(07/01/99 2300 Blue Continent, 1700 Phallus Town, Indigo League)
Maryanne smiled. “Welcome.” She waved a hand towards a Dragoness lounging in a chair. “I hope you remember Anastasia, my sister wife.”
Branwyn glanced at Shikarou. I take it Stroak having other pokegirls besides Maryanne is another of those changes we should just go with?
The Dragoness nodded. “It’s a pleasure to see you again, Shikarou, Branwyn.”
Since she appears to have met us before, yes. Shikarou grinned. “And it’s a pleasure to see both of you.”
Anastasia gave him a suspicious look and crossed her arms. “So, what brings you to Phallus?”
“The Professor has been keeping secrets.” Branwyn gasped and stared at him. “The last time we talked, he said he hoped we could be friends and then he goes and doesn’t bother to tell me when he might need some help?” He wagged a finger at the Titmouse. “The Limbecs did a lot more damage than the League let out and we could have helped with the reconstruction.” A smile flickered. “I’d have been happy to, if someone had let me know.”
Maryanne shook her head. “Their first volley took out our communication dish as well as the other two in the town. We couldn’t call for help.”
The Titmouse’s ears flicked. “We’ve been busy. And communications only got restored recently.”
“I can help to make sure you don’t loose communications again. I’ll leave you a special com unit. It only communicates with others like it, but we monitor it around the clock and I don’t believe anyone from around here can jam it.”
Maryanne blinked. Anastasia frowned. “We aren’t exactly neighbors. What kind of range does it have?”
“Two light minutes.” He smiled as they both looked at him uncomprehendingly. “Thirty six million kilometers. That’s anywhere on the planet.” He smiled as the light dawned in their eyes. “It’s about the size of a standard phone.”
“Thank you. I’ll be glad to take it.” Maryanne smoothed down her skirt. “You are staying for supper, right?”
“Aye, if we’re invited.” He cocked his head. “Helen will be happy to cook if you’d like a night off.”
Maryanne looked offended. “No, she will not. I will.”
He shrugged. “I just thought I’d offer.” He clapped his hands together. “I will insist on providing dessert.”
“Chocolate?” She looked hopeful. “The raiders took all we had.”
“Have you ever heard of devil’s food cookies?” Branwyn grinned. “It’s a cookie made from a rich chocolate cake and covered with a hard chocolate shell.”
The Titmouse’s eyes widened. “Ooh, that sounds wonderful.”
Anastasia chuckled. “You just made a good friend.” She gave her sister an affectionate look. “I saw Circe outside, will she be joining us?”
Branwyn nodded. “She’s doing an aerial survey of the town. Shikarou wants a baseline idea of how much the Indigo League lies to people.”
The Dragoness gave her a dark look. “A lot.” She shook her head. “I’ll let Alphonse know you’re here.” She rose and headed upstairs.
Anastasia stopped at a door and silently opened it before slipping inside. Professor Stroak looked up from his book. “Ana. What is it?”
“How is she?”
“The same.” He gestured at the bed and the sleeping figure in it. “She almost died, but I think she’s going to be all right.”
“We have some visitors. Shikarou and his harem.”
Stroak jerked upright. “His arrival is either extremely coincidental or shows rather interesting timing. What does he want?”
Anastasia patted his shoulder. “Relax. He’s here because he figured out the League lied about how much damage the town took. He’s also ticked off because you didn’t call him for help.” She nodded towards the bed. “You know, he’s got a NurseJoy
. I’m sure she could be convinced to help us out without any fanfare.”
“No.” The voice came from the bed. Stroak and Anastasia turned to look. “No one can know I’m here.” Dark eyes searched theirs. “You both know that.”
Stroak touched her hand. “Everything is fine. Shikarou won’t ever find out you’re here.”
Anastasia cocked her head. “You’ll need to put in an appearance.”
Stroak shook his head negatively. “Tell him I’m busy.”
“Alphonse.” Her tone was chiding. “Your manners.”
“I know Shikarou well enough to know that he’ll understand what being busy is like. He won’t be offended.” Stroak picked up his book. “Give him my greeting and my regrets.”
The Dragoness sighed. “I will, if you insist.”
Anastasia checked on the patient before heading back downstairs. Maryanne had Helen peeling potatoes while Elizabeth had guard duty over Shikarou. She frowned and looked around for Branwyn.
Shikarou smiled. “Wondering where Branwyn is? She went back to get that com unit for you.”
“Ah. I have some bad news. Alphonse said he won’t be able to get away from what he’s doing today, so I’m afraid you won’t be seeing him.”
Shikarou blinked and then shrugged. “That will teach me not to call ahead.” He grinned. “Now I’m jealous. I wish I could do that to the people that want to interrupt me but, unfortunately, if you are sleeping with someone, they think that gives them the right to interrupt your work, no matter how important you might think it.”
The Dragoness couldn’t help laughing. “I’m glad you understand.”
Branwyn came inside and handed what looked like a normal com unit to her husband. Shikarou smiled. “Thanks.” He turned to Anastasia. “Here. Please let the Professor know that unit is built as one piece and there’s nothing to remove. If he tries to open it, there’s a self destruct that will destroy the internals.”
Anastasia turned it over in her hands. It looked normal except for the fact that the case was a light blue color. “I hope it’s tough.”
“It is. It’s waterproof, shockproof and heat resistant.”
“I wouldn’t go throwing it into any volcanoes and expect it to work but you could boil it in a pot of water without any problems. The power supply is good for fifty years. The unit will let you know when it needs to be replaced.”
She looked up at him. “Can we use this for local calls?”
“No, it’s only programmed with three numbers, mine, Faelan’s and a friend of mine named Selene. You can call any of us in an emergency and we’ll contact the others.” It didn’t matter which number they used, all of the calls got routed through Selene since she never slept or got bored.
“Thank you, it’s quite a gift.”
“I don’t have many friends. I try to keep the few I have reasonably healthy.” His ears flicked in amusement. “When the professor or one of his friends destroys it trying to open the casing, just let me know so I can replace it. It’s relatively inexpensive, so I shouldn’t get upset for the first three or four of them.”
Maryanne laughed from where she was cooking. “We will.”
The Dragoness put the unit on a nearby shelf. “Are you going to be marketing the technology? It is from your homeworld, correct?”
“Yes, it’s based on my technology and no, I haven’t figured out a way to license the technology yet. It requires a whole new standard of molecular circuitry compared to what I’ve seen in the marketplace, and the power source is pretty complex. Rest assured as soon as I do figure out how to make it with this world’s tech, I’ll be contacting the owner of New Avalon Industries, Hanse Davion.”
She cocked her head. “Not Jahana?”
“I have to talk to the Blue League manufacturers first or I’ll be blacklisted.” He shrugged. “There’s a wave of nationalism sweeping the Blue League right now. I think it started when the Blue League officials realized just how much tax revenue they were missing out on by having a foreign manufacturer making the everyday items that people use.” He grinned. “However, I do live in the Scotland region and like any canny Scot I’m not going to lock myself into getting robbed just because a manufacturer waves a Blue League flag. I’ll talk to everyone and see who offers the best contract.”
She nodded. “So it’s between this New Avalon Industries and Jahana Corp?”
“Actually, there is a very reputable firm in the Extreme Championship Pokegirl League that looks promising and I’ll be talking to them too. It’s called Steiner Manufacturing and is run by a woman named Katrina Steiner.”
“I’ve never heard of it.”
“That’s not surprising. The ECPL is extremely insular.”
Fangs flashed as Elizabeth grinned. “They’re so contrary they don’t even like to believe we exist. Their maps end at their borders.” It was an exaggeration, but only a slight one.
Heads turned as a Vaporita came into the room, followed by Circe and several floating bundles. “I ran into Circe so I got all of the shopping done,” she announced.
Circe glanced in his direction as the packages began collecting on the table. This is Rita and she knows us. I checked with Stardust and we met all three of his pokegirls when we visited his home the first time, back when I joined the harem. This is very unsettling.
That is an understatement. “Hello, Rita.”
She grinned. “Hello, Shikarou. Long time, no see. I know, you’ve been busy and I’ve been in my little house, I mean pokeball.” She turned to Maryanne. “Samantha has confirmed she’ll be here for dinner.” She drew herself up and assumed a pompous air. “I do believe that the criminal element in Phallus Town has been subdued enough that I will be able to free up the necessary time to attend your evening repast.” She snorted. “Stuck up little…”
“Rita!” Maryanne gave her a glare. “All of them had really bad experiences during the raid, so cut her a little slack.”
Rita shrugged. “A little group taming never hurt anyone.”
“They were gang-raped!”
The Vaporita gave her a flat look. “Same difference.”
“It sounds like the Indigo League suppressed a great deal of information about the raid.”
Anastasia shrugged at his words. “Rita’s being an ass about it, but essentially she’s right. Gang rape and group taming are essentially interchangeable words for pokegirls. They probably didn’t feel it worth mentioning in the report.”
Shikarou’s ears flattened. “I disagree. Rape is rape, no matter how many people are involved. If someone is unwilling, then it’s rape.”
The Dragoness gave him an innocent look. “Does that include ferals?”
“Yes, it does.”
She looked surprised. “So what do you do about the unwilling ferals that are a threat?”
“I’m willing to try to put them in the mood. If that doesn’t work, then they’ll have to be eliminated.”
Maryanne looked over. “That’s harsh.” Elizabeth looked amused.
“If they are a threat and I can’t tame them, then my options become limited.” He shrugged. “Most of them are rather difficult to keep imprisoned, even if the facilities existed, which they don’t.”
“So you’d rather kill someone than rape them?”
“I understand it may sound bad to you, but yes.”
Rita was staring at him. “Good.”
Maryanne frowned. “So what about conditioning cycles? How do you feel about them?”
He thought quickly. “They are a form of execution if they are done properly and execution has a place in the world. However, I don’t like the fact that any Tamer who feels his pokegirl’s personality is a little out of sync with what he wants can use it to wipe her completely.” He leaned back in his chair. “It comes down to whether or not you believe that pokegirls are property and I don’t.”
“That’s a heretical belief.”
His eyes met Anastasia’s. “So? It’s what I believe.”
Rita wasn’t quite done. “Which would you be willing to do first for a dangerous feral: kill her or use a level five conditioning cycle?”
“I’d try taming her first but which of the two choices you’ve offered I would choose depends on the situation.” He looked thoughtful. “I’m inclined towards the conditioning cycle.”
“Her mind will be rebuilt to a more socially acceptable pattern that will allow her a chance to pass on her genes. If I kill her, the genetic potential she represents is lost forever.”
“Why not leave her feral and let her reproduce in that state?”
“You said she’s a threat.”
Rita scowled. “And if she’s not?”
Branwyn raised a hand. “On Caomh Sith, we have several feral pokegirls that live in and around Peacetown. They’re not a threat, so they’re left alone. However, they have received the occasional taming from the people who live there.” She smiled. “So he does practice what he advocates.”
Anastasia looked pleased. “Rita, you are going to have to work harder than that if you want to pick a fight with Shikarou. He seems to believe many of the same things we do.”
The Vaporita grumbled and stomped upstairs.
A little while later Shikarou recognized a familiar face as a pokegirl headed for the Stroak complex. He groaned quietly. “Now what? Is she coming to try to arrest me again?”
Anastasia turned to look out the window. “That’s Samantha. She’s coming to dinner.” Curiosity filled her eyes as she turned back to Shikarou. “Is that going to be a problem?”
His ears flicked. “No, it won’t. She thought she was doing her job and I can respect that.”
The Commissioner came in and hung her hat on a hook near the door. She nodded when she saw him. “You’re still here?” Her tone was acidic.
He rose and bowed. “I’m Shikarou Urufu, from the Blue Continent. I hope our arrival didn’t cause you too much trouble.”
She blinked and flushed slightly. “Sorry about that. I’m just tired. I’m Samantha.”
Anastasia handed her a bottle of beer. “Same problems?”
“Yes. My girls are stretched thin. Everyone is jumping at shadows and yelling for the police.” She gestured at Shikarou with the bottle. “Every stranger is a pirate, come for our blood this time.”
Shikarou glanced at Branwyn, who nodded. “I can loan you an experienced OfficerJenny
and a rookie Drow Zee.”
Samantha stared at him like he’d suddenly started speaking in gibberish. She frowned suddenly. “What?”
“I have discretionary authority over my police force and I can loan you Alice and Daiyu for a month or two. Alice is an OfficerJenny
with five years service in Glasgow before she ended up bonded to me and moved to Caomh Sith. Daiyu is a Drow Zee and has been with the Caomh Sith Guard for a few months.” He smiled. “I’ll continue to pay their salaries, of course.”
shook her head like a horse shaking off flies. “Who the hell are you?”
“I own the island of Caomh Sith and I suppose I’m the de facto mayor of the town we’re setting up. They call me their king.” He shrugged. “Do you want the help?”
“What about their commissioner? What’s she going to say about it?”
Branwyn chuckled. “She’s a Denmother named Molly and Shikarou is her Tamer. If she has a problem with this, trust me she won’t be quiet about it.” She looked thoughtful. “However, I don’t see why she will. Things are quiet there and she has Faelan and us if something comes up.” She glanced at Circe. It’s not like they can fight Germanicus.
I only hope we can. Circe frowned. “I’ll go ask Molly. If she doesn’t have an issue, they’ll be here first thing in the morning.”
Shikarou smiled. “So, is that acceptable?”
Samantha drained her beer. “Damned right it is. The League, in its infinite wisdom, has authorized me to expand the Phallus Town police. They don’t want to free up the money until the officers are here and the officers don’t want to come here until the money is available.” She muttered something inaudible.
Circe nodded. “I shouldn’t be gone more than ten minutes or so.” She frowned. “If it’s ok with you, I’ll leave after dinner.
Shikarou shrugged. “That will be fine.”
Samantha gave him a grim smile. “I don’t suppose you have a demolition team in another one of your pockets? I have to destroy the wreckage of the police building before I can build the new one.”
“As a matter of fact, I do. Myself and my harem. We’ll be glad to help.” He grinned. “We like breaking things.”
She shook her head. “How would you like to move to Phallus Town,” she asked in whimsical voice.
“Sorry, that I can’t do.”
“I guess you aren’t perfect after all.”
Branwyn looked startled. “No, he’s not,” she said in a definite tone. “He’s got lots of flaws.” Helen chuckled quietly, earning herself a glare. “You stay out of this, do you hear me?”
“Of course, my alpha.”
Shikarou gave Samantha an amused look. “You know, with my two police here, you will technically have additional officers, so you can apply for the funding to pay them. That would mean that once they leave, you’ll have some of the funding necessary to entice those additional police you need that are waiting for money to become available.”
Samantha stared at him. “That is wrong on so many levels.”
“Is it illegal?”
“I don’t think so.” Awe showed in her expression. “No one could ever plan for something like that. I’ll start the paperwork in the morning.”
Circe glanced at Branwyn. How does he do that? It sounds right and convinces them almost every time.
The Unicorn shrugged. I suppose that after working on Dorothea, an OfficerJenny is easy.
When dinner was almost ready, Maryanne put together a tray of food. Helen watched for a moment. “I can take that up if you want?”
The Titmouse gave her a slightly apprehensive look. “No, everything’s fine. I’ve got it.” She relaxed when Helen nodded and turned away.
Pythia’s ear flicked and rotated away from them. She glanced at Shikarou. I wonder what’s upstairs that we aren’t supposed to see.
Who cares? It’s entirely possible that whatever is going on we don’t want to know about it. He sipped at his tea. I’m sure they wouldn’t appreciate us prying.
What about Poppet’s concern about their having ties with Sanctuary?
If he had ties to Eoghan, I’d get excited. Sanctuary hasn’t done anything to us, recently. I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on those pirates, however. They managed to hit Phallus and not kill anyone. That’s very odd and out of character. I don’t like odd. It usually bites you when you least expect it.
And if Sanctuary becomes an issue? Pythia wrinkled her muzzle and flicked her ears.
Then we might have to ask the Professor some awkward questions, especially if his alleged ties with them seem to be the path from which the issue arises.
Dessert was devils food cookies and cold milk.
Maryanne sighed. “I’m in heaven.”
Rita gave her an amused look. “With all the cookies you ate, I doubt you could fly that high.”
“Oh, shut up.”
Anastasia chuckled. “She’s not the only one who put away a bunch of those. Where did you get the recipe, Helen?”
The Milktit looked amused. “Shikarou found me a cookbook from 2001 that had it. I played with the recipe for a while and this is the final result.”
“Oh, really? Shikarou, where did you find this book?”
He grinned. “2001?” he asked in a laughing tone.
“Fine, keep it a secret. Can we get the recipe, Helen?”
She nodded. “I don’t see why not.”
Rita grinned. “I do. If we have that recipe, Maryanne is going to have to start exercising or she won’t be able to walk. She’ll look like a miniature Snorlass with mouse ears.”
The Dragoness gave her an annoyed look. “That’s enough, Rita.”
Samantha sighed and reached for another handful. “They are rather good. Do you know where I could buy some?”
Branwyn shook her head. “I don’t think they are made commercially anymore. Eggs were rather rare for a while.”
“Yes, I suppose you’re right. We’ve got an excellent baker here; I wonder if his Iron Chef could make these.”
Helen gave Shikarou an inquiring look. He touched her mind through their bond. It’s your decision.
Thank you. “Samantha, if you want I’ll give you the recipe and you can show it to your baker.”
She looked surprised. “You won’t mind?”
“I don’t make these to sell. I make them for my family.” She smiled gently. “I didn’t develop most of the recipe, so I don’t mind giving it away.”
“That’s very generous of you.”
Elizabeth smiled. “That is the way she is.” Helen blushed. “And she’s modest too.” She turned to Shikarou. “Is it my time for dinner yet?”
“Sure. It would probably be best if we went for a walk.”
Maryanne blinked. “I thought you said you weren’t hungry.”
Elizabeth shrugged. “I have very specialized dietary needs.”
“I would have been glad to give you whatever food you required!” The Titmouse sounded indignant. When Shikarou and his pokegirls laughed, she suddenly looked puzzled. “What is it?”
Elizabeth smiled. “I thank you, but you don’t know what you are offering. I’m a Vampire. Shikarou gives me what I need.”
Samantha froze. “You’re a WHAT?”
“It’s ok,” Branwyn said soothingly. “She only feeds on Shikarou.”
Slowly the color returned to the OfficerJenny
’s face. “I’ve heard stories about Vampires,” she began.
“And most of them confuse Vampire pokegirls with the vampires of legend and story that predate Sukotto,” Shikarou interrupted. “The pokegirl Vampire is, well, you can think of her as being like a Titto. She requires a specialized food, in her case blood. Elizabeth is firmly in control of her feeding and would never accidentally infect someone.” Elizabeth smirked. “In fact, she likes the way I taste so much she refuses to feed off of anyone else.”
“That’s right. Everyone else tastes bad compared to him.” Elizabeth’s eyes danced. “And he’s right. I would never accidentally infect someone.”
Sudden suspicion appeared in Samantha’s eyes. “Have you ever intentionally infected anyone?”
“This is not an interrogation. You don’t have to answer that.” Anastasia gave the OfficerJenny
an annoyed look.
“It’s ok. I tried to infect Shikarou when we first met. I was feral and a policeman deliberately stuck him in my cell with me.”
Branwyn nodded to the suddenly shocked looking police woman. “That’s exactly what he did. I got his ass fired.”
Shikarou shook his head. “Come on, Elizabeth; let’s get you fed.”
Maryanne held out a hand. “She can feed here.” Everyone looked at her and she smiled. “This is our dinner and this is the dinner table.”
Shikarou looked hesitant. “I’m not really sure that’s a good idea.”
“Nonsense, Shikarou. What kind of host would I be if I made you slink off into the darkness to feed one of your pokegirls? I’ll tell you, a bad one.”
“Um,” Elizabeth frowned. “I usually take it from the tap.”
“Excuse me?” Maryanne looked puzzled.
“I drink it from his body.”
“Oh.” She rallied valiantly. “That will be fine.”
“No, it won’t.” Shikarou shook his head. “Get your cup.”
“Do I have to?” Elizabeth suddenly looked young. “I really, really like it the other way.”
“So do I, but not tonight.”
She gave him a little girl look. “If I do so, do I still get dessert?”
“Shit.” She got up. “I’ll be right back.”
Shikarou sighed as she left. Anastasia looked curious. “Why does she have to drink out of the cup tonight?”
“Dinner for Elizabeth is usually drinking with sex and I didn’t think you wanted dinner theatre tonight.”
Samantha blushed. “No, I think that wouldn’t be a good idea.”
“Surely you can give her dessert then?” Maryanne nodded. “That won’t hurt us.”
Branwyn smiled softly. “Dessert for her is giving him oral sex.”
Rita grinned. “Oh, you just wait until Stroak offers me dessert instead of a romp. From now on, I’m using her dictionary.”
“Mary, you aren’t cute when your eyes bulge like that.” Rita looked contentedly amused. “Mind your blood pressure.”
Anastasia looked like she was struggling not to smile as Elizabeth returned with a large wooden goblet. She held it out and asked in a plaintive voice. “Feed me, sir, for I am hungry.”
Pythia laughed quietly.
Shikarou sighed and looked at Maryanne. “You’re sure about this.”
He nodded and took the cup from Elizabeth, motioning her into her chair. She watched with bright eyes as he bit his wrist and began filling the cup with blood. Maryanne shuddered, but forced herself to watch. He had to bite himself again to finish filling the goblet.
Shikarou handed it to Elizabeth, who grinned and blew him a kiss. “You’ll miss dessert,” she announced in a singsong. Maryanne blushed.
“Drink your dinner.”
The Vampire slowly drank the blood, making happy noises as she did. When she was finished she carefully licked the rim clean. “Good to the last drop.” She gave Shikarou a seductive smile. “So, about dessert?”
“I’ll bet part of you wants me to have my dessert.” She gave him a coy look.
“That is enough.” Branwyn got up and walked over to whisper into Elizabeth’s ear.
The Vampire’s eyes widened as her alpha spoke. “Ok. Sorry.” She turned to Shikarou. “I’m sorry I embarrassed you.”
Shikarou was watching Branwyn. He dropped his gaze to Elizabeth. “It’s ok. You just need to calm down a little.”
“Yessir.” She settled back into her chair and cradled the cup under her breasts.
Branwyn settled down in her chair. “I apologize for that. It won’t happen again.”
Shikarou glanced at her. “No, it won’t.” She blinked and cocked her head. I heard what you told her. Don’t you ever threaten anyone inside the harem like that again.
I did what had to be done to get her attention.
Threatening to do to her what you did to Maeve is just a bit over the top. Never again.
She sighed. “Very well.”
Helen looked at them both and then at Samantha. “What can you tell us about the raid? If it’s still too sensitive a subject, then don’t try.”
Samantha winced. “There’s not a whole lot to tell.” She gritted her teeth. “They took us by surprise in the night. It was a galleon full of pokegirls, mostly Catfish. They were led by someone else, a Tigress named Tigre Caliente.” She paused, obviously waiting for a response.
“Sorry, I’ve never heard of her.” Shikarou shrugged.
Samantha nodded. “She’s known down here as another cutthroat captain. Her first mate is a Panthress, Sabrina Montage.” The OfficerJenny
grimaced. “She’s usually called Saditty. It’s short for Sadistic Kitty. It’s a name she works hard to live up to, sometimes in spectacular fashion.”
“Another bloody Panthress.” Pythia grimaced.
Shikarou smiled. “We had to deal with a pair of Panthresses that were working together. For a creature that’s supposed to be untamable, non-feral Panthresses are starting to become relatively common.”
Samantha gave him a sympathetic smile. “I sincerely hope no one was seriously hurt.”
“Just the Panthresses.” The OfficerJenny
suddenly looked speculatively at him. “You were saying?”
“Their first salvo took out all three of our communication dishes, cutting us off from outside help. The police station was close to the docks and they hit us first with a wave of pokegirls from the ship after a brief cannonade. We fought, but the outcome wasn’t ever really in doubt.” Her face set. “Then they took us prisoner.”
Shikarou nodded. “I know you were raped for information. You don’t need to go over that again.”
Her eyes narrowed to slits. “No, I was threatened with rape for information. Once I gave the information, then I was raped anyway by Caliente herself. Once she was done with me, any member of her crew who was of a mind to was allowed to force themselves on my people and myself.” Her voice shook with rage. “Then, they came up here to the Professor’s house.”
She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I don’t know what happened up here, but down in the town, they looted and raped. They broke whatever they could and burned what they couldn’t break.” Tears slid down her cheeks and her voice broke. “And I couldn’t stop them.”
Branwyn hugged Samantha. “If you could have, they would have just started killing people to distract you.”
“That’s the strange thing. Nobody was killed.” Samantha shook her head. “No one, not pokegirl or man. The men they could find were beaten pretty badly, but they were careful not to kill anyone. They also didn’t carry anyone off with them, and slavery is one of Caliente’s specialties.”
Shikarou’s voice was gentle. “Can you tell me what the League is planning on doing about her?”
“I don’t know. They treat us like we were working with the pirates and they won’t tell us squat about the investigation.”
Pythia nodded. “That makes sense. No one was killed and the pirates knew where to hit to cut their link with the outside world. Someone gave them that information.”
Elizabeth stirred. “Could they have scouted the town themselves?”
Maryanne shook her head. “No. They were after something quite specific and casual scouting wouldn’t have given them the information they had.”
Samantha frowned and peered at Maryanne. “You never said that before. How do you know that?”
The Titmouse went white and she shook her head frantically. “I can’t talk about it.”
Samantha’s mouth firmed. “Yes, you can. I need to know why this town was targeted.”
Anastasia put her hand on her sister’s shoulder. “No. She is forbidden to. If you try to push her, then you’re going to have to leave.”
stood angrily. “Then I have to leave.” Abruptly, she staggered and slumped bonelessly. Branwyn caught her before she hit the floor and settled her unconscious form back into her chair.
Shikarou nodded and slipped his wand back into its holster. “Circe.”
She winked. “I’m on it.” Her eyes closed and her antenna twitched. A minute later, she opened them again. “I’ve made her forget Maryanne’s little slip and the ensuing conversation. She’ll believe she fell asleep at the table.”
He nodded. “Good. Branwyn?”
The Unicorn gently shook the slumbering Jenny. “Samantha? Wake up. It’s late and apparently you were more tired than you thought.”
Samantha stirred. “Ok,” she said wearily. “I’m sorry.”
“That’s fine,” Shikarou smiled. “Branwyn, Circe, why don’t you see Samantha home.” The two pokegirls carefully escorted the OfficerJenny
Shikarou turned to the Maryanne and the others. They watched him with fearful eyes. “Circe will reinforce the adjustment when they get her home. Everything should be fine.”
“What about you?” Maryanne’s eyes were still wide.
“I’m not a threat. I don’t know what you were talking about, and unless you want to tell me, I don’t care.” He smiled reassuringly. “We all have things that we’re not quite ready to discuss.”
Anastasia’s eyes firmed and she nodded. “Thank you. We are in your debt.”
“I absolve you of any debt that you may have incurred this night.” Shikarou winked. “Friends help each other out. When and if you are ready to tell Samantha or me what happened, you will.” His smile broadened. “However, we should leave as soon as Branwyn and Circe get back so you can tend to your guest.” Anastasia blinked. “I noticed that everyone was downstairs except for your Professor, but Maryanne took two place settings upstairs. It was just simple observation.”
The Dragoness relaxed slowly. “Yes, we have a guest. You don’t need to know anything else.”
“You are absolutely right.” He stood. “Elizabeth, Helen, would you help me clean the table?”
Maryanne blinked. “Hey! It’s our house. We’ll do that.”
Rita eyed her. “If they want to, let them,” she muttered.
(07/02/99 1300 Blue Continent, 0700 Phallus Town, Indigo League)
Samantha came around the corner and stopped once the old police station hove into view. The building was now covered with black lines that divided it into two meter squares. She frowned and trotted around to the front of the building. A small crowd had gathered and was watching something.
Shikarou was there with some of his harem. They were huddled together talking. Circe looked up at her and said something to her Tamer. He spoke to the group and broke away to head over to her. “Good morning. Er, should I call you Commissioner or is Samantha ok?”
She smiled. “I’m on duty in two hours, so Samantha is still perfectly acceptable.” She eyed the meter long gray rod he was holding with curiosity. “Care to tell me what’s going on?”
“We volunteered to take down the building last night, remember?” Shikarou grinned. “So, we were finishing up our planning. By the bye, where do you want the material to go?”
She shrugged. “We’ll clean up later.” She was a little uneasy about pokegirls destroying the police station. She hadn’t thought he was serious and pokegirl attacks could go astray and cause a lot of damage. “You don’t have to do this.”
“It’s no problem. In fact, it’s an excellent team training exercise and I hadn’t introduced them to the cutting bars before.” He hadn’t had any before. Selene had run these up last night and Elizabeth had picked them up this morning. He turned to the group. “We’re going to stack the blocks over there.” He pointed to an open area. “Excuse me.” He darted off.
Samantha sighed and wondered if it was too early for a drink. She froze when she saw Shikarou talk briefly to a long eared Bunnygirl wearing cami short shorts and a matching tank top along with a pistol and what looked like a brace of grenades. “Shit, that’s a Mini-Top.” She grabbed her radio and quickly called for a protective detail. She wasn’t sure who was going to be protected, but she suspected that before the day was over, someone would need it.
She watched as he headed over where the destroyed section of wall was and pushed the tip of the rod against the rock, along one of the black lines. Suddenly, there was a screaming noise and a puff of powder as the rod sank into the rock. He drew it up the line and over, a rooster tail of dust spraying from it the whole trip. Finally, he was done and pulled it from the wall.
He gestured to Pythia who concentrated and pulled the cut section free with telekinesis. It flew over to the designated spot and lay down flat.
Shikarou wiped dust from his face and went to pull several pairs of goggles from his pack. He passed them out to his harem and motioned them towards the walls. Soon Branwyn, Nanu and Yushiko were cutting blocks from the wall while Pythia and Circe were stacking them neatly. Elizabeth was hovering over the ruin and cutting chunks from the roof while the rest of the cutting team worked on the interior walls and cells.
Samantha joined Shikarou. He smiled. “We should have the building down before dark and if you need the walls for building material later,” he shrugged, “the way we’re removing the material will make it easier to handle.”
She motioned towards the rod. “What is that?”
He offered it to her. “It’s a cutting bar.”
The cutting bar was a meter long and about three centimeters high. Its edge was only a few millimeters thick, giving it an oddly sword-like appearance. Along the edge she could see two thin lines. Closer inspection revealed them to be toothed belts. “How does it work?”
“Sort of like a chainsaw. The cutting tracks spin in opposite directions from each other, reducing startup torque and helping to eliminate binding. There’s a battery in the handle, and there’s a solar charger built into the sides. It’s only for when you’ve got no other way to charge it; the solar charger takes hours to fully charge a completely flat battery. You’re better off using a charger like that one.” He pointed to a small box next to his backpack. A cable ran to an outlet in a nearby building.
“Interesting tool.” She handed it back. “Is it dangerous?”
“It’ll cut flesh and bone as quickly as anything else. It’s a good ad-hoc close combat weapon. Messy though, since it tends to spray the operator with whatever it is cutting.”
“That can be the truth. I prefer a sword.” He went back to watching his harem work. “However, it’s perfect for this kind of job.”
He glanced at her. “I noticed you have some stocks. Do you want them saved?”
She shivered. He knows. “No. No, I definitely don’t think we’ll be using them again.”
He nodded and cocked his head. Pythia looked in his direction and then began using her telekinesis to rip the stocks from their concrete bases. They crumpled into balls in midair and arced out into the bay.
Samantha frowned as she watched how far they flew before splashing into the water. “The pirates wouldn’t have gotten very far if you’d been here, would they?”
He shrugged, still watching the demolition work. “You never know until you’re there.” His ears flicked. “Having said that, I have a pretty good combat harem and I like to think we would have given a good account of ourselves.” An eye glanced at her. “You were taken by surprise.”
“We were complacent,” she said bitterly. “We haven’t had any serious trouble in several years, other than the occasional stupid Tamer.”
“This must be a town of optimists.”
Samantha frowned. “I don’t understand.”
“If a place hasn’t been attacked for a while, optimists say to themselves that it’s wonderful that things have been quiet for so long. Pessimists say that it’s about time for things to go dreadfully wrong.”
She gave a grim chuckle and turned to look at him. “Which type of person are you?”
“Neither. I make sure that during the good times we are prepared for the bad.” He smiled. “I don’t say anything. I do something.”
Another Alaka-Wham appeared in front of them. She grinned. “Hey. I brought your request. Molly wants to add more cops if you are going to be lending them out a lot.”
Shikarou took the pokeballs she was offering. “Molly has Mary and Gwen now and each of them is an army unto themselves.”
“Molly said you’d say that. She wants to know if they’re going to be around all the time.”
“Stardust, tell her that she can recruit whoever she wants, as long as she stays within Lynn’s budget.”
Stardust winked. “I think Molly was hoping to go around Lynn and straight to the top. You are her top, right?”
“Goodbye, Stardust.” The Alaka-Wham blew him a kiss and vanished.
Shikarou activated the pokeballs, releasing an OfficerJenny
and a Drow Zee. Both were in urban combat fatigues and wore assault rifles slung muzzle down. They came to attention and saluted. “Your Majesty, sir.”
Shikarou sighed. “Do you do that because it bugs me?”
The Drow Zee grinned, her teeth startlingly white in her dark face. “Yessir.”
“Samantha, this is Alice and Daiyu. Ladies, this is Commissioner Samantha, your new boss.”
Alice saluted again. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Commissioner. I have investigative experience from Glasgow, but I enjoy walking a beat. Sadly, I don’t get that much in Caomh Sith.” She nodded towards the Drow Zee. “Daiyu is my rookie. She’s got a lot of enthusiasm without being overzealous. She’s shaping up well and is almost ready to work by herself.”
Daiyu blinked. “I didn’t know that.”
“No, and if the circumstances were normal, you wouldn’t know it now.” Alice gave her a stern look. “Don’t blow my estimation of you, either.”
“Nosir.” Daiyu tried to fight her grin and failed.
Samantha smothered a smile. “Excellent. The police station is currently housed in the town bar. I think you can find it. They’re expecting you. Now move.”
The two pokegirls moved.
“I want to thank you for their aid. Having new police will help the townsfolk believe that things are getting better.”
Shikarou nodded. “You’re welcome, but it helps me as well. Alice was getting bored and Daiyu needs experience working with other police departments. If she gets sent on missions, she’ll need to know how to deal with people when she’s the outsider.”
Samantha looked at her watch when it beeped. “I have to go.” She gave him a smile. “I’ll check on you later.”
“We do lunch at noon.”
She looked surprised but recovered quickly. “I’ll keep that in mind.”
(07/02/99 2100 Blue Continent, 1500 Phallus Town, Indigo League)
Samantha whistled quietly as she approached the jobsite and Branwyn grinned. “Like it?”
Shikarou’s harem was in the final process of removing the foundation that the old police station had rested on, as well as digging up the piping and electrical lines. The OfficerJenny
shook her head. “It’s like it was never here.”
The Unicorn nodded. “We do good work.” She glanced at Shikarou. “Remember what we decided on.”
“I will.” Samantha raised an eyebrow. Shikarou shrugged as Branwyn headed off. “I was threatened.”
“My harem. They’ve decided that this is the first and last building we demolish without explosives and pokegirl attacks.”
She frowned. “It’s against the law for pokegirls to threaten humans, unless they are police or other official members of government.”
“I won’t be pressing charges. It wasn’t nearly as much fun as I’d hoped.”
Samantha nodded. “If it’s money, I can arrange for some kind of payment.”
“We’re ok. It’s just that they considered the work demeaning. Buildings don’t fight back.” He grimaced. “They’ve never been in one that was collapsing or they’d rethink that statement.”
“Care to share?”
“There’s not much to share. I was in the bottom levels of a castle and the rest of it fell on me. It sucked.”
Samantha frowned. “How did it manage to fall on you?”
He shrugged. “Someone thought it would keep me from tracking them down and exacting justice for something they’d done.”
“Did it work?”
“I’m here, he’s not.”
“You don’t talk about yourself much, do you?”
A tiny smile appeared on his face. “Most of my life can be summed up fairly succinctly. There were a large number of people who were better off dead and I was sent to improve their lives. I did, and now they are dead.”
She raised an eyebrow. “More than ten?”
“Why is it important?”
Shikarou looked into her eyes. “More than the population of this town.”
Samantha blinked. “What about here?”
“I’ve killed here. Not as many as elsewhere, but I haven’t been here long.” He glanced at her. “I think they all deserved it.”
“I don’t believe that murder is justified. You’re going to have to convince me that you had no choice.”
He gave her an amused look. “Why would I want to do that?”
Her voice was firm. “I could take you into custody.”
“For what? You have no bodies, no names, no locations, just me saying that I killed some people.” He smirked. “You don’t even know if I’m telling the truth.”
“Maryanne told me you can’t lie.”
His eyes hardened. “Maryanne shouldn’t go telling tales.” He shrugged and began to look amused. “She told you I can’t lie?”
“Not too long after I came here, I ended up in Lairg, in the Blue Continent. The Sheriff there was a corrupt little bastard named Godwin who wanted Branwyn for his own. He had a gang of bandits that did his bidding and he set them on me. I ended up killing some of them in the battle. That would be self defense, I believe.”
She watched him intently. “Yes, that would be self defense. Did you kill the Sheriff later?”
“Can I tell this?”
She blinked. “Very well.”
“Thank you.” He flicked an ear. “Later, I challenged Godwin to a battle to the death. Winner takes all. He accepted and I killed him.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Do you have proof that he willingly accepted this fight?”
When he was quiet for a while she frowned. “Any others?”
“I’ve killed several pokegirls.”
Samantha looked surprised. “While not necessarily right, that’s not wrong according to the law.”
“We were talking about the people I’ve killed. To me, they’re people.” He gestured at his harem. “They are not animals. Each of them is as unique as I am and I care for each of them as individuals.”
“All Tamers do, to some extent.” Samantha sounded slightly bitter.
He sighed. “You may want to get your cuffs out. I did break a law that I know exists here in Indigo, although the crime took place in the Blue League. As far as I am aware, it’s a crime in any League.”
Samantha stiffened. “What?” She was already reaching for her restraints.
“I married Branwyn.”
She halted in surprise. “You did what?”
“I proposed to her, took her to a chapel and we got married.” His voice was calm. “She is my wife and I openly and proudly declare her as such.”
Samantha shook her head. “We don’t arrest people for that one. They get a fine and we confiscate the pokegirl.”
“I’ll gladly pay your fine, but if anyone touches Branwyn, I’m going to be a little upset.”
A voice sounded from behind the OfficerJenny
. “If anyone tries to take me away from my husband, they’ll never find her body.” She stalked around Samantha to stand next to Shikarou. “The crime took place in the Blue League and we’ve already paid the fine there. They don’t confiscate pokegirls, if they did they’d have a rebellion in Scotland.” She smiled. “And this time we’d win.”
“We paid a fine?”
“I took care of it.” I also paid the one for Poppet. What are you doing?
She asked me about people I’d killed. I told her about a couple and was changing the subject.
Why even tell her anything? Never mind, I know why. “Can you even help it?” she asked him sourly.
Samantha frowned. “Help what?”
“The only reason Shikarou would even consider answering questions like that is because he’s interested in you. He’s trying to sound you out and see if you are interested in him.”
Samantha blinked and turned to look at Shikarou, who was watching her curiously. “Is she right?”
“I’m not sure I’d have put things quite so baldly but, yes, she is.”
“I see.” The OfficerJenny
frowned. “I’ll have to think about this. You see, I think Professor Stroak might be courting me for his harem.”
Shikarou nodded. “I see. I can see where that might interest you.”
“I don’t.” Branwyn shook head. “Stroak is around the same age as Shikarou, but that’s where any resemblance ends. Stroak is an observer.”
“In less than a year we’ve bought some land, settled on it and are building a place that anyone would be proud to call home.” She smiled slightly. “And we intend to be very selective about who will be allowed that honor. It’s going to be a place where humans and pokegirls work together to face whatever tomorrow brings. Our revolution won’t break any laws and it won’t be as loud or as flashy as the legends of the Chosen One, but we intend to get more done, so that by the time groups like Seele figure out what’s happening, it will be too late.”
Samantha gave Shikarou an odd look. “Why would you care about pokegirl rights? What can you tell me that will make me believe that you won’t give this up the moment things begin to get difficult?”
Shikarou tugged on one of his ears. “See this? Some of my children will be pokegirls. Others will be like me and will be easily mistaken for pokegirls. That gives me a vested interest in making sure that the lives of all pokegirls are as trouble free as possible.” His smile became suddenly predatory. “I have two daughters and because of them I already know that if someone abuses my children for any reason, even one that is currently condoned by the law, I will hunt them down and do terrible things to them.”
“So, it’s much easier for everyone involved if I work to make sure that my children can protect themselves without the law blaming them, no matter who is at fault. That is the way things are right now for pokegirls.”
“In fact, as the landlord of Caomh Sith, I have a great deal of latitude in the laws that are in force there and I’ve already made significant changes, at least on a local level.”
looked thoughtful and slowly a slight flush suffused her features. “I have, well, I have a problem.” She looked at them almost defiantly.
Branwyn looked puzzled. “What is it?”
Shikarou cocked his head. “Branwyn, could you give us some privacy?”
The Unicorn gave him a curious look. “Ok,” she said slowly. “Just call me when I can come back.”
“Thank you.” He watched her head towards the rest of the harem. “Come with me.” Shikarou led Samantha down to the nearest pier.
Samantha frowned. “Don’t you want to know what this problem is?”
He nodded. “I do, but I think I may know part of it already.”
“Oh? Let’s hear your theory.”
He was silent for a moment. “It’s about the rape, isn’t it?”
stared at him, speechless. “How, how did you know?” she managed to stammer out.
“When I realized that I might be interested in you, I went ahead and accessed everything I could about you, to see if you might be someone I wanted a relationship with.” He nodded his head in the general direction of town. “If you were already married to your job, then trying to interest you in someone like me would be a waste of both of our time, as well as a disservice to you.” He glanced at her. “One of the things I got to read was your report of Caliente’s attack on you. It was quite clinical and very detailed.”
He sighed. “I wonder if the League people who interviewed you three days after the raid even gave a thought to how much shock you were still in. It was a brutal rape and the fact that you enjoyed parts of it made it even worse.” He looked out over the water, his eyes distant. “You didn’t really. Your body reacted as it was supposed to, as it was designed to, but the whole time your mind was screaming in impotent rage.”
His voice hardened. “The fact that they made your body react like nature and League science wanted it to while you watched them and heard them violating, not only your body, but the trust the people of Phallus had placed in you, seared your soul.”
He turned back to her. “They couldn’t have found a way to torture you more effectively if they’d tried.” His voice was soft, but his eyes blazed with fury.
“How can you understand? Not even the rest of the Jennys do.” Tears glittered in her eyes.
Shikarou looked down and then back into her eyes. “Men can be raped. They can be raped by other men as well as by women.” He shook his head slowly. “I was still little more than a child when I was ordered to hunt down and destroy a band of monsters that had been terrorizing an area. I tracked them to a village that they had just destroyed and attacked them without delay. I had slain most of them when the rest of their band returned and joined the fight. I was defeated and captured.”
“Most of the surviving band was the females of the group and they drugged me and took me with them to their next feeding ground. Once they set up their new base of operations, they pinned me down by the simple expedient of driving stakes through my wrists and ankles. Whenever they felt like it, they would take their pleasure of me. This went on for a little over a month before I managed to get free.”
“Needless to say, my body reacted like nature intended it to. I hated myself for it.”
“The band scattered after that and I spent the next year hunting them down and killing them. Only three of them escaped me, one of these being the smartest and strongest spellcaster of the group. I didn’t run across her again for another twenty years.”
“She’d assembled a new band and when I saw her, I went berserk. I slaughtered everyone there. Only one of them put up a decent fight, a young demon male that proved very resilient and wily. If he’d been properly trained, he would have been magnificent.”
His ears went still. “When I was sifting through the stuff in the camp, I came across her spellbooks and her journal. It turned out that the male had been her son.” His voice caught. “Our son.”
Samantha stared at him as he continued in a dispassionate voice. “I have no idea if the other two got pregnant by me, I never saw them again.”
He blinked several times rapidly. “Sorry. I kind of got lost in the past. Anyway, after that happened, I wanted nothing to do with women or sex for quite some time.” He gave her a sympathetic look. “I can’t imagine what it’s like for someone who has to have sex or she’ll go insane.”
grasped his hand gently. “I don’t like having things inside me.”
“That makes sense. You probably also don’t like bondage.”
She shivered. “No, I definitely don’t like that. That makes it hard to be with someone who’s not a pokegirl.”
“I don’t see why. Men have much more to offer than just a dick. They have lips and tongues and whipped cream. At least the ones with more than an ounce of brains do.”
She smiled slightly. “It eventually comes down to them wanting to put something inside. It doesn’t help that I’m stronger then they are.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Branwyn has healing magic available. Crush my hand.”
She blinked. “No!”
“If you are interested in me, and I think you are, you are going to have to give me some trust. Please?”
Samantha stared at him for a moment. Suddenly, she squeezed his hand with all of her strength. She grunted from the effort and her arm quivered under the strain.
“You’ve got a good grip.” Her mouth dropped at his amused tone.
She released him suddenly. “Why aren’t you hurt?”
He smiled at her look of concern. “I’m as strong as my Armsmistress, which makes me far stronger than you.”
She cocked her head. “What about the other thing?”
“I was raised to stop when my partner says no. If it happens before I can get my dick wet, then so be it.” He snorted. “But don’t expect me to stay around with aching balls. There are other willing women and after you’ve been satisfied, I’ll go find one of them.”
“I am deadly serious. My mother would hunt me down and geld me if I raped anyone. She could keep it from growing back, too.”
“I have a job here.”
He chuckled. “So, we’re to the roadblocks point? Good. You have a job here. I have a pokegirl who’s apprenticed to a swordsmith in Edo, but she’s still mine and I visit her at least once a week. We go to dinner and then we have sex. I want dancing, but she only wants me for my body.” His ears canted sideways. “I will give you the same attention, as much as you want it.”
“You throw up reasons this won’t work, and I shoot them down.”
She gave him a glare. “I want children.”
“So do I.” He looked her up and down. “We’ll have to work on your problem, but I think you’d give me strong, healthy, beautiful sons, daughters and police girls.”
Samantha turned bright red. “No one has ever said anything like that to me before.”
“Their loss.” He gave her a serious look. “If you decide you want to give me a try, I’m willing to work with whatever issues you have. I even have a pokegirl with dreamtime, as well as one who is a practicing therapist. We can give you the long term support you need and I’m willing to wait for certain things.”
She nodded. “How long do I have to make up my mind?”
He gave her a wink. “I’m in pretty high demand right now.” He sobered. “More importantly, Branwyn is going to realize fairly quickly that I manipulated her into talking to you on my behalf with my statement about how I could understand why you might want Stroak over me. It might be best if you had made a decision before then.”
She blinked. “You did, didn’t you?”
“I can’t lie. It doesn’t mean I can’t select my words very carefully.” He cocked his head. “We’ve been invited back to dinner with the Stroak family again tonight. You might want to try to have some kind of preliminary decision by then.”
He touched her arm. “If you don’t choose me, I’m still more than willing to help you with the therapy. You’ll need it if you want children.”
“My pleasure.” He sighed briefly.
“What’s the matter?”
“I’m trying to prepare for the fact that at least two women and possibly more are going to yell at me later.”
Samantha frowned. “Why?”
He rolled his eyes. “Because I haven’t told Branwyn or Poppet about my son. They are likely to see my telling you first as some kind of betrayal. Love is funny that way.” He got a thoughtful expression. “I don’t know if Kasumi will lecture me or not, but I’m pretty sure they will. Maybe I’ll let Helen be around so she can head them off before they work up a full head of steam.” He frowned and rubbed his cheek. “But she may want to yell at me too. Damn.”
“You manipulate the members of your harem?” Samantha sounded incredulous.
“They do it to me, so why not?”
Name: Urufu, Shikarou
Residence: Caomh Sith, Blue Continent
Security Clearance: Eta
Master Tamer Y
Species Name Level
Alaka-Wham Circe 72
Unicorn Branwyn 61
Milktit Helen 59
Seraph Dorothea 52
Armsmistress Urufu Yushiko 51
Vampire Elizabeth 49
G-Spliced Pythia 48
Sphinx Lorelei 46
Mini-Top Nanu 45
Badges: Scotland: Stornoway, Rum Island, Glasgow
Wales: Magicunt Village
Author’s note: The rape of the OfficerJenny
Samantha and the sack of Phallus Town take place in Final Frontiers, by Red Priest of the 17th
Order. The events involving Thai Silvati take place in Ruby Journeys by Macross_Green. I recommend both series to anyone. They are quite good and well worth a read. Both can be found on the Pokegirl World 3 Yahoo group and I expect them to appear on Pokegirl.org before too long, if they aren’t already there.