Monday, March 30, 2020

Star Talker: Part 31: Interrogation

Rha'han

Something changed the moment she sat down in the chair directly across from the Shara. Only the slightly longer than normal blink of her eyes as she sat hinted at the discomfort in her rear he’d placed there. Rha’han made a concerted effort not to smile at that. Aside from that small tell, everything about her seemed strangely at ease. Her shoulders slid back into a relaxed posture. She leaned back in the chair, limbs draped lazily over the arms of it, glittering with the bangles he’d gifted her this morning, fingers encrusted with blue gems. Her olive skin shone with the gold powder Daila had purchased, making her look ever more Lo’Rahni despite her diminutive size. Her wine red lips curled into an easy smile, parted ever so slightly, but not enough to display the small fangs he knew were there. The pupils of her eyes seemed unusually dilated for the amount of light in the room. 

Amrach eyed her carefully, frowning. “You’re so small.”

Selima laughed. The sound startled him. He’d not heard it before. It sounded natural, melodious, almost a song erupting spontaneously from her throat. He wondered how natural it was though, as she still managed to keep her fangs from showing. But perhaps she’d simply been trained long ago to hide her teeth.

“Well, you’re rather large, Radiance, so I imagine most are small next to you.” Her smile lit up her face as she rested her head in her left hand.

Amrach continued frowning. He simply looked rather stern, but Rha’han could feel his confusion. He shared it.

“We’ve been able to communicate somewhat with your colleagues through the translation software on the tablets they were for some reason permitted to keep,” Amrach began, throwing a glare at Rha’han. “Can you tell me where you acquired this program?”

“Certainly,” Selima said brightly. “I wrote it. It’s not finished, of course, I still have another year on the assignment, but I transferred the alpha version to my colleagues during transport. Given that I was separated from them and not a single Klotharan that came to the facility spoke English, I assumed they’d need it. Hard to follow commands if you can’t understand them.”

Rha’han couldn’t hold back the derisive snort he gave at those words. The woman spoke Klotharan like a native and she sure as hell didn’t follow his commands. His uncle’s gaze slid to him briefly in silent warning before returning his attention to Selima.

“For what purpose are you creating this program?”

“The mission of the Centauri Scientific Federation is, first and foremost, the acquisition and preservation of holistic knowledge spanning all realms of study. Beyond this, we provide access to such knowledge to those who would aid in its cultivation and protection in order to facilitate communication, cooperation, and understanding between the disparate races of the cosmos.” The words flowed easily from her lips, a recitation she’d obviously been trained to repeat.

“Why Klotharan?”

She smiled. “Klotharan is my second language, the first to awaken my love of languages. It wasn’t much of a chore to learn. Klotharan is not dissimilar from my mother tongue.”

“I must say, your elocution is impeccable.” He glanced at Rha’han. “And your grasp of our formal protocols is impressive.”

Rha’han’s face remained blank. He had no idea how she had known to wait for the Shara’s touch to rise. 

“My tutors were very strict about my studies in that regard. I was left with a number of resources when I was sent to Centauri to continue my studies.” Her shoulders dropped in an elegant shrug. “Not much beyond language, unfortunately. I am an ethnologist at heart, so I jumped at the chance to be able to come here and study your cultures when His Highness Fahim Ashrad expressed an interest in bringing Klothar into the Federation’s contracted users.”

She dropped her eyes to the table. “If you’ll forgive my impertinence, Radiance, it was a wise move to do so. I think Klothar, and Lo’Rah, can benefit from such a partnership. Isolation creates weakness, and, while you do engage in intergalactic travel and…” her gaze went to a male slave standing near the door behind Amrach, “trade...your exoplanetary alliances are few and fledgling. Which the Jin Fai have noticed.”

Amrach tapped on a tablet in front of him and scrolled with his finger. “Your colleagues would have us believe that your delegation had nothing to do with the attack on my empire, but your words give me cause for concern. Your knowledge of the Jin Fai’s perceptions.”

Selima lifted a brow and gave a tight-lipped smile. “The Centauri Federation is a non-militant entity. We have no stake in the political squabbles of governments that access our service. Absolute neutrality is what allows us to operate efficiently. However, being that the CSF is a Terran-born institution, our Archives hold a disproportionate amount of data on governments and peoples that originated on Terra. We cannot control how the information we provide is used, so long as it is not used against us, but we do pay attention.”

She idly rubbed a thumb over the turquoise stones on her wrist before looking up. “We had nothing to do with the Jin Fai’s actions and had no knowledge of it before your men attacked us and killed nearly thirty Centauri scientists.”

Rha’han noticed her pupils contract into slits briefly before dilating again. Amrach was looking down and did not see.

Wicked Wednesday

Monday, March 23, 2020

Star Talker: Part 30: The Shara

Selima

If I had once compared Rha’han to Apis, I was sorely mistaken when I laid eyes upon the Shara of Klothar. The man at the head of the room was a veritable giant. Even with the distance between us, I had to lift my head slightly to look him in the eyes. He was thickly muscled like the soldiers that had captured me, more so than I might have expected of a monarch. As Rha’han had claimed, he resembled Rha’han greatly, although his braids were longer and peppered with silver. His horns were the same as Rha’han, only thicker and longer. Golden rings with huge gems adorned his horns and golden beads were woven into his hair and his beard. He wore a long garnet tunic that ended below his knees, embellished with silver and gold embroidery, the trim encrusted with small gems. All four of his biceps bore the same coiled cuff that Rha’han wore and each of his hands wore a number of golden rings.

For the briefest of moments, I met his eyes. I had thought Rha’han’s eyes golden, but his were the color of molten metal and just as bright. The kohl around his eyes made them even brighter, seeming to peer into my soul with the intensity of his gaze. His face bore the lines of age, but he didn’t feel old. With what I now knew of Rha’han’s age, I imagined he was probably in his sixties, but nothing about him was frail.

He had the look of a warrior. A belt of thick gold chain was slung around his waist with links the size of my fist. At each hip was a long sheath of gleaming leather with jeweled hilts glittering in the light of the room. They looked like they might be long daggers in his hands, but in mine they would be short swords. The richness of the hilts spoke of decorative purpose, but I had little doubt they would be as lethal as the more utilitarian models I had seen on the soldiers.

I held his gaze and drifted forward, away from Rha’han to half way between him and the Shara and dipped into a deep curtsy, dropping my gaze to the floor. I waited there in silence. I could feel a dozen sets of eyes on me. It felt like an eternity before the sound of his heavy boots began to make their way toward me. My thighs strained to maintain the bend, but it was one of the customs I remembered from my childhood training, so I waited. Finally, he gently touched me on the shoulder and I rose. He was so close, I had to tilt my head all the way back to look at him. My head didn’t even reach his chest. I was about eye level with his belly. After a moment of towering over me, he backed up a step or two and spoke.

“I am Amrach Malikar of the Horned Crown, Shara of the Klotharan Empire.”

I curtsied again, a short dip, before rising again. “I am Selima Fouad of Centauri Prime, official interpreter for the Centauri Bassir mission.”

The Shara narrowed his eyes slightly and studied me for a brief moment. “Yes, I keep getting told about this mission, but I had not heard of it before this week. Which is why you’re here, my lady. It seems my own people insist on keeping things from me. Authorizing secret research expeditions without my consent. You will give me the answers I seek.” 

I frowned. “I am confused. I would not think the ruler of an empire would be personally conducting interrogations.”

Amrach smiled, looking me up and down and arching a regal brow. “You are correct. Normally I would leave such matters to my soldiers, but you are a...special...case. There is something about you that causes my family to disobey me, and I am curious to know what that is.”

He made toward a relatively small table and gestured toward the seat nearest me. “If you’ll have a seat, my lady. Rha’han, you may sit there, but you will not interfere with the discussion. Understood?”

Rha’han nodded and took the designated seat. “Yes, Sire.”   


Wicked Wednesday

Monday, March 16, 2020

Star Talker: Part 29: Promenade

Selima

We moved swiftly through the promenade. There were many people wandering about, tall women of various species in flowing vibrant gowns and men in opulent, richly embroidered sleeveless tunics. I gathered very quickly that we were in the literal upper echelons of the city. Rha’han’s outfit was a bit more subdued, but not quite the spartan quality of his uniform. He was dressed as a civilian today in a deep moss green tunic over black trousers. The edges of the tunic were embroidered with shining copper thread, but it was less ostentatious than many of the garments of the other men around. He had a gold armlet around his bare bicep, the one bit of jewelry he wore. The metal was twisted into a corkscrew design that mimicked the horns curling back from his brow around his head. The wide leather belt that cinched his waist had the same copper embroidery as his shirt.

We did not go unnoticed as we walked. I noted several people openly stared at us. Several men looked on Rha’han with blatant disapproval, almost sneering. Others were more content to stare at me, anywhere except my eyes, of course. When they noticed the brand on my chest, a few looked startled and scurried off. 

“Do they always look at you like that?” 

Rha’han sighed. “On this floor? Yes. The cuff,” he said, tapping the coiled armlet, “is the only thing that keeps them from insulting me outright.” 

“Then why do you live up here?” 

Rha’han frowned at nothing in particular, not looking at me. “My father is a bit of a contradictory sort. He only begrudgingly acknowledges me as his son, and really only because the Shara forced the issue. His wife hates me and half hates him for the whole thing. Although, I have younger brothers, so it's apparently a productive hate.” He snorted, but the sound didn’t hold much mirth. “He won’t allow me to live on lower floors where the people are less...inhospitable.”

I wrinkled my nose. “Allow you? You’re a fucking adult. How old are you anyway?”

He smiled a bit then, looking down at me. “I am thirty-eight. But, my father is a fahim and I am just a soldier, so my age has little relevance to what that man can and cannot control. Unwanted spawn or not, he can’t have anyone of his get living amongst commoners. It simply isn’t done.”

I stopped and squinted up at him, surprised at his age. I hadn’t much noticed before, but suddenly I could see the faint lines at the corners of his eyes. Well, that explained a bit more of the chemistry between us. I did have a habit of preferring my men well-seasoned. 

“You don’t look thirty-eight,” I said after a moment of awkward staring.

He laughed. “Do you know what typical thirty-eight year old Lo’Rahni men look like?” 

“No.”

 “Then what rubric are you using? Terrans? I say, you certainly don’t look twenty-four, but, then, I don’t know what a typical twenty-four year old Terran looks like either.” His face broke into a lecherous grin. “Because you are anything but typical.” 

I flushed a bit, slightly embarrassed by the sexual heat plain in his eyes. “Wait!” I said, frowning. “How do you know I’m twenty-four?”

He blinked, eyes widening a fraction. “Oh, um, it was in your medical records. Your med bracelet has your birth date.” 

I squinted at him again, suspiciously. My date of birth would certainly have been on my med bracelet, but the doctor on the ship hadn’t mentioned it, and I figured Rha’han had more important things to do than scrutinize my medical records.

We finally came to a large, oddly ornate, lift tube. Two soldiers stood guard to either side of the door. Both were a full head taller than Rha’han, white horns jutting out from the sides of their heads and sweeping up to the sky. They were fully armed, with pulse guns at their hips and the hilts of what I assumed were blades sticking out over their shoulders. They nodded to Rha’han and let us pass, never once seeming to look at me.

“I don’t know whether to be offended they didn’t acknowledge my presence or happy they didn’t leer at me like the others,” I said as we stood next to each other, alone in the lift. 

“They know better than to cast eyes on what is mine. They actually have respect.” I wanted to protest the possessiveness of his words, but the irritation in his voice held me back. Clearly he’d noticed all the leering too.

We stepped from the lift into a sizable lobby area. Plush burgundy armchairs filled the room, settled around glass top coffee tables set with golden centerpieces. Another two guards stood before a clear door that led into a hall lined with portraits. 

“Captain,” they said in unison, nodding at Rha’han. 

“Our presence has been requested by His Radiance,” Rha’han said formally.

“Yep, you’re expected. Gimme a sec,” said the one to the left. He tapped his ear piece. “Captain Malikar has arrived...yes, they’re both here.” 

A few moments later, an alien of the same species as Daesha and Daila came walking down the hallway. This one was taller and broader through the shoulders than either of Rha’han’s slaves, so I assumed this one was male. His scales were the color of fresh blueberries, glinting with a silvery flash. His fins were longer and wider than the women’s, the blue gradually changing to a blood red hue towards the ends. Though much leaner than his Lo’Rahni masters, he had the look of a fighter about him. A gold collar encircled his throat, with a crimson djinn key dangling from it.

“Captain,” he said as the door slid open. He turned to me and bowed. “Rha’hana. This way.” The fish man turned and led them down the hall. 

Rha’hana, hmm? I’d have to ask about that later. 

Rha’han took my hand and moved it to lay atop his upper left arm as he held it out before him. I allowed him to arrange me as he pleased, as he would be far more familiar with this situation than I. The book I’d flipped through in Rha’han’s absence yesterday had given me a bit of a refresher on my childhood lessons, but better to let him take the lead here. I needed to observe the field before I made my move. 

Rha’han stopped us in front of another door, this one standing open. The slave stepped forward into the room ahead of us, bowing deeply at the waist. 

“Your Radiance. Captain Malikar and Rha’hana Selima.”

Rha’han stepped past the slave, leading us into the room. He slammed his right fists to his chest in salute and bowed. 

Wicked Wednesday

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Masochistic Meditation

I have always been a quiet person when it comes to experiencing sensations. When you start masturbating at an early age, you learn to do so quietly so you don't get caught. It's been an issue in the past. Most men/doms like noise. I've had to make a conscious effort to be more vocal during sexual encounters because I know they like it.

I remember the first time I played. It was a flogging from a couple I met on Fetlife. Somewhere in the middle, the dom leaned in and said "You can make noise, you know."

But the thing is, I am an observer. A student of sensation, if you will. I like to process things. When I get hit with a new toy, I feel it. I process it. I try to guess what the implement is. I can frustrate the shit out of someone trying to mindfuck me when I eventually figure out what the toy is and in the middle just shout it out. This is part of why I'm quiet. I'm doing silent analysis in my head. I do it when I go to shows too. I'm not a loud, interactive audience member. I watch intently because I want to absorb it all.

There's also the meditative aspect of pain. I've never been good at static meditation. My mind goes in 300 different directions at any given moment. Clearing my mind is...well...difficult. But pain gives me a focus. It gives me something in which to revel. Impact play sends me into this sort of zen meditation where I can just let everything go and just feel.

So, I tend to be quiet. I've entered this peaceful realm where there's nothing but sensation. The sadness goes away. The headache goes away. I've nothing to do but to process what's happening. I can get more vocal as the scene progresses or gets more intense, but for the most part, in the beginning, I'm just enjoying the peace of it.

Of course, every top is different. They all have different styles, different energies. I have different levels of connection with each. And a first play session, a lot that silence is me processing their style. I feel, I think, I get a sense of their energy. I study them intensely.

I know this can be frustrating to a top looking for the reaction. But it takes me a while to warm up, so to speak. Once we hit a certain point, the reactions are more noticeable. Or once we have played several times, things start to become easier, or more comfortable. You just have to let me buffer for a little bit.

And, of course, with a sexual partner, things are vastly different, because the headspace is completely different.

I'm mostly a quiet bottom. But don't worry if you play with me. If I don't like something, I'll say so. And if I start crying, as long as I don't say anything, it's fine. It's probably a good thing.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Star Talker: Part 28: The Citadel

Selima

We stepped out of the apartment and it was all I could do not to dart around looking at everything. The apartment opened up into a round sort of courtyard with a network of decorative fountains arranged around an aperture in the floor. Light beamed down from the ceiling, a bright natural light unlike the soft fluorescence of the bulbs inside. I looked up to see the next several floors had the same aperture, ending in a skylight on the roof. Plants were arranged around the edges of the fountains, fed by the crystal clear water spouting from the mouths of Lo’Rahni animals and the hands of beautiful Lo’Rahni women captured in marble. 

I came to the edge of one of the fountains, peering at the plants. Mushrooms mixed in with the greenery, which glowed with a gentle blue light. They would brighten as the daylight waned, lighting up the hall with their bioluminescence. Brightly colored fish swam in the fountains. They reminded me of Daesha and Daila with their billowing fins and vivid jewel tones.

The air smelled of water and the outdoors. I closed my eyes and inhaled, missing my morning ritual at the facility where I would go help tend the gardens outside. I relished those tasks unlike any other, because going outdoors was not an option on the stations, where everything smelled of plastic and bleach. The greenhouses were sufficient in a pinch, but there was nothing like walking on a cool bed of grass in bare feet and digging your toes into the damp earth. There was nothing like the scent of a flowing river nearby or the wind playing with your hair. After over a decade inside of a metal box floating through space, even a few moments in the sun were better than the best sex I’d ever had.

Rha’han’s hand landed lightly on my shoulder. I looked up to see him smiling down at me. The look in his eyes was different than I’d seen before. The sexual heat wasn’t there, nor was the frustration. It was a relaxed expression, almost joy-like. I turned back and reached down into the water to pet one of the fish. A large creature the color of sapphires, with a trailing veil of sparkling fins. It didn’t dart off the moment I touched it. It almost seemed pleased with my fingers trailing over its smooth, scaly back.

“Come, Selima. We need to go,” Rha’han rumbled behind me. “There are more interesting things to see, anyway.” He took my hand with one hand, and gently placed another against my back, guiding me down the corridor and out of the residential areas.

Everything became brighter as we stepped into the central promenade. From the way it looked, the citadel was formed in the shape of a wheel, the residential areas forming the spokes, the circular promenades composing the hub. For there were many, many floors. The center of each was open, all the way up to the roof, where it was open to the sky. It was raining a bit, the water falling down through the massive opening in the floor down to whatever lay at the bottom. I sped toward the glass-paned balustrade and peered up, enjoying the cool mist of the water falling from the sky.

Trees ringed the opening in the roof, and vines hung like elegant drapes from the edges of the aperture. Water dripped from the vines to water the garden sills that lined the outside of the balustrades. The excess water seeped from each sill down into the next below. I leaned over the railing to look down to see a dozen or more floors. We appeared to be on one of the upper floors.

“The trees on the rooftop gardens provide a shield for the weather. The vines help catch the waters to naturally irrigate the plants lining the nexus,” Rha’han said, coming up behind me. His hands settled lightly on my hips. “The plants here are air-filtering plants. There are terrace farms that rim the outside of the citadel, and a few garden areas on the rooftop. There are traditional farms in the fields outside of the citadel, of course, but we try to produce as much as we can within. Actually, the rainwater goes down to the bottom floor to feed the hydroponic farms where we get much of our fish. That’s also where the water filtration facility is located.”

He pressed his fingers against my shoulder, pulling me back out of the spray of the water.  “The roof level has the public gardens I mentioned, a ship dock that is almost exclusively used by the royal house, and a small solar farm. We have solar panels lining the edges of the outer terraces, and more solar farms in the outlying areas. The citadel itself is built on top of an underground river, so that’s where we get most of our water.”

I peered back at him. “Why are you telling me this?”

An uncertain expression briefly passed over his face. “I figured you would like to know. You’ll be living here as well, so you should know how the place operates.”

I leaned back over as far as I could to look down into the expanse below. “Didn’t you get in trouble for breaking security yesterday?”

He yanked me back, suddenly, picking me up and setting me down away from the rail. “Much of that is information that can be easily picked up on your satellites. None of this is secret information. Besides,” he said, eyebrow arching as he stared sternly down at me, “I will not be allowing anymore security breaches from you, miiyah.” He took my hand again. “Come. It’s unwise to leave my uncle waiting.”



Wicked Wednesday

Monday, March 2, 2020

Star Talker: Part 27: To Arms


Selima

So much of me was sore as I stood in front of the mirror in the bathroom, trying to cover the bruise on my throat. Rha’han had been true to his word and had sent Daila to the store to buy me some makeup. The woman had peered at me for a few minutes, touching parts of my face, and then whisked off in a flurry of pink fins. For a fish lady, she had an exquisite eye for human cosmetics. The foundation she picked matched my skin perfectly. The lip stain was the color of wine, sultry without being garish. The eye palettes were vibrant and shimmering, full of vivid greens and blues and an exceptionally rich gold. I had my own delicate stick of kohl and some sort of gold powder that I assumed was meant to mimic the shimmer of Lo’Rahni skin.

I was fairly liberal with the kohl, painting dark lines around my eyes, forming one into the eye of Horus. The lids were thickly layered with vibrant gold and accented with a beautiful sapphire blue that glimmered in the light. I highlighted my cheeks and temples with the gold powder and stained my lips the color of maasi berry wine. It had been a while since I’d had cause to wear makeup, so I didn’t know if my skills would still be up to snuff, but I was pleased with how the look turned out. I had Daesha pull my hair back to cascade down from my crown in loose waves. I was rather proud of my hair, even if I kept it braided most of the time for convenience.

Rha’han appeared in the mirror behind me while I was trying to cover the bruise he’d left on my throat.

“Leave it. We can match,” he said, grinning. I looked up to see a bruise darkening on his own neck from our tussle in the study yesterday. I licked one of my stunted fangs, a little embarrassed.

“Yours isn’t from sex though,” I said, frowning at him in the mirror.

“I wear my battle scars proudly.”

“You should be real proud of the one on your forehead, then,” I said with a smirk, continuing to dab at the bruise with foundation.

His eyes widened, and he hunched over, examining the round purple splotch between his brows. “Son of a bitch,” he said, poking at it.

I snickered, earning myself a hard swat.

“Hey!” I snapped. “You got your revenge for that last night!”

“New day. New tally,” he grumbled, snatching up the small bottle of foundation and dabbing at his bruise with it.

“Well, I’m still sore, dammit.”

“Good.”

Turning with a huff, I went back into the bedroom and slipped on the teal gown, which looked as if someone had somehow turned tourmalines into a fabric. The fabric was so light and smooth, it almost felt like nothing was there at all. It was like the coolness of a freshly laundered sheet laying lightly over my skin. I pinned the left side together beneath my arm, to keep it from falling open. The right side was supported by a shoulder strap secured with a gold brooch with a deep blue gem nestled in the center. I secured it under my arm on that side too in an effort to preserve my modesty.

“If I didn’t have to take you to the old man, you’d be out of that in seconds,” Rha’han said from the doorway, holding a small chest.

His gaze never wavered as he sat the chest on the table beside me and opened the lid. I fell back into the chair near the table with an astonished thump. The twinge of pain I felt upon landing barely registered against the glitter of the chest full of jewelry. It was mostly gold in color, although I could see a few silver pieces mixed in. There were hair beads, necklaces, bangles, armlets, rings, headdresses. I sifted through them in wonderment, admiring the intricate metal work and the gleaming stones inset in some of them. I began plucking out gold pieces with blue stones.

“Most of them aren’t precious metals,” he said, watching me sort through them. “But Daila chose them for their appearance and not their price. Do you like them?”

I slipped a gold bangle with three large wire-wrapped turquoise cabochons onto my wrist. “They’re beautiful.”

Moving behind me, he plucked a small tray of hair beads from the chest and started putting them in my hair. “I figured you would want to go fully armed. I wasn’t sure what you’d like, but Daila has an eye for these things. She and Daesha used to serve one of my cousins at court, so they know all of the appropriate fashions.”

I fingered the turquoise thoughtfully. The last two days had been a whirlwind of emotion. There was no time to really think about my situation. No time to consider the loss of my old world, my colleagues, my fucking stuff. The only thing I had left of my own was my Arkiv. What I had now came from Rha’han. I resented him a bit for that. But I couldn’t deny the jewelry was a nice gift. So much of it too. So what if he was basically dressing me up like a doll to parade in front of his family? I liked shiny shit a little too much to whine about that. I also didn’t have time to dwell on loss yet. I didn’t have time to grieve. The war wasn’t over. I pinned a turquoise and gold chandelier necklace around my throat. There were still more battles to fight.

I packed all the emotions back up and slipped back into survival mode, concentrating on the feel of the cool metal against my skin. Rha’han’s hand appeared in front of me, holding a tiny open ring with delicate gold details and a vibrant blue fire opal in the center.

“It is for your nose,” he said as it took it from his palm. “My mother’s people wore them. I was hoping you might wear this one?”

I searched his gaze. There was a vulnerability there I hadn’t seen before. I looked at the tiny jewel. It was septum ring, with two little balled ends so there was no need for a piercing. There was no real reason to deny him aside from pure spite, so I put it in place. The pressure felt a little odd, but I’d get used to it. He held his lower left hand out to me. I took it and stood.

“To arms, my lady.”

Wicked Wednesday