I was deep and hard in China Girl. I had been in her, between her thighs and deep into her vagina and lingering in her eyes for almost two hours. She twitched and caressed and stroked my penis just enough with her talented vagina. I was beyond satisfaction.
She smiled and laughed, "You wish to fill me up with a child. You wish so hard with all your heart, Heckman Kawahara Estrada."
"I don't ... I never ... I just, no, no ... maybe ... maybe ..."
I thought about it, what China had said. It had the ring of truth.
"Can you ... I can't father a child. The Dark Matter ... working with it ... Can you have ..."
"No, I can't bear a child. You, on the other hand, your need is so great. You will father a child."
I laughed. She laughed with me. Anything was possible in China Girl.
* * *
"You charmed the damn fish onto the hook. You cheated, China. You know you did."
She laughed and threw back her head and laughed louder.
I leaned over and kissed her exposed tender brown throat.
We were fishing off the short pier on White Fish Bay. She had caught three beautiful sea perch and I had only caught two small scutt fish.
We had been together for three months -- the happiest, best three months of my life. I slept well in her arms, touching her body. She held the nightmares at bay. My life was so fine.
"My fine, fine mechanic and poor, poor fisherman, why didn't you ride the wind out to the sea and away from me and everything?"
I laid my fishing pole down and turned to face those incredible eyes, "It was too easy, too comfortable and nothing is really that easy or simple. I think it was a trick to rob me of what I have. To rob my family of me ... I need you and them, my family, more than I need a solution. Thank you, China, for everything."
* * *
"Did you ever talk with your sister Tagawa again?"
China and I were washing dishes at the New Apollo. I stepped back from the steam of the dish washer and removed my plastic gloves. I pulled out my phone-com. I found the article I wanted. China stepped back shoulder to shoulder with me. I showed her the article.
"Oh, she is a wanted dead or alive, a very bad girl, and such a generous reward being offered. She is lovely and fierce and very cunning. If I had met her before I met you I would have picked her. I would have."
China studied the picture for a long moment.
"And your brother and twin sisters and second mother -- have you found them?"
I shook my head no. "I never located any of them."
"And Clue, your young lover recruiter, what of her?"
"Still recruiting, I suspect."
We returned to work.
* * *
"What did you mean about me fathering children?"
We were camping out on the Barrens about ten miles outside Omlask. This was day two of our trip. The weather was perfect and we had trapped a snow hare, killed it, cleaned it and roasted it over our campfire. We were full and content as we sat and watched the sun lowering over Luanda Bay.
"Humm, thank you for bringing me here and for being with me DMM 3, Heckman Kawahara Estrada."
"China, you sound sad. What is it?"
She took my hand in hers and laid her head on my shoulder.
"You may have already planted your seed in fertile ground."
"How is that possible? I've only been with you for the last eighteen months and you can't --"
We both turned at the same time toward the noise of the approaching jet aircraft heading straight toward us.
It was a military jet helicopter.
"He's running hot."
"What does that mean?" China moved in closer to me.
"He has rockets. He's armed. He should not be armed here. There's no war here."
The machine slowed, slowed and flipped into helicopter mode and drifted to the ground about a hundred yards from us.
"Estrada, what would you name your daughter?"
I slipped my arm around her narrow waist as a Naval Captain and a civilian climbed out of the copter and hurried toward us.
"China Girl, I love you. Whatever happens --"
She turned to me, kissed me.
The Captain was regular UFF Navy, but not a battlefield officer. The other one, the civilian in dark glasses, was Signal Security, our secret police. I kept an eye on him as he took a position about thirty feet from us. He had a clear shot at China and me. I stayed between him and China.
I never took my eyes off of him even as the Captain spoke.
"I apologize for this interruption. I know this is an intrusion, but this is an emergency situation. We're on High Alert One. Under the terms of your enlistment we are recalling you." The Captain removed a paper envelope from his inside jacket pocket and handed it to me.
"You are being called up effective immediately at your highest previous rank. You are to report tomorrow morning. A shuttle will be waiting for you at 07:00." The Captain stepped back and saluted me. I returned the salute.
I was not going. I had served too long and seen too much. I pulled China Girl to me. I tossed the Orders on our camp fire. I had nothing to say to the Captain. I knew that I would have to deal with the Signal Security thug. I could do that. Live or die I could do that.
The Captain stepped close to me, leaned in, whispered in my ear, "You are needed desperately. Come now or both of you die here."
I was willing to die there. It was a good and open space.
The Captain stepped back, "You are to report to the UFWS Nina. The Nina has requested your presence."
And there it was, the magic word. "Nina." Back to the Nina. I was tied to her. I was one of her midwives. I had come full circle.
We doused our fire, packed up our gear, boarded the copter. After we landed, China waited outside on the electric mule while the Captain briefed me. It was a quick briefing. The Nina had gone rogue and was out of control. The Nina was holding her Captain and crew hostage. My job was simple: go aboard and disable the Nina. It must have been a joke of course, but neither of us was laughing.
* * *
"China, you said something about a daughter, my daughter."
We were butt naked on the floor of her, no, our, now hers again, one room quarters. I would miss this place and its remaining occupant. She rolled over on top of me, caught me in her eyes. I had nine hours left before I left her and I doubted if I would ever return ... or I could have fallen into those eyes ... escaped in there and never, never leave.
She smiled down at me, "I'll tell you when you are ready. Now is not the time for talk. We have so little time left. There are better things to do." I spent my last hours holding her as she slept. I was not so much afraid as anxious that I would not be up to confronting and destroying ... the Nina, Captain Banks, Asase Yaa and me.
* * *
On the End of the World the weather is treacherous and deadly and as cunning and quick as a viper. Eighteen months here and I know just enough to expect the unexpected.
I left China Girl sleeping ... she would wake to a storm and no me to keep her warm.
I sat on the flat bed of the electric mule along with my tool chest as the mule whined its way up to the shuttle station. I looked back on White Fish Bay and the village of Omlask. The sky was turning dark even as the sun rose. There was a hiss in the air, a sharp nip in the wind. The white caps were kicking up in the Bay. I knew that this was my last look at the End of the World. I would never see, touch, taste, smell or hold China Girl again ... I was going home ... at last. Not my birth home or the home of my youth, but home to the Nina. The home and the hell I deserved. I felt like Dr. Frankenstein confronting the monster he created. I was lost forever ... I inhaled the cold, briny air and held it in for as long as I could. The salty sting of the sharp rising wind on my face was my good bye kiss from the real world. Far more affection than I deserved.