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Science Fiction Adventure Speculative

Young Jack isn’t a weak or inexperienced young man but he was having trouble concentrating. He wasn’t required to move the camera around as Becky knew the boundaries of her frame and was careful to keep them. It was the first take and all Jack had to do was watch for glitches while the girl begged for money. Young tanned olive-skinned, green-eyed sinuous beauty that Becky is doesn’t need to move during her pitch, but she does; seemingly random undulations reveal chasms between creamily squeezed breasts while the midriff allows bottom boobs to tease with the possibility of the total reveal. The softly furred tummy is a safer place to rest the eyes to prevent them from staring lewdly at her center, twitching and barely covered by low-rise tennis shorts sans panty lines.

“Cut?” she questions and Jack realizes she is talking to him.

“Huh, what?” he says.

“Is the message convincing? Is it compete?” she asks, approaching him while dropping the come hither act.

The message is just a recitation of their plight ending with a plea for funding. The four of them, Jack, Betsy, Ned, and Bao, have been given an intellectual and historic awareness in order to change the world to spare it from the impending doom of nuclear annihilation.

Ned and Maria are the owners of this large house, now their headquarters, and Maria is crossing the den on a housekeeping errand. She had stopped to watch, not affected as Jack had been. “I thought it was very persuasive,” she said.

“Yes, it should work,” Jack echoed as Marie continued on her way.

Betsy looked at Jack with concern.

“You think I am being immodest?” she asked.

“No! Of course not!”

“You know we don’t have much time! Ned’s getting fired and we don’t have the mortgage or the utilities and we’re losing the company cars. We need living money and enough seed money to set up our corporation. A woman using her wiles to milk the rubes is the only way to do that quick enough,” she said with conviction.

Jack had set up all the dozen accounts where he would broadcast her social media. It was taking longer to set up the advertising; it’s easy by design to set up payments far in excess of the income received. Now he is having reservations; Becky is so young and, obviously, innocent.

“You don’t like it. You. You’re exerting some kind of ownership over me, some protectionism,” she chided. “Don’t! We don’t have the time. Hmm, are you smitten with me? Well, it happens. To me, it happens a lot. I get the attention of ninety-year-old men receiving chemo in hospice! All men notice women who are able to bear their children, rated on unconscious cues and chemical triggers; forming them to race impetuously for the prize. That same designer allows women to maintain a clear head so they can logically choose which suiters to favor.”

“I guess so,” Jack said.

“Anyway, Jack, we have to work together, I need you a lot but there is a lot of tension. Sexual tension. I’ll do anything you want, anything you need. We must succeed! Do you want to go to my room?” she asked.

Jack looked down at her as she closed the gap between them to end up very close with her hand warmly circling his arm. His passion hadn’t embarrassed him earlier but if something didn’t happen soon conditions would manifest.

“I have work to do uploading,” he said, pulling away. He liked women. He had been in love and wouldn’t mind repeating that heated carnal passion even though it ended poorly. Living near the beach in Florida he had enjoyed many a dalliance with girls on vacation; they were similar in that they wanted a private memory and would indulge him with wanton abandon. They allowed him to coax them into loud and hysterical fits of pleasure. Looking into her wide brown eyes he saw neither love nor lust, warmth nor interest.

“Okay, I’ll change into business casual and we’ll do it again,” she said.

“I do appreciate it but I just don’t want to be serviced,” he blurted with more accusation than intended, causing her to stop and look at him again.

“It’s only proper, I need your services. I need your protection. I can promise satisfaction, I have rave reviews,” she teased and this time at least he saw some amusement.

“Maybe later,” he smiled. “Talking about protection, I’ll go through your contacts and filter out all the filth.”

“Just make sure you bring me the best offers,” she said.

“Why?” he laughed.

“After you check their identification we can set up appointments I’ll have to get a series of apartments,” she said.

“For what?”

“For whatever they want. Some will be satisfied with a home-cooked meal or a conversation. I’ll need someone to check for weapons, tools, or recorders.”

“Are you saying what I think you’re saying?” he said.

“Yes in a limited fashion. I don’t want to come home feeling like meatloaf.”

“I guess I am a bit old-fashioned. If they have enough money to burn they can be dangerous. Untouchable OJs, diplomatic immunity, feds?” he questioned.

“That’s where you come in. Are you crime-free as in carry permit?”

“You think I may have to kill someone?” he asked incredulously.

“Yes, maybe. We shouldn’t underestimate the forces of evil,” she said.

“Forces of what?”

“We have been empowered by a strong hand to do a good thing. Haven’t you considered the possibility that there is another side, unseen so far, aligned against us?”

“No.”

“Well, keep your eyes open. In the meantime filter out any political activists or professional sports. Filter anyone from a Narco state or collecting for a harem or the slave trade. Organ procurement gangs target prostitutes. It’s a tough job and it isn’t just for me - remember what is at stake here!” she enthused.

Jack balked, his mind whirling. Besty moved in the final inch, pressed herself against him, and put her free arm around the back of his neck.

“Please come with me,” she breathed.

Jack caved, his current willpower overcome, and allowed Betsy to lead him quickly up the stair and into the privacy of her room. After a short moment of tender embrace, Jack’s rage grew even past its previous limits. With motions defined at the beginning of human time, he pounded some sense into her. His trepidation, fear, frustrations, and uncertainty were all changed to motion, almost brutal, and she, like women are designed to do, pleasurably absorbed his testosterone-fueled outburst into her very core.

Soon, she rose and stood over him, her visage already renewing his ardor.

‘I have to shower and dress in business casual,” she said while offering him a drowsily satiated smile that he could have spent the entire day pecking kisses at. “I don’t think you need to supervise this time. I can do it. Are you going to get that permit today?”

Jack appreciated the tact with which it took place but, in the end, it was a bum rush. He left with pleasant memories while she was in the shower to find Ned traversing the hall.

“I was looking for you,” he said and motioned for Jack to follow him back into the dining area. He took a seat at the eight place table, which had been cleared of adornments. Recently, Ned had enjoyed placement in upper management of the truck division of a rental company and owned this large house they were now headquartered in. Maria, his wife, provided polite but reluctant support and his three teens didn’t seem to notice much outside of their circle of friends.

“How’s Bao doing?” Jack asked.

The team had a sense that an artificial intelligence left by an ancient civilization existed in the solar system. If they could enlist it to their cause that super brain may be able to provide a solution. Realizing the remote chance of success, they needed to find the stealthed object, teach it English, and convince it to help them save a world it didn’t care about. Bao had gone to China to hammer out a deal for Asian programmers to make the interface.

“He called,” said Ned. “Only hours off the plane and he has an appointment with the head viability and procurement officers at China North Industries tomorrow morning, which will be tonight.”

“Is that a good place?” 

“It depends on what you mean by good. They are the largest armament manufacturer in China!” Ned stated.

“Deep, deep pockets then. Willing to take a chance? I thought big companies were stiff in that regard, worried about their reputation, what message was sent, and other bullshit. Northrop or Boeing would never entertain even the idea of such a search.”

“Well, to be fair, the idea is ridiculous and approval of expenditures on it could end a career,” Ned declared.

“So why does Bao have an appointment with Chinese R&D?”

“Bao has a theory. He called a friend of his and got a call back from the department head within half an hour, in the evening, after hours,” Ned enthused. “Rumor has it that a UFO crashed near a small fishing village where the people nursed, befriended, fed, and returned the two surviving aliens resulting in mutual contact. Confirmation is need-based but not covered up like any similar circumstance would be in the US.”

“I thought the Chinese were very secretive,” Jack said.

“They are with us, with others. They have a strong national pride. There is a lot of trust among the population. It seems China North may have a heads up on alien stuff that has been shared with everyone,” Ned theorized.

“If the Apollo, for instance, missions found some evidence of alien activity they wouldn’t tell us, would they?” Jack asked.

“I can’t be sure but I don’t believe they would tell us anything.”

“I believe you,” Jack confessed, “but I don’t understand why. We paid for the exploration and alien stuff is what we kind of hoped for. Is this misdirection for our own good?”

“My ass! Any discoveries will be fought over by the elites in position at the time. There’s no estimating how much alien information could be worth!” groused Ned.

“Yeah, I was encouraged when private companies got into space but I don’t think they will provide a free reveal either. Anyway, what do you think we should do to avoid the impending doom?” asked Jack.

“Well, oil is the obvious flashpoint. I was thinking we could do something about energy,” Ned mused.

“Like designing a new battery car?” Jack questioned.

“Nah, in my opinion, that’s just a waste of time. You’re adding a huge inefficient explosive weight to the transport. It burns more gas to make the electricity needed to charge the battery than it does to run the car. Ridiculous!,” Ned stated.

“Should we promote recyclables then?” Jack asked.

“Hmm. Both wind and sun devices are clunky, heavy, and take a lot of power to make. They are dependent on the weather and require battery storage.”

“So that’s waste too?” Jack said. Did he remember something about some kind of a solution? 

“That depends. If we put the solar and wind collectors out of the way, in deserts and out to sea instead of pumping electricity into batteries or expensive new lines, we can add cheap machines right at the solar or wind site. The machine will change water and electricity to hydrogen. We can ship the compressed gas by truck, ship, rail, or pipe much like oil. We can use existing stations to fuel hydrogen cars.”

“Ah! That’s the rub. It’ll take decades to develop them!” Jack spewed.

Ned shook his head. “Nope, hydrogen is a teeny molecule so gaskets and hoses have to be made with new materials. It burns at a higher temperature than gas, so better metal has to be used in the motors. That’s about it. There are working cars and support already out there.”

“Seems like I have heard all of this before,” Jack said.

“Worth repeating!” 

“Do you think we should back hydrogen?” Jack asked.

“Maybe but it’s common. To make money real fast you have to bypass the usual route,” Ned said.

“Are you sure?”

“No. But I have had a niggling for a while now, an idea. What about a superconducting capacitor? You charge it up with a years’ worth and plug it into the car or into the house or even a plane. About the size of a discus weighing ten pounds. Huh?” proposed Ned.

“What’s up?” Becky said, having finished her business casual pitch. She took a seat and Jack filled her in on Ned’s power pack idea.

“You say you have a hunch?” she asked and Ned confirmed it.

“Sounds good to me. That could change the energy dynamic which might delay the war long enough for us to get our hands on a long-term solution,” she added.

“All right, we’re agreed,” Ned said. “I’ll set up the research corporation. We’ll worry about production when we have a working model. Betsy’s going to be our angel and Jack’s going to assist her until we see real money with our energy business.”

Maria brought in a tray of hot coffee but even so Ned was rising. “I might as well get started. I’ll file the papers and see if I can get some decent office space. Bao said to check out hoteling with hotdesks for fifty temps at a nearby place. Later.”

“Do you think you can get those vids uploaded today?” Becky asked.

“I can get to some of them. I have to be at the range at 4,” Jack told her.

“Range?”

“For the gun permit. Turns out a few lessons are required.”

“Did you tell him what you needed the permit for?” she asked.

“Yes. I told him I needed to protect a high-end escort I figured it was best not to lie.”

“What did he recommend?”

“He said I couldn’t do anything more dangerous. He said I would probably have to use one of the guns before long. He said I should get two guns; the first, a 45 caliber Smith and Wesson in a well-fitted underarm holster. The second would be a 38 caliber derringer.”

Betsy frowned. “That’s a lot of close firepower! Why so much?”

“He said someone will get enamored with my girl and try to push past me while drawing a gun. The 38 should be in my hand when the client approaches and while I search him. If I see trouble, I push it into his chest and fire before he can get a bead. The 45 will finish him off quick; and his friends. He said I need a plan for the meat and the noise beforehand.”

Betsy’s eyes were wide. “Really?”

“That’s what the gun guy said.”

“Maybe we should call this off?” she offered.

“No. Remember the stakes. Besides, it’s just as dangerous for you.”

She nodded. “When you find the apartment make sure you install hidden cameras and mikes. Keep an eye on me,” she ordered.

“You know, it’s important to me that I get through life without hurting others. Now, the gun guy says I will probably kill someone.”

“We’re human. I believe in people, we need to survive. We have to stand for good people everywhere,” she explained.

“Let’s get started,” he said after a moment.

March 16, 2022 02:15

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5 comments

Graham Kinross
02:31 Apr 10, 2022

It’s nice to stay with the same characters. Well done with this. There’s more at stake when we’ve been reading about them over many stories. I look forward to some action as well, Betsy and Jack showing their metal.

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John Hanna
11:56 Apr 11, 2022

Thanks, Graham, How their metal? Hmm, you bring up a very good point. I'm at a stop right now because, frankly, the story is losing momentum. I like the plot but I have to get it across with some zip! I don't really want them shooting up any foreign nationals. Heh! Maybe a small incursion from an alien AI that has been programmed to wipe out life but isn't yet strong enough to win decidedly. A weak terminator or one small Berserker ship. That's what I'll do, today! Thanks.

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Graham Kinross
12:10 Apr 11, 2022

I had some issues like that with my series. Just think of a massive problem to throw at them. My medieval warriors were doing too well so I threw in the invention of guns to change the game. Your characters could come across a weapon technology that's very advanced compared to theirs or someone with a bomb or similar. One of them could be kidnapped. One could betray the other to fulfil an aim they've been working towards the whole time. Anything is possible.

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Christian Arnold
16:46 Mar 24, 2022

I did not see the conversation about the alien's coming, especially after all the effort Betsy put into convincing Jack, I had a completely different idea of where the story was going. Kept me involved in the story.

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John Hanna
19:21 Mar 24, 2022

Thanks for reading it. They're no fun to write if no one reads them. Your story kept me reading too.

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