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Volume 2168

by Rick Johnson



Jason stood too fast and was shot, the radium round blowing away the nearby rock and the shrapnel tearing through his ribs and lung.  Breathing was hard in the thin Martian atmosphere at the best of times, with one lung damaged and collapsed, even that was impossible and he collapsed.  They had come across the Green Man raiding party attacking some slavers or pilgrims and joined in to assist.  He never regretted that decision as he fell.

Eibhlin killed her enemy then ducked and beamed the distant Green Man with the rifle and looked around estanning death all around.  As far as she could tell, she was alone so went to search for her friend and nephew and lover, the only other of her race on the entire planet.  Before finding him, she thought she was alone, the sole human abducted and changed by the Demons.  She suspected that there were others but in twenty years of futile searching through out Demon Space ten thousand light years away, she finally found him here on Barsoom a bare thirty million miles from Earth. 

And she was but twenty years since her change and still learning what the Demons did.  Jason, her nephew a dozen generations younger, was actually near two centuries older than she and friendly to the Demons so knew more and had been explaining to her what they were when the Green Men attacked.  He had so much knowledge and experience.  True, he expected her to lie with him and she did so only to ease her own Need for both suffered the enhanced sex-drive that was common among Weir.  She was trying to learn to enjoy normal heterosexual-sex, she really was, but though she could now bed a man and even enjoy the experience, she still preferred women and daily wished that Jason had breasts and vagina, sometimes so strongly that his telepathy picked it up.  At those times he would laugh and offer to find them both an attractive woman though Jason was obsessed with breasts and Eibhlin enjoyed them but saw the face as more important.  And on Barsoom, all women had beautiful faces and small breasts.

She soon found him laying under the shattered rock and ran to her companion.  “Wake up! Dammit!” she screamed and shook him to no avail.  He was dead and she was alone again.  She cried, holding his hand, “You have so much to teach me.  I was going to take you back to your home and meet your people, our race.  We were going to get drunk and pick up women together.” She was crying, her thoughts and desire and emotions without control so she sat there, in the shade and cried for what seemed like hours.

Finally she let go, his body already stiff for his hand remained aloft, and searched the dead for food and supplies then returned to bury the Weir.

She had the hole dug by dark, knowing he was pagan though raised catholic and her catholic past wanted to do a proper service, and as she dragged him in the dark she stopped.  This was wrong somehow.  He was stiff but not with rigor-mortis.  She tapped his skin and it felt like a shell?    She relaxed and looked around, the rocks glowing in the dark as they gave up their absorbed heat but the bodies of the Green Men and even the Red Men already cool and dark.  Jason should be cold too but she saw some heat.  Not much but still….

She lay her ear over his breast but heard nothing.  She licked her wrist and held it over his nose and still nothing but still, she knew he wasn’t dead.  Something had grown a shell over his skin to protect him.  The Demons did things to her that she was still discovering like she could not only estann thoughts but she could sometimes implant thoughts or influence others.  She could detect EM-fields and even control them to an extent.  She healed easily and even re-grew her maidenhood if she avoided penetration for a few weeks so maybe this was another aspect of the Weir that the Demons forgot to tell her? Jason knew everything because he remained close to the Demons and claimed to live on a planet of Weir.  Despite his rutting ways with her, she remained to learn more.  But he never told her this.

Ignoring the grave, she took silk and made a tent over some still-warm rocks, built thoat-dung fires around to contain heat and sat on guard with the radium rifle taken from a Green Man she had killed.  It was long, far longer than she was tall but then, so were British muskets and she had used those in the past.  She knew she could stay wake for days if need be and determined to stand guard until she was certain that Jason was alive or dead.

And awake she remained. The banths and calots arrived and ate the dead, ignoring her in favour of easier carrion and she still watched, holding him with her tail, wishing him back to life.  After the second day, she had food and water and mantilla milk but she was beginning to nod off and forcing herself awake she fantasized about her former lovers, Chlariassah, Kara, Jean and the other women she had loved, wishing that they were here with her for she missed their touch, their kisses, even their breasts.

Breasts? She must be hallucinating for as much as she loved her own Weir-large breasts, and as much as she loved touching and kissing the breasts of her lovers, why think if those now? 

Jean was there, talking, Jean had large breasts but they sagged as do all humans who were that large.  Still Eibhlin loved her.  “It was never to be, Eileen,” Jean was saying.  “I always told you I was straight. And I was involved with Jason too.  I’m sorry but we couldn’t even hold hands in public.”

“But you used me and abandoned me!” Eibhlin cried out.  You all abandoned me!  Even Jason left me!  Why can’t I find a woman who will love me and stay with me.”

Kara spoke up, “I never loved you either but I liked you.  And I was straight too and that’s why I left you, you tried to make me into something I wasn’t.”

“I liked her too, just not that way, and your tits sagged too, just not as much because they weren’t big enough.” Jean insisted.  And the two argued for a long time while Eibhlin tried to interrupt, “Shut up!  You aren’t real!  I left you both on Earth.  YOU ARE NOT REAL!”

She obviously needed sleep and then passed out from exhaustion.


Jason was overwhelmed with claustrophobia.  The Shitai and their Green Pirate allies were coming by the thousands.  His Lanai already dead and only he and Ayiesha alive.  Alive only because they had been fucking behind a rock.  Grenades and rockets struck the rock and he was buried with Ayiesha, she trying to drag him free but not strong enough to move the boulders.  She was screaming, “We have to get out!  Don’t leave me!  The grubs are here and want to eat me!  Hold me Jason!”

He struggled, too small and weak to move the rocks that covered him.  He struck and fought then finally broke through!


Jason sat up holding his side where the rocks had broken ribs.  The pain was gone but dried blood flaked off with his touch.  He coughed, tried to vomit but his stomach was empty and he was starving.  “Water,” he croaked to her aunt. 

Eibhlin sat there, holding the rifle and staring at her, doing nothing else but stare.

He called again, “Water!  And food, I’m starving,” then he collapsed.

He felt water dribble into his mouth and she awoke to swallow, then taking the canteen, sucked it dry, not caring about the cramps in his empty stomach.  Then, “More please!”  He moved his strawberry-blonde hair from his face and accepted another canteen, this of Mantilla milk.  He drank this slower for his body could not process Mantilla any faster than a human body could process milk.  Finally as he allowed his system to absorb the Mantilla, he stopped and asked, “What happened?” I remember the Green Men attacking, I think.”

Eibhlin stared at him, never looking away, “We were ambushed.  Maybe a dozen Green Men.  They killed half the slaver company within moments and we tried to make a stand here.  You and I are the only survivors but… a rifle round exploded and sent shrapnel through your chest and you died.  I thought.  I was going to bury you when I saw a shell form.  You weren’t alive but not dead either.  Then a few days later you broke free.” She pointed to the husk that still looked like Jason but was fast breaking apart.

“That happens sometimes.  If we don’t die immediately but the damage is too bad, our skin shells to protect us while we heal.  If the damage is too bad, we starve before we heal and die in the shell so hospitals feed us nutrition and regeneratives by IV until we are ready to awaken.  I must have been at the mid-point and you fed me enough energy to keep me alive.  You must be starving too.”

“I am, I ate more than normal and never left your side.  Another thing.. Jason, you…. Here!”  She handed her a mirror and he looked a t herself.  His strawberry-blonde hair was to his shoulders already, his breasts large and full and firm, he, no she looked twenty again and spreading her legs, saw her vagina and upon examination, her new maidenhead.  “Damn!  I hate it when this happens.”

She looked at her nephew?  Niece? and asked, “This happened before?  Weir change sex?”

Smiling Jason said, “Sometimes. Rarely, but I, we’re special.  I was human so when the Demons changed me they lengthened my Y-chromosome and sometimes my body gets confused and thinks I am XX instead of XY.  It normally isn’t a problem so long as I produce testosterone to keep me male and sex causes my testicles to keep pumping out what I need.  Then, years ago, in Russia I was cursed by an androgynous god who used that to change me into a woman.  I was female for three years before I could change back but the damage was done.  Now if I accidentally take estrogen or don’t make enough testosterone, and if I am damaged, and if other conditions are right or wrong, when I repair my body gets confused and I change gender.”

“Like when I change from Weir to Human because of my werewolf genes the Holy Empire added?” she asked.

“Werewolf?” he asked.

“Something the Kris did to me to kill Demons.  I’ll explain later.  So, because of all this and because I was awake and touching you and hallucinating about my female lovers, I helped change you?”

“Probably.  Any one or two conditions I could fight but all together overwhelmed me.  Eibhlin, this isn’t going to be easy for either of us.  I have to get used to being a woman again until I can change back in a few months.  My hormones will be going mad for two or three months and that will prevent me from changing back.  During those months I will be moody, cranky, horny and a real bitch so please try to understand and help me through it.”  He reached for her hand which she gave willingly.

Then she smiled for the first time and commented, “So, you are a real woman now.  I watched as you looked yourself over.  Something else, your lips, above and below and your nipples are bright red.  When mine turn that colour, it means my Need is here and I need sex or else.  Are you like that?  What do I do, find you a man?  That won’t be easy out here.” She didn’t look at the bones scattered around.

Jason laughed, pulled her to her new body and kissed her hard, “I liked women as a man and still like women as a woman.  I’m glad you are gay as it makes things easier but, dear Auntie, be rough with me for I like my sex hard but gentle for I am a virgin again.”


The sun was up before Janice begged Eibhlin to stop.  “Goddess,” she mused, “And I thought I was a queen in heat.”

“It’s been a long time for me, my dear,” her aunt whispered.  “To many months without a woman, too many with a man.  I fear I tried to make up for lost time.  Are you angry?”

“Not at all.  It has been a long time since I felt that much passion.  I think we linked and fed on each other’s desires and needs.”  Janice felt below, sore for Eibhlin hadn’t listened to her request for gentleness with her hymen, or maybe she had listened to Janise’s demands for rough sex?  Who knows, who cares, for the deed is done and the obstacle removed.  Then as Eibhlin raised both tails and began to lick the blood from them, Janice almost shuddered.  But then, Eibhlin had been born a human-woman and had years of menstrual cycles to get used to that mess.  Janice never had one and so retained the male attitude that anything that bleeds for a week without dying is just wrong.  Fortunately, the Demons saw that too and prevented menstruation in their Weir.

Janice tried to lift her breast to look at her nipples but even flattened from laying on her back, they were too firm.  Human women after a few years were so floppy they could suckle themselves, this pleasure was denied all Weir.  Touching them, they still felt good but was her Need over or just satiated for a day?

“You cringed when I licked your virgin’s blood from our tails.  Will you regrow as I do without regular entry?”

“Probably, but I don’t know.  My only times as a woman were Human and each time I changed, I was a virgin but never re-grew.  But Humans don’t regrow.  Strange, though, when I return to being male, I am still circumcised.  Weir are born with neither hymen nor foreskin so they have a few advantages over we who were made this way.”

Eibhlin leaned over Janice, causing the other to reach up and cup her breasts and play.  “Keep doing that and we’ll never leave here.  When my ship arrives, we must explore this Drakonis of yours.  I’d love to see others who are like me.  Will I be rejected?”

Janice laughed, “Why for?  Because you are made-Weir and not born-Weir?  I’m the same.  And honestly, I’ll be embarrassed to return female but not so much that I will be scorned.  Also, dear Auntie, most Weir are bi-sexual so you will never want for beautiful and desirable lovers.”

“You are like a goat!” Eibhlin commented.  “I tried to wear you out and thought I did.  I can feel you ache down there from being torn… and yet you want more. Your lips and nipples are pink so we should probably leave now while we have sunlight and before the Banths and Green Men return.”  As they dressed, she continued, “I can see that I am going to spend more time on my back than feet with you.”

“Complaining,’ Janice asked as she goosed her lover with her tail.

Eibhlin wrapped her tail around Janice’s, raised it to her lips and kissed the sensitive pad then dropped it and moved away to collect her gear and weapons.

“Nephew,  or rather niece, what do I call you now?”

“Janice Obrien.  It fits.”

“Obrien?  That’s a man’s name.  Why not Ui Bhrian as is normal for a woman?”

“Because the male form is common in my time.  Only people from centuries ago or peasant farmers well away from the cities or artists seeking to reclaim the past use the feminine form for Irish is a dying language.  But if it will make you happy, call me Janice Eileen Ui Bhrian. Thus I carry the old and the new and even your name.”

“It does, my lover.  Though we be related, I am your aunt by 300 years and more than a dozen generations so I don’t think this is incest.”

“Plus, Eibhlin,” Janice added, “You may have been born three centuries before me, but you are only forty and I am two hundred years old which makes me your senior in age and experience.”

“Still, I am closer to our common ancestor, Brian Boru so am senior in rank for in my time I still was Tierna and my title respected.  Yours,” she kissed Janice “Is just a formality,” and she pushed her niece away and walked out laughing.

“As you wish, My Lady,” Janice laughed as she curtseyed and fell over.  “Damn!  Now I have to learn how to curtsey again.  Especially with this weight on my chest.  I wonder how much they weigh?  We should do a displacement measurement and weigh our breasts sometime.”

“Men are so obsessed with breasts.  Try to be a woman and ignore them until they are needed.” Eibhlin called back.

“Easy for you to say for yours are smaller than mine. Though I find not as sensitive for I climax with a caress and a kiss and you just get excited.”

They argued in good nature as they packed their kits, chose the best weapons and gear and then walked to the east in their searches.


Their first rest, Eibhlin cut the Green Man’s radium rifle down to size.  The barrel itself was longer than either her or Janice’s body with the stock almost as long.  But with a little work, the rifle had been shortened at both ends to something long by the Assault Rifles of Jason’s time but short by her own. Still it was useable and that is want mattered to them.

“This is a very long valley that is filled with marshland. The center channel is probably kept clear by the Therns to facilitate travel to Dor.  I don’t believe we will find my people there but we may find yours.” Janice commented.

“What about those ridges?  They look low and maybe we can take the thoats along there.  Otherwise we either take a boat and abandon the thoats or travel around and maybe miss anyone in the marsh.  I’d rather not separate.”

“Even if we did, the path is on both sides of the valley so we would need a third to follow the marsh as you and I covered the two sides of the valley on thoatback.”

The night before they slept in one of the way-houses the Therns had built for their pilgrims.  And tonight they would do the same for there was one at the entrance to the valley.  Although the Thern religion of Issus had been discredited by John Carter, many still believed and Barsoom was torn between those who knew the truth (including Therns who walked the planet as Panthans) and those who still believed the lie (including Therns who remained priests without a goddess).  As a result, the way-houses were falling apart and some being abandoned as too much trouble to repair.  But both enjoyed the hanging beds they found inside, which kept them off the floor and protected them from the ulsios which infested anyplace where they could find food.  “We should picket the thoats and I’ll climb the ridge to see what I can see.” Jason mentioned. 

Eibhlin glanced over, saw Janice on her thoat, back straight, hair loose and breasts bare.  She refused to wear a bra claiming that she had no need of one and enjoyed the freedom.  Eibhlin still wore hers but that was more modesty.  Janice did wear a short silk skirt and had adjusted her harness to resemble a woman’s version though and even wore some cosmetics she had borrowed from Eibhlin who generally ignored them until needed at a party.  When Eibhlin asked why, she was told, “Remember those werewolf movies in America?  In Ireland a werewolf is fully man or fully human.  But with each change, if the werewolf fights it, they retain a bit of their other self.  Then the next change is not as extreme until the beast remains a wolfman, neither man nor wolf like Lon Chaney Junior in the cinema.  It’s like a pendulum.  You release it and it never reaches the other side, then it never returns to the starting point.  Each swing is less and less until the pendulum comes to a stop in the middle.  Same with me, if I don’t embrace the Change, go all the way to give the pendulum a push, when I return I will be mostly male but an effeminate male.  Then a masculine female until I am trapped androgynous, neither man or woman but a joke to both like those trans-sexuals who pretend that no one notices.”

“And how many times have you changed?”

“This is my fourth.  My first in Russia when I was cursed, the second when I accidentally took my daughter’s birth control pills (don’t ask but that person will never play that joke again) and the final when I had to change to rescue my daughter in Japan.  Each of those I was human female.  This is the first time I am Weir female and it does take some getting used to, especially re-learning how to pee without drenching my legs.”  Although Eibhlin loved her relative, she did wish the woman would give up her male speech and be more poetic when she described anatomy or bodily functions.  It just wasn’t lady-like to say ‘pee’ and ‘boob’ and such.

So they stabled their thoats in a make-shift paddock, ensured that they had enough water and moss and as Eibhlin readied the shelter, Janice climbed the hills.  Eibhlin wondered at the resilience of her Niece but then, the Demons changed them both from Human to Weir and the Holy Empire had changed her into a Werewolf so changing from a man into a woman was no worse.

Shortly after gathering thoat dung and dried moss for the fire, she washed in the river wishing for a tree or bush along the bank to provide real wood that didn’t stink as it burned.  But the water was down there and the ground up here and the plants that grew along the bank were little more than moss and something that looked like mossy ferns or horsetails that sent roots down to the water.  At least the horsetails were hollow and collected and filtered water which could be drunk without spitting out dirt.

“Hello!” she heard and looking up saw a man, human from his color and heat patterns with a Red couple run up.  The man stopped, breathing hard and continued in English, “I’m Bar Komas from Earth.  You are another alien!  Are you looking for Jason Obrien?  Do you speak English?   Jason promised to take us back to Earth but I’m staying but Dr Jennings, Dr Stroud and Captain North want to go back.” 

The man refused to shut up, Eibhlin then turned to his companions and said in Barsoomian, “Koar!  I am the Princess Eibhlin Ui Bhrian of Ulster, a panthan in the service of Odwar Farren Koff and seeking his daughter Para Far who was last seen on this river after her flier was damaged.  My companion, the Baroness Janice Ui Bhrian is here with me seeking this man and the others he named.  You must be Vos Kar and his sister Kara.  The Lady Janice will be happy to find you all safe.”

Both Red Men stared at Eibhlin, which was normal for her though she wished that she had removed her bra and combed her hair free to flow before her chest to reduce that gaze.  Her braids and bra attracted more attention than loose hair and nudity.  But when your hair is near your waist, you had to do something to keep it from getting in the way.  Kara’s hair was as long and wavy but like all Red Woman, it never seemed out-of-place. Maybe their natural waves did that.

Then Vos Kar smiled and said, “I am glad that Jason Obreen and his.. family are reunited.  We have heard so much about Jasoom from Bar Komas we would like to apologize to him for our earlier behaviour.”

“Jason Obrien isn’t exactly here,” Eibhlin commented not certain how she should mention this subject.  “But please, I am collecting water for the cistern and we should have water to drink and bathe soon.”

The others placed their gear in the house and helped gather more fuel for the fire and water to be filtered until Janice arrived carrying a large fat reptile with too many legs.  “Eibhlin,” she called, “I found dinner!  It’s even something we can eat safely!”  then she stopped, embarrassed at the sight of Steve who just stared at Janice’s naked chest, equally embarrassed but unwilling to turn away.

Janice looked back, then twisted her upper body to the right and left adding, “tick, tock, tick, tock.  Hypnotizing aren’t they?”

Embarrassed, the human stammered as he looked down, then crossed his hands before his loincloth, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean anything.  I,.. I…,”

“Forget it Steve, stare all you want.  It’s like a nudist camp where if you pretend, you will always be sneaking glances but if you get your eyes full now, in fifteen minutes, you will forget the Twins exist.”  Then she walked to the river, deliberately swaying her hips and tail and hair as she walked then knelt to butcher the lizard and toss the unwanted parts into the river where fish and water reptiles gathered for the feast.

“What was that all about?” Eibhlin asked as she arrived to help.

“Just having fun, dear Auntie.  He never took his eyes off Jennings when we arrived and pretended to not stare.  Sometimes the pretending is worse than the overt.”  She stroked her relative’s cheek with her tail to show compassion and affection.  They loved each other as family but were lovers in the physical because of their Weir sexuality but neither actually ‘loved’ the other as in being married.  Still, both were possessive and Eibhlin found herself being a bit jealous of the attention the man gave her niece. 

Inside, as the sun set and the fire tried to keep away the chill, for the Barsoomian houses were designed to store heat during the day and release it at night to make the inhabitants a bit more comfortable, Kara cooked the reptile for both Weir admitted that they were poor cooks who would burn the meat into leather.  Steve was speaking in Barsoomian.  Poor Barsoomian and he reverted to English often but still he had been learning the language.

“After Kara and Vos Kar and I left His Grace, we traveled north along the Iss to their home in a valley called Heaven’s Gate I think.  Actually I think it was an ancient asteroid impact crater like the one in Arizona only much larger.  The river passed through it and watered the inside, half being farmland and the other half being grazing pasture.  Vos Kar got me a job watching thoats in the valley because I couldn’t fight well enough or herd them enough to be trusted to take the herds out the valley to be traded and sold.

“Then one day we heard from the farmers during a trade meeting.  That’s where we traded thoats and meat and leather for produce, they told us that a Thern Goddess had arrived followed by an alien that looked like a moorouk.  I gather that is some kind of monkey. Well the alien had been bitten by a snake and had a bad reaction and when the Thern couldn’t heal him, they wanted to stone her or burn her at the stake or something.  I knew immediately it was Dr Jennings and Baron Obrien and snuck out to help them.  Vos Kar and Kara came with me to help because they had relatives on that side who they thought could help but by the time we arrived, they had killed some important scientist, burned his lab, murdered some guards and ran off. 

“Since I was their friend, they wanted to punish me for their crimes and we barely managed to escape and were driven north.  We headed around these mountains,” he motioned to the ones that bordered the marsh and continued,” looking for Jason and Dr Jennings, hoping that they would be able to help us find a new home and then met you here.  So, where is your starship and how many more of you can we expect?  I guess you have to go native to blend in here like Jason did on Earth.”

Eibhlin started at Janice and giggled.  She hadn’t had this kind of fun in a very long time.  Steve, no Bar Komas as he wished to be called, thought that Janice and Jason were two different people.  He never stopped staring at Janice’s chest and she made certain that he had a good view but she also made it clear she wasn’t interested in him.  Kara was an enigma.  She obviously didn’t love the Earthman but she did like him and saw his interest in Janice’s anatomy as strange and Eibhlin’s bra as more so. 

Vos Kar jumped in then, “You are the third of your race we’ve seen here.  Do you have a hidden city around here?  Or are you the vanguard for an invasion?  The Morgors are still remembered from their invasion of Barsoom and from what Bar Komas tells us of the weapons of Jasoom and how yours are so much more powerful, I fear we couldn’t stop you.”

“Fear not, Vos Kar.  My people never invade other worlds so you are safe.  But we do study other peoples and so there are some of our Historians on your world occasionally, pretending to be one of you for the purpose of learning about your race and world.  As for we two, we arrived by accident and as soon as we can find a ship, will leave your world in peace. You have nothing to fear from us.”  Janice glanced at her aunt when she had finished who smiled at her then added,  “I had built a transmitter before I came here and sent a message to my ship.  When received, it will find me and take us all away and you will be rid of us.”

Kara remained silent over dinner but stared daggers at Janice who never ceased to find joy in Steve’s attention until even Eibhlin got angry.  Finally, Janice stretched, tossed her hair back and said to all, “Please let me explain something to you.  My race are not warlike.  We were created to be workers, technicians and though some very few of us seek the sword, the numbers who do so can be counted on your fingers.  We prefer peace and farming and exploring devices over action.  I and the Lady Eibhlin Ui Bhrian are among the very few who fight.

“But we are not Red Men nor are we Jasoomian.  We are as different from you as are the Green Men and so must not be judged by your standards for our bodies have needs you cannot understand.  Most of your food that makes Bar Komas ill such as somp, can easily kill us and foods that will kill him are as nothing to us.  As you know, we stink in the heat for our bodies produce a chemical that evaporates in the heat to cool us down, a method of remaining cool that is different from your race.  Also your Barsoomian race lays eggs while mine, like those of Jasoom, bear live young.

“So we live mainly on Mantilla milk, usa, and reptile meat and must bathe often to hide our stink.  But there is another way we are different from both your races. Sex!” Both Kara and Vos Kar became embarrassed and turned away but Steve leaned forward.  “We need sex or we die.  Were I or Eibhlin to go a month without sex, we would suffer, then die so we must often pair with someone to ease our suffering.  It doesn’t matter if we like the person, only that they keep us alive.  Thus Jennings sacrificed herself to keep Jason Obrien alive as he sought to return the Jasoomians to their homeworld.  I know that disgusted and angered you but had she not done so, he would be now dead of torture for lack of sex tortures us as would the attentions of the Green Man.  And another thing, both Eibhlin Ui Bhrian and myself prefer women as lovers.  Sometimes we are driven to the arms of a man for survival but we find that together, we can keep each other alive for months and hopefully more.

“So, as much as this will anger and disgust you, Eibhlin and I must be lovers and sleep and ‘love’ each other often for the alternative is the agony of celibacy which will lead to our deaths.  If you cannot accept this, then I must either ask you to leave us as you did leave Jason and we will continue to seek North and Stroud alone.”

The Earthman glowed with hope.  Of course, he was a nerd, beaten by jocks, probably had to pay his cousin to go to the prom with him, probably still a virgin and played D&D twice a week hoping to meet some woman on the internet who was as geekier as he.  And now to have two women, sexy and built, who admitted that they needed casual sex to just stay alive…  He was in every man’s fantasy.

“That’s why Jason and Dr Jennings made that deal.  She kept him alive so he could save us.  What would have happened if she wasn’t with us?”

Janice took his chin in her fingers, looked up to him and said in English, “Then, dear boy, he would have made that deal with you and your oh so inviting ass!”

He jumped back in shock and both Weir laughed.  “Don’t worry, the last time Jason was on Barsoom, he bought a slave-girl to keep him alive.  We are a very accommodating race but have no word in our language for rape.”

The two Weir faced off after cleaning up and Janice continued with her fighting lessons.  All watched with Vos Kar offering suggestions to both and eventually joining in to help teach them more than they knew.

Kara was jealous for some reason.  She knew that there could never be anything between her and the Jasoomian man.  He had no prospects, almost no fighting skills and on Barsoom a woman sought a man who could and would protect her and her eggs and that was not Bar Komas, the Jasoomian who took a Green Man’s name.  Were she to marry him, she would probably never bear fertile eggs and those that were would be destroyed.  That is IF the Jasoomian were able to protect and provide for her.  Still, the way he stared at the obscenely large chests of the alien women was disgusting.  She had a vague understanding that they used those mounds to feed their children but they still looked like some tumor brought on by plague.  And the way Avleen Obreen covered hers up simply brought attention to them.  When they confessed what they needed, she couldn’t even say the word, ‘physical attention’ or they’d die, the Jasoomian man lit up and he never stopped staring at them.  He even drooled as a starving man would at a meal of broiled Thoat with somp cakes and the best wine from Dusar.  The more she learned about these Jasoomians, the less she liked them.  That Dwar Mark North was even more disgusting.  With genitals like a Green Man’s thoat, he seemed to feel that she and the Jasoomian woman would marry him for that alone.  The Doctor Stroud was a fool whose egg his mother should have destroyed as unfit.  How he survived that long was a mystery to her and even the other Jasoomians laughed at the man. Jason Obreen kept him alive only because he promised the Jasoomian woman that he would.

These aliens though.  They were different.  Jason Obreen had skill with the blade and even these two had some, Janice Obreen being far better than her aunt Avleen Obreen.  And both took advice and criticism and suggestions from her brother with good grace though it was clear that both were faster and stronger than was he.  The Aunt was younger in age but Elder in Rank than her niece Janice Obreen which was not unusual on Barsoom though she gathered strange on Jasoom with their unbelievably short life-spans, and both fought over leadership, compromising but still, both were Nobles and both accustomed to being in charge and so it wasn’t easy for either to take orders from the other or from her brother who naturally was and should be leader.  If she could pretend that they weren’t rutting like ulsios or even showing affection in public, Issus, no decent woman would kiss or hold hands in public with her husband and these women touched and kissed each other constantly.  Well, she could no longer return to her home, not that she had much there with her family dead, perhaps these could help her find another home, a husband worth marrying and a new life.  All she had to do was learn to accept their ways without anger.

Steve was in heaven.  Two gorgeous bi-sexual women with large boobs and a desperate need for sex. The possible combinations were near infinite.  Just the possibilities of he and they were enough and when you tossed in positions and ….  He didn’t even care about their tails or feet that made them look like monkeys.  He soon learned to ignore those on Jason and he could… no, the possibilities there, what did they do with their tails when together?  Could he watch?  If they were so open about kissing and touching now, they probably made love in public too.

He sighed and took inventory.  Dr Jennings was beautiful!  She was blonde and built and intelligent but she couldn’t even remember his name and both these knew his name immediately and didn’t forget.  Plus they both made Dr Jennings look like a boy.

Eileen Obrien, or was it Ubrien? Was the younger.  She looked like a teenager (fantasies of her in a cheer-leader outfit jumping around with pom-poms) at barely five feet tall and her hair was black, straight and braided to almost her waist.  She had that Irish pug-nose, a decent chest as good as Dr Jennings but was jealous when Janice paid him any attention. Jealous was good (fantasies of a pillow-fight in baby-doll nighties)!  But she was a Princess and expected to be treated like one even though she got her hands as dirty as anyone else.

Janice Obrien, Ubrien?  Did men and women of their race use different endings on their nouns? was taller, maybe five four or five five, strawberry blond hair that curled around her shoulders like a waterfall (fantasies of that hair leaning over him) and looked to be in her mid-twenties.  Her features were more Danish he thought (didn’t the Vikings invade Ireland and get a lot of the Irish women pregnant?) plus she was topless and her chest would put any Hollywood sex-kitten to shame.  Larger and totally firm, he could tell she was natural and not stuffed with silicon. Pity this lower gravity wouldn’t let them bounce much.  Even Dr Jennings sagged but was firmer on Barsoom than she would be on Earth.  Janice was also a Noble and like Jason, expected people to use her title.  But she was the better fighter and both Weir seemed to be enjoying some private joke.

Three alien Weir, all related (twin fantasy) and all trying to rescue him and the rest of the project members.  How long would they be in that spaceship and how bored would they be before (fantasies of zero-g groupies, some with Dr Jennings joining in) they invited him?

Neither had piercings or tattoos though both wore necklaces, bracelets and rings.  Eibhlin had earrings clipped to her ears and a chain round the base of her tail that matched the one on her ankle plus clips in her hair, and her jewelry was more delicate and feminine, like Kara’s.  Janice’s jewelry was heavier and more masculine like Vos Kar and resembled that worn by Jason.  She tried to dress feminine but her lack of proper jewelry was a hindrance and gave the appearance of a woman who had found the body of a Red Man (as did Captain North) and tried to make the man’s clothing look feminine without much success.

As for weapons, Eibhlin carried her Demon Beamer, originally a cutting and welding tool but easily modified into a weapon more dangerous than any hand-weapon on Earth or Barsoom, as well as her curved sword that was made from Demon metal with a near molecular edge.  Although it looked vaguely like a Japanese Katana, its handle was wrapped simply with no guard to show the irrelevance for materialism but could cut an engine block in half.  Her other weapons and gear were normal Barsoomian and her harness was feminine, with weapons.  Eibhlin was the only one who carried a radium revolver, smaller than a normal one but still as deadly, though made for a woman.

Janice was totally Barsoomian in her weapons save like Vos Kar and Bar Komas, she carried no firearm. 

Sometimes, either alien would use their tail to snap out and grab a wrist to pull her opponent off balance or if close, an ankle and Vos Kar had to be aware of that for these women had hand-like feet and a grasping tail that they easily used and against him and against which he had no defense.

Vos Kor tried to involve Bar Komas but he refused to stand, instead watching the three with that hip-pack in his lap for some reason.

Then later, after an hours work-out, both Weir were sweating and stank to the Barsoomian nose though Steve found the smell as enticing as the beads that ran between their breasts (fantasies of licking every drop of sweat from their body). So the two excused themselves for a bath and closed the door behind.  Soon the sounds of water splashing and giggles were replaced by moans and screams which caused the Red couple to leave and walk along the dock.  Steve just sat there and stared at the closed door.


The next morning, the two left their room, dressed, and even Eibhlin gave in and exited topless to the delight of the Earthman.  She decided that cold nipples were better than being stared at and left to check the thoats for the next stage of their journey.  They had three thoats, two for riding and one for pack which would now be given to Kara.  Kara!  The same name as her Vanthi lover but they looked and acted nothing alike.  Once again she missed that woman and last night had dreamed of her, Janice not caring who she thought of as they coupled.  If Janice had even thought of anyone else when they were together, Eibhlin would have stopped immediately in anger and rejection.  The two men left to search the area for food to take.  At one time, these houses were provisioned but since John Carter, the Therns were hard put to even keep the roof and walls intact.

Then as Janice was combing her hair, she approached Kara who turned away.  “I’m sorry we disturb you with our ways but we must be true to our bodies and ask you to not judge us.”

“BUT,” the Red Woman snapped, then apologized for the Weir were, after all, Nobility and Royalty.  “Can you be certain you will die?   Maybe it is just uncomfortable like when we drink too much dirty water and the stomach cramps make us think we are about to die?”

Janice started to laugh then stopped, “Dear Kara, on Jasoom the men often tell a girl that if she does not submit, he will die for no other reason than to get her to submit.  Humans lie always to get what they wish and to justify their deeds.  Even Bar Komas wishes to bed us and thinks of plans to convince us to submit.  Yes, you cannot read his thoughts but we can because we have the same ancestry. 

“Here, let me explain thus.  In our Homeland of Ireland on Jasoom, men would often leave their homes and families, build a hut of stones to resemble a beehive and spend their lives in fasting and prayer.  Alone, they live for years with no hardship save a touch of malnutrition but live they do.  In Japan and China men do the same, leaving to be alone in the mountains or forest to pray or to perfect their martial arts.

“Sometimes, a Weir will do the same.  They do so because their parents were very religious or they don’t believe what we are but they try.  In every case, within a couple months, they are dead.  Always!  And the pain and suffering of their death remain and we feel them with these antennae so cannot enter.  We must have humans who are dead to such sensations and trauma enter and cleanse the place and bury the body.  The only time we can live without sex is when we give birth and are nursing.

“You Barsoomian lay 13 small eggs a year and these are so small and easy that few can tell that you are pregnant or have laid. Humans and Weir bear our young live and with humans, they carry them for nine months and birth a baby between their legs that is more than 8% of their total weight and size.”  The Red Woman cringed at that, unconsciously glancing downward.  “How?” she asked then instantly, “No, I don’t want to know.”

Janice smiled and continued, thinking of herself who had been carried for eleven months and whose mother had been in labour for 35 hours.  “We Weir carry our babies for three months and birth a tiny helpless child who must be nursed with these.  But the infant needs so much intense milk that a mother can do naught but nurse, feed and sleep for the first year after birth.  She simply has no strength to work and that saves her from this curse of eternal sex.  Sometimes a mother will seek to raise her child alone and always both die from malnutrition within months so with us, unwed childbirth is a disgrace and we must hire House-whores to help care for the mother, the home and to sexually service the husband until his wife can resume those duties.”

“What a horrid place your Drakonis is.  I’m glad I live here for despite our problems, we have none like yours.”

“There are advantages.  On Jasoom everyone bolts their doors fearing crime.  Women never go out alone fearing rape and people die in the streets from hunger and disease.  Slaves we may be to our sexuality, and we live in terror of being lost alone to die of celibacy. And without Eibhlin, I would soon die as she would without me or we would simply be forced to tie your brother and abuse him nightly.” Kara shuddered so Janice continued, “But on Drakonis few own a weapon and fewer carry one and no one has locks on their doors.  Women may sleep in the parks naked and alone and be safe from defilement or abduction.  No one goes hungry and we have no word for rape or theft or murder or poverty or starvation so we all have good and bad in our lives.

“But I need to beg a favour of you.  Although my aunt carries weapons, she wears the Harness and jewelry of a woman.  Mine is that of a man.  I would beg you to assist me in to dress properly as a woman who is a panthan for I am new to your world and never paid much attention to how a woman dresses here.”

For the first time Kara smiled at the Weir and agreed, having Janice stand and turn as she examined her.  Then she took her into the room she used alone, had her strip and commented, “There isn’t much we can do with this harness but perhaps the smaller, lighter belts and if we move them thus and….”  Then when she had dressed Janice to her satisfaction, she opened her own pouch and offered her jewelry, “It’s not much and not suitable for a Noblewoman but it will help. Now for your cosmetics.  You wear your lips and eyes like a, well I don’t know what that is but if it is proper on your world, it looks terrible here.  Your aunt the Princess wears none though she would look much nicer if she would. So let me advise you here.  Your hair is so totally unusual it distracts from everything.  It is wavy which is normal but far too short and almost yellow like a Thern but with highlights of red that I have never seen.  All the Red Race has wavy black hair and women wear it long and free, though your aunt has hair that is straight and braided. We must find a color for your lips and eyes that will compliment your hair and face. Why are your eyebrows so much darker than your head?  Oh, you darken them I see.  We shall see what we can do.”

Even on Barsoom women enjoy dress-up and although Janice hated the game, she understood that it would reduce tension between the two races and help her return to normal later so pretended to enjoy the experience.  When Eibhlin returned and called out, finding the common room empty, Janice called, “Eibhlin, come here, we are having a party!”

“Well, dear Niece, do not you look so beautiful.  Not as beautiful as does Kara who would steal the heart and mind of half the races in the galaxy but still I would not be ashamed to be seen in public on your arm.”

That compliment for her work was exactly what Kara wished and Janice insisted that Eibhlin join in and be made up herself.  “I do enjoy the look and wear it in public but here, in the desert, it is just too much work to maintain.”

“Then, Princess,” Kara insisted, “you will not, but for a few hours you shall look as a proper Red Woman. I only wish we had the proper jewelry and harness for you.”

When the men returned, calling out for they were long ready to leave, Kara had them stand by the door and said, “May I present to you the Princess Avleen Obreen and the Lady Janice Obreen.”

When they entered the common room, Vos Kar stood straighter then bowed, “Never have I seen such loveliness,” and sought to kiss their hands.  Bar Komas just stood there, his mouth open until Janice passed and whispered, “Go change your loincloth.” Then to her aunt, “I think we made an impression on Steve.”  They both laughed and packed their gear for the men would walk and they rode.  Janice said to Eibhlin, “I always knew I was attractive to men but I always thought it was because of my chest.”

“Well, at least Steve now knows what colour our eyes are.” Eibhlin laughed as they mounted.  “I will miss the look though,” she sighed  “I don’t know how Kara keeps herself looking so good when I never see her making her face.”

“She has a lifetime of practice and besides, scrub we three down and even naked, no one would notice you or I with her in the room.”  Kara beamed at that for all women, no matter what their planet or age or sexual-preference enjoys an honest compliment.


While walking, Janice asked her aunt in Gaelic, “Eibhlin, sometimes when you hear someone call for Kara, your aura flares pink then collapses to black.  Why?”

She glanced back then replied with sadness.  “Before I returned to Earth this last time, I found a Vanthi post and met a woman with the same name thought their appearances were different for she was Saxon and not Barsoomian.  Kara came with me and loved me only because I offered her a path away from the repressions of a woman in Vanthi space and because I promised to teach her to be a starship pilot.

“Then, months later when we arrived on Earth, she fell in love with the planet and left me to see her Homeworld.  I still miss her greatly.  I suppose I loved her more than she did I.  Very much like Jean with ourselves.”

Janice caressed her cheek with her tail, an act that Eibhlin was beginning to enjoy for she learned that among Weir that motion expressed love and compassion.  Then Eibhlin suggested, “Please, let us talk of more pleasant matters for though I love you as a relative, I do miss those I loved as mates.”

They soon reached the hills and had to decide which way.  “Well, your charge went down the river we know but did she leave the river and proceed on foot or was her boat salvaged for a water trip?  I can give my thoat to Bar Komas or Vas Kor and one can go with you along one trail with the other on the other while I follow the marsh.  Then we can meet on the other side.”

Vos kor interrupted for it wasn’t the way of the Red Man to allow a woman to make his decisions for him, even women who were as strong and capable as were the Weir.  “These marshes go for more than 700 haads, a thousand if you follow the trails.  That is a dozen days alone on the trail and who knows what dangers we will see from White Ape to Calot pack to Banth to Green Men.  I suggest we search along the dividing of the trail and look for clues.  You said she lost her device but maybe she left it as a clue for rescue?”

“Perhaps,” Eibhlin added.  “By now she will have become tired of her sport and she knows I am searching for her.  A good idea Vos Kar.”  And although both women wanted to be in charge, they found themselves agreeing to his ideas.

Within an hour, Steve found a fragment of silk, “Here!  Does this mean anything?”  and when together, Eibhlin commented, “It could be hers.  The silk is far too fine for anyone other than a wealthy person and she was wearing that colour.  I think our direction is decided.” And they rode and walked to the southern edge of the cliffs.

Two days later they climbed a low place in the hills and gazed out upon the marsh.  Some twenty miles away, near the horizon they saw the further edge though the length stretched into infinity.  Down the center they saw the Iss, red with dust but open of reeds to facilitate travel but ringed with plants that a spyglass revealed to be something like cattails, though different.  Janice commented, “I don’t see any land.  When I was a galley slave, Marsh Arabs made islands in the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers from reeds.  I’ve been looking for some but don’t see any but maybe your eyes will be better.”

“Why do you think the marsh is inhabited?”  Kara asked.

“Because I have found that wherever life can exist, life will exist.  And on a world like Barsoom where resources are so limited, people will manage to find a way to exploit those resources.”

Vos Kor added, “It doesn’t mean that those who live there are human?  I’ve heard of the Insect Kaldanes and the swamps of Toonol have leaping creatures that think so perhaps these marshes have other life that is different.”

Janice looked around, weighing responsibilities against the desire to explore and decided.  “Perhaps later.  What about canoes?  Pilgrims?”  But no one saw anything so they turned back and continued on.  Eibhlin asked, “You wanted to go, why didn’t you?”

“I have responsibilities.  Steve and Jennings must be returned to Earth.  Stroud and North too.  Until my duty is done, my own desires must be second.”

Later they made camp in a culvert where they would be warm over the night and Janice kissed Eibhlin goodnight as was her custom and upon being kissed back, proceeded further until Eibhlin pushed her away, “He’s watching!” she hissed.

Janice glanced then whispered back, “Let him, it gets me hot to know we’re being watched.”

“I don’t like being public.  If you wish to proceed further, find us privacy.  He’ll probably do himself if we continue.”

Janice laughed and sat up, “Could be fun to watch, or he could join in.  Men love to watch two girls.  They think we’ll invite him to join us and I wouldn’t mind being the middle of a sandwich.”

“Men are pigs and so are you.  I don’t know how you live with yourselves.” And she rolled over and slapped Janice away until she gave up.

“Bar Komas, you are really ruining my sex life.” Janice whispered.

The Banth struck just before dawn when the sun was up but not over the hills and the moss still frozen.  It was the crunching of that moss that alerted the group and Eibhlin was thrown as her thoat reared to confuse the predator with the waving of its multiple legs.  In hindsight, she realized that it was similar to a school of fish or a flock of pigeons that milled to confuse a shark or hawk.  The seconds the banth took to realize that the waving legs were one animal and to sort out the target gave the thoat a chance to turn and run.  Instantly Vos Kar and Janice drew their swords and faced the banth, poking at eyes, ears and nose to hold the beast off.  Still confused from the thoat, the carnivore growled and snapped and struck with its forepaws which was the only thing that saved the group.  Steve pulled Kara to cover, or rather was pulled for she knew that if she were hidden and safe, the men would be able to focus on their own defense. Then the Earthman ran to pick Eibhlin up.  Stunned, she allowed him to help her then he pulled her revolver from her holster and proceeded to empty the cylinder into the side of the banth.

Parts of flesh and blood larger then a fist were blown away and the banth turned to its new enemy, exposing its side to Janice who ran in and attempted to thrust to its heart.  The new pain caused it to turn again and as strong as the Weir was, her sword was wrenched from her hand and she was tossed some distance to land bleeding from a clawed paw.  Then the banth fell in two, bisected along its body from head to tail, the invisible beam also cutting through rock yards away.  Janice survived only because she was on the ground and the beamer passed but inches above her.

All ran to her and rolling her over, she screamed in pain, blood flowing from her hip.  Eibhlin unfastened Janice’s sword belts revealing that most of the force was taken by her sword sheaths causing wounds to her hip-bone but not fatal ones.  Bar Komas washed the wounds with the last of his water as Kara carefully applied the miraculous healing potions that often made death take a vacation. 

Janice looked down and swore, “Damn!  That is going to leave a scar.  No more g-strings in public for me!” then she passed out.

Hours later she woke up, sore and bandaged and asked, “What happened?”

Eibhlin explained, “You and Vos Kar kept the banth occupied until Bar Komas was able to shoot it with my pistol.  Then I got the banth with my beamer but not before it clawed you.  Had your sword sheaths not been in the way and tangled its claws, it would have pulled your intestines from your belly.  How do you feel?”

“Terrible. My hip hurts.  You have a Beamer?”  Confused, she obviously had a head trauma to forget the device used but weeks before.  Eibhlin answered and kept her talking but stared at her niece’s eyes for signs of concussion and speech for slurring or confusion.

“I do.  I kept it when I left the Demons. It’s not military grade but a cutter that I modified, but it works well enough.”

“What’s the power and range. The ones my Lanai use are T-class and can cut a battleship in half at a dozen kilometers.”

“This is maybe G-class.  I can kill a man at a hundred yards easily but not much more.  The power decreases with range after a few yards.”

“I guess a beamer is a weapon but T-class?  G-Class? What does that mean?” asked Steve, again a technician. 

“Power useage.  Think of T-class as taro-watt and G-class as giga-watt.  It’s not accurate but gives you an idea.  We use them instead of lasers though, ouch!  Fuck that hurts! If we can find a decent lab, maybe we can make a laser or T/R-ray since beamers are beyond even Barsoomian technology.  Do you have any other technical devices with you that I forgot to ask about?”

“I don’t, dear.  When I transited, I was clutching my sword and beamer and thinking of defense and escape.  Thus my clothes and gear were left behind but those weapons came with me.”

“What’s a T/R-ray?”  Again Steve was curious.  For a man planning to remain on Barsoom, his Earthly training did appear at the most inopportune times.  Kara pushed him aside and began to remove and examine her wounds, seeking a bump on the skull.  Steve stared and Eibhlin said finally, “Yes, she’s a natural blonde and no she cannot have sex right now or until her injuries heal.”

“What do you mean no sex?  Just be careful!” Janice complained.

In Gaelic Eibhlin snapped, “That is your inner-man talking.  Men want to get laid when they are dieing.  Women loose their sex-drive as soon as we are ill or injured.”

“But a few good orgasms will help accelerate the healing.” Janice suggested.

“Are you just saying that or is that true?”  Wondering if this was concussion talking or another truth of her biology.

“True, Auntie.  Just give me enough time to prevent you from ripping the wounds open and stuff my stomach to provide replacement mass and I can be walking tomorrow.  Damn, I forgot, lez-sex doesn’t heal so it will have to be Steve.”  Then to Bar Komas in Barsoomian, “It’s an Amtorian weapon.  Basically, you combine parts of the Actinide Series in such a way that the radiation breaks down the Weak Forces of anything or just animal tissue, depending on the way it’s constructed.  Since the Barsoomian use Radium so easily, they should have the technology to generate T and R-rays.”

“Phor Tak,” Steve mused.

“Who,” Janice bit her lip as Kara cleaned the pus from one of the deepest scratches.  “Maybe no sex tonight.”

“Phor Tak.  He was a scientist of Jahar I think.  He invented invisibility paint, guided missiles and a disintegrator that sounds like your T-ray.”  Then as Janice stared at him, “Ok, I read the novels and they are coming back to me.  I don’t see how that could be though.  The Actinide Series is the highly radioactive series between Actinium (#88) and Rutherfordium (#104) and Radium is #88, a totally separate Group with different Valences.  Besides, the lead shielding you’d need for a Radium reactor would be too heavy for any aircraft, not to mention a hand-gun.  I don’t even see how these bullets can contain Radium and not kill us with radiation sickness.”

Eibhlin switched to Gaelic, “The man is smart and fortunately, too smart to allow his imagination to run free.  He knows what he learned and nothing else.  I’ve already figured out how to combine Neptunium and Plutonium to do the task.”

“He did say that he built what Jennings told him to build and Stroud wasn’t smart enough to realize that degaussing a metal mass wouldn’t deflect radar.  So we are probably safe allowing the two to return to Earth.  Try Neptunium and Berkelium with a Cesium- Helium catalyst.”

“You’d need a coolant to drop the Helium to -273 degrees for that.”

“Not if you …”  The discussion got very technical for both had been engineered for that purpose by the Demons.  Neither could invent a new device but both could build anything they could imagine and both had seen similar weapons in the past.

But the discussion did take Janice’s mind from her wounds, which was her aunt’s plan and soon, she was bandaged again, fed and Kara said to them, “Your hip-bone is scratched and skin tore badly.  I am not a physician but did what I could.  You will live and walk again but be scarred, though looking at your back and legs and belly, this is not unusual for you.”

Janice laughed, “It does mean I’ll have to get undressed in the dark when my lovers are present.”

Bar Komas spoke softly, “I think your skin is beautiful as it is.  Were it perfect, the Gods themselves would strike you down in jealousy.”

He had spoken in English so both Weir turned to look.  He hadn’t intended for them to hear and became embarrassed until Janice motioned him over, “Thank you, though I am far from beautiful.  Attractive and sexy with a rack that won’t quit but hardly beautiful.”

“I think you are.”

Then she kissed him.  On the lips and gently and pulled away quickly, embarrassed herself and said, “I need some sleep.” Then Eibhlin covered the two of them with a fur and silk and asked in Gaelic, “What was that for?”

“I felt like it.  Besides, he deserves a reward for shooting the banth.”  Then added “Maybe my hormones are still going crazy.  This clawing isn’t enough to force me to change back.”

“That would be embarrassing for you two if it did.  Good thing we are not in love or I’d be jealous right now.”

“We also need to distract him from local technology.  Jennings understood a lot of it immediately, I’d like to not worry about him doing the same because the more who learn this stuff, the more our people have to watch.  If I can keep his thoughts on our ass and tits, then he will be too confused to study what he shouldn’t.”

“Just be careful it doesn’t backfire or you’ll never be able to bend over around him.”

Janice yawned then asked, “Wake me for my watch,” and was snoring immediately.


The next morning no one woke Janice and when she did awaken, she was angry.  Everyone ignored her complaints until Kara arrived to change her dressing, “I’m not an invalid,” Janice insisted.

“You will be if you don’t let this heal.  My, it is well on the way to healing.  Is that tender?”  She poked carefully at the scabs.

“A little sensitive but not painful.  My kind heals fast.  The Demons didn’t want to loose our service while we malingered in the med-bay.  Just give us lots of food to rebuild and we’ll be fine.  I gather there is no infection?”  She was thinking about the snake-bite that almost killed her not long ago and feared the same with the banth.

“None. Banths are very clean and rarely have dirty claws.  Tomorrow we shall see if you can ride.”


“Tomorrow or I shall have the Princess sit on you as my brother and Bar Komas tie you up.”

Janice lay back defeated.  “I’d enjoy that too much but even a light spanking would be too much right now.”  Kara looked at her in disgust, not knowing if this was another joke or if she were serious.  You could never tell with Janice.  Eibhlin was simple to understand.  She had a terrible life and refused to allow herself to heal as she searched for something even she didn’t know.  Janice had a terrible life and joked about it and seemed to have a purpose in her life which she enjoyed. But the Earthman was now ignoring the Red Woman and running to serve Janice, begging as a slave to bring her breakfast, wash her face, fetch her anything.

Eibhlin tried to explain that Steve was a ‘nerd’ or a ‘dork’ and although decent looking, was desperate for any female to pay him any attention.  Since Janice had kissed him, he thought he was in love.  “She will hurt him soon enough.  She won’t mean to but it is inevitable when she reminds him that she prefers women and they cannot have that kind of relationship.”

“I thought you Weir would…” she couldn’t say the word, “be with anyone?”

“We do, when desperate.  But right now we are not.  Maybe in a few months when our bodies realize that we are women and not a man and women. Then Bar Komas will have every fantasy he could ever wish.  But we hope to have found whom we seek and be well on the way to returning everyone to their homes by then.”

That afternoon Janice asked help to stand and walk, help that was politely refused until she called, “Steve, if you don’t help me stand up right now, I will roll over and stand by myself and tear open every scab on my body!”

Eibhlin came to help and with one under each arm, the human glorying in feeling her breast press into his body, she cried out, “Dammit!  I spent three years on this planet and never got anything more than a scratch.  Now I cannot even walk a haad without almost being killed.  What the hell is going one with me!” 

With some help, she was able to walk and rest and walk some more.  By sundown she could walk some distance without aid though her hip ached so.  Steve commented to her, “You are amazing.  Had that been me, I’d be in ICU in a hospital for weeks and not healed this much in months including physical therapy.”

“We heal fast or we die.  Thanks Steve.  Feel free to take a grope as your reward.”  He turned red, averted his eyes and ran away.  “That wasn’t nice,” Eibhlin commented.

“I was serious.  He’s been nice and brave, as brave as he can be so I was going to reward him.  You know how men are, let them cop a feel and they are happy for days.  Besides, I must be settling in because as much as men disgust me, I find that I am dreaming of being held down while slammed by a hard….”  Eibhlin wondered if her niece was beginning to accept her new sex too well and turning to men for lovers.  If so, everyone would be hurt when Janice returned to being Jason.

The next day Janice insisted, “The longer we wait, the more chance that Para Far will be lost to us.  I can walk and when I cannot walk, I can ride.  We need to move out now!”

Sighing, Eibhlin agreed and even Vos Kar said she was right.  But they were down to two thoats, Eibhlin’s having run off with her saddle and gear and the Green Man’s radium rifle during the banth’s attack.  So Kara rode one with half their gear, the being second for Janice and the other half of their gear.  She walked until her hip hurt and then rode until her thighs hurt then dismounted and walked again.  And always the Earthman was there to offer her his arm and ask if she needed water or anything.

Finally she asked Eibhlin to walk with her and asked her shadow to walk the thoat slowly to cool it down.

The two walked ahead of Bar Komas and conversed in Gaelic for privacy, “Was I ever that bad?” Janice asked.

“Worse,” her aunt replied.  “I couldn’t bend over for fear you’d poke me in the arse or cunny.”

Janice shook her head causing her hair to flow and the Earthman to drool again.  “What shall we do with him?”

“I think you should either bed him or tell him who you are.  He’s either a virgin and will be desperately grateful for any sex or homophobic and disgusted but still desperate for sex.  The former will make him fall in love, the latter drive him away.”

“Then why don’t you?  You have more experience with men than do I?”

“I? Janice? I’ve only had maybe one or two male lovers in my entire life.  You know more of what a man likes than do I.”

Janice laughed at that, “One or two?  You rent male whores every month to ease your Need!”

Eibhlin snapped, “They don’t count!” and moved ahead.  Her ‘sin’ as she called it, was always a sore spot with her.

“Then, dear Auntie,” Janice called to her back, “What was I?  Lover or unimportant!”

Bar Komas came forward to ask, “Lady Janice, pardon me for asking but I seem to recall that you say that you were born in the mid-20th century and are 200 years old but you look 25.  Your Aunt, Princess Eibhlin was born in the 17th century, is 40 years old and looks 17.  How can that be when this is barely the early 21st century?”

“Time travel tends to cause a lot of anomalies.”  Janice commented, not really thinking about the question.

“Time Travel?  But Einstein proved that time travel is impossible.  It violates the Law of Conservation of Matter.”

“Then,” Janice snapped, still upset with her aunt’s hypocrisy about her sexual relations with men, “I must be as mad as my own mother to think such a thing possible.” And refused to listen to anything else he said.

Finally to break the tension Kara came forward to ask, “Lady Janice, you two say that you were once Jasoomian but Demons changed you?”

Sighing, she explained as much as they would understand.  “Demons are a race of warm-blooded six-limbed reptiles whop evolved intelligence fifty-million years ago.  They accidently discovered Jasoom a thousand years ago and abducted a local city then released them into space.  A really stupid move on their part because humans are very good at starting wars.

“Well, it was during the Kris War some centuries past that the Demons began to modify the humans in their space into soldiers, to do what the Demons could not.  Then they discovered that we had other uses than killing.  So they began to take people like Eibhlin and myself and probably others and make them into technicians to repair their starships.

“They changed us like this to see into the Infra –Red and Ultra-Violet spectrums of light, to see in near-darkness, to hear higher and lower frequencies of sounds and to detect electro-magnetic fields.  They also changed our feet into something like hands and added a tail to move about in zero-gravity and act as extra limbs.  All to work on and repair their ships.

“They also enhanced our regenerative ability and life-spans so we would serve them longer but they made mistakes. Our sexuality is one of them.  We heal faster and live for centuries without ageing but without regular sex, we die.  It’s accurse we never managed to fix.

“I suppose they intended us to be their worker-slaves for centuries but after a few years, they released us.  Now, we have a Barony of four dozen star-systems so we survive though some of us leave and explore, but never alone.”  She laughed at that.

“But the Princess travels alone and so do you?”

“Not alone so much.  We find companion who are willing to serve us as friends, companions, ship-mates and lovers.  In my case, when I left Jasoom aboard a captured Morgor ship, I went with a crew of Jasoomians.  Some months into the trip, we found a Vanthi ship drifting, all dead as their fuel ran out and they froze in space.  We towed it to a gas-giant, refueled and I went on with half the Jasoomian crew while the remainder returned to Jasoom with the Morgor ship.  I never learned what happened to it.

Years later as my crew left or died, I was alone so met with a Demon ship who helped me clone a couple companions who were what we call Lanai.  Synthetic beings to crew my ship, keep me company and service my body.  It was a good deal.”

“Niece,” Eibhlin interrupted.  “These Lanai you mention.  Can you make more?”

“Easily.  I don’t need much save  a decent genetics lab to work out the DNA and a tank to grow them in.  I can make them to order too.”

“Good!  Then when we leave, I want that technology to make me loyal companions to keep me alive too.  I have always feared being alone as my lovers left me to die from celibacy.”

“Then, dear auntie, design the perfect lover and I’ll show you how to work the DNA strands.  It isn’t difficult for most human DNA is junk and easily shed leaving a Lanai needing but four chromosomes and these can look and be whatever you wish.”

Steve jumped in, “Sounds like you are playing god there.  Don’t you worry about them revolting and taking over or going berserk or are you aliens just obsessed with being gods?”

Janice laughed back, “You watch too many monster movies.  When was the last time your toaster tried to take over your kitchen?  We program morals and give them rights and freedom.  My first Lanai went from being what you would call a ‘synthetic-sex-slave-robot’ to Field Marshall of the Barony, the second highest military rank.  It’s all in how you do it.  Plus, dear boy,” she touched him, looked deeply into his eyes, he no longer noticing the cat-slits, “As fragile as are the Red Men, so too are you and Eibhlin or myself would break you into pieces were we to loose control in our passion.” She kissed him them and finished with, “Lanai are strong enough to survive sex with us.”

She turned away as he sighed, “But what a way to go!”

It was Vos Kar who, being in the lead, heard the White Apes and weapons-fire first.   Torn by his need to protect his sister and the alien women and the knowledge that they could care for themselves, he allowed his natural attitudes to control his actions and he called out, “Wait here with Bar Komas, I’ll see what can be done,” as he ran ahead.

Janice tried to run too but her hip wasn’t healed enough so Eibhlin called, “You have my revolver, protect the group,” and ran to join Vos Kar.”

“Dammit!” Janice swore, also torn but she knew that with a beamer, Eibhlin was almost invulnerable and Kara and Steve needed her for although the Earthman saw himself as a great Barsoomian warrior and was stronger than any Red Man, he was still a child with a sword and even one White Ape would tear him apart.  “We stay here, Bar Komas,” she told Steve and rested on a large rock, Eibhlin’s revolver loose in its holster her hand on the handle.  Both Bar Komas and Vos Kar had requested the weapon but Janice asked, “Can either of you hit anything with a revolver?”

When Bar Komas was still Steve, on Earth, he confessed that he never handled a firearm in his life.  Vos Kar admitted that he had fired one occasionally but wasn’t a good shot for most Red Men prefer the sword.  At that Janice tossed a rock into the distance then drew and destroyed the rock with a single shot as it struck the ground.   It was a lucky shot and she was glad she didn’t have to repeat it for though a good shot in recent decades, revolvers were designed for short ranges of a few yards. But the demonstration served its purpose and there were no more arguments.

Kara dismounted and led her thoat to be next to Bar Komas, ready to mount and run if needed.  “Lady Janice,’ Kara called, “Should you not be mounted in case we must flee?”

“I am a warrior.  My duty is to remain behind and protect my charges.  If we are attacked, Bar Komas will flee with you and protect you until he can return you someplace in safety.”  Janice wasn’t really listening, her attention being focused on the battle ahead.


Vos Kar had little concern for leaving his sister behind for though he knew that Bar Komas was inept and Janice Obreen was an excellent fighter, still his guts cringed at leaving a woman alone.  Almost immediately Eibhlin joined him and slowed to his speed, her sword as ready as his.

Once around the rocks and across the plain, they stopped and observed a dead White Ape, killed by revolver fire with another climbing to reach a Red Man and Red Woman.  Three other Red bodies showed that the Apes had lived up to their reputation.  The remaining was injured, one arm blown away but it climbed on four limbs, its two legs and two intermediary limbs which in this situation were used to climb as it swung a stone cudgel at the couple.

Vos Kar whispered, “I will attack from behind and cripple it, you climb around and assist the Red Woman.”

Seeing no reason to question the plan, she ran and jumped up the rocks with an ease that made the Red Man stare then he gathered himself and attacked the beast, cutting at its legs which were within reach.

Eibhlin joined the couple above and both she and the Red Man stabbed down with their swords into the face of the Ape, narrowly avoiding the cudgel that broke rocks every time it struck.
Finally, giving up on its prey as unreachable at that time, the ape dropped to confront Vos Kar, doubtless intending to finish him quickly then return to those above once the distraction behind was finished. 

With a scream intended to freeze its prey, the ape raised its cudgel and advanced, its fifteen-foot height dwarfing the Red Man.  Then Eibhlin jumped and landed on the apes back, her heavier weight and the impact of her arrival dropping the ape to its knees.  A lesser being would have been crushed by the impact but on Barsoom she weighed a bare forty pounds and it was the surprise of her action that staggered the beast.  She wrapped her tail around the arm of the ape, used her tarsial feet to take further purchase and with both hands drove her blade downward into the ape’s body as Vos Kar ran in to thrust upward to the heart of the animal.

The thing shuddered, screamed again, dropped its cudgel and collapsed just as the Red Man moved back to avoid being crushed.  Eibhlin picked herself from the ground where she had been flung and smiled, “Thank you Vos Kar.  I wasn’t certain I would survive that.”  She wrenched her blade from the body then together they rolled the ape over to pull Vos Kar’s sword free.  Only then did they focus their attention on those they had saved.

“Well, Para Far, it has been a long road but at last I have found you.  Are you ready to return to your father or must I kill this man, bind you like a prisoner and drag you back behind my thoat?”

The Red Woman stiffened and said, “I shall not be talked to thus by a Moorouk!”

Eibhlin sighed and struck so fast her charge never saw the hand that stopped lees than an inch from her face, a slap that would have broken the woman’s neck had it connected.  Then Eibhlin took Para Far’s chin in her hand and whispered into her ear, “I serve your father but call me that again and I will tie a rock to your ankles, drop you into the Iss for the silians to eat and tell your father that you were killed and eaten by banths.  Do you understand me?”

She shuddered and barely nodded in agreement than said in a loud voice, “Panthan Avleen Enyen Obreen, you may escort me back to my father.” Deliberately ignoring the Irishwoman’s title and position, she walked away to the south.

Giving her charge’s companion a look that said, ‘one reason and I will happily kill you,’ Eibhlin pointed north and said, “That way!” then sighed in disgust as the woman turned around to go in the indicated direction.  “I shall have my womb torn out to prevent ever having children like her,” she sighed.

Vos Kar came close and asked, “Is she that bad?”

“Her father is Odwar and related to the Jed.  She is sole child and spoiled and now I see why.  After she hatched, her parents stomped every other egg they bore into the ground to prevent another such mistake.”

Soon enough, the reached the remainder of the group, Para Far never faltering and acting as if she were on display the entire walk.  Then Vos Kar said to the newly enlarged group, “Here we have mantilla and a water seep and comfort, it will be dark soon so we should sleep here tonight.”

Para Far looked around and asked, “You came on Thoat?  What of that flier you chased us with?”

“MY flier,” Eibhlin started to snap then calmed and spoke softly, “was grounded by Green Man firearms.  The Lady Janice found your flier destroyed by poor maintenance.  So unless you have another suggestion, this is how we go.”

Para Far stiffened and said in as cold a voice as she could, “It is not my place to make those decisions.  That is why my father hired you, to ensure my safe and comfortable return.  I suggest that you do your job.”  Then she sat after staring at her companion who quickly placed a fur on a rock for her.

Janice stood, alone and without help though all save Para Far and her companion rose to assist, “And I thought I was a bitch!  Whose the fop?”

“Just some idiot who thought a grand adventure would endear her to him.  She does this often and I was the only one her father told to fetch her back.  I suppose that he was afraid that anyone else would toss her overboard.”

“I met a woman like that in Italy around the end of the fifteenth century.  She was a Medici and thought the world revolved around her.”

“What happened to her,” Eibhlin asked, taking mental notes.

“Lucretia Borgia hired ruffians to cut her nose cut in public off after she bragged that she was the more beautiful.  In this case, I don’t think that would work.”  Like all Red Woman, Para Far was undeniably beautiful and Janice idly wondered about that.  ALL Red Women were beautiful by human standards.  At least Janice had never seen one lacking in beauty.  So if all were beautiful, how did they differentiate the beautiful from the plain?  Would a beautiful woman by Earth standards be seen here as ugly or because her ear lobes were one half a millimeter too wide would she be seen as unattractive?

“Can I get you something?” Bar Komas asked.  The suddenness of his arrival caused Janice to start and grasping her chest between her breasts, she panted, “Don’t do that!  I near had a heart attack.”

“I’m sorry, I thought you looked sad and thought I could help cheer you up.”

She looked him over from head to feet then back again, trying to see him as a potential lover and not an annoyance.  He was decent looking.  The flab from working around a soldering iron on Earth having given away to muscle.  He was no Mark North but he did look .. nice.  Hard, lean, tanned.  Put him in trunks and on a California beach and he’d now attract attention.  “Stand and turn around please.” She asked.  Nice ass.  Really nice ass.  The kind you grabbed and dug your nails into as he …  bury that thought!

“Why me?” she asked.  “Why not Kara who is far more beautiful than I could ever be.  Is it these?” she held her breasts in offering, “Or the fact that you know you stand no chance with her?  Or you think my promiscuity will eventually get you laid?  Why?”

Steve looked like a puppy she had just whipped for piddling on the floor.  “I just like you.  You are beautiful and intelligent and you were nice to me.  Women aren’t nice to me, they use me.  They had me do their papers in school and even at the project, Dr Jennings didn’t even know my name and we worked together for three years.  You knew who I was even before we were introduced.  I thought you liked me.”

“I remember.” She sighed in apology.  “I was the same way,  never had a date until I was, what, I really don’t remember but it was late. People used me and cast me aside.  Now they chase me for this (she stroked her hair) and these (she touched her breasts) and because I am a bit of a whore at times.”  She sighed, took his face in her hands, he not even tensing at her dorsal thumbs and looked into his eyes, eyes that looked back not seeing the cat-folds but the person he thought was within.  “Bar Komas, Steve, I’m not what you think I am.  I’m not what you want and I am certainly not what you need.  There may come a time when I bed you, but it will be for sex only and I will use you and cast you aside and when you learn the truth about me, you will hate yourself almost as much as you will hate me.”  She kissed him, gently, almost wishing she were wearing lipstick to give him something to remember, then said, “You are a nice boy but I’m centuries older than you and will be young centuries after you have died of old age.”

Then she brightened, “I have an idea.  Stand there.  Eibhlin!  Bring another mirror.” Then she removed a small one of polished brass from her pack and held it before him.  “You are not the dork you were on Earth.  Look at that body.  Lean, hard, athletic.  If I liked men, you would be one to choose.  Not as buff as North but still, enough to turn any eye on the beach.  This planet has been good to you.  Eibhlin, hold that mirror behind Bar Komas so he can see his back.”

The man looked, perhaps seeing himself for the first time and Eibhlin added, “Were I not a confirmed lesbian, I’d do you.  Tight ass, nice pecs.  Strong legs. Not too hairy.  You won’t win a Mr. Universe contest but then, I never saw what girls saw in them.  Too much on the shoulders and too little in the head and pants.”

They left him as Eibhlin added to her niece, “Now you’ll never get rid of him.  And he won’t be able to handle the truth.”

“How did you?”  Janice asked.

“I saw it happen.  Had it been the other way, Janice to Jason, I would have been very angry and hurt.  But you helped me accept men and then you changed.  Besides, after twenty years in space living among Demons and Skree and S’tyr and Vanthi and Mon and whatever Brount was and a dozen other races, you learn to be really accepting of aliens and whatever humanity changed to over the last thousand years.”


Over dinner Vos Kar called them together and asked.  “Princess Avleen Enyen Obreen, now that you have rescued your charge, will you now leave us to return Para Far to her father?”

“I don’t know yet.  My flier is destroyed by Green Men, Para Far’s flier has a twisted shaft so cannot fly and we have but two thoats for seven people and my goal is some 10,000 haads away.  That is a long way to walk.”  A glance prevented Para Far from speaking her mind and she elbowed her companion when he tried to speak.

“And you Lady Janice Obreen?”

“I still have to find the remaining two Jasoomians or proof of their deaths. I figure maybe 30 days walk to the place we left them then how long into the Otz Mountains I don’t know.  Then another forty days to where I left Jennings.  I really hadn’t planned to be here that long.”

“I have a thought if you would are to listen,” Vos Kar added.  He knew that both women were prideful of their position and disliked taking orders from anyone.  Bar Komas, he knew, would go wherever the Weir led and both he and his sister were glad that he was no longer interested in the Red woman.

When both agreed to listen, he spoke out and all agreed, all who mattered anyway, that it was sound.  Janice only wished they still the rifle Eibhlin took from the Green man for two revolvers and a beamer would not do enough.

Two days later they were at the entrance to the marsh where they released the thoats and tossed the last two canoes into the Iss.  Then they piled rocks along the expected path to their goal to allow closer approach and both Eibhlin and Janice searched the rest-house for any EM-fields which would indicate hidden cameras or other observation devices.  Finding none, they left and made camp within the nearby reeds that ran from the Iss to the marsh in the valley.

Para Far complained but a suggestion by Eibhlin, “You can either aid us, stay out of the way or we walk home,” silenced her to an extent though she ordered her companion as if he were a slave and no one interfered.  “If the fool is that stupid, he deserves her.  At least it keeps them both from underfoot.”

“Are you certain this will work?”  Kara asked Janice when they were ready.

“Not at all.  But I am an expert at this sort of thing and your brother’s plan seems to be the best we have.  At least the moss will prevent my knees from being bloodied.”

From then on, it was wait.  And wait.  And wait.  Eibhlin and Janice made love often and once when Janice saw Bar Komas staring, she blew him a kiss and a smile and continued with her actions.  He avoided her the rest of the day. No one cared what Para Far did so long as she did it away from them but soon it became clear that she had abandoned her paramour and was pretending interest in Bar Comas, probably because he was exotic and strange.  “She is using you and unlike Janice, cares not for your feelings,” Eibhlin told him. 

“You are just jealous of her beauty and wealth so return to your lover,” he snapped.  Eibhlin could have fought back but gave up thinking that he needed to learn and she had tried to warn him.

Eibhlin scanned the skies for her ship but found nothing.  Since she had no idea of when she was, the Mairayd would have to search time and space for her.  She hoped it wouldn’t take too much longer.

And Kara and her brother played Jetan and discussed where they would go and how long before it would be safe to return to their home.  When your lifetime is measured in centuries, you learn early on to remain quiet for long periods of time and to respect your fellow’s thoughts so boredom that was driving the human insane, was easily accepted by the others.

Finally it happened.  Kara was scanning the sky with the spyglass from their hidden spot and signaled the rest.   Vos Kar took over and ordered, “Para Far, take your position in the reeds.  Lady Janice and Princess Avleen, make ready.  Bar Komas, ready yourself.”

Eibhlin and Janice hid in the reeds as Steve hid under the wharf.  Red Men are terrified of deep water so none would search there.  And being stronger than any Red Man on the planet, if he could surprise them, he would have a chance.

The flyer stood to the desert for some time, doubtless scanning the rest-house and road for signs of life.  Then seeing none, it approached and landed nearby and the Therns opened the cargo bay to remove canoes which they placed on the dock.  During this time, both Weir crawled along the low area from rock to rock until they were close enough and waited. 

Then Vos Kar judged the time right and signaled, firing his revolver and killing the Thern on lookout on the flyer.  At that moment the Earthman left the water beneath the wharf and screaming like a madman, charged the Therns on the dock who, startled at a white-skinned brown-haired lunatic, forgot to draw until it was too late.  Bar Komas, paddle in hand, simply used his greater mass and strength to slam into the Therns and push them all into the water.  Not fearing drowning, he gladly went into the river with them and as they panicked, he released the paddle and swam for the shore and drifted along until he found the rope that had been placed there for him.  He then climbed to shore and ignored the cries of the Therns who were swept downstream until they drowned.

Both Eibhlin and Janice ran for the open bay door which closed immediately, so the two women met beneath the rising craft and Eibhlin, being the smaller and lighter, leapt into the waiting hands of her niece who flung her as high as she could.  Eibhlin easily reached the deck and pausing only to clip a hook to the rail, tossed her rope down and faced the Thern who ran onto deck, sword at the ready.  The man was far better than was Eibhlin who barely stood her ground for as strong and fast as she was, the centuries of experience possessed by the Thern fighting Black Pirates meant that the Thern was one of the best swordsmen on the planet or he would have died long ago.  Having served with Thern panthans, she had considerable respect for their abilities.

Fortunately, he didn’t count on her companion for Janice grabbed the rope before the flyer rose too high and climbed the cable.  Hands, feet and tail made to climb around a starship hull found a rope to be as simple as a steady ladder and a feat that would have taxed a human or Red Man was easy for the Weir who climbed over the rail and confronted the Thern who was cutting her aunt to pieces.  A quick blow with her fist and the Thern fell with skull crushed from behind.  Eibhlin was bleeding from a number of cuts, none deep and gasped, “I’m having trouble breathing, we need to lower this craft …,”  the two staggered forward to the flight deck to find the door locked.  Eibhlin drew her beamer and the door fell in with a kick, cut from its frame.  The Thern flying pulled a revolver then fell, the top of his head gone from the beamer.

Janice pulled the body free, snapping the retaining belts as Eibhlin struck the release lever that lowered the flyer and soon they were low enough to breathe easily and to return to the rest-house.

Vos Kar was pinned down by the two Therns in the house.  Every time he tried to stand to fire, one of the Therns sent a radium bullet to explode too close to his head.  He couldn’t run or attack or even hide for the Therns would soon approach and he would die.  Then he watched the fop who had said little and done less than seduce Para Far walk from the reeds, hands empty.  The fool!  Then he drew and two rounds fired almost as one and the man holstered his revolver as he continued to walk forward.  Vos Kar stood to see both Therns dead, a large hole in their chest over their hearts.  Looking at the fop he heard the man say, “You may neither like nor respect me, but were I as useless as you think, Para Far would have long ago died from the dangers of our journey.”  Then the man removed the gold from the dead and walked away.

Finally together, they stripped the bodies of the Therns and boarded the flyer with Vos Kar at the controls.  Eibhlin said to him, “Fly low lest we die from lack of air for we have not your lungs.”

“How do I know how high?”

“Watch Bar Komas and when he can no longer breathe, drop a bit lower.  And,” she whispered, “Keep him from your technology and avoid his questions about your devices.”  Vos Kar nodded and invited the Earthman to sit with him as they flew.

Para Far took the captain’s cabin, insisting that her former paramour clean it for her.  The fact that she had left him for the Jasoomian not concerning her or him.  So with the remaining three women on deck with spy-glasses scanning for life, the flyer headed south-east along the Iss.

“The Jasoomians could not paddle upstream so they would follow the road.  They are the only white men with brown and gray hair so should be easy to see.  We will fly south along the Iss until near Dor then turn about and return searching all the way.  When we reach the forest where Para Far’s flyer was abandoned, we will give up the search and return to the city where Jennings was left and beg for entry as citizens.  Then the Lady Janice Obreen will decide how to return her charges to Jasoom while the Princess Avleen Obreen returns her charges to Odwar Farren Koff.”

Kara adjusted Steve’s hair under a blonde wig of the Thern and said to him, “Since you are the only man with white skin, you must play the role of a Thern.  If we pass another Thern flyer, smile, wave and hope that they accept your harness sand wig.  If not, we fire upon them and hope to survive.”

“I’ll do my best and hope we don’t meet any Black Pirates.”  Bar Komas was still angry with himself for disbelieving the Weir about Para Far.  They knew this planet, not him, and as much as he wanted the adventure, maybe it was time to return to Earth.


Janice was on deck, scanning the road and desert for the humans and for raiders for having a hoard of Green Men attack the flyer was always a fear when the Earthman appeared and asked, “Janice, Lady Janice, now that we can finally rest without running or riding or fighting, I’d like to ask a question.”

She agreed and shook her hair to flow in the wind.  Eibhlin preferred hers shorter or braided when long and gave in to Barsoomian custom of long free hair only when she must.  But now kept her near waist-length hair braided and tied up.  Janice enjoyed the feel of her hair over her neck and ears and wished it were longer than her shoulders.  That was one of the many differences between the two.  Janice liked sex, raw, rough sex but Eibhlin enjoyed making love.  Eibhlin was totally woman but saw sex with a man as ‘sinful’ but Janice was beginning to want sex with a man, a sign that her body was settling in.  She even was considering Steve but that would complicate matters too much, especially when she changed back.  So to buy time, she stuck her head above the wind-sheer and felt the wind in her face and hair.   Steve just stared, seeing a woman’s hair flowing free as erotic, then focused and asked, “Dr Jennings is safe you say.  But the last time I saw her she was with Jason Obrien on the river.  I don’t doubt that she’s safe with him, I’ve seen him fight.  But why are you and your aunt looking for us and not him?”

“Eibhlin didn’t know you existed until she met Jason a few weeks ago.  Then Jason was wounded by a Green Man’s rifle and I took over the search.  Jennings is safe and working as a mechanic in a nearby city.  We’ll pick her up after we find North and Stroud.”

“Wounded!  Is he ok?”  Steve showed a lot of honest concern for the man.

Janice laughed, “Well enough but .. not available right now.  He should be back in a couple months.”  She found her hand on his and embarrassed, removed it and looked out again.

“I know that Eileen is your aunt but what are you to Jason?”

She signed, “It’s complicated.  You humans see aliens as people in make-up.  Or rubber monsters but all have human emotions and desires.  Your older monster films always have an alien monster abducting the beautiful blonde because it fell in love with her as if an intelligent carrot could or would mate with a human.  And when you want to show aliens as really different, you make them human sea-horses where the human-looking male bears the babies.

“Truly alien species are so alien that you’d not recognize them as even alive.  Even my race, descended from yours, is too different for us to relate to.  Eibhlin and I were once human so we can understand but others of my race, those who were born and raised this way, are too different.  If I told you the truth, you’d run from us in horror.”

“I don’t understand.” He really didn’t.  “Do you implant eggs in my chest or suck my brains out?”

She laughed and enjoyed the experience then wrapped her arms around his neck, looked up into his face and said, “No, but still, your human ways are set and you are not as accommodating as we must be.  These bodies Eibhlin and I wear were created by a race so alien that you would find nothing in common.  We don’t have anything in common either but we serve them in virtual slavery occasionally, enduring their ways and needs because resistance would be futile and suicidal.  But we are… something different and the differences between our two races is more than a tail and pointed ears.  Even the Red Race of Barsoom would be shocked at us and they can barely tolerate our sexual needs.  So be careful what you ask because the answer will disgust you.”  Then she kissed him, lightly and found she enjoyed the sensation as his arms wrapped around her body and kissed him again, her face upturned, wishing he would pull her to him.

“Excuse me,” Eibhlin snapped.  “You are supposed to be on watch.”   Steve apologized and moved off as Eibhlin joined her relation. “What the hell was that?”

“Just a kiss,” Janice returned to scanning the ground to cover her embarrassment.

“Americans are homophobic.  They cannot stand the thought of kissing another man and even are disgusted by their own transvestites and transsexuals.  They have a name for that, ‘queer-baiting’ where they gather in packs to assault lesbians, homosexuals and gender-benders.  If a transvestite or transsexual kisses a man and he learns that she is a he, they beat the other to near death and his fellows see it as deserved.  What will he do when he learns that the woman he kissed is really a man?”

“I wasn’t thinking.”

“Sometimes, Janice, for all your centuries of life and the hundreds of planets and times you visited, your brain falls below your waist as often as does a human male’s. Were you as stupid when you had a dick?”

“That is uncalled for?” she snapped back.

“The truth hurts.  Janice, if you bed him, and I get the feeling that you will, make certain that he never learns the truth.  Give him that much respect.”

“I’ll try.  It’s hard being a woman.  All these new feelings and desires are mixing me up.  When we were alone together, I was happy because… well, now that he is around and the stress of the march is gone, new feeling are appearing.  Damn I hope that we don’t find North because he has the body that most women find sexy and I’d hate to be that superficial. Plus the man is so arrogant that he reminds me of the macho jerks who used to use and dump the girls at school.”

“Like you see inside Steve?  Then focus on the mind and personality of this Captain North and avoid looking at the body.”  She snapped.

Janice pulled her back then looked at her carefully, then said, “How long?”

“How long for what?  Sex, this morning as you know since you were there!  What, are you so bored that you can’t remember anymore!”

“No, Eibhlin, we can keep each other alive and hold off our Need for months but eventually we will need a man and your lips and nipples are beginning to redden.”

“Damn!  My last man was you.  We were together then and now.  No wonder I snapped at you.  And no wonder you are sniffing at Steve like a bitch in heat.  Your new hormones are making you need a man faster than do I.”  She wanted to throw something but there was nothing to release her anger.  “Janice… I’m not in love with you but we are lovers.  I, I don’t know if I can stand you being with a man.  I don’t know if I can be with a man knowing you are here.  How do you do that without resorting to murder.”

Janice held her aunt close and whispered, “I don’t know.  This is new to me.  But Weir don’t care.  They have sex parties, share spouses and lovers casually.  Were we born-Weir, we’d simply invite Steve, Vos Kar and Kara into our cabin for fun-and-games and they would join in or not, each of us watching and sharing the other.”

“Like a porn movie in Los Angeles?”

“Just so, it would be just sex with no expectations or rules or guilt.”

“I don’t know if I can do that.”

“Me neither.  Even on Drakonis I have a reputation for being a prude and never attended a sex party.  But we need to do something before the Need grows too strong.”  She laughed then added, “I am glad that Jennings was there when we transited or I’d have been stuck alone with all those guys.”

“I think Janice would have loved that but Jason….  I don’t know.”  She kissed then broke apart,  “We need to search.  Get away before I rape you here and now.”

“I’d like that.”

“Pervert!” laughed Eibhlin.

“Eibhlin,” Janice called to her back, then in Gaelic, “I enjoy being with you like this more than you can imagine.  And I can handle being with him if I must.  But, my lover, I don’t think I can deal with being with him or you after you two had been together so please don’t tell me and clean up well afterwards.”

“Like you with Jean,” She replied, not looking back.  “I loved Jean and it hurts to know that you and she were..”

Janice wanted to say, “At least I was long before she knew you.  The woman cheated on me often while we lived in the same bed.  She was a whore with me and a whore with you.”  But didn’t.  Some words can never be recalled and some injuries should never be caused.


The flew southeast long the outer hills of the marshes looking for signs of their quarry but aside from the rare pilgrim following a dead religion, they saw nothing.  Janice privately hoped to find some Orovar slavers to question but even these were hidden or elsewhere.  As the approached Heaven’s Gate, Vos Kar said, “I don’t think they would be allowed into the Valley save in chains.  We hold the south pass, the other city the north pass.  I suggest we fly along the river then return to examine the valleys themselves later.”  For a thoat herder, he did know how to fly so Janice had the fop teach them how to use the ship’s guns.  Though only a freighter, the craft was armed in case of attack by Black Pirates or Red Men seeking to destroy the remnants of the Then religion and had a magazine fed cannon at bow and stern of near an inch bore.  Steve commented on the small size suggesting “A four inch cannon would be the smallest I would think,” until Janice whispered in his ear, “Thermo-nuclear rounds”.  In addition there were heavier rifles at the port and starboard amidships but essentially, against a real warship, their best hope would be to hide.  The fop ran them through some aiming and dry-fire drills but expected little in the way of success were they to be attacked. 

When Kara asked him how he knew so much, he replied, “I am from Helium and we had a well-deserved reputation for having the most accurate gunners on Barsoom.  Fortunately, the Therns of Issus kept civilization from the River Iss and with the Thern religion discredited, few are the pilgrims who travel so we should be safe enough.”

After he left to return to his attentions towards Para Far, Eibhlin commented, “Helium has the reputation of being the most honorable people on Barsoom.  It’s curious that he would resort to seduction to make his living.”

“Be glad he sees us as ‘hideously deformed’ and Kara as too poor to support him else we’d be diverting his attentions.  I have enough trouble keeping Steve away from us.”

The Craft flew at a decent speed of nearly a hundred miles an hour by Earth reckoning, though it could easily do near thrice that speed.  Then when someone was seen ahead, the flyer would slow to examine the people and then speed on.  With the lack of pilgrims, they did this but twice before they reached the Otz Mountains shortly before dark that first day.    Janice thought that these last seven hours were much more comfortable than the thirty days she had planned for.

They landed near the river away from the mountains and hid the flyer in a gully to avoid detection and rested for the night.  Although not as comfortable as the rest-houses and with one private cabin which had been taken by Para Far, the rest made do on deck or in the common bunk-room (taken by Kara and the Weir) or even in the now empty cargo bay which as the largest and roomiest in the craft.

The night was without incident and departure was held up by the appearance of another Thern flyer moving upriver over the mountains.  Janice commented as they waited, hidden, “We would never be able to breathe that high.  The Martian lungs must be amazing to handle that thin air.  When I was here before, I couldn’t even climb to the top of some of the taller buildings.  Good thing we had planned to fly low to search.”  When the Thern flyer was gone, they lifted and proceed along the Iss, cliffs high on both sides as Eibhlin searched above as often as below fearing White Apes dropping onto their craft.

The road itself wound to and from the river, following the natural contours of the hills but never straying too far from the Iss.  Because of this, much of the road was hidden and Janice was about to suggest that they drop her off to search by land when Kara cried out, “I think I see someone.  White shin, brown hair, I don’t think he is an Orovar.”

Bar Komas took the spyglass and watched the man walk north as if he were depressed and had no life left.  “I can’t be certain but it could be Captain North.  Can we land?”

They passed overhead but the traveler never even looked up and they landed in a wider area and waited.  Bar Komas left the craft while the Weir trained the side guns in that direction and waited.

Just as they were about to give up, the traveler came around the bend and Bar Komas called out, “Captain North! It’s me!” and ran to his former countryman.

For the first time the traveler looked up and a smile lit his haggard face as he ran forward to embrace his former companion.  “Steve! I thought you were dead.  What the hell!  More aliens?”

“Captain North of Earth, this is the Princess Eileen Obrien and the Baroness Janice Obrien of Drakonis.  They are related to Jason and have been looking for us for weeks.”

North stared at the topless and near-naked warrior-women and said, “I thought I was the last of us.  I worried that Jason might have killed Dr Jennings when he got tired of her and you might be dead too.  Where is Dr Jennings?”

Janice answered for him, “She is safe.  Once we find Stroud we can go get her and start to work on getting you back to Earth.”

“Stroud is dead.” North explained with more than a touch of sadness.  “He got more and more depressed, wouldn’t eat or drink and then one day, he was dead.  I think he just stopped wanting to live.  Sometimes I think of joining him.  I was Special Ops with the Air Force.  I fought in Desert Storm and Bosnia but none of my training prepared me for this.  Monsters everywhere, those fifteen-foot four-armed gorillas, ten-legged lions, snakes with a dozen legs, I even saw a man with a hideously gigantic head sit down then the head walked off on insect legs.  I used to be the best there was, now I’m lucky to be alive.”  The man was suffering dysentery, malnutrition, pneumonia and it was a wonder he was still breathing.

“It’s all right, Captain, we’ll take you to safety.  You just need some rest and a good bath.” And so Bar Komas helped his Earth companion into the flyer which took off and headed north at full speed.  An hour later they flew past Heaven’s Gate where Janice asked, “Do you want to leave now?  That is your home.”

“No longer.  I will miss it but there was nothing for us when you found us and our return proved that there is nothing for us now.  We will seek our lives in another city.”

Then another hour over the marsh where their speed was too fast to see anything in detail and they soon left the marsh and circled to find and catch their two released thoats.  From there they carefully flew over the next valley to land inside and tie Para Far’s flyer to theirs and then towed it up and over to the Great Desert in which nothing could live.  Janice directed them to land by the Iss and wait in the crevices, “I’ll go get Jennings.  I’d bring you, but promised to keep the location of their city a secret and so must go alone.”

She saddled her thoats and said, “’I’ll be back in four to six days depending on how long it takes me to get her released from her contract.”

North saw her plan to return with only Dr Jennings and not Jason Obrien so approached her and asked to join her, “I want to come too. Dr Jennings is my responsibility and I want to find Obrien again.  He is wanted for terrorism by my country and I have to bring him back to justice.”  The entire time his eyes never left her chest and his manhood was obviously stirring with the thought of being alone in the desert with her.

Janice was just a bit upset at that for she understood how the Americans insisted that people turn over family to be arrested and tried but to her, such matters were settled by Clan and not police. Plus the man was as arrogant as she remembered, the entire trip he did nothing but eat and try to seduce both Eibhlin and Janice. When they told him they were lesbian lovers, he had to gall to smile, “That’s cool, I like girl-on-girl and have more than enough for both of you.”

Stifling her temper, Janice said to him in English, “I understand that you think of Jason as a terrorist and a criminal who destroyed your project and you feel your duty lies in arresting him.  But remember this, I am returning you to Earth because Jason and I are the same Clan and his Clan Debt falls to me.  So I will return you because I am indebted to do so by Clan Law.  BUT, he is my Clansman and if you seek to harm or arrest him in any way, I WILL kill you without thought or hesitation.”

“He’s a criminal and needs to stand trial for his acts.”

“Then, by your logic, were Bosnia or Iraq to demand you to stand trial by their laws for your action in their country during the American invasions, you should be bound and extradited to them for trial?”

“That’s different.  We were..”

“Don’t give me that crap about defending America.  Desert Storm was to defend the right of Kuwait to slant-drill and steal oil from Iraq.  Bosnia was to divert attention from your president who got his dick stuck in Monica’s mouth.  Neither were to defend America so the argument fails.  YOU, as an individual, killed Bosnian and Iraqi citizens and should stand trial. If those acts were justified by international Rules of War, then you have nothing to fear.  The fact is that has Jennings succeeded in her teleporter, you would have been a danger to us and we would have been forced to destroy your planet to protect Barsoom and the rest of the galaxy from your arrogance.  He was as justified in his act as you pretend you were in yours.

”Would your courts care that he was defending our people by destroying your device or would they care only that he destroyed government property and took American lives?  So why should you be tried by a different set of rules than those you insist apply to him?”  She mounted her thoat and just before she rode off, leaned over watching eyes follow her down so grabbed his hair that was no longer buzzed, pulled his face to hers and yelled,. “And keep your eyes off my tits before I pluck them out and feed them to the worms!”

She rode off, Eibhlin watching and then the smaller Irish girl said, “and my tits are not for you either.”


Two days across the desert.  Two days to decide what to do with Jennings and what to tell her.  Two days to back to calm her down and then the real problem began.  Eibhlin had a Vanthi starship that could easily reach Earth in hours, IF it were here.  Since they still had no idea of how far in time they were from her departure, her ship still may be in Earth orbit waiting for her to call.  Barsoom did have space ships, some developed by Phor Tak and his competing scientists, others adapted from Morgor ships taken in the war.  These former carried cargo between Barsoom and Thuria, the nearer and larger moon but could be adapted to reach Earth IF they could convince someone to rent them one.  Maybe Janice could find a return StarGate?  She knew that there was the French StarGate that led to the Toonol Marsh but that one was one-way only.  The Arizona Stargate was two-way but its Barsoom location wasn’t well-known.  The Canada one that Eibhlin used went to Koal but was that one or two-way?  Well, she had a week, Terran, to figure that out.

The first night, as the thoats dug themselves into the sand for warmth and Janice set her tent for the same reason, she relaxed and felt Eibhlin some fifty kilometers to the northeast.  Weir were telepathic and once intimate, could find each other over distances that varied with the situation.  So Janice or Eibhlin could close their eyes, turn and point to the other though they’d not know how far the other was.  That was probably what drew Jason into that first valley to originally meet with his aunt.  Because of this, she had no fear of becoming lost in the desert for she would just move in a straight line to Eibhlin, providing the other were close enough to detect.  That same telepathy, though poor by S’tyr standards, was strong enough to influence a homing device to lead the Weir to the sub-space communicator that she planned to place on both Earth and Barsoom.  Once done, they’d not worry about being stranded again.

Janice relaxed and felt no one else.  To the Barsoomian, she was telepathically invisible as were all Earthmen.  But if the medium-class Drakonian Battle-Cruiser Flavian was near, it would find her.  IF she were in the same time as Ayiesha and her save-the-planet project.  A few years time-wise either way and that plan was useless.  That was the problem with starflight or Stargates.  The Relativity Curve would often shift you a few years or centuries from your origin which is why Eibhlin left Earth in the 17th century but returned in the 21st only a few years later, subjective.  She simply got too close to a stellar mass which shifted her Temporal Triad.  And Stargates used planetary masses so warped time as easily as space.

Tired, she fell asleep and woke up cold, as usual, but soon armed as the sun rose and heated the planet.  Then she ate breakfast, dug the thoats free, saddled them as they ate the moss she had packed and then traveled on.

She arrived at the hidden valley well before sunset but had to explain why Jason had left but Janice returned.  “I’m his Clans-woman.  Jason was injured by a Green Man bullet and is recovering but his Clan Obligation to find and return the Jasoomians to their home planet holds for me.  His promise, be it the secrecy of this valley or the return of the humans is my oath as well.”

They weren’t convinced but took her to the Jed where she explained the entire thing again.  Jennings was there too and said, “Twins are common with my kind so perhaps with hers too.  I do see the family resemblance in her face though.”  Jennings was even wearing the harness of a Red Woman, her breasts bare which she never did before.  “Will you take me to Jason?”

“I can but not as you would think.  It’s complicated.  Our Aunt Eibhlin is there too with North and Steve.  Stroud died in his sleep and North was on the edge when we found him.  But a day of decent food, rest and the knowledge that he was safe returned him to his usual arrogant and lecherous self.”

Jennings laughed and said, “I’m sorry for you two.  I usually ignored him and focused on my work but alone with you…  And I see Jason wasn’t lieing when he said I was flat-chested compared to his race.  God, can’t you sag just a little to make me feel better.”  Now that she was about to be reunited with her fellows, she was cheerful and friendly and remembered Jason’s jokes and comments that America would find sexist but seemed to be normal among his race.

A little more discussion and they were allowed to leave only because Jennings had nothing else to contribute and Janice convinced the Jed that Jason Obrien’s vows extended to her entire Clan.  “Besides,” Jennings added, “She has a flyer and could have flown here with her friends in ease and safety.  Instead she risked her life in the Great Desert to ensure that no one else knew of your valley.”

They left the next morning and the first few hours until lunch Janice told of their adventures, “Then when Jason was injured by that rifle-round, his obligation fell to me and I took over to travel with Aunt Eibhlin to find and recover everyone.”

“I’m glad your family is so honest and helpful with each other.  I’m also glad that I only have to keep your existence a secret and make the project fail.”

“What do you mean?” Janice asked, knowing the answer.

“Well, did you know about the rest of our deal?  How I, … kept him alive?”

“Of course.  And just because I took over his obligation does not release you from your part.”

“But!… I can’t!… I’m a woman!”

“As am I.”

“But we can’t.  I’m straight.”

“I’m not.  I prefer to take my pleasure with an attractive woman.  And I need sex to live as much as Jason.”

“But I’m straight, I’ve never done that before.  I don’t even know how.”  She protested.

“You will learn.  It’s not difficult, only a lot more kissing and the sex lasts for hours and you aren’t that sore afterwards.”  Janice was enjoying herself.  Two days across a desert marked by red sand dunes and rocks would be her death by boredom.  Playing this game or pretend-seduction would entertain them both.

So for the rest of the day she would flirt with the blonde, “I love the way your breasts jiggle while you ride.  It gets me so hot with anticipation.  Mine are too firm for that.” Then Jennings rode with her arms folded across her chest to support them until Janice asked, “If they ache with the bouncing, you can ride before me and I’ll hold them for you.”  Then the next break Jennings cut a strip of silk, wrapped it behind her back to knot before her breasts then tied the ends up and behind her neck to form a sort of brassier.

That first night as they set the tent, Janice added, “It will get cold tonight, we should cuddle and spoon.  You kept me hot all day and I’m looking forward to repaying the favour.”

“I’m fine,” she stammered.  I like a brisk evening.”  But woke up with Janice wrapped around her, kissing her ear when she was certain that Jennings was awake.

As they rode, Jennings tried to divert Janice’s flirtation by asking, “What was it like growing up with your brother?  I only knew him for a few weeks.”

“I don’t know.  Mother was insane and gave her children away to be raised by others.  Some to the Church to become Priests, Jason to one Aunt, others to other relatives.  Only the youngest was raised by mother.”

“I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to bring up sad memories.”

“Not that bad.  Aunt Kathryn was a much better parent and our father tried when he wasn’t at war.  He just had no idea of how to be a father, being from a warrior family.  He’d return home to name one baby and start another before being sent off to another war.  Sometimes I wonder if he knows how many children he has.”

“What about you?  Do you have any?”

“Just because I prefer women doesn’t mean I refuse the occasional male.  Duty calls and with us, Duty to Clan and Barony sometimes requires marriage to people we may not desire.  Fortunately, we are allowed lovers and concubines, both men and women, so long as we bear only our spouses children.  Yes, I have children.  Daughters.  All grown up and living well.  Unlike me and Jason, neither wish the military life.  I suppose we should make more babies and hope some will defend the Barony.”

“The more I learn about your race, the more I’m glad to be on Earth.”


When they arrived, Jennings actually hugged the Earthmen, even North, in her happiness.  Janice hugged Eibhlin and asked, “Being with her and pretending to seduce her got me going, would you care to relax my needs for an hour or so.”

The two missed dinner but arrived for left-overs, hair mussed but smiling.  North gave both a dirty look and Eibhlin explained in Gaelic, “The man was unstoppable.  He only ceased chasing Kara when she pulled a dagger on him and gave him a choice of her blade or her brother’s.  Then he focused on me but settled for Para Far to the disgust of the fop.”

“Does the fop even have a name?” Janice asked.

“Do you care?  We should leave for Amhor tomorrow morning.  We spent the last few days filling the water tanks and hunting food, both meat and fruit.  North was expert with a snare and caught more than did I though half his catches were released as inedible.  We decided to fly into the desert to avoid Green Men and other craft, then north. It is some five thousand miles and around twenty hours flight.”

“Fine with me.”

“Now Janice we have a problem.  North is as big a slut as Para Far or yourself and will do anything in a skirt and so we have to keep them apart or her father will insist I kill him to save honor.  The only advantage we have is that he isn’t fertile with a Red Woman.”

“Why not just castrate him?  Not the entire thing but maybe six or ten inches?  Healing will keep him off her, make other women less sore and he’d not miss the length.  What about the fop?”

“He has agreed to leave when we reach a waterway friendly to Helium.  He knows that Farren Koff will order him killed and he does have excellent survival instincts.  He even ceased to chase me when I grasped his cherries and lifted him from the ground with one hand.  How are you planning to return the others to Earth?”

“I am still planning.  I was hoping your ship would arrive but if we are even a year in the future or the past, the message will miss your ship.  I’m thinking of building a StarGate or renting a Barsoom Space-ship.”

They were still planning when the sun set and Steve brought a fur to wrap around the two.  Eibhlin smiled at him and patted his hand which caused Janice to stare,” You?  And he?”

“It’s your fault, my love.  Jason taught me to enjoy a man.  I’m not giving up women but it’s nice to know I won’t hate myself when my Need drives me to their arms.”



Janice Eileen Obrien  nka Janice Eileen Ui Bhrian  aka Janice Obreen
Eibhlin Inghean Ui Bhrien  aka Avleen Enyen Obreen

Slaves: 1 black (Sojar), 2 red men (Hanno & Vos Kar), 1 red woman (Kara)
Bar Komas- name taken by the tech steve
Wilks & kahn- soldiers.  Kahn was eaten by a banth.  Wilks drowned in the Iss
Eddie-  Ellen’s boyfriend
Dr Ellen Jennings PhD
Captain Mark North
Dr. Carl Stroud
Steve Wadding?  Waddel  aka bar komas
Nolan Ghal- mad scientist. In heaven’s gate.

Odwar Farren Koff and his daughter Para Far

Aonghus O’Brien of Innis who married Mairayd Ui Neill of Belfast



Rick Johnson's Barsoom Fiction

Eibhlin Story 
Crossover Stories
Jason Story
Panthan on Mars =>
Lost on Barsoom
Meeting of the Panthans I
<= North to Barsoom
 Meeting of the Panthans II
Battle at U-Gor <=>
ERBzine Refs
Rick Johnson Feature Articles and Fiction in ERBzine
Worlds of ERB
ERBzine 1645: Johnson: ERB Fan Profile
ERBzine 1522: Sociology of the Wieroo
ERBzine 1527: Maltheusian Decimation in Pal-Ul-Don
ERBzine 1547: Opar
ERBzine 1710: Conflict!
ERBzine 1965: Rescue In Pellucidar
ERBzine 1974: Anatomy of an Alien

ERBzine 2304: Prelude to Weir-Lu of Caspak

ERBzine 2388: Bright-Eyed Flower of Pal-ul-don

ERBzine 2394: Dinosaur Survival On Earth

ERBzine 1578: Barsoom Questions
ERBzine 1370: Mapping Barsoom I: Can It Be Done?
ERBzine 1562: Mapping Barsoom II: Compromises
ERBzine 1565: Mapping Barsoom III: The Past
ERBzine 1633: Valley Dor
ERBzine 1634: Swords On Mars
ERBzine 1711: A Panthan of Mars
ERBzine 1712: Spy: Arrival On Mars
ERBzine 2165: Battle at U-Gor
ERBzine 2166: Lost On Barsoom
ERBzine 2167: Meeting of the Panthans: Pt. I
ERBzine 2168: Meeting of the Panthans: Pt. II
ERBzine 2169: North to Barsoom
ERBzine 2196: Jahar
ERBzine 2303: Return to Barsoom I: Letters


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