.” He shuddered at the thought.

“But is it safe? It might be better for us, but as mothers you must know that we want to know that our children are safe too. We are also concerned that we don’t end up getting someone else’s baby. How old are they when they start out on their own, when they are taken from us?”

Bas laughed nervously. “Kibba can give you more information but it has to be done in the first trimester, the sooner the better.”

“The sooner the better? Oh my God, this is strange.” Kathleen realized that this conversation was more than hypothetical in her case. If indeed she was breeding already, she would have to have the procedure soon and that her husband would be away. “What about the old fashioned way? The way we do it on Earth? Perhaps since we are from Earth we could just keep doing it that way.”

“But why would you want to? We have compared records of the children born using our method and your method, ours is much healthier for the mother and child, and there is really no comparison.”

“What do they do, exactly? Are we put to sleep?”

“Only if you are nervous, if you have too much anxiety to relax then perhaps a slight something for calming. We are not doctors but we do know that the children born in this way are very healthy and when they are born, they are not traumatized by going through the birthing process. Just as your way is traumatizing for the mother, it is more so for the child.” Ursus pronounced.

Drago picked up the train of thought. “But I must tell you, our scientists found that a child that comes into the world through the pressure exerted by the birth canal has the benefit of having the excess fluid squeezed from his lungs which makes it less likely to suffer from a breathing condition called transient tachypnea of the neonate. “

“Once aware of this obstacle, it was easy to circumvent it with simple measures.” Cain concluded.

Well, that put it into a little better light. Every mother wanted what was best for her child.

Ursus continued, “It is really enjoyable to read the accounts of parents going to the center to watch their child grow. Day by day they can see, and discuss which parent the child resembles, I must admit that sometimes they point out that it looks more like an elderly relative. This is something that is deeply precious to us and our culture. We have been too long without children and are looking forward to experiencing it ourselves. With our way, it is not only the mother who gets to know the child before birth, the father does too for he is there for every movement, every suck of the thumb.”

“Careful there Ursus or you’ll be breaking into song, fellow.” Cain broke in.

Kathleen decided to tell the secret. She knew that Ursus wanted it known.

“I might as well tell you, I think, think mind you, that Ursus and I will be having our first child. Soon I will be able to tell you all firsthand about the experience. I suppose that they will check to see if I am right and if I am, they will take care of it - I mean do the procedure."

The women had all gathered around Kathleen after that, trying to appear happy but secretly, at least they thought secretly, glad? that it wasn’t them who would go through it first.

“I think I want to go home Ursus. No don’t get up, why don’t you stay. I need to be alone.”

She got up from the table and hurried to her hidey hole. This was too much change in too little time. She had suddenly had a disturbing thought.

They hadn’t told them about being mind readers; they had failed to tell them about the birth procedure, what else had they failed to tell them?


_________________
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Contessa
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Location : Urs Buhler, The man of my dreams!!
Humor : I found it and as always the joke is on me!!

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PostSubject: Re: Uncommon Journey   Uncommon Journey - Page 2 EmptyThu Jun 21, 2012 8:22 pm

CHAPTER 25
NORMA’S REQUEST

After patiently developing her business plan Norma collected her thoughts and approached the Council of Four. Actually it was the council of three because Kathleen, General Ursus’s wife, had already left the common area for the evening.

Norma walked up to the three women as they sat around chatting together as they were wont to do after dinner. Their husbands were off to the side playing the game that resembled Earth’s ‘pool’ or perhaps billiards but was different in some inexplicable way that didn’t concern Norma, she’d never play any of them anyway.

Music played softly in the background and had a scintillating beat. It had such a catchy beat that Norma could have danced her way to reach the ladies but she restrained herself, this was about business. It was not a party.

“I thought of making an appointment but I wanted to run this by you before making it into a formal proposal. If it doesn’t make sense, then I’ll go back and rework it. Will you take a look and listen today? Do you have time?” Norma admired these women who were, in her estimation just about perfect. The generals had chosen well.

Being the women that they were they invited Norma to sit and to show them what she had, and she had a lot. She had figured out that the women from Earth needed a wider variety of apparel. Evidently Liran women were content to wear flowing robes for just about every occasion. They varied only in color and fabric. Seeing the women in the leggings had given Norma an idea.

“If we have them build a shop, a place where fabrics can be chosen and put together, I have some wonderful designs that I’ve worked on over the months that we’ve been here.” And she showed them a variety of designs for tops.

There were crossovers that accentuated the bust line without showing too much cleavage. She included a smart jacket with a belted waist suitable for women with small waists and a short shearling jacket for the winter months.

“There are endless possibilities and several of the women are prepared to work with me to open a fashion boutique,” Norma added candidly after they had seen each of her designs.

“You see, unlike the native Liran women, we have figures and they should be shown advantageously not hidden in those sacks that they wear. Also, we need something to do other than just wait for our men to beam us down clothing from the city. We want to create our own things, to see them come into being but we don’t know how to do that,” Norma concluded.

“And you want the men to teach you how to create? Is that it?” Lady Di had asked.

Norma hadn’t thought of that. “I think it will take us longer than we want to learn that; we’re just that excited. In our meetings we talked more about forming some kind of working relationship with the Liran women who live in the city. Perhaps asking them to come here and live with us, maybe to even get married, if that is what they want. I know that it’s said that they don’t like us very much because we’ve made them like yesterday’s newspaper but there’s no reason why we can’t at least coexist is there?”

Amy and Di and Maggie had felt the need to explain facts to Norma, who was sort of a representative of the women. Many of them looked up to her for her particular brand of pragmatic wisdom.

“It’s because we’ve stolen their men Norma. They are in a bind. They too saw the need for us to come here and they bought in to the idea, but living with the reality is different from thinking about it. They were quite popular with the men because they were so few; now, with us here, and more coming, it is altogether different. All they can hear is their men thinking and planning how they will make the voyage for their own Earth woman. The women of Lira feel left out.”

“That’s even more reason to work with us rather than sitting in the city and sulking. Would you, our Council of Four support us if we wanted to go and talk to these women, at least a few of them, to see if they want to join us here? There is so much that we can do together, purses, dresses, and if they look like Kibba with a few alterations they too will really look good in the clothes.” Norma was earnest in her attempts to sell the plan.

“Let’s do it this way Norma. Because we don’t yet know everything there is to know about this land, we must talk to our husbands and rely on their judgment. If they do not see drawbacks, we will hold a mini-meeting of all of the women who are interested in this project and then we will see how best to go about getting it off the ground.”

Norma went away pleased that they hadn’t turned down the idea. She knew if they had turned thumbs down, she’d have just reworked it and presented it at another time.

Now back to report to the girls what had been said and then return to the design table.


**


Meanwhile, Kathleen was getting herself all worked up. She had told Ursus to stay in the common room, that she needed to be alone, and when he did just what she had asked him to do, stayed out in the common with the men, she really got upset with him. He should have known that she needed to talk to him. Evidently he meant it when he had promised her that he wouldn’t go into her mind randomly otherwise he’d know that she was upset.

When he did saunter in a couple of hours later she was in a tizzy.

“How could you?” she had shouted in his direction when he entered. She seemed to have been walking the floor since she left them.

“You said that you wanted to be alone did you not? I was trying to give you what you wished.”

“You should have read my mind. You read it any other time that you want to know something about me.”

“I can’t read your emotions. I didn’t know you were upset, besides, you’ve let me know that you don’t like it so I try not to do it unless I just have to.”

“Never mind all that. Don’t you know that this being pregnant means that I have to go through all of this now, and you will be gone? You can’t expect me to do it alone.”

“You weren’t this upset a while ago, while we were talking about this out in the common. What has changed?”

“Nothing has changed. I just wonder what else there is that you men ‘forgot’ to tell us. What other little ‘oh it’s nothing honey’ that I won’t like that you’ll introduce into this marriage.”

“We have no secrets. This I swear on He who rules - - “ he thought of one secret but quickly decided that perhaps she’d never have to know. His hopes of keeping quiet died; of course Kathleen would find out, she was like that - quite inquisitive.

“Well, there is one thing, Kath. But you will probably never have to even think about it; that is unless you decide that you just must learn to read minds … to practice telepathy.”

Kathleen stopped whining and while the expression on her face changed from displeasure to speculation she stood thinking.

“We can be taught to read minds, to communicate without talking? If we could do that we would be equal to you men. Our children would likely be born with these abilities too instead of us just hoping that half of them could communicate this way.

Oh why did he have to open his big mouth?’ He didn’t need to answer this unasked question. He did it because he loved this woman and he wanted her happy but - he had a feeling that if he had lied, she would have been better off, and so would he.

“There are tradeoffs. With everything there are tradeoffs Kathleen and not all of them are pleasant.”

“What would I have to do? Would I have to meditate day and night for a week without stopping?”

She had completely forgotten about her anger towards him in her curiosity to find out how to read minds.

"Would I have to fast or go off into space? Electric shocks?”

“You do have a vivid imagination. You know that we are powered by nuclear fission, not electricity. No, it’s nothing like that. Practically speaking, you have to allow me to take possession of your brain while I take possession of your body.”

“Oh no you don’t! You are just making up the ‘enter your body’ part because you like to ****, aren’t you?”

“No. I swear.” And he suddenly looked quite young and earnest to her. She could see him as he must have been before he became a general and took on so many responsibilities.

“It is just that when you are at your most vulnerable. When you climax, your defenses are completely dropped then we can enter your brain at will and make the necessary changes.”

“Enter it more than you did to teach me the language? That was invasive enough.”

“I agree unless you are completely distracted yo….”

“Wait a minute, you said ‘we’. You said that ’we’ can enter your brain and make the necessary changes. How can I enter my own brain?”

“Ah … I did not mean you. I meant your chosen stand-in. You see because this takes a tremendous amount of transferred energy, it is too much for one person to supply. For it to even have a chance at working, you will choose a stand-in to increase the amount of energy that is generated. Perhaps stand-in is not the word; he will be more of an augmenter. Does this concept make sense to you?”

“You know Ursus, on Earth we have this thing called a battery jumper cable. I’m not sure just how it works but if a battery goes down, goes flat and won’t charge, I could get a jumper cable and hook it up to a good battery and start the engine and the energy is transferred from the good battery to the dead one. Is it like that?”

“Not exactly but it is similar enough. We have read about the technique. It has not been used for over fifty years because there was no need. All of us on the planet have this capacity and we have had no newcomers, whether by emigration or birth during that time. But, if after knowing what is entailed you women still want to do it, we are willing to try.

"I must admit it would solve the problems that we have with trust. It cannot be good us having the ability to read each other’s thoughts and our women not knowing what we are thinking.”

“And so what are these tradeoffs that you mentioned that are always there? Tell me about them, especially the ones that are unpleasant. Is it that my brain will explode during the procedure and I will be able to read minds but won‘t know whose I‘m reading?” She laughed at her own joke.

He just looked uncomfortable.

“Your brain will not explode. It will be fine but you are likely to develop an inordinate attraction to the person who stands in with us.”

“An inordinate attraction? Let me get this straight. You and I engage in lovemaking and someone is with us?” Shrillness was not usually a part of her dulcet tones but she managed them well. “Don’t tell me Ursus, please don’t - “

“No this person does not engage with us. Never. He would stand there and possibly hold your hand when the moment came. The hand is the analogy to your jumper cable.”

“But Ursus you must know whoever stands in is not going to remain unaffected by this ... these things that we are doing. I cannot relax enough to do this,”

“Have an orgasm,’ he supplied. She thought ‘thanks, not helpful at all’.

“I can’t do that with someone standing in the room looking and listening. I just can’t. Perhaps if they stayed outside the room, you could signal them with your telepathic abilities and he could tune in or something like that.”

“My brain would be busy trying to connect with yours. But listen Kathleen, you don‘t have to do this. I am perfectly happy with our relationship. I don’t need you to be anything but what you are. I love you.”

“If you love me, how can you stand there and say that if I do this, I will become attracted to another man. Say, maybe we could get a woman to stand it. That would be ok. For sure I would not become attracted to her.”

“Our women that went to the other planet did. That is what started it all. They were losing their abilities and they started using each other. That hurried them along in their love for one another. But they are happy with it so I have no complaints about them, but I do not want to lose you altogether. You would be attracted to this man, but you would still love me too.”

“And you mean to stand there and tell me that you men, you smart men did not think that this was something that we would be nauseated to hear about? Come on.”

“Honestly, we did not think it was such a large thing. A married woman who is attracted to another man is not unheard of, even on Earth.”

“And that is why we are in such a mess today.”

“You are in a mess because you act on those attractions. We hope that you women would not act out what you are feeling. And if you think of the male surrogate, this is no more than an everyday experience for us men. We are constantly bombarded with attractions, and yet, we have learned to ignore them and they do not affect our relationships with our wives.”

“Then I can understand why this tidbit is not high on you men’s priority list.”

“If you had known, would you have refused to come here?”

“No but I would have made sure that I brought along some sexual enhancing drug to hurry the process along. It cannot be pleasant to make love with another man in the room especially when the one who is nearby becomes aroused … and he will.”

“It would not be pleasant for me either,” he acceded. But she could not help but think that no matter what he said, it would not be exactly unpleasant for him either.

She thought the fact that it was his wife that would be involved in the quasi threesome would be the source of his dissatisfaction, not the fact that he was participating in it.


**


They ended the conversation; after all there was no immediacy. But one other thing was right on the horizon. She wanted him there for ’the baby procedure’ and so, less than a week after becoming pregnant, she went to the clinic to make sure that it was not too soon and finding that it wasn’t, they requested that the birthing process be started.

They then waited with varying degrees of patience for a physician to beam to them.

Unlike Rose, who was going to have delivery in the old fashioned way and had only needed a robotic arm to examine her, this delicate process, due to the importance of the outcome to both the child and the mother, required the presence of a human. Because it was one of their eighty-eight general’s children, and the first procedure of this kind to be performed in a good while, a whole team came. Some turned up only to observe so that they too could become more proficient.

Kathleen wasn’t too keen on having an audience but she did not protest. She felt duty bound to act with the dignity that her position seemed to require and Ursus was there holding her hand and reassuring her that all would be well.

Surprisingly it all was well. From her point of view she only felt a slight scraping sensation, no pain at all. She could not see what was removed for it was carefully placed into a small round container that reminded her of a Petri dish but with divided sections and a cover. It was then taken away and placed in a larger incubator and she was told that she could rise from the table when she was ready.

“That’s it?” she had whispered to Ursus.

“I suppose it is my love. How are you feeling?”

“I didn’t even feel it. We’ll see though. How long before there will be a baby to view?” She forgot that she spoke in their language and the doctor answered her.

“Madam will wait for a full month and then come back. You will be surprised at the progress that your little one has made. Then it will be as large as your smallest finger.”

The lingering effects were small. Slight bleeding later that night and after that she couldn’t even tell that anything had been done.

“If having a child is this easy, we should have a sizeable population here in this village by next year.”

“Yes. It would seem that the experiment has been a success. But we must remember that this is the easiest part. Getting children to adulthood and on their own is by far the most difficult job for any parent on any world.

“In our meetings before we came to Earth, we talked about how this world would change once we have half of our population here from Earth. Now it will change again once we have so many young people on it once more. Only He who rules us all knows if it will be a good thing or not.”

“I imagine that it will be as you say, there will be tradeoffs.”

“Tomorrow is the big day. I will leave you for a few months, are you confident that you will not be afraid in my world without me?”

“I have quite a few irons in the fire. I have two perhaps three projects with the women and the Council of Four. We are going to meet with some of the Liran women to try to get a coalition going. Also I have the baby to look in on. I will miss you terribly but I know that you must go so - I will be fine.”

“As it grows closer to the end of winter, remember to stay close to home. Deep winter is ferocious. You will want to stay inside and bring everything to you. You will remember not to go outside; you might get lost in the snow and, if it is a bad winter, go underground with your sister and Bas. Everything is down there that you need to stay warm and to have enough to eat for the month. Bas promised that he will take care of you, so spend that time keeping closely in touch with the others.”

She said goodbye from home. She didn’t want to make the long trip to the ship and watch him ride out of her life. She knew that she might cry and convince him to take her with him which would be completely inappropriate as there were no women on this planetary security trip.


**


With him gone, she felt immediate loneliness. She couldn’t even communicate with him as she had no telepathic abilities. At least on Earth she could have used instant messaging. What good did it do to have the latest technology if one couldn’t use it?”

She had a day long pity party that she couldn’t sustain because she knew that Di and Amy were going through the same thing that she was. She found them in the public rooms and they decided that work was the answer. They would get busy planning the women’s meeting at which they’d reveal Norma’s plan. For that they’d need Norma.

They decided to do it the old fashioned way. Instead of having one of the guys in the kitchen mind-send a message to Norma’s husband who would relay it to her, they decided to walk the short distance to pick up Norma and meet in the park.

“We forgot Margaret.” Di remarked.

“Oh Bas will pick up on it and send her over.”

Kathleen was learning how things worked here. There were no secrets, not really, unless one cloaked their brain and none of them knew how to do that.

Kathleen was dying to talk to the women about the ’telepathy process’ as she had dubbed it in her head but thought she’d better think about it for a while. The whole thing was bizarre. She didn’t want to cause an unnecessary stir since it was possible that none of them would ever even want to read minds.

They walked out into the bright sunny day, all of them struck anew at the vividness of this planet. One thing was that there was no fog or smog caused by the exhausts of millions of vehicles all over the planet. The ability to beam had reduced the need for vehicles to a minimum. Mainly they were used for recreation, to enjoy the sights and so forth.

The large clouds looked like pillows and were more silver than white in the deep blue sky. The two moons were pale slivers of silver while their third moon was full and hung low near the horizon. Birds that were unfamiliar, but birds nevertheless flew overhead. They seemed to be capable of flying quite high. None of the women were experts on flora and fauna but Kathleen certainly couldn’t remember ever seeing birds fly up until they were invisible and then reenter at such a rage of speed.

“They seem to be racing, having fun. The only thing I remember the birds on Earth doing is looking for food.”

“The fish here play too. They are tame. They’ll come up and kiss your hand if you leave it in the water. They don’t bite either,” Lady Di had observed.

They found Norma at home, just getting into her daily task of designing. She was on a roll.

“Hey Norma, can you take a break? We want to walk to the park and talk about how best to go about getting a few of the Liran women to move here. Since it’s your idea, we don’t want to steal your thunder."

“Ah guys, this is great. I had no idea you would move on it so quickly. I need to get Mary, and Cecile and a few others. They want to be in on it too. When we finish we will have handbags, and shoes and scarves, the works. Just like home only better because here we can shop as much as we want and it’s all free.”

“It’s not free Norma. Everything still has to be made. They just don’t use the medium of money.”

“Yes. I know. That’s why it seems free. If we go to the market we can get fruits and vegetables and no money is exchanged. When they come to our shops they will be able to get clothing without exchanging money too. What is that if not free?”

“It’s that way because everyone works. Everyone produces something. Our job is to produce babies for them. That is our contribution. You don’t have to do anything else if you don’t want to Norma.”

“But I love to use my mind to create things. I don’t have to but I want to. And the others do too. You don’t have to be the ‘Council of Four’ but you enjoy it don’t you? I like this system better than before when I had to go to the broom factory whether I wanted to or not. This is much, much better. It is a thousand times better.”

They made it to the park, a stretch of greenery that had a pond that meandered through its length. Someone had placed footbridges over the enclaves of water so that it could be crossed without getting wet. There were a few trees, and they were interspersed throughout, providing adequate shade.

Mary and the others had joined them so had Maggie, just as they had predicted.

“Let’s not sit under this tree,” Mary cautioned them. "It’s a Catawba tree. We have them just like this at home - on Earth I mean - and it has worms that are big and green and furry. They really are pests."

No one questioned her but it brought to mind that never once since they had been on this new planet had they had to contend with rats, which Kath and Mags knew were prevalent in New York, nor had they seen flys or other pests. It was something to think about.

“Ok what is our goal with these women of Lira?”

Kathleen started today’s meeting. And it was off and running. In the end they decided that large meetings consisting of all the women who wanted to attend should occur with the Council of Four in attendance. They also decided that they would meet weekly with these five representatives of enlisted women because this day had been quite productive.

They made these decisions:

Go to the small town where the largest population of Liran women resided and talk with them, try to sell them on the idea of living among them, choosing husbands and joining the fashion business with them. To a one they felt that if the women were anything like Kibba, they would look fabulous in high fashion.

They all agreed that they needed a building to be raised. Norma had thought that perhaps a strip mall like structure would fit the bill but after talking they agreed that something much more elegant was ideal. Perhaps a stand-alone building built along classical lines of antiquity and in a setting on a small rise with a few trees surrounding it.

At the next regular meeting they should also include a discussion of the arts. Men had been performing here, carrying on as best they could but now, the women had something that they could add and the needed to provide an attitude that instilled a value for the arts in their children.

How best to prepare for the coming fifth season [deep winter] how would it impact the women? What preparations had already been made?

To celebrate of the end of the fifth season with a gift exchange, party.

A regular report on how their incubated fetuses are coming along.

This last one Kathleen added. She had yet to reveal that she’d been to the clinic and left her fetus there, of course the council knew but the enlisted wives did not. She’d probably announce it at the next meeting and give a brief summary of the procedure.

Margaret agreed to check with Bas to see if he would accompany them to the Liran women’s homeland in two days time. They all agreed that they’d be ready, and adjourned the meeting.

Even though they had moved away from that tree rather than sit directly under it, when the Council of Four returned they remembered to ask Bas about the Catawba {catalpa} tree and its dreaded worms. Bas had verified that indeed it was the same tree that they called ‘dreaded’.

“You also know it as the fisherman’s tree on Earth because according to the encyclopedia, it produced fat juicy green long worms that were excellent for fishing.” Bas then went on to explain that yes, this tree was the same but without the worms.

“We have no worms here just as we don’t have many of the lower pests that you have on Earth. We don’t need them to feed our fish because we don’t eat fish either. Haven’t you noticed we have no flies, no moths, and no bugs?”

“Yes, but you have butterflies and birds.”

“We have them because they enrich the lives of humans. They lift us up, that is why they still exist in this world. We have earned the right to have a life relatively free of the hardships that these vermin bring. You’ll also note that we don’t have wild animals, at least not the wild ones that kill. We have a few deer, and other relatively tame ones like our buthanos but they are mainly for aesthetics, just to remind us from where we came. And we don’t have many of your deadlier diseases either such as cancer, AIDS, infections and the like. All of those perks come from vibrating at a higher level.”

“Oh you are so smart my sweet husband, “Margaret had praised and he had blushed and had taken a deep breath that caused his chest to rise.

The other women made brief eye contact with each other, well aware that men everywhere, no matter the planet, had some things in common; they were susceptible to a woman’s flattery.



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PostSubject: Re: Uncommon Journey   Uncommon Journey - Page 2 EmptyThu Jun 21, 2012 8:23 pm

CHAPTER 26
INTO THE STRONGHOLD OF THE LIRAN WOMEN

They glided into the citadel of the women of Lira not really knowing what to expect. It was an old world compound complete with a town square and a magnificent thirty-foot high fountain surrounded by a multitude of riotous but contained flowers.

Here and there men were engaged in conversation, a few of them seemed to be doing odd jobs, but mostly, they were dressed to the nines in various forms of finery.

“I think we should see the mayor first. I can’t imagine that they have much work of a business nature going on here but it seems appropriate that we at least give her our respect by letting her know that we are here.” Bas said as he pointed them to the largest building in the small town.

The women decided earlier that they would personally go in and see about initiating any discussion that was to take place. They didn’t want to give the impression that they were ruled by the men by having Bas represent them, nor did they want to stir any ire by flaunting one of their men in the faces of the Liran women, especially since he obviously was with them, the Earth women.

So while Bas wandered off, presumably to interact with some of the men, the six women entered the cool dimness of the mayor’s building. Initially they found it necessary to squint after coming in from the bright sunshine in order to see the placards leading to the various rooms.

The interior of the building and the goings on there reminded Kathleen of an old antechamber filled with courtiers trying to see their king; but instead of pacing all of the men who were waiting did so patiently, assuming various poses, some leaning against the wall while others stood, legs spread and watched each other in a manner that seemed that they were suspicious of each other in spite of their attempts to appear casual. A few others sat on the meager benches that lined the hall, one or two milled around, belying their attempts to look as if they could be here all day.

There was no need for a sign or placard. The door that they wished to enter was in plain sight. It was guarded by women who held no weapons, just a look of haughtiness that dared any man to cross without her permission.

Kathleen saw firsthand a demonstration of what Ursus had said. That these women being in such demand had grown arrogant in a way that Earth men in their minority numbers had not yet thought to do.

Being unable to read minds was a definite disadvantage in this environment. Still, Kathleen, Norma and the others persevered. Nearly collectively they took a deep breath and tromped forward down the long hallway prepared to wait as long as it took to see Olofanalou, who, they had heard, ruled this small fiefdom as if she were queen.

The Liran women guarding the door appeared bored and filled with ennui until they spotted the delegation of six Earth women. When they sighted them the female guards perked up immediately. It was their first sight of the Earth creatures yet even having never seen them before, they were readily identifiable. Kathleen could almost read their minds. ‘Surely Olofanalou would want to see them.’

Ignoring the protests of the men who had been waiting, they waived the women forward, staring at them as if they had come from another world, which they had.

Everything about them was scrutinized. If they could have read the Lira women’s minds they would have been angry, but, since they couldn‘t, they remained serene on the outside while they quaked a bit on the inside.

Bas had assured them that no harm would come to them and they believed it. After all these women too, were destined to enter the fifth dimension. How harmful could fifth dimension candidates be?

Tula and Fallat looked down at them and saw that these Earth women were strange looking, if not downright ugly. To their eyes they were short, squat, had visible breasts. They had buttocks that swayed when they walked, how gross, how inelegant they were. They had heard that these creatures had no telepathic abilities. This in itself was not surprising to Tula because not all of their animals were telepathic either. Surely these women were closer to Liran animals than to themselves.

Yet Tula thought it wise to test first. She sent out a few welcoming thought waves and when she received nothing, she knew that the rumors were true. These human equivalents to swine communicated by speech only. That made it much easier.

Tula smiled when one of the women caught her eye before she could look away.

Fascinating, these were the beasts that were brought here to bear our men’s children, to mix their blood with ours. These were Tula’s true thoughts that she hid behind the smile.

Even though Tula thought she was above them it did not prevent her from being curious. I wonder what they want. Perhaps things are not all they thought it would be. Conceivably they are learning that our men really prefer us to them and are only using them.

By now they had reached the outer chamber that led to the mayor’s office, Tula had mentally informed the mayor as they walked along that they were on their way. Olofanalou had mentally replied that Fallat and Tula had been right to put the women at the head of those waiting. She was quite curious to see these women. In fact, only her pride had kept her from sneaking close to their village to get a look. She knew that the men would have felt her presence but for that, she’d know. Now they had come to her.

The two guards ushered the six Earth women into the spacious chamber, where Tula spoke, prepared to be the go between for her higher-up in interpreting the women’s thoughts. I am getting the impression from their thoughts that they want our cooperation in some kind of project that they want to start. Perhaps, like us, they are finding our men too vigorous for them, although they look sturdy enough.

“Thank you Tula. I am capable of reading their thoughts and coming to my own conclusions.” This Olafanalou said aloud. Indeed it was a dismissal but Tula was not about to leave from the most exciting meeting ever.

The delegation sat in the tall chairs, made to suit women who all were more than six feet in height and quite narrow through the hips. Finally Kathleen, the only one who spoke their language decided that she’d better speak up as evidently Olofanalou did not know the languages of Earth.

“We come in peace my lady. We have traveled far from our Earth homes but could not rest and even begin to feel comfortable in yours until we had sought out you, the first ladies of Lira, so that we could speak our minds, to let you know that we mean you no harm.”

They had decided to speak thus knowing that one of the first rules of diplomacy is a lack of arrogance.

Olofanalou answered in kind also in the language of diplomacy. “We welcome you, O women of Earth. It is good that we come to know each other. We are grateful that you have come to our aid. When this project ends, please know that our sisterhood will remain strong and we will care for the little ones as if they were born unto us.”

Kathleen didn’t quite understand what had just been said; perhaps it was her newness with the language. She began again.

“We are considering how best to begin a creative venture, working with fabrics and fashion. It would be ideal if we could work together. Perhaps there are women who have talents in this area who are adventuresome, who would like to partner with us to create new styles, - not that yours are not beautiful.”

She ended rather lamely because Olofanalou’s look changed, she began looking at Kathleen as if she were a bug or something that had grown horns.

Still she answered in the same cordial voice a soothing sing-song that demonstrated how devious she could be. “Why would we want to do that Earthling?” Then she stood for the first time, all six foot four of her, made taller by wearing at least four inch heels. The look on her face became one of distain, all pretense of a smile gone. Her lips were drawn down in a sneer and her eyes were piercing.

“There can be no partnership. You do not have the time. As soon as you have given us what we sought from you, you will be sent home. Be grateful that we are a civilized planet, that we are kind and generous. Else we might not return you to Earth but require that you sacrifice your lives.”

‘Tula, please show these … women out’. Olofanolou sent thought messages to her servants.

The five others sat there next to Kathleen, not really knowing what had been said but understanding that underneath the nuanced conversation things had gone horribly wrong and Olofanolou wasn’t nice at all. She had initially been very good at concealing her fury and indignation but her restraint had broken down.

Clearly these Liran women had been pushed into a corner. They knew that the race would die out if the Earth women had not provided an out but they resented them still, for in droves their men were slavering to get to these women.

The six women tried to remain dignified until they had left the building especially when Kathleen whispered furiously to them “keep your minds blank! No” - knowing that they wouldn’t be able to do that “Think about a TV show, think about ’Dancing with the Stars. “

They didn’t say a word until they were out of the building, and off the grounds.

“There, that should be far enough. She hates us! She’s an awful ugly person.”

Kathleen realized that she could not tell these women what they had really talked about and that the plan was to take their babies and send the mothers back to Earth. They wouldn’t be able to stand that. What could they do? Had they been brought here under false pretenses? Were Olofanalou’s awful words true? Was the pretended caring, the love even all a ruse to get their babies?

She looked across the green and spotted Bas walking towards them with the characteristic stride of the Liran men, she quickly switched her mind to something pleasant, she thought about the beauty of the building, the symmetry of the grounds. Anything to cover up what Olofanalou had revealed.

“How did it go ladies?” Bas was his usual pleasant self. Kathleen wondered if there was something sinister about that perpetual smile. If his cheerfulness covered up his true motives. But she right away had to let that thought go quickly before he picked it up.

“It seems that they are not interested in working with us.” Norma finally said, and from her point of view that was all that had occurred in that room. Kathleen let them talk, afraid that her uneasiness would somehow convey itself to them. They might not be able to read her mind but they for sure could read her expressions and a few of them, Norma especially, were quite intuitive.

The return home was made with a lot less optimism than the trip over had been. “Perhaps there are some men who will do the creating for us. On Earth we have lots of men who are into fashion.” Di said. Bas didn’t comment but Kathleen thought he looked doubtful that they’d find anyone.

Kathleen was quiet as she tried to digest all that had happened and to figure out if this was one final thing that Ursus had failed to tell her. All along, he had lied by omission about the mind reading, had left out the birthing procedure. She didn’t think he was that devious but how was she to know. The straight forward life in the orphanage had not prepared her to deal with this level of duplicity.

As soon as Kathleen got home she felt the need to go and visit her baby. To see if he was really there or had they already moved him to some undisclosed place.

When she entered the building, the ever present attendant was surprised to see her back so soon. “Really Kathleen Rhenoum, there is nothing more to see. It has been less than a week. If you would come back in four weeks, then, perhaps - “

“No. I want to see him now even if it is there have been no changes.”

The attendant stopped talking and led Kathleen back through the maze to a temperature controlled room that smelled of antiseptic and was filled with soft lights and a constant buzz. There labeled just as she had seen it last was ’baby Ursus Major N.” She peeked in and saw just a circle of cells, multiplied more but not yet having much differentiation at all. There really was not much to see. But, neither had it been whisked off to some unknown destination.

Over the next few weeks Kathleen tried to hide her concern, she really did. Instead she internalized it and worried constantly. They had come to the planet in late September, Ursus had left a month later around the beginning of November, and he would be gone for the last two months of winter, November and December as well as the month or so of deep winter which fell in the month’s equivalent to January and the first week of February. She wanted him back. She needed more information.

With many of the men gone, and the weather gradually turning colder and more blustery day by day, they settled into a routine. The four women would bundle up and go out to seek out Norma, Mary and the women who had decided to work with them designing. It was usually a pleasure because Norma was one of those people who didn’t seem to be affected by the wintry weather.

After visiting with them, they’d go check on the status of the others. See who was pregnant, who was ready to have the procedure, and who was not. Kathleen found that she, having been through it was a good resource. Most of them opted to do it the easy Liran way rather than the much more dangerous and difficult Earth way.

They made plans for the fashion house that they’d build, or have raised come spring. They had decided on the more elegant Rotunda-like style instead of late Earth square strip mall squalor.


They had planned to build an integrated hub in which fashion and the arts and cultural center were located near each other, after all none were really separate endeavors, it was perfectly reasonable that one would want to choose a look and view a play or dance or some other type performing art, all in the same local.

Using the concept of broad avenues for foot traffic they planned improvements for their village and for their children.

They intended to put these plans into fruition in early spring when mothers had visions of their children growing up surrounded and immersed in the performing arts.

These plans helped stave off Kathleen’s depression somewhat. Why would they have the women planning on building centers for the arts and schools if this were not a permanent endeavor? But she knew in her heart that it could still be permanent without the Earth women being in its midst.

Most of all she needed to talk to her husband and was of two minds. She knew if she could speak to him, she would not be able to refrain from asking him questions about the things that the Liran mayor, that awful Olofanolou said, and - if he had lied so far, there was nothing to keep him from continuing with the charade.

Oh but she could not believe it. After all of the sweet whispered words in the deep of the night that they had shared, the way he had opened up to her and had changed over the month that they’d been together. She believed that he truly cared for her.

One day, out of the blue, while she and Margaret were taking a walk together she had asked her sister. “Do you truly believe that Bas has come to love you? Would you wager your future on it Mags?”

“Where is this coming from Kathleen?” Margaret had asked in reply. “I already have staked my future on this, are you having second thoughts? Are you not getting on well with your mate? I know that it’s hard having him gone, especially while mine is here but the time will pass. Next time it might be I who is alone.”

Kathleen knew this. In their role as peacekeepers they would have to journey far and wide until they decided to retire. But this was more than the normal loneliness. There was uncertainty too. And she had no way to assuage that doubt. She could only think of one remedy. That was to try to become telepathic herself so that she could really discern what was going on in the deep recesses of these seemingly pleasant men’s brains.

Before he left Ursus had said that it had its drawbacks, and its downsides. Maybe that was true, maybe not. It could be that he was discouraging her knowing that it would be a lot harder to fool her if she could read his mind. She’d catch on quite quickly that this dream of marriage, raising their children, having the love that was so elusive on Earth, was just as hard to attain here. That in their own way the men of Lira were even more devious than the men of Earth and all of the talk about the fifth dimension was just a diversion, a way to get them to buy into the big lie.

So she answered Maggie in a way that allayed her concerns. “I know it’s just the loneliness. The loneliness and the winter and we still have that cursed deep winter to get through.”

“Bas says that they have received the advanced forecasts. This year, instead of everyone going underground, we are going to stay together above ground. The temperature will allow it and the men think that going underground will be just too depressing for the women because it is so new to us. You know how guys can sleep around the clock if they have to. They know that we’d drive them crazy wanting to talk. Anyway, we are all moving into the auditorium next week. Deep winter will start shortly afterwards.”

“What about our babies in the clinic?”

“Oh they will be underground. There’s really no need for them to have conversation you know.” Maggie laughed picturing the stillness of the giant incubator with its soft classical music and controlled temperature. “When deep winter ends, they will be brought back above ground and we can go and see how they’ve grown.” Maggie too had gone through the procedure and thought it was piece of cake; which it was.

“You’d better have them beam you some hot romance novels and mysteries too, since you like them so much. They have games there and what passes for TV. It won’t be too bad.”

“It’ll be crowded.”

“That’s true. I think all of the women will be on cots on one side and the men on the other, separated by a screen or something. First, they are going to put up the reinforcing walls all around the building so that the cold can’t creep in.”

“What does Bas say about it? Is deep winter scary?”

“He says that it gets so cold until if you go out in it your face will freeze. The temperature is so low until your breath freezes in your lungs. There are great snow drifts and gusts of wind. Not much rain because it is so cold. He says that we will be able to lie in our cots and listen to the wind howl.”

“I hope they know what they’re doing and that we are protected. It would be too bad to get in the middle of it and find out that they had miscalculated wouldn’t it?”

You’ve got to think like they do Kathleen. They’d just do their visioning thing and build a structure down under the ground and we’d all beam down there.”

And so, later that week Kathleen, Maggie and the others began their first season of deep winter.




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PostSubject: Re: Uncommon Journey   Uncommon Journey - Page 2 EmptyThu Jun 21, 2012 8:25 pm

CHAPTER 27
DEEP WINTER

On the designated day, the total population of the little village, about 1500 men composed of those who had not traveled away on the expedition and close to 2000 women, filed into the giant auditorium with its four stories and basement. The day was sunny if a bit cool. A few of the women grumbled, wondering why in the world they had to hole up when the weather was so nice.

As instructed, the women packed a small bag, just a few things for day wear as all of their sleeping clothing and underclothing were of temporary fabric and would be discarded.

As promised, cot-like beds, small but comfortable were lined up, each with its hanging curtains for privacy. The cots covered just about every available square foot of space. Areas had been set aside for exercising and there was a game room on the top floor.

They had no sooner gone in and closed the tall heavy outside doors, traversed through the heavy insulation that had been added between the newly raised outside walls and the already existing interior walls of the building, when the wind began to blow.

Throughout, periscope like projections had been attached so that if one wanted, she could look outside and watch the wrath of the winter storm. Kathleen felt like a member of the well-known Noah’s ark, which in movies on Earth had been depicted as just having enough time to close the door when the rain started pelting down in sheets.

It was the same here, except it grew so cold, so rapidly, there was no chance of rain. She was glad that the basement was lined with large and efficient heaters that could be used to warm the place if the central nuclear heating failed. Huge billows of smoke-like snow covered the landscape. It blotted out the warmth of the sun as winds up to two hundred miles an hour howled everywhere. It was a planetary phenomenon, no area was spared.

That first day the women spent visiting and talking, there was a kind of soup for dinner with rough bread that was downright tasty. Strangely they all fell into sleep rather early. Kathleen wondered if some of the magic gas that had been used on the spaceflight over was being used on them while they were in this enforced prison.

As Kathleen snuggled under the covers, it was quite pleasant to listen to the wind howl and know that they were all warm and secure. Soon she fell asleep to the sounds of the soft snores of the women and the louder snores of the men across the expanse of the floor.

And so the first week passed and then the second week passed too.

Everything was organized to perfection; when they awoke, when they bathed, when they ate. With nearly five thousand souls in one building, it had to be so just to get everything done.

They played cards games that they remembered from Earth or learned from the others. Hearts, spades, bridge, whist, pinochle, gin rummy. That kept them occupied for hours while the men sang and danced and entertained each other. She could hear the stomping of their feet as they did their man dance. Kathleen remembered them at the social during the week before they left, hair swinging, feet stomping; what had seemed so strange now just seemed like something that men did, like play football and swim or ski.

Bas made daily rounds to check on them. He took his role as guardian of his friends’ women seriously. He was the four women’s chief cheerer upper, and having gone through this all of his life, he assured them that this way, as a group was better than the isOlation that each family had suffered through for millennia. His people had interpreted that the primary purpose of deep winter was to bring about an enforced rest, not only physically but mentally as well. And blandly waiting out the storm was the best way to produce a blank canvas on the mind.

Much of the men’s time was spent in meditation and sleeping when compared to the time they spent entertaining themselves. “At any rate, it is easier to rest in a group,” he had laughed, “because it brings about enforced rest, if you get my meaning.” and he wagged his eyebrow in imitation of his friend Cain. Kathleen got the impression that it was Bas’ not so subtle way of saying he’d have spent his time making love with his wife.

And, speaking of making love, that is something that I could use, Kathleen thought. When Bas was around she was careful to keep her thoughts on light things so he wouldn’t read any of her doubt about the Liran’s motives. But even so, she missed her husband. In just one month she had become addicted to him. Deep in the nights with the wind roaring around her she would remember the moments that they’d shared. His tenderness with her, the touch of his hands on her body, the way he whispered; the way they laughed, the way he growled. Oh she wanted this dream to be real. She loved him.

Then finally one day, just as it had started, deep winter stopped. It did not dwindle as if it ran out of steam; it was as if it just moved past Lira, leaving it pristine and clean, shining and reborn.

There was a ceremony reminiscent of the ancient days on Earth when the people who were closer to the Earth celebrated the changing of the solstices. Here on Lira when the big doors were opened, everyone filed out onto the amazingly green lawn and bowed their heads for a moment of silence. Something like a miracle had occurred here.

The women were in awe, the men accepting, both agreeing silently that deep winter was something that they expected but did not fully understand. No traces of it remained. No snow battered trees, no dead grasses, no beleaguered homes. Instead all was fresh and green and pretty and looked brand new. How could that be? Yet it was so.

“I don’t believe it. This place is like magic.” Norma chuckled as she sprinted to catch up with Kathleen who was ahead of her in the queue to leave the building.

“Are you just coming to that conclusion Norma, I knew it from the moment that I heard of them building homes out of nothing but their minds.” Kathleen laughed. “But so far, we’ve done ok, do you miss home?”

“Nope. Perhaps the familiarity a bit but I miss nothing else. I certainly don’t miss the scraping for money just to survive, and that’s a fact.”

They hurried away, each anxious to get home to take a long hot shower and to spread out after a month of being limited in how much space they could consume. Kathleen and Margaret made a quick trip to the nursery, as she now thought of it to see her baby, her fetus who at the end of its first trimester finally looked like something that could possibly one day turn into a baby. For the first time the transparent and airtight vessel in which he lay was labeled.







She quickly translated it into English and read it for Margaret’s sake.


“He is now three inches long.
He weighs about one ounce.
He has a strong heartbeat.
He has facial features, and his elbows, knees, fingers, and toes have formed.
He has a brain, organs, and body systems, all of which are developing rapidly.”

“Gosh Kathleen, look at that. It really is going to be a baby. Do you think that when the time comes you will feel like his mother?”

Kathleen wouldn’t have admitted it to anyone but her sister “I hope so. I mean intellectually I know that we created this but it seems so removed.”

They also took a look at Margaret’s baby which was much younger and thus less developed.

“Bas hopes that we feel like parents too. It’s just that it’s so removed from what I’m used to. I won’t be a worry wart about it though. Whatever you and I feel, it’s too late to turn back now isn’t it?”

Kathleen was silent. “When are you going to learn the language Mags?”

“Soon. Perhaps tonight or tomorrow. If you see me and I’m speaking their language, you’ll know that it’s happened. I didn’t tell you this, I was afraid that you’d be upset but our sister Rose is coming to visit us.”

Kathleen took it in stride. She had to see her sooner or later. “I will be glad to see her, after all she is my … our sister. But if she spends the night, she’ll have to stay with you. I won’t have her in my private quarters. I just won’t.”

“You’re still upset with her are you?”

“I’m upset not so much because she fell in love with my Ursus. I’m saddened because she didn’t care if she hurt me. She knew that we were in love and already pledged to marry yet she made no effort to try to turn away from those feelings that she had for him. She fed them, she’d run to the door to meet him Maggie, trying to cut me out.”

“Geez. I didn’t know it was that bad.”

“Like I said, she’s my sister and I love her but I’ll always feed her with a long spoon.”

“Oh Kathleen. We are all that each of us has. We’ve always been the three musketeers. Don’t allow this to split us up.”

“I’d like to see how you’d react if she had tried to undercut your relationship with Bas.” Kathleen watched while Maggie colored, knowing that even the thought was unpalatable. “See, you wouldn’t like it either.”

And so Rose came to visit. In reality she came to apologize to Kathleen for abusing her hospitality.

“Kath, I don’t know what got into me. Your husband-to-be was so irresistible, so very fine, until I couldn’t think of anything but him. I hate to admit that to you. I’m sorry. I should not have treated you like that. I should have treated you better especially after you came all the way to Japan for me, made sure that I could come here even though I’m pregnant. Is all forgiven?”

Kathleen nodded slowly showing that she had forgiven Rose. But even as she did so, she realized that forgiving is not the same as forgetting.

Rose was finally showing. At the end of her second trimester she was finally getting excited about the birth.

“Minor has really accepted this baby.” she told them. "He’s looking forward to it to. They say that I won’t have to go through the labor, at least not for the long time that I could have gone through it on Earth. They have things that they can give me that will hurry it along and they won’t hurt the baby at all. Still, I want you two there with me when I go into labor. Minor will send word.”

And so Rose had gone home, in better relations with her sisters, especially Kathleen. Both sisters promised her that they would be there for her.

**

Plans were underway for a big celebration of the end of deep winter. The closest thing that the two sisters could equate it to was Christmas on Earth.

Because it was so near the time for the space craft to end its mission, they decided to delay it until Ursus, Cain and Draco landed along with their nearly five hundred men.

The thing about planning a party on Lira was that of necessity the emphasis had to shift from the doing of the party to the planning of it. For instance, gifts would be given. On Earth one had to look really hard to find the gift and then pay the value that was attached to it.

Here on Lira, whatever one wanted was within one’s grasp, but that placed the emphasis on getting something that the recipient really wanted. Monetary value had no real value if you get the drift.

Kathleen tried to think of something that Ursus might like. That is very difficult to do for the man who has everything. She thought about a planner, sort of like her old Franklin planner that she used on Earth, but he wouldn’t use it. Why bother to write in it when he had his scheduled meetings at his fingertips, projected about twelve inches in front of his face?

She thought about music, or tickets to a concert or a play. “Nah. Not as a gift." That was something that they would do routinely once he returned. Then she got an idea. Universally men liked to tinker and some liked to cook. She didn’t know what he liked yet but she’d try it.

She got one of the men who could draw to sketch the concept so that it could be made up and beamed to her. Of course there would be modifications. After all, this was not Earth.

Her gift arrived in a large box well before the day she’d need it. She stowed it outside underneath their balcony next to their flower garden.

On the date of his expected arrival she waited all day; the three women sat with her together in the public area of their home. Finally, late in the afternoon Bas announced that they had landed and would be arriving home momentarily. This time they would beam themselves home as they had no need to view the countryside as they had done when the women first landed on the planet.

Kathleen and the others two women could smile now for it wouldn‘t be long. Maggie joined them in their vigil and sure enough, in just a little while they all materialized in the center of the village.

As before, the enlisted men came first, then their junior officers, then the pilots and navigators. Finally Ursus, Cain and Draco came … all were home.

Kathleen, Demeter and Amera waited and watched while their men greeted the men who had not gone on the mission. They grabbed hands bumped shoulders, smiled and waded through the men as they crowded around, each wanting to make some personal contact, a word here, a small update there, even a few women joined in to welcome them home. Bas had gone out to meet his fellows. He seemed glad to have them back to relieve him of the weighty responsibility of taking care of their women.

As soon as Kathleen saw Ursus, her body began to tingle. She watched him slowly wading through the crowd, always stepping in a forward direction that would lead him towards her. She watched his walk, how he led with his shoulders. His butt was so perfect in his fitted pants; his wide shoulders. She watched the way he used his hands as he exchanged a few words here and there; his hair, longer now, not as curly but caught back in a queue. His look as he lifted his mobile lips in a half smile. She was sure that the other two women were doing the same as she, each watching the slow approach of her own man and anticipating what was to come.

For a moment she wanted to go out and beat his men away with a stick. At just that moment he looked towards the window, found her with his eyes and gave her a wink with both eyes. That look was enough. She smiled and settled down, knowing that he was having as hard a time as she waiting until they could greet each other appropriately.

Finally the four, {Bas had joined in the festivities}, entered the building of their common home, where, still chatting, they made their way over to where the women now stood.

Ursus drew near Kathleen, gave her a nonchalant nod and slipped his arm around her waist, which in itself had the effect of pulling her closer to his body so that they touched at the hip. Her whole body left off tingling and began to throb in rhythm to her heartbeat. She nodded back and slipped her hand into his back pocket and was rewarded when his muscle jumped in response to her touch.

The men carried on their conversation, about how well the ship maneuvered, the landmarks such as the Milky Way, the ultimate success of the mission. It seemed as if each was in a contest to see who could show the most restraint and self-control. Bas smiled knowingly at each one, not admitting that they were in a game but smugly happy in a way because he had not had to show self-discipline at all.

Finally Draco broke. He gave a big grin and threw up his hands.

“Amy, if I remember correctly you have some choice words written specifically for these occasions. Something like ’Amy and I are seeing a man about a dog’, don’t call us, we’ll call you, and oh yes, don’t let the door hit you one the way out. In other words, we’re out of here.”

Everyone laughed and made a break for his own private quarters.


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PostSubject: Re: Uncommon Journey   Uncommon Journey - Page 2 EmptyThu Jun 21, 2012 8:26 pm

CHAPTER 28
HE’S HOME

The closer they came to their door the faster he urged her on. Finally, although it seemed that it took an age for the door to rise and lower, they were alone. He crushed her against the door with his body and landed a kiss in the curve of her neck, stopping only momentarily to give it a little suck before continuing on to her lips.

There they dueled with their mouths, trying to get closer but unable to achieve what they sought. He raised her by wrapping her knees around his hips and used the door’s solid presence to brace her as he entered her in one smooth stroke. Ah - he really was home.

Later she’d think about the steady bumping noise they must have made as they tested the strength of their door. Later she’s also wonder if anyone on the other side could hear her gasps and his groans. For now, who cared? Her man was home.

Much later as they cooled down after several forays into the land where time no longer exists she asked him, “What was going on out there? Why did all three of you seem so laid-back at the idea of being alone with us? I could feel the tension but I didn’t understand it.”

He had laughed, sated for the moment. “This is the first time we’ve had women waiting for us when we’ve returned. So, while we were on the ship we got into the habit of teasing each other about a lot of things, mostly macho bull**** about how having sex regularly made a particular person weak, not able to do his job. This went on throughout the ship among all of us because our men had women too waiting for them. It was just a way of keeping our spirits up, of coping with the loneliness that seemed worse now that we knew how it could be.”

“So when you got home, you were proving that you weren’t weak, that you really didn’t need us?”

“Not you personally; just the idea that we could wait. We all knew that it was a façade and that we wanted to run and jump in the sack with our wives, but - we had to maintain face. It was just a little joke that we chose to play on ourselves.”

“Like little kids. Little boys, I think. Speaking of little boys, do you want to go with me to visit our baby?”

“Not especially. I have done some research on these things. It is very small.” And he measured about three inches off of one of his fingers.

“Does a small size mean that you don’t care? I thought that was the reason for you men coming to get us and now you don’t care?”

“It’s not that I don’t care Kathleen, it’s just that there’s nothing really to see. Anyway our son is not yet in there so why keep obsessing over it. He won’t be there until his body is large enough for him to occupy it.”

“You’re going to have to explain that thinking to me. I have no idea what you are talking about.” She stopped running her fingers through his hair and sat up. What a strange man he was.

“I mean that everybody knows that until a child quickens there’s nothing there. The heart is beating; the organs are working but the soul that will be that child is probably in here with us right now perhaps listening to our conversation.”

“If he can hear our conversation he could hear his parents making love. I refuse to believe that, it’s too bizarre Ursus.”

“Bizarre but true. Of course you have heard the rumors about the new soul going through the waters of Lethe. That is a metaphor for the forgetting process that all new souls go through before they come into their bodies. Plato talks about it in ‘The Republic’, did you ever read that? Anyway, whatever our child sees or hears he won’t remember it once he’s born.”

“When will you deign to give our child your presence then - on the day we pick him up to bring him home?”

“Now don’t go getting huffy on me Kath. If you really want me to go with you I will. But yes, I will want to go when I can see if he will have your red hair, and be as handsome as you are pretty.”

“Well, he could be pigeon toed like you Ursus.”

“I am not pigeon toed!” He looked down at his feet to do a quick check and she laughed.

“He could be pigeon toed and bird breast, and knock kneed and cross eyed.”

“And you’d love him still.”

“I would. Would you?”

“I already do.” Ursus answered without hesitation. “I love the way you described his personality when we meditated together. He sounds like he’ll be a wise ass too.”

“Yes. I suspect he’ll have your personality too.”

“Woman you are pushing the limits for trouble.” And he upended her and it was back to the drawing board to practice their lovemaking skills. After all, practice made perfect.

**

Simona Crawford had really been shocked when she was accepted as one of the women to go to the new planet. Heavy set was a ‘kind’ description that her friends gave to her sturdy body. She thought the thing that saved her from being categorized as obese was not her weight, because she weighed a plenty, she could easily match weight with a football linebacker but it was the fact that she also had big bones.

Simona was the kind of woman who could have fought in Boudicca’s Iceni army against Rome’s might. In another time she could have been an Old Norse Valkyre and served Odin in choosing the victors and heroes of battles and wars. She could have been Rubens second wife, the subject of many of his voluptuous paintings.

Alas, she had been born too late. She came into the world in a time when girth was not appreciated so having a descriptor of robust was the best that she could hope for.

She was an attractive young woman, if one overlooked the fact that her rather ruddy face was too strong for her corn silk blond hair. Add to that the fact that acquiring a husband was not one of her top priorities and it might have been reason for the men of Lira to wish that she had not made the cut.

In spite of her preferences she had been married up with a strapping lad of her own age named Mizar and the marriage proved unusually successful. Mizar loved her strength and resilience; after having to pussy foot around his own sickly and fragile women, his Simona was a joy to have in his bed.

Simona was pleased because other than at night, in the corner in the dark, her time was her own. That first night when she attended the play and saw men playing all the parts, the women’s parts included, an idea was born deep within her.

Growing up she had not had much preparation, but she had talent. She didn’t question how she recognized that, it was just something that she always knew. Now, on this brand new planet, freed from the drudgery of ’earning her daily bread’, her talent began to blossom.

From the time she was about nine, she had taken an interest in the children’s plays, mainly at her church, ‘New Home Southern Baptist’. Every Easter, Christmas, Mother’s Day and occasionally Father’s Day their church would sponsor the program that consisted of the very small children learning a ’speech’ and the older children participating in a play.

She would spend weeks pouring over the play booklet, the church would only purchase one or two at most. “We’ll just spend the money on two Simona and then, the kids can copy their parts out of one of the books. No use spending money when they can write.”

After the chosen play book arrived, she’d painstakingly write out each child’s part, choose the part that she thought would best showcase that particular child’s talent, pass out the parts, hold rehearsal biweekly during the first month, weekly during the second month then daily for the last two weeks before the event.

Then on that magical evening, after they had brought in the props be it greenery, a cross, a sepulcher, or whatever, the pianist would begin the music and the children would march on to the little temporary stage constructed in front of the pulpit {no one was allowed in the pulpit but pastors except on mother’s day when the pastor’s mother was allowed to give her talk from the preacher’s podium} and deliver their little speeches. Simona was always there to coach them through the forgotten lines, the crying fits that started when the little ones saw all of those eyes looking at them from the audience.

Once the play began she stood to the side, hidden by a sheet and cued them as to when to make an entrance and exit. She never longed to play a real part in the drama. She never wanted to be on stage. She was most happy when she was behind the scenes making sure that all went well.

Once she came to Lira, and when she went to that first play and watched the men, she began to itch. When they constructed the Center for the Arts building, she began to burn. Nothing would content her but to produce and direct a play on a grand scale and here on this planet, with its facile way of building homes, it would be a piece of cake for them to raise elaborate sets right there on stage and construct detailed costumes and provide more variety than she could imagine. She was just about ready to go to Norma with her idea of a co-endeavor when another personage appeared on the scene.


**

The end of deep winter celebratory party was well underway in the large auditorium. The whole community of about four thousand, all who had suffered through the month long deprivation and those who had on the ship suffered in a different way, were invited.

Round tables had been set up, pristine white cloths covering them, the food had flowed freely {of course it always did} and though there usually was no drinking of alcohol, for this special occasion, wine was served.

After the meal the tables had been taken away and the dancing had started. At first, it had been just the men doing their line dance but before long, the women joined them on the floor after one of the women announced loudly that this was Sadie Hawkins’ day. Most of them had no idea what that meant but the announcer followed it up by demonstrating that it meant that the women would take charge and ask the men to dance.

Kathleen watched Cain and Amy dance to a salsa-like beat and very nicely too. She loved to dance and Ursus was across the room talking. He was not particularly fond of dancing. Too bad, she went and fetched him and he danced with her willingly, seeming to enjoy it once he got going.

Later they exchanged gifts; he had found the perfect gift for her he said, one that would enhance her bronze goddess looks {his words not hers}. They had walked home for that and she found under her pillow a nicely wrapped red fire diamond necklace and earring set that was ringed in copper, bronze and a chocOlate brown stone that she didn‘t recognize.

She had led him out to the garden and shown him the motorbike that she had had fabricated just for him. He had seen them before, on Earth, but had never thought that he’d like to be on one. But when he saw it up close {she called it a 2004 Honda Gold Wing motorcycle, Pearl White,} exuding power and shining with polished chrome, he couldn’t help but admire it. Even though it looked like an old bike that used gas for fuel, she knew that it was powered by the same nuclear power that every other instrument here used.

Still a bit wary of it he hopped on and fired it up, smiling at the noise, the deep rumble.

“If I fall on this thing, come and get me babe, it must weigh a ton."

After a few trial runs he was off up the slope of the hill and out of sight, although she could hear him in the distance. When he returned, he had mastered it, in fact wanted to know if she wanted to hop on behind him.

“No, I don’t. This is your toy. If you like it and become really good at riding it, then perhaps I’ll ride with you, but not tonight.”

Then had gone inside and gorged themselves on the little chocOlate candies with jelly-like centers that she had never found here and no one seemed to know about so she had made them herself.

Later they were talking about nothing and everything as lovers do. She told him about going to visit the Mayor Olofanalou of the women’s city and her nasty attitude. Kathleen did not mention what those same women had said about the plot to keep their children and send the mothers home. First and foremost she wanted to see for herself if her husband was lying. She didn’t think that he was but she had to be sure.

“I felt so inadequate there Ursus. She could read my mind and I hadn’t a clue about what she was thinking. She pretended to be nice but she wasn’t really. She practically threw us out on our ear.”

“She’s a bitter woman love, stay far away from her or if you must see her again wait until I can be with you.”

“I want to be on equal footing with her. I want you to show me how to read minds.”

“I already told you. You said that the embarrassment wasn’t worth it.”

“Nothing has embarrassed me like facing that woman, and her guards dreadful Tula and Fallat I think they called themselves. No matter being uncomfortable, I’ll get over it and then I’ll be just like the women of Lira.”

He was quiet for a while. "Who? Have you thought about whom you want me to ask to be with us? Do you have someone in mind?”

She remembered why she had objected. They would need a person to sit in on their love making who could provide additional power to convert her brain. She did not supply a name. She knew intuitively that if she said a name out of the blue he might wonder if this man had been on her mind and that he hoped that she didn’t favor any one of the men here over the other.

“No, you may choose who you will.”

“I must admit, now that you have said that you are ready, it makes me sad. It is one thing to think about it in the abstract. I am not sure that I want you to be attracted to anyone - except me of course.”

“It’s as you said. Men are attracted to other women quite often. Somehow you manage to stay in love with your wives - don’t you?”

“This is different. I would choose a hunchbacked ugly fellow if we had those kind on our planet, unfortunately we don’t. Our gene pool has been purified and all of the bodies that we are given are what you from Earth would consider attractive.”

There was no peace in him now. He put aside the candy and began to pace. “You know that you will be the first one. But you will be the first of many. But I am thinking we should wait to see how you are affected before we allow any of the other women to try it.”

“You said that I wouldn’t be harmed.”

“And you won’t, at least not physically. But you will be attracted to our surrogate. We must wait and see just how strong this attraction is before we make it the norm.”

An ugly thought occurred to her. "If we make it the norm, then you are likely to be asked to stand in as surrogate for some of your men too won’t you?” She watched him nod. “That means that those women will be attracted to you. Does it work the opposite way, will you be overly attracted to them?”

“Not overly, but yes, the attraction will be there.”

“This has the potential to become a nightmare doesn’t it?”

“That is why we must limit it. Are you sure that you want to go through with this? You don’t have to. Frankly I am not anxious for you to have the ability to read my thoughts.”

“Why, because then I would know when you are attracted to another women?”

“You would be aware of my innermost thoughts, especially when we are intimate. I would know yours also. I would know if you pretend that I am someone else.”

“I’d never do that! I love you. Don’t you know that?” Kathleen was indignant.

“If you are sure, then I suppose I will ask Bas then. He and I get along well.”

“Wouldn’t it be better to ask someone who doesn’t live in this village, like your brother or one of his men?”

“Certainly not one of his men, or mine either. No underlings. I would have you happy. If this works as the history books describe it, you will long for this person. I think it would be better if he were around so that you could at least see him. I wouldn’t want you traveling out trying to get a glimpse of this individual. And - since the feeling is similar to the infatuation that your poets write about on Earth, the feeling will pass - with time.”

“Thank God for that!”

“Yes, He who rules us all usually knows best.” Ursus agreed but he still didn’t look happy.



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PostSubject: Re: Uncommon Journey   Uncommon Journey - Page 2 EmptyThu Jun 21, 2012 8:28 pm

CHAPTER 29
NO WORDS NEEDED

One would think with her husband reacting as he had Kathleen would have decided to forego the telepathy experiment. But she had found that once her suspicions were raised, it was absolutely necessary that she know. She didn’t want to be caught unawares after she had provided perhaps six children to this planet and find that she and the others were being herded like sheep back to Earth.

If she really knew this information from Olofanalou to be true, then she’d snuff out the life of the one in the nursery and refuse to have any more. After all, he had said that the real person had not yet entered this body and that willing one’s body not to get pregnant was an effective birth control method here on Lira. Both of those things she’d do before she’d be hurt and made a fool of. If being a little attracted to her sister’s Margaret’s husband was a price that had to be paid, then so be it.

Later she would recall that the day and evening of the party was the last unselfconscious day that she had.

The very next morning when she walked out into the common room she came to a standstill when she spied her husband talking earnestly with Bas. Even though she had no sure knowledge of what was being said, she just felt that they were talking about her. When Bas cast his eyes in her direction she saw him in a new light for the very first time.

‘Oh God, its starting all ready and we haven’t even done the thing yet. And what about Margaret, what in the world will we tell her?’

She had no answers to these questions. She supposed that she and Ursus would leave it up to Bas to tell his wife or not. After all, she was sure that she could keep her feelings under control; there was no reason for her to alarm her sister for no good reason.

Ursus waved her over to them and she went, a bit self consciously but curious too.

“So you have decided to join the ranks of those of us who have the gift, huh Kathleen?" Bas did not wait for an answer but continued. “That is good, the more we have, the sooner our planet will raise itself into the fifth dimension.”

Ursus slid his arm around her shoulders. “I have told my wife what to expect Bas," and Kathleen got the feeling that Ursus was giving Bas a warning too. “I’ve told her that you will not touch her physically,” and he waited to see Bas nod in agreement, "and when the moment is right, you will add your power to mine and we will both penetrate the barrier to her mind.”

Bas reddened a bit. Kathleen knew that neither of these men had done this before but had learned about it from their historical records. “Tonight, after dinner, come and visit us please.”

So it was to be tonight. That was Kathleen’s signal to leave the two men to their conversation. She excused herself and went out into the sunlight reminding herself that, yes, this was what she wanted. But - Ursus was a smart man. It seemed reasonable that he would have tried to discourage her if it meant that she’d now be onto their baby-keeping scheme. She would not let her mind go there else she’d soon find a reason to excuse him. She had to be sure.

The two men came home together after eating their dinner in the common.

“Where’s Maggie, Bas?” Kathleen asked, not wanting her sister to come knocking on the door after they got started.

“Oh, she is tired, says she’s going to sleep. She gets down at times; I think she misses the times when there was just the three of you against the world.”

They sat for a while, chatting about nothing giving Kathleen time to become comfortable with the two of them.

Instead of becoming more comfortable she was feeling more on edge. Finally she could not keep quiet any longer.

“I can’t do this guys. At least not until my sister says that it is ok. You know that this going into the fifth dimension is not to be done at the expense of the marriages here and if we do this, and leave Margaret out of the decision making, she will surely be alienated from the three of us for who knows how long, perhaps forever.”

“What if she says no? Have you thought about that Kathleen?” Bas asked. “Besides, I’m not sure that I want my wife telling me what I can do and what I cannot. Sorry, but that is how I feel.”

“But Kathleen is right Bas, we’re used to being bachelors but I think when it comes to participating in sex, your wife should know and understand why.”

“But I won’t be participating, you know that.”

“Being in the same room is participating. Watching is participating. You know it and I know it. Why else would Kathleen be so nervous? That’s why we didn’t just casually tell Maggie. Because, it means more than just a quick lay with some unknown. These are our wives and they should know. “

“Margaret won’t go for this. I know her.”

“I know her too Bas. I have lived with her for twenty-seven years. She will be able to see the big picture if it is presented to her in that light and not just some fly by night scheme for us to get a thrill.”

“She’s going to wonder why we didn’t mention this before we brought you to this planet.”

“Oh is she now? You reckon?” Kathleen swung around with blazing eyes to confront them both. "Isn’t that the first thing that I asked you Ursus? If I can understand that you didn’t want to jeopardize the project, Margaret can understand too. She also needs to know that her time will come, perhaps not long after mine.”

Bas looked uncomfortable. “That’s another thing. I don’t want my wife to be attracted to another man.”

“You think I do?"Ursus spoke forcefully. "Wake up man. None of us want this. None of us know what will happen to this village and ultimately to this planet if half of our population has wandering eyes.”

“No not half, 100%. You already told me that men just naturally have roving ways.” She laughed in her ’got yah’ voice.

“Man I shouldn’t have ever told this woman any of our secrets; she’ll turn the tables on you every time. I didn’t say that we had roving ways. I just said that we always find other women attractive that‘s all. I did not say that we acted on it.”

“You told her that Ursus?” Bas was flabbergasted. “You should have known from dealing with Liran women that a woman would never ever understand that.”

“They have no problem understanding it; they just don’t want to accept it.” Ursus the newly wise came back at him.

“Look fellows the bottom line is, either we go and get Margaret tonight, or we wait until tomorrow or prepare to take as long as it takes to get her to agree before we do anything else.”

“I only have one question Kathy,” Bas kidded as he shrugged and got up from his seat. “Are you going to leave your hair down? I’ve always liked red hair.”

Ursus growled at him and threw a pillow at his back as Bas hurried to the door. “No joking about my wife youngster.”

“Why do you call him youngster, you seem to be about the same age.”

“A year or two of difference that’s all, but every day counts you know.”

“Is he going to get Maggie now?”

The two guys had forgotten that she couldn’t read their minds. “He’s going to see if she’s awake and up to it, if she is, he’ll be back with her, if not, then we’ll see how tomorrow goes.

**

Norma greeted the newcomer surprised to see Fallat, Olofanalou’s minion in her presence. Norma didn’t know what had been said at the meeting they’d had with the mayor before deep winter but she knew the woman had been rude and this one had stood by the mayor’s side in a somewhat threatening manner towards the Earth women.

“I don’t know what you’re doing here. At the meeting I could tell that you didn’t like us. So what do you want? Oh forget it. I can‘t talk that gibberish you all speak anyway. I‘d better go and get Kathleen.”

“I can speak to you.” Fallat spoke English, slowly and with a strange accent but Norma could understand her. “I have access to your thoughts so I can translate that way.”

“*****.” Norma put that thought in her head deliberately. She really had not liked the Liran women at all. They had come in kindness and had been humiliated.

“Be that as it may, we will not make progress if you insist on calling me names. I have a proposition for you. You came to our city to enlist our help; I am here to offer it to you. “

“So that you can then better stab us in our backs? No thanks.”

“For quite a while now we have been unhappy with what we did in response to the plan that our leaders developed. We should never have fled to the wastelands to create our own city. But you must understand. We were angry when the Council of Two began to seriously consider the men’s proposal that they go off planet to seek wives. “

Swaying gracefully, Fallat walked into the room fully, sensing that Norma was interested in what she had to say.

“Anyway, we never thought that it would work. First of all we thought you women of Earth would be hideously ugly. Then the men showed us likenesses of your model women who are tall and slender like we are, which by the way bore little resemblance to you the women who actually traveled here. Still we didn’t think that these women who looked similar to us would agree to come back here with them. What happened? Did the model women refuse to come and they had to settle for you overweight ones?”

Fallot didn’t wait for an answer, she could read that Norma was outraged at being called fat so she hurried on, attempting to smooth over her gaffe.

“When they showed up with your group in tow planning to make another trip and then another we began to wish that we had stayed with them. But we saw you. We could see that you were ... and you must forgive me if I sound unkind but this is how we saw it ... we saw that you were fleshy and curved with these quite large globs of fat on your chests.

“Again we miscalculated. We thought our men would be repulsed by your bodies. A little bit before you came to see us, Olofanalou had sought out a few men who were married to your kind. We were shocked to find that now they’ve changed their minds and aren’t too repulsed by you. We suspect that they aren’t put off at all but are trying to assuage our feelings. We couldn’t understand how they could come to desire your kind but we have our pride. We could not grovel.”

Again Fallot read Norma’s mind. Privately she thought Norma’s mind quite simplistic as she imagined a baby’s would be. She had no mind checking abilities or protective shields at all. The other woman, Kathleen, even though she could not read minds, she had accomplished the ability to cover her own thoughts nicely. This woman would have to learn to do that too.

“You know I can read your mind woman of Earth, and no, our men did not prefer you because you have the best bodies or are the most skilled in keeping the home or in bed. That is not true! Men, as you know as well as I are a fickle lot. So here is what I wish to propose to you.” Fallot prepared to state her offer.

“It is not for you to propose anything to me. You will need to speak with Kathleen I keep telling you.” Norma interrupted.

“Kathleen will not listen to me. Olofanalou has lied to her. She told her that there is a scheme use your bodies to have babies and then to keep all of the children that you bear and then send all of you women back to Earth without your children. Her intention was to hurt you which is not fitting for the women of a planet preparing to enter the fifth dimension to do. It was then that we knew that we must part ways with Olofanalou."

“But - you don’t say! Kathleen never mentioned a word of this to us. Do you suppose that she believed it?”

Fallat was anxious to get to the heart of her proposal. She didn’t care whether that one believed it or not. She knew that the falsehood of it would be proven in the doing. No babies would be taken and no women returned to Earth unless they wanted to go.

“She did not believe it. I am sure of that. Why else would she not even bother to mention it to you, her companions? This is what I wish. I will tell you and you can tell Kathleen your mayor.”

“She is not our mayor. But I will tell her. “

“You wanted to ask us to help you with the design of your fashions. You know how to create the design, you know how to beam the fabrics here but you do not have the natural ability to weave the cloth, or sew it, as you prefer to think of it, into a garment. We, the women of Lira have this ability. We will work with you, if we are allowed to return to this village and if your mayor will help us to find husbands too.”

“You don’t need us to help you find husbands. Just do it.”
“You don’t understand. We do not know how to compete with you fleshy women who can have children, who are robust and can wrestle with them and -”

“We do not wrestle with them. What are you talking about?”

“Well, the men to whom we talked may have gotten it wrong. But you could wrestle if you wanted to.”

“But that’s easy. Just do not allow them to bring any more women until you have husbands. How many of you are there who want to join us?”

“In this city we number less than two hundred but more than one hundred fifty. Some will be too afraid to go against Olofanolou, but still, that is a good number.”

Norma really wanted this new venture to be a success. This was the answer to her prayers. If only she could convince the General’s women to accept them back.

“In two days time, there is a meeting of the ‘Council of Four’. At this meeting we discuss women’s business. Will you return, and perhaps bring some of your braver women and talk about this in front of the group? After all, it is they who will be wearing what we create.”

“I will close my mind to Olofanolou and I will do this. I will return at dusk on the day that comes after tomorrow”.

That was all. Fallat beamed herself back to her home, the Liran women’s town, prepared to leak these developments to just a few until they had been approved to return. She still thought that it was too bad that these foreign women had the power of approval over them, the native women, but Fallat got the feeling that it would not have been this way if they had not taken themselves off in anger. Their men would have respected them and held them in the same esteem that they held Kibba Rhenoum and the other new women. Those women all had husbands.

In Fallat’s mind, it paid to listen to the old adage. ‘Let it go.’ With that last thought she shielded her mind so that no one could read her thoughts unless she gave them specific permission to do so.

**

Bas showed up with Margaret on his arm early the following morning. Kathleen and Ursus were having a hot drink, not exactly coffee but close enough, with sweet bread, eggs, fruit and fruit juice.

“Maggie, Bas, come in. Sit and have some breakfast with us.” Kathleen greeted them. Her heart was beginning to beat faster because she knew that this morning’s conversation would not please her sister.

Margaret walked over and helped herself, comfortable in her sister’s home.

“So what is this that Bas is telling me about, brother-in-law? You have chosen him to be your surrogate for the thing that you will do to induce my sister to telepathy? To what does he owe that singular honor? Couldn’t you have chosen someone else?”

“I have my reasons sister.” he answered calmly, ignoring her unpleasant tone. “You see, Bas is like a brother to me. That is one reason; the other is that if we are to bring about the elevation of this planet, we must get past this last test. I can think of no man, or woman either for that matter who are better suited to deal with the side effects than you, Margaret and your spouse Bas. Those are my reasons for choosing him.”

“But I don’t want Kathleen to fall in love with Bas. I do not want to lose my sister, as we have practically lost Rose, just to satisfy some planetary mandate that says we have to change. There’s nothing wrong with being just what we are now. Happy.”

“Everything changes Maggie, you know that,” her husband explained patiently, understanding her frustrations. “We can either go forward or backwards, there is no standing still.”

Although he didn’t know if this was the time to mention this or not he decided that she needed to know the whole truth.

“Besides, once Kathleen adjusts to being a mind reader, you will most likely be asked to do this same thing too. We chose you and your sister as our wives because of your bravery and intelligence. It was not all because of your physical appeal. You must remember that in the beginning Ursus, and I, but to a lesser degree,” he hurried to reassure her and looked at Ursus as if to say ‘sorry‘, “We were reluctant about it. He thought you were to - “

“I know” Kathleen cut in dryly. “Too voluptuous. He told me in no uncertain terms. Get back to the point. Margaret will be asked to be the next guinea pig?”

“That’s not what you are and you know it. You asked me. You told me that you were ready.” Ursus reminded her.

She ignored him since it didn’t suite her purpose to have him remember that.

Bas took over. “Well Margaret, we thought if you agree, then we would choose Ursus here to be our surrogate, that way -” He paused while he watched the look on his wife’s face change from one of consternation to a rather pleased expression although Kathleen thought her sister tried to hide it.

Kathleen looked at Ursus. He was trying to appear his most angelic. He shrugged towards his wife as if to say ’I had nothing to do with this’.

“Oh stop it Margaret!" Kathleen laughed at her sister. “We don’t even know how the wind will blow after we go through this - thing. Besides, at least it will all be kept in the family, and remember, no acting on anything that we may feel no matter what. Agreed?”

“It’s a good thing that we look almost alike Kathleen,” Margaret added. "At least for these two guys it will be like being attracted to only one woman. What are the other poor enlisted guys going to do? Are we going to create a big village of desperate housewives?”

Ursus was all business now, now that Margaret had seemingly agreed.

“That is what we will rely on you sisters to tell us. It is our expectation that whatever feelings of affection are engendered by breaking through the mind barrier together will fade with time. We aren’t even sure what kind of affection it will be. We have unlimited capacities for love. We love our parents, our siblings, our friends. We will just have to wait and see.”

“So we are to share with you our innermost secrets?”

“Either that or you will know that we are reading them directly from your minds.”

“What if I come out of this so in love with Bas that I feel that I can’t live without him?" Kathleen asked. Bas gave a nervous laugh. "What then?”

“Then I will have to remember that we brought this on ourselves but that our motives were pure. We will have to trust that that does not happen.” Ursus said. ‘You are my wife and I won’t let that happen, if I have too I will lock you up until the feeling goes away. And if it never goes away, you and I will leave this place.’

Bas, the only one in the group who knew Ursus’s thoughts gave Ursus a sharp look that caused Kathleen to seize upon what she thought had happened. “Tell me what you’re thinking! I know you said something that you didn’t speak aloud.”

“All right I will tell you.” And he told her. It was strange but having him say that he would fight for her soothed her.


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PostSubject: Re: Uncommon Journey   Uncommon Journey - Page 2 EmptyThu Jun 21, 2012 8:29 pm

CHAPTER 30
NOW WE UNDERSTAND

“Margaret are you staying while we do this?” Bas asked her.

“No!" Margaret, Kathleen and Ursus all answered in the same breath.

“That settles it then. If you’re ready guys, let’s get this over.”

“How long will this take do you think.” This time Margaret spoke to Bas.

“I don’t know.” and he reddened a bit suddenly serious. “How long it takes for a man to get his wife the point of orgasm is not a question that I can remember being asked before. “

Then his humor at the whole situation surfaced once more. “We could be here for the rest of the day, it may never happen, who knows?” And he slapped his buddy on the back as he walked Margaret to the door. “As soon as I am freed up here, I will be there to let you know how it went.”

“No Bas, this is not a subject for conversation.” Kathleen squeaked in an uncharacteristically high voice. “You will not talk about it to anyone - swear.”

It was bad enough that he’d be in the room, looking, listening. To know that he’d go outside and talk even if it was just to Maggie was not amusing.

Not waiting for Bas to return, Ursus urged Kathleen into the bedroom, pulled back the covering and motioned for her to get in. She was heavily dressed for bed; she was in her flowing robe. She didn’t know how he’d get to her but that didn’t matter. That was his problem. All that mattered to her was that she was covered. He then stripped himself of everything in record time, not even caring when Bas walked in.

Ursus pointed his buddy to a chair that had been placed near the bed. “Turn it around so that it faces the wall Bas, I think Kathleen will be more comfortable with that.”

She nodded gratefully as he slid into bed beside her, his big body forming a barrier between her and Bas. He pulled her into his arms and with his hand smoothed her hair back from her forehead until her oval face with its large eyes were clearly in his line of vision.

"Look into my eyes Kathleen love, I won’t allow anything to hurt you. If you feel that we must stop this, at any time, no matter, it ends. Just say the word. Ok?”

She nodded and swallowed, she could easily have allowed herself to have the shakes but she refused to, she was made of sterner stuff than that. So when he put his lips to her softly, intimately, she forced her mind to forget about the man sitting so near to them and gave herself over to the familiar feelings that soon he was arousing in her. They had done this; she knew how to do it.

When he fingered her robe open and exposed her breasts she allowed him to do so. She gave a sigh and pulled him closer enjoying the feel as his mouth worked its wonder.

From Bas’ point of view as he sat in the chair, back to the room, he wished he had brought an instrument. He could strum a tune, but no, that would disturb the couple now quietly blasting the room with their sighs and noisy breathing. This sitting in was harder than he had expected it to be. Harder in more ways than one he was coming to realize as he squirmed uncomfortably wishing he too could have removed some of his clothing.

Oh he had thought of being involved in threesomes before, but those thoughts had been strictly for pleasure, and a long time ago before the women of his planet had become such pains in the ass; before they became too haughty to just be women. But this was not a threesome. This was not for pleasure, not his, not Ursus’s not even for the woman now writhing on the bed.

God, his buddy must be quite skilled. He thought she had probably forgotten all about his presence. Perhaps no one would care if he sneaked a look, just to see how things were coming along, no harm would be done would there?

‘Keep your eyes forward if you value your life; friend ‘ Ursus warned him in his mind, ah, the man was still vigilant in spite of being engaged with his woman.

Long moments passed while the couple on the bed became more and more occupied with each other. Bas thought he’d scream, or at the very least he’d have to take himself in hand to find his own release.

Then the message came to him in his head of course, he doubted that his friend was capable of speech. ‘We are ready, you may turn around now. You know what to do.’

And Bas turned and with a great deal of determination not to enjoy the sight he took her hand and allowed his mind to begin the search for entry into hers. Even though he tried not to see, he could not help it. She was the sight of every man’s dreams, she was his wife, but with red hair.

He could not resist he drew close and captured her lips with his own as all three of them careened into an abyss that began as a physical orgasm but thankfully before they died of pleasure it turned into something much more.

It was a feeling of floating, and then being more alive than ever before and not only were they alive, every blade of grass, every tree, the whole world they realized was conscious, breathing in and out to a beat that was continuous in spite of humanity’s inability to hear it.

They had been together the three of them for eons. In the early days, who knows where or when, they had looked a little different, but they recognized themselves as who they were.

Before coming together they had been reformed criminal types so long ago until the world they were in was unrecognizable.

They had been brought together for the purpose of doing good. One lifetime came into clarity with them working together in an organization responsible for something akin to international security.

Once they had been together as singers in a group of four men that included Drago and Cain while Kathleen and Maggie looked on with a smile as they sang their hearts out.

They had had children together. Kathleen realized that always it had been she and Ursus, not alone but with Bas and Maggie there as more than friends, they had been family.

Slowly they had pulled themselves into vibrations that were higher and higher.

They would go into the future still together. There would be more lives together. These were less distinct but clear enough to sooth them all, they would love each other but it would be a love that was constructive and not one of destruction.

Gradually the panorama that was unfolding before their eyes slowed and the pictures stopped. Still aware of the consciousness of life all around them they were cocooned in a sparking darkness of peace where there was no shame, no sense of wrongness, no impure motivations. They were loved by ‘He who rules all’.

Ursus and Bas came to consciousness before Kathleen. Ursus covered her gently, made sure all of her limbs were positioned straight and looked at her face, peaceful and serene. He and Bas eased themselves off the bed, Ursus grabbed his clothing and they walked into the living room where they found that there was nothing more to say. They were at peace with each other so they sat together companionably drinking a cool drink that Kathleen would have called lemonade.

“That puts things in a fresh perspective doesn’t it? ” Bas’ voice was awed. He’d never expected to experience such an amazing thing, such a glorious life changing event.

Ursus spoke. “I now have the feeling that when we proceed with the enlisted men, we should not choose the surrogate for them. They can and should do that for themselves. They are independent souls who, while their lower selves might not know, their higher selves can certainly choose. I wonder what their experiences will be?”

“Do you think Kathleen will be ok, why isn’t she awake?”

“I would guess that it’s possibly because she has more to assimilate than we. Her brain is probably rewiring itself to accommodate her new skill.”

Bas left shortly after that saying that Maggie would be anxious to hear from him. Ursus didn’t even bother to warn him about what to say to his wife. It was no longer important. Both men realized that the least of what had occurred in that bedroom was sexual. That had only been the catalyst, the guise under which a new phenomenon had emerged. It had been an experience that was so overwhelming in a good way that all of those who came after would remember it for itself and not the pale reflection that brought it on.

**

Margaret was waiting for Bas when he entered their private quarters. “Well, how did it go?”

“We don’t know yet. Kathleen is asleep, or unconscious or something. We did not try to awaken her. Ursus thought she might need the sleep."

“You didn’t both - “

“No Maggie. It wasn’t like that at all. Ursus had me keep my face to the wall. I barely saw anything at all.

"Maggie - I can’t explain what happened in there. It is something that, after Kathleen wakes up, if she is all right, I want you to experience it too. We saw all the things that we four have been through together. You won’t believe it.”

“You saw things in your head?”

“You won’t believe it. You have to experience it. It’s like having your mother with you again.”

“I never knew my mother.”

“Then perhaps that is something that you can try to see when we bring on the experience for you. But you’ll do it only if Kathleen is all right. Let’s get out and go for a long walk. I feel like running and jumping and crying and shouting.”

Margaret looked at him, his face shining with light from within. That must have really been an experience.

**

When Kathleen finally woke up it was to a different world. Voices were in her head and she was reminded of the saying Be careful what you wish for.

“Ursus!" she called out. Where was everybody and where was the whispering coming from?

He appeared in the doorway. “Hey, how are you? It took you long enough to wake up.”

She sat up and then quickly put both hands to her ears. “The whispering won’t stop.”

‘It will never stop again, my love. You will have to learn to turn it off. Think about something else. In a few hours you won’t notice it at all. Tell me what you thought of it.”

He wanted to hear her impressions and hoped that she had been as dumbstruck as he and Bas had been.

‘We’ve all been together so long. I never would have thought it. I wonder how we found each other. What if I hadn’t found out about the plan while you and my boss worked on it? I could have remained unaware and just piddled along at my desk and you and the other men would have left to return without me.’

‘Never Kathleen Kennedy. That couldn’t have happened. Whatever led us to each other has more control over us than that. It would have worked it out, perhaps you would have fallen through the skylight of the UN building, or gotten accidentally caught in the beam as I beamed back and forth. We were destined to be together.'

‘We are really soul mates aren’t we?’

‘I always thought that was a myth but not anymore. We are soul mates. That’s good to know because now I know that I won’t lose you to Bas.’

‘There was never any chance of that happening. But I do love him. Sort of like one loves an old, old friend. I recognize him now as having been near us, around us living his own life with Maggie, of course, now he realizes it too. I hope that Maggie will hurry and join us.’

Of a sudden she realized that they had been speaking with just their thoughts, no verbalizations had occurred.

“Oh Ursus. It worked!" she said aloud.

With that thought came flooding the real reason that she had been ready to take this step. Her fears about what the Liran woman had said about keeping their babies and sending the women home. Of course he knew it as soon as she thought it.

“I suppose I can’t blame you. All of you women have been so brave, coming here without really knowing just what we intended. It was wicked for Olofanolou to play on your fears. You could have come to me, I would have told you that she’s just a bitter woman.”

“But would I have believed you? No, I prefer to believe that it was in the cards for this to happen as it did.”

“Were you put off by what we did? Will we ever be able to make love without you seeing Bas in that chair?”

“I don’t know Ursus. Why don’t we try it and see? Perhaps I was traumatized and we’ll have to work at it for the rest of the day.”

He dove onto the bed and grabbed her. Glad that his Kathleen was with him and that she was the same woman that he knew and loved.

**

Much, much later they ventured out into the common rooms. She sent a call to Bas and Ursus smiled. He was proud of his little wife that she had mastered the art of calling and seemed to be mastering the art of cloaking all of the many thoughts around them out.

Ursus called Cain and Draco and invited them to come and spend time together and to bring their wives.

Since they did not know that there was anything different today, Di, Amy, Kathleen and Margaret drifted away after a while to sit alone and plan tonight’s council meeting. As they talked, Kathleen used this time to learn to use her new power.

She found that in order to actually understand what a person was thinking, she had to zero in on it. It was similar to being in a room in which many conversations were occurring at the same time. She could, if she wished isOlate a particular conversation, focus and she could tell what was being said on both sides of the conversation.

She sat there practicing until Ursus, from across the room silently called to her ‘Have you told them yet, my love?’ Experimentally she answered him in her head, not at all sure how far these internal messages would carry. ‘Not yet, but soon. Margaret is waiting to see if I am changed.’

Kathleen opened her mouth to make her announcement; she knew that all conversation about the meeting tonight would stop. Clearly it would take second place to her news. The other women would be over the top because this was something that they knew would be in their futures.

Just as Kathleen said “I …." Norma walked in and interrupted.

“I’m glad to see all of you out here. I was really hoping that I wouldn’t have to go to your private quarters and disturb you but this is pretty good news, I think.”

“What happened? You’re pregnant?”

“Hell no! I don’t have time for that yet. This is about my project. I had a visitor."

None of them could imagine who it was so they motioned for Norma to sit and waited for her to speak.

“You remember that the mayor had two assistants? Well, the tallest one, she came to me to offer her services. Said she’d round up some of her women, those who were sick of that Olofan, whatever her name is, and they’d join us here, help us with the technicalities, you know, the creating thing and all they want is to find husbands of their own.

"And guess what Kathleen, she told me what that woman told you - it was a joke on us." Norma looked at the other women at the table. "The Mayor told Kathleen that we’d be sent back to Earth and they’d get our children. She said that the men only wanted the babies and not us. Tonight she told me it was all a lie.”

“It’s funny that you bring that up today Norma. I was just getting ready to tell the girls here that I went through the mind reading thing. That’s exactly why I did it. I wanted to know if it was all a big joke on us. I found out that she was lying.”

They all jumped up.

"You can read our minds? Did it work? How does it feel?" They all had questions that they asked simultaneously.

Kathleen placed her hands over her ears; in the excitement she had forgotten to filter out their thoughts. The combination of thoughts and words bombarding her was deafening.

“Calm down and I’ll show you if I can do it or not. Now Di, think of something that you want me to say aloud, better yet, whisper it to Margaret and don’t let me hear you.”

“Ok, … Di thought for a moment ok, “We should have an open mike session at the meeting tonight”, she whispered in Maggie’s ear then she thought it in her head. ‘We should have an open mike session at the meeting tonight.’

“I think that’s a wonderful idea Di. An open mike session is just what we need to get all of the women involved.”

But they didn’t want to talk about that, they were amazed that Kathleen could do it and she wasn’t harmed in any way.

“Did you really have to make love with two men at the same time?” Amy asked and watched Kathleen cut her eyes at Margaret; after all, it was still a bit sensitive between them.

“No. It’s nothing like that." And she lowered her voice while she told them what had happened but not ‘who’ the other man had been although they probably guessed. “There was no contact, except he did take my hand; she did not mention that kiss as that was beside the point. "Other than that, he kept his back to us the whole time.”

“And you were able to go off with him sitting there listening?” Norma was amazed.

“Yes. I think I had to get over putting myself at the center of the process. It wasn’t about me, at least not altogether. It was for all of us, to see first of all if we have been a pack of fools although the men didn’t know that I wanted to know that at the time. Also we have to do this if we have any hopes of moving on to the next dimension.”

“Did you fall in love with your surrogate? Who was it? Someone from here or from another village?”

They had not decided to keep the surrogate a secret but Kathleen made the decision that they should. All of the women should. There was nothing to be gained by treating this initiation {for that is what it was she realized} as a love triangle thing.

“No, what happened is so much more than falling in love with him. It’s more like a deep affection. It’s pure feminine energy and it includes all the ways that a woman can feel for a male. Like his mother, his sister, his lover, all of it rolled up into one.

"But what one feels for the surrogate pales when compared to what one feels for the spouse. I would say that our love has intensified several times over. I do not think any of you will be disappointed when you go through it.”

“Wow. That’s amazing Kathleen. What about us, how are we going to go about doing this? Has anyone decided that?” Norma asked, her expressive brown eyes tearing up a bit.

"We should talk to the men and the women but separately. I would advise the women to allow the men to choose the surrogate so that the spouse won’t think there is a secret attraction thing going on before the process Then, once that’s done we should turn it over to the generals. Tell them to have their men choose their surrogates, while they are choosing the three of you, your spouse, surrogate and you Di, Mags and Amy, will have to arrange for it to happen. One thing I realized is that all of us, every one of us has the power to make the right decision, especially if we tune in by meditating beforehand.”

Norma brought the conversation back to practicalities. “So about tonight, is it all right if Fallat comes to speak with us, to talk about the fashion project, and coming here to live with us and all that?”

Kathleen eyed the others and then spoke. “I think it is entirely appropriate that they join with us. At tonight’s meeting we must treat them with respect and courtesy.”

“So that’s three agenda items, advise the women to let their husband choose the surrogate, the Liran woman, the open mike, and what else?”

“That sounds to me like new business and open mike. What about Old business? Have we wrapped up the tally on the babies, do we know how many and how soon we have to plan a school and Norma, what else do you need to get your fashion project going?”

And so it went as they became more and more involved in building the small village/town that would prove to be the model for similar communities throughout the planet as they slowly began to rebuild.



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