And for the record, I used them all! J
A Sun in Its Womb #2
“You never told me.” Aja sat at one end of the chaise. Jordy perched at the other. The lounge had no other occupants. Together, they looked out the portal at the blue immensity of the Ferract ship still tethered at dock.
Jordy shrugged, her pink lips curving in a quirk of purely human expression. She did that well. Aja wondered whether it was emotional reflex or some cute quirk Jordy had programmed. It was nice of Director Rowe to have ordered the lounge off limits for an hour. Jordy had wanted some time alone with him.
“I never told anyone,” she said.
“I am.” She leaned toward him, all earnestness, elbows on knees and face in her cupped hands. “I’m just like you, Aja.”
He laughed. “No, you’re not. For one thing, I’m not Fer.”
“Neither am I. Not yet.”
“But are you human?”
She nodded. Beautiful ringlets of hair as warm and brown as the coffee she drank—sugar, no cream—danced as she spoke. “I am. Completely. Human to my last cell. Just ask the scientists at STOA.”
“You think cells are what make a human?”
Jordy cocked him one of her shattering smiles. “I’m pretty sure they do. I have a neural core of empirical evidence to that effect, and so do you.” She laughed when he rolled his eyes. He despised lab-speak. He was a security coordinator for the station’s power plant. Jordy’s quips about neuro-physiology had always struck him as delightfully absurd, because she analyzed productivity reports for the station’s armies of self-directed robotic units, or worker bees.
“And you’re saying you’re identical to me—at the neuro-physiological level.”
“Yes. For now.” She chewed a little on her lower lip. He wished she wouldn’t do that.
“Stop it,” he said, same as he always did. She only chewed her lip when nervous. “Your lips are too pretty for that.”
“I can’t help it. It upsets me when you’re angry.” She glanced back out the portal. The Ferract ship filled the window, a glow of cobalt blue forever shifting shape. Aja knew the ship’s presence was making the rest of the station’s population nervous. He was operating short-staffed today because of it and there were rumors of the drug plant having been almost completely turned over to the production of tranqs. He was pretty sure half his remaining force was using them, even though there was a hard rule in place that security forces could not be on psycho-depressants. None of them had so much as an inkling about Jordy.
“Look, Jordy, I—”
“You’re wondering if you ever knew me. I know that. But this is me. The girl who leaves pink flowers on the bridge because it makes Mirosheini mad, who can’t help but seesaw between tiramisu or the peanut and chocolate bomba for dessert… the one who sends out condolences to supervisors when one of their worker bees gets decommissioned. People love their worker bees!” Her eyes misted up and his heart simply melted. He tried to stay focused on what Rowe and the others had asked him to do. Find out what she’s here to do.
“You love your worker bee, don’t you, Aja? You love Fritz.”
He snapped his thoughts back as her words prompted a mental image of his deputy, an aging unit barely getting by on a wobbly mixture of crafty programming and upgrades. “Fritz? Hell yes. But Jordy—” he looked back out at the Ferract ship, from which unnerving tentacles coiled like blue fusilli. “I never took Fritz to bed. I never—” Damn, he hated this, having to say it at all, much less diplomatically enough not to ignite some cataclysmic rift with the Ferra. None of them knew why the Ferract ship was here. Or what Jordy wanted from him…
“Just say it, Aja. It’s bad for your blood pressure when—”
“For fuck sake, Jordy!” he growled, glad he could exert even that much control, “I’m confused as hell right now. You understand that, don’t you? I mean, I almost don’t care that you’re one of them. But what the hell do you really look like?”
She blinked in surprise. “This. I told you. I’ve always looked like this.”
“Well, there was a brief period during adolescence when I thought it would be fun to be a boy. But after a couple of years—”
She’d told him only that she had never known her mother and father, and had been raised entirely through foster parents.
“You were a boy?”
“Just for a couple years. A penis is fun, but I decided I preferred a vagina.”
Aja flushed. “That’s not how it is for humans! That’s what I mean about you not being quite human, Jordy. We don’t get to experiment with being the opposite sex.”
“I realize that. But I’ve never looked like anyone but me. Even as a boy, except for the penis for a bit. And I—”
“As a boy, did you have sex with girls?”
Aja swallowed the growing lump in his throat. “With boys?”
Jordy, eyes wide as she watched him, nodded again.
"I chose you. I chose this. I know I’m not what people call pretty, but I like my body. It’s fun. And I love it even more when you and I are together.” She reached out her soft hand and touched his. “Please don't leave me, Aja."
“I’m not leaving you, Jordy. How could you think you're less than perfect to me? I just don’t know what the fuck you are, or what I feel right now.”
She smiled. “You want me to explain why I’m here.”
Fuck. She had always been too smart for any of them. As he looked into her eyes, he saw only the woman he loved. But could he trust that? At least she didn’t look like a civilization-killing alien.
“Yeah. That’s what I want.”
(to be continued…)
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Lily Sawyer m/m
MA Church m/m
Julie Lynn Hayes m/m