[Vfw-times] Story: A mother's love

Oren Otter orenoter at peakpeak.com
Tue Nov 28 21:52:54 CST 2000

Yes, this story has been posted before on the TSA, but if you'll forgive a
little bragging, I think it is a beautiful story and would like to share it
with those who have not yet read it.
Besides, it underscores my point about the individuality of Nacelites quite

A Mother's Love

by Oren the Otter


"Don't forget to take your heater!" she called to him as he headed out the

"Aw, mom! It's a whole thirty degrees out there! It's not like I'm going to
condense or anything."

She placed the thermal unit inside her son. "Humor you mother. Now don't

"I know. Eggs, milk, bread and ammonia."

She pulled her sweater tighter as he slipped out the door. The cold
reminded her of the day she first saw him.

It was unusually cold for May. The snow had been falling, and with it, ash
from the recent eruption of Mt. St. Helens. Helen had
heard a noise outside and opened the door to investigate. Hovering there
before her was a grey puff of smoke with a blue puff
inside it. "Please help me!" said the smoke. "My baby is dying!"

She was frightened by this apparition, but she also saw that this was
someone who needed help. She ushered them in and gave
them both hot bowls of chicken broth which they drank gratefully. "My name
is *&." said the smoke woman. "I am a nacelite."

"Are you an alien?" asked Helen.

"No. Well, my ancestors came from another planet, but my family, my tribe,
has been living inside Mt. St. Helens until the day it
erupted. My husband died in the explosion. I was out fetching water at the
time. It may be the only reason my son and I

"Are there others of your kind you can contact?" asked Helen.

"Yes, but not now. My son is sick, and I am afraid to travel with him. The
cold has weakened him."

"Then you are welcome to stay here. I live alone, and I'm glad for company
of any kind."

"You are a kind human. I expected that my appearance would panic you."

Helen smiled and quipped "people are people."


*& and her boy had become so much a part of Helen's life in the past year
that she did not want to let them go. *& did not
want to go, either, but the decision was soon made for her.

Helen stepped into the bathroom one day and saw *& lying in the tub. It
looked comical at first. "What are you doing in there?"
she asked.

"Helen?" said *& weakly.

"Yes? What? Are you okay?"

"No. I have become very weak. I no longer have the strength to float."

"Is there anything I can do to help?"

"No. What I have is treatable by a doctor, but there is no way to contact a
nacelite doctor. I must accept that I am going to die,
and soon."

"No! Oh, smoke, please don't say that! You can't die on me!"

"Helen, listen! There is something you must do for me!"

"Yes? Anything!"

"Adopt my son. When I am gone, you must be his mother."

"No Smoke! You're going to live!"

"Say it!"

"I will. I promise!"


There had been nothing to bury of *&. When her body lost its cohesion, it
swept itself down the drain. However, Helen placed
a grave marker in her back yard for her departed friend.

She held the child in her cupped hand. He was a beautiful cerulean blue. It
was after his color that she gave him the name


It had not been easy trying to raise a nacelite. She had only her year with
*& as experience to guide her. She dared not show
him in public. It was fortunate that she had a large enough fortune that
she did not need to work, and so could be with Cyril 24
hours a day.

She home schooled him, naturally. She didn't have to take him clothes
shopping, and that was a blessing. She fed him nutritious
foods, including many things that humans would find unpalatable, such as
ammonia and rubbing alcohol.

She gave him typical human toys, which proved to be just as entertaining
for a plasmoid.

The one thing she could not give him was a normal social life, but she did
the next best thing. She found him a way to make
friends without ever having to show his face. She introduced him to the
Internet. It was expensive, but it was worth it.

When Cyril woke up in the morning, he would rush through his chores and his
schoolwork as quickly as possible so that he
could go and play with his friends through the chat sites, mucks and
instant message systems.

His favorite friends were the ones he met on a mailing list who discussed
the topic of physical transformation. He liked them
because he perceived that they were not the type to judge a person by his
body. He wanted to meet them and show them what
he really was. He had told them, though of course, though they believed
that his plasmoid body was imaginary, as their Internet
personalities were. Almost all of them pretended to be some kind of animal.

"I wish there was some way my friends could really be animals like they
wanted to be." he quipped aloud one day.

"There is." Helen responded, almost idly.

"There is?"

"Your natural mother once told me that nacelite doctors can change one kind
of life form into another."

If Cyril had a face, he would have smiled. "Then I'm going to become a
doctor." he said. "I'm going to help people get the
bodies that they want."

"You do that." Helen replied. But she knew it was not possible. There was
no one to teach him.

Then it happened.


The nacelites revealed their plans for the human race, as well as their
presence. Cyril was delighted at first to learn that he could
now go out in public and meet others of his kind. He was dismayed, however,
when he learned that his mother was going to be
forced to become a skunk. He redoubled his efforts at learning the art of
biological transformation. He began with plants and
bugs and moved up to mice and birds and lizards. Before long, he would have
the skill necessary to give humans the forms they
wanted, and he would even be able to change his mother back into her own body.

It had stressed him no end to watch his mother slowly change until she was
covered in black and white fur and standing on her
toes. He developed a bit of a nervous twitch. In moments of stress he would
spark repeatedly.

He would be a doctor someday. He would be the best in the world, and he
would live to help people.


Cyril was immensely pleased at the chance to get out of the house. Even
though the city had grown out to meet the woods
where they lived, he didn't get out much. Mom's paranoia.

He had barely gotten a hundred feet from the house when a dozen people,
including one nacelite, appeared out of nowhere.
They were carrying strange weapons. One of them spotted Cyril and shot him.
The boy felt a horrible coldness come over his
body. Some detached part of his mind told him that he was being hit with a
unidirectional laser. It was what the humans called a
freeze ray. Both this and the teleporter they must have used to arrive were
highly experimental nacelite technology.

Cyril's thoughts began to slow and fade into pain as bits of his body
condensed into liquid. He screamed. "Mother! Mommy!
Help me! They're hurting me!"

Helen opened the door and shrieked in terror. She ran as fast as her legs
could carry her to where the last bits of Cyril's body
now puddled on the ground. "MY BABY!" she shrieked. "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO

"Lady," said the man who had shot him. "That is not your baby. That was a

Helen knelt at the cerulean blue pool, her face contorted by rage and
horror and grief. She clutched desperately at the fluid, as if
she could pull her child back from the dead. "He was my son! You killed my
son!" she sobbed. "How could you?" She held a
handful of the ooze that had once been her joy in life to her cheek.

"He had to be punished." said the remaining nacelite. "Our people are evil.
They all grow up to be murderers and thieves. We
do this in the name of justice."


"We must all die." said the nacelite. "First the others, and then me, the
instrument of their destruction."

Helen gazed in hatred at the cloud, who sparked repeatedly. She remembered
seeing this in Cyril, but never when he was calm.
"You're mad!" she said. "You're a lunatic!"

The man who had shot Cyril started to say something, but one of the others
interrupted him. "Do not worry about her, Nyimbo."
he said. "We must finish this raid and move on to the next country."


The next day, Helen went to an HEA office. She had to travel a short way.
The local office had closed after four of the staff had
been murdered by the teleporting raiding party.

She asked them to change her straight to a normal skunk. She also asked
them to take away her memory of her human life.
They did this obligingly, and she forgot about her house, her family, her
late friend, her interests and likes and frustrations.

She never forgot about Cyril.

She eventually found herself a mate. He was a transformed human, though she
had forgotten the significance of it. That spring
she gave birth to a single kit. He was a beautiful baby.

His eyes were cerulean blue.

Oren Otter
The Changing Workplace

More information about the VFW-Times mailing list