Destiny's Choice is an original work of fiction, a science fiction thriller of novel length with uber qualities. The plot is layered with romance, political intrigue, sex, and violence. At times the drama can be intense. Enjoy. Once completed I hope to find a publisher. I appreciate comments good and bad, especially if they are constructive.

Destiny's Choice

Chapter 5: Preparations

            Delores checked her reflection in the mirror. Taking her comb, she moved a pinwheel curl of hair two millimeters forward on her left cheek. Like a 1920s flapper with their then scandalous bobs, she intended to capture the same effect, sultry and dangerous. She took the lip pencil and applied a gloss of shocking red. She applied black and tan highlights to her eyelids. Like a tiger, she playfully purred a growled.

"More definition." Protein enhanced mascara instantly thickened her wispy lashes. A little pancake, rouge, she cocked her head left, then right.

            "Marvelous—absolutely delicious." Bruce stepped into the jamb separating her bathroom from his. Fresh from the shower and a shave, he smelled of lime. Dressed only in black briefs, his skin looked pinkish yellow, like one of those damned Ken dolls from the 20th century, part of the retro-movement, or so she thought, as she watched his reflection in the mirror.

            Bending down, his hands ran along the smooth bodice of her flesh-toned slip and then intertwined around her abdomen. His lips tasted the nape of her neck. Pulling, he drew her up into his arms; he kissed her, long and hard.

            "You're one foxy lady." His hand brushed then tweaked her nipples. "Why don't we just stay here? Pick up where we left off when that damned alarm interrupted us. Finish our celebration." His deep kisses continued. His hands hiked up her slip as he guided her back to the bed. "My little mama," he whispered seductively as he blanketed her.

            "We can't," she muttered between the thrusts of his tongue, each a prelude to what they wanted. "What will Christine think?" She fought her rising desires.

            "We're married. She understands conjugal desires."

            "By the way we've been acting, she probably thinks we're some kind of silly newlyweds."

            "To tell you the truth, I feel like a newlywed. I'm going to be a father, and you're going to be my little mother. One more time, Del, I want you." His kisses smothered her.

            "And I want you," she gulped, not really giving in, just doing what came all so naturally..


            "I thought you two had fallen into a black hole," greeted Christine when the pair, each entwined in the other's arms, came down the stairs. She closed Hayley's book and placed it on the smoke coffee table. She wore a smirk. "Another successful Sharpleton-Genetti merger?"

            Straightening his gray jacket, Bruce coughed, but then grinned broadly. "Just helping my wife with her dress."

            "An enjoyable task I'm sure." Christine did not hide her envy as she stood. "Del, you are radiant. Impending motherhood suits you." She kissed Delores's cheek.

            With the flattened palms of her hands, Delores smoothed the ebony fabric hugging her curving frame. "Good God, Christine! I'm only two months along."

            "Well, you look ravishing—very easy on the eyes. Bruce, I've always said it. You are the luckiest man I know."

            "That I am," Bruce agreed eagerly. He locked his wife's hand in his own. "Well, are we ready?"

            "Ready and willing," Christine replied. Keeping Delores and Bruce in view, she followed her hosts from their apartment.


            "We the citizens of the United Galactic Confederation, in order to form a more perfect union among the inhabitants of the Terran solar system, which we call Sol, the worlds colonized under the guidance of the United Galactic Confederation, and other worlds we might discover and who might seek to join with us in alliance, establish an interplanetary system of justice, provide for the common defense from internal turmoil and external dangers, promote—"

            "All right, Doctor." The stage technician gestured from his controls in the wing. He walked out onto the stage. "The calibrators will have no problem adjusting to your vocal qualities. You're familiar with the remote wand?"

            Hayley glanced at the small control stick in her hand. Those in the classrooms and lecture halls were similar. "Yes," she replied.

            Her stomach rumbled.

            "Dr. Genetti!" Dr. Florenzo Miranda, corpulent and balding, appeared from the right wing and crossed quickly. "You look fabulous," he gushed, engulfing her smaller hand with his. "Are you set?"

            "I think so." Hayley wetted her lips.

            "Do you need anything?"

            "Some water, perhaps," she replied with a calmness that came from knowing her grandmother's old colleague and not her desire to flee.

            "Coming right up," the technician piped before leaving.

            "Familiar with the theater's automated controls?"

            "Yes." Hayley followed Miranda back to the podium.

            The stage lights shone down on them. They were warm and intensified the longer they stood within their beam. Hayley looked for the stage's shadows.

            Miranda didn't seem to notice as he kept up a monologue of small talk. "You know, I'm really looking forward to your talk. I enjoyed your book. Insightful, a good piece of academia, as well as, entertaining. Characteristics your grandmother had as well. A damn good historian she was. How many Pulitzers and Herodotus Purses did she win? It had to be more than a dozen. You should send Where No Man Has Gone Before to the University Critics' Board. You would have a good chance of carrying on your grandmother's legacy. A damned good historian. She would really enjoy this."

            "Here you are," the technician interrupted the dean's discourse and set a small table to the right of the podium. On top of the table, he placed half liter bottle of water. "Is there anything else?" He didn't wait for an answer.

"No, thank you, Ben."

"The house is ready to open the doors. If you'll come with me, I'll show you where you can wait. We'll be dimming the lights in about fifteen minutes."

            Hayley followed Miranda and Ben stage left. They stopped just short of his control panel. "After the house lights dim, Dr. Miranda, you'll make your entrance through there."  He pointed to the opening through which they had come. "The theatre's VAS will hit you with the automated spots as you step onto the stage. Dr. Genetti, you'll do the same. A spot will stay on you throughout the presentation."

            Hayley's stomach rumbled.

            "Hayley, Darling!"

            Hayley turned. "Mom!" She managed a tepid smile. "Delores."

            "You're not wearing the dress you bought last night. Stubborn to the end." Delores waved a disapproving index finger in jest.

            Hayley smirked.

            "Counselor . . . Governor Pro Temp." Miranda shook the hands of the two women. "So nice to see you."

"Doctor," they greeted him.

"I think we're in for a real treat. With a background like Hayley's, such distinguished orators, her talk will be one of the finest ever."

            Such high expectations—Hayley's stomach leaped higher. Her head felt weightless—flush— queasy.

            "Of course she will," her mother gushed. "We expect no less. Dad sends his best wishes."

            "So does Bruce," Delores smiled.

            "Where are they?" asked Hayley.

            "They're holding our seats in the auditorium," Delores answered. "Dad's talking to Christine."

            "Christine?" asked Miranda.

            "Christine Stone," said Delores.

            "The governor general's new chief of staff?" Miranda puffed his chest.

"She came?" Hayley croaked. "The governor general's chief of staff."

            "She says she has nothing better to do," Delores grinned at Hayley.

            "Five," the technician poked his head around the corner.

            "We should be going," her mother urged.

            "Excuse me," Hayley gulped and ran.


            Hayley was hanging onto the rim of the ivory commode when Delores found her. With sympathy, she entered the stall and knelt. She wiped the frowning brow with a towel she had pulled from a dispenser.       

"Why me?" Hayley blinked back tears. "I'm a damn good teacher. I speak in front of my classes with no problem."

            "Easy, Hayley." Delores helped Hayley stand. She guided Hayley over to a basin where Hayley washed her mouth out with water. "You know I saw Carla Elberly on the net a couple weeks ago." Delores knew Hayley enjoyed Elberly's fine classical voice. "She says she gets sick before every performance. Then she goes out on stage and just knocks her audience dead. You're the same way.  Remember how you were before you gave the valedictory address at the Academy commencement, and then for your class here at the university. Even when you were ten and had to speak before the Martian Historical Society on the paper you wrote with Grandma. You've always had a nervous stomach. It's nothing to be ashamed of. Even I get nervous before making a speech."

            "You don't puke."

            "No, I just pace," Delores laughed.

            The door to the bathroom opened. Their mother appeared. "Darling?"

            "She's calmed down."

            Hayley silently agreed.

            Her mother pulled a towel from the dispenser and moistened it. "Wipe your face, Darling. You were supposed to go on five minutes ago."

            "Gggodd!" Hayley moaned. She rested the towel against her face. "Are you sure I wasn't switched at birth?"

            "I've always wondered where those green eyes came from," teased Delores.

"I'm quite sure you're my daughter," her mother laughed. "My mother, Grandma had green eyes."

            "Here," Delores pulled a few make-up supplies from her purse.

            "Mom, do you have a mint or something?" Hayley stood motionless as Delores covered the damage her illness had caused.

            "Sure—" She handed Hayley a thin white wafer.

            Someone knocked loudly on the door. "Are you coming?" Ben's perturbed voice shot through the barrier. "We're ten minutes late!"

            "We're on our way," Delores called back. "Impatient twit!" she added under her breath.

            Hayley laughed.

            "That's it, Darling. The Genetti smile. Let everyone see it and you'll do fine." Her mother gently tossed the paper towel in the trash and guided her back out into the corridor leading from the stage, towards her slaughter.

            Hayley sighed with resignation. "That's if I don't get sick again."

Part 6

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