Fiction~~The Last Pure Human~~Ch. 2
|Previous Chapter||Fiction Index||Next Chapter|
Chapter 2 - Waking Up in the Land of the Cats
Ch 1 | Ch 2 | Ch 3 | Ch 4 | Ch 5 | Ch 6 | Ch 7 | Ch 8 | Ch 9 | Ch 10 | Ch 11 | Ch 12 | Ch 13 | Ch 14 | Ch 15 | Ch 16 | Ch 17 | Ch 18 | Ch 19 | Ch 20 | Ch 21 | Ch 22 | Ch 23 | Ch 24 | Ch 25 | Ch 26 | Ch 27 | Ch 28 | Ch 29 | Ch 30 | Ch 31 | Ch 32 |
If he had been as unsuccessful as they thought, that is.
He didn’t have to force the growl that came from his throat, his claws emerging involuntarily as he readied himself, until he realized who was walking through the door. Leero, his first in command of the palace guard, burst in, flanked by Esgard of the pretty face and…was that his cousin Shira? Leero took one look at Kasan’s eyes, no longer the neon green of Kyashin heat, and he swore, turning to slam his fist into the wall behind him until his knuckles bled.
“Fuck!” Leero turned back to Kasan as Esgard and Shira hovered behind with flattened ears. “Dammit Kasan…I’m so fucking sorry. I swear to you, Shovak won’t get away with this, I’ll…”
“Leero, stay calm.” Kasan wasn’t sure how they’d managed to get by the guards to him, but he doubted they had time for unnecessary self-recriminations. “There’s nothing to be sorry for, understand?”
“No! I failed in my duty. Dammit, we all failed! I should have found a way to get to you in time instead of allowing that bastard to try and foist off some mutant as a human and…”
“Leero! Enough.” How had he found out about Shovak’s plans? “All I care about right now is leaving. How long do we have to escape?”
Leero growled in agitation. “Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time. The guards are gone. They’ve all fled the city. You’re free now, as far as we’re concerned.”
Tension rushed from Kasan’s shoulders in a torrent. Gisho and he were safe. He didn’t have to worry about protecting him.
But he still didn’t know how Leero had found out about Shovak’s ploy. “Did my father return then? Is Shovak in custody?”
“Your father was sighted on the Main North Road. He’ll be here by nightfall.” Leero took a deep breath and released a frustrated snarl, his fingers twitching spasmodically in what Kasan knew was a remnant from the days when all Kyashin, not just throwbacks like himself, still had claws. “Shovak is still missing; we can’t find him anywhere in the citadel.”
Kasan growled. Damn. He’d really wanted to sink his claws into his uncle as soon as he got out of his cell. “You have men out looking.” It was a statement more than a question.
Behind Leero, Esgard reached for Shira’s hand nervously, rubbing his fingers over the smaller female’s palm in a soothing manner. So, that’s the way the wind blew. And still, Esgard, and now his cousin if he wasn’t mistaken, had both come to offer themselves to Kasan if he’d still been in heat. That type of loyalty was precious enough that he wouldn’t forget it.
Leero cleared his throat and Kasan looked back at him. “He can’t be far. We started searching the moment your father was sighted.”
“I’m sure you did. I’m not faulting you. Although I’ll admit I’m curious how Shovak could be smart enough to escape and yet still leave enough evidence behind to reveal what he’d done.”
Leero smiled viciously. “Liosh wasn’t quite as quick to bolt as his master, and he can be quite talkative…with the right persuasion. He spilled everything just before the mercenaries jumped ship.”
Kasan winced a little. “He’s still in one piece?”
“Well…at least you can only be tried for assault, then. A month’s sentence right now, isn’t it?” Kasan tried to keep his voice casual to avoid thinking about how much he wanted to wrap his claws around Shovak’s throat and squeeze the life out of him.
“Well worth it to be able to finally beat that little rodent. Although I don’t think he’ll be filing any charges. I doubt I could prove he broke any laws, so I had him sign a confession and then released him. I doubt he’s even in the city.”
Kasan nodded. “Probably for the best.” Although he would really miss the chance to pound on Liosh a bit. “Still… Father’s return isn’t exactly unexpected. Shovak should have planned for this. Why the hell would he run?”
Liosh snorted. “Probably because, for the first time since I can remember, Shovak’s little plotting all fell apart. Since you were in heat, Shovak managed to persuade your family to stay an extra three weeks to give you and your new consort some time to get used to each other before the new ‘unknown’ female had to deal with them. According to Liosh, Shovak planned to present your dead body to the Lord King and claim that you were one of the few throwbacks whose mating heat rages out of control. None of the guard were able to see you except for Esgard, and he could only vouch for what he saw in the hour he was here, so we wouldn’t have been able to honestly claim he was lying.”
“That explains his running like a squickling, then.” Kasan murmured. “But why is father back early? No one’s hurt, are they?”
Leero smiled. “No. Ever since that last disaster when Aosh nearly died, we’ve been working on a system to keep in touch with the hunting party, no matter how far into the mountains they go. It took a while with the fog coming down from the heights, but we managed, and the Lord King started for home as soon as they got the message. So now, with you living, and the Lord King returning, Shovak’s entire plot isn’t worth a load of shit. And thank God the damn mercenaries he hired figured out which way the wind was blowing and fled on their own. It would have been a stone bitch trying to root them out from here. We were worried we’d have to ransom you back from them”
“Can’t say I would have enjoyed that.” Kasan grumbled. So, that’s what had been going on since he taken Gisho. Too bad his uncle had managed to get away, especially since they had Liosh’s confession. “Damn,” he muttered. “I was really looking forward to challenging Shovak as soon as I got out.”
“I’m…sorry.” Leero lost his smile and his eyes grew shadowed. “I will challenge him in your stead if we cannot find him before your…passing. You will not be denied your revenge.”
Kasan nodded. That’s right, they didn’t know he had a true consort. “There’s no need for that. I’ll be challenging that bastard as soon as they find him.”
“Kasan…I don’t think we’ll have him that quickly.” Shira stifled a small sob at Leero’s words and Esgard wrapped his arm around her soothingly.
“It doesn’t have to be quick, Leero. I have a consort.”
They looked at him blankly and he flashed them a grin. This was rather fun.
“I’m not dying, you idiot.”
Three sets of ears started to twitch in confusion. “Not…dying? But how? No one got to you in time, just Shovak’s little fake human…”
“Actually, the little human, it turns out, wasn’t quite as false as Shovak thought.” Kasan grinned more broadly. “He screwed up, Leero. He didn’t give me a human looking off-worlder. He gave me a human—a pure human. I HAVE a consort now, Leero. I bear the mark.” Kasan licked his finger and rubbed at the blackened muck on his chest until the small gold crown could be seen. Shira gasped while Leero and Esgard looked at it in shock.
Still staring, Leero started to shake his head. “A human. He bought some little alien off planet and it turns out to actually be an honest to God human. You have to be the luckiest bastard in the world, Kasan, just like the troops have always said.” Leero started to smile back at Kasan’s engaging grin. “There’s actually a pure human woman still in existence in the universe, and you got her. I can’t even imagine the odds…”
Kasan felt his skin flush slightly. “Well, that’s not quite true.” At their looks, he sighed and finally stepped aside so that they could see the blanketed Gisho. “Uh, you see, the last pure human is…a man.”
“A man.” Leero’s smile faded. “Shovak picked a man for you.” At Kasan’s nod, Leero swore. “That fucking cocksucker. Not enough that he tries to give you a non-Kyashin, he has to make it a male as well? When everyone knows you find them unappealing?”
Leero reached over and patted Kasan’s shoulder sympathetically. “I’m still sorry, then. I am more glad than I can tell you that we won’t be losing you, but I am truly sorry for your loss.”
“There is no loss.” Kasan huffed, shifting his shoulder.
“Kasan, don’t try to soften this. We know you dislike-“
“I don’t dislike him.”
“Kasan, you can’t pretend to-”
“I’m not. I find the little male attractive.”
Leero raised one eyebrow before he shook his head. “You can’t expect us to actually believe that after we’ve known you for all these years?”
Kasan shrugged. “I didn’t say I could explain it. The little one turns me on. He really does. I—well, look for yourself.” Kasan said wryly, gesturing to his naked groin. Leero looked down to see Kasan’s burgeoning arousal from just the brief look he’d given Gisho, and Kasan’s first in command quirked an amazed smile.
“That’s for him?”
“Yeah. Trust me, having him as a consort is NOT a bad thing.”
His shoulders relaxing, Leero continued to look at Gisho. “I’ll be damned. You took a human male for a consort.”
Leero smiled slowly as he glanced back at Kasan. “I don’t suppose I can watch when you tell your brothers?”
“Hell, no. And right now, you can get me some damn clothes. It’s fucking freezing in here.” Shira giggled and Kasan looked over to her.
“I want you to know, I appreciate both of your offers to sacrifice yourself for me more than I can say,” he said quietly before he grinned a bit. “But for now…maybe you two should be thinking about spending some time with each other, instead of worrying so much about me.” Esgard started blushing as Shira smiled again.
“And…Leero, how many people know what Liosh said?”
“A few of the guards only. We’re all keeping it to ourselves.”
“Make sure they continue to do so. We need to carry Gisho to my room without his ears and face being seen for now, and I can reveal my mark to everyone before letting them know the unusual nature of my other half. The people had a hard enough time accepting someone as much of a throwback as me in the first place. I can’t let there be any doubt as to the legitimacy of my consort.”
“Of course. No one will say a word.”
“Good.” Kasan went over and scooped up Gisho in his arms, Leero helping him cover the man’s head and face with the blanket. Kasan thought a moment and sighed. It grated on him to let anyone see his little Gisho’s body, but it could help him quell any rumors that might come up later.
“Leero? Can you…pull the blanket up a bit and bare his bottom? We can walk through the courtyard on the way.”
Leero nodded. “…and everyone will see the mark. Nice touch.” Leero peeled back the ratty cloth, tucking it in odd places in Kasan’s arms to make it seem accidental, and looked down at the side of one exposed cheek of the smaller man’s rosy ass. A small silver crown glittered there, the delicate scrollwork on it an exact match to the golden symbol on Kasan’s chest. “A real live human. I will be damned.”
Leero rolled his eyes. “I can’t believe he’s so damn small. I always imagined them to be a bit more…intimidating. The stories always painted them as such an aggressive species.”
“Yeah.” Esgard and Shira walked out the door as Kasan gestured to them with his head, and Leero continued to study Gisho’s ass in a way that had Kasan growling for a moment.
The sound merely caused Leero to smirk at him. “Growling? Just for looking at his ass? He’ll have more bare skin in his clothes than he does now. What are you going to do then?”
“I’ll think of something.” Kasan grumbled, wondering about it himself. He couldn’t say why, but the idea of anyone ogling Gisho made his hackles rise.
And Leero’s knowing grin wasn’t helping. Maybe he should have let Leero think he was dying for just a while longer. The man had been almost respectful there for a while.
It had been a refreshing change from his usual smart-ass self, he thought, and then he carefully followed his friend out of the cell, looking forward to being able to relax in his own room again.
He really, really needed a bath.
Max woke up slowly, feeling like his mouth was full of cotton wool and his head was being pounded on by evil little men with hammers. He didn't bother opening his eyes, just moaned quietly. They'd told him that coming out of cryo-sleep would be unpleasant, but this?
This must be how his mother felt when the doctors told her labor would be 'uncomfortable.' The reality was far outstripping the prediction in actual suckiness. Why'd he even agree to do this? He didn't want to go to outer space. He'd been quite content to putter around discovering dying languages, or already dead ones, and recording them for posterity.
If it weren't for the fact that he'd wanted his parents to be proud of him… He sighed. Not like it had mattered. At least they'd died proud of him. His application for linguist of Beta Colony, section two, hadn't even been fully processed before his father’s plane had crashed and ended both his mother and father’s lives, but they'd known he'd applied, at least. They'd been so excited for him. More so than he was himself, really.
Most likely because he’d known what his real chances of making it into a colony had been. The programs looked for the best, the brightest, and the most experienced. He didn’t feel that he did too badly in the brains department. Hell, he was only 23, with his PhD. already obtained. However, without the slightest bit of official experience, whether he was ‘the best’ was most definitely debatable. Somehow, he didn’t think ‘tagging along with my folks all over the world’ added up to much in the resume department. Not that it hadn’t been fun going from country to country, discovering some new botanical wonder of the twenty-first century...it just wasn’t exactly his field.
So he hadn't been surprised when someone older, and with more experience in diplomacy, had been chosen.
He had been fairly surprised he'd made the list of alternates, however, even if he was at the very bottom. And he had been stunned when he'd gotten the call on Christmas Eve that they wanted him to go to the Beta Colony. The stupid idiot they'd originally picked had suffered a bizarre aneurism, 1 hour before the launch, and everyone else on the list lived so far away that they'd never make their launch time.
Although he got the impression that that they’d tried to contact all of them, just in case.
The irony of his presence on the ship still managed to make him sigh. He got one of the most coveted positions for a linguist, on a trip that was the most newsworthy thing to happen to earth since the founding of Alpha Colony, and how? Just how did he get it?
By remaining unemployed so long that he was flat broke and forced to live in a shitty part of town next to the airport.
He was sure the entire colony would be just awed by their luck in acquiring him in such a competitive way. He just hoped they didn’t lynch him once they came out of cryo-sleep and discovered what had happened.
This was the beginning of his new life.
This was the beta colony.
His head was killing him, he was freezing, and an odd, spicy smell was tickling his nose uncomfortably.
Beta Colony was lookin’ pretty crappy right now.
Why had he agreed to this again?
He took a deep breath, trying to calm himself. He could do this. Hell, he didn’t have a choice. The trip to Beta Colony was a one-way ride. Maybe in a few decades when the second wave came he could catch a ride back, if he lived that long, but for now, he was stuck. Stuck in a situation that wasn’t exactly making him jump up and down doing the happy dance. He hadn’t met anyone but the Captain and the few crew that had been awake for the launch. He hadn’t had time to read up on what languages were actually spoken once the final colonists had been chosen. Hell, he didn’t even know if he was going to have his own home or if he’d end up having to share with one of the families. It was a bit terrifying to contemplate…
… but he could cope with this. He could. It was just like the traveling he’d done as a child: arriving in some completely unknown part of the world and finding their way around by the seat of their pants. Among people they couldn’t understand, trying to find new plants in places they didn’t really know the exact location of, they’d still managed. Well, he’d managed. His parents had wandered around like the absent minded professors that they were.
Sometimes, he wondered if he’d gone into linguistics simply because he’d had to learn so many languages as a kid, just to keep himself and his parents from being mugged and killed everywhere they went.
He took a deep breath. Okay, he could do this.
Another deep breath. He could do this. It could be fun. And his fellow colonists couldn’t be too bad. After all, he was here, wasn’t he? He’d stepped in and bailed them out. Things could be a lot worse for them. Hell, they could have been stuck together with no translator between the different groups at all.
That was what the military men who’d talked to him had implied, anyway. The guilt that thought had produced was probably what pushed him over the edge from stunned denial to tentative reluctant acceptance of their offer. Especially after they let him know that the first linguist's death hadn't been an accident; they were fairly certain it was the pro-earth terrorist faction. A chemical compound they commonly used had been found in the linguist’s pre-launch cocktail, although at least the poor man had drunk his early and thus spared many of the others whose drinks had been spiked as well. Considering that the time and date of the actual launch had been secret, however, the military was frankly terrified that delaying their departure was what the terrorists were aiming for. As a result, they were willing to put up with Max’s less than stellar qualifications in exchange for sticking to the original time table.
All of that should have been enough to persuade him to go, but if he were honest with himself, he’d had a cowardly little flinch when they’d reminded him of the contract he’d signed. If the linguists higher on the list were unable to perform their duties, he had agreed to take his place as Beta Colony’s linguist. The penalty for reneging on that sort of government contract was paying a portion of their lost revenue for an interrupted launch.
In other words, he’d be in debt until his great-grandchildren had grandchildren.
He sighed again, refusing to open his eyes.
Again, here he was. Beta Colony.
This should be interesting.
He turned his head, pausing at the sensations it produced. He was face up, the right position for what he last remembered, but why did his capsule feel so oddly silky? He moved his head back and forth again, shifting his body as well and realizing that not only was his capsule's fabric no longer the cheap, scratchy synthetic he remembered, he was feeling it with his whole body.
He was fucking naked.
Great, someone was playing pranks on him already and he wasn't even fully awake yet. Just great. He grumbled to himself and rolled over, careful not to move too much and bang the sides he knew were there. If they were going to strip him, then he'd damn well go back to sleep and be mooning the assholes when the came back into the cryo center.
And it didn't hurt that rolling over hid the fact that he was already blushing like crazy just thinking about unknown strangers looking at and commenting on his nude body. That was, honestly, disturbing. What did this say about the people he was going to be spending the rest of his life with? He lay quietly, absently squirming his hips to try and itch his stomach on the fabric beneath him. It slid with him, giving him no friction and absolutely no relief whatsoever.
"Stupid cloth," he muttered, trying to slide his hand underneath his body to itch himself covertly. He groaned when he hit the spot. God, the only thing better than scratching a good itch was good sex. He humped forward slightly as he scratched furiously at his stomach, and felt a twinge of pain inside. What in the world was that from? He moved his hips again, felt the same pain, and was suddenly bombarded with memories of hands and lips and someone…
Dear God, he remembered someone taking him in the ass!
Someone with a deep voice and soft hands and, he knew he was fucked up now, cat ears and glowing green eyes with slits for pupils. He had to be hallucinating, right? He had to be. There was no way that he was really remembering someone fucking him- just no way that some-some guy had sex with him. And no FUCKING way that he remembered enjoying it. No way. It was a side effect of the cryo-sleep, that was it.
He clenched his buttocks in response to the very idea of someone actually getting into his body, and as his insides stung again he started to panic. That wasn't a hallucination: it hurt! His body hurt in a place that he sure as hell hadn't been doing anything to! What the hell had happened? What had the bastards who piloted this ship done to him before he'd woken up all the way?
He fought the urge to panic, trying to focus on his anger instead. He’d been raped in his sleep. Some bastards thought they could get away with raping him. And it had to be more than one person, because there was no way you could do this without being monitored from the deck. The fuckers.
Did they think he wouldn’t notice, or did they simply think he was too much of a wimp to
say anything about it? It wouldn‘t be the first time someone had thought he wasn’t much of a threat, although he didn’t have a fucking clue as to why. Dammit, he was six foot one! And he worked out! He didn’t look like a wimp, as far as he knew. But the moment people found out he was a linguist it was like their estimation of his masculinity went down the toilet.
Well, these bastards were going to learn pretty damn fast that they couldn’t just molest him and get away with it. They were going to pay. He opened his eyes and pushed himself up suddenly, reaching out for the side of the capsule and flopping forward with a soft ‘fwump’ as his hand met empty air.
He shook his head, and pushed himself up again, his vision processing the room around him. He froze as his brain caught up to the images his eyes were sending it.
"Where the hell is this?" he blurted. He was on some weird kind of bed half sunken into the floor. At least, it was a bed only if a bed could be made out of one enormous silk pillow. Although it had enough small pillows littered over it to make another bed entirely, he thought. The creamy walls around him had recesses filled with oversized tables and benches, jewel-toned jars and oils topping them, a few mirrors showing his naked body staring back at him, flushed and wide eyed.
The weirdest thing of all was some odd, roughly hewn pole that angled sharply from one side of the room to end at the top of the other, exiting into some hole in the side of the wall. What the hell was this place? The colony didn't even have fully constructed buildings yet, if he hadn't been lied to. Yet, this room looked not only modern, in a rather sybaritic way, but old. It had too many small imperfections to be newly made.
"What the hell is happening? Where am I?" he yelled, and heard a brief scuffling of movement to his right. He looked over quickly, seeing only the wall at first, and then realized that some of the decorative beige streaks across it might actually denote a doorway, if he was lucky. He looked around, hoping for some sort of covering, and finally settled for holding a black velvety pillow against his privates as he approached the possible exit. He couldn't figure out what was going on. Had something gone wrong? Were they at the first colony, possibly? It was over three decades old, right? It could possibly have something like this set up, he told himself, trying to believe it.
Reaching the door, he looked at it closely. One small oval on the side was inset, and he carefully stuck his finger in, pressing sideways. A panel almost twice his height slid back silently and he stared, mouth agape in shock.
Two of the fucking biggest men he'd ever seen in his whole damn life turned smoothly to face him. Fuck, they were like basketball players crossed with Conan, he thought in disbelief. They're even wearing loincloths! As he stared up at them, he felt himself start to shake. While their skin was human and a light golden brown, their faces were oddly thin and harsh, their eyes had slit pupils and on top of their heads… cat ears! They each had a set of small cat ears matching their dark mahogany hair. His first thought, that they must be costumes, died a swift death as the furry things swiveled back and forth. They stared down at him expressionlessly.
"Shit!" He managed to squeak. They weren't human! He was looking at--at fucking aliens! Were these here when the ship had already landed? Was he a prisoner then? Was the entire colony a prisoner? Or had they been boarded by these people while they were still in flight?
Hell, nobody had even fucking seen an alien before! He didn't know what the hell to expect. The only thing he knew was that he really, really didn't want to piss something that lethal looking off. He backed away a few steps carefully, relieved that they didn't follow. Glancing back at the bed a moment to make sure some freaky thing hadn't snuck up behind him while he was distracted, he was reminded of his hazy memories of sex and he looked back to the cat men in horror.
Has one of them actually--fucked me? He'd been so sure it had been at least partially some wacked out dream. He didn't doubt he'd been taken that way, but the man he remembered had fucking cat ears, for God's sake! But now, now he was looking at men with--with fucking cat ears! What had been done to him? If they'd raped him while he was still loopy from cryo-crap, were they done with him? Or were they planning on doing it again?
He backed away a few more steps, blushing and, he admitted, really damn scared. He could defend himself, sure, but not against some kind of super giant barbarian cat thing! Shit, he was so fucked.
Shit, he really wished he hadn't thought those exact words, he thought, cringing.
"What do you want?" he finally choked out as they continued to stare at him. He clutched the pillow to himself tightly, wishing it was at least three times as big so it could cover his whole damn body rather than just his groin.
"Where am I? Wh-what did you do with everyone else?" he stuttered, feeling rather hysterical, and he clamped his lips together as one of them finally moved. Oh God, he'd pissed one off. Shit, he was a fucking idiot! He backed away more, watching them closely as one reached for something beyond the edge of the door where Max could see. Crap, what was he doing?
He stood perfectly still, staring at them. Wait, were you supposed to stare at cats or was that considered aggressive behavior? He couldn't remember! Did that even apply when it was cat aliens instead of actual cats?
This was crazy!
He heard the sound of someone coming near, outside the door, and the two guards, he assumed they were guards, swiveled swiftly and closed the door with the same motion. Great, he was locked back in. Without the cat guys, as least. He sighed shakily. He was being kept in a room by huge, alien cat dudes.
What the hell was he going to do?
|Previous Chapter||Fiction Index||Next Chapter|