Chapter Eight: Earthbound, Once Again
Gresha felt nervous as she and Leih boarded a shuttle headed for Earth. Nahla and Gio sat in the other shuttle with Masorien.
They had offered to take Kimberly and Scott home, but they had refused and told them that if it was okay with them, they would like to stay there. They have no home on Earth and what best way to protect and help the Sobriehtons than on their Space Station. Even if it is just babysitting the little ones.
Pilar and Tenyar joined Gresha and Leih in theirs, and she felt the butterflies in her stomach and held her hand against them.
“The babies, okay?” Leih asked, looking down at her hand on her stomach.
“They’re fine,” Gresha said with a smile, “just butterflies from nerves.”
“This will be a piece of cake,” Leih said, then took her hand as Pilar closed the door.
“Yeah, Sister, you have us,” Pilar said as he leaned forward and touched her shoulder.
Gresha turned to her brother and smiled at him. “Thank you, Brother.”
“Any time,” Pilar said, sitting back in his seat.
“And off we go,” Leih said as the floor opened, and the shuttles fell to Earth.
The flight to Earth wasn’t long enough. She needed more time to get her nerves under control. They landed close to the escape capsule that had delivered Gretta to safety, all those weeks ago.
Now she’s coming home as Gresha, their niece. She’s taking their daughter from them. She felt tears slide down her cheek.
“Everything will be okay, Sister. They love you whether you’re their niece or daughter,” Pilar said as he pulled her against his side.
“Annoying,” Gresha said with a laugh.
Pilar laughed as he kissed her forehead.
Gio walked over to the emergency escape pod and typed a command into the board to send it back to the Space Station, then turned to his family and gestured for them to start heading towards the house.
When they came across the wheelchair, Gresha paused.
“If I hadn’t sent you here as a human, you wouldn’t have almost died,” Gio said as he walked up behind his daughter.
“Pilar never would have found me. We wouldn’t be together again,” Gresha said with a smile. “I’m actually grateful for the cancer.”
Gio pulled her into his arms and kissed her forehead.
“I don’t want this to bother my family anymore,” Gresha said, looking at the chair. “Leih, tear it apart.”
“With pleasure,” Leih said with a grin, then picked up the chair and tore it into pieces.
Nahla giggled as she threw pieces of the chair across the field. Masorien laughed and helped his niece dispose of the pieces. When there was nothing left of the chair, they looked at Gresha, who was smiling.
“Now let’s go return your family’s memories,” Leih said as he placed his arm over his wife’s shoulders.
Gresha leaned her head on her husband as they walked to the house.
Gretchen was in the back, working in her garden when they came out of the field. She saw them and screamed.
“Gretta!” Gretchen shouted as she ran from the back yard and headed straight into Gresha’s arms.
Gresha smiled and hugged her close.
Gretchen’s scream had the rest of the family running outside.
“Gretta!” they cried out as they ran to her.
Gresha hugged her family with a bright smile on her face.
“Thank God, you’re okay,” Gretchen said, looking at her daughter.
“We need to talk,” Gresha said with a smile.
Gretchen looked at all the people with her, then nodded towards the house. “Of course.”
“Not in the house yet,” Gresha said as she took hold of Gretchen’s arm. “Tenyar?” she said with a nod to her bodyguard.
Tenyar nodded, then took off in a flash of colors.
Her family stared after him in shock. Gresha had talked to her bodyguard before leaving the Space Station and had told him about the cameras and listening devices in her family’s house.
Garrett looked at Masorien. “What’s going on?” he asked the man.
“Beats me,” Masorien said with a shrug of his shoulder.
Tenyar returned to Gresha with six cameras and twelve listening devices in his hand. “My princess,” he said with a bow.
“Thank you, Tenyar,” Gresha said with a smile, looking at her husband. “Destroy them for me. Will you?”
“Sure thing,” Leih said with a grin, then took the devices from Tenyar and smashed them into nothing.
“Okay,” Gresha said, taking hold of Gretchen’s arm, “it is safe to go into the house now.”
“I can’t believe all of that was in the house,” Garrett said as he followed them to the house.
“I told you they knew too much for it to be guesswork,” Timothy said as he helped his wife up the stairs.
Way down below in the bunker in New York, the General stared at the blank monitors. “What the hell happened?” he demanded angrily.
“Not sure, sir. There was a flash of colors, then everything was gone,” a tech said, then started pressing buttons, trying to get something to come on.
“We’re on full alert people,” the General bellowed. “Call the ACU and get every available man up to that house. My gut tells me something is going on there.”
Gresha looked at her family as they sat around the living room, staring at her and the others.
“What’s going on?” Gretchen asked.
“A lot,” Gresha said with a smile, “we have our memories back, and it’s time you have yours too.”
“What are you talking about?” Garrett asked, staring at her.
“Gretta Hun, you’re scaring me,” Gretchen said, watching her daughter.
“I know,” Gresha said with a nod, “this will help.”
She walked over to Gretchen and placed her hand over her eyes. Gretchen screamed out in pain as she fell back convulsing.
“What did you do!?” Garrett bellowed as he rushed to his wife and pushed Gresha out of the way.
Leih caught her and held her as she cried.
“What the hell, Gretta?” Gabby asked, staring at her sister.
When Gretchen stopped screaming, she sat up and held her head, then looked up at Gresha and started crying.
“Did you have to do that, Gresha?” she asked, crying harder.
“I’m sorry,” Gresha cried.
“Who is Gresha, love? That’s our daughter, Gretta,” Garrett said, holding his wife.
“No, it’s not,” Gretchen cried.
“Please don’t hate me,” Gresha cried as she moved to kneel in front of her aunt.
“I could never hate you,” Gretchen said as she touched Gresha’s face. “Look at you—all grown up. We did a good job raising you,” Gretchen said with a hiccup.
“You did,” Gio said, moving forward.
Gretchen looked up at him, still crying. “Gio,” she said with a nod.
“Aunt Gretchen?” Nahla said as she came out from behind Pilar.
“Nahla?” Gretchen asked, looking at the girl.
Nahla squealed as she ran into her aunt’s arms. “You remember me.”
Gretchen laughed, “of course I do.” She smiled as she held onto her youngest niece. “Now,” Gretchen said, looking up at her family, who were staring at her confused, then at her eldest niece. “May as well bring them all back.”
Nahla smiled as her aunt held her tight.
“Okay,” Gresha said as she got to her feet.
She looked at Garrett, who had been such a wonderful father to her. It was time for him to go back to being that wonderful uncle. She placed her hand over his eyes, and he hollered in pain, falling to the floor, screaming.
Nahla covered her ears as she cried against her aunt. Leih came up behind Gresha and held her while they watched the memories return to her uncle. When the pain stopped, he sat up and stared at the aliens in his house.
“Twenty years,” he said as he got to his feet.
“Actually, just over Twenty-One,” Gio said, watching his brother-in-law.
“Leave it to you to keep track,” Garrett said, shaking Gio’s hand.
“What the hell is going on here?” Gavin demanded.
“Do them all at once, Gresha,” Gretchen said as she looked at her children.
“Do what exactly?” Timothy asked, staring at his best friend.
Gresha moved over to Gavin and Geena and laid her hands over their eyes. They screamed as they fell to the floor. She then walked over to Gabriela and Timothy and looked at Timothy with a smile.
“Hold onto her, Tim.”
Gabby stared at her brother and sister, who were screaming on the floor, holding their heads.
“What are you doing?” Tim asked, watching her.
“Hold her. This shouldn’t hurt the baby, but I don’t want her falling to the floor,” Gresha said with a smile.
Tim held onto his wife as Gresha laid her hand over Gabby’s eyes. Gabby fell back against her husband screaming. Gresha walked over to Leih and leaned against him.
Gavin and Geena sat up and held their heads.
“What a rush,” Gavin moaned.
“Hi, Geena,” Nahla said, smiling at her cousin.
“Wow,” Geena said, looking at her little cousin. “You’re still little.”
Nahla laughed as she ran to her cousin and jumped into her arms. Geena laughed as she caught her and hugged her tight.
Gabby stopped screaming and sucked in a deep breath. She looked over at Gresha and the rest of the aliens behind her. “That was some crazy stuff,” she said, looking at Gresha.
“Are you okay?” Gresha asked, watching her.
“Yeah,” Gabby said as she stood up from her husband’s arms.
“What’s going on here?” Tim asked, looking around the room at his family.
“You weren’t here, so you have no memories to restore,” Gresha said, smiling at him. “But I can help you understand everything I can show you.”
“You can do that?” Leih asked, holding her arm.
“I can,” Gresha said with a nod as she walked over to her best friend. Gabby stepped aside to let Gresha stand in front of Timothy. “This will hurt,” she said, smiling up at him.
“Gretta, what are you doing?” Timothy asked, grabbing her wrist.
“She’s not Gretta, Tim,” Gabby said as she looked at her husband, “Gretta was her sister.”
“What?” Timothy asked, looking around the room. “You’re all crazy.”
Gresha moved past his hand and placed her hand over his eyes. Timothy screamed as all their memories flowed through his mind. She only showed him what he needed to know. When she finished, he stood there, shaking.
“I’m sorry,” Gresha said, watching him, “I can’t control the pain.”
“What the hell was that?” he demanded, watching her.
“That was our story,” she said with a smile.
“So, you’re Gresha, not Gretta?” he asked, watching her.
She gave him a shove and laughed. “I’m still the girl, you know,” she said with a grin. “I told you I could never hide anything from you.”
“Gretta,” he breathed, pulling her into a hug. She hugged him back with a brilliant smile. “I mean, Gresha,” he said as he stepped back from her.
“You’ll get used to it,” she said, still smiling at him.
Geena looked around her cousin’s head at Pilar, who stood beside his father. She picked Nahla up and set her on her feet, then jumped to her feet and ran into Pilar’s arms.
Startled, he caught her and closed his eyes, holding her close. She surprised him by pulling his head down to her and kissing him. His eyes popped open in shock for a moment, then closed again as he pulled her closer and deepened the kiss.
“Their first real kiss,” Leih whispered as he moved over to his wife.
“I still remember ours,” she whispered as she lightly kissed his lips.
“So, do I,” he rasped against her lips, then pulled her into his arms and deepened the kiss.
“Is this a kissing contest or something?” Gavin asked as he got to his feet.
With a laugh, the two couples parted. Gresha turned and smiled at her cousin and brother, then looked at Leih and burst into laughter. She had just realized something.
“What’s so funny?” Geena asked, looking at her.
“I just realized that I’m with my brother’s cousin, and my brother’s One is my cousin,” Gresha said with a laugh.
Geena laughed with her cousin. Gresha moved over to her and took her into a hug. Geena sighed and hugged her cousin, who was her sister and is now her cousin again. But she will always remember growing up with her little sister.
“I love you, Geena,” Gresha said, holding her close.
“I love you too, Gresha,” Geena said with a sigh.
“Okay, now that everyone has their memories back, we have a couple of announcements,” Leih said as he moved to stand beside his wife.
Gresha turned to her family with a huge smile on her face. “I’m pregnant.”
“Pregnant!” Gretchen squealed. “Oh Gresha!” she said as she ran to Gresha and took her into her arms. “I am so happy.”
“Thank you, Mom…Aunt Gretchen,” Gresha said as she closed her eyes and let her tears streamed down her cheeks.
“You will always be our daughter,” Gretchen said, looking into her beautiful gray eyes.
“Always,” Garrett said, touching her arm.
“Thank you,” Gresha said with a smile. “You guys were great parents. But I won’t be living on Earth.”
“You’re not?” Gretchen asked, staring at her.
“No,” Gresha said with a shake of her head. “Like my mother, I’m going to live on the Space Station with my husband.”
“Up there?” Gretchen asked as she looked up.
“Yeah,” Gresha said with a laugh, “it’s a lot more fun than it looks,” she assured them.
“And of course we’ll come down for visits,” Leih said with a smile as he wrapped his arms around his wife.
“As long as you visit,” Gretchen said with a nod.
“Shh,” Masorien hissed. Everyone looked at him. “Someone is outside that shouldn’t be.”