Police Sergeant Mike Dunwoody is a small-town cop, nearing the end of his service in New Mexico.
One evening, whilst waiting for two local miscreants who use the highway as a drag strip for their pickups, he sees something odd in the desert and goes to investigate. A flash flood fills the dry gulch with swirling water, and he sees what he believes is a child being swept off to certain death. He risks his life to save the child, but as he reaches dry land, he discovers that it is not a child, at least not a human child, and as his heart suffers a potentially fatal attack, his sacrifice leaves the commander of the alien ship with something of a quandary.
Mike’s body is beyond repair, but as the individual he saved is special, the captain decides to revive Mike, but so as not to risk certain exposure, the cloned body is slightly modified so the new Mike will not be able to tell of the experience.
The modifications? Mike wakes up as Michelle.
And Michelle is an awful lot more efficient than most girls.
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The Legal Stuff: Whispers in the Mind ©2004 Tanya Allan
This work is the property of the author, and the author retains full copyright, in relation to printed material, whether on paper or electronically. Any adaptation of the whole or part of the material for broadcast by radio, TV, or for stage plays or film, is the right of the author unless negotiated through legal contract. Permission is granted for it to be copied and read by individuals, and for no other purpose. Any commercial use by anyone other than the author is strictly prohibited, and may only be posted to free sites with the express permission of the author.
This work is fictitious, and any similarities to any persons, alive or dead, are purely coincidental. Mention is made of persons in public life only for the purposes of realism, and for that reason alone. Certain licence is taken in respect of medical procedures, terms and conditions, and the author does not claim to be the fount of all knowledge.
The author accepts the right of the individual to hold his/her (or whatever) own political, religious and social views, and there is no intention to deliberately offend anyone. If you wish to take offence, that is your problem.
This is only a story, and it contains adult material, which includes sex and intimate descriptive details pertaining to genitalia. If this is likely to offend, then don’t read it.
<<Captain, scanners show landing area is clear.>>
<<Good, silent mode, activate cloaking screen.>>
<<Begin descent. Number Three, keep your eye on the scanner and abort descent at the first sign of any contact.>>
<<Beginning descent, Captain.>>
<<Notify science officer to make ready his team. I will give them four gronks (time units) to get the job done.>>
The Captain sat in the command chair, while the bridge officers sat at the crescent shaped console in front. There were eight of them on the bridge and, had a human been there, he or she would not have been able to tell them apart. The lighting on the bridge was dim, but the controls were sufficiently illuminated for the job at hand.
The Captain, as were they all, was a hairless biped with a large domed head. With skin the colour of an elephant and of a similar texture, leathery grey, with a basic humanoid form, these beings were definitely not from earth.
They had two arms, two legs, with feet and hands with four digits on each. They were quite puny looking by human standards, with slight muscle development on the limbs and a narrow torso. All were between 4’6” and 5’ in height, and the size of furniture and room was proportionate.
The strength of these creatures was not physical, but mental. For in the large cranium lay a brain that was three times more efficient than the human brain, and as the entire previous conversation took place in silence, one would understand that they were telepathic beings.
They had facial features that would not necessarily be considered ugly by Earth standards. Not human, but the large dark eyes were actually hypnotically attractive. There was a vestige of a nose, and a small thin mouth, which was used solely for eating. Two small ears were where they should be, but as these creatures never used spoken language, their vocal chords and hearing abilities were severely restricted.
The race was an old one, belonging to a system many parsecs beyond the far rim, thousands of light years from earth. Their sun had gone Nova several thousand generations ago, so the race was scattered amongst the stars in vast mother ships.
Now doomed to search out suitable planets for colonisation, this planet, called ‘Earth’ by the inhabitants, seemed quite promising when first discovered two centuries ago.
The race were omni-sexual, in that for much of the time they were neuter, but at will the individual could assume the gender of their choice depending upon the situation they were currently experiencing. This was a development of assisted-evolution, as their survival factors were vastly increased by such a characteristic.
Offspring were nurtured in co-operative units, allowing parents only the responsibility of conception, pregnancy and birth. Any individual could lactate at will, allowing those who were skilled in childcare to undertake the task, thus allowing others to continue with their specialised tasks unimpeded by children.
Theirs was a race on the edge of extinction.
Their life expectancy was in the region of four or five times that of an Earth human, but their fertility was about one eighth.
It took an individual twenty Earth-years to reach maturity and become fertile. It took another twelve years to reach basic optimum mental operating capacity, and to be able to function efficiently. Each individual hoped to have four offspring during their lifetime, but recently, the reality was two or three at best, with the majority infertile of unable to carry a child full-term.
The Captain of this scout ship was two hundred Earth-years old, so was exceptionally experienced at the task in hand. This task was to identify a suitable location whereby a small colony could be seeded away from the indigenous population, in order to create a living cell that could exist apart from the rest of the race, thereby increasing the chances of their race’s survival.
Such colonies were seeded on hundreds of planets across thousands of systems, and they were bound by strict rules.
- No contact was permitted with the indigenous people for a minimum period of one hundred local years, and only thereafter if full knowledge and acceptance had been achieved.
- Should accidental contact be made, then no harm was permitted to be affected against the locals, and steps must be taken to eradicate any memories of the contact.
Thus they managed to co-exist without any awareness by their hosts, and by using their incredibly powerful mental skills, this co-existence was assured.
<<Captain, landing in one-quarter gronk.>>
<<Thank you. Notify science team to attend exit section.>>
The ship assumed a hover, and at no time did it come into contact with the ground. As the technician responsible for maintaining the attitude of the craft adjusted the final hover, for a split second, the screen flickered as power was diverted into the anti-gravity device.
The Science team exited down a ramp, where briefly, the glow of the internal section of the ship escaped into the New Mexico desert. Then darkness and stillness returned, as the team of fifteen dispersed into the still night.
Each was clad in a black, one-piece suit. The term chameleon would be a good one, as the suits were designed to take on the characteristics of the local terrain, both in colour and in texture. Clothing was rarely worn, and only for specific purposes, such as this.
They rarely carried weapons, as they knew their mental powers were so sophisticated, so that there was no need for anything as crudely destructive as a weapon.
They wore hoods and facemasks, not because the atmosphere was poisonous to them, but as a precaution against local germs and bacteria, and so as not to import theirs to the planet. They were seeking to ascertain whether this remote part of North America could sustain another underground colony. They had already tested the soil, the vegetation and the local fauna. Humans were a known risk, so this part of the desert was as safe as they could find.
They needed to know whether their digging machines would be able to operate effectively here, and so tests were necessary to ascertain the strata and formation of the rock to a depth of a thousand metres. Their machines were so effective that, with the right conditions, a complete system of tunnels and chambers could be constructed in a thousand time gronks. This would be suitable for a colony of five hundred individuals.
There were already eight colonies of this size on Earth, and the Captain of the Mother ship was hoping to double the numbers over the next twelve months.
The New Mexico desert was cool and the night air was still. The stars were displaying their glory against the inky black sky, and small creatures scuttled about on the dirt.
The highway stretched like a black piece of elastic, stretched in a straight line across the flat plain, the white lines merging with the edges in the distance. A pair of headlights approached the small bridge over a small dry gully, and the 4x4 police truck pulled over onto the hard shoulder just before the bridge. The driver switched the engine off, and the silence resumed. The voice of the police dispatcher punctured the peace, so Sergeant Mike Dunwoody turned off the set.
Mike frowned, easing off his seat belt. He felt a tightness across his chest, and had been feeling rough for a few days. Carol, his wife, had told him to see old Doc Henry, but Mike thought he was just having a spell of indigestion.
With twenty-five years in law enforcement, which was after seven years with the Air Force Security Police, he had completed fifteen years with the NYPD. Then he and Carol had brought the family out to New Mexico, where he had joined the local Sheriff’s department. Stillswood was a sleepy town, but he liked it. Mike was eligible for retirement and, now his kids were both in employment, he knew that he would be silly not to go for it soon. In truth, he loved the job and would miss it like crazy.
He was glad to have left New York, as it was getting manic there. He was grateful that he had left before 9/11, as his life-style here was much more laid-back.
He reclined the seat a couple of notches and looked at his watch, - 3 a.m.. He was waiting for the Tucker boys, and he knew they were due to come this way at around 03.30 in their super-charged pickups. Their races were the talk of the town, so much so that several thousand dollars rode on the outcome of the next race. It was time to put an end to their games before someone died, and Mike planned to do just that.
He had a spike strip that he would deploy across the road, and then he would book the sons of bitches.
He settled down to wait, absently looking out across the desert at the mountains to the West.
Movement caught his eye and he frowned. It was hard to tell what the movement was, or how near it was to him. At first, he thought it was an aircraft, but then it seemed to be on the ground. He lost it for a moment, but then came a brief pulse of light, which vanished as quickly as it came.
He opened the box in the back of the truck, taking out the night vision head set. He then started the truck, driving down into the dry gully towards where he thought he had seen the flash.
There were rumours of drug smugglers flying choppers into the desert and meeting fast trucks that took the drugs to Las Vegas. If he could go out with a big drugs bust, then he’d be made for life. There may even be a movie made of him. He smiled at the thought.
He was a big man, six-three and 238 lbs. He had been a hard muscled man a few years ago, but now he was fifty, most of it was fat. A lack of exercise and too much of the wrong food was the cause, and he kept meaning to change - tomorrow.
He drove slowly and very carefully. There had been a lot of rain in the mountains recently, so this gully could become a torrent in no time. Such was the dryness that the torrent would come and go, yet the gully would be dry again within twelve hours.
Several times he stopped, listening through the open windows. There was nothing to hear, except the usual night sounds of the desert. He was about to give up and return to catch the Tuckers when he heard a roar.
He smiled, knowing that sound, so, wasting no time, he immediately drove up the bank onto the desert floor.
Sure enough, within a couple of minutes a wall of raging water surged past his truck, heading for the bridge some two miles away now.
Mike got out of his truck, watching the swirling water. He was amazed as he saw what he thought was a child being swept along, with arms and legs flailing.
Taking off the head-set, he immediately trained the searchlight onto the figure, driving the truck along the edge of the gully as the beam locked onto the unfortunate individual.
He drove fast, overtaking the figure and heading for a bend in the gully. He parked, got out, unclipped the winch hawser and clipped it onto his duty rig. He watched as the water swirled past, and then he caught sight of the child.
They must have been camping up stream. Damn kids, he thought.
On wading into the water, he almost lost his footing several times as the power of the water was so forceful. As he waited in the middle for the child, a log hit him on the chest.
Winded and unsteady, he caught sight of the figure, so as it approached, he grabbed, holding onto a leg.
Activating the remote unit for the winch, he just held his casualty, allowing the truck to pull them both to the safety of the bank. He felt the tightness in his chest return, but this time, it hurt, a heck of a lot more than before.
He felt his feet touch the bank, so managed to scrabble up onto dry land. He pulled the bedraggled figure to safety, falling forward onto his hands and knees. He was gasping for breath, so he thought that the log must have hit him harder than he had thought, maybe cracking his ribs.
He unclipped the winch, and turned the kid over onto his back. He blinked a couple of times as he looked at the child’s face.
While frowning, the heart attack caused him to pass out.
<<Captain.>> the science officer said.
<<I know. I was aware of Ruma until the moment it lost consciousness.>>
<<Ruma is still alive.>>
<<Accepted. Have you visual?>>
<<Negative, the water swept it out of our range.>>
<<It is stationary now, six clicks east.>>
<<I will effect retrieval and evacuation.>>
The science officer paused. It was well known that, unusually, this particular casualty was the offspring of the Captain, and was some twenty years old. It was a young science student attached to the ship. The Captain had only ever had one child as a female, so was particularly attached to it, having carried and given birth. This was not usual practice, but certain eccentricities were accepted, particularly in one so respected.
The science team made its way cautiously yet rapidly in the direction the flood had taken their companion. The technician, who arrived first, saw the unconscious human and the now spluttering student lying side by side.
<<Captain, Ruma is regaining consciousness. It would appear that a human has saved it.>>
<<I am aware of that. Is the human alive?>>
<<Barely, my senses detect cardiac arrest.>>
<<Number One, anything in scan range?>>
<<Negative Captain. All clear.>>
<<Then proceed to that location and retrieve both casualties.>>
The large ship gently floated towards the scene, coming to rest yards away from the parked police vehicle. The winch cable was lying on the ground where Mike had dropped it. The door of the truck was still open, and the small internal light gave off a bright glow in the otherwise inky dark.
The science team assisted Ruma back to consciousness, and were ready to transfer the half-drowned student to the sick bay on the craft.
The police officer was lying unconscious where he had fallen, his breath coming short and rapid, while his pulse was weakening and sporadic.
Within moments, both casualties were onboard, so the craft left as silently as it had arrived.
When a safe distance from Earth, the craft simply stopped, and the Captain made its way to the medical unit.
It stood looking at the still figure of the human, while three medics were working hard to save his life.
Ruma was in a cubicle to the left, so the Captain went to see it.
<<Captain. I am sorry. I failed you.>>
<<No, it was an accident. You were not to know that there would be a flood.>>
<<I should have read the topography. I knew it was a dry watercourse and that precipitation could cause excess water to drain from the high ground.>>
<<Then you have learned, and are the richer for it.>>
<<What will happen to the human?>>
<<It is very sick, I think it will die>>
<<It saved my life.>>
<<It has come to the end of its life, it is nature, and we do not interfere with nature.>>
<<It sacrificed its life for me.>>
<<What would you have us do? We can’t just save it and put it back with no memory, as that is against the law. The humans are not stupid, there are those who are aware we exist, so will try anything to uncover our colonies.>>
<<I don’t know, I just feel we owe it something.>>
The Captain agreed, but kept its thoughts private.
<<Rest, you will be ready to work soon,>> the Captain said to it’s child.
It returned to the emergency room, where it stood as technicians attached various devices and monitors to the human.
<<Captain?>> the senior medic thought.
<<The human is stable, but critical. I do not have the knowledge of human physiology to risk open-heart surgery. I fear it will die.>>
The Captain thought for a moment. Ruma’s words echoed in its brain.
<<Is it possible to create a replica?>>
The medic was surprised, and its body language expressed this. The creation of copies, or clones, was legitimate for their own species, but rarely used with other races.
<<In theory, yes. The cellular composition is not that different to ourselves, but isn’t it risky?>>
<<Only if we create a perfect copy. What do you know of the humans?>>
The medic paused.
<<Not much, they are short-lived, quite inefficient mentally, physically strong, yet quite primitive.>>
<<Are you aware of their gender differences?>>
The medic was embarrassed, as the permanence of the human’s gender was almost a taboo subject. The exceptionally rare members of their race who were ‘stuck’ in one gender in perpetuity were considered deviant.
<<Yes Captain. They are born with a gender, so keep it all their lives.>>
<<Indeed, their short lives mean they are fertile from about their tenth year until their fiftieth. They can have a child a year during their fertile years.>>
<<Amazing, and just one of a pair does this?>>
<<Just so, and many couples mate for life.>>
The medic was silent, as the enormity of this statement affected it deeply.
<<The human, it is male?>>
<<Yes captain. It, sorry, he is a large male, and in poor physical shape. Overweight, with chronic heart disease and related difficulties. He has reached the end of his natural life.>>
<<It is wearing a uniform, and is that a weapon on the belt arrangement?>>
<<We believe that he is a law enforcer, a POLICE officer. The weapon is a handgun and fires small metal projectiles in order to cause deep trauma to the targets.>>
<<To the point of death?>>
<<I believe so, yes.>>
<<Barbaric. It is hard to imagine a race who need their protectors to be so armed. It is indicative of a society that is dangerously ill-equipped to face up to its responsibilities. They do not deserve this planet.>>
<<How long has it got?>>
<<I am not sure, as long as he is attached to the medical auxiliary unit, it is indefinite, but it is an inefficient use of the equipment, it would be better to let him die.>>
<<How long to create a copy?>>
<<Twenty gronks, in the accelerator.>>
<<What do you need?>>
<<I have the necessary DNA and cells. I just need instructions. You stated you said we should not want to create an exact replica?>>
<<No, for two reasons. One, the replica will have the same in-bred potential for heart disease, and two, he would be identified and cause us potential problems. Even if the memories are erased, there is a chance that some vestiges remain and we will be put at risk.>>
<<Then what do you want me to do?>>
<<We will construct the human to new specifications. We cannot alter its base DNA, but we can change everything else. So, you will change the subject’s gender, but you will also make necessary improvements to the cellular development. This human saved one of us, so make it stronger, faster and give it mental capacity to communicate as we do. For too long we have been alone, so I have in mind to create a being who will become an intermediary, even if it may not be immediately aware of us. Perhaps its offspring will inherit its abilities, so both races may grow closer as a result.>>
<<What form do you wish it to take?>>
The captain moved over to a console, and pushed a few onscreen buttons. A picture of a human TV film appeared, and it was Sigourney Weaver in Alien.
<<This female displays the protective qualities and the necessary courage that appears to be admirable in the human society. Therefore, I want it to be physically strong but with all the necessary the female physical and psychological qualities that seem to be desirable amongst the humans. There are seventy of their allegedly beautiful females in this data base, I want it to be a composite of the best qualities of all of them.>>
The Captain allowed various images to flick on the screen, those of the Charlie’s Angels, Lara Croft, Linda Hamilton from Terminator, and many more.
The Captain left, and the medics busied themselves.
Mike Dunwoody dreamed.
He was floating and was looking down at himself. His body was lying flat on his Mom’s kitchen table with his eyes shut. Mike looked around, but saw stars all around him.
He tried to remember why he was here. He remembered the pain in his chest, and then he remembered the log in the water.
Why had he been in the water?
The effort to remember was too great, and he floated watching the stars for a while. They were very beautiful.
Then he remembered the child, and why he had gone into the water.
He remembered the torrent of swirling water and the thin leg that he grabbed. For an age, his mind went through the battle against the current, and the pain in his chest was ever present.
Suddenly, he was watching his own wedding. Then he watched his children playing softball in the park near their home. Before his eyes, the kids grew into the young man and woman whom they were when he had last seen them, so he wondered if this was when he was supposed to die. Absently he half-expected St. Peter or the black cloaked Death to come to him. No one came.
He felt frustrated, because he couldn’t remember whether the child had lived or died.
Then he recalled rolling the child over and gazing at a face that surprised him.
For the face that stared up at him was not of a child, but a grey creature with enormous eyes.
He recoiled into his brain in shock.
He had saved an alien.
<<How is it?>>
<<The transition has been completed, Captain. But it is showing some signs of mental shock.>>
<<I know that, how is it?>>
<<We will not know until it regains consciousness.>>
The Captain gazed at the figure of the human. This human was younger and very different to the other form, which was now lying very still on an adjacent table.
Its mental anguish was very apparent, which leaked, causing consternation amongst the whole crew.
<<Is the source unit redundant?>>
<<Affirmative, it is a simple shell. What would you have us do with it?>>
<<Take it off life support and allow it to die.>>
The technician switched off the machine, so the body that had once held the life and soul of Mike Dunwoody breathed its last.
<<Do they all have those large globes on their upper chest?>> asked the Captain, regarding the new creature on the table.
<<Yes Captain, all mature females have the mammary glands. Some are larger than others. Large ones seem to be considered more attractive.>>
<<They seem enormous, do they not affect balance?>>
<<Apparently not, but actually, these ones are not excessive, but I believe they are above slightly average. We have kept everything in direct proportion. It would be dangerous to create something that was deemed unnatural.>>
<<I agree, it is just the shape of the body is so different to the male. It goes in at the waist and out at the hips. Is this natural?>>
“Indeed, the shape is directly connected to the female’s primary function. This function of the female is to bear children exclusively has created a physiology appropriate for the task. They carry their foetus for almost twice as long as do we, and therefore the babies are nearly twice the size to our children. The pelvis has to be shaped like this as the baby could attain a size of up to twenty Hals.>>
The Captain was silent in thought for a moment.
<<Also, Captain, the deceased male body has been permitted to acquire surplus fat deposits, and mainly on the lower half of the torso. This would also be a deviation from the ideal shape. It seems that these creatures have the knowledge of what is good for them, but too many enjoy a diet containing too many destructive elements.>>
<<What is that on the top of her head?>>
<<Hair. Many human females maintain long hair, as it is considered fashionable. We simply permitted it to grow as long as we could in the time available.>>
<<Fashionable? What is this?>>
<<The humans adorn themselves with constructed textiles and paint. They even alter the length, colour and shape of their hair to be in fashion. The popular trends are what are considered fashion, so whole industries have grown up to support this.>>
<<These beings are truly foolish. Their planet is being destroyed under them, and they waste time an effort on such things?>>
<<All the more reason to establish colonies here, for these creatures are bent on self destruction.>>
The figure on the bed groaned and moved slightly, as several medics appeared and all watched it with interest.
Mike fought the fog. He felt he was floating in fog with the consistency of treacle.
He was hearing strange voices in his head, and he kept seeing monsters float past him. Huge eyes stared at him, unblinking and boring right into his soul.
He now believed he had died, and was under scrutiny before being damned.
He smelled a strange scent, and it calmed his uneasy spirit. He smiled and drifted into a blissfully dreamless sleep.
<<It is asleep. I have administered a mild sedative. The transition is complete, and it needs to rest.>>
<<Good, for how long?>>
<<I am not sure, perhaps ten gronks.>>
The Captain left the medical unit and returned to the bridge.
<<Number One. Return to the site of the accident. I want the dead human returned to the vicinity of its vehicle.>>
<<Captain, it is daylight.>> The officer was concerned that the Captain was taking an unnecessary risk.
<<I am aware of that. We need to return the human before the vehicle is discovered. So, as fast as possible, leave the body and then leave again.>>
<<Is this wise?>>
<<Scan the area, Number One.>> The Captain was determined, so, discussion over, the officer relented.
The ship returned, and having discerned no potential threats, was above Mike’s police vehicle in a matter of moments. The dead body of Sergeant Mike Dunwoody now lay a short distance from the vehicle, with all his clothes and equipment intact.
“Sheriff McGuire?” said a female voice; it was Sally, the dispatcher.
“What is it, Sal?”
“They’ve found Mike’s pick-up.”
“They’re out by Booker’s Bridge, up the gulch towards Harry’s Hill.”
“Have they landed?”
“Not yet, sir.”
Steve McGuire turned his jeep round and headed for the bridge. The sun was hot, so the dust blew in clouds from behind his spinning wheels. The floods of the previous night had now evaporated, and it was as if they had never been.
“They found Mike, sir, and, sir, I’m sorry, but it don’t look good.”
“Damn!” Steve swore.
He and Mike had become good friends. Mike was a good cop, they had first met in New York, and Steve had been responsible for persuading Mike to consider moving out here.
Twenty minutes later, he arrived at the scene. Mike’s truck stood parked with the door open, and the winch cable lay in the dust. The helicopter settled fifty yards away, looking like a lazy dragonfly.
The two deputies from the helicopter were standing looking at the ground.
Steve got out and ran over to them. Mike’s body lay on the ground. He was curled on his side, but he looked remarkably restful.
Steve looked at Sean, the pilot.
“You checked him?”
“Sure, no pulse and he’s as cold as ice. He’s dead, Boss.”
“Nope, looks like natural causes, but he has been in the water.”
Steve looked at the man’s clothes. They showed the classic signs of having been wet, even though they were almost dry now. He reached down, took out Mike’s Glock from his holster and checked it. The leather was damp, and all rounds were still in the weapon.
“Why did he go into the water?” he asked.
Charlie, the other deputy, shrugged.
“Who knows, maybe he thought he saw someone?”
Steve walked over to the bank. He squatted down and looked at the edge. Then he jumped into the by now dry gully.
“Look here. What do you see?”
The two deputies walked over and looked where Steve was pointing.
There were obvious marks of where Mike had clambered out of the flood. The hawser had cut a deep furrow into the bank as it was hauling the weight of its burden back to dry land.
They saw marks of where Mike had put his feet, and even where he had placed his left hand. There were also the marks of where whatever he was cradling in his right arm had been rolled over the bank onto dry land.
The men looked, but this part was so hard and dusty that prints were not even a vague possibility.
“Okay, we know he went into the water, and he brought something out. It looks like he unhitched himself and then keeled over. So, what did he bring out, and where is it?”
The deputies shrugged and Steve felt frustrated.
“Okay, take a good look around, and tell me what you find.”
The guys moved off and Steve looked at the dry riverbed. He jumped back into the gully and walked slowly down stream.
He saw Doc Henry’s car turn off the highway and start towards the other cars. He ignored him, as it was too damn late.
He was about to return, when something black caught his eye. It was half-covered by dry mud, so he pulled it out.
It was a rubberised facemask, but a very odd shape.
He placed it up against his own face and found that the eyepieces were in the wrong place, and his nose got in the way. He examined it carefully, and felt that its design was just all wrong. Not even a child could wear this.
He then had a really stupid thought, and it made him shiver.
No, he told himself, don’t be stupid, - Aliens don’t exist.
Then he looked at the mask, and he almost dropped it. He swallowed, beginning to feel very afraid.
They took the body back to the hospital, where Dr Hutchins, the coroner’s pathologist, conducted an autopsy. The doctor phoned Steve, who went over as soon as he could.
The doctor was clearly upset at dealing with a well-known and loved local cop, who was also a personal friend. He shook Steve’s hand solemnly.
“Steve. Bad business this. I’ve just finished with Mike. He had a massive heart attack. He had a really diseased heart, so it was a miracle he lasted as long as he did.”
“Anything else?” Steve asked.
The doctor shook his head, but was clearly uncomfortable. He led Steve into the back room. Mike’s remains were under a sheet on the operating table. The doctor pulled back the sheet, showing Steve what he meant.
“Not really. There’s no doubt about it, it was a heart attack. But there are other things. Look here, he had an impact bruise on his chest, probably a log or something. There were some odd marks, but I suppose he may have sustained some more injuries in the flood.”
“Nothing serious, abrasions and minor bruises, not to worry about. It’s weird, because it looks as if someone placed him on a medical monitor. The marks are where the pickups were stuck on, and he has what looks like an intravenous mark on one arm.”
Steve saw several slightly red perfect circles on the upper chest area. They did indeed look like the marks of medical monitors. Small bruises and scratches covered Mike’s body, where the rocks had scraped against him as the winch dragged him from the water.
The small hole in his wrist was inconclusive; a thorn could just as easily have made it.
“What are you telling me, that someone tried to save him?”
“They are not conclusive, but that has to be a possibility.”
“Well, the way skin behaves, these marks were made when he was still alive. They were removed after he died.”
“I really don’t know. But there was something else that would support this theory, as it’s pretty strange too.”
“His shirt buttons were done up wrong, and his shoes were on the wrong feet. I’d say that someone undressed him, and then re-dressed him.”
All the clothes were now in a bag, but there were Polaroid photographs of everything he had mentioned. Steve took them and put them in his file.
Steve got nothing else from the doctor, and left, returning to his office. He looked at the piece of paper on his desk. He had written down some bullet points.
- Mike had left the highway.
- What did he see?
- Mike had gone into the water attached to the winch.
- What was in the water?
- Mike came out of the water carrying something.
- What was he carrying?
- Mike unhitched the winch.
- He died of a heart attack.
- His body shows that someone tried to save him attached to sophisticated medical equipment.
- Who tried to save him?
- Where are they now?
- Where did this happen?
- Why did they leave him?
- Whoever he saved lost a mask.
- What was it for?
- Why did they need it?
- Who undressed him and why get his shoes wrong?
- Who wouldn’t know about shoes?
•Native Americans…not any more.
•Hippies…not many left.
•African tribesmen…not many in New Mexico.
•South American Indians….the same.
Steve stared at the bit of paper. He reached for the phone.
Mike stirred. He opened his eyes. He was lying on a bed, with a thin sheet covering him.
The room was in semi-darkness, but a faint light seemed to glow from the top corners of the walls, where they joined the ceiling. There was enough light to see.
As his eyes adjusted, he could see no furniture in the room at all. He figured he was in hospital, as he guessed that his heart had probably given out. He could see no heart monitor, and there were no drips attached to his arms.
His brain was still in treacle, and he had a problem trying to form thoughts. Images and stray thoughts flitted in and out like butterflies in a beautiful flower garden. He formed an image of his badge, focussing on that image. He was a cop, so he thought that he could cope with anything.
He moved his head, becoming aware of a strange sensation about his head and ears. The small movement made him feel nauseous and he stayed still for a moment, just looking at the ceiling. He frowned, as he knew that normally his eyesight would mean the ceiling would be out of focus, yet he managed to focus perfectly. He smiled; maybe his eyesight had improved through the experience.
He raised an arm to his head, but felt panic as he touched a vast mane of hair sprouting from his head.
“What the fuck?” he said, aloud.
The sound of his voice also startled him, for gone was the deep bass he was accustomed to, and in its place was a melodic but definitely feminine soprano.
He gently sat up, leaning on his elbows, experiencing a moment’s nausea and dizziness. Thankfully, the sick feeling passed, but as the sheet fell away to his waist, he felt a slight chill. He raised his right hand to his chest. His hand froze as soon as it came into contact with his chest, and very slowly he looked down. A feeling of shock and disbelief grew from the pit of his stomach, as his eyes adjusted properly to the poor light.
That poor light was sufficient for him to see that his hand was now cupping one of a pair of substantial, yet perfectly formed female breasts, which his chest now sported, with large nipples and deep brown aureoles.
It was a feeling of surreal detachment he watched as his forefinger and thumb gently rolled the hardening nipple, and a strange feeling of pleasure seemed to well up deep within him.
Slowly, with racing heart, he pulled the sheet away from his groin with his other hand. He dropped it onto the floor, staring in disbelief at his crotch.
There, with a gentle covering of fine golden pubic hair was a perfectly formed vagina. He moved his legs, and was strangely unsurprised to see they were beautifully shaped and very feminine. He swung these lovely limbs over the edge of the bed, and stood on his pair of now trembling legs. He had seen beautiful women in his time; indeed, his wife Carol had been stunning in her youth. He knew he was now looking down at the most magnificent example of female beauty, but from the inside!
Somehow, someone had managed to make him dream that he was an incredibly stunning female.
The light became brighter, a door opened, and he saw everything in stark clarity. In total shock, he looked up and saw the monsters that entered the room.
The girl who had once been Sergeant Mike Dunwoody fainted.
<<It was not anticipated, Captain. The human is physically stronger than we are and the sedative wore off faster than expected. It seemed mentally incapable of accepting reality.>>
<<Surely we could monitor its mind?>>
<<For some reason, even when unconscious, this human can shield its mind from us.>>
They looked at the unconscious woman on the floor by the bed.
<<Why has it passed out?>>
<<Shock. I believe that human brains simply shut down in times of extreme anxiety.>>
<<How inefficient. Why is it in shock?>>
<<Quite inefficient, yes. We are endeavouring to open a means of communicating with it. I fear the stress of discovering that it is now a different gender has aggravated the situation, but I fear our appearance is probably the primary reason for the shock.>>
<<Open communications as soon as possible, and then attempt to reassure it that we mean it no harm.>>
<<Yes Captain. I will also attempt to remove the mental stress of being female. I can insert a very strong feeling of contentment at being female.>>
Mike came round again. She was back on the bed and the lights were on. She raised her arm to her breast again. She felt first the right one, and then the left. She let her hand slide down to her crotch, and delicately allowed her fingers to encounter the soft female flesh she encountered. She smiled.
She was still naked, yet a sheet covered her. She felt slightly light-headed and had a feeling that she was supposed to remember something, but it was illusively beyond her recall. She allowed herself to pinch a small piece of flesh on her inner thigh.
“Ow. Fuck, that hurt. Shit, this is one hell of a dream,” she said aloud and in a girl’s voice. It wasn’t a dream.
She remembered that she was a girl. Had she always been a girl? She frowned, as her brain was playing tricks.
<<Do not be afraid,>> came a voice inside her head.
“Who’s there?” she said, turning round.
<<My name is Lyja. I am a medical technician. You would call me a doctor.>>
“Where are you?”
<<It is not wise for you to see us without some mental preparation.>>
Mike realised that somehow they were talking directly into her head.
“I’m a girl?” she asked, half a statement and half question. It sounded stupid even to her ears, as the evidence was overwhelming.
<<You are female, correct.>>
Some memories returned, but in no specific order.
“How come? Last time I looked I was a man,” she said, wondering why she felt she ought to be really worried, and yet she wasn’t.
<<Your other body died, so it was necessary to replace it.>>
It made sense, of sorts, but she was still confused. She tried to make some order of her maelstrom of memories. There was a river, a flash flood, and the pain. She remembered the pains in her, no his chest. She looked down to her new and very female chest.
“Why with a girl’s?” she asked.
<<The Captain had reasons.>>
“What reasons?” asked Mike, getting slightly angry now. She wanted straight answers, but they were avoiding providing them.
<<The Captain will come and converse with you. Do not be afraid, but we are not human.>>
Mike remembered the monsters and sat up, wrapping the sheet under her arms and over her magnificent breasts.
The door opened and a figure walked in and stood at the end of the bed.
It was about 4’5” and naked. It was grey with wrinkled skin. Two large dark eyes stared at Mike, making her feel very uncomfortable. The head was bald and there were small ears, nose and mouth. The build was as a child’s, but the limbs were slender and the fingers long and appeared sensitive. Funnily enough, she was neither afraid nor that shocked, so she wondered whether they had managed to brainwash her into accepting the situation.
<<Do not be afraid, I mean you no harm.>>
“I’m not afraid. If you wanted to harm me you would have hardly have gone to all this trouble first,” she said.
<<Exactly. I am the Captain. You saved the life of my child, and for that you yourself have been permitted to live.>>
Mike frowned, but then she remembered the figure in the water.
<<Quite so, the child was in the water. You risked your life to save it.>>
The door opened and another similar creature entered. The skin looked slightly less wrinkled, but Mike was hard pressed to tell them apart.
<<I am Ruma. I was the one you saved,>> the new-comer projected.
“I’m glad you’re okay,” Mike said.
<<You do not need to vocalise. Merely focus your response as thoughts,>> the Captain said.
<<Okay, how’s this?>> she asked, mentally.
The two creatures held the sides of their heads and appeared in some discomfort.
<<Quieter, if you please.>>
Mike frowned, how the hell do you whisper in your mind?
<<How’s this?>> she thought, as quietly as she could.
<<Better. Now you have questions?>>
<<You bet. Now why am I female now, where the fuck am I and who the fuck are you? Oh shit, I don’t know where to start.>>
The two creatures reeled under the mental shout that Mike unwittingly unleashed.
They recovered, but Mike took the time to take stock of the situation. She was female and, by the look of things, not unattractive, although she had yet to look in a mirror. Hell, alive was alive, and the chest pains had gone. She remembered waking up the first time, and the shock she had experienced at discovering she was now a girl. Why did she not feel so worried any more?
<<Please, much quieter. You are female because we cannot take the risk of you being identified as the person you last were. This way, even if you tell anyone your story, no one will believe you. Your old body has now been discovered by your colleagues, so your death must be common knowledge.
<<You are on a scout ship. This is not a military ship and we mean no harm to you or your race. Indeed, your race is in more danger from itself than from us. We are currently a long way from your planet, well outside the range of any scanning technology you might have.>>
Mike, or Michelle, as whom she decided she ought to think of herself, stopped panicking.
<<What are you going to do with me?>> she asked, calm now.
<<You will be returned to your planet.>>
The creatures stared at her. Clearly they did not understand.
<<Look, I can see you guys are naked, and that you ain’t got not whoozies, or whatsits for that matter. But, in case you don’t appreciate things, you have given me huge jugs and a real cute butt. If I appear in the nude, they will lock me away.>>
<<What do you require?>>
<<Clothes, for a start, and if I can’t go home, I’ll need some cash and ID.>>
<<Look, on our planet, everyone has a name. Everyone had a social security number, or similar. We’re all registered at birth and registered wherever we go. Everyone is traceable, so if I appear with nothing, I’ll get thrown in the slammer.
<<That’s ID, now cash is what makes the world work. It’s a kind of bartering system, if I want a chicken and you want a pot, so then we swap a pot for a chicken, right?>>
<<But if I don’t have a pot, and I don’t have anything you need, how do I get your chicken?>>
The captain looked vacant.
“I have a token, it’s either a metal coin, a paper bill, or a piece of plastic, but it means that I give you the value of the chicken, so you can use that value to get your pot from someone else, and so on.>>
The captain understood, and a few seconds later, another alien appeared.
<<We took these from your clothing. Are they money?>>
There were two $20 bills.
<<We can make these.>>
<<Oh brother, you can’t make them, that’s illegal.>>
<<Because these are made by the bank, so the bank covers their value. If you make your own, then you devalue the real ones and cause economic problems.>>
The third alien left, returning a few moments later. It passed over two more $20 bills. They were exact copies of the originals, even down to the serial numbers.
Michelle examined them, finding her eyesight was far better than before. She was able to focus real close, so it was almost as if she was able to magnify without artificial aids.
The bills were perfect.
<<Your eyesight has been enhanced by a factor of ten.>>
<<As a form of gratitude and a sign of our good intentions, you have been given some qualities that are an improvement on your old model.>>
<<What improvements?>> Michelle asked, curiosity getting the better of her.
<<Eyesight, hearing, strength, speed, lung capacity, agility, reaction, and others.>>
<<You are able to communicate without using speech, and you should be able to develop some thought reading.>>
<<You mean I can read minds?>>
<<With practice, perhaps.>>
<<Because you deserved some reward for losing the life you had. We understand you were mated for life, so now that relationship has to be no more. Although unimaginable for us, we appreciate the level of commitment that action requires and the sense of loss such separation will bring. This is some small compensation.>>
Michelle was staggered. The creatures had handed her youth and all these other qualities. Just because she saved a life. Then she thought of Carol and the kids. A deep sadness fell on her and she found herself crying.
<<Why does it leak?>> the captain asked the medical technician who appeared.
<<I am not sure, Captain, I believe it is a means of releasing stress.>>
Michelle stopped crying and looked at the three aliens.
<<Why?>> she asked.
<<For us, each life is very valuable. Unlike your people, we are few and getting fewer. The value of each life is priceless, so our gifts to you reflect this.>>
Her mind was an open book to them, and now they could read her mind. It was a very different mind, and they saw intricacies they never imagined. Concepts so alien to them that they were baffled. The Captain was determined to learn more from this human.
<<May I have a mirror?>> she asked, displaying one alien concept for them.
They obviously did not have such a thing, but they made one, and brought it to her.
She took a deep breath and looked at her reflection.
She was stunningly beautiful.
Large blue eyes set at a perfect distance apart, a pretty nose, ever so slightly turned up at the end; a lovely mouth, with full lips and perfect white teeth. The face was heart shaped, with high cheekbones, which gave her a slightly exotic Nordic look. She had perfectly shaped ears, and cascades of wavy golden blonde hair fell past her shoulders.
There was nothing in her reflection that was of Mike, except perhaps that cynical glint in the baby blue eyes.
“Well if I gotta be a girl, then let’s at least have looks and a body to die for,” she said.
She looked at her fingers. They were long and slender, with perfectly formed nails. Her sight was such that she could clearly see the whorls and ridges of her fingerprints, and a thought popped into her mind.
<<They are different to your old ones,>> the Captain answered before she could formulate the question.
<<How do you know?>>
<<We have changed anything by which you could be linked with the old body. Even your DNA is slightly different. You are cloned, but we have made sufficient changes to render you a new and unique individual. Of course you have XX chromosomes now, and not XY.>>
She frowned, as all the disquiet she had experienced initially had gone, and in its place was a kind of excited expectancy. She thought about the ease by which she accepted all this.
<<Did you help me to accept this?>> she asked.
<<Slightly. However, we have found you are remarkably resilient, and have adapted surprisingly well, considering.>>
She looked at the $20 bills, and then at the aliens.
<<You can make anything?>>
<<As long as we have an original or a design, yes.>>
<<And you are gonna put me back?>>
<<Yes. But not anywhere close to where you came from.>>
<<We shall have to be very careful. It will be important that you must be nowhere near your original location, and in circumstances that will not draw attention to you.>>
Michelle thought for a moment. She was frowning as she tried to work out the most effective means of creating a brand new identity that could not draw undue attention to herself.
The Captain watched her and was concerned, as the human naturally managed to shield her thoughts from them, and even the most powerful mind on the ship was unable to penetrate her defences. It indicated that her mind, as yet untried and still immature, actually had unlimited potential. That could turn out to be exceptionally dangerous for the Captain, the ship and the entire alien race.
<<You need not fear me.>> she said, and in horror the Captain realised that even with shields up, the human could read its mind.
<<I’ve as much to fear as you. Humans are nasty suspicious bastards, so they’ll go for anyone who’s the tiniest bit different. So, I’m hardly likely to betray you or be a danger to you. You’ve saved my life, so we’re even. I understand your desire to have at least one human who can act as an ally, so I’m willing to be that person. There is one condition.>>
The large dark eyes of the Captain stared unblinking at her for many moments.
<<I will never betray the interests or safety of my own people.>>
Relief flooded through the Captain, and this emanated to the others in the ship, as all had been mentally tuned in with equal concern.
<<I accept,>> the Captain stated, and the large human held her hand out.
<<Where I come from, it’s customary to shake hands on an agreement. It means that we each promise to uphold our end and may trust the other.>>
The Captain offered his long slender hand, which she took gently as they solemnly shook hands.
<<Now, Captain, do you get Earth TV here?>>
Michelle sat in a seat designed for someone far smaller, watching a small flat screen TV with a faintly blue hue. The sheet from the bed was fashioned into a crude sarong, and she was drinking some water from a clear plastic-like bottle.
The Captain was curious and stayed with her. It found the human amazingly diverting, so was learning things about the humans every second.
Michelle was watching a BBC documentary on eastern European girls being smuggled to the United Kingdom as sex slaves. She had a germ of an idea.
<<Captain, can you make clothes?>>
A moment later, a technician arrived and answered.
<<Yes, but we have limited resources for textiles.>>
<<I don’t want a huge wardrobe, but a few items would make me feel a little more comfortable.>>
She described what she wanted, so together they managed to find information and designs on the vast database they had accrued by interface with the Internet. The Captain was pleased, as they had all this wealth of knowledge, so for the first time, here was someone to help them understand it all.
<<Captain, perhaps if we could make just one or two other little things?>> she said, looking at the $20 bills.
Steve looked up to see two Air Force Officers at the door of his office.
“Yeah, Colonel Robertson?”
“Jim Robertson. We spoke on the phone. This is Major Kyle Bennett, my number two. The Major is also a Doctor.”
Steve noted the coiled serpent insignia on the Major’s uniform.
The men shook hands and Steve closed the door to his office.
“You mentioned an artefact?”
Steve passed over the mask.
The Colonel looked at it and his colleague went pale.
“Nope, just my sergeant lying dead a short distance away.”
“You said it was natural causes, but you also said that there were signs of medical intervention?”
Steve explained everything as they went over to the Morgue to look at the body. Steve had held up the release of the body for a few hours just so the military could examine the evidence. They had been very interested to see it, having flown down from Nevada especially.
Kyle examined the body thoroughly and looked at the Colonel. He simply nodded slightly, to which the Colonel nodded once in reply. The Major then took several photographs before they returned to the office.
“Sheriff, it is important that you tell no one about this. Let the body go for burial or cremation, whatever the family desire. Kyle has taken blood, fingerprints, and a DNA sample, so there is nothing to be gained from upsetting the family further.”
Steve immediately informed the coroner’s officer to arrange release of Dunwoody’s body to the next of kin.
“So, I ain’t stupid?” he asked when he’d finished the call.
The colonel was looking at the artefact. He was certain now.
“No, I’m convinced that your sergeant managed to extract someone or something from the flood, and he died doing so. It is possible that this person was not a human, or even from this planet. Note the formation of this mask, clearly not designed for any human face.
“But they obviously tried to save him in return, but failed. Just forget it, his time was up, so this is one investigation that you will have to just pass over to us.”
“Can you tell me the truth, were they really aliens?”
Jim Robertson stared at him, and frowned.
“If I say yes, then you will get worried. If I say no, you won’t believe me. You already know the truth, so I will simply say that I don’t know for certain, but I have an open mind.”
Steve smiled and nodded. He understood now.
He passed over the rest of the file he had started, including the Polaroid photographs, watching as the Major slipped them into his briefcase.
“Sheriff, you did the right thing. You can go back to your life and forget all about us.”
“So Mike is dead, for sure?”
“Oh yes, your Sergeant is dead.”
Steve was content with this and, when the Colonel left, he breathed a sigh of relief. It was someone else’s problem now and he wasn’t mad after all.
The two Air Force Officers were quiet in the car. The driver was a sturdy NCO who had been on their team for six years.
“Jim, why do you think they broke their own rules on this one?” the Major asked.
“Hell, Kyle, I don’t know, but the theory that the cop saved one of them from a flash flood is highly reasonable. My question would be, why use their medical superiority to let him die?”
“Are you thinking what I think you are thinking?”
“We know they can replicate themselves, we saw that in Utah in ’89. So, it’s reasonable to assume that they have the technology and knowledge of human physiology so that they could reward the cop by replicating him and then discard the old and useless corpse. They never attempted heart surgery, why not?”
“Perhaps they hadn’t the knowledge.”
“Possibly, but why should they if they could replicate? Keep him alive long enough to create the clone, then transfer the personality and mind of the cop when ready.”
“I never saw the Utah ship, what happened?”
“There was an accident. It sounds silly, but one of their craft hit some power lines. There were five aliens on board, all dead, but in a special unit, a clone was being created of another alien, and it was almost complete.”
“Didn’t the evidence disappear?”
“It was taken to a hanger on Base X, but in the morning it was gone. No one remembered it. I had to leave to speak to the General, and I had the videotapes in my bag. We still have that evidence, but nothing else.”
“So, what do we do?”
The Colonel took out some photographs of Sergeant Mike Dunwoody; one that had been taken many years before, when Mike had been a rookie in the NYPD.
“Get these to our computer specialists. Have them make a composite of how he would look as a young adult, say twenty-one or so. Circulate the results, fingerprints, his blood type and DNA to all our people, I have a feeling that Sergeant Dunwoody will be back.”
Michelle was working out.
Her new body utterly amazed her. The aliens hadn’t been kidding when they told her that they’d made certain improvements. They had built a set of weights for her and even a crude running machine. She had managed to bench-press almost twice the load she had managed at her best as a younger Mike, and that was not inconsiderable. Her stamina was truly unbelievable, as she was able to run for an hour at a very rapid pace without tiring.
She had overseen the construction of a few items of clothing, taken from the many Internet sites and TV recordings the aliens had logged in their databases. She had decided to be smart and not a tramp. All her clothes were on the conservative side, but somehow managed to emphasise her feminine shape in a far more effective manner than the more obvious low cut tops, or short skirts.
Their technology could duplicate anything. She was able to supervise the production of the most fashionable styles in the most luxurious fabrics - even synthetic leather, silk and satin.
The underwear had been the most difficult, but they had managed to construct one white and one black lacy bra, and a couple of pairs of panties. She had two dark skirts, a couple of plain white blouses, and one jacket. There was one ‘little black dress’ and a pair of leather trousers and a matching leather jacket. One silk nightdress marked the limit of their resources, with the exception of one pair of black leather high heel shoes.
The leotard she wore for the workout was simple yet comfortable. She stepped into the refresher unit, stark naked.
This unit cleaned and refreshed without water. It cleansed all her pores, and her hair was left feeling freshly shampooed and dried without the hassle of either.
She had found that she had come to terms with her gender remarkably quickly, and the Captain had confessed that they had to ‘tweak’ her mind so as to make it more acceptable for her. She wondered how many other ‘tweaks’ they had done and weren’t telling her.
They had produced identity for her, a Ukrainian passport in the name of Michelle Nadia Czakan. They had even managed to produce a perfect replica of a birth certificate, showing her born in the Ukraine on the 11th August 1980, making her just twenty-three.
She was curious to know how they managed to acquire the original passport from which to copy hers. She was told that a great many encounters with humans (of the third kind) had occurred, so they possessed a vast number of documents. Their mental powers were such that they could eradicate any trace of memory in all but a few isolated cases.
The plan was for her to give herself up to a police station in Britain, and give the story that she managed to escape from a group of men who wanted to use her as a prostitute in London.
She would use her mental powers to ‘persuade’ the Immigration authorities into allowing her to stay in Britain, grant her asylum and then citizenship.
The technician managed to acquire a complete language program, and whilst Michelle was asleep, they imprinted fluent Russian and French onto her hyper-efficient brain. When she awoke, she was immediately aware that she had the ability to converse in all languages (including English).
The Captain found itself intrigued and fascinated by the large human. They would sit and converse for long periods of time, as Michelle described some of the exciting events of her former life, both in the Air Force, and later as a police officer. The Captain was eager to find out more about this strange race.
Their whole non-intervention policy had kept contact, and indeed research of the humans, to an absolute minimum. The Captain had never before been in the position to openly converse with one in a completely open and voluntary manner.
Michelle was a colourful character, and as such was prone to guild the lily whilst spinning a yarn. A concept as complex as exaggeration and deception were as alien to the Captain as was Michelle herself. The Captain discovered the whole ship’s company stopped doing what they were doing to ‘listen in’ to Michelle’s stories.
After several days, the Captain knew that it was time to throw the fish back, and wondered whether to eradicate all memory of the ship from her memory.
<<Don’t bother. Firstly, I don’t think you could, and secondly, even if you could, I see no point. You told me yourself that no one would believe me, so how could I be of any assistance to you if I don’t know about you? If I suddenly appeared, with no memory and in suspicious circumstances, all the alarm bells would ring, and the last thing I want to do is draw undue attention onto myself,>> she said.
Once again, the woman had managed to discern the Captain’s innermost thoughts, and seemed quite unperturbed that she had possession of such awesome power.
<<It’s only awesome if I use it to instill awe. I don’t intend to be stupid enough to shine out. If I use those gifts you have kindly given me, it’ll be subtly and for the greater good. And perhaps just to give myself a social boost every now and again,>> she said with a chuckle.
PC Rob Chapman had been a traffic officer for six years. Having spent five years at Reading as a shift officer, he had transferred to traffic, and loved every minute.
He was on the M4 motorway patrol with his colleague PC Colin Mitchell in a marked Land Rover Discovery. It was six o’clock in the evening and the rush hour traffic out of London was dying away slightly.
It was November 2003 and it was raining, which had already been partially responsible for two damage only accidents on the motorway already. The main cause was people driving too fast and too close to the car in front, but no matter how hard one tried to tell them, they would never learn.
Their 4x4 was parked on a special elevated ramp set off to the nearside of the hard shoulder, so they could observe the traffic safely, yet be a visible deterrent for the speeding motorists.
“I got dragged off Christmas shopping, last rest day,” Colin moaned.
“Already, but it’s only November?” Rob said.
“Yeah, but Rachel likes to get everything done by the middle of December, less panic, she says.”
“Jenny isn’t bothered, the kids can’t make up their minds as to what they want. Apart from Simon, he wants an X-Box.”
“Everything is so bloody expensive. I’ll have to do some major overtime to pay for it this year,” stated Colin.
The radio broke up their scintillating conversation.
There was a report of a lone female walking on the Reading bound hard shoulder, a couple of miles past Maidenhead, in the forest area.
“Silly cow, she’ll get herself killed,” said Colin, as Rob drove onto the Motorway with the emergency rear red lights flashing.
They drove slowly down the hard shoulder, keeping an eye out for the woman.
“Probably some silly tart broken down and decided to walk for it,” said Rob.
But they came across no broken down vehicle.
“There!” said Colin, as Rob saw her at the same moment. A tall woman was walking away from them on the hard shoulder.
She was in excess of six foot three.
They pulled along side the woman and Colin wound down the window.
He looked out at the girl, who stopped and looked at them. She was stunningly attractive.
She was wearing a knee length skirt, a white blouse and a dark jacket. She had high heel shoes on and was carrying a small case. She was wet, and her long blonde hair was plastered to her back.
“Get in,” he said, opening the back door.
The girl got in, pulling her hair back from her face.
“Why the hell are you walking along the motorway? It’s so dangerous, apart from being illegal,” Rob asked.
He watched the girl in the mirror, but was shocked and surprised to see how beautiful she was.
“Tank you. I has bin rooning vrom sum ver bad men,” the girl said. Her heavily accented English displayed that she was not English. Even Traffic officers picked up that one. She had an incredibly sexy voice, very husky and melodic.
Michelle smiled, but was rather shocked to find herself the same height as she had been as Mike. The Aliens had been so small, she had not even considered that they would make her in any other size than average. It never would have crossed their minds, as they were almost all the same size, it was inconceivable to them that she should have been smaller than her male counterpart.
“Where are you from?” Colin asked.
“I kum here vrom Ukraine,” she said.
Colin frowned and glanced at Rob, who rolled his eyes. They came across eastern European asylum seekers every day, but rarely looking quite as good as her.
“How did you get here?”
“I vas in a trook. Zere ver eight girls. De men say ve verk as, how you say, helps in hotels, but zen I find zey vant oos to lie viz men for sex?”
Colin looked at Rob, both men were aware that there was a case going through the courts in London about the sex traffic. Girls were being promised good jobs and when they arrived they found themselves forced into brothels and working as sex slaves for East European gangs.
“Why are you here, on the Motorway?” asked Rob.
“I roon avay. I yam not a girl who give sex for men, not unless I vant to.”
“Good for you. Where’s the truck now?”
“I don’t know, ze trook, it slow in ze traffic, und I joomp. Many kilometres I haf walked.”
“Did you know what the truck looks like?”
Michelle shook her damp head.
“Joost a green one, Hungarian, I sink.”
“Would you know the men if you saw them?”
She shook her head again.
“What do we do, Rob?”
“Fuck knows. She’s probably an illegal. There’s no point nicking her, as they will only send her to the reception centre.
“Have you got a passport?” Rob asked, and she produced a very wet and dog-eared Ukrainian passport.
“Da. I hide in my oondervear,” she said, making both men smile.
Colin looked at the passport, and it seemed in order, except it had no stamp signifying entry to the UK.
“Michelle, is it?”
“How did the truck come to Britain, Michelle?”
“By boat. Ve stay in trook all time,” she said.
Rob pulled off the motorway.
“I know. If we take her to Heathrow, then she can go speak to the Immigration officers, and we can get back and do what we should be doing.”
Colin nodded, it made perfect sense. Michelle smiled to herself in the back.
Rob drove over the motorway and rejoined it heading east, back towards London.
“Michelle, we will take you to the Immigration officers. Do you understand?” Colin said very slowly to Michelle.
“Da. Vill zey send me back to Ukraine?” she asked, looking worried.
“I don’t know. If you claim asylum, they may let you stay.”
Michelle nodded, and let her head fall back against the rear seat headrest. The big 4x4 was warm and dry, and it was nice to be back on Earth, even if she had to put on this outrageous accent.
She had spent many hours looking at the databases on the Ukraine, and had pictures of Donetsk imprinted on her brain. This city was in the east of the country and sufficiently obscure for her purposes. But she had memorised the street names, local history, and the geography of the surrounding area.
She sat back and watched the lights stream past in the other direction, and the noise of the police radio reminded her of her other life. She experienced a sudden lurch of regret and mourning for things lost forever. All the memories came flooding back.
Tears came to her eyes as she wept for Carol and the kids, Andy and Mary Jane. She had deliberately not thought about them whilst on the alien ship, but now, in the company of two men very similar to the person she had once been, she cried for everything she had lost.
Colin saw their passenger was weeping, so turned round.
“Hey, Michelle, don’t cry, you’re safe now,” he said, misunderstanding why she wept.
His words of comfort and care only made her cry more, and Colin passed over a tissue roll.
She wiped her eyes and blew her nose. She had no make up to spoil, as even if the aliens had been able to manufacture the stuff, she had no idea how to apply it; besides, she was stunning without any.
The police vehicle turned down the M4 spur towards the airport, pulling up the ramp just prior to the tunnel into the central terminal area.
“I’m going to ask the local police what to do,” Rob said, as they entered the secure police station yard at the top of the ramp.
He parked in the yard.
“Wait a moment, I’ll just ask in their control room,” he said, leaving Colin with a miserable Michelle.
Colin, feeling slightly uncomfortable at being left alone with the tall attractive girl, tried some small talk to pass the time.
“So, Michelle, what do you do?”
“I vas a student, boot has not enough money to study. Zis man, he say I go to England und verk and zey pay me enough to be rich.”
“Bastards,” said Colin, with some feeling.
“Do you have any money?” he asked.
“Da, a little. I has twenty American dollars,” she said, omitting the fact that there was $50,000 under a rock in a woodland near the motorway embankment not far from where she was dropped off. Mind you, it was all counterfeit.
“That won’t get you far,” he said.
“Right. I spoke to a DS who was interested in her story. He knows a bit about the job that is at court at the moment and wants to talk to her. He says he’ll contact immigration, and will take her from here.”
Michelle took hold of her bag, and Colin opened the door for her. Only when he got out and stood next to her did he realise just how tall she was. She had taken her jacket off and her damp blouse clung to her breasts, displaying her large nipples.
Colin swallowed and averted his eyes. Michelle smiled and licked her lips.
“Stank you. You haf saved me,” she said and kissed the already embarrassed officer on the lips. She enjoyed the feeling of power she had, but felt a little sorry for the obviously uncomfortable officer.
They took her into the custody block, where a plain-clothes officer introduced himself as Detective Sergeant Bill Richardson. The traffic officers reluctantly took their leave, returning to their motorway patrol.
Bill looked at the bedraggled, yet spectacularly attractive girl, and was drawn under her spell. Within moments, she was out of the custody block and sitting in an interview room with a hot cup of coffee in her hand.
She went through her deliberately vague story and the officer took copious notes.
She told him how her parents were dead and she had no family left. She had no home, as everything she possessed had been paid to a man who was going to get her a very well paid job in England. Bill wrote down everything she said. After a while, another woman in plain clothes arrived, upon whom Michelle saw a circular badge on a fine chain round her neck. She was an Immigration Officer.
“Hello, Michelle Czakan is it?” she asked.
“I am Helen McMorran, I’m an Immigration Officer. Do you have a passport?”
She handed over her passport, which the woman examined closely.
The woman then broke into very good Russian; not fluent, but good.
Michelle answered in the same language, fluently with a marked Ukrainian accent.
The woman went through all the expected questions, so Michelle answered them all with ease. She realised that she could actually read the Immigration Officer’s mind, so she knew the questions before the officer asked them; therefore she also knew which answers she should give. While the Immigration officer was interviewing her, the police officer left, obviously to check her story.
“I was brought here under false pretences, but would like to claim asylum. If I go back to Ukraine, the men will kill me for running away,” she told the woman.
The woman had the unenviable task of the initial screening of asylum seekers, so could enter a suitable recommendation on each application. She took Michelle’s photograph with a Polaroid camera and then took her fingerprints. Michelle wondered whether these prints really would be different from her old body’s prints, but thought that there was little risk of a crosscheck being run, particularly as she was now a different gender in any case.
When Helen finally left Michelle and submitted her forms, she had written on the bottom of the form: ‘This subject fulfils the criteria for asylum, I recommend asylum be granted to this subject, she is temporarily landed with permission to undertake employment.’ She even stamped the passport, giving Michelle permission to enter the UK with a work permit.
She gave Michelle a card with an address near Croydon, which was a reception centre where temporary accommodation and social security details would be arranged.
The police officer came back. He was frustrated because the girl had given him all the right information, but not quite enough to work with. The green truck on Hungarian plates was sufficiently vague to be of little value.
The girl was patiently sitting in the room, wearing her still damp clothes.
“Do you have a change of clothes?” Bill asked.
“Da, but I do not vant to poot my vet cothings in zer case.”
“When did you last have a shower or eat a meal?”
She smiled and shrugged, so Bill felt dreadfully sorry for her.
“Look, we have a drying room here, why don’t you change, and I’ll buy you some food?” he said.
Bill had never bought an illegal immigrant a meal in his life, but she was so helpless and lost that his heart went out to her. He went into the custody block and returned with a towel, some shampoo, soap and a disposable toothbrush. He gave them to Michelle and told her to follow him.
He took Michelle to the ladies locker room and waited while she showered and changed. A couple of female officers entered and were surprised to see the very tall and attractive Michelle changing in their locker room. The detective had to explain, so one girl called Sarah Ross asked Michelle if she was all right.
In the end, she allowed Michelle to ‘borrow’ some of her mascara for her eyelashes, and helped her apply some lipstick and eye shadow.
The girl appeared wearing her leather trousers, a clean white blouse, and leather jacket. She had gone in looking like a displaced asylum seeker and came out looking like a film star. Her hair was dry and brushed, framing her face beautifully. The little makeup accentuated her amazing eyes and gorgeous lips. Bill was rendered speechless literally.
He decided against taking her into the police canteen, instead driving the short distance into the central terminal area, taking her to a restaurant in Terminal One.
Bill was a tall, thin man, who was often embarrassed by his six foot four inches. However, now he stretched himself to his full height, as the girl was a good inch taller than he was, in her high heels. Her generous mane of honey blonde hair made her seem even taller. Bill noticed that every male eye in the restaurant watched each step she took.
She walked like a model on a catwalk and, to her own surprise, she had no trouble coping with the high heels and the unfamiliar attachments to her chest. It was if she had always been a girl.
She was well aware of what she looked like, so her spirit soared. Never in her last life did she ever experience such a feeling of control or power over anyone, yet here she felt she could walk up to a complete stranger, make any demand she wished and, in all probability, he would undertake it on her behalf happily.
Every now and again, she caught her reflection in a shop window or mirror. The very tall and very attractive girl smiled back at her with a curious glint in her blue eyes. She felt joy bubble up in her throat and a small laugh almost escaped. She managed to change it into a cough at the last moment.
Michelle was starving, as the aliens had fed her sufficient vitamins and nutrients to keep her sustained, but she had yet to have a decent meal.
She ordered a steak and all the trimmings, demolishing it so fast that Bill was yet again astounded at his glamorous companion.
He joined her in a dessert, watching fascinated as an apple pie disappeared in a matter of seconds.
“So, I understand that the Immigration officer has landed you in the country?”
“Da, it ees good, no?”
He smiled. He loved her accent and her broken English. He was aware that his wife would not approve of the thoughts that found their way into his head, as he struggled with the overt sexuality that the girl exuded so naturally. To see her was to desire her, and she knew it.
“What will you do?”
Michelle shrugged, as she genuinely had no plans at all.
“Did the immigration officer give you a card?”
“Da, boot I do not vant charity. I vill get a job.”
“You need money to survive until then. You only have $20, right?”
“Da, it is all I haf.”
Bill then did something that he had never done before, and would never repeat. He opened his wallet, took out £50 and passed it to her.
“Look, it isn’t much, but it will be enough for you to get a bus ticket to Croydon and some food until the social security payments come through. You will need to register as you will need a National Insurance number in order to work legitimately.”
Michelle had exerted no mental pressure to cause this man to do this, and she realised that he was just a good man who felt sorry for her. She felt a pang of guilt as she was tricking him all the time. However, she took the money, leaned over and gently kissed his cheek.
“Tank you, Beel. I pay you back ven I can.”
He smiled, as he was pretty sure he would never see the money again.
He paid the bill and they left. He drove her back to the police station, to find that her clothes were now more or less dry. She packed them in her small case. Then he took her to the bus station. She got out of the car. He stood there, feeling awkward. She smiled and looked at him.
“Where will you go?” he asked.
“Eet is nor your problem, Beel. You haf done a lot for me. I vill never forget you.”
He smiled self-consciously. “Goodbye Michelle, and good luck,” he said.
She kissed his cheek, turned and walked to the ticket office.
Lt. Colonel Jim Robertson was frustrated. He returned from the Pentagon in a foul mood, as the joint chiefs’ budget committee had cut his funding by 25%. He stared out of his office window at the Nevada mountains, trying to rationalise his thoughts.
He had been in Project Gopher since its conception. He had been a Captain in intelligence then, and as it had grown, so had he.
Ever since the first discovery in Arizona in 1980, the primary concern was secrecy. He had been the second officer to attend, and had been utterly amazed at what had literally been unearthed.
A team of scientists from UCLA were in the desert, testing a new design of seismograph in order to assist in the prediction of earthquakes. L.A. and the Californian fault was a real concern, so money was available to improve the early detection and hopefully the warning systems for the west coast area.
Professor Frome and his team were camped out in a remote area not that far from Phoenix, and were setting a series of small charges at different depths to test the accuracy and sensitivity of their equipment.
They had been operating unmolested for three weeks, and were planning a final huge charge to conclude the experiment. In order to test the equipment fully, the last charge was a random one, the equivalent of a conventional ton of H.E.. Loaded onto a remotely controlled vehicle, the charge was set to explode at some time over the next 4 hours, and anywhere within the declared area.
The buggy set off, reaching speeds of around six miles an hour. The small onboard random timer was unpredictable, and the team only knew that it would detonate sometime in the next four hours, and anywhere inside the programmed area.
When it finally exploded, some two hours and twelve minutes later, the equipment worked perfectly and they managed to pinpoint exactly the point of detonation, and the severity of the shock.
Two technicians were deputed to go and clear up the wreckage, as that had been a condition of their permit to use the area.
Richard Cummings and Walt Barrie arrived in their Jeep to find an enormous crater.
They were perplexed, as they expected a crater, but not as deep or irregular as the one they now looked at.
Then they noticed the workings or cave formations, and the bodies. The bodies of several, non-human creatures, which now littered the desert.
Richard was a Lieutenant in the Air Force reserve, so immediately called it in. Captain Jim Robertson sent a team of security Police, and followed in a chopper within the hour.
The area was sealed, declared a national emergency area. The scientists were all sent back to California, and Richard and Walt were ‘retained’ at the site for some time.
They recovered two hundred bodies, and an extensive underground community was unearthed. None were found alive, yet several members of personnel reported weird experiences.
Jim himself actually experienced a ‘black moment’, when he was at the site and the engineers were excavating a newly discovered tunnel. One minute he was watching their progress, and the next he was staring at a blank wall of earth. The engineers were all wandering about having forgotten what they had been doing.
Jim walked rapidly away, conscious only of a feeling that someone, or something was manipulating his mind. He had all the service personnel interviewed, and nearly everyone had experienced similar ‘black moments’.
The site was finally declared empty, as the bodies were recovered and placed into sealed metal coffins. Somehow, they all vanished whilst being shipped to Base X by truck. The trucks arrived with all the seals were intact, all coffins were still in the trucks, but each one was empty. The vehicles had not stopped, as their tachographs showed continual movement from the minute they set off.
Jim was convinced that there were more of the aliens left alive, and their mental powers were such that they could manipulate humans in order to prevent discovery.
He completed his report and his Colonel agreed. Funding was authorised from the highest level to continue the investigation.
Jim had managed to acquire three highly qualified para-psychologists who were experts in the field of E.S.P., and they were trying to recruit personnel whose telepathic ability was sufficiently strong for them to at least attempt to discover a little of their illusive quarry.
The last sighting was at the end of the 80’s, and they had nothing since. Until now, and the facemask from New Mexico he now held in his possession. It was too little, too late, as the committee was not impressed, for in this era of value for money, plans were afoot for a possible Manned Mars Mission, so Project Gopher was no longer in favour.
Kyle knocked on the open door.
“Come in Kyle. They actually did it,” Jim said.
“You thought they might. How bad?”
“You thought they might have taken a half.”
“Yeah, but still, that’s over a million bucks.”
“We need some results.”
“True. Look, have you a map of the New Mexico desert?”
“Well, if there was a ship, why was it there? I think they could have been looking for a site to dig in another colony.”
“It’s possible,” said Kyle as he extracted a large map of the area. They laid it out across the desk.
“Here’s the highway, and here was where we found the dead cop. The tracks of the 4x4 came from a point about a quarter mile upstream, so let’s say the cop first saw the one in the water here. That means he was swept away from a point anywhere up from here, to say here,” Jim said, pointing at each location on the map with his index finger.
“Send in a team to examine this area, and I want satellite and aerial pictures, both infra-red and conventional photographs.”
Kyle nodded and left. Jim stared at the map.
“Where are you, you little grey bastards?” he said aloud.
Several thousand miles to the east, an overworked clerk was trying vainly to clear a backlog of forms.
“Michelle Czakan?” he shouted.
A very tall girl approached the desk. He remembered seeing her when she had first arrived some ten days previously. He had instantly been attracted to her then, and apart from being the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, she was always polite and respectful; something that most of the asylum seekers were most definitely not. As a result, he had sent her forms off very quickly, with a pink ‘URGENT’ slip attached. Somehow, they returned in just a few days; this was unheard of, but he was pleased for her.
He smiled, so Michelle rewarded him with a lovely smile in return.
“Your papers have been processed. Here is your National Insurance Card, and your National Health card. You need to report to a police station where you end up living, and register with them. We need to have an address where we can contact you, and, if approved where we can send your papers relating to your permit to stay in the country. Your application for naturalisation has been received, so hopefully you will get confirmation through in due course. You will then be issued with a UK passport.”
Michelle signed the forms, so he gave her the cards. They had supplied her with some money, and she had been able to buy some essentials. Some of these were feminine hygiene products, as a few days ago an unexpected, unwelcome, yet natural little visitor had visited her, which indicated that she was a normal, fertile female.
She detested the reception centre, but acknowledged the necessity of being as normal as possible. Several other Ukrainians were here, but she tended to avoid everyone. However, they had sought her out, and actually she found them no risk to her at all. They were from Kiev, so knew little about the area she claimed to be from. Her accent was perfect, so raised no suspicions. Indeed, they only reinforced her story as they accepted her for who she purported to be.
Her English ‘improved’, and she deliberately joined an English class to make her improvement appear natural. It also allowed her to pass the time, as there was little to do except watch TV, play table tennis or read. They were free to come and go, yet with little money, there was little point. The local people were antagonistic towards the foreigners in any case, so it was better just to wait and hope the bureaucracy wasn’t too long.
Several of the male asylum seekers had attempted to form a romantic relationship with the tall girl, but all had been successfully repelled. Two Iranians had failed to take no for an answer, and were now in traction in the local hospital. The police thought they had jumped out of a third floor window as protest at being refused entry. Only the two men and Michelle knew the truth, but no one was telling.
Michelle scoured the papers each day for jobs, as she was finally now able to apply.
There was one that caught her eye.
BY LONDON BASED COMPANY
Must have English, Russian and a third language, preferably French.
To operate as personal interpreter for the C.E. of a progressive Communications Company that is opening an installation in Eastern Europe. With plants in the UK, USA and France, the successful applicant must be fluent in spoken and written languages, and of a smart appearance. Must be prepared to travel extensively, and with little notice, and also be prepared to work long and sometimes anti-social hours.
She went to the payphone and called the number on the ad.
Keeping her accent, she asked about the job, and was relieved to hear that it was still open.
She asked where the company was based, writing down the address. She explained that she was a recent arrival in the country, and had no CV, but was prepared to come in person to the company and take any tests they wanted.
The personnel officer was unaware that a little manipulation was being undertaken as she pencilled in Michelle’s name as an applicant for interview that very afternoon. They completed the application form over the phone.
Michelle packed her bag and walked out of the centre without a backward glance.
Gordon Fenwick was fed up. His company was doing well, so he was optimistic about the inroads they were making into new markets. His company’s computer and communications package was a desirable product, which actually was a potential money saver for emerging and new businesses. However, the language barrier, and the skills of the agency interpreters who had no vested interest in the company restricted getting it across to customers who had no English. They were paid for the job, and were not interested if a sale was made or not.
He was in the Fulham office for a week, before flying out to a couple of meetings in New York. He had wanted to be able to have an interpreter on board by then, as they were due to be in Paris for the International Computer and Communications Fair the week after.
So far, the interpreters had all been middle-aged women with children or young graduates whose practical skills were just not up to the task. He spoke French well, and had a basic understanding of Russian, but not enough to deal as an equal. He really wanted someone who could act as his representative and be able to really make an impact.
He arrived back from his lunch and went into his office. He checked his Emails, and made a call to his mother.
He was a big man, six foot six, and broad. He had short slightly unruly fair hair and a slightly battered face from his rugby days. He had been almost good enough to play Rugby for England a few years ago, but his work came first, and he decided to stick to his job, and was now a very wealthy young man. He would turn out for the occasional game for his club, the Saracens, but was not often available. He was thirty, and nurtured an image of respectable power. Always dressed in the best suits, and driving the best cars, he was the epitome of the successful yuppie.
On a personal basis, he was rather lonely. He told himself that he didn’t need the complications of a relationship, and indeed his lifestyle was hardly conducive for a stable domesticated relationship with a woman and children.
However, in his heart, he yearned for a family. He longed to have a woman to whom he could come home, and children to whom he could pass on the skills and knowledge of life. He also craved love and affection.
His secretary came into his office with some mail.
“Thank you, Mary, any more interpreters?”
“Just one, Glenda called to say there was a girl booked for three o’clock.”
“Girl, how old?”
“I think she was early twenties, I’m not really sure. Glenda put the details on your desk.”
“She’s probably another insipid bloody graduate with no experience of life. Well, we can only give her a try.”
Mary then left the office. She was wary of her boss, as although he paid well, he was prone to sudden mood swings. When things were going well he was great, but he was very unpredictable when things went badly.
At two thirty, she was completing a document on the computer when the personnel manager, Glenda, came into the office. Following close behind her was the tallest girl she had ever seen; she was also the most stunningly beautiful.
She was wearing a very smart looking suit, in navy with a pinstripe, comprising of a skirt and jacket. Her pale blue blouse was silk, and she wore a stylish cravat/scarf at her throat. Her long blonde hair was neatly arranged up, appearing to have been recently set, and very professionally too. Her make up was discreet, yet accentuated her amazing blue eyes and high cheekbones. Mary noticed the girl’s long, elegantly shaped nails were varnished, but in a clear, natural hue.
Everything about her screamed ‘elegant sophistication’ and she smiled warmly at Mary, who felt positively dowdy in comparison.
Michelle had spent nearly all the money she had on her hair, makeup and clothes. Being so tall presented quite a problem on the clothes front, as she had found only a couple of stores that catered for the taller woman. She had nowhere to stay, and just enough money left for one decent meal.
“Mary, this is Miss Czakan, she is here for the three o’clock interview. Is Mr Fenwick in?” Glenda said.
“Yes, I’ll see if he is free.”
Mary knocked and entered the office, seeing her boss staring out of the window.
He didn’t turn round.
“The applicant is here, she is a little early, do you want for her to wait?”
He looked at his watch.
“No, I’ll see her now. Send her in.”
Mary retreated, yet he was still staring out of the window.
“He will see you now,” she said, rolling her eyes to Glenda to show the mood of their boss.
“Thank you,” said Michelle, heading straight into the office. Mary closed the door behind her.
Gordon was still staring out of the window.
He turned and looked at the latest applicant.
For a moment, he was completely stunned, as he had already formed an impression in his mind’s eye of a small shrew like creature, with a squint and bad teeth. Nothing prepared him for the vision that stood before him, staring him straight in the eye from the same level.
Feeling confused and embarrassed at being so wrong footed, he fumbled for the necessary forms on the desk.
“Please sit down, Miss, ah, ah, Miss Czakan,” he said, mispronouncing the awkward name as Cha-kan, as he found the document. He sat behind the desk, and watched as she sat in the chair opposite him, and delicately crossed her silk clad legs. He felt increasingly uncomfortable under her direct and seemingly unshakable stare.
“That is pronounced Zha-kan,” she said.
He read the form and asked some basic questions about her background. Michelle enjoyed the feeling of power she held over this man. He was so obviously surprised by her appearance, and also apparently attracted to her, that he was slightly tongue tied and rather awkward.
She spoke in perfect English, allowing a slight American accent to sneak in along side the Ukrainian. Many East Europeans leaned English from an American source so that it was not unusual.
“May I call you Michelle?”
“I’d prefer it,” she said with a smile, so he smiled in return.
“Parlez vous francais?”
“Certainement monsieur,” she said, without hesitation, and with a faultless accent.
He conducted part of the interview in French, and then switched to Russian. His Russian was basic and not fluent, whereas he recognised that she was both fluent and very used to it. He began to warm to the girl. Not only did she look wonderful, but she also had all the language skills he had been so desperately seeking.
Part of the package involved the scrutiny of documents, and so he passed her a legal document written in Russian.
“Can you translate that for me?”
“Of course, into English or French?”
“Both?” he said, and she smiled calmly, proceeding to rapidly read the document in English, and then in French. Her translation was perfect, so Gordon found himself grinning broadly.
“Wonderful, when can you start?”
She smiled. “I have exactly eleven pounds to my name, how about now?” she said.
She explained her passport difficulties, which caused Gordon to frown. The United States were awkward about such problems, but he had had dealings with the Home Office before, so knew someone in a position who may be able to help.
“You have the job,” he said.
They spent some time discussing salary and other related matters. As soon as he mentioned a salary in excess of £30,000, she had to calculate it across in to dollars. It came to around $55,000 a year. That was more than she earned as a cop.
“I have to admit to being concerned about your immigration status, particularly in respect of the USA, so if you wait a moment, I’ll see what I can do about your passport. Leave me the H.O. reference numbers, and go and have a seat. I hope this won’t take long.”
She left his office, leaving him the papers, as instructed. Gordon rang his friend in the Home office.
She was on her second cup of coffee when Gordon came out of his office to see her. Mary frowned, as this was unusual, for he would normally have people ushered into his office, rarely coming out to them. She glanced at the girl and smiled. No wonder, he was smitten, she thought.
“Michelle, good news, I’ve arranged for your passport to be hurried through. They’ll send it by special delivery to this office, so it should be here in a couple of days. It’s rare for anyone to have their papers processed as quickly as yours seem to have been. What extra deal did you make?” he asked with a smile.
She simply smiled and his heart melted.
“I just asked nicely,” she said.
“Ah, where are you staying?” he asked.
“I’m between places right now,” she admitted.
Mary found she had some urgent business in the post room and left them to it.
“Well, I’ve a spare room in my flat, if you don’t mind sharing?”
“That is very kind of you, but I couldn’t impose on you.”
“It’s no imposition, it would be my pleasure,” he said, grinning like a schoolboy.
I know what’s on your mind, buster, Michelle thought.
“Then I will accept. Thank you.”
“No problem, I’m delighted that you’re now part of the company.”
She smiled, standing up and shaking the hand he held out to her.
He liked the firmness of her handshake, but she was still soft and so very feminine. He held her hand for a long time; eventually, reluctantly, releasing her.
He felt awkward again, yet took the plunge.
“Are you free for dinner, tonight?”
“Yes,” she said, smiling again at his transparency.
“Then, I’ll give you a lift to the flat, and then we could go out to a nice little restaurant I know.”
“I’d like that, thank you,” she said, and he received a warm glow whenever she smiled.
“Have you any luggage?”
She looked at the small bag by the secretary’s desk.
“That’s all I have in the world,” she said, as another poor sucker fell for her charm.
Mary returned to see her boss leaving with the tall girl. She smiled, as perhaps the man had met his match at last.
Typically, Gordon had a Range Rover, not because he ever went off-road or towed anything, but because it matched his ego. London was packed to overflowing with cars, so his answer was to have the biggest and most inefficient he could get. The V8 engine rarely got more than twelve miles to the gallon the way he drove, but it reflected his attitude to everything - big, expensive and in control.
Michelle appreciated the ample legroom, as a very tall girl, she found the smaller cars too short, so was pleased to be able to stretch out in comfort. She noted the windows were smoked; therefore no one could see inside. She smiled, as this car was the exact mirror of its owner.
She watched as London streets flitted past and was interested, having never been here before. Gordon glanced at his passenger and smiled slightly.
She was the most beautiful girl he had ever met, so found himself falling for her in a big way. Either most of the women he met were little more than prostitutes supplied by companies as softeners for his use, or otherwise, they were girls whom his mother decided he ought to consider as potential wives. He had never actually managed to attract and hold onto a woman all by himself, so he thought that perhaps he never would.
He suddenly remembered his mother.
“Damn!” he said, making Michelle jump slightly. She had been following his thoughts, but the suddenness of his expletive surprised her.
“I’m sorry, but I’ve just remembered, my mother is dropping in this evening.”
“Then I will go to a hotel,” she said.
“No, don’t be silly. It’s just that we will all have to go out.”
“I could cook for you?” she offered.
Gordon was silent, and Michelle smiled as she read his mind. Never had his mother been round when a girl he had been seeing had cooked a meal. He smiled as he tried to gauge her reaction.
“I couldn’t expect you to do that,” he said, half-heartedly.
“You are helping me, so I help you, and you pretend that you at last have a domestic girl friend,” she said with a wicked smile.
He stared at her in surprise, but then started to laugh.
They stopped off at a supermarket, so for the first time in his adult life, Gordon went round pushing a trolley as Michelle selected various products. She took her time, as it was no act that the products were unfamiliar to her. He paid by credit card, unaware whether she had bought cheap or expensive items.
The flat was in a select mews in Kensington, and he even had two garages, one for the Range Rover and one for his 1969 MGB roadster.
He put the car away and unlocked the front door.
It was a beautiful flat, thoroughly modernised internally. It had four spacious bedrooms and two bathrooms, a modern kitchen (which had rarely seen food prepared), a dining room and a large living room with small study to the rear.
They carried the groceries and her small case into the house, so he showed her to the largest spare room. She placed her case on the floor, and gratefully went to the bathroom.
He went and tidied up a little, so when she appeared again, they were both surprised.
She was surprised that the living room was now tidy, and he was surprised at her change in clothes.
She had taken off the suit, so now wore a very fetching black dress, and let her gorgeous hair down. Gone was the efficient P.A., and in her place was a veritable angel.
“My God, you look lovely!” he said, and then was embarrassed that he had vocalised his thoughts.
“Thank you,” she said and smiled, blushing delightfully.
She went to the kitchen and started to sort through her purchases. Back in her previous life, she had been a good cook, and was always adventurous with new dishes. It had been a way of relieving stress, so the skills were still there. Her speciality was Thai food, as she adored red and green curries.
She calmly and efficiently made the curry paste, and then started to prepare the dish.
It was only five o’clock, so once all the ingredients were prepared, she put them in the fridge, and thumbed through the microwave instructions and recipe books. She looked through the cupboards and using the ingredients that were there, she prepared a chocolate sponge cake.
“Do you like chocolate?” she asked.
“I was wondering.”
He was on the computer, checking his Emails, so she walked over to where he sat. Gently, she began to massage his shoulders with her long fingers. He stiffened slightly at her touch, but then relaxed.
That felt so good, Gordon suddenly felt euphoria hit him, but was at a complete loss to understand what was happening to him. Michelle frowned, as she had yet to even attempt any mental manipulation on this man, he was falling for her so fast and hard, yet with no help whatsoever. He was sexually attractive, in an aggressive and dominant way, but his personality was minimal, as his life was his work, so, as a consequence, there was very little left to be the real Gordon.
She delved deeper into his mind, and found that underneath the cool-headed and somewhat ruthless businessman, was a little boy who was rather shy, and socially immature. She looked into his heart, and liked what she saw.
Under her skilled fingers, Gordon relaxed more than he had in ages. He adored feeling her touch.
“You work too much,” she said, with an almost critical tone. However, he nodded, as he agreed, for he did work too much, but then it was important. Wasn’t it?
Suddenly, she allowed him a glimpse of what was really important, so he saw that there actually was a lot more to life than work. There was family, friends, children, home, fun, hobbies and relationships. He frowned, as he experienced a feeling of loss, so looked up at the girl behind him.
“Do you have family?” he asked.
“They are all dead,” she said, in a way that dissuaded any further discussion.
“I’m sorry,” he said feeling bad he had asked.
“You did not know. My father died many years ago, but my mother was ill and died in the sickness four years ago. My brother was in the army, and died in Chetchnya. There is no one else.”
“It’s not right to be alone,” he said.
“You are alone,” she said, and he smiled.
“I have my mother, and a sister somewhere.”
“You do not even know where she is?”
“She lives on a boat with her partner, so I know how to get in touch. They live somewhere in the Caribbean. The boat is a large sailing yacht, and they take a paying crew on adventure holidays.”
She smiled, an indolent and useless lifestyle, but fun nonetheless.
He took one of her hands and turned round, looking up into those hypnotic blue eyes.
“Why are you so beautiful?”
She smiled at him so warmly, he felt his pulse increase.
“I am too big to be beautiful,” she said.
“Nonsense! Whoever told you that is a fool, and blind. You are perfect. You’re spectacularly beautiful, a true Goddess amongst women. You are the most beautiful woman I have ever met.”
She stroked his cheek.
“Poor boy, you are falling in love with me, yes?”
He stared at her in undisguised admiration and infatuation, his sexual arousal obvious to all but the blind.
“I, I don’t know what I feel,” he stammered, honestly. “I only know I’ve never felt this way about anyone before.”
She smiled and licked her lips. He wanted her to kiss him, as he was paralysed with desire. She was about to do just that.
The telephone rang, so the spell was broken.
“Shit!” he said, making her laugh. Her laugh was such a delightful sound that he instantly felt better. He went and answered the phone.
It was his mother checking that she was still expected.
“Yes mother, seven o’clock, as we agreed.”
“We aren’t going to that horrid little Italian place you like so much, are we?”
“No mother. I thought we’d eat in.”
“Good God, since when have you ever cooked?”
“Michelle is making something nice,” he said, grinning inanely as he said it. He met Michelle’s eyes, so she grinned back at him. He smiled, as his heart ached for her.
There was a pause.
“Who is Michelle, pray?”
“She’s a girl who has just come to work for the company. She’s staying with me until she gets her flat sorted out,” he said, and adored having one over on his mother.
“Have I met her?” she asked.
“I doubt it, not unless you have travelled expensively in the old Soviet Union. Ukraine to be precise.”
“Ukraine. Oh, Gordon what are you doing?”
“We will see you at seven. Trust me mother, you will approve, I promise,” he said, putting the phone down.
“You are a very bad man,” Michelle said, smiling at him.
“You tease your poor old mother.”
“My poor old mother is neither poor, nor old. She is fifty-one, but looks forty, and behaves like a seventeen-year old nymphomaniac at times. She wore out my father, God rest his soul, ten years ago. He had a massive heart attack whilst making love to her. She now goes through young men as if they are going out of fashion, and the last one was five years younger than me.”
She smiled, and looked around the flat. There were some nice pictures on the walls and the furnishings were obviously expensive, yet it was characterless.
“You need a woman,” she declared, and he blushed. No girl ever made him feel like a bashful sixteen-year old as she did.
“What makes you say that?” he asked, somewhat defensively.
“Your house has no soul,” she said.
He looked around. It was a very plush flat, but she was right, it lacked depth.
He then looked at her, and his entire being ached with desire for her. She looked at him and smiled. For an awful moment, he felt that she could read his mind, but then he told himself not to be so silly.
“Would you like a drink?”
He loved her accent, as it made her seem more exotic somehow.
“You name it, I probably have it,” he said.
“Of course. Neat?”
“Nyet. With orange or tonic. We are not all barbaric alcoholics,” she said, so he laughed.
He poured himself a whisky and her vodka and tonic. He handed it to her, and their fingers met. He felt an electric thrill as they briefly touched.
“Cheers,” he said, so she raised her glass.
He took a sip, watching the girl. He was uncertain of himself for about the first time in his life, and did not enjoy the sensation. He wanted to reach out and take her, but he knew, with a high degree of certainty that if he did so he could lose her forever.
He watched as she went into the kitchen and heard her filling a pan with water. He took another sip, feeling the amber liquid burn pleasantly on its way down. He had an erection, so felt guilty, but she had a profound effect upon him, not only sexually but emotionally as well. It was almost as if he was unable to exist without knowing that she was near. He shook his head, as if to shake away the thought. But it prevailed, and he frowned.
“I’m going for a shower, if you want anything, just help yourself.” he said, going to his room and shutting the door. He put the whisky on the side and undressed. He stepped into the shower and stood under the hot jets for a while. He closed his eyes, and could still see Michelle’s smile. He tried to think of other things, anything, but he couldn’t. He was totally besotted with her, and he recognised that his life would never be the same again.
Michelle was smiling. She had read Gordon’s mind, so acknowledged that the man was falling in love with her. She analysed her own feelings, to discover no real feelings at all. Life was almost a dream, as everything was so new that it was almost as if she was playing a computer game, so if things went wrong, she could re-boot and start all over again.
Her smile faded, as it dawned on here that this was no game, no dream, and life was for real. The surreal quality faded with her smile, as the seriousness of the situation settled on her. Yet, she was well equipped, both in experience and, thanks to the aliens, with a most efficient body. Life was to be lived, so she intended to make the most of it.
Her smile returned. Moving into the living room, she could hear that the shower was still going, so she went to her bag and picked it up. Leaving the front door on the latch, she went out into the mews, and down to the small florist on the corner.
The shop was about to shut as it was almost six o’clock, but she bought £10 worth of cut flowers, so they threw in some foliage for nothing. She walked back to the flat and let herself in again. Gordon was still in the shower.
She went to the kitchen, where she hunted for some vases. She found a couple, so attempted to do some form of flower arrangements. They were not brilliant, but better than nothing. She put the smaller one in the middle of the dining table, and the other on the mantle piece in the living room. It wasn’t much, but it made the place a little less masculine. It gave it a softer edge, and she liked the feel. The colours of the roses and chrysanthemums brought some life to the rooms, and it pleased her.
She heard the shower stop, so she tentatively explored Gordon’s mind.
He was still thinking of her, but she was rather shocked to discover he had masturbated in the shower whilst thinking of making love to her. She had not intended this to happen, and it worried her. She withdrew, wondering if she could do anything to reverse the affect she had had upon the man. She decided that any such attempt would probably aggravate the situation until she knew what she was doing. Perhaps he would lose interest and as she moved on.
She sat on the sofa, picked up a magazine and flicked through the pages. She sipped her drink, wondering what Gordon’s reaction would have been had she asked for a beer.
There was an article entitled ‘Women are from Venus, men are from Mars.’, which she read with interest. She smiled, as she was from somewhere else entirely.
She looked at her watch and returned to the kitchen to start the curry. She browned the sliced chicken and then added the sauce and peppers. Turning the heat under the wok down low, she then covered it.
The smell from the kitchen gently permeated the living area, as Gordon appeared in a clean shirt and casual trousers. He sniffed the air and smiled.
“That smells fantastic,” he said.
She smiled, running a hand across his cheeks.
“You have shaved,” she said, smelling his aftershave. “You smell very nice.”
Gordon felt on overwhelming desire to take her in his arms, but managed to control it, just.
“All the better to ravish you,” he said, half joking.
She said nothing, but simply smiled at him. He had to turn away.
“Another drink?” he asked, refilling his empty glass.
“No, I need to keep sober, otherwise you may take advantage of me,” she said, her eyes gleaming with humour.
He smiled, but his heart was racing. So, he thought, this is what is feels like to be in love.
 A Gronk (time unit) = 20 earth minutes.
 The term ’said’ is used, even though the communication is conducted telepathically.
 ‘It’ is used instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’. These beings are of neither gender, unless they want to be.
 1 Hal = 8oz
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