Informed consent (M/L ADULT) [COMPLETE]

Finished stories set in an alternate universe to that introduced in the show, or which alter events from the show significantly, but which include the Roswell characters. Aliens play a role in these fics. All complete stories on the main AU with Aliens board will eventually be moved here.

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Re: Informed consent AU M/L ADULT 06/26/2010

Post by greywolf » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:03 am

Jim and Jaime were feeling sort of good as they got out of the car and started toward the door.... at least until Isabel met them half way up the driveway - Alex at her side.

"I know I told you I'd go quietly - and I will...."

"Except you aren't taking her without taking me too," said Alex, defiantly.

Jim and Jaime looked at each other, not too sure if the couple ... and unlikely as that might have once seemed, neither law enforcement official could doubt that now ... were challenging them or each other.

"Alex...." said, Isabel looking at him with eyes that seemed to be begging him to back off.

"Not going to happen, Iz. I'm not going to start our lives together by standing idly by and watching while the police drag you off somewhere..."

Jim shook his head. "Nobody is dragging ANYONE off," said Jim, starting to hold up he records.

"They most assuredly are NOT," said Diane Evans, charging out the door with a grim-faced Philip in hot pursuit. "I don't care what kind of paperwork you have, you are not taking my child..."

One of the situations most feared by law enforcement is a domestic situation blowing up in their faces. There is just too much emotion built in to such situations. People lose the ability to consider things dispassionately - and law enforcement is always the interloper. It was becoming obvious to Jim that Alex's acceptance of Isabel being a little 'different' had exceeded her expectations, although he personally wasn't all that surprised by it. Now he also had two parents involved in defending their daughter as well as her adamant young man. In the meantime, he couldn't even get a word in edgewise. What Jim Valenti decided was desperately needed - or at least that's what they'd told him in Law Enforcement 202 - was an external focus for their anger.

"This isn't about taking ANYONE in to custody," said Sheriff Valenti, holding his hands palm forward in what the instructor had told him was a placating gesture before remembering that had been the posture Isabel had used when she'd vaporized the bullet and melted the barrel of his gun. Fortunately Isabel and Alex seemed to take his faux pas in the spirit it was intended - an indication of non-violence - rather than as a challenge. "What I am concerned about is making sure that old man Parker doesn't go off the rails and do something stupid, but in the meantime I just needed to drop by with some documents for you..."

"What do you mean, old man Parker going 'off the rails...?" asked Nancy Parker suddenly, elbowing her way out from between Diane and Philip, followed shortly by Jeff asking, "What do you mean OLD? You and I are the same age, Jim..."

"Look, I'm trying not to cause any trouble here. This is intended as a friendly visit. Couldn't we just go inside and ... about this a little. I promise - all of you - that nobody is going to take anyone in custody?"

The Parkers and the Evanses and Alex looked at each other briefly and there were a series of shrugging shoulders.

"After you, gentlemen," said Philip, gesturing toward the door."

As they stepped through the door Jim saw the long table set with food - and the two people still sitting there. Jim's eyes locked on to Max and he stopped in mid-step so abruptly Jaime ran in to him. Before he could quite recover, Valenti received his second surprise as the OTHER person sitting there opened her mouth.

"Sheriff Valenti.... long time no see," said a smiling Liz.

Being in law enforcement requires you to have the ability to quickly adapt to surprises. Even so, that ability in Jim Valenti was seriously tested. After doing a momentary double-take Jim turned to Jaime and spoke.

"Special Agent Sanchez, I don't believe you've met Max Evans and Liz Parker."

"Liz Evans," Max and Liz said simultaneously.

Jim Valenti smiled - fighting back a chuckle. "This is going to seriously complicate the grand jury indictment of the young man, don't you think, Jaime?"

"I wouldn't be a damn bit surprised," said the Special Agent.

"Uh, I wasn't really kidnapped, Sheriff," said Liz. "I was in the nursing home and Max stopped by to see how I was doing. He kissed me and somehow I woke up. Maybe it was just the emotions of the moment but Max somehow got over his shyness enough to propose to me. I accepted. I figured that I'd lost a year of my life and nearly lost it all and that ... well ... I wasn't going to waste the time I was given. I talked Max into eloping with me - and the rest is history."

Jim chuckled. "Not a bad story, Liz. Hell, if you ever really did have to tell it, there probably wouldn't be a dry eye in the house. It's almost too bad it won't be necessary - I'd have given real money to see the expression on the prosecutors face when you said that to the jury." Valenti shook his head in disbelief - just imagining such a courtroom scene. Then he looked at Max. "I take it you found some way to make that advanced technology that Isabel was talking about work to cure Liz?"

Max appeared to blush deeply, Liz just smiled a Mona Lisa-like smile. Eventually a stuttering and tongue-tied Max was able to talk. "I... uh... that is w-w-we w-w-w-were ... uh ... f-f-fortunate enough to find a d-d-different method."

Observation is an important part of law enforcement. Liz was giving her husband an endearing look - despite or perhaps because of his obvious embarrassment - and eventually Jim's gaze noticed the small swelling in her lower abdomen.

"Well, congratulations Max... Liz. This isn't really a wedding present, I brought it for your sister originally, but maybe we could consider it a gift for both you and Isabel and Michael and ... anyone else that might come along."

Jim handed the copies from the FBI to Diane Evans. "You know, this isn't a perfect world - but it's getting better. Things like the Cherokee Trail of Tears, slavery, ... even the human rights violations of the Japanese-Americans in World War Two - well, I'd like to think that those could never happen today. I'd like to think that the things the FBI Special Unit did with the Presidential authorizations they had to deal with aliens wouldn't ever happen again either, but knowing the fallibility of everyone, I thought a little insurance would be in order. Here are copies of some rather disturbing things our government did in their quest for aliens - aliens who apparently never did anything - never even intended to do anything to hurt humans - until the Special Unit forced them to fight for their lives. It isn't just that people in government are pretty ashamed of what was done in their name, it's that politically extraterrestrial life is one of those social, religious, and philosophical 'hot potato' items that the politicians would rather not face unless someone forced them to do so. I'm a plain spoken unsophisticated street cop, councilor. I'm sure that a lawyer can come up with some term other than extortion to describe holding the government hostage to leave Max and Isabel and Michael Guerin alone."

"Oh, I suppose the term extortion will be fair enough," said Diane, quickly perusing the copies. "I'll use them too - have Alex plaster them all over the internet if the government tries anything."

"According to my boss, the government would just as soon let bygones be bygones, Mrs. Evans," said Jaime. "Nobody can undo what was done, but nobody wants to see any repetition of the mistakes of the past either."

"And if anyone is ever tempted to change their mind," said Jim Valenti, "...I'm sure the thought that you could go public with these records would pretty quickly disabuse them of that notion."

"What's in the other envelope?" asked Diane.

"Well, I have a confession to make. Until Jaime here told me the truth, I actually believed the Special Unit were good guys, just like my father had. From the first few days after Max and Isabel first came to town I kept them under surveillance. Same thing for Michael Guerin. I'd just about convinced myself that thy were aliens - what with the three of them all being foundlings and keeping to themselves. But when I saw Max lose it when Liz was hurt, saw all the trouble he got himself into, actually saw the Ice Princess falling for a nice young man like Alex Whitman - I sort of decided they were human after all. Then when your daughter stopped me from making a horrible mistake this morning I figured I had been right about the alien part, but wrong about wanting the special unit or anyone like them to get these files so I pulled them out of the storage unit I'd put them in. I suppose you ought to just put them in the shredder."

Isabel reached over and took the package from his hand. She held it over a trash can and a golden light from her hand suffused the envelope. Suddenly it was just a fine ash falling softly into the trash.

"Or, you could do that I guess...," said a smiling Jim Valenti.

Diane looked at the two law enforcement officers.

"Gentlemen," she said, "... it appears that you've had a long ... and very busy ... day. If you'd care to join us, we have quite a bit of lasagna and chili left over. I'll warn you, the chili is a little spicy...."

"It's an acquired taste," said Liz. "It would have probably been too hot for me three months ago, but it's awfully good if you can stand the heat," she smiled at Max. Max blushed deeply - again.

'Ah, Hell,' thought Valenti. 'The two of them are newlyweds - they are entitled to flirt a little...'

Jim and Jaime had just settled down in their seats and started to eat when they heard the dirt-bike pull up outside.
Last edited by greywolf on Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Informed consent AU M/L ADULT 06/27/2010

Post by greywolf » Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:25 pm

As he turned off the key, the operator of the dirtbike was having second thoughts ... actually more like fifth thoughts ... about this. He needed to come here - it was a risk he knew he had to take - but he hadn't wanted her to come here. Too late to win that argument though, but it wasn't like he hadn't tried. Still, he wasn't likely to get in much more trouble if he gave it a last shot.

Maria was already off the dirtbike and had her helmet off - shaking out the golden curls that the motorcycle helmet had compressed tightly against her head. She looked up and saw the frustration in Michael's eyes and knew it was coming...

"Maria... I'd really like it if you would take the keys and get right back on the motorcycle. If Jim Valenti is on the level with this, I can meet you at the Crashdown in an hour. There really isn't any sense in you being involved in this."

He might just as well have been talking to a brick wall.

"Michael, we've already had this conversation," she started. It really hadn't been a conversation, it had been a 'not no but Hell no, you aren't going to hand yourself over to the police without me there no matter WHAT they are saying to you,' disagreement that her fiery temper had made so one-sided it couldn't really even be classified as an argument. Michael hadn't had time to argue - the simple fact that he'd had the temerity to bring up the issue of him going alone had been enough to get Maria in full rant mode. That's how he'd wound up bringing her here. "... and even if you weren't all that important to me," she continued, every word and bit of body language she used totally disproving THAT possibility, "...the guy is dating my mom. If he's some sort of a double-crosser, that's something I need to know."

None of Maria's words were precisely lies. Maria actually thought that Jim Valenti was good for her mother. It hadn't been that easy for her mother to raise her by herself, and Maria had always thought that her mother had deprived herself of a social life - both because she had a child to raise, but also because of Amy's reaction to what a bastard her own father had been when he'd deserted the two of them. She didn't actually think Jim Valenti was like that, and had subtly - well, OK Maria-style subtly - encouraged her mother to go out with the guy. It wouldn't be long before graduation and both she and Kyle Valenti would be moving out of their respective households to go off to college. She'd actually discussed with Kyle their common worry that the parent-figure in each household would have no one to come home to and both had agreed that getting the folks together would be a good thing.

Maria was strongly suspicious that her mom and Jim Valenti were considerably past the hand-holding stage and she secretly approved. She even ALMOST trusted Jim about this meeting. Except when it came to Michael, almost wasn't quite good enough. No, if this was some sort of a law enforcement trap, Maria intended to be there and use any influence she might have on Jim Valenti - or anything else she could think of - to keep anyone from hauling Michael off to some government lab.

Michael sighed deeply. He'd learned a lot from Maria and about Maria over the last eighteen months and the look on her face told him with certainty that this was an argument he was not going to win and feelings would be hurt if he even tried to fight it.

"Well, come on then," he said grabbing her hand, "...Let's go find out what our future holds...."

They were met at the door by Diane Evans and quickly ushered in to the dining room.

"I hope the two of you are hungry. We seem to have plenty of food left over.."

Maria's eyes went instantly to Jim Valenti - who seemed to be in good humor as he shoveled a spoonful of lasagna into a grinning mouth - then to Jaime Sanchez, who was red faced and drinking lemonade to wash down a bite of chili.

"Wow - Great, but really spicy..."

But it was then that Maria's eyes rested upon Max, sitting next to the FBI agent - Max who had desperately needed IVs for Liz.

"Omigawd, Max, is Liz.....gone...?" she whimpered.

"Gone to powder my nose, Ria," came a familiar voice from the hallway. By the time Maria's eyes followed the sound of the voice Liz was already stepping back into the room. "...but I'm back now," she said.

"LIZ!" screamed Maria as she stumbled forward to hug her best friend - well, best girl friend anyway - "...Oh, I didn't think I was ever going to see you again," she said as she hugged Liz and started to cry.

Michael was every bit as happy as Maria, but he was trying to be a little less obvious. He obviously wasn't going to be able to get near Liz with Maria blubbering all over her, so he went over to Max and hugged him instead.

"Congratulations, man. So you cured her finally - all that studying somehow paid off, huh? How did you do it?"

Michael watched his friend start to blush, then watch the blush deepen as a number of good-natured chuckles seemed to go around the table. Liz at least was unaffected.

"I'm going to have a baby, Ria.."

"A BABY??? Oh Liz, that's great. I'm going to give you a baby shower.... can I be sort of like a godmother? Do you know if it's going to be a boy or a girl? Do you think it's going to have - you know, powers and stuff? Can I babysit sometimes?"

"Uh, in order, that would be great, Ria, you certainly can, we don't know for sure but Isabel says she's like 95% convinced that the 'flavor' of the baby's aura is a girl, and yes, I'm pretty sure it's going to have powers, and I imagine we'd be glad to have you babysit if you are willing to do it."

"So," Maria said, looking accusingly at Jim Valenti, "... are you really going to leave Max and Isabel and Michael alone, or do I have to..."

"The Sheriff has provided us with some paperwork that pretty much guarantees the government won't be interfering with the lives of Max or Isabel or Michael - or Liz and the baby either, Maria," said Diane. "This isn't a trap - both of these gentlemen have been more than honorable about this whole issue."

"Speaking of doing the honorable thing," said Jim Valenti, looking at Maria, "... I am in love with your mother and - unless you have some violent objection - intend to propose to her this weekend. It would be nice though if I knew I sort of had your blessing..."

Maria went from hugging Liz to hugging Jim Valenti, tears still flowing down her cheeks. "Of course you have my blessing you big lug..."

"Well, hopefully she'll say yes too," said Jim.

"Of course she'll say yes. I mean she's head over heels in love with you. What woman wouldn't be just overjoyed if the guy she was in love with asked her to marry her? Any woman would love that..." The words were hardly out of her mouth when her eyes went to Michael, realizing the situation that put him in. She backpedaled as quickly and diplomatically as she could, "...uh, that is any woman of her generation. We modern women of course would be just as happy being somewhat more independent..."

Michael looked around the room and saw ten sets of eyes looking at him and Maria desperately looking away from him. This meeting had been a trap - but not the kind of trap he'd anticipated. Fortunately he was ready for it.

He fumbled a little bit but managed to get the small box out of his jeans pocket. He'd been intending to ask her anyway - just as soon as he was sure that the life he shared with her wouldn't be one of running from the law - this would only make about a half hour's difference and if Max could survive Liz talking about the pregnancy in front of the folks he could certainly survive having everyone watch him propose to Maria.

Even Maria's mouth stopped working when she saw the box, and as Michael got down on one knee and opened it the tears were yet again flowing down her cheeks threatening her with dehydration if these emotional moments continued.

"Maria, from the first time I saw you I knew that you were the only one for me - the only one that I would ever love. It wasn't that I wasn't committed - not ever. I just was scared to death that if I asked you this and I ever did wind up in some government lab getting vivisected I'd see you on the table beside me. Now that I know that isn't going to happen - well - would you do me the honor of marrying me ?"

Maria's lips moved - but nothing came out. It was, perhaps, the first time that anyone had ever seen the girl actually speechless. Liz was the first to break the silence.

"Ria - come on, you've got to answer the guy."

"Yeah Maria," said Isabel, smiling while gazing at Alex with loving eyes, "...come on in, the water's fine. Alex and I have already set a date..."

"Don't rush the girl," said a smiling Jim Valenti. "After all, she's hopefully going to be my step-daughter. If I'm going to give her away, I want her to be sure..."

"Y-y-y-yes...!" said Maria, finally finding herself capable of reasonably coherent speech.

"Yes? That's all you have to say?" asked a disbelieving Alex.

"That's enough for me," said Michael as he got up off his knee and swept her up in his arms to kiss her. Whatever temporary incapacity Maria had regarding speech, it apparently didn't come from any paralysis of her lips. She returned the kiss with obvious enthusiasm.

Ten pairs of hands began to clap.
Last edited by greywolf on Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Informed consent AU M/L ADULT 07/01/2010

Post by greywolf » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:10 am

It was 8PM in what had been THE most eventful day in her life since she had ripped through the membrane of her pod as Isabel came back into the house from bidding Alex good-bye and good night. Maria and Michael had left almost fifteen minutes ago and were no doubt on their way back to Michael's place. That was OK,or at least she wasn't too envious. The time would soon come for her and Alex.... besides, there were compensations for the delay that they could explore in the dream-orb.

Isabel went first to the living room and smiled as she saw the three happy couples celebrating there. She didn't do wine personally - she had taken a sip once when she was twelve thinking it was grape juice and Max had had to restrain her bodily with his telekinetic powers for two hours until the effects had worn off and then it had taken another hour for the two of them to recolor the inside of her room from the 'paint job' that she'd done with her molecular manipulation. No, the hybrids knew that alcohol was out for them. 'Ill have to remember to warn Liz about that, not that she'll touch any during her pregnancy anyway....,' she thought.

Isabel walked slowly over to where Amy was sitting - hanging on Jim's arm - and smiled down at her before bending over and giving the Sheriff a quick peck on the cheek.

"That," she said, " for being the nicest 'bad cop' that I know, and bringing those papers to Mom. It sort of made sure that it would be possible for me to have a real life."

"Careful there, Isabel," said Amy, "...if it wasn't for how I saw you acting with Alex I'd think that you were making a move on MY new fiance."

"No problem with that, Amy," said a grinning Isabel who tonight had seemed anything but an Ice Princess. "I think I'll be more than happy with Alex, but I do have to admit that you are getting yourself a real special guy."

"I was pretty sure of that myself," agreed Amy, "...even before this afternoon."

It had been nice though, Amy thought to herself, to find out just what was going on. Amy had been aware that Maria's relationship with Michael had gone well beyond the hand-holding stage and that had been the subject of several rather fruitless mother-daughter talks.

She had feared that her daughter was making a mistake - well, much the same mistake her mother had made at that age - by caring too deeply for someone who didn't care all that much for her - and who lacked the commitment for a long term relationship with either her or even the daughter they had jointly produced.

While Amy had certainly been surprised and even somewhat frightened by Jim's explanation of why Michael had been afraid to publicly commit to Maria, him bringing her over to see that the Evanses - who actually had TWO alien-human hybrids in their household but were still a family that cared for each other much like any other and Max and Isabel's own love for their chosen mates was obvious. The lengths to which Max had gone to care for Liz and bring her back from the edge of death had brought tears to her eyes.

Michael's engagement to Maria had resolved whatever questions she might have had of the young man and Jim's proposal to her ... in front of the assembled group ... had made tonight a night to remember for all time. Her future son-in-law suggesting that she and Jim and Maria and he might have a double wedding had also gone a long way toward endearing the young man to her even more than his obvious caring for Maria had already done.

Between that and a proposal from the guy she loved ... this was, Amy knew, the happiest she had been in her entire life.

"Well, I think I better turn in. It's getting late," said Isabel, "Good night everyone..."

"Getting late? At 8PM?" asked Philip. "They sure don't make eighteen year olds like they used to..."

"In this case, I think you happen to be right," agreed Amy.

"In all fairness, Isabel has been on her feet - or at least driving around the desert, since very early this morning," said Jim Valenti. "I don't wonder she's about out on her feet..."

"I think," said Diane, "...that there's a little more to it than that. I overheard her tell Alex as she kissed him good-bye for the last half-hour or forty-five minutes - that she'd meet him in his dream-orb and that they could boldly go where none of their dreamwalks had ever gone before. I'm not sure who was blushing the most after I overheard that, Alex or me."

"Hey he's a good kid... and they are engaged," said Philip. "They are at least entitled to dream a little..."

"I suppose they are," said Diane, taking another sip of wine.

"Yeah, well Maria and Michael are spending the night at his apartment and they are probably doing a lot more than just dreaming about it," said Amy,"...but since Jim and Michael decided to have the weddings in four weeks, I'm not going to get upset about it, ... especially since Kyle is off to his sports camp and Jim and I decided we might as well not both sit home alone in our separate houses."

Jim blushed, then tried to change the topic quickly. "For someone who was mightily upset with Max only this morning, Jeff, ... you sure seemed fond of the young man this evening."

"Well, there was a lot to like about Max that the Albuquerque Police Department obviously was wrong about, but yes... I sort of gave Max and Liz the bum's rush out of here. I mean, they've been married for what - almost six months, during which time they really haven't had a chance to be newlyweds. I mean even 3 months ago - that wasn't about sex - more just fulfilling a dying and unconscious girl's last request. Earlier this morning I think it was more about Liz making a statement to Max. So I kicked them out early and sent them off to a hotel with a nice honeymoon suite. Lord knows the honeymoon will be short enough. Tomorrow we start remodeling to build the nursery across from Liz's... that is across from Max and Liz's bedroom, and both of them are going to be signing up for summer school to get their educations back on track. Anyway, they're damn good kids, and they both deserved - and needed - a chance to just start to get comfortable with the idea of being man and wife. Besides, I wanted them to know Nancy and I really support them on that."

"Do you really think they can graduate in just one extra year? They've missed two full years of school," said Nancy," Besides, Liz is going to give birth right in the middle of the school year."

"I talked it over with them," said Phillip, "....and I think with this summer and next and the academic year in between, they can probably do it. It sounds like both Liz and Max can simply challenge the testing for AP Calculus and AP physics based upon all the self-study they did on those stasis whatsis - probably AP biology as well. I'll check with the school superintendent - he's one of my clients - but I'll be surprised if they can't manage to graduate in time to go to college only a year late."

"I wish I could say I'm upset about that - the extra year," said Diane, "... but to tell you the truth I'm almost glad it'll be one more year before we again have quite that empty a nest. It seems like we had them for so few years as it is..."

"Well, they were wonderful years... and we have more still ahead of us. To our first grandchild," said Philip listing his glass.

"To YOUR first grandchild," said Amy." ... I'll hold off toasting ours until Maria and Michael actually have the knot firmly tied."

"There sure are a lot of empty nests coming up," said Jim.

"Speaking of kids, have you told Kyle yet, Jim?"

"About Amy and me? Yes. I called him a few hours ago and told him. Told him about Maria and Michael too. Didn't tell him about the alien business though. That's not quite the thing you want to break to someone over the phone. Besides, Kyle always used to listen to my dad tell tales about the Special Unit and what heroes they were. I'm not sure how much he believed dad, but...well, I wouldn't want Kyle to gt the wrong idea about the alien business. I think I'm going to have to break that to him very carefully. Besides, right now he's so busy in that athletic camp, I doubt he has time for anything else....."

So as the three sets of parents enjoyed their wine and camaraderie and bonhomie of realizing that their teenagers were - against all odds - turning out to be very fine adults, three sets of teenagers were paired up with each other - two couples physically and one couple in the dram-orb, celebrating in their own way the love they had for their chosen mate. It had been a very busy and eventful day for all concerned.

Epilogue (part 1)

It was three hours later in the house in Socorro New Mexico and Kyle was sitting in a darkened living room listening to the music and struggling to keep from getting carried away with himself with the young lady snuggled up against him.

The girl's grandfather had left for work about two hours ago. Kyle would have considered that strange had he not had a tour of his friend's grandfather's place of employment a week ago. The elderly gentlemen worked at the Very Large Array facility of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and it made sense – Kyle supposed - that the guy would have to work when the things he was looking at were actually in the sky. Of course, Kyle wasn't actually sure that if the girl were his grand-daughter he'd actually leave her by herself with some guy at this hour of the night.

She had told him when they first met – almost three months ago now – that her parents had died years ago in an aircraft accident and that the old fellow was pretty much all she had left in the way of relatives. Kyle had sort of thought the old guy was really strange – and perhaps he was at that – but after he'd actually toured the facility – the geekery the young lady called it – and met some of the old geezers coworkers, Kyle had pretty much decided that all research astronomers were probably cast from the same mold. 'Slightly weird' probably was inadequate to cover it.

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Re: Informed consent AU M/L ADULT 07/01/2010

Post by greywolf » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:52 am

Epilogue part 2 (of I'm honestly not sure how many)

Kyle and the young lady had met quite by accident. The Roswell baseball team had made the state playoffs. The Socorro Lady Warriors had made the fast-pitch softball finals and for three days they'd both been in Farmington together for the state finals. She was the catcher – and batted .375 for the Lady Warriors – and in those three days they had actually gone out twice – not counting going to two games a day with each other and watching each others team play each day. It was like everything had just seemed to mesh – Kyle had never felt so comfortable with a girl – any girl.
Of course, that seemed like ancient history now.

For eight and a half weeks, all they had done was text-message one another, her on one side of the state and him on the other. But ten days ago he'd come to a two week speed and quickness clinic at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He had a football scholarship to go to UNM in the fall, but the camp would help him get his skills up to where he could actually start as quarterback rather than redshirting a year, so it had been important enough for him to invest the two weeks to improve himself. Somehow though, that had all taken a back seat to being with her.

The young lady lived almost 80 miles from the dormitory he was staying in but the speed limit on highway 25 was eighty miles per hour. So nine times in the last ten days he'd gotten done with his wind sprints and agility practice and showered and driven the hour drive down the Rio Grande valley to Socorro to be with her. In another hour – two at the most – he'd have to get back in the red mustang and head back north to get back to his dorm room and rest up for another day of hard workouts. But now... now he was with her.

“I worry about you, Kyle – driving the road so late every night. People hit deer on that road all the time. Or they fall asleep.”

“Well, I can go if you want. But really, I can drink an energy drink just before I leave – I've got a six-pack of them in the car – and that'll keep me awake until I get back to the dorm. But I'd really rather hang with you for another hour. Not if you'd be un comfortable with me being here of course...”

“Kyle, I'm not worried about you attacking me or something. What I was going to suggest was that you could spend the night in our extra room – then get up early enough to drive back in the morning when it was light.”

“I don't think that would be a good idea – even if I thought your neighbors or your grandfather wouldn't be scandalized by the thought of us spending the night together.”

“Well, it's already night – and we ARE together. I mean, what would be the difference.”

The difference, Kyle realized, would be that it would be even harder for him to keep his hands off her. It was hard enough now. He knew that she hadn't dated much – apparently was pretty picky and had never gone out on a second date with anyone before him.

Of course, Kyle wasn't a great deal more experienced either. OK, so he had gotten to third base with Pam Troy once or at least she'd gotten to third base with him. Pam had damn near attacked him and he'd escaped going further as diplomatically as he could. He'd gone out with Pam just the once and he'd never asked her again because the only step left to take was a commitment that he didn't think he was willing to make. Pam just wasn't the right girl.

His father had made that mistake - picking the wrong girl - and both his father and he had been paying for it ever since.

On the other hand, this one could very possibly be the right one. The problem was he was afraid to touch her – first of all because she genuinely did not appear to be that type of girl – as demonstrated by the naïve comment she'd just made where she actually asked him to stay over night with her while her grandfather was working. Kyle could well imagine what some guys would do with THAT opportunity. Fact of the matter was, Kyle didn't completely trust himself. The larger problem was, she might actually be THE ONE, and if he did something that scared her off.... That's why he was being a little ultra-cautious. It certainly wasn't like he wasn't interested.

He put his lips – cautiously – toward hers, and she smiled and moved closer. As their lips touched he deepened the kiss – almost without conscious thought – then froze as he felt his right hand start to work its way toward her breast. He wasn't going to do that - not yet. He cared for her too much to do anything that might frighten her and he couldn't take advantage of her naivete like that. Besides, in an empty house in the middle of nowhere – he didn't want her to feel intimidated into doing anything she might not be ready for.

“Mmmmmmm!” she said, and the warmth and sweetness of her kiss seemed to overwhelm him again. Then he felt her stiffen with surprise as the magic moment seemed to be broken. Only then did he notice his right hand was cupping her breast.

“I'm sorry Kyle,” she said, pulling away from him. “I need to leave for a moment.”

“Maybe I ought to go.”

“No, please. I'll be back in a few minutes.”

'Boy you've done it now, Valenti,' Kyle thought to himself, surprised at the sense of loss he felt as she left the room. He hoped that somehow he could patch this up, then get on the road back to Albuquerque before he did something else stupid.

The young lady went down the stairs of the basement – somewhat of an oddity in Socorro where most of the houses were built on concrete slabs - closed the stairwell doors behind her and moved toward a concealed panel. It swung outward to reveal a small niche within which was an orb with a spiral design on its surface.

**I hope you know why I interrupted you, Tess?** came the thought from the orb.

Tess nodded – obviously unhappy.

**Because I shouldn't have been mindbending him to make him do what he did,** the young girl thought back disconsolately.

**Well, you at least seem to understand the philosophy and ethics involved, my dear, even if you seem to have some problems in the application**

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Re: Informed consent AU M/L ADULT 07/02/2010 (2)

Post by greywolf » Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:55 am

Epilogue (part 3 of still not sure)

There was a good-natured humor and more than a little affection in the thoughts that came from the orb - even if Tess wasn't quite in the mood to appreciate it.

**But I want so badly for him to be my Chosen,** she mentally pleaded.

**But for him to truly be your Chosen he must also Choose you – of his own will, Tess** the thought came back to her with obvious warmth.

Many people would have thought it strange that the orb could have projected humor, warmth, kindness – or emotions of any kind. Not that there were any people other than Tess that actually knew of its existence. Technically speaking the orb wasn't really 'alive' in any organic sense. But the orb rather easily passed the Turing test for an artificial intelligence. In fact, no one but the orb – and others of its kind – probably did know if the orbs were really self aware. But if they were not they imitated a self aware artificial life form well enough to be indistinguishable to other self-aware life forms like the human-alien hybrid named Tess.

The orbs had been designed as sort of a engineering evolutionary follow-on to an ancient Antarean device not unlike an extremely upgraded iPod. It had been originally – for the Antarean professor who had created the hybrids – little more than a memory aid and data repository when he had purchased it. But in the nearly three hundred years it had served as memory bank and organizer and secretary and communicator for the elderly professor, the orb itself had developed many of the characteristics of the professor himself.

Oh, it had no actual powers other than the ability to provide information and counsel telepathically. But it had three hundred years of the old professor's character locked up in its data banks as well as his knowledge and the wisdom of someone who had survived for almost three hundred years in one of the universe's more stressful environments.

For an old codger already near the end of his life expectancy when he'd created the hybrids, the old prof had certainly held his own against the Special Unit. With no help other than one badly damaged shapeshifter Guardian – sort of a nursemaid for young Antareans – the prof had managed to prepare the podchamber and get three pods safely into it before the Special Unit had been able to stop him. He had been moving the fourth pod – Tess's pod – when they'd ambushed him in – what they thought -was overwhelming strength.

But Antareans don't go down easily – not even elderly academics. Go down he did, but the professor had single-handedly fought the Special Unit to a standstill, giving his life – albeit not without taking quite a few of the Special Unit with him - to allow the damaged shape-shifter Guardian to get the fourth and final pod away to safety, if not to the podchamber with it's siblings.

The orb had been sent along more to keep control of the badly damaged Guardian than for any other purpose - at least until there was a relief expedition to recover the shapeshifter. A nursemaid for infant Antareans the shapeshifter might be, but Antares was a rough neighborhood and a shapeshifter with a brain too damaged to be rational wasn't something you wanted running amok on a placid planet like Earth.

In fact, there had never been a relief expedition and the power to the stasis chamber had finally run out. Six years later Tess had been born. For the next year or so the shapeshifter had provided the physical effort of rearing Tess while the orb had provided the intellectual stimulation, the moral guidance, and the … well, to the Turing test it would have been indistinguishable from love.

Tess had spent four of the first five years of her life following the directions of the orb to correct - as much as anyone on Earth could correct - the damage done to the shapeshifter and assure he wouldn't hurt anyone else . After being on the losing end of several year's captivity, the shapeshifter too had taken his toll of the Special Unit – and a few innocent bystanders as well in his brain-damaged insanity.

Tess – albeit with the guidance of the orb - had established a fake history for the shapeshifter who now went by the name of Ed Harding. For the past seven years the creature had worked at the Very Large Array facility and – six years ago – had sent out a signal that unknown to anyone on Earth in only another two years would hit an Antarean ship passing Alpha Centauri which would divert to pick him up and return him safely to Antar for some rather major repairs to his silicon-based psyche.

In the meantime, Tess and the orb had him harmlessly engaged in categorizing all the stars in the Universe - along with a few dozen humans who were essentially as socially inept as he was. Perhaps it wasn't an exciting life, but he certainly didn't stand out in that crowd. Surprisingly enough, the federal government was actually funding the project.

All in all, it was probably amazing that Tess was as normal as she was – never actually having had the love of a human being. The fact that she WAS as relatively normal as she was socially stemmed largely from the influence of the orb who had been both tutor and parent to the young girl. Which brings us back to the present....

**Tess, why are you attracted to this one? There have been males in your classes throughout your schooling**

**At first – back at the tournament in Farmington - it was just because he was from Roswell. If my brothers and my sister are ever going to be found I'm going to have to start looking there. But he was so nice at the tournament and that night I dreamwalked him when we were staying in the same hotel and....**

**and you found out he was as attracted to you as you were to him...**

**It was more than that. He was attracted to me – but he had.....**


Tess nodded. **Honor** she agreed.

**and so you thought that if you bent his mind to make him do something that he would feel guilty about, his honor would force him to Choose you**

Tess nodded sadly. **I knew it was wrong – but I wanted so badly for him to Choose me. And he is afraid of the Choice. His father's Choice ... did not go well, and his maternal parent unit hurt them both horribly when she abandoned them...**

**But surely you understand – that it wouldn't be his Choice if he Chose while his mind was being bent... or even if he Chose from guilt over what you had forced him to do. It would still be your compelling him**

Tess nodded her head sadly. **I'm sorry**

**Don't be sorry. He seems a reasonable enough young man. It is not unethical for you to want him – not even unethical for you to pursue him. What is unethical is for you to use mindbending to compel him..

"I can't help but wonder if he doesn't want you just as much as you want him. Have you considered just being honest with him?**

**Honest about my feelings toward him? Or honest about...everything?**

**Choosing must be his Choice, Tess, but it must also be an informed choice. Deception is a poor means to enter a relationship of co-Choice**

**But if he finds out I'm different he won't want to Choose me...**

**If he is truly your Choice and you are truly his Choice, such little difference as there is between the two of you will not be important to him**

Tess nodded and turned to head back up the stairs. Perhaps no one could ever prove the orb was self – aware but in its own electronic soul it hummed with a pride not unlike that of a parent as it watched Tess go ...

As she came back in the room,. Kyle was already to leave – to head back to Albuquerque. But there was something he had to say first.

“Look, Tess, I know I somehow got a little carried away there – did something that – well - I know we aren't ready for that just yet. I'm not just too sure how that happened, but I want you to know that I do care for you...I care for you a lot. I'm sure your upset with me right now and you have every right to be. I'm going to leave. But I hope once... once you have had time to calm down – we can get together someplace that you'll feel safe and talk -just talk – about our feelings for each other. You've become very important to me and I don't want to lose your friendship – even if that's all we can ever have...”

“Kyle, don't blame yourself for what happened. I wanted you to get to second base just as much as you wanted to get there. In fact the feeling you felt was rather precisely the feeling I was feeling. The problem was that I wanted you to get there for the wrong reason.”

“The wrong reason?”

“The wrong reason. I knew that the way your mind works if you really went what you considered to be too far and too soon you'd feel obligated to commit yourself to me. I think it's probably a family trait, I imagine your mother and father wound up together that way. They got married before they really understood what the other was like, what each other DID like even, and because of that their Choosing … I mean their marriage … was fairly unsuccessful..”

“Unsuccessful? That doesn't begin to describe it. Mom took off like a scalded jackrabbit before I was hardly out of diapers. My most vivid memory of her was her saying she didn't know why she'd gotten married and damn sure didn't know why she'd ever let herself get pregnant. That was just before she slammed the door and drove off...”

Tess could see the image in Kyle's mind – feel the hurt and pain that memory had caused hm for all these years and was tempted to reach in and take the memory away from him forever....

**You can't do that either, Tess. That's part of who he is...part of what makes him so determined to be honorable**

**I know, I know, it's just so hard to see him hurt so much - especially when I could take that hurt from him**

“Look, Kyle,” Tess said, drawing close and taking his hand. “It wasn't all THAT unsuccessful. Your parents marriage created you... and I happen to think that's a pretty wonderful thing...”

“Thanks, Tess. I'm sorry I even got you involved in the history of my family life. At least things are better now for my dad. He called me up tonight and said he had proposed to Amy. She's real nice. She'll be good for him. But you ought to be the last one I complain to about my family life – you lost both your parents in the aircraft mishap.”

“Uh, Kyle...I sort of didn't tell you the whole truth about that..”

“They didn't die in a plane crash?”

“This complicated. You have to promise me that you won't freak. I mean, it's OK if you just don't want anything to do with me … but you can't just freak out and run away, OK? You promise?”

“Uh, sure. I mean how did they die?”

“That's just it. I – uh – never had parents at all..”

“You were always an orphan?”

“No Kyle. Orphans have parents who die. I never had any parents – my DNA came mostly from tissue samples of people who were – well, examined and released, and that a long long time ago. I was created artificially – over sixty years ago – then kept sort of frozen in time until about eighteen years ago when I was incubated. Six years later I sort of just - hatched.”

“Tess.... Is this supposed to be a joke? No one on Earth has technology like that even now, let alone sixty years ago....”

"You are right about that, Kyle. WE didn't have that technology, Kyle, and still don't. I say we because I'm mostly human, but there were others who did. THEY had that technology. Coming from Roswell you ought to know that better than most.”

“Don't tell me you are one of those alien conspiracy theorists, Tess. Roswell fills up with those for the Crash festival and the ET convention. Those people are a little weird.”

Tess shrugged her shoulders. “I'm afraid I'm a little weirder than they are then, Kyle. There's nothing about what I know that is theoretical Unfortunately, it's the story of my life. I didn't chose it to be that way – any more than you chose for your mother to run out on you. It just happened.

"All I have in this world – all I've ever had – is a damaged and formerly homicidal artificial nursemaid who will never be right until he can get back to the shop and be fixed. Unfortunately that shop is 600 light-years away – and the recorded memories of an elderly anthropologist who believed me and my three siblings – who I have never met and who may already be dead – to be his gift to Earth.

"At least I guess I've got a pretty good reason to be weird,anyway, huh?” she finished, shrugging her shoulders.

Kyle started edging slowly toward the door. “Uh, that's real interesting, Tess....” It wasn't that he was afraid of her. She barely came up to his shoulder. And he outweighed her by at least 40 pounds. It was that he was afraid that whatever had made her this irrational, she needed some serious psychiatric help, and that wasn't something that a pre-Freshman physical education major who was basically studying how to be a quarterback had a lot of experience with.

“Why don't you come get in my car and we can go get your grandfather. I'm sure he'll be able to help you find someone you can talk to to help you with that.”

Tess's smile was instantaneous. She shook her head, barely able to stop from laughing.

“All my life I've dreamed about telling someone – some human someone – someone I care about - the truth, and I'd imagined all sorts of things happening, usually them running in terror. And after all those fears.... You don't even believe me, do you Kyle...?”
Last edited by greywolf on Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Informed consent AU M/L ADULT 07/04/2010

Post by greywolf » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:50 pm

What frightened Kyle was that he did believe that Tess believed the nonsense she was saying. He'd seen his grandfather's Alzheimer's start the same way. As the old man's mind had started to go he'd babbled on incessantly about the Special Unit, embryos in pods that had been spirited out of government custody, and shapeshifting demons. Of course his grandfather had fathered Kyle's dad late in his life and was really getting on in years by the time Kyle was old enough to remember the old guy's stories. Tess was barely an adult – no older than Kyle himself.

Tess had never acted like this before. Kyle wasn't sure if this was some sort of psychotic break like schizophrenia, if she had been drugged, or just what was happening to her. All he knew was that she had once said that her grandfather was her guardian and would likely have to be involved in finding her treatment. He also remembered what the nurses at the Alzheimer's home had said about his grandfather – to just humor the old guy so he didn't get too agitated.

“It's not that I don't believe you, Tess,” replied Kyle. It wasn't REALLY a lie if he was just humoring an irrational friend was it? “I just think you are a little confused and that we ought to talk to your grandfather and he can help you to straighten out this whole alien business.”

“My 'grandfather' helping me straighten out my mental status? Is that what you are thinking? Have you really not NOTICED that my 'grandfather' is a couple tacos shy of a combo-plate, Kyle?”

Actually, now that Tess mentioned it, Ed Harding was NOT in the upper 99% of the population that Kyle would have normally sought assistance from in an emergency. The guy was sort of a geeky space-cadet. But if Tess was going off the deep end, someone would have to authorize her being seen for treatment. They damn sure weren't going to let some virtually unknown guy who was aspiring to be a boyfriend authorize her treatment. Unfortunately, Ed Harding was apparently was all that Kyle had to work with.

“I have to admit, there are times your grandfather appears... confused... Tess, but I really think we should go see him.”

“Confused? Now? You should have seen him originally. While other kids were going to second grade, I was practically reprogramming him. But at least he's relatively harmless now, which I assure you is a significant improvement. But if you truly believe I need medical help, he'd be the last one I'd recommend you consult. If you told him that you thought I needed to be locked up for my own good – well, I'm not sure you'd get the 'for my own good' part out even now. I said he was RELATIVELY harmless, not harmless, and doing anything he saw as a threat to me might just trigger off a few reflexes I wasn't able to program around.”

“Well, I said I was sorry about the wandering hand during the kiss, Tess. I don't know what got into me. But I still think....”

“I can tell you what got into you, Kyle, me. I shouldn't have done it … It wasn't fair and it wasn't right … but with your permission I will give you a demonstration.”

'My permission to do what?” asked Kyle.

“To demonstrate mindbending. It's a power I have – because I have some alien DNA along with all my human DNA.”

“Uh, sure, Tess, go ahead, as long as afterwards we can go take a trip to the emergency room and talk to a doctor there,” said Kyle, still trying to humor her.

“How about this... First I do the demonstration, then – if you still want me to – I'll go turn myself in for a psychiatric evaluation, does that seem fair?”

“You have a deal, Tess.,” Kye said, relieved that he could get her agree to get some treatment that he hoped would help her,” go ahead and do the mindbend thing, then we'll go see the nice doctor...”

“IF you still think that would be a good idea..” Tess said.

“Yeah, IF I still think that's a good idea...,” agreed Kyle.

Even before he said it, Kyle had made up his mind. He was going to see this through – even if he had to kidnap Tess to get her treatment. Hell, it hadn't seemed like Max cared that much for Liz but when she'd been injured the guy had moved heaven and earth to get her treatment. Even though Jeff Parker had fought him much of the way, Max had persevered and – against all odds – somehow Liz had come through it. His father had told him about Liz waking up inn the nursing home and Max eloping with her. Her case had seemed hopeless but somehow Max had persevered and now she was not only well but she and Max were married and expecting their first and apparently both families were overjoyed about it.

'You,' Kyle told himself, ...are every bit the human being that Max is, Kyle Valenti. If Max was willing to devote his life to helping someone he loved without any realistic expectation of a happy ever after, you can certainly make this effort to help Tess.' Of course, he wasn't really expecting what happened next.

The impulse seemed irresistible. Kyle couldn't stop himself from putting his arm around her waist and pulling her toward him. He felt the softness of her breasts against his chest as he looked down into her eyes. His lips moved to cover hers and he felt his tongue probe against her lips seeking entrance. It was the most erotic thing he'd ever experienced and … horrifying.

'You scummy horndog,' his mind yelled at him, as he heard Tess groan with pleasure as their tongues intertwined. '… the girl's delusional – needs medical assistance - and instead of helping her, you are taking advantage of her,'

Kyle fought to control himself but found all he could do was hug her more tightly, kiss her more deeply, feel his passion for her grow more intensely. He tried to break away – but couldn't bring himself to let go.

**Tess** came the voice in Kyle's brain, **I think you are proceeding past the point of an academic demonstration of powers and perhaps crossing into an issue of ethics again**

Of course Tess had sort of noticed that herself, it was just that she'd gotten kind of inadvertently caught up in the demonstration. With a sigh of resignation, she broke the mindbend and let Kyle break the kiss – not without a certain amount of sense of loss.

“Omigawd,” said Kyle, staggering backwards. “...not only am I taking advantage of someone I should be helping, I'm starting to hear voices of my own.” 'Maybe insanity is contagious..., he thought.

**You aren't insane, Kyle** came the voice in his head. **Tess just got a little bit carried away demonstrating her mindbending ability. I wish I could say that I was at a loss as to why she chose that power to demonstrate rather than telekinesis or molecular manipulation – but after over three centuries of experience with life – and twelve years of experience with Tess – I probably can deduce the reason. Perhaps, Tess, it would be better if you brought your friend down to the basement and let me talk to him face-to-face, so to speak. Having no raging hormones of my own I can probably explain the situation to him in a more clinically detached fashion**

It wasn't until Kyle heard Tess's voice in his own mind saying, **Maybe that would be better** although neither her face nor her body language seemed all that convinced, that he started to think he might not be delusional after all.

Tess looked up at him and smiled, “Kyle, would you be good enough to accompany me downstairs. I'll be on my best behavior...I promise. I'm afraid you are going to have to meet the rest of the family, such as it is...”

With growing suspicion that neither he nor Tess might actually be insane, Kyle followed the golden-haired girl down into the basement.....

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Re: Informed consent AU M/L ADULT 07/06/2010

Post by greywolf » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:06 pm

Kyle followed Tess down the stairs - watching her body language as he did so. It was a skill that his father had taught him - that Jim had used in twenty years of police work - and that Kyle had used himself on many occasions - usually reading the players of opposing teams - blitzing linebackers in particular. What the body language told him was that Tess was afraid - but that seemed puzzling. She certainly wasn't afraid of the person behind those messages - the thoughts had radiated good humor at the ongoing situation. Something like a coach who'd caught you trying to foolishly steal second base where the situation didn't require you to do so and was chiding you about it to teach you a lesson. But underneath that there was even more. Something very much like an indulgent parent who'd caught their offspring trying to break a rule and was gently - but firmly - taking them to task for it.

NO, fear of the...person?... down in the basement wasn't what Tess was feeling. Her fear was more basic. It was a fear of what the person was going to tell him. A fear of what that knowledge might mean to him, perhaps? A fear that because of that knowledge he - Kyle Valenti - might somehow hurt her??

'That's just nonsense. I'd never hurt Tess,' he told himself, ' has to be something else...'

The basement was unremarkable - at least until Tess went over to the wall and placed her hand on it. There was a brief soft glow, and the paneling opened outward to reveal a silver object - sort of like a small football - with a stylized image of a whirling vortex of some kind. Tess picked it up - cradling it in her arms, and brought it toward him, then sat down cross-legged on the floor before him with the orb in f ront of her as she motioned for him too to be seated.

"You can hear him pretty much anywhere in the house, but to be able to get enough broadband to have visuals, you will probably need to touch him."

"Him?" asked Kyle.

**The gender is perhaps superfluous,** radiated the thoughts from the orb, **...since in fact there is nothing biological about me, much less sexual. Still, the thoughts that formed what I am were from someone of the male gender, so it is a convention I have long accepted and Tess is comfortable with it. You might consider me Tess's foster father if that would make you more comfortable. That approximates how she feels about me, I believe**

"I guess that explains WHO you are," said Kyle, the look on his face wide-eyed," doesn't really explain WHAT you are OR how you and Tess came to be here."

**What I am is easy enough to explain in general terms at least. In your present culture many of you carry something called a Blackberry or an IPod. These primitive devices allow you to utilize electronic mechanisms to assist your organic brains to organize and schedule and recall information. I am such a mechanism - far more advanced of course - who was the associate of a person who was first a visitor here about three hundred and fifty of your years ago.

I was the helper to that person from my creation until his death - for just over three hundred twenty of your years - sharing his thoughts and memories rather seamlessly. After a few decades my kind tend to become a mental simulacrum of those we assist. After three hundred years...** it seemed to Kyle that the orb gave a mental sigh, **it would perhaps seem to the average observer that our minds were virtually the same - that I would have the values and perhaps even the consciousness, if not the soul itself of the person I have mirrored for those centuries**

"The soul??" asked Kyle.

** force ... different cultures feel differently about such things. I suppose when we have all met our final dissolution - well, perhaps then we will all know for sure. But perhaps now is not the time for such musings in philosophy, enjoyable as such discussions can be.

You have other questions to be answered ... and decisions to be made. Make yourself comfortable and I will attempt to answer them. Whether the answers will satisfy you or not I do not know, but I promise you they will be at least truthful**

"Tess claims that she was uh - artificially created..."

To Kyle it seemed like there was almost a mental sigh, then the orb began to radiate thoughts.

**The star Antares is almost six hundred light-years from your planet. Life is older there... much older ... and in many ways was much more difficult - at least in the early years of the race of which the person I served was a member. Life is not common in the universe. Self-aware life is rarer still. Intelligent life is indeed scarce. Intelligent life that reaches the stars - and survives - is perhaps the rarest of species - less than a dozen in the explored parts of this galaxy and half of the next.

When I was created and bonded to my person, he was in a course of study - perhaps analogous to what you would call graduate school. His field of study was the study of intelligent cultures - perhaps anthropology would be the nearest to the field you have on this planet.**

"He was studying...people?"

**His field of study was PEOPLES - intelligent species from all worlds - but his field work for his certification involved this world. It also involved a female of his species**

"He was studying a female of his species?"

The orb seemed to radiate amusement.

**In a way that is true, but in this case the female was another - perhaps graduate student would be the best term. The two of them came here in what would have been your late 1600s as part of a field team to catalog Earth culture. My person and this female seemed to argue constantly about philosophy and the human race. I thought at time they might come to physical violence. Still, I was young ... I didn't understand what was happening between them**

"Why did they argue?"

**By WHY do you mean for what reason did they argue? Or what did they argue about. Language can be so imprecise. What they argued about was Earth and the people who inhabited it. To the female the Earth was a placid and tranquil place and the people themselves were kind and charitable - at least by the standards of most worlds - and she believed it a sort of primitive paradise. The male believed that Earth was too placid, that it would allow the people of Earth - like the great majority of peoples - to seek the stars without being strong enough to survive what was out there. It seemed to me at the time that the male made the stronger case but then as his simulacrum, it was scarcely likely that I would disagree with him, is it?**

"I - uh - guess not," said Kyle.

**The female insisted that Antareans were not some sort of a master race, the male insisted they were superior to humans and that your people were headed for extinction like so many others. She acknowledged the frailties of the humans, but insisted we ought to help them - to assist them to find the strength to survive the jump to the stars. She told him that the random mutations that had produced the powers that made Antareans 'superior' to the people of Earth were just a random event - not some cosmic or theological blessing bestowed upon the people of Antar - that these were simply inheritable traits which might be transferred to the people of Earth to let them one day be our partners in the cosmos.

As I said, they used to argue violently about this - I feared that they might actually come to blows - being young at the time and not actually realizing what was going on between them**

"What WAS going on."

**The closest translation might be sexual foreplay. Eventually they agreed to differ on the subject of helping Earth someday survive its reach for the stars - in 1690 the topic actually didn't have any great urgency - pretty much everything else they did agree about. They Chose one another shortly after they left Earth**


**To bind their futures to each other until death parted them. Unfortunately that was only about three of your years later. A supernova occurred as she was riding in a craft departing a nearby wormhole....**

"She died?"

Kyle felt the sadness in the thoughts. Apparently the device could recall events as if they had just happened. Once Kyle would have thought that a neat skill to have, but as he felt the feelings behind the thought - felt the pain there - he was suddenly glad that he was merely human and time would always dim the pain for him.

**The female and the new one she was carrying disappeared into the heart of the super-nova. The male had nothing left but the three years of memories. No one would have considered it disHonorable had he Chosen again - not even the parents of his dead Chosen, but he never did. Neither he - nor I - ever believed that anyone could ever replace her**

Kyle felt the sense of loss - the pain - even though the death of the female had obviously occurred long ago - before he was born - before even his grandfather father had been born, This all must have occurred some time around 1700 - but still he felt the memory of the grief.

""But how does this involve....Tess?"

**The man achieved a degree of prominence in his field - what you might term wealth and power - but always there was something lacking. What was lacking was ... her. Eventually the parents of his long-dead Chosen themselves passed on. She had been their only offspring and as per tradition they too left their not inconsiderable material goods to the Chosen of their daughter. But it wasn't the material goods that changed the course of his life - it was a silly and sentimental thing the mother of his Chosen had done centuries before that changed the course of his - and my - destiny. She had kept a locket of the female's hair - taken from her first haircut as a remembrance.

The DNA was present - although incomplete. Even with the skills the male had acquired in his field work of molecular anthropology it would have not been possible to actually clone his long-lost Chosen, even had the law allowed it. But the man had access to the stasis chambers with the genetic material they had stored from the studies on Earth which had been almost a lifetime previously. He took her DNA ... and his .. and used it to modify the Earth DNA.

It was a legacy to her memory and the love they had that had lead to their Choosing. It took him years to perfect the four embryos - to assure the human DNA was unimpaired by the DNA that was grafted to it. In a way the embryos became the children that the male and the female had never had. They were a means of not just honoring her memory or even of giving her her wish to provide the people of Earth with assistance in surviving their eventual jump to interstellar space. ... but rather a way of keeping her joined to him and the DNA of the primitive race she had loved so much**

"So Tess was created...many decades ago?"

**Decades ago and light years away - then preserved in stasis as an embryo until she could be brought to Earth and raised. That part of the plan,** Kyle sensed a mental shudder, **...did not go well**

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Re: Informed consent AU M/L ADULT 07/08/2010

Post by greywolf » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:43 am

“Touch the surface of the orb, Kyle, and you should be able to understand – and even see - what went wrong,” said Tess.

Kyle looked at her – she still appeared afraid – and he realized then that she really was afraid of him – or at least afraid of what his reaction would be when he fully understood. It was apparent from the worried look on her face what it had cost her to risk letting him know the truth. He certainly couldn't put her through that and walk away now. He reached out his hand and felt the smooth metal of the orb – that's when the flashes started in his mind.

**The Denebian FTL ship was primitive – the people of Deneb IV were the latest and most primitive – of the races known to have survived the transition into interstellar space. Taking an Antarean ship would have been far safer, but it was practically out of the question. The Antareans had spread to dozens of worlds and had only a loose confederation with a weak central government. The professor was a well-respected and influential person within that confederation but even so – the prohibition against interfering with developing races was a strong one. It was primarily to assure that these developing races were not exploited, and secondarily to assure that no one gave them advanced technology that would have speeded up the process of achieving interstellar flight. The ethical consensus was that developing races needed all the time they could get for evolution to prepare them for the rigors of the cosmos. Of course, neither of these concerns really applied in this case.

It MIGHT have been possible to have actually gotten the approval of the diverse planets of the confederation. Achieving the consensus, however, would have required time – time an elderly professor near the end of his life expectancy did NOT have. Of course in the end the professor, whatever his academic credentials, was still an Antarean – a race that had struggled against a harsh and demanding environment from their inception. 'If you ain't cheating, you ain't really trying,' had been the unspoken motto of the race since they became self-aware. No bureaucracy was going to stop the professor from honoring the memory of his long-departed Chosen.

Which is why the professor, four stasis/incubation chambers, and two Guardians were on what amounted to a tramp-freighter and exploration and prospecting ship that would have been condemned as unsafe by any of the more advanced civilizations than the Denebians enroute to a place called Sol III on the astrogation charts and known to the locals -unsurprisingly – as 'Earth,' as almost 80% of self-aware populations called their native world.

Even the Denebians weren't stupid though. Sol III had just gone through a World War – one in which fission weapons had been used. There was no way in hell they were going to bring the wrath of the rest of the space-faring civilizations down upon themselves by risking the primitives actually getting hold of FTL technology. They had adamantly refused to land the professor and his cargo on Sol III, but a compromise had been worked out.

The Denebians had an extra – well, what amounted to a lifeboat. It had no FTL drive, but had the capability to get around a solar system reasonably well – or at least it had that capability 120 years previously when it was built. Of course, it had seen a lot of hard use and damn little maintenance since. The professor and his cargo were placed aboard it before the ship carrying it even engaged its FTL drive – a necessity since the Denebian craft didn't intend to even slow up as it went by.

The plan was for the lifecraft to be kicked out of the Denebian tramp-freighter as it passed Sol IV – heading for Sol III. The whole interior of the lifecraft would be in stasis while it decelerated into normal space then use it's more primitive sub-light engine to decelerate continuously all the way to Earth. It wasn't a bad plan really, it was simply the execution that fell apart.

As the lifecraft was kicked out from the cocoon of forces keeping the Denebian freighter in the wormhole, it slammed abruptly into normal space – it's residual momentum bleeding off in a bright flash of Cherenkov radiation. Moments later the lifecraft had the first problem. The ship was NOT just inside the orbit of Sol IV – Mars – and heading for Earth. It was barely past the orbit of Jupiter – in the middle of the asteroid belt.

Seconds later – before the professor had even gotten out of stasis - the forward force field of the lifecraft shattered as it struck a small asteroid at nearly the speed of light - destroying the force field projector altogether. The only good thing about that was that it slowed the lifecraft down substantially. It was going barely seven-hundredths the speed of light – a mere 13,000 miles per minute – when it hit the sand grain size second asteroid. Kinetic energy equals one-half the mass times the velocity squared. An asteroid the size of a grain of sand doesn't have much mass, but 13,000 miles per minute squared is a hell of a big number. Almost a third of the lifecraft disappeared in an incandescent flare of metal fumes.

As the professor came out of stasis less than half of the lifecraft was holding atmosphere and the vessel was spinning like a top – half a solar system away from the world it needed to get to for the embryos to survive**

Kyle could feel the feelings of the professor as he shunted aside the despair he felt. The professor was determined that the embryos survive ... nothing was more important to him.

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Re: Informed consent AU M/L ADULT 07/08/2010

Post by greywolf » Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:34 pm

**The damage to the lifecraft was severe. Sensors were damaged, shielding was destroyed, and both life support and energy supplies had been compromised. But the Antareans who were quitters had long since been taken out of the gene pool and in the final analysis even an elderly Antarean professor was still an Antarean. The shattered hull was closed telekinetically - bonded back together through molecular manipulation - and what atmosphere remained eventually stopped leaking. The most critical issue was fuel.

Even the second collision had slowed the lifecraft. At almost 1100 miles per second, it had yet another 930 million miles to go to catch up to the Earth. That would have taken three years and while life support might have lasted - the Guardians didn't use oxygen and the embryos were inert and safe in their stasis pods - the likelihood of the lifecraft itself surviving a blind transit of the asteroid belt was small. Due to the Denebian astrogation errror it would now be necessary for the lifecraft to travel indirectly - to accelerate out of the plane of the ecliptic if the embryos were to be safely delivered to their future home.

That acceleration and then the braking to match velocities with the planet would almost require every bit of the lifecraft's fuel. It would be a delicate balancing act between fuel exhaustion and exhaustion of the life support system that would require just over a year to reach the blue planet of Sol III.

And so it was that the two Guardians spread themselves out over the side of the cabin and went in to hibernation, leaving the elderly professor alone - except for the four stasis chambers that were now his raison d'etre.

It was fifty-four weeks later that the crippled spacecraft entered the fringes of Earth's atmosphere. What was within the capability of the professor to repair - had been repaired. What he could do little about was the inadequate fuel. NASA had used atmospheric braking on re-entry throughout their space program. Heavy ablative heatshields had long been abandoned by the Antareans - even by the Denebians - but you use what you have. The professor had transferred as much material to the bow as he could - and though it glowed white-hot from the friction of re-entry he held the molten metal in place telekinetically as the energy of re-entry dissipated in heated air and metal vapor.

Strangely enough the structural failure did not occur in the heat shield. The changed center of gravity and shortened wing structure affected the nature of the airflow and the vibration cause on re-entry and a harmonic frequency with the aft structure resultedin large tears in the fuselage while the aircraft was still hypersonic. The professor held the remains together largely by force of will and telikinesis - slowing the lifecraft to a survivable - if you were a hibernating Guardian or tough old Antarean - speed. The stasis chambers were totally unhurt.

But the old academic had given - for the moment - all he had to give. He lapsed into unconsciousness in the wreckage. Twenty minutes later the Army was there and found him unconscious. They gathered the debris - including two wall panels that - if you knew what to look for - looked surprisingly like two stunned hibernating Guardians - and took everything back to base and stored it all in a hangar - all but the unconscious elderly epidemic who went to the base hospital.

Despite the close call, things actually had gone quite well - better than the professor would have expected. Unfortunately somebody in the base command post actually had a checklist for how to handle such a situation. Item 19 on the checklist was to call the FBI Special Alien Unit.**

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Re: Informed consent AU M/L ADULT 07/12/2010

Post by greywolf » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:08 am

**The young Lieutenant had an engineering degree and was as close to being capable of actually understanding what the pods were doing as anyone was on the base. He was holding an old railroad watch up to the side of the pod - Tess's pod - when the four men from the Special Unit stormed into the hangar.

'You there....Get away from that stuff. What the hell do you think you are doing?'

'I'm just trying an experiment on these four pods. When you get put a watch against the side of these metal containers, it slows down'

'So they're magnetic or what?'

'No, a compass doesn't change when you put it near them. They don't appear to be magnetic. They actually appear to slow time.'

'Slow time? That's insane. What in hell is in them, anyway?'

'There's a small window in the side. The doc looked in there and said it looked like these things have human fetuses in them - about ten weeks old, he thinks. It looks like these things store them - freeze them in time, sort of.'

'Well, we need to get them out. Open up the containers.'

'But - if we take them out, then time will speed up - they'll die.'

'Damn right they'll die. We have the one adult to interrogate and we sure aren't getting any information out of these. That makes them nothing but a liability. They MAY be dangerous - and they are useless for our purposes. The boss says to incinerate anything biological. It's the only way to be sure that we have this infestation contained. Once we get whatever we can from the adult, it'll go into the incinerator too. Whatever the hell it is, once it's cremated it is just going to be a bunch of ashes that can't harm anyone.'

'We can't do that. Haven't you guys heard of the Geneva convention? Aren't you aware of the Nuremberg trials? About crimes against humanity?'

'Those little bastards don't look human to me,' said the leader of the FBI men. 'Besides, we have several Presidential findings that say we can do damn well what we want with aliens, Lieutenant, and that damn thing was a foo-fighter, which makes anything in it an alien. So back off - before you get yourself in serious trouble. The deal is, the military gets to keep the hardware - we get anything alive. The adult will stay alive until we get all the information we can out of him. These we have no use for...'

'I think I need to go talk to my commanding officer about this,' said the young Lieutenant.

'Why don't you go do that very thing,' said the lead FBI agent. As soon as the Lieutenant was out of sight he shook his head. 'One in every crowd.'

'Do we wait for him?' asked the largest FBI guy.

'Hell no. The boss already talked to his Colonel - as long as we have those letters that Roosevelt signed we can do just as we damn well please. Now go get some surgical gloves and some jars and let's get these pod-things open....'

But there were other things beside wreckage in the hangar. The two Guardians - still stunned and in their camouflage looked like bent-up hull plating. The creatures were not native to Antar, although the Antareans had employed them for many millenia. They were a strange fluorine and silicon-based lifeform that - when first born - resembled pinkish-gray slugs - about five kilos in mass. Once they were adults they were masters of deceptions - shapeshifters and chameleons - they borrowed the shape and coloration and to an extent, the mental facilities, of creatures they were stalking or trying to avoid. On their own they weren't terribly bright - even when undamaged. Their single endearing feature was their protectiveness toward the young. No doubt this was determined by the evolutionary need to protect their own young who for the first several years of their life were quite vulnerable, but somehow along the way the protectiveness had generalized. The Guardians would instinctively protect any new aura and, in fact, had needed to be sedated when the fetuses were loaded in the pods to avoid them interpreting the stasis field immobilizing the auras of the fetuses as an attack on them. They were, in their own way, quite formidable creatures. Unfortunately, without someone with a little more intellect to direct their activities, the damage to the embryos would be done before either creature realized what was happening.

But there was something else among the wreckage besides the Guardians - an orb with a spiral design. It's designed functions were limited to communications and translation and scheduling and memory storage and other such mundane tasks. But over three centuries, it had indeed become a simulacrum of the unconscious professor. The pod wasn't supposed to actually intercede but what it had become over the centuries - an artificial life-form version of its user - knew with absolute crystal clarity that the professor would have wanted it to try. And try it did.

**The children are no threat to you. You must leave them alone**

The result was less than helpful. All four men pulled their guns out and - wild-eyed - looked for the source of the thoughts within their minds.

'What the hell was that?' asked the lead agent.

'I dunno, but I don't like it,' replied one of the agents, the other two junior agents nodding their heads in agreement while waving their guns around at the debris piled on the hangar floor.

'It's got to be coming from these four,' said the FBI leader, pointing his handgun at Tess's pod. 'They are the only thing alive in the room except for the four of us. Take them out...' he finished, slowly squeezing the trigger - just as they'd taught him at the academy.

The orb had already exceeded its authority considerably, communicating to the FBI agents. Sending a mental warning to the Guardians that the men were attempting to kill the children was way outside of allowable parameters.

Still, if the orb was physically an inorganic collection of integrated circuits, culturally it was the simulacrum of an Antarean - a species that believed that if you weren't cheating, you weren't REALLY trying. The orb sent a brief flash to the Guardians of the four FBI agents slaughtering the fetuses. The Guardians instincts took care of the rest.

Before the FBI leader was able to fire into the first stasis chamber a large but innocuous-appearing piece of metal sheet leaped from the floor and wrapped itself around his hand... and neck. The three remaining FBI agents froze- wondering how in hell to get the thing off their leader before it killed him. Before they could decide, the second Guardian attacked from behind them. After that they had more urgent matters to deal with than saving their boss**