Freedom for Tara
Chapter 1 – A Really Bad Day
I raised myself up a bit so that the man I was sitting on would get the hint and maybe, possibly take one of my nipples into his mouth. Not that it was really necessary, I was well on my way to orgasm. Dirk, or Derick, or whatever his name was, was well endowed and attractive enough that so long as I had control, I’d get myself off easily enough. Still, it was just nice to spice things up a little now and then.
The guy was starting to grunt and grip my ass hard enough to leave marks, so I decided I had better slow down a bit or he’d leave me wanting. I had yet to meet a male who could keep it up for any length of time after having spent himself. Grabbing his chin, I forcibly tilted his face up to mine.
“Hey… HEY! Slow down,” I said, when I had his attention. I rolled my hips in a long, deep rhythm to demonstrate what I wanted. “We have time.”
“Uh… uh… what?… oh, yeah… right…”
I wasn’t sure he understood at all, but since I was setting the pace, he really didn’t have a choice. But after a moment, it appeared that my words had indeed gotten through his skull and he settled into a much more enjoyable and sustainable rhythm.
Leaning back to stretch and enjoy the depth and angle a little better, I smiled and let the cool air of the night evaporate the sweat on my torso and arms as my lower body continued to fuck my partner. Damn, I did love convertibles. There was just nothing better than arching back and staring into the starry night sky on a clear night as you shivered into a solid, toe-curling orgasm. And I might have done just that if only I’d had more time.
A light developed in my field of view. It was like a bright star, or possibly a planet, but it zipped back and forth in the sky as a firefly above a lake, bouncing and flitting about in a way that made me think that perhaps it really was just a firefly. But then it dropped down through the atmosphere almost directly above me and I changed my mind. I saw widening circles of white appear and spread out away from the strange star as it descended and grew rapidly brighter.
I was just starting to make little gasps in prelude to bliss, when the air all around the car suddenly condensed in a blast of compression. My ears popped, and my eyes went dark for a moment as the huge sonic boom nearly knocked me unconscious, and literally blew the leaves clean off every tree for a half mile.
Thinking that maybe I’d been hit by a meteor, I gathered myself up and tried to close my blouse. Knocked off Dirk’s lap, I had nearly fallen ass-first into the foot well. My lover, I noticed, was out cold.
“Oh, well fuck! Isn’t THAT a great way to spoil the mood,” I cursed. “Orgasm canceled on account of an act of god…”
But something wasn’t quite right. When we had started, I’d been admiring the way my bare skin looked illuminated by the glow of a nearly full moon, which had been bright enough to cast a moon-shadow across my lover’s face. It was that shadow that was missing. Or rather, it wasn’t, it was just much, much bigger. So big, in fact, that it covered most of the unused cow pasture we were parked in. Wondering what was making this new shadow, I looked up… and started screaming.
A bluish circle appeared just above me and emitted a single brief pulse. My screaming stopped, and limp, my eyes rolled into my head as unconsciousness claimed my mind and pushed me into blackness.
I awoke to the sound of someone speaking in a language I couldn’t recognize. It reminded me vaguely of Russian, but where I should have been able to pick out a word or two, there was nothing familiar. I stiffly opened my eyes and found myself to be lying in a soft, round bed. My vision was a little blurry, and the room was dimly lit with an orange light. There was smoke, or maybe mist, in the air.
I started to sit up, and instantly regretted the motion. My whole body felt sore and achy, my joints popping as I stretched and slowly tried to right myself. Someone was approaching me, and from the shape of the blur I judged them to be a woman.
“Akidas macku su?” She asked, couching down in front of me. “Mira loki rey eshttriba…”
“W-what?” I croaked, my voice cut off in my parched throat. I tried to get my vision to focus, but my eyes didn’t seem to want to cooperate. The more I looked at the woman, the odder she appeared, and I decided I must be hallucinating. The other knelt down in front of me and placed a hand on my cheek. The touch was gentle and warm. With her other hand, she patted my shoulder. She also handed me a glass that contained a clear liquid that looked like water. I took the drink and with trembling hands, placed it to my lips. It was slightly tepid, but felt wonderful on my scratchy throat. Then I noticed that the woman still had her hands on my face and shoulder… That her touch had never left.
Frowning in confusion, I squinted to try and bring my vision into clarity, examining the female in front of me more closely.
“Shit!” I cried, as I jumped and rolled backwards away from the woman. “What the hell are you?! Why do you have four arms!?? What’s going on?!” Several other figures were now standing, drawn by my outburst. The female that had offered me the water was just standing there, her multiple sets of limbs hanging loosely at her sides.
Behind me, I felt what I thought might be a curtain, but that turned out to be a light wall covering. I slapped the surface, feeling for an exit, and discovered that I had retreated into a corner. “What the fuck is this,” I demanded. Another woman was approaching, speaking to the first.
“Risha, dorest shae chettracesk kata mu…” She strode right past the four-armed woman but approached me more slowly. When she was close enough that she was no longer just a curvy blur, my eyes widened. The second female had the right number of arms, but her ears were long and pointed, like a cat’s, or possibly a deer. But it was her eyes that made me want to run. They were solid black, with no visible pupils.
“S-Stay away from me!” I warned, trying to edge along the wall.
“Esari… Mita reslavic canti do…” said the other in a calm voice with her hands extended slightly in front of her, palms down, fingers spread. She continued to fix me with her dark gaze, but the expression on her face was one of calm concern.
“Eso da… Eso da…” she continued softly.
“I don’t know what’s going on here,” I said, unable to look away from the woman’s face… her eyes. “But I’m… I… ughnnn…” Suddenly, I felt a deep warmth spread out from my neck and travel down my body as though someone had just turned on a shower behind me. But the sensation was purely internal and it brought a blush to my cheeks as it washed over my breasts and down into my lap. There it manifested itself in a more sexual way. Abruptly, I was on the verge of orgasm, and my knees buckled. Sliding to the floor, I could hardly do more than take in a deep, slow breath before my world tumbled. The long-eared woman stepped forward gracefully and placed her hands to either side of my head, just as a burst of pleasure rose up from my lap. Something akin to an electric shock was taking place just behind my eyes. A thousand voices, all talking at once, seemed to be rushing into my brain, and for a few seconds I blacked out again.
When I returned, I saw that the female with the strange eyes was seated on the ground in lotus about two meters away.
“Can you understand me now?” She asked simply. Her voice was calm and friendly, with what seemed a bit of an Irish accent.
Shocked, I nodded. The woman hadn’t spoken English. She hadn’t spoken in any language that I would have even recognized before that very moment. And yet, I understood her perfectly.
“I’m sorry I had to impel you. But it was necessary to allow communication.”
“Im-Impel?” I asked, the word sounding alien in my mouth.
The other smiled. “The orgasm… I had to disable you so that I could link more directly to your subconscious mind and implant the language you now accept as your primary.”
I thought that the odd female seated in front of me sounded like a scholar or a geek. Her clothing was hardly more than a loose robe, and she wore no shoes.
“I am Benie. I’m a Fretah.”
“What’s a… Fretah?”
“We are a race of humanoids from a star system in what you know as Orion’s Belt.”
“Orion…? I don’t understand.”
Benie tilted her head slightly. “You are Terran, yes?”
“My name is Tara…”
The other laughed softly. “No, not your name, your planet of origin. You call it Earth, I believe. I have to say, that’s an incredibly boring name for such a beautiful planet, but I suppose it does make sense for a non-space faring race.”
“What are you talking about? Where am I?!”
The other woman bowed her head slightly. “Forgive me. I forget that this is all completely new to you. You are aboard a Var-Lish vessel, traveling through space. I’m sorry, but I have no more information regarding our more precise location. That’s not the kind of thing the Var-Lish share with their slaves.”
“You’re a slave?” I was still looking for an exit, but no one appeared to want to harm me, so I stayed put on the floor.
“We all are,” she indicated the whole room. There were about a dozen different individuals, all female, and all highly unusual in appearance. “And so are you,” she added with a concerned frown.
I shook my head. “I’m not a slave.”
The woman looked almost sad. “As you wish. Denial of one’s situation is often an acceptable coping mechanism.”
“I’m no one’s slave!” I said more forcibly.
She raised her hands in front of her in a gesture I took to mean compliance. “I did not mean to offend you. I am only here to give you the basic information you need to survive. After that, you may choose whatever level of interaction with the rest of us as you wish.”
“This is fucked up. I want to be taken home, now!” Scanning the area, I saw nothing at all that looked like a door, and I was starting to get a knot in my stomach.
“That is not possible. Perhaps I should come back later when you have had more time to acclimate and accept your position?”
“NO!” I answered loudly, and surprised even myself. Then more softly, “No… please stay. I… I need answers.” Reaching an emotional breaking point, I let myself slide down the wall I was leaning against until I was seated on the floor. The Fretah woman nodded again.
“I am patient. Ask when you are ready.”
I took a few deep breaths to clear my head. “So… Let me get this straight. I’ve been abducted by an alien race known as the Var-Lish, and that everyone here in this place is a slave, including me. Were you all abducted as well?”
“Yes, though some of us have been here longer than others. We have all been taken from our home worlds to fight in the games.”
“Games? You didn’t say anything about games before,” I said, irritated.
“Forgive me. I am getting ahead of myself. The Var-Lish are an insectoid race that views all humanoids as inferior. As such, they see our various species as worthy only for entertainment. We are forced to compete in a series of ongoing games, which they watch, but do not participate in.”
“And I am going to have to… participate, in these games?”
I sighed. “Shit. What are these games? Do we have to fight each other or something?” I swallowed nervously at the thought of having to go up against the freak with the four arms.
“No. The Var-Lish, while violent, are much more interested in our degradation. To them sexual domination is paramount. Their whole social structure is based on their queens, and various subjugated levels of drones. Each level is sexually dominated by the one above it. To that end, they seek to see us dominated by various levels of other life, pushing us to the bottom-most caste in their eyes.”
I was really starting to sweat. “When you say. ‘sexually dominated…'” I started to ask.
She nodded slowly.
“Exactly,” she responded, misinterpreting my exclamation.
I put my head in my hands and just breathed for a few moments as I let my brain try to wrap around the concept.
Finally, I looked up and asked, “How do we win these games?”
She tilted her head to the side, as though not quite understanding the question. “Perhaps, if you are ready, I could explain some of the the details of the games while introducing you to the others?”
“I’m sure I’m not ready,” I replied, “but I doubt it’s going to make any difference, so why not.” Benie unfolded and rose in a single fluid motion and then stepped forward. Extending her hand, she offered to help me up. After a slight hesitation, I grasped her outstretched arm and stood. The action brought me face to face with her, and I suddenly found myself staring into those solid black eyes again.
She smiled, and for a moment, while she blinked, I could almost imagine her as someone I might have met on a street back in Fresno. Of course, seeing her ears quickly destroyed that illusion.
“Please know, I will not impel you again without your permission. It’s not something that is permitted by my race without consent, unless it is an emergency.”
“Uh… good to know,” I answered, thinking that the ability to drive another to instant orgasm would indeed be tempting if left unchecked.
Benie took me through the main halls and out into the large open space in the middle. The floor, which was the same everywhere, was made of a somewhat springy material that reminded me of a gym mat. “The central courtyard is where the portal appears…” She held up her hand as she saw that I was about to ask what the portals were used for.”They are short-range transport gates that take us to or from a zone that has been set up on a nearby planet of their choosing. The zones are placed within a force shield, which prevents us, and anything else, from leaving the zone except through a portal. A game begins when two or more of us are called forth and step through a gateway. Once through, we will have a limited amount of time in which to find and step through another portal to get us back here.”
“Teleportation,” I said, thinking.
“Yes. I wasn’t aware that Terrans had achieved that level of technology…”
I made a half smile. “We haven’t. It’s only in the movies.”
Her brows scrunched up in confusion, as she mouthed the word ‘movie’.
“Uh… a fictional representation of a possible future for entertainment purposes,” I explained, trying to sound as geeky as possible. Her face lit with understanding.
“Ah! Yes, I heard your race was exceptional at such things. Interesting. Perhaps it is this ability to predict or imagine the future that makes your race so cunning.”
“Cunning? Hu… er, Terrans? I don’t think so. We’re lucky to even have a planet to stand on if you ask me. It’s more a miracle than cunning that we haven’t blown ourselves to dust.”
“Perhaps,” she assented. “But until now, you have had nothing to compare yourselves with. Has it ever occurred to you to ask yourself why no intergalactic race has ever made formal contact with your world?”
“I just assumed it was because nobody knew we were out there.”
Benie laughed softly. “Your race is well known… and well avoided.”
“Avoided? Why?” I was shocked.
“You are far too warlike to risk contact. Most galactic races have their first interstellar visitors thousands of years after they have achieved extraterrestrial travel. The Fretah had full settlements on every world within our own local system before we were contacted.”
“Oh, well don’t I feel like the village idiot.”
“Do not think that the relative galactic age of your species makes you somehow less desirable in these games, however. In fact, it is exactly your more primitive traits that we are desperately in need of.”
“Why? Do you need grunt warriors or something?”
The woman considered her words for a moment before answering. “Not… warriors, exactly. There are those in almost every galactic humanoid race that have been trained as warriors, especially given the ongoing conflagration with the Var-Lish. But one of the primary tests of any culture being considered for inclusion into galactic society is the ability to sustain peace. It’s a lot more difficult than you might think.”
I snorted. “No, I believe you. We’ve been on the brink of wiping ourselves out for a long time.”
“Indeed. For a race to find acceptance, they have to demonstrate that such warlike tendencies have been removed from the general mindset. Unfortunately, what you end up with is a people that have so much respect for life, that they are nearly incapable of being subversive. Such thoughts just don’t enter into our minds.”
“There are… deviants, in any culture.”
“I see. So Terrans are the galactic equivalent of the unruly scum in the universe.”
The Fretah’s face seemed almost fearful. “Oh my… I’m not sure I would have used those words.”
I grinned, wickedly. “That’s okay. I kinda like being a rogue. So, these portal things appear, we go down to a planet, find the other portal, and come back. That’s the game?”
She nodded. “Basically, yes. But between us and the exit portal will be any number of entities we need to avoid.”
“Avoid, as in step over?”
She frowned. “No, avoid, as in, run away from.”
“And I am afraid that capture will result in, at minimum, rape, and at most, death, though how one dies can vary considerably.”
I rubbed my head in stress. “Shit… Okay, what are these entities like?”
She titled her head again. “Why, they are as varied as the stars themselves, though they all share one common trait.”
“A desire and physical ability to violate us.”
I sighed. “Of course.”
Once I had gotten over the fact that I was going to have to fight off getting buggered by unknown alien horrors, I changed the subject and asked about living quarters. Frankly, I really just needed to pee.
“You can pick any empty room you like. If one is taken, there will be a small glow-lamp in the alcove next to the door.”
I looked down the hallway and could see that there were at least six doorways without lights. Six vacancies. Six females who didn’t come back through the portal. I also saw that there were no doors on the living quarters, but most of the others had rigged some kind of curtain for basic privacy.
“Benie,” I asked as we walked quietly toward the first without a light. “Do you always have so many empty rooms? I saw a number of others earlier, but… I mean… uh…”
“The attrition rate is high,” she said with an even face, though I could tell the question was as disturbing to her as it was to me. “We lose one of our own with almost every match. Sometimes more. The match before last, four were taken in a single round. That was hard.”
I shook my head. “Why don’t you refuse to cooperate? Can’t you rebel or something? Why don’t you fight back?!”
The Fretah placed her hand on my shoulder and stared at me as one stares at an innocent child. “Tara, we have no weapons. No tools. No armor. We have nothing to fight the Var-Lish with. We are completely at their mercy. If they wanted, they could blast us all into the vacuum of space with a single command. How can we fight them?”
“You have to try… Do something! Anything is better than waiting around here to die!”
The other looked down, embarrassed. “We have nothing else.”
I shook my head and stepped inside the tiny room, leaving Benie in the hall. I simply couldn’t believe that a so called ‘advanced’ race could be so stupid. Sure, the prospects for survival didn’t look good, but simply waiting around until your name was called was idiotic. Even if your actions were pointless in the end, at least you could die knowing you tried.
I scanned the space, looking for a light switch. Apparently, putting them on the wall was semi-universal because the moment my hand touched the area just to the left of the doorway, a soft amber light spread out from the ceiling. I looked over and saw a faint tracery of glowing lines that appeared painted or etched right into the material that made up my new home. There seemed to be sections with different pictograms which, to my surprise, I understood. I knew for example, that sliding my finger down the rectangle on the left would dim the lights, and that tapping it would turn them off completely. I left the illumination where it was and checked around my ‘bedroom’.
Whoever had lived there before me didn’t have much in the way of personal effects. How would they? If they were taken as I was, they might have the clothes on their backs, but little else. I was lucky to have that, given what I was doing at the time.
There were several folded shirts and a skirt, which were made of the same cotton-like material that Benie had been wearing, so I assumed there was probably some place to acquire what was “standard issue” garb. I would have to ask the long-eared girl later since my panties were a billion light years away in the back of Dirk’s convertible.
The room itself was nearly round, but at various places and varying heights were shelf-like alcoves, most of which were either empty, or set with various knickknacks. There were pretty iridescent stones, crystals, a few dried flowers of a type that I had never seen before, and on one shelf near the floor and what I took as the “bed”, there was what was unmistakably a ring. Surprised, I flopped into the pile of soft clothes and retrieved the tarnished band of metal… and gasped. It was a class ring. Fredmont High School, 2008.
I sniffed back a few tears as it became obvious that the place I had chosen to call my new home had, at least at some time recently, been used by another Earth-born human, a Terran, as I was being referred to. It did nothing to lessen the overwhelming sense of fear and loss that was gathering in my gut, but it did offer one tiny bit of courage in an otherwise impossible situation. Home, my true home… Earth, was out there somewhere. Getting back to it was going to be the real game, but it wasn’t hopeless. I held on to that as I put my face into my bed and started wailing into the covers.