New Beginnings – Pt 4 Ch 02

New Beginnings – Pt 4 Ch 02

“Coffee?” Jonathan asked, smiling at his lovely companion.

“Thanks,” Dani replied as he brought a fresh cup from the food dispenser in the mess hall.

Around two months ago (at an estimate), their little fishing boat had been sucked into the wormhole entrance floating on the surface of the huge lake formed when Lisa nuked the entranceway to her family’s mountain home to keep the Confederates out. Ten seconds later, they were spit out the other end, and discovered themselves on what they eventually realized was – a spaceship. There was no one else aboard.

“Well, this place is completely deserted,” Jonathan replied. “It’s been a week since we discovered that elevator shaft, and we’ve checked every level it stops at.”

“I know,” Dani sighed. “I wonder what all those dials and gauges were on the top level? Those readings were completely skewed, weren’t they? I mean, there’s just no way we could be where those readings say we are.”

“Yeah, and did you see that view from the roof?” Jonathan grinned. “That has to be Earth down there. We must be in a really low orbit or something. Looked like we were about a hundred, maybe a hundred and fifty miles up. But the view was really odd. There wasn’t any curvature, but we’re obviously in space.”

“Well, that seems logical,” Dani replied. “They did have a launching platform hidden in the mountains. So they built this ship and shot it into space. That sphere in the park – that must be their transportation device or at least one of them.”

“Yeah, but that platform in with all that stored cargo looks like it was made for transporting stuff, too, except there weren’t any controls on it. You suppose they have more than one kind of advanced technology?”

“You’re asking the wrong person,” Dani told him. “I have no fucking clue!”

“Do you think the radiation in space will hurt the baby?” Jonathan asked, suddenly changing the subject.

Dani smiled and rubbed her slightly swelled tummy. “No… When we were in that control room, I looked for a radiation display. If what I found was it, then it was reading well within the safe range. Besides, we’re immune, remember?”

“Yeah,” Jonathan replied, sounding a little worried. “But the baby might not be.”

They sat drinking their coffee as it cooled. The only anxiety they felt was from finding themselves in what was obviously a very large space ship that contained lots of supplies – they could live up here for years and years – but absolutely no other people.

“Wanna go for a swim?” Dani asked after several minutes of contented quiet.

“Sure,” Jonathan agreed.

Leaving their dirty cups on the table, they found the elevator shaft and went down to the second level. The door opened to bright sunshine coming through the sphere floating over the waterfall. They both smiled as the warm light struck their faces.

“Well, the way I figure it,” Jonathan said casually, “we have about six months to find out where everyone went.”

“Six months?” Dani asked. “How do you figure that?”

“Because you’re starting to show, Darling,” Jonathan grinned, gently patting her slightly rounded tummy. “That means you’re about three, maybe four months along. I wouldn’t mind finding a doctor to check you out and make sure everything’s all right. And I’d REALLY like to find a doctor before you give birth!”

“So, six months, huh?” Dani grimaced.

“Absolutely no longer than that!” Jonathan confirmed.

The button was open on Dani’s shorts to make room for her tummy, so it was easy to slide out of them before wading out into the water.

“Race you to the other side!” Dani yelled as she fell forward and began to vigorously stroke out toward the middle of the lake.

“Hey! Wait! No fair!” Jonathan yelled as he pulled his jeans off, dancing on one foot and a time, then made a nice, shallow dive into the lake.

He began stroking powerfully, not wasting any of the speed he’d gained in his dive and soon caught up with Dani, who was still paddling furiously, but not very effectively.

Unable to resist showing off, Jonathan approached Dani from behind and dove under her wildly kicking feet. When he was about ten feet down, he rolled over to look up at her magnificent, struggling figure. Continuing to backstroke powerfully, Jonathan gradually pulled ahead. When he figured he was in position, he expelled all the air from his lungs and cheerfully watched the mass of bubbles expand as they rose toward the surface and Dani.

Dani was still paddling toward the far shore and estimated she had about forty feet to go. Her arms and legs were starting to burn from her efforts, but she figured she could get that far, at least. She just had to remember to keep breathing. She hadn’t heard any splashing behind her for a minute or so and wondered where the hell Jonathan was.

‘He’s probably trying to get ahead of me underwater and plans to scare me to death by popping up right in front of me, that sorry-ass bugger! If he tries something stupid like that, by God, I’ll swim right over him!’

Suddenly she was foundering in a mass of churning water. She gasped in a mouthful of the stuff and kicked as hard as she could to keep her head up.

Jonathan popped up beside her a few seconds later, laughing wickedly until he noticed her distress. The bubbles coming up underneath had caused her to drop a little as the water she’d been swimming in was displaced with air. When the water splashed over her back, it drove her further under and she inhaled a whole bucketful before she was able to struggle back up.

Dani was choking water out of her lungs while snot and tears ran out of her nose and eyes. She struck wildly at the water trying to stay afloat while at the same time she blindly hit and kicked at Jonathan, whom she positively knew had caused all this and he was going to pay! God dammit! Glub! Shit!

Jonathan paddled backwards, easily evading her ineffectual attack. He watched, still amused, but genuinely sorry for her distress while she brought herself back under some semblance of control.

Finally, Dani just glared at his sappy face, and turned toward the nearby shore. Hurrying as best she could, she was determined to get up out of the water before Jonathan so she could kick him in the head and knock him back in the water. Then she was going to jump on him and hold him under until he expired! For real, this time!

That plan never saw daylight, as Jonathan came ashore when she did – making sure he was out of range of her feet so he wouldn’t get kicked. That didn’t stop Dani from shoving him into a bunch of reeds, though. Jonathan fell backwards with a yelp and a shallow splash while Dani stood on the bank, halfway hunched over with her hands on her hips and glared at him.

“Please can I come out now?” Jonathan asked, trying his best not to laugh as he stood thigh-deep in the grassy water.

“No!” Dani fumed. “You can stay in there ’til your dick rots off!”

“Dani!” Jonathan pleaded. “You can’t mean that! I love you! You’re having my baby!”

Dani flinched as though she was slapped in the face. Then she looked down at herself – at the slight little bulge in her tummy. When she looked back at Jonathan, her eyes were glistening. After a moment, she walked away a few feet and sat down in the grass.

Jonathan splashed ashore, slipping twice on the soft, muddy bottom. Bravely walking within easy reach of her arms and legs, he sat down beside her.

“Truce?” he asked softly.

She didn’t say anything.

“C’mon, Honey,” he begged quietly. “I’m sorry. I was just playing.”


“Alright, have it your way,” Jonathan sighed, giving up on her for now.

He lay back in the grass and closed his eyes, looking for the entire world like he was just going to lie in the sun and relax.

A moment later, she hit him on the arm.

“What?” Jonathan asked, opening his eyes and gazing at her.

“Don’t look so smug!” she grumbled.

“I was just lying here!” Jonathan claimed in his defense.

“You were lying there looking smug!” Dani accused him.

He couldn’t help but laugh, but he wiped his grin off his face as soon as he could. “Look. I’m sorry you nearly drowned. It was just a couple of bubbles. Okay?”

Silence again.

“Good grief,” Jonathan mumbled. “I give up.”

He lay back down again, this time watching her with his eyelids nearly closed.

“Stop looking at me!” Dani fumed.

“I’m not looking at you – I’m protecting myself!”

“Well, stop it! I won’t hit you again!” she promised.

“Okay,” Jonathan agreed, and closed his eyes for real this time.

A moment went by.

Dani hit him again.

“What the fuck?” Jonathan whined, sitting up this time. “Why did you do that?”

“Why were you looking at me?”

“I wasn’t!” he growled.

“Why not?” Dani yelled back.

A little bell went off in Jonathan’s head.

Uh-oh! Mama mode kicking in – Alert! Alert! She thinks she’s getting fat and ugly!

“Oh, boy!” Jonathan said to himself.

“What exactly does that mean?” Dani wanted to know.

“Honey,” Jonathan said, reaching forward and gently stroking her arms with his hands. “It’s okay. I think you’re beautiful. I love you. Now come on. Give me a hug and let’s not fight. Okay? Please?”

Dani put a sandy footprint right over his breastbone and gave him a good shove. “Liar! You stay away from me! You leave me alone! Fucking pervert!”

“I’m not a pervert!” Jonathan protested from his new position on his back. “Oh, crap! Do what you want!”

He got up and walked down the bank. A moment later Dani heard him swimming away.

‘Good! Let me have some peace and quiet!’ she fumed, then broke into tears.

Dani had no idea why she was upset. She knew she was acting like an idiot, but she just couldn’t help it. How come he couldn’t see what was wrong with her? How come he couldn’t fix it? Stupid jerk, anyway. A man? Well, what do you expect? Fuck! And Dammit!

She lay back in the grass and tried to relax – tried to get a grip. Jesus. She remembered the last time she was pregnant. God, was it that long ago? She’d gone hormone crazy then, too. And swore she’d never have another kid!

‘Well, here I am, God, pregnant again. You think I’d learn. Why did I tell my monitor to let me become fertile again?

‘God! Fertile! What a word! Totally fucked! The fields are fertile. My womb is fertile. Things are growing. Life! Jeez! I hate this… And I drove him away. Stupid, stupid, stupid! I hope he drowns!

She sat up suddenly. ‘No! I don’t mean that! Don’t drown! Fuck – what is wrong with meeee…’

She lay back in the grass again and curled up into a ball. Eventually Dani cried herself to sleep.

At the edge of her dreams, she heard a distant splash. In her dream, she saw a large trout fall through the wormhole and then down the waterfall into the lake.

‘So that’s where the fish come from…’ she thought dreamily. Then she was asleep.


Annalisa was breathless with excitement and exertion. Her arms hurt like hell from holding this heavy sword. And Jake was just standing there, almost laughing at her.

Macario was showing her how to hold her weapon. Once again, he repositioned her fingers on the cold, hard hilt.

“Like that, and then he can’t knock it out of your hand, see?” Mac smacked the side of the sword with his hand. “Now try it again.”

He backed away. Annalisa crouched to protect her bared midsection and held her sword out in front of her. Jake went into position and tapped her sword with his.

“En garde,” he grinned at her.

Annalisa froze. Jake’s sword was swinging at her head. She squeeked and ducked, dropping her sword on the ground.

“C’mon, Hon,” Jake cried, getting frustrated. “At least TRY to defend yourself. I don’t want to gut you without you putting up a fight.”

“I’ll fight you, Dad,” Lisa called from her seat in the grass nearby. “Give Anna a break and let her watch.”

“Okay,” Jake called back at her. “Okay with you?” he asked Annalisa.

Annalisa happily backed away and bounced her slender rump down on the ground. “I’ll watch awhile.”

Lisa walked forward, almost slinking with her sexuality as she pulled off her clothes. In a few seconds, she stood naked and proud in front of her husband and her father.

“Get him, Hot Stuff!” Macario grinned, wishing his sexy wife luck.

Lisa bent down and picked up her sword. She slashed at Jake’s balls as she rose back up. Jake, expecting a surprise move like that from his devious daughter, easily jumped back. The fight was on!

Before Lisa could stop her upward swing and bring her sword back into position. Jake was pushing forward, his sword aimed right at her belly button. With an excited squeal, Lisa twisted sideways and brought her elbow down on Jake’s sword arm as he went by.

“Missed meeee,” she cried out as she swung her sword around and smacked her dad in the rear.

For the next minute or so, they fought back and forth, first Jake attacking, then Lisa. Annalisa was on her knees, now, yelling excitedly, cheering first for Jake, then for Lisa – whoever was forcing the other back at that particular moment.

Lisa swung, expecting Jake to parry like he had the last six times. This time, her sword met no resistance and she was suddenly way out of position with Jake’s sword coming at her exposed side. She twisted wildly and tried to parry as the tip of Jake’s sword jabbed into her side, slicing in a good six inches.

Lisa grunted, and stumbled back, her stomach muscles suddenly not working right. She could feel stuff moving around inside her that shouldn’t be moving. Blood began pouring out of her wound and she realized that her dad had sliced into the main artery traveling down to her right leg. She would need her phoenix powers to repair this much damage. That meant she had to die first.

“Oh, you’ve killed me!” Lisa exclaimed, and dropped to her knees.

“Yeah!” Annalisa yelped, excited by all the blood. “Gut ’er again!”

Lisa tossed her sword on the ground in front of her and held her arms out, exposing her naked breasts and belly. “Finish me.”

Jake stepped forward. Lisa reached for her sword. Jake stepped on the blade, holding it down with his weight. “Naughty girl – no cheating!”

Then he ran his sword through her breastbone. Lisa’s cry turned into a gurgle as blood filled her lungs. Slowly she fell back, still gasping and trying to breathe. Jake pulled back on his sword and Lisa dropped to the ground, quiet, almost sexual whimpers sounding with each gasping breath she took.

A sound behind him was Jake’s only warning. He spun around, his sword at the ready. Annalisa ran right up on it, impaling herself in the belly. She dropped Lisa’s sword and stared at her beloved, her face a mask of shock and pain. She dropped to her knees, pulling Jake’s sword down with it still buried in her stomach and sticking out her back.

“Annalisa?” Jake cried, as he felt the sword ripping through, tearing her insides apart as she sank to the ground. “NOOOOOO!”

“Get it out of me!” Annalisa grunted, cutting her fingers on the sharpened edges as she tried to back it out of her belly.

“No!” Jake cried. “You’ll bleed to death!”

“Don’t be… stupid! Stupid…” Annalisa grunted. “I’ll digest… this… thing for lunch… if you don’t pull… it… out.”

Annalisa was still new, as far as Jake was concerned. He’d forgotten in his terror that she was immortal. Laughing with sudden relief, he jerked on the sword. The center of the weapon, already partially dissolved, broke off inside her.

“Oh, shit!” Jake exclaimed, staring at the half-digested stub of what had been his sword. “Lay down! Let me get that piece out of your back!”

Annalisa leaned forward on all fours, still gasping in pain. Her stomach wound, although still bleeding profusely, was already beginning to close. Jake grabbed his shirt and wrapped it around the sharpened tip of the blade sticking out right next to her spinal column. It took a minute or two to work it out to where he had a good grip on it. Then he pulled it on out.

Annalisa collapsed to the ground with a great sigh of relief. Tossing the bit of blade down on the grass, Jake sat down beside her and stroked her hair and shoulders.

“Hey,” he said softly. “I thought you’d enjoy this a little bit more than you seem to be. I’m sorry I hurt you.”

Annalisa rolled onto her back. Jake smiled as he gazed at her now-healed stomach. There was still bright, wet blood on her new skin, but there was no scarring beneath.

“I’ve never been penetrated like that before,” Annalisa told him, looking up into his eyes. “It was kind of exciting… But it hurt like holy hell!”

“Then you definitely won’t want to be shot for real,” Jake replied. “I guess we’ll just have to keep that one a fantasy, huh?”

“Oh, no!” Annalisa grinned. “I still want to be shot. But maybe we should start will really little bullets. I want to know what it feels like to die while making love to you.”

Jake sighed and looked up at Macario. “Are they all like that?” he asked, referring to the goddesses as a species.

“ ’Fraid so, old buddy,” Mac replied, knowing exactly what Jake meant. “Look at what I’ve got…”

The three of them looked over at Lisa’s dead body. She suddenly shuddered and arched her back. Blazing into pure flame for a few seconds, she cried out in orgasm, then returned to life.

“Oh – My – God!” a female voice said from behind them. “You people are magic!”

Lisa sat up and stared at where the voice had come from. Dani slowly stood up from the tall grasses she’d been lying in, almost trembling in awe.

“Look! She's pregnant!” Macario exclaimed.

“Who are you?” Lisa wanted to know. “Why didn’t you go to the surface with the rest of the passengers?”

“What are you talking about?” Dani asked. “I’ve been here a couple of months and there’s been no one here in all that time.”

“How did you get here?” Jake asked, walking forward slowly so as not to frighten the girl.

Dani turned toward the hole over the waterfall. “We came through there…”

“She came through the wormhole?” Annalisa asked, surprised. “I didn’t know people could do that!”

“Who is ‘we’?” Macario asked.

“Oh!” Dani exclaimed, hoping she hadn’t said too much. “I’m, um… I’m alone.”

“Then who got you pregnant?” Lisa asked, somewhat sarcastically.

“I… um, I had a companion,” Dani replied. “For awhile…”

“She's lying,” Annalisa told them. “She's frightened that we might hurt her and her friend.”

Jake sat down, not approaching any closer. “We won’t hurt you. We thought we rescued all the people in the mountain.”

“I found the mountain after you left,” Dani explained. “I met my… companion… there. He was searching for you, too. We… stayed together, hoping that maybe you’d come back.”

“Well, that’s interesting,” Lisa grinned, feeling in her mind that the girl was telling the truth. “She's harmless, guys. And she needs our help.”

Everyone relaxed and sat down in the grass, including Dani.

“So, I guess you want an explanation of what you saw,” Jake suggested, grinning sheepishly.

“No, not really,” Dani replied. “I heal like she does… Well, maybe not quite that fast… But, pretty fast. That flaming bit that you did,” looking at Lisa, now. “Well, that was pretty amazing. I thought at first that he’d really killed you. At least, until he accidentally skewered his girlfriend when she tried to poke him in the butt.”

“He really did kill me,” Lisa informed her. “I’m not like them – or you. I can only regenerate when I die.”

“Wow!” Dani replied, wondering what it would feel like to die and be able to come back to tell about it.

“Introductions are in order, I imagine,” Macario said, rising to his feet.

Dani leaned back for a second, looking as though she was ready to bolt.

“Relax, woman,” Mac smiled at her. “We don’t kill pregnant people. My name is Macario. This… Phoenix, is my wife, my lifemate – Lisa. Those two are Jake and B… Annalisa.”

“Hi,” Annalisa grinned, acting shy and a little embarrassed, knowing this woman had just watched her get very nakedly skewered.

“I’m Dani,” Dani told them, feeling like she was at an AA meeting. “I’m not like other people. I stopped aging about sixty years ago, and I’ve looked like this ever since. I look better with makeup, of course. And I would love to shower and clean up a bit…”

“We’ll be returning to the surface soon,” Annalisa said. “Don’t worry – we won’t leave you stranded up here.”

“I want to know how she became immortal – if she’s telling the truth,” Macario interrupted. “So, what’s your story, Sweetie?”

Dani grimaced at her new title, but she swallowed her ire. He was just another typically crude man. “I met a girl. We made love. Bodily fluids were exchanged. Now I’m like this.”

“You like girls, then?” Lisa grinned, pulling her shoulders back a bit to show off her breasts.

“I like both men and women,” Dani informed them. “I’m not a dyke.”

“So, what happened after that?” Annalisa asked. “You know who she was?”

“No,” Dani said, slumping a little in frustration. “I never found her again. She was with some playboy and his slut bod. I stalked them for a long time, but I never saw her again. I guess she was just one of their temporary toys.”

“You don’t even know her name? That sucks!” Annalisa said, genuinely feeling for the girl.

“Oh, I know her name – her first name, anyway,” Dani replied. “Her name was Beth.” She stopped as everyone was staring at her. “You know, like in…”

“Elisabeth,” Macario whispered. “Elisabeta. Lisa.”

Now everyone was staring at Lisa.

“Hey, I didn’t do anything…” Lisa protested.

“No, it wasn’t her,” Dani spoke up, defending the… Phoenix, is that what she is?

“I’m sorry,” Jake spoke up, now. “But Beth died; many, many years ago. There was an explosion – in Albuquerque – a hospital collapsed while she was inside.”

Dani sighed. “I suppose something like that could successfully kill someone like us.”

“I didn’t…” Lisa began, then stopped when Mac glanced at her.

“I spent my whole life looking for her,” Dani lamented. “Searching… traveling. I even became an industrial spy, hoping I could seek her out. She was so special that someone, somewhere, had to know something about her.”

“I’m sorry,” Jake said. “But how did you find our mountain?”

“I… I must have been mistaken,” Dani told them. “I thought I felt Beth in my mind – a few months ago. I had an image – very distinct. She died. Riddled with bullets and sliced in half. I could feel her anger, her outrage that someone would do that to her while all she was doing was protecting those she loved. Then the image went completely white. I thought she’d died, then.

“But I got a feeling – I knew where she was when she died,” Dani continued. “And I came, rather, I went to Colorado. I stole a flitter and went to Colorado. There was fresh nuclear waste all over the place, so I knew that what I felt was real. I hoped that the right people had won.”

She stopped for a moment and took a deep breath. It was harder than she thought it would be to tell this story to strangers.

“I hope you are the people from inside the mountain,” she said, “because I’ve been looking for you ever since.”

“So, you got to Colorado,” Lisa summated. “That doesn’t explain your presence on this ship.”

“Like I said,” Dani replied patiently. “I came through there. The other end of ‘that’ floats on a lake behind the mountains; a lake that isn’t on any map.”

“Hey, Lisa,” Macario joked. “That’s the lake you made to block off the third Confederate army.”

They all laughed at that. Annalisa laughed, too, not really understanding because she hadn’t been there.

“So you were all there,” Dani exclaimed, brightening up. “And there really was a battle!”

“Yes,” Lisa replied. “There really was a battle. It was Armageddon. They destroyed us and we destroyed the Confederacy. End of the world stuff. Really.”

“Montreal still exists,” Dani replied. “I suppose I should thank whoever for not bombing us, too.”

“You weren’t fighting us,” Lisa replied. “But it doesn’t matter. It won’t be there much longer.”

“What do you mean?”

“Couldn’t you tell?” Lisa replied, sounding bitter. “The whole world is dying. That’s why we left. That’s why the Confederacy wanted what we had.”

“But what’s that we saw from the control room?” Dani asked, confused now. “A hundred miles below us is rich farmland and towns and rivers. It’s alive down there! How are you doing that?”

“That’s not Earth out there,” Jake said as gentle as he could, “that’s the inside of a really big space station. We are a long, long ways from Earth.”

Dani was frightened now. Her stare jumped from one to the other of these people who have obviously captured her, although she wasn’t being restrained yet.

“You won’t be restrained,” Annalisa said, answering her broadcast thoughts. “We aren’t going to hurt you. We would like it if you would decide to join us and become a member of our community.”

“And if I don’t?” Dani asked, still wary of their intentions.

“Simple,” Lisa replied. “You go back to Earth to fry with the remaining humans there.”

“You’d send me back?” Dani whimpered. “After all I’ve done to get here?”

“Don’t forget,” Mac mentioned. “She brought someone with her. She's not alone. I can see it in her mind. Her lover’s unknown presence gives her the strength to face us.”

“When did you get so psychic?” Jake grinned.

“I can read girls,” Mac replied, a smug look on his face.

“I’ve got him,” Lisa said. “He’s in the mess hall making a mess. Another typical male.”

Jonathan suddenly appeared. He was in a sitting position. Lisa hadn’t teleported the chair with him and he dropped onto his rump with a surprised yelp. Dani jumped up and was at his side in an instant, her body between him and their captors to protect him.

“A pregnant girl protecting her man,” Lisa smirked. “How typically Earthy of you.”

“What’s happening?” Jonathan asked, looking around nervously. “Who are these people?”

“They’re the ones from inside the mountain,” Dani explained excitedly. “We finally found them!”

“That’s a Confederate shirt?” Lisa asked, rising to her feet. “Are you a soldier in their army?”

“There is no Confederate army,” Jonathan replied with anger in his voice. “Thanks to you people, they’re all dead!”

“Then that war is over,” Jake said, stepping between the Phoenix and her supposed enemy before she fried him on the spot. “Let’s not do anything rash!”

“Please,” Dani pleaded. “We’re only trying to survive! Neither of us caused that conflict, but everyone was trapped in it! Let’s not fight now!”

She was pleading with Jonathan as well as with the mountain people.

‘Please, my love – for your baby’s sake…’

Dani knew that was a cruel request, but it was effective. And ‘effective’ was what she needed right now – to make peace and put an end to these stupid wars. But she was desperately afraid that, in her ignorance, she’d brought the war and the hatred with her – disguised in the form of a lover.

“It’s a matter of honor, my love,” Jonathan whispered to her. “They killed my mother!”

“Many people were killed on both sides,” Dani pleaded. “Let the killing be over! There is no future in retribution!”

“Actually,” Lisa spoke up, “only a few of us died. The weapons you tried to use on us are what killed most of you! Why the fuck would you use nuclear weapons on a peaceful community in the same country you live in? Were you all nuts?”

“I had nothing to do with that!” Jonathan exclaimed. “I didn’t even know there was a war until you people blew Nashville off the map! You killed everyone I knew! You killed my mother! Am I supposed to let that go?”

“You want to fight?” Jake said, understanding Jonathan’s needs. “Pick up a sword. I’ll fight you.”

“I should warn you, Sir,” Jonathan replied, suddenly behaving like a southern aristocrat. “I am well trained in sword craft.”

“Good!” Jake replied, pretending to yawn. “You’ll keep me from being bored.”

“Be careful, Darling!” Dani exclaimed. “He’s good! I watched him earlier!”

The only sword Jonathan could see was the one Annalisa had been using earlier. It still lay on the ground where she’d dropped it. Macario handed a sword to Jake as Jonathan walked over and picked up the dusty one.

He took a few practice swings with it. “This will do.”

“Good,” Jake replied, still bored. “Then let’s get to it!”

“Oh, God, they’re going to kill each other…” Dani whimpered.

“No, they won’t,” Annalisa replied, coming over to sit next to her. “Jake’s like us. He heals fast.”

“But Jonathan heals fast, too,” Dani said before she realized that she could be giving away too many secrets.

“Well!” Annalisa grinned. “Should be a good fight, then! C’mon, ya Wusses! Let’s see some blood!”

“Hey! That’s my husband!” Dani complained.

“Yeah, and that’s mine!” Annalisa grinned. “Fun, ain’t it? Wonder which one’ll win.”

“Oh, God!” Dani groaned. “Aren’t you worried?”

“No,” Annalisa replied, perfectly serious. “You see what he did to me earlier?”

Dani didn’t answer. When Annalisa had been skewered, Dani had nearly shrieked in terror then. Only the fact that she was doing her best to stay hidden gave her enough control so that she hadn’t.

But, if people like her and Jonathan and these others could take punishment like that, maybe there wasn’t so much to worry about after all. Annalisa and that other Lisa looked pretty healthy for having been killed a few minutes ago.

“En garde, Sir!” Jonathan announced, sounding very formal. “Tournament Rules?”

Jake laughed. “You’re kidding, right?”

“Very well, then, Sir,” Jonathan replied, his face suddenly very serious. “Down and dirty, it is!”

Jonathan danced forward as though he was holding a rapier. Jake swatted his sword aside and stepped back, refusing to go into a defensive posture. Jonathan stabbed at him again, and again Jake swatted his sword to one side.

“Are you going to fight, Sir?” Jonathan asked, starting to get angry.

“You fight, I’ll watch,” Jake replied.

“Isn’t this fun?” Annalisa giggled and grabbed her own shoulders in juvenile excitement. She wasn’t really this ditsy; she was just trying to put Dani at ease.

“God help us,” Dani muttered, worriedly staring at the two combatants.

On the next series of strokes, Jake needed to actually defend himself. Jonathan really was pretty good with a sword. He managed to trick Jake into a high guard position then sliced a thin red line across Jake’s stomach.

“Aha! First blood!” Jonathan exclaimed.

“I get to lick it off!” Annalisa yelled. “Slice him again!”

“That’s your husband getting cut up!” Dani exclaimed.

“Yeah…” Annalisa replied, pure lust in her eyes as she gazed raptly at the two combatants.

“Well, okay,” Dani said, then she yelled, “Yeah! Slice his dick off!”

“Hey!” Annalisa yelled, gouging Dani in the arm with her elbow. “Stay above the belt!”

“Okay,” Dani grinned at the obviously bloodthirsty girl. “Slice off his nipples!”

“Jeez,” Annalisa grumbled. “Amateur…”

Jonathan was pleased that he’d managed to get beneath his opponent’s guard. The stranger obviously wasn’t well trained in sword fighting, although he had a lot of power. A few more cuts like that would weaken him and slow him down, then he could move in for the kill.

A few minutes later, Jonathan couldn’t believe his luck. This Jake fellow, as his woman was calling him, definitely wasn’t very good. He’d managed the same trick twice and scored on the man’s hairy belly both times, which seemed to excite all the women, including Dani.

‘Bloodthirsty lot! Let’s see what they think when I kill this scumbag!’

Daring to try the same trick again a few minutes later, Jonathan suddenly found his sword arching into the air away from his bloodied hand.

“One trick pony?” Jake asked, breathing heavily and grinning at him as he rested his sword point on Jonathan’s neck. “I was wondering if you’d try that again…”

“Then finish me, Sir, for I would do the same to you!” Jonathan demanded.

“Don’t be stupid!” Jake replied, tossing his sword away. “We don’t kill each other here. We left the killing back on Earth!”

Jonathan stood speechless, then stepped forward, threatening Jake with his fists. He suddenly found himself frozen, unable to move and dangling about a foot off the ground. A stunningly beautiful blond woman in a white robe was approaching them.

With a dramatic wave of her hand, Jonathan dropped to the ground, losing his balance and falling to one side.

“I could feel your hatred all the way down on the surface, Earther,” the Golden Goddess said, enforcing each word by thundering it into his skull. “I charge you with ‘Disturbing the Peace’. Your case will be heard tomorrow. Lisa, take him to the Manor and get him fed and cleaned up. I expect all of you in the Great Hall for explanations in one hour.”

The Golden Goddess vanished.

Jonathan staggered to his feet. “What the hell was that?”

“That,” Macario replied, grinning almost from ear to ear, “is the reason we don’t kill each other here.”

“We goddesses are kind’ve in charge, here,” Annalisa added, talking mostly to Dani. “Bloodshed is only allowed as a form of recreation, not vengeance. An no one is allowed to hurt anyone who isn’t immortal.”

“You’re a Goddess?” Dani asked.

Annalisa shrugged and grinned sheepishly. “Yeah, I am.”

“And that girl with the fire?”

“Well, she is, too, but she doesn’t really… Well, she’s a phoenix. She's immortal in a different way than us.”

“Am I immortal?” Dani asked. “I mean, will I die someday? I’m already in my eighties.”

“Probably, but not for a long time,” Annalisa grinned. “You look good for an old lady. I’m a little older than that, myself.”

“You’re older than eighty?” Dani asked, almost laughing in the girl’s face.

Annalisa smiled, then rose to join her lifemate. Jake was wiping himself down.

“Hey! I called dibs on that!” Annalisa complained, running her finger over his already healed cut.

“Sorry,” Jake grinned at her. “Elaine surprised me. So, does she mean we get a free dinner?”

“Probably,” Macario laughed. “Elaine likes to play the drama queen when newcomers are around.”

“You’re talking about that Goddess?” Jonathan asked. “You people are on a first name basis with the ruler of this land?”

“That’s something else you’ll have to get used to,” Jake replied. “There aren’t any rulers. There isn’t any aristocracy – except for maybe the goddesses themselves, but as you can see,” he nodded his head toward Annalisa, “they aren’t very aristocratic.”

“I think I’ve been insulted,” Annalisa said, smiling at her lifemate.

“This is all one land,” Jake continued, “and there isn’t any war here. We all get along with each other. Comprende, amigo?”

“Yeah, I guess so,” Jonathan agreed. “It’s an improvement over the last bunch I was with…”

“How do we get to the surface, if that’s where we’re going?” Dani asked. “There aren’t any outside doors that we could find.”

“Good thing, too, ’cause it’s a long ways down!” Annalisa laughed. “Come on, I’ll take you!”

Taking one of Dani’s hands in hers, Annalisa reached out and took Jonathan’s hand. All three suddenly vanished.

“Great!” Lisa complained. “I get to clean up the Mess Hall!”

Several decks above them, the dirty dishes suddenly melted into slag, then got so hot they turned into powder. Satisfied with her efforts, Lisa teleported the powder outside the ship, where it would drift on the winds until it became part of the soil.

“Now!” she exclaimed, picking up one of the swords. “Let’s have some fun, shall we?”

Macario grinned. “Guys against the girl?”

“I’m game!” Jake called, picking up a sword off the ground.

Lisa grinned and tossed her sword, the one that Jonathan had used, to Mac. Holding out her hands, she created two long skewers out of pure fire. In only an instant, they became hard, cruel metal spikes.

“Go!” she said, grinning at her lifemate and her father.

Jake and Mac leaped forward, both their swords pointed at her soft middle. Lisa yelped and smashed down with both her spikes, knocking their swords to one side. Leaping between them, she skewered them both before they could recover.

“I win!” Lisa crowed. “You have to fuck me now!”

She held her arms out to her sides, knowing full well what her loving husband and her father were going to do to her. She was right. Both swords sliced into her belly at the same time.

Lisa grunted and dropped to her knees. “Fuck me before I bleed to death…”

Mac was already rock hard, as Lisa could see as he shed his jeans. He was on top of her in an instant, shoving his hard cock up into her quivering vagina. The blood from each of their wounds smeared their torsos.

“Let me on top,” Lisa grunted, anxious to get her father’s cock inside her before she passed out.

Macario rolled onto his back, holding Lisa against his torso. Jake dropped down and entered her from behind, surprised that her pussy was large enough to take Mac’s giant cock and his own, as well.

“It’s an advantage…” Lisa gasped, “of getting to re… recreate my body… in my… own… image… Oh, God!”

She was weakening fast – her blood pooling in her wounded belly and not reaching her heart as it should. It occurred to her that she could put an extra heart down lower, then realized that it would probably become damaged by their swordplay just like her blood vessels were.

Mac started to come inside Lisa’s pussy. Lisa felt his sensations radiating from his body and transferred them to her father, anxious for both men to finish before she passed out. One thing Lisa really missed about becoming pure phoenix was her ability to begin healing immediately after being wounded. Maybe she could get one of her ex-sisters to revampirize her.

Then she forgot everything as she started to orgasm. The incredible sensations flowing from between her legs mixed with the agony in her belly, causing the most wonderful orgasm. She arched her back against her father’s chest and felt him reach around and squeeze her breasts. Her blood-drained heart pounded three more times as she came. When she collapsed onto her beloved Macario, Lisa was dead. Again.

“I think she really likes this being dead stuff,” grunted Mac as Jake helped his son-in-law out from underneath his dead, bled-out daughter.

“I think I liked her better when she could go either way,” Jake mentioned.

“Not me,” Mac replied. “I like her this way.”

“Well, I guess we wait ’til she wakes up,” Jake said, wading into the water to rinse the blood and cum off his body. “Unless you’ve learned how to teleport.”

“We could always use the transporter,” Mac suggested, not seriously, though.

“Yeah, right!” Jake muttered as Mac joined him in the lake.

After rinsing themselves clean, Mac went back and carried Lisa down to the water.

“Wanna see the ‘Dead Man Float’?” he laughed as he lowered her down. “I mean ‘dead girl’; sorry. Heads up, Babe!”

Mac was still holding onto her feet so that Lisa’s body weight forced her head below the surface. No bubbles came out of her nose as her head floated around her head like a dark halo.

“This is the fun part,” Mac grinned, as he turned her over so that she was face down in the water.

Spreading her legs, he ran his fingers up and down her slit, rinsing all the cum out of her unresponsive pussy.

“You should turn her over,” Jake suggested. “She might drown.”

“She's dead, Daddy,” Mac grinned. “She can’t do anything until she wakes up.”

“So she had no feeling or anything in her body right now?”

Mac just looked at him. “What part of ‘dead girl’ don’t you understand?”

“Well,” Jake said defensively, “I haven’t had that much contact with her since she turned phoenix. Before, she was like her mom. Always warm and ready to bleed.”

He still couldn’t say Béla’s name. Her new body was still in the fetus stage at university, and it didn’t look anything like Béla.

Jake was surprised when Mac spread Lisa’s legs again and began to pull her around in front of him. She was still face down in the water, very limp and dead as Mac shoved his cock back inside her dead and cooling pussy.

“Fucking necrophile,” Jake muttered as he clambered out of the lake.

He watched from the shore while Mac fucked her, though. It was still pretty erotic. He wondered if Annalisa would like to play dead girl and let him fuck her while she just laid there all limp and slack-jawed.

‘You’re a sick fucker,’ Jake heard Annalisa say into his head. ‘But if you shoot me, maybe I’ll consider it…’

‘You know – firearms are not very available, here…’

Jake really didn’t want to shoot Annalisa. That was how he’d gotten Beth into that awful mess. He’d gunned her down and fucked her while she lay unconscious beneath him bleeding all over the ground. Then he’d left her for those butchers to find – too weak to defend herself. After all these years, and even though Lisa had forgiven him a dozen times, he still felt bad about it. And now, Macario was doing the exact same thing to the exact same soul who had been Beth.

The hard-on that had begun between his legs vanished. Jake lay back on the shore, trying to ignore the lewd splashing of Mac’s pelvis up against his daughter’s dead pussy. Suddenly Mac yelped and scrambled backward. Lisa was flaring, right in the water.

Jake laughed, realizing that his darling daughter had cooked Mac’s dick as she flared back to life.

‘That was so well deserved!’ he thought, chuckling to himself.

‘I thought so, too, Daddy,’ Lisa replied in his mind, laughing with him. ‘And I still forgive you…’

‘You’re always there, aren’t you?’ Jake asked, his mind full of love for her. ‘Even when you’re dead?’

‘Always,’ Lisa whispered lovingly into his mind. ‘Don’t tell Mac, though. I like the way he plays with me when he thinks I won’t find out.’

Image of a kiss on the cheek.

Lisa knew she wouldn’t have to worry about her father blabbing. Jake would keep her secret. Fathers always kept their daughters’ secrets.

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