Chapter 13 – The next stop
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                The next day was a sunny, warmish Sunday morning.  Sun streamed into my upstairs bedroom, and left a nice warm spot on the bed I kind of flopped into and enjoyed – the warmth seemed particularly nice this morning!  I lay there for a while, dozing half asleep, until the call of nature awoke me.  I had learned yesterday about the differences in going to the bathroom as a girl, and aside from the fact I couldn’t stand to pee, it was no big deal except for the dysphoria I felt when trying to go – since using those parts made it evidently clear my plumbing was much different than I was used to.  Still, when you gotta pee, you gotta pee, and it doesn’t matter if you’re comfortable with those parts or not, so I headed off to the bathroom to do my business. 


                After mom moved out years ago, dad had kept the bathroom off the master bedroom for himself, so the other bathroom upstairs kind of became my private bathroom, and I had the possibly bad habit of reading when I went into the john.  So, after relieving myself and spending 20 minutes reading a novel I hadn’t yet finished, I was almost ready to face the day.


                *Wouldn’t you be more comfortable sitting in a chair and reading, or in bed even?*  Siri asked.


                “Maybe.  Part of the comfort is the privacy, and part of it is like a space just for me.  It’s weird...  I just like it I guess – but it’s hard to do when you share a bathroom.”


                *It feels safe?*


                “A little, yeah.  I guess that’s part of it too.”  I replied as I picked out some clothes to wear.  I sighed with frustration – none of it fit, and it was awkward and annoying – both that it didn’t fit, and that I was going to have to buy ladies clothing to replace my perfectly good wardrobe, with a far more expensive one, with money I didn’t have.  I decided to wear pretty much what I wore yesterday afternoon, until I could get some affordable clothes – and bras – that fit me.  Yesterday convinced me of the need for a bra, too – an afternoon of my breasts bouncing around made me both a little sore, and a lot uncomfortable.  Strapping them down seemed like a very good idea.


                After I was dressed, I headed downstairs to find dad behind the stove, making some bacon and eggs and toast.  I couldn’t help but smile at the sight, and waved.  “Morning, dad.  Is it nice to be home?”


                “Sure is, son.  Want some breakfast?”


                “Sure.  Thanks, dad.”


                “No problem, kiddo.”  He replied, flipping some eggs.  “Got any plans for today?”


                “Gotta hit S-Mart and get some cheap clothes and underthings.  Nothing fits me, and I... I need a damn bra.”


                Dad turned to me, and nodded sadly.  “I’m sorry about my part in that, son.”


                “Don’t be, dad.  I chose this – it’s just going to cost an arm and a leg that I currently can’t afford.”


                “Take my credit card, Jace.  I’ve got some money still free on it – it’s the least I can do.  Just keep it under four or five hundred dollars until I can make another payment, okay?”


                “Okay.  I hope I don’t have to spend that much.”


                “Well, I don’t mean to shock you, Jace, but when your mom was with us, she told me that womens clothing was usually more expensive for less material, and bra’s that were worth the money would be about fifty dollars each in nowadays money.  Your mom was well endowed too, and she said her bras didn’t come cheap.”


                “Oh Hel.”


                “Yup.  Sorry Jace.”  He replied, laughing.


                “This sucks.”  I grumped.  “Oh well – thanks for the breakfast.”


                Dad nodded, and slid two broken and flipped eggs, some bacon and two pieces of toast onto my plate.  At first, I thought I would need maybe twice as much food – but after eating all of it, I felt quite content – and almost a bit too full.  Dad made some food for himself and soon joined me eating breakfast.  I idly wondered why I didn’t need more food.



                *Our bonding is complete, Jace.  You won’t feel ravenous unless we don’t eat regularly.*


                “Good to know.  What happens once I get some clothes and we’re ready to go?  Can you tell me more about what’s going on, with the mission you were on when you got captured, and why it’s so important to get back to Asgard so quickly?”  I asked Siri.


                *Sure.  I’ll start telling you while you drive to the shop.*


                “Okay.”  I laughed.  “Hey, dad.  I’ve got to go get those clothes.  Can I do the dishes later?”


                “It’s okay, Jace.  I’ll take care of them now – after all, I’m in perfect health, right?  No excuse!  I’m going to have to call Steve and see if I can get my old job back.”


                “They would be morons if they didn’t hire you back, once you showed them you were healthy.”  I replied.


                “Yeah, that’s true.  You don’t find many people with almost twenty years of experience in one job nowadays.  I’ll call him tomorrow morning.  Will you still be here by then, or do you have to go to Asgard sooner than that?”


                “I don’t know dad.  I suspect that sooner is better with Krell warriors out hunting me.  I don’t want them to find me here and shoot up the house and stuff.  I have no idea how long I’ll be gone, too.”


                “I know, kiddo.  I’ll pray for you every day.”  He said, wrapping me in an awkward hug.  Neither of us were used to my new anatomy, and parts of me kept getting in the way of what we were used to.  Stupid boobs.


                *Boobs aren’t all bad.*  Siri laughed.  *Remember how they felt in the bathroom yesterday?  That’s nothing!*


                I blushed furiously and sputtered in my mind.  DON’T remind me...  I released dad, and waved goodbye.  “I’ll do my best to come home and say goodbye first, dad, but if something happens and I don’t come home, my spare car keys are on the key rack... don’t let my car get towed, okay?”


                “Will do, Jace.  I’d like to see you before you leave, so do your best.”


                “Will do!  See ya.”  I grabbed a hoodie for a little warmth and headed to my car...  The Accord had survived the battle with the Krell fairly well – it was dirty from the gravel pit and dirt roads – but didn’t have anything in the way of dents or scratches.  All it really needed was a car wash.


                I got settled, started the car, and headed towards S-Mart, and Siri began her tale without prompting...


                *I was part of a patrol-in-force – a company of 60 Einherjar led by four Valkyries.  Brunhilde was our battle-leader – and I was her second in command.  Jana and Kira were my lieutenants.  Anyway, our orders were to investigate the presence of a Krell ship in the sector around Midgard – and we soon found a small fleet around the fourth planet, Mars. We engaged them in battle, and devastated their fleet – but found to our dismay they had some sort of experimental weapon that could literally rip symbiotes from their hosts, painfully and messily.*


                *Our attack faltered, and we tried to order a retreat – Our Battle Leader was down, as was over half our force – and the Krell were using tractor beams to draw our fallen into their mothership.  I held the line, while Jana and Kira led the last of the Einherjar back to the rendezvous point – and I was struck by the weapon and disabled.  My host was a human woman named Sheryl Forester, from England in the year 1874.  I hadn’t been back to Earth for over 145 years, and both Sheryl and I wanted to see how humanity had flourished in the meantime.  She missed her homeland a little bit, and wanted to get some ‘real fish and chips for a change’* Siri said, sadly. 


                *Anyway, the Krell’s tractor beam drew me into the ship – and I was placed in a cryotube – and overheard the scientists saying they thought they could reprogram the Einherjar into weapons that could be used against our people – and might be able to do the same to myself and Brunhilde.  I can’t begin to explain how catastrophically bad this would be, but it would be bad enough to potentially change the course of the war.  This is some sort of experimental weapon – they can’t possibly have it mass produced yet – and no one on Asgard knows about it – especially if Jana and Kira and the others were stopped from getting home.  It could take our home fleet by surprise.  I have to carry word about this new weapon to Asgard, as soon as possible!*


                “What about just blowing up the enemy ship?  Is that within your power?”


                *Possibly... but if we failed – if they used the weapon on us – then there would be no one to warn Asgard.  I have to assume the Krell stopped Jana and Kira and their troops from getting away.  Anything else could lead to disaster – and even if they DO know about this deadly weapon, maybe some of the things I overheard while on the Krell mothership would be of use to our intelligence people.*


                “Let me guess.  Loki is in charge of your intelligence service?”


                *Him, and Heimdall, yes.  Heimdall has a huge network of agents who report to him, and Loki is excellent with his hand- picked field ops.  They’re a little sneaky and dishonourable, but they’re very effective.  And before you ask, he looks a LOT like that actor from your movies.  He made the change about five or six years ago.*




                *All of the Aesir Lords and Ladies can shapeshift to some degree – but yeah, no one does it better than Lord Loki.*


                “So long story short, it’s super-duper important to get to Asgard ASAP, and I’m basically buying clothes then we’re going home, saying goodbye, and leaving.  And Loki looks like Tom Hiddleston.”


                *Yeah, I guess so.  Pretty much.*


                “Huh.”  I’d better make sure I brought my digital camera and my cellphone.  After all, dad would want the pics...  “If I compared your rank to earthly ranks in the military, what would your rank be?”


                *Probably something between Captain and Major in the army, or Commander and Captain if the navy.  They don’t exactly follow human traditions, but that’s about the closest I can come.*





*              *              *




                Once we got to S-Mart, I headed to ladies fashions, and spent the next two hours (two freaking hours!  It used to take me 20 minutes to buy the same stuff!) buying two outfits of clothes – two pairs of jeans, two T-Shirts, one sweater, a light jacket, a bag of white socks, a bag of six pairs of panties (granny, not thong), and two packs of three XL sports bras.  Added to that was a pair of ladies Nike’s and a pair of good hiking boots.  One of the T-shirts was emblazoned with the Mortar-Mage logo, and the Lady Nikes were branded with Miss Adventure’s symbol.  I wasn’t a big fan of Miss Adventure, but the shoes fit and were comfortable.  Mortar Mage was a badass, though – I had actually met him once at Uni when I was in Paragon...  He’d come on campus to do a lecture for the Arcane Arts class, and I had a chance to talk with him before it started.  He was pretty cool.


                I kind of half expected Siri to encourage me to buy girly clothes, but she didn’t.  I felt glad she wasn’t pressuring me to wear stuff I didn’t want to wear.  I mean, I might later, once I got used to things – but now was way too soon!


                I figured I would take half the clothes with me, and leave the other half at home, for when I returned – presumably after the war ended, or I had leave, or something.  Either way, I had got what I needed, and it was time to go home and get geared up to head to Asgard.


                I turned the car towards home, and Siri and I each got lost in our own thoughts on the way.  I was worried about what this war meant – and how long I would be away, and I’m not sure what Siri was thinking about... But either way, pretty soon we would be on our way – so the time for musing would be over.  Asgard awaited.