To take your daughter to work you first need a daughter.

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To take your daughter to work you first need a daughter.

April 2023 "Take Your Daughter To Work Day" Story Challenge!

By Jennifer Sue

(Continuing the story of my fumbled entry into the March 2023: Abducted! Contest where I initially labeled it as the March contest, then corrected to Genetic Abduction. My fumble rightly kept me from the competition.)

“If what I’m hoping happens, you and I will be living our lives side by side,” Tsej smiled. “With us becoming psychically connected and your DNA changing to align with mine, we are unique. Past researchers administered healing nanobots to injured humans and it saved their lives. You are the first to receive healing nanobots that were tailored for a specific Ynnufer, me.”

“I assume the tailored DNA nanobots were tested on other Ynnufers to ensure compatibility,” Korbin stated/asked.

“Yes, our leadership is open to new ideas but our success has been that they do thorough investigations to ameliorate dangers or complications,” Tsej explained. “They used volunteers and the only negative side effect found was the psychic connection. After discovering the psychic connection, they halted experimenting to do more research. The range of psychic connections was found to be about 2 miles, which is what I’ve found with our connection. You and I are the first earther/ynnufer experiment with the genetic nanobots. That makes us extremely valuable. They’ll observe us for quite a while before they try another ynnufer/earther cross genetic transfer. Together, you and I can unite our peoples.”

“Wow, that’s a lot of responsibility,” Korbin shivered.

"Yes it is." Tsej answered. "But we'll be doing it together. However, we need to be sure to keep the fact that there really are aliens on earth secret."

Korbin nodded. He could feel Tsej tamping his emotions to keep him from freaking out. At the same time he understood she was not interfering with his thoughts or thought processes. "How did your people get here?"

"Hyperdrives create temporary wormholes our vessels jump through to overcome the tremendous distances of interstellar travel," Tsej informed Korbin. "Hyperdrive systems are large plus it takes a huge amount of power to operate so hyperdrive equipped vessels are necessarily large and expensive. However the mass of a solar system warps wormholes which destabilzes the exit. We lost a few crews and ships until we discovered that solar system masses were disrupting the wormhole exit. Since then we aim for a spot the diameter of the target solar system outside that system. If we go to a solar system regularly, we establish a jump station to serve as a beacon for wormholes. Some jump stations are small auto-operated stations with pods of emergency supplies, others are large manned stations."

"I assume that means you can't use jump drives to explore a solar system," Korbin reasoned.

"For inside solar system and planetary movement we use a mass drive," Tsej explained. "All objects have mass and mass attracts other mass." By Korbin's reaction she understood he didn't fully understand. "The force that attracts objects toward the earth, or toward any other physical body having mass is called gravity. We've developed ways to use that attraction to move and steer our ships as well as to create artificial gravity inside ships. You may understand it better as a gravity drive."

"Okay, I think I can understand that," Korbin nodded. “But doesn’t that require a lot of power?”

"Yes it does,” Tsej answered. “Earth’s current science/technology is fairly good at the atomic level. Earthers have only been scientifically delving into subatomic research for a bit over a century and for most of that you have not had the tools needed to do nano research. Ynnuf scientists have been able to dig deeply into Quantum Mechanics to provide all the energy needed inside a powerful magnetic containment field. A Schwarzschild wormhole is created with a stable micro black hole in which the singularity is at one end of a stable micro wormhole while the other end is the singularity of a stable micro white hole. The event horizons and singularities of the black and white holes are kept safely inside a containment field of gravitons. A controlled amount of mass is fed into the black hole which is shredded to it's smallest consistencies into it's singularity. Those subatomic particles emerge from the mated singularity of the white hole and out of it's event horizon as energy. We capture the energy we need to power the containment field, the mass drives for planetary movement, electronic shields that provide cloaking, absorb or deflect attacks and to create weapon beams as well as all other power needs.”

“Once we've created the Schwarzschild wormhole mini black hole we begin feeding it virtually anything so it sustains itself. Once the feed material passes the black hole event horizon the singularity shreds the matter into subatomic energy particles which then exits through the singularity of the white hole. That energy is captured as electricity to power our needs. A simple explanation is that on a subatomic scale, all matter is shredded to it's smallest elementary particles when entering the containment field," Tsej explained. "At that level, the particles can be energy or have mass but we don't know which until we observe it. We tap into the shredded nano-particles to collect energy to make electricity. What we don't remove is then guided to reassemble in nearly anyway we want as long as we know how atoms and such are assembled."

“Wow! I’m barely able to follow what you’ve already explained,” Korbin nodded. “How big are these containment fields.”

“The smallest containment field unit is 2 feet in diameter by 5 feet long units," Tsej declared. “That unit creates 16 kilowatt hours of electricity. Most human homes use 1 to 15 kilowatts per hour. Battery powered electronic vehicles utilize about 15 kilowatts an hour while driving. Units can be larger or the smaller ones connected in series to produce more power.”

Korbin nodded. “Is your scout ship powered by one of those units?”

"Scout ships have 7 units," Tsej replied. “At full power we draw from 5 units, the other pair are for back-ups”

Korbin integrated this new knowledge then spoke. “So your scout ships are what people see as UFOs?”

"Yes,” Tsej agreed. “Occasionally some of our scout craft have malfunctions or accidents. Most of the time we're able to hide accidents. So far earther authorities know we exist but so far we’ve been able to retrieve or destroy any wreckage. They hide the truth from the public and each other because they don’t want to create hysteria nor let our technology get out to other authorities for fear one will use it to dominate the others.”

Korbin shook his head in shame that humanity was so territorial and afraid of being under the authority of another.

“Since you're familiar with the area, do you have an isolated area I could park my scoutship so it'll be within 2 miles of your home?"

Korbin thought for a few moments. "Is it like a UFO flying saucer?"

"No, it's a tube with rounded ends 12 feet in diameter by 48 feet long," Tsej replied. "The 12 feet at each end are identical flight decks so the vessel can be operated from either one. The center 24 feet is the propulsion units, bunk rooms, and a small lounge. The ‘UFO flying saucer' arose from our camouflage. We have a band of bright mini-lights embeded in the curved sides of our vessels. They flash in rapidly in a pattern that circles about the center line to give the impression it’s a saucer and bigger than it really is.”

“A secure site needs to be off the beaten path so no one finds it,” Korbin nodded deep in thought. “I think the mill might do. My brother and I often played in and around it. But since he’s gone, only my grandfather and I ever go there now.”

Korbin could feel Tsej tamping his saddness about the loss of his family. She did not attempt to stop or divert the depressing loss, but she kept it from becoming all consuming.

“Bereavement and grief are emotions our species share,” Tsej explained. “We don’t want to forget our losses and disappointments. We can’t appreciate the good times without the bad. What we need to learn is how to keep ourselves out of a spiraling loop of depression.”

“Thanks,” a wiser Korbin headed of towards the mill as Tsej followed behind hidden inside her cloaking field.

Hawk Mountain Road (state route 1018) is an west to east road 8.7 miles long, starting off Pa. Route 895 in Drehersville at an altitude of 550 feet, it crossed the tracks of the Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad then the Little Schuylkill River. As soon as the river was crossed the road climbed up a ridge of the Blue Mountain passing through Hawk Mountain Sanctuary at the top with an altitude of 1320 feet. The road then descended to end at Pa. Route 143 at an altitude of 410 feet. Pine Creek Road headed south off Hawk Mountain road 1.5 miles from it’s end. Pine Creek Road headed south for 1900 feet past Charcoal Lane for another 1.67 miles to end at Pa Route 143. Charcoal line headed west 125 feet to cross over Pine Creek. The Greenawalt farm (GM 40.622128, -75.901763) was 2500 feet further west. Just 300 feet west of the farm a heavily wooded short steep 200 feet wide valley dipped nearly 200 feet along it’s 1200 feet course. The old mill was built where that valley ended at Pine Creek. The raceway to feed the waterwheel ran 1900 feet from a small diversion dam through another patch of thick forest paralleling Pine Creek into the overshoot of the waterwheel. The mill was 800 feet north of the farm.

It took half an hour of easy walking for Korbin and Tsej to reach the old mill on the southern bank of Pine Creek. The building had ground level entrances on the basement, 1st and 2nd floors. The thick stone walls were covered in vines that were regularly trimmed to keep the doors and windows uncovered. The roof, windows and doors were intact, having been replaced 25 years before when Abram had repaired and updated the mill with a raised seam metal roof with a green baked enamel, vinyl clad windows and steel doors. The mill had been established as a grist mill and a saw mill and could still be used as either. A 3rd option had been added by his hippie great grandparents. The update was to generate more than enough electricity for the farm and to provide growing lamps for marijuana. Much of the interior had been updated to provide a well hidden growing area for marijuana without increasing the on grid usage. The refurbished water wheel spun easily as water cascaded off the end of the mill race chute. An 800 feet long dirt farm lane heading north northeast from the farmstead led to the south side of the mill. The only clear region in the forested area was around the mill, 20 feet on the west, 30 feet on the north and east and 50 feet on the south of the mill.

After a quick tour of the mill, which Tsej found fascinating, she determined that on the south side of the mill to her scout ship could easily drop into the mill clearing then glide gently beneath the forest canopy to settle onto the steep western slope of the small heavily forested steep valley. Korbin watched as Tsej pulled out a cell phone sized comminicator. Rapidly pressing keys she slipped it back in her pocket.

“I just sent a message to my ship ordering it to come here,” Tsej told Korbin. “It should take about 5 minutes.

Korbin eagerly searched the sky anxiously awaiting the sight a real UFO.

“You won’t see it,” Tsej smiled. “It’s cloaked.” A brief “bzzzzz” came from her communicator.

The 5 minutes seemed to last an eternity as the anxious boy scanned the sky. Then he noticed a sort of distortion in the air similar to that of waves in a heat haze just below the treetops in the clearing to the south side of the mill. After a few moments of intent observation Korbin saw the distortion made a long tube abut 50 feet long by 12 feet wide.

“Very good,” Tsej smiled. “The cloaking mechanism creates a distortion field about itself warping all aspects of electromagnetic waves with frequencies ranging from below one hertz to above 1025 hertz. These correspond to wavelengths from thousands of kilometers down to a fraction of the size of an atomic nucleus. This frequency range is divided into separate bands and the electromagnetic waves within each frequency band are called by different names. Starting at the low-frequency (long-wavelength) end of the spectrum these are: radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays at the high-frequency (short wavelength) end.”

With that Tsej touched her controller to remove the cloaking. The shimmering area faded to reveal a the Scout ship. The tube like structure was 48 feet long by 12 feet wide. The front and rear of the tube were rounded. “There are no flat surfaces on the vessel which means radar and other signals hitting the vessel simply ricochet in in all directions. The surface is coated with a long rod nanotube paint that also deflects things like radar.”

As she explained those things she brought the vessel to a mere 1 foot above the grass. With another command a door opened in the side in the middle of the 24 feet long center section of the craft. The door opened with 2/3 hinging up to provide a covered entry while the bottom 1/3 lowered to the ground forming a shaped entry ramp.

“Yes, I can take you inside,” Tsej declared easily reading Korbin’s exuberant emotions and thoughts. “Let me go 1st so it recognizes me. Scout ships of this size are of the selggig class, I’ve named her the Rekcins.”

Once inside her ship she had Korbin pause for a full body scan to register him as a visitor. In each rounded end held 2 of the basic power units. The remaining 3 were under the decking. The back of the craft was the fission power plant. The deck was 2 feet above bottom of the ship and the ceiling 2 feet below the top of the ship which allowed. Inside those spaces was the gravity drive systems that created an artificial gravity inside an negated gravity on the outside. The vessel moved by utilizing the gravity fields that existed in tha area around the ship. It increased the gravity in one direction while simultaneously repelling gravity in the opposite. The cylindrical shape allowed movement in any direction and at speeds humanity only dreamed of attaining.

Tsej led Korbin into the forward command room dierecting him to a seat while she took the other. The control panels filled the area. There were dozens of view screens that provided 360° view around the ship’s exterior. Other screens contained readouts for speed and direction and dozens of other functions.

“I’m going to maneuver us under the tree canopy,” Tsej stated as she placed a sensor array on her head. Then she placed another headset on Korbin. “Rekcins, allow Korbin to monitor the controls.”

“Ensign Tsej, is Korbin allowed access to the controls?” A soft computer asked inside his head.

“Observation only,” Tsej replied. “Korbin, these sensor arrays allow communication between us as well as Rekcins, the ship’s AI.”

Korbin looked around. “Don’t we need seat belts?”

“When we first ventured into the stars we used seat belts,” Tsej answered. “Once we mastered the gravity drive and artificial gravity, seatbelts were made redundant.”

It was at that point that Korbin noticed the outside view supplied by the cameras showed movement. The craft rose a few more feet into air, then slowly made its way beneath the boughs of the forest canopy. Their path wiggled and twisted a bit as they moved into the shade of the trees, settling in place about 30 feet in from the open areas surrounding the mill.

“This thing is really smooth,” Korbin spoke excitedly. “I didn’t feel any movement at all.”

“The artificial gravity negates any centrifugal, acceleration and deceleration forces,” Tsej supplied.

“The big issue is how to tell my grandparents I’m turning into a girl,” Korbin nodded. “It’s not something I’d ever contemplated.”

“My superiors are grappling with that dilemma now. My insignia is a multi-functional communication device that includes infrared, ultraviolet and visible light cameras with full range audio as well as x-ray and gamma ray detectors,” Tsej stated. “Rekcins monitors and records all the information the insignia detects. Rekcins compiles all that info into concise reports and forwards a copy to Waffug, the Ynnuf base station hidden behind the moon.”

“Ensign Tesj,” Rekcins, the scout ship’s AI intoned. “Lt. Commander Eltrohc is calling.”

“He’s commander of the anthropologist corps and my boss,” Tsej explained as she sat a bit more upright and straightened her collar. “Rekcins, activate view screen.”

A rectangular view screen lit up with the alien officer seated in a comm center/desk. The officer’s eyes immediatly shifted to take in Korbin.

Korbin felt the aura of the woman hit him along with her gaze and wilted a bit.

“Korbin, It’s good to meet you,” the Lt. Commander stated in a friendly tone. “What you’re feeling is the electromagnetic resonances of my brain. Our main viewers include that as part of our standard communications. At the same time the resonances of Ensign Tesj and yourself are fed to me. Centurys ago we discovered that while a mouth or writing can lie, the brain resonances reveal the truth. It has forced us to adapt and be open in our relationships and prevents mis-communication because the instant feedback lets us immediately know.”

“Please relax, you are not in any trouble,” the Lt. Commander stated. “My staff and I have been busy trying to come up with the best way to handle your situation. You have been remarkably resiliant in handling the revelations of the consequences of Ynnuf existence and intervention in Earther affairs. Do you think your Grandparents will handle dealing with ‘space aliens’?”

“I think so,” Korbin answered. “They’re open to new things but are comfortable around new ideas. My great grandparents were 1960s style psychedelic hippies who rejected the rat race world and reclaimed the almost abandoned ancestral family farm. My grandparents live with a back to nature attitude. They might be shocked to learn what happened to me due to Tsej’s intervention but I can promise they’ll thank you for saving my life.”

“Very good,” the Lt. Commander smiled. “Can you lead them to the scout ship so we can meet in peace?”

“Sure,” Korbin nodded. “I can tell them that I’ve had a weird dream about how I should have died in the accident. That will grab their attention!”

Twenty minutes later Korbin reached the homestead barn. The barn was 100 feet long by 50 feet wide with a 20 by 20 feet ‘L’ on the southwest side where his grandmother, Martha, had her apothecary/boutique where she assembled naturopathic herbs, dried flowers, potpourri, balms, salves and almost anything with honey and other similar items. The northern 50 feet of the main barn was their actual barn where hay, straw and grains were stored. The southern 50 feet of the main barn was his grandfather, Abram’s woodworking shop where he made handcrafted porch swings and outdoor furniture. As usual he found his grandparents in their shops.

Korbin hugged both grandparents then with barely controlled excitement spoke. “Can you close up shop for the rest of the day? I have something you’ll need to see to believe up at the mill!”

Since it was a Monday, business was slow, Abram and Martha were pleased to see Korbin so excited. In fact, this was the most excited they’d seen him since before the accident. “

“Ride your bike down to Pine Creek Road and flip the OPEN sign to CLOSED,” Abram chuckled as he went to get the ATV ready. Martha grabbed several bottles ice tea to put into the cooler built into the back of the ATV.

Korbin raced the 900 feet to the main road, flipped the sign, and returned. Both grandparents smiled to see their surviving grandson so exuberant. They allowed Korbin to drive the ATV up the path to the mill. They didn’t even have to remind him to drive safely. As they arrived at the mill he parked beneath the trees on the western side of the mill.

“This is going to sound unbelievable but I’m not crazy,” Korbin began. “Since the accident, I’ve felt guilty for being the only one to survive. It’s not that I want to die or wish I had died, but it’s really bothered me that I survived.

Abram and Martha were not surprised. Both were familiar wih survivor’s guilt and warned to keep an eye on Korbin for the malaise. They certainly saw no malaise!

“I was contacted this morning as I was hiking to the Pinnacle,” Korbing explained. “A female’s voice began talking to me in my head.”

The older couple tried their best to calm their sudden worry.

“The voice asked me to relax and sit down so they could explain what was happening,” Korbin continued. “She told me she’s an alien anthropologist part of a group who have been observing earth for centuries. She had been observing the baseball game from a cloaked scout craft and was bewildered why at the end many people left before the game was over.”

“Let me guess, your dad had you stay until the traffic jam cleared before you left,” Martha smiled wearily.

“Of course,” Korbin replied. “Then to further her study she picked our car to follow home to see how our elation waned. She was high enough so she could see the racing cars barreling towards us. Because we were on opposite sides of the crest, we couldn’t see the other cars until it was too late. Fortunately, I had dozed off and thankfully missed the crash. I guess it’s time I introduce you to Ensign Tsej. She’s the one who saved my live.”

“Please stay calm,” a voice about 5 feet in front of the ATV spoke.

As soon as Abram and Martha were looking at the voice, the air shimmered and the spacewoman appeared. Their eyes opened wide in surprise.

“I am Ensign Tsej of the Ynnuf exploration Corp. We have explored many civilizations and so far every one of them has been quite humanoid sharing enough DNA to make interspecies marriage and viable families. I was about 200 feet above the horrific crash. Everyone but Korbin was killed instantly,” Tsej related. “I’m sure you’re aware that every living thing has an aura. Our scientists have developed detectors that can read auras. The detectors revealed the metamorphosis of 4 muddy red of excitement/competition in the racing cars quickly turned to the dark bluish grey of burgeoning fear and inevitability as they realized their fate. Within nanoseconds the four dark bluish grey emotion dots exploded as the living spark of their lives popped out of existence in intense black flashes outlined by a pale lilac as the lives were snuffed out. As the black consumed their life forces, the pale lilac outlines darkened as the black collapsed into barely detectable midge-like flittering pinpoints as their immature, pompous and corrupt dirty grey souls skittered away in different directions after their life essences faded out of existence leaving nothing behind.”

“Simultaneously in the innocent vehicle, the emotions of those in the front seat flashed from the happiness and familial love to a momentary surge of fear and inevitability. Like Korbin, Nathan was dozing so saw nothing while conscious. Brutally but almost instantaneously 3 auras popped out of existence in black flashes outlined by a gold light as the spark of their lives was snuffed out. Unlike the street racers, the gold metallic light of their souls coalesced into bright shiny fragile butterfly-like iridescent wings that held their spiritual energy. The 3 magnificently beautiful ethereal entities circled each other above the wreck as they were drawn together and skyward. They tried to resist as they seemed to look for their fourth. They struggled to go back to the SUV they'd emerged from until they saw the aura their missing member was still in his body of sleep tinged by pain in the back seat of the crushed vehicle. As they watched the aura color changed indicating the survival-oriented will-power of the life spark and soul was still fighting death. The three hesitated, then stopped resisting the upward draw as they rose to join the planetary magnetosphere. They felt no pain.” Tsej sniffled as tears were flowing down the cheeks of everyone.

“I was horrified at the brutality of the unnecessary deaths. The virtual instantaneous deaths rattled me as I saw their auras flare to near incandescent before their life sparks were snuffed out. Even as the spilled fuel ignited, I could see one aura was still alive. The survivor's aura reflected serious and possible deadly injuries. Without thought I opened my first aid kit and pulled out a hypospray, filling it with a large dose of potent damage repair and vitality enhancing nanobots that would begin healing critical injuries. I placed the filled hypospray into a small drone and sent it to the wreckage. The drone was too small to have it's own cloaking field but with the fire furiously burning at least 8 feet downhill from the boy, I guided the tiny drone to the wreckage. The onboard sensors were accurate enough to allow it to slip in to administer the dose to the Korbin fighting for his life. After the successful mission, I brought the drone back to my ship, accomplishing the deed without detection,” Tsej explained.

“During the human rescue effort I hovered above the mangled SUV. I’d seen nanobots save and rejuvenate what would have been fatal damage so was pretty sure he'd live. I didn't worry that the humans would discover the nanobots because they were designed to disintegrate once away from their patient. In fact I could almost feel the nanobots repairing broken and fractured bones and healing ruptured and damaged internal organs. In fact I could feel sympathetic tingling in my organs as the boy healed. Suddenly fear gripped me as I realized I'd made a serious error. The nanobots and medications in the first aid kit of each scout ship had recently been genetically tailored for the pilot for greater and faster effect! While they would work on others, they somehow created a psychic link between the patient and the person for whom the med had been tailored that altered the recipient's DNA to be totally compatible with the donor's genetics. The more the nanobots repaired, the stronger the link grew. I could ‘sense' the broken bones and ruptured internal organs had been repaired.”

“I was reprimanded for saving Korbin, but it was done gently since they understood the savage impact of the senseless wreck had emotionally compromised me,” Tsej explained. “My punishment was to observe Korbin and monitor our psychic link. My soul was enriched by the way you accepted and took in Korbin. I’ve determined psychic link has a range of 2 miles. I’m able to piggyback my mind on his, seeing, feeling and learning what he did while staying hidden. Unfortunitly his intelligence is well above average and his mind is curious. When he wondered how things worked or why things worked as they do, his mind ‘tickles’ mine to ask for more details about subjects. At the same time I realized that the nanobots were genetically altering Korbin's DNA to closer match mine. Korbin's XY male chromosomes are rapidly changing to female XX. I guesstimate the conversion would be complete sometime in February.”

Abram and Martha were stunned. It almost seemed like a dream.

“There’s more,” Korbin declared as he pointed to the forest. “Tsej’s scout ship is cloaked but parked under the trees.”

Abram and Martha looked under the trees seeing nothing until they saw Tsej manipulate a communicator. To their amazed eyes the vacant area under the leafy canopy shimmered to reveal the scout ship.

Tsej explained the vessel was her assigned scout ship, her home away from the main base ship hidden behind the moon. She led the clearly boggled couple around the ship and up the entry ramp. There eyes stayed wide as they took all there was to see inside the ship.

A ‘BEEP’ing sounded as the main view screen lit up showing a middle aged woman wearing a more formal uniform in a similar style to the work uniform Tsej wore. “I’m Lt. Commander Eltrohc of the Ynnuf Expoloratory Coorp. Ensign Tsej is one of my research team. Mr. and Mrs. Greenawalt, I’m sorry for your recent loss but am delighted to meet you. I can assure you that we had no intention of revealing ourselves to humanity so soon but events have forced us to improvise. Humanity’s technology is high enough to warrant formal contact, unfortunately the competing morass of international politics has kept us a bay. We feel most of the important governments would go to war to gain our technology to ‘get one up’ on their competition. The history of Humanity is one of brutal wars and persecution based on faith, race, and morals.”

“We had no plans to make ‘contact’ humanity,” Eltrohc continued. “However, we Yunnfs share many emotions with humanity, thus Tsej intervened to save Korbin. We’ve used nanobots to assist in maintaining our health for decades. Just recently we’ve been able to tweak the nanobots based on a person’s unique nanobots to enhance the healing and maintain the subject’s health. The nanobots that saved Korbin had been engineered for Tsej. Obviously they performed as designed. However the engineered nanobots did not recognize his XY chromosomes and are currently re-writing his DNA to have an XX chromosome scheme. The other change is that Tsej and Korbin now share a psychic link. This makes them unique. If handled properly, they could become pivotal in uniting our civilizations.”

“That means our relaxed laid-back life is shot to hell,” Abram sighed. “But we have a responsibility to assist as we’re able so that puts us on the same team!”

“Our first task will be to have Korbin’s gender paperwork updated to show he’s a girl,” Martha nodded.
“Becoming a girl was never on my radar,” Korbin shivered a bit. “But I also know I have no choice. Just don’t expect me to be a prissy girl!”

“Korbin, a Greenawalt has never been identified by their gender,” Abram declared. “We are who we are, period! Our gender is just a small part of who we are, it does not guide us.”

Korbin nodded in agreement.

“I guess I should tell our new friends about the Greenawalt ethos,” Abram said then looked at Korbin.

Korbin blushed but was delighted to be allowed to share the family ethos. “Our family has a tradition of not becoming depressed. It begins with establishing a conscious mindset. In everything that happens, no matter how small, there is something good about it. To have a good life, train yourself to always look for the good before thinking about the bad. Once you have the good, hold it in your heart as you deal with the bad. That good acts as a buffer to keep the bad from making you depressed.”

Tsej and Lt. Commander Eltrohc nodded in understanding.

“Since I wasn’t born a Greenawalt, I didn’t grow up with that mindset. At first it was a struggle to make looking for the good in events first. Korbin, Benjamin, your great grandfather is the one who drove the idea home. We’d just married and were living here on the homestead. A ladder he was on snapped and he broke his leg. I was the only other person here, fortunately I heard him calling me from the orchard. I wanted to call for an ambulance but he refused, said he dislked the flashing lights and sirens. On his orders I drove his old truck into the orchard and he talked me through putting a splint on his leg, then I helped him into the truck and I drove him to the Lehigh Valley Hospital. He was laughing and joking the entire time.”

“You’re seriously injured,” Martha scolded. “I’m concerned you whacked your head”

“Relax, Martha, you need a ‘chill pill’,” Ben chuckled. “You need to work harder on keeping the positive in your mind.”

My dander was getting up. “What’s so good about breaking your leg?”

“Since the old ladder is broken,” Ben laughed, “I can finally get a new one!”

“You must have really bumped your head,” Martha snapped. “I can see you’re in pain. What’s so good about pain?”

Ben just laughed. “I’m getting up in age so as long as I feel pain I know I’m alive!”

“Look, Martha, you’re making this too difficult,” Ben smiled. “I never said the good had to outweigh the bad. Just having the good is enough. Keeping a positive outlook helps make it easier to deal with the bad and avoid getting depressed. Don’t waste a moment of your life worrying about ‘if onlys’ or ‘what might happens’. Just hang onto the good and deal with the bads. Remember, crying over spilled milk accomplishes nothing.”

“That is a good way of thinking,” the Lt. Commander Eltrohc agreed.

“I take it your people intend to maintain the connection between Tsej and Korbin. So where do we go from here,” Abram asked.

“We’re still working on that,” Lt. Commander Eltrohc stated. “There are several ways we can proceed but we could make no plans because we needed your acceptance of us and what happened.”

“You got that,” Abram declared. “I’ve got an idea. Our homestead is a place of peace where we blend a back to the earth naturopathic lifestyle with current technology. It would make sense to have Korbin be related to Tsej. Korbin still has some of his pre-nanobots DNA intact in his hair. Can you make a set of medical nanobots engineered for him?”

“That should be possible but administering them Korbin could have repercussions of nanobot verses nanobot complications,” Lt. Commander Eltrohc explained.

“I assumed that was a concern so I was wondering if they could be given to Ensign Tsej,” Abram said. “That would give them a 2nd cross genetic connection. Can your people create a human backstory for her to be my illegitimate daughter who has spent her life roaming the counter-culture underground and recently joined us on our homestead?”

“That is an interesting proposal,” Lt. Commander Eltrohc nodded. “It would explain her presence on Earth and shield her Ynnuf origins. Let me discuss this with the Command Staff. I’ll be in touch with you when we have a firm idea of how to proceed and go from there. Ensign Tsej, please stay with the Greenawalts until we contact you. Observe them and see if you think you can blend into Earther society.” With that the screen went blank.

“So, what name would you give me?” Tsej asked.

“Well, as my illegitimate step-daughter born from a free spirited woman,” Martha thought deeply. “Esuma is a name that signifies a freedom-loving and free-spirited individual.”

“Esuma... I like that,” Tsej smiled.

“Good, my daughter, do you have any Earther clothes?”

Half an hour later, Martha, Esuma and Korbin were in the kitchen to make supper.

The next few days passed quickly and happily for the enlarged Greenawalt Family. After having seen Earth’s profit centric technology enhanced large scale industrial farming, Ensign Tsej was amazed how the Greenawalts farmed. Their efforts were based on keeping the ecosystems surrounding the farmstead healthy and the fields fertile without using manufactured chemicals and weed killer. They rotated the fields on a regenerative 3 year agriculture system schedule which improved soil health, increased carbon sequestration and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. This methodology increased drought resilience and climate resilience enhanced water quality, boosted crop yield, increased nutrient availability, provided pollinator habitat and suppressed many plant diseases.

By the 3rd day, Esuma and the Greenawalts were meshing creating a cross-species family. Esuma was thrilled to explore the nearly acre sized butterfly/hummingbird/bee garden Martha had established. The multiple colors and myriad fragrances attracted hundreds of butterflies and hundreds of other local insects not to mention the hummingbirds and dozens of other birds that flocked to it. She also found Martha’s apothecary/boutique so simple but authentic she realized the technologically advanced Ynnuf civilization had lost the beauty and simplicity of natural life.

“Since you’re an alien, I will not let you watch as I put together naturopathic herbs, dried flowers, potpourri, balms, salves and anything I make with honey,” Martha firmly stated much to Tsej’s dismay.

Saddened, Tsej began to move away like a scolded toddler.

“Where do you think you’re going, Esuma?” Martha asked softly. “I’d like to teach my new daughter the lore of our family’s healing crafts. It’s what a mother does with her child to pass on and preserve our heritage.”

Confused, Esume stopped and turned back towards Martha.

“Lesson 1: always keep the attention of the student,” Martha smiled.

Esume struggled to hold back her tears of gratitude.

Lt. Commander Eltrohc contacted Ensign Tsej 3 days later.

Martha and Abram sat uneasily in their seats with the effervescent Korbin between them as Ensign Tsej powered up her scout ship. “Rekcins, full cloaking, then move us into the clearing doing minimal damage to the plants.”

“Are you sure we don’t need seatbelts?” Martha asked with a tremble in her voice.

“Gram, look at the screens,” Korbin informed her. “We’re moving into the open. The artificial gravity negates all momentum.

“Rekcins, make sure the airspace is clear then take us up 1500 feet.” Esuma stated.

Despite feeling no movement the screens showed the mill retreating under them quickly followed by the trees and farm stopping when they could see they were above the height of the Pinnacle. The screens surronded them providing a full 360° panoramic view. Esuma smiled to see the looks of amazement on her new family.

“Rekcins, Take us to 500 miles with full view of the earth,” Esuma ordered.

The passengers were stunned into silence by the sight of the Big Blue Marble.

The flight continued reaching the moon an hour later with a quick trip over the Sea of Tranquility seeing the Eagle and American flag. “Martha and I were toddlers when that happened back in 1969,” the awed Abram spoke softly.

An hour later they had landed on the Ynnuf base ship. They were met by a welcoming committee then boarded an open gravity sled which whisked them effortlessly through the immense innards of the ship. The meeting was mind boggling for the Earthers.

Abram’s plan was implemented with a few tweaks. A piece of Korbin’s pre-accident hair was taken for DNA sequencing. Samples from Abram and Martha were also collected. After the samples were processed, samples were processed into the potent damage repair and vitality enhancing nanobots genetically tailored for the each individual for greater and faster effect. Esuma took her new family on a tour of the base ship and they watched a virtual reality history of the Ynnuf civilization. After a hearty meal they spent the night in a suite.

The next day Esume recieved the nanobots tailored for Korbin. Abram and Martha recieved the nanobots that had been tailored for them. Extra doses were stored in a med kit for possible emergency use on Earth.

The return trip to earth was a visual delight for the Earthers. As they returned to the Greenawalt famstead, they realized that despite the wonders of the Yunny technology, they really felt at home on Earth as a family.

The Ynnuf had created undetectable connections to nearly every computer network on Earth in order to monitor Earther activities. Through these they were able to add information as needed making it look as if the specialized info had entered the cloud networks at the preset times in the past. In this way they created a vagabond existence for Esuma Greenawalt so appropriate records of her existence periodically showed up in ‘local’ record timelines. Thus they established a traceable if shallow history for a footloose vagabond who lived on the edges of normal society allowing her to slip into life as Abram’s illegitimate daughter. The bureaucratic nerds of the government begrudgingly verified her vagabond existence to create a birth record as well as a Social Security identity and an passport. To make things cleaner, she even sat for a GED qualification test giving her a high school equivalency diploma and received a learner’s permit to learn to drive.

Ynnuf computer geeks created a referral for Korbin at the Gender Health Clinic at Penn State Hershey Health Children’s Hospital by slipping it into his records of the Tower Health Systems where he had been taken and treated after the horrific accident. Abram politely but quite evidently frustrated called the Gender Clinic asking how soon the hospital would contact them regarding Korbin’s referral from the month before.

The person on the receiving end was glad Abram kept his cool so genuinely followed up on the referral. The head of the department was upset to learn the request had indeed been sent a month previously but somehow became ‘lost’ in the computer system. An investgation was started to try to determine how the referral was misplaced.

The head of the Gender Health Clinic personally called Abram the next day accepting responsibiltiy for losing the referral in their network. She asked if it would be possible for Korbin to be at the clinic late the next morning. Abram said they would be there.

The 57 mile trip Penn State Hershey took almost 2 hours in a light rain. Abram insisted Emsua drive so she’d learn the intricacies of 21st Century self-transportation while he coached her. Martha and Korbin relaxed in the back seat of the truck during the trip.

By 11:00 am they were seated in an exam room where a nurse practioner went over Korbin’s history and took his vital signs along with several tubes of blood. The woman was quite apologetic for the mixup in the referral and felt nearly overwhelmed to learn Korbin as the sole survivor of the horrific crash that had made nationwide news.

Dr. Croft, a robust woman in her mid 40s joined the Greenawalts a few moments after the nurse practioner left. A request for Tower Health to send copies of Korbin’s medical history to Hershey needed the signature of his guardian before they could process it. Fortunately, Abram brought their paper copies with the results of a full blood work up.

“From what we understand Korbin has a genetic issue with his gender,” Abram explained. “Somehow he managed to escape that horrific crash relatively with only slight injuries. But the bloodwork exams revealed an issue with his chromosomes. We all thought he was a typical XY boy but the bloodwork revealed he has XXY chromosomes. He’s 12 exhibits no signs of puberty. His testicles are undersized and seem to be shrinking. But even more concerning is he’s developing breasts.”

“Until recently I’ve lived a vagabond life,” Esuma said. “I knew who my father was but my mom was a freespirited hippie so I never had any formal schooling and was heavily exposed to the counter culture including drugs. My mom was fairly wasted both physically and mentally and I realized my life was going no where and had no idea how to figure it out. When The Greenawalt family was in that terrible accident, my mom gasped when she learned the sole survivor was taken in by his grandfather. She confessed that Abram Greenawalt was my father and the dead man was my half brother, and the 2 boys were my nephews. Suddenly I had a purpose in life. I traveled across the country to find my father, stepmother and nephew.”

“I’m a homeopathic healer, some call me a white witch,” Martha said. “Could the concussion Korbin suffered in the crash somehow kicked off a female puberty?”

“Well,” Dr. Croft smiled. “You’re certainly an interesting family! Korbin, how do you feel about your puberty?”

“I’m confused,” Korbin freely admitted. “I always thought I was a boy. I liked sports and such. But since the accident, I’ve been changing. I still like sports, but they don’t feel as important as they used. I watched my brother go through male puberty and I realized I didn’t want to change like that. I didn’t want to be a girl, but being a boy just didn’t seem as crucial. I know my breasts are growing and becoming sensitive. I find myself massaging them sometimes. It’s all so confusing.”

Dr. Croft gave Korbin a physical exam ascertaining the breast development was near the size support would be needed which Corbin admitted the bobbing swaying during certain activities was becoming uncomfortable. The male organs were definitely undersized.

“You do seem to be in female puberty with no sign of male puberty.” Dr. Croft said. “It does my heart good to see a family so open with each other and concerned about each other’s feelings. The full results of the blood work should available of Monday so I see where you are now to compare to how you were then. Korbin, being the sole survivor of your core family can effect your every aspect of your life so I don’t see the change in how you feel about things as unusual. Fortunately you’re part of an obviously caring family who seems primarily concerned with your well being rather than meeting rigid societal concepts of gender. Since you seem to not have any major gender issues, perhaps you could experiment a bit, even mix traditional male and female clothing. So, next week once I’ve compared the test results I’ll call.”

As they exited the hospital they discovered the sun had come out and the ground was drying. Shortly after they left the hospital they drove past the entrance to Hershey Park.

“Turn in here,” Abram told Esuma. “The rain kept people away so the lines should be too long. It’s been 25 years since we’ve been here. I’m sure Korbin and you will enjoy the rides!”

“We don’t have anything like this on Ynnuf,” Esuna nervously said as she stopped atthe ticket booth so Abram could pay for the parking and tickets as they heard the music and noise of the rides mngled with laughter. “Some of it looks intimidating.”

“That’s the fun of riding them,” Korbin chuckled as Abram and Martha smiled.

“Do they really need this huge parking lot,” Esuma asked as Abram guided her to find a parking slot fairly near the entrance.

“This parking area is huge,” Abram agreed. “On a normal summer weekend they run shuttle buses from the park entrance through this parking lot and others nearby as well as open grassy areas for overflow parking.”

Esuma was clearly hesitant as Korbin eagerly took her hand and almost dragged her toward the excitement with Abram and Martha mirthfully following.

“Whoa,” Esuma gasped as she beheld hundreds of mostly smiling adults and super exuberant kids and teens moving from one area to another once they were inside. “If this is light attendance due to the rain, I don’t think I’d want to be here when it’s crowded!”

“Before the pandemic they had over 3 million visitors a year,” Abram said.

Abram suggested they start with the Comet, an old tried and true wooden roller coaster. Korbin checked the map of their park brochure and led the to the ride. As they walked to the entry Esuma watched the speedy ride with the screaming riders as it flew around the curviy and up and down and sideways track. Fortunately the line was short nd they had to wait 5 minutes.

Esuma watched in trepidation as the seats of the small train emptied after completing a cicuit. They exiting passengers were gibbering excitedly with only a few with green paces. She watched as the ride moved forward to fill with eager riders which then set off with the clunking of the drive train raising the car to the top of the drop. The screams as they dropped made her shiver. “Why do so many hold their arms in the air?”

“To show how brave they are,” Korbin smiled. “You get bounced around a lot so if you can make it without holding onto the safety bar you’re tough.”

“Or stupid,” Martha chuckled. “I’ll be holding onto the bar.!”

“And I’ll be holding on to you,” Abram smiled as he slipped and arm over Martha’s shoulder while leaning forward to Korbin. “Korbin, you don’t have to prove how brave or tough you are. We know you’ve got guts. Remember, you’re changing from a boy to a girl, so let your girlish free.”

“I will gramps,” Korbin smiled. “I’ve got to let go of all that macho hubris and just be myself.”

Korbin led the group to the front of the train climbing into the front seat. Abram helped Martha into the 2nd seat then followed. Esuma hesitated as she looked up at the first climb. Reluctantly she took Korbin’s offered hand to take the seat beside him. Once the safety bars were locked in place the ride moved to the climbing mechanism. Her hands turned white with the force of her grip on the safety rail. She swallowed nervously as the rhythmic ‘clunking’ drew them to the top. As they crested the top Esuma saw the long straight drop and her heart moved into her throat. Of the group only Abram didn’t scream as they rocketed up, down and sideways in the speedy ride.

Once they stopped Abram helped Martha from her seat. Korbin tried to do the same for Esuma but her hands were frozen on the safety bar and her eyes were wide with terror as she sat staring ahead. Korbin fruitlessly tried to tug on her several times but it wasn’t until he soothingly contacted her through their psychic connection that her mind re-engaged. Shakily she managed to climb out with Korbin’s smiling assistance. As they exited the ride, Esuma began to swallow, then gasped and shivered.

Abram smiled as he placed a comforting hand on Esuma’s shoulder. “Is that the first time you’ve experienced centrifugal force?”

“During my training we had to ride a centrifuge,” Esuma whispered. “But we were strapped into a padded seat inside an eggshaped capsule. But that was nothing like this!”

Once down they sat on a bench as Esuma recovered. As she regained her composure she smiled. “I was totally unprepared for that! I was terrified and yet exhilerated! Is that normal?”

“Sure is,” Martha chuckled. “It sure shakes up your bones! Now, lets go on my favorite ride!”

Esuma tilted her head and looked sideways at the carrousel. She smiled as they all selected a moving horse and was delighted by the music provided by a Wurlitzer model 153 military band organ. The contrast between the carrousel and the Comet were tramendous yet she marveled that now as she was over her initial terror, she’d enjoyed both.

The laughing family enjoyed the Fender Bender bumper cars. It took Esuma a few moments to realize the fun came from ramming those you were with! Esuma and Korbin rode it 2 more times.
The duo also rode the Fahrenheit 97 degrees roller coaster. The anticipation of the climb up the steep, 121 foot lift hill before plummeting down the 97-degree drop that sent them flying through a course of loops, corkscrews, dives, and plenty of thrilling airtime. They all relaxed on the delightful Ferris wheel. As they afternoon went on, more and more people joined the throng increasing waiting times. Esuma had her first taste of funnel cake!

After 5 hours of walking, talking, eating and riding, the Greenawalts decided they’d had enough of a good thing. Exiting the parking lot was tedious, but the experience of the stop and go traffic added greatly to Esuma’s understanding of the frustrations of traffic jams. What she had witnessed at the end of the baseball game that fateful day now made more sense. Once they reached Interstate 78 the drive was easy. Once exited from I-78 it was only 5 miles to their home.

Once returned to the house, Martha had everyone shower, change into sleepwear and return to the kitchen. When they did the aroma of hot chocolate sweetened with honey greeted them. Martha told them after the day they had, the hot drink would help them relax to get a better sleep.

They discussed the day reliving the time at Hershey Park. Esuma couldn’t believe how much poorer Fnnuf civilization compared to that of Earthers. “It made me realize our Ynnuf society has lost so much by not having the experiences an amusement park offers. It brings out the spirit in you.”

“You know,” Martha said. “I watched you 2 today. We’ve planned to have you join us as our daughter, which we’ll still do, but I think the special connection between you should be closer. Esuma, would you consider adopting Korbin? I think you’d make a fantastic mother and daughter.”

“I thoroughly agree,” Abram added.

Esuma and Korbin looked deeply at each other as they connected on a physic level. Their thoughts and emotions mingled and they began to smile. “I think we’d like that,” the duo simultaneously spoke and smiled.

The crew aboard the base ship, the Waffug, was highly interested in Tsej’s report of her unexpected experiences at the amusement park. They knew nothing like that existed on their homeworld. At one time they had did have similar amusements but the societal desire for safety and regulations steadily pushed such venues out of existence. Tsej explained the thrilling experience had altered her life for the better. It also gave her much greater insight into Earther life. There was great discussion.

Dr. Croft contacted them in the beginning of the next week. The chromosome tests were amazing. The initial tests from Tower Health immediately after the accident showed Korbin had a normal XY chromosome pattern. The samples she had done showed that while there were still XY chromosomes, the count was only 1/3 of the original. Now there were an additional 2 chromosome types, about 1/3 XXY with the last 3rd being XX. There was no record of such changes ever happening in anyone else. She’d sent the results of the 2 tests to medical specialists to see if anyone had ever seen such an occurrence. She advised getting another blood sample for testing a month after the sample she’d taken to see if the changes were still happening. In the meantime Abram asked her to send an offical medical certificate that could be used to legally recognize Korbin as a female. Abram contacted their lawyer to cut off any legal issues that might arise by formally adopting Esuma’s as their daughter and for her to adopt Korbin as her daughter.

After much discussion including communication to their home world, the Ynnuf powers that be decided they should investigate Tsej’s claim that experiencing the exhileration/fright had allowed her greater insight into the Earther psychology was worth exploring. They decided to send 4 people a week to the Greenawalt homestead so Tsej could take them to Hershey Park to see what happened to the them.

To help with the Greenawalt financial burden, the Ynnuy networking nerds electronically skimmed money from the ‘secret’ off shore accounts of the drug cartels depositing it in an account the Ynnuf had set up for Earther expences. Of course they scrambled the transfers so no one could trace how it was done. Payments were placed into Greenawalt Back to Nature, the business that Abram and Martha had established to operate the farmstead and natural products.

The 1st group of 4 Ynnuf came down in a scout ship during the night landing in front of the mill. They spent the first day exploring the homestead and the natural farming and herbology while being stunned by the butterfly/hummingbird/bee garden. Korbin accompanied Esuma and helped answer questions. The next day they loaded up the family van to drive to Hershey Park to take the 4 visitors for their eye opening experience.

That night after preparing for bed, they shared hot chocolate and honey as they discussed the initial visit of Ynnuf to experience a bit of Earther life. The exhilarated visiting Ynnuf had returned to their space ship. As they finished up the hot chocolate, Martha began to chuckle. Everyone looked at her trying to figure what set her off.

“Korbin, I think your mother has a job taking Ynnuf visitors to experince life on earth,” Martha explained. “Today was another milestone for both of you. The 2nd day of her new kob and already it was a ‘Take your daughter to work’ day!”

The specialists could not figure out what was causing the chomosomal changes in Korbin. But as the monthly blood tests confirmed, each test the percentages changed, XY decreased, XXY remained fairly consistent, while the XX increased. As predicted, by January Korbins blood tested 100% XX. No one could explain the anomaly.

In addition, the Ynnuf trips to Hershey Park brought about an awakening of their emotions. Once they had experienced the thrills of riding the attractions. They were able to look at their long accumulated observations of humanity. Finally they were able to get a better understanding of Earther motivation.

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:) Names

Love the spaceship

Every time I try and diet a chocolate bar looks at me and snickers


...I found the names distracting once I cracked the code. An unfamiliar name or word with a "kc" in it tends to telegraph it for me.

Enjoyed the story, anyway.