Tales of aliens coming to Earth and taking people had been circulated for many years before the United Galactic Alliance of Worlds sent a ship to announce that it was true. Alien agents had been stationed on Earth for the last four hundred years to curtail human trafficking by other races.
During the four hundred years the aliens stationed on Earth took mates from the local population in what became West Virginia. The alien force was primarily comprised of humans and feline humanoids. Both compatible with humans.
Feline humanoids closely resemble homo sapiens except for their feline eyes and various shades of blue hair. The felines recognize their genetic mate when they meet them. The Narovian Interstellar Matchmaking Service used DNA samples to find genetic mates for those not on Earth.
Before the Alliance opening diplomatic relations with Earth, Narovian Interstellar Matchmaking set up an ancestor DNA service on Earth. It linked with other such services on Earth to increase chances of finding mates for the feline humanoids, humans, and cyborgs.
The practice was controversial because felines give off a pheromone that causes their human mate to enter a state of heat. It manifests as an overwhelming need to copulate with the feline. In a sense, they become biologically addicted to their feline mate. The feline was given the identity and location of the mate on Earth without consent. The felines came to Earth and sought them. One touch and they would have no choice but to copulate with that feline or risk death.
Exposure to the feline pheromone is highly addictive to the genetic mate. The only treatment is hormones released by the feline during sex. Synthesized hormones had never worked to cure this addiction. No one had died in recent years, but a few who tried to resist became extremely sick and gave in to sex with their genetic mate to make it stop.
After diplomatic relations with Earth opened, the Narovian Matchmaking service began advertising on television and the internet. The Drayid attack on Earth tripled applications to the matchmaking service.
Washington, DC morning traffic clogged the streets. Carly Adrian stood at the door of the tour bus checking off students on her list as they boarded the bus. She and her friend Sara were two of four chaperones from their small-town high school in southern Ohio.
Carly taught freshman science and Sara taught senior English. Sara was doing the same just down the street. The kids were up half the night socializing and were not getting up and out of the hotel very quickly at all. Carly and Sara were checking them on to the buses while the other chaperones were going room to room to roust the kids out. About half of the kids were still in the hotel, a few straggling out at a time with their luggage.
No matter what was going on at the school, there were always stragglers. So, they waited.
Traffic was pretty loud, so they didn’t hear the noise right away. First came the blinding wall of light and with it the roar, almost like a freight train. Closer and closer until it cut through between the two tour buses.
Carly was horrified as Sara disappeared behind that hot wall of light. She screamed and screamed until her voice gave out but the noise was so loud that she couldn’t even hear herself screaming. When the wall of light was gone so was the other tour bus, the students and Sara her best friend since grade school.
Sara was the sister she never had. Now she was gone, just gone. All that was left was a huge black hole about a mile square and three hundred feet deep.
Carly sank to the pavement sobbing while the kids on the bus screamed and cried in the background. All those people driving those cars, people in the buildings people walking on the sidewalks disappeared. Carly knew with certainty they were all dead. Life as she knew it changed forever.
A few weeks before that an alien starship came into Earth orbit. Captain Dargan Merrek’s face appeared all over the world announcing the United Galactic Alliance of Worlds offer for Earth to join the Alliance.
The United Nations were not so united. They squabbled over whether opening relations with an extraterrestrial alliance was in our best interest. Alliance diplomats were trying to reassure world leaders that their intentions were entirely honorable.
Carly had believed they were, but who else would have the technology to cause the destruction she had witnessed in Washington?
They were stranded for days in Washington in a hotel with only auxiliary power. Eventually, they learned that an alien enemy of the Alliance had attacked Earth in an attempt to subjugate the world and use it as a food source. The Alliance stopped them and Earth joined them.
One Year Later
“I quit,” Carly Adrian murmured, holding out her folded letter of resignation, and sighed.
Principal Larry Marsh reached across his desk and looked up at Carly as he took the paper from her. “I can’t say I didn’t see this coming. Losing Sara, the way you did last year would mess with anyone’s head… And on the heels of aliens announcing their presence to the world. That pretty well changed the world as we knew it.”
“That’s exactly it,” Carly said. “I realized there was more to life than just a job. I’ve been given an opportunity no science buff could refuse.”
Principal Marsh raised his eyebrows.
“I’m going to the stars to meet my soulmate and live on a colonial world.” Carly smiled. “And I can’t wait!”
“You’re serious.” Larry shook his head. “I don’t believe it. When did this all come about?”
“A few weeks ago. Sara and I put applications in before DC. After first contact, we discovered the Narovian Interstellar Matchmaking Service advertising on line. They use DNA to find soulmates for various compatible races. Sara said it was like wishing on a star,” Carly paused and sighed. “I forgot all about it until they contacted me. I was in shock at first.”
“You’re going to marry a man you never met?”
“I already did. They guaranteed 99% success in matching people genetically. His name is Joven Brendict and we’ve been exchanging video mail almost daily,” she told him. “I’m sorry I didn’t give you more time, but Holly knows my curriculum and she said she can fill in until the end of the school year. I’m leaving on Monday.”
“Well, Carly, I certainly wish you the best. I hope you know what you’re doing.”
So, do I.
“Thank you.” She gave him a smile and took his extended hand for a last handshake. He was a good guy, and a pleasant boss, but like most of the good guys in their small town, he was already married.
This is the right thing for me. Joven is the one. I must not doubt him.
Two Months Ago
To: Carly Adrian
From: Narovian Interstellar Matchmaking Service
We are pleased to inform you that we have found a genetic soulmate match for you on the Alliance Sector colony of Glasica. Your mate is a Narovian feline cyborg warrior retired from the United Galactic Alliance of Worlds Defense Force.
Captain Joven Brendict is in charge of Star System Security and owns a home and farmland on Glasica. Captain Brendict has an excellent service record and has excellent personal and professional references. Attached is his introductory video. Should you decide to reply, please let us know.
Narovian feline humanoids closely resemble homo sapiens with just a few differences. They have distinctly feline eyes, slightly pointed ears and varying shades of blue hair. Some have blue-black spots or stripes on their neck and shoulders.
We recommend that you take some time to get acquainted with your match before you make a decision to meet. Feline humanoids release powerful pheromones that cause their soulmate and themselves acute sexual arousal. The only remedy is to consummate the relationship within hours of exposure and mate frequently for up to ten days after initial exposure.
Narovian felines, call their soulmates meomee and become totally devoted to them. They mate for life whether their meomee is feline or sapien.
Should you decide to accept Captain Brendict as your mate, he will pay your travel expenses to Glasica, and our office in West Virginia will make the arrangements.
Narovian Interstellar Matchmaking Service
Carly read and reread the email on her laptop. It had been over a year since she’d made the application for an alien mate. She knew going in that her potential mate would be homo sapien or feline humanoid. She clicked on the thumbnail photo of him. It was a full body photo of him dressed in a slate-gray body suit.
He had short dark blue hair with a light beard, and his muscular form was enhanced by his body suit. As she enlarged it to see his eyes, her first reaction was, he’s gorgeous. She felt drawn by his blue feline eyes.
Can I really do this? …Go off to another world the bride of an alien male? I want to.
With Sara gone, she didn’t feel there was much to hold her there. Almost a year later cities all across the world were still trying to piece together who and how many died when the Drayid battle cruiser gutted New York City, Los Angeles, Moscow, London, Paris, Rome, Cairo, Delhi, Beijing, and Tokyo as they had Washington D.C. It was the single most significant terrorist act the world had ever known.
A year later, the world was still reeling. Carly’s teaching job was suffering because of the trauma after witnessing the attack. She was going through the motions teaching the required earth science curriculum. It had probably been two years since she’d had a date, and longer since her last regular boyfriend.
She and Sara decided to apply for alien mates after the Alliance announced their presence. After the Drayid attack, Carly forgot all about it… Until today. Finally, she clicked on the video link.
It loaded with a close up of Joven sitting at a desk, he smiled then spoke in slightly accented English:
Good day, meomee. You are seeing this because the matchmaking service has determined from your DNA that you are my genetic soulmate. That is all I need to know to ask you to become my wife and come to live with me on a world called Glasica, a young colonial world. The agency has told you what it means to be meomee to a Narovian feline.
I have reached the point in my life that I am ready to mate and have children. I want that female to be meomee, my true soul mate
My pheromones will bind us both emotionally and physically. You will become my only mate, and I will never desire any other. You and only you will be my one true love. I will protect you with my life.
I wait for your reply.
Joven Brendict end recording.
Carly stared at the handsome alien on her computer screen. He had a pleasant voice and seemed genuine, though she wasn’t sure how it was that he spoke fluent English. They must have used some kind of translator. She wanted to know him better, beyond that he was gorgeous and sexy.
I am pleased to meet you by video, and I want to know you better before I can decide to become your wife.
The agency sent me a complete profile on your world, and Glasica seems pristine compared to Earth. It looks beautiful. I also understand that other women from Earth have settled there happily. I have my mother here, but she is my only family. She lives in Brazil with her new husband. We talk on the phone about once a month, but I haven’t seen her in a few years.
The Drayids attacked Earth over a year ago, but it still haunts me… It happened right in front of me. My friend and a busload of our students disappeared in the wall of light which gouged a massive hole in that city.
Before that, we both applied to Narovian Interstellar Matchmaking to find husbands. I never quite believed we would, but I am pleasantly surprised. You are a fine-looking man with an impressive profile. Only the prospect of leaving Earth makes me hesitate to accept your offer.
The statistics on successful matching are impressive. Your offer is very tempting. If your offer stands after you have seen my reply, then we should discuss it further.
Carly Adrian end recording.
After Carly sent her video reply to Joven, she decided to set up a video chat with her mother. After watching Joven’s short video several times, she admitted to herself she wanted a husband and a family, and she would probably accept her match with Joven. She just needed some time to get used to the idea before she made the commitment.
She set up the call and waited. Carly was surprised when her mom’s image filled the screen.
“Carly, what a surprise. Is everything all right?”
“Nothing’s wrong, I just have some news. Remember back when Sara and I applied to that Narovian Matchmaking agency?”
“They found me a match, and he’s gorgeous. But I would have to go to his world, a place called Glasica.” Carly said.
“You mean to another planet?”
“Yes, Mom, in another star system. I haven’t decided yet, but the Narovian Matchmaking’s success rate makes it very tempting… And did I mention he is gorgeous?”
“But, Carly, we would never see each other again.”
“We hardly ever see each other now,” she reminded. “I will still be able to video email. I emailed the stats on his world, pictures and his profile.”
“Why can’t you find a nice husband here?”
“Oh, I don’t know. It might be because I am working all the time. Teaching isn’t just an eight hour a day job. There are extracurricular activities, lesson plans, grading papers. Eligible men are few and far between in this town.” Carly said.
“What about other agencies on this world?”
“None of them can genetically match me to my soul mate. This is a chance of a lifetime. I can spend my life teaching other peoples’ children or find some other job and maybe find a husband by trial and error. Or become a single mother by artificial insemination.”
“It sounds like you’ve made up your mind already.”
“I am considering it.”
“What’s a cyborg?”
“A technologically and genetically enhanced humanoid. He has a computer connected to his brain, and tiny little robots in his bloodstream to repair injuries and ward off disease. He was a super soldier.”
“That sounds dangerous.”
“He was a warrior, but now he runs security for his star system. I have his complete profile, and I saw nothing alarming. It sounds like he is in the same situation I am, with few prospects for a wife,” Carly said. “His species can recognize their soulmates by scent, but they are often worlds apart. They use genetic matchmaking services to find their genetic mates, and they are very successful at it.”
Her mother frowned at her from the computer screen and sighed. “I hate to see you go that far away, but I don’t want you to miss a chance to be as happy as I am with Hector. Just be sure it’s what you really want.”
They talked a few more minutes about mundane things before signing off. Her mother didn’t really want her to go off to an alien world, but she had gone to Brazil to be with the man she loved. Carly didn’t love Joven yet, but she was open to the possibility.
After she ended the call, she replayed Joven’s introductory video. As she looked into his intense feline eyes, something about him fascinated her. She realized she wanted to accept his proposal. She just needed a little more time to get used to the idea.
After playing back the video a second and a third time, Carly sat back on her sofa remembering the events that brought her to this point.
The whole world went a little crazy even before the alien attack. The world was still getting used to the fact that they were not alone in the Universe. Earth was not the only planet in the galaxy inhabited by homo sapiens. But after the Drayids attacked, Carly sought counseling to deal with her grief and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Sara Thomas had been her best friend since grade school. They grew up in the same southern Ohio small town, went to the same college to become teachers just as they always said they would.
After Captain Dargan Merrek broadcasted his announcement about their presence in the solar system every hour for twenty-four hours, Carly and Sara became fascinated with everything alien. When Carly discovered the Narovian Interstellar Matchmaking site on the internet, Sara was genuinely excited as she.
Several humanoid races were compatible with Earth humans, and thousands of feline humanoids looking for mates. The Narovian Interstellar Matchmaking Service was not like the Earth dating sites that Carly and Sara had tried a few times. The Narovian service matched applicants genetically.
The men were exotically attractive, even sexy, and she could easily imagine a feline humanoid lover. She loved cats, but unfortunately, she lived in an apartment that didn’t allow pets. The fee was the same as what they would pay for an ancestor DNA search, so they had worked through the detailed application form together.
A few weeks later, Sara was gone.
Even though the trip had marked the end of the school year, summer vacation was not nearly long enough for Carly to recover. She still had nightmares about the day the Drayids attacked. She couldn’t have been closer to Sara if they were sisters. Losing her left a big hole in Carly’s life.
Without Sara, she couldn’t find much enthusiasm for any of the things they did together. Every summer they took a road trip around the country for a week at least. They were both so excited about finding alien mates together, hoping at least to find them on the same planet.
Now it didn’t matter anymore. The summer after she lost Sara, Carly spent a lot of time on her computer looking at all the Alliance websites that had popped up on the internet between First Contact and the Drayid attack.
The more she learned about the Narovian Feline humanoids, the more confident she felt in her desire to find a feline mate. Carly studied their species in depth, but she had only skimmed the surface of information on cyborgs.
She did learn that the pheromonal meomee bond would temper the ruthless warrior in him. She had pretty much made her decision by the time she received a second vid-mail from Joven:
“My dearest Carly,
You honor me with your reply. Even without the scent of you, the sound of your voice tells me that you are meomee. You are as beautiful as I could imagine in my wildest dreams.
I am truly sorry that you lost your friend in the Drayid attack. I fought for many years in the war against them. We made peace with them, but your world took so long to accept our offer to join the Alliance, the Drayids thought they could annex your world even though it is within Alliance territory. We have a blockade in effect patrolling our border, but it is too late to prevent their attack on Earth.
The territory bordering Sector Six that includes the Glasica system has coexisted with the Alliance for millennia. Life on what is now my world is much like that of small community life on Earth. My kind have been coming to Earth for centuries, so we know a great deal about your culture.
I am pleased that you agreed to accept a cyborg mate, but there is one thing that was not in my profile. Enhancements to my DNA and alterations to my body as I was grown in the artificial womb gave me the ability to shift my body into animal form…”
Joven backed away from the camera and changed into a large black panther-like creature. As he came closer to the camera, she could see leopard spots beneath the black, somewhat like domestic black cats with tiger stripes showing in the black.
Carly gasped and stared in stunned silence for almost a minute. Joven paced closer to the screen so she could see his blue feline eyes, those same eyes with the loving expression she had seen before. Then she realized that he was just as magnificent in his big cat form. She also knew it didn’t frighten her.
“I knew from the beginning that I must be completely honest about myself with you, meomee. Even with these enhancements to my body, I can breed with you in humanoid form and make offspring with you. Even the scientists who created me can’t be sure whether the shifting trait would be transferred to my children.
I will be deeply saddened if you can’t accept me as your mate because of this, but I will abide with your decision, meomee.”
“Oh, no,” Carly murmured to the man on her computer screen, as she saw the pain in his eyes at the prospect. He seemed to be in love with her already; or maybe in love with the idea of his soulmate. But when she saw that look on his face, Carly just wanted to put her arms around him and hold him close.
Come to me, meomee. We will have a good life here on Glasica. Two females from your world are mated to friends. I told them about you, and they hoped you would accept my proposal and come to Glasica to be my wife. Please consider it, meomee…”
Carly watched the video a few times while she contemplated her reply. She knew what Sara would say. She wasn’t likely to find another soulmate match. Her gut feeling told her Joven was the one. The only obstacle that made her hesitate was leaving Earth, probably for good.
But what an opportunity! Before the Alliance came, Earth technology might not even establish an extraterrestrial colony in her lifetime, let alone travel interstellar. That in itself was exciting and terrifying at the same time. Maybe Joven made her feel a little bit of that, too. He was a hulk of a man, a fierce cyborg warrior, who could turn himself into a fearsome big cat.
Yet when he looked at her from her screen with such affection, Carly was sure she had nothing to fear from him. That was when she knew she had decided to become his wife.
Carly took a deep breath.
The answer is yes! I am pleased to become your wife. I only wish it didn’t take three months to get to your world. At least, we will be able to talk to each other in real time once I’m in space. That in itself seems as fantastic as marrying a shape-shifting feline cyborg.”
Carly paused to laugh out loud.
Please don’t be offended, meomee. I am laughing because I am happy now that I made the decision to come to you. When I say it out loud, it seems almost too fantastic to be real. But it feels more real every time I watch your vid-mails.
I know it’s right because I feel a unique connection to you that I’ve never felt with anyone else.
I learned as much as I could about your species after Sara, and I made our applications to the Interstellar Matchmaking Service. We were both born and raised within the radius of the Alliance Law Enforcement base, so I knew being matched with a Narovian feline humanoid was possible. Honestly, I was kind of hoping.
It’s probably just as well that it will take three months so we can get to know each other before your pheromones have us in the throes of mating frenzy. Although it does sound exciting. You are so hot.”
She smiled into the camera on her laptop at him blushing. Felines were well known in Alliance sectors for their sensuality and sexual prowess. Just thinking about the lengthy process of consummating their marriage got her female parts all excited.
“I mean you are handsome…”