Chapter Sixty Five
Sunday, day of nothing, Sloane comes racing down the steps, "Mom! I did forty on the treadmill! Maxed that sucker out, I think I could go faster."
"We leave in a few weeks for Arizona, you can chase Oceane around on the kart."
"Our karts go sixty, Daria says she can juice them up."
"Sixty is fast enough, if you want more speed, use the Mazdas."
Sloane thinks this over, "Wait...are you saying I can learn to drive the formula one cars?"
"Don't see why not."
She leaps across the room and lands in my lap, "You are the world's best mom," she growls and bares her fangs.
"Don't tell Susan and Kara, I told them they were the world's best moms, but it was years ago, when Janah and I lived there, before Nikko even."
"Like a hundred years."
"Very funny. In physical years, it would have been over twenty five. But we aged about ten more after I said it, then we didn't age anymore."
Sloane, "I'm almost sixteen, my mom looks twenty five. If you'd birthed me, you would have been nine. Maybe not, since you quit aging, you could have birthed me when you were twenty, then stopped aging at twenty five while I kept aging to now."
"Yes, and when you are ready, we do the protein markers and DNA and you stop aging."
Sloane, "I want to stop here, can we do it on my sixteenth?"
"It takes a few weeks of injections, maybe a month before, it doesn't matter much, you mature mentally, just not physically. Amaya groaned about the twins being teenagers forever until it dawned on her that she and Chloe were sixteen when they took the treatment. They matured and the twins did also. Which they have obviously. Eloise came along when she was twenty two, she got hers at twenty four, Zi and Nikko are twenty four or five forever. Oceane is a permanent fourteen or fifteen, like Chloe her actual date of birth is uncertain."
Sloane, "Half your girlfriends are underage, perv mom."
"You're right, Oceane was actually fifteen, Janah and I started at fifteen. Dasha and Daria were fifteen, but they were already having sex anyway."
Sloane giggles, "Twincest, it drives Chloe crazy."
"You've learned a lot about family intimacy, not spying I hope."
"What? This family talks about everything. Everybody knows everybody's stuff. I couldn't not know."
She's right, it's how we operate. Nobody can do anything 'wrong' so there's no reason to have secrets. It's not like we sit around and have true confessions. Intimacy things come up in conversation, no different than if we're talking about food, clothes or TV. We don't have taboos. Maybe Zi and I do, as Shaolin priests we took vows about intoxicants, so we don't drink, don't smoke marijuana. Amaya and Chloe do both, Eloise has a joint with them occasionally. The rest drink, no other recreational drugs.
Janah comes along, "We brunching today? Guess not, we had regular breakfast."
"Figured we ate the casino buffet enough, time for our usual routines. Lunch today is cold cuts, egg salad for you, chopped purple cabbage with tahini, chips. Tonight is filet, scorched on the grill, some kind of potato TBA, I'll have grilled vegs for yours, maybe with crumbled blue cheese."
Janah, "Yummy, and so I can anticipate, what's for dessert?"
Dasha, "Double chocolate brownie wiz vanilla bean and hot fudge."
Janah, "Yay...so, Dasha, if you aren't busy right this moment, will you join me in my room? I want to break in a new toy, that is, have you break it in on me."
Dasha, "Da, we will make sexy time. Dahfoney, you will feex lunch later, Janah and I will be hungry."
"Have it covered, enjoy"
They head up the stairs, Oceane was on the couch listening, she follows them up the steps, pulling off her t-shirt as she goes. Sheesh, I may not see Janah for the rest of the day. Where is everyone?
I do a home sweep, Amaya and Chloe are in their room, looks like they are preparing tea entertainment for later. Nikko and Zi are on the roof, just lounging with cups of coffee. I go to the workshop, Eloise and Daria have equipment spread out all over, but at the moment they are naked and making out, shirts in a pile on the floor.
They spot me, turn and lean against the workbench, Eloise, "Over here Daphne, on your knees, make us feel good."
Who am I to deny orgasms? I do mix and match while they make out, then focus on Daria, rewarded with her gasps and a low slow moan, she holds my head against her as she shudders. Shift to Eloise, she likes me to look up at her while I lick, a half smile, biting her lower lip. Daria had her warmed up, she trembles and shakes in only a few. Too bad, I was enjoying her soft sensual.
Oh...an extra treat, they turn and face the bench, lean on their elbows, Eloise says, "Round two."
Tongue two tushes, get them off again, they turn to face me, Daria rests the top of her foot against me, foot massage masturbation. I rock gently against it, hold her ankle and heel, apply pressure. Nicely wet from my earlier ministrations, I'm off in minutes, then lean back on my palms while the waves subside.
Daria holds her foot up, I lick me off, Eloise giggles, "You are such a slut, thank goodness."
She leans over, "Open up," spits in my mouth, rubs her finger around in it, then spits again, she likes to watch me swallow. When I do, she spits on my lips, wipes it across with her thumb pushes it in my mouth. I suck it for a bit, then stand.
"Thank you girls, I'm feeling all creamy steamy. And I need to hustle off to freshen, lunch in a half hour."
I go to our room, Janah is on her knees, head strategically between Oceane's lean luscious legs. Dasha is behind her with a strap-on, giving Janah a slow stroke anal screw. I clean and refresh, pass them on the way out, nobody misses a beat, like they never noticed me floating in or out. Now that's focus.
In the kitchen, I lay out roast beef, turkey, sliced cheeses, didn't have time to do egg salad, Janah had eggs for breakfast anyway. I'll make her a grilled cheese with tomato and caramelized onion.
There's multigrain bread, I warm sourdough rolls as an alternative, let's see, pickles and condiments, pour a bag of salt and cracked pepper chips in a bowl. All set, except I'm still by myself, then Sloane comes from her room, we make our sandwiches, Nikko and Zi come down the steps from the roof, then Daria and Eloise.
Amaya, lunch is ready.
Just coming, Chloe decided to have me as an appetizer.
Sex Sunday apparently, lust must be contagious.
Janah and her play-pals come down, Amaya and Chloe appear, Sloane looks them over, sniffs the air, "Did everyone have sex but me?"
Nikko, "No, but Zi and I plan a shower and nap after lunch."
Amaya, "How does sex smell to a wolf?"
"Like teen spirit."
I laugh, Amaya says, "That was before you were born, before I was born, how did you get onto Nirvana?"
"Mom. I went through her ITunes. She's all rock all the time. Not too much before the nineties though, a couple of Ozzy songs."
Amaya, "Daphne's a Philistine, hard rock, she sings Velvet Revolver in the shower."
"Yeah, Ozzy too, paranoid and I don't want to stop."
Amaya breaks into song, "Finished with my woman cause she couldn't help me with my mind, people think I'm insane because I am frowning all the time...," and the other...."all my life I've been over the top, I don't know what I'm doing all I know is I don't wanna stop."
Sloane, "You sound exactly like Ozzy, I still don't know how you do that."
Nikko, "Roast beef is good, nice and peppery," she layers it with wasabi.
"It's going to ignite, that's the killer wasabi."
Nikko takes a bite, "Perfect."
"Smoke should be coming out your ears. I love spicy, but you take it to nuclear. The only person I know that eats raw habanero."
Nikko shrugs, "An acquired taste and years of practice, hanshi likes spice, my mother learned to make two dishes, one for him and one for the rest of us, but I started liking his better, so she made it for me too."
Zi, "And it makes her fiery, in other ways."
Chloe, "Pretty sure it's you who makes her fiery."
Zi blushes, she's so adorable when she colors, Chloe has it pegged.
Lunch wraps up, Amaya says, "Tea ceremony at four thirty."
Sloane, "Wow, cool, that means music right?"
Amaya, "And poems, songs and dancing. So come down from your race around mind before we start, this is culture time, not wild woods predator time."
"Yes Your Highness."
Amaya, "Good for the wolf to recognize her place in the pack, come Chloe, we must rest prior to our performance."
Oceane, "Come with me Sloane, we can nap like cubs in the den."
Seems to be what's on everyone's mind, Janah and I snuggle in our room, it's still in the condo, calm, peaceful nothing.
Chapter Sixty Six
Tea ceremony is typical Chloe and Amaya, Chloe's stellar tea preparation, shamisen and flute play. Full kimono, just not the makeup. Nikko takes the shamisen, Chloe continues on flute while Amaya dances. Then sings an insane song in Japanese about psychopathic twins, a spacey girl who lives to be a fish and a boy-girl who became part wolf. It's hilarious, Sloane and I wiping tears.
Dasha and I shoo off everyone, "We'll clean up, cocktails in an hour."
Sloane hangs around while Dasha and I cart cups and plates to the dishwasher, it's clear she wants to tell me something.
"Sloane, let's go to the roof, I need to check out the grill, we're doing steaks tonight."
There's nothing to check, I don't need to heat it for another hour, but it will just be the two of us for the moment.
I fiddle with the knobs, "So, what's on your mind?"
Sloane, "You know how Oceane and I, um, went to nap, in her room?"
"Yes," I'm pretty sure I know where this is heading, but it's not my story, so I wait.
"She, well, we undressed. She's so gorgeous, I got, you know..."
"Yeah, and she touched...played with it. Mom, it felt amazing."
"So I'm told."
Sloane, "Mom...she gave me a...in her mouth."
"Cool, good for you, bet that felt more than amazing."
"I have no words. She was so gentle, she made it seem totally natural. Afterwards, she snuggled and we had a nap, like...that's just what people do."
"That is just what people do, caring and compassionate people, ones who sense that someone they care a lot for would like special attention. It's also Oceane, she's ultra sensual. I suspect she's wanted to give it a go for a while."
Sloane smiles, "That's kind of what she said, a bit more bluntly, as in, 'I want to suck your cock'."
"Sounds like Oceane."
Oceane comes from her room, which is on the roof, she's nude, which means she's going for a swim. First, she walks over to us, kisses Sloane.
"I gave Sloane oral sex, it was fun. Next, I want her to fuck me," she smiles, strokes Sloane's face, another kiss, turns and heads to the pool.
Sloane, for once, is silent, I laugh, "I don't recall ever seeing a jaw drop like yours."
"Mom, did you hear what she said? She wants me to..."
"Make love to her. We haven't discussed your gender sex preferences, you're a girl with a penis. Seemed logical that you would like boys, but you never said much about it."
Sloane, "We did the hormone stuff lightly, on purpose. I have my natural boy hormones, and a booster of girl hormones. Maybe it's kept me in between, I don't feel a rush for boys, or for girls. Oceane though....I really liked being with her."
"She's shown no interest in men before."
"No, and she's not now. She likes my smooth hair free girl body. I don't have pubic hair, around or on my boy part. She says I'm a girl with a built in vibrator," she giggles.
"And you enjoyed what happened, so it works for both of you, good enough."
"But, what about the operation? I mean, it's not for a couple of years."
"I suggest you live in the moment, not in the future. When it gets here, things that seem vague now will be clear then."
Sloane nods, "And Oceane likes my body...that's...that's so...," she tears up, I wrap her up, kiss her tears, "strip and join her for a swim. She'll like that too."
Sloane goes to the pool, shorts and t-shirt off, then panties, she slips in the pool. I see Oceane stop swimming, go to her and take her hands. They spin slowly around together, then Oceane pulls her in, they kiss, a nice long slow one. Oceane splashes water in Sloane's face, laughs and starts swimming. Sloane strokes beside her, I go downstairs to marvel at life's mysteries.
Janah at the big table with a laptop fishing around the net, "Didn't see that coming."
"Hardly. I wonder if Chloe or Zi caught something in her aura."
"Perhaps, Oceane can be hard to read though. Neither of them would say anyway, that's private until Oceane and Sloane make it not private."
Amaya shows up, sign of cocktail time, she starts prep, the others come along. Russian toasts and vodka shots followed by cocktails to sip instead of shoot. I take out the steaks, we skip potatoes and go for veg lasagna with a blue cheese romaine salad. Dasha has the lasagna bubbling in the oven, caviar, chopped egg and onion bits in bowls with crispy multigrain Breton crackers and a tangy aged white cheddar.
Chloe, "Wow, this a new cheese?"
"First time, it's got eighteen months of sitting, nice and crisp isn't it?"
"It's delicious, my vote is keep it in the rotation."
Janah takes a piece, "My vote too, yummy."
They wipe out the bar, I'd only gotten a few ounces as a test, "Looks like that one needs to be on the list Dasha."
"Da, ees gud one. I can add to omelet, shred for lasagna."
So good to be at home, slow evening of drinks, dinner, followed by brownies, ice cream and hot fudge. It's near ten when we wrap. Janah and I are on the couch watching a movie until midnight, The November Man with an aging Pierce Brosnon. It's not brilliant, but there's plenty of action and a hot girl, which is all it take to entertain me. We go off to our beds yawning, then deep dreamless sleep.
Chapter Sixty Seven
Monday morning, Chloe and Amaya are off early for Chloe's commercial shoot. Dasha was up, she got them fed and off.
"Thanks Dasha, we stayed up til midnight watching a movie."
"Ees okay, Sister and Eloise got up at six thirty to go to workshop, so I made them coffee, then feex quick toast and egg for Eemaya and Chloe. They will be maybe until afternoon Eemaya says, seemple shot for Chloe Coture."
"She modeling the clothes?"
"One or two, other girls are doing some. Mayumi ees making new line, so new ad."
"She's made quite a name for herself."
"Da, and hafing Chloe to spokesperson haf make beeg business. Chloe fans trust her. Eemaya makes a gud job of Chloe's career."
"Amaya makes a good job of everything, incredibly talented and adores Chloe. She would never let her appear in junk ads, or junk movies. She declined three Japanese offers as too tacky, and the money was outrageous."
"We are feelthy reech girls, Chloe ees no haf to work for money."
"No, none of us have to have day jobs, I guess Nikko, Zi and Daria do, they handle our businesses and investments."
Family starts to wander in, we get Nikko, Zi and Daria fed, they're going to Murakami Sylk for the day. Just as they are leaving, Janah shows, I go upstairs to find Eloise.
"Come get something to eat, your toys can wait," if I don't round her up, she'd get lost in the shop all day and she barely weighs in at ninety now.
She stares up at me from the floor, a spread of electronics in front of her, pushed up her glasses, "In a minute."
"Now, I'm not moving until you move, sprite. Let's go so we can wrap breakfast."
She's not obstinate, just obsessed, she stands and dutifully marches downstairs to eat.
Dasha, "We do no haf all day to feed you Eloise. Sit, you will haf toast and egg at least, better even, also cup of fruit, here. Skinny girl will blow off roof one day."
Eloise blushes, head down, pushes the ever descending glasses back up her nose, "Okay."
Once she gets going, she eats, it sometimes takes a stiff nudge. Janah says she likes the attention. Fair enough, I'll give her attention, and appreciation, she works her cute butt off for us. Her drones have made us millions, kept us from a lot of nasty situations, like having to kill Shadows face to face. Not to mention advance surveillance, video and audio that saves having to plant bugs or creep up on dangerous people in dicey situations.
Sloane bounds down the stairs, "I'm starved...and I need to get to class in ten minutes."
Dasha slides a plate of eggs and bacon in front of her, couple slices of buttered multigrain toast.
Sloane, "Thank you Dasha, lifesaver. Where's Oceane?"
"You haven't seen her this morning?"
"Nope, haven't seen her since dinner. Maybe she's in the pool early."
I kiss Sloane, "Have a good day at school, see you this afternoon," go off to find Oceane.
She's in her room, I didn't think she'd be swimming, doesn't usually go until ten at the earliest. She's drawing.
"What are you working on?"
It's a head piece, from the left side, three quarters face, brown hair curled under her chin.
"She's going to like it."
"I may have it ready in a day or so."
"Has she seen it?"
"No, I told her I was doing it, she can see it along the way if she wants, or wait until it's finished."
"She's off to school now, I need you to come down, breakfast is wrapping up."
She puts away her pencils, this one will be color, it's already getting the photographic quality she creates. We go downstairs together.
Dasha, "Sit there," she points her spatula, "eggs in a minute, haf fruit, tea ees in pot."
We use white ceramic for green, black for black, Oceane alternates, she isn't a coffee girl.
It's just Eloise, Oceane, Dasha, Janah, and me.
Eloise, "I have the new drones ready for production. These are for us, our private work. Smaller, lighter, faster, much longer battery life. I used graphene, but it isn't an approved battery, can't use them in our commercial drones. Same dart capacity, six seems optimal. They fly themselves once they have a target sighted, then follow whatever instructions we give them, track, tranquilize or kill. We also strengthened the darts themselves, they can puncture tires, break a window or windshield. In effect, a slim bullet. I'm just about finished with a dart that can pierce a car window and release a gas that knocks anyone in the car out. David Li developed the gas, it acts almost instantly, disperses quickly. Leaves no trace. By the time we get to the car, the gas is gone. We can use it in houses, boats, any reasonably contained space, the targets are unconscious in seconds."
Janah, "How long are they out?"
"Depends on exposure. If they're in a confined space, like a car, a half hour. Bigger space, less. You should have five minutes in an average size room. It won't do much in a ballroom, remember, the gas is dispensed from a small dart."
Janah, "That will be useful. Maybe we avoid having to charge in and whack people before we get control. Safer for us, less damage to them, at least until we damage them later. Can we get the gas in more quantity? Like a grenade canister that could knock out a whole room?"
Eloise, "Don't know why not, I'll ask David but I don't think there are production limitations. It isn't weapons grade plutonium."
Janah, "I'm thinking of a roomful of Shadows, we've been encountering larger groups. Putting them all down at once saves a lot of hand to hand, I should say mind to mind."
Dasha, "We keel anyhow all Shadow."
Janah, "We do. But a gas that kills a roomful is dangerous if it isn't tightly contained. I can also imagine a situation where there are Shadows and normals together. With this, we knock out the whole crowd, but the normals wake up unhurt. We might also want Shadows alive to question them. We have little idea of why they are coming together, Shadows don't play well with others, even other Shadows, they're loners. I want to know what's behind the trend towards Shadow gangs."
"Maybe they want to start Shadow Rotary Clubs, sort of anti-Rotary. Instead of helping the less fortunate, they help themselves to the spoils of the more fortunate."
Janah, "That's pretty much what the groups we came across were up to."
"With the added kicker of physical coercion in the process."
Janah, "Yes. Shadows aren't content to take money, that's child's play for them. They want to witness misery, violated children, all manner of perversion, torture, even death. If we allow a group to get big enough, the hell they can unleash makes terrorists look like common street gangs."
Eloise, "How do we know if Shadows are gathering in numbers?"
Janah, "Right now, only by unusual activity. Crimes without guns, coercion, fraud on a large scale, unusual behavior from otherwise normal folks, weird sexual activity. Dad doing daughter, or mom having fun with the teen boy down the street, or the guy who filmed his daughter and wife having sex with someone they didn't know a week before. Our eyes and ears around the country are on guard for Shadow-like activity, as are hundreds of Shaolin monks now out in the world. We also have Chan's Chinatown threads looking and listening. My NSA contacts are also surfing for chatter that smells like Shadow behavior. I didn't explain Shadows, just curious blips of the kinds of stuff we've been talking about. There there’s the birds, they can report Shadows just like Chloe and Zi."
Eloise, "There's been nothing?"
Janah, "Actually, one of our NSA contacts is sending over a collection of e-mails and texts today. Daphne and Susan will run a program that looks for commonalities in words, phrases and locations. Might be nothing. We'll see."
Chapter Sixty Eight
I have my day planned, Susan comes over and we upload e-mail into her program. The NSA has already selected out text that conforms to our general parameters. The program Susan developed narrows the focus to the types of words and phrases common to Shadows. Hostility, not towards certain groups, it isn't hate mail. Hostility suggesting disdain for human pain, suggestions or outright declarations of enjoying it. Shadows are hostile towards each other, we look for name calling, particularly personally directed profanity. One Shadow will call another a cock sucking moron and the recipient will lol and say tender cock is a delicacy. Sexual references regarding children are common. They don't care what other people think, even other Shadows, they have no sense of shame or propriety. Susan's program searches for these peculiarities. We could ask the NSA to do it, but we don't want them trying to figure out why we want it. So we get data in broad strokes that we narrow down with our own algorithms.
We have a working lunch, Dasha makes sandwiches, the program cogitates. We uploaded two thousand e-mails, half as many IP addresses, six hundred text messages and three hundred phone numbers. The NSA report told us who called who, the rest is being crunched by our stuff.
Susan, "Done," she takes the last bite of turkey and cranberry, "Dasha, that was splendid, thank you angel."
"Ees favorite sandwich, Eemaya makes fussing, she says can cranberry ees high sugar, so I make my own cranberry sauce wiz Spleenda. You will not be fat girl wiz my sandwich."
Susan laughs, "Amaya is a piece of work, the sugar police."
Dasha, "Da, but she haf gud heart for fahmahley, always we are peerfect hair, making up, fashion clothes. So, no mahter, and she ees gud to Chloe. Chloe ees best person ever, so we go along wiz Eemaya demanding. I haf to change Oceane sheets, and Sloane, you will take care of keetchen, Dahfoney," she goes upstairs.
Susan looks at me, I know what she's thinking, the twins don't talk of good heart and best people.
"It's different with family. Their intense protectiveness with each other includes us, you, Chan, Black and their families. We rescued them, they see us taking care of them and each other, allow them to be what they are, no critique or personality makeover. And they are also practical, when Amaya taught them social graces, they went along because it made sense. We made them rich, encouraged them in whatever direction they chose. In turn, Daria is an amazing business asset, hardware developer and hacker. Dasha has near single handedly developed a three restaurant chain and one incredibly popular stand alone. Here at home, I could never efficiently feed all of us without her."
Susan, "You have given them a sense of humanity. Remarkable considering their young life."
"What's the data say?"
"Let's see, dropped all but four dozen e-mails, about as many texts, ah...all from the same fifteen IPs and, surprise, surprise, fifteen cell phone numbers."
The program gives us threads, similarities in the cross talk. Janah studies the reports.
"At least there's no plan to create school shootings as a distraction to rob banks, like Wichita Falls."
"No, this doesn't appear to involve violence, maybe auxiliary violence, never can tell with Shadows. It reads like a plan to destroy reputations, but to what end?"
Janah, "That is unclear. They talk about bringing down the sanctimonious assholes, putting them in a closet, then open the doors for all to see."
Susan, "So create a false picture, but put the victims in a position such that it appears true. The public believes the first story, suspicion is all it takes to smear someone. Subsequent denials are whispers on the wind."
Janah, "There are references to Satanism, loving children...then sort of a film production checklist, video cams, wardrobe, location possibilities."
"Locations...council chamber, sheriff's office, courtroom, a diner, two churches. But where? I don't see a specific town anyplace."
Susan, "Looks more like a discussion of what kind of place they're looking for, not a place they've found."
Janah, "Yes, of course, good catch. Can you get onto these IPs, the phones, we need to know when they light on a place."
"What are they going to do?"
Janah, "My guess is control an entire small town. Make a movie about a place where everyone suddenly became degenerate, all restrictions and morality disappear, you do whatever your next impulse demands."
"So they're going to turn everyone into teenagers?"
Sis and Janah laugh, Susan says, "You are a bizarre person. I still don’t see the point."
"They do it to do it. This is like Burning Man for Shadows, a bizarre form of sharing, radical inclusion as they say. Take over a whole town. Needs to be small, even then it would have to be done in pieces. Controlling even a hundred people takes more than fifteen Shadows. They will want a cross section, adults, older folks, children and teens. Needs a police department, but a small one. Two churches minimum."
Janah, "They make a video, humiliate as many people as they can. I'm thinking it's more though. They can do this left handed with a few families and near zero risk. I think this is a training exercise in crowd control. Even worse, a demonstration of what Shadows can do if they work together. Like the psychopaths of ISIS, just without the fake religious justification."
Sis, "Geez, you think they want a Shadow army?"
"Maybe, think of it. They can steal money by making people hand it to them. They don't need to buy weapons, they are weapons. Risk is limited, nothing like being a terrorist or even a plain soldier. The victims don't know they're victims until it's too late and they can't prove that anyone made them do anything. There's no at gunpoint, no threat of harm, just absolute mind control. A psychopath's dream world."
Sis, "You have to stop them."
"Zi and I have taken vows that require us to deal with Shadows."
Sis, "And the rest of your weird family will refuse to let you and Zi take those risks alone."
"Actually, they would resent being left out of the fun, particularly the twins. Killing somebody occasionally keeps them from regularly beating up annoying people in the everyday world."
Susan, "I don't think it's that bad."
Janah, "Think again."