Thursday, October 24, 2013
Candy and I sat with her for lunch today. The Matara dining hall, separate from the ship’s crew’s dining hall, is huge. It’s bigger than needed for the paltry five or six hundred Earther gals Kalquor managed to convince to come to their home world this time around. Someone said this vessel is supposed to be at troop transport that is used to cart around foot soldiers. Since most of those guys have been dumped off on Earth for now, we’re its main cargo. Katrina has named the ship, christening it the Pussy ‘Porter. “Or should it be the Vagina Vessel?” she asked us as we choked on herbed rizpah fillets.
I told you she’s not right.
It wasn’t just her crazy, in-your-face comments that had me alternating between hysterics and astonishment. The way she carried on with the Kalquorians who brought us our meals and checked on us from time to time was beyond scandalous. Katrina is not shy in any way, shape, or form. She touches the men. Blatantly. Intimately. Not one masculine rump passed by that she didn’t rub, squeeze, or pat. And the guys loved her for it. I noticed several went out of their way to guide meal carts past Katrina, walking slowly just so she could give them some attention.
“When is your next party?” one young Imdiko asked, pausing next to her. I thought he could have been her grandson, he was so sweet and fresh-faced.
Katrina grinned saucily up at him. “I’m still recovering from the last one. I haven’t made plans for tonight. Were you the one I discussed private consultations with?”
The Imdiko grinned from ear to ear. “If I say yes, will you trust me?”
“Hmm,” Katrina said, looking that muscled body up and down. “Seems you might be trying to be a little dishonest with me. I think you need to be taken in hand, young man. An hour after evening shift starts?”
“Yes, Matara.” The Imdiko walked away with a swagger in his step.
Candy’s face was beet red. “Did you just arrange to – are you going to have – is he going to spend the night in your quarters?”
Katrina looked at her with surprise. “Well, you heard how he was trying to be deceptive. That naughty boy needs a guidance.” She sighed, as if bearing the weight of the world. “I will do my part in putting him on a more honest path. It’s the least I can do for the Empire that has rescued me.”
“You have parties?” I asked, having caught that part of the Imdiko’s conversation.
“Little get togethers,” Katrina said offhandedly. “Sort of like a salon, where we have a few drinks, I inform them on the ways to make Earther girls happy, entertain questions, and gather intelligence on what makes them feel good. You two should join us at the next one. I’ll let you know when as soon as I figure out a good time to have another.”
“Is that all that happens at your parties?” Candy wanted to know. She had a suspicious look on her face. “You just talk and drink?”
“Well, it is often necessary to indulge in practical exercises. Just to demonstrate key points,” the older woman said with an unrepentant grin.
Candy looked at her as if she didn’t know whether to condemn or worship Katrina for her flagrant sexuality. For my part, I could only laugh.
Yes, the Kalquorians love Katrina. As we neared finishing our meal and the dining hall began to empty out, the guys started to congregate at our table. They flirted with our elder stateswoman with delight, and she flirted back with abandon. She was definitely the belle of the ball.
At first, Candy and I might as well have not been there. Katrina possesses so much personality that even my chatty and flirtatious friend was quiet and observing. I could almost see Candy taking mental notes on what made the men respond. I’m not sure Candy will ever manage the uninhibited joy that delighted the men paying Katrina court. I’m not sure anyone but Katrina can manage it.
But as more men gathered, I found myself amongst the crowd. A funny thing happened then. The ones closest to me abruptly turned away from the laughter and teasing going on around Katrina. They zeroed in on me.
“You are quite lovely, Matara,” said one. I think he was a Dramok. “What is your name?”
“Shalia,” I said, a bit uncomfortably. The guy’s eyes had gone really dark, the pupils widening the way I’ve noticed Kalquorians’ do when they’re getting ready to fight or have sex.
“Matara Shalia,” said an Imdiko standing at my shoulder. “You are beautiful. Do you enjoy parties like Matara Katrina does?”
He was no less avid than the Dramok. I felt like a mouse caught between two hungry and playful cats. “I’ve never been to Katrina’s parties, so I couldn’t say,” I answered. I tried to catch Candy’s eye, hoping for some help escaping the immediate vicinity. However, she was enthralled with the talk and laughter going on around Katrina.
The Dramok’s fingers stroked through my hair. I jerked, trying to move away from the unwelcome touch. He smiled apologetically.
“I’m sorry. I have not even introduced myself, Matara Shalia.” A crease appeared between his brows. “But first – you have not been claimed by a clan?”
I was getting confused and worried by the situation, which the Imdiko on my other side wasn’t helping. He stood close enough that I could feel the warmth of his body. He sounded a little impatient with the Dramok. “Of course she isn’t clanned. She’s going into the lottery or she wouldn’t be here.”
“I was concerned about the yadbis.”
“Apparently, he was unable to claim her or she didn’t want him. She’s available.”
“I’m not clanned,” I said, though something in me warned I might do better to allege I was taken. These two were just so damned intense. It was beginning to scare me.
Suddenly, Imdiko Betra was at our table. His eyes narrowed as he looked at the pair standing over me. Then he did his weird sniffing thing. Suddenly, he barked something in Kalquorian at the other two. His tone was low and threatening, and he looked every bit as feral as I’d ever seen Esak. I didn’t know an Imdiko could look that frightening, but Betra was.
Whatever he said got the attention of all the Kalquorians surrounding our table. Every purple eye was on me in an instant. More nostrils flared. Betra snarled something else, and every man, including my too-friendly pair, stepped back. Even the Dramoks in the group were listening to whatever he was telling them with attitudes of compliance.
Except for Betra, the men all bowed, turned around, and left us. Just like that. Katrina, Candy, and I stared at our liaison.
“What the hell?” Katrina asked. “You sent them all away? Why?”
“It was necessary,” the Imdiko said. “I apologize for interrupting, Mataras.”
With no more explanation than that, Betra also turned and walked off. While I’m glad he got the Amorous Twins off me, I was left as lost and irritated as my companions.
That is one strange Kalquorian.