Planet of the Dino-whores Ch. 04by100 Angry Bananas©
Caught between two nightmares, Zara stood.
On one side, a particularly large crocodilian snout and the ridges of a back and tail glided through the sparkling blue pool where Karh Blade (rogue, mercenary, scoundrel) and Hunter Haux (Naval officer, one-eyed, slightly off-kilter) had enjoyed one another's company only minutes before. Teeth jutted up from its lips like a mocking smile. With three delicious morsels sitting at the edge of the pool, it had plenty to smile about.
On the other side, Vanitoth- lizard god. It lumbered on twin legs like oaks, the claws of its feet digging three-toed trenches into the earth. Blood from its morning feast still dripped from its jaws, but a creature like Vanitoth could never really be satisfied. It lived only to eat. That was its sole purpose, all it knew. It regarded the the same three morsels with a mixture of threat and an obligation to destroy.
"Back away slowly," Hunter's voice whispered through the haze of inevitable destruction. The very molecules of the air around them were heavy and electric with the building pressure of what was about to happen. "Maybe once they notice each other, they'll forget all about..."
The roar of Vanitoth cut her off, and it thundered towards them, the ground trembling under its feet. Zara fired a shot from her weapon, a fiery red blast of laser cutting past Vanitoth's eyes to little effect, and rolled off the boulder in the next instant. She landed on her feet, cat-like, just as Vanitoth's jaws snapped at the spot behind her.
Zara ducked, somersaulted to her left, and then felt the weight of Vanitoth's tail slam into her torso as it swung around, trying vainly to keep up with her fleeing form. Zara tried to cry out, but the air blasted out of her lungs with a brutal gasp and she was in the air, arms and legs whistling through the limbs of trees and ferns, and then a crashing, savage pain ripped through her as she met an unforgiving branch with her right shoulder. She felt herself flip, end over end, and hit the ground with a bone-crunching thud.
"Move!" Karh yelled, grabbing Hunter and yanking her towards a patch of jungle. Her wet hair flung about her face like the blue swirl of a whirlpool. Her clothes were a hastily wrapped bundle of cloth in one hand, sleeves flailing.
"We won't make it!" she cried in response. Vanitoth's attention diverted away from Zara's awkward flight into the trees and towards the running figures of Karh and Hunter. It twisted to meet them with its gaping, drooling maw.
Then the crocodile's head thrashed out of the water, thrusting from the edge of the pool, and its massive jaws wrapped around the meat of Vanitoth's leg.
"Yes, we will!" Karh said, and he pulled Hunter into the thick wilds of jungle. As much as he wanted to, he didn't bother looking back. Survival came first.
Zara's body was a thousand throbbing pulsations, connected only by the sharp jolts of pain shrieking around them. Her head felt like another pulse, the rhythmic beat of a drum from some lost, wild universe. As the world came into focus, she was horrified to discover her eyes had not been closed; they were wide open and staring into a black nothingness; then a moment later- the colors of the world saturated scenery with bright, florid hues.
She was not dead. Hell, she wasn't even unconscious. Clear thoughts began to struggle through the tar-like sludge of her mind and formed. Sight had returned, and now sound.
Proof of this: a guttural bellow echoed in her ears.
Zara managed to sit up and looked towards it, past the broken foliage through which she had just crashed. The crocodile had its jaws around Vanitoth's leg and was making a futile attempt to pull it into the water of the pool, perhaps in an attempt to drown Vanitoth for later feeding. Vanitoth's leg wriggled in its mouth as Vanitoth tried to get it free. Vanitoth bellowed again, snapped its teeth in anger.
A hand came down on Zara's shoulder, startling her, and she choked off a scream before it could manage to escape her throat. She turned into the handsome but concerned features of Karh Blade.
"You didn't think we'd leave you?" he said and helped her to her feet. "Come on. I'm not interested in seeing which monster wins the wrasslin' match."
A roar caught their attention as Vanitoth brought its own teeth over the top of the crocodile's head and bit. Vanitoth savagely ground its teeth and tore into the flesh of the crocodile, whipping its head back and forth, flinging bits of gore into the air. Turning from the carnage, Zara allowed Karh to lead her away, roars of destruction still ringing in her ears.
She had a funny feeling it would not be the last they'd see of Vanitoth.
For the first time in some years, Lorna, the new Captain of the Guard, thought about Stark. He had been young, wide-eyed, and precocious. Smooth features and a slim build. Straw-colored hair. Light brown eyes. A bright smile that lit up his entire face. Honest. Sweet. Insecure. Lorna smiled as the mental image filled her mind.
Stark Ford had been everything that Karh Blade was not.
Was this why Lorna wanted Blade to die? Because he represented a polar opposite of Stark? Lorna thought it might have more to do with the simple fact that Karh Blade had brought it all back, memories that Lorna has wished to bury forever. But then came Blade, who drudged them all up against Lorna's will. Blade- showing up out of nowhere and invading her life. And yes, she had enjoyed using Blade's body, but it only reminded her of everything that she had lost and could never have again.
In any case, she wanted to taste Karh Blade's blood.
Lorna remembered how Dayna, her own sister, had led the guards to her room. She had been on top of Stark at one moment and suddenly not- arms around her arms, pulling her away. More arms pulled Stark out of the bed, his erection withering, and he called for her, begged her to help him. She remembered how Stark had shrieked when the guards had fed him to the vipers, his execution carried out as well as (in a way) her own.
She looked down at her hands and saw that her knuckles were clenched white. The reins were a painful crease in her palms where she squeezed them. Lorna had a fleeting moment, wondering if she had finally lost all semblance of sanity, but the strained voice of a guard cut if off before it could become a full-fledged realization.
"Captain, we've found Vanitoth's tracks leading in the same direction as those of the escaped prisoners," the guard said, her face red and out of breath.
Lorna looked down from her position on the back of her huge, three-horned beast and wondered why the guard looked so concerned. It took a moment for the thought to cross Lorna's mind that she should be afraid- Vanitoth, eater of souls, lizard god of the afterlife. She almost felt sorry for the guard, to live an existence so full of self-deceit, ignorance, and superstition. Almost. The guard was too pathetic to earn any real sympathy.
"Excellent, Vanitoth will lead us to our prey. It's a sign. The gods are with us," the Queen said, pulling her beast parallel to Lorna's own. The Queen's armor gleamed in the filtering yellow of afternoon sun. The man/slave Henrik held on to her, hands wrapped tight around the Queen's torso as if afraid that he would plummet to the ground if he let go. What a waste of flesh. Lorna nodded.
"Of course," she said. "Pick up the pace, riders!"
"So you sure you know where this ship is?" Karh said, throwing a glance sideways at Hunter. Karh had Zara's left arm draped around his shoulders, his own arm around Zara's body to lend support. She limped some but seemed slowly but surely regaining her strength. The tail-induced flight and crash through the trees had looked worse than it really felt. Zara didn't think she'd need Karh for too much longer though she did not mind his body against hers. But she'd never admit as much.
"We're not headed towards the ship," Hunter replied with a bit of a petulant expression. She wanted to know Karh that she was jealous. Zara tried not to roll her eyes. Though Zara was attracted to Karh in a purely physical sense, she'd never give into temptation. She had more self respect, more dignity than that. Not that she thought less of Hunter for throwing herself at him back at the pool. Considering Hunter had seen neither hide nor hair of a man for who knew how long, Zara didn't blame her for breaking off a piece of the first one she saw when the opportunity arose.
"What?" Karh's voice rumbled with disdain.
"Perhaps you've forgotten the reason you crashed here in the first place?"
"I was chased by the limping bitch next to me?" Karh suggested. Zara groaned in response, poked him hard in the ribs.
"There's a magnetic field. Disrupts anything electrical in the atmosphere. There's a dish or beacon or something on the side of a dormant volcano. We were headed to dismantle it some years ago when we were captured by your friend, Lorna," Hunter said. She swept her a clump of blue hair out of her eye.
"A beacon? These women don't seem..." Zara searched for the words.
"What she's trying to say is they're technological retards," Karh offered.
"Close enough," Zara seconded with a nod.
Hunter opened her mouth as if to respond and then closed it. Zara noted the expression on the woman's face. She was hiding something. Zara began to wonder how Hunter knew so much about this "dish or beacon" and why had the Navy been in this part of the quadrant in the first place. This story had something more to it than mere chance and misfortune.
Zara held her tongue. It didn't matter at the moment, anyway. She'd save her questions until after they were safe and far away from their current location. Far away from this planet of monsters and barbarian women.
Hunter came to a decision of some sort and said, "Yes, you're right. But perhaps their civilization was not the only one on this planet at some point, or perhaps they were more advanced at some point and had some kind of downfall."
Karh shrugged. "Like Earth's Rome I. The first one, before the atomic winters. You said there was a volcano? Maybe it wasn't always dormant."
"Makes sense," Hunter said as if content with the explanation.
Zara, on the other hand, was far from content. A volcanic eruption that wiped away all evidence of an advanced civilization would have certainly also destroyed a lone beacon attached to the side of its rock walls. Again, she was careful to say nothing. Now was not the time. She'd reassess Hunter Haux's trustworthiness once they were in the vacuum of deep space.
The battle must have been fierce. Broken trees sat splintered, and ferns lay flattened and crushed into the earth, stained with blood and splattered with gore. Lorna ran her fingers across the body of the crocodile. It still felt warm. Its head looked up at her with unseeing reptilian eyes, eyes not unlike those of the Queen; the head had been separated from the neck and was half submersed in the water, floating like a battered raft.
"Vanitoth can't be far," the Captain said, batting away a bothersome fly. They were roosting in the meat of the crocodile's decapitated neck, building communities in fresh blood.
"Leave Vanitoth to its own devices. It will leave us and the prisoners while it tends to its wounds. In the meantime, we will make camp. I want us fresh for tomorrow," the Queen said, resting a hand on Lorna's shoulder.
"Next to this?" Lorna said, motioning towards the cooling corpse. A fly buzzed past her face, and she caught it with a deft hand. She crushed it in her palm, wiped a red smear against the waist of her green-scaled armor. Lorna didn't care for the prospect of an entire night of insect nuisance.
"We now have plenty of meat for the girls," the Queen said and turned away, having given the final say on the matter. "Make a fire. The smoke will drive away the flies."
Lorna watched the Queen's back, a mix of hero-worship, fear, and hate boiling her guts. Only the Queen could make Lorna feel so useless and foolish and yet still eager to please, like a doting daughter. Lorna looked down at the palm of her hand, a splash of fly guts and gore where she had crushed the bug with so much indifference. It seemed an apt metaphor for her relationship with her ruler.
"Come," the Queen called over her shoulder. "Tonight you will dine with me, Captain."
Lorna paused, giving the dead beast one last lingering look, and then obediently followed.
Time had a way of slipping through Lorna's fingers, and before she knew it, she sat in the Queen's spacious tent. She had changed from her armor into a hip-hugging, short skirted toga. The scents of seasoned meat and fresh bread wafted through the air. A small square table had been set in the center of the tent, and Lorna took a seat to the Queen's right. The Queen's slave, Henrik, sat at the opposite side, to the Queen's left. Henrik eyed Lorna with unconcealed distrust. The Queen smiled at her; she had also changed from her armor to a silky gold robe.
A handmaiden appeared and poured a lusciously dark red wine into a goblet in front of Lorna. The handmaiden was breathtaking- shimmering blonde hair, lengthy slim legs. Her ample cleavage swayed as she bent to pour. Handmaidens were the elite of the elite when it came to feminine charms, and the Queen's taste was unparalleled. Lorna ignored the maiden and kept her attention on the food in front of her and the Queen's observant eyes.
"We have a common bond, Captain," the Queen said. She sipped from a silver goblet, licked her lips with her forked tongue. She placed the goblet on the table and shot Lorna a meaningful look. Lorna said nothing, waited for the Queen to continue. The handmaiden disappeared after filling her cup. Lorna felt a heavy pause in the air.
"Men," the Queen said. Lorna froze.
"Don't be foolish, my dear. It's no secret. Your love for the man Stark Ford is well documented," the Queen continued. Her serpentine eyes were unreadable. Lorna glanced at Henrik. The man shifted as though uncomfortable in his chair. His eyes darted from the Queen to Lorna and back to the Queen, where they settled with a slight tremor.
"All that is past. Years past," Lorna said. She felt thirsty, grabbed her goblet, and took a hard swallow. The wine tasted sweet and bitter. Lorna took a moment to put on her best poker face (Stark had taught her how to play with virtual cards) as she lowered the goblet. The Queen's face, meanwhile, wore a grim smile.
"Past. And yet I find it interesting that you are the lone witness to your sister's murder."
The Queen paused. Lorna's expression did not change; she held the poker face. If the Queen meant to kill her, there was nothing Lorna could do. The best strategy was to wait and see what developed. Under the table in her lap, one hand fingered the hilt of her diamond-studded dagger. The Queen continued.
"Dayna. Captain of the Guard. The sister who betrayed you by revealing your relationship with a man. The sister, who- fittingly- you claim was murdered by another man, and only you saw it. This death both ensured your promotion and revenge. And in a way, it was mankind's revenge on her for indirectly killing one of its members. Logical thought leads one to a collaboration between the documented lover of men and the man whose victim benefited you."
In a quiet voice, Lorna said, "Conjecture."
"You deny that these theories are logical?"
The Queen leaned forward, her breasts brushing the table, a shadowy triangle leading between her the fleshy curves down her low cut robe. Lorna blinked, swept her eyes away. The Queen spoke in a low, conspiratorial voice.
"You're ambitious. You're cunning. You've earned your position. And I share you desire."
Lorna said nothing but felt a strange ache in her chest, a fluttering of anticipation.
"You've experienced something none but royalty normally do, and now you know why. It becomes an addiction, the need to feel that hot hardness, the warmth of man inside of you, filling you, stretching you. My own daughter experienced Karh Blade only once, and I have spent the last two days enduring her constant cries for his throbbing flesh," the Queen said. A strange sparkle illuminated her yellow, reptilian eyes.
"She has my condolences," Lorna said, allowing a slight smile to turn the corners of her mouth. Her mind flashed to bucking back into Blade, her ass cheeks rippling, his surprised cry as he peaked.
"You had him?" the Queen said, her brow rising subtly. Lorna decided to bite the bullet, see how the Queen might react. If the Queen wanted Lorna dead, she'd be dead. Deception had no use for her. Lorna threw her metaphorical cards on the table.
The Queen grinned wide at the confession, her teeth gleaming in the candlelight. She leaned back in her chair and licked her thin lips. She ran one finger lightly across the tops of her breasts, tracing curvy slopes. Lorna felt a slight but uncharacteristic burn in her cheeks, a hardening of her nipples, a tingling feeling shooting through the tips of her fingers. Only the Queen could have this kind of effect on her.
"That, I would have liked to see." The Queen's finger dipped into the furrow of her cleavage. "You know, I considered you for a handmaiden."
More tingles, a quickening of the heart. Lorna took care to veil her expression.
"Really," Lorna said with a voice that dripped with disbelief.
"Your body, yes," the Queen said as her eyes roved after her, undressing her mentally, "obviously is a masterpiece, but it was your eyes that attracted me. So deep and yet so empty. Crystal caverns leading to darkness. Soulless."
"But your beauty was only outmatched by your strength. Anyone can be born beautiful, but strength... power, that's something that is a gift, a true gift. It must be developed, built, earned. A gift that I wanted you to develop. Any pretty fool can learn to service me, but it takes a special person to lead my guards, to protect me. A person like you. You refuse to be beaten, refuse to be bested, and refuse to be second to anyone or anything... save me," the Queen said. "Beautiful AND powerful, you have unlimited potential."
"My Queen, you are much too kind," Lorna replied. She tried to sound as humble as possible but an undercurrent of knowing arrogance underlined her words. While she was suspicious of the Queen's many compliments and her reasons for giving them, Lorna did not necessarily disagree.
"Captain, I want you to know that you have my blessing in all things. I have a feeling we will benefit mutually during the many years before us. In fact, to prove my point, I want you to take my slave. Here. Before me," the Queen said. She patted the table with her talon-fingers.
Lorna glared across the table at the Queen's slave, Henrik. He disgusted her. Clumpy light brown hair, beady green eyes, and a face only a mother or a reptilian queen could love. And yet, she wanted him. Lorna wanted to take him before the Queen, show the Queen exactly how she fucked men, how she owned them, humiliated them, how the men did not own her. She wanted to sheath him with her cunt, milk him, make him cry out in orgasm. Then? Slit his throat, fill her goblet and drink his blood. She shivered. The Queen was right- men were an addiction.
"He's repulsive," Lorna said, spitting the words across the table at Henrik.
"When has that ever stopped women like you and me?" the Queen replied.
With those words, Lorna swept an arm across the table, clearing it. The dish of meat crashed to the floor with a metallic clang. Wine splashed. Bread plopped into the red, bleeding puddles from overturned goblets. A flash of something, a storm of anger and desire, crossed Lorna's face, and her blue eyes glittered like sapphires.