evening, Trevor lay on the bed in the house he had chosen to live in and thought deeply about the suggestion Losin had made.
He thought about Gina. How he would feel if she slept with another man. He would be devastated, he knew, but the situation
here was different. He would willingly give his life to save the human race and ultimately Gina’s life. He would be
prepared to die even if there were only a slim chance of saving her and the rest of humanity from succumbing to the Scuddar.
of the planet Neum were not asking him to die. They were desperately seeking some way to combat the possibility of all intelligent
life in the universe, including the human race, from becoming victims of the Scuddar. An act of infidelity on his part seemed
so insignificant compared to the lives at risk and the possibility of saving them. Trevor decided to sleep on it and make
up his mind the following morning.
was so comfortable that Trevor lay in the following morning. He was still trying to decide what he should do as he lay staring
at the ceiling. A sudden popping sound startled him and he turned his head to see what caused it. Neegon had appeared beneath
morning, Trevor," announced Neegon, smiling.
you warn anyone when you turn up like that?" grunted Trevor.
looked puzzled then understanding dawned on his face.
Trevor. I forgot the customs of your people." He looked crestfallen. "The people of Neum have a collective brain and we do
not need any warnings."
swung his legs off the bed and stood up.
matter," he said. "Where do I shower?" He thought he would love a shave too. His beard was growing longer.
can bathe in the community bathrooms," replied Neegon. "I have come to take you there and then to eat."
Neegon and Meehun had tried to show Trevor how to use the controls of the spires without success. They told him it was a combination
of thought and mechanical control. The mechanical part was reasonably simple but he could not understand the how the thought
process came in. He needed to be accompanied wherever he wanted to go.
his pants and tunic quickly and stood beside Neegon under the spire. The now familiar green light bathed them and a second
later, they were standing in a room with walls lined with open cabinets. In many of the cabinets clothing hung from rails.
you have undressed, you go through that door to the bathing room. I will return for you soon." Neegon vanished with a popping
slipped out of his clothes, hung them in an empty cabinet and went through the door Neegon had indicated. He found a pool
not unlike a swimming pool with several people in it. Steam rose from the water indicating it was at least very warm. Only
when he reached the edge of the pool did he realize there were men and women in it. He remembered Losin had told him her people
did not worry about being naked in front of each other. He quickly slipped into the water. Two men saw him and touched their
foreheads. He nodded back and touched his own and they smiled broadly at him.
people never stop smiling, he thought.
later everyone in the pool were looking at him and greeting him. A few, three men and two women, came up to him and touched
his chin with two fingers. As each did this a thought came into his mind. "You are my friend and I want to be yours." Trevor
just smiled and nodded back.
seemed to have some kind of cleansing agent in it that dissolved dirt and grime on contact. Not feeling comfortable with community
bathing, Trevor washed quickly and returned to the dressing room. Drying himself with a cloth that hung in the cabinet, he
had placed his clothes; he dressed quickly and hoped that Neegon would not be long in coming for him.
he was waiting, two women entered. The same two had touched his chin earlier. They smiled at him, went to one of the cabinets,
and began drying themselves. They showed no sign of embarrassment that he was there but he turned away and did not look at
them. He thought again about the option Losin had suggested. He found he was becoming accustomed to the idea.
appeared moments later.
you hungry?" he asked Trevor.
enough for breakfast," Trevor replied. He visualized a plate of eggs, bacon and sausages and a pile of hash browns set before
him along with a steaming mug of coffee. He knew that wasn’t going to happen.
Meehun and Losin want to know if you have made a decision yet. They are waiting in the dining rooms."
led the way to the dining room, a short walk from the pool. Others eating their first meal of the day occupied several tables.
Meehun and Losin greeted him as he approached. As before, Meehun suggested a variety of fruits for him to eat for breakfast,
explaining that some fruits and vegetables were especially suited for different meals and times of the day as well as for
various occasions. Trevor took his word for it.
ate in silence for a while. Trevor waited for them to broach the subject they wanted an answer to. He did not have to wait
we are anxious to know if you have made a decision yet,” said Meehun. Trevor kept them waiting while he finished chewing
I will do it. If it to save the human race, I suppose being unfaithful is a small price to pay.”
and Meehun beamed at him while Neegon touched his own forehead in respect.
first I want to know a few things," said Trevor.
do you want to know?" asked Meehun. Trevor pushed his plate aside, leaned his arms on the table and looked at Meehun in the
woman conceives, won’t it be too late by the time the child has grown old enough to fight the Scuddar?" he asked. "It
will be about nine months before it is born and I think twenty years at least before it will be old enough to do battle as
I have done, assuming it has the same powers."
Losin that replied.
women carry the fetus for about four of your months. We don’t know whether it will be four months or nine months or
anything between with your child," she explained. "As for being old enough, we will commence studying it as soon as it is
born and, if it does possess your powers; hopefully learn if we can imitate them in some of our men."
had one hundred of our men concentrating on the Scuddar and those of our people still resisting its commands. We have had
some success and learned of at least one of its offspring that is still in its early development," added Meehun. "We are not
concerned about it at the moment but should we discover more advanced Scuddar, we will need to bring you back if we haven’t
succeeded in imitating your powers."
you couldn’t communicate with the Scuddar," said Trevor, frowning. "How is it you can now?" Meehun smiled and replied.
I told you we had learned a great deal when you were communicating with it? The same one hundred men were tuned into your
mind at that time. We found a weakness in the Scuddar."
it was weak. It was almost mortally wounded," said Trevor.
spoke up. "Yes. However, we can now access its thoughts without its knowing. They are random thoughts but getting clearer.
That is the weakness. It doesn’t know what it is revealing to us."
we still need the kind of powers you have whether they are yours or your offspring," said Losin. "Without them, we won’t
be able to get near any advanced Scuddar."
thought over what he had heard. They sounded convincing and he realized the importance of stopping the Scuddar. Finally he
right. You have convinced me."
We will choose a suitable woman for you," said Meehun. "Unless you want to choose one yourself," he added. Trevor shook his
head. He didn’t like the idea of possibly choosing someone reluctant to cooperate. He couldn’t imagine any woman
of earth being willing to bear the child of an alien.
You do the choosing."
it is settled,” said Meehun with a finality that ended further discussion.
the meal, Meehun and Neegon stood up.
is nothing you can do at the moment," he told Trevor, "Perhaps Losin will show you around until it is time for the midday
meal?" He looked enquiringly at Losin.
be happy to do that," replied Losin, turning to Trevor. "I could show you some of our world."
idea!" said Meehun. "You will find we have some beautiful places here on Neum."
good to me," Trevor said enthusiastically. All his attention had been on traveling, fighting the Scuddar and other things.
There had been no time for really seeing anything of the red world or Neum. He found it fascinating that these people could
casually suggest going world sightseeing in a single morning. Those spires would be wonderful to have on Earth. Even though
Earth was so crowded, there were still many places that were unspoiled. The search for suitable planets for habilitation was
continuing but hopes of finding one close enough to Earth to colonize was diminishing. The spires were the answer the human
see you here at midday, then." Meehun and Neegon left Losin and Trevor to themselves.
take you to one of my favorite places first," Losin told him. "I go there to be alone sometimes. If you don’t like it,
we can move on to somewhere else."
led Trevor to one of the buildings spires and deftly tapped the control panel.
later Trevor found he was on a beach with Losin at his side. Before him, the surf of a sea washed gently onto the beach. The
deep blue color of the sea amazed him. For the first time since he had been on this planet, Trevor examined the sky. It was
is because there is no pollution," explained Losin, reading his mind.
smiled and nodded. Pollution on Earth was at a critical level. The industrial technology needed to supply human needs belched
toxins into the air at an alarming rate in spite of restrictions imposed by law. This planet was a paradise in comparison.
around to look behind him. Trees, heavily laden with exotic blooms, extended beyond the narrow beach. Some were tall while
others were only a few feet in height. Between the trees, a fine grass grew speckled here and there with colorful flowers.
he turned back, Losin was smiling at him. The breeze warmed by the sun they called Ladra, occasionally blowing her fair, almost
waist length hair across her face.
beautiful here," said Trevor.
a small island. Not many come here. That’s why I like it." She moved some strands of hair from her face and tossed her
head as she spoke. Trevor had not seen her feminine side before. She had always been proficient and businesslike.
want to stay awhile or go somewhere else?" she asked. Trevor had not relaxed since his arrival on the red planet where the
Scuddar had been. He thought it would be nice to spend some time on the island. He sat down on the fine, soft sand.
stay awhile and relax," he said. Losin laughed, obviously pleased that he liked her choice of place to visit. She sat down
beside him, hugging her knees with her arms.
close my mind from everything here and just be alone and think," she told him. "I think I am one of the few of us that like
lay back on the sand, using his hands as a pillow.
do you think about?" he asked.
and everything," she replied. "I haven’t been here since the Scuddar attacked us about ten of your years ago." Trevor
wondered how old Losin was. He hadn’t seen any old people or children.
just inside my second quarter," she said. "Our people in their third and fourth quarter were the first to be attacked and
the children had no chance to escape."
don’t need to speak at all, do I?" Trevor said. "You read my mind all the time." Losin turned her head and looked down
sorry," she apologized, "If it worries you I will not enter your thoughts."
a bit disturbing to know that someone can read my mind as easily as you and your people can," replied Trevor. "We humans like
respect your privacy," Losin answered. "I will ask you next time and I will inform the others."
won’t know if you’re doing it or not," Trevor said laughing.
honorable people and keep our word," objected Losin. "I promise I will not read your thoughts without your permission from
this moment on." She turned away to look at the sea. Trevor knew he had hurt her feelings.
I wasn’t saying you were lying," he said. "I was just stating a fact."
all right. I’m going for a swim." She got up and stripped. Trevor watched her as she skipped to the water’s edge.
She stopped to allow the surf to wash over her feet before plunging into a wave. She swam out several yards and then turned
you coming in?" she called.
not?" thought Trevor. He stripped and ran toward her,
plunging in without hesitation. He swam out to her and stood up, shaking his head and spraying water in all directions. Losin’s
wet hair hung over her shoulders covering her small breasts as she wiped the spray from her face and eyes with her hands.
She splashed him, then laughing; she swam away before he could splash her back. Trevor swam after her and, diving beneath
her caught her feet, pulling her down beneath the surface. He caught a glimpse of her, her hair floating like a halo around
her head as her arms flailed, trying to surface. They both surfaced together, laughing at each other.
go back," said Losin. "We don’t have any drying cloths. The sun will have to dry us." Together, they waded back to the
sank to the sand and lay on her back, closing her eyes. Trevor stood looking at her. Her arms were by her side and her legs
slightly apart. She had a contented smile on her face. His eyes moved from her face to her breasts, then slowly down her body
to her feet. Is she the one they have chosen? he wondered. He had not looked at her in any way but as an alien. Now
he saw she was attractive and shapely although a little skinny. His gaze shifted back to the small fuzzy bush at the cleft
of her thighs. He imagined making love to her and began to feel aroused. Her eyes opened briefly.
down and let the sun dry you," she said. Trevor smiled and did as she bid.
you reading my thoughts? he asked. Losin sat up.
of course not. I told you I would ask you first," she said. "Don’t you believe me?"
I do. It was just that I was having private thoughts just then."
quickly dried them both as they lay enjoying the relaxation, making small comments to each other. They heard a squeal and
Losin sat up abruptly.
she said excitedly pointing out to sea. "A ranta!" Trevor sat up to see what had excited her. He just saw a large white creature
roll over and submerge.
often see rantas this close to the shore," said Losin. They waited several minutes but the creature did not reappear. Losin
pouted and turned to Trevor.
experiencing a lot of firsts today," she said. "I have never brought anyone here before. No one has ever swum with me here
before. And I have never seen a ranta so close to the shore before."
some sand off his shoulder, and then began to brush more sand off her arms. Trevor helped by brushing it off her back.
first," he said. "No one has ever brushed sand off you here before." They laughed together while Losin continued brushing
watched, he began to feel aroused again. Having a naked woman beside him was erotic enough but having one that had no inhibitions
about being exposed to him was more arousing. He bent forward and kissed her shoulder. Losin looked at him with slight puzzlement
on her face.
a human gesture?" she asked. She reached out and touched his chin. "You are my friend and I want to be yours," she said.
quite like that," replied Trevor. "Have you never been kissed by a man before?"
Losin frowned. "I will have to go into your mind to find out what that means."
don’t do that." Trevor took her face in his hands and kissed her lips long and gently. When he stopped, he looked into
her eyes to see her reaction. She was not offended but the puzzled look on her face was still there.
does it mean?" she asked. Trevor could see she genuinely didn’t know what a kiss was.
a sign of affection," he told her, “affection between two people." Her mouth formed an "O", and then she smiled and
took his face in her hands and kissed him as he done to her.
affection for you, too," she said. Trevor smiled at her innocence.
there is another kind of kiss like this." He put his arms around her and gently pushed her back on the sand. His lips sought
hers and he kissed her deeply, his tongue forced her lips open, brushed the inside of them before probing into her mouth.
His hand cupped her breast and squeezed, gently kneading the soft flesh.
by her non-resistance and his increasing arousal, Trevor lowered his head and kissed her neck, then lower to kiss her nipples.
His tongue circled her nipple causing it to harden before his mouth closed over her breast and sucked hard on the soft flesh
while his hand squeezed and pinched her other nipple to erection.
uttered a moan that Trevor ignored. He shifted lower and began licking her smooth skin slowly but deliberately down to her
navel, leaving a glistening trail of saliva. Pausing a moment to probe the little hollow of her navel with the tip of his
tongue, he continued licking and kissing over her belly toward the curly bush that covered her mound of Venus. He caught the
scent of her, that woman’s issue that he found so erotic and drove him wild with desire.
her legs apart and started kissing and licking the insides of her thighs, one after the other, from her knees upward. He could
hear Losin’s breath hissing between her teeth.
are you doing?" she managed to say. Trevor again ignored her. His hands thrust beneath her buttocks and lifted her. His kiss
there was tender as he breathed in the erotic scent of her. His tongue gently parted her private lips, once, then again, tasting
her flowing juices, and then stabbed deep into her. His tongue searched for the little bud, found it and flicked it hard and
cried out and arched her back, her legs widening and her hips gyrating to give him access. Trevor's mouth closed over the
bud and sucked hard, bringing a quiet drawn out scream from Losin.
Trevor stood up and towered over her. Losin looked up at him, her eyes wide and her face distorted with desire. In his hand,
his organ was erect as he stroked it slowly. She looked into his eyes trying to see what he was thinking. She could see the
passion and desire she felt reflected in his face.
The word escaped from her almost involuntary. Trevor smiled and sank to his knees between her legs. She felt him move the
tip of his penis along her wet lips, coating it with her juices. She gasped as he slowly entered her, pushing deeper into
the center of her being. His large hands grasped her hips, pulling her to him. A drawn out moan of pain and pleasure escaped
her as she felt herself stretching to accommodate him.
closed her eyes and surrendered herself to him. The pain quickly subsided and she felt only the waves of pleasure coursing
through her body as she climaxed over and again. She was dimly aware of Trevor groaning loudly as she felt his hot fluid pumping
into her before he collapsed on top of her
minutes later Trevor rolled off from Losin and lay by her side. They lay recovering from the exertion of their lovemaking,
neither of them wanting to speak as their minds continued to dwell on the pleasures they had just experienced. Fine sand,
blown by the breeze, clung to the sweat and body moisture unheeded.
he had recovered sufficiently, Trevor reached for Losin’s hand and gave it a little squeeze. Losin did not respond.
Trevor turned his head to look at her face. She was staring up at the sky and deep in thought.
you okay?" he asked, quietly. Losin nodded then looked at him without speaking. The breeze blew her hair over her face and
eyes but she let it remain. Trevor gently pushed it away for her. He saw tears in her eyes.
sure you are all right?" he asked again. She smiled and nodded her head once more.
her voice to speak she swallowed hard and Trevor felt a pang of guilt.
I hurt you?" She had been very tight and he didn’t know if she was a virgin or not before they made love. Again, she
smiled but his time she shook her head slightly. Trevor laid back not knowing what else to say. A minute or two passed then
Losin spoke quietly.
did you do?" The question made Trevor’s brow crease into a frown. What did I do? What does she mean? Trevor thought.
Aloud he replied.
love to you."
But like that?" Her voice was almost a whisper. Trevor sat up and, supporting himself on his elbow, looked down at her, still
frowning. Her eyes looked into his.
didn’t like the way I made love?"
smiled and touched his cheek. Another tear rolled from the corner of her eye to fall onto her hair.
she whispered. "It was… beautiful… but… we don’t make love that way here." She turned her head away
in embarrassment. Trevor’s mind raced as he tried to think what he had done wrong.
I done something taboo? Something forbidden among you people?"
time Losin laughed and looked back at him.
know," she said. "We make love by agreement. It is simple act of copulation agreed by both parties. Nothing like the things
boring," said Trevor. "You mean even marriage partners make pre-arrangements to have sex?"
have marriages," Losin explained. "We agree to copulate and the children are cared for by all of us after they are past weaning
stage. We have a collective mind and all adults accept responsibility for the upbringing of all children."
bad for the children. They miss out on the love of their parents," said Trevor.
they get the love of everyone," replied Losin. "Maybe you will understand one day," she finished. She stood up.
almost we were getting back for the midday meal. Let’s wash this sand off in the sea." She gathered up their clothes
in her arms and began walking to the water’s edge. Trevor fell in step beside her.
the spire to take us back," he asked.
need one to return. Only to go where we want."
bathed in the water, washing off the sand and dried sweat from their bodies. When they finished Losin picked up her pants
and showed Trevor the belt. He saw there were several buttons on it.
is how we return. Before we do, I want to thank you for showing me how you humans make love. I will remember that for the
rest of my life." Before Trevor could reply, she pressed one of the buttons and they were back under the spire in the community
building. Losin was still holding her pants while the rest of their clothing lay on the floor in front of them.
bathe in the pool before we eat," said Losin. She picked up their clothes and led the way to the bathing pool ignoring the
few people they passed on the way. Trevor self-consciously followed her; thankful no one seemed to notice their nakedness.
* * *
you are." Meehun greeted them with a smile as they entered the dining room. "Did you enjoy your morning?"
much so," replied Trevor. "It was a beautiful experience," he added, grinning at Losin.
went to choose their meals. Trevor remembered what Meehun had recommended the day before and began putting the fruits and
vegetables on his plate.
not that or that today," said Meehun. "Instead you will need these." He took two of the fruits from Trevor’s plate and
replaced them with three others. Trevor shrugged his shoulders and accepted what was given him. When they sat down, Trevor
noticed the two fruits that had been removed were on Meehun’s plate. Again, he shrugged.
chosen a woman for you to impregnate," said Meehun, excitedly. "In fact there were many willing to be your partner for this."
glanced at Losin. She didn’t show any reaction to Meehun’s statement.
Losin was the one chosen," replied Trevor without taking his eyes off Losin. She returned his gaze with a smile.
may I enter your mind?" she asked.
need to," said Trevor, slowly. Losin looked at him steadily for a few seconds.
don’t know what happened this morning. I had blocked my mind from the others. It would be good if you attempted to impregnate
another woman. Maybe more than one other. There will be better chances of success. The thought came to him clearly.
don’t…" he began but another thought came from Losin interrupting him.
think what you want to say if you don’t want them to know. They will not enter your mind now. I have told them of your
don’t mind if I go with another woman after this morning?
of course not. We are not like your people. There is no jealousy among us. Nor is there a need to be loyal to just one partner
as it is with your people. We are all one.
remembered the words of the Scuddar. It had said the same thing. All the Scuddar were one. One collective mind.
right. We are all one like the Scuddar but I will not tell them of what happened unless you want them to know. It will be
blocked from them. I will only tell them if I become pregnant.
will leave that decision to you, replied Trevor, I
don’t mind if they know or not.
will know if I do tell them. I will leave your mind now.
respectfully leaving them to converse through private thought transference, had continued eating his meal. If he was at all
curious, he didn’t show it.
Trevor is ready to listen now," said Losin aloud. Meehun looked up at her.
As I said we have chosen a woman for you." He turned his attention to Trevor. "We chose her because she is more like the women
of your planet. She is more fleshy than most of our women." Meehun took a final bite of a soft fruit and pushed his plate
away. "She is on her way here right now to meet you."
didn’t know what to say or think. He didn’t know whether to laugh at the situation or not. Here these people were
seriously arranging for him to have sex with a complete stranger. A complete stranger who was willing to allow him to have
sex with her for the purpose of making her pregnant. It seemed ridiculous to him. All the more so as Meehun had said many
women had volunteered. The only thing that made sense was the reason they were doing this. It was for the same reason he was
prepared to be unfaithful to Gina. It was an attempt to save all intelligent life in the universe.
she is now," Meehun exclaimed. He indicated a woman walking toward the tables of fruits and vegetables.
watched her as she took a plate and began choosing her meal. She was dark-haired and attractive with a less anorexic look
than other Neumite women. Her breasts were fuller and her hips more rounded.
to choose one as close in appearance to your own people," explained Meehun. “We hope you approve.”
came over to their table and Meehun wasted no time in introducing her to Trevor.
this is Baheen.”
smiled and touched Trevor on the chin and went through the "You are my friend…" routine. Trevor thought he had better
make some acknowledgement.
is how we do it on Earth," he explained. Standing up and smiling, he took her hand and shook it. "It basically means the same
also do what they call a ‘kiss’," said Losin. "Like this." She stood up, took Baheen’s face in her hands,
and kissed her as Trevor had done on the beach. Trevor considered explaining that only a male and female kissed like that
but decided to let it slide to avoid embarrassing Losin.
down now and eat. Neegon will be here soon. We have much to discuss," said Meehun. They sat down to continue their meal. Trevor
noticed that Baheen had chosen the same fruits that Meehun had chosen for him.
arrived a few minutes later.
room is ready for the copulation," he said, looking from Trevor to Baheen and back again with a big smile. "I am sure you
will both like the way it has been arranged."
What’s wrong with the place where I am living?" Trevor asked.
would not do at all!" Meehun looked shocked at the suggestion. "We have special rooms for copulating."
frowned and looked enquiringly at Losin. He saw her cheeks redden.
I enter your mind again?" she asked Trevor. He nodded in reply.
told you we didn’t make love the way you do. They would be shocked if they knew what we did on the island. That is why
I haven’t told them what happened, she said.
it is taboo, he replied.
don’t know. It has just never been done as far as I know. And never like you did it.
see. So I am just expected to have intercourse with Baheen without any foreplay?
seconds passed before Losin answered.
had to search your mind to see what you meant by that. What you call foreplay is not really needed in the copulating rooms.
You will see.
you made love in these rooms? asked Trevor.
never. But I know all about them. I will leave your mind now.
stay at least until I ask you to go. Trevor felt he might
need to ask Losin more questions before the day was out.
them, Neegon and Meehun explained to Trevor what to expect. There was to be a ritual that would take place at the entrance
to the "copulating room". There would be chanting and celebrating. Then the couple would enter the room alone and remain until
the following morning when there would be more celebrating and then the couple would part to go about their normal ways. Apart
from the last bit, it seemed to Trevor like a wedding ceremony.
“It begins after the last meal time," finished Meehun