The New York Times: December 24, 2183

by Murakami Kasumi (村上かすみ)


The New York Times
December 24, 2183

On December 23, at 8:34 in the am Standard Global Time General Jonathan Aller breathed his last after reaching 122 years of age. General Aller had been out of the political spotlight for over 2 years when declining health forced him to retire to his family’s historical German country estate where he lived out the remainder of his life.

That should have been the opening to the obituary that would have normally appeared in the place of this article. What follows should be a glowing profile, a historical legacy, an illustrious chronicle detailing the career of the greatest man of this century whose contributions of galactic diplomacy situated the distant, insignificant, primitive planet of 782.222.956 (which the locals like to call Earth) as a stage of true political neutrality and justice, et cetera.

Instead there is this: an apology, a justification assigned to a bitter, cynical hack who shares a desk with two other writers in a broom closet at the New York Times because no one with a career worth destroying will touch it.

But I do not wish to apologize, and God willing my editor will feel the same way and you will read this just as it is tomorrow morning. You will read it at your terminal screens in your office or from your handheld on the bus in the morning or perhaps even in black and white newsprint if the higher-ups don’t catch wind of them firing up the old presses in the basement.

General Aller died at 8:34 am SGT and that is where his story should have come to an elegantly understated close, but at 8:35 the following excerpted journal was transmitted simultaneously to every major news organization on the planet sealing General Aller’s fate as the most infamous man of our times.

I am unaware of any other news organization that is taking the precious text space to reproduce the submitted (and subsequently verified) journal entries in their entirety. I do not expect a commendation and in all actuality I expect to be fired, quite possibly before you read this sentence. They will claim it was the content, but I will know and you will know and they will know that the content of this article is no worse then what anyone can see on daytime television and that sort of 20th century moralizing holds less water then a sieve.

When they fire me, and they will, it will be because I took some of your precious time and attention away from their advertisers when I broke the cardinal rules of their brand-name cooperate journalism. I will have challenged you to think for yourself, beyond whatever slant the right and left camps will try to put on this whole incident, and forced you to consider the possibility that some things are beyond that type of from-the-box thinking.

But above all that, I will have dared you to feel something about the extraordinary life of another human being, who, for all his flaws, is the closer to true human perfection then I have ever imagined. I would have liked to have known him.

Jonathan Aller (2061-2183). Soldier, humanitarian, beloved.

December 24, 2087

Perhaps I should revise that date because I’m pretty sure it’s past midnight with how heavy my head feels, fuzzy too, but that might just be the alcohol talking. Normally I’d say I have no one but myself to blame for my intoxication, but extenuating circumstances…namely him, forced my hand tonight. I swear to all that is holy if there was a socially acceptable way to crawl into the bottom of a bottle at a high-society function by God I would have found it tonight. As it is, I couldn’t even find a polite way to loosen the circulation-detaining neck on my dress uniform without committing some strange social faux pas.

It was tonight, when a butler, a complete stranger, called me by full rank and name and asked if I would like a flute of the vintage Moët Dom Pérignon or if I’d prefer something else, perhaps from the cellar, that I realized just how much trouble I’m in.

As Chief Secretary to the World Military Grand General Counsel, or the 11 damned bastards as I like to call them, I’m just one well timed death or retirement away from becoming one of the most powerful men on the planet, at which point I’ll never again be able skip out on whatever obligation runs my way. I’m never going to get used to it, or these damned parties, but I know I’ll be better at the truly important parts of the job then those crotchety bastards who would rather reminisce about the days when military had a plural, or when sentient extraterrestrial life was still a “theory” then make the decisions that’ll keep our planet from self-destructing or pissing off the wrong intergalactic super-power.

I’m going to regret this in the morning, well, both writing this down so it can be used as blackmail and drinking like a fish on diuretics. I know that I journal every day and feel just damn lost if I don’t, but if I were smart I’d stop what I was doing right now, drink as much water as my stomach can hold, and pass out on the nearest semi-flat surface. But I’ve just got to get this frustration out somehow or I won’t be held responsible for my actions when I bite someone’s head off at the soonest possible convenience.

I guess that if I were being fair I would blame that nosy social climbing busybody and not him. If she weren’t the hostess’s mother I would have questioned the guest list that included that witch. There’s just something about Americans, an overall shallowness of their high society, the lack of a historic aristocracy maybe, that makes them seem so…cheap, like class can be bought by anyone with enough money. It sets my teeth on edge. God and Country knows my mother never had money when I was growing up, but she always had, and has, her title and her regal bearing.

But he’s different, that’s probably why he caught my attention so easily and probably why he seemed so set on tormenting me. I couldn’t keep my eyes off him, and who could when he swept into the room looking like a modern Oscar Wilde, well Oscar Wilde with an attractive face to match the flair of his dress and the obviousness of his appetites. I can’t deny the pull of his manners, a sense of regality and individualism with nothing at all to prove about his money or his background.

He must have caught me staring (at the inscrutable purple cravat on purple dress shirt and not at his chest, like he insisted) because he sauntered over to me like he knew me (well he did know my name, but that’s coming to be fairly standard I’ve noticed) and introduced himself as Troy Hilton, immediately situating himself in my personal space. He had begun exchanging pleasantries (or so I’m sure he would have called them) while I tried to back up (unsuccessfully) while holding up my end of the conversation.

It was around then that the witch was suddenly upon us. She grasped my arm and clutched it too tightly to her overly botoxed form, as if looking 30 years younger then her age gave her permission to act like the teenager she was at least 50 years from being. I tried not to openly frown at her, but she laughed and commented on what a serious and mature young man I was and how handsome a stern expression made me. That only made the frown creases between my eyes pinch together even further which made her laugh more. She started chattering about a young woman she was familiar with who would be very interested in getting to know me a little better, but I didn’t even have time to refuse before Troy diverted her attention. She giggled as he swept low and kissed her hand and she promised to introduce him to a very accomplished gentleman whose company she was “certain he’d enjoy.”

He smiled at her then clutched my arm against his chest possessively, in a clear parody of her previous treatment of my arm, stroking my shoulder as he whispered suggestively, without taking his eyes from me that he had someone else’s company in mind.

I could have decked him right there.

He could clearly see my uniform, he knew who I was. People have been court-marshaled for far less then he was suggesting (were it true) and he could be arrested for slander of a high military official.

I stood, mouth open, too shocked to push him off me. The witch blinked, her eyes going wide at his audacity before she covered her mouth demurely and laughed asking when we had become such good friends to joke so. I lied quickly that he’d known my uncle, the gay one, I’d added for the sake of false verification, and we’d met at the funeral following that accident several years ago involving my uncle and my father, but we hadn’t seen each other for ages. She nodded slowly and made a careful exit exhibiting a surprising amount of tact, mentions of double funerals tend to do that to people. But this unfortunately gave him the perfect excuse to hang on me all night, much to the shocked amusement of other party goers who were fascinated by the taboo sight of a military officer’s cool being ruffled by the inappropriate proximity of a flamboyantly gay man. He seemed to take great care in brushing up against every inch of me throughout the course of the night and a few that I hadn’t even been sure I had.

I have never wished pain upon another human as I did him tonight and I hope for my sanity that I never will again. And the worst part is that if I hadn’t been the butt of every joke, I’d have probably been laughing right along with him.

December 31, 2087

I’d known I would eventually see him again, as the social circles I was slowly being forced into run rather small, but I hadn’t expected it to be at my breakfast table at 9 am New Year’s Eve Day. I immediately shot an accusatory look at Kyle as he set a plate of sausage and pumpernickel with jam in front of that infuriating man, but Kyle simply gave me a look back that said loud as day “I run this house for you and I will cook for who I want to cook for and you’re too chicken to do anything about it.” I was struck in that moment that it’s a bad idea to employ a manservant who’s also the closest thing that you have to a friend.

Troy for his part in all this barely paused to look up and greet me before continuing to eat his soft-boiled egg. He complemented Kyle on his cooking and the man blushed and smiled like a besotted teen. I frowned, but simply sat down and started to eat as my plate magically appeared before me on the table. Troy chit-chatted like the annoyingly charismatic and handsome socialite he was equally with myself and Kyle. Most of my “guests” had treated Kyle like he was some walking extension of the furniture.

Coffee was poured as the plates were cleared and Kyle, sweet, sweet too considerate for my good Kyle, left to attend to the cleaning while we “had a nice chat.” Kyle apparently isn’t developing telepathic tendencies because he didn’t respond in the least to my desperate mental calls for help.

Once alone, the gentleman from this morning vanished and the monster from the party appeared, looking across at me with a suggestive leer. I said little as I finished my coffee and responded that I intended to retire to my study for the morning hoping that he’d take the hint and excuse himself. He didn’t and instead offered to accompany me. I mostly ignored him, walking as quickly as I could to my study hoping somehow I’d lose him, but when I opened the door he was right behind me. I almost shut the door in his face.

Some bit of my etiquette training must have stuck though, and I held the door just long enough for him to slip inside before closing it. This was a mistake…probably. He grabbed my wrist and leaned up to press his mouth to mine.

I hadn’t realized how close to the door I was and knocked the back of my head against the solid oak. His warm, soft lips coaxed mine, but they were frozen, like the rest of my body in shock. He couldn’t have been kissing me for more then a few short instances, but it sure felt like he took his sweet time figuring out I wasn’t even twitching. He pulled away slowly and looked into my eyes, at least I think he did. Mine weren’t really focused at the time. He jumped away, like he’d been bitten, or was scared he’d be decked, apologizing all the while. It took a while for me to finally clear my throat and mutter that no it was fine, just…a big misunderstanding. He shook his head and muttered that he’d been so sure I was receptive to him and there had been times, moments, when he could have sworn I was coming on to him. I stood there stupidly for a second then replied that he’d been doing enough of that for the both of us.

He laughed then, a hearty sound the washed over me and warmed my body to the very center. I had to laugh back.

It’s amazing how laugher at the right moment can clear the air more effectively than anything else in the world. He apologized again and I dismissed it, apologizing myself for sending the wrong signals. Apparently it can be difficult to tell these things with military men, as well it should, considering that a rumor landing on the wrong ear could mean discharge.

It’s strange how easily our conversation progressed from there. I was laughing at one of his stories involving an accountant, a famous movie actress and a bottle of vodka when Kyle came in to ask where I wanted to take lunch and if Troy would be staying. Troy took this opportunity to leave but we’ve promised to meet again tonight. Apparently we both have to put in appearances at the same New Years party. For the first time in years I’m thinking of attending a formal in something more comfortable than my dress uniform.

January 1, 2088—because I know it’s after midnight

I wore a suit and tie, which Troy loosened as soon as I saw him. I held my breath, preparing to warn him off, but that brief, though familiar touch, was as close as he got all night. I’m still amazed how comfortable, how much more…entertaining the whole party-scene (which I’ve never enjoyed) is when you’ve got the most amicably social creature there to draw you back into the thick of it if you ever stray too far.

Someone actually questioned us about the little show that we put on Christmas Eve, and Troy answered with an apology, that we were friends who hadn’t seen each other in a while and that he had drank a little too much and was leaning on me in an attempt to not mortally embarrass himself by stumbling and cracking his head open on the marble staircase. They all simpered and giggled, how embarrassing would that have been, bleeding to death on the stairs, their vacuous skulls seemed to titter.

He isn’t the same as them, that’s why I like him I suppose. He makes me laugh and speaks his mind. He thinks, but not when he needs to act. He would make an excellent officer if he weren’t gay. I suppose that’s why I feel so at ease with him, like I’m not so terribly out of place at all.

Troy mentioned stopping by soon and I hope he does. I never did get to hear what happened at the dinner with him, his sister and that team of psychiatrists.

January 3, 2088

Troy claimed that a successful New Years needs at least two days worth of recovery. I think I was just lower down on his list of people to visit then I’d like to admit. I need to keep reminding myself that we’ve only just met and that there are other men, ones whose friendships have the potential to blossom into something more, whose company he would probably much rather keep.

He brought a bottle of wine as an apology and insisted (since the label was a recommendation from a friend) that he be around to “test it to make sure it’s okay.” I gave him a puzzled look and asked if that wouldn’t that lead to more “recovery” time. He looked confused, then looked down at the bottle in his hand, then back up and assured me it wasn’t that big.

He stayed for dinner (the wine was excellent) and we talked at length about our careers. He still liked to keep his hands in the hotel chain that had belonged to his family for generations and was surprisingly passionate about it for one so affluent. He even admitted to being a little nervous to be taking this vacation time because of how crazy it got during the holidays and blushed with embarrassment.

He asked about my past and seemed truly interested in it because it was my history, not because it was somehow “sensational.” I told him about living in an apartment in Bonn because it was too expensive to heat the estate house in the winter all the way through paying off all the debt on my familial estate and buying this New England estate so I wasn’t crowding my mother and her new husband.

Troy didn’t know that I had two stepbrothers and a stepsister. I couldn’t resist the chance to bring out the pictures and show them off a little. He was surprised at how young they were, but I could do little more then shrug in response.

He left just under an hour ago, promising that he’d come visiting at least once a month, even after these holidays ended. I truly hope that he will because I know that I’m going to miss him even before Council reconvenes in three days. I’ve never been comfortable in the presence of women, not even my mother really, and because of this I’ve always preferred the company of men, but very few men were willing to sit at length and talk about the future over drinks with another man.

I’ve just met Troy, barely over a week ago, and I already feel that I would do just about anything to keep from losing him.

March 4, 2089

Troy and I went horseback riding today. I don’t own horses, but he brought along a couple handsome and placid mares to tour my estate grounds as he realized last month that he’d been visiting me for over a year and still hadn’t officially had the grand tour. I argued that the estate was small enough to be taken in by foot, but he simply brushed off my suggestion and shushed me for having no sense of imagination or romance.

I’d known that he owned horses, but I hadn’t understood how…passionate he was about them. I guess that’s probably the best way to describe Troy, passionate. He feels so terribly strongly, love, hate, even disinterest. I have never seen anyone with such a passionate disinterest for those things he wished to ignore, like he sets every ounce of his being on pretending that something doesn’t exist.

God knows how he found an uptight, immature military goon like myself worth knowing, but God help me if he ever decides I’m disinteresting.

July 9, 2090

I just found out today that my mother is sick. Has been, for a long time. It’s terminal.

I can’t do this right now.

September 13, 2090

Mother met Troy today, while I sat through the Generals’ meeting assessing the efficiency of the previous meetings (probably not the best way to spend their time while the Nirack Empire is deciding whether or not the best attack course would be through our planet) and watched the clock, converting time zones back and forth in my head.

Mother looked better then she had been, though she insists that the video monitors wash her out. I offered to fly to Germany and help her test her theory, but she insisted that my job was saving the world, which was certainly more important then one old lady. I almost hung up right then, not wanting to face her, and probably would have if she hadn’t started talking about Troy.

Thank God he didn’t bring his boyfriend along. The little bimp looks 16 and acts 12…on a good day.

She liked him, I knew she would, and I knew she’d yell at me for not introducing her to such a fantastic gentleman when I’ve known him for over two years. She mentioned that he was going to be staying around for a few more days. I’ll call him tomorrow and ask if he can’t stay until Saturday, when I plan on showing up to surprise my mother. I think I’d like to see the two of them together, getting along, and very likely teasing me crimson before

I think I’ll go call him now.

September 18, 2090

I have to blame the way that he said my name as we embraced. It was part greeting, part comfort and whispered right into my ear. I hadn’t thought anything about it at the time, but that dream. That had to be why.

I can’t believe I’m going to write this down, but, oh god, how wrong is it that I’m getting turned on just thinking about it, like I’m 17 again.

I was laying on my stomach in my bed, not the hotel room with the strange smelling pillows, my bed with soft cotton sheets in his favorite purple. It was just a tickle on the back of my neck, probably my own hair that got the dream visions moving. It was lips, his lips against the back of my neck. They burned against my spine as his tongue slicked hot patterns across my skin. I moaned and humped against the bed, frustrated by the smooth cotton, then screamed when I felt his tongue flick even lower. I have no idea what a tongue might feel like licking at that part of my body but if it feels half as good as it did in my dream I’d be hard pressed to say no to the offer to find out.

In the next moment he was over me, stretched out on top as I begin to feel something throbbing inside of me. Oh god, in my dream he fucked me into the mattress while I spread my legs and begged. All the while he kept whispering “Jon” into my ear.

I jolted awake not long after and rolled onto my back, jerking off hard and crying, it felt so damn good. I came so much it shot up to my chest, landing slick and warm on my overheated skin.

I can still hear him whispering my name, and it makes me shiver.

September 19, 2090

I tried to put him out of my mind today, to concentrate on my mother, but my mother and I have never been really close, especially not since father died. It’s never been very comfortable between us, but since her illness it’s been worse.

I’m impossibly grateful that Troy was there. I don’t know that I could stand being in a room with her for more then an hour otherwise. Her room at the hospital is spacious, and well decorated, like you’d expect for landed nobility, but it still smells like a hospital and my mother still looks like she’s dying.

It was hard to say goodbye to him. We were in a public area of the hospital. I couldn’t even lean on him, feel the comfort of that physical contact, let alone tell him about my dream last night, all the dreams I haven’t even had yet and how much I’m find myself wanting him.

I need to be on a plane back to America early if I’m to make it to my first meeting on time. It just seems ridiculous, so many of the intergalactic cultures that we deal with on a daily basis use variations on teleportation technology. They can show up in our boardrooms from light years away instantly. We can’t even contact them unless they contact us and if the old higher-ups didn’t keep getting standoffish about every little thing we might actually make some progress towards pulling ourselves out of what I’ve heard Aldashians call the Dark Ages.

I need a vacation that doesn’t involve my dying mother or pretending that I don’t want Troy to fuck me at his soonest possible convenience.

December 3, 2090

My mother died today at 1734 GST. I’d just gone into a three hour negotiation where my position was glorified note-taker and no one saw fit to come tell me that my mother had just fucking died.

I’d been leaving, storming out to go, I don’t know, shoot something probably, when I heard, faintly over the blood roaring in my ears, Troy calling my name. I wanted to fall into him and cry, but God I was right in front of the World Military Headquarters. He understood though, he always does. He just gripped my shoulder and pulled me aside. He usually likes to drive himself, but today he brought a driver.

I’m not sure where he intended to take me, home maybe, but that didn’t matter to me in that moment. I turned and cried into his shoulder while the road just kept rolling beneath us, droning steadily against the tires.

I don’t even want to know what I half-crazed mutterings I’d wept into his shirt, while wiping my nose against his custom suit. I know that I said something about how I wasn’t there for my mother, that I was never there for my mother, because that’s what I’m thinking right now.

I need to be on a plane early. Her husband’s mother will be doing most of the arrangements, but I need to be there to do whatever I can. I want to be there for my stepsiblings.

The thing that I feel the worst about in this whole situation, the part that’s been bothering me so much, is just how relieved I am now that I can start getting my life going again now that she’s gone.

July 25, 2091

The day that I had dreaded is finally upon me. General Johnston has announced his retirement at the end of the summer session and there is no doubt in anyone’s mind (myself included) who’s going to get the nomination when the time comes, despite my only being 30. I get the feeling that I might be better crawling under a rock and hiding. Some might call it shirking responsibility; I just call it a healthy, reasonable perspective on reality.

I don’t know that anyone else is really feeling it yet, but things are getting frighteningly close to conflict. From what we can gather (or rather infer from the little that we’ve been told) is that Earth still has quite a few useful natural resources and, well, what both major empires like to call “adaptable and expendable troops.”

There’s a reason why we’re reluctant to side with either of them.

They’re getting anxious and if either side decided that they just wanted to take, well, there would be next to nothing that we could do about that.

Troy came over to celebrate. Something for just the two of us before the official retirement/congratulation party that I’ll be expected to host in couple weeks. I wanted to be close to him, to hold him and tell him my worries, but…

I don’t know anymore. I don’t even know if he has feelings for me. He wants me. I can tell sometimes, but I would never be able to tell anyone that I loved him and he could never tell anyone that we were together. He’d never think it was worth it, even if he loved me, the strain of living lies and hiding like a rat is too much to ask of someone you even remotely care about, but asking that of someone you love and who loves you?

And what’s worst of all is how much I still want him, even knowing it’s impossible.

December 10, 2091

I wish that I could blame it on the situation with the Aldashians and how I feel like we must have some super planet destroying weapon that we can’t even conceive of pointed right at us from somewhere beyond Jupiter and all the stress that’s put me under recent, but I’ve wanted him so badly for so long that I can’t even say that I’m surprised that we had sex.

No, we didn’t have sex; we made love. As hokey and dimestore novel as that sounds, it’s what I have to call it, because that’s what it was.

He was waiting for me when I came home, he’s been doing it for a while now, ever since the intergalactic tensions just ratcheted up a notch because he knows how hard it’s been on my nerves lately. Apparently he underestimated how hard he’s been on my nerves lately, because when he sat down next to me on my couch, looked at me with soft, understanding eyes and rubbed my arm I lost it completely.

I pulled him up against me and felt the whole line of his body pressed to mine and kissed him. He didn’t freeze like I had all those years ago, not even for a second. He threw his arms around me and rubbed my back his hands clenching, tearing at the thick fabric of my uniform every time I moaned into his mouth.

I couldn’t kiss him enough. I couldn’t touch him enough. My want was unrelenting, fueled by years of suppressed desire and Troy’s obvious want for me. He didn’t say anything at first, just slipped his tongue into my mouth and tasted and stroked from the inside and rocked his lower body against mine. It was awkward, we couldn’t seem to find the right way to move against each other, but we were both so aroused it didn’t seem to matter.

It was Troy who broke the kiss first panting and shuddering. We held onto each other, just holding, trying not to move just breath, but the tension between us just seemed to pull tighter and tighter. His shuddering breath ghosted along my neck and my arms tightened around his shoulders.

A stronger man would have pulled away. A stronger man would have made some space and started to put this all behind him.

I was tired of being the stronger man.

I leaned in and nibbled on his ear and invited him to my bed. Standing and walking wasn’t the most comfortable, not with the stiffness that strained the front of my trousers. Troy didn’t look like he was fairing any better and we laughed at little about it to bleed the tension away.

But all the wanting came back, and the humor left the moment our lips touched again as we stood over the bed. Troy peeled back my clothes and kissed each bit of skin he uncovered making me shiver from the heat. I slipped beneath the covers as he removed his own clothes.

I wish I would have been able to be more bold, to just go for it and do what I’d been wanting to do, what I’d been planning to do, to run my hands all over his heated skin, to lick and pinch his nipples as he moaned until I took pity and swallowed his cock, swallowing it until Troy screamed my name and came down my throat. But I couldn’t do anything at all; acting like the blushing incompetent I didn’t want to let him know I was.

I think he knew anyway…that this was my first time with a man. He’s my best friend, of course he knew; I know all about his conquests. I’m not sure at what point I was no longer solely jealous that his lovers took his time away from me and started to envy the body and heart that they were privy to as well.

Troy certainly made up for lost time last night. He sucked me down, forcing me to come in his mouth in long, hot pulses, then stretched me with his fingers and slicked my hole with his tongue and lubricant from by bedside table until I was gaping open and screaming into the pillow with each wet flick of his tongue or twist of his fingers. He slid his impossibly stiff sex into me, my backside up and my face buried in the bedclothes as he pounded me into oblivion and I came with just the barest of touches as he spilled himself inside.

We collapsed, pressed intimately together as long minutes passed by. He whispered how much he loved me and how happy I’d made him, how he’d wanted me so much that it had throbbed from the moment he met me. How that wanting had grown painful and blinding over the years. How happy he was, is, here with me. Just unbearably happy. He kept saying that over and over as he began to rise again, my insides tingling at the impossibly pleasurable feeling.

He’d turned me over then, gently and reverently without once withdrawing, or even pulling back more then a couple of inches. He folded my legs up and kissed and stroked my face until he was solid and pulsing inside of me. We slid against each other in slow rhythm until it wasn’t enough and I begged for harder and faster until I came again, bucking wildly against him as he thrust deep and hard, groaning “Jon” as he came inside me again.

I passed out from exhaustion then, the adrenaline of the past couple days combined with the first orgasms I’d shared with another man, the man I care more for then everyone else on the planet combined.

I awoke to Kyle bringing in breakfast for two, like it was the most natural thing in the world to wake to the irrefutable evidence of his employer’s criminal activities. He suggested that we might like the chance to have breakfast in bed and make a long morning of it, but at least had the decency to look embarrassed about it.

I’d better set my laptop aside now, before the jam that someone has smeared onto my chest drips on the keyboard.

January 29, 2092

The craziest thing happened today. I still can’t believe it and, in fact, until I have both sides signed off and the whole deal is sealed up tighter then a drum I most likely won’t. The Aldashians and the Nirack just agreed to enter into a free-trade joint contract with us. Free-trade. Nobody attacks us, ever, and we sell to the highest bidder. I’d pinch myself if I hadn’t already.

I thought I was translating incorrectly at first, but no, I’ve been studying both official empire languages since I was in grade school. They somehow managed to, completely on their own, decide on the best possible solution…for us that is. From what I could infer, they didn’t want to waste resources or potentially destroy what they would be fighting for (that would be our planet).

My job is now to convince the other Generals not to whine and protest in the political version of a temper tantrum for being kept out of the loop, and a ludicrously misplaced tantrum at that. Four of the others (surprise, surprise, it’s then next four youngest) are perfectly willing to see my position on this. I’m the only one who’s natively fluent in the languages going on the treaty and some of those that are…less then impressed by me, don’t entirely trust my understanding of nuanced political language, despite two experts in the fields backing up my assessments.

If this works out, God just think about it, Earth will be one of the safest places in the galaxy and a financial superpower within in a year.

Because if there is one thing that I trust human beings to do in the face of all else it’s turn a profit.

February 14, 2092

It was strange; with everything that’s been going on I’d forgotten what day it was until Troy appeared in my study with roses. I’d invited him over, because things are finally starting to wind down and, well, we needed a chance to straighten things out between us. I chastised him for making such a lurid display, asking him what a picture of him walking to my front door carrying roses would look like in the tabloids tomorrow.

But he shushed me saying that the roses had been delivered discreetly and hidden by Kyle until he let Troy in and pushed my gentleman caller towards me while he finished preparing a fantastically romantic dinner for two. I still can’t believe Kyle did that, even after I’d told him weeks ago he could take the afternoon and evening off to spend with that sweet girl of his.

I was so confused by everything, happy and upset at the same time. And it’s funny, but I think it was Kyle’s complete support of the whole situation that forced me to stop second guessing everything and allow myself this bit of happiness.

And I would be happy, but Troy refuses to be subtle about his gloating or his blatantly carnal affections. Kyle couldn’t tear out of there fast enough once the table was cleared. In fact, he was probably worried that Troy was about to throw me over the table, damn the dirty dishes, and have his way with me in the middle of the dinning room. Not that I would have been able to offer much resistance if he’d set his mind to that.

I pounced him the minute I closed the bedroom door, pushing him to the bed and crawling on top of his deliciously muscled form. I peeled back what clothing I needed moved to kiss and lick at his skin from mouth to bellybutton and lower. He made the most incredible loud and appreciative noises as I sucked him off, and I ground my clothed groin into the bed in desperation as I experienced what it’s like to have someone come in your mouth, screaming your name to heaven.

He fucked me slow and hard and then I fucked him just for good measure. We dozed on an off for a couple of hours and now we’re just laying around in bed while I consider leaving a message for Kyle suggesting that he not bother trying to wake us until noon tomorrow.

November 25, 2092

I knew it would happen. That he would get sick of sneaking around and lying to people like some poor closeted fag from a hundred years ago. It’s too much stress and heartache for one person to take and I just can’t ask him to keep doing it for my sake. No, I could ask him; I want to ask him, but he wouldn’t listen. Not anymore.

What I hate most of all is that it had to be an argument about the damned horses. It wasn’t even about us. He thought that I hadn’t given Fourwinds a rubdown after our morning run. I had, but that was just enough to set us both off. We both know what we’re actually fighting about, and that’s what makes apology so impossible. I’m not going to apologize for who I am (my sad closeted military self) and I don’t expect him to either.

There’s nothing wrong with who either of us are, but we can’t make it work between us no matter how much we wish we could.

December 25, 2092

Troy came back to me today. I’d planned for it. I’d planned to tell him that whatever had happened between us in the past was over and we both needed to move on. I didn’t, thank God.

I think it was seeing him last night and the party. He was gorgeous, naturally, wearing purple again like he had five years ago, but I could still see that his cheeks were pale and that he’d lost weight he couldn’t really afford to loose. It hurt to look at him for to long so I’d busied myself with my drink, taking care to make sure my glass was never empty.

He was sitting at my breakfast table when I rolled out of bed in the morning, I realize now that breakfast and Kyle were nowhere to be seen, but at the time all I noticed in the entire world was him. He stood, unable to step forwards or backward, just look at me, wanting and hoping.

I fell into the circle of his arms and we simply held each other while we apologized for nothing in particular and everything in general. I think we both realized in the same instance, holding each other on Christmas morning, the bitter scent of pine all around us, that we can’t live without each other.

We might not always be happy together, but without each other we would die of misery.

May 11, 2100

I now (completely unbeknownst to the public and ready to stay that way) own the second personal sub-planetary transporter on Earth. Troy (also unofficially, naturally) owns the first and my God it’s going to be like a second Honeymoon. I went to sleep alone last night and woke up this morning with a very clingy (and very insistently aroused) Troy wrapped around me like a python.

We’ve always known that it was impossible to live together and extended visits needed to be planned and alibied with care. If even a quarter of our visits to each other were made public knowledge we would have more then the occasional unsubstantiated gossip column speculation to deal with. But with this…machine, it’s like we’re living together (and if I’m understanding the principles of temporal spatial physics at work here we technically are living together).

Our biggest source of tension and conflict has just vanished in a puff of smoke. Today is a good day.

December 25, 2142

I don’t know what I’d expected of our fiftieth anniversary, but I can’t imagine a more beautiful day. I slipped over to Germany for a few hours to wish Donavan a Merry Christmas. He seems to be doing rather well, though he apparently wants to move to somewhere where it’s more convenient to travel to see his bother and sister. Though the house has officially been mine since mother passed on, I simply let my stepfather and stepsiblings continue living there. Now that Donavan wishes to move out I’m left with an interesting question of what to do with the place. I keep thinking that if we were discrete enough only a select few would even have to know that anyone was living there.

Perhaps I’ll bring it up with Troy tomorrow.

We spent the rest of the day curled up together in an oversized chair, drinking wine and talking about anything but military politics and the hotel industry. We set the transporter to music-lock and let the sound waves from the New York Philharmonic Christmas Concert roll over us as we watched the fire content, warm and pleasantly drunk.

We’ll make love before we fall asleep tonight and let Kyle bring the lovely breakfast that he and his wife will make to us in bed tomorrow morning.

August 13, 2181

The doctors told Troy today that he’s dying. It’s colon cancer, in that new form of tumor, the one that doesn’t respond at all to Paxtrophine or nanomachines or even more aggressive chemical treatments. It’s far past operable. He’ll be starting on growth inhibitors, which the doctors say will let him live comfortably for a couple more years. We’re moving permanently to the estate in Germany away from this continent, away from everything.

I’m announcing my retirement tomorrow. Everything that I have accomplished, that I could still accomplish just doesn’t seem so important anymore. Troy’s convinced me not to make our relationship public, that our last days together should not be a constant battle against the media storm. I understand how he feels, but it’s just too sad, that even after I have nothing to lose but him I still can’t let the world know just how much he means to me.

April 9, 2183

Today was the first day it really felt like spring. It’s been so rainy and gloomy all March that I was sure we were planning on skipping right through spring and summer and landing in fall again.

But today was nice. I pushed Troy around the yard for a little bit, but he got tired quickly and wanted to go back inside for lunch. I almost made him tough if out for a bit, but Rachel insisted in her impossibly considerate way that made me think the idea was mine all along. She’s grown into such a lovely woman; Kyle would have been proud of his granddaughter.

The drugs keep Troy alert and pain free, but Rachel says it’ll be any day now. He’s lost thirteen pounds from his already emaciated figure within the past couple weeks. His body’s stopped fighting now and it’s just a waiting game until it gives out.

I’m with him every second of every day now. I pulled a bed close to his so I can be there when he falls asleep at night (late afternoon actually, which I tease him about incessantly since he’s always been the night-owl of the two of us) and when he wakes up in the morning (more like mid-day which really, hasn’t changed much). It leaves me with too much time to think.

Even now, on the verge of the 23rd century people die. With everything that I have seen accomplished in my lifetime it seems impossible that it could be true, but it is. I can slip halfway across the galaxy as easy as walking down a dark hall or compress and store the entirety of the United States Library of Congress on my PDA or destroy any virus known to man with computerized robots no bigger then a blood cell.

But I can’t make the man I love live forever.

He tells me that he’s happy, that it’s okay for him to go. His life has been long and full of love, he says. I try to be okay with it, for his sake, but I know that he knows I’m not okay. Not even one bit.

December 3, 2183

Citizens of the world,

I am addressing the last journal entry I will ever make to you, on the anniversary of my mother’s death, because I wish to both remember her and in some small way include her. I’ve regretted that very much, that she died without knowing that I would find happiness, or rather that I would stop being a stubborn ass and acknowledge the happiness that was throwing itself at me.

I imagine that you now know my terrible secret. The one that I kept locked up with fear and resentment for over four-fifths of my life. It was difficult to cut the scenes of my life, the scenes that I’ve recorded every step of the way, to a manageable size. The truth of what I have lived, the true magnificence of him could not be contained in all the volumes of text I have written. It could not be contained by every word ever written by human hand.

When I think about how long we hid our love for one another from the world at large it seems impossible, like no love could have possibly existed in the face of such denial.

But it did exist and it was extraordinary. He was extraordinary and I truly don’t know how to live without him.

On April 17th of this year half of my soul died and the half that remains is not long for this world. I never went to a doctor, but I know the diagnosis, a broken heart, prognosis, fatal.

I wish to leave with as few regrets as possible, which is why I’m choosing this moment to confess. I want the story of the love that Troy and I shared to live beyond us, beyond you, beyond your grandchildren and into eternity.

Some of you will feel angry for being deceived, that we were pulling the wool over your eyes and denying you the right to know. To you I say that I too wish for a day when we may be more truthful with one another and I understand your feelings.

Some of you who read this will be confused about why it had to be like that for myself and for Troy. I wish I had answers for you, because they would be the answers to the questions that plague me in my final days of life.

Some of you may rail against the injustice of it all and call for action now though you’ll lament that it was too little too late. Please understand that everyone has a cross to bear and unlike so many I was truly happy.

Some of you who read this will not understand why a man who had everything, fame, fortune, near infinite power and respect would risk everything for love. To you I have nothing to say.

And some of you may cry; and you I thank, because it proves to me that you believe our love did truly exist and you cry for its departure from this world.

I love you Troy. I’ll see you soon.

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