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DIATA
WARNING! These chapters contain incestuous sex scenes. Read ONLY if you are over 18 years old and do not object to such scenes.

CHAPTER THREE

 

 

Peto leaned on the axe he was using, wiped the perspiration from his brow and viewed the pile of rockwood that he had just chopped. His youthful body, naked except for a square of Kandeer leather that covered his genitals, was muscular. His skin bronzed by the sun that shone upon the planet Diata, glistened with perspiration, brought on by his energetic work.

“Another tree and that should do it,” he thought. It had taken him all morning to chop the rockwood, so called because of its hardness. The wood had no grain and broke up into chunks, like soft rock. It was ideal for use as heating and cooking fuel, being slow burning and giving out great heat. Peto looked up to select another rockwood tree, at the same time keeping a wary eye out for Kandeer.

The Kandeers were not aggressive; in fact they were quite timid. They were, according to his mother, like a cross between a kangaroo and a deer. The head and body like a deer and the hind legs that were used to hop were like a kangaroo's. It had forearms that were almost as thick as Peto's but half again as long with two elbows to each arm. The creature had hands with long fingers that it used to pick up fruit and nuts from the ground. The reason for Peto's wariness was that the Kandeer did not like it if one approached too closely. To defend itself, the Kandeer would pick up stones and pebbles and hurl them at whatever it considered to be a threat. The extra elbows enabled the Kandeer to impel the missile with great force and accuracy.

Peto had first hand experience of what it felt like to be struck by a stone thrown by one of them. He was lucky at the time for he had been kneeling. A Kandeer must have become a little uncertain of him and hurled a stone at him just as he was getting up. The stone struck his arm, fracturing the bone. Had he still been kneeling, the stone would have hit his head, possibly killing him. His mother nearly had a fit when he came home.

He was just about to go to the tree that he had selected, when he heard his name being called. It was his sister. He looked over to the prefabricated house that had been home for his mother, sister and himself for the twelve years that they had been stranded on the planet.

“Peto. Lunch!” his sister shouted to him, making eating motions with her hands. He acknowledged her with a wave and began to walk back to the house.

His sister met him at the door. She was also deeply tanned and was wearing Kandeer leather. A short skirt around her hips and a short sleeveless jacket that just covered her breasts when did up at the front with a leather cord. At this time the cord was undone and the jacket hung loose and barely covered her nipples.

They entered and Peto sat down at the table while his sister placed a plate before him. It was piled with thin slices of Kandeer meat and the pale green vegetable that his mother had named 'carrotats'. His mother had explained to them that she named everything according to whatever they reminded her of on Earth. Carrotats were something between a carrot and a potato but were green. His mother had said that they didn't taste like either but they were nutritious according to Comp. Peto liked them and ate hungrily.

Eelan sat down opposite him and began to eat hers. He looked at her. “Mum?” he asked, simply. Eelan shook her head slightly and looked at a door that led to the bedrooms.

“She's been like that for two days now. Is it Dad, do you think?” Peto asked.

“I asked her that and she said 'no.' She said she had something on her mind that she had to think out. She said we would know soon enough,” answered Eelan.

“That's all she would tell me, she said it concerns our future here on Diata.” They stopped talking as the door that Eelan had indicated, opened and their mother entered.

She, unlike Peto and Eelan, was wearing clothes made of synthetic material. The clothes were familiar to them both. The red shorts and thin white blouse fitted her body perfectly, indicating that her figure had not changed in the twelve years they had been worn. She was still able to wear the clothes that she had brought with her from Earth. Peto and Eelan, however, had long outgrown theirs. Eelan had tried on some of her mothers' clothes but decided that she preferred the soft Kandeer leather garments that she was now used to.

“Cheer up, you two. Don't look so worried. There really is nothing wrong with me. It's just that I've been thinking a lot about our situation here. We have had the beacon on constantly all the time we have been here and there has been no response to the signal from Earth or anywhere else. We had been travelling in timewarp for something like two hundred and fifty years before we were awoken by Comp when we arrived here. That means that everybody we knew has been dead for at least two hundred years. I'm not sure that we will be able to fit into life on Earth now that it has progressed a further two hundred and sixty years or so. We would be.... Oddities. People from the past. Probably put on show until the novelty wears off and then we would be a problem.

I'm thinking of turning the beacon off but your father asked me to keep it on. I don't think he thought it would be this long without someone finding us.” Diata smiled at them, sat down with them and began to eat the plate of food that Eelan had put before her.

“Mother, Is that all that's been bothering you for the past two days? We've been really worried about you. Couldn't you see that?” Peto asked, “Why couldn't you have told us that before? It's such a minor thing. We thought you were sick or maybe pining for Dad.”

“That's right, Mum. We were worried,” Eelan said, supporting her brother.

“I know and I'm sorry. But there is something else that is worrying me, but it's not the moment to explain yet. I really don't know how to explain. I'll speak to Comp today or tomorrow. He may be able to give me some advice. Anyway, that's enough for now.” Eelan looked at Peto and he returned her look and shrugged. They both knew that it would be useless to press their mother further at this time. The matter was closed.

It was two days later, while Peto and Eelan were tending the vegetable garden when they saw the shuttle coming over the lake towards them. It was robo One returning after nearly eight months systematically exploring the planet at Diata's request. His assignment was to search for evidence of intelligent life, or humanoid beings. His secondary assignment was to record as many different species that he could find that were larger than a cat. This secondary assignment was requested by Comp. His thirst for information seemed insatiable.

The shuttle had been expected to arrive back a month ago and the family had begun to think that some mishap had occurred. Peto and Eelan were already back at the house when the shuttle landed.

“What did you find, One? Are there any intelligent life forms on Diata?” Peto asked.

“I found a great many species of life but I'm afraid that none of them are what you would call intelligent. I was to define intelligence in a life form as one that communicates and is able to reason and exhibit logic. I found none that filled those requirements. Now if you will excuse me, I have to report to First Mother.” Robo One left them and went to the house, knocked once then entered.

“That's it then,” said Peto, “there's no-one else. That's got to be official, he's been gone long enough.”

“It's only what we expected, anyway. I think it was a waste of time sending him out. He could have been helping us here,” replied Eelan, shrugging her shoulders.

“Yes, but now we know for sure. Mum was really hoping he would find someone. She's going to be disappointed. I hope that it doesn't make her feel too bad after the last few days.” Peto had been deeply concerned about Diata's attitude, not accepting her explanation as the real cause of her worry.

The two went back to thinning out the bread peas. These were plants that grew to two or three feet high and had large pods that Diata called pea-pods. The pods were about eight inches in length and about three inches thick. Inside were pink-white seeds that when ripe were ground down to make a kind of flour. Diata and Eelan made bread and cakes with the flour. Diata said it had a nutty taste, similar to walnuts that grew on Earth. She also said that when she first made bread with the flour she disliked the pink colour, but now she thought it was 'pretty'. It was necessary to thin them out to encourage their growth or they would fail to produce sufficient ripe pods. Only the ones that received plenty of light ripened. They found that to be the case with most fruits and vegetables.

It was lunchtime by the time they had finished their work in the garden. They went back to the house, stopping on the way to watch robo Two digging a well. Robo Two had discovered that there was an underground river close to the house. To save bringing water from the lake to be purified, it was decided that it would be easier to pump water from a well directly into the house via the purifier.

“How's it going Two?” Peto asked, looking down the deep bore of the well.

“I believe that the well will be completed tomorrow, Peto, and then I can put in the pump and connect everything to the purifier. It will then, of course, be necessary....”

“OK Two, I understand. Thanks.” Peto interrupted the robot before it could finish, “By the way, One's back.”

“Yes, I knew that robo One would be back today, he informed me yesterday.”

“What? Why didn't you tell us then?”

“I'm sorry, Peto, I did not think that it was that important. Robo One has been away for eight months and three days. It never occurred to me that I should inform you that he was coming back. After all you would be aware that he was back when he arrived.”

Eelan laughed at Peto's expression as Two gave his explanation for not telling them. Peto obviously wished that he had never asked. He looked at Eelan and smiled.

“I suppose that he's right,” he said as they walked away, “there is a certain logic in what he said. It wouldn't have made the slightest difference even if we had known,” he admitted.

When they got back to the house, Diata was just getting the table ready for lunch. They sensed that she was not happy with the news that robo One had brought.

“We heard the news from One, Mum,” said Eelan, “I'm sorry. We know you wanted him to find some kind of intelligent life.”

Diata smiled at her and said, “Well, at least we know now. It was really to be expected. You know. I think we will have a party tonight. We need something to cheer us all up. Comp can copy some music that he's got stored away in his memory so that we can listen and dance to it. That will cheer us up.”

“Great!” Eelan said, “I'm all for it. I was watching dancing on the screen at the ship. Comp said there are all kinds of music for all kinds of moods and all kinds of dances.”

“Then why do you only listen to one kind and only dance one kind of dance?” Peto asked. “Comp said that you should learn more of them to express your feelings and choose the dance accordingly.”

“Wait a minute! I said a party to cheer us up. We will have pleasant music that will do that. Also, perhaps, some that I remember and used to like,” Diata said, “Eelan, you can help me make a cake or two, Peto you can make a salad. You have a knack of putting a salad together better than either of us. Tonight you can get the wine out of the cooler.” Peto nodded. The wine was made from the berries of one of the many fruit trees that grew in the forest. It was quite by accident that they found that they could make wine from these berries. Diata had been picking them to make a pie and had been caught in a sudden downpour. She had left the open container half full of berries to run for the shelter of the house. It had remained where she had left it for a week before she remembered and went to get the container, expecting to find the berries either eaten by birds or animals or going rotten. As she approached she was immediately wary as she saw three Kandeers by the container. One of them was drinking from it. She watched them and thought that they had been poisoned. They were staggering about. Then she realised that they were drunk. She approached warily but they took no notice of her. They were too busy trying to keep upright, When she got to the container she found that the rain had filled it and the berries had fermented turning the rain into wine. Comp analysed its chemical make up which to Diata's delight included thirty-six and a half per cent alcohol. She found that it was also very pleasant to the palate. Having a party would be an excuse to enjoy partaking of a little more than usual.

The party went well. The food was eaten and they played lively music. They had all danced with each other. Both Peto and Eelan had drunk a little more than their mother usually allowed the, taking advantage of the fact that their mother was herself indulging far more than usual. They were both amused at the slight slurring of her speech. At the same time they were pleased that the wine seemed to have lifted her out of the depression that she had been experiencing for the last week or so.

The music changed tempo and a slow tune began to play. Diata jumped up as she heard the first few notes.

“O-oh. I used to love this one!” she said, “Peto, come and dance this one with me. Your father used to love it too.” The dance was slow and intimate. Peto did not know the dance but Diata guided him through the steps, her body moving sensually to the rhythm. Eelan watched them, admiring her mother's dancing skills. When the tune ended, another began of similar tempo to which Diata and Peto continued to dance.

Eelan began to collect the various dishes and utensils that were scattered all over the room and carried them into the kitchen to wash them. She felt that she would rather do them now than in the morning. She always hated facing dirty dishes first thing on getting up. It was not the best way for her to start the day.

Having completed the dishwashing she returned to the lounge where the music was still playing. Diata and Peto were not there. Assuming that they had gone to bed while she was busy in the kitchen, she switched off the music, turned out the lights and made her way to her bedroom.

As she passed her mother's room she heard her mother moaning. Concerned for her, she went in to see if she was all right. Her eyes widened at the scene before her. Peto was lying on his back on the bed and her mother was naked, half-lying and half-kneeling over him. One knee either side of Peto's waist. Eelan's mouth dropped open and she moved closer with an amused but curious look on her face. As she watched, her mother's hips and buttocks were heaving up and down onto Peto's erect penis that she could see had penetrated her mother's vagina. It was not the sight of their genitals that aroused her curiosity; she had seen both her mother and her brother naked often enough, although she had never seen Peto erect before. The leather garments that she and her brother wore were not for modesty. They concealed nothing. They were to protect the sensitive skin from the sun's burning rays. No, it was the obvious pleasure that her mother was experiencing that caught her interest. The moans were not those of pain but of ecstasy. She looked at Peto. He, too, had his eyes shut and was breathing heavily. His hips thrusting up to match her mother's rhythm. He suddenly moaned then gasped and Eelan knew he had ejaculated. Moments later her mother cried out and her body jerked in a series of spasms then she collapsed on top of Peto and promptly went to sleep.

Peto opened his eyes and saw Eelan standing there. He looked at her, then gently eased himself out from under Diata's limp body and stood up. He glanced at Eelan again and left the room. Eelan covered her mother with a sheet, kissed her gently on the cheek and followed Peto. She found him in the kitchen sitting at the table staring at a spot on the tabletop. She went over to him and sat down beside him. He continued to stare at the spot.

“Peto?” He did not move or speak.

“Peto-o?” she repeated, the last syllable rising questioningly. He looked up at her and saw the amused look in her eyes.

“She thought I was Dad,” he said.

“I know, I heard her,” replied Eelan.

“When she took me in there I didn't know that was going to happen. I just went along with what she was doing.”

“It was the sex act!” Eelan exclaimed.

“I know,” he answered. They were silent for a while then Eelan giggled.

“She was enjoying it.” she stated.

“I don't want to talk about it,” said Peto.

“You were enjoying it too,” insisted Eelan.

“I said, I don't want to talk about it!” Peto got up from the table abruptly and went to the door, “I'm going to bed. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight, Peto,” she answered, then followed him out of the door and went to her own room. She took of the Kandeer leather skirt and jacket and climbed into bed. She lay awake for a while, thinking about the significance of what had happened.


 


 

 

CHAPTER FOUR

 

Diata was in bed, weeping quietly, when she heard Peto leave the house early next morning. Shortly after, she heard Eelan call to her.

“Mum? Your breakfast is on the table. I'm going to help Peto with the vegetables. See you at lunch time.”

Diata sat up. “No! No, wait Eelan,” she called back. “Wait there.” She rose and dressed quickly. Eelan was waiting in the kitchen.

“I want to talk to you, Eelan, I've got to talk to you.” Diata took Eelan's hand and led her to the table and sat down, urging Eelan to do the same.

“Eelan. A few weeks ago I was watching a group of Kandeer by the edge of the forest. One of them appeared to be quite old and feeble. I think it was blind or partly blind, as it seemed to be having trouble finding food for itself. When it did find some, the other Kandeer snatched it away from it and ate it themselves. They are animals and have no concern for the old of their kind. It doesn't worry them if the old or sick starve or can't care for themselves. Watching them made me think of getting old.”

“Oh Mum! You aren't old,” Eelan exclaimed. Diata smiled at her.

“No, I'm not. I'm thirty-five. I gave birth to Peto when I was nineteen. You came along when I was twenty. Your father and I planned it that way because we wanted to be young with you. But I will get old one day, and I'll die one day.”

“Mum, we'll take care of you when you are old, you know we will!” Eelan smiled broadly.

“I know you will, darling but, who will take care of you when you get old?

Eelan was young. The thought of herself getting old had never entered her head. She looked at her mother and shrugged.

“We will help each other. We'll manage, like the old Kandeer,” she said, dismissing the problem lightly, “That's along time ahead yet, anyway. We'll worry about that when the time comes, Mum. Don't worry.”

“No. Now is the time to start thinking about it. Before we get too much older. I've been thinking about it a lot. That's what's been on my mind lately.” Diata looked hard at Eelan. Taking her hand again, she opened her mouth to again but hesitated, as though thinking carefully how to phrase her words.

“Eelan. Eelan, we are alone on Diata. Robo One has confirmed that there are no humanoid beings on Diata apart from us. The only way that we are going to survive is for us to bear children and our children must bear children. They will care for you and Peto. And their children will care for them, and so on. Peto is the only male on Diata that can give us children. Only he can make us pregnant.” Diata looked out of the window at the sky. It was so blue and Earth-like.

“We may as well be the only humans in the whole universe. It has to be up to us to begin to populate Diata,” she concluded.

Eelan looked at her mother. She saw that she was serious and genuinely concerned.

“But Mum, Comp told us at our schooling that children born from such close relationships could be born with mental and physical defects,” she said.

“Yes that's true. I was taught that they could be born with some aberrations, but we must take that chance to survive. We can teach them, love them just the same as if they were normal, even if they are different in some way. Did Comp also tell you that the human race began with just one man and one woman? We came from that first male and female. There are billions of humans now, but we can't wait for them to find us. It might take centuries.”

“Is that why you and Peto did the sex act last night?” Eelan asked.

Diata's eyes dropped to her hands. She had not expected Eelan to ask her that.

“Did Peto tell you that we had?” she asked quietly.

“No. I watched you both. I heard you moaning and thought you were hurt. I went into your room to see if you were all right. What's the matter, Mum?” Diata had closed her eyes and was shaking her head.

“I was not in full control of myself last night. The wine. I had too much. I'm sorry.”

“Why are you sorry, Mum? Is it such a bad thing? Why does it make you so sad? Peto won't talk about it either. Does the sex act do that to people?” Eelan couldn't understand Peto's attitude or her mother's distress. When she watched Peto and her mother together she had begun to be aroused herself and it was far from being an unpleasant sensation. Her knowledge of sex and the sex act was limited to what she had learned during her schooling by Comp. She knew the process of procreation and the need for a male and female to have intercourse in order to produce children, but that was all.

Forgetting her own feelings of shame, Diata saw Eelan's obvious confusion and put her arms comforting her.

“No darling, it's not such a bad thing and it doesn't make one sad. It's a beautiful thing. It's what we are taught that affects us. If we were brought up to believe that eating good food was wrong then we would feel guilty when we ate it. Because of what I was brought up to believe, I felt guilty about last night, although I can only vaguely remember it. I don't know about Peto, though. He may have learned that it was not the acceptable thing and is reacting accordingly.”

“What if Peto doesn't want to give us children? He hardly spoke to me this morning.”

“Then it will be up to us to persuade him. We have to, Eelan. We have to make him see how important it is. I don't think he will object though.” Diata was appealing to Eelan.

“OK Mum, I'll support you. But you will have to do the talking. You know what you want. He won't listen to me if he doesn't want to. If he doesn't like what I say to him, he just shuts off. He always does.” Eelan thought about the times when Peto had got her really mad just by refusing to listen or talk to her. It hadn't happened for a few years now, but she knew he still as stubborn as ever.

“We will talk tonight. Don't mention it to him until then. If he's as upset as you think he is, it may be as well to leave it for another time. Anyway, lets go and help him in the garden, or he will think something has happened to you. I'll get washed. You go ahead.” Diata ended the conversation and went out of the room.

Peto had completed the thinning of the bread-peas and was just starting to dig up some carrotats for storing when Eelan arrived to help. He looked up and smiled at her but said nothing. Eelan started on a line of carrotats alongside him, keeping pace with him as they worked. As usual, her impatience got the better of her and she broke the silence.

“Peto, are you mad at me?” she asked.

“No Eelan, I'm not mad at you. Why should I be?”

“You've hardly spoken to me today,” she retorted, “that's why.”

“No, I'm not mad. I'm worried about how Mum will feel about me today.  I don't know if she is going to be angry with me for not stopping her last night. Maybe I should have done, but she thought that I was Dad and I thought I'd let her think that, hoping she would feel he was alive again for a while. She was drunk. I didn't think it would hurt to let her do what she did,” explained Peto, “You know how much she misses him.”

Eelan stood up and grinned at him.

“It's not funny, Eelan. You know what happened.” Eelan stopped grinning and looked at him. She could see that he was upset.

“Mum's not angry, Peto. She said that she wants to talk to us tonight, but she's definitely not angry. She looked as though she had been crying though, said Eelan, “I think she wants to tell us what's been worrying her.” She wanted to enlighten her brother but thought it best to keep quiet as her mother had requested. Their conversation was ended by the arrival of robo One bearing a small basket.

“Diata has asked me to bring you your lunch. She has gone to the spacecraft to help robo Two select some materials to complete the piping of the water supply to the house. The well has been completed and the pump is in position now.” Robo One explained everything, giving unnecessary details as the robots and Comp were prone to do.

They thanked him and sat down to eat the sandwiches that were for their lunch. The sandwiches were filled with slices of one of the fruits that grew in the forest. It was a dry fruit that Diata said took the place of lettuce. It was necessary to boil the fruit and allow it to go cold before slicing it. It was a favoured of Eelan's and she tucked in with gusto. Also included in the basket was a container of an amber liquid that they called 'tea'. The 'tea' was made by steeping the leaves of one of the shrubs in hot water and allowing it to soak for a week. The tea was discovered after Diata had found the wine and they had experimented with all kinds of leaves and fruits. Comp analysed all the experiments and announced that some of them were poisonous, while others were suitable for consumption although many that were suitable tasted vile to them and were quickly rejected. Only two actually produced alcohol, the original berries and another fruit that produced a wine with fifteen per cent alcohol. This wine they usually drank with their main meal of the day. The 'tea' was a sweet but refreshing liquid that was equally delightful when drank hot or cold.

Peto gave robo One instructions to gather the carrotats and take them to the store, then he and Eelan moved on to another patch of vegetables and worked until the sun began to set.

Meanwhile Diata was at the spacecraft. It had been tidied up since the crash twelve years previously. The Zennalloy hull and interior were unblemished by the passage of time, in spite of the huge dent in the side caused when the craft crashed. Zennalloy, being a metal mined on one of the moons of one of the inhabited planets that was colonised by the World Council of Space Colonisation, was extremely light and strong and was impervious to rust. It had never been tested to its limits for durability. It seemed to be almost indestructible when smelted and formed into sheets to be used for making machinery and other equipment, including space vessels.

Diata conferred with Comp, asking him what could be cannibalised from the ship without interfering with Comp's operation. He was invaluable to them, advising them from his vast memory that he was continually adding to. A nuclear plant that would last many thousands of years powered him. All the powered equipment ran on nuclear batteries that had an indefinite life. Similar batteries powered the robots. They would run down eventually but that would be a long time in the future.

Having ascertained what materials robo Two could have, Diata decided to tell Comp of her plans for the future, explaining that she felt there was a need to populate the planet in order to survive. Comp announced his disapproval of such an attempt.

“It is well known that there are dangers in such close relations, Diata. The children born could be adversely affected. There are many cases on Earth that has proved distressing to both the parents and the children themselves. I have been fed with the histories of such cases which I can show you, if you require.”

“No Comp. I know that there are such dangers. I want to know if there are always adverse effects. Also how bad are these defects?”

“Not all cases of incest resulted in defected children. It is a danger that is always present. I do not have complete details of course, as such information was not considered particularly important to be fed into my memory banks.”

“Comp, how can we survive when we get old?” Diata asked.

“I'm well aware that humans suffer an ageing process that eventually requires them to be cared for, but I have discovered an interesting thing from the medical checks that you, Peto and Eelan have had since you have been here. You appear to be ageing rather slowly. It could possibly be the effects of your environment. There is absolutely no pollution here on Diata. It could be the sun's rays. The sun here is quite young compared to Sol, Earth's sun. I do not know to what extent this will prolong your lives, if at all, but it might help to allay your fears somewhat.”

“Peto and Eelan are not ageing slowly. They have grown up normally,” Diata said.

“Yes, the have grown up normally physically, but the decay rate of their cells has slowed and your own cells do not appear to be ageing as fast as other humans. The ageing of your cells began to slow down shortly after you landed here. You have only aged approximately seven years since you have been here. That is a gain of five years in your favour.”

“That is good news Comp. You have no idea how much that kind of news pleases a woman.” Diata smiled as she thought how envious most women would be if this had happened to her on Earth.

“It would be interesting to see how far the retardation of your ageing will extend to. I would like to see if it will continue or whether it will stop at some stage,” replied Comp, “If it does not stop, then logically you will become more youthful as the ageing process reverses.”

Diata suddenly did not like what Comp was saying.

“Surely that's impossible. I have no wish to become a baby again!” she exclaimed.

“I cannot believe that would happen. Take the case of Peto and Eelan. They have grown physically while at the same time their cells are not decaying as fast as normal, and the rate is continuing to slow, but there must be a limit. We can only wait and see what happens."

“You see, the cells regenerate themselves, the body discards worn cells and replaces them with new ones. This process is quite vigorous in young children, they are able to grow to maturity, heal quickly when they are injured. If that process continued, the human body would never grow old. Unfortunately something stops the process. No one has discovered what or why. There comes a time in the life of all humans when the process of regeneration of cells reaches a balance and they do not age for a short time. This period of time does not last very long. It is thought to take place when the human becomes about the age of thirty. When that period has passed, the body begins to age and this ageing accelerates as time passes. I noticed about six years ago that your ageing had ceased to accelerate and had in fact slowed down."

“I do not think that it can continue to slow down to the point of reversal and that you will return to infants, though neither do I believe that you will reach that balance that I mentioned and remain in that balanced state. But there is a possibility that you will live well past the average life span of humans.”

“Comp you are way ahead of me. All I want to know is, how can we humans continue to survive here on Diata?”

“If you are prepared to take the risks, then your plan is the only way as far as I can tell with the data that I have at the present.”

Diata left the ship and walked slowly back to the house. She wondered how Nyel would have reacted had he known of what she planned to do.

She prepared dinner and then went to see how robo Two was getting on with the water system. He seemed quite happy with the pipes that he had been able to get from the ship and was busily fixing them up to the purifier. She thought that if he could whistle he would be. She was still watching him when Peto and Eelan arrived back from the vegetable garden.

There was very little conversation during the meal. Peto was doing his best to avoid looking at his mother. Diata was also uncomfortable knowing how he must feel and tried to put him at ease by talking about the new water system and anything else that came to her mind. Eelan did most of the answering, while at the same time her eyes glancing first at Peto then her mother and back again.

Eventually the meal was finished and Diata, with the help of Eelan, cleared the table and washed up the dishes. Peto waited tensely for his mother to come back.

Both Diata and Eelan returned with soft drinks made from mashing a fruit that resembled a melon and straining the juice. The juice was a thick syrup that was sickly to take on its own but delicious when watered down.

“Let's go into the lounge, shall we?” Diata asked, brightly. “I want to talk to you both.”

They settled down and sipped their drinks, with Diata wondering how to broach the subject that was on her mind and Peto wishing that it was all over. He was convinced that he was going to be severely spoken to, In spite of Eelan's assurances to the contrary. Finally he spoke up.

“Mum, I'm sorry about last night, really,” he blurted out. He felt like a small child instead of the sixteen years old that he was. Diata looked up in surprise. She had not expected him to speak first but was glad that he had.

“Oh Peto. Don't be sorry. I'm not sorry it happened. It's brought to a head what has been worrying me for some time now,” said Diata. She went on to tell him about her observation of the aged Kandeer and the conclusions that she had drawn. She told him what she thought would be the only hope of their survival. Peto's immediate response was the same as Eelan's.

“But Comp said...” he began but Diata interrupted him.

“I know what Comp taught you. I was taught the same things myself. But we have to be realistic. We have to take those chances, Peto. I was talking to Comp today and he said there were cases where the children born were normal. He also said that it was the only way we could be assured of survival, provided that we were prepared to take the risks.”

Peto was silent for a while. He was shocked at what had been suggested by his mother. It was not that he objected to the suggestion in itself. He had to admit that he had enjoyed the experience he had the previous night, as Eelan had observed. It was the fact that it was his mother who had suggested it. He looked at Eelan to see how she was taking it. She had not spoken throughout the conversation. She returned his gaze, her face for once, expressionless. It was then that he realised that she had already known what their mother wanted to talk about.

“Suppose it doesn't work? Suppose the defects are too great? The Pharaohs of ancient history went mad and died off, I believe, because they were incestuous.”

“Peto, we can stop at any time. If it is that bad, then we will stop,” said Diata, “But we must try, at least.”  Peto thought for a while. He knew that he was often over cautious. It came from having to take on so many responsibilities at an early age. Finally he spoke.

“All right Mum. If you think it will be all right,” he said. “When are we supposed to start?” Diata breathed a sigh of relief that the hard part was over. She had not known what to expect from Peto. He had been so strange during dinner. She had never seen him like that before and she thought she had lost his respect.

“Hold on. There's plenty of time now that we are agreed. We all need to get used to the idea. We also have to plan carefully. She went to pour another soft drink, “It wouldn't do for both Eelan and me to get pregnant at the same time. It would be hard on you to look after both of us in the later stages.”

“Eelan!” Peto exclaimed, wide eyed, “You mean Eelan is going to be part of this. She's going to be involved, too?” He looked at Eelan. She was grinning at him. She had no qualms about the idea. She had thought a lot since that morning's talk with her mother and realised that the only chance that she would ever have of bearing children was through her brother. She tended to be more broad-minded than he was. As Diata returned with the drink, Eelan wiped the grin off her face with some difficulty.

“Yes, of course she is. Eelan is to be involved in this as much as you and I. She will probably play the greatest part, eventually. It has to be the three of us or none of us. She is a mature woman and has the right to be made whole and bear children if she wants to. I haven't the faintest idea how we are going to go about this, but it must be under different circumstances than last night. We will all decide some other time when we have got more used to the idea. This has been very hard for me, you've no idea how hard.”

Diata thought how, only a few years ago, she would have been shocked and disgusted at the thought of encouraging her own children to practise incest or plan to do it herself. She still felt a little sick about it but she knew that it had to be. The previous evening's incident helped as it had been the first step through a difficult phase. She felt that things could only get easier as time went on.

 

Two weeks later, Peto and robo One were erecting a fence around the vegetable garden. Over the years, since the garden had been established, the Kandeer eating the growing foodstuffs had troubled them. Lately the Kandeer seemed to know that the pickings were easy and had begun to make the garden their regular meeting place for meals. The garden had suffered much damage as a result, to the annoyance of Peto and Eelan who had worked so hard to keep it well stocked. Peto had decided that he had to do something about it and the fence was the answer. Robo Two was helping by boring holes in the palings with a laser cutter and fashioning pegs from hard wood to use in place of nails.

As he worked he caught sight of his mother walking towards the spacecraft. He noticed that she was carrying a bunch of blooms that had been cut from the neat garden that now surrounded the house. He realised that this day must be the anniversary of his father's death. His mother never missed putting flowers by his grave in remembrance of her husband on this particular day.

He stood and watched her, trying to bring to mind memories of his father. He could vaguely remember his father playing with him in some garden that must have been their home on Earth. Brief memories of other incidents came to him but were too fleeting for his mind to get a grip on them. One of them was seeing his father lying in the spacecraft and his mother ushering him out. That, he knew, was the day his father had died.

Peto returned his attention to the work in hand when Two brought a further supply of palings and pegs. The robots worked unceasingly and he could have left them to do all the work alone but for the fact that he liked working and felt great satisfaction at seeing his handiwork completed.

It was when they had completed one length of the fence that he remembered his mother. She had not returned yet. He looked over towards the site of his father’s grave and could just make her out, sitting on the ground by the pile of rocks that was the monument over his father's grave.

Becoming concerned about her he told the robots to continue without him and made his way towards his mother. It was almost half a mile away from the house and took him nearly fifteen minutes to reach there, during which time his mother had not moved. He watched her for a while. She was not aware of his presence. His eyes took in her slim form, the graceful way that she sat, supporting herself with one hand on the ground, her other resting on one of  her ankles. She wore a thin, white sleeveless blouse and a short, red pleated skirt. As he watched, a gust of wind lifted the hem of the skirt, exposing momentarily, her thigh and buttock. She wore no underwear. Her stock of such items having been used up long ago.

“Are you all right, Mum?” he asked. Diata stood up as he spoke and he saw that she had been crying. He put his arm around her shoulder.

“Oh, Peto. Yes, I'm all right, thank you.” Then she began to cry again. He squeezed her shoulder and she turned towards him, welcoming the comfort that he was offering.

“I miss him so much, Peto,” she said, “so much.” Her tears welled up from her eyes and rolled down her cheeks. Peto held her in his arms, trying to still the shaking of her body as she sobbed. He felt her tears on his shoulder and became conscious of the closeness of her body. He felt the warmth of her soft breasts pressing against his naked chest with only the thin material of her blouse separating them. Instinctively he began to become erect, hardening as the movement caused by her sobbing, aroused him. If she felt his hardness pressing against her, she gave no indication that she had. His hands moved over her back, caressing her, which only aroused him further. He leaned his head back to look at her and she turned her face to him, her eyes and lashes moist with her tears. Bending his head, he kissed her. Her lips parted and he felt her tongue brush his lips as she returned his kiss. His hand moved beneath her blouse, cupping her breast, feeling the softness.

Peto gently pushed her towards the ground and she yielded, letting him support her as she sank to the soft spongy grass. Kissing her gently, his hands explored her body, feeling every curve, reaching down to her thighs and under her skirt. He caressed the smooth flesh of her thighs and stomach, and her pubic hair, arousing desire in her that cried out for fulfilment. He moved on to her, his hard organ brushing her thigh as he did so. Her thighs parted as she raised her knees higher in order to receive him. He entered her, moving slowly at first then increasing his rhythm as he became more confident. Diata's arms were around him, clasping him to her, stroking his strong youthful back. Her internal muscles gripping him as he thrust deeper into her. Her lips, full and warm, kissing his neck and shoulder, nibbling his ear. His lips sought hers and found them a moment before her breath exploded through them as she climaxed. Before her orgasm had subsided, Peto reached his climax and she felt his hot fluid spurt into her, then his thrusting slowed and finally stopped.

They lay exhausted, allowing their bodies and minds to enjoy the pleasures they had just experienced. It was Diata who spoke first, several minutes later.

“That was wonderful, Peto. Truly wonderful,” she whispered. Peto looked at her, smiled and rolled off her to lie by her side, looking up at the sky.

“You were wonderful,” he said.

“Come on. Let's wash in the lake,” said Diata, getting up and running to the beach and plunging into the surf without stopping. Peto followed her, hesitating at the edge of the water. Diata stood up, her wet blouse now almost transparent, clinging to her breasts, her red skirt floating about her small waist. She splashed water at him then he too, plunged into the lake.

After bathing, they walked back to the house together.