Copyright (C) 2012 by the author. All rights reserved.
Science Fiction Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Alice failed to show up at work one morning. Her roommate thinks she's headed cross-country to her childhood home on a now non-producing ranch in Montana. Her parents receive word that Alice's pickup truck was found on a remote corner of the ranch. Inside is no trace of her; however she has left behind her journal that describes a strange encounter she experienced ten years earlier when she was an unhappy girl in high school.
Mona heard the phone ring. "Coming, coming," she muttered and picked up the handset. "Hello?"
Mrs Dubois? This is Christie. I'm calling because ... well, because ... Alice is missing.
She didn't show up for work day before yesterday and no one has seen her.
"Why didn't you call me sooner?"
I ... I'm sorry, Mrs Dubois but I didn't want to worry you.
"Has she wandered off before?"
"Well -- she used to. Have you called the authorities?"
Yes. Now that she's been gone forty-eight hours the police can take a missing persons report.
"Is her truck gone?" Mona asked.
Yes. We have some surveillance video of her getting into the truck on the evening of the tenth. We ... I was hoping, maybe, she'd be headed your way.
"It's a long drive from Des Moines to Billings," Mona remarked. "Did she pack a bag?"
Not as far as I can tell. Her room looks just like always...
"No doubt a pigsty," Mona remarked.
If she started on the tenth ... well, the authorities wanted me to let you know and to ask you to keep an eye out for her.
Mona drew in a deep breath. "We've been through this before, Christie. I wish you had called sooner." She set down the handset.
Her husband Richard stepped into the living room. "Trouble?"
"It's Alice. She's missing."
"I thought she had outgrown that behavior," Richard replied.
"That was her roommate in Des Moines. Her truck is gone and Christie thought maybe she's headed this way."
"It's a long shot. I'll call Bill Pfeiffer and tell him to keep an eye out for it. She's still driving that maroon S-10?"
"As far as I know."
"The one with the Save the Whales bumper sticker?"
"That's the one."
"Never understood how many whales we can save in Montana ... or, Iowa." Richard picked up the phone and punched in a number. "Sheriff Pfeiffer, please. Tell him it's Rich..."
Mona sat with a photo album on her lap. On the mantle were photographs of two young people -- a girl with a round face and wavy, light brown hair and a boy with strong features and a crew cut. Richard sat beside her.
"I have a bad feeling about this," she said. "I don't think we're going to see Alice again."
"Don't say things like that."
"She always was difficult -- the worry she gave me in high school."
"She did seem to settle down in her junior year," Richard replied. "After all, she did graduate near the top of her class."
"She had little interest in going to college -- ended up with a two-year degree in social work from the local technical school. Then, off to Des Moines to help runaway girls. For the past six years she's been practically volunteering her time. What kind of a career is that? She never visits and rarely calls ... Now, this."
The front door opened and a young man entered. Mona looked up. "Lyman -- thanks for coming."
"I came as soon as I got your message." He picked up Alice's photograph from the mantle. "My sister always was a little touched in the head."
"That hardly helps, Lyman," his father chided.
"It's true." Lyman sat beside his mother and looked at the photo album.
"He's right, Richard. Lyman -- I have had my worries over you; but nothing like the worries I've had for Alice."
"There's at least one thing you didn't need to worry about," Lyman remarked.
Mona turned a leaf in the album to a photograph of a slightly overweight teenaged girl in a swimsuit. "What's that?"
"You never needed to worry about Alice getting knocked up."
"Lyman -- watch your language," his father retorted.
"What do you mean?" Mona asked.
"She's a lesbian."
"I never got that impression from her. What makes you say that?"
"I thought it was common knowledge ... especially after the Margaret Ackerman business."
"Let's not bring up Margaret Ackerman," Mona replied and looked up at her son. "What do you know about Margaret?"
"Only that Alice had the hots for her in ninth grade. She'd hang around Margaret's locker ... the poor girl thought she was being stalked. Margaret wanted nothing to do with her. Alice wrote some notes that Margaret passed around."
"You were a freshman at State when Alice was in ninth grade. How did you hear about it?"
"From Donny Marks. I'm real happy I had graduated, otherwise everyone would've teased me, too."
"Donny said she wasn't interested in any of the boys at school -- and I assure you, the feeling was mutual. What do you know about this chick she's living with in Des Moines?"
"They're roommates," Richard replied sternly. "Alice and Christie share an apartment."
"Right. Roommates with benefits. Have you ever met this Christie?"
"No, I can't say we have."
"Now she's run off again," Lyman remarked.
"She hasn't done that since ninth grade," Richard replied.
"Well, she has gone and done it again. What do we do? Sit and wait?"
"Christie thinks she might be headed here," Mona replied.
"What makes her say that?"
"A hunch I think. If she is, there's nothing to do until she shows up. If not -- there's nothing for us to do until we get word from Des Moines."
"Or, from any point in between."
The phone rang and Richard answered. "Hello? Oh, hi, Bill..." He listened. "I see. Where?" He listened again. "We'll meet you there." He hung up the phone and looked toward Mona. "That was Bill Pfeiffer. They found Alice's truck."
Lyman jumped to his feet. "Where?" Mona asked.
"Just off Route Three -- the northeast corner of the ranch."
"Any sign of her? Of foul play?" Lyman asked.
"It's really weird. The keys were in the ignition. Her clothes were neatly stacked on the front seat."
"Her clothes?" Lyman asked.
"Yes, along with her cell phone, bag and wallet. Credit cards, cash -- all there. And, there was a strongbox sitting on the seat." He picked up his keys. "Bill's waiting for us."
Richard hopped into the driver's seat of his F250 and started the engine. Lyman sat in the back seat and Mona in the front, beside him. He turned onto Route Three and headed North. Ahead he spotted the lights of the sheriff's squad car.
He turned off the highway and hiked to where the maroon S10 sat parked and approached the sheriff. "Bill -- anything?"
He shook his head. "Nothing. No sign of struggle."
"Footprints? Can you tell which way she went?"
"This dirt is rock-hard. We just had the K9 unit in here. Gave 'em a whiff of her clothes. They nosed around in circles for a while. It's like she disappeared into thin air."
Richard approached Alice's truck. "May I?"
Bill shrugged. "Go ahead. We've got all we can get from it ... which isn't much."
Richard opened the door. Lyman looked over his shoulder. "Yep ... clothes, wallet, phone. What's in the box?"
"Dad," Lyman said, "that's the box she used to keep her journal in. I remember trying to break the lock once. She caught me and slapped me silly."
Richard tested the lock on the box. "It won't budge."
Lyman took the keys from the ignition. "Maybe one of these will open it."
Richard flipped through the keys on the ring and found one that looked like it would fit the lock. He inserted it, turned it and the lock popped open. Lifting the lid on the box he found a spiral-bound notebook with a Post-It sticking out of the middle of the leaves.
He opened the notebook and found a loose leaf of paper.
September 18, 2011
Dear Mom and Dad. Please don't worry for me, for I have gone to a better place, a place where I can find happiness. Don't ask where this place is for I truly don't know for sure myself. I am fulfilling a promise I made a decade ago.
Rather than try to explain, I've left behind my journal. The whole story is in these pages. Mom, Dad -- I'm sure you'll find some of these words difficult to read. I wouldn't want you to read them in my presence. I wouldn't want you to read them if I thought I'd see you again. I wrote them in detail because I wanted to remember every detail. I wrote them for me and no one else. Now I'm leaving them behind as a way to explain where it is I've gone, and why. -- Alice
Richard turned the page and began reading. "It's dated Friday, fifth of April, 2002 ... nearly ten years ago," he remarked and continued reading.
Russell sat next to me on the bus on the way home. I don't know why he keeps picking on me. This time he had forced a thumbtack through the cuff of his shirt and taped it in place underneath. All the way home he threatened to jab me with it -- which he eventually did just as the bus stopped at the crossroads.
Saturday, 6 April '02
Mom and Dad left for the airport. With Lyman away at college I have the place to myself. Already I have made my plans. I tied the rope to one of the roof trusses in the barn, right over the trapdoor to the hayloft. According to the table of drops I found online, 7 foot, 1 inch is prescribed for someone weighing 140 pounds. I'd rather it be quick -- not like how poor Helen Moyers did it ... slowly strangling to death. Yes -- quick, painless and irreversible. Snapping the spine at the third vertebra leads to immediate unconsciousness. I wonder what it'll feel like -- standing on a board over the hayloft trapdoor and then simply stepping into oblivion.
Lyman called. M & D must've put him up to it -- call and check on your sister. Make sure she isn't getting into trouble. Make sure she hasn't run off. Probably he'd call M & D and they'd cut their vacation short if I didn't answer. They've been looking forward to this trip to Europe. They deserve it and I won't deny it to them.
So -- when to do it? M & D are due home on the 12th. Maybe the 11th. Now that I have the rope measured and in place -- I'm in no hurry. Russell and the others aren't here to pester me. I have the place all to myself. What luxury! I might as well enjoy the peace and quiet.
Sunday, 7 April '02
Last night just after dusk I heard a boom and felt a thud ... went outside and saw smoke coming from the NE corner of the ranch. So, I got in the truck and drove crosslots in that direction. I wondered if someone lost control on that curve on Route 3 -- like that drunk who rolled his van last fall. Maybe they need help. And, I wanted to make sure they didn't start a brush fire.
I approached the spot from where the smoke was coming and found a sagebrush smoldering. With a broom I batted out what flames were left. Then I turned and saw it. Lying on the ground, in an oval of scorched scrub was a sleek, black object, coffin-sized. In the center was a green panel. I touched it -- to see if it was still hot -- and the green panel began to flash. Other lights came on and a screen displayed writing I hadn't seen before.
I backed away. Then, a series of catches released along its sides. Curious, I lifted the lid -- it was surprisingly light. Inside was a person. By now it was quite dark and I couldn't make out much detail. He -- it looked like a man ... a youth, perhaps. He looked human. His face looked feminine, though. He wore what looked like a short, silver-metallic skant skirt and his legs looked like a girl's. He wore sandals with long laces that criss-crossed up his calves. Instead of a shirt he wore a sash that went from his right shoulder to his left hip. Below his waist he looked like a girl, but above he was no doubt a boy. On his head he wore a polished, metallic helmet.
I saw what looked like a long, deep gash on his right forearm. I could see his chest moving -- he was alive if maybe only just. I knew that cut on his arm needed attention.
I slipped one arm under his knees and the other under his shoulders and lifted. He wasn't very heavy -- I think he weighs less than me! I was able to prop him in the passenger seat of the truck and then headed, cross-lots back to the house.
With some effort I carried him to the guestroom and lay him on the bed. Then, I turned on the light. What I saw made me take two steps backward.
His skin was green -- smooth and hairless. I looked at him for a long time. For some reason, I didn't feel afraid or threatened by this odd stranger. Then, I approached him and gently lifted the helmet from his head, and then I had my second shock. The visor of his helmet had covered his forehead, but now I saw them. He had two appendages growing, just above and outside his eyes. They were, I don't know what -- antennae? Feelers? Tentacles? About a foot and a half long and as big around as my thumb at the base, and neatly tucked under his helmet, along his scalp to the nape of his neck.
I procured a basin, some towels, a washcloth and some gauze and began cleaning the cut on his arm. It was still oozing reddish-brown blood. I cleaned the area best I could and wrapped it in gauze, using some tape to keep it closed. I had just about finished when he stirred.
He opened his eyes -- the irises were yellow-orange ... golden; and his pupils were vertical slits, like a cat's. He sat up and his and his tentacles went into an alert position -- up and to the sides like the handlebars of a bicycle. I saw panic in his face. "It's all right," I said as soothingly as I could. "I won't hurt you. You're safe, here." I pointed to his forearm. "I was tending your wound." I approached him, my heart pounding but again I felt no threat from him.
I spoke to him again. "Hello," I said. "I'm Alice. What's your name?" He gazed at me, glanced at his surroundings, looked at his arm and then back at me, his golden eyes making contact with mine. I smiled and he returned a smile -- I guess that's something that's the same in all languages. I could see the fear drain from his face. "Where are you from?" I asked.
He didn't answer. Something about him abolished all fear and concern. I knew I was in the presence of someone or something profoundly special. I thought -- I felt -- I sensed he wanted me closer.
I came near him and sat on the bed beside him. He moved to the side to make room for me. He motioned to me and I lay beside him. We faced each other, inches apart, and gazing into each other's eyes. Then, he wrapped his tentacles around my head. Before I could pull back I went first into a trance and then a deep sleep.
When I opened my eyes again it was morning. He was still sleeping -- it looked like sleep, at least. His eyes were closed and his breathing deep and regular. I rolled to face him and he stirred and opened his eyes. "Have you been awake for long?" he asked me in a soft, gentle, tenor voice.
"Not long," I replied. "You speak my language?"
"Now I do. You taught it to me."
"You let me into your mind."
"Telepathy? Are you telepathic?"
"To a degree," he said.
"You used your telepathy to coax me close ... to let me know you're no threat."
"You have a sensitive mind," he replied. "I like that."
He pointed to the appendage growing from his forehead. "These? They are my telepathic organs."
"Where are you from?" I asked.
"A long ways away."
"That I gathered. Other than your green skin and your..." I pointed to my forehead. "You look so ... human."
"My ancestors were human, once ... long, long ago."
"When was that?" I asked.
"Far into your future."
"So you travel in time?"
"We have colonized many worlds in many solar systems and in many times. What is time but another displacement?" he asked, "another dimension?"
"It's the dimension in which we grow old."
He smiled and gave a little laugh. "You are a bit of a philosopher," he said. "You took me from the capsule. You should not have done that. My people will be looking for me and now they won't be able to find me."
"Yes. The capsule has a homing beacon. I'm sure it's been activated."
"I'm sorry," I replied. "I didn't know."
"Nor had you any way of knowing." His speech, his manner, everything about him exuded peace, forgiveness and benevolence.
"I can take you to where I found you," I said.
"Then, we should go. I wouldn't want the capsule falling into the wrong hands."
I led him outside. He crossed his arms and rubbed his biceps. "It is cold," he remarked.
"It's April in Montana. You're not exactly dressed for it." I opened the passenger door to the truck and he sat in the seat. I sat behind the wheel, started the engine and we headed crosslots to where I had seen the burning shrub. "I'm Alice," I said. "What's your name?"
"Name?" He rolled his eyes in thought. "Ah -- a word used to identify the self. I have no name."
"Then -- how are you addressed?" I asked.
"I have my identity, as does everyone. I'm addressed by my identity. I don't need a name."
"Telepathically?" I asked.
"You do have language," I remarked. "I know you have writing -- I could see it on your ... capsule."
"We do have language, which we use to augment the telepathy. Actually, the telepathy augments our language. Telepathy is an ... imprecise means of communication. Thoughts are imprecise ... nuanced. They vary from individual to individual. Our language is very precise."
We reached the spot. Together we lifted and placed the capsule into the bed of the pickup. The hull of the device was like its lid -- surprisingly lightweight. We returned to the cab and I drove back to the house. We carried the capsule into the lower level and set it on the floor in the family room.
He manipulated the control panel on the device's cover. "I haven't been found, yet," he remarked. "Give them time -- I'm sure they're looking for me."
He opened a panel inside his capsule and removed two objects. One was a vial of a clear fluid and the other resembled a flashlight. He began to unwrap the bandage I had placed on his right forearm.
"It looked like a bad wound," I said. "I cleaned and wrapped it."
"And I thank you for that." He sprayed the wound with the fluid. "This we call healer," he said and then began waving the other device back and forth across his injury. "This is a growth stimulator." I watched as his blood coagulated and the cut began to close. Soon it was a brown welt the length of his green forearm. "I'll repeat this later."
"How did you get here?" I asked.
"There is a rather deep timespace fold near this planet," he explained. "You do know that timespace is intricately folded back on itself."
I shook my head. "I guess I have heard such a conjecture."
"It's no conjecture. The folding is in the higher dimensions -- at least, the folding useable to us. It was my fault, I'm afraid. I was navigating the fold and foolishly I neglected to probe ahead before making the jump. I nearly crashed head-on with an asteroid. I didn't realize it until it was too late -- my proximity alarm sounded and I barely had time to escape in the capsule. My mistake almost cost me my life. Certainly I'll be more careful in the future."
"Something about that reassures me," I remarked.
"That you made a mistake. It makes you seem more human. Will you be in trouble for trashing your spacecraft?"
"I will lose privileges. I had just earned the privilege of signing out a craft and piloting it. I was on my way home -- my first solo trip. Now, I'll need to take scheduled transportation."
"Something like that happened to my brother. He skidded on his way home for Christmas and had to take the bus."
"The important thing is I survived. Equipment can be replaced. Life cannot."
I regarded him again. "How long since your people were like mine?"
"Thirty to forty thousand years," he replied.
"So -- you're what we evolve into by natural selection, in thirty to forty thousand years?"
He gave another soft laugh. "No -- not natural selection -- the most unnatural, artificial selection; coupled with aggressive genetic engineering. We like to think that we're an improved model."
"You're no longer homo sapiens -- you're, what? Homo novus?"
"You're a bright woman. We don't have a name for what we are."
I nodded. "You don't need one. Well -- I'm hungry. You do eat, don't you?"
"We do, indeed."
"Are you hungry?"
"Yes, I am."
"Then, let me cook some eggs."
Rather awkwardly he approached me. "I'm not quite sure how to broach the topic, but ... how does one deal with bodily waste in this environment?"
It was my turn to laugh. I led him into the bathroom. "Do your business in here and press the handle..."
"This leads to your waste reprocessor?"
"I guess that's what you could call a septic tank. If you'd like to shower..." I showed him how to operate the shower and pointed out towels. "You probably want warmer clothes. I'll look in Lyman's closet. He's a bit bigger than you but maybe I can find something that fits."
"My brother. He's away at college."
"I was on my way home from college when I had my accident," he said.
He joined me in the kitchen, wearing a pair of Lyman's jeans and one of his shirts. He sat across from me, his tentacle-feelers again cocked up and to the sides. I regarded his soft, effeminate features, the light blond, almost white hair on his head and his orange eyes. "You look good in Lyman's clothes," I remarked. "They're a little loose but they fit."
"They're comfortable and warm. I don't care for the cold." He tentatively took a bite of a poached egg, looked up and nodded approvingly. "Good," he said. "You have been very kind to me, Alice."
"Well," I said, "it looks like you're going to be staying here a while -- until your people locate you."
"They are looking, I assure you."
"I hope they find you," I replied. What I didn't add was, before M & D get home that is.