Disclaimer:

          This work is fiction. The work has no (intentional) relationship with any person existing at any time anywhere whether real or imaginary or copy written.

         Feedback will be read, processed, and if it’s a flame it will be given the finger, then I will burst into hysterical laughter. Constructive feedback, be it criticism or praise, will be read, processed, given a smile, and filed away. To contact me, please send an email to socom.seal@(SPAM)yahoo.com. Remove (SPAM) for a valid email.

         You should not read this if you are not of legal age where you reside. This work can contain rape, BDSM, cannibalism, and probably anything else my sick, twisted mind can come up with.

Note: All times are in a mix of military and standard times. For example, 1AM = 0100 hours = 1:00, while 1PM = 1300 hours = 13:00. I hope this will make it easier on readers to understand the timeline while leaving me in a format that I understand better. If it causes too much of a problem I will switch to standard. 

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Chapter 29

 

<Carlsbad Caverns Area, ‘Pokegirl One’>

<Approx. one month since the land was sold>

 

 

 

         Mate was gone. Where was Mate? The Combusticunt blinked in the gloom of the underground before cocking her head in confusion. There were sounds. Where were sounds? Are sounds Mate? She attempted to stand and smacked her head against the low ceiling, earning a cry of frustration and a brief surge of flame. Always! Always attacked in home!

 

         Brigid stifled her laughter as the feral began clawing at the ceiling, small bursts of flame accompanying the angered girl’s attempts at attacking the thing that had hurt her. “There’s another one down there that I just picked up, she may have been sleeping and got woken up by the others.” She relayed, shifting the vision spell to sweep the section of small caves they were clearing out. “Other than that, it looks like you’ve hit everything.”

 

         Alpha. Alpha would revenge her. Alpha would – Where Alpha? The girl looked into the adjacent spaces in surprise. Where Alpha? Where Mate? Hunting? The Combusticunt wandered towards the surface. She’d find Mate, find Alpha, figure out… Noises! She picked up her pace, scampering towards the forgotten sounds. Noises would be Mate. Noises would be Alpha!

 

         The girl squawked in surprise as a figure careened into her, sending her tumbling back into the caves. Attacker! Her eyes burned as her body ignited, shrouding the two figures in flames. KILL ATTACKER!

 

         “Eyyy, this one’s feisty!” Constance called back to the assembled girls. “Lookit, she’s trying to burn me!”

 

         The Combusticunt struggled against the form wrapped around her. It wasn’t burning. It made sound but didn’t burn. What was it? What? Alpha would know, but no Alpha!

 

         Constance winced when the Combusticunt’s claws slashed through her clothes and cut strips in her skin. “Ok, enough screwing around.” She muttered, flicking her baton out and belting the Combusticunt upside the head before tossing the unconscious girl at Ashba and brushing herself off. She winced as she passed over the slashes. “Lyn! That all of ‘em?”

 

         “You’re going to lower our score by getting injured.” Lyn muttered back over the com.

 

         Constance snorted. “Oh please. I was just having a bit of fun. Besides, it’s just a few scratches.”

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

         <14:00, Base Camp>

 

         “…And finally, a five percent deduction for injuries.” Cortney concluded, and Ashba watched as the number on the board shrank. “Unfortunately that drops you to third. Almost had second place there.”

 

         “And we might drop to fourth tomorrow.” Ashba muttered. “Since Delta hasn’t even taken their turn yet.”

 

         “Yup.” Cortney replied cheerfully. “The Torch Chicks are a nice catch though, so kudos on that. Good chance that you’ll complete the bonus objective this time around.”

 

         “Hey, it’s something.” Ashba replied with a sigh. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go punish Constance.”

 

         Cortney watched the Rosebreasts go with a sly grin on her face. “Still getting fooled, believing that Constance doesn’t like your ‘punishments’.” She murmured. Turning, she waved at Andrew as he slipped into the mess. “Afternoon sir! Alpha just got back, brought a few gems, but mostly run of the mill extermination efforts. I’ve got the list for you to look over.”

 

         Andrew accepted the dex she handed him and scrolled down the short list. “Ah, nice. Some Torch Chicks? Some evo’s?” His eyes widened. “They had a Blazikunt down there?”

 

         Cortney nodded. “There was a small pack following her. A combination of ambushes and Constance’s fire immunity gave Alpha the edge, however.”

 

         Andrew nodded thoughtfully. “Nice. Definitely look through these, find the vids of any that seem different, stronger, you know the drill.” He replied, handing the dex back.

 

         “Of course. Lyn got us some good footage with her spells, better than the other two teams have produced.” Cortney added, bringing a video onto the screen behind her. “In fact, I already know one of these that’s a bit… different.”

 

         Andrew chortled as the Combusticunt banged her head and proceeded to scorch the ceiling. “Oh, my. Ferals really aren’t that smart, are they?”

 

         Cortney grinned. “No, not really. I’m more interested in her reaction, though. She didn’t hesitate at all.”

 

         Andrew shrugged. “If it’s that interesting I’ll send Alpha back down there to search for anything special. Is that all?”

 

         Cortney cocked her head. “Other than that, there’s nothing truly urgent; I’m sure you’ll hear about this if you’re needed –“

 

         “Andrew, could you come out to the spring, please?” Adria tiredly asked in his ear. “We’ve got a few things we need to run by you.”

 

         Andrew sighed and gestured vaguely at his com. “Was that what you were about to warn me about?” He asked.

 

         Cortney giggled. “Apparently you’re needed.”

 

         Andrew shook his head and strode outside. “She better be sending Noira to pick me up this time.” He grumbled.

 

         It didn’t take long for him to get in the air, Noira swiftly carrying him the couple of miles to the springs. Landing, Andrew hopped out and glanced around as he made his way to Adria’s side. “Yes? What’s up?”

 

         The Groaning pointed at one of the deeper pools where bubbles roiled on the surface. “Leira is unhappy. She’s been sneaking out and enlisting help in getting to the gulf. I told her she’s not allowed to do that anymore, and she didn’t show up for a few days. When she got back, Nami swore she could smell seawater. You can guess what happened next.”

 

         “You accused her, she denied it, you punished her. And now she refuses to listen to you, so you called me in?” Andrew shook his head. “That’s not my job.”

 

         “It is your job.” Adria amended, “Because she wants to leave the harem. I told her she was being hasty, and she went down there.”

 

         Andrew sighed and squatted by the waters edge. “Leira.” Nothing changed. “OI!” He yelled, slapping the water with his hand.

 

         Slowly the bubbles stopped and Andrew stood to allow the Queenler to come up. When she finally did he sighed. She had very pointedly armored herself across her chest and groin, while leaving the rest of herself exposed. Staying as submerged as possible, she daintily held onto the edge of the pool with her non-clawed hand. “Man.”

 

         “Adria says you want to leave.” Andrew nodded at her silence. “Alright. Go. I’ll destroy your pokeball when I get back to the tent. I’ll also make the announcement that you’re no longer a part of this family. If you’re seen on this land again you’ll be treated like any other outsider. Good luck.” He made to turn away but paused when she shook her head. “Pardon?”

 

         She glared at him. “Don’t want to leave. Want to be in ocean.”

 

         He chuckled. “Can’t have both. You can leave and live in the ocean, or you can stay here. Which is it going to be?” He pointed at Adria. “If you stay, you listen to her. No exceptions.”

 

         Leira’s mouth slowly began to foam before she realized what she was doing and dove back underwater again. Adria sighed and nodded at Andrew. “Thank you.”

 

         He shrugged. “Learn to make your own ultimatums sometime. And enforce them.” He dodged around Noira and skipped into the woods. “I’ll make my own way back. Carry on.”

 

         After a few hundred feet he slowed. Settling himself, he began looking around. Finding what he wanted, he sat on a stump and crossed his legs before resting his hands in his lap and closing his eyes.

 

         “Catch.” Came a gruff voice and Andrew raised his hand to intercept the staff Naaz tossed at him. “It took you this long to get alone?”

 

         Andrew flipped the weapon between his hands. “Someone always needs me. Or someone’s always watching me.  A month later and they still won’t let me do this on my own.”

 

         Naaz chuckled. “They’re worried. It’s a trait of pokegirls. Always wondering where the next threat will come from.”

 

         Andrew scowled. “Yes, but this whole area is clean. They run daily patrols to keep it that way. It’s going to be a home, damnit. They need to have faith in it.”

 

         The aspect smiled, his eyes crinkling slightly as he gazed at the disgruntled man. “You know I’m the wrong one to talk to about that. I have nothing but pride for the way they have protected us.”

 

         Andrew sighed. “Yea. I know.” He lifted the staff. “So. Back to work on endurance?”

 

         Time always ran together when he trained his mind. He had no idea how long he had been battling Naaz when he was startled out of his trance. Blinking open his eyes he grinned sheepishly at Daria. “Hey. Why are you here?”

 

         The Vampire closed the book she had been reading and pushed away from the tree. “A few reasons. First was to make sure you weren’t dead. If I hadn’t been the one to find you, you’d have been awake long ago.” She smirked. “They were livid when I told them you weren’t to be disturbed. I thought Fu was going to kill me, the way she was screaming into the radio.”

 

         Andrew blinked. “She wouldn’t get that upset over nothing. How long have I been out?”

 

         “Oh, six or seven hours. You must have been doing something pretty important; the energy around here was stifling.”

 

         Andrew stood slowly and worked the stiffness from his joints. “I was stressing my mind. I’m doing my best to work from the ground up with my magic – if I have a good base of energy I shouldn’t lose control as often.”

 

         Daria grinned. “And yet you’re self taught. You realize most of what you’ve done has to be coached? At Vale you’d be an Upperclass for sure.”

 

         Andrew chuckled. “Glad to hear it. Means I’m making progress.” He sighed and peered into the twilight sky. “Still have a long way to go.”

 

         Daria held out her hand, teleporting the two of them once he took hold of it. “A long way to go, yes. But you’re making steady progress.”

 

         Andrew glanced around the clearing, wincing when he saw Adria marching towards them. “Thanks. Now I’ve got to face the music.” He glanced curiously at Daria. “By the way, what were the other reasons?”

 

         Daria nodded at Adria. “Might want to hear what she has to say. You already know the other reasons… I’m looking into a way back home. You knew I would eventually.”

 

         Andrew’s response was cut off by the angry Groaning. “You disappear. FOR HOURS. Nobody can reach you, nobody can find you. WHAT WERE YOU DOING?”

 

         “Practicing my magic without interference.” Andrew responded simply, pushing her aside. “And I’ll continue doing it, too. Daria, I won’t ask your reasons, just make sure you’re careful. Now, what do you need, Adria?” He gazed patiently at the fuming girl. “Well?”

 

         She grimaced. “I don’t need you. Ashba does. They found some interesting things down in the den they cleared out today. But you were nowhere to be found after leaving me. Of course.”

 

         Andrew rolled his eyes and moved past her, ducking inside the tent. “Cortney! Give me an update?”

 

         “Ashba found some interesting items in the Blazikunt den. And they need more information.”

 

         Andrew rifled through the food in the kitchen. “Alright, and? I’d assume they want to show me whatever they found, and that it’s a surprise of some sort, but what do they need more information for?”

 

         “We need more information because of what we found.” Ashba supplied from behind him. “Where were you?”

 

         Andrew turned to her, the makings of a sandwich in his arms. “Safe.” He sat at a nearby table and gave her an even look. “Not in danger.”

 

         She gave him an innocent smile. “And where was that?”

 

         Andrew snorted. “Away from meddling women.” He flashed her a quick smile. “Sometimes I need space.”

 

         “And sometimes you get in trouble.” She shot back. “Choose someone, but always have someone with you. Or I’ll make sure you do.” She flashed a grin back.

 

         Andrew grumbled. “You were so laid back. And then you weren’t. What happened?”

 

         Ashba giggled and pulled up a chair next to him. “You told me to do my job when I tried to push it aside.” She rested her head on his shoulder. “So I’m doing my job.”

 

         Andrew gently pushed her upright and began making his sandwich. “Annoying me is your job?”

 

         She shot him an irritated look. “Keeping you safe is my job.” She reached in her pocket and placed a slip of metal on the table in front of them. “Look familiar?”

 

         Andrew poked at it, flipping it over and scrutinizing the writing on it. “It’s badly burned, but from the shape I’d guess it’s a dog tag of some sort?”

 

         Ashba nodded. “The den was full of them. Hundreds, easily. Can you guess why?”

 

         Andrew stopped what he was doing and stared at the tag. “Trophies. All of them, trophies.” He looked back at her. “The ferals had these? Why the hell would…?” He trailed off, looking thoughtful.

 

         Ashba took the tag back. “We don’t know. We have theories, but nothing concrete. That’s why we need more information.”

 

         Andrew nodded slowly. “I can come up with a few theories too. The ferals raided a military base and liked the shiny things. They’ve scavenged them from Revenge War battlefields. Or…” He blinked. “They weren’t all feral. They, or their mothers, participated in the war.”

 

         Ashba sighed. “Yea. That’s the prevailing theory right now. So I have a favor to ask of you.”

 

         Andrew stared at his sandwich. “You want me to tame one and find out.”

 

         Ashba gave him a sad smile. “Yea.”

 

         Andrew shook his head and took a bite. “Nope. Won’t do it.” He held up his hand to forestall Ashba’s protests. “This isn’t like the old ways, back in Blue. Around here, all aware pokegirls have the same rights as a human. Which means the instant I tame one of them, we have no control over her legally. If word got out that I broke that law, I’d be fucked.” He chuckled. “And not in the good way.”

 

         Ashba bit her lip. “So, what do we do?”

 

         Andrew finished his meal and stood. “We tame one.”

 

         “What?!?” Ashba hurried after him. “Didn’t you just say you weren’t going to do that?”

 

         Andrew ignored her. “Cortney, have you finished your secret project with the spare PPHU yet?”

 

         The Videogirl materialized in front of them and pouted. “Well, it WAS secret. Or at least, I thought it was.”

 

         “Uh huh. Except I take inventory, and I noticed it was missing. So, what were you trying to do with it?”

 

         She shook her head. “You probably already guessed. I was recreating a machine that can run taming cycles. It’s… Something that might be needed.” She rolled her eyes. “Like now, I guess.”

 

         Andrew nodded. “Level, what, three? Would be enough? Get her mind into a readable state and then let Azhara take over.”

 

         Ashba glanced between the two of them. “Wouldn’t that be breaking the law? She’d be legally tamed, right?”

 

         Andrew shook his head. “Nah. A taming cycle doesn’t do it alone. They’re used to make pokegirls more receptive to an actual taming, which is what breaks them out of the feral state. So no laws will be broken… Just bent a little.”

 

         Ashba shuddered, hugging her body tightly. “That… I don’t feel right.”

 

         Andrew gazed at her sadly as Cortney disappeared to go retrieve the items they needed. “I know. I don’t either.”

 

         Ashba watched him. “How do you get used to it?”

 

         Andrew chuckled, clenching his hands together to stop them from shaking. “You don’t.”

 

         Azhara teleported in front of them, the Kyubi clamping onto Andrew’s shoulders and staring into his eyes. “You’re not a bad person. You have had a long life in a short amount of time. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Take each day on it’s own, without the ghosts of the past haunting you. Relax. Breath.”

 

         Andrew’s body suddenly released the tension, causing him to double over coughing. Azhara gently rubbed his back until his breathing returned to normal before sighing. “What were you doing that caused this?”

 

         “Violating basic human rights.” Andrew replied, slowly sitting on the ground. “We need information, so we were going to tame one of the ferals Alpha got just enough so someone could get into her mind. Then she wouldn’t be aware, and therefore not bound by Texan laws. So we could still dispose of her if needed.”

 

         Azhara blinked. “That’s genius.” She glanced at Ashba while pointing to Andrew. “He came up with this?”

 

         Ashba shook her head in confusion. “Uh, yes. You’re condoning it?”

 

         Azhara shrugged. “It breaks no laws, doesn’t harm the girl in any way, and is an amazing idea. Why wouldn’t I?”

 

         Ashba’s jaw dropped. “Because it’s wrong!”

 

         Azhara chuckled. “Just because it’s wrong doesn’t mean it isn’t right.”

 

         Ashba was trying to formulate a response when Cortney reappeared, PPHU and pokeball in hand. “I’ve got the Blazicunt. She’ll probably be the one who knows the most.”

 

         Azhara plucked the items from Cortney and nodded. “I’ve already been told the plan, so I’m willing to participate. How do we set this thing?”

 

         “Just twist the dial on the back to the preferred strength. A three is right about the middle and should be sufficient.”

 

         Ashba excused herself while Azhara set the machine and placed the pokeball inside. “Nice. How long do we wait?”

 

         Cortney giggled. “Until the toast pops up.”

 

         Azhara rolled her eyes. “I assume that means the lid pops.” She looked back at Andrew. “Hey. Quit it.”

 

         Andrew blinked, looking up at her. “…What?”

 

         She sat across from him. “You’re reliving things again. Stop.”

 

         He shook his head. “This is… It’s just… I’m evil.”

 

         Azhara snorted. “We’ve got someone here who would just love if that was really the case, but it’s not. Nevaeh is still neutral, so so are you. Think of something else.”

 

         Andrew shook his head. “I can’t.”

 

         Azhara thought for a moment before scooting forward and climbing into his lap. “Think of these, then.” She crooned, rubbing her chest in his face. “Cmon. I know you like em. I’ve been in your head.”

 

         Andrew sneezed as her fur tickled his nose. “Stop that!”

 

         She grinned at him. “‘shan’t.”

 

         He growled and flicked her breasts. “Fur is distracting, anyways. I can’t focus on tits with yours in my face.”

 

         Azhara pouted. “Was that supposed to be a jab?” She tapped his forehead. “I think you’re just making things up. I don’t have any fur on my breasts.”

 

         Andrew blinked in surprise and gazed at the bare skin now dangling in front of him. “I wish you wouldn’t do that. What’s the real you?”

 

         Azhara giggled. “Whatever I am is the real me.”

 

         Andrew sighed and rubbed her nipple, watching it for a second before moving to the other. “Thank you.”

 

         Azhara moaned slightly as her nipples stiffened under his touch but leaned back. “Thank you, but we were going to do something, and I really shouldn’t distract myself too much.”

 

         Andrew laughed but let her. “You started it.”

 

         She winked. “I did, and I’ll let you finish it later.”

 

         They were both interrupted by the modified PPHU as its lid popped up. “Well, that’s the cue, then.”

 

         Cortney nodded. “Release her and then give it a few seconds before rooting in her head. After you’re done, just re-ball her and we’re good.”

 

         Azhara rolled the ball between her palms. “Alright. What am I looking for?”

 

         “Anything pertaining to the Revenge War. More specifically, which of the ferals may have participated in it, and where they got their stash of dog tags from.”

 

         Azhara blinked. “Ah. That’s why you don’t want her fully tamed.”

 

         Andrew nodded. “Bingo.”

 

         Azhara released the Blazicunt and stared at the girl while she attempted to gain her bearings. “Well, I’ll make sure to repress her while I’m in there. Just in case.”

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

         Andrew jumped as Azhara swore beside him, the Kyuubi recalling the Blazicunt and rubbing her eyes. “What? What did you find?”

 

         Azhara gazed at the pokeball in disgust. “The good news is she was the only one of the group who participated in the revenge war.”

 

         Andrew cocked his head. “And?”

 

         “And the bad news is that she was the only one of the group who participated in the revenge war.”

 

         Andrew rolled his eyes. “Explanation.”

 

         “She was a part of a full strike force, but the others are MIA. Probably they were still operating normally when she was abandoned. Our Blazicunt here was a psychopath, to put it mildly. Oh, and she gave birth to every Combusticunt while feral.”

 

         Andrew groaned. “So they all need to be put down?”

 

         Azhara snorted. “Hardly. They’re all feral born. Clean slates. She’s the only one that needs to be put down.” She growled. “Sooner rather than later.”

 

         Andrew looked at her curiously. “What did she do that made you so angry?”

 

         Azhara looked at him for a few seconds before responding. “This will hurt you. I can guarantee it.”

 

         Andrew shook his head in exasperation. “I won’t die.”

 

         Azhara took a deep breath. “Every human soldier she defeated she ate. It didn’t matter if they were alive or dead when she got to them. She cooked them and ate them on the spot.” She waited, and continued when Andrew didn’t move. “Most of her victims were cooked alive. Some were even alive when she devoured them. She was proud of it. She knew exactly what she was doing, what they were experiencing as it happened. She loved it. And she kept their dog tags as a killcount.” She watched him. “Andrew?”

 

         Andrew stood and held out his hand. Hesitantly, Azhara handed him the pokeball and watched him stare at it. After nearly a full minute he triggered the release and stared at the girl that materialized. “Don’t touch her until it’s done, if you value your life. The ashes will be safe to dispose of.”

 

         Azhara blinked. “What are you… Talking about…?” She trailed off as he walked away before turning back to the Blazicunt.

 

         Nothing happened for a few minutes, although the girl was strangely still. After a while, Azhara could see a small stream of smoke rising from the top of the Blazicunt’s head. It grew and Azhara could see a small flame accompanying it. Gasping, she finally glanced into the Blazicunt’s eyes and noticed the sentience there. “She’s… He’s doing the same thing she would do. And he made sure she’s awake to feel it.”

 

         Cortney made a face and peered at the flame as it slowly traveled along the Blazicunt’s body. “I kinda want to put her out of her misery, since that’s gotta hurt. But I think I’ll listen to Andrew instead.”

 

         Azhara shuddered. “He was saying that to protect us. This is his magic. It has to be. Physical contact would probably duplicate the effect.”

 

         They stood there for a few minutes before the Blazicunt’s flesh started peeling off the bone, at which point Azhara had to turn away. “Could you… Keep watch? Make sure nobody else touches her?” Her body shook as she staggered away. “He needs someone to keep him grounded.”

 

         Cortney watched her go. “Sure.” She smiled sadly. “But who’s keeping you grounded?”

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

         <Andrew’s Mind>

 

         Andrew gazed around the bare plain. “Hm. Where are you?”

 

         “You can sense me?

 

         “Well, yea.” He continued his search. “You just helped me do what I did. So now I know you’re here.”

 

         The ground bubbled around him, figures rising and solidifying in the air. “You can sense me. Do you know me.

 

         Andrew scratched his chin. “You’re the embodiment of my deepest subconscious. You’ve been around for a while, ever since I first traveled through the dimensions. To put it simply, you are the source of my magic.”

 

         One of the figures’ faces split into a grin. “You are perceptive. Why am I here?

 

         Andrew shrugged. “You obviously want to do something. I’m guessing you are tired of being misused, so you’re here to show me how it’s supposed to be done.” He sighed. “That thing you did with the Blazicunt was exactly what I wanted, but I didn’t think I had the experience yet to do it.”

 

         “Yes, I’ve gotten tired of your struggle.” The figures contemplated him. “I am the base, you are the strength. Let me show you the way.

 

         Andrew nodded. “Sure. Let’s go.”

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

         <11:00, Base Camp>

 

         “As you were instructed. RELEASE control. Allow your emotions to be free.

 

         Andrew grunted and strained against the crank, struggling to lift the heavy floodgates. “I’m trying. But this feels wrong.”

 

         The figure growled. “Let your emotions work for you. Stop trying to hold them back.

 

         “Andrew?” A voice resonated around them. “Are you awake?”

 

         “Ah, shit.” Andrew muttered, releasing the crank with a thud. “I’m needed, as usual.”

 

         The figure waited for him to disappear before turning back to the gate. “Soon…” It whispered. “He’s nearly released it.

 

         “And what exactly are you?” A voice called cheerily from above. Mir dropped gently to the ground in front of the gate. “You claim to be a part of him. But you are not.”

 

         The shadowed figure cocked its head. “Of course I am a part of him. I could not be here if I wasn’t.

 

         Mir tapped its chin. “On the contrary. If you were a leech you could be here. If you were an attack you could be here. The point is, you are not supposed to be here.”

 

         The figure shrugged. “If I’m not, are you here to evict me?

 

         Mir turned away and waved a hand dismissively. “I don’t do that kind of thing. I’m the peacekeeper. But I’ll have to talk to the others, come to a consensus. Wait here, ok?”

 

         The shadow next to Mir flickered slightly, and the figure raised a hand. “Wait. You are Mir, yes?

 

         Mir turned back around. “Yes, I am known as that. Why?”

 

         A second figure rose from Mir’s shadow and thrust a spear through the aspect. “I wanted to make sure I knew what to impersonate.

 

         The first figure watched as the light faded from Mir’s body before turning to the second shadow, which had assumed Mir’s form. “Begin taking the others. We were awakened, which means allies are near. Do it carefully.” It turned back to the gate. “I’ll continue working on this.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

         Andrew opened his eyes to see Shamira standing over him. “Hey, Mira. What’s the problem?”

 

         The Goldina shrugged. “Nothing, really. I mostly wanted to see you. But Cortney has also decided which of the ferals should be awakened.”

 

         Andrew grunted and clutched his chest. “Ugh. I see.” He waved off Shamira’s worried look. “Sorry, I just don’t feel so good right now.”

         Shamira’s ears drooped. “Azhara told us what happened. You must feel terrible.”

 

         Andrew sighed. “Yea. But I’m working on it.” He shook his head. “Always working on it.”

 

         Shamira bobbed her head and walked back to the door. “I’ll let them know you’ll be down shortly.”

 

         Andrew nodded. “Yea. Thanks.” He shook his head to clear the feeling of unease from his mind. Maybe that incident really had shaken him. Snatching his ring from the table he slid it on with a sigh of relief. Safety. That’s what it felt like to him. He always felt better when he wore it. Maybe he should keep it on all the time. Breathing easier, he walked into the main hall and scanned for Cortney or whoever would be looking for him.

 

         “Hey. Stud.” A voice hailed him, Andrew turning to see Constance watching him with a grin plastered on her face. “Where you goin’?”

 

         “Uh, Cortney was looking for me, so…” He trailed off as she slid up to him. “…so I was looking for her?” He finished.

 

         Constance draped her arm over his shoulder. “Hm.” She shrugged. “You’re very busy these days. Always one thing or another.” She gestured wildly around them. “The cave. The springs. Your bedroom.” She shot him a grin. “Always mooving, never stoopping… Why can’t you just relax anymore?”

 

         “Relax? I relax. I…” Andrew blinked as his vision flickered. “I… Whoah…”

 

         Constance looked at him in surprise. “Whoah? What’s up?”

 

         Andrew stroked his forehead. “No, nothing, I’m fine. Just…” He stumbled slightly. “Oh, shit” He managed to get out before doubling over and spraying the floor with vomit.

 

         Constance released him with a shout and Andrew fell to the ground, chest heaving. “Holy shit!” She cried.

 

         Andrew’s vision went back out of focus, grey creeping in along the edge as he panted and tried to hold back another volley of puke. “brea-brea-“ He slurred, clutching weakly at his chest. “brea-“

 

         “GALE!” Constance screamed as she tried to sit Andrew up. “GALE! ANYBODY!”

 

         “I’ve contacted Gale. She’ll be here soon.” Cortney said, shimmering into existence next to them and kneeling in front of Andrew. “He can’t breathe. If he passes out and tries to puke again he could suffocate. Get him straightened up and grab his hand. He needs to know you’re there.” She flashed a penlight past Andrew’s eyes, nodding when he recoiled slightly. “We’re here sir. Just take your time.”

 

         “Give me a rundown.” Gale snapped, pushing past Constance and laying her hand on Andrew’s chest.

 

         “He’s having a panic attack.” Cortney replied, her hologram blurring as she relocated out of Gale’s way. “He’s already puked once, and-“

 

         “And that’s number two.” Gale finished as Andrew retched again, sending a spray of vomit into her face, where it splattered off the visor she hastily summoned. “Shit, I’m a doctor, not a psychologist.”

 

         “There’s nothing you can do.” Cortney soothed, watching Andrew carefully. “He needs to help himself right now.” She grimaced. “I just called you so that he wouldn’t die.”

 

         “Fuck, yeah, I got that.” Gale grumbled. “Do we know what caused this?”

 

         “I was just talking with him.” Constance babbled. “I was just joking around and then he slumped over and-“

 

         “It’s alright. You said something, that’s all.” Cortney said soothingly. “It’s not your fault.”

 

         Gale breathed a sigh of relief as Andrew doubled up with a cough. “It’s passing. He’s gonna be alright.”

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

         “How’s it going down there?” Cristina called into the new shaft Phial had opened up. “Find anything?”

 

         “There’s some cool caves down here!” Phial called back excitedly. “Ohhh, this is so fun!”

 

         Cristina chuckled and took a quick glance around the main cavern, where the rest of the girls in the group were currently working. “Shoring going well?” She called around.

 

         An Elf waved excitedly back at her. “All good! We’re doing good!” She called cheerfully.

 

         Cristina was going to respond when an explosion resonated around them, accompanied by a cloud of dust from Nevaeh’s section of the cave. “All hands, cave in, cave in!” Cristina screamed, sprinting towards the billowing dust.

 

         “I’ve got it!” Fu yelled, her aura wings beginning to clear the air around them.

 

         Cristina slowed as the dust cleared and she could see Nevaeh leaning against a wall. “Hey! What happened? Are you alright?”

 

         Nevaeh’s body twitched, the Splice gritting her teeth. “Be ready.”

 

         Cristina blinked. “What?”

 

         Nevaeh doubled over, her wings flapping weakly. “Be. Ready. For. Her.” She spat through clenched teeth before falling to the ground.

 

         Cristina cursed and stepped back when Nevaeh’s wings exploded, showering the prostrate Splice with dark dust that began to coalesce on her skin. “Alright! Everybody out!” She yelled, backing towards Fu’s position. “Everyone out, let’s go, let’s go!”

 

         Fu watched the Splice curiously. “What’s going on?”

 

         Cristina drew her sword. “Someone just gained the upper hand.”

 

         They watched Nevaeh while the shadows twisted along her skin, her form contorting until a set of horns burst from the side of her head and Nevaeh rolled over.

 

         “Oh, these damn things again.” She grumbled, pushing the horns back into her head and sighing as they ripped out from a new spot on her body. “Come on, come on.” She grumbled, continuing to attempt to flatten them wherever they appeared.

 

         Fu dry heaved as one of them protruded from Nevaeh’s shoulder, stabbing the girl in the throat and adding another rivulet of blood dripping down the Splice’s now horrifically maimed body. “Could you stop that?” She whispered.

 

         The Splice glanced at her. “Oh, please.” She snorted and snapped the horns off her body. “Fine.” With barely a glance, the holes on her body began to seal. “Coward.”

 

         “Who are you?” Cristina called, hellfire illuminating her sword. “Which side are you?”

 

         The Splice gave a barking laugh. “You really have to ask? My, you must be an idiot.” She groaned at Cristina’s look. “Kore. The Lucarda.” She snorted. “Obviously.”

 

         “That’s wonderful. Hooray.” Cristina remarked drily. “Why are you in charge.”

 

         Kore slowly grinned. “You don’t like me.”

 

         “Wow. However did you guess that.”

 

         Kore eyed Cristina’s sword. “I had my doubts.” She looked back up. “But, Sister, why do you hate me? Come now, you’re a bit tainted, but I can get past that – we could…” She trailed off. “Could…” She gulped and took a half step backwards. “How are you doing that?”

 

         Cristina cut back on her Aura slightly, allowing the Lucarda to breathe easier. “I do it because I must. I do not like you, Infernal. I do not like you at all. But I will tolerate you, until you give me a reason to change my opinion.”

 

         Kore growled. “You don’t like me but you’re VERY chummy with the damn halfbreed. Why? She’s the same as me. NOTHING has changed from when she was here.”

 

         Cristina blinked. “You’re right.” She sheathed her sword and extended her hand with a smile. “I apologize. I attempted to judge you before I even got to know you. I do enjoy Nevaeh’s presence; so I don’t see why you should be different. You share the same body, after all.”

 

         Kore’s jaw dropped. “You can’t be serious!” She turned to Fu. “She’s not. Right?”

 

         Fu shook her head in bemusement. “She’s serious. Deadly so. I guess I’ll follow your example, Cristina.” She turned away. “Hey, Kore. That’s your name, right? Why are you here instead of Kiana?”

 

         Kore eyed her warily. “Why do you want her?”

 

         Fu sighed. “I don’t. I just want an answer.”

 

         “Our master has more need for me than for one of the others.” Kore replied. “That’s why. Nothing more.”

 

         Fu nodded. “Ah, I see. He needs you more.” She gestured out of the cave. “Hurry up, then.” She waited for the Splice to leave before turning back to where Cristina stood. “Do you think this has to do with the…?”

 

         Cristina sighed, but nodded. “It has everything to do with the distress call Cortney sent out a minute ago. I just hope this gets resolved soon.” She shuddered. “I don’t like it when things change.”

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

         <20:00, Base Camp>

 

         Shadows danced across the ceiling. There were people whispering nearby. And he felt… naked.

 

         Andrew ran his hand down his chest, sighing when he felt the lack of clothing. Sitting up in the bed, he nodded weakly at the group arrayed nearby.

 

         “Don’t push yourself.” Gale instructed, gently pushing him back against his pillow. “You should be exhausted.”

 

         “uh-huh” he responded. “Why am I nude?”

 

         Gale shrugged. “There was vomit on your clothes. We washed you off.” She giggled. “Is that a problem?”

 

         Andrew rolled his eyes. “No. No, that’s fine.” He let out a breath and stared at the ceiling again. “What happened.”

 

         The shadows dancing across the ceiling took shape, two baleful red eyes peering at him. “I do not know.” Kore dropped onto his bed and straddled Andrew’s body. “But you are not the Master I expected.”

 

         Andrew barely moved as she descended, but moments after Kore landed she found herself cartwheeling through the air, an angry Andrew staring her down. “FUCK OFF.” He roared, pointing his ring finger at the sprawling Lucarda. “You should not be here. I do not want you.”

 

         Kore’s face warred between confusion and glee before settling on confusion. “I am stronger for it.” She hissed. “I am ME. You do not need to WANT me. You merely GET me.”

 

         Andrew closed his eyes. “Give Nevaeh back control. Now.”

 

         Kore stood. “I can not do that. You have chosen your side. I am yours now.”

 

         Andrew sighed. “Alright. Cool.” He sat up, pushing away Gale’s cautioning hand. “I’m sick of this.”

 

         The Lucarda watched him get up with a smirk on her face. “You’re naked, man. The only weapon you have is your dick. And it doesn’t impress me one bit.”

 

         Andrew nodded thoughtfully as he came around to stand in front of her. “I’m glad about that, you know.” He pointed down at his flaccid member. “Because you don’t impress me either.”

 

         Kore’s eyes bulged, Gale suppressing a snicker. “You damn PRICK!” She screamed, staring at his stone-faced expression. “YOU-“

 

         Andrew shot his arm forward, grabbing the livid girl by the throat. “You disgust me.” He hissed in her face, spittle flicking from his lips. “If you are the embodiment of my inner soul, then so be it.” He made a sign with his free hand, grasping at the pistol that materialized. “I don’t like it one bit.” He grinned at the sudden look of fear in her eyes. “You can go to hell.”

 

         Gale turned away as he fired, blowing holes through Kore’s body, each bullet causing another theoretically deadly wound. As she slumped in his grasp he threw the gun away, pushing open the bedroom doors and dumping her down the stairs. He watched only long enough to make sure she was regenerating before slamming the doors shut again.

 

         Gale scraped some of Kore’s blood from the wall and inspected it. “I take it you’re feeling alright again?”

 

         “I’ve been better.” Andrew replied, clenching his fists. “I have been… much better.”

 

 

         “We’re making the move too quickly.” A shadow hissed urgently to one of its mates, watching the activity flaring across Andrew’s consciousness. “We need to slow down!”

 

         “We will not slow down.” The original replied, and the gate reappeared in front of them. “She’s here.”

 

         The heavy shutter lay in ruins. And from it, an oily liquid began to seep. Slowly at first, then picking up speed, it flowed across the idle plains the shadows laughed as it continued, a new voice adding to theirs.

 

         “AH!” It cried in joy. “He is ripe! Oh, so ripe!” A figure coalesced from the goop, raising its hands to its comrades. “Come! It is time for the harvest!”

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

         <08:00, Base Camp>

 

         “She has decided to come out as little as possible.” Nevaeh whispered, bowing her head in front of Andrew. “But her retreat has broken the barriers that used to exist. Either of them can seize control now.”

 

         Andrew gazed impassively into the woods. “Cool. Now you won’t be useless in a fight.” He kicked at her when she didn’t respond. “Right?” His gaze hardened when she failed to respond. “RIGHT?”

 

         “y…yes.” Nevaeh whispered, shying away from him. “Can I go?”

 

         She scurried away at his nod, bumping almost immediately into Shamira, the Goldina wrapping the quivering girl in a bear hug. “He doesn’t mean it.” She whispered.

 

         “He does.” Nevaeh sobbed back, her face buried in Shamira’s chest. “He does, he hates me, he heates me!”

 

         Shamira continued trying to console her while Ashba shouldered past them. “Andrew. It got delayed a day but we still need to tame the Combusticunt.”

 

         He nodded and spun around, ducking into the tent. “Not the worst way to start a day. Where is she.”

 

         Ashba pointed wordlessly at his bedroom, watching him go. “What the hell is up?”

 

         “He needs to work through his emotions.” Rein supplied, peering from her position in the shadow of the stairway. “This is not the same man who inspired Juel to throw herself on that firebomb. This is a broken man. A man who needs time to work through his grief.”

 

         Ashba grimaced at the mention of Juel. “You’re right. Of course you’re right.” She sighed. “I hope the anger goes away soon.”

 

         Upstairs, Andrew closed himself in the bedroom and nodded at Cortney. “What’s going to be the deal?”

 

         The Upgrade blinked at him. “The same as you’ve done a hundred times by now. There is nothing special about this time.”

 

         Andrew nodded. “Uh huh. Then why are you still here?”

 

         Cortney shrugged. “To make sure you don’t do something stupid.” She sat in midair and nodded at the pokeball on the bed. “The girl there is innocent. She has harmed nobody purposefully, and deserves better than the life she has lived so far. What you are doing now will also help decide the fate of her sisters. Whether or not they should be sent to Iain. The sins of her mother have been tried and punished, by you. Do not punish this girl for a crime she has not committed.”

 

         Andrew stood lost in thought for nearly a minute before nodding. “I get it.” He glanced at Cortney. “I do.” He took a deep breath. “I am angry over something this girl had nothing to do with. You are here to make sure I do not take out that anger on her.” He looked back up. “I will not.”

 

         Cortney nodded. “I’m glad to hear it.” She gestured at the bed. “Have fun.”

 

         Andrew slowly picked up the pokeball, rolling it in his hands for a moment. “She went through a taming cycle?”

 

         “She’s just scrambled enough that she won’t attack you on sight.”

 

         Andrew rolled his eyes. “Sure.” He triggered the release, judging the girl that appeared. She was a fairly normal specimen of the Combusticunt breed, the same feathers extending between her breasts, the fiery red hair and tanned skin. She had materialized on her back, no doubt in the same position Alpha had knocked her into during the capture. This meant she was still sprawled out, and Andrew had a very easy view of her crotch. She was wet – that much was obvious – with a small wisp of steam coiling from her lips. Andrew took a moment to survey her clawed fingers, grimacing at the thought of what they might do if he wasn’t careful. Steeling himself, he groped the girl’s breast.

 

         Her response was immediate. With a cry of pleasure, her eyes snapped open. Seeing the man hovering over her, two emotions fought for control. The fear was nearly instantly squashed, replaced by lust and she spasmed as her body reveled in her choice. Andrew reared back slightly from the juice that splattered against his chest before leaning in and grabbing the Combusticunt’s other breast, earning another cry. He massaged her highly sensitive chest for a few more seconds until she opened her eyes again and stared up at him.

 

         Needing no further indication, Andrew switched from her chest to her groin while slipping out of his own pants. Leaving them in a pile he slipped his stiffening member into the girl’s vagina, leaving her to continue her moans as he worked her over.

 

         Cortney watched. So far Andrew had been almost mechanical. None of the passion he had shared with her was there. And that was fine, she mused – he was not familiar with the girl. He had no reason to do anything more than what was needed. And it was probably for the best, considering his mental state.

 

         She smiled slightly when the Combusticunt cried out, louder than her others, and slumped slightly to the bed. He hadn’t let his anger get in the way. She was glad.

 

         But Andrew hadn’t stopped. If anything, the Combusticunt’s orgasm only caused him to thrust harder. Cortney watched in confusion for a minute before horror dawned in her eyes. He didn’t see her as a person. He was using her like a doll!

 

         “Andrew!” She cried, stepping forward. “You can stop!”

 

         “I’m not done.” He spat back through grit teeth.

 

         Cortney tried to lay a hand on his arm but was shaken off. “Stop. It’s over!”

 

         Andrew shook his head as he stared at the panting girl beneath him. “I’m. Not. Done.”

 

         Cortney’s gaze hardened and she grabbed his arm, yanking him away from the Combusticunt. “BUT SHE IS.”

 

         Andrew screamed, his rage overtaking his mind as he swung at Cortney, only to have his arm pass straight through her hologram. Behind him, the bed began to glow.

 

         Cortney ducked the next swing, her hand sparking with electricity as she drove it into Andrew’s chest. The Thunder Wave had the desired effect, sending the man to the ground. Andrew quickly stumbled to his feet, muscles spasming from the rogue electricity arcing across them. “You attacked me.”

 

         Cortney grimaced and slapped him across the face, sending another bolt of electricity through his body. “Go to sleep. Recover.” She glanced at the newly evolved Blazikunt that now occupied the bed. “Damn. This is going to be awkward when he wakes up.”

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

         Andrew groaned and gazed around him. “AH, geez. Fucking hell. Why is it so dark in here?” He rubbed his eyes. “And fricking staticy, too. This is a new dream.

 

         “Hey. Whoah now. You’re a bit off the rocker right now.” A cheery voice called to him.

 

         “Who’s there?” Andrew called groggily. “Fucking hell, my head hurts.

 

         Cartoony figures popped in and out of his vision. He could barely recognize a few, but most were completely alien. Not even close to being human. “Yo, is this you? What’s-your-name?” He sighed. “Cmon. Answer me.

 

         “Oh, sorry. It’s probably hazy for you. Here you go.”

 

         Andrew stirred as the dream grew more realistic. The figures cleared up until he was standing in a room with Bartimaeous and his Antithesis. “What’s going on?”

 

         “You thought you killed me.” A voice spat, a woman striding up between the two. “You thought wrong.”

 

         Andrew’s eyes snapped open, but there was nothing for him to see. “You lose.” The voice echoed around him. Andrew whirled about, desperately trying to find the source in the inky blackness around him. “WHO ARE YOU?” He screamed. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?”

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

Tech: Cortney – Upgrade VideoGirl

Tamer:

Andrew Ranger

 

Alpha Team:

 

Ashba – Rosebreasts (Alpha)

Melody – Wet Queen (Beta)

Lyn – Enchantress

Nial – Assasara

Tracii – (Red) Longfly

Constance – Tank Vixxen

Beta Team:

 

Adria – Groaning (Alpha)

Gale – Night Nurse (Beta)

Noira – (Flying) Mecha Musume

Shamira – Goldina

Kary – Gunvalkyrie

Ann – Ice Empress

 

Delta Team:

 

Fu – Warvern (Alpha)

April – Seabra (Beta)

Rein – Myobu

Nami – Sharptits

Ishara – Scorpiagirl

Aella – (Hunter) Shinryu

 

Epsilon Team:

 

Azhara – Kyubi (Alpha)

Lucina – Shadowcat (Beta)

Brigid – Unicorn

Heidi – Psyvix

Sigma Team:

 

Nevaeh – G-Spliced

Sierra – S-Goth

Omega Team:

 

Cristina – Blessed Fiendish Ophanim (Alpha)

Erren – Ballisticunt (Beta)

Kuu – ElfQueen

Grace – Mini-Top

Yin – Nereidame

Yang – Nereidame

Phial – Gravelgal

 

 

 

KIA:
Juel - Matratya

 

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