INVASION OF THE COSMIC COCKROACH
Copyright (c) Victor Darnell Hadnot
"And what if there was life on other planets?" Ranger Hardon
I looked about myself and saw there was nothing chasing us. I was tired and needed medical attention. I couldn't remember the last time I had, had something to eat. Man. What was that smell? Oh. It's me. Ah. I was tired. I just needed some sleep. The military, they give you these pills. They call them combat cocktails. You know about them? Right? They are suppose to make you alert and impervious to pain. Well. They work. I had a wound. Looked really bad. But the pain I thought I was feeling couldn't have been as a result of that wound. It was more like a memory of what true pain felt like. I didn't have to worry though, I'd be feeling the real thing soon enough. The dope only lasted for twenty four hours and then, blast! You started to sink into reality, a reality in which you found yourself questioning everything that you had just done.
My rank is that of Sergeant . Yeah. I'm one of those guys who managed to end up in this war, without the comfort and cushion of a college education. So. I ended up on the front line, fighting the Cocos. Who are the Cocos? Coco is what humans call one of the worst enemies that we have ever faced. They came from the future. Actually, we invented them. From the intelligence that we managed to gather, the future is a mess. Radiation and pollution and all sorts of stuff that the ecologists and others warned us against, did indeed happen. Stupid stuff that could have been avoided, but big business had its way and controlled the global economy and indeed the world. Well. You already know what happens when you have a bunch of greedy men and women, controlling the fates and destinies of ordinally men and women. The poor get screwed and the rich get richer. Heard that scenario before? Right? I'm Sergeant Thomas. Friends, those whom I still have living, call me Jay. It's not my real name, they just call me that for some reason that I can't seem to get a clear understanding. Next to me is Becky. She's a soldier like me. Oh. I've digressed too much. The Cocos. That stands for Cosmic Cockroach. They were an experiment gone horribly wrong. Seems that scientist in the future wanted to create a hybrid human that could live in the polluted future, and as we all know, cockroaches are very resilient. You guessed it, they combined human DNA and cockroach DNA and wham! Cosmic Cockroaches. Part human and part cockroach.
Becky looked over with her red hair all messed up, because of the conditions we were fighting in. "How's that wound?" she asked me.
"Ah. I'm not really hurt." I put up a brave face.
"Freaking Cocos! I could kill them all!" Her cute facial features were contorted, but I could see tell that she was a hot looking woman, under other conditions.
"If only they had managed to make the time-jump all the way back to the era of the dinosaurs, like they were suppose to do. Eat the freaking dinosaurs all up, not humans."
And so it was, the Earth was invaded by its future offspring. A monstrous creation by mankind, in an effort to stem the tide of awful choices and behaviors. Suddenly, there was no doubt that a dark future lay ahead. But. There were those who looked at these events as a second chance. We knew that the Cocos were genetically engineered humans and cockroaches, a hybrid of unthinkable proportions. The intellect of a human being and the resilience of a cockroach. These new creatures were able to live and exist in the most filthy of environments. They were impervious to most known diseases and could survive by eating filth forever. Oh. The human side of them made them capable of understanding and appreciating finer things. But. If push came to shove, they could easily revert back to the savage monsters that they were. Religious people called them the Abominations. Equated them with the sins of mankind. I don't know about any of that. I am not a particularly religious person. Becky, here, on the other hand, she was filled with all sorts of religious hope and faith. I used to tease her by telling her that she had enough for the both of us. She was a good friend. Someone you could trust to have your back in times of combat and in times of rest. So. Yeah. We hung out alot. Even on those rare days when we had some time off.
There was this rumor going around that the Cocos were looking for special humans. They wanted to breed with them to enhance their lot. The Cocos that managed to go all the way back into time, to the dinosaur period, they were back there, terrorizing the caveman and the dinosaurs. Presumably eating everything in sight. So. If you are wondering what killed of the dinosaurs, let us just say, it was mankind, with its genetic experiments gone horribly wrong. It was also thought, that, though, while the Cocos originally targeted the prehistoric past, they might have discovered other periods in Earth history, in which they could eat their way into dominance. For too long, mankind felt authority, to kill and maim. We were the top dogs, the head of the food chain. Well, not anymore. Cocos were here to eat man if nothing else caught their flavor. It was about two months after I had been wounded. Things had healed up enough for me to be back out on the battlefield, which was everywhere actually. The Cocos had managed to offer our political elite things that greedy men and women wanted, power. So, there were places where no fighting went on, and then there were places where it was nothing more than chaos and wreckage. Becky and I were in a café, or what passed for a café in these times. We had a few days off, though, even in that situation, days off were never, days off. Fighting could breakout at anytime. Becky and I were keeping an eye on a few juvenile Cocos as they were in an ally, fighting amongst themselves over a pile of what looked like elephant crap.
"That is just so gross." Becky finally uttered, but still managed to continue to eat.
"There is nothing about Cocos that isn't gross. What the hell do you think they are fighting themselves about?"
"Who is going to get to eat the last pile of crap."
"And you'd fight over that?"
Becky looked up at me with those big green eyes and obvious freckles on her cheeks. "I wouldn't fight over it but Cocos do. They consider crap to be a delicacy."
"You mean like the French eat snails?" I just shook my head.
"Well. Yes, I suppose so."
"The stupid politicians giving in to the Cocos so that they can get their advanced technology."
"Technology. Also, they are the ruling species on this planet now. They were not suppose to be, not in this time, but they came back to feed and breed."
"Ah. It makes me sick just to think about humans breeding with those cockroaches." I shuttered at the thought.
It was a cloudy night in one of those so called Safe-Zones. You know. The places that I told you about. Where the ultra rich and the elite sell-outs, those who pander to the Cocos, had everything that they could possibly want. The Cocos came to this time, from the future, with advanced technology. Technology, that they wisely meted out, a tidbit at a time. All the while, controlling the economy and the society. They might have been cockroaches from the bottom down, but from the head to the lower torso, they were all human. So. You have this Abomination, as the religious societies called them. Funny. How for countless centuries, all sorts of religious philosophies never got along. Enter the human-cockroach, and everybody can agree that they are an Abomination. Go figure? That is why I hate religion and consider myself an atheist. Now. Don't get me wrong. People can believe what they want. I'll be the first to fall on a sword, so to speak, for their rights. Just leave me alone about mine. Becky, on the other hand, is ultra religious, or spiritual as she likes to call herself.
Anyway. Here we were, at this fancy foray. All sorts of richness about us. This in stark contrast to all the suffering going on, outside the protective boundaries of the Safe-Zone. There were thousands of so called Safe-Zones all over the world. My platoon was called in to protect some of the rebels that were ambassadors. You see, the sell-outs were trying to affect a truce. It would seem, that there were those rich people that needed a parcel of land held by the rebels and they were ready to make concessions, for its use and safe passage. As I stood on guard, there was this Coco that kept eyeing me. Really. I hadn't noticed but Becky approached me and told me that this Coco, a rather young woman-cockroach wanted to meet me. As I said. From the head to the lower torso, they were human in appearance, even wore fine clothes over that part. But from the lower part down, all cockroach. Who ever in the future genetically created these monsters, I hope they turned on them and ate them first.
The Coco came over to me, holding two fancy drinks in ger hands. She had a smile on her face, she didn't look bad, in fact she was quite good looking. That bothered me. The mere fact that I found something slightly attractive about a Coco. She had long brown hair and full lips that pouted. Man. I had never been approached by a Coco before. My whole life had been devoted to killing them.
"Hi. I'm Amanda." She smiled at me and handed me one of the fancy drinks.
I told her. "I can't drink. I'm on duty." I just wanted her to leave. Out the corner of my eye, I could see Becky and some of the other rebels, looking on with amusement. Damn them. I'd get them back for this later!
"You don't like me do you?"
What was I suppose to say? "No. I don't feel anyway about you at all. Now if you don't mind." I started to walk away.
"This is an important meeting. You are suppose to show diplomacy. I'm just trying to..."
"What? Not eat me?"
"What?" She genuinely expressed shock and disgust. "I don't know what you've heard about us, but not all Cocos eat humans. Just look at me? I'm half human. That would make me some kind of cannibal."
I really didn't care. I was going to get Becky and them, who were off to one side, just laughing their collective ass' off. "What do you want from me?"
She took hold of my hand and led me to the balcony, where we were kind of alone. "I'm not going to hurt you. If that is what you think." Cocos were many times stronger than normal humans, even the women, if they wanted to, they could snap a man in half and eat them whole in a very short period of time. I knew because when I was young, I witnessed a Coco massacre in my town. I never forgot it and never forgave it. "We need to talk. What is your name?"
"I'm Sergeant Thomas. But I'm sure your intelligence already told you that."
"Humor me." She had really pretty eyes. What the freak? Why was I even looking at her like that? "I have a message for your leaders."
Now this was interesting. "What kind of message?"
Amanda got really close to my face. She was wearing some kind of perfume that smelled really good. "Don't trust them. It is a trap."
The next few days I spent getting even with my troops for throwing me out to the roaches like that. Oh. They all laughed and had great fun with it. It was okay. They were all good friends and good soldiers. I finally was in a meeting and just happened to mention that Amanda, why was I even calling her by her real name? I told them what she had said. I was surprised when they took what I had to say seriously. You see. All I was, was a grunt. I didn't have privy to the top level meetings that went on that night. But. Apparently, Amanda was some kind of diplomat's daughter. She'd know things. One thing led to another and before I knew anything, I was sitting in front of brass. They were all talking to me kindly. Something I wasn't used to. Offering me delicacies. Food that I quickly gathered up, in front of them, with the intent of passing it out to my troops. It was how we all survived. Us rebels. We all had to look out for one another. This was obviously embarrassing to the brass. What the freak? They had all sorts of good things. Things that us lowered level troops had to fight and die for, in order to have. I guess there were rich on both sides of the war. They finally explained to me what they wanted me to do. They wanted me to make a meeting with Amanda. I was stunned beyond belief. I think I actually cursed them all out for ten minutes. And the funny thing was that they just all sat there and took it. That was when I realized that this was serious. Because they wouldn't have taken that kind of crap from an NCO like me. They needed me for something and that young woman-cockroach just became a game changer in their plans.
Becky just looked at me for a long time. "They need you for what?"
I shrugged. "I have no idea."
She shuddered. "Sounds all creepy and crap."
"That's because it is all creepy and crap. Look. I hate Cocos. I hate the freaking roaches! If they all weren't five to six feet tall, I'd go around stomping them under my feet. Hell. Check them all into a roach motel."
"But they aren't. They run things now. They are the new thing in Washington. Can you imagine the President sitting at a table eating across from a bunch of them?'
"But. That is exactly what they do. Who ever or in this case, whatever has the power. Advanced technology. They'll sit there and pretend that they don't all stink."
"Yeah. They do don't they." Her big eyes fixed on me for a moment. "You can always tell them, no."
I nodded. "Yeah. I've been seriously thinking about that. All I'm going to do is make things worse between us humans and the Cocos. They should all have enough sense to know this by now. Just look at how many of them I've killed."
"A soldier has to do what a soldier has to do. Killing is part of that equation."
About a month later I was called and then invited to a special little foray. But this time, I wasn't pulling guard duty. I was to wear my best dress military clothes. Why? I kept asking myself. What was so special about me? Then I started to get paranoid. I starting to think about all those Cocos I had killed and began to think that maybe my superiors had made some kind of a deal. You know. Make me a fall guy. Just to get in good with the Cocos. Rumor was that they were going to hand over some much expected technology. That was how they controlled all those so called wiki-wigs. The so called elite that thought that everything was wrong with everybody else except them Hell. I guess if you get enough people, all rich and crap, in power and stuff, all saying the same thing. They can pretend that their point of view is the right one. But. That was just a bunch of bull crap. Look at how many wars all the countries had been engaged in? And each time. The country waging the war told their people that they were in the right. The moral thing to do. We were just protecting human rights. Protecting human rights? By doing what? Killing more humans? Does anybody really expect the regular guy to buy into all that? I know that the only reason I was a soldier was to kill something that barely passed as human. I didn't have any problems killing Cocos.
So. There I was. At this thing. Sitting at this big ass table with human dignitaries on one side and Cocos on the other. I thought they were going to serve crap. But. It looked like really expensive steak. I instructed one of the waiters to stash some aside for my troops. We never got to eat like that. Then. Before things got on the way, Amanda came in. She was announced as some princess. Amanda wasn't just the daughter of a dignitary, she was cockroach royalty. Great. A cockroach princess had confided in me. I was so screwed. Then. Before I could wrap my mind around that, she was being seated next to me. I started to get the feeling, you know the one. That everybody knew what was going on except you? Yeah. Well. That was how I was starting to feel. After the meal, which wasn't that bad. I just kept hoping I hadn't eaten something horrible. After all. These disgusting creatures did eat humans. People started to dance. I watched the band for awhile, wondered how much money they were getting paid to perform for the Cocos? Sell-outs! But. No. They were just a bunch of people trying to make it in the only way that knew how.
Out the corner of my eye I noticed a soft famine hand extend. "Can I have this dance?" It was Amanda. She wanted to dance with me?
I looked around to see if this was some kind of awful joke. But. Everyone seemed to be going about the business of having a good time. If a human can have a good time with a cockroach. "Sure." I said.
We danced. "You dance well." She whispered. Her head was way too close to my chest. I towered over her just a bit.
"You are not so bad yourself, for..."
"For what? A Coco? You hate the lower part of my body. Don't you?"
"You want me to be honest?"
"Please. That is why I chose you."
Chose me? What in the freak is she talking about? "Yeah. Well. No. I don't particularly care for Cocos. But then. I never met a Coco that cared anything about me."
"Until now. I like you, Sergeant Thomas." Okay. What the hell was that all about? Was this human cockroach hitting on me?. Here? In front of all these people? I looked about me. We were dancing in the center of the floor. The others were dancing around us, as if giving us a wide birth. It was creepy but I knew it was going to be strange before I went. Man. The things that a soldier will do for his country. Even dance with a Coco. But. It wasn't just a dance. As we went on. She stayed with me. We had drinks and small talked with the others. Each one, finally managing to get around to introducing themselves to me. She knew them all. It was diplomatic, I tricked myself into believing at first. But. No. This was something else. I decided to test a theory I was entertaining. A theory I was hoping I was wrong about. I managed to find a pretty human woman, and asked her to dance. She was polite, but turned me down. When I looked around, Amanda was standing in back of me. This wasn't some diplomatic event. This was a party and I was Amanda's date.
Oh. Hell No! What had I gotten myself into? I cut my eyes over to her. She was all smiles and stuff. She had brought me a drink. I took it and drank it too fast. She noticed the change in my behavior. It was as if she had been waiting for it all to sink in. And when it started to do just that, she took me off to the side. Again. Everyone noticed but no one was watching. They were all acting like it was normal and crap. How could it be normal for a human and a Coco to be together. Then it hit me. Does this cockroach like me or something? The expression on her face told me everything. Yeah. She was into me. If I wanted to just stand there and watch the others. She was perfectly willing to do that. If I wanted to go and talk to stuck-up rich traitors, as I felt that every human in the room was, she walked with me. She didn't walk in back of me, she walked with me. I don't even know how she did that. I mean, how does a woman, who has never been with you for any length of time, manage to walk with you, as if she had. Sensing my frustration, she finally took me to the side and explained. I was chosen from thousands of soldiers. Profiled and matched. She naturally took a liking to me. The first time she met me, that wasn't a foray for dignitaries. It was a first meet to see if the match was a good one. I could see it in her deep blue eyes. She really liked me. I tried to get away. I went out the front door, security was going to go after me but she waved them all off. After all, she was a princess. Daddy cockroach's little girl-cockroach, or whatever. I stood under a tree for awhile. She finally came out with my jacket. It was cold. She was wearing an expensive shawl. I took the jacket. Like I said, it was cold.
"So. I'm your date?" I sounded disgusted.
"You don't have to make it sound so horrible, Thomas. My people, in this sector are willing to strike up a very important truce with the human population, the rebels. It would mean an end to the fighting and the immediate beginning of rebuilding and progress. My people have advanced technology that you can not imagine. Some of it actually approaches magic, it is so advanced."
"And yet. You eat humans?" I looked her straight in the eyes.
"I don't know what you've heard about all of us. But. Not all Cocos eat humans. I wasn't raised to do that and I find it offensive. As offensive as you do. After all, I'm part human. I think you already know how I feel about that? We have spoken before, right?"
"Because I picked you out of countless thousands. You are brave. You are intelligent. You are handsome."
Handsome? Where was she going with that? "You are not going to go away are you?"
She leaned over really quick and kissed me on the mouth. Then she excreted some kind of fine sticky mist, that, was quickly absorbed into the skin of my face. I pulled back. "What the freak?"
"Don't be afraid. I simply marked you. Now no other Coco female will approach you, because she can smell my scent."
After all that. A week later. I was in my camp. Sure enough, the brass was starting to talk about the Cocos in a way that I recognized as warming up to them. Looked like Amanda was telling me the truth. So serious deals were being made to bring the hostilities to an end. And I knew that Amanda was at the center of it. But. If it meant that humans would not die, I had nothing to say about it. I was in a quiet place, just me and Becky. We had just started to make out as we often did. We were friends with benefits, you could say. She suddenly pushed away from me. I wanted to know what was wrong. She tried to approach me again but couldn't. Finally, she began to ask me questions as to what had happened at the party I was at a week ago. I didn't want to answer her because I was really embarrassed that I had been tricked by the brass into attending. But. Becky sensed more. She finally confronted me about what had transpired between me and Amanda. I was evasive. But. She leaned her fantastic body onto mine and sniffed me, again. Then she began to tell me that I had been marked. Well. I knew that I had. But. I didn't think that a human woman could tell. I told her what had happened and that I had quickly scrubbed my face when I got back. I was clueless as to how she knew I'd been sprayed. She began to explain that Coco women spray their mates. It was a chemical way of insuring fidelity, because the cockroach part of them wanted to breed with any available male, but the human part had developed a way around that, and that I was marked. I told her that I thought only Coco women were affected by the spraying. She told me that all females could tell that something was wrong. The spray made other woman to repel from the man. But. To the Coco woman who sprayed the man, it was a sweet smell. Becky had studied Coco-anthropology.
I didn't know what to do. Then I started to hear some kind of a commotion outside. Becky and I were in the process of getting on our clothes, when Amanda and some of her bodyguards came into the tent. Becky and I were shocked. The two women just eyed each other for a long moment. Then Becky finished dressing as she left. I wanted her to stay, but she was gone. I looked back to Amanda, who motioned her bodyguards out.
"I didn't think I was going to ever see you again." I told her as I finished dressing.
She watched me dress. It was turning her on. I could see it in her breathing and the way she looked at me. She tried to approach me in a sensuous way but I pushed her away. "So. You are intimate with the human woman, but are repulsed by me. If I were all human, would you treat me so?"
"Face it, Amanda, you are not human! And that little spraying thing you did to me last week. Becky can smell it. I can't seem to wash it off."
"You can never wash it off, my darling. The only way to get rid of it is to kill the Coco that sprayed you." She was shocked when I whipped out my weapon and pointed it at her head. Her bodyguards were quick to rush in, but, she raised a hand and they stopped. Another motion and they went back out. "So. Now you are going to kill me, Thomas?"
"I should for what you have done to me. You've ruined me so that Becky won't touch me!"
"You don't need Becky. She's just a human woman, I'm so much more. Can't you see that?"
"You must be kidding. No. That is what is so sad. You are not. You are a cockroach! That is what you are, Amanda!"
She was visibly hurt. There was a long silence. She approached me closely, "I can't help it, Thomas. When I marked you, that finished the process. Believe it or not, but I can't help but love you." She kissed me on the cheek. Something that Becky couldn't force herself to do anymore. Then she handed me some new orders from the brass. "I wanted to give them to you personally."
I read them. "I'm suppose to escort you to the Northern Territory? Can't you get your bodyguards to do that?"
"It has already been arranged. We leave within the hour on my special aircraft. I'm sorry I've made your life so miserable. It was never my intention. The profile never said anything about you having a romantic involvement. If it had, I would have never chosen you and I would have acted responsibly, and never have sprayed you. You have to believe me."
The others watched as we left. The Cocos had really advanced aircraft. The damn things were down right wicked in comparison to human technology. I still remember Becky's eyes. Looking on as Amanda and I entered the aircraft. The woman I cared about, I was walking away from and the woman who stole me away, I was walking towards. How did my life get so screwed up?
Inside the aircraft, we all got situated. I was being forced to be with her. I hated her. She was a human cockroach! I hated Cocos. They were easy to hate. They came here from the future in order to feed. If they missed their original target and landed in my time, then they were just as much a threat as those who managed to make it all the way back to the dinosaur era. Hell. Even now, they were back there, feasting on those giant lizards. So. Human cockroaches ate the dinosaurs into extinction. Who would have thunk? I wanted to know what the mission was but all I got was that Amanda wanted me to meet her parents. Hell. Did we have drapes already picked out? I didn't even know that monster. Didn't want to know her. She was evil. Like the others. We were in-flight for about an hour when suddenly the pilot let us know that trouble was coming. Apparently, the rebels to the North and the Cocos didn't like mommy and daddy dearest. Our craft was being targeted and evasive maneuvers were being employed. The pilots did his and her best, but the bottom line was that the craft went down. We were stranded on some little island. It was warm. Why was it warm if we were headed north? It should have been cold. After we had crashed, or rather, made an emergency landing in the thick tropical foliage, I later learned that the aircraft had detoured, and that was why we were off course. The detour was probably fake. Made in order to put us in on a course where we could easily be shot down. But, man, were we ever way off course.
"Are you okay?" I asked Amanda. She seemed a little shaken. I don't think anything like that had ever happened to her. And there was no reason that it should.
"I'm fine. Thank you. How about you. Are you hurt?" She actually began to run her pretty little hands across my body, looking for signs of injury.
I pushed her hands away from me. "Look. I'm okay. But the folks we were with are all dead. It is just me and you." The truth of the matter was that I had been injured but I was a soldier. I could handle it. We managed to get to a cave like formation. In it we built a fire and managed to salvage as much stuff as possible. "The folks who shot us down might come looking for us. If they think that anyone survived."
"It doesn't look like there were any survivors. It is a miracle that we are alive." It was night. The fire was warm and we had something to eat. It was then that she confirmed what she had suspected. "You have been hurt?"
"No. I'm fine." I was tough enough to handle this.
She insisted on seeing the wound. It was a lot worse than what I had let on. She immediately began to apply first-aid. She was good at it. "You've had training."
"Yes. I studied medicine. Wanted to be a doctor. But. Stuff happens." We sat apart from one another after the first-aid was applied.
"Thanks." I told her.
I wanted to know why we were so off course. But. She knew even less than I did. I played with communications equipment that I had managed to salvage. We could have used some of that technology that seemed like magic that she had bragged about, right about then. But. You have to deal with the cards you have in your hand. And those cards were not so good. We would live. There was plenty of food on the island. No signs of intelligent life. Lots of native small animals though. The time went by. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. We had managed to turn the cave into a place of comfort and necessity. She wasn't really that bad a person. Just a young woman whose life had already been picked out for her. Turns out that I was the only thing that she had some say in. So. Liking me was her choice in defiance of the father. Apparently, her mother supported her choice. We'd tell each other stories about where we came from. Some made up, most highly embellished when they were true. We found ourselves laughing at jokes and situations. At some point I stopped seeing Amanda as a Coco and she stopped seeing me as just human. Funny how loneliness works. One night in a state of weakness on both of our parts. We kissed again. And one thing led to another. Before we knew it, the act was over. I had become like all those who had sex with a Coco. I must have spend days, trying to distance myself from her after that. She was obviously hurt by my behavior. I mean, hell. I had just freaking been with a Coco. What was wrong with me? Maybe it was that spraying thing? Maybe it finally got into my blood. Then. One day she sat me down and confessed to me that she was pregnant. I didn't want to hear that. How could she have gotten pregnant so quickly, just after one act? Turns out that Coco females have control over their reproductive organs and their processes. Conscious control. When we were together briefly that one night. She decided to become pregnant. I started to treat her like I had before. One day, I actually threatened her. She just looked at me with those big blue eyes sadly. To her, we had made so much progress. After all, out of all the possible suitors, she had picked me. Turns out that Coco women's pregnancy time was counted in weeks not months like regular human women. Thus the cockroach effect. They could reproduce seemingly at will, once they had received a fair dose of seed. Something about their biology, allowed them to retain the seed, and make use of it at will, until it was all gone. She was ready to lay her first egg. After all, she was a Coco.
"What can I do to help you?" I was trying to make up for being a jerk, or was I? I had a right to hate her, right?
She was frightened. She'd never been pregnant before and she had no one from her species to guide her through all the nuances of the process. "I'm glad that you are here. I just have this one egg I'm going to lay. I'm not going to lay any others. In fact. I've decided to eject the rest of your seed. So. Don't worry. There won't be dozens of offspring. I know how much you hate me for doing this, already. But. I can't help myself, Thomas. I'm in love with you. That marking works both ways."
"But. I thought Coco women could have hundreds of partners and lay as many eggs?" I helped her the best I could. She took off her cloths from the top part of her body. The human part, exposing her breast. She was sweating. Was that a good sign or a bad one? "Are you going to be okay?"
She held out her hand. When I took hold of it, she pulled me in close to her, burying her head into my shoulders. "Stay with me." And with that she screamed as a big egg extruded out from the butt end of her insect part of her anatomy. There was all sorts of ooze and goo. The egg finally sliding out of her roach-like ass. Man. It was gross watching that. But. I stayed with her through the process. "Must rest..." And with that she passed out.
I took care of her. In about twenty four hours she was up and about tending to her precious egg. I had so many mixed feelings. Why had I allowed myself to be taken in by this monster? Now look at me? I was going to be the father of this Coco's child. I couldn't bring myself to accept the responsibility that the child was also mine. The egg hatched quickly after Amanda laid it. In a few days in fact. When the baby came out of the egg, I was expecting an ugly looking thing. But. It wasn't. It was just a human, Coco, baby. A little girl, that was what Amanda told me. From that point on, she looked at me differently. Not questioning, but as if she now knew me, who I was. She looked at me with confidence, like her mind was now made up. One day she left the cave and when she came back, she found me taking care of the child in an affectionate way. I mean, come on. It wasn't the child's fault that the world was all messed up. Was it? Amanda had left with little more than a military knife but came back with some animal she had killed, skinned, and it was ready to be dressed, cooked and eaten. While I had done so before, I used a pistol. She killed almost with her bare hands. So. Her gentleness was by choice, she could kill efficiently if she wanted to do so. She was all Coco female. I made note of that. I had finally managed to get some of the damaged equipment to work. It took so long, because in the crash, lots were damaged and, other parts thrown all over the place. Putting together anything that might work, and then making a power source was really hard. But. I finally got something to work. We made it a big deal when I sent out the first signal, the three of us, now. And sure enough, help arrived. Her people and mine. They were shocked that there were no other survivors. But. Pleased that we were the ones who did survive. More shocking was that there had been a child hatched to the both of us. My people looked at me funny. Her people seemed very pleased with the outcome. Then. One of the rescuers was Becky. She looked at me with shock and disgust and hurt. I suddenly felt shame. I mean. I had become one of those humans who had sex with a Coco. I remembered how much I hated those types of people. Now. I was a person I hated. Once on the aircraft back to civilization, it was quiet, for me. I stayed away from the Cocos. But. No one of my people, was comfortable sitting with me. After awhile, Amanda, who had been attentive to the baby, also, attentive as to how my own people were responding to me, came to me, with child in hand. She extended the child to me, whom we had name Chi'ka. It was a Coco word that meant: Blessed One. She held Chi'ka out to me. When I took her, my people looked the other way, while the Cocos approved and went on talking amongst themselves. She sat next to me.
"You and I are one, Thomas." Amanda told me, loud enough for my people to hear. She looked at each and everyone of them, then turned her attention, back to her family.
I was a sell-out and I felt like one. "Chi'ka's first flight." I managed to say. Amanda rested her head on my shoulders and watched on as I comforted Chi'ka. When we finally got back to civilization. As expected, I met with her parents. The old man, who disapproved of me from the beginning, had warmed to me because of Chi'ka. Amanda's mother was really nice, making me feel welcomed from the moment she set eyes on me. She told me that she considered me her son-in-law already. Even though no wedding had been set yet. But. It did happen. Turns out that Coco's had a very sophisticated wedding ritual. It was a clan or tribal like thing. Small wonder, a cockroach would have a really big family, and she did. Hundreds of relatives, most were actually siblings of one sort or another. The old man, my father-in-law, told me that the peace process was Amanda's idea and that she wanted the killing to stop. The marriage was the way to put an end to it and seal a lasting peace between human and Cocos. Other clans and tribes would eventually follow suit as they saw the results that peace brought. One day, Becky was invited to the palace. It was Amanda's idea. When Becky arrived, she had something for Chi'ka. It was well received by Amanda and her family. Amanda got the two of us together and she placed her hands on each of our shoulders. She kissed me on the mouth and then looked at Becky.
"It was the only way, Becky. My people were either going to totally annihilate the human race, or, find common ground. Chi'ka is common ground. I consider you like a sister in my life. You are important to me because you are important to my husband. And he needs your friendship in his life. We both do..."
Becky kinda smiled. "Things are changing."
I nodded. "And how."
Amanda brought us both into her very small but strong arms, with a hug. Then she turned to the other guest, taking Chi'ka as she went. The special occasion was Chi'ka's first birthday. There were little Coco children playing with human children. A sign of things to come? At least there would eventually be no more war.
"So. Where do we go from here?" Becky asked.
"You and I are soldiers, Becky. We've always done what had to be done. This is no different." I told her.
"Seems different. There was a time when we would have killed every Coco in this room. But now, just look at us?"
"You can't kill forever. Believe me, if you'd told me that things would have been like this ten years ago, five years ago, a year ago, I would have knocked you to the ground, so to speak."
"I know what you mean."
"But. Maybe this is the price of peace?" I glanced up at Amanda across the room. It was as if she sensed my attentiveness because she looked around back at me. She smiled warmly holding Chi'ka, then she motioned softly with her lips: "I love you..." Her big blue eyes smiling.