In The Deepest Space - Chapter 5: Beacon
In The Deepest Space

Chapter 5:  Beacon
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Poo-hwhit - OF COURSE!!

Bella’s POV ~

I wake up with a start, alone and lying on a bed next to a huge window that provides a view of open space.  The stars aren’t incredibly visible, their luminescence drowned out by the subtle light of a distant sun.  Something courses through my veins that I can’t quite comprehend.  I feel emotionally drained, like I’ve just dealt with the death of a close friend or parent -- Charlie.  At the thought of his face, tears begin to slide down my cheeks, and I spend several moments to gently crying.  

I won’t ever see my dad again - never be able to make him supper, drink a beer with him, or watch him twist that damn mustache of his -- and all I want right now, is to be comforted by him, for him to tell me that things are going to be okay, that I’m strong and I can make it through this.  Because that is exactly what he would say...ever the optimist.

I don’t feel optimistic though.  My tears flow more freely, and I lay back down on the bed, watching space go by as we travel to wherever it is we are going.

Sisla.  Sisla is where we’re going.  I have no idea what they intend to do with me when we get there.  

All of a sudden, images begin to flash in my head, and I remember what happened in Edwaird’s room.  Calling him BANO no longer feels right to me, which tells me that something major happened in there, but what?

We were under attack.  Ah-lissss left me in Edwaird’s room.  He brought me to him in his sleep.  I gasp loudly.  Holy shit!  The dream.  What the fuck was that?  

At just the memory of it, my body begins to heat up, and I feel incredibly turned on.  I wonder how hard it would be to get back to Edwaird’s room from here.  Apart from feeling totally horny, I feel lost, like part of me has been ripped away and stowed within arm’s reach, not close enough to grasp onto it.  I see more images in my head and remember it all now, remember Ah-lisss saying something about the first mating ritual sequence being completed as I hissed and spat at them in my attempt to protect my Edwaird.

My Edwaird?

Things are seriously fucked.  What am I going to do?  I feel a rollercoaster of emotions.  One second I want to cry, the next I’m turned on, and now, I feel anger that I was pulled away from Edwaird.  

I sit up from the bed, looking around to see if I can find the bathroom, when I notice there is a pile of clothing over on the couch (kidney bean shaped, of course).  I untangle myself from the sheets and move to retrieve them.  There are three doors for me to choose from.  I begin to walk toward the first door, but I hear a buzzing from behind me.  I swirl around to see what’s behind me, but see nothing.  The buzz begins again, and this time, something over by the door lights up.  I walk over and wave my hand over the sensor, opening it.  Essssme and Ah-lissss stand there, and I step back so that they may enter.

Bell-a.  We are mosssst inclined to offer you our apologiesssss for the eventssss that transssspired earlier,”  Esssme says.

Ah-lisss gets very close to me, invading my personal space, and looks in my eyes.  “Yesssss, Bell-a.  I am mosssst intuitive on the mattersssss of the mating ritual, but with the attack on our sssssship, I did not sssssee it.  I requessssst your utmosssst forgiveness,” Ah-lisss announces in a sort of formal way, then bends over slightly and looks toward the floor.  She stays this way, and Esssme watches me expectantly.  

I don’t really know what to do, so I do the first thing that comes to mind, raising my hand to pat the back of Ah-lisss’ head gently.  She immediately rights herself and makes a motion almost like a curtsey.

“I own much happinessss, Bell-a.  We are all mossst content with thissss arrangement,” Esssme says, taking my hands in hers.

My gaze bounces between Esssme and Ah-lisss confused.  They both seem very happy about something, and I remember what Ah-lisss said.  “Wait.  You said something about a mating ritual.  What are you talking about?”  I look at Esssme and ask, “What arrangement?”

Essssme walks us over to the kidney bean, and we sit down.  “The arrangement between yoursssself and our Edwaird.  For you have mated, of coursssse.”

She says nothing more, and I think about what their words mean, what they actually mean.  I don’t remember having sex with Edwaird, and while I may have really really wanted to, I didn’t.  I would have remembered, but then I remember the dream.  I remember the way I felt and how, even now, being away from Edwaird makes me feel a little empty inside.  Well, very empty inside.  I open my mouth to ask them something, but nothing comes out.  The words die on my tongue as I recall the colors of the dream.

A breathy sigh escapes me and beside me, Ah-lissss makes a tinkling noise.  I look over at her, and ask, “What was that?  Did you laugh?”

Ah-lisss tries out my word a couple of times, “Loffff.  Lafffff?”

I smile, showing teeth, and they cringe.  I quickly hide them behind my hands, and repeat, “Laugh.  You know. Ahahahahahahahaha.  Laugh.  When something is funny or amusing.”

“Ah-musssing.  Yessss, huhn huhn,” Esssme says, seeming to get it now.

Esssme rises from the couch, and Ah-lissss follows her over toward the door, suddenly stopping and turning back toward me.  “I musssst not forget.  I retrieved thissss from the uniform we disssscovered you in,” Esssme says as she reaches into a pocket of her outfit.  She hands over my iPod, and I want to tackle her to shower her with kisses.  I’m so happy.  Finally, something from home that I can recognize.  

She hands it to me, and I hug it to my chest, elated at their gift of the return of my iPod.  “Thank you so so much.  Truly.”

Ah-lisss cocks her head to the side, looking at the gadget I hold in my hands....cradle to my chest.

“You are very excccited to reccceive thissss, Bell-a.  May I inquire to the ussse of that object?” she asks, eyeing it almost as if it could be a weapon.

“Oh, sure, I mean yes.  This is my iPod.”

“Ayyyye-pod?  We are unfamiliar with thissss technology,” Ah-lisss says, nodding her head toward my hands.

“It stores music, and then I plug my earbuds into this hole here,” I point out the hole to them and they peer into it like it holds the answers to the universe, “and the music travels to my ears, so I can hear it.”

“Poo-hwhit!”  Essssme exclaims, pulling something else from her pocket.  My earbuds.  She hands them over to me daintily, like if she touches them for too long, they will taint her in some way.

I accept my earbuds from her and take the plug-in end of it, inserting it into the hole.  Ah-lisss’ eyes brighten, and she looks simultaneously excited and nervous.  I place the left bud in my ear and hold the right one out to Essssme, but she backs away quickly, as though frightened.  I offer it to Ah-lisssss, and she considers it for a few moments, looking at the offering in my hand.  She looks to Esssme, then back to me, and gently takes the other earbud from my fingers.  We have to stand kind of close because of the length of the cord, but she follows my lead and puts the earbud in her right ear.

I mess with the volume setting on my iPod before I find a playlist to choose a song from.  I chuckle a little but keep it quiet, scroll to the third song, then hit play.

“RAH, RAH, AH, AH, AH.  ROMA, ROMA, MA!”  The earbuds play, and I watch as Ah-lissss’ eyes get huge.  She looks at Esssssme and back to me.  Before I realize what she is doing, she snatches the iPod from my hands, pulling the bud from my ear and runs from the room.  I am totally taken by surprise and completely unsure if she is absolutely disgusted with my iPod or absolutely in love with it.

I look from the doorway over to Esssssme, dumbfounded.  She has her hand raised up and covering her mouth as her shoulders shake ever so slightly.  “Huhn huhn.  Child.  It isssss a sssstrong possssibility that you will not have your deviccce returned to you.  Ah-lisssss sssseems quite fond of it.  What isssss itsss function?”

“It plays music,” I tell her, still slightly shocked by Ah-lisss’ reaction.

“Conccccciato.   Muuuussssic.  Ah-lissss will be advissssed to return your devicccce.  Make your preparationssss.  You may have sssssome time to yourselfff, and I will return for you sssssoon.”  Esssssme turns and walks out of the room, and I’m left there standing alone, thinking about the iPod that I had for just an instant before it was taken again.

Ah-lissss’ facial expression was priceless, and I believe that I will get it back, so I don’t dwell on it.  Instead, I pick the clothes back up from the bean couch and walk to the first door, waving my hand in front of the censor.  I get it right the first time, finding a bathroom and wonder what the other door is, but decide I can just find out later.

I quickly get undressed and find a bristly square object that I guess could be a brush, quickly running it through my hair.  There is a mirror and although I’m not sure if I want to see how horrible I look, I chance a glance anyway.  

I’d been able to steal glimpses of myself here and there, but it was always in the reflection of windows, never a real mirror.  Each time I was able to get a decent look at myself, it was enough to make me look away.  There had been dark circles under my eyes, and I wasn’t looking so great.  I guess pretty much dying and being brought back to life would do that to a person.

I barely recognize the woman that looks back at me from the mirror this time.  Her skin is pinkish, she looks incredibly healthy, and her brown eyes sparkle.  Her hair looks longer than I think it should.  That woman is me.  How can that be me?

I shake myself and turn towards the shower.  There are no walls to it, only a drain on the floor; there are also no handles to turn the water on.  How am I going to do this?  I look around in the large space, attempting to locate some kind of a handle or button to turn the shower on.  Then I see a smaller silver panel, much like the ones used to open doors in this place.  I walk over to it, waving my hand in front of it, and the water immediately begins to spray out at me.  Wicked!

I lean over to feel the water, but it’s quite cold.  I don’t know how to make the water warmer so I examine the panel closely.  I see one little red light, which must be the sensor, and nothing else.  What the fuck am I going to do?  I can’t take a freezing cold shower!  I push on the metal plate with one hand, trying to figure something out, while I keep my other hand under the spray of the water to gauge the temperature.  Nothing changes, and I’m beginning to get frustrated.  I just want to relax under a hot fucking shower.

I throw one hand up in frustration, and all of a sudden, the spray on my hand gets warmer - not quite hot, but still, warmer.  What did I do?

I push on it again to see if I’d hit some kind of a button or temperature sensor on the panel, but nothing works.  I try to repeat my exact action the last time, finally, throwing my hand up in the air again.  The water gets warmer, and I get it.

I put my hand out flat, palm up, then slowly raise it upward in front of the sensor, and the water gets much warmer, warmer, hot.  BINGO!  That’s fucking awesome!

I step under the spray, and unexpectedly, water starts coming at me from several different nozzles that weren’t there before.  Some pulse hard, around my neck and shoulders, and some feel like rain, and still others drum out a tingly pattern on my skin.

And you know, I just can’t help it that there is one that is at eye-level with my *ahem* cooch.  And you know what?  It feels good.  Really.  Fucking.  Good.  

Green eyes flash in my mind along with a mess of crazy bed hair, and my hand travels south.  I navigate around the 70’s bush I have from being out in space for so long without a razor and gently rub my finger across my favorite spot.

“Oh, yess.  Right there.”  I moan out loud.  Please, God, don’t let them have video cameras or something in the bathroom.

The water continues to pulse against my pussy, and I work my finger against it, rubbing, flicking, and then pushing inside of me.  I close my eyes, the water trailing over my neck and down my back, and I pretend that the caress of water belongs to my Edwaird.  Yes.  My Edwaird.  My hand is no longer my hand in my mind; it’s his, and he pumps into me from behind me with the fingers of one hand, while his other arm wraps around my torso, fingers grazing my nipple.

In my mind, I picture Edwaird holding me, caressing me and my body begins to respond not to my hand, but to his, through my mind of course.  The tension in my stomach begins to grow, and it doesn’t take long until I overflow, orgasming over his (my) fingers.  I keep my eyes closed, attempting to keep him there with me in any way I can.  I imagine him coming around to the front of me, looking in my eyes, and I feel like Edwaird is actually looking at me.  His eyes penetrate me, and it seems like he is here with me.

I gasp and open my eyes to find that I’m still alone in the shower.  I finish up my shower, not knowing where to look for soap or shampoo, so I just rinse off the best I can before stepping out of the spray.  I grab an uber soft towel that is ridiculously huge, wrap it around my body, and am again faced with the shower dilemma.  How the fuck do I turn it off now?

Knowing there are no buttons on the panel, I do the only thing that makes sense.  Instead of raising my hand up for heat, I push my hand toward the floor in front of the sensor, reaching into it to make sure that it gets colder.  It does, and I keep lowering my hand until the water turns off.


I dry myself off, quickly get dressed in the clothes they’ve given me, then use that bristly brush again.  I wave my hand over the door sensor and emerge into the bedroom I slept in last night.  I notice that someone was in while I was showering to make the bed, then I see my iPod resting on the kidney bean table beside it.  I remember that the ring that Charlie got me for my college graduation is still in the bathroom, so I quickly go back in to retrieve it.

Although I just left the bathroom just a minute ago, when I walk back in, it is totally dry.  This really doesn’t seem possible because it was soaking wet in here, since there aren’t any walls to the shower.  I shake my head in disbelief and grab my ring from where I left it, returning to the bedroom.

I don’t really know what to do or where to go from here.  I don’t know my way around the ship very well yet or how they would feel about me wandering around alone, so instead, I begin to move around the room, inspecting all of the little artifacts, books and paintings.  The books are all printed in lettering that resembles the ancient Greek alphabet but is slightly different.  There are little whistles that seem to be carved from the bone of an animal, but the most intriguing thing is that the bone is green, actually green, not dyed to look that way.  I see the shell of something, and it looks like a turtle on Earth would.

I hear the buzzing sound again and quickly walk over to the door to open it.  I step back, knowing it will be Essssme and Ah-lissss again.  To my surprise, Roe-salie also walks into the room behind them.  She is looking at me very funnily, and I want to ask her if something is wrong.  My track record with Roe-salie has not been the greatest in my short time on this ship, so I hold my tongue.  Still, something about her expression makes me feel like she is accepting me in her own way.  I don’t know why she would do that so suddenly, because I’ve done nothing differently.

“Greetingssss, Bell-a,” Essssme and Ah-lisss say at the same time.  Roe-salie says nothing, only walks past me, and as she does, her ear holes slide open.  I quickly look away, not wanting to be caught staring, instead looking to Ah-lissss.  She is lifting my hair up and inspecting it, then holding her finger against it like she is measuring it.  Maybe it isn’t just me; maybe my hair has grown significantly since I’ve been here, or even within the last two days.

Ah-lissss notices me watching her and looks up at me, dropping the strand of hair and doing that strange “O” face she makes.  I think it is her smile or something.

Bell-a.  It isss the time of our sssscheduled informative meeting.  We would be pleassssed if you would join us,” Essssme invites.  I nod my head at her then follow her and Ah-lisss out of the room, with Roe-salie trailing us.  With her walking behind me, I feel nervous, until I remember that my iPod was returned to me.  

Just as I open my mouth to thank Ah-lissss for returning it to me, I hear the beat a familiar song.  We turn into the open doorway of the room we met in the last time, and there is no possible way that I will be able to contain my laughter this time.

There are no words to explain the sight in front of me, and while I wonder how they extracted it from my iPod, I don’t dwell on the question for very long.  I feel Roe-salie move up along side of me and lean close to my ear.  I wonder if she is angry for what my music has done.

“He refuses to let us turn this off.  Jasspeer wrote a program to adapt to your deviccccce and transssssferred the data over.”  She nodded toward Emmeet, who was dancing on top of a table and wearing a ridiculous red scarf around his head.  “My mated one hassss not felt sssso animated for ssssome time.  I musssst offer you my gratitude, Bell-a,” Roe-salie admitted.

This time, I don’t even try to hold in my laugh.  It erupts out of me loudly, and I have to admit that as unladylike as it is (not that I’ve ever been ladylike), I snort.  What makes it completely impossible for me to contain myself is that not only is Emmeet dancing - with his preggo fanny pack and all - but Carlissss is also dancing, doing what only I can describe as the Egyptian.

Having heard my laughter, Essssme looks over at me, smiling and showing her teeth (ha, they do show their teeth), then announces, “LOFF!”

I nod at her and move further into the room.  Roe-salie follows behind me, and as the dancing goes on, I wander around the room, Roe-salie trailing close behind,  almost like a puppy would follow his owner.  What the hell?  I eventually come to a stop over by the bean couch and sit down.  The song is coming to an end, and Emmeet goes over to play it again.  Essssme stops him.

I feel my hair being played with, realizing it is Roe-salie, and all I can wonder is what the fuck?  She practically hated me before, and now, she is treating me like her Barbie doll.  I remain still, letting her play with it because, if I’m honest, it feels kind of good.

Emmeet finally starts to get down from the table, but as he crouches to lower himself from the table, he farts.  At the same time, everybody in the room says in some announcing kind of way,  “POOF!”  Now, the fact that they announce farts like this is absolutely hysterical, but even funnier is that when they say it, all of their voices take on a kind of synthesized sound.

I laugh so hard that my gut hurts.  I laugh so long that I cry.  When I look up, everyone is staring at me funnily.  Finally and in all seriousness, Essssme says, “Loff,” again.

I rein it in, wiping my tears away, and wait for our meeting to begin.  Then, I notice that Ah-lissss is sitting alone on her chair.  Jasspeer is not in the room for our meeting.

“Where is Jasspeer?” I ask.

Esssme looks at Ah-lissss, then at me, and explains.  “Jasspeer is in the control room.  He musssst be there for we are nearing Sssisla.  He mussssst communicate with our Beacon ssssso that we may return home.”

“Wait.  What is the Beacon?” I ask, totally confused.

“The Beacon controlssssss the admittancccce and exxxxit to our planet.  It isss the only way that we can protect our planet from outsssside attacksssss.  The Beacon will only sssspeak with one soul per ship, for the protection of the ssssecret,” Essssme continues.

“What’s the secret?”

“The sssecret isss the code.  It isss a ssspecial pulse or radio current that issss sssingular to our ssssship and our ssship alone.  Jasssspeer mussst communitcate the messsssage with the Beacon reccccceptor to announccce who we are.  Only in thisss way will we be granted admittancccce to our home.”

I nod along, processing all that she has said in my mind. With every new explanation she gives me, more questions pop up.  I feel kind of guilty for giving her the third degree, but hey, I’m learning.

“So...” I look over at Ah-lissss, hoping my next question won’t bother her, “what happens if for some reason, your communicator for the ship is gone or you can’t find him?”  I watch Ah-lisss, seeing her swallow thickly but saying nothing.

“There mussst always be a Beacon communicator, for if we have none, we would be losssst here, left to fall in the deepesssst space.  Should we not have a communicator, we request to replaccce them.”

“And how do you do that?” I fire back.

“We would ssssend out our dissstressss ssssignal.  When they ressspond, if they ressspond, we requessst a new communicator, then we go through a processs to prove whom we are,”  Essssme answers, not seeming bothered by my questions.

“So, if you still have your communicator, but for some reason, they forget the signal or code or whatever, then what do you do?  Can you get a new signal?”  I ask, totally intrigued.

“Yessss.  It isss basically the same process if we have to assssign a new communicator.  The difference isss if we still have our original communicator, the signal replacccement is much fasssster.”

I nod and settle into the couch a little more, thinking over all the information and processing it as quickly as I can.  If Jasspeer is already preparing to communicate, then we must be close.

“Just how close are we?” I ask, suddenly feeling a little panicky, my stomach starting to hurt a little.

Ah-lissss answers me this time.  “Jasssspeer just made his first attempt at contact with the Beacon.  If we calculate it in your time measssurement, we will arrive in closssse to two daaaays.”

I nod my head and relax into the couch again.  The feeling in my stomach is getting worse, and I begin to worry that something is wrong.  Needing to take my mind off of it, I remember I wanted to ask about Emmeet.

“Oh!  Okay.  So, how is it that the males are the ones who carry a child?  Where I’m from, the woman are impregnated by the men and carry the child to term.  Not the other way around.”

All the while this has been going on, Roe-salie has still been standing behind me and playing with my hair.  I reach back to touch it, feeling some sort of twist or braid, and she slaps my hand away.  I rest it back in my lap, picking at my already short fingernails and waiting for an answer.

“There issss one thing you musssst undersssstand about ussss, Bell-a.  Our mating, it isss for life.  We choossse one partner, and we remain devoted to them.  We nurture, we connect our ssoulsssss, twine them to make one,” I look over to Carlisssss as he begins to answer my question, amazed at the tenor of his voice and the sweetness in his gaze when he eyes his mate.

Essssme leans over, their ears touching gently, and he continues.  “Before we are mated, you would ssssee that as malessss, we act foolissssh.  No matter what age we mate, we will not begin to have valuable wissssdom and prudencccce until the time of our full mating.  All of our kind will mate, assss there issss ‘one’ for all of ussss.  The meeting of our mate can take a very long time, but it will come.”

“How long did Edwaird wait?”  I feel myself glowing crimson, embarrassed and slightly nervous about admitting that I am his “one.”

“Only sssslightly longer than I waited, and he isss changing fasssst.  Thisss is the reasssson for hisssss need of continuoussss ressst.”  Carlisss tells me, looking me in the eye.

Something about the way he explains it all makes me think of a soul mate.  While it can be called a myth on Earth, it seems real for them.  I give them my name for this.  “Soul mate.”

Essssme looks at me.  “Ssssoul mate?”

“Yes.  The ‘one’ for you is a soul mate to me, but for me, or where I’m from, it doesn’t always happen.”

At my admission, there is a gasp in the room, and they shake their heads like this is a huge travesty.  I shrug my shoulders, and a sharp twist goes through my gut.  It passes quickly, though, and I push it aside, figuring I have gas.

“So why do I feel so protective of Edwaird?  I mean, the way I was earlier, when you came to retrieve me from his room after the attack, that is not me!” I explain, hoping that they don’t think I’m some vicious bitch.

Ah-lisss answers this time.  “Bell-a, you and Edwaird have completed the firsssst sssequence of the mating ritual.  It issss different for every mating pair, but we have wayssss of telling that it hassss been ssstarted.”

“How can you tell that?” I ask, feeling a little more flustered and incredibly embarrassed now.

“Our reccceptors sssense the change in you.  There are waysss for usss to recognize the changessss, like sssmell and the color around you,” Ah-lisss answers again.

“Wait, so you can like, see my aura?”  Okay, now I’m just in awe.

“Aura?  Isss that what you call it?  For usss, the name issss the Misssst, but yesss, we can sssee it,” Ah-lisss says then goes to stand over by the door.  She keeps looking at me funnily, almost expectantly, and I don’t really know what to make of it.

I remember the one question that I really want to ask. “Oh!  So, how exactly does the pregnancy with the male carrying the baby work?”  I ask.

Essssme says something, but suddenly, I can’t hear her.  I mean I can hear that she is speaking, but I can’t focus on anything except the feeling inside of me.  I feel as though someone has wrapped a set of heavy chains around my waist from the inside and is slowly pulling on them, beckoning me forward.  I stand up and begin to pace, feeling like a caged animal and notice that their discussion has stopped while they watch me.  Roe-salie again follows me, and I growl at her.  She backs off a little, going to stand over by Esssme, who whispers something to Carlissss.

Then, I hear my name being said, in a whisper.

Bell-a.”  It sounds like Edwaird, but he is in his room.

I look at the intercom, but no one else seems to have noticed it.  I wonder why they didn’t hear that.  The sound of water rushing in my ears starts, dull, then begins to get louder, and I hear the “Bell-a” again, but this time it sounds more frantic.  I know it is my Edwaird.  My Edwaird needs me.

Just as I’m beginning to feel so agitated and nearly torn in half by this invisible chain, I find myself next to Ah-lisss, by the door.  She looks in my eyes, and all of a sudden I understand she knows exactly what is going on with me.  At the same time, I realize I fucking heard Edwaird calling my name in my Goddamn head.  This shit is fucking weird.

Ah-lisss gets it; she grabs my hand, pulling me from the room, and we begin to run.  I run as though my life, or his, depends on it, and I pray to God that that is not the case.  Everything here is so new, so it could mean anything.  As we get closer to him, my body begins to feel less and less like it is going to shatter.

That is when I notice a bit of anger seeping into my thoughts and as soon as I notice it, Ah-lisssss stops abruptly and drops my hand.

“You feel it, Bell-a.  You have made Edwaird yourssss.  The feeling you have now, to make ssssure no other female ever nearsss Edwaird will go away, but thissss is what happensss.”

With that, Ah-lissss turns around and begins to run back toward the control room.  I’m left facing his shiny door, finally feeling only love, devotion and total fucking lust.

Did I just say love?  Oh yes, yes I did. 
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