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Earth Shine, Part Two

Written by shadar :: [Saturday, 01 June 2019 20:55] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 01 June 2019 22:23]

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Earth Shine

Part Two

by Shadar

June 2019


(Note: NSFW picture in story)


Chapter Six

Scarlet skillfully flew her stealth ship through the wide-open door of a hangar that was laser-carved into the face of a cliff along the Washington coastline. Once inside, and now cloaked by the hangar’s systems, she disabled her ship’s own cloak so that Senator Bull Satrop could climb down the ladder without losing his bearings.

With his feet were back on solid ground, Bull walked close to the wide-open hangar doorway to look out to sea, admiring the rock formations that the locals called Sea Stacks. The tall rocks, most bigger than a house, marched out to sea for several miles and then north and south along the coast as far as he could see. The blue water in between the stacks was filled with sharp rocks that not even a kayak could safely cross in any kind of swell. It was the perfect armor to ensure privacy from the sea.

Looking further down to the beautiful, sandy beach so far below him, Bull searched for Freya. He finally located three tiny figures in the distance, the tallest of which would be her.

This was the Near Earth Command Headquarters, and it was the most private place on a planet the Arions should never have even set foot on. The Galen long ago had declared Earth to be off-limits to all Supremis, but the Galen were fading away, their presence and power the least it had ever been. The Emperor now believed it was the Arion’s time to rule the galaxy.

Bull had bet his life on his being right, and he felt increasingly confident of that decision as he admired the perilous rocks that made the shoreline unapproachable. The beach at the foot of the cliffs was also closed to all Terrans except for him, but not with any kind of sign or visible fence. Instead, a Misery Field had been set up across the beach three miles north and south of this location. Anyone walking down the beach and into a Misery would become violently ill. The sudden onset of extreme nausea ensured that they turned around and headed back the way they’d come, never realizing that they’d nearly encroached on the most protected location on Earth. Instead, they’d return home with stories about how they’d gotten mysteriously ill while hiking the beach, most likely from bad food or water.

Above the bluffs, a broad section of private land had been bought by a conservation foundation that was secretly bankrolled by the Arions. That land ensured privacy for several miles inland along the entire six miles of coastline that the Arions claimed. The entire area was closed to the public and patrolled by an aggressive private security outfit who had strictly closed off the land, supposedly to allow native species of plants to regrow.

The locals found it odd that all the employees of the elite security outfit had raven-black hair, identical coal black uniforms and always seemed to wear sunglasses. Some of the more suspicious locals believed that the so-called “conservation land” was doing more than just growing grass, but several people who had decided to investigate had suddenly moved away, never to be heard from again. The Sheriff had investigated, but found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Bull knew that no one did security better than the Arions. They were disciplined and equipped far better than any government, and that was before you took into account who and what they were. They operated with a ruthlessness that was in reality just simple efficiency. Efficiency without any moral ambiguity when it came to killing Terrans, who they saw merely as a useful sub-species.

Still, people did occasionally get past the barriers, and they quickly discovered to their demise that the Arions are very good at making people disappear. Bull had watched that happen once about five years ago, when two lost windsurfers had managed to skim over the rocks on a high king tide to land on the beach. To their surprise, they’d been greeted by a lovely girl. A girl who, unknown to them, was merely visiting Earth with her parents.

The Arions had a strict policy of presenting critical tests to their future warriors before their Coming-of-Age. Like any bureaucracy, the Empire needed mostly workers and clerks and administrators, pilots, cooks, teachers, ordinary soldiers, even entertainers. The jobs that collectively made up a galactic empire. But Combat Ops was always looking for more. They searched for warrior-borns, starting at an early age. Those who passed the tests were called Primes.

Watching from behind the cloaking field, Bull had seen the excitement on the windsurfers’ faces as they walked up the beach. They thought they’d just discovered a bit of private Heaven — a beautiful but unknown beach with an astoundingly lovely young red-headed girl to greet them.

The kind of tests the Arions put their children through spoke volumes about the strength of the Empire. They didn’t limit their children’s upbringing to the behavior norms of Terrans, who they considered to be soft and corrupt. He felt himself quickening even now as he remembered the come-hither smile on Scarlet’s face as the men approached her, her hips swaying gently with the breeze, her startlingly blue eyes and flaming red hair and beauty drawing the men closer. She waited until the men reached her, and then without warning, she punched her open palms into their chests at supersonic speed.

Bull had gasped in shock as he saw the men explode into clouds of pink mist, and seconds later a loud BANG BANG from the sonic booms of her punches reached him. He stared in total astonishment and horror, along with more than a little misplaced excitement, as the pink mist floated along the beach where it merged into a single cloud. Pushed by the gentle breeze, it soon dissipated completely. He couldn’t tear his eyes from young Scarlet as she turned calmly to walk back across the sand, dragging the men’s windsurfing gear casually behind her. There was no sign of conflict, regret or confusion on her face, least of all compassion. She appeared to be focused and happy and very much in the moment, not to mention satisfied that she’d ended the threat without causing unnecessary pain and suffering, and without leaving any evidence.

That demonstration of ruthless power left no doubt in Bull’s mind that the Arions would someday rule the entire galaxy. Their dedication was beyond anything Terran. They were superhuman, born to conquer and command, born to unite the galaxy beneath their rule. It was in their genes.

Sighing, Bull put that favorite old memory of Scarlet away. Perfection was its own kind of turn-on. She had since grown up into a beautiful but hard young woman who had been Academy trained as part of Combat Ops. After graduating, she’d requested to come back to Earth, and given her powerful family connections, she’d gotten the rarest of assignments. And now she was his protector.

He turned away from the ocean to look back into the hangar to see the grown-up Scarlet standing ten feet further inside, reading something on her Comm.

He cleared his throat loudly before saying: “I need to get down to the beach to meet Freya, Scarlet. Quickly. Do you mind?”

Given that every Arion could fly, there weren’t any stairs or elevators or even ladders here at the HQ. She would have to carry him.

She looked up at him through her tangled red hair, an amused look on her face. Bull knew he was in trouble when she slowly put her Comm back into her pocket to rest her hands on her hips.

“Certainly, Senator. Here you go…” She took a deep breath, her breasts stretching the top of her outfit almost tight enough to rip, and then pursed her lips to explosively exhale, sending her long hair flying wildly.

Bull staggered backward as the sharp blast hit him, his feet slipping at the very edge of the opening. He waved his arms to try to regain his balance as his heart leaped into his throat. Scarlet had skillfully hit him with just enough force to leave him struggling, teetering at the edge for long seconds before falling.

His fear of heights turned to terror, but he knew that Scarlet would never let him die. She was just fucking with him as usual.

Secure in that bizarre thought, he glared defiantly at her while spreading his arms wide, pretending he could fly as she pushed off backwards into empty space. The hangar door receded as he fell backwards, adrenaline filling his veins as his mind raced, slowing time. Scarlet appeared at the edge, and then walked off onto thin air to fall after him, feet first. She accelerated downward at more than free-fall, her tiny skirt rising up over her waist. She opened her legs wide to slam painfully into him, wrapping her bare legs around his waist, her heels digging into his ass as she slowed his fall. Bull grabbed her thick, flaming-red hair, pulling with all his strength as he slammed down on the beach, Scarlet landing on top to straddle him, her knees digging into the sand. The blow felt as if he’d fallen only a couple of feet, but between that and her weight slamming into his groin, it knocked the wind out of him. Scarlet remained sitting on top of him, her pubic bone pressing painfully against him groin as she stared at his wide-eyed, shocked expression. Bull gasped, struggling and failing to catch his breath as an amused smile tilted her lips, bringing out the cute dimples in her cheeks.

She’d deliberately blown him out the hangar door and then saved him at the last microsecond, just to make a point. She could have landed him gently on the sand, but instead she’d dropped him hard enough to hurt but not injure him. She knew exactly what she was doing.

Bull felt his anger rising, his face reddening. He was one of the most powerful men in the US Government, and this girl was mocking his power by demonstrating her own. Still, Bull knew better than to complain to Freya about her. That would only provide more fuel for Scarlet’s little games. Besides, he’d asked her to get him to the beach quickly, and in Arion style she’d done exactly, precisely what he’d asked. That’s all any Arion would say if he dared complain about her.

Scarlet rose effortlessly to stand over him, his view upward between her long legs to their apex startlingly erotic. She watched his eyes as she offered her hand to help him back to his feet, her tiny skirt fluttering in the sea breeze, her red hair billowing.

Bull refused her hand as he got up on his own, trying to salvage at least a little dignity from the situation, still struggling to get his breath back. Scarlet smirked as she bent her legs slightly and leaped into the air, sand flying as Bull was forced to cover his eyes from the blast. By the time he could open them, she’d disappeared back through the hangar opening so high overhead.

Turning, he winced when he tried to walk, his ribs bruised. He headed toward Freya, who was a couple of hundred yards ahead. She was working with two technicians. Despite her beauty, despite his expectations of an erotic night in her bed, he couldn’t tear his thoughts from Scarlet.

Clearly she resented shuttling him around, a mere Frail, but Arions follow orders better than any Terran soldier. Given he was destined to someday sit on Earth’s Throne, a King with no legal limit to his powers save for Freya, his Queen, it was Scarlet’s job to serve and protect him. But she was young and untested, and capricious enough to occasionally remind him that she was going to do things her way. This last demonstration was one of many. Bull had long ago accepted her games as one of the costs of dealing with an immature superhuman. Bruises he could live with a little rough handling, just as long as he wound up on that throne.

Far across the beach, he watched as Freya removed her white shirt to stand nude while the techs fitted a metallic bra-like device over her chest. Once it was in place, one technician touched an electronic device to her breast as he pushed several buttons. Satisfied, he stepped back as Freya pulled her white shirt back on and buttoned it up, hiding the metallic brassiere.

Bull had no idea what that was all about, but he thrilled when Freya took a few running steps his way and then leaped into the sky, her impossibly long legs launching her high above the sand from muscle-power alone. A faint glimmer surrounded her as she activated her flight power to soar further upward. She was so beautiful in flight that she made his heart melt.

Freya

Freya climbed halfway up the tall cliff in a series of long loops, the last of which brought her directly over Bull. He was smiling up at her beauty in flight when her body began to shimmer and then she disappeared completely. Bull came to a stop to swivel his head around, looking for her. But she was gone. Vanished into thin air.

Had that strange metallic device been a personal cloaking field? That seemed impossible. Cloaking fields required a fantastic amount of power to work, given they were bending dimensional boundaries around whatever object they were cloaking.

He was still looking around for Freya when he saw a pair of footprints form in the sand directly in front of him. Moments later, he felt Freya’s lips softly touching his. He reached out to embrace the seemingly empty space above the footprints, only to have his arms close around her firm body, her metal-clad breasts pressing painfully against his chest. A strange sensation of raw power filled him as he hugged her. Then she gently broke her warm kiss to float silently up and out of his arms, a swish of air all that remained as she flew away.

Whatever this cloaking device was, it was good.

He resumed walking toward the technicians, trying to follow their gazes as they looked up and down and out to sea. Arions can see in a wider spectrum of light than Terrans, and obviously they were still following her, one of them keeping an instrument pointed at her. His aim steadied on a single spot out in the water, and Bull was astounded to see one of the smaller Sea Stacks rising from the water, its weight easily hundreds of tons. Rising as if it had itself become weightless.

Was Freya was lifting it? Had to be. But she was still completely invisible.

The tech with the instrument said something urgently to the other tech, speaking in Arion, something about “dimensional leak”. They both stared at their instruments, talking urgently, and then shouted a warning as they slammed Bull down into the sand, their bodies landing painfully on top of him. Bull cried out as his bruised ribs complained, but they just shoved him deeper into the sand.

He had no idea what was happening until a blinding flash of light exploded from beneath the rising Sea Stack. The powerful blast scoured water from the sea bed for a hundred yards in all directions as a fireball formed that was made of every color of the rainbow, long sparks arcing out to disappear in mid-air. The techs slammed his face further into the sand just before a powerful blast hit with enough force to drive all three of them backward through the sand. Bull knew full well that he wouldn’t have survived that blast if not for the Techs’ invulnerable bodies on top of him. Water and bits and pieces of broken rock began to rain down all across the beach, many pieces as big as a baseball, some even football-sized and very dangerous.

Once the rocks stopped falling, the techs rolled off him to stand and resume pushing buttons on their equipment. They both looked terrified. Bull got back to his feet to see that the Sea Stack had been blasted in half, the two pieces partially submerged, with a brilliant glow coming from the water between them. Bull knew in that instant that something terrible had happened to Freya.

He started to get back to his feet to hell for help when the BOOM of a shock wave picked him up and threw him back down. Lifting his head to spit out sand, he saw Scarlet grab the two Sea Stack sections and throw them out to sea as if they were nothing more than oversized soccer balls. She then dove under the waves to return with Freya in her arms, her body glowing so brightly that Bull had to look away. She flew Freya upward to disappear into the hangar bay.

The techs continued speaking to each other in Arion, looking terrified as they gathered up their gear. Walking up beside him, they wrapped their arms around Bull to lift him off the sand, their weaker flight abilities sufficient to carry him and their gear back up to the hangar, albeit moving at a small fraction of Scarlet’s speed. They landed on the opposite side of the hangar to where Freya lay, the medical staff gathered around her.

Scarlet came stomping angrily toward them, her black uniform completely burned away except for her tiny skirt, which hung in tatters from her waist. Despite her angry walk, her breasts were too firm to jiggle as she approached. Bull saw the tension in her body, and knew she was ready to kill.

He instinctively stepped in front of the technicians, secure in the knowledge that Scarlet would never truly injure him. But stories about Primes killing lesser Arions during a pique of anger were legend among the Arions.

“Get the fuck out of my way, Bull,” Scarlet growled, the look on her face no longer that of a teenage girl. She had murder in her eyes.

“These men worked together to save me, Scarlet. That blast would have torn me to pieces, and how would you have explained that to the Governor-General? Your job is to protect me, no matter what, and you would have failed. These men did your job.”

Scarlet angrily grabbed the front of Bull’s shirt, catching a handful of chest hair along with the fabric as she painfully jerked him off the floor to hold him dangling at her side. She reached forward with her other hand to grab the senior Tech by the throat, lifting him up to hang beside Bull.

“What the fuck just happened?” she demanded.

The tech replied in Arion, struggling to talk with her hand crushing his throat. Bull heard “Orgone” and something that sounded like “transfer failure”, but his Arion was too poor to decipher the rest.

Scarlet scowled as she threw the Tech back out the open hangar door, where he had the good sense to fall out of sight before catching himself. She continued to angrily hold Bull over her head, shaking him as his feet dangled and he struggled to breathe. The other Tech was cowering on the floor. “Never get between me and one of my people again,” she said slowly and menacingly, teeth bared. “You may be favored by the Governor-General, but you are merely a Frail. Shit happens to Frails. I might get demoted, but you’d be dead. Do you understand me?”

Bull nodded, and she set him back down.

“Follow me.” She turned to walk toward one of the doors at the back of the hangar.

Terrified but also proud that he’d likely saved the Techs’ lives, Bull was mesmerized by Scarlet’s back as he followed her. One perfectly-rounded butt cheek was bared by her torn skirt. The fantastically-tight musculature from her calves all the way up her back flexed as she walked. He wasn’t sure he could ever fully explain to anyone why these Arion women turned him on so, even in the midst of dangerous encounters like this one, but his heart pounded as he felt himself rising.

He pulled his gaze from Scarlet to look over at Freya. The medical staff was still working on her, and she wasn’t glowing as brightly now. Strangely, her skin looked blackened. That made no sense given her invulnerability. He wanted to go to her, but he knew better than to challenge Scarlet twice in so little time. Besides, he wasn’t needed there, and Freya was still unconscious.

He tore his gaze reluctantly from his lover to quicken his step to catch up with Scarlet. Wherever she was taking him, she was clearly in charge now.

Whenever the shit hit the fan, the Arions handed decision making over to Combat Ops until things settled down again. Freya might be a high-ranking member of the DISC effort here on Earth, with dozens of experienced agents working for her, but even a young Lieutenant like Scarlet, a member of Combat Ops, would take command during a crisis. Freya’s people focused on enlisting men like himself to control Earth from inside, but Scarlet was pure muscle. And when push came to shove in the Arion Empire, muscles always won.

Bull just wished they had more Scarlets here on Earth. Primes. If not for the damnable Velorians, he’d already be King of Earth. A title he’d chosen for himself, along with his throne, which was already ready for him, made as it was from dozens of fused-together Arion weapons. A throne that would remind everyone of the great power behind the man sitting on it.

Every leader and every citizen of every country would someday bend a knee to him, or suffer the fatal consequences.

 

Chapter Seven

The Velorian base in the Washington Cascade Mountains

After Jane left Pete in the Situation Room, he suddenly realized he was starving. It had been a day since he’d first encountered Alyta in the air lock, and he hadn’t eaten anything in all that time. Food had been anything but a priority, but it was now.

He walked up the long ramp to the surface, and began wandering around the huge house, looking for the kitchen. His nose led him to what looked like a restaurant-grade kitchen. Not some greasy spoon either, but a Michelin Four-Star kind of place.

He walked into a huge, delicious-smelling room to find three women preparing pastries and rolls. The older of the women looked up and smiled when she saw Pete in the entrance.

“Ah, it is ze spaceman. Welcome to the best little kitchen east of Seattle,” she said, her lilting English coming with a strong French accent. She dusted her hands on her apron as she walked across the kitchen to shake hands with Pete, her soft, dry skin coated with a thin layer of flower. “I am Romy, the chef of zis fine establishment. You must be Peter, the man who fell to Earth.”

She turned to address the other two workers. “Mary, Tilly, this is ze man I told you about. Our newest addition.” She lowered her voice to a whisper. “Alyta’s Kiraling. Saved her life, he did. Without him, we’d have half the work to do.”

The other two women waved shyly and smiled, with Mary whispering something to her fellow cook, and they both laughed, faces reddening.

“Our kitchen is always open, Peter, and like ze fat Hobbit’s home, you’ll always find something good to eat. Regular meals at 7, noon and 6. But given it is later now, what would you have us make?”

Pete’s eyes grew large as his stomach grumbled from the wonderful smell of rolls in the oven. The strong smell of cooked turkey also hung in the air. “Ah… just something quick and easy, if you don’t mind. I’ve been eating zero-G space food for the last six months, and nothing for the last day. Anything that doesn’t come out of a tube will be wonderful.”

“Ah, so your stomach is not used to ze real food. OK, perhaps a light cream soup with perhaps some fresh rolls? You go join Alyta in ze dining room. We’re a little exhausted from her, and just getting started now on ze pastries for ze midnight shift. Perhaps you can slow her down a bit with talk.”

Marry and Tilly shook their heads, laughing again. “Nothing slows Alyta down.”

Pete smiled. The kitchen felt like a very cheerful and happy place to be.

Romy pointed at a swinging door on the far side of the kitchen. “Through there.”

He started to walk that way, only to have Alyta burst through the swinging door to dump a large tray of turkey bones into the trash. She was dressed in a tiny pair of red hot pants and a blue crop top that left her midriff gloriously bare, her blonde hair hanging everywhere. She waved and smiled at Pete as she walked over to one of the huge wall ovens and opened the door to take out a huge turkey that had just finished cooking. “Goot. Big bada bird.” She rested the hot pan on her chest with bare hands as she retraced her steps through the messy kitchen, pots and pans piled waiting to be washed, taking the turkey back through the swinging door.

Pete stared at Mary who stared at Tilly who stared at Romy, and then they all started to laugh.

“Better hurry,” Mary said. “That’s her third turkey. Won’t last long.”

Pete walked incredulously through the swinging door to see Alyta sitting beside an enormous pile of dirty dishes, several of them piled with bones that had been picked clean.

“My, my, you’re hungry,” he chuckled, marveling at the mound of dishes.

She looked up at him, blue eyes sparkling as she held a turkey drumstick in each hand. “You’d be too if you’d just spent your last week pushing a billion ton rock around.”

She used one of the huge drumsticks to push a bowl of mashed potatoes his way, and then another one with green beans. “Have at it. Have some turkey too.”

“You ate all of that? Food for what, twenty maybe thirty people?” He stared at her perfectly flat abs.

She shrugged and continued eating, dipping her half eaten drumsticks into cranberry sauce and then gravy.

“But… where does it all go? Not an extra ounce on you. Your stomach is so flat its a bit concave. Are you like a TARDIS?”

“What’s a TARDIS?”

“From a TV show. Dr. Who. A time machine and spaceship that looks like an old British phone booth, which is barely large enough to stuff two people into it. But its vastly larger inside than out.”

She shook her head. “Doesn’t work that way, and time machines aren’t real. Although taking the wrong path through a wormhole can screw time up. Never in a good way. No fun popping out to find yourself a few centuries in the past. Or future. We lose people that way once in a while.”

Pete shook his head at the thought. “Getting lost in a wormhole?”

“The worst kind of lost — lost in time. At the Academy, I met an older Velorian who’d been lost in the distant past for many decades before finding her way home. Had herself some experiences. Called herself Joan of Arc for some reason. Now she’s out there somewhere, working as a Scribe like me.”

Pete just stared at her, not sure if she was pulling his chain or not. “Joan of Arc?”

Alyta shrugged. “That’s what she said. You’ve heard of her?”

“Let me guess, she spoke French?”

“Yes, better than anyone! How did you know? Our instructor was very impressed.”

Pete chuckled. “Why don’t you ask Romy about her sometime. And as far as food goes, I thought you guys were powered by Orgone or whatever?”

“Yes and no. My muscles and Volatai burn Orgone, but remember the Homo part of Homo Supremis? That means I’m still mostly human inside. Gotta eat to live.”

“Except you just ate for twenty. You should look like a blimp.”

“With my muscle tone? No way I’m going to bulge out into a pot belly. Plus my metabolism is hyper-fast — most of what I just ate is mostly digested already.”

He chuckled “A super girl and her super appetite.”

“Which reminds me,” she said between mouthfuls. “I’ve still gotta find my gold. It’s originally from Velor and it emits this radiation that dampens my strength in ways you’ll really appreciate. Being a girl of steel has its drawbacks at times.”

Pete struggled once again to rein in his imagination, focusing instead on the still warm mashed potatoes, spooning them onto his plate along with some beans. He reached for the gravy. “So, you need normal food?”

“Just as much as you. Just a lot more of it.” Now that she’d finished her drumsticks, she was ripping meat off the turkey carcass and wolfing it down by the handful.

Mary came into the dining room with a small plate of hot rolls and a bell of butter for Pete. “More is an extreme understatement,” Mary said, overhearing the conversation. “Beyond this being her third turkey, she also ate ten pounds of potatoes and a half bushel of veggies. A half gallon of gravy too.”

“Yes, thank you very much, Mary, and I’m a bit less hungry now. I think I might be ready for some rolls now. They smell incredible. You got some of those for me? With extra butter and lots of jam and honey?”

“Be right back,” Mary said as she disappeared back onto the kitchen.

Pete forced himself to eat slowly, knowing his stomach wouldn’t tolerate much real food. Just a few forkfulls of potatoes and a couple of bites of roll at first, along with a dab of gravy. He sat across the table from Alyta, watching as she kept tossing her long, blonde hair away from her plate.

Rising, he walked around the table to stand behind her. “Do you mind if I do something with your hair?”

She looked up to smile at him. “You can do anything with anything you want. But hair?”

“I had three older sisters who had long hair, so I learned to make myself useful.” He gathered up her blonde tresses, combing through it with his fingers to find her hair was incredibly silky and warm, without the slightest tendency to tangle in any way. Alyta closed her eyes and stopped eating as he worked on her hair, clearly enjoying his touch. “Just be careful about pulling too hard on a single strand,” she said. “It doesn’t stretch or break or pull out.”

He twisted her hair gently into a simple ponytail, and finished by taking a small portion of hair to wrap around the center of the pony tail, tying a knot that he knew would be secure. Her golden hair reached all the way down to the waist-band of her hot pants. Running both hands gently over her scalp and then down the long, loose pony tail he’d made, his fingertips traced the deep indentation of her spine as her eyes fluttered behind closed lids.

“There. Now you won’t have to wash so much gravy out after dinner.”

“Wouldn’t have anyway. A blast of heat vision on the ends and its clean again. But thanks. That felt very nice.”

Pete walked back to his chair. “Heat vision?”

“Orgone conversion to photonic energy in my irises, which are biological ring lasers.”

“You’re kidding me? How powerful?”

She turned her head to look across the room at a heavy metal statue in the window, opening her eyes wide. Pete was suddenly dazzled as her irises flashed painfully bright, like blue arc welders, and two thin beams crossed the room to cut the statue cleanly in half. The upper part fell to the floor with a thud.

She turned back to smile at him, the whites of her eyes glowing red for a brief moment before returning to their usual pure white. “That strong.”

Mary returned with a plate of rolls and small bowls of honey and jam along with a larger bowl of butter. She looked at the piece of statue that lay on the floor. “You know, Alyta, that’s going to piss off Anja. It was one of her favorites. I think it was really valuable or old or something.”

“Don’t worry,” she shrugged. “I’ll fix it before she gets back.”

“You can do that?” Pete asked

“Yeah, sure. Lower heat, a bit of working with my fingers on the partially-molten metal. It won’t be exactly identical to the original, but I’m quite artistic, shaping with m fingers and carving with my fingernails as the metal cools. I prefer to work with stainless steel, however, not mere bronze. Harder is better. Just like bigger is better. A good rule for life in general, don’t you think, Pete?”

Mary giggled as she escaped back into the kitchen.

Peter chuckled. “So, exactly how long can a Velorian carry on a conversation without sexual innuendo?”

“Not usually anywhere near this long. I’m sorry for surprising you earlier. I wanted to warm you up in all the ways. Besides, I can’t really know you until you’ve been inside me.”

Pete choked a little at that. He swallowed hard. “Ah, yeah, Derek said something about reading another person’s mind or something like that. During sex, but I don’t understand. Does it work with women too?”

“Without a penis? No way. Besides, it’s not needed. Women understand each other with a glance. But we don’t limit ourselves to labels or genders or anything really. We Velorians celebrate the oneness that comes during sexual pleasure, whenever we can. It’s the cornerstone of our peaceful culture.”

“Sex for peace?” Pete asked incredulously.

“I guess. Or maybe it’s just our path to true understanding. To share everything. It’s kind of hard to be really mad at someone when you’re sharing orgasms. Good thing too, otherwise we’d probably become monsters like the Arions. In their world, fucking and fighting are often the same. There’s always a winner and a loser. Domination and submission. Stronger and weaker. Everything is a struggle to be on top.”

“Yet you’re physically the same as the Arions, except as I understand for hair color. No Arion blondes. But you obviously have a radically different culture. Do I have that right?”

“Except the blonde thing. Universal blonde for us, and very rare but not impossible for them. But most of their power-hitters are redheads. Gotta watch out for them. They’d break me in half.”

“But not Anja?”

Alyta laughed. “Anja could arm wrestle me with her pinky finger, and probably win. Special genetic enhancement, on top of the best Velorian genes. She’s fantastically strong. I’m told she once took on a mile-long Arion Dreadnaught, armored and armed to the teeth with nukes and anti-matter weapons and every kind of particle beam and laser and rail guns, not to mention a squad of Primes, and she completely destroyed it before breakfast. She was built for the sole purpose of protecting entire planets from whatever weapons the Arions could throw at them.”

“But this isn’t that kind of fight, Alyta. Subterfuge. Corruption. Seduction. Racism. Hatefulness. Destroying a world by gutting its moral core.”

Her eyebrow lifted. “You learn fast. That’s exactly how they try to get around Protectors. By chipping away at a planet’s social foundation without giving the Protector a clear target to smash. Which is why I’m here. We Scribes aren’t trained to bash things with our fists, but rather with our brains. We fight with knowledge.”

“But… Anja’s been around for 300 plus years. Surely she’s seen it all. Done it all. Knows it all.”

“Yeah, she knows a lot, and has seen a lot, but she’s still pretty much the bash and smash type. All muscle and steel. Our job is to aim her at the right targets and then get out of the way.”

Peter was having trouble imagining a 300 year old woman who was ‘all muscle and steel’. “So, when do I meet her?”

Alyta shrugged. “Damned if I know. Anja does what she wants, when she wants.” She looked up at Pete. “And by the way, when you do meet her, try not to stare. You’ll just piss her off. She doesn’t dress conventionally.”

Pete tried again to imagine a three-hundred year old female warrior, but all he could come up with was an ancient hyper-muscular Amazon with too many wrinkles, white hair and saggy tits.

“You know how some Muslim women will never show their face in public?” Alyta continued. “Always wearing a Burqa or whatever. Well, Anja refuses to cover her breasts given that’s the source of her power. For three centuries now, she hasn’t covered them even once.”

Pete just stared at her. “You’re kidding? For centuries?”

Alyta shook her head. “Nope. Not even on a world where she was a public figure.”

“Well if so, why don’t the Arions see her coming? Naked blonde walking down the street, tits hanging, older than Methuselah.”

“Trust me, no one sees her coming. It’s a Protector thing. And your mental imagery is all wrong. She’s going to surprise you. But whatever you do, don’t stare at her tits. It’s both terribly impolite and it really angers her.”

“But… you said she doesn’t cover her chest.”

“Precisely. Which is why she doesn’t want you staring at her boobs. Keep your eyes on her eyes. Always. This is the most important thing. It’s her test to see if you are disciplined enough to be worthy.”

Pete was about to ask another question, when a lovely voice spoke from behind. The most lovely voice he had ever heard. Like honey over half-melted butter on an oven-fresh roll.

“Maybe if you paid more attention to your surroundings, Alyta dear, and not wearing out our kitchen staff, you might see me coming and going.”

Pete spun around to find himself facing a very tall, very regal-looking woman with the most amazing chest he’d ever seen. Anja? His eyes locked onto her boobs before he remembered Alyta’s warning, and he jerked his eyes up to hers.

Her black and gold outfit had a golden collar and long sleeves, along with thin gold bracelets, but it didn’t cover a single square inch of her chest. Her only other clothing was a black and gold thong that left little to the imagination. Despite himself, his eyes kept flicking down to her chest before he jerked them back up. He couldn’t help noticing that her right boob was slightly larger than her left. He struggled mightily to keep his gaze locked on her eyes, noticing her dark eyeshadow, her piercing blue eyes and that acre of platinum blonde hair. And then his eyes flicked down again to the best boobs he’d ever seen.

Anja02a2

She most definitely didn’t look 300 years old, and like Alyta, she was slender and tight as a drum, but with only a hint of musculature visible.

“Ah, there she is,” Alyta said, waving a turkey wing. “Anja, this is Pete. He totally saved my ass on the ISS.”

Pete rose quickly to his feet. “Actually, it was the other way around. I was a goner, and Alyta got me down to Earth. So glad to meet you, Anja.” He struggled mightily not to stare at her boobs. And failed again.

Anja frowned as she turned to look at the Alyta. “Alyta, what exactly did you tell him about me?”

Alyta started laughing so hard that she fell out of her chair.

Pete looked back and forth between them. “Ah… OK…what…?”

“She told you not to look at my chest, didn’t she?”

“Ah… yeah.”

“And yet you keep doing it.”

“I’m trying not to…” he said lamely.

“Yet Alyta knows that’s exactly where I want you looking. Not my fucking eyes, but down at my power. Why do you think I bare myself?”

Pete suddenly realized that he was the butt of a joke. He felt himself blushing as he stared down at her now, responding to her last command, still very concerned about pissing off this powerful woman. She was so perfect she didn’t look real.

Behind him, Alyta struggled to climb back onto her chair, still laughing. “Oh, I’m sorry, Pete. But you should have seen your eyes. Up and down, up and down. You looked so worried.”

“At least you didn’t tell him to bow and kiss my feet like the last man you introduced me to.”

“He’s my Kiraling, Anja. I would never be so cruel.”

“But I see that you completely failed to tell Pete about the proper way of greeting a Protector.” Anja floated closer until she landed on the floor right in front of Pete. Even in her bare feet, she was taller than him. Her chest was all he could see. “What she should have told you to do, Pete, is to open your hands as wide as you can and encircle my breasts to hold me. That is how a man must pay homage to my extreme power.”

Pete’s jaw fell as his eyes opened even wider. “You’re shitting me?”

“I’m a Protector, Pete. I shit people out, but I don’t play games.”

He heard Alyta trying to smother more giggles.

“So, are we going to be friends, Pete, well met and all, or are we to become enemies? A man too afraid to follow simple customs?”

Pete reluctantly lifted his hands, knowing this was all wrong. Alyta was still struggling to suppress giggles, but Anja looked and sounded so damned serious. And she looked like a Goddess. She who should be obeyed. Whatever. His hands were trembling as he opened them wide to gingerly wrap his fingers around the fullness of her magnificent breasts, finding that she was softer than he’d expected, what with her boobs sitting so high and round and perfect.

“Are you really trying to insult me, Pete,” Anja said angrily. “Squeeze them, as hard as you possibly can. That is how you demonstrate your power to me. And how I prove you cannot hurt me.”

More alarm bells were going off in Pete’s head now. He knew he was getting played, but he’d heard too much about Anja and was too intimidated not to do as she said. He slowly closed his fingers, her flesh yielding softly until he was holding her with all his strength. She put her hands over his to hold him even tighter, her hardening nipples pressing painfully into his palms. He just stood there, hands straining, until Anja’s lower lip began to quiver. Her Imperial frown suddenly broke into wild laughter, her eyes sparkling like blue diamonds.

Pete didn’t know what to do as he looked up at her, jaw hanging, still hanging onto her tits, knowing he’d been had, but not exactly how.

That’s when Mary walked in from the kitchen. “Oh, Jesus, not the fucking booby greeting game again.”

Alyta was rolling on the floor again as Anja gently removed Pete’s hands from her chest. “Sorry. It’s kind of an initiation thing.”

“Bullshit,” Mary snorted. “You just like having your tits fondled by the new guy.”

Anja smiled at Pete, who was looking both horrified and chagrined and now feeling angry. He’d been had. “Sorry, Pete. But you do have very nice hands.”

Alyta rose to wrap her arms around Pete’s back. “Come on. You need some air.” She half carried him out the door and onto the outside deck, her eyes dancing with amusement.

Pete grew angrier and more indignant. “You were both fucking with me in there. You have a very strange sense of humor.”

“Sorry. We Velorians tend to be very rational people, Pete. We always say exactly what we mean, and we never lie. Unless it’s a joke. Physical humor is very big with us.”

Pete felt his own sense of humor slowly returning. “Well, she did have very nice boobs. I mean, like spectacularly nice. That kind of greeting could really grow on me.”

“Yeah, along with your dick.”

“So what part of any of that was true? Does she really walk around dressed like that?”

“Always,” Alyta nodded, sounding more serious now. “It’s why the joke works so damn well. That and her usual Imperial Queen Goddess of the fucking universe look.”

“Should I go back in and greet her properly?”

Alyta shook her head. “She’s gone now. But since you’re into fondling boobs, we might as well get it out of your system. Assuming you have no objections and we can work around my lost gold. And no more practical jokes, I promise.” She winked at him “Well, maybe not tonight anyway.”

Before Pete could say anything, Alyta wrapped her arm around him and flew upward to soar over the house, descending onto a smaller deck on the opposite side. He saw another small bedroom through the glass.

“You Velorians are rather assertive, aren’t you?”

“Comes with being superhumanly everything,” she smiled, giving him a sexy look that melted his heart. “Care to go exploring where no Earth man has gone before?”

Whether it was the food he’d just eaten, or the hormonal rush from Anja’s mirthful greeting, or the flight over the house in the arms of a beautiful young super girl, who was now casting her invitations before him despite her terrible twist on a Star Trek quote, Peter was finally ready to celebrate being alive. Alive and facing a world of wonderful new possibilities.

All things he’d never imagined were possible just a day earlier.

He took Alyta’s warm hand in his, thrilling to a wave of sensual energy that seemed to radiate from her body, and boldly led the way into her bedroom.

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