TLSOTM Season 2, EP4





Season 2

Episode 4: Critical Decisions.

Scene 4-1 Karen’s New Skin

Karen was lying on the special table, naked, looking anxious.

“I’m scared,” she said.

“There’s nothing to worry about,” said Trimaii, finishing the preparations with the nurse. She was wearing protective glasses, a mask and gloves, which made her look rather creepy. “Everything has been confirmed by the computers. As far as we know, all will be fine.”

“Yeah, the ‘as far as we know’ part is what freaks me out. what if something you don’t know happens?”

“This table is bio-adaptable. It can change its behavior automatically, meaning it can and will alter what it’s doing according to the patient’s feedback. It’s perfectly safe. Just take place and relax.” said Trimaii with her best reassuring voice.

Karen trusted her. It’s the machine she didn’t trust, and just knowing that that huge top plate would close down on her, sandwiching her between the bed and the plate, was rendering her nervous. What if?…

Trimaii gave a signal to the nurse and the top plate began to close over Karen. She took a relaxed position, as relaxed as someone tensed could take.

The top plate touched her nose. It felt warm and soft. It felt like memory foam being squished over her face, molding her.

The first sign of panic was when the substance touched her lips. She gasped for air but realized she could breathe easily.

The plate slowly lowered. It was now touching her breasts, her shoulders, her hips, her feet. Soon, she felt totally enclosed in this strange material, a mix of wet foam, rubber and water. Very warm water.

She didn’t feel cold. She felt warm, even hot.

The pressure increased. She was getting squished. And for a moment, she found the sensation of her previous latex skin. She was comfy. Hell, now she relaxed and she could sleep there.

She felt something warm and gooey around her body, like a paste oozing out from everywhere, coating her. It became tighter. And tighter, especially around her waist which she felt being squished more and more.

Her breath began to shake. Oh yes, she liked it. The soft gel or whatever it was, was pressing against her face, against her jaw, and something was going in, through her nose, through her mouth. She felt no pain, no discomfort. The gel was warm and comfortable.

Soon, she felt her mouth being full and even more! Even her ears were getting a full goop filling.

But her attention was quickly drawn to her crotch where more stuff was poking to enter, in both orifices. Going deeper, and becoming larger.

She felt her legs, her feet being encased too, taking their accustomed en-pointe pose.

Everything was warm, comfortable and tight. Very tight. Oh yes. could it get tighter?

Unbeknown to her, the machine was actually reacting to her feelings, to her perceptions. She wanted it tighter? She got it tighter. Too tight, it released. Bigger, deeper, she got it!

The pressure seemed to decrease a little all around her body. She began to see some light.

Something in front of her lighted up. A bunch of icons and information are displayed inside her new helmet. She could see her health, but also a lot more stuff. Sensors have been embedded and she could tell a lot more things about the environment around her, like temperature, humidity and… oh wow. So many possibilities.

The top plate had lifted. She felt arms grab her shoulders and help her get up.

She felt her torso stiff and she looked down: an apparent corset and… a strange steel belt.

“We mixed our technology with yours. We couldn’t do it the way it was done in your original suit. I hope this will do.” said Trimaii.

“Oh that’s perfe… hey, what the fuck?” she said, realizing that a voice, a very feminine and human voice was speaking, but she hadn’t pointed at any symbols or text with her eyes, like her old suit. She only thought of it.

“That thing reads my thoughts?” she thought and… said.

“Yes, K…”

“That’s fucking awesome. That is so cool. Oh gosh, I like this suit and… what’s this… Oh, look at the reflection of…”

“Karen calm down. You have to learn to control your thoughts otherwise all you think will be spoken,” giggled Trimaii.

“Oh shit! Did I say it out loud? Damn! How do I turn this thing off!” she said, the voice adding laughs.

“Look at me. I’ll show you,” said Trimaii.


Season 2

Episode 4: Critical Decisions.

Scene 4-2 NLA Proposal.

Upon their awakening, the crew of Lunarians were met by Tamara who led them into a conference room. It was a room with a large table, each place having its terminal screen, but mostly, half the room was this large bay window, giving a breathtaking view of the moon from their orbit point of view. They took place but couldn’t stop looking at the moon. The place they ought to be, where they should be, where they wanted to go back.

They knew the Earth was not very far.

“Hello all,” began Tamara. “Did you sleep well?” she asked.

“Well… sleeping is a big word… Oh…” said Nicole, then realizing that she really said it out loud.

The other giggled.

“You’ll get used to it but, I must say those… beds… are far superior to our own vacbeds,” said Kim.

“Glad to hear it,” said Tamara.

“So,” said Viktor, “why are we… here exactly? This looks like a meeting room.”

“And yes, it is,” said Tamara. “Please take a seat. I’m here to propose something to you,” she said as they all took place. Only Viktor pressed the button raising his screen from its embedded place on the table.

“What you see in front of you is the rough layout of a new alliance we are proposing. A Nagusian-Lunatian alliance. An alliance of cooperation, mutual exchange, and protection,” explained Tamara.

“Just between… you and us?” asked Kim, puzzled.

“At the start, yes. If more Lunarians want to join, their demand would be studied by all those in place and their acceptance accepted or rejected. There is only one condition: they have to cut links with the Earth, as you did.”

“What? We didn’t cut links with the Earth,” said Lukas. “You did. You saved us and blocked all assistance from Earth.”

“And you accepted, meaning that you turned away from Earth to come to us,” said Tamara.

“But, we ARE from Earth. We were born there,” said Joanne.

“Yes, of course,” said Tamara, but you are different. You have a different perspective, a different way of life, a different way of seeing things.”

“You really think so?” asked Nicole.

“Yes. We can see it. From an external perspective, you are different.”

“I… I don’t know,” said Viktor, getting up and walking to the large bay window, looking down at the Moon, followed by the others.

They needed time to think about it. That was not a simple yes or no question. The implications were large. Earth was supplying everything. They didn’t have any problems with Earth. They could do pretty much what they wanted. Why cut ties with Earth?

“I am not ready to walk away from Earth,” said Lukas. “It’s my home. My family, my birthplace. I can’t simply wipe them off.”

“I’m with Lukas on this, said Kim.”

Down there, on the moon, close to their damaged base, there was a flash of light, followed by a bigger one. Almost looked like an explosion.

“What the heck was that?” asked Lukas.

“Earth people trying to go past the force field we created around your base, to protect you and your assets,” said Tamara.

“Why would they do that?” asked Lukas.

“That woman, Dr Lynda? She’s leading the group. She wants to force her way to the base. She wants to seize control of it.”

“But… why? It’s practically destroyed. That force field is there to protect its content as well as anyone approaching from being contaminated by the radiation, right?” said Joanne.

“Yes,” simply answered Tamara.

“I… Fuck! I don’t know what to think anymore,” said Viktor, putting his hands on his head, and trying to think.

The faint sound of a door opening was heard.

“And what about Pete and Karen? What do they think about this… Alliance? We have to ask them. We can’t decide for them. I will not decide for the. We need to ask Karen.

“Ask me what?” said a strange voice they didn’t recognize.

They turned around. Standing in the doorway was a woman, tightly encased in a shiny rubbery-like catsuit, waist crushed by an apparent corset-like garment that looked metallic, a steel belt wrapping her tiny waist and going down between her legs and standing on obvious ballet boots. Attachment points, D rings, could be seen at various places along her body. She was faceless, her face covered by a shiny almost mirror-like shiny black bubble.

On her shiny suit, was on one side, the new logo of the suggested NLA, and on the other side, her name.

“Karen?” they almost all said at the same time.

She entered the room, her suit glowing under the bright light reflecting from the moon.

“How are you doing? Damn! This looks nice but…” said Kim, touching the corset, then the chastity belt. “Why those?”

“They couldn’t do it the way it was done, and this way, if there’s a medical emergency, things could removed without taking the whole suit off.”

“Wait a minute,” said Viktor, “Are you a robot?”

There was a pause.

“No, I’m an android… Of course, I’m not a robot, nor an android, you stupid fuck… Shit” Did I say that out loud? Damn. Must work in it more,” said Karen.

The group laughed.

“Well, that would sound like Karen except I never knew her before she was put into the first suit with the synthesized voice and limited words,” said Joanne.

“How can you talk like… like that? And why do you need more work? Selecting words is more difficult?” asked Kim.

“No, I do not select words. It reads my mind. The helmet reads my thoughts and speaks them, without any filtering, so… If I don’t think the right way, I may spill the beans. The voice sound is based on my own voice. They corrected my raspy voice from the intubation, and this is pretty much how my real voice would sound.”

“And… that’s about it?” asked Lukas.

“Oh no, it’s much more, I would say, enhance. The suit is tight as hell and feels wonderful. The helmet’s visor displays a lot of options at the same time. It’s like looking at a giant screen. The hearing can be enhanced and has an automatic translation system. We can understand about 20 different languages, and do the same while speaking.”

“And the… toys…?” softly asked Joanne.

“Too bad the visor doesn’t convey my face because, a simple look at it would get you the clear message, and I haven’t even tried all of the, erm… functions,” said Karen.

“That’s wonderful,” said Viktor, “but we should go back to the business that brought us here, about that new alliance. Tamara made a proposition to us about…”

“Yes, I know all about it,” said Karen. “I proposed it,” she said, gently brushing the new logo on her left chest.

“You… You proposed that? Without telling us?” said Kim.

“Well, I’m telling you now. That’s what this meeting is all about. To discuss it and to approve or refuse it.”

“Approve or refuse it?” asked Viktor, rubbing her finger on Karen’s shoulder, right where the new logo was already printed. “It looks like your mind is already set.

“We should wait for Pete before deciding on this,” proposed Joanne.

As if on cue, the door opened again and another person, clad in shiny latex, corset, chastity belt, and ballet heels entered. Printed on the shoulders: The new NLS logo and Pete.

“PETE!” yelled Karen, rushing to give him a hub, forcing him to make a few steps back to counterbalance.

“Hey, hey, easy,” he said, giggling, “I’m not back to full strength,” he said as Karen let go of her hug, grabbing his arm instead and dragging him toward the group.

He was welcomed and received hugs and handshakes.

“How do you feel?” asked Viktor.

“A heck of a lot better than before,” he said. “I’m still weak, but I’m getting stronger every day.

“I’m happy to see you back, Pete, but… “said Lukas, tapping on the NLA logo on his shoulder “I don’t quite know what to think about this. You’re in this too?”

“Well,” said Pete, rubbing the logo, “I sort of like the idea.”

“Yeah, probably brainwashed,” said Viktor.

Joanne and Karen were looking at each other at Viktor, Lukas, Pete and Karen, trying to make some sense of all of this, and trying to understand why that sudden animosity.

“I bet you’re a little biased,” said Lukas, looking at Pete with an up/down movement of the head, to emphasize his whole body, his whole suit, his whole cure.

Pete reached for his shoulder and slightly rubbed the NLA logo with his thumb, then with a swift move of the wrist, ripped it off.

“It’s removable, Lukas,” said Pete, “And what the fuck is wrong with you guys? Why do I feel I’m being outcasted here?”

“Not only you,” quickly added Karen.

“Well, it’s like you’ve become one of… them…” said Viktor, making a gesture that englobed the spaceship they were on.

“Okay,” said Pete, “First of all, I gave my life to save you all from a deadly radiation dose. However, the Nagusian saved me before I hit the ground and died. I was highly contaminated by the radiation. They cured me, but we have that special suit, Karen risked it all to make sure I would be able to wear the suit. She allowed herself to be used as a guinea pig to save my life.

Earth did not do this. The Nagusians did. They had the technology. You were already briefed that they never negotiated any alliance with anybody. They did not intervene in anybody else’s war or conflict.

Yet, here they saved us from a certain death, offered us shelter, and for the first time in their existence, they are extending a hand for an alliance with another species. Us. Not Earth, US. Me, Karen, Kim, Joanne, Lukas and yourself, Viktor.

Have you read the proposal, Viktor? Lukas? Because if you did, you would know that if any of us voted no, we would be all sent back to the Moonbase, or what’s left of it, with an emergency shelter, and they would disappear from our lives forever.

If we say yes, they will support us, they will help us rebuild the moonbase, they will protect us and we, WE, ALL OF US, would be the link between the Nagusians and Earth. We would be the Ambassadors from Nagusia to Earth, and they will consider us the Ambassadors from Earth to Nagusia.”

He paused, looking in turn at everybody, making a brief stop at Nicole, not knowing who she was. Karen picked up the pieces.

“Oh, that’s Nicole. She was piloting the rescue ship when the Nagusian beamed us on board.”

“Uh… Hello. Nice to meet you, Nicole,” said Pete, extending a hand.

“Oh… yes… Nice to meet you too, Pete,” said Nicole, feeling out of place with her warm presentation after that nasty verbal fight.

“But… what if…” intervened Lukas.”

“Ah, fuck it. I’m too tired for this now. I’m going to bed.” said Pete.

“And where would that be, Pete? Sleeping with the captain, or some other high-ranking officials?”

Pete slowly turned around, his shoulders slightly leaning forward. He looked tired, too weak.

“No, Viktor. In the visitor’s quarters. My room is actually next to yours. They saved my life, Viktor. That did not make me a member of the Nagusian council. I’m an alien. A visitor. An Earth people. Just like you.”

He turned around and walked away. Although Karen’s face couldn’t be seen, it was obvious she was giving them dirty looks. She gently nodded her head from side to side.

“I can’t believe what happened here. We are no different than the people of Earth. I don’t think we are worthy of this,” she said, ripping off her own NLA logo from her suit. “I’m going to bed too.”

“Karen, wait…” Said Kim, but it was too late. She was already gone and the door had closed behind her.

“I’ll leave you to think about it,” said Tamara, heading for the door. “You know your way in and out. You have free access to your guest’s quarters, the common area, and this room. Just call me when you’re ready to make a decision. The deadline is… as soon as Pete is strong enough to take care of himself. If no final decision is made by then, we will take that for a no and be transported back to your base, as specified in the “no” section of the agreement.” she said. As she was about to leave the room. Joanne stopped her.

“I am sorry, Tamara. Can we have the proposal… erm… in writing or something so that we can read it on our own? You know, something… uh… portable?”

“Yes, of course,” she said, getting to a console, and typing a few commands. A door opened from the wall and she picked up seven tablet-like pads and put them on the table. “One for each of you. Anything else?” asked Tamara.

“Hum, no. Thank you,” said Joanne.

In silence, the members took one of the pads and headed for their quarters, sitting at the table in the common area, each beginning to read it, with more or less conviction. It was followed by some discussions to understand some of the articles, but it was done mostly in silence.

They had nothing else to do. Nowhere else to go. Joanne walked back to the conference room, standing by herself by the large bay window, looking over, at the moon, and slightly behind it, the Earth.

She was looking at the Moonbase. She could see a large ship she recognized as a military vessel. She had seen it before but only as a prototype. Now, there were a lot of vehicles nearby, vehicles that evidently had been carried by that large ship.

Then a flare, and a large explosion, near the power reactor.

“What the hell was that?” said Viktor who had arrived behind her. “Are they trying to blow up the plant?”

“They are not trying to just dig through the grammilite protective coating, that’s for sure,” said a voice behind her.

“Oh, Tamara. You know what’s going on there?” asked Joanne.

“I’m not sure. Earlier on, they tried powerful lasers. I don’t understand why. The grammilite contains the radiation. Any breach is dangerous.”

“Can they succeed?” asked Viktor.

“Yes, of course. With all the consequences associated with it.”

“Can I make a call? I’d like to call Lynda,” said Viktor.

“Yes,” said Tamara, powering up one of the table displays as Viktor approached.

A few moments later, Lynda appeared, wearing a spacesuit, sitting in a rather cramped space.

“Hi, Dr Lynda. Listen. There seem to be some odd activities going up near the moonbase. Are you aware of anything?”

“Yes, Viktor. I’m there with the army. We’re trying to get in but those aliens are blocking the way with some sort of force field.”

“Ah. Yes. They want to preserve the moonbase until any danger is cleared. You do know that this coating is preventing the radiation from escaping, right? You shouldn’t try to take it off.”

“That’s bullshit, Viktor. Our experts took measurements and this reactor is intact.”

Behind them, the rest of the group were arriving, having been called in by Joanne through their internal com link.

“No, it’s not. It’s leaking. I know, I turned off the leaky valve to make sure the cooling water would stay there. That thing would melt in a few seconds.”

“Who are you?” asked Lynda.

“Pete,” said the man, standing behind Viktor.

“You do not look like one of us. Anyway, this discussion is over. We’re taking back the moonbase. You stay with your Alien friends if you want, or you can join us… if they let you leave.”

“Blasting a hole in the grammilite will blow the reactor. You will destroy the Moon in a 5km radius. Are you nuts?” said Pete.

“No, we’re not. I told you, that reactor is fully functional,” said Lynda.

“I saw the meteorite fragment hit it. Don’t you see the devastation of the base? Don’t you see it’s half-destroyed?” said Karen.

“Hey, another Alien puppet!” said Lynda.

Behind her, someone spoke.

“We’re ready to move away before igniting the charge Dr. Lynda.”

“Good. Do it. Well, I have to go,” said Lynda, turning her attention back to the Lunarians, before cutting the communication.

“We can’t let them do this,” said Viktor. “They will destroy our base,” he said, turning to Tamara. “Do something.”

Tamara stayed cool and was about to answer but Karen cut in.

“They won’t do shit!”

“But… They’re going to destroy the moonbase!” said Lukas.

“Yes, and we will watch it happen. They will not intervein,” added Pete.

“And why the hell not?” asked Lukas.

“Because they do not get involved in the politics of other species or planets. They do not make alliances. They are independent.” said Kim.

“But… They…” said Viktor, pointing outside, at the moon, at the battleship getting off the surface.

“Is the deal of the NLA still active?” asked Joanne, looking directly at Tamara.

“Yes it is,” she answered.

“If we go for it, will you save the moonbase?”

“We will protect our allies,” simply answered Tamara.

“Then, I’m all for it. Where do… Do I sign anything?”

“No, your brain pattern has been recorded,” said Tamara.

“I… I’m in too,” said Viktor.

“Me too. I’m in,” added Kim.

They all turned to Lukas, the last one needed for the agreement.

“Come on, Lukas. Don’t let them destroy the moonbase. We are NOT like them. We are different, and the best proof is the Nagusians willing to ally with us.”

“I’m in… but with one condition,” said Lukas.

“Come on, Lukas. This is no time to alter the agreement,” said Karen.

“Oh yes, it is. I want this!” he said, pointing to Pete. “The whole thing.”

In almost the same voice, Viktor, Kim, and Joanne all said, raising their hands.


Tamara closed her eyes. A few seconds later, a powerful beam shot out from under their ship. On the Moon’s surface, exactly where the explosive for the grammilite had been put down, there was a flash of light.

“The threat has been neutralized,” simply said Tamara.

Quickly after, they could see the force field expand, englobing at least 3km all around the moonbase.

“I think someone wants to have a word with you,” said Tamara, looking at the group, while all the screen of the table showed Lynda. A very pissed-off Lynda.

“What the fuck did you do? You attacked us?”

“No, we prevented you from destroying the moonbase. OUR home. We just made a deal with the Nagusians. We are declaring the moonbase and its perimeter, as defined by the current force field, the Nagusia-Lunar Alliance Territory. We are declaring independence from Earth.” said Pete.

“Err… I don’t want to interrupt but… what about me?” asked Nicole.

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