Beyond Galactic Marshal
Well, we have been on Prowhiness for almost a month now. Mary, my wife, and I are staying at the resort with my sister Karen. It seems that the promised housing at the relic site has not yet materialized. As a matter of fact, neither has the gate. Tinker and Bell have gone back to their home planet. In the mean time, we are basically twiddling our thumbs. I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Jonnie Harper; former male galactic marshal and now female I don’t know what. OK, it’s a long story and involves aliens, a device that will only operate by me as a female, and a bit of time travel. For those interested in more, read “Galactic Marshal”. Anyway, I’m stuck female because of the aliens and, believe it or not, I’m supposedly working for said aliens. At least, that was the plan. But, like I said, I’ve been here with nothing to do. I looked up as Mary walked in holding Raylan, our son.
“We just got a message from Tinker.”
Tinker is our very own alien; at least the one along with Bell that we deal with here. Before you ask, no, that is not their real names. We can’t pronounce that so, in a fit of hilarity, we named them Tinker and Bell; mainly due to the fact that the aliens look like 3 feet tall fairies with wings and everything.
“It’s about time!”
Mary nodded agreement.
“They are planning to deliver the gate in two days. There is a problem, however.”
“So, what else is new! What is it?”
“Tinker didn’t say.”
I thought a minute.
“Did Tinker ever say where they got the technology for the gate?”
Mary shook her head.
“I just thought they invented it themselves.”
“I wonder, you don’t suppose the where with all came from here. If so, does this mean they need a certain converted female human to operate it, huh!”
“Shit! I hope you’re wrong about that.”
“Hmm, I guess we’ll find out in two days.”
Just then Karen entered.
“Anyone for a trip to the beach?”
“Might as well, we’ll not be doing anything for a couple of days.”
“You act like the leisure life is a drag.”
I looked hard at her.
“Bad choice of words.”
She laughed all the harder.
“Sister dear, you have got to admit that you make a wonderful female. In fact, knowing your past, I think you should have been one all along.”
I sighed heavily.
“I admit to thinking of myself as being female when I was young. But my years as a marshal pretty much confirmed to me that I was male. That is until I went to Fledora.”
Karen shook her head.
“Look, you might as well just enjoy being as you are now. There is no way the aliens will change you back as long as they need you. Since apparently none of the devices at the ruins will work without you ---- well?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’ll go get changed.”
As I left, I heard Mary admonishing Karen.
“She is just bored. Everything is OK.”
“Alright, Mary, I feel so badly for Jonnie the way things turned out.”
“Tinker will be back in two days. Working again should keep her mind occupied.”
I put on a one piece suit and pretended I hadn’t heard their conversation. When I walked back in, I put on a big smile.
“I’m ready. Let’s go have some fun.”
“Now you’re talking.”
I took Raylan while Mary and Karen changed into their suits. Then we went to our favorite beach. The main beach at the resort is very crowded but Karen knew a spot that not too many know about. We settled back on a large blanket and relaxed. About 10 minutes later, a large shadow loomed over us. A mountain of a man was staring down at me.
“Well, honey, you finally made it.”
I squinted up at him.
He laughed deeply.
“I’ve been waiting four days for you.”
I looked blankly.
Mary and Karen roused up.
“What’s going on?”
By now, two other men had walked up. They were about as big as the first one. The black haired one eyed Karen and paled a little.
“Hey, I know her.”
He tapped the first guy on the shoulder.
“Maybe we got the wrong party.”
Guy number one swatted the hand away and bent down to me.
“Nope, you’re the one.”
I could see Mary getting mad.
“Look fellow, we’re here enjoying ourselves. Get lost!”
The third man reached down to grab Mary. I knew from experience that was a bad idea. In the next instant, he was on his back with Mary’s knee on his chest. Karen jumped up and flattened the other one. The first man stood, looked at his compadres, and shook his head. He glared at me.
“We’ll meet again.”
With that he ran off down the beach. Mary let the one she was on get up and he hurried after him. Karen’s guy was still out cold. She turned to me.
“You two go on back to the cabin. I’m going to try to sort this out with my people.”
Karen hefted up the limp man and trotted off. Mary and I headed back to the cabin.
“Jonnie, have you ever seen those guys before?”
“Nope, they were just trying to get dates I imagine.”
Mary shook her head.
“No, that big guy was after you for a reason.”
“I don’t know why. After all, I’m just a converted male.”
Mary stopped and glared at me.
“In spit of your often protestations, you are all woman and the best looking one here.”
I grimaced and decided my best bet was to remain silent. We arrived at the cabin and changed clothes. By then, Mary had cooled off. She fed Raylan and laid him down for a nap. We sat down and were trying to decide what to eat when Karen walked in. I stood up.
“I think you have been made.”
“What do you mean?”
“Those guys are from Broadskye. Rumor has it that they have been searching for you or rather John.”
“Oh great! How did they find out I’m now female?”
“I don’t know. I also couldn’t find out why they are after you.”
“I think I am going to stay in the cabin until Tinker and Bell get here.”
“I’m beginning to think coming here was a big mistake.”
“Where else would we go?”
“I’m just tired of everything going at right angles.”
“Tell me about it. At least when Tinker gets here we will be busy again.”
Mary just shook her head and went into the kitchen to fix us some supper. Karen motioned for me to follow her outside on the deck. She took hold of my shoulders.
“If this thing with those guys has any thing to do with the mess I caused on the moon at Broadskye, I want to apologize. All I can say is that I was sick with hate and didn’t know you like I do now.”
“Those days are behind us. You are my sister and what is past is past. OK?”
Karen smiled teary eyed.
“Thank you. Now you rest here while I go find those other guys.”
Karen left and I went back inside.
“Come on and eat.”
I entered the kitchen and Mary looked about.
“She’s gone to find those fellows that attacked us.”
“I don’t like this.”
I hugged her.
“Don’t worry, in two days, we will be at the site and no one will know where we are.”
Mary nodded and we sat down to eat. After finishing, we went on to bed. I didn’t think I could sleep but I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow. I awoke the next morning to loud voices coming from the kitchen. I put on a robe and walked out of the bedroom. Karen and Mary were in a bit of an argument. They both looked at me when I walked into the kitchen.
“Don’t mind me, continue on.”
Raylan was sitting in a high chair. I went to him, picked him up, and walked back into the living room. I heard Karen say ‘this is nuts.’ She then stomped out of the cabin slamming the door. Mary came into the room and flopped down on the couch.
“Do I want to know what that was about?”
Mary huffed and looked at me a few seconds.
“No! Karen is just being Karen.”
“I take it that she handled those guys in her usual subtle way.”
“It’s not funny!”
“She can’t help what her past has made her. She also can’t help being overly protective of us.”
Mary glared at me.
“You mean you!”
“I mean us. OK, she and I have a special bond but she is your friend too now.”
“Maybe, but only because of you. It wasn’t too long ago she tried to kill me.”
“As I told her, the past is past.”
“I guess, anyway, she had her people escort those guys off the planet and not too gently.”
“They had it coming I’m sure. Did she find out what their problem is?”
Mary shook her head.
Just then our vid chimed. A message sprang up from Tinker. The ship would be here in two hours and we would be taken aboard. I called Karen and let her know that Mary and I were going to the site. A cab took us to the spaceport. It is fairly nice since many high rollers come to this resort. After all, anything goes here. We watched Tinker’s shuttle come in and headed over to it. Tinker escorted us inside.
“Welcome aboard. Sorry for the delay, we have been having a few problems with the gate. It will arrive tomorrow but we thought we would go ahead out to the site.”
I smiled at Tinker and Bell.
“Mary and I are glad to be starting. Things have been a little boring.”
We settled in with Raylan for the flight to the other side of the planet. It only took about 20 minutes. After landing, Bell came to us.
“No housing has been brought in yet so I guess we will stay here tonight. The gate will arrive in the morning. Tinker and I are going into the ruins to check things. Please make yourselves at home.”
I started to say that we would like to go too but Bell hurriedly left. Mary huffed.
“Well, that was friendly.”
“They don’t exactly throw out the welcome mat.”
We relaxed in our cubby hole and took care of Raylan. After 2 hours, they had not returned. Raylan had gone to sleep. Mary sighed.
“It’s been a long day, let’s go on to bed.”
“Might as well”
I awoke the next morning to a lot of commotion. Mary and Raylan were still asleep. Walking into the control room, I watched a large module being lowered onto the plain between the shuttle and the ruins entrance. Tinker walked in with a big smile.
“Ah, you’ve seen it.”
“Yeah, but what is it?”
“That is your new home. We had it built to fit your specifications.”
“In other words, our larger size.”
“Yes, isn’t it wonderful?”
“Well, I guess we need to see it first.”
“Of course, of course, as soon as you are dressed, come on over.”
With that, Tinker left the ship. I went back into our tiny room. Mary was feeding Raylan.
“I guess you heard that our house has arrived.”
“Hmm, you don’t seem too pleased.”
“Let’s just say I’m wary. It looks rather small but Tinker says it is made to fit us.”
“OK, as soon as I finish here, we’ll get dressed and check it out.”
About 15 minutes later, we exited the shuttle and walked over to our new house. It was bigger than it looked. At the door, a voice welcomed us and the door opened. The module was basically a larger version of the cabin built for humans on Tinker’s orbiting ship. The main addition was an unusual kitchen. Bell walked in behind us.
“I hope this is suitable.”
“Very nice but I’m not sure about the kitchen.”
It was a table with an odd looking dome in the center. Bell stood beside it.
“All you need do is sit down and make a request. We tried to supply things we knew you liked. A list will pop up if needed.”
I sat down and ordered a soft drink. A bottle was under the dome when it raised up.
“Wow, this could be habit forming.”
“I’m glad you like it. Please eat your breakfast. I’ll have all your things brought here this afternoon. The gate is on its way down and should be here in an hour or so.”
Bell left and I turned to Mary.
“What do you think?”
Mary looked around.
“It beats a hotel room all to pieces; especially the built in room service. I wouldn’t want to live here long term though.”
“Yeah, we’ll just have to see how things go.”
We ordered up breakfast using the built-in menu. Everything tasted good and looked appetizing. I had to give the aliens credit, they were trying real hard to please us. It made me realize just how much they apparently needed me. Oh well, I didn’t mind helping them. We were sort of outcasts after all.
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