What follows is a work of complete fiction.

This series will include detailed descriptions of sexual encounters between a human male and other males from various alien races in a science fiction setting.

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About the story:

This series tells the story of an ordinary man who's life is near its natural end, but who suddenly finds himself, at the moment of the unexpected destruction of his world, the victim of an alien abduction with a bizarre motive, that ultimately opens the entire universe to him and propels him into a life of adventure that he'd never imagined was even possible.  He eventually finds himself thrust front and center into events that could, both figuratively and quite literally, change the shape of the entire known universe.

I hope that you enjoy it.

Look for more of my stories under the pseudonym JakeXtraTall at http://www.nifty.org/nifty/authors.html#JakeXtraTall

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Favors of the First Ones - Chapter 2

Jake's eyes opened almost immediately after he'd closed them and Xelzix's face was still there in front of him.

"What's wrong?  I started to fade out and began to feel like I was exploding but you brought me right back," Jake said.

As he spoke he immediately noticed his own voice sounded a bit more resonant and clear than he was used to.  It came more easily too.  He noticed his vision was sharp and clearer than he could ever remember it being.  He felt fantastic.

Xelzix smiled and said, "As I'm sure you are already becoming aware, the procedure is complete.  Welcome to the cosmic collective Jake Smith."

Jake noticed that although Xelzix's mouth was clearly moving and likely making the same murmuring type sounds of his natural speech, Jake could not hear it.  Instead he heard English, in a voice who's character somehow seemed to match Xelzix well, and it appeared to be coming right from Xelzix's mouth instead of from an external device.  The effect was a bit odd because the lip movement did not match the speech that was emanating from Xelzix's mouth in any way.

"It almost seems to me as though you're speaking my language.  The sound is coming from your mouth.  I can't hear your own voice anymore.  Is that the built in translator at work?" Jake asked.

"Indeed it is.  The device is tied into your auditory nervous system and it is quite sophisticated.  It will cancel my own voice out completely and replace it with the translation.  It encodes direction and amplitude into the waveform so that you will always hear it coming from the direction of my mouth to help you differentiate between different translations from different people standing in different places around you.  You will hear the correct direction and volume to match each person's position in relation to you.  It will also attempt to match the speech's characteristics to the speaker's physiological makeup as well as their personality as best it can and will modulate the intensity of the speech to match the speaker's current level.  This results in unique voices for everyone you encounter that clearly reflect their intended mood.  It makes the translated speech feel completely natural to you and allows you to listen to the speech of multiple individuals at once and differentiate them all as you would in a room full of your own people."

"That's amazing!  It would be hard if everyone sounded like the same translated voice and they all sounded as though they were emanating from inside my head.  I would quickly get lost trying to follow multiple people in a room.  The level of sophistication is astonishing," Jake said.

He looked around and realized he wasn't in the same room as he had been when he went unconscious.  This one had less machinery and was brighter and simpler.  He was laying on an examination table.  He sat up and swung his legs over the side.

"How long have I been out Xelzix?  If felt like just a moment."

"The procedure took approximately ninety seven of your days," Xelzix replied.

"That's over three months!  Somehow I expected it to take hours!"

"The process of installing your personality into a new synthetic brain and fitting it into your new body takes only a few days.  However, the brain is semi-biological and the pathways that interface to your new nervous system are essentially a type of memory.  Your brain learned to control your muscles as they grew in concert from when you were first concieved and stored the knowledge in a type of memory structure.  We cannot read memories or modify them and as such we cannot correctly reconnect the new nervous system to what is essentially your old brain.  If we were simply removing your old brain and installing a new one into the same old body it wouldn't be a problem but due to the fact that we are installing a new brain into a body that is subtly different from your old one, the new brain must completely relearn how to control it.  The connections must finish forming on their own.  The process of growing them can only be rushed so much as it involves cell division and synaptic formation.  Once the millions of connections are successfully made we then must send a great deal of sensory input to the various parts of your body while the brain sorts out the signals and relearns how to control the muscles and functions of your body.  This is the longest part of the process as we are bound by the limit of your brain's ability to learn to control the new body.  It is a painstaking process that with some races takes even longer than yours did.  The process is quite unpleasant so you are kept unconscious until you are fully ready to get up and walk again.

"The length of time it takes to bring you back is one of many reasons why you will learn to avoid death almost as though it were permanent.  Imagine if other lives were relying on your protection or support.  Your death will remove you from them immediately even while you were fighting to protect them and it will keep you away from them for a significant amount of time.  There will also be a great deal of time consumed after your resurrection as you will need to physically travel from your resurrection site back to wherever you might have been when you died.  We have only so many active sites in each galaxy so that travel back to where you need to be may actually take many more months.  You have been assigned to this site and we may be at the opposite end of the galaxy or even in another one when you expire and are resurrected aboard this ship, so it could be a long trip back to where you need to go.  Not only will your death often be exceedingly painful to the point of causing you to have nightmares about it for a great while afterward, but it can also easily result in your removal from the proximity of those who care about you for well over a year of your time.  It is an event best avoided."

Jake nodded his understanding.  He looked down at his new body for the first time and saw that he was naked except for a tan colored pair of snug fitting shorts.  To his surprise he saw that he was extremely heavily muscled.  Far more than he'd ever been in his life or could even have imagined himself being.  He felt incredibly powerful and healthy.  He felt more alive than he'd ever been.  Gone were the grayish sagging skin and the age spots.  His skin looked supple and healthy.  His hands were strong and his fingernails perfectly manicured.  His feet looked pedicured and extremely well cared for.  His body looked like a much younger version of himself that had been lifting weights in a gym for ten hours a day for years.

He hadn't given any thought to what his new body might be like when they'd talked of reinstalling him.  It hadn't occurred to him to ask what age the new body would be.  He'd just assumed that it would be a much healthier sixty eight.

"How old is this body?  I look and feel like I'm just a young man," said Jake.

"We set the age of your body to be roughly twenty years old.  It is the most appropriate for the young male you have been matched to.  I hope that you are pleased with it," said Xelzix.

"How could I not be?  There was an old saying back on Earth, 'Youth is wasted on the young'.  Well it certainly won't be wasted on me!  You have no idea how many times I've wished I could go back into my young body and live my life again with all of my knowledge and experience and lessons learned and do things right!  Thank you Xelzix!  I'm overjoyed!"

Jake impulsively jumped from the table and rushed toward Xelzix to embrace him but Xelzix deftly dodged aside and laughed and held up a hand and said, "Please, my people are somewhat shy and we do not normally engage in unnecessary physical contact.  Besides, you need to get a bit better acquainted with your new body before you attempt to hold someone of my stature tightly or you might injure them.  You are much stronger than you were and your brain will take a bit more time before it completely forgets your old body and its limitations and learns its new abilities.  You may even have some slight issues with balance for a time.  You will need to be extra careful at first when you bring your muscles to bear as you do not yet know your own strength."

Jake apologized and sat back down on the table and asked, "So it took you twenty years to grow this body?"

"No, growing it from an embryo would be in some ways easier but in the end would take far too long and be impractical and inefficient.  We used a computer program to simulate the growth of your body from when it started as a fertilized egg on to twenty years of age.  The simulation takes only a few hours and follows the precise plan of your DNA to produce a three dimensional rendered version of your complete body down to every single cell in it.  Your body is made of a multitude of individual types of cells, each of which can start from the basic stem cell.  Stem cells are easily grown and we keep vast quantities of them on hand at all times.  We use the three dimensional rendering of you at twenty years as a guide to differentiate the stem cells into all of the types of cells your body needs such as skin, liver, lung, muscle, nerves, and so on in the precise quantities needed.  Once we have all of the cells required we simply use the rendered model of your body at twenty years as a guide to physically assemble your body in three dimensions including even the blood in the veins.  The assembly is done in a vat of nutrients by billions of nano machines that can individually carry the correct cell type to its correct location and allow it to fuse to its neighboring cells.  You can think of it as a type of three dimensional printing.  Once the body is fully assembled the heart is started and the blood flows and all your biological processes take over naturally.

"It took only two months to differentiate the needed cells, then print the body and then allow it to fuse and settle to the point where we could install your new brain, which we did three months ago.  As I mentioned, the millions of connections between the brain and nervous system must grow naturally.  The entire process from the beginning to having you sit up on the table and talk to me will generally always take less than half a year.  We always keep a few copies of your body grown and ready for a brain at all times as long as you have a contract so it will normally never take more than three months for you to wake up from death."

"That's incredible!  Humans started toying with three dimensional printing for fabrication but only basic objects.  I'd even heard of them printing some sort of scaffolding that they then used with stem cells to grow replacement heart valves and such..  I suppose this is a natural extension of that sort of technology.  The complexity necessary to print an entire body and have it suddenly come to life once you start the heart is mind blowing!" Jake exclaimed.

"Well, we've had billions of years to perfect the art so it is not anything extraordinary to us.  In the end it really is nothing more than putting each cell in its correct place according to the precise pattern layed out by your genes.  We are even able to make subtle changes where needed.  In your case for example the simulation was tweaked to grow your muscles much larger than their normal size."

"Why did you go to such extremes with the muscles?  I would have been perfectly satisfied with a healthy level of fitness."

"While your satisfaction is certainly taken into consideration it is not paramount.  Our primary concern is with the satisfaction of our paying client and the success of the match.  Some slight modifications to your body needed to be made to complete the best match.  You are exactly the same physically as you were at twenty years for the most part but have simply been strengthened to allow for the higher gravity you will be subjected to on the planet you will be staying on should you agree to the match.  Your prospective partner is also extremely powerful and in order to ensure that you would not be harmed during your play together you had to be made more durable and able to hold your own," Xelzix said.

Jake said, "I feel so much heavier, almost denser and more solid than ever."

Xelzix nodded, "Yes, your bones have also been strengthened and made much more dense and resilient."

"How will I maintain these muscles?  On my world I would have to focus almost every waking moment to working them in order to keep them so large.  You'll need to tell me what sort of diet I'll need to follow to maintain the physique and not just have it all go to fat."

"That will not be a concern.  I should explain the basics of the new sets of nanos that now inhabit your body," Xelzix said.

"New sets?  There are more than just the ones Srythryn mentioned that watch and transmit the changes of my brain's structure?"

"Yes, many more.  There were only a few nanos in your body before and they tapped into your nervous system and monitored and transmitted information to the Watchers as needed.  Now there are billions inside you that perform various different tasks.  Anyone who is part of the cosmic collective are given the gift of these nanos to release them from the more mundane and boring responsibilities of caring for a living biological body.

"There is one set of nanos whose job it is to keep your muscles strong and large.  They can be programmed with any level of muscle growth required and will maintain it.  As you may know muscle growth essentially occurs from overworking your muscles to the point where they begin to become damaged at a microscopic scale.  Your body reacts to the damage by not only replacing broken fibers but also growing more of them causing them to gain mass.  Your muscles become stronger, larger and tougher.  The microscopic nanos in your body will be constantly moving about in your muscles creating small bits of damage as though you had lifted a great deal of weight repeatedly though they will stop short of actually tiring them out.  You will not even notice it happening.  Your body will react naturally by repairing the damage and adding fibers and keeping your muscles dense and large and powerful."

"Incredible!  The physique of a body builder without having to lift a finger!  You could have made a fortune with this technology back on Earth!" Jake exclaimed and laughed.

The alien chuckled and said, "That is not the only function the nanos perform for you.  You asked about your dietary requirements as well.  Your only real concern is to eat sufficient quantity of protein rich food.  It is easiest to err on the side of excess.  You do not need to be concerned about the level of fats or calories in the food.  Should you take in excess fats or sugars another group of nanos are dedicated to the task of removing them from your body before they are fully digested.  Your body will no longer have any excess energy that will need to be stored as fat.  You will remain perfectly trim.  It is in your best interests to, as your people put it, 'eat like a pig'."

Jake laughed and said, "Again, you would have been the richest people on Earth if you would have offered that technology for sale in our culture."

"There is also the matter of your bones.  As I said earlier they needed to be made denser to handle the strength of these new muscles as well as the stresses of the higher gravity you will be experiencing and the rough play you may find yourself engaging in with your new partner.  There are another set of nanos that live in your bones and they will constantly create micro fractures within them throughout your body.  Again, your body reacts naturally by knitting the micro fractures with a denser growth of calcium that makes the bones heavier and stronger.  The process is similar to a martial artist beating his arms against wooden blocks to strengthen the bones but again you will not need to 'lift a finger' as you put it."

"Amazing.  What other functions are the nanos doing?  Are they the ones doing the translating in my head of everything you say?"

"No, the translator is a completely self contained device that simply intercepts the signals coming from your auditory nerves and modifies them before sending them on to your brain.  It does not use nano technology.  There are several other things that the nanos do for you though.  For example, any part of your body that grows continuously and needs maintenance will also be taken care of.  Your finger and toenails will always look as though you spend your time doing nothing but grooming yourself.  Even as your nails grow, nanos will remove the old cells at the ends one by one keeping the nails forever the perfect length.  Your hands and feet will always be perfectly groomed.  In addition, your facial hair will be constantly cut just below the level of your skin.  You will still be able to grow facial hair in whatever pattern you choose and the nanos will keep it to the correct length and keep the other areas shaved.  The nanos will go out to the end of each individual hair and remove the old cells even as your body adds new ones at your hair follicles thus keeping each individual hair precisely the intended length.  You will never need to cut your hair or shave any part of your body again.  There are stylists who will help you to program the nanos to keep your facial and head hair in whatever style and length you prefer.  For now you have been styled in the way that would be most appealing to the individual you have been matched to."

Jake put his hand to his face and then ran it up through his hair.  He was clean shaven with no facial hair and the hair on his head was thick and straight and nearly shoulder length..

"I never even imagined this sort of thing!  It's incredible to think of how much time I wasted in my sixty eight years grooming myself.  Now I'll never have to worry about it again!  What about my teeth?  Please tell me those will be automatically cared for as well."

"Yes, of course.  There are nanos dedicated to the task of removing any particles attached to the surfaces of your teeth and below the line of your gums and carry them to the salivary glands where they will wash into your digestive system.  The process is constant and thorough and again is operating at a microscopic level that you will never be able to sense.  Your teeth will never require care as they will always be kept completely clean and free of bacteria.  In addition to that, nanos throughout your body will monitor your health.  Should any bacterial or viral invasion threaten to overwhelm your natural immune system it will be held at bay by the nanos but not fully eradicated.  The nanos will allow time for your immune system to learn to beat the invaders on its own and become stronger.  Our aim is to use the nanos to enhance and strengthen our natural systems rather than replace them.  To replace them completely would ultimately lead to overall weakening of our systems to the point that we would be completely reliant on the nanos for survival.  That is not our intent.  Should the nanos ever need to be purged from your body you will in fact be left much stronger than you were when they were first introduced."

"Wonderful!  I can be a completely lazy slob and yet still be immaculately clean, strong and healthy.  It's every man's dream come true!  I can't believe you just give this stuff away!" Jake laughed, "So can I go through life without ever washing either?  Will the nanos remove dirt and smelly old sweat from my body and toss it aside constantly so that I never need to bathe again?"

Xelzix smiled but shook his head, "No, that is something we do not do.  Most species, especially the particular one you have been matched to, would find an immaculately clean individual sexually boring.  An important part of physical attraction for nearly all species occurs through the olfactory system which is also tightly coupled to the sense of taste.  Natural pheromones are powerful attractants.  Even some that you cannot consciously detect will tug at you and draw you to someone strongly and inexplicably.  As Srythryn told you when he brought you to us the first part of our matching process involves comparing DNA to determine which individual has the best chemistry to match the requester.  That chemistry is realized in the way another smells and tastes to you and the way you smell to them.  Our bodies produce the scent pheromones and deliver them through our sweat glands, and also the musk glands for those that have them such as your potential match, and also Srythryn's race.  The chemistry of our bodies also determines the way we will taste to others and that taste comes from the same sweat and musk mingled with whatever else may be there.  We have no wish to wash any part of that away.  Among most cultures there is something appealing about a sexual partner who is 'dirty' and the fact that you are engaging with them in personal ways and experiencing parts of their bodies that might be considered somewhat offensive in polite company serves to greatly enhance the experience.  We have no desire to interfere with that wonderful part of sexuality.  You will still be getting dirty and will need to bathe regularly to prevent yourself from becoming offensive to others."

"That makes sense.  I certainly find some scents from personal areas that are normally considered offensive to be extremely sexually arousing provided they are not excessively powerful."

Xelzix nodded, "As do I and most others."

"Besides the muscles and bones, what other enhancements have been made to my body?  I can see better than ever and my hearing seems more sensitive."

"The problem with the shape of your eyes that made you myopic was corrected and the shape of the lens and its muscles slightly enhanced to improve your vision and focus even further but the effect will simply be to make your vision as good as it can be for a human.  As for your hearing nothing was changed.  It may be that you are simply not used to the improved functionality you had at twenty before the natural wear and tear that you experienced through the rest of your life reduced it.  For the most part your body has not really been modified and you have not been given any superhuman abilities.  You are the same height as you were at twenty.  Your eye color and shape, facial features, hair color, skin tone, your voice, the length of your arms and legs and width of your shoulders, almost everything about you is exactly as your genes laid out to preserve the natural and beautiful uniqueness that is you.  Your muscles are much larger but they are no larger than they would be if you worked them hard yourself.  The same applies to your bones.  Over all we strive to maintain the natural aesthetic of your body.  It's what makes you human and what makes you uniquely you among humans and we have no wish to make you anything else.  Your own body's natural systems are simply being kept busy maintaining a strong and healthy structure."

"I had no idea I could look like this.  I'm thrilled with it Xelzix, really.  But you said 'almost everything' is exactly as my genes intended.  What was actually changed?"

Even as he began to look more closely over his body to see if he could spot it he suddenly noticed something that had not caught his attention earlier.  The bulge at his crotch was very large compared to what he used to have.  He'd been so overwhelmed by the incredible mass of the muscles all over his body that he hadn't actually focused on what was between his legs.  His heart beat a bit more quickly as he reached down to grab the front of his tan shorts and pulled them away from his body to look inside them.  He was thrilled with what was in there.

Jake had never had much to complain about before.  His penis had been a bit over seven inches and circumcised.  It was thicker than average and had a nice big head.  His balls were also a bit bigger than average.  He'd been happy with what he was born with, but now he was overjoyed.  The penis he now sported could barely be contained within his shorts even while it was still soft.  It was thick and powerful looking.  It was even uncircumcised!  The one thing he had always wished was that he'd never had his foreskin removed when he was a baby.  Now he had it back!  He looked beyond the penis and saw his balls had grown to almost twice their previous size.  They were huge and impressive.  Jake was even more thrilled than before.  He looked up at Xelzix with a wide grin.

The alien smiled and said, "I hope that you will enjoy the changes we made to your sexual organs.  Even with the best match being made between two species it is often necessary to make minor alterations in order to allow for maximum sexual pleasure and to prevent injury as well.  Your match's body is sufficiently different from a sexual perspective than yours that we needed to make a few minor changes to you.  Other than the obvious change to the size of your penis and testicles, all other changes are internal.  Your penis is now just under twelve inches in length fully erect and somewhat thicker than its former girth.  Due to your prospective partner's size and anatomy he would not be sufficiently satisfied with less.  His own penis is longer still and as thick as your new one and would have injured you severely.  In order to accommodate it your body has been slightly rearranged internally and slightly modified.  Some of your organs were shifted to a slightly different location in order to allow your rectum to be extended to approximately eighteen inches in length inside of you.  Your rectum has also been strengthened and several rings of muscles added along its length to enhance your partner's pleasure and make it similar to the internal structure of his own natural body."

"You mean he has rings of muscle along his rectum?  What purpose do they serve normally?" Jake asked.

"They serve no purpose other than sexual pleasure when males couple with males of their species.  They are one of several species that have evolved sex organs that allow them to engage with the same sex with both partners experiencing equal pleasure.  Nerve endings have been added along the rings of muscle as well to enhance your own sensation and pleasure just as naturally occurs in his body.  Your anus has been strengthened and given the ability to stretch a great deal without too much discomfort though it will be right at its limit should he choose to mount you.  Your windpipe has also been encased in a strong shell that will prevent it from being pinched off and your throat made slightly looser and your jaw slightly modified to allow for something extremely long and thick to be pushed forcefully down your throat without affecting your breathing through your nose."

"Good Lord!  You've thought of everything haven't you?  I can't wait to try out my new toys!" Jake exclaimed and laughed.

Xelzix chuckled and said, "The changes are truly minor and just an enhancement of your true shape in order to complete the match perfectly.  We often make sex organs smaller than they originally were if that is the correct way to go.  Not all races concern themselves with the size of their equipment.  That preference is primarily found among species in which large males win out in competition for sexual partners against smaller males.  In many other species it is plumage or display that wins the mate and for them garish colors or interesting patterns or are more important.  For some others it is intricate dances that win the mate so smaller and more nimble males are the preference.  Humans are one of those races that do care about size, as is the species that you've been matched to, and the fact that you would likely be thrilled with the change was one of the many variables taken into consideration when you were examined for the match.

"Images of yourself with massive sex organs were flashed across your visual cortex while you slept along with visuals of your prospective partner in full arousal and your reaction to the dreams that ensued, which were directed entirely by your own sensibilities and tastes and out of our control, were monitored and the extreme positive physiological and emotional response was noted.  We could not see what you were doing in those dreams but we could see that you were enjoying it immensely.  Most species are more concerned with the sensation and that the organs match the shapes of what they will be engaged with.  The overall size is not as important to them.  It is good that your new accoutrements are so aesthetically pleasing to you as well though.  I would not wish you to be disappointed."

"I am beyond pleased.  Is that the extent of the changes then?" Jake asked.

"Not quite.  One powerful sexual attractant for the particular species that you have been matched to that it happens is also normally shared with your own is large volumes of seed.  Your potential partner is able to produce ten times more semen than you could at once and can produce it again rather quickly after ejaculating.  He would be disappointed if you could not do the same for him.  That is one of the reasons we increased the size of your testicles so much.  They would still not be sufficiently large but making them any larger would destroy the original aesthetic of your body and start to make you look mutated.  Instead we added two more sets of testicles which are kept inside your body.  They will work constantly in concert with your external set to produce the volumes of sperm required and to be able to produce the next batch quickly after ejaculation.  They have been strategically placed against the outside of your rectum similar to the way your prostate is and as such if he mounts you the movement of his penis inside you will stimulate the extra testicles in the same way as if someone caressed your external ones during sex and the affect will be to raise your enjoyment of the act even further.  We also greatly increased the size and effectiveness of your prostate gland so that it could produce a vastly greater amount of fluid more quickly.  The end effect will be your ability to ejaculate nearly as much semen as your new partner when you reach orgasm.  It will be a most satisfying sensation for you."

"Yeah, no kidding.  Is there a restroom around here where I could get a bit of privacy for a few minutes?" Jake asked jokingly, "There's something I really need to try."

Xelzix chuckled again and said, "I enjoy your sense of humor Jake.  I must also say that I find your species extremely attractive.  I would be pleased to help you test out your new equipment if you would be agreeable."

"You mean you and I engage in sex?"

"Yes, if you would like.  Our bodies would most definitely not be compatible, and I am not actually capable of sex in the normal sense, but I would very much enjoy using my hands to bring you pleasure."

"I'm very sorry Xelzix, but I don't think I could.  Your body type is not really what I find attractive.  Arousal would be a problem for me.  I hope you don't mind if I decline."

"Not at all.  It is no surprise.  From what I've gleaned of your tastes during the process of matching you, it is clear that they run very much in the opposite direction from me in terms of body size and strength so I did not really expect that you would want to engage in the activity with me, but I thought I would try just the same," Xelzix smiled.

"I'm glad you aren't upset.  I would hate for you to take away my new toys in anger," Jake said.

Xelzix laughed, "As I said, I enjoy your sense of humor and I hope that we may be friends.  My people are generally secretive and keep to themselves but in my function I must deal with members of many different races directly quite often.  I greatly enjoy meeting new people and it is the reason I was chosen for this position."

"Are you a Matchmaker then Xelzix?  I thought you were a Resurrector since it was you who reinstalled me."

"Yes, my primary function is Matchmaker.  However, not all Matchmakers deal directly with clients.  Most work in the background.  Those of us who do work with you are also trained in the basics of the function of Resurrector.  I have no skill in the art of modifying your body or printing the copies but I have been fully trained in the reinstallation process and I am also fully versed in the entire process of matching.  I have been assigned to your contract.  As long as your contract for the insurance of return comes through a request for match it will be me who reinstalls you any time it is needed in the future.  If you live a life of adventure and danger you and I may be meeting here on this ship quite frequently in the future."

"I'm not sure if I should say that I look forward to that or not, since it would mean I would have died," Jake said.

Xelzix smiled, "I will look forward to it for the both of us then.  I can tell you for certain that you will never get used to dying.  It can be painful beyond imagining and it can create no end of complications for you so you will be trying to avoid it at all costs I'm sure."

"Can't your nanos somehow protect us from the pain of death?  Come to think of it can't you send someone to our rescue if we get too deep in trouble since you monitor us all the time?" Jake asked.

"No and no.  We will not allow the nanos to dull pain in any way.  Pain is a highly important function for all species.  Without it life would be quite different.  There would be little sense of risk if you could not feel the pain of a broken body or a fiery death.  As such there would be no thrill and no sense of reward for successfully avoiding death or injury and no need to try to improve yourself to become better at avoiding it.  Life would quickly become boring and sterile without fear of pain or death.  We will not in any way interfere with such a basic and important part of life.  Even if you find yourself in a position where it takes you many days to come to your slow and agonizing end, the nanos will not intervene and end it for you quickly nor will they notify anyone of your distress.  Should you accidentally ingest a painful poison they will not purge it from your body but will allow it to run its course.  They will only send a notification the moment you expire.  Life is all about experiences both good and bad and we will not step in to dull those experiences in any way.

"As for monitoring you all the time, you may be confused as to what exactly happens.  The nanos are tied into your nervous system and as such can read and transmit to us the signals coming through your visual and auditory systems as well as your physical sensations but they will only do so at our request.  Should we want to study a race to learn its languages for example or occasionally check in to study their level of development the Watchers will have the nanos send the full streams.  We can learn about your people by signaling the nanos to send streams from randomly chosen individuals who are going through your various education systems and store them in our records for study by the Watchers.  Most of the data sent must be manually requested.  Nothing is automatically sent to us other than the pattern of your DNA when you are conceived and a notification when you die regardless of whether you have a contract for return.  That is how we can maintain a database of the unique genetic sequence of every living being in the known universe.  For those who have a contract for return, the nanos will also constantly monitor the changes in the structure of your brain and automatically transmit them to us so that we can make the same changes to the stored map so that you can be reinstalled with all of your new memories and knowledge in place to pick up where you left off.

"No one will ever actually request the transmission of a full stream unless they have some need such as when your physiological responses were being examined for the match.  Once you were selected for the match at the genetic level I requested your stream be sent to me so that I could monitor what you were seeing and hearing so that I could learn more details about you including your name and precise location and then further study you for the match.  That stream has now been turned off as I have no further need of it.  If you get yourself in a great deal of danger and you are alone then no one will know of it but you.  We do not have even the tiniest fraction of the manpower that would be needed to actively monitor everyone nor would we ever have any interest in doing so.  Also, we will not ever entertain any requests for information regarding anyone's location from an outside party as we could never be completely sure of their true intent.  Even if we somehow knew their intent was good we would not comply.  Again, if you knew you could be extracted from bad situations should they arise there would be no sense of risk involved and thus no thrill.  Our law forbids us from interfering in your life in those ways.  You are completely on your own.  We cannot allow our technology to take away those fundamental requirements for life, that it be exciting and unpredictable."

"I have to say I'm impressed Xelzix.  When Srythryn told me of the power your people possess my first thought was that it was insane to have any one race with so much power over all the others.  He assured me that I would come to trust you eventually.  I already feel he was right.  Your race truly is wonderful in its approach to the use of these technologies.  It's clear that your only interest is in ensuring that people get the most of their lives.  It's amazing that you are able to control yourselves so well," Jake said.

"No other race has existed as long as mine.  We have come to our current way of living through many billions of years of experience.  It is natural that any race would eventually come to this same point but first they must survive and ours is the only one to have done so for so long.  I feel it is because of our nature and our ability to peel away the layers of complexity and see straight to the basics of what life is truly about and focus only on those things.  Our interest is in teaching all other races that what truly matters is simply your own life in the here and now and how best to enjoy it and help others enjoy theirs.  Life is one big adventure and that is how it should be."

Jake certainly had no problem understanding that, given the mountain of regrets he'd been contemplating at the end of his former life.  He was looking forward to the chance to begin chipping away at that mountain and moving things off it and onto the other side of the scale.

"When will I be introduced to the one I've been matched too?  I'm becoming somewhat excited by the prospect of it now," Jake said.

Xelzix smiled and said, "Before you can be introduced you must formally agree to the match after I have provided you with the necessary information about the request.  Are you ready to see what they look like?"

"Yes, please."

"Very well.  Please try to keep an open mind as what you see may be a shock at first.  If you give it a moment he may start to seem somehow familiar to you.  Remember that you have already seen them several times in your dreams though you may not remember them accurately, and your response was extremely positive."

Xelzix stepped to a console and tapped a few buttons and murmured some commands that did not get translated and suddenly an image appeared fully resolved in three dimensions and full sized right in the middle of the room.

Jake was utterly blown away by what he saw.  It looked like a cross between a bull and a man.  It stood upright on two thick and powerful legs and had massively muscled arms.  It had a short and thick neck and a head that looked a great deal like a bull complete with horns, though the horns were short and stubby.  It looked sort of like a huge minotaur but instead of just being a bull's head on a human body the entire body was covered in a thick dark hide and the shape of the arms, legs, hands, and feet were not quite human and his muscles were much more massive than even Jake's new ones.  It clearly was a bull that had evolved to walk upright and became thick and strong and muscular.

The creature's hands had three powerful fingers and a large thumb but they were not shaped like human fingers but were extremely wide and thick and stubby.  It looked almost as though they had once been a single hoof that evolved to split and become more dexterous.  His legs were thick and muscled with feet that had three thick toes and one bigger one.  The finger and toe nails were extremely thick and wide and stretched all the way back along the top all the way to the first knuckle of the fingers and toes again looking as though they'd been split during their evolution from a single hoof.

The creature was wearing nothing but shorts that appeared to be made of supple suede leather.  The bulge in the front of the shorts between the creature's massive legs was truly impressive and appeared to be stretching the leather right to its limits even though the shorts had clearly been designed to take the excessively large equipment into consideration.  Jake was awed by the overall masculine power of him.  Jake could already sense his own arousal as he gaped at the incredible size of him.  Xelzix was right, he could already feel a sense of familiarity about the creature and it must be coming from the dreams his mind had generated and the good times he must have already had with the creature in them.  He wished he could remember those dreams in detail.  He felt already that he was going to very much enjoy this match.

"He's magnificent Xelzix!  Is this a full sized image?"

Xelzix grinned his pleasure at the obvious success of the match and said, "Yes, indeed.  This is quite precisely life sized.  Please feel free to move around the image and examine it more closely."

Jake stood and walked to the projection and as he did so he saw that the image was actually moving a bit.  It had stunning clarity and detail as if the alien were right here in the room with them.  Clearly it was a moving recording of the creature standing in one place as occasionally he would move his arms or cross them and then uncross them or shift his weight to one side or the other impatiently and Jake could see the massive muscles rippling under his thick hide.  He was truly impressive.  Jake was six foot five and now about as heavily muscled as a human man could be but as he approached the image he saw that he would still seem almost like an adolescent boy next to this creature.  The bull-like alien stood almost a foot taller than Jake and was wider and even more heavily muscled.  As he approached closer he could see that the thick hide was exactly the same as on cattle.  The hide was a rich dark brown on the back and the outsides of the arms and legs, and was slightly mottled with a pattern of even darker brown and black but on the front it quickly faded to a light brown on the chest and abdomen.  The insides of the arms and legs were also the lighter brown color.  The contrast looked wonderful.

The creature had a rippling rack of muscles on its abdomen and massive pectorals on its chest.  Jake moved around to the back and saw that it had a longish slender tail protruding from a hole built in to the back of the leather shorts he was wearing.  The tail was about eighteen inches long and covered with the same hide as the rest of the creatures body.  It was slightly thicker at its base than at the tip with a small tuft of dark hair at the end.  The tail occasionally swished to one side or the other.  The creature's back was wide and powerful looking and Jake saw that there was a sort of mane of almost wiry looking black hair that started very narrow and short at the small of the creatures back and slowly got wider and the hair grew longer up the middle of his back and finally ended right at the top of the bull's head between the two horns in a thick head of hair that fell around the sides and back of the creature's head.  Cow like ears protruded up through the hair on either side.  The creature's face looked very much like a bull but it had clearly defined and somewhat full lips at the front under its wide nose.  It had big beautiful soft light brown eyes with large pupils.  A shorter version of the same wiry hair that made up the creature's mane on its back started under its chin and grew shorter and narrow back toward the neck where it disappeared.

Jake was blown away.  He could not see anything about the creature that did not appeal to him immensely.  He wondered if the bull was also examining an image of Jake somewhere out there right now.  If so, did he like what he saw?

"I'm impressed beyond words Xelzix.  I'm not entirely sure I could explain why, but he's beautiful to me.  Everything about him is appealing."

Xelzix grinned some more and said, "That is precisely as it should be.  I can assure you he will find you quite as appealing as you find him for all his own reasons."

"Has he seen an image of me transmitted to him in the same way?  The new me?"

"No, but your image was flashed to him as he slept and his reaction was extremely positive just as yours was to him.  His father saw your image in great detail.  We transmitted a full sized image of the body we planned to install you in some time ago and he himself found you extremely attractive and has approved the match.  The one you see before you is in fact a boy who will soon be reaching the age of twenty four of their years.  Their planet is closer to their sun than yours and orbits faster with shorter years and the time is equivalent to eighteen of your years.  It is an important time for them in which a boy officially becomes a man.  His name is Komakwa.  It was his father that requested the match.  The boy in fact does not know of it and the father wishes to keep it that way as he feels Komakwa will rail against his father's interference and will automatically refuse to spend time with you simply as a form of rebellion.

"It is a somewhat unusual arrangement but not the first time we've done something like this.  I will warn you that it will not be straightforward for you and you will need to play a role and try to get the boy to come out of his shell naturally without letting him know the true nature of your relationship at least at first.  Komakwa has been influenced by a group of people with certain beliefs that do not align with his fathers.  They are teaching the boy prejudice and intolerance in the interests of returning their race to its traditional way of isolating themselves from other races and following the laws of their old and outdated religion.  His father feels the boy is not allowing himself to enjoy life quite as well as he should and he is worried for his son's future happiness should he continue down his current path.  Komakwa will be going through his rite of manhood soon and the father feels he is not emotionally ready.  His plan was to present you as a traveling envoy from another world.  Now that your world has in fact been destroyed the father will present you as a refugee that he has chosen to protect.  The father, Mogwo, has a very high rank among his people and it is not unusual for them to have important foreign guests staying under their roof.  He will arrange things such that the boy will have to spend time with you and hopes that the two of you will become friends and ultimately much more."

"This isn't what I expected," Jake said, "I thought I'd be meeting someone who had already seen me and consciously decided I was what they wanted.  I'm not sure that I can play with someone's emotions this way.  It seems sort of duplicitous."

"I can understand your feelings and I do apologize for the circumstances of the match but they are what they are.  Mogwo feels the same way that you do but right now his main concern is for his son.  The people that are gaining sway over him are far more duplicitous in nature and the father realizes that any attempt to directly attack the relationship will ultimately alienate Komakwa completely and he will lose him forever.  Mogwo feels that his son's life will be destroyed by these people and he is desperate to extricate him from their grasp.  He prefers not to attempt to do so forcefully but simply by allowing his son to see with his own eyes the sort of life these people would be denying him.  You will not be required to do anything more than be yourself and be with the boy and it is our hope that nature will take care of the rest.  You need not spend any time thinking about the boy's predicament or actively try to change his mind.  That is not the intent.  Simply befriend him and listen to him and help him to discover how much he can enjoy his life if he does not allow himself to be stifled by these people and their intolerant ways.  You do not need to manipulate him in any way but simply be there for him as a friend.  I can assure you from my careful study of you and him for the match that you have much in common and you will hit it off quite quickly."

"I see.  I suppose if I'm only required to spend time with him and let nature take its course, and not actively try to subvert him or convince him to leave this group then it should be acceptable."

Jake gazed some more at the image of Komakwa and tried to imagine what it might be like to engage in sex with him.  He wondered if he'd truly be able to do it with a completely alien being when he'd never even done it with a human before.  The stirrings he was already starting to feel in his loins while he imagined being taken by the impressive creature told him it should not be a problem though.  He remembered how attractive he'd found Srythryn to be too.  The crocodiles were even more alien looking in a sense and yet Jake was somehow drawn to them physically.  Perhaps it was strength and size he was drawn to as Xelzix had suggested earlier.  He would certainly love to get closer to Srythryn if he could.

"Xelzix, if I enter into this contract will I be bound to him monogamously?  Will I be required to be exclusive with him sexually?"

"No, of course not.  You are not marrying him.  The intent is not even for you to fall in love though I must warn you that is generally what happens as a natural course of such powerful attraction and emotional compatibility.  You are free to engage in sex with anyone you see fit even if you agree to the contract.  The vast majority of races you will find are not possessive of their partners, even once they do enter into matrimony," Xelzix explained.

"What if the fireworks don't happen?  What if I feel uncomfortable with the situation once I'm in it?  What if he and I end up at each other's throats or something?"

"Your contract can be canceled at any time so you need not be concerned with being trapped in a situation that is untenable to you.  In fact, if you choose at this moment not to agree to the match it will be considered canceled.  The father may also choose to cancel the contract should he find reason to feel that it is the best course of action.  Once it is canceled you will be allowed to choose where you will spend the rest of your life and we will make the arrangements to transport you there from which point you will be on your own.  You will no longer be covered by the insurance of return so you will be mortal once more unless you should find the means to pay for the insurance yourself."

"I see.  When we first met you said that due to the abrupt circumstances of my removal from my world without being fully informed of the implications of it that you had decided to allow me one return regardless of whether I agreed to the match or not," Jake said.

"Yes, that return has already occurred.  Normally all of the information I have given you today would be shown prior to installation into a new body and you would choose whether or not to proceed.  When someone who is from a race that has not yet emerged into the collective and does not know the true nature of the universe is approached by us, if they choose not to accept they would simply forget what they were told of the universe and the fact that we made the offer.  We do not have the technology to selectively remove past memories from you but we do have the ability to eliminate the latest synaptic pathways you've formed so that if you chose not to proceed we would wipe your latest memories and you would have no recollection of the offer or the true state of the universe and you could return to your normal life.  In your case of course the memory wipe will not be necessary as you have no home to return to and you will be staying out in the universe as a member of the collective."

Jake was struck by the thought that some of the cases of people who swore they were abducted by aliens might actually have been true.  What if they'd been taken off planet and interviewed by a slim, big eyed gray alien just as Jake had been and then asked if they wanted to proceed, but turned down the offer?  Their most recent memories would be obliterated and they would be returned to their lives with a small amount of missing time.  If the removal of memories were as imprecise as it sounds then they might have some fragments remaining that would cause them to remember some flashes of the event.  Since the offer involved sex with another alien then it made sense that the fragmented memories of some of those people might amount to 'Aliens took me and tried to add me to their breeding program!'

Xelzix continued, "Since you had to be taken first without the informed choice we decided to reinstall you regardless and give you the gift of the nanos to allow you a chance at a full and healthy life in return for your near abduction from your natural one and the fact that you have no home to return to any longer.  Our obligation for the one return has been fulfilled.  The nanos are yours to keep regardless of your decision.  Do you understand?"

"Yes, I do."

"Then the time has come for your decision," Xelzix said, "You must now choose whether you will proceed with the match or not.  Will you require some time to think?"

"No, I won't.  The choice isn't a difficult one for me.  I'm truly grateful for what you've done for me already Xelzix.  Not only did you save me from a fiery death on Earth, but you've returned my health to me and then some, and reset my physical clock back to the age of twenty years and not only given me the second chance at life I'd only ever dreamed of before, but you've opened up a universe full of wonders that I had no idea existed.  I can never thank you enough for that.  One thing I learned as my life approached its end was that a life empty of risk or adventure was a life truly wasted.  I was full of nothing but regrets at the end.  I will not repeat that mistake.  I agree to this match whole heartedly and I very much look forward to the adventure," Jake said.

"Excellent!  I had faith that you would be the best candidate for this match and you have proven I was correct.  From this moment forward and for as long as the contract is in place we will return you to life whenever the need may arise.  You and I will meet again each time you die Jake.  For now I will take you to where Srythryn is.  He has been pestering me about you these past months and he is most anxious to see you again.  He will keep you company and make you comfortable for the rest of the journey to our destination."

"Thank you Xelzix.  Should I get dressed first?"

"Your current attire is the norm on this ship for anyone not engaged in work.  Srythryn's race is uncomfortable in clothing for the most part and they wear only what they need to for the job at hand.  When relaxing they cover their most private parts and that is all.  If you are not accustomed to warm and humid climates you may find even your small shorts a bit much when you enter their living space.  Their world is a hot and humid jungle and they model their living space after it.  This ship is a floating city for them and they spend their entire lives in it.  In order to feel more at home they make it as much like their home world as they can.  Stay clothed as you are for now but feel free to request anything else you may need from Srythryn.  He will be happy to provide anything.  It is the end of their work day now and they will have just finished their evening meal and will be relaxing in the common area."

The alien tapped some controls and the image of Komakwa vanished.

Xelzix led Jake out through the door and down a hallway to what appeared to be an elevator of sorts.  The doors of the elevator closed and Jake felt it sink downward into the floor of the ship and then begin to accelerate sideways around the inside of the huge cylinder of the ship.  The elevators must run around on tracks under the floor so they could pop up at various points without their tracks or equipment intersecting any useful space.  The elevator continued for a short while sideways around the curve of the cylinder then slowed to a stop.  Then it began to accelerate again along the length of the cylinder for a time and came to a stop once more and then rose back up to floor level.

The doors opened and the two emerged into a wide open area that seemed almost like a mall.  There were several of the crocodile-like people who were Srythryn's species milling about in shops on multiple levels and at one end was a large food court where many sat talking around tables.  The air was indeed very warm and humid but not as much as Xelzix had implied.  Rather than smelling sterile and clean like the rest of the ship had, this place was a bit musty and had the scent of sweat and hard work from many bodies crowded closely together. It was quite pleasant and earthy.

"This is the common area reserved for members of the crew.  Their families are all in the living space beyond.  The crew like to have a place where they can come at the end of the day and share some camaraderie before they go back to their families," Xelzix explained.

Jake looked around in wonder as he once again saw that the entire ring of this section of the cylinder was wide open like the shipping bay had been and all the way round the ring the same layout of shops, counters and tables and large sections with lush green plants and fountains and benches repeated many times over.  As he looked up the sides and straight overhead he saw what looked like hundreds of crocs sitting at tables or milling around shops and sitting on benches in small parks up the sides and even upside down way at the top a mile or more up.  It would take him some time to get used to the shape of the ship and the artificial gravity from the cylinder's spin forcing everyone out to the walls as though the whole thing were floor and there was simply no such thing as 'ceiling', at least in these open sections of the ship.

It looked as though there might be thousands of crocs occupying the space.  Jake wondered what else made up the ship for the rest of its length.  Srythryn had described it as being over a hundred miles long.  If this was just a hangout for the crew he wondered how massive the living space would have to be to comfortably hold all of them and all of their families, not to mention the doctors and nurses and teachers and bakers and gardeners and so on and all of their families too.  How would they handle the food situation for so many people?  How do they deal with the waste?  An entire city of crocs living in one giant ship.  He wondered if he would ever be able to find his way around this place on his own.

Xelzix led Jake toward the nearest food court and before they'd quite reached it Jake heard a loud booming voice yell, "Jake!  At last!  Welcome back to the land of the living!"

Jake looked over and saw a grinning Srythryn standing at a table near the center waving them over.  It was easy to recognize him since to Jake it seemed like less than an hour since Srythryn had handed him off to Xelzix.  Jake smiled and waved at the large crocodile.  It was good to see a familiar face in the massive crowd.

"I will take my leave now Jake," Xelzix said, "Though I am somewhat outgoing and sociable compared to the rest of my secretive race I can not handle Srythryn's people when they are at their leisure.  They are truly boisterous as you will quickly find.  I think you might enjoy them quite a bit if you give them the chance to grow on you.  I will be seeing you more before we arrive at our destination.  For now I will leave you in Srythryn's good hands."

He then turned to head back towards the bank of elevators.

"Xelzix!  Come back!  Join us for a drink!" bellowed Srythryn, and then he laughed as he saw the small gray alien lean forward and increase his speed and duck into the nearest elevator without even looking back.

Jake headed over to the table where Srythryn was standing.

Srythryn was shaking his head as Jake arrived and said, "I've been trying to get that scrawny little man to join us for a bit of relaxation in the common room since he first came aboard a few hundred years ago.  I swear by the Granth's dangly neck flaps I will someday succeed!"

A few crocs around them chuckled.  Jake suddenly noticed that almost every crocodile in the area was now looking directly at him appraisingly.  He was not used to being the center of attention and he began to feel uncomfortable under their stares.

Having spent most of his life in three piece business suits he was self conscious about his state of undress but he realized that nearly everyone was dressed the same way, even Srythryn.  They all wore only snug shorts made of a thin stretchy material that allowed their thick tails to protrude out the back and that was all.  The shorts did not do much to hide the shape of their contents and most of the crocs had very large packages between their legs.  Jake could clearly discern two large testicles and a thick looking penis in them.  He looked down and noticed his own equipment was clearly outlined as well.

Jake scanned the crowd again.  He couldn't say why but he did not find it odd to be looking out over a massive group of crocodiles who were all looking back at him.  For some reason he found them all very attractive.  They looked natural and healthy and strong and capable.  The males were all thickly built and powerful looking.  They were at least a foot shorter than Jake on average.  Most had some variation of rich dark green or gray hue to their skin with a very pale light greenish gray color along their breasts.  They all had somewhat rough and scaly looking dark grayish green rows of ridges on their backs running along their entire length from the tip of their thick tails right up to the top of their heads.

Some appeared to be female but they too only wore shorts and nothing else.  They were much narrower of frame and appeared somewhat taller than the males though they still seemed fairly strongly built though not nearly as heavily muscled.  Unlike the males they had no large bulges in their shorts.  Instead, starting at the top of their chests and down their bellies they had two rows of multiple bumps with nipples on them.  He presumed they must give birth to entire litters of babies to have so many.  It looked odd for a crocodile to have nipples but he supposed it was no stranger than the males having what looked to be large testicles and penises hidden in their shorts.  He was fairly certain that wasn't the norm for true crocodiles back on Earth.  He though he remembered from some nature program that their sex organs were hidden inside their bodies.  These were right where Jake felt they should be, in plain sight.  These creatures must be some sort of cross between warm blooded mammals and cold blooded reptiles.  It was obvious they suckled their young, perhaps they even had live births instead of laying eggs.

Their heads seemed as though they might have started out looking just like a crocodile's long ago but had evolved to be upright tool users so the head sat at a right angle to the vertical spine..  Their two eyes faced forward and had the vertical pupil and what looked to be an inner eyelid with a heavy lid over top the eye like many reptiles on Earth.  The eyes were larger in proportion to the rest of their face and more expressive than Earth crocodiles too.  There was something very sexy and appealing about their eyes that he couldn't quite place.  It was almost as if they always had a playful, sly and inviting look to them.

Their face was primarily occupied by their long mouth that was flat with rows of large teeth.  The mouth looked to be less than half as long as a crocodiles would be as though it had shortened as they evolved.  Unlike crocodiles they actually had lips that covered the teeth most of the time except when they talked or showed them in a smile.  The lips toward the front were thicker and fuller almost like a humans lips but wider and slightly narrower.  He supposed that it would almost be necessary for intelligent creatures to evolve some sort of lips to aid in communication if not only through spoken language but expression as well.  You would never be able to see emotion on a real crocodile back on Earth but with the lips and the facial muscles that accompanied them these were able to smile and could likely show all types of other emotions as well.  Their nostrils were on top of the end of their long mouth facing slightly forward and looked to be able to pinch off completely. They had no ears but did have slight, barely perceptible bulges where their ear holes were and two ridges on the top of their heads, one behind each eye.

Their skin looked perfectly smooth and dry similar to a snake skin and had a nice scaled pattern that was difficult to discern at their backs where their color was darkest, but very easy to see and attractive around the sides and front where the lighter shades of green were.  The skin was smooth over most of their bodies but was only slightly rough along their backs where the long rows of ridges were.  They had muscular arms with strong looking hands with thick, stubby, clawed fingers and massive legs with long feet with short stubby toes that also had claws on the ends instead of toenails.  They stood perfectly upright but had the benefit of a long thick tail that reached the ground and ran along it a foot or so to give them a stable, tripod-like stance almost like a miniature T-Rex.  In fact, now that Jake thought of them that way, he wondered if instead they were descended from some sort of dinosaur.  The ones on Earth were supposed to have been warm blooded.  Maybe Srythryn's people were closer to those than crocodiles, but over all he primarily saw what looked like a version of crocs staring back at him.

They were very athletic looking and somehow just seemed to exude confidence and even kindness as they all smiled at him.

Jake suddenly realized as he looked around that all conversation nearby had ceased and all of the crocs stared and grinned at Jake.  He felt self conscious about not only being stared at, but being caught so obviously staring at all of them too.  He'd even been staring blatantly at their private areas.  He'd been looking them over and analyzing them as though they were animals in a zoo, yet really it was more like Jake was the zoo inhabitant and they were the visitors staring in at the weird creature.

"Stay and relax with us after your ordeal Jake.  I know it seems like only moments to you since we snatched you off your home world just in time for you to see its destruction, then being dragged back here by a bunch of aliens and killed by a complete stranger.  For me it has been several months while I waited for your return.  It's been far too long a time since we spoke and I have been anxious to see the results of Xelzix's talented efforts."

Srythryn appraised Jake's new muscular body up and down and front and back and even took one of his hands and lifted his arm up to look underneath.

"Look at you!  You are truly stunning to behold!  I knew I would be impressed but I had no idea quite how much.  I've encountered thousands of races in my long life but none that looked anything like you.  Your skin looks so supple and smooth!  The tufts of hair under your arms and on your head look so soft!  The light fur that decorates your body here and there is so appealing!  Your race is truly possessed of a wonderful natural beauty Jake.  It's a good thing we're out here in 'polite' company or I may not be able to resist laying my hands on you," Srythryn boomed and chuckled.

Jake blushed as he noticed most of the other crocs who'd been staring at him were now nodding and smiling their agreement.  Some of their stares bore right into him.  Many were dwelling on his crotch and some crocs at tables further back were even rising out of their chairs part way to look him over from head to toe with the look of hungry diners checking over a buffet.  He was something they had never seen before and he would likely be the object of everyone's curiosity for quite some time.  He was not prepared for this.  He began to understand Xelzix's reticence toward joining them in the common area.

Jake leaned in closer to Srythryn and asked in a low voice, "Is there somewhere more private we could go?  I hadn't considered what an oddity I would be to your people and how much I would stand out.  I'm a bit embarrassed by all the stares."

Srythryn grinned but instead of whispering his response his voice got loud enough to carry even further over the crowd and he bellowed, "Please accept my apologies Jake, I had not considered that you might be a shy wallflower like Xelzix!"

Jake cringed at the volume and tried to shrink down a little to be less visible.

Srythryn chuckled and turned to address everyone else in the vicinity, raised his arms and boomed even more loudly than before, "Look away you fools!  Can't you see you're embarrassing our guest?  You're staring at him with your tongues hanging out like a hungry batch of hatchlings getting ready to fight over their mother's last available teat!"

Many of the crocs laughed and someone at the back shouted, "It's time for a ribbing!  Who's first?"

A male croc with a deep voice shouted, "I'll go first!  I am no hatchling, and I doubt he has a teat worth suckling anyhow, but I would be more than happy to suck on what he keeps between those big legs!"

More crocs burst into laughter and Jake began to blush more furiously.

"That's enough of that, Slithris!  You will not be sucking on any part of Jake that he does not present to you willingly!  I might warn you that from what I managed to drag out of Xelzix, Jake is quite well endowed compared to the rest of us.  You may have the most practiced mouth on the ship but it will likely not be up to the task in this particular case!" yelled Srythryn to more laughter from the other crocs.

"The only way to find out for sure is if he will let me try!  At least let him bring it out and show it to us all that we may bask in its grandeur!" shouted Slithris to more chuckling from the crowd.

"You are persistent aren't you Slithris?  I know well from personal experience that you are able to create a vacuum like no one else can and if Jake ever needs his internal organs sucked out through his manhood I'm sure he will call on you.  For now if he prefers to keep his treat hidden from view that is his prerogative!"

More crocs laughed and chortled.

"Perhaps Jake could hide what he keeps between his legs by stuffing it into the gap I keep between my legs in order to protect it from Slithris' unwanted attention!" yelled a clearly female voice, "If he is as well endowed as you suggest then it may not quite fit right but he is more than welcome to pull it out and try to push it back in as hard as he likes and as often as it takes until it does!  I believe I have the patience to allow him to work at it all night!"

Another round of laughter and hooting burst out among the crowd.

"By the Granth's braided back hair, no!" yelled Srythryn, "I hate to disappoint you Risthl, and all of the other ladies in the room as well, but Jake's tastes lean only toward the coarser sex as well they should.  Only males will appeal to him.  He is a man after my own heart, and with luck and if I play my cards right he may soon be after some of my other parts!"

Jake blushed more and the crowd chuckled and grinned at him.  Something told him his interest in Srythryn was reciprocated.  He wondered if he would have the courage to do anything about it some time.

"Suffice to say that the ladies are out of the running before the contest to win him over even begins!" Srythryn bellowed.

There was a rousing cheer among several of the males in the crowd and some boos from some of the females and more laughter all around and Jake blushed further, wishing he could simply vanish and reappear somewhere else entirely.  He eyed the bank of elevators wondering if he should just rush off as Xelzix had done and disappear into one of those.

Srythryn noticed Jake's growing discomfort and decided to end the torture and direct the crowd's attention elsewhere, "In any case Risthl he'd likely get sucked right into that gaping maw you keep between your legs!  We need all hands to prepare for the coming jump and we cannot spare the search party to go in after him!  Speaking of which, where is your husband?  I have not seen him for at least a week!  Did he fall in and is still trying to find his way back out of there?"

The waves of laughter crashed over again and even Risthl chuckled while shaking her fist at Srythryn.

"I'm right here Srythryn!" yelled another croc a few tables away who was presumably Risthl's husband, "I finally found my way back out yesterday!  The good news is I found Slarslith in there too and managed to bring him out with me.  We have our chief engineer back!"

There were loud cheers and more laughter but then they quickly began to die down as Risthl slowly stood up at her table and stared in seething anger at her husband.

An uncomfortable silence began to settle in and then Risthl said in a loud and menacing voice, "You will apologize, my dear husband, for that vulgar attempt at humor suggesting an unlikely capaciousness for my delicate love tunnel!  I will have you know that there are many other eligible men besides you aboard this ship.  In fact, you likely passed some of them on your way out with the engineer.  As soon as our attorney finds his way out too I will be filing for divorce and marrying one of them instead!"

The room burst into roars and guffaws and some crocs nearly fell out of their chairs as the husband blew a kiss toward his now laughing wife who turned and raised her arms to the crowd in triumph accompanied by many cheers.

"All right, that's enough now!  Risthl is the clear winner!  Jake has likely been caught off guard by our banter.  Let us give him some time to recover.  As you were," Srythryn said loudly and then he turned to Jake and smiled and said, "We do like to rib each other when we relax Jake, I am sorry if we've embarrassed you.  You'll get used to us in time and learn to give as good as you get I'm sure."

Most of the other crocs had already returned to their conversations though some still grinned at Jake and some were still scanning over the length of his body with some intensity.

Jake himself had been laughing toward the end and had forgotten his own embarrassment already.

He sat down at the table with Srythryn and someone came over and dropped a large mug containing some sort of thick, orange colored carbonated cold drink in front of him.  It looked sweet and refreshing.  Jake smiled his thanks at the croc and then brought the mug up and sniffed.  It smelled sort of like pineapple juice mixed with some type of citrus.  He took a large gulp and was nearly bowled over by the level of alcohol fueled fire that bloomed in his mouth and throat.  Jake coughed and sputtered and Srythryn laughed and clapped him on the back.

"The drink is a bit strong for you I'd imagine," the big croc said, "We call it Blarp after the sound we make as we vomit our intestines out when we drink too much of it.  It takes us the better part of our early manhood to learn to take it."

"I'll be fine Srythryn, thanks," Jake sputtered as he took another smaller sip to show that he was man enough to handle the toxic brew.

He had to force himself not to cough it up again and he tried not to screw up his face too hard so as not to show how uncomfortable it really was for him as the powerful liquid burned its way down his throat, but his eyes had begun to water involuntarily and his face began to flush from the effort.

Srythryn laughed again and said, "You look as though you're trying to pass a twenty kilo krondar egg!  Why don't you switch to Fizzlefrizz?  It's a drink our children often enjoy."

Several crocs around chuckled and Jake rolled his eyes at the jab and took another swig.  He didn't feel the sensation that had caused him to cough up the drink this time, but he was afraid that might be because it had eaten through the nerve endings in his esophagus already.  He could feel warmth blooming in his belly and already he felt a pleasant light-headedness begin to warm his brain.

"I'm not sure if Xelzix warned you or not, but the nanos in your body will not protect you from death by alcohol poisoning or at best the pain of the worst hangover you could possibly imagine if you over do it Jake.  At least have something to eat so the Blarp will have something else to dissolve besides just your organs.  Even the most seasoned of us would not risk drinking it on an empty stomach.  Let me get you something," Srythryn said and got up and threaded through the tables toward a long counter at the back.

No sooner had Srythryn left than a huge and powerful looking croc who was clearly sporting a thick erection in his shorts stumbled over and fell into a chair at the table.

"Hullo shweet Jake, I'm Thristtttd, I'm Thrisssslst..."  the bleary eyed croc hiccuped and shook his head and continued more slowly and deliberately, "My name iss Thriststris an f'you would allow me I would very mush like to do my abasloot best to try to impreginatechoo.  Imagine the booful clush of eggs we could make t'gether!"

The croc's breath was thick with the cloying sweet fruity smell of Blarp.

Much to Jake's astonishment and amusement the translator in his head was actually adding a slurred sound to the speech it was generating to replace the croc's own hissing.  The technology had done an amazing job of giving all the crocs their own unique voices even differentiating between males and females.  It was perfectly modulating volume and flavoring their speech with anger or humor as appropriate during the ribbing earlier and now he found that it was even sophisticated enough to make Thriststris sound as drunk as he clearly was.  He was amazed.

Before he could respond to the lewd suggestion two more crocs came and smiled and winked at Jake and then each took one of Thriststris' arms and lifted him up out of the chair and dragged him off into the crowd while he protested that if they were really his friends they would not stand in the way of true love.  A third crocodile stayed behind to apologize for his friend's forwardness.

"Please do not mention this to Srythryn," the croc implored, "He warned everyone that you may not be prepared for our open sexuality and not to come on too strongly too soon so as not to upset you.  To be honest, I personally feel it's simply a ruse to keep you all to himself.  You do not look so delicate to me.  In any case, I hope that you do not take offense to Thriststris' clumsy attempts to lure you into his bed.  Try not to hold it against him.  He is one of the most sought after males on the ship so it really is an honor to have him forget about all the rest and come after you."

The croc turned to leave then hesitated and turned back and said, "If by chance you did not take offense to his suggestion and actually found the prospect appealing, then please know that my name is Stisslyss and I am much more experienced in the art of attempting to impregnate other men than Thriststris and would be most happy to take his place until he sobers up.  Or, if you prefer, I would just as soon have you try to make me swollen with eggs.  I doubt we would succeed but I can't imagine anything I'd enjoy more than to try it with you."

The croc then grinned and turned away again to go and find his friends.

Jake chuckled as he watched the croc bumping into others and nearly tripping then apologizing as he kept glancing back over his shoulder at Jake while walking away as though hoping Jake would get up and follow him.

As Jake looked around the crowd again and still saw many crocs staring intently at him and winking whenever their eyes met, and some of them rubbed at their bulging crotches while smiling straight at him, it began to truly sink in that he was not being made fun of here.  They really did desire him this much.  He could right at this moment choose a partner and they would happily lead him off for a fun night of frolic in their bed.  He was flattered and excited by it.  He began to wonder if the croc earlier was right and Srythryn had told everyone not to come on to Jake just as a ruse to ensure he would get the first crack at Jake.  He found himself hoping it was true.

He'd been attracted to Srythryn since he first saw him come out of the hatch of the shuttle back on Earth.  There was something about the masculine confidence, the strength and grace, and now the obvious sense of humor and over all kindness that was powerfully attracting Jake to the large crocodilian.  He suspected there might also be some subconscious feeling of Srythryn being his savior since he risked his own ship to pull Jake off of the planet just as it was about to be destroyed.  In a sense it felt to Jake that it was Srythryn that was responsible for saving the sixty eight year old dying man and turning him into a healthy twenty year old with a new lease on life.  In the end it didn't really matter to him exactly why he was attracted to Srythryn but he was, and he intended to do something about it as soon as it seemed appropriate.

Srythryn returned with a large platter of some sort of roasted fowl surrounded by a pile of vegetables that smelled incredibly inviting.  Jake hadn't realized quite how hungry he was and he immediately dived at the platter and began to devour everything on it.  Srythryn looked on with astonishment as the food steadily disappeared from the plate.  He didn't say a word so as not to interrupt Jake's momentum until the food was almost gone.

"That was a dinner for two under normal circumstances Jake.  You must be hungrier than I thought," he laughed, "Let me go and get you another."

The croc moved to get up but Jake quickly put his hand on Srythryn's arm to stop him and said, "No!  You don't need to go.  Stay right here.  It's plenty, thank you."

Srythryn looked at him suspiciously and then looked around the room.

"Did something happen while I went for the food?  Did someone do something to upset you?"

It wasn't Jake's intention to get anyone in trouble.  He just didn't want anyone else swooping in on him when the object of his interest was sitting right here at the table with him.

"No, not at all.  Your people seem absolutely terrific Srythryn.  I think I'm really going to enjoy my time here," Jake said.

Srythryn's face split into a wide grin.

"I am truly glad to hear you say that Jake as we may have many opportunities to spend a great deal of time together.  Xelzix and a very large contingent of his people live and operate out of my ship.  They are the source of much of the funding that supports its operation and also in return for allowing them to use it as a mobile resurrection site all of the crew carry contracts for the insurance of return.  Since Xelzix is assigned to your contract, each and every time you die and are reinstalled you will find yourself back on this ship and we will be spending a great deal of time together while we take you back to where you need to be.  That is why I told you before I hope you will learn to live a life of adventure and take many risks.  It would mean I could spend a great deal more time with you."

Jake smiled and nodded and turned back to polish off the last of the food.  When he'd finished it he washed it down with a few more careful sips of the Blarp.  He didn't want to get as drunk as Thriststris but he did want to loosen himself up a bit so that he might have the courage to ask Srythryn if he wanted to get more intimate and explore each other.  He'd already decided that he was not going to waste any time and he would begin his life of adventure right here and now.  He would not allow himself to be too afraid to try new things with new people.  He would do his best not to have any regrets the next time his life came to an end, no matter how many times it came to an end.  One by one he planned on taking things from the huge mountain of regrets from his former life on the one side of the scale and move them over to the side of accomplishments until there was not a single regret left.  He had all the time in the universe now but he intended to use each moment like it might be his last.

While he waited for the drink to have its effect he asked, "How much time do we have Srythryn?  How much longer will it be until I get dropped off at my destination?"

"It will be just over two more months," Srythryn replied.

"I'm glad to hear it, but why so long?  We've already been traveling for over three months while I've been going through the process, right?  In our science fiction movies back on Earth the ship would usually stretch and snap into a flash of light and then you'd be at your destination," Jake chuckled.

"That is not completely inaccurate as it happens but it describes only one part of the journey.  This ship is equipped with a warp generator and a wormhole initiator.  The wormhole allows us to travel instantaneously between two parts of space by traveling, in a sense, outside of space.  Outside of space we can ignore the laws of physics and can appear to travel much faster than the speed of light.  Instantaneously in fact.  However, the wormhole we are able to generate is vanishingly short compared to the distances we need to travel.  In a sense, it would only allow us to instantaneously travel several miles or so at great cost of energy which in itself is a completely useless function.  That is where the warp generator comes in.  It can literally generate a bend in space outward from the generator along one of the three dimensions.  This would normally serve no purpose since it does not actually bring anything closer to the ship in the normal sense.  All it really does is reduce the distance of nonspace, the area outside of space, that exists between the two locations in true space.  The bend in space is imperceptible from within and does not disturb anything.  Travelling around a bend in space would seem like simply traveling in a straight line and it would still be the same distance."

"I don't follow.  How can it be curved and straight at the same time, and why bend it if it doesn't really bring anything closer?" Jake asked.

"Think of it like traveling down a long straight ribbon.  You are at one end and you need to travel all the way to the other but it would take you a lifetime to cover the distance.  If you could cause the ribbon to bend severely enough, the ribbon would loop over on itself and the two ends would come together like a ring.  They could not occupy the same space or even touch each other as that is physically impossible but they would come very close in the sense that the nonspace between them would be shortened to the point of being almost gone.  Because they are not in the same space then you would still have to travel the full length of the ribbon around the curve to finally arrive at the other end, unless you could somehow travel through the very short nonspace outside of normal space that exists between the two ends.  Then you would only have a very short way to go.  This is where the wormhole becomes useful.  Once the other end comes into range we initiate the short wormhole and jump across the gap of nonspace between the two ends of the ribbon.  The warp generator is then deactivated and the ribbon straightens back out.  We find ourselves at the other end of the ribbon almost instantaneously.  If you could watch that process from outside the ship, which is completely impossible since it would require information to travel faster than light breaking the laws of relativity, I could easily imagine it looking like the ship stretched and snapped into a flash of light and then simply emerged at its new location."

"Amazing, but that doesn't explain why it would take so long," Jake said.

"It is due to some quirks of the technology involved that I myself don't fully understand.  The warp field can be generated anywhere, but there is a limitation to the initiation of the wormhole due to some issues with the machinery and methods used.  Suffice to say that very bad things can happen if there are too many charged particles in the area of space that we wish to open with a wormhole.  The charge of the area we jump from must be very close to the charge of the area we jump to.  In order to mitigate this problem we must travel outside of the heliosphere of any star that might be in the vicinity into neutrally charged interstellar space.  That means basically traveling past the outer edge of a star system well beyond its out planets.  We need to travel away from the star past a point known as the heliopause, where the gamma rays and charged particles streaming out of the star that make up its solar wind comes essentially to a stop.  The area beyond the pause is nearly neutral in charge to any other area that is outside of the heliosphere of the target star where we will arrive.  It is essentially interstellar space.

"The only method of travel available to us for that part of the trip to clear the heliosphere involves mundane propulsion.  In our case we use a version of plasma drive powered by a matter and antimatter annihilation in a controlled reaction.  We can accelerate constantly and build up to incredible speed but we are still shackled by the laws of relativity and the closer we come to the speed of light the greater our mass and the more energy we would need to go any faster.  The more energy we dump into accelerating to a faster speed the more we raise our mass yet again causing us to need even more energy to go faster.  The amount of energy we consume to go faster goes up exponentially.  We could never possibly achieve the speed of light which itself is vastly slower than we would like to travel anyhow.

"Still, we can at least get across the radius of a heliosphere in a reasonable amount of time.  Your scientists launched a space probe long ago called Voyager 1 that has been traveling at roughly seventeen kilometers per second and has only just passed the heliopause and become the first of your man made objects to truly pass into interstellar space.  It has taken the probe thirty five years to do so.  Our massive ship accomplished it in just over three months while you slept.  In approximately three more days we will begin to power up the warp field, a process which takes a few more days to build up and bend the space sufficiently to bring our destination into range, and then we will initiate the wormhole and jump across the gap to just outside of the heliosphere of the star around which your match's planet revolves.  The star is smaller and dimmer than your own and so its heliosphere is also smaller.  It will take us just under two months to travel inward using plasma propulsion to reach the planet and drop you off."

"I see.  So part of the trip is old fashioned travel and that's what slows it down.  Still, it's astounding that you can jump across a galaxy in an instant once you're out of range of the solar winds.  Can you go between galaxies just as fast?"

"No, but sort of yes.  In fact, we are unable to travel across a galaxy with one jump let alone from one galaxy to another.  There is a limit to how much of a warp we can generate.  The limit varies with the size and power of the warp generator, and thus the size of the ship.  A ship of this size can jump the equivalent of around a thousand light years at once but to do so would consume most of our available energy and it would take a great while to recharge after that big of a jump as the antimatter used to power the devices must be generated from our stored fuel in advance of any jump.  Our destination to drop you off happens to be much closer than a thousand light years so it will take only one low energy jump to get there.  Your Milky Way galaxy however is over one hundred and twenty thousand light years across so in fact this ship would have to perform at least one hundred and twenty jumps to get all the way across it.  Each of those jumps would be at maximum distance and would require a space warp that would take weeks to generate, and then it would take months to recharge and prepare for the next jump.  It would be a long and grueling trip indeed that would take nearly forty years.

"The distance between your galaxy and the next nearest is a million times larger than its width so it would take well over a hundred million jumps to get there.  It would take tens of millions of years at best speed to do it.  Clearly that would not be feasible for routine travel.  Even the forty years to get across an average galaxy would be too long.  The First Ones solved this problem to some degree by building wormgates at several locations around the perimeter and inside of most galaxies.  These are massive devices that form permanent wormhole links between vast distances in space.  As I said before we are only able to generate wormholes that are extremely short.  However, the holes can be bound to these large gate like devices in a persistent and stable connection.  The massive gates are built some distance apart in space.  A warp is generated between the two gates to shrink the nonspace between them until it is very short.  Then a wormhole is initiated between the two and stabilized and the warp generator is turned off.  The gates remain apart in space but are now permanently linked by a wormhole that ignores the distance in normal space.  That means you can then take one gate and move it an unimaginably long distance away from the first one, yet you could then turn and enter the gate and instantly pop out the other one.  The gate is itself a large ship with its own warp generator and wormhole initiator and can actually jump to a maximum distance of a couple of thousand light years.  It doesn't really matter that it might take tens of millions of years to take it out to the next nearest galaxy because supplies, fuel, and shifts of crews can be sent through the first gate to relieve the others who jump through the second gate back to the first to rest and be with their families.  As such the second gate can be driven vast distances from the first quite easily.  It just takes time.

"Linked gates can be used to go both ways but one gate links to only one other location.  Several gates are linked from opposite ends of most galaxies as well as several locations within them which makes travel much more efficient.  We only need to travel to the nearest gate and leap across the galaxy to its linked partner at the other end.  Most galaxies contain over a million gates so that a trip from any part of the galaxy to any other will require at most no more than a few generated jumps plus one or two gate transitions.  Assuming you are traveling out of only one heliosphere and into one other you can take a trip from anywhere in the galaxy to anywhere else and it will take you well under a year.

"There is also a vast network of gates that links all of the galaxies in the explored universe.  Travel between the galaxies makes use of hubs that are clusters of gates located out between galaxies.  Travel from one galaxy to another involves traveling to a hub gate in the galaxy you're in which teleports you to the hub, and then going through the appropriate gate in the hub to arrive at the destination galaxy.  It takes many millions of years to bring a gate across the gap between galaxies, but the First Ones have been at it for billions of years so they have covered a lot of ground.  The time it takes for that initial trip between galaxies is what is limiting the speed at which they are able to explore the known universe and make it accessible to everyone.  It is not known at this time whether they are already on their way to creating the first link between this supercluster and the next but for the time being there is no known link in place.  Most suspect it was started very long ago but just how long it might take to complete is anyone's guess.  The First Ones are secretive about it and have not volunteered the information.  It would likely take over a billion years to make the first journey and drag the gate out to the next closest supercluster, but it would then be open to exploration by instantaneous jumps across the gap and we could quickly begin to spread into the new supercluster."

Jake could feel his head beginning to spin slightly.  He wasn't sure if it was all of the information Srythryn was spewing at him or just the Blarp starting to catch up to him.

He decided it was time to take his first chance in his new body to experience something he'd never tried before.  It felt odd to him that his first shot at sex would be with an alien but it somehow did not feel wrong.  He was excited by the idea.

"This is all fascinating Srythryn, but I wonder if I might turn in now?  To me it still sort of feels like the same day that you picked me up on Earth and it's been a long one.  I wonder if I could impose myself upon you and come with you to your home and stay there?"

Srythryn grinned widely and said, "You honor me!  I had planned to install you in your own place but if you wish to stay with me I would be delighted!"

"I could have my own place later on maybe, but for now I would very much like to stay with you.  We've only just met but still you are the only one here that feels familiar to me and I would be more comfortable with you than by myself.  Thank you," Jake said.

Srythryn smiled and quickly stood and led Jake to the back wall of the common area and they got into an elevator there.  The elevator once again dropped down into the floor of the ship and after some whisking around the curve of the cylinder it began to accelerate further back along its length.  The acceleration lasted a long while so they must have built up a terrific speed but the ride was incredibly smooth.  It must use some type of maglev technology.  Finally the elevator gently began to slow and after a while it finally came to a stop and rose up again and the doors opened.

Jake was nearly knocked over by the humid hot air that blasted him as soon as he stepped out.  He looked around and to his amazement they were standing in a lush, dimly lit jungle at night.

He was sure he could smell and even hear the crashing waves of an ocean somewhere nearby and ahead of them.

He looked up and to his surprise instead of seeing more jungle hanging upside down over head he saw a clear star field of a night sky with three small moons hanging low in the sky ahead of them.  This couldn't be outer space he saw because the cylinder was spinning so the stars would be whizzing by overhead but they were stationary.  There even appeared to be light clouds scudding here and there occasionally obscuring the stars.  He could see that the jungle wrapped a short way up the sides of the cylinder but the rest was sky.

"This is amazing Srythryn.  Was it built to model your home world?"

"Yes, precisely.  Most of the people aboard do not have the insurance of return.  Generations of them live and die aboard this ship.  In order to make them as comfortable as we can we made it as close a copy as we could to our world.  We have the same day and night cycles and moon phases.  We have the same weather patterns so you can expect heavy bursts of rain for short periods almost every day just as we have on our home world.  There is a simulation of an ocean at the other end of the living section.  Most of us are coastal and we enjoy the ocean immensely.  My place is right on the beach."

"Wow, I get to stay at a beach front property?" Jake asked.

"Yes, indeed," Srythryn said.

Jake smiled and said, "That sounds great Srythryn.  In that case I think I might just want to stay with you a little longer than just tonight if you'll let me.  It'll be like a tropical vacation."

Srythryn smiled warmly and nodded and Jake thought he noticed the bulge between the croc's legs shift a bit as the contents began to grow.  Perhaps Srythryn had already clued in to Jake's intent.  He felt his own heat rising and he really wanted to get things rolling so he hoped it wouldn't take them much longer to get there.

Srythryn led them down a path and spoke as they walked, "What you see above us is all made up of the same display technology that you already saw on the inside of our shuttle.  The shuttle display's primary purpose is to show what is happening outside the ship and of course any status information and prompts.  This one above us displays a perfect reproduction of the sky from our home world.  It projects the star fields, moons and suns as they track across in their normal rhythms."

"I see three moons up there, you have more than one sun too?" Jake asked.

"Yes, we come from a trinary system.  The stars are quite far apart.  The one our planet orbits is a yellow dwarf close to the size of your own sun and we are slightly closer to it than your Earth is to your sun thus creating a slightly more tropical climate even in our most habitable areas.  It gets hot enough to be uninhabitable at our equator and our planet does not wobble appreciably on its axis so we do not have seasons.  The poles of our planet are not frozen and that is where we live.  The other two suns are blue dwarf stars in an odd arrangement.  One orbits our sun at a great distance in a fairly circular orbit and the other orbits the second star in such a way that it spends half of its time nearer to us than the second star and the rest of its time much further away.  The brightest of the three moons you see above which is also the smallest is not actually a moon but the third star in the system.  We call it Strastrnslith which means 'little traveler'.  It is nearly as far away from us as it gets and that is why its so dim but still it provides a level of light equivalent to a full moon.  When it gets to its closest it raises the level of light at night time to about the same level as just before normal sunrise.  Due to the fact that we have three stars we seldom have pitch black night.  One or more of the three stars is almost always present in the sky.  If the second star were in the sky right now you would see that it is somewhat brighter and larger looking than Strastrnslith is at this phase.  Of course, true daylight happens only when our sun rises and then the light is nearly exactly the same level and quality as what you experienced on Earth though slightly more intense as we are just a little closer."

They continued to walk as Jake looked around at the incredible space they'd created for themselves to live in.  It really was a jungle.  It was humid and dank and musty and smelled incredibly rich and full of vegetation.  There were even jungle like sounds.  There were calls and chirps and the occasional sound of plants rustling like something was moving around out there.  At one point Jake heard what sounded like a low growl a little ways off to the left.  The effect of the simulation was completely immersive.

"This is truly amazing Srythryn.  Even the sounds being emitted seem so realistic and natural.  You've really gone to great lengths to recreate your home.  I love it."

"Yes, we've gone to great lengths, but we are not the only ones.  Most races who travel significantly in space do the same.  There are many ships like this scattered throughout the known universe with simulations of various worlds.  This is one of the largest ones but there are a few that are bigger.  We do not wish to lose who we are and become a race of people who live in small compartments on a sterile ship.  Most would eventually go mad under those conditions.  Most races go to the same lengths as we do to bring their homes with them.

"Even the sounds you hear are not simulated.  This jungle is massive and is full of all of the animals, plants, birds and insects that would normally inhabit it.  They are our source of food.  We would not eat from tubes or powders or drinks.  We need real food.  You must exercise great caution if you choose to explore the jungle.  There are creatures in there that we hunt for food but there are also some that hunt us.  We would not have it be a sorry facsimile of our home world but the real thing with all of its natural bounty and all of its dangers."

"Wow!  Would you take me on a hunting trip some time?  That would be a great adventure," said Jake.

"It would be my extreme pleasure to do so.  I love to hunt, as most males of my species do.  It is normally a solitary affair but I would love to bring you with me the next time I go."

They'd walked for quite a while and Jake noticed he was starting to hear the crashing waves of the ocean getting louder and he could smell and feel the breeze coming off of it.  They must be getting close.

"How big is the jungle?  Do all of your people live in it?"

"Yes, all of them, yet due to its immensity we use only a small part of it to live in.  Each family has their own domicile built the same way as we would do at home with their own private space around it that you would call a yard.  There are thousands of the homes scattered in clusters about the jungle.  Most of them are near the ocean so the wildest part of the jungle is back behind where the elevators let us off.  The jungle stretches back thirty miles aftward toward the crew area that we came from. The bulk of it that sustains us and produces our food is up behind the sky."

"Behind the sky?" Jake queried.

"Yes, though you can't see it from here the jungle wraps the full way around the cylinder.  It needed to be made large enough to support the animals without our intervention and it needed to be able to support enough animals to keep us well fed.  It is a nearly completely self sustaining ecosystem.  More than two thirds of it is protected under a massive canopy upon which is the display technology that simulates the sky for us here.  It provides the most convincing effect of our home planet for us while maintaining the largest section of the jungle as a wild sanctuary beneath it with its own sky simulation and weather to give the jungle the ecosystem it needs to support the variety of life in it.  It also serves to keep the cylinder in balance.  If it were jungle on only one side it would wobble badly and it would be highly inefficient to burn the energy necessary to correct the wobble.  Spreading the jungle all the way around makes the most efficient use of the space and keeps the weight balanced so the cylinder spins smoothly and easily."

"Incredible.  I can't wait to see all of this in daylight."

"It is early night now so it will be another nine hours or so before sunrise."

The path they were following suddenly widened out and then emerged from the jungle onto a sandy beach.  It was a beautiful sight.  The two moons and small blue sun hung over the ocean and were reflected in its waves.  The beach was a sort of private cove and the jungle jutted out slightly on each side.  Off to the left Jake saw a small neatly built house on short thick stilts rising off the sand with a wide set of stairs leading straight off the beach up to the house.  This must be Srythryn's own private beach and that was his home.  Rank certainly has its privileges even among the croc's race.

The crashing waves coming in on the moonlit beach were soothing to listen to and the warm sand felt so good under Jake's feet and the fresh tropical ocean breeze caressed him warmly.  He'd never felt quite so alive and he wanted to spend a bit of time enjoying it.

"Could we just stay out on the beach for a while Srythryn?  It's so beautiful and relaxing out here."

Srythryn smiled and nodded, "Wait here, I'll get us a blanket."

There was a large storage bin under the house at the back of it.  Srythryn opened it up and pulled out a large blanket.  He walked out onto the beach closer to the ocean and Jake followed him.

Srythryn unrolled the blanket onto the sand and Jake got on it and lay on his back with his feet pointing toward the waves and propped himself up on his elbows to gaze out over the ocean.  Srythryn lay down beside him on his side facing Jake and propped his head up on one elbow and smiled as he gazed quietly at Jake.

They lay in comfortable silence for a while and then finally Srythryn spoke.

"Do you like the beach I built for you Jake?" he asked in a sultry voice.

"You built it for me?  Really?" Jake was astounded.

Srythryn chuckled and said, "No, not really.  I'm sorry, it just sounded like wonderfully romantic thing to say and I couldn't resist.  The beach has been here for the many thousands of years since this ship was first built.  I had a hand in its construction, but so did tens of thousands of others of my people."

Jake laughed, "Well I do love it.  I feel like I could spend the rest of my life right here.  It's so relaxing.  It feels wonderful.  How far out does the ocean go?  Is it a real ecosystem like your jungle?"

"Yes, it is.  It stretches an additional thirty miles out forward.  We needed a massive volume of water in order to support as much life as possible as it is another major source of food for us.  Wave generators at the far side of the ocean simulate the waves quite realistically to the point of occasionally having powerful storms crash in.  Similarly to the jungle the ocean actually wraps the full way around the cylinder but more than two thirds of it is covered and protected under the large display that simulates the sky and the underside of the covering maintains the day and night cycle and provides weather for the ocean sanctuary beneath.  The ocean is stocked with much of the life that we find in our ocean back home.   There are deadly predators out there as well as some very large and delicious fish that we like to try to catch for sport.  We enjoy paddling out on small boats like your kayaks and taking the fish on one on one.  It can get very exciting as the fish are strong enough to pull the boat and sometimes might even pull it under the waves.  It is an epic struggle to bring one of them in single handedly and only the strongest and most practiced tend to succeed but it is still great fun to try."

"I would love for you to teach me that as well.  Fishing was one of the many things I always wanted to try back on Earth in my old life but felt I didn't have the time," Jake said.

"What could possibly be more important for you to spend your time doing?"

"Working of course.  For many men on Earth our careers were our lives.  They were all that really mattered and we sacrificed everything else to succeed at them.  It was generally necessary to use all of our time focusing on our work and there really was no free time for anything else."

"That's ridiculous!  My people work only the absolute minimum that is necessary and unavoidable and then turn our focus to our entertainment and enjoyment of life and each other."

Jake chuckled, "You sound sort of like teenagers or frat boys back on Earth.  That's how they lived their lives until they grew up."

"Then these frat boys sound like the only Earthlings who really knew how to live correctly."

"I believe you may be right Srythryn," Jake said, laughing.

Srythryn smiled and said, "I do enjoy the sound of your laughter.  To me laughter is the sound of the real essence of life itself.  Those who are laughing are truly living life correctly precisely at that moment and it is wonderful to see and hear.  I never tire of it."

"Yes, I could tell by what happened back at the common area that your people all seem to enjoy laughter."

"We do indeed.  I must apologize once more for any embarrassment you felt.  The ribbing is a tradition among our crew and they use it to blow off steam occasionally and have fun as a large group.  I feel as though I threw you to the wolves, but I thought it necessary to get that out of the way so they would see you as just another wonderful person and not some sort of exotic endangered species or some sort of oddity for them to gawk at.  That is how they still see Xelzix after all these years and it is mainly because he does not join us in our leisure time and keeps himself so scarce that he is like a strange ghost to them," Srythryn explained.

"I'm glad you did what you did," Jake said, "It very quickly pulled me out of my shell and made me part of the crowd.  Afterward most finally stopped staring at me and turned back to their conversations.  There were still many gawkers, but I think they were gawking for all the right reasons.  They seemed to be attracted to me.  I felt flattered and excited by it.  I love what I've seen of your people so far.  They are beautiful and impressive and seem to be full of life and I can't wait to spend more time with them."

Srythryn smiled again as he gazed at Jake.

"Tell me something Jake, if you recall during our trip on the shuttle so many months ago you said that you found my race appealing and that you might actually fantasize about sex with us.  Does that still hold true?"

Jake's heart began to beat faster.  This was it.  It was time to have some courage and act.

"Yes, it still holds.  To me it seems like that conversation occurred just earlier today remember.  To be blunt and honest, that is why I asked to stay with you tonight rather than on my own."

Srythryn's face was split by a wide grin and his eyes sparkled in the moonlight as he said, "I was truly hoping that was the case.  I am thrilled Jake.  I managed to cajole Xelzix into showing me an image of what you would look like back even before we first met on your planet and I was amazed by what I saw.  After having met the old you I found I very much liked you as a person as well.  I have been obsessed with thoughts of you these past months while I waited for you to emerge as the real you and it has been a very long wait for me."

"Well, I'm here now Srythryn.  The wait is over.  Shall we go inside?" Jake asked.

Srythryn reached his arm out and placed his hand on Jake's flat stomach and slowly moved it over the firm muscles there.  His eyes were glazed as he lovingly caressed Jake's skin.  He moved his hand along the light furry treasure trail of body hair that ran down from Jake's hairy chest and past his navel.  Srythryn moved his hand upward and twirled his index finger around in the soft chest hair and moved it over to lightly touched one of Jake's nipples.  He rubbed Jake's nipple gently and marveled as it began to stiffen from the attention.  His finger then continued upward to Jake's face to run along his jaw to his chin and Srythryn turned Jake's head toward him and looked him straight in the eyes with intensity.  The croc seemed almost to stare right into Jake's soul from the vertical black pupils swimming in the beautiful yellow irises of his sexy, heavily lidded reptilian eyes and Jake felt a powerful connection and a longing to get closer to him.  He felt as though he were going to melt under that stare.

"Could we not enjoy each other right here on the beach?" Srythryn breathed.

Jake smiled and nodded.

Srythryn slid in toward Jake and then moved his upper body over him and moved his face in for a kiss.  Jake hesitated only briefly and then touched his lips to the crocodile's.  He was surprised to find they were warm and soft just like a humans.  They parted slightly and Jake extended his tongue and as soon as it passed beyond Srythryn's lips he sensed the croc instantly tense and begin to lose control.  Srythryn's hand went around to Jake's back and pulled him in hard and sucked his tongue into his mouth with passion.  Jake turned his head sideways and tried to push his tongue as far in to Srythryn's mouth as it would go.  The croc tasted wonderfully sweet and salty at the same time.

Jake could feel his own passion building at amazing speed as he began to rub his tongue forcefully against Srythryn's as if to lick up every drop of the taste of his new lover.  Srythryn groaned and his tongue started to push back hard.  Jake pulled his own tongue back into his mouth and Srythryn's chased it in.  The croc's tongue was thick and wet and soft and incredibly long.  It continued stretching out past Srythryn's lips to almost fill Jake's mouth.  Jake sucked hard on the tongue as it explored every surface in his mouth.  The feeling of this big warm wet tongue filling his mouth was incredibly erotic and sensual to Jake and he felt like he couldn't get enough of it.  He sucked and slurped and moaned and it began to drive both of them further into a frenzy of desire for each other.

Srythryn moved the rest of his body over Jake while they remained tongue locked and placed his knees to either side of Jake and the croc's thick tail stood up in the air behind him.  His hands began to explore Jake's body while the two of them continued their necking.  Jake reached down between them and found the bulge between Srythryn's legs.  It was thick and heavy and full of heat.  Srythryn and Jake both moaned louder as Jake's hand wrapped around the thick, hard shape of the croc's penis through his shorts.  Jake's hand began to move up and down the length of Srythryn's thick cock and he marveled at how powerful it felt and how much he craved it.

Jake's hand released Srythryn's penis and reached around to the small of the croc's back and pulled him hard into him.  Srythryn moaned again and began to rub his throbbing penis against Jake's own growing erection.  The two of them continued to grind urgently against each other while Jake continued to suck on Srythryn's tongue.  He had never felt this sort of passion in his life before.  His head was spinning and he didn't quite know what to do.  He wanted Srythryn so badly that he felt himself losing any coherent train of thought and just had images of licking every inch of him and eating him up.  He'd fantasized so much about sex through his life but had never actually done it and wasn't really sure how to proceed.

Srythryn broke their kiss and then sighed while rubbing the side of his face along Jake's cheek and then whispered in his ear, "I am more full of desire than I've ever been in my life.  Will you allow me to take you as a man takes his mate?"

"Yes, please," Jake breathed.

Srythryn moved downward a bit and lifted Jake's arms up over his head and the croc put his nose right into one of Jake's arm pits and snuffled at the tuft of soft hair there.  The croc moaned his pleasure at the scent and licked at Jake's arm pit to see how it would taste.  He moved briefly to the other pit and did the same and moaned again.

"You smell so wonderful Jake.  I could never get enough of this," Srythryn groaned and then went back to snuffling and licking.

He then moved off of Jake and kneeled beside him.  He began to run one of his hands over the bulge in Jake's shorts.  Jake's cock was nearly at full attention and at Srythryn's touch it came the rest of the way.  It was so thick and long it couldn't be fully contained by his shorts.  Jake's cock had been growing while lying sideways but as it came to full stiffness it poked out of the top of his shorts and Srythryn moaned at the sight of it and leaned his head in and kissed the head of Jake's cock tenderly.  He then carefully took hold of Jake's shorts and slowly and smoothly slid them down his legs and off and threw them aside.

Srythryn moaned again at the sight of Jake's crotch fully revealed and he dived in and began to snuffle and lick at Jake's big balls.  The croc then lifted Jake's massive cock and ran the side of his face up and down the long shaft lovingly.  He moved his head to snuffle again at the patch of Jake's pubic hair and moaned long and loudly in pleasure at the scent of him.

Srythryn then moved his face up and once again kissed the tip of Jake's cock and licked his lips to get at the slick precum they became coated with.  He then began to lick at Jake's cock head and finally pressed his lips against it and pushed downward sucking more than half the length of Jake's massive cock right in.  The croc sealed his lips tightly and began to suck hard and move his head up and down.  He used one hand to control Jake's cock and brought the other around to caress Jake's big furry balls.

Jake was inexperienced in real sex and these sensations were new to him.  He could not withstand this treatment any longer.  He began to feel his orgasm build rapidly and his toes began to curl as he moaned loudly.  Srythryn sensed the coming climax and began to suck harder and a little faster and Jake instinctively began to buck his hips up at the croc's face.  In moments the tickling Jake began to feel at the base of his scrotum intensified and bloomed out through his body like an electrical storm and he cried out as the incredibly intense orgasm slammed into him.  He felt his scrotum tighten in Srythryn's hand and a massive surge of semen rushed up his long cock to explode into Srythryn's mouth.

Srythryn moaned loudly and began to suck even harder as wave after wave of ecstasy washed over Jake and he shot one long pulse of semen after another.  He had never dreamed how satisfyingly intense it might be to shoot this volume of cum and he was near to the point of losing consciousness from the power of it.  Each time his pelvic muscle tensed and squeezed Jake could feel a long and powerful surge of fluid rush up through his cock shaft and squirt from his pulsing cock head into his lover's drooling mouth.

Finally after what seemed like a long while the pulsing slowed and the crashing waves of orgasm calmed down.  Jake could feel his cock already begin to soften and Srythryn slowed and then stopped the movement of his head and gently and lovingly continued to suck on Jake's cock as it oozed out the last of its massive payload.

Finally Srythryn lifted his head off of Jake's penis and groaned, "You are such a male as I have never before enjoyed.  The volume of your seed is incredible and tastes wonderful.  It drives me to want to give you some of my own!"

As Jake watched, Srythryn stood over him and reached behind himself.  Jake heard a tearing sound like velcro being pulled apart and then Srythryn pulled down his shorts and stepped out of them.  Jake was mesmerized at the sight of the croc's big balls and thick straight penis.  Srythryn stood before him in his full glory.  He was so powerful looking it made Jake's blood boil.  All down the front and along the insides of Srythryn's muscular arms and legs and along the underside of the thick, powerful tail  he had a pale light shade of green with a beautiful pattern of scales that rapidly transitioned to a dark rich green as it went around the sides and to the croc's back.  His large round balls hung low in a smooth and hairless scrotum.  His cock was extremely thick and looked to be close to ten inches long.  He had no pubic hair at all.  A large droplet of clear precum hung at the end of this penis.

Jake could not resist doing a bit of exploration himself and he Jake quickly got up on his knees and moved in to plant his face right at Srythryn's crotch.  Jake grabbed the croc's massive cock and ran his face along its length to the base.  The cock was smooth and dry.  It had no head but simply came to a rounded, blunt end with a large slit at the tip.  The skin was smooth and supple like a snake's.  Jake began to move his hands around Srythryn's belly and the insides of his legs and found the skin there was just the same.  The crocodilian looked as though he was armored but in reality the skin was amazingly smooth supple and pleasant to the touch.  There was so much heat coming off him too.  Jake knew now without doubt they were extremely warm blooded.  Not only by the heat of Srythryn's skin but the fact that Jake could detect a heady scent of sweat around the crocodile's crotch area.  Only warm blooded creatures need to shed heat by sweating.

Jake sniffed further at the base of Srythryn's cock and around his big smooth balls and he found the scent somehow shooting right into him and tugging at his loins.  It was a massive turn on.  There was another more powerful scent that was truly beginning to make Jake's head spin but he couldn't quite locate its source.  He sniffed and licked at the croc's cock and balls enjoying the fact that Srythryn was letting him explore his most private area.  Finally Jake moved his hand up the back of the croc's big balls and ran his hand back to Srythryn's anus.  He felt a slickness there that he wasn't expecting and pulled his hand back to look at his fingers.  The tips were covered in a light bit of oily fluid.  Jake brought his hand up to his face and sniffed.  The scent was dank and earthy and musky and incredibly male and sexy.  He moaned and moved around Srythryn to the back.  He pushed on Srythryn's tail to try to move it aside to get at the croc's anus.  Srythryn moaned his pleasure at what Jake was about to do and leaned forward and the thick powerful tail when straight up in the air revealing the croc's anus.

Jake paused briefly to gaze at the amazing sight before him.  Srythryn had bent his knees and squatted slightly and then leaned forward to rest his elbows on his knees and lifted his long, thick, powerful tail straight up in the air.  The sight of his massively muscular legs straining to support the pose and the big strong buttocks on either side of the croc's pucker, his big balls hanging below and his thick strong tail rising above all came together and flipped some sort of switch inside of Jake.  He was driven to move his face in and extend his tongue and began to furiously lick at Srythryn's hole.  The taste of the musk was incredible.  Some small rational part of Jake tried to tell him this was disgusting and he shouldn't do it but absolutely every other part of Jake drove him harder and he groaned and moaned his intense lust as he licked and probed at the croc's pucker.

He began to push harder at Srythryn's anus with the tip of his tongue and the croc moaned again and Jake sensed the muscle opening to allow Jake in.  He drove his tongue in as far as it could go to sample the inside of his lover.  He ran his tongue in and out along the silky smooth walls of the croc's rectum.  The eroticism of the act drove Jake into an even higher state of desire and he could feel his cock already starting to grow again.

He craved the big croc more than he'd ever craved anything or anyone in his life.  He was driven to somehow try to merge with him.  He was so turned on and wanted Srythryn so badly he could not take any more and he finally moved back on to the blanket and went on his hands and knees and looked back at the massive sexy croc.

"Please, I can't wait any longer.  I want you inside of me!" Jake breathed.

Srythryn groaned and rushed to get behind Jake and dropped to his knees and moved his face in.  He put his hands on Jake's buttocks and moved them apart to expose his anus.  Srythryn drove his tongue in and probed hard at Jake's pucker and Jake relaxed and pushed a bit to try to let the croc in.  Srythryn's tongue plunged very deeply into Jake's rectum and began to squirm around licking at him and sampling his most private area while the croc moaned and groaned his lust.  Srythryn pulled his tongue back out to get a good taste and then drove it, wet and drooling, back in again.  He pushed harder and managed to get at least six inches of his incredibly long tongue inside of Jake.  He began to tongue fuck Jake with a passion and Jake's cock began to harden up at the erotic sensation until it was almost fully stiff and ready to go again.

Srythryn noticed Jake's cock now straining for attention and he put one of his strong hands up between Jake's legs and took hold of his throbbing cock and began to work it.  His other hand went to Jake's big hanging balls and began to play with them again.  Jake was in ecstasy again at the assault of sensations and as Srythryn began to drive his tongue repeatedly harder and deeper into Jake's rectum while stroking his cock with a firm grip in long strokes and caressing Jake's big furry balls with the other hand, another powerful orgasm built up and washed over Jake and he began to buck under Srythryn's ministrations and shot spurt after spurt of cum out onto the blanket as he moaned his pleasure.

Srythryn himself could not take any more of this.  He was so much in heat for this beautiful man that he could not wait any longer and he got into position behind Jake and grabbed him at the waist and with a long and loud grunt he plunged his cock into Jake's ready hole right to the root.

Jake's second orgasm was weakening but still pulsing through him and as Srythryn's long thick cock plunged deep into Jake he could feel a second and third ring of muscles along his rectum engage and start squeezing Srythryn's fat cock rhythmically all along its length.  The sensation from the nerves in the rings of muscle pulsing and squeezing at Srythryn's cock were intense and they drove Jake's orgasm back up to its full height again and dropped him down with a sense of falling into a deep pit and once again Jake cried out and his pelvic muscles and the muscles at his anus and the rings along his rectum pulsed and squeezed even harder.

Srythryn almost immediately began to moan loudly and buck faster and harder against Jake as he drove his thick cock repeatedly and deeply into his lover while feeling it being squeezed powerfully along its length by multiple rings of muscles.  He suddenly tensed and tilted his head back and roared loudly as he thrust forward hard and slammed into Jake and his cock began to spew his seed out into the man.  He moaned and groaned as he repeatedly pulled his cock out and slammed it back in to shoot into Jake again and again.

Finally the intensity of his orgasm began to ebb and he slowed to a stop and with one last push of his cock deep into Jake's rectum he collapsed over Jake's back and held the position for a minute before finally pulling out and rolling on to the blanket and Jake turned and lay on his back again beside his new lover.

The two lay panting and sweating in the humid jungle heat for a while until they finally began to catch their breath.

Srythryn turned onto his side again and propped his head up on one elbow and put his other hand back onto Jake's chest to play with his chest hair and said, "That was the most intense sexual experience I've ever had and I've lived a very long time.  I have never been driven by such powerful and overwhelming urges before.  I have never been more attracted to anyone in my long life Jake.  I am so glad that you chose to share yourself with me.  It means more to me than you could imagine."

Jake could feel tears of emotion welling in his eyes.  He had really only just met this alien being, yet already he was beginning to develop very strong feelings for him.

"I feel the same way Srythryn.  I have never been driven into such a frenzy in my life and I can't wait to experience it with you again."

Jake had been so turned on by the crocodile that as he played the experience back through his head from the beginning he could already feel his erection growing again.  Xelzix's people had certainly done a good job with his equipment.  He hadn't lied when he said Jake would be able to produce semen quickly even after ejaculating.  He'd already done it twice in rapid succession and he was almost ready to do it again.  He wondered how many times he could do it before he finally exhausted the supply.  He hoped Srythryn was willing to help him find out.

Srythryn moved his hand back to Jake's crotch and took his already growing erection back in hand and slowly and lovingly stroked the length of it and said in a husky voice, "By the Granth's three beards, you are ready again so soon!"

He let go of Jake's cock and moved his hand back onto Jake's hard flat stomach and caressed him there and then moved up to gently rub his chest and play with his nipples again.

"You are the most achingly beautiful creature I have ever had the pleasure of fucking.  I have lived for so many hundreds of thousands of years and seen and done so much, but it is heartening and fills me with joy to know that I can still be surprised by someone more attractive to me than anyone I've ever experienced before.  The universe is truly a wonderful thing to have made you.  You are a treasure Jake, and I will be forever grateful to whatever power has brought you into my life."

Jake's heart swelled with feeling for his new lover.  He could not believe this was all happening.

"You move me beyond words Srythryn.  In just one day my universe grew from one small, lonely and doomed planet to an expanse I can't even wrap my head around that's full of life and open for me to explore, yet all I really want right now is to be right here on this beach with you.  You've lived in this wide universe for so many hundreds of thousands of years to come to this point and find me, imagine how lucky I feel that I've found you on the very first day that I emerged into it."

Srythryn moaned and moved in to whisper in Jake's ear, "What a man you are.  I think I may come to love you more deeply than anyone I've ever known.  Please take me.  I want your seed in me."

He moved his face back to plant a tender kiss on Jake's lips and then he moved off and rolled over on his back and moved his big feet back up to his buttocks on either side of his thick tail and moved his knees apart to give Jake access.

Jake got up and moved between the big croc's powerful legs and got down on his knees.  He placed his hands behind Srythryn's knees and lifted them and pushed them up toward the croc's chest to bring his anus up into a better position.  Jake looked down at the sight of his lover anxiously waiting to be taken and he was filled with a powerful and driving lust he'd never experienced before.

Srythryn's musk glands were going full force now and the air was filled with the musky heady sexual and masculine scent of him.  It was completely intoxicating and it made Jake's head spin.  The area around the croc's anus was slick with the oily musk and Jake simply placed the big head of his cock against the pucker and pushed.  The oil acted as a perfect lubricant and Jake penetrated Srythryn with hardly any effort and then the croc's powerful ring of muscle clamped hard onto Jake's cock.

Srythryn moaned his pleasure at the sensation of his anus being spread apart and his rectum filled with Jake's cock.  Jake smoothly and slowly pushed forward to feed more and more of his massive penis into his lover as the croc's musk glands continued to produce oil to lubricate the penetration.  Before Jake could quite get all the way in, the head of his cock bumped into something solid and Srythryn cried out.

Jake's heart nearly stopped.  He froze and held completely still.

"Have I hurt you Srythryn?  I'm so sorry!"

"No!  You have not hurt me you incredible male," Srythryn said breathlessly, "There is an organ within our men that produces our seminal fluid.  It is very sensitive but out of reach of even the most well endowed of our males.  You are giving me the pleasure of assaulting it with your beautiful member.  The sensation is overpowering but I only want more.  Please do not stop!"

Jake saw that the croc's thick smooth cock was beginning to firm up again from his intense arousal.  He slowly pulled back and pushed forward again until he bumped against the obstruction once more and Srythryn moaned and began to writhe beneath him.  Jake was filled with lust again at the powerful sensation of fucking this big beautiful creature and giving him so much pleasure and he began to build a rhythm with his hips bumping forward harder and harder.  He was a bit over an inch away from burying himself completely in Srythryn but it didn't matter that he couldn't go all the way.  The sensation of the head of his penis ramming up against the limit of his lover's hole was sending him over the edge.

He worked his knees forward a bit and leaned further up over Srythryn so the croc's heavy calves were hooked over Jake's shoulders.  Jake wrapped his hands around the tops of Srythryn's powerful thighs and used them as leverage to pull as he pushed his hips forward and he began to buck against the croc with abandon.  His large balls were now bouncing and rubbing against the underside of Srythryn's thick tail as he plunged his cock as deeply as he could into him and the extra sensation coming up from his balls was all he could take.

He began to grunt and pant and the rhythm increased as he started to feel his load rapidly boiling up again and his massive sack began to tighten and squeeze the sperm from his balls as the orgasm rose up from the depths of his loins in a powerful wave that washed over him and made him yell out.  He slammed against Srythryn and grunted and held the position briefly as his cock head expanded and a massive and long jet of semen shot out of it.  He pulled back and slammed forward and grunted and held again as another longer surge of semen shot out of his cock into his lover.  Again and again he pumped his cock deep into Srythryn and filled him with cum until his balls were nearly empty.

The assault was too much for Srythryn too and he moaned and groaned as his big balls tightened and thick semen began to surge from his cock onto his belly.  He moaned and writhed in ecstasy at the sensation of cumming so hard with his big prostate being slammed and milked by Jake's cock head.  He shuddered and bucked with each wave of orgasm that wracked his body.  He'd never cum this hard and it was happening even without his cock being touched.  He was in heaven and his head was spinning from the powerful sensations pulsing through his body.

At last the two of them slowed to a stop and Jake pushed himself as far into Srythryn as he could go one last time and held the position.  He moved the croc's legs further apart so they could drop to either side of him and he leaned forward and took both sides of Srythryn's head in his hands and planted a passionate kiss on his lovers lips.  Srythryn moaned and extended his long tongue and Jake sucked it in and moaned himself.

They held that position for a while longer as Jake waited for the last of his semen to spill out into his lover.

When Jake finally felt his cock begin to shrink he gently pulled it out of Srythryn and moved up to cuddle against his side with his head on Srythryn's shoulder and his arm across the big croc's powerful chest.

"I have never been so thoroughly fucked or so fully satisfied Jake.  Thank you," Srythryn breathed.

"You are so powerfully attractive to me I lost control.  I was afraid I might be too rough.  It was the most amazingly erotic thing I've ever done.  You give me so much pleasure Srythryn.  I was not expecting to feel quite so strongly for you."

"I think we may be a good match you and I.  I should ask Xelzix to check our DNA compatibility.  He would likely do it as a favor to me.  Not that it matters.  I know what I feel and the attraction I feel for you is stronger than any I've experienced before.  The smell of you and the taste drive me into a frenzy."

"I feel the same.  The sight of you was already pulling me in but the scent of your musk literally pulls the rug out from under me.  It is intoxicatingly appealing to me.  You told me on the shuttle that it so happens humans are the most compatible species the Matchmakers have encountered.  Your theory may be right and we might be a good match.  We may have the right chemistry."

"You me be so highly compatible with many others as well.  You may look forward to a long and happy life of sexual exploration Jake."

"Right now I only want to be here with you.  I was really looking forward to meeting the one Xelzix matched me to.  He's magnificent, but somehow after being with you I've somewhat lost interest in the match.  I wish circumstances were different and I could just stay here.  Two months doesn't seem like enough time to enjoy you and to experience this wonderful ship and your people."

"Do not dwell on it Jake.  The Matchmakers never fail.  Rest assured that you will feel the same attraction or even more with your match.  I envy you.  You will truly enjoy the experience if you allow yourself to.  The ship and I have been here for thousands of years and we will be here for thousands more.  We will be waiting and ready for you whenever you need us Jake.  It may sound strange but I will be looking forward to your death each and every time it happens so that we will have time together again.  For now let us enjoy our two months without thinking about our imminent parting."

Jake rubbed his hand against the croc's smooth muscular chest for a while and thought about what Srythryn had said.  He was right.  The mountain of regrets would not shrink very quickly if he kept himself in one place for too long.  He would be seeing Srythryn again and again if he took risks and that was truly something to look forward to.  He could laugh death in the face because it would mean he would be back in his sweet crocodile's embrace.

Jake noticed that Srythryn's chest was rising and falling more deeply and he began to snore lightly.  He'd fallen asleep.  Jake snuggled more tightly against him and closed his eyes.  He could not believe this was real and he was almost afraid to fall asleep.  He wondered briefly if this might be a dream and the moment he fell asleep in the dream he would wake up in the real world back in his normal life on Earth.  Even though it had actually been three months, it really did feel to him like just this morning he was the sixty eight year old cancer ridden Jake Smith who was preparing to enter the last phase of his pathetic uneventful excuse for a life.

Now, just hours later it seemed to his mind, he was in a floating jungle world in space traveling past the outer edge of the solar system and he'd just had incredibly passionate sex on a moonlit tropical beach with an irresistibly sexy crocodile!  He mentally added the experience to the side of the scale that previously only had his one lonely accomplishment of a successful career.  This experience was so amazing that he could see the scale waver a bit already.

He'd done more living this one day and night than he had done in his entire life before and there was so much more to come.  He knew he would not allow himself to break the momentum.  He would live every day like it was his last.  Once again he found himself looking forward to the adventure in store for him when he met the one he'd been matched to.

Try as he might Jake could not resist as the weariness of the long day and the warm post orgasmic glow combined with the warm tropical breeze and the sound of the crashing waves dragged him down to slumber.

His last conscious thought before sleep took him was that if this was just day one, he was in for one hell of a ride in his new life.


If you enjoyed this story and would like to read more from the author please look in the Gay/Adult-Youth section at Nifty.org for...

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Bang the Drummer - The story of a submissive man who uses his video game skills to win the right to be properly used by some neighbors.

Predators - The story of a man who enjoys a hobby of luring teenage boys in for a bit of innocent exploration in the woods.

or check the Gay/SF-Fantasy section for...

Love and Lycanthropy -  What if after a long life of loneliness you finally found the one person who you could truly love?  What if you found out that there might be moments when he wanted to tear you to bits and eat those bits?  Find out how a man who brings home a homeless teenager finds love he never knew he was capable of and learns to cope with the one minor quirk the boy is afflicted with.

The Hawthorne Accord -  The adventures of a teenage boy who is rescued from a cruel fate in his home village by a friend, but ultimately finds himself on his own and hunted in a world that is being ravaged by brutal race wars between the humans and three races of monsters: kobolds, orcs and ogres.  He discovers in his travels that the world is not quite entirely the way he'd thought it was and that even a single teenage boy can make a difference in the fate of entire races, including his own.

James and the Giant Perv -  A humorous modern fairy tale involving three teenage boys, some "beans", a very tall pervert who dwells in his own kingdom in the clouds, and the various interesting ways they find to enjoy each other sexually.

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