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The Quantum Connection: Chapter Fifteen

       Last updated: Thursday, February 24, 2005 23:18 EST



    We decided that we would warp back directly to the Moon and contact the people who we’d learned lived there. It made sense that if they were the ones trying to defend the Earth from the Grays then the moon was where we should take our ship and all the knowledge we had discovered. The Grays apparently knew almost everything about the human race that there was to know. Neither of us liked that. If they ever decided to conduct a final invasion, they would have more than enough information – not to mention technological advancement – to totally wipe us out. That brought up another point. Why hadn’t they wiped us out already instead of playing with us for thousands of years? Nothing made any sense. What was the Gray motivation? Why were they toying with us and abducting us and killing some of us? It didn’t matter. Tatiana and I didn’t like it, and it had to be stopped.

    We dropped out of warp on the far side of the Moon and I’ll be damned if there wasn’t a huge lunar base there. Three warp ships with US Air Force markings met us with full force. Fortunately, Tatiana had the foresight to suggest we sit in our safety chairs and had them materialize before we warped. We had to take evasive maneuvers to keep from being blasted back out into deep space again. There were no g-forces this time since we were inside a warp bubble and the spacetime inside the bubble was simple one gravity space. The alien’s quantum string spacedrive would allow a ship to travel much faster but it required some type of inertial damping system. I think I like the warp drive better.

    So we didn’t really need the chairs. One of the vessels fired several warp missiles at us. We warped past Mars and up out of the ecliptic plane and were still being pursued by the missiles. Mike flew the ship and I had a communications system set up and began hailing the Earth ships.

    Tatiana found the weapons and blasted one of the warp missiles off our tail. We finally went to maximum warp speed and left the other missiles in our space dust!

    We warped out a few minutes and then went back to the Moon. This time I continuously hailed the Earth ships. The bathroom wall navigation map showed that the Earth ships were still out at Mars looking for us. So, I sent a hail toward Mars and waited for the slow normal speed of light microwave signal to get to them. This time of year Mars was about seven minutes away by lightspeed. Seven minutes and thirty seconds later the ships warped from Mars back to the Moon.

    “Please do not shoot! I repeat please do not shoot! I am broadcasting a standard digital video signal at two point three one gigahertz along with this radio signal. There are two humans, one American and one Russian aboard this vessel. We have liberated the vessel from the aliens and discovered your lunar facility. We need to communicate with you please! I repeat…

    Steven, there is a video signal being received. Do you want to see it?

    Yes, Mike.

    A video image of a young red haired Air Force lieutenant appeared in front of us, “This is Lieutenant Ames of the United States Air Force Space Wing. You will stand down and prepare to be boarded or we will fire upon you.”

    “What a small universe,” I muttered.

    “Hunh?” Tatiana looked over at me.

    “Never mind. So, do we let them board us or what?”

    “Doesn’t matter to me,” Tatiana replied.

    “Okay.” Mike, will one of those ships fit in the bay?

    Just barely, Steven.

    Can we cycle the external bay doors safely?

    Of course. I am doing it now.

    “Lieutenant Ames this is Steven Montana, captain of the…” Tatiana?

    How about the Phoenix since it is where we were reborn and reinvented?

    You don’t think that’s too cliché?

    NO I DO NOT!

    Uh, you don’t have to scream.“…uh, the Phoenix. We are opening the external bay doors on the lunar facing side of the vessel. One of your ships should be able to land there and then we can close the bay doors.”

    “Roger that.” Lieutenant Ames replied. “ Uh, did you say Steven Montana?” she asked.

    “That is correct Lieutenant, it is good to see you again.”

    “How in the hell? No, I’m sure this will take a while. We will see you in the bay of your vessel.”

    You know her? Tatiana’s thought sounded a bit jealous.

    Not really. I met her in a meeting once about nine months ago. I told you I worked for the Air Force Research Labs. Well, she and her mother, a general and an astronaut, were both involved somehow or other and I never knew how. Now I do.


    Think we should be armed or anything?

    You know her; why should we be?

    Well, think about it. They are soldiers fighting aliens. How do they know we aren’t aliens in disguise or being controlled by parasites or something?

    Good point. But we don’t want to provoke them either.

    Well, how about this. We can have Mike or Mikhail build us any firearms we want in a matter of a second or two. Let’s just be prepared for that.

    Sounds good. Tatiana stood up and all of her clothes vanished and then she was wearing a skintight long sleeve black bodysuit and I noticed that I was also wearing one.

    What’s this?

    It’s armor. I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Mikhail and I designed it. It should resist damn near anything from fire to bullets.

    I looked at her and thought that the material must be amazingly strong because she basically looked naked in the thing. So did I. I made me a pair of loose fit jeans and hiking boots that fit just right. I topped it off with a light red short sleeve button up.

    You know you look naked. Not that I don’t like it but…

    Prude, ha ha.

    She was suddenly wearing multi pocketed baggy low-rise jeans and a pair of white aerobics cross trainer shoes. She didn’t add anything on top. Images of JackieZZ’s computer persona popped in my head.

    Tatiana also had a three-section chain for a belt and I guessed that there were knives, and other various weapons in her pockets and her hair was pulled into a ponytail with metallic six-inch long pins – each of which could be a nasty weapon. I wasn’t worried. Anything we needed in a hurry, the nanomachines could provide. And unless the humans had figured out how to prevent the nanomachines like the Grays had, we could just use them to stop any human attackers. My hope was that there would be no need for self-defense. After all, the US Air Force should be on our side.

    Tatiana and I reached the external bay of the Phoenix.

    Mike, are they in yet?

    Yes, Steven. I have closed the doors and the room is at one atmosphere.


    You ready, Tatiana?

    Yes. She said something else to Mikhail but I didn’t pay close attention.

    Okay, Mike. Open the door.

    The door dissolved away and Tatiana and I walked up to the impressive little spaceship. Tatiana started to touch it.

    “Don’t do that!” I tried to stop her but I was too late and her hand freeze-dried and stuck to the ship’s skin. It must have been on the dark side of the ship.

    “Yiiiiikes, goddamnit…” She jerked her hand from the ship ripping skin from her hand and continued to curse in Russian. Blood ran profusely down her arm for a split second before Mikhail took over and shut off her pain and healed her hand.

    “Are you okay?” I grabbed her arm and looked at the palm of her hand as it went from bloody to fuzzy to healed.

    “That was dumb, huh?”

    Mike, how long until the ships hull reaches equilibrium with the room? I noticed moisture collecting and forming ice crystals on the surface of the ship.

    About fifteen minutes.

    Can we speed that up somehow?

    Not any way that I know of.

    All right, thanks.

    Mike, open me a comm link to this ship.


    “Lieutenant Ames, we are here outside your ship. The air is at one atmosphere and is breathable.” I shouted for some odd reason.

    “We will be out momentarily. Stand with your backs to the wall and keep your hands where we can see them.” Lieutenant Ames voice boomed in our heads.

    Steven, I’m not sure I like this. Tatiana grabbed my hand and squeezed it.

    Relax. We will be okay. I assured her as if I knew.

    Mike, they can’t move this ship without you or Mikhail right? Mikhail ran the warp system.

    Well, they cannot fly it, but they could bump it or drag it or carry it with their own means of propulsion. But they could not access its functions without your permission.


    The ramp of the USS Starbuck lowered in front of us. Tatiana and I stood deathly still and didn’t make a sound or move a muscle. Then Tatiana started reciting something in her mind.




    I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that…

    What are you doing? I thought to her.

    Uh, reciting the Bene Gesserit fear litany.

    The Bene whatsit?

    It’s from Dune. You should read it. She said and went back to reciting the thing.

    Mike, download Dune for me.

    There are many books in the Dune series, Steven. Which one?

    Uh, all of them I guess.

    Okay, Steven.

    Then I realized what Tatiana was doing.

    The first was the best I thought, although the Prince Leto transformation really struck home with what had happened to Tatiana and myself. If you don’t understand what I mean, go get a copy and download it for yourself. I joined in the litany with Tatiana.

    A few seconds passed and four soldiers took flanking positions on each side of the ramp and trained firearms on us. “Don’t move!” one of them said.

    Lieutenant Ames and another female that I didn’t recognize seemed to appear at the top of the ramp. Tatiana and I looked at each other – puzzled.

    Did you see that?

    Did you see that? We both thought at the same time. We weren’t sure if we were seeing things or not. But if we were, we both were. Perhaps it was a trick of the lighting? I thought.

    Steven! We have been engulfed in a warp bubble from one of the outside ships! It would appear we are being dragged down into the interior of the lunar crust! Mike warned me. He never sounded alarmed before. He must be experimenting with voice inflections.

    Keep me posted, Mike. Unless you think its necessary, talk to me on the open channel where Tatiana can hear it. Repeat what you just said on the open channel.

    Okay, Steven.

    Steven! We have been engulfed in a warp bubble from one of the outside ships! It would appear we are being dragged down into the interior of the lunar crust! Mike warned us and I tried to act surprised again. He used the same voice tones this time, also. Tatiana’s eyes grew wide and bulged.

    Steven! She called to me.

    Take it easy. We don’t know what’s going on yet.

    “Why are you warping our ship!” I questioned Lieutenant Ames with a voice of command tone.

    The fact that I knew what was going on seemed to startle the lieutenant and her cohorts. Then the girl beside her vanished right before our eyes.

    “Shit, ‘Becca!” the lieutenant said and then vanished.

    Both of the women appeared on either side of Tatiana and me and the dark haired one caught me unaware with a chokehold around my neck and she kicked my left knee out from under me. She was on top of my back and was holding me down and attempting to choke me out. Tatiana leaped four meters in the air over Lieutenant Ames and landed on the ramp. She dodged crossfire from the soldiers holding the flanking positions and flung her hairpins – deadly projectiles headed for each of the soldiers. The hairpins simply deflected away from the soldiers who continued to fire at Tatiana. Mike, give me as much strength and speed as you can.

    “Yeeeeooowww! GET OFF MY BACK BITCH!” I screamed as I stood up and forced my attackers grip from my throat. It was difficult and took all of my strength.

    Mike how strong is this woman?

    Her strength is only slightly above average for human, but she is wearing some type of force field enhanced armor. I believe it to be a miniature Alcubierre warp field system.

    Tatiana! They have personal force fields!

    Tell me something I don’t know. I caught a glimpse of her out of the periphery of my vision. She was kicking and jumping and flipping almost too fast for the human eye to see. Of course, Mike had enhanced my vision a long time ago. We had both realized that faster vision and reflexes would be useful in combat back when we were going through our sparring phase – way back a month ago.

    Lieutenant Ames appeared out of nowhere in front of me and I sidestepped her just before she opened fire on me with some sort of projectile weapon that passed through her force field.

    Mike, did you see that? The bullet passed through the field.

    Yes, Steven. I am working on it.

    I noticed that also, lover! I think they are timed with the warp bubble oscillating on and off… “Yeouch, @#$%$@!@” Tatiana began cursing verbally in Russian and I pushed the lieutenant and her sidekick away from me far enough that I could jump to Tatiana. She had been shot through the hand – one of the only vulnerable spots besides the feet or the head. I bounced off the ceiling above her and flipped to the floor beside her. She crouched for a split second and I noticed the wound was already healing. I grabbed her and jumped with her over the spaceship to gain cover for a second.

    Mike, make a hole in the ceiling into the engine room above.

    You are too far away, Steven. The nanomachines cannot be controlled more than a few meters from you or Tatiana.

    Shit! Right I forgot.

    I put my hand on the hot side of the spaceship hull. It was just a little warm now. Mike?

    I understand. He told me as the ship’s hull started rippling and grew fuzzy. In you go, Tatiana. We pushed through the hull of the little spaceship and rushed to the control room. Tatiana was now covered from head to toe in the black material and I noticed that I was also. The fabric must be mostly see through.

    We found the controls of the spacecraft and Tatiana raised the ramp. It was too slow. Lieutenant Ames and her dark haired friend were on top of us. We were kicking and punching and crawling and generally tearing the living hell out of that pretty spaceship.

    “For God’s sake, would you stop it!” I screamed. “I’m an American damnit!”

    “You’re a lot more powerful than any human I ever seen!” I heard in a southern accent just as I caught a fist in the face that really hurt.

    The nanomachines killed the pain and set about repairing the damage while I returned the favor to Lieutenant Ames. I was able to grab her by the arm once as she punched at me. I couldn’t actually feel her arm, instead I felt an infinitely hard substance. I squeezed it hard so as to maintain my grip and then I whirled her with all my strength. I wiped out a wall while spinning her and then let her go.

    She flew up and out through the hull of the spaceship and clanged against the wall of the alien spaceship’s payload bay. Tatiana and the other girl had torn the ship to pieces trying to get at each other. But then three of the soldiers got the better of her and forced her down.

    They couldn’t penetrate the alien condensed matter bodystocking but they could hold her down and put enourmous pressure on her. The deck plating of the Phoenix was giving slightly under the pressure and an outline of Tatiana was being pressed into the alien metal.

    Steven, oh my God, help me! STEVEN HELP ME!

    Use the nanomachines, or something! I’m coming.

    The nanomachines are too busy keeping her alive, Mikhail said.

    I tried to rush to her aid but the lieutenant and the remaining soldier boy sideswiped me. “Goddamnit, Ames it is me. The same Steven Montanna that met you in Virginia. I met you and the general and Dr. Daniels! It’s me damnit! You are going to kill her if you don’t let her up.” I pleaded with the Air Force lieutenant as I ducked and dodged and returned blows with her and the remaining soldier.

    The soldier raised a firearm and started peppering at me with automatic weapons fire. More than half of the bullets I dodged, but a considerable number of them hit me. That alien body armor might stop a bullet but it hurts like hell when it hits. Will to rescue Tatiana and alien nanomachine healing ability enabled me to force through the barrage of machine gun bullets.

    Steven, the soldier’s shield is completely shutting off when he fires! Mike showed me in my mind.

    I took the pain from the continued machine gun bullets hitting me in the chest. One of the bullets caught me in the head and I saw stars and was nearly knocked unconscious for a second. Mike pulled me through it and kept pushing my stamina, strength, and adrenaline levels through the roof into uncharted territories. I summoned all my speed and forced through the force field at the instant one of the bullets hit the edge of the field region.

    The field was off for a millisecond – that was more than I needed - and then I was inside it holding the soldier by the throat.

    Mike, take control of his mind for me.

    The soldier fought back for a split second and then he went catatonic. I forced him around in front of me and his personal warp field adjusted itself to protect both of us. I had Mike read the fellows mind and figure out how to drive the warp bubble armor thing.

    “Let her up or he dies!” I said.

    Lieutenant Ames stopped right in front of me and didn’t move a muscle. “Everybody freeze!” she said.

    “Good. Just hold on a minute, please!” I had the nanomachines remove the bodystocking from my face. “Let her up please. You are going to kill her.”

    “No way. You let him go first.” The dark haired girl yelled back to us.

    “’Becca, shut up!” Ames said. “Mr. Montana, is it really you?”

    “It’s me Lieutenant Ames. It’s me!” I wasn’t sure if she was trying to buy time with me or if she was serious so I started scanning the room for ideas. Any idea would be better than what I had at present.

    Steven, what’s happening? Tatiana pleaded in my head for help.

    Try to stay calm gorgeous. Are you hurt?

    My left femur has been broken twice, but Mikhail has fixed it. I had to have my pain centers shut off. The pain was more than I could take. My chest is flat as a pancake, there is no telling how much hemorrhaging has been caused. Mikhail is working on me.

    Stay alive, honey. I’ll get us out of this. Mike, open the bay door!

    Steven, I think I know what you want but that will no longer have the effect you desire. We are not in space any longer.

    Where are we?

    We are inside some sort of Moon base deep under the lunar surface.

    Is there air?


    Okay. Open the doors anyway. It might distract them. Do it fast. Then cut the ship’s gravity and make everything fall with the outside gravity. Do it on my signal. First, transfer the warp bubble controls from this guy to me. A belt with warp drive controls on it materialized around my waist. Mike downloaded the instructions into my brain. Suddenly I understood the technology completely for the warp bubble armor. The belt contained a tiny quantum vacuum fluctuation power system that used the Casimir effect to pull energy from the vacuum of spacetime to power a small Clemons type warp field coil. The warp field generator responded to the energy changes inside the bubble to change its shape. The soldier was also wearing a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) headband that enabled him to command the warp bubble to propel him in whatever direction he wanted to go and at whatever velocity the little warp generator could attain. Of course, Mike could do that via my implants so I didn’t need the headband. I made certain that Tatiana was given the same information so that there would be no “learning curve” time for her if and when she needed to drive one of the warp armor belts.

    Tatiana, did you get all that?

    Yes, Steven. Do it quickly. Mikhail, is worried that he can’t keep up with the damage to me.

    Okay, Tatiana, I’m sorry I let them get you. Be ready, here I come. Do it, Mike!

    The bay doors dissolved instantly and the remains of the Air Force ship fell outward and down carrying everybody else with it. It was enough of a distraction that I had enough time to throw the soldier out of the warp field and fly at warp velocity to Tatiana. I clanged into the four warp fields that were falling with Tatiana and pushed them out of the way. Grabbing Tatiana and wrapping the field around her I zoomed away at warp so we would be invisible to people outside the bubble.

    The Phoenix and the Starbuck were inside what appeared to be a huge cylindrical hanger that led upward to the lunar surface. The wall immediately to our right had a giant twenty-meter archway opening into a small town. It opened into a small town – on the Moon!

    With Tatiana in hand I fled for cover of the town still at warp speed. I stopped on top of a water tower microseconds later.

    We sat down on top of the tower and I kept the warp field on and had Mike replicate a warp bubble armor generator for Tatiana.

    The view from the tower was interesting. There were trees, a lake, and various streets and buildings. There was one gee gravity in the town and the dome overhead looked like hardened lava rock. There were large windows in the dome here and there and it was obvious from the view that we were underground and in a modified gravity field.

    “How are you?” I rubbed her cheeks as the bodystocking dissolved. Her face was red and blue and bloody. Her nose was broken and her lips were busted. But that changed rapidly.

    “There is a lot of internal damage.”

    “Yeah, I tuned into Mikhail. He says he needs about thirty more seconds with you.” Her chests heaved and her abdomen filled out to normal proportions. Her, uh, features took their more rosy, vivacious, and perky appearance. The sparkle in her hazel eyes grew brighter.

    “Unh!” She winced as Mikhail turned her pain centers back over to her. “Oww.” She stretched her limbs and digits and then arched her back. “I owe that bitch an ass whuppin!” She said as she stood up.

    “That’s a lot better.” I laughed.

    “So this damned thing is the little warp generator?” She asked as she hooked the warp armor around her waist. Hey, this thing is pretty cool. The Van den Broeck bubble has been modified so that you can see through it, cool. Tatiana replied.

    Yeah, but only when you are moving at non-relativistic speeds. I thought to her and then, Mikhail, how is she?

    She is fine, Steven.

    Increase her strength, agility, and speed as much as you can.

    Okay, Steven.

    Mike, any idea where they are?

    Yes, Steven. They are everywhere and here they come! Look out!

    The water tower shook violently from the rushing wind and the oncoming warp fields. Tatiana activated her armor just in time for the impact from our would be assailant.

    “Look out Tatiana.”

    We took off flying in opposite directions. Realizing that we didn’t need to get split up again I doubled back to keep up with her. But I was having a hard time getting bounced around by what appeared to me – when we would slow and the bubbles were transparent- to be the male part of the Dr. Daniels duo that I had met in Virginia. There was also a really big African-American fellow in an Air Force uniform with him as well. The three of us fought our way through a trailer park – I paused just long enough to say, “Damn, there’s a trailer park on the Moon!” I got smacked pretty hard for it also.

    Tatiana, how you doing?

    Could use a little help over on a football field.

    Mike, do you have a layout of this place?

    Yes, I will download it to both of you now. We were more than a few meters apart but Mike simply had Mikhail download the information into Tatiana’s mind.

    Mike, keep an overlay of Tatiana’s and my relative positions current in our minds. Also, can you track these warp bubbles?

    The overlay is there now. Unfortunately I need the ship’s sensors to track the warp bubbles.

    Then use them!


    Damn, Mike you don’t need my permission for everything.


    Hey, if you two are through chatting, you think you could get over here and help me out? I’ve got a stadium full of angry warp armored soldiers to deal with.

    Be right there.

    I kicked the armor propulsion into full power and bounced through Dr. Daniels and the other guy. They followed in hot pursuit, and we crashed into the middle of the bleachers at the stadium throwing punches and blocks and kicks and you name it at mind shattering speeds.

    Occasionally, there were sonic booms from the warp fields moving faster than the sound barrier.

    Tatiana plowed up through the ground behind Dr. Daniels and we timed our attack through our mind link and squished him – hard!

    Interestingly enough, his power generator exploded on him and his warp field went off. His clothes caught on fire and he immediately started rolling around on the ground to put the fire out. I thought that his reactions were cool and collected and showed that he was very formidable under pressure, but without a warp armor system he was not a threat to us any longer.

    Tatiana was blind sided by the ‘Becca person that was a thorn in her side all afternoon. ‘Becca turned away from her and grabbed up Dr. Daniels and flew off with him. Tatiana started to pursue but I told her to forget it.

    There is no end to this. We have to figure out a way to stop it!

    I agree, Steven. How? Tatiana replied.

    Mike, Mikhail, we’re open for suggestions.

    Sorry, Steven and Tatiana, I have none. Mikhail said.

    I have now all the data on each of the warp bubbles, Steven. I can track them for you. Here is an overlay of their locations.

    Thanks, Mike. Tatiana and I both now could tell where the warp bubbles were. There were nine of them inside the little lunar city dome. While we carried on this conversation we were continuously bobbing and weaving and leaping and flying and punching and kicking and ducking and blocking and fighting away or through one or more of the nine bubbles.

    Tatiana and I timed another squeeze play and took out another set of armor. This worked well three more times. Then ‘Becca and Dr. Daniels joined the mix again. Between her and him and Lieutenant Ames and the other four armored individuals we were outnumbered. On the other hand, our reflexes and abilities were superhuman and theirs were just human.

    Three of them attempted the squeeze play on me after Tatiana and I had taken out one more of the troops. Without the advantage of a mental link and faster than human reflexes, their attempt just caused them to clang together with a thunderous clap. The concussion from the impact flattened one of what appeared to be the school buildings and in the confusion Tatiana and I turned it on them and took out two more of their armored suits. Each time we burned one of their suits we tried to jump a few hundred yards away with hopes of sparing injury to the poor soldiers inside them.

    We had them down to just ‘Becca, Lieutenant Ames, and Dr. Daniels. We were slugging it out pretty forcefully and the three of them were smart enough to keep a round robin going that wouldn’t allow us to squeeze them. The side affects though, were massive destruction to the little lunar town. There was nothing left of the trailer park and the schools were totally gone.

    Mike had been broadcasting over every frequency known to man that we were friends and were not there to cause harm. Nobody would listen. Then ‘Becca and Dr. Daniels got the squeeze on me and my little warp belt caught on fire and exploded. I was falling to the ground from fifty meters up and my warp armor was gone. The two turned their backs on me assuming I was no longer a threat and went to help Lieutenant Ames get the squeeze on Tatiana.

    Mike, fix my warp system!


    Thanks. The warp bubble came on and I plowed through the ground ten meters before I stopped. Tatiana, they think I’m out for the count, but they don’t understand nanotechnology! Let’s squeeze the red head. I’ll be there…now!

    I hear you, lover!

    Tatiana dodged the other two and plowed headfirst into Lieutenant Ames. The swiftness of her dodging and plowing set off sonic booms. I used the warp bubble map overlay in my mind to plot a head-on vector that would place Ames’s bubble directly between Tatiana and I. We smacked into her and squeezed her field until it popped the miniature warp field coils in the belt around her waist. Sparks and a tiny explosion flashed inside her bubble and then her warp field distinguished itself. Ames fell about five meters to the ground with a Thud! The velocity vector rolled her another ten or twenty meters. I was sure she had serious bone fractures from the fall. I was concerned for her – there was no need for anyone to get killed here, damnit! Then the two remaining got me in a squeeze play while I was watching Ames. I had expected that the stress from two warp bubbles pressing from opposite sides would put stresses on the warp field generator coils in the belt and rip the coils right off their mounts and through the electronics. After all, that is what had just happened to Lieutenant Ames’s warp armor fractions of a second before. But Ames didn’t have an alien SuperAgent for a buddy – I did. And Mike had taken it upon himself to find an advantage for us.

    I have modified the field coils, Steven. They will last long enough for me to repair them. You should be able to withstand more than three bubbles squeezing you at a time.

    Thanks, buddy! Have Mikhail fix Tatiana’s as well.

    Already did.

    I shot my bubble upward to the ceiling of the little lunar town and I told Tatiana to dive deep under ground. Using the warp bubble overlays that Mike was feeding us we could easily anticipate and surprise the remaining two. Especially since they thought they could still squeeze us.

    The two remaining followed me upward until I reached the top of the lunar dome. Then I swept out a huge arc at hypersonic velocities, which had me covering the little town in heartbeats from one side to the other. Tatiana loitered underground until I gave her the signal and then I stopped dead still.

    Dr. Daniels, the male, had been following hot on my tail and when I hit the brakes he rammed me hard. Tatiana, of course had been forewarned of my plan and burst through the soil at warp speed and forced her bubble into both of us. Daniels’s warp system exploded violently and this time with my faster than normal vision I saw fragments from the belt penetrate his body in several places and the violence of the warp bubble collisions flung us more than a hundred meters into the side of the lunar dome. Daniels fell down onto the roof of a two story house at the end of a cul-de-sac near the edge of the dome. Daniels lay there lifeless and the other bubble swooped down and stopped with him and engulfed his body as it rested on the rooftop no longer pursuing us.

    Tatiana started to take action.

    No Tatiana! No! I told her.

    Then both Tatiana and myself were slammed together and were being squeezed together as if we were in the clutches of a giant fist. A booming voice filled the town dome.

    “NOT IN MY CITY YOU DON’T!” Came from an older man standing beside General Clemons. The two of them were wielding some sort of device that hovered several feet above the ground. “MAKE ANY FURTHER MOVES AND I WILL CRUSH YOU INTO A SINGULARITY.”

    I wasn’t certain if his machine could overpower our modified systems or not, but the box he was using was bigger and I guessed had a larger power system. My guess was that he would win. But, I didn’t come here to fight anyway!

    We didn’t come here to fight! I told Tatiana. The adrenaline had gotten the entire encounter way out of hand. But again, that ‘Becca girl attacked us. We were just standing there.

    Mike, can you put me through whatever broadcast system he’s using?




    They were startled for a second by the fact that we could so quickly override their technology. But the older couple kept their cool. I could also see that ‘Becca had picked up Lieutenant Ames and Dr. Daniels and was flying off with them. I hoped to an emergency room.



    YOU DID WHAT! Tatiana screamed in my mind.

    I couldn’t tell you sweetheart. It’s deeply classified and I didn’t know what I should or shouldn’t talk to you about, sorry. But our lives depend on it now. I will fill you in later.


    Yes, Mike?

    I have completed an analysis and sensor sweep with the ship’s sensors. There is no way that we can modify the miniature warp systems to withstand the force available by the system they are using.

    I thought so. Thanks, Mike.

    You are welcome, sorry.


    “WE ARE STILL NOT CERTAIN WE CAN TRUST YOU!” Anson Clemons replied.

    Tatiana, I think we should surrender to them.

    What? Why, Steven? They tried to kill us.

    They thought we were aliens. What would you’ve done?

    I would’ve tried to kill us.

    Okay then?


    Tatiana, turn it off!

    I don’t know, Steven, they’ll crush us!

    Tatiana, turn it off now or they will crush us!

    No, Steven! I…I’m afraid.

    Tatiana, if you love me and trust me you will listen to me now. TURN OFF YOUR WARP BUBBLE ARMOR, NOW!

    She did it. I wasn’t sure she was going to. It seemed that the only thing in the world she trusted was her abilities to act -- and, fortunately, me. Who could blame her, after dealing with the Grays?

    I turned my warp armor off and Dr. Clemons lowered us to the ground. Tatiana held my hand and I could tell she was shaking slightly. I told Mike to calm her down. Something didn’t make sense. Mikhail should have been able to suppress her fear better, but Mike got her under control.

    We settled on the ground at the edge of one of the cul-de-sac streets just in front of Dr. and General Clemons.

    “It’s his face, Anson! I don’t know though, he has lost a lot of weight and is in better physical condition,” General Clemons said.

    “Y’all just keep your distance, son, until we get to know you a bit better!” Dr. Clemons warned and touched on personal warp fields around the two of them.

    “Look, I can explain why I appear so different! The Grays use nanomachines that are controlled by those Quantum Connected Central Processing Units that you have been trying to reverse engineer. We figured them out. That is how we stole the ship from the Grays. Watch this.” I told them and stood straight up in front of them and had my clothes change through several different styles and colors. Then I started to bend over and Dr. Clemons stopped me.

    “Now let’s not make any fast moves, son!”

    “You don’t understand. If I wanted to, the nanomachines have made my reflexes so much faster than human that I could move and you wouldn’t even be able to see it. But don’t worry. We really are just glad to be home, or, -- well you know! Please allow me, I promise no swift moves.” I slowly knelt down and took a knee on the asphalt. I placed my hand on the street and caused the asphalt to rise up from the ground into a statue likeness of the general. I could tell that several years ago she was very attractive and I made the likeness of her as a younger – Tabitha as I recalled – more vivacious young astronaut. Then I had the asphalt statue move and blow them a kiss. This sort of amused them.

    Make it salute, Steven.

    Nice touch, beautiful!

    I then made the statue salute.

    “Allow me,” Tatiana said and followed my lead. She was standing on the asphalt so there was no need in bending down to touch it - she always did grasp this technology quicker than I did. A statue of Dr. Clemons rose up from the street beside the General Clemons statue. Then she had the two statues hold hands and we let it rest at that.

    “Well, ain’t that some shit!” Dr. Clemons whistled.

    “Please, it’s nothing but millions of nanomachines working overtime. That’s why we both are superhuman the way we are. It’s simple nanotechnology enhancements to our bodies and minds. We have complete control over them and we can damn near heal anything. Please let us help your wounded,”I pleaded.

    “Okay son, I’ve read comic books that are older than you are that have this idea in them. There was that Crichton book and The Black Hole Travel Agency series, and a shitload of short stories that described similar magical technologies, so I get it. Just, its purty damn difficult to be certain that y’all control the nanomachines and not the other way around,” Dr. Clemons explained his position.

    Mike, download all of these relevant books and stories to me please.

    Okay, Steven.

    “That makes a lot of sense,” Tatiana said.

    “Yes, I agree with you. There is no way to know that other than to trust us. Look, at least let us help the wounded. Keep us in a bubble and let one in at a time or something. You will see. Damnit, I had to sit still and watch those goddamned Gray son of a bitches dismember another human being right in front of my eyes. I watched them pull out his heart, cut off his head, and then dissolve him into nothingness. The last thing I want to see is more human death!” I thought of my family for a brief second.

    Steven, Dr. Daniels is dying, Mike alerted me.

    How do you know? I asked.

    I used the sensors from the spaceship to tap into the video system in the infirmary. His internal organs were crushed and he is rapidly bleeding to death. He has less than a few minutes before his heart stops. Mike said this on the open channel for both Tatiana and me to hear.

    You have to save him, Steven. Go to him and I’ll stay here as a hostage.

    Good idea, but you go and I’ll stay as a hostage.

    No, Steven it will be better coming from you. You are an American and they are American. It should be you. I will stay.

    I love you, Tatiana. Take care of yourself.

    “Listen to me,” I pleaded one last time. “I’m using the alien computer on the spaceship to tie into your hospital’s video system. Dr. Daniels is dying…”

    Steven, he just died. Mike sounded genuinely sad.

    “…He just died. I’m going to him and Tatiana will stay as your hostage. But I am going!” I moved faster than any person with normal human reflexes and vision could react to. To Dr. Clemons and the General I must’ve appeared as one big blur of motion. Of course, Tatiana could follow me with her enhanced vision, but she watched the Clemons duo closely instead. I followed the map in my head to the operating room that Dr. Daniels was in and pushed myself as fast as I could run. I used the map to anticipate obstacles and turns and I covered the half-mile trek in less than eight seconds or so. I stopped just outside the operating room doors and my wake turbulence caught up with me. The wind blew papers off of bulletin boards along the hallway as I pushed the doors open. I walked in panting and sweating a little and proceeded straight to the operating table and pushed the doctors out of the way. They were trying to revive him but Mike had assured me that it would do no good with such extensive damage to all his major organs.

    I placed my hands on his head, since his chest was spread open with a rib spreader.

    Steven, put your hand in his chest it will save time.

    Okay. Help him, Mike. Every microsecond counted I assumed, so I pressed my hand into his open and red with draining blood abdomen. The nanomachines immediately rushed to work. I could see the interior of Dr. Daniels abdomen getting fuzzy.

    I am helping him now, Steven.

    The doctors attempted to pull me off of Dr. Daniels body but I kicked at them and used my left hand to push them around. Then the dark haired lady, ‘Becca, burst in with a machine pistol.

    “Get away from him you alien fucker!” she screamed at me and pointed the gun at me.

    “Listen to me, I’m helping him!” I cried as she shot me three times. Two of the bullets hit the bodystocking but one of them ripped through the side of my neck – and it hurt, bad.

    Tatiana burst in a microsecond too late to stop ‘Becca from shooting me. But it didn’t take long for her to use the nanomachines to knock her out and then the others in the room as well. She did all that and caught me before I hit the ground.

    You’re all right, baby! I got you.

    Hold me up, Tatiana. I have to fix him.

    You’ll fix yourself first!

    No, I wont. Hold me up!

    Tatiana held me up to the table and I was close enough to Dr. Daniels for the nanomachines to communicate with Mike. I held my left hand against my neck to slow the bright red stream of blood squirting out there. The squirting blood made a squishing sound between my hand and neck as it ran through my fingers. I placed my right hand back in Dr. Daniels’s open abdomen.

    Mike, how is he?

    He will be better than you in less than thirty seconds.

    Not if I have anything to say about it, Tatiana said. Mikhail, you know what to do. Tatiana winked at me and the profusely bleeding hole in my neck began to heal.

    A moment or two later the Dr. and General Clemons came running into the room gasping for air. They took a brief survey of the room and looked concerned when they noticed the myriad of bodies on the floor.

    “We heard shots…” Tabitha Clemons breathed out and stopped short when she saw the bullet wound in my neck closing slowly.

    “Don’t worry,” Tatiana turned to her and smiled. “They are just knocked out. They were… trying to stop Steven. Hey, I had to do something.” Tatiana shrugged and looked at the incapacitated people on the floor.

    The rib spreader on Dr. Daniels dissolved and vanished and his chest started closing. I told Tatiana to wake everybody up. Dr. Clemons grabbed ‘Becca in a nerve grab that, according to Mike, was developed by the Tibetans over a thousand years ago. I was impressed by the old man to say the least. Everyone rose silently other than ‘Becca who was cursing in pain, but they all watched as Dr. Daniels’s chest closed up around my hand and the surface of his abdomen grew fuzzy.

    You can remove your hand, Steven.

    Oh, sorry Mike. I pulled my hand from the man’s chest and it was covered with blood. Tatiana had Mikhail clean me up almost instantly.

    We stood around and watched Daniels quietly, and then his heart monitor went from the flatlining screech to a normal beeping heartbeat. Then he opened his eyes and reflexively breathed as deep as he could.

    “Behave yourself, Rebecca.” Dr. Clemons let her go and she rushed to Daniels side hugging and kissing him all over and crying.

    “Oh, Jim, I thought you were going to die on me!” Tears rolled down ‘Becca’s face.

    Jim looked around the room and saw Tatiana and me standing at the foot of his stretcher and he jumped violently. Dr. Clemons and ‘Becca grabbed him and held him down.

    “Take it easy, Jim. They saved you.” Dr. Clemons said.

    “They are the ones that put me in this shape!” Jim cursed.

    “Dr. Daniels, I apologize deeply and sincerely, but we never meant any harm. It was all a misunderstanding.” I assured him.

    “Yeah, a misunderstanding and a bit of paranoia on your part,” Tatiana added smugly and ‘Becca gave her an evil look.

    “Dr. Daniels, you’ll be fine.” I told everyone in the room. Then I thought about the massive damage and Lieutenant Ames being injured. “Tatiana, let’s get to the other wounded, now!” We zipped from table to table and from room to room in the hospital. I just happened to be the one that fixed Lieutenant Ames. General and Dr. Clemons stood over my shoulder the entire time – they were both concerned from a parenting point of view, and I could tell they were very curious about the technology.

    “Then it is you, Mr. Montana?” Lieutenant Ames asked me as the last few lacerations on her face and stomach vanished away.

    “Yes, and it’s Steven, lieutenant,” I told her.

    “Then it’s Annie, or Anne Marie, if we are on a first name basis.” She held her hand out for me to shake it. She was amazed that it was no longer broken. “Sorry for all this. I didn’t mean for any-”

    “Forget it. We were just as much to blame, Steven.” She cut me off short. “That damned Rebecca never follows orders. Civilians!” She shook her head and harrumphed.

    Then we went out into the city and used the sensors from the Phoenix to search for other wounded. After several hours there were no longer any immediate emergencies. If you didn’t count the Gray threat, that is.

    Look what a mess, Steven. Tatiana pointed out at the lunar town.

    I know, gorgeous. We will help them fix it.


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