Chapter IV

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Cenerea, 3rd planet from the star Letria. Regalius, The Homeland,

Central Region, The Capitol City,

114 Darvon Street, Current Day

"Jay. Madame General Browne is here," Gertie stated coolly. "What do you want me to tell her?"

Wendy shot Jay an 'oh shit' look.

"Tell her I will be there in a moment, thanks, Gert," Jay replied to the security A.I. He looked at his son and his wife. "Let's get this place locked down. Everyone upstairs, quickly."

The family left the lab and Jay sealed the basement. He set all of the security measures to high just in case the evil woman or her entourage was using any type of scanning equipment. "Gertie turn off the music, please and no talking."

"Acknowledged, Jay."

Wendy took Josh by the hand and they went to the little boy's room, sealing themselves inside.

Jay wiped his sweaty palms on his pant legs and pressed the button to open the front door. As the door rotated open, he noticed two black all-terrain Homeland transports parked outside in the road in front of his house. A short old woman in a white uniform with several rows of medals and ribbons stood at the door looking at the old faded security panel next to the doorframe. "Madame General. To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?"

The old woman slowly lifted her eyes and then her face to look at Jay. "Does it matter, Mr. Levant-Arcturis?" The general frowned. "You know, it just dawned on me, I never understood why you decided to do that."

Jay was perplexed. "Do what?"

"You can't be much of a man taking your wife's last name," Browne replied as a crooked smile stretched across her lips in reaction to Jay's scowl.

"Everyone knows you are the old-fashioned sort," the young man retorted coldly, emphasizing the word old as he said it.

"No need to be testy, my boy. Truthfully, I just wanted to come by and visit with you and your lovely family for the evening. I hear your little Arcturan brat is growing rather rapidly." Another nasty smile...

"That brat's name is Josh and he is my son. Rank or not, this is my home."

The general's finger shot up like a missile and stopped in front of Jay's face, her dark eyes with it. She wagged the crooked digit back and forth. "Uh uh uh, not your home. This is property of the Homeland. You only live here because of your military status and..." A sour look appeared on her face. "...your odd request to continue living here...which I approved by the way, due only to your willing cooperation." She paused and an expression of curiosity washed over her wrinkled features. "Regardless, I still don't completely understand how you managed to convince that, erm, wife of yours to stay in such a hovel."

"Love, general. That is how I convinced her."

"Ah, really now? You must be packing some sort of serious weapon, Jay, if this is the case, because, that's the only kind of love those ladies understand." The aging officer leaned her head in and looked around the doorframe into the house. "Oh for fuck's sake, are we just going to stand here in the doorway taking shots at each other like the Homeland and the Lavidians or are you going to invite me in?"

Jay stepped backward and swept his hand around in front of him indicating she may enter. "Welcome to my, ummm, the state's home. Straight down the hall to the living area. We can talk there."

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