Enchanted Valley: The Sentinel - Part 3

Enchanted Valley:
The Sentinel

Sentinel.jpg
Written by Nuuan

October 5, 1951
Hour and a half later in the Canyon north of Homey Airport, Groom Lake, NV

“Over there!” The soldier sitting in the passenger side of the jeep pointed ahead to their left.

The driver veered their Jeep in that direction, “Damn! She looks like one of them pin up gals. You think that’s the gal we’re supposed to be looking for?”

“How many other black haired dames you think we’re gonna find out here Pete?”

“Yeah, just hard to believe that a gal with looks like that is the one the Doc sent out after that nut job that tore up the place.”

“Maybe with how pretty she is, she could calm the jackass down or something?”

As the Jeep pulled up to a stop Brown walked over to meet it, “Any of you guys happen to bring a canteen of water with you?” Both men scrambled to be the first one to hand her their canteen. Taking the canteen from the driver Brown unscrewed the lid and turned it up gulping down over half its contents as the two men sat staring at her. “Thanks,” Brown handed the canteen back to the driver. “You can radio in and tell them to call off the search, I got him.”

“You got who ma’am?” The passenger was first to respond.

Brown didn’t know how much these soldier knew of what really happened and unsure of what to tell them she stated, “That guy that snuck in and tried to sabotage everything.” Brown turned and walked over to the boulder she had been sitting by using the shade it provided until the jeep had arrived. Going out of sight around the boulder, she quickly returned with Tucker’s body draped over her right shoulder and her carbine in her left hand. Walking back over to the jeep she laid the body out across the hood before walking around and hopping into the back seat.

“Shit!” she jumped up as her bare bottom touched the dark sun heated seat of the jeep. Quickly brushing the over sized shirt under her to to sit on, she sat back down. Seeing both soldiers twisting around to look at her, “Sorry, the seat was pretty hot.”

“Um. Yes ma’am,” the driver nodded then turned to put the jeep in gear and head back toward base.

With the carbine laid across her lap, Brown help her knees together and used both hands to hold the hem of the shirt down so the wind didn’t pick it up and give the soldiers a view of parts of her new body that even she had not really seen yet.

The soldier in the passenger seat had radioed in on their way back, which Brown guessed caused the mass of men standing outside the main headquarters to be standing outside waiting on them. One man began pushing his way through the crowd that Brown recognized, Colonel Egan. ‘Of all the officers that could get here first it had to be him,’ Brown thought to herself.

Brown along with most of the men stationed at Homey airfield cringed at the sight of the overweight balding man. Colonel Egan was in Brown’s mind the head pencil pusher of the base. In charge of supply and personnel the man seemed to live for his paperwork and would quite literally deny a request for not having all your “T’s” crossed or “I’s” dotted. Brown thought back to the day the man had ripped up a request he had put in for a weekend furlough because he had not used her middle initial in her signature when he signed the form.

“What’s this?” Colonel Egan, out of breath from the short trip from the office door to the jeep, saw the body lying across the hood of the jeep. Pointing at two soldiers, “You and you, get a stretcher so this man can be taken to the infirmary!”

“No need to rush boys, he’s dead,” Brown stood up in the back of the jeep. The soldier in the passenger seat jumped out of the jeep and offered a hand to Brown to help her out of the jeep.

Colonel Egan jaw dropped at the sight of Brown, rolling his tongue back into his mouth he shouted, “Who is this woman, why is she wearing Sergeant Brown’s shirt and what is she doing on my base!”

“She works for me Colonel,” Mr. Smith pushed his way through the crowd followed by Doctor Kuehn. “As to why she is wearing the Sergeant’s shirt, he loaned it to her.” Mr. Smith, his left arm in a sling strode up to the Colonel before continuing, “Now as for the rest of your questions. First, let me make one thing perfectly clear, this is MY BASE, not your’s. Second what she is doing here is above your pay grade and has never been or ever will be any of your damn business.” Getting right up in the colonel’s face, “Now if you want to remain on MY BASE I suggest you get back to your desk and push some papers around or whatever it is you do.”

Turning around in a huff, the colonel walked back toward the office building. Mr. Smith called several soldiers by name, ordering them to get the body off the jeep and where he wanted it taken. Turning back toward Brown, “I take it that you were unable to bring him back alive?”

Brown shook her head, “He gave me no choice.”

“Okay, You’re with me and the doctor,” Mr. Smith turned and began walking away. Brown quickly fell in step behind him and Doctor Kuehn as two large soldiers struggled to pick up Tucker’s body from the hood of the jeep. Once they were in the elevator that took them the several stories underground to the lab areas Mr. Smith spoke, “Alright, Kuehn filled me in on what happened to you and why. What I want to know is what happened out there and how did you stop him?”

Brown began filling him in on everything that happened after she left the base in pursuit of Tucker leaving out anything about her new friends and how Tucker had discovered he could become invisible. Brown finished her report as they were entering the lab she had spent so much time with the doctor in. “Any chance of finding me some clothes Doc? This is kind of breezy if you know what I mean,” waving her hands down to display the now dirt and blood encrusted shirt.

“Yes, yes,” Doctor Kuehn looked over at Brown, “I’ll call Martha she should be able to find something more appropriate for you to wear.” Walking over to the phone hanging on the wall he picked up the receiver then paused to look back toward Brown, “Um, what do we call you now? We can’t go round calling you Sergeant Brown anymore.”

“Betty,” Mr. Smith answered. “Lots of Betty’s around very common everyday name.”

Crossing her arms under her breasts, Brown frowned at Mr. Smith, “Yeah, almost as common as Smith is.”

October 5, 1951
Underground facility, Groom Lake, NV

After a well needed and appreciated shower Brown, or Betty as Smith had insisted her new name to be, had a bit of a problem with the clothes that Martha had provided. The bra came very close to being thrown in a corner until Martha realizing that Betty had never worn one before provided directions for Betty to get it on comfortably or at least as comfortably as a bra could be worn. The dress on the other hand Betty found completely out of the question and insisted on trousers and a shirt. Martha had found both that were close to Betty’s size and with a belt fitted although baggy and the trouser legs had to be bloused up into the boots they found her so much that the trouser legs still came halfway down the boots toward the floor. The one good thing the Betty found with her new condition was when Smith had tried to barge into the room while she was getting dressed, the elderly Martha had quickly pushed him back out into the hallway closing the door behind her. Betty could hear Martha through the thick wooden door reading Mr. Smith the riot act.

Once Martha returned to the room, she lead Betty, with Smith close on their heels, back down to Dr. Kuehn’s lab area. After sitting through all of the tests the doctor did with Tucker Betty should have been ready for what she went through for the next two hours, but watching all this done to someone else she found was quite a different experience when going through it yourself. Getting dressed once again Betty thought about all the tests the doctor had put her though, it was time consuming and a few of them very embarrassing, but she did have a better grasp of what she could do now. ‘Charles Atlas eat your heart out!’ flexing her arm in the classic strong man from, breaking down in giggles at the sight of her complete lack of visible muscles.

“Everything okay in there?” She heard Martha outside the door.

Having completed redressing Betty walked over opening the door to find Martha standing in front of it, “Yes, I guess I just found my situation a little funny.”

Martha grinned, “Which situation would that be honey the pretty woman dressed in men's trousers or the pretty woman who used to be a man?” Seeing Betty’s eyes grow wide Martha reached out to gently place her hand on Betty’s arm, “Don’t worry honey, I think Henry, I mean Doctor Kuehn, Mr. Smith and I are the only ones that know.”

Seeing that Martha did appear sympathetic towards her Betty smiled, “Thanks, I think the less that know the better.”

“If it makes you feel any better, the story that Mr. Smith has been telling is that Sergeant Brown died when that uncouth brute started attacking.” Martha changed the subject, “So do tell, what was it that you found funny?”

Remembering what she had done brought a grin to her own face, “I was kind of comparing myself to Charles Atlas, you know with the strength I have now, and tried to make a muscle,” Demonstrating by raising her arm in the classic arm strength pose.

Martha covered her mouth with her hand as she snickered, “Yes that is sort of funny when you think about it. Although you will need to be careful and not let others see how strong you are.”

“Yeah, that or carry a can of spinach around with me to explain it.”

“For some reason I can’t imagine you as that little sailor guy.” Martha giggled, “Although I think you would be a real head turner in a nice navy blue sailor dress with white piping.”

“That’s all I need is men staring at me.”

“Honey with your looks a man would have to be blind not to look.” Martha smiled warmly, “What do you say, let’s go and get some dinner?”

Entering the main lab area they could see both Mr. Smith and Dr. Kuehn had left while Betty was getting dressed. Walking across the lab, Martha opened the main door to leave to find two soldiers barring their way. “Excuse us gentlemen,” Martha attempted to walk past but they did not move.

“Sorry ma’am we’ve orders that Miss Brown is not the leave the lab area.”

“Well I need to leave and I am not going to leave a young woman by herself here in the presence of two young men. You wouldn’t wish her reputation to become tarnished would you?”

“No ma’am,” the soldier replied.

“Then please move aside.”

“Sorry ma’am we can’t do that,” The other soldier answered.

“Oh poppycock!” Martha exclaimed. “Either move out of our way or Miss Brown will be forced to move you.”

Both soldiers found the threat of the smaller woman being able to move them funny, one even had to stifle a laugh while the other joked, “I’d like to see her try.”

Martha sidestepped out of the way while grinning at Betty, “Betty would you please move these two gentlemen out of our way so we can go to the mess hall? Be careful dear, we don’t want to hurt them.” Walking up to the two, Betty gripped the wide webbed belt each one wore their sidearm on and lifted them off their feet. Taking a few steps out into the hall she gently put them back down, the doorway now clear for them to leave.

Martha felt the look on both men’s faces was priceless. She couldn’t determine if it was astonishment, fear, shock or a mixture of all three. Walking out of the room and up to the men, “Now if anyone comes looking for us, we are going to the mess hall and then to the women’s barracks.”

“How? What? How did she do that?” One soldier stammered.

Martha look at the two with an evil grin, “I’ve seen those comic books you boys are so fond of reading, I’m sure you can figure it out. Just remember what goes on at this base is top secret.”

As Martha and Betty walked down the hall the first soldier whispered to his partner, “Shit, she’s like Superman’s little sister or something.”

“Naw, Superman was the only survivor from his planet, she’s more like Wonder Woman.”

“Whoever or whatever she is,” the first replied, “I saw nothing!”

October 5, 1951
Homey airbase, Groom Lake, NV

The women’s barracks was nothing like the open bay barracks the men used with its rows of bunk beds and footlockers the men had. The building had eight rooms that held two single beds, a two each of a standing wardrobe, vanity, and dresser one for each of the two occupants. While the women’s barracks did have a single community bathroom at the back of the building, there were shower stalls giving the women some modesty instead of the open bay showers in the men’s barracks. And of course the long metal urinal trough in the men’s barracks was not mimicked either as it was unnecessary.

Once in the shower stall with the warm water cascading down her body in ways she was not accustomed to the events of the day caught up with her. Betty leaned forward with a heavy sigh resting her forehead against the wall under the shower head.
Opening her eyes Betty stared down at her breasts watching the way the water ran across her large nipples. Reaching up with her right hand, Betty cupped her left breast while thinking to herself, ‘The first ones I get to touch and their my own.’

Grabbing the bar of soap and the cloth Martha had given her, Betty began washing the sand and sweat from her body. She quickly discovered that trying to scrub her new body like she had in the past was not a good idea. Betty found her skin was much more sensitive than it was when she was a man. Working on her breasts she found her nipples were even more sensitive, immediately tightening and sticking out giving her a strange but similar feeling that felt very much like when she was still a man and got an erection, but now in the wrong place.

Trying to ignore the feelings Betty continued to wash herself, reminding herself that the base had a limited water supply and she should hurry while praying this was a temporary condition, she would find a way to turn back to her normal self, if not she would learn to live with it. ‘It isn’t like I’m a weak little girl,’ Betty thought back to her fight with Tucker. ‘No, I’m stronger now than I ever was, hell I’m probably stronger than Charles Atlas now.’ Betty giggled at the thought of arm wrestling Charles Atlas while she turned off the water and began drying herself off with a towel.

After the shower in the women's quarters, Betty finally gave into Martha’s arguments on Betty wearing a dress instead of trousers. The greatest selling point was that it would allow her to fit in better since none of the few women that did work on the base wore anything but skirts and dresses when outside of their small barracks.

Martha had given Betty a room with a girl that looked to be around the same age as Betty, Susie was what Betty would have called typical cheerleader material, Blond hair, bubbly personality, always happy and quite talkative. Not that Betty thought she wasn’t intelligent, to even think about working at Homey you had to be above average intelligence and really good at keeping your mouth shut. Susie didn’t seem to be very good at the latter, but then during the hour and a half that she talked she never said anything about the base or what she did there. It was all about where she was from, her three brothers and one sister and her father’s distillery back in Kentucky and how her father wasn’t pleased with her at going off and choosing a career in medicine instead of finding a husband and becoming a good wife.

When Susie finished her life story she leaned forward from where she sat on the edge of her bed. When Betty didn’t start to offer anything of her background she prodded until Betty gave in telling Susie the truth but leaving out anything about Betty being born a boy. “I grew up in a cabin bout a whole day’s walk from town up in the mountains of North Carolina. My dad made liquor too, but it wasn’t the legal kind like your dad makes, my dad made moonshine. Dad didn’t talk much about it but from what mom told me when I got older it was the only way he could make any money to keep food and stuff on the table. Mom and I both really wanted to get me out of there as my dad and uncle already had me hauling their liquor in an old truck my uncle had and we both knew that soon or later I’d get caught so when I was seventeen my mom and I went down to town and I signed up for the military.”

“Oh my god,” Susie exclaimed, “You’re seventeen?”

Betty shook her head, while stretching the truth a bit since she no longer looked her real age either, “That was a few years ago.”

“So you’re what twenty one now?” Susie giggled, “You make me feel like an old maid.”

“I will be next month,” Betty thought that was as good of an age as any to tell people. “And how can I make you feel old, you don’t look any older than me?”

“Oh sweetie, I love you said that, but I’m almost thirty. That’s why my daddy is so pissed, at my age and unmarried folks back home would think of me as a spinster.”

“Why haven’t you married?”

“I guess I’m still looking for my knight in shiny armor.” Susie giggled again then leaned further forward and spoke softly, “Although there is this one guy here that makes my heart flutter whenever I see him. Have you seen Sergeant Brown? He is so dreamy isn’t he? And he’s always so serious and has that gun with him wherever he goes, kind of like that gun you got leaning against the wall. Now that’s a man I would love to get to know better, but he’s so intimidating I’ve been afraid to even say hi.”

Betty tried to hide her shock at hearing this from Susie. Brown had seen the woman many times in the past but never knew her name or how she felt about him. And while Susie may be a few years older, she was in Betty’s mind jaw dropping gorgeous and looked nowhere near as old as she said she was. “I’ve seen him a couple times,” Betty lied, “I guess he is kind of nice looking.”

It was near ten at night when Susie got up and began disrobing in front of Betty removing everything but her panties. Trying not to stare Betty did the same, removing only her dress and quickly pulling the cotton nightgown Martha had provided her over her head. Susie tilted her head at Betty, “You sleep in your bra? Whenever I do that I end up tossing and turning all night.”

Betty just nodded her head, not knowing if it was right or wrong to leave it on, but with what she had planned she didn’t want to have to fumble around trying to put it back on in the dark after Susie fell asleep. Sometime later after she felt sure Susie was fast asleep Betty quietly climbed out of bed and put the dress back on. She had just began to climb out the window with her boots in hand when Susie rolled over startling her, “So who’s the mystery man?” Susie whispered.

“God dammit, you scared the life out of me!” Betty whispered, “I thought you were asleep.”

“I’m a light sleeper,” Susie grinned in the dimly lit room. “So who is he? Is he cute?”

“I’m not sneaking out to meet a guy.”

“And I’m the queen of England,” Susie snickered.

“Really I’m not,” Betty pulled her leg back inside, propped the carbine against the wall and knelt beside Susie’s bed. “This is hard to explain, but I got to get inside that building with all the guards.”

Susie’s eyes went wide, “No one’s allowed in there, Martha warned us all that they had orders to shoot to kill if anyone even tried.”

“Susie they have a flying saucer from another world in there.”

Susie rose up in the bed, “I’m going to go get Martha, you’ve been out in the sun too long.”

“Wait!” Betty grabbed Susie’s arm, “Remember this morning down in the lab area, I saw you there when Tucker went crazy and was attacking everyone. Sergeant Brown and Doctor Kuehn ran into the area you were working in and started evacuating everyone.”

“Wait a minute you weren’t there I would have noticed you.”

“I’m getting to that,” Betty continued, “ Brown was holding one of those things recovered from the flying saucer, a weird square looking dark gray almost black thing. That thing he was holding changes people. Tucker volunteered to put one on and it changed him so much he looked like someone else before he went all berserk. He came after the doc and me because he wanted the other one we had.”

“Wait Sergeant Brown had it, not you!”

“Tucker cornered us and I put it on hoping it would give me the super strength the one he put on gave him so that I could fight him.”

“You mean the sergeant put it on?”

“It changed me, I’m Sergeant Brown or at least I was,” Betty whispered. “But now I’ve got to make sure there is nothing else left on the flying saucer that could cause even more trouble, who knows what else is there, maybe something in that thing that could destroy the world if someone sneezed on it wrong.” Betty spent the next twenty minutes convincing Susie she wasn’t crazy.

“Alright I’m going with you,” Susie stated.

“No!”

“Why because I’m a woman?” Susie grinned, “Look in the mirror lately? Look if you want to get in there without the guards seeing you, you need me.”

“Why is that?”

“I’ve got something you don’t have.” Susie looked closely at Betty, “I take that back you’ve got it too but you don’t how to use it yet.”

“What’s that?”

“Your looks sweetie,” Susie climbed out of bed grinning. “I may not be as pretty as you sweetie but I can make sure the guards have something other than watching that building on their mind for a few minutes.” Pulling the cotton nightgown off over her head Susie stood there her hands on her hips wearing nothing but panties in front of Betty. “From that expression I believe you really were a guy.” Susie giggled at the look on Betty’s face, “Close your mouth sweetie you’re going to catch flies.”

“Sorry,” Betty looked away from Susie’s bare breasts.

“We are so used to seeing our own, women don’t look that hard at another woman's breasts even if we are envious of how the other woman looks,” Susie explained her thoughts. “A man of course would have been drooling and stepping on his tongue. Now you on the other hand, you didn’t look envious or lustful, you look more shocked than anything.”

“This is just so weird,” Betty tried to explain, “my mind is screaming, ‘beautiful naked woman!’ and it doesn’t make me feel like I think it should and that scares me.”

“Why’s that sweetie?”

“Because I’m afraid it means I may like men now.”

“I think it would be weird if you didn’t start to like men now.” Susie saw Betty sigh and nod.

Once Susie was dressed she saw Betty begin to crawl out the window, “You do remember there is a front door? No one is going to say anything about two girls that couldn’t sleep so they went out for a walk in the cooler night air.” Grabbing her purse Susie walked over to the door opening it. And leave the gun, it would look weird to the guards to see a gal carrying one of their guns.” Betty leaned the carbine back against the wall by the window before following Susie out the door.

As they neared the hangar Betty quietly walked off between two buildings while Susie continued strolling toward the hangar. As Susie approached the nearest guard she began fumbling around in her purse, eventually producing a pack of cigarettes. Placing one of the cigarettes between her lips Susie put the pack back in her purse and continued fumbling around in her purse pretending not to notice the guard she was approaching.

“Ma’am, you need to turn around, this area is restricted!” Susie feigned being startled by the soldier.

“Oh darn,” Looking up from her purse with the sexiest smile she could muster, “I could have sworn I grabbed a box of matches before I left our room.”

“Ma’am you really shouldn’t be out here,” The other soldier standing a few feet away from the first stated.

“I know, but my new roommate she can’t stand the smell of cigarettes and with how hot it’s been I couldn’t sleep.” Picking at the collar of her blouse to draw attention to the fact that she had left a couple of extra buttons undone giving the boys a bit more cleavage to see than would normally be proper, “Would either of you to good looking gentlemen happen to have a light?”

‘Wow,’ Betty thought as she slipped quietly behind the distracted guards and into the hangar, ‘she is good, those guys are so distracted I think I could drive a tank through here and they wouldn’t notice.’ This late at night the interior of the hangar was deserted making it was a simple matter of climbing the scaffolding to go inside the large hole in the saucer. Making her way toward what she thought would be the center of the saucer Betty found it strange how easily she could see inside the dead alien spacecraft. Looking around she could see the string of electrical wires the scientists had strung along that held the electrical lights they had used to illuminate the dark interior. But those lights were off now, Betty could find no other source of light to explain how she was able to see in what should have been pitch darkness. All thoughts of how this was possible fled from Betty’s mind when she thought she heard a voice.

Crouching down, Betty crept forward slowly as quietly as she could, trying to determine where the person was that she heard. Several minutes later and closer to the center of the saucer she heard another voice this time much more clearly and one she clearly recognized. Peering around the portal into the next room and not seeing anyone Betty whispered, “Tracy is that you?”

~Brown~ Tracy replied over the comm.

“How’d you get in the saucer already?”

~I’m not in the ship,~ Traci replied. ~You’re on our comm channel, your comm has become operational.~

“Comm what?” Betty spoke.

~Think of it like a two way radio,~ Bobby joined the conversation on the comm.

“But how are we talking? I don’t have anything like that.”

~Our micros give us the ability. Easiest way to explain it is those I injected you with know our channel and connected you with us.~ Traci didn’t tell her that the injection also allowed Traci to track Brown. While it was something Traci didn’t like doing, in the event that Brown ran off on a killing spree being able to track and stop her overrode any reservations Traci may have had about it.

“So now I have a walkie-talkie in my head?” Betty’s eyes grew wide at the thought of always being able to hear them and they her, “Um, so does it have an off switch or something?”

~Yes, we’ll teach you how but not now,~ Traci answered. ~Wouldn’t want you to accidentally switch it off right now.~

“So can you just hear what I’m saying or are you like reading my mind?”

~We can’t hear what you say, we can only hear what you project to us. So no we can’t read your mind.~

Realizing what Traci was saying Betty tried to think what she wanted to say without talking, ~can you still hear me?~

~Yes of course,~ Traci answered.

~Okay so I can talk to you without actually talking,~ Betty was beginning to get the hang of it.

~Wouldn’t be a good form of communication if we had to stand around talking to ourselves all the time,~ Bobby chuckled over his comm.

~Yeah I was starting to feel pretty stupid talking to the walls inside this saucer.~

~Have you seen anything that looks like it may have power?~ Cliff asked.

~No, nothing so far.~ Betty turned slowly viewing everything in the room she was in, ~No lights anywhere, which is weird because I can see fine.~

~The micros give us enhanced night vision,~ Traci acknowledged.

~Heads up guys,~ Bobby changed the subject, ~we got one guard on the west side, one behind it on the north and three in front. One of the three is female and looks like a non-combatant.~

~The girl is Susie,~ Betty added, ~She distracted those two while I slipped in.~

~Skylights up top we can use to go in,~ Bobby informed.

A short time later the three were standing inside the ship alongside Betty. “Where’s the alien backpack thing?” Becky noticed that none of the three had the last of the devices that had changed both her and Tucker.

“With the army crawling around also looking for it, I wasn’t able to grab it,” Bobby shrugged.

“What if the army finds it?” Becky began pacing back and forth across the Alien ship’s control room, “They’ll end up putting it on someone else, we can’t let that happen!”

“If Cliff and Bobby couldn’t find it, I am sure it is well hidden.” Traci added, “Hopefully well enough that the army will not find it before we can come back.”

“The important thing is it is out anyone’s hand that would try to use it,” Cliff nodded. “For all we know that guy sat a half ton rock on top of it when he hid it. Bobby and I can’t go out there turning over every large rock looking for it while the army’s out there looking for it too.”

“But what if they do find it?” Becky argued.

“We’ll have to take that chance.” Traci warned, “Getting caught looking for it would be worse.”

Cliff and Traci had begun checking the consoles and terminals in the room. Traci looked up from the one she was checking to see Bobby standing there looking at Betty. “Bobby!” Traci said loud enough to break his captivation of Betty, “Why don’t you and Betty check out the other passageways while we do this?”

“Good idea Mom,” Bobby beamed, “Let’s check this one first.” Bobby pointed toward the opening behind Betty. Once a little way
s down the passageway Bobby smiled over at Betty, “Your name’s Betty? It suits you, I mean it’s a pretty name and you’re really pretty.”

Traci, still in the control room, whispered to Cliff, “I believe your our is infatuated with her.”

“What?” Cliff looked up from the console he was inspecting.

“Haven’t you noticed the way Bobby’s been looking at her?”

“Who?”

“Betty.”

“Who’s Betty?”

“Have you heard a thing anyone’s said since we came into the ship?”

“Sorry but I’ve been concentrating on making sure this thing is dead. Can’t believe Bobby was just standing there, he knew what to do once we came onboard.”

“Yes, it was like something else had his full undivided attention,” Traci smirked.

“Yeah he was just standing there staring at the girl…” Cliff’s eyes widened in recognition.

“She looks a lot like Ruth,” Traci whispered while her thoughts wandered back to their past. Ruth was a young widow at the time that had helped them after the crash. She and Bobby had found an attraction for one another that grew until Bobby had asked her to marry him. Ruth, the only human they had confided in telling the truth of who and what they were, refused to marry Bobby. Her refusal was not because she did not love him, her reason was quite the opposite she loved him with all her heart and soul, but Ruth also knew that Bobby would not age, at least not like she would. Ruth did not wish the man she loved so much to be forced to sit and watch her grow old and die. Although her pleas that he move on fell on deaf ears as Bobby refused to leave her side, later posing as her son as the difference in their apparent ages became greater. After Ruth’s funeral Bobby had disappeared for over a decade before reuniting with Traci and Cliff, who had in the meantime discovered there were others like themselves stranded on Earth living in a small town in Washington state. Of course discovering there was a place that held the technology that could have saved Ruth led Bobby back into another bout of dark depression that he remained in until several years after the trio had moved to a small farm outside of El Paso. Traci’s thoughts were interrupted when Cliff signaled for her to follow him into the other passageway that Bobby and Betty had not taken.

In the passageway he and Betty had been exploring Bobby tried to concentrate on his job as he and Betty progressed through each room in the short passageway but found it difficult and found himself glancing over at Betty often. She looked so much like what he remembered of his beloved Ruth when she was young. ‘Not exactly like Ruth,’ Bobby thought to himself. Knowing that Ruth’s hair, which she normally kept up in a bun was much longer than Betty’s, nor was it as dark as Betty’s. In the sunlight it was easy to see that Ruth’s hair was a dark brown, while Betty’s hair was so black that it almost seemed to have a bluish tint when he first saw her out in the desert. Betty’s facial was a bit different than he remembered of Ruth’s also, but then Ruth had been fifty seven when she died twenty years ago so he memories of Ruth’s youth were quite old.

~Bobby, we found something,~ Cliff’s voice came over their comms. ~I need you and Brown to meet us in the other passageway.~

~We’ve not finished here,~ Bobby sent back.

~Doesn’t matter,~ Cliff responded. ~We have to destroy this ship.~



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