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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.
Andrew couldn’t help but grin at the chaos in front of him. Mary Lou had created an obstacle course and the sight of the normally stoic Nevaeh cussing like a sailor as she waded through chest-high mud had pushed him over the edge.
He tried to clear his expression when he caught sight of a pokegirl sprinting towards him but to no avail. It was one of the sergeants, a Blessed Officerjenny named Jeanice.
Just like her lieutenant she was a good half foot shorter than most of the harem but didn’t let that stop her from getting right in his face. “WERE YOU SMILING, BOOT?”
Andrew snapped to attention. “NO DRILL SERGEANT!”
“NO? NO? WHAT DID I SEE ON YOUR FACE, BOOT?” Jeanice nearly headbutted him when she shifted her feet. “YOU WERE SMILING, BOOT!”
“NO DRILL SERGEANT! I WAS CRYING, DRILL SERGEANT!” Andrew belted out.
Mary Lou inwardly laughed at his response, watching Andrew drop to assume the position in response to Jeanice’s screams.
For most of the pokegirls in Andrew’s harem, a regular obstacle course wouldn’t have posed much of a challenge. Dirt and mud may have been an annoying way to spend this first day under Mary Lou’s eye, but it wouldn’t have been a problem. So the Seraph had made sure that even the most physically enhanced pokegirls would realize that they had entered a brand new world of pain.
A scream cut off when a magical construct spun, smacking a mud-soaked form from where she had been running and sending her back into the pit. Nevaeh had almost reached the end but turned, reaching back to help the struggling girl. Both yelled when a surge of water knocked them off their feet, the She-Captain Belle focusing her Hydro Pump. “You look dirty, boots!” She held the stream steady as the two struggled to stand. “Get moving!”
Nevaeh finally made it clear, pulling a sputtering Fu from the muck and helping her up before lifting herself free as well.
Both wore the heaviest of the training vests Mary Lou had procured. The bags she had brought had been loaded with them and other equipment for the girls. Mary Lou’s bag alone had probably weighed ten thousand pounds, only the Seraph’s incredible strength and magically enhanced body allowing her to carry it around. Each of Nevaeh and Fu’s vests probably contributed a few thousand of the total.
Andrew jumped to his feet and sprinted to the mud when Jeanice barked a new command. “You can’t even suck dirt right! CRAWL!”
Nevaeh and Fu finally made it to the small group waiting at the next obstacle. Mary Lou had been very... persuasive in enlisting Kuu to help shape a few trees into a towering wooden ramp. A thick, knotted rope hung temptingly from the top, but a few slightly concussed pokegirls had already proven that it served only as a trap. The rainbow-winged pokegirl sat perched at the top, keeping a close eye on the climbing pokegirls and occasionally flicking the rope towards a climber. “You need a hand, boot?” She flicked it again at Lucina. “Got a better grip right here.”
The Shadowcat snarled, flinching when a knot smacked her shoulder. “No, Ma’am.” She doggedly continued to climb. “I don’t quit, Ma’am.”
The Kissitalcoatl glanced at the pokegirl below her. “How about you, boot?” She flicked the rope again, not seeming to care when it only battered Lucina. “Faster you climb, the faster you rest.”
Gale glanced at the rope when it hit Lucina again. “Yes Ma’am.”
The swinging paused. “Yes? You give up, boot?”
Gale wordlessly grabbed the rope, using one hand to keep it away from Lucina. “Thank you, Ma’am.”
Tashi grinned, yanking up to make Gale lose her grip on the wall before letting go, allowing the rope to free fall with the Night Nurse still attached.
Gale doggedly hung on, torqueing her body away from where Lucina was nearing the top before throwing her hand out as she passed the next climber. Tashi’s eyes glinted when Constance threw her arm out, crying out in pain when Gale grabbed her but refusing to let go as the Night Nurse swung and slammed into the climbing wall.
“I got you.” Constance wheezed, dragging her arm up to let Gale regain her position ahead of her. “Nice move.”
Lucina heaved herself over the crest of the wall, her labored breathing the only sign of her fatigue before she glanced back and gave Gale a wordless nod.
“You’re up, so get down.” Tashi glanced at Lucina as she slowly pulled the rope back into place. “Get moving.”
Lucina nodded, draping her body over the other side and slowly making her way to where the rest of the harem waited.
“That was a selfless thing to do.” Tashi murmured when Gale reached her. “Well done.”
Gale could barely muster a smile before she, too, flipped over and began climbing down after Lucina.
Tashi waited for Constance to get closer before reaching down, grabbing the Tank Vixxen’s injured arm and pulling her up. Constance’s teeth snapped together and she bit back a scream when the movement aggravated the already strained ligaments Gale’s fall had caused.
A moment later Tashi released her and pointed down. “NO EXCUSES, MOVE!”
Constance grimaced, gingerly putting her weight on the arm before blinking in surprise when she didn’t feel any pain. She quickly scrambled after Gale when Tashi began winding up to scream again.
“Breathe. Do not forget to breathe.” Tashi walked between the resting pokegirls, keeping an eye out for anyone still struggling. “If you are injured speak now.”
Mary Lou was quietly discussing something with the other sergeants and waited when Tashi approached. “How are they?”
“The information we were given seems to still be true, Ma’am.” Tashi glanced back at where Gale and Lucina were sitting together. “Their medic is a class act. And other than some pushback when the Alpha complained, they don’t seem to be slowing.”
“Agreed. He led me to believe they were a mob, but just below the rough surface there’s something here.” She glanced at where Aella lay sprawled out. “First sergeant, I want you to take the alpha aside tomorrow after PT. Work your magic.”
Jeanice nodded. “Yes Ma’am.”
“Sergeant Lisa, you will take them while she does that. Apparently they train marksmanship, and it will be a good intermission before Jeanice rejoins us for gear testing.”
The Megami-Sama bobbed her head. “Aye Ma’am.”
“Sergeant Belle, is the second phase complete yet?”
The She-Captain nodded. “Yes Ma’am. And on the colonel’s request I’ve constructed it away from the first phase. He intends to use the courses after we leave.”
“No reason to waste a perfectly good construction.” Mary Lou agreed. “Very well. Sergeant Belle, you have the lead.”
Phase two of PT had culminated in an aptitude test that was quickly breaking down. Hot tempers from the surprise appearance and take over had reached a boiling point. The visitors knew it, and were watching Andrew’s harem carefully.
An explosion rocked the clearing, drawing the attention of the scattered groups before barked orders set them back on task.
Fu stared at Mary Lou, the Seraph effortlessly holding Nova in a chokehold. “Congratulations.” She didn’t flinch when the Blazicunt sent another blast of flame at their feet, only managing to kick up a new cloud of dirt. “You just wanted to touch, didn’t you boot?”
“Go.” Nova wheezed.
Mart Lou glanced up when Constance dove into the fray, her entire body lighting up when she used her created flame body technique. She was forced to release Nova to block Constance’s attack, watching as the flames leapt from the Tank Vixxen and began licking at her arms.
The two started to cheer before Mary Lou looked at them. “You’ve lit me on fire. Now what? Am I supposed to writhe in pain before I KICK YOUR ASS?”
Constance yelped in surprise when Mary Lou dashed forwards, slamming an open hand into her face. The well-placed strike crushed Constance’s nose, sending the Tank Vixxen into breathing spasms as she attempted to suck air past the sudden cascade of blood. Nova tried to dodge but was far too slow to avoid Mary Lou’s second strike, wheezing when the Seraph buried her fist into her gut.
“Now then.” Mary Lou turned back to Fu. “It’s your turn.”
Fu glanced at her two harem sisters. “She’s choking. Ma’am.”
“They can both breathe.” Mary Lou beckoned. “Barely. Show me your skills, boot.”
“Bitch.” The silent group turned when Constance forced air through her broken nose, sending a spray of blood through the air before she staggered back to her feet.
Fu waited for her to lift Nova to her feet and retreat. “Thank you for the opportunity.”
Mary Lou focused when she recognized the ritualistic opening. “Begin.”
In another group Aella glared at Lisa. The Megami-Sama gazed back, her relaxed stance betraying nothing. “I said begin, boot.”
Aella snarled, moving in and throwing two strikes before she felt something hit her legs and she tumbled to the ground, spitting when she faceplanted into the dirt.
Lisa shook her head slightly and turned to the next girl. “Begin.”
Andrew sat back, carefully watching the proceedings. He hadn’t been assigned a group and he was thankful, since the information he had sent Mary Lou hadn’t included the tests Gale had done on him. He was hoping to keep that a secret.
He focused when Aella silently rose to her feet, lunging at Lisa’s unprotected back as the Megami-Sama parried a strike from Melody. He shook his head when Lisa spun, grabbing the surprised Wet Queen and slamming her into her charging Alpha. The two girls fell to the ground and lay motionless as Lisa began shouting for a healer.
Is this the real you, Aella? He thought despondently. It can’t be. I know you’re better than this.
The next day found them in the mess hall. Conversation was minimal as the harem pushed to eat fast, understanding that the post-PT meal they had been granted could end at any moment.
“When are we going back out?”
“They’re meeting with Cortney.” Melody shoveled food into her mouth at a breakneck pace. “If’n you don’t eat fast, you might not.”
Ann stared down at her plate. “How can you like it so much?”
Melody slowed, staring at her lover. “What?”
Ann shook her head slowly. “I thought I wanted this. But I’ve realized all I ever wanted was him. I’m not a fighter, like you are. I just wanted a Master who would respect me. He protected me without knowing who I was.” She rested her face in her hands to hide her tears. “I’ve been pretending. I’ve been holding you back.”
Melody’s shock bled into her voice, giving it a light tremble. “Annie, where is this coming from? What are you saying? You’re... you’re my everything. He loves you. What are you going to do?”
“I’m not coming to whatever training they hold today.”
“You don’t mean that.” Melody clutched at her. “You’re just feeling the pain we all are. Don’t let it break you. Two days of extra physical shouldn’t-“
Ann shrugged free of her grip. “I’ve felt the pain ever since I made an excuse and left our sisters to die. You fought, Mel. You fought for them. I was afraid. I’m supposed to be untouchable, a bastion of ice to protect my family. And I abandoned them.”
“No. Ann, no.” Melody reached back out to stroke her arm. “What happened that day was not your fault.”
“But what has happened since is.” Ann replied. “You’ve kept me strong. Always had my back, bolstering me when I couldn’t keep up. When have I done the same for you? Never. I am holding you back, and this training is forcing us to work separately. You’re surging ahead. I’m falling behind.” She clutched Melody’s hand. “You need to let me go. I need to do the same. I’m going to lose some standing because of it but it is going to allow you to be who you’ve always meant to be.” She gave Melody a sad smile. “Can I still be the one you come home to? That’s all I want. I will be content to see you happy.”
Melody blinked back her tears, clutching Ann’s shoulders. “Yes,” she croaked, “I will always come home to you.”
“This was inevitable.” Ann murmured. “If I didn’t choose to do it now, it would be forced on me when you finally joined with Kuu and created your own court. I’m being selfish, I know, but it’s the right choice. For both of us.”
“How could I not?” Ann laughed. “You haven’t exactly kept it a secret. But you’ve avoided making any moves because you’ve been taking care of me.” She smiled. “That time is over. It’s time for you to grow.”
Melody let Ann’s hand trail through her fingers when the Ice Empress began walking to where Andrew sat with Aella and Cristina. Her tears began to fall when she saw her bow and begin speaking, causing the three to straighten and pay closer attention to what she was saying.
Andrew waited for Ann to finish speaking. “You’re sure.”
Ann bowed her head. “I am thankful for everything you have done for me, and hope that I can stay just as Rein and Yang have.”
“Now is not the time to discuss that, but I will not throw you away for making this choice.” Andrew replied. “I won’t pretend to understand your decision, but it is yours to make.”
“I refuse to continue being the reason Melody does not hold the position she deserves.” Ann replied, her voice strong even as her body trembled.
Andrew nodded slightly, watching her walk away. The air around the Ice Empress began to mist as she broke down, shards of ice tinkling against the floor before she broke into a run and vanished through the door in a flurry of snow.
“I think she forgot to maintain her temperature.” Andrew grumbled, watching the frozen patches slowly return to normal.
“Can’t say I didn’t see this coming.” Aella muttered in return.
“I was stupid. Alright? I’ve done some really stupid things lately.” Aella snapped at him. “That doesn’t mean I can’t recognize when one of my girls isn’t putting forth the same effort the others are.”
“Aella, you haven’t been stupid.” Cristina replied gently. “You’ve been... rigid.”
“That’s what I have you for.” She turned when Andrew started to speak. “Don’t. I’m livid, and you’re fucking lucky that it’s not all directed at you right now.”
Andrew shrugged. “Doesn’t matter what it is or isn’t directed at.” He tossed his napkin on his plate and stood. “Aella, you are just as guilty of not putting forward the effort necessary. You are supposed to be the Alpha, and you haven’t acted like it.”
Activity quieted when the door opened, Mary Lou’s team stepping into the mess. “Time to start.” Andrew muttered when the sergeants began belting out commands. Aella stood in shock but followed along when Cristina took her hand and pulled her towards the door.
They joined the flow, moving through the door before Aella felt a hand grab her arm. She turned to see Jeanice gazing at her. “You’re with me.”
Aella frowned, starting to ask a question before she thought better and only nodded. “Yes Ma’am.”
Jeanice pulled her to the side, waiting for the harem to leave before speaking again. “I’m not here today to yell at you, Aella.”
Aella blinked at the usage of her actual name. “What- uh-“
“At ease.” Jeanice cracked a smile. “I’m not talking to you right now as a drill sergeant.”
Aella winced. “Really?”
“Need a moment?”
“Can I?” Aella rubbed her eyes. “Something just happened.”
“Take all the time you need.” Jeanice beckoned. “I’ve set up a room for us.”
Aella followed her into one of the storage rooms, gazing around at the furnishings that had popped up overnight. “Wow.”
“We work fast.” Jeanice replied. “Aella, I’m here today to clue you in on the secret your Master has been hiding ever since he first called Lieutenant Mary Lou.”
Aella frowned. “You are?”
“We aren’t here to break you.” Jeanice smiled slightly. “That’s what we’re used to doing, but it’s not why we’re here today. We’re here to help you. That’s what Mr. Ranger asked for, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
“But- yesterday, and...” Aella gazed off helplessly. “Should I even be talking to you? Aren’t you going to beat me up in a few hours when I say something stupid?”
Jeanice sighed, glancing at the door. “No. I’m going to be yelling at you with the others, but I’m showing you the end of the road today. I want to put you in the right frame of mind for what’s going to happen.”
“Or ultimate goal is give you the skills you need to run your harem.” Jeanice replied. “I have just come from a meeting where I was informed of a number of conversations he’s had about you. In every one, even when he expressed his discontent with your methods, he has defended your position.” She raised an eyebrow. “You are not to share this information. I was told in strict confidence by your intelligence officer.”
“This doesn’t make any sense.” Aella whispered. “If he was unhappy with me, why didn’t he say something before? He’s never hesitated to speak to me. Until today, when he-” She paused. “I really shouldn’t be speaking about this with you, I’m-“
“Aella.” Jeanice carefully unbuttoned her uniform, setting the shirt aside and patting her undershirt. “Do you see any insignia on me right now?” She smiled. “I’m trying to speak to you from one leader to another. That’s why I pulled you aside.”
“Is it some kind of switch you can flip?” Aella hissed. “You were chewing them up out there. My girls who barely listen to me were turning on a dime at your command. How do you do it? And then stand in front of me and hold a normal conversation?”
“It is a switch, yes.” Jeanice replied. “As to how, you should ask your Master that question. He has the same switch we do, he just doesn’t flip it. He’s entrusted that job to you, perhaps wrongly. You don’t have it yet.”
“Is that what you’re going to teach me? How to flip this switch?”
Jeanice shook her head. “No. That’s not something that can be taught. Instead, I will be coaching you through a crash course that will emulate my own officer training, something that I assume you have never formally received. You already are intelligent, with the ability to make hard choices. That is good. What you lack is experience, something that your Beta is meant to assist with. I’ve heard you don’t listen to her.”
Aella winced. “I do.”
“Regardless of if you do or not, what I am about to teach you is meant to emulate the years of experience new officers require but can’t possibly have. By the time your girls have finished with their marksmanship tests, you will have hopefully begun to learn the outlook you need to be an effective leader.” She gave Aella a grim smile. “I’ll let you in on a secret. Command does not come from fear. Command comes from respect. I’ve watched your girls and they do not respect you, likely because you do not respect them. They fear you, and that is why they listen to you. You are tearing them down with every order. A leader builds her soldiers up, not the opposite.” She watched Aella struggle with a retort. “You’re distracted. Why.”
“He just-“ Aella wiped away the tears. “He just told me I’m a failure.”
Jeanice frowned slightly. “Regardless, I will be coaching you today.” She smiled. “Become the leader he wants you to be, and prove to him that you can perform the job he needs you to do. He will come back around.”
Constance controlled her breathing, ignoring the screaming around her. She squeezed off another shot, waiting for her firing position to settle before shifting to the next target.
The rest of the harem was sitting back, watching in awe as Constance scored another hit despite the cacophony of movement around her. Every single officer was doing her best to distract the Tank Vixxen, from Belle slashing her saber against the wall and showering Constance with sparks, to Mary Lou hovering just out of sight of her scope and screaming bloody fury.
I’ve had worse. Constance thought, sighting in on the next target but pausing when her range finder began spooling up. Huh?
She grimaced when it stabilized at 900 yards. 500, easy. 700, doable. 900 was nearing the edge of her range. Fine. They wanted to force her to fail, and she wasn’t giving them the satisfaction.
Lisa straightened, letting off her own distractions to watch Constance sight in. She was the whole reason the rest of the harem had time to rest, and so far she was performing well beyond what would have been satisfactory.
Constance slowly took a calming breath, holding it for a moment before taking another. She felt her hand twitch and angrily forced it to be still. There was no wind. There was no movement. It was a simple, straight shot. She could do it.
The screams vanished when she pulled the trigger, all eyes turning downrange. A second passed. Two. Just as Constance was beginning to think she had missed she saw her round fly back into her scope and neatly punch a hole through the inner ring.
The harem erupted with noise, hands grabbing Constance and pulling her to her feet before she was engulfed in the cheering crowd.
“She shoots better than half the base.” Lisa observed.
“She’s the sniper. If she didn’t, I’d question why she holds that title.” Tashi replied quietly. “Jeanice is finishing up. Time to move.”
Another day, another trip to the gym. The tired group barely even complained anymore, each girl saving any energy she could.
Fu ground to a halt when she saw who was waiting for them, almost causing a pileup when the next girl had to dodge to avoid the suddenly stationary body.
“What gives?” Nami snarled, shoving past before glaring back at the motionless Warvern. “Walk.”
Fu slowly continued, allowing a few more to pass her before returning to her previous pace. The figure standing in the center of their gymnasium never looked away, watching the harem filter in before speaking.
“Today is your lucky day, boots.” Mary Lou’s face betrayed no emotion as she ran her eyes over the mix of tired and angry faces in front of her. “Some of you learned quickly what happens when you disobey orders. When you attempted to blatantly cheat your way through the last two days. Now you have an opportunity. Any of you who can cross this room will be allowed to use any and all techniques at their disposal for the rest of training.” She watched the mood slowly shift and eyes begin looking past her. “One at a time. All you have to do... is get past me.”
Of course, none of them were meant to. This challenge was meant to break their attitudes. To remind the dissidents that they weren’t alone. She wanted to see which one broke first, running to the aid of her sisters.
Aella had been in thought but when she heard the announcement she brought her attention back to the gym floor. “I was expecting more hard training.” Nova was muttering, glancing around her. “Just get past her? That’s easy.”
Mary Lou nodded when she saw Aella push to the front of the crowd. “You want to try for it, boot?”
Aella silently stepped down to the floor and came to a halt in front of Mary Lou. “Am I allowed to use my techniques, Ma’am?”
“Do whatever you believe you need to do.”
Aella nodded slightly. “You disgraced me in front of my harem.” Her voice was low enough that it didn’t even reach the crowd as a whisper. “You’re going to pay for that.”
“You have the ability to go around me.” Mary Lou replied amicably. “Why not try that first?”
“I’m going through you.” Aella snarled, her scales bursting into view across her body before she charged.
“And their CO thinks of herself first.” Belle noted, watching Aella begin swinging at Mary Lou. “What will the rest do when she fails?”
“We will see.”
Aella slashed again, her claw attacks whistling a hairs breadth from the dodging Seraph. She refrained from chasing recklessly, keeping her own rhythm as she pursued Mary Lou.
Finally Mary Lou stepped in. Aella’s eyes widened when she saw the Seraph move, an almost lazy motion that still outsped her response. Aella began charging a Hyperbeam, grunting when Mary Lou slammed her to the ground.
“Have to do better than that.” Mary Lou murmured.
Aella roared, unleashing the attack at point blank range. She grinned triumphantly before her expression morphed to horror when the energy cleared to show the Seraph still perched on top of her.
“That’s it?” Mary Lou heaved Aella to her feet before throwing her back to impact against the ground. “NEXT!”
A low murmur began to grow when Mary Lou easily defeated the next challengers and showed no signs of tiring. Nevaeh lay panting, the others recovered or pulled to safety as Albia was blasted away to slam against the bleachers, a stunned look on her face and slight trickle of blood running from where she had bitten her own cheek. Next to her Aella stared wordlessly at the arena, her second defeat having knocked every bit of breath from her body.
Mary Lou rolled her shoulders. “NEXT!”
When no pokegirls stepped forwards she scowled. “WELL? You were all so eager to fight before! NEXT!”
The murmur began to peak before Cristina stepped forwards, blocking where Camiel had begun to approach. “Thank you, Ma’am.”
Mary Lou looked at her. “What was that, boot?”
“Thank you for the lesson, Ma’am. I’m sure my girls understand the point you have made.”
Mary Lou scowled. “Get down here, boot. You want to speak for them, you get to fight for them.”
“Don’t.” Aella wheezed as Cristina walked past. “She’ll kill you.”
“I have a responsibility to our harem.” Cristina replied calmly. “If I must be the one to take the blows so they don’t, I will.” She glanced at Aella. “Because that’s what a leader does.”
Aella sat in stunned silence when Cristina halted in front of Mary Lou. “Permission to begin, Ma’am?”
Mary Lou blinked. “Granted.”
Cristina’s workout gear disappeared behind her armor and she shoved forwards, a gauntleted hand swinging up to block Mary Lou’s strike. Her other hand moved for a second before shooting forwards, managing to impact Mary Lou’s chest as the Seraph twisted away.
“I was expecting the rest to chicken out when they saw their Alpha taken apart.” Mary Lou murmured, her voice barely reaching Cristina’s ears while the two continued to surge back and forth across the gym floor. “And yet here you are.”
Cristina stripped the tone from Mary Lou’s words, processing the information almost lazily while she focused her attention on her opponent. “Take me down as you did her.” Cristina finally replied. “Or not at all.”
Mary Lou smiled, the first smile Cristina had seen the Seraph project since she had arrived. In a flash she noticed Mary Lou’s movement and dove, crashing to the ground to avoid the haymaker that had been sneaking up behind the Seraph’s constant jabs.
Mary Lou’s smile vanished and she gestured, a hand flashing with energy and bombarding the rolling Ophanim. She stayed close when Cristina leapt to her feet, seemingly unharmed by the attack. Cristina felt the strike impact but she had long since raised her wards, just as she did with Camiel. Compared to the Archangel, Mary Lou’s measured punch was nothing.
Mary Lou recognized what had happened when her fist was stopped just away from Cristina’s armor and she snapped back around, driving her shin into Cristina’s side. Cristina winced when she felt the power behind the kick and allowed the impact to push her away, desperately feeding more energy into her shield to replace the chunk that had been blasted away.
Aella watched when Mary Lou pummeled Cristina again, and again she seemed to escape unharmed. “How?” Her shock slowly drained into despair when she saw Cristina return a blow and Mary Lou had to block. “How?”
Mary Lou was winding up to renew her assault when Cristina suddenly leapt backwards, her wings appearing and adding more momentum until the Ophanim slammed into the wall behind her.
Mary Lou pulled up when she saw Cristina drop her hands to her sides, looking around them. The smile slowly returned and she nodded. “Congratulations, boot.”
Cristina dropped her spells and fell to her knees, desperately taking deep breaths before her Dark Cocoon sprang to life to heal the bruises and fractures she had suffered. “Thank you, Ma’am.”
“I didn’t even notice her working her way around.” Jeanice said in approval. “And she gave enough to the lieutenant to keep her from noticing either.”
“The captain succeeds.” Mary Lou turned her attention back to the silent harem. “Anyone else want a go?”
“Respectfully, no, Ma’am.” Cristina pulled herself back to her feet and began limping towards her starting position. “I forfeit my privilege. We stand as one,” she smiled when Gale reached out to begin healing her wounds, “or not at all.”
Mary Lou glanced around at the others, noticing how their eyes had gone from staring at the prize to watching Cristina. “Dismissed!” She waited for the harem to begin to leave before turning and walking over to where the others waited. “First Sergeant, I thought I told you to take the Alpha aside, not the Beta.”
Jeanice nodded. “I did, Ma’am.”
Mary Lou glanced over as the last of the harem left the gym. “You took the Shinryu.”
“I suppose I should be proud of our sister Celestial, then.” She smiled. “She is a shining example for the rest. I suppose the man simply is blind, as he placed her in a secondary role.”
“Respectfully, Ma’am, have you heard of the saying about a lieutenant and her sergeant?” Jeanice replied. “I believe she is exactly where he needs her to be.”
Mary Lou nodded. “A fair point.” She chuckled. “They’re in the right mindset. Throw them through the team course this afternoon.”
“Down, on your left!”
Belle leapt away when a ball of energy impacted near her hiding place, streaking away and vanishing into the waters nearby. The fire team slowly moved forwards, Lucina flickering in and out of sight as she used a combination of Teleport and her invisibility.
Day four had seen a revisit to the team activities from the day before. Instead of another drill environment, like the first two days had been, the third day had finished hard. The team course had been four hours of absolute hell, sending a dozen girls to the sidelines for healing before all was done.
Today hadn’t let up. Three girls had to be taken from the activities when they collapsed during PT. It was truly sink or swim, and another member had dropped out when Ishara had to be taken away after she collapsed a second time. Tashi was still with the Romanticide, somewhere back at the caves.
Melody stared at the pools ahead of them, forgotten memories whispering through her mind. “Lucina, whatever you do, do not relax. Nami, we’re going…” She trailed off when a flash of light cut across her vision. “Going…”
She jumped when Nami grabbed her shoulder. “You’re stronger than you were then.” She growled softly, gazing into the Wet Queen’s eyes. “You’re stronger than this.”
Melody stared at the Sharptits in confusion. “Nami?”
“The past is the past.” Nami’s eyes held her own pain as she continued. “The ones we have lost are the strength we have.”
Lucina popped up next to them. “Oi, you good?”
Instantly Nami was back to normal and she snarled, swiping at the Shadowcat. “GO!”
Melody nodded, steeling herself and pushing the vision of the shadowy slayer from her mind. “Fight with me.”
Nami’s face split into a savage grin. “Always.”
Melody felt a blush begin to spread at Nami’s earnest response and ran, gracefully slicing into the water with the Sharptits crashing in just behind her. The two swam towards the bottom of the pool, Melody keeping an eye out as Nami shifted and began powerfully forcing her way through the dark waters.
The attack came just where it had before, but this time Melody was ready. She knew every inch of these damned pools now and so when Belle rocketed out of the hidden cave she was already moving to respond.
Belle’s cutlass flashed against Melody’s Water Blade, the She-Captain grimacing when it became clear her sneak attack had been thwarted. She stiffened when she felt the danger, flipping back to avoid as Nami rocketed through the space she had just occupied. The Sharptits twisted, turning with an agility that shouldn’t have been possible for her enormous body and swiping in an attempt to injure their enemy.
“DO IT!” She roared, turning again to keep Belle from escaping far.
Melody’s face set and she raised her hands, screaming a spell before releasing electricity through the water. The discharge skittered across Nami’s body, slightly dampened by the Sharptits’ bulk and scales, but Belle was not so lucky.
Melody dropped her technique at the magically amplified voice, Belle pushing to the surface. She slowly began to grin when she saw the glowing shield around the She-Captain. “She conceded?”
Nami grinned and Melody squealed when she flashed past. “The cold girl isn’t here now.” She flipped past, a lecherous smile on her lips. “Queen.”
Melody quickly focused the water under her and shot out of the pool, stumbling before snapping to attention in front of Mary Lou. “Ma’am!”
“Return for debriefing.” Mary Lou replied, striding to the edge of the pool. “BOOT! ATTENTION!”
Nami breached, glaring at Mary Lou. “What.”
“Front and center, boot.” She waited for Nami to climb out of the pool. “Return with your team for debriefing. Dismissed.”
Melody shied away when Nami strode towards her, the Sharptits pushing between her and Lucina. “Strong attack.” She grinned down at Melody. “Good.”
Melody did her best to avoid Nami’s look. “Thanks.” She jumped when she felt the Sharptits’ tail smack her ass, glancing at Nami in a panic.
Nami grinned back, winking before jumping ahead and vanishing down the path.
“I think she likes you.” Lucina snickered.
“I’ve got Ann.” Melody replied hurriedly. “Nami knows that.”
“I’ve seen the way you look at her.” Lucina’s smile grew when Melody awkwardly looked away. “Oh it’s no secret. You’re hot for the shark.”
“Ann.” Melody squeaked. “Hot for Ann.”
“Wonder if Ann’s into threesomes?” Lucina laughed at the blush that had begun to creep down Melody’s neck. “I know Nami is.”
Melody took off before Lucina could continue needling her, racing back to the caves and throwing herself into her bedroom. She curled up as she thought about what had happened. Nami had come back. She had… protected her. She shivered. She had Ann. And now that Ann wasn’t on the combat team, she’d have more time with her. Right?”
An image of the grinning Sharptits crept into her mind and she quickly pushed it away. Right.
A knock on her door startled her upright. She stared at it before slowly creeping forwards, peeking through the peephole before opening the door. “Mas- Andrew?”
Andrew nodded. “Hey, Melody. I saw you run in. How’d it go?”
“Uh, we finished well.” Melody stuttered. “How… are you?”
Andrew grimaced. “Not so great. But that’s not your fault, so it doesn’t matter.” He sighed. “I was actually wanting to ask you about Ann. I know her decision hit you pretty hard.”
Melody lowered her gaze. “She did it.”
“Yea, but it’s still your problem.” Andrew shrugged. “How are you?”
Melody sighed. “I’ll be fine, sir.”
“That’s good.” Andrew gave her a small wave. “Well, thought I’d check in. If there’s nothing else, I’ll head back to the mess hall.”
Melody watched him go, slowly closing the door. That’s right. She cared about Ann.
But… did that mean she couldn’t care about Nami, too…?
Andrew glanced around before settling down with Cristina. “Hey. Where’s Aella?”
Cristina shrugged. “One of the sergeants came and took her away. No idea where.”
“Did something happen yesterday?”
Cristina glanced at him. “Hm?”
“She’s lost her hold completely. I watched Gale blow her off this morning.”
Cristina sighed. “That’s the problem with leading through fear. Once someone proves that you aren’t as scary as they thought, it’s over.”
“I wasn’t there. What happened?”
“Aella is a very strong fighter.” Cristina replied, dodging the question. “In a fair fight, nobody had beaten her. Even when Ms. Lisa was batting her around she was doing it through surprise.”
“I know. I’ve seen that part.”
“Mary Lou gave her a fair chance.” Cristina whispered. “One on one, no tricks. Told her to do whatever she wanted. She got cocky, or proud, or something, I don’t know. And she was obliterated. Twice.”
“Is she alright?”
Cristina sighed. “I beat Mary Lou.”
Andrew’s eyes widened. “How?”
“The objective wasn’t to knock her down, it was to get past her. So I did. Aella didn’t even try that. And the rest is history.”
“We’re going to have chaos on our hands after they leave.”
Cristina smiled. “Yup. I hope she recovers by then.”
“Maybe.” Andrew shrugged. “If she doesn’t, I’ll have to figure something out.”
“I hope she recovers.” Cristina murmured. “She’s falling apart. I don’t know what happened while I was gone, but the last three days have broken her. I’ve never seen her like this.”
Andrew remained silent for a few seconds while he thought. “Cristina, where did you learn to lead?”
Cristina shrugged. “In my old Master’s harem. I was the combat leader.”
“Is Aella Alpha material?”
Cristina bit her lip. “Do I have to answer this?”
“It’s the Beta’s responsibility to act as the Alpha’s foil.” Andrew replied quietly. “If that means calling her out when she is failing, then she does so. You’ve already done it once.”
Cristina dropped her gaze. “Aella does the job as she understands it, and in another harem it would probably work. But no. I don’t think she’s fit to be Alpha here. I used to; when she was starting she was making good progress. But when nothing went wrong she messed up. I don’t think she can be trusted not to mess up again.”
“Would you be a good Alpha?”
Cristina blanched. “No! Please, don’t make me do that. I am who I am. I couldn’t be a fair leader, not like that.”
“But you’re the Beta.”
“Because that’s who I am.” Cristina urged. “Making sure everyone is working together, coordinating activities, I can do that. The logisitics of ordering a harem? No thank you.”
Andrew chuckled. “So you’re happy where you are.”
“It wouldn’t be fair to her, anyways.” Cristina replied. “Not without giving her a fair chance. Maybe in a week she’ll be an excellent Alpha.”
Andrew shook his head slightly. “No. I need a leader as my Alpha, not a soldier. Aella is a soldier. A good one, and she has her place here, but I’m starting to think from her actions these last few days that her place isn’t there.”
Cristina sighed. “You really think so?”
“I don’t like it, but I do.” Andrew whispered. “It hurts. She’s been with me longer than any of you but Lyn. But she’s the youngest, the most impulsive and least experienced. I need to remember that, and stop seeing what I want to see in her.”
Cristina gazed at his despondent expression. “What do you see in her?”
“She’s a Hunter. She’s a strong-willed, dangerous pokegirl. I wanted to believe that that meant she would be a strong Alpha. But some people just aren’t leaders.” He shook his head. “I’ll give her her chance, but if she pulls any more of the shit I’ve watched her pull with Mary Lou, I will have to reevaluate her position here.”
“Who would replace her?”
Andrew threw up his hands. “There isn’t anyone. That’s the fucking problem. Maybe we’ll go back to having no Alpha. It worked alright for a while.”
Cristina smiled slightly. “Go back to measuring our breasts for your amusement?”
Andrew chuckled. “That might be nice.”
“Of course it would be.”
“She’s got the rest of tomorrow to wise up.” Andrew replied grimly. “Mary Lou’s leaving the afternoon after that. And if I have to step in and be the Alpha until she learns, so be it. I’ve got ideas. Any decent Alpha would have the same ones.”
“She’s already screwed, isn’t she?”
Andrew shook his head at Cristina’s question. “No. Her greatest advantage is that I want to believe she can be the Alpha, damnit. She still has that. To put it in pokegirl terms, she still has her Master’s faith. That’s a pretty powerful thing.”
Cristina smiled. “It makes me happy to know you still believe in her. What will you do if she gives up?”
Andrew sighed. “If she gives up, she gives up, and I’ll figure something out. It’ll just be one more thing to add to the list.”
Cristina glanced at the papers beside him. “Anything to do with all that?”
Andrew covered them slightly with his arm. “You’ll hear about this soon enough.”
Cristina winced. “Alright.”
“Don’t start thinking about that. We’ve still got at least a full day of hell to survive through.”
Col. Andrew Ranger
(Tech Ops) Maj. Cortney
(Strike) Maj. Aella
(Logistics) Maj. Lyn
(Advisor) Cpt. Nevaeh
(Defense) Cpt. Kuu
(Beta) Cpt. Cristina
(Medic) Cpt. Gale
(Council) Cpt. Rein (Ret.)
SSgt. Shamira (Ret.)
Sgt. Ann (Ret.)
Sgt. Yang (Ret.)
Aella – (Hunter) Shinryu – Alpha
Cristina – (Blessed, Fiendish) Ophanim – Beta
Cortney – (Upgraded) Videogirl
Fu – Warvern
Lucina – Shadowcat
Nami – Sharptits
Constance – Tank Vixxen
Gale – Night Nurse
Shamira – Goldina
Nevaeh – (Blessed, Fiendish) G-Splice
Melody – Wet Queen
Ann – Ice Empress
Nova – Blazicunt
Furia – (Fiendish) Wolf Queen
Rein – Myobu
Ishara – Romanticide
Kuu – Elfqueen
Lyn – Archmage
Yang – Nereidame
Daria – Vampire
Camiel – (Paragon) Archangel
Albia – (Hunter) G-Splice