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Fiction by Pen . . . . . not real, made up, purely intended for entertainment


An Independence Day fic, not, of course, claiming any rights to the world or characters depicted in that film.

This is by way of being a prequel to ID4, set in an unexpectedly tree-filled part of the salt flats. Ah well. I assumed a community within which all those earnest scientists in white coats would live, when not investigating alien spaceships.

Most of my Dr Okun fantasies centered on giving him a haircut. This one doesn’t.

The sound of an old country guitar amped up to eardrum-breaking point clove the night in the wake of the battered gray truck which bounced along the little-used road, heading for town. At the wheel, Frank Wood sang intermittently in a tuneless bass grumble, while his companion, cousin and drinking buddy, Buzz Bradshaw, chewed noisily on a plug of tobacco. Between Buzz’s knees was clasped a bottle of whiskey, that the pair might refresh themselves on the homeward journey—but until their mission was accomplished, both men intended to keep their heads clear.

They were aiming to rob the Kleinville drugstore.

Some three miles out of town, Frank halted the truck, but as Buzz reached into the glove box for the masks they intended to wear for the hold-up, he felt a sudden chill down his spine.

Neither man had time to look over his shoulder: the two creatures behind them, unearthly shapes with branch-like limbs and broad, flattened cranial plates, seized the feeble mentalities of their prey and stunned the humans into oblivious co-operation. Had there been a human observer watching the truck, he would have seen a slender tentacle shoot from each alien’s buccal orifice into the base of each man’s skull. Of course, not even the most perspicacious observer could possibly have known what this meant, nor understood why the two monsters slumped and were removed stealthily by a third, which dragged their trailing bodies off the road and into the dark yonder of the moonless night.

When Frank and Buzz, or whoever they now were, recovered consciousness, robbing the drugstore was no longer the task uppermost in either of their minds.

* * *

"I was due here six weeks ago," the newcomer, a no-nonsense brunette with a disarming smile, confided to Anna as she settled in behind the workstation. "But there was some hitch in the security clearance, I think they found a second cousin once removed who read a book on Marx in high school, or something."

"It’s good to have you—we can always use a fresh perspective in here. Have you met everyone yet?"

Margaret grimaced. "I think so, but I won’t remember their names for weeks. The white coats don’t help—everyone looks the same. Good God—except for—who is that, anyway?" She gestured covertly at a lone figure standing in front of ...It, and gazing up, raptly.

The rear view was not prepossessing. At the top was a haystack of grizzled hair, wild, uncared-for, and ridiculously long; below the scientist’s creased lab coat were baggy brown corduroy trousers and beige shoes.

Anna grinned ruefully. "That is our resident genius. Come on—I’ll introduce you."

"If you say so."

"Dr Okun?" Anna moved forward to the scientist’s right. Margaret, hand tentatively offered, flanked the doctor on the other side.

"Amazing, isn’t it?" Okun’s gaze never shifted for an instant. "Aerodynamic, superb design, maximum use of airflow, minimum wind resistance, why build a spacecraft that’s aerodynamic? For atmosphere, of course, was this designed as a landing craft only? Was there a mother ship? If we could only figure out the fuel requirements..." Okun fell silent, though his lips continued to move as he stood and gazed at ...It.

Anna quirked her eyebrows at her new colleague. The profile between them was not noticeably an improvement on the back view. A beakily prominent nose was the main feature, and the most hideous pair of spectacles Margaret had ever seen. Several days’ worth of stubble. A blue patterned shirt, horribly mismatched with the ugliest tie in the known universe. This was the Great White Hope of the Area 51 alien investigation project? Geez...

"Dr Okun!" Anna said sharply.

He flinched and turned towards her, a hunted look on his face.

"Dr Okun, have you met our new teammate, Margaret Boyce?" Okun turned hastily, centimeters from colliding with Margaret. She smiled at him; he muttered something that might have been a welcome, and fled.

"He’s not exactly overflowing with the social graces, is he," she observed, "even for a scientist."

"The generally held view," Anna told her, "is that he never leaves the building. Just stays here, all day, all night, communing with ...It, trying to figure It out. Mere prosaic facts, like, he has a bicycle and has occasionally been seen cycling out to his own home, don’t actually count."

"If his home looks like his hair, I’m not surprised he stays here," Margaret said. "What does he do here, anyway? You said he was the resident genius?"

"That’s right. We’re all qualified—more than qualified, as you know—but we keep to our own specialties and work in teams. Dr Okun’s more of a maverick. He’s worked on every aspect of ...It now, materials, design, propulsion system, physiology, and now he’s looking at the control interface."


"Right. That man knows more about ...It than anyone else on Earth. If—or let’s hope it’s When—we actually start to understand what this thing is and how it works, he’ll be the one to make the first breakthrough. I’d put my house on it, only nobody here would take the bet."

Margaret smiled wickedly. "You’d think someone that brilliant would understand the value of a good haircut."

* * *

Alone at her cafeteria table, Margaret sighed and pushed away her lunch plate.

Anna took pity on her. "Would you like a sandwich?"

Margaret’s stomach answered with an embarrassing gurgle. "Anna! Hi. How do people survive on food like this? I can’t believe there hasn’t been a revolution!"

"Look around," Anna suggested laconically as she sat.

People were eating the stuff. Incredible. Margaret shook her head in sorry disbelief. "Maybe their heads are stuck so high up in the clouds that they don’t notice their stomachs at all."

"Don’t you believe it!" Anna grinned. "Did you notice the sign for Dom’s Pizzas when you came through town? That dinky little pizza delivery outfit is probably making the biggest profit in the state. Trouble is, he’ll be able to retire soon and then we’ll all die of starvation. But you’re right about the food in here—whoever runs the canteen is not concerned with employee morale. I always bring my own." She delved into the large shoulder bag she was carrying, and pulled out a lunchbox. The sandwiches were revealed as crusty granary bread containing smoked ham and a generous salad. Too hungry to demur, Margaret took one and gave a grateful smile.

Some minutes later, both women sat back and smiled at one another.

"Did you know," asked Margaret, "there are three types of people in this world—men, women and scientists? The scientists seem to be above matters of the flesh, or there’d have been a revolution in here."

Her tablemate grinned. "To tell the truth, there are one or two torrid affairs going on, beneath the white coats. At least, I assume they’re torrid, from the amount of time certain people spend in the storage rooms and minilabs. A word of warning—if you ever notice the door to section C421 closed, don’t even think of opening it!"

"I detect a hint of embarrassment. Do you speak from experience?"

"If you mean, did I open it to discover two of our more eminent brethren entwined in an, ah, intimate embrace, yes I did, and the image has haunted me for years! If you mean, have I, personally, been behind that closed door with anyone, then no, I haven’t. It’s not the sort of thing that happens to me."

"Hey, and why shouldn’t it?" said Margaret, to the woman who had saved her from starving to death. "It’s just a matter of chemistry, right?"

"I think there’s a matter of physics to overcome before we get to the chemistry part," Anna replied thoughtfully. "I don’t seem to have the right kind of magnetism."

"Do you have a particular, uh, opposite pole in mind?"

Anna nodded. "But I truly don’t think he’s even noticed my existence. Sometimes I wonder if I should—the trouble is, I’m not quite sure how, I mean, my previous relationships I sort of fell into, you know, gradually found myself seeing someone without really being able to remember how it all started. Do you think men like women who make the first move?"

"Sounds like you don’t have a lot to lose," Margaret answered the unspoken specific question rather than the general one. "Think about it, if a guy asks you out, even if you aren’t interested, you’re still flattered, aren’t you?"

"I guess... yes."

"Go on, then. I don’t know what anyone does for entertainment in this town, but there must be some place you could go at the weekend. Try asking him out. What have you got to lose?"

"I think it may need to be a bit more radical than that," Anna said, almost to herself. But if she could just... resolution firmed in her mind. She would try!

* * *

"Different perception... different senses..." Okun pondered aloud, "they have so many organs that don’t correspond to human physiology. What if they use scent to communicate, or taste? In that case we’re wasting our time if we keep looking to make sense of touch controls which don’t have any visible logic."

Anna spoke up. "I was doing a bit of speculation along those lines a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t progress far enough to think it worth pursuing in earnest, but maybe you’d like to review my notes?"

"Yes, let me see them. We need to find the key to these creatures."

"My notes are at home, Doctor, but I’ll be happy to bring them in on Monday," she offered, then added slyly, "or perhaps you would rather get them to look at over the weekend?"

"Yes, I’d prefer to check them out at tomorrow," he decided. "Can you arrange that?"

"No problem," she told him. "Come back to my house when we quit for the day, you can take everything you need. Shall we say, six-thirty?" And she headed briskly back to the physiognomy lab before he could splutter out a refusal.

Anna was taking no chances. At six twenty-six, she marched into the C/I section, where Okun was poring over his notes, muttering to himself amidst a wild mop of unruly hair. She’d have thought it got in the way, but he didn’t seem to mind. Maybe he liked to hide behind it.

"Time to go," she said brightly.

"Ah, uh, could it maybe—I could pick it up later, I—"

"Sorry, but I made arrangements for this evening. You do want those notes, don’t you, Doctor?"

"I guess, yes, it would be more convenient than having to start again," he admitted, and accompanied her out through the double air-seal doors. Anna’s pulse was thudding noisily in her veins. This was her chance, but could she manage to go through with it?

They removed the protective whites, and stuffed them into the laundry chute. Okun seemed rather unnerved when he realized that this fellow-scientist was actually wearing a skirt: Anna’s private hypothesis was that Dr Okun had never gotten past the schoolboy stage of knowing the Girls Were Different but not knowing what to do about it. The white coat transformed her into that third species—scientist—and besides, they usually (no, make that always) discussed work, and once he was off and running with the fascinating subject of the alien ship, he forgot to be inhibited. So she filled a briefly awkward silence with a question about the ‘seats’ in the alien vessel, which did not altogether seem to relate to the roughly humanoid shapes of the pickled corpses she had been studying. This was a happy subject, and Okun’s thoughts skipped rapidly over the collated information like flat stones across water. Anna could stay with him in the biological conjectures, but once he moved on to the technical aspects of flying the saucer, she had to concentrate very hard indeed.

There was nearly a problem in the car park, as Okun didn’t want to leave his bicycle behind. But with a little difficulty and some rearranging of seats it was stowed in the back of Anna’s car.

Neither of them paid any particular heed to the grubby truck heading in the opposite direction as they drove along the main street towards Anna’s little house.

Walking into her cheerful home, Anna waved Dr Okun to a seat in the living room, then drew the curtains against the rainy night. He looked nervous. She pulled the restraining pins from her hair and fluffed it out, hoping he was starting to notice that she was female. The brightly-upholstered, cozy living room and the flowers on the table should help. Now, where exactly had she put those candles?

Anna left the room, ostensibly to print out those notes she had promised him. She had left them stored on her computer, well barricaded with obscure passwords as per regulations (she had got a hard backup, but that was locked in the small underfloor safe). However, she had no intention of letting him get away just yet, and so...

The lights went out.

"Stay where you are!" Anna yelled, and felt her way through the darkness back into the living room. "I have a flashlight in the kitchen. I think the power’s gone in the street. There seems to be a fault in the cabling to this street, we often have outages."

She shuffled carefully into the kitchen, found her flashlight, candles and matches, and returned in triumph to where her guest sat in darkness. Anna set a couple of candles on the low table, and smiled at the man sitting obediently on the couch. "I’m afraid this means a bit of a delay. I have to copy my notes onto a disk, so until the power comes back on, there’s nothing I can do. But this disruption doesn’t usually last long. Would you like something to drink while you’re waiting?"

He looked a mite bewildered and somewhat twitchy. Rather than wait for a negative reply, Anna and her flashlight bustled back into the kitchen and located the bottle of red wine she had been keeping handy. Okun needed to relax... and she needed some Dutch courage.

They sat there, silent in the candlelight, for several minutes, reflectively sipping on the rather good Californian claret. The dim illumination cast a merciful darkness over Okun’s clothes. He looked so vulnerable without the armor of his lab coat and scientific authority. Anna felt a strong urge to take him under her wing; God knows, he needed somebody to take care of him. He was such a mess, with that long unkempt hair and those appalling clothes. Now that he’d finished his wine, he kept fidgeting, twining his fingers, shoving those hideous spectacles back into place, darting little glances at her and shifting uneasily in his seat. Was that a good sign? She didn’t know. Anna set her wine down on the table, and steeled herself for action. This would probably be her only chance.

She moved to the sofa, and leant over the doctor, who looked up, wide-eyed, as she murmured: "Do you mind if I just..." and carefully removed his glasses. "You have such beautiful blue eyes," she said truthfully, gazing into them, then gradually lowered her head and kissed him on the mouth.

The truck was parked some two hundred yards from the Institute’s main gate. The two men—perhaps—seated inside it gave no indication of being bored. They just waited.

His lips were soft, and tasted of claret. She kissed him long enough that he would realize she meant it, then drew back and looked him in the eye again.

He looked back, blue eyes wide, bemused but not, it seemed, horrified. "Do you mind," Anna said carefully, "if I do that again?"

Okun laughed nervously. "... no," he whispered, just before their lips met again. This time Anna moved her lips against his, feeling the tiny sharp prickles of his unshaven chin against her skin, and the tender sweetness of his mouth as she dropped gentle little kisses into the corners then ventured back to claim the whole. Her legs were beginning to tremble, partly from the warmth that was spilling through her, but mostly from nervousness. She had never been so bold before.

She pulled back, and met his eyes again. He looked as though he had just seen a miracle, and didn’t know whether to believe it or not.

"Why, uh, why did you do that?" he asked in a small voice.

"Because I wanted to. Because you have beautiful eyes. Because... I just wanted to," she explained, rather feebly. "Was it nice?" And could have kicked herself for such an inane question.

"I think so... Perhaps you could—once more?"

She beamed with relief, and put her hands against his chest to steady herself. Then his hands went tentatively to her waist, and pulled, gently, but just enough to propel her somewhat untidily onto his lap.

The third kiss was definitely one of the all-time great, all-comers, world championship contenders. It started cautiously, lips on lips, a little pressure and movement, a gentle nibble here, a little investigation there. This man was a fast learner, everything she showed him he was soon showing her; they progressed to a delicate touch of tongue-tip along the sensitive inner lip, then to teeth and the serious twining of tongue and tongue, exploring, thrusting, grinding their mouths together, sucking and caressing and licking... after a while Anna realized she had begun to make small whimpering sounds. Her skin seemed to have tightened across her whole body. She couldn’t keep still.

She laid hold of one of the hands at her waist and drew it firmly up to her breast, pressed it there until he began to explore the soft roundness. Her hand slid up his arm and across to his neck, wandered eagerly over his bestubbled cheeks, discovered an ear and traced delicate circles on it until he began to groan and squirm beneath her.

The guard on duty at the main entrance looked thoughtfully down the road. That truck might have nothing to do with the Institute. On the other hand... he was supposed to report anything unusual. Slowly, he pulled out his radio.

Anna crooned as his lips trailed slowly, wonderfully slowly, down the side of her neck and towards her breast. Her silk blouse was spread open and he was lying on top of her, a warm, welcome weight. She’d only managed three of his shirt buttons, the lower ones were caught between their bodies, inaccessible, but at least the tie was out of the way, like an orange and brown snake on the floor. His chest was covered in light brown fur. Maybe a little mingled gray. Her hands ran through the soft curls, discovered a tiny nipple and teased it, just as his careful fingers drew aside the half-cup of her bra and his mouth engulfed the painfully taut tip of her breast. She wriggled her hips against the rigid shaft of his erection, and slid a hand down to his corduroy-covered ass, pulling him closer, then squeezing and exploring the firm, small cheeks. Okun groaned and writhed against her, but the motion was too much for their precarious balance on the sofa, and they toppled to the floor.

Fortunately it was not very far, and he landed underneath.

Their eyes met, and then their mouths, avidly, but as his hot hands slid down to her bottom, and she wriggled against his groin, Anna drew back from the kiss.

"Perhaps we should continue this in the bedroom?" she murmured, breathless.

His blue eyes brightened further, and he grinned with child-like enthusiasm, a grin that did something strange and wonderful to her pulse. "It would be safer, wouldn’t it?"

"Oh my God," she said, suddenly horrified. "Safer... Oh, how could I be such an IDIOT!"

"What’s wrong?"

"I forgot to get... I didn’t think we’d—you don’t happen to have any, uh, condoms, do you?"

He looked at her, blankly. "Condoms? What for? I never needed—I mean, nobody ever... no."

She rolled off his supine body, and lay on her back, trying not to cry with frustration. "Oh, damn. Damn, damn, damn."

"Can’t we get some?"

Anna sat up. "What time is it? Yes, maybe the drug store will still be open! I’ll get my coat—I won’t be long."

"I’ll go." Dr Okun stood, and looked around for his ancient parka. "I’ll be quicker." He threw his coat on and made for the front door—he was outside before Anna could finish buttoning her blouse. She sat back against the sofa and began to giggle. "I’ll be quicker," she snorted. Not ‘You shouldn’t go out alone in the dark’, or ‘You stay here in the warm’, but ‘I’ll be quicker’. That man had his priorities right, she told herself, shaking with laughter. And he was probably correct.

While he was out, she should get ready. First priority—get the lights back. Anna scrabbled for her flashlight and headed back to the fuse box. Once the power was restored, she hastened round the house, turning the lights off and collecting the candles from her living room table. Then what? She hauled her underwear drawer open and rootled through it for her stockings and garter belt. She hadn’t dressed this morning with the idea of being undressed tonight—hell, even when she’d kissed him she hadn’t expected to go up in flames, she’d only wanted to wake him up to seeing her as a woman. But here she was, hot and wet and very, very eager for him to return.

It took only three (slightly uncomfortable) minutes to cycle back to the main street. Okun propped his ancient bicycle against the store window, and went inside.

"I’m gonna have to ask you to move on. This is a restricted site," the security guard said firmly through the open window of the dilapidated truck. The two men inside stared back vacantly, then slowly their heads turned to look at one another, and the driver’s hand went to the ignition.

Watching the truck disappear back towards town, the guard reported briefly via radio, and went back to his post for another six hours of tedium.

In the drug store, Jimmy Fairbrother was more than ready to close up and go home. In the past hour he’d sold some corn plasters and a packet of nail files. Another wild Friday night in Kleinville.

The door burst open, and the wild man of the woods came in, an apparition surrounded by flying gray hair. Jimmy took a step away from the counter, ready to leap into the back office to get to the phone if this weirdo was looking for something that wasn’t for sale. But the guy stood there in front of him, panting a bit, and then said:

"I want some condoms."

The truck rattled past the post office, the general store, the bank. Past the drug store. Driver and passenger stared dully ahead as they motored towards their new goal.

This guy wanted condoms? No way! Jimmy pasted a fake smile onto his face and replied: "Yes, sir. What kind would you like?"

"Kind? What kind? Uh, what kinds are there?"

"We have a wide range in stock, sir. Here..."

The weirdo picked up each box and scrutinized it with great care. Jimmy began to grow impatient.

"Why are these ones flavored?"

The temperature in Jimmy’s cheeks rose at least ten degrees as he blushed to beetroot. "They—uh, in case—in case anyone wants to, you know..."

Blue eyes looked back at him inquiringly.

"To eat, uh, it."

"Wouldn’t it be indigestible?"

"Not—uh, look, why don’t you try some of these instead?" Jimmy said desperately, feeling little trickles of sweat springing to his brow. "Top of the range, extra sensitivity, extra lubrication."

"No flavoring?"

"No, no."

"Then I’ll take these." The weirdo separated out four boxes and pushed them towards the relieved clerk. That settled it, then, he definitely wasn’t using them for the advertised purpose. Jimmy took the money, stuffed the packages into a brown paper bag, and smiled insincerely as his customer fled into the night.

"No, no, he hasn’t come home yet," the landlady assured her two visitors. "You can look in the back for his bicycle, but I certainly haven’t heard him come in."

Wordlessly, Frank went to examine the rear of the guest house.

"He often works late," Mrs Nagy observed. "Sometimes he don’t get back in ‘til past midnight. But he’s very quiet. Never any trouble."

Frank returned, shook his head. With a small, jerky and rather unexpected bow to Mrs Nagy, Buzz clambered back into the truck. Seconds later they were heading back towards the drug store.

Anna looked at herself in the full-length mirror inside her wardrobe door. No, she couldn’t wear these it seemed like she was trying too hard. The stockings felt kinda... nice, but what if he didn’t like them after all? She wasn’t really the garter belt type. Not glamorous enough. Hastily she stripped them off and stuffed them back into the drawer. She’d have to stay as she was. White cotton might not be very erotic, but ... damn, there was the doorbell. Where the hell was her skirt?

She fastened it feverishly, grabbed a candle, hurried to the door, and ushered him inside. They stared at each other, with all the normal awkwardness of two people whose sole desire is to fuck each other senseless, but who cannot quite find the polite way to begin.

Abruptly, Okun held out a brown paper bag. Anna took it, with a nervous smile, and led the way to her bedroom, where she emptied the bag onto her bedcover. Four boxes of condoms fell out. Four boxes, each containing a dozen condoms, fell out.

"You’re planning on spending the weekend, then," she said, deadpan.

A parade of emotions chased across his face, worry, eagerness, doubt... Anna giggled helplessly and swept three of the boxes back into the bag. The fourth she put on the bedside table, under the lamp. Then she turned back to Okun and put her arms round him. Their mouths met...

There was no bicycle leaning against the window. The truck made a careful circuit of the entire town, which did not take them long, but there was no bicycle to be sighted anywhere, and no visible tracks to follow.

Anna’s knees were melting. Her legs were’t going to be able to hold her up for much longer. With the feel of his lean body hard against her, the faintly soapy, faintly sweaty masculine scent of him, most of all the way he was kissing her like a man starved, she was turning into a helpless mass of hot treacle. She hauled at the parka no social graces, she thought fleetingly, can’t even take his coat off and he shrugged out of it without disengaging his lips from hers. She tore at the buttons on his shirt, some of them slipped through the buttonholes, others flew to oblivion in the carpet, and her fingers crawled eagerly through his chest hair, until she was obliged to move her arms aside so that he could undo the blouse buttons she had refastened just minutes ago. Their garments flopped to the floor.

"Shoes," Anna gasped, and her man sat quickly down and pulled off his shoes in Olympic record time, hurled his socks after them. She gave a low chuckle and reached for the fastening of his trousers, and he pulled her down onto the bed to lie beside him.

"You are so I can’t keep calling you Dr Okun, not like this," she muttered, realizing only now that if this man had a first name, she didn’t know what it was.

"My given name is... Brakish." He looked sheepish.

"Brakish," she said, thinking, he must have had strange parents, "you are just beautiful." She had one hand protectively inside his pants, which was pretty interesting right now... cautiously she drew down the zipper past his straining erection, careful not to catch any of that thick wiry hair... eased his pants down over his small, smooth buttocks and far enough that he could kick them the rest of the way off.

"No undershorts?" she said wickedly, curling a hand around his shaft.

"Uhhh, don’t see the... point," he replied tensely. "Just one more thing to wash "

Suddenly her breasts were free of the constricting brassiere, and his hands and mouth were upon them. Anna whimpered. His beard scratched at her tender skin while he tormented a nipple with teeth and tongue, an exquisite sensation. One hand roamed lower, to the waistband of her skirt, and she wriggled helpfully as he drew the garment down over her sensitized thighs. Only the panties remained. Brakish’s hot hand slid under the white cotton, smoothed its way over the full curves of her rear, pulling her close against his thighs.

"Should I call you Dr Brown?" he whispered.

"Anna," she said, "oh, Brakish, please!" She grabbed him and drew his face to hers for a wild kiss, pressing her whole length along his body and thrusting her tongue into his mouth in blatant indication of her desire.

He rolled her onto her back. "Is this a good time to use the condom?"

She grinned up at him like a cat anticipating cream. "This is an excellent time to use the condom," she told him.

He reached over to the box on the bedside table, peeled off the outer cellophane, and pulled out a foil-wrapped item. She watched as he frowned intently at the back of the box—what, was he looking for the instructions?


He looked back at her, suddenly vulnerable again, and so sweet. "I haven’t done this before," he confessed. "I mean, any of... this."

"You’ve never...?"

He shook his head. "Does it matter?"

"Not at all." She lay back, extremely pleased with life. It hadn’t occurred to her that he would be a virgin, but somehow the idea turned her on incredibly. "Maybe I should do that?" He handed over the little foil packet the box fell onto the floor, but who cared? "Here, lie down. Let me... you have to pinch the end." Brakish looked down in some alarm. "Of the condom. Then you... just... roll it down." She smiled smugly at him, particularly gratified by his inarticulate groan, and straddled his legs. "And then you hold me, here " his hands obediently steadied her hips, "and then..." Holding his gaze, Anna lowered herself very slowly onto his impressive erection, savoring the amazed ecstasy on his face as much as the fabulous sensation of the thick shaft filling her. Taking her time, she raised herself up and gradually descended again, again, again. His hands grasped her tighter and his hips began to buck, driving his cock further into her, harder, faster, they moved frantically together until she screamed with pleasure and shuddered into orgasm. Beneath her he gave a two desperate final thrusts, pulled her down against his groin and ejaculated fiercely.

Trembling, still impaled, Anna lowered herself to nestle against his chest and plant tiny kisses along the throbbing vein in his neck. After a few moments in his arms, she reluctantly eased away from him.

The truck was parked off the road, under the trees behind the guesthouse. The two human figures inside it sat, silent and patient.

Anna lay sprawled on her back and admired Okun’s lean limbs as he returned from the bathroom. Without a word he carefully pulled the blankets from under her and covered her, then rounded the bed and clambered in between the sheets. With a contented grunt Anna snuggled into his arms.

"The lights were on in the street," he remarked.

There was a thoughtful silence. Anna realized that she had missed the crucial moment at which she might have said "Really, how strange", or "Oh yes, the power came back just as you were leaving".

"And the light came on in the bathroom just now."

"Yes, well, I..."

"Then there wasn’t anything wrong with the fuse box. Did you turn off the power?"

Anna sighed. "Yes I did," she confessed.

He rolled onto his side and gazed at her, a puzzled frown creasing his forehead. "What for?"

"I wanted... oh dear." She could feel a blush creeping into her cheeks. "I wanted to kiss you. You didn’t seem to notice me, as a woman, you know, so I thought if I made the first move at least you’d realize I was there, but I it was easier in the candlelight, that’s all."

He blinked at her, and smiled shyly. "Why would you go to all that trouble? I mean, why me?"

Anna slid one arm round his neck, the other to encompass his rib cage, and hugged him briefly. "Why not you?"

"Uh, well, nobody, I mean, women don’t usually, you know..."

"First of all I noticed your hands. You have very nice hands. And of course you do have quite startlingly beautiful eyes. But I think most of all, it’s because you are so very good at what you do. There’s something sexy about I guess I’d call it skill. Ability."

"You want me for my brain?" he said, not unreasonably surprised.

"Well, that and your—hey, that tickles!"


"Your hair! It’s tickling me..." They both turned their eyes to where his long, gray locks coiled over the pale skin of her left breast. Brakish smiled happily, and moved his head, trailing the hair across Anna’s chest. Correctly ignoring her protesting giggles he maneuvered his hair tantalizingly over her upper body, holding her arms firmly at her sides so that her wriggling body could not elude the delicate caress.

The brush of hair trailed down over her stomach, down her thighs and further. When he reached her foot, he shoved the veil of hair back over his shoulder, and applied his lips. Anna had never realized that every nerve ending in her toes was directly attached to her groin. Each tormenting little nibble sent a bolt of electricity zooming directly there, she writhed helplessly but thankfully could not escape his firm grasp.

His mouth began to move towards her knee. His mouth moved past her knee and kissed and licked its way along the inside of her quivering thigh. A hand smoothed a path up the opposite leg, and fingertips traced delicate, tormenting circles through the dark curls of her pubic hair. A finger dipped carefully into the silky-wet crevice, stroked, parted, two fingers delved gently within. Anna moaned and spread herself wider for his touch. And felt the hot, slithery intimacy of his tongue entering her.

A hand emerged from beneath the tangled blankets and groped for the box on the floor, but Anna noticed nothing; she was whimpering, pleading, worshipped by fingers and mouth, lost in incredible pleasure. His tongue flickered relentlessly over her swollen clitoris, she arched helplessly as the climax crashed over her like thunder, and was still trembling in the aftershocks when he came up to join her, twining her in his arms as his cock slid smoothly deep inside her. Anna gasped in delight, her legs wrapped around his waist, and she begged for more.

The sky paled into dawn above the treetops. Still the two men sat in their battered truck. Their eyes were weary from peering through the night, their limbs stiff with immobility, but they kept their vigil.

It was considerably after dawn when Anna’s eyes opened. She lay there, leaden-limbed, in the chaos of sheets and blankets, smiling mysteriously to herself. The man beside her slumbered on. She considered prodding him into alertness, but a mental assessment of her physical needs dictated that, for now, there were other priorities.

Breakfast, she decided, and slid out of bed and into the bathroom. Suitably spruced, and clad in her favorite robe, she went into the kitchen and hummed as she started the coffeemaker, squeezed oranges, and put rolls into the oven to warm.

She was just taking the rolls out of the oven when her lover pattered into the kitchen, barefoot and barechest, but wearing a towel round his waist like a sarong. Anna sneaked a good look at him from the corner of her eye. She couldn’t decide whether or not to approve the sarong: true, it kept his neatly proportioned chest and unexpectedly fine shoulders on display, but then again, it hid the delectable trim curves of his backside. He really could do with considerable improvement, she thought, wondering what he would look like without all that hair and stubble—he was not really a sight to gladden a woman’s heart, and yet the moment he walked in she’d felt her pulse quicken. Ah, chemistry!

Brakish sat obediently at the kitchen table, and cradled his coffee with telltale eagerness.

"Would you like some eggs?"

"Not rea—" he stared, squinting worriedly at Anna’s cheeks and neck. "Did I do that? I should shave..."

"There’s a spare razor in the bathroom," she told him. Designed for ladies’ legs, but he needn’t be bothered with the details.

Still faintly dismayed, Brakish applied himself to breakfast, and afterwards took himself to the bathroom to get rid of the accumulation of stubble that had left her skin so tender. Of course, he looked so very appealing with it gone that somehow they just... sorta... fell into bed again...

"We must feed," the words came creakily from Frank’s mouth. "We do not wish these entities to starve. They must be capable of action."

Buzz, and the hunting rifle remained under the trees as the day wore on; Frank turned the truck around again and headed back to town.

"Food," said Brakish decisively. "I need to replenish my energy."

"That sounds very dull," Anna remarked complacently, though she too needed to refuel. "Food should be a sensual experience, one to savor, to enjoy."

He looked unconvinced.

"What do you like to eat?" Anna offered.

He considered. "Breakfast was good."

"You eat in the canteen at the lab, don’t you." Anna grimaced at his affirmative nod. "How do you stomach it? You don’t like that stuff, do you?"

"It’s food," he said, bewildered.

"What about evenings, and weekends?"

"My landlady makes sandwiches for me at weekends. I like to work then, when the place is quieter. In the evenings Mrs Nagy provides meals... your coffee tastes better."

"I’ll bet it does." Mrs Nagy’s guesthouse was renowned for its food, which had the single advantage of making lunchtime at the lab seem like a treat. Anna should probably educate this deprived man, but she was not in the mood to cook. Fortunately, there was an alternative. "How do you like your pizza?"

He looked blank. It was definitely time he was corrupted into the ways of modern living. Anna went to the phone and dialed Dom’s. His pizza delivery service was probably responsible for keeping most of the Institute’s staff sane. She ordered a large with double everything except anchovies, self-indulgence being the theme for this weekend, and a tub of Haagen-Dazs. Strawberry.

"Ice-cream?" Brakish queried.

Anna chuckled. "It can be a lot of fun, eating ice-cream."

It was. After they’d demolished the pizza and enjoyed a leisurely coffee, the ice cream had softened considerably, so they ate it together, without spoons.

Sunday, they had extra pepperoni and no olives, and chocolate chip ice cream. By the time it was delivered, they needed the calories.

Monday morning came, as Mondays must. With a return to the intellectual routine of the Institute in prospect, breakfast was a subdued affair. They loaded the bicycle into the back of her car for the brief trip Anna usually headed over to the big supermarket in the nearest town (some sixty miles away) every month, and now that there would be two of them to feed, at least some nights, she really had to make the trip after work. Maybe she could pick up a decent shirt for Brakish? Or perhaps it would be inappropriate to take such wifely action? Oh well, what did it matter—he hadn’t spent much time in his clothes over the weekend.

A different guard was on main gate duty this morning, and he saw no particular significance in the dusty truck, parked fifty yards from the entrance while the driver attempted to deal with a flat tire.

Neither Anna nor Brakish took any notice either, as they passed the truck and its hapless driver. She parked in her usual spot, three rows back from the main door. As Okun wrestled his bicycle out of the car, Anna hunted through her purse for the disk onto which she had eventually copied her speculative notes.

That which had been Buzz Bradshaw took careful aim with the hunting rifle, targeting Dr Okun’s head with unearthly precision. The guard on duty gaped in astonishment and reached for his own weapon, but as he frantically tried to call for backup, he knew the reinforcements would arrive too late.

Brakish opened the car door for her, but before she could get out, he bent down and kissed her firmly on the lips.

The crack of rifle fire sounded and the Buzz entity shrieked with frustrated rage as its target ducked out of sight at the precise moment the trigger was pulled. Then oblivion hit as a bullet from the guard’s gun crashed into the earth creature’s heart. The Frank entity seized the rifle but had no time to aim before another bullet tore the firearm from its hands and nicked an artery on its trajectory past Frank’s neck. The life spurted out of the Frank entity and its occupant, and was quite gone by the time the sprinting guard reached them.

Dr Okun never found an opportunity to read Dr Brown’s speculations on the aliens’ alternate perceptions. The security personnel never had the chance to learn why two unknown rednecks had tried to murder one of the Institute’s staff. And Anna never did buy Brakish a decent shirt. The entire Institute was sealed right off, external security trebled, the staff required to eat and sleep on the premises, rather than risk the tiniest leakage of information to the outside world. Because seven minutes and eleven seconds after they walked through the double-sealed doors into the main laboratory where ...It was housed, It’s power came on.


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