Book 2 in the MU Series.
The Mother Ship Museum built in the hull of the spacecraft that brought Martian Settlers to Earth over two thousand years ago, is buried at the bottom of the North Sea. The most powerful Martian on Earth, Madam Caesar, resides close by in Scotland. Wanting to learn about her ancestors, Suzette encounters new family and friends during the process.
Download Book 1: MU Martian U
It's great to be home with Dad and Artie. Sure I miss school and my boyfriend, but it's easier with the two of them keeping me too busy to mope. Dad, or Stanley Russell as the rest of the world knows him, is the epitome of Martians. Comprehending this means he isn't naturally loving, he and his friend built Artie to raise me. Artie isn't organic. He's like a robot manny (man nanny).
Since last November I've been dating Jason, who has graciously agreed to be exclusive even over the next four months while I'm on vacation in Europe. For humans that's a pretty big deal but even more so when you consider that we're Martians.
Martians aren't big on long courtships, so to have a commitment without being engaged is amazing. He's ready to talk marriage, I am not. Actually, if he wanted to leave things open it wouldn't have been awful either. Not that I'll have any chance to prowl. Martian men are territorial and he was resolute that we would pick up where we left off in August. Still, a part of me feels it's more than is needed. If we love each other, why put draw up rules?
By the way, we aren't from Mars. Our ancestors communicated mentally but adapted to audible language to assimilate to Earth. An unpredicted side affect was that after a few generations, we lost the ability to read minds. Without a native language, we've taken to picking and choosing earth terms. To refer to ourselves as Martian started as a joke in the 1950's and stuck. That's the danger of joking.
Whenever we talk, Jason tells me he misses me too. At times I'm sure he does but he has Blake. Blake is our friend and half-Martian. Well, so am I but no one knows about me except Dad, Artie and them. Everyone knows Blake is and the guys at Martian U are threatened and the girls are in love. One of them madly so. Karen tried to kill all other women in Blake's life, including me. Looking back on how often someone tried to crack the code to get into my dorm, she was hunting me the longest. Karen finally got me, in the ribs, with a bullet. I'm better now, getting there anyhow.
Artie, who is programmed for healthcare, has me on a regime to regain my strength and flexibility; weights, cardio, yoga, tennis, swimming. It's worse than Martian U. Swimming is my favorite now that the torpor of recovery has lessened. . Dad constantly warns me to go slowly. He came home early after he wrapped up his work at Martian U a few weeks early. He's going stir crazy at home. We see three movies a week. Last week, I even got him to see a sci-fi. Martians aren't big fans of sci-fi because earthlings are always the heroes and aliens are always villains seeking to harvest or overthrow. No wonder we keep our race secret.
I'm swimming and getting some rays. The sun has done a good job tanning my skin and I look like a true Californian. Marin County is chilly but since I run cool, it's perfect. Full Martians run even cooler than me but hey, they can't stop time. Not all halfers get a boost on an old trait but I did. Blake got one too. He can read minds, which is beyond annoying. I've gone three weeks without it though and now I even miss that part of him.
My cell rings and I doggie paddle to the side and answer. "Hi Jason. I was just thinking about you."
"Hi honey. What're you up to?" "Laps."
"Are you wearing your bikini?" All boyfriends are probably one-track, but Jason claims that halfers are better than full Martians when things get physical. It's flattering but a lot for a girl to live up to.
"Jason, we can't talk like that. Artie can hear." I roll my eyes flustered. Artie's robotic ears can hear me down the street. Plus, I wouldn't mind some personal contact as well. Talk is all talk - it's a painful tease with little payout.
"I'll do the talking." Jason's met Artie a couple of times. Once for Christmas and once after I was shot when Artie gave him an earful for wearing me out when I was recovering. The only reason Jason knows that Artie's synthetic is because I warned him. Otherwise, no one can tell.
"I can hear him." Artie says with a tall glass of iced tea. Told you. Artie's mostly pro-Jason and anti-Blake. Not that there's a competition or that Blake and I ever dated. We flirted and even kissed a couple of times, once mutually and once he surprised me. Don't ask. Per my manny, Blake's a conqueror with women and I need to stay away. This is a sore spot between the android and me.
I take a drink and grin at him. "Can we have some privacy?"
"As you wish." He walks back into the house. "I can hear from inside, just so you know." Robots, a curse and a blessing.
"When do you leave for Europe?" Jason asks. "Tomorrow. We'll be back the first week of August."
"Nice trip." Jason doesn't sound happy. "I was going to sneak off and see you before you left. Could you postpone your departure?" Martian U is in its final week of school. I got early release because of my near death experience. Don't be too envious. My assignments were completed remotely. Kind of makes me regret modern technology but then we had the capability since the Martian settlers landed on Earth. FYI, that was over two thousand years ago. Since we can't go back, so Earth is our home.
"Dad would kill me. But let's plan a trip before school starts." I bargain. Sure Dad won't like it much better then but he's still scared stiff. Hopefully after a bullet-free summer he'll relax and forget someone wanted me dead.
"Jason, we have to go." It's Blake. His voice is muffled but it's him.
"I'll call back later tonight." Jason tells me as he opens the door and tells Blake to give him a minute.
"Is that Suzette?" Blake says softly. "Suzette, do you want to talk to Blake?"
"Sure." We haven't spoken since I woke up in the infirmary. He saved my life.
Or I saved his. I guess we kind of saved each other. "Sweetie, it isn't the same without you." He's cheery.
"I bet. You're the top dog now." I'm the Major and Blake's the Captain. With me away, he's calling the shots. Given his propensity for power, he's enjoying my absence. Actually, thinking on it, he ran everything when I was there anyway.
"I'd trade in my power if you could come back. Here's your man again." Wasn't that all of half a second? I guess not everyone misses me.
"I love you." Jason tells me. "Me too." And we hang up.