In Pluto's Shadow - Selected chapter

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(All of chapter 18)


We stood face to face in dead seriousness. Llueve was completely in her power. She had one hand on her outthrust hip and a no compromise attitude that was as human as any woman I ever saw.

‘Jwo - I feel Ea speaking to me now and I think her guidance will help us succeed!’ (How would she know if it was Ea speaking to her or not since she’d already decided what she was going to do?) ’We only need to locate the wormhole so Silvaan can take a ship there and close the entry. We don’t need to encounter them in any way - we may even be able to see what is needed from a distance.’ While her voice felt completely present and her features remained composed and calm, her eyes had a cool, otherworldly glimmer.

I thought for a while. There was no way out. I considered what Djagda had said - that forward motion for Llueve could mean the difference between life and death. I had to go with her. I feared that this could lead to disaster but there was no way I could let her go alone or risk her going with some other human yahoo she’d found. Yvonne’s curly haired New Age salesman came to mind in a bad way. And if she went alone, and failed, it would haunt me forever. And, I felt almost sure, if she continued to beat herself up about the urgency of things, she would start the Faal all over in herself again. I, possibly, had power to prevent that.

We looked at each other with defiance. It’s at this point, it seems to me. that a relationship really begins. When you nearly hate someone you love. We were suddenly new and different to each other. This combat of wills had both placed us farther apart, and made us more real to one another. We were familiars enough now to make demands on each other.

‘O.K.’ I said. ’But if we run into what looks anything like real danger - anything! - we get out when I say so!’ I tried to stare her down and just as I was about to cave in she said...

‘O. Whay!’ Daag speakers can’t say j’s or k’s very well. The damn cuteness of this made me grin. Whew. Close call.

We began the ritual of creating protection shields and energy constructs that could be activated in emergency situations. With one word, either of us would wake up immediately in our beds, or both of us would zoom to Inxalrok and find refuge with the Siddhe. Part of the deal was that we couldn’t call on the Siddhe for protection and backup because they would tell Isult and Llueve was sure Isult would stop us going. I felt I had to go along with this.

We had both learned so much about creative visualization by now, that our shields were pretty elaborate.

When we were ready, we set off for the Kovrro Flight Base where the wormhole was thought to be located. The Skandrr Air Force keeps a mass of disk ships there. Siddhe spies have also seen helicopters and different fighter jets there so this was the obvious place to start. The base is in a remote desert area and has a very sinister reputation among the Siddhe.

In Ovvala, the equivalent to Earth’s alien cattle mutilations, is the abduction of people from remote, and sometimes even suburban areas. Witnesses who have seen such abductions and escaped describe black whirling mechanical monsters that thud and hiss. They drop down suddenly on a street and people dressed in black jump out of these things and shoot tranquilizer darts at them and they are never seen again.

Because these things were nothing like Ovvalan Skaalin disks - which are silent - it is generally assumed by Ovvalans that these other craft are from outer space.

Some ten years ago, a pilot in the Skandrr Air Force defected to the Siddhe. This was Asaalen. He was interviewed on a rogue television broadcast from Inxalrok, and said he had personally seen such craft hidden in hangars at Kovrro. So this was where we were going.

The Siddhe had tried for years to approach this base astrally with no success because the Adrrik - the Skandrr psychic police - keep a twenty-four hour watch there. The Siddhe could not afford to be followed back to their own bases at Inxalrok or Logaana by these psychic operatives, and so had to stay away from Kovrro. Getting close physically was completely impossible. There are ground sensors and the Skandrr keep dozens of the fastest disk-craft on continual alert.

Once Llueve and I had internalized the constructs we had created, we established a basic plan of approach and took off. After a fairly long flight, we emerged in a desert area. As we beamed in on Kovrro we could see a wide dark shadow snake across the desert. This was a long, very deep canyon. We followed this west and at a certain point, where a ridge dropped away from the edge of the canyon we saw the Kovrro base.

Once we recognized it, we stopped and hovered, holding hands and enacted SkaTaal. This activates Lexl-light between us and amplifies the phenomenon of invisibility. We finally made a real peace as we did this and really smiled and kissed.

We looked around for signs of vigilance. As we had agreed, we stayed close together and allowed our hearts to resonate - this is what creates our invisibility. We were in a very serious headspace. I felt Llueve was gauging my whole being as a man and as an Earthling as well as my potential worth as the father of her child. Her Ovvalan mental lines were painfully sharp in my Human mind and against my denser Human will. My hyper caution and mammalian protectiveness, were a powerful challenge to her quick, Ovvalan instincts to be etherially spontaneous.

We came to a heavily patrolled area. There were circular landing pads for choppers and Disks and landing strips for jets, cross-hatched with black skid marks. Most of the Disk sites were empty. There were three or four executive jets and a half dozen fighter jets. The landing zones were bordered by buildings that looked like offices and barracks. There were service vehicles parked in various grouping. Ground vehicles moved slowly around the perimeter with flashing yellow lights. The base was built alongside the lip of the canyon, on a wide shelf about a hundred feet below the rim of the land, where a forest of small trees extended away into the night. Antenna and laser canons overlooked the area. We took mental snapshots of all this to relay to the Siddhe in rote later.

We slowly flew all around the perimeter of the base but saw nothing that looked like what could lead to a wormhole. While there was some activity around the barracks buildings and the ground vehicles moving at the perimeter, not much seemed to be going on.

Suddenly, lights began flashing near the cliff. I thought maybe they’d spotted us and I was about to make us shoot away. But then we saw movement in the wall of the canyon. The sandstone cliff cracked open revealing a dark space. The crack widened and I realized that doors were opening outwards in the sandstone face. In a moment, two Aeron disks hovered out of the darkness, rose up above the canyon rim and then dropped down onto landing pads. The doors in the cliff then closed seamlessly.

We flew over to the doors and up over the canyon rim above them, then dropped down through the ground. We came out in a tall, wide tunnel carved through sandstone. It was illumined with no clear source of light.

We glided down the tunnel, which kept going and going in a straight line until it widened into the huge cylindrical space that we recognized immediately. It was the Draco Council Chamber! Of course! The Human and Ovvalan members of the Andrr-Ka would meet in the middle between the two dimensions! The Siddhe didn’t know this! When we had penetrated the Draco Council, we had only found it by homing in on the Draco Vrryl energy broadcast by so many Homosaurs being together.

The immense cavern was empty and still now. We crouched cautiously against the wall, ready to activate our escape modes. We were barely breathing. But there was no movement or noise or any sense of a presence anywhere. This central chamber took on a new significance to us. It was fascinating to consider that this tunnel created a meeting place between our two different species, imprinted for millennia to remain ignorant of one another. Bludgeoned by lies, the scar tissue of the mind had locked out any other conception of things. A naturally transdimensional people, we took for granted that we were one-dimensional while reality was entirely different.

We cautiously touched down on the floor of the chamber and assumed walking postures, advancing towards the center of the room.

‘Quick! Against the wall!’ Llueve hissed and pushed against me. I edged up against the wall with her at my side and looked at her to see what had set her off. Bright little lights came on along the base of the tunnel. She pointed across the chamber to where the tunnel continued. In the hollow of the ongoing tunnel, an almost imperceptibly small light appeared to be moving. Then we heard a low, rhythmic, grinding. As the thing advanced it got louder and louder until it was thundering in the echoing cavern.

Three jet-propelled black helicopters were moving single file towards us. As they passed the middle of the chamber, they slowed to a hover. At this point they became vaporous - like looking through barbecue fumes. Then they became normal again, sped up, and passed on down the tunnel towards Kovrro.

So - the chamber itself was where the transubstantiation between Earth and Ovvala took place! Either a natural, or synthesized force field, caused the shift from matter to anti-matter. Or something like that.

As the sound faded, we calmed down and walked along the floor down the middle of the chamber - now looking forward and backward along both arms of the tunnel to see if anything was coming. I noticed techno devices hooked to the wall, high up near the ceiling, that I figured were motion sensors or video cameras.

As we continued walking, I felt strange - dense and queasy and kind of throw-uppy. This passed and then I felt a wave of dizziness but nothing appeared to be different. I reflexively reached for Llueve’s hand as we approached the far side of the cavern to enter the tunnel on the other side.

It was when our hands touched that we both stopped and turned to each other in shock. We had become physical! We stood there - still holding hands, turned towards each other, and realized we were naked and in the flesh, standing on the sandstone floor of the cavern.

Two things struck me at the same time; one was that she was a tall woman. I’m six feet two and she was only a few inches shorter than me. The other thing was that her skin was blue and her nipples an iridescent violet. Since most of our time together was spent either flying or making love, I had never really noticed her height. And in the astral there is so much color and energy perception generally that I never once had thought that her skin color could be different than mine.

In the astral, her physical features were an extension of her spirit and personality and I related to them as energy. Suddenly she was really physical and the full impact of her presence - her otherworldliness - gave me the shivers. Her feminine beauty was all the more accentuated by her physicality. In the astral she was like touching a dream. Suddenly, in the dim lights of the tunnel, and fully naked, her oval breasts, girlish shoulders, and her hips with their uniquely long Ovvalan curves, and her glistening, faintly writhing hair, was all shockingly exotic.

She told me later that my physical presence at that moment made her completely forget where we were or what we were doing. My body was so much denser and muscular than she had imagined and my skin appeared to her at first to be made of stone. And the thought that what was down below was made of some kind of living stone had been distracting to her.

Our recent alienation, because of our conflict about going to the wormhole, was suddenly overwhelmed by a mutual desire for tenderness. The physical reality of one another suddenly renewed our attraction. The experience of having, what in essence had been a dream lover, suddenly now become flesh before my eyes - and inside my hands - was staggering.

The long lines of her arms and her elegant, pendant breasts, just intoxicated me. I reached out - completely forgetting where we were, and what we were doing, and cupped my hands on her hip as she put her hand to my cheek. Unable to resist, I cupped a breast as she leaned out to kiss me when we heard a huge, echoing metallic crash behind us.

Something was coming! Complete fear shattered the sense of awe glowing between us. We started running down the tunnel away from Kovrro into the depths of the tunnel.

Llueve stopped suddenly and grabbed me by the arm, speaking in rapid fire Ovvalan.

‘Irreliaaeven tae dah lio-sieh ventaalnish kiendiord!’ I realized that we had lost telepathic communication! She tried to pull me back toward the Ovvalan side of the tunnel. She was in a panic, her pupils dilated wildly. She was terrified of leaving the Ovvala dimension!

I didn’t know what to do. Neither of us had ever been physical in the other’s dimension. We had always been in the astral. This vortex made us physical, and I assumed, human type physical, because my skin looked normal even if hers didn’t. If we went back to the center of the vortex would we become anti-matter? Ovvalan physical? Or would we return to the astral? If we had to physically exit the tunnel at Kovrro, we would be captured in minutes - fifty sensors would be activated. Inside the tunnel there was nowhere to hide.

Meanwhile, a sound like soughing wind passing through a wha-wha pedal was coming from the Ovvalan side - and we were physical - we could be seen!

I pulled her in the direction we had been headed but she insisted on going the other way, hissing wildly and writhing in my grip, all the while talking in rapid Ovvalan. Then she put her hands above her head and pushed up on her toes frantically - she was taking the position we used to take when we first flew up into the sky together. Tears smeared her face as she tried to communicate to me that she thought we could get back to the astral by going back across the center of the tunnel. But this possibility was an unknown, and there was no time to find out. We couldn’t make a mistake and be found in the physical in the middle of the chamber. Our physicality could have set off sensors already and the noise we heard could be the Skandrr military police coming at us. We knew what was behind us and there was no place to hide. Perhaps ahead there would be...

Llueve was crying hysterically now. I held her by the shoulders and looked deep into her eyes and said in as calm a voice as I could – ‘we’re together - I’m with you - we’ve got to stay calm!’ Then I grabbed her wrist in a grip she couldn’t break and yanked her down the tunnel away from Ovvala. She stumbled after me not knowing what to do, but I gave her no choice.

We ran. The sounds were not getting any dimmer as we ran and ran seeing only more and more tunnel. Then the tunnel ended in a riveted, black steel wall. This was another set of doors like those at the other end, but seen from the inside. Then I saw a stairway cut into the sandstone wall. We ran up it. It led to a low ceilinged hallway. We were gasping for air now. I really felt my nakedness. The hallway took a couple of turns and came to a small steel door like a bank vault with one large wheel in the center that moved bolts in every direction. There was a shelf in the wall where there was a black rectangular instrument that looked like a very sophisticated remote control. I picked it up wondering if it would open the door while Llueve wildly turned the wheel on the door. The door opened out. It led onto a sand stone shelf partly lit by the light coming from the tunnel behind us, and partly by the incredible amount of stars in a moonless night sky. A wave of fresh air hit us as we gasped at the cold of it. The sandstone shelf was actually a shallow cave. Beyond the cliff-edge, we could see a sheer drop into the darkness of the canyon below.

The pulsing and throbbing sounds were nearing the bottom of the stairs as we went through the door. Crashing sounds echoed up at us as the large metal doors began to open outwards. Simultaneously, the sound of the door we had just come through closed with a deep thunk that left us standing outside, in the dark. As the larger doors opened below us, light from the tunnel lit up three, sleek, silver Aeron ships, silently hovering out over the dark chasm. High pitched, whirlwind sounds came from their engines. Llueve pulled me back into the shadows of the cave, as the ships floated silently down into the canyon and were swallowed by the night.

The band of light from the tunnel where the ships had emerged narrowed and went black. Then we heard the grate and boom of the big doors closing and locking. I looked behind us at the door we had just come through but there was no chink of light anywhere. I ran my hands over the surface where the door had been and felt an irregular sandstone surface. It was camouflaged. I pushed against the rock face but it was rock solid. Then I saw the crystal blue glint of a video lens hidden in a recess above the door. We had to get out of there.

It was possible to climb along the natural ledges on the face of the Canyon. We hugged the face of the cliff and felt our way through the darkness. The only light now came from the stars. Warm wind gusted up out of the canyon below, comforting because otherwise it was really cold. I could feel goose bumps on Llueve’s skin when our bodies touched. I had them myself. There was no easy way to climb up the canyon so we crept laterally along the sandstone cliff. Little, hysterical animal noises came out of Llueve as we edged along through the darkness. We were both hyperventilating with fear.

We were in a part of the canyon that had nearly vertical walls. There were shelves and crevices and we climbed from one to another. The air was getting colder as our warmth evaporated. The sandstone scrapped our knees, hands and feet. We came to a wide shelf of some kind where our feet sank into cold sand. I dug into the sand and found it was fairly warm a couple inches down. So I hollowed out a trough and laid down in it and got Llueve to lie beside me. We scooped the warm sand over ourselves and hugged each other for warmth. There was no sign of dawn in the glittering sky. We lay silently next to each other looking up at the stars feeling each other’s warmth, both of us taking fast, shallow breaths.

After a while we calmed down. A sense of the powers of the universe, of the unknown was vibrating inside me. A sparkling, diamond like flickering caught my attention and I looked at the horizon. A star had risen - it was easily four times bigger than any other star in the sky. Shafts of liquid light peeled off it to glow in the night before fading. This must be Venus, I thought. The Morningstar. I became entranced as I experienced the star pulsing in a rhythm that matched my own thoughts. Questions, doubts and fears rose up in my mind in exact time with the shafts of light peeling off the star; each pulsation returning the star, and my mind to that perfect, diamond brightness in its center. It was like the star was speaking to me, saying that the diamond light in the center was the answer to each question. At one point I stopped breathing, I was so completely enchanted. Llueve I think became nervous and nudged me in the ribs to see if I was still alive. In perfect calm I turned to her and smiled.

My normal reality softly crashed inside me and a greater identity took over. Until now I had been relating to out of body experiences as a dream state. Anything can happen in a dream. But as I lay there with Llueve pressed to my side, and her feet pressing against mine for warmth, and felt her short, nervous breaths against my cheek, the incredible became credible, my sense of a fixed reality dissolved. The fluid intelligence I saw in the star became my own mind. I started to re-digest what was happening. It was overwhelming but it matched the miracle of creation. The miraculous was normality. All is one.

At first, lying there next to her, Llueve was a complete stranger. The exotic desire I had felt for her just moments before had been overwhelmed by danger. But alieness had always been in the air between us. We’d never really faced it. I knew she was sensing similar things. Seeing the star shifted the energy, my heart opened in ways I had no idea were possible. A sense of courage and greater purpose electrified my senses. A calm confidence in forces greater than ourselves, and that we were a part of, and which were aware of us, replaced my fear. When I smiled at her it was as though the star was smiling through me. My state of mind touched her. We regrouped as we lay in the warmth and quiet. The solid, ancient walls of stone and the trusty, starry night, were our friends. Two people from different dimensions suddenly finding themselves nipple to nipple, buried in the sand, was then not scary, but thrilling and affirming of something great coming closer.

I got a photographic image of UFO’s swooping down along the canyon walls with spotlights. This was no time to relax. I was in a state of cosmic overload and it started a fire in me. I was running on some other energy now. I forced myself to breathe deeply and slowly and to think soberly and practically.

It was impossible to sleep. We were too close to the tunnel. I felt the first impulses of thirst and realized that Llueve, being pregnant, was going to need water... and food! And soon!

Llueve tried to speak a couple of times but then burst out crying. After a while - who knows how long - the sky in the east began to get light. The Morning star continued to pour out shafts of that diamond light. But as it got lighter the star was absorbed into the dawn.

The lighter it got the more dangerous it would become for us. It was damn cold when I stood up and brushed the sand off myself. The moisture on my skin quickly turned cold, but my sense of mission was overwhelming so I just ignored it. I’ve never felt more focused and determined to survive and protect my own - more human – than I did when I stood up like that in the dawn light.

I indicated to Llueve to stay in the sand while I looked around. I climbed around a big sandstone outcrop and saw that above us, and a little ways along the Canyon wall, the indentation of a side-canyon showed, with what looked like pinon pines growing along its floor.

With no time to loose, I went back for Llueve and motioned for her to come. She dusted herself off, her swollen, bluish belly making her look so biological and vulnerable.

We climbed up the canyon wall to the mouth of the side canyon and saw a little pool of water formed by a trickling stream sinking into the sand. Both of us drank. I was intensely aware of Llueve’s need to eat. But even more, I was aware of the possibility of enemies appearing any minute. Looking back from where we had just come, I could see into the main chasm of what I knew now was unmistakably the Grand Canyon.

The canyon floor rose as we climbed heading south. The walls of the little canyon framed a cloudless sky. A million years of flowing water cutting down through the rock and spilling into the Canyon was written in the different sediment bands and outcroppings in the stone that rose around us. Sparkling gold, blood red, crystal white sandstone surrounded us. The knobs and shelves, creases and columns all spoke of time, ancient, soulful, time. The time it had taken us to become people.

A raven flew overhead, each down stroke of its wings whooshing clearly in the silence, punctuated by a small eternity of perfect stillness before the next stroke. The green, tangy smell of pinon sap colored the air. Stunted, wizened bristle-cone pines grew out of the crevices of rock and sand on the ridges. The place felt as though no human had ever walked there before.

The large trees were definitely pinons. I remembered once harvesting pinon nuts with Yvonne in New Mexico. I now ripped off a couple of the dried cones from the branch of a tree and sure enough there were some brown shelled little nuts inside. I cracked one open and ate it. It was sweet. I cracked another and gave it to Llueve. She liked it. I ripped off a few more cones and we ate them as we walked along.

Wide pools of water appeared in the stream-bed as we ascended the canyon. The light grew radiant in the East. We walked along munching the nuts. The stars faded. Warm air drifted up from the canyon. We came to a crevice in the eastern face of the little canyon where we could see the sun rising above the mesas on the horizon. The blinding, liquid light of the sun crested over the mesas, infiltrating the blue shadows, its rays so warm and welcome, so full of life. In that moment, filled with wonder, I held Llueve’s hand as she watched her first sunrise on Earth.

Tears flowed down her face as she looked down at her rounded blue belly as the first rays of the sun touched her body and sparkled on the wetness of her tears. I surrounded her belly with my hands and I too began to cry, my tears dripping on her belly. We looked at one another, our hearts in our eyes, our bellies touching as the sun rose, watery and distorted through our tears. I closed my eyes and said a prayer to the sun and the universe - ‘please protect us!’ I don’t think either of us expected to survive till noon.

The sun cleared the horizon and it got hotter. We came to our senses and started walking, stepping from rock to rock along the stream. In the pools of water, mica and quartz reflected sunshine up through the water. A tuft of cottony lavender moss floated underwater between two sandstone rocks. Llueve leaned down to look closer. I had never seen Ovvala in the flesh and I wondered what all this looked like to her, what it felt like. I was standing behind her, looking down at her radiant auburn hair spread across her faintly blue shoulders. I pulled her hair into a long ponytail and let it slide luxuriously through my hands. She reached down and cupped water to her face and washed. She stood up, gave me a brave little smile and we continued walking.

We had just cleared a tall boulder, passing between it and the canyon wall and were about to walk into the open beside the stream, when a flash caught my eye. I recoiled and pulled Llueve into a crouch behind the boulder and put my fingers on her lips. A silver disk was moving silently up the canyon. It hovered just above the tops of the pines as it approached. It was moving very slowly. As it got closer we could hear a high pitched warbling bleep sounding every few moments. It glided down next to the stream, hovering a couple of feet above the ground. All the hair on my body stood on end. A silver ramp slid silently to the ground. Three little, gray Annanokian clones, their black eyes shiny as the backs of beetles, dropped clumsily to the ground, followed by a tall Skandrr soldier in a black body suit and a short gray cape. The soldier carried a weapon. The Grays had the transparent glass-like rods I had seen used on the Annanokian spacecraft. We were naked and completely defenseless. I looked around on the ground for rocks, a stick, anything to use as a weapon but there was just sand. My chest felt it would burst with the tension. I thought quickly, wondering if we had left wet foot prints but our feet had only touched rock. Llueve had washed over a pool.

The clones walked up the canyon on the other side of the stream. The ship followed close behind them - beeping regularly. I wondered if the sound might be a kind of heat seeking sonar or motion sensor. As they passed the boulder they were about thirty feet away. We edged carefully back to keep the boulder between them and us and they continued slowly on up the canyon. When they were out of sight I stood up and looked around. They might come back. We could climb up the crevice in the canyon wall where we had seen the sunrise. So we went back to where the side canyon started - both of us drinking as much water as we could hold and then climbed up the little canyon. At least there would be miles of pinon nuts.

In minutes we were walking in a pinon forest on a level plane. We walked in silence feeling the warmth of the sun on our naked skin, keeping a continuous watch for the silent disk. We were fully exposed to the sky. I tried to think where there would be a road, a campsite. I had been to the Grand Canyon a few times since living in New Mexico but I had no Idea what part we were in. We could be miles from civilization. Then I noticed footprints. They were very lightly impressed in the sand and fresh. They led to a low boulder to the south. A clutch of fear went through me and I motioned to Llueve to crouch down under a pinon tree. We crouched very still, our hearts pounding.

A wrinkled, old, very dark skinned Indian man stepped out from behind the rock. He wore a white loin cloth and held what looked like blue parrot feathers in his hands. He looked at us with shinning black eyes then pointed with his face towards the east, pursing his lips and jutting his chin out. He looked back at us, then turned and started walking in the direction he had indicated.

He was leading us somewhere. His look and manner told me we could trust him. So we followed. Llueve was uncertain and I tried to reassure her. The old man walked fast in a semi crouch. We went around some outcroppings of sandstone and through a couple of washes that drained into the Canyon. We must have walked for an hour. Every once in a while the old man looked back and our eyes locked. His eyes were like shiny black stones on fire.

I was so nearly delirious with the intensity of being with a physical Llueve, and the lack of sleep, and the fear of discovery by these unknown agents of darkness, that the presence of the Indian was for me, very reassuring. The fact that he didn’t run up to Llueve and investigate her, the fact that he didn’t talk but just walked at a fast, even pace made me feel like things were under control somehow.

We heard a semi gearing down and I knew we were near the South Rim road and cars and phones. There is only the one road along the south rim of the canyon. There was an arroyo with large boulders exposed. The old Indian stopped next to one of these and lifted his chin in the direction of the sound holding his parrot feathers to his chest. Magnetic waves of light vibrated out around him before he suddenly disappeared behind one of the boulders. He knew all about the transdimensional tunnel. He knew about Ovvalans. He had been prepared to meet us. How? From a dream? ESP? Was he Havasupai? Hopi?

I followed his footprints until they came to a large boulder with a cave-like hollow at its base. A perfect hiding place. The footprints reversed themselves right there. I looked back and saw the dark old man retracing our steps on the other side of the arroyo, swishing the sandy ground with a long pinon branch. He was erasing our footprints. He didn’t look up. We walked on to until I saw the parking lot of a truck stop.

Keeping well inside the cover of the trees, we squatted in the shade of a pinon and looked over the station. There was a set of diesel pumps for the trucks and another set of gas pumps. There was a large building with a convenience store, maybe a cafeteria and showers. And pay phones. I could call Spencer or Yvonne.

In daylight there was nothing I could do. It would be impossible. Walk up to someone fully naked and ask for money? We could be reported and that would be the end. We would have to wait until dark. I could see two full size RV’s, a truck with a camper, three cars with luggage-boxes on their roofs. Somewhere in all that were clothes, food, money. I considered stealing a car. Suddenly I heard the thwacking of a helicopter. Llueve and I looked at each other with fear.

We ran back through the trees to the boulder with the space beneath it and started crawling in when I had the thought that snakes or scorpions could be in there. I quickly broke a branch off a pinon and raked the edges with it as the choppers got closer and closer. I watched in ongoing disbelief as Llueve’s blue breasts swung and bounced and her limbs disappeared under the overhanging rock.

Three black helicopters came on flying so low over the trees that the branches whipped around and clouds of dust rose in the air. My heart was in my mouth. They were about a hundred yards apart as they circled the truck stop and then headed back towards the Canyon. I figured this meant that there were going to be carloads of agents of one kind or another scouring the truck stop soon.

After the choppers were gone I stood up and collected fallen chunks of sandstone and stacked them to create a little wall along the edge of the boulder. I broke off a couple pinon branches and went back to the parking lot and retraced our steps, brushing away our footprints as I’d seen the Indian do. Twilight came and it got cold again and we dug ourselves into the warm sand in the cavern. Every once in a while Llueve’s whole body trembled like a panicked animal.

When it was fully dark I went back to the truck stop and watched and listened, huddling behind a large pinon. A semi pulled in, its bright yellow running lights lit up the whole parking lot. It came to a stop. The lights and engine went off. Then the lights in the cabin finally went on then off. After a while I heard the thud of a man’s feet jumping down from the cab and heard the slam of a door. I saw the man’s silhouette as he walked into the lights of the buildings carrying a gym bag. Once he had gone inside the building, I ran across the parking lot and jumped up on the running board of the truck. I tried the door. It was locked. But a little triangular vent was ajar. I pushed it open and felt around for the lock and got the door open.

I was looking for anything I could find and what I found was a suitcase opened in the sleeping loft. There was a Levi jacket lying on the passenger seat. I pulled the suitcase towards the door. Something shinny caught my eye and feeling out for it I found a dip in the dashboard with change in it. I grabbed all of it and stuffed it in the suitcase. There was a pair of sunglasses on the dash and I took those. Looking out the window I could see nothing moving out by the station. There was a half full bottle of water in a holder on the dashboard and I stuck this under my arm. I tossed the suitcase to the ground, pushed the door closed, and jumped down.

I ran across the lot and into the trees. In the dark I walked about the distance to the rock outcrop but missed it and hooted to Llueve. She hooted back and I found her dusting sand off herself outside the cavern. I gave her the water to drink.

I opened the suitcase. There was a pair of gray alligator leather boots on top of a folded gray, western style suit with rhinestone studded buttons, a few shirts, some clean boxer underwear, a wool sweater, a baseball cap, some muscle T-shirts, a sweatshirt and a gray, rubber raincoat and a couple pairs of jeans. In the side pocket of the suitcase there was a pair of flip-flops, rolled up socks and a half bottle of Ten High whisky. I was shivering uncontrollably from the cold by now. So I took a pull on the whisky for some anti-freeze. I offered Llueve the bottle. She took one sniff and stuck her tongue out with a sneer.

The T-shirt, a dress shirt, the suit jacket and pants more or less fit Llueve. I fit into the boxers and a sweatshirt but couldn’t get into the pants or the boots. But they fit Llueve. The wool sweater stretched almost to the ripping point but I got it on. The flip-flops fit with my toes hanging over the edge. Llueve pushed the last of the water at me and insisted I drink it.

‘Uudualeh!’ She unconsciously spoke in Daag.

If the trucker discovered he’d been ripped off, we were in trouble, but probably not for a while. We needed more water. And food.

We were still freaked out but sitting there - dressed – we both felt more in control for the first time since becoming physical.

Llueve spoke softly. She was looking at me intently with a half smile on her face.

‘Meow...’ she said, and grinned nervously.

‘Meow,’ I said back shyly and we laughed.

I counted $3.75 in quarters. I took the empty water bottle and walked back through the woods and across the lot into the station. The tight navy blue sweater ended before it got to the boxer shorts and my toes hung over the flip-flops but I was dressed. Besides being bloodshot, my eyes were probably spooked looking, so as I approached the brilliantly lit up convenience store I put on the sunglasses. I pushed open the glass door acting sleepy, yawning and noisily flip-flopped my way back to the men’s room. There was a guy at the cash register with a small TV going. A fat couple with two little boys were tearing open some cellophane packages at some tables. They didn’t pay any special attention to me as I passed by. I was aware that I could bump into the trucker any minute and that while he might not recognize his sweater and shorts, as soon as he got back to his truck he’d be looking for me so I wanted to get out of there as fast as I could. I looked through the trash and found two quart soda bottles. I rinsed them out and filled them and the empty water bottle I’d brought at the sink. I took a long drink and then re-filled the bottle. I’d also found a plastic shopping bag and carried the water bottles in it.

I got two big Planter’s peanut bars and walked up to the counter. I’d pushed the shades to the end of my nose and looked at the attendant stupidly over the tops of the sunglasses, like I was half asleep. He looked back at me with the same expression.

‘How far’s the Village?’ I asked him in a sleepy drawl, putting the candy bars on the counter.

‘It’s about four miles,’ he pointed vaguely over his shoulder. ‘That’s two eighty nine,’ he said in a monotone, and quickly glanced at the TV. I paid him and it left me only thirty six cents. I felt robbed.

I knew the basic layout of the Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim - the highway that headed south to Williams and the motels along that road. I made like I was reading the ingredients on the candy bar.

‘Oh,’ I said, looking down. ‘Are we north or south of the Village here?’

’Grand View is about four miles east of here,’ he said sarcastically.

‘Oh.’ I said and walked out still trying to look stupid.

There was a pay phone stall at the front of the store. I called Yvonne collect. It was Sunday evening and she was home thank God.

‘Yvonne, I really need your help!’

‘Hmm. You liked the way I helped you last time huh?’ Yvonne was winding up her sarcasm in case it was needed anytime soon.

‘No,’ I didn’t even try to fake a laugh. ‘ Really. I - need -you - to – pick -me -up. It’s an emergency!’

‘Did you have an accident? Where are you?’ She started catching my panic.

‘No I’m OK. I’m at a gas station West of Grand Canyon Village.’

‘You’re at the Grand Canyon! That’s like ten hours from here! What are you doing there?’

‘My uh truck broke down - I uh came to camp out.’

‘Joseph you are lying to me!’ Silence. ‘Are you with a woman?’

‘No. I came alone.’

‘You sound like you’re not really sure Joey.’

‘Yvonne - this is a matter of life and death!’ I hissed into the phone. She could tell that I really meant it.

‘Joe, you’re scaring me. What’s going on?’

‘Yvonne,’ I said, trying for a calmer tone, ‘you have to come now. For real. I can’t explain it over the phone. Please you’ve got to believe me!’

‘You better explain.’

‘I can’t. I need you to get here as soon as it is humanly possible. Please. Please. Please trust me.’

‘Jesus. - O.K.! - I’ll come. But - you’re paying for the gas!’

‘O.K. Fine. And bring some food - like cheese and uh peanut butter - some fruit.’ What did Llueve eat?

‘Don’t push your luck! I’ll be there as soon as I can.’ I made sure she had the directions. And told her to park on the edge of the lot near the trees.

‘Thank you sweetie. Really hurry, huh?’

‘Sweetie yourself!’ she said and clicked off. I made it back to Llueve as fast as I could. Yvonne would take all night to get there. That was good because there would be less activity during the night and I could keep an eye out for the lights of patrol vehicles.

I went back to Llueve. She devoured the candy bar. I ate mine between sips of the whisky. I sat with my back against the rock listening to the forest. It was too eerie to lie in the dark with an alien and it was impossible to sleep.

The helicopters returned. They flew to the East of us, their spotlights raking the Canyon rim. Later, a bunch of emergency vehicles passed through the gas station. We saw flashing red and blue lights through the trees. It was a long night.

Toward dawn it got really cold and I crawled in next to Llueve. When I saw first light I went and sat under a tree on the edge of the lot watching for Yvonne. I felt terrible. My mouth was stale and puckered. I was in a near stupor from lack of sleep and cramped from sitting and hung over when I saw Yvonne’s old tan Volvo station wagon pull into the lot.

I walked up and got in the passenger seat. Yvonne’s eyes were bloodshot from driving through the night. She squinted at me suspiciously, her eyes taking in the foreign, ill fitting clothes, my blood shot eyes.

‘Joe - tell me you’re not on drugs,’ she said in a dead serious voice.

‘Yvonne - something’s happened.’ I’d been trying to put together a sort of opening statement that led into Llueve but I just couldn’t find any place to start. There was nothing I could say to prepare her. My pupils must have been little pinholes by now. I was repressing the urge to just push Yvonne out of the driver’s seat and take over, aware of the deadly forces searching for us right then. My eyes must have been popping out of my head with the stress. With her showing up, the tension I’d been in released and my head started shaking. ‘No. I’m not on drugs,’ I said. Yvonne stared at me with complete distrust.

’Would you please pull over there, I pointed. ‘I have to show you...’

‘Oh my God Joe - you’re scaring me the way you’re acting!’ She drove carefully to the edge of the lot.

‘No. It’s O.K. Here. Stop here. You’ll understand everything in a minute. I’ll be right back.’ I got out and then turned around and said - when I come back we have to get out of here O.K.?’

‘Joe!?’ Yvonne was freaked already.

I went back to Llueve and motioned for her to come with me. When we walked out of the trees she hesitated seeing the car with someone inside it. She was carrying the yellow raincoat in front of her. The cowboy suit was pretty tight under her arms and the dress shirt was a bit stressed by Llueve’s tits and belly. With the baseball cap and the sunglasses on and her hair hanging down, not much of her blue skin was showing. Even so, the way she moved, everything about her said ‘different’. This would be her first contact with a human other than me and she was stiff with fear. I tried to reassure her but still had to almost physically drag her along. I opened the rear door and pushed her in. I got into the front and said “Yvonne - drive! We’ve got to get moving.’ Yvonne was frozen, stunned, staring at Llueve. ‘We have to drive Vonnie,’ I said fiercely.

‘Holy shit!’ she said in a high squeaky voice, staring at Llueve ‘It’s her isn’t it!?’ Yvonne said. ‘Ooooo Jesusy Joe - I’m getting goose bumps all over!’

‘I know,’ I said, ’but you’ve got to drive.’ Goose bumps were crawling all over me too. She drove out of the parking lot in stunned silence. I turned in my seat and extended my hand back to Llueve who was staring in a catatonic freeze, first at me and then at Yvonne and then out the window and then back at Yvonne and then back at me. Here was your stranger in a strange land. She wouldn’t take my hand so I put my hand on her knee saying ’It’s all right sweetie.

‘Does she speak English?’ Yvonne asked.

‘No she doesn’t and she’s really scared,’ I said.

‘So - how did - this - happen? Oh my God Joe!!’ Yvonne adjusted her rearview mirror so as to see what she could of Llueve.

‘We were out of our bodies and were investigating this place in Ovvala that disks - UFO’s - use as a base. We saw these doors in the side of a mesa and went in there. It led to a tunnel. It’s some kind of dimension changing tunnel. We saw military helicopters go through it...’

‘Through the tunnel...?’ Yvonne stole another glance at Llueve through the mirror.

‘Yeah. It’s huge. When we were in the middle of it - in this big cavern we...became physical. She wanted to go back to where the change took place to try and change back again but there were disks coming and we had to run. We came out in the Canyon and got locked out of the tunnel. They’re looking for us - there’s been helicopters flying over and sirens going by...’

‘Who’s looking for you?’ Yvonne asked in a deadpan voice.

‘The cross dimensional police ...fuck! I don’t know!’

‘Oh Jesus,’ Yvonne said fully grasping all the implications of getting caught. I didn’t realize until that moment that if we got caught ‘we’ could be killed and ‘we’ now included Yvonne.

‘ don’t have to be in on this. The people looking for us are evil, deadly people. You could get out and take a bus back to Santa Fe...’

‘Shssh,’ she said. ‘Don’t tell me, I’ll get scared. This is too incredible to miss.’ She kept driving. ‘There was roadblock stopping all the cars going south from the Canyon. It’s her they’re looking for isn’t it?’

‘Her and me. They probably got pictures of us coming through the tunnel. There were cameras on the walls,’ I was feeling like I couldn’t take any more stress. I was thinking about how I’d been asleep in my bed when I met with Llueve in Ovvala. And now she was in the back seat of Yvonne’s car. Was I still asleep in my bed?

‘We’ve got to go around them.’ I said. ‘Do you have map?’

‘There’s a pocket on the back of your seat.’ I grabbed some maps and found Arizona. ‘There’s, ah, let’s see ...the rim road... here is 64 and it joins 89. We go left to 160 and then there’s what looks like a back road that goes through a place called Shungopavi and then keeps going into New Mexico. How much gas’ve you got?’ I asked trying to see the guage in the recessed dash.

‘Three quarters,’ Yvonne had caught all the paranoia. Having Llueve in the back of the car was sending out waves of unreality. My ability to make connections about Yvonne’s reality and Llueve’s reality was too much. I tried to just focus on the traffic. I felt little pops and squirts going on in my brain and in my body. Being on a mind altering drug was one thing. Having reality flip on you...

‘She has to lay down so no one will see her,’ Yvonne said.

‘Right,’ I said and turned to Llueve and tried to communicate lying down. I patted the seat and gently pulled her head down .

‘Meow...meow.’ I said softly.

‘What are you doing?’ Yvonne burst out.

‘It’s the only word we both understand!’

‘Give me a break!’

While we drove I told Yvonne in more detail the stuff that had been happening in dreamland that I had avoided telling her the other night. About Stonehenge and the crop circle and the UFO. Making love and becoming physical. But I couldn’t bring myself to tell Yvonne Llueve was pregnant. The raincoat hid her bulge when she came out of the woods and I felt weird talking about that with Yvonne right then.

I tried to explain what I understood about the planned Terrorization to bring the rest of the planet into globalization. I had to talk. I was so glad to be able to tell her these things with Llueve right there - it helped me integrate what had become two me’s. I’d never really considered all this stuff as ‘real’. It hadn’t been ‘real’ it was just realistic dreaming. Now - it was real. And Yvonne was in it with me. This set off a whole new series of changes.

We got to Shungopavi where there was a combination grocery store, clothing and hardware store. Llueve and I sat in the car while Yvonne shopped.

All they had in clothes were jeans and cowboy shirts. She got some for each of us. She also got us tube socks and cheap sneakers. She picked up some oranges and bananas and cheese. She got a huge straw hat and the biggest sunglasses she could find for Llueve. And she got a compact of skin tone makeup. She also got some spray cans of weird, colored hair dies. We filled up the gas and hit the road.

I gave Llueve her clothes and immediately started changing into mine. When we both had all the trucker’s clothes off I told Yvonne to pull over - we were in the middle of nowhere - I bunched all the clothes up and dropped them behind a big rock on the side of the road. At the time it seemed like a pretty 007 thing to do, but then I realized that getting rid of the evidence of having ripped off the trucker wasn’t going to go far at a roadblock with a blue extraterrestrial sitting in the back seat.

Yvonne was seeing double so I took over driving. Yvonne sprayed purple and yellow streaks in Llueve’s hair - this made her look more normal right? And she put the tan cosmetic on Llueve’s face, which made her look like she had leprosy. I took the back roads East from Grants to avoid Albuquerqui. We passed by Chaco Canyon and came out at Abiquiu, north of Espanola. From there it was an easy drive to Jaconita. This route added an hour to the drive but we avoided the main arteries.

What a relief to pull into my driveway. It really helped to see familiar surroundings - Neutron and my kitchen, the piles of adobe bricks out the window. First thing I did was check the bedroom for my sleeping body. The bed looked slept in but it was empty - thank God! Now all I had to worry about was if I was wandering around somewhere - a vegetable without a soul - in sweat pants. Neutron was more interested in Llueve than in eating. He sniffed Llueve’s shoes a few times while she petted him passionately. She seemed to find this comforting. Neutron himself seemed fascinated with her.

Llueve had liked the oranges and cheese Yvonne had bought. I was just glad she’d eaten and not vomited up some weird purple alien glop. I got a Sam Adams out of the fridge and tried to relax. Yvonne was making a big effort to buddy up to Llueve - galactic sisters. She took her in the bathroom and showed her the shower which Llueve understood - and immediately used - they do have showers in Ovvala. Yvonne sat on the toilet seat talking to Llueve as she took her shower and then Yvonne took one. Then they went into the living room and dried each other’s hair with towels.

I had an inspiration and put my DVD of The Sound of Music on. Llueve was still definitely in a kind of trance. She felt safe with us all right, but the weirdness of being out of Ovvala was still a shock and that, coupled with her extreme tiredness must have made her feel like she really was dreaming. And who knows maybe the air was different or gravity or the ions or just everything. Eventually she fell asleep, curled up in the corner of the sofa covered with one of my wool blankets. After three beers and a frozen pizza I started nodding off on the other end of the couch.

Yvonne stayed with Llueve in the living room while I went to bed in my room. Neutron lay down next to Llueve. I got up to pee later and, half asleep, stuck my head in the living room. Yvonne was sitting on the floor wrapped in a blanket. She stared at me with owl eyes. Llueve was asleep on the couch. Yvonne looked at me with such a deep look as I’ll never forget. I think she stayed awake all night - in pure wonder.

I was too tired and stressed to go out of body but I had vivid dreams of Isult and Djagda. When I woke up in the morning and remembered this - I felt they and the Siddhe were close, that we weren’t alone in this. If Llueve was real so were the Siddhe. They would help us.

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