“You are to monitor Doctor Huyana-Dukker carefully and ensure that no data leaves with him on any external devices. Obviously, we can’t stop him from remembering things, but it is a risk we’re willing to take. He will have some limited access to classified data, and part of your job is to ensure the data, for the most part, does not go further and that he doesn’t delve deeper into the classified files than we are allowing. We couldn’t find any instances of him stealing information from clients and selling it to the highest bidder, but that doesn’t mean it’s never happened. Only that we’ve been unable to find evidence of it.
“He is Awh’anise, and they are known for their excellent fighting abilities. All Sub-tropical Awh’anise, of which he is, are also required to enter military service for one Awh’anise year. He has already completed his military service, so it would be reasonable to assume that he can handle himself fairly well in a violent situation and likely has knowledge of basic weapons use. Even so, you are to protect him from danger. We don’t have enough data to predict how he’ll react to having a bodyguard as the Awh’anise appear to be fiercely independent as a species. His safety is critically important to this mission being successful, and he is aware that you are going with him to Demmron as his protection.
“Additionally, the Awh’anise are a highly sexual species and have a well-deserved reputation for taking any and every opportunity to indulge in sexual acts with either sex, singularly or in groups, whenever and wherever the mood strikes. You were chosen specifically for this mission as your design parameters match up best with Doctor Huyanna-Dukker’s sexual and personal preferences. It is expected that he will approach you for sex because of how well you match the physical attributes he is attracted to. He has been quite persistent in researching our cyborgs and is aware of the rumours of our cyborgs being capable of intercourse.
“For a species so obsessed with sex, consent is an absolute must for them, and if someone declines their advances, they accept it and move on to the next person. Forcing another into sex is a very serious crime on Awh’an, ranking slightly below pre-meditated murder. We anticipate him approaching you for sex, and you will comply with his request without hesitation to further the mission. An appropriate attachment has been installed on your chassis to facilitate this. Let him choose which role he’d like in any given encounter as we believe it will make him easier to manage and monitor if his sexual needs are being met by you. Any questions?”
“No, sir,” I said as I began to review the files about Doctor Huyana-Dukker, his skills, schooling, and family that had been uploaded into my head.
“One final note. He is intimately connected to a powerful, highly skilled group of specialized soldiers. They are able to do astounding things according to all reports, including being able to move between existences in a manner we’re not entirely clear on and that frankly seems impossible despite a multitude of verified reports confirming it. If the opportunity presents itself for you to learn more of this specialized group of soldiers, Shal-hazal they call themselves, take it. The data could prove useful to us in several programs we’re heading.
“Should the two of you be captured, it is highly likely that he’ll call on these family members to get himself out of the situation. It is doubtful that you will be extracted as well. You are to engage your failsafe if you are in danger of being compromised and all other options have been exhausted. Your tech is, under no circumstances, to be allowed to fall into the hands of the people detained on Demmron. That is an order.”
“Understood, sir.” I hoped I wouldn’t need to engage my failsafe. Blowing myself into tiny pieces and taking a large chunk of my surrounding area with me was not high on my To-Do List. I’d do it because it was an order, but I’d make damn sure all other alternatives had been very thoroughly exhausted first. If I were to reach a state of brain death or simply die, the failsafe would automatically engage after a short, set period of time.
“We’ve received word that Doctor Huyana-Dukker will be arriving sooner than initially expected. You have four hours until his arrival. Review the files on him as well as the files for what was done to find and seal the security breach on Demmron. Offer Doctor Huyana-Dukker whatever aid you can, be that computer assistance, protection from harm, or sexual relief. This mission is critical. No prisoner can be allowed to escape Demmron. You are authorized to use deadly force with extreme prejudice.”
“Yes, sir,” I answered.
The director turned and walked away leaving me to review the files in solitude. I hadn’t shown any emotion, which was in line with what was expected of me, but the mission I’d been given excited me. I enjoyed a challenge, and this assignment certainly was that from a purely technical standpoint. I was also intrigued by the doctor and the brief information I’d processed about him while the director was giving me my orders.
Having an intimate relationship with the doctor wouldn’t be a hardship. At all. Plainly put, he was the most exotic looking person I’d ever seen, and I’d meet thirty-four different alien species to date. There was a pleasurable zing of excitement at the thought of sharing the doctor’s bed. I was also thrilled and relieved that my potential partner was male this time, my orientation leaving me naturally desiring only males. I had bedded females multiple times while on assignment, but that was pure programming and had nothing to do with what I desired. I hadn’t enjoyed the majority of my sexual encounters that were requirements of my previous missions. I actually felt mild disgust at being sexually intimate with a female, and without the help of programming sub-routines, I’d have failed spectacularly. But what I wanted or liked in those situations hadn’t been a factor in doing the job I’d been assigned.
I didn’t often have the luxury of feeling sexually attracted to a client while being ordered to satisfy him or her physically. Fortunately, a true organic response to arousal wasn’t necessary for me to perform as demanded. Mechanical parts would function as designed, and whether I found a client stunning or disgusting didn’t matter. A small sub-routine I could engage would give the appearance of my wanting the encounter when I actually didn’t. I didn’t like using that program because of the way it made me feel mentally, but when I was required to perform in what was an unnatural feeling to me, it was my only choice. I wouldn’t need to switch that program on with the good doctor though. My reactions to him on a sexual level would be genuine, something I hadn’t felt in quite a long time and was really looking forward to.
Doctor Tohan Huyana-Dukker was, in my opinion, exceptional with tanned skin, wavy, dark-brown hair tipped in dark green that fell a bit past his shoulders, and a nice, lightly-muscled body. As with all Awh’anise, he had a long tail that was apparently prehensile, and the very tip of his tail had a brush of hair the same colour as was on his head. I was taller than him by several inches when in my regular chassis. He appeared to be within the normal range of average height for a typical Awh’anise. The information in his file said he was five foot ten and one hundred seventy pounds.
His eyes were highly unusual for an Awh’anise. I thought they were stunning. He had the typical vertically slit pupils of an Awh’anise, but it was the colour of those pupils and irises that made them unique. His pupils were a rich gold colour, and his irises were pale gold speckled with darker gold. Among the Awh’anise, it was considered very desirable and exotic to have either gold/amber or brown eyes, the two colours occurring rarely in the population. The doctor’s eyes, however, were not looked upon that way despite their colour and were not considered desirable or erotic.
The colour of his pupils and eyes wasn’t natural in that he hadn’t been born with them that shade. He’d been infected by a micro-organism native to Awh’an, ell’um-ysar, which loosely translated to golden mask of tears, when he was only a few weeks old. The organism first attacked a person’s eyes, and the organism’s waste material permanently bleached a person’s natural eye pigments to the golden colour as well as leaving them more light sensitive and with poorer vision depending on how long the infection went untreated. Apparently, if the infection was left untreated, the individual would go blind and eventually suffer terminal dementia as the organism moved into the brain and ate holes in the brain tissue.
I honestly thought his eyes were beautiful.
In addition to the unique colouration of his pupils and irises, the attack of the organism left the victim with thick lines of gold rimming the top and bottom lids of their eyes like eyeliner, as well as a light, shimmery golden mask-like marking over the skin around the victim’s eyes that was permanent as well. The doctor had been cured of the infection while a baby, but the traces the organism had left would never disappear according to the information in his file. I could honestly say I’d never seen anyone who looked as exotic and arousing as the good doctor.
Intellectually, he was very bright, and I could understand why he’d been selected to try to solve the problem where others had failed. He’d graduated at the top of his class and had an excellent reputation among fellow computer engineers. He also had a rather impressive reputation among hackers as someone who could get into places people weren’t supposed to be able to get into without the proper authorization. Or at least it was assumed that he was the hacker known as Hy’prae, which was apparently the name of some type of medium-sized, multi-legged, highly intelligent apex predator on Awh’an. Nobody had been able to definitely confirm him as that hacker, but the pieces of circumstantial evidence were fairly convincing as long as one was willing to make some leaps of logic.
He was ridiculously connected to powerful people. I thought it was interesting that he was part of a natural non-identical triplet birth although that wasn’t an uncommon thing for the Awh’anise as they were a multi-birth species. One of his brothers from that triplet birth was a Shal-hazal. He had several more family members, including his mother, an aunt, a half-brother, a couple of cousins, and even a great-aunt who were Shal-hazal of varying degrees of power. That many close relatives being Shal-hazal was extraordinary according to the data I’d been given. I hoped he’d be willing to talk to me about the Shal-hazal and the things they could do, and that wasn’t only because I’d been ordered to do it.
Having the small amount of data dumped into my head about such an interesting ability was definitely enough to pique my curiosity. Hearing about that sort of ability and getting to ask more questions from somebody so close to a Shal-hazal would be an amazing opportunity. While a good part of me was machine and I did do a lot of analytical thinking, my organic brain indulged in flights of fancy more often than it probably should, and I had a deep interest in the paranormal. Being able to move through the dreams of others as Shal-hazal were reported to be able to do definitely fit into that category.
I finished my review of the files and probably knew more about Doctor Huyana-Dukker on a professional level than anyone. Personal information had been generally sparse to put it mildly. I was actually a little surprised the information about his eyes was in the file. Then again, it was apparently common knowledge for any Awh’anise once they saw his face and eyes. I did find it a little amusing that his sex life was basically an open book and fairly well-detailed in the files I reviewed. Then again, the Awh’anise were not at all shy about sex, nudity, and discussing aspects of their sex lives or that of others openly.
I assumed the lack of real personal information was because of the powerful connections he had in his family as well as his allegedly being a highly skilled hacker that was very, very careful about what information about Hy’prae went out into big, wide universe. Even with the exhaustive research I was sure my government had done on the doctor, there was nothing that actually confirmed that he was the hacker rumours said he was. Considering how thorough I knew the research into the doctor would’ve been, that was impressive.
Several things about my physical appearance were apparently attractive to him, and that gave me a giddy rush. Purple was his favourite colour. My hair was naturally a very deep purple. He’d been quoted once in defending his half-brother, Shal-hazal Spirit Will Moswen, that the gold stripes on the man’s skin that marked him as a Throw-back were “cool” even though those same marks caused fear to most other Awh’anise for some reason that wasn’t entirely clear in the data I’d been given. The chassis I used most frequently, felt most comfortable in, and was unofficially mine was gold-coloured with random deeper accents of gold striping.
The striping had been the result of a trial technique to make the cyborg body lighter and tougher by using an amalgam of metals. It was ultimately declared a failure for the uneven distribution of the metals giving the finished product a non-uniform look and random areas more durable than others areas which was not desirable for an entire fleet even if the end result had produced a lighter and tougher chassis overall. The cost for the amalgam had turned out to be more than double the initial quote, and the failure rate was unacceptably high, which also helped to kill the trial. I was also a taller model of cyborg with that particular chassis, the result of a minor design specification error leading to the increase in height.
I hoped that the Awh’anise language I’d been uploaded with was correct. A couple of missions ago I’d been given what was supposed to have been complete language files for a client only to find out during the initial meeting that the wrong language for that mission had been uploaded into my brain. It had been the native tongue of the people trying to assassinate the client I was supposed to protect and a major embarrassment that almost resulted in my getting shot in a place I wouldn’t have been able to repair.
The Awh’anise language was pleasant sounding with a slight, almost musical lilt to it. There were significant gaps in what I’d been given, but I should be able to understand basic, conversational sentences for the most part. Apparently, the language was only spoken on Awh’an and among Awh’anise, so finding records of the full language with translations into Common was difficult. It was also a partially polysynthetic language, one where a single word or two could actually be an entire sentence, which lead to problems for non-native speakers to learn the language fluently. Doctor Huyana-Dukker could speak Common as well as several other languages that I’d never heard of. While I had access to several databases, including high-level access to Daquan military information, it would be nearly impossible to know all of the spoken languages in the multitude of universes, so my not knowing what the other languages were was not unusual. I was impressed that he was apparently fluent in four other languages aside from his native tongue. I found that being able to speak to a client in their native tongue even just a little made them more at ease with me.
After thoroughly reviewing the files I’d been given, my internal clock said that I still had two hours to go before my initial meeting with Doctor Huyana-Dukker. I decided to run some sub-routines to make sure everything was operating at optimal performance even though I’d been thoroughly checked over by the technicians just before the director had given me my final commands. I also wanted to use the downtime to check out just what attachment had been installed for intimate encounters before I’d entered my chassis.
There were any number of models that could be installed based on what a client requested. In this instance, what had been installed was likely a best guess, generic sort of model as Doctor Huyana-Dukker wasn’t a client and, to the best of my knowledge from the files I’d read, hadn’t been asked about any personal preferences, sexual or otherwise as far as choosing me and attachments went.
An opening appeared in my groin when I triggered the program for sexual excitement. I wasn’t a vain person, but I was relieved to see that I’d been given a nice, average-sized penile attachment with appropriately-sized testes although there wouldn’t be any actual seminal fluid during release. There would be a substitute fluid during orgasm that mimicked the real deal solely for the purpose of pleasing my partner with “proof” of my desire and pleasure.
I’d had attachments before that ran the gamut of micro-penis to obscenely large based on client desires. I’d even had attachments purposely left off for clients who wanted a male without genitals, which I thought was strange. The attachment had a flexible metal core with a skin-like sheathing that matched my skin tone making it look like it was my real cock that was exposed via an opening in my chassis. With the use of sensors and a specific program, I could feel a semblance of pleasure through the mechanical penis I now sported.
As I looked at the attachment I’d been given, a little pang of sorrow mixed with a spurt of anger hit me at the thought that it was highly unlikely I’d ever get to feel what sex with another person with my actual dick would feel like. While my cyborg body appeared to start just below my pectorals, I actually had a complete torso down to the hips that was fitted into my mechanical cyborg body.
Through much trial and error, it was discovered that the best, most efficient way to meld organic with machine was to maintain as many internal organs as possible. That way, any damage to the mechanical body was fairly easy to either repair or replace without needing any special equipment to keep the organic body alive. Some of the most complex parts of a cyborg weren’t actually parts of the mechanical body but those of the organic body, brain, and the wetware installed in the brain that allowed the two to function as one unit.
Because of my hidden organic parts, I didn’t require any specialized diet as I had all the necessary parts for regular digestion. I did need to void my body of waste, both solid and liquid, but that was accounted for in the design of the cyborg body. While in my cyborg body a narrow, expandable tube roughly three inches long was inserted anally, primarily for voiding purposes but also to allow anal sex when required. I had a similar short and thin tube inserted in my urethra and up into my bladder for voiding while in my cyborg body as well. Given that we generally preferred to be in our cyborg bodies for ease of movement, all cyborgs were used to and saw as normal what would probably seem uncomfortable or even invasive to others.
Breeding us to have a fully functioning torso also ensured that the scientists would always be able to easily harvest the raw genetic material, sperm from the males and eggs from the females, to create more cyborgs. We always bred true to form having been genetically tweaked decades ago to be born without lower limbs.
We could be cloned, but the results had proven less than optimal compared to selective breeding with sperm and egg and gestation in a nutrient tank. Clones had a shorter life span than naturally created cyborgs, and the clones typically had issues with their immune system or problems with the functions of internal organs. There was also a limit to how many times a clone could be made from another clone before critical failures began to appear in the genetics of the cyborg requiring their destruction before it even reached the birthing stage.
While the idea of providing genetic material, namely sperm, sounded like it would be fun for us males, it really wasn’t. I’d be removed from my cyborg body which, while not something I liked since it limited my mobility, wasn’t a big deal. It was an utterly painless, five minute procedure. Once out of my cyborg body I’d be strapped to a bed to keep from thrashing around during the procedure, which was never a good sign for any course of action about to be taken.
A stimulation probe would be inserted anally and a collection tube fastened over my cock. The probe wasn’t uncomfortable as I was well used to having something inserted anally even if the probe for stimulation was a good deal larger than the void tube. I liked the feeling of having my ass filled and usually requested a larger-sized probe purely for my pleasure. The mild electric pulse from the probe that stimulated my prostate wasn’t unpleasant... at first. It was the length of time that the extraction procedure lasted that made it a less than desirable thing to endure.
We were designed to maximize output on virtually every aspect. The volume of sperm males produced during orgasm was no exception and a two-hour session was common to fully milk a male. At the end of a milking, I was exhausted physically and mentally, and my groin ached and was tender to the touch for hours after. Thankfully, we were typically in a two-month-long rotation between collections, longer if we were on assignment and not able to get to the lab for scheduled milking. The females had it a little easier with anesthetic being given before egg harvest and their rotation requiring slightly longer periods of time to allow for maximum egg development.
I admired the penis I’d been given for several more minutes, familiarizing myself with the feel of it and tweaking the arousal program to give me pleasure that was as close to what I felt when I stroked my organic cock as I could make it. We weren’t supposed to masturbate and waste our seed but nobody really said much when it did happen as long as it wasn’t often. Not that it was something that happened very frequently to begin with as it generally required detaching from our cyborg body to do so. An alert was logged when the connection was severed between organic and cyborg body, and a reason for the unscheduled exit needed to be provided.
Typically, we’d exit our chassis once a week for a scrub-down of its interior as well as washing of the organic body. The chassis was designed to keep itself and the organic body installed relatively clean and we could go much longer than a week without needing cleaning. But it always felt nice to slide into a freshly cleaned chassis. It was generally a thirty-minute procedure but sometimes a tech would take their time cleaning the chassis and keep their back turned, knowing us cyborgs would grab the opportunity to get a little self-love pleasure.
Leaving the cyborg body solely to jerk off was not a reason for exiting the chassis. Punishment for doing that typically involved a month of forced leave from your cyborg body as well as an accelerated milking schedule of once a week for as long as you’d been sentenced to be without your cyborg body. Typically, you only made that sort of mistake once and were more circumspect in the future. Or at least I’d learned that lesson well and never repeated the error.
I could orgasm while in my cyborg body, but it would be a more or less dry orgasm because of the tube inserted through my urethra into my bladder. Anal stimulation was easy and pleasurable to do, but when the result was typically a dry orgasm, the end result wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as it could be. I could withdraw the urethral tube from my bladder to allow for a full orgasm but the times where I actually felt genuine arousal while on assignment were woefully small and didn’t seem worth the bother. A giddy rush zipped through me at the knowledge that I’d feel arousal with the doctor. I also wasn’t the only cyborg that had quite a strong oral fixation where sexual pleasure was concerned. Knowing that I’d very likely be enjoying the pleasure of Doctor Huyana-Dukker’s bed shortly, I was very much looking forward to sucking his cock.
I called up the image of the doctor and stroked myself. In a surprisingly short time, I found the single photo I’d been given in the file wasn’t enough. A quick database search found me a slightly pixilated video of a presentation that he’d given several years ago that looked like it’d been shot with a wrist comm of poor quality. The moving images, as crappy as they were, made me groan softly and catch my lip between my teeth. The good doctor was really going to get my best possible performance if he asked me to join him in bed, which I truly hoped he would. The sensation program for my attachment did its job a little too well and desire settled heavily in my balls leaving them feeling tight and aching for a release that wasn’t going to happen. I foolishly hadn’t expected to have such a strong physical reaction to what I was seeing and feeling.
I gasped and squeezed my eyes shut as pleasure from the pseudo-release of my attachment collided with the frustration of wanting to come with my organic parts, but not being able to. I’d been hurriedly milked twelve hours ago when the director got word that the job had been accepted by Doctor Huyana-Dukker. Milking a male and harvesting a female, if possible, was standard operating procedure when anyone was sent out on a mission in case something happened and we didn’t come back. For all intents and purposes, my balls were empty and it’d take several days to be able to produce anything even approaching a reasonable amount. Maintaining genetic diversity in us cyborgs was important, so the more collections the better.
I shut down the arousal and sensation program and tried to catch my breath as the attachment retracted back into my chassis. I was a little surprised to find a thin film of sweat on my skin and that my nipples were hard as rocks. That sort of reaction hadn’t happened to me in a long time from just the use of the attachment. I looked at it as something good, and it made me even more excited for certain aspects of the mission. I still had an hour and a half before meeting the doctor to clean myself up and get presentable. I headed for the sonic shower, a small smile on my face and a relaxed feel to my body despite the subtle ache in my balls from not being able to come.
I stood in the reception area with the director and a few assorted techs waiting for Doctor Huyana-Dukker to arrive. I wasn’t quite sure why we were in reception and not at the actual bays where the ships landed and took off, but it wasn’t my place to ask so I kept my mouth shut. All I knew was that the doctor had requested to meet in reception, and I only knew that from overhearing one of the techs asking why we were in reception. I wasn’t the only one who gasped when two men suddenly appeared out of thin air a few feet away from where we stood.
I instantly recognized Doctor Huyana-Dukker, and he looked even better in person. It was the first time ever that I was supremely grateful for the impossibility of my sudden arousal showing due to my chassis. Internal sensors would record my elevated heart rate, the surge of hormones through me, and the sudden semi-hardness of my cock. Nothing in my expression would give that away though. I’d been far too well trained for that to happen.
Based on the photos I’d seen, the tall man with tanned skin overlaid with golden stripes standing beside the doctor could only be his half-brother, Shal-hazal Spirit Will Moswen Fayina-Dukker. Asking to meet in reception suddenly made perfect sense since the doctor obviously hadn’t needed to go through the whole ship docking and debarking procedure. Travel by Shal-hazal appeared to be a much more efficient way to get around the galaxy.
“We’re here, Tohan. You can open your eyes now,” Shal-hazal Spirit Will Moswen said in Awh’anise.
Doctor Huyana-Dukker opened his eyes, which were even more stunning in person. His first move was to scan the assembled people in the room with a critical, analytical look. I approved of that as it spoke of battle awareness, something that would be an asset where we were going. He spotted me almost immediately, his eyes locking on me, his stare intense. Shal-hazal Spirit Will Moswen snickered and “Down, boy” was semi-whispered.
“You can go now,” Doctor Huyana-Dukker said to his brother in Awh’anise. He didn’t take his eyes off me, his gaze extremely focused and holding a wealth of sexual interest.
“Hell, no. This is getting interesting. I think he’s attracted to you, Tohan. Nice little shot of lust to the air that I’m betting wasn’t there before we arrived. Talk about laser focus. He hasn’t taken his eyes off you. Hey, can I watch you two fuck? I’ve never seen robot sex. Sounds kinky as shit. Ki would probably love to know how that works, too, although he’d be way too polite to ask.”
“He’s not a robot. He’s a cyborg. There’s a difference, and I know you know it. This isn’t the time or place to go all annoying little brother on me. Yes, I can smell his arousal, and no, you can’t watch us fuck. You’d freak the poor guy out just by asking. Most species don’t appreciate an audience when they screw. I’m pretty sure you know that, too, and are just trying to be an irritating shit. Congrats, you succeeded. You’re an irritating shit. Weren’t you supposed to take a refresher course on alien interaction since you suck so massively at it? We’re just lucky he can’t understand Awh’anise, or he’d probably be hideously embarrassed that we’re talking about his future sex life with me before even being introduced to him.”
“I’m supposed to, yeah, but that’s one of the perks of being the boss. Until the rest of the Wills gang up on me and make me take the refresher course, I don’t have to do shit. Are you sure about the no Awh’anise thing? He seems to be following our conversation decently going by the close attention he’s paying, but I could be wrong. I don’t think I am though.
“My nose is better than yours and believe me, he’s definitely interested in getting into your pants. He could want to bang one of the other people in the room, myself included, but I doubt that. Those pretty eyes of his are really only focused on you. I’m not really sure how sex works for him though with him being, what, seventy-five percent machine from the looks of him. Doesn’t look like he has a cock either, which sucks for both of you since I know you like getting as much as giving.”
The doctor’s eyes went wide seconds before he turned with incredible speed and punched his brother square in the mouth. Shal-hazal Spirit Will Moswen stumbled back a step before he grinned, licked the trickle of blood from his lip, and landed a solid side kick to the doctor’s ribs, knocking the doctor back a step and forcing a grunt from him. Even with my enhanced vision, the speed of the kick was incredible to see. One of the techs gasped, and the director seemed frozen in shock at the sudden outburst of violence.
My first thought was to step between the two men and protect the doctor as those were my orders. But, I knew from the data I’d been given that fighting was seen as a normal part of life to the Awh’anise, and getting between fighting Awh’anise to stop them would generally not be appreciated by the combatants. I also wanted to take the opportunity to assess the doctor’s fighting ability even if this didn’t appear to be a serious fight, based on what my data catalogued as genuine fight indicators for the Awh’anise as opposed to their idea of play.
Both men were fast. Astonishingly so. Information on the Awh’anise said they were quick and agile, and I had viewed a few videos of Awh’anise in action, but until I saw it for myself in person, it was difficult to understand just what that meant in comparison to other species. Doctor Huyana-Dukker seemed to be holding his own, but I could also tell that Shal-hazal Spirit Will Moswen was holding back somewhat—not to say he was untouched or that he wasn’t having to put some effort into what he was doing.
Several hard punches and kicks were traded between the men. Factoring in certain variables like speed, trajectory, force, and accuracy, there was a considerable amount of skill and power being thrown around, yet neither seemed overly fazed by it. I was sure there’d be nasty bruises at the very least on both men after the little spar was over. I’d read about the high pain tolerance of the species, but it was fascinating to see it in action. Several of the hits would’ve knocked most people to their knees and likely made them stay down. That certainly wasn’t the case unfolding in front of us.
Shal-hazal Spirit Will Moswen glanced at me and the others I stood with and seemed to come to a decision. He quickly moved in close to the doctor, landed a hard punch to the gut while he curled his tail around the doctor’s leg. Shal-hazal Spirit Will Moswen yanked the doctor’s leg out from under him at almost the same time he landed the punch to his brother’s belly. The doctor went down with a yelp, hitting the floor hard, his head making wince-worthy contact with the polished wood. The doctor muttered, “Fuck,” and lay on his back for several seconds apparently conceding the fight. The entire fight, while intense, lasted less than two minutes.
“Done?” Shal-hazal Spirit Will Moswen asked in Awh’anise as he remained ready to continue the fight, his limbs held in a loose fighting stance.
Doctor Huyana-Dukker sighed before pushing himself into a seated position. “Yeah. You’ve been training with Kijika again, haven’t you? I used to be able to fight you to a draw but you weren’t even giving me your best effort. Asshole. I’m kinda ticked you just cheated me of a nice little dust up. You know you have a god’s given talent for pissing people off, right? Kijika is a saint for not killing you. I don’t know how he resists the temptation.”
“He loves me,” Shal-hazal Spirit Will Moswen said with a grin as he offered his brother a hand to stand. “And he adores my cock working his hole. Despite him being a necromancer, he’s not into sex with the dead, so I’m pretty much safe from him killing me. Beating the shit out of me if I piss him off? Oh, hell yeah. The make-up sex is so damn hot after that I sometimes provoke him just a little on purpose. He knows that though and plays along because he’s awesome that way.”
A necromancer? There was no mention of that in the data I’d been given. Granted, Kijika was nothing more than a footnote in the file and listed as the spouse of Shal-hazal Spirit Will Moswen, but information like that should have been included in my opinion. It wouldn’t affect anything about the mission, but it seemed like a fairly big detail to leave out given how thorough the file had been on the doctor and his family connections. How odd.
Doctor Huyana-Dukker smiled and wiped at a trickle of blood from his nose. “Point taken. You do have a very nice cock although I prefer your tight little ass. You’re such a needy thing when being drilled. So eager to please. Pretty damn good at cock sucking, too. Such a shame that you only service Kijika now. And Tyh won’t play either now that he has Dak. Telek is still crazy for Ulla so that’s a no-go. Even Mered and Makis won’t go for a group thing since Kushaiah came into their life and they all became phu’aetsu to one another. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they decided to become shu’anad to one another in the very near future. I’m seriously missing out on fantastic cock since all of you found your special someones.”
My eyes went wide, and my mouth opened a little in surprise before I pressed it shut. There was a teasing tone to the doctor’s voice, but there was also an undercurrent of wistfulness. He didn’t really mean he.... Data on the Awh’anise said they engaged in incest and that it was a common thing in their culture, but I hadn’t really thought about how that may have impacted Doctor Huyana-Dukker’s life. Several of the names were male siblings of the doctor.
I had to admit that I was a little intrigued especially after a fast photo search for the family members the doctor mentioned revealed some handsome men. The Awh’anise as a species seemed to have good-looking encoded into their genes. The Tyh he mentioned was likely one of his triplet brothers, Shal-hazal Litch Will Tyhlian, with Telek being his other triplet brother. So that meant he.... Wow. Makis and Mered, according to the data I had, were identical twins and part of the sextuplets that Shal-hazal Spirit Will Moswen was part of. Shal-hazal Spirit Will Moswen saw my expression of mixed shock and interest and smirked.
“I’d say your cyborg understands basic Awh’anise pretty well, Tohan. You must’ve cracked your head damn hard not to have remembered that since that’s what prompted you to punch me in the face in the first place. I think you just shocked the shit out of him. Good job.”
“Fuck,” Doctor Huyana-Dukker groaned.
The next words out of his mouth were in a language I was completely unfamiliar with. Considering the database I had access to, I found that intriguing and wondered what it was. His brother, however, had no problem understanding him and nodded before he got a thoughtful look on his face. A grin appeared on Shal-hazal Spirit Will Moswen’s face, and the strangest sense of foreboding washed through me. I had almost no time to react before he moved to me with blistering speed, grabbed my arm, and said, “Back in a few,” in Common to the room in general.
There was a slight sensation of movement, and for a fraction of a micro-second, images screamed past my vision too fast for me to make any sense of them before it went dark. The quick glimpse of... whatever I’d seen, made my brain feel like I’d taken a particularly nasty blow to the back of my head, my thoughts muddled and disjointed as my mind struggled to try to process what I’d seen. Even with the advanced processor embedded in my brain, I couldn’t seem to piece all the information together into anything that made sense.
A tiny spurt of panic hit me when I couldn’t open my eyes and couldn’t seem to move any part of my body. Relief swamped me hard when what seemed to be only seconds later I could open my eyes and move again. The confusion of trying to sort through the whirlwind of images left my mind abruptly, and I had nothing more than a small headache as if from concentrating too intensely on something for far too long. Confusion of a different sort swirled through me as I looked around. The scenery around me was absolutely nothing like the reception room, and for several seconds, I was at a complete loss as to what had just happened.
We were on what appeared to be a beach of pale blue sand leading to a large body of translucent, blood-red water. At least I assumed it was water considering that it appeared to move towards the shore in gentle waves, the soft shushing sound relaxing. The water stretched as far as I could see, and my enhanced eyes could see a staggering distance, making me think we were on the shore of either a vast lake or perhaps an ocean. Large trees with silvery leaves lined the beach, the leaves rustling softly in a gentle breeze. It was quite hot, and I saw two suns in the sky but no other markers that would give me a reference point or clue about where we might be. I was damn sure I wasn’t anywhere near the reception area that I’d started out in.
“You’ve got some interesting wiring in your head. Tohan is going to flat out love that, geek that he is.”
I turned my head to see Shal-hazal Spirit Will Moswen sitting on a rock a few paces from where I stood.
“Excuse me?” I felt mildly off-balance, and that sensation had nothing to do with my internal stabilizers or gyroscope.
“I know it’s rude, but I took a quick peek in your head. I’m curious by nature,” he said with a little shrug. “Relax. Nothing I see in anyone’s head who isn’t a mark ever leaves my lips unless I have permission to spill it all, and you’d need to give me that permission. I don’t even tell Ki what I find in people’s heads, and I tell him virtually everything.
“By the way, I added the Awh’anise language to your head. Some of what you had was badly translated, so I wiped all of it and gave you the whole thing. You’ve got the written language in there as well. Threw in a bunch of crap about our customs and culture, too. I figure that’ll help you help Tohan with the job he’s about to start. I know this job is dangerous, and I want Tohan to be as safe as I can help him to be. You being informed of our customs and cultures and having the correct language will be a huge help in making that happen.”
“Thank you? Where are we, and how did we get here?” I asked as I checked my database.
Just as he said, what could only be the entire Awh’anise language was in my head along with an extensive background on the Awh’anise that was a little staggering in size. It would take me a substantial amount of time to go through all the information and process it despite the high-speed processor hard-wired into my brain. I had no idea how he’d done that. I had zero sensation of anything being added or deleted from my memory, and there was no way he could’ve made a hard connection to my brain without my knowing. The file size would’ve required close to twenty minutes to download as well, and it certainly didn’t feel like that much time had passed between him grabbing my arm and us winding up wherever we were. My internal clock said barely five seconds of time had passed from the moment he’d grabbed my arm to the point when I opened my eyes.
He also wasn’t kidding when he said the language I’d had was incomplete and parts of it poorly translated. Some of the words were identical in sound but vastly different in meaning depending on body posture, tail position, and even how much tooth and claw was shown. No wonder it was rarely spoken by non-natives. Getting all those small nuances right would be a nightmare if you hadn’t grown up with the language. Getting some words right would be impossible without a tail to convey the proper meaning. I was lucky I’d understood as much as I had about the earlier conversation. Re-playing what I had heard and saw with the complete language in my head gave me an even richer understanding of what had been said with subtle nuances to the conversation that I’d have had no way of knowing about before. There’d been a world of love and trust and rock-solid bonding between the two even as they’d been beating the crap out of each other. Shockingly, they’d been having fun while trying to dirt stomp each other into the ground.
“No probs. Here is a dream bubble, a scene from the ocean beach that’s near the city my family lives in on Awh’an. This beach is one of Tohan’s favourite places. I created it for this little chat. I Dream-Stepped us here. It’s part of what I do. I could’ve brought you to the real place just as easily, but I wanted to maintain control of the situation, so a dream it is. I also didn’t want to cause you problems just before a mission with breathing and whatnot because of the higher gravity and richer oxygen on Awh’an compared to where we were. I mean, I could’ve done some tweaking in your head to make that not so much of an issue, but it wouldn’t have been worth it for just a few minutes of conversation before I brought you back to where we were and had to tweak your head all over again. Just so you know, nothing happens here that I don’t want to happen. Shal-hazal are nearly gods of the Dream World.”
“This is a... dream? How is that even possible? I wasn’t asleep and neither were you. And why show me this specific place?”
“It’s a Shal-hazal Spirit thing. Well, more specifically it’s a me thing. I don’t need to be asleep to access the Dream World, and I can take anybody I want with me as long as I’m touching them. I could’ve created anything or even just a vast nothing. But, there’s some genuine interest in you for Tohan. He aroused you just from seeing his picture, and that’s not an often thing for you. That arousal was even stronger when you saw him in person. Tohan has a thing for cyborgs, and he’s been mentally and physically beating off to your image since he saw it yesterday. I wouldn’t have created this and brought you here if there wasn’t mutual attraction between you two. I want to help you get to know him. I also wanted to check you out to make sure you’d be good for Tohan.
“I’ll be straight with you, Warrick; I can call you Warrick, right?” He waited for my nod before continuing. “I know exactly what it’s like to have an intense visceral, erotic reaction to somebody. That’s what happened when I saw Ki, my husband, for the first time. Okay, fine, there were other things at play there, but my first reaction to him was to pounce on him and fuck him until neither of us could move. Us Awh’anise operate on instinct a lot because we’re not really all that far removed from our animal ancestors. Check the info I gave you for more on that, and it’ll help you understand Tohan better. Tohan has been attracted to people tons of times before, but this is different somehow for him, and it’s not all because you’re a cyborg. That is part of it for sure but not the whole reason. Going by what I saw in your head as I brought you here, I think you can not only make him happy but also be happy yourself, too.”
I honestly had no idea how to respond to what he’d just said.
“I’m not so thrilled about some of the other shit I saw in your head. It sounds a hell of a lot like slavery to me, and that’s one thing that pisses off the Awh’anise like crazy. Freedom is a huge thing for us. I know you don’t see your life that way, but it smacks of that to me, and I guarantee it’ll seem that way to Tohan. He appreciates honesty, so you might at some point want to tell him about what your life is like. I think you should also tell him that even though you’ve been ordered to sleep with him if he asks, you’re doing it because you want to not because you were ordered to.”
I was staring at Shal-hazal Spirit Will Moswen in shock. How would he even know about what I’d been ordered to do? And what did he mean about seeing things in my head?
“I know that stuff because I checked you out as a person when I took my peek into your head. Like I said, I love my brother and want to see him happy. I believe, based on what I saw in both your heads, you can be happiness for each other. By the way, you can just call me Moswen. Makes things so much simpler than spouting off the whole title thing every time you want to talk to me. For the record, unless you massively screw shit up with Tohan, I’ll make sure if he hollers for a Spirit to come save his ass, you’ll get scooped up, too. It might not be me that shows up, but any Spirit from my House that will show up answers to me, so you’ll be included because I said so. Just in case things go to shit and Tohan can’t call for help, I dumped the way to contact me into your head, too, so you can do it for both of you. Any questions? Now would be the time to ask.”
“Why are you so sure that his attraction to me isn’t just because I’m a cyborg? You said he has a thing for cyborgs.” Good lord, why did I even ask that?
Moswen’s tail started to swish from side to side. He looked uncomfortable before he shrugged. “I’m really not supposed to look deeply in the heads of my family. My Sho would chew my tail off if she found out. But I am nosy as fuck. And to be totally fair, dreams are pretty much my thing, so when I stumble across an interesting one that involves family, I can’t not look at it. Tohan has already dreamed of fucking you, and while part of the dream was of you as you look now, part of the dream was you without the cyborg parts. As a full bi-pedal. Sure, it’s going to rock his world to nail you as a cyborg, but it’s more than just your mechanical parts that makes his cock hard. Something about you strokes his tail just right. It’s instinct, and I’m the last person in the universe to go against instinct.
“I’m not going to tell Tohan about how much of you is organic. That’s your decision. I understand how vulnerable you’d be both physically and emotionally to be out of your mechanical body and bare for Tohan to see. I can’t say with one hundred percent certainty how he’ll react to that because it’s not something he’d be expecting, but I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be repulsed like you think he will. And yeah, I saw that past incident in your head, too. Shame you couldn’t have killed or at least maimed the guy who did that to you. All I can say is to go with your gut. If it seems like the right thing to do, then it probably is. I’m going to pop us back into the reception area now unless you have any more questions.”
Moswen looked at me expectantly, but I said nothing. I was sure I had a million questions, not all of them related to the fascinating doctor, but I couldn’t seem to pick which one I wanted to ask first. Moswen took my silence for a no although there was a little smile on his lips as if he knew I had things I wanted to ask but didn’t know where to start and he found that funny.
“Close your eyes and keep them that way until I tell you to open them, or you’ll puke up every last thing you ate from three days ago the second we’re back in the real world.”
I raised an eyebrow at that. That seemed extreme and possibly an exaggeration. Moswen grinned and shook his head.
“Nope, not even joking about the barfing thing. I can make you not see anything like when I first Dream-Stepped us, but asking you to close your eyes is way more polite now that we’re all friendly-like after this little conversation. I could also let you see everything I do and have you projectile vomiting from the information overload for a good five minutes once we’re back. Your choice. Pro tip, puking like it’s never going to stop without direct intervention from a god isn’t going to impress Tohan and might even lead to sympathy puking from the others in the room. I’ve seen it happen. It wasn’t pretty.”
“Aren’t the people in reception going to be frantic that we just disappeared for so long?” I asked. I’d be closing my eyes. It wouldn’t hurt anything to do so, and if it kept me from puking my guts up, that was a win.
“Nah. Time moves different in the Dream World. It might seem like we’ve been here for half an hour or so, but when we pop back in, it’ll seem like we were gone for less than thirty seconds.”
That was amazing if it was indeed true. The military ramifications of such an ability would be staggering. Moswen grinned at me like he knew exactly where my mind had gone. Then again, if this was a dream he was controlling, perhaps he did know. That was amazing and disconcerting at the same time.
“Yeah, that means exactly what you think it does as far as military manoeuvres goes. That’s why it’s a crazy amount of money to hire a Shal-hazal, especially one of us Spirits since we can transport people vast distances in the blink of an eye. Go ahead and ask Tohan about us. He doesn’t know everything because he’s not Shal-hazal and we’re a secretive bunch even with other Shal-hazals from different Houses. I know you understand about that sort of thing in general. The secret-need-to-know-level-shit that doesn’t get talked about outside of your team, but he knows a good bit more than the average person because of who he is and who he’s related to.”
It was a little freaky to have Moswen answer questions I hadn’t given voice to, but if we were in a dream, then I suppose it wasn’t all that strange. I dutifully closed my eyes even as a rush of excitement wound through me at the idea of learning more about the Shal-hazal and the things they could supposedly do. I had that same sensation of slight movement but resisted the impulse to sneak a peek at just what might be rushing past me. The tiny headache I’d had when first on the beach had faded to nothing as I’d talked to Moswen, and the last thing I wanted to do, in addition to throwing up all over the place, was to invite it back when simply keeping my eyes shut would apparently prevent that.
The slight sensation of movement stopped almost as soon as it started, and I opened my eyes when Moswen said I could. The people in the room had barely moved from the positions they’d been in when Moswen had abruptly taken me elsewhere. Doctor Huyana-Dukker was glaring suspiciously at Moswen, and there was now a mischievous smirk on Moswen’s face. I got that weird feeling of dread again just as Moswen moved with speed to his brother.
Moswen gave his brother a very un-brotherly kiss full on the mouth and stroked a hand down his brother’s tail in what I now knew—thanks to the data dump Moswen had done—was a sexually charged touch. Moswen drew back, laughed, said I was just what the doctor ordered, and vanished. Swears in multiple languages poured from the doctor’s mouth, all of them directed at Moswen. The ones I did understand were quite creative, and I was impressed with his imagination. The doctor finally wound down and dragged a hand through his hair before facing the director.
“I’m really, really sorry about Moswen. I swear to all the gods above and below that he can be extremely professional when on the job. His bringing me here was a personal favour though and he was off-the-clock so to speak. Please don’t let what you saw colour your views on the Shal-hazal. He is very competent in his capacity as a Shal-hazal and takes his job very seriously.”
The director waved off the doctor’s explanation. “Shal-hazal Spirit Will Moswen’s behaviour doesn’t concern us at this time. I do have some questions about what just happened between Warrick and Shal-hazal Spirit Will Moswen, but that information will be in Warrick’s report on the incident, so it’s not important right now either. You’ve read the reports we sent on the incidents on Demmron and are familiar with the job?”
“Yes. The crews you sent got a good start, and that’ll shorten up my work a bit. It’s still going to be a tough puzzle to solve, but I’m sure I can do it. I know I’ll be working against the clock on this to prevent any of the felons from actually leaving. I’m not going to lie. It’s going to be a tight race, and you might need to shoot down another shuttle or two before I fix it so they can’t keep taking off to test the system.”
“That won’t be an issue. All shuttles have been temporarily removed from the surface along with the support and security personnel stationed there. One of our registered shuttles will be used to take you and Warrick to Demmron from this station. It’ll be the only shuttle on the asteroid, and while it will be in a secure area, the inmates have proven to be rather resourceful, so I’d suggest you work fast before your transport is liberated, leaving you stranded there until another can make the run.”
Doctor Huyana-Dukker narrowed his eyes and his tail tip flicked up and down several times before stilling. The tail movement told me that he was annoyed and rightly so. I hadn’t known about the shuttles, support, and security crews being removed. It irritated me that I hadn’t been given that information. No back up security was going to make the job so much more difficult. Not impossible, but it was almost as if the odds of our success were being subtly stacked against us.
It was standard emergency procedure to remove personnel from the asteroid if the situation deteriorated to the point where the lives and safety of the staff, as few as there were in comparison to the inmates, were in mortal danger. Generally speaking, the prisoners had free-run of the asteroid, and the support crew was only there to make sure food, water, and medicine were distributed fairly. Security was there for protection of the support staff and to ensure that no inmates left the asteroid. As far as the current information I had went, neither the support staff nor security crew had been in any mortal danger. There had been no riots, moves of aggression against the regular staff beyond the odd incident that was more or less expected given the people held on the asteroid, or the taking over of key points of the facility. The security crew didn’t know the codes for shuttle entry and exit, so their value to the prisoners as a means to escape was zero.
The only on-going thing that I was aware of was the continued attempted hacking and attempts to leave the asteroid. Yes, the two crews that had been sent to fix the security breach had been kidnapped, tortured for what they knew, and killed. However, the data I had seemed to point to that being more an opportunistic thing the first time than a hastily planned assault like the second one seemed to be. Even with the second kidnapping, it appeared more of an unfortunate set of circumstances coming together than something executed after careful planning.
Was the continued hacking, kidnapping of the repair crews, and attempts at leaving the asteroid really as renegade as it seemed? Or was it all part of some careful plan to make it look random when in reality it wasn’t? It wouldn’t be the first time that someone on the outside had been bribed or threatened into doing something by one of the inmates of the asteroid or by some of their associates who remained at large. More data was required before I could draw a positive conclusion.
I set a sub-routine into motion to mine through the information I had. It would take a while to process everything and put the disjointed pieces of information together, but it would also be a background thing for me and wouldn’t impact my performance on my mission. I half hoped that I’d find nothing, but my gut was softly telling me that not everything was as it appeared. Perhaps Moswen’s advice to go with my gut applied to more than just how far I was willing to go with his sexy brother.
Phu’aetsu: partner—permanent pairing/mate with children (long term, not necessarily monogamous)
Shu’anad: braid partner (husband/wife). Deeply committed pairing that typically only ends with the death of one partner. The pairing can be dissolved but is rare. Only a very small percentage of Awh’anise opt for this as it is a strictly monogamous relationship.
Two thin braids about the thickness of a finger are made at the left temple of the one declaring themselves shu’anad, a braid representing each partner. The style of the braid is up to personal preference and they can be basic, complex or woven with objects. Frequently the braids are made by the partner. The braids are only undone to wash the hair or tighten them as required. If children are the result of the pairing, a braid for each child is also added to the right temple.