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 Twenty-Two

These are the events as we know them.

We recorded them factually and objectively.

And now we report them to you.

The Speaker materialized before Tay's Household who stood in respect waiting. Haichen stepped forward. "Welcome, Loedan."

The Speaker looked around with curious eyes. "How is Tay Appala Tap?" he asked.

Haichen tried not to show her concern. "She is recovering."

"Good. Let us proceed then."

Haichen led the way to their library where chairs had been set up for the questioning. "You will excuse me, Honourable Speaker. I will go and inform Courtney Tay Tap that we are ready to start. She is with Tay Appala Punra." The Speaker inclined his head in consent and with relief Haichen made her exit.

It had been nearly an Earth month since Haichen had spoken before the Council of forty-three. Since then nothing had been resolved. No one had seen the Guardians, no one had seen Torgga, and no one had seen Tay Tap. All they knew was that Courtney Tay Tap had arrived back at Earth holding the bloody and near death body of their leader in her arms. Lamount had worked night and day to save her. Even now, nearly a month later, Tay Tap's complete recovery was unsure.

Haichen knocked gently on the door. This was out of respect to Courtney Tay Tap who could not sense her presence. "Enter," came Tay Tap's voice.

Haichen found the two sitting on the couch, Tap relaxed in the crook of Courtney Tap's arm. "It is time. The Speaker has arrived."

"Very well. Tell the Speaker that we are coming and ask him to be patient as it takes me some time to walk.," Tap commanded.

Haichen looked at Courtney in surprise. Courtney shrugged, which is the human way of not dealing with an issue that was not to be resolved to their satisfaction. "Tay Tap has decided." Actually, they had argued, but Tay had been determined; however, that was not a matter to be discussed even in front of someone as trustworthy as Haichen. Haichen, diplomatic as ever, left to do as she was told.

Slowly and with Courtney's help, Tay got off the couch and stood. Pain shot across her face as she straightened. "You won't reconsider?"

"No," Tap stated firmly, then smiled when Courtney laughed and gently squeezed her arm.

They all stood when Tay and Courtney walked in. Courtney did not touch Tay but walked close at her side in case she needed assistance. Tay moved to the two chairs that had been quickly arranged at the end of the table and pulled one out for Courtney to show the respect she had for her partner. Then Tay sat herself and the others followed.

"Loedan, welcome to Earth and to our home and research base. We appreciate the Council allowing my partner to be questioned here."

"The Council does recognize the unusual nature of the situation and are anxious, as are all others, that this child be born healthy and safely."

"Proceed," Tay stated.

The Speaker hesitated to collect his thoughts. "Tay Appala Punra, your partner,"and here he inclined his head in respect so as not to sound too accusing; Tay Tap could now very well be their supreme ruler, so discretion was essential, "has been involved in events that are both politically and spiritually catastrophic. Never in our known history has a Tay been defeated by a member of an alien race. The implications of this are staggering enough, but we are also filled with foreboding. Torgga Appala Punra has simply disappeared and our spiritual leaders the Guardians have not been heard from. We need answers so that judgements may be made. Out of respect to the seriousness of your injuries, Tay Tap, we have delayed our investigation of the alien that you have taken as your own."

"Excuse me!"interrupted Courtney, and everyone turned to look at her in shock. "Let's just get a few things straight here. First, I am very proud to say my partner is Tay Appala Punra but don't ever think for a minute that she "owns" me." Tay tried not smile. Courtney was as feisty as ever.

"Second, I am NOT going to be judged by anyone. If your Guardians aren't speaking to you and Torgga has disappeared that is too damn bad but it is not my problem and I will not take the responsibility for it. I am here to explain what happened. That is all."

The Speaker turned red spluttered a bit and then pulled himself together. "Tay Appala Punra, you must realize..."

"I realize," came Tay's cold voice, "that I rebelled against my brother's oppressive and violent rule. If you chose to judge Courtney Tay Tap, you also judge me. Remember that,"she finished softly.

The Speaker paled and around the table the others squirmed uncomfortably caught between their loyalty to Tay and their fear of an uncertain future. The Speaker wisely decided to go ahead with the questions that had been outlined by the Council and not proceed with any further discussion of any ramifications that the Council might consider once having weighed the information that the Speaker would feed to them as the meeting went on.

"Courtney Tap, we wish to know how many of you humans have developed the ability to travel through time and space."

"None of us," Courtney replied, not realizing the significance of her response. The look of shock on faces turned towards her made her realize for the first time that this had been a loaded question.

"Courtney Tap, how else would it be possible for you to go to where Torgga and Tay Tap battled?"the Speaker grumbled in frustration.

"I called the Guardians and demanded that they find Tay Tap and send me there." The gasps of surprise and hurried remarks confirmed to Courtney that she might have stepped over some significant line in the sand. "Hey! My partner was in trouble!"she explained in justification.

Tay Tap, who was herself in shock as a result of this revelation, reached over to take Courtney's hand. "My partner's loyalty and courage knows no bounds,"she stated proudly.

"The Speaker was not so easily convinced. "Courtney Tap, the Guardians do not become involved in the events of the people. They are the keepers of wisdom and provide us with guidance only."

"Yes, I know that. We argued about it. I suggested to them that it was your people's very neutrality that was the problem. Respectfully, I suggested that they get off their backsides and get involved because if they didn't the wrong Tap was going to rule and you could probably kiss your future good bye. They thought about it for a bit and then sent me to Tay."

There was not a sound. Everyone sat in stunned silence. Courtney decided to fill in the silence with the rest of the story. "When I got there Tay was unconscious. She had been attacked not only by her brother but also by a second assailant from behind. This assassin she had killed, but Torgga was still very much alive and ready to finish Tay Tap off. Tay was able to tell me that he planned to kill us both and raise our child as his own. Like hell that was going to happen!"

Tay smiled despite her shock at the events that were being revealed. She had known Courtney had defeated Torgga and come to her aid but like the others, she had assumed that somehow Courtney had got there under her own means. That it had been the Guardians who had aided her had far spread implications. She focused again on what Courtney had to say.

"So I pretended that I was prepared to double cross Tay Tap and work with Torgga so that I could get close to him. When I did, I let him have it right in the face and anywhere else where his skin was exposed. I didn't think my plan was going to work at first but then just before he zapped me, he dropped." Tay felt her insides turn to jelly. Courtney had no idea what a horrible death she had faced so bravely.

Courtney was winding her explanation down. "So before Torgga could get up again, I ran to Tay Tap and yelled at the Guardians to get us out of there. I sort of have memories of floating about in that ocean of yours but my next real clear memory is waking up here."

It took a few seconds for the Speaker to respond to these startling revelations. "You are saying then some primitive Earth weapon defeated the mighty Torgga Appala Punra and that you left him there alive and returned with Tay Tap to this time and place with the help of the Guardians again?"

"Yes." Silence, while people looked around the table in wonder, trying to gauge each other's reaction.

"What is this deadly weapon? The Speaker demanded.

"I have no intention of answering that question. To do so might put my partner's life in danger."

Loepan blinked then gathered his thoughts together again, having heard the thoughts of the other Council members in his mind and weighing their opinions fairly. "Courtney Tay, have you talked to the Guardians recently?"

"Not since yesterday afternoon. They usually pop in each day to ask me how Tay Tap is doing. They have been quite concerned, naturally."

Once the Speaker was capable of getting to his feet he rose. "Tay Appala Punra, the Council feels that under the circumstance it would not be suitable that this human be addressed by the supreme title of Courtney Tay Tap." Courtney felt the anger ripple through her partner. "From this time she will be addressed as Courtney Appala Tap, as befits one recognized by the Council as a royal member of the House of Tap." He bowed and Courtney sat in surprise as in turn each in the room stood and bowed including Tay Tap herself.

It is we who hold the deposed Torgga.

Our path now lies in a new direction.

Courtney and Tay Tap will show us the way.

So spoke the voices of the Guardians and all there knew that a new era had begun.

Tay and Courtney remained seated as first the Speaker and then the House officials bowed again and took their leave. "Can you make it back to our rooms?" Courtney asked softly.

Tay nodded, lost in deep thought. "Courtney, what is this Earth weapon that I must watch out for?"


"The drug?"exclaimed Tay in surprise.

"No, the perfume. I knew from my experience with you that cold bothered you terribly. Haichen told me that the only thing she knew about where you were was that it was terribly hot and dry. I dosed him down good and the heat evaporated the perfume almost instantly, dropping his skin temperature drastically. He went into shock and passed out." Courtney smiled.

Tay laughed explosively and pulled Courtney into her arms. "Humans!"

"No, here, like this," Courtney explained, months later, showing Tay how to support the head of their newly born baby.

Tay looked at their child with objective interest mixed with an overpowering feeling of love. "Look Courtney, it's got fingernails. Do all new-borns?"

"Yes, and she is not an it. She is our daughter," Courtney stated firmly but with a soft smile.

Tay nodded, still preoccupied with observing everything there was about their new child. "I can take her to the staff meeting?"

Courtney laughed and teased. "Yes, but no dissecting." She was rewarded with a smile that flashed across her lover's face. Courtney watched with tender eyes as Tay carefully carried their new born from the room. Tamma was the first to be born into a new era. Ahead of them were turbulent and hard times for both her peoples but they had learned that the future, however uncertain, lies in the hands of those who can leave the hatreds and biases of the past and move on courageously with open hearts and minds.

Thoughts On Our Place In The Universe


"Who are you?" Raven-creator asked, of the human. Raven-creator was surprised to see this human who looked so much like him." Inuit creation myth. Ancient.


A time would come when Men should be able to stretch out their eyes...they should see the Planets like our Earth. Christopher Wren 1690


A community of matter appears to exist throughout the visible universe. The stars contain many elements which exist in the Sun and Earth. William Huggins 1865


All my life I have wondered about the possibility of life elsewhere...Is extraterrestrial life, if it exists, based on the same organic molecules as life on Earth? Carl Sagan 1980


String theories...seem to be consistent only if space-time has either ten or twenty-six dimensions, instead of four. Stephen Hawking 1990

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