The Wishful Thinking Syndrome Chapter 1

"Tell me Alpha, for what reason should I help you? The materials you request are hard to find even on this planet, and to give them in the quantities you seek may be enough to cause some harm to our economy. What could you possibly give in return?"

Baseen, ruler of Stanbaer turned his gargoyle-like body away from one of the windows of his private chambers to face the creature behind him. He liked Alpha, now that his appearance currently resembled that of his late father, and was willing to grant him a private audience.

Alpha smiled, looking for all the world of Stanbaer like the fatherly mentor he intended. "I understand you've been preparing to travel to Earth for the intergalactic diplomatic conference being held there."

"Yes, Earth's neutrality makes it the perfect location."

"For those who have not worn out their welcome."

Baseen flinched ever so slightly. Alpha's words were said in a kind tone but they had cut into him. After briefly closing his eyes, he made a move to defend himself. "I was younger then, and acted without really thinking. How could I have done anything else? She was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. I am the ruler of this planet now, and no longer under my father. It was his decision to cut off ties to Earth, not mine."

"Do you hope to see her then? Catch a glimpse of her?"

Baseen looked out the window again, the one that faced the direction of Earth. "Since that most glorious of nights there hasn't been a day I haven't thought of her. Talked of her. Dreamed. That one night I had my true love beside me and she was snatched away. They said she was too young."

"By Stanbaeran standards only," Alpha soothed, "not by those of Earth."

"Still my father sent her away, and even I can't change that law. Father made sure of it."

"Well, my lovesick friend, I happen to know of something that will be of great interest to you. I happen to know she is about to have a very special birthday at the time of the conference. One that will make her of marriageable age."

For a brief moment hope gleamed in Baseen's eyes and he turned back to Alpha, then the gleam died. "She is still of Earth. There's no way I can hope she hasn't married already, beautiful as she was. Those hypocrites..."

"I have occasionally seen her of late, from time to time," interrupted Alpha. "And I can assure you that no one has touched her mind and body as you have before or since. For the rest of my involvement with MIB I made sure of it, and since I left she has showed little sign of changing on her own."

"Why? How can that be possible?" There was hope in his eyes again. "Why would such a lovely flower remain unplucked?"

Alpha smiled again. "Why do you think?"

Baseen's eyes blazed as he slowly smiled. "She loves me?" He grabbed Alpha by the shoulders and shook him in his excitement. "Tell me she loves me!"

Alpha merely smiled wider and laughed. It was all the answer Baseen needed.

"Quickly! Tell me of her!"

Oh, you should see her, Baseen! Her body has filled out very nicely since you saw her last, and she has grown ALL of her skin back! True, the hair hasn't been quite the same since, but that's easily taken care of."

"A chance!" Breathed Baseen. "I have another chance!"

"Not quite. Not has long as the MIB has anything to say about it."

"The MIB? What reason would they have to interfere now?"

"They have this rule. She has to be WILLING..."

"But you said she loves me. How much more willing does she have to be?"

"That wasn't quite what I said. They neuralized that night away from her. She doesn't remember you."

Baseen shook his head. "No...!"

"Look at it this way, Baseen. It is as though she's still a virgin, though deep in the recesses of her subconscious I'm sure part of her still remembers you. I saw it in her eyes during my last years with MIB. It was still there when I saw her last. Though I don't know for how much longer she will be able to keep her mind and body pure."

Baseen froze. "What do you mean?"

"It's Zed. You remember Zed, don't you? Introduced the two of you. Took over MIB when I left and out of jealousy has sent her out on all of the most dangerous missions. She's been constantly out in the open, in harm's way, with a partner even more young and inexperienced then she is. I sure you haven't been the only one to notice what a tasty morshal she is. She must be protected."

"Protected..."

"You can save her."

"I will," said Baseen determinedly. "This I swear." He looked back at Alpha, uncertain again. "But how?"

"Leave that to me. Give me what I ask and in a mere matter of days Agent Kay will be back in your loving arms safe and sound.
Lickety-split."