Welcome to Nockatunga Station


“Be good for the crew,” First said. “They’ve been working their asses off this stop.”

“Hey, First, you heard about the Halloween Party at the Tiki Bar?” Wong sat down at the table, poured herself a coffee. “Most of us ‘re planning on going.” She grinned. “If that tyrant gives is the time off, that is. You and Keagan wanna come with us?”

“Nah, can’t do that, Wong. Keagan’s dragging me off with some mates of hers, some party up on Station Crew level. She’ll spew if I don’t show.”

“Ohhhhh, aren’t we picking up the local dialect just fine?” Wong laughed. “Just pulling your leg, First, you have your bit of fun. Bit worried about Zima though, she’s been going off on her own pretty much every off-shift. Doesn’t let off steam enough, that girl.”

“Zima?” Bhatti said, joining them. “Don’t worry ‘bout her, she’s found some dude. Comes back smiling every night. Told me she’s been having a great time.”

First grinned. “Good for her.”

“Time she loosened up a bit,” Wong sipped her coffee.

“Hey, Wong, what’re we gonna wear to the Halloween Party at the Tiki Bar?” Bhatti changed the subject.

“Nothing?” Wong said, then burst into laughter at Bhatti’s expression.

* * *

“Got another missing spacer report, boss. Some sheila didn’t report back to her ship for a couple of days.” MacInerney looked up from his consoles. “That’s six sheila’s in the last two days boss. Bit higher than average.”

“Probably jumping ship and heading downside. Can’t blame ‘em, can ya? God’s own planet, ‘n everything. What Sheila wouldn’t wanna head down, find blokes like us, get ‘erself preggers ‘n bring up some happy little vegemites. Beats the crap outa working as a spacer dunnit, mate? I mean, where’d ya rather be if you were a sheila, mate? Up here in the blue or a fucking sight worse, out there in the deep black in a jump ship, or down surfing at Saint Kilda ‘n watching smoking hot dudes likes us in budgie smugglers.” He laughed. “If you’re a fucking Sheila, mate.”

“Yeah, guess so, boss. Watcha want me to do about this one?

“Fuck it, mate, the more sheila’s downside the better, eh. Put a notice out on her but fuck it, lot of these bitches, you hear their stories, the sorta shit planet they got away from, I tell ya, you gotta feel sorry for them. Let her run, that’s my take on it unless she’s a real crim. Downside won’t give a flying fuck.”

“Righto, boss, I’ll list her, low priority. Fuckit, list all the others as low priority to. Give ‘em a chance, eh.”

“Yeah, that’ll do, Mac. No skin of our noses, plenty of spacers on station looking for ships.”

“Not the last few weeks, boss, they musta been shipping out or something. Patrol’s ‘re saying it stands out like a dogs balls. Not picking up any dero’s, the cells’re just about empty. They haven’t been finding anyone bunking down in the docking bays.”

“Well, that’s no fucking problem then, is it?”

“Guess not, boss. Wanna cuppa?”

“Fuck yeah, you go make it, I’ll watch the consoles.”

“Right you are, boss.”

* * *

“Last off-shift on station,” the Captain said after he’d called everyone in to the mess. “Good work, everyone. Holds ‘re loaded to capacity, this is going to be a good run. Now, we got forty eight passengers booked for the run to Tuataupere, and that’s gonna be a bitch. They’re all embarking at oh seven hundred station time tomorrow and our departure slot’s at oh ten hundred, customs and immigration ‘re clearing us at oh nine hundred so all of you be back by oh six hundred, got it? No excuses.”

“Got it, captain,” the crew chorused.

“Okay, take off, enjoy yourselves. Plenty of Halloween Parties tonight, so I hear. Anybody needs bailing out, I’m leaving you behind.” The crew moved off down the access tube, chattering, laughing. One last evening to blow off steam before a month of jump space.

“Your girl clearing us out?” the Captain asked First.

“Keagan?” First grinned. “Yeah, as a matter of fact she will be.”

Wong giggled. “Hey, First, can she tuck her feet behind her ears?”

First grinned. “That’d be telling, Wong. How come you’re still here, anyhow?”

Wong shrugged. “My guys don’t get off shift for another hour. Want to come with me and grab a drink while we wait?”

First shrugged. “Sure, see you in the morning, Cap.”

“Going to be you and me again, Scotty,” the Captain said, closing the access hatch.

Scotty shrugged apologetically. “Just you, Cap,” she said, opening it again. “Got me a hot date for a Halloween Party.” And she was gone as well, walking down the tube to the dock where a gaudy toy-boy half her age and smiling stood waiting.

* * *

“Coming drinking with us, Zima?” Patel asked. “Going to the Tiki Bar up on Level Six. Bit fancy but they’re doing a Halloween theme party and everything and the drinks’re half price.”

“Naah, met someone on station, going to a Halloween Party with him,” Zima said. Buzz had said it was going to be something different. What the heck would a giant alien bee thing know about Halloween parties, that’s what Zima had wanted to know? Buzz had, well, he’d buzzed. “You’d be zzzzzurrprizzzzed, Zzzzzzima.”

“Okay, change your mind, we’re at Burt’s Tiki Bar, in the Richmond Mall on Level Six, okay,” Wong said. “Enjoy yourself, Zima, stay out of trouble.” Like Zima’d get into trouble. Wong grinned. Stretched. Wiggled. Bruce and Trev and Snowy, all three of them. This was gonna be a good night. Those guys could keep it up alright. All night. All three of them at once. That was how she planned to finish up tonight. Oh yeah! Good night, coming up!

Zima waited until they were out of sight before she turned and headed towards’s Buzz’s compartment. “Meet me there,” he’d said. “I have a costume for you.” His hum had sounded excited to Zima. She kind of liked the thought that Buzz was actually excited about her and this party. Weird to think that way about an alien, especially one that looked as strange as Buzz did, but whatever. She’d miss his massages when they shipped out in the morning.

She was kind of looking forward to the Halloween Party as well. They didn’t do Halloween Parties on New Jerusalem, she’d had to look it up to figure out what it was all about. Kind of like Buzz and his friends must’ve. Although when you thought about it, going to a Halloween Party with an alien kind of bee insect thing although he did have hands really was a bit weird. Didn’t take her long to get to his compartment either. Hatch was open, she walked right in and as soon as she breathed in that summer scent and heard that faint background buzz, well, it wasn’t weird at all.

“Hey, Buzz.” She smiled, although she doubted smiling meant a thing to him. Just as whatever facial expressions or body language he used was a mystery to her. His humming though, that was something else. Something that seemed able to be shared.

“Zzzzzzzima,” Buzz’s hum was an infectious happiness that even the half dozen other women standing around in the compartment did nothing to inhibit. Buzz did massages, he had clients. Of course he’d invite his other clients. “Come, I have your cozzzztume, change now pleazzzzze and we zzzhall go.”

He held up a red dress with large black circular markings on it, a lot shorter than Zima was accustomed to, a black hood and black stockings. Really, it was only then that Zima, who’d had eyes only for Buzz, noticed that was how all the other women were dressed, the black hoods fastened under their chins but leaving their faces exposed, the short dresses exposing legs clad in black thigh high stockings.

Zima giggled. “We’re all going to look like ladybugs,” she said.

“Ladybugzzzz?” Buzz’s hum sounded puzzled for a second, then morphed into that laughing hum that Zima loved to hear. “Oh Zzzzzzima, you are zzzzoooo perzzzzeptive. Come .. come … we muzzzzzt change and be on our way. Ladybuggzzzz, how apt, you do not know how apt, Zzzzima. Yezzzzzz. Definitely Ladybuggzzzz. I muzzzt tell the otherzzzz after we arrive. They will appreciate thizzzzz.”

* * *

“Where are we going anyway?” Zima asked as she walked beside Buzz, heading down station, down the ramps, feet echoing of steel plating, stark fluorescent lighting, dark shadows, chipped paint. The dim corners and industrial starkness of the access-way contrasting with the new clothes, bright colors, voices and laughter of the half dozen women walking with Buzz. This part of station really was commercial, the sort of area a girl didn’t wander through by herself when it was downtime. A group, that was okay, but alone, nope.

“Going? Commercial Docking, Level Zero,” Buzz said. “My friendzzzz have a commercial bulk warehouzzzze cloze to the dockzzzz their szzzzhipzzzz uzzzze. Lotzzzz of zzzpace. Empty right now. We are uzzing for thizzz Halloween Party. Thizzz Halloween thing izzz zzzuch a great human cuzzzztom.” His hum contained a laughter within it that had Zima smiling. “Trick or Treat? We enjoy thizzzz trick or treat. We decided to have a big party.”

“Are they all your customers?” Zima asked, gesturing at the others with them.

“Yezzzz,” Buzz replied, “But zzzzum are more special than otherzzzz…” Somehow his tone conveyed to Zima that she, she was that special one, she was the one above all else.

He gestured. “Through thizzzz way, Zima. Almozzzzt there now.” His humming held that excited undertone again, an excitement that not only Zima but the other women all seemed to catch and share. They clustered close to Buzz, talking, giggling excitedly, looking around eagerly as Buzz led them through a commercial loading hatch, the coaming flush to the station floor plating. Another alien, identical to Buzz, greeted them. The two hummed and buzzed, almost doing a little dance before Buzz led them through another large hatch and into a cavernous warehouse space. A cavernous but still crowded warehouse space.

“Wow,” was the first thing Zima said.

“Scary,” was the second thing Zima said.

Her first visual impression was awesome, terrifyingly awesome. If a Halloween Party was supposed to be scary, this was the definitive of scary. The cavernous warehouse space was no longer the rock of the asteroid that had been the basis of Nockatunga Station, rock-carved tunnels covered by sprayed on plasteel and built out with welded steel plating. Now it was a cliff face, ancient rock, a canyon wall honeycombed with shadowed holes that gave an impression of great age. Not just age, but aeon’s of ancientness, century after century of age, age and vague half-lighted gloom illuminated by a pale moonlight glowing balefully from an eldritch sky in which flying things could be seen in the far distance.

The shadows of those ages past crowded in upon Zima, chaotic, horrific, soulless, the vast wings of ancient and unknown alien gods hovering over an alien landscape. The floor on which she trod was no longer thick steel decking plate. It was sand, thick and golden, packed hard. Sand and stretching away across the floor of what had been a standard warehouse compartment but now was not. Now, lines of columns broke the space down into a honeycomb of enclosed spaces through which a hundred aliens like Buzz hummed busily.

The columns themselves were symmetrical without being graceful, sullenly hexagonal, massive and stark, an architecture not of humans but of aliens, conceived and built in what Zima knew instinctively was an age before even the dawn-time of humanity. An age where the ancestors of humans cowered terrified and afraid in the darkness of the night and dreamed of monsters and of monstrous gods.

Here were those monsters out of humanity’s ancestral nightmares, what had been the warehouse walls and ceiling coated with giant cobwebs, huge arthropods with the appearance if giant spider-like monstrosities clinging to the webs. Dangerously large and hungry spiders. Music piped from the speakers, a buzzing hum reverberating within Zima so that her feet begged to dance. A reverberating pulsing hum with an ancient eeriness to it that scared her a little even as her feet began to move of their own accord.

“On our home world,” Buzz hummed, “these are the beings that traditionally prey on us, a beast to be feared.”

“Scary,” Zima murmured.

“Yezzzzzz,” Buzz almost shivered. “We hunt them, but zzzztill, they are dangerouzzzzz. Our ancestorzz and theirzz, we war over hunting territory, we war over breeding groundzz but the hive izzz victoriouzzzz, the hive is alwayzzzz victoriouzzz.” His hum turned happier. “But now, Halloween Party for our hozzztzzzz. You dance with friendzzzzz.”

“Hosts?” Zima laughed. “You’re the hosts, Buzz. We’re the guests.” Translators. Sometimes they got confused.

“Hozzztzzz?” Buzz’s hum had that laugh again. Laughter and excitement, both. An excitement that had Zima’s heart beating faster, the way it did when she walked into Buzz’s compartment of an evening, knowing how he would make her feel. And yes, there was what seemed to be a dance floor, crowded with women, all dressed identically in the short red and black dresses, the black tights and the black hoods, all dancing languidly to that humming music.

Zima giggled. A swarm of dancing ladybugs, that’s what she was reminded of.

Buzz hummed. “I will mark you firzzt, Zzzzzima, mark you before you dance zzzo the otherzzzz will know you are mine.” His head dipped towards Zima, his large multi-faceted eyes glinting in the dimly sparkling light, his proboscis exuded a little fluid which one of his long fingers dabbed onto Zima’s neck. “You all look very much the zzzame to uzz, Zzzima, so we muzzt mark you zo azz to know who brought you.” His hum became one of satisfaction as an intoxicating scent wafted across Zima’s face. “Dance for me Zzzzima, enjoy party time, Zima.” His hum resonated with amusement. “Be a happy ladybug, Zzzzzima.”

Breathing in, inhaling that scent, Zima wanted nothing more than to dance with the others, to enjoy herself, to loose herself in the eerily humming buzz of that ancient music, waves of sound that reverberated through her body, filled her mind, suffocating thought. Music that felt ancient beyond thought, music that had been millennia old when Sumer was in its infancy and human’s still struggled to be more than beasts. Hypnotic and compelling. Exciting.

“Dance for me, Zzzzzima. Dance with the otherzzzzz.” The fingers of one hand stroked her cheek, his other hands turned her, urged her onto the wide expanse of sand now filled with half a thousand woman all dressed in those short red and black dresses, those black caps, those black tights. All dancing, all lost in the music, their eyes half-glazed, following those who had brought them here as Zima’s eyes followed Buzz.

Zima lost herself in the depths of the trance-like music, dancing with the others, a sea of women moving mindlessly, absorbed, their faces as entranced as hers, as lost in the music as she was. She knew Buzz was watching her and now she danced for him, just as the other women he had brought with him were also dancing for him, dancing for him as he stood and watched them. That music piped through her, singing to her soul, commanding her body, driving thought away. A relentless hypnotic pulse that fed her excitement, her desire, her willingness to surrender herself to Buzz. Her eagerness.

Her dance became a whirlwind of fire and tropical storm and passion and heat and spring seed sown, of fertility and fecundity. She was the ground to be ploughed for sowing, soil in which the seed was scattered, she was the one who hosted life, who nurtured life within her body, who hosted and protected the life that would grow within her and who at last gave birth and her dance for Buzz was one of offering herself, of giving herself, of giving life. The alien music sang to her of those things, fed her emotions, her feelings, fed her excitement.

Her universe narrowed to Buzz’s huge multi-faceted eyes glinting in the baleful moonlight as her feet flew, as her body whirled and spun, red and black spinning and whirling in a sea of dancing red and black. The dance floor now was lined and circled by Buzz and his brethren, a circled of golden-haired aliens, strangely still as their multi-faceted orbs watched, as they hummed to the music, a hum that became more and more powerful. A hum of hunger and of taking that reverberated through the dancers, exciting them, driving every thought from their minds but for that willingness to give life of themselves.

Buzz’s singing hum was so distinctive that Zima could identify it though the humming song of a hundred other aliens. A humming rope that hung between her and Buzz, and in that hum, Zima could feel his growing excitement, feel his desire and his need to give life and her own body responded, her dancing now of Time and Eternity, of Creation and Death, of the urging to give Life, to give Birth, to find Death and dissolution and fulfillment in that giving birth.

Zima longed now for Buzz, for his hands, for his touch, but now she longed for more than that. She longed to give herself to Buzz as a woman would give herself to a male of her own species. She longed to give herself to him and somehow the eerily humming song told her that on this night, on this special night, that was possible, and that to do so tonight would be exhalation, sacrifice and heaven, all in one. All in one joyous act of surrender and creation.

She could see from the faces around her that the exaltation, the excitement, the desire she felt was shared, shared by every woman here. Almost from beside her, a young woman swayed forward, face alive with excitement, alive with desire and with love, swayed towards an alien who was not Buzz, swayed towards it and followed it as it led her into one of the pillared alcoves. Zima felt nothing but surging excitement as the alien lifted the young woman onto a padded dais, as the alien’s hands caressed the woman.

Always with Buzz, he’d stood beside the massage table but now, as Zima watched, this alien who was the mirror image of Buzz eased itself up onto the padded dais over the young woman. Moved over her as a human male would love to mount a human female, a giant golden yellow insect-being humming with an infectious and irresistible excitement as its two short legs parted the woman’s. As two of its hands removed her panties while two more drew her legs back and the last two held her hands above her head.

Zima’s heart beat faster, her excitement grew as the alien’s golden-hued abdomen rose, curved. She watched as a long black tubular ovipositor extended slowly from the tip of the alien’s abdomen, seeking for and finding the woman’s now pinkly glistening sex. Zima’s own sex pulsed hotly with excitement as the tip of the ovipositor touched the woman’s sex, gently eased inwards as the woman arched her back and cried out with her excitement.

Half a hundred woman moaned in ecstatic empathy as they watched that tubular black ovipositor ease inwards, ease in and out, working its way into the young woman’s sex and Zima was one of those, her body pulsing heatedly with her own desire, her own need, her own longing for Buzz to take her and possess her as the young woman was being taken and possessed. The woman’s moans and cries of ecstatic excitement as she was mounted rose over the music, resonated with the music, resonated within Zima and held her spellbound, held her enthralled new waves of scent wafting through the air brought her excitement to a new level.

Around her, all around her, women were walking or dancing towards aliens, being led to alcoves, being mounted and mated in a wafting tide of pheromones, a washing flood of moans and cries of excitement merging with the humming music in a mating ritual that was old eons before humanity began to emerge as a distinct species. There was no reluctance, no resistance, only a willing eagerness that Zima shared as she watched and waiting, eager but not impatient, knowing from the music that her turn would come, that she would be part of the ritual, that Buzz would mate with her when it was time.

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