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 All Problems Have a Cause - Part 3 (13 - 18)

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PostSubject: All Problems Have a Cause - Part 3 (13 - 18)   June 24th 2018, 7:55 am

All Problems Have a Cause
The Blue Flame

Chapter Thirteen
(Greg)

Hearing another speak of the danger of Kestay really did not help Greg.  Having the information come from Kamadrell, who really belonged to the group of esoteric immortals, did stress the seriousness of the situation.  Greg however did not know how to handle the reality of what he was being told, or how he could help to resolve the problem.

Part of him wanted to bring out the point that he was not the leader of the immortals.  Not only was he not the oldest, but he did not consider his powers to give him any authority.  He honestly felt that Eternity, History, or even Foundation to be the better choices for taking a lead in dealing with Kestay.  He however had enough wisdom to accept that the reason he was being placed in a position of leadership was because others were not accepting the responsibility.  Greg accepted that sometimes people volunteered not because they stepped up, but because everyone else stepped back.  Feeling there was a need for someone from the immortals to take on the problem, he listened to either do his part or have the knowledge to support the one who did advance to act as a leader.

Greg however did have one question.  “Kamadrell, why isn’t Kestay being removed?”

The one who had the form of a white dragon replied, “Greg, you know as well as any of us that we don’t know the rules.”

“That however does not mean that there are no rules.  I fully believe that there are limits to my powers, and that if I push those limits I could find my place among the immortals taken from me.”

“The truth however is that our personas are merely guides for the perception of our aspects.  The way the common person thinks about our jobs is a reflection of how we think about them.”

Greg thought for a moment, then felt a need to say, “I will agree with what you said, although I do not consider what you said to counter what I said.”

“Let me say that Calliope probably found the answer.  She spoke of a time when those of us immortals were of a different character.  While they lost their status that could be said for a number of personalities we know to have been good people.  My point is that those ancient immortals made their mark here even with a reported poor rating.”

“No.  There has to be a standard.  I’m sorry, but I believe recent evidence speaks against you.  Death was replaced by Bo Drell, and he was horrible.”

“No, Greg.  If you were not there to confront him and get him to see the conflicts with his beliefs and the responsibilities of Death, he might have progressed to gain a permanent place.”

“No.”  Greg just could not accept that, and with conviction stated his reasoning.  “There was a conflict in his beliefs and the responsibilities of Death.”

Kamadrell had his soft speech present a strength that hushed the other.  “Then Bo Drell is a bad example to use to make my point.  There have been bad Deaths, as well as bad Lifes.  There were a number of ladies holding the position of Life for only a short time before you gained the status.  None of them gained any admiration.  My point is that responsibility is independent of mentality.  There are duties, and I would present that even an evil person, someone we would consider evil, to have a mentality that enables a management of the responsibilities.”

Greg wanted to again state a negative.  He however could find no support other than his own beliefs.  He thought about the others of the immortals, and had no reluctance to treat each as a friend.  He did not want to consider anyone in Peace as someone who disrupted the tranquility of the place.

All he could say was, “Something is wrong with this.”

“The question is how much we can do.  What is troubling is that we have to do anything.  I agree with you, Greg.  There should be a sense of morality to our personas.  There should be a greater good that created everything, and watches over our actions.  Something evil should not be in our place.  What makes you important, Greg, is that you were instrumental in handling Bo Drell.  Of all of us, you are the one with wisdom.”

“I loved Calliope, and understood things about her duties.  I thus had the knowledge and determination to deal with Bo Drell.  I knew nothing of Bazisht, and could barely comprehend what he was.  I know almost nothing of what Energy does.  That means I am without the knowledge or the determination.”

“I believe events will give you the determination.  Let me see what I can do about supplying you with understanding.”

Attempting to gain some comprehension of the problem, Greg had to ask, “Kamadrell, tell me that Kestay disturbs you.”

“You mean you feel that I should feel a lack of comfort due to the presence of Kestay.”

“Yes.”

“Yes.  I guess that is why I am speaking with you."

Greg felt good to have gained that concession, so as a friend he felt a need to grant one of his own.  “Listen, Kamadrell, I accept that I am the one with some history in dealing with a wayward immortal.  I feel the situation with Kestay is completely different, but I will help however I can.”

He saw the white dragon rise and spread his wings.  As he launched himself into the air he disappeared.  Greg wondered if he went to Peace.  A thought came to him to go there and possibly let Kamadrell know how to access the outside portal.  A thought of the place around the other point had him think of something he could do there.  Understanding that one method of solving a problem was to get one’s mind away from it where the pressure of dealing with it and the constraints of the present line of thought no longer bothered the consideration of alternate solutions, he considered what else he could put his mind on.  Seeing that he was no longer needed at this place, he rose into the air before leaving.

Coming into the Apostle, Greg felt some relief not having anyone coming to him.  To give them an opportunity, he slowly moved through the corridors to his room.  Coming into his apartment, he felt relief not having Vefillaya overly enthusiastic about having him perform.

Knowing he would be heading into their bedroom, he warned the lady about his intentions.  “I am sorry, but I am about to do something I really do not want to do.”

Her hands did move to start releasing her garments even as she asked, “And what would that be?”

“I am going swimming without you.”

“And why would you do that?”

“Because I am going swimming on Peace.”

She did continue the act of undressing even as he went to a chest-of-drawers, although paused hearing her say, “You did mention the fountain was rather large.”

He turned and found himself wondering about the reality of their relationship.  She was completely alien.  Yes, she had her head, hands, and feet in the right places with her body very much like a human lady.  The blue-black scaly skin, ears on top of her head, bird-like feet, and other details clearly presented her as something nonhuman, but he wanted her.  She was his wife, and he truly desired her in his life.  What Vefillaya saw in him, he could not say, but she clearly expressed joy in seeing him react to her.  Wondering just how much time he had before another call would come, he spent time with his wife.

After cleaning himself up, he told Vefillaya that he was still going swimming without her.  She spoke of her pleasure in having her man keep himself in shape.  She then asked a question he felt he should have expected.  With a tone of being in a mood of business, he told her the truth.

“I can guarantee Calliope will not be there.  She goes to Peace to eat and sleep.  Even if she thought about going swimming, she would not consider herself having the time.  There is also the fact that presently she does not know how to go outside, except to take the time to walk through the building then around to where the pool is.”

“Maybe in the future?”

“Something is happening, Vefillaya.  Some say it is a repeat of what occurred long ago.  We suddenly begin relating to the non-physical entities with some of us going outside and this trouble comes.  Whatever is coming, I know we got to keep our attitudes in line.  I am Life.  I go around restoring people to where they can return to their lives.  I need to do that with the other immortals.  Whatever tragedy we might face and for whatever reason, we need to move on.  Letting everything die, be forgotten, like it did so long ago should not happen again.  We live fantastic lives.  There is no reason not to enjoy it.  There is also a need to assure that we do not lose sight of our reason for our personas.  Not only should we enjoy our lives, but we should be doing what we can to assure others enjoy their lives.  That’s what failed.  That is why Calliope is Death.  Her existence became so bleak she felt Death to be something grand and exciting.  There will possibly be places where it happens anyway, but it should be uncommon.”

She saw him wrap his swim trunks in a towel, then said, “Calliope would probably swim naked.”

Actually wondering about the mentality of the lady, he replied, “Probably.  In Peace she would also be as she is, although without any sign of her growing old.  Don’t go comparing yourself with Calliope, Vefillaya.  I want to enjoy you.”

“With her in your life, Greg, I actually feel that you will enjoy me.  Instead of becoming frustrated as I grow old, I know you have someone with whom you can release certain urges.  It helps that I like Calliope.  She is not some other woman, but actually a friend.  Now, go do what you need to do.  My job is to keep you feeling this place is home, so that is what I will be doing.”

While he heard what she said, Greg still felt the need to share some more affection with Vefillaya.  He touched her because she had not put on any clothes.  The fact she had her body available meant she expected some sign of him finding her desirable.  That was not a problem, although after some simple acts of stating he was truly glad to have her in his life he knew he had to leave.

He felt he had taken too much time with his wife when he heard the voice of Captain Negallin say, “Greg, I know you have no idea how long you will be gone, but come see me when you get back.”

Greg turned to a camera, then said, “You are the wrong person to ask that.”

“I know, so make it a point to see me.”

“Understood.”

After leaving the ship, he went into Peace.  Seeing no one in the grand front room, he turned around and had the portal take him to the other one.  As he stepped out through the vines that had grown over the extremely large stone gazebo, he felt pleased with himself.  There however came to him a sense of wonder why none of the others had thought of such a simple solution.  They wanted a method to come here directly, but he felt someone should have considered simply transporting themselves out here instead of walking through the great building.  It was as if in not being able to completely simplify the matter they put up with a degree of inconvenience.  After contemplating the thought for a time, he went to the pool.

The clear water had him look to the enormous building.  Something about Peace did not allow things to spoil or grow stagnant.  As far as he could tell, there was no inlet or outlet of liquid to the large rectangular stone basin.  The columns around the pool were in good condition.  He looked to the enormous building accepting that should he stray into long unused passages and find his way to the possibly ever neglected attic there would not be long abandoned spider webs, layers of dust, or anything saying that time had an effect.

Changing into his swimsuit, Greg dove into the pool attempting to imagine being a part of those immortals long in the past.  He wondered if they were truly arrogant spoiled individuals, or simply a playful set of characters whose time eventually came.  After doing a couple of laps, Greg could not imagine what he did as being wrong.  There were stresses to this life, and Peace presented itself as a way to refresh oneself.  He could only imagine those who had once enjoyed the pool as possibly seeking more than a relaxing period, and that being what brought doom upon them.

Greg turned hearing the voice of Kestay demand, “What are you doing?”

“Keeping mind and body active.”

“I was looking for you.”

“And here I am.”

The glowing presence that appeared as a feather stopped at the edge of the pool.  Thinking of the being as possibly composed of electricity, he wondered if the water would trouble him.  Most of the non-physical entities he had encountered lived in the vacuum of space, so it was possible any atmosphere or physical medium would trouble them with Peace being a special place where they could interact with the physical immortals.  That had Greg wonder about the water in the pool.

Kestay said, “I don’t believe the others like me.”

Hoping the exotic creature would get the context, Greg replied, “Big hairy pig testicles.”

“What?”

“Do your job, Kestay.  The others did not put you in your position, and really can do nothing about you having your position.”

Faster than Greg expected, the glowing feather replied, “I don’t know what my job is.”

“From what I heard, you know what to do when you show up to a call.”

“That does not mean it is my job.”

With a stern voice Greg replied, “I believe it means that is exactly your job.”

“Well, it’s not the job I thought I would be doing.”

“That is very possibly true, but that does not change the fact that is what you are being called to do.”

“You don’t like me either.”

Wondering if he should be angered or amused, Greg simply replied, “You know what I do when not going about as Life?  I am an ambassador.  I work to have others consider the future of working with others.  It doesn’t matter whether I like someone or not.  What does matter is that I get along with them, gain some understanding of them, and help them get along with others I possibly don’t like either.”

“Are you good at it?”

“I have my moments.”

There was a pause, then Kestay asked, “You work with others?  I mean, others that are still going about their lives.”

“Yes.”

“My people don’t like me either.”

Greg felt that was a good thing for Kestay to express, and quickly spoke to prevent the moment from going to waste.  “And I say again:  big hairy pig testicles.  Focus on your job, Kestay.  Become competent, and a part of that is becoming used to what you are being called to do.  You don’t get older in this job, Kestay, but you will become wiser.  As your mind grows with the understanding of a multitude of things, you will find methods of gaining acceptance, although it is also possibly you will simply gain the audacity of not caring what others think of you.”

“I have been doing experiments, but they have not helped me.”

“Listen, Kestay, somebody likes you.  Someone or something, we really aren’t sure, put you in this position.  Consider that of importance.  Do your job.”

“Yes.  Yes.  Okay.”  As if it mattered, Kestay added, “But I don’t like it.”

“That might be why others don’t like you.”

There really was no way for Greg to read the body language of the glowing feather.  Seeing it move away, he could only assume it was considering the advice.  Greg certainly hoped so.  There really was no way to be certain however, so Greg went back to moving through the water hoping his mind would find a way of seeing through the barriers he felt presently kept him from solving any problems.

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.


Last edited by TerishD on July 19th 2018, 7:47 am; edited 4 times in total
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PostSubject: Chapter Fourteen   June 29th 2018, 7:38 am

All Problems Have a Cause
The Blue Flame

Chapter Fourteen
(Vefillaya)

She saw the door open and Feding say, “Wecome, Vefillaya. Glad that you came.”

Vefillaya entered while saying, “I believe Greg will be gone for a time, and even if he does return Captain Negallin wants to speak with him.”

Ogdife, Feding’s husband, said, “I am sorry to hear that, but I guess I can enjoy being entertained by you two ladies.”

“No. Greg needs to be free to do his jobs, but he also needs me. I don’t mind, I love, what I do for him.”

Feding said, “Now, Vefillaya –“

“No. I know what we were told when we came to be attached to Greg, but I agree with the reasons. You cannot imagine being married to him. Not just what he tells me, but the personalities who I interact with.”

Ogdife brought her a drink, then admitted, “We can tell how devoted you are to him. I believe everyone on board could have told the Offantians their scheme would not work.”

Feding made certain Vefillaya sat, then asked, “What’s it like dealing with immortals?”

Vefillaya relaxed while saying, “It’s like Greg. They would be normal people, except they have this entire separate life that is so amazing. I have sat and massaged Greg while listening to him speak of fantastic things. He and Calliope will speak of horrendous tragedies.”

Ogdife interrupted to ask, “Horrendous tragedies?”

“She is having to move about and end their agony while Greg basically goes about doing the same. It is in scenes like that they usually work together. I believe they are both talking themselves through the mental stress of what they experienced.”

Feding sounded like she was attempting to improve the topic by saying, “There are others, like that strange being that rode through recently.”

“That was War. There is a problem right now among the immortals, and War came to discuss it with Greg. His actual name is Vabrey. I’ve heard Greg speak about him, but it was the first time I met him.”

Ogdife sounded like he was concerned as he asked, “Why would War come?”

“There is an immortal, Energy, that is doing things he shouldn’t. Usually when an immortal goes beyond his limits they lose their place. That hasn’t happened with Energy, and no one knows why. I believe Greg is suspecting something deeper than just an out-of-control immortal.”

Vefillaya noticed that the couple did not change the subject. She momentary had the fear they were seeking some piece of information that would give them an advantage in one of their own schemes. Feding was however a trusted member of the staff of the Apostle. She had been one of those who first befriended her. Vefillaya then thought of the couple as trying to form a bond in proving themselves willing to talk on these topics.

Hoping to settle the minds of the couple, she filled a moment of silence by saying, “I don’t mind being a whore.”

Feding was quick to reply, “You’re not a whore, Vefillaya.”

“I don’t mind. I was there. I know what we ladies were told. People can think of me as they will, but I know what I have. If people consider me being paid to have sex with Greg, they cannot imagine how much I am being paid.”

It was Ogdife that said, “I will support you on that, Vefillaya.”

Feding admitted, “I can agree with what my husband said, but I don’t like the fact it was said. Vefillaya, you are performing a valuable service. I’m glad you are finding so much satisfaction in your life, but keeping it to yourself is wrong. Money has no value if it is not spent or put to work in some fashion. There is a lot to you, Vefillaya, that others need to see and hear.”

Vefillaya felt uncomfortable in her seat, and said, “I need to be there for him.”

“Vefillaya, I’m part of the diplomatic staff. Also, unlike your apartment the cameras here can be accessed. People know where you went, and possibly are looking at us now. Captain Negallin will let us know if Greg returns.”

Ogdife pointed to a monitor, then said, “And I work the computer network. If a blue presence comes through a certain elevator, I will let you know.”

Those words helped Vefillaya relax and speak to the couple. After a time, they began to speak on other topics. There was a period where they exchanged some historic data on each other. While a number of facts were present in personnel files, which Vefillaya was quick to let the couple know she could access, there were things about every person that no amount of data could truly inform others about. They had finally begun to actually test the waters on other subjects when Ogdife let her know that Greg had returned only to head to the bridge. When words came from the captain, Vefillaya stood excusing herself.

“Greg will need me.”

Feding was quick to reply, “Let him know that he can come here.”

“He knows. I however know he left to do something in Peace, and I know whatever the captain told him was important as well. He will need to take a break and work through things. That is my job.”

“You’re his wife.”

“I know who I married.” Reaching out to touch the other lady, Vefillaya stressed, “I will not fail him.”

Feding cupped the hand with her own, then replied, “That’s not what we fear. What we fear is you destroying yourself from working to do it all yourself. You keep coming to us. Don’t think you have to do it alone.”

After saying some parting words, Vefillaya kept herself from rushing through the corridors of the ship. The smile Greg gave her upon seeing her come from a side passage almost had her run the final steps to him. She flowed into his arms, and feeling him slump a little as he gave her affection let her know that he did indeed need her. His words as he directed her to their room however were conversational in tone as if a normal inquiry.

“Did Vabrey return?”

She thought that an odd question, and told him why. “I thought you immortals could go where the other was.”

“I was in one of those he could but couldn’t places. Simply wanting to drop off a message, he might have come here to speak to you. I mean he does now know who you are.”

“No, Greg. Vabrey did not come here.”

He waited until gaining their apartment to say more. “I spoke with Kestay. Had what I hope was a positive conversation. He sounded like a kid. I guess with Calliope having been so young when she gained her position that it is possible the same happened with Kestay. He does mention that his duties basically have him acting as Death for the non-physical entities. While Calliope had an understanding of what Death did, it however seems that Kestay had no idea of his responsibilities.”

She began undressing him, but between kisses asked a question to keep him talking. “Do you believe you adverted the problem?”

“I hope, but in the meantime I believe I am going to spend time moving through Peace.”

“Why?”

“Because if there is a reason for the outside, there is a reason for the inside. There is a reason. I feel certain about that.”

He was naked and lying on the bed. The fact that he was not reaching for her told her a lot. She smile while undressing wondering just how much swimming he did. Usually the sex was an activity to get his body as tired as his mind. His work as the Flame did not really require any physical exertion from him, so he came back mentally fatigued while having a lot of energy. With her clothes off, she went to the bed more than willing to let him have access to her body.

The time she spent with him she could not imagine any whore gaining a similar period of pleasure. It was not that what she did would be any different, but simply the mentality of doing the actions freely. There were no limits due to the amount paid. There was also the comfort in what he did in return. As completely drained as his body language tried to state, he moved with her in a most amazing fashion. When he collapsed unconscious, she wanted him some more. The sensations of pleasure was something she felt certain no whore gained from what was to them a job.

After spending time in Greg’s office, she stepped back out wondering about the cleaning service. She was concerned about those who took care of her apartment waking up Greg. Hearing a tone indicating someone at the door, she however approached to notice that it was someone other than the cleaning service.

Vabrey asked, “Mrs. Vefillaya, is Greg here?”

“He’s sleeping.”

“It’s okay. I’m just delivering a message. It seems he spoke to Kestay. I don’t know what Greg said, but it seemed to work. I still don’t trust the guy, but right now things are good.”

Vefillaya let the persona of War into her apartment, as she did not want to say more until she closed the door. “He mentioned that you might come by with a message.”

“Yes, well, I said I could handle the matter, but I can’t say I did the best job. When Kestay left me, he spoke of going to Greg. I was thus expecting Greg to come to me. Instead I end up handling some war between groups of non-physical beings, they feud with each other as well, and Kestay shows up just as Calliope will in a war between physical groups. Kestay had a good attitude however. He was still grumbling, but admitted that what Greg said made sense.”

“Well, Greg spoke of speaking with Kestay. He said he suspected him of being young. While Calliope understood the duties of Death, Kestay really did not know what he was to do.”

The squat quadraped being that was War did not move to a chair, but stood as if he did not expect to stay long. “That is not unusual for us, as almost no one really knows we immortals exist. Stories of us are mostly myth. Still, figuring out our duties usually is not hard after we answer a few calls. Getting one like Kestay is different, but I guess just something that happens.”

“Listen, Vabrey, what Greg came back speaking about was the building. It seems there is a lot in it that you do not know about. Greg however said there must be a reason for it.”

“Yes, that sounds like Greg. Don’t know what to tell you, though. I know enough to say the rooms don’t fit. Their size is not consistent, even though they seem to be. It’s like the storage rooms. They look big, but as you move through them they get awesomely huge. There is stuff in there though, but you don’t get the feeling it was affected by the expansion. Not certain what Greg is really looking for, but attempting to map it really does not work.”

Seeing if she could get the man to work with Greg, Vefillays replied, “I believe he just wants to know why.”

“Like I said, it sounds like Greg. I believe he asks questions simply because he enjoys looking for the answers. Finding an answer actually spoils his fun, so he goes asking another question. Maybe that is a question that will keep him happy for a time.”

“Wish I could go there with him.”

“Ah, it’s boring. I am not going to say there is not a reason to Peace, but there is a reason for our jobs. Peace is just Peace. We shouldn’t worry about it, but our jobs. I think that is where Kestay is doing right. He’s messing up, but does actually have his focus on his job.”

Vefillaya had to smile. “I will tell Greg that. Maybe it will keep him here.”

“You support that man. He’s does a good job. We have a good group right now, and I believe some of us are the best there ever has been. Greg’s in that group. He however needs you, Vefillaya. You stay with him.”

“I have every intention of doing that.”

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Chapter Fifteen   July 4th 2018, 7:48 am

All Problems Have a Cause
The Blue Flame

Chapter Fifteen
(Calliope)

The lady turned and said, “It really is that easy.”

Calliope looked at her. The fact that the wife of her instructor had gained the recipe from a book forced no need to memorize any of the steps. The ingredients had been purchased at a store where a certain quality could be assumed. The stove was electric with a timer, so no need to regulate temperature or judge proper period of cooking. Calliope looked at Senauly to make a statement hoping she would not take it too seriously.

“I almost feel that I need to teach you.”

A smile did come to the lady’s face, then she said, “Yes, we have lost a lot of the old ways. Some are better, or we try to say they are.” She looked to the fireplace, then said, “Some say that when things collapse, we will need to go back to them.”

“No,” Calliope felt the need to say. “I mean, what they are saying is that I come from a time when things were collapsed. They could not get worse. I remember people wondering why they bothered to fight to survive with many taking the option of going ahead and dying.”

“People lived like that for ages.”

“Those were not good ages. I am sure there were places and times where things were better. Of course, none knew any better, so they found themselves happy with what they had. I believe you have the blessing of living in a age where things would have to turn really bad to reduce yourself to the level where you need to exist as I remember.”

Senauly however proved her intelligence by pulling out what Calliope implied, “But we would know better.”

“But you would know of a better life. However well things went for you, you would know that your struggle to survive was nowhere close to how good your days could be.”

“You must have seen wondrous lives.”

Calliope felt the words to have been an attempt to change the subject, and decided to respond to them to see where the conversation would go. “Not really. People die in rooms. I see a lot of rooms.” There was laughter, and sensing the mood was good Calliope said more. “I am also called to scenes of massive destruction where people feel themselves suffering and want to go ahead and accept their end. At those times I see some of the remains of possibly once great civilizations. No, I do not see the best side of the universe.”

There was a moment of silence, then Senauly said, “You’re not scary. I mean, to talk to.”

“I thank you for accepting that. I know my persona is ever active outside of Peace. However, if you can accept me while I am Death then I feel certain you will claim me when I return to a normal life.”

“How often do you come upon children?”

“Seldom, almost never. In devastated areas I do come upon those who are young, but almost never is there one who I considered to be immature. I have come upon situations where there were children, but whatever it takes to call me does not seem to be something children can do.”

The lady knelt before saying, “No offense, Dame Calliope, but I really would prefer not having you around my children.”

“Say what you want, but I doubt you can hide your secrets from your own children. You cannot prevent knowledge of me from coming to them from other sources.”

There was a moment of silence, then the lady said, “You would never harm the children.”

“No. Never. I would not harm anyone who does not call for me. Let me however assure you that I also understand who I am. I am not arguing with you, but simply trying to apply some reason.”

Senauly rose while saying, “Pethuana says that he cannot just keep teaching you forever.”

“I am not here simply to learn, but to have a life. While I am presently Death, when I am no longer Death I want someone to claim as a family.”

“That is why you must learn things of me.”

“And possibly why it will be necessary to have your children learn of me. Whatever is decided about your children in general, your oldest son will need to learn of me.”

“Oh.” Senauly looked around, then said, “I really do not have much.”

“More than I do, but when you work all the time simply having a bed to sleep in and some food to eat is a grand luxury.”

“It is supposed to be wondrous. I mean the things of immortals.”

“To you or me? To you it might be a marvelous retreat, but honestly not a place you would call home. To me, I…” Calliope paused thinking of all those centuries. “I never changed a thing. The reaping tools stayed on the wall and my bed was actually better than I had. I had food and a place to sleep, and it was sufficient. I now have a new bed, a comfortable one, and I don’t have reaping tools all over the walls. It is still not someplace I will miss. I actually did all that for the next person to serve as Death. I don’t want them to feel that what they do is tedious, or dismal.”

She felt a call, which Calliope felt was convenient since it was about time for her to go. With a quick exchange of pleasantries, she left to answer the summons. It was a strange room, but Calliope felt she recognized a nice bed even as the large insect-like being standing nearby did not appear to be someone who should have such luxury to go to when it needed rest.

It said, “Go ahead, you got me.” She noticed the head turn so as to have a number of eyes focus on her. “You’re not Denadryx. Whatever, go ahead.”

Just to be conversational, Calliope said, “His name was Tehedrim, and way before your time.”

“Who?”

“The one who was Death before me.”

In a gruff manner, the man said, “Not that it matters.”

She looked at the table. The attitude of the man had her suspect something. Seeing a chalice on its side she took it and filled it with more of the liquid in an opened container. Taking a drink, she set it down while voicing a conclusion.

“It was not drugged. I believe you are suffering from natural causes.”

The man made it to a chair, then managed to ask while panting, “Why should you care?”

“Tell them.”

“What?”

“Tell them I cared. Tell them after the centuries I have served, that I still care. I want them to know I’m still doing what I can to be a part of life.”

The man controlled his breathing, then asked, “And who am I going to tell?”

“Whoever is waiting for you.”

“There’s nothing waiting for me.”

“No!” The head of the strange insect-like person turned to set his eyes on her, and Calliope explained. “Don’t be like that. You are ending your life. Don’t consider it meaningless. Please, don’t. I am working and waiting hoping for my own return to life. It means a lot.”

One of the arms stuck out a hand to point at her, then he said, “You’re right. Aha, lady, you’re right. Denadryx will not win this day. Stay away from me.” Calliope backed up, and could only smile as she saw the man lift himself from the chair. “Take what you want, but I will not die this day.” He grabbed a sack, she assumed it was a type of purse, and set it down in front of her. “Here. Now go.”

Actually glad at what she was seeing, she took the purse and left. Not sensing another call, she went to Peace. There was a thought to tell Greg about what happened, but then felt a call. Turning back to the portal, she sensed something strange. Not really caring, she first secured the purse to her outfit then went to the call.

The vines over a large opening surprised her. Stepping out she could tell she was at the other portal, the one outside the enormous palace of Peace. Kestay was almost directly in front of her, and looking around she saw Kamadrell.

The play of what she felt was electric charges over the tines of the glowing feather seemed to make the sounds of a question. “How did you do that?”

Wondering herself, Calliope replied, “You’re here. You called.”

“So I did. All right. Calliope, you say you bring release. I bring dispersal. I know what I am dealing with. What are you dealing with?”

“What I am dealing with?” Confused, she could only say, “I assume releasing the soul.”

“You assume? You touched one that called me. It did not go away. I made it go away. How can there be release when nothing goes away?”

Not being certain of the situation, she looked around and felt comforted by having an illustration before her. “That gazebo. I could pass through the vines, or I could destroy the gazebo. I guess I allow the soul to pass through the vine while you destroy the gazebo.”

Kamadrell commented, “I like that example.”

There was a strange sound from Kestay as if he did not like the example, which his question also seemed to indicate. “If you come upon someone that does not call, can you release them?”

Calliope replied, “No – yes. I do socialize with people without being a threat to them. With a change in attitude, I however can affect someone. There do seem to be conditions, but I have been about areas of destruction where people wanting to live suddenly asked to die, as well as the opposite.”

Kamadrell spoke as if to try and explain the question. “Calliope, you cannot just go to someone and kill them.”

“I do not kill! I release. I am not murdering people!” After hearing the white dragon apologize, she said, “No, I can’t.”

Kestay however asked another question. “You said you knew of situation where someone to die decided not to?”

Calliope undid the purse, and held it out while saying, “It just happened. Someone who had called me decided to live.”

Kamadrell asked, “He paid you off?”

“No. I believe he felt he had been murdered, poisoned. Hearing that he had not been, he somehow managed to gain control of his own body. Maybe a doctor could explain. Anyway, he gave me this purse as if to assure that I did not hang around.” Calliope thought, then said, “I believe I could be paid off. I really do not have to answer a call.”

Kestay asked for her to explain. More than willing to help the person, Calliope did her best to describe the situation as it occurred. She however wondered how well Kestay had understood her words when he made a strange statement.

“I wish I was Death.”

She had to say, “I thought you were for your type of entities.”

“Yes, but… but – something is not right.”

Kestay moved into the gazebo. It did not surprise Calliope to notice that he made use of the portal. It was known that the place could be used to exit Peace, but no one had yet figured out how to enter from this point. Looking to Kamadrell, she noticed him looking up and followed his gaze to see Lexostat moving down.

The white dragon said, “I believe I managed to keep you from being observed.”

Lexostat never really settled on any surface, but coming to his usual floating level he said, “Yes, thank you. I still feel Kestay could be a problem. I however believe something else that has been said. Because he has been learning, he can now be held responsible.”

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PostSubject: Chapter Sixteen   July 9th 2018, 7:47 am

All Problems Have a Cause
The Blue Flame

Chapter Sixteen
(Vefillaya)

Vefillaya turned with shock hearing the door open. Being in the kitchen, she should have heard a tone before anyone came in. Honestly, only her husband could come in, but she felt it her job to be there waiting on him. All others were to be graciously received. The fact that someone made it to the kitchen actually caused Vefillaya concern.

“Oh, Calliope!” she gasped. “Is anything the matter?”

“No,” said the pale, actually white, lady. “Honestly, I came to discuss exactly what you are doing.”

“Yes, well, if you hang around, I will have you taste some things. I have some Earth cookbooks, and a lot of ingredients, but Greg’s mother said that no one actually followed them. Honestly, I doubt anyone actually follows a cookbook. I made a soup, and have been trying little bowls where I add certain spices trying to find the things I would prefer.”

Calliope took a seat at the table. It really was not used, except for private discussions. Actual meals were eaten in the front room. Vefillaya however had a number of memories of things happening in and around the table, and seeing Calliope take a seat actually presented a feeling that another good moment would occur.

She said, “You cook with electricity. I am supposed to be learning how to cook, but Earth has advanced to where cooking is not so difficult.”

Vefillaya moved to the table with a couple of spoons and tiny bowls while saying, “The magic of cooking is not in the mixing of ingredients, but in how the ingredients are mixed. The reason most people don’t cook isn’t just because they don’t want to take the time, but because there is an art to it.”

There was a pleasant period of discussing certain spices and preferences of flavors. While Calliope was from Earth, she had been so young that certain lessons had not been sufficiently presented to her. Her actual taste in food had actually come from what she was served in Peace. Vefillaya found Calliope also unsure about spices, although speaking about certain preferences was a pleasant conversation.

Vefillaya told Calliope to stay seated when a tone sounded. Hearing the door open without another tone indicated it was only Greg. Vefillaya ran up to her husband, then directed him to the kitchen letting him know that she had been talking with Calliope.

Greg settled at the table as Vefillaya went back to preparing a number of bowls flavored in different ways with her listening as Calliope asked, “Greg, how did you get the other portal to work? I arrived in Peace and felt a call, and it ended up being Kestay outside near the other portal. I thus found myself arriving there.”

“Hold it, Calliope,” he replied. “You did not arrive there, but only went there after arriving in Peace?”

“Yes.”

“Well, that was all I was going to tell you. Arrive in Peace, then turn around and give thought to appearing outside. You can then step through to the other portal. It does save you the possibility of walking.” There was a moment of silence, then Greg added, “I wonder if I can do the same to appear in the front.”

Actually interested in the conversation, Vefillaya listened as Calliope replied, “The front?”

“Yes. I assume the great doors leading to the room with the statues is the front of the building. That is where people should appear, or were originally expected to appear.”

“Have you tried it?”

“No, Calliope. I don’t go to Peace that often. I mean, I have things here that are important to me.”

Vefillaya found both to send a hand to her as Calliope replied, “And what is here is important.”

While Vefillaya wanted to thank both, she was glad to hear them simply begin talking. Calliope really had not spoken about the family with whom she was relearning about life. Around Greg she however spoke of the people and difficulties she was facing. While she did have a very unusual appearance with an associated chill, Vefillaya found herself accepting Calliope as just another odd lady. Hearing Greg relate to some of her problems however stressed how common some things were about their exotic lives. Vefillaya listened to the two talk glad to hear about things in their alternate existences they would not relate to others.

It was as she went to get her husband a refill on some bowls that the conversation changed to him and Calliope speaking parting words to each other. Vefillaya also wanted to say a farewell to the lady, but when she turned there was only her husband in the room. Understanding her place, she calmly set the bowls down then began undressing.

Exasperation showed on Greg’s face, and after a moment of silence he said, “You haven’t had even one bowl.”

Vefillaya replied, “I had a couple with Calliope before you arrived.”

“They’re small bowls.”

“I have plenty of time to eat, Greg, and we both know that you might get called out again just as Calliope was.”

“I don’t get called out nearly as often.”

She removed her bra, then stepped out of her panties as she said, “I will put you to bed, Greg.”

Hearing a tone, he smiled. Determined to be seen as his wife, Vefillaya started putting her clothes back on. Hearing Greg reply that he would mention her work in the kitchen, she did what she could to make herself presentable.

Coming out of the kitchen, she was pleased to see her husband standing with Hubrinostry. While Vefillaya felt a part of this life, she was even less qualified than her husband in matters of diplomacy. Greg often admitted that he only had his position due to his celebrity with her accepting that she only had some status due to being his wife. What gave her some pride was in learning that most of the spouses also only had that blessing. Feeling it was her place to live this life with her husband, she advanced to make her own greeting of the senior ambassador.

Hubrinostry brought her up to speed by saying, “I was just letting your husband know that we received a thanks for our time with the Offlantians. Since the Apostle does not patrol anywhere near where the Offlantians want to expand, our involvement is considered to be finished.”

Vefillaya understood that no dishonor had been shown by informing the senior ambassador. If not for Greg’s celebrity, he would be the one in charge of the vessel. Also, since her husband actually had other duties, specifically those that made him a celebrity, it was Hubrinostry’s place to handle the flow of transmissions pertaining to diplomatic matters.

She replied, “I still suspect there is something going on.”

Hubrinostry admitted, “We are not the only ones to suspect certain illicit agreements. However, we are not the ones to deal in such matters. There are parties who are bringing concerns to light, and we should step back and allow them to work.” He then dropped his voice to say, “And, Greg, say that to Tertha.”

Vefillaya’s husband replied, “If I say anything to Tertha, it will be that you told me to tell her that. Let me remind you, Hubrinostry, that Tertha has connections with those in the imperial offices. Emperor Abrogrund might hear some things, but that does not mean that anyone else is to council him. Honestly, I feel it is best if we assure the emperor hears certain things from us.”

She felt a need to support her husband, so said, “And there are members of my family that would agree with that. Oh!” While both men focused on her due to the exclamation, she turned to her husband. “Greg, Uncle Wenelsa sent a message to you. He said there were only six stars.”

Even Hubrinostry moved quickly. He however basically stayed in place checking the security system. Vefillaya watched as her husband relayed the output from his computer to the large monitor in the front room. As Hubrinostry moved to join the other man, she could only watch while wondering what they had both recognized as something serious.

Vefillaya obeyed her husband, and retrieved a laser pointer from an end table. As she did so, she listened as the men spoke of the region of space they were looking at. With the laser pointer in his hand, Greg had it mark a location.

He said, “There’s a star there.”

“Are you –“ Hubrinostry quickly changed his question to something he felt more important. “Greg, that is a computer recreation. Do you have any actual star maps?”

“Of that section of space, no. I could go search for them, but I don’t want to do that.”

“Do you believe the captain does?”

There was a period of silence, then Greg replied, “How about I go check things again while you go speak to the captain. I should not need to be gone that long.”

Vefillaya saw the large senior ambassador look to her, then listened when he immediately turned back to her husband. “Greg, Vefillaya had not yet told you about the message. Do you need time?”

“Calliope was here when I arrived, so it should not surprise you that my mind was on other matters. As for sleep, I could use it, but don’t need it.”

Vefillaya felt a need to say, “I was in the kitchen. Greg did have something to eat.”

“And since I know what I am looking at and for, I should not be long.”

Hubrinostry said, “Okay, Greg. Let me say that I did not doubt your suspicion. I also had a bad feeling noticing the very improper things they said of your wife.” The man turned to her as he said, “Vefillaya, you have my complete support.”

She had to reply, “Your wife and the other ladies treat me very properly. I do understand my place, but there is no dishonor in being devoted to one’s husband, especially one as unique as mine.”

“I completely agree. You honestly are setting a fine example for other ladies.” Hubrinostry then turned to the other man, “Greg, we will be waiting.”

Vefillaya’s husband replied, “Honestly, I should not be long.”

Moving to the door, Hubinostry said, “I forgot you rewired the cameras in here. Smartest move you ever made, Greg.”

Vefillaya saw her husband show a grin to her as he replied, “I fully agree.” He then checked the security supposedly to assure Hubrinostry did not alter any settings, although once the senior ambassador left a connection was made. “Tertha, something is up. Wait, but I assure you that you will be informed.”

It was the voice of Jirdan that replied, “I knew this would happen.”

“Well, seriously, wait for the moment.”

This time it was Tertha that spoke. “Thanks for the heads up, Greg.”

When the connection closed, Vefillaya found herself hugged by her husband. “You need to wait as well. I will be wanting what you were so anxious to give me.”

She had to say, “Don’t you ever stop wanting it.”

“I love you.”

“That’s all I need to hear.”

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PostSubject: Chapter Seventeen   July 14th 2018, 8:03 am

All Problems Have a Cause
The Blue Flame

Chapter Seventeen
(Greg)

Greg stopped at the portal in Peace to see if he could contact some point of reference at what he considered the front of the building. He honestly wondered why others had not thought of using the portal in such a manner. Only the acceptance that even he had not thought of such an application until recently had him understand how Peace seemed to be a destination in itself with the immortals considering their next use of the portal to be when they left. Greg however found the possibilities for moving through Peace to be limited, but with a sense of wonder and pleasure he realized that he could go where he desired.

Coming out in the vastness of space, he paused wondering if he should use the portal in Peace for covert activities. While no true moral standard seemed to declare itself, he still wondered if there was a code of behavior for the immortals. He however also considered that all people, not just immortals, had the responsibility to work to make the universe a better place. Hoping he would actually do that in some small way, he let his senses direct him to where he suspected things to be wrong.

Greg realized that last time he had been looking for some clear and obvious reason for expanding into this part of the galaxy. Planets that could support life in some fashion or an already established base was what he was looking for. Sensing a few spaceships did not previously concern him, as a society as large as the Suderling Union would have some explorers. What he noticed this time was one ship moving from a grand hunk of rock most would call a planet, but with it not traveling along any stable orbit he found himself intrigued. Coming a little closer he realized that he found the presence of the Offlantians and hopefully the fact necessary to unraveling a potential problem.

Again using the portal in peace he covertly returned to the Apostle. Feeling that his presence moving to and from the ship was common, he felt there should not be any thought of this trip being special. Arriving in the vessel he felt good not being confronted by anyone. Asking for the captain, he however understood that others were acting covertly when the voice of Hubrionostry told him to head to the secondary bridge.

Where he found the senior ambassador and captain was in a place most did not want to admit existed. The Apostle was a diplomatic vessel. While most accepted a strong arm necessary to get some factions to comply, the fact that a ship of peace should be capable of conflict seemed wrong. There was a military unit assigned to the Apostle, and Greg knew of times when the bridge worked with the regular duties of the vessel while those in the secondary control center directed an aggressive use of force. Wondering what would be done this time, he headed to a meeting with his senior ambassador and captain.

Entering the room, the captain said, “It might seem strange, but one advantage of immortals is our sense of time. I definitely am able to remember how some things were and note how they have changed.”

Greg spoke his interpretation of the statement. “So you do have star maps of the section of space.”

“Wouldn’t be much of a captain without having an interest in such things. What did you find, Greg?”

“They have secreted a ship, or built a small outpost within a planetoid around the missing star.”

“So, they are ready for whatever plans they have.” The captain then activated a monitor and Greg saw that he already had a certain set of stars already presented. “The star in question was called Nemarquer in the official registry. It was cleared from the records by Admiral Nelermo supposed with a belief the star was about to go nova. Clearing it from the registry actually is permissible under the assumption it would be put under study for reassessment.”

It was Hubrinostry that added, “That did not happen.”

Greg felt a need to ask, “Just how deep is this conspiracy?”

“The problem is that we are not an agency for handling such matters.”

“I would hope the two of you were discussing which agency we should speak with.”

Captain Negallin said, “Well, since it was done by a high ranking military figure, we have decided against them. Since Emperor Abrogrund seems to be supporting the Offlantians, we are not telling him. Hubinostry has been speaking of our associates in the Brigadier. I however believe we can put our faith in those civilizations in the affected area.”

Hubrinostry suggested, “We really do not need to speak to only one group.”

Greg replied, “Yes, but showing our cards to the wrong group can work against us.” He then made an assumption. “Considering the two of you are not here debating things, could we just hold a group conference with our people?”

Captain Negallin said, “Well, it’s you guys that have to usually make sense of things and put them back together. Might as well get together and figure out how to possibly keep things together.”

Feeling the tingle of an actual call, Greg commanded, “Hubrinostry, get everyone together and let them know the situation. Hopefully I’ll return in time to work on any conclusions.”

Greg moved from the room to an elevator shaft. He paused thinking it was funny that he never actually used the elevators. There were ways to walk through the vessel, and he usually did that enjoying seeing what others were working on, where they were busy at chores, and who else was simply moving about. Feeling the call, Greg quickly brought himself out of any reminiscing and moved through the elevator doors.

It surprised him to arrive in a house hearing a lady scream. He looked around wondering who else was present. Only seeing the lady, he took on a visible form and approached.

“You! Thank the Heavens! Are you a doctor?”

Greg realized she was pregnant and having trouble delivering. He had no personal experience with children, but looked around seeing what preparations he could make. Hearing the lady ask him again if he was a doctor, Greg hoped he gave an expression of simply being willing to do his best.

“I can help. You will need to stay alert and care for the infant.”

She replied, “I hope it’s healthy.”

“She is. Honestly, you are as well, except that there are serious complications. I can help. Relax.”

This was actually a new situation for him. He could only assume ladies either could get help, did not need help, or were not of the mentality that enabled them to call for him. Greg however set himself to finding a blanket or covering while doing some cleaning. He turned hearing the lady laugh wondering what about the situation she felt was funny.

She said, “You are cleaning? You act as if the baby will come.”

Greg smiled as he replied, “I told you there were serious complications. Still, I can help. Yes, the baby will be coming. It’s a girl.”

“You’ve done this before?”

“Actually, I haven’t, but I am wondering why not.”

He did what he could, then sensed it was time for him to get to work. While the lady was not human at all, he uncovered her body then touched her in areas to clear up the problems preventing the pregnancy and making death certain for mother and child. He did the deed while thinking of his wife and the internal scar tissue from her accident that he removed to help her have some comfort. With certain problems dealt with, he found himself at work having to assure the delivery of the infant.

Handing the baby to her, he said, “Now, take care of yourself, and do your best with the girl.”

She asked, “Where are you going?”

“Where I came from, I hope.”

Greg knew not to hang around. Exactly what the lady said about him and what he did for her, he could not control. He however knew to leave such stories in the realm of folklore and not to provide any substantial details. Greg simply left the residence of the mother and child, then feeling another call he left.

He came out in a very exotic setting. What appeared as thin crystals grew out as leaves from what became very thin woody growths. Flowering ferns acted as grass even as there was a shimmer from their presence as if some metal was incorporated into their substance. Greg saw the feathery appearance of Kestay among some beings appearing as humanoid eels. It helped him make some sense of the exotic setting hearing one of those appearing as a native call out to him.

“Greg! Give me some help here!”

While in the form of a native, Greg sensed that the one that called was Paradine, the one who acted as the persona of the Hunt. How she differed from War, he had never bothered to determine. Wondering why he had been called, Greg looked over the situation as he asked what he felt was the important question.

“Kestay, why are you here?”

The glowing being that appeared as a feather replied, “I was seeking answers, and this seemed to be a good place.”

Paradine said, “He’s going to kill these people, Greg.”

Greg thought over what he knew of Kestay, then asked, “How is what you are going to do here different than what you have done earlier?”

The glowing feather replied, “I was not going to affect the people. Calliope does not work with the animals. I was going to see how my powers affected the animals.”

“Well, does your power affect the animals?”

Paradine exclaimed, “Good question, Greg!”

Kestay said, “This is a test.”

Greg replied, “I am a student of science, Kestay. Present your case. Tell me how whatever might happen here will give you any answers. Sounds to me like you just want to kill some animals.” Greg then looked to Paradine and asked, “Why is there a problem with that?”

She indicated the people with her while saying, “I am Hunt. I basically have a duty like one of yours. You have worked to affect the evolution of creatures. I do that with animals. I show up in situations where creatures are undergoing stress, and resolve any problems with their potential development.”

“You didn’t answer the question, Paradine.”

“He could have gone somewhere else.”

Without having to ask, Kestay answered the question. “I wanted oversight. I sought a situation where I could do what I intended and gain some advice on the results.”

“I am Hunt. The stress on the wildlife is due to these people with me. I need to make an assessment on whether the stress that called me is something that cannot be rectified, because the hunters are not managing their concern for their environment, or if there is some way to help the animals cope.”

As the lady began a discussion of ways to protect the wildlife and still have a source of food, Greg looked to Kestay and said, “You can go elsewhere to slaughter animals.”

“But I want advice.”

“If you ask me, you just want to push any blame for what happens on someone else. You have been told that there are no established rules. You however have the blessing to represent Energy. You set the standard for your aspect. Go determine how you see your rules, then become a benefit to the universe and not a problem.”

Greg hoped that his words would stop Kestay, but the strange being asked, “What do you believe I would learn?”

“That you could kill animals.”

“No one would come to release them the way Calliope does?”

Hoping to help Kestay, Greg replied, “Go to the front of the grand building that is Peace. There is a set of large doors. Through those doors are the statues of us who serve as immortals. None of those present an aspect that I believe acts as Death for the animals. However, you are free to consider the possibilities.”

“I would like to know.”

“That’s fine, Kestay, but any answers are yours. Feel free to come to us when we are available. That is what Peace was when I arrived. It was a pleasant place to speak to others. It is still that, although I have learned that all of us are kept rather busy. Still, I appreciate it when I can spend time with one of my fellow immortals. When I go to Peace, I am more than willing to spend time talking about whatever is on someone’s mind.”

Seeing Kestay leave, Greg thought of going home, but was stopped by Paradine saying, “Thank you, Greg. He would not have helped my own situation.”

“Well, I am glad to have helped. I really don’t consider myself the mediator of us immortals. I actually considered that Eternity’s place.”

“I know we really don’t speak that often, Greg, but I do keep up with you. Like I said, some of the things you do fall into my aspect. I come in behind you at times. I know your work, and have no problem with your decisions. It might sound strange, but I feel you are close even though we actually almost never interact.”

“Well, like I said, I am glad to have helped.”

_________________
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PostSubject: Chapter Eighteen   July 19th 2018, 7:53 am

All Problems Have a Cause
The Blue Flame

Chapter Eighteen
(Vefillaya)

Vefillaya had seen Greg in this condition a number of times. When he came through door he slumped against a wall. It was not that his body was stressed, but that he was mentally drained. Vefillaya did not have a problem moving him, as there was strength in his form, but getting him to walk in the proper direction was what took effort.

Actually expecting him to arrive in such a condition, she had not allowed herself to sleep. After doing things with him to expend the body of some energy, she laid down with her husband. Vefillaya did love the man, and wanted him to see that she did all she could to be with him. He was not a job to her, but her life. Wanting him to know that she would join him even in his dreams, she went to sleep snuggled up against his form.

She woke up to the enjoyment of having him touching her body. It was hard for her to believe he liked her skin. There were sections that were soft, but it was common to have him running his hands over her scaly epidermis. She could assume that her completely inhuman parts fascinated him, but felt he should be more desirous of her completely feminine features. He did let her know that he wanted her for a certain activity, but appreciated the enjoyment of having him show no reluctance in handling the sections not so gratifying to his human body.

Getting up to clean herself, she looked at the clock then asked, “Do you need more sleep, Greg?”

There was a groggy sound to his voice as he replied, “Let me get a feel for what is going on. If nothing is happening, I might go back to sleep. Might take off to Peace however.”

“I don’t want you sleeping there, Greg. You can come back to me.”

She had turned to have him see her naked body in saying that, and was pleased to see his eyes upon her as he replied, “Well, I hope I come back with something to talk about. If I just come back, I probably won’t be in the best of moods.”

“I am your wife. You can still talk. I will still allow you to share me, and I will see that you get more sleep.”

“Well, Mrs. Greg Sanders, you know who you married. It seems right now I am being looked upon as one of the advisors of the immortals. Most of it just seems to be friendship, but they are still calling to me to deal with situations.”

Moving next to him still without any clothes on, she asked, “Kestay still giving you problems?”

“I don’t expect him to last, but he is one of those personalities that seems to want to pull others down with him.”

She recognized the glance. He suspected he had told her. Vefillaya found joy recognizing that he had no reluctance to tell her things, but only hesitated wondering if his barely conscious mind had blathered the basic data. She had learned to jiggle her body in moments like that. Not that she wanted him to glance at her and think of having sex again, but just knowing that she would be willing to relive anything with him.

“I got called by Paradine. It seems that Kestay wanted to kill some animals in order to see if what resulted would be like what happened with the other physical beings he killed. While I have affected the development of creatures, even been present in the creation of life, it really is situational. Hunt is the one actually concerned with the evolution of animals.”

Actually wondering as well as simply wanting to keep Greg talking, Vefillaya askd, “Is it wrong to kill animals?”

“Slaughter animals, probably not in some horrible way. Still, it shouldn’t be done, and the way he would do it would not be considered natural. What got me called in was he went to Paradine to supposedly get her oversight, and his presence worked against whatever she was involved in at the time.”

“So, you weren’t called in to prevent the slaughter of animals, but to stop Kestay from bothering Paradine.”

“Right.” His grip on the arm around her tightened for a moment, then he rose to grab some clothes while saying, “Might need to let Hubrinostry know that I really am an ambassador. When you are a mediator for the immortals, I guess you are qualified to be a mediator in the affairs of regular people.”

“Greg, I have never heard Hubrinostry complain about your status.” She rose to put on some clothes while asking, “Are you hungry?”

“Yes, but more worried about being caught unaware. I will be in my office catching up on the news.”

Knowing what was in the office, she commanded, “Don’t snack, Greg. I’ll be bringing you something substantial.”

Hearing his stomach growl, she again told him to wait. Entering the kitchen, she decided on a set of courses. Something simple to keep him from snacking, although preparing something more complex that she would eat with him. After bringing him a bowl of some basic food items, she returned to the kitchen only to hear a tone indicating a call from her brother.

After some basic greetings, he said, “Vefillaya, I understand why Greg goes to Uncle Wenelsa, but let him know to start dealing with me.”

She replied, “I don’t believe he wants you associated with questionable activities, Tebel.”

“You’re the one that doesn’t want me associated with questionable activities, Vefillaya, and I love you for it. The fact that Greg loves you is shown in him listening to you. Still, the situation with the Offlantians is turning public, and I would like to be shown as having some leadership in that arena.”

“I will tell him, Tebel.” Looking at the food, Vefillaya considered how soon he could be told so made a decision. “I might however have him call you. Uncle Wenelsa provides a different perspective for him. You and Greg usually work together, and I am not certain if Greg has any scheme to deal with this problem. He is actually of the opinion that the Suderling Union should have a policy in place for the Offlantians, so they are the government’s problem to deal with.”

“Is that a diplomatic decision? Surely he is discussing this with the other Ambassadors.”

“The Apostle does not patrol the section of our galaxy that is being affected. The general decision here is that it is the duty of those on board the Brigadier.”

“Yes, but you have the Blue Flame on board the Apostle.”

Since she was talking to her brother, Vefillaya let him know something that she felt he should have known. “This ship has Tertha on board. That lady has direct connections to the imperial offices. The emperor does not want this ship involved, because it was the Blue Flame that stopped the Offantians last time. The Offlantian delegation that arrived actually sought to get an improper response for propaganda purposes, and only because of how they tried to get that reaction are they staying quiet. Everything they said has been formally put into our record and we will release an exposé of certain tactics if the Offlantians try to bring out things about their visit here.”

“Oh, that was not what I expected to hear. Yes, Vefillaya, have Greg get into contact with me. Love you, Sister.”

Bringing the prepared food into Greg’s office, she did what she wanted, which was to eat with him while speaking on matters. Hearing about the conversation with Tebel, Greg did not argue with making a call. He however spoke of wanting to eat the food first, and Vefillaya felt that to be a good decision.

She did not move into the kitchen to put up the dishes, but only set them to a side to listen to the conversation between her husband and brother. It was Tebel that had spent the money to get her to the social where Greg was to choose a wife. Having her succeed not only gave value to Tebel’s investment, but gave her a wonderful life. Glad to have the two men in her life work with each other, she set herself to listen to their conversation.

The connection activated with Tebel saying, “Glad you could respond so quickly, Greg.”

Vefillaya’s husband replied, “You should know that I would unless I was busy. Listen, Vefillaya says the matter with the Offlantians is becoming public. That is good, because some things have been made hidden. As far as I am concerned, the public needs to know that the Offlantians already have a post on a planet around a star called Nemarquer. It was removed from the public database by an Admiral Nelermo supposedly with a belief the star was about to go nova, but I believe there was something else in play.”

There was a period of Tebel wanting to assure he was getting the names properly. Vefillaya was also glad to hear her husband speak about the phrases the Offlantians felt would get a reaction. Tebel was definitely one who would seek to get revenge on any wrong done. There was a further period of him getting assurance of the insults made before another general statement was made.

Tebel said, “Listen, Greg, I’m afraid whatever happens that we are only going to be talking about this at the next family reunion.”

Vefillaya wondered about getting her husband back to bed when he said, “Listen, I’m in the middle of another situation with the immortals. That and the fact I really do not believe this situation with the Offlantians is my business will have me simply watch updates.”

“Let me work with what you fed me, Greg, then I might have you rethink things. I’m going to be as open with you. People know I have you as a brother-in-law, and that means they are coming to me for some inside information. What you gave me you said you wanted public, I can make that happen.”

“Not the stuff on your sister. I don’t want her in any conversations.”

“Yes, I can agree with that. Let me see what I can make happen on my end.”

When the connection closed, Greg reached for the dishes saying, “I’ll help you.”

Vefillaya had to ask, “Do I need to let you get more sleep?”

“No. Let’s spend some time together. I just need to be active for a while. Nothing against having your naked body, but do you think we can get Feding and her husband for some dance practice?”

Vefillaya thought that a wonderful idea. She did not believe her husband and she were properly dressed, although found the other couple to also mention needing a change of clothes. A room on the vessel was agreed upon, and Vefillaya went with her husband to hopefully have a wonderful time.

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