The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Zenath

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Mar 13, 2010
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#1
Picture space. The vast empty void.

Zoom in, towards one particular star in a vast, spiral galaxy. It rests on the edge of a vast nebula, but otherwise has nothing special about it. A few dead chunks of rock, a gas giant, a cold sun.

Zoom in further, onto an insignificant speck. A sleek warship, battered and broken by some accident or battle, the letters TCRS Storm emblazoned along the side.

Zoom in again, through a window, onto the bridge. The lights are on dimly, mostly the flickering of the many control panels. A pool of dried blood lies next to a wall, a dead body stashed away in a corner wearing a uniform.

And curled up, battered, bruised and naked, a girl twitches through some dream or nightmare in the captain's chair.

Sometimes she winces at some imagined pain, sometimes moans at illusory pleasure. Until one particularly strong twitch makes her fall out of the chair, and she wakes up with a muffled yelp of pain and surprise.

It has been nearly a day since Maria broke through onto the bridge of the Storm, nearly a day since the suicide of the insane Colonel Zaphron and the apparent defeat of the alien monster Carnassus. There had been no response to her transmissions, though given the distance to the nearest Confederate outpost, that wasn't a major surprise. Searching through the databanks of the warship had provided no clues as to what had happened to it. Clearly Zaphron had gone mad and started changing the crew into the cyberzombie Altered, but why? Was Carnassus an assistant, a bodyguard, or even the mastermind? What had torn chunks out of the warship and left many systems non-functional? And most importantly, was Carnassus alive? The way the body had vanished, and the threatening promise written in her blood, still freaked her out.

On the plus side, she had got the security systems back online, and with some trial and error, had managed to force the Ghosts to move away from the docking ports and into the lower cargo bays. She'd smiled a little at realising that these monsters that had so terrified her could be pushed around so easily. With any luck, any ship arriving to rescue her wouldn't have to face them.

But even with all her fears and anxieties, fatigue had overtaken, and she had fallen into a fitful sleep, haunted by her experiences.

Until now.

Her heart leaps as she sees a 'message received' indicator on the communications panel. Calling the transmission up, she smiles a little.

TCRS Storm, this is the TCF Wolf, patrol frigate two days out of port. We have received your message and are inbound, ETA 30 standard minutes.

Checking the time index showed that it had arrived... about thirty minutes ago. She looks up hurriedly, to see a sharply pointed silhouette gliding towards the Storm.

Finally it looked to be over.

"TCRS Storm, this is TCF Wolf, come in please. I repeat, TCRS Storm, this is TCF Wolf, come in please."
 

Termite

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Apr 8, 2009
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#2
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Spoiler


"YES!"

*******

The crew of the Wolf would probably be surprised. The answer to their hails came in the form of an unoccupied Captain's chair, the barely visible shadow of a woman peaking over the top. She obviously looked very nervous, but sounded positively ecstatic at simply hearing a friendly voice. "This is the Storm! You have no idea how happy I am right now!" It was definitely a strange sight seeing someone so happy speaking to them from behind a chair, but if they had seen the entirety of her mission log then they probably had a good idea why she chose to hide herself. "You guys can come and pick me up aaaanytime you wish. Be advised there are multiple hostiles on board, but I've managed to herd the lot of them into the lower cargo bays, right...um...here and here." Her face turned red while she paused, the hesitation on her face giving way to determination. Her upper body comes into view, and the first thing her rescuers would notice was her left arm swung across her chest to keep from revealing just how cold that ship was. She quickly entered a few commands into a small console by the chair, and a moment later the Wolf was receiving a simplified outline of the gutted ship with a number of flashing dots stuffed into their holding areas. "It should be smooth sailing to the bridge, but keep an eye out for any stragglers. And, uh...could you, um, bring me some clothes? Thanks! Maria out!"

*******

With everything she had to say said Maria flicked a couple more commands before jumping into the chair and immediately hugging her knees. Her head fell back as she took in one deep breath, and once she let it out in a long relieved sigh her legs slowly fell to the floor while she just let herself go, her eyes closed the entire time. Finally, she could get off this forsaken bucket! She had the whole day planned. First, she'd hit the mess hall. She was fucking STARVING. Then she'd hid the barracks. A hot shower right now would feel positively orgasmic. Then she'd...

The sound of someone coughing made her eyes open and stare straight ahead like a deer trapped in someone's headlights. With every passing moment her head turned darker shades of red until her body was completely flushed. In her haste she had hit the wrong button. The transmission had not been cut, and for the past few seconds she had been sharing herself with the officers of the Wolf. The only movement she made was to enter the proper command this time, and when the link was finally down her forehead fell into a quickly approaching palm. Eventually her elbow landed on the chair's arm and supported the migraine quickly growing in her head. A little later her free hand went to the dog tags hanging around her neck, and as Maria brought them into view she found herself smirking for some inexplicable reason. "I bet you never embarrassed yourself like that, huh? Oh God..."
 
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Zenath

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Mar 13, 2010
126
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#3
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Spoiler


The little warship sweeps past the bridge as she reflects on her embarrassment. Then she hurriedly checks the security fields again, making sure that the Ghosts are hemmed in. It isn't hard. They don't seem to do anything much unless they sense a target; little more than dumb shock troops. Zaphron and Carnassus presumably had some way of controlling them, but she had yet to find it, and cared little to do so.

Around five minutes later, the blast doors to the bridge grind open. She instantly hides behind the chair, peering over the top.

"Maria Caidella?"

Three figures stand in the doorway, two with the armour and weapons of Confederate troopers, the third in the uniform of a Confederate Navy lieutenant. The troopers sweep the room with their rifles, then turn back to guard the corridor, while the lieutenant spots Maria and grins.

She's a tall woman, possessed of a certain catlike, wiry grace. Her black hair is probably breaking regulations, being shoulder length, and something about her suggests that relatively high rank or not, she's not a big stickler for the rules and formalities of her profession. "You nearly gave our poor comms officer a heart attack, the boy only just joined the crew and certainly wasn't ready for your little show." She chuckles, but in a gently teasing way. "Here, got a spare uniform for you. Catch."

A neat pile of clothes is lightly thrown across the bridge, and the officer turns around to give Maria some privacy. "Lieutenant Alyssa Varza, second in command of the patrol frigate Wolf. Get dressed and we'll get back to the ship. If there's anything you need to fetch, do it now. I've got orders to set the self destruct, High Command want this thing wiped."
 

Termite

A bug
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Apr 8, 2009
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#4
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

"Oh God..." With the new uniform thrown within reaching distance Maria was left to ponder while she dressed. Her special introduction was sure to give her the most stellar of reputations on the Wolf, and from there word of her unintentional peep show would spread throughout the known cosmos faster than she could ever hope to destroy the evidence. At least the video she recorded on the Storm wouldn't get out. There were a number of parties who would love to get their hands on the footage of an alien lesbian molesting a human girl, but that video was far too damaging to the Confederacy. At least a shred of her dignity would remain intact.

Finally dressed and feeling much more at ease Maria strode into full view while Lt. Varza introduced herself. When she mentioned the self-destruct the technician seemed rather surprised at how drastic a measure would be taken. "But what about an investigation? What about HIS conspiracy?" She pointed to the corpse of Colonel Zaphron, the strain in her voice quite clear as she wondered why they would just destroy all the evidence just like that. But her entire demeanor became much more calm and collected once she realized where she was pointing. "What about him? I didn't check his body, and I won't even now, but he could have some info regarding the thing that left...that..." Her voice wavered, and she couldn't force herself to even look toward the bloody message that had dried and stained the warped and nearly broken wall.

She knew nothing she said would change orders, but she still wanted at least a couple answers before she began to collect her things. First and foremost she had to take her rifle. That thing had been sitting within arms reach ever since Zaphron took his own life, and she wouldn't feel comfortable without some kind of weapon to defend herself. After that she'd step over to the Storm's comm station and unhook both her computer and the helmet that that saved her life. The final thing she would do was make sure those dog tags were safely hidden under her uniform. There was nothing else on this ship she would want to take, and if high command decided they wanted to leave Zaphron's body on this bucket to get vaporized that would be fine with her. "All right, let's go."
 
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Zenath

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Mar 13, 2010
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#5
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Alyssa turned around again when it seemed she was done. "Well, first up, don't feel too bad. It was a lively introduction, but you'll soon find out that by the standards of bored perversion on a patrol frigate, it's not even that out of the ordinary. Fifteen crewmen, including bridge personnel, in cramped conditions, appalling food, limited entertainment, and we stay out of dock for six months at a time. I'm sure you can add that up. And you'll get to know us quite well, because, well..."

She moves over to the primary control console, and smiles lopsidedly at Maria. "The Confederacy, my dear, has fucked you over so hard that Carnassus will seem like a sweet romantic." She begins prodding the controls, setting the self destruct. "They don't want an investigation. They read your report, and they didn't like it. As far as the public, and even most of the military will ever know, the Storm suffered a catastrophic accident and was lost with all hands. The heroic Colonel Zaphron will be sorely missed."

She waves aside Maria's spluttered objections. "You never went on a rescue mission, because there never was a rescue mission. All the other team members were killed in the line of duty elsewhere. Your contract has been retroactively rewritten using a charming little legal loophole, which means that you never signed up for a one-off technical job investigating the Storm, you signed up for a six month tour of duty on the Wolf. Meanwhile, they'll hold their investigation and then close it before you ever show up - and when you do return, they'll no doubt pay you off to keep your mouth shut. And even if you don't, who's going to believe you?"

The Lieutenant smiles sadly. "Sorry, sweety. Confeds don't want the rep of their precious hero spoiled. As for what really happened... they'll probably just make sure nobody goes near this system in future. We're a bit of a way off course to get here. We all know what they did, but nobody of significance will. Even if they do, they won't care. That's the world we live in. They'd rather have their hero than deal with a potential threat. And there's nothing we can do about it."

She plugs in the final commands, and the overhead lights abruptly go red, a warning klaxon sounding. "No evidence, no problem. Life's a bitch. C'mon. And look on the bright side, you'll get well paid from all this."

The hurried return journey to the Wolf goes by in a flash, what Alyssa has said spinning around Maria's head. It was hard to believe that... but no, it was. This sector of the Confederacy had a bad reputation for corruption, and the entire thing didn't exactly smell of roses. Shocking, yes. Surprisingly, unfortunately not...

Alyssa allows her her thoughts, then as they cross the airlock into the cramped corridors of the frigate, she turns again. "You must be ravenous. We'll get you some food, then you can borrow my room to get a shower and some sleep. We'll have to reorganise a bit to get you quarters of your own. And on the way, I can tell you who to watch out for. For a start, under no circumstances sit on Ivy's lap, unless you want a lot more than you bargained for. She's our science officer, and is an even worse perverted nympho than most people stuck on a patrol frigate position tend to be..."

-----------

Some time later, after food, hot water, guided tour and introductions to most of the crew (including teasing, playful passes from almost everyone and intense blushing on the part of the comms officer), Maria is left to doze peacefully in Alyssa's bed - a fact that had resulted in no small amount of additional teasing from some, until Alyssa had threatened to revoke 'room-sharing rights'.

The Lieutenant herself is still on duty, meaning the cramped room is silent and still, the distant rumble of the little ship's reactor the only sound.

She'd watched the Storm detonate spectacularly with mixed feelings. After all, it meant that it would never pose a threat to anyone, and there were plenty of memories on the ship that she'd rather forget. But it was also tangible proof of the Confederacy pushing her around like a playing piece, pushing them all around, with no regard for anything but themselves.

Quite apart from a job that was meant to take a few days turning into a six month military contract...

Then she sits bolt upright, nearly falling out of the bed, as the ship shudders from an impact.
 

Termite

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#6
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

"I guess..." With her back toward the door anybody that had bothered to sneak a peak inside the Lieutenant's quarters would have thought their newest crewmate was simply laying on the bed getting the rest she sorely needed. It was partly true, her body was resting, but too many things were plaguing her. The Altered, Zaphron, the destruction of the Storm, and especially her forced conscription as a military grunt, her mind was bouncing from place to place and keeping her from finding any sort of peace. In this state she'd been forced to think about her future, her recent past, and all the possibilities that could have been. "I guess I should be grateful. Command could have decided an unknown tech wasn't worth the effort. Lord knows they'd have it easier if they just left me on that ship."

The sheets the woman hid herself within were drawn even tighter. The gravity of the situation was truly starting to sink in, and right then she felt cold and alone, a prisoner trapped by the Confederacy and forced to serve them for another six months. That six months could turn into a couple years if they decided they wanted to keep an eye on her. Her clients back home would scatter, her family would soon be worried sick... Her life was probably ruined, and hidden underneath all of her worries was the fear that Carnassus would return and claim her prize.

For a few more seconds she simply sat there. Lt. Varza was still on duty, and Maria was left alone to deal with her growing despair. After a while she found herself wishing Alyssa would return. The woman was easy to talk to, and she'd been completely understanding the entire time. But most importantly she was a warm body. Maria felt far too lonely lying in this bed by herself. She wanted someone nearby, some kind of assurance that she wouldn't be alone out in the boonies of the galaxy. If there Lieutenant were still there Maria would have caught the officer's attention and simply said one thing, "I'm still cold." The implied request would be loud and clear, and if she joined the lonely girl in bed Maria would visibly relax at having someone near. That small bit of intimacy would be enough to keep her satisfied, but if Alyssa made any move toward something more she would find her new bedmate more than willing. In all the mess that had happened in the last 24 hours Maria just wanted to feel good for once.

Alone in a bed and her fantasies beginning to make her fingers wander under those covers Maria was quite rudely awakened when the entire room shuddered. The girl's mind went completely blank, but once she realized what just happened she bolted out of that room, her computer in one hand and her rifle in the other. Soon enough she'd be in the command center, the look in her eyes asking what happened before she could get the words out.
 
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Zenath

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Mar 13, 2010
126
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#7
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Spoiler


The ship judders and screams as she hurries through the corridors, and when she arrives on the bridge, there is none of the playfulness of before on the faces of the officers. Through the portholes, a sleek, razor-winged ship is lining up for another attack run, a ship unlike any she'd ever seen before.

The gaping hole torn in the flank of the Storm flashes before her eyes...

Before she can ask, Alyssa glances over. "This fucker came out of nowhere and started shooting. We weren't designed to get in a real dogfight with anything, this crate should have been scrapped a decade ago. Hang onto something."

Glowing tracers spit towards the enemy ship, which rolls aside before firing off a salvo of its own. Again the frigate jars, and several warning sirens blare for a few seconds before being silenced.

A short man who is evidently the captain, who hadn't been among the introductions, glances at Maria. "Tech, right? Get to the reactor and help Ensign Desarra coax some more out of it."

Alyssa gives her a quick nod, before returning to her station. Before Maria leaves, the alien ship swoops past, the silhouette reminding her of something.

Quickly navigating the narrow, seventy metre long ship, she suddenly remembers. Carnassus. It reminded of the way Carnassus loomed, and her heart does a backflip, praying it was coincidence.

In the engine room, Desarra, a short redhead with an infamous temper, is screaming orders at her three underlings as smoke jets from the overstressed reactor. Maria has little time to even cough before her arm is grabbed, and a string of instructions given to her.

What follows is an unknowable amount of time filled by chaos, noise, smoke and the regular jolting of the ship. If she hadn't already gone through hell during the Ghost slaughter of the rescue team, Maria might think she was there.

And then, suddenly, things are calm. There is an odd, resonating sound going through the ship, like a soft humming - quiet, but so pervasive that it even gets through the noise of the engine room. Desarra is talking urgently over the intercom, then glances up. "Hey, guess what, sonsabitches. We made it to the nebula, that alien motherfucker's vanished." She cuts off the cheers. "Now get back to work, I want my baby to be like new by the time we gotta cut and run for the interstellar vector."

There is a sudden moment of absolute silence and clarity. As Maria wipes her brow, time seems to slow, each cloud of smoke, each of her sweaty, tired crewmates, each glowing light on the reactor, is perfectly visible.

Then time returns, the Wolf jolts so violently that everyone is knocked from their feet, and sirens wail.

Desarra scrambles to her feet, peering at a display. "Fuck! Turret control is down! We're closest, which of you useless scum have gunnery training? The rest of you, get back to the reactor! Power flow's disrupted, the engines are gonna stall!"

Option 1: Volunteer to man the turrets (Combat[Combat])
Option 2: Help repair the reactor (Tech)
 

Termite

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#8
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Spoiler


For a moment Maria stood perfectly still. Desarra had already issued her orders, one of her lackeys scurried off to restore gunnery control or more likely fire the turrets himself, and she probably even screamed at the stalled woman to get her ass in gear while everyone else worked in an almost hurried panic. But Maria simply stood, her eyes carefully catching every waning pulse of light, her ears blocking everything until every smooth and rhythmic hum could be heard, her entire body picking up every tiny vibration even as the ship pitched and rolled and violently shook from each attack.

A little later one of the coolant lines snapped from its casing, the inert gas it spilled making things a bit harder to see for the people working under it. Before the redhead could even yell the obvious order Maria was there, the duct held under one arm while the other quickly fused the thing into place. Once she was done her body seemed to flip as she threw herself toward another, the small cracks that had been leaking steam instantly welded shut before it could fail like its brother. Finished with that she fell next to one of Desarra's techs and managed to contort herself around his body and his work in such a way that she interrupted nothing while simultaneously repairing a power coupling that had recently blown and was sparking rather ominously. When she finished and moved to start elsewhere that tech would easily notice some of the contact burn she now had on her fingers, but not once did she scream or groan or even grunt while she worked.

It was in this way she continued, her body seeming to move on its own as she anticipated problems and dealt with them on her own. Her body simply flowed from place to place. No ounce of momentum was wasted as she flew from one end to another. Her repairs never once interrupted the work of her crewmates yet somehow assisted them without even one request for a status report. She was just there, crawling all along the reactor and breathing life into the machine. This was her element. This was what she lived for. Listening to the reactor, hearing it struggle and strain, keeping it alive until either she or it failed, to Maria all of that was nothing more than Paradise.


(Repair the reactor.)
 
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Zenath

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Mar 13, 2010
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#9
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Spoiler


Tech(20) - 9+11 = 20, tie
13+11 = 24, pass

Her efforts didn't go unnoticed, and Desarra gave her a small nod in a brief moment of calm. Then it was back to the chaos.

Somehow her nerve and her skill holds, even as the ship shakes itself apart around her. Somehow the engines keep going. Somehow the distant thudding of the turrets keeps up.

And finally, the sound of impacts ceases, leaving only the mad rush to keep the reactor stable. As this dies away, Desarra consults the intercom, and then nods tiredly. "Good work. We got the bastard with a few lucky shots, gutted its engines. Shouldn't be seeing it for a while. Reactor is as good as we're gonna get it for now, but she's going to need spacedock time to fix most of it. Hey, Anton, how's the hyperdrive?"

The exhausted-looking engineer in question shakes his head. "Fried. Going to need external maintenance."

There is silence for a time. Maria is about to ask what the problem is, when she remembers something from the original mission briefing, for the rescue of the Storm; the nebula gases are corrosive. Not enough to be dangerous to a starship unless it stayed there for too long, but enough to make any kind of EVA suicidal.

"Fuck." Desarra relays this through the intercom. The noise of the reactor is somewhat quieter now, so the response is audible.

"Cap doesn't want to leave the nebula yet. We're heading for a gravity well, hopefully we can take her atmospheric and do the repairs on a planet. ETA three hours. He suggests you tell your monkeys to get some rest, they're going to need it."

Desarra snaps it off, and looks around. "You heard the nice man. Get some sleep, but if you're not on duty and ready when he hit atmo, I'm coming into your rooms and dragging you out, and I don't give a damn what you're wearing. And let me tell you, steam blast on the tits hurts. Go on, scram." She collapses against the wall, yawning herself.

A few moments after Maria arrives back in Alyssa's quarters, the owner slinks in, looking rather tired herself. She smiles impishly. "So, you ready to go AWOL the moment we hit spacedock, or can you put up with us for a little longer? I promise it's not usually this exciting."
 
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Termite

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Apr 8, 2009
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#10
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

For a while Alyssa didn't receive an answer. The person she questioned simply sat on the bed. Her eyes were drifting between the strands of gas creating the nebula where the Wolf escaped, her back the only thing visible while she continued to stare. "You know it was pretty touch and go in Engineering. The reactor was practically tearing itself apart whenever we were hit. A couple times I was afraid containment was gonna fail and we'd all end up as just another cloud of dust in here. We had to work just to keep that dinosaur running, but..." Maria's shoulders started to tense as if she was physically trying to keep herself in check. "...but..." Here efforts were obviously failing. Her flailing voice was proof enough, and when she finally started to crack she fell to the side and landed on her back.

"My fucking GOD that bastard is a monster!" Her hands practically shot under her shirt when she landed, each long languid loop her fingers traced over her stomach reaching higher and higher and pulling the hem of the fabric with it. "I've never even seen a ZESMIR-923. It produces so much power it needs to redirect a quarter to internal stabilizers, and even then it could power a destroyer's hyperdrive all on its own." With the top half of her uniform climbing higher and higher it looked like Maria was about to manhandle her own flesh. Her back arched when the crook of her hands brushed against the modest yet still quite noticeable tents, a small moan escaping at even that small bit of contact. "I can still feel it." Whatever show she had been putting on suddenly changed direction and went back down her torso. "I could feel it shuddering as I touched it." Her wandering fingers went straight past her waist line and attacked the outer rim of her inner thigh. "Throbbing under each caress..." Her legs opened to welcome the familiar touch. "Each unbridled pulse ran through me, pushing deeper and deeper and..." With each spoken word the massage became more and more insistent, climbing higher and higher until her hands rested at her cleft, the fabric of her pants stretched so tight that it perfectly displayed her mound to her superior, her legs pressing against the mattress to keep her ass in the air and present herself more fully.

For a second or two she stayed that way, body elevated and begging to be touched by anyone at this point while her eyes just stared blankly into the space just above her, but she eventually began to relax. Her body slowly lowered to the mattress, her breath coming in short gasps while she fought to collect herself. "I'm sorry, Lieutenant, I'm usually not like that. I'm just so fucking worked up right now!" Her body began to writhe against itself as if this lack of release was becoming painful. When she finally calmed down once again her blank stare shifted until she was looking right into Alyssa's eyes. "Sir..." At that moment Maria's resistance began to slip once again, but instead of molesting herself as she had before she began to pull herself up. Once she was on her feet she started walking forward, one arm reaching out to grab the officer by her own. This was the moment of truth. Lt. Varza could easily just push the woman outside and lock her out of that room, but if Maria managed to catch her there would be no escape.
 
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Zenath

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Mar 13, 2010
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#11
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Alyssa just grins gently, grasping her arm. "This doesn't strike me as terribly restful." Then she seals the door, flicking the lock on. "But you don't sound like you'll be able to relax... and it is my duty as your commanding officer to help you do so, so you're fit for duty later."

The lieutenant pounces, grinning again. "But if you're going to make this sort of display a habit, you'll get yourself a reputation, and a lot more than just me chasing you. Think you can handle that?"

She nibbles along Maria's neck, and murmurs. "Silly question. You handled Carnassus... a few randy humans will be no problem..."

A firm hand slides under Maria's shirt, pulling it up and off in a swift movement, before seeking out and squeezing the globes beneath. "There are, of course... ground rules... military doesn't like the grunts making serious commitments... so it's all in the spirit of companionship..."

Then she giggles as Maria writhes. "Never mind. I'll tell you later." Her own top is swiftly discarded, followed in rapid succession by other articles of clothing, until only air separates flesh.

Then there is only a blur of passion and pleasure...

(Tried to get more done, failed. Feel free to expand, if you feel so inclined ^^)

-----------------

Hours later, Maria is shaken awake from her tangle of limbs to see Alyssa's face. "We should be almost there. You don't want to keep Desarra waiting, trust me."

After a hurried exchange of kisses and location of abandoned clothing, Alyssa vanishes off to the bridge, and Maria leaves for engineering. On the way, she looks through a porthole.

It is filled by titanic green gas giant, almost invisible amongst the twisting nebula gases. At first her heart sinks, thinking that they'll have to find another gravity well, but then she spots the Wolf's destination. A huge moon, the size of Mars if not bigger, lies below them, and the frigate is beginning to descend.

It's a dusty, brown world, but there are patches of green and blue. Mostly desert, but, amazingly in the midst of this inhospitable realm... it looks like there is life.

The next half hour goes by in a blur of shaking hull and screaming engines, as the Wolf plunges through the atmosphere, until it all ends with a very definite 'thud', and stillness.

Desarra consults the intercom, and announces that yes, they have landed. "Good job, grease monkeys. Now get outside for an external exam, need to get to work replacing the hyperdrive right away."

Maria moves hurriedly and obediently to the landing hatch, finding several of the crew already outside. The world is bright, painfully so, and she squints until someone throws her a pair of goggles, which she puts on gratefully. Of the sun, there is no sign, but something about the nebula makes it hard to look up without being blinded by the incandescent cream sky.

As her eyes adjust through the darkened goggles, she feels a hand clap her on the shoulder. Officer Ivy Korsann - the only non-military member of the crew, apart from Maria herself, and the ship's science officer - grins through her oversized goggles and brushes at the long brown hair being blown around by the fierce wind. Alyssa had told her a few stories about the woman, who was clearly completely infamous, and it was hard not to remember them as she strains to hear what the science officer is saying.

"Nice place, eh?" she calls over the gusts. "Cap's ordered me to get a team together to scout the local area, doesn't want us getting ambushed by wildlife or anything. You any good at field work? Most of these guys have never been off a city or a ship! I'm sure Desarra could spare you for half an hour..."

Option 1: Stick with Desarra and inspect the hyperdrive (Tech)
Option 2: Explore with Korsann's team (Explore[Hidden])
 

Termite

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#12
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Most of what Alyssa had said had been mostly ignored. Maria's rational mind merely caught each word and stored it on some random shelf while her libido dragged every last thought deeper and deeper into a pool of carnal desire. With the Lieutenant expertly undressing the both of them and those hands finding the perfect spot to attack she really didn't care. The girl was too far lost in a haze of lust to even notice she was falling onto the bed until the Lieutenant had pounced and used her weight to keep the girl pinned. From there it was a whirlwind of nimble hands and wandering until Maria found herself trapped once again, her legs bound by Alyssa's own as the taller woman once again began to assault the smaller girl's chest.

From this position the officer soon realized something. As long as her hands were massaging the girl's tits she was in complete control. She also noticed that the girl's uncontrollable writhing was an attempt get just a little more pressure from those tortuous hands. The Lieutenant decided she wanted to see just how well she could control that body. When one hand became a little more rough Maria would twist slightly into it as if presenting herself for easier access. When Alyssa let up her captive little experiment would fall back onto the mattress, her breathing suddenly much sharper in an attempt to recapture the air she lost while making all those pleasant sounding mewls of affection.

The officer continued to play with her new toy, watching the small body react with every little touch, those ministration graduating to twists and turns of two very engorged nipples that practically begged for attention. She giggled at the thought of torturing the poor grease monkey until she broke, but when she bent down to wrap her lips around one perky breast that was the end of it. Maria started howling like some wild animal while her body shook under the throws of one ear-splitting climax.

Alyssa was a bit disappointed. Her plan was ruined, and she didn't get a good taste of that perky little lump of flesh. The thought of taste immediately drew her attention to the young girl's nectar, but before she could reposition herself Maria suddenly exploded, her small body showing unbelievable strength in toppling the woman holding her down and forcing her onto her back. Before she had even landed two arms took hold of her thighs and pulled both up and out. When she finally regained her senses the officer was quite surprised to see her legs splayed in the air, her cunt on full display while Maria...

Maria did not waste a second. Her fingers pried open Alyssa's exposed lips, the latter's excitement practically coating the area in the smell of sex. For Maria's overstimulated mind the aroma was intoxicating, and while she inhaled her nimble little hands began massaging her tormentor's petals, coaxing them to bloom even further while the sweet nectar within began to flow more freely. When she'd had her fill of that scent her tongue reached down and began to collect what it could. Long slow licks cleaned each lip, but even as she worked the spring of honey would not be stopped. Whatever bits of rational thought still remained decided to attack the source directly, and when her tongue began to explore Alyssa's inner recesses she could hear content moaning somewhere in the background. She didn't care. She just wanted more of that taste.

She just kept diving and diving, that moaning becoming louder and louder, and when she wanted even more her mouth rose from its work and planted itself over the trapped officer's button, a light suck and a slight flick of the tip more than enough to the woman's arousal. The technician's expert touch could feel the muscles underneath starting to tighten, the strain there matching the strain in each successive moan she heard. The spring was about to burst, and sweet ambrosia would soon gush forth. Not wanting to waste a single drop Maria returned to those nether-lips and embraced them with her own. The kiss started innocent enough, but when the girl began to open her lips her mouth spread wider and wider. Within moments she had completely covered Alyssa's slit, and from there she gave one last swipe. Alyssa herself had enjoyed being eaten while at Maria's mercy, but that last move was something else. Her entire pussy felt like it was in someone else's mouth. She was no longer being eaten out. She was being consumed. She couldn't hold herself back any longer, but just before she felt her own reserves break Maria played one last trick and buried that nose of hers right into the woman's clit.

The dams failed, and Maria soon found her mouth flooded with Alyssa's juices. She tried her best to contain it all, but her desire to breath overcame her hunger and caused her to break away and fall back. There she lay panting, her arousal still quite heavy but somewhat sated, at least enough to think. With rational thought returning she found the Lieutenant's rump sitting against her stomach, its owner looking rather worn herself but still quite conscious. The memory of their tryst quickly played itself through her mind, and when she felt she had the woman's attention she started rubbing those lips once again. "Torture my tits like that again, and next time I'll try using my entire hand instead of my tongue." The grin on her face said she was just being playful, but something in her eyes said she was far more serious than she looked.

Taking the moment to rest Maria began to think on the past hour or so. The reactor had done her in. Something that massive in a ship this small meant she had to get up close and personal to work on it. The thing was a beast, and it had overwhelmed her with its sheer magnitude. It was always a problem when working on something massive, but today she couldn't lock herself within her room and take care of the problem herself. But this problem shouldn't come up again. First impressions were always the worst, and from this point on she knew what to expect from that monster. It was still an overwhelming bastard of technology, but any future arousal should be more the "Oye, I'm horny" variety instead of the "FUCK ME NOW!" type.

Right now, however, she was still feeling rather randy as Miss Varza had put it. There was still lingering lust to work out of her system, so she pulled herself up over her lover's body and gave one deep kiss.

*******

"Dammit." Progress on the engines was slow. Whatever had damaged the hyperdrive wasn't plainly visible, and without any energy running through the system Maria couldn't pin point the problem. She would ask someone to test fire the damn thing, but that could be dangerous. Activating any form of hyperdrive in an atmosphere was unpredictable. Most of the time they worked just fine. Sometimes they simply exploded. Other times the engines ripped themselves from the ship before entering hyperspace. Other times everything BUT the engines in a 10 km radius would be thrown into hyperspace. The chances of anything negative happening were slim, but when one out of every ten planetside activations ended in disaster it was best not to tempt fate.

With her computer not finding the problem and her frustration starting to get the better of her Maria found the slap on the shoulder a welcome reprieve. When she noticed it was the infamous nympho Ivy her nerves shrank back just a bit. The stories about this woman were sometimes a bit amazing to be true, but with the reputation she had she didn't get your attention unless she wanted something. Thankfully this time she was acting on Captain's orders. She was ordered to pull some recon, and since she was forming a team she offered Maria a space. It was true that the girl was a far better mechanic than anything else, but right now she just couldn't seem to get in her groove. She really needed to attack the problem from a completely different angle, and a thirty minute excursion focusing on something else sounded perfect for clearing her mind. "Yo, Chief!" Desarra's head popped out of the ship with a bit of an annoyed look on her face. Maria made her way over to explain the situation, and after a bit of arguing from both parties Maria returned with her gear and her rifle in hand. "Chief's not too happy, but I'm free to go for a bit. Lead the way."


(Explore with Korsann's team)
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Z

Zenath

Demon Girl Pro
Mar 13, 2010
126
0
#13
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Spoiler


Explore (18) - 9+6 = 15, fail (Lose 3 Stamina)
Combat (20) - 9+2 = 11, fail (Lose 9 HP)

Ivy just grins at Maria in an altogether unnerving fashion, one with a bit of a predator in it that seems to be considering exactly what she tastes like. Which, given the stories and reputation, was probably entirely correct.

The effect is somewhat spoiled by one of the Wolf's small contingent of marines giving Ivy a firm slap on the backside, generating a loud squeak. The man chuckles, and glances at Maria. "Don't let her bully you. She's a complete pussy at heart."

The science officer blushes crimson, and clears her throat. "Everyone ready?"

Four marines, Ivy and Maria make up the team that sets out into the howling plain. Maybe desert would be a better word; there was no sand, but the dust, cracked earth and sparse scrub were just as intimidating as a full-on sandy one. Ivy sets a fortunately casual pace, as the wind is tiring.

The group comes to a halt at the edge of a ridge, leading to a winding series of canyons. The scanner Ivy is using suddenly bleeps, and her expression of fatigue changes to one of fear. "Cover!" she calls, and the group falls behind the ridge. "Got energy readings, and lifeforms."

The implication was clear. Some kind of technology was nearby, and in this nebula, that could mean whatever had attacked the Wolf...

The marines took charge, one of them slinking forward on his belly to look over the ridge, peering through the scope of his rifle. It sweeps over the landscape, seeking out the source of the signals.

He gives a couple of signals behind his back to indicate that he couldn't see anything. Ivy glances over her scanner again, making sure that the speaker is muted. "A hundred metres and closing. Damn dust fucks with the range."

"Must be in the canyons," the marine replies, as loudly as he dares. Then the earth by his head explodes, and he falls backwards with a cry of shock. A moment later, an unearthly howling sounds.

Maria can't resist peering over the ridge, and horror strikes her before she ducks again.

Charging towards the hill are a dozen monstrous cyborgs, built very much like huge hounds with bulky armour plates over their heads, shoulders and chests. One of them pauses, rearing onto its back legs and spitting tracer fire from arm-mounted cannons before lunging onto the charge again. Each one is easily eight foot long and four at the shoulder, with massive, metal teeth and claws.

But it is not the cyberhounds that fill her with terror. It is the pair of towering humanoids speeding along behind them. The rippling muscles, the myriad spines, the heavy build.

The same species as Carnassus.

They seem smaller, less powerful, but no less intimidating. And unlike Carnassus, these are armed, stitching the air with rounds from stubby carbines, long cylinders in their spare hands.

There is no question of fighting, and the lead marine crawls backwards, the rifles of all six soon cracking and spitting particle death at the incoming monsters. Three of the hounds fall - although they are far cleaner in design and more powerful looking than the Ghosts, and far more resilient, they can still die.

But not quickly enough. Even spitting fire as they pull back, the hounds are suddenly on them, and ordered retreat turns into all-out rout.

One man is pounced by three hounds and torn to pieces, the creatures snarling and snapping at each other as they feed. A second falls, riddled with holes from the arm cannons on a pair of hounds.

The third marine trips over an outcropping and manages to fend off the hounds attacking her, shooting them down with several lucky shots before one of the monstrous aliens gets into range, flicking out its cylinder. A crackling arc of energy leaps out, wrapping around her arm and whipping her into the air, the rifle flying from her grip. Helpless and unable to dodge, she can only scream as she is swung into the monster's range, and clubbed by a huge fist, falling limp - dead or unconscious was anyone's guess.

Maria herself is attacked by another hound, the huge claws missing her by inches. Somehow she holds her cool enough to shoot the thing in the mouth, dropping it before continuing to run. Shots streak past, clipping her on the shoulder, and she feels her own blood spray over her cheek.

But for some reason, the pursuit ceases. When she dares to look back, the aliens are holding back.

Probably assembling for an assault on the Wolf, which is in the distance.

The pounding in her ears fades enough to realise that Ivy is screaming into her radio, explaining that they are under attack.

She collapses as they finally reach the frigate, suddenly finding herself being supported by Alyssa. She clings onto the lieutenant, trying to steady her breathing, fight down the terror.

One creature like Carnassus was more than enough for a lifetime.

She slowly returns to reality, finding herself in the middle of an argument.

"...no way the Wolf will take off by the time they're here. And we might well have that attack ship, or another one, waiting for us." Desarra, sounding even more aggravated than usual.

"We can't fucking fight them! They tore us apart out there!" Ivy, hysterical.

"We've got a defensive position and plenty of guns. If we set up a line, we've got a good chance of holding out." Alyssa, cool and attempting to restore order.

"Some of us couldn't hit a dreadnaught with a scattergun, el-tee," Desarra replies. "But I can try and get the shields up at low power. It'll make us resistant to gunfire and slow them down."

Ivy shakes her head. "Fuck this. I'm not staying." She turns and flees. One or two others follow her.

"KORS-" Alyssa yells, but is interrupted by the captain, he grasps her arm and shakes his head.

"Let her go. We have to prepare."

Maria looks back over the plain, towards the distant, tiny figures of the alien warriors. Some of the same mind-shredding terror of fighting Carnassus is back, and a lot of her wants to flee. But Alyssa looks calm, ready to fight... and Desarra sounds the same as ever as she whips her grease monkeys into order.

She has to choose.

Option 1: Run and hide (Explore[Naughty])
Option 2: Pick up a gun and fight (Combat)
Option 3: Help bring the ship's defences online (Tech)
 

Termite

A bug
Moderator
Apr 8, 2009
2,090
63
#14
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

"Oh god, she's here... This is her home... She knows I'm here...!" Maria's anxiety overpowered her once she returned to the Wolf. Those things looked just like her. The tall, muscular, hulking mass, the ridges running down their back, even the way it wound back and crushed that one marine that had been caught, it all reminded the panicked girl of that monster Carnassus. Those hounds didn't help in the slightest. Their attack brought back memories of the bloody carnage she saw on the Storm, but these things were worse. The Altered on the ship were nothing more than mindless machines, but those mutts still acted like the animals they were. They could still think!

There was one other thought, one that tore through her sanity and left her quivering against the woman who tried to support her. Two leaders and a pack of dogs? That wasn't just some chance encounter, that was a hunting party. That ship was being hunted. Carn was bigger than those other two, they probably reported to her. They had to have seen the ship entering orbit, and they had to know that there were only a handful of humans out here. That bitch had probably been watching the whole time. She was probably the one in that fighter. She had to know Maria was on the Wolf, and now that Maria was stuck on that planet she had to have ordered her troops to bring back the prize that was rightfully hers. They were hunting the girl, and they were gonna tear through anything to get what they wanted.

The technician nearly began to hyperventilate, the fear tearing her mind apart as it struggled to pull itself back together. It wasn't until she felt a gentle hand trying to calm her down that the tiny bit of reason started to break through the noise thundering in her head. Her breathing began to slow, her heart decided to stop racing, and after a little more time she finally heard the argument that had been broiling all around her. She didn't say a word, her nerves were still rather fried, but when Ivy started to escape and the Captain said to let her go that the frightened girl suddenly shot upright and screamed at the fleeing woman. "NO!" Everyone would probably be shocked to hear just how strong her voice was, especially Maria herself. Her mind and body were still racing, but a part of her was scrambling to gain at least some measure of control to try and bring her back down to Earth. "You think I wanna stay here?! Right now I just wanna crawl into a dark hole and hope they don't find me, but then what?! I wanna go home! I don't wanna be trapped on this dried out ball of mud with monsters hunting me until I can't run anymore, and I can't go home unless it's on this ship!" Her finger pointed to the damaged and almost dead looking Wolf. "We lose this thing and we're never getting out of here!"

Maria was practically hysterical. She's seen enough carnage to last her a couple lifetimes, and she didn't want anyone else she knew getting dragged off and slaughtered or even worse considering the cyborgs back on the Storm. When she took a peek behind her to see where the aliens were their faint outline in the distance nearly caused her to collapse once again. They were waiting for something, probably amassing a force to assault the ship. The thought of even more of those walking behemoths approaching was enough to make her move. She no longer cared if Ivy was going to run off and get herself killed. The ship was her only ticked off this hellhole, and she would do everything in her power to make sure it wasn't torn to pieces.


(Help bring the ship's defenses online)
 
OP
OP
Z

Zenath

Demon Girl Pro
Mar 13, 2010
126
0
#15
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Spoiler


Tech (22) - 19+11 = 30, epic pass :p

Desarra doesn't say a thing as Maria hurries aboard the Wolf, although she nods slightly.

Then the orders come thick and fast. "Maria, you're a genius with that reactor - get on it and keep her running steady. Anton, shield manifolds. The rest of you, watch the conduits like a hawk, if anything ruptures, we're finished. And get your fucking helmets on." The engineer throws a set of pistols out to her crew, then begins powering up the reactor.

With the helmet on and powered, a little read-out of the local area is shown, the eleven pulsing blue dots showing the rest of the crew. Maria's heart pounds as her hands race over the core, praying that the repairs hold.

If they could power the shields up fully, no ordinary infantry would get through in a million years. The trouble was, the particle fields reacted badly in atmosphere, and could make the entire thing explode... hence the need to have them on low power. Low enough to prevent shooting in, but a determined force might get through on foot.

For a moment, she is no longer on the Wolf, but back on the Storm, pinned to the wall, staring down at the jaws of Carnassus, sure she is about to be eaten alive, the terror so absolute she couldn't even feel it... then the memory fades.

No. No fucking way would that happen here. She takes a deep breath, trying to steady her heart.

"Shields online in five... four... three... two... one... online!"

The Wolf jumps slightly, and the reactor protests for a moment at being forced into strenuous activity from cold start. But it holds. A small readout of the shield status appears on her console. A moment later, it drops slightly, and the ship jolts. She races to steady the reactor, but she can't resist tuning into the main comms frequency.

"...fuck is that?"

"Not your problem! Just shoot it!"

"That's not an animal, that's a fucking WALKING TANK!"

"I said shut the fuck up!"


The sound of particle fire screams through the frequency, and when she snaps it off, she can still dimly hear the whining shots outside.

But she can't stay away for long, switching it on again. The shields flicker violently, but she fights with the reactor, squeezing every drop of power she can out, and they stay up. Sometimes they come within moments of failing before another jolt of power strengthens them again.

Somehow even the terror is forgotten, even with the sounds of intense battle in her ears. There is only the reactor, the massive, pulsing centre of her world. It speaks to her like a lover, and she responds, caring for its every need, doing what she would normally find hard with ease. Soon the terror of her crewmates has turned to cheering, as they push themselves harder, trying to match her skill.

Outside, the battle rages, the sound of gunfire no longer distinguishable from each other, just a solid scream of igniting air. None of the pulsing dots have vanished. Nobody has died.

Maria dares to hope. She can't see what's outside, can't see how many of those monsters are dead, but surely they have to give up soon. Surely they must be dying by the dozen, by the hundred, for that many shots to be expended. She remembers what a particle bolt to the unprotected stomach of Carnassus did, how the Altered died even when hit on the cybernetics.

Then the shots stop, and there is silence for several seconds, before the disbelieving sound of Alyssa's voice remarks over the comms, "They're retreating."

Nobody moves for a moment, until she yells it. "They're retreating!"

Pandemonium reigns, as congratulatory hugs are exchanged and triumphant screams echo through the Wolf. As she squeaks faintly in the iron grip of Desarra, Maria smiles a little. They'd won. With a little more work, they could get off this rock.

Then the reactor explodes in sparks, and the dream shatters.

"INCOMING AIRCRAFT!"

Maria reaches out to the reactor, and knows it's too late. The volley crushed the shields and melted the relays - the Wolf, already damaged, is crippled. Outside, the roar of particle fire sounds as the crew of the frigate find themselves under attack again - and this time, with no shield to defend them.

Glowing dots blink out one by one, and then something hammers into the engineering door. Maria snaps out her pistol, firing wildly as a pair of cyberhounds lunge through. One falls, yelping, but the shot glances off the tough skull plating of the other. Two engineers die before the hound is killed.

Then more hounds lunge in. One leaps at her, and she barely has time to scream before-

---------------

Awakening is slow and very painful.

That is the first thought that runs through Maria's mind. The other is shock at being alive. She cracks an eye open, and then slowly realises what has happened.

Half a dozen other members of the crew are nearby, among them Desarra. Curled up foetally and whimpering in a corner is Ivy. As feeling returns, Maria realises that she's been resting in Alyssa's lap.

All have been injured in some fashion, showing the ferocity of their fight. As she looks around a little more, she spots the marine from the exploration team, a huge bruise swelling on her forehead.

The uniting factor is that they are all female.

Looking further reveals what she suspected - a line of metal bars that hums with dangerous energies, and solid metal on all other sides. A prison cell. Or a cage. Just about visible outside are two massive cyberhounds, clearly their guards.

Alyssa glances down, realising Maria is awake, and strokes her cheek gently. "We gave 'em hell. Not least thanks to you."

"For what good it did..." Ivy looks over, tears of pure terror rolling down her cheeks. "We're prisoners of a hostile alien species. Fuck knows what they're going to do to us..."

Desarra looks up from nursing the gash in her side, and scowls. "Harden the fuck up, Ivy. Sobbing in a corner isn't going to help." Then she sighs as Ivy bawls, and gives her a firm hug. "Hey. Chill. We're alive."

The science officer nods, calming a little and wiping her eyes. "I... I just wish I knew what they were..."

"We are the Akarssa."

Everyone turns to look through the bars, where a towering specimen is standing, peering in at the battle-worn humans. It smirks, revealing huge fangs. This one seems even bigger than Carnassus, although the way it holds itself implies less grace. "You encroached on our territory," it purrs. "Or rather, your cruiser did. When we boarded it, we were able to strike a deal with the crew to aid us in our own conflict with another species in this nebula. When you arrived and picked up the human Maria from the Storm, you had to be eliminated. There can be no witnesses, no knowledge of the Akarssa for your species. We would prefer not to have another enemy."

It (or her? There was the same strange femininity to it that Carnassus possessed, rippling muscles and razor sharp fangs aside) looks slowly over the group, who remain silent and terrified. "We are not without mercy. You will be kept alive and in good health. However, before you are moved to your new home... which of you is Maria Caidella? You have been chosen for a... special honour."

Before the words can fully process in Maria's head, Alyssa calls out defiantly, "I am."

Then she whispers to Maria. "I'll try to distract them. You get the crew out. They'll need you to repair the ship."

The look in her eyes... she knows she won't be coming with them.

Maria stares, and struggles to work out what to do.

SPLIT PATH
Option 1: Reveal yourself as Maria (Combat, Long path (Naughty), Hidden)
Option 2: Let Alyssa go (Tech, Long path (Combat, Miniboss), Hidden)


Spoiler
 

Termite

A bug
Moderator
Apr 8, 2009
2,090
63
#16
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Spoiler


She saw...her room. Goddammit, why the hell was it always such a fucking mess? Maria stepped through the floor room of her workshop and stairs into the small open door leading to the walk-in closet she calls her home. Clothes were strewn about, some looking clean, others looking like hand rags in a 20th century automobile shop. Why she always just threw everything in there was a mystery, but she always did and she always forgot what was clean and what was a grease covered stain with some fabric inside it. Where the hell did all that grease come from, anyway? In this day and age there were far better lubricants than oil.

She stood just outside contemplating whether she wanted to go in or just return to her work in the shop. That pile looked even larger now that she saw it clearly, and she really wanted to jump into that heavy-loader skeletal frame she finally managed to buy. With her mind made up she spun in place and nearly closed the door behind her until a high pitched whine could be heard. She knew that sound. It was a monitor displaying something. She must have left her datapad in that mess somewhere and forgot to turn it off. The girl reluctantly turns right back around and enters the small space she says she lives in. That mountain of laundry seemed even bigger now that the door was closed, but she perseveres and starts searching. That datapad was her link to every automated system in the shop. Without it she was dead in the water.

The search is slow and boring at first, one shirt looking like another as her fingers were once again getting dirty. Normally she wouldn't mind. She loved the way her oiled fingers would just slide over whatever she touched, but today she had things to do. No time for play... Wait, that wasn't right. Her fingers felt a little sticky after tossing that last shirt, and when she turned to take a look she found a Confederate soldier's uniform draped across her chair. That definitely wasn't right. Sure, sometimes she'd find someone else's clothes in her laundry, a very sharp and very embarrassing reminder of the times she couldn't keep her technophilic impulses in check, but not once has she ever bedded a jar head. This was just a cruel joke.

When she returned to her work she found all the clothes were uniforms, each one stained worse than anything she owned. When she pulled one out and stretched it out she noticed a number of tears and cuts in the fabric, all of which were stained a dark red. She tossed the shirt away and pulled out another. It too was torn, blood caking the rips yet still moist enough to cover her fingers in transfer. It was tossed. So was the next. And the next. Soon Maria was practically plowing through that mess, dead uniforms littering her room and making it look like a battlezone before a flash of light catches her eyes.

The small flash was enough to draw her attention away from that pile of death, and when she lifts the leg of a particularly messy pair of pants she finds her pad face down on the floor. Her hand hesitated as she bent down to retrieve it. There was a voice practically screaming into her ear to just leave the thing and run, but some other force compelled her to take hold of the thing. When she flipped it over all she saw was a simple message, large white letters against a pure pure background spelling three little words, "You are mine."

The pad clattered to the floor, and even when the screen flickered a bit that message remained. Something wasn't right. Maria felt like her entire world was crumbling around her, the familiar safety of her home dissolving until all she could see were fused sheets of metal with large scratches and splashes of blood. She wanted to run. She wanted to get her ass out of this nightmare, but she couldn't. Her body froze feeling like some unknown force was squeezing the life out of her body and preventing her from even screaming in her despair.

The screen she was forced to watch began to bulge. The casing of the pad itself stretched as if something were growing within, the glass warping and twisting without even a single crack before it melted back to the floor. What remained in its place was a thick arm, the thick skin that looked tougher than steel doing nothing to hide the intensely powerful muscles within. The hand at the end opened as it came closer and closer. Maria could only watch as it slowly and calmly wrapped around her neck. Once it closed she found her body finally moving, every ounce of strength trying to claw and pry those fingers open. But those attempts were weak, nothing more than floundering in the face of overwhelming strength that soon started to pull her forward.

Her helpless struggle continued as she was dragged to the floor. Her limbs thrashed about trying to find purchase against something, anything, but all she found was perfectly smooth metal that allowed her hands and elbows to slide. With nothing to brace against her face eventually met the screen. Even with the glass feeling like nothing more than a thick liquid she finally stopped. The edges were still quite solid, and her head was just too big to fit through that small screen. Her efforts to escape intensified, but a second later she felt something lurch. The edges of that screen began to slightly shift. She could feel the rigid lines starting to give, and when they finally did her descent began once again. The rim that once held her back was now following the contours of her shape. Even with her head steadily sinking into this inky pool of nothingness she could feel the outline of that screen steadily pressing against her as if trying to reclaim its proper shape. She felt like she was being eaten by some nightmarish mouth, and her arms spread out as far as they could to prevent herself from being swallowed. This proved futile as well. The "lips" merely spread around her shoulders until they began to tighten once again, her arms forced closer and closer to her body until they were pinned to her sides.

No more than two feet away hidden in a dark corner Maria watched as she was slowly consumed. She could only cower as she watched herself slide down that thing's throat inch by inch. Whenever she closed her eyes she was always brought here. Forced to watch herself be eaten or torn limb from limb or crushed or raped until she was nothing more than an obedient little dog the girl couldn't budge. She couldn't stand up and run, she couldn't scream, she couldn't even blink as her mind kept putting her through horror after horror. Even now she could feel the overpowering weight of her fear holding her down while her other self could only kick wildly in desperation. Her waist had already disappeared, and once her hips had been swallowed her thighs became trapped just as her arms had.

And still she could do no more than watch. She could feel her heart tearing itself apart, the sensations of her double crawling up and down her spine while a soft voice cooed and purred in her ear. She swore she could feel someone breathing against her neck, each puff of warm air blasting against her skin twisting her nerves into a knot. "Admit it." That voice became stronger, and the bonds that held her down began to take shape. Her heart nearly stopped when she saw two impossibly thick arms wrapping around her frame. "You'll never escape." An absurdly long tongue slid past her neck. It continued to crawl down her body, slithering between her breasts and down her center, the slight bulge it made under her shirt showing its path as it inched toward the waist of her pants. "Just give in and say it." The tongue quickly rose until the end of it cradled her chin. The last thing the girl saw was her double submerged up to her ankles before her head was pulled back and up leaving her face to face with the monster that had been plaguing her dreams. "You are ALL mine." For a moment everything froze. All Maria could feel was the gentle yet strong embrace of the beast holding her while she was forced to look into those hungry eyes. Her mind practically cracked, her resistance simply melting away until she felt a cold lump forming in her throat. She could do nothing more than open her mouth to let it out, and once that word escaped all that remained was complete and total shock.

"NO!!!"

Her body twisted, and the image of Carnassus pinning her against that hard body vanished as if it were never there. She questioned what just happened for no more than a moment before her eyes caught the sight of someone's toes disappearing into a black, oily pool. Her body reacted on its own once again, the small leap it took bringing her over the now normal looking device that had swallowed her other self. Her hand shot into the screen, the glass rippled once more, and she quickly found and caught the ankle that had been dragged into those dark depths.

---------------

She saw...ugh, she didn't see anything. It hurt to open her eyes. Fucking hell. The groan she let out at moving her sore body was the first sign she gave she was awake, the memory of her recent dream vanishing in an instant while her mind tried to work with the pain weighing her down. When her eyes start to finally open the memory of the final attack struck her like a train, and she somehow managed to bolt upright and look around the room. She quickly recognized the members of the crew, especially the one who had been cradling her the entire time. "YOU'RE ALIVE!" The Lieutenant found herself slammed against the wall. Maria was certain that no one would survive when the reactor nearly destroyed itself, but there they all were, safe and sound, the joy of no longer being alone overriding every ache and pain she would be feeling in a few seconds.

When she finally let go of Alyssa she took a more thorough look around the room. Apparently her friends weren't as safe as she had originally thought. Desarra was nursing a rather ghastly looking wound to her side, the marine from the recon team looked like she was suffering from the mother of all concussions, and Ivy... Maria knew what the girl was going through. Her heart nearly broke in two when she thought about what the next 24 hours would be like for the science officer. It practically overwhelmed everything else. The fact that only six people lived, none of them men, was merely brushed aside as she prepared to get get up and wrap her arms around Ivy's sobbing head.

Before she could rise to her feet the Akarssa made itself known. The enormous creature standing just outside made Maria nearly jump out of her skin. Carnassus scared the living shit out of her, and this thing was even bigger! The technician took one cautious step away from the bars, her mind completely terri...

No. No, she wasn't. For the past day and a half every single time her mind wandered to Carnassus she had always wanted to just run into a dark corner and curl into a tiny ball. She still felt the fear. Her skin practically crawled with anxiety when she looked at the towering behemoth. But it just wasn't there. For some reason the total and complete mind-numbing terror was gone.

As she pondered this change the new arrival had asked which human was Maria, and before her mind caught up with reality Alyssa had answered that call. She was surprised to hear her superior make that claim, and the order to escape with the others nearly sent her into shock. The look in the officer's eyes said there would be no turning back. She was ready to throw herself into the lion's den and hope that Maria could somehow get that ship working again. The girl nearly cried when she realized what Alyssa was trying to do.

And she nearly cried again when she realized she couldn't let it happen. "Wait!" During all of this Maria had been holding on to the LT's hand, so before Alyssa could stand and present herself the smaller woman pulled enough to throw off her friend's balance. She then quickly shot to her feet and stepped forward enough to put herself between the alien and the downed human. "I'm Maria. Carnassus can confirm. She knows my scent and my taste." That should be convincing enough. If not then she would stand there until the beast accepted it. She couldn't allow any more people to sacrifice themselves for her. Especially not Alyssa.


(Reveal yourself as Maria)
 
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Zenath

Demon Girl Pro
Mar 13, 2010
126
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#17
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Spoiler


Alyssa looks at her, eyes filled with pain, and then kisses her hard. Then she nods and slinks back into the cell.

The Akarssa looks between the two of them for a moment, then nods at the guards. One of the hounds growls softly, then turns and rears up, a claw pushing at some out-of-sight control. The bars flicker, then slam up into the ceiling. A massive, clawed hand stretches out, strangely polite, and Maria takes it after a moment's hesitation. She can feel the same cold certainty that Alyssa must have felt, that there was no way out. Under those circumstances, she had nothing to lose.

The Akarssa's hand dwarfs her own, both due to the large proportions and massive build of the creature, and she can feel the raw power, but its hold is curiously gentle. As Maria looks back for a final farewell, the bars slam down again - but not before she sees Desarra slide something along the ground and outside.

Her heart cheers at this small hope that they might get out. She'd known them for only a few hours, but they'd become family.

The facility has an underground feel to it, sections of rock peeking out through the solid metal supports. Given what the surface had been like, it wasn't much of a surprise. Despite herself, she can't help being curious about the construction, the cleverly engineered lighting, the smoothness of the rock. The Akarssa were certainly advanced.

Finally, after passing through the maze of tunnels, she comes into a low, dimly lit chamber. Unlike the hard glow of the main facility, the illumination is almost warm, and the somewhat cool air is also a little warmer in here. Her escort growls something guttural, presumably in its native tongue, and then leaves, the door sealing behind it.

She waits, a little confused. She didn't know what she'd been expecting, but it hadn't been this. She could see a tall chair, facing away from her, but it was small, far too small for an Akarssa. She realises she is no longer standing on cold stone and metal, but on some kind of fur rug that sprawls over the floor. She can pick out the silhouette of other objects too, but it is too dim to really make them out.

Silence, save for the lapping of water, or some kind of liquid nearby. She slowly walks forward, seeing nothing else to do, and then creeps around the chair, heart pounding.

There is a heap of cloth on it, but it is otherwise empty.

"Do you like what you see?"

Until that moment, some part of her had doubted. Even though she'd seen Carnassus vanish, some part remembered unloading her rifle into the twitching body until it lay still. But that voice, the voice that haunted her dreams with its seductive horror, the thing that she would forever remember from the Storm, more than the massacre of the rescue team, more than the Altered... it purred behind her, and she knew that it was over.

How had the thing snuck up on her again?

But... there was something odd. Something not quite right. The voice was softer, more musical - unmistakeably the beast, but different. And while it had effortlessly invaded her space, so close she could feel the warm breath on her neck, it felt... smaller.

When she turned around, she realised why.

Carnassus grins. The towering heap of muscle and bone and sinew was gone, replaced with something almost human. The skin was still the colour of pale leather, bony ridges still jut from arms and shoulders, but the form is lithe, graceful, only slightly larger than Maria herself. There were still muscles, still claws, still teeth. This new Carnassus was still dangerous. But it was no super-powerful killing machine.

"Like it?"

Maria stares, stunned. She'd expected to be confronted by her old enemy and then torn to bits in revenge, not a complete transformation.

Carnassus chuckles softly, enjoying the woman's bemusement. "You did kill me, you know. First human to ever kill an Akarrsa. But we don't die so easily. I had the strength to leave you my little message, then I returned here, and entered a new body; a form of cloning. This is what we look like when young, immature. It'll be many human years before I can fight again. All thanks to you and my arrogant mistake." A delicately clawed finger flicks out and pokes at Maria almost playfully, and the woman suddenly realises that Carnassus isn't wearing anything - and that this 'young' form, at least, has a few more similarities to humans. Her eyes flick over alien's breasts, comparing them with her own and concluding them to be about the same size, perhaps a little smaller - and then she blushes, eyes snapping up to look Carnassus in the eye, telling herself to focus.

The Akarssa turns and pads quietly past, flicking a clawed hand to follow. "Come. I have much to tell you."
 

Termite

A bug
Moderator
Apr 8, 2009
2,090
63
#18
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Spoiler


That kiss...

She couldn't hold back any longer. The moment the Lieutenants lips met her own whatever facade of self-control Maria had made simply crumbled into dust. Her arms captured the body in front of her and pulled it close and tight. She practically mashed herself against the officer while every ounce of pain and passion she felt in this last embrace was poured into that kiss until she had to let go. She held the woman for a moment longer before she pulled herself away. Her eyes were still closed until she felt she had at least some of her emotions in check. When they opened everyone could see the water welling in the corners. "So much for military regulations, huh?" She choked on the small laugh she made at her own stupid little joke. Her composure was quickly failing, and when she closed her eyes to help herself refocus the tears that had gathered started to trail down her cheek. Her hand came up and brushed them away. With one deep breath she finally calmed her emotions, and her eyes opened to find Alyssa once again. She wanted to say something. Bye. Seeya later. I'll come back. Something, but the words wouldn't come. Right now she couldn't face that this was their last meeting, and she couldn't stand to say anything that hinted they may never come face to face again. She simply stood trying her best to be strong before she turned and faced their jailer. Goddammit, why the hell did she have to start falling for some jar head?

The outstretched hand that greeted her when the cell opened was puzzling. A large part of Maria figured all the Akarssa would be just as rough as Carnassus. She half expected the big creature to just use that massive hand to grab the girl wherever it was convenient and just carry or drag her wherever it wished. But it had been polite. It simply stood with its palm up and open inviting her to take it. It didn't react in the slightest when Maria shrunk back a small bit before her own finally took the offer. That part still expecting the worst braced for the sudden pull and jolt that would probably pop her arm out of its socket once again, but it never came. The monstrous palm gently closed around her dwarfed hand and rose just enough to show they would be moving. It felt curiously...relaxing.

The large alien turned to lead its charge elsewhere, and while it did Maria stole a look back before she was forced to move forward. As she did the bars to the cell slammed down into the floor, but before that she thought she saw something small sliding outside from the corner of her eye. When she traced its path she found Desarra still nursing that gash in her side but unable to hide the determined look in her eyes. Maria nearly jumped out of her skin right then. They were still going to try an escape! Her heart was practically leaping out of her chest until every fiber of her being tackled her growing excitement and dragged it into a dark corner where it could do nothing. They were going to escape. Desarra was more than capable of repairing the ship, and Alyssa was the pillar of strength they all needed to lead them to freedom. The last thing they needed was some stupid gear head nearly skipping down the hall and alerting the guards that something may be wrong.

With her emotions finally held in check the tech started to take in her surroundings. For the most part she felt like she was being led through a series of tunnels. Pieces of earth and rock were interspersed between the sheer metal plating holding the tunnel intact, but the more rocky sections she passed the more curious it all seemed. The rocks themselves were perfectly smooth. There weren't any obvious signs of tool marks or drilling. It looked like the earth simply shaped itself that way. It didn't even have a definite seam when it changed from earth to metal. The supports look like they were grown out of the tunnel itself. The farther and farther she walked the more the architecture just fascinated her. She soon found herself hurrying head bit by bit only to slow down and study the walls. She wanted to... Holy shit, she wanted to take it apart! She hadn't felt this way since she was eight!

A slight tug on her arm told her she was starting to fall behind. A touch of embarrassment started to show on her cheeks as she took a few quick steps to catch up with the Akarssa. "Sorry." The recent bout of nostalgia brought up a memory she had nearly forgotten. When the girl was five she'd done nearly the same thing, rushing forward bit by bit to look at something interesting then waiting til the last second to catch up to her mother as she was led through town. One time she even managed to completely tear herself away only to run a few feet forward and stop right in front of a man with an obvious cybernetic arm. She just stared at the mechanical limb in complete and total awe. Mom apologized profusely when she caught her daughter, and when she told the small girl to "Come on." she never once tried to pick up or drag her along. She simply took hold of a stubby little hand lifted it to catch Maria's easily distracted attention. So that's why she felt so relaxed right now. She was being led around like a little child.

The girl returned to reality only to find herself on the verge of tears once again. She cursed herself under her breath and inhaled very slowly to try and bring her nerves back under control. She couldn't let herself fall apart, at least not right now. When she finally felt she was in control once again she noticed her little trek through this underground maze was coming to an end. Her guide brought her into a relatively small chamber. The gentle hand that helped keep her calm abandoned her, the anxiety of being on an alien world starting to creep back into her heart. The dim lighting didn't help in the least, and when the Akarssa made that guttural sound Maria slightly cringed. That noise reminded her of the alligators she had seen in a zoo, but the Akarssa's voice was much deeper and seemed to bellow. The she could feel the call vibrating through her body. She swore her bones were literally rattling against each other before the gigantic creature turned and left.

Sealed inside the room the girls sits and waits trying her best to take in everything around her. Even with the dim lighting she could see objects all around, but all she could make were simply outlines and nothing else. The curious part of her wanted to move closer and see what they were, but that voice was quickly ignored. She was just asking to be tackled if she wandered in the dark. Besides, the single chair in the center with the light shining on it was obviously where she was meant to go. For a moment she pictured Carnassus sitting in that chair much like Zaphron did when she first encountered the two of them, but it just didn't fit. Carn was just too big. Those two Akarssa she saw on the recon ambush wouldn't even fit in that chair. Why the hell would any of those monsters build a chair that small?

Maria found herself stepping closer to that throne, her heart pounding a little louder with every step she took. She didn't know what to expect anymore, but something was definitely waiting in this room. Why else would she have been singled out and brought here like this? Inch by inch she starts to round the back until she comes face to face with...nothing. Nothing but a heap of clothes.

For a moment she's simply confused, but that all ends when she hears that voice. This was it. In the back of her mind she'd always wondered when Carnassus would catch her, never doubting that she could ever escape her fate. Today was that day. Much like the first time they met the beast simply appeared right behind her, that presence just appearing out of nowhere and breathing down the back of her neck like it had always been there. With her captor right there Maria's imagination pictured a clawed hand picking her up by the waist before slamming her into that chair before that tongue began to torture her into submission. But something seemed...off. The girl could feel something standing right behind her, but she didn't feel dwarfed. She only felt mildly threatened, and most of that was just from the memories brought up by that voice.

A growing part of her dared to turn and face her enemy. When she did she nearly stumbled over herself. That... That couldn't be Carnassus. Carnassus was tall, huge, fucking terrifying! Carnassus could probably make a battle-hardened marine shit his pants! This thing was... It was...

For once in her life Maria was completely stupefied. Her mind was trying to reason with itself. Her rational side said this thing couldn't be that bitch. It was too short, too small, too graceful, too human to be the monster that tormented her. The irrational side countered by pointing out the similarities, the leathery hide, the ridges on the back, those claws and teeth, and especially the purr in that familiar voice. The explanation the creature gave of the aftermath started tipping the scales in her favor. Little by little Maria's mind began to accept that Carnassus had become this much smaller yet still taller body.

The human was still reeling when a clawed yet still quite delicate looking finger poked her gently in the chest. Maria couldn't help but compare that finger to her own, and once she found they looked basically the same she began to look at Carn's new body a little more carefully. The skeleton and muscles looked eerily human even if the extra features said she was not. Even with that thick skin covering her Maria figured the alien's flesh would still give under her touch.

The comparison continued, Maria's gaze deciding to linger on the young Carn's bosom. They looked to be nearly the same size as her own, maybe just a tad smaller. She began to wonder if the species nursed its young when she suddenly realized she was staring at breasts. Carn was nude. Maria had been staring at the other girl's tits for who knows how long. She blushed profusely and brought her eyes back up, but she couldn't find her voice and apologize. Her mind was too rattled to make any form of speech at this point.

It wasn't until Carn had stepped past and beckoned Maria to follow that the girl could finally make a coherent thought. As she turned she caught sight of the discarded clothing in the chair. Some part of her reached down to collect it before following the alien girl. Her mind was still bouncing from place to place, a million questions starting begging to be asked, but she still couldn't find the voice to ask. She was still trying to cope.
 
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Zenath

Demon Girl Pro
Mar 13, 2010
126
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#19
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Spoiler


The sound of lapping water grows as she follows the Akarssa, through a subtle side door, and into another dimly lit room. It seems odd, with the world above so painfully bright, for Carnassus to be living in such gloom. But then, perhaps this wasn't where they originally came from.

It's hot in here - hot from the steam of what seems like either a miniature swimming pool or a very large bath, the water shimmering. The alien slides in with a soft hiss, the water coming up to her stomach, and then sits, only her head and the bony tips of her shoulders above. "Sensitive skin," she purrs softly. "On this dry world, we youngsters need moisture, until it hardens."

Those beady eyes look at Maria with a hint of expectancy, but no order, no command to join her. The choice, it seemed, was hers. Then she closes her eyes, basking in the hot water.

"No doubt you're wondering why I'm not getting my revenge for last time, or making good on my declaration of ownership. The thing is, Maria... I'd like you to join me willingly. Let me explain what has led you here, and what I'm offering... and then you can decide."

"My people are one of several here in this nebula, all of which are in constant conflict to own it. Some have interest beyond it, but the Akarssa are not one of them. We're content to roam the gas field, even if holding our own can be hard at times."

"The problem, human, is that we are currently losing. Two of our enemies have united, and steadily chew at our territory, claiming worlds and vital resources. The situation is not desperate, but it is... difficult. Of course, our techniques in mental alteration and cybernetic enhancement gives... options. You saw that with the Altered on the Storm, and rather less crudely on the Nakatta hounds. The Nakatta are one of our enemies that breeds like no tomorrow, so we've got into the habit of making them into shock troops... but I stray from the story."

"I command this outpost, the outermost one in our territory to the edge of the nebula. We knew that there were other species beyond, and a few scouts had told us of your people, but when the Storm showed on our sensors... we automatically took it to be hostile, and attacked. When Colonel Zaphron signalled his surrender... I went aboard, and met him."

"The man was arrogant, pompous and ambitious. I won't bore you with details, but suffice to say, I saw an opportunity and arranged for... an experiment. Zaphron wanted his crew 'upgraded', and so it was done. In return, in theory, he would work to secure us resources outside of the nebula. I didn't care for that, or for his petty dreams of power, but I did want to see what would happen. I frankly wasn't impressed."

"Until you."

Carnassus' eyes had been closed until now, but at this point they opened and locked onto Maria.

"You took the best that Zaphron could throw at you, you even faced me and beat your fears, and you simply refused to give up. You impressed me, Maria Caidella, with your little warrior's heart. I've thought of little else since I awoke into my new body."

"But you are afraid. You're afraid even now. I can almost taste it." Her tongue flicks out, and Maria suppresses a shiver. That long, thin, flexible muscle hasn't changed from the mature body she killed. Carnassus chuckles softly. "I can make it so that you never have to fear again. I don't want a toy or a slave, Maria. I don't want petty revenge, you beat me fair and square. I want... an assistant. I look into your eyes, human, and I see a spark of something that could turn around the war against the others. And I don't mean another mindless army like on the Storm. An army of people like you - passionate, driven and willful, backed up by the power of our cybernetics and weapons and brute power."

She sighs gently. "We don't breed fast, Maria. We are few, and growing fewer. The Nakatta and those that we've enslaved of our enemies can only do so much. When I created Zaphron's Altered, I thought it would be no different... but with you at my side to guide and lead them, we could make a force to be reckoned with. Perhaps even finally bring the Akarssa victory."

"That's what I want. I want you at my side, to help me to create an army - a willing army - of humans to turn around our fortunes. I'm offering you strength like you've never known, both physical and metaphorical."

"That is my offer, Maria. So tell me. What is your answer?"

She stretches out a clawed hand. Waiting, her eyes glinting gently in the light.
 

Termite

A bug
Moderator
Apr 8, 2009
2,090
63
#20
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

This all was surreal. A couple days ago Maria never thought she'd be following an alien killing machine that reverted into a younger version into an indoor bathhouse let alone watching said alien slipping her very nude and strangely intriguing body into the granddaddy of all steam baths. Her mind was slowly but surely coming to terms with everything, but that wasn't leaving much thought for anything else. Her consciousness could only handle simple things right now. Walk inside. Steamy. Put the clothes down. Um... No place to put them. Just lay them by the door. Hey, hot pool. Neat. Steamy. Probably feels nice. Oh, naked girl went in. Should I? Probably feels nice. Oh, what the hell. Gotta undress. Ugh, kinda dirty. Water may get dirty. Screw it, just get in.

With her dumbfounded mind finally getting her to step into that steamy water it finally found something on which it could completely focus. That water was HOT. It wasn't enough to scald her, but with the rather cold atmosphere inside this building it was a stark contrast that made her skin scream. It took a while to adjust with one foot in the water and the other up on the rim, but once she had she slowly brought the rest of her down. Her muscles groaned in ecstasy, the sound in Maria's mind probably no different than the groan she made. She really needed that. All the tension in her body was quickly melting away, and her recently dislocated shoulder really needed to rel- "FUCK!" She'd forgotten about the shot that clipped her shoulder. At first she'd just ignored it in her haste to get away from the ambush, then she was far too focused on keeping the reactor running. When she woke in the cell there were far more aches and pains to worry about, but here in this pool the water took everything else away. All that remained was a wound that had barely closed, and when it hit the water whatever had caked as protection dissolved letting the spring water in and a trickle of blood out. Dammit, she really wanted to get some relief on that shoulder. She shot a dirty look toward Carnassus, but she was just laying back enjoying the water. Pain in the ass alien...

Relaxed and a bit pissed Maria was able to adequately focus on Carn as she spoke. The human kept herself calm as she listened. Each fact was carefully weighed and stored somewhere safe to ponder a bit more later. At least until the Altered were mentioned. She nearly balked at the explanation for the Storm. It was sickening. Zaphron wanting his crew "upgraded" wasn't exactly pleasant, but when Carn said she just wanted to see what happened, to see how humans would work, that was just inexcusable.

For a moment she felt nothing but that same righteous indignation she used to kill Carnassus on the Storm. She did nothing to hide it even when Carn opened her eyes and focused on the girl. The praise that followed did nothing to rattle that rage, nor did the admonishment of the fear she knew she still carried. When the tongue flicked out to prove that point Maria shivered on reaction. She knew quite well that even without the towering mass of muscle Carn could overpower her with just that muscle alone.

With rage simmering down to mild anger the young alien continued. The tale of the war within this nebula and the fact that the Akarssa were losing didn't strike much of a chord with the girl, but then the creature said something else. It wasn't said directly, but the insinuation was there. The Akarssa were dying. They were steadily losing a war against two enemies, and their inability to breed meant they couldn't replenish their fallen soon enough. The technology to clone themselves was probably born from their need to grow their numbers, but cloning had its limits. Otherwise Maria was sure she would have seen far more Akarssa wandering through the facility. It's probably why the Alteration process was born. They were desperate.

So, there she sat, a long human stuck on an alien world being asked to save a dying race. A race that resorted to stripping the very will of sentient beings and turning them into nearly mindless killing machines. Hell, this was just too much. She needed to think. Her right hand went up to her left shoulder and gripped the wound tightly causing a bunch of discomfort that really shone on her face. Even then she kept the pressure on until she finally got that injury underwater. It hurt like hell, but she could finally fully relax. She needed to think about what she was going to say.

She sat for a minute or so fully aware that Carnassus was waiting for an answer. "I can't forgive what you did to my people. We value our free will too much, and you tore that away just to see what would happen. I couldn't stand that happening to me. I'd rather die. ...And..." The tags that had been hanging around her neck, part of the reason she was able to make it through this terrible mess, they were taken from her neck and presented them to the outstretched hand. "I'm not the only one." Carn said she had been watching the entire time. She probably knew what those tags meant to Maria.

"Oh hell, I can't ignore everything else..." The girl slightly rose out of the water, her shoulders slightly resting against the edge of the small pool while her hands came to rest on both sides of her head. She really couldn't ignore someone asking her to help save their race. Then again she just couldn't excuse seeing humans used as cattle. She needed something else. "Okay, question: What's going to happen to my friends?" She needed to know what kind of fate they were facing, whether their escape had been noticed, and once it had what kind of pursuit would be following them. And if things looked dire she had one more question to ask. "...Is there anything I can do to help them?"