Pink Slip of the Tongue
“I‟ll kill you! I swear everyone you love will die, you miserable scum-
sucking—“ A well-planted fist ended Scotty‟s tirade, delivered by the bounty hunter
dragging him along the corridor.
“Shut up. You‟re in the anger stage. I‟ve already heard your pathetic denial
stage, bargaining stage, and depression stage, and damned if I‟ll take anymore!”
The pale-skinned alien triped glared up at his captor, rubbing his bruised
mouthparts, but clammed up.
Sun shone in through the expansive windows lining the right side of the
corridor, laying a trail of golden squares on the carpet for the two figures to
follow. The trail ended at a large set of double doors, stamped with „Executive
Office‟. Sensors sprang to life from several hotspots near the door, interfacing
with the hunter‟s neuralware and the pathetic bounty‟s crude implants.
“Enter Mr. Galis,” a deeply resonant voice instructed, as the doors swung
silently open. Galis dragged the recalcitrant alien behind him as he crossed the
plush office to the immense desk centered in the room. Behind the desk, half
coiled-around and half-draped over a padded sculpture of smoothly polished wood,
lay his employer. She wasn‟t precisely a snake, for she did have limbs of a sort:
six supple tentacles which sprouted from her sides about two meters behind her
head. Other than those tentacles however, she was very much a serpentine being,
and a large one, nearly seventeen meters long. Her smooth scale-less skin was a
nearly-black purple at her nose, and phased through to a blushing violet near her
tailtip. Pale yellow eyes with amorphous pupils followed Galis and his prisoner as
they approached. A silent flicker of thick black tongue caught their scents from
the air, one last confirmation of their identities.
The bounty hunter nodded respectfully to his employer, while simultaneously
giving Scotty a rap on his skull.
“Scotty didn‟t put up much of a fight, lady President. He did wash his records
though I‟m afraid.” Galis shook his head and spread his hands as he shrugged. “He
was expecting to be caught.”
When Galis released Scotty‟s tether to gesture, the alien rotated swiftly on
one limb and broke for the doors! Galis already had his hand on a stunner, but he
needn‟t have bothered. A sleek indigo tentacle looped gracefully through the air
and tightened snug around Scotty‟s waist. The capture was a blur of motion, the
President had moved so fast.
“Nooooo! You don‟t understand, Galis! She, she‟ll,” the end of the tentacle
wound around Scotty‟s face, muffling his words into nothing.
“You may go now Galis. The loss of those records is galling, but not an
insurmountable obstacle. Your account has been credited.” Calmly, she reeled in
the struggling alien, luminous eyes glinting. Galis bowed with more grace than his
gristle-tough exterior suggested he was capable of.
“Always a pleasure, President Yeulla. I‟ll be back soon with the rest of your
list, I‟m certain.”
She smiled, soft lips curled up in a rather attractive snakey-smile,
translucent eyelids drooping halfway down. “The pleasure is mine, my knight.”
Galis smiled at the endearment, then turned smartly and strode back out into
the hall, the doors closing just in time to prevent him from hearing Scotty‟s
The sun felt good on his face and neck, as Galis stalked back down the sun-
bathed corridor. He ran four fingers through his gray-streaked black hair, and
glanced over the list that appeared to float a foot before his eyes in glowing
blue. Four names on the list were grayed out, captured, their bounties already
safe in the hunter‟s coffers. The next name blinked with a soft red light, then
expanded into a submenu when Galis‟s eye remained on it a moment.
“Let‟s see here… Official records, pattern matching, elimination…” By the
time he reached the elevator at the end of the hall, Galis had a good idea where to
look for Jek Gamble. While he rode the empty car up to the roof garage, Galis
warmed up his vessel‟s systems and plotted a course.
“More white-collar crime, this one. Easy. No cronies, no blasted kill-
fields or thermal mines. Practically a vacation, this list!” He grinned,
unbuckling his chest protector and tossing it behind his seat before climbing into
his ship. Docked in one of hundreds of similar berths, his Strafer XT was about
the best all-around vessel he‟d yet had. Great beam deflection armor, comm jamming
equipment, and enough firepower to level a few city sections, it was one of the few
places Galis always felt safe.
The ribs on the gel-filled seat pressed in snugly around him as they
conformed to his body, gripping him without restricting his arms or head. The red
tinge on his traffic-screen flashed green, and Galis jetted out into the break in
As rides go in the city, it was a quiet one, with only a couple crack-ups and
a mid-air collision to dart around. As the sun sank below the level of the taller
buildings, Galis entered a lower altitude traffic-pattern, slipping among the
squatting monoliths of monstrous beehive-like project housing. Scanners here were
often damaged or missing, and criminals could evade capture for years, if they
didn‟t mind the dismal living conditions and his fellow wanted men.
A swift querying of each drably uniform building‟s records got him a list of
He isn‟t likely to be in a legit unit, but some of them are that dumb.
Galis hovered in an alley a moment, above the shallow layer of water covering
the cracked pavement. He queried the federal scanner network, learned the pattern,
and found the holes. When compared with the list of recent move-ins, Galis found
the overlaps, and flagged them on his display.
“Time for a little door-to-door.” He slapped his restraint release and hopped
out of his ship to the pavement with a splash. A bus rumbled past the mouth of the
alley, its exhaust pouring a steady trickle of water into the omnipresent micro-
ocean. Galis sighed… “When are they gonna replace those hydrogen-cell veeks? So
tired of slogging through this mess.”
Galis buckled his chest protector back on, absently polishing the deflector
surfaces with a clean cloth, then grabbed a long plastic-coated duster. Belting
that on, he set his ship in watchdog mode and sloshed down the alley toward the
first hit on his map.
Before he‟d gone four steps though, he heard a familiar whine and a click.
Gyroscopically-corrected weapon. Could be EMP, could be laser, Galis threw himself
flat and rolled, coming up with his heavy stunner. The blast took him in the
shoulder, blue fire crackling along his coat. Galis let the stunner slip from his
fingers and collapsed without a sound.
A slow series of splashes accompanied the gunner as he crossed to the fallen
bounty hunter, and trained his gun again, right on Galis‟ dripping forehead.
An explosive wave of sound poured into the street as the hive equivalent of a
garage-band began practicing, startling the gunner into swinging his weapon around.
Galis‟ legs knifed out, twining with his opponent‟s and sending him crashing into
the filth-swirled water. The stunner was out and on the back of his neck, while
his booted foot pinned the gunner‟s wrist. The gyroscopes whined loudly as they
tried to drag their owner‟s hand around, still tracking the bounty hunter.
“Nice gun, Jek. Let it go, or you‟re joining the rest of the trash floating
in this shit.”
Jek let go of the weapon, and without the physical touch of its owner, the gun
shut down into an inert standby mode. Galis picked it up, shook a clinging strand
of gunk from it, and stuffed it in one of the duster‟s many pockets. Gryo-weapons
were for amateurs, no aiming required. Once they‟d locked onto a target, they
stayed locked until it was neutralized. The EMP charge he‟d been hit with was
enough to melt the brains of any implanted person, but the duster was virtually
made of circuitry designed to dissipate just such an attack.
“On your feet, loser. Nice of you to come out and meet me, by the way. I
really hate doing the Galactic Jehova‟s Witness thing. Upsets so many people.”
Galis dragged Jek to his feet and pushed him down the street back towards his ship.
Jek turned a dirt-smeared face back towards Galis, squinting water from his eyes.
“You can‟t take me to her. You can‟t. Don‟t tell me you don‟t know what she
does!” Jek was your average human scum. Soft in the middle, hair thinning, the
bulk of his good years spent in corporate enslavement. Jek had tried to bust out
of the cycle the only way he could think of, by stealing from his employer. Now
even the bad years of Jek‟s life were probably denied him.
“I don‟t care what she does with you. Cryo, exile, whatever.” He gave Jek a
harder shove when the man slowed again.
“No!” he hissed, turning again with a desperate glare. “She‟ll eat me!”
Galis burst out laughing, and pushed Jek into the alley he‟d parked in.
“Lady Yeulla? She couldn‟t eat you if she wanted! Her diet is very
exclusive; crustaceans from her home planet only. It‟s like flamingos; that‟s
where her coloring comes from.” Galis shook his head, and frowned a little. He
might be a little too close to this employer, knowing things like that. He‟d spent
quite a few evenings chatting with the President after business had been concluded,
satisfying her curiosity about his profession and history.
Jek shook his head violently, and almost lost his footing as they drew up
alongside the Strafer. “That‟s a cover. She can eat anything she damn well
pleases! I heard one of the security men talking about it once, when I was under a
console, repairing it. He‟d seen her swallow whole people twice as big as you, and
digest them alive!” Jek shook from head to toe, face turning green beneath the
bioluminescent corporate tattoo on his forehead. Galis shook his head with a grin,
then discharged his stunner into Jek‟s gut. He caught the unconscious man before
he crumpled fully, and slapped a restraining block over his wrists. With a heave,
he pitched Jek into the cramped space behind his seat in the cockpit, and hit the
button to erect a plasteen shield. Swinging himself up and in, he jetted up out of
the alley and headed back for Zeta Corp.
“She wouldn‟t do anything like that… Yeulla‟s a lady, refined, not some
monster. Only sub-sapes would eat sapiens. What a story…”
His second interview with Yeulla that day went a little differently. Again
she‟d graciously thanked him for speedy recovery of the felon, but remanded him to
the custody of two of her security personnel.
“It‟s late, Galis. Will you stay for dinner tonight?” The president slowly
slithered from her perch, and undulated across the broad expanse of carpet in a
series of movements that was her equivalent of a human‟s stretching. Galis skimmed
his planner to be sure there was nothing else scheduled, and smiled when it came up
“I‟d be delighted, m‟lady.” He waited for his employer to slither up
alongside him, and offered her his crooked arm. A supple tentacle coiled neatly
around it, and the pair made their way out into the hall.
Galis found himself mulling over the Jek punk‟s ridiculous claims, on their
way to the elevator. “That Gamble fellow certainly had some odd ideas about what
he was in for,” he chuckled, sidling to the back of the elevator to make room for
Yeulla‟s bulk. She slid loops of her long body through specially-mounted rails and
loops, settling comfortably for the ride up to her dining room.
“Really? Was it the „she‟ll eat me‟ one, or the „sex-slave‟ one, or maybe
even the fear of being drawn and quartered with air-cars?” Yeulla winked, hissing
a long sibilant laugh. Galis shook his head, grinning, feeling ridiculous.
“The first one, yeah. Do you circulate that rumor yourself, or is it just
because it‟s easy to jump to that conclusion?”
A soft chime sounded, and the elevator doors slid open onto the dining room.
Yeulla disengaged herself from the railings and settled her tentacle back in Galis‟
arm. “Certainly the latter. Though I have had my fun now and then, spooking the
most vocal of those worried about my diet. The staff had quite a laugh at their
expense,” she smiled, satisfied indeed at the memory. He paced her muscular
slither towards the table, where several dishes already lay waiting. The scent of
Yeulla‟s crustaceans laced the dishes, but mingled pleasantly with coconut, lime,
and spices. Yeulla nudged a chair out for her friend with a thick loop of coil,
before arranging herself smoothly around and atop a new perch. Tentacles slid
forth to uncover the nearest dish, revealing a steaming platter of seafood sautéed
in some sort of peanut sauce.
“Your chef is a genius, Yeulla. If those weren‟t inverse-protein critters,
I‟d be tempted to sample some myself!” Galis winked at the white-garbed fellow who
had slipped in with a covered dish for him. The short mushroom-hatted chef winked
back merrily, and skittered back to the kitchen.
“I‟d imagine they wouldn‟t taste much different, though of course they
wouldn‟t do your body any good at all.” Yeulla‟s tongue flicked through the steam
rising from her dish, before picking up a broad spoon with one tentacle and dipping
up a generous mouthful. Galis uncovered his own dinner to find a sumptuous vat-
steak, tubers, and greens. Yeulla finished all four of her covered dishes by the
time Galis had put his own away, and as the dishes were cleared, the two retired to
a lounge on an enclosed balcony overlooking the city. While the night did little
to change the lighting levels on the street, this high up it was actually quite
dark, and Yeulla left the lights low.
“I hope my list isn‟t giving you any trouble, Galis?” Yeulla turned from the
view to gaze down at her friend, relaxing in a reclining chair. The human snorted
softly, one salt-and-pepper eyebrow arching.
“Your list dear lady, is the easiest I‟ve had in years. None of these people
have ever stepped outside the 9-7 1k-a-month-rent life. Armed, they‟re more
dangerous to themselves than to me. I think I‟ll have the rest by Saturday, unless
a few skipped town.”
Yeulla dipped her head and smiled, sliding over to coil up on a couch at right
angles to Galis‟ chair. “I‟d be truly upset if any of these fools hurt you, my
knight. Remember, I gave you no timeframe, I‟d rather you bring them in later or
not at all than risk yourself.”
Galis nodded softly, unsure what to say. What employer had ever cared whether
or not he was hurt on the job? “Yeulla, is there something these people have in
common aside from their desertion with company property?” He wriggled his toes in
his boots nervously. Chasing criminals down pitch-black alleys was one thing, but
prizing information out of his 17-meter-long boss was another. He didn‟t want
anything to come between them…
“Nothing I can think of, really… Most are human, but that‟s purely
demographic. They‟re all a bit smarter than the average worker though… Not much
common sense, but brainy...” Yeulla trailed off, her deep yellow eyes sliding back
towards the cityscape below. After a moment she came back to herself, and
refocused on him. “Why do you ask? Does any of that help you?”
Galis shrugged, and winced as one of his bio-monitoring leads tugged as the
skin where it was glued. “It may, it may. People with „book-smarts‟ tend to do
certain things when they‟re in trouble. The jerks who just grew up with holovid
are dangerous but predictable.” He broke into a grin, eyes reflecting some of the
distant neon-glow from the city below. “And you should hear their clichéd, tired
old lines. „You‟ll never take me alive‟ is one I just don‟t let them finish
anymore. I finally found a dart that acts quick enough to stop them.”
Yeulla quivered with laughter, the waves of mirth traveling along her length
as Galis chuckled with her. “Well, would you like to stay and see a vid, Galis? A
friend sent me a copy of the upcoming Gruesome Fighter 4 film. I don‟t much care
for the writing, but there is supposed to be a rather charming serpentia in it.”
Yeulla tugged up one of the cushions from the couch, and hugged it to her underside
like a bashful girl. Galis had a hard time keeping an unprofessional giggle from
“Sure, I wouldn‟t mind watching someone else dodge beams and tumble in alleys
for a change.” The holovid unit rose from the floor while he spoke, and he
realized he wouldn‟t be able to see much from the too-relaxing chair. Yeulla
chuckled as she watched Galis try to sit further upright in the recliner, then
lazily slid a tentacle over to wind around his wrist.
“Come sit over here, that thing is useless when you want to stay awake.”
Galis let himself be drawn to his feet, and padded over the thick carpet to settle
down on the couch beside the purple coils of his Lady. He noticed that Yeulla
didn‟t release his wrist though, after he‟d settled down…just keeping it loosely
snugged around him. She smiled at him a bit, then triggered the vid. As the movie
blossomed from the projector and filled the room, Galis dropped his walls and just
relaxed with a very pleasant friend of his, determined not to make more of this
than was there.
Several times during the movie, Galis thought Yeulla was gazing at him, but
whenever his eyes slid over, she was raptly involved in the vid. Her tongue did
seem to be flickering out more frequently than usual though. Was there something
around she liked the scent of? Him?
The vid credits rolled, and Galis slowly rose to his feet and stretched,
grinning down at Yeulla. “That wasn‟t bad, really. Nightvision sensors don‟t work
quite like that, but I can‟t complain about the rest of it.” Yeulla just laughed,
and hugged Galis lightly with a soft tentacle, before gently propelling him towards
the door with it. She followed him across the rug to see him out.
“You‟d better get some rest, knight. I‟ll see you with your next catch,
doubtless before lunch.” Galis grinned, and saluted lazily.
“I‟ll do my best, milady.”
The doors slid shut after him, leaving him in the corridor to the elevator, green
glowstrips illuminated to guide him around. This floor was almost entirely empty,
Yeulla‟s staff having gone home hours ago. Their time together trickled around in
his head as he made his way back to his ship and climbed in. Did she…like him? As
more than a friend? He felt confident calling her friend, for how many others
invite their employees to dinner and a vid? He sighed, breath clouding the inside
of his canopy a moment before the blowers warmed up. Sliding back into traffic,
Galis dodged his way back home, an anonymous apartment in a high-security globe.
The apartments themselves were entirely underground, and a 360 degree globe of
sensors, guards, and traps below and above ground kept those apartments secure. A
lot of people hated Galis.
His ship sent the appropriate entry codes, and submitted to a quick search by
a guard on a hovering platform, before he was allowed to descend and lock his ship
into a launch-rack. His boots rang musically down a short series of steps, before
he passed through a portal into a private hall. He had five neighbors in this
hall, all thoroughly checked and monitored to ensure no one was or would become a
danger to the others. He‟d never spoken to one of them.
A soft blue glow spilled out into the hall, his door opening at his approach.
Galis made a cursory sweep of his home, weapon in hand, then settled down on his
bed to wriggle out of his armor and clothes. Muscle like whipcord stood out
beneath his lightly-haired flesh, joints creaking as Galis shrugged out of the top
of his jumpsuit and removed the microweave armor beneath. Two kicks sent his boots
thumping into the wall, and last wriggle freed him of the jumpsuit. Galis‟s body
would look odd indeed to anyone from a few centuries back…too new, too smooth. A
man in his line of work made frequent visits to the „sculptors‟ or in streetspeak,
fleshers. No scars, no birthmarks, moles or freckles. Galis smooth a hand
unconsciously along a hairless stripe of flesh where a vibroblade had once plowed
through five ribs like butter. Sighing, he peeled off the contacts from his neck
and chest, tossing them into a recycler. Stiffly, he slid beneath his sheets and
asked the lights to dim. Seconds later, he was fast asleep…relying on his home‟s
thousand sensor-eyes to watch over him.
Yeulla coiled herself in a sleek pile in her sleeping nest, cocooned in a sensor
and defense web nearly as complete as Galis‟s. Her eyes slid shut, but her mind
refused to shut down just yet.
Galis…is it truly me that wants him? Or a fragment among…
She stroked her cheek slowly along a length of thick coil, smiling sleepily at
the sluggish gurgle resonating from somewhere within.
There‟s no real way to tell anymore. But, how does he feel? I know he‟s wary
of me sometimes. He‟d be a fool not to be, and I don‟t care for fools in the
She nestled her chin down in a dip of her coils, smiling as she pictured the
solid, confident face of her love.
I know there‟s something there. I will have him. A, and…he will have me.
She shivered at the concept… Not since she hitched a ride off her home planet
with a prospector had she been willing to place her life in the hands of someone
else. She laughed, a bit giddy, before resettling her coils and drifting off. Now
that her decision was made…she wouldn‟t ever give up on him.
Jek screamed muffledly in her depths, surrounded by stinging fluid and bound
snugly with slimy flesh. His former boss‟s throat tugged him a foot further,
burying him ever deeper in her plump coils. His pleas and struggles flavored
Yeulla‟s dreams nicely…
Galis growled his frustration as the airline put him on hold for the fourth
time. The next bounty on the list, Frederick Majors, appeared to have skipped town
using falsified credentials and a blood sachet. Tracking him down wouldn‟t be
easy, unless he hadn‟t bothered to buy more than one false identity.
He sat up again in his chair as the pretty clerk flashed back onto his
“I‟m happy to inform you that Greg Yatan was indeed aboard flight 678, which
stopped over in Atlanta before continuing on to the western quarter of the City.”
I‟m forwarding the boarding pass information and visual records now. Standard
payment has been debited from your account. Have a nice day!”
He rubbed the bridge of his nose as the files bloomed one by one on his
retina. “Well, at least he‟s still in the City. Didn‟t run off to some fifth-
world hell hole, or extra-planetary.” But it only made sense, he realized, as he
gathered his equipment and suited back up for a day of hunting men. Fred only knew
the City, and he‟d stick out like a hormone-treated Venusian anywhere else. Once
his monitors were happy with the contact they were getting, Galis trudged out the
door and back to his waiting ship.
He‟d be able to nap on the flight there.
About an hour later, Galis landed in a public parking facility and set his
ship‟s defense system to Mercy Maim. He did this vocally, and as loudly as
possible, earning him some glares from parking attendants and hoodlums alike. The
glares faded, as did their owners as Galis pulled one last piece of gear from the
ship. Matte black, smooth and modular at the same time, Glock had never lost its
touch in making firearms resemble venomous snakes. As long as his arm and sporting
a barrel even popular porn stars couldn‟t call tight, it got him instant respect.
Galis slung it on a shoulder strap, bright-green safety cap over the muzzle,
and set off to visit one of his favorite information vendors.
“Toenail! Great to see ya! Want some soup?” A hearty woman bawled the
sentences together, all three heads turned his way and sporting genuine grins.
Galis winced, and leaned against the side of her booth. The crowded venue was
uninterested in the large man with his large gun, but interested enough in their
own well-being to give him a generous berth of four inches.
“D‟you really need to keep calling me that? Great to see you too. Sure, I‟d
love some.” That‟s the way you dealt with Athena. Neglect one of her heads, and
she might get cranky.
“You‟ve been called worse, Toesie. What brings you around? Miso soup, nice
and hot.” She grinned, looked concerned, and waggled her eyebrows respectively.
Galis spooned up some soup, blew on it, and tasted it before answering.
“S‟pose I have. Looking for a guy who may have ended up around here. S‟great
stuff, as usual.”
All three heads pondered a moment, and she held out a blank slab of plastic
towards her old pal. Galis produced a near-identical chit and touched it briefly
to hers. Athena‟s software crunched and filtered it while she got him a bowl of
“Yeah, he‟s here. Booked at the Hotel Divinity on Webber, Treant and First.”
Only one head spoke, the other busy serving two other customers. When all were
served, she turned all three back on the hunter.
“How long are you gonna stay in this business, Toe? I mean, you‟re tough
sure, but haven‟t you made enough by now to retire someplace quieter? You know
there are plenty of friends who‟d be happy to keep you company there too,” she
murmured, blushing, looking at her shoes, and polishing the counter. Galis blushed
a bit himself, and slurped up the rest of his soup.
“The problem I have these days is paying for protection. I‟d be gone in a
week if I lived anywhere with less than four layers of security. I blame the
justice system, and too many „alive‟ bounties.” He winked, but sadly. He took
Athena‟s cleanser-roughened hand and squeezed it. “And you love people too much to
end up any place quiet, Trigun.”
She snickered at the old, old handle, and gave him a little push. “Stop by
when you‟re done, we‟ll get a drink and catch up. Don‟t take too long, now!”
Galis smirked, and rose from his stool. “Be back in three shakes of a lamb‟s
Unfortunately, Galis hadn‟t paused to consider how much credit Frederick‟s
larceny had netted him. With enough money, nearly anything was possible. While
the armored mech-suit graft was something unlikely, it was definitely possible.
It was there, hissing steam and coolant, amber and green lights flickering in the
pitch black apartment. Galis snapped off a single round before the surplus Army
unit stood and pounded toward him…the heavy gait leaving craters in the concrete
beneath the cheap carpet. The explosive stun-round was utterly ineffective against
something like this, and Galis was already running plans as he dove out the door
into the hall. Behind him the door frame splintered as Fred busted through,
laughing with the giddy thrill of piloting two tons of military hardware. The
weapons were gone of course…no one was allowed to sell fully hot Army surplus. But
the mechanical strength and thick armored shell was quite enough to worry the
lightly armored Galis. Frantic fingers fumbled on the rifle‟s selector knob, but
finally nudged it over to what he wanted. Whirling, he brought his weapon to
bear—only to have it crushed in an alloy-wrapped fist. He could see his target now
through the faceplate…a young nerd-type, probably raised on video games that felt
just like what he was up to now.
“I can‟t stop all of them,” he shrieked, amplified through the mech‟s
systems, “but I can sure discourage the rest!” Galis stumbled two feet to the side
and hit the wall with a dull thunk. Something in his pocket?
The EMP gun… He drew it and fired just as Frederick tried to crush this new
threat too. The blast sent the mech into a frenzy. The hallway disintegrated
beneath the super-powered flailing of the machine-man melding, Galis struggling to
evade falling rubble. He got out into the street just in time for the hotel‟s sign
to fall across his shoulders, pinning him to the street with a shower of glass.
Galis‟s monitors sent an alert to the local emergency crews as his heart faltered
and lungs labored inside a half-crushed chest. He could only watch in helpless,
bleeding surrender as the sinister olive-green shell of the mech struggled free of
the debris and advanced… It drew within three meters before a deafening blast
shattered every bit of old glass within 40 meters. The mech stumbled, and crashed
to the wet street…two smoking and molten holes glowing in its back. Galis remained
conscious just long enough to note the hotel owner ejecting the spent plasma shells
from his street sweeper, and spit on the ruined hulk of mech and man.
“I had just paid it off last week, you lousy fucking maniac!” With the sound
of a slippered foot colliding repeatedly with dead mech in his ears, Galis let
darkness claim him.
“Galis, I told you not to put your life at risk bringing me these people!”
Yeulla was furious, coiled up atop the bed beside his in the IC unit. A
regenerator was locked over the bed, holding him still while lasers, nanites and
instant cell-cultures rebuilt his body. He noted idly that her tentacles were
nearly tied in knots, and fairly vibrated with tension.
“I, I‟m sorry I couldn‟t get him to you alive, Yeulla.” He managed, before
the regenerator slapped a clamp over his mouth to keep pesky conversation from
ruining its work.
Yeulla hissed her disgust. “That‟s now what I‟m concerned about. He had
obviously gone insane, at any rate, unuseable.”
Unuseable for what? He wondered, watching the purple bulk of his friend out
of the corner of his eye. Athena had been by earlier too, and had promised to
bring soup as soon as the broken and jagged ends of his ribs were removed from his
“I won‟t stand for you to be killed by some nitwit crook.” Her voice almost
broke between her two last words, and if Galis could turn his head far enough, he
would‟ve seen the soft blush of magenta rippling along her cheeks and sides. She
lapsed into silence then, just watching him…trying to guess what was going on in
his human mind.
A voice inside her droned on about how lucky she was this had
happened…preventing the ingestion and absorption of a diseased mind. That would‟ve
undone decades of work… She hated that practical voice. This was her Knight!
Tears leaked from her eyes, pupils shifting shape erratically. She would
have to tell him…as soon as he could get about again. She could wait three hours.
Galis shrugged into the new suit of clothes Yeulla had left for him. The old
armor, though sparing him instant death, was virtually useless in its current
"Damn medical yuppies. Always cutting through stuff instead of just taking it
off! Gods..." He sighed, and ran a hand through his hair, ignoring how his new
skin felt against the exquisite shirt his boss had provided. Hefting his gear in a
large duffel, he stepped out into the hall and made his way toward the waiting
area. Yeulla was there as he passed through one of the Decon fields that passed
for doors in this place. She uncoiled swiftly as she spotted him, slithering past
him, then looping several tentacles about his middle and arms to help him to a
"L, lady Yeulla! I'm not an invalid," he protested, laughing but embarrassed.
She just squeezed him a little, and sat him down on the couch she'd been arranged
over. Yeulla settled down in a neat pile of coils, but left her tail wound around
his waist. Galis searched himself for signs of nervousness at that, but couldn't
find any. In fact...it actually did make him feel a little better.
"Shush, and listen to me." She murmured, head hovering above the rest of her
coils, eyes locked onto his. Galis straightened, licked his lips, and nodded.
"You're more to me than an employee, Galis. You are my knight...and...I'm very
fond of you." She watched him closely, looking for signs of disgust or unease.
She found only surprise.
"What?" Galis winced at himself. So very eloquent, bounty hunter. "Fond, as
in, you'd like me to be your offspring's godfather someday? Or fond as in..."
"Fond, as in...I wouldn't mind if you were the sire of my offspring," she
whispered. Frustrated, she shook her head from side to side violently. "Gah! I,
we... Neither of us are used to being frank about our emotions... I sound like a
contract, and you can only hide behind humor while you think. How about this..."
She wound a soft tentacle around his wrist. Yeulla could feel his pulse pounding
beneath the warm skin. "I think I love you, Galis. I want you to stay with me...
Do you--do you enjoy our time together? Would you like to...try and be more than
Galis was dumbfounded. It wasn't the first time another species had been
interested in him, though generally they'd always been humanoid. But...he liked
Yeulla. He'd never thought of her as a, a mate before, but...why not? She was
beautiful in her way, charming, brilliant... What she saw in him he hadn't a clue,
but he'd surely find out given some time together with her. Galis found his free
hand crossing his chest to firmly clasp Yeulla's tentacle.
"I would like that, my lady. You're...special to me. I thought it odd that
you paid me so much attention, enjoy it though I did. You really want me?" He
just laughed through that last sentence, shaking his head. "Incredible."
Yeulla slowly pulled Galis closer, and wound slowly around him, cradling his
firm frame in her muscular length. "I never want to lose you. I hoped we could
move more slowly, but...what happened last night made me realize I can't take
chances. I need you with me, Galis. I do!" She slowly stroked her cheek along
his, Galis marveling how soft and satiny that deep purple flesh was. He hesitated,
then looped his arms around her neck, squeezing his Lady.
"I'll stay with you, Yeulla..as long as you want me," he whispered.
Galis soon found himself buried in his new love's coils, dozing on the flight
back home. His ship was coupled to Yeulla's corporate craft, the docking process
bringing a blush to both, for the first time. Galis ran his calloused fingertips
along the top of Yeulla's head, earning him a quite sibilant hiss of content. Her
tongue was fascinating up close...nearly iridescent as it poured from her lips,
then seemed to 'rewind' back into her mouth. Galis grinned to himself, remembering
those rumors from work.
"You're not just doing all this to get close enough to eat me, are you?" He
whispered, grinning. Yeulla's eyes slide slowly open, rolling up to fix him with
an inscrutable look.
"I...there's something I had better say before anything else happens," she
murmured back, eyelids drooping slightly. "You aren't going to like it."
Galis raised an eyebrow, still stroking the top of her head. "This sounds
important... Tell me. You aren't already married to a Boa or something are you?"
He smiled half-heartedly. Yeulla wagged her big head, looking even worse.
"Those rumors about me...they aren't baseless."
Galis stared at her. "You ate people? You eat people?" Yeulla winced from
his rising voice, her color darkening all up and down her length.
"Once...I ate anyone I could. Back on my homeworld, there are no intelligent
species, only wild beasts. But, I was one of them then." She drew up her head, to
gaze eye-to-eye with her knight. "No one really knows about my species. We start
out with the intelligence of a worm. Every creature we eat, we can assimilate its
nervous system core. In humans, the brain. It becomes part of our own... The
more evolved the creature, the smarter it is...the smarter we become when we eat
By now Galis was rigid. She could feel it where her coil and his thigh
touched. He was carefully controlling his face, but his body screamed 'monster'.
She pressed on, regardless, knowing there was no where to leave to on her jet.
"When explorers came to our world, I caught one unawares, and devoured it. I
made the jump from lizard-brain to sentient in 12 hours, as I absorbed the meal.
Next time a craft came, I was ready, and traded a ride off the world for knowledge
about the planet. I came here... Every bum, every lone person at a bus stop, every
threatening government official I ran into found its way down my throat, and became
a part of me. Knowing this world in and out let me become a successful
businesswoman...the one you see today. But I'd started to regret my meals... I
get knowledge along with brain power...fragmented memories. I destroyed families
with my feeding...snuffed out important lives." She shook with sobs, head bowed,
tears filming her big yellow eyes. Galis watched, his face relaxing into the folds
of sadness, tears leaking from his own eyes and down his stubbled cheeks.
"I would stop, but I can't... I confine my appetites to criminals, now, but I
can't deny them for long at all. The food you've seen me eat is delicious, but it
doesn't satisfy. I...I would never eat you, Galis. And I regret what I've done!
I do!" She hissed long and loud, a combative sound against an enemy she couldn‟t
attack…tucking her head into her coils. Galis leaned back in his seat, shut his
eyes, and just tried to breathe.
"The bounties I've brought then..."
"I ate them... They were smart enough to get away with stealing from me, and
that adds to my own mind. They would've been mindwiped by the government... It
isn't an excuse, but I feel my way isn't much worse."
"How many, have you eaten?"
"...581 since that first. And thousands of live animals, to try and duplicate
the effect of a sentient."
Galis's breath caught in his throat. 581! He glanced over at her, tried to imagine
that many bodies passing her lips...
"W, wait. Live? You eat them alive?" He stared at her, rigid fingers buried in
the plastic-coated foam of the seat. Yeulla nodded once, slowly, then again, more
"Always... The dead don't satisfy my primitive urge. I drug them as much as I
can, or, I do now..."
"Yeulla...you can't keep doing this! You have to stop! Today!" He nearly
shouted at her, nostrils wide and hands making a chopping motion in the air. She
untucked her head, mouth agape, then glared.
"If you can think of a way to help me control instincts so strong they act
even when I'm drugged to the gills and so stuffed with vat meat I can't move, I'd
love to hear it!"
"So you don't enjoy it? You want to stop?"
Yeulla shifted hue again, recoiling slightly at the questions. Her lips
parted, and she licked them quickly. "Y, yes...I do enjoy it. It feels like
nothing else in the universe... You'll never know how addictive it is, Galis. How
a bond is instantly formed between predator and prey. How I make them utterly mine,
as I bury them in my flesh and add their essence to my own. Even their...struggles
inside me are glorious." Her words came out slow and stumbling, wincing at every
Galis made a quiet sound in his throat, remembering that special on the vid he
caught the tail-end of months ago. Voreaphiles. Some were gen-etched to allow the
stretching and industrial-grade digestive tract necessary to swallow whole animals
alive...or even other people. It was bizarre and frightening then...and hearing
nearly the same desires spill from his love's lips was just...surreal.
"Yeulla...what about clones? The ones grown without an upper nervous system?"
She shook her head sadly.
"They do struggle, with the right package installed, but there's no mind to
satisfy me. Galis...I've tried so many things to try and stop. I'm twenty times
smarter than anyone who's ever lived on this world...and nothing I've come up with
will help me erase the need."
"Yeulla...do you realize you've killed more people than all but the worst of
the bounties I've ever brought in? You claim to be intelligent! To have ethics,
now! If that were true, you'd have suicided by now to preserve the lives you'd
otherwise take!" Galis's voice was cracking, and he dragged a forearm angrily
across his face, dashing his tears away. Yeulla just gazed back sadly.
"I've tried. There were many attempts. I may be even more reconstructed than
you, in places. We may not be a smart race on my native world, but we're hardier
than Chernobyl cockroaches. And...I don't really want to die. I realize that
after each attempt, when I'm laying locked in that stupid beeping box. I...don't
deserve to live more than those I eat, but instinct insists I do. If I can, then
it must be correct." She mumbled this in a litany...a very tired-sounding piece.
Galis put his hands in his lap, and stared out the window. Seconds turned into
minutes, and Yeulla's hyper brain tortured her with a hundred guesses a minute
about how he would break with her. His breath fogged the inside of the window...a
carpet of lights beneath them, glaring neon and dirty antique incandescent. She
ached to watch him...her beloved, as disgust and rage surely fought in his heart
with the newborn love sparked just that evening. She couldn't take it any longer,
and dropped her head, a terrible silence hanging between them. Finally he spoke,
slowly and haltingly.
"You are a monster." She looked up slowly, blinked two fats tears from her
eyes, then curled into a miserable heap of soft coils. "But you know what's wrong
and right. You don't eat others for selfish gain... You eat because you must. You
feel guilty about enjoying it... And you've tried again and again to redeem
yourself." Galis virtually chanted it, reinforcing it in his mind. "Which makes
you better than most people I've met in my line of work. You promise to let me
help you find a way to stop, and I'll stick by you no matter what." Galis
swallowed a knot in his throat, trembling gently. "And...you're not allowed to eat
in the bed."
Yeulla wrapped herself around him so tight, he thought his head would fill
with blood and explode. "Yours...forever, always," she cried, soaking his hair
with her tears, the throbbing of her stress-quickened hearts pounding against him.
"We, we'll figure it out."
Galis worked an arm free, and pressed it to the back of Yeulla's head, guiding
it in under his chin protectively. "We'll figure it out."
It was early morning when Yeulla's ship landed. The dozing human woke to find
Yeulla coiled protectively around him, his face about the only exposed bit. He
squirmed a bit to try and wake her, but it was the pilot opening the door that made
her stir. She released Galis slowly, and poured in an undulating violet ribbon
onto the landing pad. Galis hopped down and followed her to the elevator, absently
analyzing his boss's building for the first time as one who might have to defend
it. Yeulla caught the calculating look in his eyes as they rode the 'vator
"What? What are you mulling over, love?"
Galis tore his mind from the problem, refocusing it on Yeulla. "Trying to
figure out if we'll be safe here."
She smiled, and brushed her snout-tip to his nose. "Remind me to show you the
defense coordination center later. I've made my own share of enemies, you know.
You're as safe anywhere in the building as you were in my coils," she whispers.
Galis relaxed, reaching out to softly cup Yeulla's chin.
"I'm...sorry if I don't do the right things around you, dear. It's...been
awhile," he aditted, but Yeulla just chuckled and pushed him gently out the doors
as the elevator glided to a stop. "Into the shower with you. When you're
finished, I'll teach you all you need to know about purple snake ladies."
Galis stood in the 'shower' as the chin-high membrane closed in and molded to
his body. Cleansing solution, gently scented and rather sensual in its viscocity,
glugged up within to form a shifting slippery layer between the plastic and his
skin. The membrane's plastic flexed and rolled, kneading his flesh...working out
the many knots of tension that had formed in his shoulders and back. Galis sighed
and tilted his head back...letting the cleaning ritual become the mundane anchor he
could cling to in the sea of strange uncertainty he'd been tossed into last night.
The gel cycled continuously, carrying away every speck of grime the hospital's
cleansers hadn't removed. When he signalled the shower he was ready, the membrane
slid up around his head as well, gel briefly swirling against Galis's face... An
exfoliant squirted into the mix, removing his nearly omnipresent stubble. A
cascade of warm water sluiced the gel from his body, as the membrane sank back into
the thick layer of plastic lining the floor of the shower.
Galis blinked at the hairless planes of his face in the mirrored right wall,
tilting his chin up, trying to decide whether it was an improvement or not.
"Are you going to preen all morning?" Yeulla chuckled from the next room.
Galis pushed open the door and slipped out, padding on barefeet back into the
living chamber central to the other rooms. Yeulla's pale eyes tracked him,
admiring the bounce in his step, but seeing too the shyness the abrupt shift in
positions had tainted him with. As soon as her Knight was in reach, Yeulla drew
him down into the nest of warm, memory-foam lining the pit she called her bed. His
breath caught, and his pulse jumped... Despite his earlier words, he couldn't so
easily shake the new impression he'd formed of his love. Yeulla knew it...and it
wounded her. But her plan remained fixed. Her tentacles drew him into the midst
of her coils, burying him to the shoulders in thick loops of muscle, but leaving
his arms free. Her chin perched on the rim of the pile of coils, eyes locked onto
"I love you Galisss, and you'll never come to harm when I'm with you. You're
more important to me than anything now. Pleassse believe me," she whispered,
squeezing him just a bit. Galis reached out and spread his palm and fingers
against one of her deep purple cheeks.
"I'm trying, my love. Be patient with me? I've had three shocking
revelations in half a day's time, and my mind just hasn't caught up...much less my
Yeulla pressed into Galis's palm, eyes sliding shut. One of her soft
tentacles rose to caress his neck...molding around the muscle of his back to clasp
him tenderly. "I will be patient. But I will keep surprising you," she smiled.
Her coils began to squeeze sequentially, demonstrating astounding control as she
used them to massage her lover in rather specific areas! His reaction was swift
and genuine, eyes wide to drink in the beautiful, sensual creature that wanted no
one else but him. Slowly, that firm serpentine embrace loosened, then spread out
to form something more like a spiral than a stack of coils. She breathed deep, and
gave her lover a gentle nudge. "Explore..."
Galis‟s hands hovered over that sensual length of muscle, fingertips barely
brushing it... A harsh alarm startled him into a leap off the bed, folded into a
Yeulla cursed in a language Galis wasn‟t familiar with, (and for once he was
glad his translation software wasn‟t up to date) and flowed down off the bed
towards the wall. A square of the stone-textured deco pattern slid away to reveal
a monitor, glowing with a security update. Yeulla scanned it with more annoyance
than fear, while Galis resisted the urge to arm himself. He had the impression his
love wanted to take care of this.
“Two of them. Crashed a vehicle into the lobby to divert the staff, but
entered from the roof. They‟re not bad. The guards on the roof are dead. Our
guests are just about to run into my security system.” With a positively gleeful
grin in his direction, she punched a button to bring up a video feed from the hall.
Both intruders were in mirror suits, Galis noted. This didn‟t make them invisible,
but it did make them a lot tougher to hit, particularly at night. Mid-level
assassins used it. There were better outfits available.
A brief flash in the hall cast a glowing lattice of energy across the hall,
bringing the pointman up short. His partner leaped backward, just in time to avoid
the second lattice intended to box them in. Yeulla chortled, tailtip twisting
slowly upon the floor. The two lattices grew towards each other toward the trapped
pointman, until he fell to his knees and tore off the mask of his suit to shout out
his surrender. He‟d lose his equipment, and be pumped for information, and
ultimately be brainwiped…but he‟d live. People got recycled all the time in the
His partner on the other hand, still had faith in his mission. A blue flare
of energy appeared in the air, burning through a wall. When the section of „crete
fell in, he leaped through, and the camera view showed a schematic x-ray view to
chart his progress. Yeulla yawned, watching him draw a floor closer to her
bedroom. When he emerged, it was to face the yawning maw of a poly-gun. His
reflexes were good, definitely artificial, but the blob of chemically perfect glue
nailed his legs…the force plastering them to the wall beside his second hole.
Guards were waiting, and stunned the dangling assassin before coming within ten
feet. Yeulla shut off the display, and slithered over towards Galis…twining around
him all the way up to his shoulders.
“You…certainly seem to find your intruders entertaining,” he murmured, smiling
wryly as Yeulla bumped her snout to his nose. She colored gently, tail thumping
“I‟m sssorry if I put you off dear. My more primitive inssstinctss kick in
much more easssily when I‟m…arousssed. Can we try again?”
Galis eyed her quietly, and stroked a warm hand along her cheek. “Only if you
promise not to eat those men.”
She winced, and uncoiled from him slowly. “Godsss…I‟d forgotten already…
They‟re probably being given bathsss in spices asss we ssspeak.” Galis grinned,
but the expression faltered as he realized she was serious. Yeulla slithered to
the console again, and murmured something to it, a blush burning darkly beneath her
skin. When she turned back, Galis was sitting on the bed, an eyebrow raised.
“It‟sss just become ssstandard procedure…” She managed to shrug in a way
Galis didn‟t quite catch, and sheepishly coiled back up on the bed. “Did…did I
kill the mood, dear?”
Galis sighed, and stretched out beside her. “You might say that.”
Yeulla upset her staff quite a bit the next day, snapping at aides and going
off into furious rants at the drop of a hat. Galis was in a corner of her office
all day, studying the rest of her list of targets, just on the chance one of them
could have sent the previous evening‟s rude guests. Yeulla couldn‟t really be
blamed for her attitude… Randy, hungry, and her pride injured, it‟s a wonder she
didn‟t snap bits off her padded perch with her stressed grip. Near lunchtime, a
timid aide dressed in a extremely conservative gray suit tentatively entered with a
“Miss president, we have the reports on last night‟s intruders.”
Yeulla took the cube from her shaking hand, and dismissed her frostily as she
slotted it into her desk. Galis tut-tutted in his corner, snapping her head up.
“Yeulla, I‟m sorry you aren‟t feeling well, but you shouldn‟t take it out on
your staff! I mean Jesus, you‟ve bitten everyone‟s head off today! Err…” He
groaned at the quite inappropriate wording, scratching the back of his head.
Yeulla rolled her gold eyes, and turned toward her display. Galis aimed his
transmitter at her desk, let both systems negotiate a moment, then cross-referenced
their list of remaining bounties with the info in the reports. Yeulla watched the
two masses of data collide, spin around, then explode big-bang style into a new
“Hmm. It looks…dammit. I never expected that.” She lifted her head and
stared over at Galis. “They‟re banding together. Possibly the entire list. But…”
Her big head wagged slowly while her eyes narrowed to slits. “Most of them would
never willingly throw in with the others.”
Galis rose, and slipped over beside Yeulla, pointing to a name on the list.
Seeing his interest, the name bloomed into a report, complete with a full-body 3d
portrait. “This one. Mr. Terry Matthews. I‟d seen his report, and…I made a note
to take a closer look at him. Almost everything you have on him here is wrong,” he
waved at the psychological profile, background, etc. Yeulla raised an eyeridge,
but let him have his say. “He manipulated the examiners. He‟s smart…I‟d hazard to
say he‟s the one the others are going to for help. If that‟s the case though…”
Galis frowned deeply. Yeulla nudged him. “Finisssh your thought, lest I
sssqueeze it out of you. Smart I am, but patience ssstill eludes me.”
He grinned just a bit. “I‟m worried now about our guests last night. Would
you send a scanning team over every inch those men visited? I‟m concerned they
weren‟t as thwarted last night as we thought.”
Yeulla gave the order, and the two sat, quietly going over Terry‟s profile.
They sent queries to the police and Federal agencies, but bureaucracy could be
trusted to yield results (if any) in days to weeks. When Yeulla‟s staff buzzed
her back, both jumped a bit.
“Lady president! We found several traces. One was an explosive device,
obvious and underpowered, which we‟ve disarmed. It looks like they may have
managed a datasquirt onto our network though.”
Galis growled in his throat, earning him another raised eyeridge from his lady.
“I hate this sneaky espionage shit. Anything could‟ve been in that squirt. It
might be turning the environmental systems into a bomb as we speak!”
“Our techs are working on the problem now. They‟ve already restored to clean
backups, isolating the potentially infected system for study,” the anonymous
employee continued. Yeulla leaned in towards her display.
“Thanks Cindy. Be cautious when bringing in repair crews and replacement
guards. Boost the screening to level six.”
Galis winced. Level six screenings were painfully thorough. There would be a
lot of flustered flunkies today.
He leaned over, and nuzzled the back of Yeulla‟s head on a whim, stroking one
callused hand along the thick muscled length of her neck. She froze a moment, then
relaxed with a soft sigh. Eyes sliding shut, she raised a loop of coils up behind
Galis to snug him gently against her bulk.
“Not upset at me anymore?” she murmured, swaying just a little beneath her
love‟s hands. He shook his head, and planted a warm kiss on her soft violet cheek,
“You had other things on your mind than retraining your staff,” he whispered.
“We‟ll get back to that tonight, once we‟ve cleaned up this mess.”
Yeulla let out a soft sibilant sigh, before reluctantly turning towards her
console again. “Any word, Cindy? Is that squirt dealt with?”
After a long pause, the response came back. “I‟m afraid this is bad, Lady Yeulla.
The squirt was a video file with a simple directive to forward itself to every
“A video file?” Galis could almost see the bottom of his love‟s stomach drop
“It‟s of you…eating the last bounty Galis delivered. We‟ve managed to delete
the files from the inboxes of those who hadn‟t yet opened it, but most already
Yeulla sagged, eyes shutting to near-slits, glistening with tears. “Am I
ruined? As I take my first step down the path to a new life?”
“Lady…all but a handful of the employees think it‟s a clever cinematic
manipulation. They‟re laughing about it all through the building.”
Galis and Yeulla turned to look at each other, then burst into giggles.
“Well, uh, good. See if you can‟t doctor the file a bit to make it look less like
legitimate video, then keep it on the server for the employees to view. That might
allay suspicions a bit more.” She closed down the console, and flowed from her
perch. “C‟mon you, before something else happens!”
This time it was Galis laying stretched out in bed, as Yeulla left the shower
and slithered into the bedroom. It was a touch eerie, seeing that massive
serpentine shape wend its way across the floor, then pour up onto the bed. She
slid her coils around him, clasping his hot little body snug, tenderly bumping her
snout against his nose.
“I feel a little like a mouse,” he chuckled, cupping her cheeks in his hands.
She just smiled, squeezing him with a slow ripple of coils.
“No, you‟re my beautiful, capable lover who‟s determined to ease an ache I‟ve
had for far too long.” Her tailtip curled up and around, gently tracing teasing
characters and patterns across the firm flesh of her human‟s back. Galis shivered,
his broad hands sliding down to knead the muscled trunk of Yeulla‟s body. Slowly
she loosened her embrace, spreading out on the bed in an uneven spiral of coils.
Remembering her invitation from the other night, Galis went exploring.
He hadn‟t a clue what he might find. Though oddly enough many aliens had a
method of reproduction similar to humans, it was still hardly the universal
template. While he slowly worked his way down the purple path of his lover‟s
length, he felt every inch, still admiring how soft and supple her hide was. About
2/3rds of the way down her length, Galis found a slit…edged in softer, fattier
flesh. Yeulla‟s pale golden eyes burned as she felt his hands brush over her
there, half-stifling a groan. “Yesssss…that‟s where I need you,” She whispered.
The slit was large…easily a foot and a half long. Galis gently eases a finger
between the snug lips, slowly dragging the digit to and fro along the length of
that fleshy canyon. Yeulla grunted and bucked that segment of her length, her slit
engulfing his fist! She lightly squeezed his wrist, writhing slowly on the bed.
“L, little anatomy lesson love,” she panted, flexing her slit to pull in
another few inches of her love‟s limb. “When my species mate, the male tucks the
entire bottom third of his body into mine. The fertilizing agents seep from pores
in his skin down there, not delivered ala cannon like yours,” she grinned, tongue
flickering past her lips.
Galis swallowed, and gently slid his arm up into that slit…letting it glide
deeper, sinking into the sticky heat of his love‟s insides. “Will my arm be enough
then, dear?” She seemed bottomless, but his hand soon brushed wet flesh, deflecting
his arm to travel horizontally within her. His shoulder was soon pressed to those
soft cleft-lips, sweat standing out on Yeulla‟s skin.
“N, no,” she groaned out, slit pulsing slickly…his arm only teasing her. “A,
afraid this will be a full body job for you love, when you‟re ready…” She blushed
deeply, the need in that big empty space inside her so intense that she couldn‟t
help but be frank. She felt Galis‟s arm retreat from her depths, and craned her
neck to watch him twist about…
Galis slid a warm foot into Yeulla‟s gently-gaping cleft, shivering as he
gently eased his leg into her slippery depths. His other foot followed, and Yeulla
began to spasm as this truly began to feel like one of her males entering her!
Galis raised himself up with his powerful arms, and wriggled his hips into that
slick channel with a lewd squelch! His erect flesh stroked along the hot dripping
lining of his love‟s insides, provoking a low moan from the half-buried man! His
feet still hadn‟t touched „bottom‟ though, so he pushed against the bed and eased
his belly into the mouth of that hungry cleft. It squeezed him lovingly, devouring
him easily, guiding him right where Yeulla desperately needed his wriggling bulk.
He got a little short of breath and nervous when his shoulders slurcked inside, her
inflamed cleft a slick collar around his neck! But Yeulla curled in to kiss him
gently, little pecks from her alien snout to soothe her wonderful love. With a
soft groan of surrender, Galis‟s head slid into that cleft…arms drawing in and
tucking down beside his serpent-wrapped body. His feet finally found the limits of
her chamber, the world outside reduced to a narrow slit as he peeped out through
„A perfect fit!‟ she thought incredulously, as her passage squeezed and
massaged slimy lubricants into the delicious mass sunk in her loins! She could
feel him gasp and buck, the unfamiliar stiffness of his hard member dragging along
her lining. Syrupy lust drooled from her stuffed slit, Galis bathed in the stuff
as he squirmed in mindless ecstasy!
It was as big an improvement from regular sex as full hilt-to-tip immersion in
a vagina was to masturbation. Every inch of his body *was* in effect, a penis to
his lover! He was the penetrating member, the wonderful stimulating shaft shoved
deep inside… All those moments where in mutual frenzied lust he‟d liked to have
lost himself in the hot squishing wetness of a lover…now he actually had, and he
loved it. He came before Yeulla, firm spurts of white mingling with the thick
honey coating her fleshy chamber. But it was mere moments later that he felt her
reach a peak. The fleshy tunnel sucked in tight around him, and he felt the flesh
part! Long channels puckered the once-smooth passage, suckling at his body like a
dozen huge mouths! His shaft was just to the left of one, and he vowed next time
he‟d remember where it was! Her cleft sealed itself when the suckling began,
making Galis squirm and wriggle! But Yeulla pried herself open again with her
tailtip, letting fresh air seep in to him… She took care to keep her lover safe,
despite the throes of bliss her entire length was awash with!
Slowly the suckling died down, the channels resealed, and her cleft relaxed.
Galis pushed his head slowly forward, letting his face spread her open and remain
framed in the dripping lips. Yeulla kissed him there, gently threading her tongue
into his mouth. They fell asleep nose-to-nose…her body still slowly rippling
around Galis‟s exhausted frame.
Yeulla awoke to a split-second of panic when she didn‟t find Galis in bed with her.
But she soon felt a gentle nudge against her insides and moaned in relief and joy.
Her lover had not only remained with her, but had remained inside her, all night.
She gently wrapped her tail around the arms he pushed from her lips, slowly pulling
him from her depths. Covered in her rich fluids and a bit wrinkled from the long
bath in them, Galis shivered in the sudden chill of the bedroom.
“S, so wonderful,” he whispered to her, as she draped a robe about him.
“Never, ever felt anything like that.”
Yeulla blushed fiercely, “I should not have sprung it on you all it once like
that. I‟m lucky you didn‟t get squeamish or too claustrophobic. But gods you were
wonderful… You can move in ways my kind couldn‟t, and…feeling you wholly snuggled
inside me…” She shivered hard, and snuggled in around him close. Galis couldn‟t
help but worry about that whole „totally enclosed‟ bit…it sounded far too close to
her „eating disorder‟ to be utterly harmless. Still, he could hardly criticize her
for enjoying something he too found immensely erotic!
“Anytime you want me love, I‟ll go for a dip,” he smiled, curling his arms
around her neck and squeezing her close.
“Then you‟re in for quite a rigorousss schedule,” she chuckled, eyes slyly
Yeulla nuzzled her knight‟s neck as they rode the elevator down to a sub-
basement floor. “I told you, it‟s a surprise. Just wait a few more minutes.”
Galis sighed, tapping a foot, but lightly raked his nails along her spine in
slow sweeping strokes. When the elevator doors opened, both were professional and
proper again, walking or slithering into a sterile lab. A scaled red alien
approached them, waddling with his enormous bulk.
“Lady Yeulla! And the dashing Galis, of which I have heard much.” He clacked
his mouthparts together gleefully, bouncing in place a little. The wobbling effect
was a little hypnotic, and Yeulla nudged him to break the trance.
“Yes, fine sentient. Uhh…what am I doing here?” Galis arched a brow,
“Well, we were very upset to hear what happened to you on your last
assignment. The gracious Lady asked us to come up with some new equipment for you,
to help keep you out of trouble but still keep the thugs in plenty of it!” The
jovial red being seemed to grin, but with mandibles you could never really be sure.
“I won‟t let you risk yourself again,” she murmured to Galis. “This new gear
can eat military exos for breakfast, and anything that can get through to you would
also destroy a considerable tract of real estate in the process. When we go into
the wasp nest that surely awaits us, you‟ll be safe as…” She blushed, and Galis
choked on a laugh as he realized what image must‟ve leapt into her head. He gave
her a loving, wordless glance and then followed Red around as he showed off the new
“Our first concern is keeping you in one piece, conscious if possible, despite
whatever nasty things are fired at you. Your body armor is good, a year or two
behind the current models…but no one has seen this material before!” Mr. Mandibles
appeared to grin again, as he gestured over a slick green bodysuit unfolded on a
lab slab. Galis stroked a hand along its surface, skeptically noting how thin it
“How can you expect to halt slugs with this? Even if it did stop them, the
materials thin enough to let it slam right into me.” He looked up again while he
spoke, leaning back from the slab. Mandibles just „grinned‟ wider.
“It‟s not a passive defense system like you‟re used to. We took that old
athletic adage of your people and applied it to armor. We‟ve created an active
defense system to deal with solid matter. Energy throughout the spectrum is either
reflected or absorbed. Here, watch!”
With an entirely too-gleeful look, the creature plucked up the suit and slid
it over a manikin. Then he handed Galis a very nasty-looking rifle. Eying it,
Galis recognized the weapon as a modern sniper rifle. The velocities involved
weren‟t up there with rail-guns, but it was more than enough to punch a small hole
through nearly anything…and still travel for hundreds of feet after exiting.
Galis checked the rifle out, unsafed it, and fired from six feet away at the
manikin‟s suited chest. The bang covered up the „zorch‟ of the suit doing its
thing, with only a dirty smudge of smoke remaining of the slug.
“How does it work?” he asked, handing the rifle back. “I‟ve never seen
anything that could do that without a roomful of equipment and a huge generator.”
“Well, there‟s just a little bit of antimatter involved…”
Galis rolled his eyes, and Yeulla nudged him. “Jrvssst knows what he…er, it‟s
talking about, Galis. It‟s really a brilliant individual! This new technology is
safe and tested by now, am I right?” She swung her head back towards the grinning
“It has been tested thoroughly in the lab, and once in the field. Our
operative managed to soil that suit, but it did protect him from everything a club
full of angry mercenaries could muster.”
Galis raised an eyebrow. “A merc hangout? Which one?”
“I believe the establishment was The Blue Porch.”
Yeulla tried her best to get Galis to tell her why he burst out laughing at the
name, but he accepted the suit with no further qualms after hearing it. Jrvssst
led him next to a large weapons rack.
“Since we want our targets alive if at all possible, we were selective in
putting together this assortment. Do you prefer carrying heavy, intimidating gear
or moving light and fast?” Jrvssst inquired, gazing curiously at Galis.
“Well these days I walk a middle road. Bulky stuff is old or military. You
can get the same punch in smaller packages today. I carry enough to deal with a
variety of situations.” Galis smiled fondly as he recalled his own arsenal back
home. There was something about pulling something the size of a road flare from
your hip and confidently facing off against a mobile bunker with it.
“Then these should work fine,” Jrvssst set three weapons down on a counter.
He pointed first to a sleek fist engulfing model of projectile weapon. “We call
this one Options. It can fire tranquilizers in dart, liquid, or gas form. It can
make grenades with variable power on the fly, and acid ampules. It‟s really more
of a chemical plant with a delivery system attached. Options has also been armored
with our new material, so no worries about catching a round and being vaporized.
Next there‟s Tuttle.” Galis admitted he‟d been curious about this one. It looked
like a turtle shell made of a gleaming yellow alloy.
“Tuttle is autonomous, and there to watch your back. You can wear him on your
back, or have him roll along behind you on a repulsor field. He can be set to
merely paint targets for you, disable, or kill. He also has a self-destruct device
for suicide attacks, but even its lowest setting is rather extreme…so use good
judgment on that point.”
Tuttle extruded eyestalks and beeped at Galis, prompted by Jrvssst to identify
its new boss. Yeulla cooed, “It‟s cute! Jrvssst, we should market a version of
Galis eyed it, nodding. “I bet a lot of fathers with teenage daughters would
love to set one watching their „little girl‟.” There‟d been a few bounties over
deadbeat boyfriends in the past… Some rich daddies were just far too
“And finally, here‟s the Hooker.” Galis coughed, but Jrvssst merely blinked
and continued. “This device will mount on your other wrist. It should interface
with your implants, which will help guide the binders to their target. The
projectile is a plastic collar which unfolds upon impact to cocoon its target. Hit
someone with this, and they‟re staying down until you‟re ready to ship them off to
Yeulla nodded at the weapons, but Galis saw one more thing he was curious
about. “What‟s that one there, in the case?” He pointed at a bright red cluster
of cylinders mounted on a simple grip with a trigger.
“Ahhhh, that‟s something we‟re still working on. If they worked, Yeulla
wouldn‟t have needed to hire bodyguards. That device contains four of the smartest
missiles ever designed. They can track down a person from a provided profile, and
dispatch them in over a hundred different ways…though personally the AI prefers
simply exploding. When it is finished you‟ll just fire one of these out your
window, and in a few days or weeks depending how far away the target is…you will be
able to write them off.”
“I developed those for one reason…but I‟ve found a better one recently to
hope they‟re ready soon,” Yeulla whispered in her knight‟s ear. Galis shuffled his
feet, trying not to grin sappily in front of even the oblivious Mandibles.
“The rest of the gear is fairly standard. You can practice with it here on
our firing range today if the Lady does not require you further today.” Jrvssst
clacked, bowing towards Yeulla. She smiled, and nudged Galis towards the weapon-
strewn counter. “Go ahead and play with your new toys, Galis. Come back up to the
office when you‟re comfortable with them, and we‟ll plan how best to do this…”
Galis had some time to reflect while trying out his gadgets on a simulated
battlefield in the lab‟s test range. Reflexes took care of the shooting while he
mulled over current problems. How could he and Yeulla possibly combat her
instinctive needs that so went against both their moralities? Hypnosis? New drugs
to suppress that leftover primitive need? As he sprayed tranq needles in a 180
degree arc to clear a room full of lurking shadows, an idea tugged at him…
Yeulla had mostly eaten criminals…bums…the scum of society, however smart they
may have been. Most of those people had little-to-no self control. Otherwise they
wouldn‟t be criminals, addicts, etc. How much exactly did Yeulla absorb of
personalities? Is that how her self-control became so threadbare?
Galis tucked and rolled under a flash of simulated plasma, and dusted the
stack of crates it had originated from with bomblets. Could eating people with
real self control restore her own? Give her a chance to resist her instincts and
not suffer with the effort every second of every day? People like monks…zen
masters…priests. Or…! Galis shut off the simulator with a word, and sprinted for
Yeulla sat quietly on her perch, looking over reports, trying to distract
herself from her hunger with thoughts of the glorious pleasure she‟d shared with
Galis last night. What a treasure he was… She tightened her grip on her perch as
feeling of possessiveness rolled through her. When her console blatted at her to
announce Galis was coming in, she nearly squeezed her perch in two!
“Yeulla, this Terry fellow, did you find out anything else about how he faked
his way through the examinations and evaluations?”
She nodded, cocking an eye ridge as she called up the information. Galis
glanced it over, a smile beginning to curl his lips.
“What? Do you know where he is?”
He shook his head, and reached up to cup her cheeks in his warm hands. “My
dear, I‟m going to advise a change in diet for you. You‟re going to eat Terry
Matthews, and integrate his amazing ability to control even his autonomic
functions. Self control will be yours…you will govern yourself, and your reptile-
brain instincts will have to take a backseat.”
Yeulla‟s jaw dropped open, giving Galis a rather worrying view into the very-
pale purple of the inside of her maw…and the darker purple-pink of the first foot
of her gullet.
“Y, you…will…I don‟t know! It‟s been fairly random what I acquire from people…”
Galis shrugged, and nudged her mouth shut the rest of the way with a hand on
her chin. “Then you‟ll have to work for the government I‟m afraid.”
“…Dear, you‟re losing me left and right today.”
He grinned, “Sorry dear, it‟s all still taking shape. But who else has
excellent self-control? Who else could you eat and feel patriotic about doing so?
Even be commended for the service?”
Yeulla rolled that around a moment, her incredible mind picking at the edges
of it before it came to her. “Spies!”
Nodding, he grinned and slipped his arms around her neck. “There‟re actors
too…and those thin holo-models… If any of those turn out to be crooked and you
still haven‟t kicked your little habit, we‟ll think about them.”
Yeulla tilted her head, narrowing her eyes just slightly. “Why the sudden
change of heart, dear? You‟re suddenly eager for me to stuff bad people down my
His smiled slipped away, but he held her tighter. “I don‟t like it, dear…but
if a few more meals can erase your need, I‟d be stupid to keep merely yelling at
you every time your primal side wins out and you snarf someone. That could…and
probably would go on for years, unless we find another cure. This way…well, it may
do the trick, and we‟re not depriving the world of anyone who will be missed.”