Mapping Command 1.0: First Contact

This is a redux of the original series originally posted on Literotica. There are no plot changes but various spelling errors were corrected and I made minor changes that I thought made the characters and action clearer. I also added a number to the title (thanks nthusiastic!). I’ll be continuing this through the chapters as I get breaks from other projects (the foundation story of this universe is almost done!). If this is your first time, welcome to Arboreal. We’ll be gentle…mostly. Enjoy.

|1.0

“Xerxes for Pathfinder operations.”

“Pathfinder ops. Good morning Xerxes.”

“Howdy Pathfinder. We’ve got systems active and a green board. Ready to separate when you are.”

“Copy that Xerxes, decoupling umbilical now and retracting soft seal.”

A series of thuds and clunks was followed by the ventilators changing pitch as the little ship started making her own air.

“We’re clean,” the co-pilot said, glancing out her porthole.

“We’ve got good separation Pathfinder.”

“Good deal, Xerxes. Two minutes from orbital insertion, releasing hard locks.”

Several more clunks reverberated through the hull as on Pathfinder moved the smaller ship into launch position.

“We’re still good,” she said, glancing up from her magazine.

“We’re showing a good latch on the launcher, Pathfinder.”

“Showing the same, thirty seconds to kick, Xerxes. It was a pleasure having you and your crew aboard. Looking forward to seeing you in sixteen months.”

“Thanks Pathfinder, you guys stay safe out there.”

“You three do the same. Powering up launcher, stand by.”

Cole tightened his belts and beside him Leah did the same.

“I really don’t like this part,” she said.

Cole grinned, watching the countdown on the instrument panel.

“And firing, in three… two… one…” The voice of the other ship calmly counted down the last seconds. There was a thud as the hydraulic arms threw the little ship forward. They both grunted as their bodies instantly went from weightless to twice their normal weight. The Pathfinder quickly shrank to a point of light behind them and Leah whooped at the top of her lungs as Cole laughed. She bitched about the kick every time and every time she acted like a teenager on a roller-coaster on the way down.

Cole and Leah worked together as one of the planetary survey teams under the Colonial Mapping Command. They were married in addition to being a crew and their repeated missions together made them unique in this job. They’d paired up back on Terra just before the attack and they’d been happily working together ever since. Most survey teams got very tired of each other after a long mission. Often there wasn’t anyone else to talk to and teams ended up sharing some very small spaces. A few teams lasted through a second mission but they were rare. Even larger crews had the same problem and transfers between ships after extended missions were common.

For whatever reason Cole and Leah were as happy together now as the day they’d gotten married. Or their first date for that matter. When the psych SI at Hub Station noticed the anomaly it had scheduled a series of interviews for them both with the psychs in hopes of figuring out what made their partnership tick. If they could quantify the secret, maybe more stable teams could be created. Cole and Leah didn’t know if there even was a secret, they really liked being around each other and never seemed to need any time apart.

After a week of increasingly strange questions the head of Project Operations had put her foot down. She needed good crews far more than psychobabble and theories, no matter how much the chief medic protested. Captain Parvathi had personally signed off on their evaluations and assigned them this new mission. They got off the station just in time to join up with Pathfinder as she headed out rimward on another search for the rare habitable real estate that humans could use. They needed it.

Five years ago, the population of Earth had gotten a major surprise: they weren’t even close to being alone in the universe, humans were just one of many intelligent races out there. The surprises didn’t end there; humans weren’t natives of Earth. They were the descendants of ancient colonists and they weren’t alone in that either. Humanity had quite a few cousins that had been searching for them for a long time. The old empire had been gone for thousands of years but her colonial children thrived.

Humanity’s cousins hadn’t come alone either. With them came representatives of alien races. Some of them were oddly familiar, making historians take a much closer look at the myths and legends of Earth. Even more were stranger than anyone could have imagined. Together, they were the members of a loose confederation with a mind-numbingly long name that loosely translated to “Commonwealth of Free Planets.”

But not all the news was good. The Commonwealth was fighting a centuries long war with the old enemies of the Empire that called themselves the Dominion of the Oppressed. The Dominion’s spies had quickly learned of Earth after She was discovered. She was the least technologically advanced planet of the colonies and made a very easy target. They were on their way to smash Her.

It wasn’t a surprise to most people (especially those with three or more children) how quickly the fractious nations of the planet resolved their differences in the face of a common enemy. Arab or Israeli, Christian or Muslim, conservative or progressive, white, black, yellow, red, brown, none of it mattered anymore. Maybe they’d pick things up where they left off when they’d beaten the Dominion but for now, everyone was just human. And they’d just found out they were an endangered species.

The industrial might of the planet began to retool. Advisers arrived, teaching techniques for creating the materials needed for evacuation and defense. New settlements were rapidly constructed on a pair of planets far from Earth and colonists began to arriving. There were problems of course but they were minor and it looked like Earth might have a chance.

Then the Dominion had arrived sooner than anyone could have guessed, just three years after Earth’s first contact. First came raids on the orbital stations as the Dominion tried to destroy Earth’s Slingshot. If that was destroyed, the humans would have nowhere to go. Dominion strike teams had landed on Earth to sabotage whatever they could, trying to clear a way for the ships that would deliver massive balls of nickel-iron.

Happily, Earth wasn’t alone. She had the support of twenty-two other civilizations and they all sent whatever help they could. Ships of all sizes joined the defense, keeping the Slingshot gate operational against the onslaught. There was some hope, the Dominion had been fought to a standstill.

Then the asteroids had appeared, hurled from the outer edges of the solar system. The Commonwealth went on the attack, trying to destroy the nickel-iron projectiles but it was a hopelessly large task. Humans were evacuated as quickly as possible while the defenders tried everything they could. Near the end, heavy cruisers from Earth, as well as the Xero’pah, the Ryilsoldra, and Ulthira had even attempted kamikaze runs, using their ships’ mass to try and divert the nickel iron asteroids from their lethal trajectories. The sacrifices of those ships and crews permanently cemented friendships with the humans. But in the end, none of it mattered. There were too many incoming, they were too large, and they were too fast.

Earth burned, along with most of her children.

Humanity was left with two partially colonized planets and a handful of tiny outposts. One planet, Sanctuary, was beautiful but had a very fragile ecosystem. Too many colonists would have strained the oxygen generating capacity of the native flora. The population was kept small while engineers worked out the best way to terraform the planet.

The other colony, Hub, was far more robust. There was plenty of oxygen and lots of space but it was far colder in the high latitude habitable zones. The equatorial regions were warm and full of archipelagos that would have been a tropical paradise if it wasn’t for the massive hurricanes that constantly circled the middle of the planet. An automated weather station was emplaced in a hardened bunker, the toughest one they could make.

It lasted less than a season.

So there wasn’t much living space. There weren’t as many humans anymore either. The best estimate was that just under four hundred million had been evacuated in time. That many was a miracle of logistics, mostly made possible by their allies. But no one ever forgot that six billion others had never had a chance.

Mapping Command’s primary mission was to find places for humans to start rebuilding. As many as possible and as far apart as practical. They’d be a much harder target when the Dominion came after them again. There was a major challenge to the effort; almost all of the known planets were already been claimed by one race or another. Some by natives, others by other allies, some by previously unknown races.

Luckily space was big. Very big. So they kept Pathfinder and her sister ships working constantly. The large ships made the first pass to catalog potential candidate worlds, listening and watching carefully for any sign that someone else was already there. History had taught  enough to ban any attempt to take living space from another sentient race. The tragedy of losing Earth made it an unbreakable rule for the CMC.

If a world passed the first test, smaller ships with survey teams aboard followed. They spent months observing the candidate planet carefully. Only when they’d learned as much as possible was a manned landing attempted. Even then, it was still a dangerous job. Crews had been lost to mistakes, hostile micro and macro lifeforms, and sometimes just plain bad luck. Cole and Leah had been working on the planetary survey side of things for eighteen months and had helped open two new worlds. This time the mission was a little different.

“We’re in a good descent orbit,” Cole announced, an hour after they’d left Pathfinder.

“I can’t wait to get out of this tin can,” Leah sighed. “I miss the wind and sky.”

“She didn’t mean that,” Cole said to the ship’s synthetic intelligence, Xerxes. He patted the instrument panel. “She loves you.”

“Not as much as you do, Cole,” the ship replied. “Let’s talk later when she’s asleep.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa Miss X! What’s with trying to steal my man?” Leah laughed. “I thought we were going to run off together.”

“No, I just changed my mind. You called me a tin can. Cole, I’ve got the colony location confirmed, we can lose enough speed on the next pass to start atmospheric braking. Six hours to wind and sky, Leah.”

“Sounds good. Give me a fifteen-minute notice heads up for braking.”

“Will do, Cole.”

He unstrapped and pushed off his chair, stretching in the zero gee, “I wonder how we can keep busy until then.”

Leah unstrapped as well and unzipped her jumpsuit down past her navel. “All this privacy has given me some ideas.”

He chuckled and let his hands slip inside, around her waist. “You have the best ideas.”

“What are the odds that a satyr and a nymphomaniac would find each other?” Xerxes asked but the only answer was giggling and then a long moan.
The ship laughed to herself and created a twin to play chess with while she kept one eye on the orbit ahead. The synthetic intelligence units working with humans were fairly rare and astoundingly expensive. They were created by the Ulthira in a very secretive process and ships throughout the Commonwealth used them. They weren’t much faster than a human mind but they were able to interface with computers at tens of times the speed of a human. That, along with absolutely eidetic memories and electronic senses far beyond a biological entity, made them the best navigators and ship handlers out there.

Interestingly, until the synthetic brains took on the traits of their users they weren’t easily able to communicate. So they were very capable helpers but nothing like the autonomous overlords humanity had feared for so long. There was a great deal of discussion about whether that was an intended design or an accident of manufacture. The Ulthira never commented on the synthetics, other than taking orders for them.

|2.0

“Arboreal Colony ops this is the Xerxes. We are inbound for landing. How copy?”

There wasn’t a reply and the two looked at each other.

“You don’t think…” Leah said.

“Nah, they probably don’t bother to have someone on the desk all the time. Ms. X, can you connect with the colony SI?”

“It’s an intermittent link, but he’s saying that someone has been notified. No guidance beacon is available at this time.”

“Hope they don’t have any hoppers up,” Cole said, banking the ship in a series of long curves to lose more speed. “We’re trailing one hellacious shockwave.”

“Inbound shuttle, this is Arboreal Station, identify yourself immediately.” The voice on the radio sounded very impressed with itself and Leah rolled her eyes.

“Arboreal this is Xerxes,” Cole answered. “We’re downbound from orbit. Recommend you advise any local traffic of wake turbulence,” Cole answered.

“I don’t know about no Xerxes. You’d better identify yourself shuttle. I ain’t shutting down the autoguns until you do.”

“Captain, there are no indications that this outpost possesses any weaponry capable of engaging us,” Xerxes reported. “Shall I activate our countermeasures?”

“Don’t bother darling, he doesn’t bluff for shit,” Leah said, pulling on her headset. “Arboreal, this is Captain Jones, Colonial Mapping Command. I am aboard Xerxes eight-zero-eight. We are a scheduled arrival. Confirm with your SI, check your goddam arrival logs, or contact the colony administrator. I don’t care which but do it now.”

There was some sputtering and clunks and then a new voice. “Sorry about that, Xerxes. You’re cleared to runway one, no local traffic aloft. Guidance beacons are up.”

“Automated landing available, Cole,” Xerxes announced. “Be advised there are locally heavy storms around the area.”

“You want to take her in?”

“It would be a good idea if you don’t mind.”

Cole took his hands off the controls. “All yours, gorgeous.”

“See Captain? That’s why I love him better,” Xerxes said smugly.

Leah laughed as the landing gear thumped down. The shuttle bounced and pitched through turbulence as they watched the treetops get closer.

“Damn, they really are that big,” Cole said, looking at the altimeter and then out at the trees blurring past. “I figured someone got meters and feet confused when I read the report.”

The massive forest was only dwarfed by the massive storm clouds as they crossed into the open grassland with the colony in its center. The shuttle bounced and rocked through storm clouds, losing and gaining tens of meters at time as they listened to the roar of the engines change as the SI fought to get the ship down. Cole and Leah both pulled their harnesses tighter as they were thrown to left and right. Finally, they were below the clouds, rain sheeting over the ports as the ship sank rapidly toward the miles long runway. Finally, the roar of the jets faded into a low whine.

“Contact,” Xerxes said as there was a bump and the landing gear screeched. Then the shuttle was thrown back into the air by a gust of wind before coming back down to hit the runway again. The engines howled again and the shuttle stayed on the runway, the screech of the gear turning into a rumble as they began to slow.

“Wait, was that a landing or were we just shot down?” Leah asked.

“I’d like to see you make a smoother landing, Captain Kangaroo,” Xerxes shot back.

Leah and Cole both howled with laughter as Xerxes let the ship spend their remaining inertia racing down the long runway. Soon they were turning out onto a concrete apron and the sound of the engines died completely and they unstrapped.

“Thank you for bringing us down safely, beautiful girl,” Leah said, running her hand over the bulkhead. “That was magnificent and we love you.”

“You’re welcome, and I love you too. Now stop trying to flatter me and go meet your people.”

“But I’m your favorite again, right?”

“Shameless,” Cole said, unlocking the hatch. “Don’t fall for it Xerx.”

They climbed out of the ship and Cole put on a headset, chatting with Xerxes as he started inspecting the exterior of their ship.

Leah stood under the wing and out of the gusts of wind and rain, wondering if anyone would bother to come down to meet them. She took a deep breath, hyper-aware of all the smells after six weeks breathing only processed air, then squatted and lightly bounced on her toes. The data sheet said .78 Hub normal, it felt pretty good. Higher oxygen along with high humidity. There was a bright spot near the tops of the trees as the sun tried to shine through a gap in the clouds before fading away again. It was quite warm, but it felt nice.

A bicycle came down the taxiway, an older man pedaling fast. Behind him were a few more people on bikes, some of them weaving and laughing as they rolled through puddles. The first man hopped off his bike and joined her under the wing.

“Captain, I’m sorry as hell about that. Owen Lykos here, I’m the colony admin. It’s the end of the week for us, just got into beer-o-clock.”

She laughed. “Can’t blame you for that, unless you didn’t save us any. Don’t bother with ‘Captain’, it’s just Leah. The other one wandering around out there is my husband and partner, Cole.”

The ground crew began to arrive and get themselves organized.

“Anything she need?” one of the women said, pulling out a tablet.

“I think we’re good,” Cole said, taking off his headset and handing it to her. “Xerxes has an advanced SI aboard, she’ll let you know.” The woman nodded and put on the headset and began talking to the ship herself.

Cole walked over and introduced himself. Owen shook hands. “I want to thank you again for coming. We’re in a tight spot here. First, you’ve been inoculated, right?”

Leah nodded. “You would not believe the number of injections we had to get before they’d let us come. My arms and ass hurt for weeks. I read that they tracked the strep outbreak to a ventilator system?”

“Yeah, a couple in the residential hab cluster. Someone on Hub made a mistake in the clean room and I lose a third of my people, including my entire survey team. Now we’ve got the next wave of settlers ready to transit and nowhere to put them.”

“We’ll get your survey back on track,” Cole said. “There’s even more help on the way. The Big Office messaged incoming teams about your problem. A couple teams just arrived from a Rimward mission, they’ll probably be coming on the Lewis & Clark. A few more are headed this way as soon as they’re available and find a ride. You’ll be ready for your newbies, promise.”

“Thanks Cole, but we’re a pretty low priority colony and don’t have much political pull on Hub. I don’t know if they’ll find room for passage.”

Leah patted his arm. “Don’t sweat that, CMC doesn’t do politics, it’s all about the mission. Besides, lots of us are interested in getting to see what the result of our work is like. Usually we get relieved before anyone shows up and head back to Hub to data-dump and do the mandatory leave time. You’ve been to Hub. Boring, cold, and nowhere as pretty as here. They’ll be here, but if you’ve got any brewers, you might want to let them know.”

Owen laughed. “I’ve heard about you survey crews and beer. Okay, I’ll be cautiously optimistic. Grab your gear and I’ll take you over to the residential hab.”

Leah and Cole spent a day and half in the colony, catching up with a couple of people they knew but mostly checking and rechecking their gear. Then it was loaded onto a mule, an isotope powered six-legged automated hauler. Then it was time to get to work.

The colony sprawled across a hundred acres but it was a tiny speck in the continent wide forest. It looked a little like the Pacific Northwest once had but much, much larger. The low gravity and constant humidity made for some truly massive trees. Their average size near the colony was twenty-five meters across the base and two hundred meters tall. Things just got bigger as you traveled further into it.

They followed a path that Leah and the colony SI had laid out, zig-zagging through the trees to give them as much coverage as possible. They spent the days setting out cloud scanners that fired and recorded thousands of laser bursts per second, recording data and referencing the overlaps to tie the new maps into old. Then they packed up and hiked a few kilometers, unpacked and did it all over again. Normally they would have used small helo-bots, drones that could do most of the repetitive work, but something in the trees had been interfering with the radio signals. So they left them on the mule and did it the old fashioned way.

|3.0

After a week of long days, they were ready for a break. They arrived at a large meandering creek that an earlier crews had mapped. Several good campsites had been tagged along the banks and they headed to the closest one. There was an automated supply drop the day after tomorrow and then they’d spend a week zig-zagging back to the colony on a different vector.

The water was an odd color of blue green from the algae coating the rocks at the bottom; it wasn’t very cold, but it registered as clean and tasted good. Leah and Cole were happy to abandon the sani-wipes they normally used to clean up. While they got you clean, they left a weird chemical smell on the skin. The first time in the field they’d learned that and it tasted awful. They stripped off their clothes and happily jumped into the creek, using real soap and water to get clean.
That was Leah’s favorite part of being on a planet. Showers with recycled water on the ship never left you feeling completely clean. Their clothes were next, scrubbed, rinsed and laid out to dry. They finished up their last day of work naked, Leah uploading data to the colony server while Cole set up the inflatable dome tent and moved their gear inside. It was almost dusk by the time they were finished and Cole watched over Leah’s shoulder as she finished transferring her data logs.

“Oh ho, I see your shrinkage problem has resolved itself,” she said, looking up from her datapad and leering at her husband.

“Just my way of saying I like your outfit,” he said, bending down to kiss her neck.

“This old thing?” she murmured, reaching back to run her fingers through his hair. “I just threw this on.”

He helped her to her feet and they wrapped their arms around each other as their lips met. Leah began to breathe faster as he reached down and cupped her muscular ass. Then the computer began complaining that the colony SI hadn’t gotten a good copy of the data and was asking for some the files to be sent again.

“Ignore it,” Cole said, pulling her closer.

“I could do that. But remember what happened on St. John? The search and rescue team helocasting in? It was a kind of a mood killer.”

“Hmm, good point.”

“I’ll get these out as quick as I can. Go warm up the bed. I’ll be in soon. Do not fall asleep.”

Cole went inside and stretched out on the air bed. It was a little cool so he pulled the sheet over him and stuck a pillow under his head, planning to grab a short nap. They’d both smelled too bad to have much fun for the last couple of days and Leah was going to be relentless tonight. He was half asleep when he heard her come in.

“Everything good?” he asked without opening his eyes. There was no answer. She rubbed her hand over his foot and leg, squeezing his thigh.

“Mmm, keep that up and there’s going to be consequences,” he said.

The caresses moved between his thighs and up. She cupped his scrotum and he opened his eyes but it was dark in the tent so he could barely make out her shape.

“Let’s get this out of the way,” Cole said pulling the sheet out of the way. She didn’t stop and began to rub his cock as well. She still hadn’t spoken a single word and something didn’t seem quite right.

There was a bonging sound, the signal that data had been transmitted and accepted from Leah’s datapad. Then the bong of another incoming request and he heard Leah quietly swear from outside. Cole’s eyes opened wide in shock. He desperately tried to see what was in the tent with him as he bolted upright. What the hell was it?

Whatever it was, it shoved him back down onto the bed hard. Now that he paying attention he realized it wasn’t a human hand. There were way too many fingers! He tried to push whatever it was off of him, feeling a hard furred surface, instead of Leah’s warm skin. He tried to shout, but his voice was no more than a whisper. All his strength was fading; all his muscles had suddenly become weak and shaky. No matter how much he tried to struggle, nothing happened. His arms were pushed down to his sides while another pair grabbed his shoulders. And somehow it was still touching his cock! How many were in here? He tried to shout but could barely get a whisper out.

“Be patient, I only got one more,” Leah said from outside. “I’ll be done in a minute.”

Unable to resist, he was picked up and turned over. The sheet was wrapped tightly around him, making a snug, makeshift cocoon. He still couldn’t tell how many of them there were. There seemed like a lot of arms holding him. Cole was lifted off the bed and carried to the edge of the dome where he was tucked behind some of the field gear. He tried to struggle but his arms and legs were so heavy that he couldn’t even roll over. He tried to see who had grabbed him and his blood froze as he saw it silhouetted against the light from the doorway; only a single being with an elongated torso and too many limbs. This couldn’t be real, he had night terrors or something.

Then it bent lower, examining him. Up close he could just make it out. It’s face roughly resembled that of a human’s, but with larger eyes that looked completely black. It had impossibly high and sharp cheekbones, a short chin, and a thin lipless mouth. Cole couldn’t see much more than that in the dark. Its head twitched back and forth in fluid little bounces as it looked him over before it prodded his throat, making it tingle unpleasantly. Cole’s mouth and throat felt like he’d been to the dentist. His lips were numb and he tried to say something but nothing worked.

“Hello outsider,” it suddenly said in English. “I’m going to make your mate scream.”

Suddenly terrified Cole tried to yell for Leah. The thing sounded just like him! It left him lying there as it went back to the bed mat, crouching down where he’d been laying.

“You still awake?” Leah asked from outside.
There was a thump and a snap as she closed the equipment case.

“Just waiting for you,” the thing said back in his stolen voice. Cole’s head was now so heavy he couldn’t even hold it up, couldn’t even open his mouth

“Hey baby,” Leah said as she came in. “Starting to cool off out there. I hope you didn’t start without me.”

“Just a little bit,” he heard it reply.

“Naughty,” Leah laughed. He could see her outlined in the dim light of the doorway. Cole could smell the lotion she always used, he could even faintly smell her sex. He tried struggling, wanting to make some kind of noise to warn her that wasn’t him in the bed. His body had completely quit obeying him, leaving him mute and paralyzed in the darkest corner of the tent.

“Come over here,” it said. The voice was still his, but the tone was changing; it was deeper, more guttural. Leah didn’t seem to even notice. She knelt down into the inky darkness and disappeared as she laid on the mat. He heard her sliding across the sheets, and then most disturbingly the sound of a kiss and then a giggle. Inside Cole was screaming, but his cock was betraying him, starting to stir as he listened. No! He didn’t want this! All he could do was squeeze his eyes shut, trying to block out the sounds somehow.

“I want to touch you,” the thing said. It didn’t sound like him at all anymore, Cole knew she had to notice now.

But she didn’t. Leah giggled again at whatever it was doing and then it changed into a long slow moan, “Ohh, that feels really nice.”

“You are so warm and wet. ”

“Cole, what’s wrong with your voice?”

It hardly sounded human anymore but Leah didn’t sound afraid at all.

“Shh,” the creature answered and the wet noises started again.

“Ooh, whatever you’re doing, I like it. Keep going!” she gasped

Cole heard her breathing get deeper and faster, making him insane with fear, jealousy and disturbingly, a growing lust. They were used to everyone around them constantly swapping beds to break up the monotony of long ship transits and survey missions. Crews got horny and bored, and the huge losses they all felt had somehow made everyone even more promiscuous. They’d gotten their fair share of invitations but neither of them had ever been interested. They had enough fun on their own.

But now? He wanted to scream, didn’t she know that wasn’t him? The fact that he was painfully erect didn’t help at all. He heard the rustling get faster. Leah began to make the little whimpering sounds that meant she was close. How could she not know? Cole squeezed his eyes shut but he couldn’t block out the noises as his wife orgasmed with a scream.

It seemed quiet after the shriek of pleasure, he could hear her panting slowing down. There was still that liquid noise of something moving in her wet sex.

“I want you to get on top and fuck the shit out of me,” she finally gasped.

There were sounds of movement. “Spread your legs wider,” it ordered.

Cole her the whisper of her spreading legs against the bed cover. There was a quiet grunt and then she whimpered with excitement. “Yes!”

“Wider!” it demanded.

“Oh god, yes. Fuck me,” she moaned.

Wanting to scream or cry, Cole gave up trying to ignore what was going on and opened his eyes. The second moon had come out, there was a dim glow from the roof of the tent that slowly got brighter. He could make them out; Leah had pulled her legs up to her chest, putting her arms behind her knees to spread herself wide while the many legged thing crouched over her.

“Wait…what is that?” she moaned. “Oh shit, what are you putting inside me?”

The creature made a noise that was almost a chuckle. “Do you like it?”

Leah sounded even more excited now. “Fuck yeah, keep going! Don’t you dare stop! Fuck!” she screamed as another orgasm hit her.

Cole could see her pushing up into its thrusts and her back arched as she came again.

“What was that? You… I still have something inside me.” Leah said, breathing hard after the intense orgasm.

Cole was dumbfounded. How did she not see the horror on top of her?

“Do you want more?” The voice asked. It had a hard edge now and a sibilant hiss.

“Yes,” she moaned. “It’s amazing.”

Cole couldn’t turn away, couldn’t close his eyes as Leah was turned on her stomach by all of those legs. She whimpered again, lifting her ass into the air.

Then he saw another shadow appear in the doorway. It was another one of them, looking down at him.

“And do you like that?” the voice asked again.

“Stop teasing,” she groaned. “Put it back in me.”

“Have you realized that I am not your mate?” it asked her.

“I don’t care, fuck me!”

Hearing that hurt Cole more than anything else could have.

Leah made a little yelp. “Oh, wait! That’s….”

Her voice turned into a low guttural moan that Cole knew well. She made that noise when he pushed into her ass. She grunted softly and rhythmically.
Cole looked back toward the mat, saw her pushing her ass back against it. She finally noticed him cocooned on the floor and smiled.

“Hello you. This feels so good,” she said, her voice thick with lust. “Why aren’t I scared? I know I should be. But it feels so good.”

The second one crouched over him, unwinding the sheet and letting Cole slide onto the floor. His arms and legs weren’t working but his cock stood up rigidly. The thing looked at it and then at his face while it rubbed its upper limbs over itself. This one looked different, larger than the first one and it had a slightly different shape. It extended something from its abdomen and began to lower itself, crouching down over him.

He thought it was a penis at first but saw it was thicker, like a long heavy tube. It pressed against his cock and then he slid inside of it. It was incredible, he’d never felt anything quite like this before. It was tighter than Leah, even tighter than her ass. There was a slippery warmth moving down over his cock and balls, something coming out of the creature. It was thick and sticky, like hot honey being poured over him. The thing made a sort of crooning noise as his entire cock was engulfed. Slowly it slid back up his cock, the warm fluid slowly oozed down over his balls.

Cole was felt the weakness in his limbs seeping away but it didn’t matter anymore. He was exactly where he wanted to be. He managed to lift his head slightly, watching as the muscular tube was pushed down over his cock again, widening it slightly. The creature made the noise again, it felt like her muscles were tightening around him, forcing him out. He was surprised in a distant sort of way; they didn’t have hips to thrust with. Instead the tube thing flexed and squirmed. His cock slid out of the end and he was fascinated to see the tube line back with his cock again. Prehensile sex organs? He gave up thinking about it as the tight slippery sheath pushed downwards again.

Leah was grunting and moaning, hardly sounding human herself anymore, just an animalistic fucking machine. Cole looked at her in a haze of lust. The thing was holding her in the air like a doll, pulling her onto its cock with short, brutal looking movements. Leah was pushing her ass up, her hands mauling her nipples. It began thrusting faster and he knew it was going to cum in her.

The sheath over his cock tightened and began to milk his cock in long spiraling waves of pressure. Cole gasped and looked back at the one crouched over him.

“That’s amazing,” he heard himself whisper.

The stroking sensation moved over the sensitive skin of his cock again and he felt the tingling in his chest. Cole began to gasp, trying to shove deeper inside. The sheath pressed down onto him and there was a sharp squeal that went higher and higher, hurting his ears until it was too high for him to hear. His stomach tightened and he managed to push up slightly, pushing into her as the cum erupted from him. The thing must have felt him cumming, it pulled itself up and then shoved back down on him several times before making the same sound again.

Then it was still, hovering over him. It caressed his face and he looked up at it. The sucking tube slid off his cock, leaving the thick gooey substance from his bellybutton to his thighs. The face was softer looking, not all harsh angles like the one still brutally fucking his wife. This one felt different, gentler somehow. Thin arms with tiny hands reached out from under it and stroked his cock lightly. It felt like mild shocks, but it went deeper, tickling the pit of his stomach before the tingling moved into his chest. His cock had begun to soften but as he watched it twitched and began to stiffen again, twitching with his heartbeat.

The larger one got off of him and went to the bed, watching as the smaller one shuddered, pulling Leah against it, holding her tightly as it inseminated her. Leah just gasped, occasionally twitching with small orgasms as it filled her. The creatures chittered at each other for several moments until the male let go of her. Leah slumped down to the bed, whimpering softly. She didn’t notice that the creatures were trading places. The female extended the thick tube again, pressing it between Leah’s legs.

“Again?” Leah whimpered. Then she moaned, begging to be fucked again.

The male came over and looked down at him.

“My breed-mate is correct, two chances are better than only one,” it rasped at him before picking Cole up and turning him onto his stomach.

“What are you doing?” Cole mumbled.

“Be still,” it said and he felt a distant horror as its cock slid between his thighs and over his balls. It felt like the males had prehensile sex organs as well. Then it was Cole’s turn to grunt as the thing found his asshole and pushed its way into him.

On the bed, the female held Leah, staying still as the tube slowly moved inside of her. Leah was quieter now, simply whimpering and moaning from the gentle fucking the female seemed to be giving her, but Cole was finding it harder to pay attention. The long smooth length of the creature’s well lubricated penis probed inside of his rectum. It was humiliating and it was starting to feel very good. It picked him up, holding him in the air as its thrusting went deeper and faster.

The other one finished with Leah and left her on the bed, dazed and still whimpering quietly. It watched her mate fuck Cole and there were high pitched noises at the edge of his hearing as they talked to each other. Then Cole felt the penis jerk several times and something hot squirted out deep inside of him. After a moment, it let go of him, the creature’s penis sliding out of him as it let go. The larger one pushed it aside, picking Cole back up. It was definitely more gentle with him, supporting his body instead of imprisoning him.

Cole knew what was coming and tensed, but she caressed him, saying something he didn’t understand. The tiny shocks moved through him again, relaxing him. He felt her press against his ass but didn’t feel anything but desire, a longing for her to fuck him. His anus had loosened enough that she slid into him, helped along by the thick, warm, excretions. Cole couldn’t help but moan as it caressed his prostate.

(Your pleasure is good. It will help)

He didn’t hear the voice really, it just sort of arrived in his brain. How was it doing that?

(The same way we can hold you quiet and make you feel desire. We’ve been watching, studying you.)

“Why?” Cole mumbled.

(Shh. It won’t be long; my eggs are coming now.)

Cole jerked in fear, remembering watching nature documentaries as a child. There was a wasp that laid its eggs inside of a caterpillar. Later the larvae would hatch, eating the host from the inside out.

(What a terrible thing to think about my children!)There was a definite sense of amusement that anyone was that dumb. (And that is not how they feed.)

She made the cooing noise as the ovipositor began to pulse. Cole moaned as it thickened and pulsed, pressing against the prostate again as the eggs began to be deposited deep inside of him.

(It’s nice for both of us, isn’t it? Yes, clench around me like that. So tight!)

The voice was growing urgent and excited. Cole tried to push back, to get more of it and suddenly found that she was helping him, sliding him closer to her. He shoved back, moaning and squeezing as more of the tube slid into him, a thickness pressing his asshole wide before mashing his prostate again.

(Soft, tight, pretty little toy!)

Her legs wrapped around him, holding him tightly as the ovipositor pushed even further, spreading him open as it thickened again. Cole groaned loudly, the pressure triggering another orgasm of his own. His sperm spattered onto the floor while the thing above him held itself rigidly. The ovipositor thickened again, and he felt another wave of pressure inside of him. Finally, the constricting legs relaxed, lowering him to the floor. It caressed his back gently soothing him as it withdrew. There was another tingling sensation as it withdrew from his ass.

(Now you must listen carefully little toy. We are both in you, the eggs are fertilized and my young are already being born. They will feed on nutrients in your waste. We have examined you, it will be well. I’ll return when it’s time for them to leave you. Until then, I’ve sealed them inside of you.)

Again Cole had a sense of terror, the horror of being eaten alive from the inside. In return there was the sudden image of something vaguely like a monkey, evil little faces with blood stained canines. They were breaking open an egg case and were stuffing themselves with the embryos.

(You see? No race is without its memories of horror. Only a mindless beast would condemn another to that sort of fate. We are neither vicious nor beasts. You may even find pleasure.)

She gently picked Cole up, caressing his body before arranging him beside Leah who sighed and squirmed against him. The Other stroked both of their faces for a moment.

(Peace, little tathinni. You won’t be harmed and I will return.)

It stood up, it’s face revealed in the moonlight. Cole realized then how beautiful it was. Leah must have felt the same way, sighing and rubbing her face against its touch. It made a soft chirping noise at them and then the creatures were gone.

Slowly Cole and Leah regained the use of their arms and legs. The worst part of it was the uncomfortable pins and needles tingling, but that was soon gone. In its place there was an overwhelming lust. Almost unable to control themselves, they kissed as their hands moved over their bodies. Cole kissed Leah’s face, ears, neck and nipples, making his way between her thighs. She was soaking wet and he began to lick her. Leah sighed happily, tangling her fingers in his hair.

“Weren’t they beautiful?” she whispered. “Perfect and beautiful. She talked to me when she was inside of me. I love you, but I just couldn’t stop myself. I didn’t want to stop. And I liked knowing you were watching me.”

Cole spread her sex, licking her and pushing his tongue inside. Just below her lips he could feel something new. It was a rubbery substance, almost like silicone covering the area around her sphincter. As he explored it with his fingers she grabbed his hair, pulling his mouth tighter against her.

“What are you doing to me?” she moaned, breathing hard.

He pressed against it gently and she arched her back as she screamed. Her cum flooded his mouth and he swallowed, licked, and stroked her through several more orgasms until she breathlessly begged him to stop.

Cole smiled as he rolled onto his back, leaving her panting and covered with sweat.

“That was incredible,” Leah finally gasped.

She turned and covered his face with kisses. Where she got the energy he didn’t know, but her hands quickly found his cock and stroked it gently. Amazingly, after coming twice, he was already hard again and eager for her touch.

“Let me show you what that felt like,” she said. She kissed a trail down his body and began to lick the length of him while her fingers explored. There was a soft pressure between his cheeks and it felt like the creature was giving him those shocks again. A trembling, an agonizing ecstasy raced from the pit of his stomach and into his chest and neck before erupting into his mind. He grabbed her head, pushing her mouth lower as his hips pressed upward, pushing as much of his cock as he could into her mouth. Leah let him into her throat and pushed firmly against his ass. The sparks grew into an overwhelming, indescribable ecstasy that overwhelmed his mind. Leah moaned as she felt him shudder, feeling the last of his cum slide down her throat.

When Cole opened his eyes, Leah was stretched out beside him, her body half lying on his. “I wonder what it’ll be like,” she whispered.

Cole thought about the voice in his head, remembered the affection, even love, he’d felt from the creature. She wouldn’t let them be harmed, they were carrying her young and she loved them.

“I think it’ll be okay. Whatever happens, we’re together, like always.”

“It’s you and me until the stars die,” she said sleepily and then chuckled.

“What?”

“Next time, I’m making them take us to dinner first.”

He laughed, wrapping his arms around her. Soon they were asleep, utterly exhausted.

|4.0
The next morning, they slowly woke up, wrapped around each other. Leah was half awake, teasing Cole’s nipple with her fingernail. He woke up, already erect. Leah rolled on top and straddled him.

“I love you,” she whispered as she slipped him inside of her.

When she finally emerged from the tent, Leah stretched and worked the kinks out of her back. A real bed or real water, why were they so mutually exclusive? Maybe she was getting too old for this. She smiled at the thought and rolled her head, loosening her neck. She froze as she looked up.

One of the creatures from last night was curled in some low branches a few meters overhead.

“Hello?” she called up.

It looked down at her and unfolded itself, swinging easily to the trunk of the tree to climb down. She’d thought of them as spiders last night, but it wasn’t really very spider-like at all. While there were eight limbs, they weren’t the same. Four of them, thick with muscle, were used to gracefully climb down. They ended in thick pads, almost like a camel’s foot and joined to the torso with massive shoulders midway along the long torso. Between them there was another pair of heavy duty limbs that folded above the back. Instead of pads, these ended in large hands. She saw there were seven fingers, including an opposable thumb on either side of the palm. Leah was immediately jealous; the things she could do with hands like that!

The creature dropped the last few meters, landing gracefully on the four carrying legs. The creature had human looking shoulders supporting another pair of arms. These were comparable in size to human arms and ended in smaller versions of the seven fingered hand. She watched the creature move and decided it was the female, which was a little bit of a relief. The male had been fun but part of that had been the menace of him. She didn’t want to feel that again.

It stopped a few feet away from her. The head was human sized, placed on a long graceful neck. She had very large eyes that were matte black and as Leah watched, eyelids flickered over them from the sides. The face was triangular and reminded her of one of the elfin looking Xero’pah, with the addition of a longitudinal ridge running from the top of the head, between the eyes and down below the mouth. It widened, giving the creature a small chin. The mouth opening was roughly square and lipless, and she didn’t appear to have a jaw. Instead there was a shutter like structure on the inside of the mouth. She swiveled her head to look around their small clearing and Leah saw that the ridge continued down the back of the head, almost like a fin. It branched out into what looked like a series of quills that ran down her neck and disappeared into the complicated folds of fabric she had belted around her. The entire body looked like it was covered in short fur, almost like the plush of a stuffed animal. Leah remembered what it had felt like, sliding over her skin and shivered. The creature’s head bobbed gracefully as it studied her again, almost looking like it was a balloon floating on a string. There was something like military web gear over the clothing.

Definitely tech users, Leah thought.

Cole came out of the tent behind her, wearing just a pair shorts. He stopped short when he saw the creature.

“Okay. Uhm, good morning. Leah, I think she communicated through physical contact.”

“Males are better at your speech,” it said in a low, sibilant voice. “But it is possible. Females prefer to talk through touch. More intimate. Are you well?”

“Yes,” Leah said.

Cole nodded as he came to stand beside her but the Other stared at him. “Oh, that is a head motion indicating agreement.”

“This is a good thing. I returned, I must speak to you.”

“We’re happy you did,” Leah said.

She blinked twice and there was a soft rattling noise from her throat.

“An apology, that is our sound indicating surprise,” she said after a moment. “There is much I must say.”

“Would it be easier to talk with us if we were touching?” Cole said.

The blink and rattle again. “You would allow this.”

Leah smiled. “It seems like a small enough thing after last night. I think that we should communicate as efficiently as possible right now. We eat after waking up and I’m hungry. Would you mind if I ate first?”

“I would not.”

“Can I offer you anything? I don’t know if we are compatible in foods.”

“You are generous but I ate not long ago. I will not need food.”

Cole got out some One-Day food bars and dried fruit and they sat on the ground eating. The stranger folded her legs under her body and waited. Cole and Leah shared a water bottle which seemed to surprise her.

“Thank you for waiting,” Leah finally said. “When we are touching again will there be the same urgent sexual feelings?”

“You should not. I am not certain; we have not had much experience speaking with you this way.”

Cole and Leah looked at each other and shrugged. They scooted across the ground until they were close to the Other. She slowly unfolded the heavy top arms, obviously being careful not to alarm them. She put the large hands flat on the ground and carefully slid them under their legs. The short, soft fur covered the back of the hands and Leah smiled. It felt nice.

(Thank you, your smooth skin feels just as nice. Hello. Obviously we are not made to communicate the same way your people do. Much of our speech is higher than you are able to hear, though some is lower. Among ourselves, odor and touch are also used.)

“How did you learn our language?” Cole asked.

(We saw some of you a season ago, near this place. These ones were not well; they were unable to move and suffering much. A pack of males found them but they were very ill and soon went beyond. Before they did, one of them gave the pack a flat thing that spoke and taught the pack your language. It was decided that the knowledge was important and the males came and spread the knowledge among us. Please understand that their deaths were not the fault of the hunting pack. They did what they could but did not understand your bodies well enough.)

“Thank you for trying,” Cole said. “We know that your people are not to blame. The sickness came from the place where my people have been staying. I am very relieved it did not pass on to you.”

(Oh, no. We’d never allow that. We did not know the ways of your people and honored their bodies the way we do our own. It is not a subject we easily talk about, but I will answer whatever questions you have.)

“Thank you for taking care of them,” Leah said, wiping her eyes. “It was assumed their bodies were lost to the forest. We do not need to know the details, we are happy you put them to rest.”

(You are welcome. Passing beyond is not something we speak of easily. This is how we came to learn your speech. We were aware of your people as soon as you fell here. My people have been watching yours from the trees. We have been very curious about you.)

“No one realized that your people were here, we would have left you in peace had we known.”

There was a sense of confusion. (As you say. I do not understand where you came from but there are things I must say to you now. About what happened here.)

“That would be good,” Leah said. “I think there is much we have to tell each other.”

They felt a sense of sorrow and shame from her. (Yes. What happened here was wrong, out of balance. I knew this soon after and came back to put things back in balance.)

Leah put her hand on top of the Other’s. “I’m sorry, we usually trade our names when we meet. If you’re comfortable with that, I don’t want to be rude.”

(I heard of your naming. Among us there is no need to ask, our scent is… I know of no way to say it. This is my name.)
There was a fragrance, a sweetness with something like wood smoke underneath. It was impossible to describe beyond that, but beautiful.

“Wow, that’s wonderful. My name is Leah; my mate is Cole.”

(Then if it is allowed, you should choose a name to represent me. I have not heard the word spider. It is not a good thing?)

“It is a many legged hunter from our home. It’s usually tiny but they frighten many people. But you are far more beautiful,” Cole said. “Would the word Lakshmi suit you?”

“She was a many armed goddesses from the stories of our world,” Leah said.

(Lakshmi. Yes, it is a nice sound.)

Cole put his hand on hers. “We’re very pleased to meet you, Lakshmi. You said there were things that must be said.”

(There are, I was in a rush to say them. What I must tell you is that what I did, my mate and I, was terrible, far out of the balance. My people will be alarmed. It was not decided whether or not we should meet you. You are obviously more than simple tathinni, it was a bad thing to treat you that way. I will remove the young from you and there will be no harm done to you.)

“But to them?” Cole asked.

(They are like tiny seeds; they will not grow.)

“Before we discuss that, I have a question,” Leah said, “Why did you come to us last night? There must have been a reason you would take that chance.”

Now there was embarrassment. (Here there are the opening of many words to say and we would be here a season saying them all. Using very few I will say that our reproductive system runs in cycles. Your own does as well I have heard, when you are fertile. The mate and I were in our breeding time. We ran and hunted together and it was good. We agreed that we would mate. We were looking for a suitable place and saw you. When we are ready to mate…it is like a strong fever or madness…the urge to make young…)

Leah laughed. “I have the same feeling sometimes.”

(For us, your people resemble…hmm. There are many words here. I will try to explain. You are able to reproduce in pairs and the female carries the young. it is very different for us. We became…like ourselves? Like we are now as partners with another type of creature.)

Cole and Leah got a mental picture of the simian she’d shown Cole last night. This one didn’t look as murderous.

(We saw their needs, protected them. In return they carried our young. I see the word symbiont in your mind? Yes, that is the word. Long ago there was a sort of sickness among them and they were driven insane. Some began to attack us, to attack the ones who carried our young. It was a very dark time, but we finally drove them away from us. Those were the tathinni and when they were gone, we had no easy way to care for our very young ones. We eventually found other ways, none work all the time, but some survive. That is part of our past. In the present, my mate and I were together, each examining the strengths of the other. Near the end of our hunt, we crossed over the place where you were resting. We saw Leah washing in the water and realized how much she resembled tathinni. We knew enough from your tablet to know that it might work and the breeding fevers were high…) Again there was a deep sense of shame and embarrassment. (I have departed the Path and am far from it)

“Shh,” Leah said. “I feel your sorrow and I forgive you.”

Instead of saying anything Cole tried to ‘feel’ back at Lakshmi: (forgiveness, kindness)

Leah squeaked, her eyes wide and there was a sharp citrus odor in the air. The quills along Lakshmi’s neck and back stood on end.

“Sorry!” Cole said. “I didn’t know if that would work.”

“Baby, if I wasn’t already madly in love with you, I would’ve been after that,” Leah said in a shaky voice. She took a deep breath and laughed, fanning her face.

(It was strong…loud is the word? It traveled through me to Leah before I could stop it. This is a new thing; we were not aware we could speak outside ourselves. There are no memories of anyone being able to speak to tathinni. Nudges or hints, their minds were very small. Since yours are not, I suppose we may speak. I thank you both for your forgiveness.)

“I forgive you, but I am very concerned about this,” Leah said. “To touch in the way we mate among ourselves, is an important thing for us. For that to happen without permission is a very serious thing for us, very far out of balance. Those who take another against their will are not tolerated. I know that your intent was not evil and that this was a mistake. But you must know, and tell anyone else in their breeding time that this must never happen again. Not with any of us.”

(Yes, it is a thing deeply out of balance and I deeply regret it. It will never happen again. I am young and often foolish but it does not excuse this thing I have done)

Leah nodded. “Thank you. As for never happening again, well, the damage is done and it was not completely a bad thing…”

“Hold on,” Cole said. “I know that your intent was not evil, that this was a mistake. What about your mate? He had a sense of menace that you did not, of ambush and cruelty. Will he understand or do we need to worry for our safety now?”

(I do not know everything about the males, beyond breeding fever we do not mix easily. I know that they are hostile among themselves as the fever comes. I know that this is left over from our earliest days. Please know that he never would have been allowed to harm you. You were both male and he saw you as his competition but they are not like this normally. They…sing to trees? No, there are not words for this. If you were to see him today he would be quite different.

The mating fever was gone once we had finished with you and we realized the terrible thing we had done. He is full of horror and sadness and travels to his…group? He will warn them to avoid your kind during the fever. It just that you looked so much like… But word spreads quickly among us, my people are civilized. But I wonder about myself now. This was all badly done and I will try to find the path once more)

“Baby, I’m not defending what they did. We know that there were deeper forces at work here than just rushed decision making. If they co-evolved with a symbiote…”

Cole nodded. “I know, wrong place and wrong time. Wrong body form too.”

“Or the right one.” Leah laughed. “It won’t be a problem for long anyway. Lakshmi, how long do your young stay in us?”

(Twelve days, perhaps fourteen. But I will take them out of you today)

“Not so long then. My people will be leaving here not long after that, you don’t need to worry about any more mistakes.”

There was a feeling of sorrow and confusion. (I have chased your people from your homes with my foolish choice)

“Oh, no,” Leah said quickly. “It has nothing to do with what happened here. My people have very strict rules about where we can live. The ones that first saw this place did not see your people, I think because of the trees. But we will never take living space from others.”

(This is a great confusion for all of us. Will you tell me where you came from? Some think you are from the other side of the ocean but others say that you come from the sky. We see you falling down sometimes. We are amazed that you are not broken to pieces from falling that far)

“I guess the sky is the best answer,” Cole said. “But behind the sky, above that if it makes any sense.”

There was a gentle laugh and Cole and Leah smiled at each other. (No sense at all. Why are you looking for a new place to live? Did you fall down because of a sickness among you?)

“Dear Merciful Ones,” Leah said and scooted away from her arm. “It is a very painful thing for us to speak of, our feelings are very strong and it is difficult to control them.”

Cole nodded, standing up. Lakshmi trilled like a bird and held up her hands.
“Please, stop,” she rasped. “I can sense the deep sadness in you. I am prepared for it and will not let it pass through me. I am warned, I can share your sadness.”

Leah looked at Cole. “Can we do that to her? I mean, they don’t know what happened, I don’t want to give them that burden.”

“We are grown, face our own path,” Lakshmi said. Her stilted clumsy speech sounded reproachful. “We are not like feeble ones to be put in a nest and protected.”

Cole smiled. “I think one of our people would say ‘Stop treating me like a baby.'”

“A young one? That is not how they grow. But I understand and agree.”

“This really sucks,” Leah said, sitting back down. “Far out of balance. Come on, Cole.”

(Balance is rarely achieved; it can only be searched for) Lakshmi told them when she had put her hands on them again.

“Hmm, seems like Buddha got offworld? Never mind, it’s a bad joke. This story starts deep in our past. Our ancestors were put on our world to make a place to live. This was so long ago that we forgot that we had ever been beyond the sky. When we were found by our…sisters and brothers? Others like us and we were found by an ancient enemy as well. They were still fighting, thinking we were the same as our ancestors. It didn’t matter to them that none of us remembered the fight. They destroyed our home and nearly all of our people. That is why we look for new places to live.”

Before she could stop, Leah was remembering Earth, how it had looked from space. A sunset over the Pacific, their honeymoon at the Grand Canyon, the forests of her home…

The sharp citrus smell was in her nose and she tried to clear her mind. “I’m sorry, that smell means you’re upset?”

(Very surprised is better. I wondered what was beyond the sky, you have shown me part of that. But Leah, you must not let your people leave yet. I must take word of this to older ones than I. We already knew there is much we can teach each other; we just didn’t know how to meet you. But more importantly, it is a great imbalance for us to chase away wounded things, to leave the Path forever. To protect and heal them is balance we bring to the world. Do not make me guilty of this thing, I beg.

Tell your people that you take nothing from us, we loathe the open places on the ground. One of the many things that confuses us is why your people stayed in the open, like they were afraid of the forest. More than this I should not say, this is talk for older and wiser ones than I am. I will go to our Elders when we have finished, yes? They must talk to you before you flee)

“Cole? Is that allowed?”

“Officially there are no exceptions. But remember how Bernie broke almost every major regulation interfering in the Gyr’r jazz and blues war?”

“They are allies and obsessed over our music,” Leah told Lakshmi. “There were going to start killing each other over the difference between two kinds. Our Elders decided it was a pointless thing and intervened with a third kind of music.”

“She told me that rules are our servants, never the opposite. It’s a good point, but we can’t handle the work of a First Contact Team alone. We’ll need our own wise ones.”

Leah thought about some of the epic FCT parties. “Well, they are trained to speak with other people on our behalf anyway. Many of them are already coming here.”

(This is a very good thing. I think our people would do much good for each other. First I will remove the young to repair the damage done. It is no way to introduce our people)

Cole and Leah looked at each other. They’d been together long enough that they didn’t need to speak. After a second Cole nodded.

“First of all, there was no damage that will not heal in time. I can’t speak for my husband but I enjoyed last night.”

(But we influenced your feelings when we touched you, made you feel…)

“Made me feel really good. How long do the effects of that kind of touch last?”

(We must touch you and concentrate at the same time. Your…I do not have the words. You are familiar but very different at the same time. It is not an easy thing to do)

“But Lakshmi, I enjoyed thinking about it after you had left.”

Cole nodded. “We both did. You can tell what we’re feeling, look and see.”

After a few seconds there was a feeling of awe. (You are quite remarkable, much stronger than you look)

Leah laughed. “Yeah, us humans get that a lot. As for the babies, well, it’s been a rough few years for me and I’d like to help bring some more life into the universe. What do you think, Cole?”

“Helping bring your young into the world isn’t a bad way to start a relationship between our races. I’m in.”

Lakshmi was silent, they could feel how stunned she was. (You would really do this)

Leah ran her hand gently over Lakshmi’s “You can see it, can’t you?”

There was a leap of joy from the Other. (I have no words)

“We have to wait to tell anyone until the babies come,” Cole said. “Between the way we met and the fears you saw in my head last night, well, our people would have some serious issues to deal with. Those fears are common for us.”

“Males don’t carry babies, it would be very difficult for most of our men to understand Cole’s decision. He’s right. But it’s not very long to keep a secret.”

(Not very long. I am full of wonder at you both. There are many things to be said in the future. For now I will say that you coming here may bring a balance to my people we did not even know we lacked. The fact that there are other minds to speak with! Will you tell me more about what is behind the sky?)

|5.0
They had left Lakshmi a few days ago after making plans how and when to meet again. Leah thought it was kind of funny; an amazing encounter like that, something that could change the course of an entire civilization, and now here she was, setting up cloud scanners again. Like nothing had changed at all. They had discussed heading straight back but it would have caused a lot of questions, and at the end of the day, the work had to be done. Not that the colony would ever expand into the forest, but they had a job to do.

In spite of Lakshmi’s assurances, they both kept careful track of how they felt. So far, everything was good. Leah fell off her chair laughing one morning when Cole announced he liked not having to find a tree to lean against for his morning dump. The other big change was how much more affectionate they were. They had been close before but now things were more like they’d been when they had been dating. Neither could wait to meet back up at the end of the day and when they weren’t making love, they were sitting closely, just enjoying the feeling of touching each other. It might have been a little unusual but they were enjoying it. Cole figured the fear he’d felt for her that night had made him realize what she meant to him. True to form, Leah didn’t think much about it, just enjoyed the snuggling and kissing.

They were eating breakfast one morning and Leah yawned. “Man, crazy dreams all night long again. I’ve been having the same ones over and over for the last couple of nights. Wherever I go, there’s a bunch of singing birds around me. Maybe I’m thinking about the little folk or something.”

Cole looked up, “Wait, you’re having those too? Except it’s fireflies carrying tiny bells for me. Did you try talking to them yet?”

“Oh my God, you think that’s real? Did you try? Did they answer?”

“Just a vague awareness is all I remember. They’d have to be very small which means their brains can’t have developed much.”

“It makes sense though, if adults are able to access our nervous system they’re doing a minor version of the same thing. Wow, that makes me feel even more protective of the little buggers.”

“I’ve been wondering if that’s really us or a product of the implantation.”

“Does it matter?” Leah said. “I’m the mom right now and I say nothing is going to happen to them.”

“I know, gorgeous,” Cole said, hugging her. “Just scientific curiosity.”

“Speaking of curiosity, have you thought about the likelihood of this? What do you think the chances are that we’re compatible chemically on any level? Not to mention we’re the same shape as their symbionts? Or that they can access our nervous system? Or that we’re roughly the same ethically? How many non-Colonial races can even eat the same thing as we do?”

Cole nodded. “Your theory is popping up again.”

“Not just my theory, a lot of xenobiologists think there is something more to all of this. We know the old Imperials tinkered with genes.”

“On themselves, just adapting to different worlds.”

“We don’t know if that’s all they did. It points to a certain urge to play god, that’s for sure. Just think about the way evolution works, work out the odds of just this one planet and Earth being compatible. Tell me how many rolls of the dice that would take.”

“If they’d been able to engineer an entire planet I think they would’ve been able to conquer most of the galaxy, not just a few hundred worlds.”

“My love, if they were able to do something on a planetary scale, I don’t think they would’ve been interesting in conquering the galaxy. Remember that no one knows where the Imperials came from, no one will admit to knowing where their homeworld is. And no one knows where they went or why. The Xero’pah remember them best and I asked Daylon Verh what they thought about everything. He actually smiled and told me that the question makes them itch all over.”

Cole laughed at the thought of one the dignified and enigmatic “elves” abandoning decorum and itching furiously.

“I was shocked he even joked about it. There’s an awful lot of coincidences in the galaxy, too many in fact.”

“Curiouser and curiouser.”

She squeezed his ass. “Speaking of which, I’ve got some curiosity of my own.”

“Oh yeah? Anything I can help with?”

“Well, I have an experiment in mind. If you were to strip down and climb up on that log, do you think it’s possible for me to sit on your lap and get your cock inside me?”

“Well, in the interests of experimentation…” Cole had said, pulling his shirt over his head.

A few days after that, they were at the edge of the forest. Leah sighed as they went around the last of the giant trees. “Finally.”

The cluster of geodesics was finally visible, two kilometers away and a hundred meters lower, spread out across an ancient river terrace.

“Leah, we need to sit down and talk before we head in.”

“I know, my love, it’s just the promise of a soft chair and a cold beer. How’s the mule holding up?”

Cole looked behind them. The six legged machine trundled over a root stopped, flexing the last two legs before whirring back into motion. He’d only caught up to her an hour ago, the mule had been getting worse by the day and had ground to a halt last night. She’d gone ahead, working back and forth while Cole did what he could with the ailing robot. Leah was grateful that he was a genius with hardware, she didn’t have the patience for it.

“Still going, but he’s gonna need to get the bearings switched out on those back legs, wouldn’t hurt to put some new actuators all around.”

She nodded, leaning carefully back against the side of an exposed root.

“How’s your bottom?” he asked, getting water bottles off the mule.

“It doesn’t hurt or anything, just really aware of it today.”

Before they’d evacuated Echo-Alpha, also known as Almaro, New Mexico, she’d been reading an article about the reactions of the world to the sudden news that humans were not alone in the universe. It had used the phrase ‘the new normal’ and that’s what this had turned into. Things were radically different, you could lose your shit or just get on with life. They’d been implanted with alien eggs that were growing inside of them, fine. At the moment Leah was more worried about the damn robot.

In the last couple of days, they’d started having a lot more sex. In the mornings, before bed, and today when they’d met up for lunch. She wasn’t complaining, she loved the surprise when Cole had grabbed her from behind, his hands going under her shirt while he kissed her neck. She moaned and gasped, pulling enough of their clothes down and out of the way to get him inside of her, holding onto the mule as he fucked her from behind.

They learned fast to be very careful of the plugs Lakshmi had left in them. They couldn’t figure out the exact mechanism but the logic of it made sense; if you wanted a furry little critter to leave something alone, make something that’s distracts them completely every time they got curious. Even with their bigger human brains, the plugs had the same effect. They’d taken advantage of it, using the intense sensations to drive each other to higher levels of desire and orgasm. But they had to be careful. Leah had stopped for lunch and was waiting for Cole. She’d forgotten and sat down on a log without thinking about it. When Cole caught up, she’d had her pants pulled down and two fingers sawing in and out of her cunt frantically. They hadn’t bothered to try and get any further that day and it had turned into a very fun evening but they were both a lot more careful after that.
And the new normal meant they had more than themselves to worry about, so even though the colony was in sight, they decided to make camp one more night. They set up the dome and used the water they’d been saving to rinse the chemical smell off their skins. Neither of them bothered to dress again and they lounged on the bed inside, enjoying the early stop.

“Before we get too into this let’s talk,” Leah said, taking a deep breath as Cole kissed down her shoulder. “You can do that all you like later though.”

“Oh good,” Cole said, laying back and she leaned back against him, his arm wrapped around her.

“You’re right, in spite of good intentions, Owen would lose his shit about this if he found out,” Leah said. “We already know not to go anywhere near medical, but we should have more of a plan than that.”

“I don’t think we’ll need medical anyway, I haven’t felt this good in a long time,” he said. “We don’t need much resupply at all, food and I want to replace some parts on the mules. You do your data dump, we grab a hot shower and a few cold beers and we beat feet out of there.”

“But we’re supposed to take a full four days off. The admin SI will notice if we head out too early. And I’ve got to talk to their network people about getting better links, these trees play hell with signal and I’m getting tired of answering queries all evening. Be nice to get the helo-bots working as well.”

“We could say we want to head back out there and camp for our time off but four days is probably okay, as long as we meet Lakshmi in time for the birthing.”

“We’ve got to be so careful Cole; we’re breaking about every rule I can think of about contacting a sentient species. If anyone finds out we’ll be lucky to ever get off of Hub again.”

“To me it’s a little hiccup, we’re reporting it as soon as the babies are safe. In the meantime, I’ll file a time stamped confidential report with the Diaspora office. Kayleigh will understand protecting children of friends better than anyone.”

“So what’s our plan then?”

“Just act natural.”

Leah laughed. “Always foolproof. Now, about the stiffness that’s pressing against my back.”

“Sorry ma’am.”

“No, no, that’s fine. Could you scoot down a little though?”

“Like this?”

“Uh huh,” Leah said, reaching between her legs and arranging his cock so that it rested against her lips. “That’s awfully nice.”

“It is. We should be careful of chafing though,” Cole said, slowly pushing his cock back and forth along the length of her lips.

“We should?” Leah said, her breathing getting faster. “What do you suggest?”

“Well, if I move my hips like this, I slide against your ass too.”

“Baby, you’re sliding right over it, oh fuck! Yes!” Leah moaned. “That thing is making me want your cock up my ass so bad. Tell me you’ll fuck my ass when we’re done.”

“I’d love to fuck this tight little ass,” Cole said, changing the angle to push against the plug a little more for emphasis. He reached over her hip but her hands were already between her legs. He began to play with her nipple instead.

“Harder, twist it harder,” Leah demanded, shoving back against him. “Oh this is so good, you’re making me cum, keep going,” she panted and Cole felt his cock get wetter and wetter as she came on him.

Cole let go of her tit and went back to kissing her neck and shoulder as she caught her breath.

“See? Now everything is nice and slippery.”
Leah laughed, reaching back to touch his face. “Is it really weird for you, having something in your ass?”

He shrugged. “It’s different, but you know, getting ass-fucked by a couple giant spiders puts the whole thing into perspective.”

“You’re getting broader horizons. A couple of times I wondered about using a finger or two when I was sucking you off.”

“I think that would be lovely,” he said and traced the edge of her ear with the tip of his tongue.

Leah shivered. “Did you like it? Getting fucked like that?” she whispered.

“Nerve wracking at first but it got better fast. Then Lakshmi made it feel really good.”

“She does, doesn’t she? I thought about that, what it would be like watching you get fucked.” Leah’s breathing was getting faster again. “I got really hot, would you let her do it again?”

“Would you like that?” He slid lower, putting the head of his cock against her lips.

“I want to watch her make you squirm…oh fuck, right there!” She pushed back and they both moaned as he slid inside of her. “Now fuck me nice and hard, my love.”

|6.0
Cole had finished work on the mule this morning while Leah had her meeting with the colony’s last network tech. He was sketching a brigantine under full sail heading into the sunset. Two days from now they’d be heading back to Lakshmi. He was a little anxious and this was the best way to empty his head.

“Hello, wife,” Cole said, putting his pencil down as Leah came through the door and locked it behind her. “How did it go?”

“Please put down whatever you’re doing and fuck me right now,” Leah said, pulling her shirt over her head.

Cole got up and stretched as she pulled her shorts off. She yanked his shirt off before and slid her hand in his shorts, squeezing his cock. She moaned, grinding her panty covered sex against his thigh as he unbuckled his belt.

“Wow,” Cole said, stroking a nipple. Just that was enough to set her off and she ground against him harder as she came, panting in his ear.

“I am going to fuck your doors off,” she whispered and licked the edge of his ear.

She pulled him over to the bed, falling into it and pulling him in on top of her. She yanked her panties out of the way and guided his cock inside of her.

“Holy shit, that feels so good, I’m gonna cum again,” she gasped and pulled his hips down as she thrust up, her stomach clenching as another orgasm raced through her.

She went limp and Cole started to move but she grabbed his hips again, keeping him in place as she squeezed herself on his cock rhythmically.

“You stay right there.”

“Yes ma’am. Not that I’m complaining, but what was that?”

She giggled. “That was me forgetting not to be careful about sitting down.”

“Oops.”

“Yeah, I was being careful and then shifted without thinking about it. One little move and zowie.”

“That happened to me after you fell asleep last night.”

“I wondered why you were lying next to me masturbating,” Leah said and laughed.

“You were awake?”

“I liked listening,” she said. “It was hot. That’s why you got a blowjob for breakfast.”

He ground his hips into hers and she gasped and started laughing again.

“You’re going to kill me doing that.”

“So what happened today?”

She looked a little nervous. “Do you really want to hear?”

“From the look on your face it must have been interesting.”

Leah wrapped her legs around his waist. “Just remember that I’m not exactly in my right mind?”

Cole nodded, even more curious now.

“I went to meet the tech guy, Gavin. He wasn’t in his office and I had to go find him. He’d forgotten of course, everyone’s firmly on colony time around here. I found him working on one of the arrays next to that park, so we ended up meeting there. The only thing to sit on are those thermoplast benches but I sat down carefully and all was well.”

“I don’t think I met Gavin.”

“Yeah, he’s that big guy, probably full two meters tall with arms about as thick as my legs.”

“Okay, yeah. I know who you’re talking about.”

“We were talking about a relay design that would boost signals when I leaned forward to see what he’d laid out on his tablet. Boom, right onto the plug.”

Cole laughed. “Uh oh.”

“I jumped up and the poor guy thought something had bitten me! He was looking all over to see what was wrong, I said something about a leg cramp and stayed standing up for the rest of the meeting.”

“How bad was it?”

“After the first shock I didn’t think it was that bad. Then I realized he was looking down my shirt as I was leaning over looking at his tablet. When he wasn’t looking, I undid a couple of buttons so he could get a better view. And it just got stronger after that.”

She was breathing faster and he could feel her getting wetter.

“Did he notice?”

She bit her lower lip. “Oh yeah, he wasn’t shy about looking either. I wished I hadn’t worn a bra. I wanted to just show him my tits but I doubt he would have been impressed. His girlfriend is that assistant of Owen’s. She’s stacked.”

“Hush, your tits are perfect and you know it.”

“Well, we figured out a plan to get the signals boosted up. I didn’t want to risk sitting down again so I was walking back and forth. He knew something was up, he wasn’t shy about checking me out. He grew a nice big bulge in his shorts and I don’t think he was wearing underwear. It was outlined perfectly. I started thinking about asking him to find a deserted place in the park, I wanted to fuck that big cock really, really bad.”

Cole felt a strange thrill at her confession. “What stopped you?”

“It was the plug. I didn’t want any questions about it. But if it hadn’t been there I think I would’ve done it. I know he would’ve done it, too. We went back to figuring out the technical specs but I could hardly pay attention. I was too busy fantasizing about him pulling that big cock out. I wanted it inside of me so bad. I’m sorry baby, but I needed a fuck and I didn’t want to wait.”

Hearing his wife talk like this was really turning Cole on. “You would’ve fucked him just like that?”

Leah moaned, squeezing his cock with her cunt, “Yes. And when I had to sign for the work I sat down to do it, right on top of the plug. Maybe it was on purpose, I almost came. I wanted to get myself good and horny. I had decided I would at least suck him off while I fingered myself. But he got a priority call and had to go fix something.”

“Lucky me, I guess.”

“Don’t get mad at me, baby. Please? I said I wasn’t in my right mind. I just wanted to cum so badly.” She grabbed the sides of his head and looked into his eyes. “I promise I’ll never fuck anyone else before asking if you want to watch first.”

“Uh, thanks. I think.”

“I didn’t know I was such a dirty slut but I can’t stop, I’m constantly having the dirtiest thoughts,” she gasped. “Baby, would you fuck me nice and hard? Fuck me like you would have if I really had taken him back in the trees.”

“What would you have done?” Cole asked, trying to sound irritated instead of intrigued.

Leah licked her lips. “I would have showed him my panties. I wanted him to look at how wet I was.”

Cole slid his hands over her ass. “Boy-shorts.”

“Yeah, the tight black ones you like so much.”

Cole decided to play along with her fantasy. Maybe he wasn’t in his right mind either. “He just looked? No touching?”

“No, baby. He had to touch them, to feel how wet I was.”

“What happened?” Cole thrust hard into her and Leah writhed underneath him.

“He said he wanted to see my cunt,” she moaned. “I just couldn’t help myself, I pulled them down to show him. I’m sorry baby, don’t be mad.”

“Don’t tell me what to do. Did he push his fingers in your cunt?” Cole asked, shoving his hips hard into her again.

“Ohh God, they’re so thick,” Leah moaned. “He pushed them up into me so deep that he lifted me up on my toes. It made me cum all over his fingers and he put them in my mouth and made me suck them.”

Cole grabbed her ass and pounded hard into her again.

“Then he spun me around and just bent me over. I couldn’t wait to get that big thing inside me. I reached back and spread myself for him. He shoved it right in, it went so deep.”

“You whore,” Cole snarled, getting off the bed and pulling her hips to the edge. “If that’s what you want…”

Leah orgasmed as he thrust back into her. She shoved her ass back against him and he grabbed her hips, pushing and pulling her onto his cock.

“Oh GOD! Do it Gavin, fuck me hard!” she screamed.

He traced the edges of the plugs then pressed it hard. Leah went rigid, screaming and then shoved frantically backward, getting him as deep as she could. He pressed against the plug again and she went rigid before collapsing into the sheets.

Instead of waiting for her to recover, Cole kept slamming his cock into her.

“Please, no more!” she wailed.

“Too bad,” he growled and she reached back to rub her clit.

“I’m your whore!” Leah screamed. “Use me, baby!”

Cole traced the edges of the seal making her squirm and moan again. The he shoved his thumb hard against it. Leah’s cum soaked his cock and her body went rigid as she groaned loudly.

“I’ll have to wear you out if that’s how you’re going to be,” Cole said, pressing again.

“Oh FUCK! No more! Please!”

He pulled out of her and she tried to stand up but sagged back into his arms.

“Why the hell did I even bother looking at him?” she panted , collapsing onto the bed. “No one could ever fuck me like you do. You are evil and that was incredible, I love you.”

“I’m glad we’re going to meet Lakshmi this week,” Cole said. “I’d have to double up my longevity treatments otherwise.”

“Silly man, you just need to stay hydrated. Speaking of which, where’s my cum?”

“Wait, your cum? What make you think this is yours?” he teased her.

“Because I want it, get down here.”

Cole laid down beside her.

“My cum!” Leah said, licking the length of his cock. “Mine, all mine,” she said before pushing her mouth onto him.

|7.0
They took a direct path back to the clearing, taking a day instead of six. It was a good thing, Leah thought. She was getting hornier and couldn’t have taken walking that long, no matter how good the sex was on the way.

After they set up the tent, they stripped off their clothes and waded in the river, laughing as they splashed each other.

“Hello,” a voice said from above them.

“Hello!” Leah said, looking up.

Lakshmi swung off a branch and onto the ground.

“Can I hug you?” Leah asked, climbing out of the water.

“Hug?”

“Like this,” Leah said, embracing Cole who was following her. “It’s an affectionate greeting.”

“I’d like that,” Lakshmi said and Leah slipped her arms around her. Lakshmi’s arms wrapped around her in return, caressing Leah gently.

“I’m glad you like it,” Leah responded. “Of course he’ll hug you too. C’mere Cole.”

There were mental and physical caresses for Cole when he put his arms around Lakshmi as well.

(I’ve looked forward to seeing you both. It feels like you’ve enjoyed yourselves.)

“Maybe too much,” Leah said and Lakshmi laughed.

(I’m glad to see you happy. I’ve asked our elder ones to come and help me explain. We have many stories to explore together, after the young leave you)

“What’s it going to be like?” Leah said, slipping her arm around Cole.

(If you’ve enjoyed yourselves, I think there will be pleasure. The ones who did this before were much smaller than you but still took much pleasure from the process)

“Was there any trouble from your Elders?” Cole asked.

(They were…not pleased. But we’re…pragmatic is the word. It happened and if balance is restored all things will be good. They will explain)

Lakshmi ran her hands over them. (The eloisha are very strong. I can hear them singing)

“We heard them in our dreams,” Cole said. “I’m going to miss it.”

(Truly? Such a remarkable thing, to be able to talk with the one who carries them. It will be dark soon, would you mind waiting one more night? This is best done in the light)

“Of course. Do you sleep?” Leah asked. “Will you spend the night with us?”

(I’d like that very much. Will you sleep in my nest? I’m not comfortable sleeping on the ground)

“Wherever you like,” said Cole.

(I built it lower than usual, bring your coverings and I will carry you)

They got dressed while she waited and Cole put their blankets in a pack with their water. When they were ready, she wrapped the large set of arms around them and began to climb.

“We’re not too heavy?” Leah asked.

Lakshmi just chuckled in their heads. (You are not a burden)

Cole wondered how high they normally built their nests when Lakshmi set them down. They had to be at least sixty meters in the air. Lakshmi’s nest looked like a huge basket, maybe eight meters across. The floor was curved like a bowl and was supported by four arches that joined at the peak of the roof. From there vines bound it to the massive branch above them. In the center of the bowl was a thick pad on top of what looked like moss and grass.

“This is amazing,” he said. The prime sun was going down and the golden-red rays were filtered through the trees, lit up by the mist. Three of the moons were showing over the tops of the trees. It would be bright tonight. “How many worlds Leah? Have you ever seen anything like this?”

“Not even close. And the nest! You have a beautiful home Lakshmi.”

(This? Hardly my home, this is like your little blue nest below. When I show you my home you will see beauty)

“I can’t wait,” Leah said before yawning. Cole yawned a second later.

(What is this?)

“It’s a way our bodies try to fight off sleep,” Leah said. “We’re fine, it was just a long walk today.”

(And you should be rested for tomorrow, sleep now. We are safe here, nothing will come near)

Leah snuggled between Cole and Lakshmi. Both of them put arms around her and she sighed happily as she fell into dreamless sleep.

Cole opened his eyes and carefully extricated himself from Leah before stretching and yawning.

(Good morning. You rested well?)

“Yes, thank you,” Cole whispered. He got a water bottle out and looked to see if it had refilled itself last night before draining it again.

“That better not be all the water,” Leah said as she stretched. Cole got the other bottle out and handed it to her.

(It is amazing that you use just one place for so many things)

“Even more than you’ve seen,” Leah said. “You don’t use your mouth for drinking?”

(The…quills you call them? They gather moisture constantly; I can get moisture in other ways but it can be a bother. What you call my mouth is only used for sounds)

“How do you eat?” Leah asked.

Lakshmi felt strangely embarrassed. (A hidden orifice accepts food. It is near my stomach, underneath me. It isn’t easily seen. Are you ready?)

As she carried them to the ground Lakshmi explained the best way to do things. Cole pulled blankets out and Lakshmi climbed back into the trees. Soon she was back with armloads of the mossy material. She arranged it carefully and Leah and Cole spread a blanket out over it.

(Leah, are you ready?)

“Cole, hold my hand?”

“Always.”

She stripped off her clothes and Lakshmi picked her up and laid her carefully on the blankets. Her hips were higher than her head and Lakshmi spread her legs and made a small depression between her feet. Leah took a deep breath

(Don’t be afraid, my brave one)

“Childbirth in humans is really difficult and painful,” she said.

(This won’t be either one of those things, I promise)

Cole kissed her lips gently. “I’m right here.”

Lakshmi folded her legs under her, laying on her side. She shifted around until she was curved half around Leah, her face even with Leah’s chest. She put one of her arms under Leah’s head with the hand resting on Cole’s leg.

She made a trilling chirping noise and beneath her, a seam opened. A miniature set of limbs unfolded from either side and they reached into the seam, widening it as they eased the Lakshmi’s ovipositor out.

(The greln, most delicate of my many hands)

They could feel the Other’s pleasure as the tiny hands slid down the ovipositor. A drop of gel like fluid emerged from the end and Lakshmi made the trilling noise again.

(I’ll gather more of this and it will dissolve the plug I put into you. Then we’ll begin)

Leah nodded, starting to breathe hard. “I’m getting really excited.”

Cole smiled, watching her nipples stand up and crinkle.

Lakshmi massaged the length again, more of the gel began to ooze from it. One of the hands kept stroking and the other scooped up the fluid and started to spread it between Leah’s legs. She moaned, lifting her hips to get closer to the touch.

(Shh)

One of the large top arms gently held her down. Leah’s eyes got wider. One of their many games together was bondage and Leah loved being tied up. Cole could tell being held down like this was getting her even more excited. The greln hands traded places, spreading more of the gel between her legs and massaging it between her cheeks.

“It’s warm and feels so good,” Leah whispered.

(It’s opening you again. Now I’ll remove what was left inside)

Leah moaned as one of the tiny hands slid into her ass. Lakshmi continued to smear the gel between her legs as the other hand slid deeper, stroking and petting. Leah had her first orgasm as the hand slid back out of her, whimpering and biting her lip.

(You’re ready now, I’ll help you)

The arm holding her began to make long strokes over her abdomen and lower stomach.

“She’s making me squeeze, oh fuck Cole, it feels so good!” Leah squeezed his hand hard as she came again, squeezing her eyes shut.

(Now they are awake and coming to the world!)

Leah’s eyes opened wide and Cole heard a wet sound as the first of the eggs popped out. Her back arched and she moaned loudly, cumming each time another of the young left her. She was exhausted after eleven orgasms, soaked with sweat and shaking.

Lakshmi took the eggs and laid them on the blanket next to Cole. They were a translucent bluish color, about the size of golf balls. He could see something moving inside of them, and a slit opened as the first of the young emerged, wet and struggling to stand. It flopped toward Leah and Cole helped it to her side.

Leah relaxed, catching her breath. “That was amazing! I’m going to end up with an anal fixation if I’m not careful.”

(They are very healthy and larger than I’ve seen before. You did well, my brave one)

More of the young were emerging and Leah put out her arm and they began to climb onto her, trumpeting and chirping with tiny voices. Lakshmi was stunned, watching as they gathered on Leah’s chest, nuzzling her and making tiny noises as they crawled over her.

Leah squirmed and giggled. “Okay guys, not the nipples. This is weird enough already.” She nudged them away and they scattered, fleeing from her fingers. When her fingers stopped nudging them, the babies went back, nuzzling the fingers. It almost looked like they were trying to get her to chase them again. The first of the hatchlings spread its upper arms, opening translucent membranes wide. There were startled chirps from the others until they discovered they had the same thing.

(The Elders must be told…I’ve never seen such a thing. Well done beloved! They are so active, usually it takes a day for them to move so well)

Leah used her fingertip to play tag with one and it rubbed itself against her skin, chirping and whistling. It was such a high pitch that she could barely hear it.

“Do they recognize me?” she asked.

(Not even in the oldest memories is anything mentioned, but I would say yes. They are making very happy noises.)

“I’m the best surrogate mother ever,” Leah told Cole and he leaned forward to kiss her.

“You’re the best everything ever,” he said.

One of the more adventurous ones jumped up, using its wings to bounce into the breeze. It suddenly sounded alarmed as it realized it was airborne.

“Ooh, careful,” Leah said, letting it land on her finger.

(That is how they’ll move for the first part of their lives)

“Do we do something to keep them safe?”

(They’ll scatter into the trees soon. Usually it takes them days. These are much larger, more active than any I’ve ever heard of. It won’t be long)

The Terrans watched the little creatures learning to walk and flap the membranes, entranced. The one on her finger nuzzled her knuckle and snapped its wing membranes open again.

“You’re welcome,” Leah murmured as it pushed itself off into the breeze. It circled them several times, whistling and darted up into the trees. The rest of the babies watched and soon they were all jumping into the air, whistling as they spiraled into the trees.

“What happens now?” Cole asked.

(Now they will learn and grow. The ones that still survive many seasons from now will start to change again. As they grow larger they’ll begin to grow my peoples’ stories in their minds, learning to talk and reason. They’ll seek out adults to live with and continue to grow and learn)

Leah watched the last of them soar off into the heights. “How do you protect them?”

(If they stay close to us they do not develop properly, do not grow the memories. They rarely grow to the proper size. It is not a good thing when this happens. I protect them best by finding the best mate, the best tathinni, and being intelligent as I can. We have done our best for them, now it is their turn)

“Will you know them?”

(Certainly! They know my scent, that of my mate. We recognize theirs. It is not a good thing to mate with offspring.)

Have you had any come back?” Leah asked.

Lakshmi stroked her gently. (This is my fourth brood, but only in the last while would the first brood be old enough to become Anek. I have not seen them but maybe they found a distant village. I will be seeing more than one from this birth, they were strong and smart. Thank you, beloved brave one)

Leah sat up and kissed Lakshmi’s forehead.

“You’re welcome. I’m glad I helped, that was the most amazing thing. I think I need a good scrub in the stream.”

(Are you ready Cole?)

He laughed. “I have no idea, but let’s try.”

A little while later he was laying in the same place. Leah kissed him and snuggled against him.

“You are going to have such a good time.”

He kissed her as Lakshmi began to stroke the thick tube.

He moaned as one of her arms slid inside of him, “Fuck, right in the prostate.”

“I see that,” Leah breathed into his ear. His cock was hard, jumping as Lakshmi’s smallest arms cleaned the plug away.

(Beloved darling. They’re coming quickly)

She began to stroke his abdomen and Cole’s back arched. “Holy shit,” he yelped.

Leah giggled. “I told you.”

Cole twitched as the first egg left him. He started to groan as the second appeared. Leah took his cock in her mouth, licking him before pushing her head down on him. Lakshmi twittered as Cole moaned, cumming in Leah’s mouth. The pressure pushed the rest of the eggs out of him all at once.

(…that was impressive)

“You’re telling me,” Cole said, gasping. The young began to climb on him and Leah as they hatched, chirping and whistling. They were even more rambunctious than the first group.

(Another mighty brood, thank you beloved darling)

Cole and Leah laid there, watching as the young ones took off and circled above them.

“That may have been the coolest thing I’ve ever done,” Cole finally said when the last one had disappeared.

“It’s right up there at the top,” Leah said, leaning over to kiss him. “How do you feel?”

“Sticky actually.”

“I know, right? I left you a towel by the creek.”

|8.0
After they’d packed some things, Lakshmi carried then back up to the nest.

(Are you tired?)

“I feel great,” Leah said. “Wide awake. How about you?”

“Wonderful,” Cole said. “Lakshmi, do you need to rest?”

(Why would I? You two did all the work)

“It was a group effort,” Leah said. “But I wouldn’t mind laying around for a while.”

(My mind is at peace and I sense a great good has come. I feel your curiosity, shall we talk of our stories until the Elders come?)

“I was curious,” Cole said. “Where would you have put the eggs if you hadn’t found us?”

(There is a kind of plant high in the treetops. It provides a substitute for the food although the eggs are not at all sheltered. Most of them do not survive to hatch. If we were closer to my home there would have been mechanisms that work somewhat better)

“How did you know how to help us birth?” Leah said.

(I remembered back to the way it was done with the tathinni. You are larger and it was even easier than I expected)

“You remember them? How old are you?”

There was a sense of confusion. (…I think we do not look at time the same way. There are not words we can both use. That is a question for the Elder ones)

“I got the sense that the trouble with them was a long time ago. Are you that old?”

Lakshmi laughed. (Of course not! That would be an Elder’s Elder many times over. I have their memories; don’t you carry the memories of those who came before you?)

“We don’t. Leah, does that sound like racial memory?”

“Sure does,” Leah said. “Lakshmi, we are born knowing nothing. We spend the early parts of our lives learning how to move and communicate.”

(That is very strange. So all of the wisdom is lost when one of you goes beyond?)

“In one sense, yes. But we talk to each other and share…stories I guess you’d call them. We write the important things down. Then anyone can go and read and learn.”

(But what if they didn’t think to tell everything?)

“That happens sometimes, or the writing is lost,” Cole said. “In some ways, we’re alike though. Our young grow up with us and spend much of that time learning. After a time, they leave and go into the world to make their own way.”

(How very strange and wonderful you are. We wondered what the symbols in the tablet were for. I’m glad it made sounds for us)

“You don’t have writing?” Leah asked.

(I know of nothing like what you’re describing. If one of us knows something the others do not, we pass it along immediately. That is why touch is so important. It is how knowledge moves for us)

“You’re very strange and wonderful to us as well,” Cole said. “Wow, I suddenly have so many questions!”

Lakshmi and Leah both laughed.
(It would be best to wait for the Elder ones, they are far wiser)

“Your mate doesn’t know that the young were born? He doesn’t help?” Leah asked.

(No, he will know it was time and he will recognize them if he sees them among the trees. They are very different from us and we are not long term mates like you. He had a magnificent body, it will serve my children well. You would not know, the young take the…spirit is the word? Spirit of the female and the body of the male)

“He did have a magnificent cock,” Leah said.

Lakshmi laughed and they joined her. It was almost like having your brain tickled.

(If you say so. That is not made for me, it is not meant to fit inside of us. When we find males to mate with we hunt together, build a ceremonial nest, and find a place for our young. He fertilizes my eggs and we part ways)

“So you don’t have sex for fun?” Leah asked.

(Of course we do, it is an important part of our relationships. Females pleasure females. I have heard about some who try to fit the male part into their egg-tube for pleasure and I hear rumors about males, but I cannot say)

“Can I ask what you do?” Leah said.

(I will answer this. I must say that the process of birth affects my feelings much the same way as yours. I would not force you, but I need relief. I could go elsewhere….)

“Don’t you dare,” Leah said. “I’ve been looking forward to sharing my mate with you again!”

Cole nodded, “And I’d like to share her with you.”

(Then come lay beside me)

“We wouldn’t want anything impeding communication,” Leah said, pulling her shirt over her head. Cole undressed and followed her onto the bed.

(Now then. Females play together with our…ovipositors? What an odd word. They are very sensitive, inside and out. If there is a size difference, one will put hers inside of the other. It’s very pleasurable for both. When two are closer together, we use our smallest hands. Or stroke the…there is no word. The place where our ovipositors are kept safe. Your…cock was a new pleasure, it felt very good. When you squirted in me…yes, orgasm would be the word. I came? Your language is very amusing at times. I would like to try that again)

“Oh, we’re willing,” Leah said. “What can we do to excite you?”

(Finding the path is the best part of the game)

“Oh this is going to be fun.” Leah said, starting to slide her hands over Lakshmi, tracing her arms and shoulders.

Cole began to do the same on the other side of her, feeling her reactions. Cole found that he could make her squirm by teasing the soft quills that ran up the back of her neck and over her head.

(Your mouths! So warm and wet!)

Cole watched Leah suck the fingers of Lakshmi’s different hands, giving each of them a blowjob almost.

“Do you kiss?” Cole asked her.

(I don’t know what that word is)

“Like this,” he said and began kissing along the line of quills. She quivered and he smiled. “It’s what we’re doing when we press our mouths together.”

(I wondered. No, we do not do that)

“May I?” Cole asked and Lakshmi touched his face gently. He kissed along her jaw and then her mouth.

(How odd and delightful)

“Use your tongue,” Leah said.

Cole kissed her again, exploring her mouth with his tongue.

(But I’m afraid I don’t feel much)

“We’ll have to find something else then,” Leah said, running her fingertips over the quills. “Kissing is like hugging, a sign of affection.”

(Yes, as we’re together longer I find it easier to see the images in your head)

“Can you read our minds?” Cole asked.

(…I see what you mean. No, your inner thoughts are hidden and looking too closely is…taboo? Your private thoughts are safe. Notice that you had to think carefully and distinctly to speak to me earlier)

“Boring, time for more exploring,” Leah said and Lakshmi chirped as Leah licked along her spine. “Okay, that’s a good spot.”

(Your mouths are incredible, the things you’re doing with the tentacle are very exciting)

“What tentacle?” Leah laughed. “Cole, have you been holding out on me?”

“She’s talking about our tongues I think.”

(Yes. I have imagined them on my…ovipositor)

“Please show us,” Leah said. “I want to see it.”

Lakshmi rolled onto her side, lifting Leah out of her way and tucking her next to Cole. Midway along her body there was an opening, a sort of a pocket that relaxed and her ovipositor slid slowly out. It was a pale blue at the base, turning almost indigo at the end. From base to tip it was about forty-five centimeters long and seven centimeters at the base, tapering to five at the tip. It had a domed tip with a deep dimple.

Leah knelt down and traced it with her fingertips. “It’s gorgeous, look Cole.”

(Your touch is….) She sent a feeling of tingling lust and anticipation to them.

“So how about this?” Leah said and began to lick from the base to the tip.

Lakshmi chirped, her smallest arms grasping at the air. (YES!)

“Those smallest arms, try those, baby,” Leah said. Cole slid past her gently rubbed one while stroking the edge of the pocket that the held the ovipositor. Lakshmi twittered loudly and they felt a wave of excitement.

“I think I found a good spot,” he said.

(Oh! So very sensitive, the pleasure…)

Cole began to rub his lips along them as Leah put the end of the ovipositor in her mouth, sucking it gently and teasing the dimple in the end with her tongue. It slowly relaxed and she traced the edge with her tongue. Lakshmi was making sounds like a whole flock of horny song birds. Leah and Cole felt her excitement. Cole tried to push his feelings back and somehow he felt Leah doing the same. Lakshmi went rigid and there was a high pitched chirp that soared into a higher pitch than they could hear.

“Are you okay, love?” Leah asked her after a few seconds.

(Yes! Keep going!)

Lakshmi’s opening oozed a clear gel and one of her hands stroked Leah’s back. Leah sucked the end and then shoved her tongue inside. Lakshmi must have enjoyed it, she began emitting a smell almost like burnt marshmallow and the liquid began to flow out of her. Leah ran her hand along the length, smearing the fluid into Lakshmi’s ovipositor, gently stroking the pocket. Cole was kissing and sucking the tiny fingers and Lakshmi was twitching them, grasping Cole and then trying to get away, then pressing toward him again.

“Trade places, I think someone is ready for you,” Leah said and switched places with Cole. He knelt down and Leah took his cock and rubbed it against the end of Lakshmi’s egg tube.

(Please, please, please, yes, yes! Please!)

Leah smiled. “She’s as greedy as I am.”
Cole slowly pushed into her. She was tighter than she’d been the night they’d met and the thick honey feeling of her sheath oozed down his cock as she stretched around him. He stopped, not wanting to hurt her.

(No, it will stretch. Push it, fill me! I want to feel so full…)

Cole thrust harder and moaned at her tight wet heat. And she’d told them the outside was as sensitive as the inside… He took her ovipositor in both hand, stroking it. Lakshmi’s entire body was shivering now.

(You’re stretching me, it feels so good)
Cole held the tube tighter, holding it as he pushed the last few inches of his cock deep inside of her. Lakshmi’s voice pierced their ears before climbing out of their hearing.

“Isn’t that nice?” Leah said. She kissed her way down Cole’s chest and then began to kiss and lick where he was joined to Lakshmi. Leah squeaked as Lakshmi used one of the large grasping arms to pick her up and pull her against Lakshmi’s lower body. Leah put her mouth to work around the base of the ovipositor, thinking that what Lakshmi had in mind. But she was pleasantly surprised when her legs were nudged apart. Leah moaned as the small arms began to stroke and pinch along her thighs, moving toward her sex.

“Oh! She’s pushing those tiny arms inside me!” Leah moaned. “She’s fucking me with them, baby, it’s amazing…”

Cole began thrusting in and out, speeding up and slowing down, teasing Lakshmi as best he could. He was wrapped in the other arm and it held him close as the tube tightened around him.

(Fill me!) Lakshmi pleaded in his mind.

“Yes! Give her your cum!” Leah moaned.

Cole shoved himself as deeply as he could, running his fingertips along Lakshmi’s length as his cum jetted out into her. There was a rapid jumble of sounds and images in their heads as she tightened into rigidity.

(Paradise) she whispered when she started to relax.

But Leah was whimpering now. “Cole, she’s stroking me inside! Those tiny fingers!”

(What part is this, beloved?)

“My cervix,” Leah gasped. “It’s…oh fuck, she’s stroking it and her finger just slid….” Leah’s moans turned into screams as she buried her face in Lakshmi’s side. “Oh, don’t stop, I’m gonna cum again,” she gasped. “Yes, right there! YES!”

Cole traced her shoulder blades and Leah slowly relaxed, her panting changing to long deep breaths.

“Oh God, I have to sleep. Loveyoubothg’night.” Leah put her face against Lakshmi and moments later was breathing deeply.

(That was rather sudden) Lakshmi felt concerned.

“Don’t worry, it’s the sign of a great orgasm,” Cole said.

(Would you stay inside of me while she rests?)

“I’d like that,” Cole said, laying back as the arms nudged him over. “I don’t know how much longer I’ll stay hard though.”

(Then let me help you like before, wonderful beloved)

Cole shivered as the soft tingling crawled deep inside of him.

Leah slowly opened her eyes, hands were petting her, moving her around.

“What are you two up to?” she murmured.

“We thought of something you’d enjoy.”

(But we can always stop)

“Uh-uh, don’t you dare,” Leah said as her legs were eased apart. Her eyes opened wide as Cole’s tongue traced her sex. Lakshmi was laying on her back, the largest arms holding Leah up as he began to eat her out.

“Your mouth feels so nice,” she whimpered and then moaned as he slid his fingers into her. Soon she was panting, grabbing his hair and hunching her sex frantically against his mouth. Cole sucked as hard as he could on her clit several times and Leah’s cum soaked his face.

“That’s amazing,” she moaned.

“I’m glad you liked it, but we’re just getting started.”

(Is she ready?)

“Am I ready for what?” Leah asked. Something slid along her thigh and she looked down. The thick ovipositor was making its way between her lips.

“Oh fuck, yes. Put her in my cunt, baby!”

She moaned as Cole pushed it into of her. “Oh this might be too much,” she gasped.

“Are you sure?”

“No! Keep going.”

“Just say when,” Cole said, and he slowly pushed a finger into her ass.

“Ooh, you dirty, dirty man,” she moaned. “Are you going to fuck my ass?”

“Only if you beg me to.”

(I think she likes it)

“Fuck yes I like it!” Leah pushed her hips against the ovipositor. “You feel so good.”

(You’re so warm and tight) Lakshmi moaned.

“And I told her your fantasy about Gavin and his huge cock,” Cole said, smiling down at her.

(Yes, would it feel like this?)

The ovipositor began to swell, widening inside of her and Leah arched her back screaming, “Oh FUCK yes! Give it to me! Fuck me hard!”

She grabbed her nipples, twisting and pinching them, “Baby, fuck my ass now? Pretty please?”

“Since you asked so nicely.”

Leah was picked up gently while Cole laid on Lakshmi’s underbelly.

“I’m so ready, baby. Put your cock in my ass, please.”

Cole pressed the head of his cock against her ass. Leah grunted as the head slid in. “Okay, give me a second.”

They both stroked her body as she got used to it. Her breathing got deeper and faster.

“Now fuck me nice and hard!” she wailed. “Fuck my ass hard! Like that!”

They began thrusting in and out of her, Lakshmi pulsed wider as Cole thrust. Leah was orgasming continuously, screaming their names.

Someone was touching her again. Leah opened her eyes and Cole smiled at her, wiping her face with a damp towel

“Remind me to never leave you two unsupervised,” Leah whispered. “That was amazing, but I surrender.”

“You? Is that possible?”

“I know, right? But birthing beautiful songbird babies and then getting my brains fucked out, well it just takes it out of a girl.”

“Lakshmi’s Elders arrived right at the end of playtime.”

“Oh shit. Please tell me you’re joking.”

He laughed. “Nope, they were quite impressed.”

“Do I have to get up?”

“Not until tomorrow. We’ll contact the colony after we talk. We’ve got to get our stories straight before anyone shows up.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Lakshmi shared the story of the babies. Their reaction was impressive, wildly overjoyed would be accurate. You should see them dance, all their arms and legs…well you have to see it. We began talking, the nursery plant and their ‘mechanisms’ aren’t working very well. Since they lost the little monkey people their population has been steadily declining. Crashing really. I told them we can help.”

“It was fun, but I don’t think I can do this again for a while,” she groaned.

Cole chuckled and kissed her forehead. “Don’t worry, I was thinking more about incubators and places we could set up to help them grow a little more safely. Predation takes a huge toll on the but they seem to like being around us and I’m sure there are people who would be happy to live among the trees. We can definitely help them out and that sidesteps the rules on colonizing an inhabited planet. Scientific assistance missions are encouraged.”

“You are so lovingly sneaky,” she mumbled. “I bet there’s lots of people who will want to try it our way.”

“I don’t doubt it. It’s going to be a big day tomorrow. Go to sleep, beloved mother of many. I’m right beside you.”

“You and me,” she mumbled.

“Until the stars die.”

Leah smiled and snuggled closer to him.

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Author: jetermissing

You probably don't want to know. Seriously. This writing thing, it's not as glamorous as you might think.

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