Plan of the Shusheen
By Vic James
Copyright 2013 by Vic James
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One evening, I decided to return Jason's calls. It had been months since I'd spoken to him. I knew I couldn't tell him the truth.
A voice I didn't recognize answered the phone. "Is Jason there?"
"Who is calling?"
Jason came on the phone. "Ben, how are you? I was afraid you were in the hospital or worse!"
"I'm fine. Believe it or not, I married a billionaire!"
"Is he ancient and ugly?"
"No. He's young and gorgeous. To be honest, I didn't want to say anything until I was sure it was for keeps. Plus we've travelled."
"I can kind of understand that."
"So what do billionaires do?"
"As far as I know, they mostly have sex, at least that's what the young, gorgeous ones do."
"You lucky, lucky pig!"
"How are things with Ned?"
"Great! Ben, I can finally tell you this. Ned is loaded too. He let me quit my job!"
"Oh, that's fantastic, Jason. I am so happy for you. Who would have thought it?"
"Isn't not working the best?"
"Ben, we are on our way out the door. I'm so glad I got to talk to you. I still love you. You are my second favorite person on the planet."
It was the last time I ever spoke to Jason, but it seemed like a happy ending to me.
I had been thinking a lot about the Shusheen and what might have happened on Shilleen.
"Ar-Tan-Bey, do you have any idea what could have happened on Shilleen?"
"Do you think it has something to do with the Fithar?"
"Either them or some sort of astronomical event."
"Like an asteroid hitting them?"
"We had devices to detect them, but it's a possibility."
"What could the Fithar do?"
"The Fithar hate everything, but the two things they hate the most are Fithome and the Shusheen. They've always taken great delight in torturing Shusheen to death. They definitely don't want a quick death for a Shusheen body. There are so few of them and so many of us, that these have always been isolated events and we take steps to avoid them. I told you about how we could impersonate them."
"Do the Shusheen defend themselves against the Fithar?"
"We use passive defenses against them. We try to prevent them from harming us."
"Can't you destroy their bodies? They would end up reborn on Fithome."
"No, it's contrary to what we believe. That is why we use passive defenses."
"You said they hate Fithome. Do they want Shilleen for themselves?"
"Absolutely. Who can blame them for hating Fithome? They would love to exchange planets with us. Of course, it wouldn't make them happy. Nothing can."
"Did they originally live on Shilleen?"
"Yes, they were banished. But not by us. We are incapable of controlling where they are reborn. For that matter, we are unable to control where we are reborn."
"Do you think the Shusheen that died on Earth were reborn on Shilleen or are they waiting her on Earth?"
"We don't know. That was one of the reasons for the expedition; to answer that very question. We hoped we would be reborn on Earth.
"One of the reasons you can give birth to a Shusheen Null is because if one of us were reborn on Earth into an animal, one of your Nulls could give that one of us a Shusheen body again. If my mate and I had an offspring on Earth, the offspring might not have been a Null. We can't control whether we will bear a Null. In the event that a non-Null child was born on Earth, it would be difficult to give it the education it deserves. That was our original plan, however, as well as our plan if none of you were willing to assist us."
"There's something I've been wondering. What took you guys so long to come to Earth? You personally have been alive so long. Was it never discussed? Is it going to be another million years before you try to travel to the third closest world to Shilleen?"
"There were a variety of reasons why the journey wasn't made sooner. Most were concerned that they might not be reborn at all if they were too far from Shilleen."
"Yes, I can see why people wouldn't want to give up immortality in the name of research."
"It also took a long time to perfect the deep space form. No one wanted to test it very far from Shilleen, because they were afraid that when something went wrong, they wouldn't get reborn.
"Eventually people with a passion for space exploration tested the deep space form at further and further distances from Shilleen. Over a great many millennia accidents during testing seemed to indicate that distance didn't matter."
"But ultimately, Ben, our way of life makes us unwilling to take risks. Humans take risks with their lives. Shusheen don't. In the case of the Earth expedition, it was thought to be a very interesting thing for other people to do."
"What made you change your mind?"
"The population on Shilleen cannot grow indefinitely. There are no other habitable planets in our own solar system. Eventually we will need additional planets or stop having offspring. Not Earth itself, there are plenty of other planets. Earth allowed us to research life on another planet as well as possibly answering the question of whether colonization of other planets was feasible. It would only be feasible if colonists were reborn on their new planet."
"Because if they were reborn on Shilleen, everyone would end back up there again?"
"Since you can change shape, is it possible to adapt your bodies' metabolism to live on one of the other planets in your solar system."
"There have been experiments along those lines. We also have advocates of living in space without a planet. The problem is very few want to do it. They want others to do it so they themselves can remain on a beautiful planet. For example, two of the planets in our system are gas giants. We have had Shilleen spend eons working on a form that can survive in that environment. A form was developed and volunteers took up residence on one of the gas giants. Surviving and being happy, ended up being two very different things. The volunteers hated it and all eventually returned to Shilleen. Even the ones who had spent so much time developing the form returned. They all agreed that even life of Fithome was preferable.
"I participated in an experiment that involved living in a form that was capable of living in orbit around Shilleen. It was incredibly boring. I could survive and the view was nice, but that was all that could be said of it.
If colonization is not possible, living in space habitats will probably be the only solution.
Mike and Ar-Tana-Bin spent a lot of time in the lab, so I spent a lot of time with Ernie, Evie, and Mrs. Lawry. We all got along very well. Ernie was so nice to Evie that it got on her nerves. "Let me get that for you." "Let me do that for you." "I'll do that, you just sit." After about the five hundredth time she said "How come you never say that when I'm cleaning the toilets!" We all burst out laughing.
One day I gave the three of them the full story of the day I was kidnapped and my escape. They cried and hugged me. When Ernie hugged me he said "Thank you, Ben. If it weren't for you and what you went through, I might never have found Evie. Or you."
He and I went fishing at the lake a few times. Evie would come along and read while we fished. Fortunately Mrs. Lawry seemed to enjoy cooking the fish we caught. A couple of times she went fishing with us.
Ernie was one of the nicest people I ever met we became good friends. I started to understand why his wife didn't want to lose him. We talked a lot about my pregnancy and how to mentally deal with being a mother. He was excited, but scared. I told him that was exactly how I felt. I asked him how he hadn't known about the male pregnancy thing when he must have come out of his father. He said his father died before he was three and his mother never talked about him and refused to answer questions about him.
One day when we were alone Ernie said "If Evie can't get pregnant, I want you to be the sperm donor for our child, Ben. We can't have sex, of course, but we can do it through artificial insemination. I already asked my implant if that was possible and she said it was. I don't know how you feel about it, or how our mates will feel about it, but I hope you'll consider it. I don't want to have a stranger's baby."
"I will think about it, Ernie. I think I would like it, but I have no idea how Mike will feel. I'll ask him if you and Evie ever decide you want to try it."
Ernie was working with Evie trying to teach her to shift into other forms the same way I had done with Mike. Evie hadn't had any success yet. She would get frustrated and stop trying. Mike was a lot more patient than Evie.
Mirabelle spent a lot of time at our house. We saw Michael a lot too, but Mirabelle would stay for hours and talk. I, of course had a lot of questions about caring for a baby, and she answered all of them. She liked to reminisce about things that sometimes made me very uneasy, like what Mike had done in their Model T, or the odd jobs he'd taken during the Great Depression, or the work he'd done in the Second World War. Those kinds of things freaked me out much more than the alien in my head. They made me feel inadequate and I was grateful that Mike never mentioned any of that stuff to me. I was also grateful that neither Michael nor Mirabelle could quote personal anecdotes about George Washington or Napoleon, since they weren't that much older than Mike.
My feelings about things like that made me wonder how difficult it must be for young Shusheen to interact with people like Ar-Tan-Bey. `This is your aunt. She was the baby in the family before you were born. She's only four hundred thousand years older than you.'
I starting bulging early in my pregnancy, which Ar-Tan-Bey said was normal and everyone else was freaked out about.
"You are going to have a fifty pound baby at this rate!" Mirabelle said to me one day.
Except for the bulge, there were no symptoms at all of the pregnancy, other than having a bigger appetite. I didn't leave the house that much when I wasn't pregnant, so it was no big deal to me to be home bound for the most part. I didn't have or want maternity clothes, so I wore extra-large t-shirts. I could have left the house, but I just didn't feel the need.
Mike and his parents went shopping one Saturday and came back with an incredible number of things. Clothes, a crib, baby toys, car seats, and strollers. Then Mike told me a lot of things were being delivered because they couldn't fit in the limo!
Evie, Ernie, Mike's parents, and I redecorated one of the bedrooms into a nursery. Michael had a lot of experience at wallpapering and painting. They all insisted paint fumes would hurt the baby while Ar-Tan-Bey insisted they wouldn't. I had Ar-Tan-Bey speak to them once about it. They all freaked out and stared at me the rest of the day.
One day as I was wandering around the house, I went into Harriet's room. I missed her. She was our only pet, even though I was spending every minute with Mike while she was alive. I mentioned it to Mirabelle once. I also told her my youthful fish catastrophes.
One day a delivery van unloaded an enormous aquarium and a lot of supplies. Michael set it up.
"I used to keep aquariums. I'll take care of this one for you. Babies are fascinated by colorful fish."
"You don't have to take care of it yourself, Mike."
"Mirabelle and I are both bored, Ben. There's no way either of us are going to want to travel while you are having our grandchildren. This will give me something to do and Mirabelle something to complain about." We both laughed.
Once the fish were in it, it was absolutely breathtaking.
I missed Mike during the day, but the nights were incredible.
One evening I convinced him to have sex with me shifted into Mike's body. He didn't want to do it, but I finally got him to agree by keeping my own face, but with Mike's body. In the bedroom I shifted my body. I hugged him and kissed him. I wanted him to suck me, but he said my cock was too big.
"How would you like it if I said that to you, Mike?"
"I would beg you to do it anyway."
"Please, Mike. Please suck my cock!"
He tried. "Shift back to your original cock, will you?"
I shifted and he blew me. I asked him to fuck me and he started and then stopped.
"I like your original hole better. This one is weird!"
"Weirder than my magic hole with the spasms?"
"Yes. It's way too hairy, too. As a matter of fact, your whole body is too hairy. Looking at your hairy back is making my dick soft!" We were doing it doggy style because of my belly.
"That's not fair! I love every hair on your body! You should love every hair on mine!"
"I do! But that's not your body! Why do I have to love every hair on my body?"
I couldn't think of a reason, so I shifted back.
He was so hot for me in my real body that it was a very memorable fuck.
I asked Ar-Tan-Bey if it was possible to shift into a form where the baby didn't show.
"Yes, by making the rest of your body bigger. You would look like a much thicker version of yourself. Is that what you want?"
"Hmm. I've never wished I was thicker. I would look like I was fat all over?"
I often wondered what Mike and Ar-Tana-Bin were doing, but I didn't particularly want to go to the lab. I asked Mike how their research was going.
"Have you made any progress at all? I know it will take a long time, but are you actually working on anything in the lab?"
"Yes, we are trying things. Implanting DNA snippets in very simple organisms. The problem is altering every cell without killing the organism. Ar-Tana-Bin gets depressed when flatworms die."
"Could nanotechnology work?"
"Maybe someday. Not right now. We would have to develop it entirely on our own. Also, Ar-Tana-Bin is reluctant to let trillions of machines loose in a human. The Shusheen only use machines when absolutely necessary. He would vastly prefer a biological solution instead."
"Do you think you will ever be able to do it?"
"No, Ben. Not really. I think it will take much longer than a thousand years. It will be too late for me."
"Ar-Tan-Bey, do something!"
"Ben, it's too soon to worry. Once I have a body, I will be able to assist my mate. I really believe it's achievable. I have spent the last few months thinking about it and different approaches we can try."
"Do you want to go to the lab and work with them?"
"No. Your body is your own. You need to have your baby, and then deliver the Null. Believe me, most of the work this early in development is mental. I don't need to be in a lab to think about it. And don't forget, we have your fallback plan to save Mike. In that case, we will continue to work on Vin-Ta immortality even if Mike won't need it. Try not to worry."
"Thank you, Ar-Tan-Bey. Have I ever told you I love you?"
"I love you, too, Ben."
Then one day a seal appeared on my stomach. I called Mike and told him it was time. I planned to wait to open the seal when Mike got home, but the baby wanted out.
"Is he knocking at the door?" I asked Ar-Tan-Bey.
"No, he's just kicking you."
"His own Modad?"
"Are you really going to have him call you that?"
"Don't you think it's better that Mopop or Mather or Fommy?"
"Just barely. You are his mother, Ben. He came from your egg. He grew in your uterus. You will breast feed him."
"I can't hear you. You're breaking up."
"If you had contributed your sperm you would be his father."
"I know I'm not his father! I'm his Modad!"
Anyway, the kicking was really getting going and I was about to rip him out when I heard the front door slam and Mike came running into the room.
"Thank god, Mike. He has been kicking me for forty five minutes!"
I got ready to open the seal. I was kind of queasy about it. But when I touched it, it opened by itself. A beautiful little boy peaked out, clean and with no umbilical cord. I pulled him up and my seal closed.
I held him. Amazed and in love. I hugged him and he gurgled.
"Hello Michael. I'm your modad Ben and this is Mike, your father."
"I'm very pleased to me you. You have gas, modad. The air smells better out here."
His lips didn't move. And then Ernie laughed from the doorway.
"Sorry about that. I couldn't resist. I learned how to throw my voice when I was young."
"Mike, would you like to hold the beautiful child I've given you?"
"Nah." He laughed.
He picked him up and just stared at Michael, entranced.
Mirabelle and Michael appeared along with Evie and Mrs. Lawry.
"Mrs. Lawry just called us! Were you in labor long?"
Mike and I laughed.
I pointed to my seal.
"I just touched it and he sort of popped out. Good design, you know."
Mike handed the baby to his parents and then the others wanted to hold him. He started to cry and I figured he was hungry.
"He may be cold, Ben. You should really have him wear some clothes," Mirabelle said.
I laughed and Mike went to get diapers and a gown we'd bought.
After we had him dressed, I brought his mouth to my nipple and he began to feed.
"That is very disturbing on many levels," Ernie said.
"It's your turn next!" I said.
"No, Evie and I have decided to see if she can have our first. Besides, for some reason she's not comfortable with the idea of a man fucking me in the ass."
We all laughed. Evie looked a little embarrassed.
Mirabelle said "Let's leave them alone. As soon as he finishes eating, he's going to want to sleep.
Everyone but Mike left.
"Isn't he gorgeous, Mike?"
"He is. He looks just like you."
"But I'm a shape shifter. I can look any way I want!"
Mike got in bed and put his arm around me. I leaned my head on his shoulder.
"I love you, Mike."
"I love you. More than anyone, except possibly Michael."
"Thank you, Ar-Tan-Bey!"
"You're welcome, Ben. He is so beautiful!"