To: Inga, Lisa, and Susan, thanks for your help.

The Anne Azel's World web site is now found at


Note To The Reader: All the information used in this story about trends and concerns on our planet is current and accurate data. In the next fifty years, our world will change completely.

Iron Rose Bleeding: Chapter Fifteen

These are the events as we know them.

We recorded them factually and objectively.

And now we report them to you.

Courtney woke for a change in a conventional bed. She was at first aware of only two things. First, that she was naked and second, that she was not alone. Her eyes shifted to her right. Lying on her stomach beside her, with her arm thrown over Courtney's waist protectively, was Tap. Tap, thank God was dressed.

Courtney lay still for a minute trying to piece things together. Had she had a nightmare? She could feel no pain. She looked down at what she could see of her body above the bed sheets. No cuts or bruises. But the memory of being hurt very badly was terrifyingly clear in her mind. Her eyes shifted again towards where Tap lay. Serious aqua eyes looked back at her.

"How do you feel?" Tap asked.

"Well, but very confused," Courtney managed to answer calmly, although she was feeling anything but.

"I need to talk to you. Please do not try to escape. It would be a pointless effort. You will be under constant guard from now on."

"I've escaped before," Courtney needled.

"You only escaped from a room not the compound. This time they might kill you. I do not wish that to happen." Tap swung off the bed in one quick and graceful movement like a cat springing. For a second, she paced at the end of the bed and then stopped and faced Courtney. "I do not recall ever being really scared in my life until today. I have been scared enough today for a life time."

"I was hit by several vehicles wasn't I?" Courtney asked, a fear growing in her gut as she realized that she was involved in something that had no rules and no common experiences to fall back on.


"I thought I was hurt badly."

Tap squared her shoulders and looked Courtney in the eyes. "You were hurt fatally. You were only moments from death. I chose to step back in time and change the course of events."

Courtney's eyes got round with shock. She was trapped here with a mad woman who thought she could play God. Carefully, she moved her arms and legs. No pain. Everything worked. She felt up and down her body, no casts or bandages. "You are drugging me. I don't know what you want but I have no information that could be the least bit of use to you."

"I am not drugging you. I am telling you the truth," Tap stated, frustration edging her voice. It had been the worst day of her life.

Courtney snorted. "You wouldn't know the truth if you stepped on it. Everything you have told me from day one has been a lie."

Tap turned away and tried very hard to keep her temper. "I want you to listen to me. You humans think you see flying saucers and little green men from Mars. We talked about this once. You know as well as I do that the vast distances between this planet and others would make such travel impossible. Even a message traveling near the speed of light could not cover such distances in hundreds of this dimension."

"What are you talking about?" Courtney snapped. She wanted to get up and out of here but somehow she no longer felt comfortable being naked in front of Tap. Nor was she sure her clothes were going to be in the closet.

Tap sighed and tried again. "There are many dimensions. Far more than humans realize. In other dimensions, space/time is easily traveled."

"This human is aware of Einstein's theory of General Relativity despite your low opinion of my intelligence," Courtney said with some sarcasm, folding her arms and glowering at Tap. As if she wasn't confused enough. She sure didn't need this crap dumped on her.

Tap nodded looking some what relieved, the sarcasm seemingly lost on her. " My natural environment is in another dimension."

Courtney's eyebrows knotted in an annoyed frown. "You are telling me you are an alien."

Tap cringed. "I am a species that has a different origin than you. Yes."

Courtney snorted and rolled her eyes. "Let me guess, you are really some sort of space monster and I am about to find out I have been sleeping with some kinky space lizard."

"I am NOT a lizard!" Tap snarled in anger. "How dare you! Just the opposite it is true. I have being sleeping with an animal."

Courtney picked up the clock radio from the side table, tore out the plug and heaved it at Tap's head. Tap ducked and spun. She reached out her hand and just before the radio could crash into the wall it stopped. Then it slowly moved backwards through time. Courtney could feel her breaths returning to her body. Slowly, the clock moved back along its path. Courtney felt as if she was in the frames of a video on slow rewind. The clock entered Courtney's outstretched hand and she watched as she lowered the clock to its original position, Courtney's hand put the cord back in place and then came to rest at her side.

"I repeat. I am not a lizard. I have no idea why humans insist on making other species into such disgusting forms. You are an animal. Your kind lived on the savannah. A scavenger who had no more intelligence than it takes to knock two rocks together to make a hand axe. We saw promise despite that and started a seeding process."

"What?" Courtney asked, trying to take things in. Her mind was on so much over load as a result of these events that all she wanted to do was sit in a quiet corner somewhere and try to pretend none of this had ever happened.

"Millions of years ago, earth time, we started to change your genetic coding, making you more like us. That policy was stopped sometime ago as too risky. We had some very unfortunate incidents on other planets. The variables are just too great and it can place unrealistic strain on lower creatures. It would seem, however, that having started the process on Earth it has continued with some amazing results."

"Tap this sounds like a science fiction B movie. You don't expect me to buy into this, do you?" Courtney's mind had decided the best way to handle all the contradictory data of the day was simply to go into denial. She had never been hit by a truck, she had never traveled through time, the clock had not flown backwards, and she was not the product of a laboratory experiment in genetics by some lizard race. Denial helped stop her head from spinning.

"If you are so superior, like some Dr. Who Time Lord, what are you doing bothering with me or this planet?" Courtney challenged. From Courtney's perspective there were so many holes in Tap's story that it looked like Swiss cheese.

Tap felt the heat rise in her face and for a long time she stood staring at a wall trying to find answers. When she spoke, it was with an effort to keep her emotions in check. "Just before, I mean, at the airport. I was holding you, trying to hear your voice. Y...You said you loved me."

Courtney's heart skipped a beat. She had said that. She remembered now, lying in Tap's arms and needing her to know before she died. It was her turn to blush. "I thought I was dying."

Tap looked like she had been hit. "You wouldn't have said it otherwise?"



"It would only complicate things. I don't see much future in falling in love with someone who thinks they are an alien and thinks of me as an animal to be studied," Courtney stated, anger and hurt lacing her voice.

Tap looked panic-stricken. It should be noted that Tap had experienced just as much data overload as Courtney had that day. Courtney though was used to dealing with emotional surges; for Tap these were uncharted waters. It is difficult yet for Tap to completely understand why she chose to take the course of action that she did. "I think, that I too love you."

For a second, a silence fell on the room as the two women dealt with the enormity of this simple statement. Then Tap was kneeling beside Courtney's bed, her arm wrapped over Courtney's body. "I was never so scared in my life. There was blood everywhere. I knew I was going to lose you from my life and I couldn't bear that. So I chose instead to change the course of events. I need you well. There are reasons... but that is not it. I did it because I think I love you and I did not wish to lose you."

Courtney was pale with stress. With a shaky hand she reached out and touched Tap's warm skin. "Is this the way you really look?" she asked.

Tap took her hand and the next instant they were part of an endless sea. Their life forces intertwined, flowed through each other, a part of each other, then they were back in the room.

Courtney bit her lip trying to chart the wild ride she was on emotionally. "You are part of an energy force, like a sea of hot tides?"

Tap smiled encouragingly. "Sometimes . Yes. We have a planet like yours too."

"So can you morph into anything?"

Tap tried not to smile. "No, not really. As infinite as the possible combinations are, there are limits to the patterns of carbon-based life forms. Courtney nodded, her facade of bravery starting to crumble.

Tap checked herself from wrapping Court in her arms. "If I promise you that there is no lizard blood in my family and that I have never been a worm-like alien, would you feel comfortable letting me hold you?" Courtney's answer was to fall into Tap's arms and hold on tight.

"This is ludicrous," Courtney sobbed near to hysteria, "You are threatening to kill me if I leave this room. I've come back from the dead, and I'm hugging someone who thinks there an alien and that I'm a stupid, mouth-breathing primate. I haven't even had lunch yet! Boy, when I get my head together you are going to be in big trouble."

Tap kissed the top of Courtney's head softly. "We have not dealt with humans in a very long time. I admit we had biases. I know that I have learned much from you, Courtney Hunter. I nolonger believe that humans lack intelligence or cultural awareness. You have very different world views and thought processes that is all."

"And I'm NOT an animal!" Courtney stated, swatting at Tap's arm. She was acting irrationally she knew but her nerves were shot. Everything she believed in, her whole concept of reality, had just tilted to the left.

"Actually you are, but a highly developed one," Tap corrected seriously.

"Yeah, well what are you if you aren't a lizard?" Courtney demanded through her tears. "Listen to me. I'm talking as if you are an alien now. I'm losing it!"

Tap stiffened with indignation. "Unlike humans, we have been a highly developed intelligent life for millions of years,"she said formally. "Our origins are obscure."

"Ah! You and your voices talk about me like I'm a lab rat. You think nothing about ordering my termination. There is no doubt you lot are cold blooded and slithered off a rock somewhere. Oh shit! How can I have fallen in love with you?!"

Tap was a bundle of contradictory emotions herself by now. She was angry at Courtney's insults directed at her species, she was concerned that Courtney would become sick because she was so upset, she was frustrated by not being able to make Courtney believe her and she was very excited by having Court so close. Shit! How had she fallen in love with this human?

"Court, I know this is very difficult for you to take in all at once. But I do need you to try to calm down this is not good for you in your condition." Tap attempted to comfort her.

"What do you mean my condition? I was hurt after all?" Courtney asked, as she blinked back tears and pulled back to look at Tap.

"You have been honoured. You are carrying my child." Tap beamed. It was shortly after this statement that Tap was forced to render Courtney unconscious once again for the good of all three of them.

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