| Embassy Tales: The Convention
Journal Entry 049 / 00100
Elenya, Nenim 24, 00100
March 02, 1984
Two years of training. Hundreds of hours in class. Thousands of practice
encounters. She knew the language, understood the methods of exchange,
modeled her clothing on the local mores. She thought she had come fully
But Terra was even more than Fynith had anticipated. She felt overwhelmed
by the press of bodies, the density of voices, the volume of the
city. And the smell was almost more than she could bear. Especially
in this assignment. There were, it seemed, Terrans who cared little
for their personal appearance or their odor. She wrinkled her nose
constantly even as the people surged in on her, asked to talk to her,
demanded her attention.
She looked over at Giola, the Tindal male who was fielding the latest
round of questioning that they were to endure during their travels
here among the Terrans known as "fandom." Their mission was to try and
make zealots out of these people, to talk to the segment of the Terran
population most prepared to understand the Pendorian point of view. If the
last few weeks were any indication, the military and political branches
Giola was grinning from ear to impressive ear as he told a about
the Day of the Stars. It was his to tell and he told it well.
"Nobody had told us when it was going to happen. We had never seen a
starry night in all the years that we'd been on Pendor. We knew what
stars were, of course. We knew that Pin-- that's our sun-- was a star,
and that somewhere, beyond some veil that covered our corner of the
universe, the sky was full of distant stars, because there were books
in the library that told us so. Some of us had tried to imagine it,
so there were paintings and drawings of a starry sky, but none of us
were really ready for it.
"And then, one day, they were just there. You would think that chaos would
break out, like in that Asimov novel, 'The Fall of Night,' but really,
nothing of the sort happened. People were surprised and ran to their
AIs to ask, but the AIs just said, 'Those are stars. We have emerged
from the darkness and are now in the real universe.' Well, we didn't
know what that meant but we learned quickly."
"And nobody was afraid?"
"What is there to be afraid of?" Giola said, taking a drink of water
before continuing. "I know there were people who were concerned. We had
been immune to attack, to outside influence, to change, while we were
in that... wherever we were. But if we don't survive the kind of change
that you people go through, then we don't deserve to survive at all. We
have to be just as resilient as Terrans are, now that we're free to make
the same mistakes you people are."
A in the front row stood up and said, "Thank you for coming to this
afternoon's panel. I know you have a million questions more, but our
guests must have a chance to rest and to enjoy the convention just as
much as you do. Let's have a round of applause for Giola and Fynith."
The sound washed over Fynith, making her heart race. She tried to smile
and not make it frightening to the audience, but she felt that somewhere
down inside she was failing miserably. Giola stood and bowed, and she
followed his example, as the audience shuffled out.
He was soon at her elbow. "Fynith? Are you okay?"
"I'm tired," she sighed. "I'm sorry if I fell down on you there, Giola,
but I can't help it. I'm not dealing with the crowds very well."
"You also didn't get enough sleep last night. K'Faor told me to keep
a close eye on you and it seems that he was right. You're trying too
hard and dealing with too much. You're going to bed when we get back to
She didn't argue as he led her back to the elevators and to her own room.
Once inside, he dumped her into her own bed, drew the covers over her
form. "Rest. I've got to find Faor. I'm sure he's thriving on this stuff,
but you're not."
"'Kay," she mumbled. "Thanks, Giola."
She awoke four hours later, her stomach growling painfully. The sun had
set some time ago. "Athena?" she whispered into the dark and empty room.
"Here, Fynith. Are you feeling better? I'm monitoring lower levels of
physical stress in your body."
"You'd tell me that if you thought it would lower the stress, wouldn't
"If necessary. I don't think it's necessary in this case because it is
simply true. Do you feel better?"
Fynith stretched. She did. Four hours hardly qualified as the proverbial
catnap, but it had done wonders for her. "I do. I would like to eat. And
I need a shower."
"Shower first," the AI responded, "and I will lead you to some food. I
have advised the other members of the team that you are awake and feeling
recovered. I should advise you that the costume ball is beginning in just
under half an hour; it will be acceptable if you are late in order to eat.
Sandra would like to know if you would like her company at dinner."
"Tell her yes, or let me tell her."
A whisper sailed through her mind, a signal that she was being connected
to another. "Sandra? I would like company."
She felt more than saw the other fem's smile. "Meet me in the lobby, then,
and we'll use the hotel's restaurant again. I like being visible in here.
The idea of going to an outside restaurant frankly scares me, however."
"Me too. See you in fifteen minutes, Terran."
"Good. See you then, Fynith."
The warmth of the shower threatened to seduce her into being late, and she
loathed finally turning the water off. She also missed the pleasure of an
airmat drying room; she survived with a lot of towels, an oversized blow
dryer that threatened to blow a circuit breaker somewhere in the hotel,
and clothes that would cover the greater part of her hygienic errors.
She found the restaurant without Athena's help, and found Sandy sitting
alone in a booth. The human fem waved her over. Fynith found herself
admiring Sandy's ability both to attract attention and to be completely
Sandy's humanity allowed her to walk anywhere without anyone knowing she
was a Pendorian. On the other hand, her features made her exotic
here in the American deep south. A knee-length skirt of blue checks
and a shapeless white sweater hid whatever form might be underneath,
but her size alone made it clear that she was a healthy example of her
species, never mind the utter clarity of her features. Thin eyebrows
and dimples when she smiled completed the image, and simple light-beige
moccasins over ankle-high socks revealed more than they hid. Her hair,
long and black, descended down her back from a loosely tied topknot.
Fynith earnestly wondered if Sandy was something other than entalie'.
"Hi!" Sandy said as she slid into the uncomfortable bench-like seats
that lined the wall. "You're looking much better. You're looking at me!"
"Is it that obvious?"
"Always," Sandy said. "And I would, too, if I weren't involved and my
friend weren't quite so jealous," she said, answering Fynith's unspoken
question. She sighed. "Maybe it's time to call it off. Arroch... is fun,
but sometimes I wish..."
"We can't all be Shardik," Fynith said with a grin. The maxim had already
grown old, but still it carried with it a certain amount of truth. "You're
not in it with him for a family, are you?"
Sandy shook her head. "No way. Not him. I wouldn't trust him with a pet
hamster, never mind a baby. Besides, we aren't the same species."
"That hasn't stopped some people."
"'We can't all be Shardik,'" Sandy quoted back at her. "Let's eat."
After they ordered their meals, Fynith leaned back in her chair. "I
can't believe nobody has come up and started to talk to us. I even made
it down here with only a few stares."
"There appears to be some sort of rule involving privacy at meals. It
wasn't covered in any of the material I was given. I've seen someone
freely walk up to people they know and interrupt, but not people they
do not." Sandy pointed to an example.
Fynith said, "I think I'll survive one more day, but I'm not sure I want
to put up with more of this."
Sandy grinned. "I think you'll manage to find something to keep your
Their meals arrived and they hurriedly wolfed down their portions. Fynith
had heard someone on the European team mention that they frequently had
to order double because the meals were small over there. For a human,
that seemed sensible. Fynith admitted that if it weren't for the nanochine
in their bloodstreams, the meals they were being served here in America
would have been overwhelming. It was clear to her that this was one of
the main reasons for the sheer number of excessively heavy Terrans.
The masquerade was, as predicted, crowded and hot. Fynith was pleased to
note that it didn't smell quite so bad-- maybe the people who attended
the masquerade were different from those in the gaming room. She had
passed by there this morning and nearly gagged on the scent of so many
"I'm glad to see you're awake," K'Faor said as she stood next to him.
"Sorry about that."
"I don't want one of my people to get the million mile stare on my watch,
yes? Please be more careful. If you start to fade the way Giola described
to me you must back off and rest."
"After Giola forced you into bed," he said.
She nodded, then turned her attention to the masquerade. The purpose of
this gathering appeared to be a contest for costumers, and Fynith had
to admit that there were a number of great talents in the people who
brought their costumes up. One person amazed her by being her spitting
image right down to the fur markings on the face, astounding because the
costumer first had to have been working from photos less than a day old,
and second because the costumer was identified as an amateur, someone
who did costuming in addition to his daily tasks.
He admitted to the master of ceremonies to having the costume completely
made up but for the coloring, and the facial shape was achieved by the
delicate rearrangement of foam inserts and the shaping of the underwire
that held the head together. Still, Fynith found the head to be one
of the most artfully done portions of the costume-- it really did look
exactly like her own. He must have worked from photographs taken at last
"Is Representative Fynith in the audience?"
The announcer's words caught her off guard. She looked up just as he
spotted her. Apparently a lot of people were looking in her direction,
marking a clear line towards her. "I'd just like to see how accurate this
costume is. Could you come up here and stand next to, um, your clone?"
Fynith trembled at the idea of being in front of so large an audience,
but the invitation was something she could hardly afford to turn down. She
rose from her chair and, trying to put her best smile on, climbed the
steps to the stage and took a stand right next to the costumer. A massive
round of applause broke out from the crowd, and she wondered if it was
really like looking in a mirror to stand face-to-face with the costumer.
She turned and looked.
The eyes were disturbing since they didn't move. They were also the
wrong color. And the face was so still. She could never have found this
fur suit attractive. Still, it was a decent likeness. "I hope you win."
"Lindo!" the costumer replied, surprising her with even a word of Quen.
She grinned and decided it would not be inappropriate to hug him. She
felt him stiffen through the material of his fitted suit, but he was
gracious about it all the same. The crowd appreciated the gesture,
rewarding them both with another round of applause.
Fynith returned to her seat. "There," K'Faor said, "See? You can do it.
You just have to find the right venue, yes."
"I guess," Fynith replied. She looked to her left and found an human mel looking at her. He was clearly in his latter years; slightly
portly and with a well-trimmed white beard that suggested the myth of
the gift-bringer that Americans had. He smiled and waved, and she waved
Her twin only came in second in the amateur contest, although given the
quality of the competition that was no small detail. The work that had
gone into some of the costumes she had seen that evening was incredible;
she again marveled at the human capacity for imagination and wonder.
She left the masquerade and wandered out into the main lobby area of the
hotel. This appeared to be the gathering spot late at night for people
who had no other particular purpose. They were clothed in all manner of
garb and most of them were willing to leave her be. She had no purpose
of her own, and so it made sense to her in some perverse way that she
should be out here tonight.
She turned to find the white-bearded gentlemen who had waved to her in
the masquerade. "Hi," she said softly.
"I'm sorry. Am I interrupting? You seemed to be just sitting here,
and my and I were wondering if we could talk. To you, that is."
Fynith tried to find a smile and didn't quite succeed. She looked past the
mel to see a short femhuman standing there, with a long beige skirt and
a full blouse. She had the same appearance of age that the did. "I'm
afraid that I'm not much for conversation tonight."
"Oh! I'm sorry. If you're not up to it, we'll just leave you be."
"No, wait." Fynith stood up, stretching. People were watching her; it
seems that these two were the first of the evening to get up the courage
to come over and talk to her. Was she putting out "don't talk to me"
signals? Part of her earnestly hoped so. And part of her was ashamed to
admit so. "I'd actually like to have someone to talk to. I just don't
know if you're interested in listening."
"My dear, I am always interested in listening," the white-haired said. He had a mysterious, even sensual, air that Fynith would not have
suspected in someone so marked with the eventual weaknesses inherent
in a species without immortality. "It's my job," he continued. "My...
"If it is your job," Fynith said, "does that mean you cost money?"
The laughed! "Yes, usually. But I am on vacation. And you would be
a most ear-opening voice." He extended a hand. "Robert Deteur."
"And this is my wife, Manette."
Manette extended her hand. "Hi. It's so nice to meet you."
Fynith nodded. Both of these people had an infectious sense of pleasure
to them. It wasn't just their earnest smiles, which in many cases might
have put Fynith on the defensive. No, it was more their earnest and
obvious pleasure at having her attention. She had the feeling, though,
that they took pleasure at having anyone's attention at all.
"Shall we retire to the bar?" Robert suggested. "Sometimes it's the best
place to talk, and listen."
Fynith nodded, allowing them to lead her down the broad hallway to an
open area where many people were gathered. Music played somewhere in
the background, not loudly. The waitress who came by their booth even
as they settled gave Fynith a glance that could not have been construed
as friendly, but took orders from the three of them. Having no idea what
to order, she allowed Robert to order something for her.
The drink, whatever it was, came in a tall glass. It smelled strongly of
alcohol, but the flavor was surprisingly sweet, like that of some soda pop
she had been offered a few days before. As she drank it, she more felt
than tasted the alcohol as it wended its way around her brain. Athena,
she thought, make sure I don't overdo this.
I'm watching, Athena responded. And I'm letting you do this. It may be
what you need. And Poppy agrees with me.
She grinned, grateful that Athena had called the Embassy counselor.
"To whom?" Robert asked.
"Oh," Fynith said. "Sorry. Nobody. Just thinking to myself."
"I see," Robert replied. "So, tell me why you are not in a speaking mood."
Fynith took a deep breath, and suddenly her tension all came flowing
out. Her fear of failure, her claustrophobia, her fear of not being so
close to the medical resources of her homeworld. The press of bodies,
the smell, the sheer relentless pace of life on Terra that threatened
to overwhelm her.
"It is a lot to bear," Robert admitted. "Not many people do it well. Those
who do it especially poorly tend to end up in my office." He grinned,
reached out a hand and touched her own. "But you are actually holding
up quite well. And it is just for a little while. In a few days you will
be back in the compound with your own kind."
"I know that," Fynith said. "It isn't the long-term that I'm worried
about. It's the daily things. How can I go on working with people like
you when I'm so afraid?"
"That is not something your computers took into account when they assigned
you to this mission. I think you will have to learn to accept it as much
as we do. Is there something that could make you feel unafraid?"
Fynith looked at her glass. Another drink? she asked Athena.
Robert signaled the waitress, who soon brought another drink. "I would
not want you to get too drunk, my dear."
"I'll be fine. If need be, I can become instantly hungover. We have a
drug for that."
"That doesn't sound like a pleasant experience," Manette said.
"It's not supposed to be," Fynith said, sipping at her glass.
"You have not answered my question," Robert said. "What would make you
Fynith thought about the question, acutely aware that Robert had been
examining her face the entire time that they had been talking. She
wondered if her facial expressions really meant anything to him, if
he were really getting anything out of watching her. "I don't know,"
she sighed. "I mean, this is supposed to be the world where Pendorians
all came from, in one way or another, right? Why don't I feel like one
"You aren't one of us," Robert said. "You can't be. Your shape by itself
prevents us from seeing you completely as we see ourselves, not that we
succeed at seeing ourselves that well. And you yourself said this morning
that your people are far beyond Earth in its technology. But I suspect
that is not what you mean. It's more fundamental than that. Maybe you
don't feel like one of us because you don't know what one of us feels
Fynith reached out with one hand and touched his, much as he had touched
hers earlier. "Maybe not." She looked past the bar. "I was whining at
dinner to a friend about how much I need to find a lover."
"Long or short term?" Robert asked.
"Both. Either. I don't know. I don't care at this point. I'm stuck with
the same fifty people."
"You have six billion people to choose from," Robert said, staring at her.
"You don't seriously believe that I might find someone of interest
"You don't seriously believe that you'll find a miracle among fifty people
you've obviously already looked through far too often to be healthy?"
Robert replied. "I mean, what is wrong with Manette and I, for example?"
Fynith muttered the answer under her breath. Robert prodded her. "I did
not hear that."
"You're younger than I am, but neither of us can tell that."
"You're saying that we look old," Robert replied. "Yes. We do not have the
advantage of your genetics; we cannot keep ourselves indefinitely.
I'm not so sure that it's a good thing that you live as long as you like.
The awareness that one has so long in front of you must fill you with
both a caution and dread-- caution because you're afraid to lose it,
dread because you are afraid to live it."
"Do you read minds as well?" Fynith said. Robert had just laid her life
out bare in front of the three of them. If it weren't for the artificial
courage instilled in her by the alcohol, she may have already run and hid.
"Not as easily as I read bodies. Yours is not so different after all. Do
me a favor. Remember your favorite place." He watched her closely. "Now,
imagine what that place would look like with all the colors backwards." He
chuckled. "You see, you aren't so different from us. Your eyes track in
different directions when your are imagining and when you are remembering.
The same is true of humans. I watch that as much as I watch anything else,
and it gives me clues about you."
"I guess it would help if I were naked."
He laughed harder. "No, if anything that would make it harder. I would
spend too much time leering to actually do any thinking."
"You are, um, making passes at me, aren't you?"
"Such a perceptive dear," Manette said. "Of course. We would love to
invite you back to our room. But you've drunk too much alcohol now for us
to do that. We would be taking advantage of you in your inebriated state."
"I am not drunk. Not so much that I can't decide for myself if I want to
go fuck the two of you." She couldn't believe what she was saying. Had
she really used that four-letter word in front of these people, after
all the warnings she had had about the use of language?
"Do you?" Manette said.
Fynith paused. She weighed the pros and cons with all the care possible
in her intoxicated state. "Sure." Athena gave her consent, but told
Fynith that she would be alerting the rest of the team as to her state
and location, just in case.
Robert took Fynith's hand and led her out of the bar. Manette followed
them, taking Fynith's other hand briefly down the wider corridor, but
the actual room halls were too narrow to make that comfortable. While
Robert fumbled with the keys, Fynith stared at the number long enough
for Athena to know where they were.
Inside, Robert turned around and took Fynith in his arms. She gasped at
the sudden show of strength as he lifted her by the hips. "How shall we
do this?" he asked her.
"The usual way," she said, kissing him. He didn't act at all surprised
as her muzzle met his mouth. Lips and teeth parted, and her tongue met
his halfway. She moaned even as lust overtook any sense she may have
had. His body was warm against hers; human and threatening against hers;
aged and yet strong against hers. The contrasts made her feel wild. They
made her want these two people.
Manette came up behind her and pressed herself against Fynith's back,
her hands reaching down to caress Fynith's waist and buttocks. Fynith
felt a bulge against her belly, a familiar one in any male. She had
heard that some males had erectile problems as age crept up on them, but
apparently Robert was not troubled. She wanted to see it, know about it,
know about him.
And he was so willing! This was not what she had come to expect from
humans; even the males, legendary for their promiscuity, were reticent
when asked directly. Robert's kisses told her that he was not a typical
human. He seemed to actually enjoy her fur. Even his smell, lightly
masked by some musky perfume, thrilled her.
Maybe it was just the alcohol. She didn't care. She was just happy to
find a place where she could lose herself, where she could stop pretending
to be something else, and just let these two people take care of her.
Her hand found Robert's bulge through his pants. She wanted to see the
rest of him. She fumbled with the clasp and zipper, not at all familiar
with how those worked. "Let me," Robert said.
He sat down on the bed. "Manette, get the lights, would you?" The woman
standing behind released her and went to the wall, lowering the lights to
make the room barely visible. She didn't know what to do as she watched
Robert take off his boots and then his black denim pants, tossing them
aside. He wore black undershorts beneath.
Manette, meanwhile, pulled the lacy black and purple outfit over her
head, exposing a heavyset body underneath. She had tattoos on her belly
and above her right breast, and her skin was pale and flawless. Robert
smiled up at Fynith. "So, are we geriatric cases so bad after all?"
"No," Fynith gasped softly. "Not at all." She fell onto the bed, kissing
Robert again. She liked his kisses. They weren't shy. She liked the feel
of his hands as they roamed over the floor-length dress she had worn,
pausing to admire her ass on the way down.
Manette's hands pushed her dress up over her waist, and soon delicate
fingers were teasing at the material of her panties. She lifted her butt
into the air, allowing the woman to pull them down. The cool air touched
her butt, making her smile.
Her hands had found Robert's cock through his undershorts. She reached
past the waist band and found the welcoming pipe of flesh, fully erect
and waiting for her. "So," she whispered to him, "would you be willing
to trust this thing to these teeth?" She grinned at him, showing her
full row of sharp felines.
"Do I have a choice?" he asked.
Instead of answering him, she rose up onto her knees and pulled her
dress up over her head. Crawling back along the length of his body, she
leaned down and took his cock in her furred hands, lifting it into the
air. It was a beast of a penis, although not very long, and it had a
healthy supply of foreskin. That surprised Fynith because she had viewed,
along with all the team, some nude materials, and had been led to believe
that the majority of American were circumcised, a strange traditional
procedure in which the protective covering of the sheath was cut away.
Her surprise lasted barely an instant, after which she descended on his
erection, taking the length of it into her muzzle. She buried her nose
in his pubic hair, resisting the urge to sneeze as a few found their
The bed behind her creaked slightly as Manette joined them. The warmth of
her mouth startled Fynith for just a second as it touched her ass, then
eased between her parted legs. Manette's hand found her tail and lifted
it up, giving her a good view of Fynith's most private region. A tongue
licked at her cunt. Fynith moaned, trying to keep a balance between the
attention she was paying Robert and the desire she had to just lie back
and let Manette pleasure her.
Robert made the decision easy for her by sliding out from underneath. He
held one finger to his lips, a gesture she thought meant only to be quiet.
Robert clearly meant for it to mean something else. He maneuvered around
the bed, joining his wife.
Fynith was now lying face-down on the bed, her ass in the air, more
than just slightly drunk, and two humans she had just met only two hours
earlier about to work over her backside. She closed her eyes and let it
happen. Manette's tongue had been teasing her with delicate strokes
for as long as she had been mouthing Robert's cock. It was gone now, and
instead Fynith felt Robert take his place behind her, the broad mass of
his body warm through the fur of her thighs. His cock pressed up against
her wet opening and slid easily into her. Robert let out a satisfied sigh.
His cock stretched her more than she had thought it would; it had felt
large in her mouth, but in her it was a shaft that teased
her as it pleasured her. "How's that?" he asked.
It took Fynith a second to register that he was addressing her.
"Wonderful," she sighed, enjoying every stroke of his cock inside her
body. She lay on the bed and let it happen, let this wonderfully strange
human take her and give her pleasure.
And he lasted a long time. Fynith felt no need to come but instead loved
the long, constant power of Robert's steady, strong fuck. Manette leaned
against the wall in front of her, watching the two of them go at it,
her own hands between her legs.
Robert's moans grew in volume and passion, and Fynith knew from experience
that his moment was coming soon. Robert came with a groan that might have
been "Yes," if it had had any words at all in it. She didn't know. She
Robert slid out of her and lay down on the bed beside her, gathering
her in his arms. "Thank you!" he said, cheerfully, almost as if she'd
just given him a piece of candy or a small gift.
"You're welcome," she said, kissing him again.
A moan caught their attention. She looked up to see Manette still
furiously playing with herself. Robert sat up with a mischievous smile,
reached out and took his wife's arms by the wrists, and pulled them away
from her cunt. "Fynith, if you would?"
Fynith grinned, game for just about anything right now. But she was also
in no hurry. She kissed Manette's mouth, then her breasts. They were
quite large, larger than her own by a great deal. She enjoyed kissing
and licking them, getting a heartwarming reaction out of Manette as she
did so. She admired the five-pointed star tattoo on Manette's skin.
Then she lowered her head to the other woman's and began licking
her in earnest from the start. Manette had clearly already been close to
climax; just a little more might have pushed her over the edge. But the
delay and the change from fingers to tongue would make it take longer,
And Manette's was surprisingly sweet-- sweeter, even, than most of
the Pendorians she knew. She wondered what it was about Manette that
allowed for that to happen. She would ask later-- right now, her task
was to lick, suck, and tease that tiny clitoris until Manette came.
Come she did, with a long and loud moan that must have been heard in the
room next to theirs. Her whole body shook with the effort, and when she
was done she pulled Fynith up to her mouth and kissed her.
Fynith's body was already warm with Robert's fuck and the lust of Manette.
As the two humans took possession of her body once more, turning her onto
her back, and both of them dived between her legs, Fynith thought for a
brief moment that she had found a paradise. The two would switch off,
each tasting her for a while, then giving the other a turn. Robert's
rough beard gave a hot contrast to Manette's delicate features. It was
Manette's tongue that made the strongest effort, stroking over Fynith's
point of pleasure with intense, precise strikes.
She would turn Fynith over to Robert at just the wrong times, just when
Fynith felt she was closing in on a climax that was too elusive tonight.
She suspected the alcohol might have something to do with it. But
Manette would then take over again, pushing Fynith, teasing her. A loud,
Felinizi growl filled the room, Fynith's growl, as Manette gave her what
she wanted. A star of lust burst in Fynith's belly. Pleasure overtook
her. She whimpered.
"Oh, Fah!" she moaned softly as Manette rose away from her cunt. "That
"I'm glad you liked it!" Manette said with that same eerie smile that
Robert had. "You're very beautiful when you come."
Fynith laughed. "Nobody ever told me that before!"
"It's true," Manette assured her. "Don't ever let anyone tell you
Fynith grinned even as she tried to catch her breath. "What time is it?"
"Nearly one," Robert said, glancing at the clock on the bedstand.
Fynith thought for a few moments. "I must be getting back to my room. I
have to get some sleep! My people will want me to be awake for the
closing ceremonies tomorrow."
"Of course, dear," Manette cooed softly. "Do you want one of us to help
you back there?"
Fynith paused for a moment even as she found her and began pulling
them on. She shook her head. "No, thanks, really. You've both been very
kind. But I really have to get back." She wasn't sure why she felt such
an urgent need to get back. It wasn't quite a desire to get away from
these two, although that may have been it.
They were looking at her with concern. "We didn't do anything to upset
you, did we?"
"No, no," Fynith said. "I just really have to get back. Duty. You
"I suppose I will have to," Robert said. He helped her with her slippers,
and then gave her a hug. "Goodbye, Fynith. You were wonderful. I will
not forget you."
"Nor I," said Manette, closing the hug. For one brief moment, Fynith
felt torn. They were such warm people. She wanted to stay. She had to go.
"Thank you both," Fynith said, giving each a brief kiss. "I'll see you
tomorrow if you are still at the event."
"We will be," Manette assured her.
Fynith began walking back to her room, but by the time she reached the
hallway she was almost running. She tore into the room and threw herself
into the bed, pulling the covers up to her ears, listening to K'Faor
in the next bed, breathing softly. Her mind was racing like light in a
fiberoptic delay loop. Thoughts flew so fast she couldn't grab any of
them. She moaned softly, wondering if she would ever get to sleep.
Still wondering, she did anyway.
"Enjoy yourself last night?" K'Faor's voice cut through her slow crawl to
consciousness. She opened her eyes and accepted the glass of water he held
in his hand. When she drained it, he produced another one just as readily.
After going through four glasses, she needed to retreat to the toilet.
Through the door, he asked, "Fynith?"
She opened the door to look at him through her bleary eyes. "I'm fine,
Faor. Just... hung over."
"Did you enjoy your tryst last night?"
She thought about it. "I don't know yet. I think I did. I can't explain
why I don't know yet. Maybe because it was just sex. I liked the people
I did it with, but I'm not sure if I'd do it with them again. Maybe
one-on-one would be better. Everything was so terribly rushed last night."
She sounded disjointed even to her own ears.
"Sounds like it's still rushed this morning. Get cleaned up, yes? And join
the team for breakfast. You've been acting strange the past day or so.
We'd like to make sure you're well."
Fynith smiled, although K'Faor couldn't see it. "Me too."
She showered and, wearing more traditional Felinzi garb, did finally
reach the team for breakfast. Giola, Sandy, and Faor were all glad to
see her, and she was, she admitted, glad to see them. They were the eye
of her storm. She sighed as she sat down next to Sandy, who looked up
at her with a smile. "I told Arroch off last night."
"You what?" Fynith asked.
"He called. He was going all kitten-eyes at me, and I just couldn't
take it anymore. This job is important to me, but he wants me to go
back on the next ship. It isn't that easy and he knows it." She shook
her head. "I'm available if you are."
"I don't know if I will be for long though," Fynith commented. Faor
looked at her with curiosity. "I dislike to say this, Faor, because
I know you enjoy it here... but I don't. The only thing that keeps me
from going crazy is you three. This and the knowledge that it will end,
that I will go home."
"It wasn't about those Terrans you were with last night?" Giola asked.
"They didn't you or anything, did they?"
"If they had, don't you think Athena would have alerted you?" Fynith said.
"Not, it was not like that. They just weren't Pendorians. They were nice
and friendly and all, but they weren't my people." She turned to K'Faor.
"I want to go home."
He nodded. "What about the job?"
"I'll last. It's a good job, worth a lot of aire'. I'll even work with you
for the next six months. But when the next starship arrives, I'm on it."
"That's all I can ask for," he said.
Sandy surprised her with a kiss on the cheek. "Six months is a good time
to be edamele'. If you want."
Fynith cornered her into the booth and kissed her hard. "I want."
"Good!" Sandy whispered. "Me too."
The Journal Entries of Kennet R'yal Shardik, et. al., and Related Tales
are Copyright (c) 1989-2000 Elf Mathieu Sternberg. Distribution limited
to electronic media not-for-profit use only. All other rights are reserved
to the author.