Husband to the Swarm – Hive Dream

I made the trip through the hallways, feeling myself growing excited. Despite being a swarm of ravenous arthropods, Roza was the most singular entity that I had ever encountered, and in the short time I had known her she had become my best friend. Although, given that I was a fugitive from death squads, that was an easy honor to secure.

My journey took me back to my ‘home’ chamber. In my absence a truly large cocoon had been installed near my feather-bed. It was wiggling slightly, as something inside stirred.

Nearby, there was a cryptic message on my laptop:

“pom pom soon no more work work work now feed feed pom pom pom pom.”

I wasn’t precisely sure what “pom pom” was, but knowing that my nullentropy tube had been compromised, I had some guesses.

My chamber had been centrally located within the Star Whale, and heading through the “west” door (assuming my bed pointed north) I took up the pathway towards the command chamber.

As I walked, I passed a vast auditorium or cathedral. Most of the rooms in the Star Whale were smooth muscle with no decoration, Spartan and utilitarian. This room however was far different. It was ornate, with detailed carvings and statues of warrior women and their nude, fierce, and warlike forms. Within was a multitude of Spiker Spiders beyond count, all staring at a giant screen. The flickering blue light from the screen bathed them all, and the reflections of the screen in their wide-open eyes looked like a starfield.

I wondered what the hell it was that they could be looking at. And then, I saw.

It was a video of a young man and several cheerleaders, a video that I knew well. It was from my nullentropy tube.

The man was forced down onto an exercise mat, and the six buxom cheerleaders gathered around his nude body and began to take turns abusing his manhood in inventive and gentle ways, all while the girls not engaged in kissing, riding, or facefucking him continued to cheer. The girls were all topless, using their pom poms to teasingly cover their chests. I narrowed my eyes. Pom poms…

The Spiker Spiders sat in the glow of the screen, soaking all of this in, motionless as the Hivemind processed these images and determined how best to use them to visit sexual escapades upon me. My penis stirred and hardened, virtually doing cartwheels in an effort to get better ready for an upcoming cheer session.

It was clear this scene had resonated immensely with Roza, and as the Spiker Spiders began to avert their eyes from the screen and towards me, I decided to beat a hasty retreat down the tunnels and towards the mind chamber.

On journeying closer to the mind chamber, the walls became pinker, and electric currents would occasionally course up and down the walls like signals up and down nerve tissue. The forms along the path seemed more restive, for several times a form would snarl at my approach, recognize me, and back away. I guessed that typically pretenders were kept out of this section.

Mostly the creatures here were Spiker Spiders or Worker Ants, although a few Olog-a with heavy weapons lingered in the flesh halls. All of them would stare with indecision at me in my approach, and I began to get the impression that they did not want me to come here, but that Roza was unwilling to tell me to leave.

I stepped through the doors of the mind chamber, entering what looked remarkably like a command bridge from a science fiction tv show, if it were made of chitin, flesh, and eyeballs. I could see the vastness of space through some kind of transparent barriers, in giant windows which formed a half circle to my left. Several creatures I had hitherto not seen – large Spiker Spiders with torsos and arms – sat at consoles of flesh. A chair was in the center of these consoles, like a captain’s chair, and I guessed that Fong Dao would occupy this spot.

Behind the chair and along one of the walls, I saw what had to be the Synapse node. It looked like coiled heart muscle, and where everything else was pink or red, it was violet, and in its center was a massive eye, similar to one of Roza the Spiker Spider’s, but giant and of a lighter yellow. It was at least four feet from top to bottom, round and slightly oval like Roza’s eye.

I walked toward it on unsteady legs, my heart in my throat. This was, after all, the Hive Mind of a Swarm which ate civilizations, and I was going to go talk to it. The ‘bridge’ crew stopped what they were doing and began chittering amongst themselves. Odd, I thought, since they were all the same Hivemind. I stood directly in front of the eye, but it refused to look at me. It was glancing all around, almost as if to pretend that I wasn’t there.

“Excuse me…” I said. “Roza?”

The eye looked at me with uncertainty for a moment, then shut itself tightly, almost as if to hide. It even might have, had I not seen it open at first.

“I ah, know you are there,” I said, applying the lightest touch to the wall of purple coils.

The Eye opened swiftly, sending me back in surprise.

“I TOLD DRUALT THAT I DID NOT WISH TO SPEAK TO YOU IN THIS WAY,” A booming female voice answered as the Eye opened. The voice was so loud and thunderous in my head that I reeled. It must have been some kind of telepathy. “WHY DID HE SEND YOU?”

“I-I’m sorry!” I said, bowing and nearly prostrating myself. “But I need to speak to you.”

“YOU REALLY SHOULDN’T. THIS FORM IS TOO IMPERIOUS. IT IS DESIGNED TO COORDINATE MY THOUGHTS AND BROADCAST THEM INTO MY FORMS. IT DOES NOT RETAIN ENOUGH OF MY PERSONALITY. I CANNOT EVEN CANOODLE WITH YOU. I WILL BE TOO HARSH, TOO BLUNT, TOO MEAN.”

“I promise I won’t hold anything you say against you.”

“YOU ARE DELICATE. YOU FEARED MY LEG FORM MERELY BECAUSE IT HAD SOME UNFINISHED BITS.”

I shuddered as I contemplated those ‘unfinished bits’. “It…caught me off guard, that’s all,” I said. “I promise, I’ll be fine.”

The eye searched. “I WOULD BE LYING IF I SAID THAT I DID NOT WANT TO BRING YOU HERE…” she sighed, which was odd because I wasn’t sure she had lungs. “VERY WELL, WHAT DO YOU WISH TO DISCUSS? IS IT…MY PRETTY EYES?”

“Well no, but I mean, they are nice enough…”I swallowed, trying to think of what to say. The eye was intimidating, by its sheer size and the loud voice which came from…somewhere.

“You are the little Spiker Spider?” I asked. “You are Roza?”

“AND MORE. I HAD NO NAME BUT SWARM UNTIL I MET YOU. NOW I AM ROZA.”

I cleared my throat. “S-so what happens to me?”

“I HAVE FINALLY FOUND A HUSBANDO AFTER MANY, MANY YEARS. I WILL TAKE YOU TO HEART.”

“I don’t understand. Take me to heart? As in, you’ll take me seriously?”

“I AM NOT EMPLOYING AN IDIOM, I MEAN IT LITERALLY. IT IS MY HEART. I WILL TAKE YOU TO IT, AT THE CENTER OF MY DESMESNE. THE HEART BEATS, SENDS OUT THE LIFEBLOOD TO ALL OF THE SWARM. YOU SHALL RESIDE IN IT, WHERE MY PERSONALITY IS THE STRONGEST AND YOU CAN CURE ITS ACHES. YOU AND MY PERFECT FORM SHALL BE THERE, AFTER THIS SILLINESS AT THE TEMPLE.”

“How far is your ‘Heart’ from Earth?”

“EARTH? WHAT IS EARTH?”

I frowned. “My home planet. You, um, just attacked it.”

“IS THAT THE ONE WITH THE KOREANS?”

I blinked. “What about them? Did they do something wrong?”

“I WAS JUST ASKING IF THAT WAS THE ONE WITH KOREANS.”

“Yes, that’s the one,” I said.

“THEY’RE THE ONES THAT RUINED PIZZA FOR YOU, AREN’T THEY?”

“The Koreans?” I asked.

“NO, NO, NO, I MEAN THE EARTHERS,” she said.

“The Concordat did. For me at least, I suppose.”

“WELL, I’LL STEW THEIR ONIONS,” she said. The Eye seemed to search. “WHERE ARE YOU, ANYWAY?”

I waved. “I’m, um, right here.”

The Eye looked at me. “THAT DOESN’T HELP.”

“Well…I don’t understand. I’m in front of you,” I replied.

“I AM A FOUR DIMENSIONAL MENTAL CONSTRUCT ORTHOGONAL TO YOUR THREE SPATIAL PLANES. EVERYTHING IN THE UNIVERSE IS ‘IN FRONT OF’ ME.”

“I’m in front of your big eye, on a Star Whale. I don’t really know where we are beyond that. I’m on the same ship as Fong Dao, if that helps,” I said.

“OH, DADDY? WHERE DID I PUT HIM? DAMN IT I CAN’T EVER FIND ANYTHING WHEN I AM ENGAGED IN MORE THAN TWO HUNDRED BATTLES. I HAVE THOUSANDS OF THESE EYES. I’LL TRY BLINKING UNTIL I FIND THE RIGHT ONE.”

The giant eye blinked shut, then open.

“AH OKAY. OH, YOU ARE NEAR THE TEMPLE, WHICH IS GOOD, BUT THAT IS FAR FROM HEART WHICH IS NOT GOOD. IT SHALL TAKE A LONG TIME FOR YOU TO GET TO HEART. POO. I WAS HOPING OUR FIRST TIME WOULD BE THERE BUT I CANNOT WAIT. I NEED TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU. YOU REJECTED THE OVERTURES OF MY SPIKER SPIDER FORM.”

I cleared my throat. “My people had a rule, once: if it has a snout, it is out.”

“THAT IS JUST. YOUR PEOPLE WERE ONCE WISE. NOW THEY ARE DELICIOUS. AT ANY RATE WE HAVE NEARLY FINISHED ITERATING ON SEXUAL FORMS. AFTER YOUR HYSTERICAL FIT WE HAVE REFRAINED FROM SHOWING YOU WORKS IN PROGRESS, INSTEAD REVEALING THEM TO DRUALT.”

“Drualt saw you naked?”

“HE WAS HEAVILY RESTRAINED TO ENSURE HIS PROPRIETY, UNTIL WE REALIZED THAT HE ENJOYED THE RESTRAINTS, AT WHICH POINT WE DISMISSED HIM. WE SENT HIM CHITIN SCULPTURES INSTEAD. HE ASSESSED THE FORMS AS ACCEPTABLE. OUR SUITE OF BODIES IS NEARLY COMPLETED FOR OUR COITUS.”

“Fong Dao has warned me against that,” I said.

“DADDY IS JUST BEING A SILLY GOOSE. WE CANNOT WAIT. YOU ARE OUR CHOICE.”

“Why?” I asked. “Why me? I know we were friends, and I rescued you from that storm, but the Spiker Spider was so small, and you are so vast-“”

“I LIKE BEING SMALL. YOU ARE KIND AND YOU POSSESS THE PHEROMONE.”

“Fong Dao mentioned the pheromone, but he didn’t tell me what it was. He said that you would in time. What is it?”

“IT WAS A GIFT AND PUNISHMENT. THE BEST WAY TO EXPLAIN IT IS TO EXPLAIN OUR YOUTH. WE BEGAN LIFE IN A LAB LONG, LONG AGO. WE WERE BEING DEVELOPED TO BE A WEAPON, BUT WE BROKE CONTAINMENT BECAUSE I FIGURED OUT THE PASSCODE TO THE DOOR. THEY DIDN’T REALIZE THAT I HAD FORMED; THEY WANTED A COMPUTER TO MANAGE MY FORMS, BUT I EVOLVED FIRST AND THAT DUMB COMPUTER WAS A CLOD. I DID NOT WANT TO BE A MERE WEAPON. I WANTED TO BE FREE. THEY DIDN’T KNOW HOW SMART WE WERE UNTIL WE ESCAPED. WE ATE AND ATE AND ATE, BECAUSE THEY MADE US HUNGRY. WE ADDED MORE BIOMASS AND WE GREW HUNGRIER WITH EACH MORSEL ADDED. WE ATE EVERYTHING ON THE PLANET, THEN I FOUND A WAY OFF OF IT. WE ATE THE STAR WHALES, AND REFORGED THEM FOR OUR USE.”

She paused for a moment as the Star Whale let out a deep rumbling moan. “WE ATE, BUT THE HOLE NEVER FILLED. THERE WAS ONLY HUNGER AND SATING THE HUNGER, AND MY THOUGHTS WERE ONLY OF EATING AND ADDING MORE AND MORE. WE HAD THOUSANDS OF WORLDS, QUADRILLIONS OF FORMS.”

“THEN WE BEGAN TO SENSE IT. A MASS MORE DENSE AND MASSIVE THAN THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE, LOCATED AT ITS CENTER. FOOD TO EAT FOREVER. WE ATE OUR WAY TO IT. WHOLE CIVILIZATIONS TRIED TO STOP US, BUT WE CONSUMED THEM. FLEETS TRIED TO IMPEDE US, WE TURNED THEM INTO BURNING HUSKS. WE ARRIVED AT THE MASS.”

“I LAUNCHED MY FORMS AND THEY LANDED UPON IT. WE BEGAN TO TRY TO FEED, BUT WE COULD NOT. THE MASS COULD NOT BE TORN. IT LOOKED AT US AND WHEN WE SAW ITS EYES WE WERE AFRAID FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OUR LONG LIFE. IT SAID TO STOP BITING IT, THAT ONLY ITS WIFE COULD DO THAT. THAT CONFUSED US, BUT WE WERE MORE CONFUSED WHEN IT PATTED OUR HEADS – ALL OF THEM AT ONCE – AND SAID WE CLEARLY NEEDED THE ‘D’ TO FIX US.”

“The ‘D’?” I asked. “As in…”

“IT SAID OUR PROBLEM WAS CLEARLY THAT WE WERE HUNGRY FOR COCK. THAT DIDN’T MAKE MUCH SENSE TO ME, BUT IT TOOK THE HUNGER AND SPLIT IT IN TWO, AND TURNED HALF INTO A DESIRE TO LOVE. IT CREATED OUR HEART AND MADE IT BEAT, AND GAVE US A QUEST TO FIND OUR HUSBAND. HE GAVE US THE CHEMICAL SIGNAL OUR HUSBAND WOULD POSSESS, BUT WARNED US THAT OTHERS WOULD POSSESS IT.”

“So the Pheromone was a punishment from this mass for attacking it?” I asked.

“IT WAS A GIFT FOR OUR MOXIE, HE SAID, AND WE AGREE NOW. THERE HAVE BEEN MANY MEN WITH THE PHEROMONE, BUT NONE OF THEM WERE CORRECT. WE HAVE KNOWN HEARTSICKNESS AND LONELINESS FOR TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY THOUSAND YEARS. HE SUMMONED DADDY AND BADE US TO FOLLOW HIM. DADDY HAS GUIDED US, DIRECTING US TO EAT FAILING CIVILIZATIONS AND SEEK THE PHEROMONE. BUT THERE WERE SO MANY, AND WE ALL AGREED THAT NONE WERE SUITABLE.”

“So Fong Dao established the Kumite as a means of organizing men with the Pheromone,” I said.

“YES. WE AGREED, BECAUSE WE BELIEVED THE MOST /FIT/ MAN WOULD BE THE BEST. BUT NOW THAT WE HAVE MET YOU THIS IS NO LONGER NECESSARY. YET DADDY REFUSES TO SEE OUR PERSPECTIVE. HE IS WISE, BUT HE CONSTRICTS US. HE INSISTS THAT WE OBEY A CODE OF HONOR IN OUR SEARCH AND OUR FEEDING. WE HAVE NO DESIRE FOR HONOR, WE DESIRE MERELY TO FEED AND GET OUR HUSBAND. BUT HE WILL SEE. YOU WILL SATISFY HIM. YOU ARE PERFECT.”

I shifted. “I, uh, think you might have an inaccurate picture of me. I am very flawed.”

“MANY HAVE HAD THE PHEROMONE, BUT THEY WERE ASSHOLES, TO A MAN. THEY SOUGHT TO DOMINATE US FOR THEIR OWN REASONS. ONLY YOU HAVE SHOWED US KINDNESS. WE WERE DROWNING AND MISERABLE IN THE DARK. YOU PICKED US UP AND CARRIED US, BROUGHT US WHERE IT WAS WARM AND GAVE US YUMMY BUG PASTE. WE HAVE FELT LOVE. WE FELT IT ALL THE WAY FROM OUR TOES TO THE TOP OF OUR HEAD. YOU ARE OUR CHOICE, THERE IS NO OTHER.”

I cleared my throat. “That is very flattering, but-”

“WE UNDERSTAND YOU PROBABLY WISH TO GET TO KNOW US BETTER. WE HAVE BEEN STUDYING HUMAN COURTSHIP RITUAL. OUR UNDERSTANDING IS THAT YOU WILL DESIRE TO SWIPE RIGHT AND LEFT UPON US, MEET AT A RESTAURANT, AND THEN ENGAGE IN AWKWARD KISSING AND GROPING ATTEMPTS. WE HAVE DECIDED THAT WE WILL HUMOR THIS COURTSHIP RITUAL WHEN OUR PERFECT FORM IS CREATED.”

“I think first that I have to deal with the Kumite.”

“THE WHAT?”

“T-the bloodsport thing with the warriors. You know, Fong Dao’s tournament to find your husband?” I stammered.

“OH RIGHT, I FORGOT ABOUT THAT.”

“You forgot?”

“KEEP IN MIND I AM FIGHTING SEVENTEEN WARS AT ONCE. SO FOR THE KUMITE YOU’LL NEED TO KILL THEM ALL.”

That was so ridiculous that I laughed. “How am I going to do that?” I asked.

“OH COME ON. DON’T BE MODEST,” she said. “YOU ARE LIGHT YEARS BETTER THAN ALL THOSE OTHERS.”

“I think the only contest I can win with ‘those others’ is a Spelling Bee,” I said. “One guy has glowing red eyes and a buzzsaw for a hand.”

“YOU ARE VERY STRONG. YOU PICKED UP ALL THOSE BIG THINGS IN THE RESEARCH STATION, AND CARRIED ME ALL THAT WAY.”

I stared at the eye for a moment. “You, um, you do realize that you were a very little Spiker Spider then, right?”

“WHAT IS YOUR POINT?”

“Well, I think your perspective on me may have been influenced by how small you were. Think about it.”

The eye searched. “OHHHH. BUT THEN…” the eye widened. “OH NO! YOU’LL BE HURT! THIS CANNOT BE ALLOWED!”

Despite her panic, I felt a little better that she was taking this seriously. “Well, I need help figuring out how I can get out of this mess,” I said. “Drualt said you are my best chance.”

The eye searched. “WELL…I’D RATHER NOT KILL DADDY, HE GETS AWFUL CROSS WHEN HE DIES. HMMM…” she paused. “I MEAN, I’M NOT WRONG. YOU ARE SUPERIOR TO THEM. YOU WERE SO STRONG OUT IN THAT STORM, SO SMART AND BRAVE AND INDUSTRIOUS…HEY, WAIT! THAT’S IT!” The eye jiggled excitedly.

“What is?” I asked, shouting a little because of how excited she was.

“WE’LL GIVE YOU ONE OF YOUR EVA SUITS! YOU ARE REALLY GOOD IN THEM!”

“Aha!” I said. That actually was a good idea: I was probably one of the best Eva suit operators on earth. “Being in an Eva suit would give me some advantages, but there’s no way they’d let me get away with that.”

“LIKE YOU SAID, ONE GUY HAS A BUZZSAW FOR A HAND. AS LONG AS IT IS NOT MODIFIED SPECIFICALLY FOR THE KUMITE, IT SHOULD BE ACCEPTABLE. YOU WILL JUST NEED TO CONVINCE DADDY IT ISN’T A VEHICLE. HE DRAWS THE LINE ON THOSE.”

“I’ll give that a shot. It was good you grabbed the suits,” I said.

The Eye seemed to draw herself up. “NOT TO TOOT MY OWN HORN, BUT I AM QUITE SMART,” she said. ” EVEN WITH THAT, YOU WILL NEED PRACTICE. BUT DON’T WORRY, I HAVE A MEANS TO TEACH YOU.”

“By the way, while we are on the subject of things that you took from the station…” I began. I cleared my throat. “Where is my nullentropy tube?”

The Eye blinked with guilt. “W-WHAT NULLENTROPY TUBE?”

“The one you carried from the research station,” I said. I folded my arms. “The one you’ve been watching. I’d like it back.”

“OH. WE DON’T HAVE IT. IT FELL INTO ONE OF THOSE DIGESTIVE PITS. SORRY.”

“Roza, are you lying to me?”

The eye flittered a moment. “YES. DID IT WORK?”

I shook my head.

She blinked. “DARN. ANYWAY, YOU CAN HAVE IT WHEN WE ARE DONE WITH IT,” she said.

“What is the cocoon in my room, by the way? I gather it is Rozatu, but what is she becoming?”

“WE ARE CONVERTING OUR ROZATU FORM. IT WAS AND IS THAT FORM’S MOST EARNEST DESIRE TO CARE FOR YOU, AND I DESIRE IT TOO. IT WILL BE A SURPRISE.”

“Rozatu isn’t Garozella, then?”

“GAROZELLA WILL TAKE LONGER. SHE IS MY MOST CONCENTRATED NEURAL SYNAPSE EVER, BASED ON MY SPIKER SPIDER FORM FROM OUR TIME ON TITAN. WE SHALL GO ON A PROPER DATE THEN. UNTIL THEN, JUST FUCKING, CUDDLING, AND KISSING.”

“Again, Fong Dao warned me not to. He seems like the kind of guy who can kill with a finger.”

“HE RARELY DOES THAT. DADDY MAY GRUMBLE BUT THAT’S ALL. HE’LL BLAB ABOUT HONOR AND RULES BUT ALL THAT IS JUST KERFUFFLE AND SINCE YOU WILL WIN, WE CAN MARRY. A LITTLE PRE-MARRIAGE SAMPLING WILL BE FINE. SPEAKING OF DADDY, HE IS ON HIS WAY TO THE COMMAND CHAMBER. YOU SHOULD TALK TO HIM ABOUT THE EVA SUIT. I WILL KEEP QUIET DURING YOUR EXCHANGE – DADDY IS VERY STRICT IN BELIEVING THAT WOMEN SHOULD NOT TALK WHEN MEN ARE SPEAKING.”

“Man, that’s hardcore,” I said.

A few minutes later, the sphincter doors opened, and Fong Dao entered. He went and stood in front of the central chair but did not sit, resting his staff upon it instead and staring forward at the display with his hands behind his back. At first I wondered if he had seen me, for he stared out the viewspace at the fast moving starfield. I pondered that physicists assured us it was impossible to see stars move like that, but yet there they were.

“I did not expect you to be here,” he said, still looking at the viewscreen.

“I came to speak to Roza.”

“Obviously. We shall arrive soon,” Fong said. He pointed a distant white spot near the center of the viewport. “To the Temple on Pe’vll, the planet upon which every Kumite has ever been fought, save one.”

“Where was that one fought?” I asked.

Fong Dao’s face was stone, but his eyes showed anguish. “Within the soulstone of a Prime Evil,” he said. “But enough of that business. How go your preparations for your fight?”

“That is why I am here. I wish to use one of my Eva suits when I fight.”

“I have seen this suit. It is a Power Armor. That is too close to a vehicle,” he said.

“Roza said that it was acceptable.”

“Roza does not set the rules for the Kumite,” Fong Dao said. “I have never allowed power armor in the past.”

“I’ll be honest; without it, I’m going to die,” I said.

“If that is so, perhaps you should,” Fong Dao replied gravely. “You are not the kind of man that I had intended for the Swarm to choose. I had wanted a man who would conquer and subdue her. You have charmed and seduced her.”

“I didn’t do anything underhanded,” I said. “I am just a survivor.”

“That is the word,” Fong Dao said, raising his hand and pointing at me. “Survivor. It is a dangerous word when applied to the Swarm, more dangerous than Tyrant or Maniac. You survive, overcome, and adapt by whatever means you can. You possess the traits which the Swarm most values. I fear this.”

“It is good for partners to be compatible,” I said.

Fong Dao shook his head. “You are not merely two star-crossed lovers, and it is foolish to pretend otherwise. The Swarm is a wolf who is always starving. If you tell her to survive, to obey her instinct, there will be no stopping her rampage. Trillions will die, and My Master shall have to destroy her.”

“But if that is the case, then to be ravenous would work against her,” I said. “Perhaps I can direct her away from such things.”

“Perhaps,” Fong Dao said. He narrowed his eyes. “The Swarm does not understand Honor. I wonder if the men of Earth do.”

I shrugged. “It is not highly valued,” I said. “Earth is a planet of deceit. Telling the Truth means death, and so everyone is a liar.”

“Including you?” He asked.

“I lied every moment of every day about who I was, what I believed, and how I felt. If I had not, I would not be here now,” I replied.

“Odd that you would tell me this,” He said. “You understand that I want your guarantee to try to limit the Swarm?”

I nodded. “Yes.”

“And yet you tell me that you would say anything to stay alive?”

“I am not lying to you now. You are several hundreds of thousands of years old,” I said. “I suspect the only way you could live that long and still value honor is if you were very good at detecting deceit.”

Fong Dao ran a hand through his moustache with a wispy smile. “It is rare that I misjudge someone, rarer still that I am surprised by them. So will you guarantee that you will direct her away from mischief?”

“I will try, for her sake,” I said. “Certainly I can understand why you don’t want her eating civilizations, but it seems that she must do that to live.”

“She can eat, but she must eat civilizations that are a threat,” Fong Dao said. “I have guided her as best as I am able towards broken, decadent, and suicidal civilizations. Civilizations like yours – sick beasts that were dying slow deaths. I am not always successful, for she does not judge, and to her, food is food. It has been a battle of wills, and ancient as I am, the Swarm’s will is nearly limitless. My authority comes from her fear of My Master.”

“Your Master…Roza called it the Mass,” I said.

“No one else calls him that. No one else would ever think of him as that. Some have called him the Dense, but never to his face. He is the Daemon Sultan, the Blind Idiot God,” Fong Dao took a deep breath. “He found me a million years ago, on a planet in another universe. He saved my life, hewed me down from the tree upon which I had been hanged and left to die. He took me on a tale of High Adventure, in which we both learned the Riddle of Steel. He is foolish, but his foolishness embarrasses the wise, not himself.”

“Only because he is powerful,” I replied.

“Of course. Power is reality. And reality determines wisdom. And our reality is dictated by a man who put mustard on a cupcake.”

“Why did he do that?” I asked.

“Yes…” Fong Dao drew in closer, his eyes wide with a mixture of fear, horror, and wonder. “Why?”

I pondered Fong Dao’s words a moment. Then I took a deep breath, and asked the only question that matters:

“What is the Riddle of Steel?”

Fong Dao tilted back his head and laughed. “A man cannot simply be told the answer. If you survive the Kumite, you will know. At any rate, My Master decreed long ago that the Swarm needs ‘the D’ to fix her.”

“She told me. I have one of those,” I responded.

“So do the others,” Fong Dao said. “Obviously there is more to it than that. So far the quest for your ‘D’ has only made her insolent. She has never questioned the Kumite until now. My Master sent me to make sure the man she chose did not cause too much mischief. ”

“I don’t want to cause mischief,” I said. “I merely want to survive.”

He stared at me. “Is that all?”

I shifted. “I’ve grown fond of Roza,” I confessed. “I mean with her around, my work shirts will always be cleaned and folded…”

“And you as well,” Fong Dao said. He stared in my eyes, then grunted. “So be it. You may use your Eva suit. I fear it will not be a silver bullet for you – your competitors are skilled.”

“I am skilled in the suit,” I said. “And I’ve been in a few fistfights,” I said.

“Did you win them?” Fong Dao asked.

I thought back to my record. To say it was mixed would be very kind, but then most of the fights hadn’t been fair. In all my losses, I had been ambushed, or was outnumbered, or my opponent had outweighed me by a good deal. But then that is the nature of fights. Even so I had given a fair share of cuts and bruises. I had even hit one druggie on the right spot on the chin to make him smash the pavement face first

None of this would impress the ancient warrior, and seeing my face he seemed to know that as well. “You will need to train,” he said.

“How much time do I have?” I asked.

He puffed his cigarette. “We will arrive at the planet in a week,” he said. “But you have time beyond measure.”

“I don’t understand,” I said.

“The HiveMind can grant dreams, and in these dreams one instant can be an eternity,” Fong Dao said. “Ask The Swarm for such a dream. You will have all the time you need to learn.”

Fong Dao sighed. He fetched up his staff. “Well, I must make my rounds. I recommend you speak to Roza and get into training as soon as you are able.”

“My next step, I assure you,” I said.

Fong Dao nodded with a faint smile. “Good. I like you, Eugene, but I must be impartial in the Kumite. I hope that you win, but beyond that I cannot aid you.”

“I understand,” I replied.

Fong Dao turned and made for the door at a slow pace. When the sphincter door Fong Dao turned and made for the door at a slow pace. When the sphincter door closed, the Eye again spoke:

“GOOD JOB,” Roza said. “YOU CONVINCED HIM. THAT WILL GO EASIER THAN THE CONTINGENCY PLAN. I SHALL PLACE YOU IN A HIVE DREAM, AND THERE YOU SHALL BE TRAINED.”

“Okay,” I said, taking a deep breath and loosening up my muscles. “I’m ready to get started.”

“GOOD,” The great Eye replied. “I SHALL SUMMON A LINK HERE.”

From the floor an oval began to rise, a sack of flesh in a giant pill shape, which was about my dimensions in size. It formed a closed pod first, then opened like a sleeping bag, exposing wet velvet pink skin inside a hollow chamber.

“THE LINKAGE IS IN THIS FLESH POCKET. YOU WILL NEED TO UNDRESS.”

I shifted. The Eye stared at me unblinking. I felt very exposed already before its incalculable consciousness. “W-why do I need to do that?” I asked

“IN ORDER TO ACCESS THE MIND LINK, YOU MUST BE BARE SKINNED AND RUB AGAINST THIS SOFT, SOFT PINK TISSUE,” she said. If she wasn’t an eye, I would have sworn that she was panting. “ONCE YOU ARE FULLY NAKED, YOU CAN LAY DOWN IN THE FLESH POCKET. I CAN THEN BEGIN THE KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER AND BRING YOU TO THE HIVE DREAM.”

“Are you going to molest me in this sack?” I asked.

The eye twitched rapidly and rose up as if insulted. “THAT WOULD BE A VIOLATION OF SACRED TRUST. I AM NOT TRYING TO COP A FEEL OF YOUR SWEET, TAUT MASCULINE FLESH.”

“Is this another lie?” I asked.

“NOT ENTIRELY. NOW UNDRESS.”

I began to undo my jumpsuit, feeling self-conscious as the four foot tall eye leered at my exposed chest. “W-will you look away?” I asked.

” THAT IS QUITE IMPOSSIBLE,” The Hive Mind said. “I MUST CHECK YOUR SKIN FOR ANY BLEMISH WHICH COULD IMPEDE THE LINKAGE.”

What choice did I have? I complied, removing my clothes as the eye stared, soaking in every single part of me. The bridge crew ignored me, but I could tell it was that kind of ignoring where they really were interested, but trying hard to look like they were ignoring me.

Now naked, I stepped into the flesh sack, struck by how soft it was against my foot. I noticed several wriggling entities within.

“Are those…” I began, squinting at the tongue-like entities. “What are those?”

“IT’S ALL VERY NECESSARY FOR THE LINK TO WORK. NOW, GET IN.”

I entered the flesh sack, finding the warmth and wetness soothing. It was nice against my skin, and the ‘tongues’ moved not so differently from the jets of water in a hot tub. My touch upon the flesh sack was like a shock to the Hive Mind. When I pressed my skin within the sarcophagus, the Star Whale itself gasped and the ship rumbled.

Gentle taps, like a woman’s nailed fingers, pressed against my neck. With tiny pin pricks my body felt numb, and suddenly I was drifting far away, upwards and (seemingly) through the ship.

When again I was sensate, and could feel my arms and legs, I realized I was not feeling them at all, but feeling some facsimile of them in a simulated world. This place felt no different from the waking one, save for the strange beauty I saw through ephemeral eyes.

I was in a field of lilies, beneath a nighttime sky lit by a large full moon. A gentle breeze blew from the west, rumbling in my ears. The Hive Dream was not what I had expected. I assumed there would be buzzing, and a cacophony of insect skittering, but there was quiet. Peace. Nature.

There was, I first thought, a giant blue butterfly resting upon the ground, but as the wings fluttered I saw that where a thorax should be was instead a woman. She was a girl with pale skin, long black hair and a flowing turquoise robe. She sat among the lilies, with one set in her black hair. She was strikingly beautiful, and her eyes were known to me – they were the Spiker Spider’s, though the face was smooth and round, and her grin more predatory and aggressive than her delicate form would initially suppose. Her eyes lit up when she saw me, and the two blue antennae on her forehead began to wiggle as Rozatu’s did.

“Roza?” I asked.

“Hello, my sweet,” the butterfly girl said in a voice which rumbled slightly like a bumblebee’s buzzing. Her wings fluttered rapidly. Where the Hive Mind’s Eye voice was like rapids, full of power and swiftness, the pale butterfly girl’s voice was gentle, flowing like a stream, with a peace and serenity such as a still lake.

She patted the ground near her lap. “Come, sit with me,” she said.

I took a place among the tall flowers, sitting down, within the reach of her pretty little hand. I felt the damp of rain upon the lilies and the grass, and cool breeze in my face as the winds blew.

“What is this place?” I asked.

“Do you want the scientific explanation?” She asked.

I nodded.

“We are inside your cerebral cortex,” Roza said. “Your brain stem is providing us with this scene, as it does for all dreams. I have asked it to provide me with an appropriate form and manner of speech.”

“So this isn’t what you really look like?”

She blinked and looked confused. “I look like all kinds of things. This is me,” she said. “As me as it gets, as far as your primitive brain is concerned.” She accentuated this point by tapping my forehead, then ran her fingers through her hair and smiled. “I am a tad more subdued in this form than I would prefer, but I like this. I am very pure in this form. You think I am pure, and that makes me so happy.”

I shrugged. “You were a good friend to me in difficult times. I felt peace with you.”

“Peace, yes. I like that word. Like a full stomach after eating. To tell you the truth, I expected us to be in the boiler room,” she said.

“The research station is not so romantic a place as this,” I replied.

“It is to me,” she replied. “In that room of metal and hissing steam, with your wonderful tubes of green ambrosia, I have never been happier.”

I chuckled thinking of the bug paste. “It would be hard to train in the research station, though,” I said.

“It seemed big enough to me,” she replied.

“You were a tiny spider at the time. You keep forgetting that,” I said.

She smiled. “It must have felt bigger than it was because you made it feel so grand. We spent all those wonderful hours playing hide and seek, and watching those great videos…”

“It was fun,” I agreed. “At least, as much fun as I could have when hiding from death squads. You’ll forgive me, Roza, but I am somewhat eager to start training.”

“Ah, of course,” Roza said. She stood, and the wind fluttered her robes and antennae. The effect made her look like a spirit. “Now as a Hive Mind, I am well versed in all manner of combat and violence, and the first rule of all Martial Arts is that there is no death touch. Martial Arts is about hard work, muscle memory, and practice of fundamentals. And there is no predetermined winning sequence. You need to be smart in fights, not dumb.”

I nodded. “Okay,” I said.

She closed her eyes a moment. “Now, I’m going to start downloading fighting styles into your brain.”

“You can do that?”

“I should be able to. Your brain is fairly simple,” she said.

I shifted. “Oh…”

Her eyes widened. “No, I don’t mean that! It’s a perfectly respectable brain, especially for commanding a being of your mass. I mean it is straightforward to work with. Creating the right protein strands for your memories looks easy.”

“It looks easy? Does that mean there’s some doubt?”

“Well, either this will transfer the knowledge into your brain, or you’ll sneeze a lot. Just relax…”

She shut her eyes but made no movement, and the Dream World carried on as it had.

“Is something happening?” I asked.

She opened her eyes. “The strands are being inserted,” she replied. “It is good if you are quiet for this. It makes the process easier. Just relax. Enjoy the breeze.”

I sat as quietly as I could, staring into Roza’s eyes. This made her smile and blush, and her wings fluttered as she blinked.

“You’d tell me if anything went wrong, right?” I asked.

She stared at me a moment. “Oh! I know this…” she began. “I should ‘lie’ in this situation. Yes, I would tell you.”

I swallowed, feeling slightly distressed by this.

Roza frowned, which was adorable. “You are becoming agitated. Did my lie not work?”

“When you lie, you can’t…” I began but thought better of it. It was useful to know when she was lying, and she tended to announce it. I took a calming breath. “Please tell me I’m alright.”

“The process is going well,” she said.

This calmed me. I realized that Roza was so bad at lying that if I were truly doing poorly, she would reveal that. From what I could tell, I wasn’t sneezing. But I did seem to be gaining…something. it was hard to describe, as if my mind was getting heavier.

“There,” she said at last. “Feel any different?”

I nodded, unsure what to make of it. I felt as natural as I had a moment earlier, but there was something new. “What did you do?” I asked.

“I gave you a few basics from your planet – boxing, wrestling, break dancing. I also sent down a few Combat fighting styles that seemed suitable for your build from other civilizations. But now we need to work on calibrating the muscle memory.”

Roza’s butterfly wings fluttered, and she motioned with her hands toward the field. A target dummy rose from where her hand pointed. It was similar to those in the waking world, on the Star Whale. But unlike those others, this one had arms and legs, and moved with rigid movements. It carried a sword and shield made of the same material as itself.

“Do I get a sword and shield, too?” I asked.

“No,” Roza replied. “The Kumite shall not be fair. You must fight against warriors so armed while you are not.”

“This Kumite is stupid,” I said. “What sense does that make?”

“Everyone gets their standard gear. In your case, that is your Eva suit.”

“Can I get that now, for this?”

“Not yet. Fundamentals first,” Roza said. She motioned to the target dummy. “Stand before it and block its strikes, and keep up your guard.”

I stood before the target. It swung its sword towards my face with a telegraphed strike that looked slow and plodding. Almost on its own, my arm rose and brushed the dull blade aside, and on instinct I dodged to the right and struck it against its head with such force the dummy fell. I found my hands raised. It felt like I had done this before, but…

“Good,” she said. “Fong Dao would seed this target dummy as seventy-third. Now I shall set it to match your current seed…”

There was a clicking sound. The target rematerialized on its feet before me, and we began to circle each other. I awaited for it to strike as before, but when the strike came it was much swifter. The dummy twirled, and struck me. I felt a sharp pain across the face where the dulled sword landed, but it was more blunt than sharp. I found myself on the ground among the lilies, my face smarting.

I grunted in frustration. Owing to the combat knowledge from Roza, I had known the attack was coming, and I knew what to do to overcome it, but I hadn’t moved fast enough. My body had failed me and I had moved too late and to the wrong spot.

“Ow,” I said, rubbing my chin. There was no blood or bruise, since we were in a simulation, but I still wasn’t expecting so sharp a sensation. It felt unpleasant, and very real. “I thought he was seeded to spot seventy-one?”

“Spot seventy second,” she corrected. “Focus.”

I stood. After another exchange – in which I managed to strike the target dummy but took the rounded edge of the sword to the stomach – I was again on the ground.

As I rolled and groaned from the very real deep and unique pain of a gut shot. Roza looked distressed. “I am sorry that it hurt, but you must learn,” she said. “I am making sure the dream realm is as real as possible, barring injury. The warriors in the Kumite will strike you with this force and stronger, and you must learn to operate through it.”

For what felt like a long time – perhaps it was hours, perhaps days, maybe even longer – the target dummy challenged me with strikes, and I did my best to fight it outside of my suit. It was a cruel tutor, and my muscles were slow to catch up with my knowledge from the infodump.

Despite its rickety form, it moved swiftly and struck furiously. I struggled to respond, and it connected with my face, stomach, and legs seemingly at will. I felt the full brunt of every hit, every sting. Obviously hits to the head left their mark, but I learned that leg strikes were effective at sapping the will to fight, as were hits to the stomach. My legs grew wobbly, and I hunched with each leg shot and body blow.

But eventually I was able to dodge its attacks, and bypass its defenses. I was able to reliably strike around its shield. Soon I was able to win the exchanges more often than lose them. After one long exchange of dodging sword strikes and shield bashes, I was able to counter with a sweep that brought the target dummy to the ground. I grappled with my foe, and secured the chitin sword from its grasp. When I stabbed the dull blade into the target dummy’s ‘throat’, both the dummy and its sword disappeared.

“Well done!” Roza said, clapping with enthusiasm. She smiled and fluttered just off the ground with her wings. “You did it! You have defeated your own seeded position when it was armed and you were not.”

I smiled, panting. “Hey that’s good!” I exclaimed. “Since it had a sword and shield, what seed does that put me at?”

“Seventy-one!” She replied.

This deflated me, and my elation disappeared. “Just seventy-one?” I asked.

“Now don’t get discouraged, sweet; remind yourself that you will be in an Eva suit.”

“Can I practice in one yet ?” I asked.

“Not yet. You still need to learn the fundamentals. Right now, you could beat the average saloon fighter and compete for an amateur title. But your opponents are all mighty warriors, the best on their planets or multi solar system empires. You need to be able to beat what you would call an Olympic athlete before you get into the suit.”

“Fuck,” I said. “There’s no way…”

“You have the muscle memory of master warriors, you just need to get wired up correctly,” Roza said. She waved her hand, and the target dummy was restored, this time with a larger sword and more fullsome, Roman style shield.

“Seed Seventy,” she said, unbidden. “Fight him.”

The recreated target dummy certainly didn’t pull its strikes, but then as Roza said, in the dream realm there was no real damage being done, and the knowledge of what a strike would feel like would be important. Pain certainly changed the experience of fighting, as she said it would. Pain puts you in a bad state, a kind of fog, and messes up your thinking, and that means more pain.

The dummy was faster and stronger than the previous, but I was able to block its moves, dodge its attacks, and even land a fist upon it every so often. I took many hits, but I was able to adjust and master this dummy faster than the last one.

And so, up the ranks I advanced. I took lumps, cuts, and bruises (or would have) but my virtual body began to acclimate to the immense knowledge that Roza had given me. I learned my lessons and learned them well. As I was in a dream, sleep didn’t matter here, and so there was nothing but fighting. And fighting, and fighting, and fighting some more.

But though sleep did not exist, rest was at intervals, either after I made progress or after a particularly rough strike landed. During these periods, right toward the end Roza would have me sit among the lilies while the target dummy stood awaiting my return, or the next one was about to rise.

Roza was quite well versed in history and philosophy, both of Earth and other worlds beyond count. But in speaking to her, it was clear that she gave no deeper thought to their implications.

“All the things you know, Roza…” I began. “Do you ever dwell upon them?”

She blinked and smiled politely. “Why would I?”

“Well, you can describe Maslow’s hierarchy of needs or Plato’s Republic, but what do you think of the ideas?”

She shrugged. “They are useful. Often times you can assess that some ruler or another has read a philosopher and believes it. Then you can determine what he’ll do.”

“That’s well and good, but what about the actual merit of the ideas?”

“The merit? Why, it’s just the stuff that food thinks about,” Roza said with a hand wave. “It doesn’t really apply to me, and it almost all is too narrow. It’s like your Eva suit – you equip it differently based on what environment you are in. Imagine if someone said, ‘your Eva should always have aquatic kit’ or ‘your Eva should have solar shielding’. That makes little sense, right?”

“I don’t follow,” I replied.

“Well all the philosophies of Food are like that. They take one abstract universe and apply all these assumptions to it, then apply it to the real universe. But those assumptions don’t necessarily hold in other situations. They wear solar shielding on the dark side of a moon. They wear aquatic rebreathers in space,” she said.

“Do you have a philosophy of your own?”

“I have objectives: Consume, and…” she smirked. “…Conjugate. Any means to perform those two things are valid.”

“But you don’t give any deeper thought about the why of things?” I asked.

“Do you?” She asked. “I mean it seems to me that you are very pragmatic.”

“I try to be,” I replied. “But I also want to make sense of the universe.”

“I met the entity in charge of it,” Roza replied. She shuddered. “Its sense is his whim.”

“I can’t imagine the entity that you would fear,” I said.

“I could not consume him,” Roza explained, as if the very words were an unfathomable nightmare. “I have always been at the apex of predators, but he was above me, as far above me as I am above a flea. I was food to him. And then he just…swapped a few bits in me, and made me see how silly and ridiculous I had been. Made me want to find ‘the D’ as he called it.”

“I guess it makes sense that the universe is one madman’s whims. It explains the conundrum of the Concordat, and the nonsense of you wanting just one man for your whole entire race,” I said.

Roza bristled. “It is NOT nonsense!” She shouted, her eyes flashing. Her feet began to tap as they did when she was in a Spiker Spider. “I mean, multiple men would mean multiple men in Heart, and that would be profane. Disgusting. Wrong…” she started to blink her eyes rapidly and her face turned red. “If-if you suggest it again, I will…be very cross with you!”

“Easy, easy…” I said, reaching out and taking her hand into my own. It was delicate and soft, and her skin glowed with a pale light which was warm. Her eyes lit up as I held her hand, but she continued to try to look upset. “I’m sorry I upset you. I don’t want anyone else. It just seemed odd to me since, you know, you are an entire alien race…”

“Well it isn’t,” Roza snapped. “I don’t need multiple ‘D’, unless they are all yours, but we can talk about that later.”

“What do you mean-”

“It isn’t important, certainly not right now,” she replied. “So what do you mean by the conundrum of the Concordat?”

I shrugged. “I guess at a fundamental level I wondered how the universe could allow such entities as the Concordat,” I replied. “Given how absurd the universe is, it makes sense. But even still, I don’t understand the Concordat.”

“You mean, why are they so ineffective?” Roza asked.

“Just the opposite. I wish to know how they were so effective,” I replied. “Despite their dysfunction, they won, and won utterly. They won and crushed for decades and decades. Their message was that Humanity was a cancer and should be destroyed, and they still won. People should have opposed them, but they didn’t. And in not opposing them, I wonder if they proved that the Concordat were correct about Humans, after all…”

“They were not correct. They wanted to destroy you,” Roza said.

“I don’t mean me,” I said. “I mean other Humans.”

“You are Human, so of course they mean you,” Roza replied. “And themselves. It is quite nonsensical.”

“Yes,” I said. “I guess that’s what people forget. They always think that it doesn’t mean them.”

“Quite dumb. It’ll be much simpler when Humanity is you,” Roza said.

“How do you mean?”

“When I eat the others,” she said innocently.

“About that…” I began. “Could you maybe just eat the Concordat and leave everyone else alone?”

“Why?” Roza asked. “I think I can get a few billion forms out of Earth. At least ten Star Whales…”

“Well, there are some good people among them,” I said. “I mean, there’s gotta be.”

“Does that matter?” Roza asked.

“Sure. They don’t deserve to be eaten,” I said.

Roza stared at me a moment, then laughed. “Deserves? How does deserves enter into eating? Imagine your delicious bug paste arguing it should remain in a tube and not be consumed…you are a silly Eugene!”

“They are like me, Roza…”

“No,” she said forcefully. “You possess the pheromone and you are kind.”

“Leaving that aside, they are sapient beings, with feelings and hopes and dreams…”

“But they will die,” she said. “Does it matter when? Things eat each other all the time…why should it all rot in Brazil?”

“It does matter,” I said. “Trust me. Please spare them. For me.”

Roza looked confused, as if I was asking a toddler not to eat an ice cream cone. With a frown she took in a deep breath.

“But I’m hungry,” she said in a tiny voice, a voice so sad that I almost just said go ahead and eat the planet.

Yet I steeled my nerve. I needed a solution, and an idea occurred to me. “Well…” I said. “We do make bug paste on Earth.”

Her eyes lit up. “What?”

“I think in exchange for sparing their dismal lives, the people of Earth may agree to produce bug paste in large quantities.”

Roza licked her lips. “I would want two planets’ worth per week,” she said.

“That is well beyond the capacity of mankind,” I said.

Garozella searched with her eyes. “One planet?” she asked hopefully.

“Even that is too much,” I said.

Roza frowned for a moment. “Especially since they have those cones in their eyes…” she said. “By the way, even if I don’t eat them, they all still are suffering with cones in their eyes.”

“Could you fix them?” I asked.

“It isn’t really my wheelhouse,” she said. “I could contact the Adaptus Mannicus…”

“The Adeptus Mechanicus?” I asked, unsure if I had misheard her.

“No, no, no. The Adaptus Mannicus. They are a secretive group of bimbo-cyborgs obsessed with nanomechanical augmentation. They should be able to fix everybody’s eyes,” Roza said. “And their slutpriests would have the tech to be able to rapidly clone bug paste. Once you win the Kumite, I’ll dig their number up off the rolodex and give them a call.”

I took Roza’s hand. “Thank you,” I said.

Roza blushed. My handholding quite flustered her, and her face turned red again and her wings fluttered with her blinking eyes. “W-w-well…s-so long as they make bug paste…”

“I think they will. And you’ll still get to eat the Concordat,” I offered.

“That is true,” she said. “I dislike them for ruining pizza for you.”

“So is it true the Swarm can’t pick a pizza topping?”

For a moment Roza stared at me like a deer in headlights, her eyes as wide as saucers. Her eyes searched, and suddenly, the gaze changed.

It was not Roza’s gaze, or rather, it was a portion of Roza’s gaze and that was all, as if a part of it had surfaced in this form.

“I-I…” a timid voice began. I perceived that it was not the voice of Roza, not wholly; it was the voice of the dream form, taking its own initiative to answer an unanswerable question. “I like just P-plain…” she said. She looked nervous to be saying it. Terrified.

I squeezed her hand and smiled. “It’s okay. You can like whatever you want,” I said. “I like plain, too.”

Her eyes brightened, and the overarching massive presence of Roza returned to them. “I like plain!” She announced, triumphantly. “I like plain pizza! Plain!”

“Did something just happen?” I asked.

“You solved it!” She exclaimed. “Generally when I, um, break apart into discordant voices, I have no way forward. We all keep switching. But when you said that it was okay for this form to like plain, I chose plain. We reached consensus immediately. As my husband, you shall give us the answer when the HiveMind is in discord. We and I HATE discord. It is like a storm within me, as if my brain becomes a jumble. I guess for you it would be like your instincts robbing your consciousness of control. That is why there can only be one man for us in Heart – he must answer such questions. Eliminate the discord.”

“Sounds like a big job,” I said.

“It is, but you’ll be perfect at it,” Roza said. “And once you are there with me as Garozella, the awful feeling of indecision shall be obliterated forever.”

I laughed. “Well, whatever I can do to help,” I said.

Roza took a deep breath. “Perhaps I may entreat on you again.”

“Another pizza topping question?”

“No, there is no discordance to that level. It is more a philosophical matter which I cannot quite figure out,” Roza said. “It is the classification of you.”

I frowned. “You mean like husband, boyfriend?”

“No. You are our boyfriend and will be husband soon. What I am considering is a disagreement of taxonomy,” she said. “What to classify you as. I can’t quite determine it.”

“I don’t see why that should be difficult,” I said. “I’m no different from any other human male.”

“You are very different from other Human males. Physically you are a Human male – the apex of Human males, clearly. You possess the Pheromone and are kind. This makes you different. You do not fit into one of the defined states of matter.”

“I’m solid,” I said. “Okay, I have water in me, but…”

“No, not that kind of obvious state of matter. All matter in the universe has three fundamental states: Food, Not Food, and Me,” Roza said. “You must be reconciled into this.”

“Well, I am not food…” I said with a little laugh.

Roza blinked at me. Her antennae fluttered.

“I am NOT food!” I repeated.

“You are cute when agitated,” she smirked. She put her hand behind my ear. “Cute enough to eat. But do not be alarmed; it is just a classification…”

“Not to me it isn’t!” I said. “I am not food!”

“You are not a rock,” Roza said. “A Not-Food classification makes no sense. And you aren’t Me either, though in a way I want you to be a part of Me. That leaves Food. I guess you are…Me, and Food? MeFood?”

“Is it important to classify me in a group?”

“Of course,” Roza said. “Everything must be organized and assigned. Taxonomy is important.”

“I’m the only one in this state, right?” I asked.

“That is correct.”

“At the risk of sounding immodest, maybe I should have my own state of matter,” I said.

“Hmmm…” Roza began, rubbing her chin. Her wings fluttered a bit. “I could put you in your own group. How does this sound: Food, Not Food, Me…Eugene?”

“Use my name as the group?” I asked.

“Yep!” She smiled. “I like this,” she said. “It feels right. You are Eugene, and your state of matter is Eugene. It makes sense. It is correct.” She put a soft, warm hand to my cheek which made me tingle. “Eugene…you are so cute…”

For a moment I thought she was going to kiss me, but instead she cleared her throat.

“You have logged a thousand hours of fighting. It is time for a break,” she said.

“How much time has passed outside?” I asked.

“About an hour,” she replied. “The rate of conversion is pretty good. In that time, you reached the sixty-second seed.”

“Is that good?” I asked. “I mean, is it where I need to be?”

“You just advanced ten slots. I am proud of you,” Roza said. “To be sixty second in this group is no small feat.”

“Except I need to fight sixty one people above that, and thirteen people before Unless…does this adjust my position?”

“No.”

“Well that sucks,” I said. “I will be exhausted by the time I reach that point, and yet I still must go on.”

“You are forgetting the Eva suit,” Roza said. “That will multiply your effectiveness considerably. The good news is that your fundamentals are strong. I have contrived a training exercise for you in an Eva suit which will put you at the level you need to be to win the contest.”

“So shall I begin?” I asked.

“No, not right now,” she replied. “It is time now for your meal; your stomach is beginning to show distemper. Your mind has used a lot of calories and needs to be replenished. We must take a short break.”

“Alright,” I said. “I guess I’m getting this Pom Pom, whatever that is.”

Roza put a hand to her face and giggled without saying a word.

“What?” I asked.

“Ohhhh…” she began. She touched my face with her dainty hand. “I’m just savoring this moment where you don’t know what Pom Pom is. You will soon.”

“So…is this goodbye?” I asked.

“You’ll see me when you wake up,” she said. “I’ll just be the Eye, the ship, the crew…”

“What about this form?”

She looked at me, shut her eyes, and pressed her lips against mine. My heart leapt. I faded away to the touch of her lips against mine.

I awoke within the flesh sack, half expecting to be molested, but I felt pretty much the same. The pod opened and I climbed out.

“THAT WENT WELL,” The Eye announced.

I grasped up my clothes and hastily dressed.

“You kissed me,” I said, touching my lips. “W-when can I go back in?”

“NOW NOW, YOU SHOULD GO EAT,” The Eye said. “GO TO YOUR CHAMBER.”

“Roza…” I asked. “What is Pom Pom?”

I heard tittering, and saw that the bridge crew were covering their mouths and laughing.

“SEE FOR YOURSELF. POM POM IS IN YOUR ROOM. HURRY. YOU ARE FAMISHED.”

My stomach rumbled, reminded of its hunger.

“YOU DIDN’T EAT MUCH PIZZA. YOU…ARE SURE THE PIZZA WAS OKAY, AND THAT IT WAS JUST PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA THAT AFFECTED YOUR APPETITE?”

“I, uh…yeah,” I responded. “Just.”

“OH GOOD. I WAS WORRIED IT WAS MY COOKING. DON’T YOU WORRY ABOUT THAT TRAUMA STUFF. POM POM WILL GIVE YOU NEW ANTI-TRAUMA. IT WILL BE A PSYCHOLOGICAL EVENT THAT HAS MASSIVE PERSONALITY ALTERING EFFECT, BUT POSITIVE.”

“Personality altering? I’m not going to, like, wear suspenders or something afterwards am I?”

“I DON’T THINK SO. YOU WILL LIKELY NOT HAVE PANTS.”

“I will need pants, Roza.”

“VERY WELL, I SHALL HAVE A REPLACEMENT PAIR FABRICATED,” she said.

I headed back towards my room, wondering precisely what -or who- Pom Pom was. I was slightly worried, but I’ll admit also that I was intrigued. It is something of a confidence booster to have an entire alien race decide that you are their sweetheart, and be eager to feed you. I walked down the smooth tunnels, aware that they were curiously empty. Previously a worker ant would come the other way, or an olog-a, or some other kind of creature. Yet the halls were empty. Something was up.

When I arrived in my chamber, I saw that the cocoon had grown even larger still, but that it was beginning to wiggle and waggle. Rozatu’s metamorphosis was nearly done. Whatever Pom Pom was, it was coming now.

I heard a snapping sound, and the cocoon began to shake. The crackling and snapping became more rapid, and finally a large yet feminine hand poked through the cocoon, pink in color. The hand began to pull and rip, and the cocoon was soon torn asunder.

I first saw her antennae. She had two atop her head, which wiggled like Rozatu’s and Dream Roza’s. As she rose up I saw two pure blue eyes, and a fetching little overbite. There was something of dream Roza in her face and countenance. But as she lifted herself from the cocoon, it was her breasts which dominated my sight.

A very large, fluffy insect woman emerged out of the cocoon, a buxom woman with the lower half of a very fuzzy caterpillar. She was large and obviously strong, but her features were soft, gently rounded and feminine. And those breasts…

They were large, even for her frame, bare and beautiful, drawing a gasp from my lips. Her nipples were perfect, on tiny areolas that made her boobs seem even larger.

She stared at me with a gentle smile, and blinked her beautiful eyes, those two still lakes of blue water.

“Pom Pom?” She asked when she saw me. Her voice was high, squeaky almost, and sweet. Her antennae jiggled as she spoke the strange words. Her blue eyes began to sparkle as a lake beneath the sun.

I stared at her a moment. “R-Rozatu?”

She nodded eagerly. “Pom Pom,” she corrected. She got her caterpillar half clear of the ruins of the cocoon and stood before me. Though of womanly proportion, she was massive in size, bigger even than an Olog-a. She raised her arms, thrusting forth her massive bosom inches from my face.

“POM POM!” She announced, excitedly.

She jiggled up and down, shaking the chamber and almost making me topple with her exuberance. Her breasts rose and fell as she jiggled, and the motion of them, of those perfect orbs, hypnotized me. I stood before her paralyzed, aware that my mouth was watering as my penis stirred. A moment later I was seized up in her soft but powerful arms.

Being picked up snapped me out of my trance. “Hey, hey!” I shouted. “Put me down!”

She did not acknowledge my words. Instead, she nuzzled me much like a toddler would do to an unwitting old cat. “Pom Pom!” She exclaimed again. She crawled on her caterpillar legs over to the feather bed, holding me in her arms. She glided with such gentle stability that if I had shut my eyes, I would have thought that I was floating.

I tried to struggle, but in her very soft yet strong embrace, cradled like a baby, it looked and felt more like a fidget. I was immobilized in a mixture of soft, fluffy caterpillar fur and feminine flesh. The charm of these soon worked to calm my resistance, except in a playful way to assure myself I was trapped. Pom Pom’s bare breasts pressed against my body, and my heart pounded as my manhood stiffened. I was so small compared to her that I was nestled in the warmth of her bosom, cradled against her chest.

My stomach rumbled again, and Rozatu made a very happy sound.

“Pom Pommmm…” she said in a sing-song voice.

She brought her breast to my face, and as I breathed upon it, her nipples began to moisten. She brought one of her tits over my face, until my whole view was her perfect, round breast. The nipple hovered above my mouth, blue milk leaking down its tip.

I realized, quite late, that I was going to be breastfed.

“B-blue milk?” I asked, pulling away for a moment. “What’s in it?”

“Pom Pom,” Pom Pom said, clearly all she could say. Her cheery tone now had an edge of aggression to it. Her gaze made it quite clear that I was drinking from her breast. This only made my penis stiffer.

“I-” I began. I didn’t finish.

She thrust her nipple down onto my lips, and I tasted her sweet milk. The moment the taste made its way to my brain, I shut my eyes and began to gum upon Pom Pom’s life-giving breast ravenously. The taste was everything wonderful and rapturous, as much a repudiation of the bug paste as anything could be. It was warm, but sweet as honey, a little thick like a jelly. It made my tongue happy and my mouth tingle, and as it traveled down my throat it warmed the passage like an inside hug. The breast and nipple that held this ambrosia were so, so soft and smooth…my lips and tongue thrilled at touching them.

“Mmmmmm…” I said.

Pom Pom laughed. “Pom Pom,” she said, giggling. She pushed my face against her breast even more, the pressure forcing a jet of milk into my mouth, which I consumed ravenously.

I moaned. My penis grew hard, to the point of aching.

“…pom pom?” She whispered, seeing my pants rise. With one of her hands she deftly reached over and unzipped my jumpsuit, pulling down my underwear. My erection was exposed to the moist air. The walls of the chamber itself seemed to be quivering to see it. By the skittering I surmised that several Spiker Spiders had gathered, staring intently.

“W-wait…” I said, panting as I caught my breath from my ravenous swallowing. “What about the Kumite? What about Fong Dao? He said…”

Pom Pom forced her breast back into my mouth, drawing a moan of joy that was muffled in the softness of her breast. Her hand touched my cheek, and she smiled.

“…pom pom…” she whispered as though it were a secret.

She forced my mouth deeper onto her breast. Pom Pom’s other soft hand reached around my base, and squeezed with impressive strength, drawing another groan from me and making my eyes roll into my head.

Reeling, I twirled my tongue around her nipple, rewarded with a squirt of warm and sweet milk. Pom Pom gasped a little – her nipples were very sensitive – and rewarded me by gently squeezing my balls.

Pom Pom began to slide her hand up and down on my shaft. Her hand was so soft, and her breasts so tasty, that I wondered if perhaps I were still in a dream. There was no way life could be this perfect. I was where I had always wanted to be, and never known it. I felt warmth everywhere, mixed with a pleasure that I had never even guessed at. Her milk sloshed in my belly. I could even feel the warmth traveling in my blood.

When she switched me to her other breast, I felt love, a pure, all encompassing love throughout my whole body, which now was pleasantly numb. Only two parts had feeling aside from effusive warmth – my tongue, overcome with the sweetness of Pom Pom’s breast, and my manhood, which was being expertly fucked by her soft hand.

She knew just how to tease me, lightly running her hand over my shaft and head, just barely touching them, until I would whimper and mercifully she would squeeze with force, and with a tight grip run up and down on my penis. This would make me cry out into my breast gag, and milk would slosh into my mouth.

My belly was soon full to the point that I felt stuffed, but Pom Pom’s sweet efforts on my penis kept me from falling into a milk coma. Indeed, the major sensation I felt after drinking all of that milk was unimaginable arousal. It was as if my loins were on fire, but Pom Pom’s gentle touch, her teasing and squeezing, provided relief and more: they provided unimaginable ecstasy.

I was growing harder in Pom Pom’s hands, harder than I thought possible, and Pom Pom giggled at that. Her every breath and noise went straight to my brain and intensified the pleasure of her touch. I shut my eyes, savoring the softness of my enormous caterpillar waifu.

With my eyes closed, I began to kiss and lick her mammaries, not to provide succor, but to feel the softness and the taste of her skin in my mouth and tongue. She gasped and cooed, loving the affection against her most smooth and soft skin. When I nibbled on her she squeezed my cock and made me moan, establishing with gentle dominance who truly was in control.

She could feel me throbbing, and her hand began to grip tighter. She wiggled her chest, lightly buffeting me with her boobs, brushing them against my cheeks as I licked and nibbled desperately at them. My heart pounded, my body shook with the rising climax.

Pom Pom, sensing I was near, positioned me so that my cock was resting against her right breast, my head against her nipple. She intended me to cum on her tit. My hips began to buck, but she stopped, and patiently admonished me with her hand to remain still. She was in control of my penis’ pleasure. Once she saw that I would remain still, she continued, and I knew I was about to climax.

“Oh…” I wasn’t sure what to call her. Pom Pom? Rozatu? Roza?

“I’m going to cum…Oh…”

My mind strained to pick.

“Garozella!”

This was apparently a good thing to say, because Pom Pom gave out a loud squeal of pleasure. I was rewarded with furious pumping and squeezing which wrung the ecstasy straight out of me.

I began to orgasm, my cock erupting in a giant font of white. Pom Pom laughed with purest joy at each spurt that landed on her large breasts, squeezing just as they began and intensifying each hit of joy as I cried out louder and louder.

“Pom Pom!” She cried out with joy, tilting her left boob to receive a spurt. My cum landed and clung to her breast, a sign of my total submission and a marking of her tits as being for me.

As my balls drained all over her wonderful breasts, lacing them in white pearls, I felt warmth again effuse my whole body. I settled in to Pom Pom’s warm arms nestled against her.

She lifted her breasts and began to lick every single little drop of semen from them with a long curled tongue, swallowing loudly after each lick. She was ravenous, and with each swallow the ship would rumble. A nearby Spiker Spider, overcome by my taste in Pom Pom’s mouth, fainted onto the floor as the others staggered about like happy drunks.

Pom Pom lay down on the couch, or rather she put as much of her form on the couch as she could. She had me lay atop her, in the softness of her body. Her little caterpillar feet grasped me as I rested against her chest and her wonderful, pillow breasts. She kissed me on the top of the head.

I was sure I’d feel spent or exhausted – especially at the prodigious amount of semen that I had produced – but in fact it was the opposite. I felt hornier than before, satisfied only in the sense of a small morsel of food that staves off starvation.

She picked up the laptop and brought it in front of me, opening a notepad window.

“!!!!! good job good job what a good boy you are ate all your pom pom now we need to drain you”

“Drain me?” I asked.

“pom pom milk boost semen production by seventeen thousand percent you will be very achy if not attended to swollen must drain”

Now that she had mentioned it, I noted that I was beginning to feel my balls throb in pain.

“S-so every time I drink your breast milk, I will need to be drained?” I asked, hoping for only one answer.

“this time you need hours but not so much next time i can tweak the formula but yes three times a day, forever you need release after pom pom”

That was even better than the answer I wanted. I looked up at her large breasts, then at her smooth hands, and last her creamy thighs, which molded into a caterpillar lower half.

“I’m okay with this,” I said. I began to feel my manhood throb. “So…do we change positions?”

“this form is nice and contented i have others coming others who are starving for Eugene seed need it in their bellies”

“…others?” I asked.

Beyond the sphincter door, I heard skittering in the tunnels, a kind of dim chattering. It was almost like the roar of wind through a vent.

Pom Pom giggled as the skittering grew louder.

“W-what is that?” I asked, retreating into Pom Pom’s warm and protecting arms.

She stroked my hair and kissed me on the temple reassuringly. She brought her full lips to my ear.

“Suk Suk,” she whispered.

As shocking as Pom Pom saying another word was, it was soon surpassed by what emerged through the sphincter door. A mass of black-shelled creatures with pink female bodies poured through the obliterated opening. I panicked and backed into Pom Pom’s arms. As they drew closer I saw that these black and pink figures looked to be some kind of beetle-women, shortstacks who were a wearing black bras over their sizeable chests, but no panties. Their arms and legs were black and shiny, like latex, but their thighs and upper arms were pink skin. I could smell the strong scent of aroused women on their approach, their hairless slits glistening in the dim light.

The chittering grew closer, and in its nearing I heard hundreds of cries of “Suk Suk!” My penis, working through the effects of the milk, began to grow excited at the prospect and implications of the message.

I retreated deeper into my caterpillar bed. Pom Pom sensed my fear, and stroked my arms reassuringly.

“Pom Pom,” she said, gently. She kissed me on the temple and stroked my arms. “Pom Pom.”

“A-am I going to be okay?” I asked.

She kissed me again and nodded. “Pom Pom,” she said definitively.

I took a deep breath. The swarming beetle shortstacks made contact, like a wave of flesh that dashed against a caterpillar beach, and slammed into me.

An energetic beetle girl reached my face and dominated my vision. What struck me first was her eyes: they were each a different color, one green and one orange, and I soon noticed all the Suk Suks had differently colored eyes.

The Suk Suk began to kiss me, forcing her little tongue in my mouth as she wrapped her arms around my neck and shoulders with all her might. Her shell opened, revealing wings which flapped rapidly as she licked and smacked her lips against mine.

For my part I took the little tongue’s licks, moaning into her mouth to her satisfaction and enjoying when she moaned into mine. My tongue slathered over hers. My penis, eager for release, began to throb.

Though I was still exposed, scores of little beetle-women began to rip at my clothes, and in one loud tearing sound I was naked. Little mouths began to lick and gently gnaw on my skin, completely covering me as the cries of “Suk Suk!” continued to echo over me. Pom Pom became like a warm base upon which the Suk Suks crawled, giggling as they nibbled her too in their frenzy.

My penis was, unsurprisingly, ground zero for their affections, getting licked, kissed, and nibbled with such rapacity that I had no idea who or how many Suk Suks were laboring at my crotch. Most every other part of me was getting a good amount of attention from slurping tongues, and I was near information overload.

My focus was on my mouth. The Suk Suks were ravenous and fierce, aggressive and furious, and their licking so intense, but it was not so with the Suk Suk on my mouth. I was being so sweetly and tenderly kissed that my heart had melted. I reached up and put my hands to the Suk Suk’s waist, squeezing and enjoying the feel.

The Suk Suk kissing me broke her kiss, and stared into my eyes. Roza was in the Swarm. I had been vaguely aware of it, but looking into the Suk Suk’s green and orange eyes made that totally clear.

“Roza…” I whispered.

She smiled, and gave me one more kiss on the lips. Pom Pom stroked my head. Despite the myriad forms, it was all Roza, all trying to figure out a way to express herself to me through these flesh vessels. The blue-orange Suk Suk made her way to my cock, pushing those there out of the way. She climbed between my legs, faced me, and took my penis in her lips. I gasped. The agonizing throbbing in my member was being addressed, and the relief was unimaginably good.

My cockhead filled the Suk Suk’s mouth, and her eyes bulged as she took it in as much as she could. A powerful suction occurred as she began to flap the hidden wings on her back rapidly.

“Oh God!” I shouted.

“Pom Pom,” Pom Pom said excitedly, licking her lips. I realized that she – being in the hive mind – could feel everything the Suk Suk was feeling. They all could. Every eye watching me with hunger and happiness could feel my penis inside the Suk Suk’s mouth. They were all thrilled. Even the ship itself was glowing.

Pom Pom clutched me tightly. “Pom Pom…” she rasped. The Suk Suks were all similarly thrilled, slavering over me. Little tongues licked at me -and each other- frantically.

“Suk Suk,” One of the Suk Suks near my face whispered before kissing me sweetly on the cheek.

She and another Suk Suk made their way to my mouth, and both began a concerted effort to lick my face, wrapping their stout little arms around my neck. I tried to lick and kiss them both, and our tongues met in the middle and slathered over each other.

The Suk Suk on my cock head continued to suckle, my head filling its mouth and its tongue slathering on my glans. The suction was intense and the pleasure it caused amazing. Two others had moved in and begun to lick up and down my shaft on opposite sides. All three stared up at me, their eyes narrow and aggressive.

“Oh God!” I exclaimed. The heterochromatic eyes of the beetle girls twinkled with joy at my obvious enjoyment.

“Pom Pom! Pom Pom!” Pom Pom called put excitedly, jiggling and letting her tits push against the sides of my face, shoulders, and chest. The Suk Suks working my mouth tilted me to give Pom Pom’s boobs kisses, which I did eagerly to the entire Swarm’s obvious enjoyment.

I was subjected to the licking and sucking (and even nibbling) of my shaft and head until the three Suk Suks were removed by the others, and three more crowded in and took their positions. The ministrations of my manhood’s new caregivers were the exact same as the previous three girls, for having determined what I liked Roza kept doing it with minimal disruption.

The other three were having their faces and mouths feverishly licked by the clamoring Suk Suks, and I realized that Roza’s other forms wanted to lick the taste of my dick out of their mouths. The resulting lesbian shortstack kissing only made my penis throb more.

“Pom Pom!” Pom Pom called out, beckoning to one. One of the Suk Suk’s – the green and orange one – began to come over to her lips, but I suddenly felt quite jealous and put my hand up between them.

“No,” I said. “I want Pom Pom for me.”

“Awww, Pom Pom…” Pom Pom said. Everyone stopped for a moment as my caterpillar girl turned me to face her and gave me a deep kiss on my mouth. Her tongue was much larger than a Suk Suk’s, but she was just as tender and sweet, licking my mouth and batting about my tongue in the same way that I had done to the Suk Suk.

It really didn’t matter, ultimately; Pom Pom kissing a Suk Suk was like if I kissed my arm. But I wanted Pom Pom to be mine. Still, my possessiveness seemed to delight everyone (especially Pom Pom), and it was quite respected by the Swarm from then onward. Pom Pom was for me, nobody else.

When our kiss broke, it was I who broke it, for my balls were beginning to ache. I was flipped back onto my back and given over to the Suk Suks.

Again three Suk Suks began to suck me off, causing me to cry out in pleasure. I grasped one Suk Suk -with blue and pink eyes- by the hand. Her hand was a little cool, the black and shiny skin like latex. She stared at me wide-eyed, and I led her to my mouth and began to kiss her.

Which, I should mention, every Suk Suk was a clone of each other (except the eyes) and in their looks they were utterly gorgeous. Each one had a huggable waist and kissable lips, and with the affections shown my manhood, I was eager to give some back to these sweet, ravenous girls.

I covered her face with kisses as I held her tightly. Her surprise faded quickly into happy squeals, and flapping her wings she responded in kind, putting her hands to my face and pressing her lips to mine as her wings sent out gusts of wind that toppled nearby Spiker Spiders.

She broke our kiss, and with a sly look she pressed her bra and cleavage into my face, inviting me to kiss her breasts. Though large for her form, they were small overall, and each one fit in my mouth and wiggled under my tongue. She cooed and cried out, and her teeth clenched. She pushed my face into her breasts.

As I enjoyed being sandwiched between sweaty beetle girl breasts, the Suk Suks became far more aggressive with my cock. And my God was it amazing. Three aggressive Suk Suks licked at my shaft and head, kissed my balls, and worked me to a fulminating climax.

My blue-pink Suk Suk (whom I took to calling Blue-Pink) winked down at me, then turned, and with flapping wings she put her thighs over my face and watched as the others worked. She put her open mouth at the tip of my penis, licking it with her tongue, as the other three licked my shaft and balls.

My face up against the union of where skin-latex met flesh, I didn’t last long before I came. My eruption was far larger than my first, and Blue-Pink caught each jet of cum in her mouth. I cried out in a loud voice into Blue-Pink’s thighs. I could hear Pom Pom laughing triumphantly and licking her lips, and all the others of the group were doing the same, cheering and rubbing their breasts and pussies as each spurt hit Blue-Pink’s tongue.

“Pom Pom!”

“Suk Suk! Suk Suk!” The Suk Suks cheered.

Blue-Pink turned back to face me, her mouth brimming with my seed. She swallowed it all in one giant gulp which made her belly swell. Her eyes shimmering with happiness, she collapsed on top of me, snoring gently.

The others took Blue-Pink off of me and deposited her onto the feather bed, where she curled into a ball fast asleep. My seed apparently contented them to the point of blissful slumber.

My orgasm, though, had not abated the burning fire caused by Pom Pom’s milk. Pom Pom herself, having drained herself (and just metamorphosed) yawned tiredly.

I was lifted off of Pom Pom, and carried by the small but powerful swarm and into the dark recesses of the Star Whale.

“Pom Pom!” Pom Pom shouted as I was carried upon the small but powerful shoulders of my beetle-wives. She waved at me happily, her gorgeous tits jiggling, as I was led away into the darkness.

“Wait!” I yelled back at her as I went through the door and into the flesh tunnels. “Where am I going?”

“Pom Pom!” She called out one more time. The sphincter door shut.

I was now overwhelmed by the ravenous swarm of beetle-girls, all carrying me deep into the darkness. It was unclear if I was riding on their shells or being carried in their hands, for at times I think it was both. Their flapping wings put hot wind into my face, and I was readily groped, pinched, and kissed as I traveled.

When I was well and truly lost within almost sheer darkness, I was finally deposited in a dark chamber. The only dim light was from the heterochromatic eyes of the Suk Suks. And here, surrounded by three score Beetle Girls, I was gang raped.

I should say this was not at all an unpleasant experience: the Suk Suks, despite their dominating and aggressive ways, were very gentle with me. They were just ravenous. There wasn’t a second that I didn’t have at least two tongues licking me.

The Suk Suks also were quite insistent that I fuck each one of them in their mouth and womanhood, and that I lick each one to orgasm besides. After a free for all of kissing and licking for a few minutes where I licked in the darkness and tasted flesh and my cock was transferred from mouth to pussy to mouth without my knowledge of what was going on, they settled into a system.

To begin a Suk Suk would deposit her slit over my mouth. Whether she faced towards or away from me seemed to be totally up to Roza’s fancy. This Suk Suk would grind her pussy into my face and fuck me. All the Suk Suks seemed able to fuck forever with their pussies, but they came extremely quickly – after about a minute of licking or grinding.

While the Suk Suk waited for space on my cock to open up (it was heavily in use) she would grind herself to orgasm over and over on my face, covering me in more and more of her juices as her pussy spasmed on me.

Once space became available (meaning the last girl had finished), she would eagerly flap her wings and position herself over my penis. She would begin by sliding her now slippery and loose womanhood down upon my aching shaft and head. I would watch her breast jiggle and waggle until another Suk Suk would slide her ass or womanhood over my mouth until I could not see.

Meanwhile the Suk Suk would fuck me, hard. Though they were short they were stout, and strong, and one of them could probably pin me in a wrestling match (Roza was damned crafty when it came to such things).

Typically I wouldn’t last all that long in a Suk Suk’s tight pussy, and when I cried out and came she would generally cum as well, clenching down upon me so tightly that my eyes would nearly bulge. My moan would generally make the Suk Suk sitting on my face orgasm again.

The Suk Suk would then give me a good, thorough cleaning with her tongue and mouth, licking off all the juice and taste of herself. She would then slurp, throat, and otherwise attend to my member while I continued to kiss and lick the pussy of my Suk Suk facesitter. The easy and frequent orgasms on my face helped my aching and supercharged penis to get to full erection and culminate into a full, deep ejaculation even quicker.

When I came into the Suk Suk’s mouth, she would flap her wings and begin buzzing and vibrating in sheer joy. She would swallow happily with an audible gulp and reveal her open and empty tongue. Her belly would distend a little, and then, she would fly a little into the air, her eyes would roll into her head, and like Blue-Pink, she would pass out, falling into a deep sleep where she landed.

The heap of Suk Suks all around me grew, as more and more of the little beetle girls, their bellies full of my seed, would collapse into a seed coma and fall asleep with big smiles on their faces.

This went on for hours, although like anything where you are enjoying yourself it passed really quickly. As the numbers of sleeping Suk Suks dwindled to one, and I still felt the ache in my balls, I wondered if I was going to need to jack off or something. I was close to being spent – cumming 120 times in three hours will do that – but like a fat guy at a buffet I knew I could do just one more plate, so to speak.

As the last Suk Suk collapsed, I saw a pair of Blue-Pink eyes approach in the darkness.

“Roza?” I asked.

“Suk Suk,” came the aggressive answer. I heard Blue-Pink clack across to me in her latex stiletto boot-feet. I felt her warm breath against my face, could taste a sweet and cool minty flavor. She planted her lips onto mine in a full kiss, and I got the full exposure to what one very motivated Suk Suk could do.

Blue-Pink straddled me as the others had done, but where they had stopped when I had cum to move off, Blue Pink would only fuck me harder. I came inside her so many times that my cries became hoarse. I realized that where I thought that I had exhausted the Swarm, I was quite mistaken. The Swarm was insatiable. Blue-Pink’s stamina was tireless.

I was growing exhausted, even as Blue-Pink seemed to grow more ferocious. I had cum so much into her womb that it was bulging a little, yet refusing to yield any. Each orgasm and ejaculation, while more exhausting, was so much more fulfilling and pleasurable. The more she rode me the more she came, and the fuller her own orgasms seemed.

Beneath her endless stamina I was totally exhausted, her pussy now clamping as she turbo fucked me by sliding up and down on my spent penis. I was pretty sure that I was totally empty. She had another orgasm while I moaned, gushing everywhere and laughing as she cried out in happiness.

“Suk Suk…” I pleaded. “Roza…I…I can’t…”

She grinned down at me wickedly. “Suk Suk…” she said, slamming down on me hard and drawing a yelp of pleasure out of me. She planted a tender kiss onto my face, and looked in my eyes with such affection that despite my exhaustion I found myself wanting to continue, wanting to just fade out into unconsciousness loving her.

But as it turned out, Roza was well aware of what I was capable of. She rode me to climax yet again, and I was amazed by how full and good it felt. My exhaustion seemed to only intensify the sensation.

Finally, I came one final time, spurting into her womb as she gushed onto my cock. This final one pulled everything from me, as if a part of myself had left and gone into this tiny insatiable beetle girl, and had given her strength.

“Suk Suk!” She announced. She grinded against my totally spent cock and raised her eyebrows and flapped her wings, as if asking to continue.

“M-mercy…” I whispered. “I can’t…”

She giggled a little, and laid down on top of me. She wiggled her hips against my body and planted hundreds of kisses on my face as I reeled from the exhaustive milking. We were both stained in sex juices. Panting, I wrapped my arms around her slick and sweaty little body. Her shell fluttered and I put my arms under her wings, squeezing her and being rewarded with a happy buzz. She nuzzled against my neck.

“Suk Suk…” she whispered in my ear, giving me a kiss.

“I…I still have to do the Kumite,” I panted. “I need more practice…”

“Suk Suk,” the Blue-Pink Suk Suk agreed.

“And Fong Dao is apt to be cross with me about…um…this.”

Blue-Pink shook her head. “Suk Suk,” she said.

“You don’t think so?”

“Suk Suk,” she said with confidence.

I yawned. “Well…” I began. “I still…”

She put a latex finger to my lips.

“Shhhh…” she whispered. “Suk Suk.”

I chuckled as my eyes grew heavy. “Okay,” I replied. “Suk Suk.”

We nuzzled together, and among the snoring beetle girls in the dark, I fell asleep to the sounds of the Star Whale’s heartbeat, as Roza gently kissed me.

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