By Ken of New York
I awoke to a hot sun and a face full of sand. Hot sand at that. Just about every part of me ached and I hoped that this was not going to be the kind of morning that I had been growing accustomed to. I struggled to my feet while cupping my hand over my eyes. I saw nothing but sand and desert through to the horizon for 360 degrees.
I had no idea where I was, but because of the terrain I certainly could narrow it down to about five or six places on Earth. Unfortunately, that is only one criterion in my localization efforts. I also had to guess where in time I was.
You see, I travel through time without effort - also without desire or willingness. I'm sort of trapped in this crazy rest frame - or "wormholes" as others have refered to them.
Yes. You see, Einstein was correct about relativity. As your speed increases, time (being a physical force no different than sound, light or any electromagnetic waveform) begins to bend - relative to the time experienced by other more stationary types of course. Well, it seems that every few days, sometimes less, often more, I take off on a quick speed trip that tends to displace me - always on Earth, always a few hundred years or so from the last stop and sometimes a few thousand miles from the last locale.
Try waking up with a hangover in the Ardennes forest in 1916. You won't need an alarm clock to rouse you.
This sounds like a cool adventure story and it is. Though sometimes its scary as hell. And yet, while I almost always find myself in precarious situations I rarely get hurt - though I have been killed a few times even that doesn't hurt. I rarely get hurt because I have a companion who travels with me. And though this companion doesn't always arrive at the exact same place and time as I do, this companion always catches up with me, usually within a few hours. The truly exceptional facet about this companion is that she is one of the most powerful beings in the known universe.
Her name is Elektra.
For some reason which neither of us understand, poor Elektra is bound to me like a ball and chain. And while she never complains, has an ever cheerful disposition, and really truly loves me, I can't help but think that she must occasionally tire of pulling me out of the nasty jams I embroil us in. Yet she always manages to extricate me with grace, poise, and an occasional groaning wake of beaten and mangled foes.
Fortunately for me, Elektra is a Velorian. I thought I should disclose this because you being one of Sharon's faithful readers will understand what that entails. Yes Elektra used to be a protector, but she was forced to retire years ago.. er.. actually years from now - you know what I mean.
Elektra protected a planet known as Mealne (pronounced May·Al). Mealne was a little planet with lots of little inhabitants. Unfortunately, Mealne was overrun by legions of big nasty Arions and my heroine Elektra was lucky to escape with her beauty, strength, smarts, and all those other wonderful things that make Velorians the toast of the universe intact.
Elektra thought she might go back to Velor for possible reassignment via a nearby wormhole, but she chose the wrong wormhole and is now stuck with me. Its just as well she says. They would have treated her as a genetic freak back on Velor, albeit a gorgeous genetic freak with the strength of a large battalion of normal Velorians.
So now Elektra no longer protects Mealne. Instead, she protects me and clearly, this is not a lateral career move. As far as I'm concerned her vocational ambitions careened recklessly for I am not very significant. I know this because wherever I turn up in time (and place), I'm usually a bum of some sort and apparently I have this peculiar habit of enraging the locals because I'm a remarkably slow learner. On the other hand, there are times where I have arrived in a position of considerable power. Then we really have fun.
I eventually meet with a few successes and I occasionally manage to have a good time - actually, because of my powerful companion, I always have a great time! And this is all because of Elektra's diligent - bordering on obsessive - concern for my well-being.
Why is Elektra so devoted to me?
I don't know. Though I have a few notions regarding this. Firstly, I'm fun company. I never drool or belch and I manage to keep her amused. Secondly, like her, I don't really age. In fact, since I've begun this bizarre sojourn I haven't gotten a day older. This, despite having not undergone the famous Velorian transmutation process (I have been avoiding this for reasons I will discuss later). I'm essentially stuck at age 27 and I think Elektra rather likes the prospect of being able to maintain a relationship ad infinitum. Finally, I am very imaginative and competent when it comes to satisfying that famous Velorian libido.
For example, in the late seventeenth century in Northern Spain - the Basque region I think - I became the proud - if somewhat dubious - inventor of the cast iron condom (the mechanics of which I shall also delve into later). While this may seem a bit cumbersome and unwieldy let me assure you that Elektra thinks it is a work of pure genius. And while I may have trouble getting it through airport security in the late twentieth century, the good news is I rarely have to fly commercial.
Did I mention that Elektra is gorgeous? Please allow me to retract that. She is, in fact, resplendently ravishing. I could most appropriately describe her to you as the perfect blend of Earth's famous twentieth/twenty first century protectors, Fairchild Zor El and Kara Mathews (both of whom we have run into on several occasions). While a casual observer would certainly acknowledge that Elektra is muscular, she is not nearly as ostensibly muscular as Aurora though she is much more so than Kara. I can probably best describe her body type as roughly equivalent to a muscular 1990's fitness competitor.
Being a full blooded Velorian, Elektra's hair shines with a golden luster that I have yet to see in a comparable Terran blonde. She is only 5' 9" tall however her proportions are spread perfectly from her strong broad shoulders to her wisp of a waist. Her legs are certainly sturdy. On the occasional days that I am not getting us in trouble, I usually spend hours on end just staring at those legs. Of course they are tanned golden brown as most Velorian legs are. What makes them truly remarkable though is this resplendent harmony that exists between her lovely cut quadriceps in front to the remarkable "triple humps" (as I refer to them) of her glutes, hamstrings and calves. In profile, these three muscle groups are guaranteed to leave all men and most women in various depths of erotic desire. I am constantly chiding her to dress more conservatively as many of the confrontations we attract are more often than not the result of some oafish brute following his carnal instincts after sneaking a peek at Elektra's legs.
I learned long ago (or in the years to come) that if I have to maintain concentration or am required to stay focused and sharp, I can not even so much as think of Elektra's legs or else I have to start fiddling with the iron condom (which I have affectionately dubbed 'The Dreadnought') and then time goes completely to hell and nothing constructive gets accomplished.
Anyway, back to my heroine.
Elektra has unique facial features which are somewhat difficult to describe. Like all Velorian Protectors, her eyes have a luminescent glow as if they contained small lamps. However these eyes are not the typical Velorian blue, but rather an exotic green. On clouded days they may appear more gray but when our warm yellow sun hits them they become a vision of a beautiful Pacific reef, like wide emeralds against her dark tanned skin and golden blond mane. When I speak to her I stare right into those wide, deep eyes and then her warm, secure aura begins to flood through me like a seductive narcotic.
Everything about her facial features and expressions suggest unworldly beauty and goddess like strength. Her cheekbones are set high and wide. They narrow beautifully toward her strong jutting chin. Her mouth often appears just a little pouty as the lips wisp slightly downward at the corners. While her eyes and cheeks resemble a Scandinavian, it is her nose and mouth that seem positively Mediterranean, If not Italian then certainly Spanish.
Yes, we all want to know about Elektra's breasts. They are indeed Velorian and are more than adequate to store the necessary reserves of energy that my minor pranks require. However they are not as dominating as either Aurora's or Kara's. I love them. They are wonderfully round in shape and stand high and proud on her chest as if held up by invisible buttresses. Indeed, these Velorians defy physical laws as easily as we climb a flight of stairs.
I have never quantified her strength though I have some definite ideas along those lines. Beyond the fiasco at Mealne, and I still don't know the full story of her only defeat, she has never encountered an obstacle or feat that has even slightly challenged or tried her incomparable abilities. On four separate occasions she has been challenged by Arion Primes and each time she defeated her opponents handily. These contests were not even close. In every case she pulverized the Arions so that there could be no doubt that they were dead. In this regard, she of course not only served as my Protector, but Earth's Protector as well.
These events led me to believe that Elektra is really a sort of utility Protector. Somehow, the Ancient Ones are using us to keep Earth safe throughout its history. Of course I have no evidence to support this, but it certainly makes me feel better about this intra-dimensional nomadic lifestyle we have been consigned to endure.
Meanwhile, back to this desert and my present circumstances. Now I can sit around and wait for Elektra to fly by and fetch me or I can start walking aimlessly and hope I come upon a Parisian cafe. I begin to walk, I only hope she's not ten hours behind me like last time. I took a slight beating in the interim and although my heroine exacted a visceral revenge later, it was little solace as I still ache all over.
I didn't walk long. As I ambled slowly through deep sand a shadow crossed my path at a very high speed. Moments later I heard a deafening boom. Sometimes she's a real showoff.
I scanned the sky but saw nothing. I again cupped my hand over my eyes and continued searching though it was fruitless. I hadn't been in the desert that long had I? I did hear that sound didn't I?
"I'm right behind you professor".
I swung around sharply and my eyes feasted yet again on this vision in blonde. As is typical for both of us, she was still wearing the last thing she had on before her intra-dimensional hop. Since we had just departed Emperor Tulunids (Syria-Egypt AD895), it was essentially a small linen harem cloth which had held up remarkably well during high speed flight.
This outfit had just caused us more problems then any I could remember though. It covered close to nothing and, as such, drove old man Tulunids to the edge of lunacy with lust. At one point he tried to get his entire corps of personal guards to hold her so that he might sneak in a grope or two. She could have just flown us away and that would have been that. She was so offended though (Elektra has a strong sense of right and wrong) that, after scattering his guard like so many flies, she tied him down on his own throne and paraded in front of him sexily for the remainder of the evening. I thought the old man's eyes were going to explode from their sockets. She sure can stick it to them when she wants to.
I quickly embraced her and she swung me off my feet in what was rapidly becoming a usual greeting method.
"I guess landing in the sand is a pretty quiet affair huh?" I smiled
She ignored this and put me down.
"Okay Professor, this is what it looks like from up there. I think were in the early eleventh century about AD1015, definitely in Northern Africa and the immediate surroundings look like a pretty miserable place to be at this juncture." As usual, she was chock full of information. Her flying reconnaissance really does come in handy. But what was truly uncanny was her ability to guess the year within four or five years every time. I always interrogate her as to how the hell she knew that, but she's really not the type to give up old family recipes.
I began to think about the year AD1015. Fortunately, I was a history major in college and more often than not I was able to suggest a good location for us to enjoy the particular place and time. The eleventh century was a true bummer though. The last remnants of the Classical Greek and Roman civilizations had been sacked by savages. Western civilization (where we usually prefer to play) was now entering the middle ages. If you're unaware of what that means I can assure you that its pretty awful.
Over the next four hundred years, European civilization would only creep forward painfully at a snails pace with the occasional decimation of a third of the population from disease and famine, it would be hundred's of years before society attained the level of culture and advancement that Rome had five hundred years prior.
Interestingly, although Elektra and I have had profound effects upon many of Earth's historic events - often we have seemingly altered the course of these events - yet history always remains unchanged. It is as if the gods have presented us with our own little dimension to play in.
For example, Elektra has killed Adolph Hitler no less than six times. And the last two times she *really* killed him - I'm talking mangled, smashed, broken, and miniaturized him. Yet every time we show up in the 1930's and 40's, there he is, displaying his usual effervescent charm. This can be quite frustrating, though we take it a lot less seriously then we used to. In fact, the only types that seem to stay dead are the Arions, for we never encounter them again. So for us, life no longer becomes a Nihilist journey of means toward an end. Its just all means and no ends.
So what does a life of 'all means' mean?
It means we do as we wish and have a lot of fun in the process. Moreover, if Elektra accidentally (or purposely) kills, maims, or jettisons someone, we both know that next time we return the victim will be right back where we encountered him originally. Naturally, this has led to her becoming a lot less concerned about how she uses her star borne talents and this lack of concern usually translates into lots of Terran casualties when she gets upset - like that time when a Ubekistani terrorist stuffed a grenade up her skirt (did you know that Ubekistani terrorists don't scream when they die? Me neither).
Anyway, over the following weeks and months (from Feb 1997) I will provide you with excerpts from my journal where many of the jaunts that Elektra and I have experienced are recorded faithfully. I found a publisher who agreed to promote the material, unfortunately his shop burned down in 1788 and he never got around to replacing the equipment.
Elektra calls me "professor" a lot. I'm not a professor. I just think I know everything and I often have trouble uttering the phrase "I don't know" when I really don't know stuff. I think that has to do with a basic sense of inadequacy I have about myself. Of course, hanging around with a Velorian twenty four hours a day for centuries on end isn't going to help me overcome these predilections. Elektra knows that I'm prone to offering conjecture as if it were common knowledge - she thinks it's cute.
I mention this because for the first time in a long while, I really had no strong convictions as to where we should go. This was unusual. Elektra and I had fallen into a pretty good working routine and key to this was my uncanny ability to direct us to the precise location where we could get into the most trouble, usually in short order.
It's not that Elektra enjoys confrontation or adversity, I really do thrive on it though. I mean, what's the sense of being able to travel through time if you can't enjoy the ride - particularly if your actions have no real lasting consequences.
If this were indeed the early eleventh century, then we would want no part of Europe. Up there, the Saracens, Vikings and Magyars were thoroughly trashing most of the isolated pockets of civilization and you know how that can be. Just to the north however, Byzantine Emperor Basil II (976-1025ad) was in the midst of a dramatic set of victories which drove the Arabs back almost to the gates of Jerusalem. This Basil II guy, operating from Constantinople would defeat the Russian ax-men at Silestra, and then continue on to defeat the Bulgars, Armenians, Georgians, Arabs and Normans. By this point in time, old Basil had pushed the Byzantinian Empire almost to the same borders of Alexander the Great's old empire (Elektra gave Alex a well-deserved spanking once. Very funny stuff.).
I suggested to Elektra that we pay him a visit, encouraging her to brush up on her ancient Byzantine language skills. You might think that is a joke but it most assuredly is not. She studies every chance she gets and with her super speed and photographic memory, she has long since surpassed my knowledge of history, and just about everything else for that matter. In short, she has become a linguistic authority. She can speak over a thousand different languages and dialects. Phew!
Unfortunately, she occasionally has trouble synthesizing all the information she has in that brilliant Velorian brain of hers. It's not that she lacks intelligence, she's actually pretty damn close to a genius level IQ, it's just that she has too much data to really make sense of it all. After all, photographic memories are indeed wonderful things to possess however at the end of the day all she has to show for her hyperspeed-reading and learning ability is a lot of highly detailed memories.
That's where I come in.
Through an elaborate and amusing process of queries and answers we often devise a good plan of action. She's always so impressed with the questions I ask and the way I reason. Yeah, and I'm always impressed by the way she does everything else. Though I will admit that my logical processes are actually fairly keen. I think that's why she calls me 'professor'. Anyway, having her around is like having a sexy and ravishing high density optical disk drive with a lot of first hand world history on it. I've secured the rights to her autobiography.
"Shall we?" she asked
"Yes, I think its pretty much east-northeast from here."
"Actually, Constantinople is just about due north."
"Right, I meant north" I said sheepishly.
In the late 21rst century a lovesick scientist created a compact foldable device that enables Elektra to fly unencumbered with Terrans at speeds of up to mach 4 without the hassle and embarrassment of the Terran catching fire. Essentially it consists of a lightweight yet sturdy frame and harness with a cloak-like shield in front of it. Folded down, it is only about three cubic inches. Expanded, it can carry and shield two normal Terran adults while allowing Elektra - or any other flying human - to keep her arms free. All of the materials are fabricated with special polymers. I have no idea how these materials work (Elektra says she *does* know how they work, but I don't believe her) I just know that this "trapeze" or the 'Trap', as I am fond of calling it, has made our lives much easier.
The Trap certainly looks goofy though. Without a passenger attached it looks as if Elektra is wearing a small, yet elaborate, camping tent for headgear. I don't make fun of her though because the one (and only) time I did, she left me in a Calcutta fish market on a balmy 120 degree August day. I almost killed myself so that we could simply move on.
This scientist sure knew what he was doing though because every time I snuggle into the Trap my manhood comes to a rest smack in between Elektra's glorious buttocks. If you recall that Velorians fly by flexing their legs and glutes then you can appreciate my newfound love for aviation. Its perhaps the best frequent flier incentive ever offered.
I remember asking this same scientist if he could improve on my seventeenth century 'Dreadnought'. After examining it closely he shot me a look that made me think we weren't going to become close friends. Shaking his head disparagingly he said he didn't think it could be improved. I think he wasn't telling me the truth though I'm not sure.
Back in the Libyan Desert however, I was savoring a conditioned reflex that would make Pavlov proud. Elektra was expanding the 'Trap' and I could feel my loins beginning to stir even before she begins strapping it on. Of course she's aware of my excitement and she always smiles smugly when rigging for high altitude. All in all, Its pretty remarkable that I don't drool.
The Trap is on. Elektra calmly walks over to me, clasps her hands around my waist and tosses me about six feet in the air. During my brief trip she casually rotates 180 degrees and positions herself so that I land in the Trapeze perfectly. She then reaffixes the cloak that will protect me from burning up in the atmosphere. Suffice to say, I'm not crazy about this new mounting technique - I liked it better when she would just bend down - however she derives enough amusement from it that I don't bother objecting. In either event, I am soon so erotically stimulated that I wouldn't care if she had bounced me off of a wall.
We're flying and I spend most of the time kissing and nibbling her neck while trying to rein in my erotic desire. Its not that she minds if I orgasm in flight, in fact, she's pretty much all for orgasms anyplace, anytime (no pundits please). Its just that I hate arriving at a new locale - when we most need our wits about us - completely exhausted and in need of a change, a shower, etc. Believe me when I tell you that I've learned this the hard way.
We have developed a standard operating procedure when first arriving to strange civilizations or communities. Of course we had to make a lot of mistakes to arrive at this procedure and I will gladly provide those stories as time allows.
Anyway, what we typically like to do is announce our arrival and peaceful intentions, take a meeting with the community leadership, and then relax and enjoy ourselves. You know, take in the sights, meet the denizens, stuff like that.
Unfortunately, in any century before the twenty first, if you zoom in from the sky riding atop a beautiful woman's back, the local leadership tends to get a little anxious and irritable. I fear that Elektra's continuing fondness for the harem outfit she's currently sporting isn't going to allay this anxiety much. Our intentions really are peaceful and we're very decent folk its just that nobody knows what to make of Elektra and often their initial reactions are somewhat imperious.
This is usually fine and well, they have a right to their feelings and all. But when they resort to violence... well let's just say that Elektra really takes a dim view of anyone taking a poke at me. And no sooner had we landed at the gates to Emperor Basil II's beautifully landscaped palace then one of his guards took a poke at me. Actually, a few things happened before he took that poke at me.
Upon landing, I pull the release on the Trap and I'm earthbound. As Elektra removes the Trap and collapses it down to its compact size, I try to gesture to the guards something like "take me to your leader." After arriving from the sky, that just seems like the natural thing to say. Somehow, I must have chosen the wrong combination of hand gestures, for this guard - one of four guarding the entrance - smiles at me gingerly and then lays off and slugs me across the mouth, which costs me a loose tooth and forces my ear to strike the stone pavement.
"Hey!" shouts Elektra, outraged. You see, now our heroine is wrought with guilt because she usually manages to block these unprovoked swipes, its just that she was too busy fiddling with the Trap. In either event, it's safe to say that this guard is in big trouble.
Elektra scolds them in a strange language and for her trouble they break up in loud boisterous laughter. I wince at this. These fools can't possibly know but this is a mistake of absurd proportion. I quickly decide to get up and get the hell out of the way.
She is fuming but uncharacteristically, she has done nothing. Her lovely and luminous emerald eyes glare menacingly and her beautiful chin seems to jut out an extra centimeter or so. Usually, if someone laughs at her warning, they don't get a chance to hear a second warning. Its not that she's a hothead or something, she's just big on etiquette and protocol.
While I'm wondering why she's hesitating, another guard makes the whole issue moot as he unsheathes his sword and thrusts it fiercely at Elektra's abdomen. The sword impacts her bare midriff, however she is more than prepared for this pitiful parry. The blade presses against her skin and suddenly stops as surely as if it had struck an iron bulkhead. The guard was in no way expecting this though and his hand loses its grip and slides forward up the blade neatly shearing off his thumb and three fingers.
As the sword clangs nosily to the stones, the injured guard holds up his hand as blood literally shoots out of the remnant stems of his fingers (Eyuch!). As he begins to scream frantically, the other guards furiously converge on Elektra.
These kinds of responses never fail to amaze me. These goofballs saw us fly in, they saw her easily bearing my weight (Okay, I'm 5' 10", 170 lb. - am in good shape, I'm pretty good looking, I have all my hair and yeah, I can handle the 'Dreadnought'), then they see her stop a sword with her abdominal muscles. So what would you do in that situation? So would I. But these guys think its time to attack. 'Sharp as a marble' my father would say.
Elektra doesn't wait for the swords to unsheathe. She moves forward and seizes a guard in each of her strong hands, then promptly hoists them over her head. Raising her leg, she catches the third guard in the groin and lifts him a foot off the ground. The injured guard is preoccupied and she ignores him.
Standing steadfast on just one foot Elektra easily holds the three men aloft. Again she admonishes them in their own language.
Whatever she is saying though, doesn't impress them as the man riding atop her outstretched leg takes a clumsy swing at her head but misses badly. She sighs resignedly as her star-borne quadriceps flex momentarily and, like a rocket, the man is propelled into the sky behind us. Though I did not watch him ascend, his cries could be heard for an impossibly long time. While the fingerless guard collapses to his knees horrified, the two guards above her grow wide-eyed with alarm and terror.
She's still angry and growing impatient however so I know there will be no leniency for these hapless idiots. With unearthly grace, she lowers them back down in front of her, easily holding them on her outstretched arms. I marvel as the deltoid muscles in her lovely tanned shoulders don't appear even mildly strained.
God! She's beautiful!
I get the distinct impression that these two guards have finally grasped how precarious they're station in life has become. To that end they begin yelling and kicking at our heroine in a futile attempt to free themselves. Effortlessly, as if she were tossing a beachball Elektra launches them in roughly the same direction as the their comrade. They catapult upward as if discharged by a canon. Their flailing arms and legs look like malfunctioning wings as they continue to ascend and ascend and.... Phew! You've gotta believe me. She really is very strong.
By this time the bestumped guard on the floor is trembling and quaking in fear. Elektra quickly tears off a piece of her already sparse linen and roughly grabs the man's arm. He whimpers in fear as she speaks soothingly to him. She smiles gently and wraps the linen tightly around his hand. This is more or less a well worn technique. After impressing the locals with our considerable smarts and know-how, we then befriend and enlist them in our cause. Of course, we don't really have a cause but we presume that this man has sufficient motivation and ability to lead us to Basil II.
This is Elektra at her best. She's in charge and wants to complete our little mission here. She reaches down and grabs the remaining guard with one hand and lifts him up by his belt. She places him over her shoulder on his belly so that his head is facing forward. It is clear that he is going to direct us to the Emperor.
To Be Continued....