Monday, November 4, 2013

December 10

I didn’t get the opportunity to return Betra’s gifts today because I couldn’t get him alone.  I didn’t know if it would embarrass him for me to give his stuff back in front of others, and I just couldn’t stomach the thought of humiliating him.  I know how awful I would feel if I gave someone I liked nice presents only to have them toss them back at me in front of an audience.  Eek.

What kept him (and me) busy today was a tour of the common areas of the transport.  Betra showed up in our little dining room during our breakfast.  As I think I’ve mentioned before, he’s in charge of ten of us.  I saw him talking to two of his charges, then he moved on to a group of five.  Candy and Katrina also noticed.

“I wonder what’s up?” Katrina said, sounding anything but interested.  She was back to patting alien hineys that wandered past her.  The guys smiled at her, nodded to me and Candy, and kept going this time.  Katrina looked put out.

“Hey Kalnip, your boyfriend is talking to other women,” Candy teased.

“You know, I’ve heard ronka milk is wonderful for your hair,” I responded, holding my cup threateningly over her head.

“Just kidding!” she squealed, ducking away.  “Don’t, Shalia!”

“Mataras.”  Betra’s voice ended our little squabble.

We turned to him.  He looked at us with amusement.

“Hi, Imdiko Betra,” Candy said.  “What’s the scoop?”

He gave her a confused look.  “Scoop?”

“We saw you talking to the others.  What’s going on?”

“I’m going to take you around the common area today, if you wish to go.  I believe you’ve already seen that area, Matara Katrina?”  Betra looked his most amused as he looked at the eldest of our little group.

She returned the grin.  “Oh, I’ve seen some of the sights there, all right.  I’d still like to come along and see you explain the pleasure club without blushing.”

Betra’s face went beet red.  He sighed, as if he’d expected her to embarrass him.  “We leave in an hour.”  His gaze went to me and I stiffened.  “How are you feeling today, Matara Shalia?”

“Fine, Betra.  Thanks.”

He nodded and left.  At least he didn’t do his deep breathing exercises around me for a change.

Curious and with little else to do (though I REALLY need to work on the clanning ceremony vid), Candy and I went on the tour.  Katrina did too, a secretive smile on her face.  In fact, all of the women under Betra’s care went along.  I’m not really acquainted that well with the rest of our gang, but the other women are Bethany, a former waitress; Franny, a student before Armageddon and just barely twenty years old; Ginger, a widowed housewife; and Linda, Megan, Paula, and Vonda – I have no idea what they did in their Earth lives. 

We crowded into a intership transport system – a glorified elevator, in Earther parlance – with Betra two corridors down from the Matara quarters part of the ship.  It was a tight squeeze for all of us, but we managed.  The ride took all of five seconds, so it wasn’t so bad.

We stepped out into an open circular area.  Betra called it a promenade.  It had a hologram in the center of a sun, circled by several planets.  I counted fifteen, and most of them had little moons revolving around them.  It reminded me a little of our own solar system.  That gave me an idea.

“Betra, is that the Empire’s space?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said, smiling at me.  That Imdiko is weird, but he’s a stone-cold cutie when he smiles.  I couldn’t help but return the expression.  “The tenth one from the sun?  That’s Kalquor itself.”

“It’s not as blue as Earth,” Candy said, looking at the smallish orb Betra had pointed out.  “It’s got a green tinge.”

“Our oceans are green, but the atmosphere makes them appear a little more blue from space,” our guide affirmed.  “We’ve got colonies on most of the other planets and moons.  Not the gas giants, though.”

There were open doors and windows all around the open space.  Illuminated signs in Kalquorian hieroglyphics probably told what they were, but I had to rely on what I saw through the openings to figure out there were establishments that I guessed were stores and places to eat.   

“The shops are geared mostly for Kalquorian men, I’m afraid,” Betra told us.  “Clothes, weapons, that sort of thing.  However, you might enjoy browsing through the ones that offer beverages, foods, games...”

“Speaking of games,” Katrina broke in.  “What about the club, Betra?”

“Yeah, where can we get in on some lemanthev shows?” I asked.  “Candy is looking for a band to join.  She’s an awesome valit.”

Betra blinked, and a surprised grin spread over his face.  “Is this true, Matara Candy?  Do you howl?”

“To great amusement,” she answered dryly, giving me a dirty look.  “A large amount of alcohol has to be involved.”

Betra was laughing now, doing his stunning Kalquorian thing.  I was glad to see I wasn’t the only one who seemed a little star struck by his good looks.  The man needs to laugh more and sniff less often.

He told Candy, “I would love to hear that sometime.  Yes, we do have a club where the bands the ship’s crew has formed like to perform.  If you enjoy lemanthev music, you’ll be well pleased.”

“Enjoy is such a strong word,” I whispered to Candy and Katrina.  I was trying to keep upbeat, but the thought of lemanthev had me remembering Dusa, Esak, and Weln again.  I wondered what they were doing.  It made me sad.

“Come on, Betra.  Tell them about the other club,” Katrina insisted.

“I think perhaps you could tell them more about it than I could,” he challenged her, but his cheeks had gone pink.

Our ever-bold Katrina took him up on it.  She pointed to a small doorway, through which we could only see blackness.  “That’s a very interesting place, girls.  It’s called a pleasure club.”

“Pleasure?”  I cocked an eyebrow at her.  “Why do I have the idea you’re talking of the carnal variety?”

“Because I am,” Katrina grinned.  “You can watch or be watched.”

Ginger’s face went as red as her hair.  “You mean ... sex?”

Katrina snickered at our shocked faces.  “Betra, take a still.  I want to remember these looks forever.”

He shook his head at her, but he wore an indulgent smile.  “You are more woman than should be allowed to walk around free, Matara.”  He turned to the rest of us.  “The playrooms are glassed in, so you can go in and watch people indulge in sexual intercourse.  Some of it can be rough, so be warned before you let your curiosity take you inside.  There are those who enjoy being restrained and even marked by straps or whips.”

Bethany was pale.  “Are people raped?”

Betra shook his head emphatically.  “Absolutely not.  What happens in there is strictly consensual.  The staff of that club makes sure everyone who plays does so willingly.  If you do choose to visit the pleasure club, no one will force you to do anything.”  His gaze flicked to me, and he quickly looked away.  “However, I do not recommend you go in alone.  Just to be safe, I would ask you to remain in a group of at least three, especially if you are impairing yourselves with alcohol.  One should remain sober enough to look out for the rest.”

There were many worried glances exchanged.  Only Katrina looked delighted at the prospect.  Candy looked a bit curious, but she also seemed a little scared.  I was curious too. 

Katrina had another word for the wise.  “You should also remember that there are more men than women on this tub, and very few of us gals go in.  I have yet to hear of any women playing.  It’s all men with each other.”

Betra nodded.  “That’s right.”

Candy leaned close to Katrina.  “You mean you haven’t gone in there and given them all a show yet?”

“I haven’t found anyone who will go in to chaperone me so far.”  She sighed wistfully.  “Like Betra said, it’s best to not be the only woman among a bunch of men who don’t get to be with females too often.  I’m free with my pleasures, but I’m not stupid.”

“Well, I’m not going in there,” Candy muttered.  “Surrounded by all those men ... wanting to do stuff ... tying a girl up ... having sex in front of everyone else ... no way.”   She shivered and licked her lips.

I wonder which Katrina will convince Candy to do first – attend one of her orgy parties or the pleasure club.  Our eldest grinned at me behind Candy’s back.  I could practically see the wheels turning in her head as she no doubt wondered the same thing.


  1. Okay Tracy, you have all of us on pins and needles. What going on with Shalia and her mysterious smell. Is or is she not preggers? Please tell us.

  2. I love this! I am really enjoying hearing about everyday live on the transport to Kalquor.