Chapter 05. The French

“Alerte! A vos postes! Activité sismique anormale.”

It’s not English, it’s not Aramaic. Ah, it’s French, not far from English, compared to Aramaic… Why is this little stinker shouting this out loud? Repeatedly.

Ten seconds after our 504 hours long fuck spree has been completed, Kronos sent me down to Earth. Yes, the planet with a Moon that resulted after Theia hit Terra, or Terra Theia, whichever comes first. The planet next to Venus. Oh, Venus… Green Venus… where art thou?…

Red flashlights bayoneting the darkness. Guess that they are searching for me. I should be the cause of their reportedly abnormal seismic activity. Very well then, they wish to see me and I have nothing to hide, when did I? Lights on!

“Protégez vos yeux! Protégez vos yeux!”

Well, well, that little bastard won’t stop shouting. Not wasting my time, I scrutinize myself first. All parts of me are here, in one piece, nice. Time to inspect the neighborhood. Above, a hollow dome of granite with a theoretical radius of 911 kilometers. Majestic, I can tell! Under my feet, solid iron, melted rock, a long list of minerals and metals, and carbon, so much carbon. Huge spots on the ground make me think that this mixture dripped from the ceiling at high temperatures. It filled the spherical cavity, most of it. That explains why I am so close to the cupola. What a blast! Industriously, I map everything in my head. See there, and there, and even there, oh, too many… let’s count them… Yes, twenty-eight cave openings. To be dealt with later on.

“Garde-à-vous!”

What the fuck is he yelling up there? Time to focus on the little screamer now. Ah, there he is. Camouflage attire, don’t you say. Oh, there are more of them. Let me count. Eighty-one of them, little stinkers in pink camouflage. Is that pink? Nah. More like beige. Think the light I’m generating induces this nuance of pink. Makes sense. I love pink!

Let me calibrate it over to the full spectrum. Oh no. HALT myself. Must think twice before acting. What goes as full spectrum for my body can radiate the hell out of these little men up there. Kronos said that I need to fraternize with humans of the Earth. To socialize. Let’s get started with light calibration in their visible spectrum. Neutral white, they would say. Hum… they are eighty-two now. Seems like a new one came in through a door in the wall. Are they all living like ants on this planet?

“Madame. Bienvenue sur la Terre! I am Colonel Alain Johansson, 3rd Regiment of the Chasseurs d’Afrique. At your service.”

“Hello there, Alain! My name is Astarte. Well, one of the many names of mine. Thanks for the wishes. You don’t seem surprised to see me. On the contrary. Your men were waiting for my arrival.”

“This is correct, Madame. Our unit’s raison d’être is welcoming and accommodating you on our planet. In total secrecy. No one knows, up there, at the surface.”

“Aha. You never go out? Are you trapped in here?”

“Ah, non, pas du tout, Madame. My Regiment controls half of Mauritania.”

“And three Americans conquered the Moon because no one was there to resist them. Speak to me in meaningful terms, will you?”

“I am sorry, Madame. Today is Friday, 13th of August 2021. I am situated at fifty-seven kilometers under the Richat Structure, also known as the Eye of Africa, beneath Western Mauritania. You must be situated 246 kilometers North-East and thirty-eight kilometers below my position. It is amazing how you can illuminate this incredible cave.”

“No less spectacular than your localization and directional communication crafts, don’t you think?”

“We are inhabiting this cave for the last eight years. Plenty of time to develop our network of drones. As I mentioned before: we were waiting for you!”

“Can I approach? Won’t you torture me with your thoughts, Mon Colonel?”

“Oh, Madame. Torturing you? With my thoughts? I am a Gentleman not a psychotic barbarian.”

“No doubt about that. But I must warn you, and your men, that when I’ll enter within the range of your untrained telepathy, my body will involuntarily execute your commands. I cannot control that. Call it a curse, if you are religious, or call it a feature, if you are an engineer.”

“A feature will be then, Madame. Speaking for myself and for my men, you may expect to encounter various erotic thoughts, and desires, but your consent will be asked beforehand. So it won’t be torture.”

“Consensual torture then?! Very well. We’ve got a deal. I’m approaching now.”

Not willing to demonstrate my running abilities, I take a walk to meet the men belonging to the 3rd Regiment of the Chasseurs d’Afrique.

“You are allowed to run, Madame. Minor earthquakes are frequent at this depth. I don’t think that anyone at the surface will notice.” The Colonel is right, why waste time with walking. An hour later I reach the wall of the French Foreign Legion.

“Oh mon Dieu! You look exactly like the Statue of Liberty.”

“Is this a compliment?”

“Mais oui, mais oui. It is one of the greatest compliments.”

“Addressed to me or to Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi?”

“To both of you, Madame.”

“Look, Alain, I don’t wish to be rude with you or your men. But I hate being worshiped. I am not a goddess and certainly not a statue, a dead idol of copper, iron and steel. I am a living being, a woman from a distant star. Nobody is perfect and neither am I. Do you copy?”

“Loud and clear, Madame.”

The French soldiers are nice to me. All compliments and no commands over my body. They make me feel safe.

“Do you know why am I here?”

“Yes, Madame, I know. Next week, Friday, the 20th of August, 2021, you will give birth. We are here to help you with the babies.”

The military men begin to warm up at my curves but they abstain from naughty thinking.

“You have trained them well, Mon Colonel. Do you have any women around here?”

Alain Johansson makes a sign to his adjutant. This one speaks something into a chocolate-like gadget. Five minutes later I am introduced to Madame Rebecca Johansson, to Madame Beatrice Challe and Mademoiselle Yvonne Loiret.

“Enchanté!”

We’re all enchanted to know each other.

“And now please allow me to be rude, no offense, just pragmatism. Will you, Mon Colonel?”

“At your service, Madame!”

“Excellent. All men out, please! I need to speak to the ladies. In private!”

Impressed by their cooperation, I see the soldiers gathering in line at the elevator. It took them almost ten minutes to clear the wall.

“Rebecca, Beatrice, Yvonne, please forgive me for being crude and open with you but I have no other choice. Do you know why am I here?”

“You are pregnant, Astarte, and about to give birth, next week.”

“This is correct, Yvonne. Are you a lesbian?”

“Pardon?! Non! Why did you ask?”

“Need to make sure that you shall focus on the babies and the babies alone, to the tiniest detail. Men, or lesbians, usually have a slip of mind that could put my children at risk. My greatest worries are about the size of my babies. They won’t match my kind of daemons. They will come to the world as little humans. Suitable for your hands, for your breasts, for your kisses and caressing. I, their natural mother, will be a monster to them. Atrocious, don’t you think?”

“We shall take care of your babies as they would be our own. Don’t you worry about that. Any idea how many of them you expect?”

“Two. I carry a pair of twins. A boy and a girl. Will speak their names next Friday. Until then, I need to hear your stories. My story is simple for you to read, my mind is an open book to your telepathy.”

“Are we telepaths without knowing it?”

“Well, Rebecca, indeed you are and of course you don’t know how to take advantage of your brain powers. Let me show you.”

Rolling my eyes through all the colors of the rainbow, I generate a volume for backup reality feeds. Kronos taught me how to perform this trick (did he?, or have I stolen his knowledge during that great fuck?, doesn’t matter).

“Now ladies, all you need to do is pick a day from the past and a person who lived that day on this planet. What that person of choice has been seeing and hearing belongs to the archives of the universe and here we are, naughty gossiping librarians… Who’s first?”

“Me! Me!” Chants Yvonne. “Could you please show us what Marcel Foucault experienced on June 30th, 2015, twas a Tuesday.”

All right, here we go… Black screen. Patiently contemplating, waiting… Same black screen ten minutes later.

“What is this?”

“He sleeps, ya know.”

The ladies stare at me with an untold contempt.

“What? Why are you looking at me? There’s your feed, on the screen, starting on June 30th, 2015, at 00:00 hour.”

Tiny stinkers they are. Wish I could make inroads through their thoughts. But I can’t! I’m still the unequaled harlot of the universe. Sigh…

“Very well then, stop sobbing. Each of us has whored, a way or another. I was a harlot too!”

Oh, dear Yvonne, seems that you can read my mind already. You learn fast, but I can’t read yours, and this has nothing to do with my exceptional learning abilities.

“You mean?”

I mean that we’re not equal harlots…

“Hum, wives and harlots… Are wives harlots too?”

It depends, Rebecca, it depends. Oh, and welcome into my mind. Beatrice? Can you read me?

“Yes, Astarte, I keep doing this from the very beginning. You are the mother of the devil. How could you?”

Oh my… oh my… oh my… another mighty woman! What if she knows how to knife my body with her judgments? I’m screwed. Again!

“How could you?”

Oh my… got no answer for her and she knows this as well as I do. Why is she asking me the same question?…

“How could you?”

…Okay, this should be my only way out of this corner: Oh Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy of me, the primordial sinner… Oh Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy of me, the primordial sinner… Oh Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy of me, the primordial sinner…

“Girls, girls,” says Yvonne, “can we return to my time-feed about Marcel? Please!”

I’ll make the display show only the relevant experiences?

“Why haven’t you set it up this way in the first place?”

Because you had not asked… And because who am I to discern what’s relevant or not for you?…

“You are the mother of the devil! That is who you are! Horrible whore!”

Beatrice isn’t at ease with me. She scares the piss out of me…

“Hear that noise?” infers Rebecca, “sounds like a waterfall…”

“Yes, the echo must bring it to us, amplified, I guess. But where is it coming from?”

From below, Beatrice. It’s the noise of my pee.

“Pardon?!”

You’ve scared the pee out of me with your rhetorical questions. As you have learned that I had birthed Lucifer, eons ago, you also learned that I still repent for my misdeed. Nevertheless, you keep cornering me with the same question, to which I can bring no sustainable answer, thus I pee! Must discharge before you might consider a harmful thought against my body. You really scare me, Beatrice.

“Oh, sorry. Didn’t want to harm you physically. Just that outrage… finding out what you’ve done… abhorrent things… angers me… makes me lose my temper… Sorry again!”

I’ll accept that, Beatrice. Outrage, anger, rage, madness, hatred, harm and murder – I know this recipe well too well, sadly. You could have me killed by way of this mental path.

“Without a physical weapon? Honestly?”

Yes, Beatrice, you truly have that power. Good that your passions boil your soul, and nerves, sparing me.

“You mean?”

I mean that a cold and calculated mind is more powerful than any invented weapon.

“Girls! I want my feed with Marcel. Please! Anyone? Please!”

Yvonne, are you from Canada? I ask myself.

“Mais oui, Ville de Québec! How do you know?”

Analyzing your Marcel-feed, I took the liberty to peep into your past as well.

“Seems that you can take advantage of us, after all, don’t you? Astarte!”

Well, Rebecca dear, the wits and tricks I had learned, from the classical daemons of yore, no longer are of use to me. However, this industrious Kronos has nourished me with the knowledge of a new language: he taught me the unpassion of mathematics. Turning bits to pixels, memories into moments and what you call the past into a universal backup. All it takes is choosing a method of optimization. Simple, don’t you think?

“Too simple!” mutters Beatrice, “now go on with the relevant experiences of Marcel that day, shall you?”

At your command, madame! I jolt my rainbow irises just to make an impression (oops, noted) and, suddenly, the three-dimensional “screen” comes to live in the air, four meters to the left of the three girls – my recent stinky earthling friends! Yuppy!