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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2243680-The-problem
Rated: E · Short Story · Romance/Love · #2243680
Assignment 5 for building sensuality. 894 words
Teo paced. Annette had said she would be home twenty minutes ago. He knocked on her door again, in case she had teleported directly into her apartment. “Sir, the facts are still the same, Annette isn’t home yet. I promise to let you know the minute she arrives,” Prima, Annette’s AI assistant informed him for the tenth time.

“Can you at least tell me what is taking her so long?”

“I am afraid it is a very important need to know, project.”

“Can Carl fill me in?” Teo asked, tweaking Carl’s name into a slur.

“I am afraid not.”

“Who can tell me what she’s doing?”

Annette stepped up behind him. The scent of her pheromones penetrated his awareness first. “Teo, if you want to know where I was, just ask me.”

Teo spun to look her in the eye. He had prepared to scold her for her lateness, but she looked pale and tired, far from her usual healthy self. “What happened to you?”

“I’m fine Teo. Tina says I check out as perfectly healthy.”

“You were with the head of medical services?” Teo’s forehead creased with worry, “What’s wrong? Prima said you were busy with some kind of need to know project!”

“I was, and we’ve finished it.”

“You, and Tina?”

“Yes, let’s go inside. I don’t want this to be common knowledge,” Annette palmed her door open and entered her apartment. Reluctantly, Teo followed her. He had become increasingly certain he would not like this project. Once they were inside, Annette collapsed into the nearest chair, “Prima, full shields, priority one. Teo, I am only telling you about this because you are my fiance. The past seven months I have worked with Tina to find a cure or preventative measure against the Riiad collective.”

“Isn’t that a medical problem? You don’t have medical training. What can you possibly do to help her?”

Annette smiled weakly, “Yes, I do not have medical training, but what I do have is the strongest immune system on record.”

Teo stared at her unable to admit to what the math left him with. She was suggesting… “You have been letting her infect you with elements of the collective? Do you know how dangerous that was? It could have assimilated you!” He pulled her up from the chair and wrapped his arms protectively around her. Then he began patting her down, looking for signs of infection.

“Calm down Teo! I kicked every element!” Annette pushed away, “I am not some frail flower that you need to protect. .”

“You could have died! Do you know how important you are?”

“Yes, yes, I am the chief factor and I have no business risking myself like this.”

“No! I don’t give a damn about you being the chief factor! You are Annette Peterson, my one and only pairmate. I have been working on inane plans for our very public state wedding, because everyone expects it. I never wanted that, but I’m doing it for you! And you are trying to kill yourself!”

Annette stared him down and sat, “I am not trying to kill myself. Tina has put forth every safeguard she could think of. We have only done the trials in rooms packed with every medical contingency covered. And it has worked. Tina thinks she has what she needs now to complete a treatment to extract individuals from the collective in the least invasive way. She is also developing a contagious way of vaccinating the multiverse against the collective.”

“You were late because you came from one of these trials?”


“Then I am going to assume that things didn’t go exactly as planned!” Teo ranted. He pulled at his hair and paced, “What gave you this insane idea?”

“Back before I was chief, Kavir invaded Sanctuary and took over much of the” base. He infected Carl. Carl infected me. My body fought the infection and drove it out. I found Angela and Tina hiding out. Fortunately, they both escaped infection. Tina scanned me and determined a way to extract the infection. I just theorized it might work with the other elements to this Riiad,” Annette sighed.

Teo stared down at her pausing only briefly in his pacing. “I need some time to digest this!”

“Okay but it is a done deal,” Annette shrugged, “So you didn’t want to do this whole big state wedding?”

“No,” Teo admitted. Annette’s foolish choices had him far too preoccupied to avoid answering with anything but absolute truth.

“I don’t want to either. Let’s elope!”

Teo stopped pacing and eyed her, “You aren’t suggesting we elope just to get out of this argument, are you?”

“Maybe a little, but I really want to. I don’t want to do this big stuffy wedding that is more for the citizens than it is for us. This is our wedding, not theirs.”

Teo shook off his anger and rolled with a sudden enthusiasm for the idea, “Let’s go to Vegas!”

“Just let me shower first!” Annette stood stiffly with a smile plastered across her still too pale face.

Her complexion worried him, “Okay, but we are going to discuss the folly of your plans during our honeymoon!” He grasped her in his arms and kissed her.

Annette pulled away from the kiss with a smirk, “Just so long as that isn’t all we do on the honeymoon.”

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