I'd only been exposed to the "Average Joes" show after I'd overheard discussions about "CAP scores" used to measure how successful a person was, or, I guess, could be. Until I'd heard about the use of such a test I didn't have any interest in the show, and, to be brutally candid, once I'd skimmed an episode of the show, my apathy returned to its more normal state with me doing a little more reading on the subject of CAP scoring via the InterNet.
'CAP' is a TLA, a three letter acronym (my dad had worked for IBM up until he got pushed out in a big layoff some years back, so I got more than my fair share of familiarity with acronyms than most students in my grade) for Capacity, Aptitude and Potential. At one time I thought it sounded like a re-branding of the "Ability Quotient" Mack Reynolds had created for a story of the same name, especially since intelligence is not always the best measure of competence, civilization, cooperativeness or confidence.
It had had me wondering about some of the older students at school who drove many of the rest of us -- you know, the "peasants" -- to spend time debating and speculating about how they would score.
I am Kim, short for Kimball Kinnison O'Brien, at the time these events first unfolded merely a month shy of my fourteenth birthday, and, at the same time, a senior in high school.
Yes, I got jumped ahead in my schooling, more than once, as have the rest of my siblings. I have two of each in brothers and sisters, one of each gender older along with a set of paternal twins younger than myself. Yes, this does make me the "middle child".
I sometimes think that the naming conventions chosen by my parental units had been intended to motivate us all to advance ourselves through school as quickly as possible just to escape.
And, yes, I have read the Lensman series.
And, yes, I have read them multiple times.
And, yes, as puberty had arrived driving my body to grow upwards it had also given me some additional understanding in human relationships in life and in fiction, not that I had much trust in fiction. I did realize that most of humanity's drives and rules are usually left unspoken.
Fortunately for me that hormonal shit-storm known as puberty did not seem to have made me quite as sex-crazed as most of the boys I observed around me at school.
This is not to say that I found the male form at all attractive. This kept me from worrying over the idea I was likely to form non-heterosexual preferences. I enjoyed looking at the girls in school but managed to avoid complete drooling idiocy.
Well, at least I thought I had. Can you pronounce hubris? I knew you could!
I was still considered a runt, of course, given the large age differential between myself and those in my classes. The majority of my class-mates were usually seventeen years old with the more-than-occasional examples of eighteen and nineteen year-old students who were in school for the sports teams rather than graduating via a GED.
Or, as some of us, their victims, thought, prison.
Yes, I am talking about those swaggering tin-plated dictators with delusions of godhood who proudly wear the title of "jock". I found it odd that these kinds of people seemed to be upheld as somehow "less evil" than those of us who excelled in the academic end of schooling especially given their propensity for poor impulse control and violence.
I know, I know ... everyone who hasn't been home-schooled suffers from a more widespread form of "jock itch", a desire to just kill as many of them as possible in as slow and excruciating a fashion possible.
Hmmmmm ... now I can better understand why people with high intelligence may get painted as super-villians by the intellectually challenged: the jocks just can't cope with the idea that they will, someday, need to address people like me, as "boss".
My own fantasies shared in discussions with others complaining about the high-and-mighty stepping on us "normal people" has usually centered on the idea of inflicting hundreds of paper cuts and then spraying them down with lemon juice. One of the girls I chatted with had suggested grapefruit juice instead. I had to admit that I liked how evil this sounded.
So perhaps there is a reason for people of high intelligence to get the tag of "evil genius" ... but, really, I suspect it is reactive. Life has all kind of challenges we must face ... and, oddly enough, I think this put those of us the predators considered as prey ahead of the predators, themselves. Consider the degree of situational awareness you have to acquire when you've got pneumocephalic morons eager to inflict emotional pain surrounding you.
So, there I was, the day my life changed, going in to gym class as the last period of the day.
Heinlein had once described Military Bureaucracy in his novel "Glory Road" with the concept of three key departments: The "Practical Joke" department, the "Surprise Party" department and the "Fairy Godmother" department. Obviously our local school board preferred to only have two out of three of these, with "Surprise Party" as the key with "Practical Joke" providing input. These must have been the folks who mixed as many non-jocks with the sports team jocks into the last gym (P.E. to the folks making the effort to be politically correct) period of the school day which segued into team practice times. I suspected that one reason for this was to give the jocks as many victims for them to abuse merely to bolster their delusions of superiority and provide "confidence" to those too stupid to have any doubts.
If anyone has any doubts about the Dunning-Kruger effect just look at any high school sports team; While there will be some exceptions, they are not anywhere near the center of the bell curve.
For some time I had wanted to find the computer used for this scheduling and ... ummmm ... tweak the code. Actually, since I was still only a computer user and not a programmer or hacker or whatever the word for magician is these days I would need to find someone who could twiddle the bits for me.
There was no doubt that on days where the abuse was, to me, heavier than usual, I would prefer Zaphod's way to re-program a computer: with an axe.
So, on this warm October day, we were instructed to not dress out and were marched out of the building to a nearby under-utilized shopping center where only the shoe shops were still open, and, away from the row of stores, in a corner of the parking lot, stood a forlorn cluster of pushed-together trailers with a sign over the entrance reading "CAP Testing Centre".
Yes, here in the ol' USA someone hadn't chosen to use the US English spelling for "Center". Some things you just can't make up and this little shock was a quick way to deflate my enthusiasm and lower my expectations. I had believed that CAP testing had an "intelligence" portion, but, given that sign, I suddenly had my doubts. This kind of called into question whether the people in 'Average Joes' with high CAP scores were faked or that CAP scores, themselves, bullshit.
Now our little march to this site included an aspect that I rather enjoyed: the girl's gym class, marching along with us. I noticed three of the girls that I was comfortable talking to, and, when I waved to them, they waved back. What was even better than just the wave were the smiles I got. I could not help but smile back at them.
While I was glad that we boys didn't have to dress out for gym class there was a part of me that would have preferred to see the girls in their gym outfits, but, then, dammit, I had to admit that it was only fair this way.
Maybe I am a drooling pubertal idiot, after all. Some of my class-mates made comments about the girls and chuckled over it. In hindsight I recognize that it was a good sign that I was heterosexual.
Remember how I told you that I was the "runt" of the class? Being almost fourteen my growth spurt had only barely begun and my height was up to five three (I am not converting that to metric for those of you who aren't tolerant of backwards Americans) and I had only recently shot past one of the girls I usually talked to, Petra. And, if you must know, Petra was the clever wag who proposed the use grapefruit juice.
I had also recently gotten to be almost as tall as another girl I talked to, Kimberly, but, being realistic, I was still the shortest boy in the whole of the senior class just as Petra was the "runt" of the girl's class.
So, being the runt, I was used to being pushed to the rear of any line and ended up at the tail end of the boy's line on this day, too. With forty-four of the forty-eight booths available for our two classes, the remainder for other walk-ins, I didn't think we were in for a short wait.
Oh ye of little faith. It seemed that quite a few of the student body, especially the jocks at the head of the line, got through more quickly than I expected, usually in thirty minutes. Some were in much longer. A few seemed to only take five minutes though they must've been in longer. I think I can blame my distorted sense of time on the company I was keeping.
With the time available to mill around and watch the others I got to chat with Kim, Petra a bit and even Sue, once she sat down so the rest of us wouldn't get neck pain looking up to her. We watched a lot of the activity and drifted back close to each other each time the teacher's assistants looked away from us after trying to keep us apart and isolated.
It seemed amusing that the assistant thought I had enough testosterone in my blood to salivate over any of the girls or, in my opinion far less likely, that any of the girls could be salivating over me.
All right, I guess I did have enough testosterone in my veins, and, yes, I did find the girls attactive, and, yes, in the past I have had to scoop my eye-balls back into my head after they'd jumped into some girl's cleavage.
I think the reason I had enough brain cells working together when talking with Kim, Petra and Sue was their distinct lack of cleavage functioning as a Venus Eye Trap.
Yeah, yeah, when Sue is standing, I had to look up past her mounds though my eyes seldom paused overlong on their trip up to her face despite the bumps of her nipples showing through her brassiere.
I actually liked it that way, I could concentrate on the girl whose face I was able to keep my eyes on. Sadly, almost all of the cleavage that, in the past, my eyes had occasionally fallen into tended to be attached to complete bitches. I thought it unfair for these girls to place their decolletage "on display" and still restrict the privilege of viewing it to specific boys. I tend to "not notice" and so avoid the sin of "ogling", a reaction to the verbal abuse from so many who'd felt violated that I even looked at them, much less at what they had on display.
It was not reassuring to watch the jocks-- and the jockettes-- gloat over having what they'd thought, then, were "high" scores. The highest score we heard boasted of was from one of the least offensive members of the Basketball team who had gotten a 5.9. It seemed that many of the most arrogant asses weren't crowing over their CAP scores and seemed a bit shaken ... for once.
Given that the jocks were the first through everyone else pretty much hid their cards which had me figuring that their scores were lower. In this situation I was getting discouraged, thinking that, as usual, justice was still in short supply.
Coming out of the booth with only the haziest of memories from my turn I found that the rest of the boy's class had left without me, leaving me to the "tender" mercies of the girl's P.E. teacher's assistant, so, once I was handed my brand new CAP card, I wasn't given much choice but to hang around and walk back with the tail end of the girl's gym class.
I was a bit startled when I finally looked down at my new card and saw a score of 7.7 in large digits and heaved a sigh of relief that none of my so-called "betters" were around to see this. I figured that this news would not have lightened the load of verbal and physical abuse, uhh, hazing, I had experienced from the various jocks.
I had noticed that anyone who could be seen as somehow objectively "better" than, say, the quarterback of the school's varsity football team, would need to be wearing lots of padding.
The saving grace, of course, is that the more arrogant of my class-mates would not want to show curiosity over anyone else's scores. I expected the more arrogant of the "A" list ("A is for Arrogant," Abusive, Asshole, Amoral, Aggressive. I could go on and on with this list.) would prefer to remain in blissful (for people like me, at least) ignorance.
I carefully put my card away in my wallet.
The teaching assistant staying with the girls reminded me that I had to walk back with them given that we were still "officially" in school even though we were running later than anticipated. I nodded and shrugged before noticing Kim had stepped out of a testing booth that had, earlier, been used by the boy's side. I greeted her return and got a happy smile back as she walked over to the receptionist to get her card.
Kim, like Petra, was one of those girls who, at the age of seventeen, still looked younger than I did, at thirteen. We got along well enough given that we read a lot of the same sci-fi authors and could converse in what others assigned to the same lunch table termed as "gibberish". I watched her as she squinted at her card as if disbelieving what she was seeing before she walked over to me.
"Hey, Kim," she said, greeting me, then dropped to a quiet whisper, saying "I can't believe I got a score of seven point zero."
I smiled and nodded and replied in a whisper "Yeah, I got a score of seven seven. T'ain't no way I want any of the bozos to know, they'd beat me to death for sure."
I think you can take, from my previous remarks, that I had faced-- and survived-- a fair degree of abuse from the bigger guys. It had not helped that Kim and I also shared the short form of our first name, even to the point of having had my sexual preferences called into question, which, in the schools these days, is a complete no-no. In school, all of us are supposed to be equals, but, we'd all learned, despite the so-called rules, some were more equal than others.
Kim also had a "normal" middle name, unlike myself, so there had been no relief for me in sight there.
Speaking of names, my next older brother who'd just graduated from high school in the last year had been stuck with, I kid thee not, "Beowulf Shaeffer" as his first and middle names. He'd already told us that he hadn't seen as much in the way of moronic hazing at college, but, then, he was smart enough to not join a fraternity.
Kim's pretty school-girl face smiled at me in agreement. "Yeah, there are those who don't want to see any kind of evidence that they're not the Queens of All Creation. After we get our stuff from our lockers, are we still walking home together?"
"Sure," I agreed. Kim was good company to talk to and we'd often compared notes on classes while walking home together. We'd had enough company in the past that there'd been limited teasing over it.
"Well, Kim, I hope you're fine with Petra, Sue and the 'C' twins joining us today."
The 'C' twins-- Charlie and Carlie-- were the most physically mature of the five girls named but I'd always found them intimidating. Their choice in clothing seemed to be trying to suck my eyes into their cleavage despite my earlier conditioning from the more brutal bitches over the years. I could usually just barely talk to them without tripping over my tongue.
When the last girl finally came out of a booth and accepted her card from the receptionist we were ordered into, if not a line, a pack, for the walk back to the school.
Petra, the smallest of the girls at five foot even, walked over to me and started talking to me as some of the other girls engaged Kim in conversation.
Petra's pixieish looks were, admittedly, rather more conventionally attractive than Kim's Korean face, but, to me, the person behind Kim's face more than made up for her otherwise bland appearance, putting both of them on a par for attractiveness as people. Petra was physically attractive enough to intimidate me, usually, but, since she was driving the conversation, I was able to keep up with her by answering her questions.
Once back at the already emptied school we all had to split up to get our books from our lockers for the night. I shortly met Kim in front of the school where Petra, Sue and the twins joined us. Kim smiled at me looking like she had a surprise for me.
By the time we got to my home the six of us had exchanged CAP scores which were all above 6.0, and, from what we'd seen on Average Joes, not as likely to be complete assholes as dating material, assuming this wasn't just some form of bullshit.
The discussion had, however, brought up the idea of dating within our little group of six even though I was the lone male and more than slightly younger than each of the girls.
Perhaps it was because I was four years their junior might have made it easier for them. I am not sure that their belief that I was "unthreatening" was flattering me or not.
I was flattered with the amount of interest each girl was giving me especially given that, at least for three of them, I felt enough trust they wouldn't stab me in the back. It did not take long for me to hear that they each wanted to see what dating me would be like.
Sue hadn't been pleased by the dates she'd been on, nor had Charlie and Carlie, while Kim hadn't been approached and Petra had turned away all attention.
Hearing them discuss their dating histories as if I wasn't present or was just another girl was not exactly the most comfortable situation.
When they returned to the idea of each taking a turn dating me, though, there were questions over whether I wanted to date any of them.
"Well, of course I like you. Each of you, even though the twins, here, scare me some times. And, yes, I think you are all pretty."
"So," Petra spoke up, "You would date any of us?"
I stopped. The girls stopped. I looked around at each of these five girls and said "Sure, but I don't see what I bring to the table."
Kim reached over to give me a hug, surprising me. I could not resist hugging her back, even more tightly than I would my mom or my sisters.
Petra hugged me, too, and I was a bit gentler with her. Her tiny body felt weightless in my arms.
Sue's hug was the most uncomfortable having what passed for her breasts against my forehead and my hard-on just above her knees.
Charlie and Carlie hugged me from each side at the same time so it was harder for me to hug both of them back. I felt pretty good, suddenly, with all of this attention, and getting back into walking home soon took priority, again.
Especially since I wanted my mutinous member to go soft.
The girls talked about me as if I wasn't there and discussed the order of dates which, while potentially arousing, the whole context of the conversation drained it of any actual potential to arouse me.
Kim, herself, wanted to be the last one to take a turn at dating me, admitting, with a bit of embarrassment, that she was worried that we might hurt our existing degree of camaraderie. All I could do was shrug. I liked Kim. I even liked Petra and Sue, too, and they seemed to like me. As nice as Charlie and Carlie had been to me today, I was concerned given that they did want to be together dating me so there'd be three of us. A part of me wondered if I would have been the odd man out.
Hearing "We share everything" from them as an explanation, at the time, went over my head. Heck, I have to admit that it went so far over my head that I didn't even hear a whoosh much less a sonic boom. I suspect my expression of confusion drove some of the giggles and I was getting squeezes on my hands and shoulders to let me know they were all happy as each took a turn to reassure me that I was not being laughed at.
I still had no idea what they saw in me until Carlie spoke up, in a fit of frustration as I kept asking them all, answering me with "Look, the jocks are only good at looking like jocks. You are a thinker and a dreamer which is so different from the jocks while also young enough that we'd be fools to not want to keep you from being an asshole. Heck, if it was legal, I'd want you to marry both Charlie and I so we could hitch our wagon to yours."
Carlie paused and blinked. "Okay, I admit that makes me sound like such a gold-digger but that's only a small piece of what we like about you."
I looked at Kim, Petra and Sue and got smirks and nods. Kim chose that moment to speak up "I think, as women, we are driven, somehow, to look for stability and security, and, Kim, you are the kind of person who can go far in providing that and you're a kind, warm and understanding person, as I have seen for some time, and I wish I could have you, too, as a husband."
"So," I chuckled as I rolled my eyes, "I'm up to possibly three wives, eh?" All the same, it sounded, somehow, good to me, which, in a moment of analysis, I realized had stroked more than just my ego.
Kim snorted before saying "Well, I'm not sure I would want to share you." This kind of brought me down, but, then, I didn't think any of these girls, uhh, women, would not be a good deal.
Sue spoke up "Hey, girls, if enough of us are bisexual, ummm, sharing might not be so terrible and we'd always have someone nice to cuddle up to."
We stopped again and all stared at Sue.
"Well, c'mon, you can't tell me you all haven't noticed?"
We continued to stare at Sue. Petra, the shortest of the six of us, looked up at Sue and said "Are you all right?"
Sue's dark brown color was such that we couldn't tell whether she was blushing but she spoke up, shakily, "Well, I don't want to lose any of you as friends."
I don't think she minded when we went into a group hug surrounding her.
When we finally broke up the hug with a now happy Sue who promised the others that she'd talk to them about her experiences, I finally spoke up: "Girls, I don't understand why you're saying stuff like this. Are you just teasing me?"
This time I watched as they looked at each other. I could see a degree of anxiety on the faces of all five girls.
Charlie provided a telling comment that only made sense in hindsight: "I dunno but I feel comfortable agreeing to the truth. Carlie was saying what I was about to say and the only reason I didn't speak up was that she was already telling you what I would have."
This kind of killed the high-enthusiasm portion of the walk but we got back into working out a provisional dating schedule.
My house was closest along the route from school so we all decided to stop there once I noticed my mom's car in the driveway.
Fortunately my mom was tele-commuting on this day given her job as a consultant with the government, and, with both of my younger sibs out visiting with their friends, the six of us trooped into the house. My mom's curiosity dragged her away from her office and computers long enough to ask us all what we were doing together which tangled her up in a discussion over whether I should be allowed to date each of the girls.
Somehow the mention of CAP testing came up, and, after we came clean on our scores, she smiled. "So, who had the bright idea to get tested?"
I answered "Mister Wrong ... uhhhh ... Mister Wright, at school, decided that the gym class during the last period of the day, would go for the test. Since it includes most of the jocks, I figured he wanted to make sure the jerks, uhhhh, jocks, got some more bragging rights."
The twins nodded as Sue spoke up, with "You wouldn't believe how some of those idiots were waving their cards around as if that magnified their sex appeal!"
My mom grinned at us "So, what kind of scores were they boasting about?" From her smile I figured that she knew something that she wasn't about to tell us.
I shrugged. "Most of those who announced their scores were in the mid-4s into 5s with the highest announced a 5.9. Many of 'em declined to show off their cards. Most of the regular kids also chose not to show their scores, too, so I was figuring they didn't want to admit to low scores in front of an audience, especially with some of the more abusive assholes that were present."
My mom shook her head and then paused, looking at all six of us. "Look, I'll convince my husband to let Kimball date, all right? But Kim has his homework to do so you will all have to deal with him tomorrow, capische?"
I got a lot of kisses from the girls as they made their way out but Kim, being the last out, got stopped by my Mom before she could escape, dragging us both back to the dining room "You both need to wait for me here, OK?"
She seemed to look happy as she scampered for her office.
I looked at Kim and rolled my eyes.
Kim giggled, breaking the silence, commenting "At least she has no problem with any of us dating you."
I chuckled. "Maybe she's expecting you all to teach me how to keep my room clean."
"How much of a mess is it, Kim?"
I sighed, "I think I could be neater but it isn't the pit of entropy my sister Telzey's is ... and hers is mostly empty with her away at college!"
With this seeming to be the cue, my mom popped back into the kitchen and handed out two ... iPhones? Each had a funky swirling pattern and mine seemed to draw my eyes to it.
The next thing I knew was that I was putting the widget down on the table. "What was this all about, Mom?"
"Wait" she told me, waving at Kim, who, while we were watching her, seemed to wake up and put the widget she'd been watching down and looked at us, her eyebrows rising in question.
"OK, we're done with these, let me put them away" said my mom as she gathered up the two little units and brought them back to her office. She arrived back surprisingly quickly.
"All right, kids, in order to give you the information you need, I had to have both of you conditioned to keep this news a secret."
I stared at my mom who seemed to be a different person.
"Kim" she said, looking at me, "Your father and I have CAP scores of 7.3 and 7.1, respectively, and we have been working on a project that is bigger than you would believe possible. Your score of 7.7, like Telzey's score of 7.3 and Bey's 7.0 is your ticket out of here in less than a year. Your father and I will be going, too."
"Where to, mom?"
My mother shook her head and turned to Kim, saying "And you, Kim, have a good score, too, so you, like my son, need to get your ducks, hmmmm ... ducklings ... in a row, and I mean that in more than an idiomatic way."
"I don't understand" Kim asked. "What does that all mean?"
My mom took a deep breath. "I have been working, for over the last year, arranging the logistics needed to evacuate as many human beings off of Earth as possible in the next ten years. An invasion is expected ten years hence, give or take a few, and we have been talking with 'friendly'" -- with the word 'friendly' in air quotes -- "aliens who are working to help us. One of the issues we've just recently managed to sell them on was a way to accept more than just the people with a 6.5 or higher CAP score. We have had to find convincing ways to justify evacuating people with lower scores, and your dad and I have been in the thick of these negotiations."
"Mom, why would any of our CAP scores matter?" I asked. It wasn't hard for me to sound -- and look -- confused.
Mom chuckled. "CAP testing was a requirement these friendly aliens, or, more likely, their AIs, came up with as a way to filter which humans will be allowed off the planet, and, as I got the story, 'Average Joes' was just used as a way to popularize CAP testing. I have to admit that selling CAP scoring the way they're doing has certainly ensured a larger degree of penetration than I would have bet on, myself, so, really, it proves that sex does sell.
"What I was trying to tell you" she continued, "Was that this 'Confederacy', as we accept the translation provided by the AIs, wanted to only take humans with test scores of 6.5 and up. It was a stone-cold bitch of a job for us to sell the AIs, the machines that seem to do most of the day-to-day thinking for these aliens, a reason to take people below the cut line, especially, since, if they cherry-picked only people above the cut line, I think we'll have a planet-wide war leading to our extinction as a species, and it won't be the aliens doing that, it'll be a self-inflicted wound."
Kim decided it was her turn to ask a question: "AIs? Do you mean computers?"
My mom nodded. "Yes, AIs are computers. We believe they are the real custodians of the Confederacy."
Kim smiled. "That makes sense. So ... What's the justification you used to sell the AIs into letting lower-scoring people emigrate?"
"Believe it or not, it started as a joke. It was a surprise when it actually sold the AIs on the plan. She'd brought up the need for 'Breeding stock' for the 6.5 pluses that leave Earth" my mom explained, rolling her eyes, just like I had, earlier. It was shocking to see her do something only us teen-agers do when confronted with stupidity. "Once the foot was in the door we all managed to convince the AIs of our need to breed like there was no tomorrow and that there weren't enough people with the 6.5 and up scores to both breed and defend their Confederacy for them, so we got some concessions ... but there's a high price for those with sub-6.5 scores to pay."
She paused and blushed.
"So, kids, anyone who is below that magic line, like Sue, Petra or those blonde twin escapees from a Bikini Team, with a CAP score under 6.5, has to drop as many babies as possible. You, son, will have to be a father a lot sooner than you thought you'd be, and, instead of it being just you and, say, Kim, here, because of your scores, you can, and should, take four women with you. Kim, here, can bring four with her, too, though she'll need someone to provide her with a way to get pregnant ... if she's not going to use you for that.
"And, kids, that isn't the really hard part, either."
I'm sure my face was whiter than Kim's. I nodded.
"Anyone below a 6.5 that you bring with you will have no rights, I mean zero, and, if you die or are killed, they may get put down just like a dog or cat. We're still trying to negotiate some mechanism to protect this breeding stock from being killed outright but we've been having a hard time getting the AIs to accept that some of us may not want to concentrate on combat or direct support of combat. We hope to cough up something but the whole structure is more than just a little bit unsettled.
"So, kids, your ... breeders ... will be owned by you and are functionally slaves, and, in a set of instructions the AIs gave us, indicated that these breeders may be killed by their owners without question."
She shook her head. "It is odd that children are far more protected than their parents. Also, the AIs are limiting how many breeders you can bring off the planet given the limited shipping available to transport people off Earth."
Mom sighed, looking unhappy.
"So that tells you some of the shit I've been helping to shovel for the survival of the human race. You can imagine how I feel about it, though I am ambivalent about how to deal with some of our human bastards once we get out there.
"In any case, I've got some background information on the Confederacy and the history between first contact and 'now' that you can read but we can't let any of the information leave the house."
She held out a small tablet.
"Kim, why don't you go up to my son's bedroom to read this with him? And, yes, close his door."
We ended up sprawled on my bed with our heads together poring over the background provided on the tablet, which, really, seemed to be more of someone's notebook full of little observations about a race called the Darjee. The story could probably be published as a SciFi novel.
I noticed, by the time we were half-way through, that I had a hard-on from hell and that Kim was looking over at me more and more, so I looked at her and smiled. She smiled back to me, a lovely look on her face, and I was startled when she moved towards me, pushing me to my back.
After Kim and I had finished rubbing against each other and were 'kissed out' enough to think again, given we'd made out as if our lives had depended on it, I had to get up. I gave her another quick kiss, pulled out a new pair of briefs and jeans, and, as I was about to leave for the bathroom to change into dry underwear, Kim stopped me. "What do you have to leave for?"
"Uhhh ... well ... shortly after you rolled me onto my back and climbed on top of me to kiss my brains out ... and we rubbed our, ummm, against each other, I, well..."
"Oh, you came in your pants?" she asked, seemingly happy and excited.
I must have blushed. I had certainly appreciated having her wrapped around me but the aftermath was still, well, uncomfortable. I nodded.
"Let me help" she said, jumping off the bed and reaching for my belt.
Despite everything else, I was afraid. Kim looked me in the eye and smiled as my pants dropped and then my saturated briefs, and, between the sudden airing of my formerly hidden "naughty bits" and the presence of a pretty girl who'd already kissed, cuddled and humped me in my room, my wet member showed that my body did have the legendary recovery power of an early teenager despite my apparent lack of sexual psychosis.
Kim used the underwear I stepped out of to wipe me off and took hold of my hardon. "All right, I know you're uncomfortable, but you're okay, Kim, and I still like you, but I have to try something."
When I finally got dressed I watched as Kim worked her tongue on her lips and in her mouth. To me she seemed suddenly like an example of angelic beauty all out of proportion to how I'd seen her before and I had thought she was adorable even before this moment. She seemed so special, suddenly, that I leaned over to give her a quick kiss.
In hindsight, if I hadn't been so comfortably infatuated with Kim in the afterglow of my first blow job I would likely have been freaked out by the taste of myself, but, at that moment, I was too happy to care.
We finally managed to finish the file in the tablet and then went downstairs where my mom sat in her office. On her screen was a view of my bedroom.
Kim turned white when my mom smiled at her. "Sit down, Kimberly. Kimball, go get her, and yourself, sodas from the kitchen."
I returned with two cans of Pepsi and handed one to Kim who smiled at me. I noticed my mom smiling, too, so it seemed she wasn't upset. She waved me to the other side of the loveseat.
"All right, I'm pretty happy with your explorations" she started and I interrupted her.
"Mom, why do you have a camera in my bedroom?"
She smiled. "This house is closely watched by an AI and it has been learning about human beings from us and many of our neighbors. I am not privy to any of the audio-video feeds but the AI did let me know that they exist and, for the first time, decided I should pay attention to you both. On top of that, well, I wasn't warned, earlier, that the AI had added an element of 'attraction' into your conditioning as a mechanism of reinforcement. It kind of explains why your dad and I..."
From the look in her eye and the way she was talking I knew I didn't want to hear this so I interrupted her again, making the "T" with my hands and yelling "TMI! TMI!"
My mom smirked and turned to Kim. "Kim, can you stay over-night?"
She shook her head. "I suspect my parents will freak if I stayed here given that there aren't any girls of the right age group to have a sleep-over with."
"How about dinner with us?"
"Actually, since I have to make dinner for them, no, I can't do that either, damn it."
My mom sighed and another voice seemed to come from the middle of the ceiling, saying "Given the age differential it is recommended that they fully mate at least once in the next hour and repeat it, twice, by tomorrow morning."
Kim's eyes were like saucers. So were mine. Kim got her voice back before I did, asking "Who was that?"
The voice returned "I am one of the AIs. Given the lack of time before Kimberly must leave for home or be declared as 'missing' I would recommend that both of the subjects use the transport disk to reach the central base so we can have them run through med-tubes to ensure long-term security. We cannot otherwise allow them to be seperated so early in this conditioning process."
My mom spoke to the voice with some heat "Why do you want to bond them?"
We listened as the voice explained to my mother "We need to ensure their conditioning lasts for several months, not for just two weeks. Bonding them will ensure that there are rewards despite your son falling just short of his optimum age for emigration but his emotional development is ahead of the majority of humans we have observed. It would seem you humans excel at providing exceptions to every proposed rule and we must deal with this complication without destroying the value these two represent. In order to protect them we would prefer to bond them to each other. We recognize that Kimball's age and lack of experience, coupled with Kimberly's lack of experience, does make it unlikely to disconnect them later but their various CAP sub-scores do indicate that they are complementary in skills and talents, and, in human terms, an exceptionally good match. If we must have this couple emigrate, we will want you to collect both Petra Koenig and Susan White for transport and we can provide evidence that all four are runaways."
"And you find it critical to enforce this?"