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The Quantum Connection: Chapter Nineteen

       Last updated: Tuesday, March 22, 2005 19:06 EST



    “It is nice to meet you too, Ambassador Svobody and congratulations on your new assignment.” I told the ambassador in Russian as I shook his hand. He sized me up and didn’t seem to disapprove.

    “Thank you, Mr. Montana. My daughter speaks very highly of you. She tells me that you rescued her from some very unsavory individuals and to that I owe you my gratitude.” He smiled at me and I was immediately nervous. Had Tatiana told him about the Grays?

    Don’t worry, Stevie. I told him that you rescued me from some frat boys at a party while I was away at school and that you and I whupped them all. Tatiana’s perfect southern dialect resounded in my head.

    “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, sir. It was my gain to meet Tatiana. She is…amazing,” I said, again in Russian.

    “Your Russian is perfect Mr. Montana. Where did you learn it?”

    “It’s something I’ve been studying recently. Tatiana is helping me with Russian and I am helping her with English.” It wasn’t all a lie. I would have never thought to learn Russian if she hadn’t been on the Gray’s ship with me and Tatiana probably wouldn’t have learned English either.

    “Is that right?” He switched to English. “Tatiana speaks English now?” He raised an eyebrow at his daughter as if to see if she understood him.

    “Yes, father. I understand you quite well and can speak English very well,” she said with a Russian accent. I guess it was better not to give all of her talents away. Her smiled at her approvingly.

    Tatiana’s father showed us around the United Nations and the city. I had never been to New York. It had been months since the abduction and since I had actually been back on Earth. The sights, sounds, and smells of New York City should have been overwhelming for me, right? They weren’t, really. I don’t know if I was more focused on the alien attackers or meeting Tatiana’s father or if my new enhanced persona just handled the stimuli better. But I barely paid attention to the city.

    The President was supposed to address the United Nations Security Council about the meteor impacts and future planetary defense spending requirements later that evening. It was our plan to get me close enough to test the President for isolateeism.

    Tabitha was certain that she could have gotten me in to meet the President but we didn’t want to raise suspicion with security. My previous failed clearance might have raised some questions and now that I was hanging out with the W-squared crowd all of the sudden some body in the right “need to know” circle might get curious. It was easier to go through Tatiana’s connections since we didn’t want to tip our hand to anybody with power who might be an isolatee just yet.

    I know that you are thinking what about Tatiana. She is an isolatee and we are carrying her around with us and telling her everything. She was an abductee – but not any longer! And we’re all watching her closely. Mikhail is always with her. She is watching herself. No evil force has ever taken over her mind as far as we can tell. We aren’t sure what else to do.

    What would you do? Besides that, you try to keep Tatiana from doing something she wants to do. Tell me before you try because I want to be out of the solar system that day.

    We spent the better part of the day in the back of a limousine driving around the city looking at this and that. Ambassador Svobodny took us to a swanky restaurant that must have been very expensive, but it didn’t seem to impede his progress to order everything on the menu.

    “Mr. Ambassador, I want to thank you for showing me such a great time today,” I told him. Tatiana smiled at me from across the table and derailed my train of thought for a second.

    “Father, must Steven continue with this Mr. Ambassador nonsense all evening?” she said in Russian.

    “Of course not my dear. Steven, in private feel free to call me Pyotir,” he replied.

    “Great, thanks, I will,” I told him. I felt Tatiana’s foot rub up against my leg gently and I caught a devious look in her eye as her foot traveled further up my leg. Startled, at first, I was mostly nervous: Tatiana, what are you doing?

    Nothing, what do you mean? She raised her left eyebrow at me as she took a sip of wine.

    Uh, okay, but you are distracting me.

    And your point is.

    But your father might…

    Oh pooh! That was all she said, but she didn’t stop with the foot thing. It made me even more nervous than I had been.

    “Daddy, if you will entertain Steven for a moment, I will excuse myself.”

    “Sure darling, everything is fine?”

    “Oh yes, just going to the lady’s room.”

    “Very well.” He said and she kissed him on the cheek.

    Once Tatiana was clear of earshot I told him that she definitely was headstrong and had a mind of her own.

    “Just like her mother that one. She is one hellstorm if she doesn’t get her way. She always has been.” He chuckled with a deep belly laugh and his large stomach jiggled a bit. His political prowess and guardedness relaxed for a moment he seemed more human – more like the father of the woman I was in love with. Maybe his laughing and speaking to me frankly is what lead me to say what I said next.

    “Pyotir, Mr. Svobodny, I am thinking of asking Tatiana to marry me and I would like your permission before I do,” I stammered.

    “My boy you are charming but foolish.” He laughed deeply and sincerely and at first I thought he was making fun of me.

    “Why is that?” I asked a bit hurt.

    “My boy, as you have just agreed, Tatiana does what Tatiana wants to do. If I gave you my permission or not it has no bearing on what she plans to do. You are noble if not naive. I like that.”

    “Well, I meant that I intended to ask her and I hoped that you approve of me is all. Of course, she might say no. And in that case I will simply walk away and not be a bother as I plan to crawl under a rock somewhere and die.”

    “Steven, I like you. If you want my approval, there you have it. If anything you seem to have done something for her confidence and her appearance. Look at her; she has never looked so alive and vivacious in all her life. I think she would say yes. Yes, I’m sure of it.”

    Tatiana touched my shoulder and bent down as though to whisper in my ear. She held her hand over her mouth and bit my earlobe. What are you two talking about?

    Just guy stuff.

    “Ah, sit down my dear. Steven was just explaining this crazy tuck rule in American professional football. That damned rule cost me ten thousand dollars last year.” I guess he assumed that all Americans follow football. Unfortunately, I don’t.

    Fortunately, I have an alien computer inside me that has a database of basically all human public knowledge. Mike, download to me all the rules of professional football (American) and outcomes of all of the games last year where the ‘tuck rule’ was pertinent.

    “Really, Steven. Football huh, do tell,” Tatiana teased me since she knew I didn’t follow sports that much.

    “Well, fortunately I had bet on the Forty-niners and not the Jets. You see I’m originally from California. I used to be a Raiders fan but since there is no longer an L.A., I just can’t get fired up about the Las Vegas Raiders. Yeah, I agree with you though. I haven’t liked that damned tuck rule since I started watching the game, but I’ll take the three hundred bucks it got me.” I went on to explain the details of the rule. Once, Tatiana stuck her tongue out at me.

    You cheated and used Mike didn’t you?

    Who’s Mike? Never heard of him. I winked back at her.

    After dinner and a few drinks we finally made it to the UN building – oh, the life of a politician is hard isn’t it. The President made his speech to the Security Council and it lasted a good thirty minutes. It was televised and a big hullabaloo. Tatiana and I were told to wait in a guest room near Ambassador Svobodny’s office until someone came to get us.

    Instead of waiting there we decided to sneak out of the guest quarters and wander around taking a survey of isolatees. Sneaking out wasn’t hard. We just opened the door to the room and walked around. After all, we weren’t prisoners; we were guests.

    We mapped most of the people in the periphery since the main players were in the meeting hall. About ten percent of the people we encountered were isolatees.

    Most all of the people we met were annoyed that I was trying to shake everybody’s hand that I encountered. It got to be a bit obvious after a while, so we went to a more subtle approach. If I wanted to test them, Tatiana would distract them and then I would move in faster than they could see me and touch them. Once, I even reached through a wall and touched a security guard on the other side. I couldn’t resist tickling his ear before I pulled my hand back through the wall. Tatiana giggled.

    We had fun for a while taunting the locals, but it finally got boring and we returned to the visitor’s room near her father’s office.

    Tatiana actually did go out and look for the restrooms and was gone for a few minutes. She wanted to freshen up. She didn’t really need to with the nanomachines at her disposal, but I find that I even like to take a leak every now and then.

    I picked up a pencil off the small desk in the corner of the little guest office and held it in my hand for a second. Plenty of carbon exists in pencils but I needed some gold.

    Mike, I need some gold. Where is the most likely place for me to find some in here? How much gold do you need, Steven?

    Enough to make an engagement ring for Tatiana.

    I see. There is probably enough gold in the computer on the office desk.

    Okay, take it.

    I put my hand on the computer and a few seconds later I had a small lump of gold metal in my hand. The computer would no longer work, but from the dust on it, it looked like nobody ever used it anyway.

    I added a bit of other metals to it to make it stronger, Steven but there was enough gold.

    Take the carbon in the pencil and make a diamond out of it.

    Okay, Steven.

    Mike and I went through several different designs and the pencil and lump of metal morphed from one type of engagement ring to the next. I finally settled on a design and had Mike make me a little ring box for it. When Tatiana returned I got down on one knee and popped the question.

    “Tatiana, will you marry me?” I held up the ring box with the lid open.

    Tatiana took the box and put the ring on her finger and then held her hand out and looked at the ring. I used a four carat solitaire diamond setting in a gold ring with the inscription “a match made in heaven” on the inside of it in tiny, tiny letters. I knew that Tatiana’s advanced senses would be able to see and feel it.

    “Oh Steven, I thought you were never going to ask. It’s beautiful and I love the inscription. And I love you. Yes!” She kissed me and hugged me and kissed me again.

    Finally somebody came for us just when we were in the midst of a deep passionate embrace. We both freshened up and then went to meet her father at the President’s reception. It didn’t seem to impress our guide that Tatiana and I changed to formal attire in less than about a minute or so each. The changes actually only took a second or two, but we had played around with styles and colors for another minute.

    It was fun meeting the President and all of the various foreign dignitaries at the reception. Tatiana and I showed off a bit by speaking to each of them in their native tongues. It made them more at ease with us. What we found out was startling.

    Ninety-seven percent of the U.N. Security Council, the President of the United States of America, almost all of the leaders of nations present, and the Russian Ambassador to the U.N. were isolatees.



    It was official, isolatees ruled the Earth!



    We had no idea what that meant either.

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