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 All Problems Have a Cause - Part 5 (25 - 30)

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TerishD


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PostSubject: All Problems Have a Cause - Part 5 (25 - 30)   August 23rd 2018, 7:48 am

All Problems Have a Cause
The Blue Flame

Chapter Twenty-Five
(Vefillaya)

Hearing a tone, Verfillaya saw a name appear on her computer screen and immediately activated the link.  “Hello, Uncle Wenelsa.”

“Vefillaya, can you have me speak to Greg?”

“No, Uncle Wenelsa.  He is off doing something.  What do you need?”

There was a moment of silence, then he asked, “Well, who is it putting all these pictures up?  It can’t be you.”

“It is me, Uncle Wenelsa.  I did have Greg talk about them.  I am trying to recall what he told me.  Of course, these are just the common rooms.  One of the military officers supplied the camera.  The pictures have tremendous detail.  I cannot wait until Greg gets outside the building.”

“Yes, but shouldn’t he be present to speak about them?”

“He will be around.  Until then the pictures are out where others can look at them, so when he gets back there should be plenty of questions for him to answer, and maybe some corrections to make in what I did.”

Vefillays noticed the pause, and sighed recognizing that again her uncle was involved in something he should not be.  “Uh, how about his regular duties?  I don’t know how he has the time to take pictures.”

She really did not like telling lies, but she spoke again telling herself she was much better off not having a life with her uncle.  “There really is not anything pressing on his schedule around here.  He is keeping up to date with things, but that really does not command much of his time.”

“What about the matter with the Offlantians?”

“That is not in our section of space.  No reason for us to be involved.”

“What?”  Again Vefillaya had to sigh when her uncle paused, as he was actually following a script Greg had predicted someone would follow.  “Greg was brought to this galaxy to deal with the Offlantians.”

“Only should they get out of hand again.  Emperor Hastatit did not want it to appear that he truly needed the Blue Flame to handle his normal affairs.  Greg was placed on the Apostle to be available, but there was no desire to have it appear that someone like him would ever be needed again.  The Suderling Union has survived up to now without someone like Greg, and it would be a sign of weakness that the government would need him active.”

“Are you telling me that Greg is not involved?”

“Uncle Wenelsa, that is not in our section of the galaxy.  Yes, there was some initial concern, but it was quickly stressed that there were others who should be involved.  Greg would like to help, so is glad that he has something like taking these pictures to distract him.”

There was a tone of frustration in her uncle’s voice as he tried to politely end the conversation.  He however had to mumble a couple of apologies as he stumbled over words.  Vefillaya felt bad as she then sent the recording of the conversation to Captain Negallin, but again told herself that she was much better off with Greg.

She turned with alarm hearing, “Business with pleasure.”  Seeing Calliope had Vefillaya smile as the lady commented, “Those are good pictures.”

Vefillaya asked, “How long have you been here?”

“You know that I never have a lot of time.  Still, I heard you saying that he is taking the pictures to distract him from something else.”

“No.  He is taking the pictures to hopefully have others provide information on things about Peace.  We are however also using the pictures to work some subterfuge.  That is what you heard, however the bad thing is that it was my Uncle Wenelsa I was having to say the things to.”

“The one that was supposed to have gained you for a mistress?”

Vefillaya felt good having a lady she could truly confide in, so smiled while answering, “Yes.  I love Greg, but I also have to admit that he has provided for me a much better life than I could have had otherwise.”

“Surely the ladies on your planet could seek other options.”

“I come from a rich family.  There are certain requirements put on the men and women.  Those with less status can afford to do things socially frowned upon.  Being born into a wealthy family is not that wonderful.”  After telling lies, Vefillaya felt a need to speak a complete truth.  “Of course, because my family is rich my brother could afford to send me to the social gathering where Greg was being presented with ladies to choose from.”

“Well, I’m glad you have him.  He needed someone like you.  Tell Greg that things with Vabrey did not work out.  We can talk about it.”

Speaking quickly due to the assumption that Calliope had to go, Vefillaya asked, “Couldn’t you have gone to him?”

“Of course I could have simply gone to him, but you are important.  I’m glad he’s married to you, and want to spend time with both of you.  I wish I could have spent time with him as well.  I wish a lot of things, but I won’t let my desires get in the way of reality.  You’re important as well, Vefillaya.  I come here because I can speak with you whether Greg is here or not.”

Seeing Calliope leave, Vefillaya turned her attention back on putting some context to the photos Greg had taken.  It actually brought her comfort to see the very things he spoke about.  Some things, like the jubridors, did not actually look as she had visualized from his descriptions, but she could not fault him for what he said about them.  Trying to imagine what some of the other pictures would look like, Vefillaya broke from her activities in the office to move to the front door.

Seeing a military officer on a view screen, she opened the portal to hear the man say, “Mrs. Vefillaya, I want you to know that I am pleased with the pictures Greg took with my camera.  Tell him there is no desire to claim it back, but I look forward to seeing more of his work.”

There was no reason for her to deny the honesty of his words.  She did feel that his method of making the statement was a little forced, but Vefillaya would not deny that he would have said the same if the enveloping political situation was different.  A note was passed to her, but her promise to tell Greg of the man’s report was honestly made.

Reading the written message, she went back to the office and made a call.  Seeing the signal quickly activated brought her some joy.  Not only did she have a fabulous husband, but her brother was another wonderful man in her life.  While she understood that privacy was not a concern of certain agencies, Vefillaya still felt she could be honest in the message she spoke to her brother.

“Tebel, I hope you are not involved in whatever matter is going on with the Offlantians.”

He smiled as he replied, “I can tell you that I am not.  Honestly, Greg has often spoken of not wanting to be involved in anything connected with them, and I have taken the same policy in my own dealings.  Considering that we have managed to make some good calls, I have not felt the pressure to follow certain incentives to invest with certain parties.”

“I however feel that Uncle Wenelsa has.”

“There is the problem of being too rich.  You feel the need to be a part of anything that might show a profit.  Taking advantage of incentives is just wise, although so is divesting yourself of certain connections as soon as things turn sour.  Greg and I tend to stay active in other matters, so seek investments that do not require constant analysist.”  His eyes darted to something, then he said, “My wife has heard Greg speak of his dragon, but it seems that you have posted another picture of it.”

“He was given a much better camera with a tripod so he could take the time to take as good of shots as possible.  He has always mentioned how active the little dragon is, but somehow got it to pose.  It is a much better picture than the last one.”

“I am going to have to look at them.  Of course not until I get home.  Greg has his other activities, and mine is my family.  Vefillaya, you and Greg do not visit enough.”

That turned the conversation to the usual topics.  She did not feel bad in using her brother to further the deception of their avoidance of certain issues, as he actually knew.  Greg and Tebel did stay in contact with each other, as they did work together with a number of investments.  While Vefillaya could only call her brother, and occasionally make the journey to his home, her husband could simply fly there in a short amount of time, transact business, share a few stories, then zip back to relate things to his wife.  While Greg never did hide information of his investments from Vefillaya, she enjoyed those conversations when he focused on other matters.

Again the chime sounded, but checking the door this time had an unusual sight.  She rushed to open the portal seeing a soldier with her husband.  Greg managed to open one eye, then moved a hand to touch the military person before assuring him all was well.

“Don’t worry.  My wife can handle me.”

The soldier said, “Mrs. Vefillaya, your husband was moving along seeming to need the walls for support as well as providing directions.  He told me a fantastic tale, and I have enough history on this craft to believe it.  I also trust in your ability to handle him.”

She replied, “I enjoy the stories and the variety of moods he presents to me.  Yes, I will handle him.”

After getting him through the door, Greg put his body against the wall as if needing support while he said, “I worked with some energy creatures, Vefillaya.  I was with Mekatyz and Yellow.  I almost want to say we evolved the creatures from simple beings to something much more capable of developing thought.  I knew something of Foundation, but really did not have a clue about what Perseverance could do.  Exactly what I did, I cannot say, but maybe after I get some time to rest my mind.”

She tapped his forehead while saying, “It is not your mind that troubles me, but your body.  Let me get it desiring rest as well.”

“They changed colors, Vefillaya.  We were in this nebulae, and colors were around us.  I had trouble just comprehending them.  It helped having Yellow there, as he really does not have a physical form either.  His amorphous form actually helped me identify the entities we were to work –“

His eyes were still closed.  With his back to the wall, he reached out to her with a hand.  He had probably intended to simply have it go around her, but instead came upon a part of her front.  His eyes opened realizing what he touched.

“They’re bigger.”

Vefillaya had to smile as she admitted, “Due to my request.  I have been getting used to them.  Let me however remind you that I asked completely admitting to my place as your plaything.  They hopefully will help keep you active for a time until mind and body are ready to collapse.”

“Oh, my mind is ready to collapse right now.  Still, I love you, Vefillaya.”

“I love you as well.  I’ll remind you later to spend time with Calliope.  She came saying things did not work out between her and Vabrey.”

“We can talk about that later.”

She had him move from the wall and start walking to the bedroom as she said, “I am the wife, and she is the other woman.”  Vefillaya then stopped Greg, putting his back again to the wall, and kissed him before saying what she felt was important.  “I am the wife.  You come home to me.  You might go to her, but you come to me.  She might come here, but she checks with me.  I would not have had that, but I do.  I don’t just love you, Greg, but I accept that you are giving me all you can.  You are also not giving anyone else things that are mine.  You keep that in our relationship, and I will stay yours.”

“Are you having problems, Vefillaya?”

Seeing an expression of concern, she had to kiss him again before answering.  “No, Greg, but the deception bothers me.  I don’t want to go about deceiving people, because I want them to know the truth about us.  I want them to believe what I tell them about us.  Honestly, I would prefer that you go annihilate the Offlantians so we can simply be open and honest.”

“Most would believe what they want to believe anyway.  Between me and you is all that matters.  As long as I can keep you convinced that you are the most wonderful thing in my life, I will be all right.”

“You don’t need to convince me.”

“No, maybe not, but this is not a momentary thing.  I have a lifetime of convincing you.  For the record, I will enjoy every minute of it.”

She kissed him again, then as he watched she undid the garments over her upper torso.  “For the record, it is my job to have you enjoy every minute of it.”

_________________
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 September 17th 2018, 7:33 am; edited 4 times in total
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PostSubject: Chapter Twenty-Six   August 28th 2018, 7:50 am

All Problems Have a Cause
The Blue Flame

Chapter Twenty-Six
(Greg)

Greg shot up in his bed hearing, “NO! It is not your place! I am Energy! I should not be Death!”

Wondering how long he had slept, as he still felt mentally fatigued, Greg asked, “Could you have done it, Kestay?”

“COULD I HAVE DONE IT?”

“Think, Kestay. Could you have done it?”

Greg had to turn his gaze hearing the door open, although quickly worried about his wife hearing the glowing feather-like being ask, “Who is that?”

“That is my wife, Vefillaya. Vefillaya, this is Kestay, the persona of Energy.”

“She is not like you.”

“No one around here is like me, but she is very compatible.” Hoping to avoid any trouble, Greg asked, “Vefillaya, is there any trouble?”

“Well, yes,” she replied. “Kestay did not simply appear in the room. While you have certain privacy systems in place, the intrusion through the hull was detected.”

“Meet the soldiers at the door, please.” Seeing his wife leave, Greg turned his attention back to the intruder. “Now, Kestay, I am not your enemy. We can talk this out.”

“Why did you go?”

“That’s a stupid question. I went because I was called. I cannot pick and choose my assignments. I get a call, and I go. I can not go, but I have no way of knowing who I might end up not helping. I get a call and I go. I got a call, and I went.”

“Did one of them call you?”

Greg did his best to remember things, then said, “No. I arrived first. I did not understand, and Foundation arrived. I cannot say whether he came to my call, or became aware of the situation and came from being alerted in another way. I however do believe Mekatyz called Yellow, who is Perseverance.”

“I know Yellow. It was Yellow that told me. He however could not answer certain questions.”

“Does he agree that you could have done what I did?”

Suddenly the room was bathed in a yellow light as the being named Yellow appeared. “No, Greg, I do not agree.”

All reacted to the door again being opened, and seeing men in battle armor had Greg speak to those who had arrived. “Major Brethore, I will see about letting Kestay and Yellow know about proper ways to come and go. Thank you for your concern.”

Through the vocal system of the helmet, the officer asked, “Are both of these immortals?”

“Yes. The feather-like being is Kestay, the persona of Energy. The yellow glow is the persona of Perseverance, and is called Yellow. The fact I am in bed should inform you that they took me by surprise as well. Still, as friends, a little impropriety can be excused.”

“If you don’t mind, Sir, I will maintain a position in your apartment.”

“If it will ease your mind, Major.” Seeing the man back away closing the door, Greg again felt he could deal with the intruders. “Yellow, would you mind explaining to Kestay why you believe as you do?”

An explanation did begin to get presented, but when Kestay disappeared Yellow said, “I was trying to keep it simple.”

Greg replied, “I believe you, as I was actually following what you said. Listen, Calliope, Labonchy, and others have appeared in my room without alerting anyone. Could you try and do the same?”

“Our forms are not so easily contained by the walls. I believe it is parts of our volume that caused the alert. Oh, Greg, it is said that you have been moving about Peace. How are you doing it?”

“I know of the portal out near the pool.”

“I know of it as well.”

Greg felt that was enough of an acknowledgement to answer the question. “Turn around after entering Peace, and think of going there. You cannot, as far as I know, make an initial arrival at the other portals, but once in Peace you can access them.”

“Oh, that is simple. I should have thought of that. Greg, I am worried that Kestay is becoming a problem.”

“I am worried that we are going to be forced to deal with him. That isn’t right, so I have to assume there is a reason things are moving as they are. I am hoping to learn from Kestay, and not deal with him.”

“I understand, but I am still worried.”

Having truly understood Yellow’s explanation, Greg could not help but wonder just how intelligent the pervasive color was. “Can you propose a solution?”

“No, but I am also relatively new to this existence. Let me relate your words to others. Maybe with some wisdom I can offer a suggestion. Sorry for the interruption, but I was glad to hear you refer to me as a friend. I hope to keep that association.”

Seeing the color leave the room, Greg got up to put on enough to have him presentable. Coming into his front room, he saw some soldiers. The table was a set up with mugs and a large carafe of some drink, Greg assumed non-alcoholic considering the men were on duty, but they were not touching it. Seeing the soldiers look to him, Greg spoke to try and put them at ease.

“I was told that while we might perceive the non-physical beings in a certain way, there was more to them. It was as their essence went beyond the room that the alarms were triggered.”

Major Brethore asked, “Are you saying that there is no threat?”

“I can assure you that if there was a threat, I would not have been calmly staying in the bed. However embarrassed I might be acting while naked, the fact is that those who came would not have registered my lack of garments.”

“It is still our duty, Prime Ambassador, to assume the worst.”

“Vefillaya.” Greg waited for her to come from the kitchen before saying more. “Can you see that some suitable refreshments are sent to the barracks where they can be enjoyed without disturbing their other duties?”

His wife replied, “I was thinking of doing that very thing. Let me state my own thanks for these men. While I know they were doing their duty, one difficulty in serving on this vessel is the level and variety of challenges that can be met. We do appreciate your presence.”

While neither he nor Vefillaya had official training as a diplomat, they had learned a good deal over the last number of years. There was also the fact that they regularly dealt with the military, who also lived and worked on the Apostle. It did not take long for certain formalities to soothe the situation, and with good words everyone spoke of returning to their usual routines. No sooner did he and his wife see the men out the door than two others they normally had to deal with were seeking to be allowed in.

Captain Negallin asked, “Do I need to show any information about what I am asking.”

Having already told the information to the soldiers, Greg repeated it for the captain and senior ambassador. “While the non-physical immortals appeared in my room, just as Calliope and others have done, their essence is not limited to just what can be perceived of them. The parts of them that came into our reality beyond the bedroom is what triggered the alarms.”

Hubrinostry asked, “And who did you have the pleasure of hosting?”

“Kestay, who is the one being a problem. He has the persona of Energy, and is really dissatisfied being a type of Death and not Life. Really upset that I was the one called in to advance a race of energy beings instead of him. The other one was Yellow, who is the personality for Perseverance.”

“Perseverance? What does he do?”

“I don’t really know, but he can be a help. I doubt I would have managed without his support. Of course, I came in really sapped, but I had managed to complete the assignment. I might need to learn more about him. It was Foundation who came to support me in providing instruction for what I was doing, and he called in Perseverance. Kestay was not called, and felt he should have. I am not going to say that I am worried about him, but I am worried because of him. That however does not mean that I am worried about my life, although I am not certain what Kestay might do. While I am glad to be relating to the non-physical beings, they are still more mystifying than women at the moment.”

With both of the others being male, Greg suspected they would see the humor in what he said, although while the amoeba-like captain indicated amusement he still asked a serious question. “So, Greg, you are saying that the ship is not being threatened?”

“No threat was stated or implied. Kestay is really unhappy about his position, but not as in everybody-must-die-because-of-it.”

Hubrinostry asked, “So why is he coming to you?”

“Because I am Life, and he feels he should be Life for the non-physicals.”

“So is he wanting your job?”

“I don’t believe he understands what I do. I have worked with the non-physicals, but only in a limited capacity. That could be because there are so few of them, or there might be other reasons. Kestay however did try to act on us physicals, and got Calliope along with a number of others of us mad at him. In the end he has not gone into further acts of misbehavior or extreme experiments, so I am believing he will work out.”

Captain Negallin said, “I have every reason to trust your judgement, Greg. Let Hubrinostry and me excuse ourselves. You still look worn out.”

Greg turned to one he knew was nearby, and asked, “Vefillaya?”

She replied, “Yes, Greg, you should need more rest. You have not even gained a full three hours.”

“I do feel drained, but sometimes new experiences need something other than remaining comatose.”

“You need more sleep, Greg.”

After seeing the men to the door, Vefillaya began directing Greg back to the bedroom while undoing things about her garments. He saw her smile, but what really played in his thoughts were the reasons she had been dressed in the first place. He was the one with two jobs, while she had the blessing of simply staying home. Greg actually did not get concerned with how she filled up her time. While he was glad Vefillaya was so willing to reveal herself to him, he did think she was lovely, he had to ask about why she was dressed.

She answered, “It was time for the cleaning crew. I am the wife of the prime ambassador, so have the best of clothes. Actually, Greg, these are not my best, but they still show the quality I try to maintain.”

“All right,” he said glad to see the bed. “I however want it said that those fine clothes hide something very beautiful.”

“And this body enjoys having you out of your clothes as well. I do look forward to putting you to bed. Time for me to get to work, Husband.”

_________________
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.
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PostSubject: Chapter Twenty-Seven   September 2nd 2018, 8:07 am

All Problems Have a Cause
The Blue Flame

Chapter Twenty-Seven
(Calliope)

Calliope looked up to see the glowing feather-like form of Kestay. She was busy, but accepted that he was waiting for her to finish. Hoping that there would not be another call, Calliope set her mind on speaking to the one who was suffering from the envenomed wound.

Allowing the person to pass before the pain from the toxin destroying its body became too great, Calliope was pleased to find herself not having to rush away. She considered all the immortals, even the non-physical ones, as being able to understand her. While their backgrounds were completely different, there were things she could share with them that those simply living life would not truly be able to comprehend. Pleased to share some companionship, she put her focus on the glowing feather-like being.

“What brings you, Kestay?”

The strange being replied, “I want to know if you can do more. Is all you are Death?”

“Yes. All I am is Death.”

“I should be more than Death.”

“Okay, so what more should you be?”

The glow faded to where Kestay was barely visible, but then the radiance returned as it spoke. “I don’t know. I thought I should be Life, but I was not even called in.”

Calliope was glad that no call came, as she did want to hear Kestay. Whatever was disturbing him she accepted as a real concern. To help the being present his troubles, she softly explained that as completely different creatures there could be matters that he could innately accept while she probably could not even grasp the concepts. Calliope was glad when Kestay mentioned an example she could relate to.

“Greg seems to understand his powers.”

She replied, “Greg spent years in study. He did not rush into his duties as Life, but did his best to first understand them. I believe that really helped him.”

“Yes. I rushed into my present position. I thought I could do so much. I did not believe that I would simply be Death.”

Calliope tried to offer the being hope as she said, “I really don’t believe you are. There really is not any real duplication in our responsibilities. No one else can do my job, even you as you learned, and I cannot do the job of anyone else. You are doing something I can’t, but really are not worked as hard, so I can assume there are other tasks you can be called to do.”

“I have not found myself called to perform another duty.”

“Greg is still encountering new assignments. As vast as the universe is, some things just do not happen that often. Relax and learn to become comfortable in what you are assigned, then you should have the mentality to deal with whatever new might be presented to you.”

A pervasive yellow glow filled the area, and having met the one that was Perseverance Calliope was not surprised to hear a new voice say, “That was good advice. It is good that those presented as having wisdom actually promote wisdom, and not simply policy.”

Calliope had to say, “We cannot promote policy, because there aren’t any.”

“Most policies are self-created. Those that promote policies are usually only promoting themselves.”

She had to chuckle before admitting, “I would say that is true. Thank you for the compliment, Yellow.”

“It was deserved. Now, Kestay, while Calliope has the time, what more would you seek to learn from her?”

“Nothing. I have a call. Calliope, I will think on what you told me.”

When Kestay disappeared, Yellow said, “I sense a problem coming. I cannot however determine why.”

Calliope replied, “Because he won’t leave it alone. Exactly what sets him off I however cannot say, but I would think the proper advice has been given.”

“Yes. If it happens, it will be on him.”

She had to chuckle again, although this time felt a need to inform another of her thoughts. “Well, I cannot believe anyone else is wanting more to do.”

“Maybe from your perspective, as you are kept so busy. Greg and others however have things to fill their time. They effectively sought more to do. Peace is available. They could simply wait around there.”

“I guess you are correct. It is nice having support on issues.”

“Lexostat spoke of his admiration for your guidance, and that of Greg. I would prefer to be seen in such a light as well. While our actual reason for being immortals might be due to other factors, I believe we should also be seen as being worthy of having an existence beyond the ordinary.”

She felt another call, but was glad for the time with Yellow. Eagerly Calliope told the persona of Perseverance her appreciation for his time. Hearing him assure her that she had been his inspiration did not reduce her gratitude in having Yellow among the immortals.

After another period of releasing people, Calliope found it within the period for her lessons. She however paused wondering whether she should go, get some food, or seek a period of rest. Not really in the mood to sit and listen to some information on stuff that might not actually apply to her, she decided to spend time with someone she felt could use the company.

Vefillaya rose from the couch to ask, “Is there something you need, Calliope?”

“Can I use your kitchen?”

“Certainly. Anything specific you want to fix?”

Calliope thought for a moment. Her first thought was to try something from her lessons, since she was skipping out on that time. She however could not see why they would have the ingredients. While Greg had brought food from Earth, Calliope knew he had bought from stores from his part of the world. However, thinking of local cuisine she decided on learning something of the other lady.

“How about teaching me something you and Greg enjoy? Let me know how you satisfy your husband.”

She replied, “Well, I never can be certain when he will return. We eat a lot of the prepared meals, although we do things to make them more pleasant. When I cook, it is usually something I can freeze for later.”

“I’ll eat it if you are worried about it going bad.”

Vefillaya laughed, then said, “Come on. I know what we can fix.”

Calliope did have a good time. Vefillaya was not just a friend, but someone who was familiar with her. There was no reluctance to give orders or allow a taste after certain steps. Calliope found herself not just enjoying the time, but furthering a friendship with someone she considered close.

Greg did show up, but he did not intrude on what was being done in the kitchen. Calliope saw the fatigue on the man, but he assured Vefillaya that she could continue what was being done. While he took a position in a corner in a manner of using the walls to keep him propped up, he made comments then got up to set the table in a sign of enjoying the company more than any rest he might gain. Calliope felt that her presence was actually helping Vefillaya realize she could do other things when her husband showed up than take him to bed.

Again feeling a call, Calliope left to return to her life of releasing people from their lives. Having had a good meal with friends, she was in a wonderful mood. She spoke to those she came upon and did her best to make their release a positive experience. Calliope however was beginning to feel the need for rest when she arrived at a call and could not make sense of the situation.

She had to look at herself to assure the identity of a body before mumbling a conclusion. Almost never dealing with humans, or even those humanoid, often she had no idea about what a normal organism would look like. In eyeing her form she could see the type of creature who had called her, and knowing what she was gave her a method of comparing the status of those before her. Comparing her pale form to the non-moving being lying before her, she felt able to assure her conclusion.

“I guess he is already dead.”

“I’m not dead, but this is bad.”

Calliope looked down to see a person covered in blood and held by debris over which was the body of the other. She stepped back to look over the situation. Seeing the one who spoke showing nervousness, but really no sign of trauma, had her ask a question of the person.

“Are you hurt?”

“Hurt? Of course, I am hurt. I covered in debris and my own blood.”

Calliope had to correct him. “That’s not your blood. What blood I see has dripped from the one on top of you.”

“What? But, I’m trapped.”

Calliope pulled on the corpse. The man did scream, but more of being scared than in pain. That had her pull on one of the larger pieces of debris, and seeing things shift she provided another piece of information.

“This is all light-weight material.”

“What? I mean, of course. I make temporary set pieces for theaters, museums, and places like that. Working real rock would be too expensive, incur unreasonable transportation costs, and would not be easily done away with after the event.” Calliope saw the man work his body, then say, “I guess I am not hurt that bad. I believe one of the solvent canisters exploded. Can you help me?”

“Let’s be careful. You did call me, so if I touch you, you will pass.”

“So, you’re really Death?”

“Yes.”

Not worried that the shift of debris would hurt the man, Calliope pulled on the corpse. When it tumbled down, a lot of the other material came down as well covering the one living. He however found himself able to lift himself. While she did worry about him as he came up from the debris, Calliope felt good not hearing him complain of any serious pain.

After coughing for a spell, he said, “Thanks. If I had died… if you had taken me.”

Calliope felt a need to say, “I don’t kill. I bring release.”

“Yes, anyway, what would have been my cause of death?”

“Fright.”

He laughed with Calliope appreciating that he explained himself. “And not from seeing you.”

“My presence should be disturbing, but I hope not frightening. I do represent an unknown, but it is still a known part of life.”

“Well, until we see each other again.”

Calliope accepted the dismissal. There was no reason for her to hang around. Not sensing a call, Calliope returned to Peace feeling a need to spend time in her bed.

The voice of Kestay spoke from behind her, “You did not kill him.”

She turned to look to the glowing feather-like entity before saying. “He was not dying. Considering that he did call to me, I have to accept that he fully felt himself to be close to death. Still, the truth was that he was not close to death.” Hoping to provide some explanation, she added, “It is not my job to release those who call. It is my job, it is your job, to be the mediator on how certain aspects are perceived. I don’t believe death should be scary. Those that face it should do so with some sense of dignity, or at least feeling they are prepared for what might lie ahead.”

“I can accept that you can find yourself in more complicated situations than are presented to me.”

“But what you do should be just as decisive. Don’t see it as a bad thing. Don’t let those who call you feel they are doing a bad thing. Make each call something positive for you and those who seek your aid.”

“I should not be Death.”

Hoping to get Kestay to focus on something else, Calliope replied, “You have no control over how our universe operates. You however do have control over how you live your life, which happens to enable you to help others see something good in what is usually a tragic part of their lives.”

“I should not be Death.”

Kestay moved back through the portal. Calliope stood and wondered if she should tell anyone about this meeting. Feeling the fatigued from the hours she had been up, she moved into Peace seeking her bed.

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PostSubject: Chapter Twenty-Eight   September 7th 2018, 7:42 am

All Problems Have a Cause
The Blue Flame

Chapter Twenty-Eight
(Greg)

Greg had to admit that he enjoyed his existence as Life. The variety of calls that would come to him were amazing. While he accepted in only speaking of results they could probably be made to sound very similar, he had to admit that what he would return speaking about was usually something novel.

Sensing the aroma of mint meant the creatures were pleased with what change he had managed in their existence, Greg considered what he would do now. While feeling some mental fatigue, the task really had not taken from him what others had. Not believing he needed to return home and get some rest, Greg decided he had time to manage another of his projects.

Arriving in Peace, he moved to his room to grab the camera. Of course while in there he had to pause to pet the small dragon. While he felt the weight of the creature, and could detect the scales on its body as it moved in his hands, there was no pain. The jets of flame did not harm him or even his clothes. Accepting he was in a place beyond the usual cares of life, Greg took the camera and left the room to make a record of what he might find.

The amount of time it required to take the pictures of the statues bothered him. His commitment to return with the evidence had him set up for all twenty representations of those holding the status of immortals. While it was tedious, and he felt took away his time to do any new investigation, he did what he could to catch the image of each statue.

It helped his attitude that the scene behind the two doors was the same. The jubridors were not present around the great table, but otherwise the room was as he remembered. This time he did move around the chamber, but that was merely to assure that there was a complete record of the furniture and other objects. There was still a blazing fire in the fireplace of the other room. Greg did not pour himself any alcohol this time, but it helped his attitude to take a picture with a full carafe.

Feeling he was out of time, he rushed up a flight of stairs. He paused before setting up the tripod actually surprised by what he saw. The corridors were lined with what appeared to be cloth. The doors were actual large panels of what appeared to be a material like wood. Nothing he saw reminded him of the architecture he had come to consider as the basic manufacture of the edifice of Peace. Definitely feeling the need to return to Vefillaya, he took the pictures he felt necessary to show others then went down the stairs.

Coming back through the elevator doors into the Apostle, he immediately heard, “Prime Ambassador, you are needed on the bridge.”

Being called by his title let Greg know that something requiring his authorization was needed. He however had served on the Apostle long enough to recognize things. Pausing to look around, he did not see any unusual activity. He also did not see Tertha, and wondering if she was already making a scene on the bridge Greg headed to see what he needed to authorize.

He did not see Tertha or even Hubrionostry in the command center of the ship, so was actually confused when he walked up to the captain who said, “Greg, we are being summoned to give aid to the Brigadier. In fact, every diplomatic vessel has been given those orders.”

Greg had not only served for a number of years, but had studied some history. “Why would that be necessary?”

“No one said it was necessary. The emperor however commanded us to go.”

Thinking of Tertha, Greg had to ask, “Just how much trouble are we in if we do not comply?”

“A lot, but I really would not think they would want to give up the Flame.”

“Especially since they worked so hard to get me here.” Greg thought for a moment, then asked, “Captain, what other diplomatic vessels are not wanting to obey?”

The communications officer replied, “Honestly, Prime Ambassador, none want to.”

“I want a compiled list of reasons why they feel obligated to maintain their patrol.”

“Give me some time.”

As if to buy the time, a pseudopod from the captain came out to tap Greg on a shoulder why saying, “That is the response I had not thought to check.”

Wanting to encourage those working, Greg replied, “There was nothing, even on that erased system, that really indicated trouble from the Offlantians. Where is trouble?”

It was one of those in charge of the weapons that replied, “The Obligation has been making reports of some activity beyond the Beyentile Border.”

“Let’s talk to those of the Obligation.”

While understanding the communication had been made through the military channels, it still surprised Greg to see a military officer as the only figure to answer. “And why is the Apostle bothering us?”

Greg replied, “Major, the matter concerns the recent summons from the emperor. We are considering being obstinate about holding to our regular duties. It however has come to my understanding that you complying with our emperor might force you to be derelict in your commitment to your part of our union.”

“That is why our ambassadors have decided to take a couple of the larger shuttles while leaving me in charge of the Obligation.”

“Has that decision been approved?”

The officer turned, and Greg saw a man not in any uniform, although nice clothes, barely step into view. There was a whispered discussion where only a few scattered words could be made out. As if they were uncertain about their status or indecisive about what should be said, both stepped into view with the one Greg assumed to be an ambassador asking a question.

“Why shouldn’t our decision to travel while leaving the Obligation in place be approved?”

Greg replied, “How about you inform the emperor of your decision. Should he demand the presence of the Obligation, you might want to contact us.”

When the screen went off, Greg heard the captain ask him about his family. Greg actually considered most people on board the Apostle as friends, and that certainly included the captain. That however meant the two had already spoken about any topic about their personal lives. Greg discussed potential dates when he felt he could again take his wife back to Earth in order to visit with his mother, then began speaking of his recent visit to Peace. As he spoke again about the room with the fireplace, the screen came back on with the one he had now been informed was a mid-level ambassador, although one with military experience, asking a question.

“Prime Ambassador Greg Sanders, how much support are you offering?”

Greg replied, “I don’t believe you understand. We were going to ask you how much are you going to need.”

“Major Tempetion has put together what he felt was a reasonable research mission, but it had been denied. His hope was that once we, the ambassadors, were gone that he would have the authority to put it into action.”

“Tell you what. I will visit your section of space, then visit you.”

The officer said, “Prime Ambassador, we will not be able to keep your presence a secret.”

“As if the fact that the Apostle is not traveling as the emperor ordered would be a secret. Honestly, Major, I believe we have the most strength in our transparency.”

The ambassador said, “Prime Ambassador, we would be honored by your visit.”

“Let me get things in motion here, but I won’t be that long.”

When the screen went dark, Greg moved to the communications station and hit a button he was familiar with. “Tertha, you will be needed on the bridge. I need your authority on something that will be put into action.”

From the speaker came the sound of the female cladastian. “My authority, Greg?”

“I’m releasing my wolf, Tertha. If you however don’t believe this is your chase, I will reconsider my actions.”

“Be there shortly, Greg. Let me get some things handled with my children.”

By the time Tertha came on the bridge Greg had a full briefing on the possible situation with the Obligation. He not only had the major serving on the other diplomatic vessel supply some reports, but had checked certain star maps with those Captain Negallin had. Tertha was briefed on all aspects of the situation, then informed on her own reason to be included.

She interpreted the orders to say, “So, you just want me to stall?”

The communications officer said, “Honestly, Tertha, you will not be the only one. None of the other diplomatic vessels are wanting to comply with the emperor’s command. A number were thinking to do what those on the Obligation had decided. With the emperor becoming aware of their decision, and denying it, the other diplomatic vessels were checked with it revealed that other plans to continue their duties while also showing allegiance to the emperor to also have been negated.” She then said, “Sir, Prime Ambassador, a call for you from Dumonistat.”

Greg asked, “Is it my brother-in-law or my uncle?”

“Your uncle.”

“Put it on the speaker.”

The voice of his Uncle Wenelsa asked, “Greg, just how much trouble are you in?”

“I didn’t believe I was in any, yet.”

“It just hit the news networks that you were planning on insurrection.”

Greg thought for a moment, then replied, “Are they claiming that I am doing this alone?”

“Uh, yes.”

“Well that is where they are wrong. At present I believe most of the other diplomatic vessels can be considered to be complacent in my attempt to take over your government.”

Captain Negallin said, “We of the Apostle are definitely behind our Prime Ambassador.”

Uncle Wenelsa asked, “Can I report that, Greg?”

Greg replied, “I have already made a statement that my strength is in my transparency.”

Suddenly the voice of a female Dumonistat said, “Prime Ambassador Greg, I am Nisham, a reporter for the main news agency here on Dumonistat.”

“Not as far as I am concerned, Nisham. You are marrying one of my wife’s cousins.”

“I’m glad you recognize me. I want this report.”

Greg had to admit, “The problem, Nisham, is that I am coming to speed on this as well. As you probably heard me tell my wife’s uncle, I did not know I was in trouble yet. I was however realizing that I was heading in that direction.”

“Can you tell me what you are up to, Prime Ambassador?”

Greg looked at those about the bridge, then replied, “Uncle Wenelsa, I will see about having another diplomatic ship contact you. That will prove I am not a single agent, and that there are others with respect and honor working with me.”

The lady said, “Yes, Prime Ambassador, it will.”

“Nisham, expect you at the next family reunion.”

“You mean for a friendly visit with each other. If this goes like expected, I will be looking forward to a professional visit.”

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PostSubject: Chapter Twenty-Nine   September 12th 2018, 7:42 am

All Problems Have a Cause
The Blue Flame

Chapter Twenty-Nine
(Greg)

Greg did not use the portal in Peace to covertly transport to another part of the Andromeda Galaxy. He flew there. As the Flame he could travel extremely fast, although seldom did he make use of that ability. Realizing that others were lying about what he was doing, he felt the best option was to make it obvious where in the Andromeda Galaxy he was moving.

He did take advantage of a slight detour to fly through the system that had the planet of Dumonistat. While he did not make any visit, even to one of the space stations, he felt the action should have announced he was not being secretive about his actions. Zipping off toward the section of space that had the Obligation he felt should alert others that something of a less than clandestine nature was being performed.

Knowledge of what he found in the other sections of space he felt would help him in checking things beyond the border the Obligation patrolled. What he detected very quickly was a planet with a modest amount of life. Evolution had not been active for too long, but basic forms of plant and animal life were present. It bothered him that the system had been one to have been deleted from the records. Using what knowledge he had of certain laws and policies, Greg decided upon the best actions to take even as he flew to the Obligation.

The ship was not built in the same manner as the Apostle. Greg found himself needing to actually use an air lock, as the elevators were internal without sections exposed. He came on board the vessel in the same confident manner as he did when returning to the Apostle, and was not surprised when a speaker contacted him.

“Welcome aboard, Prime Ambassador Greg Sanders. Can we help you?”

Greg asked, “Do you want help?”

“There are things we could certainly help each other by discussing. Come on to the bridge.”

He did appreciate seeing a light come on he assumed indicated the direction to go. Being able to fly through space and interdimensional passages meant that he seldom needed to ride in a spaceship. He followed the lights and smiled in appreciation upon going through a portal to the bridge.

There were general messages and occasional conferences between the various diplomatic groups, so Greg did know certain figures. He was glad to see the senior ambassador of the Obligation, as he did recognize him. Of course, being a celebrity all spoke of their pleasure in meeting Greg even as he learned the names of various figures.

Hoping to get people thinking on the matter at hand, he asked, “Why was the system with a developing ecology erased from the database?”

It was Major Tempetion who supplied a response. “The very problem with the Offlantians. If you remember, the problem with the Offlantians was two-fold. The first was simply the strength of their field. Getting through it was not easy. The second was that if a major offensive would be put into action, they would explode the base. With so much power being present to maintain the field, when it exploded any nearby habited world would suffer.”

“So they erased the system to prevent it from appearing they would be doing any harm should they explode the base?”

“Exactly. We, those of us active or simply with old stellar databases to reference, would know, but for the general populace there would not be any knowledge of any harm.”

Senior Ambassador Lusholt said, “Our anger at the action would actually put us as appearing to be at fault.”

Greg had to say, “But the Offlantians do not have anyone here.”

The military officer pointed to a star chart as he declared, “They're here, Prime Ambassador Greg. Waiting.”

“So there is actually antagonistic intentions, and not simply arrogance, in having the diplomatic vessels go to the Brigadier?”

“Correct. Let me also say that there are military companies tied to the diplomatic vessels. Move the vessels, and vital components of the defense force of our union is being taken as well.”

Senior Ambassador Lushot said before Greg could, “Which is why a number of our vessels felt it wise to have the diplomats move by shuttles and leave the actual vessel behind.”

Greg decided it was time to ask, “What if I gave you access to a media outlet to help get out the truth?”

“It would have to be approved.”

Waving his hand around to indicate those in the room, Greg asked, “By whom?”

Major Tempetion saw Senior Ambassador Lushot shrug, then asked, “Who do you recommend?”

“Someone on Dumonistat. I passed the planet coming here, so they could be assumed to have some concern in what we are presenting.”

Senior Ambassador Lushot replied, “And possibly related to you.”

“Assuring they have access to me, and taking any direct assignment of blame on others. If you want me to have another reporter assigned…”

“Who do you have in mind?”

Greg knew enough of the military systems to direct the call, so soon heard the voice of his cousin-by-marriage say her name causing him to say, “This is Greg. If you can listen, we can bring you up to speed.”

“Greg! Yes. Uh, where are you? They say you flew by.”

“Yes. I’m on the Obligation, which actually covers a territory close to Dumonistat. What you will be told might affect your planet.”

There was a pause, then Nisham said, “They are signaling me to a private room. What you say will be in confidence.”

“Yes, well, we don’t want that. It’s your story, Nisham, at least it is being offered to you. Someone who can help understand some technical details, get you through some government red tape, and otherwise help you do the story right could well be appreciated in the room with you.”

A number of voices could be heard in the background, then Nisham said, “It’s being done, Greg. What else do you need?”

“This is a military line, Nisham. Get set up, then we will take over.”

While he basically gave those on board the Obligation no preparation, they took over the proceeding in a professional manner. They handled a basic history of the established borders of the Suderling Union, and the common difficulties each of the diplomatic vessels had to trouble them. Greg was brought in to speak for the Apostle, then pressed to include his actions with the Offlantians. With that done, those of the Obligation took back over and explained the present threat from the Offlantians.

There were questions from Nisham and a few others, but Greg saw smiles from those around him considering the queries actually worth the trouble to answer. He actually felt the information being requested by local non-military personas would help verify certain pieces of information and add value to any generated reports. Finally, Greg had to smile hearing something from Nisham.

“Thank you. All of you. Greg, Uncle Wenelsa was right about you.”

He had ask, “And what did he say?”

“That you would play hard ball. That I should not expect some simple matter to come from you.”

“I am not here because of Vefillaya. I am staying here because of Vefillaya. There was a reason they wanted me to stay, and it was not something simple like being a husband to a lady. Remember that. Vefillaya is not my wife because of some minor desire, so don’t consider her to have any minor value.”

“I never have, but I always thought of you as some superhero.”

Greg was actually relieved Nisham spoke as she did, and did not make a comment about what Vefillaya was to do for him. “If I use my powers, there is a reason. Never, ever, think it is a minor reason. Never, ever, think that because you don’t have my power that you cannot get things done. Hopefully this will teach you just how much power you have.”

“Yes, Greg. Again, thank you. Now, I have work to do.”

When the communication channel closed, everyone began complimenting the others on what was done during the presentation. While Greg had to admit that the advanced society of the Suderling Union did enable them to do more than what could be managed on Earth, he spoke of admitting it took skill to perform at the quality that had been managed. He made certain to state his own compliments to those of the Obligation.

He again flew past Dumonistat as he headed back to the Apostle. It actually surprised him not to have a call, but returned to his apartment hoping to get at least a couple of hours of sleep before he had to leave. While no one bothered him as he moved through the corridors of the Apostle, his wife let him know something after exchanging some affection.

“Greg, there are calls from some other diplomatic ships that you do for them what you did for the Obligation.”

He had to reply, “What I did for the Obligation? I did nothing but provide Nisham.”

“She did a wonderful report. Oh, and the words you said about me were very kind.”

“About you?” Hearing Vefillaya repeat certain phrases, Greg had to say, “I really did not consider those words on the record.”

“Well, I am glad she included them. My mother is as well. She told me to let you have me twice.”

“Twice? Is that all?”

“Well, twice for her. The rest of the times for me.”

While Greg enjoyed the humor, he had to say, “Well, right now I will be doing good to make the twice. I am tired.”

“Oh, and the pictures you took are being well received. There are a number of comments about you not getting a close-up of the dragon.”

“Dragon?”

“There’s a small dragon down one corridor.”

Greg thought about what he had seen while setting up the pictures, but in plopping on the bed he had to admit, “I don’t remember it.”

“I’ll show you the picture when you get up.”

“I’m worried right now that I will be getting up to rush somewhere.”

“Well, if you do, remember that I have the camera, so come home. Don’t go chasing dragons.”

Her final piece of clothing came off, then she rushed upon him. As she moved, two soft masses came upon him and settled to the sides of his collar bone. He shifted his hands to touch, but found her form to lift to show him movements he had not remembered her able to do. Having often expressed his pleasure in seeing his wife without clothing, he decided not to allow her to rush on to other actions of affection.

Greg had to admit, “It appears that you are happy with what you had Labonchy do with you.” She laughed, shook her upper body, then stopped in a manner of allowing him to touch causing him to ask, “Do you like them?”

Vefillaya replied, “Honestly, I will tell you after the next family reunion. Anyway, my job is to keep you here. I believe these will help.”

“I don’t remember choosing you because of your boob size.”

“No, but you did choose me because I had boobs.”

Greg acted as if he was trying to remember, then admitted, “Well, it was important that you were sort of like Earth ladies. Yes, boobs were a part of the assessment.”

“I have been to Earth, Greg. I see the ladies there trying to show themselves as having a lot. Well, I now have more. Enjoy me.”

Greg truly enjoyed those periods when he felt his wife was gaining as much enjoyment from the intimacy as he was. The acts were merely play for the two of them. No pregnancy would result. That made the drive to have his partner experience the thrills rather powerful. While she never complained about her time with him, Greg wanted to perform at his best. With his body ever youthful, he felt he was the one to always satisfy. His work however drained him mentally, so he could not always maintain the focus to keep up a rhythm or prolong a moment. Feeling his body collapse after only a short period, Greg fell back trying to make a simple promise.

“I will grab you again after I get some rest.”

Vefillaya replied, “Just call, and I will come. It is my job to keep you here, but I truly want you.”

“And I still believe that I made the right choice. I married you, Vefillaya. You are my wife.”

“Which means I am yours. Now, Greg, go to sleep. This is your home. There is no place else for you to be.”

_________________
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PostSubject: Chapter Thirty   September 17th 2018, 7:40 am

All Problems Have a Cause
The Blue Flame

Chapter Thirty
(Vefillaya)

Vefillaya was out in the huge front room, which really made up most of the space of the apartment. The room Greg had converted into an office really could not hold other people. Most of those with a similar apartment on board the Apostle used the room for storage. They handled business in their front room, basically as Vefillaya was doing right now. Not only did the large screen make the various pieces of information easily interpreted, but put her in a lovely setting when she communicated with others. Greg however understood the importance of privacy, and people responded well to him feeling that not everything that happened in his presence would be exposed. When Vefillaya turned hearing Greg announce that he loved her while rushing from the apartment, she simply smiled thinking of what pleasures she could enjoy again upon his return.

The cousin her husband dealt with was from another branch of the family. There were times when they did not claim they were related. It was possible that Nisham mentioned the family connection just to get Greg to respond to her. Vefillaya however thought that if she had attended any of the recent family gatherings she would have known that he would speak to anyone. Even those called in for catering or other services were treated nicely by him. Vefillaya smiled hearing her distant cousin speak of truly desiring to spend time with my husband at the next scheduled gathering, as it could help for her to speak to a number she usually did not claim.

Activating an alert, Vefillaya recognized a general on the staff of another diplomatic vessel also ignoring the command of the emperor who said, “There is a watch on the Apostle. They reported that your husband just left. Do you know where he is going?”

Vefillaya replied, “No. Since I am on the network, I can assure you he was not responding to some message from the Suderling Union. The only signal that could have awakened him was from his life as an immortal.”

“Do all the immortals have similar lifestyles?”

“No. Some do not exactly have calls, but need to travel about and seek out manners to promote their persona. In their own way they are all busy. There is a general admittance that simply taking it easy will end up with them no longer holding their position as an immortal.”

Vefillaya had to turn hearing her name. Seeing simply a strange yellow glow in the room, she did not know how to respond. No alarm was sounding. Wondering about the situation she was in, all Vefillaya could do was make a general statement.

“Welcome. Can I help you?”

“Yes. Greg is not here?”

The voice had simply come from around her, but from previous experience she felt she knew the identity of the one that spoke. “No, Yellow. He left just seconds ago.”

“Well, I have been checking on Kestay. Being Perseverance, I, well, persevere. Something is bothering me about Kestay, so I am continuing to research the matter. Do you hear Greg speaking about having problems with all your various forms? I am finding it hard to understand creatures like Kestay. Among you physical species there is also a lot of diversity.”

Vefillaya could not help but smile as she admitted, “Greg gets along very well with a multitude of different peoples.”

“Yes, but motivation?”

“Honestly, I find him more puzzled by ladies, those of us of a different gender, than those of another kind of being.”

“Intimacy is denied to those of us that are immortal.”

“I cannot say that,” Veffilaya actually felt some relief in that the being had understood her. “Greg and I cannot have children, but we can be intimate.”

“Interesting. I can say the same, but I’m not…” There was a pause, then Yellow could be heard again. “I’m not certain those of Kestay’s kind have such leniency. For them the immersion can only be complete if a certain outcome can be achieved. Maybe that is a factor. Thank you for your time, Vefillaya.”

“You are more than welcome, Yellow. Feel free to also drop in simply to chat.”

“I would prefer doing so when Greg was here, as I feel he can understand some things better. Still, your friendship is pleasing. Thank you.”

No sooner did the yellow glow disappear from the room than a number who had been on the network with Vefillaya began to speak about the experience. As many diverse intelligent life forms as was present in the Suderling Union, all had physical existences dependent upon an environment, food, and lifestyles requiring exertion of some kind. Vefillaya had heard others speak with wonder about intelligent non-physical entities, but having one appear and interact with her caused a number to speak with excitement about the experience.

As things began to settle down, she heard Nisham ask, “Vefillaya, are experiences like that common with you?”

Vefillaya had to admit, “They are not common. As Greg gains experience with his immortal life, his interactions with the others has developed. In the same manner, my relationship with those of my husband’s other life is developing.”

“I never thought of you having a life like that.”

“Yes, well I suspected the possibilities in the beginning. Remember, Calliope came from the immortal realm to spend time with us ladies seeking Greg as a mate. In coming to know Greg, I also came to develop a friendship with Calliope. What I heard from both of them was fascinating, and now having this life I continue to be fascinated by it. I am glad that I married Greg.”

“Yes, well let him know that I will want an interview with him.”

Vefillaya could not help but lecture the lady, as there was a need to make a point in all who were listening. “Nisham, as an ambassador of the Suderling Union my husband is always available to the people. Simply ask, and he will gladly give you what moments he can. Now, as far as family gatherings are concerned, you might have to fight for his time then.”

The conversations shifted to more personal topics, but Vefillaya enjoyed the period. She however quickly closed all the connections hearing a tone indicating the return of her husband. Hoping for a conversation with him in relating what she could of her period conversing with others, she rushed to the door.

As expected, his smile was weak. After some simple expressions of intimacy, he told her to put him back to bed. She noticed that he had not put on anything that made him actually worthy of being seen in public, so felt no reluctance to take off her clothes even as she thought about getting him out of his.

As she cleaned herself off after a quick period of just getting his body active, Vefillaya said, “Yellow showed up asking about Kestay.”

“I know,” Greg replied. “Yellow came to me speaking good about his time with you. Feel honored Vefillaya, as he came here. He could have come to me. We can travel to each other. He however thought to come here, and his experience had him glad to have thought in such a fashion. He could well show up here again.”

“Well, I was on the network at the time, so a lot of people saw what happened.”

“I’ll keep that in mind, as we both know topics like that can come up in meetings when we are supposed to be discussing something else.”

Attempting to think about what highlights of the conversations she should relate, Vefillaya simply asked, “We live a rather bizarre life, don’t we?”

“I don’t think so. I believe we are both very aware of the extreme range of lifestyles that people consider normal, so find our life as acceptable in that we are happy. If our life is bizarre, Vefillaya, it is because we are not complaining about it.”

Truly desiring to reinforce that statement, she turned with her body fully exposed to her husband while saying, “No, Greg, I am not complaining.”

A grin somehow worked itself into his smile with his hands moving to lift parts of her as he asked, “These do not bother you?”

“You doing things like that make me glad to have them. Enjoy me, Greg.”

Vefillaya still felt the minor jolts from her body expressing its pleasure in the time with Greg. While he was not a dumonistat, his body had enough in common to have her feel proper in his companionship. He did have a light skin tone while hers in being light enough from a strong black color to show off a blue hue stated its complete alien nature. His hair was brown while hers completely lacked any color pigment. He had smooth skin with only some light coverings of hair while hers was scaly with her legs needing constant applications of lotion to have them pleasant in the bed with him. There were other differences, but Vefillaya found herself more than pleased with Greg as her husband.

Noticing movement over the bed, she turned while grabbing a robe before softly saying, “I just put him to bed, Lexostat. We can talk out in the main room.”

When she opened the door, the legs of whatever creature the persona of Eternity was actually moved to pull him through the space. Vefillaya found herself agreeing with her husband that he had to be from some odd environment where gravity was not that bothersome. Once she shut the door to the bedroom, Lexostat then felt free to speak.

“I did come to Greg, Vefillaya, but I was concerned for you.”

She had to ask, “Did Greg have another encounter with Kestay?”

“No. Actually it was Yellow and I. I felt it should have been just me, but Yellow is persistent.”

“He is Perseverance.”

“Yes, and I appreciate the dedication he demonstrates. I however am coming to the conclusion that he is also demonstrating annoyance.”

Vefillaya thought over the words, then replied, “I would rather him annoying seeking to resolve a situation than causing a situation by being annoying.”

“I would propose that both can happen at the same time. I am not saying that you are in danger, Vefillaya, but I sense that Kestay is wanting to make a statement. Since he feels that he should be Life, I believe the action will be directed at Greg. Since we immortals cannot really be harmed, there is a concern the action will be something important to Greg, which means you.”

“There is a military attachment present on this ship, but I doubt they could protect me from any of you.”

“Yes, but you are not alone. Greg is there. He might be asleep at the moment, but I believe your scream would awaken him. Yellow is also active, so I feel could show up. I am trying to be aware, so could show up. What I am trying to say, Vefillaya, is stay alert. Do not feel doomed by Kestay, but stay aware and options to keep you alive should make themselves evident to you.”

Not knowing what else to say, Vefillaya simply replied, “Thank you.”

“I believe you are aware that those of us gaining the status of Eternity are old. I once had a wife. She was very precious to me, so I do not doubt the connection you and Greg share. I… well, as a friend I want the two of you to have your life together. It hurts when it is over, and there is no return to it. There is only a hope in something after this life, and as an immortal I find that meeting to presently be denied to me. I will do what I can to protect what the two of you have. Let Greg know that I was worried. He should understand why, and maybe he can determine a response.”

Lexostat disappeared, but a sudden knocking on the door had Vefillaya wonder just how many problems could happen at one time. It did puzzle her why someone knocked instead of ringing the chime, or simply her system responding to a presence. Seeing the cladastians along with Captain Negallin had her wonder exactly what situation had developed, but considering all of them friends she opened the portal.

It was Tertha had explained, “Vefillaya, we know that Greg just came back, so is probably asleep.”

Vefillaya had to admit, “I would definitely prefer not waking him.”

“That should not be a need, but I would like permission to use your network connection. While I do have my own level of authority, most know my biases in certain matters. Being on your network, my words should have a little more weight.”

It was Jirdan that explained, “Our actions, Greg’s actions, have hit exactly where it needed to strike. The Offlantians are in an uproar as the emperor has backed down sensing the dissolution of his own authority. Having all diplomatic vessels deny his summons hurt Emperor Abrogrund politically.”

“It seems that two other diplomatic vessels identified situations like was revealed in the territory of the Obligation. Greg allowed the media to take over, and following that lead the added data has let the people know just how serious this situation truly is. With Greg needing rest, that puts me on duty to be a presence on the network. With the matters actually involving the emperor, I feel a need to separate myself from my usual bias.” Vefillaya could only smile hearing the cladastian female mumble, “Even though what I am thinking is probably correct.”

Signaling for the cladastians to act as they desired, Vefillaya put her attention on the other that had arrived, “Captain?”

“Just wanting to let you know that matters are escalating in a manner that I feel the need to keep an active presence in the ship. I know that the military are usually around, but don’t get troubled if you see them more than you usually do.”

“You should know what my husband would say. We are not strangers. This is our home. If the military feels a need to question us, they can do so politely as neighbors. If they feel the need to implement some policy, it better not disrupt our lives unless there is a real and present danger to our lives.”

“There is a concern for the latter, although any attack upon a diplomatic vessel is a losing tactic. We are at the moment unsure of a number of things. Please tolerate us as we do what we feel is necessary.”

Wondering about the reason for certain decisions, Vefillaya had to ask, “Just how involved is our military?”

“They recognize the emperor as their superior, but also that their duty is to keep the peace. At the moment they also are of the opinions that the actions of the Offlantians are not for the best, as they remember the reason Greg was needed. There are however factions that are loyal to the office of the emperor, so there is some instability at the moment.”

“Well, you are considered a friend as well, so if you need to get away from your duties you can come here and relax.”

“And miss my fun? No, Vefillaya, but I will be as eager to share my stories later as you will be. Take care.”

Closing the door, she looked to the cladastians. Definitely considering them friends, she thought of what she might do to Remembering her own good times on the network and with the friends of her husband, Vefillaya could only hope the door to the bedroom would muffle the sounds of their activities.

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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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