Where does one start a story? Especially when the
people for whom you are writing may never read the manuscript and those
who may, have no frame of understanding?
Perhaps a bit about myself first will help. My name
is Ayiesha Maria Ruth Mahmoud Villmer bint Penaut, of Clan Penaut, though
for simplicity I go by Ayiesha Penaut. My mother was a Bedouin Arab,
my father a German-French expatriate… or rather, all were expatriates for
my grandparents had been taken from Terra, which they called Dirt or Earth,
while still young and placed on Gaea, the world I call home. They
were told that their children or grandchildren would no longer be human
but faced with existence, or rather their expected misery on Terra as compared
to a good life on a world so far away that it couldn’t be seen with a telescope,
they chose to immigrate. Not that they had much of a choice.
One grandparent was a German Jew who was on the way to a Concentration
Camp during one of Terra’s many wars. Another an African slave girl
owned by an abusive Arab master, still another a homeless Parisian dying
of cancer… these are the people Colonial sought. People with potential
but with no hope in an uncaring world, and so willing to cross the galaxy
to fulfill the needs of the Barony and the Commonwealth if it meant health
and home and regular meals and safety for them and their children.
I, myself am but a bare 20 Years of age, having recently
celebrated that birthday in the caverns of Sothis during a firefight with
the Shitai. Not yet am I a fully mature adult woman, for we Weir
are slow to mature, I having another five years before I am fully an adult
at 25. Despite this I have served Star Fleet these last two years
in direct opposition to the will of my grandparents who felt that a virgin
girl’s duty was to marry well and young and serve her husband, not her
nation. My mother allowed my service for, I believe, she resented her own
life of marriage and failed dreams and her own mother, by my age, had been
married to a man she neither knew or loved and had born 3 kids with another
on the way. My mother was luckier. She married a man she loved
but gave up her own dreams of being a dancer for a family, giving birth
to me at 21, my older brothers at 17 and 19 and almost dieing with my birth
and nursing for human women aren’t designed to bear so many Weir children.
And as for me, while my friends were practicing with make-up and clothes,
preparing for parties and choosing the best-looking boys to date, I was
on a warship chasing pirates across the frontier. I traded the dull
but safe life of a peasant farm-girl for the harsh realities of an adult
and the dreams of rising to Warrior Class. And thus I grew up too
fast leaving my school-friends behind and never experiencing the joys of
my forgotten adolescence though they never watched friends blown apart
on a far-away planet as did I. Obviously, they were more fortunate
for their dreams are of love and friendship wheras mine are often of the
horrors I have seen and endured.
How I arrived here I know not. I recall only going
to bed in my parent’s house while I recovered from the war injuries I had
sustained on Sothis.
I fell asleep under the physical warmth of a down comforter
and the emotional warmth of my parents in the next room, still arguing
over my choice of profession and wishing that I could escape somewhere,
anywhere. Yet knowing that my own emotional stresses of being a good
daughter on a world that treasures family respect and my need for space
travel was causing my damaged heart to flutter and ache as if a rundi were
sitting on my chest. Then my next recollections were the knowledge
that I was freezing cold and that there was a rock pressing into my left
breast as I lay face down upon the sward.
Star Fleet taught me that when you don’t know what is
happening, do nothing until you evaluate your situation. So… while
pretending to be unconscious I took note that my back was freezing but
that I was laying upon something soft… except for that rock… and I had
a strong desire to sneeze.
There were no sounds at all to indicate jailers or danger
so I opened my eyes and saw that I was staring into reddish moss.
I sneezed and decided that if anyone was around, they now knew that I was
awake so I rolled over and looked around. Obviously I had been teleported
The sky was pinkish, the ground covered with moss, the
sun barely over the hills and I was still freezing my tail off. I
also was sitting in a depression that was kilometers wide and ringed with
low hills. OK, I was obviously NOT on Gaea or any other planet I
had visited or read about. So how did I get here? Wherever
here was. And, most importantly, how do I get home before my parents
realize that I was gone? They may have finally accepted my joining
the Fleet at 18 but learning that their baby girl had been wounded in combat
a dozen parsecs from home wasn’t what they imagined and loosing her again
when she was so close would be unbearable to them.
I stood up carefully just in case I was drugged or injured
and took inventory. Races that abduct people and drop them on strange
worlds have an unsettling tendency to do strange things to their victims
like stick their brains into a robot body or anal probe them like those
bald-runty Alphas always like to do to the humans they borrow on Terra.
Breathing was hard in the thin air so I switched to belly breathing which
normally would get me stoned on oxygen but now just barely kept my lungs
full. But the pain in my chest was gone and touching my wound revealed
that it was healed. I would have the scars forever but I seemed to
have my lung and ribs back so whatever brought me here, healed the worst
of my wounds. How long would that have taken? Had I been kept
in a bio-tank for the days or weeks it would take to regenerate my lost
ribs and organs or was my healing a side-effect of the transportation process
I was, of course, naked. When you sleep under a
down comforter, you wear naught but a light cotton nightgown. But
somehow, that gown was gone. As was my comforter, bed, parents house
and farm. I was just a naked girl standing on some reddish moss in
the middle of nowhere.
OK, anatomy first:
2 hands, each with 3 fingers and two thumbs. Though
looking at my palms I wondered if this explains that break in my life-line?
When our smallest finger was changed into a second thumb, it wreaked havoc
on Palmistry, a situation the Fortune Tellers are still trying to understand.
Feet- 3 toes and a tarsal thumb.
Skin- very light brownish from a month on the frontier
without adequate sunlight followed by a week under a northern winter sky.
Hair- long and blue and even my pubes had their normally
thick and bluish curls. Unlike some of my human girl-friends, I never
shaved down there and we Weir don’t grow hair on our legs, armpits or anyplace
but our heads and pubes.
Breasts- feeling strange. Lighter than normal.
I jiggled a bit and they felt smaller, firmer like when I was 17 and still
a c-cup. I grasped them and they felt normal-sized, only … tighter
and the weight on my chest and back was much less than I was used to.
I curled my tail around and saw that it also looked normal
even to the ‘finger’ print on the distal phalange.
I still had that plasma burn scar on my left arm and
side from the Shitai so whatever happened to me, didn’t seem to have changed
me… I hoped. I’d need a mirror to see my face though and finish my
inventory though my ears still felt pointed and I could tell my antennae
Looking around again I saw that the sun was much smaller
than was Lucifer and a solo star instead of our own Binary. Less
than a degree of angle so whether this star was smaller than mine or this
world was further out than Gaea I couldn’t decide. It did have a
pinkish sky, then I sneezed again. Wiping, I saw that my snot was
red! Blood? No, dust. The ground was red dirt so that
coloured the sky pink. I hoped that the dust would settle in the
calm atmosphere. I also saw much more ultra-violet in the sky which
indicated potential problems.
Stretching my arms wide I wasn’t able to feel any magnetic
field, which meant that either the planetary core had cooled or there wasn’t
a ferrous core at all. Without a molten ferrous core, no magnetic
field could be generated and thus no Van Allen Belt to stop the UV.
And THAT means sunburn until my Arab genes could produce enough melanin
to darken my skin and protect me. “Couldn’t you, at least have left
me some clothes and a lipstick?” I yelled at the sky but received no answer.
I looked around and saw what I thought might be an artificial
feature on the ‘horizon’ some 50 klicks away so I chose that as my destination.
Unfortunately, my first step lifted me off the ground and flat on my face.
Low gravity! The Demons had engineered my race for
space travel, giving us tarsal feet and prehensile tail for climbing around
a starship in zero-g so walking in low grav shouldn’t be too hard to accomplish.
I was wrong.
After a dozen failed paces I tried to crawl as a baby
but made no real progress so I stood and resorted to a martial arts stride.
Keeping my knees bent so I could glide across the moss, I made progress
for about kilometer until I realized that my hips and tail were swaying
and that was making me wet. “Damn!” Whatever that meant. Father
used profanity he had learned from his father but none of us really knew
what the words meant. Walking like this was fooling my body into
thinking that I’m hunting a man. I knew I should have gone to that
party last night, I had been celebate too long and the Lanai with whom
I serve in the Fleet see sex as a waste of time. So I returned
to a normal stride which caused my breasts to jiggle (my father would NOT
approve) but eventually I learned to walk in the low gravity of this world
and made good time.
Unfortunately, by the time I knew that my destination
was a city, I was pink from sunburn. My lips and nipples were burned,
dried and cracking (I again wished I had a lipstick to cover and moisturize
both) and I could feel my skin burning. I now understood why my Arab
grandparents wore those long robes in the Saudi desert. At least
my long hair was covering the back of my neck to keep the sun from boiling
my blood and thence my brain and my bangs protected my antennae.
Small consolation when compared to the sunstroke and dehydration I felt
While walking I recalled my last conversation with my
family. As often these last two years, we fought for I was still
a child by Weir biology and my human parents resented their baby girl,
the last child mother would ever bear, going off to fight and possibly
die on some alien world a dozen light-years from home. Each time
I took leave after a war or battle, the arguments would begin with both
parents and grandparents insisting that I give up being a Warrior and settle
down, get married and bear children before I died. Before Sothis,
I could argue that I was perfectly safe contained in body armour, shields
and surrounded by Lanai Warriors who had been bred to fight. But
this time was different.
Trapped underground on Sothis, drinking my own urine mixed
with whatever water we could find, eating bugs, fighting with rocks as
our beamers ran out of power and vastly outnumbered by Shitai, I was wounded,
badly. A Shitai laser bored it’s way through arm, ribs and lung before
damaging my heart. Had my armour not de-polorized and reflected most
of the beam, I’d be dead now. And so I was home, regrowing my lost
parts and listening to my mother cry over her injured daughter all the
while my grandparents and parents and all my relatives argued with me to
resign and return to the farm.
Sitting in the kitchen with my mother as a dutiful daughter
while my father and brothers conversed in the family room, I tried to help
with dinner but it hurt to breathe and my left arm was still almost useless
until I could regrow the lost muscle.
“Ayiesha,” mother was crying. She cried a lot since
the war and I wish the Historians had never time-scanned the caverns to
show everyone what we did. “You were always my baby. After
you I could never have another child and your fighting like this is killing
me. Can’t you resign from the Fleet for just a few decades until
your father and I are gone? Let me hold your baby just once.
I’m so terrified that you’ll be killed even before you can have children.”
“Momma, what I do is important. I am an adult and
I made my decision. I’m sorry I am hurting you like this but the
Clan supports me and I am very careful.”
“Careful!” She added screaming to her tears. The
men stopped talking so they could hear but they’d not embarrass themselves
by interfering with a woman’s argument. “Look at you! You were almost
killed! You lost a lung, three ribs and part of your arm and heart.
You’ll be scarred for life and what damage did that plasma-laser do to
your breast? Will you be able to nurse children? What if it
had been a centi-watt stronger? You’d be dead now! Ayiesha…”
She ran from the room and my brother Eric entered.
Eric took after our father, inheriting daddy’s light skin and sandy hair
while I had the darker brown of my mother. Eric was mainly Jew out
of respect for father so he didn’t feel embarrassed entering the kitchen
like this as would father or our brother Fransua who probably had no idea
of where the cold-sink was.
“Ayiesha,” he started as he poured me some Rundi Milk,
added a raw egg and the medicines I was taking. As I drank, he undid
my blouse to check my wound and see if I needed any more synthetics added
to aid the regeneration. For such a large man, Eric was notoriously
gentle. “I know you feel you must do this and I am trying to understand.”
My breasts were bare for the wound prevented me from wearing a bra, something
else that father disliked for he never accepted me growing breasts and
mine were larger than even mother’s at their best. But Eric had seen
me naked so many times as I grew up that he probably never noticed they
“But Eric, you have a life! In a few decades father
will turn the farm over to you and you’ll be Family Head with a dozen women
seeking for your hand in marriage. Then what of us? Fransua
will either serf-work for you for the next five-hundred years, and what
decent woman will marry him that way, or he’ll move to the frontier to
homestead another farm light years away. But me! I’m a girl!
And an Islam-Jew at that! Pagan women are equal to men but with us
if I stay, I have to wait for grandfather to marry me off to someone with
a couple other wives and I’ll be like grandmother, married to a man I never
met or run away like mother did! Eric, I hear the stars call to me!
The Demons created us to travel between the stars. Don’t you feel
He sat next to me, holding me like he did when I was a
baby and he still my big brother though my military training now made me
his superior in combat, a fact I carefully hid to avoid embarrassing the
man. “Ayiesha, not all of us are like that. When we feel the
Call, the Demons take us away. I’m fortunate that I don’t hear what
you hear because that means I can stay here, marry, farm and raise children.
And with a Weir wife, I can have dozens of children, not the two or three
humans like mother can safely bear.” He sighed then continued, “Little
sister, sometimes, when I hold you like this, I hear the song of the stars
and understand a little. But still, you ARE my baby sister. I used
to change your diapers and keep you from under the rundi hooves and beat
up the boys who teased you. Mom and Dad don’t understand that you
are growing up under Gaean culture, not as an Arab or Jew. But you
don’t understand that you are still a child. You won’t be a real
adult for another five years. So to me, you are still my baby sister and
to mom and dad you are still their baby child.”
Later, dinner was eaten in silence but I loved meals at
home. Lanai don’t care much for dining and eat only to survive.
But mother was an excellent cook and being a farmer’s wife, we always had
lots of fresh food though I used my tail to help eat, something my human
and tailless parents normally forbade. Finally, father spoke up, “Muffin,
you are still my little girl and I’m terrified to death that you may not
survive the next war.”
“Daddy, that’s the second time you called me ‘muffin’
since I started puberty. I wish I were your little girl still but I’m a
woman now, well, almost, and what I do is important. The Shitai are
pushing more and more. We stopped them this time but in ten years
when the next invasion happens, it’ll be worse and we may loose a couple
frontier worlds unless we are very careful. I HAVE to stop them.
I want babies too and I want to play with my nieces and nephews and to
do that, I must remain with the Fleet to protect us all.”
We argued more but both momma and daddy were raised to
believe that men fought, women cooked. Lanai were all female but
not real women being vat-born and not having parents or womb so they didn’t
count. And Drakonis was Pagan, not Jew or Islam or Christian so equality
between races and sexes here was absolute so I could enlist if I wished
by Law and Custom despite Clan and Family desires. Even my best friend
Caroline, human as she was, didn’t understand how I could be so submissive
to a man, but she was raised Pagan and Merchant and saw my enlistment only
as a means to Caste-jump for higher status. Even she didn’t understand
Goddess! I wanted to escape so badly! Anyplace would
be better than watching the pain I caused my family and knowing that I
had to return to the Fleet for Caroline was right, the Barony needed to
be defended and despite the horror of war, the pain of my wounds and the
emotions of my family, the Demons had engineered me for the stars and the
stars called to me. I could no more return to being a farm-girl than
I could return to being a virgin.
So with my chest hurting from the pressure and my left
arm number than before, I let mother take me to bed. She helped me
undress and covered me with the down comforter and tucked me in just like
when I was small. Then she kissed me and the last words I heard,
were her whispering in my ear, “I will always love you my dearest baby
Getting closer I saw that I was approaching what could
only be described as a wharf. Or rather the ruins of a wharf.
I rested in the shade and nibbled some of the moss then immediately spat
it out as too acrid. I needed food and water and I needed them fast.
I must have sweated out at least 2 liters during that hike and needed it
replaced. Between the thin air, heat and dryness and the march I
had just accomplished, I was totally on the edge of collapse. The
only thing that didn’t hurt were my feet for years aboard a starship in
soft boots stole my callouses and only the soft and thick moss saved me
Catching my breath I moved uphill, trying to keep to the
shadows but saw nothing but ruins. An abandoned city. But who
built it and when? Why it was abandoned was obvious. A ruined
boat dock that crept down the hillside indicated that the depression was
actually the bottom of a dried lake or dead sea. The inhabitants
followed the receding shoreline until they finally gave up and left.
I saw a statue of some animal that I couldn’t identify
but it did have eight legs, a head and a broken off tail. I could
make out two eyes, a mouth and nostrils but the statue was so worn that
I couldn’t tell if it was an 8-legged lion or a dog. “How many centuries
or millennia of dust erosion would wear you down that much?” I asked.
But the stone refused to answer.
As I got closer to the main city I saw more vegetation
of variety and then I smelled water. There were reeds, grasses and
bamboos, or rather plants that resembled these in the same way that that
statue resembled a ravine or rundi. I saw another larger statue ahead,
on a much taller pedestal with ornate carvings so taking advantage of the
lower gravity, I jumped some 6 meters up and grabbed the carvings near
the top of the pedestal. I then crawled under the statue and lay
in the shade letting the cool stone soothe my burned skin as I observed
the fountain below.
All that vegetation needed something to eat it and whatever
ate the grass must be eaten by another animal which would be eaten by another
predator. The secret was to figure out the food chain and make certain
that you weren’t on it.
I suffered more and more, with water just below, and was
about to climb down and take my chances when I saw a six-legged rat-thing
run out to the water. Its jaws were exposed bone and I wondered if
it was diseased or injured until I realized that like a vulture or other
scavenger, it was bald to prevent blood from caking its fur or feathers.
The rat began to drink and I was wondering how to kill
it and if I could eat it when it vanished! One second it was there
then it was gone. I reran the memory and thought I saw it streak to some
nearby rocks faster than I could see.
Nothing there. Then as I gazed away I thought I
saw some heat waves radiating off the rocks. I gazed away again and
let my peripheral vision seek out patterns and there it was! Well
disguised but there. A closer look revealed an animal simply resting
there in the sun watching the pool of water. As far as I could see
it had about two meters of body, plus a head and tail and maybe eight or
ten legs and it was the colour and pattern of the rocks upon which it rested.
“OK,” I thought. “A three meter chameleon.
Big enough to consider me as food so how do I get to the water and fill
my stomach without entering its stomach?”
The water being so close was maddening and I needed that
cool liquid to soothe my burns but the chameleon was too dangerous to ignore.
Finally I decided that a couple of spears from the bamboo may be enough
to kill it so I crawled back down and found a suitably sharp rock which
I used to cut a couple poles. Star Fleet has a belief that someday
you will run out of ammunition or your batteries will die or your computer
will crash so learn how to survive and fight with low-tech materials.
Trapped underground against the Shitai, we had run out of power and ammo
the second day and had to fight for another five days with what we could
make and steal from the dead. Building a spear, a trap and a fire
here would be easy compared to that battle.
Climbing back to my perch with my spears I located the
chameleon again. Like most ambush hunters this one simply lay there
and waited because ambush hunters, like web spiders and pit snakes, are
very good at not moving.
I tossed a rock at the creature and yelled at it.
Then another rock as I jumped and waved like a naked lunatic. My
mother would have locked me in my room had she seen this sight but it worked.
The chameleon moved towards me slowly seeking a better strike zone.
All I had to do was to try to judge the tongue length, maybe 4 meters,
and kill it before it got that close.
It reached the base of my fortress, stopped and began
to stare at me. Still almost invisible but its position and lack
of movement indicated that I was now close enough for it to kill me.
So I wrapped my tail around one of the statues legs for support, grasped
a projection with my feet and drove a spear with all my might down into
Weir are stronger than humans, we’re engineered to be,
and with two older brothers with whom I constantly fought and Star Fleet
training, my muscles were honed to their best, thus on this world of lighter
gravity, my simple shaft penetrated completely through the animal to shatter
on the rocks beneath. I tossed another one then it screamed and climbed
the pedestal with amazing speed. I drove another into its throat
as its tongue shot out and wrapped around my leg and it fell down almost
dragging me with it. Only the grasp of my tail and feet kept me safe.
Had I been a human with walking feet and no tail, I’d be inside the thing.
It finally lay there on the ground, its tongue stuck to my body and stretching
to a disgusting length, then it rolled over onto its back and without thought,
I grabbed my final spear and holding it with feet and hands and tail, I
jumped down and used the weight of my body to drive it into the thing’s
body, pinning it to the ground beneath.
I jumped clear and picked up a large rock which I quickly
used to bash its skull to jelly. Then I frantically pulled the tongue
off my leg and sat down and thought about absolutely nothing for I was
drained of energy and thought.
Growing up on a farm I was used to death and fighting
pirates and the Shitai made me able to kill anything without thought or
worry but I was exhausted, dehydrated, sunburned, hungry, lonely and scared.
Eventually I got up and approached the fountain.
The opening was larger than the water needed, evidence of centuries of
erosion. There were plants, fish and crustaceans in the pond and
I wasn’t willing to drink from that pool and risk some alien dysentery.
But the water from the spout seemed clear.
I took a handful and looked at it carefully. Nothing
that I could see. So I let it run free and waited a minute to see
if I felt anything on my skin. Again nothing so another handful of
water and I tasted it then spat. After a moment of no ill affects
save a taste of minerals I decided that the worst I would suffer were kidney
stones so I drank from the spout until I was full. I then splashed
my body with the cool water and taking two handfuls of water, I bent over
and dipped my burned nipples into my hands allowing the cold water to soothe
Now for the chameleon. Dead it had ten legs and
was a dusty red-brown colour. I tasted the blood with my tongue then
spat again and waited. Again no ill effects so I cupped a handful
of its salty blood and drank then set out to build a fire as I waited to
be poisoned by the alien proteins.
The problem with Class-M worlds is that half of them use
right-hand molecules which are useless to our left-hand anatomy.
And when you find the proper orientation, the proteins are often wrong
and you either are poisoned or get no nutrition. But it wasn’t as
if I had any choice. The Demons engineered us with a lifespan of
centuries and the ability to survive on many worlds but that doesn’t do
much good when opposed by simple stupidity.
The carcass wasn’t tasty but it was filling and might
keep me alive until I could do better. So I cut most of it into strips
and smoke-dried it to jerky as I ate my fill. I tried to eat the
grass and bamboo to avoid protean poisoning for like my human ancestors
Weir can only tolerate 20-25% meat in our diet, but I couldn’t find
anything worth eating so with a stomach full of alien protean and no vegetables
or starch, I dissected the reptile. I found lungs and a four-chambered
heart and something that might have been a liver but the stomach was what
After cleaning the dead rat from the inside, I washed
and scrubbed the stomach until I had a good bladder. The rat I tossed
aside as too rancid even for my hunger to tolerate. I then rinsed
the stomach as I ate and then tied off the intestine end with a figure-eight
knot and forced into the other opening a hollow tube of thick bamboo tied
with a grass cord. I then made a grass rope, a wood plug and filled
my newly-made canteen with water and carrying my newest spear, went exploring
as my jerky dried.
I imagine I looked a sight and almost wished my boy-friend
were here for I’d love to have him sketch me like this. I was naked,
my too-pale skin sun-burned and contrasting with my blue hair. Breasts
large and firm with a bladder-canteen over one shoulder and a bamboo spear
in hand. I just needed a breeze to ruffle my hair as some of the
art the Pagans do of the Maiden Goddess. I repressed the thought
of him alone, on Gaea worrying about me and started to explore my now home.
The city was small with no building larger than two stories.
The doors could have easily been made for a human or Weir but there wasn’t
anything in any building other than sand and moss. The city had been
stripped centuries ago. I was hoping for something I could use for
clothing, a robe or hat, a bra, even a cape, but the place was empty.
Then I heard voices!
I leapt to the roof of a nearby house and crawled forward
until I could see what was talking and Lo! I saw three humans talking in
the street. They were almost naked save for a harness designed to
hold their weapons and a g-pouch for their family jewels. “Nice asses”
I thought as I observed their naked cheeks and wished that I could see
the rest of them as easily. Before you judge me, remember that even
on a strange planet, I was still a woman and the thoughts of young girls
often turn to boys. Besides, promiscuity was common on my world and
we see nothing wrong with servicing a friend in need or casual sex and
it had been a long time since my last encounter.
Each person had a coppery-red skin, black hair and held
the reigns of an eight-legged horse. At least the thing resembled
a horse more than a rabbuck. They also carried a long sword, a short-sword
and a heavy revolver. They were also arguing and pointing down the sea-bed
or across the desert or into the buildings. Although I couldn’t understand
their words, I could read much of their meanings from their thoughts.
These people appeared to have some telepathic abilities and I could hear
their words and estann their general meanings as they spoke.
I kept getting images of some kind of damaged aircraft
with two people, a man and a woman, that these three were chasing.
I also got images of chains and brutality. Well, so much for my thoughts
of a really fun groupie this evening. These people seemed to be slavers
or worse and I didn’t do pirates or slavers.
They eventually led their horses into a building which
they blocked off and then they began to explore the town. I watched
them for awhile until the pain in my back indicated that I was just making
my sunburn worse so I moved to the shade and drank some water as I thought
of my next move.
Obviously, there were humans here but native or planted?
And were they potential friends or enemies? I had no idea if their
prey were escaped fugitives or victims. For all I knew, these three
could be a police force seeking a kidnapper and victim. I was still
musing this over when I heard shouting. One of them had discovered
my camp and had called the others over.
I jumped from roof to roof for the Fleet taught me that
humans evolved from a forest ape to a veldt existence and as we evolved
from primate to human, danger and safety and food switched from trees to
grasslands. Danger came from the grass, safety was hiding in the
grass so humans are genetically disposed to search down. Thus if
you are being tracked, get above eye level and they probably won’t look
up to see you. I hoped these Red Men were the same.
When I reached the fountain, the trio was eating my dinner
and arguing again. “How impolite,” I thought. “At least they
could ask first.” My desire for a meeting was rapidly fading.
All three then pulled swords and began to search around my camp.
Definitely aggressive and potentially dangerous to me. Were I to
reveal myself, I could run the risk of gang-rape and slavery.
I who only a short time before had been entertaining fantasies of three
at once or sequentially was now worried about being forced to do that which
I wanted to do willingly.
I followed them as they searched the city, building by
building. Their tactics spoke of professionalism for one would remain
hidden as two approached the building. Then they would flank the
doorway and one would enter and move aside to leave the opening clear.
A moment later he’d call out and his companion would enter as the first
approached and stood outside the doorway. And so, they continued
building by building as I watched from above. Once I returned to
the fountain and collected as much meat as I could and refilled my stomach
and canteen then returned to observe my potential companions. The
sun finally began to set and the three ended their search and returned
to their horses where they covered themselves with thick furs and blankets
and two slept while the third stood watch.
With the setting of the sun, the lights went out immediately.
There was not enough atmosphere to reflect light into twilight and with
the darkness, came the cold for the thin air retained no heat. The
UV from the distant sun would warm the ground and induce Infra-Red heat
which warmed the planet during the day but the ground quickly lost its
stored heat at night. I could see in the dark easily as my
pupils opened but the cold was another matter. Being hairless and
naked was a disadvantage here so I sought a building with a small closet,
and pulling up moss, I tried to make myself as comfortable and warm as
The trio, I noticed, carried themselves like Warriors.
They kept their weapons close but didn’t fondle them as would someone less
secure or fearful of attack. These men knew that they were warriors
and could handle themselves so why worry. I was the one who was in
danger. Naked, unarmed, hungry and freezing and with no idea of where
I was or how to get home, my options were limited to starving to death,
trying to survive an unknown world or surrendering to these men and hoping
for the best. With these unpleasant thoughts, I shivered myself to
The next morning I awoke, frozen and starving and moved
to a corner where I squatted to empty my bladder. It was in such
an embarrassing position, spraying urine onto the moss when one of the
men found me.
“OK, what now?” I thought and decided to finish my ablutions.
Nudity didn’t bother me for we Weir tend to take these things in stride.
Especially when you are aboard a small military starship with limited privacy.
So I finished, wiped with some moss (please let me NOT be allergic) and
smiled at the man holding the sword as he walked towards me.
“#Hello,” I said hoping for friendship.
The Red Man kept his sword pointed at me and looked me
over carefully. He spent time staring at my breasts and tail and
feet but his sword-point never wavered. Then he barked something
I didn’t understand but I got an image of being tied up. Now like
many women I had fantasized at BD/SM games but those were games and this
was serious. But he was armed and I wasn’t. He drew his short
sword, then sheathed his long sword and pulled some leather straps and
came at me. He grabbed me by the shoulder and spun me around and
I got images of brutal bondage so true to my training, I continued to spin
until I knocked his wrist aside with one hand and back-fisted him on his
temple with the other. It was a classic Martial Arts move but effective.
The man dropped like a rock and then I realized that I
had killed him. A body adapted to a low gravity world wasn’t capable
of surviving a full blow by my Weir strength backed by muscles adapted
for a greater gravity. And using full force as the Dojo taught me
pulped his skull like a melon.
I knelt there wondering what to do next for I had probably
eliminated any chance for peaceful co-existence when the remaining two
I was about to either jump them or try to leap out the
window when they pulled their handguns and leveled them at me. As
good as I probably was, I couldn’t stop a bullet so I stood slowly with
my hands up and tried to explain myself.
One of them turned me around and kicked my knees to force
me down. Then with a pistol at my head, he tied my hands behind me
and then my feet together. My tail gave him some trouble and he pulled
a knife intending to simply remove it when the other snapped something
at him. I got images of me being more valuable intact so he tied
some leather to my tail
end, pulled it between my legs and tied my tail
to my neck so if I pulled, I’d choke myself. Then he kicked me to
my side and they examined their dead companion.
One, the smaller, touched the dead mans skull, whistled
and pointed at my fist, still bloody as he talked to his companion.
They obviously now had some respect for my unarmed fighting skills and
strength and that made them nervous. Unfortunately nervous people
tend to simplify their lives by killing whatever complicates matters and
right now, I tried to be as uncomplicated as I could possibly be.
Shit! I’d give them whatever they wanted if it meant staying alive.
Then we heard a growl and one went down under something
that looked like a huge lion with ten legs. He was dead in an instant
but the remaining man backed away and proceeded to shoot the animal repeatedly.
What I took for a primitive revolver (for why carry a sword when you have
an effective firearm) was, in fact, a lethal engine of destruction comparable
to our beamers. He must have fired a dozen explosive rounds into
the lion, each round destroying a part of the lion the size of a decent
Hurling ball and still the lion came on. Two of its legs were gone,
blown away as was its face and much of one side. I could see fountains
of blood spurt from large holes with every beat of its massive heart and
still it came on. Injuries that would have felled a Gaean dragon
were as pinpricks to this lion and then it was over. The lion crushed
the last man with its jaws then shuddered and died.
Frantically, I managed to move to the man I had killed
and sought his sword to free myself. I was able to grab it with my
feet and turned it to cut my hands free for my tarsials could easily act
as hands and thumb, clumsy as they were. Then my tail and ankles
and as soon as I was free, I grabbed a revolver and leapt to the ceiling
beam for fear another beast would enter. I was so scared that the
only thing that stopped me from peeing down my legs was that I had already
You may ask why I, a decorated war hero who had survived
two wars and numerous battles was scared. If the truth be told, It’s
easy to be brave when wearing a cloaking device, armour and force-shield
and carrying a beamer while inside a battle cruiser surrounded by a hundred
Lanai, each of whom had been bred into a super-soldier. But here,
I was just a lonely girl, years away from full adulthood, lost, naked and
unarmed and despite my military experience and training, I really wanted
my mother to be here to hold me and to tell me that my daddy would make
things better. Or failing that, have a squad of armed Lanai to back
me up for nothing makes a Draconan feel safer than knowing that there are
Lanai of the Warrior Caste nearby to handle danger.
When nothing else came into the room, I decided that the
lion was a solitary predator so I dropped to the ground and stripped the
bodies as quickly as I could and grabbed my own canteen and meat.
I then left and ran for the horses where I took stock of my new-found gear
while keeping watch for another lion or worse.
Three each of pistols, long swords, short swords, knives
and gear bags. One of the swords was curved like a saber, the other
two straight. My grandfather told me that in Arabia he used a curved
scimitar because it slashed better on horseback but ground fighters used
straight bladed for stabbing and striking. I opened the gear
bags and found food and a first aid kit. Inside one canister was
an ointment that I smeared on a patch of sunburned skin and almost immediately
the pain vanished and the skin softened up. A healing balm, so I
smeared some on my bleeding lips and nipples and as these began to heal,
I used the rest on my burned skin. Then I found the food to be some
starchy material similar to a tuber so I ate that to prevent protein poisoning
from an exclusive meat diet. I also found a small chess set but with
a hundred squares instead of our sixty-four. Like all Weir, I enjoyed
the game and hoped to find someone who could teach me the local version.
I also found the usual trinkets that find their way into a man’s pocket
or a woman’s purse.
The saddles contained silks and furs and cloth blankets
plus short rifles of a larger caliber than the revolvers. The horses,
however weren’t happy with my alien scent and snapped at me with sharp
teeth. I never liked horses anyway, even these eight-legged ones,
as rabbucks gave a smoother ride but I did know how to tame one.
I returned to the pool and found some grass that looked appetizing and
bundled it under my arm-pits. By the time I got back to the make-shift
stable, my sweat had permeated the grass and as I fed it to them, all the
while broadcasting thoughts of peace and calmness, I hoped that they would
associate my scent with food.
I also took some of the silk bedding and cut it into strips,
fashioning a bra and loincloth/skirt. These were more for protection
than support for Weir remain firm almost forever. My Human mother,
after nursing three Weir children had breasts that looked like sand in
stretched out wrinkled socks and was always jealous of our Weir neighbor
who at 50 with 6 kids had a DD chest that was firmer than most human teens
of a much smaller size.
Then I adjusted the men’s harness to fit my smaller size
and differing curves and once dressed, such as it were, felt immensely
better. Clothed and armed, now I felt more confident and picked up
their g-pouches. They were soft leather and plain and totally unsuited
for my anatomy but they did smell of man-musk. Curious as to how
an alien could smell as nice as a Weir or human, I lost myself in the sensations
and thoughts that their sweat produced.
“Damn! Now I’m horny again.” Well, we Weir
have a saying, “A woman with a tail can survive easier than a woman without
one.” This perpetual sexuality we endure was one of the side-effects
the Demons didn’t understand when they changed us. They enhanced
all of our senses and strengths and also, without meaning to, our hormones
as well. I tossed the g-pouches away to remove temptation and prepared
to leave the city before any more danger arrived.
I ate some more of their rations and saddled the horses
then led them to the fountain where they filled their bellies from the
pond. I didn’t know if they were immune to the creatures living there
or not but they were natives so I trusted their instincts to survive.
I also wove some grass into a conical hat for protection, then filling
all the water bladders I could, I mounted one of the horses and leading
the others, started out in the direction where the two pursued had been
pointed out. I figured that although these three were not good men,
perhaps those they sought were. At least I may be able to count on
the woman’s generosity and nurturing nature… I hoped. As an
afterthought, I returned to the stable and picked up the pouches.
It was going to be cold and lonely on the desert.
I made good time that first day. My horses seemed
tireless and like a camel, able to live without much water. I ate
and drank in the saddle and used the silk as a cape to keep the sun off
me. The healing balm I took from the bodies was doing its job and
my skin was rapidly darkening. In another couple days my skin should
be as brown as my mother’s and almost impervious to the UV that sought
to cook this world.
As the sun approached the western horizon (I assumed that
it was west) I began to look for a safe place to sleep, something away
from the lions and chameleons and whatever else lived in this bareness.
I saw some plants in the distance and made for them hoping to find more
water. I didn’t, but the rocks around which they grew would retain
the day’s heat and protect me from predators. So I hobbled
the horses, made a small fire and fell asleep exhausted.
I was woken by a bright light and grabbed for my nearby
revolver but relaxed when I saw that it was simply one of the two moons
crossing the sky. She, as I named the larger and slower of the moons
was beautiful in her own way for we Draconans see in the moon the Goddess
and I saw no reason to change that belief just because it was a different
moon. He, the smaller and faster would orbit about three times a
day wheras She orbited so slowly that she seemed to cross from West to
East or reverse the normal direction.
I made genuflection and spoke to Her, “Greetings Lady
of the Moon. I appreciate Thy light on this cold evening and would
ask that Thou tell thy Sisters of my plight that my family may be comforted
by my presence once again.” I heard that on Terra, atheists deny the existence
of any god, lunar, solar or other, but frankly, I needed the comfort of
my faith. I had been named after holy persons of three of the religions
of my grandparents as an offering of peace but after listening to my grandparents
argue with each other that their own faith was the truth and the others
were wrong, I ignored them all and followed the State Religion of Drakonis
despite my being legally a Jew and Moslem. So I settled down among
the furs and watched Her dance across the sky. A part of me noticed
that she traveled in a more northerly orbit than should be normal but then,
astronomers are always being proven wrong about every one of their cherished
I lay there in the silks and furs and absolute silence
and became aware that the furs smelt of sweat. Man sweat. Well,
it had been a very long time so I reached for the g-pouches and reveled
in the fantasy of what might have been had things been different.
Then with fingers and tail I self-pleasured until I was, again, sleepy.
But this time I smiled as I rolled over and dreamed the dreams of the satisfied.
When I awoke, I found the horses huddled together in a
crevasse for warmth. I understood how a desert could be so hot during
the day and so cold at night but that knowledge didn’t make me feel any
better. So I dug a hole for my bodily wastes, had breakfast and was
about to saddle my mounts when I estanned life nearby. I crouched
down, checked to see that the horses were still concealed and swept the
desert with my gaze.
What I saw was unnerving. A half dozen horses similar
to mine but giants. Were my mounts were the size of a Mustang, these
could have put a Clydesdale to shame. Even a rundi would come off
poorly by comparison and rundis were giants to us. But it was they
who rode that shocked me. Green Pirates! They lived a thousand
c-years from Drakonis on one small planet and spent their time raiding
their neighbors. They were tolerated only because they never conquered,
only raided so we killed those who raided hoping to eventually remove those
genes from their race. But these were different. Five
meters tall, green skin with two arms, two legs and an intermediate set
of limbs that could be either, they were a formidable enemy. Plus
they had tusks growing from their lower jaws and their eyes were set on
the sides of their heads and able to rotate and see in any direction.
These were thinner in nature, adapted to a low gravity and carrying lances
a dozen meters long with swords at their sides that were longer than I
was tall. Green Pirates would never carry such primitive weapons
so either these had been abducted and dumped here as was I or the pirates
I knew originated here and had been abducted and drooped in our sector.
And that meant that this planet was probably visited as frequently as was
Terra, which implied a chance for a ride home.
Regardless, of this, the cruelty of the Green Pirates
was infamous and the one encounter I had with them during the Pirate Wars
caused me to loose my dinner after looking into their hold. Even the Lanai
were upset at the remains of their prisoners. With this in mind,
I carefully pulled my revolver and pretended to be a rock as I shivered
Luck was with me as they continued in their silent travels
until they were over the nearby horizon. Even then I remained calm
and unmoving for a half-hour just in case. If I was scared of the
lion in the dead city, these terrified me to immobility. Once again
I wished for a decent cloak and shield and perhaps a mobile pulse-phaser.
Eventually I felt safe enough to raise and saddle my mounts
and continue on. But now I kept all senses open and sharp for this
world was far more dangerous than my own and the thought of suffering at
the hands or claws of the locals made me sick to my stomach.
Around noon I came across a glint in the distance.
As I approached closer I saw that it was a boat. But how did a boat
appear in this desert where the nearest water was a fountain 200 kilometers
behind me? Then I saw the prop, a propeller that was made for air,
not water. A closer examination revealed that the air-craft had taken
repeated arms fire and that the hull had been pierced in a half dozen places
by explosive rounds. I took a torch from my pack, courtesy of my
erstwhile fantasy-mates (Goddess! At this rate in a few days I’ll
convince myself that we four were happily married) and looked inside the
I could find no residue of water or fuel nor evidence
of the same. But each hole had penetrated a different tank.
I couldn’t see evidence of repulsors or gravity-panels so whatever caused
this thing to fly was a technology I couldn’t yet understand. Whomever
did this damage knew exactly how to bring this craft down and was an excellent
shot. The interior of the craft was a very small cabin and pilot
chairs, all stripped of weapons, food or water. Whomever flew this
craft had survived the crash, taken anything useful and left to attempt
to cross the desert on foot. The mental images of the trio in the
dead city centered around a man and woman in an aircraft so perhaps this
was their conveyance? One thing that brightened my day was
the fact that despite the dead city and the primitive swords used by the
locals, they did have advanced aircraft and technology so even if I couldn’t
build a sub-space transceiver, perhaps they could for me?
I searched around the craft but the moss carpet would
retain no prints, but after some searching I was able to find some moss
that had been kicked from its roots and that gave me a direction to travel.
So remounting, I raced across the desert hoping to find the duo before
either the Green Pirates or any more slavers could find the trail.
Evening was a repeat of the one before. I found
another grove of plants and evidence that it had been used the night before.
So after hobbling my mounts who still seemed to need no water, I ate some
more of my trail rations, drank from my rapidly dwindling water, curled
up into my furs between the rocks and this time, took my time pleasuring
myself. Why not? The nights were long, I only needed four hours
of sleep and couldn’t read or do anything else in the dark so this was
a pleasant way to spend a few hours. I only wished I had someone
to help me out.
It was shortly after noon when I saw a reflection in the
distance. Perhaps the sun shining off a rock or the metal of
a man’s harness, but it was in essentially the direction I was traveling
so I adjusted my course and raced onward.
It took less than a half hour to catch them, a man and
woman, both almost naked. His harness was essentially the same as
that of the trio from the dead city, at least to my untrained eye they
seemed the same. Her harness was slightly different but with softer
leather that exposed her small breasts. At first I thought that she
was a child. Although some human women are as small-chested as was
she, most humans that small were only beginning to develop. Weir,
being late developers, don’t begin to grow breasts or pubic hair until
we reach 15 or later. So what I at first thought was the body of
a young girl, a child, possibly with her father, changed as I looked at
her face more closely. She was definitely a woman there. I
raised my hand to cover her body and see only her head and face and her
beauty was breath-taking. I wished that I looked that good and I
am not considered to be unattractive. But when I covered her head
and looked at her body, I saw the rounded curves of hip and waist of a
woman with a chest of a girl.
The man was handsome and decently built. Muscled
as would be a fencer but I could see that he was no walker as both were
tired and the distance that they had covered was short by infantry standards.
Perhaps they had spent too much time flying and not enough walking.
“#Hello” I said, first in Spanglic, then Arabic, German
and French for we Drakonans value the multi-linguistic. On the off
chance that they had contact with the Five-Races, I also tried Demon but
“Koar!” said the man, smiling as he raised his right hand.
I smiled and replied “Koar.” Then dismounted as
a sign of friendship.
He then started to talk but I had to stop them, “#I don’t
understand your language#.” Which caused them to speak to each other until
the man pointed to my horse and said something that sounded like “#####
### ### thoat ####?” and when he said the word ‘thoat’ I got a mental
image of the beast I was riding. So the word for these creatures
was ‘thoat’. I’d remember that and so my language lessons began.
I saw that they only had one canteen so I offered them
one of mine and some trail rations, both of which they consumed eagerly.
As they did so, I pointed to myself and said “Ayiesha Penaut!” then
I looked at them and waited. The woman smiled, pointed to herself
and said “Taria Kolos” then to the man and said “Tor Tal” and so we made
informal introductions. As we rested, I would point to a rock or
sword or body part and they would tell me their word in Barsoomian, which
was the language of this world of Barsoom. Somehow knowing the name
of this planet made it seem less strange.
Then they mounted the extra thoats and we all rode across
the desert seeking someplace chosen by Tor Tal. As we rode I continued
to learn and by the time we stopped for the night, I had a vocabulary of
several hundred words, most of which I was able to remember. They
also showed me plants that we could eat and one, the mantalia, was my salvation.
It was a plant that grew almost everywhere and would give up to nine liters
of a milky liquid a day. I had passed these plants a dozen times
and could have slaked my thirst at any time had I known. Plus the
sap from the younger leaves was a healing balm for my sun burned skin,
another fact I wish I had known earlier.
It was when we stripped for the night’s sleep that I got
a good look at my companions and they at me. Considering the sparsity
of their harness, about all that was hidden were their genitals and the
casualness with which they stripped naked indicated that clothing among
the Barsoomian was practical and had nothing to do with modesty.
Taria, naked, was as beautiful as she was clothed save
her pubic hair was vary sparse. Not shaved sparse but simply a lack
of growth unlike mine which was a forest. Tor, on the other hand,
dropped his g-pouch and the sight took my breath away. Maybe it was
the last month of celibacy because I’ve seen better but there was something
about him that just made my mind and body want that man. He was like
Weir in that he had no foreskin but I couldn’t tell if it was because,
like my grandfathers’ it had been removed at birth or age 13 or, if like
Weir, he was born without one. I just knew that he was well formed
and that I wanted him.
Had they been Weir, I’d just ask and Taria’d loan him
to me or even join in but humans are funny about fidelity and sex.
I recall my grandfather telling me how in Mecca they would toss a woman
to her death as an adulterer simply for being alone with a man who wasn’t
her husband even if nothing sexual happened. Also I had no ideas
as to their views on lesbianism for though most Weir are bi-sexual, my
Arab grandparents encouraged my brothers homosexual experiments while condemning
my own lesbian desires though, strangely enough, my Jewish grandparents
were the opposite, pretending that my affairs with women didn’t happen
but soundly berating my brothers when they were caught with another boy.
And since I didn’t know what the Barsoomian customs were (or if they were
married, lovers, friends, or brother and sister), I thought that I’d better
wait and suffer.
What they thought of my body and attitudes, I didn’t learn
The next morning we awoke, had breakfast and continued
on our journey for to me any place was as good as any. We continued
with our lessons, a task made easy by the Barsoomian telepathic ability
that caused a flash of image with almost every word and by evening that
day I could converse with them in simple sentences.
As was usual, we stripped naked for sleep to allow our
harness to air dry and the two would stare at my body and whisper together.
This time I was rubbing my limbs and breasts trying to warm up when I noticed
them staring. “Have you ever seen a person like myself?” I asked
hoping that the Fleet had a Stargate or spaceport here. Of course, our
conversation wasn’t that complex but more like me pointing and saying,
“You see me me me here there?” but I’m fleshing it out for easier understanding.
It would be days before I could actually speak their language fluently
and that only because the language was so simple and because both Weir
and Barsoomian had some telepathic ability, especially when we touched.
“No, Ayiesha Penaut,” responded Tor Tal, for it was their
way to use all names. I was glad I didn’t tell them my entire legal
name or we’d never manage to find time to talk.
“Upon the face of Barsoom, we have a number of races but
none like yours. Your skin is brown but all the races on Barsoom
are black, white or yellow and we Red Men which are a mixture of all three.
Your hair is blue but all red, yellow and black men have black hair.
Only the white Orovars and Therns have yellow or auburn hair. But
no race has a tail or feet or hands like yours, nor do we know of any race
with pointed ears, eyes with slits and those antennae which grow upon your
forehead. Also, I wonder, and please forgive me if I offend, but
your breasts are so huge and you cover them so, are you ill or such?”
“Huge? Ill? I don’t understand? I always
thought that I was average size but I don’t think that this low gravity
makes them look much bigger.” I tried to stare down at my chest but
without a mirror I couldn’t see anything other than the tops and my eternally
“Are all the people of your race like you?” asked Tor
“Pretty much,” I replied. “Some taller but few shorter.
We do range from white to brown to black skin with all shades between.
And our hair can be blonde, red, brown, black, green and blue though the
darker the skin, the darker the hair usually.
Taria jumped in and said, “But Ayiesha Penaut, the way
you keep rubbing your breasts and you keep them covered and hidden and
their size makes me wonder if there is something wrong like a tumor or
disease. We have excellent doctors in Ptarth….”
I could tell that she was worried about something but
couldn’t understand what. “I’m completely lost here,” I said. “The
only thing wrong with my breasts is that they’re cold and my nipples ache.
I come from a warmer climate and my people wear clothes to keep warmer.
Don’t some of your people have larger chests?”
“Uh, no,” she said, embarrassed. “Why would anyone
need them larger?”
“To #nurse your #babies?” I hazarded…. “#Babies?
#Young? #Infants? They come from your #womb?” I tried
to pantomime holding a baby and a pregnant belly and nursing as I had to
use Spanglic words. But all I got were blank looks.
OK, I thought, Humans are live bearers but Demons are
egg bearers, Lanai clone and Shitai hive so just because these Barsoomians
appear to be human, doesn’t mean that they are the same in all areas.
I tried again, “Then, if I’m not being too personal, how does your race
Tavia responded, “Like all forms of life on Barsoom, we
lay an egg which is placed in an incubator and after five years of growth,
the egg hatches to release an almost adult person. Is there any other
I couldn’t help but laugh at this. Despite their
external similarity to humans, internally, Barsoomians were different.
They lay eggs which hatch into adolescents. Of course they wouldn’t
nurse so breasts are little more than gender dimorphism. I wondered
if they derived any physical pleasure from them. The thought of experimenting
with Tor Tal made my own breasts flush with warmth.
“My people are different.” I said. “We retain our
#young within our #wombs for 4 months as it grows. Then when we give
birth, the #baby is tiny and totally helpless for three years and must
be protected, fed and cared for. The only food the #baby receives
is milk that is produced by these.” I held my breasts for them to see.
“The #baby suckles #milk from the breasts for three years until they grow
teeth and are #weaned to solid food. Then they begin to grow rapidly
and learn and we help to teach them to be good people. This is why
we Weir need larger breasts than humans or you Barsoomians, our #babies
are so helpless they need to #nurse almost constantly.”
Their blank looks turned to shock, “like #animals!” she
cried. I got an image of something similar to a small rat that lives
on garbage in the sewers of the cities. This was not going well so
I tried to make it a joke to diffuse the tension, “At least it’s better
than my grandmother. She was #pregnant for almost ten months and
it took almost 3 days for her to birth my mother who had a head the size
of a #melon, and she nursed her last child for five years, even with teeth.”
From the looks on their faces, I guess that they didn’t
get the humor. Well, I now knew that no other human or Weir had visited
this planet. I was effectively marooned unless I could find the technology
to build a sub-space transceiver or a star-ship. And I wasn’t an
engineer but a peasant farm girl turned soldier. From their reactions,
I didn’t think I should discuss sex so I bade them good night and crawled
into my furs and thought about where I was until sleep overtook me.
The next morning we ate in silence, neither of them looking
at me. I then realized that they were never really alone together.
They slept on opposite sides of the fire, never held hands and although
the looks they gave were intimate and I could feel their attraction for
each other, neither showed it outwardly.
I hazarded a statement that I knew would cause trouble
but I had to know. “Pardon me for asking but are you.. uh, what is
Tor Tal replied “I am her protector.” And dropped the
matter. I knew that there was more to that statement but decided
that he was hands-off and I shouldn’t push the matter. If they were
potential lovers in that sensitive stage, any outside interference could
ruin their future.
It was while on the trail that Taria asked me her first
really personal question. “Do you have … lovers back on your world?”
I had earlier talked about my home planet and how I found myself here so
they knew that I was an alien though it turned out that her word ‘lover’
had a different meaning than mine. Regardless, I enjoyed the conversation
and even the long explanations for certain words helped me to learn their
“Oh, some I suppose.” I replied. “Not as many
as most girls my age but that’s because I am in the military so the last
two years while my friends are experimenting with sex, I was aboard a warship
fighting pirates and fending off invasions. I’m still only twenty
and only became sexually active a few years ago so there’s still time.”
She looked shocked again. I guess I was getting
used to this. But better I inadvertently cause trouble here than
in a city.
“And #children? Have you many with all these lovers?”
She was even more embarrassed now.
I laughed at this. “I’m far too young to become
pregnant. My people may become sexually active at 15 but we cannot
become fertile until twenty-five. And then we need to be almost exclusive
with one person to be fertile for our promiscuity hinders fertility.”
Her look caused me to try to explain how we were the products of Demon
“A thousand years ago the Demons abducted a bunch of humans
from Terra. At first they only cured and healed them and allowed
them to run free. Then the Kentaurans found that they couldn’t live
on a desert world with no iron so the Demons changed them to green copper-based
blood, dark skin and a few other adaptations that allowed them to survive
their new home.
“Then the Kris wars started 500 years ago. Both
Demons and humans were almost exterminated so the Demons changed themselves
from small plant-eating pacifists into large, meat-eating warriors.
Then they changed the humans into the Mon, giant three-meter tall soldiers
and between the two, they pushed the Kris back and won the war by simply
exterminating the Kris religion and race.
“By the time they started to collect my people, the war
was almost over so with no more need for soldiers they changed us into
starship crew. Our feet and tail are to grasp projections on a ship
in zero-gravity and to act as extra hands. Our ears and eyes were
enhanced with greater perception. We were made with small enough
bodies to crawl through access tubes. They did make one big mistake
though. Demons don’t understand human needs or emotions so they also
accidently enhanced our sexuality and passions. Whatever we do, we
do with our entire being.
“But the Baron didn’t want Mon soldiers defending the
Barony so he created the Lanai to protect us. And occasionally, some
of us, human or Weir, enlist and become soldiers ourselves. That’s
what I did. My mother’s people are Peasant Caste and believe that
a girl should marry and be a good wife. I saw my mother follow that
way and I decided that I’d be different. So I enlisted at 18 and
became a Warrior to rule my own life and raise myself to Warrior Caste.
“But I was wounded during the Shitai invasion, lost a
lung, some ribs and part of my arm and heart,” I showed her my plasma scars
and continued, “and while recovering at my parent’s home I went to sleep
and woke up here. Naked, alone and lost. What I’m trying to
do is to find out where I am and try to go home.”
She was very sympathetic to me though she understood little
of what I said. The ideas of a woman being sexually active and a
soldier was stranger to her than the idea of being pregnant and nursing
a baby. Then something occurred to me.
“Who were those three men who were following you?”
Tor Tal pulled his Thoat to a halt and turned to me, “What
men?” He demanded.
I explained about the dead city and the trio that had
been chasing them then explained they had died. When I was finished
he was silent
Tor Tal explained, “Taria Kolos and I met when I was a
padwar in her father’s guards. We fell in love but my station wasn’t
high enough for her father and he decreed that we never see each other
again. But our love was stronger than he realized and I took a post
with another noble hoping to better myself and become rich enough to impress
even Kol Fias. But it was while I was guarding my employers’ son
that I was called away and while gone, a gorthan entered and killed my
charge. I was disgraced and condemned to death but Kol Fias arraigned
for my escape and said to me that I could leave in a small flyer and know
that I’d never be allowed to return to Ptarth nor see his daughter and
that would be an eternal torture.
“But he didn’t count on the love of his daughter and when
I entered the flyer and left Ptarth under cover of darkness, I discovered
Taria Kolos hidden away within. She had chosen a life of exile with
me over a life of ease in Ptarth such was her love.
“The Flyer that we used couldn’t be controlled and was
taking us to an unknown destination but aparantly Kol Fias hired those
three panthans to hunt me down and such was his wealth that he also managed
to somehow hire six Green Men as well. It was while flying across
the dead sea bottom that the Green Men struck, their radium bullets destroyed
my buoyancy tanks causing my flyer to crash. But I managed
to change course and nurse the flyer so that it came down in a direction
other than expected and we two then ran for the hills until you found us.”
That was so romantic, like a novel or tri-d and I could
only hug Taria. These were my only friends upon Barsoom and I loved
them for their sacrifices. I knew that somehow I’d help them live
the life they deserved. I thought for a while, told them about
the Green Men I saw and then said, “I want you to teach me to fight with
He was shocked so I had to explain that I wasn’t like
a Barsoomian woman. Although still only a teen even by my own people’s
standards, our ways were different.
“I come from peasant stock. My mother’s people are
Bedouin Arabs who search the desert herding #sheep and occasionally robbing
#pilgrims until they were driven into the Rub al Kali, the emptiest desert
in Arabia. Dying, the Draconan Colonial Service found them and offered
them life on Gaea, an offer that they took. But Arabs believe that
a woman is little more than chattel, to be sold for alliance and even then
only #virgins were valuable. They believed thusly even on Gaea but
my mother loved another, a man of another race and religion but with no
wealth other than a small farm he inherited from his father. She
was forbidden to see him but they ran away together and married and eventually
I was born. It was years before my grandparents would talk to her
again, such was the anger they felt.
“My father’s family were German Jews who were being killed
by their own countrymen for being different when they were rescued by Colonial
and came to Gaea. With them were some Parisian homeless and together
was my father born. I don’t think that my father’s parents were married
but they loved each other anyway. For he was a Jew and she a Catholic
and such could not marry by the laws of either religion. But the
laws of Drakonis said that anyone may marry and that women were free to
live their own lives and what could my grandparents do but eventually accept
“Then was my brother born. It was one thing to be
told that your children or grandchildren would be Weir and another to birth
a child that wasn’t human. But a mother’s love was stronger than
her disgust and even my father grew to accept and love his Weir son.
By the time I was born, Weir births were normal but my Arabian grandparents
saw in me a chance to marry me to another family to increase their own
“The problem with my grandfather’s plan was that I must
be a #bloody-sheet virgin and Weir have no #maidenheads to give.
Nor do we wait until marriage to sample the joys of sex.
“I see you don’t understand. Humans have a flap
of skin over their genitals. In men it’s a #foreskin that covers
the head of the penis and in women it is a #maidenhead that covers the
opening to the vagina. When a man first enters a woman, that #maidenhead
tears apart and she bleeds to prove that she knew no other man. So
important was this that a woman could be killed on Terra if this #maidenhead
was missing. So important was this that Arab men have their #foreskin
removed at 13 years to share in the woman’s deflowerment. My mother
told me that on her wedding night it ‘hurt like hell and she bled like
a pig’. But we Weir have neither #foreskin nor #maidenhead and when
I was 16 and my breasts and pubes began to grow, I decided to be different.
So a number of my friends, human and Weir gathered our money and hired
a couple of #whores, a man and woman to show and teach us about sex.
“At first it was embarrassing but we quickly learned and
by the end of the evening none of us were virgins in any manner.
When my father found out he was so angry! I think that his anger
at that was the one thing that made my mother’s family befriend him but
my mother took me aside and asked only if I enjoyed the experience.
When I said that I did very much, she simply said ‘I’m glad’ and never
mentioned it again.
“I saw my mother tied to her house by Arab culture and
bearing Weir children and one day when I was 18 she told me to follow my
own dreams. So I went to the Baron and enlisted in the military to see
something that was forbidden me by class and ancestry. For although
we Draconans grant equality for all, men and women, human, Weir and Lanai,
we are a class people and peasants like my family were lower than all.
So I saw this as a chance to become Warrior Caste and raise my status and
pride for my family.
“For two years I fought for my Barony. I gathered
honours and awards and even the Baron himself told my family that they
should be proud of me. Then came the battle at Sothis. The
Shitai had invaded our lands again and so we drove them away again.
We chased the Shitai into the caverns of Sothis and 20 of us were trapped
with the Baron underground. We ran out of power and ammunition the
second day and had to fight over a hundred Shitai with what weapons we
could make and steal. For a week we were trapped underground but
the Baron kept us alive and fighting until rescue arrived.
“After the battle, I returned home to recover, to re-grow
my lung and repair my arm and heart. This scar on my arm is the external
marking of that battle. But my parents cried that I was too young
to die for I am too young to even give them grandchildren and if I died,
it would be my brothers who would carry the family name.
“So one night I fell asleep in my bed in my parent’s home
and woke up here. Perhaps I died in bed and this is Allah or Jehovah’s
joke of a Paradise or punishment. The rest you know. I have
no idea of how I got here or why, but my main goal is to return home for
I see that my lifestyle isn’t suitable for your world and I miss my family
and friends so.
“But if the Green men are chasing you and if your father
hires more panthans to hunt you, two swords are better than one and I am
already a soldier by my nation’s laws and my own history. So, again,
I ask you to teach me to fight with a sword. There may come a time
when you will need me with that skill.”
Tor Tal tried to argue because women on Barsoom don’t
fight but eventually I won him over and in addition to language lessons,
came fencing. I was an apt learner as the sword isn’t unknown
on Drakonis and many are the soldiers who come to us from Terra with blade-experience
such as Marcus, our greatest hero, who had been a Roman Legionary before
Colonizing. Martial Arts training included the sword but we don’t
use swords in war, we reserve them for ceremony and duels but peasants
like myself rarely even own a blade larger than a carving knife.
It was a couple of days later that we found a small oasis.
This had real water for bathing, trees and was a paradise in the desert.
I could well believe the joys my grandparents felt when they found the
one in the Rub al Kali that led them to Gaea and I gave my thanks to all
the Goddesses of Islam, Judiasm and Drakonis.
And so for three days we bathed, and rested and enjoyed
our respite. Even my companions began to hold hands before me for
they realized that I wouldn’t be shocked at this display. I suspect
that their mutual attraction never went further than a brief kiss or her
laying in his arms as they talked though I didn’t understand why he didn’t
just throw her to the ground and enjoy each other but Barsoomian custom
was their law. “Goddess! I HAVE to find a way home where I can get
a decent hot shower, a hot meal and even hotter man.”
As I lay there, cranky and irritable from some unimportant
thing that made me angry, I tried to calm down by watching the motionless
trees and the blue sky for the dust had settled and the sky changed colour,
we heard the squeal of thoats.
I grabbed my weapons and met Tor Tal who said, “visitors”
and pointed to the east. Taria brought the thoats and we prepared
to run or fight as the situation warranted when four men rode into our
oasis. At first we just stared at each other when one demanded, “What
do you with the Oasis of Ted Halor, Jed?”
Tor Tal explained that we were lost and trying to return
home when they interrupted. “All who enter our lands do so as slaves
or corpses, which are you?” and they laughed at his wit. Tor
Tal was about to jump them when one of the men said, “Dwar, these people
aren’t enemies, just wanderers. Perhaps we should show them courtesy
as a guest and help them on their way.”
This was seen as weakness by his fellows who then demanded
our surrender. “We are four and you but one warrior and a deformed
animal who thinks she is a man.” He said as he looked at my weapons and
Although we Draconans are a polite race (you must be when
an insult could result in a duel to the death), I tried to remain calm
even though I wanted to rip his tongue out. He was right, we were
outnumbered and peaceful talks are always the first step. But Tor
Tal laughed and said, “If you want us, take us!” and he drew his long sword.
The four charged him so I said, “Damn!” drew my own sword
and rushed to his aid.
The one who asked for mercy held back a moment then joined
his fellows. I think it was more loyalty than anything else that
did this but Tor Tal quickly killed his first opponent and faced the remaining
three when I entered the fray. I killed one immediately, more by
accident than by design and then we each faced a single opponent.
Tor Tal dispatched his after a fight that left him bleeding from a half-dozen
cuts. But I tried a different tact. I couldn’t hope to match
his skill so I simply used my superior strength to beat his blade down
then punched him with my free fist. He went down unconscious but
As Taria rushed to care for her lover, I bound the unconscious
man and stripped the rest of their possessions then dragged the bodies
away from the oasis and into a crevasse where the scavengers would find
them or we could bury them, according to the wishes of my companions.
I wasn’t certain about our prisoner as we Draconans generally don’t take
prisoners during war. When we do, we prefer to run their brains through
a blender to extract information and toss the rest into the garbage.
But I didn’t know enough about Barsoomian chivalry to know if they would
kill or enslave or release our prisoner.
Tor Tal's injuries were slight and in a matter of moments
he was up and walking. He stared at our prisoner then shook his head
and drew his dagger. “I’m sorry, but you understand,” he told the
“At least do it quickly and with little pain,” the man
As I said, I saw nothing wrong with such a casual murder
of a helpless man but suddenly I had an idea. “Hold, Tor Tal! A word
if you please.”
He took this request graciously as no one enjoys murdering
the helpless, necessary as it must be and we walked away with Taria.
“Let me have him, please,” I asked.
“What for?” Taria asked. “He’s an enemy and tried
to kill us for no crime other than trespassing. Free him and he’ll
bring his fellows to kill or enslave us. His death, though unpleasant,
I tried to explain, “If he is to die, will you not grant
him a last joy?” They wore blank looks so I tried again. “Among
my Terran ancestors, a condemned man is given a last meal and sometimes
a woman. They felt that if a man must die, he should die happy.
Can we not do the same?”
Again, blank looks. “Our food and water is too limited
to waste on a man who will be dead soon enough.”
“OK then, I need him!” I cried. “Surely you’ve noticed
how angry I become lately over stupid things. I’m cranky, I cannot
sleep, I sneak away to self-pleasure a dozen times a day, I NEED a man
or I’ll die! If not him, I need you to service me.” I was crying
They were horrified of course as what I was advocating
was that they assist me in raping then killing that man. Murder they
could do, but rape was as alien to them as unmarried consensual sex.
But I pleaded and finally promised that I wouldn’t force him and if he
still refused me, I’d accept it and suffer. I also promised that
I would be the one to kill him saving Tor Tal the stigma of murder.
They finally and grudgingly agreed and strode away so
they wouldn’t have to see the deed done. I didn’t blame them as Draconan
law was cruel and swift to rapists. With prostitution legal and respected
and sexual freedom the norm, we had no word for forced sex so what I was
planning was illegal and immoral by even my own nations law and custom.
But I was desperate. And I hated myself.
I knelt before him and saw that he was awake. I
suppose I was learning to pull my punches. I smiled, moistened some
of my silks with water and wiped the blood from his face. “You know
what we have to do.” It was a statement, not a question and so he
What do you say to a person that you are about to violate
“You can see I’m not from this world.” He registered
no surprise as did Tor Tal and Taria which was curious. “My ways
are not yours. And among the people of my homeworld, we grant the condemned
a last request. Usually it’s a meal but other things have been given.”
“Why,” he sneered, “to try to eliminate the guilt you
“Probably,” I smiled again. “But in your case, I
am willing to offer you something special as your last memory, … me.”
His look showed that he had no idea of what I was saying.
“Sex!” I tried again. “I understand that your people are often virgins
but among my people sex is normal. I’m offering myself to you so you can
die smiling.” I started to remove the silk covering my breasts but
realized that this wouldn’t be the sexual signal we used so stopped.
He was to say the least, unconvinced. I suppose
that no one had ever made this offer to him.
“Are all you aliens that way?’ he asked with resignation.
“All? You mean that there are others here?”
“Of course, John Carter and Vad Varo and others from Jasoom.
I hear that occasionally someone from other worlds visits. What of it!”
I almost lost sight of my goal with this new information
and wanted to shake Tor Tal’s teeth out for withholding this information.
I now knew that I had to save this man and had an idea of how.
“Listen to me carefully. I have an offer and if
you agree, I will not only #fuck your brains out, but I’ll release you
alive when we leave.” Of course he didn’t know the words but the
images I sent of us rolling in a couple were very graphic.
He was shocked and filled with disbelief so I explained
carefully. “My people have a great need for sex. I’ve been
celibate for almost two months now and I am in misery for the want of a
man. If I don’t get sex soon, I’ll die a horrible death. You
can solve that immediate problem by #fucking me. I ask nothing other
than your body and can promise that you will enjoy the act as much as I
do. In addition, you have information that I need about these other
alien visitors that may help me return to my home. Plus, I and my
companions will swear by whatever oath you choose that we are not here
to harm your Jed or nation and we will leave your nation in peace by any
route that you say. I offer you this because I need you but mostly
because from your actions in trying to stop your people and leave us in
peace, I can see that you are an honourable man. What say you?”
“And why should I believe you?”
“Because you have no choice. If you agree, instead
of killing you, I will see that you are released unharmed. Think
of it, your life to continue serve your Jed, our promise to leave your
nation and peace between us.”
He thought about it for awhile and then agreed, “Release
me and I will agree to your terms.”
There is no need to describe what we did then other than
to say that he was a willing pupil in the arts of lust and an hour later
I felt much better and he couldn’t have lifted a sword against us if he
wanted to. I lay there next to him playing with a leaf I had found
thinking of…. Well, I really wasn’t thinking at all. I just felt
really relaxed and lay under the light of both moons as they crossed orbits.
Later when I saw Taria Kolos and Tor Tal with Tulan in
tow (he had eventually told me his name), Tor Tal drew his sword again.
“Hold!” I cried, “We have a deal to make.”
Taria didn’t look at me at all. I guess thoughts
of rutting animals were flowing through her mind so I talked to Tor Tal
who I hoped would be easier to convince. “I found a way to avoid
murder and make everyone happy. We swear that we are not here to
harm either his Jed or nation and promise to leave as soon as possible.
In return, Tulan here will escort us to the nearest friendly nation and
we let him live. Everyone wins!”
I could see that they were wavering for no sane man loves
murder and this would save all lives. Finally with little more argument,
we all drew our blades, Taria sharing Tor Tal's, and swore to the terms
of the deal, adding that we would not harm each other and would protect
each other until we reached another friendly city. That done, all
relaxed for the Barsoomian takes such an oath with great severity and dignity.
Taria was even willing to pretend to ignore my escapades so happy was she
with the agreement we made. We then returned to Tulan the possessions
of his companions and we four buried the dead according to the customs
of their nation.
Tulan and Tor Tal drew a map of the area in the dirt and
discussed their goals. It was unfortunate that the rifles of the
Green Men had driven his flyer off course and forced him to unintentionally
cross this nation. But Tulan showed us a nearby city where he felt
that we would be received in friendship and even hire a flyer to take us
to Tor Tal’s original goal. Taria and I kept out of these discussions.
She because it is in the nature of Red Women to allow their men to guide
and protect them, I because I had no goal other than to leave this world.
And thus, we allowed the men to rule our lives.
We, or rather they, made plans to gather water and food
and use the extra thoats as pack animals so we could leave on the morrow
and he showed us which oasis plants were edible so we managed to collect
enough food to last a month if need be.
As we prepared for sleep that last night, I approached
Tulan and asked him to share my furs for I was most anxious to repeat this
afternoon’s joys. He was taken aback by my suggestion but agreed
with some embarrassment, for what man would reject such pleasure after
partaking of a woman’s honey, and such was how I spent my last night in
that pleasant place.
The next morning, neither Tor Tal nor Taria would look
at either of us and I figured it was because I tend to be noisy and thus
reminded them of my rutting ways. But then, when I saw them smile
at each other I knew that finally they had taken my example and broken
that last barrier. A Weir would have rushed over and asked for details
but I knew she was embarrassed enough and so gave her time though I was
dying to tell her about Tulan’s growing skills and to learn about Tor Tal’s
I also wanted to find out about the other visitors to
this world. John Carter was a Terran name but Vad Varo was not so
my initial thought that Jasoom may be Terra seemed to be wrong. There
was time to find out.
During our first lunch break I approached Tor Tal and
asked “Tell me about John Carter!”
He looked up and said easily, “John Carter is the Prince
of Helium. He came to Barsoom some decades ago from Jasoom and married
the Princess of Helium. His fame spread across the world for
among his feats was the uniting of a number of nations into one whole,
making peace with the Tharken Hoard and the overthrow of the false Goddess
Issus. Vad Varo was another from Jasoom who traveled the void to
Barsoom. Why do you ask?”
“Why didn’t you tell me about them when I asked you if
there were others like me here?” I demanded.
Taria chimed in, “Because there are none like you on Barsoom.
Neither John Carter nor Vad Varo resemble you, nor have I heard of anyone
from your planet Gaea upon the face of Barsoom.”
“But I told you that my grandparents came from #Terra,”
I was almost yelling at this time.
“Yes, Terra, John Carter doesn’t come from Terra, he comes
from Jasoom.” Said Tor Tal with infinite calmness.
The situation was so pitiful that it was funny and I fell
to the moss laughing my fool head off. All this time I had been using
the Spanglic word for ‘Earth’ which was ‘Terra’ and they were using the
Barsoomian word which was ‘Jasoom’ and it never occurred to me to confirm
or translate the names. And when I mentioned my parents, I never
described them as resembling more the Barsoomian than the Weir.
“I’m sorry,” I said because they were looking at me as
if I were insane. “All this time I described my parents and grandparents
as #human but didn’t tell you what a #human looked like or what #Terra
meant. It’s all my fault and could have been fixed if only I had
thought a bit.
“Where do these people reside? I need to talk to
them and find out how to get to Jasoom. I’m certain that Star Fleet
has a Stargate on #Terra ... Jasoom, maybe a dozen which I can use to get
home to Gaea.”
They told me that John Carter lives in Helium and Vad
Varo in Amhor and that we could send a message to both easily once we settled
down safely. Now I had even more reason to help my friends and a
solution to my own problem was right there in front of my face. All
we had to do was survive the desert, predatory carnivours, Green Men, gorthans,
panthans, starvation, thirst and hostile nations. All that couldn’t
be harder than telling my family that I had enlisted and was going to war
but it would be much easier than explaining to my father that I was no
longer a virgin.
Fortunately, with two men present, my fencing lessons
improved dramatically. Each had a different style and I learned that
one had an offense that would penetrate the other’s defense and both outdid
themselves to compete in my lessons.
The next two days were fairly repetitious. We would
travel by day, rest and eat at noon where I would continue with my fencing
and language lessons. After which we would travel some more then
just before dark, locate a place to sleep, eat our meal, fence more, then
Tulan and I would find a place where we would be alone and a few hours
later to fall asleep exhausted.
It was after one of our nicer sessions that I lay there
under the furs, for I still found the Barsoomian nights to be unbearably
cold, that Tulan began to stroke my breasts. Although my body reacted
pleasurably to his attention, I couldn’t help but wonder why? He
always had to force himself to touch my breasts for in his mind they were
“My lover,” I asked avoiding religiously the word ‘chieftain’
which to the Red Men was an indication of eternal love or an engagement
while in reality, Tulan was just something to do at night, “What are you
“Playing. Don’t you like it?”
“Hmmmm, very much. But you’ve never liked them before
no matter how much I begged. Why now?”
“Because you are stronger and faster than me. I’m
still a better fencer but for no other reason than I have centuries of
experience. In a year or less you’ll be better than me at that too.
So, this is the only area where I can control you or be better than you.
So,…” again his stroke caused me to loose focus, “remember that here, at
least, I am in control.”
I don’t remember anything else that he may have said as
he quickly demonstrated a skill that I didn’t know he had. Unfortunately,
as I said before, I am quite noisy when .. enjoying myself and there were
more people out there listening than Taria Kolos and Tor Tal.
I was THAT close when Tulan was pulled off me. My
immediate reaction was to scream, “Not now, oh Goddess I need you now!!”
But what happened was the peal of guttural laughter struck my ears.
I looked up and saw Tulan being held in the grip of two Green Men and both
Taria and Tor Tal swearing as another couple Green Men held them prisoner.
I started to jump up to fight when I felt the barrel of
a radium rifle press against my head.
We were quickly bound with absolutely no gentleness as
would be expected of the Green Race, be they Green Men on Barsoom or Green
Pirate in space. Tulan made some demand and the nearest Green Man
struck him a blow that laid him on the ground then peal of laughter broke
That night was a nightmare. We four were bound naked and
left in the open to freeze or not. As we huddled there together seeking
the warmth of our combined bodies though the Red Man seemed to tolerate
the cold easier than did I, the Green Men went through our belongings,
tossing some, keeping others. Eventually they fell asleep leaving
a guard that regularly checked our bonds thus making escape impossible.
After a sleepless night that left me feeling sick from
the cold, we were dragged up and tossed onto our thoats sans breakfast.
Then the Green Men hurried us across the desert at a breakneck speed that
slowed only when one of our thoats stumbled and fell, breaking one of his
eight legs. The Green Men stopped and took that time to torture the
poor animal near to death then remounted and left the suffering beast to
die in agony. The Green Men forced us to watch their cruelty and
I had a flashback to the time we captured that Green Pirate ship and saw
what was in the hold. The thought that they’d do that to us terrified
me so much I felt pee running down my legs. By the time night fell,
we were back at the original dead city and I was coughing up green slime.
The cold, lack of food or drink and exhaustion had given me pneumonia.
The Green Men simply laughed at me, then tossed us all
into a deep pit and left us in the darkness to await whatever fate they
How long I lay there I don’t remember. I was feverous
and couldn’t breathe and coughed constantly. Finally I was able to
tell my friends how to pound on my back to free the phlegm, a task that
they did almost constantly as they took turns.
I know that I lost weight as when they finally dragged
us from that pit, I could barely stand and needed help to do even that.
We were all filthy and our only grace was that we hadn’t been tortured,
only starved. But now, we thought that the torture would come, but
we were wrong.
We were dragged before a man who Taria recognized as her
father, Kol Fias. These then, must be the Green Men that he had somehow
“Well, well, well,” gloated Kol Fias. “Daughter,
I would have given you everything but instead you ran away with this… thing
that doesn’t deserve a second name. And what is this .. creature?” he said
pointing to me.
Another coughing session ensued with me spewing more green
slime down my face and chest.
Kol Fias stepped back in disgust saying, “Take it away
and do with it as you wish. I thought I could sell it but the thing
dies and is useless to me.” And so I was dragged away leaving my friends
to the not so tender mercies of a madman.
The Green Men shoved a tube down my throat and forced
some liquid into my lungs and stomach, an action that caused me to nearly
die from drowning. Then they threw me into an empty room and left
me alone. When the sun rose, I was feeling much better, the liquid
had cured my infection but I was weak, hungry and thirsty but otherwise
I hoped that they did that out of mercy but when two of
them returned after sunrise, they said “Are you well? Good!
Your agonies will be more pleasing if you are healthy enough to last more
than a zode.” Then one grabbed my arm and started to drag me from
the room. I am a couple hand-spans under two meters tall and the
Green Man was three meters taller than I, but his crotch was at my head
height and exposed so I collapsed and before he could see what I was doing,
I stood up quickly with fists balled and drove my clenched fists into his
testicles with all the strength I could muster.
I didn’t kill him, weakened as I was, but I did cripple
him for life and as he dropped screaming in agony (all men are sensitive
there), I pulled his revolver from its holster and shot the second Green
Man repeatedly until he collapsed. The Fleet would have sent me cleaning
the bilges for wasting ammunition for we believe “one enemy, one bullet”
and I used maybe a half-dozen just then but I didn’t care.
I grabbed his canteen and leapt, or rather climbed and
leapt for the roof beams and hid as their companions entered. On
a world of no trees, the Green Men acted as a human would have and never
looked up. It wouldn’t have been difficult as the beams were only
a few centimeters above their heads and they could easily have found me
had they tilted their eyes a bit. But they looked around the floor
then making comments about my escaping the building, one ran to report
to Kol Fias while the other one searched the outside of the building.
I rested there for a bit drinking the water until I felt
well enough to move. Funny, a couple weeks ago I was naked, starving
and hiding from three Red men and today, I am naked, starving and hiding
from four Green Men in the same city. Does this not prove that the
Horned God has a really perverse sense of humor? I almost laughed but my
chest hurt too much to do more than breathe.
The Green Men killed their injured companion and left
the bodies where they were but both had been stripped so all I had was
a half-empty canteen of mantilia milk and a revolver with an unknown number
of rounds. Grasping a projection with tail and feet, I swung upside
down and looked out the barred window. The effort made me dizzy but
I saw that the area was deserted so I dropped to the mossy floor and peeked
out the door then windows. Satisfied that I was alone, I crept from
the room and sought the safety of the roofs. At least this time my
skin was brown and I no longer feared sunburn.
I couldn’t remember where Kol Fias was staying but I figured
that if this city had anything resembling a palace, he would be there.
So assuming that any government would be near the center of the city for
safety and efficiency, I headed in that direction via the rooftops.
Eventually I found the largest building there and once upon a nearby roof,
I saw two of the Green Men standing guard. I tossed a pebble and
as one came to investigate, I dropped onto his shoulders and with all my
remaining strength, twisted his head until the neck snapped. His
companion saw what happened and ran to stop me but I was holding the radium
pistol in my tail and, switching it to my hand, shot him dead.
Now I had killed four Green Men with two left to hunt.
I quickly, took a part of their harness and made a belt
from which I hung a holster and short sword and dagger. At least
the Green Man Short sword was the length of a long sword and the dagger
a short sword. Fortunately for me, unlike the Green Pirates, these
were so emaciatedly thin that their handles matched my hands easily. Perhaps
the Green Men had adapted to the low gravity so well that they had no need
for large musculature as did the Green Pirates who lived on a larger planet
and so must be larger and stronger to survive.
Regardless, I took whatever rations I could find and ran
off before my gunfire could bring assistance and hid upon another roof.
Resting there, I ate my fill of dried cheese and mantalia
milk and planned my next move. With two more Green Men to hunt, the
numbers were approaching my favour but these remaining would be on alert
so killing them would be much harder. Plus, I had an unknown number
of Red Men in the employ of Kol Fias with which to deal.
That was when I saw a large flyer lift off and fly away.
Knowing that my friends were aboard, I opened fire with my pistol and emptied
the chambers towards the aircraft hoping to damage it enough to force it
down. Unfortunately, the two remaining Green Men had located me and
returned fire. Fortunately for me, the roof edge protected me and their
fire destroyed the artwork near my head but missed me by millimeters and
my only injury were minor cuts from rock shrapnel. I ducked and crawled
for safety before they could reach a level that would reveal me to their
Now I had an empty pistol and was being pursued by two
of the cruelest race in the galaxy and I had no place to hide. I
considered making a bolas with my blades but using that would expose me
to their fire. So I jumped to the ground and ran for cover to the
edge of the city.
I was lucky that the Green Man never walked when he could
ride and so their chase was slower than would be a Red Mans’. I easily
outdistanced them with my stronger muscles and even leapt across open spaces
that were some four meters wide. Eventually I was far enough ahead
to change my course. If the Green Men followed me, they would still
be chasing me to the edge of the city when I was really circling around
and returning to the center.
It wasn’t too long before I was able to locate the palace
again but a quick search revealed naught. I didn’t think that I would
find my friends but I was hoping for some useful gear. Almost by
chance I stumbled across the pit in which we had been imprisoned and on
impulse I tapped on the cover. Almost immediately I heard voices
so I dragged the lid off and found both Tor Tal and Tulan within.
Reaching down I was able to pull them to safety and warned
them of the Green Men. Tor Tal took my long sword and Tulan my short
Sword leaving me unarmed again but I didn’t mind for I was exhausted.
Then we hunted. Tulan’s plan was for me to lead the Green Men down
a narrow alley where he could be ambushed by the Red men. Tor Tal
didn’t like this as it exposed me to danger but I saw the wisdom of him
plan for the Green Men thought me alone and the Red men being hidden would
be to our advantage. Hopefully I could lead them one at a time.
So I crept out to seek the Green Men and when I saw one,
I pretended to stumble and ran away. He, of course followed and I
was able to lead him to my friends who immediately hamstrung their opponent
then stabbed him to death before he could recover.
Now we had another revolver and more swords so we spread
out and shortly, the last Green Man lay dead in the street.
We then returned to the palace and searched it until we
found our harness and gear and my companions filled me in with what had
happened while I was away.
Kol Fias had become angry with me and ordered me taken
away and given to the pleasures of the Green Men. Tulan had tried
to attack them but they beat him down and tossed him back into the pit
while Kol Fias gloated over Tor Tal.
“You fool,” he cried. “Think that such as you could
oppose me! It as I who set you free and it was I who tracked you
down. Had it not been for that deformed she-animal, I would have
recaptured you earlier but no matter, you are here and I will have my revenge.”
At that time Taria broke free from his guards and embraced
her lover declaring that no matter what, she would love only him.
When Kol Fias had her dragged back, she told him that she had loved Tor
Tal in the ways of a wife and that caused Kol Fias to again loose his temper.
He struck her and when she fell, he kicked her repeatedly. Tor Tal
tried to break free but he ordered him to be tossed into the pit as well
to be a plaything of the Green Men.
Long did Kol Fias rant and scream until exhaustion took
him. Then in the morning he had the pit uncovered and he gloated
again. “Know that you will suffer agonies under the tender mercies
of the Green Men that would give even me nightmares were I to remain to
watch. But I have business elsewhere and Taria and I leave you with
the knowledge that she will quickly forget your miserable existence.
Farewell!” And with those words, he had the pit resealed and that
is all they knew until I found them.
I told them of my attempts to damage his flyer and we
all swore to travel to the ends of the world to find and save Taria from
her father. A vow that none of us would break.
So together, we cleaned ourselves, replaced our harness
and clothing and after eating a simple meal, prepared to race in the direction
of the flyer knowing not if we would find the flyer crashed in the desert
or have to chase it back to his home.
While the men prepared for the trip, gathering food and
water and as much gear and weapons as they could find on the Green Man
bodies, I took a few of the mirrors from their pouches and set them in
a wall. I then stripped and didn’t like what I saw. Weir are
not Human. We don’t get very fat nor do we menstruate so the only
sign of pregnancy is usually when we eat constantly and put on hip fat.
And that never occurs before full maturity at 25. What little fat
I did have had quickly been toned down by the Fleet and that week on Sothis
eating only survival rations and what we could catch in the caves had used
up the remainder. My mother tried to over-feed me when I returned
home to recuperate but most of what she forced me to eat went to regenerating
my ribs and lung with little left over to make fat. Now the weeks
of travel and hunger on Barsoom, plus the improper proteins I was eating
were taking their toll.
My cheeks were shallow, I could see my ribs and hips.
Even my feminine curves were now solid muscles with none of the softening
that is common in women.
Even my breasts were shrinking and sagging, a sure sign
of starvation for unlike human women whose milk glands are attached to
their blood system, Weir milk glands are tied to our breast fat which is
different, more intensive and nutritious, from body fat. This is
why our breasts are so large and firm as compared to humans. They
have to be for it takes more than five years to manufacture enough breast
fat to support the milk glands that feed a Weir baby. The fact that
my body was desperate enough to cannibalize fat reserved for nursing showed
how badly I was suffering.
My ovaries and womb had probably shut down from starvation
too and would take years to recover. “Damn! If this doesn’t
change soon, I’ll be a teen until I’m 30.” My mother won’t like my
reproductive maturity stopping, “Why me?” she’ll whine. “It’s bad
enough you Weir can’t have babies until 25, now because of that stupid
soldiering you insisted on, you can’t give me grandchildren before 30!
I’ll never live long enough to play with my own grandchildren…” My
mother can be a pain in the tail-joint sometimes.
If this continued, I’d be dead of malnutrition within
another month. Well, that would save me listening to mother complain.
The men had to know what was happening to me even if it affected our plans
to rescue Taria.
Again dressed in silks and harness, though now I wore
them to hide the ravages of my body, I found Tor Tal and Tulan already
packed and ready to go. Although they tried to rush me to mount the
thoat, I took a moment to investigate the supplies that they had packed.
“Hurry Ayiesha Penaut,” encouraged Tor Tal. “We
have to catch up with Kol Fias and Taria Kolos!” Even his thoat was
picking up his impatience and that made the beast nervous .
“No!” I said. “Not yet. We need more supplies.”
Tulan interrupted, “We travel light to travel fast.”
I just stared at them. How could I tell these, my
friends and lover on this world that I would die if we left now?
How could I place that burden on people who had abandoned their homes and
lives for Taria? How could I ask them to choose between us?
“I’m not Barsoomian. The Demons created my race
for space travel, not deserts such as this. I need twice your food
and thrice your water just to survive. The cold nights are freezing
to me and the only reason I can continue is the low gravity which is weakening
“Yes! We need to rescue Taria but she is safe for
now. Despite his anger, her father won’t allow her to die.
So she is either on the way home where she will be safe and can be rescued
at our leisure or she is on the sea bed surrounded by his personal guard.
Either way, she’s safer than we are and he won’t harm her or allow her
to be harmed! A father’s love for his daughter is one of the strongest
forces in the universe. I know because my own father has that love
despite his anger at me for the choices I made and that love would make
him die for me and my happiness. Despite Kol Fias’ anger, I saw that
same father’s love in his eyes. He will punish her, imprison her,
insult her but HE WILL NOT HARM HER nor will he allow her to come to harm!
“If we are to take her from his clutches, we need to arrive
strong and healthy and rushing across the desert eating and sleeping in
the saddle will weaken us to the point where we will be captured again.
“I suggest that we overload on food and drink and take
our time so that when we take her back, we do so with full strength.
Tulan, where is the nearest city where we can get a flyer? That should
be our destination.”
They were taken aback for it isn’t the custom for a Red
Woman to disagree with her protectors and despite my strength and martial
skill, their nature was still to protect me because of my gender.
They argued of course, but finally saw the wisdom of my words and grudgingly,
they repacked more food and water while I stuffed myself with all that
I could find to eat. I even found a nest of Darseen eggs, that chameleon
reptile I had earlier killed, and using one of the Green Man’s mirrors
as a pan, fried and ate them all. By the time the men were ready
to leave, I was stuffed and asleep and they argued a moment about if they
should wake me or let me sleep. I guess that the wait faction must
have won and as I rested they searched the city for anything else that
could be useful, reloaded the revolvers and rifles, slaughtered one of
the Green Men’s thoat and dried and smoked the meat for the trip.
I must have been more exhausted than I thought for it
was dark when I awoke.
Tor Tal said to me, “It’s too late to leave now so we
will go at first light.. IF her majesty feels so inclined.” His sarcasm
wasn’t lost to me.
I smiled and told him, “I’m sorry that you are angry with
me but please do not think that I care not for Taria. In my own way
I love her as much as you do. Here, she is my sister and I am more
than willing to die to help her. But I am not as bound by passion as are
you so can think easier as to the best way to accomplish our goals.”
He softened at my words and allowed me to hug him but
his gender wouldn’t allow him to cry so I cried over Taria for him.
And that is how Tulan found us, me in his arms crying. Without a
word, Tulan turned and stalked off unnoticed by either of us.
I ate my fill again then sought my furs for more sleep
but Tulan wasn’t there. I assumed that he was on watch but my condition
was such that I was glad for a night of solitary sleep.
The next morning, we ate as the sun rose and left for
Dusar which was, they felt the closest safe city, a four day ride by thoat.
There, Tor Tal felt that we could somehow buy a small flyer, return to
the dead city and follow the course of Kol Fias’ flyer in case my pistol
fire had forced it to land before it reached Ptarth. If we couldn’t
find the flyer, we’d continue to Ptarth and plan the rescue/abduction of
Taria Kolos there. As Tor Tal had been a padwar in the service of
Kol Fias, he was intimate with the buildings and grounds and had friends
within who he was certain would help us. It wasn’t the desired plan
of Tor Tal but considering the situation, it seemed to be the safest and
one with the best chance for success.
Nothing was said on the ride the first day, we each being
lost in our own thoughts. But during the lunch stop, I insisted that
my fencing lessons continue which was unfortunate as in demonstrating a
move, Tulan drew blood from Tor Tal which caused him considerable glee
for some reason.
We continued and that night as I prepared my bedding between
some rocks to bask in their daytime warmth, Tulan sat and asked,” Tell
me about your world, Ayiesha Penaut. You are so different from us,
both in physical design but also mentally. No woman of Barsoom would
follow your actions. None would be as .. sexual (here was he embarrassed)
as you are nor would they choose to be warriors.”
I smiled at this for I could see he was very uncomfortable.
So as I stripped and crawled into my furs, I explained. “Drakonis
is a Barony on the frontier of the Commonwealth. We protect them
from the Shitai but are not yet a member of the Commonwealth. We
are large by many standards for the Barony covers slightly more than four
dozen star systems and it takes light more than a century to cross our
borders. But we are under populated for the frontier was uninhabited
before the Baron forged our nation from the void. So the Colonial
Service was formed by the Devil who rules the political arm of our government
as the Baron rules the military and the Speaker rules the legal arm.
“Colonial haunts Jasoom seeking people who will fit in
with our society, people who can survive hardships and people who are willing
to leave Jasoom for a new life. So they haunt the byways of the various
nations seeking colonists. My grandfather was rescued from a death
camp where he was condemned for praying to a different god and not being
“Arian” enough for his nation. Another grandmother was rescued from
slavers who were about to sell her and so on. Each is given a description
of the Barony and offered a chance to immigrate. Those who say ‘nay’
are left to their own fate. Those who agree are taken to a Ram-ship
that is cloaked and orbiting the moon of Jasoom. There they spend
a year in transit learning our language, culture, religion and are prepared
for their new life.
“Once there, they are encouraged to inter-mix and inter-breed,
which is hard for some as they must now live next to people who were their
enemies or slaves on Jasoom but it works. While the mixing of your
races produced the Red Man, the mixing of ours is producing the Brown (I
held up my now darkly tanned arm to show this). Also, the first to
Drakonis had been abducted and engineered by the Demon Race to work in
their star ships and this was continued with us. A human colonist
may bear human children but those Gaean-born children will bear Weir like
myself. Thus at any time about one third of our population is Jasoomian-born
humans who moved to Drakonis, one third are humans born on Gaea or another
of the Draconan worlds and one third are Weir. Plus we have constant
visitors who are Mon, Kentauran, Demon, Dragon and a dozen other races.
So with all these races intermingling, equality by law must be enforced.
“My father is German-French and on Jasoom would have been
forbidden to marry my mother who was Arabian with African ancestry and
so is not ‘white’. Upon Drakonis this marriage was accepted as the
best way and so was I born. But this equality also crosses not only
race but gender as well so women are expected to achieve the same as men.
Although the Baron and First Speaker are Male and Weir, the Devil is a
woman of Jasoom for such is our way to allow women to achieve their dreams.
And so although my mother’s family expected to marry me off young and virginal
to ally themselves with another family, I chose another path.
“But my options were limited. I could remain Peasant
Class, marry another peasant and spend the next few hundred years working
on a farm or ranch popping out a baby every five years. Or I could
try for Merchant Class and have headaches seeking more wealth. Or
the Priesthood and pray most of the time or the Warrior Class. You
know the choice I made. I, a peasant girl, can walk down any street
in my Star Fleet jacket with my combat stripes and people bow to me!
Even the Devil herself once gave me her seat in a restaurant and thanked
me for defending her nation. As a Warrior, I am respected and admired
and honoured. True, my life is harder and shorter than expected.
As a peasant I could easily live 500 years, a dozen times longer than my
human parents could imagine but as a Warrior, I’ll be lucky to live past
a century. But what a Century!”
“And lovers, Ayiesha, you take many of them?” he
Strange, although we had been lovers since we met, this
was the first time he used only my first name. “When the Demons engineered
my race, they enhanced all of our skills and senses. But Demons are reptiles
and never understood human passions. So these were enhanced as well
condemning the Weir to a life of sexual need. Humans can ignore
their sex drive though they enjoy the act as much as we do. But Weir
cannot. We NEED sex or we suffer. When a Weir looses their
desire to seek physical passion, we know we are dangerously ill.
But neither do we see any reason to deny our charms and bodies to one person
for life. Some do but most of us take our lovers as we wish.
And marriage among us can be complicated by many husbands and wives and
lovers for we enjoy the passions of both men and women. Although
we enjoy the passions of many partners, we do reserve our children to our
husbands alone. It’s a complicated situation that I’ll explain another
“Does it bother you overly much that you were not my first
lover nor will you be my last?” I asked. I knew that humans
are possessive towards women who they consider to be property but here,
our physical relations were a simple business deal and no romance existed
Tulan made no comment other then he bade me a good night
and left for his own furs. I found this strange as he had shared
mine since that first night but was too tired to pursue the subject.
And so I passed the night alone and in deep sleep until they awoke me at
It was late the next day while I was riding next to Tor
Tal that Tulan told us he was leaving. When we asked why, he replied,
”My home lies that way. Taria is in no danger so you don’t need me.”
Then he looked at me and spat out, “Our ‘business deal’ is done!” and turned
I caught up with him, grabbed his reigns with my tail
and demanded to know what was wrong! He pulled away, so I tackled
him and pulled him form his thoat. “Tell me what’s wrong? It
isn’t right for you to leave us like this.” Our thoats had taken off and
I saw from the corner of my eye Tor Tal rushing off the catch them.
Again Tulan pulled away, “Taria is gone, you have Tor
Tal, you don’t need me obviously!”
“What the hell are you talking about?” I actually
had to trip him and toss myself onto his body, holding his arms with my
hands and grasping his legs with my tarsal feet to stop his struggles.
Even though I was much stronger than he, he continued to fight, “I know
you love Tor Tal! I saw you together in the city!”
I almost laughed at this revelation but forced myself
to stop. Men are sensitive creatures at times, sometimes more sensitive
than are women.
“Of course I love Tor Tal. He’s my brother and Taria
is my sister. How could I not love my brother? Think you there
is anything more there? Tor Tal loves Taria so much he cannot see
me as a woman.”
He stopped struggling then and asked, “truth?”
“Of course it is my lover.” I started to caress
his cheek with my tail. He always found this gesture uncomfortable
but with us it was a gesture of compassion and caring. “They are
my brother and sister. We have fought together, traveled together,
suffered together. Can any bonds of blood be closer than this?”
I couldn’t help it and began to cry then, “My mother almost
died birthing and nursing three Weir children. She’ll never give
me a sister. My true brothers are 10,000 light years away from here
and gone forever. Your planet is killing me with the cold and malnutrition!
I’ll die here soon and never see my family again. All I have is you
and them, my lover and my brother and sister. I can’t loose you too.”
He then wrapped his arms around me and comforted me as
best he could. I guess that then he realized that what he had seen
in the city was no different from this. Eventually I stopped crying
and sat up, wiping my eyes with my silks. “Don’t look at me, I’m
all puffy and red and must look a fright. Good thing I’m not wearing
mascara or I’d look like a #raccoon.” He kissed me then, not at all
like a lover but just the kind of kiss my father and brothers used to give
A sound caused us to look up and Tor Tal sat there on
his thoat holding the others. “Have you been there long?” asked Tulan.
“Long enough. We can take time to rest if you wish.”
Tor Tal then dismounted.
Tulan stood and embraced Tor Tal. “I’ve wronged
you and Taria and Ayiesha so much these past few days. My actions are unforgivable
and all I can say is that I was wrong. Please forgive my actions
and know that my life is yours and Tarias’ and I will serve you two even
above my own Jed if need be.” And with those words, he unbuckled
his sword and cast it to the feet of Tor Tal, an action that I understand
was the greatest honour a man of Barsoom can give.
Tor Tal returned the sword buckling it to Tulan’s harness
saying, “I know not to which you are alluding but on behalf of Taria Kolos
and myself, I accept your sword and swear to use it only for good.”
That said they embraced again for the Red Men of Barsoom are not bound
by the constraints of Terran Human males.
From then on our relationship changed. Tulan was
more attentive to me and my needs and Tor Tal treated me with much deference
and never ceased to make my life easier. I noticed that they always
gave me the best of our food and were always refilling my canteen whenever
they judged it empty which was often. Was this love? I believe
so. Tor Tal understood that I saw in him a brother I needed but no
longer had and responded in kind, loving me as his sister who needed his
protection. Tulan, … I couldn’t figure him out. I knew that
marriage was out of the question. I was Weir and he Barsoomian so
the odds were that we could never have children and I understood that on
this dying planet, men need children for whom to fight their enemies, the
greatest of which was the death of their world. With no one to pass
their name and land to, why should they strive so? I understood
this for my older brother knew that he would inherit the farm and family
Clan position. Father worked even harder than need be to give Eric
a better life and farm than he had inherited from his father. Men
cannot birth babies so they compensate by giving a better life to their
children. But without children, what could I give to Tulan that would satisfy
this need? Passion? Someday I’d find another man who raised
those feelings and would have to choose between my needs and desires and
hurting Tulan. No, he couldn’t love me as my father loves my mother.
There was something else and I needed to know what that was. In the
meantime, I had no problems with his physical attentiveness for he was
becoming a very accomplished and caring lover.
The ride to Dusar was generally uneventful. We saw
a herd of wild thoats cross our path, silent with their padded feet on
the mossy desert. Another time a banth moaned in the distance and
we spent a couple hours with rifles at the ready but we never saw the beast.
Evenings and meals were spent with my brother and lover
increasing my sword skills and I, in turn, teaching them what I could of
the unarmed martial arts of Jasoom and Drakonis for they were impressed
at how easily a smaller opponent could use a larger man’s leverage against
them to throw or disarm them. Although not a Black Belt, I did have
much dojo time for the Fleet requires constant unarmed combat skills for
all as exercise and a final fight when weapons are exhausted.
And of course, the nights were spent in the arms of Tulan
who often would hold me until I fell asleep. I often wondered at
this attention but enjoyed it too much to risk with questions.
On the fourth day we saw Dusar in the distance.
A walled city with aircraft here and there it was still hours away and
I was anxious to see a real living city after the ruins of my former imprisonment.
Halfway there we saw a man grazing a herd of thoats and the sight reminded
me so much of my uncle Mohammad grazing his rundis that I almost cried
with loneliness. Despite their opinions on a woman’s place, my grandparents
and uncles and aunts did love me and many were the hours when I’d sit with
my cousins watching the sheep and rundis in the fields or the dragonets
playing about the skies.
Tulan saw my tears and approached to hold my hand.
So tender was his gesture that I kissed his palm, folded his fingers together
and pressed his hand against my cheek. The herder stopped and watched
our approach. I could see that his revolver was loosened in its holster
but otherwise he was relaxed for Red Men do not take their women to war.
“Koar!” called out Tor Tal. “We are travelers
seeking to sell our thoats and buy passage to Ptarth. Can you help
The herder stared at me for a moment (I was almost getting
used to this) then noted how Tulan and I were holding hands and turned
his attention to our thoats. He rode around them and inspected each
casually, both the ones we rode and the ones carrying our supplies then
commented, ”Rode long, needs fattening and rest. No, I’m not interested
but perhaps Darthis on the Avenue of the Red Moon may be interested.
You won’t get much for them though. Not in this condition.
Take the main gate, third right and follow your nose.” And with another
look at me, he turned and returned to his herd.
Some kilometers before we reached the city, a squad of
armed guards approached us, demanding our business and origins. After
explaining that we were travelers and giving our names and cities (the
guards eyes never seemed to leave me) we were escorted into the city and
taken to the Dwar in charge who bade us leave our weapons on a table and
sit. Offering us drink he questioned us for what seemed like hours
as to our names, cities, destination, reasons for being in Dusar and such.
When he asked these questions of me and I told him that I was a visitor
from another world and how I arrived on Barsoom, he simply commented, “Another
one. If this keeps up there will be more aliens on Barsoom than Red
He then asked where we were staying and when Tor Tal said
that we had no idea and asked for an inexpensive hostel, the Dwar recommended
one nearby and informed us that if we moved, we needed to inform him so
he could update his records. Then, satisfied that we weren’t an army
seeking to conquer his city, he bade us take our weapons and leave.
I wasn’t happy with this treatment as on Gaea no police
would treat a guest in that manner but Tulan and Tor Tal said that this
was normal for all cities on Barsoom. Spies and warfare being common,
the military took no chances. Understanding, but still not happy
I grudgingly accepted their explanation though no Draconan would be suffered
as was we. At home I’d demand he be fired or piked for ‘wearing his
badge on his dick’ as we say of overly exuberant civil servants.
But, I wasn’t on Gaea and my first experience with Barsoomian civilization
wasn’t as I hoped.
The city, however, was fascinating and unlike anything
I had seen before. Draconan cities tend to be small to ease crowding
and sanitation. In fact, Caer Cyprian, the Capital of the Barony
and largest city in the Barony was less than 5000 people and half of those
tourists or business transients. Caer Bridget, the city near my father’s
farm was only 500 people with another thousand supporting farmers and ranchers
surrounding it. But Dusar… This city was amazingly huge. There
must have been over a million people here, buildings that rose a hundred
stories high, air craft zipping between the buildings and ground cars and
thoats all over the place. And all crowded between walls that were
made for defense against Green Men on thoat-back or foreign aircraft.
No Draconan city is walled nor do we have soldiers on duty walking the
streets as they do here for it is my job in the Fleet to keep any enemies
as many light years as is possible from the Barony. I’m afraid that
I was so fascinated by the city and it’s sights that I never noticed that
I was a sight myself. I think I must have said “I’m sorry please
excuse me,” to a hundred people that day for accidentally bumping them
as I looked at some sight or another.
Eventually Tulan managed to locate a store that bought
used weapons and such and we sold most of our gear and the weapons we took
from the bodies of the Green Men. Kol Fias had taken what money we
possessed and whatever pay he gave the Green Men in his employ wasn’t cash
so the only money (the Barsoomians called it pi which were oval coins)
we had was from the sale of our gear which wasn’t much. Then we found
Darthis by literally following our noses for the Street of the Red Moon
was in a poorer section of the city and sanitation wasn’t up to normal
Barsoomian or Gaean standards.
Tor Tal argued with Darthis about the thoats and their
value while I looked over his stock. Being a farm girl, I wanted
to be able to tell my father about this and besides, you can take the girl
from the farm but you can’t take the farm out of the girl. I had
no idea of how to judge thoats for we raised rabbucks and rundis and sheep
and my only experience with horses was an uncle who raised Arabians and
camels so thoats were an unknown matter. Tulan helped me out by pointing
out what to look for, which thoats were better than others and how the
colouring could indicate dietary problems. He also pointed out that
although thoats were primarily grazers who lived off the moss that covered
the planet, they did occasionally need meat and were capable of catching
and eating small animals. “You can see that these are not the best
quality thoats so we won’t get much for ours. Darthus must cater
to the poorer classes who cannot afford a decent mount so he can’t afford
to give us what ours are worth.” Explained Tulan.
Eventually Tal Tor approached in an angry mood and took
us away. “The man is a thief!” he complained which was a strong insult
because theft is almost unknown on Barsoom. “If we had time, I’d
bury him in a pile of thoat dung and seek a better dealer.”
By then it was getting late and carrying what gear we
didn’t sell, we proceeded to the recommended hostel which, it seemed, catered
mainly to foreign visitors. I suppose that the army wanted all potential
trouble-makers in one place. Tor Tal was settled in a dormitory with
a dozen other beds and guarded by an armed guard to prevent assassination
or fights. He simply tossed his personal belongings onto the bed
and walked out with no fear of theft. But as they thought Tulan and
I were married (I convinced him to allow them to believe what they would)
we were given a small private room on another floor with another armed
guard in the hall. This fear the Barsoomians had for assassins concerned
me and I resolved to sleep with a revolver under my pillow and very lightly.
Then we sought the cafeteria on the main floor and had my first real meal
since I arrived on this planet.
The meal was roasted thoat basted in some sauce that I
found acrid and almost uneatable but by scraping most of it from the meat,
I was able to eat the steak. There were also some vegetables in cheese
sauce that I found tasty and a dark bread that was covered with fruit jam
that I loved. We also had a bottle of sweet wine and water with a
pastry for dessert. I ate until I couldn’t move and Tulan laughed
“Another meal like that will break us financially.”
Then I was shown the baths which were segregated by gender
but common for women and I bathed in hot water for the first time in what
seemed like years. While relaxing in the hot water, I was surrounded
by the other women who stared at my naked body and talked quietly among
themselves. Finally, opening my eyes, I observed they who observed
me. All were like Taria in that they were copper-skinned with long
wavy black hair. All were very attractive but none had breasts larger
than a small b-cup and most were smaller. All appeared to be around
my age but that was because Barsoomians mature at 40 but look much younger
and cease to age until almost 900 years old when the time they deferred
catches up and they age rapidly. Thus I could not tell if my observers
were 20 or 200 or 900 years old. Come to think of it, didn’t Tulan
once mention that he was 500 years old? Hmmm, quite spry for such
an old guy. I relaxed again wishing that he were here to share my
bath with some chocolate covered strawberries.
Eventually I called a greeting to my other bath-mates
and said, ”I understand your curiosity so come over and ask what you will
and let us be friends.”
They gathered around and began to toss questions and comments
faster than I could answer: “Such beautiful blue hair, is it natural
or do you colour it? Your breasts are so huge, is that normal or
are you diseased? Where are you from? Are you married?
Is your husband like you? I’ve never seen such a skin colour.
You have eyes like a sorak, can you see in the dark? How did you
get that burn scar on your arm and ribcage? You are a soldier?
How can that be? Can you use your feet as hands? Does your
tail drag on the ground? Why do you have antenna? You were
a farmer’s daughter, do you miss your family? Why did you come to
Barsoom? Why are you in Dusar? You are only 12 (Barsoomian)
years old and are a soldier and married? Does your husband worry
for your safety?” and so on. Eventually someone brought in
a number of wine bottles and dinner so the night wasn’t a total loss.
But finally I was shrinking like a prune and was stuffed
again and half drunk and begged off, saying that I’d return in the morning
for another bath (I really didn’t want to leave the hot water) but my husband
was waiting for me. And so I dressed in freshly cleaned silks and
harness and returned to my room to find Tulan almost asleep. “I had
the most wonderful bath just now and could have died happily in that tub.
So how are you this fine evening?” I asked as I crawled under the furs
and snuggled next to my lover.
He replied that Tor Tal had an idea on how to get to Ptarth
on our limited budget and was making plans to rescue Taria, plans he’d
tell us in the morning and then he kissed me gently.
Laying next to Tulan thus, I decided to try something
new. After all, this was our very first time in a bed.
I took his hand in mine and showed him the pads of the distal phalanges.
“See these? All of these little whorls on your finger-tips are to
allow extra nerves to make your fingers extra sensitive. That’s how
you can touch a wall and find a crack invisible to the eye. But they have
other uses too.” I softly licked his finger pad with the tip of my
tongue and he shuddered. “Their sensitivity makes them very sensual
too,” then I slowly slid my lips around his finger and gently sucked his
finger into my mouth, all the time keeping eye contact for the eyes are
the window to the soul and speak volumes. As I slowly slid my lips
up and down his finger, I continued to tease the pad with my tongue.
When I was done and he was weak from the pleasure, I moved to the next
finger and repeated my soft, slow ministrations.
I never made it to the third for he moaned, threw me down
and raped me. It was fast and violent and didn’t last more than a
couple minutes but it left me exhausted and oh so satisfied.
We lay there with him on top of me, still within me and
I stroked his back with my hands and his cheek with my tail as lovers will
sometimes do. This relationship was getting far too serious and needed
to be stopped before I hurt him. I still planned on leaving Barsoom
for home and he was feeling for me that which he should reserve for his
future wife. But he smiled at me and took my tail in his hand and
did to my tail what I had done to his fingers. I moaned a bit and
he smiled some more. Human het-boys rarely were comfortable doing
that. Something about a tail resembling a penis… but Tulan seemed
to not mind. He licked my tail tip softly… gently… then he softly
kissed the tip with wet lips… licking the… Shit! This time
I raped him. It lasted a bit longer with me on top but it was just
as fantastic as before.
Laying there, next to my lover, gently caressing his stomach
muscles, I wondered if this would be as wonderful in the future as it was
now and if we did have a future. Somehow the thought of leaving scared
me so I held him tight, wrapped his arms around me and fell asleep listening
to his heart beating.
The next morning Tor Tal woke us and told us that he had
sent a message to some friends in Ptarth for money. With all we could
sell, we were still far too short of funds to rent transport to Ptarth
so unless one of us had an idea… I thought of all the ways a ways
a woman could make a lot of money fast and rejected them all. I really
didn’t want to be chased from Dusar by a police flyer so we went to breakfast.
I noticed that I wasn’t gaining weight but neither was I loosing any more.
During our meal, Tor Tal gave us his plan and in the absence
of anything better, we bowed to his superior knowledge of Ptarth and the
grounds of Kol Fias. I did see one big problem with the plan though.
If any of us killed Kol Fias, Taria would hate us forever for murdering
her father regardless of the reason. Yet, if we left him alive, he
would chase us down forever. There didn’t seem to be any answer.
I insisted that I wanted another bath saying, “I could
die here in a hot bath, a full stomach and my love next to me and be happy.”
They didn’t want to wait but frankly, never get between a woman and a hot
bath so they decided to refine their plans, check on the status of their
money and transportation and left me to my devices.
When I was again immersed in hot water, I was surrounded
by more women asking more questions. They were fascinated by a world
where oceans of water covered one half the surface, trees were as tall
as their highest buildings, cities without walls, a nation that had spread
to the stars and women who had the same power as men. I spent a pleasant
hour bathing and talking girl-talk when I noticed one woman applying cosmetics.
“I’d kill for a decent lipstick! Two years in a battle cruiser chasing
pirates and fighting Shitai makes a girl forget that she’s a woman.” I
said which immediately caused the production of cases of make-up of all
kinds. From then on I was in paradise. We tried various combinations
until I found one I liked, simple, subtle and discrete. The Barsoomian
women who go practically naked don’t cover their entire faces as do Terran
people for if they did, they’d have to apply make-up to their entire body.
Thus Barsoomian cosmetics are to cover blemishes and accent the important
parts like their eyes, lips, nails and surprisingly enough, nipples.
They also thrust upon me jewelry for my ears, neck, arms, wrists, ankles
and harness. Although Weir cannot pierce our bodies or tattoo (we
heal too fast) we do enjoy glued or clipped jewelry and decorate our hair
with glitter, flowers and sometimes living flutterbys, though the latter
are usually party enhancements. What they could not do is decorate
my tail for anything they hung upon it would simply fall off.
Also one of the women called for two slaves with needle
and thread and almost before I knew it, my worn silks had been replaced
by a very comfortable and incredibly attractive bra and skirt. By
the time they were done, I felt like a real woman for the first time in
I walked out of the baths to find Tor Tal and Tulan waiting
for me. Of course, their jaws dropped and my new image so I turned
about, curtseyed and said with a demure smile, “You like?”
Tulan gasped and said, “You are the most beautiful woman
in the universe!”
Well, I knew that it wasn’t true but I appreciated the
Since we had to wait for the funds to arrive from Ptarth,
we went sight-seeing and eventually Tor Tal turned into a building he had
been seeking. “Here, Ayiesha, may be your salvation.”
Salvation? A Stargate? Or someone from Terra
or Gaea who knew how to get me home? But it was neither. What
we found was a doctor’s office. “What’s this?” I asked of my brother.
“You said that you were dying and your appearance shows
the truth of your words, yet you were willing to spend your last months
of life not seeking rescue or life but assisting me to rescue Taria.
What love could be stronger of more noble. So I thought about your
problem and spent last night searching for an answer. Perhaps this
doctor can help. He is the best in the city and agreed to take your
case for the knowledge it would bring.”
What could I do but to hug and kiss him for his efforts.
He was desperate to find his lover and reunite with her yet he was willing
to take time to try to help me out. If it were possible, I loved
him all the more at this minute.
The doctor, like all Red Men looked 30 but could have
been 800. He bade me enter his office and strip then sit down upon
the table. As I did so, his attention was drawn to my breasts, which
had sunk far from their earlier glory. Despite my tail, feet and
antennae, all Red Men and Women were fascinated by my chest. I think
that it is because in a world of flat-chested women, anything more than
a mouthful was considered overly excessive. I tried to put myself
in their place. What if my father had suddenly possessed cloven hoofs,
antlers, spines along his back and purple skin. I would be curious
but these were just additions to a body. BUT, expand his eyes to
the size of a platter. Would I even notice the rest of his body or
would my attention be drawn to those obscenely huge eyeballs? Once
again I wondered how Tulan could bear to touch me.
The doctor had me explain to him my anatomy, biology and
evolutionary history as he did what doctors do best. He poked and
prodded, took samples of my blood and lymph fluids. Had me pee in
one cup and spit in another. He measured my heart beat, temperature
and brain waves. He spent time investigating my tail and feet, its muscles
and joints and having me pick up small objects and testing its grip.
He was also endlessly fascinated by my eyes, shining a flashlight into
them and watching the vertical slits open and close according to the light
he projected. He cut some hair from my head and scraped some skin
from my arm and tongue then told me to return in a few hours so he could
look over the results. All in all, the only places he didn’t poke
were my vagina and anus, for which I was profoundly grateful.
When I exited the office, I found Tulan and Tor Tal pacing
in nervousness. I’d seen fathers awaiting the birth of a first child
more relaxed. “How are you feeling?” “What did he do?” “Are
you going to be well?” were the questions fired at me. I tried to
answer but what could I say? Time will tell so we returned to our
room to make certain that we had our plans well rehearsed.
It was after dinner that I returned to the doctor and
this time he brought all three of us in to talk. “Fascinating case.
Even Ras Thavas will be jealous of me when he reads my monograph on you.
You have an incredible body and you say it was created by another alien
people from the Jasoomian race? Fascinating!”
“As I can see you only have two problems. First
you are suffering from malnutrition because your body needs certain nutrients
that don’t exist in our food. Second you are being poisoned by enzymes
in our food that your body cannot tolerate. For the first, I will
give you #vitamins to take and a list of special foods to eat to replace
those missing nutrients. For the second, I want to flush your liver
of the toxins and restrict your diet to prevent toxic food shock. Even
then, you’ll need your liver flushed every month or so. After this,
you should be fine and even gain back some of that lost weight.”
I was weak with relief. This morning I was going
to die in a month, now I would live! All that would make this day
perfect would be seeing Taria on the street. I was so happy I grabbed
the doctor and kissed him full on the mouth. He was startled but
understood that the reaction of a person who had been given a new life.
We all were so happy, now that my problem was solved,
we could focus all our attention on rescuing Taria. But when we visited
the Merchant’s Guild for Tor Tals’ money we were told that Kol Fias had
managed to freeze his account and no money could be rendered until the
problem was fixed.
Tor Tal was crushed. So close and yet so far. And
we all knew that Kol Fias would be sending gorthans to assassinate us immediately.
For all we knew they were already in Dusar. We then decided to do
the unthinkable. We would gather our few possessions and proceed
to the rooftop where we planned to steal a flyer and to hell with the Dusar
We were crossing the lobby when Tor Tal whispered to Tulan,
Tulan whispered back, “The one in black harness by the
door! Kol Fias hasn’t been idle. We take him in the hall upstairs.”
I knew that if we killed his assassin, Kol Fias would
simply send another so as we reached the elevator with the gorthan in tow,
I screamed, fell to the floor and grabbed my ankle. Immediately we
were surrounded by guests and employees who showed great concern for my
‘twisted’ ankle. “Slaves, carry her to her room!” ordered the manager
and we moved upstairs under a blanket of numbers. The gorthan, of
course, faded away for murder is an occupation best done alone in secrecy.
In our room, I whispered to Tor Tal and Tulan, “I’m ok,
but if we kill this one, we could be injured and Kol Fias would simply
send another. But if we appear helpless and remain here, the gorthan
will wait around for us and that will buy is time. Tor Tal, return
to your room and take only what you need, leave the rest to appear as if
we are remaining in this place. Tulan, you do the same with our gear
then both pretend to take me to the doctor but instead we will rush to
the hanger and leave Dusar in a stolen flyer.”
“You little #minx,” whispered Tulan, “Are all Weir as
devious as you?”
“Only the women, my love, hurry!”
“Then the universe is doomed,” he smiled, then to Tor
Tal he said loudly, “Go to your room and fetch bandages. We’ll carry
her to the doctor upon your return.”
I and Tulan carefully collected our important gear and
waited for Tor Tal. When he did, he wrapped my ankle and we had two
of the employees help carry me from the building and to the doctor.
Tulan whispered “Is he following?” to which Tor Tal replied, “No, he is
sitting in the lobby watching the door. I think we are safe for now.”
When we reached the doctor, Tor Tal released the helpers
telling them that they two would carry me inside. Once we were alone,
we quickly ran around the building and down the alley seeking a building
with a hanger on top. We took the elevator to the roof and Tor Tal
and Tulan began to look over the flyers commenting on the best size and
design to achieve our goal. Finally they chose one near the dock
and were preparing to attack the man cleaning the flyer and steal the craft
when I stepped forward and called out, “Excuse me, noble sir? Is
this your flyer?”
He looked me over before he responded, “Yes, why do you
I glanced to see Tor Tal and Tulan shocked and speechless
and lost as to my actions. “As you can see, I’m not a native of this
world. But I’ve heard that both John Carter of Helium and Vad Varo
of Toonol are from Jasoom which is where my grandparents are from.
So I thought that if I could talk to either of them, they could help me
get back home. And I was wondering if you would be willing to sell
this flyer to me? That is,” I smiled again, “If it will reach either
He was indignant. “This is the best flyer in Dusar.
Do you have any idea of how well I’ve maintained this craft?” He
then went into a very technical description of the flyer and what it could
do, a description that I found to be completely unintelligible. But
ask a man about his work, his vehicle or his sex life and he’ll talk your
ears off. So I smiled at him, pretended to understand and followed
him around and when he ran out of words, I asked him how much?
He gave me a number that I couldn’t tell was high or low
but when I glanced at Tor Tal past him, I saw him shake his head ‘no’.
“I’m sorry, but that seems a bit high. Of course
she is a beautiful craft and you’ve taken excellent care of her but can’t
you drop the price a bit?” Had he been human, I would have leaned over
and given him a detailed glance of my breasts but instead I removed the
comb from my hair and shook loose my tresses. His eyes popped and
he made another offer, to which Tor Tal nodded ‘yes’.
“That sounds fair but there is one problem… I have no
money.” Before he could respond I rushed on, “But I am willing to
trade if you are willing?” I removed the heavy gold arm band that
covered my plasma scar, a gift of one of the ladies in the bath.
Then seeing Tor Tal motion for more, I added the comb and a bracelet.
The man looked at them both, examined them closely and
said, “Lady, I am sympathetic to your needs but my flyer is worth a bit
more than these.”
I sighed and asked, “I miss my family so very much, what
do I have that I can offer in trade?” I could see Tulan becoming
angry and fingering his short sword. I needed to finish this now
before someone got killed.
He looked, me over with a greedy look and staring at my
chest, pointed and said, “Those three jeweled broaches on your harness
I didn’t even look at Tor Tal but smiled, removed the
jewelry and handed them to him. As beautiful as they were, their value
to me was minor so I gladly sacrificed them. I then took him by the
arm and led him to the roof edge and asked, “So, can you tell me which
way to Helium and Toonol and which is closer.” I hoped that Tor Tal
and Tulan would have enough sense to climb aboard the flyer and hide as
I distracted the former owner.
After getting directions, I asked him to tow the flyer
to the edge of the roof and then climbed aboard and sat in the pilots chair
and pretended to look over the controls as Tor Tal, who was laying on the
deck out of sight, actually started the engine and prepared it for flight.
Then as the slaves released the tow-bar, Tor Tal lifted the flyer and once
we were high enough, took over the controls.
“Aim for Toonol and when we are out of sight of Dusar
and are certain that we aren’t being followed, turn for Ptarth.”
I smiled then kissed him on the cheek. Then I sat next to Tulan,
took his hand in mine and observed the ground rushing below.
While thus pleasantly passing time, Tulan asked, “Why
did you do that?”
I looked at him and replied, “Because, my lover, had you
stolen this flyer, you would have had to kill or injure that man.
If the former, the navy would be chasing anything in the air. If
the latter, he would describe this flyer and the Dusar navy would be after
us along with that assassin. My way, if anyone finds out, they will
assume that we split apart with me going to Toonol and you two still in
Dusar. Now we have a flyer, no one is hurt and we have a head start
on the gorthan. Did I do wrong?”
Tor Tal laughed and said, “Perhaps we should let Ayiesha
plan our abduction of Taria Kolos. So far her plans have worked better
A few hours later Tor Tal slowed the flyer and prepared
to land. “What’s happening?” asked Tulan?
“There is a caravan having lunch below. Perhaps
we could purchase some replacement gear from them, not to mention lunch…
IF, my lady would care to donate some more of her jewels to the cause?”
Tor Tal smiled as he said this and this time I wasn’t able to detect any
hint of sarcasm in his voice, only respect.
“All that I have has but one goal, the rescue of my sister,
your love. Take them all with my blessings.” And I began to remove
the jewels from my harness, then my necklace which I looked at fondly,
then my rings and bracelets and ear rings until I had a pile of gold and
jewels for the men. Tor Tal took the collection, kissed me on my
cheek and landing, asked me to remain in the flyer while they made their
deals. After they left, I loosened my revolver and long sword in
their sheaths and, leaning against the rail of the flyer, lay my chin upon
my folded arms and watched this caravan. It was mostly composed of
multiple large wagons being pulled by elephantine zitidars. There
was also a troop of panthan cavalry keeping watch. What wonders existed
on this world of contradictions. Aircraft and explosive firearms
mix with swords and thoats. High medical technology and slavery.
An entire world at war with itself and with nature and no one making an
effort to unite the nations in peace to save the planet. Had they
turned their science to space travel, they could move ice from the outer
planets into low orbit which would create rain and fill the seas once again.
Instead they wasted valuable resources and men on wars for reasons I could
After awhile the men returned and Tor Tal lifted off to
continue our journey to the woman he loved. Tulan handed me a basket
within which was a bottle of wine and “Lunch! You are so wonderful!”
I cried, but that was nothing compared to what he did next. He opened
his purse and removed some jewelry. “My favorite pieces!” I cried.
And there were my necklace, earrings and favorite ring and bracelets.
I stared, “You were supposed to use these to buy our gear for the
rescue of Tavia!”
Tulan replied smiling, “We bought everything we needed
and more and still were able to save these for you. Your friends
in the bath were overly generous. We appreciate your willingness
to give what you have even though it will leave you penniless on a strange
world. So we did what we could to save you, at least, something that
you like and something that is more beautiful and valuable for having touched
I think I would have married him right there had he asked.
Damn! Leaving him is going to kill me. But as much as I loved
him, as much as I believed that Tulan loved me, I was scared for our future
for I could not give him children and eventually he would expect me to
remain a housewife as he went to war which was unbearable, so I just went
into his arms and let him hold me.
I was asleep in the small cabin when the flyer once again
came to a stop. I could hear the men being hailed and from the responses
of Tor Tal and Tulan to the questions I assumed that we had been stopped
by the Navy of Ptarth. Leaving my weapons, jewelry, bra and skirt behind,
I crawled out into the open wearing nothing but the harness of a Barsoomian
woman. There was a line attached to our ship and I could see that
were the Navy Cruiser to simply move ahead, they could roll our flyer and
toss us to the ground below. One of the Ptarthan officers who was
about to board our flyer stopped and stared at me. Then he completed
his boarding and questioned me, “And you, lady, your story?”
I lowered my eyes to his feet, clasped my hands before
my belly and replied, “Noble Captain, I am a visitor to your world, lost
and alone save for my protectors here. I am seeking knowledge from
those others who have come to your world and may help me return to mine.
Your great city is a stop upon that journey.”
“What of your papers? None of you have anything
to support your story.” He demanded.
“Great sir,” I tried to be as helpless as I could. “I
am but a maiden of… (I did some quick mental conversions) 11 Barsoomian
years who arrived upon your cruel world but weeks ago, naked and alone.
Days of hardship and hunger later I was saved by my protectors here (I
smiled in their direction) who have ever striven to keep me safe and return
me to my mothers’ loving arms and my fathers’ protection. During
that time, we have been attacked by darseen and banth, captured by bandits
and assassins, tortured by Green Men so any papers my protectors had were
probably destroyed long ago by those who sought our lives. All that
I possess (I spread my hands helplessly) has been given to me but yesterday
by the generosity of your Barsoomian women who took pity on a helpless
child. I apologize for my condition and hope that your noble self
will take pity on a lost maiden and allow her protectors to continue to
return her to her mother’s bosom.”
The Captain smiled at that speech for it is the nature
of the Red Men to ever protect a woman regardless of her race. And
the plight of one so young and helpless (in his eyes) brought out the best
of the Red man’s nobility.
“Wait here a moment,” and the Captain then called for
paper and pen and wrote something on a tablet. Removing the papers.
He handed some to each of us saying, ”Here are temporary passes and identity
papers for you. They will get you into the city but I will expect
you to have this problem fixed at the earliest opportunity and before you
leave Ptarth.” And with that he kissed my hand and prepared to leave.
I curtseyed to him with thanks and he unbuckled our flyer from his, returned
to his craft and flew off.
Tulan grabbed and kissed me and cried, “By whatever gods
there are, you could charm a Green Man into giving up his sword.
Mayhaps we should just send you alone to ask Kol Fias for his daughter’s
hand. I am beginning to think that you could.”
I turned to them both and replied, “My lover and my brother,
Star Fleet teaches that it is easy to go from talking to violence but with
the first punch, violence escalates and it is hard to return to peace,
so we try to use our brain and tongue first and our swords as a last resort.
But come, Taria is close and I cannot bear to be separated from my sister
And with that, Tor Tal kissed me upon the cheek and turned
our flyer to Ptarth.
Tulan took me aside and said to me, holding my hands,
“Ayiesha, I fear that I have wronged you. You are but a child and
I have taken advantage of your age and...”
I burst our laughing at this. “You! Took advantage
of me? Do you forget that it was I who was about to rape you at sword
point at the oasis. No my love, it is I who took advantage of you.
Why would you think anything else?”
“Your age,” he said. “You told me that you were
20 years old which is young but old enough for the Red Race hatches almost
adult but matures at 40. Now I find that you are but a child of 11
which is far too young for what I have done to you.”
He was genuinely concerned and apologetic. That
was so sweet I couldn’t help but to love him more for his fears.
“My dearest lover, our calendars are different. Your day feels longer
than mine, your year is longer than mine. When I told you that I
was 20, I meant 20 Gaean Years of 370 days each, by your calendar I am
11 years of 670 days. It’s all relative to the world on which you
live so the Commonwealth created Standard Days and Standard Years to make
interplanetary talks easier.”
“As for my young age, fear not. My grandmother from
Jasoom matured at 12 and was married at 13 with her first child at 14 and
this was the usual for her race and world. By your reckoning, it
means that she was married and pregnant at around 7 of your years.
We Weir become sexually mature later at 15 or 8 years your time, then we
are legal adults at 18 which is 10 of your years and we reach full maturity
and can have babies at 25 which is 14 of your years. Although I am
years away from full maturity, I am, by the laws of my world, a legal adult
with all rights and obligations and so am free to do as I please and allowed
to take lovers as early as 16 of our years.”
“So, my dearest and most caring love, rest your fears.
I may not yet be a fully mature adult but I am far from the child you think
me to be.”
He as still concerned, so I said, “My lover, try to think
of me as a Weir, not as a Barsoomian. We are different with different
life stages. You are not molesting a child of Barsoom, you are making
a Woman of the Weir (and at this I lightly stroked his genitals with my
tail-tip) very happy and satisfied and healthy.” I then kissed him
and wished that we all were Weir for there was no privacy in the flyer
for what I wanted and although my kind have no concerns for public sex,
Barsoomians are embarrassed at the word so I could do nothing.
“Ayiesha,” called Tor Tal, “Ptarth approaches and I would
have you see my home.” And so, reluctantly, I took Tulan’s hand and
we went forward to see Ptarth. How can I describe the grandeur of
that walled city. It was to Dusar as a rundi is to a rabbuck.
Wheras Dusar had a few million people, Ptarth had tens of millions and
was one of the most powerful nations on the planet. There were towers
that must have stretched near a kilometer high. And everywhere the
inhabitants had decorated their city to make it a jewel in the desert.
We had nothing like this in Drakonis and even Tulan was awestruck at the
“We will rest our flyer in a hanger owned by a close and
trusted friend of mine. From there we can collect information and
adjust our plans accordingly.” And the flyer seemed to go on forever
seeking its’ nest among the complexity of the city. I wondered how
Tor Tal avoided getting lost but trusted his abilities.
We eventually landed at a public hanger in the building
where Tor Tal’s friend lived. Being a farm girl from a large house
surrounded by leagues of open land and pasture, I found the Barsoomian
ideas of packing people into such large buildings so close together to
be claustrophobic. I thought being aboard a starship was confining
but this was almost unbearable. So many people in so little space.
How did they survive? Humans on Terra who were packed this close
usually resorted to crime, murder, rape and other anti-social actions until
the population exploded into an orgy of violence. How different
were the Red Men to thrive on this.
I began to dress but Tor Tal asked me to not. “Ayiesha,
we are in a major city and you will attract enough attention as you are,
wearing those extra harness and the weapons of a man will simply attract
more. It is best if we remain as inconspicuous as we can.”
I wasn’t too happy with this but saw the wisdom of his
words so wrapped my bra and skirt into a bundle with my swords and revolver
and after replacing my jewelry and touching up my make-up, we left the
flyer and took the elevator to the floor where Tor Tal’s friend lived.
Fortunately, there was so much brick and rock in the city that they absorbed
the sunlight and radiated heat so I wasn’t as cold as usual and could wear
a simple cloak about my shoulders.
We exited the elevator and stopped at a door where Tor
Tal knocked until a Red Man answered. He was, as usual, attractive,
young looking and armed with a short sword for the Red Men hang their long
swords and revolvers on the wall but carry their shorter weapons at all
times in case of attempted assassination. The man’s eyes went wide
at the sight of Tor Tal, then wider still with my presence, dressed as
a Red Woman but obviously not one. As always, his eyes were drawn to my
naked breasts (I wished I could eat enough to return them to normal, not
these sagging bags) then to my eyes. Tulan barely received a glance.
“Greetings, Tithan,” said Tor Tal as he placed his right
hand on our hosts shoulder in the manner of Barsoomian Greetings.
Tithan repeated the gesture and greeting then asked us
to enter. After closing the door, Tor Tal continued, “May I present
my charge, Ayiesha Penaut of Gaea, an unwilling guest upon Barsoom,”
I curtsied to him and said, “I am pleased to meet the friend of my brother.”
To which he stared at Tor Tal. “And, “ continued Tor Tal, “Tulan,
our closest friend and companion. You may trust them both as you
Tithan bade us sit and refresh ourselves and both Tor
Tal and Tulan removed their weapons, save their short swords, and placed
them on the rack near the door reserved for the harness of a guest.
Tulan then took my cloak and hung it as well, revealing to our host my
full body at which he tried not to stare so I could only stand, embrace
our host and say, “I know that my appearance is strange to you so please,
look and ask as you will that we may be friends.” For despite our
public words, a woman enjoys the admiration and attention of a man, else
why spend all that time and effort to be more beautiful?
He asked me how I came to this world and I gave him a
shortened version of my story, omitting much of the danger, “I am a soldier
upon my own world and while recovering from wounds received in battle,
I fell asleep and woke up on your world, naked and alone. I managed
to eventually find Tor Tal and later Tulan and they have protected and
cared for me since. One of our goals is to find a way for me to return
to my family. But please, our travels have tired me and I’d like for Tor
Tal to continue in my place.” And with that, I sat back (Tulan was
conspicuous in NOT touching me) and listened for I had no idea of how much
Tor Tal had told or would tell Tithan. I had to force my tail around
my ankle for I was twitching the tip in nervousness.
Tor Tal explained, “When Kol Fias discharged me for loving
his daughter, Taria Kolos, I took service with another hoping to win fame
and fortune enough to be allowed to court Taria Kolos. But Kol Fias
had other plans for he arraigned for me to be called away on some pretext
and while I was gone, a gorthan entered and assassinated my charge.
Disgraced, I was imprisoned pending investigation but someone approached
and unlocked my cell escorting me to safety. I was told only that
a ‘friend’ had made these arrangements and that I must leave the city immediately.
I was given a small flyer and told that I’d be contacted when it was safe
but I must hurry for a gorthan was seeking my life.
“I flew away but not before asking that a message be given
to Taria Kolos from me and so I left Ptarth under cover of darkness.
“I was some hundreds of Haads (their linear measurement,
about 1/8 th of a league or almost 650 meters) away when Taria Kolas emerged
from under the tarp holding my supplies. She had heard her father
planning my disgrace and rushed to warn me but was too late. She
then returned to her home hoping to gather enough wealth to bribe the guards
when she discovered her father talking to the gorthan who had disgraced
me. The gorthan was not to kill me but to rescue me and give me a
certain flyer which I would use to ‘escape’ but would fly into the jaws
of more danger. Then he laughed and Taria Kolos took what she could
carry and hurried to the designated flyer where she hid.
“When I arrived and flew away, she revealed herself and
the plans she had heard and we decided to fly to Helium where we could
marry and start a new life. Unfortunately, the flyer refused to change
course, Kol Fias had adjusted it to a certain and unknown destination.
It was while I was attempting to dismantle his device when we passed over
some Green Men who opened fire and damaged the flyer. I managed to
change its’ descent course so that when we crashed, it would be at an angle
and hopefully, the Green Men wouldn’t find us.
“We survived the crash and on the second day, Ayiesha
Penaut found us. She had food and water but no knowledge of Barsoom or
it’s language so she accompanied us until we found an oasis where we rested.
“It was there when we were found by Tulan here who eventually
(he smiled at this) agreed to help us find safety. But on the trail,
we were captured by six Green Men, the same who had damaged our flyer and
who were somehow in the employ of Kol Fias. They took us to a dead
city to meet with Kol Fias who tortured and imprisoned us until Ayiesha
Penaut escaped, killing four of the Green Men herself. She then released
us from our cell and between we three, killed the remaining Green Men but
by that time Kol Fias had left.
“We have been chasing him since. Know you what has
been happening with Kol Fias and Taria Kolos? I mean to rescue her
and marry her at the earliest opportunity.”
Tithan thought for a moment then said, “My friend, this
will not be as easy as you think. Kol Fias has much power in Ptarth.
But his power comes from his wealth, not his position or personal honour.
Unfortunately there are those who will sell their honour for a purse of
pi and it is these we must deal with. Remain here and I will ask
around for I have not forgotten when you carried me 10 haads to safety
upon your back when I was wounded by those Green Men while on patrol.
My life, my honour and my sword I swore to you then and this is something
I shall never forget.”
And with these words, he showed us to our rooms, Tor Tal
and Tulan in one, myself in another and bade us refresh ourselves while
he searched for information. So, Tor Tal was a hero himself.
Typical of him to not mention this selfless act of courage but it surprised
me not. What I wondered was how the new information Tithan would
bring would affect our plans, where the bath and kitchen were and how much
time I would have alone with Tulan before Tithan returned. It was
obvious that our ruse of being ‘married’ would not work here and Tithan,
being a proper Barsoomian, would not stand for a maiden under his roof
to be ravished by a man not her husband. Damn, I need to take Tulan
home to Gaea. Father will grant him guest right and quarters and
will lavish all the gratitude he had on the man who saved my life, but
father won’t allow me to sleep with him in his house. Fortunately,
I have many friends who would gladly loan me their bedrooms for our pleasure
and there were the fields and woods with the birds singing and scent of
the flowers that we Gaeans love so upon and around our beds.
After settling into my room, I kissed Tulan and Tor Tal
(funny how I still use both his names even now) adieu as I sought the baths.
Tithan wasn’t wealthy enough to own a private bath so I sought the woman’s
bath upon the next floor. While relaxing in the hot water, I was,
again surrounded by the Red Women and repeated my answers to their many
questions. Again, was repeated a meal and again they impressed upon
me jewelry and cosmetics and silks so that when I returned to Tithan’s
apartment, I had the appearance of a wealthy woman of Ptarth.
All three men stood as I entered and Tulan said, “If this
continues, you shall be the cleanest and wealthiest woman on Barsoom.”
He then joked, “Perhaps we should just hire an army and storm the palace
of Kol Fias.”
I replied to this with, “Your Barsoomian women are overly
generous. But all that I have I owe to you two my loves.” This
last was unfortunate as Tulan immediately became embarrassed forcing to
drop my eyes and interject, “I apologize, noble host but I am still new
upon your world and your customs are strange and unknown to me. Upon
my world, a woman speaks her mind and wears her heart upon her harness
for all to see. So I feel no fear in declaring my love for Tor Tal,
my brother and Taria Kolos, my sister. Nor am I reserved in my love
of Tulan who has been nothing but caring and loving, he has placed my own
safety and comfort above his own so how could I not love him. I am
sorry that my words and actions have caused offence for I meant none.”
Tithan approached at these words and embracing me said,
“If you are the sister of Tor Tal, then doubly so are you welcome into
my home and I swear that I shall aid and protect you as would he.
Think nothing of your words for sometimes I wish that we Red Men of Barsoom
could be as open in our heart’s words. Live here as you would in
the home of your own father.”
I thanked him kindly, curtseying and shedding a tear for
even upon the world of my grandparents, would I receive as much love and
respect? Tulan saw my tears and mistook them for sorrow and held
me and sought to kiss them away. “My dearest love, fear not for these
are tears of joy and happiness. Who could have dreamed that I, a
maiden lost upon a cruel world, would find so much happiness among strangers
who have opened their hearts to me. Were only Taria present would
my joy be complete.”
Damn! Damn! Damn! Leaving these people was going to be
hard. Their unselfish caring and assistance to a stranger, their
bringing me into their family, their willingness to sacrifice everything
for the happiness and safety of another would be the source of epic poetry
on Drakonis. And someday I’d have to leave them, leave Tulan.
Could I actually leave? Could I live here? I had to put that
aside and focus on the rescue of Taria.
Settling down once again, Tithan explained that he had
visited people who knew of Kol Fias and had learned that Taria was safe
but imprisoned in her father’s home. They had arrived days ago in
a damaged flyer but otherwise safe. She was guarded by men loyal
to Kol Fias whenever she left her own apartments and by trusted slaves
when she was in her bed or bath. She was never alone. “Further,
Kol Fias has been spending much time attempting to assassinate your reputation,
Tor Tal. Fortunately, those of us who know you have been countering
his slander but no one can answer why you left the city instead of responding
to the problem of your charge’s assassination. Your flight works
against you and I fear that were you to reveal yourself now, you would
be killed or arrested before you could have your say. And were you
to rescue Taria Kolos, all would think that you had kidnapped her again
and seek your destruction.”
It was getting late so after a light meal (I was glad
that the women in the bath had fed me) all retired for the night.
Tulan escorted me to my room but did not enter. “My love, as much as I
want to, I cannot, for under the roof of Tithan, it would be an insult.”
“I understand, my dearest lover,” I replied. “Were
we at my father’s house, the same rules would apply. Though he would
know of our escapades, he would pretend ignorance for there are some things
a man and father wish to not know. Can we then, at least, visit the
roof and be together for awhile?”
Tulan agreed and arming himself and wrapping my cloak
about me for warmth, we left for the elevator. I did have some few
moments to kiss him while we were alone in the lift and I could feel his
desire for me, a desire to which I eagerly responded. But before
I could ask if this device had a ‘stop’ button, we arrived and the door
opened to people who needed our conveyance.
Thus, for some time did we sit on the rooftop, watching
the flyers arrive and depart, holding hands and making small talk as do
lovers. I sneezed again and as Tulan wiped my nose and I looked up
to the beauty of the two moons crossing the sky, Thuria racing to his destination
and Cluros majestically looking down for I believed that the moon, being
a Goddess, would look favorably upon we two lovers. Both moons were
red and I took that as a bad omen until I sneezed again and realized that
those few stars I could see in the sky were also red. The winds had
raised more dust into the atmosphere. The Red Men didn’t notice but
my nostrils were more sensitive to the Barsoomian dust than were theirs.
I didn’t want to leave so I crawled under my cloak and
allowed Tulan to hold me as I suffered my occasional sneezing fit.
“Your feet are so cold, Ayiesha is something wrong?” he asked as I pressed
my feet against his thighs.
“My feet are always cold, my love. As are my ears,
breasts and hands. Your world is so much colder than is mine.
This summer day is like my winter and at home, I would be bundled in layers
of clothing and fur. But being next to you warms my heart and that
is all that matters.”
He never made any reply for suddenly he went limp and
before I could react, a leather bag was thrown over me and I was helpless.
I kicked! I screamed! I thrashed about but
all for naught. The leather bag was too thick and muffled both my sounds
and actions and as I was unarmed in deference to Tor Tal’s wishes, I couldn’t
cut my way free. As I began to pass out from lack of air (breathing
was always a struggle for me on this world) and I resolved to always, in
the future, carry a small knife on my person just in case. Then the
blackness of the bag over my head was followed by the blackness of unconsciousness.
Eventually I awoke.
I was chained by hand and feet and even one ingenuous
manacle held my tail to my ankles. I still wore my harness and jewels
but nothing I had could free me. I tried to take account of
my situation but a voice said, “She’s awake, but she pretends otherwise.”
So I tried to sit up… ouch, and dizzy and headachy from carbon dioxide
poisoning I almost fell again.
“Let the animal lay there. I must admit that had
I known she would clean up so well, I wouldn’t have given her to the Green
Kol Fias! I was beginning to regret arguing against
his death. I looked around and was alone. “Where is Tulan?”
I asked. Only a fool threatens while chained and helpless.
“Your ‘lover’” he spat the word in disgust, “is well treated
in my private prison. He currently is chained to a wall awaiting
I almost made a comment about his pleasure being buggering
a helpless man but I didn’t want to give him any ideas. “And
me?” I asked. Rape is unknown on Drakonis but my grandmother described
the act to me so I understood that I may be thrown to his men or worse.
These weeks of love-making with Tulan had spoiled me in favour of the more
gentler acts. I managed to sit, still dizzy, then snapped my
manacles apart. No luck and no one even moved. A Lanai couldn’t
have broken these so I gave up, seeking another way.
“I haven’t decided yet.” Kol Fias walked to me and,
placing his hand under my chin, raised my face to see me better.
“You are so exotic with your eyes and ears and antennae and blue hair.
I wonder if I could trust you or even be safe with you. How did you
escape my Green Men?”
“They were clumsy and incompetent. You should pay
more to buy better servants. How did you find us?” It occurred
to me that as a merchant, Kol Fias paid the absolute minimum he could to
hire manpower. That means that somewhere in this building someone
could be bribed.
“It’s not difficult to learn what you wish to know.
Information is wealth and so I made certain that I was informed if Tor
Tal or someone like you had arrived in Ptarth. I must say that you
managed to distract that other man, Tulan, well enough for us to capture
you. Now to send a message to Tor Tal.” He took his dagger
and lightly running the tip from my belly, around my breasts and then to
my face, he cut a lock of my hair and handed it to a servant, “Take
this to the home of Tithan and give it to Tor Tal with these words.
“Meet me within the zode at my palace, unarmed and alone, or I send the
tail of the alien girl with my next demand.”
As the runner left, it occurred to me that Kol Fias had
only seen me twice, once when I was naked and dying of pneumonia, and now,
chained and helpless. He had no idea of my strength or abilities.
If information were wealth, I was richer than he for this.
Kol Fias sat in what appeared to be a very comfortable
chair and observed me closely. I looked around to find but two armed
guards, both standing casually by the door. Too far to punch and all I
had to throw was some jewelry. This room was a splendour of wealth
and was designed to impress and I was very impressed. Peasants like
myself couldn’t dream of a hundredth of the wealth he displayed.
“Sit!” he snapped.
“I am,” I replied. But he motioned and a guard came forward
behind me to lift me and forced me to my knees so that I knelt with my
buttocks on my ankles. He then pulled my hair so my back was straight
and my breasts pushing forward then he forced my head down so I could no
longer see anything but the floor. I decided that I was being trained
as a slave. Hopefully a pleasure one for their lives would be easier
than that of a sewage cleaner. I allowed this as the more complacent
I appeared, the better for me as they relaxed their guard.
His feet appeared to my sight and he laughed, “You learn
fast. Perhaps I will keep you as you are.” I was tempted to
punch him in the crotch but with my wrist manacles chained to my ankles
and those behind me, I could barely reach my own breasts and he was well
out of my range. I almost hoped that he’d demand I service him with my
mouth so I could bite it off. Though if so, I doubt that I’d live
long enough to see him die.
There was a commotion and someone burst in screaming,
“Father, what are you doing to her?” I looked up to see Taria rushing
to me. She never made it as her two guards managed to grab her before
she could reach me.
“Hello sister,” I said. “As you can see, Tulan and
I have come to rescue you and reunite you with Tor Tal.”
Kol Fias raised his hand and would have struck me senseless
for my words but stopped and laughed. “You! Rescue my daughter?
You are but a plaything, chained before us all. What I command, you
obey!” Then turning to Taria he demanded, “What do you here!
I didn’t send for you! Return to your apartments immediately.”
Taria shook her captors off and screamed, “Ayiesha is
my sister as is Tor Tal my lover! How dare you treat her this way.
Release her immediately or suffer the consequences!”
Kol Fias just laughed and motioned to his men who grabbed
her again and forced her to a chair next to his own. “See you, daughter,
how complacent is your ‘sister’. Like any sorak, she does as I wish.
And this is what you would choose over me? Take her away!”
and he motioned to me at that.
Anything else that passed between them was lost to me
as I was lifted to my feet and taken away. I couldn’t walk as my
ankle manacles were too short so I had to shuffle between them as we left.
I wasn’t afraid for Taria or for me but for Tulan in his clutches and Tor
Tal who soon would be.
Fortunately, I wasn’t taken to a cell or pit this time
but to a room covered with silks and furs. There were a number of
women present, all naked save for a collar and manacles similar to my own,
all of which were golden which I assumed was gilded steel for gold would
be too soft to hold anyone. Slave quarters. I guess I was to
be trained some more. The guards unlocked the chains and left me
with bracelets and anklets but no collar yet as the slaves surrounded me.
I must have looked a sight, wearing the bejeweled harness
of a Barsoomian woman and the manacles of a slave. They poked and
prodded me and stared at my tail and breasts and antenna and asked the
same questions I had been asked before. Not wishing to anger these
women who may be useful to me, I cheerfully answered their questions and
walked to the window which was barred and easily 50 meters above the ground.
I considered the possibility of jumping if I could force the bars but then
saw some animals the size of ponies and possessing ten legs rush to the
wall. Guard dogs! They looked fast so could I outrun or out
I managed to ask the slaves about Kol Fias and what I
heard wasn’t good. As a master of slaves, he was neither better nor
worse than most. He was obsessed about money and making more.
He had sought marriage into noble houses to gain a title but was turned
down always which made him bitter. He loved his daughter but was
very stern with her, more so since her rescue from her kidnapper, Tor Tal.
I smiled and explained first that my own lover, Tulan,
was a prisoner in this place and I dearly wished him safe. Then when
they were impressed with my love and the trials we had suffered, I brought
up the subject of Taria and Tor Tal. By the time I was finished,
they were willing to help me as they could so I sent a message to Tor Tal
by one kitchen slave that he should expect rescue soon and to not give
up hope. Another promised to say the same to Taria and so I relaxed
and planned my next move. “Is there any chance I can get a bath and
a good meal while I am here? That bag they held me in stank.”
I was washed and perfumed and made up and even my harness
and jewels were returned to me though if this was because as an ‘exotic’,
Kol Fias wanted me as I was or if Barsoomians don’t steal even from slaves,
I could not guess. One of the girls informed me that eventually,
I would be given to Kol Fias for his pleasure and my continued health demanded
that he ‘be’ pleasured. I wasn’t worried about this at all since
I was so much stronger than any man on this world. Any Weir woman
could easily break any human man and the Barsoomian was weaker still so
any attempt to force me was asking for trouble.
I did ask one of the friendlier slave girls about Kol
Fias’ guards and who could be bribed to look away in the event of someone
climbing over the walls and how much it would cost me. When
I received a few names, I removed some of my jewels and giving one to the
slave for her own personal use, I directed that the rest be passed to the
guards who were for sale and given instructions that if they saw us leaving
or another entering by a certain way, to please be conveniently elsewhere.
Then I relaxed and talked to the slave girls to learn as much as I could
from them about Barsoomian slavery for Draconis never tolerated the practice
and those slaves who were recruited by Colonial were freed immediately
upon crossing our borders. Thus, other than my grandmother who had
been a slave to an Arabian prince, I had no way to understand the practice.
I had just settled in when I was summoned. My wrist
chains were replaced and as the guards were convenient and armed with rifles,
I submitted. Then I was taken back to Kol Fias where I saw Tulan
waiting, also chained. I ran to him crying out for his safety but
aside from a bruise on his head, he was otherwise unharmed. Taria
was also there with her armed escort, sullen and quiet. I hoped that
my message had gotten to her. I noted that as I was only manacled
at the wrists and they before my body but Tulan was manacled at wrist and
ankles and the former behind his back, I knew who they considered to be
“I am still here, my love,” said Tulan. Then Kol
Fias interrupted sneering, “Such is the quality of those who would cast
me to ruin. A nameless panthan, a mere girl from another world and
a disgraced warrior who even now is being escorted to me in chains.
Daughter, see thy who would be your ‘friends’ and note how easily my power
and wealth crushes them as it will all who stand in the way of my plans.”
“And what are your plans? To conquer and be Jeddak?”
Tulan asked with as much sarcasm as he could.
Kol Fias almost kicked him but stopped. “Jeddak?
Why be a target for gorthans when I can be the power behind the throne.
Wealth is power and by marrying Taria to the right family, my wealth and
power will increase.
“But now, it’s necessary to teach her a lesson.
A lesson on power and impotency for I am the former and you the latter.
Listen well Taria, and remember what true power is, then forget these.”
Tulan was about to snap a retort but I stopped him with
a kiss. “Steady my love, it is not yet time to act.” I didn’t
want him injured.
Immediately, the guards opened the door and brought in
another prisoner wearing a hood and with hands bound by leather.
Kol Fias glanced and said, “Now the group is complete. My daughter,
the disgraced panthan, the alien and her #####.” I didn’t know the
word but the image he sent implied bestiality. I fantasized a moment
about tying him back-side up in the path of a breeding Skree. Maybe
a few eggs glued to his back would teach him some manners.
The guards brought their prisoner forward. They
forced him to kneel and forced his head to the floor before they removed
his hood. I couldn’t see his face but I knew who it was.
“Kol Fias,” I asked, “Why did you order the charge of
Tor Tal killed. Surely you could have removed him another way?”
“Because he dared to love above his station. Because
I needed to make an example of him. Because I wished to destroy him
as his dreams of marriage would have destroyed my daughters’ life.”
“And the Green Men you hired to torture and kill us in
the dead city, could you have just left us alone, me and Tulan. Tor
Tal would have come after you alone.”
“Alone!” he yelled, “A Red Man is never alone. Somehow
he bought your friendship and so you suffer with him. I only regret that
I had to leave. Had I remained to watch your miserable deaths, you
WOULD be dead now. But that is of no consequence. Here you
are and here you will die.”
“I have heard enough,” said the bound man, rising.
Kol Fias stared at the man and screamed, “Who is this!”
to which one guard replied, “It’s Tor Tal, he who you told us would be
at the door.”
The man, standing said with a strong voice, “I am Ras
Tho, magistrate for this district. I’m surprised you don’t recognize
me, Kol Fias or perhaps I am of too ‘low a class’ for you to notice?”
He was enjoying this very well. “Kol Fias, you are under arrest as
are all who side with you. Release me!” and he held his hands out.
One of the guards cut his bonds before Kol Fias could
respond but he then ordered, “No matter, I will keep you here until I am
done. Guards, take him!” and such was the power of his wealth and
voice that they obeyed instantly.
“Hold, Kol Fias!” cried Tor Tal as he burst into the room
accompanied by Tithan, both with drawn swords. I guessed that I had
bribed the proper guards.
Kol Fias was struck dumb for a moment then recovered,
“Surrender of die! Guards, a thousand Pi to each one who cuts down
a prisoner!” And with that he drew his own sword and stepped back
Taria tripped one of her own guards who rushed to become
wealthy and as he fell before us, I kicked him in the head and took his
sword. “Now my love,” I cried and swung with all my might.
Had I touched Tulan, I would have clove him in two instantly but my blade
passed mere millimeters from his back and, passing through his chains,
broke on the stone floor. But despite this, the fine Barsoomian steel
had severed his bonds and Tulan was free. His immediate action was
to take the short sword from the dead man at his feet and engage a guard.
Tor Tal tossed his own short sword to the magistrate who
also engaged a guard. Although hampered by the short length of his
weapon, his position did discourage his attacker a bit. And as for
me, I charged a Red man who was unwilling to stab a women but fortunately
I had no such scruples. I rolled then came to my feet next to him
and before he could step back or shorten his grip, I punched his chest
with both fists, crushing his rib cage instantly. I then grabbed
his sword and engaged another guard who I beat down then drove my blade
completely through his chest.
By then it was over. The remaining guards threw
their blades to the floor and surrendered for killing two or three unnamed
panthans was easy, facing a magistrate, three armed warriors and an alien
who was stronger and faster then they another matter entirely. I
looked around and saw that Tulan had killed two and Tor Tal had killed
the three who stood between him and Taria. The only armed man left
was Kol Fias.
The magistrate calmly walked to him, removed his blade
from his hands and said, “Kol Fias, once again I arrest you for murder
and conspiracy. Come calmly and face justice.” Beaten, Kol
Fias turned to Taria and said, “Daughter, all that I did was for your own
good. If you believe nothing else, believe that.” Then he went
calmly. Tithan helped bind the guards who hadn’t fled and assisted the
magistrate leaving we four alone.
Tolan found the keys to his manacles and removed them
as I ran to and hugged Taria. Life was so happy now, my sister and
brother and lover all together and none of us had to kill Kol Fias.
“Please remain in my home for as long as you will.” She begged. “I’ll
need help to replace those loyal to my father and to ensure that his darker
business deals end.” What could I do but to agree happily.
Tulan interrupted and said, “May I talk to you alone,
I looked at him then clicked my manacles together a few
times, “Aren’t you forgetting something?”
He looked at me, smiled and took hold of the chain saying,
“No, I think not.” And pulled me after him. I glanced to Tor Tal
and Taria but they were busy with each other so I turned my attention back
to Tulan. “Hmmm,” I thought, “Slave girl and Pasha. I’ve never
played that game before. Could be fun.” And I eagerly followed
him saying, “Yes, master.”
It was in the afternoon when he finally released me.
I wasn’t certain that I wanted that but I had to eat something…. Lunch
that is. So we dressed and sought our hosts who we found sharing
a tub. “Hmm,” I smiled, room for two more?”
Tor Tal got embarrassed and left instantly as did Tulan
so I simply dropped into the vacated space and said, “Well, tell me all
about it,” as I hugged her warmly. She got embarrassed but smiled
and said that her experience was wonderful, “And you must stay for our
wedding next week!”
“Wedding? As in married?” I admit that I kissed
her then and not at all as a sister. “Of course I’ll stay, I am so
happy for you. What can I do? Do Barsoomian women have bridal showers?”
A thousand questions raced through my head and I was so happy for her and
wanted everything to be perfect but I didn’t know how. “We have to start
now! So much to do and so little time.” I was panicking now.
“Ayiesha, calm down. Everything will be fine.
We’ll discuss it later after lunch but for now..” She motioned and a slave
came forward and began to massage my shoulders. “Oh Goddess that
feels good.” And I melted right there. Later she moved to my
feet while another slave washed my hair. Maybe there was something
to this merchant class thing.
Later, Taria asked me about the magistrate and I told
her the plan, “We originally planned to find a sympathetic magistrate and
bribe some guards to allow us over the wall to the building. Then
we would hide the magistrate and when ‘cornered’ by your father, goad him
into confessing his crimes. Although that plan seemed ruined when
Tulan and I were kidnapped, Tor Tal simply had the magistrate pretend to
be him and walk into the building while he and Tithan followed the original
plan to climb the walls. All I had to do was to bribe the guards
and make certain that Tor Tal knew it was safe to enter.”
We remained there all that week and it was a wonderful
vacation between the excellent food, rest, hot baths and fantastic sex
with Tulan. And when the wedding day arrived, Tulan and I stood there
in the Temple of Righteousness and watched them place the golden manacles
upon the wrists of Tor Tal and Taria to bind them together. I was
so happy for them I cried throughout the entire ceremony.
The wedding was marred only by the trial of Kol Fias.
Barsoom, like Gaea, has no lawyers to hinder the process of justice so
the witnesses were brought before the magistrate to give testimony (unlike
Gaeans, Barsoomians are honest enough to not require the truth drugs we
give our witnesses) and then Tor Tal was exonerated of all his charges
and Kol Fias was sentenced. I admit that I didn’t understand his
sentence at all and could not describe it here but suffice to say, he was
allowed to live though much of his property was confiscated and given to
the victims of his crimes, chief among them were Tulian, Tor Tal and myself.
Well, what can I say, we stayed a month and during that
time I fleshed out and even my breasts started to recover. One day
I was standing naked before a mirror checking myself out. Not bad!
Wavy hair that shone in the light, subtle but attractive cosmetics, firm
chest, flat belly and tight ass. I arched my lower back and checked
my belly. Hmmm, needs improvement so I tied some silk around myself
and looked again. Then I stuffed a pillow underneath the silk and
fluffed my breasts to make them look larger and arched my back more.
And that is how Taria found me. Embarrassed I tossed the silk and
pillow aside and asked what she wanted.
I don’t understand why I was embarrassed at all but Taria
was kind enough to ignore this and told me that they had heard back from
Helium and that John Carter was anxious to meet with us. The idea
that his former world was being used to colonize other worlds was something
he was curious about. He also said that perhaps he could help me
return to Jasoom, a statement that somehow made me unaccountably depressed.
The next day we prepared to leave for Helium. Our
flyer was stocked and I kissed Tor Tal and Taria goodbye wishing them well
and crying at my loss, then Tulan and I lifted off and set course for the
twin cities. I know that I should have been happy but for some reason
I wanted to take my revolver and empty it into the controls of the flyer.
Finally I asked him to land the craft.
“Why Ayiesha? We are so close to you returning to
your home..” I struck him then, not hard but filled with frustration.
“Do you hate me so that you’d send me away so easily? What have I
done to make you not want me anymore? I know I cannot give you children
but…” I broke down crying and couldn’t stop so he just held me trying to
sooth my feelings without much success.”
“Please make love to me again?” I begged him. I
don’t know why but I wanted him to hold me closer. I didn’t enjoy
the act overly much but I needed him so much I never wanted it to end.
But all things end someday.
What can I say. We eventually reached Helium and
I tried to hold a conversation with John Carter but really, I am not from
Terra and neither am I human so what do we have in common? Conversation
ended politely and he was able to help me return to my home. How
I don’t know. I simply woke up in my bed wearing my nightgown and
under my comforter. I went downstairs to see my parents and they
cried to see me, demanding to know where I was these last months, why I
left and how I returned home.
I tried to explain about Barsoom but when I mentioned
Tulan, I burst out crying and couldn’t stop. Mother held me until
I ran out of tears and could continue but for some reason I kept breaking
down and crying every time I mentioned his name. I don’t know why
because I knew that there could be nothing between us and all we had was
sex and friendship but I missed him so much I wanted to die.
Well, I was healed and aside from a minor case of malnutrition
and the residual pneumonia that was easily cured, I returned to the Fleet
and threw myself into my work. But what could a soldier do but train?
And train some more for the Shitai were holding back and there were no
wars to fight. I tried to take other lovers but nothing was helping.
Finally I went to my Ship Captain and cried in her ready room. She
sat there unmoving as Lanai do not love and she didn’t understand my feelings.
Lanai don’t even understand sex but they do understand loyalty and friendship
and war-buddies and they held these things dear so she made a suggestion
that was completely out of character for someone whose entire life and
race was dedicated to war.
Tulan was on patrol again. He was lucky to be here
at all after all that time missing from duty but he really didn’t care
much. She was alien and would never fit into his life but he still
loved her and not a day went by that he didn’t miss that woman.
Then he saw the craft land at the oasis. It was huge,
the size of a block in a city and far larger than any battleship but designed
differently. It was roundish and had two wings that curved down and
was completely silent and it had no propellers at all so he rode to the
oasis loosening his weapons in their sheaths just in case, not knowing
what to expect but it wasn’t what he could have dreamed.
She stood there, wearing fabrics that covered her entire
body and behind her were three other women dressed and designed the same,
but taller. All were armed with a tube hanging at their sides that
he somehow knew were weapons but it was the first one that attracted his
attention. She smiled at him and he was off his thoat and struck
her to the ground almost without thought.
Ayiesha lay on the moss under Tulan and asked, “I assume
that this means that you are happy to see me?”
“How did you find me? What… who,,,” Tulan
couldn’t find the words so he kissed her long and hard.
Eventually, when they could breathe again, she told him,
“I couldn’t eat or sleep or work so my Ship Captain had me describe Barsoom
in detail and they found the planet in their records. She then brought
me here to get you. Want to see my world now?”
Tulan looked up to see the Battle Cruiser floating there
silent and dangerous. The three Lanai still stood there watching
but unconcerned with him, her or the fate of the universe. They were
simply there. He somehow knew that if they wanted, these three could
probably conquer his entire city and this ship his world.
“By the way,” she said, “we can cloak the ship so it cannot
be seen and I was thinking of a visit to Ptarth to see if Tor Tal and Taria
would like a vacation from their merchant duties. I’d love to show
you all my world but,” and she looked at him sternly, “hands off my girlfriends.
I know it’s wrong but I feel very possessive towards you for some reason.
Also the Devil sent a representative to talk to John Carter about opening
relations between your world and Gaea what with the Morgors invading Drakonis
a few years ago. He was originally from John Carter’s home so they
should get along well. I’m ordered to help get them together.” She
kept rattling off like that, changing subject from topic to topic but he
was content to simply hold her and to hear her voice.
As the Lanai led his thoat into the ship she said one
final thing, “By the way, we tossed an ice asteroid towards Barsoom
and mounted an inductor on it so by the time it reaches your atmosphere,
it’ll melt and you should have a really heavy rain for a few days.
Not enough to fill the sea beds but enough to water the desert and fill
the reservoirs. You should even have a few lakes when the rains stop.
Did I tell you that I love you?” and she kissed him again.
Barsoom logo art by Jeff Doten