Husband to the Swarm – Fight to Survive!

“Kumite! Kumite! Kumite!”

The rumble thundered through the crowd, as both contestants and the wide array of spectators watched. I guessed for one of the gathered crowd, this was a pretty happening time, much better than the public executions that I had attended before compulsory sportsball games. The crowd were eating tasty snacks, instead of bug paste and pig vomit.

I exhaled, feeling nervous. I looked over my toolbox. I had cobbled together a few new items from various sources. I had many screwdrivers that could act as shivs, my hammer, and wrenches which would make good bludgeoning objects or tossed missiles. There were also wire clippers or pliers, but I also had my aerosol and lighter, and a few of my more advanced tools.

The mag spanner was a glorified wrench, which used weak forces to grip objects to turn them. It was good for working in hard to reach areas. My standard drill, a pneumatic that was able to generate enough torque to push a screw into anything, my trusty plasma welder/cutter, and my mass driver. This last was similar to a hammer-fired nailgun, a sword hilt with a long barrel that faced toward the ground. Coupled with my mallet, it could drive a rivet clean into a duralloy armor plate. I was, in fact, pretty heavily armed.

I had modified my plasma welder/cutter, pimping it out and giving it a ten foot range.

“KUUUM-EHHHH-TEH! KUUM-EHHH-TEH! KUUM-EHHH-TEH!” The crowd screamed.

Drualt, my corner man, helped me suit up, then he grasped my gauntlets and held them together.

“This is your moment,” he said, staring into my eyes with his own. He pointed to his eyes with his fingers, and slapped my display. “Look up here. This is your moment. Go out there, and win the giant gold dragon.”

“Gold…this isn’t the Quest.”

“Right, right,” Drualt said. “Just remember that this is your time. Go out there, and fuck this Concordat pussy up. Take him down, fast and brutal. Burn his ass.”

“Burn…” I repeated, nodded, psyching myself. “Thanks, Drualt, for being in my corner.”

“No problem,” he said. “I have just one request…”

“What is it?” I asked.

“Out here, call me Creed,” he said, his eyes gleaming as he smiled. “Or Apollo.”

“Uh…okay…Creed,” I said.

“Remember,” Creed intoned, pointing a finger at his gleaming, intense stare. “Eye of the Tiger!”

I approached the platform, and with a firing of my servers I was on top of it, landing with a rumble.

The chanting was a roar of excitement and bloodlust, as 80s guitar riffs echoed through the chamber and provided a retro feel. Across from me, on the raised stone platform, was Captain Lauflin. The Concordat Officer had his gun out, the pistol leveled at my nose. A knife hung at his side.

“Remember your training!” Creed called out from behind me. “Eye of the Tiger!”

I saw the flash of the gun, and in my mind’s eye I could see where it would go, I dodged left, then right, dodging the follow-up shot, then the third. The Spice had paid off, and I was able to accurately foresee where he would shoot, then dodge and advance upon him.

I took out my wrench and prepared to aim a slaying blow at his head, but at last moment he dodged, and my wrench only caught him along the temple. He staggered from my strike, and felt at the stain.

“You…” he snarled. He stared at me, with all the wrath, all the fury, of the Concordat. It’s purest, most distilled vile hatred stared back at me, and in that moment the thing before me was inhuman and ghastly. Not a beast, not even a demon, but some unnatural Thing from outside of reality itself. Malevolent. “You are a Sheep!” He shrieked in an unnatural high voice. “You are nothing!”

He stepped back and moved to raise his pistol, but I swung at it with my wrench. I felt the brief contact, then watch the gun fly off into the crowd.

Lauflin recovered quickly, and drawing his knife he swung it at me with a curse. I blocked his counterattacks with swift and easy movements. He was a good deal slower than the practice dummy, and far, far less effective than Ornstein and Smough had been. I dodged him easily, and in his mounting frustration his attacks became more wild and unfocused.

Yet I had dallied too long in fighting him. Looking at the crowd of pretenders, I could see tongues wagging and heads shaking. I needed something big to finish this fight off.

A quick punch to the jaw gave me time to fish out my mass driver and mallet from my toolpack. By the time I had them in hand, Lauflin had recovered, and with clenched teeth and blood leaking down his face he cut at my eyes with his knife, uttering a loud cry. I ducked backward, and the blade found only air, flashing before my eyes.

I darted in, hitting him in the stomach with the barrel of the mass driver. As he doubled over, I calmly placed the tip of the mass driver onto his eye, pushing his head upward to face me, and raised the mallet. For the briefest of moments, he looked at me with an open mouth and bared teeth, like a savage animal.

“An eye for an eye,” I said. The mallet fell, guided by my arm with all the force I could muster. There was a flash of blue light, and a report so loud its echo was like a roar.

As an aside, it is a funny thing, how men like Lauflin saw mankind as ferocious, sadistic, and without redemption, and how that is what they became. And yet, to show them anything but cruelty was in its way a sin. Perhaps the universe becomes what you put into it. A prophecy, in the end, is not a vision of the future. It is a snake eating its own tail.

The prophecy fulfilled (and a rivet shot into his skull), The heap of meat that was Lauflin fell backward, into the soup of brains and skull. The top and back of his head were completely gone. The rivet had penetrated the Concordat Captain’s eye, bored through his brain, and exploded out the back, sticking into the stone about half an inch.

Fong Dao tapped his staff. “Eugene wins. Flawless Victory. FATALITY.”

Garozella applauded wildly. Her clapping was that same kind of off-clapping that enthusiastic kids do, where the contact makes little sound.

“Yaaaay! Go Snookums, Go!” She shouted. Her hands clapped together like baby duck feet. “You kicked his butt!”

As if to punctuate her TV-friendly expression of victory, Lauflin’s half-hollow head spurted a large stream of blood with an audible gurgle.

My eyes scanned the crowd, who applauded with pleasure at this carnage, and rested upon my competitors. I hoped this was impressive. The warriors were staring at the corpse of Captain Lauflin, his leg twitching in some post-death neuron firing. They stood with folded arms, inscrutable. I wasn’t able to precisely read what they were thinking. Certainly it was impressive to me, but these hard-boiled veterans had doubtless seen men get shot in the face at close range before. My eyes turned to Fong Dao, who stared forward with a stone face. There was a general air of being impressed, of admiration even, but not the awe or intimidation that I had hoped.

Garozella looked to Creed (nee Drualt), and nodded. Creed stood, and raised his arms.

“Her Majesty, the great and powerful Garozella, has decided that now is the time to reveal her fighting form.”

Fong Dao frowned. “This early?” He asked.

Garozella nodded, clutching the arms of her throne and looking every bit like a little girl in a big chair. A large, shiny black creature slithered into the light, and the eyes of the warriors widened. My eyes widened.

“Now announcing: Detheka, the battleform of the Swarm for this Kumite.”

The crowd’s gasp was audible, for the beast was terrifying. It was seemingly eyeless, with massive fangs beneath its smooth face, and long lobster claws. It moved like water, fast and unstoppable. It bore a massive chestplate, protruding with thick chitinous ridges upon it. It looked like a great spike, an urchin of obsidian as sharp as blades.

“Detheka,” Drualt repeated. “She of the two ladies, she of Sneed and /b/.”

Detheka rose up, like a serpent or sandworm of Arrakis, and with a wide mouth let out a fulminating roar which even made me quake in fright. She picked up the dead corpse of Captain Lauflin and bit off his ruined head. With three crunches, she swallowed it, then the rest of the body, with louds rips and gulps. And then, easy as anything, she regurgitated his body. The steaming body was covered in hissing acid, which turned him into paste within seconds. It was quite gruesome.

She pointed at the other combatants, and growled.

“Rawn Rawn…” she uttered in her throat.

“She says that if you do not surrender to Eugene, she will skin you alive and use your bones to make a soup,” Drualt said.

“Rawn Rawn!” Detheka repeated, slamming her chest with her claw.

“She challenges any of you who wish to prove their worth to fight her, and says that you are all cowards.”

Fong Dao tilted his head, looking surprised. Indeed, such behavior was anathema for The Swarm, which cared nothing for honor and everything for survival. But then it served her purpose (and mine). At any rate, there were no takers of this fight.

Detheka approached me, slithering forth and emitting another growl. For a moment she stood before me, and even though I knew it was my Roza, I still quailed in the sight of this nightmarish simulacrum of death. After a moment of low rumbling, in which her hot breath hit my face and I could smell bile and blood, she patted me on the head with the flat of her razor sharp lobster claw, then slithered away on her chitinous body, trilling.

I squinted as I watched her slither away. She seemed familiar, but then it was all Roza so of course she would seem familiar. Still…

“Bring forward the next Champion!” Fong Dao shouted.

I shook myself free from the thought, and prepared to fight the next challenger. He was some blue-skinned cyber guy in green and orange armor. He fought honorably enough, and when I knocked him from the raised stone platform with a hit from my hammer, he yielded.

And then, Fong Dao called for the next pretender.

The fighting continued. If this had been a movie, I would have been in a montage. I hummed along to 80s soundtracks in my head as I brutalized my opponents with wrench, plasma cutter, and stout kicks to the shin. All fell. Garozella loved watching me fight. After each match, she would applaud with the same enthusiasm as my fight against Lauflin, clapping wildly and blowing me kisses.

Normally I would have been exhausted after one fight, but Drualt -who now answered either to Creed or Apollo- had potions of Glowing Blue liquid which he administered to me, along with so much bacta gel that I could barely feel anything after its usage. The combo of radioactive drink and numbing narcotic reinvigorated me.

My opponents were all vastly inferior to what I had trained against, yet some where crafty and dangerous. I dislocated my shoulder between two fights, and Creed -with the bedside manner only a Dark Elf could give- popped it back into place, smeared it with bacta, and poured a potion down my throat.

By the end of the day, eighteen of the pretenders had been defeated. Many had yielded, but several fought on to the death. Detheka was not kind to their bodies, and consumed them all.

After the eighteenth battle, I fell to my knees at the corpse of my foe, a half-mad scientist wearing a radiation suit who had tried to touch a glowing neutron rod to me. I panted, exhausted beyond even the capabilities of the potions. Fong Dao slammed his staff upon the ground.

“That is enough for today,” he said in his booming voice. “We shall adjourn for the night.”

Creed helped me from my suit. Garozella took a step toward me, but Fong Dao said something in a guttural Asiatic language, and with a bowed head she walked away. I looked to Fong Dao, and nodded. I expected some look of approval, or acknowledgment of my pedigree, but instead he stared at me, stone-faced. And in his eyes, I thought I saw concern.

“How are you feeling?” Creed asked, shaking me from my thoughts.

“Aching,” I replied. My head was swimming from a blow from a mallet which made my skull rattle in my Eva suit. I rubbed my sore temples. “Tired.”

“Well, we’ll get you up to your suite,” Creed said.

“I think I can manage…” I said. I stood on my feet, grimacing, panting, as I took a few steps. My body was sore.

“Don’t be a hero. You need rest. In fact, I think a trip to the massage room might be in order.”

“I won’t object to that, but what are you going to do, carry me?” I asked with a laugh.

“Not me.”

The figure of Detheka appeared before me. I managed to keep from pissing myself purely because I knew that might diminish me in Roza’s eyes. I was gingerly plucked off the ground by a lobster claw, then laid across a chitinous smooth shoulder in an imitation of a fireman’s carry, or perhaps more accurately a pirate’s parrot which had too much grog.

“Hey!” I shouted at this sudden lifting.

“Rawn Rawn!” Detheka announced in a stern tone which killed all my protestations. Plus, my muscles were so sore that I was not really capable of doing much to challenge her.

For all her rough appearance, the ride was very smooth, and her chitinous form rumbled down the stone halls, past the shirtless Ziox in their black hoods. I took a moment -drifting in and out of consciousness- to admire the luxury of the stone hotel. The halls had very nice ferns and other greens, in keeping with the manly (and man loving) aesthetics of the Ziox.

Detheka slid down the tall hallways, with me as her cargo. I passed SkaldHiss the ScrotumBane in the halls, wearing flip-flops and a bathing suit on his way to the pool, his horned helmet on his head. He squeaked off down the hall. He looked at me, then made a motion with his hand, as if grabbing something which was hanging very low, twisting, and ripping it off. I grimaced.

We arrived at a stone room with thick wooden double doors. Detheka pushed it open, and I was confronted by a circular stone room, with stone alcoves. Every other alcove had a red candle, giving the room an intimate glow. Water flowed from the walls into basins at the side of the walls, giving a soothing trickling sound.

Detheka put me down upon the stone slab, then retreated through the door.

“Roza?” I asked her. “What is going to happen.”

The deadly snake-scorpion-deathform looked back at me from the dark.

“Slug-a-hug,” she said, before slamming the heavy wooden doors shut. By the vast shadow underneath them, I guessed that Detheka was standing guard outside.

“Well then,” I said aloud. The cold stone made my muscles tense, and I felt the aching in them acutely. “It’s a good thing Fong Dao ended the fight when he did. Even if he does seem oddly…disappointed…”

I wasn’t quite sure what reason Fong Dao had to be displeased with my performance. Hadn’t I won? Hadn’t I done what I was asked to do, what he had suggested? Or perhaps I was just misreading him. Fong Dao was a stoic man of the Steppe, and such men were apt to treat praise or encouragement as maudlin displays of foolish sentimentality.

I heard sounds like a boot rising from a bog. Slithering. It grew louder and louder, and as I looked around the alcoves, between each candle I saw a small figure emerge from the unlit alcove. They were all identical in appearance.

Each was a fairy, if a fairy had the lower body of a slug and the antennae of one atop her head. They had big, cute, pure blue eyes, little noses, tiny little mouths, and long eyelashes that extended outward from their eyes.

“Slugga…” one said, flittering her big eyelashes.

“Roza?” I asked.

“A-hug,” the little slug-girl said with a nod. She advanced down the wall as easily as if it were stairs, followed by her sisters. Each left behind a trail of bluish liquid in their wake, which seemed to seep quickly into the stone and disappear.

I lay on the stone, my heart pounding, as this army of little slug-women approached my tired, aching body. My clothes were carefully removed by nimble little hands, and I lay upon the stone table, naked, drenched in sweat and covered in dried bacta.

One of the little slug-a-hugs crawled across my chest, leaving a trail of soothing slime behind her, as she made her way up to my nose.

“What happens now?” I asked.

“Slug-a-hug,” came the answer in a tiny voice, she leaned over with shut eyes, and kissed me on the nose.

“Slug-a-hug! Slug-a-hug!” The others intoned, chanting in their way like little gnomes on their way to toil in some great sugar mine. The Slug-A-Hugs each made their way to a different muscle on my body, save for my groin. I was totally covered in the little fey slug girls, with their lithe little bodies. Though their breasts were small overall, they were proportioned to their forms well.

Each Slug-A-Hug began to live up to their name, hugging me tightly and with all the might in their bodies. And then, they began to undulate against me. It was like a deep muscle massage, and I let out a sigh of profound comfort as my sore muscles received this pleasant attention. The Slug-A-Hug at my face crawled over me, putting her warm, slimy little body over my face. and I soon learned what was generating the slime trail.

Her underside was smooth, and it opened with a slit that tasted very, very familiarly to me. But this was by far the most potent tasting womanhood of all the ones that I had tasted.

“Slugga…” she whispered as she settled in.

My mind began to fog, as the strong slime began to numb my face, and the slick juices began to make my head foggy. I felt blissfully drunk on this powerful elixir. It was like bacta gel, but bacta gel purified and concentrated.

As my head swam, I felt undulating Slug-A-Hugs all over my body, rubbing their ‘slussies’ against me. I could hear their moans and cries as they brought themselves closer and closer to climax by rubbing on me. My thighs, my calves, my arms, my wrists, my hands. Everywhere except my cock, which was hard and throbbing eagerly for attention.

The slime penetrated into my muscles, bringing with it a warming sensation, then a cooling one, and finally a wonderful numbness which made all the tightness and pain go away. My face covered by a slug pussy, I felt myself melt into a warm contentment, as if I was in a bath.

As I slurped at the wonderfully tasting slussy which sucked on my face, I was only vaguely aware of the many slug girls, and their vigorous rubbing, and their loud cries as their body pussies began to churn on my muscles. The slussy on my face began to pulse and suck, draining the air from my lungs and forcing it back in, loaded with painkillers and relaxants. I moaned.

My deep rumble was all the Slug-A-Hugs could take, and each and every one came in near unison. The one on my face came the hardest of all.

I was drenched in slug-juice, covered in the relaxing and healing balm, as every Slug-A-Hug gushed all over me. My body faded, and I felt, very, very sleepy. But sleep was not in the cards.

“Sluggy Huggy!” The Slug-A-Hug on my face announced, before dismounting and making her way towards my last, aching muscle, which throbbed.

The other sluggirls all crowded up my body to my face, and began grabbing real estate on my chest as they began kissing and licking my body. I moaned anew, loving this wonderful attention. The main Slug-A-Hug made her way to my throbbing cock, and she settled in, wrapping it in her slussy and pulsing away on it.

I honestly can’t say too much about the sex, aside that I’m pretty sure that tiny slug girl broke my mind wind open and rendered me a nonsapient being of orgasmic pleasure for about two minutes. Her body vagina was so incredibly strong that she didn’t just fuck me, she emptied me. When I finally emerged from the orgasm nirvana fueled by pussy narcotics, a Slug-A-Hug was kissing my face tenderly with her little lips, as they all laughed with genuine, nurturing delight.

My tummy rumbled. A Slug-A-Hug put her ear to my stomach, and chittered happily.

“Slugga Slugga! Pom Pom!” She said.

The others all agreed, and at the mention of my big caterpillar waifu, my penis began to stir. This did not escape notice.

“Hee hee, Slugga Slugga Pom Pom!” A Slug-A-Hug said, planting a soft kiss on my cockhead. I groaned.

Still reeling, the door opened. I was dressed in new clothes, and Detheka loaded me on her shoulder. The Slug-A-Hugs all waved goodbye to me, smiling and blowing kisses, and I smiled to myself as I made a new friend of Roza’s many forms. Needless to say, I liked these slug girls.

When we arrived at a room 6969, the effects of the drugs had worn off. I was mostly exhausted, but my muscles were far less sore, and my wounds seemed totally healed. I took a deep breath, realizing that it was likely I would be so heavily sexed that in my current state I may enter a coma.

Detheka fumbled at her side. Her giant lobster claw held a tiny card in it. She fumbled, trying several times to open the door, growing more frustrated with each time. It was hard for those big, bone crunching claws to do something with things so comparatively small.

“Do…” I began. “Do you want me to…”

“Rawn Rawn!” Detheka said with irritation. Finally there was a buzzing sound, a click, and the door pushed open. Detheka puffed out her chest with genuine pride, as we entered through the threshold.

Opening the door led to a giant suite. There was a lower floor of darkwood, and behind it on a raised platform was a wall of opaque glass, with two doorless portals leading into the bedroom. A giant leather sitting area was in this guest room, before a grand TV.

Detheka took me up the wooden step, past the opaque glass wall, and into the bedroom. I could hear the shower going in the other room. Someone was present there, humming away in a familiar voice which made my manhood begin to harden. I fell upon the bed with a bounce, landing upon the thick furs.

“Rawn Rawn,” Detheka said softly, as she went back toward the door. I heard it shut.

The bed sagged, embracing me in soft furs, and I exhaled tiredly. An entertainment center was across from the bed, and I saw the remote on the end table. With a deep breath I decided to take a look at the local news, or flip through channels to maybe find something on Animal Planet (or whatever this world had as an equivalent).

As I reached across the table, the shower stopped. Despite being tired, I was somewhat eager to have a few moments with Roza, in some form. I wondered exactly who could be in the shower. A Pom Pom? A Suk Suk? Some new entity? Maybe it was even Garozella herself…

As I pondered, I heard slithering, and a haunting black figure loomed over the large bed. I had assumed that Detheka had left, but apparently she had only gone to shut and lock the door. She emerged back into the room, slithering, her chitinous plates sliding across the stone floor. She grinned at me with her razor teeth.

“H-hello, D-detheka…” I said, wondering what sex was going to be like with this piece of seeming volcanic glass.

Slime leaked from her fangs as she let out a guttural growl. Her armor cracked, and she began to slide out of it, from the inside. She was molting.

From out of the hard, chitinous exoskeleton, slightly chubby flesh began to appear. Soft, deep blue eyes appeared from behind the mask. The fangs receded into a smiling mouth, and the thick breastplate fell away, revealing huge, wonderful breasts.

And the smooth outer shell, so snakelike, fell away, and revealed tiny little caterpillar feet.

“…Pom Pom?” I asked.

“Pom Pom!” The shedding Pom Pom announced, giggling and clapping her hands together as if this was the greatest practical joke of all time. Like Garozella, her clapping was as ineffectual as it was enthusiastic.

“Y-you are Detheka?” I asked.

She nodded. “Pom Pom.”

She lifted her arms as if to fight, and made a growl that was utterly non-threatening, then began to laugh and slap her tail with her hand. Of course, I was aware that she had rather easily snapped several corpses in half before consuming them, so I knew that Pom Pom could be quite terrifying when aroused to anger.

“So you can grow an exoskeleton combat form?” I asked.

“Pom Pom,” she answered matter of factly.

“But how do-”

She put a big finger to my lips. “Shhhhhh…” she whispered. She held her bare breast with her other hand. She squeezed it, and blue milk appeared, dribbling down in drips. “…Pom Pom.”

The bathroom door opened, and out from it came a second Pom Pom, who was brushing her sharp teeth. She waved enthusiastically.

“Pom Pom!” She shouted, her mouth full of tooth paste foam.

“Wait…” I said. I rubbed my eyes, and looked back and forth from one grinning caterpillar giantess to another. “TWO Pom Poms?!”

Both Pom Poms giggled in stereo. “Pom Pom!” They shouted in unison.

It did made sense, I mused. After all, there were many Suk Suks…”

The Pom Pom’s climbed onto the bed. That it held their weight was a testament to the glory of the Ziox civilization, but even so the bed sank in. Both were trilling as they both approached me with big grins (and full, wonderfully lactating boobs). The Detheka-Pom Pom took me gently by the back of the head, and guided my mouth to her breast. My stomach, now converted to a pure Pom Pom milk diet, rumbled eagerly for its succor.

My lips found their way to Pom Pom’s dripping nipple, and her warm milk flooded into my mouth as I pressed my lips around it. I swallowed greedily, moaning as another pair of tits dangled to my left. I could feel their warmth, and little droplets of milk. I turned, and plunged into these heavenly drawers, kissing them and suckling at these nipples as well. Where DethaPom’s milk tasted like strawberry, BrushingPom’s milk was sweet vanilla.

Breasts closed in around me on both sides. I went back to DethaPom’s breast, suckling, and soon the four breasts were pressed together, with me in the middle. I moaned, drinking at the wonderful nipples, my head swimming and my belly filling with the milk of the Pom Poms. Strawberry and vanilla mingled in my mouth, as tasty boobs pressed against me and gave me warm cream dessert.

Milk sloshed in my belly, and my body tingled to my toes. I wasn’t even sure whose breasts I was sandwiched in, as I was kissing and licking them, and the milk had so mingled that each droplet might be from the other as much from them. But I was in heaven, a heaven of lactating caterpillar giantess.

DethPom lowered herself near BrushPom’s breasts, and tilted my face to kiss me on my lips. A big Pom Pom tongue pushed into my mouth, as cuddly and overwhelming as Pom Pom herself.

Breasts and lips moved away from me, and I whimpered. Before me, the two Pom Poms stared at me, smiling. They were like a mirror image of each other, just slightly different colors. One was slightly pink, the other slightly green.

DethPom pointed from her breasts to BrushPom’s.

“Pom Pom?” She asked.

“Oh…” I pleaded. “Don’t make me choose between you. I can’t. You are both so wonderful.”

They laughed. “Pom Pom,” she said. I knew what she was saying. Roza was the same person, after all, in two bodies. Kind of. Maybe.

“Awwww…” they said in unison. DethPom put a hand to my face. They both leaned in, and I got kissed by the same woman through two mouths at once.

This was distinct -wonderfully distinct- from two different women kissing me. Both Pom Poms kissed me with both tongues, both mouths, both sets of arms exploring me. Her tongues worked together against mine, sandwiching me just as her bodies sandwiched me.

Then there was only one tongue in my mouth, and the other mouth was kissing its way down my sweat covered body towards my stiff penis. Both sets of lips – those against my own and those working their way towards my stiff, eager penis – kissed me with the same tenderness, the same licks, the same reverence. And that was the point – Roza was just reinforcing what I knew, that it was her, always her. She gave both forms just enough distinction to make me reel, then used them both as a woman would use her hands or breasts.

I moaned into Pom Pom’s mouth, and I felt the warm and wet mouth of the second Pom Pom close around my shaft. I groaned, my tongue and penis were licked in the exact same way at the exact same moment, an act which overloaded my brain and made it nearly melt.

The Pom Pom at my lips broke our kiss, licking at my mouth and smiling. “Pom Pom…” she whispered, as she piled on top of me. Her soft body pressed me into the bed, and I felt the warm wetness of a caterpillar girl’s mouth give way to the tight wetness of a caterpillar girl’s womanhood. She pulsed on my cock and I cried out. Both Pom Poms tossed back their heads and laughed with delight, before Pom Pom began to rise and fall on top of me.

The second Pom Pom was not idle during this. Her tongue ran along my vulnerable balls, and she kissed each tenderly. And then, on occasion, I would feel myself drawn from Pom Pom’s vagina, sucked, and then put back in. I went cross eyed from pleasure. They did this back and forth, and my head swam, and soon my throbbing penis was unsure if it was in a mouth or a pussy, who was making me cum, and where.

Both Pom Poms were moaning, moaning in the same voice and cadence, but on a slight delay from each other, as they licked, sucked, or fucked me. When finally I erupted, it was deep within a Pom Pom’s pulsing pussy as she howled out a happy orgasm, and I screamed even louder. My heart thundered, my sore muscles contracted, and I emptied every single sperm I had in my body into Pom Pom’s happy womb.

She kissed me, and I was joined by the other Pom Pom, who kissed me too. Tongues mingled with mine, and I was utterly broken and dominated by my Swarm girlfriend for the second time. The second Pom Pom began a strenuous round of kissing, and the first kissed her way down to my spent cock. The second Pom Pom smiled impishly at me. I began to harden as my cock was licked and kissed, and then, I was fucked again by mouth and pussy, but this time rougher and more forcefully, showing my spent cock less mercy and demanding more from it. And so, I shot a second, larger load in the second Pom Pom’s waiting womb.

Exhausted, I fell back into the bed, my last waking memory was of two cooing Pom Poms rising up to me, kissing me on each cheek, and wrapping me in their bodies like a blanket. In the night, in my sleep, I came more and more times, vaguely aware that the Pom Poms were rubbing me off with their hands, sucking me off with their mouths, and even fucking me with their tits.

When I awoke, my cock was exhausted. I was sandwiched between the two Pom Poms, snugly held in place, hypnotized by their trilling as they both slept with giant grins. Oh, Roza. What a wonderful and strange girlfriend you are, I thought to myself.

It was the middle of the night. My belly was full, and I was not tired. My muscles felt rejuvenated, and my guess was one or both of the Pom Pom’s had some powerful healing additive in their milk, to complement my wonderful massage. I kissed both my sleeping Pom Poms, and they smiled, nuzzling me. I looked at the TV, and at the remote on the end table, just out of reach. I wouldn’t mind sampling some of the local television, I mused. But how to reach the remote.

I heard the door to the bathroom open, and heard the clattering of little feet. From my vantage I saw the top of antennae as they went over to the cash refrigerator. I heard the clinking of glasses, then the hiss of an opening soda, then slurping, and a rapid flapping of wings.

I cleared my throat. “H-hello? Roza?” I called out.

The drinking bug-girl jumped at my voice with a squeak. “Suk Suk?” She asked, inquisitively. She piled up onto the bed, and crawled until she was near my face.

“Hi Suk Suk!” I said, smiling as her big eyes stared at me.

She smiled, and bit her thumb in the cutest way, as she saw me incapacitated by joyous sleeping Pom Poms. I wasn’t quite sure how Roza had forgotten I was here, but then maybe she was preoccupied with one of her conquests and had lost track while she went to get a soda. It did seem like Roza had a one-track mind when in Suk Suk form.

“So anyways, I’m a little stuck, Roza. I don’t suppose you could get the remote, could you?”

She looked at the remote, the little black pill which opened a portal to the world of television, on the end table to my right. “Suk Suk?” She asked, pointing at it.

“Yeah, that’s it. I’d like to watch some television while your Pom Pom forms sleep,” I said.

Suk Suk looked at the remote, skittered to it, then seized it.

“Good girl,” I said, trying to beckon. “Now give it here.”

She stared at the remote, then at me, and the most impish little grin crossed her face. A grin every version of Roza got, right before I was fucked.

“Roza…” I began, clearing my throat. “R-Roza?”

“Suk Suk…” came the predictable response, but in a naughty, dangerous tone. She clutched the remote herself, then moved across my chest on her stumpy shortstack legs, then turned. Her little slit lowered down over my face, snugly over my mouth.

“Mmmmph!” I said into her pussy, which gushed as it felt my lips meet hers. Warm girl-juice drenched my face, and my penis stirred.

Suk Suk put a hand to her chest, and made a cooing sound. She slid her little moist hole along my face, leaving a sweet but potent smear of her sex juices on my lips.

I heard the TV click on, and she squirmed a little on her new chair-boyfriend. The little interloper was watching my TV, settling in to have her pussy worshipped.

“Suk Suk!” She said in a commanding tone, striking me lightly with the remote.

I licked at my beetle girl’s shortstack slit. I heard her gasp, and her little thighs tightened over my face. She cooed again, and I heard the remote click, and the faint din of the television.

As I enjoyed my task, and the erotic thrill of being a thrall to a midget tyrant, Suk Suk seemed to settle in to channel surfing. I caught a few snippets of various shows, before she finally settled on one. Granted, I was buried in a pussy, but I still could hear it. It was some show about a fishing city, but there was all this weird cannibalism and murder. And a laugh track which seemed very inappropriate.

I wasn’t sure I wanted Roza watching this crap. Yes, she was hundreds of thousands of years old, and a nightmare horror in her own right, but this stuff was all weird and twisted. I worried it was giving her impressionable Hivemind a skewed view of life.

“Roza…” I said, in between gasps. “You shouldn’t watch this…”

“Shush! Suk Suk!” She commanded, slapping me gently and sliding her pussy on my face. She groaned as my tongue found her clit, and began to wriggle intensely, swirling my tongue on her tiny love button with great motions of her hips. It built up to an orgasm which made her whole body hot, and she erupted with such force that the two Pom Poms smiled widely and rubbed at their nipples.

Suk Suk, meanwhile, flapped the wings beneath her shell rapidly, causing her to lift off as she squirted on my face. Her little hands worked at her pussy and at her breast as she squealed, and cried out her own name.

Sweet tasting beetle juice filled my mouth to overflowing, as my frantic little face rider turned away from the TV and began fucking my face with loud squeals. Tender, sweet bug pussy schlicked along my mouth, and I licked eagerly.

Suk Suk fucked my face ferociously and endlessly, drawing another three orgasms from my mouth, flooding me with her wonderful juice. My throbbing penis was so tortured and eager for sex that I began to whimper, and fiercely lick, hoping that in pleasing her I would find sexual release.

After one final orgasm, in which she so completely fucked my face that I nearly came from sheer contemplation, Suk Suk smacked her lips and licked them. She crawled in among the still-sleeping Pom Poms and made her way to my aching hard penis. I felt her mouth make its way to my cock, and the suction that only a Suk Suk could give. My cock filled her small, tight mouth, and her tongue looped around my dick as her little mouth fucked me. I did not last for long, and I exploded.

I couldn’t see, but by the squeaks and the rapid flapping of wings, my seed was having the effect upon Suk Suk that it always had. She moaned, swooned, and I felt her little body collapse against my waist. I felt her hot breaths against my pelvis, and with a yawn I fell back asleep.

As it happened, though the sex was quite strenuous, it was extremely relaxing, and my sleep was tremendously fulfilling. I had guessed I would be sore, but the cocktail of Pom Pom milk and Slug-A-Hug massage had made my muscles feel well rested and comfortable. And the concentration of spice in Pom Pom’s milk was activating my prescience. I could see myriad pathways in time, as shadows and prismatic paths.

I was awakened by the sound of my door opening and shutting, and opened my eyes in time to see Drualt enter into the room from the suite, his arms folded.

As I stirred, Roza’s various forms on my bed began to cuddle and kiss me. Suk Suk had crawled her way up my body and hung from my neck furiously, her shortstack head tucked against my chest. The Pom Poms gave me tender kisses on the head, and I smiled. “Hello Creed…” I said with a yawn.

“No, no, that’s only when we’re in the ring,” Drualt said. He stared at the tuckered out Suk Suk hugging my neck. “You were called into a second gauntlet, I see. How do you feel?”

“Pretty good, in fact,” I said. I hugged my Pom Poms and Suk Suk, or tried to. “Very rested. So what news is there?”

“Good news,” Drualt began. “Your work last evening- as well as Detheka’s display – has paid dividends. Ten of the suitors have agreed to yield to you. There are another fifteen that are willing to talk, but they have conditions.”

In my mind’s eye I saw the fifteen men, saw their requests. Requests for money, for revenge, for power. One man stood out among the many for the peculiar nature of his request. I saw SkaldHiss the ScrotumBane, the man that I had seen practicing when I first arrived in the Star Whale. He had demanded a chitin axe, that he insisted be called the NutsMourne.

“NutsMourne?” I asked out loud.

Drualt looked at me a moment as if I had lost my mind, then understood. He shrugged. “Yes…well. That was one of the items. Now I talked to Roza, and she thinks she can fabricate this axe…”

“Why should we?” I asked.

Drualt tilted his head. “I thought the goal was to remove as many competitors as possible.”

“Well it is, but ScrotumBane…frankly, I don’t like it,” I said. “This axe could be quite dangerous. I dread what will happen to some poor bastard’s genitals…”

I felt a large hand go to my balls, and cup them. The hand was BrushPom’s, and she stared at me with big eyes.

“Pom Pom,” she said, somberly, a plea that no man could resist.

“You are worried?” I asked.

A second big hand – from the opposite side – reached over and cupped my balls as well.

“Pom Pom,” DethPom said with big, careworn eyes.

“I mean, I’m going to have to fight worse than SkaldHiss-”

The little shortstack hand of a Suk Suk rested on top of the two big hands.

Suk Suk stared at me with big eyes. “Suk Suk,” she said fearfully. “Suk Suk “

“I apparently am overruled,” I said with a sigh. “The girls are terribly afraid of any damage befalling my testicles.” I paused, as I thought of ScrotumBane’s ferocious cock and ball hewing on the poor test dummy, as well as a vision of him using a long curved hook… “You know…I think they have a point…”

“I agree. A chitin axe will be fairly cheap to produce, and it keeps the most precious two oval shaped objects to the Swarm free from an axe wound,” Drualt said.

“Pom Pom!”

“Pom Pom!”

“Suk Suk!”

“Alright,” I said with a sigh. “Let’s make him the axe. I think I could take him, though.”

“Pom Pom,” One of the Pom Poms said with a nod.

“Pom Pom,” the second agreed.

“Suk Suk,” Suk Suk said, nodding vociferously.

“I guess we are agreeing to all demands, then?” I asked. I knew the answer, vaguely, as I could see Drualt speaking to one of Roza’s eyes on the wall earlier in the morning.

“Indeed,” Drualt said. “That leaves twenty nine people for you to fight.”

“Twenty-nine…” I repeated. And yet, only a fraction of that number worried me.

The others did not concern me, especially – they were dangerous, but I knew that I could handle them. But there were four figures I could see in my vision – four shadows. One of these shadows was different, in the same way that the concept of nothing is different from zero. The other three were shadows, but the fourth was a hole in which there was only darkness. The three shadows I could recognize. The fourth was invisible, a blind spot to my vision, a blackness that was terrifying.

The three shadows, though dark, were visible to me. All I saw of their futures was them fighting, endlessly fighting. But perhaps…perhaps not fighting. But the last shadow, I could see nothing.

But I could guess who that shadow was. “I can’t see Byron,” I said. “He is a darkness to me.”

“Pom Pom,” Pom Pom said with a sigh, looking at her fingernails. I took her meaning well, having been around her long enough

“A potential Kwisatz Haderach?” I asked, deciphering her words. “A genetic dead-end?”

The other Pom Pom nodded.

“It would make sense,” Drualt agreed. “Those possessing the Pheromone are more likely to exhibit prescience.”

“Has there been a Kwisatz Haderach before me, in the contest?” I asked.

“Pom Pom,” came the yawning response. It was enough to let me know that yes, there had been many, and yes, none had survived her.

“So if I can’t see what he’s doing, or will do, what has he been up to?” I asked. “we must have our little Spiker Spiders out spying on him.”

Roza looked back and forth between her faces, as if one of them might know something. She shrugged and shook her head.

“Byron is pretty wily. I mean, excepting his impulsive attempt to kill you when he first met you, but even then that was because he foresaw a need.”

“Does he have prescience?” I asked.

Drualt grunted. “Difficult to say. He might have some, but without the mélange, it would merely be a heightened intuition. He does a good job of staying out of sight of any of Roza’s eyes. Or at least, he doesn’t do much to reveal his plans.”

“Suk Suk,” Suk Suk said, motioning to Drualt.

Drualt frowned. “Yes, I’ll tell him – a package arrived for Byron, but Roza wasn’t able to determine what it was. I bribed the Ziox housekeepers with a few cartons of Pall Malls, and they told me about it. The package arrived for Byron from Lut Golein, a few hours after he checked in.”

“Lut Golein?” I asked. “What is that?”

“Lut Golein is a city on the world of Sanctuary. It’s where the ancient monastic order called the Horadrim are based,” Drualt replied. “The Horadrim produce soulstones.”

“Soulstones?” I asked. “Like the thing they captured Diablo in?”

“Yes; it is considered to be one of the possible means of subduing the Dread Lotus,” Drualt said.

“My sentiment, also,” Drualt replied. “Byron is preparing to fight the Dread Lotus. Curiously, according to the cleaning staff, there are only two soulstones, and he keeps them with him at all times.”

“Perhaps he thinks I’ll defeat one of them?” I asked.

Suk Suk narrowed her eyes and rubbed her chin.

“What?” I asked.

“Suk Suk,” she replied in a cagey tone. I took her meaning: she thought it was something else.

“I suppose we can’t be sure what he’s planning,” I agreed. “And I suppose he can’t be bought?”

Drualt shook his head.

“But he has to know that, even if he kills me, Detheka will disembowel him.”

“He’s a man who has overcome many odds. Perhaps he is foolhardy enough to believe it, or…” Drualt hesitated, looking at the sleeping forms of my HiveMind. “Perhaps he is mighty enough to do it…”

“Bah!” DethPom shouted dismissively with a flailing of her arm. “Rawn Rawn!”

Her great effort made Suk Suk wobble, and she nearly toppled off of me. She grasped onto my chest the way a cat grabs at a railing. Once she was resecured, she gave DethPom a small kick in the arm, which made the large caterpillar girl blush and cover her mouth.

“Pom Pom,” she said with an embarrassed giggle, her cute face beet red.

“Awww,” I said, taking Suk Suk in my arms. She pretended to be angry, but I could tell she was quite enjoying getting cuddles from her Eugene, and I saw her hide a smile.

“Alright, well, rest up, Champ,” Drualt said. “When next we meet, I shall be Apollo Creed. Keep in mind that tonight is the banquet.”

“Ah, the banquet,” I said, recalling our discussions of the event, and of the ever-present threat of poison. I sighed. “Drualt, please…”

“Relax, Eugene. We wouldn’t dream of killing anyone,” Drualt said.

“Suk Suk,” Suk Suk added.

Drualt departed. The rest of the day went quite well – I dined in bed, until my belly was nearly bursting. But over half of the calories I gained were gone within the next two hours, as the Pom Poms and Suk Suks drained me. I tried to explain the ancient adage that women weaken legs, but was informed (by my growing ability to understand Roza) that a Pom Pom’s delicious milk took care to make my legs strengthened. They certainly felt well enough.

DethPom hardened her skin into a new chitinous exoskeleton, then carried me off to the arena when the sun set. I prepared for battle yet again. My evening of lovemaking had left me well rested and replenished.

The great arena was different, now. Whereas before there had been a long stone rectangle, now there was a deep circular pit, a cylinder eleven feet deep.

The whole arena held men in dark robes, wearing wooden masks and shoulder pads. These were the Scholars of the Kumite, the legendary Watchers who had come to witness the fight. In front of them were the grubby post-apocalyptic masses, who always came to watch a dystopian trial or bloodsport in a pit.

“Your first fight is against Agent Falk,” Creed whispered. “I’m sure you’ve seen him in your visions.”

I frowned. “No…I haven’t.”

“That us unusual, no?”

“I don’t have a lot of control over what I can see,” I conceded. “I saw Lauflin easily enough, and some people are harder to see than others. But him…” I looked at this mysterious figure. I had seen him before, on the Star Whale, but he had he eluded me in my vision entirely. “Who is this?”

“Agent Falk is a high level spy and assassin on the planet Googflix Presents Omnon.”

“Googflix Presents Omnon?” I asked.

“Yeah. I spent a semester there, when I had a poetry slam show. The transstellar corporation Googflix bought the rights to the planet Omnon during a recession,” Drualt said. “Falk is a member of their Global Safety Corps, assassinating local politicians or internet celebrities who speak out against Googflix control of the planet.”

“Sounds despicable,” I said.

“I have only just started. He manages the charitable outreach for Googflix in his provincial zone,” Creed added. “His main focus is objecting to drawings of shapely or sexy women, claiming they are unrealistic.”

I spit. “So he’s a pedophile,” I said

“Yes, yes he is,” Creed said. “Like all such men, he is a remorseless child rapist. Keep that in mind: this bastard will cheat rather than fight fair. Remember – no mercy. You have an opening, take it.”

“No mercy,” I repeated. I narrowed my eyes as I looked across the way, to the other side of the chasm, where Falk and his retinue prepared.

I got my first good look at the Googflix Agent. He was tall but slight, a techno agent in a one-piece wetsuit. It looked out of place, and the tightness on the Agent’s bulge seemed unnecessary.

“What is that wetsuit?” I said, grimacing

“A cloaking suit. I really want one. Look at how it accents Allows him to go invisible for short periods. Although it has a rather…odd weakness.”

“Oh?”

“I guess when the suit is hit with UV light, you can see advertisements,” Creed said. “Googflix rents out all clothing and skin on Googflix Presents Omnon to advertisers for a modest fee. This includes Agent cloaking suits.”

“But that’s incredibly stupid,” I said. “Wouldn’t people just put up UV lights everywhere?”

“You’d think. I guess they ran the numbers, and Googflix makes more money off putting advertising on their cloaked agents than they lose when they are found. It really makes an impression, and they can sell that to advertisers at a premium.”

“Man, corporations sure are terrible,” I said.

“Yep,” Creed replied. “But, I’d guess his dystopian shithole planet is still light-years better than yours.”

“Oh, no question,” I said. “But something tells me Googflix would get on quite well there.”

I continued inspecting my foe. Despite the seeming handicap of his ridiculous suit, Falk looked quite lethal, and was armed with all kinds of handheld James Bond-type gadgets, some on his wrists and some hanging from his belt. On the ground, resting prostrate like hunched vultures at his feet, were two circular drones. Both of them had eyes which glowed red, like coals in some hellish kiln.

“The drones are a danger,” Creed said, urgently. “They have miniguns.”

I was less worried about them. I had seen them in visions, even if I had not seen their master. Even so, I wasn’t too keen on them. “How the hell can he have drones?” I asked.

“Well, Fong Dao makes some judgement calls. I can run an appeal to him, if you like.”

I grunted, looking over the remaining warriors. All these surly men glared back at me. I still needed to impress or terrify them into backing down. “No. I must fight this man,” I said.

“Even with your prescience and armor, their guns can perforate you quickly,” Creed said. He looked at me. “What are you going to do?”

“These things…” I began. I saw only flashes of them in my visions, and of their creation, in windowless darkness worked upon by bitter slaves. “They seem very poorly constructed.”

“That is correct,” Creed said. “Googflix goes with the lowest bidder on all their gear. The SIGINT protections on these things are abysmal.”

I nodded. “Then I have it,” I said in a low voice. I fished out my mag spanner, and opened the power pack, switching a few wires. My finger hovered over the on switch. I was ready.

After suiting up in my Eva suit, I jumped down into the pit, landing with a thud which disturbed the ancient dust upon the stone. In keeping with bloodsports in a pit, the muddy faced warriors of the Post-Apocalypse piled around the edges, looking down at us with money in their hands, howling and screaming unintelligible words of encouragement.

Agent Falk descended and stood across from me, in his ridiculous black full body suit. He might have been a frogman, but for a lack of flippers and a vented metal helm which gave him the vague appearance of a medieval knight. His mask hissed with contempt. This Agent was obscured from my prescience. It was always a dice roll on how much information I got from my visions, but on him, there was nothing.

Behind him I saw the two circular drones rise. I heard the spin of miniguns beneath them. These were anti-personnel miniguns with limited capacity, but my Eva suit still wouldn’t hold up particularly well against them.

“Begin!” Fong Dao yelled, clacking his staff on the floor. The crowd roared, and the combat began.

The Agent held back as his robots advanced. I needed to dispatch them quickly, and so I lifted up my mag spanner. I flicked the on switch, then pressed together the download and broadcast buttons. The air flooded with raw electric noise so potent the televisions along the wall flickered into static.

The two drones, relying on communication with each other and with Agent Falk, wobbled in the air, indecisively refusing to risk a lawsuit by firing indiscriminately. I drew my plasma cutter and darted in. Normally I’d have no chance to hit the two drones with the limited range of the cutting tool, but with the two of them struggling under the signal jamming, I was able to slice both the drones into two pieces in as many seconds

It didn’t take me long to conclude that Fong Dao had under-seeded this guy. Despite his limited strength and speed, he was quite resourceful, and had sound combat wiles. As I was using my plasma cutter, he tried to shoot me with exploding darts, which I managed to dodge, although in the act I was severely off-balance, and one exploded into my chest, nearly rupturing my suit.

Falk shimmered out of sight, a chameleon only faintly visible, and with the pull of a pin and the toss of a green object, my view became obscured by dark green gas. My alarms blared, and I recalibrated my suit to seal and pressurize it. I was quickly proofed against any airborne toxin, but it was clear to me that the wily agent had not planned on asphyxiating me. The gas put a thick film on my viewing glass, spreading sickly snowflake patterns that were resilient against my wiper blades. Coupled with his cloaking, he was impossible to find.

I fumbled about, grasping wildly, hoping to find my foe in the obscuration. I flicked on my chemical defroster. I knew that it would take minutes to clear my display, minutes that I didn’t have. I felt a mighty strike against my side, a strong kick with a pointed blade in the tip. It penetrated the outermost layer of my suit, but my ablative plating stopped a deeper – and catastrophic – penetration.

Even without prescience, the Agent’s goal became clear. Where my plan had been to gruesomely destroy my foes to deter future fighters, his was the same. He was going to try to kill me by having me die an agonizing death from a hideous poison cloud, to deter all others.

The chemical defroster began to melt the gas frost away, but not quickly enough. I felt more and more stabs puncture into my armor from his kicks and fist daggers, and my wild slashes with my screwdriver found no purchase. The poison gas was dropping, now to waist level, for it was heavier than air, but still I did not want to have my suit rupture. It was only a matter of time before he was successful, however.

I reeled. Why could I not seem him with prescience? Even Byron, who was some kind of scion of genetic destiny, appeared as a shadow in space and time, a darkness. This agent was invisible…

…cloaked.

His suit, I thought to myself. His suit must have some kind of prescience-blocking capability. After all, the venerable Ixians had developed no-ships and no-rooms; perhaps the Googflix engineers had developed a wearable suit that was immune to prescience.

I needed to be creative. I switched on my headlamps, configuring them for ultraviolet. Even with this, my vision was obscured by the fog and muck. I focused, slowing my heartbeat and entering a meditative state, doing my best to trigger a vision. Time slowed.

I searched, feeling, doing my best not to control my visions, but to feel in the area around me. I could see the gas, falling to ankle level. And I could see, the large, unmistakable logo of WaltMouse, floating in the air behind me, preparing to lunge in close.

I swung at the location of this moving symbol of corporate greed from my vision, and in the real world I heard the Agent let out a cry, then a scream of horrible pain as the lingering traces of poison made contact with a gash on his torso. My shiv had found purchase, and I could see his blood clearly with my prescience. With the suit ruptured, I could see him, and his whole life was revealed to me.

Falk was not Falk, but yet he was Falk. He was ambitious, driven, and utterly without scruple. I saw a lifetime of underhanded plays, of backstabbed colleagues and innocents brutalized. I saw him even cheating his way into this contest, slitting the throat of Fong Dao’s choice and taking his place (and identity). Such was the way of Googflix agents.

I saw his punch dagger going for my face plate. I caught his arm by the wrist, then crunched it in my hands. Falk screamed, and I grabbed at his throat, lifting him off the ground and into the air. The crowd’s cheers rose to a crescendo, as they saw blood was likely to finally be spilled.

With a loud cry of pent up rage, I tossed Agent Falk into the far wall of the pit, and he landed against it with a loud crunch. The crowd, frenzied for blood, began to chant.

“KUMITE! KUMITE! KUMITE!”

My obscured vision finally began to return as the chem bath defroster cleared away the caked poison. I could see the pit clearly. The gas was at our ankles now, a thick green smog. The Agent had fallen back, attempting to activate a small laser cannon on his wrist, but I surged forward, and grappled with him. He was very scrappy, but in my Eva suit I was far stronger, and I again smashed him into the wall, then seized him.

I pulled off his mask, revealing his bloodied and disheveled face, which I landed another punch upon. I heard the satisfying pop of a broken nose, and Falk staggered backward, his black eyes dazed. Taking a moment to consider what I was doing, I lifted him above my head, and tossed him to the ground, and into the thick poisonous gas.

Maskless, Falk let out a most inhuman scream before the thick fog obscured his death throes. It was a gruesome, and miserable way to die, but it was the way that he had intended for me.

The crowd cheered, not for my victory, but for the brutal, post-apocalyptic death. The scholars beyond applauded solemnly.

I was lifted out of the fog-filled pit by Creed and Detheka. As I panted, I looked over at the crowd, and saw Byron. For the briefest of moments, I saw a flash, and a shadow man giving to Falk a special set of schematics. The no-suit…it had come from Byron, not Googflix. Obviously, I was not the only enticing warriors, I thought.

When the pit was drained of the gas, it was time for my next fight. Fortunately, my gruesome and brutal takedown of the agent had made the next competitor, a cyborg hoplite with a long electro-spear, reconsider. He yielded to me, kneeling, and I advanced without a fight.

Nevertheless, he was the only one who yielded. There were fourteen more fights that day, fourteen grueling fights. I was beaten, shot, stabbed, electrocuted, and even scalded. Slathered in bacta gel and stuffed with blue radioactive drink, my tired body healed between matches, but it was taking its toll. I was spent.

After all the fights had finished, I returned to my corner above the pit, out of breath and weak-legged. My mouth was so dry, I couldn’t even swallow. I felt nauseous as well, as gut punches and a hit of my ear against my helm had left me dizzy. Creed removed my helm, and I swallowed eagerly as he held out a bottle of water to my lips. I was so thirsty, it felt like drinking was breathing air.

“You alright?” Creed asked.

I nodded. “But I will fall apart if I fight again, bacta or no.”

Creed patted me on the chest. “Well, relax; SkaldHiss is your last fight, but it’s just a simple matter – you stand across from each other, bow, and then exit.”

I frowned. “Why didn’t he vacate ahead of time, like the others?” I asked.

“It’s some snakeskin Viking honor thing – he needs to show up to the fight,” Creed said with an eyeroll. “A waste of time, I know, but it’s part of their system. He can’t run from a fight, but he will forfeit to you if you show him honor.”

I shrugged. “Fair enough,” I said. “Though I don’t trust a man who makes nut shots.”

“Oh, don’t be so judgmental,” Creed said. “Why, some of my best friends are into CBT…”

“Alright, please say no more,” I said, clutching my stomach. “That last gut shot left me feeling queasy.”

“Fair enough,” he sad. “Looks like our nut hunter is climbing into the pit now.”

I watched as SkaldHiss jumped into the pit. I hobbled after him, grimacing as my form entered. I suited back up – I must make a good appearance, after all – and dropped down into the pit.

I stood across from SkaldHiss. The tall Viking stared at me with a look of contempt. He held the chitin Axe in one hand, and a long metal hook in the other. The hook, of iron, had rusted, and was covered in dried blood. I shuddered as I recalled what hellish things that hook had been employed to do.

I bowed to him after Fong Dao announced us. “I honor you, SkaldHiss ScrotumBane,” I said in an even, reverential voice.

SkaldHiss, however, made a great demonstration of taking a step back. He clenched his teeth, staring at me with (apparent) rage.

“You dishonor me with your tone!” SkaldHiss roared. “Raise your arms. We shall fight!”

“We had a deal!” I shouted.

SkaldHiss spit. “I acknowledge no deal, not with a dishonorable slut such as you.”

The odd usage of the word ‘slut’ caught me off guard, and made me reel as I tried to understand what this lunatic CBT Viking was doing. I saw – too late to be of use – a shadow figure, speaking to SkaldHiss earlier in the day. He was offering him wealth, power, and a noble title, if he would just perform some act…

My eyes shot to Byron, standing in the crowd. The Wolf-pelt clad lord smiled at me, and raised a metal mug in a mockery of a toast. He had been a busy little cunt.

I took a deep breath, and slowly reached into my toolbox. I lifted out my mallet with heavy arms. I was so tired, but I must find it in my for one more fight.

“So be it,” I began. “Let the better man…”

I did not finish, for I was out of the pit in an instant, grasped by a claw and tossed up to the stones above. I landed with a loud grunt, looking up in time to see the tail of Detheka as it descended into the stone cylindrical arena. Standing with a grimace, I made my way to the edge of the pit, and saw what was happening.

Detheka was pointing a claw at SkaldHiss the ScrotumBane. She seemed larger than usual, with quills and spines up all along her body. A porcupine rhinoceros beetle with razor sharp pincers.

“RAAAWWWWWN!” She shouted.

SkaldHiss brandished his chitin axe. “Stay out of this, woman.”

Detheka quaked, as if the word had been a hurled stone. “Rawwn?! RAWWWN?!” She screamed.

“Hold!” Fong Dao called. “This is highly…”

Garozella, her face twisted in wrath, leaned in to her adoptive father’s ear from her seat. She whispered something, something by her motions very heated and involved. The old steppe warrior’s face became stone, and he looked at the two combatants.

“SkaldHiss, was the weapon in your hand gifted in exchange for your pledge to step aside?”

“It is mine, by right,” SkaldHiss answered defiantly. “Yonder slut has insulted me, and I claim it by conquest.”

“He could piss on your head, after you have accepted payment to stand aside. The law is clear. You have dishonored the sacred rights of the Kumite…” Fong Dao growled. He waved his hand. “Very well. Detheka may fight you.”

“So be it!” SkaldHiss roared, lifting his hook and axe to the heavens. “I shall break her!”

Detheka and SkaldHiss began to circle each other. I, and most others, had a good idea of how the contest would go, in no small part due to the fact that there would be no scrotum for SkaldHiss to be the bane of. Apparently he was a master of the cock shot, a true legend at making every man wince from the ferocity of his war against every pair of balls that were not his own.

But Detheka, of course, had no balls. She was also larger, more heavily armored, and fiercer of disposition than he was. And, she was rather upset by his double-cross, and the threat to my life. I didn’t see how this could go well for him.

It didn’t. SkaldHiss circled her. He was a skilled combatant, and had we fought, I would have been hard pressed against him in my exhausted state, although I believe ultimately that I would have emerged triumphant (if a little sore between my legs).

But when SkaldHiss and Detheka came together, the fight ended rapidly. SkaldHiss struck first, or attempted to, but his axe was caught in Detheka’s claw, which she snapped shut. The chitin axehead of the NutsMourne fell to the ground with the clack of stone hitting stone. SkaldHiss responded with an attack with his iron claw.

The tip sailed towards Detheka’s head, but she easily turned her body. She might have dodged it entirely, but instead she chose to turn her shoulder into its path, and the tip caught in the thick chitin plating. With a simple turn, Detheka tugged the hook from SkaldHiss’ hand. Detheka’s right claw easily went around his left leg, just below the knee, and clamped shut.

SkaldHiss screamed as shin and knee detached, and blood poured from the stump all over the severed limb. He would have fallen, if Detheka had not seized him by the right wrist. A snip, and more blood flowed into the chamber as SkaldHiss’ inhuman scream unnerved even the veterans.

Detheka, in true insect-Hivemind fashion, deftly cut off every limb in sections, heightening the horror in that way only an insect woman can. SkaldHiss continued screaming, the only sound louder than his cries being the loud snaps of Detheka’s giant claws. In no time he was a head and torso, pouring blood like a squeezed sponge, as SkaldHiss screamed in nightmarish terror.

Detheka held him aloft, her sharp teeth in a frightful baring of incalculable anger. She held up one claw before his screaming eyes.

SkaldHiss’ face went white. The final, humiliating strike. His screaming face twisted in horror, but to no avail. Detheka delivered a claw uppercut right to his groin. And with this one act, the groin of the ScrotumBane was severed. It was time for him to die, or carry on in his doomed world.

SkaldHiss, now utterly unmanned, screamed all the louder. Without his nuts, he would never be allowed into Valhissa to engage in the eternal game of Rochambeau with the other snake Vikings. I saw them, in my visions: the ancestors. The great Halff HornRobber, the grim Flart FriendofNoFrenulum, the furtive Skor Testicutter. All looked upon the fruit of their loins with folded arms and shaking heads. This, their great scion, was now as useless to them as Immortal Vampires were to the Elder God. (Comment if you know this reference).

Detheka was merciful, or perhaps driven to show mercy by a sincere desire to murder her enemy. Opening her razor sharp fangs, she grasped on to the top of his head, and ripped it off with a snap in the same way that an Australian would open a can of Foster’s.

The entire crowd, very accustomed to violence, was still appalled by the casual brutality of The Swarm. The warriors did not look particularly happy about a potential matchup against Detheka, who had moved on from eating SkaldHiss’ head to focus on his torso. The next two minutes were watching Detheka eat a bloody stump of meat, crunching his bones the way a cat would eat a dead mouse, staring at everyone with narrowed eyes as if they might try to take her kill.

Fong Dao adjourned after that display, and I was carried from the field. I was exhausted from my battles, sore all over. I smiled, eager for a good massage session with the Slug-a-hugs, the gentle embrace of Pom Pom, and the caperings of Suk Suk. And yet, I looked longingly at Garozella. So perfect, so curvy, and so utterly womanly. There was Roza in her purest form, the unbridled happy entity of Survival who had been my roommate in simpler times.

Detheka, her meal finished, grabbed me up onto her shoulder, and carried me away.

I was led into the massage room, with the faint sound of rushing water, the pleasant alcoves with their lit candles, and a refreshing, warm steam. The Slug-a-hugs emerged again from the cubbies, all smiling.

“Slugga!” One greeted me, batting her big eyelashes and waving her slender arm.

I lay upon the stone table, and again the Slug-a-Hugs emerged. They instantly started hugging, kissing, and bringing themselves to climax all over my body, and the slimy goo of their long bodies covered my skin and seeped into my muscles. The alternating warmth and cold, the refreshing numbness and tingling sensation, relaxed my tight muscles, and then a free-for-all began towards my most overworked muscle of all.

My eyes bulged when I came, and for a moment my vision went white. The Slug-a-Hugs then gave me a refreshing bath of kisses and licks, so wonderfulky cleaning that I again hardened. Rather than ride me into insanity, about fifteen Slugga tongues licked me to a second, wonderful orgasm, which rivalled any I had received.

As I lay on the stone, listening to the flowing water, the Slug-a-Hugs gave me a good ‘sluggle’, repeating their mantra as they trilled and vibrated on me.

Detheka returned, and picked me up gingerly. I yawned, and smacked my lips.

“I’m not too hungry…” I said, beginning to laugh, “But I can be talked into a nice, warm drink…”

Detheka laughed, but it was an odd, mischievous laugh. “Rawn Rawn,” she said with a giggle.

I waved goodbye to my slug-girls. “Please come visit me in my room,” I pleaded.

The girls returned my waves, and blew me kisses. “Slug-a-Huggg!” They all called out.

I fully expected to be brought back to good ol’ room 6969, but I was not. Instead, we walked past it, down the hall.

“Detheka…” I asked, a little unnerved. “Where are we going?”

Detheka snickered, her mouth still bloodstained. “Rawn Rawn,” she announced.

Our destination was soon clear – the last room on the left as we walked down the hallway. Detheka (again) fumbled with her key, and the door opened into a room just large enough to house a King Sized bed, with a figure sprawled on it.

I was tossed onto the bed, landing with a bounce, next to this svelte figure.

“R-Roza?” I asked.

“…Mrrrrow?” A smiling face with beautiful green oval eyes stared at me, and a bony tail swished with the impish lashing of a restless cat.

I sat up on my elbow, and beheld my new bedmate. She was a cross between felinid and saurian, scaly in places, fur-covered in others, but with smooth, flawless skin everywhere else She had paw-like claws at the end of her arms, which were lithe and fit, but not bulky. Her eyes were Asiatic, and colored black like her hair. Her skin was a light purple, at least what wasn’t spotted scales. She smiled as she saw me, a picture of eastern beauty melded with alien features. Her breasts were about the width of my hand, perhaps a little smaller, but my God, her ass…

It was shapely, an upside-down heart, with wide hips and a tight rear and a chitinous tail. Holy God…

“An…an…” I couldn’t finish. It was an Anal Sex Tigress, like from my tape. Roza had created a form for me to work out my ‘Grecian’ urges.

“Mrrrrow?” the Sex Tigress said, trilling as she saw me. She wiggled her ass at me, and rested her head upon the pillow, blinking her eyes.

“Is that what I call you? Or should I call you something else?”

“Mrrrow,” she added sultrily. She felt at a pendant around her neck. A Jade pendant.

“Jade? I should call you Jade?”

“Mrrow.”

“Okay, Jade…” I said. I licked my lips as I looked at her wiggling little butt. “Goddamn…”

Jade reached for my clothes, and tugged them. “Rrrrr?” She asked.

I didn’t need to be told twice. Eagerly I undressed, as Jade watched with eager, happy eyes. When I had tossed off my underwear, she slinked away from my naked body (and massive erection) and back towards the pillows.

“Mrrrrrow!” Jade purred, sticking out her ass and staring back at me with an impish smile and sparkling eyes. She trilled at me, and her tail cracked the air like a whip before wriggling back and forth like a hypnotized snake.

My exhaustion gave way to an intense post-combat desire to fuck. Taking the lead with Roza was (thankfully) quite rare, but in certain times and situations, there certainly is a pressure to do so.

I moved forward, and as I did, her tail coiled around me and pulled me in, drawing me in closer to her perfect light purple rump.

My cockhead neared her tight hole. Her pussy glistened, but that was not my target. No, my target was above. Tighter. More forbidden. Something the Lord had destroyed cities over…

My manhood penetrated into her rear slowly, because there was no way to plunge into her any way else. She was so tight, the pressure made my eyes bulge, and I groaned in pleasure. She gasped, and I could see and feel her lungs tense, and all the fit muscles in her back tightened. I saw her shut her eyes in the mirror, wincing in pain, as her hands gripped the sheets until her knuckles were white.

“I’m hurting you…” I said, distressed. I began to pull out, but Jade reached back. Her claws pressed against my flesh, digging in slightly.

“MRRRROW!” She commanded. Her eyes were flashing, a mixture of fury and pleading.

“Y-you want me to go in?” I asked.

Her tail coiled tighter around me, and she nodded.

It made sense – it had all been part of her plan. Roza had made her form’s anus too small, so it would cause her discomfort when I entered her. She was getting off on my cock filling her, on the tremendous tightness and slight pain. This only made me get harder, and I pressed in, as her little overwhelmed gasps and the spasming of her insides combined to make her cry out.

I pushed in slowly, until the base of my shaft was in. She was so tight and constructive, every twitch made her growl. She looked back at me, eyes watering, and smiled widely.

“Mrrow.”

I began to pump my manhood into her sumptuous and tight ass, and she stared forward, looking into the mirror. I could see the pleasure that my penetration was giving her, recorded in her face with every thrust, the way she would grimace and then roll her eyes into her head, and clutch the blankets on the sheets. I watched her breasts sway underneath, felt myself get harder as I watched her and felt her.

Her hand reached under her body, and began to finger at her sopping wet womanhood. She moaned, and feeling eager to increase her pleasure, I reached up and grasped at her black hair, and tugged.

She let out a little happy growl, and looked back at me with a big smile as she thrust herself backward into my penetrating cock. Her ass pressed against my waist, my cockhead plunged deep within her insides. I grabbed her hips, and thrust in deeper and harder. Jade’s cries grow louder and louder, the motion against her cunt with her paw became more furious.

I felt my orgasm rising with each thrust, and I growled and thrusted harder and harder, rewarded with Jade’s squeals, moans, and coos. I watched as the muscles in her back contracted. She was fit, a slim girl of muscle, and watching her ass jiggled and her muscles tense made me press my cock as far into her as I could.

She came, first, a testament to her enjoyment of my anal plunder. When she came, her sphincter began to pulsate on my cock, and the intense pressure pushed me to the very edge.

“Ohhh…” I cried out. “Roza, I’m gonna…I’m gonna..”

“MRRRRRRRRR…OWWWWW!” She shouted, still in the throes of her own orgasm. She looked up at the mirror, and I saw those gorgeous, oval-shaped eyes staring into the mirror, staring at my own eyes.

It was more than I could handle. I made one final thrust with a loud cry, and plunged in, resting my balls against her soft asscheeks as I shot hot load after hot load deep in her Asiatic ass. Her green eyes rolled into her head and her pretty mouth opened in a pained expression of pleasure, and she came one final time.

Spent, I collapsed on top of my anal tigress, panting, as she continued to rub herself. She orgasmed again, crying out loudly and rubbing her ass against my spent penis.

She purred loudly, snuggling up against me. “MRRRRRRR…” she said. I kissed her sweet neck, and her shoulder, and we shared a tender, sweet little kiss where our tongues lightly mingled.

An alarm beeped. Looking at the source, I saw an alarm clock. The banquet was within an hour.

“I better get dressed,” I sighed. “I should head back to my room and shower. Although the Slug-a-Hugs did a pretty good job of licking me…”

Jade looked downcast, but I put a hand under her chin.

“Hey, don’t be said. I’ll still see you,” I said softly. “As Garozella, even.”

This made Jade smile brightly, and warmed my heart. I kissed her face tenderly, and she let out a little coo.

“That’s my girl. You know, it’s funny…” I began, putting on my underwear and pants.

“Rrrr?” Jade asked, looking up at me with a smile.

“You have always dominated me sexually, except for that one time with Pom Pom. Although right after, you fucked the hell out of me. But I guess you have a bit of a submissive side, Roza.”

“Rrrrr?” Jade asked with a raised eyebrow.

“I mean, it’s okay,” I said reassuringly as I put on my shirt. “I would imagine some forms will be submissive, and enjoy getting a good dicking. The Jade form must just be a good, demure little…”

I stopped. Jade’s ears were flat, and her eyes had narrowed to slits.

“…girl,” I finished. I swallowed. Jade began to growl, a low, guttural sound, the sound of a predator. She was on all fours, her ass raised in that way that felinid hunters raise it before they emerge to chase down a gazelle.

“J-Jade…” I began, feeling a rising fear. “N-now calm down…”

She could see my fear, and her eyes gleamed with mischief. Her tail cracked the air like a whip, making me start. She smiled widely at that.

“R-Roza…”

Her true name seemed to be a trigger word. Jade pounced on me, twirling me and forcing me under her on the bed. With her razor sharp claws, she effortlessly tore my clothes to shreds. With her teeth, she tore off my underwear. Her jade eyes flashed in the light, and I saw by her bared teeth that she was eager to mount me, as was her custom in other forms.

Jade forced her sandpaper tongue into my throat, dominating it in the same way that Roza always dominated my mouth. She growled and snarled as she did, overcome with predatory lust. My anal sex tigress was not, as it turned out, submissive at all.

She pushed me to the edge of the bed, so that my head was just off it, then she opened her legs and straddled me. Her pussy glistened with eager lust, and she lowered herself down upon my mouth, fucking my face as I hung in the open air. She rose up and down on my mouth, grinding every so often so that her tight pussy forced my tongue inside it, and her slimy tiger juice into my mouth.

She fucked my tongue, sliding up and down on it, rubbing her clitoris as she stared down at me through her breasts with clenched teeth.

Jade rode me, fucked me hard, and mercilessly. Her purple breasts bounced up and down, and her tight tummy flexed, as she coated my tongue in her sweet tigress juices. Her paw’s actions on her womanhood grew more and more furious, more frantic, and she pounded down into my face so hard that I began to cry out.

My cries only excited her, and her total abandon and surrender into passion made me iron hard again. Spasming, she finally settled in to grind against me, the only thing stopping it from generating a burning friction against my face was the gushing, lubricating wetness from her powerful pussy.

She climaxed, flooding me in her squirt as I reeled and desperate tried to both gasp for air and stroke my own twitching cock. Jade thrust her chest forward, crying out in victory and pleasure, as she came on my face.

She smeared her cunt juices on my face, kissed me, and then slid her pussy down onto my cock. With ferocious growling and snarls, she left absolutely no doubt who was in charge of the bedroom. Where her anus had been tight, her pussy was a clamp, and the pleasure it did to my manhood made me scream. Her tight vagina pulled pleasure from me, the warmth and wetness quickly overwhelming me as she grunted and moaned. Her tits bounced up and down as her hips rose and fell, slamming down into me.

“Oh…oh God, Roza!” I screamed.

“MRRRRROOWWWW!” she shouted.

I came, and I came hard, and Roza came with me. Her pussy milked and emptied my cock, and she fell upon me with kisses and hugs. She collapsed on me, and my dominant girlfriend snuggled up to me, kissing my chest with pure adoration. I smiled. In my way, I had power in our relationship. Just not where sex was concerned.

Detheka returned. She shed her outer chitin, and her soft Pom Pom slinked out to snuggle up to me. Jade kept my cock between the cheeks of her ass, purring like the kindest kitten against my chest, and Pom Pom took my face between her breasts. I drank until my belly was full, then got fucked until I fell asleep.

I didn’t sleep for long, however, as several worker ants quickly roused me, and covered me in fine cotton clothes. I felt very clean, and I gave Jade a goodbye kiss. She licked me with her sandpaper tongue, grabbed my cock possessively, then turned and wiggled her amazing ass at me. I permitted myself to lean in and kiss one of her wonderful ass cheeks, sinking my teeth in as she gasped in pleasure.

Instead of being carried, I walked alongside Detheka down the halls. I took her arm, and despite her slithering gait, Detheka trotted down toward the banquet hall with all the pride of Cinderella with Prince Charming.

We arrived at the banquet hall, located on the first floor, just as all the rest of the pretenders were congregating. It was a stone room with stone counters, with wooden floors, tables, and cupboards. A dais on the far wall had a long wooden table on it, where Garozella herself sat. My heart leapt as I saw her, and her eyes brightened when they met mine.

I filed to a table in one of the corners, where Detheka sat. The other suitors all filed in and chose tables of their own.

On the right wall was a table heaped with food. Drualt stood alongside the table, grinning with his arms folded in a manner which seemed warm and inviting.

“Dinner is served, friends,” he said. “A sumptuous buffet.”

Detheka seized me tightly, holding me in my seat. “Rawn Rawn,” she admonished.

“Roza!” I exclaimed under my breath. “You didn’t…”

A claw covered my mouth. “Raaaawn…” she hissed.

The suitors all began to stand, but Fong Dao slammed his staff on the ground. Oh fuck, I thought as I saw his face. He knows.

“You prepared the food, Drualt?” Fong Dao asked.

Drualt laughed. “Don’t be ridiculous! The Xiox kitchens made all of this. I merely picked out the menu and jacked off onto the crusty bread. Oops!” He said, covering his mouth. “I’ve spoiled the surprise.”

Fong Dao squinted at the food. “I don’t think…”

He was interrupted as one portly man, a rather foul Talarian named Opphus, barreled past everyone and over to the table, ignoring Fong Dao’s strong warning to wait. He reached in, grasped up a savory meat pastry I judged as being a little too close to the crusty bread, and bit into it.

A cloud of pink gas filled the air with a hiss, and the Talarian clutched his throat before falling to the ground, his tongue black and his eyes open and lifeless. Everyone stared at the man in stunned silence. The only sound was my palm slapping my forehead.

“Damn, what a sad coincidence,” Drualt said, idly kicking the freshly slain corpse with his pointed shoe. He clapped his hands. “Oh well! Everyone just step around the body, there’s more than enough for everyone…”

No one stirred toward the food, not even Pophus, Opphus’s simpleton brother.

After a minute of silence, Fong quietly approached the table. “Drualt…” he said. “Is there anything on this table that isn’t poisoned?”

Drualt took a step back, deftly dodging a step onto the face of Opphus. “Poison?” He said, astounded. “Why who would ever do such a thing as that?”

Fong smacked his lips with lidded eyes. “I see your point. Have something to eat, would you?”

“Of course,” Drualt said with a gracious smile. He reached around the heap of food – moving several portabella mushrooms – before he settled on a small mushroom with a decorative red toothpick in it. He picked it up gingerly off the plate, then swallowed it, removing the toothpick.

“Delicious,” Drualt said, making an effort to swallow. “See? Totally poison free.”

“Have something else,” Fong said, folding his arms.

“No, no, I’m quite full,” Drualt replied with a laugh. “Thank you, though.”

“I insist,” Fong replied. He reached down and picked up a piece of cheese that had what looked like a giant purple ink stain on it. “Here.”

For a moment, the two ancient men exchanged glances silently. An entire game of chess, of poker, and of Brood War played out in their eyes. Finally, it seemed that Fong Dao was the victor. With a grimace and a sigh, the Dark Elf took the cheese, and ate it in one gulp. Fong did not show surprise often, but his widened eyes and look of horror betrayed his amazement. Drualt merely smiled at Fong.

“There…” he said, visibly shaking as dark blood dripped from his nose. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve had quite enough of these accusations of wrongdoing. I’m going to go and work on my poetry.”

He walked at a hurried pace to the door, speed walking and only not running because his knees never lifted. Upon rounding the corner into the hallway, we could all hear the sounds of a Dark Elf doing his very best to vomit up his intestine. There was then the sound of a vial uncorking, and a gulp as of a desperate man.

Fong stared at the doorway, and sighed. “I’ll have more food brought,” he said tiredly. “Until then, I think the water is alright.”

I was quite tightly held secure by Detheka, who growled at anyone who came near us. It was a prudent precaution, for the members of the Dread Lotus, the undead warriors, would have approached me but for Detheka’s growling, terrifying presence.

“Is…is Drualt okay?” I asked.

Detheka frowned, then nodded. “Rawn rawn,” she answered.

“Well, good,” I said. “I wish you hadn’t done that, Honey. Drualt risked his life…”

“Rawn Rawn,” Detheka said with a placating tone. She rubbed my face.

“Fair enough,” I replied. “We’ll discuss this later.”

Food was brought -non doctored food- and after it was thoroughly tested, the feasting began. I had already eaten, but I enjoyed a few glasses of mead. The hall filled with laughter, boasting, and raucous good times, as the survivors and pretenders all enjoyed food, mead, and good cheer.

The Dread Lotus sat at a table in the center of the room, like a tumor or a black spot. No one looked at them if it could be helped. They took some of the poisoned food, which they ‘ate’ with wide grins.

My eyes found their way to Garozella as she sat on the raised dais. Truly the most beautiful of her forms. Byron, seeded first, took a seat next to her, at one end of the rectangular table. Though she sat several feet away from him at the large table, to see him with her made every male instinct within me desire to see his blood. Fong Dao joined them, seating at Byron’s left hand, eating with his staff at his side.

Byron and Fong Dao seemed to get along reasonably well, probably because both of them were martial men who had grown up on the Steppe. Detheka clutched me tightly, growling as she watched, and Garozella sat sadly, looking at her dark golden mead. The last time I had seen her that sad was when she was in the puddle of methane. It was heartbreaking.

“Hey, Detheka…” I said.

“Rawn Rawn?” She asked.

“Can you, um, have a Spiker come over?” I asked.

I only needed to ask. A Spiker Spider sauntered up to me, staring at me in that quizzical way that Roza always did.

“I need you to go give something to your Garozella form,” I whispered.

The Spiker tilted her head, and I leaned in and planted a kiss on her face. She turned crimson, and skittered about the room rapidly, in full happy turbo, before scuttling off towards the main table where Garozella sat.

Garozella had to know what was coming but she still looked glum, and even surprised when the happy Spiker came over to her. Byron and Fong Dao both stopped speaking, watching this unusual display.

The Spiker wandered up to her nose, and as Garozella saw it she seemed to realize its message. She smiled widely, and with shut eyes she leaned in, and the two Rozas rubbed noses with the same happy expression.

Garozella began feverishly waving at me, and with a look of resignation Fong Dao summoned me over to the main table with a hand wave. There was much heated whispering, and Eldred, the Reaper of the Dread Lotus, stood from his table to block my way, taking up his scythe.

“Eldred!” Fong Dao said in his deep, guttural voice of control. His voice rang out clear, and silenced all conversation. Staring at me with his pale, skeletal grimace, Eldred stepped aside, watching me with the same intensity that the Death itself watches us all.

I approached the table, feeling strangely nervous. I wasn’t quite sure why: I knew Roza quite well by this point. I knew her detached intellect, her dream form, her nurturing side, her warrior side, even her anal sex tigress side. But somehow, Garozella was beyond all this. She was the real, full embodiment of The Swarm. And she was the Spiker Spider that I had saved, all grown up, so to speak. Garozella’s eyes sparkled at me, and she smiled a giant smile. She tapped her fingers just as she used to when she was a little Spiker Spider.

“H-hi,” she said, moving her hair out of her face. Her cheeks were beet red, and she looked at me and flittered her eyelashes, just as a Slug-A-Hug might do. She was so adorable.

“Roza…” I whispered.

I sat down across the table from her, and we stared at each other lovingly. The only sound was the clinking of forks on plates as Fong Dao and Byron ate.

“Aren’t you hungry?” Fong Dao asked me.

“No…I’ve eaten,” I said.

Garozella put a hand to her mouth and giggled, and her eyes flashed. I saw in her eyes the impish desires of a naughty kitten, and the hungry lust of a predator. I laughed. Fong Dao rolled his eyes.

The dinner would have been nice, and romantic, but for the presence of one colossal asshole. The night -indeed, everything- was about to take a turn. For Byron, watching all this happiness and love, became incensed.

“Ah yes. Eugene,” Byron said dryly. “I am surprised by your performance so far, but not impressed.”

“I will admit that I am surprised by you as well,” I replied. “Bribing SkaldHiss to betray me? To go back on his word? That is underhanded. Or giving Falk the no-suit.”

Byron’s eyes widened. “And what evidence do you have for this?”

I grunted. “Visions.”

Byron laughed. “Am I to be held accountable to accusations by those who have everything to gain by defaming me?” He looked to Fong Dao. “If you want me prosecuted for this, lord, I will accept your judgement.”

“I do not wish it,” Fong Dao said, continuing to eat.

“I can accuse you of more, Byron,” I said. “Let us be honest: you do not love Roza in the same way that I do.”

“No, and thank God,” Byron said with contempt. Roza glared at him with anger. “The Swarm is an army. It is a tool to conquer.”

“She is a woman, a wonderful woman,” I said. She reached across the table, and our hands met for the first time, well, at least I met her form’s hand for the first time. I felt her soft, slender fingers, her perfectly trimmed nails. She interlocked her fingers with mine, and my heart quickened.

“You are disgusting,” Byron said, dismissively. “To breed with a weapon…”

I looked to Fong Dao. “How can you be friends with this man? I understand honoring his claim, but listen to how he speaks of the girl you call daughter…”

“Indeed, I hear how he speaks. And distressing as it is, I will tell you this, Eugene: if Byron defeats you, my wish is for Roza to marry him,” Fong Dao said.

Garozella’s eyes shot up, full of fury.

“That’s wrong,” I said. “He must overcome her in combat…”

Byron made a demonstrable display of yawning. I frowned at him, but he made no move to clarify. He merely stared at me with a smug grin.

“Garozella has made it clear to me that you are her final and only choice,” Fong Dao said. “And so, this will be the last Kumite.”

“Yes,” Roza said, breaking Fong Dao’s rule about women speaking. “And Eugene shall be victorious.”

Byron laughed.

“Master Fong,” I said. “You must see how horribly he treats her.”

“I do, and it distresses me,” Fong Dao said, with a sigh. “But Byron is the best specimen there is.”

“Eugene is the best,” Roza said sternly. “Byron does not compare.”

“You will obey him,” Fong Dao said with quiet command.

“If he harms my Eugene, then I will kill him, in your sight,” Roza responded.

“You will not,” Fong Dao replied, but it was not in a stern tone. It was a sad one, and it puzzled Roza as much as it puzzled me. We looked to each other, confused.

Byron laughed again, tilting his head to the ceiling. This was more than vanity or hubris. He had a plan to defeat her. I suddenly felt very unnerved. To die was one thing, but for Byron to actually conquer my Roza in the Kumite…

“Why do you want her?” I asked the wolf-clad warrior. “Surely Drualt spoke to you earlier. You know I could arrange the vengeance that you seek.”

Byron crinkled his nose. “Arranged vengeance? From you?” He said with disdain. “You know nothing of being a warrior, do you?”

I narrowed my eyes. “I don’t know your particular dumb definition of one. I prefer being a survivor.”

“Survivors run from battle, flee to save their lives. A warrior fights,” Byron said.

“Of course, and by, ‘fighting your own battles’, you mean having Roza kill your enemies,” I replied, sipping my mead. I looked to Fong Dao. “How can you like this asshole?”

Fong Dao laughed. “He reminds me of me, perhaps, if I were seven feet tall and Nordic.”

“He likes me because I speak sense on the Swarm. Only a firm hand can guide it. That is not your hand. You may have made the lady parts of a pygmy Spider Mastermind tingle, but you cannot lead an army. Fong Dao knows that I shall put Garozella towards where she is best utilized.”

“So that’s it,” I said, looking to Fong Dao. “Roza’s fate is the one she was born into – slavery.”

Roza looked up at me for a moment with sad eyes, and I squeezed her warm hand.

“She does eat entire civilizations,” Byron said with contempt. “Should anyone really care how she feels?”

Garozella frowned, but bowed her head.

“I thought you nominally wanted someone who could make her happy,” I said to Fong Dao.

Fong Dao looked at Garozella sadly. “I must think also of the universe, and of Roza’s survival. If she continues eating indiscriminately, an alliance of powerful races will form, and will destroy her. She was designed to be a controlled weapon. That is her place in the universe. The only man who can make her happy is you. If you die, it is time to seek another level of survival.”

“Then it is clear that I must defeat all comers in the arena,” I said.

“Must you? Or shall you have your degenerate man-servant poison me?” Byron asked.

“I had nothing to do with any poisoning.”

“Technically true, since it was done by your catspaw,” Byron said. “That fat Talarian is dead. There should be consequences for this act.”

Fong Dao looked at Byron intently. “Oh?” He asked. “And what consequences should there be?”

Byron smiled. “The rules call for execution.”

“I will kill everyone here,” Roza said quietly. “I allow this ridiculous farce only to a point.”

This was no idle threat. Suddenly I became very, very clear of how much of Roza was in this room. Olog-a, Spiker Spiders, worker ants. Detheka was staring with narrowed eyes at Byron. I saw her claws. She was a mere second away from disemboweling him, and the other forms were ready to slaughter everyone here.

This was all in danger of becoming breach. I suddenly felt my heart racing.

“Calm yourself, monster,” Byron said, oblivious to his danger. “The rules of the Kumite are quite clear.”

“Eh? The rules are as convoluted as anything can be. Remember that you tried to kill him, once,” Fong Dao said.

“But I failed,” Byron replied. “There is a body in this very hall, and you cannot ignore it. I propose that he be punished…” he paused, savoring his words. “You gave him a special exemption, so take it away. Take away his Eva suit.”

I did my best not to visibly recoil at the suggestion.

Fong Dao stared forward a moment. “I agree,” he said sadly.

Garozella’s eyes widened in horror.

“In my defense, I was not involved in any plot,” I said, feeling much the same dread.

“I suspect that is true, but there must be consequences for trying to poison the contestants,” Fong Dao said. “And the law of the Kumite is clear – you must be punished.”

Garozella began to visibly fret. She looked about the room, and I saw Detheka had the same look of distress. They all did. Everywhere. She looked at Byron. I saw the very, very simple calculus of the HiveMind in her eyes.

Fong Dao saw it, too. He stood, grabbing up his staff.

“Roza, No!”

Before anyone could stand, about fifty Olog-a entered the room armed with plasma cannons. Tables overturned, and people began to prepare to fight. These men were great warriors, but the stream of heavily armed Olog-a only grew, and the outcome was obvious. Roza was planning to massacre everyone, take me, and run from the wrath of Fong Dao and his master.

Detheka made a beeline straight for Byron, raising her claws as she snarled.

I was faced with a choice. I could allow Roza to slaughter everyone, to flee with her as a fugitive, and embark upon a life of consumption and endless mayhem. There was some appeal to this – the Kumite was brutal, and Roza was not a moral or immoral being – she was only doing what she was created to do, with the impersonal nature of a hungry wolf that sees a meal. But those meals were often innocent civilizations. I couldn’t let her embark on a campaign of endless destruction, in no small part because that campaign would end, eventually, and it would end with her own elimination.

Detheka moved to impale Byron through the stomach. He had just enough time to flinch, and pull away from her sharpened claws, but I put myself before him. Detheka’s eyes widened, and she stopped, turning aside her own claw.

“No!” I said in a commanding voice. Everyone, everywhere, stopped. The Olog-a stared over at me in confusion.

“Eugene!” Garozella cried out. “This is not a good time to be a gallant male!”

“You will not survive,” I said. “If you do this and go rogue, you will incur the wrath of The Great Mass.”

“But…” she stammered. “You won’t have your suit…you…you won’t…”

I went forward, and seized her hands in my own. They were soft, and slender, and they trembled.

“Have faith in me,” I said.

Garozella stared at me, a mixture of fury and fear on her face. Detheka stared at Byron, and I could tell that she wanted, more than anything, to slaughter him.

“Oh, Eugene…”

Tears streamed from her eyes, and she ran from the room. The Olog-a lowered their weapons, and filed somberly out as well. Detheka heaved a great sigh, and withdrew to the doorway of the banquet hall.

I turned to Byron.

“You have your wish, coward,” I said.

Byron reddened. “Coward?! I ought to…”

“You ought to shut up, and retire for the night,” Fong Dao growled. “You have caused enough trouble.”

The banquet hall emptied. Detheka waited, shoulders slumped, near the doorway. I felt much the same. With a heavy heart I observed her. Poor Roza, I thought. She was very afraid, now. So was I.

I took a deep breath. “No suit,” I said to myself.

“You showed great bravery,” Fong Dao said, hearing my words. He stood upon the dais, looking at me with admiration.

“I am required to, due to your foolishness,” I snapped.

Fong Dao sighed. He seemed very, very tired. “I am bound by the law…”

“You have great latitude, don’t deny it,” I said. I touched my brow. “I have foreseen paths where you do not follow the law.”

Fong Dao narrowed his eyes wordlessly, beckoning me to continue speaking.

“There is no bad end, not for us, if you let me fight in a suit. You desire this,” I added. “You know I had nothing to do with the poisoning…”

“Of course, but I was considering this all the same. Byron’s complaint just gave me a good pretext.”

“Then, you are my enemy all along?”

“No, I am not,” Fong Dao said very carefully. “I do not wish Roza’s mate to be a weak man, and I do not wish you to be a weak man.”

“A weak ma-…Look how far I have come! Have I not proved myself by dispatching twenty warriors? We settled all of this.”

“You said that you are a survivor, and I accepted that, at first. But as I have watched you fight, and overcome, it is clear to me that there is no risk in it for you. Roza has cleared away the obstacles. Drualt negotiates to remove your threats. Roza terrorizes your enemies. They plot to poison them. And you are trained, armed, and armored. You can surmount all things easily, by forethought and planning. This is not enough. Byron is the final test. You must fight him.”

“And Byron’s advantages, how are they fair? We are not on an equal footing. Without my Eva suit, I stand no chance against him. You condemn me to my death.”

“Yes!” Fong Dao said, leaning in closely. “Yes, I have. A callous act, indeed, but a truly great man overcomes the unfair. He conquers his own fears, and surpasses himself. You…you must be that man, for Roza.”

“Roza doesn’t care about any of that,” I said.

“Perhaps not, but she needs it. You are untested in the fire, the moment of greatest uncertainty. The walk across a tight rope with no net. You, as a survivor, have always done the prudent move: avoid the fire, avoid the tightrope with no net. But now, now you must walk through the Valley of Death, itself.”

“I do not wish to contemplate my death,” I said. “Not for my sake, but Roza’s. I can’t bear the thought of her with Byron…”

“Then let it fuel you,” Fong Dao said. “Your choices are an impossible victory, or an intolerable defeat. This is the choice of Men, and blessed are those who get the opportunity to test their mettle so.”

“I do not feel blessed,” I said bitterly.

“You told Roza to have faith in you,” Fong Dao said. “I have faith in you.”

“It isn’t just Byron,” I said. “What about the others?”

“Doubtless Roza has some plan concocted to aid you, and Drualt as well. But remember: the fight against Byron is down to you, alone.”

“That isn’t a comfort.”

“It is not meant to be. And yet, I hope that one day, you consider it the greatest gift that I have ever given.”

“As to that, I’ll make no promises. I know that you prefer Byron to me.”

“You are wrong there, Eugene. You are the better choice for Roza, but you are a sword being forged. It remains to be seen if you will shatter when quenched. I like Byron, for he has noble qualities, but I still wish for him to lose. But he will fight to the death,” Fong Dao said. “To me, he is a friend that I wish to see fail. To you, he is an obstacle that must be overcome. He serves us both in his way.”

Fong Dao motioned to Detheka.

“Sleep, tonight,” Fong Dao said. He took a deep breath. “There may be help that can be provided, beyond the Eva suit.”

“What help?”

Fong Dao bowed his head. “I suspect tonight, Roza and Drualt will give you the Water of Life. Beyond that…I have much to think about.”

“I thought you said everything was too easy for me,” I said.

“Nothing that is coming shall be easy,” Fong Dao said. “I want to stress that. But you can still win.”

She snatched me in her claws, and carried me from the banquet hall quietly.

The whole way back, we said nothing, and I was lost in my own thoughts. Then, I heard a sobbing.

A Slug-A-Hug had stowed away on Detheka’s back, perhaps preparing to surprise me after the dinner. I saw her curled into a ball, trembling as sobs wracked her whole body. I felt my heart break.

Tenderly, I reached out and took her in my hand. The little form couldn’t bear the sadness. The fear. She curled in, refusing to look at me.

“Roza…” I whispered. “Roza…”

Slowly, Roza’s blue eyes, so full of tears, turned to face me. I stared at her, summoning up every ounce of courage and resolve.

“I’m going to kill Byron,” I whispered. “Not just kill him. I shall bury him.”

In that moment, Roza blinked at me, and took a deep breath. It was the same as the moment in the methane rainstorm. She trusted me. All her worry seemed to melt away. She hugged me tightly around the hand. Beneath me, Detheka rumbled.

“Slugga…”

“Rawn Rawn…”

“Yes,” I said. “I swear it. Bring on the Water of Life.”

Back to Main Page

7 thoughts on “Husband to the Swarm – Fight to Survive!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: