Cattin' Around Chapter 14
Target: Richelieu Factor

(Author’s Note: The idea for Doctors Adams and Stevens comes from a book I read about a decade ago called Engines of Creations.  It’s about how nano-technology will change the world.)

   It had been one hell of a couple years since that mission in Alaska.  Emory and I managed to grab some "us" time between missions but we were both still way too busy to be able settle down together.  Mom was starting to make certain noises about grandchildren even though Wynn was still underfoot.  Actually, according to dad, he'd already started breaking hearts not only where they were living in Uppsala but in Alfheim as well.  There was some interesting rumors also floating around among the other magecats, and I was starting to worry for my little brother.

   About two years before the turn of the millennium, Doctor Green dropped a bombshell on the transhuman community. She really was the top in her field when it came to transhuman genetics, physiology, and psychology, and when she had something to say, people listened- except for this time.  What she had to say was at least quickly swept under the rug if not outright suppressed in some areas.  It did cause a fundamental shift in the UN's approach to transhumans that would have repercussions for half a century.   

   It would seem that she had found scientific evidence to back up what many of us were already suspecting.  The genetics for increased strength and durability- what are colloquially known as "bricks" or "tanks" or "powerhouses" line up with the same genetics for same sex attraction in males at a rate approaching eight-five percent.    That kind of information would cause a fundamental shift in how many people in the West saw masculinity.  Later it would be confirmed that the same applied to energy manipulators but to a lesser extent.

   Also it was at this time that a little boy of my acquaintance made it clear that he was not quite a little boy any more.  He'd grown into a handsome young man, evidently gotten a boyfriend, and stopped drawing pictures of Japanese mecha for his mom's refrigerator and instead had actually built a suit of it.  Now, Kevin Murphy and his boyfriedn Jake Lee had joined those who'd chosen to step up and make the safety of those who can't defend themselves their own personal responsibility.

  His debut mission was saving Commander Heller's ass when he got knocked out cold by Russian Winter while standing in for Rainbow Warrior on Paraforce 1.  Actually most of the team got neutralized by that particular mad Russian jotun.  Kevin stepped in and stopped the frost giant from destroying a building and fought off his pet cold-drake, Rus.  (See file: Summer Snow).  

   The best part about it was his mom got to see him action up close without realizing it was her son.  They were living in New York at the time and her company M-7 was starting to really be successful, but she was still in the field on big missions.  She was right there in the thick of it when he showed up and kicked major jotun butt.

   Doctor Green opened another of her schools. She already had the Pacifica School out in California- that's the one Mom and Dad considered sending me to- and it was turning out some fine transhumans.  I found out through General Presley that the rumor about UNIPACT Prime trying to kidnap some of those kids was true.  Evidently half of a class went rogue to rescue the other half, and left a UN base in the Saudi Desert in flames; and did it under the noses of British tank division. (See file: A Gathering of Gatherings)

   This new school was based out of England and was evidently designed to train students who were "politically sensitive".  There were only three of them and they were all descendants of Strikeforce Liberty from World War Two.  One of them was my Aunt Beatrice's- you know the magecat, Tigress- son. That made him my cousin.  He was a handsome young man with blond hair and the bluest eye's I'd ever seen.  According to the file General Presley had on him, he put all the rest of us to shame in the strength department.   He took the codename Cobalt-Blue.  Fighting alongside him were Phantasia, a really hot blonde psi that had a reputation for doing what it took to save lives.  She was also the Duchess Orkney and the third cousins of the Heir Apparent  to the British Throne.  The third was a cyber-psi named Cyberstar who had a reputation for being mean and vicious in a fight.   They called themselves Liberty's Legacy.

   At the turn of the millennium Paraforce 1 dropped a bombshell on everyone.  Moonwind, the shrinking winged scientist retired from the team in protest of the fact that the government was trying to confiscate the patents he'd developed while a member of the team. Evidently there was a clause in his contract that let him keep his patents, but the current administration was trying to renegotiate it.  It was a big mess and put the team in an uproar, and he left the team before the change of administrations.  The quiet little guy evidently could put up quite a fight when he wanted to.  (See file: A Gathering of Gatherings)

   Then something happened that sent me into a tail-spin. Actually it almost destroyed poor Gates. I was exactly the wrong person to send in to deal with it, but I was the person the General sent.   In early August Gates woke up to a screaming from Kevin's bedroom.  When she got there, she found a very frightened Jake Lee freaking over the fact that he'd awakened to find Kevin dead in the other bed- actually, they'd been sharing a bed, but neither Gates nor I knew that at the time.  Kevin had a six foot polymdium steel spike driven through the top of his head and down his spinal column.

   I was the third person Gates called, the first being the police, and the second was Jake's parents.  I literally left Alec's bed to charter a flight to New York.  When I got there and finally got Gate's calmed down, we started hunting.  It took us a week before we found out who was responsible: Richelieu Factor.  From there we sort of went berserk.  I'll be the first to admit too: I was the sane one.

   By late August we'd taken out about a dozen of Richelieu Factor's top assassins.  Most of them died from a .50 caliber round through the skull, a snapped neck or the occasional disembowelment.  Now don't get all offended on me.  I've never made any bones about the fact that I can, will, and have killed in the line of duty.  This was just a good warm up for what was going to happen in a few years when the UN started trying to kill or kidnap all of us.  By mid September we were playing havoc with their forces and they were seriously on the run.

   Evidently we got somebody's attention in Washington, because in the middle of tracking down an assassin who'd been assigned to kill two young scientists, Emory showed up.  We were staking out the apartment that the two men shared in San Medilla, California. It was a sleepy little town somewhere between Santa Barbara and San Diego.  Evidently the targets were a couple of wunderkinds like Kevin and were making all kinds of splashes in the bio-technical and theoretical physics fields.   Somebody had hired Richelieu Factor to make sure they didn't complete their latest projects, and the Factor had sent one of their top agents, one with which both Gates and I were itching for a rematch: Serpenterra.

   We were in a little motel in a rundown area of town called Grant City.  It was an area that looked liked it could use some serious renovations and not the kind of place you'd expect two scientists to live.  I later found out that the place they were staying had more of a sentimental value to them than anything else.  It had been a safe haven for them when they'd been on the run as kids and they'd never left it.

   I'd always wondered what a meeting between Emory and Gates would be like.  Of all my lovers, and there were quite a few, only Gates had anything close to the same kind of connections to my heart that Emory did.  And to be honest, I think a lot of that came in through Kevin.  The idea that someone had slipped into a fifteen year old kid's bedroom and killed him in his sleep just hit me in all the wrong places.  Especially since I knew and liked the kid.

   My mage senses told me Emory was coming long before the teleport into the hotel room was complete.   Without looking up from the window where I was watching a dark clad form creep across the rooftop of the building where our scientists lived I said, "She's one of the good guys, Gates."

   I heard the sound of the hammer of Gates' LAR Grizzly Mark V being eased back into place followed by Emory's voice, "General Presley is concerned that you're stirring up the rats' nests."

   "And what's your concern?" I asked as I watched the figure on the far roof begin to pick the double padlocks on the door leading downstairs.

   "That there's a nest of Kheltian soul-breed making their way up the outside of this building now," she said.  

   "What?" Gates asked.

   "Somehow the Kheltians have become involved," Emory asked.

   "Trey never told me exactly who or what the Kheltians are," Gates told her.

   "They are a degenerate race who claim to be descended from intelligent raptor-like dinosaurs.  According to legend and lore, they were partially responsible for the fall of the Atlantean Empire," Emory told her.

   "Looks like we've got a sneak thief on the other building," I said as the second lock fell away from the door where our mysterious figure was working.  "Do we deal with the Kheltians or do we take out the thief first?  They could be a distraction to keep us from the assassin assigned to kill Doctors Adams and Stevens."

   "We do both," Emory said fiercely.  "I'm not here to bust your chops for taking out a bunch of assassins.  I'm here to lend a hand, and the bureaucracy be damned.  It's about damn time someone put Richelieu Factor in their place."

   Suddenly I could detect a very strong skunk-like odor.  I was reminded of the smell around my dad's pond during the cottonmouth mating season when I was growing up.  I looked up and said, "Company's here."

   Before either woman could respond, my view out the window was suddenly obscured by the form of a giant lizard like creature scaling past on its way to the roof.  I turned and looked at Emory and asked, "What was that all about?"

   "I don't know," she said. "I thought they were homing in on you two."

   "Let's get to the roof," I replied heading toward the door.

   Murphy looked out the window and asked, "What about the guy picking the lock across the street?"

   "You stop him, we'll deal with the Kheltians," I told her.

   She looked over at Emory and I could see that something was passing between the two women, something I could not understand.  She nodded to the petite blonde and followed us up.

   As we burst out onto the roof and skidded to a halt, an old foe was awaiting us.  The tall, reptilian form of Serpenterra was giving orders to the Kheltians.   I smiled and realized that I'd fought this snake woman twice in the past, once alongside each of these two women.  I looked over at Gates and said, "Gates you go after your first target; Emory you take the Kheltians.  Serpenterra is mine."  Without waiting for a confirmation, I roared into the night and charged toward my quarry.

   "Is he always like this?" Gates asked Emory.

   "You wouldn't believe," Emory told her.  "It's part of his charm."

   I didn't catch the rest of the conversation because I bowled past two Kheltian warriors who were stunned by my roar- and yes a tiger's roar CAN stun its prey- and hit her with a shoulder-block amidships.

   We went flying through the three and half foot wall that surrounded the roof top and flew out over the street and landed in small park across the way.    I didn't let go and I shifted into my normal form instead of my battle form- I didn't want to have to maneuver around the trees in the park.  It was best to keep this fight at normal size.  Also, I'd already made enough noise with that roar, there was no use in waking up the other half of the neighborhood- the fat lot of good that thought did.  As we hit the ground, I drove my shoulder into her midsection and then rolled off, satisfied with the loud "whoof" she made as the impact forced the air from her lungs.

   Rolling to my feet and facing her, I grinned to myself.  So far, none of the assassins we'd fought had put up much of a fight. This was going to give me a chance to work off some of the anger I was feeling.  The whole night had a red tinge to it- partly from the reds and golds of the maples in the park and partly from the beast rising in my soul.  To my left the streetlights made neat little glowing points in a rising fall fog coming off the Pacific Ocean.  
   She came to her feet and lashed her tail behind her angrily, stirring up the grass and leaves.  She hissed at me and I could see her deploy her fangs.  I'd read her file and knew those things could inject a venom that was a hundred times more powerful than a Taipan.  

I flicked my wrist down and felt the charm on my bracelet drop into my hand.  “Vaxa!”  I snarled and felt Isstonn grow in my hand.   

She took one look at the blade and I saw just a bit of fear in her eyes. We’d fought before, and she didn’t like the cold it generated.  And of course the last time we’d fought, I’d been blinded by one of Neutron’s energy blasts to my eyes, so I wasn’t fighting at my best.  This time we were fighting on more equal terms.

Suddenly, the ground under my feet began to tremble.  I wasn’t about to be caught in another block of rock.  I leapt at her -sword ready.  Last time I saw her, she was working with a rogue weretiger rapist who was about to sacrifice a baby to summon dark forces into the body of a friend.  It was Emory who faced off with her then- with her mage gift at half power no less.  I had also had the tiger literally ripped into the forefront of my soul by the Dark Mother to do her bidding.  This time it was just going to be claw to claw, fang to fang, sword to body.  Nobody else was going to interfere- I thought.

As I came down in front of her I took a powerful two hand swing at her midsection.  She was as fast as a snake and lashed out with her own claws.  I felt them rip across my chest and sting as they bit into my flesh. That answered a very important question:  She was a nocturnal- a simple set of transhuman claws would not have penetrated.  To quote Ricardo Maltalban from my all time favorite movie: “So much the better.”

I spun, and saw her stop to concentrate on something. Back! a small voice in the back of my head screamed.  Without thinking, I obeyed and danced backwards to watch a geyser of hot steam suddenly shoot up from where I would have been if I’d charged.  She was definitely living up to that second r in her name.

Illustration 1
With a smile I began to slash at the air and  to sing.  As the blade cut the air, the runestave formed between us:  
Þat kann ek it þriðja
ef mér verðr þörf mikil
hapts við mína heiptmögu
eggjar ek deyfi
minna andskota
bítat þeim vápn né velir

Þat kann ek it níunda
ef mik nauðr um stendr
at bjarga fari mínu á floti
vind ek kyrri
vági á
ok svæfik allan sæ”

I watched as the runestave began to glow between us.  It was supposed to block her ability to manipulate the earth.  As soon as it went off, I knew it hadn’t worked. There’s a certain feeling when you use a spell if it’s successful.  There’s also a feeling you get when a spell is broken- usually a very painful backlash of power.  That’s why sorcery and blood magic is so tempting; sorcery uses none of the caster’s own magic, and if it is broken, the back-lash is taken by person whose blood was spilled to cast the spell.  But there is an entirely different feeling when a spell just doesn’t work.  It sort of feels like swinging at fastball and getting nothing but air.

She grinned at me and growled at me.  “What’s wrong magecat?  Discover something doesn’t work with me?”  She crouched as if to leap.

I just grinned and showed my own fangs.  “It’s okay,” I replied.  “I can just cut off your head and hang it on a post somewhere.”

My answer seem to startle her because she didn’t come out of the crouch into the expected leap.  Instead she tilted her head at me sideways, the fin on top of her head collapsed back against her body and then opened again.  “I thought you were one of the good guys?”

“I’m a Northman, and a follower of the Gods of the Aesir and Vanir.  I do what’s necessary to fulfill My Lady’s commission. You’ve become too great a threat to allow to live alongside civilized human beings,” I told her as we danced around each other looking for an opening.  It slowly became clear that this woman, this creature was a seasoned warrior.

She smiled and nodded her head, “Then maybe this will be a challenge after all.”

“I’ve already beaten you twice,” I said.

“You had help those times,” she countered as we stalked each other in a circle looking for an opening.  I had a healthy respect for those fangs.  She had enough magic to her that she could penetrate my skin.  Whether or not her poison would effect me was still up for grabs.  So far, few were capable of it, but there was no sense in taking a chance.

A lightning stroke from the clear hot night onto the building in the background told me that Emory was dealing with the Kheltians.  I had a good idea about what was going on up there. She didn’t.  I watched as her eyes darted out over my shoulders.  I acted.  I stepped in with a lunge that was second nature to me.  In the last minute she saw the danger and reacted.  Suddenly the ground swallowed her up as she sank into the turf. But my stroke wasn’t completely a miss.  Instead of catching her chest, I felt it hit her skull and then slide back long the base of the spines of her fin before finally penetrating that membrane.  As she fell into the earth, Istonn sliced the fin just behind the second spine from the base of her skull all the way upward and out.  I could see the frost build up on her head.  Talk about brain freeze!

Spinning around, I looked for wherever she might resurface.  I listened to the night.  In the distance I could hear the hissing sound of the Kheltian language as they battled Avalon.  More closely I could hear the sounds of crickets and katydids as they filled the night air with their angry buzzing calls. It was just a small sound- probably a root of the nearby maple tree snapping as she passed through the ground.  I spun in time to see her come bursting out of the earth at me, fangs deployed.   

I reacted instantly. I sidestepped and swung low at her legs.  She twisted in mid-air and lashed out at me with her thick tail.   I missed her leg but felt the tip of my blade slice into the tail along its length imparting its frost.  She hit me like a Buick, picking me up and slinging me across the park and into one of the smaller maple trees. It snapped under my weight.

I rolled backwards and came up on feet, in the best tradition of a certain starship captain.  I could see where I’d cut her, and the ice was forming on her tail.  I could also see where my blade had completely disconnected the fin on her head between the first and second spines.  The left side of her face was covered in frost, and the skin was already dying.   Too bad it didn’t penetrate her skull.

I could feel myself beginning to bruise from the force of her blow.  I hadn’t been hit like that since Krieger beat me to a pulp in my own backyard.   Which by the way, at the time I firmly planned on a rematch.  My ears were still ringing from the force of her attack.  I shook my head and smiled.  “At this rate, we could be at this all night,” I said.  “It’s been a while since I’ve had a good fight.  Most of you assassin types are deadly when you get the drop on somebody, but go down too fast in a straight up fight.”

Again, she stopped and gave me that weird head turn.  I was beginning to think that it was something cultural, which meant that might be more of her out there.   My mage senses suddenly flared.  Someone had just used a major spell in the area, and it didn’t have Emory’s signature to it.   I looked around to find out who. I caught the scent of something behind me, the same skunk like scent as before.  

I leaped straight up as a nasty eldrich bolt passed through the space I’d occupied less than a second before.   The tree on the other side of the park it struck withered and died before I even hit the ground and crouched low.

What I saw made my blood run cold.  Kheltians weren’t known for their use of magic.  Most any of them that had anything close to magic were the soul stalkers, a subspecies that could suck the life right of an opponent.  They were supposedly barely intelligent and had to have a handler.  But the one I saw now was bigger than a regular soul stalker and had a definite intelligence to him.   

He looked like a bipedal wingless dragon as he stalked toward me, his hands crackling with eldrich energy.  “It’s about time you showed up Bob. What took you so long?”    Serpenterra asked.

“The unexpected arrival of another time-traveler,” the Kheltian mage said.  Looking at me, he asked, ‘You’re Runeclaw, Robin Greenbough?”

I nodded and my eyes darting back and forth between him and Serpenterra.  “I”m Runeclaw,” I answered.  “You’re name is Bob?” I asked incredulously.

He smiled with a toothy mouthful of fangs and said, “I know. Sort of disappointng isn’t it.  One would expect a mage born of Imperial Line of Hesperia to have more grandiose sounding name.  Something like Elevarth, or even Dragonisti, would be more regal, more imposing.  But Bob it its.  My mother was not very immaginative, and I was the runt of the litter.   She named me Bob because my head was so big that it constantly bobbed up and down when I was just a hatchling.”  He sighed and I watched the energy disappear from his hands.  He continued, “Believe it or not, it’s an honor to meet you,” he said.  Then turning to Serpenterra, he said. “This is a fight you cannot win, Serpenterra.  You will not kill him this night, even with my aid.”

“What are you talking about?” she demanded.  “There are two of us, now.  He’s a single mammal!”

“I know his fate, Serpenterra.  It is not to die this night,”  Bob the Kheltian mage said.

Suddenly the night air was lit up by a flare from Avalon.  I glanced up to see her descending from the clear night sky.  In the distance, I could see Murphy running toward us at full speed with that deck gun she calls a pistol out and ready.  “That’s the son of a bitch that shot those boys!”

The Grizzly barked twice, the sound echoing through the night like a cannon.  I watched the two rounds slam into Bob’s chest.  Even at several hundred pounds and armored with thick scales, I could see where they penetrated the thick hide.  I knew Murphy was using Teflon coated rounds.  

I moved in to finish him off, with Isstonn but with a wave of his hand, he was gone.  Only his words echoed in the night air.  “It’s time to leave Serpenterra.  Our mission here has failed.”

I turned to see her nod, and she disappeared into the earth.  One of these days I was going to finish a fight with that bitch one way or another.  Emory landed and asked, “What the hell just happened?”

“That overgrown lizard showed up and shot both the scientists with some kind of energy bolt.  They were both dying on me when the guy from the roof showed up and injected them with some kind of miracle drug.  The big holes in their chests began to heal almost immediately,” Gates said.

“You just left them with him?” I asked incredulously.

“He told me that the mage was after you!  That you were in danger,” Murphy replied.

“We were talking.  He didn’t want to fight me, he even told Serpenterra that she couldn’t win,” I told her.

“Looks like she got a few good licks in,” Emory said stepping up and running a finger down the deep gashes across my chest left by her claws.”

“She’s a nocturnal,” I said.  “Otherwise they’d have healed by now.”

Emory nodded and said, “We’d better go and check on your scientists.”

I nodded and headed toward the building in the distance.  I also wondered why the police weren’t showing up. We’d made enough noise to wake the dead.   It didn’t take us long to get to the top floor where the two scientist were up and around and talking to a third man.  

Okay, if these boys were scientist, then somebody had rolled Billy Cranston, Lucas Wolenczak, and Wesley Crusher into one kid and then divided him in half. They couldn’t have been out of their teens yet and both were looking at their bare chests in amazement.  Another dark-headed man in his early twenties was talking to them.  “You have to be careful. The colony uses the energy released through breaking molecular bonds to do what you want them to do.  That causes heat to build up inside you as a waste product.  If you keep using them at that point you can kill yourself and the colony, unless you find a way to get rid of the heat.”

“Exactly what are you talking about?” I demanded from the door.

The tall dark-haired man that looked like he had a considerable amount of Amerind in him, smiled at me.  His face lit as if he knew me.  “Lor... Commander Greenbough.  Good, someone I can trust.”

“You can trust?” I asked.  “Who the hell are you and why were you breaking into this building?”

“To save Doctors Adams and Stevens,” he said.  “My name is Delsin Storm.  You don’t know me- yet.  I’m from the future.”

“The future?” I asked incredulously.

He smiled and said, “My parents said you’d be hard to convince.”

“Your parents?” I asked.  

He shook his head and said, “You haven’t met them yet.  You will in a few years.  You don’t know it, but you’re going to be very instrumental in training the next generation of transhumans in the world.”

“Right,” Emory said next to me.

“Don’t laugh.  In case you haven’t noticed, Trey has a way about him that young people are naturally drawn to,” Gates said.  “Especially young men.”

Delsin laughed and said, “You can say that again.”

“We can vouch for the fact that he saved us Runeclaw,” one of the boys finally said.  I could hear a sense of awe in his voice.  At the time I thought it was because they’d just almost died and this Delsin guy had saved them.  “We were both dying.  We literally had holes in our chests the size of a basketball when Delsin showed up and injected us with a nanite colony.”

“Nanite?” I asked.

“Microscopic robots designed to heal them, change their bodies, and keep them alive until the information programmed into them will be needed to save two galactic civilizations from the Kheltians in the far future,” Delsin said.  “Until then, they’re going to need someone to watch over them.”  He looked over at Gates and said, “That’s where you come in.”

“What makes you think that I want to take care of a couple of superpowered whiz kids barely out of short pants?” she asked snarkily.

Delsin gave her a long look and said, “Because for me, you’ve already done it.  Because you’re going to keep doing it all your life.  It’s who you are.  It’s what you are. This attack is going to cost them their jobs with UCSM.  Trust me, you can put them work at M-7 and all three of you become wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice.”

I watched as Murphy considered what he said.  “Exactly what kind of work do you boys do?” she asked.

The two young men looked at each other.  “We’ve been studying how technology can interface with both baseline humans and transhumans.”

“Like Doctor Wells research in the seventies?” she asked.  I was surprised that she knew about that.  It was highly classified and had only ever been attempted on seven people.  Only two of them were ever very effective agents.  I’d recently met the first one.  He was okay for an Air Force colonel.

The boys looked at each other and I could see where something was passing between them.  Finally, they nodded and one of them said, “It’s only related to his research in a round about way. What we are doing is as far beyond Wells’ work as neuro-surgery is beyond a band aid.”

I could see the wheels turning in Murphy’s head.  Finally, she pulled out a cell phone to make a call and stepped out in the hall.  I chose not to eavesdrop.  She was still hurting over Kevin’s death. Hell, I was still hurting over it and wanted to kill some more agents from Richelieu Factor.    I’d gotten wound up in the fight with Serpenterra and the adrenaline was still surging through my body.

Delsin looked at me and said, “There’s more Mr. Greenbough.”

“What” I asked.

“You remember the vote in the UN that caused the US to divest itself of all military personnel?” he asked.

I nodded my head. That was the reason I was working with the DNA now and not still an officer in the Navy.   Nobody could figure out why neither the US, Britain, China, nor Russia vetoed it.  “Yeah, what of it?” I asked.

“They used telepaths to make sure the vote went the way they wanted it to. Those telepaths are being held against their will in Romania.  You need to get them out and prove to the world that the vote was rigged,” he said.  “I’ll give you the location.”

“I’ll have to get it approved through General Presley,” I told him.  

“I know,” he said handing me a CD.  “You’ll need this information.  Take care of this disk, you have no idea how much trouble we had finding the right format.  You’ll have another job to do first, but don’t forget about this one.”       I gave him a questioning look, but he just shook his head. “I’m not saying what it is.  But you are going to have your hands full very soon.”

“Exactly what do you know?” I asked.

“A great deal sir, but I can’t tell you right now,” he replied.

I turned to Emory and she shook he head.  “I can’t read him without battering down his shields.”  She smiled and added, “And starting a psychic battle with him wouldn’t be a good idea right now.”

I nodded and asked, “What about those two?”

She smiled and sent telepathically, ~Trey, sometimes you are so dense it’s not funny.  They’re awed by meeting you.  Not by meeting Murphy or me, but by you. Of course some of the things they are wondering are kind of funny.  You really do need to find something to wear other than that loincloth.  There are points where it leaves nothing to the imagination.~

I felt myself blushing at the thought, but got my mind back on business.  “Okay, we can’t leave them here, Bob the mage might come back and try to finish the job.”

Delsin shook his head and said, “He won’t be back.  His mission failed.  His job was to recover the nanite colonies.  They’ve been implanted where they belong.   In the distant future the data they contain will be used to protect trillions of people, and to that end they will keep these two alive.”

“You mean we’re immortal now?” one of the boys asked.

“Pretty much,” Delsin said.  “But don’t go and get any ideas. Immortality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Just ask my parents.  After a while it gets boring.”

“Exactly who are your parents?” I asked.

He shook his head and said, “Uh uh.  Not gonna tell.  You’ll know them when you see them.  You’ll teach both of them what it means to be a hero.”  

“Okay, I’ve got a retrieval team coming to get you boys.” Murphy said coming back into the room.  “If you want it, you’ve got a job with M-7.  We’ve even got labs for you to do all the research you want.  You get substantial royalties for whatever you come up with and I get first shot at manufacturing it.  That sound fair?”

“Define substantial,” one of the boys said.  I was impressed.

“Ten percent of net profit,” she said.

The second one shook his head and said, “Ten percent of gross profit, or twenty percent of net.”

“Fifteen of net,” Murphy argued back.

The two boys looked at each other and nodded.  “Agreed,” one of them said.

“Welcome to M-7, Doctors Adams and Stevens.  Get your stuff,” she said with a wry smile.  “Cassidy will be here within the hour to pick you up and make sure you get to our Atlanta headquarters without any issues.  After that, we’ll work on getting the rest of your belongings shipped back east.”

    And so we waited and we talked.  Turns out the boys really were whiz kids and had finished their doctorates before they were fifteen.  They had also been kicked out of their homes for being gay, and had lived on the streets for several months.  They’d just gamed the system, not hard to do when your IQ started with two and you could fake documents fairly easily.  Most schools were willing to not look too closely at those documents and certificates as long as they got those kinds of scores.

By the time we’d seen them off with Murphy’s personal assistant, Cassidy it was well past midnight.  I looked over at that flea bitten motel where we’d been staying and shuddered.  I then turned to the two women with me, both of which were eyeing me and each other suspiciously and said, “I don’t know about you ladies, but I am not going back there.  There’s nothing there I need and I want a comfortable bed without insect company.”

Murphy raised an eye and said, “Are you implying you’ll have another kind of company?”

I shrugged and replied, “Not implying anything. Either or both of you are welcome to join me.”  I know, it was gutsy.  Emory could fry my brain and Murphy could almost match me in strength.  But I was tired, I was stoked from the action and frustrated because the fight ended before I was ready.  And I’ll be honest with myself.  I was horny. I’d been sharing Gate’s bed now for over three weeks, but there had been no sex involved; just holding, just cuddling, and just comforting. She was a friend, yes a friend with benefits, but a friend first, and she needed that from me.  If she came to my bed tonight, I was making it clear that there would be more than just cuddling.  “It’s up to you two.”

To my surprise, Gates looked at Emory and said, “I could go for a good piece of tail right now.  How about you?”  She then ran an arm through Emory’s.

“Surf and turf.  How lovely,” Emory replied and patted Gates’ arm in an unspoken message that she really wanted to play tonight.  The two began to walk off.  Emory turned her head to face me and asked, “You coming?”

An hour later we were settling into one of the most expensive hotels in the city.  I was tired of chep no-tells,  I was tired of fast food, and I was tired of being cramped.  I didn’t care what it cost.  The investments I’d made over the years had been very good and I wasn’t hurting for money.  It was time I treated myself and the two most important women in my life- short of Mom that is, but you guys know how it goes with Momma- to some of the finer things.

Now I’ve been involved in a few menage a trois before, but all of them have always been with the genders weighted in the other direction.  There was that liaison with Onyx and Crimson back in Alaska, and of course I still hooked up with Tommy and Tanya regularly.  They were married now, and he was a Brigadier General in the Marine Corps but they still liked to play.   

I went directly to the rather large bathroom and started the hot water in the huge spa-style garden tub.  I wanted a bath and a soak first. I stank and I knew it.  As I stripped and dropped the loincloth on the floor, I thought about Emory had said.  Maybe it was time I went for something a little less revealing.   I shuddered at the thought of spandex though.  Maybe I could talk to Murphy about alternatives.  Her company was turning out some pretty interesting combat gear.

A low whistle came from the door as I bent over to test the bath water.  Emory and Gates were standing there both buck naked and bare-assed.  They were a dichotomy of sizes. Emory doesn’t even clear five feet, and is built like a sylph with her long blonde hair and fine lines. Murphy on the other hand is bigger than I am, towering over me by a good six inches and I’m six two.  She’s built like an Amazon with strong muscular lines and flaming red hair.  Emory barely reached the top of Gates’ enormous breasts.  Both had neatly trimmed pubes, Murphy’s in a fiery red strip just above her sex, and Emory in a neat blonde triangle.  “Hmm, the turf looks good,” Emory said.

The two of them standing there was enough to wake the dead and I was far from dead.  I smiled and slid into the water feeling my dick grow hard.  “Surf is just what this little red cat ordered,” I replied.

“Trey Greenbough, there are a lot of words to describe you, but little isn’t one of them,” Gates said coming into the bathroom.  Turning back to Emory she asked, “What say we wash each other’s backs?”

Emory smiled and as she followed her in said, “Sounds good to me.”

It was a good thing I hadn’t filled the huge tub completely full.  By the time we were all in, the water was just a few inches below the top.  Much to their surprise, I set out to actually washing.  “I think we’re being ignored,” Gates said.

“You two feel free to start without me, but first I’m going to get clean.  I smell like a skunk after tackling Serpenterra.   You don’t want to get anywhere near me until I”m clean,” I told them.

“Maybe we like you stinky,” Emory teased.

“I don’t mind being stinky with my own smell, or with sex, but this is disgusting,” I told her.  “I think she was in season.”  Murphy looked at me questioningly.  I smiled and said, “She smells like a water moccasin during mating season- which isn’t too different from a skunk.”

She crinkled her nose and said, “Oh.”  Then turning to Emory she said, “We could always scrub him down good.”

I just smiled and handed them cloth.  “Feel free,” I told her standing so my dick was sticking in her face.

She took the soap and got the cloth good and covered and then began to scrub my body with it.  It wasn’t long before Emory was joining her, and I was loving all the attention as my dick stook straight up and hard as a rock.    While Gate’s gently cleaned the blood that had matted in my chest from Serpenterra’s claws, Emory began to wash around my dick and balls.  I could feel her gently pull the foreskin back and run the edge of the cloth around the corona of my glans.  It felt exquisite.

Gates stood and ran her fingers along the wounds and asked, “Shouldn’t you get stitches for these?”

I shook my head and said, “They’ll close on their own.  I heal fast, even nocturnal caused wounds.  It’s the way my Goddess designed me.”  I didn’t tell her that they hurt like the dickens though.

Suddenly she moaned and leaned into me.  I glanced down and could see where Emory had backed up and had her face buried in Gate’s pussy from behind.  “Ooh, somebody wants to get started,” she said.

I watched as Emory pulled back and said, “I’ve been wanting to try this for years.”

I gave her a strange look and said, “You’ve eaten pussy before.”

She smiled and said in her perfect English accent, “Yes, but not as a woman.  This is the first time I’ve ever tried it like this.  I like it.”  

“Oooh,” Gates said again spreading her legs wider.  “Nobody’s ever gone that deep with their tongue before.”  I knew at that point that Emory was cheating, using her shapeshifting powers to get deeper than she normally would have.  

I began to knead Gate’s substantial breasts as she reached down and started stroking my cock again.  I had been dancing a razor’s edge between desire and frustrations for the last few weeks- not wanting to pressure Gates while she was mourning Kevin.  I loved the boy like a little brother, but I was still a man, and Gates was one hell of a woman.  I felt the tiger in my soul come a little closer to the surface.  Before it totally took over I traced a rune along my stomach with a claw and sang a spell in a whisper.  When I finished I turned her around and bent her over at the waist saying,  “Then let’s make it interesting for both of you.”

She bent her knees slightly to give Emory better access, and bring her body down to a level where I could reach her.  I slid my dick into her pussy alongside Emory’s tongue. It was an unbelievable feeling. My dick was wrapped on one side by the hot muscles of Gates’s sex.  On the other I could feel Emory’s elongated tongue all the way up to the tip of my dick.  As I began to thrust in and out of Gates I felt her tongue curl and uncurl around its length.  

The need that I’d kept under tight control for the last three weeks was roaring to the surface.  I felt myself begin to shift under the influence of the lust I was feeling. My tail extruded from the base of my spine, and my ears flowed to the top of my head and became cat-like.  My thrusts became stronger, more intense as I started to pound away at her pussy.  I felt Emory pull out next to me, unable to physically handle the raw power of the pounding of mine and Gates’ loins.  Instead she changed the angle of her attack and began to lick along Murphy’s slit and flick at the nub of flesh at the top.  Occasionally, I’d feel it at the base of my dick or around my balls.

Gates shuddered under the oral ministrations combined with my cock pounding in and out of her from behind.   I could feel her legs clamp down as her body was wracked by wave after wave of pleasure. That was all it took.  I was on a hair trigger anyway, and I blasted a huge load of cum deep inside her.

  Now when I say a huge load, I mean a huge load.  It wasn’t just two or three teaspoons full that most guys generate under the influence of a powerful orgasm.  It was like nothing I’d ever experienced before.  It felt more like I was pissing inside her than cumming.  It literally began to run out of her in streams of white creamy man juice.  There was probably at least half a cup.  I was just glad that I cast that spell just before I entered her.

I looked down and saw Emory staring up at me, her face covered in both mine and Gates’ juices. She was smiling hugely as she said, “I know you’re not a one shot wonder, and that was just enough to get my motor running.  Let’s take this to bedroom.”

I smiled and pulled her up to me and kissed her seriously.  Yes we were playing with someone else, but this was the woman I was going to marry.  I’d do anything in the world for her.   As we took time to dry off, my dick never got the least bit soft. I knew this was going to be one of those long transhuman endurance-fueled sessions.  The load I’d just blasted into Gates hadn’t even taken the edge off.  

I stopped long enough to pull the mattress off the bed and lay it on the floor. There were going to be some serious lovemaking tonight, and I knew that the hotel bed would not stand up to the pounding.  It was better to simply move the mattress than damage the bed.  I lay Emory down on the mattress and entered her in one even stroke.   

I looked down as the head of my dick disappeared into her tight pussy.  I could feel the muscular rings of her sex begin to massage against it.  I knew it was her way of reminding me that there were things she could do to me that no other woman in the world could.  She wrapped her legs around the small of my back and began moving against me.  Before long it wasn’t clear who was fucking who.   

Gates stepped up in front of me and presented her dripping pussy to my face.  I could see the whiteness of my own semen suspended in the clear seminal fluid as it clung to outer labia and small hairs above her pussy.  I briefly wondered if she’d been “trimming” in anticipation of us “hooking up” at some point on this mission.  Without hesitation, I leaned in and began licking my own juices from her pussy.  “You always did have a very talented tongue, Trey.” Then with a smile, she added, “However, I think Emory has you beat.”

I wasn’t going to argue, I just kept licking as my hips thrust in and out of Emory.   She grabbed my head with both hands and held me tight against her sex.  I drank in the heady aroma of her juices mixed with the taste of my own cum.  It was sweet, salty, and musky all at the same time.

Emory began to buck her smaller form against mine thrusting her hips up to meet with surprising force for such a small woman with not enhanced strength.  She was making sure that I met her needs as well.  That wasn’t a problem.  I was still horny as hell and was loving every minute of it.   

It wasn’t long before I had both women trembling against me.  Gates had spread her legs wide so I could get my own tongue deep inside her.  And yes, I cheated just like Emory did.  She was right, it was an unbelievable experience.  Meanwhile I kept up a slow and strong thrust and drove my cock deep into Emory and then would pull out until just the head of my dick was inside her.  I loved the way the muscles of her pussy would roll my foreskin over the head of my dick as I pulled out, and then would push it back as I entered her again on the deep downstroke.  She described it as a “little catch” along the way of the thrust.    I felt her and Gates both clamp down on me and begin to tremble.  Emory unlocked her legs and pushed up hard against me from the floor.  Gates on the other hand grabbed me by the ears at the top of my head and smashed my face against her sex.  

When she let go,  and backed away breathing hard, I leaned down over Emory and kissed her, letting her taste Gates on my lips.  Suddenly her tongue darted into my mouth and along the edges of my fangs.  I pushed her blonde hair away from the sides of her head and ran the fingers of one hand along the pointed tips of her ears.  She moaned into my mouth and I felt the pressure in my balls begin to build and started thrusting harder.   

I could feel the sides of Emory’s pussy begin to spasm against my cock again, knowing that I’d sent her into a second orgasm.  That was all it took.  I thrust twice moe and then buried myself balls deep in her and blasted another equally huge load into her.  I could feel it run out of her body and soak my own copper tinged pubes.   I pulled her  to me and and wrapped my huge arms around her tiny form.  Rolling over, I held her tightly against my body as I continued to spasm inside her.  

When I finally came down from that one, I realized it had barely taken the edge off.  I was still horny and ready go. Glancing over at the clock, I realized we’d been making love for over an hour and I was still rarin’ to go as they say.   Emory lay against my chest for a few moments and then said, “You’re still hard.”

I smiled and said, “You were the one who commented about my not being a one shot wonder.”

“What’s up Trey? she asked.

“You mean besides about eight inches of my cock that’s buried in you?” I asked.  She nodded and a I shrugged.  “I’m just horny,” I told her.

She smiled and said, “Good.”  Looking up at Gates she said, “You want some more of this?  I think I want his tongue this time.”

“We’re gonna wear that boy out,” Gates said with a smile.

“I don’t think so,” Emory replied as she pulled off me and I felt more of my own semen puddle on my stomach.  With the grace born of her Fey and Alfar heritage, she slid around to present her slit to my face.   “And he’s definitely not a boy anymore.”

Without missing a beat, I began to delve my tongue deep into her sex.  Again, I cheated so I could get deep inside her.  I was loving the taste of my own cum.  I’ll admit. There have been times when I’ve met my own needs.  I already have the extra spaces in my spine of a cat, so I’m a hell of a lot more flexible than most other men. That means I can literally blow myself, and have done it on occasion. But Freyr’s gift had other uses than just battle.  When I felt the need for a good fuck and there was nobody else around, I can and have used the power to create a shapeshifting copy of myself and swapped blowjobs or even fucks.  It’s actually a very intense feeling because of the link I share with my duplicates.   So yes, I’ve developed a definite taste for my own cum, especially when it’s mixed with someone else’s juices.  I hate to waste a drop of it, and there was a lot not to waste for some reason this night.

Illustration 2

As I licked Emory from front to back, and then entered her with my tongue, I felt a strong hand grasp my still raging cock.  I heard Gates say, “There’s no use in letting such a nice piece of meat go to waste.”  I felt her lower herself on my dick and set her weight down on my hips.  I could feel her rocking back and forth.  

At one point I felt her lean up off my dick while at the same time Emory pushed her pussy back deep onto my tongue.  I realized that they were kissing, and since I had my head buried between Emory’s legs I was missing it.  Still I didn’t care.  I was in heaven as Gates rocked back and forth on me.

I decided to cheat with her as well.  She was a big woman- not overweight, but just massive in stature. That applied all over her body and the angle she was using was grinding her clit against my pubes and the top of my dick, there wasn’t as much pressure against my dick as I liked.  So again, I used my shapeshifting power.  My usually eight inches of cock stretched and swelled to something that would have made the studliest porn actor blush in shame.    “Oooh,  I think I like sex with shapeshifters,” Gates murmured.   Of course with my elongated tongue buried in Emory’s pussy, I couldn’t answer, but I did begin to thrust harder up into her.  

By now the edge was far enough off my need that I was able to sit back and enjoy the dual rocking natures of my partners.   I don’t know how long I lay there pinned between them, my tail lashing back and forth against the mattress.  I know that both Gates and Emory came at least twice more each as we made love.    Finally, Gates rolled off me saying, “I need to rest.  I can’t take much more of that monster.”

“I can,” Emory said as she pulled herself off my tongue.  With a quick motion, she whirled around and mounted me again as Gates stretched out next to us.   Emory lowered herself on my “enhanced” dick slowly and began riding up and down its length.  By a factor of sheer size, she was smaller than Gates, and therefore much tighter on me.  It was a very intense feeling as she was obviously enjoying the feeling of being fuller than she was used to.

It wasn’t long before she was bouncing up and down on me, riding my dick like there was no tomorrow.  This time I had no warning of any build up to her orgasm. None of the usual small bites to her lower lip, none of the cute little faces that she usually experiences showed up. This time it went from a build up to an explosion of energy that shot through her body.  Suddenly she threw herself down on top of me, bit deep into my shoulder and screamed into the muscle.  

I felt her pussy spasm around my dick and that and the bite was all I needed.  It set off another massive load of cum blasting from my dick, deep inside her body.  It started somewhere behind my balls and tunneled its way up my spine, through my ass, and out the end of my dick in one wave of pleasure after another.   Finally I was getting some relief from the almost animal need that had risen to the surface of my soul in the bath.

We lay there for a long time, my dick still buried deep inside her.  After a while, we looked over to see where Gates had fallen asleep next to us.  With a smile, I turned Emory over and we began to move against each other again- this time long and slow.   We ended up making love three more times that night before falling asleep on the cum-soaked mattress.

Sometime just after dawn, Emory’s phone went off.  I rolled over and pulled it from her purse and saw the number. General Presley!  I opened it and touched the answer key.  “Emory Northmore’s phone.”

“Greenbough, I need you and your English Rose at the Pentagon now!  It’s a Class One Emergency.”  Class One? I wondered silently.  That meant foreign invasion. What the hell was going on?

I looked at the clock and saw that it was just past six thirty am.  “We’ll be on the first flight out of California.”

“No you won’t.  You’ll use whatever powers you’ve got to get here within an hour.  All flights over the US are grounded.  Nobody but the military is flying anywhere.”

“What are you talking about, General?” I asked.

“Turn on the television, Commander,” he said.

I grabbed the clicker, pointed it at the television and hit the power button.  I didn’t even have to look for the channel.  The image of a plane flying into the Twin Towers in New York was on every channel.  In shock, I said, “We’ll be there within an hour.”  I closed the phone and went to wake Emory and Murphy.  It was time to go to work.