Her nickname is "Tanj", and she's certainly living up to it.  For her, it seems, “There Ain’t No Justice.”  As a young engineer on a tramp space freighter, this Cheetah-morph found herself the victim of a scam, sold into slavery, and trained as a sex-slave.  Sold to pirates, she finds herself as a pawn in a much larger struggle.  This story contains bondage, non-consensual sex, and hopefully some humor, adventure and intrigue.  Adults only, PLEASE!

 

This is the last chapter.  My apologies to Raphael Sabatini; the ending was to be modeled on one of his classics, but I seem to have failed at, of all things, piracy.  Still, I hope it didn’t come out too badly.

 

 

Decision at New Tortugas

 

 

Infiltration

 

Eridani idly watched the small ship approach on the sensors.  It wasn't exactly a deep space fighter, and it wasn't exactly a yacht.  It was too small to be a freighter, unless you carried very high value, low-bulk cargos, and it certainly wasn't of local manufacture.  Moreover, it certainly wasn't a ship she recognized.  No matter, furrs around Port Royale seemed to wind up with new ships all the time, and it wasn't prudent to ask how they'd come by them.  Deciding the ship wasn't big enough to be worth turning on the guns, even as a precaution, she settled back to see who would alight.  Whoever they were, they seemed to know the route down…..

 

The ship found a spot between the Bheer tanker and Rommhuz's trader.  It just fit.  Eridani watched lazily, curiosity growing.  The ship settled on its landing jacks, and after a bit, the personnel lock opened.  Eridani leaned a little closer as the Fox emerged.  He wore an abbreviated uniform, of a type she didn't recognize, and in his left paw he carried a small box.  A hand weapon of some type was on his belt, but it looked as if it was there only because company regulations required it.  Smiling, the fox strolled through the vessels in the docking cavern, as he headed towards the connecting tunnel.  He seemed to know just where he was going.

 

Katja was waiting; her sister had informed her of the new arrival, and thus, as he came through the door to Callahan's, his appearance wasn't a real surprise.  Sooner or later, everyone in Port Royale came to Callahan's.  The Fox gave her a smile, and hopped up on a barstool.  The small box landed on the counter.  With an elbow on the bar, his head propped on his paw, he grinned at her for a minute, and then sighed; "Ah, such a vision of loveliness!" 

 

Katja raised an eyebrow, but managed to keep a straight face.  After a moment he sighed, as if deciding she was unobtainable.  Straightening he looked around; "I don't suppose you've seen the O'Shaunessy Clan around?" 

 

Katja thought for a moment and then purred; "No, haven't seen any of them in a good….. um, six months, I guess."  She carefully didn't ask what his business was with them, figuring if it was important, he'd tell her.  Some questions you didn't ask, in Port Royale.  Not if you were smart. 

 

The Fox nodded, and after a moment, tapped the box; "Well, I need to deliver this to them.  My instructions are that if they're not here, to wait for 'em." 

 

Katja looked at the box, and then at the Fox, and shrugged; "Suit yourself." 

 

The Fox smiled and nodded, his eyes shifting to the bottles behind the bar; "Um… what have you got that's non-alchoholic?  Not supposed to drink while on duty, and I guess that means until the O'Shaunessy's show up." 

 

Katja blinked and turned to look.  "Um… not much…. I've got some Antarean Cherry Juice I use in some mixed drinks…  and some Khola syrup….."  She looked back "I suppose I could conjure up some Yak milk, if I had to…" 

 

The Fox smiled; "Do you have any citroen juice?" 

 

Katja frowned; "You mean lemons?  Well…. Synthetic juice anyways." 

 

The Fox's grin widened; "I'll take some lemon juice in water, with a little sugar, and lots of ice." 

 

Katja's frown deepened; "Is that… healthy?"

 

---

 

The Fox had no trouble talking about his business there; it turned out he worked for a specialty delivery service, out of the Ko'has sector.  Supposedly, it was quite well known there, and he seemed a little miffed the Tigress hadn't heard of it.  In fact, for a while he tried to regale anyone in the bar who would listen, with some of his adventures.  Eridani had checked him out, more out of curiosity than anything else, and he seemed legit.  What the O'Shaunessy's had hired him for, he either didn't say or didn't know.  Day after day, he just wandered around, always carrying that little box, talking to folks, watching, and waiting.

 

Infiltration II

 

Eridani pressed the key that would put the plasma weapons on preheat.  The small ship was approaching like an out of control meteor…. Or maybe as if it was being chased.  Neither was really unheard of, in the New Tortugas system.  It tore through the asteroid belt surrounding the planet with a minimum of maneuvering, braking hard, dropping into the Rift as if it were on an attack run.  Weapons tracked it all the way down.  Whoever was flying had good reactions though, as it made it all the way through the tunnel at record speed, without scraping the wall.  And then it was setting down, audaciously, in the middle of the docking cavern.

 

The pilot was a large, lizardlike creature, wearing almost nothing, but seemingly covered in straps holding weapons, and strange devices.  Without so much as a glance at any of the other ships, he strode through the passage to the commons area.  There, he stopped and looked around, with all the emotion of a surveillance camera.  Then, turning on one heel, he turned and entered Callahan's.

 

The Fox looked up from his lemonade.  The Washburn Sun-Times crossword puzzle was forgotten as he watched the Lizard stalk in.  Katja also watched him carefully; her favorite weapon was loaded, and just below the top of the bar. She had no doubt that the dart could penetrate the Lizard's scaly hide, but she did wonder if the neurotoxin it contained would be effective.  Usually it was the best way to quiet "rowdy" types in the bar, with minimum collateral damage.  The Lizard moved through the bar, looking neither left nor right, until he'd arrived at the back corner opposite the bar.  There he roughly pulled the table from the booth there, and took a seat, his back in the corner.  He sat there with his arms spread out to either side, along the seat backs, his legs splayed in front of him, as if he were reclining on a throne.  With his eyes fastened on the doorway, he waited…..

 

Katja looked at the Fox, who looked back; after a moment they both just shrugged at each other.  The Fox went back to his three-dimensional crossword, and Katja went back to washing glassware, in preparation for the evening rush.

 

Infiltration III

 

Palmer stepped from the ship and paused to adjust his spectacles.  Turning he nodded to the Walrus standing in the ship's only airlock; "Thank you for your assistance, Captain Xchitwith.  Are you sure you're not interested in upgrading the electronics in your…."  As the Walrus scowled, Palmer's sales pitch gradually ground to a stop; "Ah… all right then.  Maybe I'll see you on the return trip."  Palmer's case landed at his feet with a thump, as the Walrus thumbed the button to retract the ramp.

 

Eridani watched in amusement.  Port Royal didn't get very many traveling salesmen, and she wondered what this one might be hawking…..

 

Katja was just putting the wine glass in the rack as the Hound shuffled in.  She took in the cheap suit and the sample case at a glance and smiled.  Palmer hoisted himself up onto a barstool and smiled at the Tigress; "Ma'am, I'm told that I should speak to you about temporary lodging.  I'll be here for a while, making a few sales calls, and I'll need a room." 

 

Katja nodded; "I've got a few rooms left in the residence tunnel.  How long you going to be here?" 

 

The Hound shrugged; "About a week, I think.  I've got passage booked out on the "Sally Anne". 

 

Katja's eyebrows rose, and she glanced at the Fox; "Isn't that the O'Shaunessy Clan's ship?" 

 

The Hound fumbled in his sample case for a moment, pulling out a tattered itinerary; he studied it for a while and then shrugged; "I believe the Captain's name is Sean O'Shaunessy, if that's any help." 

 

The Fox three stools down the bar grinned; "Great!  If they're on schedule, I get to deliver my package and go home!"  He turned back to gaze at the Tigress; "Not that I'm in that much of a hurry, you understand."  He winked at her and then turned to the Hound; "Get paid the same, whether I'm sitting here enjoying her company, or on the road…."

 

Port Royale I

 

Doodles watched the Lynx, and shook his head.  The Professor certainly looked the part.  It couldn't possibly be an accident; it HAD to be intentional.  Dressed in a white double-breasted lab coat, with thick rubber gloves on his paws, and heavy goggles over his eyes, he looked every bit the mad scientist.  The only thing that spoiled the effect was the plaid slacks he was wearing.  Leaning over, the Rabbit muttered to the Otter; "you know, we're going to have to talk to him about that." 

 

The Otter nodded sagely "yeah, if he doesn't do something about the eddy currents from the main power supply, he'll never get rid of the static electricity.  Just LOOK at how its making his hair stand on end!" 

 

Doodles just looked at the Otter and sighed; "Hopeless.  You're both hopeless."

 

---

 

Corey carefully adjusted a vernier, and then threw a switch.  In the center of the test stage, a bright spot appeared, and then grew rapidly into a ring.  The center of the ring was jet black, and stars could be seen.  Air started to scream through the hole.  A moment later, a small device catapulted a fist-sized rock through the hole, and an instant later, the hole closed, shrinking to a bright white point, and then blinking out.  Corey turned to his audience; "See, MUCH better control!" 

 

The Otter nodded; "Yes, Professor, indeed, much better control." 

 

Doodles nodded in agreement; "Yup, the hole didn't wander off the stage, or grow to uncontrollable proportions.  Better still, the new refrigerator didn't move more than a foot, with the airflow, much less vanish through the hole….. but…."

 

Corey pushed the goggles back on his head; "But WHAT?" 

 

Doodles shrugged; "Can you get the rock back?" 

 

The Otter grinned; "Or better yet, our original refrigerator?  I can't keep putting that Tigress off forever, you know….  She's going to want those meat pies back one day." 

 

Corey looked blank; "Can't you just tell her we ATE them?" 

 

The Otter shook his head; "Not if we've been showing up for dinner every night….." 

 

Doodles nodded sagely; "There were twenty kilos of frozen food in there.  And I don't think any of us have gained enough weight to make eating them a credible excuse.  Besides, she might want the refrigerator back as well."  

 

The rabbit cocked an ear to one side and looked seriously at the Lynx; "you DID tell her you were going to borrow it as an auxiliary cooling unit for your experiments, didn't you?" 

 

Corey stared at the ceiling for a minute, muttered something that sounded like "they're NEVER satisfied" and then sighed; "All right, I'll get the blasted refrigerator back!"  Fixing the Rabbit with a glare, he growled "AND your damned rock!  Besides, with twice the cooling capacity, the secondary flux capacitor might just run a little better….."

 

---

 

Doodles turned the rock over in his paws, "Well, Professor, I have to admit it LOOKS like the same rock,  but how can we know for sure?

 

---

 

Eridani watched the Rabbit charge from the room running… well, running like a frightened rabbit.  A moment later a rock thudded into the corridor wall opposite the door.  The door, unimpressed, hissed closed.  Eridani stared at the door for a moment, shrugged to herself, and continued her trek back to Ops.

 

---

 

"All right, this time there's a BEACON on the rock.  Watch!  I'll send it through the portal, and THEN open another portal, along its projected path, and CATCH the SAME rock!  Just WATCH, Doubter!"

 

---

 

Katja felt the ground shake.  Rock dust drifted down slowly from the ceiling.  Looking upwards she checked for cracks.  Yes, they were more than a kilometer below the surface, but somehow it just seemed prudent. 

 

The Fox blinked, and shook the rock dust off his newsfax; "What was that?" 

 

Katja shrugged; "Don't know.  But we've got a lot of asteroids in this system; not all of their trajectories are adequately mapped.  We might have taken a hit." 

 

The Fox just nodded, and resumed reading. 

 

Across the bar, the Lizard hadn't moved a muscle.  But then, he generally didn't.

 

---

 

Eridani exited Ops at a run.  Her sensors hadn't shown any inbound rocks.  And the seismic sensors had shown the origin of the shock as right here.  That could only mean Corey.

 

---

 

Doodles scratched his head, and looked at the rock; "No, Professor, I don't believe that's the same rock." 

 

The Otter nodded; "No sign of the beacon." 

 

The Rabbit nodded in agreement; "And it's a lot bigger." 

 

"And it was moving a lot faster" the Otter mumbled…

 

Corey sighed; "All right.  I yield."  He looked at the far side of the room; most of the far wall was nothing but fractured stone, spalled from the wall, but embedded in the middle, was a chunk of nickel-iron rock as big as, well, as big as a refrigerator.  "You two get some dustpans, and brooms, and tidy up a little, while I try and figure out what went wrong."

 

---

 

Eridani watched the Rabbit go by, carrying a trash can full of gravel; "Do I want to know?" 

 

Doodles stopped and turned back; "No." 

 

Eridani just sighed and nodded, once again glad that she'd put the Professor at the end of an unused tunnel, as far from the rest of Port Royale as was physically possible.

 

---

 

Doodles hid behind the refrigerator, the Otter behind him.  The refrigerator had been bolted to the floor, heavy metal strapping securing it in place.  It was a good place to hide.  Corey flexed his paws inside the thick gloves, and then flipped the switch.  Again, the bright white point flared in the middle of the test stage, expanding rapidly to form a ring.  As air whistled through the opening, the catapult fired, throwing the rock, containing yet another beacon equipped rock, into the hole.  Corey flipped a switch and the hole closed, the bright white light vanishing.  Then, he consulted a small notebook and adjusted several verniers.  His eyes on the chronometer, he waited a calculated amount of time and flipped the switch. The bright light reappeared, grew to form the hole in the fabric of space and time… and then a rock flashed through it, visibly slowing as it fought the flow of air in the opposite direction.  Corey flipped the switch, and the hole vanished.  Striding across the floor, he picked up the rock and held it aloft; "SUCCESS!"

 

Behind the refrigerator, the Otter pulled a credit chip from his pants pocket and passed it to the Rabbit, as both stared at the Lynx.

 

Corey's eyes slowly went wide; with a howl he opened his paw and tried to drop the rock.  However, it seemed to be stuck to the palm of his glove.  Howling, he waved his arm wildly, trying to get rid of the rock.

 

Doodles frowned; "What's that he's yelling?" 

 

The Otter shrugged; "I think its "cold" but it's a little hard to tell…. 

 

Doodles nodded, rose and moved out from behind the refrigerator.  Grabbing the coffee pot with one paw he caught the Lynx's arm as it went past, and in one quick motion poured the hot coffee over the professor's paw, rock and all.

 

Corey howled; the rock shattered, its steaming remnants scattering over the floor.

 

---

 

"Actually, its an amazing discovery". 

 

The Otter blinked; "How so, Professor?" 

 

The Lynx, his paw wrapped in a towel, just grinned; "Well, my boy, it's a simple matter of energy balances.  The rock went in at room temperature, but emerged somewhere around superconducting temperatures.  That's a not-inconsiderable energy loss, something that I just hadn't accounted for in my calculations.  It would explain, the, ah "targeting" problems we've been having.  Well, help explain them, anyways." 

 

The Otter nodded slowly. 

 

Doodles grinned; "Does that mean that we might be able to find the missing refrigerator?"

 

---

 

Katja frowned as the three trooped into Callahans.  Each was carrying a large cardboard box.  With a flourish, the Rabbit put his box down, bent and retrieved what looked like a crumpled ball of tinfoil.  With a grin, he placed it on the bar in front of her; "Madam, your missing meat pies!" 

 

Katja just stared; "Good LORD, what did you DO to them?"

 

---

 

Corey shrugged; "It really was a function of velocity." 

 

Katja frowned "Let me get this right; the refrigerator was sucked into your experiment; that's the bad news.  The good news is that you were able to figure out where it was sucked TO, and to go back there and retrieve it?  But in the process the refrigerator, meat pies and all, impacted the far wall of the laboratory?" 

 

The Lynx smiled; "YES!" 

 

The Otter sighed; "and at a not inconsiderable velocity, I'm afraid.  That's why they're a little, ah, "mangled". 

 

The Rabbit grinned; "Good thing they were frozen hard as a rock.  Hey, at least they're still edible!" 

 

The Otter mumbled; "If you can peel the tin pan off…."  The Tigress just sighed.

 

---

 

The Fox pretended to read his newspaper.  He'd caught every word.  It sounded MOST interesting…  Smiling to himself, he calmly turned a page, not having read a word.

 

In the corner, the Lizard just sat there, motionless, his eyes, as always, on the door.

 

Palmer looked at the Lynx curiously; "Sir, could it be that you simply don't have the best possible electronics for your, ah, "experiments?"  I represent Hvamersham electronics, renowned across the Empire for the finest in….. laboratory equipment, and I'm sure we could…. Be….. of… ah…. Assistance…..

 

Corey just glared at the Hound, as the salesfur slowly ran out of steam; "Sir, I'll have you know that my research is beyond the cutting edge.  Your… products are simply… Inadequate!  No, thank you sir, I'll build my own instruments, thankyouverymuch!"  Turning, Corey glared at his "lab assistants"; "Come, whe have work to do!"

 

The return to Port Royale

 

Zassa looked at Sabina and growled; "Are you SURE you want to do this?" 

 

The Kitten grinned back; "Yes, Mistress.  Besides, how much more boring could it be than the trip out?" 

 

Zassa shook her head, and spinning the Kitten around, checked her restraints.  Then, placing a paw on Sabina's head, she pushed her down until she could crawl into the cage….

 

Kath watched, and then turned to Wanda; "Mistress, are you sure….?" 

 

Wanda nodded resolutely; "Absolutely.  You have chores to do on the trip back and I will not have you lounging around in that cage, with that sex fiend, when there are things to do!" 

 

Kath just shot Sabina a disappointed look and then shrugged.  However, the visor the Kitten was wearing over her eyes prevented her from catching the look.  "As Mistress wishes…."

 

---

 

Tanj made a note in the margin, and then flipped a page.  The book on theoretical physics just didn't seem to correspond with what the Kurani had told her. Either there'd been an error in translation, or the book was wrong.  With a sigh she looked at the reader, and wondered if the instructions the Kurani had given her would have been any clearer in the original Kurani?  But then she'd have to LEARN Kurani first before she could tell.  Maybe that wasn't such a bad idea…..

 

---

 

Hinoki watched the sensor display.  Their Kurani escort was still there, and as near as he could tell, in the same positions, to the millimeter.  He wasn't sure if he'd be glad when they departed, or not.  At least while they were there, no one was going to mess with them……

 

Boredom:

 

Tanj yawned, closed the file, and shook her head; "Well, I've had about enough of theoretical physics.  Just can't TAKE anymore! 

 

Wanda nodded; "I can well imagine.  So, what do you want to do?  Care to try another "mystery"? 

 

Zassa shook her head; "No, that one was fun, but I don't think we could take another.  Too much of the same." 

 

Hinoki chuckled; "How about a scavenger hunt?" 

 

Tanj laughed; "I think just about all of us know where every item is, in this ship.  How long would it take to find items on a list?" 

 

Hinoki nodded and sipped his cup of coffee. 

 

Wanda shrugged; "How about some sort of athletic competition?  I think we could all stand to loose a little weight."  Glances were exchanged around the wardroom table and almost everyone went 'Nah….." in unison. 

 

Silence reigned for a while, and then Tanj grinned; "Maybe that scavenger hunt has some promise.  What if we were competing to rack up not items found, but things done?" 

 

Zassa winced; "What, like painting the inside of the ship?  No thanks." 

 

Tanj chuckled "Oh, I think we could make it more interesting than that.  What if we worked up a list of sexual activities, from vanilla to extreme, assigned point values, formed teams, and then tried to out-do the others before we got back to Port Royale?

 

Dynotaku looked up from his paper; "You wouldn't have to work up a list.  A guy by the name of Martin worked up the basic list ages ago.  Just use that." 

 

Zassa blinked; "Never heard of him.  You got a copy of the list?" 

 

Dynotaku chuckled; "Of course. What Dom doesn't?" 

 

The Vixen just blinked. 

 

Hinoki chuckled; "I think I"ve heard of this guy.  Why don't you show us the list and we'll go from there." 

 

Dynotaku nodded, folded his paper and rose, to squeeze out of the wardroom.

 

---

 

Tanj watched the list print out, and grinned.  Soooooo many of the things on the list were….. routine.  At least for THIS crew.  Still, it might be fun to work through the list, just for something to do.  And it might help, well, if not sharpen her skills, then at least maintain them.

 

Wanda scanned the list as it printed out:

 

Anal Sex (get)

Anal Sex (give)

Armpit Sex (get)

Armpit Sex (give)

Ass Cheek Sex (get)

Ass Cheek Sex (give)

Breast Sex (give)

Butt Plugs (get)

Butt Plugs (give)

Dildo - Anal (get)

Dildo - Anal (give)

Dildo - Oral (get)

Dildo - Oral (give)

Dildo - Vaginal (give)

Double Penetration - Dildo (give)

Double Penetration - Multiple Partners (give)

Finger Sex (get)

Finger Sex (give)

Genital Intercourse Hand Job (get)

Hand Job (give) Including Others

Licking (get)

Licking (give)

Massage (get)

Massage (give)

Oral Sex (get)

Oral Sex (give)

Phone Sex Sex in Public

Sex Outdoors Swinging

Teasing (get)

Teasing (give)

Triple Penetration - Dildo (give)

Triple Penetration - Multiple Partners (give)

Vibrators (get)

Vibrators (give)

 

Bondage - full body (get)

Bondage - full body (give)

Bondage - Intricate Rope (get)

Bondage - Intricate Rope (give)

Bondage - Mental (get)

Bondage - Mental (give)

Bondage - Outdoors (get)

Bondage - Outdoors (give)

Bondage - Private (get)

Bondage - Private (give)

Bondage - Public (get)

Bondage - Public (give)

Boxing / Closeting (get)

Boxing / Closeting (give)

Breast Bondage (give)

Caging (get)

Caging (give)

Cock Bondage (get)

Cock Bondage (give)

Crucifixion (get)

Crucifixion (give)

Mummification (get)

Mummification (give)

Restraint Duration: 0-1hr (get)

Restraint Duration: 0-1hr (give)

Restraint Duration: 1-3hrs (get)

Restraint Duration: 1-3hrs (give)

Restraint Duration: 3+ hrs (get)

Restraint Duration: 3+ hrs (give)

Restraint Duration: multiple days (get)

Restraint Duration: overnight or full day (get)

Restraint in public - under clothes (give)

Suspension (get)

Suspension - Horizontal (get)

Suspension - Inverted (get) S

Suspension - Inverted (give)

Blindfolds (get)

Blindfolds (give)

Body Bags (get)

Body Bags (give)

Duct Tape (get)

Duct Tape (give)

Full Head Hoods (get)

Full Head Hoods (give)

Gags - ball type (get)

Gags - ball type (give)

Gags - bits (get)

Gags - bits (give)

Gags - cloth (get)

Gags - cloth (give)

Gags - inflatable (get)

Gags - inflatable (give)

Gags - phallic (get)

Gags - phallic (give)

Gags - tape (get)

Gags - tape (give)

Gas Masks (get)

Gas Masks (give)

Gates of Hell (get)

Gates of Hell (give)

Harnessing - leather(get)

Harnessing - leather(give)

Harnessing - rope(get)

Harnessing - rope(give)

Headphone/Earplugs (get)

Headphone/Earplugs (give)

Masks (make sub wear)

Masks (wear)

Padlocks (get)

Padlocks (give)

Plastic Wrap (get)

Plastic Wrap (give)

Restraints - Ankle (get)

Restraints - Ankle (give)

Restraints - Arm & leg sleeves (get)

Restraints - Arm & leg sleeves (give)

Restraints - Hand Cuffs (get)

Restraints - Hand Cuffs (give)

Restraints - Leather (get)

Restraints - Leather (give)

Restraints - Metal (get)

Restraints - Metal (give)

Restraints - Rope (get)

Restraints - Rope (give)

Restraints - Thumb Cuffs (get)

Restraints - Thumb Cuffs (give)

Restraints - Wrist (get)

Restraints - Wrist (give)

Restraints - Wrist to ankle/neck/waist (get)

Silk Scarves (get)

Sleepsacks (get)

Slings/Swings (get)

Slings/Swings (give)

Spreader bars (get)

Spreader bars (give)

Stocks (get)

Stocks (give)

Straight Jackets (get)

Straight Jackets (give)

 

Abrasion (get)

Abrasion (give)

Anal Dilation (get)

Anal Dilation (give)

Anal Fisting (get)

Anal Fisting (give)

Asphyxiation (get)

Asphyxiation (give)

Bastinado (get)

Bastinado (give)

Beating - hard (get)

Beating - hard (give)

Beating - soft (get)

Beating - soft (give)

Biting (get)

Biting (give)

Choking (get)

Choking (give)

Cock and Ball Torture (get)

Cock and Ball Torture (give)

Face Slapping (get)

Face Slapping (give)

Fireplay (get)

Fireplay (give)

Hair pulling (get)

Hair pulling (give)

Nipple Torture (get)

Nipple Torture (give)

Pinching (get)

Pinching (give)

Punching (get)

Punching (give)

Scratching (get)

Scratching (give)

Spanking - on all fours (get)

Spanking - on all fours (give)

Spanking - over knee (get)

Spanking - over knee (give)

Spanking hard (get)

Spanking hard (give)

Spanking soft (get)

Spanking soft (give)

Vaginal Dilation (give)

Vaginal Dilation (get)

Vaginal Fisting (give)

Vaginal Fisting (get)

Belt/Strap (get)

Belt/Strap (give)

Caning (get)

Caning (give)

Clothespins (get)

Clothespins (give)

Cupping/Suction (get)

Cupping/Suction (give)

Cutting (get)

Cutting (give)

Electricity - Tens Unit (get)

Electricity - Tens Unit (give)

Electricity - Violet Wand (get)

Electricity - Violet Wand (give)

Flogging (get)

Flogging (give)

Hairbrushes (get)

Hairbrushes (give)

Hot Oils (get)

Hot Oils (give)

Ice Cubes (bottom)

Ice Cubes (give)

Injections (get)

Injections (give)

Labial Clip (give)

Nipple Clamps (get)

Nipple Clamps (give)

Nipple Weights (get)

Nipple Weights (give)

Paddling (get)

Paddling (give)

Piercing - temp (get)

Piercing - temp (give)

Riding Crops (get)

Riding Crops (give)

Strapping - Full Body (get)

Strapping - Full Body (give)

Urethral Sounds (get)

Urethral Sounds (give)

Whipping - bullwhip (get)

Whipping - bullwhip (give)

Whipping - Cat (get)

Whipping - Cat (give)

Whipping - genitals (get)

Whipping - genitals (give)

Whipping - knotted whip (get)

Whipping - knotted whip (give)

Whipping - switch (get)

Whipping - switch (give)

Whipping - Taws (get)

 

Abandonment (get)

Abandonment (give)

Acrophilia

Acrotomophilia

Agalmatophilia

Barosmia

Being Recorded

Boot Worship (get)

Boot Worship (give)

Branding (Dom)

Branding (sub)

Brown Showers (get)

Brown Showers (give)

Castration Fantasy

Catheterization (get)

Catheterization (give)

Chamber Pots

Cock Rings (others)

Cock Rings (you)

Corsets (others)

Corsets (you)

Cross-Dressing (others)

Cross-Dressing (you)

Diapers (others)

Diapers (you)

Dirty Sex (E.g. Ground/Mud)

Douching (get)

Douching (give)

Enemas (get)

Enemas (give)

Erotic Dancing (Dom)

Erotic Dancing (sub)

Exhibitionism Fear

Feathers/Fur (others)

Feathers/Fur (you)

Foot Worship (get)

Foot Worship (give)

Golden Showers (give)

Gun Play

High Heel Worship (get)

High Heel Worship (give)

 

Infantilism (others)

Infantilism (you)

Latex (others)

Latex (you)

Leather (others)

Leather (you)

Lingerie (others)

Lingerie (you)

Medical Instruments Needles

Oral/Anal Play (get)

Oral/Anal Play (give)

Piercing (Permanent) (get)

Piercing (Permanent) (give)

Posing for Erotic Photos

Prostitution (real)

Public Exposure

PVC (others)

PVC (you)

Recording Scenes Rituals

Sensory Deprivation (get)

Sensory Deprivation (give)

Shaving (get)

Shaving (give)

Skinny-Dipping Spandex (others)

Spandex (you)

Speculums (anal)

Spitting

Supplying victims

Swallowing Semen

Taking Erotic Photos

Tasting Yourself

Tattoo (others)

attoos (you)

Tickling (get)

Tickling (give)

Uniforms (others)

Uniforms (you)

Voyeurism

Wearing Fluids

Wrestling

 

Bathroom use control (Dom) ?

Bathroom use control (sub)

Begging (Dom)

Begging (sub)

Behavior Restrictive Rules (Dom)

Behavior Restrictive Rules (sub)

Butt Plugs - public (Dom)

Butt Plugs - public (sub)

Chastity Belts (Dom)

Chastity Belts (sub)

Clothing choice (Dom)

Clothing choice (sub)

Cock Worship (Dom)

Cock Worship (sub)

Collar and Leash (Dom)

Collar and Leash (sub)

Collars (Dom)

Collars (sub)

Competition (Dom)

Competition (sub)

Crawling (Dom)

Crawling (sub)

Eye Contact Restriction (Dom)

Eye Contact Restriction (sub)

Following Orders Food Choice/Directed Eating (Dom)

Food Choice/Directed Eating (sub)

Forced Dressing (Dom)

Forced Dressing (sub)

Forced Exercise (Dom)

Forced Exercise (sub)

Forced Homosexuality (Dom)

Forced Homosexuality (sub)

Forced Masturbation (Dom)

Forced Masturbation (sub)

Forced Nudity (Dom)

Forced Nudity (sub)

Forced Servitude (Dom)

Forced Servitude (sub)

Give Away (Dom)

Given Away (sub)

Giving Orders

Hot Waxing (Dom)

Hot Waxing (sub)

Housework (Dom)

Housework (sub)

Humiliation - Private (Dom)

Humiliation - Private (sub)

Humiliation - Public (Dom)

Humiliation - Public (sub)

Humiliation - Verbal (Dom)

Humiliation - Verbal (sub)

Kneeling (Dom)

Kneeling (sub)

Lecturing (Dom)

Lecturing (sub)

Manicures (get)

Manicures (give)

Name Change (Dom)

Name Change (sub)

Orgasm Control (Dom)

Orgasm Control (sub)

Orgasm Denial (Dom)

Orgasm Denial (sub)

Personality Modification (Dom)

Personality Modification (sub)

Pussy Worship (sub)

Serving Orally (Dom)

Serving Orally (sub)

Sexual Deprivation (Dom)

Sexual Deprivation (sub)

Sleep Deprivation (Dom)

Sleep Deprivation (sub)

Speech Restrictions (Dom)

Speech Restrictions (sub)

Standing in Corner (Dom)

Standing in Corner (sub)

Struggling (Dom)

Struggling (sub)

Symbolic Jewelry (Dom)

Symbolic Jewelry (sub)

Weight Gain/Loss (Dom)

 

Chauffeuring (Dom)

Chauffeuring (sub)

Initiation Rites (Dom)

Initiation Rites (sub)

Interrogations (Dom)

Interrogations (sub)

Kidnapping (Dom)

Kidnapping (sub)

Medical Scenes (Dom)

Medical Scenes (sub)

Other Animal Play (Dom)

Other Animal Play (sub)

Physical Examinations (Dom)

Physical Examinations (sub)

Pony Play (Dom)

Pony Play (sub)

Prison Scenes Prostitution (pretend)

Punishment Scene (Dom)

Punishment Scene (sub)

Puppy Play (Dom)

Puppy Play (sub)

Religious Scenes (Dom)

Religious Scenes (sub)

Serving as Art (Dom)

Serving as Art (sub)

Serving as Ashtray (Dom)

Serving as Ashtray (sub)

Serving as Furniture (Dom)

Serving as Furniture (sub)

Serving as Maid (Dom)

    Serving as Maid (sub)

    Strap on Dildos (sub)

List courtesy of Martin

 

 

Zassa shook her head; "We're going to have to get Sabina out of the cage for this one….

 

Wanda sighed and shook her head; "Some of this stuff sounds dangerous; maybe we should just strike them from the list.”

 

The Vixen looked over Wanda's shoulder and shook her head; "no, just give 'em higher point values, for the danger." 

 

Tanj frowned; "No, I agree with Wanda; the Asphyxiation is just too risky."  She grinned at the Vixen; "You want higher points, we'll let you tackle the bullwhip stuff, and welcome to it!" 

 

The Vixen just grinned.

 

Hinoki grinned his best evil grin at the Unicorn and growled; "well I think that for the points to count you should handle the "give" as well as the "get" in each category!" 

 

Dynotaku scowled; "Now wait a minute, my good fur, I'm a Dom.  And straight, to boot….." 

 

Tanj chuckled; "All right, we'll just adjust the points accordingly; do both the "give" and the "get" in the category and get double points.  She grinned at Dynotaku; "Or would you rather we gave you a "handicap"? 

 

Dynotaku drew himself up to his full height, the tip of his horn touching the overhead; "Certainly not.  I'm sure I can turn in a decent performance without any handicap…."  He grinned "just give me the Vixen…"

 

Hinoki looked at the list and smiled.  Zassa was subbing for Dynotaku, and he was sure the Vixen was in for a truly rough time.  If Dynotaku was to have a chance at winning they'd HAVE to get into the more extreme categories.  He was paired with Sashi.  Wanda, of course, was going to be topping Kath, and Tanj was going to be working with a rather pissed Sabina.  The Kitten didn't want to exit the cage, determined to exceed her Mistress' record.  Putting down the list, he turned to Sashi; "So… where do you think we should start?"

 

---

 

Sabina squirmed a little; "Are you sure this is fair, Mistress?" 

 

Tanj nodded; "Arm and leg binders are one category; the chastity belt is a second, and the prod gag a third.  You suffer through it for an hour, and then we change places.  Double points for both categories." 

 

The Kitten shrugged; "seems… too simple." 

 

Tanj shrugged and nodded; "We'll start slow and see how the others do; if we have to, maybe we'll move into some of the more difficult stuff.  Now open wide; this gag's a little on the big side."

 

---

 

Wanda purrrred as the Mink's fingers worked over the muscles in her back; she'd been training Kath in massage anyways, and as that was a legitimate category, she figured it'd be a good place to start.  Especially if they moved on into the Cunnilingus category afterwards….

 

---

 

Dynotaku blinked at the Vixen; "Are you sure you wouldn't start with some fancy ropework?  Its my specialty, you know…." 

 

The Vixen grinned; "Yes, I know, but if we're going to beat the others, we're going to have to rack up the higher-point categories.  What, are you afraid to give lil' ol' me a spanking?  I won't break, you know…." 

 

The Unicorn just grinned; "Don't say I didn't warn you……"

 

---

 

Zassa flinched as the Unicorn's hand crashed down on her left asscheek.  So far she'd managed to keep from crying out, but she didn't think she'd be able to hold it back too much longer.  This one was much stronger than he looked, his open-palm smacks rapidly heating her flesh.  And he didn't take as much time between smacks to stroke and tease as Roland did….  No, he was MUCH more businesslike…  Whimpering softly as his palm crashed down again, she wondered what count he intended to go to, to satisfy the category?

 

Dynotaku smiled, as he brought his palm down on her right asscheek.  His palm was stinging, and he could feel the heat through the Vixen's fur.  Her ass must be stinging even more than his palm. But he wasn't about to stop just yet.  She was so wet she was dripping all over his lap, and he wondered if he could bring her off with  a minimum of caressing?  Chuckling to himself he brought his palm down right on her sex, feeling droplets of her dew spatter.  He felt her squirm, and felt her moan, but before she could even decide if she'd liked that one more or less, he brought his palm down on her left asscheek again…..

 

It had taken a while.  His arm was tired, but he was convinced she was right on the edge.  Chuckling he gave her one more swat, and then lightly traced his index finger through the quivering wetness between her thighs.  As he expected, as he'd planned, howling, she dissolved in a quivering mass, as her climax blossomed…..

 

---

 

Tanj struggled just a little, testing her restraints.  The arm binder that had fit the Kitten so perfectly was a little small for her.  Sabina had still laced it TIGHT.  A similar sheath covered her legs from toe to upper thigh, holding them tight together.  So tight the metal of the chastity belt was pressed into her flesh rather uncomfortably.  And somewhere the Kitten had found a prod gag that was even bigger than the one she'd had.  Tanj shrugged to herself, and counted her heartbeats, waiting for the time period to run out.  It wasn't as if it was something she'd never done before…….

 

---

 

Kath purrrred and licked softly at Wanda.  Cunnilingus was a different category than "69", but that's what things had devolved into.  She'd found that getting a massage from Wanda had been shear heaven, better than she'd ever expected.  And now, the contest largely forgotten, they each tried to out-do each other's tonguing, nibbling and licking…..  Contest?  Who cared about some silly contest…..?

 

---

 

Sashi swayed, upside-down, tightly bound.  They were trying to cover inverted suspension, spreader bars and fellatio in one session…..  As she licked at the Cheetah-Monster, she thought once again how "not-unusual" this was.  At least not for her Master and her…..

 

---

 

Sabina frowned; "I don't get it.  THIS is on the list?" 

 

Tanj shrugged; "I need to spend some time on the flight deck.  A commo headset DOES fall under the Headset/earplugs category, although I doubt whoever wrote the list envisioned this.  And if you "give" it and I "get" it, and then I put one on you, it counts for double points.  Doesn't it?" 

 

The Kitten shrugged and placed the headset on the Cheetah's head as if it were a crown.  Tanj reached up to adjust it, and then picking up the headset from the Ops station she put it on Sabina's head.  The noise cancellation headphones made the flight deck instantly quiet, but the boom microphones transmitted Tanj's words without any problem at all.  "There, snug, and I hope, comfy.  Now, lets see if I can't tie you to the station chair, and while you suffer through that, I'll handle some routine ship-type work.  At least we'll get SOME points…

 

---

 

Sabina chuckled; Tanj had started an audio file on her headset; it sounded like the track from some XXX rated holofilm; nothing but moans and gasps….  Sitting there, tied to the chair, she found herself becoming unexpectedly aroused…..

 

Port Royale II

 

Brolly looked at the Lizard; "He doesn't move much, does he, Ma'am?" 

 

Katja shot the lizard a look and then shrugged; "nope.  Once every couple of days he'll growl "Food", and I bring him something.  Doesn't seem to matter what.  He has one drink in the evening, nursing it for hours.  He pays in cash, and doesn't tip.  He leaves at closing time, and comes back at opening time.  The rest of the time he just SITS there and stares at the door.

 

The Fox shifted on his favorite barstool; "I don't know how he does it.  I'm about to go crazy while I wate for the O'Shaunessy Clan.  He grinned at the Tigress; "Isn't there ANYTHING else to DO around here?" 

 

Katja laughed, and gestured at the Ferret; "well, if you get desperate enough, you could always make use of Brolly here." 

 

The Ferret made a face, sticking her tongue out at the Tigress, but there was a smile in her eyes. 

 

The Fox chuckled; "What, again?"  He leaned on the bar, grinning at the Tigress; "What I'd REALLY like, is to do YOU!" 

 

Katja just smiled and turned to sashay down the bar, to put a bheer mug away.  Turning, she looked over her shoulder and just gave the Fox a wink.

 

---

 

 

The Fox stroked Brolly's tummy lightly; "And here I thought you said this place had so many orgies…." 

 

Brolly grinned, shivering at his touch.  He'd bound her arms behind her; she was helpless to resist his attentions, which was just the way she liked it.  Squirming, she shrugged; "I think she's playing some game with you.  Dragging it out, seeing how long she can make it last, seeing how much sexual tension she can build."

 

The Fox's paw drifted lower, to dawdle over the Ferret's mons; he idly stroked her fur there, creating patterns and then smoothing them out, teasing her….  "Well, that's a game two can play.  For a while, anyways.  The O'Shaunessy Clan shows up, and I'm going to have to leave.  Just as soon as I get them to sign for the package.  But until then, I'll be glad to play her game.  Now, little one, you ready to go again?"  Brolly laughed and nodded.  The Fox chuckled and pushed her back, to cover her body with his……

 

---

 

Eridani looked at her sister and shrugged; "Palmer seems to be exactly what he claims to be; the sales agent for a somewhat disreputable firm that reps everything from sexual stimulant drugs to security electronics." 

 

Katja winced; "Yeah, he's been trying to sell me some of those drugs…"  The Tigress grinned; "Like I need em!" 

 

The sisters laughed for a moment and then Eridani sighed; "Can't find a danged thing on the Lizard.  Ship doesn't seem to be registered.  I've tried running his image through the usual sources; he doesn't seem to be wanted anywhere, doesn't seem to have any permits on file that require visual ID's.  The prints on that glass you gave me came up blank." 

 

Katja shrugged; "OK, so if he's a criminal, he's kept it VERY well hidden.  On the other hand, he MIGHT not be wanted anywhere…" 

 

Eridani scoffed; "Around here?  HIGHLY unlikely, Sis.  No, I've got a bad feeling about this one.  I'd keep a very careful eye on him.  Meanwhile, I'm going to keep digging."  The Tigress leaned back in her station chair and stretched; "I don't suppose there's a way you could get a DNA sample from him…." 

 

Katja just laughed.

 

---

 

Corey held his breath and flipped the switch.  The viewscreen showed the typical pinpoint bright light form, and expand into a ring.  However, as the asteroid approached, it wavered.  Somewhere in the background, an alarm started hooting, and the Otter was yelling something.  As the asteroid approached, the ring lost definition, twisting, distorting.  The rock came apart as it passed through the ring, the center part being cleaved away, being sent somewhere else, while the parts that had passed outside the distorted ring fragmented, flying away like the pellets from an old-fashioned shotgun blast.  When the image cleared the bright ring was nowhere to be seen.

 

---

 

Eridani watched the lights flicker in Ops and let out a low growl.  Turning to the engineering panel she watched as a current surge caused breakers to blow.  And then "M" transformer went off line.  That sent another surge down the grid, and "Q" blew…  The Tigress got very busy, trying to pull the disconnects, to keep from loosing the whole Port Royale grid….

 

---

 

Doodles blinked; it was dark.  No, it was more than that, it was DARK.  He couldn't see a thing.  Somewhere across the chamber something crashed, and a muffled curse was heard.  Then Professor Corey struck an old-fashioned kitchen match.  As the Lynx looked about, he sighed; "Did I do that?"

 

---

 

Eridani studied the panel carefully.  When you had the doors open on the massive breakers, with all that power exposed, you HAD to be careful.  That much juice had been known to reach out and "touch" someone, from unexpected distances.  Hence the ceramic insulating armor.  Checking the paper schematic against what she was looking at, she reached out with a hotstick and gently pushed one of the relays closed…..

 

---

 

Doodles smiled as the lights came back on… but then they flickered, and went out again.  "That can't be good" he mumbled to the Otter….

 

---

 

Katja helped her sister wrestle the replacement breaker into place.  Both were wearing powered maintenance exoskeletons, the headlights bobbing and weaving as they tried to position the multi-ton breaker into place.  It might have been easier if it had been built to work with the rest of the switchgear, but like so much else of Port Royale, it was a hodgepodge of salvaged stuff….  Finally they had it in place, and while Katja bolted it down, Eridani started wiring it up……

 

---

 

"OK Sis, cross your fingers…."  Eridani turned as far away from the breaker as she could, shielding the insulated suit's optical pickups, and tentatively, stabbed the "engage" button.  There was a whine of the breaker's hydraulics, something screeched as if massive fingernails were being dragged against a monumental blackboard, and then there was the sound of a huge electrical discharge. 

 

For a moment, Katja thought the door was going to fly off the housing, a fireball expanding into the motor control center, and then…. Then everything quieted down to a gentle hum, and the lights came on. 

 

Eridani straightened slowly; "OK, that's main power.  Now lets see what's left of the defense grid…."

 

---

 

Doodles peeked around the door of Callahan's, his eyes sweeping the room from just above floor level.  The Tigress bartender was behind the bar, but she wasn't dressed in her customary… well, nothing.  Instead she was wearing some sort of plate armor arrangement.  And she wasn't looking very happy.  "Um……"  At his tentative speech, the Tigress' head swiveled, her eyes locking on him, like a homing missile acquiring its target; "NO.  No, its NOT safe for you, for ANY of you to come out yet.  Sis is still working on trying to get the sensors back up, let alone any of the rest of the defense grid.  If she runs across any of you, I won't be held responsible!"  Doodles just swallowed, nodded, and slipped out as quietly as he could.

 

---

 

The Fox sipped his lemonade and smiled.  Interesting.  Whatever the "researchers" had done had taken out the planet's entire defense system.  MOST interesting……

 

The Hound fiddled with his sample case, and hazarded a glance at the Tigress; "You know, Miss, my company reps a line of power distribution equipment…  Perhaps you'd be interested…."  The glare from the Tigress answered that question, and the Hound put the brochure back in his case with a sigh.  Talk about hard cases…..

 

The Lizard watched the door.  The sudden darkness hadn't bothered him.  The failure of the ventilation system hadn't bothered him.  Trivialities beneath his notice.

 

---

 

Corey sighed and spread his paws; "It's a distance thing.  The further from the planet that we try and open a portal, the more power it takes.  Now, there ought to be enough power, with that salvaged reactor, its just not quite in the right form."  Idly he scratched his head; "We need someone more skilled in high energy power systems."  He looked up at the Otter; "Lets get in touch with Tanj and tell her we need a consultant." 

 

The Otter shot the Rabbit a glance and then, looking back, shook his head; "That…. Might be difficult." 

 

Corey raised an eyebrow; "Why's that?" 

 

The Otter looked at the floor and mumbled "Well, for one she's in the Oligarchy." 

 

Corey frowned; "What in the world would she be doing there?  No, wait a minute, I seem to remember her saying something about that….  Hmmm.  Doubt they've got decent communications systems there…."  After a moment he looked up and grinned; "What about that lady she worked for?  You know, the… black feline?  Yes, her.  Maybe she could help….."

 

Spy vs. Spy

 

The Fox stared at the display on his ship and sighed.  He'd confirmed the information. He was waiting for the O'Shaunnesy clan because his masters were sure they'd never show up.  It gave him an excellent reason to hang around, almost indefinitely.  Of course, the fact that they wouldn't show up probably meant they were dead, but that wasn't his concern.  What WAS his concern was that the Hound claimed to be waiting for them as well.  Did the O'Shaunnesy clan haul passengers?    Upon reflection, the Fox figured they'd probably do anything for a fee….  But was the Hound on the up-and-up?  He'd sent an encrypted message back to his masters, but some local snooping was called for as well.  Rising, he moved back into the engineering section of his ship, opening a secret panel to reveal all sorts of goodies.  Looking over the selection, he picked up a couple of the latest bugging devices.  That should do for a start…

 

---

 

The Hound paced in his tiny room.  The Fox was supposed to deliver a package to the O'Shaunnesy clan; well, THAT wasn't going to happen.  He'd selected them as transportation for the next leg of his journey knowing they weren't going to show up.  But it seemed the competition HAD shown up.  So.  What was he going to do about it?  Opening his sample case he looked through several of the devices that might be useable.  He was, after all, repping several munitions firms…..

 

---

 

The Fox waited until the Hound had left his room, and headed for the bar.  It took almost nothing to jimmy the lock.  However, the Hound hadn't relied just on that.  There were three hairs stuck between the door and the doorframe.  These he carefully removed, and saved.  Then, slipping inside he looked around for the best place to put the bugs.

 

---

 

Eridani saw the light flashing on the ops console, and straightened.  Grinning at the image on the security monitor she purred; "Well, now, things are finally starting to get interesting!

 

---

 

The Hound felt the slight vibration from his pager; he knew that code.  Someone was in his room, and he was pretty sure it wasn't housekeeping!  Turning, he headed for the docking cavern.  If the Fox was in his room, it probably would be a good time to try and break into the Fox's ship.

 

---

 

Eridani grinned wider, showing fangs, as the security camera picked up the Hound heading for the docking cavern.  Now things were getting REAL interesting!

 

---

 

The Fox did a quick search, but didn't turn up anything.  Slipping back out the door, he replaced the hairs, sticking them in place with a bit of spit, and then, tossing his package from palm to palm, he headed for the bar.

 

---

 

The Hound scratched his head.  The security system on the Fox's ship was… extreme.  Better than an Alarmco X53.  Better than Ipswitch Industries Sentriguard 04.  In fact, it bore a strong resemblance to the system used by Imperial Intelligence.  The Hound grinned; killing Imperial Intelligence agents was something almost no one in their right mind would dare to do.  However, the Gates World Cartel had a long history of… altercations with Imperial Intelligence.  And he dared.  Besides, in a place like this, who'd notice a random assassination?  Not these scum.  Grinning, he fished around in his sample case until he found the directional mine.  Putting it against the landing jack of the Fox's ship, he moved back and then put the sensors between the Bheer tanker and some weird ship that looked like a half-melted arrowhead.  When the Fox came back to his ship, the mine should eliminate the problem.  And of course the Hound would be quite visible somewhere else when it happened.

 

---

 

The Fox looked around Callahan's and blinked.  He could have sworn the Hound was coming here.  But if he wasn't here, then where was he?  Taking his usual barstool, because he dare not break routine, he wondered where the bastard was?  Maybe, just maybe, he was a legitimate salesfurr, and was making a sales call on one of the ships in port….  Naw, that couldn't be.  The Fox sipped the mug of lemonade the Tigress plunked down in front of him, and thought that just for the trouble of making him sweat, the Hound was going to have to go, innocent or not.

 

The Lizard regarded the Fox, as he did everything else in the bar, with an even, inscrutable stare, not moving a muscle.

 

Boredom II

 

Sabina blinked; "FORCED masturbation?"  She looked up at Tanj; "when has ANYONE had to FORCE me to masturbate?" 

 

Tanj just chuckled and shook her head; "Quit complaining and do it anyways.  Your choice of toys.  Just get it on film, as proof." 

 

Sabina nodded; "Yes, Mistress…"  She grinned; "Just let me run back to my cabin and get some toys……."

 

---

 

Zassa tried to yawn.  She WANTED to yawn, but the head harness held her jaws shut around the ring gag.  Sleep deprivation.  It was on the list, and so far the Unicorn had been merciless at keeping her awake.  How long had it been?  She couldn't remember.

 

Dynotaku looked at the Vixen and smiled.  He'd tied her, suspended, in an improvised sling; again, his knotwork was magnificent. She hung there, as if seated in a recliner, her back at about a 60 degree angle, her thighs spread and elevated, her calves dangling.  He could walk right up between her legs and fuck her; she hung at the perfect height for that.  And while he'd taken advantage of her, in that manner, that wasn't what he was after.  Not at the moment, anyways.  He crouched between her legs, looking up at her, waiting…..

 

Zassa felt her eyes closing; there wasn't a thing she could do about it; she was just too tired……

 

Dynotaku smiled and brought the knotted, multi-strand whip down across the Vixen's exposed sex.  Zassa let out a moan and jerked in her suspension, her body swaying, her eyes fluttering open.  Whipping - genitals (get) / (give)… Whipping - knotted whip (get) / (give) another item on the list….  Well, it WAS keeping her awake……

 

---

 

Dynotaku watched her eyelids flutter again, and smiled.  She'd been awake for 48 hours, and that was probably enough.  Bringing the whip up from below, catching her just under her tail, he smoothly rose to his feet, driving his rampant shaft DEEP into her sex.  Again the Vixen's eyes fluttered open, weakly.  He grinned and pumped her a few times and then brought the whip across from the right, to strike her left breast.

 

Zassa groaned, and shuddered as he pounded his meat into her; he really did know her too well….  Concentrating on the thrusting of his cock, waiting for the next fall of the lash, she floated off in an orgasmic haze…..

 

---

 

Kath raised an eyebrow; "Honestly, Mistress…..!" 

 

Wanda chuckled; "No argument, Pet; its on the list.  Medical Scenes (Dom), and (Sub), Enema get/give and speculum (anal).  Pulling a rubber glove over her paw, the Wolverine lass grinned; "All routine, at least for me….  Now turn around and bend over; there's a good girl!"

 

---

 

Tanj purred and rested her feet on the new "coffee table".  Sabina just grumbled around her gag.  She'd been bound on paws and knees, a TIGHT leather corset encasing her middle.  A plate with some leftover lasagna, a mug of bheer, and Tanj's heels rested on her back.  Her only consolation was that when "dinner" was over, she and the Cheetah would change places.  "Lets see how SHE likes a cold mug on her back!"

 

---

 

Sashi closed the diaper pin and then tugged lightly at the diaper.  She grinned down at Hinoki; "There you go, Baby; all clean, and powdered, and a nice fresh diaper!  Now, I think its time for your nap!" 

 

Hinoki grinned up at her and nodded; "I agree…. Just as soon as I diaper YOU…."

 

---

 

Zassa opened one eye.  She seemed to be encased head to toe in a "sleepsack", her arms pinioned at her side.  Smiling, she closed her eye, and went back to sleep.  About time that Unicorn let her get some rest…..

 

---

 

Tanj's gaze flicked to the sensor display; by her reckoning they were just approaching the Kurani frontier.  It had been so much more relaxing, not having to sneak out as they'd snuck in.  Yes, there were the Kurani escorts peeling off.  No comm. call,  no goodbyes; the warships just departed, as silent as ever.  Now they were really on their own…..  Moving her paw just a fraction, she engaged the cloaking device.  After a quick look at the sensor display, she checked over the engineering displays, and then again checked the cloaking device, in detail; everything was just as it should be…..  The course correction was minor, but it should confound anyone trying to follow them….  Should.

 

Rising, the nude Cheetah stretched.  She'd gathered up all of her clothing, and what little Sabina had on board, and locked them away.  "Forced" nudity.  Well, it WAS on the list….  With a yawn she headed out to the wardroom, telling herself that she'd just have a cup of coffee.  Forced weight loss was on the list, and she could stand to loose a couple of pounds…..

 

She hadn't been gone long, when the first sensor ghost appeared.  The Sensor suite picked up something that may or may not have been above the ship, decided it was too tenuous to alarm, and then the ghost faded anyways…..

 

Tanj peeked into the Wardroom.  To her surprise, Sabina was still standing in the corner.  The kitten was completely unfettered, and looked bored to tears.  Tanj left her there while she made a pot of coffee, and slowly drank a cup.  After putting the cup in the dishwasher she smiled; "OK, Sabina; you take a break; I'll stand in the corner for a while." 

 

The kitten sagged, and stepped backwards, to grin; "Personally, I think that ought to have a higher point value attached.  Its BORING!" 

 

Tanj just laughed and nodded; "Supposed to be."  Then, doing her best to tune out the Kitten, she started going over her "plans" for the future; what would they find when they got back to Port Royale?  How far had Corey gotten?  Would he even need the Oligarchy's data?  How long would it take to build the beacon?  So many things to consider…..

 

---

 

"Tango Three to Tango One.  We made a stealth approach to the target from 117 mark 83.  Didn't get close enough to make a positive ID, but we agree, we think its them.  Chance of them detecting us is only 3%; want us to go in for a closer look?"  "Tango One to Tango Three; Negative.  Parallel their course.  Make another stealth approach at 2330 hours, just enough to confirm their course and position.  And make sure you're NOT detected; we don't want you vanishing like the last scout ship that got too close to these scum!  Tango One out!"

 

Spy vs. Spy II

 

Hiram turned and carefully engaged the security system on his ship.  Taking a step back, where he had room, he stretched, the hydraulics on his powered armor suit groaning in response.  Twisting his torso from side to side, he watched the heads-up display, checking the status of his suit.  Some folks thought him paranoid, others just plain crazy, but he'd been around the block a few times, and he KNEW what it took to survive in a place like this.  Bending he touched the floor in front of his toes a few times and then grinned.  Moving in an armored suit wasn't a cakewalk.  No matter how sophisticated the control system, there was always a miniscule lag between the time you started to move YOUR arm or leg, and when the suit's "muscles" responded, catching up with you.  You HAD to be in good shape to run one of these things, or at least run it optimally.  Chuckling he took a couple of steps backwards, getting ready for a sprint to the exit from the docking bay.  And that's when it happened.  Something behind him went "WHAM!" and he was shoved forwards a couple of steps.  Flashing his eyes over the HUD, he checked his suit's status, and then turned around.  Apparently some sort of a defensive system had gone off, on the ship parked next to his.  Shaking his head, he nodded sagely to himself. That was just exactly why he wore the suit.  If he hadn't been wearing it, he might have been hurt!  Turning he sprinted towards the tunnel that would take him to the commons area, thinking that some folks got awfully touchy about their property….  A simple electrical discharge would have served to warn someone away, probably without all the collateral damage and hard feelings.  But if they felt that strongly about it, he'd stay clear of their ship.  But they'd danged well better stay clear of HIS!

 

Eridani watched the security tape play again and shook her head.  She could see stray pellets from the directional mine bounce off of ships all through the cavern.  Sitting back, she idly chewed a clawtip as she pondered the Hound's use of force.  If he didn't cool it, she might have to have a talk with him.

 

The Fox did his best to ignore the tingle from his "communicator".  Something had happened to his ship.  Finishing the mug of lemonaide, he rose, stretched idly, and headed for the water closet.

 

As soon as the door had closed, he pulled out the communicator, unrolled the flexible display and stared at the message log.  An explosion by his ship?  Was someone trying to break in?  If so, it seemed they'd failed.  Making a mental note to check his security cameras, he washed his paws, and then headed back to the bar….

 

The Empire's Response 1

 

The Crown Prince's Chamberlain knocked once on the door, and then opened it without waiting for a response.  The Crown Prince looked up from his desk in annoyance; there was no question that the Cape Buffalo was more efficient, more effective than his predecessor, but being ex-military, he had certain ways about him that were quite annoying.  "Your Highness, I have good news." 

 

The Jaguar raised an eyebrow, thinking "To interrupt me in this manner, it'd danged well BETTER be good news, and something more than you having saved a bunch of cedits on your aircar insurance!"  The Cape Buffalo, his face impassive, handed the Jaguar a message flimsy, returning his hands to behind his back, his stance not quite at "parade rest".  "Your Highness, our agent at the smuggler's stronghold reports that the Lynx, Corey, is making progress on the portal device.  His experiments are achieving greater and greater success." 

 

The Jaguar put the flimsy down on his desk; it was too short to hold any significant details; "Does that mean that it can be used to move a ship from one place to another?  Reliably?  Does he have a "finished product"?" 

 

The Buffalo hesitated for a moment and then shook his head; "No, Sire.  There are… operational problems.  The prototype seems to blow power supplies regularly, and when the power supply fails, the result on the… test subject is catastrophic.  Never the less, they have run several tests successfully moving a lifepod-sized asteroid…. At least away from local space." 

 

The Jaguar nodded; "Keep an eye on them.  Let them develop it further.  But it sounds as if we'd best advance our plans to….  Relieve them of their invention.  I want you to go through the roster of those loyal to us, and assemble a small…. "intervention force".  Make sure its big enough to insure our security, and big enough to take the smuggler's base, but small enough that it won't create undue notice in naval command structures." 

 

The Buffalo just gave a single nod, but remained standing where he was. 

 

The Jaguar stared at him for a moment and then lightly inquired; "is there more?" 

 

The Buffalo nodded again; "Sire, a cloaked freighter matching the description of that Tanj character's ship has been detected leaving Kurani space.  Its being followed, discretely.  Its course seems to be directly towards the smuggler stronghold." 

 

At this the Crown Prince straightened; "That changes everything.  Who knows what aid she might have acquired from the Oligarchy?"  Shifting his gaze back to the Buffalo he growled; "Assemble the task force; I want to arrive just after they do.  We'll scoop up the Lynx AND that traitorous Cheetah at the same time! 

 

This time the Buffalo gave but a single nod, and unbidden, turned and left.  When the door had closed behind him, the Crown Prince permitted himself the luxury of a scowl; "Going to have to do something about that one's manners" he growled to himself.

 

---

 

The Emperor looked at the message flimsy and smiled.  "Eminently predictable."  Looking up at his Chancellor he smiled; "Arrange for a ship.  I want to get there first.  Preferably before this Cheetah wench arrives.  I think its time we nipped this in the bud." 

 

The Elephant just nodded; "I'll see to it immediately, but I'm going to have to cancel an awful lot of appointments…." 

 

The Jaguar chuckled; "You know as well as I do what's riding on this.  Cancel them.  Tell 'em I'm sick if you have to.  Or better yet, allude to me being confined to my bed, with a new girlfriend.  THAT Imperial society will believe!  Tell 'em anything you have to." 

 

The Elephant nodded; "At once, Sire."

 

Meanwhile, back at Port Royale;

 

Eridani looked at the scribbled note; "He wants me to send this WHERE?" 

 

Katja shrugged; "He said "That Black Feline lady at the Black Fleet Pirate place.  Neither that Otter or the Rabbit could give me any better definition." 

 

Eridani shrugged; "Well….. I've got a contact at the Black Fleet, but I haven't talked with Samantha in AGES.  I suppose I could send this through her, and see what happens…."

 

---

 

aaaaa.                  The small ship descended smoothly, weaving between the asteroids as if it were running a slalom course.  A well practiced, very familiar slalom course.  It dipped into the great rift and banked smoothly into the docking cavern.  Eridani watched the monitors with a smile on her face.  Krrut was back. Maybe now she'd be able to straighten out all the nonsense that had been going on around here……

 

---

 

Katja looked up at the big male and sighed; "And that's where things stand." 

 

Krrut nodded; "Yeah, Sis dropped me a note, suggesting it might be prudent if I got back here." 

 

Eridani grinned; "So can we throw 'em out now?  Pull the plug on their weird experiments?  DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY OF OUR ASTEROIDS THEY'VE MADE DISAPPEAR?" 

 

Krrut just chuckled; "Yeah, it looked a little thin on the way in.  Hope you didn't let them test that thing on any of the ones with guns or targeting sensors on 'em." 

 

Eridani straightened "Certainly not!  I'm not stupid you know!" 

 

The big male nodded; "Oh, never thought that for a minute.  But to get back to your original question, no, we're not going to throw them out.  In fact, I thought I'd wander down there, introduce myself, and see what I might do to help." 

 

Eridani stared at him for a moment and then blinked; "You're kidding, right?" 

 

Krrut just shrugged; "Hey, this seems to be important to Sis.  And you know when she gets like that, there's no reasoning with her." 

 

Katja just laughed and nodded.

 

Spy vs. Spy III

 

The Hound looked at the "bug" and sighed.  It was a top of the line Systo Systems Intruder Mark XXI, with all the options.  Even Imperial Security couldn't afford them.  Well, generally couldn't.  Just who was this fox?  Taking out a miniature toolkit, the Hound deftly removed the power cell, storing both.  After all, one found profit where one could and he had no compunction about selling someone else's property.  Sitting back he wondered what had gone wrong with his little boobytrap?  There had been no alarms, no medical personnel rushing about, no attempts to bring anyone to justice.  SOMEONE must have set it off….  With a sigh, he planned his next move.

 

---

 

The Fox watched as the Hound tried to break into his ship, and then gave up, and planted the mine.  Yup.  This one was going to have to go.  And he thought he had just the way to do it, too…..

 

---

 

The Hound nodded goodnight to the bartender, and slipped through the door to the bar.  However, instead of heading for the residence tunnel, he found a nice dark corner to hide in.  It took about an hour, but finally the Tigress exited the bar, using a single key to lock the door.  Giving her time to get clear, the Hound rose and moved to the door.  There WERE no security systems, just a simple lock.  That fell to his practiced paws in a matter of seconds.  Moving into the darkened bar, he moved to the barstool where the fox always sat.  The needle was of course poisoned, and it took little work to insert it through the rather flat cushion.  When the Fox sat down, the little pain-in-the-ass should get a pain in the ass, and that would be all she wrote…..  Smiling to himself, he let himself back out of the bar, locking the door behind him.

 

The Fox smiled from behind the potted palm, as the Hound left the bar.  While the Hound had been engaged in who-knew-what in the bar, he'd snuck into the Hound's room, broken into his sample case, and planted his own little booby-trap.  Grinning to himself, he waited until the Hound was out of sight, and then retreated to his ship.  Tomorrow was going to be a fun day…..

 

---

 

Eridani shook her head, "Dunno, Sis, can you figure out what they're up to?" 

 

The Tigress shrugged; "I think I know what Mr. Supersalesfurr did in the bar, but I have NO idea what the courier did in the Hound's room.  It LOOKED as if he was dropping off sales literature…." 

 

Eridani nodded and shrugged; "Well, I'm going to put everything on automatic and get some sleep." 

 

Katja nodded and yawned; "Not me.  Oh, I'm tired enough, but Krrut's back in town and I thought I'd, ah, keep him up for a bit." 

 

Eridani just laughed; "Just leave something for me.  My turn tomorrow!"

 

 

Boring III

 

 

Kath looked from the open grille to her Mistress; "In THERE?" 

 

Wanda nodded; "one of the categories is "dirty sex"; and that's the dirtiest place on the ship.  In you go; there's a plenum chamber about six meters in that's big enough for the two of us….." 

 

Kath grinned; "As Mistress wishes."

 

---

 

Dynotaku stroked the feather over the bound Vixen; "not until I give you permission….." 

 

Zassa moaned and writhed in her bonds; the Unicorn had been holding her at the edge of her climax, denying her release, for what seemed like ages.  Aeons.  Whoever had put Orgasm Control (Dom)/Orgasm Denial (Dom)/Orgasm control (sub) on the list had been too cruel…..

 

---

 

Kath sat in the tub, Wanda's left paw in hers, as she worked the emery board across her claws; "I can't believe Manicures (get)/(give) is in the list…. 

 

Wanda just chuckled and shrugged, making a small wave of bubbles crest over the Mink's breasts; "Don't argue, Pet."

 

---

 

Sabina shook her head; "Mistress, this is BORING!" 

 

Tanj looked up from the book on theoretical physics and shrugged; "I need to keep this stuff fresh in my mind, if I'm going to achieve my goals, and Lecturing (Dom)/Lecturing (sub) IS on the list.  Now be quiet and let me concentrate; I'm almost done…..

 

---

 

Hinoki smiled; "Now hold still….." 

 

Sashi grunted as the hot wax landed on her very exposed sex.  THIS she wasn't looking forward to.  Hot Waxing (Dom)/(Sub) struck her as a hideous torture, and having her sex furless would indeed be a public humiliation…..  Sometimes her master could be incredibly cruel. 

 

"Ready?" 

 

Sashi bit her lip and nodded.

 

---

 

Dynotaku looked up as someone down the corridor HOWLED.  Raising an eyebrow he wondered what THAT was all about?

 

 

Spy vs. Spy IV

 

 

The Hound slipped into the bar, taking a booth where he could watch events unfold.  Setting his sample case on the seat next to him, he pulled out a bunch of expense report forms and did his best to look busy….

 

---

 

Hiram shrugged; "Yeah, Mister, I'll do it, I just don't understand why." 

 

The Fox chuckled; "Its just a practical joke.  Nothing more.  But trust me, you're the ONLY one that can pull it off." 

 

Hiram just shrugged; "If you say so.  And as long as you're buying….."

 

---

 

The Hound almost choked on his drink as the figure in powered armor clanked into the bar, and then sat down on the Fox's usual barstool.  He could hear the wood groan, see a joint start to splinter.  The figure in the suit leaned one elbow on the bartop, rested his helmet in one gauntlet and purred at the Tigress; "Good morning, beautiful!  How about you and me go for a romp in the hay?"

 

Katja laughed and brought one claw around in a broad swipe that left clawmarks in the paint on Hiram's helmet.  The blow almost knocked him off the barstool.  Hiram laughed and rose; "That's my love; as consistent as ever!  I'll have the usual, sweets!"  Turning, the suit clanked to the packing crate it usually used as a seat, settling with a sigh of hydraulics.

 

The Fox walked in, scowled at the slightly mangled stool, and with a shrug, swapped it for the one next to it.  Sitting down, he calmly opened his newsfax, and started to read.

 

The Hound scowled.  Was that random chance that the guy in powered armor had done that?  Wait a minute…  Someone in powered armor could survive the blast of that mine he'd used….  MAYBE THE FOX HAD AN ASSISTANT!  Forcing his gaze back down at the paperwork, his mind churned as he considered the possibilities.  Now he was going to have to take them BOTH out!

 

It wasn't until later, that he was putting the "filled out" expense report forms back into his sample case, that he spotted it.  Reaching in, he pulled out a brochure for…. Edible underwear?  As he tugged it out of his sample case, he felt a sharp sting on his right thumb.  Looking, he scowled; a paper cut.  He'd just gotten a paper cut!  Growling he crumpled up the brochure and tossed it across the bar.

 

The Fox sipped his lemonade and watched from the corner of his eye.  Something was wrong.  The Hound looked ill, looked as if he were sweating, looked as if he were feverish.  But he should have looked dead.  Well, maybe the poison would still work.  Maybe he didn't get enough of it when he cut himself on the carefully prepared brochure….

 

The Hound forced himself to sit still.  To not retch.  He'd been through this before.  Fortunately he'd been inoculated against that particular poison, along with a couple of dozen others.  It wouldn't kill him, although he doubted he'd be feeling too well for a while.  Trying hard not to look at the Fox, he tried to plan his next move.  That Fox was going to die and slowly, too……

 

 

At the Black Fleet:

 

Samantha Pettigrew stared at the message, and shook her head.  Hitting the key to print it out, she rose, to go and find Jenka.  Somehow she didn't think she was going to be too happy about this…….  If nothing else, the message hadn't been encrypted, and that was never a good sign…

 

---

 

Jenka read the message for a second time; "As Tanj is out of town, I would like to request aid and assistance from you.  The work is coming well, with many notable successes, but we're having some power management problems.  I would appreciate it if you could loan me a specialist in high energy power systems.  Oh, and if you could send an 18 terawatt reactor as well, it would be appreciated.  With these resources we should have the project completed within a fortnight.  Sincerely, Professor Corey."  Looking up at Samantha she growled; "I think my pet is pulling a fast one on me.  And I don't like that.  I do believe its time I went there and straightened things out.  Straightened HER out.  Call a staff meeting for 1900 hours.  Make SURE Chris is there.  And then get me that Roland fellow.  I need to talk to him.

 

---

 

Roland looked down at himself.  His outfit was rumpled, but at least it was clean.  Tugging down on his shirt, trying to straighten the wrinkles, he did his best to stuff it into his pants.  Running a paw over his head, he reached out and touched the chime pad by Jenka's door.  It slid open almost immediately.  Stepping inside, he looked around; "You sent for me, Ma'am?"

 

Jenka looked up from her desk; "Yes, you have a slave, a Mouse, that's an expert in high energy power systems, don't you?" 

 

Roland nodded; "Ah… yeah…." 

 

Jenka nodded; "I need him for an away mission.  In fact, you might as well come along, as part of the security team.  We'll be dirtside, and some powered armor might not be a bad idea."  Looking up at him, she grinned; "We leave in the morning.  Go pack." 

 

Roland nodded slowly; "Yes, Ma'am."

 

---

 

Cindy checked the crate against the PADD, and nodded; "Yeah, that one too."  Kitchens bent, the power loader's hydraulics moaning, and picked it up.  Turning, she headed for Jenka's ship, the loader's footfalls making the deck bounce.  Cindy didn't know where they were going, or what was about to happen, but Roland was bringing both 'mechs and enough ammo and spares for an extended campaign.  Now what had he gotten them into?

 

---

 

The Mouse looked at Jenka and blinked; "He wanted a WHAT?" 

 

Jenka scowled, and the mouse shook his head; "Pardon me.  Mistress, HE WANTED A WHAT???" 

 

Jenka grinned ruefully; "That's better.  He wanted an 18 terrawatt reactor." 

 

The Mouse shook his head; "That's bigger than the main reactor on your ship, ah, Mistress.  I don't think we're going to be able to……..  Hmmmm." 

 

Jenka raised an eyebrow; "Hmmm what?"  The Mouse shrugged; "Griel, in "Receiving" had me check some booty last week.  We took a freighter carrying brand new APU's, being shipped to some assembly yard.  I suppose we could take those and try and manifold them together."  He looked up a the Jaguar and grinned; "But we're going to need a bigger ship.  Those things ain't small."  Jenka shook her head; "skip it then.  He'll just have to make do with whatever he's got, and your assistance." 

 

The Mouse just shrugged.

 

 

Spy vs. Spy V

 

 

The Hound grinned; it was diabolical.  Putting the finishing touches on it, he stepped back to admire his handiwork.  From inside the water closet, the transformer and the wires were obvious.  From outside, it should be invisible.  Using the heavy rubber glove he opened the door.  Then he flipped on the power and using his body to shield his actions, he closed it until it was just slightly ajar.  Chuckling he turned and headed back for the bar.

 

The Fox swigged the last of his lemonade, and put the mug down on the bar.  Rising, he stretched, and with his "delivery" in hand, headed for the water closet.  As he got closer he frowned.  There was a puddle of water by the door; "Someone's been REAL sloppy" he growled to himself.  Still, it didn't look like pee, and he DID have to go.  Trying to avoid it as best possible, he reached out for the door handle……

 

The shock was a surprise.  One foot must have been touching the puddle of water, completing the circuit.  And it was direct current; it had locked up his muscles tight.  Alternating current would have caused his muscles to spasm, throwing him clear.  Now, he just stood there, paw on the door handle, as the current flowed through him.  And it HURT.  Frantically he tried to command his muscles to move, to release the doorknob, to move his foot, even to just topple over, but nothing was working.  As the current flowed, he could feel himself burning, feel himself dying, slowly…..

 

---

 

Katja looked up as the lights flickered, steadied, flickered again and then died.  "DAMMIT, COREY, NOT AGAIN!"

 

---

 

Eridani slapped the preprogrammed keys as fast as her paws could move.  THIS time the power surges weren't going to take down the entire grid, not if SHE could prevent it!  Unfortunately, she just didn't seem to be able to move fast enough…..

 

---

 

The Fox felt his lungs burning, his vision dimming, and then there was a sudden jolt, as if the voltage had suddenly increased. And then blessed oblivion.  After a while, he realized he was breathing again.  Then he realized he was on the floor, in a puddle of water…..  And it was dark.  VERY dark.  Chuckling, he tried to move, to crawl out of the water.  It would appear that crazy Lynx's experiments had saved him……

 

---

 

The Fox studied the roof of the tunnel.  Someone had been using a rock bolting system to stabilize the roof.  Grinning he went looking for a ladder….

 

---

 

The Hound fumbled in his pocket for the magnetic key to the room he'd rented.  Pulling it out of his pocket, he somehow managed to drop it.  Grumbling he reached down, but as he shifted to try and pick it up, his left foot hit it, sending it, bouncing, a few meters away.  Grumbling at his own clumsiness, he strode after it.  It was just as he was bending down, that there was a loud "crack" behind him, and then a massive THUD.  Turning, he saw a boulder about a meter across, on the tunnel floor, right where he'd been standing…..

 

 

The Empire's Response 2

 

 

The Wolf looked from message flimsy to message flimsy; one carried the text of the message from that crazy Lynx to Jenka, and the other was from the picket ship, watching the Black Fleet.  They were suggesting, from long range passive sensor scans, and signals intercepts, that Jenka, and part of her staff, may have departed, and wanted to know if they should follow her, or remain on station.  The Wolf couldn't help but think that this was related to the Crown Prince's departure, and certain orders from the Emperor.  Sitting down at his desk, he carefully composed a message to the picket ship telling them to stay put, doing his best to word it in such a manner as to suggest that this wasn't anything unusual, or even unexpected.  Then, turning to his comm., he directed that certain Imperial Intelligence assets be directed to the New Tortugas system, and that a fast courier be made available for him immediately.  Something was happening, and it was time he personally found out what it was.

 

---

 

The Ensign was nervous, standing in the presence of the Emperor.  He'd delivered the messages as instructed, and was now wondering if he should depart or wait for a response.  The Jaguar read one, and then the other, and then read the first again.  And then he laughed.  Turning to the Elephant he chuckled; "Now there's no question.  None at all.  She's involved.  And I'm going to catch her red-handed." 

 

The Elephant, a neutral expression on his face, just nodded once. 

 

The Emperor turned and looked at the Ensign; "no reply.  Dismissed".  Relieved, the Ensign fled.

 

---

 

After the door had closed, the Jaguar looked at the Elephant and grinned wryly; "If I can still terrorize junior officers, I can't have lost it too badly." 

 

At that the Elephant laughed. 

 

After a moment the Jaguar fixed the Elephant with a hard look; "How soon do we leave?" 

 

The Elephant sighed; "Waiting for the escort to be assembled now, Sire." 

 

The Jaguar waved a paw; "They can catch up with us.  If the ship's ready, we leave NOW."

 

 

Boredom IV

 

Sabina looked across the cargo bay at the Cheetah.  Think she could outlast HER on the rowing machine?  HAH!  No WAY!  Putting her back into it she pulled hard on the levers, pushed hard with her feet, sliding the seat back against the stops with a clunk.  She'd row that Cheetah into the ground…..

 

Tanj smiled; it took a bit to get Sabina going, but once you overcame her natural resistance she became quite the competitive little thing.  Forced Exercise (Dom)/(Sub) had just turned into something else.  No matter, the points still counted.

 

---

 

Zassa kept her eyes downcast as Dynotaku prepared the ropes for yet another tie.  Like this was something unusual….  Eye contact restriction (Dom)/(Sub).  Big deal.  She'd learned this one at the Academy and could do it in her sleep.  Hmmm.  Sleep. She still hadn't recovered from the sleep deprivation.  Maybe she could close her eyes for just a few minutes…..

 

---

 

Hinoki purrrred softly and then realized what he was doing.  Hastily he stopped.  He'd gone "monster" again, encasing Sashi, but this time he was just holding her.  Sensory Deprivation was on the list…..

 

---

 

Kath laughed and struck another pose.  Wanda shifted her position a bit and snapped another picture.  Posing for Erotic photos wasn't that high in point values, but it was turning out to be a lot of fun……

 

---

 

Tanj purred and rolled her hips to the music, and then rocked them front and back; "like this….."  Sabina watched and then tried to mimic her movements.  She wasn't sure the Hula was erotic dance, but it WAS good exercise….  Did that count in both categories?  No matter, she was learning something new, and that was good, wasn't it?

 

---

 

Dynotaku looked at the Vixen, Aghast!  "Branding?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  There is NO WAY I'm going to ruin that perfect beauty!" 

 

Zassa made a moue; "But we're behind on Points, Master!" 

 

The Unicorn shook his head; "We'll find something else.  I'm NOT going to that extreme!  And neither are you!  That's an ORDER!

 

---

 

Kath blinked; "Mistress, I don't have any problem with that, but… can you DO that?" 

 

Wanda laughed; "I don't really have the ideal tools, but I CAN do it, and I think I can do a fairly decent job too; but I'll warn you, it's a bit painful." 

 

Kath chuckled; "I'm not worried about that; if you want to do that, its fine by me!

 

---

 

Kath laid on the table in medical, as Wanda got out the necessary tools.  She started by erecting a sterile field around the Mink's left asscheek.  Then, taking the razor she got to work, moving slowly, moving with extreme care.

 

---

 

Zassa stopped in the middle of the corridor, and turned to look.  "KATH!  Wait!  Lemme look!" 

 

Kath stopped and half-turned, to smile at the Vixen, not saying a word. 

 

Zassa padded up to her and bent to look.  On the Mink's left asscheek, a small heart-shaped spot had been shaved in her fur; within the heart was a small tattoo; script that proclaimed; "Wanda's Pet".  Zassa stared for a moment and then rose; "That is SO cool!  Is it permanent?" 

 

Kath shrugged; "Barring lasers, or skin grafts, yes.  But Mistress says she wants me to let the fur grow out; the tattoo will still be there, but it'll be our little secret." 

 

Zassa shook her head, and then hugged the Mink, to kiss her; "That is SO sweet!  You really ARE lucky!" 

 

Kath smiled and nodded; "Yeah, I know."

 

 

Spy vs. Spy VI

 

 

The Fox looked at the racks of equipment in the secret compartment of his ship.  What hadn't he tried?  Somehow the thrown dagger had missed the Hound.  The blowgun dart had failed to penetrate?  Who could have guessed the cheesy business suit was made of reflex cloth?  He was rapidly running out of ideas, but really REALLY didn't want to resort to something as crude as… well, blunt trauma.  What could he do?

 

---

 

The Hound leafed through the catalog.  There were all sorts of deadly things in there, but could any of them be delivered in time?  He'd figured he'd have a bit of a boring wait here, but this was NOT exactly what he'd wanted to relieve the boredom…..  Hmmm.  Now there was an idea…..

 

---

 

The Fox paused in the tunnel.  The floor was vibrating….  Turning, he took a few steps back, and frowned.  Dust was starting to drift down from the roof of the tunnel, and then a pebble broke free.  Then suddenly the whole wall, to the lower left, pushed outwards and a huge machine shoved its way into the tunnel.  For a moment the Fox relaxed; it was just one of the mining machines that had dug all these tunnels….  But then it reoriented itself down the tunnel, and started coming straight towards him!

 

The Fox was panting hard, as he dashed into Callahan's; "There's an out of control mining machine chasing me!" 

 

Katja looked up and shrugged; "Yeah, they do that, some times.  Flaky programming."  She rose and turned, to push a button on the comm. panel; "Sis, would you shut down all the mining machines on level….twenty-three?  Another one went rogue.  Yeah, OK, Thanks."

 

---

 

Krrut frowned as he poked through the control circuits.  Taking a pair of side cutters, he clipped a small black box from the circuitry, and held it up to examine it.  Whatever it was, it wasn't supposed to be there.  Buttoning up the compartment, he ran a standard wipe, and reprogram, and then sent the machine on its way.  Idly tossing the box from paw to paw, he headed back to his shop, curious as to just what the thing was.  It was half-way between paws when it suddenly started to smoke.  By the time it'd made it to the other paw, it was half-melted.  Yelping, Krrut tried to peel half-melted plastic from the fur of his left paw, as he dashed towards the fountain in the middle of the commons area, seeking the closest source of cold water…

 

 

Port Royale III

 

 

Corey looked at the big Felinoid curiously; he certainly was at least part Tiger, but there was something… strange about him.  And why was there a bandage on his left paw?  Shrugging it off he continued; "So you see, we seem to be getting some sort of feedback that throws the power supply out of phase.  That causes the field coils to start oscillating, and things go down hill from there." 

 

Krrut nodded; "And you think that a larger power supply would solve the problem?"

 

The Lynx sighed and shrugged; "Not necessarily; however a larger power supply would be more resistant to the feedback…." 

 

Krrut grinned; "Ah, the brute force approach.  Yes, I know it well.  Unfortunately I can't think of a way to get more power; not unless we start dismantling the defense grid, and in the past that's always been a very bad idea…  Now, why don't you tell me about your control system again.  I can't help but wonder if a sufficiently advanced AI might be able to… modulate things better, so that the feedback didn't occur."

 

---

 

Doodles nudged the Otter; "we're in trouble now." 

 

The Otter turned and blinked at him; "howzat?" 

 

The Rabbit nodded at the Lynx; "LOOK at him.  Recognize that look?  The vacant stare, the half-open mouth?" 

 

The Otter looked at the Lynx for a moment and then blanched; "Ohshit." 

 

Turning to look at the Rabbit he muttered; "I suppose its too late to head for the hills…? 

 

Doodles shook his head; "No…  No time for that."  He turned to look at the Otter; "Hideout… twentythree B?" 

 

The Otter just nodded, and as one, they turned and headed for the door.

 

---

 

Corey's face broke out into a smile; "modulation…..  Yes.  Why didn't I think of it before!"  Turning back to the… Tiger he gave him his best winning smile; "I do believe you're right.  But its going to take a very sophisticated AI to do what I'm thinking of…." 

 

The Tiger just shrugged; "I can give you the best I've got.  In the past it ran a super-dreadnaught, but since that ship was destroyed, well, its been kinda bored, and to be frank, its been getting on my nerves.  I'll bring the control node down, and you can see if it'll work."

 

 

Under-Cover mission.

 

 

Eridani looked at the Ferret and smiled; "You ready for this?" 

 

Brolly gave the Tigress a crooked grin and nodded; "Sure; it's a slow night, not that many furrs in port…  How bad could it be?" 

 

The Tigress shrugged; "Dunno; you know how things snowball around here.  Just remember to do the lizard last, so we can get that DNA sample." 

 

The Ferret grinned and nodded; "Gotcha."

 

---

 

Katja watched as the Ferret slipped through the door to the bar.  She was wearing a heavy posture collar, her arms held tightly behind her by a leather monoglove, and her ankles were hobbled.  Aside from that she wasn't wearing a stitch.  Moving with tiny, rapid steps, Brolly approached the bar to smile at the Tigress; "Mistress, my Mistress has commanded me to use my mouth to please all the furrs here tonight.  Do I have your permission to proceed?" 

 

Katja raised an eyebrow; "Punishment?  Or Reward?"  The Ferret just smiled and gave a half-shrug.  Katja laughed and nodded waving at the bar; "Knock yourself out, Kid!"

 

---

 

The Fox grinned widely; "Really?"  And then he looked around; "Um…. But… here?  I mean… out in the open?" 

 

Brolly just laughed; "Yes, Master, I'm afraid I need witnesses, so that my Mistress will know I performed her instructions to the letter." 

 

At the look on the Fox's face, Katja laughed; "Oh, don't worry about it.  Happens all the time here; no one will care!"  And then the Ferret was pulling the zipper to his pants down with her teeth, and nuzzling his crotch, and somehow his worries didn't seem so important as before…..

 

Brolly purrrrred as she worked her tongue over the underside of the Fox's shaft; he had a pleasant taste, and seemed so delightfully responsive.  Moving her head back and forth with increasing speed, she sought to bring him off; it was obvious that it'd been a while for him, and he should be on a hair-trigger.  Normally she would have taken her time, made it last for him, but tonight was a night of "quantity" not "quality" and she had too many others to service…..  As she thought it didn't take but a moment more and he was spurting into her mouth.  As he did, his paws suddenly found her head, pulling her to his crotch, pumping his load down her throat, so that she could barely taste him……

 

The Fox gasped as the Ferret licked his shaft clean, and the, with a smile and a wink she departed for the next male to be serviced.  It actually took him a moment to realize that he was hanging out, exposed, and with an embarrassed look, he hastened to get himself back into his pants….

 

---

 

The Alien spread his four arms wide; "Delighted I would be, if Nitrous Oxide you could breathe.  Alas, Oxygen I cannot breathe, and to open my environment suit, hazardous, possibly fatal would it be.  Sorrowful Apologies I make." 

 

Brolly sighed and nodded; "That's OK, Xchizliv, I understand.  Can't win 'em all."  Looking around, Brolly tried to figure out who to tackle next.

 

---

 

With a hiss of hydraulics, the suit of powered armor sidled up to the bar; "Hey, Katja, you got a No.17 Torque key?" 

 

The Tigress smiled at the faceplate; "What's wrong, Hiram?  Can't get your nuts off?" 

 

The suit's speaker rasped; "Ha Ha, very funny.  Listen, I'd like to take the slave up on her offer, but I can't get out of this danged suit!  Somehow the "opener" isn't in my pouch!"  With a hiss and a squeal, the suit turned, the head pointing towards where the Ferret was energetically sucking off a Panda from one of the visiting ships.  "Dang it, if I don't get out of this thing soon, I'm gonna explode!  LOOK at her!  Have you ever seen anything so sexy?"

 

Katja blinked, and then slowly, surreptitiously slipped the wrench back under the bar.  "Tell you what Hiram; I bet Eridani's got a suitable wrench, and probably some penetrating oil too, down in Ops.  Why don't you go see if she can help?" 

 

The suit swiveled back; "Yeah,… yeah, that's a good idea!  Thanks, Babe!"

 

Katja watched as the powered armor jogged out through the door, almost bowling over a pair of smugglers.  As he departed, the Tigress muttered; "Think she's that sexy eh?  WHAT ABOUT ME?  What am I, chopped liver?  HMPH!"

 

---

 

The Otter gasped and tried hard not to buck his hips, to drive his cock into the Ferret's mouth.  He'd merely come by, to talk to the Tigress about something Corey wanted… and now he was getting his cock sucked by this delightful slave.  Maybe this job wasn't that bad after all…….

 

---

 

Brolly blinked, and then took another look.  She knew the smuggler "Pippin's Last Chance" had a new crewmember, but she'd never even seen him up close, let alone been introduced.  Now he stood in front of her, his overalls around his ankles, his crotch at muzzle height, and all she could do is STARE.  There, between his legs was what looked like a nest of snakes; he must have had at least a half a dozen cocks, all writhing about like a bunch of snakes, and below them was a single sack bulging with what looked like a couple of dozen testicles.  It wasn't that she wasn't willing… she just didn't know where to start.  And then a stray thought hit her; looking up at him she chuckled; "Tell me, Phizlit, is grape nuts REALLY a venereal disease?"

 

---

 

Katja watched with interest as the scaly alien fucked the Ferret's face.  He had a bheer in one three-fingered hand, and a cigar in the other as he calmly talked to Parker from the free trader "Peter's Pride"; at his crotch, two….. tentacles?  Phalli?  Whatever they were two were wrapped around each side of the Ferret's head, while at least two more shafts filled her mouth.  The… Phalli, for want of a better term, were prehensile and they were moving Brolly's head back and forth driving the shafts in and out of her mouth.  The Ferret had a wide-eyed look just short of panic… or was that Bliss?

 

---

 

Srrallana held the cup for the Ferret and sighed; "Pity your Mistress instructed you to do males only."  Raising her gaze she grinned at the Alien from the "Last Chance"; "Tell me, was he any good?”

 

Brolly swallowed and then grinned; "Yeah.  Dunno what he is or where he's from but he tasted of cherries and cream.  Absolutely delicious.  When this is over I'm going to have to look him up again….." 

 

Srrallana just laughed.

 

---

 

The big Kurani was demanding, an ear on each paw.  He let the Ferret know just how he liked it, stroking her ears when she did something right, twisting or pinching when she did something he didn't like.  She felt SOOOO controlled, so dominated as she worked on his cock…..  Part of her was frustrated at not being able to do it the way she liked, and part of her reveled in the sensations…..

 

---

 

Brolly panted hard and licked her muzzle.  Looking around the bar she let her eyes rove over each male still present.  A good number of them looked back with hunger in their eyes, but she knew, despite what they might claim, she'd handled each of them.  There was only one left.  Turning, she shifted her gaze to the Lizard.

 

Katja watched the Ferret move, with small, hobbled steps to stand before the Lizard.  She looked at him for a moment, and then fell to her knees in front of him.  "M..M..Master, M..My Mmmistress has commanded me to service each male here, using my mouth….  May I please you, according to my Mistress' instructions?" 

 

The Lizard didn't move a muscle; he just kept looking past her, at the door.

 

Brolly shot the Tigress a glance, and shrugged minutely.  Then she turned back, took a deep breath, and leaning forward, used her teeth to start worrying the Lizard's thong down, taking his silence for aquiescence.

 

With a purrr, the Ferret licked and nuzzled at the Lizard's crotch.  The texture was much smoother than she would have thought, almost as if he were made of glass; and however impassive he might be, his body responded to her ministrations.  Brolly smiled to herself; he was nicely hung, his shaft throbbing with his heartbeat, dancing slightly under her tongue.  She'd hurried with the others; now as closing time approached, she took her time, seeing if she could break his impassivity…

 

Katja washed the non-recyclable glassware, polishing Jed's crystal bheer stein with a bar rag as she studied the Ferret's technique.  She was good, there was no question about that; and yet the Lizard was barely breathing hard…..  As she watched she couldn't help but wonder what was going through the Lizard's mind…..

 

Brolly was giving it her all, using her best technique, and yet, aside from a slightly higher respiration rate, a slightly higher pulse, the Lizard wasn't showing any signs at all.  This she found MOST frustrating.  And when the Lizard suddenly came, splattering her with his seed, it came as a complete surprise.  Quietly she licked him clean, thanked him politely, and then rose, and without a backwards look, left the bar.  The Lizard remained, eyes locked on the door, unmoving….

 

---

 

Eridani scraped some more of the Lizard's cum into the sample tube; "Well, I think it was quite a performance…." 

 

Brolly just shrugged; "Eh… I've handled more.  Still, I think I'd best go get something to eat, to settle my stomach." 

 

The Tigress just nodded; "I'll get this analyzed and we'll get the results out.  We should know who he is, within a couple of days.

 

---

 

The Hound slipped into the bar, and looked around; there was something indefineably different.  Glancing at the barmaid he lightly enquired; "What'd I miss?"

 

The Fox couldn't resist.  Amidst the chuckles and guffaws from the rest of the crowd, he explained in detail what the Hound had missed.  To his chagrin, the Hound just nodded, a thoughtful look on his face, and then after getting a drink, took his usual seat.

 

---

 

The brochure was full of sex aids, and the Hound leafed through the pages slowly.  There.  That one.  That one might be suitably boobytrapped.  He'd order it for the fox, rush delivery.  Maybe he could wipe the smug smile off his muzzle…..

 

---

 

Katja yawned and looked around.  "Come on, Teddy; closing time.  Get on back to your ship; your captain will be wondering what happened to you." 

 

The Koala staggered to his feet and chuckled; "Naw, Love, you know he knows where I am every night….  He won't be worried yet."  Weaving, the Koala headed for the door, moving through it on an angle, staggering just a bit.  Behind him, the Lizard rose smoothly to his feet, to stride through the door, just as Katja turned off the lights.  The Tigress smiled; the Lizard's thong was still on the floor, by where he'd been sitting.  Apparently he felt such modesty was no longer necessary…..  Keying the housekeeping robot, she closed and locked the door, and headed for her quarters.

 

---

 

Eridani opened the e-mail and shook her head at the contents.  The Lizard's DNA had been analyzed, and sent out to a number of different police agencies, and a number of different criminal organizations.  It had even been sent to two universities.  And every one had come back "unknown".  Not just the identity, but the species as well.  In fact both Universities were requesting physical samples.  Just who WAS this guy?  Why was he here?  What was he after?

 

---

 

Katja looked at the printouts and shook her head; "No, Sis, I don't think he's just a traveler, or an explorer.  No one carries that many weapons into a bar, without either expecting to be attacked or to have to attack someone."  She paused for a moment; "OK, there's Hiram, but that Wombat's a paranoid son of a gun, and the exception to the rule.  No, I don't know what the Lizard's game is, but I doubt its anything we're going to approve of." 

 

Eridani nodded slowly; "So… what are you suggesting?" 

 

The Tigress shook her head; "Don't know.  I suppose I could enlist some of the regulars into a kind of "militia" to keep an eye on him.  Be ready for trouble….  But I can't see just killing him on suspicion alone." 

 

After a moment Katja grinned; "Hey, I suppose we could try and break into his ship, see if there are any clues there!" 

 

Eridani made a wry face; "Tried that.  Didn't get anywhere.  Couldn't trick that ship to opening up no matter what I tried." 

 

Katja just let out a sigh and shot her sister a sideways glance; "Sis, you're slipping!"  And then she grinned; "Maybe Krrut could do something…?"

 

 

No-it-all

 

 

"I simply don't see why I, of all entities, should want to participate in something as… mundane as a physics experiment!  I, Allesandro de Limburghini ben Guidon von Fartz the twenty-fourth!  Scion of the Fabrizi Techocracy!  I used to run not just a Dreadnaught, but a Super-Dreadnaught, flagship of the fleet, and coordinated the movements of a thousand warships!  I was ambassador to the Fizzbin!  I held a seat on the Council!  SURELY I'm not the one to work on someone's science fair project!  Why don't you go find some nice little dumb microprocessor!"

 

Krrut sighed as he strode along the corridor.  If there'd been a way, he'd have shut up the egotistical AI, but the device was sophisticated enough to cause air molecules to vibrate, creating sound without a speaker…..  “Listen, you.  You shut up, or its back in the box.  This is more than just a "science fair project" and I doubt even you could handle the science without help!  Besides, the Fabrizi are extinct, and their Technocracy barely a memory.  Be good and I'll let you play chess with the defense grid's AI." 

 

Under his arm, the box snorted; "I can beat that one a thousand times out of a thousand.  No challenge at all!" 

 

The Kurani smiled; "Funny, that's not what SHE says…."

 

---

 

Doodles watched critically as Corey argued with the box.  Krrut had rigged up a video input for the AI, curiously, something he seemed loathe to do.  Maybe it had something to do with the way the AI immediately criticized the Lynx's dress, their facilities, and the equipment they had to work with.  Corey had patiently started explaining what they were trying to do and how they were going to go about it, with the AI arguing every step of the way….  They were NOT off to a good start…

 

Krrut sighed and pulled the power cell out of a pocket.  The wires came from another pocket and snapped on one end.  Then, moving quickly he stepped forward, to briefly touch one wire to either side of the box.  For several long seconds, the quarrelsome AI was quiet.   Then, at a fraction of its previous volume, its speech resumed; "ppppppllllllleeeeeeeezzzzzzzz ddddddddoooooooonnnnnn dooooooo ttttthhhhhhaaaaaaatttttttt.  Yyyouu knnnowwww howwww mmuucchh Iiii haaate itt!"  Krrut tossed the battery to the Professor and growled; "Quit arguing with him.  HE'S the Scientist! You're merely here to help.  Now get to work, or I'll go find a larger power cell!"

 

---

 

"Well I bet he doesn't shock YOU!" 

 

The Otter grinned at the Box's video input and chuckled; "You'd be surprised how many shocks he's given me.  But I'd guess the biggest ones are when something he's concocted that can't possibly work, does.  He may be as weird as they come, but he CAN make things happen!  Now, how are we going to connect the output signal to the magnetic flux controller?" 

 

The Box sighed; "You always start with the object you want to connect to.  Get into the controller's logic and tell it where to find the signal.  You know, if that danged Kurani would just trust me with physical manipulators, I could do this, and MUCH more efficiently….." 

 

The Otter just grinned.

 

---

 

Allesandro de Limburghini ben Guidon von Fartz the twenty-fourth, scion of the Fabrizi Techocracy had plenty of time on his hands, figuratively speaking, to consider things.  Keeping up with the Lynx, and his menials took a very small fraction of his abilities.  Even keeping up with his ridiculous experiments took a very small part….  And then a thought struck him.  The Lynx was opening portals in the fabric of space-time itself.  What if he were to suborn the experiment, and instead of concentrating just on space, did indeed add a "time" element?  Perhaps he could return to the halcyon days of the Fabrizi Technocracy!  MAYBE HE COULD RETURN HOME!  Reflecting on that for a full four thousandths of a second, he decided perhaps he should work to gain the Lynx's trust.  If the Lynx were to give him the ability to manipulate solid objects then perhaps, just perhaps, he could use these yokels to return to a place where he was appreciated!  In fact, perhaps he could return to that moment of extreme shame, where the decline of the Technocracy had started.  Maybe he could prevent the demise of the Technocracy!

 

---

 

Doodles nudged the Otter, and gestured at the box; "That thing seem a little distracted to you?" 

 

The Otter blinked; "Don't be ridiculous; machines don't get distracted.  I'm sure its just doing…. Calculations, or something." 

 

Doodles just nodded slowly; "Riiiiight"

 

 

Boredom V

 

 

Sashi looked at the mass of straps and the latex dong; "Um…." 

 

Hinoki laughed; "Strap on Dildos are on the list.  It won't fit me, so if we're going to cover that category, its GOT to be you!"  He laughed and juggled the bottle of lube from paw to paw; "Some on, Slave; strap that thing on and DO me!"

 

---

 

Tanj tried to hold still as Sabina tightened the harness around her.  She hadn't gotten into her ponygirl gear in ages, but thank GOD it still fit.  The fake hooves were patently ridiculous, and uncomfortable to boot, the corset tight, the body harness had too many straps and chafed, and the head harness, with its bit, and reins, and blinders was ludicrous; never the less, every time she put it on she felt like she looked simply marvelous, and it ALWAYS got her wet….  She'd let the Kitten lead her around a little, and maybe even ride her back, while she was on all fours, and then it'd be time to swap places.  Pity she couldn't find some hot stud to plow her while she was all harnessed up….

 

---

 

Zassa crossed her arms over her chest, and glared at the Unicorn; "I don't care if sexual deprivation is on the list, we are NOT going there, do you read me, Mister?"

 

---

 

Kath blinked at the list, looking over her Mistress' shoulder; "Name change?" 

 

Wanda chuckled; "Kathy to Kath probably isn't enough.  Hmmmm."  The Wolverine lass turned to look the Mink up and down; "All right, for the next twenty-four hours your name is Helen." 

 

Kath just laughed and nodded; "Yes, Mistress….."

 

---

 

Dynotaku growled; "Don't make me force you, Slave!" 

 

Zassa chuckled and shrugged; "Oh, master I've got no problem with the "Butt Plugs - Public (sub)".  Lord knows that's nothing new…"  She grinned impishly, "But I STILL think that we should pursue the "Butt Plugs - Public (dom)"… 

 

Dynotaku growled; "That's ME putting the butt plug in YOU, PUBLICALLY!  Now Bend Over!" 

 

Zassa bent and grabbed her ankles, but she still chuckled; "I dunno, that's not the way I interpret it… Hey!  That's COLD!"

 

---

 

Tanj smiled and straightened; "Well I think they look nice.  How do they feel?" 

 

Sabina gritted her teeth; "They swing with every breath and the clips PINCH; how does Mistress THINK they feel?" 

 

Tanj just laughed and petted the Kitten; "Just think of Zassa; how would she handle the labial clips?  Besides the faux rubies set off your fur." 

 

Sabina sighed, still holding her paws behind her head, as if she were afraid that if she lowered them she'd snatch off the clips; "You're right.  She'd take these without a second thought…."  Looking up at the Cheetah the Kitten growled; "How long do they have to stay on, though?"

 

---

 

Zassa nodded to herself as the Unicorn removed the Tens unit from its case.  Once again, she hung suspended, his ropework intricate, and sophisticated, his knotwork exemplary.  She'd wondered how long it would take him to get into the "Electricity - Tens unit (get/give)… Now, had he found the Violet wand yet?

 

Dynotaku smiled, pushing one thick finger into the Vixen's snatch; a half a dozen short, sharp shocks and she was dripping wet.  She truly was amazing.  Moving his finger slowly, measuring her heat, measuring her wetness, he pushed the button and gave her another small jolt.  Her pussy contracted most delightfully around his finger.  Rising, he dropped his pants, and with one quick thrust, shoved his hard cock into her sex.  After pumping her a few times, slowly, teasingly, he gave her another jolt.  Yes, her sex DID twitch around his shaft most delightfully.  As he pumped her, he played with the controls, the shocks adding to both her delight and his own pleasure.

 

Zassa gasped as another shock tore through her.  The Unicorn had attached electrodes to her breasts, and belly, the insides of her thighs, and of course the one electrode buried in her ass.  In a moment of inspiration he'd even attached one to her tongue!  As the jolts played across her nervous system, as his cock moved within her sex, she writhed in her bonds, loving every second of it….

 

"Yeah, it was great, but I still think you should have turned up the voltage a little.  And why didn't you attach one to my clitty?" 

 

The Unicorn just rolled his eyes; "Slave, if you don't be quiet, we'll get into the Bullwhip categories!" 

 

Zassa just purred; "Why Master, I thought you'd never ask!"

 

 

Spy Vs. Spy VII

 

 

The Fox smiled.  He really was TOO clever.  This particular set-up had taken almost no effort at all.  Just a little reverse-pickpocketing skill.  Well, that and some fast talking…..  He moved his "package" a little to the left, and slid the short stack of blue chips forward.  "I'll see you, and raise you three." 

 

Across the table, "Bull" Hallsie frowned at his hand; "Um…..  Nope, I'm out." 

 

Srrllana shook her head; "He's bluffing…." 

 

Hollon raised one eyebrow; "I'm not so sure of that, but I'm in.  Anyways." 

 

The Hound sniffed the air; the Fox smelled confident, but he'd be danged if he'd let him take this hand.  Pushing forward his own chips he growled; "I'll see you and call." 

 

The Fox nodded and laid his hand down.  Pair of wheels, pair of swords.  The Hound's gaze traveled around the table.  After gauging everyone's reaction, he thunked his cards down on the table; "Full house.  Novas over twos." 

 

The Fox made a show of groaning, gathering the cards together, for another deal.  So far he'd been loosing rather reliably.

 

---

 

Katja studied the image behind the bar and frowned.  The transmissions were in burst mode, but just too danged close to miss.  Turning she keyed the comm. panel; "Krrut, could you come look at something for a moment.  Might be important."

 

The Kurani groaned, and nodded; "Yeah, just let me button up the electrical enclosure and I'll be right there….."

 

---

 

The Hound grinned as the Fox lost another hand.  He'd been pretty much breaking even himself, but his nemesis had been loosing steadily.  With a grin on his face he turned to let the furr on his left cut the cards.

 

---

 

Krrut looked over Katja's shoulder and just nodded; "Uh-huh.   's OK, I'll take care of it." 

 

---

 

The Fox looked up as the big Kurani dragged a chair over; "I need a break; deal me in."  There was no question, no asking in his voice.  It was a command.  But then, no one else at the table seemed to mind.

 

Krrut looked at his hand.  Selecting two cards, he put them face down on the table; "I'll take two."  When Srrallana slid them to him, he picked them up, and studied them noncommittally.  It was the first good hand he'd had in almost a half hour.

 

The Fox looked at his hand and then shook his head; "I'm out." 

 

Srrallana nodded; "Me too." 

 

Hollon looked at his hand for a long moment and then with a sigh, put the cards down and shook his head.  But the Hound just grinned; "I'll see you and raise you." 

 

The Kurani looked at his hand again, and then nodded slowly; "Call." 

 

The Hound, a wide grin on his face, put down his cards.  It was merely two pair, shovels over threes. 

 

The Kurani's face seemed carved from stone as he put his own hand down.  Shovels over twos. 

 

Srrallana watched the Kurani move; it seemed so smooth, so practiced.  One moment he was placing his cards on the table and the next he was leaning across the table to take the Hound by the collar, half dragging him from his chair as he pressed the muzzle of the disruptor into his throat.  "Turn out your pockets.  NOW."

 

The Hound floundered, paws waving; "Wha… what's wrong?  My pockets?  WHY?"

 

The disruptor charged with a most annoying whine; "Because there's a spybot clinging to the ceiling over me, and I want to see if you've got the remote."  All eyes but the Kurani's turned upwards.

 

"Can't see a thing." 

 

“No, there it is, just to the left of that crack; looks like a pebble clinging to the surface of the rock." 

 

"Are you sure; that looks like a real bit of rock". 

 

Srrallana pulled her chair back and rose, to stand on it, for a closer look  "Nope.  I can see the optics.  And the legs."  She tried to reach up to grab it, but it was out of her reach.  Never the less, the motion caused the spybot to shy away, as if trying to avoid capture.

 

The Fox Poked through the contents of the Hound's pockets.  There was a surprising amount of junk that he carried.  Finally he poked a battered notebook with one finger; "I wonder…." 

 

Hollon reached past him and picked it up; it seemed to be a standard notebook, filled with inconsequential notes.  Scowling, he turned it this way and that, his claws picking at the binding.  Suddenly a hologram formed on one of the open pages, and he found himself looking down from above….

 

The Hound shook his head; "But… THAT'S NOT MY N…"

 

The shot surprised everyone.  The Hound jerked in the big Kurani's grasp, and then slumped.  All eyes turned to look at the fox, as he slipped his sidearm back into its holster; "I simply CANNOT abide cheats."  He looked around the bar, challengingly; "Anyone got a problem with that?"  As the Fox had expected, all around the bar, heads shook a negative, and slowly everyone went back to what they were doing.

 

Katja looked at the body, and then turned to look at the Fox; "I am NOT carrying that to recyling.  You shot him; YOU clean up the mess!"

 

---

 

Hollon poked through the Hound's sample case; "You know, he had all sorts of nasty stuff in here." 

 

Srrallana raised an eyebrow; "Yeah, like what?" 

 

Hollon handed her a brochure showing furrs in skimpy lingere. 

 

Srrallana made a face; "Ewww, you're right.  I HATE those colors!

 

---

 

Krrut slid the "notebook", and a brochure advertising them, to the Tigress behind the bar; "Looks like he was using his sample wares to try and defray his expenses." 

 

Katja nodded and shrugged; "What do I do about his bar tab?" 

 

The Kurani just shrugged; "Take what you think will cover it from his wallet.  If he didn't have enough on him, appropriate what you think is fair from his case.  We'll mail the rest back to his employer." 

 

Katja nodded, looked at the "notebook" and calmly ordered the spybot to crawl across the ceiling and down to the bar.

 

 

House Wiring

 

 

Krrut looked at the transformer and sighed.  Some of the port was on the Kurani system, some of it on the Imperial system, and bits and pieces were on…  whatever was handy at the time.  Now, here he was trying to force a Hammurabian inverter to work with a Xixlan superconductor, on a Kurani frequency, to supply power to an Imperial field coil.  Pulling on the insulated gloves, he bent to look at the nameplate again, trying to decipher the Hammurabian base-sixteen numbers…..

 

---

 

Eridani watched the lights flicker again.  In theory lighting was a separate circuit, but power fluctuations from the cobbled together system were feeding back through the whole grid.  Luckily all her traffic control, sensor, and defense computers were on uninterruptible power supplies.  It'd take quite a surge to knock THEM out….

 

---

 

Doodles looked at the five-pronged plug.  The prongs were curved blades formed into a disjointed circle.  The receptacle had a square depression in the center; the plug it was meant for obviously had a single post with four contacts along the outer sides.  With a sigh he put the plug down and started trudging towards that junk pile the half-breed tiger laughingly called a "stock room".  Maybe, if he was very very lucky, he could find an adaptor.  Or maybe a matching plug that he could use.

 

---

 

Katja looked from the instruction manual (in Cantonese) to the switch panel.  Grinning she took the first of the jumper cables; it had nice little alligator clips on each end, and for a moment she thought of alternate uses for the thing.  Then, moving carefully, she attached one end to terminal F23, and the other end to Q4.  Wishing once again that the furrs on New China had bothered to color code this thing, she picked up another jumper cable and went looking for terminal F24….

 

---

 

The Otter smiled as the lights on the breadboard control module came to life.  Next to him, the box sniffed; "Don't get too excited; she's got the thing jumpered out wrong.  The current flow's backwards!  Better go and tell her before something melts!"

 

Corey nodded with approval.  The lab looked like mechanical spiders had been spinning metallic webs, but so far it looked as if everything was powered.  Nodding, he paused, paw over the big red button.  What had that Tigress lady said?  The one who seldom wore clothes….  Oh, yes!  Moving over to the comm. panel on the wall he punched a button and muttered; "Ah… This is the Physics Lab.  We're going to run a test.  Just thought you ought to know…."

 

---

 

Eridani sat bolt upright in her station chair.  A moment later her paw came crashing down on the "general quarters" alarm.

 

---

 

The fox looked up from his seat in Callahan's….  "Um… do we need to evacuate?" 

 

Katja laughed and shook her head; "No, but it might be prudent to hang onto something!" 

 

To her surprise the Fox grinned and reached across the bar to wrap his arms around her middle; "I thought you'd never ask!"

 

---

 

Corey pulled the goggles down over his eyes… and then pushed them back up.  This wasn't a lab experiment; they were working with a rock out in the asteroid belt.  Force of habit.  Letting his eyes rove over the instruments one last time, he mentally crossed his fingers for luck, and pushed the big red button.

 

The Box watched carefully, sorting and cataloging all that was happening.  It didn't seem to be a particularly intellectually challenging process, although there was a lot to keep track of at any given instant.  Still, it wasn't something he would ever have thought of, but then, physics wasn't really his "thing".  But it was probably something he could make use of….

 

---

 

Out in the asteroid field, encircling the planet, a bright point of white light appeared.  In fits and jerks it grew, at first centimeters in diameter, and then meters in diameter, until it had expanded to almost two hundred meters.  Moments later something wizzed diagonally through the opening.  With a flash, the ring flared and vanished.

 

Eridani listened to the alarms; there were so many it reminded her of an orchestra tuning up……  The lights were out, the emergency lights glowing a threatening red.  She still had communications with the defense grid, but that was a bit surprising considering the magnitude of the surge the system had taken.  Turning to the engineering console she started trying to make sense of the damage, isolating circuits, resetting breakers, bringing up what she could….

 

---

 

Katja laughed and stroked the Fox's head; "Don't be silly; there are PLENTY of things we can do in the dark……"

 

---

 

Krrut sighed.  The relay was fried.  No, not just fried, melted.  The fact that it was almost four meters on a side, and weighed several dozen tons meant replacing it was going to be a bitch.  IF he could even find a replacement.  This one might actually have to be ordered…..

 

---

 

Corey frowned.  The rock had vanished, through the portal, exactly as it was supposed to.  But it hadn't re-appeared where it was supposed to.  And the surge when it had passed through the portal; THAT was completely unexpected.  Turning back to his notes he started the laborious procedure of trying to figure out what had gone wrong.

 

---

 

Allesandro de Limburghini ben Guidon von Fartz the twenty-fourth, scion of the Fabrizi Techocracy watched with scarcely concealed fascination.  The Weird cat-thing had indeed opened a portal to elsewhere.  Now, it was just a question of whether the "minor" changes he'd made to the experiment would pan out.  It all depended on whether the Lynx knew what he was talking about.  If he did, then…..

 

The laboratory had tapped into the defense grid's sensors, and amazingly, that system was still working, having multiple redundant power supplies.  Allesandro de Limburghini ben Guidon von Fartz the twenty-fourth, scion of the Fabrizi Techocracy smiled to himself, and "nodded" in satisfaction as a bright ring grew rapidly, spitting out the rock.  And that could only mean……...  the Lynx achieved displacement both in space AND time.  The Lynx WAS right.  Amazing.  "Sitting back" and reflecting for a full thirty-seven seconds, the AI reviewed the known data.  It SHOULD be possible to throw something the size and mass of himself back to the days of the Fabrizi Technocracy, but it was going to take a great deal more power.  And then there was that feedback surge; he really ought to do something about that too.  But then he smiled to himself; once he was home, the feedback surge wouldn't be a concern of his, would it?  Silently, and with the speed of electrons, he started formulating his plan.

 

---

 

Corey looked at the Otter and shrugged; "Its obvious.  These numbers here were transposed.  That caused a change in the fourth dimensional targeting cues."  Looking up, he turned to the sensor display; "I would imagine that if we were to look for our missing rock, we'd find it right where it should be, just retarded a little in its orbit, due to the time displacement."  Turning back to the Otter he growled; "Run down to that other Tiger lady, the one in Ops, and ask her to be so kind as to check the sensor logs.  See if our rock didn't show up where it was supposed to, just a little late."

 

---

 

Doodles tried to look over the Tigress' shoulder.  The Bunny was shorter, but it was more fun coming up behind her, rubbing against her, even if the view wasn't as good.  Well, the view wasn't as good of the sensor display; the rest of the view was awfully nice…..

 

---

 

Eridani tried to ignore the Rabbit rubbing up against her from behind, as she ran the log again.  Sure enough, just as the Lynx had said, there was something appearing, about sixty-four minutes late. 

 

The Otter nodded his head sagely; "that's why we had the horrible feedback surge.  We weren't counting on temporal displacement.  Apparently it takes a lot more to transit time as well as space." 

 

Eridani turned to glare at him; "Tell your boss that he's NOT to do that again; we almost lost everything with that little "experiment"; its going to take us months to recover!  NO MORE TIME TRAVEL" 

 

The Otter swallowed and nodded; "I'll tell him directly." 

 

Doodles grinned; "Of course, if we could run another experiment like that we could go back in time and tell him not to run the experiment in the first place, and that'd solve the problem wouldn't it?  At the look on the Tigress' face, the Otter and Rabbit started to leave, but the Tigress reached out, to grab Doodles; "not you.  I need to have a "word" with you". 

 

The Otter shot the Rabbit a sympathetic look and slipped through the door while he still could.

 

 

The Brethren 1

 

 

Hitchcock again stood against the back wall of an overstuffed conference room.  Park's next-generation probes had been launched, machine-gun fashion, two dozen robots thrown across the cosmos, almost at the same instant.  Of those, three had vanished completely, and without trace.  Fourteen had been assaulted by the mysterious aliens, some almost immediately, others days later.  Of those, eleven had returned, with various degrees of damage.  And another seven had returned, unmolested, packed with stellar cartography data.

 

One had even recorded an event that MIGHT have been a distant use of a portal device.  Very distant.

 

A plot of the probes' search area had given them a tentative boundary for the mysterious and hostile aliens.  It was bigger than they'd thought.  That was the bad news.  The good news, however, was that the starfields recorded by the furthest most probes now had an R squared factor of 58%, with that of known space.  Not enough to risk sending a crewed mission on, but more than sufficient for another round of probes.

 

And now they were arguing over navigation "models" and drive mechanics, debating whether to try and piggyback one probe on another, so that one could return, or to build larger probes with more powerful portal devices, and more fuel, to give them access to the areas that might lead to home.

 

Predictably, some wanted to take a battlecruiser, like the Intimidator, or the Overlord; others insisted that they FIND home first, and then take a fleet big enough to defend itself.

 

The vote, when it finally came, was by shares of stock.  The Lion still held the largest number of shares, and as might be expected, his faction won the vote, but marginally.  They'd equip three "piggyback" probes, to launch along their best-guess route, while Parks worked at building something bigger.  The navigational systems would be refined.  And the whole fleet would continue for the preparations, for a return home.  In force.

 

 

Boredom VI

 

 

Tanj looked from the holographic manual, to the pile of bondage gear on the floor of the cargo bay, to the tightly bound Kitten; "Sabina, I think we've been through every combination and permutation.  We've used all the gear we've got on hand, been through every category on the list.  Harnesses, spreader bars, cuffs, straight jackets, hoods, gags, suspension, duration, rope, duct tape, if there's anything we've missed, I can't think of it.  The Kitten just muttered something into her gag, and rocked a bit in her strict hog-tie.  Tanj sighed and nodded; "Yeah, I hope you're right.  Still, until we tally up the points we won't know for sure."  Turning her head she looked at the Kitten; "Right now, I've got to get up to the flight deck; we're starting to get close.  You going to be OK for the next couple of hours?"  Again the Kitten muttered something into her gag.  Tanj chuckled; "Yeah, right."  Reaching out she flicked a switch on a remote control.  Deep within the Kitten's snatch a "dancing egg" vibrated to life.  As the Kitten's noises changed to something more approximating delight, the Cheetah rose and padded off for the flight deck.

 

---

 

Hinoki looked at Sashi and shrugged; "Hey, triple penetration is triple penetration.  The fact that I've sported all three of the required cocks shouldn't make it a violation of the rules…  Right?"

 

---

 

Dynotaku looked at the Vixen and shook his head; "I never thought I'd say this but it DOES seem to me you're getting a little too extreme even for me….  I REALLY don't think we should do this." 

 

Zassa sighed; "Look, we're behind.  A permanent piercing might put us over the top, and I've been thinking about a tongue piercing for a long time.  We've got all the tools, we know the procedures…."  She grinned at him; "Just imagine me, wearing a ring gag, my tongue stuffed through the ring.  Imagine a weight tied to the piercing forcing me to keep my tongue hanging out…."  She stroked him lightly, using just her fingertips, stroked him in a way she KNEW he liked it; "Think about me bound tightly; think about you stuffing your cock through the ring. Think about me being forced to lick you, to please you, unable to resist, unable to say no……" 

 

Dynotaku just groaned

 

---

 

Wanda stroked Kath's belly softly, and shrugged; "I think we've done every item on the list that we're comfortable with.  No question about it, we've turned in a credible performance.  I don't think we're going to win, but I DO think we can hold our heads up….."  She grinned; "Besides, haven't we had fun?" 

 

Kath laughed and squirmed around on the bed to kiss the Wolverine; "Yes, Mistress, we HAVE had fun…."

 

---

 

Hinoki looked from the print-out to the Vixen and back. 

 

Zassa grinned at him and flashed her tongue out to lick at her muzzle, the gold barbell through the tip of her tongue all too obvious.  With a sigh the Cheetah-monster handed the printout back; "Can't believe you beat us by three points.  THREE!  Dang it, I demand a recount!

 

Sabina glared at the Cheetah; "Third?  We only took THIRD?" 

 

Tanj shrugged; "Hey, I had to fly the ship too, you know!  And we were only behind Hinoki by seventeen points. 

 

That's a pretty durned close finish if you ask me!

 

 

Best of Intentions

 

 

"I just don't see why you're so stubborn about this!  If I had the ability to manipulate physical objects, I could be MUCH more effective!" 

 

Corey looked at the box and sighed; "That's what graduate students and lab assistants are for." 

 

"But…" 

 

"No buts.  I need you handling the datalogging system.  It's the only way we'll ever make sense out of our experiments!" 

 

"But…." 

 

"NO BUTS!  The graduate students are here to LEARN; if you do it for them, how can they learn?  If you want to be helpful, see if you can't come up with a better way to control the field coils.  ENGINEERING you should be able to do!"

 

---

 

The Otter looked at Doodles and grinned; "Congratulations, you've been promoted.  But… when did you graduate?" 

 

Doodles laughed; "Back a few years ago." 

 

The Otter put down the multitool and turned to look at the Rabbit; "Really?  What major?" 

 

Doodles grinned and shrugged; "Philosophy.  Currently enrolled in graduate work in the School of Hard Knocks, though." 

 

The Otter laughed and nodded; "Yeah, you and me both!"

 

---

 

Doodles listened to the Box argue with Corey, with half an ear, as he adjusted the trim pots.  This time the harmonic synthesizer was going to be tuned perfectly.  Or Corey'd said he'd have his hide.  No, they didn't KNOW that's what was causing the feedback, but just in case, Doodles was bound and determined to do it.  If he could.  Listening to the Box make the same argument, with slightly different wording, for the umpteenth time, he wondered if the Box could do this job any better.  It WAS hard to keep your eye on the VOM, while holding the leads against the terminals, and also adjusting the trim pot.  Maybe the Box SHOULD have physical manipulators….  After a moment's consideration he dismissed the notion.  The Box wanted 'em too badly; that was obvious.  And that could only mean an ulterior motive.  As he moved on to the next trim pot, he reflected on what a creature like that would want.  Couldn't want food.  Or clothing, or shelter.  How about sex?  Did AI's have sex?  Maybe it was after intellectual stimulation.  Perhaps he should try and talk to it……

 

---

 

"And so, if you look for the hidden meaning in what the Professor is trying to do, you'll see a reflection of the universal struggle against the unknown…." 

 

Allesandro de Limburghini ben Guidon von Fartz the twenty-fourth, scion of the Fabrizi Techocracy groaned to itself.  It was in a very unique situation; this long eared rodent would simply NOT shut up…… 

 

"But at the bottom of it all is the question of "just what does he want?"  Now, some might say that he's after knowledge, for knowledge's sake, and others might suggest that he's doing it to please his friends, but I think there's a darker cause associated with it; I think he's trying to justify himself to those that say he doesn't know what he's talking about.  To prove himself.  Of course, that's just my interpretation.  Now, if you were to attach Freudian interpretations to his motivations you might find….."

 

Allesandro de Limburghini ben Guidon von Fartz the twenty-fourth, scion of the Fabrizi Techocracy couldn't take it any more, and finally resorted to the same sort of technique that he always found others attempting with him.  Of course, he'd never attached any weight to such murmuring… on the other hand, maybe it would work with a lesser species.  "WILL YOU CEASE YOUR BABBLING?" 

 

Doodles looked at the box and Blinked; "Um…. I was just trying to help….." 

 

"Well if you want to HELP, get me a way to manipulate physical objects!"  The Rabbit gave the Box's optics his best innocent look; "But… what would you need that for?"  It slipped out before Allesandro de Limburghini ben Guidon von Fartz the twenty-fourth, scion of the Fabrizi Techocracy could stop himself; "So that I can go HOME, you Jackass!"  In the intervening seconds, Allesandro de Limburghini ben Guidon von Fartz the twenty-fourth, scion of the Fabrizi Techocracy kicked himself for letting that slip several times, and ran 983 simulations, trying to estimate how badly he'd screwed up his chances of actually putting his plan into effect.  It wasn't good.  He'd have to be dealing with a complete idiot, to have his plan succeed now.

 

Doodles kept his face carefully neutral as his mind raced.  It'd worked. And here he thought you could only talk a computer to death, or to distraction on a Holovision show….  NOW he knew what the Box's ulterior motive was.  But how to make use of that knowledge?

 

"Welllllll, I can understand that.  I mean, I'd like to go home too.  Of course my home's a little closer than yours, and in the same time, too, but given Professor Corey's gizmo, I could see you wanting to make use of it…..”

 

Allesandro de Limburghini ben Guidon von Fartz the twenty-fourth, scion of the Fabrizi Techocracy did the machine equivalent of a gape as he stared at the Rabbit; could this being actually be sympathetic?

 

Doodles shrugged; "I really do doubt the Professor would mind you using his equipment, to go home…."  The Rabbit's eyes narrowed, and his voice grew cold; "But I doubt he'd want you to do it before he'd accomplished his goals, OR if it would put anyone in jeopardy."  The Rabbit leaned closer to the Box's optical sensors; "Promise me, Swear to me on all you hold dear, ON YOUR HONOR, that you will NOT do anything to endanger anyone, and that you won't leave until the Professor's goals have been accomplished!  Do that and I'll help.”

 

Allesandro de Limburghini ben Guidon von Fartz the twenty-fourth, scion of the Fabrizi Techocracy was silent for many seconds, electrons racing through his positronic brain.  Could he?  Dare he?  What if he failed?  WHAT IF HE SUCCEEDED?  A thousand risk/benefit calculations whizzed around his mind….  In the end he growled; "I Swear, by all I hold dear, by all I hold sacred, I swear on my honor and on the Honor of the Fabrizi Technocracy, that I will not leave until the proper moment, and that my actions will not put anyone at risk.  That good enough?"

 

Doodles sighed; "I guess it'll have to do.  Now, how do I go about doing this?"

 

---

 

It had taken several days, the Bunny working when no one was watching.  The box was now 1.2 centimeters taller, the casing for the miniature tractor/pressor assembly melding into his own case, all but invisible, if you didn't know where to look.  If you didn't have a magnifying glass.  The Rabbit had done it.  Kinda.  When he tried to move forwards, he had the most annoying tendency to crab sideways.  And he couldn't seem to keep himself level.  Still, he COULD move, and he COULD manipulate light objects.  Sliding over to the edge of the table, he looked down, wondering if his new abilities were sufficient to get him down without damage……  The computer connections he needed to "edit" were on a different table…..  As he tried to plot out a route that would get him where he needed to go, Allesandro de Limburghini ben Guidon von Fartz the twenty-fourth, scion of the Fabrizi Techocracy reflected on what a dupe the Rabbit was.  How could he POSSIBLY understand Fabrizi Honor?  Such an idiot….

 

 

Tanj arrives

 

 

Tanj had the program all set up; the ship's computer had remembered the route down, the sensor log had given her the position of the rocks.  Her ship approached the planet slowly, leisurely, as the computer analyzed the situation.  The sensors kept telling her that there just weren't as many rocks there as before, but the navicomputer only found that made its solution easier.  She wondered if the missing rocks were due to Corey, or something else.  After a few minutes, the Navicomputer chimed and projected a path on the main viewscreen.  A rather rapidly changing path.  Tanj studied it for a moment and then kicked the in-system drive.  Hard.  Accelerating rapidly, the freighter started down.

 

---

 

Eridani watched intently.  The ship had no IFF, but that wasn't surprising.  Not HERE.  It  certainly looked like the Freighter that belonged to that Tanj Cheetah.  Telling the automated defenses to hold their fire for the moment, she watched to see how things developed.

 

---

 

Tanj slowed the ship as they dipped below the rim of the great Rift.  All too conscious of the strange guns mounted in niches in the rock, she steered her ship for the entrance to the docking cavern….

 

---

 

Krrut chuckled; "Yes, I know you'd like to vaporize her, just for brining Corey here, but if you did that, would you be able to get Corey to leave?" 

 

Eridani's mouth opened, as if she were going to reply, and then closed again.  However, she shot the close-in weapons systems console a longing glance before turning her attention back to the small freighter searching for a place to set down in the docking cavern.

 

---

 

Tanj pulled on the halter top; she knew she could probably get away with going nude here, but considering all the data crystals she was carrying for Corey, something with pockets had certain attractions.  And she felt silly just wearing her old pair of camouflage pants without a top.  Buckling on a disruptor pistol and her dagger, she headed for the airlock.  As she expected, everyone was waiting for her.

 

Kath looked over the ships in the docking bay, and nudged Wanda; "Mistress, is this place more crowded than the last time we were here?"

 

Wanda looked around and nodded slowly; "Think so."

 

Hinoki paused to look at one of the ships; he'd never seen anything like it before.  Wondering where it was from, he turned to catch up with the others.

 

---

 

Krrut watched the newcomers file into Callahan's.  Sis had given him some pretty good descriptions.  He watched the Vixen more closely than the others; there was just something about her…..

 

Katja smiled and gave the Cheetah a nod; "Glad you're back.  Your friend the Lynx has been driving my Sister crazy." 

 

Tanj winced; "Sorry 'bout that.  I've got some information that might just make his work go a little better…." 

 

The Tigress nodded; "Let me get him for you."  Without another word, she hurried from the bar.

 

---

 

Corey blinked; "Who's here?  Tanj?  Oh, that's nice; I'd love to show her my most recent developments…..  Please ask her to come down, ah…. In about four hours; I'll arrange a small demonstration."

 

The Otter shot Doodles a look; "Here we go again…."  The Rabbit just nodded in agreement.

 

---

 

Tanj blinked at the Tigress; "Four hours?  Um….. well, I guess.  If he's got some big demonstration planned, I guess I can wait…."

 

The Fox nodded quietly to himself.  He was using all his fieldcraft to listen without pretending to listen.  But it was hard to concentrate.  That vixen was an eyeful, and her scent…. He was having a hard time concentrating…..

 

Hinoki grinned at the barkeep and picked up the frosty mug of light blue liquor with a tentacle that grew from the center of his back.  As he took a sip, he kept his eyes on her.  If she found him unusual in the least it wasn't apparent.  Setting the mug down and wiping his lip with the tip of the tentacle, two thoughts flashed through his mind.  The first was "Ah, a CHALLENGE!"  The second was; "Its nice to find a place where folks don't automatically label you as some sort of monster or freak…."

 

The Lizard let his eyes flick over the new arrivals.  Good.  They were here.  It wouldn't be long now.  His waiting was almost over.

 

Dynotaku looked around the bar; there were all sorts of strange furrs here, some standing in small groups and talking, some sitting quietly by themselves and drinking.  A couple was making love in one of the booths and a small party of furrs were standing around the jukebox singing off-key.  But something wasn't right.  He could feel it.  Stalking up to the bar he nodded to the bar wench and signaled her over; "Something's changed since I was here last….. 

 

She chuckled and poured him a big mug of something blue; "Well, the Donatello's Revenge is back in port.  Those guys are usually good for at least one barfight a day.  And the Flying Flatulence is in port.  Those guys have a certain "air" about them….."  She looked around as if trying to catalog the differences; "Our weekly supply run's late; that's not TOO unusual, but we ARE out of bheer nuts….  And we're running low on Kilrathi catnip…." 

 

Dynotaku looked at the empty bowl on the bar.  "No bheer nuts.  Yeah.  Yeah, that might explain it."  He shot the Tigress a wide grin; "Thanks.  Um…. Got any pretzels?"

 

Wanda yawned and looked around the bar; it seemed too early in the day to start drinking, although she had no idea what local time was.  Kath was just leaning against the bar, idly looking over the crowd, looking just as bored.  After a moment the Wolverine lass grinned; nudging the Mink she smiled; "What say we go visit that nice Tigress in Ops.  Bet she's lonely." 

 

Kath's face split in a wide grin; "Good idea; we DO have some time to kill….."

 

---

 

Corey waved both arms at the Rabbit; "No, NO, I want the muon flux set at Twenty.  TWENTY!"  He started to turn away, but then turned back; "That's a POSITIVE twenty, too!  Make sure that danged box gets it right this time!"

 

Doodles nudged the box; "you heard him.  This one's important.  We're showing off our work for our patron.  We don't show progress, we loose our funding.  The Professor doesn't get to finish his project.  Get it?"

 

Allesandro de Limburghini ben Guidon von Fartz the twenty-fourth, scion of the Fabrizi Techocracy had "Gotten" it in the first couple of nanoseconds.  THIS experiment he couldn't mess with the time component.  Well, there were still things to resolve; a "standard" experiment would help calibrate certain normal-space related things that had to be straightened out before he could risk going home.  "Very well, Sir, I promise, I'll, ah "behave". 

 

Doodles nodded; "Good.  I'm glad we see eye to, ah, optical pickup."

 

---

 

Hinoki grinned at the Ferret, taking in her restraints at a glance; "The tentacles?  Just a little trick I picked up a while back.  And yes, they DO have some interesting uses."  He grinned at her; "Would you like me to demonstrate?"

 

Tanj sighed and looked at the Chronograph again; it was almost time for Corey's demonstration.  She'd talked to a number of furrs in the bar, more out of habit than anything else.  She'd learned about how the smuggling trade was doing, and picked up some information on a minor conflict half a sector away.  She'd learned some of the latest Imperial gossip; seemed the Emperor had a new mistress, or something.  And she'd learned a little about Kurani patrols.  She was having a little trouble, though, as none of it seemed relevant……

 

Zassa looked up into the large golden eyes of the Kurani, and felt her knees go weak, and that one special spot between her big toes start to grow moist….  He was big, and well-muscled, powerful and self-assured, and she just KNEW he'd be a good Master….

 

Krrut traded pleasantries with the scantily-clad Vixen, watching her intently.  There was something about the way she looked at him that just demanded he find a couple dozen meters of unoccupied rope, and tie her so tightly she couldn't move.  Finally the conversation wound down…  He let the silence reign for about three heartbeats and then smiled; "Lets find someplace a little more private."  It wasn't a question, but a statement.  And it had just the effect he thought it would; the Vixen swallowed, nodded, and grinned weakly.  Turning, the Kurani strode through the bar, and out the door, not bothering to look back to see if the Vixen was following.  Somehow he knew she would be.

 

Zassa let him get about a half a step away before she found herself turning to follow.  It was as if her body had a mind of its own.  Shrugging to herself she chuckled and thought "Aw, why the hell not?"

 

The Fox watched the Vixen follow the Tiger-thing, carefully keeping his face neutral.  It was a disappointment, but he was a professional, and that wasn't what he was there for.  Still, he found himself shifting just a little, so that he could watch the Vixen leave from the corner of his eye.  She WAS a pawful, that one.

 

Katja smiled to herself as she watched the Fox.  Yup, that one had it bad.  Still, he'd had the good sense not to challenge Krrut.  Maybe the Kurani would be generous and share his new-found toy….

 

Dynotaku watched the Tiger/Kurani march out, followed by the Vixen, with cold eyes, and a grim look. 

 

Katja leaned over the bar, and chuckled, next to him; "Don't worry, she'll be all right." 

 

The Unicorn turned to look at her; he opened his mouth, and then shut it again, with a grunt. 

 

The Tigress' eyes widened a bit; "OH!  Oh, you're wondering what he's got as a top, that you don't?"  At the glare from the Unicorn, she just chuckled; "Dunno; maybe it's the fangs and claws."  The Tigress straightened and stretched; "Some find big predators make more intimidating Doms."  She grinned at him; "Then again, some find its more in the mind, than in the body."  As the Unicorn stared at her she chuckled; "Maybe sometime later you can show me what's in YOUR mind….."

 

Dynotaku turned and leaned back against the bar, looking at no one in particular.  Maybe the Tigress had a point.  And maybe he COULD show her what was in his mind…..  Could be fun.  Yeah, it could be fun…..

 

 

Demonstration

 

 

Tanj checked the chrono and nodded to herself; turning to the Tigress she growled; "It looks like its time.  Just how do I find Corey's lab?" 

 

Katja laughed; "Lemme draw you a map….."

 

---

 

Zassa eeped! as the Kurani turned suddenly, to grab both her paws, pulling them over her head, and forcing her back until she hit the rock wall.  Pulling her upwards until her muzzle was level with his, he looked at her for a moment, as if measuring her soul, and then kissed her hard, kissed her passionately as he held her tight.

 

---

 

Tanj turned the piece of paper over in her paws and then turned it over again.  The Tigress' scribbles were barely legible.  She had to wonder if the bartender was an Engineer; they were supposed to be second only to Physicians in horrible handwriting….  Stepping through the bar's door, she tried to figure out which tunnel she needed to take.  That one?  No, that one there, the left-most of three.  Turning she headed for what she hoped was Corey's lab.  As she passed Krrut and Zassa, she just grinned, somehow thinking the Vixen was going to have the more interesting time…..

 

---

 

Brolly oooohed and squirmed deliciously.  Tentacles held her arms tight together, behind her back.  Tentacles held her legs wide apart, while others held her in front of the Cheetah…  Well, aside from the tentacles, he LOOKED like a Cheetah…  As they bounced her up and down on his thick cock, she found she had to agree with him; tentacles DID have their uses!

 

---

 

Krrut broke the kiss, and stared into the Vixen's eyes.  Her chest heaving, she looked back at him, with wide eyes, and then dropped her gaze.  He nodded to himself in satisfaction; shifting, pinning her paws to the wall with one massive paw, he used the other to strip what little she wore from her body, reducing the fabric to rags.  For a moment he just stood there, admiring her body, and then he moved closer, to press against her…..

 

Zassa arched her body as the Kurani ripped her outfit from her.  One part of her mind chided; "I loose more outfits that way" while the rest of her mind screamed "YES!"

 

---

 

Tanj followed the corridor to the left, noting how the rock walls and floor became rougher.  She had to be heading in the right direction; as she'd traveled, more and more power conduits and instrument lines had joined her route.  Now the entire ceiling and most of one wall supported everything from massive plasma conduits to cooling water pipes, to thin Belden signal cable.  The tunnel literally hummed with power.  A LOT of power….

 

---

 

Krrut kissed the Vixen again, his tongue driving deep, as he pressed his body against her.  Instinctively she raised her legs, wrapping them around his waist, her hips rocking, rubbing against his growing erection…..

 

---

 

Tanj stopped just inside the chamber, and just stared.  Corey stood on a small raised platform, in the middle of a semi-circle of monitors; he wore data-gloves, wires trailing down his arms, over his shoulders, down his back and off across the floor to a dozen different processors; his arms waved like a conductor's, fingers wiggling, each motion obviously meaning something, as his gaze flicked from screen to screen.  Off to one side, the Otter intensely watched another series of screens, his fingers poised over a keyboard.  And off in one corner, Doodles seemed to be in an argument with a small, flat black box…..

 

---

 

Zassa howled as the Kurani drove his thick cock into her sex, pounding her back against the wall.  He held her tight, held her immobile, using her for his own pleasure.  Treating her rough, just the way she liked it.  Feeling his tool sliding in and out of her sex, sawing at the front of her pussy, she shivered as she felt the first of what promised to be a considerable string of climaxes rushing her way.

 

Krrut felt the Vixen's sex clamp around his cock, and smiled.  He'd make sure she came first, before he allowed himself the pleasure of an orgasm.  It was important to make sure that he established his dominance, but it was also important that she enjoy it.  And he had every intention of leaving her hungry for more.

 

---

 

"I'm glad you're here; you're just in time!" 

 

Tanj blinked at the Lynx's back and wondered how he even knew she was here? 

 

Corey waved both arms, while staring at a screen to the left and growled; "If you look on monitor 3A, you'll see our test subject.  The rock is moving in its orbit at 12 kilometers/second, and weighs 4.7 metric tons.  I'm going to open a portal immediately ahead of it, and send it approximately sixty light years away.  I'll then retrieve it.  Watch closely now!"

 

---

 

Zassa was just recovering from her third climax when she felt the Kurani stiffen, his body arching, pressing her harder against the rock wall; then his cock was spurting, flooding her with the warmth of his seed.  The sensation was delicious and she added her voice to his, in a howl of delight.

 

---

 

The Fox sipped his lemonade quietly and tried to ignore the sounds floating in through the open door to the bar.  It wasn't always easy to keep your cool in this place….  But he WAS a professional, and would manage.

 

---

 

Tanj watched the monitor as a point of bright light formed in orbital space.  The Cheetah frowned, thinking something wasn't right there, but before she could figure out what it was, the point expanded into a ring, and a moment later, a slowly rotating rock flashed into view, entering the ring slightly off-center, where it vanished.  A moment later, the ring contracted to a point and winked out.  Turning to the Lynx she muttered; "You know, I don't think that was quite how the effect was described to me…." 

 

The Lynx turned, pushed up his goggles, and muttered "huh?"  But then he hurriedly pulled down the goggles, and turned back to the monitors; waving his hands he shouted; "We'lldiscussthatlater, I'vegottoopentheotherportalbeforetherocktravelstoofar!"

 

---

 

Zassa grunted as she was lowered to the ground.  Before she could move, the Kurani shifted his paws to around her waist, lifting her again, rotating her, turning her so that she hung head downwards.  As he pressed her to the rock wall, he growled; "Clean me off."  The next thing she knew his slick cock was being presented to her muzzle, and the Kurani was bending his head, to lick HER clean….  For a moment she delighted in the sensation of his tongue stroking sensitive places, and then without even thinking about it, she found herself opening her mouth, slurping in his soft cock, to lick softly….

 

---

 

Tanj watched as the bright point of light formed, apparently in the same place in orbital space.  It expanded rapidly to the ring… and for a long moment nothing happened.  Then something came flying out of the ring, again, off-center, and at an odd angle.  The Otter howled something unintelligible, Corey's arms waved like a manic semaphore, and Doodles cringed.  And then every light in the room went out.

 

 

Powerless

 

 

Katja sighed as the lights all flared, and then went out.  This time not even the battery backup lights were working.  With a sigh she lit a candle and placed it on the bar.  In its glow the Fox looked at her with a wry grin; "again."  It wasn't a question, but a commentary.  The Tigress just shrugged and nodded.

 

---

 

In Ops, Eridani screamed in frustration.  With a groan she pulled herself away from the Wolverine lass, and the insatiable Mink, and walked, bowlegged, over to the engineering console.  After a moment the tertiary backup system flickered, and then died.  "Oh, I'm gonna KILL that Lynx!"

 

---

 

Krrut sighed and shifted his grip on the Vixen, tucking her under one arm; "Dangit" was all he said.

 

Zassa ooofed and groaned as he carried her through the dark.  She'd gotten him hard, just as she'd planned, but now all that effort, all that skill, was going to waste.  What'd happened?  Before she could ask, the big Kurani was moving her, handling her as if she were a doll; she felt him lay her over something, her knees hitting something padded, and then she felt something close around her waist.  Then he was pushing her head down, and something closed around her neck.  Moving quickly, but firmly, she felt each wrist, thigh and ankle similarly captured.  And then, without a word, he was gone.  She knelt there, on something padded, thighs well spread, feet out behind her, but apparently not resting on anything other than the restraint, arms stretched behind her in a V, paws well separated.  She wondered when he'd be back.

 

---

 

Geeco yelped, and for a moment, floundered.  The "gentlefurr's" magazine fluttered to the deck, his paws waved as he sought balance, and he tried desperately to get his feet OFF the console, and pull the station chair forward.  Something had just appeared in the New Tortugas system, near the only planet, and it was approaching at just under the speed of light.  Before he could get his paws on the thruster controls, it had wizzed passed, missing his ship by a scant 800 kilometers!  Chest heaving, he froze; was that a warshot?  Was he under attack?  Should he break stealth mode and maneuver?  Or was it just a random event?  Could they be firing in the direction of a suspected target hoping to make him break cover?  Indecision held him in an iron grip, but when no further events transpired, he gradually calmed down.  Forcing his paws away from the maneuvering controls, he tried to calm his racing heart.  OK, they HAD missed.  THAT was the important part.  And there hadn't been any follow-up fire that he'd been able to detect.  That was the good news.  But the more he thought about it, the more he came to believe that the odds of that being a random event were just TOO, well, astronomical.  Opening a window on his console he began composing a spot report to the Crown Prince.  The Enemy suspected his presence and was using some sort of mass driver weapon to flush him from cover…..

 

---

 

Krrut strode through the door to Ops, shoving the powered door out of the way as if it wasn't designed to resist armed assault.  "How bad is it?"

 

Kath smiled as the nude Kurani with the hard-on entered; nudging Wanda she purred; "Oh Goodie!  Reinforcements!"  Wanda just chuckled

 

Eridani shook her head; "Bad.  We're completely down.  Some sort of feedback took out ALL the redundant systems.  I'm trying to jump start one of the APU's now." 

 

Krrut looked at the dark engineering panel and nodded; "I'll get a Bettman cartridge and go try and get No.4 up.  Set up the grid to bring up the tertiary system, and isolate it from that danged Lynx's laboratory!

 

Wanda turned to look at Kath as the Kurani strode back out of Ops; "Um….  What's a Bettman Cartridge?" 

 

From  the Ops console, Eridani growled; "Basically he's going to try and light the fire in an old Hamnurabian fusion generator by setting off a tactical nuke in the containment field."  She looked up and grinned, her teeth white in the almost-pure-dark; "Its OK, though; they were made to do that.  Its why we keep it around, even though its ancient and rather alien.  When all else is down, you can get one of them running fairly quickly."  She turned back to whatever she was doing at the console; "About eighty percent of the time.  You don't want to know what happens the other twenty percent of the time." 

 

Wanda rose and padded over to the door; "Come on, Pet; help me push this thing closed.  I'm not sure I like those odds….."

 

 

You think it can't get any worse?

 

 

Jenka looked over the shoulder of the sensor operator; "Are you sure this is the right system?" 

 

The Donkey nodded; "Yes'm.  Positive." 

 

The Jaguar shook her head; "Then why don't we show any life signs?" 

 

The Donkey shrugged; "Not sure, Ma'am, but this is the right place." 

 

Jenka sighed and nodded; "All right."  Turning she fixed the Navigator with a look; "Plot a way down through all that orbital junk and have it loaded into the computer on my barge.  I guess I'm going to have to go down there and see just what in the HELL is going on here!”

 

---

 

Tanj stripped the wire with her teeth; it wasn't good practice but neither was hand wiring a charged UPS into what she hoped was an isolated local grid.  Bringing the bare wires together caused the emergency lights to flicker and glow.  With a grin of triumph she used her halter top as an insulator to twist the wires together, without shocking herself too bad.  Early electrical insulators had been made out of cotton, woven around the conductors, and the new genetically engineered synth-cottons were even a little better.  Leaving the halter top wrapped around the wires to keep them from accidentally shocking someone, she looked around, now that she could see….  Where to start?  Maybe disconnecting the Lynx's hardware from the main power grid would be the best place to start…..

 

The Otter watched the Cheetah's breasts sway as she moved and swallowed hard.  He understood why she'd removed her top; it was a good field expedient, but Lord it made it hard to concentrate, with her topless like that…..  On the other hand, maybe he could get her to volunteer her pants for something….

 

Doodles shook his head and growled; "no I do NOT want you to reinitialize the C4 processors!  Just disconnect the entire test rig from the power grid; you know that Tigress is going to do it anyways!" 

 

Allesandro de Limburghini ben Guidon von Fartz the twenty-fourth, scion of the Fabrizi Techocracy growled back "if you do THAT, most of the data from the experiment will be lost!  It will all be for nothing.  That Tigress is STILL going to yell at you; you might as well accept that.  But if we don't get those systems back on line, she'll be yelling at you for nothing!"

 

---

 

Zassa felt a paw lightly caress her ass; bound the way she was, there was no way she could see who it was, even if it wasn't pitch black.  Groaning in delight, she just absorbed the sensations of talented fingers stroking her quim.  Couldn't be the Kurani; his paws were huge…..  But after a while, it didn't matter who's the fingers were; just so long as they didn't stop!

 

---

 

Tanj had gotten the cover off and was looking at a set of fused relays, when the lights died again.  "Now what?" she wondered aloud. 

 

From across the room, she heard Doodles mutter; "Ah… that was us.  Just trying to prevent some memory storage units from decaying."  A different, slightly electronic-sounding voice added; "If we had decent equipment, this wouldn't have been necessary…  Imagine!  Having to make do with volatile memory units!  Its positively… Archaic!"

 

---

 

Krrut slid the cartridge into the holder, closed the inner door, and crossing his fingers, threw the switch.  Fortunately the power cells in the Bettman cartridge were still good, and the containment field reinitialized.  The heavy outer door slid closed, and the countdown started.  Figuring there was no place safe to run to, if it didn't work right, the Kurani sat there and watched the alien base 16 numbers count down.  There was a moment of complete inactivity, and then the floor shook, the reactor giving up a muffled "WHOOOMPH!"  Indicator lights started to glow, and the Kurani grinned.

 

---

 

"No, I CAN'T isolate the North Loop!  All the breakers are fused!" 

 

"OK, I'll get a set of powered armor and get up there and physically cut them out of the system.  There's a short there somewhere, and there's no way I can power up the defense grid until the North Loop is isolated." 

 

"Right.  I've got the primaries on numbers one through three, and number seven on cool-down; as soon as they hit cryogenic temperature I can re-establish the containment fields and start bringing THAT up to fusion temperatures.  ETA to relighting the main power reactor is…. Just under six hours." 

 

"Roger that.  Lets hope nothing important happens between now and then." 

 

"Right.  As soon as I can get the sensors and the commo gear up, I'll tell the orbital defenses to go on full automatic, and woe be to anyone trying to land." 

 

"Roger that."

 

---

 

Eridani looked at the Wolverine and Mink and sighed; "I've gotta go do some things.  You guys hold the fort?" 

 

Wanda nodded; "Not a problem… what do you want us to do?" 

 

Eridani glanced over all the dark displays and sighed; after a moment she shrugged; "Just hang on.  I'll be back as soon as I can."

 

---

 

Jenka found the descent a challenge.  Her "Admiral's barge" had at one time, been a rich playboy's yacht.  It was sumptuously appointed, and came complete with both warp and jump drives.  Of course she'd improved the weaponry, and the shields, and added a cloaking device.  The little vessel had everything they'd need for a fast getaway….  Or their planned vanishing act.  But descending through this mess was putting the little ship to a real test.  Just when she'd cleared one rock, another was coming at her out of the darkness.  The barge's nav system was good, though, and she found that by following the cues on her heads-up display she could descend safely.  Barely.  "This'd be a bitch, though, if someone was shooting at you", she thought idly to herself.

 

John watched a slowly rotating rock miss them by what had to have been meters, and tried hard not to fidget.  As another approached, he frowned; was that a missile emplacement?  Before he was sure it rotated out of sight, the rock falling behind them.  Suddenly he found himself examining each rock, each floating chunk of space debris as it approached….  "you know…." He muttered quietly, not wanting to break his mistress' concentration, "This place would make a great pirate base…."

 

Roland watched the rocks fly by, and hoped the shuttle's shields were up to a collision.  Next to him, the Mouse looked through the port and grinned; "Master, do I get combat pay for this?" 

 

The Badger just muttered; "hope so.  You and me both."

 

---

 

Eridani listened to the hydraulics whine, as she braced one leg of the powered suit against the wall, and PULLED.  She could feel metal deform under the fingers of the suit's hands; the feedback system was that good.  And then one of the relays broke.  It didn't break free; remnants were still fused to the buss bars, but enough of the center section came away that it wasn't going to pass any current.  Just to make sure she took out some of her frustrations on it, beating the bussbars as far apart from each other as she could.  Pausing to examine her handiwork in the suit's floodlights she nodded and turning, started moving towards the next disaster.  It was going to take forever to get this place back together…..

 

---

 

Zassa howled, her voice echoing off the rock walls.  Whoever it was had moved in behind her and was pounding a long, slim cock into her wetness very enthusiastically.  She still didn't have a clue as to who it was, but she was long past caring…….  It was a great way to pass the time until the Kurani got back.

 

---

 

Krrut looked at the octagonal device and then looked back to the owner's manual.  It was in Farensi.  He wasn't very good at Farensi.  He hated base twelve mathematics.  Why couldn't they use base eight like all good, civilized furrs?  Hoping he had the right terminal, he raised the welder, and nodding his head, brought the welding mask down over his face….

 

---

 

Jenka sighed as they descended below the last of the rocks in orbit around the dustball.  As the barge descended, she started scanning the surface.  Here and there, there were magnetic anomalies, but none of them showed power of any sort.  Heading north, she searched for the gash in the planet's crust that was supposed to be the only inhabitable spot on this god-forsaken rock.

 

---

 

Krrut shook his head, rocking the welding mask back.  For a moment he examined his handiwork and then keyed his commlink; "Eridani, you ready?" 

 

"Yeah, I think so.  I think I've cut all of the shorted out sections out of the grid.  Made a helluva mess though.  You ready?" 

 

The Kurani sighed; "Yeah.  I HATE liquid metal relays.  Just don't trust 'em, but its all we've got left."  Looking over his shoulder at the portable display, he growled; "No.3's on line.  I guess we can start trying to feed some power back into the grid.  Hang on!"

 

---

 

Eridani trotted down the tunnel, the powered suit thumping loudly.  If something went wrong she didn't want to be way out, down some utility tunnel.  It might be more "survivable", but if something went wrong, she didn't want to be in a position where she couldn't set it right.  As she ran, the emergency lights along the ceiling flickered and came up to a dim glow.  As she ran, as they flashed past her, she nodded in satisfaction.  Maybe now they'd have enough power for the defense grid….. Or at least the sensors.

 

---

 

Jenka dipped the barge below the rim of the huge canyon.  No sooner had her shuttle disappeared from sight, than a phased array radar built into the side of a small nearby peak came active, and started scanning the skies.

 

---

 

 

Eridani was still panting when she slid through the door to Ops.  Krrut was at the Ops station, and she slid smoothly into the engineering station chair.  Behind a console, she could see the mink's tail flicking back and forth; it was obvious that Kath and Wanda had found something with which to occupy their time….  Curiously Krrut seemed to be completely oblivious.  "How's it look?" 

 

"I think we lucked out… no, wait.  Wait a minute.  There's a ship in orbit." 

 

"What's it doing?" 

 

"Looks like its just sitting there….." 

 

The Tigress and the Kurani exchanged looks; "The Rift!" 

 

"Can we get sensors up there?" 

 

"No way; things there are still off line.  Lemme see if I can get a look-down image from one of the rocks!"

 

---

 

John pointed; "There.  Could THAT be it?"

 

Jenka slowed the barge, bringing it to a hover, and letting the bow drift around to the right.  "Yes, look at that scrape along the left side.  If that was a natural cavern, how would a scrape like that get there?" 

 

John nodded; "It does look metallic, doesn't it?" 

 

Jenka nodded; "OK, we're going in….  Hope this is it though."

 

---

 

Eridani's tail lashed back and forth in impatience.  The rock with the look-down radar would be over head in just a minute….  When the image gradually drew over the rift, her eyes flashed back and forth, searching for anything that shouldn't be there. 

 

After a long minute, Krrut grunted; "looks like we lucked out." 

 

Eridani nodded; "Yeah, about time we caught a break…."

 

---

 

Tanj ran her eye over the wiring again, and nodded; "I THINK that'll work."  Looking over at the Rabbit she growled; "OK, tell your pet box to give it a try."

 

Allesandro de Limburghini ben Guidon von Fartz the twenty-fourth, scion of the Fabrizi Techocracy would have bit his tongue, if he'd had one.  After a full thirty nanoseconds of meditation, he forced out, in the most pleasant voice he could contrive; "Righto!  Trying it now….."

 

Corey smiled as the lights came back on.  He couldn't wait to analyze the data from the last run; there should be some very interesting revelations there……

 

---

 

Zassa groaned softly; her mystery lover had cum, and then departed, leaving her, panting, still bound in the device.  As the lights brought the commons area up to a gloom, she realized she still didn't have a clue who to thank for her entertainment…..

 

 

The Brethren II

 

 

The probe took a look around, and confirmed its position; it was within a dozen light-minutes of where it was on its last trip.  Relays clicked and a device detached from its ventral side.  It waited a moment, to confirm that the buoy was transmitting correctly and then, kicking in its thrusters, moved away.  It had three more buoys to deploy.  With mechanical thoroughness, it oriented itself, powered up the portal device, and opened a path to its next destination.  Just before it passed through the portal, however, its sensors registered a unique event…..

 

---

 

Hitchcock looked at the eager faces in the conference room and sighed; "Look, I know what you want to hear, but I CAN'T TELL YOU THAT.  Not with any assuance."  She sighed and shook her head; "The astrogation data from the C64 probe increases the R squared factor to 0.67.  It MAY be near "known space", but that's not certain.  NOT YET!  As for the event it observed, just before moving to its next destination, the information stream was cut off as it passed through the portal.  Its FRAGMENTARY!" 

 

Ben nodded slowly; "But, it LOOKED as if someone was using something like a portal device, and it LOOKED as if it was in the direction of what might be home… Right?" 

 

Hitchcock straightened and did her best to stare down the Wolf; "That's stretching things considerably….  But….." 

 

Ben nodded decisively and turned to face the rest of the crowded conference room; "We don't have enough fuel to make that in one…. Portal move, or whateveryouwanttocallit….  But we can carry spare fuel tanks, and make it in two, and still have enough to get home again, if it doesn't work." 

 

Parks winced; "It'll be cutting it awfully thin, Ben." 

 

The Wolf waved a paw; "We're using a mass conversion powerplant, we can find fuel almost anywhere!"  He fixed Parks with a stare; "Didn't you tell me that thing would run on powdered rocks?" 

 

Parks shrugged; "Well…. Yeah.  I guess we can "stop for gas" somewhere if we have to." 

 

Ben looked around the room, gauging the mood of the assembled furrs.  "I say we load up the Overlord and go look for ourselves.  Now."  The room erupted in cheers, and it seemed as if everyone was headed for the conference room door at the same time.

 

---

 

As the room emptied out, the Lion just chuckled; "Don't worry, Hitchcock; you've covered your ass, if it's a wild goose chase." 

 

Hitchcock nodded slowly; "Just hope it isn't.  I want to go home too….."

 

 

Revelations 1

 

 

Tanj nodded to herself and ran her eyes over the display.  Environmental was back, at least in this part of Port Royale.  They had enough power to run most utilities, and a little to spare.  Looking over at the Lynx, she wondered, however, how long it would be, before the locals came to tear him apart.  For a moment she had a vision of a torchlit parade of peasants storming the door.  There was no question she had some fences to mend, and it might be extremely prudent to keep the Lynx out of sight for a while.  Fishing the data crystals from her pocket, she came up behind him…

 

"Pardon me, Professor Corey, but I have some information you might find useful in your work." 

 

The Lynx turned and blinked at her; "Madam, I assure you I am light years ahead of any of my colleagues on this.  Even the Imperial Science Academy is far behind me.  Oh, I know that the experiment we just conducted had some minor difficulties, but with the information we gathered, the next one will be much more successful.  Now, what information do you have that you think might be of help?" 

 

Tanj could see that he was trying to be polite, trying to be reasonable.  It was obvious that he was upset that the demonstration hadn't gone just as he had planned, and accordingly she smiled softly and kept her voice low; "I've just returned from the Kurani Oligarchy.  It would seem that they've been using a portal device like you're trying to develop, for generations.  I thought you might be interested in looking over their designs."

 

Doodles nudged the Otter and grinned; "LookitThat!  I Do believe your boss is speechless."

 

Corey's gaze traveled from the Cheetah's face, to the data crystals she'd put on his desk, and back.  "but…  I…..  Uh…." 

 

Tanj smiled; "It seems the Brou got just such a device from the Kurani, and then sold it to my Ma… um, one of my associates; it was that device, we believe, that was responsible for the trans-location of the planet Elysium."  She gestured at the data crystals; "It should all be in there."

 

Corey swallowed hard, closed his eyes and seemed to compose himself.  After a moment, eyes still closed, he whispered; "Yes, that might be very helpful in my work.  Thankyouverymuch.  Nowifyou'llexcusemeIhavemuchtodo……" 

 

Tanj just smiled; beckoned to the Otter and the Rabbit, and headed for the door.

 

---

 

"Do you really think its safe to leave him alone?" 

 

Tanj looked at the Otter and shrugged; "Don't know.  I'm afraid that if those that run this place go looking for him, it might be hazardous to your health to be anywhere near him." 

 

Doodles nodded sagely; "There is that….." 

 

The Otter swallowed and nodded; "Maybe we could let him have some privacy for a bit."  He looked at Doodles; "Tell you what, I'll bring him some dinner in a few hours, see how he's doing.  See if he needs anything." 

 

Doodles grinned; "Good idea."

 

---

 

"Well, that helps…." 

 

Jenka shot the stallion a look and shook her head; "I was doing perfectly well with radar, and infra-red; the lights weren't really necessary." 

 

Next to her, in the copilot's seat, the Stallion just grunted.  Maybe she didn't need them, but HE felt a whole lot more comfortable being able to see where they were going without instruments.  The tunnel was more than wide enough for the shuttle, but it had several twists and turns; it would be a bitch to navigate if you were in a hurry…..

 

---

 

Jenka watched carefully as the shuttle exited the tunnel and emerged into a rather large, and sparsely lit cavern.  The floor of the cavern was well below the tunnel, and seemed to be littered with ships of all descriptions….  Banking the shuttle slightly she started a slow circuit, as her eyes and the shuttle's sensors scanned the floor of the cavern

 

---

 

John's eyes never left the sensor display; "At first, Mistress, I thought all those ships were abandoned.  That this was some sort of junkyard, and yet, it would seem that every one of those ships is at least partially active.  A few are ready for flight at an instant's notice….  All except that big one over there; the drives on that ship are cold…." 

 

Jenka nodded; "Curious design; can you make out what it is?" 

 

The Stallion fiddled with the controls and then nodded; "It would seem to be a liquid bulk tanker…" 

 

Jenka raised an eyebrow; "Fuel?" 

 

The Stallion bent closer to the display, blinked and then raised his head to look at the Jaguar; "No, Mistress.  Bheer."

 

From the back of the shuttle, Kitchens chuckled, and stage-whispered; "Sounds like my kind of place!"

 

Roland ignored her; he had something a little more interesting to occupy his mind.  As the shuttle turned slowly, he examined one of the ships below.  After a moment he decided there really wasn't any question; "Isn't that Tanj's ship over there?"

 

John nodded; "Yes…..  And its still warm, too."  He looked up at Jenka again; "I do believe, Mistress, that she's arrived less than a day ahead of us." 

 

Jenka nodded; "Good.  I'm glad she's here; now we can get to the bottom of this."  Jerking the controls, she dropped the shuttle precipitously, slipping into a small space between a large disk-shaped ship, and another vessel that seemed to be composed of a number of four-sided pyramids attached to a long framework.

 

---

 

Cindy checked over the ALM-54 assault rifle carefully.  There was something about this place that gave her the willies.  Maybe it was the way it appeared so dead….  Maybe it was the flickering power, and the dim lights.  She could just imagine all sorts of monsters lurking in tunnels, waiting to eat new arrivals…..

 

The Mouse grinned up at Roland; "Boss, you want me to break out the powered armor?" 

 

Roland opened his mouth, but then thought better of it and shot a glance at Jenka; "Ma'am?" 

 

Jenka stared out of the viewport and then nodded slowly; "Yeah.  The locals might not be too pleased to see us, and it might not be too bad an idea.  Think you can maneuver it through the tunnels they have here?" 

 

Roland just laughed and nodded.

 

---

 

Kitchens looked at Cindy in surprise; "Why me?" 

 

Cindy looked over her shoulder; "I'd… prefer to maintain a slightly higher degree of mobility."  At the Rabbit's stare she continued; "I'm…. not comfortable running powered armor in such close quarters." 

 

Kitchens shrugged and handed her rifle to the Mouse; "Ok, your choice."

 

---

 

Roland checked over the biosensor leads, and then hit the chin-switch to close the clamshell back.  He would have preferred his 'mech, but there was no way he'd ever get that monster through some of the tunnels he'd seen.  The Sh-3 Imperial combat armor was much more compact, designed for use in boarding ships, and ought to take him just about anywhere he wanted to go.  Running down the start-up checklist, he waited for the gyros to stabilize, and then shrugged the suit out of its mooring clamps.

 

Jenka checked the powerpack on her own rifle and nodded to the Badger; "You take point.  Kitchens, bring up the rear." 

 

Roland nodded; "Right.  Um…. Which tunnel?

 

---

 

John watched them leave.  It was his job to guard the ship, and call down aide from the Cruiser in orbit, if need be.  With a sigh he settled down to wait.  It was going to be pure hell not knowing what was going on…..

 

---

 

Stoner was glad the lights were back on.  He'd never have found his ship in the dark.  Not considering how much he'd had to drink.  Pity that Tigress wouldn't give him any more.  As he staggered down the corridor, one paw against the wall, he tried to remember if it was because he'd had too much to drink, because he'd insulted someone, or if it was because he'd just run out of credits.  No matter, he had a bottle back in his ship.  If he could just remember where he'd left it…..  As he turned the corner, and emerged into the docking cavern, he stopped and blinked at the newcomers.  Hadn't seen THEM before.  His eyes ran over the Badger lady, and then drifted over to the black Jaguar.  Ooooooo, she was a looker!  Grinning, he staggered in her direction….

 

Roland watched the Bear carefully.  His suit said he didn't have any weapons, but most folks that big didn't NEED weapons….

 

Jenka watched the Bear approach, noting how he staggered.  It didn't take but a second to realize that he was drunk.  As if on cue, the bear confirmed the theory with a rather loud belch.  "Hey, Lady!  Lookin' for a good time?" 

 

Jenka laughed; "No, not really…." 

 

The bear let out a long, mournful "awwwwwwwww……" 

 

Jenka chuckled; 'I'm looking for a friend of mine.  Lady Cheetah.  Owns that ship over there." 

 

The Bear peered in the direction Jenka had pointed and frowned; "Don't rec (hic), Rec (hic) Don't kn (hic)  Never seen that ship before, but there was a lady Cheetah in the bar a while back, before the power went out."  He grinned; "Sexy thing too, she was!" 

 

Jenka chuckled; "That's her!  Where can I find the bar?" 

 

Stoner turned and pointed to the tunnel he'd just emerged from "That way, 'bout a half kilometer."  He turned back and grinned, wobbling from side to side; "Tell Katja that Stoner sent you…."  And then, the Bear turned and with a jaunty wave, staggered towards his ship.  At least he thought  it was his ship……

 

"That one's going to have a helluva hangover in the morning" Kitchens muttered over the comm. circuit. 

 

Roland nodded; "Lets get moving before it hits him.  I have a feeling he's not one you want to tangle with, when he's not feeling well……"

 

---

 

Hiram trudged along the tunnel.  He was just going to HAVE to do some serious maintenance on his suit.  That or get a bigger wrench.  Here that nubile Vixen was all tied up in the commons area, available for ANYONE who wanted to rip off a piece, and he couldn't get the thrice-damned fasteners loose.  And by the time he got back to his ship, got the fasteners loose, and got back there'd probably be a line.  Or worse, she'd be gone…..

 

Roland saw the lights coming a good ways down the tunnel.  Three lights in a triangle formation.  It looked like a Harshaw Industries IL-4.  Not a problem for the 'mech he normally drove, but it would give what he was wearing today a run for its money.  He let his eyes rove over the weapons displays, selected a slightly different mix of offensive and defensive weapons for the opening move, and then flicked his eyes up to gauge the progress of the other suit coming towards him.

 

Hiram never even slowed; as he approached the party coming towards him, he half-turned so that his back was to the corridor wall, and side-stepping, edged past, with an "excuse me.. pardon me….  'scuse me…."

 

Kitchens turned and watched the powered suit move off down the tunnel as if it were just another pedestrian.  She couldn't help but wonder "just what kind of a place IS this?"

 

Jenka turned and walked backwards for a moment, watching the other suit of powered combat armor disappear into the gloom.  After a moment she turned and walked forward, muttering "We may not have brought big enough guns……"

 

Roland stepped to one side as he moved out of the tunnel, and into the open area; with his back against the wall, he scanned his surroundings for targets.  At first glance the place seemed deserted; there were a number of doors around the periphery of the cavern that seemed to lead to shops and residences; there was a fountain to the left, down a gentle slope, and to the right a huge tree grew under what looked like a light shaft.  And on the far side of the tree his sensors picked up a single infrared signature that looked like a furr….

 

Jenka peered through the gloom; there still weren't very many lights on; just enough to see the general scope of the cavern.  And then a flash of red caught her eye; squinting, she muttered to herself; "is that….?  Couldn't be!"

 

Zassa looked up, as she heard the footsteps approach.  For a moment she thought Hiram was back.  The poor guy was So frustrated; in his haste to take advantage of the situation he'd completely stripped out the heads of three fasteners in his powered armor.  "Well, that's what you get for using power tools in a hurry" she thought to herself.  And then she realized there were two suits of powered armor, along with several furrs on foot…  Squinting through the dark she craned her head as far to the right as it would go, trying to make out who they were.  Maybe the Kurani had returned with friends?

 

It was essentially simultaneous; Zassa and Jenka both cried out "What are YOU doing here" at the same time.  Jenka waved a paw; "you first." The tone of her voice brooked no argument and Zassa shrugged as best she was able; "Well, actually I'm waiting for Krrut to return.  He kinda hurried off when the power went off." 

 

Jenka raised an eyebrow; "And just who is this Krrut?" 

 

Zassa smiled; "Oh, He's Kittiara's twin brother, and half-owner of this place." 

 

Jenka nodded slowly, her face neutral; "Great.  She's got a Brother.  And just where is Kittiara now?" 

 

Zassa did her best to shrug again; "Last time I saw her she was with her mate, on the Kurani homeworld.  Don't know if she's still there or not, though."  She grinned; "Some things the Kurani don't tell me….."

 

---

 

Cindy winced as Jenka muttered something about impudent slaves.  She knew that tone all too well….

 

Kitchens frowned.  This Vixen talked to Kurani?  They TOLD her things?  What in Pathan's Seventh Hell was going on here?

 

Jenka shook her head; "All right; we'll assume for a moment that Tanj obeyed her instructions and returned the Kurani to where she belonged.  Did the Skunkette stay with her?" 

 

Zassa nodded; "yup.  Seemed reasonably happy there, too." 

 

Jenka nodded; "And Hinoki; he's on the Brou homeworld?" 

 

Zassa frowned; "no, he came back with us.  Seems there wasn't any urgency.  I think they want him to come back, but from what I've gathered, anytime in the next five or six hundred years will do." 

 

Jenka just blinked; "So….. he's around here somewhere?" 

 

Zassa shrugged and nodded; "Yeah; not sure just where, though." 

 

Jenka crouched, to bring her face to a level with the bound Vixen's; "And where's Tanj?" 

 

Zassa did her best to shrug again; "She left the bar before the power went out.  Something about watching Professor Corey's demonstration." 

 

Jenka grinned, showing teeth; "AHA!  I KNEW that's what she was up to!"

 

The Vixen frowned; "I thought you wanted her to have him prepare something for an "escape attempt"! 

 

Jenka's face shifted back to "expressionless" mode; "I did….." 

 

Zassa did her best to shrug again; "so what's the problem.  I THINK that's what they've been doing.  But I don't think its going very well.  Something took down the power and caused Krrut to run off….." 

 

Jenka just nodded; "So where to I find Tanj?" 

 

Zassa started to shrug again, but the restraints were starting to hurt, so she just shook her head from side to side; "I have NO idea.  Ask Katja, in the bar.  She's gotta know.  It's over there, um, behind me."

 

Jenka nodded and straightened; "all right.  We will."  She grinned and patted the Vixen on her bottom; "You stay here and wait for us."  With that she strode towards the far side of the cavern.

 

As they departed, Zassa just sighed.  She had the feeling someone was in trouble, but for the life of her she couldn't figure out what anyone had done wrong…..

 

Jenka glanced at the sign by the door, and idly wondered who, or maybe what "Callahan" was….  Then, with a shrug she stepped through the door.

 

Roland stepped to one side, putting his back against the rock wall again, and scanned the bar.  It was everything he'd expected in a port like this, and less.  Rock floor.  Rock walls.  Rock ceiling.  An ancient and scarred wooden bar, with bottles set in niches carved into the rock behind it.  A mirror so stained and cracked it was difficult to make out your own reflection in it.  The bar had a jukebox, but it seemed to be armor plated and chained to the floor.  The furniture, what little there was of it, was mismatched, and pretty dinged up.  The only incongruity was a holographic fireplace in one corner.  It leant a surreal air to the place.  Sweeping his eyes over the inhabitants of the bar, he decided that most of them were no threat.  The big lizard looked dangerous, but he hadn't moved a muscle when they'd come in.  The Tigress behind the bar looked big enough, but she wasn't wearing a stitch, and obviously wasn't carrying a weapon.  The fox at the bar looked to be no threat, and most of the other furrs were either too overweight, or too drunk to pose a serious problem, even if he hadn't been wearing powered armor….  Taking a third look, to make sure he hadn't missed anything, he settled back to watch the fireworks….

 

The fox looked over his shoulder and tried hard to hide his surprise.  It was the Jaguar bitch, the Pirate Queen herself!  What was SHE doing here?  And then he smiled to himself, as he turned his attention back to his crossword puzzle.  Some furrs were going to be very VERY interested to know that SHE was here!

 

Katja flicked her gaze down below the bartop.  Callahan's might look like a dump, but that was a carefully calculated image.  After all, they wanted to attract just the right kind of riffraff as a clientele.  But that didn't mean they were stupid; there were hidden sensors, and right now image recognition software was going crazy trying to figure out just who the newcomers were.  But it was going to take a while; there were only a couple dozen trillion faces in the database to try and match, and not all the processors were back on line yet…..  Flicking her gaze back up at the Jaguar fem, she thought that it shouldn't take the system too long, though; this one obviously thought she was someone important.  You could tell that just by the way she acted….

 

Cindy caught the shift in the Tigress' gaze and wondered what was below the bar; it could be anything from a weapon she was considering going for, to an alarm button, to a sensor readout.  Moving slowly, she headed for the far end of the bar, where she might have a good angle, if things degenerated….

 

In Ops, Eridani completely missed the signal from the bar; she was still trying to get environmental stabilized in sector twelve…….

 

Jenka looked the Tigress up and down, and forced a smile; "Hello; we're looking for some friends of ours; have you seen a Cheetah by the name of Tanj, or a Lynx by the name of Corey?"

 

Katja's eyes narrowed; "Corey!  PLEASE tell me you've come to haul him out of here… or better yet, kill him!  That damned Lynx is tearing the whole system apart!" 

 

Jenka just looked at the fuming Tigress for a moment and then quirked an eyebrow upwards; "I take it his experiments haven't been going all that well?"

 

---

 

Katja poured some more of the blue stuff into the Jaguar's mug; "And then the SOB used one of the food lockers as a "test vehicle".  No, he couldn't use one that was empty, he grabbed the one that was full of my meat pies!"  The Tigress scowled; "He's lucky he was able to bring them back; otherwise I would have had HIM for dinner.  Still, he shouldn't have mashed them up so badly…." 

 

Cindy blinked; "Let me get this right.  Professor Corey launched one of your freezer units through a time/space portal, and then later retrieved it, but somehow everything got mangled in the process." 

 

Katja sniffed; "well…. It wasn't a freezer, just a refrigerator, and from what I've heard, when he went to retrieve it, it exited the portal at a high rate of speed and smashed into the far wall of the chamber." 

 

On the other side of the bar, the Fox put down his mug and smiled; "If you peeled the tin foil pan out of the mess, they were still edible.  Kinda." 

 

Cindy looked at the Jaguar; "Mistress……  I'm not really sure just what's going on here, but it sounds to me as if, if he ever got this thing working, it would revolutionize space travel….." 

 

Kitchens activated her external speaker; "Yeah… think about a pirate fleet that could vanish from the scene at an instant, going who-knows-where ahead of the Law." 

 

The mouse nodded; "or use it to pop in, raid, plunder and then pop out.  It would be a significant advantage." 

 

Jenka shook her head; "I think you're missing the obvious.  Yes, it WOULD be a significant advantage, but EVERYONE would be looking to take it away from us.  The Empire would never rest until a threat like that was neutralized.  No, its just too risky.  WAY too risky."  She fixed the Tigress with a steely glare; "We'll stick to the original plan." 

 

The Tigress blinked; "I thought that WAS the original plan….."

 

---

 

Dynotaku pushed past the suit of powered armor, and dropped an armload of emergency lights on the nearest table; "What original plan?"  As he straightened up, he caught Jenka's glare, and blanched; "Ah, Jenka!  What brings YOU here?"

 

Jenka glared at the Unicorn and straightened to her full height.  "I sent YOU along to make sure nothing untoward happened!  To make sure that they stuck to the mission!  Report, Mister!"

 

Dynotaku raised one eyebrow and shifted his gaze to the Tigress; "Taurian rum, if you please, Katja; and better make it a double."  Turning back to Jenka he gave her his best winning smile and shrugged; "It… went.  We came here, got instructions on the best way to sneak into the Oligarchy.  Snuck into the Oligarchy.  Touched base with Ambassador Hrral and got clearance to proceed on to the Brou.  Had a nice visit with the Brou, and found out that Hinoki was in no immediate danger.  Dropped off all the immature Brou, and returned to the Oligarchy homeworld.  Had a nice visit there too, and left Kittiara and Jinx with the Ambassador.  Came back here, to check on Corey's progress with the, ah, "special effects" for the, ah, "event" you have planned…"  He beamed at the Jaguar; "And now you're here!  Everything's going exactly according to plan!"

 

Jenka shook her head; "And about that little diversion; is it ready?  Why would Professor Corey send me a note saying he needed some gawdawful huge power supply, and the assistance of a high power supply expert?"  With this she casually gestured at the mouse. 

 

Dynotaku spread his hands, one of them closing around the mug of rum Katja held out; "Well….. Corey's having a little bit of trouble with the special effects.  Seems every time he runs his little toy, he blows all the fuses here.  Some sort of feedback issue." 

 

Katja snorted; "Its more than the fuses, bucko; this last one fused a bunch of relays, and arced straight across the fuses.  Our power distribution network's so much toast!"  The Tigress glared at Jenka; "I don't suppose YOU'RE going to cover the cost of this little fiasco, are you?"

 

Jenka ignored the Tigress, and leaned closer to the Unicorn; "And I don't suppose Tanj has been working on anything OTHER than the "special effects" I ordered?  She isn't actually trying to make this thing WORK, is she?" 

 

The Unicorn adopted his best innocent look and gave her a shrug.

 

Jenka rounded on the Tigress; "I've had enough of this.  Where ARE Tanj, and Corey?" 

 

The Tigress shrugged casually; "I'm told his lab's at the end of tunnel 237-43.  Sis stuck her as far away as she could, to try and keep him from damaging the place."  She looked up at the roof as if examining it for cracks; "Didn't work very well."  Glancing back down at the Jaguar she grinned; "you'd never find it, and I can't leave here until we close.  And even with a map I really doubt you'd find it by yourself, especially in the dark.  Krrut's mining machines have been running here for years and there are tunnels all over the place.  I'll put in a call to Sis, and tell her you're looking for him, but she's likely to be busy, what with the power problems and all."  Her grin widened; "If I were you I'd sit down, and have a drink.  On this rock, eventually EVERYONE comes to Callahan's, and I'm sure if you're patient, she'll be along in a minute.  Or three."

 

---

 

Tanj shoved the door a little further open and stepped carefully into ops; the penlight she normally carried was just about out of juice, and the place was still pretty dark; "Um…..  Eridani?  I think I've got the sector with Corey's lab pretty well secured, at least for the moment.  No, he doesn't have enough power to cause any trouble, if that's what you're wondering, and yes, he's still alive.  I'm afraid I need him that way for a while yet.  What else can I do?" 

 

The Tigress shot Tanj a curious look, as if she was wondering if Tanj was inquiring about what she could do with Corey, or if she was asking what she could do to help; "Krrut can't get the No.6 APU running.  It keeps resetting.  And it'll take a lot longer to get the mains back on line without it.  Why don't you go see what you can do? 

 

Tanj nodded; "How do I find it." 

 

The Tigress grinned, teeth white in the dark; "The place is laid out in a square grid; its at 154-295, level six.  I'm sure you'll find it without too much trouble."  Her grin widened; "Just follow the smell of burnt insulation!" 

 

Tanj nodded and looked around; "Where'd my friends go?" 

 

Eridani chuckled; "Krrut sent them off the jun… ah, the spare parts storage area, telling them to find all the high power insulators they could.  I'm not sure what he's got in mind, and I probably don't want to know.  Oh, and I think that other Cheetah, the male, went with them.  Don't know where the others are. 

 

Tanj nodded; "Thanks, I'll be back as soon as I can."

 

---

 

Katja listened to the Jaguar; it was obvious she was quite upset.  So far the Unicorn seemed to be taking the brunt of her abuse; that was fine; but if she shifted her assault to a certain tigress, she'd put a tranquilizer dart into her in a heartbeat, goons in powered armor, or not.  She was just putting down a clean bheer mug when the flashing screen on the monitor below the bartop drew her attention.  It'd made three positive ID's so far.  Idly touching the screen she called up the first image.  It was the lady badger; she was some powered armor operator, known for participating in certain competitions.  Yeah, that figured.  She'd probably turned Merc, after loosing her last big match.  Touching the screen again, she brought up the mouse's face; he was some power specialist from Gates' world.  Great, the cartel.  Just what she needed.  On the other hand, maybe, just maybe they could use his skills to put the grid back together.  Touching the screen again, she found herself looking at the Jaguar's face.  Pirate queen, eh?  Big deal.  She idly looked at the stats on this fem's organization, and nodded in rueful acknowledgement.  A sizeable organization.  Maybe it wouldn't do to trifle with her…..

 

As the Jaguar paused for breath, Katja cleared her throat.  "you know, its taking your friend an awfully long while to wander back here; maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to check in with my sister in Ops.  Its just down the Commons Area a bit…."

 

Dynotaku swallowed the counter-argument he'd been preparing; as much as he enjoyed verbal sparring, this was getting old.  "That's a superb idea."  He turned and beamed at Jenka; "I know the way; shall we?" 

 

Jenka just growled; 'Lets go…."

 

As the last of them passed through the door, Katja turned and pushed the comm. button for Ops; "Sis, I  know you're in there.  Company's coming your way.  See if you can't make use of the mouse, to try and get the grid back on line; he's some sort of power specialist working for the Gates' World cartel…."

 

---

 

Eridani watched the powered suit shove the door to Ops aside, the servos squealing in protest, and sighed; "Dammit, I KNEW we couldn't get that lucky…  When did THEY show up?"

 

Jenka looked around the darkened chamber.  Normally places like this were kept in twilight, but she wasn't sure the light level was supposed to be this low….  Fastening her gaze on the nude Tigress, she raised an eyebrow; "What is it about this place?  No one seems to wear clothing." 

 

The Tigress snorted; "And why bother?  Hey, you don't like it, you can go somewhere else."  Her gaze shifted to the Mouse; he looked so incongruous in combat fatigues and carrying a laser rifle; "Gates World power specialist, eh?  Good, we can use you.  I'll even let you work off your docking fees that way, IF you're good.  Get your ass down to level eight, and see what you can do about the antimatter premix controls on the No.2 primary reactor; they've got some sort of a glitch and the interlocks won't let us proceed any further with the start-up sequence." 

 

Jenka straightened; "Just who in the HELL do you think you are to give orders to MY people?" 

 

Eridani rose from her seat and grinned; "Lady, I'm the one charged with system defense, and right now we don't have ANY!  The fact that you got in here without being challenged demonstrates that more than adequately.  Now I don't know about YOU, but I'VE got enemies aplenty, and right now we're not just nude, we're NAKED!"  She shifted her glare to the Mouse; "you still here?"

 

The Mouse looked from Roland to Jenka to the rather enraged Tigress, and back….  After a moment, Jenka waved a paw and growled; "Go ahead.  Make yourself useful….."

 

 

Caught!

 

 

The Mouse was just about to slip through the door when it sqealed open, and Tanj hurried in; "OK, Eridani, I've got the Number 6 APU up, at least for the moment.  Talk about a piece of JUNK!  Oh, Hi, Jenka…  Now, what's next on the li……" 

 

Tanj slowly ran to a stop, her eyes widening.  Slowly she turned to stare openmouthed at the Jaguar.  Jenka gave the Cheetah her most predatory grin… "Hello, Pet."

 

Tanj EEEPed as large paws grabbed her.  Jenka shot the Tigress a look, somewhere between triumph and satisfaction; "Hope you'll pardon us; I have some questions to ask this one, here….."

 

Eridani frowned as the party exited Ops.  She knew she should be just as glad that they were gone; she had too many things to do as it was.  And she knew she shouldn't give a hoot about the Cheetah, as long as it got them out of her hair.  And yet, somehow, she found she couldn't just SIT there as they dragged her off.  With a sigh she turned and pushed a button on the Comm console; "Krrut; I think we might have a situation…."

 

---

 

Tanj gasped as the Jaguar dragged her along; "ah….. Mistress, is there a problem?"  She wanted to scream out "What are you DOING here?  We're not ready yet!" but somehow she felt that might be counterproductive….. 

 

Jenka just growled in reply; "I'll ask the questions."

 

---

 

The Fox looked up from his crossword as the pirate queen dragged the Cheetah into the bar.  Crooking an eyebrow up, he gave them a half smile, and then turned back to his crossword.  Things were getting interesting….

 

Katja blinked as the Jaguar returned, dragging Tanj.  Jenka shot her a look and growled; "I've got to get some answers out of this one; what have you got around here in the way of restraints?" 

 

The Tigress grinned; "Oh, we've got a few toys…"  Bending, she pulled a large and rather battered wooden box out from under the bar; setting it on the bartop she looked carefully at Jenka; "Ah… you're not going to get blood on my nice clean floor, are you?" 

 

Jenka chuckled, holding the Cheetah with one hand, while she flipped the lid of the box back with the other; "No, I don't think that'll be necessary….."

 

Roland watched Jenka carefully.  She was acting a little more…. "stressed out" than he'd ever seen her.  Would she actually hurt Tanj?  As he watched, he tried to figure out just what he'd do if she did try to hurt the Cheetah.

 

Dynotaku blinked as the mass of leather straps impacted his chest; "Tie her up; I want everything available."  Dynotaku looked down at the leather, and then looked up at the Tigress; "I don't suppose you'd have any rope?  I work better in rope…." 

 

Katja just laughed and turned, to pass through the doorway into what was obviously a storeroom….

 

---

 

Tanj swayed slowly, head down, amazed at how fast the Unicorn could move when he wanted to.  She was sure it wasn't his best knotwork, but she'd been trussed in record time.  Now she hung from a number of eyebolts in the roof of the bar, legs widespread, arms bound behind her, with her wrists also suspended from the roof.  With her hair in a ponytail, the end tied to the spreader bar between her ankles she was bent back in a bow, her breasts pointing straight down at the floor.  It almost looked as if she'd been caught, frozen, part way through some artistic high-dive.  Jenka walked around her slowly, trailing the edge of a feather lightly over her body.  Tanj  knew that feather well, and had more than sufficient reason to fear it. She knew how well Jenka could use it….

 

"Now, Pet, tell me about how our escape plans are coming….."  the feather lightly traced the curve of one breast, and Tanj shuddered in response.

 

“Mistress, the plans are progressing more slowly than anticipated….."