Warning: This story is for 18 year olds or older and contains descriptions of sexual contact between teenage males. If it is illegal for you to read, or you find the subject objectionable, read no further. All characters are imaginary. I hope you like it. eliotmoore@hotmail.com

 

The Ship is the World

 

The children agreed that the old One was broken. He didn't work right and the Fives said the Threes had sealed him into his room. Everyone still talked to the One, he was interesting. He had come to the world first. The Fives whispered that the One had killed all the remaining Twos three births ago. The Other One explained the remaining Two's had been broken too. The One broke badly when he killed the Two's. The One still taught the Six, Sevens, and Eights each day. He wanted to fix his mistakes.

Toek Six rolled away from Sarf Six and tried to gain some space in the bed. Sarf had been sleeping with Toek since Toek was fourteen. Other Sixes slept with Fives and some had Sevens. Most Sixes stuck together. The old One said it was funny how so many Adams could start the same and turn out so different. The other One said it was just the Adams way to keep from breaking.

Toek rolled back and looked at Sarf. Sarf and Toek had celebrated their first year together by adding identical tattoos to the patterns growing on their torsos. The two Sixes liked to keep their appearance similar so their hair was cut short in the same style. They spent hours at games with other children. They tried to stay fit and discipline themselves to only eat what the Other One suggested they eat. The Fours and Fives taught self defense and combat. The world was a dangerous place for Adams .

The world had to be maintained. Toek and Sarf were assisting a Three named Gira to extend the forest now that the new sea was built. The boys liked it because the trees were real. When Gia, which rules the world took Adam it understood ecology. It didn't want to stay in Adam's World; there were places to go, so the helpers took pieces of Adam's World. Gia understood gender too, but the female broke herself. The Other One had to shut Adam down and work out an alternative. The forest was important because the Old One and the Other One thought it would help keep Adams from breaking. In their next rotation they hoped to train at going outside the world. The world was old and while it did not really need the Adams to keep it from falling apart, it needed purpose.

There were also the replicating Rapes and Suckers to deal with. Even the Sevens and Eights knew where the safe caverns ended and the assault zones began. After the Sixes turned twelve and the Fives had helped them celebrate their Cumming Out party Toek was playing with a Five. He was chasing him down a cavern when two Rapes caught him by surprise. Both he and the Five were unarmed. The Rapes took him back to their den and he spent many days feeding the little Suckers and being attacked by Rapes. When a hunting party found him they had to pry the swarming Suckers off before they could break them. The Other One had fixed many things, but Toek still feared the cold Rapes. Sarf liked gentle play so Toek was comfortable with him. They "loved" each other, as the Old One liked to tell them.

Sarf's facial tattoos were beautiful. They curved around his eyebrow, blended into his birth tattoo and then swirled down his jaw line. Toek traced the partner tattoo that joined them in the eyes of the community. They had designed it together. It blended into the tattoo across his shoulder. Toek's tattoo was in exactly the same place above his left nipple and reached up to the collar bone and down toward his arm pit. Toek touched the tattoo and Sarf opened his eyes and smiled at him. Toek leaned over to kiss his partner.

The two Sixes liked to eat breakfast together before they joined the community. As apprentices they were expected to keep the world's time. Gira would be waiting for them. The Old One had made it taboo to go naked outside one's room, but Toek and Sarf were not yet tired of seeing each other. One Six is as another, but the love makes him unique.

They were finishing their breakfast when Fela, their little Seven helper asked permission to enter. It was taboo to invade another's space. Even little Eights had an alone space. When a baby sitter went to pick up a new born Nine he asked him for permission. The Eights and Nines were special to everyone. Toek and Sarf were always willing to babysit when it was their turn.

Fela tumbled in the room and asked for a drink. He was proud to work with the Sixes and wished he was already an apprentice. He saw the youths were naked.

"Can't I stay with you tonight? Most of my brothers have played with a Six and I'm going to be the only one left out." Toek and Sarf smiled at each other. There were 35 Sevens and the taboo had only just been lifted between Sixes and Sevens. They doubted very much that things were as he said. Sarf looked at Toek. Sarf knew Toek felt playing with ten-year-old Sevens was too much like being Rapes. Toek knew he needed to overcome this or the Sevens would feel hurt, so he nodded slightly to his partner. Sarf smiled back knowing the effort it had taken.

"Okay Fela you can stay with us." Fela hugged Sarf and let his hands wander down to the youth's groin where he fondled Sarf's penis. "Fela; it is taboo to touch without permission." The boy quickly let go and covered his face with hands. Toek and Sarf joined to hug the Seven between them.

Toek gently spoke to the boy, "Let the shame go Fela. We share the shame with you because we did not put our clothes on." Fela dropped his hands and Toek kissed the tears on the tiny star shaped birth tattoo on his cheek. "We will play some games with the others. You can eat with us and stay the night."

"Can I cut my hair like yours and have a partner tattoo?"

"Your hair is your own Fela, but it would be wrong to take our tattoo. You are years away from your Cumming Out Party." Sarf tried to let him down gently.

"But" Toek added, "if you like; the three of us could plan a tattoo together and we could share it." Sarf nodded his agreement to Toek's suggestion. Fela considered this and thought it wonderful. "The world will not wait. I think we need to go to work."

Fela reassured, the two Sixes dressed in work pants and strapped light lasers to their legs. Sarf checked Fela's laser and they left the partner's rooms.

Toek and Sarf had taken rooms in a newly opened section farther down the coast. They were still designing an entrance to the corridor with a patio to sit and watch the sea. As they left their corridor they stepped around the little helpers polishing the stone slabs of the new patio. The Threes had started building the sea and it had become their pride in the community. Only a small portion of Adams world, it had been taken a decade to grow the sea and clone the life that would keep it healthy. The sea had broken many times before the Other One and the Threes felt it had come to life.

The Sea cavern extended the length of the world. The Ship walls curved upwards in all directions. Great pillars of stone supported the arching ceiling. Little helpers were still shaping and coloring the sky. The Old One had set the color of the sky from memory. Looking up from the tunnel mouth Toek realized the finished patches of ceiling and the plants starting to spread along its shore were the colors of the birth tattoos; each unique to the Adam.

The small community of Adams took only a tiny portion of the world. The little forest taken from Adam's World now stood at the edge of the sea. It was taboo to enter it but even to stand close to this memory of Adam's World filled them with awe. There were Eves in that world. Toek, Fela and Sarf were working with the children of the forest helping them to spread along the shore line. They were encouraging the succession that began with the grasses taking root in the new soil.

When Adam and Karen had been taken the Gia had paused to sample as much organic material from the area as it could before it continued its seemingly endless journey. Much of what it had taken had been pointless, but it had turned out that enough elements had been taken to build a new ecology. The gaps were filled with little makers. In fifty years the Other One had learned a great deal about small terrestrial ecologies and genetics. Tiny helpers moved everywhere along the beach taking the place of the missing organisms needed to create a living soil. To spread life was the central purpose of the Adams and they tried to do it everywhere. Toek and Sarf's rooms stood at a junction of tunnels that formed a T and with Vela and Gira's permission they had started a small park in front of their door. It was an experiment that others wanted to try now. They had been allowed a small tree to place in the center of the circle of grass. Helpers had built plain stone benches and planters around the circle and they had planted flowers and ferns. The Other One had sent a helper from the ceiling to cover the dome above the tree in blue sky. They had just finished their park and everyone was waiting to see how well it would work. The park had attracted new residents to their tunnel. Toek loved to work with the black rock of the ship. He set little helpers to work creating scenes of the community. He liked to pick holographs from the library and turn them into sculptures. When world resources allowed he traced the intricate tattoos on his figures with metals.

There was little hard work planting the forest. Helpers did the work. The shore line seemed vast and the task might take life times. Journeymen Fours and Apprentice Fives were spread out creating streams, pools and water falls along the shore to drain the condensation back into the sea. Computer models generated random landscapes and the teams selected the most interesting ones. The capacity of the world was tremendous, but it was only just enough for the task of bringing organic life to the large asteroid.

Gira watched the Sixes as they monitored the helpers planting trees amongst the shrubs and grass. Little Fela was new to the interface. He asked a steady stream of questions and Toek and Sarf tried to keep him supplied with the answers. Gira added answers when the youths fell short. The Three would be sorry when the couple changed rotation. "This is a big pool and the water doesn't go to the sea. How will the plants get water from the pool? There is so much rock." Fela squatted looking at the empty pool.

Sharp Seven Gera thought to himself. He was proud of the idea so he decided to start the water. "Look little one and tell me what you learn." Gera interfaced with the ship and high where the cliff met the sky water began to flow. The Three and Seven watched the trickle build into a series of waterfalls that dropped onto a shelf before falling into the pool. Gera pointed at a fissure in the rock face and Fela investigated the steamy water that was slowly filling the pool.

"It's hot!" Fela was surprised. "It smells too." he looked at the Master of the Forest . "Is this good for the plants?" The Seven was skeptical.

"No; but it is good for us." Gera looked critically at the falls. "We'll let the pool fill today, but there is something not quite right about the falls."

"It seems bare still."

"Let the forest grow in your mind. See the trees hang over the pool? It will be there when you are my age." He smiled at the look on the Sevens face. The ten-year-old thought the young Sixes vastly older than himself. The thirty-year-old Three must seem ancient. Gera glanced at Toek and Sarf, heads together, comparing notes, their joy in each other so apparent. He touched the tattoo on his shoulder and felt the grief for his lost Omec.

Toek and Sarf used the opportunity to touch as they examined the display together. They had both decided nothing was wrong with the soil. Things were optimal, but they craved the contact. It was taboo to pet in public. "Look" shouted Fela "Rapes!" The youths put their hands on their lasers before they saw that Fela was pointing across the sea. The two Rapes had waded into the water up to their thighs and stopped to stare at them. Fela tried a shot with his laser, but the distance was too far.

Gira lazily pulled a scope from the hunting bag he had brought and focused on the Rapes. "Boy I hope they haven't learned to swim yet. Probably will soon; obscene bastards." Fela tugged on Gira's sleeve, and then stammered an apology for touching him. Gira handed him the scope. Fela had never seen a live Rape before. He was glad they were on the other side. Sarf put his palm on Toek's partner tattoo, he knew Toek's fears.

***

Adam paced back and forth while Vela watched him think. Adam stopped suddenly and turned "No Vela I can't come out. The taboo must hold. We have been through this before and the community must know that even the masters bend their will to the taboos."

"But you are the Old One. We do not want this."

"Vela; I am ninety years old. Even the Other One cannot stop death." Adam was worried that this was not true. The mind-meld created by the alien ship's A.I. had essentially taken control of the situation. Adam knew it was not ready to give him up. They had moved apart in the last fifty years, but Lucifer, as Adam privately called it, shared a common commitment to the little community of exiles. The alien ship wished for purpose and external direction and Adam felt a commitment to his clones. Vela broke into his thoughts.

"What of Eve?"

"The world is not yet ready for Eve. The numbers will have to continue to take comfort from each other. Do the Taboos hold?" Karen's body had been long gone when Adam and Lucifer arrived at the desperate measure of cloning a new population. Adam privately thought that Lucifer had already worked out the complexity of generating clones from just his X chromosome. Lucifer kept putting off the next attempt. Adam believed Lucifer was uncomfortable with the level of complexity women would create. The cloning seemed to match some alien sensibility Adam couldn't understand.

"Will it be in the life of the nines?" Eve was mythic in the minds of his clones.

"I'm sorry son." Adam used an unfamiliar word, "perhaps in the birth of the twentieth generation." It would probably take Lucifer that long to come around the idea of genders.

Vela switched subjects on him suddenly. "The Rapes are becoming more numerous. Now that forest is growing beside the sea the community is spreading out and becoming less protected. The Eights and Nines need a lot of care and we can't maintain patrols. Do you think they will learn to swim?" Rapes hadn't gotten into community tunnels since the Six was taken; it was really Aplo's problem.

They sure will, thought Adam, whenever he and Lucifer got around to reprogramming the current generation of them. Adam had created artificial partners during the despair of the first lonely decade. He couldn't respond to them after a while. There was nothing to love. The satyrs that the Adams referred to as Rapes and a baby version were created later in a strange period of self revulsion. Adam had been overwhelmed with guilt that he could not respond to Karen as she had wished. The ship had not imagined the possibility that one of its sentient subjects might have an inconvenient orientation. Oddly enough the nightmare sex machines had helped bring him back to sanity and physical health. When the first clones reached adolescence he had reactivated them. Lucifer and he had judged that the community needed something to serve as a focus for its fear and aggression. The reintroduction of Rapes and Suckers had been too late for the first generation of Two's. The struggle with the bio-mechanical predators kept the community healthy. "You are wise to worry Cavern Master. You should warn Aplo that the Rapes will probably take to the water." Adam sat in a chair. "Is there anything else today?"

"Old One the low Numbers agree that if you insist on staying in your rooms that you must bend to our will and let some visit you. We can't stand to think that our parent, who hugged and kissed away our fears in childhood, now goes without a loving touch. You explained prison to me, but you never said we couldn't hold you. You are the One, you did what needed doing, let go of the shame." Vela started crying. Adam cried with him. Oh Absalom my son, he thought of his first lost selves.

"Okay Vela." he whispered "I'll bend to the four Master's will." It had been too long. Vela opened the door that had never been locked and hugged his father. Adam pressed him back. After a long time Vela stepped back and smiled. Too much narcissism here thought Adam. "I don't think my old bones could take all 188 of us so you better parcel this out." Vela had anticipated the problem.

"You need time to think upon the community and the world, so only a few to start with. Would you eat with some Sixes today?" Vela had some in mind. "Do you remember the pair who started a park?" Adam did and agreed to eat with them.

***

Adam found himself looking forward to the visit. As supper time approached he broke off his planning with Lucifer and moved to his conference room to sit and wait. He closed his eyes in meditation. Toek and Sarf thought he might be sleeping when they looked in his big window. Fela was subdued. "Old One, may we come in?" The old man opened his eyes and smiled.

"Yes, you are welcome." They came in and the two Sixes shyly opened their arms to invite a hug. The Old One responded and the two youths embraced the old man in the chair. He was like a wrinkled newborn with nothing but a birth tattoo.

"Let me see. You are Toek the sculptor and you are Sarf the musician. But who is this Seven?" The Old One looked at little Fela.

"I'm Fela!" The old one held his arms out and Fela came forward to be hugged. The Old One drew him up into his lap.

Toek explained, "We promised Fela we would have supper with him, so we brought him with us."

"Quite right, promises are important." Toek was pleased to answer the Old One's questions about the little park in their tunnel. The Old One could call up a display on his wall. Other residents were sitting on benches enjoying the presence of the tree and flowers. They talked about the new forest growing by the sea. Fela described the hot spring, and then mentioned seeing Rapes.

"Sarf and I want to start our Hunter rotation so we can clear them away from the community" Toek commented angrily. Sarf touched his hand.

"I remember; Rapes caught you when you were twelve." Toek nodded. "Did you know that I have been taken by the Rapes and fed to their Suckers many times?" Toek nodded.

"How did you get away?" Fela asked shivering slightly on his lap. The Old One hugged him close before answering.

"Oh, there are many ways little Seven. Rapes don't understand the lasers so if you are quick and can reach it then they can be stunned. Sometimes you run when they go into frenzy, sometimes they even forget you." he turned to Toek who had been listening intently. "You must dream now of many things you might have done. Moments of escape you lost."

"Yes, that's true." Toek nodded.

"When they catch you again you will know more and act at the right moment. As time went on I found it easier to get away." Toek nodded understanding and felt better. Sarf was grateful that the Old One had eased Toek's pain.

The Old One turned to him, "You and Toek are partners." It was a statement not a question. The youths grinned at each other. "May I see your tattoos?" The fifteen-year-olds pulled their shirts off so that the partner tattoos could be seen.

Adam made a complement about the design. His clones had developed tattoos into a high art and he was always impressed these days. He was also impressed by Sarf and Toek's physiques. He had never looked that good at fifteen. Their athletic bodies were perfectly sculpted mirrors of each other. Only the tattoos and variations in the hair color on their heads distinguished them apart. Conscious of their nakedness, the boys pulled their shirts back on. Adam had established that taboo to counter the excesses of the Two's who had become Rapes. Fela wanted to show his tattoos as well, but became shy about undressing. He waited till the One and the two Sixes had agreed. Then he stripped and they listened patiently while the boy explained the mass of tattoos covering much of his body. They were all temporary of course and he changed them frequently. At this point only his birth tattoo was permanent. The four generations shared supper and the three young ones listened respectfully to the Old One's stories about Adams World. He asked questions that taught him the thoughts of their generations. They told him of conflicts among the Sixes and which Fours and Fives had earned the young one's respect and which ones hadn't.

It amazed him how varied the personalities could be. They were alternate universes diverging from the same point only to later collide and transform each other. The butterfly effect had created diversity from uniformity. We make choices, Adam reflected, and we become the people of these choices. I had an interest in sculpture when I was young, but I got distracted by my sports. Toek is what I might have been if I had made the other choice. Lucifer had asked him why each Clone became so unique. Adam had answered that this is what humans worked for: individuality within the group.

Like most adolescents, Toek and Sarf asked about Eve. The Old One was the only Adam to have met and loved an Eve. Adam had decades of experience answering this. It had been important that the young men know they were part of a two piece puzzle. "I'm sorry you will never know Eve. She is wonderful and mysterious. She will complete the community when the World brings her. As you know from your studies playing is different and Eve can provide unique babies for our community." But it was also important that the youths feel complete in themselves. They were totally free of the self-doubt he had grown up with. It had been a struggle to come to terms with being gay in a heterosexual world. All his clones seemed happy with their orientation. "As you have also been taught there are two opposing forces active in the universe. Yin exists in Yang and Yang exists in Yin. This is the changing combination of negative and positive, dark and light, cold and hot which keeps the world spinning and creates Chi - the giving life force. We are Yang. If you want to understand Eve remember that she is like the Yin in you. When you partner, you bring Eve forth." He ended with a caution to the three. "Don't make Eve out to be something she is not boys. While she is Yin, there is also Yang in her." The people of Adam's World struggled because they sometimes forgot Eves and Adams were not really that different. "Appearances can be deceiving boys." The Old One asked Sarf to play the guitar for him. They listened to the music together as the Old One drifted off to sleep in his chair. The Other One's voice quietly intruded when the last notes drifted to silence.

"The One sleeps now. Let him rest. Your visit meant a great deal to him." The two Sixes and the Seven left quietly. They walked together through the oldest of corridors back to the sea and then in the dying light they went to the Sixes rooms.

Sarf and Toek ordinarily exercised for an hour after supper by playing in the webs. They took Fela along with them. They often played football with friends but it could get rough and Fela was likely to get hurt. Raptors were something Fela could compete in. The cavern was popular and the game was intense. Adams were free to come and go. Every time a Number joined the game Three raptors entered the cavern. The cavern was filled with a web of beams, hollow shells and ropes. World weight was very low in the cavern so the players could leap distances as they hunted the raptors and were hunted in turn. Raptors were fast and their bite hurt enough to bruise lightly. These raptors fangs had been pulled. They were stunned by the lasers and players racked up points. Fela was quite good at the game.

Fela was shy while he watched Sarf and Toek settle in for their evening routine. He sat on a chair fidgeting while they made a snack and chatted. "Fela don't be nervous. You don't have to do anything. You have lots of time to learn about things." Fela told him he was ready. The Sixes knew he couldn't wait so Toek picked him up and carried him to the bed. With humor and gentleness they let him learn about playing together.

* ** *** ** *

In the next two years Fela remained a part of the young partner's lives. As often happens between the numbers a special bond developed.

Sarf was playing with three Nines who were staying the night so that the Four who cared for them could get a break when Fela burst through the front door. "Privacy Fela" Sarf warned the twelve-year-old.

"Sorry!" Fela fell to the floor and took a little Nine in his lap when he toddled over. Before long he was cradling two as he eagerly said "is Toek here?"

"He'll be back soon. Why don't you tell me what's so important?" Fela shook his head and said it could wait a little longer. The two played with the Nines and watched them play among themselves. Fela kept his news to himself while they got the Nines some food. Toek came in while they were wiping off the little boys. Toek helped Sarf bath and change the Nines. They put them down to sleep and came into the sleeping room to stand together watching the Seven kicking his legs on the bed with excitement. "Okay Fela, you're bursting to tell us; go ahead, we're listening." His eyes were bright with joy.

"I came last night!" he became a little hesitant "I'm sure I did." the partners looked at each other and sat on either side of the Seven. "He glanced back and forth at them." Do you want to see?" he asked hopefully.

"Let's check this out Sarf." Toek pushed the Seven onto his back playfully and Sarf took the laser off and undid Fela's pants and pulled them down.

"Well you're certainly bigger Fela." Sarf kissed the penis. "Tastes the same" Fela propped himself up to watch while Sarf and Toek took turns teasing Fela into erection. Fela lay back as Sarf began kissing his firm belly and muscular torso. Toek continued to help Fela come to orgasm. Fela had been feeling the intense pleasure for some time; but there had been no ejaculations. When he came he could feel the semen leave his body.

Toek gave Sarf a kiss and shared the semen in his mouth. "You're right Fela, you are of age now." The Sixes pulled Fela up from the bed between them to share the moment.

"Can I stay with you tonight?"

"Isn't this something you would like to share with a Seven?"

"Well Bore maybe; I want him to share a tattoo with me, but I don't think he's ready. When he cums I'll ask him." More than half the Sevens were ready for a Cumming Out Party. Fela played with many Sevens in the evening, but there was still nobody who found him special. The Eights were still taboo and the truth was Sarf and Toek were the only Sixes he liked well enough to play with. He knew he should open himself up more.

"Well then you are welcome to stay." Fela started to pull his pants off. "Fela; it's not time to go to bed yet. We have things to do." Fela blushed in a way he hadn't blushed since he was ten.

"Go share your news with your friends and if you want to come back we will wait for you." Sarf leaned over to cup Fela's chin and kiss him on the forehead. They both loved the Seven and welcomed his company. The three got up.

When Fela came back later he found Toek developing a simple yet striking design for around the doorway. The Nines were playing in the grass and Sarf and was playing music with a neighbor. He joined the group in the park. He pulled a pad from his pants and started finishing the story he wanted to share at the next community gathering. His stories were popular and he took pride in the fact that he could draw laughter or tears from the Threes and Fours. He didn't read his own stories very well. Pala was a master story teller and seemed to bring his words to life when he read them.

When the Sixes took the little Nines to bed he put the pad away and helped them. When the Nines were settled for the night Toek and Sarf welcomed him to their bed and let him have a full share in their play. Later, Fela lay awake between them tired, but satisfied he touched the tattoo he shared with the partners. It was a familiar feature now anchoring a range of other tattoos he had added since he was ten. It made the three "family" as the Old One put it when he had shown it to him.

* ** *** ** *

"Come over this was Bore" Fela gestured to the fourteen-year-old seven and jumped across the splashing stream." Bore looked at him across the narrow span, then down into the small pool below.

"It is not much of a jump Fela, but I can see people will detour this way to shorten the trail." He looked up the slope towards the simple arched bridge over the stream.

"You are not getting the point, I'm thinking of the little ones. Say the seven-year-olds. This will be huge to them. We need to set helpers to work undercutting both sides of this so the ones that miss don't get broken when they fall in the water." Bore nodded agreement.

"It is a bit of a drop Fela. What's it like down there?" He dropped down and looked at the pool below.

"Smooth and deep, but the sides are easy to grasp. A poor swimmer could edge along until he reached the shallow end." Fela had helped prepare it before the water was turned on. "Come here, I want to show you the best part." Bore jumped the gap and joined Fela as he traveled the path along the stream. "Here is where the side path would turn to join the main path. You have to picture the trees and undergrowth that will be here." He stopped Bore and gestured to the small outcropping of cliff. "See the narrow path along the cliff? Follow me along it." The youths crept along the cliff face to where it turned a corner. On the other side it widened and the path sloped down to a small water park. Bore surveyed the seemingly natural water slides and pools.

"This is wonderful Fela."

"Do you remember being young and wanting to find a secret place where the older Adams couldn't find you? Something special just for you and your friends that you think nobody knows about." Fela was pleased with the results. He showed Bore how the path led further down to the sea. They looked back up the stream noticing the new bridge higher up on the slope. Fela turned to continue the discussion and witnessed the Rape biting Bore on the shoulder. Carefully trained for this moment, Fela swiftly backed up and reached for his Laser. He lifted the laser and aimed at the Rape lifting Bore with its razor sharp talons. Bore's tried to telegraph a message to him before the paralysis was complete. Fela understood too late. Sharp pain pierced his bicep and with control swiftly fading he dropped the laser into the sand.

Fela went limp and felt himself lifted off the ground. The Rape waded into the sea and soon Fela was choking in the wash as the Rape swam back across the sea. The Rape surged out of the water on the other side. The Rape quickly carried Fela through the abandoned tunnels. The lighting was subdued in the silent tunnels. It was a perpetual twilight but Fela did his best to mark the landmarks along the path the Rape had followed. He cursed the loss of his laser. The double tread told him the second Rape was keeping company with Bore.

At a junction the Rape paused to split Fela's pants open with its claws and he felt himself being impaled on the Rape's organ. As the Rape's organs swell to fill the Sevens rectums tendrils snake into their large intestines and begin to drain them. The engorged Rape organs begin to undulate up and down and neural signals pass to the Sevens brain stimulating mild intermittent orgasms. Fela shuddered and closed his eyes. With a struggle to control his muscles Fela turned his head and caught a view of Bore similarly impaled on the other Rape. As his head flopped back he watched the Rape cut the clothes from his body The Rapes claws left fine cuts across his body. Fela felt despair. He couldn't see Bore, but heard his moans.

The Rape must have satisfied itself because it withdrew from him and carried him like a child further into the tunnels. The other Rape followed with Bore. Fela was exhausted from the assault and the forced orgasms. He tried to stay awake and mark the trail they are following. His laser was across the sea, but Bore's was likely back at that junction. He knew that if the opportunity presented itself he had to reach Bore's laser. The Rapes reach a small cavern near a pool of water and halted.

Fela felt himself dropped like a rag doll into a pile of small Sucks. They swarmed his body trying to reach his mouth and penis. Bore was dropped farther into the cavern and there was a sudden frenzy as half the Sucks left Fela's side to attack and consume Bore. Fela's muscle control was slowly returning, but he didn't have the strength to push the Sucks away. The biggest one dominated the others and grabbed his hips with its sharp claws and sucked his penis into its mouth. Its little tail snaked between his legs and slithered into his rectum. It contacted the root of his penis from the inside and begins a rhythmic massage reminiscent of the Rape's large organ. The stimulation aroused Fela and his penis quickly grew and despite himself he ejaculated.

The Suck withdrew its tail and scurried over his chest to wrap its tail around his neck and bury its little Rape organ in his mouth when he gasped for air. The organ pushed his tongue aside and made him choke. He couldn't fight the organ in his mouth and he felts another Suck attach itself to his penis and insert its tail into his rectum. He was too tired and used to be aroused and the Suck patiently sucked on his limp penis and messaged his prostate gland. The suck on his face occasionally ejaculated a thick cream into his mouth that tasted sweet and revitalized him. He pissed and the suck swallowed the urine. In time his penis was stimulated enough to engorge again. The suck forced him to another orgasm. The Suck on his face was soon replaced by another and the assault continued through the day until all five Sucks that had been attracted to him had been satisfied.

***

Fela woke slowly. He felt nauseated but thought that he must have been left for hours. He couldn't tell how long. The time piece had been cut away along with everything else. He tried to crawl to Bore who still had a Suck attached to his groin. Fela couldn't speak but Bore looked at him. Before Fela could reach him one of the Rapes casually picked him up, and bit his shoulder to subdue him. Fela was helpless when the Rape penetrated him again. Bore watched silently as Fela was reduced to a trembling leaf by the renewed series of orgasms induced by the Rape. Fela fainted at some point. When he came to it was to be subjected to a renewed series of Suck swarms and penetrations by the Rapes. Fela didn't know when it would all end; whether he would be rescued or if the rapes would eventually kill him.

***

Sarf came into the rooms where Toek was designing a new frieze for a corridor and asked him to join him in the common room. It was perhaps a poor place to talk with him because there was a half-sized statue of ten-year-old Fela sitting cross-legged on the floor with his chin cupped in the palm of his hand. Sarf sat next to Toek on the soft bench. "Toek; Fela has been taken by Rapes." Toek closed his eyes for a long moment and then quietly squeezed Sarf's hand. He got up and grabbed his laser and travel kit.

"When?"

"He and Bore been gone for two days. Their friends thought they were exploring the coast by themselves."

Toek tossed Sarf's kit to him and said more calmly than he felt "well let's go get him." They joined Aplo's hunters at the shore where the boats were kept. They hunting party pushed off and swiftly rowed to where the laser had been found. The Four Copo was hunt leader for the day. He picked up the laser where it had been left on the sand and studied the tracks.

"They came out of the water and went back in."

"Wouldn't the boys drown?" Copo shook his head. Dead Adams were not much use to Rapes or Sucks. Whatever they got from people, they had to be alive. They all looked across the sea and spotted the one tunnel on the rocky undeveloped shore.

"I think that's where we are going." They launched the boat back into the gentle chop and sped across the sea.

***

Fela's mind swam out of the darkness. The last Rape had dropped him on a shelf out of the reach of the hungry Sucks. His body felt stronger without their insatiable demands and he rolled over slowly to survey the little cavern and pool. Bore was still beside the pool and a few lethargic Sucks were huddled by him while one was wrapped around his face. The Rapes were roaming somewhere.

Fela knew he needed to move or break. He struggled to his knees and slowly crawled toward the tunnel. The Sucks ignored him and he hoped the Rapes would not return. Naked and cold, he crawled in the twilight towards the junction. His knees were raw. The movement may have helped because he was finally able to haul himself up by the wall. He leaned against the wall wishing for some water to wash the taste of Suck from his mouth. Scabs covered his body from the multitude of scratches and punctures the little claws had made on his body. He bent over and vomited up some narcotic laced cream. He felt better after that and staggered down the corridor desperate to reach the junction before the trailing Rapes caught up with him.

He fell into the junction with a sense of relief. After a moment he pulled himself up and looked around. He found the shreds of his clothes where they had fallen and tried establish where he had seen Bore. He saw the glint of metal just about the time he heard the scraping in the corridor behind him. Fela pushed his tired body toward the laser and fell on it. Jerking the weapon from the holster he rolled and fired. There was no target. He cast about wildly and his second shot caught the Rape full in the chest. It towered over him a second then fell forward crushing him beneath its weight. The second Rape approached more slowly. Caught beneath the first he couldn't raise the laser. He waited trying to draw a breath under the crushing weight. The second Rape bent over him and rolled its partner off the broken Seven. When his arm was free he shot it in the side. The Rape's hand flashed out and broke his laser arm. He felt it bite the arm, and then watched as it seemed to freeze and slowly tumble forward toward him. With one last effort Fela rolled away. He lay immobilized between the Rapes wishing he could nurse his injured arm: wishing he could move his injured arm.

He lay a while patiently waiting for the Rape's bite to wear off so that he could move back down the corridor and back to Bore. He still couldn't move when he heard the patter of many feet over the hard floor of the corridor. He blinked his eyes and he couldn't stop the tears as the first small vampire reached him. It sat on his chest and watched his face with saucer-shaped eyes before burying its sharp fangs in his chest. As the other vampires joined the feast his blood began to sing with bliss and he drifted away on a narcotic induced dream where Toek and Sarf sat with him in a bright room laughing, and there was no pain.

***

Copo couldn't get the two Sixes to stay with the hunting party. They kept driving forward ahead of the group. Sarf saw the Rapes lying in the junction first. They took no chances and shot the Rapes before approaching. The shots disturbed the feeding vampires and the Sixes spent a few hot moments snapping of shots at the scurrying creatures. They didn't see Fela until they stood beside the fallen Rapes counting vampires. Sarf shot the remaining vampires on their friend unheeding of the light burns they added across his chest and legs. Toek dropped beside the seven and felt his chest. "He's still with us."

Sarf searched his bag and pulled the vampire antidote out and administered it to Fela. The Sixes checked his body and found the breaks. He seemed strong so Sarf and Toek sat back and shared a moment of relief. The hunters came up to them and surveyed the carnage. Copo kicked at a vampire and looked at the battered and bloody Seven. "Is he conscious?" Sarf and Toek shook their heads. "Did you two take out the Rapes and vampires?"

Toek stirred, "We shot the vampires. He must have shot the Rapes himself." The party searched the area and found the shreds of clothes. Toek covered the Seven with the blanket from his kit.

Copo came back to look down at the youth. "It looks like he came back for his laser. It must have been a close thing." He looked at the three corridors entering the junction. "Which way did he come from?" There were no clues to guide them. "We'll have to split up." He looked down at the two Sixes hovering protectively beside the Seven. "We will need one of you to help. The partners looked at each other and then Sarf put his hand on Fela's chest where the tattoo was and then rose to join the hunting team.

Toek watched the party split and move down the three corridors. They moved silently and each party was soon lost in the twists and turns of the ancient world. Toek wished he could move Fela away from the bodies but he worried about his broken bones. He gently lifted Fela's head into his lap and stroked his hair. The Seven had become an important part of their lives and Toek was grateful to have him back. Fela's eyes fluttered open and he whispered softly "What happened to the light Toek? It was so bright."

"It will come back little one." Toek smiled down at him. "How is it with you?"

"Better. We have to go for Bore. I left him back there." Toek pushed him back down gently.

"They have gone for him, be at peace."

"It was bad."

"I know." They sat in silence for a long time. Toek stayed alert to the dangers of the old corridors, his laser close at hand. Fela drifted in and out. Toek heard the first of the parties returning; their footfalls echoing down the empty wastes. They carried a burden with them and Toek's hopes were dashed. Sarf shook his head sadly.

"His heart stopped."

* ** *** ** *

Adam couldn't walk anymore but he sat in the chair and argued with Lucifer with the same vigor he had shown ever since the chimera had come to him sixty years ago. He was running out of time and he needed to win this last battle. "I am failing and you know it. You can't stop it anymore." Lucifer amused himself by pacing up and down for both of them. He preferred not to inhabit the Avatar, but Adam seemed to relate better to a physical presence these days. "The community will ultimately fail if there are no women."

"You have engineered a viable community here. Think of the history we both remember. Your clones have a remarkably civil and compassionate society. Arts and science flourish and there is love. Why disrupt this with the complication of women?"

"We are homosexual Lucifer. But our little part of humanity needs greater diversity if we are going to take control of this flying rock. Your human side has to come to terms with this. That's why I always held out the promise of Eve to the Adams . With guidance they can handle the change. Lucifer we have always been missing half the equation and you have always known it. With men it is always one plus one equals two. With women we will have one plus one equals three. You and Gia must submit to human evolution. It doesn't mean we have to reject who we are. We are ahead of the curve Lucifer. We can build a world where Adams can be proud to be themselves accepted by others." Adam had taken to calling the alien A.I. Gia. Lucifer paused in his pacing and turned to Adam.

"Gia agrees, but you have to agree to my request first." Adams heart leapt with joy and he trembled with the emotion.

"Then you are sure you can clone the X chromosome now?" The Lucifer Avatar was still for too long and Adam guessed the ugly truth. "You half-alien bastard."

"We could perhaps clone the X chromosome, but yes, I still have Karen's body and the eggs are viable." Adam tried to contain the mixture of rage and relief.

"Your me too Lucifer, how could you not know how important this was to me?"

"Enough of this, you will get your women and your heterosexual community that will ruin Adam's world." Adam moved to protest but held his thoughts. Lucifer was wrong. His clones were strong and had faith in themselves. "I need your agreement to my proposal. We need your cooperation or it won't work." Adam waved his hand wearily.

"What does it matter to me, I die with this body. If you want to steal my mind again you will do it. You probably have the original you took on file."

"That would not be useful now. Gia and the community need your accumulated wisdom." Lucifer took a seat near Adams chair. "As it happens I destroyed the inactive copy of us. The human side of me found it creepy." A thought occurred to Adam.

"Do you have Karen then?" Lucifer knew what he meant. Now that they were going to both get their way it thought continued honesty would serve best.

"Yes. I am reluctant to wake her though. She was suicidal then and we would be asking her to face it all again without the consolation of her body." Adam thought about this strange other self.

"How ever did you handle it? I don't understand where you are taking me." To live without a body; There seemed no reference points in such an existence.

"We will talk about it some other time. I promise you it will be easier for you." Lucifer turned to the next matter. "Who will take your place, the four threes?" Adam had already worked this out in his mind. He thought he saw a way forward.

"The community has strong traditions now. The clones will make their own choices which we may or may not like. The Masters will be important, but another One would bind them together during the tough time ahead. Lucifer, I want the next generation to be half girls. All clones of Karen's. We will leave the mixing of eggs and sperm for later. Too much difference will introduce stress that might break the community. I won't let you have me till I've held a baby in my arms." It seemed too good to be true. Girls again; Adam reached a decision. "Don't destroy the Karen copy. Once there are girls and women we may need her to help us understand them."

"I see your point. Who will be the New One, Adam?"

"That is clear in my mind, if I can convince him to accept the responsibility. The Seven Fela is my choice." Fela the story teller would go on to build the myths that would be needed to sustain the community in its time of change.

***

Fela sat beside the hot spring and remembered the day Gira had explained his design. The trees and shrubs had grown and it was easier to see the way the spot would grow. Fela was lost in the story and the characters he had created. When it was finished he would share it with the community. The Old One had suggested the idea during one of their many visits together. He had told Fela of the work the world was doing on the other levels. Progress was being made by their sea, but it was slow. Fela learned that the world was changing on other levels. The Old One had shared images of the levels so that he could incorporate them in his stories. The higher numbers loved his stories of struggling through the corridors choked with vines and fire fights with the strange creatures that lusted after the bodies of Adams . The generations had a whole world to explore and settle and the Old One had encouraged Fela and the other artists to tell them about it.

His note pad passed on a request from the Old One for a visit. He replied and passed on a note to Toek asking him to delay the evening meal till he had spoken with the Old One. As he walked back toward the community corridors his pad chimed a reply from Toek. The Old One was alone when he arrived and Fela gave the wizen Adam a gentle hug before sitting down. "Fela I have a burden for you to shoulder."

Fela listened as The Old One asked him to be the New One. "There are wiser Numbers than me Old One." The idea frightened him. He couldn't see himself setting taboos and give out advice. The Old One told him he was seeing the job wrong.

"I was the first parent. Adams see me in ways they will never look at you. I am old, you are young. Some of the mystery will be passed on to you, but you will be a New One in many different ways. Fela, we define ourselves." Fela did not notice that Adam was speaking to him as if he was already the New One. "Lucifer talks to the Masters all the time and the Masters preside over the council of the community. I do not set the taboos any more. The Numbers set their own taboos. Even the youngest have their say in every matter."

"Then why me; what is my purpose?" Fela found himself considering the idea.

"To be who you already are Fela: a story teller. Someone to tell the right stories to the numbers, stories that will guide them." He paused to watch the Seven. "The Masters know this, so it is not a secret; Eve will come in the next generation." He watched Fela's reaction to the news. "You must prepare the way and help set the taboos we will need to bring her into the community." Fela nodded with understanding. "After that you will need to make things less difficult. This will rock the world Fela." Fela agreed. "But there is a cost to you Fela. As New One you will be first to speak to Lucifer for the Community. I have things to tell you that only you may know. This knowledge will give your judgment wisdom and power when you speak for the community. More power than the Masters have. Lucifer will listen to you and through him Gia."

"You would do this better Old One." Fela looked wistfully at the old man.

"The body breaks Fela, things cannot continue as they are." He paused again "Lucifer has asked me join Gia when my body dies. I will still be in the world and I will help you speak for Adams and Eves." He saw relief on Fela's face, so he added a caution. "But I will be part of Gia then. It is essential that a New One stands independent." Time was passing and Adam pushed the question. "Will you be the New One?"

Fela's heart sank because he knew he would say yes. He was drawn to the mysteries the Old One would share with him and he felt right for the role. He procrastinated a moment. "It is a heavy load."

"And you cannot share it with anyone. The world's plans; you, me and Lucifer, perhaps one other, are our own."

"Why?"

"Because as New One you would understand what lies behind the world. The community will not work if it knows these things." Fela had not thought of that. So much of what he would do would be outside the knowledge of the community. "Fela; I have been working to a time when our community controls the world in all its power. Then we will be able to direct it to our will and be a greater part of the universe beyond." Fela was not clear. "You will know everything over time."

"How much control do you have over the world?" Fela suddenly felt like he was a character in an elaborate story written by the Old One. It was unsettling and he realized he was being asked to join something very devious.

" Adams control themselves as they always will, but yes Fela, Lucifer and I have shaped this world through Gia." Fela looked at the light scarring on his arm where the Rape had bitten him. Adam understood his thoughts. "The Rapes and sucks are mine."

"That was Evil Old One." He thought of Bore and the others who had died over the years.

"There is evil in the Adams New One and I created them in a time of anger. Their threat saved me Fela when I had no community and I realized that they would save the community too. Life can be too easy, too safe. We do not grow if there are no challenges and we die Fela if we cannot struggle. The community needs real enemies or it will make them from within. You will need to protect the community from the confusion that will come with Eve." Fela seemed unconvinced. "When I tell you more of Adams world you will understand this better." He saw sadness in Fela's eyes. "Do you have a partner?"

"No. I will do this thing, but I am alone." Bore had never been a partner and he had not been drawn to anyone else. He played where he could. Adam knew how he felt. He had been alone along time watching the happiness of others.

"Perhaps not" Adam responded.

***

Fela walked slowly to Sarf and Toek's rooms deep in thought and feeling lost in this new role that crushed him like a Rape. He had always shared his thoughts freely and now he would be silenced: he would lie. He stood and looked at the tree the partners had planted at the junction. The understated carvings filled the wall across their rooms. Toek was everywhere about him. He heard Sarf's music drifting through open door. He sat to watch the tree and thought.

Toek saw him sitting in the park and called to Sarf. "Fela is here" they stood together watching the twenty-year-old. Sarf put his guitar down and the partners went out to join the Seven. They sat beside him and waited for him to speak.

"The Old One is breaking and he has asked me to be the New One." Sarf and Toek knew this before Fela had reached their corridor.

"It is a good idea" Sarf replied, placing a hand on Fela's shoulder.

"You would do the job well" added Toek putting an arm around his waist. "So what is worrying you so much?" Fela sat in silence for a while before confessing.

"How will I keep a partner if everything I do is surrounded by mysteries I can't share?" Fela knew this would set him apart from the community. He saw it in the Old One and in the four masters who also lived alone. Sarf and Toek were well prepared for this moment.

"Why that is the least of your problems Fela. I would worry more about the World and the Community."

"Sarf's right Fela, you take care of our world and we will take care of you." Fela looked at them with tears of gratitude in his eyes.

"I would like that very much" he said whispered. The two Sixes pulled him to his feet.

"Well let's go and get the things from that dusty place of yours and bring them home." Sarf slapped him on the rear.

"I have an interesting idea for the new partner tattoo to show you when we get back." Toek added wrapping an arm around his younger twin's shoulders. "I think we'll need a bigger bed now Sarf, the little one has grown up."

 

The end

 

Author's note: Just exploring an idea I had a few years ago. If anyone takes a fancy to it they are welcome to play around with it and make it their own.

eliotmoore@hotmail.com