The journey from Earth to Barsoom would be simple and quick. At
point-01c she could make it in a day which would give her time to reflect
on her life and goals. She did that a lot, reflecting, but never
really came up with anything worthwhile. She was totally unsuited to be
a housewife to man or woman and even as a lover, She was too selfish to
spend her hours thinking of ways to pleasure her partner such as flowers
or love-notes in her lunch, as much fun as that may be. So the only
thing she was really happy doing was adventure. Smuggling, robbing
criminals, assassinating bad people and fighting in wars for she tried
to believe herself to be an ethical criminal. Maybe it was because
of her early life where at the age of fifteen when she should have been
married and popping out Irish brats, she was a motherless orphan helping
her father fight the British invaders. And lacking a feminine role
model, she learned to be a man in a man's world despite her gender.
Strange how she thought of herself that way for there were no men in her
new life to provide that model. Maybe it was hunting English soldiers
after what they did to her family warped her into the more violent aspects
of life. Maybe it was being abducted by the Demons and changed into
not only an alien but a technical-slave during the Kris Wars that did it.
Despite the years of lonely space travel, she still didn't know.
She just realized that every time she tried to work at a real job using
the technical experiences and abilities she possessed (thanks to Demon
programming), she got really bored and went looking for trouble, too often
in a bar and then an alley for she was an obnoxious drunk.
She had heard about Barsoom when she lived on Earth from the books by
Edgar Rice Burroughs and remembered something she had read in the Demon
archives. The planet existed, the Demons had visited it and the only
difference between Barsoom as described by the author, Burroughs, and the
real planet was that Burroughs dressed the place up and made it more exciting
for his readers. Well, Shakespeare did the same whenever he wrote
history into a play for the reality of Julius Caesar or Richard III was
far from that shown in the play. And the television shows she had
seen about Ireland under Cromwell's rule was nothing like what she had
endured. But then, 20th Century America was more English than they
wanted to admit and so wouldn't tell the truth about what Eibhlin and her
family suffered in the 17th century so she accepted the editorial differences
and hoped that Barsoom would be as exciting as she needed.
Once leaving planetary surface and leaving those stupid people behind,
(how could she have thought that she would fit in?) she did a quick scan,
located the Red Planet and plotted the course. Then her sensors detected
something in Canada. An energy spike that shouldn't be there.
Her charts said Saskatchewan near Montana in a remote area that had no
real population to warrant that much power. Curious she adjusted
orbit and moved lower to investigate. Her cloak would easily keep
her undetected by the American radar system so she had no fear of them
trying to shoot her down. Even if they tried, anything less than a nuke
wouldn't get through her shields and she could easily outrun anything they
tossed at her. With only a pulse laser and beamer for a deck gun,
she couldn't destroy a city or anything like they showed on the movies,
but she could shoot down any aircraft or missile and decimate the originating
base so had no fears at all.
The spike was strange, neither electro-magnetic nor nuclear nor thermal,
or rather not like what Earth was capable of generating. She had
seen that spike before…. That's it! A Stargate! Ten years
ago she had found one about 5,000 light years away and it had sent her
to 1990 Earth where she met and fell in love with Jean before that woman
betrayed her for a man. It had taken Eibhlin six months to build
a communicator to contact her ship, the Mairayd, and bring it to Earth
to rescue her. Then she had taken Kevin and Cyndi to the stars as
lovers and friends. Five years ago they had left to see the galaxy
and so Eibhlin had resumed her smuggling career until she met Kara who
had left just weeks ago wishing to live on the planet of her ancestors.
She hoped that Kara was smart enough to keep her origins secret for the
Earth nations were too paranoid about alien visitors and would gladly torture
information out of the woman as an alien invader even if she was 100% Saxon.
So Eibhlin had found a Stargate on Earth. But where did it go?
Only one way to find out and she lowered until the ship was within meters
of the tree-tops and did a thorough scan. The Demons used Stargates
often but they understood them. Eibhlin did not. Some were
stable and went from one place-time to another with no problems. Others
were unstable and shifted with the desires of the user. Still others
would just send you into the heart of a star or disperse your atoms to
the emptiness of space. You never really knew and this one was a
Finding a clearing she landed the ship and as she dressed for excursion,
called out, “Mairayd?””
The Mairayd a Vanthi Merchant Raider named after Eibhlin's mother
Yes, captain,” the ship replied.
“Please keep scanning the area for human life, I'd hate to be surprised
while bathing in a stream.”
“Of course, Captain.”
“Also, I'm looking over that Stargate so keep in contact just in case
something happens so you can rescue me.”
“Of course, Captain.”
She had used Stargates before with only a couple mishaps but you never
took chances. The Demons never had trouble with the things but then,
they loved art and exploration so you could teleport a Demon a million
light years away to a world that was killing it from poisonous atmosphere
and temperature and they'd think it was a grand adventure that they had
planned carefully. As for Eibhlin, she preferred her adventures
where she could breath the air, drink the water and not worry about the
local animals or plants or rocks trying to eat her.
So, gear. Boots with a decent sole and flexible enough to allow
her to use her tarsial thumb. Pants and shirt with armour fibers
to deflect stingers and bullets. Hat for rain and sun, gloves with
two thumbs, her medial and lateral. Water and food for three days,
knife, sword, the one the Demons had made for her training with Brount,
not the Katana she had bought in Las Vegas and her beamer. Plus a medical
kit, fire and cooking kit and a bag of gold and silver coins to sell in
case of need. She didn't know what to expect but she might just decide
to camp out and sleep under the stars. She had done that in Ireland
after humanity had become extinct and when she decided to go swimming and
accidentally triggered that Stargate that took her to California ten years
ago she wished she had this kit so was taking few chances. She wasn't
dressed for war but a knife was always useful and a beamer and sword diverted
a lot of potential trouble-makers. And the only difference
between these clothes and the ones she wore aboard ship were that she usually
wore a long dress and now was wearing pants. The armour fibers were
standard and prevented a loose drive-shaft or rogue meteorite from killing
her when she was working. Then she thought, “what the hell am she
doing? I'm in Canada! The most polite nation on Earth!
What trouble do she expect? A mad bear or a lumberjack looking for
a beer?” So she changed to some cotton pants (or what the Vanthi
used as cotton) and carried only her sword and beamer calling out, “Mairayd,
I'm leaving now, please keep a lookout for me.”
“Of course, Captain,” she responded as the former Irish woman left the
Once outside she took a deep breath and smelled the recent rain.
It even looked like Ireland, same vegetation, same climate, same overcast
sky. All it needed was a peat bog and a few more rocks underfoot
and a few less trees overhead.
She had been smelling a few flowers when she saw the bee. She
knew that the Americas had imported the European honey-bee but this one
was different. Not really different, but the bands weren't exactly
right. The flower too, it was different. Now she began to look
around carefully. That was a pine tree but the cone was too tight.
Most of the biota was normal as she could tell but then, she'd see something
different. Eibhlin was an Engineer and a soldier (of sorts) not a
biologist but she knew that mercury used in the paper industry would mutate
genes and many other industrial pollutions were as mutagenetic. So
this could be a natural evolution or a genetic defect from pollution or….
she emenned for electro-magnetic fields and felt them to the right.
The Demons had given her those antennae to detect em-fields to help her
repair their ships and she could just as easily feel the magnetic field
of the Earth or even a human so the difference from a Stargate was easy
But if there was a Stargate here, and if another animal crossed to Earth,
the strange conditions would quickly kill the immigrating animal but some
of the bacteria and parasites could survive long enough to reproduce and
evolve. This is why fleas colonized worlds that killed humans.
The simpler the life-form, the better their chances for survival and a
single sneeze could change the face of any planet forever. Then the
local life here in Canada would react to the alien bacteria and parasites
by adapting, evolving into a form that could resist the invaders.
Thus the new species. Nothing drastic as a reptile changing into
a bird or mammal but something more subtle like a new form of honey-bee
or a different shape of a pine-cone.
The fields were from a cave, narrow and not very deep and she could
feel the deflection field at maybe ten feet. Normally these Stargates
operated where kinetic energy generated by flowing water caused an iron
mass to release tachyons or something like that. She wasn't certain
as she was as much a physicist as a biologist but she did know you need
a natural worm-hole plus iron to de-gauss and some form of kinetic energy
to degauss the iron and free-flowing water under and around an iron ring
works well. At least that's what the Demons said when they had her
build one on some planet twenty years ago when she was maybe nineteen years
of age. There were obviously other ways Stargates existed but these
were the ones the Demons preferred to use because they could be controlled.
The problem was often that since the mind generated low-frequency em-fields
if you wanted something strongly enough, your thoughts and desires could
influence the Stargate and shift the wormhole to another focus. Maybe
that was what happened to John Carter and Ulysses Paxton? They wanted
to go to Mars so badly that the Stargates in Arizona and France shifted
to meet their desires? Or maybe the Stargates there were stable and
the reflections from Mars influenced their minds to think of Mars?
It's all very metaphysical, another field where she was lacking.
Eibhlin heard a grunting behind here and saw a bear rising over her.
She know she could have cut it apart with her beamer easily for her reflexes
were far faster than that of the animal but it was probably defending its
den and Eibhlin had no wish to kill a mother for she saw her cubs to the
side. So she leapt backwards to escape and slammed into the cliff-face.
Stunned, she felt for the opening and crawled inside grasping her sword
and beamer and preparing to defend herself if she couldn't escape.
Moments later she was overcome by weakness and her last sight was a
red star, Mars, just above the trees as the sun set.
Eibhlin awoke, hearing something grunting in the trees overhead and
a dozen thoughts ran through her head at once. She was no longer
in the cave. She was freezing cold. She was wet from laying
in a shallow bog. Something was crawling up her leg and SHE SCREAMED
AND PUSHED HERSELF AWAY then when on dry ground, as dry as a bog could
be, she calmed and other thoughts meandered through. The thing she
had kicked off her naked leg was a snake with ten legs. She had time
to actually count them, her mind was shifting so fast and the snake was
staring at her with no further movement. It hissed at the girl and
then she poked at it with her sword sheath. It snapped but didn't
bite then moved back into the water and swam away through the red scum
that covered the water. Her next action was to huddle into a ball,
covering her breasts and privates for she actually was naked. She
still held her sword and beamer but nothing else. It was also hard
to breathe between the humidity and the thinness of the atmosphere.
She forced myself from her nudity for the only times she had ever been
naked was while bathing, having sex or when she awoke on the Demon med-table
after they did something to her. No clothes, no med-kit, no food
or water, just her, her skin and her sword and beamer.
The things in the tree looked like eight-legged lizards with long necks
but she could estann intelligence from them. Not on a human level,
though some people were less intelligent than a frog she believed, but
still there were concepts and ideas and drives there. “Hello,” she
called to them in Spanglic, then Vanthi, Gaelic and English. With
no answer of images, she tried the hissing of Demon which she could speak
after a fashion though her accent was terrible. The things stopped
at this, stared then continued as if she had been mouthing gibberish.
Something bit her and she slapped it to red ruin before she thought.
Then she scraped the mess off her thigh and examined the wound. It
was already beginning to swell with venom and she toyed with the idea of
cutting it open and sucking the poison. But was that a good idea?
Ireland had no snakes and neither did any starship or space station she
knew of but she recalled watching something on TV in America about more
people being killed by fools who believed in the cut-and-suck than were
harmed by the poison so decided to leave it alone. After all, the
Demons had created this body to survive and she hoped that they kept alien
worlds in mind when they did so. Or maybe since they created her
as a tech-slave, they never thought she'd ever leave their ships.
That last thought was disturbing.
She crawled to the water, trying to slow her heart and respiration in
case she was poisoned and washed the mess from her leg. At least
it wasn't growing worse and she'd suffered worse bites from bees and dogs.
Then she stood up, flew through the air and struck a tree. Ok,
gravity was less. No problem for she had been on enough planets to
know how to move about in everything from zero-g to three-g. She
was twice as strong as any human male and could survive in heavy or light
gravity so all she needed to do was to re-learn how. Preferably before
she cracked her skull on a branch
Being naked bothered her for she had been born into a nation where women
wore dresses to the ground, sleeves to the wrist and more undergarments
than most Americans owned. She stood carefully, never letting go
of her beamer or sword and took inventory. The last time she crossed
alone through a Stargate, she ended up on Earth in California and wearing
her clothes. This time she was naked but holding her weapons.
Because of her desires! She had planned to visit Barsoom and those
thoughts were in her mind. She was thinking of John Carter and Ulysses
Paxton who had transited to Barsoom and they were in her mind. She
was thinking of escaping the bear while hiding in the Stargate and that
triggered the Stargate and thrust her to…. Barsoom? Wasn't Barsoom
a desert and not a bog-infested forest?
“Shut up!” she screamed to the things overhead. So the Stargate
stripped her naked including the weapons she wasn't frantically grasping
as was its wont. Biologicals only it seemed under normal conditions.
But her strong desire for self-defense and her clutching of these two weapons
as a life-line brought them along. She seemed to remember that both
Carter and Paxton thought only of escape and so thoughts of fighting or
even decent attire never crossed their minds. Thus they'd escape
everything, including their clothes. DAMN! Why couldn't she
be more worried about nudity! Now she would bounce all over this
She'd need to build another transceiver to summon her ship. Left
alone, it would eventually start to search for her, she had programmed
into the Mairayd a really strong loyalty, but telling her where she was
would help tremendously. All she had to do would be to survive until
her ship arrived. Last time this happened it took six months to be
Looking around she chose a direction towards higher and dryer ground
then noticed that she was walking with her hands and tail covering her
breasts and private areas. She tried to laugh for who would see her
here? She was alone with a few alien animals and God and she no longer
believed in him so it mattered not if he watched her. Hell!
God watched her get gang-raped in Ireland by British soldiers when she
was seventeen so he probably enjoyed the sight of naked flesh. “Probably
a good reason to dress though,” she thought.
The sounds continued despite her wishes and finally she stopped, held
her sword under her breasts and screamed to the trees, “Look all you want!
I may not be the most beautiful woman in the galaxy but I've never wanted
for a lover or had my lovers been embarrassed to be seen with me in public!”
The sounds died again then commenced. Stupid animals. At least
in this low gravity she no longer bounced and her breasts felt much lighter
than on Earth despite their size which got in the way sometimes.
Damn those Demons for not understanding human physiology. Life was
easier with her original body.
She continued on using the glide that Brount, her sword-master and teacher
of spiritual-philosophy had taught her when she was a Demon slave to avoid
leaving the ground with every step. She didn't know why she used
the word ‘slave’ when talking about Demons. They didn't really own
her and she was treated far better by them than by her own family in Ireland.
And they did give her the Mairayd and healed her wounds and educated her.
“Habit” she guessed. Something crawled up the inside of her leg and
she swatted it away before it crawled inside her. THIS is why she
needed clothing, to keep the vermin outside her skin and out of her womb
which they'd probably find inviting.
She also needed a belt or rope to hold her weapons, a canteen for water,
a pack for whatever food she could find and numerous other things that
she had no way to make. She tried a vine but it broke when she tried
to tie a knot. Then she tried to weave the grass, for weaving wool
and flax into thread then into cloth was something every Irish girl learned
as she suckled at her mother's breast. Eventually she was able to
make a pad of sorts. It wasn't beautiful but would allow her to sit
without something seeing her privates as a potential home. After
some time she was able to roll and braid the grass into a flat rope of
sorts and this made a belt to hold her sword and beamer, thus freeing her
hands for other tasks, like climbing a tree or swatting the bugs.
Next came a skirt and panties though this grass against her nether lips
might be as uncomfortable as wool.
She did find a rock with a moderate edge (She was totally ignorant on
how to chip flint even though some Irish men needed a modicum of that skill
to repair the flints in their flintlocks on Earth) and began to scrape
the purple grasses until she had the fibers left which she collected.
With some pounding, they softened well and she was able to weave them into
something that was protective and wouldn't chafe. Looking down into
the murky water she felt like a topless dancer on stage with desperately
lonely and horny men staring up at her. She only needed those 7 inch
heels with the stupid 2 inch soles and a pole to complete the image.
She also decided that a bra wasn't overly needed in this lighter gravity
but she'd need a hat once she got away form the trees. So by the
time the sun was setting, she had a belt and panties of a sort and a sitting
mat but nothing more so she sought a place to sleep the night away.
She did tie her beamer tightly to her thigh and her sword to her back for
fear of loosing them and sought safety for the night in the trees.
Fortunately, the adaptations the Demons made for her to work in the
zero-gravity of a starship worked equally well in a forest and she was
easily able to climb any tree she chose, first by leaping the distance
to the lower limbs, a feat made easier by her enhanced strength as much
by the lower gravity then using her tarsial thumbs and prehensile tail
to hold onto the branches about her. And soon she was watching the
lizards and bugs glow in the dark. Reptiles are cold-blooded and
never glow since their body temperature matched their surroundings.
These glowed with infra-red which meant that although they resembled lizards,
they were warm-blooded.
Soon the sun vanished and with it the heat. She had spent many
an Irish Winter with few clothes and this was as bad if not worse for she
was naked save a triangle of ‘cloth’ that covered her pubic hair and privates,
for the string in back ran between her cheeks to separate around her tail
then join into a belt to hold the front, thus she was effectively naked!
The atmosphere was so thin it probably held little if any heat so she
pulled as many leafy branches as she could around her and huddled and shivered
through the night. Once she awoke from a dream of falling to find
she WAS falling. Then she hit a branch across her belly and near
died from the impact. She would need to make a hammock or platform
or learn to not roll over in her sleep she reflected as she returned to
her bower, her aches driving the cold away.
In the morning she was cold but alive and crawled upward to the sun
which was rising in what she took to be the East. Were she in the
southern hemisphere or the planet rotate backwards, these directions would
be reversed but for now she enjoyed the thought that she had learned the
cardinal directions to her new home. As the sun rose, it shrank to
be much smaller than on Earth though the colour was the same. She
spread out to catch the em-fields but felt none. No magnetic field
to this world. This meant that either the iron core had cooled because
the planetary mass was too small to keep it molten or this world had no
iron core. Either way was dangerous for without a magnetic field,
there would be no Van Allen belts to stop the UV-radiation and she'd sunburn
quickly once away from the trees. Damn! Another problem to endure
Then she noticed that although she had a few welts from the evening,
none of the bugs were biting her. She watched carefully and saw one
alight then leave without biting. They had decided that she wasn't
a snack which meant that their biologies were different.
Demons took humans because they shared the same biology and so we could
eat their food, breathe their air and live in their ships without fear
of us dying off. The worlds colonized by the abducted humans during
the Diaspora were mostly Demon terra-formed worlds so were compatible with
humanity but this world may be different. If the bugs decided that
she wasn't edible, did that mean that the local food was equally poisonous
She picked two nuts then, holding them against each other in her palms,
pressed and cracked the shell of one. Then after investigating them
with every sense the Demons had enhanced, she ate one, chewing slowly and
feeling for any sensation that would indicate poison. But aside from
a slight acrid taste, they were bland and caused no numbness or tingle
or sting so when she had masticated the nut to a fine paste, she swallowed,
prepared to stick her finger down her throat if it became necessary to
void her stomach.
Her Vanthi pleasure slave, Ethelinda, had bragged that she had no gag
reflex which had made her male owners very happy but for Eibhlin, the one
time she tried with her tail to see what it felt like, she near lost her
lunch so she knew a simple finger in her throat would cause the nut to
vacate her bowels immediately were she to feel poisoned.
After some time and no ill effects, she repeated the same with the other
nut then as she digested that one, she began to pick others. Another
tree over held fruit but biting into one made her spit and rush for water,
not caring if she were sucking parasites with the water, so determined
was she to wash out the taste of that thing.
She tried another fruit with the same results then finally found one
that looked like an American potato only growing from a tree. This
was as bland as the nuts but between the two she filled her belly.
At least she had found a nut and a ‘fruit’ she could eat and a number she
could not. Of course, they hadn't gone through her system yet and
she knew not which leaves would be safe to use when she wiped.
She traveled on in a general northerly direction for a few days before
she found the forest thinning and the desert taking over as the ground
rose. Ahead of her was the desert, red rock and reddish moss and
little else. She remembered driving though Death Valley ten years
ago when Jean and she visited Los Vegas and even that desert was lush compared
to this one. So, perhaps she was on the Barsoom of Burroughs?
The forest said no but the desert said maybe. She'd need to see some
eight legged lion or a fifteen foot six-limbed Green man to be certain.
One thing she was certain of as that she had no desire to cross that wasteland
on foot, naked and with no supplies.
Since the desert was littered with broken hills and no evidence of water,
she chose to follow the edge of the forest for a time. She could
easily climb a tree to escape danger from the desert and run to the desert
to escape forest predators. She recalled that John Carter, was that
his name? was able to outrun a horse and leap thirty feet once here.
So she experimented. She marked a spot then jumped as far as she
could, then paced off the distance. She was twice as strong as any
human man and more than two and a half times as strong as she was when
human so as Mars had 38% Earth Gravity, some simple calculations implied:
A Human male can long jump 7’ on Earth + 62%
= 11’ on Mars, twice that at a run.
A Human female can long jump 5 ½’ on
Earth + 62% = 9’ on mars, twice that at a run.
She was twice as strong as a Human man so
she should jump twice as far or 23' or 46' at a run.
Her distance was near sixteen feet. A bit lower than expected
but then, she wasn't an athlete and being twice as strong as a man didn't
mean she could simply double his abilities. With work, she could
probably do maybe eighteen feet though that would reduce to maybe fifteen
feet as she adapted to the lower gravity. But she as still having
trouble breathing in the reduced atmosphere and would need more meat to
build up red blood cells and the few lizards she could eat weren't doing
that fast enough.
Well, right is lucky so she turned to her right and followed the forest
eastward thinking to myself, “How the hell did John Carter jump thirty
feet when the math shows he should be barely able to jump twenty and experimentation
indicates barely ten or twelve?
If a man can jump three to four feet up and a woman can jump two to
three feet up, then a man should be able to leap to the top of a six foot
wall and a woman to the top of a five foot wall… she thought the author
was exaggerating when he described human abilities on Mars.
Thus employed she near tripped over the skeleton in her path.
III: KOAL DESERT
The skeleton was scattered over a wide area and some bones were covered
with the ochre moss while others were fully exposed and most showed the
tooth marks of whatever had eaten the thing. The spine was mostly
intact and stretched for dozens of feet, each vertebrae as round as a dinner
platter. Yet they were deceptively fragile-looking. The skull
was huge, bigger than a throne but the bones were thin and there were many
holes as if to reduce weight. When she found the legs, for a leg
bone is a leg bone, she counted eight but too thin for something of this
size. Each was more than five feet long but only as thick as a cow's
leg. This thing was tall and long and thin and then she laughed,
“You don't need to fight Earth's gravity so you don't need strength.
And you have to be long to keep from tripping over your own feet.”
She searched the corpse some more but found nothing of use, no harness,
no meat, just bones so she traveled on.
By the third day she was doing better time, having made a sling from
grass and used that weapon to kill some four-winged birds that had two
or four legs. Once she found a clutch of fresh eggs, each the size
of a goose egg and dined well that day but mostly she ate nuts, that potato
fruit and the occasional lizard. She slept in trees and walked in
the shade as her skin slowly tanned and soon forgot that she was naked
for her breasts were so light for their size she could almost forget they
existed. Plus the moss was so thick that she rarely stepped on a
rock and so her feet toughened easily and suffered little damage though
she wore a set of grass sandals she had woven. She also was breathing
well for her diet had allowed her to build the necessary blood to use this
thin air and she had enough breath to even sing as she walked.
But of humanity she saw naught.
Each day as she walked she would gather dried sticks and branches and
tie them into a bundle for her evening fire. Then well before sundown
she would seek a space between some large rocks well away from the forest,
a place where the rocks would be hot from the day and keep her warm most
of the night. She would build her small fire, cover her alcove with
leafy branches to retain heat and by the time the sun had set, she was
safe and snug in her temporary hut where she would practice weaving the
local grass into mats and finally a bag in which she could carry the treasures
One day, maybe a week into her journey she was squatting by a rock,
peeing and watching the moss send runners to her urine at a speed she could
almost observe, so desperate was the red moss for any water. She
knew men in Ireland and even the Vanthi who would brag about being able
to write their names in the snow but for her, she was happy if she kept
her legs and feet dry. She didn't hear it, but she estanned intelligence
and quickly wiping with a bit of grateful moss, stood a bit to espy two
green monsters mounted upon a couple long-bodied, eight-legged and olive-coloured
horses. These then must be the Green Men described by Captain Carter
to his biographer. She recalled that they were a cruel race and not
wishing to be tortured and raped again, she started to duck down when she
heard a woman moan in pain.
Each thoat, for that is what they were, held some prisoners tied to
their mount. The extreme length of the beasts allowed for not only
their rider and gear but also two prisoners hanging over the spines of
the beasts. Three were men, she believed but the fourth had long
black hair that hung for feet, hiding her head and the sides of the mount
of her captor.
"Hey there!" she stood and cried, forgetting to pull her loincloth up.
The two immediately turned to see her, then their mounts made a slow turn
towards her location. She took the time to dress though why she don't
know other than she disliked nudity. A naked woman may be beautiful
but a naked man, dangling there was just laughable and her own feminine
nudity embarrassed her, though many women on Earth and Vanthi wished they
had a body as firm, tight and attractive as was Eibhlin's.
She adjusted her clothing around her tail then slid her sword to a handy
position and ensured her beamer was ready then waited. She had killed
Green Pirates twenty years ago when she returned to Ireland to conquer
England and free her nation but those where more robust, heavier of limb
ands possessed advanced Inter-stellar technology. These were almost
insect-like, their limbs were so thin, doubtless adapted to the lesser
gravity. Idly she wondered which race had made the mistake of abducting
Green Men from Barsoom and discovered that their captors were not as complacent
the prize they thought. Humans could be tamed and trained, Green
men could not. At least these didn't have lasers or scanners or skimmers.
One dropped his lance and charged her then as she drew and waited, trusting
to her strength and reflexes to survive, he saw that she wasn't what he
expected and pulled up at the last moment and called to his companion for
she estanned no friendship in these monsters for her or for each other.
Both came to a halt, staring at her with lances pointed to her heart
but yards away. They would have to spur their mounts to pierce her
but the threat was there, if she moved, she would die. The two looked
her over and she estanned flashes of images as they seemed to discus her
tail, eyes, feet and even her breasts then some decision was made and one
called to her to do something that she believed was ‘surrender or die’
though it could have easily been ‘why are you peeing in public?’
She responded in Spanglic, then Gaelic, English, Vanthi and Demon, “I
don't understand what you are saying,” but she was as unintelligible to
them as they were to her.
The two discussed this again and as they did so she took note of their
weapons. Their lance was some forty foot long and was held by their
right middle limb in its armpit, being counter-balanced by its right upper
arm which held the lance steady by grasping it far behind his body.
His middle left arm grasped the lance before its body and helped to guide
the point thus freeing its upper left arm for other weapons for she saw
neither reigns nor harness on the thoat. She would occasionally receive
a flash of ‘turn’ or ‘stop’ which implied that they controlled their mounts
through telepathy. She suspect that the lightness of the metal which
wasn't steel, iron or wood aided by the lower gravity enabled them to do
this for on Earth they hadn't the muscles to even stand, much less hold
a lance of such length steady.
Each also carried two swords at their left hips, one six foot long and
the other three foot long with an eighteen inch dagger and heavy revolver
at their right hip. She also noticed a pack at their belt behind
their back and a number of pouches plus a rifle with a barrel far longer
than her own height in a holster at the side of the thoat though one had
his rifle slung over his back.
She called these two ‘he’ only because she believed them to be so for
she did not believe that a woman would be acting as did these nor did she
see any sign of breasts though for all she knew, they could be male, female,
neither or both. But didn't John Carter mention that Green Women
fought but only in defense? Perhaps she should have taken more care
in her reading.
Thrusting the pointed butt of the lance into the ground (she hesitated
to say earth and ‘into the mars’ didn't sound right) it stared down at
her for its head was easily seven or eight higher than her own five foot
height. It walked around her and she received an image of it breaking
her tail bones one at a time from distal to ass. The thing was assessing
her use as a plaything for torture, not for ransom or curiosity.
Once, as it moved before its fellow, she acted, jumping forward, and rolled
between its legs and before it could react she hamstrung it with one slice
of her sword. Then as it went to its knees with a cry of anger, curiously
not pain, she ran for its fellow who dropped its now useless lance and
pulled its longer sword from his side.
By then she had avoided the thoats sharp teeth and closed in for a sword
that long was made for cutting people with the last couple feet of the
edge and once closer than four feet, it was useless. The sword Brount
made for her, however, was made for cutting while close in and though she
could have thrust, she wanted to get too close for it to avoid her blow
and so she leapt up, grabbed its leg with her tarsial feet, wrapped her
tail around a saddle projection for a brace and struck it in the side above
the belt then pushed in and drew as she pushed myself backwards.
The draw-cut worked well for the green monster stood in slow motion,
its side opening and then it watched its own entrails fall from its body
for she had cut it to the spine.
With that one dying she returned to her first opponent and circled it
at the guarde. Loosing its lower legs seemed to only inconvenience
it slightly for it used its middle limbs as legs and upon its lower knees,
resorted to a mode of quadrapedal motion that was hindered only slightly
by the damage she had caused to it calves. It reared its upper body
upright and resembled a centaur, green and hideous but none the less a
centaur and went on guard with its longer sword held in both hands.
Rather than crippling the thing, she had simply moved it down to her level
of attack and now it had the advantage of reach for it could thrust and
cut long before she could reach a killing distance herself.
Its skill far surpassed her own for Brount had taught her the sword
as an art and a means to spirituality, not as a means to exterminate her
fellows, for a space-faring people fight from thousands of miles away,
not feet. She tried to block and charge, deflect and leap,
any tactic that she thought might get her within the Green man's point
to no avail and soon she was bleeding from a number of cuts and pokes,
none fatal but all irritating and she was sweating like a horse in the
sunlight which the Green Man seemed to accept as natural.
When she advanced, it held position and thrust or cut. When she retreated,
it followed. When she moved around, it easily turned and she was
about to cut her losses and run away then she thought of a plan.
It was moving its legs slower as it bled from her cuts but in this heat
it she would desiccate from thirst before it bled to death so she backed
towards the forest and shade. Once under the leaves, the thoats grazing
some distance away and ignoring them, she felt cooler and better though
it became much muggier with the humidity. She allowed the Green Man
to back her further in, and she needed not to feign exhaustion for she
was rapidly loosing strength. Confident in her eventual loss, she
allowed herself to be backed further into the forest then she turned and
ran before her enemy could react and by the time it thought to chase her,
she was hidden by the boles of trees and grass.
Then she leapt to a low branch and climbed overhead to spy down upon
her victim. She had guessed right. Like humans this thing had
evolved in the open plains so its instincts were to look out and down for
that was where prey, danger and safety lay. Being a desert creature,
it never thought to look up into the trees so she carefully climbed overhead
until she was directly overhead. She froze when it did look up but
it never saw her and she appeared to be invisible to its telepathy while
she estanned its direction at all times. Then as it turned to leave
the forest, she dropped onto its back, driving her blade through its spine
and pinning it to the ground. Without care she released her sword and grasped
its head and twisted, hearing its neck snap and then she was alone, on
top of the body of her foe where she collapsed in exhaustion.
How long she lay there she know not. Minutes? Days? Hours?
She only know that when she roused herself, it was because some of the
local reptiles had started to munch on her and when she kicked one away,
it hissed then moved to consume the dead Green Man, not caring that she
was but feet away. Her blood had dried and so she stripped the body,
kicking away the scavengers who bit at her as she did so and dragged the
weapons, gear and harness back to the edge of the forest. There she
collapsed again and examined the Green Man's gear finding a canteen with
a milky substance that tasted like cheese. Drinking this, she easily
kept it down and then, refreshed, found some dried fruit which she ignored
and that potato-fruit which she consumed with more nuts. Then her
strength recovered, she bundled the gear of her foe and returned to the
thoats that had wandered some distance away in their search for food.
She dropped the gear near the other body and with but her own sword
and beamer, (why didn't she just shoot them both with her beamer when she
had the chance?) she approached the thoats and called them to her.
Horses could be tamed by a gentle word, a kind thought and some grain held
under an armpit to collect sweat and cause the horse to associate your
smell with good food. So she cut some thick and tasty-looking, she
hoped, moss and approached the beasts calling to them in a gentle voice
and finally caught one. She cut the prisoners free then repeated
the act with the second, then carried her unconscious burden to the shade
where she lay them as she retired to collect the remaining gear from the
dead and the thoats. By the time she had returned to the shade with
her burdens, she was exhausted and collapsed again though she managed to
force a few drops of the milky-cheese down the throats of three of the
captives, the fourth being dead. Obviously, the Green Men had enjoyed
their breaks by torturing their prisoners and one had died from this treatment,
another looked like he would not survive but the woman and the other man
might with care.
Twice she chased off scavengers who were attracted to her dead companion
until she had the strength to drag the body into the desert and pile rocks
over the poor man. Not knowing of their beliefs, she could only call
out, “If there are any gods here, please care for this poor man who suffered
so and give him rest and an ease to his torments. Thank you.”
Then she returned to her charges and sought whatever medical supplies she
could find in the gear she now possessed.
Something in a container that was obviously not cosmetic or food seemed
to be medical so when she rubbed it on one of her own cuts, the pain vanished
and the wound began to heal immediately. This must be that miraculous
healing salve that Captain Carter had described and so she used most of
it on her companions who needed it far more than did she. So cruelly
was the woman used that Eibhlin cried as she treated her wounds and prayed
that she would survive for such beauty that was evident even under her
bruises and cuts deserved life.
She made each a bed from the silks and furs she had taken from the thoats,
trusting to their own body heat to keep them warm, laved their wounds with
water she fetched from the forest, force-fed them water and the milky-cheese
and cared for them as best she could. Then before the sun set, she
built fires around them to drive away predators and to keep them warm and
determined to remain awake to protect her charges.
She awoke shivering and realized that she had fallen asleep and saw
the three glowing infra-red in the dark. The three people with heat
patterns were so different from humans that she knew not if that was normal
or a result of their injuries. The darkness around them glowed with
the wild-life that approached in the darkness so she built the fires again,
destroying her own night-vision in the process and using her beamer to
kill one swamp thing that the fires failed to intimidate.
She must have fallen asleep again from exhaustion and blood loss for
her next memories was of the sun up and the girl moaning in terror as she
of her captivity. She touched her to soothe and comfort her but the
images and sensations she was broadcasting were so vivid she let go and
backed away to empty her stomach in terror. How could the Red Woman
survive that, she did not know for the injured woman's experiences made
what Eibhlin had suffered at the cruel hands of the British seem like pleasure.
Steeling myself she tried to project thoughts of calmness and love but
the woman seemed to not be able to detect her own telepathy so she carefully
laved her wounds, used the rest of the Green man's salve on her and when
she rested, she sought her companions to find another dead in the night.
Crying, she cared for the last man and then carried the body to bury him
next to his fellow who had not been disturbed.
She stood there, naked in the sun, wondering what god could allow such
cruelty and fearing that tomorrow there would be two more graves to dig.
Then, she returned to her charges and hunted food for them all.
During her morning meal, which she had taken late due to her labours,
she looked over the gear she had inherited. A spyglass of such power
that distant mountains came into sharp focus though the further they were,
the harder it was to keep them in view for even her breathing and blood
pulsing would move the spyglass a fraction that was imperceptible to her
but caused the distant images to flit about like a moth.
There was a chess set with a cloth board of 100 squares and tiny pieces
which caused her to wonder how such a cruel race could take such pleasure
in a game like this. This was but one of the many inconstancies that
she was to discover on her sojourn upon the red planet.
The revolver was too large for her to hold but a larger man might do
so. The handle had been rebuilt for the larger hand of the Green
Man but could be re-fitted to a smaller hand though it would still be too
large for Eibhlin. She remembered the explosive power of the weapon
from the books so she sighted upon a distant rock, held her breath and
holding the weapon with both hands, squeezed the trigger and with the report
of the weapon came an explosion and the rock blew apart as the radium explosive
shattered the target into fragments. With weapons like this they
still chose to fight with swords? Perhaps there was some reason for
even though she had a beamer that could easily have killed both Green Men
instantly, she still used her sword which was totally unlike her.
A torch that could be adjusted for dim to blinding light, from a narrow
beam to a broad pattern was a joy to find, as were a few other devices
that she could not understand but would in time. So she spent the
morning shortening the leather belts of the Green men to fit her own frame
and soon had a sword belt from which hung her own sword and one of the
daggers of the Green Man which was like unto a short sword for me.
She also cut some of the silk to replace her loin-cloth with one far more
comfortable, a skirt that fell to her knees (for the shorter skirts and
pants she wore in California were never to her liking) and another cloth
to cross her chest and form a bra of sorts to conceal her breasts (she
had no needle and thread to make a blouse) and finally a scarf to protect
her from the sun. Thus attired, she felt much more confidant, though she
admitted she looked more the barbarian her ancestors were. The revolvers
she could not handle so left those for her companion should he awake.
Of the thoats she never saw them again for they must have wandered away
in the night and returned to the wild for how does one hobble a creature
with eight legs?
Much of the saddle-bag contained harness and jewelry that obviously
belonged to her charges and these she left for them, hoping that they would
awaken soon which they did later that afternoon.
Eibhlin smiled at them and greeted them with a hearty “Cén chaoi
'bhfuil tú ?” for she hadn't really spoken her native Gaelic in
near twenty years, but soon gave up on these people and switched to speaking
Spanglic instead which was almost universal among the Demon-Abducted humans
of the galaxy.
The man stared then tried to smile through smashed lips and broken teeth
then replied, “kaor!” which she remembered was a greeting so replied the
same which seemed to relax the two. So she touched myself and said,
“Eibhlin inghean Ui Bhrian.”
They tried to repeat her name then settled on Eivleen Obreen which she
accepted for she would have time to correct their pronunciation.
The man introduced himself as Dar Moras and the woman as Lanor then they
asked for a couple other words which she took to be names of their companions
so she pointed to the desert and thought about the graves she had dug as
she told them, “they died in the night. I'm sorry for your loss.”
Lanor cried at the news though she didn't estann her thoughts, the tone
of her voice spoke volumes. She gave them more of the milky-cheese
which they called ‘mantilla’ and so her language lessons commenced.
Eibhlin spent the day caring for them and bringing them food and water
and when the man asked for something, she received an image of a sword
and revolver so she gave these to the man who relaxed immediately, now
he was armed though too weak to hold either. Fortunately, the extreme
simplicity of the Martian language (for the thoats and Green Men had convinced
her that she was indeed on Barsoom) and the telepathic images that accompanied
most of the words and the fact that the Irish are natural linguists aided
her and within days she could speak and understand simple sentences like
‘may I have some water’ and ‘this is a rock’ and ‘I don't understand you.’
When it became clear that they wanted to know where she was from, she
drew a picture of the solar system on some paper-like material she found
in the saddlebags, pointed to the sun and the central dot, the fourth dot
which she called Barsoom and when they named the other planets, “RASOOM,
COSOOM, JASOOM, BARSOOM, SASOOM and so on, she pointed to Earth and said,
“I am from Ireland on Jasoom,” which caused them both to look at her like
she was mad. She laughed at that for she looked like no Human they
had ever seen and doubtless they thought she was some strange race from
an isolated part of their world.
All she could do was smile and wait until she knew more of their language
to explain her abduction, physical changes and her life in space.
But they stared at her constantly and it wasn't until days later that she
found it was her dress that was stranger than her physical appearance for
neither was bothered at being totally naked though both had ample silk
to cover themselves had they wished. And when they were strong enough
to go through the saddle-bags and separated their own belongings, Lanor
dressed in a simple panties and loin-cloth flap with a few belts and a
lot of jewelry. Dar Moras dressed the same though he didn't wear
earrings as did Lanor but both wore bracelets, arm-bands and ankle chains
and such with pins on their harness. Lanor cared not that her breasts
were fully exposed though hers were so small as to be almost non-existent.
But she did have the soft curves that ensured that she was, definitely,
Looking closer as they stood and carefully walked on damaged legs, Eibhlin
saw that both were near hairless though both had wavy black hair, his short
and hers flowing to her waist in a manner that made her wish her tresses
were flowing over her body as they kissed. Other than the coppery
red colour of their skin, the larger rib-cage and their lack of body or
facial hair, they resembled humans in every other way she could see.
Even their heat patterns were becoming familiar as they healed and when
she looked carefully, she saw the normal finger-prints on their digits,
the same as upon her own fingers and tail. Until her abduction, her
body was as hairy as any man's for women in her time never shaved their
arms, legs or other areas but the Demons hated her being hairy and had
removed it all save her pubes, head and eyes. But her pubes were
a jungle compared to Lanor's which were a meadow so though they appeared
to have a common ancestor, Barsoom had robbed them of body hair as the
Demons did to Eibhlin.
Both were attractive in the extreme, Lanor being so beautiful she took
Eibhlin's breath away whenever she shook her hair or smiled. He being
so handsome that even the Irish-woman, who preferred women, could appreciate
with a body hard but not overly muscular to indicate the man who exercised
but not to extreme. Sometimes she would hear them whispering about
her when they thought she did not hear and when she would return from hunting,
they would act embarrassed as if she had caught them in some conspiracy.
The potato-fruit she ate they called ‘usa’ but the bitter one she could
not stomach, they ate with relish and called it ‘somp’. Thus she
learned that their digestion was different and so Eibhlin would have to
be careful with what she ate.
It was almost a week before they were able to leave the forest for home
and during that time Eibhlin became more fluent in their language though
their discussions tended to be very general and impersonal with many pauses
while Eibhlin would ask about a word and they'd have to explain it which
would lead to another digression. But she learned that the planet
was called Barsoom which she knew, that John Carter as a Warlord or military
leader of a number of cities. The planet was shared by many races
from the Red to the Green who were almost always at war over dwindling
resources. Barsoom had been dying for a half million years and only
heroic efforts by the ancient White Race had staved off death but the current
Red Men were taxed to even maintain the constructions of the ancients and
all knew that death was inevitable though there as talk of sending ships
to Sasoom (Jupiter) and bringing ice water back to replenish some of the
ancient seas and atmosphere but politics and jealousy made cooperation
in this endeavour unlikely for no one trusted anyone else and few could
divert valuable resources from survival to such a project.
Each city tried to be independent but sometimes one would conquer another
along the waterways and form an empire such as Ptarth to the west or Helium
to the southwest or Jahar to the southeast but all empires were seen as
dangerous. The Green Men were mostly in the south but there were
some smaller hoards in the north like the Northern Warhoons near the Artolian
Further they were apparently near or at the Koal Forest which was dangerous
for Koal protected their forest savagely for fear other nations would take
the valuable lumber and water. To the north was the Toonol Marsh
ruled by Toonol at the east and Phundahl at the west with the River Iss
flowing from these marshes south through the Koal Forest and eventually
to Dor about which they would not speak.
Nor would they say which nation they came from though they did mention
that they were on one of the rare scientific expeditions to track the moisture-laden
winds the circled the planet when they met a hoard of Green Men that decimated
their ship with rifle fire. Lanor, Dar Moras (for they always used
both names) and six others escaped alive in the damaged flier. Or so they
thought until they passed over a hill and met more Green Men who finished
the flier and in the battle, all but these four, two other Red Men and
four Green Men survived.
That first night the Green Men tortured two of the Red Men to death
along with their own two wounded, then they took the remaining four across
the desert, stopping at meals to torture their prisoners for fun.
Neither remembered much of that journey other than the agonies they endured
then blissful unconsciousness as the Green Men pushed off for some unknown
“Then as I am a stranger here until I can be rescued, where do you suggest
we go for you two are her only friends on this world,” Eibhlin asked.
Dar Moras thought then said, “Without any real gear and supplies, she
can only suggest that we follow the forest east seeking the River Iss then
follow that north to Toonol or rather one of the smaller free cities that
surround the Marshes. Maybe there we can find a way to contact our
own nations and return home. I cannot guarantee the reception you
will receive for we are a suspicious race and see every stranger as a potential
enemy until proven otherwise.”
“What about mercenary soldiers?” Eibhlin asked. “I seem to recall
that these could pass safely.”
“Sometimes, Eivleen Obreen. But too many at one place is suspicious
and you, being a woman and armed is even more suspicious.”
“You would be more concerned with me being armed than alien?”
“Here, women rarely fight and female Panthans are so rare as to be immediately
noticed. That and your dress would attract more attention than your
features.” Lanor explained to her. “Were you to disarm and
dress more feminine, then perhaps you could pass safely with little notice.
Eibhlin had to laugh at that. The fact that she wore a skirt and
bra attracted more attention than her tail, eyes, hands and feet.
Then, “Let us assume that I will refuse to disarm myself. What suggestions
do you have for me?”
Dar Moras left the women then for this was embarrassing to him.
Lanor walked around her then suggested, “That skirt is far too long.
It hides your knees even. Shorter would be more feminine. Maybe
remove three/fourths of it to a decent and respectable length.”
“Three-fourths?” Eibhlin cried. “I couldn't even sit without showing
where babies come from at that length!”
“That's another thing, you sit and move like a man. Move more
lady-like. When you sit, keep your knees together and your back straighter.
Like this,” and she sat on the ground in a manner that was extremely feminine
even to Eibhlin's eyes. It as similar to what she learned when she
lived in Ireland twenty years ago but different, more fluid and Eibhlin
had to admit that Lanor showed nothing but promised everything as she sat.
“Also, why do you cover your breasts like that? Are you ashamed of them?
I know that they are so huge I wonder how you can walk so does their size
“Large? Well, larger than they were when I was still human but
I grew up in a country where women wore dresses to their wrists and the
ground. At parties we would show some back and reveal a bit of chest
but nothing more. Even now I feel so over-exposed that I feel like
a trollop. Even in Los Angeles I wore more than this and you want
me to wear less?”
“That cloth you wear crossed over your chest attracts attention.
Here,” Lanor came forward and placing her hands around Eibhlin's neck,
“Let us remove it and see what we see.”
Her touch made Eibhlin want to kiss her hard and long and she'd have
let Lanor do anything to retain the feel of her hands on her body.
“There, well, they are horribly huge but now are not as noticeable.
And when your hair grows longer, you can comb it before you to hide them.
How do you manage your hair so straight?”
“I was born with straight hair. I am so jealous of your natural
waves.” Eibhlin hesitated to tell her that many of her nation had
red, yellow or brown hair, straight and wavy as too confusing.
She removed her shirt, folded it a few times then retied it and said,
“Much better. Now you almost look like a woman. Are you certain
you won't give over your weapons?”
“Absolutely! If your world is as hostile as you say, I'll need
them. Besides they saved you and myself from the Green Men.”
She sighed, “Very well, then let us make you into a female panthan.
The right harness, some feminine clothes, some jewelry and cosmetics and
lighter revolver and you may be able to pass.”
By the time Dar Moras returned Lanor had totally remade her harness
to a woman's fashion, altered her clothing so she wore a micro-mini shirt
and nothing to cover her breasts and she didn't know if she felt like a
whore offering myself or a man with a chest. She had also done her
eyes to call attention away from her cat-like feature and her lips and
nipples, commenting on how hard and erect they became when she touched
them. “And why are you panting so?”
How could Eibhlin tell her that she found her so attractive and desirable?
But she was saved by Dar Moras who said, “Now you look presentable.
You will still attract attention but people will think you are from some
isolated nation where everyone looks like you. We occasionally see
bald Therns or Black Pirates or even the rare Jasoomian as Panthans so
we have an explanation for your looks. But please don't tell people
you come from Jasoom. We can see it easily in the sky and know that
the Jasoomians look like us, not you so such a claim will only earn you
time in the pits while the psychologists probe your mind.”
Eibhlin looked at myself in her hand mirror, turned about and admitted
that she looked good. Slutty by Earth standards, but good, then laughed.
“What's funny?” Lanor asked.
“I was just remembering that abut ten years ago on Jasoom, my lover
Jean and I were in a park wearing far more clothes than you saw me in earlier.
We considered ourselves decently dressed but saw some women from Arabia
with their children. These women were required by their religion to cover
every part of their body save their hands and eyes and Jean commented on
how degrading it was for them to be forced to wear so much clothing.
Were she here, expected to undress as do you, she'd die of mortification
for you say the same to her that she said about them.”
“She?” Dar Moras asked.
Oops, she made a mistake. Well, nothing to it, “I prefer the attentions
of her own gender,” Lanar moved back a step then. “Maybe it was being
abused so harshly by the British when I was still young that made me turn
from men, maybe the Demons messed with my mind when they changed me into
a Weir, maybe I was born this way and didn't know until I was changed.
I occasionally need a man to bed me to stay alive but prefer a feminine
lover.” The secret was out. But somehow Dar Moras accepted
this easier than Lanor who was shocked.
Neither spoke other than to say, “Well, we should continue on.”
And from then on their relationship changed. Lanor was more distant
and Dar Moras stared at her more often, almost as if he were deciding on
if he should approach her as a potential lover. If so, then he wanted Eibhlin,
Eibhlin wanted Lanor and Lanor wanted neither, a fine situation for us
Of course, these few paragraphs appear to have happened immediately
but the entire conversation took almost a week to cover and it was only
the last day that they had even a modicum of normal conversation. And then
they were only able to do so because of the Barsoomian telepathy and Eibhlin's
own enhanced telepathic abilities that allowed her to receive an image
or emotion with many words. Fortunately, the language had few adverbs
or adjectives, preferring to add case endings to denote such things or
simply flash an image of colour or size and she wondered how non-telepathic
peoples like normal humans could communicate so well, lacking this ability.
No doubt, the Red Men considered Earth Humans to be somewhat autistic.
But by the time they reached a river which flowed from the desert into
the swampy forest the three were able to communicate almost normally.
“What is this river,” she asked for it was narrow and shallow, probably
not more than a few dozen yards across though the water was red from the
reddish dust that existed everywhere.
“I know not,” Dar Moras commented, bending over and touching the water.
“There are so few rivers that the only one that comes to mind is the River
Iss which flows from the Toonolian Marshes through the Koal Forest and
eventually to the Valley Dor. But I imagined the Iss to be much more
“I seem to recall that Barsoom is mostly desert with few forests or
lakes. If so, then it should be easy to determine which forest this is
and so what river this is and where we are.” Eibhlin suggested from
ignorance for it is a habit for those who know nothing to assume that they
who know everything had not thought of the obvious.
“Perhaps. Most of the large forests exist along or near the equator
and they are Koal, Lost Souls and Manator Forests. Some valleys have
forests but all are small and easily circled so this must be one of the
three great one. From where we were captured and the general easterly
direction of travel of the Green Men, I assumed this to be the Kaolin and
I know of only the Iss which flows into that forest. I would suggest
that we follow this north for if we remain along the forest, we will eventually
reach the Iss and the patrols of Koal who will enslave all who are not
pilgrims. The way will be safer though food more difficult to find.”
Having no opinion and Lanor being content to allow Dar Moras to lead
and protect her, Eibhlin accepted the wisdom of his logic, though with
reluctance, and they spent a couple days collecting as much food as they
could for the trip.
Dar Moras explained over dinner that night, “If this is Koal, then the
Toonol Marshes are about a thousand Haads north of us (about 375 miles)
though following the river will increase that distance. The closest
city I know is Toonol which lies within the marshes though there are doubtless
other cities scattered wherever water can be found so once outside the
influence of Koal, we should find cities upon the banks of this river.
Unless it is the Iss in which case no one is allowed to live along the
“Why? I would think that in a desert, any water would be so valuable
that people would fight over it.”
“Because,” Lanor explained, “You being from another world wouldn't share
the same religion as do we. The ancient religion of the worship of
Isis requires that all Barsoomians make their final pilgrimage down the
Iss to the Valley Dor some time before their thousandth year. Cities
along the banks would interfere with this sacred journey so were forbidden.
And although Isis and the Therns have been discredited, we are ruled by
custom and so the rule remains. Have you nothing that you follow
even when common sense speaks otherwise?”
Eibhlin sighed for aside from one Mass she attended in Los Angeles that
left her spiritually empty, so different was it from what she attended
in Ireland for the Priest faced the people and not the Altar as was proper
and he spoke in English not the Latin she remembered. She felt that
they had gutted the Mass to please the people and had forgotten that the
Mass was to glorify God. Save that one time, she hadn't been in a church
since she was seventeen and that was more than twenty years ago.
“I was Catholic as a child and we were taught that the world was flat
even though Magellan and others had sailed around the world to prove the
Church wrong. Still, they taught a flat Earth made by God only a
few thousand years before. Also they taught that God was all-powerful
and all-good but if so, then why was there evil? Because he is helpless
against the will of Satan which means he is NOT all-powerful or he chooses
to not interfere which means he is not all-good. Also we were taught
that you could be as evil as you wished and once you confess, all your
crimes are washed away so why be good. Plus the Priests were as greedy
for wealth and power as any other and a woman or child in confession would
oft pay for forgiveness with their bodies so how could God allow men such
as these to be His representatives?
“About the time I was born, the Protestant reform tried to answer these
questions with as little success as did my own Church and after what happened
to my family and me, the priests could only say that it was ‘God’s Will’
and I should praise Him and not ask embarrassing questions.”
“So do you have any faith now?” Lanor asked.
“I don't know. The Catholics on Earth told us that any evil was
justified if done in the name of God and that the Protestants were evil.
The Protestants said exactly the same thing. Centuries ago, the Holy
Empire was formed ten thousand light years away and said the same as they
expanded and murdered billions in the name of God and somehow God, who
was so good and powerful, stood by as all this evil was done in His name
and did nothing, so I stopped believing.
“The Vanthi are pagans who worship Wotan and Thor who seem to encourage
war and piracy for their God seeks to populate the Vanthi Asgaard with
only the best warriors, and the Mon are Pagans who worship a Moon Goddess
and Horned God and who speak of peace but gladly fight and kill the Christians
out there. The S'tyr follow a religion similar to the Mon and they
seem to be the only ones who DO believe in peace but they manipulate others
to make the galaxy in their image despite their claims of free-will.
So what do I believe? I don't know any more. Everyone I met
believes, but few are really ‘good’ people because of their beliefs and
I've never seen a God or Goddess actually do anything for their people.”
Lanor touched her arm and spoke, “I see that distresses you. We
are a people who once believed with all our hearts and souls, then the
Jasoomian, John Carter stripped us of that and since then we have been
a people without a faith. I was a devout follower for centuries then
suddenly, only seventy years ago, he discredited my faith, killed my Goddess,
turned the priests into mercenaries and destroyed my hopes for eternity
in Heaven. Sometimes I wonder why we continue on without hope.”
Eibhlin took her hands and tried to hold and comfort her but she misconstrued
her desires and pulled away, embarrassed. Or maybe her telepathy
allowed her to see Eibhlin's true desires for her though this time, her
motives were innocent, pr so she thought.
Angry Eibhlin moved off to throw rocks into that water and complain
about people and gods and people. Dar Moras came to sit by her and
tossed a couple rocks too and fortunately didn't speak or she'd have snapped
his head off then. Finally he asked, “Eivleen Obreen, lately you've
been irritable and anger easily. Is something wrong?” He placed his
hand over hers and without reason she turned and kissed him. No,
she raped his mouth with hers, forcing her tongue into his mouth and dragging
his hand to her breast, pressing it tight as her tail sought his lap.
He forced himself away, no mean feat as she was easily more than twice
as strong as was he and he cried in shock, “What are you doing? A
maiden doesn't do that!”
Eibhlin tried the pull him again then fell down crying, “I don't know.
I'm sorry. I'm so angry all the time, I hurt, my belly aches and
my loins are always wet and… oh god, my Need is here.”
She turned away and stared at anything but him, “My kind need sex or
we die. I must be … done.. every few weeks or the pressure builds
up and I die. This poor diet has delayed it but now it's here and
if you don't… if you…” she sent him images, graphic images of what
she needed because she couldn't say it. Her mind and soul wanted
Lanor but her body needed his male member.
He was horrified and backed away until he was a dozen feet away then
turned and left. She was still touching her breast, kneading it and
her hard nipples and finally said, “oh hell!” and removed her loincloth
and jilled for what seemed like hours, using her tail then finally the
handle of her dagger until the pressure was eased. She still ached
but no longer suffered so, though in hours the Need would return again
and again until she was dead.
When she returned to her companions, neither would look at her for they
both knew. But neither understood. “I'm sorry,” she began.
“I'm not like you. I need food and water and air and sex or I'll
die. What I do.. what I've been doing to myself these last weeks
is just to hold it off. But please understand this, If I don't get
sex soon, a lot of sex, I will be dead within days. I want a woman
but I need a man. Dar Moras, I know this horrifies you but please,
I need your body. I hate myself for being like this but…” she
couldn't look at them because they saw in her a monster. They could
overlook her alien physical attributes but her needs disgusted them.
Had she been a man, she would easily have raped Lanor to survive and not
realized what she was doing.
Finally, Lanor touched her then pulled away. She didn't even know
she was laying on the moss crying. “Eivleen Obreen, I… she don't
know what to say. There are some few people here who … they seek
their own gender in slaves but…. I'm sorry. I like you and
she can feel your desire for me but I cannot return that. You saved
our lives and I suppose.. I'll go away for awhile. Please call
me when you are done.”
A moment later, Dar Moras was stroking her hair. “Eivleen Obreen,
I don't know what to do for you but Lanor said that you saved our lives
so we must save yours. She wishes she could help you but you say
you've waited too long so,” He lifted her face and kissed her under
the twin moons and that image is what made it endurable. His face
was in the shadow as the Nearer Moon raced across the heavens and she imagined
he was Kara for she was always the aggressor in their love-making.
Eibhlin didn't remember undressing and easily climaxed as he entered and
never ceased to climax the entire time. He tried to be gentle but
it was too late and she cried out “harder! Faster!” until she was
screaming in ecstasy until she felt him match her own as he climaxed.
Without waiting, and knowing that if she did wait, he'd grow soft but
she could keep him ready with a little work, she rolled him over then rode
him until he was done and useless to her. Finally, she let his hands
fall from her breasts and tried to shut his thoughts from her mind for
this wasn't making love, but an animal rutting. She was like a cat
in heat who needed a pack of toms to ease the pain and cared not who the
Finally she rolled off, lay under the further moon and said, “Thank
you,” as he moved to the river to wash her sweat off his body and her other
juices off his genitals. She didn't care as she wanted to do
the same but the longer she kept him inside, the longer it would be before
her Need returned. At times like this she wished she liked men for
it would make times like this easier.
“I heard, it sounded like he was torturing you.” Lanor said standing
nearby. She had returned when we were done.
“I guess she am a bit noisy at this time. Normally I am much quieter.
I must disgust you. I disgust myself.”
“It's the way you are made. I don't understand but you aren't
in pain and angry now. How long…”
“Tomorrow again. Maybe the next day. Then perhaps I will be safe
for another month. The better it is, the longer I can go between.
I'm sorry I am like this.”
“I… I felt your… I could feel what you felt even in the forest.
The animals were silent and they… I wanted to ….” She was embarrassed
“You felt it too? That is different but then, neither Vanthi nor Human
are telepathic so unless I am touching them during the act, they can't
estann me. Earlier, days earlier when I was alone and… did you feel
me too?” Now she was embarrassed.
“Not days, but today and yesterday. I didn't know because
we don't do that. Not to ourselves. I'm not a virgin but it's been
a hundred years since my husband died and I haven't been with a man since…
I missed it I think.”
Eibhlin started to reach for her because now that her rutting was done,
she wanted to make love but Lanor stiffened and she let her go. She looked
up then turned away as Dar Moras returned. Then in silence they ate
and fell asleep with some distance between each other. Eibhlin tailed
herself to sleep thinking of Lanor this time wondering if she were estanning
her emotions and sensations. At least this time she was quiet and
The next morning Dar Moras awoke with her on top of him and he responded
more so than he did last night and they were done before Lanor woke up,
she thought. Then she cleaned myself, dressed and stood in the desert
as he washed up.
Her sandals were of thick grass but were near worn through and her feet
too small for those of the dead Red Men so she cut some lizard skin with
her dagger and made a pair of soles that would work, though not be very
comfortable. Years aboard a climate controlled starship with comfortable
shoes had given her sensitive feet.
Then they said our good-byes to the forest and struck out north along
the river. Neither of the two Red Men would look at her but she was
feeling better and another evening would flush her system enough to think
clearly so they'd have to tolerate her again. Or not for she knew
that if they hadn't been here with her, she could easily be dead in another
week of celibacy.
That first lunch break, Dar Moras stopped early and showed her a Mantilla
plant which looked a bit like an Earthly pineapple but larger than was
Eibhlin. “Here Eivleen Obreen, your skin is burning so rub this on
yourself,” he said as he cut a leaf free with his dagger then split it
and scooped the inside, mashed it to a pulp and handed it to her.
She rubbed the goop over her skin and her sunburn immediately stopped burning.
In a few days, her body would produce enough protection from the UV but
for now, this Mantilla juice would save her considerable pain and misery.
He also showed her how to cut a small scale free and allow the milky
sap to collect into their canteen for later use. So this was the
source of that milky-cheese she had been drinking from the Green Men!
Had she known about this plant, she could have had her fill from the beginning
for the plant was common in rocky hollows where it could collect air-borne
moisture and bask in the rock-absorbed heat. He also showed them
how to find the darkest and thickest of the ochre moss and to dig down
to find water. Or rather damp dirt that could be used to distill
water. And once, when the sky darkened pink, he rushed them to a
deep space where he soaked some silk in water and had everyone wrap it
around their faces as they waited out a sand-storm. Eibhlin was certain
that he saved her life in a dozen different ways, not including how to
use silk to filter the red sand and dirt from the river water before they
Along the way, she also insisted that he fence with her to improve her
skills for the Dances taught to her by Brount were proper moves that were
designed for meditational combat, they just weren't designed for a real
battle. So Dar Moras would show her how to use them in a real fight
and slowly she shifted from being a fencer to a fighter. Of course
his experience with the sword was centuries greater than her own and when
she won, it was only because she was stronger and faster and not because
of any skill. Once after she had disarmed him, he rubbed his wrist
and said, “You use that blade as if it were a club. I can see talent
there but you still need to think of it as a part of your arm and not something
you carry in your hand. Otherwise when you meet a real warrior, he'll
cut you down in an instant.”
“You sound as if you weren't a real warrior yourself? Are there
people better than you?” She asked. The man could give Brount
a run and win easily.
He laughed. “Me a warrior? Hardly. It's true I've
fought in my share of wars but I am far from a professional warrior and
my skill is but adequate. No, Eivleen Obreen, I am a flier mechanic
She laughed then, “Me too. Only I was trained to repair starships.
I only fight because I cannot find much of a job save as a technician and
sometimes I get bored soldering connections and tracing shorts.”
Here was a man who had more knowledge she could use. But when she
questioned him, she found that without a flier to study, much of what he
described was unintelligible to her. She did understand that the
fliers were wood and metal boats with flotation tanks that were filled
with some substance (gas or energy she couldn't understand the word) that
was pushed away from a gravity source. The greater concentration
of this buoyancy substance, the faster and higher the boat was pushed up.
Their engines used a concentrated fuel that lasted almost forever because
the spent fuel was returned to the tanks where it was recombined and refreshed
by mixture with the original fuel. It appeared that the fuel could
be reused a hundred times or more before it wore out or rather, lost its
radioactivity. She got the feeling that the fuel tank was a breeder
reactor that kept refreshing the spent radioactive fuel. Thus the
fuel of a single flier was almost limitless and rarely needed replacing.
The main problems were dust and sand clogging the fuel lines or parts wearing
out from sand damage. The Red Men built to last and many of the original
fliers constructed almost a thousand years ago were still in operation
unless destroyed in war or accident. She knew that she'd have to
study one of these fliers for what she think she understood made no sense
at all to her and she was certain that a physicist would say that it was
Unlike Earth or the Vanthi, the Red Men saw no use for a jet engine
for that would waste fuel in thrust while a propeller could re-use the
same fuel in an enclosed system. Still, some propeller-driven fliers
could almost reach a thousand miles an hour or so though three-hundred-fifty
miles was average. “On Jasoom, a 747 jet flies at around 600 haads
per zode with four jet engines that waste hundreds of gallons of fuel per
zode. You fly the same speed with a propeller and no fuel consumption.
I must look at your engines when we find one,” she insisted.
Lanor shook her head at that. “Eivleen Obreen, I can well believe
that you will never fit in as a woman on Barsoom. Between your desire
for combat, your lust for engines and technology and your need for.. carnal
acts, you are so different from a Red Woman that I fear we have nothing
Eibhlin hugged her then, chastely for her Need was gone for another
few weeks and cried, “I was raised to be a proper Irish wife and mother,
so I learned to spin, weave, sew and most other feminine values though
cooking was one I missed. Doubtless, had my mother not been sold
into slavery and my father not hanged and our home not burned, that is
exactly what I would be. But circumstances forced me into war and
technology and there I remain.” Then she thought and continued, “But
Lanor, my dear friend, I did try. Ten years ago on Jasoom, I met
a woman I loved with all my heart and soul. I tried to be a good
housewife to her but failed miserably for I found that robbing criminals
made more money and was more enjoyable than repairing broken televisions
and being a lover more pleasant than dusting which I hated.”
“Then, Eivleen Obreen, by all means take up the sword for with that
attitude you will never fit in with proper Red Woman society.”
After a week, she was done with the desert. Yes the mountains,
or rather broken hills were beautiful in their reds and browns and occasional
blues and greens but all were covered with reddish moss and after a few
days, they all looked alike. Three days out, they met a banth, one
of the ten legged lions that continued to rush them even though Dar Moras
emptied a half dozen rounds into the beast, each blowing away chunks of
meat and bone the size of her double fists. Damage that would kill
any Earthly beast was ignored by the thing that ran on even with both front
legs blown off. Finally Eibhlin cut it in half with her beamer and
regained consciousness with Lanor laving her face with river water for
she had been struck by the bottom half of the beast at a very high speed.
Another second and she'd have been killed as it died.
She was crying in relief as she awoke, “Dear Eivleen, she was terrified
that you were dead.” And she actually kissed her. For that kiss Eibhlin
would allow a dozen banths to strike her down.
“Then, Eivleen Obreen,” asked Dar Moras as he examined the body.
“If your weapon could kill so easily, why wait to use it?”
She sat, groaned for though she had denser bones, still a straw can
kill if thrown fast enough by a tornado, and answered, “My beamer isn't
a weapon but a cutter I use to get through starship hulls and replace plating.
Its range is normally inches, sofs, but can be extended to a dozen ads
(near a hundred feet) with some loss of cutting ability. At that
range it won't penetrate metal but flesh vanishes at its touch. The banth
moved too fast for me to adjust for range. I'll try to act faster
in the future.”
He laughed and cut the banth's claws and teeth free, “I wasn't complaining,
just curious. Do your people have weapons that are as effective at
“Ireland? No! Not in my time, though today most nations
on Jasoom do. War and hunting there never occur where you can see
your enemies eyes and so lacks the courage required by you Red Men.
Demons prefer to kill with claws but can easily destroy an entire planet
from a dozen light years away. I fear to ask what Demons and Mon
use in war today for when I am back in Demon Space, I do so three centuries
“You travel through time as well as space? That's amazing,” Lanor
“More trouble than you think. The Demons ensure that I never return
to their space much past her own time though they don't seem to care if
I visit Jasoom in my past, present or future. So I must always calculate
the Relativity Curve to ensure that I return to their space in my own time
lest I pass on dangerous knowledge. Though to tell the truth, the
Demons and Mon wining the Kris Wars is predictable and so why fear that
knowledge? Perhaps they fear me bringing weapons from this century
back in time to my own and help the Vanthi return to piracy.”
“Then you are now in your own future? You come from the past?”
“I am. I actually come from and live in the 17th century by Jasoomian
reckoning but it is now the late 20th or early 21st century there. That's
why I stopped trying to free my country. By now most of Ireland is
already free and soon will die when the planet is destroyed.”
“Was, Eivleen Obreen. Jasoom has already been destroyed.
I suppose you are farther into your future than you knew.” Dar Moras
“What mean you?” she demanded.
“About thirty five (Barsoom) years ago some of our scientists contacted
one of your governments via Gridley Wave and gave them considerable information.
They kept our existence a secret from their people but used the knowledge
we gave them to visit their own moon. Then a few years ago, a ship
from Barsoom left for Jasoom to contact the people and we announced it
to your planet. Shortly afterwards, we detected massive radioactive
explosions that decimated most of your world. We think they feared
us so much that they destroyed themselves rather than admit that they were
not alone in the universe. When the ship arrived, most life on your world
was dead and the remainder of the population was trying to barely survive
and attacked the ship which was never heard from again.”
Somehow this saddened Eibhlin. True, twenty years ago, her life-time,
she returned to Earth intending to free Ireland in her past time but the
relativity curve threw her into the future after humanity had destroyed
itself so she knew this was inevitable, but hearing it hurt. She
used the Stargate to go from Earth, early 21st century to Barsoom, mid-21st
century. This meant that She'd need to build a communicator that
would cross time as well as space to reach the Mairayd. It was no
longer a matter of waiting hours for her ship to cross from Earth to Mars
but maybe months or years? She knew she was thinking about her ship
to avoid thinking about the destruction of her homeworld but then, Earth
was no longer her home. In the forty-some years of her life, she
had spent less than half that on Earth and were she to appear as she was
now, they'd either burn her as a demon or werewolf or capture and vivisect
her as an alien, depending on which time she arrived. Still… she
had friends and lovers there who were destined to die and she was helpless
to save them.
The next couple days she was sad though both tried to cheer her up.
During this time they hid from two groups of Green Men who may or may not
have been looking for them then they were discovered not by Green Men but
by Red. There were six of them on thoats, the eight legged horses
but unlike the monsters ridden by the Green Men, these were the height
of a real horse though in profile they were twice as long and much thinner.
Also these were controlled by reigns as much as by thought. Dar Moras
explained it was to prevent an enemy from controlling your mount in battle.
The group surrounded the three travelers and after looking them over,
demanded to know their intentions. Dar Moras answered for all, “We
are visitors who were captured by the Green men until Eivleen Obreen here
rescued us. Now we simply seek a place to rest and to make our way
home. We are asking only the width of the desert for the length of time
it takes us to cross your lands.”
The group looked the three over and the padwar asked, “And you, Eivleen
Obreen, a strange name for a strange race. You look more like a cross
between a Thern and a moorouk than a real person. What is your story!”
She didn't like his attitude and was tired of being laughed at so retorted
in anger, “I am the LADY Eibhlin UiBhrian, a Princess of Eire and so demand
due respect from a commoner like yourself.”
Lanor whispered, “You are a Princess, I didn't suspect and apologize
Eibhlin waved her away and stared at the mounted men for she didn't
need a distraction. Then one of the men laughed and said, “A princess of
arboks I would say. Look at her, she has a tail like one of the creatures
of Gooli in the Marshes. Come here, creature, have you a pouch too?”
This was to much so Eibhlin jumped the dozen feet that separated them
and pulled him from his thoat and to the ground yelling, “When you speak
of me, do so politely and when you speak to me, don't!”
Instantly the man was up with his blade out crying, “calot! I'll
use your pelt as a bed covering!” and thrust at her. Eibhlin had
her blade out and easily blocked for the man was no decent swordsman.
Then she heard Dar Moras call out, “Lady Obreen, don't kill him!”
as his padwar called out, “Lower your blade, she is a woman!” for Red Men
do not raise their blades against a woman, even one as alien as was the
The man retorted, “The beast wears a sword, it has given away all protection
of her sex,” and thrust again.
Now she was angry and blocked, deflected, stepped in and slamming her
blade against his belly, stepped through and cut him in twain with a simple
draw-cut. Without looking at what she did she went on guard facing
the other five and cried out, “Any others wish to join this peasant?
Come forward for you can die no sooner.”
The padwar stared and called, “Enough Lady. He was crass and deserved
death. I would have killed him myself as I see your companion
would also with his drawn blade. You did the job only because you
were faster than we. But it is over if you would wish for I judge
the killing to be honorable.”
She forced herself to calm down then cleaned her sword on the silk of
the dead man and sheathed it saying, “Agreed. I have no quarrel with
you or your nation. If you will let us go our way, I shall consider
this matter closed.”
Then Dar Moras called, “Padwar, a word please.” He was sheathing
his own blade for she estanned his intent to kill the man himself for insulting
one of his charges. “As said, we are simply passing through on our
way home. But if your city is nearby, perhaps we could visit and
seek employment to earn tanpi for supplies or even a flier to our own nations?”
“We are not a war so need no panthans. What else can you do that
is honest?” Since theft is unknown on Barsoom, he was probably thinking
of gorthans, the assassins and kidnappers of Barsoom who plague the cities.
“I am a flier engineer and the Lady Eivleen Obreen has knowledge of
advanced technology. We can offer these skills and promise to obey
your laws while in your city.”
And so were we admitted to the city of Arlas on the shores of the Koal
River which branched from the Iss and wound its way to the southwest to
enter the Koal Forest some hundred fifty haads southwest from where the
Iss enters that same forest. Arlis was on a bend that was near the
hills that bordered the southern edge of the Toonolian Marsh and was one
of many independent city-states that owed loyalty to none and sought no
foreign entanglements that would risk the wrath of larger empires.
Both Lanor and Eibhlin were given the thoat of the man she had killed
while Dar Moras had to ride double with another man. When she asked
Lanor why this was when we lighter women could ride double with a soldier
and ease the load of Dar Moras’ mount she replied, “Because Princess, it
wouldn't be seemly for an unattached woman to ride behind a man not her
protector or chieftain.” Eibhlin admitted she wished to be both for
her dear Red Woman and thrilled with Lanor's arms about her waist as she
learned to ride the new mount.
Soon they reached the walls of the city, the first the Irish had seen,
and after seeing the cities of Londinium and Edward and even Earth, it
wasn't overly impressive. It was high-walled with massive round gates
at the four quarters but smaller ones scattered about. It was to
one of the larger they approached and when there, the Padwar called for
the officer of the gate to whom he explained the situation in total honesty,
explaining how they had found us, how his man had insulted and challenged
the alien Weir and how she had killed him. Then the Dwar looked us over
and called for us to dismount and follow him which they did.
The group entered the Dwar's office where he took everyone's statements
then leaned on his elbows and looked Eibhlin over until she blushed in
embarrassment. The last weeks she had almost forgotten she was naked
but now became concerned with her state of undress and she tried to move
her hair to cover her chest though it was inches too short. He stared
at her breasts not in lust but in amazement for no Red Woman was near as
large as was she, a fact she learned later on. On Barsoom, anything
the size of a fist was considered large and here was she easily thrice
that size. This fact attracted unwanted attention on Earth for though
she was larger than most human women being what the Americans call a ‘small
D-Cup’, she was still not grossly huge by Earth standards. He tried
to not stare at her tail or hands, ears, eyes or antennae though.
she suppose had her own father showed up with horns and four arms, she'd
notice his saucer-sized eyes before anything else, so accustomed are we
with normal attributes that enlarging these would be stranger than additional
He did force himself to look over her weapons which looked out of place
on the harness and body of a woman, noting her two-handled sword of alien
design and beamer which failed to match the remainder of her blades and
revolver. “Lady Eivleen Obreen,” he asked. “Can you hold that
revolver with your hands?”
She pulled the weapon, both thumbs curling in opposition to her remaining
three fingers and commented, “I can but not well, Dwar. I suppose
I should have a better grip made for me when I can afford it.”
He laughed at that and the tension ended, “I was just curious.
Excuse me for staring but I have never seen anyone like you and it is my
task to determine threats to my city. Not only do you possess features
that are unknown among any race I have seen, those you do have are… exaggerated
and I cannot read any thought in your mind. Here is the name of a
hostel that caters to foreigners. If you move, you must notify me
immediately. Have you any money?”
Dar Moras mentioned, “We have some, but it won't go far.” He lay
the money he had on the table. The coins were all oval and the same
size though their thickness differed and some few were gold while most
were silver and bronze. The thinner bronze were pi and valued about
a penny, the silver were teepi or ten pi and the gold were tanpi or 100
pi. The thinner were one tanpi, the thicker ten tanpi and she learned
that there were even thicker 100 tanpi coins.
The Dwar looked them over then exchanged them for identical looking
coins but with the face of the current Jed or king of Arlis. Then he thought
and looked at her and said, “I will give you a loan to ensure you remain
honest. Repay it when you can for my interest is less than the money-changers.”
Never had she met a race as honest as these Red Men.
Then he handed them papers and said, “Princess Eivleen Obreen of Eire,
Lanor of Ptarth and Dar Moras of Talum, you are authorized to remain in
Arlis for no more than a teean (month). If you choose to or must
remain longer, return here that she may update your papers. Thank
you and good visit.”
“Thank you Dwar,” Dar Moras said as the women smiled to him. And
that was that. Eibhlin knew people who had to spend six months arguing
and begging and bribing for a visa to America because they came from a
country America didn't trust. This was so simple but then despite
the natural distrust the Barsoomian had for any and all foreigners, once
accepted, matters happened quickly. So from his office they were
taken to a room where a camera took their photo and measured their height
and weight at the same time and impressed this image on the identity papers.
Copies of these were sent to a number of government offices and she supposed
any noble could call for them for another interview if he so desired.
They retired immediately to the hostel they were assigned to and checking
in were given rooms on different floors. Eibhlin wanted them all
to remain together but was told, “Women and men never stay on the same
floor unless they are married.” The first floor was the desk clerk
and the automated restaurant with the sleeping rooms above that.
Married couples had separate rooms on the third floor, men on the fourth
and women on the fifth with the roof being a landing pad for fliers.
She never saw the inside of the man's room but was told it was similar
to the woman's which was a dormitory where there were simply rows of beds
with a deck and trunk assigned to each bed. The two lay the silks
and furs they were given at the desk on the bed, placed their belongings
on the desk or in the trunk, neither of which could be locked and never
worried about anyone stealing them. At least Lanor never worried.
Having been born in Ireland during the British occupation and lived among
the Pirate Vanthi and in Los Angeles, Eibhlin wasn't as trusting.
There were female slaves, most of which were naked with a collar but
a few had jewelry or a loincloth or short skirt which were gifts of guests
and who patrolled the floor. One introduced herself to us, kneeling
on the floor, looking down with her waist length hair hiding almost everything
and said, “Princess, Mistress, if it pleases you, my name is Anora.
Please call upon her for anything you need.”
Lanor mostly ignored her saying, “A bath would be nice.” To which after
leaving most of her weapons on her bed and taking only her sword and beamer,
they followed Anora to another room where she helped the two travelers
strip naked, then she bathed them with cloths and washed their hair only
after which were they allowed to soak in the common bath. Water,
it seems was too precious even on the river, to waste by plunging in while
dirty. Women were washed by slaves outside the tub and entered to
relax only when clean. Their harness, silks and jewelry were then
cleaned and washed by Anora as they soaked. “One of the things I miss about
Jasoom is that I could bathe in hot water all day and every day if I wished.
Aboard my ship I washed in five gallons of recycled water.”
Lanor laughed at this, “This is the first real bath I have had in near
two months. I know I was beginning to stink before we found the Koal
“My dear,” Eibhlin replied, “Even at your worst you smelled wonderful
to me. I, however, must have stank like a horse!”
“I don't know what a horse is but you did stink a bit,” she laughed.
Red Men, it seemed, used a different method of cooling than sweat or maybe
they sweated very little compared to humans and Weir.
Other women entered and joined them, all staring at Eibhlin and asking
questions. ‘Where are you from?’ ‘Does everyone look like you?’ ‘What
do you use your tail for?’ ‘Why are your breasts so grossly huge?’
‘You are a princess?’ ‘It’s fascinating how your eyes open and close
in the light and dark like a sorak.’ ‘What are your antenna for?’
‘Can you use your tail like fingers?’ ‘Your hair is so straight and
short (below her shoulders) and your pubic hair so lush and thick, are
all your women like that?’ ‘Why are you armed? Have you no men to
protect you?’ and so on. A hundred questions and no answers
that satisfied any of them much. But they did impress upon her a
lot of jewelry and if she mentioned that she liked the nail polish of one
woman, a dozen other women would call for a slave to fetch their own cosmetic
case and her nails would be done and she'd be given a vial of the stuff
in any colour she could imagine. She wasn't used to this much attention
even in Ireland when she had servants, and over the last couple decades
Finally as Anora was drying them and dressing the two, Lanor whispered
to her companion with some embarrassment, “it isn't a disgrace for you
to ask the slave girl to … service you, though a tip afterwards is customary.”
It seemed that a free man or woman must be celibate or faithful but what
was done between master and slave didn't matter at all. Plus a slave
could own property and saved their tips and gifts in the hope of buying
their own freedom.
Eibhlin curled her tail around and used it to raise Anora's face to
hers, actually to lower it for she was inches taller then her own five
foot but the slave always looked to the floor around them, and so she smiled
at her. Then she leaned forward and whispered, “I am told you are
available to my more physical needs. Is this true and pleasing to you?”
She looked at the Irish woman, then without breaking eye contact, raised
the sensitive tip of Eibhlin's tail to her lips, kissed it and gave it
a flick with her tongue and whispered back, “I await the Princess’ call.”
Then she looked down again but Eibhlin thought she saw the hint of a smile
there. A woman every few days would keep her alive as easily as a
man and be much more pleasant.
As they returned to the dorm, she asked Lanor, “How did you know?”
She laughed, “Your tail. All women are curious about what you
can do with that. I simply noticed how the slave stared and licked
“And you, dear Lenor, are you curious too?”
“That, Princess Eivleen Obreen, we will not discuss for I am a free
woman and widowed and unmarried."
They met Dar Moras for a late dinner on the first floor and discussed
their options. They weren't much. Arlis was at peace so had
no need for panthans though body-guards were always in demand. He
would seek employment as a flier mechanic the next day but cautioned her
to not follow for women would not be hired no matter how capable they were.
In short, both Lanor and Eibhlin would be expected to remain here, be a
good girl and allow their man to care for them. Eibhlin had no problem
with that for the American ways of Sexual Equality was not as she was raised,
but she knew that she would get bored very quickly just associating with
the women, bathing, talking, visiting as Lanor found to be normal so asked,
“If kidnapping is so common that we have armed guards outside our dorm,
why do they not arm the female slaves inside?” She knew the answer
but wanted it mentioned.
“Because, aside from you and a very very few female panthans, women
do not go about armed and men are not allowed in a woman's sleeping quarters.”
”Then her dear friends, I shall be the first and hire myself out to
guard women for I can go into their bed-chambers.”
Lanor was shocked but Dar Moras laughed, “That you may do. I shall
put the word out tomorrow. But do not expect many replies.”
“I don't see why not. It seems that I offer the best of all worlds.
I can fight and being a woman can attend my charge anywhere, including
the bath, and being a Tierna, can attend royal functions whereas a common
“Still, Princess Eivleen Obreen, you are still only a woman and custom
He was right. Within a week he had found employment repairing
the fliers in a nearby hanger but she did not. So to while away the
time, for she found woman's banter to be as useless as she found it to
be in Ireland, she helped Dar Moras work on the fliers and learned the
Barsoom technology during the day as she pursued Lanor's affections each
evening with the determination she used to hunt British soldiers in Ireland.
Her one enjoyment during this time was that Anora was a willing and
enthusiastic lover. True, she expected a tip after each encounter
which made her a whore and Eibhlin her John or Jane but the alternative
was her own fingers and tail and without privacy, that was unworkable.
Anora knew the hideaways where they could sneak away for minutes or hours
for though Eibhlin climaxed easily and near instantly when she had time
to think about the event, she enjoyed the long kisses and caresses before
and during and afterwards. Men just want to get it in and over with
but women take time. On Earth there is a saying that a Lesbian quickie
is four hours and a Lesbian second date is moving in together. Here
she found that Anora would see her walking, pull her into a closet and
finger or tongue her to climax almost instantly as she knew that people
were walking outside, mere sofads away. Or she would approach, kneel before
her the dutiful slave and request her appearance at a certain place which
would be a nice room with silks and furs and candles and perfumes and she
would leave hours later, satiated.
Eibhlin felt bad about giving her money so arranged to have small bags
of coins left on her pallet in the slave quarters at odd times so she wouldn't
feel that she was selling her body or Eibhlin buying it, both of which
were true. There was one time when Eibhlin insisted upon an encounter
and Anora demurred but finally agreed only to find that a man had been
there shortly before. Eibhlin stifled her anger for really, Anoa wasn't
her wife or girlfriend, only a woman she rented and that taught her that
she also rented herself to others. After that, when Anora begged
off, she let her. That night as she lay there on her bed next to
Lanor's pallet she whispered to her friend more for someone to listen to
her than any other need, “I know I have no exclusive rights to her but
still, knowing or rather discovering that way that she had been with another,
a man, upset me. Still, for a few years I had as lovers Cyndi and
Kevin who were married and I shared them. Not caring that he was with her
just before I was with her so why is this time different?”
Lanore never answered but she did listen and never judged her out loud
though Eibhlin could estann her tensing when she spoke. But still she listened
and that as what she needed though she wished daily that she would succumb
to her seductions and she could forget Anora. But though they ate
meals together, shopped together and spent much quality time with each
other, Lanor made it clear that she saw in her naught more than a friend.
V: PHUNDAHL HILLS
You may ask how Eibhlin was able to pay for her room, meals and her
sexual activities when she had no employment and the answer is simple.
In the baths, she became quite famous as the strange warrior Princess from
Erie who traveled about the planets. So she would bathe, answer questions
and tell tales of her adventures on other worlds. The incident with
the Green Pirates terrified the women while her romance with Jean saddened
them. And afterwards, they would reward her tales and attentions
with coin and jewelry. It wasn't much for Arlis wasn't as large and
wealthy as Ptarth or Helium but when she wandered about the city and talked
in a eatery, she never wanted for food or wine. The wine she drank
in moderation for her stools ran green and loose afterwards such was her
allergy and so she never became drunk on Barsoom. Then she would
keep her favorite pieces of jewelry, necklaces, rings, bracelets for arm
and leg and sell not only what she didn't want to keep but also some of
the larger Green Man pieces for she found that wearing the metal of the
Green men she had killed enhanced her reputation.
She couldn't pierce her ears though, for her body healed too fast and
would fester about the earrings until she was forced to remove them.
Nor was she able to wear much jewelry on her tail for the taper caused
all rings and bracelets to fall off as she moved and the muscles and tendons
flexed. Then one woman suggested that she wear clip-on earrings and
tie a light golden chain to her waist and wrap that around her tail as
a net sleeve with gemstones and devices here and there and for the first
time, she could decorate that beloved member. Plus it was free so
long as she told people which shop had made it for her.
When she tired of the endless prattle of the women of Arlis, for they
talked of nothing but marriage, gossip and other matters that had no interest
with the alien, she would seek out Dar Moras and assist him in his labours
in the hanger. At first the other Red men saw in her just a strange
looking woman with a curiosity about fliers then one day when she crawled
from inside after replacing a cable, covered with grease, Dar Moras told
the observers, “She has a talent for engineering that I find valuable.
Besides, her employer gets two workers for the price of one and she is
small enough to crawl into places I cannot.” Then she would discuss
the job and soon was accepted by the others as a capable mechanic though
were she human or rather a Red Woman, this would have been impossible.
Her alien features opened for her doors that were normally closed to a
And so she survived though not well but she had a room in which to sleep,
food to eat and a lover of sorts and she had her friends who would soon
return to their homelands. Finally the time came when Dar Moras
was paid to deliver a flier to Ptarth which is exactly what he had been
seeking and soon they were in the air covering the 6700 haads west to Ptarth.
Dar Moras climbed slowly to allow her to see the desert and the hills
bordering the Marshes and the sight took her breath away. Some of
the smaller hills were revealed to be impact craters from ancient meteors
and the curvature of the larger hills suggested the same. The Barsoom
word for ‘valley’ was better translated as ‘crater’ and though true valleys
did exist here, there appeared to be no real continental plates and so
lacking plate tectonics, the only true mountains were ancient or volcanic.
Soon though she was gasping for breath and Lanor called to Dar Moras
to drop lower for she was suffocating. At a much lower altitude,
Dar Moras set the Destination Compass for Ptarth and both cared for her
asking, “What's the matter? We weren't high enough to suffocate.”
Gasping, she tried to think, “I was born on a heavier world with thicker
atmosphere. Your air is maybe a third of what I am used to. I was
able to breathe in the low desert but this high, the air is too thin to
support me. I'm sorry but to continue with you we must fly lower.”
“Nothing to it then but to fly at a lower altitude. Keep watch,
though, for Green Men who would do to us what they did to our original
flier.” His words made Lanor blanch for she still carried the scars
of their torture both on her body and within her mind.
“Then dear Dar Moras, fly higher and I will tell you when I can no longer
They rose slowly but it didn't take long before she had to gasp, “enough,”
to him. It seemed that the air thinned out quickly and so the Navy
and mountain climbing would be barred to her on this world. Lanor
tried to joke about it, “With a chest as huge as is yours, I wonder that
your lungs are so small and weak.”
Rather than become angry she laughed back. “Would that this was
true, but you Red Women, being egg-layers, have no need for breasts other
than as another means to differentiate between the sexes. Humans
are live-bearers who birth helpless young and our breasts are mostly fat
and possess milk glands that feed the baby. But when the Demons changed
me, they also changed her breasts. Before my milk glands were tied
to my blood system for food. Now they are tied to my breast fat which
is more nutritious than my normal body fat. It seems that when I
have babies, a normal woman wouldn't be able to produce enough milk for
the child so my body creates and stores food in my breasts to feed the
child which is why they are so much larger than before.
“They do get in the way a lot,” she added then laughed, “though here
they weigh almost nothing and make excellent flotation when I swim.”
Eibhlin weighed less than a hundred pounds on Earth and her breasts felt
like half that. On Barsoom her total weight was nearer thirty-eight
pounds and her breasts felt almost weightless though the reduced air pressure
and gravity made them swell larger and lift higher than before. Then
she had to stop talking for even that explanation tired her and caused
her to pant for air.
A little over a zode later Dar Moras changed course to the south to
avoid another city. “I would move north where the Marshes are and
avoid the desert which is the home of the Green Men but both Toonol and
Phundahl own the Marsh and I would the more avoid their navies.
Another few zodes and they reached the hills that curved down from the
western edge of the Toonol Marsh then up to meet the snow-capped Artolian
Hills. “We seek a low pass to cross into the plains for on the other
side of these hills is Talum and beyond that Ptarth which rules much of
He slowed the flier even more and both Lanor and Eibhlin kept to their
spyglass searching for Green Men and other dangers as their pilot sought
a low area in the hills. Normally he would simply fly over them but
with Eibhlin's infirmity, he must choose another way and soon they were
moving slowly through the hills which were real hills, eroding away by
wind and sand and so the shapes were beautiful and fantastic. Here
one that resembled a mushroom, there an arch and another that could have
been a face carved such was the whim of nature. For such a small
planet, the sights here were far more fantastic than any on Earth.
They flew slow and low and any Green Man in those hills could have simply
tossed a rock down onto them if he wished but Lanor told Eibhlin, “The
Green Men prefer the deserts and rarely enter the hills save the occasional
raiding party.” But it wasn't a Green Man that attacked them.
They were cruising very slow between two hills and as the flier passed
under one of the beautiful stone arches that took her breath away with
their beauty, she failed to notice the movement upon the bridge.
Suddenly the flier tipped and near rolled as a White Ape landed upon the
stern. It grasped the deck with arboreal feet and its intermediary
limbs as Eibhlin did the same with her similar feet and tail but Lanor
wasn't as lucky. Unlike Dar Moras who was strapped into the pilot's
chair, she near fell overboard and survived only because Eibhlin was able
to grasp her harness with one hand. So Lanor hung over the edge and
Eibhlin held onto her with one hand, grasping the rail with feet, tail
and her other hand, and as Dar Moras fought to steady the flier and prevent
a crash, the White Ape moved forward, holding on with six limbs though
once in reach it would use its two upper arms to grasp and kill the passengers.
They say that the White Ape is the only thing that instills terror into
the Green Man and seeing this one Eibhlin could well believe that for the
thing was thrice her height, even taller than a Green Man and though white
skinned and hairless, it had muscles that were far greater than it needed.
Its ape-like face and shock of bristle hair on its skull was why John Carter
called it an ‘ape’ for the Barsoomian word was untranslatable other than
it was a cognate with ‘terror’ or ‘nightmare’ so ‘white terror’ would be
a better description.
Only the twisting and bucking of the flier as Dar Moras fought to steady
the craft in the updrafts and shifting weights of the passengers and invader
prevented the beast from attacking faster than it did for it must release
one limb to seek another hold before advancing another and that slowed
the beast. On flat ground or a larger flier, it would have charged
and killed them all so only the small size and poor movement of the flier
saved the crew. But Dar Moras was so busy trying to steady the craft
he was ignorant of the beast and Eibhlin was too occupied holding onto
Lanor to do much else save hold on herself.
At that time she thanked the Demons for making her into what she was
for were she still human, both Lanor and herself would have gone over the
side and it was only the adaptations created for climbing around a starship
in zero-gravity that saved them both. Pressed against the side holding
Lanor who was twisting in the wind (she weighed a bare forty pounds but
the wind and rocking made it seem more) she couldn't reach her beamer or
the revolver that had been modified for her grip, so she had to release
the hull and draw her sword, trusting to her feet and tail to keep them
As the beast moved into range, she cut hard and the demon poly-steel
with a near molecular edge severed the hand that was holding the rail.
Perhaps had the limb been free, she might have only cut or broken the wrist
but braced as it was, she easily cut it free. Now the beast roared
in anger and grabbed at its bleeding stump with its other hand which she
also severed. It lunged forward and instead of leaning back as it
expected, she thrust forward into its maw and near two feet of the blade
penetrated the back of its neck as if forced itself to her. She held
onto the handle with all her might and twisted as the monster shook its
head and blood burst from mouth and wound then her sword cut free, severing
the juggler and throat. At least if it killed her now, it wouldn't
be able or swallow.
Then she gave up all pretense of fencing and just hacked away at its
head and face as it continued to approach. Without hands, and with
the rocking of the flier to occupy its feet and intermediary limbs, it
could only fight with its fangs which were as long as her dagger.
Blood was everywhere, the thing was blind from her cuts and then inches
from her face, its breath stinking of rotten meat, it shuddered and fell
over the edge to strike the ground but a few feet below. Eibhlin
immediately dropped her sword to the deck and grasping the rail, swung
the object of her desire back over the rail and onto the slippery deck
hoping that Lanor was still alive for the entire time from when she had
grasped her, only a single scream had escaped her lovely lips.
Then gasping for breath, she sat on the deck as Dar Moras was able to
bring the flier under control now that their unwelcome passenger had left.
He brought the craft to a stop and landed on a flat place between some
rocks then turned to call out, “Is everyone safe… by Isis what happened
there?” as he saw the blood covering Eibhlin and the craft.
Gasping from the altitude and exertion, she held up a severed hand and
called, “We had an unexpected passenger but he didn't like the service
or maybe the food disagreed with him and he left,” then she tossed the
limb over the side and collapsed with hysterical laughter.
Lanor joined her and when she could talk again, Dar Moras searching
them both for injury, asked, “I thought you were unconscious or dead?”
“No dear, once I felt you grasp my harness I ceased to struggle or scream
fearing that anything I did would hinder your attempts to pull me aboard.
And when I saw the white ape, I almost undid my harness fearing that you
couldn't save both me and yourself and would rather sacrifice my own life
to save yours.” She sighed and continued, “but there was so much
pressure on my leather that I could not undo the buckles and so had to
hang there hoping that you could do something. I had hoped you would
hang me from a stantion and use your revolver or beamer on the beast but
it seems that you are a better swords-woman than I thought.”
“Not better, stronger, and fear gives even more strength. But
we still live and that is the important thing.”
“Dar Moras,” she suggested, “Perhaps we should continue on and clean
the flier when away from these dangerous hills?”
“An excellent suggestion and we are near through.” And he returned to
the controls shaking in fear for the women for it wasn't the Way of the
red Man to allow as woman to do the fighting while he did other matters.
They crew soon was past the hills and a zode later they had much of
the blood cleaned though the new owner would have to pay for a good washing.
“I hope he doesn't deduct the cleaning bill from your fee,” Lanor called
to their pilot who laughed back at her jest.
They approached a waterway that was miles wide and stretched into the
distance. “This waterway stretches from Talum to the northeast then
east to pass the Marsh to their north. We just follow it to Talum
then another waterway to Ptarth and our journey will be at an end.”
The waterway was not the canal envisioned by the astronomers but a huge
covered pipe that stretched from the north ice cap to various cities along
the way. Water was taken from this pipe to feed the roots of the crops
which grew in a wide band along its length. Nobles would patrol the
waterway on thoat keeping peace and defending the valuable vegetation from
desperate men and animals. It kept the nobility busy and out of the palace
and so prevented trouble and guarded the crops upon which the cities depended.
Plus as valour was so important to the Red Men, it offered the Nobility
a chance to earn honours and impress the ladies of the court.
Dar Moras soon saw a large building and landed to give his name and
city and the reason for the foreign flier in Ptarth lands for Empires here
were linear and followed the waterways and not circular as on Earth or
in space. Wars on Barsoom were fought over water and farmlands, not
a few acres of desert as would be the case on Earth. Thus you could
have two antagonistic empires a hundred miles apart and they would be at
peace if no waterway connected them. If there was a waterway, such
as between Ptarth and Talum, the weaker would eventually be conquered by
the stronger and absorbed into the Empire.
A zode later we landed in Talum where Dar Moras was met outside the
city by a naval flier who tied us to their larger craft and questioned
us at length until he was satisfied that Dar Moras and Lanor were citizens
and Eibhlin was no threat to the Empire of Ptarth. Then they proceeded
on the land in a rooftop hanger in the building where Dar Moras’ family
After tying the craft down and arraigning tie-down fees, he led us to
an elevator that used magnets and not cables to move up and down.
Eibhlin's antennae, being sensitive to em-fields, ached whenever she was
in the thing and she would prefer stairs or ladders had the Red Men any
Dar Moras introduced them to his mother and father, both of whom looked
to be in their twenties though both were centuries old and after hearing
how she had saved their son from the Green Men and banth and white ape,
they showered her with gifts and praises until she thought that she would
die from embarrassment. Irish love to brag about themselves but somehow
Eibhlin found this attention to be different. They did insist that
she tell them about her life and adventures until she begged to sleep from
exhaustion and then she was given a private room, her first on Barsoom
and she didn't even remember undressing and falling into bed.
She awoke late to breakfast and had to refuse much of the delicacies
offered for her digestion wouldn't handle them and she must answer as many
questions as before.
The worst of it as when they asked “Eivleen Obreen, have you no family
or husband to care for you that you must take up the sword?”
She hated this part, “Had I a normal life, I would be dead a grandmother
by now for we marry by our 14th year (Jasoomian time), pop out babies almost
immediately and are usually dead by forty. I think I was engaged
for I seem to recall my parents discussing some boy from another part of
Antrim but then my mother was taken and sold as a slave and then our house
burned and my father hanged so I took up the fight to free my land that
he could not.”
On Barsoom, Red Men remain in their eggs for five years as they grow
to near adulthood so as Eibhlin ceased to age at seventeen, she resembled
one of their youths but a few months from her shell though how it was possible
for an egg to grow from a small chicken's egg to one large enough for a
near adult she had no idea. It seemed to be impossible but it happened.
Then the youth was tamed, taught and matured at forty years, her current
age, then stopped aging until near their thousandth year.
“I suppose I would be a disgrace to my Clan for at 40, I am neither
married, virgin nor proper woman.” she laughed at that. Even her
own family would probably disown her were they to see her today.
Then she was rescued by Dar Moras who had cleaned the flier and informed
his parents that they must continue on to Ptarth and so left the family
and soon were in the air again.
By flier, Ptarth was but a zode and a bit along the waterway and they
met the Ptarth navy long before they saw the city. Dar Moras showed
his papers to the officers who stared at Eibhlin, not the papers then they
waved him on.
Ptarth was huge and crowded. The city was walled and unable to
build out so they built up. As they flew over, she saw at least three sets
of inner walls, each marking the edges of the city as it was older and
smaller for Ptarth had been founded on the foothills some 75 thousand years
“Seventy-five THOUSAND?” she called out. “That's older than the human
race on Jasoom.” Though to be honest she saw a Demon city that was
inhabited thirty million years old so she don't know why she was amazed.
“I was born in a house that was built four hundred years before and all
my ancestors were born in that same home before the English burned it.
My house was older than was Jean's country and she thought fifty years
was an antique. But 75,000 years is totally unimaginable to me.”
“Eivleen, her dear, my home was built eight thousand years ago and is
far from old.” Lanor explained. “My bed is four thousand years ago
and this ring I wear is twenty thousand years old and is far from an antique.
We are a long-lived race who build to last and so rarely have need for
new items as you tell me is common on Jasoom.”
They landed on another roof-top hanger for in a walled city, this was
the only place for aircraft to land and Dar Moras turned the newly cleaned
flier over to its owner and collected his fee. Then they took another
elevator down to the ground (another headache) where they took a ground
flier to the home of Lanor. These ground fliers resembled an automobile
in the same way an auto resembles a horse-drawn wagon. But they rolled
along on huge tires and the ride was totally smooth and comfortable.
Air traffic flew overhead in lanes and once again she marveled at the country
that had firearms with nuclear rounds but preferred the sword, had aircraft
and anti-gravity but rode horses, had a technology that rivaled and exceeded
Earth but preferred a simpler life.
Her house, being ‘only’ 8,000 years ago was in one of the newer parts
of Ptarth but had its own walls and guards who immediately let us in when
she was recognized. And by the time we exited the ground-flier, slaves
were at the door to aid us and carry our limited baggage inside.
One female who she saw was a slave only because of her collar for she wore
the harness and jewelry of any Red Woman flung herself into Lanor's arms
crying that they had heard of the attack and feared she was dead.
“Your father was so angry with himself for allowing you to go on that expedition
he will probably never allow you out of this home ever again.”
“That is fine with me, I have had enough adventure to last me a lifetime.”
Then her parents and family met them in the main visiting room and all
tried to be proper and dignified but upon seeing the scars on their daughter's
body, fell apart and cried as they held her. Dar Moras ignored this
display for unlike many Earthly races, the Red Men weep openly and hug
their loved ones in public. Eibhlin supposed that when your children
live for centuries, the bonds of love run deep. Would her own children
be as loving after four centuries? Could she remain married to the
same woman for that long, she watching her wife take an endless stream
of male lovers to remain alive and sire her babies? And how many
children would she have over the centuries? One every few years or
one every century for she had no idea of how her reproductive biology worked.
When pregnant would her Need end? Or would she wish her children would
move out after a few decades? Would she even remember her children's names
and faces as the centuries rolled by? Twenty years ago that Mon Starfleet
officer recognized her as a Weir so there must be others like her.
Perhaps the Demons had been taking and changing humans for a thousand years.
She had just been too busy to seriously search for them so resolved to
search out others like her when she left Barsoom to answer these questions.
Yes, a lesbian Weir, each satisfying the other with tail and lips sounded
very … desirable to her.
She had a lot of time to think these thoughts for her parents examined
every scar and injury given to her by the Green Men and cried over them
all. Eibhlin had forgotten they existed and saw only the beauty of
her former self. Finally they were done and she tried to stifle their tears
with introductions, “Mother, Father, this is the Princess Eivleen Obreen
of Ireland who rescued her from the Green Men and many other dangers.
And this is Dar Moras who also fought for me and returned me to your arms.
Please offer them the hospitality of our home for as long as they wish
to remain. Lady Eivleen Obreen and Dar Moras, this is my father,
Odwar Bimos Lan and my mother Ullia Tome.”
Eibhlin tried to curtsey to them but they would have nothing of it and
she had to explain, “I'm not really a Princess but I am a Noble for the
rank of a Tierna in Ireland rises and falls with the number of other Tierna
who swear fealty to you and right now,” she laughed, “That number is about…
none. Though my mother and father are both descended a few centuries
from the Great Jeddak Brian Boru for whom I, my family and Clan is named.”
“Then to us you are a Princess and a Princess you shall remain for the
blood of Jeddaks flows in your veins and your courage and nobility are
those that any Jeddak would admire. Our home is yours, our slaves
yours and all that we have is yours.”
Dar Moras remained a guest for a few days then returned to his home
and former employment though on another ship. Eibhlin stayed a couple
weeks then became too embarrassed with all the attention though Lanor did
find her a couple attractive female slaves to bed her as she wished and
even found a male slave “for when your Need arises, my dear Eivleen.”
Ever since the White Ape incident she had become far more friendly and
personal but still refused Eibhlin's advances, though with good humor saying,
“My dear Eivleen, had I any desire for a woman, you would be the one. But
for now let us be friends and sisters.”
Eibhlin tried romance. She tried being her friend. She tried
everything, even wishing Lanor would be kidnapped so she could rescue her
and during their trials as she returned her to her family, she would learn
to love her for her acts, but nothing worked and the two remained just
Finally all good things must end and Eibhlin went to her saying, “My
dear Lanor, I love you and your family has made me feel so welcome it pains
me to say this but, I need more freedom. I enjoyed the dances and
your friends but really, I am not a pampered pet and must seek adventure
but so long as I remain here, I will never find my way. Please watch
over the communicator I built so when my ship arrives she can find me but
if I remain here, I'll become a lady seeking marriage and I want to see
more of your world and must live on my own to do so. But I will visit
often for I love you so.”
They both cried and held each other then Eibhlin walked out with her
jewelry, weapons, kit, a little money and her harness and sought her own
life in the city of Ptarth.
The only thing worse than being unemployed is being unemployed on a
strange planet that has few prospects for female employment.
Eibhlin's ship was probably still in orbit around Earth and fueled for
she had taken the precaution of skimming the gas giant to refuel before
coming to Barsoom though she hoped it had received her signal and was fast
approaching. She even had plenty of water on board for the same reason
but food was a concern because of two reasons, the first being that she
had little cash and the second being that most Barsoomian food disagreed
with her and aside from Mantilla milk and Usa fruit, most would make her
sick in time. She enjoyed the Barsoomian wine but suffered on the
toilet the next day. Yes, once the Mairayd responded to her signal
and arrived she could reach Earth easily in a few hours or days but then
how would she buy the supplies she'd need to reach Demon/Mon Space.
She could easily sell her military skills and technology to earn whatever
she needed but… the temptation for the local Earth-humans to try to take
her ship and her for their own use would be too great for them to resist
and she had no desire to be vivisected. At least on Barsoom, they
had a belief that a person's property belonged to the person and not to
the state. So no matter how much they wanted her starship and her
Beamer and other advanced technology aboard the Mairayd, they'd not take
it. Also there were so many races on this world that an alien Weir
like herself attracted attention but not the kind that would put her in
a lab for study as would happen on Earth. Had she returned to Earth
in her own time, she'd be burned as a devil but as Earth became more civilized
they replaced the stake with the surgeon, the Inquisitor priest with the
So she was safe here. Safer than on Earth where she was born.
Unfortunately, there were problems too. Local clothing styles
required near nudity. People wore a very brief loin-cloth, a few
belts and little else. She could wear a man's warrior harness and
be considered very strange since women here were rarely warriors for here,
women were slaves, wives and little else, so unless she was willing to
marry and be a housewife, a situation she learned that she was totally
unfit for ten years ago on Earth, she had to resort to being a technician
or a mercenary warrior.
So far she was able to make a sparse living repairing and upgrading
the local fliers for the simple reason that the Demons had created her
for exactly that purpose, to be a tech-slave. But she wanted more.
She had spent the last couple decades being a technician on a dozen worlds
and she was tired of being greasy and dirty and sweaty all the time, breaking
her nails and getting her hair caught in a drive-shaft for pennies.
She had been a pirate, a merchant, a soldier, a smuggler and a technician
and she found being a soldier was more to her liking than any other.
The thrill of combat, the knowledge that she was winning because she was
better than everyone else made her so excited, she found normal life dull
Were she still human, she'd be a freak, but now she was simply an alien
and aliens were tolerated here despite their beliefs and appearance.
She even tried being a body-guard but no Red Man would demean himself
by allowing a woman to protect him so she mostly guarded their wives and
daughters which allowed her to see the city but offered little in excitement
About the only time she did anything other than carry packages while
her charges were shopping was a few days ago.
“Eivleen Obreen,” Maral Nara called.
“I am here. What do you wish?” She approached from the drapes
for one of the advantages of her former human life was that she was undetectable
to the Barsoomian telepathy so once out of sight, she was totally invisible.
But she could estann any Red Man within a hundred feet so no one could
sneak up on her. This made her fairly valuable.
“I would show you off to my friends. And not at a party but in
the outside world. So we are going shopping and wish you to accompany
us, to defend our persons and to entertain us with your adventures on other
“Of course, I am at your command. When do we leave?”
“Soon. My friends will arrive anon but with the recent kidnappings,
“Of course I shall. Give me a zode to rearm and I will be ready.”
Inside her charge's father's home Eibhlin carried little more than a
short-sword and Revolver, her Beamer being hidden, so she returned to the
ante-chamber for her other weapons and gear, then left for her hostel where
her other belongings rested. If she wanted to show Eibhlin off, she'd
have to tie her hair back. She wished she could braid it as she did
in Ireland but Red Women never braided their hair, preferring to allow
it to flow loose or to tie it into various styles with combs and ribbons
of silk. That was something about the Red Women she loved, their
long wavy black hair. All Red Women had wavy black hair and all grew
it long. Eibhlin's was as black and growing longer but was straight
and she normally combed it before her to hide her breasts which the Red
Men saw as a deformity. Well, being egg-layers, the Red Race laid
some thirteen goose-sized eggs a year, destroyed most of these, and those
few which were allowed to hatch remained in a roof-top incubator for five
years where they grew until they hatched a child who was physically near
adulthood, for the Red Men knew no infancy or childhood. Then at
forty they were fully mature though some married as young as twenty and
all would remain young until they reached almost a thousand years.
Eibhlin, herself was forty but looked seventeen for she ceased to age when
the Demons changed her and she would not age again until she was 400 and
would eventually die at 500 years. In this case, she was similar
to the Barsoomian for they both enjoyed near eternal youth.
And since the Red Woman never nursed, they had very small breasts which
were more a sexual dimorphism left over from their ancient ancestors a
half-million or more years ago than anything else. When surrounded
by women whose breasts could fit in a hand easily, Eibhlin's, which were
as large as a child's head, looked to them to be grotesque. And since
the Red Woman had no need for support, brassieres were unknown here.
Fortunately for the former Earth-woman, the .38 gravity aided her natural
Weir firmness so she almost felt as if she were under water, her breasts
were so light. She recalled her former American lover Jean who was
more endowed than herself showing her the ‘pencil test’ where she held
a number of pencils under her breasts. With Eibhlin, they fell to
the floor. Perhaps Jean would do the same too here but too many years
braless and nursing a baby had taken their toll on her.
Since her employer wanted to show her off, that meant that she was expected
to expose everything that was alien. Her pale skin had tanned but
was far different from their coppery-red. And she had to expose her
pointed ears and antennae which required a different hairstyle, her tail
must be revealed and she must ensure that they could see her tarsial toes
and medial thumbs.
Only slaves went habitually naked so although she was forced to expose
her breasts, her nipples were always erect and aching in the cold here,
she could wear a loin-cloth and a bit of a short skirt to hide her woman's
area and keep the red dust from up where it should never go.
Eibhlin tied her hair back to reveal her ears and choose a skirt to
match her ribbons. Damn! she wished it were longer as she never enjoyed
the micro-minis she wore in America on Earth. Growing up in 17th
century Ireland and living on a Vanthi station gave her an appreciation
for dresses that went to her ankles while pants were more comfortable on
a Demon ship and even her own. It's not that her legs were fat or unattractive,
she just preferred to keep them covered.
Once her ‘dress’ was chosen, she strapped her sword belt and revolver
belts to her waist, wrapped her shoulder straps to these and crossed them
between her breasts to ease the weight of her weapons. Unlike the
man's harness, she could wear smaller and narrower belts that wouldn't
chafe her breasts or push them apart overly much. She chose a light
tan leather to compliment her skin tone and ensured that the device of
the house of Mar was prominent over her right breast. When she left
her service, she'd have to return the device but the jewelry she received
as the occasional gift she could keep. She also added to her left
breast strap the Arms of her family in Ireland for she was Tierna, a Noble
of Ireland and never forgot her home to which she could never return.
She had no awards to wear so her leather was mostly plain though she did
wear the jewelry of the Green Men she had killed which added to her reputation
for few men could defeat such monsters and she had killed two on Barsoom
and a dozen of their Space-faring brethren years before.
So with long and short swords at her left hip, revolver and dagger at
her right hip and beamer strapped to her back under her hip-pouch, she
adjusted her cosmetics, added some clip-on earrings for her Weir body healed
too fast for piercings, a few bracelets on arm and leg and a choker necklace
that drew the eyes to her face and away from her chest and soon was ready
to return for her charges. Although she lusted after women and worked
in a man's occupation, she found that if she looked feminine, she could
attract feminine women and not those California dykes that dressed, looked
and acted as a man. If she wanted a man, shed date a man. Unfortunately,
Barsoom had the belief that sex was reserved for a man and his lawful wife
or wives so she was forced to resort to slaves for her Needs.
Once returned to the house of Mar, she was shown her charges who circled
and stared at her forever. She was getting used to this, almost.
Demons never stared and neither did the Mon out of politeness but the Saxon
Vanthi had been isolated so long that they never saw anyone other than
the occasional human slave and so wherever she went, they stared.
Most of her time on Earth was as a human and the few days she spent there
as a Weir was in disguise so she had to allow these women to look and ask
their questions. It was a part of her job and she wished she got
paid extra for this part.
Maral Nara interrupted, “Please, we can talk as we walk. Please Eivleen
Obreen, walk among us and not behind so we may converse.”
“As you wish, Maral Nara, though please if trouble occurs, move away
from me that I may react quickly.”
Along the way, she was asked about her life to which she replied, “I
was born a Noble in Ireland in the 17th century. England, a nation
to the east, had conquered her nation and we fought constantly to free
ourselves. The English sold my mother into slavery, burned our home,
hanged my father and gang-raped and shot me, leaving me for dead.
“Then I was taken by Demons, an alien race who needed technicians to
repair their ships. They took my body, healed my wounds and changed me
into what you see here.
“Years later I was given a star-ship of her own and I've been traveling
around the galaxy ever since.”
“Then why, Lady Eivleen,” one of her friends asked, “Do you wear the
harness of a man and bear weapons? Why not return home, marry and
live a life as before?”
Eibhlin sighed. She hated thinking of this but… “All that I know
is dead and gone. I tried to return home to free my nation but found
the planet dead. Laid waste by some catastrophe and all life dead.
I saw the futility of my designs and left. I returned once again
but too much was different and I didn't fit in. Besides, I enjoy
the excitement of the sword.”
“That catastrophe, I remember it.” Another commented. “Jasoom
had just developed space travel again after Carson Napier left for Cosoom.
Some of their nations had contacted Barsoom via Gridley Wave and Helium
built a ship to visit Jasoom. When we told them we were coming, they
went insane and destroyed themselves with atomic weapons and plagues.
I think they feared us.”
“More likely they feared what you represent.” Eibhlin added.
“And what is that?”
“That humans are not alone and that other ways and beliefs are as valid
as theirs. That is very terrifying to some people who believe in
only their own ways.”
“And you don't fear that?”
“I am Irish. I was raised Catholic and taught that there was only
one Church and only one way to God. The Protestant English were different
and conquered us so the Catholic Church must be wrong though the English
said the same beliefs as the Catholics. When I was taken by the Demons,
I saw so many other races and beliefs and customs living in peace and war
that I realized that all are valid, so long as they respect each other.
Unfortunately, humans and Christians tend to believe in their way alone.”
“All this talk is disturbing. Let us talk of..” she looked around,
“love. We all have warriors and nobles who we wish to marry.
What of you. Is there some prince on another world that attracts
your eye?” She smirked in conspiracy for these Red Women were like
Irish and American girls and even Vanthi for women are women and love to
talk about love and romance so long as the objects of their affections
cannot hear the truth. She had asked the Demons about this and they
said to her, “We are not the only race that takes humans for our use.
This and the Stargates that cross the quae ensure a wide distribution of
life. If it looks human, you probably have a common ancestor.”
If she closed her eyes, she could imagine talking with her girl-friends
in Ireland in the 17th century or her woman-friends in America in the 20th
“I fear not, Ladies, for her desires lie with her own gender.”
“I've heard of women who love other women, rare though they may be.
But how can you marry a woman and have children?” She was both shocked
and intrigued. Perhaps the curiosity of Vana Horas would be to her
From then on she listened to the four speak of certain men who they
wished to attract and the scandals of the court for none of these were
nobility, though all were wealthy and the merchants love to discuss the
personal problems of their betters.
Eibhlin slowly allowed herself to lag behind the women for their lovers,
real and imagined, interested her not at all and she had a job to do.
And well it was for a group of six men approached from a side street and
surrounded her charges. “Maral Nara!” one cried, “give over to us
and none shall be harmed.”
This wasn't an assassination for the Red Men do not murder their women.
So it must be a kidnapping. Doubtless some rejected paramour had
hired these here to kidnap her employer for his own use or perhaps they
felt that they could make a profit by selling the other women as slaves.
Rape on Barsoom was unknown but slaves could be required to bed their owners
with no ill thought for either. Obviously they saw Eibhlin, a small
alien woman, as no threat at all and their casual glance implied that neither
was she their target for abduction.
“If you will,” she called to them, her hand on her sword-hilt, “These
are my charges you are accosting. Please let be and leave now lest
I resort to violence.” she adjusted the sword Brount had made for
her by the Demons to a drawing position and waited.
Eibhlin thought that they noticed her for the first time then for they
stared and one laughed, “You? What can you, a woman do? The
smallest of us is easily a sofad taller than are you.”
He was right for she was a bare five foot tall in thick sandals but
her Earthly strength made her almost twice as strong as were they and twice
again because of her Weir enhancements. Thus she had naught to fear
from them other than they had centuries with the sword and she had but
a couple decades of part-time practice and little in actual battle save
one duel and a single fight with a couple Green Men. She had killed
before, but that was mostly with crossbow, matchlock or beamer. This
would test her metal.
She glanced around to ensure that there were no others, for although
she had found that she could easily read the Red Man's thoughts, she was
invisible to them. Then, assured that these six were the only threat,
she moved through the women and stood before their leader. She could
read confusion in their thoughts because they had never been faced with
a woman who carried more than a dagger and their natural chivalry prevented
them from attacking the bodyguard.
One laughed than looking down to her called to his fellows, “She will
make a fine exotic for some harem. Let us sell seven instead of six.”
Then he made a fatal mistake by grabbing her.
She wrapped her tail around his neck and choked as she grasped the offending
limb and broke it at the wrist. Once he was off-balance she pulled
with her tail and flung him to the ground. Knowing that with a sword
she was at their mercy despite the training Brount had given her and the
fencing classes she attended here in Ptarth, she waded in and kicked one
in the family jewels, jumped to the side and back-fisted another and grabbed
a third by the throat and squeezed, feeling his larynx crush beneath her
The remaining two leapt back and drew steel, forcing her to do the same.
They both had the Barsoomian long sword which was similar to a European
rapier or light saber but with a 30” blade while she had a curved sword
similar to the Japanese katana though without a guard. She could
fight single-handled if she wished or carry a sword in one hand, short
sword in the other and use her tail as a grasper but preferred the two-handed
style she had been taught.
One came at her as the second waited, honor that was unknown on Earth,
and she lived only because she was stronger and faster than was he.
Then she realized that he was playing with her, testing her skills.
She recognized some of the moves she had learned from her fencing school
and knew that he could have gotten past her guard and killed her at any
time. His eyes were on her alone and she dared not look at his companion
so relaxed and estanned someone behind. A trap! And she almost
fell for it. She waited for the emotion from behind then leapt aside
and cut, killing the man who was about to club her into unconsciousness.
He was the one with the broken wrist
The one she had back-fisted was unconsciousness, another dying from
a crushed throat, ignored by his fellows and this one spilling his guts.
She now had two angry men to defeat and a third struggling to stand after
emptying his stomach after her kick. She charged the one waiting,
blocked with superior strength and opened his throat as she passed, then
killed the one she had kicked with a thrust. That made the first
angry and he forgot about the prohibition against fighting women as he
attacked for real.
She went on the defensive and only by leaping back was she able to avoid
the worst of his thrusts. But she was bleeding from shallow jabs
and a few cuts, the worst across her breast as he tried for her heart,
which wasn't where he had thrust but still the wound was painful and messy
and her breasts were too large of a target.
Finally she felt a wall behind and leapt up, twisted, struck the stone
with her feet, bounced and flipped over her opponent, striking down as
she passed. He blocked but then she was on the ground, he turned
and she thrust before he could return to a guard. She twisted the
blade, he screamed and she cut as she withdrew, near severing the man in
Eibhlin leaned against the wall, panting for she still hadn't fully
adapted to the thin air and her wounds bled, then slowed as she healed
though she'd need medical treatment soon. She barely noticed the
women surrounding her, commending her for her actions and exclaiming that
they'd never seen anything like that before. Soon after the police,
or what the Barsoomian used for police which was whatever soldier who wasn't
busy or at war, arrived and took statements, arrested the one who was still
unconscious, took her name and hostel and told her that she needed to make
an official statement upon the morrow. Then all were released and
they sought a doctor to treat her wounds and clean the blood from her body.
Now she was passing people on the street and someone bumped into her.
She turned and almost challenged him but he apologized and continued on
while she fumed. She was cramping and irritable. Were she still
human she would think her menses were about to occur but she hadn't shed
woman's blood in twenty years since the Demons had changed her and stopped
that Curse of Eve. Well, there was that six months on Earth when
she was human again but had ended when she was able to resume her Weir
life. But without menses, there was only one thing this meant and
she didn't need to see her lips and nipples reddening over the days to
know that her Need was approaching and she needed sex fast. She would
get more and more irritable, the cramps would get stronger and more painful,
then she'd die. Jilling herself with tail and fingers and phallus
would only slow the inevitable. She needed a woman or, she shuddered,
a man. Maybe it was time to visit Vana Horas. Many human women
are bi-curious and resisted experimentation only because they feared social
Unfortunately, when she called at her home, she was busy with company,
“Eivleen Obreen, enter and meet …”
Eibhlin saw who was there and realized that she had no chance at all
so made her excuses and left. Damn!!! On the way to her room,
her thighs rubbed against each other and she was not fat. In fact
there is near an inch between them so it was the way she was walking that
caused the friction that made her insides itch and her love button tingle.
She knew her loincloth was soaking so she stopped to have a drink of wine,
then another, not considering what the alien alcohol was doing to her digestion,
and headed for the slave rental.
Slavery was a big thing on Barsoom with most menial work being done
by slave labor for no honest man would resort to cleaning a toilet or picking
trash from the street, work that needed doing in every city in the galaxy.
Most menial labour for the city was done by slaves taken in war but owning
a slave was expensive for you needed to feed and house them and care for
their medical needs. Yet, these jobs needed to be accomplished so
some dealers would rent out their unsold stock or certain businessmen would
buy slaves for rent and for a reasonable fee, you could rent a slave to
do all those tasks you needed done but would not do yourself. This
task, unpleasant as it was, would be one of those.
The no-longer-human woman looked over the stock and realized that although
she wanted a woman, she was soaking, her nipples ached and she had to force
her thighs apart for she had waited too long. Even a woman with a
phallus in hand wouldn't save her life so she looked over the men and chose
one who was as effeminate as possible. Red Men never grew beards
or hair on their chest or arms or legs so that wasn't a problem but she
wanted someone with curves and found one who would do. Doubtless
unsold because he wasn't as large or as strong as most men and so unsuitable
for heavy labour.
Paying his daily rental, she called, “Follow me,” and led him to the
inn where she had another drink, gave him one and tried to not look at
her rental. She thought he tried to speak then gave up as she ignored
him while she wondered what to do next. She couldn't take him to
her room for only women were allowed in the dorm, private rooms on Barsoom
are only for the very rich or married couples. Then she called the
slave who waited her table and asked, “Have you a room where I can conduct
some private business?”
She looked at Eibhlin, then at the slave, finally deciding that the
Alien was planning something illegal or needed to question the slave over
some matter best done away from curious ears for the idea she had was incomprehensible
to the Red Man. Then she said, “Yes Lady, for four tanpi we have
$4 or so for a private room for a few hours. Well, income on Barsoom
was low but they built to last and the American concept of conspicuous
consumption was as foreign to them as would be a brothel so she said, “Show
The room was far from romantic but it was clean and had a table and
a comfortable couch so she paid her and directed, “send her slave here
with a bottle of wine please.” And waited.
He arrived and she removed her harness, handing it to him and said,
“I was in a fight a few days ago and this needs a better cleaning than
I was able to do.” Then as he began the task, she lay her weapons
upon the table and sat on the couch wearing nothing but her g-string.
How the hell do you seduce a man? On Earth or among the Vanthi, she
would just walk into the room and men would surround her. She knew
she wasn't beautiful (at least when compared to the incomparable beauty
of the Red Woman) but she was attractive and with her athletic body and
more than adequate breasts she could have any man she wanted though not
the women she desired.
She started to toss her hair behind her back for even the Red Woman
used that tactic to show interest but stopped when she realized that he
looked away when her breasts were exposed. What a human would see
as a sexual signal, the Red Man would see as a deformity so she let her
hair fall forward again. Dammit! Why was this so hard?
The Vanthi outlawed lesbians, the Barsoomian didn't know they existed and
Earth was some distance away and it would take days or weeks to find someone
there even if she had her ship. Like it or not, she did not, she
was stuck with this man.
So she tried honesty.
“Do you get many visitors from other worlds here?”
“Some, but few, lady. I've never seen an alien though I hear visitors
from Jasoom are becoming more common with the planet dead as it is.”
Eibhlin had heard that sometimes a human would die on Earth and be ‘called’
to Barsoom where they would have a physical body free from the injury that
had killed them, at least that is what Burroughs said had happened to both
John Carter and Ulysses Paxton though she privately thought that both had
stumbled into a Stargate as did she. She continued, “I've been
on a dozen worlds. Most were colonized by Jasoomians. The Demons,
a reptilian race, tend to abduct us and change us to their needs and uses.
I was once human until they took me and changed me into what I am now.”
She took another drink, ignored the gurgling as the alien alcohol ate
its way through her guts and continued, “But they made mistakes.
You Red Men need food and drink and air to survive. Weir like me
need those too but more. You need three zodes of decent sleep and
dreams a night or you go insane and die. Jasoomians are the same
but I need but a zode to a zode-and-a-half a night and can make do with
a zode every couple nights for a teedan with no ill effects.”
Another drink, “But there is one thing I need every three teedans. If
she don't get this, I die and my time is fast approaching.” He was
still cleaning her harness but listening now for someone talking to a slave,
even an alien, was so unusual it was worth his attention. “Sex!
I need sex or I will die.”
He froze, uncertain what to do or say. She lay a couple tanpi
on the table and offered, “service me, keep me alive and these are yours.”
He was torn between greed and disgust for the money he earned occasionally
as a tip, added to the coins he found on the street or the floors of places
like this would be hoarded and someday used to buy his freedom. Yet,
what she was asking was against everything a Red Man believed. In
the end, greed won out. Had he been human, she could have saved her
money. “What do I do?” he asked.
She don't know if he was a virgin or not but he followed instructions,
twice, then as she lay there, disgusted with herself but no longer in pain,
she told him, “You can leave now. If I need you again, I'll call
in a couple days.” He actually tried to kiss her goodbye but she
turned her face away, wishing he were a she for although her body reacted
with enthusiasm for his, her mind fantasized that he were a woman with
a phallus strapped to her hips. After he left, taking his earned
gold, she removed her mirror from her hip-pack and checked herself.
Her lips and nipples were pink again, no longer red with Need and her cosmetics
needed little touch-up for although she learned to wear make-up ten years
ago with Jean, she rarely wore them in space. She resisted the urge
to see if her labia were pink again for she didn't want to see what he
had left inside her.
Eibhlin wiped the sweat from her body, dressed, combed her hair quickly,
applied a little perfume to cover her sin and drained her glass, then his,
and left for the toilet where she peed away everything she could in her
bladder and womb. Half a block away, she cringed as her loincloth
became soaked with something she didn't want inside her but didn't want
running down her legs right now. She thought it was all gone but
was wrong and the Barsoomian wine was adding to her misery.
She imagined that people were staring at me, knowing what she had done
and, well, staring at her. “Please whatever god or goddess is out
there, let them think I just peed myself”’ she prayed, then ran down the
alley to find a less traveled way to her hostel. Along the way she
interrupted an assassination and killed the assassin as she passed without
Finally she reached her cot which was surrounded by curtains as the
only privacy a bachelor woman had in these dorms and frantically tossed
her weapons on her cot as she searched for replacement clothing.
Then near naked, or at least, wearing naught but a cloth wrapped around
her waist and a short-sword, she entered the common baths and washed herself
until she was raw. Then she soaked in the hot water forever, watching
the occasional Red Woman enter, stare and leave.
The next day, disgusted with herself and for her sin and wishing to
forget what she had been forced to do, she took a position as a Panthan
in another nation and left seeking mental release in the blood and violence
of a war on an alien planet.
EIBHLIN INGHEAN UI BHRIAN (41-42) Eivleen Obreen-
what the Red Men call her
Ral Silvas, her Padwar (42-45 on Barsoom) c. 2004?
Mairayd, Eibhlin's mother and ship
Kara - Vanthi lover, now on Earth 20th century
Lanor of Ptarth
Dar Moras of Talum
Maral Nara- Eibhlin's employer
Anora - slave at the hostel in Arlis. Eibhlin's whore
Vana Horas - friend of Maral Nara
Odwar Bimos Lan, Lanor's father
Ullia Tome, Lanor's mother.