Free Now to Live, Free to Love Forever
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by Alexandra Adams
Category: Erotica/Erotic Science Fiction/Science Fiction
Description: When Wyoming ranchwoman Ashley Russell sees a human-appearing man step out of a shimmering atmospheric anomaly in her horse pasture, and learns that he is a defenseless, courageous, but terror-stricken android who accidentally traveled four hundred years back in time in an escape pod released by a doomed military space ship, she offers to conceal his nature, and let him live in her home, purely out of the kindness so deeply a part of her. Belatedly, she discovers that not only is the manufactured person to whom she gives the name Jason Jones capable of sexual intercourse, he also sees the sixty-year-old widow as attractive. Ashley takes Jason as her lover. When an old friend of hers visits--a helicopter pilot named Charlie Hogan--Ashley greets him warmly. Jason experiences jealousy, an emotion new to him, but being incapable of hating a human being, he reacts by agitatedly expressing a wish not to become a burden to his benefactor. On hearing that she thinks of Charlie as a brother, Jason grows greatly relieved. Informed by the patently worried android that a second escape pod will shortly descend, and that the occupant, Lieutenant Commander Mina Baxter, will track him down so as to destroy him, Ashley implements a strategy designed to protect her vulnerable lover and herself from an enemy the self-reliant descendant of pioneers regards as a murderous interloper in her life. Faced with a series of daunting challenges, the fearless ranchwoman and the selfless android draw on their ample reserves of courage and cunning so as to survive.
eBook Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing/Carnal Desires Publishing, 2009 Carnal Desires Publishing
eBookwise Release Date: December 2009
6 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [450 KB]
Reading time: 274-384 min.
A shrill neigh--a sound clearly signifying fright--assaulted the ears of the woman methodically doing the monthly accounting for the ranch she owned. That ominous sound prompted her to spring out of the chair facing her computer. Running to the window, she saw her sorrel gelding leap over the wooden rails of the pasture bordering the south side of her yard and race away into the large hay meadow beyond that smaller enclosure: one in which the sixteen-year-old saddle horse normally grazed placidly.
Shock blended with fear as she beheld the reason for his flight. In the center of the horse pasture, a luminous, silvery-gray, shimmering, stationary, non-transparent disturbance in the air--a phenomenon differing completely from fog--covered a large expanse of ground, and rose to a height of perhaps thirty feet. Highly noticeable despite the brightness of the July sunlight--the sky above, the woman saw to be cloudless--the strange apparition resembled no natural occurrence the Wyoming native had ever before beheld.
An avid reader of science fiction, the well-educated retired teacher immediately conjured up visions of aliens emerging to attack her.
Scathingly urging her alter self not to go off the deep end, she dominated an onslaught of fear. Acutely conscious that the nearest neighbors lived three miles away, in a house located in a hollow that allowed no view of her own dwelling, she knew she must deal with this happening on her own. She considered calling 911, but she shrank at the thought of having the Sheriff's deputies--most of them men well acquainted with her--drive at high speed to her home to find her afraid of some atmospheric anomaly, strange as it seemed. She likewise knew that it would take twenty minutes, at least, for an officer to come to her aid, and perhaps far longer.
Fright she instantly condemned as irrational failed to produce paralysis, but that emotion rendered her exceedingly wary. Striding across the living room, she reached for the .270 caliber pump-action Remington rifle reposing in a gun rack hanging on the wall, before opening the door and stepping out on the porch. As the unexplainable distortion of air utterly clear elsewhere filled her vision, she braced herself. Boldly, she advanced across the yard.
Having opened the wooden gate leading into the horse pasture, she hesitated. The hair on her head stirred. Her skin tingled, as if a thunderstorm approached. Belatedly recalling that the ship, if such it was, could be radioactive, she felt her gut constrict. Halting, she gazed at shimmering, silvery-gray opacity, wondering what to do next.
As she watched, change occurred. A dim, vertical streak appeared--a place where the luminosity seemed to have dulled. Fright verged on terror as she saw a figure step out of the gray streak, which then promptly disappeared, so that the strange manifestation again became uniform in appearance.
As she stood motionless, her heart thundering, her breathing suspended, she saw that the being walking slowly forward seemed as human as any of her neighbors. Relief contended with a new accession of fear.
"Freeze!" she commanded sharply. "Raise your hands, and then don't move a muscle. You may be an astronaut, but I don't know whose astronaut!"
The person thus summarily addressed instantly raised his hands and moved not a muscle thereafter.
Her heart still pounding, the woman walked through the gate, holding the rifle aimed at the mysterious visitant. Chin jutting, she approached the man she saw to be clothed in a loose gray jumpsuit featuring many pockets. On his feet he wore sleek black boots. His hands she saw to be empty. Nothing resembling a weapon could she spy on his person.
Frowning, she stopped about ten feet from where he stood as if carved of stone. His face she saw to be handsome. His age she first surmised to be around thirty, but some indefinable quality in his grave expression prompted her to judge him older, despite his lack of the lines etched around eyes and mouth that normally accompany middle age.
"What's that strange alteration in the air behind you?" she asked, her nervousness rendering her tone imperious. As she spoke, she kept the rifle pointed at the man's chest.
"It's a force-field surrounding an escape vehicle formerly attached to a ship plying space," the figure responded in wholly unaccented English.
Holy shit. "Are there...more people...inside?" the woman queried hoarsely.
"Are you an American astronaut?"
"A Russian astronaut?"
Visibly perturbed, the questioner blurted, "Are you from Earth?"
"I came here in an escape vehicle from an interplanetary ship built on Earth."
"No nation on Earth has ships capable of interplanetary flight!"
"Not...in this age. But...owing to an unfortunate circumstance beyond my control...I come from an Earth...future to this time." That assertion seemed to the listener as if torn out of a speaker dreading having to reveal it.
Taken sharply aback, the woman grew aware of a seeming evasion. "Are you human?" she asked, her voice trembling.
"I'm an android created by Earthmen," the object of her scrutiny stated tonelessly, his manner subtly conveying that he expected his admission to engender hostility.
Deprived of speech for the few seconds it took for her to digest those astounding assertions, the observer trained in the scientific method rasped sardonically, "You really expect me to believe that you're a time-traveling manufactured person who speaks American-style English?"
"I told you the truth," the android replied levelly. "I'm incapable of lying to a human being. I speak hundreds of languages, along with a multitude of dialects arising from those root tongues."
"Can I pass through that shimmering whatsis to see the vehicle?" Determined on obtaining proof that she was not the victim of an elaborate joke, the woman unconsciously took a step forward.
Agitatedly, the mysterious visitant exclaimed, "No! You cannot! You'd die the instant you made contact with it!"
"But you just passed through it!"
"I passed through it from the inside to the outside, but I'd be destroyed exactly as you would, if I tried to go back through it!"
"So no one can see...or examine...this vehicle you say is inside?" the interrogator queried, her voice dripping sarcasm.
"No. Not to touch or to study. No! But if you'll allow me to do as I intended...initiate a process that will reduce the vehicle to its component atoms...the force-field will cease to exist once the disintegration becomes complete."
Racked by doubt, confronted with an enigma, the woman frankly stated her thought. "I wish to hell you could prove to me that you're telling the truth!"
"I can tell you how to obtain proof that I'm an android," the visitant stated levelly. "Aim that projectile weapon at my chest, and fire it. The bullet will glance off my torso. I'll stagger a trifle, but I'll quickly reassume this posture you commanded me to take. The missile will gouge my flesh, and I'll bleed, but my fleshly exterior will heal in a short time."
Badly jolted, the woman cried, "I have no wish to harm you!" Stepping a trifle closer, she studied the taut face of the human-appearing man claiming to be from the future, and made a startling discovery.
"You're scared spitless," she asserted, frowning. "Terrified! Of me?"
"Of...what you could do," the man explained softly. "Of your contacting the officials of your country and telling them what I am. They'd take me away for study. And when they found me to be...what I am...they'd almost certainly deactivate me...out of fear...and the wish to learn how I'm made." A slight quiver in the soft, clear voice attested to an increase in the terror sensed by the woman.
Having weighed her limited options, the epitome of self-reliance arrived at a decision. "If you think I want a bunch of damned bureaucrats, or military brass, or members of Congress flocking onto my property to haul you off, you're very much mistaken," she declared vehemently. "How long will that force field continue to render entry into the vehicle impossible?"
"For ten days. At that point, the self-destruct mechanism will automatically initiate the change I'm incapable of implementing after receiving your orders."
Faced with the direly unsettling prospect that the weird phenomenon might already have drawn the notice of pilots of planes, or been photographed by satellites, the woman launched on an irreversible course.
"Initiate the change," she ordered. "Destroy the vehicle, and get the damned thing out of my pasture."
"I cannot obey, unless you allow me to face the force-field, take a device from my pocket, and activate it," the android replied, moving no whit.
"Face the force-field, take out the device, activate it, and then put it the instrument back in your pocket before you again face me," the woman commanded, hoping that the request formed no devious ploy designed to put a weapon in the hand of the being who looked eminently human, his startling claim notwithstanding. As she spoke, her grip on the rifle tightened.