Copyright © 1999, Kellis
“What was that shooting about?”
The tired soldier turned slowly to regard the captain. His uniform was sodden, actually dripping water at the cuffs, and his boots were adding to the mud on the parlor carpet.
“Ziks,” he answered shortly.
“Here in the town?” The captain stiffened and turned a demanding stare upon the lieutenant behind the freshly scarred table. “Thought you said this place was secured.”
“Apparently not quite, sir.” The seated man forwarded the stare to the tired soldier and ordered, “Report, private.”
The muddy soldier came to attention, grounding his rifle stock with a soft thud. “Three Ziks in the loft of the mayor’s house. Guess they got restless. Sir.”
The captain countered, “I heard a machine gun and tank cannon.”
“The machine gun was theirs, sir. They been watching us all morning. Don’t know what finally set ’em off, but the tank cannon shut ’em up. Sergeant’s phone didn’t work. Told me to report.”
“Don’t know, sir.”
“Draw another radiophone for the sergeant and tell him to report casualties. If there’s a Zik survivor bring him here. And ask if they had a radio.”
“Yes, sir.” The soldier spun around sloppily and departed without saluting.
Captain and lieutenant exchanged glances. “What do you make of it, Rey?” asked the senior.
The lieutenant frowned. “This is their homeland! I never believed they’d give it up with so little fighting.”
The captain nodded, eyes twinkling. “I didn’t believe the propaganda, either. Where is that Zik who was wounded at the chemical factory?”
“Dead. Lost too much blood.”
The captain stared into the distance. “A mystery, isn’t it? Why would they defend just a chemical plant and the mayor’s house? The first was hardly a military target and the mayor wasn’t even at home.”
The lieutenant shrugged. “Two groups that didn’t get the word to pull out?”
The captain nodded slowly. “Maybe. And that must worry the high command: to where did the Zik army pull out?”
The lieutenant cocked his head. “I’ve been thinking about that.” He made a sweeping gesture. “These houses could hide a lot of men.”
“Don’t you think we’d have found some by now?”
“We have found some!”
The captain grunted. “Damned few!” He spun and shouted at the door, “Bursen, come in here!”
A close-shaven corporal popped through the door, exhibiting a clean, pressed uniform and spotless carbine. His spit-shined heels clacked together. “You called, sir?”
“Did you lead the squad that checked out this building?”
“Yes, sir. Not a squad, sir. Me and three privates.”
“Never mind that. Did you do a thorough job?”
“Yes, sir. Basement to attic.”
“What did you find? Any natives?”
“Oh, yes, sir. Lots of ’em.”
The captain’s eyebrows rose. “‘Lots,’ you say? Where are they now?”
“Upstairs. Just women and children.”
The captain’s gaze settled on the lieutenant. “Did you post lookouts?”
Again the query was relayed. “Corporal?”
“Uh, yes, sir, in the front windows, and a guard on the back door. Kalin and Nessit are at the front windows. They’re to keep watch till relieved. Gave them a phone. They’re on Channel 17.”
“Check them out, Rey.”
The lieutenant rose and went to the corner, where he took the network sergeant by a shoulder, distracting him from his screens and earphones. The captain’s attention remained on the corporal.
“How many civilians did you find, Bursen?”
The corporal frowned. “I don’t … think we counted ’em, captain.”
“Then how about an estimate?”
“Half a dozen women, I guess. Three or four kids.”
“No men? Not even an old man?”
“Did you ask why so many women in one house?”
“I don’t speak the lingo, sir. But it’s a big house.”
The lieutenant raised up. “Our lookouts report the streets clear, captain. I’ve checked with all four platoons. Also I’ve got the full report from Pilsen.”
“Pilsen had a problem?”
“That soldier just here was from his platoon. No casualties on our side; again they credit the flak vests. No survivor in the mayor’s loft. Radio found but its batteries were dead. Of course, the Ziks are bound to know we’re here.”
The lieutenant added as an afterthought, “And the mayor’s house is burning nicely.”
“Damn!” The captain frowned. “The colonel spoke of using it as his headquarters.”
“There are other large houses.”
“Presumably the mayor would have better facilities. Give me your carbine, Bursen.”
“My carbine, sir?” The sudden demand clearly discomfited the corporal.
“Or one like it, and snap it up!”
“Yes, sir!” The corporal spun and dashed out of the room.
The captain turned to follow, advising the lieutenant, “Rey, I’m going to check out this house myself. My father knew the Ziks too well. They love to set traps.”
“Shall I accompany you?”
“No. You keep tabs on the check-out. Make sure every building is checked off the map.” He patted his pocket. “I’ve got my phone if anything comes up.”
The lieutenant studied him, grinning slowly. “You’ve been up all night. It’s about time you had a nap.” He paused deliberately. “Sir.”
The captain chuckled. “You think that’s it? I may be a while, at that.”
The well-spruced corporal bustled back into the room, bearing a second carbine. “Here you are, sir.”
“Thank you, corporal.” The captain took the weapon, checked the action, noted with approval the full ammunition pouches. “Return to your station.”
“Yes, sir.” The man saluted crisply and departed.
The captain nodded whimsically to his junior and followed the corporal into the hall. The squad of soldiers lounging there sprang to attention at his appearance but relaxed at his acknowledgment. He passed them and found the staircase to the right at the end of the passageway. While ascending he heard someone wonder, “Where’s the captain going?” “Wherever he wants to,” was one answer. Some one else suggested, “Dipping his wick.”
He smiled and nodded at that, though feeling his fatigue as he climbed. The upstairs hall ran across the width of the house. Doors to the three front rooms stood open. Through one of them he saw his men sitting in chairs pulled to the windows. His booted footsteps — or perhaps the network sergeant — had warned them. They sprang to their feet at his appearance. He waved them back to their chairs, turning instead to the three closed doors on the backside of the hall.
The first doorknob would turn but its latch failed to release. His fist thudded on the panel and he demanded loudly in the Zik language, “Open this door immediately!”
He waited only a moment before stepping back and bringing the carbine to bear. He called again in fluent Zik, “Stand away inside. I’m about to shoot the lock.”
He heard a key rattle in the lock on the second of the three doors. Crouching, he swung the carbine to cover whatever emerged, thumb releasing the safety. She was a short, solid woman wearing a long green housecoat buttoned high at the throat. Light brown hair was coiled above a pale face.
Blue eyes glittered huge. Parted lips admitted fluttering breath. She advanced upon the man, one hand forward holding a key, obviously meaning to insert it into the lock herself. He intercepted her, clamping her hand within his larger one.
“You fool!” he hissed. “I nearly killed you.”
Her hand trembled. He felt the key fall into his palm. She tried to withdraw but he held on.
“Who are you?” he demanded.
She stammered, “N-Nelda, wife of Yakov.”
“Is this Yakov’s house?”
“It was. He is dead.”
“For your sake I’m sorry. Is this the only key to these doors?”
Her mouth worked. At last she admitted, “There is another.”
“Then I’ll keep this one.”
“As you wish.” Again she pulled back on her hand. This time he released it.
“Nelda, you should understand: I intend to check every cranny of this house.”
Her eyes fell, then rose again to his. “I can’t stop you. Please don’t hurt us.”
He grunted. “We’re not Zik, Nelda. We don’t torture civilians.”
She stepped back. As if gaining courage from the greater distance, she retorted, “No one admits that!”
He grinned. “Too true!”
Her eyes searched his face. “May I ask your name, sir?”
“I am Captain Kev Zorek.”
“Zorek!” Her eyes widened. “That’s a Zik name!”
“Ironic, isn’t it? My parents were Zik.”
“But not myself. I’m not Zik, Nelda, despite knowing the tongue.”
“Not a traitor, then.”
“No. Not a traitor.”
“But you speak so well!”
“My parents still speak it.” He inserted the key in the lock and twisted with a click. Withdrawing it, he gestured to her. “You wanted to go first, I believe.”
She shook her head. “I wanted you not to shoot.” She eyed the muzzle of his weapon. When he swung it slightly aside, she passed before him and opened the door.
He followed her closely into a large room, lit by the rain-filtered daylight of two windows on the side wall. Stepping to one side, carbine ready, he studied the occupants: three women and two — no, three — children. One of the presumed adults, pimply cheeked, was likely adolescent. Two women sat on a couch facing a four-poster double bed. Pimples sat erect in a separate overstuffed chair, hands spread on the arms. Two prepubescent girls cowered together on the bed, eyes huge and solemn on the intruders. The third child, an adolescent boy, lay against Pimples’ side in the chair with her, seated partly on the chair arm and partly on the girl’s leg. One arm was thrown about the female shoulders under the long brown hair.
Nelda took a shuddering breath. “This is C-Captain Kev Zorek, our new master.”
“Just so,” he acknowledged. He saw two dressers and a wardrobe but no other doorway. “Is this all of you?”
“All in this room,” Nelda replied. “More in the others.”
One of the seated women noted dryly, “Many more downstairs — but not of us!”
He grunted and gestured with the carbine. “Open that wardrobe.”
He was looking at the woman who had spoken. She sighed, got to her feet and crossed to the furniture, exhibiting a willowy frame through her loosely belted housecoat. Dark brown hair, almost black, coiled atop her head. She jerked the panel wide and stood away, regarding him with head tilted back. His eyes widened. This was a handsome woman! Brown eyes in a soft oval face glowered at him under arched eyebrows. Wide lips pressed together, hinting at dimples on either side. Suddenly he wanted to see her smile.
“Who are you?” he asked.
Her reply was to tilt her head toward the wardrobe. “Shall I empty it out?”
She drew her shoulders back as if she felt the weight of his stare. Perhaps she meant only to reinforce her independent spirit, but to him the gesture emphasized the breasts behind the green housecoat.
He observed, “You’re not afraid of me.”
“Should I be? Will you kill me?”
Beside him Nelda cried, “Katrin, you must tell the master your name!”
The other sneered, “Not if you do it for me!”
“I-I’m sorry. You’re right, of course. I should make introductions. Captain Zorek, that is Katrin Spelova, who is training to be a nurse.” She gestured to the still seated woman, older, plump with untidy brown hair. “This is Moreva Glavek.” Her hand extended further to Pimples, watching huge-eyed from her chair. “And this is Moreva’s daughter, Lisa, who is a student.” He noticed that Lisa’s hair was the identical shade of her mother’s.
He nodded acknowledgment to the seated figures. “And the children?”
“All belong to Moreva. The two on the bed are twins.”
“I see. Katrin, the nurse; Moreva, the mother and Lisa, the student. And what do you do, Nelda?”
“I? Why … I am the wife of Yakov. This was his house.”
“So you told me!” He turned back toward the door. “Let’s see who else is in it. Then we’ll find out why it has so many!”
But Nelda failed to turn away. She faced him from the doorway, her mouth working irresolutely.
He moved toward her. “Let’s go!”
“Master ¼” She visibly trembled. “Aren’t we enough for you?”
“Enough? What do you mean?”
“Three other women are here. One is very sick, one is my mother and the last is Moreva’s mother. Can you not ¼” She took a deep, shuddering breath, eyes shifting everywhere but to his. “Can you not get what you need from the ¼ four of us in this room?”
Her eyes returned anxiously to his. He studied her face. “The four?”
“Even a boy,” she explained, voice hardly above a whisper.
He grinned wryly. “Has your propaganda painted us so dark as that?”
Nelda looked fearfully away. Katrin, the woman standing beside the wardrobe, set hands on hips and answered instead. “It’s not just propaganda. We know about conquering soldiers.”
“All women do. We are what is spoiled in the ‘spoils of war.’”
“So you understand that?”
“Only too well.” The oval face had lost its softness.
Nelda regained her voice. “We ¼ we discussed this. Lisa is ¼ ready.”
He glanced at the girl with the pimples. A pale face accentuated them.
“Ready for what?”
“Whatever … you want.”
He walked around Nelda and stood over the seated girl, who looked up at him with furtive eyes. A sudden flush replaced the pallor. “You can’t be more than fifteen,” he declared, not unkindly. “Have you ever known a man?”
She tried to speak, then cleared her throat. “N-No, master.” The voice was barely audible. Her arm pulled the boy tighter against her.
“A sacrifice, are you?” the man asked. “And this child, your brother, is the boy in question?”
The girl licked her lips, glancing up at him fearfully. Behind him Nelda answered, “That is the boy. Let him stand, Lisa.”
But the man held up a restraining hand. He turned to the seated woman. “These are both your children?”
Moreva’s eyes were black in an expressionless face. She took a breath. “All of them.”
“And you approve of offering them to the first passing soldier?”
“We discussed it.” She hesitated. “You are not the first to pass.”
“Oh, no? Who did you give away first, the twins?”
She shook her head. “It’s not just the children. As Nelda said, we are all yours.”
He recalled the comment about wick dipping as he had ascended the stairs. “Was it the children?” His face darkened. “By god, which of my men used them?”
Moreva’s eyes widened at his angry tone. “Please, sir, no one has been used yet.”
Behind him Nelda began to explain, “Though three men promised ¼” Her voice trailed off at Katrin’s snort of derision from across the room.
Lisa shrugged herself out from under the clinging boy. She wore a green housecoat similar in style to that of the three women. It parted as she wriggled to the edge of her chair. Looking down, he saw her cotton undergarment and the outline of a budding breast.
She looked up apprehensively, snatched a breath and declared, “But I know what to do!” She leaned forward, mouth forming an O, hands fluttering toward him. He stood bemused, letting her fumble under his field jacket. After a moment she looked up in bafflement, mouth still set in its rictus.
“Apparently you don’t,” he concluded.
“Let me help,” said the mother, rising from the couch, adding confidently, “I know she can please you!”
He stood back. “Enough! What she can do is take these children out of here.”
“Out?” repeated the mother, blank faced.
“Into another room.”
“Oh.” The woman gestured toward the girls on the bed. “Come along, sweetlings!”
“She can take them!”
Moreva paused, looking around at the others, then back to him.
Nelda asked hesitantly, “You … you want us three to stay?”
“Correct. And I want the four children out of here.”
“Four?” Nelda repeated, eyebrows rising. “But she is … She’s had her courses for two years.”
Rising to her feet, Lisa frowned through her pimples. “I’m no child!”
“Perhaps not,” he agreed, uninterested in arguing the point, “but you can still take these three out of here.”
“Can I come back?”
“No.” He raised the carbine until it pointed near her, then glanced around at Nelda. “And I don’t want any of my men to touch them, either. Do you understand?”
“Whatever you say, master!” Nelda gestured for the children to make haste.
“Your men!” Katrin repeated, strolling around the foot of the bed, arms crossed over her housecoat. “Are you the chief?”
“I command here, yes, until the colonel arrives.” He noticed how shapely her feet appeared, unshod, in her black woolen hose.
“How long is that?”
He shook his head. “That information may have military significance. But it’s a good question.”
He took out his radiophone, punched the command channel and said, “Rey.” Beside him Lisa’s arms propelled the three children out of the room ahead of her. Nelda winked at her and Moreva patted her back. The girl quietly pulled the door closed behind her.
“Here, sir,” said a tinny voice in his ear.
Switching languages, he asked, “What’s new? Any word from the colonel?”
“Yes, sir. Some would call it a good word. He’s held up by an ambush. Says don’t expect him until tomorrow.”
“Ambush? Some action at last!”
“Oh, yes. And not just irregulars. The Ziks may have an army after all. It’s at least battalion size.”
“Is the colonel pinned down?”
“No, sir. He’s called in air. Officially he’s waiting for reinforcements but he’s having a ball in the meantime. Just his ticket, the blood-thirsty old fart.”
“A good word, indeed!” The captain chuckled. “Better watch it, Rey. You’re on the air.”
“Yes, sir. All’s quiet here. Only a few eastern buildings left to check.”
“Good. I think I may take you up on your proposal.”
“My proposal, sir?”
“Yeah, to relieve me for some shuteye. But first, tell Bursen to send a man up with a fully charged corlis and three or four ration packs. I’m in the first room on the left. Tell him to knock. And if he’s not here in two minutes, I’ll take one of Bursen’s pips.”
“Will do, sir. Pleasant dreams!”
The women stood as he had left them, watching and listening, though comprehension showed on no face. He tucked the phone in its pocket and stared around at them, saying to Nelda in her language, “This room is cold, but I see vents. What’s gone wrong with your central heat?”
“It uses Earth gas.” She shrugged. “Your smart missiles.”
“No more missiles!”
He glanced at her inquiringly and added, “No further need.”
“You think not?”
“The Zik army has hardly resisted us.”
She nodded. “In this village.”
He grunted. “In the whole country! A few pockets exist with Zik troops, but they’re surrounded and cut off. It’s only a matter of time.”
She nodded enigmatically and repeated, “Only a matter of time.”
He gestured sweepingly to couch and bed, ordering, “Sit down,” and followed his own advice in the overstuffed chair still warm from Lisa of the pimples and her brother. All three women sat on the couch, Katrin closest to him, Moreva next. They sat stiffly as one on the edge of the seat: bodies erect, knees together, heels tucked under. He sprawled widely in the chair, leaning far back.
“Ah-h-h,” he breathed, “it feels good to relax! I can hardly recall when last I slept.”
Katrin studied him thoughtfully. She leaned forward. “I’ve had instruction as a masseuse. Would you like me to massage your shoulders?”
His eyebrows rose. “You’d do that?”
The woman shrugged. “Some would think it a good deal less than what you just rejected.” She cocked her head. Her tone contained derision. “Can it be that our enemy chieftain was too simple to understand Lisa’s offer?”
He grunted. “I understood it! Do you pretend not to understand why I sent her away?”
Again the woman shrugged. On her shoulders he found the disdainful gesture graceful. She sniffed scornfully. “Do you avoid using virgins?”
“You know very well that wasn’t the reason.”
He glanced narrowly at Moreva. “I may be too simple, perhaps, to understand the mother’s encouragement. But don’t taunt me. I can easily call her back.”
All the women stared. Katrin took a long breath. “Are you rejecting me, too?”
“Not at all: postponing, not rejecting. I thought first to see if mother can do as she counseled daughter.”
Moreva’s face whitened with shock. “I?” she murmured incredulously. “But, but I am of middle age, the mother of five. Surely a young ¾”
She was interrupted by a heavy knock on the door. The captain said to Nelda on the end of the couch, “His hands will be full. Let him in.”
She rose with alacrity and pulled the door open. A soldier stood on the threshold, rifle slung on his shoulder. He peered around the boxes stacked in his arms. “Private Grast reporting as ordered, sir.”
“Come in, soldier. Set the food on the bed and the corlis under the window.”
The women watched the man advance, studying the dun military boxes without comment. He opened the corlis box and set the small heater on it before the window.
“Want I should start it, captain?”
“Go ahead. What’s your specialty, Grast?”
“None, sir. Rifleman.”
“Who’s your squad leader.”
“Sergeant Villenburg, sir.”
The captain took out the radiophone and again called for his second on the command channel.
“Here, sir,” was the immediate response.
“Private Grast of Villenburg’s squad has delivered my supplies. I may keep him here a few hours. Tell Villenburg.”
Gas soon hissed in the corlis and the first waves of heat trembled in the window’s gray daylight.
The soldier stood erect and came to attention. “Will that be all, sir?”
“Your squad was trucked in here a couple hours ago, right?”
“So you had the pleasure of a good night’s sleep.”
“Well, I didn’t. I’m due a bit of shuteye in that nice, soft bed. But these are enemy women, Grast. The pretty one here is still hopeful of a Zik victory.”
“Huh! Not much chance of that, sir.”
“I’m inclined to agree with you. The point is, I don’t fully trust them. I could make you stand guard outside the door. But suppose instead —”
He switched languages. “Nelda, what do you think of my soldier?”
The woman’s eyes widened. “Wha-what — I-I’m sure he’s a fine man!”
The captain grinned cynically. “Fine enough for you to do for him as Lisa offered?”
Nelda looked from officer to soldier. Her face slowly reddened. “Is he … c-clean?”
“I’m sure of it. He’s just come from bivouac. He’ll guard me while I take a nap. If you’re kind to him, he’ll treat all of you better.”
In the soldier’s language he continued, “Suppose instead you stay here and join in the fun.”
“The fun, sir?”
“You enjoy women, don’t you, Grast?”
“Oh, yes, sir!”
“The one with the red face is called Nelda. She’s willing to give you a blow job — not enthusiastic about it, but willing. Can you tolerate that?”
“After she breaks the ice, you can do what you like with her. After we eat, that is. The middle one, too. Just don’t fall asleep and don’t let anyone in or out of this room. And don’t hurt the women unnecessarily.”
“Unnecessarily? No, sir.” The man grinned, tilting his head toward Katrin. “What about that one?”
“She’ll lie with me.”
“Oh. Yes, sir.”
“Stack your rifle against the wall. Make sure the double safety is set.”
As the soldier obeyed, the captain’s gaze settled upon Nelda. He said in the Zik tongue, “I’ve told him of your loving offer. He graciously accepts. Go to it.”
“M-my offer?” She licked her lips nervously and stammered, “N-now?”
The woman took a deep breath, washing out the red. “You … you said you don’t mistreat women.”
“Did I? I said we don’t torture them! What you’re about to do is considered shameful but it won’t leave a spot you can’t lick off. Shameful to some, but not to you, eh, Nelda? You certainly didn’t object when it was to be Lisa’s mouth.”
The red returned. She faced away, head lowered, and twisted around the foot of the bed toward the soldier standing wide-eyed across the room. Every line of her body bespoke reluctance.
Drawing near the man, she raised her eyes to his face and asked weakly, “You d-don’t really want this, do you?”
He looked past her. “What’s she asking, captain?”
“She’d like to talk you out of it.”
“Should I force her, sir?”
“Hazardous business, forcing a blow job! She’s just shy, that’s all; needs a bit of encouragement.”
“How can I do that?”
“Why don’t you drop your pants?”
The soldier grinned. He worked belt buckle and zipper before shoving inner and outer britches down his thighs. The woman searched the captain’s face briefly over her shoulder, sighing at what she saw. She turned back and sank to her knees, leaning forward. The soldier’s eyes widened.
On the couch the watching Moreva’s hand went to her mouth. “Nelda!” she gasped.
The captain grunted. “Don’t worry! I’m sure she’ll do it well.”
“It’s not that!” The woman swung huge eyes upon him. “She has a —”
“Moreva!” Katrin interrupted warningly.
“Has a what?” demanded the captain.
Moreva’s face paled. “A … a …”
Katrin spoke for her. “Nelda has an abscessed tooth.”
“Has she! Well, I assure you that Private Grast won’t mind. Ah, I see! You fear that he has AIDS? Impossible! Just look how healthy he is.”
“If you say so,” Katrin agreed indifferently, eyeing Moreva.
The captain regarded her also. “Does an abscess account for your reluctance, too, Moreva?”
“My … reluctance?”
“I recall you complaining of middle age and being the mother of five. Five? Then you have one child not yet defiled. Too young even for you, is it?”
“I didn’t — He’s not …”
He shrugged. “No matter. Neither middle age nor motherhood withers the suckling mouth. Stand up.”
She obeyed, distress evident on her face.
“The room is beginning to warm up already,” he noted. “Bare your breasts.”
“My … b-breasts?”
“Surely after conceiving five babes you know the advantage of showing the breasts. I would suppose you’d want this business soon completed so that we can eat.”
“Food for us all is in those boxes. And pills for your sick. Even something for Nelda’s toothache, if Private Grast’s syrup annoys it. Submit, Moreva. Show us your womanhood.”
With a shaky sigh Moreva slowly untied her sash and opened the long green housecoat, letting it fall back. First one hand, then the other, forced the shoulder pieces of her cotton shift to follow the housecoat down her arms. She stood at her end of the couch, looking up at him from head lowered in shame, hair dangling untidily past pale shoulders, clothing gathered about her waist: a small, plump woman with massively pendulous breasts. Huge dark nipples depended in striking contrast from white supporting globes marbled with blue veins and the gray tracery of motherhood.
She hunched her shoulders forward apparently in the vain hope of minimizing their impact on the man, whose eyes had widened. In a barely audible voice she said, “My boobs are ugly.”
The captain took a breath. “Not to me, my dear! I’ve always loved the mature version. They are so wonderfully ample! Come here.”
She came to the man as reluctantly as Nelda had gone to hers. When she stood by his chair, his hand rose and lifted the nearer globe, snubbing its nipple between thumb and forefinger.
“All five of your babes have suckled here, haven’t they, Moreva?”
“And your husband?”
“He … he’s a man.”
The captain chuckled. “Well said!” He raised the nipple higher, stretching the lower skin. “You can suck it, too. Can’t you?”
“S-Suck it … myself?”
“Easily. Bend your head lower.”
She obeyed, face flaming. When the nipple touched her lips, she drew back as if stung.
He grinned. “Well, I won’t force you. It’s nothing to me, but you might want to try it when no one is watching.”
He released her and with both hands gripping the chair arms powerfully, hitched it around sideways to the rest of the room. A hand at Moreva’s buttocks impelled her to stand with knees against the side of the chair, facing him across the chair arm. He peered past her to the intently watching Katrin and gestured to her with his chin. He raised one leg.
“You can get the boots.”
She sniffed as she rose to her feet. “Is that how you use a masseuse?”
She bent down to grasp heel and toe.
He shook the foot free. “Don’t the Zik wear boots? Turn around and straddle my leg.”
Her eyebrows rose but she obeyed, holding up housecoat and shift. As the shapely stocking-clad leg passed over his, he had a glimpse of hair above it. Were these women all so scantily clad? If so, what did that mean?
Straddling his leg backward, bent forward to hold the boot by the heel, Katrin peered at him over her shoulder. Ignoring her, he ran his hand up Moreva’s housecoat, above the rolled stocking top, to find moist fur.
“You women are nearly naked,” he remarked, eyes narrowing. She trembled as his thumb sank between the soft vertical lips.
Katrin responded. “It may be a long time before we can get more clothing.”
“If you ruin these, we have not lost much.”
Moreva twitched as he found her avenue. Two fingers entered her easily. To Katrin he commented sourly, “I think you women will be disappointed if my men don’t line up to rape you.”
She sneered, “Surprised, perhaps!”
He grunted, raising the other boot to her backside. “Take a strong grip with your legs!”
She staggered forward under the impetus of his shove, taking the boot with her. Recovering, she dropped the article to the floor with a thud and turned about. Her lip curled. “Your foot stinks!”
“No doubt. I hope to get a bath here soon. Now the other one.”
As Katrin got into position over the other leg, he worked two more fingers into the trembling Moreva and began to compress her already detectable clitoris between thumb outside and fingers within. The woman raised both hands, fists clenched, to her mouth as a flush descended her chest. She uttered an inarticulate sound. Her eyes on her tormentor were huge.
He shoved Katrin with his bootless foot. She dropped the second boot beside its mate and turned about to look askance at the ripples in the shift beneath Moreva’s parted housecoat.
But loud grunts from the far side of the room attracted general attention. Private Grast was leaning against the wall, head thrown back, arms stiff at his sides. Nelda’s head and back concealed his lower body, but her flying hair, somehow freed from its coil, attested to the focus of his plunging hips. The grunts became masculine groans. His hands flew to encircle her head, holding it rigid. But only for a second. Suddenly he released her and slid backward down the wall.
Nelda spun about to regard the three watchers, mouth still forming a rictus in her crimson face. She was blinking rapidly because the soldier’s parting spurt had splashed one eye and half the cheek. She spat white foam massively to the floor, hawked and spat again, now a clear fluid. Belatedly she brought hand to mouth. She stared at Katrin with huge eyes.
Behind her the soldier rose to his knees. He reached around her with a handkerchief and wiped her eye. Turning back to him, she took control of the cloth. “Thank you,” she murmured, to which the soldier responded, “Huh?”
The captain called, “She thanks you for the handkerchief, if not the syrup.” He continued, reverting to Zik, “Katrin, can you read my language?”
Turning reluctantly away from the spectacle, the woman hesitated before admitting, “Enough to select medicines.”
“Good.” His other hand freed a dagger from his belt. “Open some ration boxes and select luncheon for us all.”
Accepting the knife passed to her hilt-first, she held it underhanded, thoughtfully regarding him.
He asked softly, “Can you think of a better use for it?”
She took a ragged breath. “Not than feeding us.” She turned away to the boxes on the bed.
He removed his hand from Moreva. She took a breath also, watching as he raised his buttocks and forced all his lower clothing nearly to his knees. He shrugged out of the uniform jacket, throwing it aside.
His hand passed behind the woman, pressing her forward. “Lean over the chair arm.”
As she obeyed, he drew up his shirt tails, exposing a partial erection. “Now it’s your turn.”
Falling forward, she caught her balance with a hand on the far chair arm. “B-But …” she stuttered.
“Just pretend you’re Lisa.”
She sighed heavily. With utmost reluctance her free hand stole across his thigh and enclosed him. She began to work the uncut foreskin gently.
“In the mouth, Moreva.”
With an even heavier sigh she leaned lower, her back trembling, and delicately passed her lips around him.
“Ah-h-h,” he breathed in evident satisfaction. His hand cupped her nearer breast, pulling it toward him, twirling the nipple. It quivered with inner tension.
“Tighter, Moreva; use your tongue… That’s better! And spread your legs. Let your belly sag on the chair arm. No need for you to be uncomfortable.”
When she had settled as directed, her mouth became even firmer.
“Very good! Use your hands as well. Work it fast. The faster, the sooner, you know!”
Her head began to bob upon him. He raised up enough to look around the room. Nelda was sitting or perhaps kneeling very close to Grast, her housecoat spreading over both lower bodies. Katrin, seated on the bed, had opened two ration packs and was studying the removed packages. She looked up and caught his eye. Hers glittered.
He asked, “Nothing to your liking?”
Her lip curled. “Do you enjoy humiliating others so much, Captain?”
“Humiliating? Your men abandoned you. It’s not I who reduces you to humility.”
She snorted. “The victor’s rationalization from time immemorial! But it is you who makes a woman forsake the dignity of her years and behave as a callow youth!”
He nodded. “Quite right. In this case the ‘callow youth’ was her own daughter.”
“You speak as if some evil were involved in that. Are you aware that you have likely despoiled a virginity even so?”
“Moreva, a virgin?”
“I know her well. She’s a woman of culture. I’d be very surprised to learn that she ever before took a man in her mouth.”
He grunted. “An interesting conjecture! We must ask her in a minute or two. Just now … your disclosure is the extra stimulus I needed, as you said, to despoil properly a middle-aged mother.”
His hand relinquished the nipple, lumpy from his twisting, and joining its fellow, clamped on the woman’s head instead. “Deeper, Moreva, deeper! And you’d better hold your breath… Ah! God!”
His hips rose as his hands forced the hapless woman’s face against him. He threw his head back upon the top of the padded chair, groaning nasally. When his back straightened, he released the woman. Immediately her head popped up, raised by both hands pressing upon the far chair arm, and exposed his last spurt of ejaculate. She gasped for breath, noting first his inattentive grimace then looking hastily around the room as if to reassure herself that the other women remained. A white loop whirled from her lower lip. She, too, faced away and spat on the floor.
Both Nelda and her soldier were watching intently. Katrin glanced at the captain and sniffed. “At least that’s out of the way.”
He sagged in the chair but his voice was firm. “Only briefly. I’m sure Private Grast and I can entertain you again soon.”
Her eyes glittered. “Did you enjoy it so much, captain?”
He smiled brightly. “Very much indeed! And I have you to thank for it.”
“Oh, yes. Thanks to your warning of her inexperience, I knew she wouldn’t appreciate the need to relax her mouth during the crisis. So I put into the back of the throat, where nothing exists to squeeze it. Tell me, as a new fellatrix, Moreva, was it so intolerable?”
Katrin glared. “You beast!”
Moreva spat again before trying to speak. Her first attempt resulted in a cough. She cleared her throat and said at last, “I can stand it if it doesn’t kill me.”
He smiled up at her as she stood beside the chair, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. Shift and housecoat had fallen away. She was nude aside from the long stockings. He told her, “I’m glad you didn’t strangle.”
“I held my breath, as you said.”
Switching languages, he called across the room, “Grast, it’s getting warm in here. Turn down the corlis.”
“How are you getting along with our friendly Nelda?”
Getting up to obey, the man replied, “She really is friendly!”
“That’s good. I’m about to strip them naked, Grast, but I want you to keep most of your clothes on — just in case.”
The captain rose from the chair in a leisurely manner and stood in socks and shirttails before Moreva and Katrin. His hand stretched forth and fondled a pendulous breast, briefly stroking the nipple. He said conversationally to its owner, “You’ve taught Lisa that practice makes perfect, I’m sure.”
“Yes,” she admitted, watching his hand.
“You should practice, too: your new skill.”
“My new …” Stricken eyes rose to his. “How?”
“Whenever you have the chance. Such as now.”
“Did you have something else in mind?”
She sighed. “Will the master resume his seat?”
“You should study a new position. Take a cushion off the couch and put it in front of me.”
When she had done so, he continued, “Kneel, as Nelda did.”
He began to undo the many buttons that secured his military shirt. Moreva glanced around at the impassive faces of the other women, shook her head and sank to her knees before him.
She put out a hand. “It’s … It’s soft.”
He grinned encouragingly. “Not for long. You’ll see. Use your tongue.”
Taking a deep breath, she leaned forward, lips parting. Her hands fluttered toward him, then back.
“It’s all right. Touch me as you wish.” He thrust forward toward the open mouth. She flinched but accepted him, lips closing to suckle. Hesitantly her hands came up to grasp his hips.
Still undoing buttons, he looked over her head to Katrin, who returned his stare with lips compressed in a straight line. He asked, “What have you found for us to eat?”
She took a breath. “Beef stew, if I understand these markings. And spaghetti.”
“Good enough. Can you read the directions for preparing it?”
“Then I’ll have the private do it. You need to get off the bed anyway.” He raised his voice. “I want you and Nelda at least as naked as Moreva.”
Katrin frowned, repeating sourly, “‘Naked.’”
She made a face but rose to her feet and began to open her sash. He looked around at Nelda, who returned a stricken stare.
“I … I, too?”
“All of us, except Private Grast. This room will soon be much too warm for those heavy housecoats — or the rest of it.”
Nelda got reluctantly to her feet, shrugged out of the housecoat one arm at a time. She stooped and pulled the shift past jiggling breasts and over her head. Katrin, ahead of her, knelt beside the suckling Moreva and retrieved the previously discarded clothing, then passed by Nelda and added those discards to the assortment hanging over her arm. She spun away to the wardrobe and draped her burden over its wide-flung door before turning back to regard the captain quizzically.
He smiled in admiration at both women. Katrin, though certainly mature, was obviously the younger. Her breasts were wide but still shallow, adorned with small brown nipples bluntly unaroused, above a narrow flat belly and flaring hips. Nelda’s body bespoke an age between that of the others. Her waist was thicker and breasts fuller, though less pendulous than the eldest’s. Neither belly was marked by motherhood. On each the pubic triangle was wide and densely thatched. Nelda’s matched the color of her head, nearly light enough to be called chestnut.
“Fine women,” he declared in admiration, “all three!”
Nelda blushed. Moreva, dutifully mouthing the resurrected penis, took no notice. Katrin responded sarcastically, “How wonderful that you appreciate us!”
“Oh, I do indeed. Even more so if you remove those heavy stockings, too.”
Katrin cocked an eyebrow. “No!” she declared positively.
He frowned. “You refuse?”
“We should lose your good opinion.”
He snorted. “Nonsense! What ever makes you say that?”
“Because our legs are unshaven.”
Katrin shrugged and bent to the task.
Nelda asked plaintively, “Do stockings matter so much?”
“Yes!” he retorted. “Take them off. You, too, Moreva.”
Moreva looked up at him in surprise, his glans resting on her lower lip. He bent, took her under the arms and lifted her to her feet. He repeated, “Take your stockings off.”
Again Katrin collected the discarded articles and threw them into the wardrobe. Comparing the women, he saw that she exhibited the darkest thighs, hair long enough to form delicate waves, though curiously thin below the knees. At the other extreme Nelda’s leg hair was light and unnoticeable unless she stood before a dark background. She shifted her weight from one foot to the other, uncomfortable under his scrutiny. Moreva’s hair was thinly but evenly distributed from thigh to ankle. She stood with downcast head.
The captain grinned. “Won’t your men give you razors?”
Katrin raised her chin. “They don’t complain.”
He nodded. “They may have a point. Your waves are sexy.” He switched languages. “Grast, take the cans Katrin selected and start them cooking. While you’re at it, clear those boxes from the bed to the floor.”
“Yes, sir.” The man got to his feet, pulling up his britches.
“You can take your britches off, but keep your shirt on.”
The soldier paused, then stooped to remove his boots.
The captain gestured to the cushion on the floor and said in Zik, “You may resume, Moreva.”
The eldest sank before him, leaning forward, the earlier reluctance no longer evident. She opened her mouth to his thrust. Katrin stood quietly, hands resting on hips, watching Moreva’s effort with a disapproving expression.
Having dropped all his lower clothing to the floor so that only shirttails concealed his manhood, the private slipped back into his boots and turned toward the bed. He paused beside Nelda to stroke her thigh and grinned up at the officer. “I could learn to love hairy women.”
“You’ll certainly have the chance here.”
Nelda asked curiously, “What did he say?”
The captain leered. “That he is eager to feel your hairy legs around him.”
She blushed furiously. Katrin sniffed. “That’s not what he said!”
“It’s what he meant. Ah, you speak my language!”
“I understand it a little.”
He said in his own tongue, “Then come stand beside me that I may fondle your beauties!”
With a start the private’s hand released Nelda’s breast, to which it had naturally gravitated. He looked from captain to Katrin, shrugged and went to the bed as originally ordered.
Katrin straightened, sighed and marched forward the few steps necessary to place herself barely within the officer’s reach. He caught her arm and pulled her past the leisurely bobbing Moreva, spinning the younger woman around so that she stumbled back against his side. He pinned her close with an arm across one breast, hand cupping the other.
In the Zik language he asked, “What reason did I give for you to stand here?”
She snorted. “Your reason is only too obvious!”
He smiled, hand sliding over the flat belly to her thick pubes. Nelda, unbidden, followed the soldier, watching curiously as he unloaded the boxes to the floor before taking up the selected cans and pulling their pop-tops. Bearing them to the window, he set them on the box beside the corlis. She parted her lips, perhaps to advise him they could hardly cook so far from the heat, but her eyes widened as the contents began to bubble nevertheless. She submitted without flinching when his arm rounded her back and a hand slipped under her armpit to enclose the far breast.
The captain said tauntingly to Katrin, “You are hardly moist. Do you take no pleasure at all from this?”
She snorted. “You don’t care about our pleasure!”
“In that you are mistaken.” His free hand stroked her smooth back, tracing the indented waist and flaring hip. “Do you grieve for a man, too?”
“Nearly all of us grie—” She stiffened, spinning enough to regard him over her shoulder. “Who said anyone was grieving?”
“Nelda told me her man was killed.”
“No. He died in his bed. She was his fourth wife.”
He nodded. “Explaining how she might be mistress of such a fine house.” A hand to her breast from behind pulled her tighter against him. “Then you should relax and enjoy my attention.”
She took a breath. “I cannot forget what you are.”
He adopted a beguiling tone as his palm scraped her nipple. “Do you feel bitterness, Katrin? It was not I who ran into the woods and left you to the mercy of strangers — though I predict you will soon find it a tender mercy.”
She responded, her voice low, “Rape is never tender, Captain Zorek.”
“Rape? You call this rape? Show me a bruise!”
“Bruises and worse are awarded only too readily to conquered women.”
“So you meekly submit? Very wise.”
“I hear your sarcasm. But there has been enough injury and death. And though we may submit, we are not meek.”
He chuckled. “You are not!” One thumb and forefinger gently pinched her nipple. Other fingers plucked the plump labia. She bore it stolidly. “What injury and death?” he added.
She stood without answering except to grasp his arm above the wristwatch, the arm whose hand probed within her. But she made no effort to dislodge it.
“You can hardly refer to your own men,” he continued. “They’ve put up only token resistance.”
“In this village, perhaps,” she agreed. Again her head rotated to let her glimpse his face. “But what of the action that delays your colonel?”
She smiled slightly as his eyes widened. He demanded, “How did you know of it?”
“Your telephone conversation, of course.”
“Yes, of course. I’m surprised you so readily let me learn how well you understand my language.”
She shrugged. “I have no reason to conceal it. I’m not a spy, nor am I so misguided as the mayor’s sons-in-law.”
“His sons-in-law, you say?”
“They would defend his house, knowing the outcome, knowing your soldiers would take their wives regardless. Why are all men so stubborn, captain?”
“At least they were men, a title it seems most of the Ziks may not claim.”
“What use are titles to the dead?”
His hand kneaded her breast. “How did you know they were killed?”
“A ready surmise with the building on fire. One of your spotters let Lisa watch the shooting.”
“While doing this to her?”
“More or less.”
“Damn! Yet I found her behind a locked door.”
“Moreva took her away. Nelda locked it when they offered to follow.”
His fingers worked within her. “Do you claim that Moreva actually refused them her daughter? Hmm! What is the minimum rank she permits Lisa to suck?”
The kneeling Moreva whimpered but continued her ministrations. Katrin sighed. “It’s not an issue of rank, captain, at least not directly. We could see how the spotters feared attracting attention — your attention, no doubt! But you show no such fear. At present.”
“‘At present.’ Do you think my commander would object if he knew? You actually hope for that, do you? It’s a vain hope, my dear. But, Katrin, if you can bring yourself to relax, I intend to see that you find pleasure yet.”
She ground her teeth audibly. “Relax with the invader in my village, my house, my very body?”
He remembered reading that anger, too, can release a woman’s juices. Perhaps this shapely one but needed a rationalization. He mused as his fingers probed gently deeper, “Ancient writings tell that in the days when women were recognized by all as the first prize of victory, the women often enjoyed it, too.”
“Writings made by men!”
He nodded. “Of course. Women in those days were illiterate. But is it so implausible? Husbands gone forever, the old order wiped away, all the restrictions and taboos momentarily lifted … Wouldn’t a woman find it an opportunity also, nearly as much as men? Why wouldn’t she see it as a moment of freedom, the chance to kick up her heels, to experiment — try three at once if she wants — at a time when no blame can attach to her?”
Katrin shook her head. “You forget that women are different from men, even as you explore the difference.”
The captain warmed to his thesis. “So different as that? Everyone knows how young girls take to strangers, how even well-married women study new men on the street through their curtains. Don’t they all wonder how such a one might do between their legs?”
She took a shaky breath. “I suppose that some —”
“Excuse me, sir,” Private Grast interrupted in his own language. “The food’s ready.”
The captain glanced up. “Very well, Grast. Pour it into the mess tins.” Ignoring the man’s acknowledgment, he took Katrin’s shoulders and spun her to face his side, bending slightly and sucking her lips within his own. His tongue probed between them. Her lips and teeth parted for him, but her tongue was passive.
With a snort he released her entirely, then bent and raised Moreva to her feet by hands in her armpits. She regarded him with wide eyes, fearful of his displeasure, a line of spittle glittering beside her mouth.
He took both by an arm. “Come, let us eat. I want to hear your opinion of my government’s cooking.”
With Private Grast they gathered beside him and dutifully tasted the contents of the mess tins. When they failed to eat heartily, he grunted and said around his mouthful of food, “Not a very high opinion, eh? Or is it that you enjoyed a sumptuous breakfast this morning?”
“The children would like it,” Katrin admitted.
“Too bland for you, then?” He nodded at his own conclusion. “Soldiers in the field need soothing food.” He cocked an eyebrow. “Some of you have already begun a richer diet” — he leered at Moreva — “which this one even admits she can stand.”
She returned his gaze silently, taking another taste of the meaty mush.
He cocked an eyebrow at her. “Was it really your first time?”
The woman studied him, chewing momentarily before swallowing. “You are mistaken, master.” Her eyes remained level. “This is the richer.”
“Is it!” He saw Katrin grin. He sneered. “You only think so because the other was put into the back of your throat, beyond the taste buds. Well, we shall contrive to furnish you another sample. Or ten!”
Her eyes widened. “Ten!”
“I have a full squad of infantry downstairs and around the house.”
She licked dry lips. “A s-squad?”
Katrin interrupted, “Why do you wish to punish Moreva? Is it because she offered you her daughter? You express gratitude strangely.”
“Punish?” he repeated, feigning surprise. “Moreva believes in a proper use for the female mouth. Don’t you, Moreva?”
The eldest’s gaze was fearful. “What use is that, master?”
“Sucking cocks.” He looked from the red tinge appearing on her cheeks to Katrin’s narrowed eyes. “I can furnish many for her to try. Do you begin to understand the advantage of women whose men lose the war?”
The young woman shook her head. “It’s no advantage, captain. Women cannot live only as seed catchers.”
He grinned sourly at her. “And why not, pray tell? Relative to the male, that role is the lot of every other female on Earth, both animal and plant.”
She paused, the spoon in her hand halfway to her face. Her chin rose. “Because men and women depend on each other so much more.”
Chewing, he returned her stare. His face softened. “I admit they do ordinarily. But a soldier’s dependence on women is only to distract him from the horror of war, at which women are unsurpassed. Especially their mouths. Moreva, as you have no appetite for enemy stew, you may resume upon the enemy person.”
The eldest hesitated but ducked her head under his stare, laid mess tin and spoon on the box and squatted before him. She paused to eye the shrunken organ, then raised her face questioningly.
He smirked, “You’ve learned what to do.”
She shrugged and mouthed it gingerly.
When Moreva was well begun, he pivoted his shoulders to grin at Nelda. “And how did you find the spaghetti, madam?”
From Moreva’s busy lips Nelda looked to her own mess tin, hardly touched, and back to the captain. “I … I —”
He nodded. “Perhaps you prefer the flavor of thicker pasta. Very well. As Private Grast is still eating, you may resume tasting him. Warm him up for your own advantage, if you can.”
“B-but, captain,” she stammered, licking dry lips, “I’m just a slow eater.”
“Are you! Private Grast will like that.” He pointed to the soldier’s groin, concealed by his shirt tails. “There’s a mouthful for you. Get down to it.”
With a sigh she relinquished the food and obeyed, kneeling before the soldier despite the hard floor. But at her touch the man frowned above his mess tin.
“Captain, could she wait a bit?”
The officer’s eyebrows rose. “What’s the matter, Grast? Continue your meal, as I am, and think how rare it is to enjoy a blow job with your dinner.”
“Yes, sir. But I … don’t feel so good, sir.”
“Nonsense! This food may be bland, but it’s wholesome. She’ll soon distract you.”
“Yes, sir. I hope so, sir.”
Katrin lowered her own tin and demanded, chin raised defiantly, “What will you do with my mouth?”
He cocked an eyebrow. “Don’t you care for our stew, either?”
“I care for nothing associated with you, captain.”
“Nothing at all?” He seemed disappointed. “Well, you’ve not gotten to know us yet, not so well as your friends, here. Will you try some of this coffee? You may find it more to your liking.”
“No, thank you.”
“You really should. The flavor would surprise you. But I don’t insist. Perhaps you only need comforting. Why don’t you lie down on the bed?”
She smiled derisively. “Why don’t I? Because I prefer to stand.”
Again he caught the hint of dimples. He took a breath. “Do it anyway.”
Her expression blanked. She turned and sat on the edge, facing him, knees primly together.
He cocked his head toward her. “That hardly looks comfortable. You must relax, my dear. Lay back! … Yes, that’s better. Now part your legs… Farther, if you please.”
“And if I don’t please?”
“Spread them anyway.”
He stood chewing a large mouthful, hips moving slightly to enhance Moreva’s effort, head turned to contemplate the spectacle on the bed. The young woman lay stiffly, hands linked behind her head, returning his stare between breasts parted over flat belly. She had obeyed fully, spreading her thighs wide, calves still dangling past the edge of the bed. Even in this pose her pubic adornment was thick enough to obscure the labia.
He chewed and swallowed before saying, “Put your hands down and part your lips.”
Her eyes glinted. “Part them yourself.”
“Should I construe that as an invitation?”
“Definitely not!” But she sighed and rose enough to extract a pillow from beneath the bedclothes. With head propped on pillow her hands descended and at last revealed a crimson interior the more dramatic for its dark surround.
He took another spoonful of stew and chewed it slowly, eyes fixed on her. He said around the food, “Nothing can ever be prettier than that. It is suddenly so obvious why women wear lipstick: to remind us of it!”
She grinned sarcastically. “Men like to believe that.”
“Oh, I think it’s true. And the opposite. I notice none of you is wearing makeup today.”
“We didn’t want to encourage you.”
“Even though you expected rape — and admit dressing cheaply for it.”
She stared expressionlessly.
“Hoping to minimize our attentions, were you?”
“Put two fingers into yourself… Oh, don’t look so pained. You’ve done it many times before.”
“Never while anyone watched!” But she sighed and obeyed despite the protest.
“Well, it’s worked,” he admitted. “So far you’ve only entertained two where a squad might well play… So far! Thrust deeper! … In and out. Put in another finger… Ever tried your whole fist?”
“I’m no slut.”
“That’s not the question.”
When he leaned toward her, she inserted a third finger beside the two. He took a long breath. “Yes, that’s right: in and out… Side-to-side also… Good! Draw up your legs. Keep your knees well apart but rest your heels on the edge of the bed.”
When she had complied, he took another long breath. “That is the way a woman should always greet her lover: nakedly turned up, receptive and eager.”
“One-third right, captain. I am nakedly turned up. How many lovers ever greeted you so?”
“None.” He grinned sheepishly. “Not even whores are so thoughtful. I don’t claim they do. I say they ought to!”
“I’m sure that your carbine can make them.”
“Yes, but other ways come to mind.”
He put down his mess tin, caught Moreva under the armpits and once again raised her up. She regarded him blankly, lips and chin dripping spittle that she wiped with the back of her arm. “Come,” he instructed, leading her by the same arm, “we must attend to Katrin.”
Before leaving the corlis, he glanced searchingly at Nelda and her soldier. The man sat on the floor beside the box, back and head against the wall, legs nakedly asprawl before him. Nelda knelt low between them, head bobbing gently above his pubes, her long hair descending over his hips. His eyes were closed and his mouth sagged open. He seemed to be concentrating his faculties elsewhere.
At the bedside the captain stood over Katrin while holding Moreva by the arm. The latter’s eyes widened on the hand still gently churning in the youngest’s pubes. Watching her, the man grinned. “Which would you prefer, Moreva: to do as she does or to have it done to you?”
“I … I …”
“But, no, you prefer the tongue. Kneel down here and do Lisa’s task upon Katrin.”
“I grant you, it’s a different proposition. You must put the tongue out instead of in. There’s your cushion. Fetch it and proceed. Katrin, withdraw your hands.”
He released Moreva long enough for her to return with the knee cushion. When she was in position, his hand urged her head forward. “Tongue out! … That’s it. Part the lips with your fingers. Your objective is just at the top where they join. Excuse me. Of course you know all about it!”
He leaned close from the side. Katrin twitched. “No, no,” he cautioned. “I’m told you should lick all around it at first. Only lift it directly when her hips begin to roll.”
Katrin glared at him from her pillow. “Why in god’s name are you forcing this upon poor Moreva?”
He smiled engagingly. “Don’t worry. You’ll soon have work, too.”
He clambered up onto the bed, crawled behind her and removed the pillow from beneath her head. He knelt just behind her and sat up on heels tucked under his buttocks, spreading his knees on either side of her head. The end of his erect member struck her nose.
“Tilt your head back and open your mouth.”
Her eyes glittered up to him from either side of his organ. “Are you sure it’s safe, captain?”
His hands dropped to her throat, fingers encircling it lightly. Both thumbs rested on her larynx. “Only death is safe,” he declared.
“Death is quick,” she countered, eyes bright as marbles, “but a mutilation will last a lifetime.”
He grunted. “Open your mouth, Katrin. You won’t bite me.”
“Because it won’t kill me. You know only too well it would visit worse agony upon every woman and child in this house.”
“You enjoy gambling, do you, captain?”
“Of course. It’s my job. Now open up.”
She sighed in submission and closed her eyes, tilting her face back. He released her throat and depressed the flaring head to her lips, which parted and reluctantly admitted it. He rose on his haunches to afford slight pistoning. His testicles caressed her forehead. Her hands, extended at her sides, closed in tight fists. His hands rose to knead her breasts.
Straining forward, he pushed deeper within her, wondering in morbid curiosity at what point she would bite, if any. The breath that whistled in her nostrils was fluttering the short hair around his testicles when he felt her teeth close near the base of the shaft. Obviously a warning! The temptation to thrust the turgid head violently into the back of her throat was almost overwhelming, but he restrained himself barely, promising her silently that she would yet swallow all, and withdrew slightly to resume the shallow pistoning.
Moreva’s hair had fallen forward onto Katrin’s belly, concealing the activity implied by the gently bobbing head. He leaned forward, parted the brown hair and threw it back on Moreva’s shoulders. She peered up wonderingly, eyes barely visible above the thick pubic hair.
“Rise up,” he told her. “Let me see your face.”
She obeyed, eyes wide, pendulous breasts quivering.
He grinned. “Good work! You’ve certainly got her ready, even if that’s only spittle.”
He withdrew himself from Katrin’s mouth and backed away from her head. Taking her under the arms, he drew her fully onto the bed and reoriented her parallel with the sides. Moving around her, he inserted first one knee between her legs, then the other. Her mouth compressed to a thin line, but she opened her legs wide. He sank upon her, guiding himself into the sopping pubes. She shuddered despite his effortless entrance. Immediately reaching full penetration, he could not resist remarking, “No teeth here.”
She failed to respond. Her eyes were slits, long eyelashes lying almost on her cheeks.
He turned to Moreva, who had risen to her feet and stood by the bedside, watching with open mouth. He motioned with his head. “Come and lie down beside her.”
The woman crawled onto the bed and reclined beside them on her back. He helped her lift one leg over Katrin’s thigh. Supporting himself partly on the opposite elbow, he cupped Moreva’s far breast with the other hand, pinching the protruding nipple.
He smiled in delight. “A tight young cunt together with the huge tits of age! What luxury! Ah, it’s good to be the victor!”
Despite his patronizing tone, Katrin’s hips began to roll in counterpoint to his motion. Her eyes had closed fully. Grinning, he crowed, “I told you you’d enjoy it!”
He let more of his weight fall upon her as his lips sought hers. At first she failed to respond, but when his tongue parted her lips, she sucked it into her mouth. He stroked her palate with the tip, feeling her shudder. Her free heel slid up his calf and her hand raked over his hip to clutch his back. Her limbs gradually tightened as their bodies rocked the bed. The rhythmic squeak of its springs filled the room and grew louder. Moreva watched them over her shoulder. Her eyelids fluttered. Her hand crept over her hip and settled between her legs.
Katrin moaned nasally at last. He felt her sphincters tighten. Her orgasm was near, but so was his. He increased the speed and depth of his plunges, and his hand tightened unconsciously around Moreva’s breast.
Something cold and very hard tapped the back of his head. He was so engrossed that a harder blow was required to get his attention. On the brink of orgasm, he raised up against the insistent pressure, which immediately vanished. His body froze at the first glimpse of its cause. It was Nelda, naked, crouched with one knee on the bed, eyes huge in a white face, withdrawing an old 15-shot military Beretta from contact with his head.
His right arm was under Katrin’s back and he had pivoted the wrong way for his left hand, still clutching Moreva’s breast, to make a grab at the pistol before the trembling woman could back out of reach. Chillingly he saw that the weapon’s ambidextrous safety was off. He well remembered its hair-trigger. Even a child could kill him with it — if in fact it was loaded. Was it cocked? From dead ahead of the muzzle the hammer was not visible.
He caught his breath. “Nelda,” he warned between gasps, “I don’t know that I can forgive this joke.”
“It-it’s no j-joke, Captain Zorek,” she declared, forceful despite her terror. “I have n-never harmed a man, but if you d-don’t roll over and lie still, I shall kill you.”
He released Moreva and raised up partly, supporting himself on a hand between the women’s bodies. “Nelda, if you fire that pistol, my spotters will be all over you. Every civilian in this house will be killed.” Suddenly his eyes widened and he looked past her. “Grast!” he called.
The weapon in her hand steadied, pointing just to the left of his head. Her eyes narrowed ominously.
“Private Grast is dead,” she announced. The pistol flashed. Its crash of sound was painfully intense in the closed room, but mercifully brief. Particles of unburnt propellant stung the ear and the side of his head that was turned toward her. But the bullet had missed. Deliberately, it seemed.
His mouth fell open. Despite the ringing in his ears he demanded, “Are you crazy?” He realized that yes, she must be, to invite certain destruction. He rolled off the two prone women and turned over on his back beside them, surprised that she had not fired again. Was it possible the pistol had only contained that one round?
Looking up into the woman’s tormented face and the smoking muzzle hovering above his fading erection, he found himself unwilling to make her demonstrate. In seconds the question was moot. Katrin rolled lithely off the bed and snatched up his own carbine. To his astonishment she expertly flipped off both safeties, leaving it in fully automatic mode, and worked the slide, ejecting one round but verifying that the weapon was ready to fire. She stood beside the bed in a fighting crouch, panting but holding the carbine low and steady, barrel aligned with his chest.
With her head she motioned for Moreva to get up. The eldest obeyed clumsily. While on all-fours her body briefly obscured Katrin’s line of fire, but Nelda stood at the foot of the bed, covering him with her smoking pistol held at arm’s length. The incredible insanity of her warning shot had paralyzed him. Already he was wondering that no one had appeared at the door. Was he too deafened to hear their knocks?
When Moreva had reached safety behind Katrin and turned wide eyes upon him, Katrin grinned at Nelda and demonstrated that his ears were functional despite the ringing. She smirked, “You could have waited ten seconds!”
Nelda’s face showed sudden affront. “Wh-why?”
“I was just coming!”
The youngest chuckled at her tone, then glanced over her shoulder. “Moreva, take a look out the door.”
The eldest spun about, breasts swinging, and opened the door enough for her head to pass. Immediately she looked back at them, eyes glowing. “Both spotters are slumped on the floor.”
The man spoke, eyes wide. “What’s going on?”
Katrin nodded. “That’s the right question, captain. I’ll let you ask it with your telephone if you’ll do me one favor.”
“Set it on Group Audio.”
His eyebrows rose. “You know about that?”
“But that would mean you’d hear both ends of the conversation. The answer is no.”
She shrugged. “Then I’ll find out and you won’t. Moreva, throw on your robe and check downstairs. Nelda, I need some panty hose.”
Nelda’s eyes and pistol never wavered from the man as she responded, “The wardrobe drawer is full of them.”
“Moreva, get me four,” Katrin directed. The eldest closed the outer door and returned from the wardrobe bearing a handful of brown film with many legs dangling.
Katrin ordered, “Lay them on the bed.”
Doing so, Moreva looked up with troubled expression. “Only a housecoat?”
“Huh! You could go as you are. You know what you’ll find.”
Moreva returned to the wardrobe to find her housecoat among the three thrown over its door. Katrin backed away from the bed. “Captain, stretch out your hands and feet toward the bedposts.”
He was tall enough to reach all four on the standard double bed. Katrin continued, “Nelda, come around to the side. If he even twitches hard, shoot him.”
“I sh-shall!” Despite the stammer the determination in her voice was unmistakable.
Katrin set the carbine gently against the wall. She bound his feet first, then his left hand, to the bedposts using the legs of the panty hose, carefully prestretched. Her knots were tight and safely far from his fingers. He found himself grudgingly impressed with the artificial fabric as a comfortable but secure shackle — and with this woman’s poise and competence.
Meanwhile Moreva had thrown the housecoat around her jiggling breasts and left the room both barefooted and bare of bottom.
His eyes followed Katrin as she rounded the bed under Nelda’s leveled pistol, presumably to tie his right hand. He demanded, “Who are you really?”
She smiled. “All in good time, captain.”
She rummaged unexpectedly into his discarded uniform and fetched up his military telephone, laying it on his chest after pressing the Group Audio button. “Last chance, captain, for you to call for help.”
He studied her face, but she turned away long enough to recover the carbine. Facing back and raising it to her shoulder, she declared, “And don’t turn off Group Audio or I’ll shoot it out of your hand.”
He swallowed. “That carbine’s on full automatic.”
“I’m glad you’ve noticed, captain. Will you call?”
He pressed the command channel and raised the instrument to his mouth. “Rey?” he demanded.
Silence was the response. He keyed the uplink password and pressed the Test button. The liquid crystal display advised him that both the company and division nets had responded to his automatic query and thus were operational.
He pressed Company. “This is Zorek. Anybody listening?”
Again silence. He pressed Division. “This is Capt. Zorek, commanding the Third of the Ninth. Anybody listening?”
At last a response: “Sir, this is Sgt. Vier for division. Please hold.” Faintly he heard, “General, I’ve got somebody, Channel 38!”
The little speaker popped and a gruff voice sounded. “This is Gen. Vladen. Identify yourself!”
“Capt. Zorek, sir, commanding Third Company of the Ninth Mobile.”
“Where the hell are you, Zorek?”
He named the village. The general retorted with a demand for his status.
The captain gulped, took a deep breath and replied, “I don’t know, sir.”
After a short pause the general asked with ominous softness, “Why don’t you know, captain?”
“Because I am a prisoner of the Ziks.”
“Are you! I’m amazed you found one to surrender to! Is he dumb enough to let you use your telephone?”
“She, general. My captor is a woman. And my command channel no longer responds.”
“Except for you, Zorek, neither does mine.”
Katrin’s lip twitched. She extended a hand. “Throw me your telephone.”
“Who’s that?” demanded the general.
She caught the instrument deftly and raised it to her lips. “This is Major Katrin Spelova of the Zik National Army.” Her voice was accented but fully intelligible.
“Well, well!” responded the general warmly. “I’m Gen. Vladen, commanding the Second Division. Under other circumstances I’m sure I’d be delighted to make your acquaintance.”
“That is remarkable, Gen. Vladen, in view of what your government has told the world about us.”
“Well, now, my dear, you know all’s fair in love and war.”
“I’m pleased you think so, general, because the Zik part of this war is over.”
“Eh? What do you mean?”
“I mean that now we carry the war to you! I am instructed to ask you or your superiors to place an ordinary telephone call to this number.” She closed her eyes and recited a long series of digits. “Did you get that, general? Should I repeat it?”
The man’s voice had hardened. “You can be certain we’re recording this!”
“Good. Then I have one more piece of information for you. Capt. Zorek is the last man of yours still alive in Zik territory. If he behaves himself, you’ll get him back eventually.”
The instrument emitted a sputtering sound before she pressed the End button. She laid carbine and telephone aside and said, reverting to Zik, “Right hand to the bedpost, captain.”
He obeyed, regarding her in wonderment. “You can’t know that!”
She smiled as she attended to his last shackle. “Perhaps not quite the very last man, but near enough, I fear.”
With the final knot tied she said quietly, “We have pulled the captain’s fangs. You can relax, Nelda.”
“Oh-h-h!” sighed the woman, lowering her weapon. She took a deep breath. Red spots appeared on either cheek. Her mouth twisted. She threw the pistol onto the bed, where it bounced once and struck the man painfully in his unprotected groin. He hardly had time to express a grunt, however, before she followed it over the foot of the bed, clambering upon him with sharp knees, and slapped his face resoundingly.
Her suddenness disoriented him. The ringing returned to his ears. It was a moment before he realized that Katrin had pulled his attacker away. “Nelda!” she cried. “There’s no need to hurt him.”
The older woman stood beside the bed, tears streaking her cheeks. “Oh, yes, there is! I wish I had my period. I would rub it into his face. Pvt. Grast didn’t want to rape my mouth. The captain made him do it.”
“Don’t fool yourself,” Katrin cautioned. “Of course he wanted to! Have you already forgot what men are like?” She grinned slightly. “Capt. Zorek has reminded me.”
Nelda turned an incredulous face upon the youngest. “How can you be sweet on him? He raped both ends of you!”
“Who said I was sweet?”
“But you are, aren’t you? Roland was right: you do love cock!”
“What’s wrong with that? I’m a woman, after all! What’s your problem anyway? You know we discussed how this would likely develop. So far we’ve come down close to the optimum scenario.”
“Don’t tell me about optimum —”
At that moment Moreva shoved the door open hard enough that it banged against the interior wall. She stood in the doorway, staring at them with round eyes. The housecoat, darkened by water spots, carelessly hung open, exposing her pubic thatch. “They’re all gone,” she announced in a petulant tone.
“Gone?” Katrin wondered.
“I mean, dead. Every one of them, fallen all over themselves. I looked outside. They’re hanging out of their vehicles. Oh, Katrin, what have we done?”
“We should’ve warned them.”
Nelda gaped in astonishment. “Not you, too!”
Moreva shook her head. “All those beautiful men … What a waste!”
“We did warn them,” Katrin asserted. “Even their television reported it. We told them that every invader would die. Didn’t you hear it, captain?”
He sneered. “Who paid that any attention!”
She nodded. “We assumed you wouldn’t, but we did warn you. Nelda, get dressed. Go outside and call the runners. Send a message to Col. Gretchen that their headquarters is wiped out. Moreva, take the rest of those food tins and feed the others.”
As they moved to obey her, she put a knee on the bed and leaned over the man. Her hand worked his chin back and forth. “At least Nelda didn’t cut your lip. You’ll have to forgive her. She has a segment of the susceptible gene and a viral sore in her esophagus. If she swallows the wrong kind of seminal fluid it could kill her.”
He looked at her blankly. “What are you talking about?”
“The reason for your slap in the face.”
“Huh? But I don’t have AIDS.”
“No, you likely don’t. And we know now that your spermatozoa wouldn’t harm her. But the private’s could kill her in an hour or two if she swallowed any.”
“Are you crazy? What poppycock is this?”
She shrugged. “It’s true, captain, I assure you. Both she and Moreva deserve a medal, which I intend to see they get. They were willing to sacrifice their lives.”
“And the youthful Lisa’s, if what you say is true!”
She shook her head. “No, captain. Ironically enough, female susceptibility requires long experience with men. Lisa was in no danger. Neither were the pre-teens. Mortal danger, that is. But Nelda, with her three husbands, and Moreva with thirty years of marital relations, are seriously exposed.”
“What in the world would kill them? Does this have something to do with the disaster that’s apparently befallen our army?”
“It has everything to do with it.” Her hand released his chin. The fingers twined into the dark hair on his chest.
“Would you mind explaining?”
“Nelda was right, far as she went. I do love men’s bodies. Your feet stink of rotten cowhide but your underarms and your … genitals have an odor that …” Her voice trailed off as she drew a deep breath.
He frowned impatiently. “I meant, what is this agent that might kill Nelda and has apparently killed all my men?” By raising his head he could see Grast’s body sprawled against the wall, head fallen forward, legs splayed as they had been around the kneeling Nelda. The chest was still and the skin pale under its tan.
She shrugged. Her hand strayed to the shrunken manhood. “Why not? The world will know soon enough. Are you aware of the expertise we Ziks have developed in biochemistry? Your leader called it, ‘The Savior of European Industry.’ Maybe, but it has presented a terrible bill. A bit over a year ago we created a simple virus that attacked a crucial DNA sequence in male rats. It was the perfect pest control. Without males, our rat infestation would soon cease. And it did. You won’t find another country in the world as free of rats as ours. Unfortunately it turns out that hard UV changes a key sequence in the viral DNA, and with the Ozone Hole we get plenty of hard ultraviolet in the summer. The altered sequence causes the virus to exhibit a strange and lethal affinity to a crucial bit of the Y-chromosome in the human male nervous system. An exposed man is dead within eighteen hours.”
He stared at her, ignoring the caresses she absently bestowed in his groin. “Your own men …”
“Oh, yes! But it doesn’t kill all men, quite. A few men, about one per-cent, don’t have the susceptible sequence. Obviously you are one such. And very young men and boys, though sickened, can fight it off because they’re still growing: that is, the majority of their cells are still reproducing.
“But here’s the great irony: just last month, after your leader had ordered mobilization, we developed an effective antidote. As any good preventative, it identifies the altered virus as an enemy for your own immune system.” She grinned sardonically. “Of course, we have nothing like the quantity yet available to inoculate an invading army.” Her grin faded. “Nor the will to use it. Though now I am beginning to agree with Moreva. That was a mistake.”
“Not so good, at least when men play at it.”
“How did you conceal your dearth of men?”
She grinned mirthlessly. “Conceal? Isn’t that the main reason your great leader decided to invade us?”
“Well … What we saw was canceled maneuvers and empty barracks.”
She nodded. “We realized that danger and kept our grief to ourselves. Too well, I think!”
Nelda, who had taken the time to dress fully, leaned onto the bed far enough to recover her pistol and shove it in the waistband of her skirt. She was dressed for the outdoors in greatcoat, stockings and sharp-toed boots with umbrella in hand. She paused, looking askance at the partly re-erected penis in Katrin’s hand. “I take it you’re not coming with me.”
“I’ll be along. I need to explain one or two other things to the captain. As Moreva noted, it would be a terrible waste for him to get himself killed now.”
The clothed woman sniffed. “No waste in his case!”
“But one in my case!”
When the door had slammed behind Nelda, Katrin bent and replaced hand with mouth. The captain snorted. “I can’t believe you. Isn’t that hateful as well as dangerous?”
She grunted but was otherwise silent. Her head bobbed, stroking the full length of the shaft until it grew too long. At that point she raised up with a grin. “Neither one to me.”
“Not hateful, I see,” he admitted, “though I thought you meant to bite me when I put it there before.”
“If it had choked me, I would’ve only made it uncomfortable, captain. Few women wish to do a penis real harm.”
Straddling him, she lowered herself gently upon the sample presently available. When it was well captured, she released a pent-up breath and shivered violently, rippling breasts and belly. “Oh, wonderful! There is simply no substitute for the genuine article.”
Her hips began slowly to move forward and backward. She studied his face. “Should I call Moreva to put a nipple in your mouth? I think she’d love to do it.”
He shook his head. “I can’t believe any of this.”
“Poor captain! The tables have turned terribly from your point of view, haven’t they!”
“Or have they? What we’re doing now is essentially the same as just before your world ended. Does it matter who’s on top?”
She shivered again, smiled dreamily and answered her own question. “Of course it matters, doesn’t it! An intimate friend recently summed it up rather well. ‘Ah, it’s good to be the victor!’”
Copyright © 1999 by Kellis