The thing with the security personnel and shuttles being yanked from the planet and not warning me about that beforehand was not cool on Daquan’s part. Fine, given what had happened to the two teams sent before me, I hadn’t really expected a lot of extra safety coming my way from the staff on the asteroid. But a few more eyes on the lookout for trouble was a good thing in my opinion, and I was pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who would’ve appreciated that. We weren’t going to have that now though, and judging from the super brief look of surprise on Warrick’s face, he hadn’t known about the security staff and shuttles getting pulled either.
That made me wary as fuck. I could see not telling me about the exiting of the regular staff and guards as security was not the reason I’d been hired. Whether or not there was security on the asteroid shouldn’t concern me since security wasn’t within the scope of my work. That was Warrick’s mission detail. However, not telling the guy responsible for my safety as well as his own that his job just got a lot harder due to a total lack of back-up had more than a little unpleasant smell to it.
It could fairly be said that I was a tiny bit paranoid. I liked to remind people that you weren’t paranoid if people really were out to get you. I didn’t think somebody was out to get me specifically in this instance, but something about this job was starting to make the hairs on my tail stand up. Caution was definitely going to be my watch-word while on the asteroid, and it wasn’t just because I was going to the super-max prison in this particular corner of the solar system.
Vague warning bells aside, Warrick was an even better looking masterpiece of organic engineering than his picture presented. The photo that was in the file hadn’t done him justice at all, and I’d thought that the photo was pretty damn good at the time. His eyes were a gorgeous soft, dark grey, and damned if they didn’t glint with what may have been tiny bits of gold metal in them. I loved the colour of his hair. Purple was my favourite colour after all. The colour calibration of the datapad I’d originally viewed his photo on was apparently a bit off. Or the photo had been one of those shitty government photos that always looked like crap. Warrick’s hair was still an awesome shade of purple, but it was a much deeper, richer purple with almost black-looking lowlights. I wondered if it was natural. That would be wicked cool. The Laiokian Teichle had naturally purple hair, so Warrick’s hair colour could very well be what he’d been born with.
Warrick was positively drool-worthy, and I was having a hell of a time keeping my dick to only a semi-hard state and my mind out of his awesomely engineered chassis. The upcoming shuttle ride to the asteroid was three hours from the jump-off point where we were currently, and a three-hour raging boner was not something I wanted to endure. I wouldn’t be embarrassed to be pitching a giant tent in my pants. It would just be uncomfortable and kinda frustrating, and I could totally do without that.
I couldn’t really see a way around my dick o’steel for Warrick either. I found him incredibly arousing, and he wasn’t even doing anything even remotely enticing. Unless I counted him simply breathing as enticing. I was starting to think my dick did find that erotic. I was willing to bet that if I went to the bathroom and jerked off like crazy, within the hour I’d be hard for him again. That was both cool and irritating at the same time. I’d absolutely be more than ready to jump him the second he showed even a hint of wanting that. But Awh’anise thoughts and behaviour where sex was concerned—namely doing whoever, whenever, and wherever as long as both parties wanted it—were definitely not universal constants.
I didn’t think my desire would magically ease off at the end of the shuttle ride either because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it wouldn’t. Not by a long shot. I’d just have more to distract me from thinking about getting my cock into him or getting his into me once we were on the asteroid and I was working on the security breach. I knew myself enough to know that once I was working on code somebody would need to damn near set my tail on fire before I’d surface only long enough to ask who was bar-b-cueing and if someone could bring me a plate when it was ready.
I was damn sure I’d be moving hella fast for Warrick if I were to proposition him fifteen minutes into the shuttle ride, but I sure as fuck wanted to. He still wasn’t doing anything that could remotely be called sexy or flirting. He was just standing there beside the pompous dick that was the director while the director blabbed on and on about the importance of the mission. Fine, the scent of arousal coming from Warrick was pushing all my buttons mega-hard and making me more aroused by the second, but I doubted he knew his body was doing it, and there wasn’t anything to be done about that sort of auto-response. It was a damn shame that so many alien cultures didn’t share the same views on sex that us Awh’anise did. It would make things so much easier and pleasurable for everybody if people were honest and upfront about wanting to fuck.
I could easily smell Warrick’s low-level arousal over all the other scents in the room, and it was driving me crazy in a good way. If he were Awh’anise, I’d have been all over him seconds after I realized I was the cause of his lust, and we’d have fucked right then and there. But he wasn’t Awh’anise, and that would probably be shocking and possibly even an illegal act to the people in front of me, so I restrained myself, as difficult as that was. Stars but I wanted to tackle him and lick him all over before getting down to the really fun part of dick meeting ass. I wasn’t even picky about whose dick met whose ass as long as it happened in the next ten minutes.
Fine, I couldn’t really see a bulge at his crotch that said he had a Mr. Happy stashed away in his chassis, but I’d read a few anecdotal notes in reports that were wonderfully explicit about the “fun package” that client’s had requested as part of the options when hiring a Daquan cyborg. To say the clients’ had been pleased with the performance was a bit of an understatement. While it was true I wasn’t a client and I hadn’t been asked a damn thing about my preferences for what Warrick was kitted out with, Daquan had done a ton of research on me and Awh’anise in general and would know about our love for sex and my preference for male partners. It stood to reason in my mind that they’d give Warrick something to meet those needs on this mission if we happened to click sexually. He was pressing my buttons so fucking hard that I thought they were going to get stuck permanently in the overdrive position. I was cool with that.
I choked back the soft growl that tried to leave my throat at the mental image of wrestling around with Warrick, our bodies rubbing and twisting against each other sensuously as we struggled for dominance. My cock finally won the battle over my brain at the erotic images combined with the scent of Warrick’s arousal, and I was now fully aroused, harder than stone, and ready for immediate action.
It was a damn good thing us Awh’anise didn’t get all embarrassed over popping wood in front of others because there was definitely no mistaking the fact that I was wickedly aroused. I had an awesome tent happening in my pants because of Warrick. I smirked a little at the blush on the female technician’s face and the fact that she couldn’t seem to keep her eyes off my crotch. I wasn’t the biggest dude in the cock department, but I’d been gifted with a nice package. With the typically loose style of pants us Awh’anise favoured, it was dead easy to see I was very happy about someone in the room.
I didn’t get aroused by females, but I could certainly appreciate her appreciating my cock. The male tech was making it a point not to look at me, and the director seemed oblivious as he droned on and on. Warrick’s face didn’t give anything away, but I did catch his quick glance at my crotch, and there was a nice jump in the scent of arousal coming from him after he saw what could be his if he wanted it. Sweet.
I’d never had such a visceral reaction to a person before. It wasn’t just because I was standing close to my idea of organic/mechanical perfection either. After seeing Warrick in person, I was absolutely positive that I wouldn’t have the same reaction to another cyborg. I didn’t have anything definitive to back that up except for a really strong gut feeling. I rarely ignored gut feelings.
Sure, I was curious about sex with a cyborg. Who wouldn’t be? But this strong, almost overriding need to have Warrick was different and more complex than just lusting after a cyborg. It was him specifically that I wanted. I’d even dreamed of sex with him without the cyborg parts. That would never happen, but it told me that there was more to my wanting him than just the kink of sex with a cyborg at play. What that more was, I had no idea, but I wanted to explore that. Hopefully, Warrick would be cool with that idea.
The little side trip Moswen had taken Warrick on was eating at my curiosity. I loved Moswen dearly, but there was a reason our entire extended family called him a trouble magnet. To be fair, Moswen didn’t actively court disaster. It just seemed to follow him around and tended to rub off on those close to him. In the name of full disclosure, what often seemed to be disaster of epic proportions at first usually ended up working out for the best in the end. It was just getting from the disaster to the good ending that was hard as fuck. Tyh once told me that the Fire Snakes—creatures of immense power and knowledge that were responsible for shoving us several rungs up the evolutionary ladder—called it Moswen’s chaos effect. Tyh said that chaos effect even prevented the Fire Snakes from clearly seeing the future around Moswen, which was apparently a huge deal to the Fire Snakes. They said they weren’t gods, but from everything I’d heard, they were close enough to not really matter about some minor technicality in the wording.
“Warrick will pilot the shuttle to the asteroid. Everything you requested has been loaded onboard. If there is anything else you think you’ll need, tell us now as once you leave here, you won’t be able to get any further supplies excepting what you may be able to scavenge from around the prison buildings. I would advise against trying that though given the hostile and frequently violent nature of the prisoners there,” the director said.
“The prisoners have free run of the facility barring a few, fortified areas like the reactor that powers the facility, the shuttle landing bays, the secure area where the computers are located, and the food and water storage depot. There are no dedicated quarters for personnel as they are changed out at the end of each shift. Staff leave by shuttle at the end of their shift and go to a derelict ship in permanent orbit around the asteroid where they eat, relax, and sleep before returning to the surface the next day for their shift. The ship will not be available for your use as sleeping quarters because of the ongoing issues on the asteroid. However, your shuttle has been supplied with blankets, pillows, and expandable foam sleeping pads for use in the computer building. Once you lock the door behind you, either the security code or explosives are required to open the door. The security codes were recently changed when the staff was removed from the surface, but it would likely be in your best interests to change them yet again when you arrive just as another layer of security.”
I hadn’t been expecting a five-star hotel room, but it kinda sucked to find out that there wouldn’t even be a half-star room available on this job. I wasn’t a stranger to camping and actually enjoyed it for the most part. But camping in the woods was worlds different from sleeping indoors on some shitty sleeping pads. At least, it sounded like we’d be safe to fall asleep in the computer building. I could probably get more details about just how safe we’d really be in the computer room from Warrick. I liked knowing what odds were stacked against me from the start.
“Long as everything I asked for is loaded up, then we’re good to go,” I said. “If I’ve forgotten anything, well, I’ll need to figure something out or cobble something together from supplies I have or whatever I can find. I’m good at thinking outside of the box.”
“We know that the job we’re asking you to do isn’t the easiest task and that you’re well aware of the need to have the situation resolved as soon as possible. With that in mind, what sort of timeframe do you anticipate to plug the breach and prevent others from happening?” The director asked.
I shrugged. “Realistically? To fix everything and stop future breaches? Minimum of two weeks if I was working with a dedicated team of at least four other senior programmers. With just me, and maybe the odd hand Warrick can give me, working my tail off, a month at the soonest and that’s being incredibly optimistic.”
The director started to sputter about that timeframe not being good enough. I cut him off, holding up my hand to stop the flow of words before he could really get himself wound up.
“I know you don’t have that kind of time. I read the report. Fixing everything and stopping future breaches isn’t what I’m going to do when we get there. I don’t have the luxury of either time or personnel to do that, which I’m sure you’re aware of. I’m freaking amazing and can make code dance to any damn tune I want. But I’m not a miracle worker, and these things take time, which I know you know.
“What I am going to do is plug the security holes I can find and make it extremely difficult for the people currently trying to break the system to do so, at least for a little while. That’ll buy time for your people here to keep working on the problem of permanently closing the holes in your security protocols. I will be sending regular updates of what I’m doing via a secure channel so your programmers can keep working the problem on this end. I anticipate ten to fourteen standard days to do that. Obviously faster is better, and I’ll do my best to make that happen,” I said.
“That’s not what we’re hiring you to do,” the director said with a scowl on his face. “We’re paying you exceedingly well to fix the problem and prevent it from happening again.”
I raised an eyebrow at that. That was not what had been spelled out in the contract I signed. I was very careful about what I signed and what my obligations were to hold up my end of the deal. I’d have never signed a damn thing if that had been what was demanded in the contract with the urgency and shortness of time available to get it done. There would’ve been no way for me to fulfill my end of the deal, and I wasn’t so keen on some of the penalties outlined for not doing what I was being contracted to do. Apparently, the director hadn’t read the contract as carefully as I had. Or maybe he was an idiot in addition to a pompous dick.
“Actually, the contract we both signed states that you’re hiring me to stop the current security breach at the penal facility on Demmron. That’s it. I had someone who’s excellent with all that legal double-talk read it over for me before I signed it, and there’s nothing in the wording that says I need to do anything to prevent further security breaches. But, I don’t believe in doing a half-assed job, so I’m going to go that extra step and make it very hard for the ones hacking your system and getting access they shouldn’t from getting that access again.”
The director scowled fiercely, but I wasn’t phased in the slightest. I’d been on the receiving end of scarier looks from way scarier people. My sho being one of those people and someone that could fucking terrify me under the right circumstances. The director wasn’t even close to being intimidating. I returned his stare with one of my own and waited for him to realize that he wasn’t going to be able to make me agree to something I hadn’t signed a contract for. He grumbled after only a few minutes and huffed out an impatient breath.
Director zero, Doctor Huyana-Dukker one.
“You will have no weapons on the asteroid. The inmates have more than enough creativity coming up with ways to kill using common items without introducing actual weapons. Warrick has clearance to shoot to kill any inmate he perceives as a threat to either of you, and we’re authorizing you, Doctor, to use deadly force if necessary to defend yourself. We know that you’ve received combat training during your time in the Awh’anise military and that your people, in general, are skilled fighters. The little fight you had with Shal-hazal Spirit Moswen when you first arrived was an excellent example of those skills. However, it would be in your best interests to leave the combat to Warrick as that is part of his mission parameters.”
“Yeah, I read that about the no weapons thing. I’m not exactly thrilled about it, but I understand the why of it. You said Warrick has clearance to shoot to kill. Does that mean he’s got some armament? You’re not worried about that falling into some less than desirable hands?” I asked curiously.
It didn’t seem fair that Warrick got some kind of weapon and I didn’t. They knew I had combat training, and while us Awh’anise did favour hand-to-hand combat for the pure joy of feeling a fist connect with a face and the crunching of breaking bone, we did know how to use all kinds of nifty and deadly weapons. Being violent and excellent killing machines was kind of our thing. I wasn’t a crack shot or a sniper by any stretch of the imagination, but I sure as hell would hit what I was aiming at most of the time as long as my target wasn’t too far away. A scope sure as shit helped, too, since I didn’t have the best eyesight once distance got involved in the story. Or when bright light entered the picture. I didn’t do so shit-hot then in general never mind when trying to pop off some shots. My eyes were more sensitive to light than the average Awh’anise, but it usually wasn’t much of a problem.
Not that I planned to be landing my ass on a max security asteroid with nothing to back me up if it came down to crunch time. I had a lovely little pair of Awh’anise weapons strapped to each thigh. At a casual glance, they looked like nothing more than twelve inch-long sticks. Flick your wrist when you whip them out, then you suddenly had thirty-six inches worth of high-tensile strength steel ready to do some skull bashing. They also had cool, six inch long curved spikes that popped out beyond the grip that could be used to slash or deflect blows from somebody similarly armed. No, they wouldn’t help me stop a bullet or laser blast, but where I was going, there was only a slim chance of those types of weapons being fired at me. I hoped.
“Warrick’s laser pistols are keyed genetically to him. Anyone who picks one up won’t be able to make it fire. Tampering with the pistols to try to override that will cause them to detonate. The explosion isn’t large, but it will typically remove the hands and possibly the arms up to the elbows with the force of the blast. The pistols are stored within the thighs of Warrick’s chassis, and anyone who attempts to break those open won’t be able to do it without heavy power tools. If Warrick is compromised to the point where someone is able to try to pry open the gun compartments, getting the guns out will be, quite literally, the last thing the person will be thinking of,” the director said in a confident voice.
I raised a brow at that. “Really? You sound awfully sure of that.”
“There is a failsafe installed in Warrick’s chassis. Should he be compromised with no potential way out, he’s been ordered to engage his failsafe. Should he die, the failsafe triggers automatically. I’d highly advise getting as far away as possible from Warrick at that point as the failsafe will level an area with a radius of approximately two hundred feet. You’ll have sixty seconds to escape once his sensors record the stopping of his organic components. It will be unfortunate to lose his chassis, but it’s the best way to ensure that our technology doesn’t fall into the wrong hands,” the director said, his tone implying that he’d be more upset at losing the tech than Warrick himself.
Well, shit. That sucked big time. I looked at Warrick, but he didn’t give away a damn thing from his expression. That didn’t mean he was unaffected by the idea of being a walking bomb just waiting for the right time to go off. He was probably just really good at hiding what had to be a nauseating possibility.
It also pissed me off that the director seemed to be more bothered by the idea of losing the tech than Warrick. He didn’t seem to care if Warrick knew that either. From everything I’d been able to find out about the Daquan cyborgs, which admittedly wasn’t a lot, they were people and not simply a soulless machine. There were quite a few anecdotal notes in files that mentioned personal quirks and behaviours that pointed to the Daquan cyborgs being a whole lot more organic than other cyborgs produced around the universe.
“And on that cheery note, I’d say it’s time for us to get going. The sooner we leave, the sooner we arrive, and I get working on your little issue,” I said.
That was an entirely true statement, but I also wanted to get away from the director before I punched him in the face. That was not a good way to start off a working relationship with someone who was paying you a lot of money. Even among the Awh’anise it was considered rude to punch out your new boss unless he or she threw the first punch.
“Very well. Warrick will guide you to the shuttle. If you have any questions of a technical nature that were not covered in the report you were sent, ask Warrick. He has all the most current files on the situation and is fully capable of aiding you should you need it. We expect you to have this issue dealt with in a timely manner,” The director said before nodding at Warrick and walking away.
The two others in the room scurried after the director leaving me alone with Warrick. I’d have loved to greet him as an Awh’anise, but I’d read that a lot of other species felt uncomfortable with that sort of up close and touchy-feely sort of thing as if being encroached into their personal space. As much as I wanted to touch Warrick, I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable. If I was lucky, the touching would come later and be very welcome.
“Shall we head to the shuttle, Doctor Huyana-Dukker?” Warrick asked in perfect Awh’anise as he gestured to a door opposite the one the Director and techs had gone through.
Stars, he had a great voice. Mid-level in tone with a cool touch of roughness to it. I bet he sounded amazing during sex. I wondered if he was a talker or just made guttural noises. I was good with either. The language thing had to be Moswen’s doing. It was kinda awesome that he’d done that for Warrick even if some parts of our language would be impossible for Warrick to get right since he lacked a tail. Or claws. Or fangs. There were alternate words that could be used in those instances, but some of the impact and nuance would be lost. I mentally shrugged. It wasn’t that big a deal really. I thought it was cool though that he’d speak to me in Awh’anise when he knew Common worked just fine as I’d been speaking that to the Director the whole time.
“Just Tohan is fine. I’m not a super formal kinda guy. I’m ready to go; so lead away. Moswen said he’d drop my stuff in the shuttle bay, so it should be there. Hopefully, we won’t need to hunt around for it. He said not to worry and that he’d find out what shuttle to stash it in, but chaos tends to follow him around, so it might not be exactly where it’s supposed to be. Actually, there’s a better than average chance that Moswen’s chaos effect has kicked in, and we’ll be hunting high and low for my stuff.”
“Chaos effect?” Warrick asked as I joined him at the door and followed him through it.
“Disaster follows Moswen around like some kind of demented, super loyal pet. It tends to rub off on those close to him, too, although that’s not his fault. You’ve only had the one interaction with him so you’re probably safe from his special brand of what-the-fuckery. Me, on the other hand, well, better than two decades of contact means weird shit will happen in my life. It’s just a matter of when not if and how big of a disaster in the making it is.”
“I did have a strange sense of impending doom when he grabbed me but assumed that was just a combination of surprise and confusion,” Warrick said as he escorted me into a mag-lift and hit a button marked ‘Docking’.
I groaned and leaned my head back against the wall of the mag-lift. Warrick’s brow furrowed, and he looked mildly concerned.
“Should I be worried or take extra precautions? What sort of disaster are we talking about? Is it something we can even plan against?”
“I have no idea. Honest. Nobody does. Not even Moswen. It can be epic-bad—like the kind of bad you only see in movies or read in books to make things exciting. At least at first, it’s monstrously bad like that. Generally, the end result is actually really, really good. But getting through the shitty beginning to the good ending is.... Well, epic songs have been sung for lesser things.”
“Such as? You have personal experience with this?” Warrick asked as the mag-lift stopped and the doors opened to the docking area of the space station.
Shuttles of various sizes were scattered around the large open space. Surprisingly few people were around given the size of the space station we were on. Then again, for all I knew, it could be the middle of lunch break or a shift change or whatever. As long as the shuttle we were going to be on was stocked with the stuff we needed and could get us there in one piece, I’d be happy.
“My experiences have only been second-hand. On the edges of the mega clusterfucks, thank the gods. I suppose I’m over-due for my turn in that regard. I mean, there was the thing with Effie slamming into my life, and that was definitely life-changing but not like, monumental. Effie would probably see it different but....” I said with a small sigh. “I can give you a brief run-down on those instances on the way to the asteroid if you want. It makes for a good story or collection of stories I guess is a better way to put it. You can decide for yourself your position on Moswen’s chaos effect after that. I swear to all the gods above and below that it really is a thing.”
“I’ll hold you to hearing those stories. Who’s Effie? That name wasn’t in any of the files I have,” Warrick said with a smile as he stepped from the mag-lift.
“Effie is a hy’prae that I accidentally saved over a year ago. He’s convinced I saved him on purpose, so he won’t leave me alone now. It’s cool though. Except for times like now when I have to go away for work. He’s got separation/abandonment issues and freaks the hell out when I go somewhere and he can’t come. I totally expect my place to be trashed when I get home,” I said.
“Effie is a hy’prae? Fascinating. I wouldn’t mind hearing more about that, too,” Warrick said as he walked with purpose toward a smaller-sized shuttle with official-looking markings on the side.
I followed him into the open door and looked to the rear of the shuttle. I could see a variety of boxes strapped down to the floor and assumed they were the supplies I’d asked for as well as the stuff that we’d need for our stay on the asteroid. Peeking out from behind one of the boxes I saw the end of a large duffle bag that had some clothes, toiletries, and a few personal items of mine. I knew the bag was mine as it was day-glo orange with dark purple stars and crescent moons. Everybody laughed when they saw it, but I’d never had trouble finding my bag when travelling, and nobody had ever confused it with one of their bags.
“Should I assume the orange and purple bag is yours?” Warrick asked as he gave me a look that clearly said I was out of my mind if I was to claim such an obnoxious piece of baggage.
“Yep. I’ve never lost it because of the way it looks. There is a method to my madness and apparent lack of taste.”
Warrick chuckled, shook his head, and moved to the front of the shuttle where he slid into one of the seats and strapped himself in. I took the seat next to him and buckled myself in. Warrick started flipping switches and pushing buttons as he prepared for take-off. The shuttle jolted a little at the soft thud of the door closing, followed by the hiss of it sealing shut. Engines rumbled to life before settling into a low hum that was at the very bottom of my hearing for a few minutes. Warrick spoke to somebody over the comm, and when we were given the go ahead to leave, the engine hum dropped below my range of hearing as the shuttle lifted off the deck and headed for the opening. There was a brief flicker of blue-white light across the window as the shuttle passed through the energy barrier of the pressurized docking bay and out into the nothingness of space.
As Warrick piloted the shuttle away from the station, I stayed quiet so he could concentrate on what he was doing and just watched him. He really was too fine-featured to be called handsome. He was straight-up, fucking beautiful. With the right hair style and make-up he could pass, without much effort, for a gorgeous woman. Come to think of it, most of the pictures of Daquan cyborgs featured men and women who could go either way depending on hair style and whether or not they wore make-up. The chest area did give them away though as the females did have noticeable breasts.
As I watched him fly the shuttle, I idly wondered why he had long-ish hair. He was a cyborg that was part of a military arm, and many militaries had a standard of short hair for their soldiers. His hair was probably as long as mine. It was about mid-back, maybe a touch shorter, but definitely beyond the typical military almost-shaved-head cut so many soldiers wore. I thought it was interesting that Warrick had long hair. I liked it.
While I was currently working for the Awh’anise military, I was a civilian contractor and could wear my hair any damn way I pleased. Not that long hair was forbidden in the Awh’anise military. You could wear your hair any length you wanted. If you kept your hair long, you simply took the risk of it being used to grab and hold you while someone rearranged your face for you.
After a good fifteen minutes of flight, Warrick punched some random-to-me buttons and swivelled his seat to face me.
“We’re on auto-pilot now as the flight to the asteroid is fairly straight forward with little real-time piloting skills required. I’ll pick up the controls again as we approach the asteroid and land manually. The docking bays are located along the outer edge of a central hub for the facility services. We’ll need to walk or find a power cart to get to the computer room. It’s not far to walk and would take less than five minutes. However, we do have several boxes to bring with us, and it would be expedient to make one trip if at all possible, which is why I suggest the power cart. The fewer times we leave the computer room, the lower the chance of something happening. We should give the inmates as few possible opportunities to try something against us.
“I’ve read a rather extensive file on you, but I’m unsure what, if any, information about me was provided to you. I’m not talking about my qualifications as a bodyguard, my combat skills, or my proficiencies with assorted weapons. I think it would be a good idea for us to get to know one another a little better on a more personal level. We’ll be working closely in a space slightly bigger than a typical two-bedroom apartment for possibly the next two weeks based on your time estimate for getting the job done. Experience has taught me that it’s much easier to spend that kind of constant time in a smaller space if we’re friendly with one another. If you have any questions for me, now would be a good time to ask as we have two hours and thirty-eight minutes before reaching the asteroid. I believe we can cover all the necessary ground in that time.”
Any questions for him? Hell yeah, I had questions. First and foremost being, can we please, please, please have wild sex? Like right now? And again later? And could I lick him all over? And did he like sucking cock? If yes, would he like to suck my cock? How did he feel about rimming? Did he have any kinks? Stars, my questions about just the sex we could enjoy with each other could probably fill a short novel.
I had other questions of a technical nature regarding cyborgs, but I wasn’t sure he’d actually be allowed to tell me very much about that. I understood why, proprietary secrets and all that, but I’d probably ask anyway just to see if there was anything he could tell me. I’d ask about the facility we were headed to as well since the more I knew the better. I hated to go into a situation blind if it could be avoided at all.
But the sex questions were really all I could think about at the moment. I figured it was best to get at least the main one, whether he’d sleep with me or not, out of the way as soon as possible. He said he’d read an extensive file on me. I didn’t doubt for one second that it was more than just a footnote about the high sex drive of an Awh’anise since it was such a huge factor in our lives.
“I assume the extensive file you read on me also mentioned the stupidly high sex drive my people have. It probably also mentioned my being a bit weird by Awh’anise standards in only being attracted to men since that’s never been any kind of secret. I’m also betting there was something about us being pushy and aggressive in general in there, too.”
Warrick smiled. “Yes, that was all detailed. Moswen was also good enough to give me a wealth of information on your people with regards to culture, customs, political, religious, and familial relations in addition to what appears to be your entire language both written and spoken. I’m still processing it all as the amount of data is massive, but I anticipate a complete review to be completed within the next twenty-eight to thirty-four hours dependent on the final amount of cross-referencing required to catalogue all the information. He was very thorough in providing all the data although I’m a little unclear on the how, exactly, of him doing that. I had no sensation of anything being done, and oddly enough, my cybernetic components didn’t register anything being added or deleted. He said I should ask you if I was really curious about how that happened.”
I grinned. I owed Moswen large for the data dump he’d done into Warrick’s head. It would potentially make my working with Warrick worlds easier. I was an easy-going guy, and I’d worked with a few other alien species before, but it was always a bit of a challenge to not create an incident from something that should’ve been a minor thing. From my own experiences, the aggressive, pushy, and highly sexual nature of the Awh’anise frequently led to misunderstandings on both sides of the equation.
“I can’t tell you the mechanics of how a Shal-hazal puts stuff into your head. That’s way above my pay grade if you catch my meaning. Moswen and Tyh have said that when people dream, their minds are like looking at a picture book or a movie that they can watch really, really fast. When they want to add stuff that’s basic like the Awh’anise language or stuff about our culture, they just add pages to the book or scenes to that movie. They’re not trying to be sneaky about what they’re doing. The tricky part, apparently, is adding stuff or changing things so that the dreamer never knows that was done and believes the new info is one hundred percent truth. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that, but that’s the best analogy I’ve heard.
“My sho is a Shal-hazal Healer class, and she says that Shal-hazal brains are different from regular Awh’anise brains. Or most brains really. Something about rapid inter-hemispherical switching not being a thing for them, and their brains are sort of stuck in the blown-wide-open position all the time. The chemical levels in a Shal-hazal brain are at what should be dangerously high, if not fatal, levels. They should be having seizures, psychotic episodes, and wildly swinging emotional states. But they’re fine, and if those chemicals drop to what are considered normal levels, that’s when the trouble starts for the Shal-hazal. Or so I’ve been told. I’m not even going to pretend to understand half of what my sho told me the one time I was dumb enough to ask how Shal-hazal could be the way they were. I’m weak as hell on the biology end of things, but I do have a better than average understanding. I was still lost and confused.”
“Fascinating. If both hemispheres of the brain are being utilized at the same time, their processing speed would be incredible. I caught a millisecond glimpse of something, I’m not sure what, when Moswen took me away for our talk. I have a high-speed processor embedded in my brain, and I still couldn’t make sense of what I saw then. Or even now having had a little time to try to review what I saw.”
“Yeah, that’s kind of the way Shal-hazal stuff in general seems to work. Super cool but fucked if you know how it’s even possible.”
Warrick chuckled at that. “There are always mysteries of the universe to be solved. I think once we solve one question, three more are revealed. In my opinion, the world would be a very boring place if we knew the answer to everything.”
“You’re probably right about that. Since you opened the door for us to play riddle me this, I have a question that is burning in my brain demanding an answer.”
“Go ahead. I’ll answer to the best of my abilities. Be forewarned though, there are some questions I’ll be unable to answer for security reasons or because the information is simply unavailable to me.”
“Fair enough, and I kinda expected that would be the case. But I’m pretty sure you can answer this one easy enough. I find you massively attractive. You could probably tell by the rock-hard boner I’ve been sporting this entire time. I’ve read things that say Daquan cyborgs can be outfitted with all kinds of sexy-fun-times options. I could smell your arousal back at the space station, and I can still smell it now. Since it’s just you and me in this shuttle and your arousal scent hasn’t gone down, I’m going to assume that it means you also find me attractive.
“We’re not shy about sex, either doing it wherever with whomever or talking about it in general. A lot of species apparently find that rude or offensive. I’m not trying to be either thing, so I’ll apologize in advance if I come off that way with what I’m about to say. I want to have sex with you. I’m not picky about who does who as long as everybody enjoys themselves. Is sex something you’d do with me? Is it even an option for you? I mean I’ve read some anecdotal things that say it’s possible for Daquan cyborgs to have sex, but I couldn’t find anything official that said it was a thing for you.”
Warrick seemed surprised for a brief moment before he smiled at me. Damn, he was super hot when he smiled like that. It was knowing and sexy with a healthy dose of anticipation. Sweet!
“I’m not offended with you being honest with me. I actually appreciate your blunt honesty. I like knowing exactly what another expects or wants from me. I’d read that the Awh’anise sense of smell and hearing were sharper than those of many species. I didn’t realize your sense of smell was that sharp. You can actually smell arousal pheromones coming from me?” Warrick asked with a mix of surprise and curiosity in his voice.
“Yeah. I can also smell fear and whether or not a female is ready to be bred. Not to belabour anything but about the sex thing, are you interested in fucking me or me fucking you? I swear I won’t be mad or offended if you say no, and I’ll never bring it up again.”
“Because you’re being very open and honest with me, I believe it’s only fair that I be just as open and honest with you. Moswen warned me that you may not like what I’m about to tell you. He admitted to what he called taking a peak into my head. He was not happy about what he saw and said that you’d probably see it the same way. Please let me say all I need to without interrupting or asking any questions.”
I did not like how that sounded. If Moswen wasn’t happy about something he saw in Warrick’s head and said I’d likely not be cool with whatever that was, too, he was probably right. Just from what we’d been talking about I assumed it was related to sex in some way. It made my gut clench to think that sex wouldn’t be a thing between us. Sure, Warrick smelled deliciously strongly of arousal, but that didn’t necessarily meant he’d act on it. He could have some sort of ethical code about not sleeping with a client. Just because I’d read stuff about other cyborgs getting their freak on with a client didn’t mean he would.
“Part of my mission parameters are to have sex with you if you asked me to. The consensus there is that it would make the mission run smoother if you had a safe outlet for your desires given the very high sexual drive of your people. Your fascination with cyborgs, attraction to your own sex, as well as preferences of general physical looks were reviewed thoroughly, and I was chosen as the best candidate, meeting the bulk of what you’d look for in a partner, out of the currently available cyborgs.
“This mission isn’t the first time that command has been included as part of my mission parameters. It’s very unlikely to be the last time either. I do find you very attractive and being attracted to a client and allowed to become intimate with him is not a frequent occurrence for me. Like you, I’m only attracted to males, however, I have programming installed that simulates an arousal for females when I’m required to service one. A variant of that program also allows for me to appear to be aroused by a male that I don’t actually feel arousal for.”
Wait, what? Ordered to sleep with me? Not the first time to be forced to sleep with someone? Programs that make Warrick fuck when that’s not what he wants? My temper started to burn, and I had to clench my jaw to keep from protesting how wrong that was. Warrick asked to say his piece without my interrupting, and I’d do that, but damn it was hard to not say how fucked up and wrong that was. And how much that whole idea pissed me off.
“To be clear, Tohan, when I saw your photos, I felt an immediate attraction that had nothing to do with programming or what I’d been ordered to do. I actually stimulated myself to the point of release after viewing your photos because I found you that arousing physically. I’ve never done that before, and there have been a few times that I’ve been attracted to other clients. Regardless of being ordered to see to your sexual needs, I’d do it because I want to not because I have to. I’m positive that if I’d been told not to engage in sexual relations with you, I’d have done it anyway because I find you very desirable. Yes, that would’ve landed me in trouble for disobeying a direct order, but unless my actions compromised the mission, the likely worse-case-scenario would’ve been severe restriction of my movements or solitary confinement for a week or two. I can handle either of those easy enough.
“Moswen warned me that you might view my orders as slavery. I don’t view what I’ve been ordered to do as being enslaved. They’re simply mission orders to me. I’m not fond of the orders, but my opinion on them is irrelevant. From what I’ve already processed regarding culture of the Awh’anise, I understand slavery is a very big issue to the Awh’anise. Personal freedoms are sacrosanct, and slavery is the antithesis to everything you believe in.
“I am a soldier created by my government to fulfill a series of roles, and I’m expected to follow the orders given to me. I have pride in my job and strive to carry out my mission orders to the best of my abilities. You were in the military yourself, so I know you understand about following orders.”
“Yeah, I get orders and the need to follow them, but fucking someone or letting someone fuck you when you don’t want either thing is just wrong. It’s a violation of your rights. It’s gods damned rape is what it is, and I refuse to participate in that.” Anger grew in me at what was being demanded of Warrick.
“To the Daquan government, I am a product and a highly specialized machine. I’m not thrilled with that view-point as I see myself as a person. Technically, I don’t have a name, I have a designation number. The scientists soon realized that it was better to give us names and encourage our growth as individuals if they wanted independent, critically thinking creations that weren’t just robots in meat suits. By allowing us to develop personalities, we became what had originally been envisioned for the program. We even exceed the original goals.
“I am a free-thinking person, but I don’t have the same autonomous rights that someone like you has. I’ve never known anything different, and it honestly doesn’t bother me. That’s not to say I’ve enjoyed having sex with those I was not attracted to, but it was part of my mission, so I carried out my orders. It’s the same to me as killing someone during a mission. I don’t enjoy killing but I do it when it’s required as part of my orders.”
I guess I could see his point when it was looked at that way. It still smacked of slavery to me and I didn’t like it one bit.
“Rest assured, Tohan, I want to have sex with you. I currently have a nice attachment installed for that purpose, and yes, I can most certainly feel pleasure through the attachment, so it isn’t something that only benefits you. I’m also fully capable of being penetrated and will feel pleasure that way as well, which I quite enjoy. Whenever you want to have sex, tell me. You’ll have a very willing partner.”
I blew out a soft breath. This was not at all the way I thought this conversation was going to go. It was cool that he was being so upfront and open about things, but it was a little bit of a arousal-killer for me to learn what I just had. That lowering of my arousal was probably just a temporary thing though. My dick was now only half-hard. I still really wanted him. But now, I wanted to show him how good it could be when mutual desire was at play. Not that I thought I was some kinda sex god in the bedroom, but I was generally really focused on making sure my partner got the most out of the experience with me. I was a big-time giver in the sex department.
“Okay. I’m not happy hearing that you were ordered to sleep with me as part of the mission. I am glad to hear that you wanted to anyway. Consent is everything for us Awh’anise. It’s serious shit if someone doesn’t stop when their partner says stop. Dunno if you’ve come across it yet, but all you need to say to stop me from making any sexual moves on you is tay. That’s driven into every Awh’anise brain, and we will stop dead from doing anything sexual with the one who said it until that person says they want to be sexual again. You want to get your freak on, you just say so, and I’ll be all over you.”
“I had come across that information. Actually, I went looking specifically for the data regards the sexuality of the Awh’anise. I’m quite intrigued by the sliaru and the reactions that have been documented. Unexpected deaths aside, it sounds like an experience that I’d really love to try.”
I grinned at that. Sliaru was damn cool. Warrick could test it out orally and get the same sexual rush as getting it anally since it was most easily absorbed by mucus membranes. I doubted whatever sensors he had in what passed for an ass would be able to replicate what sliaru did. Problem was, sometimes other species had a really bad reaction to sliaru and there were even deaths associated with exposure. Warrick, assuming he was entirely of Daquan genetic stock, wasn’t one of the species that we knew about that died when exposed to sliaru since there was no record of a Daquan getting intimate with an Awh’anise. Any species that had a toxic reaction to sliaru was made common knowledge especially to anyone leaving Awh’an.
“For the most part I’ve got no problems with letting you experience sliaru. But since there hasn’t been a Daquan exposed to it, to the best of my knowledge, I’ve no idea what sort of reaction you’ll have to it. I’d rather leave that bit of fun to a place where there’s reasonably close medical staff just in case something goes horribly wrong.”
“I appreciate the concern and caution. I can, however, do some rudimentary testing myself. Us cyborgs are designed to be resistant to a host of diseases, poisons, and toxins. Some of them are very lethal, yet the worst I might get is a bad cough or headache. I’m not immune to everything as that’s impossible, but the list of things that are not dangerous to me is quite extensive. I also have access to a variety of antitoxins although that would obviously not be helpful with regards to sliaru since it would be an unknown element, and I’ve nothing prepared to deal with it.”
“How would you do these tests? You’d need a lab of some sort wouldn’t you? Is there some type of lab, even a basic one, at the facility?”
“I have a small kit that allows me to test things to see if whatever it is would be reasonably safe for me to eat or drink if I were in a position where I had no readily available safe food or water and had to forage among local flora and fauna. It’s not foolproof, but it’s reasonably accurate. It should be able to provide me with enough data to extrapolate whether sliaru would be harmful to me or not.”
“Cool. Guess you’d need a sample, huh?” I asked with a grin. I liked where this was going.
Warrick grinned back. “Yes. I assume that wouldn’t be difficult for you to provide.”
“Oh hell no. I could get you that in like under five minutes. And have fun doing it.”
“Excellent. We have two hours and six minutes before I need to assume the controls again for our landing. Once I have the sample and mix it with the regents, the results would take under ten minutes to acquire.”
“Fan-freaking-tastic. Just to be clear, you understand that sliaru is produced by pearl-like bumps that appear under the skin along the length of my cock and that I have to be very aroused and relax my control for them to appear, right?”
“Yes. I’ll help in any way that I can. For science, of course,” Warrick said with a straight face even as I caught what appeared to be humour in his eyes.
“For science. Right,” I said as I tried to keep a straight face as well but failed and ended up with what I was sure was a goofy smile. I would love for him to help me out, but since sliaru was also absorbed, to a lesser degree, through basic contact with skin, I was going to need to work solo on producing sliaru. Not that it would be a hardship to jerk off while Warrick watched.
I slipped a hand under the open edge of my wrap pants and pushed the fabric to the side exposing my still semi-hard cock. Warrick’s earlier revelation about being ordered to join me between the sheets and the slavery vibe those words had for me hadn’t gone very far in smothering my desire for him. I probably should’ve felt a little bad about that but couldn’t quite seem to get my brain to go far in that direction. I took my cock in hand and started to stroke myself. It was super hot to have Warrick watching me so intently. The scent of his arousal was slowly rising, and that made my desire jump higher. In no time flat, I was back to being hard enough to hammer nails with my cock.
“The pearls secrete sliaru through the skin. It’s very slick and has a sort of rainbow shimmer to it. I think it tastes pretty good, but that may be personal preference. I find it a little sweet and spicy. You might wanna get whatever you need ready to collect that sample. Once sliaru takes effect, orgasm isn’t very far away, and there’s not a lot you can do to slow it down. I’ll also need to jerk off again right away to get residual amounts of it out of my system. The second orgasm is just as fast as the first and really isn’t an example of my staying power. Honest.”
“Noted. You have a very nice cock, Tohan. Even without sliaru being involved I’m looking forward to sex with you. I have a bit of an oral fixation. You wouldn’t mind indulging me along those lines would you?” Warrick asked before licking his lips as he stared at my cock.
“Mind? Excessive thanks is what you’ll get,” I said with a breathy laugh as I stroked myself faster to the mental image of Warrick on his knees sucking my cock down his throat.
Warrick leered at me before he reached down and pressed something near his knee. A small section of his calf opened, and he removed a thin, rectangular box. The panel slid back into place, and he waited with the box in his hand, his eyes fixed on the motion of my hand stroking over my dick. The scent of his arousal rose making my arousal spike.
I let go of my dick and relaxed my control. The pearls appeared, and I groaned softly in pleasure. It always felt good to be completely free of restraint. Sex without the pearls was good, but sex with them was even better. I waited for whatever Warrick needed to do to run his test, my cock twitching eagerly. A thin rod extended from the box and he gently ran the rod through the thin layer of sliaru covering my dick. I hissed in pleasure at the light touch to my now super sensitive dick.
“I’d love to be able to help you out with that erection, but until I have the results of the test, it’s best that I don’t touch what I’d really like to touch since sliaru is absorbed though the skin,” Warrick said as the rod disappeared back into the box, and he set the box on the console.
“You’ve got no objections to my doing something about it while we wait, do you? I swear it’s not a line, but my balls are starting to ache with the need to come. Sliaru’s entire purpose is to enhance breeding capacity for both males and females. For males, it means increased arousal, basically zero refraction time, and frequent orgasms.”
“No objections what-so-ever. Matter of fact, I’d enjoy watching you find your pleasure,” Warrick said as he gestured for me to take myself in hand and finish what I’d started. “Would you mind if I touched myself along with you?”
“Oh, fuck. Yes, please,” I said as I started to stroke myself again, my eyes focused on Warrick.
Warrick unbuttoned his short jacket and shrugged out of it. I actually stopped mid-stroke and stared. He had tattoos? Cool. There was an elaborate tribal-style tattoo across his chest with what looked like a stylized hy’prae in the center. The body of the quasi-hy’prae appeared to be a diamond-shaped purple jewel. He also had tatts on both biceps from shoulder to nearly his elbow that looked to be swirls of some sort with stars scattered around them. I squinted a bit and sucked in a surprised breath when I saw that there were tiny hy’prae hanging from the swirls. That couldn’t be a coincidence. Not when I had Moswen for a brother.
“Why do you have a bunch of hy’prae tattooed on your body?” I asked in a voice that wasn’t entirely steady.
“They’re actually spiders which are like hy’prae only much, much smaller. Most spiders are only a few inches in size. I did a job for a company from a planet several galaxies away. The target was to be injected with a certain type of spider venom to make the hit look like natural causes. It killed her in less than twenty minutes. Spiders are native to that planet and after learning more about them, I was fascinated by them. I’ve seen some in person, too. They’re quite interesting as a species. Marvellous engineers, too.
“The person I worked with on that job, Rune, dragged me out to celebrate the successful mission. When I woke up the next day, I had the tattoo across my chest but no recollection of how I’d gotten it. Even my data files were a little disjointed. It took me an entire day to reconstruct what happened. I liked the tattoo so kept it. The other tattoos I had added later. I’ve got another across my back, too. We’re allowed to do minor modifications to our organic parts such as tattoos and piercings. As long as said modifications don’t impact our performance on missions the scientists don’t care. Why do you seem surprised to see my tattoos?”
I shook my head. “I think I’ve just been seriously targeted by Moswen’s chaos effect. I swear we can talk about that in more detail later. Right now though, my balls really are starting to feel like they’re going to burst.”
“I’ll hold you to that later discussion,” Warrick said with a look that told me he wasn’t going to forget about my weird reaction to his tatts.
That was fine. I really would talk about it later with him. Right now though, I needed to come.
Warrick’s hands slipped over his nipples, rubbing his palms over them several times before he started pinching and tugging on them as he watched me jerk off. My breathing sped up, and with every inhale, I got stronger and stronger scents of his arousal combining with mine. It was one of the best things I’d ever had the pleasure of smelling, and it made my mouth water. I was hoping to see what sort of attachment Warrick said he’d been given but nothing appeared. I guess it was going to be a surprise for later. I was okay with that as long as I did get to see it later.
I stroked myself faster as I watched Warrick tease and tweak his nipples. His breath hitched, and every now and again, he’d moan very quietly as he watched me jerk myself off. The scent of arousal in the small shuttle was thick enough that I could practically taste it. I was balanced right on the edge of wanting to come that very second and stretching out my pleasure for as long as I could so I could keep watching Warrick wind himself higher and higher.
I lost the fight when Warrick grunted and bit his lip, his eyes closing with the pleasure that was written all over his face. That was a dead sexy look for him. I wanted, no, needed to be the one to put that look on his face again. A growl slipped out of me, and Warrick opened his eyes to watch me as I shot ribbons of seed across my belly. Warrick totally made my day with a softly hissed yes and a spike in the scent of arousal coming from him. Pink tinted the bone-white skin of his cheeks as he drew in long, slow breaths while still playing with his nipples.
“Was it good for you, too?” I asked with a leer as I stroked my still hard cock, pleasure continuing to slither through me.
The smile he gave me was pure wicked delight. “Much better than doing it with just your picture for inspiration.”
I laughed. “Just wait until we get really up close and personal. Bonus money shot for you,” I said as I quickly stroked myself, chasing the orgasm that was already building again in my balls.
It took me less than two minutes to blow my load again. I was convinced the fast orgasm was because Warrick was still watching me intently and languidly playing with his nipples. Stars, I could barely wait until I could jump his very fine self. If he could get off on just nipple play like he seemed to have, he was going to be a treat for all kinds of other fun. I also hadn’t forgotten for one second that he said he had an oral fixation. I’d be beyond thrilled to help him feed that need. I grunted as I came again over my belly, watching Warrick watch me.
A soft ping shortly after I came the second time drew both our eyes to the box resting on the console. A tiny green light flashed, and Warrick picked up the box. He looked at what I assumed was a small screen on the box and got a contemplative look in his eyes before the panel in his calf opened again and he put the box back into his leg. The smile he turned on me promised all kinds of good and naughty things in my future. Yes!
“The test results indicate that sliaru is safe for my consumption with ninety-seven percent accuracy. There were a few compounds that couldn’t be identified but this is a small survival unit and mostly for emergencies, so I expected that. I might have mild tactile and proprioceptive hallucinations from exposure to sliaru based on similarities to other known compounds. The half-life of the similar compounds is quite short, so any hallucinations caused by sliaru would likely be short lived as well. Of course we won’t know for sure until I actually try sliaru.”
I nodded. “Tactile and proprioceptive hallucinations are not uncommon with sliaru exposure along with increased sexual arousal. Laiokian Teichle are able to read their partner’s mind for a brief period of time after sliaru exposure, but they’re the only ones we know of that get that reaction. Regular Laiokians don’t have that happen. And yeah, I already knew the shelf life of sliaru was crazy short.”
“Really? Genuinely telepathic? Interesting. I wonder which of the compounds are responsible for that,” Warrick said as he opened a compartment in the console and handed me some wet wipes to clean up the mess I’d made on my chest and belly.
“No idea. But it’s probably related to the Teichle being empaths. Tyh says it’s really cool and massively intimate but sucks when he’s trying to keep something from Dak. Dak is his shu’anad. Dak isn’t Teichle; he’s the Void. He is Laiokian though and a receiving empath, so that’s probably why sliaru works on him that way, too.”
I wiped down my belly and chest and threw the wet wipes into a slot that Warrick pointed to when I was done with them. I gave in to impulse and left my seat to stand over Warrick. He looked up at me with a question in his gorgeous grey and gold eyes. I leaned down and kissed him. I wasn’t sure what reaction he’d have, but I wasn’t expecting him to kiss me back with so much raw hunger without even a surprised pause at my move.
Kissing Warrick was intense and one of my better decisions. His lips were warm and soft yet firm and demanded I give as good as I got. He had a great mouth. A quiet purr sounded from me at how happy and content kissing him made me feel. I barely knew him, wicked wank session aside, and yet I felt like I’d finally come home as I kissed him. I slowly drew back from the kiss equal parts excited and terrified and absolutely, rock-solid sure that my life was about to change in a huge way.
Moswen’s chaos effect was in full swing. I knew the feeling only too well. The last time I’d felt the same combo of excited/terrified and just knowing my life was taking a sharp left turn was when Effie slammed into my life. The sensation this time was easily doubly as strong as when Effie entered my world. Fucking awesome!