Lanie wandered away from the desk and leaned against a near wall. She didn't know if she was more upset because she may be stuck rooming with a guy or that the woman had laughed when Lanie said she would be a captain. Dragging her way back to her room, she found it empty. Hopefully he had realized his mistake and left.
Her things had been delivered, and she went about unpacking. Humming to herself and daydreaming about having her own star ship, she was settled quickly and was nearly done when the door to the room opened. A blond-haired man with a light brown beard and mustache, walked in.
"Hey!" The man said, and threw himself across the bed opposite Lanie.
Assuming this was the mystery man, since she hadn't seen his face, Lanie said, "Are you sure you have the right room?"
"Yup. Been here a year already. You just startin'?"
She sighed, "Yes." She looked away and moved a few of her belongings on the desk.
"Whadaya studin'? Medicine, or Tactical?"
"I'm going to be a captain."
"What's your name?"
"Ahhh Captain Lanie, the Ice Queen. How'd I get so lucky?"
Lanie spun around to look at him, her fists clenched.
"Your reputation precedes you. You know there has never been a female captain, right?"
"Then I will be the first." She said with venom.
"No, no you won't, you know why? I'll tell you, because women are too emotional...but wait...I'm talking to the Ice Queen, maybe you will make it." With that, he turned away from her and put a pillow over his head.
Lanie rolled her eyes and picked up a tablet from the desk, and then she threw it at the wall. Grabbing her purse, she quickly left the room.
Once in the empty hallway Lanie quietly cursed her luck. "Damn." Irritated that her high school nickname had followed her here, she thought of Cody, she was hardly an Ice Queen any more. Realizing that she promised to call him, she went in search of a video phone.
Lanie was directed to a room with small-enclosed booths in which video phones had been installed, giving complete privacy. Finding one unoccupied, she quickly entered and punched in Cody's number. She sat down, excited to tell him all that had happened to her so far, as she listened to the phone ring. It continued to ring and soon an electronic voice asked if she wanted to leave a voice message. Disappointed, she ended the call. He knew I was going to call, where was he?
Lanie familiarized herself with the campus, checking room numbers where her classes would be. Running into a few other people, she asked what all of the other buildings under the dome were for. She learned they were used for a variety of things from housing the professors and other workers on the base, to training the students. Some contained hologram representations of star ships to maneuver, while others were weapon ranges. Lanie was excited to get started.
Regretting that soon she would have to return to her room, she stopped in the cafeteria. She picked out a salad and some fruit and sat down at one of the empty tables. Picking at the salad, she thought of Cody, maybe she should try to call him again. Her thoughts were interrupted by her roommate who yanked out a chair next to her and sat down.
"Hey Captain Lanie!" He said loudly.
Lanie looked up to see several people looking at her in confusion. "You're an ass, ya know it?"
He smiled, "What? You said yourself you were gonna be a captain! Might as well get used to to callin' you that?"
"Not that I really give a shit, but what's your name?"
"Perfect. Listen JackASS, we have to room together, but we don't have to be friends. I suggest you move along."
"Oooooo Beware of the ICE!" He rose from the table and disappeared through the doorway.
Lanie fumed and stabbed away at her salad with her fork, never bringing a bite to her mouth.
Hours had passed, and the journey to the academy was nearing its close, Lanie could feel the shuttle changing speed, preparing to land. Squirming in her seat with excitement, she tried to get a view of the base from her window. It was a spectacular sight. The glow of the moon itself against the backdrop of dark space was dramatic. The immense clear dome that covered the base reflected the light within it. Tall, silver, spiral buildings stretched up to the limit of the dome, and she could see smaller darker buildings strewn throughout the landscape under the dome. The academy was housed under the dome, but Star ships were launched from another area adjacent to the domed area and accessed thru an underground tunnel.
The shuttles were much smaller and could enter the dome through a small runway and air locks that led to a disembarking platform. There were a few people waiting to return to Earth, not everyone was a student or a professor, some visited family.
Lanie gathered her things, and after notifying the baggage handlers where to send her luggage, she decided to have a look around. As she left the spaceport, her phone rang. Not bothering to see who it was, she was sure it was Cody.
"Hey you!" She answered her phone, smiling.
"Sweetie! Dad and I are so sorry we couldn't see you off. We'll come visit as soon as we can." Her Mother said.
"Oh hey, it's fine. Ya know, Cody was there, and yeah I'm fine!"
"All right then, kiss kiss, see you soon."
"Right, Mom. Bye." Lanie sighed and dropped her phone back into her purse, disappointed it wasn't Cody.
Although she had looked at the map many times, Lanie took it out and checked it again, intending to walk to the academy building where she would be living. It didn't seem far, and she started walking. Whether inside the building or outside, if you were under the dome, the air was filtered and climate controlled. The air was still and odorless, it reminded Lanie of the air in Azano's spaceship.
Clearly, walking was not a normal mode of transportation here. Many times during her walk, the hum of public vehicles broke the silence as they passed her. The buildings she passed were cold and stark in appearance. They all had the silver color of steel, with no windows, or architecture to please the eye, just straight lines. Seeing nothing to hold her interest, she looked up, the glow from the deflected lights on the street, and at the top of the buildings, reflected in the ceiling of the dome and glared down on her. Focusing on the road ahead of her, she saw the Academy coming into view. It was the only thing of real color she had seen. In large golden lettering in an arch above the entrance, were the words Space Academy.
Lanie was mounting the stairs to the entrance when a transportation vehicle stopped in front of the building and several students disembarked, running up the stairs ahead of her. They chattered and laughed as they entered the large doors into the academy. She quickened her steps to catch the doors before they closed, following the students.
Once through the doors she stopped, surprised by the onslaught to all her senses.
The noise struck her first, the atrium of the building was filled with students rushing passed her. There was a burst of color from the bleakness of the street; everything was bright and warm, from the orange carpet to the abstract paintings on the wall. Stepping into the large room, she wormed her way to a counter in the center; Lanie took her place in line and waited.
Even though the air was filtered, she could tell there was a dinning room near by. Her stomach began to growl with hunger the longer she stood in line as odors from the kitchen drifted to her.
It was finally her turn to register; she gave her name and received a room number, a code, a small information booklet, and a schedule. The man at the desk pointed to a diagram on the wall and suggested she view it to find her room. She thanked him, exiting the line, and approaching the diagram. Lanie got a general idea where she was, and then looked around the room to translate the map to reality.
Seeing the hall that would take her to her room, she started towards it. Her stomach had other plans and sidetracked her to the dinning room. She stood in the doorway and watched people going through a cafeteria line and then sitting at one of the tables. Even with everyone talking at once, the noise level was much quieter here.
Lanie looked at the booklet she had been given to see if there was anything about the cafeteria she needed to know. Just what she was afraid of, she needed a badge to get in line. Sighing, she decided find her room and then see about how to get a badge.
Down a long hall she walked, looking for the number of her room. Plaques on the walls with numbers and arrows helped her find her way. Arriving at her door, she used her code to open it. The room contained a bed, desk, and closet for each student. Each room had its own small bathroom with a shower. Lanie's room also contained a sleeping man.
Looking at her schedule, she could see she was in the right room. He must have the wrong room, she reasoned. She put down the small bag she was carrying and walked to the desk. Seeing a badge with her name on it, she smiled. Deciding her hunger took priority over the mystery man in her room, she headed for the dinning room, intending to speak to someone about it before she returned.
After sating her hunger, she approached the desk and stood in line again, waiting to speak to someone about the person in her room. When it was her turn, she smiled sweetly and said, "There is a man sleeping in my room, and I need someone to wake him and get him to the correct room."
"What makes you think he has the wrong room?" Said the woman at the desk.
"W-Well...it's a man; I share a room with a man?"
"It's possible. Do you think on a Star ship there is room to give everyone personal quarters?"
"Um, I don't know, but I will be the captain so I won't have to worry about that."
The woman laughed, "Really. Well when the guy wakes up, check his room number, but you're probably stuck with him." She then looked at the person behind Lanie, "Next!"
Years passed and she left for college, intent on the study of the universe, sciences, and whatever it would take to get her into the space program. Science had advanced to the point of exploration to the nearest planets. No life had been found, wormhole travel was in its infancy.
The boys had turned into men and were a little harder to dodge. One in particular was very insistent and she finally agreed to a date with him. To her surprise, they had a great time. She was relieved that Cody kept his hands to himself. Lanie agreed to see him again. They became inseparable, and the inevitable moment came when he tried to kiss her. She turned away.
"Lanie, we've been going out for over a month, what's wrong with a kiss?" Cody asked.
First looking at the ground, then looking in his eyes she said, "Nothing. Nothing is wrong with a kiss. I just...I dunno...I don't want a relationship."
"Really? You don't want the dream of a white picket fence, two point five kids and a dog... and a man who adores you?"
She shook her head, "I don't have time for that, I'm going to be a Starship Captain."
Cody took her hand, "Even Starship Captain's have sex." he said smiling.
Pulling her hand away she smiled, "I didn't say I wouldn't have sex, I said I didn't want a relationship."
"I have found my soul mate!" Cody raised his hands to the sky, "Thank you Jesus!" He said laughing.
Lanie laughed too, she felt better that he knew where she stood.
"So can I kiss you now?" Cody asked.
Cody drew her to him and kissed her passionately. As the kiss ended, he smiled and said, "Whadaya think?"
Pushing out her lower lip Lanie said, "Pretty good." In reality, every kiss, every touch would be compared to Azano's.
Their non-relationship progressed, and soon they were sleeping together. Cody was tender and experienced and somehow it just happened. The first time they were together Lanie was surprised when Cody held her close and said he felt honored being her first. Azano did say her body wouldn't be altered, but she had no idea that it was even possible that she would remain a virgin. Several times over the course of their non-relationship, Lanie would make sure that he knew that no strings were attached. He would reply with a very curtly, "All right already! You can do without me!"
She was sure he was the one who wanted the two point five kids' situation. Wasting his time being with her seemed crazy.
They were in their last year of college and Lanie was at the top of her class. Exploration and usage of wormholes were beginning to get them farther into the universe. Still, no life had been found, but signals beyond where they had been, lured them forwards. Lanie knew they were there. She had applied to the Space Academy and was awaiting the acceptance letter. Cody's expertise was in propulsion and he had been accepted at Global Aeronautics. They would soon be parting ways.
Lanie saw it as one-step closer to her goal, but she could see that Cody didn't want their non-relationship to end. She promised to stay in touch and meet again in the future. Not having solidified her plans, she hoped she hadn't jinxed herself.
The mail arrived at the same time every day so Lanie felt she was safe to check it about an hour after the designated time. In the apartment where she and Cody lived, the mail was still loaded into locked cubbyholes. Putting in her code, the mail door slid to the left. She could see nothing was in there, but she put her hand in all the same to make sure, then pushing a button, she locked it again. Climbing the stairs to their second floor apartment, she felt a little disappointed.
As she opened the apartment door, she saw Cody sitting in a chair facing the door with a grin on his face. He was waving an envelope.
"Guess what I found in my mail slot?" He teased.
"I have no idea." She said with a half smile.
He shoved it towards her, "Well, look at it."
She took the envelope from him and looked in disbelief as she realized they had mistakenly put her letter in his slot. Lanie held the letter from the Space Academy she had been waiting for. She ripped it open and began to read it.
"Well?" Cody stood up and tried to look over her shoulder.
'They asked if I would mind missing graduation, and can I come within the week to start my training!" Lanie jumped around the room like a spider monkey. She missed the forlorn look that Cody wore as he watched her.
The rest of the week went fast as she gathered her things to pack. Cody held her a little closer in those last days, kissed her a little deeper. She would miss him, but she had made it clear from the start, no strings attached.
On the day she left, Cody hugged her and told her, "I know I wasn't supposed to fall in love with you...but I did. I wanted you to know that, before you left, because I want you to know I will always be here for you."
Lanie didn't know how to answer him, so she kissed him, and then turned towards the shuttle that would take to the moon base. As she got to the entrance to the shuttle, she turned around to wave, but he was gone.
When she got to her seat, she sent Cody a message. She promised as soon as she was settled, she would videophone him. Waiting for him to answer her, she fell asleep. They would be there within twenty-four hours, since this was a commercial flight, it didn't travel as fast as the Starships.
Later, a Sky Hostess touched her shoulder and asked if she would like something to eat. Lanie shook her head to clear it, glanced at her phone, no message from Cody. "Maybe something light, thank you."
"Soup? Or a salad?"
"Salad's fine." Lanie smiled at the Sky Hostess and adjusted herself for comfort in the shuttle's seat.
Looking out the window, she thought briefly about Cody and why he hadn't answered her. Her thoughts drifted to the new adventure she was starting. After four years of study in college, she would have two more years of study at the Space Academy before they would give her a commendation as captain of her own Starship. Before she would actually be sent on a mission there would be another year of hands on training. By then she would be about twenty-five years old, and ten years since Azano had visited her. Lanie thought of him every day.
A realization hit Lanie, and she turned her back to him. "W-What are you doing?" She asked. Never having been intimate with anyone, she feared he would rape her. Receiving no answer, she began to imagine what would happen next. To her amazement, she felt a stirring that excited her as much as it shamed her.
The lights in the room went out and the only light came from the window, where the universe cast a soft illumination into the room. "My appearance troubles you. I'm sorry." He replied softly then paused and continued. "I will mate with you..."
"No!" Lanie shouted, interrupting him. She knew that by the sound of his voice, his helmet had been removed. Feeling intense fear of what she would see if she faced him, she stood still.
"I won't hurt you or alter your body in any way, but I will
mate with you."
Knowing he could over power her and she had no place to run, she tried to reason with him, Lanie started to cry, "Please, don't! I've never even been with anyone from my own species!" She could tell he stood right behind her.
He placed his hand on her shoulder. "What do they call you?" He asked.
Lanie twitched at his touch, "Lanie."
"Lanie, I am called Azano. I can't explain why I must do this...but it's important to my race."
"What could this have to do with your race, are they dying or something?"
"In a way, yes."
Lanie tried to come to grips with what was about to happen. And it would
happen, triggering quick incomplete thoughts to scurry across her consciousness. Sex...With an Alien? Blue babies? "Well...Azano...I don't really have a choice; is that what you're saying?" Her voice weak and shaking. It was going to happen and she couldn't prevent it. She only hoped she would survive it.
"Yes." His hand slide down her arm and then back to her shoulder. "I will try to make it as pleasurable as I can. On my planet it is not an emotional process but a clinical one," He paused. "But I have studied your ways and I think I can compare to any human male."
"Just one more question, was I chosen at random or do I have something special?" Lanie asked.
"You are very special Lanie, but the reason you were chosen is because you always believed we existed. You had a higher level of acceptance over anyone we came across."
Lanie sniffed her nose, "Well, let's save your world then, shall we?" She spun around and faced him. Staring straight ahead, she looked at his muscular blue chest and her eyes slowly moved upwards. His helmet had indeed been removed. She was relieved to find that although the configuration was slightly different, he looked like a human male, only bluer. His cheekbones were higher; his eyes a little bigger and there didn't seem to be any white, just black pools that reflected her terrified expression. His nose was smaller and slightly up-turned. The dark hair on his head looked more like fur. Justifying her actions as an ambassador, she was ready to bravely surrender her innocence in the interest of merging two worlds for the greater good. She stood like a sacrificial lamb before him.
He lowered his head and brushed his lips against hers. She quivered. He smiled. "I like this, it feels good." Azano said.
Lanie looked at him wide-eyed, "You've never done this before?" She asked. Her resolve was softening for this visitor from another world.
"Not in this way. The proper fluids are extracted and tested for genetics and then matched in a lab."
"Ohhhh, I've heard our way is way more fun." She said smiling, oh dear god, was she flirting with him?
He kissed her again, and this time she kissed him back. Azano had studied well; and led the way, as they lay entwined.
Lanie had nothing to compare him to, but she was sure no human woman had ever been made love to in this way. Everything he did seemed to have her pleasure in mind. It came natural to her to respond and it was obvious he was pleased by her. Her body quivered in his embrace as their lovemaking came to a peak; both of them voicing their pleasure with moans of satisfaction.
As they lay catching their breath, he murmured in her ear, "If every human woman is as perfect as you, the Earth would be more over-populated than it already is..."
Lanie laughed softly, "If human men studied as hard as you seem to have, that would be true."
Azano's smile faded, he placed a hand over her face. "I will miss you.
" Chapter 2
"Lanie!" Her mother called up the stairs.
Lanie sat up, startled. "How'd I get here?" she asked aloud. She jumped up, and rubbing her eyes, she went to the window. No evidence of the night's events. Confused, she stepped into the shower, and closing her eyes, she recalled the feel of his touch on her body. It wasn't a dream...
Lanie was dressed and coming down the stairs when her mother asked, "Will you hurry, please?"
"Mom, was I asleep when you and Dad got home last night?"
"Yes, but I came in your room and gave you a kiss on the forehead."
Lanie gathered up her books and nibbled on a piece of toast as she followed her mother out to the car.
Never speaking to anyone about what happened to her, she kept it to herself. She spent some evenings looking up at the sky, but after a few months, even she was beginning to doubt if anything really happened that night. Her body never changed in any way; he did promise that.
Lanie avoided the boys from high school, and their clumsy advances, preferring to be alone. She earned the name 'Ice Queen', and the subject even came up that maybe she preferred women. Shaking her head, she dismissed them for what she felt was a higher goal, the career she had planned.