Chapter Sixteen - Landing on NewFrance
On New France
Priam asks; "Is your mother still alive?"
"Yes," I reply, with surprise.
"I would to meet her."
"This sounds serious." I flip.
He studies me, not sure what my words mean.
Neither am I.
Did he want to meet my parents in a kind of 'ask for your daughter's hand?'
I know what it is.
"Of course," I toss, going to the cockpit.
To dispel romanticism, I contact my office. My secretary begins to send requests
for my services, I have them displayed on the monitor in the living quarters. Priam
is interested, asks if he can look. I nod, beckon him closer. Our bodies touch as
I go through the candidates.
I bunch cases into those where the quarry would likely be on Smudge, and others. I like Smudge for its lack of laws. I don't want to find myself in prison on Bathel for using 'unnecessary force' to save my life.
There are five cases which seem Smudge centered. I quote figures for each, different figures depending on who and what, explaining why to Priam. Then I think,
"Priam, you don't have any money do you?"
"No." he replies as if not having money is less important than not having a potholder.
I go into the yellow and white room where I stowed my gear, return with a fat roll.
"No," he exclaims, his hands briefly in stop sign.
I don't push it. I don't know why he is afraid to hold money, but if he doesn't want to, fine.
In the World of Firebird
The A.I.s voice cuts the moment; "Attention, we are approaching Newfrance," it announces.
I return to the cockpit, Priam beside me, I take us in, cleared to dock at the station. The yacht is so flimsy it can't be landed.
"Stay inside till I come for you." I tell him, for he has no papers.
I'm a usual suspect, I come and go as often as a commercial carrier. I have stuff, so get my car from the lot to transport it.
I disrupt the electronics in the corridor, giving Priam the chance to acrobatically hop into the car. I take him down to my five hundred unspoiled acres of Newfrance without warning.
It is impressive. Green rolling hills, river, trees, yeah, it cost a lot of money. But then, I make a lot of money.
I'm not looking at my piece of ground, I'm watching Priam. How he oozes out of the car and looks around with a sense of wonder. I leave him, enter the house, put my coin in a safe along with various weapons, some that aren't quite legal.
My house is large, the rooms enormous. There's space in my house. I have three bedrooms. I sleep in all of them.
In the winter I'll use the dark peach and maroon room. In the spring and autumn, the green and yellow one, in the summer, the lime, bright peach and white one. Large beds, large closets, entertainment corners. I have one human housekeeper, five 'bots.
"Jeanetton!" I call.
She bustles in with a squeaky, "Oui, Madame!"
I speak to her in French, explain I have someone with me in such a way she appreciates the term 'partner' has a sexual connotation.
She tells me she's seen him when I disboarded, and apologises for not attending me sooner but was drooling over his beauty. She can not swear she will not sleep with him.
As she is older than my mother I don't think it's likely, but threaten to fire her if she does.
It is summer in this part of Newfrance. The windows are open, letting in the warm air. I go to my room, pull on a swim suit, to the back garden.
The Joys of Aquatecture
I have taken an arm of the Lilseine, led it from it's bed to dance through three acres of land, in pools and fountains, mock waterfalls, chasing itself around the grounds.
I turn on a mini fall (the shower is hidden in stones so it seems almost natural) suds myself over the grate, (the water is used in gardening,) then into one of the pools, each charming in it's own way.
Priam finds his way here, amazed by my aquatecture. I love water. I love to make it do amazing things.
He doesn't see me right away, his eyes racing from a spray to a pool, to a lagoon. No, he has never seen this before.
Then he notes me standing in the tourquoise pool. He is astounded by it, unable
to locate from whence the water comes and where it goes, how it goes, through
whirlpools and deceptively quiet ponds, waterfalls, sprays; he is looking at a
work of art. One I've refused to let the media exploit.
When his eyes return to me, I point to the shower, he strips naked, washes off. I'm sure Jeanetton is having orgasm all over the living room window. Then he plunges in. He is so happy, so carefree he glows like an angel.
He moves from pool to pool, I let him explore without guidance. This house, this pool is his, as long as he is with me.
I have things to do. I leave the water, enter the drying room, remove my suit, slip on a robe.
"He is too beautiful," Jeanetton condemns, "be careful. Man was not meant to be so beautiful."
"He's Eugenic, Jeannie, he was meant to be that beautiful."
"A Eugenic!" She twists as if he were the spawn of Satan.
"I love him." I announce.
She clamps her hand over her mouth as if I've let loose a symphony of curses. I have never used the word love. She shakes her head, she knows nothing good can come from this relationship, but I, appealing to her lower nature;
"Jeannie, to have him in your bed, even for a week, it's worth it."
"Oh yes," she smiles, the lust dripping from her face, "it is truly worth it."
I move to my room, pull on clothing, Jean prepares a list of what needs to be purchased.
"He is a gourmet cook," I tell her, "I should ask him what he wants, and considering your evil intent, I better take him with me."
I emerge from the house in a clever white suit, Priam comes from the water. I hope the security cameras have caught his dark skin flinging the droplets back to catch the sun.
Squelching my lust; "I am going to town, will you come with me?"
"I would stay here."
"Add what you need to this list," I say.
He looks at me, perhaps reproachful,
"I can not read that language..." he mutters.
"Food, I have to buy food, Priam, there's no food in the house. Unless you will eat canned things..."
"No, I will come with you!" He exclaims as expected. He is a Eugenic. They only eat the freshest organic foods.
"Put on your clothes first," I remind.
He goes to where he'd parked his clothing, asks me for oil. He'll use the olive oil from the kitchen. He goes under the shower a moment, then the two of us coat every inch. After a few minutes, he pulls on the jeans and teeshirt. He almost, not quite but almost, looked normal.
As we drove, Priam asked questions about the pool and I got to brag, boast and otherwise crow about my skill.
We landed at the Mall and before going to the food court I steered him into a clothiers.
I have never seen so many people stop and stare. No famous actor, politician, mass murderer would get such attention. But Priam was oblivious. I made a few selections for him, he made a few for himself, I put it on my tab.
Then to the market, loading the cart with the best on offer. When that cart could take no more, he commandeered another, and two mountains of goods were pushed to the cashier, then loaded into my car.
"Is there anything you want?" I ask.
He marched into a pharmacy, began buying all sorts of products, oils and creams, soaps, and colognes until it looked as if we might as well sign the deed to the property.
If I thought he might leave me, it wouldn't be for at least six months.
Priam created a crowd as we walked to my car, people gaping. Because he was dressed in normal clothing, and because he was with me, they weren't sure he was a Eugenic.
We got in, I drove, he peered from the car as we flew as if he'd never seen grass and trees and hills and wide country and endless sky. I didn't say anything to it, just ticked another box in my mind.
When we landed he went into the kitchen where he saw Jeanetton for the first time.
"She's real, everyone else you will see is not." I tell him, leaving them to put away the groceries, going to my room to change back into my suit and swim until called for dinner.
It was another wonderful meal, and we sat watching the water chase itself as the sun set. Belatedly, I gave him a tour of the house, and he selected the Spring room to pack away his gear. I told him of the basement gym, then left him, for I was tired.
If he wasn't here, I'd make phone calls, and plan my next jobs.
But he was here. I would stay here.