There Were Four

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It was another huge hallway filled, as before, with people of all shapes and sizes and races and species.

Lili saw plenty of people from the mirror – twenty – side of things. Pamela was slapping Izo, and he didn't seem to mind, as it only served to increase his ardor. Chip was trying on a new suit. Susan was taking a walk on Titania. Travis was getting his teeth cleaned by Doctor Morgan.

For the most part, the dreams were chaste and mundane, covers to conceal true desires and keep them hidden from prying eyes. Surely, with directed, Calafan-style dreaming, no one wanted to be getting a dental procedure done! Yet it was happening – and would be easier to explain to a nosy despot than, perhaps, a dream about an encounter.

Polloria led her along, "Wait here a moment," she finally said to Lili.

There was still a mountain of static, closing in on all sides, whenever Calafans were close by. Noses were touched, fingers were flicked, but they also hissed and popped. Then, a word, in Calafan: enne. 

It meant water.

But it could also mean pond.

=/\=

The galley door slid open.

Doug cocked his phase rifle. It was Aliwev.

"Sir?" asked Aliwev.

"Oh, sorry," Doug put the rifle down.

"Sir, I know you," Aliwev said, "But it can't be."

"Yes, it can," Doug said.

"I know that humans age differently than we do," Aliwev said.

"What's happening here?" asked DR.

"This man with you, he was my commanding officer," Aliwev said, "But it was over fifteen years ago."

"Seventeen, to be precise," Doug said.

"Captain," Aliwev said, "What are you doing here?"

"Trying to reverse it all," Doug said, "My, my wife," he indicated Lili, "she and Polloria are trying to contact someone who can maybe help us."

Aliwev looked down at the two sleeping women. Eyelids bounced as the movements got more and more rapid, "I may not have done it for years, but I can still fight. Beneath a galley slave's uniform beats the heart of a fighter."

"Tomorrow," Doug said, "You may need all of your old skills."

=/\=

The language switched, and suddenly it was English, not Calafan. Polloria returned, "This way," she said.

They walked, and a door appeared. Polloria opened it.

"Just the twenty-one human," said an unseen voice, "You, it was a long time ago, but I cannot allow you here. You must understand."

"By all means," Polloria said, and departed.

=/\=

She woke and looked at the three men around her.

"And ...?" asked DR.

"She's not done yet," Polloria explained.

=/\=

Lili walked down an empty hall to where there was a Calafan woman seated. The woman wore a long-sleeved green and copper gown. She smiled as Lili approached, "It is good to see you! It's been a long time!"

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