Chapter 12—“I’m not one of those who can easily hide...”
I’m not sure how long it took for Aimee to drive the four of us to Debbie’s ranch. I sat in the back, laying on Mary’s lap and closed my eyes. I let the girls think that I was asleep, but I was really just trying to work out the situation in my mind.
Somebody was interested in us—probably interested in me. The “why” was understandable; I had this mind power. The interesting question was, how did they know about it?
There were a number of possible answers to that question. One answer was one or more of us did something that may have given us away. Another answer was that whatever happened that had given me this power was by design; it could very well be that somebody may have known about it even before I became aware of it! Yet another possibility was that one of my lovelies, or one of Debbie’s assistants may, in fact, be working for somebody else.
Part of that last possibility I really had to reject. I had been inside the minds of Mary, Debbie, and Aimee... with (and, I had to admit, without) their permission. Not one of them had given me any reason not to trust them completely.
When I first met Debbie’s employees, I had a fleeting desire to scan their minds. At the time, I had rationalized that desire as being similar to with Aimee’s “are these good people?” feelings. However, that justification fell apart even as I thought it; it just didn’t ring true. There was also the realization that I haven’t yet figured out how Mary’s and Debbie’s “binding” to me had occurred and I had no desire to expand my harem.
I thought about Debbie’s two other employees that I had met. June was cute, probably the image that comes into your mind when you hear the Beach Boys singing about California girls. She was tall, skinny, dirty blonde—almost brown—haired with one blue and one green eye. Her breasts were a bit on the smallish side, compared to Mary or Debbie—about the same size as Aimee’s, come to think of it. I found out from talking to June that she fit the Beach Boys’ image in at least one other way: she loved driving cars fast! June was professional enough that she didn’t do any unnecessary speeding when she chauffeured Debbie around, but one of her pastimes was to race cars and motorbikes on race tracks.
Mely, Debbie’s jet pilot, didn’t strike me as cute at first. She was short, like Aimee, only five feet tall, give or take an inch. She had brown eyes, and larger breasts than Aimee (at least, they looked large on her small frame). Mely had a boy friend that she has been seeing for a few years, and I was told that she had been looking to marry him sometime in the future.
Thinking about Debbie’s employees made me reject them as possible spies. If they were, Aimee should have definitely been able to tell, right? To tell the truth, even if somebody had “planted” this ability into me, how would they have known that I would eventually meet Debbie? Debbie, after all, was the wild card—who could have predicted that she would have become susceptible to what I had to assume was to a brain probe during a love session with Mary? She seemed to have been an innocent bystander that I seem to have connected to at the time, and she’s been with me ever since. June and Mely had been working for Debbie almost as long as Aimee had—it would have been one hell of a coincidence that any of Debbie’s employees could be spies.
There were two other people that may have noticed something suspicious about me: the purse snatching kid and the policeman that apprehended him. The policeman had been suspicious about me at the time, although he seemed to soften after talking with Mary and Debbie. The fact remains that I had manipulated the minds of those two people; they might figure out that something abnormal was going on.
For the first time since that happened, I thought about the park. At the time, when I realized that I had manipulated the minds of two males without having them become bonded to me, I felt as if a burden had been lifted. Now, thinking over the event, I wondered if I had done the proper thing. I had witnessed a crime in progress, and what I had done, I had done without thinking, not even suspecting that what I was doing had even been possible. Maybe I shouldn’t have manipulated the policeman other than alerting him to the event (I had also tried to make him think of me as not being a threat), and if I had to do it all over again, maybe I should avoid making that mistake again. My only excuse is that my mind seemed to do this on its own—maybe it was some sort of defense mechanism. As it was, neither the pickpocket nor the policeman had any clue as to who I was. At least, I couldn’t think of how either one could figure out my identity.
Were there other people around when that scuffle happened? There was the victim, of course. She might have been amazed at how easy the purse snatcher had been caught, but I decided that the whole event had shaken her; I didn’t see any reason why she would suspect that I had any special powers.
Apart from the victim, I couldn’t remember anybody else who saw what had happened. I mean, the park wasn’t empty at the time. I vaguely remember the policeman’s entrance sort of drew a crowd. If anybody else saw what happened, would they have been suspicious of me? I couldn’t see any reason why, but I couldn’t really discount the possibility.
So, it was definitely possible that my own actions may have given me away.
In thinking about the incident in the park, I realized that there was another thing I might be hesitant to repeat: my “suggestion” to the kid to join the military. It was a stray idea at the time; I’ve known quite a few people that were straightened out by basic training, and I had thought this might be a way to reform a social deviant. In retrospect, I realize now that if the military was interested in me, sending the kid to a recruiting office might be giving them access to somebody that I had manipulated! This was probably just paranoia, though: my experience with the military was that any part of it seldom had any idea what was happening anywhere else within it. I would have to give very long odds that somebody in the military would ever be able to associate that kid with me. That thought still nagged at me, however.
Then there was one other possibility: that somebody knew about my power, maybe even before I knew about it. However, like associating the purse snatcher with me, I considered this to be another long shot. After all, with the exception of Aimee and me, who else would have such powers? Aimee talked about these powers almost mystically. How much credence would something as reality-based as the military give to such superstitions?
I still realized that sometimes long shots did pay off. I couldn’t simply ignore these things, but I also just couldn’t let myself be bogged down worrying about things I couldn’t control.
Another uneasy thought had come to me: had there been some sort of experimental procedure done on me while I was in a coma? If so, who had done so, and why?
The “why” part was easy, if the person or people responsible was trying to come up with a way to manipulate minds. Only a few years before I was hit by that jeep, the excesses of the government had been splashed over the papers. The American government had a long history with brainwashing, behavior modification, and psychedelic drug tests. However, these had ceased after they became public knowledge... or had they?
It was easy to see that having a mind power like mine would probably be seen as a useful tool by the intelligence services, and also within the upper levels of the defense department. This was where the “who” question came in... and it scared me.
Aimee must have thought much along the same paths as I, which is why she gave me that clue that it might be the military. How would I find out? I was not trained for intelligence gathering. I was trained as a soldier, and then had training with special operations. Of course, O.C.S. was there, but that was basically development of leadership skills, and military analysis. Intelligence was part of O.C.S., but only as a tool.
I believed that Mary had mentioned on some occasion when I was recuperating in the hospital about being familiar with intelligence, but I figured that to mean she was as familiar as I was. I just couldn’t picture my lovely Mary as that kind of an operative, but you never know. I was on a marine base that night, and the accident happened between two people who were based in the army. What were the odds of something like that accident happening to two people who were only supposed to be on the base for a very short period of time?
I started thinking about the psychiatric debriefings at the hospital after I awoke. I wasn’t a psychologist, but I may have revealed something during one or more of my sessions with the shrinks. I really hadn’t known anything about my powers at the time, except that I didn’t want to reveal the dreams that I had while I was in a coma. Shrinks are pretty shrewd; they may have noticed that something in my answers may not have been consistent, or that may have been evasive, and they may have suspected that I must have been hiding something. How would they get to the truth? What could I have said that might have given somebody a clue as to my powers, especially when I wasn’t even conscious about them at the time?
As I was thinking about the hospital, I found myself back in one of the therapist’s offices. I was amazed at the amount of detail that I was remembering, when it occurred to me that I wasn’t remembering what I was seeing; I was actually seeing it! My presence had transported back into the shrink’s office.
The office was empty, and was much the way that I had remembered. However, something told me that something was subtly different than when I was there the last time. What was different? I looked at the walls and tried to think if anything had changed. For some reason, something within me told me that this was important.
There were folders on the desk. I could see a name on the topmost one. It wasn’t mine, of course. I had been discharged many weeks ago, and any files about me would have long ago been filed away. There was a phone, a calendar/blotter with some scribbles on it, a green desk lamp, a name plate, a pencil holder. Normal things found on a desk...
Wait! The name plate. It read Marcus Andersen. That was wrong! The doctor that I had talked to was Dr. Farren.
I looked around the office. There were no signs of somebody newly moved into the office. It looked well used. I looked back on the wall and saw Mr. Andersen’s university diploma. There was a little dust on it. Looking very close at the wall, I could see that where the frame touched the wall was a barely discernible mark where the paint hadn’t faded underneath the plaque. This diploma had been on the wall for some time.
Most everything in this room was as I remembered it. Why did Dr. Farren use this office and not his own when he was interviewing me?
Maybe Dr. Farren was just a visiting doctor who happened to get me on rotation from whatever hospitals he visits.
Maybe somebody had sent Dr. Farren especially to interview me.
That would indicate that somebody would have a reason to believe that there was something special about me.
If that was true... then how long has somebody known that there was something special to investigate? Before I woke up? My mind boggled.
This might be an important clue, but I couldn’t see how this could be useful to Aimee or Debbie in trying to find out who was trying to investigate us.
It did tell me something clear: I had reason to believe that whoever was following us was probably focused on me. This fit in with what the girls had told me. If whoever was involved could get in and out of a hospital without a problem, then Aimee’s hunch that the military was involved was probably sound.
I returned my presence back to my mind, and I woke up with a start. I hadn’t realized that I had been sleeping, actually!
I could feel Mary’s fingers idly rubbing my hair. I opened my eyes and she was smiling at me. “Have a nice sleep?” she asked.
“I always love waking up and seeing your lovely face,” I said, intentionally not answering her question.
Mary didn’t seem to notice my subtle evasion and accepted the compliment with her cute dimples reappearing.
A thought remained: How would I get to the bottom of what was going on? How much could we do out here in the middle of nowhere?
I started to rise from Mary’s lap, and she offered her hand to help me up. We were on a long, obviously private road.
Debbie noticed me getting up and turned to look at me. “We’re on the road that leads to the ranch.”
After a few minutes, Aimee pulled up to a rather nondescript ranch house. There was a pick-up truck that must have been old even before I went into a coma, parked haphazardly in the driveway. This was a marked contrast from the opulence of Debbie’s “little shack” in Hawaii.
Aimee parked the car in the driveway and told me she’d be back in a few minutes.
While Aimee was gone, Debbie explained about her ranch. Despite the ranch house that I was looking at, the actual spread was quite large. There were two parts to it. The first and largest part was called the “working ranch” where there was a family (Debbie’s tenants) that actually worked the ranch; the second part was a private domicile for Debbie and Aimee’s use called “the cabin.”
Debbie’s tenants were a family that raised livestock like horses and cattle and a few crops on the ranch. The tenants also maintained Debbie’s cabin when Debbie wasn’t around. Apparently, we were at the ranch house at the working ranch right now.
Aimee was only inside the ranch house for a few minutes, and when she came back out, she was carrying a basket.
“Andrea told me to give you these,” Aimee said to Debbie as she got back into the rental car.
Debbie looked into the basket. Inside there were about a dozen eggs, apparently freshly laid. I figured that we wouldn’t have too much difficulty with breakfast.
Aimee drove the car a mile or so down further down the road until she reached a closed gate. She left the car, and went to the left side of the gate, where there was some sort of an electrical box with a keypad within. She typed something and the gate opened.
Aimee drove through the gate, and when Mary and I turned back, I saw that the gate was closing behind us.
Debbie saw our actions and grinned. “This place is pretty private. Not as beautiful as what Aimee had done with the shack in Makena, and, I’m afraid, we only have two bedrooms...”
“Four,” corrected Aimee.
“Four?” Debbie asked her assistant/co-wife, surprised.
“You keep forgetting the guest house behind the kitchen,” Aimee said with a smile.
“Oh, yeah,” said Debbie, looking a little flushed.
I wondered what that was all about.
Aimee answered my unasked question. “In most of Debbie’s properties, she has places for her assistants to live. You could think of them like servants’ quarters, except we really are employees, not servants. We just do our jobs, or lounge out at the guest house. If Debbie is going to be around for a while, she lets them go and explore the cities, towns, or whatever else can be found in the general area.”
“Debbie does this mostly for our privacy, as opposed to separation from the ‘real guests’ at the house. Although Debbie sometimes throws outrageous parties...”
“Never in the cabin! I decided that this place is going to be for peace and quiet!” Debbie protested.
“And,” continued Aimee, unperturbed, “having separate quarters allows the three of us to get some sleep at a decent hour while Debbie and her boyfriends...”
“I never brought boyfriends HERE,” Debbie complained again.
“... carouse the entire night,” Aimee finished.
The interaction between Aimee and Debbie was comical. It was as if Aimee and Debbie always acted this way... they seemed used to the give and take... and it had Mary and I laughing hysterically, taking our minds off the reason we were here in the first place. It occurred to me later that this was a sign that our relationship was starting to mature: Debbie and Aimee were once again being themselves, and seemed to have become more comfortable in our strange relationship.
It must feel strange, I thought. Debbie had Aimee as an assistant and a confidante, and now Aimee was a co-wife. I wonder what Debbie thought about this, or if she had even considered this aspect to her relationship with me when she had insisted of me “marrying” Aimee.
Anyway, once we passed the gate, it was another five minutes until Aimee pulled up to a large single storey structure.
Like Debbie’s “shack” in Makena, the cabin that we went into had large rooms. The front door opened into a hallway with a large living room on the right. Unlike the shack in Hawaii, the cabin only had one floor.
Aimee led us into the living room, which had three large sofas and an equal number of overstuffed reclining chairs. These were set up in a semi-circle, all focused on a rather large screen television set built into a cabinet that contained what appeared to be a bunch of stereo equipment underneath the screen.
I had never seen such a large television screen before. I imagine that during my “absence” from the human race, TV sets naturally got larger, but the screen looked much different than the sets that I had remembered. For one thing, the screen wasn’t shiny, but had tiny horizontal lines etched into the screen that sort of resembled corduroy fabric. Also, it was rather thin. I couldn’t figure out how the picture tube fit within it.
Debbie noticed my curiosity and picked up what looked like a calculator on a cocktail table and pushed a button. The television came to life, startling me. I looked from the television to Debbie and then knew that what I had assumed to be a calculator was actually a remote control.
Debbie pushed a few more buttons, and the image on the television changed, showing some words superimposed on the top. The words changed quickly as Debbie continued to push buttons until I saw the words “CNN” and “FINANCIAL REPORT” on the top. There was now a newscast underneath the words.
After about ten seconds, the words disappeared, and the newscast took over the full screen.
The three girls were watching me intently, apparently used to my “Rip Van Winkle” reactions to modern technology.
Aimee explained to me that I was looking at an entertainment center, with the large screen projection television as the focus. There was something called a “VCR” which could record broadcasts or play prerecorded movies.
As Aimee explained, Mary asked Debbie if she had Star Wars on cassette.
Debbie shrugged and said “Probably. Why?”
“Jim never saw those movies. He’s missed a lot. We saw ‘The Natural’ a couple of weeks ago at a second-run theater,” Mary explained.
“I’m not sure it’s here at this ranch, but I figure that Aimee would probably have all the videos we have cataloged somewhere,” Debbie shrugged.
Aimee had, by this time, taken the remote control from Debbie and showed it to me, showing me how to turn the set on and off and how to change the channel. She explained that Debbie had a satellite dish on the property that was hooked into the entertainment center.
While I was looking at the entertainment center, I looked to the right, and saw a few tables with smaller television sets on it. These sets were smaller than I remembered in the past. I idly wondered why Debbie would need so many television sets for; up until now, I hadn’t even seen her watch TV before.
Aimee saw where I was looking. “These are personal computers—PCs,” Aimee explained.
“You mean that Debbie uses those computers that you were telling me about?” I asked, amazed.
“Well, Debbie owns them, but I’m usually the one using them,” Aimee answered, smiling at her boss/co-wife.
“I didn’t know that you were a programmer,” I said, having a bit more respect for Aimee. I knew a few programmers back in the service; nerdy guys for the most part, but sharp as a tack.
“I don’t program them, really. Unless you call 1-2-3 macros programming,” Aimee said.
“1-2-3” and “macros” sounded very much like the words that those programmers used. I smiled at her.
“I can teach you, if you’re interested,” Aimee offered.
I nodded in response. I noticed that Debbie and Mary had left the room. I figured that Debbie was taking her on a tour of the cabin. I felt a bit left out, but enjoyed having some time with Aimee.
Aimee was over by the computers and had picked up a book. “This explains about 1-2-3, a spreadsheet program that I use on the computer. There are other programs, like Word Perfect, and I have some custom programs that were written just for Malen Associates, and I have gotten pretty good at using them. We can even send and receive e-mail.”
Most of Aimee’s words were gibberish to me, so I smiled in response.
Despite my attempt at hiding my confusion, Aimee seemed to know that she was speaking Greek to me. She smiled and said, “I think you’ll pick up the jargon pretty quick. If you’ll excuse a few more acronyms, we have a T1 line into the property.”
I was actually familiar with that term. “Aren’t T1 lines used for sending television signals coast to coast?” I asked.
Aimee smiled at the fact that I got that one right. “They used to be,” she said. “They still do, I think. Now there is something called the ‘Internet’ which hooks up computers like these with big ones at universities and some companies all over the world. T1 lines are needed for the amount of information flowing through newsgroups, email, file transfer, and other stuff. I can send a ‘buy’ order to Malen Associates in just a few seconds from here without having to pick up a phone, although Debbie doesn’t really play the markets. The T1 line was already here when we first visited this place, and I convinced Debbie that this would make a nice and quiet not-quite West Coast location for an office. We called the phone company and made sure the T1 was connected and a router installed.”
“Sounds convenient,” I said, quite impressed.
“It is. We have a flat-bed scanner so we can send images of documents as well. Our graphics manipulation program is proprietary, but it can import and export FAX documents easily enough.”
“If you say so,” I said, laughing, having no idea what “FAX” was.
Aimee’s face dimpled as she laughed, herself, realizing how she must sound to a person that wasn’t attuned to the lingo. I had the germ of an idea on how Aimee could teach me about computers, but filed that thought away for later as I continued to look around the room.
Near the entertainment center was a wine rack holding a couple of dozen bottles of wine. I walked toward it and looked it over.
Aimee saw what I was looking at, and told me that Debbie was quite fond of wine. She pulled out a couple of bottles for me to examine. I wasn’t a sommelier, and wouldn’t know a bottle of Burgundy from a bottle of Chablis, so I just gave an appreciative smile as Aimee showed me each one. Aimee noticed my reaction and just smiled.
“I wasn’t much of a wine expert before I met Mr. Malen,” Aimee admitted to me, quietly.
“He must have been a nice man,” I said.
Aimee just nodded, as if her thoughts were a thousand miles away.
I thought about the wine, and then about Utah. Something had been nagging at me since I knew that our destination was Utah, and finally, the wine was the piece that fit: Utah was generally thought of as a place where liquor is frowned upon, mostly because a good portion of the population were part of the Mormon community.
Now, that was the bit that struck me: Mormons! Didn’t they have a history of polygamy? Of course, that practice is illegal today; I believed it was in a constitutional amendment or something like that that expressly prohibited it. I guess it was a word that describes my relationship to Mary, Debbie, and Aimee...
Although it was strictly illegal, it was understood by some people that there were still some pockets of “fundamentalist” Mormons that had never given up the practice. These people lived quiet lives, never drawing too much attention to themselves.
Perhaps Utah might be the best place for me and my “harem” to reside right now! Although, if whoever was interested in the four of us knew about our relationship, perhaps Utah might also be too obvious a place for us to hide.
Aimee noticed that I had an odd expression on my face, and said, “Jim, is something wrong?”
“Um, no, Aimee. I was just thinking... about wine... and liquor... and Utah... and Mormons... polygamy...”
Aimee smiled. “Actually, I had suggested this ranch to Debbie for a similar reason. You see, I knew that Angus has both a wife and two previous wives living with him on the working ranch.”
“Angus?” I asked. For some reason, an image of a steer came into my brain.
“He’s living on the working ranch,” Aimee repeated.
“Oh. I remembered you mentioned the name Andrea before,” I said.
Then what Aimee said just before hit me.
“Previous wives?” I asked.
“Yes. Angus is technically a polygamist,” Aimee explained. “From my understanding, Angus avoids the legal technicalities. When he wanted a second wife, he ‘divorced’ his current wife, and married the next. The first wife still lives with him. Angus did this twice.”
“Really?” I asked, amused. I always found it humorous when I hear how somebody was able to beat “the system.”
“I don’t think Debbie knows Angus’ relationship with the women living there. She knows that Andrea is his wife, but she’s really his third wife. I never explained it to her because I didn’t think it was pertinent. What he does in private...”
“I can see that, Aimee,” I said. “However, if Angus practices polygamy, then he’d be very disinclined to report us if he suspected our relationship...”
“Which was exactly why I had suggested the ranch,” Aimee said. “In addition, not very many of Debbie’s properties are as connected as this one; we reconnected the communications lines when we were here last year, so it’s useful for staying connected.” I had a new respect for Aimee. I had to keep reminding myself that she was not only perceptive, but extremely intelligent... maybe even the most intelligent of the four of us.
Aimee started to head for the kitchen, and then stopped and turned to me. “You know, Jim, you might want to talk with Andrea at the working ranch. You’ll find her quite easy to talk to. She’s the one that explained the relationships at the working ranch to me.”
I shrugged, wondering why Aimee suggested that. Did she want me to expand my harem even further? That was definitely not what I needed! Then again, Aimee was quite intelligent. She must have had some reason for making the suggestion.
Aimee led me into the kitchen, where I saw the basket of eggs that Aimee received from the working ranch on a counter. At that same moment, Debbie and Mary entered as well.
Mary gushed about the two bedrooms. They were both very large. Mary seemed excited about a piece of fruit in the room.
“An apple in the bedroom? What’s unusual about that?” I asked, confused.
Mary looked at me for a second, and then burst out laughing. Aimee and Debbie joined her. I looked at the three of them as if they were completely nuts.
“Sorry, Jim,” Aimee said, having laughed the least. “The ‘apple’ that Mary was talking about was a Macintosh... it’s a computer from a company called ‘Apple.’”
“Apple? You mean the company that the Beatles started?” I asked.
Aimee shook her head. “Apple was started by two guys named Steve in a garage about ten years or so ago.”
Once again, I felt that Rip Van Winkle feeling going through me again. I knew that the girls weren’t really laughing at me, but at my confusion. Apparently, this Apple company had been around long enough that they simply didn’t realize that I had never heard of it.
“What would anybody want with so many computers?” I asked, wishing to change the subject.
Aimee explained that all the computers were connected with each other, and to something called NSFNET. Her explanations still confused me, the idea of “personal computers” (PC’s) being quite foreign to me, but I was able to glean from her comments that Apple’s computers, for some reason, were never referred to as PC’s. Were they, perhaps, impersonal computers?
I shrugged off my thoughts about computers.
As Aimee had told us earlier, there was a guest house behind the cabin. It was visible from the window in the kitchen.
The four of us ate breakfast. Aimee had called earlier from Salt Lake City and Andrea had made sure that the refrigerator was stocked with some staples. Aimee and Mary scrambled the eggs in butter and added a little cheese to make a simple omelet. This was augmented with some toast and orange juice found in the refrigerator. Normally, I don’t eat cheese, but I’d let the girls know my food preferences at a later time.
The breakfast was delicious and quite filling. After finishing my plate, I brought them to the sink, and Debbie got up after me with Aimee’s and Mary’s plates as well. The two of us cleaned and dried the dishes, and Debbie put everything away, since she knew the layout of the cabinets.
After breakfast, Debbie and Mary headed into the living room to watch some television. Aimee seemed to sense that I wanted to talk with her, and I motioned to one of the bedrooms.
Without saying a word, both Aimee and I sat down on chairs, moving them to face on another.
Without any fanfare, I began discussing my thoughts and suspicions with Aimee, recapping my thoughts as she had been driving earlier. I also told her about my “visit” back to the hospital, finding another doctor’s name in a room where I had once been interviewed.
Aimee didn’t say much. She occasionally asked questions to bring me back on track when I started going on a tangent.
When I finished, Aimee finally spoke. “I had much of the same thoughts as you. It is now almost certain that it is the military that is following us, and they probably know about your special gift.”
“I am afraid for us, Master,” Aimee said.
I looked up and saw her eyes tearing. I drew a breath, and finally said, “It might be a good idea for me to leave the three of you alone...”
“No, Jim!” Aimee said, adamantly. “If they are following all of us already, and we have good reason to believe that they are, then it is best if we remain together.”
I was unconvinced. “Why, Aimee?”
“I have a feeling,” Aimee said, emphasizing that last word. “A feeling that we would be better off together than separating, now.”
I had a deep respect for Aimee’s feelings. “All right. So, what do we do?”
Aimee gave me a thin smile, and answered. This was the “take charge” Aimee that I had started to get familiar with a few times back in California and Hawaii. “First, we need to get Debbie and Mary on board with us. Let them know the risks. Then, we need to fight back.”
“You, Aimee...” I said, surprised by the conviction in her voice that I was hearing. “You want the four of us to actually fight? The military?” She had to be crazy.
“Jim,” she said, a fierce determination in her eyes. “We have a right to privacy!” She was positively adamant—a side of Aimee I had never seen before. “We aren’t hurting anybody. We aren’t even hurting ourselves. If somebody tries to hurt you... or any of us... we should be willing to fight back.”
“Nobody has hurt me—or any of us—at least, not yet,” I said. As soon as I said it, the words rang out hollow to me.
“Not yet,” Aimee echoed. “I’m not suggesting that we fight them unprovoked, but we should at least use whatever resources we have in getting to know exactly who and what it is that is interested in us.”
I nodded. This flashed true in my mind. It is a stupid leader that doesn’t plan for contingencies, but I didn’t want to go off, half cocked, fighting what could just be phantoms, either.
“Aimee,” I said, slowly. “I agree that if anybody finds out about this power of mine, then we are all in danger. There is nothing that will be able to stop them from getting us. The military has thousands of people at their disposal.”
“I think I know how we can win,” Aimee said, almost in a whisper.
“Win?” I asked.
“Please wait, Jim. Let’s discuss this with all of us together. After all, each and every one of us has something to lose if anything goes wrong.”
Aimee and I shared a hug, and then hastened a “family conference” together. We were now in the living room. Aimee had fetched some lemonade from the refrigerator, and we were sipping the ice-cold drinks.
I started by telling Mary and Debbie about my suspicions. Aimee helped, filling in my narrative with her own thoughts. After five or ten minutes, both Mary and Debbie were also adding their thoughts.
I had almost forgotten that Mary had military experience. She immediately understood the need for us to get more intelligence from those that may be pursuing us. She even outlined one problem.
“Right now,” Mary explained. “We can be reasonably sure that we have eluded them, at least temporarily. Only June and Mely know that we got off in Salt Lake City, and even then, they have no idea whether we were going to drive here, or take a plane somewhere else.”
All of us nodded at Mary’s analysis. She continued. “Our presence here will be detected sooner or later.”
“Can they get past the working ranch?” Debbie asked, a bit worried that her place for privacy could easily be breached.
“Yes,” Mary and I said, together. We looked at one another and smiled.
I added, “The defense services aren’t chartered for domestic surveillance... hell, nobody is supposed to be spying on innocent civilians. That didn’t get past tricky Dick...”
Mary cut me off, bringing the conversation back on track. “Let’s assume for a moment that it’s the army that is interested in Jim. It’s a safe assumption, both he and I worked in the army, and I have knowledge of army intelligence. Jim was staying at a hospital while he was still in the service.”
I nodded. I hadn’t followed that particular line of thought yet. “So, we’re either talking Army Intelligence, or a special ops force. The latter would have no trouble getting into this compound.”
“Special ops?” asked Debbie.
“Rangers. Like my old unit,” I said.
“You were Army Rangers?” Mary asked, looking at me.
“Only been in the corps a couple of years,” I said. “I was going to be a gofer for a bird colonel for my real training, though.”
Mary looked at me with a new respect.
I blushed. “Mary, I’m totally out of shape. Three months ago, I could hardly walk.”
Aimee cleared her throat, wanting us to get back on track.
Mary nodded at Aimee. “OK. Either Intelligence or Rangers. Maybe both. Either way, this is bad news. We do have one advantage: we can safely assume that there are only a few people—one or two at most—that actually know about the nature of Jim’s talents. The others will only be given enough information on a ‘need to know’ basis.”
Debbie was confused. “But why would the army do anything to a soldier in a coma?”
Mary answered. “I am not sure when the experiments became common knowledge, but there were reports that the Army and the CIA were doing experiments with mind-altering drugs on patients without informed consent during the 1950s or 1960s. More recently, there were revelations about intentionally not treating syphilis on a number of African-American men during that period well into the late 70s.”
I hadn’t heard about that last bit. I nodded to Mary anyway, and said, “I was thinking more of the radiation exposure experiments during the 1950s, myself. Mary is more... up to date... on things. Looks like Uncle Sam still has his hands dirty. Look at the Arms for Hostages scandal going on right now!”
Debbie’s eyes got wide. It was apparent that most of these things weren’t common knowledge to her. Aimee didn’t show any surprise or emotion in what Mary and I had explained.
“Anyway, let’s say that they were still up to their tricks when Jim was in a coma,” Mary said. “Actually, it would explain a period of time that I wasn’t able to visit you while your condition had supposedly remained unchanged.”
“Huh?” I said. This was news to me.
“Jim, I made a promise to you... to myself, maybe... to visit you every day after you got out of surgery,” Mary explained. “I met your parents on many of those occasions.”
I nodded, trying to get Mary back to the point.
“Well, there was a period of a couple of weeks where I wasn’t able to visit you. Nobody could give me any information. I thought your condition was deteriorating, but everybody assured me that your condition was unchanged. They just couldn’t tell me why you were unavailable.”
Aimee’s eyes got bigger.
Something clicked. “Mary, do you remember the first time I visited you in your dreams?”
Mary nodded. “Yes. Why?”
“Was it before or after I was ‘unavailable?’”
Mary thought. “It was... afterward,” she said, doubtfully. She closed her eyes and thought deeply. “Definitely afterward. Once I met you... as a younger person... in my dreams... I visited you just about every day.”
Aimee said quietly, “Well, we now have opportunity. Motive is obvious. The means is pretty obvious...”
The four of us sat, digesting this information.
After five minutes of silence, I spoke up. “OK. Let’s not dwell on the past. Our problem right now is the present. What can we do that will help us right now?”
Aimee answered immediately. “We need intelligence. We need to get the name of the person or entity that is interested in us. We need to find out who they are, and what they are planning to do with us.”
“OK,” I said. Aimee was a very down-to-business person, and I smiled at her. “How do we do that?”
“Well, from Hawaii, I enlisted the services of a PI that sometimes did some work for Debbie’s father. He has military and intelligence experience. He’s good... both in terms of competence... and he seems to be a good person inside, although I never met him in person. He’ll do the right thing.” Aimee looked a little uncomfortable explaining that last part in front of Mary.
“OK. What if he thinks the ‘right’ thing is to inform the military?” I asked.
“Debbie’s father and I used him to ferret out somebody that was using inside information to make millions on the commodity’s market. I know for a fact that he turned down a fortune in bribes, exposing the criminal to the SEC.”
“All right. Let’s assume that he cannot be bribed. Is he ‘My country, right or wrong?’” I asked.
“I don’t get that vibration from him,” Aimee said. “Of course, I’ve never met him directly.”
I pondered this information. “Let’s see what he can find out, then. If he is good at counter-intelligence, then he can be a very useful tool at our disposal. When will you hear from him? Does he know where we are?”
“He’ll send email to me at Malen Associates,” Aimee explained. “He’s pretty competent with computers, and he also has a few people working with him that he’s pretty confident in that are geniuses with computers. When the email arrives at Malen Associates, I’ll find out on the computers here.”
I nodded at Aimee.
The conversation pretty much died off at this point.
“So... what’s for dinner?” I asked.
This got everybody thinking along other lines. “Hamburgers on the grill,” Aimee said. “Jim can be our grill chef.”
Grill chef? Almost every red-blooded American male has grilled burgers on a barbecue. “Well, if you are up to it,” I said, with a mixture of doubt and pride. “After all, it’s been—what? Fifteen years? Sixteen? I might be rusty. Where’s the grill?”
Debbie smiled at me and led me into the kitchen, where she found some ground beef and I watched as she molded it into some patties.
“No buns,” Debbie said. “We do have English muffins in the fridge.”
She led me outside, holding a platter of newly formed burger patties. She explained the workings of her gas grill, and in a matter of minutes, I had the burgers sizzling thereon.
Dinner was a minor success. Mary showed her cooking expertise by making some excellent hash browns, Aimee put together a salad, and Debbie set the table.
The gas grill was faster cooking than the old Hibachi that I used to use many years ago. It was convenient and easy to get the right temperature using the dials provided. It only took about ten minutes before I had the burgers cooked.
We made small talk during dinner, and afterward Debbie and Mary did the dishes.
Afterward, we retired to the living room. Aimee located Star Wars on videocassette, and I watched the movie on her large television.
The movie started out with typical B-movie laser fight scenes, and I was wondering what would make three grown women actually enjoy such tripe. It seemed against everything that I knew about females and science fiction. The movie actually started to pick up after a few minutes, although the dialog was so crappy, it was difficult to see how the actors and actresses uttered some of their lines with a straight face.
There was a scene early into the movie where the old man says something like “These are not the droids you are looking for,” mentally commanding the storm troopers to pay them no attention. This brought back to mind the episode in the park, where I thought to myself, “Please, officer, You don’t need to see my I.D.” Talk about deja-vu!
I found the movie to be engaging, but found that the heavy handedness of the pseudo-religious implications of “The Force” (they seemed to refer to it in capital letters) really detracted from my enjoyment.
After the movie was over, Mary asked if I wanted to see any of the sequels (there were two), and I politely declined. Debbie turned on a stereo to a station that played soft jazz numbers.
I thought about the movie that I had just seen. What if there was an all-seeing, all-powerful “force” that I had managed to tap into? Something like that could explain my mental capabilities, once you got around the “good side” and “dark side” black-and-white-isms that the movie described with the subtlety of a sledgehammer on the side of your head. I dismissed this as impossible; most religions have some sort of leader... God, if you will. if this power was given to me by this “God,” then why hasn’t he made his presence known to me?
I grew up as an agnostic during the seventies, and avoided the mind-altering drugs of the sixties and seventies as well. I wasn’t one to jump on the T.M. bandwagons; I wasn’t particularly religious, even in my agnosticism. I would hardly be the sort of person that a deity would select for such a mind power.
How had I been using it? I inadvertently enslaved two wonderful people, people that have told me that they enjoy being enslaved, but they were still enslaved, no matter how I looked at it. I also enslaved Aimee, but with her express and informed consent beforehand. Certainly, this wasn’t the “appropriate use” that a deity would want such a power to be used.
My mind followed that particular thought to its converse. Most religions that I have known have had a devil or Satan. Even the movie’s Force had a “dark side.” The “deity” that may have given me this power may not have been of good conscience. If that was the case, my enslavement of Mary and Debbie may have been appropriate, considering the Judeo-Christian image of the devil. Once again, I rejected that. First, my “enslavement” of Aimee was by her own choice. Second, being an agnostic, I had to reject the idea of a devil as much as I did the idea of a God without proof. I didn’t want to undergo any religious conversion right here and now in response to my obtaining this mind power.
I looked up in my thoughts, and Mary had just re-entered the living room with two glasses of wine. Her hips were swaying in time with the a song called “This Masquerade.” Mary gave one of her glasses to Debbie, who was seated in one of the reclining chairs, and then she caught my eye.
I had been watching Mary’s seductive hips going back and forth in time with the slow melody. She saw what I had been staring at, and blushed slightly.
“May I have this dance, Madam?” I asked, using a phony French accent and rising from my seat.
“Let me put down this glass,” Mary said, and she put her wine onto an end table next to an empty recliner.
I hadn’t danced in quite a while, but this was a slow number, and I simply moved close to Mary and put my hands on her hips, pulling her close to me. I felt her hips bobbing to the rhythm of the song, and we moved together. I’d never be a Fred Astaire, but I didn’t really care.
Toward the end of the song, Debbie got up and went through a stack of little plastic boxes, looking for something. She apparently found what she was looking for and opened it up. I watched Debbie over Mary’s shoulders. She had a small silver plate, and she pushed a button on her stereo and a little drawer popped out. She put the plate into the drawer and pushed the drawer back into the stereo, and pressed a button just as the song on the radio had ended.
Debbie turned around and looked at me staring at her. Mary, at the end of the song, pulled away from me a bit, knowing my attention was elsewhere (she didn’t seem upset, though).
Debbie smiled at me and said, “You appear to like George Benson. I have a disc with his greatest hits on it.”
A funky song came on, “Turn Your Love Around.” It wasn’t something I felt comfortable dancing to, but Debbie approached me, and we slow danced to the funk number.
Since this was his “greatest hits” and I hadn’t heard the song before (it was quite catchy), I realized that I had missed a lot of contemporary culture during my coma. There was a twinge of regret at having lost a portion of my life like this, but it was quickly overwhelmed with my happiness of being able to hear it now, anyway. It was great being able to enjoy it with these three women that I cherished so much.
Debbie usually brings out the “monster” in me, and it was only a minute or so before I found myself digging my fingers into her wonderfully padded ass cheeks. Debbie responded by hugging her hands, which were around my neck, tighter, and moving her body completely into mine.
I felt myself growing hard, feeling her tits against my chest. I pulled her ass closer to me, and felt her pelvic region grinding against my groin.
Offhand, I wondered if Mary would feel this as a rejection of her; after all, we had been slow dancing and it hadn’t gotten sexual. I turned Debbie’s body so I could see where Mary had moved to, and saw nothing but a smile on Mary’s face.
Inwardly, I breathed a sigh of relief. Jealousy was one thing that could really ruin a relationship like the one that the four of us shared. Luckily, none of the girls have exhibited even the slightest hint of it, and while this seemed unnatural to me, I was glad of it right then.
I mention earlier in my story that I hadn’t had too many bed partners before my coma. I do not want to give you the impression that I had no lady friends. However, I had known from my teens what my career path would be, and having a wife and family wasn’t really in the cards at that point. I didn’t really believe in sex just for the hell of it (at least, not until I had met Mary!), and the female friends that I had eventually became good friends, if not intimate.
One of the things that I noticed when you had a group of females, is that when one leaves for a moment, the others start talking about her. Maybe not every time, but it seemed to be a natural tendency.
With my three lovelies, however, I never saw even a hint of that with one exception: when Aimee was the person leaving, there would usually be a comment made about how intelligent she was. This seemed a bit unnatural to me as well; it didn’t fit with my previous experience. I filed this observation in my mind for examination at another time.
Debbie’s lips were on mine, now. I was no longer listening to the music, but reacting to Debbie’s fervent advances. I kissed her back, our tongues touching.
One of her hands dropped from my neck to the front of my pants, and I realized that it wasn’t going to be long before I had a sticky situation to put up with.
I turned my face to the right in order to escape from Debbie’s mouth. When I got clear, I said, huskily, “Let’s adjourn to the bedroom. I think it will be more comfortable in there.”
Debbie and I retired to the master bedroom, and we started a long slow strip tease, while we fondled each other’s bodies.
I’m not sure what Mary and Aimee were thinking about Debbie and I going at it, and at the moment, I didn’t really give them much thought.
When Debbie was clad only in her panties and bra, and I picked her body up and deposited it on the bed, slipping off her panties as I did so.
My face was over her crotch as I did this, and within moments, the scent of her musk was wafting through my senses. I placed both hands between her legs, opening the folds of her vagina with my two thumbs, exposing her pink vulva.
I lowered my head into her snatch, and stuck my tongue out, tasting her.
Debbie shuddered just a bit as I made contact.
I moved my tongue up and down, in tiny motions, causing Debbie to spread her legs wider. I broadened my strokes, and then I went for the kill. I started at the bottom near her asshole and taking a long, leisurely stroke, I moved it slowly upward. I could taste her feminine secretions, and it gave me a heady feeling.
As I got closer to the top, I moved my tongue to the left, and then to the right, kissing her vaginal lips with my lips and sucking them into my mouth.
Debbie now had her hands on the back of my head, and she was trying to get me to move my head up towards her clitoris.
I wasn’t to be rushed, however. Instead, I kept returning my attentions to her lips, moving just slightly upward with each suck.
Debbie was now trying to grind her clit into the top of my lips.
I didn’t want to torture the girl too much, so I finally gave the sensitive spot a tiny jab with my tongue. I heard Debbie exhale sharply. I continued to jab at it repeatedly, and Debbie started making cute squealing noises.
Finally, I took the nubbin between my lips and gently sucked on it. I felt Debbie’s hands pushing my head down again, and I ignored her. Instead, I increased my suction on her clitoris, licking it with my tongue inside my mouth.
Debbie’s hips were moving spastically now, making it difficult for me to retain my rhythm and to keep my lips and tongue where I (and Debbie!) wanted them.
I still had my boxers on, and I moved my hands down to pull them down my legs. My cock got caught on one of the folds, and it was rigid enough that there was a slight amount of pain, but I finally got them down to about my knees.
Debbie’s hips were now moving from side to side like a snake, and it was next to impossible for me to maintain proper contact with her clit without using my hands.
I swung my hands up towards her shoulders, and in a single quick move that surprised even me, I pulled myself up her body and within a second, my cock was poised at the entrance to her gates of heaven.
I had intended to start sucking on Debbie’s breasts, but she still had her bra on. So, instead, I moved further upward and as my cock slipped inside her, my lips found hers.
Debbie didn’t hesitate and sucked my lips into hers as I started my thrusts into her. She licked the juices that accumulated on my face, and sucked on my tongue.
I had just about reached my peak and my balls started constricting. As if on cue, Debbie started her squeal, which I had come to know was a signal that her own release was imminent. I knew from experience that I had another minute or two, and slowed my thrusts as an admittedly futile way of staving off my own orgasm until hers had begun.
I was nearly successful, but in the end, my balls won out. I started erupting into her love hole, sending my first eruption into her. My hips went on automatic, and I thrust again, sending another stream on its way. By the time I thrust the third time, Debbie’s orgasm started.
Having had sex with Debbie before, I was prepared for when Debbie achieved orgasm. I instinctively breathed in an entire lungful a fraction of a second before her powerful arms started pulling my body onto hers. Debbie was in complete control now, holding my body with her hands behind my back as close as possible to her own, and thrusting her hips on and down about five times faster than I was when I had started my orgasm.
Her hips continued vibrating up and down quickly, moving my cock in and out. She had her hips and back in such a position that her clitoris was situated on my base of my cock, and was getting plenty of stimulation.
Having reached her peak, Debbie’s hip movements slowed, and her powerful arms released their vise-like grip on my back.
“I love you, Master,” Debbie whispered to me.
“Call me Jim, Debbie. I love you, too,” I answered her. I looked at her and smiled.
“Calling you ‘Master’ makes you uneasy, doesn’t it?”
I simply nodded in response. “You know, we’re still not completely undressed!”
Debbie giggled at that, and she unsnapped her bra as I removed my T-shirt and boxer shorts.
I saw her breasts, and they looked so tasty and inviting, I just had to suck on one... and then the other!
Then my hand moved down her body, and found her wet hole. I probed with my index finger, and started caressing her clitoris. Experience told me that Debbie really likes this.
In the space of a half hour, Debbie had a couple of smaller orgasms.
I eventually fell asleep.