tagSci-Fi & FantasyMinx Ep. 02: Return to Anima

Minx Ep. 02: Return to Anima

bynicecthulhu©

Episode 2: Return to Anima


Having made her peace with the perplexing hyperman, our heroine wishes to return to the planet where they first met and fix the many social problems that had come to her attention. However, even though she and Dragon have become lovers, she still has unresolved feelings for both the succulent cat-girl Fran and the very masculine tiger-man Rudy.

I wish to once again thank both catbrown and searchingforperfection for their very helpful editing and comments. Any remaining errors in grammar (etc.) are my responsibility.


I


Minx ran a hand over her furred hip and flicked her tail back and forth. The cat-girl disguise was almost too comfortable, despite the fact that it showed off much more of her than she liked. Ship had been very careful and had ensured that the hyperman's vessel had duplicated her disguise exactly. The medical bed on his ship was far superior to the one on her vessel.

"Delicious," said Dragon, with a smirk. He rose from his pilot's chair, running his fingers through his short, black hair. "Although I like you any way that you look."

Minx surrendered a warm smile at his compliment; it was exactly what she'd been looking for when she had come to the bridge of the hyperman's ship. She wrapped the leather belt around her hips, and then slowly pushed the sword into its sheath. Her laser gun was in its holster, also attached to the belt. She reached up with both hands and made sure her extra gun was safely hidden in the curls and waves of her shoulder length, brown hair.

Dragon stepped up close to her and stared into her emerald eyes. "We could delay your trip to the surface, my little huntress," he whispered.

Minx laughed. "Little? With these drooping melons?" She knew very well what he'd meant, as she only came up to his nose. She was taller than average for a woman, but he was taller than average for a man.

"Those don't droop," he said, eyeing her breasts. "And at your age! It's quite a marvel!" With a smirk he stepped back to buckle up his own weapon belt over his black uniform. "By the way, from now on call me Acteon."

"Sounds very old, very Terran. I seem to remember reading the name before."

"It's from the Ancient Greek myths. Acteon saw the naked Artemis and was condemned to death for his lust."

Minx frowned as they left the bridge and headed for the hangar. "I'm not a virgin huntress, nor am I planning to kill you."

"One day I'll tell you my original name and you'll laugh, but for now Acteon will do. So while you're making Anima a better place for cat-girls I'll be a little further south gaining access to Morovan's laboratory. We hypermen have been searching for that legendary place for quite some time, and I think that satellite is the key." He nodded toward the display that showed the ancient and idle machine in its geosynchronous orbit. The satellite seemed very spider-like to her at that moment, although it was shaped more like a cylinder.

Minx bit her lip, wondering if she should ask the question that had been on her mind for several hours. She and the hyperman were lovers, or at least had let their pheromones run wild last night, but she really wasn't sure what he expected from her. "Drag — Acteon, I'm still surprised that you're willing to let me run around naked down there."

He shrugged. "I'm not the jealous type. If you decide to leave me, then you leave me. As for clothes, weapons on a cat-girl will be enough of a shock for the residents of Anima. Besides, you probably wouldn't be recognized if you wore clothes, and I believe you want everyone down there to recognize you as that sexy young cat-girl who mysteriously disappeared the night the hyperman rampaged through their backwards little town."

Minx remembered his promise to follow her wherever she fled, and then his later promise to let her be. Her mind was full of emotions. Sometimes this man seemed obsessed with her, and at other times he seemed indifferent. "I have a lover on Anima," she said, wondering what his reaction was going to be.

"You have a lover right here, my Artemis. And I think I match you better than any planet-bound tiger-man, no matter how much of an Adonis he is." Minx opened her mouth in surprise. "Oh, yes. Fran told me everything, exactly as you instructed her to. I told you I'm not the jealous type. I'll be sad if you leave me, but I know I'll get over it eventually. I did find you, so I think I can probably find another woman of similar quality for my purposes." He rubbed his chin. "Do you think you're the only lover I've had? I've known two hyperwomen; both bedded me, and then tried to kill me. I hope you're not the jealous type."

"I'm not sure," she admitted. Minx walked across the small hanger to Ship, and then bid her vessel to open the hatch. "I'm not going to kiss you goodbye, Acteon. While you're off on your own, with cat-girls throwing themselves at your feet, I want you to be wondering whether we'll ever be together again." She then blew him a kiss and climbed into the spacecraft that the hyperman had taken to calling Aphrodite.

"Ship, let's go as soon as he's safely out of the way."

"That's Aphrodite, honey. I'm the goddess of love. And while you may not kiss your mate goodbye, I'm making sure to kiss my Hephaestus so that he'll think of nothing else while I'm away."

Minx sighed. Ship was so horny and the relationship the four of them had was so complicated, but she had grown accustomed to it in a very short time. And she knew Dragon — Acteon liked it, too. And what was this nonsense with the name changes?

After a few seconds her vessel left the larger Hephaestus, and Minx saw a star-sprinkled blackness fill her viewing screen. Ship turned, and the yellowish-orange sphere of Anima shifted into view. Minx could see by the lighting on the planet that it was afternoon in the nameless town she was returning to.

"Ship, I want you to park in the same spot as before. I'll walk into town. Monitor my transmitter, and let me know of any problems you detect. Can you keep an eye on Hephaestus as well?"

"Like I wasn't going to watch him every second we were parted? I don't want some slinky little private yacht moving in while I'm away. Are you worried about your hyperman, boss?"

Minx considered what to say to that question. "I guess I am. But I'm also worried about what he might get up to. I don't completely trust him, Ship."

II


Ship did land in the same gulley, in almost exactly the same spot as before. Minx cast a thoughtful glance at the smashed force field generator, and the boulder she had used to crush it. The wheelbarrow was gone, though. She searched the dirt and found Acteon's boot tracks and the imprints of the bare feet of a woman, most likely a cat-girl. They were about the size of Fran's feet.

"Dragon — oh damn, Acteon brought her all the way out here?" Minx stood and scratched her head. "She must have taken the wheelbarrow back. Did he anticipate that Rarvey might blame her for my disappearance and the loss of the wheelbarrow? I'll have to ask Fran when I see her."

"I bet you have other stuff on your mind when you see that sexy cat-girl..." replied Ship, through the subcutaneous communicator.

Minx climbed the side of the gulley, dusted herself off, and then followed the road into town. It was an easy walk, despite the hot sun beating down on her. The yellows and browns of the landscape made this world one of the least glamorous she had ever visited, but her body almost vibrated with excitement. Soon she would see Fran — and Rudy! She wondered exactly how she was going to deal with Rarvey. He would view her as a runaway cat-girl, and by the laws of this world he would have full authority to punish her any way he saw fit. She put her hand on the pommel of her sword and smiled grimly.

As she approached the town she noticed some of the residents glance at her, take a second look, and then just stare at her in shock. She merely returned an innocent smile and a friendly nod. She was not wearing her silk collar, nor the tag that labelled her as the property of Rarvey. There was a danger of being picked up by the local authorities, but Minx was confident she could defend herself. Acteon had begun to show her how to fight with a sword when they suddenly both realized that she had some experience with one. With her newly discovered speed and strength, Minx felt confident that she was in no danger from any individual attacker.

She found Rarvey's place and pushed open the saloon doors. After a few seconds the conversations died down, as the more alert patrons pointed her out to their friends. Then all was silent, except for the noises heard from the tavern. It was around dinnertime so the bar wasn't even half full yet.

"Minx!" cried Fran from across the room. She set down her platter of drinks on a handy table, surprising the patrons, and ran across the room to wrap her arms around Minx. "Oh, I'm so glad you're okay! I begged and begged that hyperman not to hurt you and he did promise but he was a hyperman and you know they can't be trusted. Oh, Minx! It's so good to see you! But why did you come back?" And Fran turned in fear to the rat-man Rarvey, who was now stomping towards the two cat-girls, his face twisted in fury.

Minx was so relieved to see her friend unhurt. She grabbed Fran's chin and turned her so they were face to face again. She tilted the cat-girl's head forward and was gratified to see Fran smile and then lean forward. Their lips met and Minx felt her heart hammer away in her chest.

Fran moaned while being kissed. Minx could feel the cat-girl's nipples pressing against her breasts, and in turn could feel her own buds begin to stiffen. One of Fran's legs wrapped around Minx's, and the bounty hunter knew she was in danger of losing herself in the cat-girl's embrace.

Minx broke the kiss just as Rarvey came within arm's reach of the two, one of his arms swinging back as if to hit them both. Minx stepped aside from Fran, and drew her sword gracefully. She swiftly brought the point up to Rarvey's throat, causing him to freeze in place.

"You will not interfere, rat-man. I no longer belong to you. Neither does Fran." She looked at the patrons and announced, "Cat-girls are no longer slaves!" She looked back at Rarvey. "You can leave, or we can fight and I'll cut you down, Rarvey."

Rarvey backed away, and then ran out the doors and onto the street.

"He'll be back, Minx," prophesied Fran.

Minx reached up and pushed a strand of blonde hair off of Fran's brow. She looked around at the goggling patrons and the frightened cat-girls. "Attention everyone! Business will continue as usual! There has just been a change in ownership! The first round is on the house!"

A cheer went up from the patrons, but the servers stood and stared in shock at Minx. Fran growled.

"Get to work, you lazy cat-girls!" she yelled out. Minx raised her eyebrows in astonishment.

"I didn't think you had that in you, Fran."

The blonde cat-girl turned to her, looking a little frightened. "I didn't know I had that in me. It just seemed that since you're the new boss I want to make sure everything works perfectly for you." Fran looked to the floor. "What are you going to do when Rarvey comes back, Minx?"

"I can handle the rat-man, and anyone else who comes in those doors. Will any of the girls be a problem?"

Fran gave this serious consideration. "No, especially if you let each of them take a man up to their room tonight in celebration. Some of the kitchen staff might cause problems, though."

"Ah, yes. The cat-man," said Minx with a nod. "And others..." she muttered, remembering the head cook. "I'd better go see them right now. Can you take care of the bar orders, Fran?"

"I think so," said the cat-girl, with an eager smile.

Minx put her hand on Fran's cheek. "Fran, I'm so glad you're here, and that you're safe. Things are going to get so much better for cat-girls. You'll see."

Fran's eyes sparkled as she stared at Minx. "I believe you Minx."

"So do I, boss," chimed in Ship.

III


Minx took a deep breath and pushed open the door to the kitchen. Male and female animen were rushing about, preparing the food orders that had been brought in by the cat-girl servers. No one noticed her entrance.

"Everyone stop!" she shouted.

The kitchen went silent; everybody froze, and then turned to Minx. Many of the looks were hostile, some were inquisitive.

A horse-woman waved a ladle at her. "You just get back to work, you lazy little cat-girl! If Rarvey doesn't give you a beating for this then I will!"

"Rarvey's gone!" Everything went silent again, and the ladle was lowered. "I'm in charge now, and if anyone doesn't like that then they'd better say so now!" Minx's heart was hammering in her chest again as she tried to meet the eyes of everyone in the room.

The horse-woman spoke, "Charlie! Take her out back and give her a beating!"

As a horse-man approached her Minx's sword was freed from its sheath, and the bounty hunter pointed it at Charlie. "I'd rather not kill you, Charlie, but if that's what it will take to get everyone in here to listen to me..."

The horse-man grinned, and picked up a cleaver from a counter top. Minx waited for him to get within reach, and then quickly stabbed out at his hand. Charlie recoiled in pain. The cleaver fell to the floor with a clatter.

Minx turned to the horse-woman. "I'm willing to let you stay in charge of the kitchen. Are you going to cause any trouble? Do I have to fire you?"

"I'll keep working, cat-girl. But when Rarvey gets back he's going to lock you up in a small box, and then leave you outside in the sun for a week." The horse-woman turned away from Minx. "What are the rest of you doing? Get back to work!"

Minx sheathed her sword and walked back into the bar. Fran was putting together orders as fast as she could, while the other cat-girls were hustling from table to table. She walked over to Fran, and put her hand on the blonde's shoulder. The tension in the cat-girl immediately disappeared.

"Is everything okay in there, Minx?" Fran asked, with a nod to the kitchen.

"For now, but I'm sure I'll have to assert my new authority a couple of times before everyone accepts it. How are the girls doing out here?"

Fran grinned. "I told them that you said they could take men up their rooms tonight. They're very excited. It wasn't their night, it was to be mine. They're working harder than I've ever seen them work before."

"Oh," replied the bounty hunter thoughtfully.

Fran turned back to her work, while Minx stared at the pretty blonde cat-girl. The bounty hunter had been hoping that she and Fran might spend the night together, but if Fran had plans Minx wasn't going to stand in the way of her friend's happiness.

IV


A short time later, Minx found herself in the small sleeping chamber that had once been her room. Everything looked exactly as she remembered it. There was the simple but serviceable bed, the tiny cobweb-filled window, the wooden strongbox with the broken lock, the small bedside table, and the portrait of the Prophet, the skunk-man Primus. The place needed a little cleaning, but the idea of sleeping in Rarvey's room made her shiver. She ran her hand over the image of the Prophet.

She wondered exactly what she was doing on this backward world. She had come to free the cat-girls from slavery, but her first act had been to take over the rat-man's bar! Why was an act of revenge the first thing she did upon her return to Anima?

The hyperman had determined that she had some hyperman — hyperperson? — genes. Could some of those genes be asserting themselves? Were the terrible traits the hypermen had been known for such as sadism, blinding and rapid anger, supreme arrogance, and an inhuman detachment from their victims just aspects of her inner self that were only now being revealed?

Minx shook her head. That just didn't make any sense, she thought. Her personality was changing, but it was because of the revelation of her hidden past and not because of biochemistry locked away in her DNA. Who was she, really? How could she be decades older than she remembered, and why did her brain fog up when she tried to think of her past?

Acteon — correction, Dragon could help her find the truth! And she was determined to ignore his little name changes, and continue calling him by the name she first had heard him use. She would free the cat-girls, find out if she had any future with Fran or Rudy, and then meet up with the annoying, but intriguing, hyperman.

A commotion in the bar caught her attention. "Damn!" she swore. She remembered that Rarvey would probably have gone straight to the local authorities to plead his case. They would not be happy about a cat-girl upsetting their society; but a cat-girl, not a human, had to make the changes.

Minx walked to the top of the stairs. There was a crowd at the bottom, and at the very front were the two rhino-people she had encountered on her first visit to Anima. Both the male and female constables glared up at her, as if she were some tiresome child.

"If you back away into the bar, I'll come down peacefully!" shouted Minx. She watched as they briefly discussed the options, and then wisely backed away into the bar.

"What's going on, boss?" asked Ship.

"Nothing. I can handle it."

Minx drew her sword, and slowly made her way down the stairs. As she neared the bottom, the bounty hunter thought she heard a sound in Rarvey's office. She glanced further down the hall, toward the bar, and spied the cat-girls and patrons watching eagerly. She inched silently down to the hallway, then made her way along the wall and peered into the rat-man's office, past the partially closed door. She knocked on the door with the tip of the sword. There was no response. She slowly pushed the door open with the sword.

The door suddenly was thrown wide and the uniformed rhino-man swung his sword at Minx's. She realized instantly that the rhino-man had assumed that, being a cat-girl, she did not even know the basics of sword fighting. She flicked her hand down, dodging his attempt to knock the blade from her grasp, and then rotated her wrist so the flat of her blade struck the rhino-man's wrist with a loud snap.

He cursed and dropped his sword. Minx then kicked him in the chest, knocking him deeper into the room. She saw the rhino-woman charging at her with her sword raised for a murderous down-stroke. As the blade began to descend, Minx stepped back and parried the policewoman's weapon to the floor. The bounty hunter then clenched her fist and hit the rhino-woman as hard as she could in the jaw. The rhino-woman dropped to the floor, stunned.

Minx saw three more uniformed animen in the room along with Rarvey, who was hiding behind his desk. All four looked frightened. One of the uniformed animen was holding Fran tightly, and covering her mouth with his hand.

"You saw what I can do. Will you surrender, or must I kill one of you?" she called to them.

The rhino-man, kneeling on the ground and holding his wrist, spoke up. "We surrender. No-one will hurt you or that other cat-girl. You're free to flee." Minx saw the other uniformed men relax, and a surprised Fran was released.

"What?" shouted Rarvey as he rose form his crouch.

Minx turned to Fran and pointed at the rhino-woman's sword. "Pick that up, will you dear?" She then turned to the men in the office. "Drop your weapons. You two pick up the rhino-woman, and help her into the bar room. Rarvey, you and the two others go into the bar room ahead of us." She waved her sword at them and they moved to comply.

Fran stood beside Minx, watching her friend in wonder. When the two reached the bar room it was full of surprised faces, as the patrons scrambled to find the best places to watch what was to come. Even the customers and employees of the tavern were squeezed at the doorway, watching what was happening.

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