Mahi always enjoyed the atmosphere of The Ice Dragon. Unlike most modern bars, it was pleasantly quiet, with the voices of excellent jazz singers and the sound of small combos playing softly. Mahi’s Indian mother and massively mixed-race father were jazz and classical music buffs. Mahi grew to appreciate complex and sophisticated music. She dismissed rock, and especially rap, as crude and simplistic.
Mahi’s jumbled genetic background had gifted her with dark skin, straight black hair, brown eyes and a stunningly beautiful face. She was of medium height and had a slim build with firm breasts and a small waist.
Patrons of the Dragon tended to be intelligent and well educated. Mahi had acquired a PhD in Languages (she had a wonderful gift for learning new ones) and a Masters in Music Performance. As an accomplished keyboard, flute and guitar player, she felt right at home in the Dragon.
Mahi was picky when it came to men. She hooked up a few times a week with some guy and had a fun one-night stand, but the men she chose all had to be reasonably good looking, and more importantly, they had to be fit and smart and funny and able to keep up with Mahi’s clever conversational style. If they were unusually good, she wasn’t averse to sleeping with them on an irregular basis. When she was feeling horny and couldn’t find someone new, she could always open the “contacts” list in her phone and find an enthusiastic man within a matter of minutes. The men in her life considered her a major babe. Having sex with Mahi was always a treat.
This evening, Mahi was considering a man at the bar. He was a newbie in the Dragon. Mahi watched him talking to several of the regulars and couldn’t miss the way he checked her out, smiling when their eyes met. The couple Mahi was sitting with, Bethany and Emile, picked up on the non-verbal fencing. Bethany gave Mahi’s shin a light kick under the table. “He looks promising,” she said playfully. “Must be at least six-foot-six and he looks like some kind of pro athlete. Probably got a ten-inch dick.”
Mahi laughed. “He does have potential. Let’s see how much.” She caught the man’s eye and patted the seat next to her. The man spoke to the woman he’d been chatting with, apparently excusing himself, picked up his drink and walked over.
“Hi,” said Mahi. “This is Bethany and Emile. I’m Mahi.”
“My name is Klementos,” said the man in a deep voice. They shook hands all around and he sat next to Mahi.
“Klementos,” said Mahi knowingly. “That’s Greek, right? From the Latin. Means ‘gentle’, doesn’t it?”
“Very impressive,” said Klementos. “You speak Greek?”
“And Latin and a few others,” said Mahi modestly. “I’m a translator and language consultant.”
“Don’t let her fool you,” said Emile. “She speaks a shitload of languages; more than she’ll admit. What do you do, Klementos?”
“I’m also a consultant, although I’m in foreign trade.” Mahi’s trained ear detected a hint of an accent, but she couldn’t place it.
“You’re not from L.A., are you?”
Klementos smiled. “No, my father was in government service. We moved around a lot; Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and all over Asia. I’ve acquired some odd speech patterns, I’m afraid.”
The four enjoyed themselves, talking for an hour before Emile laid his hand on Bethany’s arm. “‘Bout time we were going,” he said. They stood up and shook Klementos’ hand. When Mahi stood to kiss her friends, no one noticed Klementos’ finger swiping along the rim of Mahi’s glass.
Mahi and Klementos sipped their drinks and talked for a few more minutes as Klementos waited for the drug to take effect. Unlike so-called “date rape” drugs, the tiny amount he’d deposited on the woman’s glass wouldn’t disable her in the slightest. Instead, its purpose was to make her very suggestible and friendly and cooperative. It would lower her inhibitions and make her much more likely to say what was on her mind.
When Klementos was sure, he placed a warm hand on her arm. “I like you,” he said with a charming smile. “I think we could be very good friends.”
“I think so, too.” Mahi moved his hand to her thigh and slid it under her short skirt. “Would you like to come to my place? I have an apartment just a block away.” She opened her legs and guided his hand to her vagina. Mahi wasn’t wearing panties and Klementos’ fingers touched her smooth outer lips.
“That would be wonderful.” He pressed his thumb slightly inside. “I would love to taste you.” Klementos dropped some money on the table and they walked to the door. The hard part was over, he thought. The rest would be easy.
Mahi awoke slowly, aware of the feel of the bed under her and the lovely, languid way her body felt. She wondered where she was. The bed didn’t feel like her bed, but she couldn’t remember going to sleep anywhere else. Wait; when they were in her apartment, Klementos had invited her to a cabin in the San Gabriel Mountains. He made it sound wonderful and she’d agreed. Jesus, they hadn’t even had sex! She’d packed a few clothes and he’d asked her to bring her guitar and flute. They had even carried her keyboard to his car! For some reason, the fact that his car was parked right outside her building hadn’t raised any red flags. The drive was a blur; she must have slept the whole way! She had no memory of anything after they got onto the 110. Holy crap, where was she?
Mahi opened her eyes. She was in a room about 15 feet square. Nicely contrasting colors covered the walls and ceiling, but there was no furniture that she could see other than the bed she was lying on. Her overnight bag, laptop computer and her instruments were sitting on a shelf to her left. The ceiling brightened, illuminating the room to a comfortable level. When she sat up, the pillow her head had been resting on retracted into the surface of the bed and the bed itself morphed into a kind of sofa. Startled, Mahi jumped to her feet and watched as the “sofa” shortened and took the form of a large, padded chair.
“Hello, Mahi,” said a voice from behind her. “I trust you slept well?” Mahi spun and saw Klementos standing in a doorway that hadn’t been there. He was wearing the same clothes he’d been wearing in the Dragon. Her own clothes, now that she noticed, were also the same. Klementos smiled apologetically. “Sorry to startle you this way. I know I have some explaining to do.”
“Well, no shit!” shouted Mahi sarcastically. “Where the hell are we? This isn’t some cabin in the mountains, that’s for damn sure!” Before Klementos could respond, Mahi shoved him out of the way and charged through the door, colliding with two women who were passing by. Mahi barely managed to keep her balance. In front of her was an enormous room, filled with clusters of low seats, many of them occupied. The ceiling was at least 40 feet high, sky blue and gently curved like upside-down waves. Various shades of green and brown dominated in the huge space, giving the room a distinctly outdoor flavor. One of the women Mahi had run into was wearing a sort of toga, made up of a short skirt and a sash that covered her left breast. The other breast was bare. The second woman wore a loose, mid-calf skirt and nothing above the waist. Both women were barefoot. Mahi staggered back, bumping into Klementos. “What the fuck?” she gasped. “What the fuck?”
“Please have a seat. I’ll answer all your questions.” Klementos said something to the two women in a soft, liquid language that Mahi was sure she’d never heard before. They both smiled and continued on their way. “Please sit there,” said Klementos, pointing to a long sofa-like seat that seemed to grow out of the floor. Mahi sat cautiously. She was very frightened.
“You have nothing to fear,” said Klementos, correctly reading her expression. “No one here will harm you in any way.”
“And just where the hell is ‘here’, anyway?
“Well, that’s were it gets interesting. You’re on a spacecraft, heading out of the Solar system. To put it simply, you’ve been abducted.”
“Oh, horseshit! This place is the size of a shopping mall! There’s no way this could be a spaceship!”
“It’s pretty big, all right,” Klementos agreed. “Our section is an oval over a kilometer long and about half that wide. This is deck fourteen and there are 32 other decks much like this one. We have access to them all.”
Mahi shook her head. “You don’t look like an alien. You look human. What did you mean by, ‘our section’?”
“I meant that all 33 decks are inhabited by humans. We don’t control this ship. It’s controlled by the Asadii. Don’t ask me to describe them. I’ve never seen one and don’t know anyone who has. They communicate with us verbally, through the ship’s computer.”
“So, we’re what; slaves, pets, food?”
“No, nothing like that. The Asadii consider humans to be a special, possibly unique species. They’ve established human colonies on many, many worlds. Their plan is to allow us to populate the Galaxy. You see, intelligent life is extremely rare. Life, even complex life, is common, but intelligent, creative life that avoids extinction and develops a civilization is almost unknown. I’ve been on 34 colony worlds, plus Earth. I don’t know of anyone who has knowledge of an intelligent species other than the Asadii and humans.”
“Why don’t the aliens do their own colonization?”
.... There is more of this story ...