Gender: N/A Age: N/A Location: N/A
|Introduction: Not my story.|
Ron was floating on a cloud, sailing across a lavender sky, with yellow birds flitting around him. He recognized the sensations. I’m dreaming. But I was already dreaming, wasn’t I? This is all some nightmare.
Ron rose slowly from the depths of unconsciousness. His senses were reporting in before he had risen fully to alertness. He felt the softness of the surface on which he lay, how it gave support and comfort to provide him a soothing rest. He felt the slippery sheet on top of him, covering him, but not making him hot. His bare arms felt the room temperature, which was warm and comforting. Before he had ever opened his eyes, he knew for certain he was dead, since there was no way any hospital felt this good, and he’d have to at least be in a hospital after his battle.
Opening his eyes, his first, blurry vision proved him right. The being before him was dressed in a white robe. As his vision focused, he could tell that the angel before him was a girl, slightly older than himself. Her blonde hair flowed around her peaceful face, framing her friendly smile and sparkling green eyes. She peered at him with concern, and when she spoke, it was as if chimes had rung around the world.
"Are you alright?” The goddess asked.
"Mmph," was all Ron managed to squeak out. Before he could say more, she raised a goblet to his lips, and he was given some liquid to drink. Slowly, he sipped at it, feeling his throat absorb it all. After a moment, she lowered the goblet.
"Is that better?” she asked.
"I think so," Ron managed, "where am I?”
The goddess actually deigned to touch him, as she helped him into a sitting position, and placed pillows behind him. Looking around, he realized they were not alone. There were other angels here. Playing what appeared to him to be a small harp was another blonde, wearing a short skirt and a tight upper garment that covered only her torso, but not her arms. Her skin was fair, and her smile inviting. Her posture spoke of strength and agility. Her smile spoke of friendship and warmth. She looked upon him with concern and friendship. The music she played was soothing and soft.
The third angel in the room was also a blonde. Do only blondes go to heaven? Then what am I doing here? She was sitting on a couch, legs curled up, and observing him. Her countenance was neither friendly nor hostile, but curious. Her body was concealed among the folds of her rather thick robe, and the sash that draped around it. The room itself was a luxurious bedchamber, with plush carpeting and furniture filling the room. The drapes over the windows were thin enough that they admitted most of the sunshine from outside. The bed on which he lay was very soft, and king-sized. He looked down, and the sheets were indeed satin. Ron focused his attention back on the goddess in front of him. Her body was very close to his, and he could smell her scent, which reminded him of a field of wildflowers.
The goddess waited until he had refocused on her. "You are in Guardian Hall. We brought you here after your… battle with Mordreon.” She had almost said defeat, but did not wish to remind him of it. "You have been asleep for a considerable amount of Spirit Time.”
"How long?” he asked.
"Four days.” Seeing the panicked look on his face, she quickly continued, "But that’s not Earth time, that’s just time here, in the Spirit Realm. On Earth, I think it’s been about a half an hour. Time doesn’t play at the same tempo in all the realms.”
"Who… Who are you?” he asked.
"My name is Callista. That," she gestured to the girl with the harp, "is Valeria, and the other is Minerva. We are the Three Sisters, Guardians of the Realms.” Valeria put down her harp and walked over to him, but Minerva remained where she was.
Ron was badly shaken by this new experience. "Why am I not dead?” he asked.
"And an ungrateful fellow you are," Valeria said teasingly. "We rescued you from Mordreon at the last moment.” She sat down on the bed opposite from Callista, who had also settled onto it.
"Thank you. I really appreciate what you have done. But what about Kumiko?”
Both of their faces saddened. Callista said, "I’m sorry. There’s nothing we can do for her. It was all we could do to rescue you, and that only worked because we had surprise on our side. I’m afraid she is still trapped by him, and she will die. Soon, I imagine.” It pained her to cause him such grief. She wished for some way to ease his suffering.
Valeria moved closer to him. "Why did you risk your life for her? She’s not important in the grand scheme of things.”
Ron’s face took on a look of shock. "If you think humans only do things because they make sense, you don’t know much about us. Kumiko is my responsibility. It’s my fault she’s being attacked. And I will do whatever I can to get her out of this.”
They could see he was agitated about it. Callista shot a look to her sister: Cool it. Valeria nodded.
Minerva chose that moment to rise from the couch. "I told you. He’s just another human. No big deal. Certainly not something to get excited about.” She breezed out the door, closing it behind her.
"You’ll have to excuse our sister," Callista said, "she doesn’t like stepping into Earth Realm business. She thinks we should just let you be and deal with our own troubles.”
"So, why did you help me?” Ron asked.
Valeria said, "The Guardians are responsible for protecting the Earth Realm. Besides," she said with a twinkling in her eye, "you’re cute.”
"Now, Val," Callista said, "you know we’re not allowed to tease him. If you’re going to start something like that, you know we have to finish it.”
"Promise to help?” Val responded.
"Just try and stop me!” was Callista’s answer.
Ron wasn’t sure he understood where they were going, but he was in no position to stop them anyway. As Valeria climbed onto the bed, Callista loosened her robe. Ron watched as her heavenly body was slowly revealed to him, inch by inch as her robe opened wider.
Just before her nipples were exposed, Ron’s attention was diverted by a warm hand placed on top of the sheet covering his crotch. He turned his head to meet Val’s kiss. Her lips were warm, moist and sensuous. Her tongue slithered into his mouth and engaged his own. He reached his hand down to her breast and lightly massaged her nipple through her shirt. She moaned into his mouth as she cupped her other breast.
Callista pulled the sheet down off of Ron, so he was fully uncovered. He groaned in pleasure as Callista’s lips engulfed his cock, her tongue swirling lightly around the head as she tried to suck his sperm out of him. Val broke their kiss long enough to remove her shirt, revealing a gorgeous set of firm tits. Her nipples stood out proud from breasts that, though not large, were still wonderful to behold. He leaned in and fastened his lips around one of her nipples, lapping at it with his tongue as he suctioned it. She mewled as she pulled his head into her chest. He found the clasp holding her wrap-around skirt in place, and removed the garment. As he had expected, she was not wearing anything beneath, and his hand had free access to her pussy.
Meanwhile, Callista sucked his cock all the way in, deep-throating him for all she was worth. Her fingers caressed his balls as she sucked, sending tingles all through his body. She slowed down her pace as his orgasm approached, to lengthen his pleasure. She glanced up to see Ron’s hand fondling her sister’s cunt, one finger thrust deep inside. Oh, how she longed for that to be her. It had been a long time since the sisters had any male company to enjoy, and they were determined to make the best of it while he was around.
Ron felt his climax approaching, and he grunted in an effort to let the others know. Now Callista increased her rhythm, picking up the pace to force him over. Valeria mashed her mouth against his, their tongues lashing in a passionate duel. Soon, Ron could hold out no longer, and his seed spilled down Callista’s throat. She continued sucking until every last drop had been vacuumed out of him, and he was on his way back to hardness.
Callista stroked his dick with her hand until he was fully hard. Val spun around as Callista impaled herself on Ron’s cock, and slid down with a satisfied hiss. Valeria reached out and cupped Callista’s tits, kneading and fondling them. Ron laid himself back down, and, pulling Val’s pussy to his mouth, began licking her slit.
Valeria was in heaven. Ron’s tongue danced magically across her pussy lips, darting from side to side, and then plunging into her depths. Her sister leaned in, and they began kissing, softly at first, then with more passion. Ron’s tongue-lashing was sending wonderful electric sparks up her spine, and her sister’s kisses were sending more sparks down that spine. Valeria was in ecstasy.
Callista was also overwhelmed with pleasure. It had been so long since she’d had a hard cock to pound into her, jolting her pussy with the feelings of lust. Ron’s dick slid in and out as she rode him for all she was worth. Her one hand was fondling Val’s tit, and the other was rubbing her own clit. Val’s tongue slid into her mouth and they kissed, exchanging the taste of Ron’s come. Callista did not have much control left.
Ron himself was in pleasure overload. Callista’s pussy was wrapped tightly around his pole, sliding almost reluctantly up and down, sending jolts of pleasure through his body. He could feel both the girls’ orgasms approaching, and he worked harder to send them over the edge. He sucked Valeria’s clit into his mouth and bit down lightly. Val screamed out her orgasm into Callista’s mouth, as her pussy flooded Ron’s face with a load of her juices. He lapped up as much as he could, but it just kept coming. But Val’s moaning and bucking had finally set off Callista, who rode Ron’s dick like a piston, until she finally exploded in her own orgasm. Her gyrations were so fierce that her sister had to let go, and Callista nearly flung herself off Ron’s cock. Her screams and moans filled the room.
As they were coming down from their highs, Callista rolled to the side. Ron rolled Valeria onto her back, and positioned himself at her entrance. "Oh, yeah, baby," she said, "Screw me good.”
Ron plunged into her wet hole. On his first thrust, his entire cock was embedded into her love tunnel. She wrapped her legs around his waist and screamed, "Do it to me NOW!” Ron pummeled her pussy with all he had, rocking them both. Valeria thrashed her head from side to side, her short blonde hair flailing. She was grunting and screaming, "Yes! Yes! YES!”
Their pace was feverish, their goal unwavering. Quickly, they both built up to a massive orgasm. When it hit, both were wracked with spasms, grunting and moaning and bucking at each other. At the height of their pleasure, they both passed out from overload.
Ron awakened sometime later. He did not know how long he had been out, as the light coming from the window was the same as it had been before. He did notice that he was now alone, again covered with the sheet, and placed comfortably in a sleeping position.
He noticed that the door to the room was open, and he saw a woman walking down the hallway toward his room. She was a very pretty lady, with flowing blonde hair, and a heart-shaped face with big blue eyes. Her lips were curved into a smile, and she seemed to be humming a tune. Her body was straight out of playboy, though it was somewhat concealed by the gown she wore.
She noticed he was awake when she entered the room. "Oh! Good morning. I didn’t think you would be up yet. I just came in to set out some clothes for you.
"How long was I out?” Ron asked.
"Oh, about a day, in Spirit Time. The girls must’ve really worn you out. I warned them not to be so aggressive. I hope they didn’t hurt you.” She looked at him with some concern.
"No, ma’am, I’m fine, really. And I certainly did enjoy their… aggressiveness.” He smiled shyly, and the lady chuckled.
"No doubt. Anyway, my name is Calliope. I am their mother, and also a Guardian of the Realms. If you feel up to it, you can get dressed and come to breakfast.”
Ron almost rose from the bed, but had a sudden attack of modesty. He didn’t know why he felt uncomfortable in front of this lady. She understood his hesitation, laid the garments on the bed, and stepped out into the hall as he got dressed. He thought that he caught her peeking once, but he wasn’t sure.
When he was finished dressing, she escorted him to the dining room, where he found the three sisters eating their breakfast. Callista and Valeria greeted him warmly, but Minerva only nodded her head before returning to her meal. He was escorted to a seat between the two friendlier sisters.
"Did you sleep well?” inquired Callista.
"Yes, very well, thank you," replied Ron. "I appreciate all the kindness, really, but I do need to be getting back to my world soon. That is possible, isn’t it?”
Both sisters chuckled at the concern on his face. Val answered, "Sure, you can go home whenever you like, but please finish breakfast first. It’ll do you a lot of good.”
They chatted about what was going on in Earth Realm for the rest of breakfast. After breakfast, Callista took him for a walk in the garden. He looked around at all the pretty flowers and trees, soaked in the wonderful smells and the warmth of the… but it wasn’t sunshine.
"Hey, there’s no sun here!” exclaimed Ron.
"No, not in the Spirit Realm. In Guardian Hall, it is always light out, just like this. Occasionally, we get rain, but the light doesn’t dim when that happens. Ron, why did you attack Mordreon? You had to know you couldn’t win.”
"I’ve never believed that. There’s a way to beat everybody. Besides, what’s the difference if I die trying to save Kumiko, or if she dies because I didn’t?”
"Because you’re more important than she is. Look, normally we don’t tell humans these things, but the Judges have said it’s okay, to prevent you from doing something this… stupid again.” She saw the irritation cross his face. "Sorry, but it was a stupid move. Mordreon cannot be defeated by you in a head-on fight. The Guardians have only beaten him twice, not counting our little hit-and-run to save you, and the Centurions have only beaten him three times.”
"I’m confused," said Ron. "Who are all these people?”
"Okay. You know about the Watchers, right?” Getting a nod, she continued, "Their job is to gather information, to keep an eye on the Earth Realm, but they can’t actually go into it to do anything. They just observe. The Centurions are spirit warriors. They can’t enter Earth Realm at all. They fight battles against the demons here in the Spirit Realm. The Guardians, like my sisters, my mother and I, are the ones who intervene when problems happen in Earth Realm that need our attention. We can enter Earth Realm as either an invisible force, or appear as you see me now, depending on what the situation calls for. We are strongly psionic here, but on Earth, we would be about what you would rate a psion-14. Our powers also diminish the longer we are in Earth Realm. But, anyway, the point is that whenever a demon appears on Earth and has to be stopped, the Guardians are sent to do it.”
"You mentioned the Judges?” Ron reminded her.
"Yes, the Council of Judges rules the Spirit Realm. Well, they rule everyone but the demons, who don’t listen to anyone. When the demons get too far out of hand, the Judges will send either the Centurions or the Guardians to do something about it.”
"So why am I so special?” Ron inquired. "You said I’m more important than Kumiko. I don’t buy that. All people are important.”
"Yes, Ron, all people are important, but not all of them are vital to the proper continuation of the Earth Realm. You see, the job of the spirits is to maintain a positive course for Earth Realm. The job of the demons is to disrupt that course. By distracting you, Mordreon is attempting to disrupt your course. You are very important to Earth in the events that are coming. Far more important than Kumiko, in any case. You are needed back on Earth. You should give up this battle.”
"I can’t do that, Callista. If I were to do that, I wouldn’t be able to face myself. This is my fault. I’ve got to try again, but I need to find a way to win.”
"I told them you wouldn’t stop. I told them it’s not in your nature. That’s what makes you important: you never give up. If you can find some way that isn’t just a desperate hope, the Guardians will help all they can. But you’ve got to come up with something that might actually work.”
"Thank you. Thank you for everything.” There were tears in his eyes, and Callista leaned in and kissed him softly on the cheek.
"You are always welcome here," she said, "But now you must return home, so that your family will not worry about you.” Suddenly Valeria was at his side. "Val, take him to the gate, and see him off.”
Valeria led him down a path to a gate in the wall. "Outside this gate is the Plane of the Watchers. If ever you need to come back to us, have Jessica lead you here.” With that, she kissed him gently on the lips, turned, and walked off.
Ron stood for some time, watching her walk back toward the house. He wondered just how big it really was, having no real reference to judge it against. Then, he turned and walked through the gate. He continued down the path until it met a road. Standing at the crossroads, he found Jessica waiting. She stepped forward and, before he could flinch, she embraced him.
"I thought I couldn’t touch you," he said.
"After having been with the Guardians, your spirit self is much stronger. Now you are able to handle the entire Spirit Realm. Though you may not feel it now, you have come out of this battle a far stronger person. And you have made the right kind of friends.” Her eyes twinkled in knowledge. "I will lead you back to your self now.”
They walked quietly, hand in hand, down the path to a sea.
"The easiest way for you to return to yourself is to walk into the sea.”
"But, Jess, before you just sort of… zapped me back into myself.”
"You weren’t so disconnected from yourself then. To fight Mordreon, you have almost totally removed yourself from your body. If any more of you were not in your body, it would not be living anymore. I cannot direct you back to yourself, but the Watchers can. In order for them to do it, you must walk into the sea.”
"Okay, if you say so.” Ron turned to her, and they embraced. Softly, he kissed her, and then she stepped away from him. Ron turned and slowly, reluctantly, walked into the sea, feeling the water engulf him until it rose over his head.
Ron’s eyes slowly opened, his vision out of focus and his hearing fuzzy. His vision cleared to see Nikki looking eagerly at him. She turned and said, "He’s awake! Hey! He’s awake!”
Linda quickly moved into Ron’s view as Nikki began to fuss over him unbearably. "Nikki, why don’t you go get him a glass of water, and let everyone else know that he’s back with us?” As Nikki rushed off to do as she was told, Linda helped Ron sit up straight. "We were worried you weren’t coming back. Miko came out of it about an hour ago, and she said you had failed, and been taken away by someone.” Unlike Callista, Linda knew Ron didn’t want to be coddled. He had failed, and replacing the word wouldn’t lessen that failure.
"Is she okay?” he asked.
"Yes, she’s fine. Well, as fine as she ever is anymore. Her mood swings are starting to worry me, though. What’s going on with her, Ron?”
"It’s the demon, Linda, and it’s going to get worse.” Ron replied, as the others hurried into the room.
Sandra, having heard the last part of that, said, "Oh, Ron. Isn’t there anything you can do for her? I’m afraid she’s going to hurt herself, the way she throws herself around, and thrashes on the bed as she tries to sleep.”
"I know, Mom. She’s trying to fight off the demon, but she can’t. It’s migrated into her fully from the baby. I’ve got to find a way to get him out of there. But I don’t have a clue what else to try.”
"So, who kidnapped you after the fight?” Linda wanted to know.
"Well, saved is probably a better word. They were more spirits. They’re called Guardians. They said they’d help me get rid of Mordreon if I could come up with a plan. That’s the hard part.” Ron stifled a yawn.
"Okay, everyone, I think we need to let Ron rest," said Sandra. In a mock-stern voice, she said, "I may not act like it much anymore, but I’m still your mother, Ron. Now, young man, I want you to go to bed and get some rest.” She smiled at him, and gave him a wink, and then softened her tone. "You need to sleep, baby. You look all worn out.”
"Okay, Mom. I do feel pretty wasted. Battling dragons is hard work.”
Linda lingered as everyone filed out. When they were alone, she asked, "Are you sure you’re okay, Ron? I was really worried when you didn’t wake up after Miko did.”
Ron took her offered hand. "I’ll be okay, Linda. It’s just that, after the fight, the Guardians took me back to their part of the spirit world, and I rested and… talked with them for a while. I’m hoping they’ll be able to help when I figure out what the hell I’m going to do.”
"Okay, Sweetheart, but take it easy for a little while, okay?” She leaned over and kissed him gently on the lips, and then walked out of the room.
"I wish I knew Kumiko had a little while left…” Ron muttered as he drifted off to a dreamless sleep.
Ron did take it easy, for about a day and a half. He felt driven to find a solution to this crisis. He was looking through books he had gathered over the last months, about demons and psionic power, and even magic. Most of it was of no use whatsoever, but Ron read through it anyway, in a desperate attempt to find something, anything, that might work.
After two solid days of reading, Ron had exhausted his reading material. All, that is, except for one. It was "Channeling the Mind", the book he’d found at the library a couple of years ago. He’d forgotten all about this book. This was the original source of his present trouble. This book contained the plans for the mental lens. He opened it up to the chapter about the mental lens and started to look for the passage Jessica had said would have warned him about demons.
"It’s about time you got back to that book," a voice said from the doorway. Ron jumped in surprise, which in itself surprised him. He had heard the voice before he had felt the presence. Obviously, this was another psionic. Ron turned to see Megan, standing beside the person to whom the voice belonged. Ron studied his guest momentarily. He stood about 5’ 11", with dark brown curly hair hanging to just above his shoulders. His eyes were blue, with a deep intensity Ron had come to recognize as the sign of someone having too much responsibility thrust upon them. Ron saw that same look every time he peered into a mirror. This guy’s features were hardened, whether by exposure to harsh climate, or through stress, Ron didn’t know. If he’d had to guess, Ron would have placed his age at about 18.
"Who the hell are you?” Ron inquired.
"My name is Lars Ohlin," the voice replied, with just a hint of some Northern European accent. "I have come to speak with you about your relationship with the organization you know as CAMP. May I come in?”
"You’re already in, dammit. But, yes, you can have a seat. Megan, you may go now.” He gave her a look that said quite clearly they would speak later.
"Please, do not judge your servant too harshly. I did lead her to believe that we were good friends, and that you would want her to let me in.”
"So, who are you, and what have you got to do with CAMP?”
"I am, as I said, Lars Ohlin, Adept of the Second Order, and Chief Hunter of the SkuggDrakarna.”
"The who?” inquired Ron, with a perplexed look on his face.
"Sorry. The English translation is ‘ShadowDragon’. The SkuggDrakarna is a psionics guild, born in the fifth century of the Common Era. They have been training apprentice psionics for the last fifteen hundred years. As to what I have to do with CAMP, the answer to that is nothing at all. I wish to discuss your connection with them.”
"Uh-huh," responded Ron. "And, um… what does the Skugg- Whatever want with me?”
"It is impolite to make fun of our name, Ron. If it will make life easier for you, we can refer to them as the SD. I know that you are not familiar with Swedish.”
"Right. So, as I said, what do they want with me?”
"The… I believe "Dragon’s Heart" would be the proper translation… has been paying close attention to all of the other psionic societies in the world. Just so you know, the Dragon’s Heart is the ruling body of the SD. Anyway, they’ve been watching CAMP since even before it was a full-fledged Corporation, back when it was just a club for high-school kids with the Ability. They have come to the conclusion that CAMP’s goals are detrimental to the goals of psionics in general.”
"As set forth by the Dragon’s Heart, of course," Ron said, trying to keep the sarcasm from his voice, and failing.
"Well, yes. It is conceivable that the SD has, in fact, misjudged the role that CAMP is trying to play in the world. That is why I have been directed to contact you to find out if, in fact, what we suspect is the truth.”
"And if it is?” Ron asked. "What then?”
"Well, ideally, we would, at that point, like to have your cooperation in trying to reorient their thinking about things," Lars replied.
"Uh-huh. And if I refuse?”
"Then we will find other means to go about our activities. I am not here to threaten you. You aren’t on my list, anyway.”
"Well, I am a Hunter for the SD. We have a list of actively destructive psionics. It is my job to find them and… ‘eliminate’ them.”
"You mean kill.” After receiving a nod, Ron continued, "Well, I’m glad I’m not on the list, then. As to CAMP, I don’t know what you’ve heard or been told, but it’s probably not the whole story.”
"Why don’t you tell me the whole story then?”
And Ron did. For the next hour, Ron outlined the whole plan. He’d been upset with the plan since he’d found out about it, and he thought that maybe the SD might be able to turn things around. Lars listened in shock at the depths to which CAMP was willing to sink.
"Do you believe they will indeed be able to pull this off, Ron?” asked Lars.
"Believe it? Hell, I’m the one who made it possible. Yes, they can and will pull it off. You’ve heard of Mike McGavin, right?”
"The Independent party candidate for president?”
"Yeah. Independent Party my ass! Might as well call him the Psionic Party nominee. He’s a chief recruiter at CAMP. If he wins, and he will, I’ve guaranteed it, things will change in America. I’m not sure how far they’ll take it, but things will definitely be different. Unfortunately, I’ve got more pressing problems to concern myself with lately.”
"What could possibly be more pressing than the stability of your own country?” Lars asked.
"Oh, just a bunch of Russians trying to kill all the American psionics they can find, my backup plan to keep me safe from whatever CAMP, or the Russians, might be able to try, and oh yes, let’s not forget the little matter of my poor, demon-possessed former girlfriend.”
"Demon possession? How bad?”
"Humph. Nasty. A demon called Mordreon. I’ve been told by everyone and their sister that Kumiko – that’s the girl’s name – cannot survive this.”
"They are, and are not, correct. Without strong measures, she will not survive. I have had experience with demons before, though this Mordreon sounds far stronger than any I have encountered. I’ve fought with two, named Seepock and Feros, but they were first level demons, just annoyances, really. This Mordreon sounds like he’s at least seventh level, maybe worse. However, there is some information in the book which you may find interesting.”
"Which book?” Ron asked.
"The one you should have finished reading two years ago when I left it for you. You know, that book," Lars said, pointing to "Channeling the Mind".
"You left this at the library? Why?”
"There is a lot of very powerful information in that book. It is a third level manuscript for the SkuggDrakarna. They wondered what you would do with access to such information, whether you would become intolerably corrupt, or if you would use it for good purposes. To their utter surprise, you took one piece of useful information, and then ignored the rest. That is why it has taken so long for us to come to you. We were unsure of your motives.”
"Well, to be honest, if you’d come to me two years ago, I didn’t know any of this shit about CAMP then. And, what did you mean, there’s info in here I might find useful?”
"There is information in that manuscript about dealing with demons, and their little tricks. I do not remember exactly what it says, I have to carry my own copy around with me for the rare times when I need to deal with them, but I do remember something about possession in that book. You’ll have to read through it to find it, though, because there’s no index.”
"Okay, I’ll read it. When will you be back this way?”
"Actually, if you don’t mind, I’d like to stay here for a day or two. Just in case you have questions about the book, or the SD," Lars replied.
"Okay, no problem. We’ve got extra room here. C’mon.” Ron led him out of the study, and down a hallway. Just coming out of her own bedroom, dressed in her jeans, T-shirt, and medical coat, was Karen. She began walking toward them, unconcerned about the new individual in the house.
"Hey, Ron," she said. "Heading over to the facility.” She glanced at the other guy with Ron.
Their eyes locked.
Her brain burned.
His brain crackled.
In an instantaneous flash, both saw a kaleidoscope of colors wheeling before them. Energies danced through their heads, flowing back, forth, splitting, merging. The energy doubled, then trebled, then squared.
All Ron saw was the briefest flash of light. Then he saw both of them go flying, in opposite directions, thrown twenty feet by the burst of energy. Ron rushed to Karen’s side. "Are you okay? What the hell did he do?” Before she could answer, Ron was up and staring at the prone form of Lars. "What the fuck did you do!”
Lars and Karen both rose slowly from the floor.
Lars asked telepathically.
Karen responded in kind.
Meanwhile, Ron was looking on in confusion. He sensed the telepathic energies flowing between them, but it was impolite to eavesdrop on private conversations. "Would someone like to tell me what the hell is going on?” Turning to Lars, he repeated, "What the fuck did you do to her?”
Karen placed a hand on Ron’s arm. "He didn’t do anything Ron, at least not on purpose. I think we had a… well, maybe our defenses just clashed against each other.”
Lars was still shaking his head to clear it. "I do not think so. I am not sure of what really happened, but I’ve never had defensive measures cause this kind of problem. Are you sure you’re all right?”
"Yes, I believe so. Anyway, I should get to work," Karen replied.
"There’s no hurry, Karen. Make sure you’re okay first," Ron said. "The facility can run without you for an hour or two.”
"Really, Ron, I’m fine. A little shaken and confused, but not hurt," Karen answered.
"Excuse me, but what is this ‘facility’ you keep mentioning?” Lars inquired.
Ron answered, "You remember I mentioned that I had my own plans for protecting myself?” After receiving a nod, Ron continued, "My plan involves the widespread reprogramming of individuals. Karen works at the facility where that is done. It’s just another part of the house, really, but it functions as a completely independent lab.”
"I see," said Lars. "Would it be possible for me to see this facility?”
"Well, I should get back to reading that book, so I can find an answer for Kumiko. Karen, do you feel up to showing him around?”
"Sure, Ron. No problem.” Mentally, she asked,
Ron answered. Seeing the look on her face from that statement, he added,
Karen nodded her acceptance, and turned to Lars. "Shall we go?”
Karen had taken fifteen minutes to show Lars around the facility. They were now sitting in her office chatting, while Karen petted Jessica the mountain lion.
"That is an intriguing pet you have there," Lars said, scratching Jessica between the ears.
"Well, she’s actually Ron’s pet, but she’s more just another member of the family, really.”
"So, the reprogramming here, how do the electronics work?”
"I haven’t got a clue. It’s not my area of concern, and I don’t think anyone knows but Ron how it all works.”
"I see. What is your area of expertise, if I might ask?”
"I’m the medical technician here. I examine all the girls that come in, and make sure they’re healthy. I also direct all of our… ‘surgeries’, to make any wanted changes to the women.”
"What sorts of changes can you do to them?”
"Well, the normal sorts of things we do are hair coloration changes, permanently removing hair, changing eye color, and so on. We can affect body size only marginally, since most of these women are full-grown already. We’ve done a couple of experiments with increasing breast size, with mixed results.”
"Interesting. So, where do all these women go when you’re done with them?”
"They’re purchased by our clients. I don’t keep track of who buys them, but you can assume they’re all rich, since our prices aren’t cheap.”
"I see. Why do you work here? Doesn’t this bother you?”
"No. Look, in this world, shit happens. My parents raped me from the time I was eight years old. They beat me half to death until I finally killed them. The women who come in here, their lives aren’t any better than mine was. When they leave here, okay, they don’t have free will anymore, but did they really have it to begin with? And at least they’re making someone happy now.”
Lars listened intently to her as she spoke. She’s been brainwashed.
she replied automatically.
"It’s not nice to listen in on someone’s thoughts. As a matter of fact, how did you do that without me knowing?”
"Huh? I heard that so clearly I almost thought you spoke it. I’m not eavesdropping in your head.” Karen concentrated, and buried a thought deep in her mind,
"Quite clearly, yes.”
"What’s going on with us?” Karen asked, a touch of fear creeping into her voice.
"Calm down," Lars replied. "I think it’s part of whatever happened to us before. Somehow, our minds have formed a bridge that allows thought to move without any impulse from either of us. We need to find out how strong it is.”
Over the next hour, they experimented with this new "thing". They came to the conclusion that this bond was strong enough to work over a very long distance, without concern for what might be between them. Finally, they sat back in the office to consider.
"Should we tell Ron about this?” Karen asked.
"I think it would be wise to do so. How close are you and he?”
"Ron’s my best friend. He saved my butt when the cops came after I killed my parents. He’s never let me down. But, to answer the question I know you’re really asking, we’re not sleeping together.” Lars blushed as he realized she had easily read his thoughts.
"Why not? he sleeps with everyone else here.” Lars asked. This he had picked up from Karen’s thoughts.
"I don’t know. It’s just never come up. Now, why do you want to know about my sex life, or are you more interested in Ron’s?” she asked teasingly.
Lars sputtered for a second until he realized she was kidding. "Please do not say things like that!” They both laughed. "We should inform Ron of this new development.”
They found Ron in Kumiko’s room. The room was a disaster area, with books thrown on the floor, the bookcase overturned, and the sheets from the bed torn and crumpled into a ball. Kumiko was lying on the bed, her body quivering in the throes of a seizure caused by her fight with the demon.
Ron was standing over her, trying to concentrate on physically controlling her body, trying to settle her down. When Karen and Lars walked in, they could see the sweat running down Ron’s face.
Eventually, Kumiko passed out, and her seizure subsided. Ron slumped against her desk, and heaved a sigh of relief. Noticing for the first time that he had company, he motioned them out of the room, and closed the door to allow Kumiko to rest.
"The attacks are getting worse," Ron said, "And I don’t know how much longer she’s got. I’ve got to find an answer to this, or she’s gone.”
As they reached the den, Karen said, "Isn’t there anything at all we can do?”
"Not that I’ve found. But I’m still not done with this book yet, and Lars thinks there’s something in here that’ll help. I’ve uncovered some stuff that I didn’t know so far, some minor abilities I hadn’t known about.”
"Speaking of unknown abilities," Lars replied, "Karen and I have discovered something quite unusual.” For the next few minutes, Lars and Karen outlined their new connection.
"Interesting. Do you have any idea why this happened?” Ron asked.
"No, I do not. Perhaps the Dragon’s Heart might know, but they are in conference now, and have asked not to be disturbed for a day or two.”
"Well, maybe it’ll be useful later on. I need to get back to reading this book now. Feel free to roam the house. If you’ve got questions, ask Karen, okay?”
"Sure thing. Let me know if you need to know anything about what’s in the book.”
Ron spent hours going through the material in the book. He was giving himself a headache, studying so hard. It felt like he was cramming for a final exam in school. He reflected on that as he went into the restroom to splash some water on his face. In a way, I am. And the price for failing this exam is pretty damned high.
Megan was waiting for him as he stepped out of the restroom. "Sir, I’m sorry I let that man in. He told me-"
Ron stopped her with a gesture. "I understand, Megan. You didn’t really have a choice. It’s not a problem.”
The relief on her face was evident. "Thank you, Master. By the way, there is a phone call for you, someone named Jeff Durant.”
"Jeff… Oh! Okay. I’ll take it in the study.” He entered his study and grabbed the phone. "Hey, Jeff! What can I do for you?… Oh? Okay, I can take some time now. Where?… I’ll be there.” Ron called Megan as he hung up the phone. "Megan, I’ve got to go out for a while. I’ll be back in a couple of hours.”
"So what’s the problem?” Ron said with a chuckle.
"What do you mean, ‘What’s the problem’?” Jeff demanded. "She wants to be a slave, for chrissakes!”
Ron reflected that his tone sounded very familiar. As did the situation, though he was on the other end of it now. But now there were complications, and problems to consider.
"Look, as a CAMP representative, this is not my problem, okay? You’ve been to the new CAMP orientation, right?”
"Yeah, over Spring Break. Lots of fun, but it doesn’t help me now.”
"But my point is that we told you then, we can’t get involved where a normal is concerned.” And a very pretty normal she was, sitting over in the corner, head bowed, not speaking or even looking in their direction. Her skirt flowed to her knees, and her blouse covered everything. Her clothing was very proper, and Ron wondered if she was a catholic girl.
"But what do I do about her?” Jeff grumbled.
"Do you want her?”
"Well… yes, I think so.”
"Then take her. But, I have to warn you, and this is something my advisor never told me, once you’ve taken her, she is your responsibility. Not that CAMP is going to come check up on you and how you’re treating her, but if anything bad happens to her, you’re going to feel like shit. Trust me.” The look in Ron’s eyes spoke volumes.
"Look, I’m asking you, not as a CAMP representative, but just as another guy who has this thing in his head: what would you do?”
"At this point in time, I can’t say what I’d do, knowing what I know. Look, there are changes coming, and there’s trouble coming. Can you protect her and yourself? Does it matter to you? Ask yourself how you’d feel if she was dead because of you. If you can’t live with that, you’d better set her free, because the shit is very shortly going to hit the fan, and any normals who get caught in the crossfire are going to be toast. I won’t tell you ‘no’. I won’t even say that I wouldn’t take her if I were you. I’m just telling you to think it over.”
Jeff was shaken. "Just what kind of trouble is coming, and why haven’t you guys said anything before?”
"Because some shit-for-brains on the Committee thinks it would panic the psionic community. Look, there are other psionic organizations out there. Not all of them like us. Some of them are downright hostile. There’s a war coming, and it’s going to be like nothing you’ve ever seen. I’d advise you to practice and prepare yourself just as fast and as hard as you can. Maybe the girl can help you with that. That’s a judgment call on your part. I can’t tell you what to do here, I’m second-guessing every damned decision I have to make.”
"Well, thanks, man. You didn’t have to tell me about all that. How serious is the danger?”
"I’ve lost one in my household already. Another is so afraid she won’t live in the same house with me anymore. I’ll tell you what, anyone who thinks this ‘Ability’ shit is a blessing, just doesn’t know what’s going on. Life sucks.”
After some further conversation, Ron and Jeff went their separate ways. Jeff promised to stop by to see Ron, to get more training, and to talk about the coming crisis.
Good luck, man. I hope we can all make it through the next year.
As Ron was driving home, he sank into a bit of a depression. I’ve had this Ability for three years, and, with the exception of living with a bunch of beautiful women, it has caused me an endless amount of grief. I tell you what, there are days when I wish I’d never got this stupid thing.
As he was driving along, Ron noticed a woman being chased into an alley by two punks. He debated whether to do anything about it. Does it really matter? She’ll probably be worse off when the Russians come. His truck slid around in a 180 as he came to a decision. Yes, it does matter, dammit! If for no other reason than what it would make me if I ignore it.
By the time he’d gotten the truck back to the alley, the two thugs already had the woman naked. As Ron stepped from the truck, one of the men slapped her to try to silence her screams. No one else in the neighborhood was coming to her rescue, and Ron heard no sirens.
"Shut up, bitch!” one man said, "Or I’ll cut ya before I fuck ya!” He waved his switchblade in front of her face. Her screaming trailed off momentarily, until the other man stuck his hand in her cunt.
The man with the knife was about to shout her down again when Ron walked up behind him, grabbed hold of his head, and in a classic martial arts move, twisted his head violently to the right until he heard a satisfying snap! The other man, seeing what had happened to his partner, fumbled for whatever weapon he was carrying. Ron reached out with his mind into the other man’s brain, and short circuited the neurons controlling his heart and lungs. The man dropped like a rag doll, not yet dead, but completely unable to move. You want to live like barbarians, you die like barbarians.
Ron turned to the woman, who was now clinging to the remaining tatters of her clothes. They did nothing to hide her admittedly pretty body. Ron took off his jacket and wrapped it around her. She sobbed into his shoulder as he led her to his truck. When they got there, he paused. "Do you have a car here? Or a friend who can take you home?” She shook her head no, and huddled against him.
He opened the passenger door and helped her into the truck. After he got in and started driving, he searched her mind for where she lived. He let her ride on in silence.
When they pulled into her driveway, she looked surprised. "How did you…" Then she saw the look in his eyes. It wasn’t a scary look, just the sort of look that you associate with… power.
"Do you need help getting to the door?”
"I lost my keys, I don’t have any way to get in," she answered meekly.
"The door is open, you don’t have to worry about that. You can keep the jacket, I have another one.”
"Thank you," she said, stepping out of the truck. She looked back at him one last time, and felt a twinge in her mind. She worried for a second, but he just smiled politely at her. She walked up to her door, and into her house as Ron pulled out of the driveway.
That’s right. Protecting people is what it’s all about. Forget what I have to go through. Forget what just my family is going through. If we don’t win, the entire country isn’t going to be worth shit on a cracker. Thank you, Jenna Marie Calverson, for reminding me what the fuck I’m fighting for.
Ron returned home feeling better and more energized than he had in a long time. He resolved to find a solution to Kumiko’s troubles quickly, so that he could begin preparing to defend against the coming trouble.
He sat down in his library and began reading the book again, from the beginning. He read nonstop, not bothering with dinner, not bothering to rest at all.
Finally, he found it.
He’d missed it the first time through. Or, more accurately, he hadn’t gotten the idea of it when he’d read it the first time. Would it work? Maybe. But maybe was a damn sight better than no, and no is what he’d had up until now. He set the book down to think clearly. What will I need to make this work? Well, I’m going to need the Guardians, that’s for sure. And maybe even those Centurions that Callista talked about. I’ll definitely need Karen, to watch over Kumiko, and I’ll probably need Lars, for his experience with demons, and his knowledge of these techniques. Oh, yes, and one more thing: a whole shitload full of good luck.
Ron was elated. He had a possibility of a plan. He felt invigorated. But, he also felt hungry. It was eleven o’clock at night, and he hadn’t eaten for hours. He stopped off in the kitchen to make himself a light meal, slapping together a sandwich and some chips. As he ate, he listened to the silence of the house. It was strange that the house would be so quiet. He didn’t know why it felt odd, but it just seemed that something was missing. Before he allowed it to bother him, he dismissed it as just a negative thought trying to ruin his mood. He finished his dinner staring at the fish in the hallway aquarium, letting his mind shut down a little from the day’s activities.
Cleaning up his mess, he headed upstairs. He looked into each room, both with his eyes and mind, to make sure everyone was comfortable. Nancy slept soundly, her head buried in the covers. Linda tossed fitfully, in the throes of a bad dream. Ron wormed his way into her head, easing the dream, and she quieted. Karen was not in her room. Ron searched the house mentally, slightly alarmed, until he felt her presence in the lab. He wondered what she was doing up so late, but dismissed it to her workaholic nature. Lars was asleep, not dreaming at all. Megan was enjoying an erotic dream, her covers thrown mostly off her body. Ron smiled and moved on. Nikki rested comfortably in her own room, dreaming of summer days. Kumiko was resting peacefully for the moment. Dr. Brown had put her under heavy sedation, but Ron didn’t like her to use it too much. Tonight, she had taken a full dose, and her body cooperated by giving in. I guess even the demon can’t control her entire bodily reaction.
He checked in on Sandra last. He watched her lying there under the covers, her chest rising and falling in the slow rhythm of her breath. She was lying on her back, her head turned to one side, hair sprawled out on the pillow. Ron felt a deep sense of love for this woman who had given him everything. For you, Mom. I do all of this for you.
She stirred on the bed, aware of someone watching her. She looked to the doorway in some concern, but recognized the silhouette she saw. "Ron? Is everything okay baby?”
"Yeah, Mom," he said as he walked into the room and closed the door. "Everything’s fine.” He had felt other feelings while watching his mother, and since she was awake, it seemed like a good time to act on them.
Sandra sensed what Ron wanted, and simply waited in the bed until he had undressed. With the door closed, she couldn’t see him, but she felt him slip onto the bed behind her. She was on her side now, facing away from him. He slithered up against her body, and ran his hand gently along her side. She shivered at his touch, wishing for a firmer contact, pushing her ass back into him.
He ran his hand down to her hip, then back up, around her front, allowing it to rest lightly on her breast. He began a gentle fondling motion, slowly arousing his mother. She loved it when he was like this, but it had been so long since they had been together. So much tension, so much trouble was in their lives now. She didn’t want to think about it all, she just wanted to enjoy the moment.
She rolled into his embrace, and their lips touched. The kisses were gentle but passionate, their love flowing freely between them. Ron caressed his mother’s ass as she stroked his back, and they continued to kiss, allowing their tongues to play across lips and teeth into the other’s waiting mouth, to slip quickly across the other’s tongue, and then back into its own territory.
Sandra moved her hand down between them to feel Ron’s cock. It was pressing into her stomach, and was certainly ready to play. She slid herself up on the bed, keeping his cock in her grasp. She felt the tip of it at her love hole, and paused, waiting just as long as she could to build the sexual tension between them. Then, when neither of them could stand it, she slid down and he pressed up, sliding him smoothly into her waiting pussy. She moaned with the pleasure of it.
Ron was feeling the luxurious warmth of his mother’s cunt once again. He had almost forgotten just how wonderful the sensation was. He leaned down to suckle at her tit, running his tongue around her nipple, and sucking it to hardness. Their coupling was a slow, rhythmic movement, not allowing any anxiousness or hurry into it.
Sandra rolled Ron onto his back, keeping him inside her. She said, "Take it easy, baby, let Mommy do the work.” She had never spoken to him this way, but it felt so right. And she could see Ron relax, releasing the tension in his shoulders, his neck, and his chest. She sat back onto him, shifting her weight onto her knees. Once there, she paused, her only movement a small circular motion to keep him fully aroused. Then, she slowly lifted herself off him, until only the very tip of his cock was still inside her. And, just as slowly, with almost painful patience, she lowered herself back down his shaft. She kept this up for a long time, never increasing the pace, just allowing enough movement to keep them both quivering with sexual fervor.
As her legs tired, Ron reached up to take hold of her waist. She stopped, her pelvis in full contact with his, and he pulled her down to him. Again they kissed, warmly, lovingly. He held her as they rolled again, this time leaving him on top. Still maintaining the kiss, he began stroking into her, almost as slowly as she had been. They remained that way, kissing and stroking, lifting their arousal higher, letting them both bleed off the stress of their individual lives, and their family woes.
Ron shifted again, until they were spooning, allowing him to take her from behind. He reached around to massage her breasts, and he began to move more quickly.
Though Sandra would have liked the moment to last forever, she knew that what they both needed was a release. As Ron pushed into her, she thrust her ass back down onto him, allowing their lovemaking to move into a faster pace. Their coupling grew frenzied, but never hurried. They were enjoying each other, and it added to their erotic pleasure.
One final time they shifted, so that Sandra was on top, facing away from Ron. He grabbed her around the waist, and she used her legs to help him thrust deep into her. Sandra began grunting out her pleasure, encouraging Ron to go deeper, faster, harder.
Ron wanted nothing more at that moment than for it all to never end. At that moment, he was happy. He was both giving and receiving pleasure, and it was good. But he knew it had to end, so he wanted it to end as it had been: good. He thrust deeper into his mother, feeling his cock ride along her ass crack as it slid into her slit. His mother was meeting him thrust for thrust, and they approached the peak of their joining.
In the final moment, Ron thrust up into his mother, and she plunged herself down onto his shaft. There, they froze, as he shot his load deep into her womb. They moaned out their pleasure as they rode the wave, allowing it to crest over them, and then slowly drop them back down.
When they finally had the energy, Sandra rolled softly onto the bed. Ron’s cock slid from her cunt, leaving him with a chilled feeling. He slid up next to his mother and they cuddled. She fell asleep in his arms, a secret little smile playing across her face. I wonder what she’s dreaming about? He thought. Oh, well… it’s not… important. And he quietly drifted off to sleep himself.
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