tagSci-Fi & FantasyThree Square Meals Ch. 074

Three Square Meals Ch. 074

byTefler©

"We have been sssuppresssing all newsss of the losss of our forcesss in the Regulusss sssyssstem, jussst asss you ordered, your Imperial Majesssty," Grand Prelate Melkadian said, glancing up at the vast draconic behemoth with no small amount of apprehension. "The Imperial Information Bureau hasss kept all talk of the battle from newsss feedsss, and any queriesss about thossse forcesss have been blocked by talk of preparationsss for a major offensssive."

The Emperor had been deeply unimpressed when he'd been informed of the loss of all ships under the command of High Prelates Grakira and Zorlin, and had taken quick steps to limit the potential aftershocks of such a defeat. Melkadian had discussed the battle with his leader at length, reviewing footage acquired by spies to analyse the crippling loss. It seemed that there had been one pivotal factor in that battle that even the Emperor had been unable to predict.

"WHAT OF YOUR DIPLOMATIC ENDEAVOURS WITH THE TERRAN FEDERATION?" the Emperor asked, idly dragging a six-foot claw across the floor, and digging a deep furrow in the granite.

Folding his scaly hand-like claws behind his back, Melkadian was delighted to reply, "I have sssurreptitiousssly requesssted a ceassse-fire from Terran High Command, and I received word yesssterday that they have accepted, Emperor. Although our losssesss in the Regulusss sssystem were devassstating, our ssspiesss report that the Terran forcesss took consssiderable damage too. As you sssussspected, they ssseek to ussse thisss lull in the conflict to repair all their forcesss in preparation for a counter-offensssive from the Dragon March."

The colossal dragon nodded, events subsequent to the battle playing out exactly as he'd predicted they would. His huge reptilian eyes gleamed as he stared at Melkadian, and in a deafening growl that reverberated around the cavernous throne room, he asked, "HAVE THE BRIMORIANS UPHELD THEIR END OF OUR BARGAIN?"

"The firssst ssshipmentsss from the Brimoriansss arrived thisss morning, Emperor," Melkadian replied, feeling a surge of relief at being able to report some good news for a change.

A sly smile formed on the Emperor's enormous scaly face, and as his smile widened, rows of huge teeth bigger than Melkadian's leg came into view. It was a truly terrifying visage, and even though Melkadian had grown accustomed to working for the Emperor over many years, he couldn't help feeling an instinctive surge of fear in the presence of such a mighty apex predator.

"EXCELLENT, MELKADIAN," the Emperor boomed, even his normal speaking voice loud enough to make the Kintark Grand Prelate wince inwardly at the sound. "RECALL EVERY AVAILABLE FLEET, AND BEGIN WORK ON THE REFIT IMMEDIATELY."

Melkadian bowed, and said, "Very good, Your Imperial Majesssty. I ssshall give the ordersss at once." The Grand Prelate paused, and then added, "I have sssome other interesssting newsss for you, Emperor. The traitor hasss arrived on Kinta, and isss here in the Palace, if you wisssh to grant him an audience?"

"SEND FOR HIM, HE WILL BE PIVOTAL IN OUR PLANS," the massive dragon thundered, before stretching in satisfaction. Arching his back, the gigantic red titan loomed high in the audience chamber, before settling down with a susurration of scales. He let out a throaty rumble of contentment in his chest, and continued, "SOON MELKADIAN, WE'LL CRUSH THE TERRAN FLEETS AND SWEEP THROUGH THEIR WORLDS. BILLIONS OF SLAVES RIPE FOR THE TAKING - IT WILL BE GLORIOUS."

Up until that morning, Melkadian would have considered such statements as groundless boasting that were completely detached from reality, but recent events had changed matters considerably. His heart lifted at the prospect of a golden age for the Kintark Empire, and the annexation of the Terran Federation would ensure reptilians, not humanoids, would become the dominant species in the galaxy!

He lowered his gaze subserviently to his revered leader, and said, "Once again, I'm awed and humbled by your ssstaggering intellect and foresssight, Emperor. Truly it isss an honour to ssserve one ssso mighty."

Sensing that his audience with the Emperor was at an end, Melkadian turned and started the long walk down the vast hall that was decorated with war trophies from a dozen subjugated species. The dragon spoke again though, halting him in his tracks.

"THE 'LION OF THE FEDERATION', WHAT NEWS OF HIM?" The Emperor asked, his bellowing voice muted to a cautious rumble.

It was the first time Melkadian had ever heard the Emperor speak in such a way, and he stifled his shock, before turning to answer the question.

***

John had a lot on his mind as he strolled out of the drydock on his way towards Edraele's quarters. However, he still smiled pleasantly at the various dark-haired Maliri engineers he passed, who stopped whatever tasks they were doing to stare at him in absolute fascination. Fortunately, most of them weren't doing anything dangerous at the time, although two grav-trucks hauling long coils of power cables would have crashed into each other if he hadn't raised a hand to bring them to a halt with a telekinetic barrier. He wagged a finger at the astonished drivers, who blushed endearingly as they gazed at him.

He'd healed seventy-five Maliri today, giving each of them a healthy head of white hair, as they joined the ever-expanding network of girls under Edraele's care. The last group had been several hours ago, and since then, he'd been helping with some of the heavy-lifting for the refit, while chatting to more of the Maliri. He could have asked Jade for her assistance with recruiting a fourth group, but he had other plans in mind.

He hadn't gone more than a couple of strides along the corridor, when he heard the sound of running footsteps behind him. Turning to see who was pursuing him, he smiled when he saw a very familiar, beautiful blue face framed by long, flowing white hair.

"Hey, everything alright?" he asked Irillith, as she jogged to catch up to him.

She reached his side, and paused before she answered, then let out a sad sigh before she replied, "No, not really. I wanted to speak to you before you make any big decisions, though. Can you spare a moment?"

"For you, always," he said with a smile, and taking her hand, he led her over to the "recruiting room" he'd been using with Jade.

They walked over the springy floor, and John sat down in the big chair, then pressed the button to close the door behind them. He patted his lap for her to sit, and was pleased to see a flicker of a smile light up Irillith's face as she joined him, and sat obediently across his lap.

"I'm sorry I haven't had a chance to check in with you today," he apologised, while wrapping her in his arms. "I know you're really worried about Tashana. Any news on her?"

"It's alright, you've had a lot to deal with since we got here," she said, leaning into him and resting her head against his shoulder. Irillith looked forlorn as she added, "As for Tashana, she still hates me with a passion, and refuses to take my calls."

"I'd offer to talk to her, but she's terrified of me," John said, with a look of regret. Sounding more optimistic, he continued, "Edraele's keeping an eye on her to make sure she's alright, so she'll let us know if there's a problem. I'm hoping that given a bit of time, Tashana will realise I'm not some horrible monster, and that I'm actually trying to help the Maliri."

Irillith nodded, and agreed, "It's probably best not to push her, especially after everything she's been through." She looked thoughtful before she added, "She can't have missed how much happier the engineers are once they've joined us. Hopefully, that might make her see that you're changing things for the better."

"If you need me to help in any way, just let me know. I'll drop whatever I'm doing to be there for you, okay?" he said, lifting her chin so that she was looking at him.

Giving him a grateful smile, she replied, "I know, and I promise I'll ask for your help if I need it."

"Good girl," he replied, being deliberately patronising, and he grinned when he managed to make her chuckle. Giving her a curious look, he continued, "So, what did you want to speak to me about? Or did you just want to talk about Tashana?"

Irillith sat up so that she could look at him more easily, and replied, "I actually wanted to talk to you about my mother, if that's okay?"

"Sure, what's on your mind?" he asked, giving her an encouraging smile.

She looked away for a moment, then replied, "I just wanted to ask you not to judge her too harshly for what she did. From what I've seen of the new Edraele, her heart was probably in the right place, even if the results seemed shocking from a Terran point of view. She was just approaching this problem as any Maliri Matriarch would."

John stroked her back, as he said, "It's alright, I'm not upset with her." He let out a heavy sigh, and added, "Really, it was my fault, for not checking to see if my Progenitor-side had left her any orders. It just came as a shock, that's all."

Irillith nodded, and her violet eyes looked distant as she said in an oddly-detached voice, "It's amazing, the impact you've had on me. Only a few months ago, I would have been overjoyed to hear about her elimination of House Valaden's enemies, and full of admiration for her cunning. Now, I'm appalled by it."

"You've come a very long way since then," he said, making no attempt to mask how proud of her he was.

She blushed a dark blue, and said, "I can't exactly claim much credit for that, but I appreciate the sentiment. Thank you."

Shaking his head, John said earnestly, "All I did was heal some of the emotional trauma you'd suffered. The way you've befriended all the girls, and done so much to help Calara rescue her family, was all down to you." He smiled as he added, "The old Irillith was a bit of a pain in the ass, but the new you? To quote Dana: 'You're awesome!'."

Irillith laughed aloud at that and hugged him affectionately, looking much happier already. "I always feel so much better after talking to you," she said, leaning in to give him a tender kiss.

"Yeah, I love our chats too," he agreed. His voice was gentle as he added, "Don't let the situation with Tashana get you down. Things will work out, it'll just take time, that's all."

"I know, and I'll keep persisting with her," she said, looking firmly resolved in her decision. "I'm not going to let her down again."

"Like I said... awesome," he grinned, and he got to hear her lovely laughter as his reward.

***

Tashana paced back and forth, fretting over her plans as she went through them again. She'd managed to identify the perfect vessel to escape, and she had a good idea for her destination. All she needed now was to remove the tracking device, and choose the ideal moment to make her getaway. She froze mid-stride, with the sudden realisation that she needed to find some kind of evidence to back up her warnings about the Progenitor, if anyone was actually going to believe her.

If she could get to her treasure-trove of artefacts on Valaden, they would be enough to convince even the most stubborn of sceptics, but there was no guarantee those items hadn't been destroyed when she was exiled. Even if they were still intact and undisturbed after all those years, they were in her quarters in her mother's palace on Valaden, which was a veritable fortress. Attempting to recover those items would simply be impossible with all the security there.

Her pacing renewed again, and she wracked her brains as she tried to think of anything she could use. Freezing for a second time, she felt a wild surge of hope in her chest, and rushed over to the nearest data terminal, holding her breath with anticipation. Her slender fingers darted over the console, and after pausing for a second to remember her old security ID, she grinned when she found that it hadn't been revoked. Irillith had so underestimated her, that she had never bothered to remove her security clearance, figuring Tashana to be doomed in her exile to the Unclaimed Wastes.

Now that she had logged in, she accessed the only part of their secure network that she'd ever used, her hands shaking with excitement as she tapped in the access codes. It only took a second to bring up the data archive, and she whooped with delight when she saw that everything was still there - decades of her painstaking work, investigating and recording data on every Progenitor and Thrall artefact or facility that she'd managed to uncover.

She knew her work like the back of her scarred hand, and she flipped through the holographic data archives until she found what she was looking for. It was a picture she'd taken from a Maliri thrall facility she'd discovered on Epsilon Aquarii IV, the very system she was in now. The base had been constructed near a fault line, and with tectonic activity over tens of thousands of years, most of the facility had been crushed. She'd managed to unearth what had appeared to be some kind of trophy room, and while the banners and trophies had been looted or destroyed long ago, the beautiful hand-sculpted friezes on the walls had survived the passage of time.

The artist had been an exceptional artisan, depicting Mael'nerak and his white-haired Maliri thralls massacring the Progenitor's enemies. Different coloured, tiny stones tiles showed the blue-skinned, armoured Maliri with long white hair, just as so many other of her finds had done. She gathered her proof, along with plenty more damning evidence, and copied it to one of the portable data sticks inserted into the console. Now, she just need some compelling evidence to show how John Blake was subverting the present-day Maliri.

She snorted as she had a brainwave, and opened up the data archive that Irillith had sent her. She raced through the data, paying scant attention to several petite Terran girls she didn't recognise, nor the Terran thralls that the Progenitor had subsequently enslaved. All she was looking for was that tell-tale flash of blue from her evil whore of a sister. It didn't take too long to find images taken of Irillith looking demure before she was taken, and another of her with her shameless long white hair. Tashana took still images from both, then added them to the files on the data stick. As soon as the transfer was complete, she flipped open the compartment in the console, detached the data stick, and stashed it in her jacket pocket.

Now that was done, she could put the rest of her escape plan into action, and do what was needed to thwart the Progenitor from crushing the life from her people.

***

John smiled at the guards outside Edraele's quarters, and they blushed before looking at him with wide eyes, as he walked unopposed between them. Alyssa and Edraele were sitting together as they waited for him in the lounge, the two of them deep in conversation when he strode into the room unannounced. The Maliri Matriarch turned to look at him in surprise, and John realised that without her constant telepathic access to his mind, she had no idea he was about to arrive.

He walked over to them, and said, "I'm sorry to have kept you two waiting. I had a lot on my mind before I made any kind of decision."

"Don't worry about it, we've been having a nice chat," Alyssa said, stepping close to him and giving him a brief kiss.

Edraele looked at him apprehensively, and said, "That's quite alright, John. I understand you needed time to come to terms with recent events."

He frowned at her, and asked playfully, "Is that how you greet your Progenitor?"

She blushed and walked over to join them, giving him a rueful smile before leaning in for a kiss. "Sorry, I'm just a bit distracted at the moment," she apologised, relaxing a little when she saw how at ease he looked.

"I've come to my decision, but we can discuss it tomorrow," he said decisively, wrapping his arms around both of them. "There's something much more important we must address first. Right now, in fact."

Alyssa smiled at him, knowing full well what he had in mind, but Edraele had an intensely curious expression on her face as she asked, "What's that?"

He pulled them in closer, and replied to her, "I don't like the idea of you having orders in your head from my Progenitor-side. I'm going to fill up your tummies, so Alyssa can help fix that immediately." He raised an eyebrow as he looked at them in turn, and added, "As long as neither of you object, that is?"

They both looked at him coyly and shook their heads. Alyssa smirked as she replied, "I could definitely use a nightcap."

Edraele sighed happily, her worries receding, and replied, "I can't think of anything I'd love more."

"Good girls," he replied, stroking their backs encouragingly. He glanced at Alyssa and added in a firm telepathic voice, *I'm going to shut you out of my mind as well, just to make this more exciting for you. I'll let you back in when you're carrying my cum in your belly.*

*I fucking love it when you get all dominant like this,* she purred, her cerulean eyes sparkling as she bit her lip and nodded her consent.

John blocked her out of his subconscious, then looked at Edraele, and arched an eyebrow as he inquired, "Could you show us to the bedroom, please?"

He could see her breathing quicken, as she turned and led them through the door opposite the study. There was a corridor beyond with several closed doors on either side, and they followed Edraele as she led them to the third one on the left. The door opened as they approached, revealing a tastefully furnished bedroom, complete with a spacious bed. Both women were flushed now, looking excited as they glanced at him.

"You're wearing far too many clothes, why don't you help each other undress?" he prompted them, lounging against the door as he admired the statuesque blondes.

He could see them both hanging on his every word, no longer able to rely on telepathy to anticipate his whims. The lack of control was thrilling for them both, and they quickly closed with one another, hurrying to take off each other's clothes.

John tutted his disapproval, and said, "Do it slowly, there's no rush. I'm only going to fuck you when I'm good and ready."

They both blushed, then smiled flirtatiously at each other as they began to slowly peel away the layers. Alyssa smoothed the shoulder strap of Edraele's dress from her shoulder, revealing a tantalising stretch of flawless blue skin. In return, Edraele touched the clasp at the top of Alyssa top, then teased it down, undoing the sealing strip all the way to her midriff.

Each of them flashed a look at John from time-to-time, confirming his approval, before helping the other out of their garments. Seeing both confident women looking unsure of themselves and looking to him for direction was very arousing, and his cock throbbed with every inquiring glance they gave him.

When they were both nude, he took a moment to admire the lovely contrast between Alyssa's bronzed skin, and Edraele's sky-blue flesh. They posed for him under his admiring gaze, until he beckoned them over, and said, "Excellent. Now you can both undress me."

Remembering his previous instructions, they took their time, kissing his skin whenever it was exposed as they removed his clothing. With both of them working together, it didn't take long for him to be just as naked as they were, despite the slow teasing as they stripped him. When they were done, he pulled them both to him, enjoying feeling their firm breasts squashed against him.

"You're the two most powerful women in the galaxy," he said, looking at each of them in turn. His tone was fierce as he continued, "I love you both, and you belong to me."

"I'm yours, Master," Alyssa whispered, her voice throbbing with adoration as she kissed his cheek.

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