Long Live The Empress
Written by shadar :: [Saturday, 12 February 2022 18:58] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 12 February 2022 19:21]
Long Live the Empress
An Aurora Universe story.
Tuesday, June 15th, 2323, the planet Floridan in the Gamma sector
Merle hid low behind the thick wall of the factory, struggling to charge the power cells in his Koryo blaster by drawing from the industrial power feed. His pursuer had already caught up to him three times, but each time he’d been able to blast his way free.
His heavy blaster could burn a fist-sized hole through both sides of military armor or vaporize an unprotected person or even take down an armored scout ship. But the bitch chasing him wasn’t human. The only way he’d been able to slow her down so far was to blast her in the eyes at full power, which should have taken her head off. Instead, his earlier shots had filled her raven hair with sparks while turning her face cherry-red, forcing to cover her eyes and look away, dazzled and temporarily blinded long enough for him to escape.
He’d been tracking this particular Arion for weeks, but hadn’t been able to pin down her home location well enough to call in the Protector. Now the Arion had discovered him tracking her, and the hunter had become the hunted, starting with her blasting his armor with her eye beams to burn out his Comm unit, cutting him off from any help. She could have just as easily killed him with a longer stare, but she obviously liked playing cat and mouse. Worst of all, she was Primal given the eye beams and the fact that she’d outrun his Flitter. Not by flying, but by jumping a half kilometer per leap. To say she had strong legs was a vast understatement.
When she caught up to him the second time, she tore his Flitter apart with her bare hands, and his antigravity sled had been the only way to get off this damnable industrial island. Another blast in her eyes with his blaster had let him escape, unfortunately without sending out an SOS. The Protector would have rescued him if he’d gotten the message out, but given he was just a Clone, nobody else was likely going to bother trying to rescue him. The Naturals on this planet used expendables like himself for the really dirty work. And nothing was dirtier than hunting an Arion.
Yet Clone or not, he didn’t think or feel things any differently than a Natural, and he certainly didn’t want to die any more than them. But stuck here on this island, cut-off and alone, with his only defense this blaster — it just wasn’t enough. His only hope, and it wasn’t a good one, was to escape like a rat in a junk yard, crawling under enough debris to remain hidden until he could slip away unnoticed. All of which was greatly complicated by her ability to not only burn things with her eyes, but to see through most things as well.
His blaster had barely reached 50% charge when he heard a swish of air and the soft thud of bare feet hitting concrete at high speed. He froze, not even breathing, knowing that she’d just leaped over the building to land barefoot in the debris-strewn manufacturing yard. Arions couldn’t see through lead, and this area of this old factory was coated with it given that very long ago it had been a lead-acid battery factory.
But she’d expect him to know about using lead. They were both highly-trained agents. Hers from specialized training from birth and recent field experience, his from months in the DeepTeach tanks during his rapid growth phase. His primary training was to sniff out and report back intel regarding any Arions he found, and then the Enlightenment would send a Protector to deal with them. He knew how to evade and hide, but when it came to a fight, Arions were all fantastically strong and very difficult to kill. The Primes, worst of all.
This particular superfem was clearly the most dangerous Arion on the planet. His PersComp had identified her as a member of Aria's royal family, and barely in her mid-teens. She’d likely been sent out here to this broken-down world to make a rep for herself. Being that she was third in line for the Throne, she’d likely never rule, but she was born to be a leader. But first, she had to earn the right, and to do that she had to fight a Protector and survive, not to mention successfully completing many missions of the type she was on now.
The Empire was actively working here to destabilize the planetary government and disrupt the industrial base sufficiently for the terrified people of the planet to agree to join with the Empire. The Arions knew that at some point, if things got bad enough and if the Protectors were too few, Terrans would do whatever they had to to restore order. Most Naturals would come to the distasteful conclusion that living on a prosperous world, even if they were essentially slaves, would be better than the death of their family in the mines. Or worse. Arions were not beyond nuking a defiant planet, sometimes just to set an example. If not for the Enlightenment and their Protectors, the Empire would have long ago owned this entire sector of the galaxy.
The crashing sound of heavy equipment being overturned echoed through the old factory, interrupting his thoughts. The Prime was still searching for him, but fortunately on the far side of the building. Merle prayed that the pile of discarded electric lift trucks that he was hiding under would shield him from her penetrating vision. Each truck weighed many tons and was filled with old batteries and heavy motors and thick metal frames. Stuff that was difficult to see through even with her eyes.
The sound of crashing equipment gradually came closer. His blood froze as he realized she was systematically turning everything over, working like a hunter looking for rats, uncovering them to send them scurrying out to be killed. He stared at the agonizingly slow rise of the charge level of his blaster. 56% now. Enough only for a couple of full-power shots. That would slow her down again, but nothing less than a AMAT was going stop her, and they’d never give one of those to a Clone. She’d just keep coming and coming, never tiring, and eventually, either the Protector would show up or she’d catch him when his blaster was discharged.
Then he would die. Badly.
But he refused to lose hope. He’d gotten away from her twice already. He slowed his breathing, trying to be silent, hoping she couldn’t hear his pounding heart. He cringed as she moved past his huge pile of junk lift trucks to begin noisily digging through some other junk. Maybe she’d keep going.
And then she went quiet. Had she left? He hadn’t heard the usual swish of her jump.
A sliver of hope was starting to grow in his heart when two of the old lift trucks suddenly rose into the air. He spun around in terror to see her holding one truck effortlessly in each hand, her slender fingers buried to their roots in the steel, lifting the many tons of motors and batteries as if they were nothing. Her smiling face looked impossibly young in that pose, but the steel muscles of her shoulders and arms said she was a physically mature Prime.
Still, she acted as if she’d just won a game. “I gotcha!” she said in a sweet, girlish voice. “Stay where you are and I promise you this won’t hurt a bit.”
Merle cursed all Arions and their concept of a “good death”, meaning a painless one. He wanted life. In desperation, he raised his blaster to take out her eyes, but before he could pull the trigger, she smacked the two lift trucks together in front of her, blocking his first blast. It still melted a hole through one of the trucks, blazing with sparks as it grazed her right shoulder. He aimed his second shot where he thought her eyes should be behind the second truck, and his final shot hit the truck’s old battery, causing it to explode into a riot of sparks and spraying acid.
He didn’t wait to see if he’d blinded her. He took off running, across the roadway and into the sand dunes beyond, feet flying as his adrenaline surged. He was a fawn being chased by a she-wolf, but thanks to his enhancement in the cloning tanks, he was running far faster than any Natural could ever do. He had this one chance — to disappear into the dunes before she could focus her eyes again, burying himself in the sand, breathing through a plastic tube he’d grabbed along the way. She might be able to look through the sand, but only in narrow, focused stares. The dunes were big and he’d curl up small.
He was out of sight behind the second dune and digging his hole, heart pounding as he was only seconds from crawling in and covering himself back up with sand when she fell from the sky to knock him face first into the sand. He twisted around to bring his blaster to bear, hoping he had enough charge left for a good blast, but she grabbed it and crushed it in her powerful grip, its power cell screaming as it went into overload. With a sweep of her long arm, she tossed it hundreds of yards out into the sea where it exploded in a fireball of sparks.
Straddling him now as he lay on his back, her thighs felt like two steel beams as they threatened to crush his pelvis. His eyes were bugging out of his head from the pressure of those long, lethally beautiful legs and his heart nearly exploded from his chest in fear. He was trapped! This was it! The End!
Like all Primes, she had vastly greater strength than even an enhanced Clone like himself. Enough to slowly crush his pelvis and internal organs the way Arion women are infamous for. Maybe she’d make it easier for him by flooding him with pheromones to kill him during a shared orgasm, presuming her pheromones could overcome his mortal fear and terror enough to force him to get it up and please her. Or maybe she’d just slowly break most of his bones and leave him broken and dying for the crabs to finish off. Arions hated Clones even more than Naturals, and despite her youth, it was likely that her cruelty knew no bounds.
“You were damn good,” she said, smiling, clearly enjoying herself. “Wish we had time for another go at it, for no Clone has ever escaped me that many times. But I’m out of time and I’m afraid things have to come to an end here. But you would seriously be fun if I had more time to play.”
“Just get it fucking over with!” he spit at her. “I’m not your toy, and I don’t need an elegy from one of your kind.”
“I’m always open to bargain, you know. Tell me something useful about your organization and fellow agents, even better the location of the Protector, and I’ll let you live. Not here, but somewhere.”
“As an Arion slave? In the mines? I’d rather die.”
“You sure about that?”
“Death to the fucking Empire!” he screamed at her in defiance, struggling with all his strength against her steel muscles.
She sighed as she held him tightly. “Well, for what it was worth, you were a capable adversary. I enjoyed the chase, and for that you’ve still earned a good death.”
She leaned forward to stare down into his eyes, her crystalline-blue irises so beautiful that he barely saw the red glow from her pupils as two lethal beams lanced out at light speed to melt his eyeballs — and then burn right through his enhanced skull to finally blast two molten holes into the sand beneath him. When she finally blinked her eyes back to their normal blue, smoke was pouring out his ears, nose and mouth, his brain cooked sufficiently to prevent anyone from scanning for any last memories. The two empty, glowing sockets where his eyes had once been revealed the glowing, molten sand behind his head.
She left the Clone’s body to cool as she rose to walk back toward the factory to find a huge steel plate the size of a small truck. She carried the plate over her head as she returned to his body, and then used it to scoop up an immense pile of sand which she dumped over him. Then another load, and then a few more, burying him deeply between two dunes by creating another, small one. Then, while holding a corner of that steel plate, her fingers digging into it like it was soft plastic, she threw it like a monstrous Frisbee, sending it flying a kilometer out to sea where it skipped across the waves before sinking in the deep water beyond the reef. Nobody was going to pull her fingerprints from that steel.
Turning back as she brushed the sand from her legs, she strolled barefoot toward the seedy workman’s Pub she’d seen a few blocks down the road. A half-gallon or so of rot gut Bourbon would be about right to celebrate her kill, and then maybe some intimate time behind the bar with whatever men looked interesting. Her pheromones would surround her like a pink cloud, filling the bar with her alien need as they overwhelmed everyone inside. Cheap Bourbon and drunken sex never got old. It was one of the few things that Terrans were truly good at.
She smiled as she thought of Maggie, knowing how much she’d enjoy hearing about her day. Maggie was her lover — an older Terran woman who’d defected to the Empire. She wasn’t sure what Maggie would like hearing about first — her catching and killing the skillful agent, or the cheap sex behind the bar.
Maggie was in love with everything Arion, and she worshipped her as a dark goddess, glorifying in her Primal power and youth, caressing her steel muscles and long, firm curves with her kisses and intimate touches, exalting in her invulnerability and strength.
And listening to war stories while making love. Nothing turned Maggie on more. Soon they’d both be screaming “Long Live the Empress!” every time they came. Which would go on until morning.
All in all, this particular Tuesday was shaping up to be a pretty good day on a pretty shitty planet. Now if she could just find that damned Protector, she’d truly earn her stripes.