Find the Shoe on the Other Foot Ch. 01byMesmeri©
The one on the left wore the black skinsuit of an Intelligence officer. She had a rakish figure but a face that looked strict even in stasis and had her hair in the same short style as Anari. Neither seemed to be armed but Anari wasn't taking her hand away from her weapon just yet.
Anari waited until they got their bearing before introducing herself. "I'm Commander Anari of the scoutship Panopea and this is my crew, Yanara, Diana and Mei-Li."
It was the intelligence officer who answered. "And I am Colonel Scorpia, Intelligence liaison and in charge of security of this ship, or at least I was." She nodded towards the researcher. "That's doctor Mercada. How long have we been in stasis?"
"I don't know exactly, I haven't been able to look at the logs yet because we don't have that much power to spare. But you have been reported missing for about 34 years. Do you know what happened?"
Anari admired how Scorpia didn't even flinch when she heard how long she'd been in stasis. Granted, there were stories of people that had been woken up after centuries but those were just that, stories. In reality, a stasis-tube would malfunction after about a century if it didn't receive any maintenance.
"I take it you've been to the bridge?" she asked. Anari nodded and Scorpia's face became a little pinched before she started telling her story. "We were transporting this subject," she indicated the still-occupied tube, "when we got the alarm. I shuffled them into this room and waited on the report of my subordinates. Apparently the captain ordered the bridge sealed off when it was momentarily occupied only by herself. My security team tried to get back in but she tricked the system into thinking there was a containment breach. It automatically decompressed blowing everybody out into space. After that there was a ship-wide announcement that the fusion-reactors were going critical followed soon after by another announcement that the ship was going to shut down. I guess that was the AI trying to prevent the captain from blowing up the ship. Since we were trapped in here now, I decided we needed to go into stasis and hope for rescue." She looked Anari in the eyes for a moment. "You haven't found any other survivors, have you?"
Anari didn't know how to sugarcoat it so she didn't try. "No, I haven't. But what I want to know is why the captain did that and what makes this man important enough to put him in stasis."
Scorpia closed her eyes briefly but managed to gather herself fast enough. "I believe the captain visited Lab 3 the day before. That particular lab was doing research in chemical warfare and there was a small incident during her visit. But at the time nothing seemed to be amiss so this is merely speculation. As for the man, he is part of Doctor Mercada's research. Highly classified research but given the circumstances I suppose you can be briefed on the general outline of it. But I will let Doctor Mercada do that."
Doctor Mercada still looked pained, no doubt the realization that they were the only two survivors had hit her hard. "Yes, I suppose I should. My research is in nanotechnology. I am, or I suppose I should say was, looking for ways to improve the nanites we got from the Aleateans in Lab 7." Mercada took another deep breath. "And I was studying 2 Hix nanites to accomplish that goal."
The crew of the Panopea looked up at that. There were only about 70 Hix nanites in Amazonan hands altogether. The had gotten the nanites from the Aleatean outpost where they were studying them. The Aleatean nanites apparently were based on the far superior Hix design and Amazonan researchers had tried to improve the Aleatean ones by studying Hix nanites in the past. They had all faiiled because even after studying their own nanites for 350 years they still didn't understand them completely. They knew how to grow them and had a limited ability to program them but that was it. Anari could see why Mercada's research was important but also why Intelligence would want the research material back.
Mercada smiled ruefully. "The sad part is that I was actually successful, to a degree. I was able to craft a nanite capable of healing a person far faster and more completely than the old design. Which is where he comes in. I had to test the new nanites and I couldn't use a woman for that nor could I use a man already altered by our regular nanites. He is carrying the results of my research in his body, we had to preserve that."
'Hence, the shock-collar and the guard. The nanites would have made the shock-collar less effective,' Anari concluded. "Alright, our orders are to bring this ship back if possible and right now it looks like it is. Our immediate task is getting this ship refueled, a task that is going to be easier with your help, Colonel. You are more familiar with the ship's systems."
Mercada interrupted her, "I am sorry commander, but I need to check my lab and ensure that the Hix nanites are still secure. If you could spare a woman to help me that would be appreciated."
"I'm afraid that isn't possible at the moment. The labs are all sealed off and unpowered. They don't even have life-support at the moment."
Now it was Colonel Scorpia's turn to pitch in. "I am afraid that I have to agree with the doctor, the Hix nanites must be secured. But the two goals do not exclude each other. I take it commander that you are basing your fuel-calculations on where the nearest outpost is?" Anari confirmed that she was. "I know of several concealed refueling-stations that would not be known to you. I am certain one of them is closer than whatever naval base you had in mind."
"That would help, thank you. But the lab still has to be activated. Yanara can go with you doctor. Diana, go to the bridge and direct some energy to Lab 7. The colonel will go with you to arrange the refueling operation from this end while Mei-Li and me will redock the ship at one of its refueling-points."
All agreed with that plan but Scorpia called Mei-Li back when the woman had just turned to follow Commander Anari out. Scorpia approached her and gesturing at her braid asked, "May I?" Mei-Li nodded a little puzzled and lifted her braid into Scorpia's hands who began to caress it. "I had a friend who had a similar enhancement, you know. She could make her spiked hair so hard and though it was like steel." Scorpia took a deep breath and let go of the braid which lazily returned to its normal position. "Just remember, if you take care of it, it will take care of you." And with those words she led Diana out of the stasis-chamber. Mei-Li exchanged a puzzled look with Anari who then shrugged and the two of them left for the Panopea.
The refueling procedure was going off without a hitch but there was something still niggling at the back of Anari's mind. There was something she had missed, but what? It had started after the survivors had explained why the man in the tube was wearing a shock-collar...
'The shock-collar! How were they controlling it when Scorpia wasn't wearing her controller or force baton?' she realized. But there was still doubt, it was possible Scorpia had simply lost it in the mad dash to safety or had put it away before going into stasis herself.
"Mei-Li, I need you to go back to Stasis-chamber 6 and see if you can find Scorpia's force baton or controller in there?"
Mei-Li frowned. "Is something wrong Commander?"
Anari once again restrained herself from running a hand through her hair. "Maybe there is and maybe there isn't. I am wondering how they kept the man in check without those or any other obvious means of controlling the shock-collar. Now, maybe it's just lying on the floor in there and Scorpia just didn't bother to get it because the slave is safely locked in a stasis-tube anyway. But we need to make certain."
Mei-Li saluted. "I understand ma'am, I'll do a thorough search right away." Anari pensively watched as she left. 'And if I am on to something, does it have anything to do with what happened to the Erato or was it just coincidence?'
The refueling process had already ended and the fusion-reactors had done several trial runs before Anari finally heard from Mei-Li. She had actually gotten a little worried by then but that crystallized into suspicions when she heard Mei-Li's report.
"I have searched everywhere twice Commander, I even looked into the occupied tube, but there is nothing here to control the shock-collar. Do you want me to return to the Panopea?"
'Daughter of a bull,' Anari cursed internally. "No, I will be coming to you." She switched to Diana's com-link. "Diana, could you and Colonel Scorpia come to Stasis-chamber 6 as soon as possible."
"Sure, we're about to get one of the fusion-reactors online for real but we can leave the bridge after that."
Anari could hear that Diana was puzzled but she wasn't going to talk out loud about her suspicions where Scorpia could hear them and Diana would be without backup. "Excellent, Anari out."
She hadn't heard from Yanara and Doctor Mercada since they had gone to Lab 7 and was concerned that something had happened with Yanara. So she took a deep breath before activating Yanara's com-link. "Yanara, could you give me an update on the Hix nanites? Have they been secured?"
"Ah, yes. Ehm, it was touch and go for a while there, the battery on the safe had almost run out and if that had happened it would have destroyed the contents before giving the ghost. I had to hook it up to the power supply by hand, it didn't even have enough juice in it anymore to unlock itself."
"So that is why you sound so out of breath?"
"Yeah, and I had to move some stuff out of the way too. This place is a mess."
"I see. And what has the good doctor been doing?"
"She helped me clear the stuff out of the way, but right now she's cleaning up her research notes and the like."
"Alright, I want you and Doctor Mercada to come back to Stasis-chamber 6. I think its time we secure the other part of the doctor's research."
"We'll be there, Yanara out." And with that the com-link was severed. Anari ran a hand through her hair. It looked like everything was in order but she couldn't be certain until she had examined the guy in the tube.
Anari hastened to the rendezvous and was relieved to find only Mei-Li there. It meant she had solid backup just in case Yanara and Diana were compromised after all. It wasn't long before the others arrived though and Anari made sure she and Mei-Li had a clear escape route.
"I've thought about your version of events and I found something puzzling. You said you were transporting the slave and that you jumped into this stasis-chamber when the alarm sounded. But you don't have anything to control the shock-collar."
Scorpia just blinked but Mercada looked sheepishly. "Ah, that would be my mistake. I had the control in my hand, I must have lost it during the confusion."
"An excuse without evidence. I think its time we wake up sleeping beauty so I can question him as well," Anari grumbled. Both the colonel and the doctor gave her an assessing gaze that set her teeth on edge but they nodded and Mercada started the revivification process before stepping back. All the while the two made certain that Anari had a clear view of the tube even though they both kept facing the stasis-tube.
Soon enough the lid slid up and the man took his first breath in 34 years. What happened next was completely unexpected. Both Scorpia and Mercada kneeled down and a startled Anari found her own knees doing the same. She looked behind her to see if she could get some support from the middies but what she saw was even worse.
All of them were kneeling as well and looking at the man with reverence. Diana was leaning forward on her hands, Yanara had opened her legs as if she was inviting him into herself but it was Mei-Li who was the worst and it wasn't just because Anari would never have imagined her to act that way. She was panting and groaning while her braid was waggling like a dog's tail.
She looked forward again and was just in time to see him open his eyes. They were silver orbs that seemed to radiate power and when he stepped out of the tube she could tell by his posture alone that this was not a broken man. 'What kind of trap did I lead my crew into?'
"So, how is our struggle with the Quanchu going?" Mercada asked. Yanara looked up the ladder, her eyes catching a few glimpses of the doctor's shapely behind underneath the labcoat. "When we departed we seemed to have been stalemated by them." They were using the ladders because the lifts were offline and Lab 7 was two decks down.
Yanara had to think for a moment as the name didn't spark a memory right away. "Oh, those. I guess the stalemate must have ended soon after cause their last planet fell 12 years ago. A part of their navy escaped and like always they vowed to drive us off even if it took them all of their lives. You know how it goes."
"Yes, I do." There was an odd quality to the doc's tone, almost regretful or something like that. When they finally reached the lab they still had to wait a couple of minutes before power had been restored from the bridge and enough air had been pumped in the room.
The room was a mess, the result of decompression, loss of gravity, a crash translation into normal space and then the return of gravity and atmosphere had even thrown some of the heavier items about. "The safe is behind that desk standing against the wall. Normally I would just throw a switch and it would slide away on its own power but the power supply for that wasn't tied into the enviromentals so we will have to do it by hand."
Yanara nodded that she understood and together they heaved the metal contraption away. It made quite a racket in an otherwise quiet room and Yanara was relieved when the heavy piece of furniture was out of the way. She stood back to give Mercada some privacy as she disengaged the locks on the safe. She could tell one of the locks was voice-activated because the doctor whispered something before the safe chimed and the final lock clicked open.
Mercada retrieved a transparent orb that fitted neatly in the palm of her hand out of the safe. Yanara could see that the lower half was filled with machinery although what exact purpose they had was a mystery to her. Probably had something to do with containing or preserving the precious nanites inside.
Her job done Yanara took the time to admire the doctor's form. She hadn't been getting any since she had gotten on the Panopea. Mei-Li was just too obsessed about being a good Amazonan that she didn't indulge herself much in the pleasures that came with it and Diana and her just didn't click right. They were friends but that was it and of course Commander Anari was right out. She was so busy staring at the blonde that she didn't notice Mercada slotting the orb into a console nor the data that began scrolling on the screen. She did notice it when the screen went dark again and Mercada turned around to place the orb back into the safe.
"So, the nanites are safe I take it?" Yanara asked trying to cover up what she had been doing.
Mercada closed the safe before turning around to smile at Yanara. "Yes, they are. And that is a load of my mind, the Council would want my head if I had lost even one of them let alone two!"
"I can imagine," Yanara replied. A silence fell between them as she tried to figure out what to say and do. She could report to Anari that they were done but she had this lovely woman all to herself right now. 'It wouldn't hurt to stay here for a while, right? Not like they need us for anything at the moment,' she reasoned.
But it was Mercada that made the first move. She stretched her back before shrugging of the labcoat revealing she was wearing a tube top. Yanara hadn't expected that but got a little smile when she saw the nubs poking through the material. Apparently she wasn't the only one who would be interested in some alone-time.
"I'm really glad you're the one that came along. Your shipmates don't seem like the type to offer... comfort. Not the comfort I need anyway," Mercada told her as she approached Yanara.
"Oh, yeah. I'm a very caring person and what you're going through must be, eh, though. Just tell me what you need." Mercada showed her what she needed by soundly kissing her on the mouth. If Yanara was a little less self-centered she might have questioned Mercada's behavior but she didn't and simply returned the kiss. As their tongues joined the action their hands began to roam over the others back. But Yanara wanted to get to the good part so she began kissing her way down the doctor's neck to one of those gorgeous tits.
Mercada wasn't protesting the haste, she just helped the girl by pulling her top down so Yanara could start laving the mound with wet kisses. She cooed and stroked Yanara's brown hair as she slowly worked her way to the teat. That journey was stopped cold when her chin unexpectedly touched metal.
She opened her eyes and drew her head back to see what it was. What she saw left her mouth gaping. At the base of each of Mercada's aureoles there was a metal ring grafted into the skin. Out of each ring two strips of metal jutted inwards touching the erect nipples from opposite sides. It looked bizarre and she had never heard of anything like that.
She was so stunned that she was taken by surprise when Mercada yanked her head back to her right breast. When her lips and teeth came close to the ring an invisible force grabbed hold of them and glued them to the ring. 'It must be some kind of repulsor-field, but no generator can be that small,' the analytical part of Yanara concluded.
But most of Yanara wasn't interested in that, she was in a fight-or-flight mode and she drew her left arm back in preparation of the fight part. Her right arm was trapped by Mercada's embrace. Again her reaction was stalled, this time by the metallic taste of the liquid that was now pouring out of the nipple. Above her Mercada had begun to make sounds of satisfaction.
"Don't worry dear, the nanites will make you understand everything soon enough." Yanara however didn't feel like waiting for that. She could feel the liquid slithering over her tongue and down her throat. She even felt it bury into the supple muscle. So she let her left fist fly.
Mercada stopped the punch easily and Yanara began to feel helpless. 'What do I do? Kick her? But there is no room to get enough momentum.' Her frantic thoughts were silenced when she suddenly felt her tongue move of its own accord. It began to caress the underside of Mercada's nipple as if to coax it to give Yanara more of the liquid.
The thoughts of physical resistance fled her mind as she became trapped in her own body until Mercada stepped back. Her mouth released the tit with a pop but Yanara didn't pay attention to that. She stood there helplessly as the blonde doctor helped her out of her skinsuit and laid her down on the floor. She thought she could call out for help but they were alone on the deck, nobody would hear her.
"Now the next part is going to be a little difficult at first but the rewards at the end are more than worth it," Mercada informed her as she combed Yanara's hair. "Yes, there are so many rewards to being Master's slave."
Yanara's eyes widened at that. 'Oh Goddess, no! It has to be the guy in the tube. I got to fight it, I have to keep in mind who I am. What I am.' Her breathing became irregular as she felt her body become aroused.
"I am Yanara of the Caswallen, an ensign in the Free Amazonan Navy. And I will never submit to a man," she spoke in defiance. Mercada just looked down her body. Yanara followed her gaze and her eyes almost fell out of their sockets at what she saw. Two tiny, metallic half-cylinders had grown out of her skin above her pussy. As she watched a silver wire slid out of both of them and these began to make their way to the hood protecting her clit. They bent at a slight angle before drawing back that hood to expose her button. Then they moved forward again until they touched it eliciting a sharp hiss from Yanara. 'Is she going to torture me using my own body?' she wondered. 'What the hell is that supposed to do?'