Authors: Robin Smith
Tags: #Science Fiction, #Travel, #spanking, #romance, #Fantasy, #Time, #erotica, #futuristic
Blue Light of Home
BLUE LIGHT OF HOME
A Red Hot Romance Spanking Novel
A Blushing Books Edition
All rights reserved.
Copyright 2006 © by Robin Smith
This book may not be reproduced in
whole or part, by mimeograph or any other
means, without permission of the author.
This book is a work of fiction.
Any resemblance to actual persons, places,
and events are purely coincidental.
Cover design by edhgraphics.blogspot.com
Table of Contents
They didn’t bother with a phone call or anything, and the security guard waved her on in the same as he did every evening, but something was sure up and you didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to sense it. For one thing, there were soldiers. Oh, seeing a few soldiers around the Space Administration’s compound wasn’t too unusual, but tonight, they were everywhere, with guns, all business.
And two of them were waiting when Skye stepped out of the ladies’ locker room in her flat grey custodial coveralls. Waiting for her.
They took her to the big office. The Big Office, even. The one a lowly custodial engineer like her couldn’t even get in to clean. Several men were waiting inside. Some of them wore uniforms. All of them looked nervous.
Nervous couldn’t begin to describe Skye’s own state of mind by this point. No one sent armed guards to help fire the janitor unless they’d found a bomb made out of cleaning supplies in a rocket somewhere. Something was wrong here, very wrong, and everyone seemed to think she was involved. At this place, in the age of Homeland Security, to a painfully blue-collar girl like her, this wasn’t nerve-wracking, it was terrifying.
“Skye Westlocke?” asked the man at the center of the office. Not a soldier. Maybe a scientist, although she’d never seen him before. He was wearing a suit, but he’d taken off the jacket and tie and sweated heavily through the shirt. He looked like he’d been up all night, maybe doing jumping jacks.
“Sit down, please.” He took his own invitation, claiming the authoritative leather seat behind the room’s mammoth desk, and brought out a pack of cigarettes. “Smoke?”
“No, sir.” And the building had been militantly smoke-free for years.
“Don’t start. Disgusting habit.” He lit up, took a deep drag, and held it. The glowing tip shook a little. He and the other men in the room exchanged glances. The atmosphere was almost bad enough by now to make Skye feel faint. Then he looked at her again, smoking hard. “I can’t think how to say any of this, so I’m going to tell you the same way we were told. I want you to…to try not to panic.”
And with those cryptic, uncomforting words, the man pushed a button, brought down a widescreen TV from the ceiling, and began to play something.
There was no image, only blackness broken here and there by thin lines of static, but the static never interrupted the sound, which was clear, distinct, and unemotional:
“We are speaking now to the many leaders of Earth. We are envoys sent from the Empire of Vaaj. Your world has been under observation for many years and our studies confirm we are your superiors in every way: technologically, militarily, governmentally. We are here now to initiate the first official contact between our peoples. We have every intention of pursuing a peaceful co-existence, but your age of autonomy has ended. Prepare to join the Empire.”
“My God,” Skye said through numb lips. She looked wildly around the room and saw only grim old men looking back at her. “Is…Is this a joke? Or a hoax?”
The man behind the desk simply shook his head and smoked.
“It is our earnest desire to avoid a general panic among your many diverse populations. Therefore, we contact you in the spirit of discretion, to tell your leaders to make ready. We have placed in orbit around your world our emissary, whose task it shall be to make in-depth investigations into your cultures and histories, so as to better facilitate your integration. The task is laborious and the process lengthy. Do not attempt to curtail his access to your media satellites or make any aggressive overtures. We do not leave him undefended and we are fully prepared to annihilate your entire civilization if hostilities are invoked. The emissary is not here to negotiate terms and will respond to no entreaties from your governments whatsoever. Do not attempt to contact him except in response to this transmission. He will instigate all further communications at need.”
Skye felt frozen fingers at her lips and realized they were hers. She had pressed herself into the back of the chair so firmly that her spine had begun to ache, and still the men around her kept watching her. Not the TV, where the voice held sway, but only her.
“The emissary requires a human presence aboard his vessel to answer any questions he may have concerning your world and to serve him in any way he deems necessary. The assistant will be female, no less than twenty and no more than fifty years of age, in excellent physical and mental health. You will contact the emissary to arrange for her transport within seventy-two hours of this transmission. She will remain aboard the vessel until his task is complete, which will be no less than one year and perhaps as many as two.”
The man behind the desk switched off the recording. “That’s all you need to hear, Ms. Westlocke.”
She stared at him, unable to speak, even to shout the question eating up her brain. He couldn’t mean
, could he? He couldn’t mean
“This has been a hell of a night,” the man said, lighting a new cigarette. He still hadn’t introduced himself. “Name a country, I’ve been talking to them. No one wants to deal with this thing, but someone has to, and for some goddamned reason, it has to be us. Ms. Westlocke, I’m going to say this as bluntly as I can, and please don’t take offense, but we are not sending one of our highly-trained astronauts or biophysicists up there to be some alien commando’s Girl Friday. In this situation, we are all agreed, the less the woman knows, the better for national…for Earth’s security. Neither are we going to run to the corner of 48
Street and hope we can find a professional in the next—” He checked his watch. “Fifty-one hours who fits his bill. We need to be quick, we need to be quiet, and we need to play it safe. We need someone close to home, who can understand our position here.”
“I can’t!” she gasped, almost choking on the words. “My God, how can you—? How can you—? I can’t!”
“We are prepared to compensate you,” he said quietly, without a trace of shame in his eyes. “Half a million dollars for every month you…work. Tax-free. When you come down, you’ll have a whole new identity and a place to live in the country of your choice, your own private island, if that’s what you want. All we ask is that you do your…job to the best of your ability and that you do not talk to anyone about it afterwards.”
“We don’t have a lot of choices,” he said. “You don’t have a family to leave behind, your bill of health is clean, your phone records don’t even indicate a boyfriend.”
“How do you—”
“We can have you on that…the emissary’s vessel in twelve hours. We will give you anything you need to make that happen.”
He pushed another button. The television snapped an image up—a gleaming, silvery sort of pear, floating against a sea of stars, with a couple chunks of space debris and half of Earth in the background.
“That’s him,” he said, not looking at it, only at her. “This is real, Ms. Westlocke. This is happening. The clock is ticking and I know what we’re asking, but this is so much bigger than just one person. If our positions were reversed, I don’t even know what I’d say, but I’m begging you for the sake of my wife and my kids and my grandkids to do this because we simply do not have time to find someone else.”
She stared at him.
“You’ll be serving your country, if that matters to you. I won’t ask if it does. You’ll be serving humanity. You’ll be ensuring a future in which, come what may, you will never have to work again. Or you can say no.” He leaned back in his chair, tapping ashes indiscriminately onto the floor for some janitor…some other janitor…to clean. “But knowing what you know, I’m afraid you can’t exactly be free to go.”
“You…You’d arrest me?”
“No. People who are arrested receive trials.”
They all watched her in silence.
“Then I’ll do it,” she said, and the Earth kept right on spinning, like saying that was no big deal at all.
“I’ll send a couple boys home with you to help you pack and do any shopping you might want to do. You won’t be allowed phone calls or private access to any computer during this time, but they’ll help you get your business affairs in order, if…if you need to.” He looked at his watch again. “I want a six a.m. launch time, so if you want to get some sleep or get anything special to eat, just let one of your boys know.”
“You don’t have to go back to work,” one of the other men said, as if this were a tremendous favor he were bestowing on her. “Unless you want to.”
She looked at them, all these old men, and felt her eyes stinging. Then she got up and staggered out of the office to go home and pack.
Everything was automatic—the launch, the flight, the docking, everything. All Skye had to do was sit there in her heavy suit, the harness like an iron hand pressing her into her seat, listening to her breath echo back through the helmet speakers as the voices back in the Space Administration’s Ground Control told each other what a safe flight she was having. The alien vessel took over at the end. The last human voice Skye would hear for a long time told her everything looked good, told her the thoughts and prayers of the people of the Earth went with her, told her good luck, and then went silent.
With a gentle nudge and a soft metallic ‘clank’, the nodule was stabilized and held by alien clamps. Skye listened, fingering the release switch on her harness, as something sealed itself to the hatchway below her. The commlink clicked once and a male voice said, “Disembark and come at once to the pressure chamber.”
No hellos, either.
Skye unbuckled herself and worked the hatch open. She got her suitcases and gave them a push into the open sleeve beyond the hatch, then followed, swimming awkwardly through weightless space.
The commlink clicked behind her and she thought she heard the voice again, but couldn’t tell at this distance what he’d been saying. She should have answered him, she guessed, acknowledged him at least, but no one had told her how to use the commlink. “Don’t touch anything,” had pretty much been her only instructions. She wasn’t an astronaut after all, she was…well, she knew what she was. Or what she was going to be anyway. Very soon.
Nerves tried to take her away. She didn’t let them. She couldn’t afford to be all blubbery and panicked when the alien introduced himself. First impressions mattered.
The sleeve ended at another hatch, a larger and somewhat nicer one than that of Earth’s ship. It opened while she floated outside, trying to figure out how to work it, and she pushed her suitcases in, then swam in behind them. The door shut.
A click over hidden speakers. “Secure your possessions in the fasteners.”
Fasteners. Skye looked around and saw what looked a little like metallic spiderwebs here and there along the walls. She touched one hesitantly and it contracted around her hand at once, reminding her a little of the way anemones at the touch tank in the aquarium will grip on and try to pull your finger down. When she tugged, the web tightened, but let go when she tugged harder, snapping back to its previous shape.