awoke lying in a cot in a large circular room. His first reaction was to feel if Gina was by his side. When he realised the
cot was only big enough for one, he looked around. There were eight cots in the room. Adrian and Charles were sitting on the
edges of their cots talking in whispers. Stephanie and Angela were also awake but just looking around examining their surroundings.
Gina lay in the cot beside Trevor’s. She was just stirring. Michelle and Joseph were still asleep.
jumped out of his cot and went to Gina. "Are you all right?" he asked. Concern written over his face. He knew there was a
possibility she would be frightened at her experience.
sat up. "Yes, I’m okay," she replied. "Where are we?"
on Neum," replied Trevor. "This is the planet I told you about."
then saw the other six humans on their cots. Adrian and Charles, hearing their voices had turned to look at them. Stephanie
and Angela sat up.
is unbelievable," exclaimed Angela. "I didn’t feel a thing. I just went to sleep and here I am."
and Joseph began walking toward them. As he passed a window, Adrian stopped and looked out. "Hey, look at this!" he said,
"Mushroom buildings with spires! We’re really here!"
and Neegon came into the room followed by several Neumites. Trevor looked to see if Losin was with them but was disappointed.
back, Trevor," said Meehun. "Welcome to Neum all of you. We will feast tonight in your honour."
sounds good!" Angela cried. "I understand the food is real and not synthetic."
helped Gina to her feet and introduced her to Meehun and Neegon. Meehun reached to touch her chin but she flinched back.
all right, Gina. He just wants to say, ‘Hi’ the Neumite way."
in your way," added Meehun. He reached out and shook her hand then touched her chin and went through the "You are my friend…"
someone mention food?" Joseph got up from his cot and shook Michelle. "Wake up, Michelle or you’ll miss supper."
awake," she replied. "Just making sure I have all my assets with me." She sat up with a grin and did a shimmy.
all there, all right," said Adrian with a grin.
room had been set with tables placed in a position of honour for the eight humans and in view of all the diners. Meehun sat
in the middle four humans on each side of him. He stood up and introduced them one by one to the listening crowd of Neumites.
searched the faces of the three hundred plus aliens for Losin and Baheen but could not see either of them. He couldn’t
explain to himself why he felt disappointed. He had Gina with him and that was what he wanted most of all. He put it down
to the fact Losin and Baheen carried his children and he was naturally interested in their well-being. He became aware that
Meehun was speaking.
and we are concerned that there may be some even more advanced," he said. "At this stage we are not sure how long it will
be before it begins to start looking for intelligent life-forms."
any indication of their age?" asked Trevor. He guessed Meehun was speaking about the Scuddar.
trying to determine that from the Scuddar we are studying. We are learning more all the time," replied Meehun. "But it is
difficult as it is so badly wounded."
advanced is the one you have found?"
most advanced is already at the weaning stage and feeding on animal life and has its ‘servants’ in the form of
yellow threads just as you have already seen but they are not intelligent."
not invisible?" asked Trevor. "They were before."
they are invisible to the animals. Since you made them visible to us we are able to see them." Meehun looked up and down the
table at the eight humans. "You must be tired. We will show you your new homes. Trevor, you will have the home you chose before?"
not? I’ve got used to it and there’s room for Gina, too." He turned to Gina and added, "You will be staying with
me, won’t you?"
blushed and looked to see if Michelle was watching but she wasn’t. "Yes, of course." She replied.
Neumites, four males and three females, came up to the table. "We will take you to your homes," one male said, touching his
forehead. "Please follow us."
followed the Neumites to the spire. Angela was the first to go beneath the spire with a female Neumite. The rest watched as
the green light bathed them both for a moment then they disappeared.
must find out how that works," said Michelle. Her extensive knowledge of physics did not extend to this level and the scientist
in her was intrigued. "It’s fantastic."
green light analyses and tunes your molecules," replied one of the Neumites. "Once you have been transported all the spires
are tuned to them and you can use any one of them."
but I can’t understand how to use the control panel," said Trevor.
will be taught that," said the Neumite.
is where I was living when I was here," Trevor told Gina, his hand making a sweep of the room like an announcer introducing
a star performer to an audience.
scanned the room briefly then went to the window and peered out.
exactly a Superclass hotel," Gina replied, unimpressed. Trevor went up to her and put his arms around her waist and kissed
but the bed is really something," Trevor replied. "The mattress molds itself around you."
unwrapped Trevor’s arms and turned away from the window.
a shower. Where is the bathroom?" She asked.
isn’t any shower," said Trevor. "They have communal bathing facilities here."
spun round to face him. "What?" she exclaimed, looking at him as if she hadn’t heard correctly. "You mean we all share
the same shower?"
Neumites all share the same bathing pool. It’s nothing really," replied Trevor. "No one even notices you."
NOT bathing with a lot of alien women!" Gina said emphatically.
groaned inwardly. Why is she being so awkward? He thought. Is she still mad with Michelle and ultimately him? He
knew that Michelle was just using her feminine instincts to persuade Gina to come to Neum. The wink she had given him was
not a come-on. It was to let him know she had helped him to get Gina to make up her mind. Maybe it wasn’t the best way,
but it worked.
it is mixed bathing. Male and female."
have got to be joking, Trevor!" Gina said meaningfully. "You’d better be joking!"
wished he was joking. He shook his head. "Remember that old saying, ‘When on Mars, do as Mars does.’? That applies
crossed her arms and paced up and down as she thought.
why you took so long in coming back?" she asked. "I bet you enjoyed every minute of it."
ask anyone how badly I wanted to get back to you," said Trevor in defense. "Ask Meehun, Neegon or anyone."
know I wouldn’t do that, Trevor."
let’s go to bed. I have longed to make love to you ever since I was first brought here." He took her hand and led her
to the bedroom. Gina, feigning reluctance, followed him.