“Auntie? Wirklich? What kind of a name is that for a baby?” The Cranky One’s first words, spoken a few weeks later, set the tone for family dynamics. She was going to teach her parents each other’s language.
Virginia and Josef just beamed.
“Nenne mich Tante. Some light years away, never mind where precisely, in a place of no place and bored with the non-reality of our dimension, we thought we would channel about and see the drama and enjoy the beauty of the material cosmos. We found ourself here, called in by a lovely ceremony and the beauty of Virginia, in a place-time so utterly messed up that we agreed to take on spleen and circulation to see if we couldn’t perhaps help the blödmannen Humanoiden along.”
And so Tante, the Cranky, made herself known to her parents.
Or at least as well as she understood it. She recognized Balthazar from Taphao Thong, although she wasn’t quite sure just what that was, or wasn’t, nor exactly who Baltha was, other than a shape shifter. She’d kept the infant Tante amused during those first days crossing the desert with Josef and Virginia by turning into all sorts of wondrous things.
They’d returned to the Outback, and went under cover at Uluru as she grew and developed. During that time she and Baltha learned the ways of planet Gaia, a speck within time equal to 4 billion runs round its sun in a tiny little corner of its dimensional cosmos’ existence.
It took a couple more weeks.
She turned off the code for transitioning into adulthood when she’d achieved exactly the look she wanted. The Internet had told them what that should be to best fit within the cultural norms of beauty offered there.
“Screw that” Crontrarian that she was, Tante went for something special, limited only by the genetic code borrowed from Virginia and Josef.
Yes, truth be told, Josef did contribute, even if it was a singled handed effort on his part.
Baltha and Tante decided on a nice neutral skin tone, a lovely shade of tawny olive that people of every race and region could equally love or hate, depending on disposition. She went for her mother’s full lips and broad nose and her father’s high cheekbones and blue eyes. Mostly that was based on their relative heights, and the view of each she’d grown most accustomed to.
Virginia had nursed her; Josef tended to toss her into the air.
She gave herself the option of phenotypic plasticity in hair texture, and loved messing with different styles, ranging from natural dreads to baby fine corn silk. Baltha had the epic inspiration after seeing a calico tabby of using those handy on off switches on the genes to produce stripes of color ranging from Josef’s pale blonde to Virginia’s deep mahogany, so much more efficient than foil wraps.
The two of them spent a lot of time online, giggling together. Giggling was one of the really cool things about being human.
“These beings certainly are obsessed with youth, aren’t they?” Baltha could never get over it. “I mean really, being an ancient one is so much easier, all the really hard stages of existence are past a being.”
“And so afraid to die. Mein gott! Don’t they realize how groovy non-being can be?” Tante was still getting used to life in a body. It was so messy sometimes. Recently, she’d started bleeding from her horn of plenty. That did have its high points; it did wonders for taming the rainbow snake, and every female of an age at Uluru joined her in it. Also, she had to poop, like, every day.
But that was only because she enjoyed eating so much; grubs were her favorite. Virginia’s breasts were nice and comforting and the milk full of good stuff, but she let go of the pacifier pretty quickly. Food was marvelous, and she had her own two feet and places to go, people to meet, and time was short.
After all, Armageddon awaited.
“Let’s do blonde and curly tomorrow. And let’s see if we can find one of those t-shirts that says Pink on it. I want to make it say 'THINK'; that’ll convince ‘em.”
The Auntie Christ had a lot to learn.
As is often the case when time jumpers from distant existences show up someplace new, they’d very badly misjudged the species into which they’d attempted to assimilate. They’d made the porn star sized boner of assuming that H. sapiens sapiens was a loving, yet rational species, just like they and their fellow Taphao Thongians. In addition, while they were clever enough to overcome the genetic limitations of human development time and had intellectual capacity far beyond that of mere earthlings, they’d failed to consider other aspects important to human development.
The Cranky One was an incredibly bright, incredibly sassy, and incredibly petulant child.
“Okay, this all looks simple enough, let’s go send the parents on their way and get down to this.” She’d just put down the book that Tamminya had lent her. “There’s obviously more than enough War, Famine and Death out there, that must make me Conquest.”
Virginia and Joseph had already started to work on a family of their own, one that would include Tante, but not much, if they could help it. She was rather a brat and difficult to deal with.
“Mom, Dad, it’s been great, thanks for birthing me and everything. We’ve got to go on out into the world now. I want a horse. A white one.”
“Now, Tante,” Virginia started in with her soothing voice. “Mommy and Daddy don’t have any money……..”
“I WANT A HORSE!” she stamped her feet, and the earth began to rumble. “A white one!”
Baltha sighed and shape-shifted. While keeping the peace was not her main mission, protecting the Auntie Christ was. If she allowed the little Scheissekopf to do too much of that, someone was bound to off her before they got much done.
They trotted off into the Outback.
The End is Near