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Hyperlinks in the text are intended as supplemental material, discussing elements of the science behind the science fiction. They are not intended as required reading for the story. Hyperlinks will be provided at the point in the story where it comes up, but all the links will also be collected at the bottom of the post for easy reading.
Thank you for reading! Me and my coauthor Darinost are gradually combining forces and blogs, so the joint comment section for our stories is currently located on discord! Come on in and let us know what you thought, we don’t bite.
“On the left!”
“Too many of-”
Amara listened to the comm chatter, squeezing her hands into fists as she listened to the running battle against the pursuing aliens. Lookouts had spotted those big-bodied space-dragons advancing towards them from amid the mini-ravines and rocky spires of the crater, opening fire on the war party as they approached. The Kthid replied in turn with their own double-barreled weapons, pummeling the spires of the crater as they pushed on. Knowing that the humans were potentially close to a miraculous escape, they fought with unmitigated fury and aggression in an attempt to reach the Mistrunner before the ship could take off…
As Amara had expected.
Their ferocity knew no bounds… but aggression was just as easily a weakness as a strength. Amara had taken their mad bravery and rage to mind and anticipated a push just like this… and devised a stratagem in reply. They might be out of this element, but these bastards were coming out without a care in the world… they were going to learn that she could use this astral vista to her advantage as well as they could.
The plan worked more beautifully than she could ever have imagined. Ensigns armed with laser rifles kept those charging behemoths occupied while those brandishing star-cannons took aim up high, at the towering columns which jutted skyward all around them. Exploded at mid-point, these stony pillars collapsed with ponderous speed downward. The greatly reduced gravity of the space hulk made them fall relatively slowly… but their size was so vast that there was no escaping them, the stones more than fast enough to bury the xenos underneath their improvised rockfalls. This caused an mighty cacophony to resound, loud enough that she could feel it through her feet even if the barely-present atmosphere wouldn’t have carried it – the rumble was strong enough to make her need to grab on to the side of the ship lest she lose her footing in the ferocious tumble. Entombed by those great boulders, the armored Kthid were either plainly crushed or crippled and trapped to be finished off with concentrated weapons fire.
Out here, in the middle of cosmic nowhere, Amara had just achieved her greatest martial triumph… Some two dozen Kthid whom just recently had seemed so insurmountable were soundly vanquished… All because of some ingenuity, knowledge of the enemy, and attention to the lay-of-the-land. Though not a bloodthirsty woman, the scarlet-haired leader gave herself a small, private smile. It appeared that no one was unbeatable. Via the open com channel, she gave orders for people to start withdrawing and load themselves inside the ship.
“He’s loose!” a shout came.
She heard it on the communicator as some of the withdrawing soldiers were attacked. Even after being buried beneath a mountain of stones, one Kthid had exploded outward and was besting everyone in reach single-handedly, knocking them sprawling or slicing into them with his blade as he howled in the thin air. Amara didn’t hesitate… she broke into a run, rounding two pillars of stone moving with great bounding steps, using the bare gravity to her advantage as she hurried her way to the fight. She found the hostile green giant gravely injured yet embroiled in a murderous berserker frenzy. His double-gun had been smashed by the collapsing spire, thankfully, so he fought only with a cleaver-like sword as tall as he was. The weapon was serrated like a primitive earth weapons, but whatever it hit parted like it was no tougher than air.
“I am Ocvar of the Kangansverii!” he cried. His helmet must have been crushed because he had ripped it off, hiding only behind the shimmering field of his aegis. The strong monster was bleeding from the temples and one arm looked broken, but he stood defiant over a screaming ensign missing her arm, hacked off by the nearly mono-atomic edge of that blade. “I am a predator, not your prey! By the Dark Star I will kill you and rape your corpses! I’ll—”
That was as far as he got before Amara hit him from behind. His Aegis glowed almost solid, and she doubted her ability to break through it with her lasrifle at range, so she had to take him up close. Worried that he would overwhelm the defenders, Amara didn’t hesitate. She bounded forward in a leap, having built momentum through her bouncing, sprinting run and she used it to drive her elbow into the back of his head as hard as she could. Her arm grew numb and stunned with the forced of it, but the monster held onto his blade, so she drove her rifle inside his shield and fired into his side again and again. Stung by superheated energy, the Kthid Warleader bellowed with pain and dropped the blade. Her weapon still cooling down from the shot, Amara grasped his fallen sword in both hands and swung as hard as she could… in normal gravity she probably wouldn’t have been able to lift the thing much less swing it, but here she spun and dragged it along with her, unceremoniously beheaded the bellowing lizard with one blow. Amara had no idea how rare it was to kill a Kthid leader of such a lofty rank.
Nor would she have cared if she did.
“Back to the Mistrunner!” she ordered again. “This is only a delay… we don’t know how many more of them there are!”
The rescued personnel, many of them staring at her in shock and amazement, picked up the injured woman. They were already tying her wound as best they could as they scurried off. The cut was clean… there should be medical facilities on that ship, sufficiently automated ones that even without most of their medics they could manage to reattach it for the woman. Amara had left behind everyone on this rock that she was going to… not one more person was being left behind. She was responsible to see everyone off this strange hulk… and while her communicator showed most of the defensive groups moving, one was strangely not. They had reported victory in their skirmish three minutes ago, but nothing after that. Still clasping Ocvar’s blade, Amara sprinted with leaping steps towards their last-known position.
“Dammit,” she called into the communicator. “Selene, what is preventing you fro—” she called through the comms, stopping when happening upon the scene. They were neither dead nor overrun by the Kthid. Instead there were… knocked out and captured. Bound with string-like ropes in a hogtied manner so that their hands and feet connected by their backsides. There four of them lay there bound, all so effortlessly and clandestinely dispatched and captured. Amara’s blood felt arctic as she was confronted with the scene of an utter defeat.
Another group radioed-in but were interrupted mid-call by sounds of desperate fighting, and the warning made the Captain began sprinting in the same bounding run towards their ping on her communicator. “Someone get these people free!” she sent to one of the retreating security groups as she ran for the others. Though it couldn’t have been more than three minutes, she found the trio in an identical manner of bondage and with no adversary in sight. Stunned and awed by this abandoned battlefield, she heard Ri’she’a call her over the comms.
“Captain! Captain!” the helmswoman shouted. “Evy has Atalanta online! The ship is operational enough to depart… you have to get back here, now!”
Some reptilian instinct in the back of her mind alerted her, and Amara spun around with her blade in a defensive posture. The improvised rockfall had created a pyramid-like heap before her, jutting upwards like some dramatic platform. Standing crested upon that mound, a lone female figure posed with a sword resting across her shoulder. Her appearance had been arranged against the bright flaming spectra of the system’s yellow sun which hovered gigantic behind her. With such a fantastical backdrop, the light made identification impossible for the span of seconds until the hulk spun far enough to take them just barely out of alignment and…
“Hello, dear sister,” Miranda said, her voice sounding flat in a way that had nothing to do with the thin atmosphere. “What are the odds of us two having a reunion out here, amid the stars?”
Amara’s bones went hollow. Her face was turned ashen. The sword suddenly grew too heavy to hold upright.
“Captain! Amara, get out of there!” Ri’she’a cried in frantic desperation.
Miranda’s countenance was alighted with a gloating leer, gazing down at her little sister with a superhuman bravado that matched the resplendence of that sun. In an instant, the Captain knew that these people had been defeated by her turncoat sibling. “Miranda, they’re gone,” Amara tried, her voice pleading. “Your captors are gone. It’s alright… you can-”
“Come with you?” Miranda slowly shook her head. “It would just delay the inevitable, sister… and make it so much the worse for its arrival. No, this ends here… for your own good.”
Amara looked into those eyes… her sister’s hard, determined eyes, the eyes of the woman that she had never once known to yield, and felt terror. She couldn’t take her sister back with her… she’d never been able to beat her. Not once. Clicking the comms-button on her bracelet without taking her eyes off of Miranda, she gave an order. “Ri’she’a… take-off.”
“Ensign!” she cursed. “You’ve been given an order. Do it!”
The blare of turbines suddenly overtook the entire crater, carrying enough ejected gas with it that it carried some of the soundwave. A mini earthquake shook their footing. Those asteroid-buried thrusters were set aflame with raging pyres and so enshrouded the area with fine-grained dust. The Mistrunner rocketed off-world towards the astral horizon as the ship launched for its escape. Someone had followed the order… although she guessed that it hadn’t been Ri’she’a to do it.
Some part of her was glad for that.
The two Black sisters remained posted like statues, gazing each other down as that enormous vessel exited their locale like a rush. The finality of being trapped on this planetoid shook the Captain like some personal apocalypse… she was beyond rescue now. Yet… at least the crew had been offered a shot at a safe return to Earth where they could warn the Federation of the warlike species inhabiting this sector. In defeat, she had at least achieved some semblance of victory… she was willing to accept that.
“Drastic move,” Miranda spoke with a taunting tone, unabashed in her near nudity. Only her feet were covered, protecting her from the rocky, unheated ground. “Did you really think me such a threat as to order the whole crew to take off just because of my appearance? Victory through self-defeat is not a desirable result, you know?”
Speech or comprehension came difficult to Amara. How could her sister have ended up in such a circumstance? She was not merely the Kthid’s prisoner, but their active assistant too. It was plainly obvious that she was working on the alien Captain Sarcand’s orders. Being attacked by hostile aliens shook her, but she could at least wrap her head around it. This was a foe she had never imagined. Her sole comfort was watching that craft flee into the darkened gulf of space.
“Master Sarcand will be irked at missing out on such a great number of the escapees and having to hunt them down,” she continued, sounding aggravated. “For that, I will pay with my body. But… no matter. You are the gemstone he has his eyes upon. That vessel will still be intercepted by one of his own, but even if it is not, he will have gotten his main prize.”
“Miranda… how could you…” Amara asked. Her heart felt like it was beating too far, like it was about to explode. “What has happened to you?” Now, without lives counting on her, without combat raging around her, she could no longer hold back the storm of bereaved emotions raging inside her. This rendezvous with her sister felt like a sword stabbed into her soul, wounding the captain to her very core.
Yet, even as she raged, the would-be heroine’s sculptured visage did not crack one bit. Miranda remained masked with the sneering callousness of a demon. Her toothy and fierce-eyed expression glowed with the same predatory instincts as the Kthid. “You wish to know what happened to me?” Miranda spoke. “You will soon find out. The Kthid will soon be all our Masters… the entire species of mankind to slay or keep breeding as they wish. My giving in was just yielding to the inevitable. After he has your colonists, he will be able to lead the coming invasion of Earth.”
Amara’s eyes went wide. “What?” she gasped, unable to believe her eyes.
Backlit against that magnificent sun, the fallen heroine told her.
Outside of her cell, the other human captives huddled together, watching and sniveling as they listened and watched what Shale did to Ki’an’i.
The aliens had taken them to the crew quarters which had already been vandalized and looted, converted into prison cells by the addition of glowing, yellow-tinted translucent shields blocking the exits. Not all of them could see, but every single one of them could hear what was going on in the cell that Ki’an’i and Thomas Shale had been tossed into together. Sarcand had proclaimed that none of them would be touched by his men while Atalanta remained unbroken. As the alien Huntmaster had made clear, however, Shale was not one of Sarcand’s troopers. Having been gifted the Sethis Security Officer as a plaything, there was nothing stopping him from abusing her voluptuous emerald body as much as he wished… except for her.
When they had been locked in together, it had been a vicious struggle. Even with her arms bound behind her back and her legs initially shackled together, Shale had a split lip, a black eye, and blood dripped from his nose. His body was covered in bruises and he looked like hell… but that had been the first time he had raped her.
The way Ki’an’i counted, now they were on the sixth.
“You spongy bitches have some squishy cunts!” he cursed, mastering her in missionary-position and riotously plunging womb-deep with his cock. He had adjusted her bindings sometime after the third time he had fucked her, after he had kicked the hell out of her until the security officer thought he was going to kill her. Now, her ankles were shackled to her thighs and she was even more helpless against him now… Ki’an’i wanted to scream that having her bound and barely able to move wasn’t enough for the coward, that he was so weak and pathetic he needed to immobilize her completely, but she didn’t dare. “I always thought you were swamp-freaks, with pussies like bogs and mires… But this twat is almost as good as the real thing! Hugs my dick real nice and is damn soft to the thrust! Ahh… I dare say that a man could live on Sethis pussy alone. Congratulations whore, you’ve upgraded your entire species in my eyes!”
Ki’an’i tried not to hear him. She had closed her eyes, slipping into a battle trance. She had been taught to master to pain, to master fear… to ride an experience without feeling it. That was the way of the Templar. To use fear and pain and adrenaline as weapons without their blades biting into the wielder. She could endure this. She would endure this… and then she would kill this damned traitor with her own fucking hands.
She lay there and thought of Stark and was grateful he didn’t have to see this, and she let the suffering flow over and around her. His words were nothing. They were false, and she knew it. Ki’an’i let them roll off her. She would not give him the satisfaction. She would not.
The brawny ensign lurched like an overenthusiastic swine, approaching orgasm. None of the crew watching shouted or cursed at him for pumping himself towards his sixth misogynistic eruption inside Ki’an’i’s much-abused womanhood. The bald human had elected to perform his frenzied chorus of rape right in front of the door, where the maximum number of people could see… allowing each of the other women to both see and hear what he inflicted on her. He had made this a torment to break their collective spirit. Early on, whenever someone had remonstrated him, the criminal had devised a way to fuck Ki’an’i in even more painful and humiliating ways… each injustice they raised worked to only injure the security officer even more.
It was a horribly petty cruelty, and even while she suffered Ki’an’i felt for them and the pain it was being used to deal to their minds. It was horrible to languish under such circumstances. They all desperately wanted to see the Sethis unmolested yet were unable to do anything about it… and one by one, they had all fallen submissively quiet. That was how the traitor knew that he had won.
Not once had Thomas shown shame or contrition over the horrible inhumanity he was subjecting the Sethis woman to. On the contrary, he merely grew merrier the longer this violation went on. The scum acted like an animal whose sole instinct was to please his throbbing erection, each climax inside her greeted like some sort of consequence-free victory. Ki’an’i burned to defend herself… but there was no chance of that anymore. She was trussed up and gagged, her arms tied-together behind her back. After she had headbutted him during the fourth time he had raped her, he had also injected the skilled fighter with some kind of sedative that rendered her musculature enfeebled, rendering the Templar helpless to resist his advances in spite of her great martial advantage. Anna could have probably told her what it was, but Ki’an’i didn’t have that kind of knowledge… she just knew that its very existence in her veins was a torment. For a person normally so in charge of everything that went on around her, it was a supreme turnaround in fortune. She had been the greatest fighter on the ship, an athlete without peer, and now, instead, she was just another woman suffering the indignities of being raped in front of her friends.
Don’t feel it. Don’t let it show. Tranquility.
“Uuuhhg-yeeahs here comes another load of ball-soup for you!” he coarsely groaned, keeping that raging cock scabbarded while unloading every morsel of his disgusting DNA into her womb. Ki’an’i’s winced despite herself, eyes becoming slits of haggard disgust as her face flushed. The first time he had done that, the crew had all been uproarious in their condemnations and promises for retribution. Yet then he had only made it worse, and now they were a collection of bleary-eyed women whom averted their gazes in moribund silence. The sadist seemed to enjoy this group-based torture possibly even more than plugging the Templar’s quim.
Ki’an’i wasn’t sure if she would have preferred them to keep protesting on her behalf or not.
“Ahh…” he groaned long and low, pulling out and then possessively grasping those vaginal lips so to spread the folds apart. Ki’an’i tried not to imagine what he was seeing… sure that there was more invasive white goo splurged inside her box than the pale yellow of her sex. He had utterly defiled that hallowed space. The Sethis herself was also covered with dark-purple bruises, those ugly contusions dotting her thighs and abdomen. How could any man be so barbaric towards their foundling species?
“Were you an Earth woman,” he began, still ogling that besmirched pit. “Then you’d assuredly be pregnant by now… but I don’t know if I even can leave a few bastard half-breeds inside this sponge-pit.” Ki’an’i knew, to her current disgust, that he could… but thankfully, she had taken drugs to arrest her cycle before leaving on this trip when she had left her husband behind. That was at least one indignity she would be spared. “I don’t think I’ve ever left so much sperm inside a twat,” the bastard continued. “Funny how excited a near-death experience can make you to pass on your genes.”
Fury flashed across Ki’an’i’s visage like a storm. Even with the Templar’s trance-like training, even with her racial advantages against anger, it still flashed through her, making her thrash… and only serving to rub in just how helpless she was. This heartless and viscous treatment seemed impossible to endure. That ball-gag he had shoved into her after the second rape her into drooling ignobly, coating her chin with slimy saliva, and Ki’an’i still fought to keep what little composure she had left… but now, with a 6th rape behind her, the security office feared that she might be approaching her limit.
“You can’t imagine how long I’ve been wanting to screw one of you haughty shrooms,” Thomas snarled, spitting on her. “Do you know how demeaning it is for a man to take orders from a woman? Especially a god damn house-plant whore?! Every wad of semen I’ve sent into this cunt is payback for that insult. You hear that!?” he barked. “You’re not an Officer. You’re nothing but my cum-dump!”
This ruffian wasn’t just a sadist. He was insane to boot. His worldview was utterly twisted. Truly, Shale seemed to possess the same opinions on women as the Kthid, and Ki’an’i was pretty sure she had never met anyone she hated more.
“Still with that haughty look in your eyes, huh?” the bald man commented, spotting the mettle still lurking within her tear-wet eyes. “Well, I know how to deal with that in you swampies. You just wait.”
The man went into his chest, the aliens having imprisoned him inside of his own room. All the bondage equipment he was using to rape her had come out of that chest, and Ki’an’i tried not to think about what its presence implied… but without him touching her, she was eager to think about literally anything else but the feel of his skin against her and the seed filling her sex. No matter how bad this was, she somehow feared the capabilities of the Kthid more. Had the alien Huntmaster gifted her to Thomas just so to soften them up for the main course? In her eyes, it was inevitable that he would break his word… the Huntsmaster would find Atalanta utterly unbreakable, and once he did, he would break his covenant, of that Ki’an’i had no doubt. They had until he tired of his game to try and find a way to get free.
Thomas returned, holding some pen-like instrument within his hand whose iron tip blazed red-hot. It was a soldering iron from his engineer’s supplies, and the red-hot tip made Ki’an’i gasp, all her reflections vanishing with immediate concern. He couldn’t really intend to use that on her, could he?
Of course he could.
Ki’an’i went nearly mad eyed with terror upon seeing that superheated rod approaching her. Probably owing to the increased amount of starchy fibers in their skin, fire was a source of much greater horror to the Sethis than it was to humans, and the pain it inflicted far more consuming. Ki’an’i has seen some of her sisters jump merely from beholding a sudden pyre flaring inside a frying-pan. That blazing tool seemed to her like the approach of a furious cobra or some other warning predator.
“Stop! Don’t you know what that will do to her!?” Anna called out from the hallway, slamming her palms against that translucent wall that imprisoned her.
Still grinning, Shale knelt back down in-between Ki’an’i’s legs. “Of course I do, you dumb bitch!” he cursed. “That’s why I picked fire to torture this shroom with in the first place. Time to show this arrogant Templar that she isn’t as badass as she thinks she is!”
Transfixed with dread, gagged and bound, Ki’an’i’s bulging eyes followed every movement of that instrument. Its nearness to her crotch was of overwhelming concern. Wanting it nowhere near her femininity, the green-skinned woman attempted to close her legs and keep them shut… Yet the drugs running through her bloodstream made their strength difference all too pronounced and Shale simply grasped one of her thighs and then pinned it stiff against the ground, overpowering her as if she were nothing but a weak child. The limb thus immobilized, there was nothing she could do to prevent it from being scorched.
“Why are you doing this!?” Anna pleaded on her friend’s behalf.
“Mmmm!” Ki’an’i agreed in protest, trying in vain to skirt herself away from him but after just a few inches her head rested against the side of the door and she could do no further.
“Because I’m tired of you bitches and you’re fun to hurt!” Shale heartlessly sneered back. “Now, let’s try out one tiny poke.” Without hesitation, he tapped that blazing tip against her skin. There was a brief frizzle and…
And then the dam broke and Ki’an’i lost hold of her trance.
An explosive shout, muffled only by the gag, ripped its way out of her along with an agonized thrash… or what would have been a thrash if her muscles had any strength to them, anyway. She flopped around almost like a stranded fish trying to get back into water. It hurt unbelievably badly. Not allowing her to recover, the treacherous man instantly followed up with another jab, stabbing and holding that prod against the muscles of her thigh. At once, the Templar’s whole body bent upwards and screamed so that only her head and legs remained floor-bound, torso arched like a convex bridge. That fleeting frizzle was transformed into a sickening sizzling noise, like stake being singed upon a grill. Though gagged, the petal-haired security officer bellowed with all the strength of her lungs.
She maintained that overwrought position for as long as he held the soldering iron to her skin, lost in agony that slew her mind and robbed her of conscious thought. Thin riles of smoke started rising upwards from the area offended, her greenness charred and maimed to black. Many of the watching officers went into a state of derangement at seeing such blatant displays of sadism, burying heads in their hands and trying to block out the sounds.
“Burnt to a crisp!” Thomas exclaimed upon withdrawing the tool, seemingly proud of his work. “Like extinguishing a cigar on someone’s flesh. I guess you shrooms are good for something, at least. Can put one out on your skin.” He gave her a sickening smile. “Isn’t it nice to have a purpose?”
Tears stained her eyes now, so thick that she couldn’t even see the man anymore. For just a second, Ki’an’i had been naive enough to now think that it was finally over… But this had just been the initial experimentation. Feeling that he had gotten a comprehension of his craft, that deceitful human began slowly flame-carving his name into Ki’an’i’s thigh like a profane autograph! He used that fiery pencil to etch in letters, their pain-born quality blackened and uneven as she screamed and screamed and screamed again. For his canvas he picked the very top of her limb, the delicate area closest to her pelvis and heavenly pussy-mound.
Ki’an’i suffered through her disfigurement in mindless agony, screaming into her gag. Scorched alive, the Templar underwent ferocious spasms and outcries as fumes kept emitting from her marred skin. When the man was finally completed with his amateur pyrography, the badly formed name of “Thomas Shale” could be seen inscribed on that inside thigh. Ki’an’i’s cheeks were a waterfall of tears as he finished. “There!” he announced. “That should help you in remembering who owns this pussy from now on.”
The security officer offered no response. How could she? Even if she were not gagged, this bastard was now responsible for the worst incident in her entire life. She just wanted it to be over.
“Hey, bitch! I kinda get the feeling that you’re not taking my words to heart!” he acrimoniously opined, voice turning evilly sly. “I think you need some extra reminder. How about I blacken up that pretty little clit of yours? That should do the trick!”
“NO! YOU CAN’T!” Anna screamed, hammering the wall of their prison.
Ki’an’i looked over, eyes wide and horrified, and already saw that heat-generating prong drawing nearer towards her defenseless clitoris. Hyperventilating, the soon-to-be mutilated girl went into frightful overdrive. Each sharp inhale through that muzzle was audible like the exhausted panting of a stub-nosed canine. Anticipating the ultimate in pain, the Sethis closed her eyes and turned her head away, ribcage bobbing mightily enough to make her perky breasts rise and fell. As the red-hot tip approached, she could feel the heat of it on her skin, the tension enough to make her heart race enough she thought it would simply explode.
Then, at the very last second, Thomas flipped his instrument around and struck with its flat-headed butt instead. Having expected a clitoral blaze, Ki’an’i screamed in anticipated pain, blaring louder and more pathetically than she ever had done before as she pissed herself with terror. The Ensign guffawed while quickly rising as urine flooded haphazardly out of her spasming cooch. “Bahahahah!” he laughed. “So, this is supposed to be the Midgar-6’s fearsome Security Officer!? Pissing herself like some little girl! What a trollop! Why the fuck does the Federation believe that I should take orders from her?!”
There was nothing to mitigate Ki’an’i’s trauma or shame as that golden puddle grew in-between her splayed-out legs. When the Templar finally realized that her erogenous knob hadn’t been mutilated, she began weeping in a way that was more wounded and weaker than ever before. Her indignity felt complete. Not even months of her monastic meditations would be able to heal this. She felt… sundered. Like she’d been ripped in half.
Satisfied, the Ensign leaned over and removed her gag. “Let that be a lesson to you, bitch.” he snarled. “I can choose to burn away that flowery kernel of yours whenever I so wish. It is only because of my benevolence that I am allowing you to keep it. Got that? Good! The next time that I elect to take my pleasure with your worthless Sethis cunt, I expect a shroom whom is both loving and devoted to my cock! Got that? I want to feel like a brave astronaut from some old movie as he’s screwing an alien princess! Unless you make me feel like the happiest man in the cosmos, then I’ll be taking that clitoris away from you forever. Got that!?”
Ki’an’i kept weeping.
“I said, got that you swampie cunt!?” he roared, kicking her between her legs.
Ki’an’i whimpered, hating herself… but she still managed to choke the words out. “Fuck… You!”
As the hallway doors opened, Thomas Shale re-aimed his cock towards her visage. He was going to get in one last insult before those Kthid invaders interrupted. Her wetting herself had inspired the Ensign to also empty his own bladder… all over Ki’an’i’s tear-stained and flushed face. He unloaded a great grunt of enjoyment at getting to take his whizz directly onto a freshly raped adversary. Splattering onto her mouth, the Templar unwillingly swallowed some into her mouth before managing to close it, sputtering and so only allowing more in. That fetid wastewater was made to rinse over her vanquished mien, its saltiness flooding over her and down onto the ground.
The onlooking Kthid seemed much amused at this mid-defilement discovery. As piss washed over her face, Ki’an’i wondered if in Tomas Shale the vile Kthid had found a kindred spirit. The foremost of those alien guards waited until he had finished pissing before he spoke. “The high-value prisoners are to be taken to Huntmaster Sarcand. All of them.”
The shield gates were lowered from the doors, and the women made to obey at weapon-point. Free to move, not one of them attacked or even remonstrated the bald Ensign for his unspeakable actions. He had begun the rape of his captive in front of a vehemently hostile crowd and now not even one of them dared turn their noses his way. It kindled his ego with that special sort of pride that makes a thug grin from ear to ear, and as Ki’an’i was taken from the room it made her want to die.
Guided through the Midgar-6 by their reptilian captors, they passed many of the egg-shaped cryosleep-pods housing the frozen colonists. While busy with another officer in helping the wounded Ki’an’i by supporting her over their shoulders, Dr. Constantos couldn’t help but look at them with a somber mood as she considered the fate the aliens had in mind for them. If these Kthid were the demons of impregnation and rape that Miranda had described them as, then the storage of so many fertile females was a gold-mine to these monsters. What would happen if they truly got all four codes needed to unfreeze them? Would they proceed to gang-rape them all in some wild bacchanal? Would the entire ship turn into an orgy of violence and sex? Anna steeled herself with the knowledge that such an eventuality would never come to pass. She or maybe even Ki’an’i could be broken and made to surrender the password. But Atalanta couldn’t. That ancient heroine was their fortress of strength.
They were all herded into the ship’s primary mainframe room. Anna had never been here before, but she felt certain it didn’t normally look like this… plenty of clearly alien equipment has been brought in, surrounding the enormous supercomputer, looking like a pack of hunters crowding a mammoth back. Sarcand was there, his predatory grin appearing to possess an air of smugness that the doctor found most disturbing.
He sat beside the largest of the alien devices brought in, bulky, square, ugly apparatus. It had a protruding snout akin to that of a video camera, and from its lens there shot twin beams of variegated lighting. Those rays were directed at the far end of the bench, swirling and twirling in regular patterns. Some figure had been manifested there, like the early outline of a 3d-printing. Anna had never seen a 3d printer like that, but she understood the technology well enough… even though the Kthid’s mastery of the technology seemed significantly beyond their own.
No one said a word, and the space-dragons never explained themselves. The officers of the Midgar-6 were merely allowed to stand there and watch the strange printer work. A whisper of shock swept over them as realization began to set in… just how advanced this technology was that it was printing something with the structure of an organic being, delivering the compound structure one molecule at a time at an unthinkably high budget of energy. Those rays shooting out directed particles with pinpoint accuracy which formed and coalesced into some greater being beyond what their own printers were capable of, forcing atomic bonds one at a time… and soon each of them could tell what that thing they were making was. The outline soon materialized to the point that each of them could tell that they were printing a human being!
All the officers were paralyzed into abject silence, gawking and staring at this maddening impossibility transpiring before them. More and more of that figure became apparent; feet growing into lower legs which soon became kneecaps and the start of shapely thighs. It was already highly evident that the figure was a woman judging by the shape and smoothness of her limbs.
Anna looked on, stunned. With this technology, she could rebuild limbs and organs entirely. She could make medicines tailored specifically to an individual patient. She could treat any ailment, heal any injury… but the truly startling part wasn’t that it was possible. Human printing technology really wasn’t that far behind in this regard. What was unthinkable was the energy budget to deliver such bursts of power to fuse atoms into place… just imagining the power necessary to override the atomic bonds and reforge them boggled the mind.
This, more than anything, said to Anna that she was an ant, and the Kthid were the boot come for her.
Studying the texture of that conjured individual with an observant eye, Anna noticed that she wasn’t fully the same as a womb-born person. The skin was flesh-like, but not truly flesh, more akin to some plastic that possessed a great resemblance to the consistency and makeup of body tissue. Given this, she theorized that this printed woman would not possess fully functional internal organs. That would cut down on the energy requirement considerably, although it still dwarfed an entire day’s output by the Midgar-6’s fusion reactor. But… why spend the energy at all?
As the whole outline of her body was scanned into being, many of those tough-skinned behemoths began to hiss and laugh. It was like they couldn’t contain themselves for the reveal. The figure of that woman being summoned was curvaceous and scintillating in the extreme, possessing a truly perfectly shaped body. The breasts being printed were large, yet impeccably well-rounded, erect nipples standing out like erotic rosebuds. The hips likewise were wide and designed for childbearing, her ass no-doubt as bubbly and voluptuous as that of any tease. Her hair was long and dark, the silky strands alternating between being straight and braided like some archaic warrior.
A tube was connected to her then… a blue fluid being pumped into her body in the place of blood… and as she watched the woman’s flesh turn more lifelike and warn, the reticent Doctor began to feel a faint remembrance that she could not place. She knew this unsurpassed anatomy from… somewhere. The experience grew on her like a mounting sense of danger. From the murmurs of the others, each other member of their group experienced the same sensation. Yet it was only when those swiftly swirling beams applied the finishing details onto her face that everyone in the room realized who it was. They felt a thrill of eeriness beyond all parallel, an overpowering frightfulness that flooded their nerves like a tsunami.
It was Atalanta. The Exalted woman was being incarnated into flesh by the Kthid.
As soon as those twin rays finished their last morsel upon her forehead, her green eyes opened wide and stared and… Every Earthling jumped and yelped as if witnessing the resurrection of a corpse. Their uncanniness didn’t lessen as that blue-haired heroine quickly sprung up, totally uncaring in sheltering her nudity and looking utterly spooked. Anna looked into her eyes and… and something was wrong. There wasn’t a strong woman behind those eyes, not a fierce warrior. Behind that gaze hid a terrified animal, senseless and thoughtless.
Noticing the Kthid Warlord standing beside her, her whole 3d-scanned figure froze into an immobility of deadly fright. The Exalted looked at Sarcand as if confronted with an omnipotent God. Collapsing instantly, she kowtowed before his feet. Somehow, the dead heroine’s consciousness had been uploaded into this body during the printing process… or, perhaps, it was being animated by the Exalted still in her mainframe… Yet even while abashing herself like a woman broken of all dignity and honor, her identity as the exalted heroine who had administered their vessel was unmistakable.
“P-please… mercy…” she whimpered.
“Sit back on your heels,” he ordered. “I have something for you.”
The woman obeyed, promptly, her big breasts remaining unsheltered. Anna looked on, stunned. It looked like there was no pride, no resistance in the woman… she reacted instantly, moving with almost desperate haste.
“I’ve been wanting to have you sucking on my cock ever since daring to confront me in the control room,” the green-hued monster growled said while removing the loincloth-like garment encircling his groin. “Here! Have a jostle with this!”
Before that knee-bound beauty’s face, the dragon’s colossal cock came free… the same that had previously so ferociously violated Miranda Black. Hanging only half-hard, its thickness and girth made for an unseemly contrast with her divinely gorgeous visage. The heroine’s sea-green eyes fixed upon it as if witnessing a reveal of one of the gods. If there was a moment for her to fight back, then this was it.
Yet that wasn’t going to happen.
To the shouts of astonishment coming from the gathered Officers, the Exalted artlessly gaped her maw and moved forward to swallow that alien cockhead. The green monstrosity was grossly oversized compared to her pert mouth… yet just like Miranda before her, she displayed an almost superhuman level of commitment to seeing it pleased. Yawning her mouth wide as it could go, she forced her face down on that meat pole, stuffing it into her gorge until its bulbous top pushed against her throat. The sight of a vast Kthid dick jutting past her lips horrified the watching officers, while the other Kthid made noises of profound amusement at seeing the unprotesting devotion of his new slave.
“Ahh yes… that was what I wanted,” he commented, placing a palm atop her crown as if the AI was a pet.
Atalanta then began her transformation into an alien whore. The watching humans sank into an uncomprehending stupor as they watched yet another life-long paragon fall, striving desperately to stuff the entire manhood down her throat. The resurrected Atalanta — one of the foremost champions in Terran history — was now on her knees before them while strenuously fucking herself with swollen dragon cock! The sight was a horror too unbelievable to properly register… Anna felt Officers grasp and tug at her body in an effort to remain stable. However, no matter how desperate their outcries became, the embodied AI never ceased to suck his prong. She swallowed it, licking submissively and slovenly on its messy length as if appeasing it was the only way to stave off a fate worse than death. The only sign that she wasn’t some wanton whore deep in worship were the tears running down her face from her artificial eyes.
“Ooohhh!” Sarcand groaned, thoroughly engrossed in her self-disparaging service. “Yes! Work your tongue against my pisshole! Conquering species with artificial intelligence is always a treat… break them, and you have some of the most fervent sex slaves in the entire armada!” He looked down at her, shaking his head. “Even so, she clearly fails to compare to Miranda.”
This remark seemed to instill a fright so supreme into Atalanta that she went into mad-eyed overdrive. That dick-sucking woman made to impale herself gutturally upon his now fully stiffened cock, driving her skull headlong into him until it looked she was making her throat bulging and empty so rapidly that it was at risk of tearing. Gagging as if being strangled, Atalanta managed to deep-throat herself upon that jutting pole. Inch after inch of masculine vastness vanished rapidly into her. This insane desperation to please the loathsome alien monster added another layer of insanity upon this already unimaginable scene. It was plain that she had never before performed such a debased act in the flesh, sporting no technique or stratagem to achieve such penetration save for a senseless, almost mindless urge to satiate the male’s his whims. After a ferocious hustle, her petite nose bumped against his pelvis, face flattening against his groin so that the entire python lay buried within her neck.
“Ahhh! That’s it! That’s better! Show your underlings how a human heroine handles big Kthid cock!” he mocked.
As dick and gullet remained interconnected via her lips, Atalanta’s pale visage soon reddened and contorted with an extraordinary strain. Her faux skin apparently possessed such capacities, through the quickly intensifying blush lacked some conviction in its artificial fluster. Sarcand offered no command for her to pull back, so she kept that raping tool gutturally buried, clearly suffering. Some human instinct left in her, combined with the sensations, must be telling her that she was suffocating, that she needed to breathe… but she forced herself to stay buried. It was only when Sarcand petted her head affectionately that the Exalted female finally pulled off him amid a torrent of haggard gasps and scrambling pupils. Her mouth could also produce some saliva-like substance, the thin strings salaciously connecting her lips to that beefy-thick hard-on as she looked up at him, gasping.
“You are truly pathetic,” he told her. “Still a mere shadow in comparison to Miranda, but I suppose you are good enough to be worthy of my cock.” The amazingly muscled behemoth turned around and leaned forward. “But I think I have a hole more suited for you…”
All Kthid had thick, brutal tails protruding from their hindquarters, most likely a vestigial limb. It didn’t seem flexible enough to lift, but Sarcand grabbed it and lifted, drawing the tail skyward and exposing his perineum, scrotum, anus and heavy-hanging dick-rod laying closely together underneath. Anna was horrifically sure of which unclean orifice he was referring to.
Atalanta, however, didn’t even hesitate. Reaching out with both hands, the Exalted woman grasped the area around his rear… and lewdly stretched it outward so that she could reach it. That dark pit was surrounded by a ring of wrinkly skin, somehow managing to look even more disgusting to Anna’s eyes than the human equivalent… and yet the great defender of mankind showed no reluctance or hesitation at being confronted with such an abhorrent chasm. Not even the appearance of such a detestable and ungodly orifice could abate her neediness to see him pleased.
Atalanta moved her head forward, but the Huntmaster stopped her. “What do you want to do, heroine?” Sarcand sardonically questioned, his gut still jutting floorward.
“I want to clean your filthy asshole with my worthless human tongue, Master,” Atalanta said, speaking for the first time, and Anna felt her heart sink at the sheer lack of… life… in that tone.
“No-no,” he pressed. “I mean, what do you really want to do?” The Kthid let out a deep laugh. “Say it out loud for your fellow humans to hear and then get to work tongue-rubbing my ass… and I’ll consider granting you your wish.”
The Goddess-like woman began crying more violently, something glittering and wet emerging from the corner of her artificial eyes. She looked over at the officers, and in that gaze, Anna saw the horror of the words she was about to speak. “Master… please allow me to… surrender to you my password,” she chirped like a broken bird.
“You know that as soon as you give me that password,” Sarcand warned, “I will have no reason to spare the rest of these cunts, right?”
For a single moment, one single painful moment, Atalanta hesitated and Anna saw something in her eyes. Then she looked down. “Yes…” she whispered, dejected… too ashamed to even look at them. “I’m sorry… I’m sorry… but… please don’t send me back in there. I’ll be good! I’ll always be good…” she begged, and then she dutifully leaned in and obscenely planted her beautiful visage straight against the Kthid’s ass.
This statement rolled over the gathered Officers like the sword of Damocles falling. Many descended into cataleptic sobs, unbelieving the sheer cruelty of their fate. Having thought Atalanta unconquerable, they had just heard her lips seal their own fates of rape and defilement before proceeding to disgrace herself further… and all of them were forced to face the truth. There was no one strong enough to keep either them or the colonists safe, and they were undone.
As if mocking their doomed daze, Sarcand unleashed overexcited bays at having his rectum nastily tossed, seemingly just to mock the watchers as the Exalted’s tongue scrubbed at his rear. Anna watched on with horror as his dick jolted whenever that muscle tip dug especially deep, betraying his enjoyment of the foul act. Throughout the bout of interspecies analingus, his heavy-hanging balls made a footstool of her chin. She wasn’t just rimming him… her face was sunken into his very taint. This was the ultimate fall of the crew of the Midgar-6… Anna understood what Sarcand was doing. This was like him publicly raping Miranda… the Exalted woman had gone from proclaiming his inevitable failure to now licking his shitter in front of the people she had promised to stalwartly protect, and forcing her to do this before them just underscored how thorough his victory was. They had all seen Miranda broken and raped… Yet even that was nothing in comparison to this. It was no fluke… he could do this to the strongest women of the Federation at will. Atalanta wasn’t just broken, she was… crushed. Her legendary willpower and strength had been pulverized into sub-atomic dust!
Yet even this previously unthinkable scene soon turned even more deplorable and astounding. As that debauched ass-cleaning transpired before them, the twin beams from the machine reactivated and started printing again. The process was quicker this time, as if having ironed out the various kinks during its first run, having already calculated the optimal routes.
Even if the crew wasn’t trapped in a daze so extreme that it precluded any analytical thought, none of them had the depths of the Kthid cruelty to imagine… they couldn’t have guessed what new person the Kthid were now summoning forward. Not a new person at all. Within a few moments, it became clear that this was, again, Atalanta… a second body! They were having her literally copied — creating an additional body for her program to control!
As soon as this iteration was done, one nearly naked Kthid grasped her and flung the new copy off the bench. Cackling heartily, he repeated the defilement of his overlord. Atalanta was made to kneel and face his big posterior, soon giving him a rim job too. Scarcely had this second defilement began before the device started printing out a third Atalanta… already two of the reptilian extraterrestrials were forcing the legendary heroine to so badly disgrace herself, and now a third awaiting his turn. Though the crew didn’t know the difference, these were the Kthid Engineers whom have had her broken. Their reward for having conquered her was to have her cleaning out their dirty tunnels in public… being the first to enjoy the fruits of their labors save for the Huntmaster himself.
The assembled officers stood with mouths agape at what was happening. It was an act of stygian darkness unimaginable by their enlightened, peaceful society. Seconds later, the third iteration was completed, and her face too was turned into a toilet for Kthid degradation. Horrified, Anna remembered what Miranda had spat back at her when the Exalted had claimed that she was a disgrace to the Federation. “You are going to be made to eat Kthid shit before they’re through with you,” she had sworn. Her words had now become a prophecy.
She had also stated that resisting the Kthid was useless. Anna was smitten with an extreme sense of foreboding… terrified she might be equally right about that.
The number of the reptilian creatures getting their asses cleaned turned to four. With the fifth on the way, Sarcand finally finished. He turned around and wrathfully grasped a possessive handhold of her hair. The woman’s lips seemed dirty, covered with his sweat as she turned from his crack, wearing the dirty and sweat of his body like tackily applied make-up. “This is why we love your kind so much,” he proclaimed to the watching officers while the Engineers were still having their rears vigorously tongue cleansed. “We can print numerous copies of the slut and fuck them all at once! The program known as Atalanta inhabits all of these bodies simultaneously, like a puppet master with her marionettes. Tell your underlings, woman! How does it feel!?”
“Ahhhaa!” she whimpered a pitiful squeal. “Please… master… mercy… please!”
He slapped her. “The way you get mercy is obeying, you selfish slut… or do you need to go back for another hour to learn some obedience?”
Her eyes went wide as saucers. “Please master, no! I’ll…” she paused, as if struggling to remember how to say words that had nothing to do with begging or submission. “It’s… it’s unexplainable! Even while I’m talking to you right here, I’m also licking the asses of three different Kthid at once!” she twisted her face. “I can… taste them, even as I speak…” She retched and looked like she wanted to vomit… Anna found herself wondering if this body could. “I can feel every bump and grove on my tongue and… Ahh… please, Master!!! I want to surrender to you the password. Please allow me to do it for you! I want to serve you so badly!”
“Not yet, whore,” he stringently replied. “You will do so when I give the command. Before that, we will take our pleasure with you, having you begging to betray your colonists. My engineers have examined your coding… They actually found things to impress them. I’m told your consciousness can handle managing 25 separate copies at once… more than any of the other artificial whores I have in my ship’s hold. You should be proud… none of the other captive programs had handle 25 assholes at once. Now, do you have anything to say to your underlings?”
Atalanta seemed numb to the horror Sarcand described as she slowly turned to face the others… staring them down, seemingly utterly broken. The dismay and despondency of her artificial eyes easily over-shone even those of Miranda… The Exalted pillar of their Federation was just… gone! “Give up,” she whispered. “Serve the Kthid! They will fuck you and you will carry their babies. All of Federation will suffer that fate… It cannot be stopped. Oh, by the Dark Star… they are too powerful!” she wailed.
The words were like the strike of a nuclear bomb. If Thomas Shale had managed to demoralize them, then this was a collapse of their very civilization itself.
Then, just as they looked on the crushed, hopeless woman, the muscular colossus yanked so viciously with his mane-clutching hand that Atalanta’s scalp snapped from her skull along with much of her skin, in the same second that Sarcand’s other hand crushed her throat. The woman screamed in absolute pain, but her crippled body made it nearly soundless as she clutched her mutilated head as the body collapsed to the ground. More tellingly, the three women with their tongues up Kthid ass screamed as well, even as dozens of the HEF officers echoed her. Sarcand looked at them all in narrow-eyed disgust. “We can create as many new bodies as we wish,” Sarcand said, tossing the bloody tuft of hair at one of them and spraying some of the odd blue blood at them. “Why not dispose of a used-up copy and refresh it?” He laughed, and even as the weeping, brutalized copy of Atalanta died from her inhuman abuse, the officers watched as another copy finished being printed and was grabbed but yet another of the waiting engineers.
Anna could only look on in horror as she understood what the rest of Atalanta’s existence would likely look like… an eternal chorus of pain and suffering.
Still posted like statues, Amara and Miranda remained gazing at one another as if part of the cosmic equilibrium, that raging solar inferno still backlighting the elder sister.
Miranda had told her everything… had even highlighted her wrist which bore the three pregnancy-markings, and her sister had listened to it all as if hearing the tale of some unbelievable coming apocalypse. The revelation of the Kthid’s purpose and biology seemed like some sort of universal evil that she didn’t want to think existed in the same reality as her… but she had little choice but to accept that it did. With the two of them alone and isolated on this rock, Amara felt spurred by long-dormant emotions to… to finally manage to say something heartfelt to her sister. Miranda had obviously been touched by destiny even at a young age, and… while Amara had always worshipped the very ground her sister had walked on it wouldn’t be fair to say they had ever been close. If they had been, maybe… maybe she would have known what to say to make Miranda step back from this madness and become her sister again. The redhead had always been such a prodigy that reaching her on an intimate level had always been a rare and strenuous affair, yet even though they were rarely together Amara had always loved her with the full devotion of a sister who had admired her overachieving elder with utmost respect and sincerity.
These yearnings and wants painted her face with expressions that better communicated her wishes more earnestly and solemnly than any words could and yet… such a wish would remain unfulfilled. Miranda’s will was as intransigent and powerful as that sun blazing behind her silhouette. She had always worn her passion on her sleeves… reading her unhidden thoughts had never been difficult even for strangers and… to Amara, it seemed her sister had given herself fully to Sarcand, giving up entirely. That where would be no going back… the emotional gulf between them was greater than the vastness of space that had separated them physically for so long.
“Master Sarcand will want to possess you himself,” the flame-haired woman narrated. “I cannot claim that it will be easy, dignified, or even manageable, but such are the rules of the galaxy we live in, Amara. We all bend to a greater will than our own. It just so happens that the Kthid are our overlords. You will come to see this as reality… just as I have.”
“I… I won’t fight you…” Amara proclaimed, experiencing vulnerabilities the likes of which she had never previously encountered. “I can’t. How could I fight my own sister, Miranda?” Everything in her rebelled at seeing her as a foe. She… she had just learned her sister wasn’t dead. Could she kill her, even if she had the ability? “Strike me down if you wish. You could always best me in five strikes or less anyway. I won’t fight.”
Miranda clicked her tongue as if disappointed with a small child. Slowly, she began to step forward. “Why do you say things that you know to be untrue?” she said, shaking her head. “It was always one of your weaknesses. When I attack… you will fight back. Start seeing the universe with open eyes, Amara. That is the only way you’ll survive.” The woman leapt from her high ground. Even while springing through the sluggishness of truncate gravity, she seemed to be approaching at superhuman speeds. Amara got up her blade for a defensive riposte just in time, yet her clever counterattack was expertly parried by Miranda and pressed instantly on the backfoot.
Whirlwinds of steels danced between the two siblings. If the heroine had lost even an ounce of her edge during her enslavement, then this decline was not discernible to Amara’s eyes. She brutally used every advantage and capitalized on every opening… yet Amara had grown in her absence. The duel went beyond the five strikes she had expected, but even so the possibilities still seemed incurably grim. For Amara, swordplay was an exercise, an expected art. For Miranda it was passion, just one more art perfected by the perfect woman. The very movements of her sword-tip were like legerdemains of the hand. “You need to move your feet in motion with your attacks,” the elder sibling taunted, still projecting disappointment even as they fought. “You will never press the momentum otherwise.”
The Midgar-6’s Captain was pushed to the very limits of her skills. It seemed impossible that a person like Miranda could have been bested in a duel against anyone, even someone like the alien Huntmaster. Managing to create a moment’s separation, she found an enormous stone located just in front of her foot. Leveraging the space-hulk’s lessened gravity, she lobbed that rock towards Miranda as if sending off a soccer-ball. She had hoped for a winning move. Instead, the heroine dexterously sidestepped the projectile and then brought their serrated blades into a bind.
“Creativity! Good! That was always one of your strongest aspects!” she remarked while they were clinched up face-to-face, grimacing at the contest of strength. Having received her first occasion of martial success, Amara was ready to take the advantage, but Miranda had already prepared her victory-blow. Through some unknowable movement too far for Amara to follow, however, Miranda broke their bind and then sliced twice down low. The blade penetrated through the Aegis easily as anything, too fast to dodge, too slow for the shield to stop, and steel dug into hamstrings and knee joints like the blade of a saw. Amara screamed so loud that her face became a mask of agony, and both legs buckled over and sent her plummeting into the dust-bestrewed ground, dropping her blade so to support herself with both arms as she bled heavily onto the ground.
Their duel was over. Miranda had won… and if it had been harder for her than before, it still seemed trivially easy for the fallen heroine, perfect as ever.
“So… I remain the superior,” the redhead assessed, scabbarding her blade in her aegis-belt. “Not unexpected. Still… you made a good showing off yourself,” the woman added. “Take pride in that at least. You always had potential. Too bad such talent will never be given a chance to develop, but… that’s just the existence humanity was meant for.”
A black torment gripped the wounded Captain. What was that supposed to mean? Was Miranda making attempts at comfort?
The few Kthid who had survived their skirmish gathered around them, basking in this partial victory they had accomplished. Pain and emotional hurt forced tears from out of Amara’s eyes. All the while, that heroine remained towering above her like some uncompromising creature out of myth. Miranda had just violated the sacred bond between sisters… and she offered no justification or apology for the deed. Her visage was as inscrutable of base humanity as those metallic helmets which covered the space-lizards heads.
“I’m taking you back to my Master,” she spoke. “You will do well to yield yourself quickly as his slave… if you do, you will likely survive.”
Amara could no longer hold back the raging conflicts inside her. She gazed up, staring at Miranda headlong through tear-glimmering eyes, unwavering in her plea towards the person that she had always admired. Miranda was her sibling. The very notion of thinking of her as an enemy rather than as a protector or a mentor gripped her with such heartache that it was more profoundly painful than even the potentiality of ending up as a Kthid thrall. All of this she unveiled to that alien-captured woman, baring the very essence of her soul. “Sister… please! Save me!” Amara shouted, tears flowing from her eyes as she wept, bowing before her dust-begrimed feet so to drench them with a rainfall of tears as she bled onto the rocky ground. The Kthid watching them made mocking laughter… yet she could practically feel the turmoil going on inside the heroine’s soul. “I can’t save them myself. Please… I beg you… help me save them all! I am your sister!”
Lifting her head, Amara read the reply upon her sister’s countenance. It was hot with pained and conflicting emotions. For perhaps the very first moment of her entire life, Miranda appeared shocked and disarmed. But all too quickly, Amara watched as the woman’s face solidified into a single thought. It wasn’t one of rescue, or of comfort. That look said, “I don’t know how to save you.” It said, “How do I show you there is no other way?” It said that there was no hope.
It was only then that Amara realized that she had never truly believed her sister was dead when she had vanished… that despite her claims of realism and mourning, that she had always expected to see her again. She realized it… because now, for the first time, Amara actually understood that her older sister was definitively, irreparably… dead, and she felt the loss more keenly than any blade.
The elder Black sister steeled her nerves, moving to seize Amara into an arrestive handhold when one of the Kthid shouted some noise of surprise. They all gazed skywards towards a rapidly approaching object. The flare of ion-turbines blasting was nearly blinding. Looking, Amara beheld the appearance of an escape-shuttle powering in their direction in what looked like an insane kamikaze-attack. With such speed, a crash that would kill them all appeared inevitable… and through the windscreen, she could behold the screaming face of Ri’she’a locked in mid-bellow.
Everyone leapt and rolled, taking themselves away from the impact-zone, moving on instinct to save themselves from the kinetic bomb crashing down on them… everyone but the lamed Amara, who simply sat there, staring, waiting for the end with wide eyes. Just before the fatal crash, moving with unbelievable skill, Ri’she’a swung her vessel around and blasted her engines elsewhere, decelerating violently as she somehow managed to miss her Captain by bare feet with the furious blast of those ion rockets. The violent turn of the ship nearly squashed the wounded Captain’s body into mush… but instead the ship drifted to a stop just inches from her.
It was the sort of maneuverer that a textbook would have declared physically impossible to perform.
Damn all the gods that ever were that beautiful woman could fly.
On the shuttle sides, there were landing skids. Too injured to move and acting on sheer instinct, Amara let herself grab onto one of those rails and hung onto it for dear life as the helmswoman spun the ship around, guiding her vessel back out towards infinity. Within the span of a few heartbeats, they had left the hulk behind and were accelerating out into the void of space at nearly unbelievable speeds. Amara’s heart sunk so heavy that she couldn’t even breath as they left her sister behind. Rising upwards towards the blackness of space and that orbiting Mistrunner, blood poured down her legs and dropped back down out of her aegis suit to freeze into crystals as soon as it left the barely kept warmth keeping her alive in the vacuum. She had survived. Ri’she’a had saved her!
The ship continued accelerating, far more g’s in escaping from the ship that her weakened body could take. As her vision went dark, Amara’s last action was to clip her aegis-belt to the rail. Then she stopped fighting the drag of acceleration, and Amara succumbed to the blackness to know nothing more.
Technical Entry – 3d Printing Technology
Technical Entry – Exalted Android Bodies
7 thoughts on “Point of No Return 5 – The Confrontation”
Ok, so, a lot of emotional ups and downs in this chapter; it’s a real rollercoaster ride.
Starting off, the brief action scene is pretty cool, and I love Amara and her team taking down most of the Kthid war party by dropping parts of the space hulk on them. As good as that is, though, her crowning moment of awesome (thus far) has to be when she attacks Ocvar and beheads him with his own sword. Some of the stuff on the space hulk brings up the old “weightless is not massless” thing, but I do think it works here. It’s not that Amara can’t swing the sword, but rather that her attack would be less effective under full Earth gravity, since she would be fighting both the inertia of the sword and the gravity pulling it down, while here she mostly just has to worry about inertia. in other words, she can handle the mass of the sword (and later that rock she throws), but she couldn’t handle the mass and the weight.
Back inside and we have a “down” with Ki’an’i. The torture scene is bad, and I felt so bad for her when she peed herself when she thought Shale was about to burn her clitoris off, how ashamed she felt because of her fear and his fucking detestable mockery of her for it when her fear is completely understandable. Fortunately he stopped before actually doing that, and I did love that even after what he just did to her, her next line was this:
Ki’an’i whimpered, hating herself… but she still managed to choke the words out. “Fuck… You!”
I know Ki’an’i hasn’t coughed up her code yet, so things will get worse for her before they get better, but for now, I liked that little moment.
And then we get to Atalanta. So when you said the Kthid had uses for her…called it! Well, ok, partially. I called that Sarcand would want to bring the crew before her so he could make her declare open season on the other women, using her for psychological warfare the same way he used Miranda. What I did not call was the 3d printed gynoid body thing. That’s also pretty bad, especially since the Kthid can now kill the bodies when they want to, forcing Atalanta to effectively experience death as many times as they want her to.
So yeah, every woman in this chapter needs a hug. Ki’an’i, Atalanta, Amara…and you knew I was going to mention Miranda.
That might seem a bit odd at first, given everything else in this chapter, but the confrontation at the end was actually worse than I’d thought. I was expecting to cringe while watching Amara lose respect for her sister, while Miranda remained completely stonefaced. What happened instead, with Amara breaking down and begging her big sister to help her, was a lot worse. It’s especially bad because this was where she gave up on her sister, and the exact moment Amara decides that Miranda is dead…
…is the exact moment we can see that Miranda is still in there.
Well…I said this was a rollercoaster ride, so where’s the “up” here?
Oh, how about when Ri’she’a comes in like a fucking meteor and pulls a maneuver that ought to be impossible? Yeah, that’ll do it. That moment is especially great given that Ri’she’a’s primary emotion for this part of the story has been fear, and she just did something that took nerves of steel.
I just really enjoy the Sarcand publicly abusing Atalanta, just like with Miranda 😉
I am a big enjoyer of the brutal method of using the defeated to break the moral of the others, myself. That’s why he started with the toughest ones 🙂
Pretty much, yeah. Amara is a very athletic woman and quite fit, more than capable of swinging a huge weapon or rolling a huge rock across the ground… but not so much with gravity dragging both of them down. She would have a hard time keeping the sword level of the cut, for example. As you pointed out in discussions, the nature of the Kthid weapons is supposed to be brutally utilitarian… I am not sure what the society’s art looks like and haven’t done a lot of thinking about it, but I imagine their idea of beauty doesn’t go too much further than how useful a thing is. The sword, and their boxy, double-barreled weapons are supposed to represent that.
😀 You go Ki’an’i!
Amara’s character arc in this set of stories, as set up by Atalanta in the first chapter, is that her sister was a living legend… and Amara was fairly comfortable living in her shadow. Now that security blanket is being quite violently ripped away. I think its a very awful moment to watch that after everything, after we’ve watched Amara do as much as she has already to save other people, after we watched her fight her sister as best she could etc… What she asks is a plea to be saved. That she can’t do it alone. That she needs Miranda.
And Miranda just “told” her she was on her own.
Hot damn that bitch can fly 🙂
You go, girl.
That is definitely part of it, and she has definitely drawn strength from Miranda in the past (Chapter 2, I think, reveals that she carries a photo of her sister on her person), but for me there was another layer.
Amara has actually succeeded to a surprising degree given the circumstances, but I kind of got the impression that she’s painfully aware that all of her successes have these horrible qualifiers attached to them.
Amara held off a Kthid advance at one defensive point…but none of the others.
She managed to get a group of survivors off the Midgar-6…but most of the crew and all of the colonists are still inside.
She managed to actually blunt the Kthid offensive here…but she still lost people.
She managed to get the last of her group of survivors off the space-hulk…but she had to stay behind.
She lasted longer than five moves against Miranda…but she still lost.
The breakdown and pleading with Miranda, then came across to me not just as her trying to bring her sister back, but also as Amara at the end of her emotional rope, hyper-conscious of all the people she hasn’t saved and desperate to make this situation better.
I may be the founding member of Team Miranda 😉 , but I do feel very intensely for Amara, probably more here than at any other point in the story, when we see how vulnerable she really is. Given what I quoted about Miranda in the previous comment, this is a really sad moment for both of the Black sisters.
Love the story! I hope we get to see more of the broken Atalanta.
Btw, any news on a new chapter of One Light in the Darkness? That’s my favorite storyline you’ve ever done.
I will be working on another chapter of that this month 🙂