What do you do when your sexy Scottish lover reveals he's actually a matter-manipulating alien from another dimension?
After merging with McRae's true form, Sheena discovers there are unexpected side-effects. With a broken Earth on the path to recovery, Sheena and McRae's bond develops into something out of this world.
A voice from the radio droned on about the alien revelation. Sheena couldn’t concentrate on the words. She felt physically drained, aching even, yet her mind was awake and racing. The erotic merge with McRae’s alien form replayed over and over, lucid in the forefront of her mind, until the craving to remerge became an almost unbearable headache.
McRae rattled around in the kitchen, as she willed her sore body to move and forced herself off the couch and into the bathroom. Sheena stood under the cascade of cool water until the sharpness in her mind dampened and the throbbing in her muscles lessened. It took a long time.
Finally she turned off the shower and stepped out onto the mat. Standing in front of the mirror she stared at her own naked body, pale and vulnerable. She would never feel the same about herself, her life, or her planet, and vaguely mourned the oblivious and innocent girl she’d been just days earlier—before she’d met the alluring Scotsman, before he and his species had revealed their covert existence and their plans for Earth.
Sheena stepped closer to the mirror and looked into her green eyes. Something made her lean in for a closer look. Around both pupils was a band of gold that glowed so fiercely she stepped back in surprise. Grabbing a towel, Sheena rubbed her face dry then the mirror, and met her reflection again. The rings of burning yellow remained, but the longer she stared the fainter they appeared. Or was she just becoming used to the sight? Either way, it could only be something left over from merging with a matter-manipulating alien’s natural form.
Sheena took a seat at the kitchen table with McRae when he finished making pancakes, but barely knew which of her thousands of questions to start with. There was silence at first as she watched him eat ravenously.
“What’s your species called? Do you have a spoken language, or do you communicate telepathically? How many of you are here on Earth? What’s your home planet like?” The questions fell helplessly from her lips before she could stop them.
A look of amusement crossed McRae’s face. “There are approximately 840,000 of us on Earth. We don’t have a name for ourselves—we just are—but we are by nature wardens as humans have named us. We don’t have a language, and we don’t communicate telepathically either. You don’t have a word for it; it’s more along the lines of data-wave exchanges. And we don’t come from or live on a planet. We’re from…you don’t have a word for that either. You could probably liken it to a sub-dimension, or maybe a plane of existence.”
“You realize none of what you just said is something my simple human brain can comprehend, right?”
McRae chuckled, shaking his head a little. “The human brain’s not as simple as you think. You just don’t access it fully. And you don’t need to for your level of being.”
“Level of being. Hmm.” Sheena felt vaguely offended. “Are you ascended beings?”
“No.” He smiled at the question. ”We didn’t evolve from something; we always have been and we always will be. We’re a singularity that came into existence when the universe did, and we will cease to exist when the universe does.”
“That’s something else I can’t comprehend. Are you saying you’re immortal?”
“Mortality is a human word that can only be applied to linear existence, such as your own.”
Sheena contemplated his reply for some time as she ate. “I’m guessing you’re more advanced than I could even imagine. Your species must have the technology, or at least the ability to just fix Earth for us.”
McRae gave a frown as he sat back with his coffee. “Fix Earth for you? What would that achieve?”
“What do you mean what would that achieve? This is your whole purpose, right? Our pollution problem would be fixed; our resource problem would be fixed. Anything that’s out of kilter could be fixed. That’s what would be achieved,” Sheena said.
“Our purpose is not to fix your problems for you, Miss Sheena. Our purpose is to rehabilitate you, to show you how to do it yourselves, within your own means. Almost everything we’ve done so far has been achieved using human bodies, human capabilities, with Earth’s own materials and elements. You need to learn how to fix your planet and maintain it yourselves,” McRae stated. “Our purpose isn’t to share ‘technology’ or accelerate your progress. Tell me that’s not what you’re wanting.”
“That’s what people will be expecting, or hoping at the least.”
“Believe me when I say you cannot take evolutionary shortcuts.” His tone was stern as he held Sheena’s gaze firmly. “We’re not a universal cleanup crew. We’re here to guide you in the right direction, before it’s too late.”
“Surely you’ve lived among us long enough to know what we’re like. You’re in for a rude awakening if you think you won’t be hounded for information, continuously interrogated; if you think you won’t come up against resistance. Not everyone’s going to be as happy as I am that you’ve come to save the day.”
“We know what to expect.”
“Do you? I think more people will be angry with you or scared of you than you realize.”
“Everyone will be scared of us,” McRae stated.
Sheena watched him finish his coffee, a daring question on her lips. “And should we be?” The brief silence that followed made her uncomfortable.
“That depends on what scares you, Miss Sheena. Everyone will be scared of us for different reasons. Most will be scared of what we can do, but some will be scared of what we’ll uncover. We know there are inventions, discoveries, and cures at your fingertips that have been suppressed in the name of money, greed, or power. Humanity’s core is rotten. And we will expose that. The corrupt and ignoble will be held accountable and the suppressions will be lifted.” He stood up with his empty plate and studied her face a moment. “Anyway, it’s not us you should be scared of. We aren’t the ones destroying ourselves and the only habitable planet we have. What you should be scared of is how ignorant your species is of how close you’ve come to self-destruction. Humans are on the brink of extinction. And worse, you’re treating your planet like you’ve got somewhere else to live once this one’s ruined.”
She watched him take his plate into the kitchen and rinse it. His words would echo in her mind for a long time to come. McRae came back and stood beside her, and she looked at his handsome face. Every single thing about him was a factor unknown, yet she felt compelled to be with him. He gave her hair a stroke and it tingled where he touched her. She wallowed in the moment.
“I should go, see what needs to be done, what I can help with,” he said.
“Will you come back?”
“Is that a request, or just a general enquiry?” he asked.
Sheena took his hand, feeling the hairs on her arm prickle, and she gave two of his knuckles a butterfly kiss each.
“I’d like you to come back.” The prospect of merging with his natural form again still nagged at her.
“Then I’ll come back, but I don’t know when. It might be a long time.”