Le Femme BEM


Note: Contains lots of naughty bits and innuendo, but no explicit sex.

Part One

Sex in zero gravity takes one of three things: a firm grasp of Newtonian physics, the hard vacuum combat experience of a veteran Leet Corps space marine, or a great set of really sensitive antennae. My name is Xixa of Xylem, and I have all three.

I slip back into my smart-chemise, kicking my legs ever so slightly to counter the equal-but-opposite reactions that would otherwise send me careening around the slumber-pod, thanks to good old Newton. Its fluidic polyfabric courses down my neck and hugs my breasts in a silken curtain of milk. Ooh, I love how this thing feels! Especially the way it knows how to tuck around my nubbin tail and into my butt to form a snug one-piece. Got it dirt cheap off of zBay, too, can you imagine?

My mark of the evening is a big, dumb, Terran-strain biped, the kind of guy who thinks saying, "I wouldn't mind a little taste of BEM femme juice, splitting me some green oak, if you know what I mean," will get my sap flowing. (Yes, I sleep with mammals. Why? Well, when you're the last known member of your species, like me, let's see how picky you are. And, hey, I've only done it a couple of times. Okay, once with tonight's dumb-ass mark and a few zillion times with EJ, but that was back in college. It's not like I've got a fetish or something. EJ...well, he's EJ, ya know?) Anyway, my mark's floating stark naked by the sleep-pod's single porthole at the moment—No, wait, he just cracked his head on the bulkhead again and is rebounding into the ceiling. He sure gets around a lot for an unconscious guy.

I pirouette at a forty-five degree angle, careful to avoid the little wobbly spheres of pearlescent gunk as they drift in the close air. My antennae curl in disgust at the trace molecules the stinking things give off (My mark must eat asparagus; eeew!) but I snag my white bracers and cuff them to my wrists without getting slimed. The boots will be trickier, because I don't see them anywhere. They must be shoved in a corner somewhere. I better get the gravity back on in here.

I run a thumb over the glowing, semi-circular, synaptic interface on my left bracer. A fuzzy holoblock mists into existence above my wrist, encrypted code resolving into a close-up of the worried, cyclopean gaze of my best buddy and partner in crime. "Xixa?" His rubbery unibrow furrows over his single, sickle-lobed eye. "I lost signal of your vital signs. Did you die—again—or just get nekkid—again?"

"Hello to you too, Pink," I wink. Pink's native language is chemosensory—he and his fellow tentacle monsters speak in complex chemical sprays and pheromone ejections. Thanks to my antennae, I can taste and understand his true speech and real name, but for me to reply in kind...well, let's just say I'd have to do something very unlady-like. Plus, my cuff isn't equipped with a scent-generator anyway, so we stick to the boring audio vocalization I learned in college. I'm still paying off the student loan moola I spent getting vocal cords. Okay, make that "supposed to be still paying."

Pink waves an impatient tentacle or three—hard to tell in the little holoblock since his tentacles are so flexible, and long and strong and...ahem, sorry, got distracted. Pink really knows how to get me all worked up. Anyway, Pink's waving his tentacles at me, and I'm trying hard not to think about them, as he says, "So where's the guy?"

"Out cold." I angle my wrist-top display so the mark's body twirls into Pink's point view behind me.

"You didn't hurt him, did you?" Pink pulls his tentacles out of sight to show me he's serious. "He's a jackass, sure, but not one of the bad guys."

"Relax, Mom," I say, swimming through the air for the normative floor of the pod. "It was all his idea. 'You ever screw in zero-g?' he says. So I says, 'Did it before, s'fun.' So he takes me back to his place, punches some codes into his pod's environmental unit, and says, 'Space odyssey, baby!'"

"You're kidding."

"Nope. I will take the blame for getting him drunk back at the bar, though. Ah-ha! My boots were stuck under his bunk. Anyway—oof—this guy's been mining asteroids up here for two, three years, right? So he must know a thing or two about zero-g. I guess he was too drunk, dumb, or turned on to realize you get equal-but-opposite reactions from bodily functions, too."

"You don't mean..."

"Yup." I push a button on the heel of my right boot and hear a thumping hiss and click as it pressurizes. Damn, I love these big hard-vac combat boots. Great for ass-kicking. "I got his rocks off and he ejaculates himself backwards right into the bulkhead. Mammals, go figure." I dip my dainty green toes into the left boot and—Zzzap! "Yeow!"

The holoblock fills with Pink's searching eye as he throws himself at the viewer. "What? What?"

"Nothing but good news, Pink." I poke my purple tongue out of the corner of my mouth. (Yeah, yeah, I know: with antennae like mine, a tongue is superfluous. But it came with the vocal cords free of charge. And, besides, have you ever used a tongue before? Well, you should. It's fun.) I gently reach into my boot and wrap my hands around something big and thick and hard and abuzz with power. "I found my disruptor," I tell Pink, and yank the third man in my life into view by the shaft.

Speaking of which, let me disrupt the story of a minute and just tell you something. Back in my teenybopper days, my so-called halcyon days, my pre-college days, my Leet Corps tour-of-duty days, I was a major gun-buggy. Won the silver medal for phaser marksmanship at the 1,337th Tri-Spiral Arm Olympiad when I was fifteen. Come to think of it, that medal brought the Leet space marine recruiter to my adopted parents' door and started this whole mess in the first place. Thanks to the Corps, I was rated and battle-tested with the W40K Storm Bolter, BFG9000 plasma rifle, the Vasquez Rail-Gun platform, and any other ordinance that could get my pulse pounding, before I turned eighteen. Hell, I had my first real orgasm firing the superlaser of the Leet Corporation's Mark III DeathStar. No, I didn't fire it at a planet or anything, are you crazy? I just wanted to see the damn thing go off once before I blew it to smithereens. What kind of Bug Eyed Monster do you take me for?

Anyway, back then, when I was traveling the three Arms, meeting interesting people and disintegrating them for the Man, the bigger the gun, the happier the Xixa. Compared to the toys of my youth, the disruptor is teensy-weensy, looking no more intimidating than a swollen, glorified, silver hairdryer. And that's pretty much all it was, the only weapon I could smuggle down to Terra in my college coed compartment after Leet Corporation and I came to a parting of the ways. Just a glorified hairdryer, that is, until that darling genius of an EJ modified it for me. EJ was delighted with my reaction with what he'd done—how I thanked him, thanked him again, and then totally thanked his brains out—before I used one of the disruptor's new features on him. "Nothing compares to you, baby," I coo, and kiss my little lovely on the concentrator, a shiny, ruby red sphere perched at the disruptor's tapered tip.

Zzzap! "Woo!"

"I saw that," Pink says, waggling his tentacles at me again. "You can't make me feel jealous of a gun. Although you did make me feel...uh, something else."

"Mission accomplished." I smirk and smack my bad boy disruptor onto my hip, making sure to gyrate against him, countering the reactive forces the maneuver generates. The smart-chemise weaves a tight holster around the gun—I think she must love him almost as much as I do—squeezing him against my flesh close enough to feel the thrum of the quantum singularity containment unit concealed in the disruptor's inert casing. The only portable Klein bottle generator in the known universe—this whole space station couldn't handle the power and computation load necessary to generate one using galactic standard technology—and EJ built it just for me. I have the power of a galaxy-eating Black Hole strapped to my hip. "And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how to get this BEM's sap really flowing."

In the holoblock projection, the perplexity knob on Pink's forehead quivered. "Come again?"

I shake myself free of the gun-lust trance. "Later, Pink. Definitely later. But right now I need you to hack into the station's dataspace and get the gravity back on in here. 'Space Odyssey Baby' was smart enough to encrypt his terminal. Can't get into his slumber-pod's stasis locker, either."

"Why not just use the disruptor's sonic screwdriver subroutine on the locker?"

I shake my head and shimmy my ass in opposing vectors to stay in place. "Negatory. The package may not be shielded, and I'm very risk-adverse to damaging this particular package, especially if anything our unconscious SOB said back in the bar is remotely true. So work your nerd magic, pretty please with sugar onna top? You know how much it turns me on."

"Roger that." Pink's tentacles work on a dataspace interface somewhere out of view of the holoblock. "I'm in the station's environmental sub-system already, give me a minute and grab onto something...And, not that I mind, but you really seem to have sex on the brain today."

I hook my feet under the bed and poise my ass to flump upon it when gravity is restored. "I've been looking for a package like this for two years now, working my way through countless false leads in every dingy mining colony in this system. This's my first real lead, Pink, in all this time. He even had pictures of the thing. I feel so close that..." I blushed, purple rouging my green cheeks. "Well, I feel really close, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. If this works out, you and I are in for some long, long R&R with our slumber-pod time-locked and your tentacle-rape inhibitor meds flushed down the fuxxoring toilet, you got that?"

"No complaints here." Pink's anticipation knob shivers on his forehead, probably releasing some choice comments in his native language. Wish I were there to taste them. "Gravity in four, three, two..."

My stomachs flop and my antennae balance-nodes lurch, but I've done this thousands of times, and my bubble-butt bounces down on the bed without incident. My mark's body, on the other hand, falls almost two meters to the floor like a dropped rag-doll. "Pink, can you tell if the SOB's doozers are working?" I'll have to lug the big jerk into an autodoc fast if they aren't.

Pink checks a read-out. "Yeah, the environmental system is getting a strong datastream from his meditech. They're keeping him alive and relatively healthy, considering what you've put him through. Asteroid mining must provide a lot of danger pay, because this guy has Lazarus-level doozer nanotech in his blood stream, just like you do. I'm blocking all this from getting to the security subnet, of course. I'd say you've got a good ten minutes before his doozers bring him out of his regeneration-fugue."

I stretch out on the comfy bed. "Thanks for the exposition, Pink."

"Had to fill the time while I cracked the encryption on the stasis locker, hadn't I?" A panel dilates on the wall opposite the bed. "Your package awaits. Here's hoping we get that R&R. I was running out of inhibitor meds anyway."

I bound off the bed. My badass boots clank and clonk over the pod's metal grated floor. They weigh in at a good thirty kilos each, crammed full of gyros, pneumatic servos and gas-powered gizmos, but thanks to all that tech I feel like I'm running in basketball sneakers. Corps old-timers called them "Spring Heeled Jackboots" for some reason. "Yes, yes, yes! Aw, man."

The stasis locker is crowded with crap. Greasy stacks of immersive Xxxenophile magazines, unlabeled datasticks, untouched mining equipment manuals, packets of one-time cortical jacks—actually, those look pretty useful. Never know when a quick trip into VR might come in handy. So I swipe a packet and stuff it between my breasts—the smart-chemise is the best sports bra, wonder-bra, and corset I've ever owned, all rolled into one—and the silken milk material swallows it up and nestles it in.

"Dang," says Pink, staring.

"Keep your mind on the job, snookums." I push a pile of crap to the floor. There's only one thing left in the locker now, a beaten up box for Cogswell universal cogs. "Oh, please, oh please be in there." I pop the osmotic box top and peep inside. "Oh. Huh."

I bet Pink's anxiety node is pitching a fit. "Jackshit?"

"No," I sigh, and pull out a statuette the grayish green color of a storm at sea. "Jack-fuxxoring-pot!"

I tilt my prize this way in that in front of the holoblock to give Pink a damn good look. The figurine, idol, fetish, or whatever-it-is, represents a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face is a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind. This, this thing, which seems instilled with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, is of a somewhat bloated corpulence, and squats evilly on a rectangular block or pedestal covered with cryptic characters. The tips of the wings touch the back edge of the block, the seat occupying the center, while the long, curved claws of the doubled-up, crouching hind legs grip the front edge and extended a quarter of the way down toward the bottom of the pedestal. The cephalopod head bends forward, so that the ends of the facial feelers brush the backs of huge fore paws which clasp the croucher's elevated knees.

Pink dares name it in hushed tones. "Cthulhu."

I stare a moment longer, drinking in the statuette's palpable malevolence, before I can't take it any more, and squeal, "It's sooo cute!" I cradle the blasphemous thing to my chest. "The Great Old Ones must've been drop-dead smexxy. Who was a big sexy beastie?" I tickle a stone feeler. "You were, oh yes you were!"

"Mollusk monsters get all the girls," Pink grumbles. "I bet the wings were just for show, too."

I make goo-goo eyes at the statuette. "Daddy's just jealous." I dance back across the pod to a narrow ledge next to the bed. A dumb computer terminal and a standard issue omni-scanner are built into the wall above the ledge. I clunk the heavy figurine onto the scanner's input pad. "Pink, can you access this terminal and fire up the scanner? I wanna know if this thing's for real. And keep this scan private, m'kay?"

"Yeah, give me a second." Pink works on something off-screen. I drum my fingers on the ledge for a bit and then the scanner pad phosphoresces. "Okay, I'm in," he says, "getting readings. Dang, the SOB was right. This little baby is over ninety-nine percent pure MacGuffin. There's enough meta-mineral in there to power your doozers for a thousand years."

"And that means?" I ask.

"We're freaking rich. Or you can live to be one thousand and twenty three, but be dead broke the whole time. Take your pick."

"I'll take rich." I lean in, brushing the statuette's feelers with my own. They seem microscopically serrated, but I've got to know for sure. "Tell me what I really want to know, Pink." The dumb terminal's imager winks to life, filling with the statuette's baleful visage. A gradual zoom-in begins, until the imager's screen is filled with a single, monstrous tentacle. "You trying to get me horny?" I say, arching a brow and wiggling an antenna.

"Oh, stuff it," Pink says. The zoom continues and now the screen is filled with blotchy, sea-green pixels.

I'm too excited, too optimistic. I can't help but wriggle. "Count on it."

"Very funny," Pink says, his irony node twitching. "Let me resolve the image." The screen flickers and the big green blotches focus into thousands of nooks and crannies, no more than pinpricks on the statue's skin, staggered and swirled in complex paths across the mineralized surface. The patterning appears both organic like a fingerprint and intentionally organized like Braille. The knotted structures of pitted dots and bas relief dashes confuse the eye, even compound baby blues like mine.

My breath catches in my throat. "Oh, baby."

"Xixa, I am sorry I ever questioned your hypothesis." In the holoblock, Pink's eye threatens to bulge right out of his elastic mass. "This thing is a one hundred percent legit, Great Old One, encoded artifact. You've found your map."

I rub my thighs together, filling the room with the chirping whistle of a hundred crickets in heat. "Lost Carcosa, here we come...Wait a minute. You questioned my hypothesis? I got an A on that damned paper. And I didn't take of my clothes off to get it!"

Pink starts wisecracking, but a fuzzy display floating on his side of the holoblock catches his eye. His smile vanishes, his anticipation and anxiety nodes twitch once, and his rubbery skin darkens from its normal coral pink to a color reminiscent of indigestion medication. He swears. "Zomg." Two tentacles work intently on something off-screen, probably a systems' interface console. "Xixa, we have a problem." His voice is mild and even, his demeanor cool and professional. I know what that means.

I'm fuxxored. "What's the sitch?"

"When you asked me to keep the scan private, I spliced a spoof into the datastream running from the scanner to the core station systems." He brings two, then three more tentacles to bear on the unseen console, touch typing speed 300 wpm and climbing. "Worked like a charm. But to make sure, I ran a routine security check of your local terminal data. In the terminal's memory cache, I found...well, this..." The terminal's wall-screen glows white, filling with a Z3 interweb page. On the left floats a low-rez holo-image of the adorably vile statuette. On the right, a familiar, cheerful logo terrifies me.

"The SOB put my statue up for auction on zBay," I say. My disruptor's already my hand, safety squeeze-released, before I consciously decide I need it there. I keep my eyes locked on the slumber-pod door, trusting my antennae to give me a 360 degree "view" of the room through chemosensory receptors and membranes that detect changes in the air's micropressure. I nab the statuette off the scanner and press it to my left hip. The smart-chemise hesitates before morphing out a Liefeld multi-pouch to secure my prize in place. I can feel the material shift around the graven grotesquery as if unsettled by what it contained.

"Be fair," Pink says. "He didn't know it was yours at the time. But that's not the problem."

"I know." I back away from the door toward the outer wall. I raise the disruptor. My face is fish-lens reflected in its silvered casing. Two whipcord antennae arc high into the air above the licked-down grasshopper green spikes of my pixie haircut and matching elfin ears. Big eyes of bluest topaz. Purple freckles on cherubic cheeks (on both pairs of cheeks, I might add). Nobody this cute should die this young, so I bring the gun into kissing distance, and whisper, "Close combat mode, wide dispersal, baby." The casing is icy and metallic against my lips.

"The problem is," Pink continued, as if oblivious to my slow slip into battle-trance, "If I can find it so easily, anyone can. This guy can't afford the kind of interweb anonymity my services provide your exploits. This web page could've been seen anywhere in the three Arms hours before you met the guy back at the bar. Anyone who'd want to know about your statue already does. All I'm doing now is sealing the gate after the Shoggoths escaped. I'm sorry, Xixa, there's nothing I can do." He reclined, tentacles dropping. "Your mark's been made."

Part Two

The station claxon rings out an all-hands alarm. The ambient lighting in the slumber-pod shifts from full-spectrum white to amber. Everything looks whiskey colored.

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