I had a plan to get us out of the building and away from Stafford. It was going to take time. I had to make sure we left with the suspended animation chamber and all my notes, though, to be honest, most of what I had discovered was in my head.
Moving the chamber was simple: all I needed was access to two men and a truck. A few minutes alone with them and I could bend them to my will to move the tank.
My worry was Stafford. I had purposely stayed out of his mind. I was fairly certain his natural paranoia would have made any intrusion into his thoughts perilous. He was a dangerous man – if he had the slightest inkling he was being manipulated, he would call for help or worse.
My powers were growing but so far all my ‘conquests’ had been willing in one way or another. Melody and Evie subconsciously wanted to be drawn into my world. Maria and Thompson were incredibly lonely people beneath the surface – joining my coven was a relief. Constance Balenger was in absolute heaven as her husband’s submissive and Simon Balenger was happier than he had ever been.
Stafford was different. He hated me – hated us. I had as much prospect of subverting his will as I did of outrunning a bullet.
I still hadn’t fully grasped who or what I was.
I wish I had. More than anything, I wish I understood then what I came to understand in the days that followed.
Getting away from Stafford meant keeping him from understanding how far my control had extended.
To that end, Allen Thompson agreed to continue acting ‘normal’. He would not join us in our room – however, I insisted he continue drinking Ambrosia. Evie came up with the solution: she would go to his room each night. At first, she merely carried a container of Melody’s Ambrosia, but on the second night, Evie’s own Ambrosia came in.
Thompson needed no convincing to nurse directly from her source.
They were falling deeply in love, and that made all of us happy.
I was unsure how long we could keep up the charade. Thompson was changing, growing taller and more muscular.
He slouched around Stafford, but I knew it was only a matter of time before Stafford noticed that Thompson was now taller and more muscular than he.
Physically, I believed we could take Stafford. Between Thompson and I and the former Russian goddess, we could subdue him if it were necessary.
But his gun was the equalizer.
Around 3:00 AM, the two MPs on the ground floor turned around at the sound of people descending the steps.
They stood there with their mouths open.
Melody and Evie stood in their modified uniforms at the bottom of the steps.
“Um, ladies? You need to go back to the second floor. You’re violating quarantine.”
“Aww, come on fellows,” Melody said and stretched, letting the MPs take in her curves in the skimpy outfit. “We’ve been cooped up upstairs for months. We just want to have a little fun.”
“You know we don’t really have the measles, right?” Evie said as she twirled her hair on her index finger.
The other MP just stared at her and smiled.
“I mean, we missed the whole summer,” Melody pouted. “All that… fucking.” She looked up at the first MP and licked her lips.
“Who cares about Stafford?” Evie laughed. “He’s upstairs asleep. We’re down here… and horny.”
The first MP nudged his pal.
“Stafford will fucking kill us, man.”
“Fuck Stafford,” the first MP said and pulled Melody to his lips.
She moaned into the kiss as his hands trailed down to her buttocks.
Evie rocked restlessly from one foot to the other. “Come on. You gonna leave me all alone and wet?”
The second MP practically dove on her and she laughed as he kissed her neck making his way to her swollen breasts.
“Easy lover. We got all night.”
His hands were on Evie’s breasts.
Melody winked at her and slid down to her knees.
She unzipped the first MP’s pants and hauled out his hard, six inch cock.
Evie reached down and squeezed the growing lump in her MP’s pants. “Not much more on this side.”
“What?” Evie’s MP asked.
“Nothing, honey. Keep kissing my neck I like that.”
Melody smiled up into the first MP’s eyes as she gently stroked his cock with her right hand. “So trusting, aren’t they?”
“Relax, gentlemen,” Eric said as he descended the stairs.
There was a momentary look of panic on the MPs’ faces at the sight of a naked body builder with a huge cock descending to the first floor.
“Everything is okay, baby,” Melody said, her fledgling mental powers calming the soldier. His eyes started to close.
“What the fuck is going on?” The second MP said.
Evie’s brow furrowed as she tried to control him. She sighed and rolled her eyes. “Sorry, Eric. I just don’t have it yet.”
“It’s okay, honey.” Eric put his index finger on the man’s forehead, and he went rigid.
Melody stood up still stroking the first MP’s cock. “Is it bad that I have so little regard for them?”
“The MPs?” Evie asked.
“Humans,” Melody said. “I just… I don’t really identify with them anymore.”
“They aren’t like us,” Eric said. “They’re… flimsy. You can step away from them now.”
Evie and Melody stepped back, leaving the men looking dazed.
“Attention!” Eric barked. He had put an image in their minds that he was a four star general.
The MPs snapped to attention and stared straight ahead.
Eric smiled. “Always wanted to do that.”
Evie giggled and pointed – the first MP’s cock was sticking out of his pants. “The little MP is at attention too.”
Melody laughed with her.
“When do you boys go off duty?” Eric asked.
“Sir! 0800, sir.” the first MP said.
“Do you normally return to base then?”
“Yes, sir. We have to be back at The Presidio by 1600 hours.”
“What were you boys going to do during that time?” Eric asked.
The first MP stammered. “Sir… well, sir… there’s a brothel in South San Francisco…”
Eric smiled. “That’s fine, son. You boys deserve a trip to the brothel. When’s the next time you’re here?”
“Tomorrow evening, sir.”
“Good. When you come back tomorrow, I need you to bring a truck. Can you get a truck?”
The second MP nodded. “Yes, sir. My brother lives in San Jose. He has a truck.”
“That’s fine. I need you to bring it to me. We’re going to load something on it. Top secret. You have to keep it to yourselves, understand?”
“Good. Now… put your cock back in your pants, son. You’re on duty.”
The first MP blushed and began trying to stuff his meat back through his fly.
“Poor guy didn’t even get head,” Evie whispered.
“He’ll survive,” Melody said.
Eric turned around and put his arms on Evie and Melody’s shoulders. “At ease, boys. I think I’ll take these two back upstairs and fuck them.”
“Sir! Yes, sir!” The first MP said. They saluted Eric as he ushered the girls upstairs.
The first MP shook his head when they were gone. “Goddamn generals get all the pussy.”
“Was he naked?”
“Fucking general. He can do whatever he wants.”
They returned to guarding the front door.
At 9:00 AM, Stafford followed Constance Balenger from her husband’s lab on the third floor. He took her arm in the stairwell. “Constance?”
Constance turned stiffly. She was holding a medical instrument tray in her hands with blood collection syringes. She looked at him with glassy eyes. “Yes, Colonel?”
He touched her pale face. “What the fuck did they do to you?”
“They opened my eyes.”
“They opened my eyes. I didn’t understand what I wanted before. Now I do.”
He examined her eyes. They didn’t move. She was like a robot.
“And what is it you want?”
She turned her head to the side and smiled. “I’m the Doctor’s experiment. He wants to explore the limits of pleasure and pain.”
“What does that mean?”
She bent over at the waist and laid the tray on the floor. When she stood up, she turned and pulled up her hair in the back. “Can you unzip me?”
He undid the zipper on the back of the nurse’s uniform.
She let it fall off her shoulders and then turned around.
Her full breasts were braless, but they were held in place by thin wires that looped around her shoulders and neck.
They were soldered to hypodermic needles that pierced both her thick nipples.
Stafford stepped back. “Jesus. Oh, Jesus.”
“It supports me as well as any bra.”
“You’re fucking insane…”
The thin wires continued down her torso. She let the uniform fall lower.
Her clit was also pierced with a hypodermic and the wires were attached to this one as well.
Constance smiled pleasantly and turned around. Then she bent forward and spread her legs. She wasn’t wearing panties, just a white garter belt and white stockings.
There was a metallic plug in her ass attached to the same wires.
The wires continued up to a small black box taped to the small of her back. It had a red button in the center.
She stood up stiffly and turned around. “Doctor says when we leave here he will have permanent steel piercings put in place of the needles. And my treatments will be on a timer.”
She turned around. “Press the button, Colonel.”
“It’s okay. The Doctor won’t be angry. You can’t fuck me, but you can administer my treatment.”
“What… does that do?” He stared at the box with the red button.
“Try it and see.”
He reached out his finger hovering over the button. “Constance…”
“Press it. I can handle ten seconds. More than that and I have a tendency to pass out. Go on, Colonel. Press it.”
He pressed the button.
Constance went rigid. Then her entire body began to tremble.
There was an electric current flowing through the wires from the battery pack.
“Constance, you twisted bitch,” Stafford whispered. He released the button.
Constance’s knees buckled but she stayed upright. She moaned loudly.
“You came?” Stafford asked.
“Every… time.” She paused and breathed deep and steady. Then she reached down and pulled her dress back up. “Could you zip me, please?”
He pulled the zipper up and she bent back to her tray and retrieved it.
She stared at him with her glassy eyes. “Will there be anything else, Colonel?”
He shook his head and backed away as she descended the steps to the second floor, her posture perfect.
Stafford watched her disappear down the stairs.
Then he went back to his room and retrieved his sidearm.
“We should have names,” Melody said as the coven sat in my room.
“We have names,” I said as I drew on the board with chalk.
“No, god names,” Melody said as she stroked the back of his neck. She squinted at the board. “Time travel?”
I smiled and looked at her. “You can tell what these equations are about?”
She nodded. “Time travel… no, not travel. You only want to look into the future.”
“I don’t think time travel is possible,” I said. “But I do think looking into the future is possible. And, if I can do that? I can change the future.”
Dr. Thompson stood behind us. “You mean looking into the future with the power of your mind? Like Pike crossing over to the twelfth dimension?”
“Not exactly. I wouldn’t be traveling to the future so much as just observing it.” I took Melody’s hand. “I won’t go anywhere, darling. I won’t leave you. But being able to see the future might be helpful in saving the world.”
Melody nodded and hugged me. “Just don’t go through any goddamned doors.”
“No doors. Got it.”
“Hey!” Evie said as she skipped up behind us. “I want to talk about that whole name thing Melody mentioned. I mean if we’re gods and goddesses, we ought to have cool names, right?”
Maria was lying on the bed behind us. “I am Maria Anastasia Marapova and I don’t need a name to be a goddess. I simply am.”
Evie jumped on top of her, causing the bed springs to creak. She kissed Maria’s nose. “Nope. You are Mistress Maria Anastasia Marapova the White Witch.”
Maria smiled up at her and looked from side to side. “Hmm, that is catchy. I think it suits me.” She clasped her hands on Evie’s buttocks and pulled her close into a deep kiss.
“What about you, Dr. Thompson? Asclepius?” I asked.
“Greek god of medicine?” Thompson laughed. “No, Eric, I think I’ll just be Dr. Allen Thompson.”
“Boo!” Evie said. “You’re not getting into the spirit of things! Somebody name me!”
“I would say you are mischievous,” Maria said as she ran her fingers through the long red hair. “Which goddess would that be?”
“Aite,” I said.
“Ah-eat-uh?” Evie asked and grimaced. “Too many vowels.”
“Leto,” Melody said.
I smiled. “Nice choice.”
“Leto?” Evie asked. “Who was she?”
“Goddess of motherhood,” I said.
Evie smiled and blushed. “Yeah. Yeah, someday. Call me that, okay?”
I touched Melody’s face. “My Aphrodite.”
She blushed and laughed. “Oh, you think so?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Aww,” Evie whispered. “They’re so cute.”
“What about you, Eric?” Maria asked. “Zeus?”
“Morpheus,” Melody said as she stared into my eyes. “He’s the god of dreams and you are always in mine.”
I just smiled at her for a moment.
“Shh, stop crying,” Maria whispered.
Melody and I both looked over at Evie. She was crying on Maria’s big bosom. “It’s… just so romantic.”
And we all laughed.
At nightfall, I looked out the window at the street below.
The two MPs were quietly loading the suspended animation pod into the back of the truck and covering it with a tarp.
“It’s time,” I said.
The coven members were all in the room and dressed in street clothes.
Melody would ride with me in the pickup. The Balenger’s had their own car, and Evie and Maria would ride in Thompson’s.
“Quietly, everyone,” I said. “The MPs are still under my control. Dr. Thompson, do you know where Stafford is?”
“He was in his room upstairs a few minutes ago.”
I smiled and nodded.
We crept into the hallway.
Melody stood just behind me followed by Maria and Evie. The Balengers came next and Thompson took the rear as we made our way to the stairwell.
I felt Melody stop behind me.
I glanced back.
Her eyes were far away. “You were right,” she whispered.
“What?” I asked quietly.
“I can see the future.” Her eyes welled with tears. She turned toward Evie and Maria. “I love you. I need you to remember.” She put her small hands on their faces.
I felt power course through her, the same feeling you get when you walk under high voltage lines.
Maria and Evie shook.
“What are you doing, Melody?” I whispered.
“What are all of you doing?” Stafford said.
I spun around.
He was standing in the stairwell.
He had a .45 in his right hand pointed directly at my chest.
I spread out my arms shielding everyone behind me as best I could. “Step aside, Colonel. I’m taking my loved ones. We’re leaving.”
“Before you say another word? I got my finger tensed on this trigger. Not even a tenth of an ounce more and I’ll put a hole in your chest. I feel your fingers in my brain? You’re a dead man.”
“Stafford!” Thompson said. “Stand aside. We were wrong to try to keep him here. He will save the world, Carl. But you need to let us leave and let him do it.”
“Dr. Thompson, you are fired. That’s straight from LBJ himself – well, not through normal channels, but the effect is the same.”
“Why do you have to be like this?” Melody said as she stepped around me.
I tried to pull her back behind me, but she shrugged away.
She shook her head. “The world doesn’t have to be like this. I’ve seen a different one. It’s beautiful, Stafford. If you could only understand.”
“Step aside, slut. Your boyfriend dies… first.”
Maria stepped to my right side trying to push me back and pull Melody away. “He’ll do it. We’ve been sanctioned.”
“What do you know about it, Russkie?”
Maria grinned. “I’ve seen men like you before. KGB, Nazis – all of you have the same sick look. You want to kill what doesn’t fit your mold.” She squeezed my arm. “Step aside and let me kill this piece of shit, Eric.”
“No!” Melody said. “No killing! Why does there always have to be killing? Can’t you see that’s what’s wrong with the whole world?” She looked into Stafford’s eyes. “It doesn’t have to be like this. Just let us go.”
He stared at her.
He pulled the trigger and smiled.
Before that gunshot, I was not a god. None of us were. We were just playing at being gods.
I felt her body press against mine, felt her begin to fall.
I caught her in my arms.
Evie screamed and Maria fell on top of us both as we fell to the floor, shielding us.
I rolled Melody onto her back and cradled her in my arms as the blood spread across her chest. “Melody? Oh, God.”
The gun fired again. And then a third time.
I knew they would hit Maria.
She looked down at us with nothing but love.
And then I was a god.
The bullets slowed then hung in midair behind Maria’s back.
They fell harmlessly onto the tile floor of the hallway.
Melody stared into my eyes. “I’ve seen it. The world you are going to make? It’s not what I imagined. But it’s a beautiful world, my Morpheus.” And she closed her eyes.
Maria rose in the air over me.
It took me a moment to understand that I was moving her out of the way.
I stood up with Melody cradled in my arms.
Maria and Evie were crying as I passed her body into their arms.
The pistol again – two shots. I held up my palm behind my back.
The bullets stopped.
I didn’t need to see the panic in his face to know Stafford was terrified. I could smell it.
“You goddamned murderous fool!” Thompson cried. “You goddamned idiot. She was the only thing that kept him human.” Thompson stepped back and looked at the floor.
I turned and stared into Stafford’s eyes.
He was shaking as he pulled the trigger again and again, the bullets falling to the floor. “No! No, goddamn it! It’s not…”
I held out my right palm.
Stafford went rigid.
I made a fist.
Stafford dropped his gun, and his arms went tight against his body as if I were squeezing him.
I slowly raised my arm.
Stafford rose into the air, his face turning crimson from lack of air, his lungs paralyzed.
He stared down at me.
I brought my fist down and he was dashed to the floor. I heard bones break.
I relaxed my hand and walked to him.
He lay on his back, his right leg bent out at an odd angle.
I stared down at him.
And then I screamed.
The windows shattered.
The building shook and the floor cracked.
A small earthquake shook the bay.
And Colonel Carl Stafford exploded in a red mist, spraying the stairwell and me in crimson.
I fell on my knees and cried.
Hands touched me. I felt Evie’s hands on my face.
Maria put her hands under my arms and lifted me.
“Eric, we have to leave,” Thompson said.
“Morpheus. Call me Morpheus,” I whispered. “Eric Morrison is dead.”
He finished his story as the sun rose and the boat rocked gently in the swells. Overhead, gulls screamed and cried, begging for some scraps.
With the morning light came two realizations.
First, the huge shape I had sensed in the darkness nearby was an island of black rock. A sheer cliff rose above us. I knew without asking this was his home, Isla Satana as inscribed on the boat’s transom.
Second, I was in love with this man turned god. Despite my abduction, despite his forced feminization of poor Jack – I was really in love for the first time in my life. Perhaps because we were in some ways so alike. I was using Jack for my own purposes and so was Morpheus.
My love for him made me cry because I knew he would never feel for me the way he did for Melody Hutchins, his Aphrodite. She was and always will be the second half that would have made him whole