The second Blue Flame novel –
There is a wiki database to reference names, although you can certainly ask me questions as well.The Other Side of Life
Chapter Seven: Complete
I came into the Apostle through the usual airlock to find Jirdan there waiting for me. “Greg, it seems that there is a problem. Vefillaya went to check out the shuttle that is to be used for the journey back to your home, but it seems that there is not a pilot assigned.”
“Okay, so do I need to purchase a shuttle?”
The Cladastian should have been used to me by now. He and his wife were two of the first beings that I met in this galaxy. I had come to consider both of them my friends. I thus expected him to know some of my styles of behavior. Considering that I had just arrived, he might have had his line of thought elsewhere, so I worked to assure that he was clued in to what I was trying to say.
“I believe that I get a stipend for my services. It is supposedly rather generous. Maybe I can purchase one.”
“You would still need a pilot, Greg.”
“So, do I need to steal a shuttle?”
“Yes. Take without permission. I would use the term ‘borrow,’ since I do plan on returning it. But often officials go ahead and accuse you of stealing, so might as well do it.” Jirdan stood there on his three legs and just stared at me, so I turned to a camera to say my next words. “Captain Negallin.”
The voice of the chief officer of the vessel came almost immediately over a speaker. “Yes, Greg.”
“I have just been informed by one of my attaches that I am in need of stealing a shuttle. I thus need you to authorize that the security in docking back three-E start drinking heavily from intoxicating substances and reading porn.”
“There is no need for that, Greg. Any shuttle assigned to this ship is yours to do with as you will. No theft is necessary.”
I smiled at Jirdan as I said, “But I am supposed to need a pilot.”
“The paperwork will be in your room shortly authorizing Vefillaya as a certified pilot. All you have to do is have her sign it, then you sign it as the authorizing agent.”
“Thank you, Captain.” After he made a closing remark, I asked Jirdan, “Does that satisfy you?”
He finally had his feet moving again as he said, “Tertha said that it would have come up as a sticky point.”
“Well, tell her that has been handled, or will be handled quickly.”
I began moving to my apartment, and Jirdan came beside me as he asked, “When are you leaving?”
“It is beginning to be soon enough that minor details like the one you presented do need to be dealt with.”
“Yes, I wanted them to really look bad when I accused them of negligence for allowing a scoundrel like me to steal a shuttle.”
He looked at me. While he had three eyes about his body, I had come to learn that they only saw with two. I had assumed that they had panoramic vision enabling a view in all directions. It took study for one of them to achieve that, although the literature on their world stated that many of the native animals did see in that fashion. The high-order creatures however had learned the advantage of 3D images, so only used two eyes at a time. You were never certain which two were being used, although most people assumed that they were looking at them. With nobody else to look at, I definitely felt under observation as he softly replied.
“Tertha would not find that funny.”
“I was beginning to think that you did not either.”
You do not look at the face of a Cladastian for expressions. Their head is mostly bone with the muscles working the three ears and eyes. The single mouth is below. They watch each other’s legs, and I have learned to do so as well. Seeing them calm, I could recognize that Jirdan was no longer worried as he softly spoke.
“I am sorry, but I have been left out of the loop. Hopefully that is a good enough excuse.”
“Normally, it would be. Right now I am not apologizing. The loops that I have been active in have been elsewhere. When I get back from visiting my mother, I will try and get involved with you and your wife, as I will need to attend some meetings with those of the Pranashall Consortium. Something else is arising however that is troubling me, so you might continue to be out of the loop.”
“And what will you have to do?”
As I have said, I consider Jirdan to be a friend. He and his wife were my first contacts in this galaxy. I have thus known them for a few years. Considering that they were now also my employees, I freely answered his question.
“Make a map.”
“Yes, of Peace. There are supposedly gardens, fountains, and large elegant rooms. It is said that there we immortals were once much more arrogant with much better treatment in our own realm. I want to find those rooms, if they are there.”
“And if they are?”
“The usual reply, Jirdan – hopefully, we can find answers.”
We came to where the corridor branched. Jirdan told me that he would tell his wife that the concern had been handled, then had his three legs carry him toward his apartment. I watched him move off, then headed down another corridor to my own.
As usual, my wife was at the door waiting for me. As we kissed, I moved a hand to her rump. It was one part of her anatomy that did not match that of a human lady. Her race evolved from birds. They however developed to bare live young. Thus, while her rump was not that of Earth bird, it was not that of a human lady either. I knew it could please me however, and I knew touching it would deliver the proper signal to Vefillaya. I got the impression that she was glad for my action, as in moving away from the door her words spoke of what she thought I had been doing.
“You were gone for awhile. Did you spend time with Calliope?”
“Yes. She sat beside me on a hill whose soil was becoming saturated with an acid from the aquifer finding its way into a mineral deposit. We spoke for a time, then she moved off on business. She told me something that then had me go find Chisel. He was really excited with the news. I then went to my room in Peace and played with my dragon while also studying the plants. I did take a nap, but I don’t believe that I slept for long.”
Vefillaya was undressing, and so was I, as she said, “That dragon. You speak so much of it. You need to take a picture of it for me.”
“Well, that would mean getting it to stand still.” We laughed for moment, then I continued. “Its presence, and those of the plants as well, are however a mystery. Mine is the only room that has them. I am the persona of Life, but that should not be the reason that I am the only one with pets. Calliope mentioned that Peace is supposed to have grand gardens, wonderful fountains, and really be a grand edifice. None of us know of it as such, so we are considering looking around the place.”
“Are there places to look around?”
“I have not simply walked down corridors looking for their end. There are also the red doors that I was told are storage rooms. Storage rooms? What is stored in Peace?”
We really did not talk any more. Things were said, but nothing that could be described as conversational. I had taken a nap in Peace, so I could not say that I was tired. Maybe it was just the recent routine of collapsing after spending time with my wife. In any event, the talking ceased when our activity did.
I was groggy when I moved back out of the bedroom. My wife brought me some tea while mentioning the paperwork certifying her as a pilot. She did not sign her name until having me assure that I would be bringing the craft and not forcing her to actually drive it. I grumbled about her probably knowing more about flying it than me, but that I would indeed be using my power as the Flame to bring it through space. With the paperwork signed, she sat with me as I tried to fully wake up.
“I would appreciate a cup of tea as well.”
I turned to see a human female sitting on the couch. She had long thick golden hair that covered the back of the piece of furniture and cascaded to the floor. I could not see much more than that, although I got the impression of her being extremely pretty.
Vefillaya looked to me when I told her to fix another cup of tea. I told her who it was for, but she mentioned not seeing anyone. I simply told her to do as I said, and to excuse me as I spoke to another lady.
The filigree that covered the lady did a poor job of hiding her form. Seeing the mounds on her chest, I wondered how the light fabric managed to control them. The face was a perfect oval. I did consider her very attractive, although having ladies in my life I felt at ease taking a seat in a chair instead of joining her on the couch.
“Labonchy, I would presume.”
She stood and performed a curtsey, which did not look exactly right in the light outfit. I bowed in return. I then directed her to sit. Seeing Vefillaya come with a tray for tea, I directed her to just set it on the coffee table. She did, then moved to take a seat on a padded arm of my chair.
Labonchy said, “A Dumonistat. Quite a lovely specimen. If I would have known, I would have appeared in that form.”
“If you had known? You could do so now. I know that much of our powers. What intrigues me is that you know her race. I cannot say that I am able to put names to any of the beings I have dealt with.”
“Yes, well, it helps in my association. Feminine perfection is very much a cultural thing. Our assets,” she shook her torso and watched my eyes as I noticed the grand movements, “are not like the men. Zithiny can take the most horrid male specimen, and with exercise have him appearing quite handsome. While some tone to the female body does help, what men notice usually cannot be altered or fixed into place. Females thus have to use other methods, and what is allowed or appreciated changes depending upon a number of factors.”
I looked upon Labonchy wondering about the depth of what she said. Her appearance did not reveal any culture to me. She was showing off her form. I did not mind the view, although wondered about the reason she was revealing it.
“You heard about us attempting to map Peace?”
“Yes, and I want you to know that I am all for it. I have been attempting to set down the facts of us immortals. Most of my work has been working with the various races to gather the information that they have. Simply moving about Peace however does sound enchanting, especially if I had company. I hear that you spend time with Calliope.”
I tried to avoid any direct response by commenting, “I was told that you have a life like me. I have a spouse, who pleases me immensely. I thus assumed the same with you.”
“He died. Two years ago. Poor thing. I did take care of him, but I had others who cared for me. I play with them now. That will be you one day.”
“No, maybe. My work keeps me busy. When I come home I do not want to worry about complicated personal issues. I thus believe that I will keep my relationships simple.”
She adjusted her skirt, or that was how she tried to make it appear. Labonchy lifted it to give me a momentary glimpse of the area between her legs. Yes, I was watching, but I put an arm around Vefillaya. Labonchy saw the act, then sipped some tea before speaking again.
“I believe that I misjudged you.”
“Glad to hear it, although I am also glad to have this meeting. I am also not against walking with someone down the corridors of Peace.”
Her expression changed to being serious as she declared, “They are long. What I will suggest is that you do not stride down them. Rush down them. I have never found them to end.”
I had never gained the impression that Peace was overwhelmingly huge, and definitely not infinitely large, so asked, “Do they circle?”
“Do they continue to have doorways?”
“I have never been.”
“Why haven’t you?”
Labonchy might have been trying to be coy. I however felt that she had finished attempting to test my emotional level. She had settled into speaking of business. I thus worked to frankly let her know that I considered her part of the problem.
“I haven’t been among the immortals for long. I however have started becoming settled with a desire to simply learn about my new existence. Every question, and I feel that I am only asking basic ones, however comes up as a blank. What Calliope however spoke of recently was of an initial design for us immortals that failed. I like who I am, and really do not want to challenge any restrictions, but I am curious.”
“I cannot say that I am curious, but I am someone that likes some consistency. My husband provided that, and did such a fine job that my present companions follow his organization. I thus find myself satisfied with them. I stay away from Peace, because it is so – common. The information I heard however speaks of it as having things that might interest me.”
“Well, I am not against joining you on a mad dash down the hallways. If on my own, I however will check some doorways that I don’t know what is behind them. Just learning what is really within easy reach I feel will help establish some basic facts, which is at the level I presently feel should have been done long ago.”
Labonchy stood as she said, “It was nice meeting you, Greg. You could find me about Peace, and I would enjoy your company. Please, visit as you learn things, and we can compare notes. Once we feel that we have indeed gained a basic understanding, I would like to make that mad dash with you.” I felt that she was about to go, but she instead looked to my wife and asked, “Does she satisfy you?”
I smiled to Vefillaya before answering, “Yes.”
“Both have their own styles, and each fills a separate roll in my life. It however did help me accept Vefillaya when I saw that she and Calliope got along.”
“Is there anything about her you would liked changed? I do have my powers.”
I will admit that Labonchy was very lovely. She however did not match the appearance of either lady in my life. I thus did not feel that her choices for improving my wife would match my own opinion of beauty.
“No. I just said that she satisfies me. I am not one for lying.”
Her hands went to her breasts as she said, “I could make them larger.”
I showed no fear of reaching up a hand and grabbing a boob of my wife. Her face registered shock, but she made no motion against my action. I felt the soft mound beneath the fabric as I answered Labonchy.
“I believe that I would need larger hands.”
I heard her laugh before she disappeared. My wife saw me smiling as I rose, and she accepted a kiss from me while I continued to feel her chest. She showed no concern for my actions, and even asked if she needed to undress. I laughed, hugged her, then answered the question.
“We can. How much of that conversation do you however want me to explain?”
“Just tell me who she was. I heard the name Labonchy.”
“She is the immortal representing feminine perfection. She said that you were a lovely specimen of your race, although her form clearly stated that she felt I would prefer a human ideal. She had large breasts, and at the end said that she could increase the size of yours.”
“And you refused?”
My hands jumped back to the soft mounds on her chest as I replied, “I don’t remember ever, ever, complaining about the size of your breasts.”
“No, but I am here to please you. If you wanted them larger, and an offer was made to do so, you should feel free to have it happen.”
“The offer was made, and if I was tempted I would have at least asked you before having it done. I did not even bother to ask. That should be answer enough.”