Pilot 03: Wish You Were Herebypast_perfect©
Author's note: My apologies for submitting yet another piece without the finishing touches of my brilliant editor - can't seem to find a replacement at the mo. Hope it is okay nevertheless.
Chapter one -- The Talagon principle
Outsider crafts were not allowed to land on Talagon. There was a massive space port in its orbit, from where we were sent on in what they called orbital ferries. The seven landmasses on the planet were all enclosed by shields under which unique environmental conditions had been created. All recruits were to endure severe physical training as well as further implantations and something the Scnrgsis referred to as imparting knowledge. Finally we would be familiarised with the weaponry and ships at our disposal. As you might imagine, that was the part I was particularly looking forward to.
I will never forget the first step I set on an alien world and how disappointed I was. The continent where we received our initial training was, except for the area of our barracks and the training complex, a barren rocky hellhole, with an average temperature of a hundred and four in addition to a wind that could tear your skin off. The Turrans seemed to like it a lot, as it reminded them of Turria except for the lower gravity of just point eight G. The twelve different species that had travelled aboard the Ptaln did not adequately prepare me for the shock of the roughly five hundred others we encountered during our stay there. Most of them were humanoid in the broader sense.
The oxygen content of the air was slightly lower than I was accustomed to, on top there was a high concentration of noble gases, which made me feel dizzy and strangely giddy for a while, before my body finally adapted to the unfamiliar environmental conditions. I am sure the medical implant I received shortly after my arrival facilitated the adaptation a lot. I remember feeling a little daunted by the idea that I could probably live up to eight hundred years, if no mean twist of fate or Pret weapon reached me before then.
The Planet and complex was not run by the Scnrgsis, as I had somehow assumed, but a race called Fangan. The Fangan were humanoid creatures; their slender, almost fragile looking bodies were reminiscent of the Scnrgsis, an impression lost and overturned by the look of their heads. They were shaped like three-sided pyramids standing on their tips, although with rounded edges and the somewhat disconcerting assembly of one insectoid eye and one mouth orifice on each side. They had no body-hair whatsoever and deemed it unnecessary to cover their wet bluish skin with clothes of any kind.
I later learned that they were strategic geniuses and in peace times had been responsible for co-ordinating trade, commerce and logistics. My first impression however, had nothing to do with their mental capabilities. When I was first addressed by my instructor Rrrnz, I couldn't help but staring at her bright red genitals -- in my defence I might add that apart from her black eyes it was the only feature that wasn't blue, thus immediately drawing my attention to it. It changed its hue constantly during her commencement address. None of the other recruits seemed to be affected by it like me though.
She announced our schedule for the following days. Medical procedures and bringing us up to speed with the structure and races of our galactic community would be interspersed with endurance training and tests she didn't further specify. The knowledge we required would be implanted into our brains, rather than having to go back to school again, as I heard with some relief. We were warned to expect severe disorientation and confusion as a result, until we learned to access and integrate that knowledge, as if it were our own.
"I know you have many questions now, but put them aside for the moment -- most or all of them will be answered when you receive the memory engrams. The device that will be handed out to you now contains all pertinent information concerning this complex and will guide you to the locations of your tasks. You are required to socialise and mingle as much as you possibly can in your recreational periods, in order to get a feel for your future partner races. Knowledge cannot substitute direct experience."
I inspected the small round shape in my hand, which looked almost like a watch, but displayed a map of the complex and a bright red point indicating my current position in so much detail and depth that I was having trouble fathoming what principles of optics could possibly be at work there. It was like staring into a three-dimensional room of an enormous size.
"Your locator will guide you to your barracks now. You notice the little bar on the right? That signifies the amount of time that has been allocated to reach your destination. With each passing moment it will turn shorter. Move. Do it."
I couldn't find any bar on my device nor a target location and soon no other recruit was left I could have asked for help. Rrrnz patiently waited until all of them were gone.
"Sorry Sir, I don't seem to have a bar on my screen."
"I know. Don't call me Sir. We have a rather complicated social structure, but it is not at all hierarchical as those on your planet. The reason there is no bar is that your first lesson is taking place here right now."
"You leered at my reproductive organ at length, I noticed."
Oops, now that was getting a little awkward.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to offend you..."
"I am not offended. I would advise you not to do this with any other species though, unless you are invited to. Do you understand?"
"Perfectly. I didn't mean to..."
"That is of no importance. You will have noticed that I changed the colour for you frequently. That signifies your interest is agreeable to me."
"You may observe it from close range now. Sit."
We had been standing next to rows of tables and roundish seats that were astonishingly soft and adapting to my body form when I followed her command. She climbed onto the table in front of me and opened her legs kneeling, thus giving me a full and actually quite spectacular view of her cunt. The red was turning brighter as I noticed the first definite differences to what I was accustomed to. There was an all too familiar entrance, but there was no labia around it, just three oblong protrusions of about an inch that lay parallel to each other above it.
"Those are my sipsters. They need to be stimulated in a specific sequence to trigger the release of enzymes into my vaginal fluids necessary for conception, readying the tract to receive our men's deposits as well."
"Fascinating. Our women have what is called a clitoris..."
"Don't lecture me. I know all about your anatomy. You are learning about mine now. However, my sipsters are indeed akin to that part of your female's genitals. Stimulating them can give us great pleasure."
"If you don't mind my asking: Do you only couple when you want to conceive?"
"That is a ridiculous question. Of course not. We stimulate each other whenever we can. Why do you think I am colouring for you right now?"
"Oh... you want me to... but how?"
"Our men use their hands or cocks to do it. However, we do not have tongues like you."
She turned her head around and opened all her orifices wide enough for me to look inside. There were indeed just smallish flaps of flesh deep inside of them, probably protecting whatever lay behind them. She answered my "how" question by pressing my mouth onto her sipsters immediately afterwards.
"Tongue me. Start in the middle."
Although I was really quite overwhelmed by the situation, I sheepishly attempted to rule out any misunderstandings.
"Just to be clear on that: Is this sequence going to enable you to conceive?"
I wasn't really feeling ready for any sort of offspring and almost definitely not for an alien love-child.
"Stupid question. We are not genetically compatible. And you will not penetrate me. You are simply required to take care of the excitement you have caused by staring at me."
Well, there was a certain logic in that, obliging me to follow her request or order -- it had sounded a bit like both.
"Yes... like that... Yeyaeyeyaeyeyaeah..."
That sounded like singing and came from her mouth on the rear of her head.
Again, she accompanied my licking with that strange sound, coming from her right mouth this time. I gathered that they were connected.
She appeared to have a good time, and so did I. The texture and taste of her sipsters and vaginal fluids was reminding me of lychees, a fruit I had become quite fond of during my brief stay in Japan before the war. I wondered what she would feel and say, if I took the initiative and followed my own intuition and whims rather than listening to her instructions.
"Not the middle... uy uy uy... yeeeyeeeyeeeyeeah... continue... excellent... yenda yeeeyeee yenda."
Now she became incoherent, probably because I was circling my tongue around a lot giving all of her sweet sipsters a good lashing in the process. The cacophony of sounds emanating from all her mouths simultaneously was swelling in volume just like her fleshy protrusions I played with and sucked in to see how she was feeling about that. Her cunt glowed in a hue of red I have never seen before, almost painful to the eye.
Which cannot be translated easily, since it is a grunt of satisfaction that has a variety of meanings, depending on the context and concomitant colour being displayed. In that instance it meant she had come.
I was starting to wonder about that word, as she was uttering it constantly now, instead of making any other sounds, so I began worrying whether what I submitted really met with her approval.
"Yenda! Stop now... Enough."
When I noticed she wanted to press my head against her cunt, I quickly took a deep breath, just in case the Turran way of enjoying the afterglow was more universal, but she arrested me softly and briefly only.
"Good. Good experience for me. You have understood the principle already. You obtain knowledge, combine it with your own, adapt, take the initiative and improvise. Very impressive performance. You are to be commended."
I was pleased to have passed my first test with flying colours, so to speak, even though it really hadn't quite been what I expected. The next thing I would learn about the Fangan was that they didn't like wasting time.
"Now there is a bar on your device. You will proceed to medical complex five. The allotted time is brief. You better run."
I did as I was told, and fortunately the running obliterated all physical evidence of how much I had enjoyed my first lesson in interspecies relationships on Talagon as well, before I reached the medical tract.
Emma had been busy reprogramming the food synthesizer for me, as there were rarely human beings on this station, and she was eager to try out her interpretation of tea and toast on me.
I watched several Earth news-channels and was quite impressed how NASA had managed to come up with a perfectly good explanation for the public that didn't involve strange Englishmen hijacking their shuttle. According to them, there had been an electrical fire on the shuttle in the course of which it was remotely severed from the ISS, just in case something could go really, really wrong -- which then indeed went, as it reputedly exploded thereafter. Naturally, they were already working out how to get the stranded astronauts down.
"You are getting close, darling. Very decent tea; however, you still have to work on the toast a bit. Toast is crispy, crunchy."
"I understand. I endeavour to satisfy all your needs as they arise, Jon."
"That is nice to hear from any female, organic or not."
"Would you care for some oral sex after breakfast?"
"Maybe later, I want to see the latest news about the war first. As you well know that usually interferes with my erection."
War is no sexy business. War is brutal and you have to either become a predator or cynic to survive unscathed. How I wished Mother was here already. The analysis of the tactical data we had collected pointed to a large scale assault very soon. Definitely not a time you would want to be sitting on your hands waiting for your ship to pick you up.
What we learned next was that the enlightened galactic community had rather archaic methods of narrowing their selection of recruits to the strongest and most apt. In every survival exercise quite a few didn't make the grade. If you didn't have that little extra bit of will to survive, you simply wouldn't.
I had heard that there was a second species amongst us coming from a human colony two hundred and fifty light-years from Earth. The man blocking my way and grinning obscenely was one of them. They called themselves Pipers and looked exactly like us except for their green skin and copper hair.
"Terran. I recognise your species. This will be an interesting exercise."
"And you are a Piper. I am fascinated by your origins. The continent you are supposedly coming from no longer exists on my planet, and is considered to be no more than a myth by most."
"That is a great loss for your kind. Our forefathers have told us many fantastic stories about it. I am Quila."
"My name is Jon. Oh, looks like we are going to get more company."
Two aliens joined our group, before we were instructed to traverse the desert ahead of us in less than seven hours. They had given us sufficient water for about four. The temperatures in the desert were close to one hundred twenty degrees. The day before I had been running for my life on the breaking ice of a frozen lake in the middle of the arctic continent, where neither of my two alien companions survived the exercise. I had lost four toes which had been replaced by others immediately afterwards having been grown specifically for that purpose in a manner of minutes. I for one couldn't distinguish them from the old ones and I didn't have any scars or other impairments from the operation either.
Quila introduced himself to our two companions. From what I found as matches in my memory for them, one was a Palidian, looking very much like a big spider with four pairs of legs and two slightly shorter arms that tapered into hundreds of fibres they could use for incredibly precise manipulations of matter and energy of all forms. They were renowned for their abilities as engineers and technicians.
The Gora female looked like she would have to suffer most of us, her thick bright red fur was the result of living about seven thousand miles above sea level on the vast highland plateaus of her planet. She had an almost canine head, but instead of the obligatory sharp teeth a mouth that looked a lot like a rosette to me. She used her six digit hands occasionally to increase her running speed, which was twice as fast as mine to begin with. Else she walked more or less erect, although a little slanted to the front. Her balance was assisted by a two feet tail residing at the crown of a rather attractive behind.
Our feet sank in deep into the hot desert sand; only the Palidian seemed unaffected, barely dipping his sharp foot-claws into it. The frequent sand-clouds were assaulting his large and highly sensitive eyes more than ours though. Talagon's two suns punished us mercilessly from an easterly and westerly direction. The Gora stopped all of a sudden.
"I smell something."
"What do you mean?"
Quila used the unscheduled break to take a sip of water. His skin looked dark green now, maybe the Piper's equivalent of a sunburn.
The Palidian nervously circled us.
"No stopping here. We have to go on immediately."
"Wait. Gas. I smell some gas. It is everywhere around us."
"Then we should carry on quickly and leave it behind."
The Paladian felt that the discussion was over and resumed marching. Quila licked his lips.
"I can't smell anything. Do you think it is dangerous?"
"Danger, yes, great danger. Quick. Hide in the sand."
She started digging into the hot sand while we shouted after the Palidian, who didn't even turn his head. I saw something immensely bright in an easterly direction, closing in fast on us and hurried to emulate the Gora's behaviour. Still we almost didn't make it. The fireball provided me with a new haircut and some very painful blisters on the back of my skull. The Gora helped me get up. Quila was already standing and shaking the sand out of his uniform.
"That was close. Thank you my dear. Sorry, I didn't catch your name?"
"Thank you, Anjiran."
We passed the charred remains of the Palidian, took his water and pressed on.
As brave as Anjiran had been throughout our journey, I could sense that she was at her strength's end during the sixth hour, supporting herself with her arms more and more often now. We could see the station we were supposed to reach as a small point on the horizon already. Our water had run out several hours before. Anjiran's fur was covered with a white, pungent foam; she dragged her limp tail behind her, suddenly stumbled, fell and didn't move anymore.
Quila, who had been in front of us walked on. I turned the Gora around. She was unconscious, but still alive.
"Quila. Wait. Anjiran has passed out. Quila?"
The Piper marched on, drawn to the silhouette on the horizon taunting us with the end of our ordeal. Maybe he didn't even hear me.
My voice sounded weak and raspy. I had a coughing fit and sank to my knees. I knew I could make it if I left her behind and followed Quila. Still, I wasn't going to leave her there to die. Her body was astonishingly light and soft. Her heavy scent assaulted my dry and sandy nostrils, as I threw her over my shoulder and slowly got back on my feet. A myriad of specks danced before my eyes, as I stumbled on, one step at a time, sinking in even deeper because of her added weight. Two points ahead of me I alternately fixed my eyes on, the figure of Quila growing smaller every minute and the grey dome on the horizon.
I couldn't feel my feet anymore. Then all feeling in my legs oozed out of me; I collapsed onto the sand in slow-motion. The dome was so close, and all I could do was staring at it with my irritated, burning eyes. Anjiran had not regained consciousness. I stroked the furry body next to mine and clasped her hand, before my vision failed me too.
When I opened my eyes again I saw the grinning face of Quila above me.
"Look who's back. Get up you lazy git. We will miss our transport back to our barracks."
A medical drone injected me with something. My head was feeling like a balloon, but I even had saliva in my mouth again. I was lying on a metallic table next to Anjiran who also opened her eyes.
"What the fuck happened?"
"Well, I had almost reached the dome when I noticed that you two weren't behind me anymore. Naturally I turned back and found you both cuddling cosily in the sand. Friend, fucking in the desert is a clear no-no. Take it from me, after all that is where I grew up and the reason I left it. I had to drag both of you through the effing sand as you seemed unwilling to stop napping."
It was the first time he called me friend, but not the last, as we really became friends after this incident. All three of us that is. Well, Anjiran became a little more than a friend to us. Her way of thanking us for her rescue was somewhat more involved and really quite exquisite. And she always insisted on servicing both of us at the same time, which created an additional bond we would take along when we eventually received our commissions together aboard the Snay.
Chapter two -- Top of the world
The day I first met Emma I will also never forget. A swarm of Palidians accompanied me to the ship I would cherish for the next sixty years. It was love at first sight.