The Omnicosmic Odyssey of Sonicus Maximus

Part One, Chapter One, Act One

SCENE TWO - Busted



"CC Sonic?" the woman asked.

The relief that we had actually connected under the circumstances was overwhelming. I smiled so hard I was lucky not to tear a facial muscle (or lose an entire section of my face paint) as I reciprocated, "Lieutenant Parks?"

"Amanda," she corrected me.

"Amanda," I confirmed.

As we spoke, I remained in steady eye contact with her. In my life, I had done well in interviews because I could make eye contact when other candidates would not. At other times, I intimidated people doing it. After quickly considering the matter, I erred on the side of maintaining this increasingly intense eye contact with Amanda, as I would rather seem strong than weak.

Unexpectedly, in this moment, I suddenly seemed to have no choice. It was as though our eyes were locked. It was then that I understood I was not staring at her. Amanda was staring at me. And I could not turn away.

Amanda was simply mesmerizing. Fixed in the fair skin of her face, the eyes gazing back at me were the largest, brightest, and most inviting green eyes I had ever seen. Perhaps she would have been just as attractive in any environment, at any time. But given the stress and pressure of the moment, after trying to find this place and connect with her, it was equally possible that my perception was skewed by euphoria.

On this day, I had been married for nearly two decades. I have had many interactions with a wide variety of women across the eastern portion of the United States and even Mexico. Amanda was just so...different. I sought to exhibit confident certainty, but she was projecting something unexplainable and unprecedented, a strange kind of presence which transcended her appearance, one for which I had no basis of reference. And I needed her help.

I recalled my purpose and regained my composure. I was here on business. It did not matter how different Amanda looked than she did in the picture she had sent me. Nor did it matter at all how comely she was in person. Nothing mattered now but the end goal. I was here to gain assistance promoting my video game. My confidence grew as I was reminded that I only needed to advance this conversation. Leveraging logic and resolve, I would seal this deal.

As soon as I finished that thought, the "lock" between our eyes was if I had been released from it. But I now felt somehow compelled to examine...the rest of Amanda. It was as if my gaze had been a camera firmly fixed in place, then suddenly permitted to move.

I tried to dismiss the sensation, reasoning that nothing more than the intensity of the night was causing it, but I felt like my vision was no longer my own. I went with it, and soon was on what seemed to be a guided tour of Amanda's appearance. And what my eyes perceived gave my brain an overload of information to process.

Amanda's hair was jet black, with sections that appeared...amber? Burgundy? It was difficult to determine. They were obviously dye of some sort. She moved her head slightly, as though she were curiously studying me. When she did, the streaks in her hair appeared bold red. They must have been somehow responsive to light, like certain kinds of paint are. At first, I thought they were random, but upon further evaluation, they began to resemble...patterns of some kind? These streaks were not in the picture she had sent. I was intrigued about whether those dyed patterns or symbols or whatever they were satisfied modern military guidelines. As soon as I had that thought...somewhere within in my head...I heard a voice ask "Regulation?"

Now, I was hearing voices. Perhaps I had finally crammed so much action into one day that it broke me. Curious as I was regarding the streaks, I was not about to ask Amanda about them. There was no profit. I overcame my intellect, instinct, and now, this newfound friend whispering in my head, and avoided asking this unimportant and possibly offensive query. But the energy spent resisting them had eroded some of the confidence I had just reclaimed.

Resuming my visual inspection, I observed that Amanda's bangs somewhat obscured her powerful angled eyebrows. They were more clearly revealed in the middle where the bangs were thinner.

Moving down her face, I could not tell if she was wearing makeup. How could she not be? Could eyebrows and eyelashes that dark be natural?

Her eyelashes were only partially visible above her eyes because of her hair, but below her resplendent green eyes, the eyelashes were obvious.

Her nose was mostly straight until it began to curve out at the bottom, shaping small, tightly positioned nostrils blending smoothly into a barely perceptible ball at the tip of the nose. The nose was just long and large enough to be prominent but not overpowering.

Her face was widest at the level of the eyes, and the sides of her face smoothly tapered off till they reached her mouth. From there, they gave way to a small chin whose width was slightly less than that of the mouth. The entire chin area was just large enough to frame the mouth with a comfortable margin, enabling the same distance between the bottom of the nose and the upper lip as there was between the bottom lip and point of the chin. Her mouth was heart-shaped, with a substantially thick bottom lip.

Having analyzed the other features of her beautiful face, I tried to make eye contact with her again to progress with the conversation we had initiated.

But now, I seemed unable to look up above the neck. This was a bizarre feeling. I tried unsuccessfully to move my head upward. It almost felt like someone was behind me pushing my head forward with their hand. Although our initial visual rapport seemed to be an unbreakable magnetic connection between our eyes, it now seemed as if the polarity had been reversed, and the magnets were repelling each other. My eyes, once again as if they were guided, moved downward. I had obvious concerns about how she might react if I found myself staring at her body the way I had her face.

In the brief conversations leading up to this meeting, Amanda had described herself as a pilot but quickly qualified that by saying that she specialized in "unconventional" and "considerably modified" aircraft. I had come away with the understanding that she was a test pilot, flying advanced, perhaps even classified aircraft. Amanda had reiterated several times that she was shorter than the traditional average pilot was. It sounded as though some of the planes might have been modified to accommodate her height. She had even joked about flying "recovered alien craft" and quipped that ships designed for little green men were the only ones she was tall enough to fly!

Whatever her height, I could plainly see now that her awesome physique maximized every inch of it.

Amanda's outfit was nothing like the one in her picture. What she was wearing now here was a shiny black outfit which I assumed to be a flight suit. That made sense if she had flown her plane to a nearby airport or base and come straight here. The suit was as tight as if it were painted onto her body.

I was somewhat unprepared for how beautiful Amanda's face was in person, but at least I had seen it in her picture. The outfit she wore in it did not at all reveal her body the way it was presented in such obvious fashion now. Were she not moving and breathing, I would have assumed Amanda's upper body to be a sculpture.

Amanda was voluptuous. She was a rare combination of femininity and muscularity. Not a glamour model, not a bodybuilder. She was somewhere perfectly, if improbably, balanced in between. She was not thin, but surely not bulky. It was obvious that she spent plenty of time exercising her upper body. It was less obvious how much of her thickness was from her frame and how much was muscle size. When I was first training to become a pro wrestler in the 1990's, I relied on maximizing muscle mass to give myself the appearance of being bigger. But that made me stocky, and Amanda was anything but that. Viewing her shoulders and arms led me to suppose that she must simply have excellent genetic physical potential.

Any doubt about her genes was jettisoned once I saw her chest. Amanda's breasts were magnificent, large by any measure, and huge for her smaller stature. They protruded unapologetically from her chest as if daring anyone or anything to impede them. She could not have hidden them under this outfit, but nothing about her posture suggested she was interested in concealing their phenomenal shape. Between them and the table, I was not able to see Amanda's stomach as clearly, but I could tell it was flat and likely as toned as the rest of her upper body.

I was actually intimidated now. This woman was an incredible physical specimen. As I processed this, the peculiar voice from before once again popped into my head again, saying "Real."

I dismissed the voice a second time. If I was suddenly developing multiple personalities within my head, I trusted that they would all be similarly impressed by Amanda.

At that moment, I realized how long I must have exceeded any "first look" grace period, and may have traversed into stunned gawking territory. I saw Amanda's lips open, and braced for her to say "my eyes are up here, remember" or "take a picture, it will last longer" or something along those lines.

I was about ready to shout "green" if she asked what color her eyes were. As amazing as her body was, those eyes were unforgettable.

Whatever she was about to say, I was knew I was "busted."

Her expression had changed. The eyebrows that were previously raised in curiosity as she studied me were now angled downward to signal how done she was with my nonsense.

I was fully prepared for her to call me a pervert or something like that. Her countenance had changed so rapidly to an intense scolding look that it seemed impossible that she could tell me she was flattered by my gaze.

At best, working with her might be awkward now. At worst, she could say she was done with me and that it would be in my best interest to get out of her sight, and the look on that face was well aligned with that possibility.

As the words left her mouth, my brain had contemplated the worst. My heart was racing. My head felt as though it might explode.

Then I heard the words.

"Yes, my name is Amanda. But it seems obvious you would rather call me something else. Perhaps something that reduces me to no more than my physical condition. Is that it?"

Here it went. I was definitely "busted" and all that remained to learn was if I had knocked myself out of the best opportunity I had to promote my game.

It seemed strange that Amanda used the word "condition" instead of "appearance" but I assumed she meant that in the context of fitness.

My heart sank. I thought it was impossible for this to get worse.

I was wrong.

Amanda continued, "So what kind of slurs do you have? Cripple? Gimp? If 'Wheels' is on the table, I'd prefer that, assuming you care..."

I did not understand her words. Our eyes had once again locked. Then, my eyes were again drawn back to her body as if invisible hands were forcing my head into a position they desired.

It hit me over the head like a ton of bricks as I realized exactly what Amanda meant.

Amanda concluded, "It's obvious you have never spoken to someone in a wheelchair before. Actually, the way you are staring at me, I wonder if you've ever seen one in person!'"

She had not finished saying it before I had noticed the arms of a wheelchair, and the tires of wheels behind them.

Apparently, she had not cared at all how much time I spent in awe of her beauty. Instead, she was livid because she thought I was gawking at a wheelchair I had not even noticed.

At that moment, all I could think of was to question how I got here. I had spent six months developing a video game I could not give away. Tonight, I had rushed from work to an arena in an unfamiliar town, and been punched in the face by a wrestling hero whose gimmick is alcoholism, to the approval of the crowd. I scrambled from there to here for help marketing my video game. I tried to represent myself honorably, only to have it degenerate to this.

I had nothing to say. What point was there to explain I had not seen the wheelchair? Was that believable? And if the reason cited is that I was looking at her body, how would she respond to that?

I raised my head...or it was raised for know the consequences. I found myself again locked in eye contact with Amanda.

Her brow was furled, those overpowering eyebrows now slanted with unmistakable contempt. Amanda's heart-shaped lips had reconfigured to express pure disgust, and her green eyes pierced through mine as if they were red laser beams...performing vision surgery.

I just wished something had transpired differently, so that I would not be here. I just wanted to go home.

As I waited for her to continue speaking, Amanda began to smirk slightly.

She was trying not to smirk, but she could not stop herself. The more she tried to hold it back, the more obvious the smirk became. Soon a giggle emerged.

Within moments, she had burst into laughter.

"I'm just busting your balls," she said as intelligibly as she could manage while laughing uncontrollably, "It's fine. You're fine. I'm sorry CC, I couldn't help it. It's been quite a while since I got to pull that on a guy."

I don't remember if I made any audible sounds while I stood there. If the spinning indicator that appears on the screen of a restarting computer could be channeled into a human visage, it might describe my countenance in that moment.

"Please, sit down, CC," Amanda offered, "and relax."

I immediately complied with the first imperative.

The second command took a little longer.

Smiling back at her, I said "Sonic."

"Sonic," she affirmed with a smile so bright that it might have channeled light from the sun itself.