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Princess in the Tower

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"What the fuck?" Jessica landed on her hands and knees in bright orange sand. She struggled up – the impact of landing had sunk her in quite deeply – and stared around her. It was some kind of desert, with dunes going off into the distance and no buildings in sight apart from a weird one in the distance that resembled a lava lamp. Oh yeah, and there were two suns, both of which were beating down with unreasonable heat and glare.

"Shit! Fuck!" Jessica kicked out in frustration, but there was nothing to kick but more sand. She'd been about to leave Luke's place and now she was on some dumbass alien planet. Wasn't this the kind of shit that happened to Iron Man? Not her, she wasn't a superhero.

Shading her eyes, she tried surveying the area again, to see if Luke had shown up too. No such luck. She guessed she should be grateful that the air was breathable. Or, wait just a fucking second, what if this was some new kind of mindfuck? Like, Illusion Man or something? That would be all she needed, attracting psychic psychos to her as if they were flies and she was a dog turd. Still, if that was the case, there was nothing she could do about it right now. At least she had her clothes on. Fuck, that would have been embarrassing, not to mention she sunburned like fuck.

Jessica turned towards the lava lamp building and started stomping off over the dunes. Unfortunately, her favourite means of locomotion was not very effective on the sand. She pretended to be Trish and walked smoothly and lightly, which helped. She was wondering how long it would take to get to the weird building, when she remembered her phone in her pocket. She pulled it out. Maybe even if it was an illusion she'd be able to call someone?

No fucking service. Of course not. No GPS either.

It took eleven minutes to walk to the building, which was a lot taller than it had appeared from the first sand dune, maybe fourteen or fifteen storeys, but all blobby and strange. It seemed to be made of glowing glass, all in a single seamless piece. Jessica glanced over her shoulder, but the slight wind had already erased her footsteps. Great. No way back.

She walked all the way around the base of the building, which was anchored to a blue concrete base, so at least she wasn't walking through sand anymore. There were no doors.

"Hey! Open up!" she yelled. "Take me to your leader or some shit!"

A tiny round window popped open about five storeys up and a woman looked down, though she didn't cross the threshold of the window frame. She wasn't a weird grey-skinned alien like the ones who attacked New York a few years ago. She was a pretty blue-eyed brunette in a leather jacket and t-shirt, and seemed totally human. Not that that was any guarantee.

"My rescuer! About time!" She had a British accent.

"Your what? I just got here!"

The woman looked confused. "You didn't get my message?"

Jessica glared up at her. "I didn't get any message. I was at a friend's place and suddenly I was here. You're lucky I've even got pants on."

"Or am I?" the woman laughed. "I'm Lady Christina de Souza. I've been trapped here for weeks, sending messages out all over the universe and through the time stream. I wasn't expecting you in particular, but I was expecting someone."

"Time stream?" Jessica had been right in the first place. This was some Iron Man bullshit.

"Well, yes. I'm stuck outside time. You're a time traveller, though, or you wouldn't have got here."

"Uh, not last time I checked. I don't even know anyone who can do that. I haven't even watched that much Star Trek."

"Oh." The woman – was her name Lady or Christina? Probably Christina, with the whole British thing – sounded thoroughly disappointed. "I suppose you're not going to be much help, then."

"Don't go making assumptions. I help lots of people." Jessica stuck her chin out. She didn't even know why she was talking to this woman, except that there was no-one and nothing else around.

"Okay, then, mysterious woman who isn't a time traveller. What's your name?"

"Jessica Jones. Why are you stuck here?"

"Long story. It's a kind of stasis – I won't get hungry or tired or sick, but I'm stuck here forever. I can't get old. I can't die."

Jessica eyed her dubiously. "So you're in prison."

"All right, yes, I'm in prison. I didn't hurt anyone, though. I only stole things."

Jessica wasn't sure if she believed her. She could think of people who deserved an eternal sentence, and a thief wasn't one of them. Still, she wanted to go home, and Christina was the only person who knew what was going on. "What do I need to do? There's no doors in."

"And I can't get out. The walls aren't very thick, but they won't open an aperture big enough for me to escape. It only lets me have these tiny windows to marvel at the sand, sand and more sand."

Jessica flexed her hands. "Maybe you do need my help, after all." She hauled back and punched the wall as hard as she could. It seemed that nothing had happened for a moment, then a crack ran up the side of the building, from the ground up to a few inches above Jessica's head.

"That's great! What species are you? Are you from a high gravity world?" Christina called down.

"I'm a human from Earth, does that count?" Jessica hit the glass again. It was satisfying as fuck to hit something without worrying about damaging it.

"I'm afraid not. I'm also a human from Earth, and I couldn't make the slightest mark in the wall."

"It's your prison, maybe that's why. Or maybe you're not strong enough." Jessica added in a hard kick and a big chunk of glass fell to the sand. As it fell, it lost its golden sheen and went dark.

"My abilities do run more to stealth than strength, it's true."

Jessica grabbed hold of the edge and pulled hard. It cracked further and another big piece came away. The gap was easily big enough now for Jessica to enter , so she did.

The inside of the building was totally bizarre, like some art school nightmare. It was all smooth and rounded, with no furniture at all. As Jessica approached the wall, a platform popped out. She stood on it, hesitantly, and it rose slowly up the building. Jessica glanced up to see she was about to be squashed into the ceiling.

"Fuck!" She jumped clear, dropping twenty feet, and the platform continued to slowly rise. The ceiling above remoulded itself so the platform continued smoothly upwards into the gap, and Jessica felt a bit stupid. Still, it could have warned her or something!

It started descending again a moment later, carrying Christina. She was tall and she had that clean, healthy, athletic look that Trish had, which appeared effortless but was actually the result of a good diet, yoga and an intensive skincare regime. Jessica knew, she'd seen Trish do it. Christina did dress as a regular Earth person, though, in black jeans, a t-shirt and black leather jacket. Jessica was pretty sure aliens would wear armour, or robes, or some shit like that, not a jacket with a broken zipper.

Christina caught her looking at the zipper. "It appears that the stasis doesn't apply to my clothing. I suppose in a decade or so I would have been completely naked."

"Ha. Good times." Jessica folded her arms across her chest. "Now, let's get out of here. Once we're out of this prison, can you get me home?"

"Mmm, probably? As long as we're from the same era."

Jessica didn't like the sound of that. To make sure Christina wasn't trying to do some prison swap thing – maybe to alien jailers, one human woman in a leather jacket looked the same as the next – so she ducked out of the hole in the wall first, out into the glaring sun.

Christina went to follow, but as she approached the gap, she balked. "There's still a wall here!" She ran her hands over the gap that Jessica had walked through.

"Give me your hand." Jessica stuck her arm inside the tower and grabbed Christina by the wrist and pulled. Christina's fingers made it out, then they got stuck. "Huh, that's a start."

"You're hurting me," Christina said, tightly.

"Shit, sorry, didn't mean to." She let go and Christina's hand immediately popped back inside the prison. Jessica followed her inside.

Christina rubbed her wrist. "You really are excessively strong. Maybe that's why my message found you."

"What do you mean, found me?" Jessica narrowed her eyes in suspicion.

"The second-last thing I stole was a Terthirian Puzzle Box. The people who caught me didn't care about that, they just wanted their sceptre and to lock me up here on this planet. I really don't know why I keep getting stuck in deserts." She made a face. "Puzzle boxes always want to be together again – they have a low-grade sentience. So I programmed the pieces of the puzzle box to find someone who could help me, then they can return to their core and reassemble."

"Wait, are these puzzle pieces a yellow glowing T? About this big?" Jessica indicated about six inches high.

"Yes, that's right! You must have found a piece."

"What the fuck was it doing down the back of Luke's record collection?"

Christina shrugged. "They go wherever there's the highest probability of fulfilling their programming. Is your friend Luke as strong as you?"

"Sort of." Jessica punched Christina in the arm, hard enough to hurt but not hard enough to break anything. "You could have brought him here, you selfish fuck! And believe me, I know for selfish fuckheads. I wouldn't have known what had happened to him!"

"Get me out of here. Please." Christina begged, holding her shoulder. "You must be able to help me or you wouldn't be here."

Jessica sighed. She knew she was getting more worked up than she should, but this Christina was getting under her skin. "Okay. Climb aboard. This might hurt a bit but I think it's the best way out."

Jessica held out her arms and Christina, after a moment's hesitation, climbed on, wrapping her arms around Jessica's neck and her legs around Jessica's waist. This meant her boobs were right in Jessica's face. Great. And she wasn't wearing a bra. Double great.

Backing up as far as she could, Jessica put her head down and sprinted at top speed for the gap. A moment before she reached it, she took off in a wobbly long jump and threw the two of them forward through the gap, making sure that Christina was tucked safely against Jessica. There was a moment of terrible pressure like she was at the bottom of the ocean and then they were out, rolling over and over on the orange sand.

"Yes!" Christina cheered, "Yes! My hero!" She kissed Jessica on the lips.

Maybe it was the adrenaline, but Jessica kissed her back. It was kind of a relief to kiss someone who was absolutely nothing to do with her problems or her regular life. Christina kissed her harder, parting her lips and pressing forward.

Jessica flipped them over so that she was on top of Christina and shoved Christina's shirt up, still kissing, and grabbed hold of one soft boob, rolling the rapidly hardening nipple between her finger and thumb. Christina made a guttural noise and shoved her leg between Jessica's. Jessica rubbed herself hard against Christina's thigh, her rough jeans giving her good friction where she needed it, and rode her to a quick orgasm.

"Fuck! Christina!" she shouted, but Christina wasn't done yet. She grabbed Jessica's hand that was on her nipple and shoved it down her tight pants, keeping the pressure on Jessica's clit with her knee. Jessica felt her head swim, but focused, wriggling her fingers downwards to Christina's wet pussy. She didn't have much room to move her hands, but a few hard strokes and Christina howled too. Then Jessica's eyes rolled up as she climaxed again against Christina's knee, this time for longer, the long muscles of her legs twitching with effort. She fell sideways off Christina and lay in the sand, grains clinging to her wet, sticky fingers.

"You, you definitely are some kind of hero," Christina panted, lying supine with her arm across her eyes. "You know, I could really use a partner like you."

"Sorry. Busy."

Christina laughed. "Yes, I can see that you'd be in high demand." She pulled a shiny remote control out of her pocket . "Now that I'm out of the tower, I can get us home. What's the date where you're from?"

When Jessica told her, Christina grinned. "Early 21st century is my speciality. We'll have you home before anyone knows you've left."

Five minutes later, as far as Jessica could tell, she was safely returned to Luke's living room. She could still hear him in the shower. No time had passed at all, but she still had the rough orange sand and the scent of Christina clinging to her fingers.

She grinned. It was good to know that some things were real.