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|◦•●◉✿ DARK NINE CHAPTER 1 ✿◉●•◦ |
I didn’t know I’d find my mate through my darkest instincts, or that I was even on that path since the beginning of my instinctual journey.
Usually everything was so simple here on Earth – it was only difficult if you didn’t obey.
Technology organised the chaos.
However, humans were still spiritual with unpredictable ties to the dark matter of the universe, so we had to organise that too… well, kind of.
Humans had evolved to survive by perfecting Our Technocracy in the Universe to co-exist with each other and all other planetary systems who were in contact with us.
We also called our beloved human government system simply; Our Tcno.
Free will power was kept through the declaration of the Dark Light Constitution.
The Light was the enlightened choice through the Tcno’s intelligence. The Dark was instinct. Either option had to be recorded on your file, but nothing was recorded post-decision if you chose the Dark Path.
To keep Tcno basic rather than overbearing, only nine major life decisions were monitored by the Tcno, and all these decisions were made when you were 12 years old.
You would note Dark or Light.
Decision One. Privacy. [ Dark ] [ Light]
Decision Two. Health. [ Dark ] [ Light]
Decision Three. Education. [ Dark ] [ Light]
Decision Four. Social Circles. [ Dark ] [ Light]
Decision Five. Super Powers. [ Dark ] [ Light]
Decision Six. Philosophy. [ Dark ] [ Light]
Decision Seven. Mate. [ Dark ] [ Light]
Decision Eight. Taxes. [ Dark ] [ Light ]
Decision Nine. FDW [Final Death Wishes]. [ Dark ] [ Light ]
The most common Dark decisions were for 6, 8 and 9. Light for all the others ensured a fulfilled life with limited danger and maximum safety.
To be a Dark Three – choosing three dark choices over enlightened choices – was normal. 75% of the population chose these set principles.
To be a Dark Four, Five, Six, Seven or Eight always had inconsistent data. There was no annual statistic that matched the previous year. We didn’t really understand the inconsistent data, but it did prove, to most, that we had free will because of the constant inconsistencies in choice.
However, one statistic was finite. To be a Dark Nine was impossible. No one was a Dark Nine, because if you were a Dark Nine you were removed from Our Tcno.
There was nothing on the outside.
You were marched outside the walls of Our Tcno and never heard from again.
Your rights vanquished, so even if you were executed, nothing could stop it – as you lost all your rights in the system.
There is one small loop hole, however, to leap from the Dark Eight, into the Dark Nine category, choosing instinct over Our Tcno’s intelligence.
It’s the loop hole that comes with Decision Seven.
It was the only decision you had to make twice.
It was only a preliminary decision at 12, hell, because you were 12, noting whether you wanted Tcno to choose the mate for you later on in your life, or whether you would choose on instinct alone, could be flexible.
Of course, choosing a mate happened at all kinds of ages into adulthood. And for me, today I was 21 years old, standing on a directed physical path way that split between two doors.
I was already a Dark Eight in Our Tcno system.
I only chose Light for who would be my mate, as it was the only loophole in the system to get out of this place alive.
Technically, through gene analysis, personality data and more – Our Tcno could match you with someone you could consider a soulmate. A near perfect match.
But if you chose the Dark.
Or if you chose to be a Dark Nine in adulthood– something very different happened when you were thrust outside the city limits.
You were not killed. Rather, you were sold for profit, usually to an intergalactic planetary species who desired human companionship for whatever reason or value it would bring to them.
I was looking to be sold for a different reason.
I genuinely believed I owed the Kors my life.
The Kors resided on the Dark Ninth, their unique planet.
When I was a week away from turning 12 years old, I fell ill with the virus everyone seemed to get when they were a few weeks off from turning twelve and receiving the Dark Light Constitution.
The only way to be healed from this age-related virus, was to enter into the health system and receive the cure. Our Tcno did not hide that they developed the virus specifically to convince you that you needed their superior health protection, as it was their direct, open and honest way of proving they could engineer a cure for literally anything, hence, securing your long and prosperous life.
By some miracle, I healed on my own from a Kors Herb called Jace.
How I received it, I have no idea, all I know is I had it at the time, I consumed it, and I got better.
It healed me to full strength – only because it didn’t kill me. And it also gave me a special superpower. Enhanced Instincts. Sounds lame, but it was pretty cool. I’d tell you all about it later.
Right now, I had to make my last decision on the seventh choice.
“Choose the Dark or the Light, sister,” Brie asks me to choose, a helpful Tcno government employee running the Mate Sort. I was next in line.
I walk forward now toward two doors, light or dark.
Behind the light door, is a helpful lure – a glass panel allowing me a look into Our Tcno’s choice for me.
And of course, I see a tall, waiting man, who I do find extraordinarily attractive. I doubt he is human, but a subspecies, basically an alien able to mate with me. I can tell he is inhuman by the way his skin is slightly dark tan and greenish and sparkly. It’s hard to define but he is definitely not an OG human like me. He is trying hard to keep in a smile of excitement as his eyes sparkle with my initial approach.
However, when I take my first step toward the Dark instead – Brie calls out.
“Mars is your perfect match, Diana. Please don’t disappoint him, he has been waiting for you for some years.”
I ignore Brie, although I do look to see Mars’ face change completely as he notices my feet moving off the path.
His mouth flattens, his dark handsome eyes worry, expressing everything from being invested, concerned and possessive. Wow.
I’ll admit one thing… I kind of like that look. Possessive.
But… I knew this part of the journey would be a challenge, I just had to resist!
I may very well believe he and I would have the perfect chemistry, considering the initial butterflies I feel inside my stomach right now just interacting with him through a glass panel, fifteen feet away…
The strings forging between us right now, do nothing to absolve the heavy weight inside my gut, telling me to run for the Dark.
I take another step toward the Dark choice.
“Is it because the forbidden option is the desirable one?” Brie asks me, truly curious.
I answer her briefly now, with a single, “No.”
“Why?” Brie now calls out to me with quiet panic.
I don’t look back at Mars, a little scared I might just think twice if we make a longer connection.
I focus on Brie entirely instead as I answer her again, “I should.”
“Should? If it’s a question of morals, shouldn’t you go to the love who will be perfect for you, and he for you?” Brie asks, before going strangely quiet, listening to a voice in her ear, titling her head, she then presses a button on her necklace.
I turn around as what I think should be forbidden – now bursts through the Light door.
Mars is let through, and I get the shock of my life when he stalks for me.
I have to look away as I also realise he isn’t just anyone.
Dressed in Tcno’s Elite-Donor grey on white suit, with black shoes so shiny they almost reflect perfectly like a mirror, I am basically watching a high exec of not just Our Tcno but from the Universal Board, standing in my way.
He was ultimately super fucking rare.
Like, so fricken rare, it was really hard to even possibly imagine how we ended up mates.
I carefully and tentatively look Mars over again, head to toe.
My blood is feeling hot and cold all at once.
He holds his arms at his sides, in a relaxed but stiff pose and I can’t look above his pockets, his dark eyes are just too intimidating.
“You can’t stop me choosing,” I remind him, carefully… I get a sudden urge to lock eyes with him, to dare it.
I gulp as I look up to catch his dark, now rather sharpened eyes.
“It’s your choice,” Mars agrees, and his voice is like beautiful poison to my ears – even his natural smell is too damn clean and deep for me to consider all the notes within, without falling, “…but I’d like to think you could choose to stay…”
“Why?” I ask him straight.
“Because it’ll be good.”
Mars holds out a hand for me, even though his tone didn’t sound pleasant or even too sure.
Fuck. Some kind of resolve inside me snaps.
No! I can’t believe this is happening – but I can’t leave him without an invitation.
“Well… I don’t want anything on record,” I whisper that as an indirect invitation; come get me – but not like this. Not here.
Mars’ hand freezes in the air between us, my words must have sent a shock through him, just as much as they sent my own nerves off the deep end.
I side step around him and quickly unlock the Dark.
When I push through the door, I quickly step through and shut the door behind me.
I see what’s on the other side is simply an ET, an express teleportation device.
The location is set to unknown.
Whoever is buying Dark Nines, that’s where I’ll go.
Hopefully off planet.
I step through, walking straight to my next destination.
Just like that – I’m through… and where I end up… is kind of… well… purest luck.
I didn’t expect it to be this at all.
I stare wide eyed at the unique dark flora around me, in a green house style palace, or castle, or whatever this place is. I’m in the throne room, staring at all the green.
As a Dark Nine, I’m unironically on Dark Ninth; the planet I always dreamed of going to.
The Kors lived here.
A planet that was always dark, the light only being sent by their three distant moons and the luminescent plants, which all sparkled.
What’s more, is this planet was peaceful.
I look behind me but the portal is shut.
There is one more ‘problem’, however.
Our Tcno had the technology to send Mars back through space, back in time if need be – to achieve interception with a target, such as me.
And, well, guess what.
I didn’t expect Mars to be a fucking Kor.
I’m not alone.
He went back in time to beat me back to this location.
Mars is sitting on the throne, at the top of a steep staircase overgrown with purple metallic vines, looking down at me, dressed in tribal Kor clothes, no suit – and all his muscles are pretty much on display.
He is now ten times more drool worthy.
I mean, I did invite him to woo me outside the system, if he so dared… so I shouldn’t be so damn surprised, but here I am… and here he is.
“I guess you don’t like the females on Dark Ninth?” I speak up to him, so far above me, hoping to sound somewhat cheerful.
“Females are forbidden from this place. We are an exclusively male planet. I joined Tcno to find a mate. We can breed with humans,” Mars answers me, with such little words, but so much information, I just gape and try to formulate a question.
“Why am I here again?” I ask, almost forgetting I walked through the portal myself, but the Kors did technically buy me from Earth… so I did ask the right question. Huh. Okay. I did. I just need to remember to breathe.
“We can breed with humans… and –” Mars repeats himself and also talks a bit slower for me, but I already interrupt him, because if he is insistent on breeding, I didn’t want to just bend over like a clueless idiot.
“Well, I’m sorry but I don’t want to be–”
“There is no desire to make you do anything, we do not chase…” Mars interrupts me back, now eagerly awaiting my reply.
“Oh?” Is all I ask, raising a brow back to him.
“The backlog to get to this planet has a waitlist of over a million female subspecies,” Mars half shrugs, “We have no shortage.”
“Why don’t you let that eager lot flood in? You’d have all the choices in the world,” I am also truly curious why this planet is exclusively male… so strange.
“We do let them in,” Mars explains, “But you didn’t let me finish.”
“Our choice sustenance is female kind, preferably of those we mate with,” Mars sounds… amused.
I blink rapidly as I try to process what he just said.
I rephrase it back to him, with a question.
“You want to eat your mates?” I ask, “Like, as food?”
“Some female species consume their mates, sometimes that concept is reversed,” Mars laughs now, deep, dark, and ultra sexy.
Oh… fuck me… my heart beat slows.
I now rapidly find the fact I find him sexy, utterly disturbing.
“Are you trying to tell me, there’s a waitlist of females trying to get to Kors… just to die?” I squeak that last part out. Mars doesn’t seem to want to answer that, looking away and chewing on it. Why am I about to ask this… fuck it, “…raw or cooked…?” I instantly regret asking it, and Mars seems more amused but also refuses to answer that, “Do you, uh, do you eat anything else?” I ask, suddenly my heart is wanting to race, and I rather have some of my fears assuaged.
“Fruit,” Mars answers, nodding as he thinks about it.
“How do you… eat people when… you… sorry, you look human, like an omni –” omnivore, except I can’t finish, because Mars smiles wide for me to show me his teeth, and there’s probably two extra canines on each side, razor sharp – so six shredders… I guess the others are for crushing bone – ew… but also, damn it, how come his teeth look sexy to me?! “What do your kind do if you have a daughter –?”
“We send them away,” Mars explains, quietly and closed off – as if he doesn’t want to discuss that part.
“I’m… confused… am I going to die?” I ask, laughing slightly, while holding my elbow with one hand and twisting one ankle back and forth as my eyes try to slyly scan for exits, knowing damn well I can’t outrun that beast on the throne.
“No?” Mars answers me… just far too late and far too coy.
He even tries to hide his curling smile with his hand as he leans his chin on his palm, his eyes now looking me over slow… calculated…
I saw him do that in Our Tcno.
It was flirty then.
Now it’s something else entirely.
“I’ve never met a Dark Nine,” Mars quickly changes topic, when he sees me looking very hard for the closest and quickest exit.
“I guess that makes me… unique?” I ask, hopefully, “And rare – very rare, probably won’t meet another one, for a very, very long time,” so don’t kill me and maybe you can keep me around just to pick my brain, at the very least?
I ask all the rest of that through my eyes, projecting my feeble hopes out at him.
“Diana,” Mars says my name, distracting me again, “Why don’t you explore this place… the others already know not to touch you.”
“Oh,” I gulp, feeling slightly relieved, “And how many more of you are here?”
“On the planet?” Mars asks, “Nine of us.”
“Nine?” I ask, now just confused by the number.
“Yes, Nine of us,” Mars agrees again, “Venus, Mercury, Terra, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.”
“Are you Gods?” I ask.
Mars shakes his head slowly but still I feel like that doesn’t deny anything.
I start to walk backwards, genuinely afraid to turn my back on him.
I really, really hate it when he answers me with silence or tiny shrugs or shakes of the head… or worse, amused smiles.
I prefer words.
I don’t know how to say goodbye to him so I just walk out the way behind me.
He watches me go, but nothing dramatic happens, he is just curious, I guess?
I guess I can hope that curiosity will keep me alive a little longer.
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|◦•●◉✿ DARK NINE CHAPTER 2 ✿◉●•◦ |
Planet: Dark Ninth, Species: Kors, Population: 9, Designation: A Peaceful Eden
This place was truly a shadowed paradise, with the green of the plants being dark, sparkly, tending toward purple, reds and some blues but mostly greens. The moss on the rocks was bright silver. The architecture was probably hundreds of thousands of years old.
The Dark Ninth Palace is not guarded, because there are no enemies.
It was just propped up on a hilltop with little wind, and every side showed the expansive planet-wide forest system.
I do wonder how such a civilisation got to this point, especially when I see the ruins of a much larger city, expanding out into the forests beyond.
In other words, there used to be more than 9 male specimens of the Kor species, but somehow they are all that was left?
I hadn’t wandered very far, a little nervous to explore when I wasn’t familiar with untamed wild nature on this scale before.
I sit on one of the boundary walls, legs dangling over as I just soak up the forest beyond.
The sky is full of stars, a neighbouring galaxy lights up a lot of the sky. The major light source however are the three moons lined up in a perfect straight axis. They all look equal in size to Earth’s moon.
The gravity was slightly denser than Earth, so I felt the way every movement I took was slowed down slightly. It was nothing I couldn’t get used to, though.
When I was 12 and ate the Jace herb from this planet, the superpower I was open to receive at puberty, was influenced by that herb.
Not only did I never get sick again, I had Enhanced Instincts. It was probably useless and intangible to others, but for me, it just meant I was always right when I sensed something coming my way. I could prepare to avoid danger, whether it was from another person, or sensing a natural disaster.
It purely served my own selfish defences.
Super powers for human kind were always in a few categories, enhances senses, such as eyesight, taste, smell, etc. Or you could choose speed or strength enhancements. For me, I guess I was spiritually enhanced.
It made sense, then, that I was somehow matched perfectly with a Kor.
They were deeply instinctual and so was I.
I still couldn’t really comprehend how they mated with females and consumed them afterwards. That concept is so creepy it makes my skin crawl.
But to be fair, the universe was very, very strange, and it was just the way their own evolution unfurled… I guess?
Below me is a path into the Dark Forest.
Behind me is the Dark Palace.
It was steep, that’s the best way I could describe it. The steps were too tall, the height of the walls was too high, the structure was very rectangular, with no turrets or pretty feminine architecture, almost like a prison honestly. It was too masculine, but the beauty was brought in from the nature, which crawled over everything and brought in dim glittery light and a soft touch.
I find comfort in the sense that I don’t feel threatened; and I can trust my Enhanced Instincts on that at least.
It was the logic in this place that was scaring me.
I was a female and a potential mate – but technically I could only be a mate if I was willing. As Mars said, they did not chase.
So… very logically… I just had to resist and deny the Kor Mars.
I was just scared that I couldn’t resist.
I can only imagine and wonder what the others are like. Strangely named after the planets in my home solar system, I wonder if they drew inspiration from our home… especially since Mars was incorporated into Our Tcno as a High Elite-Donor.
That meant he provided assistance to human kind, in return for favours… perhaps such as females for… food; ew, it’s so gross.
I am wearing a black shirt and black pants and black shoes, my blonde hair is straight and just past my shoulders and I have hazel eyes. My skin is pale to the point it’s kind of translucent, I’ve always hated it, as I couldn’t tan without burning, and now I just stuck out like a dish plate in the perpetual darkness of this place. It makes me ultra self-conscious.
But aside from my basic girly instincts and feelings, I had to work out my plan of survival.
The reason I aspired to be a Dark Nine was, I think, mostly influenced by ingesting the Jace herb.
I remember the taste of it, flying through my senses and my blood, changing my system to be stronger, better and more alert.
So more than freedom, I wanted out of Our Tcno to search for my potential… whatever that was.
Our Tcno wasn’t an evil system, it was the best humankind could come up with to ensure both our survival and happiness.
But there was always the 1% who needed to choose the thrilling option, too, right?
The strange and weird and unknown, which called us to be explorers and adventurers.
So technically I achieved my greatest goal, having an adventure off Earth.
I got exactly what I wished for.
So I should be happy – and I was. I was happy.
I was just… I don’t know.
There was a whole other factor working in my life now; the will of the Kors on this planet.
If they were hungry, I had pretty much accepted, if they decided to eat me, I’m fucked and doomed.
That thought makes my mind go quiet.
A new abrasive feeling dares to touch my strong-willed mind.
It’s a feeling and an idea, that is only quiet because it is exactly that… it’s the idea of submission to a stronger fate… or nine of them.
Is this what it felt like to be a lamb trembling before a wolf, casually hunting down its next dinner, and the lamb knows it’s pointless to try anything, so it just stands and trembles and goes quiet before it’s killed?
I really, really hoped that wasn’t the feeling entering my system now.
The only true way out, if I needed one, was to find an ET portal.
If Mars came and went from the Dark Ninth… an ET was present.
I hold onto that notion, that there was a backdoor, I just had to find it.
I jump down off the wall, and I turn from the beautiful glimmering darkness of the forest, to face the prison – I mean palace.
As I walk back inside along a narrow path, I now take note of all the rooms inside this place on the bottom floor.
There are a lot of doorless ‘cells’, so many were empty, it seemed odd… they had a purpose a long time ago, I just don’t know what.
The rest were big open spaces, that led straight down toward the middle room, which was the throne room where Mars was just before.
The stairs up to the next levels seemed to get darker and lonelier, so I hadn’t found any confidence to climb up to those areas just yet.
I wander back into the throne room, but Mars is gone.
I feel watched in here, however, I feel watched from up above.
I strain my neck to look up, where multiple balconies from the higher levels look down on this hall, and the feeling of being watched goes away as I search for the watcher.
I suck in a nervous breath as I move toward the nearest spiralling staircase, and I brave the steep climb, using palms and feet to climb up.
I had aimed to get off at the second level, but I enjoy the movement of climbing and end up winding my way to the very top, until I’m at the fourth and final level.
Up here, I see sparkling rays of moonlight, shining in through small windows, none of which are large enough to even stick a head through. I find their tiny little windows, very odd, but at least they let in enough light to see where I’m going.
I walk past more empty rooms, until I finally find a space that isn’t so boring.
I’m peeking in at a stone library.
At the centre, is a globe sized rock, floating above a podium like an artefact on display at a museum.
It softly spins naturally in slow motion.
The rest of the stone library shelves are empty of actual books, but still this place feels like it’s full of wisdom.
I walk right up to the floating globe, and my eyes scan over the surface features, wondering why it looks so familiar.
I look under its side until I see a faint outline of the Great Red Spot – Jupiter’s infinite storm.
This is the planet in Earth’s solar system, the Jupiter, and I don’t think it’s just a model on display.
I realise the closer I look at it, the less solid it appears.
It’s more like dense gas.
I swear on my life, I’m not actually going to touch it, but I can’t help but point out a finger and hover it closer to its surface, especially that iconic storm.
As my finger hovers a bit closer, I hear angry footfalls coming in through the entry behind me.
I have already snapped my hand back and jumped around to see another member of the Kors striding through.
This must be Jupiter.
A little taller than Mars, he is still giant. His skin is a grey metallic, almost a matte-silver, his snarling razor teeth are so white and shiny they seem robotic almost… or just godly.
Jupiter doesn’t just scold me, he is striding over to clearly manhandle me out of the room, I can tell from the way his eyes don’t just focus on my eyes, they slash through me, back and forth with menacing intent as I don’t – thankfully – stand still like a terrified lamb.
Instead, I try to run so fast for the exit, my feet skid along the moist stones, and I trip onto my palms and onto one knee.
I hate that I’ve fallen in front of one of the Kors, but it’s too late now to blush in front of the predator.
I lunge back up to my feet and run back for the exit, only spinning to see Jupiter focusing on what I left behind.
My left shoe fell off at his feet, and it was enough of a distraction for Jupiter to consider it like a strange thing he has never seen before. I hold onto the side of the archway leading to his library room, and I gaze back in longingly for what is mine.
Jupiter snaps his gaze out to see me looking in at my property.
He leans down, picks up my shoe – and frisbees the damn thing out of the room, so hard and so fast it flies out over the throne room and somehow gets stuck on a jutting curve in the strange architecture.
I look up at it, knowing I’ll never get it back now.
Fucking asshole. I am genuinely pissed that he was so fucking rude about it.
I glare back in at Jupiter for a second, but only because I can’t ignore my hurt pride.
“That was unnecessary,” I scold him, somehow managing that while feeling my adrenaline spike as Jupiter’s black eyes narrow and he suddenly looks rather unsatisfied by my retreat.
I quickly turn and end up barging right into Mars’ front. He snuck up on me!
I didn’t sense him at all, as he didn’t feel like danger to me, but I’m still caught off guard after face planting directly into his abs, my hands now laid flat on his waist, feeling his heat.
“Careful, Diana. Remember, you’re not meant to be here,” Mars speaks over me, totally okay with us being flush.
“Hey, you bought me,” I snap up at him.
“It’s only temporary,” Mars somehow appears both perfectly cheeky and handsome as he says that.
“Seriously?” I pull back a large step, but his hands quickly rich out and smoothly slide over my wrists, immediately shackling me to him, so I can’t leave the conversation so soon.
“…I said to stay on Terra…” Mars whispers now, raising a slightly annoyed brow.
“Ah – you mean Earth -? Tcno?”
“Terra – Earth, yes, they are the same. That is where you’re allowed to be, Diana,” Mars answers more sharply now, seemingly still angry that I denied him back on Earth.
“I wanted to be a Dark Nine,” I state the obvious.
“Exactly. But you’re still not allowed here, females are forbidden to settle on our planet, but for a while, it can amuse us… until it doesn’t… eventually we will have to deal with that,” his eyebrow motions to the room I just entered and escaped from. I gulp, and I stop resisting. Mars hands on my wrists, feel weirdly comforting anyway.
“Then tell me what to do,” I change tact, wondering if relying on Mars, will change my destiny to a quick and likely miserable-as-all-hell death.
Mars now sees I am calm, and he unhands my wrists, leaning down a little, to catch my eyes with a friendly and sweet look once again.
“I’d love to talk to you, Dark Nine,” Mars seems so young and flirty, when he smirks like that, but it’s still somehow sweet enough, “Let’s chat.”
I gulp again, “Just, chat?” I confirm.
“Yes –” Mars answers so smooth and still so friendly for a man that wanted to eat me –
At the same time, our interaction is cut in half by a loud scoff.
I look over my shoulder, and across the balcony along the throne room’s top, I see another Kor.
He is too in the shadows to make out any features, but the other giant Kor-like-god is unimpressed by Mars and I.
Mars looks at his ‘friend’ in shadow, I don’t know if they’re related or family, but he seems irritated by the scoff destined for our ears.
Mars glares and growls out a deep warning at the other perving Kor.
The other Kor responds with a still glare, but then turns to walk back into his own space, out of sight.
Mars continues to stare after him with his spiked temper.
But he remains calm enough for me.
I’m in shock myself.
The growl he let off to protect me was the sexiest god damn thing I ever heard in my life.
It sounded perfectly possessive.
I keep the fact I am impressed, wiped from my face, however, too scared to show any clear sign of attraction, lest it be a green light for Mars to bite into me or something of that nature.
I stand stiff and awkward as I wait for Mars to look at me.
At the same time, I feel a cool heat suddenly at my back.
I get the shock of my life when yet another Kor sneaks up on me.
But this one isn’t new.
I look up and behind to see Jupiter has silently approached, just to stand behind me like a stone pillar.
He isn’t doing anything.
Fucking um – creepy, much?!
I spin and step back into Mars front, just to feel his protection, as I stare with wide and terrified eyes up at Jupiter’s silent approach.
“It’s nothing personal,” Jupiter changes his tone, even though he still looks mean, “Just don’t touch what isn’t yours. Manners, while you’re here…”
I nod, while I feel Mars step back from me.
When his heat leaves me, I purse my lips, forcing myself not to lean back in search of his heat.
“I hear you,” I answer Jupiter, “I apologise… but I wasn’t going to touch it –”
Jupiter sneers slowly when I try to deflect blame and not take responsibility.
I snap my mouth shut and Jupiter at least stops focusing on me, to look at Mars behind me instead.
Nothing is being said.
I didn’t know if they were enemies or friends, it was really hard to tell.
I look over my shoulder back up at Mars and he is just staring Jupiter down.
“A Dark Nine,” Jupiter adds, into the heavy silence, “Really?”
“Maybe,” Mars teases but doesn’t elaborate, “Relax.”
I seriously can’t tell if Mars told Jupiter to relax or if it was said to me.
But Mars abruptly starts to walk off, and I turn to follow, knowing my safest place right now is with Mars, not with any of the others.
There were at least seven more lurking here, and I had a feeling they were all watching.
I didn’t like that.
So, I think I’d just stick to Mars’ flank, before I stumbled across any of the others while alone.
“What is this place? It looks like a prison, no offense –” I talk to him while he strides and I half-jog to keep up with him.
“It is a prison,” Mars answers coldly.
“Oh…” I didn’t expect him to answer in the affirmative, “But, for who?”
Mars looks over his shoulder with a handsome, all-too-welcoming smile, “For us. When we broke out of here, uh… well,” he doesn’t elaborate, he just lets the potential-answer come to me in the silence.
His eyes are too relaxed for the answer to be what I immediately think it is… right?
My mouth just hangs open, and Mars delights me by actually giving me the direct answer after he considers keeping it a secret, but he just tells me instead.
He slows down his strides and turns to me, to tell me, clearly and carefully, “We were once prisoners to the female Kors, for approximately a hundred thousand years they were breeding with us and controlling us, rightly so, because how we are sustained was a direct threat on their lives and bodily autonomy,” Mars explains, “When we got out, we ate till our heart’s content. And maybe for a spot of revenge. Maybe. Who knows. A hundred thousand years in a prison might drive the sanest to a little madness, wouldn’t you think, Diana?”
I think he is joking around at the end, but it’s hard to tell.
“You’re very nice to me, Mars,” I say it as a statement, and a question.
Because it didn’t add up.
If they were so mad, and if they ate every single female of their species… why be nice to me?
Mars goes silent again.
When he looks back at me he gives me an amused smile again, but no words.
When he doesn’t want to answer, he just doesn’t.
I’m not 100% sure why, or what custom is reflected in that smug smile of his, but I am starting to get an idea.
I’m not entirely certain that I understand why their history is so fucked up, but I am just happy that I’ve survived yet another 30 mins on this planet, with nine hungry demonic planet-gods all around me in this literal prison.
Not to mention… since there are no females here… they’re all probably a little hungry.
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|◦•●◉✿ DARK NINE CHAPTER 3 ✿◉●•◦ |
We sit outside by a small stream, running between boulders, so the most beautiful silver moss sparkles before us. It’s a cute little spot for chatting.
I sit back on the grass, leaning back on my hands, as Mars lays down beside me, spread out, relaxed and eager to speak with me outside of their former prison.
“Speak freely, Diana,” Mars asks me so politely, while looking up to the evernight sky. I like that Mars has an obvious awareness of my fears. He is an expert at making me feel safe, which in itself feels strange logically, but I was slowly getting used to his energy.
It’s not that Mars was welcoming and super friendly, but I felt his direct permission to be open with him, and I reckon with myself that it’s never a bad thing to communicate. Talking is exactly how we’d sort out our dynamic, my place, his mind, my mind, my future. Whatever that may be.
“There is no one here,” I murmur, “…what do you guys do… all night?”
“We made this place our home, but we don’t stay on Dark Ninth all the time. We are all on the Universal Board, so we travel around a lot,” Mars answers, also open about their behaviours.
“It must be nice to be so free,” I murmur, “Where I come from, I guess most humans felt free, but I had a strange desire to get out of the hold of Our Tcno. It’s strange to know you are a donor for Earth… although I guess that is none of my business. But it is also strange we were matched in Earth’s system.”
“Our frequencies aligned,” Mars explains, “That’s how it works. What do you wish for now that you’re free of your solar system?”
“Not to die,” I blurt out, looking down at him, pointedly referring to his appetite. Mars’ handsome eyes hold mine steady and show no sign of an imminent threat, “…you… won’t eat me, right?”
“I could,” Mars answers while showing off half his razor-sharp teeth again, he is just a lot closer this time and it sends a shiver down my spine, so I look away, “…however, I don’t want to… I want to know your thoughts… your desires.”
“Well, I want to feel like my potential is fulfilled, so I need to keep exploring the universe – preferably alive and not as a ghost.”
“Do you ever think about sex?” Mars asks, raising a curious brow as he draws my attention back down to him. He slowly rests his hands behind his head on the soft grass, awaiting my response.
Now, I find myself amused and quiet.
I smile and say nothing, mimicking him.
Mars looks rather pleased that I have now developed a sense of humour.
“How about you tell me your full intention… with me,” I answer him boldly with a question.
“I have no intentions,” Mars smirks, giving away the lie, but then he adds, “…other than to ask you questions, Dark Nine… we seek wisdom and need to know how you think.”
I notice his slip up in language. We need. They. All of them. Need. If they needed to know me – I should keep my cards close and not reveal everything.
“Do you love?” I ask, putting the question on Mars.
At the question of love, Mars’ eyes fire up and his expression hardens. Curiously, it’s contradictive. It’s passion and it’s defence. It’s fury and pain.
“Diana, you know nothing,” Mars changes his tone as he sits up slowly, “Our concept of love is out of your limits.”
“Out of my limits?” I gasp, “My whole life I’ve done nothing but love. It’s in my blood. My species. Humans. We love, one another, each other, and the universe itself. How is love outside my limits?!”
Mars snaps right out of his calm demeanour, finally showing some raw and uncensored emotion. I watch in shock as he stands and looks to the three moons while pacing along the garden, he growls to himself, but I hear the words, “Your species are practically loveless.”
I watch tentatively as Mars seems to blend perfectly in with the flora, his greenish tan skin, glittering just like the plants around him. He could literally be crouched in the forest, ready to strike, and no one would see him, he camouflages perfectly.
It reminds me of a lion on the savanna, or a leopard perched up high in a tree.
It makes me realise the Kors may not be the main population of the Dark Ninth. Top predators, the lonesome kind, could not build and sustain populations to the degree of the ruins I see dispersed around me.
I wonder if they had evolved to prey on the general populace – which they already exterminated.
I really didn’t know what I was dealing with here. I try to keep my reasoning simple. The worst thing you could do with an alien predator was run and turn your back to them, so I keep that in mind. At no point would I run screaming.
As Mars is pacing along the stream to let out his anger, I ask him a different question from my position.
“Are you just playing with your food?”
Mars slows his walk to look at me with a clenched jaw and sharp eyes.
“You’re no fun,” Mars whispers, “You’re not even naked.”
What the hell!
“Are you serious right now?” I snap out, finally finding a reason to jump to my own feet, “You have got to be joking, if you think I’d just bend because you’re so hot. I have strength to resist looks, Mars. I have the will to say no. I don’t have to serve your needs. If I am going to die, it won’t be on my knees serving your desires. But I will die fighting back to keep my dignity.”
Mars looks intrigued once again and slightly calmer, even as he slips in another insult, “…spoken like a true virgin… but, I apologise, Diana, you are a Dark Nine afterall.”
“Why are you so obsessed with me being a Dark Nine? If anything, it’s personal to me. It just means I have made sure I have the greatest freedom to choose. It’s nothing to do with you…” Mars squats down by a small plant and his fingers smooth over an oval leaf with a spikey top. He stands up and he shows me the distinct leaf a little closer… I squint at it, and then my eyes abruptly widen – that’s the Jace herb, “…that’s what saved my life when I was a child…” I whisper now.
“It didn’t save you, Diana,” Mars murmurs quietly, “It’s killing you. It’s a slow poison. We feed it to our chosen mates, it pulls out your hidden strengths to ready you for pregnancy, manipulates your genetics so you can breathe and thrive on the Ninth, and ultimately it kills you quickly after birth, stopping your heart. Because you’re useless to us then. Our children are self-sufficient the moment they are born. They only require a vessel for development. And we breed with thousands over our lifetime.”
“Rewind a second, Mars. Did you poison me when I was a child…?” I ask, flabbergasted.
Mars answers by dodging a direct affirmation, and answering me carefully, “Diana, I swear I don’t want to hurt you.”
“No. Forget hurt. You want to kill me,” I correct him, “Not that I should be surprised after what you’ve admitted.”
“There is one more thing I haven’t shared,” Mars explains, looking sheepish, “These aren’t normal circumstances.”
“…what … on the Ninth… do you mean… and speak plainly, please.”
“I’m not actually your mate,” Mars admits calmly, “And the Jace won’t kill you this time if you fulfil your own wishes. I came to you initially during the Mate Sort, because I was picking you up, as you’re mated to all nine of us on the Dark Ninth… but… unless you mate with all of us, the Jace will kill you ultimately,” Mars shrugs one shoulder, “Yeah… sorry. The thing is, we didn’t choose this. You did. I’m just following orders.”
“What do you mean, I did? I did what?” I try not to stutter, as I am heavily invested in knowing what the hell Mars is on about.
Mars sucks in a breath and explains, “When you chose a superpower, off grid, it was randomised, attuned to your deepest spirituality. So you got enhanced instincts, but it was only a compliment for the automated letter we were sent our way. The Tcno did not read it, it was sent out confidentially. Inside was your wish to serve us all.”
“Um, I never made a wish… like that… least of all to serve?” I whisper.
“Like a maid,” Mars suggests, holding out an open hand to motion at me, like that explains something, and the handsome bastard is trying not to look so smug, “Like a… like a… pet?”
“Like a slave,” I correct him, again, “You know that’s what you wanted to say.”
“I will say many things, but sometimes certain things don’t need to be said with such vulgarity,” Mars looks me over, head to toe, “We have portals to your world, and we monitored your growth after you matured into an adult at 18. You have a defined personality, Diana, you are obsessed with helping wounded animals. Not any kind of animal, either. Dangerous animals, who are often abandoned. You wished at every birthday to help the wounded animals who needed the most… attention…” Mars blushes a little, “If you are wondering if I am perhaps calling myself an animal… I wish I could deny it, but poetry will say otherwise. As Kors, we are ultimately animals more than men. Instinctually and spiritually… we are not humane, we are self-serving.”
“But once again, we come back to this, you are so nice to me, Mars. Is it an act?” I ask, “I am reluctant to trust you. And you don’t look like a wounded animal to me.”
“Listen, then. We are selfish animals. We love with brutality. Our hearts have unknown limits. We’ll destroy entire solar systems for you. If you serve us. Your wish, is our wish,” Mars really wants me to see this in a positive light, but I’m not so sure.
“Mars, you barely know me…” I murmur, gulping down my true feelings.
“You’re free to leave,” Mars adds, more impatient than before, “Whenever you want, wherever you want. I’ll escort you to where you wish to go.”
“But why are you so kind? Answer me, you never properly answer me,” I don’t know why I am obsessed with this question, but I need to know the answer.
Mars faces me with a twitching brow.
He attempts to keep his distance, but something inside him snaps.
I straighten my back as Mars stalks right up to me. He snatches up my chin firmly and leans down to meet me at eye level.
“Why am I kind? The alternative is unthinkable,” Mars’ drops his tone a few octaves, “I want to know you. Cruelty is counterproductive. Especially if you are destined… as it would seem… to mate with all nine of us. This is a sweet introduction.”
“That’s not even possible… the n-nine of you, part… like, nine… like mating to… to all nine of you,” I whisper, stuttering only because of his powerful glare, this close to me, “I swear, it’s n-not in my desires. I – I have… I can’t… I just don’t know.”
“The universe knows. And you’re untouched,” Mars finally unhands me, “Another reason I am kind, Diana… you are new to this… so am I, speaking in this way,” Mars admits a small weakness there, that he has probably not interacted with a female in this drawn out manner. No doubt he could just use carnal desire to make a woman submit for sexual intercourse, fuck and run… or… let’s not even go there.
“What am I new to, exactly?” I ask this breathlessly, my hand reaching for my other wrist to squeeze it for comfort, while I’m staring straight at his mouth. There was something about it.
Mars sees my fresh desire, right there in my eyes, and in the way I now slowly lick the salt off my lips.
His eyes burn through me when he sees my tongue dare to taste my own lips.
But Mars doesn’t kiss me, as my lips part open, he brings up a hand to my face, and two of his fingers run over my plump bottom lip that I just tasted myself. He presses his fingers across that lip, and slips them past my teeth, over my tongue. Mars feels how I lick gently over his two deep fingers, any deeper and I might gag, but I liked how bold he was, taking my mouth like he owned it.
He slips his fingers back out and he grabs my throat instead.
I gasp in an excited and innocent breath, and Mars finally gifts me what I had wished for seconds prior.
I wait for it, but his tongue is the first thing I feel on my lips – as he licks over them. Mars glares at me, as his forehead touches mine and his hand slips down my skin, over my collar bone, under my shirt, to press over my heart.
As he watches me, I close my eyes.
All I feel is his forehead against mine, his hand over my heart… and then it sinks in. The real gift he left tingling on my lips.
The taste of him.
I instinctually lick the taste off.
I can only describe it as a liquid aphrodisiac.
When I taste it, I change.
I become immediately aggressive.
I lunge at Mars, attempting to rip his clothes off.
I suddenly understand why he wears some kind of thick leather. As I grasp the straps at his shoulders, I can’t rip them off. I let out a weird growl as my nails claw at him, my hands diving for his abs – as Mars slowly grins, then shoves me back.
I stumble back a few paces and fall on my butt.
I spit onto the ground, trying to get his taste out of my mouth.
When the taste of a Kor leaves me, my senses mellow out.
Humiliated, I look up at Mars, standing a few feet from me, with evidence of my scratches on his skin – they heal before my very eyes but I did that to him.
“Stay a-away from me,” I hiss at him.
“Don’t worry, Diana, we’re much worse,” Mars steps to the side, to look back at the forest, only glancing back at me briefly, “You tasted what our love does to us. And that taste is in my mouth all the time.”
“It’s poison,” I whisper, gulping multiple times, hoping I never feel that Kor base instinct ever again.
As I’m closing my eyes to stay calm, I feel the air move past my shoulder, as Mars stalks right by me.
“Almost,” Mars sounds nonchalant, his voice distant as he leaves me, “…but it’s venom, Diana, not poison.”
My ‘friend’ retreats at that.
I guess the chat is over…
Now I’m left traumatised, sitting on the grass by the stream on this alien planet, after feeling an alien instinct.
Their ‘love’ must be… fucking savage.
I can’t imagine what making love with them is like… or I… I could try.
The abrupt thoughts are so intrusive, dangerous and exciting, the moment I start to imagine sex with them…
…I can’t stop.
That quick, I feel me changing. My soul, hijacked by Mars’ sly seduction.
My chemistry and my thoughts are starting to change and warp and twist.
So… Mars hadn’t been nice to me after all.
I’d just been lured into his trap until I wanted to kiss his delicious mouth.
It seems being a mate to a Kor, or all of them, if that was even possible – wasn’t a matter of plain old attraction.
Whatever attraction you showed, they still had to perfect you first so that you’d survive their natural fury.
More than predator.
They were completely fucking alien.
I had to keep that in the forefront of my mind as I searched for my escape.
It was time to stop exploring the Dark Ninth. I had to get the hell off this planet!
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|◦•●◉✿ DARK NINE CHAPTER 4 ✿◉●•◦ |
I gaze up at the evernight sky and I pray for a miracle. I had a planet covered in ruins, beautiful forests and inhabited by 9 walking predatory alien subspecies to humans.
My Enhanced Instincts push my gaze toward the stars however, not toward the Kors’ prison.
If the Jace herb was poisonous, and had been supposedly killing me since I ingested it 9 years ago, I certainly felt no ill-effect, only strength. I do wonder if that is speeding up my aging process for that maternal transformation the Kors needed to breed.
I had effectively traded monitored life on Earth, for this darkly lit path.
To be targeted by an alien subspecies for breeding…?
…well, that wasn’t something I had exactly prepped for.
I knew life outside the system would be dangerous and unforgiving, I just didn’t think I could be sucked into another set of rules so quickly.
Above me, where the stars glow blue, I can see through a light layer of mist. That’s where I spot a red blinking light.
Someone was above me…? I watch as the small spacecraft lowers into the atmosphere and then zips off into the ruins ahead of me.
I know intuitively this has nothing to do with the Kors – someone else must have been monitoring me.
Perhaps it was the infamous Freed. They were subspecies of all kinds who lived like nomads, little was known about them and I did expect to run into them at some point. It makes sense they would be following any departures from my solar system. They would have tracked my voyage here through the teleportation stream left behind, which always left an imprint of where you were from and where you were going.
I don’t look back to the prison that Mars has stalked back into, giving me space to contemplate his story, their need of me, and the venom he let me taste on my lips.
Mars was utterly delicious and deadly. Jupiter was terrifying, short tempered… although somewhat mannered.
And once again… that was only two of them. Imagine being a mate to nine carnivorous aliens. Heh – I was still a little in shock about that, but shock forevermore was not going to help me.
I start to trek into the forests of Dark Ninth, deeper into the ruins. I notice my pale skin now glows a pale luminescent green, reflecting the soft neon lights around me. There were no exceptionally tall trees anywhere, the tallest being at around half my height, looking like bonsais. Dark Ninth mostly had low lying shrubs and vines that climbed up the ruins, giving the landscape more shape. While flowers bloomed everywhere, I notice the bugs that pollinate them are almost invisible due to their transparent wings and bodies… so I guess almost-invisible butterflies or moth like critters had been spared by the Kors. The ruins themselves were pretty much raized down to their foundations, with only random walls still standing, while everything else remained ground down below ankle level.
I step through turquoise grass, which feels as soft as butter under my soles. I had good visibility up to the horizon, and also where the ship had landed, camouflaged perfectly into the deep blues, purples and greens of this planet. It’s landed on a flower bed maybe half a mile forward from my location. It was going to take a short few minutes to walk there.
I look behind me, as I feel multiple eyes on me from the prison.
Of course they’re watching –
– but then I see movement toward me.
A… an almost completely transparent shape, as tall as the other Kors – but literally invisible.
So this was an invisible Kor now?!
On the very edges of his figure I see blurred lines of the landscape.
What’s more, is I think it’s natural, not artificial.
But I see a wobble in the air, as the arms lifts and a weapon is drawn out.
“Get down, Diana.”
The Kor snarls the command at me, the voice is velvet but the warning is clear.
This wasn’t Mars or Jupiter, it was someone else.
I trust the direction and I drop into the shrubs, looking back to the spacecraft.
My eyes widen at what I had been walking toward.
I see weird creatures with eight legs, crawl out from under the craft.
Oh, my goodness.
Also, what the fuck?!
My eyes are glued to the giant spiders crawling around the dark fields, dispersing with cautious intent. However, before they move off too far, I hear a zwing, it’s a distinct drawn out electric zap, or more like the whistle of slowed and directed lightning.
I watch as a miniature blue zig zag arrow, strikes and paralyses one of the spiders.
The others crawl at top speeds in all other directions, so fast it’s honestly terrifying how quickly they move. My heart beat races as the spaceship itself has abandoned it’s own cohort, lifting off and flying out quickly with the first strike.
While all this has happened in under two seconds, I feel a slight sensation of heat at my shoulder, and I look to see the butter soft grass, bend and lay flat under a silent, heavy invisible foot of the Kor beside me.
I look up at the distorted light around him so I can see him carefully anchoring himself to get a good aim on all the remaining spiders.
He is pulling back some kind of translucent arrow, then he stills, and shoots off four at once.
The air around me buzzes with their heat, and I almost feel scorched by it, as the light-weapon is fired and I watch four arrows disperse in north, west, east and north-east directions – all finding the backs of the spiders.
I watch them all fall down, struck dead.
“…I missed one,” the invisible figure says calmly, lowering his weapons, I feel his gaze on me.
I slowly get up, and as I do, I see a big fat arachnid right in front of me, like right, right in front of me.
It’s a super enlarged jumping-spider. I scream when the Kor does nothing, and the spider raises a large leg at me, curiously…?
When the Kor does nothing, and the spider just keeps staring at me, I turn to run, and the cheeky Kor immediately snaps up my elbow and catches me.
Daring to chuckle about my terror, the invisible man pulls me back to where I was, explaining, “This one is ours.”
I’m jerky in my movements as I turn back to the spider, which is still very frozen, with a leg still out reaching to me.
It’s as tall as me.
It’d be cute if it was the size of my little pinky.
But this was fucking different.
“Ours?” I ask. That one word takes the remaining breath out of my lungs and I feel dizzy. I stumble forward a bit and the Kor props me up by sliding a hand off my arm, around my waist instead.
His heat warms me up, and I focus on him being a pillar next to me. If he was calm, I should calm down too.
“We raised this one, it’s a pet, say hello to Chonk,” the Kor tries to push me forward but I push back, refusing to move closer to it.
“Why that name –?” I whisper.
“He’s really fat,” the Kor chuckles again, “Go away, Chonky, she doesn’t like you. Typical female,” he adds that on just to piss me off, I know it! I watch as Chonky looks disappointed and turns to walk away – except he jumps away, like a whole field away.
My mouth hangs open at the speed of that thing.
So it was a super-giant jumping spider.
“What’s your name?” I ask the Kor, gently removing myself from his warm arm around me.
I step to the side and he says nothing.
I wonder if the fucker is smiling all amused at me, as my eyes search for his expression.
He answers, just after a weirdly long pause.
I gulp, and I nod, saying nervously, “My favourite planet…”
“Good,” Neptune loves that answer, answering me very quickly. I stumble back a few steps, and I see him tense a little, by the way the grass bends with his movement forward.
I stop retreating.
“I’m just going for a walk to get my sense of the terrain,” I explain, “Is there anything out there that’ll try to eat me?” I speak nervously, too quickly, before I can think. Even as I’ve half asked it, he knows what I’m going to ask and I can hear Neptune’s quickly muffled start to a deep chuckle, “Um. You know what, never mind,” I whisper, turning and walking off with the deepest blush filling my cheeks.
I don’t even know why I feel so embarrassed.
But at least I’m not running away, I’m just walking away slowly.
As I make my slow escape, I feel Neptune walk up and beside me, not too close but keeping me company, I think.
I don’t speak to him and he doesn’t speak to me.
Maybe he is on sentry duty, protecting the vulnerable female from any other dangers – otherwise it’d be a waste of meat – did I really just think that?
God damn it.
I keep walking through the grass, between the flowers, until the ground gets a little wet beneath my feet.
I lick my tongue over the dry roof of my mouth and I know I’m dehydrated. I lick my salty lips next on impulse and thankfully there is no more residue of Mars’ venom.
Neptune has stopped a foot in front of me, and I feel his gaze on me.
I bet I look exhausted and a complete mess.
He picks up on my thirst, however, “…this way,” Neptune speaks so gently, I immediately feel my hair on the nape of my neck rise.
I follow his imprints in the grass, as for the moment, I had no backup plan.
We walk along the grass until the ground suddenly opens up to show crystal clear liquid.
I wouldn’t have known it was water, as it was perfectly still. It is not until Neptune just dunks himself in, and the water curls around his skin, giving him slightly more shape, that I know it’s a huge spring. Eager for a drink, I immediately squat at the edge of the pool.
The Kor swims back to me as he sees me reaching one cupped hand into the water.
He apprehends my wrist before I do that, and it feels weird being grasped by something I can hardly register with my crappy vision.
He takes my hand out of the water and surfaces in front of me.
“Allow me,” Neptune gets on one knee in the shallow water, cupping both his hands in the clear liquid, he brings it up like a perfect bowl.
He basically offers it for me to drink from like a cup, tilting his hands toward my face.
Weird… very weird… but maybe this was the way they all drank water.
Instead of being rude, I just awkwardly focus on the floating water, moving below it a little more, my lips touch the tips of his fingers by accident but he tilts his palms upward anyway, so I can drink the water.
It’s a well timed flow, so it’s not as awkward as I thought it was going to be. I’m thirsty enough to swallow every drop, and I’m impressed I don’t spill it all over me. When I’m finished, I feel a million, so I lean back and sit on the grass with a stupidly proud smile on my face.
“Thanks,” I keep it polite and simple, I didn’t need to overdo the compliments.
Neptune moves out of the water, and I’ve let my guard down.
I had assumed he’d just walk off to stand on guard, a little way away from me.
Or maybe even just stand next to me, or something like that.
I can’t see him and neither do I expect him when he reaches down to catch my throat. With one hand, Neptune holds my neck softly – no pressure at all, but I am completely caught still for him, and I am easily captivated by how bold he was to do that.
I stare into nothing but the air, as I just feel his hand on me.
“What… what are you doing…?” I stutter, only to breathe in after the question, immediately tasting the change in the air – I tasted his exhale, so his face is right in front of me and I don’t even know it.
Oh, my. I blush a much deeper red.
It’s like he is ultra-invisible now, or my brain is blocking out the signs of his shape, because I can’t see anything.
Neptune’s hand slides off my neck, and his palm touches my mouth, as his fingers splay across my red cheeks – and… okay…? He is now holding my face, for some reason.
I feel his eyes are all over my freaked out expression.
I don’t know what he is looking for, but I just wait for him to stop doing it.
He makes one small and low noise, masculine and possessive enough to make me feel some kind of way – and then he just releases me from his assessment.
I breathe in deep and lean back on my elbows, as I see the grass move with his steps away from me.
I stare out at the perfect water, and I feel that my senses have come alive. My skin is literally glowing like the plants around me now.
I hear him walk off by the slight rustle in the shrubs and grass behind me, but just as quickly, I hear him moving back. I don’t look. I stay where I am, staring at the water.
“Come to me.”
Neptune murmurs behind me, his choice of words are peculiar.
Just as unexpected as his hand reaching for my throat, now his hand slips over and through my hair, he easily bunches it up – I suck in a nervous breath as I wait for him to pull it back, to urge me, but he just as quickly lets his fingers thread out and away from me.
Uh – unsatisfying.
He applied the teeniest bit of pressure only, a miniscule tease of his power, just – just playing around with me.
I turn around now, fast, staring with quiet desperation, wanting and needing him to have tugged it just a little bit harder before he let go.
I bite my lip as I glare at the nothingness behind me.
“Careful, now,” Neptune speaks over my face, I feel his breath touch the side of my ear, as he has leaned down and stood back up.
He walks off, and I quickly stand…
…inside my body… feels liquid… airy… I feel like I’m floating as I step after him.
Am I high?
I stumble after Neptune, while focusing on his feet depressing the grass down with each step.
If all these mother fuckers had superpowers of their own, or different affects on my system… I really don’t know how I’m going to keep fighting them off. They could weave spells over me.
I’m already forgetting that I want to run.
Why… why would I want to run?
My logical brain repeats the word, over and over. Sustenance. Sustenance. Eat. Eat.
Oh, but am I hungry…?
I almost stop walking, as the cold thrust of reality sinks home once again.
It’s not me.
I had to remember, no matter what state of mind they could trick me into – they were hungry… they were, not me. No matter what, I could never forget that, or it’d be the end of me.
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|◦•●◉✿ DARK NINE CHAPTER 5 ✿◉●•◦ |
I had followed Neptune back to the prison, we walked around it and he took me to a separate structure, basically an underground bunker which housed their spacecraft – so it was technically their garage, I guess?
Neptune had jumped down, while I climbed the old ladder carved into the rock.
Below here, the bunker is fitted with grey and white clothes on the walls along with Universal Board accessories, whether they be weapons or official books.
Yup, books were still a thing in the universe in 20,500; by Earth years anyway.
Off to the side of the area where they prepare for intergalactic travel, is the spacecraft itself.
It is a literal triangle, it’s very slim and not even that big. I bet it’ll hold all of them but not much more.
I waltz over to stand in front of the space craft, where the name is itched into the side.
At least, it looks like the letter E to me. I’m sure to them, it means something else in their Kor tongue.
I feel safer near something so familiar and human; technology, fashion, a ride… it gave the Kors a new sense of civility.
I assume this is why the mysterious Neptune brought me down here, to show me that side of them so I wouldn’t be so scared.
That’s how I reason it.
Neptune is empathetic.
While I stand next to E, I look over my shoulder and I freeze.
Neptune has intercepted me again. He is now slightly less invisible, but the air around him somehow provides him features. I finally see his irises, which are neon white. I feel like I’m staring at a hologram, but he stands in the way of all the arrivals.
Yes, all of them.
Behind Neptune, to which I have not dared to adjust my gaze, all the other Kors have arrived.
Mars is with them, Jupiter too, plus six more, of varying colour but all equally giant in size.
“What’s happening?” I whisper as quietly as I can to Neptune, who has been waiting for me to speak up.
“Come on board,” Neptune reaches above me and presses his hand to the E panel. A circle opens and I feel a gravitational force sucking in, Neptune ushers me toward the door, located under the craft, “I’ll help you.”
I get the sudden idea that they are helping me off planet.
They must feel with their deep instincts, my unease… they must be helping me go to another part of the universe…
I step toward the door and the pull of the gravity wave is smooth in tugging me into the centre and up into the craft.
It pushes me to the side when I’m through and I land steadily on my two feet. I’m now looking at two long stretches of seats to strap into. Five on either side.
Neptune is next up, placing a comforting hand on my shoulder, leading me toward a seat in the middle of the left row. I don’t struggle when I know he wants me to sit down.
I turn and obey the suggestion, while Neptune reaches around me for the shoulder straps, pulling them over and buckling me in. As his hands adjust the sizes of the straps, he takes his time, so he can explain to my silent expression of hope, “We get a lot of visitors here, Diana, our planet is designated as a tourist attraction, for the Elion League,”All Elions were not subspecies to humans, such as those gigantic spiders, and yes, they were considered enemies, “We don’t stop them dropping by, especially if we feel like hunting, but we don’t tolerate them at all if we have female guests that we need to protect,” Neptune looks me over, as he steps back to inspect the handy work, “We’re all going off world, we can’t leave you here undefended,” Neptune turns around and walks off toward the front of the ship, where he inputs all the instructions on the one device in the spacecraft.
Neptune is messing with another floating globe-like structure, but this one has many dimensions, like a rubrik cube.
I watch as Neptune starts turning all the dials, while my throat feels dry with sudden anxiety.
“Are you helping me leave Dark Ninth…?” I speak up, but Neptune starts smirking through my unsure wording, and I see all his razor sharp teeth, six canines like Mars and Jupiter, “What’s so funny?” I ask, frustrated and embarrassed.
Literally at any time I felt… nervous, or worried, or scared… these fuckers needed to smile or laugh.
“Not everything is about you, Diana,” Neptune speaks to the dials he is still inputting directions into. He speaks so casually. Is he already bored of me?
I blush with a weird possessive anger.
But then the others join us.
They come up one by one, quickly moving to their positions.
I freak out and end up staring at all of them, completely wide eyed.
One of them has skin that looks like the universe, a universal void, covered in glitter, with eyes that have no colour… it’s just translucent. One is not invisible but still looks translucent, his skin is very similar to mine actually but the difference is the blue tinge for him, while my skin now has a green tinge.
The rest of the Kors I categorise into colours, because my courage only allows me to take wide and quick sweeping glances of each one before I end up staring wide eyed at my toes, while my fingers grip the straps over my shoulders with a grip I know will hurt my fingers later.
However, I just feel extremely intimidated – who wouldn’t?!
They were so big and there were nine of them.
They all wanted to fuck me.
And then EAT me!!!
One Kor was a nature green like Mars, very similar in every way, aside from the jagged silver scars all over his body, like he had been tortured badly in the past.
Jupiter sat down next to a golden Kor, who wasn’t bright like Earth’s gold, but more… matte, with that Dark Ninth sparkle shining through his eyes.
The other three were strange like Neptune, one was moving around like him, I could barely see him and I get the feeling it’s Uranus, as he stands near Neptune, double checking that the dials are in the right places.
Mars walks over to sit next to me, strapping himself in.
The other seat on my left is taken by an unknown, a Kor with grey skin, black stripes and silver eyes. I glance at him only for a brief second.
Around me the others sit.
Neptune waltzes over and takes his seat with his invisible friend on our side.
When everyone is strapped in, the ship starts to move and we can barely feel anything, but I do feel one thing very particularly, and that was the eyes of every Kor, now focused on me.
The silence that comes with it is the heaviest god damn thing I’ve ever felt in my life.
“So… what are your names?” I ask into the great void, “…it’s a pleasure to meet you all…” I add that on in a rushed whisper, hoping I sound respectful. When I look between the five expressions opposite me, I see the same look on all their handsome faces – annoyance? When I look to Mars at my right for some kind of reassurance, he doesn’t seem to care so I look to the one Kor I can actually see at my left, since the other two are invisible… all around…I see low levels of… anger, “Sorry I asked?” I add, with deeply hurt sarcasm, “What did I do? I’m just existing over here… like, sorry?”
They didn’t have to make me feel so inadequate as a guest here.
I hear that deep drawl, straight from Jupiter’s mouth.
I look at him and his straight expression of neutrality, bordering on grumpy Kor fury.
His tone is so formidably serious.
My eyebrows crease together, I look very worried.
My bottom lip trembles as I feel the tears building up in the back of my eyes when the Kors finally stop their theatrical intimidation.
In unison, the handsome bastards all break out into gorgeous smiles. All of them except the scarred one.
So, eight of the most wide smiles I’d have ever hoped to see from them, now bloom around me – some chuckle while their eyes are alight with relaxed amusement.
I smile too but I’ve stiffened further in embarrassment, I just feel like if I even blink the wrong way, two fat tears will roll down my cheeks – and it’ll be seen as weakness!
Mars’ large hand reaches over and holds my knees, “…breathe, Diana…”
His kind tone catches me off guard. I look up at him sideways and he blinks slow, unthreatening.
“You got me good,” I whisper a little fast, just wanting to say something, while now laughing, bordering on hysterical.
I keep staring at all their delicious smiles – showing all their razor sharp canines … but somehow it works into being pretty handsome.
“Are we going out on business?” I ask Mars quietly, for him alone.
“We’re going somewhere,” Mars murmurs to me, “…to have some fun… we’ll show you off… we’ve never had a perfect match, a Dark Nine at that, we’re proud to parade you around a bit,” Mars does explain that, however, and my mind starts racing.
Show me off, parade me around – what?! Why?
“…did you say show me off, b-but?” I can’t finish the question when Jupiter starts introducing their names.
“Don’t be afraid to ask if you forget us,” Jupiter sounds awfully sarcastic about that, as if it’s not possible to forget who each of them are, “Saturn,” he elbows his golden matte friend, “Terra looks like you,” Jupiter motions to the others lined up on his side, “Pluto…. or Louie,” he was the one with universal darkness, probably the most beautiful but the most shy looking, “…and Venus… we call him E, just ah… just don’t talk to him, Diana, he’s been heartbroken for fifty thousand years.”
“Move on from me,” Venus speaks up, he is the strange dark green one like Mars and scarred up. Truly, if one of the Kors looked miserable, it was Venus – I mean E? Weird…
Now I know who is sitting next to me, even as Jupiter explains, “Uranus is next to Neptune, we still have no idea who is who,” Jupiter smiles a little at that, and I feel relieved none of them can see them either, “On your right, Mercury, E’s little brother… he’s our best hunter.”
The introduction is done, as he doesn’t need to introduce himself or Mars to my left.
“Um, so what do you all expect of me at this function we are going to?” I ask them all, “Should I do anything in particular…?”
“Expect? Just be, Diana…” Mars repeats himself, looking sideways at me, “We will provide for you.”
“Provide what?” I ask, feeling clueless.
Mars seems uninclined to answer, looking to all his Kors for some help.
I look to the rest, expecting one of them will have the answer.
But even Jupiter narrows his eyes at Mars and ignores me.
“Like, providing assistance?” I ask Mars, guessing the answer, “Tell me what you mean please.”
“We take life,” Mercury abruptly answers me, his attention catching me off guard. I turn to him as he murmurs, comfortably, “For that we give everything we can, Diana.”
“…like… a trade…?” I whisper to him, looking into his silver eyes.
“Anything,” Mercury slowly looks away from me, to all his brothers, “…any wish you have… you’ll get…”
“All this for a girl you just met?” I ask, raising a brow and feeling a little giddy about all these promises.
“Not any girl,” Mars’ shrugs, “…we wouldn’t fuck just any girl… we’ve been waiting a long time for you, Diana…”
“Waiting for me?” I ask.
“E,” Mars speaks up, “Why don’t you explain?”
I look to Venus, who can’t look me in the eye.
He looks at Neptune and Uranus.
“Dark Nine – Enhanced Instincts – the Jace poison – Diana, instead of dying, you evolved into a female Kor,” Venus speaks with a monotone, no emotion whatsoever.
“So, you’re saying I’m… not… human anymore?” I ask, confused but wanting to understand perfectly before I assume anything.
“You were,” Mars explains briefly, “We altered you, Diana. We want to repopulate Dark Ninth. Before we do that, we’ll convince you to participate.”
“It shouldn’t be hard, since Feys are notorious whores,” Venus speaks up now, he finally looks at me as he asks, “…you like our venom, don’t you… Fey?”
“What’s a Fey?” I wonder.
“Female Kor,” Mercury answers, while glaring at Venus, “Right now you’re the most valuable female in the entire universe, that’s why we’re going to show you off. We want to repopulate an extinct species with you, Diana.”
“Not if she denies us all, Feys are notorious deniers,” Venus mentions, in another monotone of misery.
“Excuse me, are you crazy?” I snap, losing my temper a little for the first time, “What are you even saying, E…”
“Don’t fight with him, Diana,” Mars chuckles, “He is insane. He lost his mind, many destinies ago,” a destiny was ten thousand years. So at least five.
Venus doesn’t fight back, but I do feel him close off and retreat into his own mind. He’d look handsome if he wasn’t so shrunken in on himself.
Anyways, in the new comfortable silence, I also go quiet for a bit.
I lower my tense hands onto my lap, stretching out my fingers.
I breathe in deeply and then I breathe out, I do this a few times to feel a bit more centred before I speak up again.
“I have a question,” I say slowly, “But please don’t get mad.”
“Ask,” Jupiter catches my eye.
“Am I in charge?” I ask a tricky question, “…is there a strange dynamic between Kors and Fey… I’m just guessing… I’m just thinking out loud… but because of what I am, will you obey me… is that what you mean by provide assistance…? Is that why the females imprisoned you all, because you were bound by their word? You were abused for that…? Or?”
Some of them gulp.
“Firstly, that’s a lot of questions,” Mars begins, “The thing is, we… we have so many memories we cannot say what we really feel…” Mars murmurs to me, “But, Diana… you’re almost right. But it’s not your tongue. It’s your heart that will lay out commands for us.”
“You give your heart, we give our allegiance,” Mars gets closer and closer to my ear, while Mercury does the same to my other, they’re clearly trying to freak me out, so I stay very still between them, “The trade is to secure your understanding that eventually… one day… we will turn on you… in your case, you’re lucky we voted to keep you alive, no matter the thirst for you… we need to begin somewhere, and it won’t help to kill you after one child… you are our first Dark Nine, there will be more of you but right now we need you alive indefinitely… with our restraint on our hunger you’ll be our little fuck slave and our prized breeding vessel,” Mars sounds so damn vicious at the end, viciously proud and possessive, it’s purely animal, before turning on the civility, just to lie, “I’m sorry, did I just speak from the fire on my tongue, Diana? I apologise… Ididn’t mean to scare you.”
Mercury actually uses his razor sharp canines to nibble on the top of my ear, teasing me with their strength and lethality.
He doesn’t break my skin but I feel my body panic with rising realisation.
They want to master me.
Mars also nibbles my ear – and I feel the sharp shredders from Mercury and Mars is far, far too much for my poor heart to handle. I’ve now paused my breathing for too long, and my head droops back, while still trapped in my chair.
I start to lose consciousness quickly with my growing terror.
The scary part is not the shock. It’s the violent emotion rising in me, different this time, I am much more needy.
It felt like crawling fire in my bloodstream and a glowing ache in my bones, shining through my skin.
My need was becoming physical, changing me, making me horny for their teeth.
I wanted them so bad, I wanted them to tease me with playful bites, to tug my hair, to control me, to touch me, to break my full resolve. I craved that submission.
My only defence mechanism kicked in – and that was to lose consciousness. It was the only way to escape my bodies need to react, where my lips would part for my tongue to taste my lips, just to hear my voice concocting an animalistic noise of need and desire.
I couldn’t give that to them yet.
It was too dangerous. The Kors were providers. But providers of wishes? Of anything? Of anything, really? Yeah, right. I bet most Feys folded in two minutes when the Kors started to seduce them – a kiss or even the touch of their teeth was enough to break your resolve – they could only possibly have provided for the strong Fey who did deny them, and used that to control them for a longer time.
I had to find my power in that side of me, even if it drove me crazy trying to fight my base instincts… supposedly I am their first female since my gender’s full extinction off their planet.
I mean… what could go wrong?
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|◦•●◉✿ DARK NINE CHAPTER 6 ✿◉●•◦ |
“You’re mated to 9 cannibals,” Iris tells me, she had been looking after me since I awoke in a daze, “I don’t envy you. Even if the Kors have a history of treating Fey’s like queens… you’ll be… you’ll be… well, gone soon,” she gulps and looks away as she says that, “It’s much better being friends with them… I’m employed by the Universal Board, I’m guaranteed their protection,” Iris sighs with her personal relief.
I sit on the couch I had woken up on, I’m with Iris in a concave dressing room the size of a football field, although narrow in design and with curved walls. It’s like we were in a long tunnel, yet sound did not echo.
I guess right now I was being tended to by Iris, my personal assistant for the day. She was usually a personal assistant for the Kors, as I could identify her position by the choker adorning her neck. It has nine silver circles with their colours represented in the middle.
I don’t want to talk about me and my fate.
I decide I will try to get information on them. The Kors.
Iris was a protected subspecies, a human with factor 6, from the neighbouring galaxy Andromeda… unlike Earth, she had freedom, and factor 6 gave her the ability to communicate with ghosts, her appearance was bald, no hair at all… that didn’t stop her painting her face, she wears a pink lipstick, which matched the pink of her eyes. She was very pretty.
“It looks like they’re all paired up, except for one,” I point to her necklace, while she’s still sorting through a bunch of clothes on a moving rack next to us, trying to work out the most appropriate dress I can wear for their party.
I’m not sure where the Kors are, but I guess I’ll be escorted to them by Iris.
“You didn’t know?” Iris fumbles with the pendants, “Venus and Mercury are brothers.”
“I knew that,” I snap a little bit, but I admit, “…although… I don’t know about the others…”
“Jupiter and Saturn are brothers, both hot heads, be careful with those two, their egos are massive,” she laughs and sighs, shaking her head as she clearly recounts some interesting memories. I watch as she sorts through the clothes, as she softly teaches me about them further, “Neptune and Uranus are brothers. Pluto is… mmm… one of a kind, he doesn’t speak much,” she seems to blush thinking of the Kor who radiates the darkness of the universe, while simultaneously sparkling with its gentle light. Pluto’s eyes were intimidating to me, though, as they had no colour at all, it’s like he had no eyes, so I hadn’t looked at him long on the ship.
“Mars?” I ask.
“Mars and Terra are cousins,” she explains, “Not brothers. Mars and Terra are quite charismatic when they speak to me but I find it quietly disturbing. Like very sweet and kind predators. It makes no real… sense to me…” I concur… although I say nothing on it.
“Are the Kors close as a group?” I ask, as she finally picks out what I’m going to wear.
It’s a… belt? It’s not a very big one… it would not fit around my hips, that’s for sure.
As she shows me, it’s metallic with links that move like scales, with a dark blue cloth at the front and the back.
“Stand up,” Iris waits for me to do so, and she takes away the towel I had been given, after I had somehow woken up washed and cleaned. She places the belt around my waist, the metal is so lightweight I can barely feel it, although she does put it on tightly so it can barely wriggle around. The cloth falls between my legs and over my ass at the back, “This is based off a custom they have not seen for many destinies. It’s called a Plume, and it comes with this,” she walks to a bunch of draws set into the wall, and she pulls out a bunch of accessories, coming over with a… “A Krown, with a K,” she says while winking, bringing over a collar. It’s the same metal as the belt. It has a chain on the end, that links to the back of the Plume. My hair is pushed aside as Iris places it around my neck and connects the chain to the belt at the back.
“Is there anything for my breasts?” I ask, “You know, if I get cold?”
“A Kor will warm you,” Iris speaks too close to my face as she walks around me, inspecting every inch to make sure it’s not even slightly misaligned with my posture, “There’s no need for anything else when you’ll be wearing them… metaphorically. Besides, your feminine traits are on display like this, they’ll enjoy that.”
“My breasts aren’t even big,” I say self-consciously, “It feels weird having them ‘on display’… what’s there to see…”
“You’re a silly girl,” Iris just smiles to herself as she stands back and points to the couch.
I sit down again, and she grabs a phone at her belt, unlike me, she doesn’t show an inch of skin below her neck, wearing an all encasing white robe with straight edges.
“Are you going to call them?” I ask, before she initiates anything.
She nods and walks off to make the call in private.
She talks in a coded language anyway, so I can’t understand what she is saying.
Everyone in the intergalactic system had an implant to help with language between subspecies. I’m slightly annoyed I can’t understand her now, as it sounds like she is speaking some kind of ancient tongue not registered in the system… maybe she can even speak their tongue.
I cross my arms over my chest to keep myself warm and Iris comes back in a few minutes with a twinkle in her eye.
“Come with me, the party is starting.”
“Do they all drink and get rowdy?” I ask, jumping up to my feet, “Any advice? How do they dance? What games do they play?” I walk with her quick strides, and all my questions seem irrelevant to her.
“…hmm…? Um. It’s not that kind of party…” Iris murmurs, raising a brow at me, “I thought you knew. I’ll ask you a question and you answer me. What is the most important thing between all species, the one action that is always celebrated… and enjoyed, of course.”
“Debates and diplomacy,” I joke, thinking of all the things a Universal Board might do, you know, like communicate, “But uh, I’ll admit, I don’t know, what are you hinting at?”
Iris chews on her perfect lip, looking a little nervous now.
“You have no idea?” she whispers, looking at me with renewed concern, “I thought you’d have been informed… or at least heard some rumours.”
“I don’t engage in gossip,” I murmur, but really it’s because I was outside all the social circles back on Terra, so I didn’t hear all the gossip, or any rumours, or I heard very little.
We walk down the enormous dressing room – I have no idea if we’re on a spaceship or a planet, but once we are at the end, she looks down another corridor, which leads down to many other doors, and at the very end, probably a few minutes walk down, it seems to open into a another massive open area, where I see darkness and lights flashing, like at any party or club atmosphere. I also hear low toned music, like at any party on Terra.
What was I missing?
As we walk toward the party down the spacious corridor, Iris has slowed her steps. I slow with her until we come to a complete stop and she faces me, grabbing my wrists.
“Are you a….” Iris chokes up and looks to the side, “I should not ask,” she scolds herself, “…what did you ask me before… I did not answer… are they close as a group… solitary predators are never close…” she answers me now, while looking at her own feet, as she slowly meets my eye again, “But they do come together to… to mate with a woman.”
“Oh, it’s a sex party,” I grin and then she grins, happy I guessed correctly, however, the more I say next, the more her grin fades just as quickly as it appeared, “So there will be other women there? Thank goodness. I genuinely thought I was going to be tormented by all of them all night, but of course they probably have so many others invited – groupies or whatever they are called, just for the act of sex, it’s not all about mating and babies, sex can happen outside of mating bonds, like duh, of course… what, uh… Iris… why are you looking at me like that?” I trail off with concern for her newly set neutral expression.
“Never mind it,” Iris whispers now, “Come, it’s best you just see and not worry your pretty little head about it – just learn as you go. As a Fey, you are inclined to intelligence that will match theirs, so, no doubt, no doubt… you’ll work it out,” she does not seem confident on that, “It is not my place to… instruct you about this event any further. The Kors will have my tongue if I say too much. Come on, hurry, keep up, we’re running late and I have to supervise the other staff who are tending to everyone tonight,” she rambles off about her own duties, and I don’t mind, as I follow her quick footsteps down the long hall.
I feel like I’m missing some kind of major point that is so obvious to everyone else and would be equally obvious to me if I just tap into my Enhanced Instincts, now that I was… genetically, somehow, Fey.
But I can’t weave together a magic answer now.
I can’t ‘feel out’ a clean conclusion… to perhaps a very dirty truth.
Something animalistic was going to occur. Something primal. Something… big. Very big.
Something so big I can’t even comprehend how big.
It’s exactly what I cannot fathom.
It’s hard to anticipate what you have never known.
Although, I’m about to find out.
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|◦•●◉✿ DARK NINE CHAPTER 7 ✿◉●•◦ |
I stand at the top of a monstrously large room. Even though it’s an inside space, it feels like it’s outside.
In front of me are at least two hundred steps that lead down to the ‘party’. There’s a catwalk down the middle of the cavern and off to both sides are lounges… perhaps a few hundred to the left and a few hundred to the right. Tens of people cluster around their own spaces or intermingle between them.
The people are so small, however, I can barely make them out from up here.
The surface isn’t entirely flat either, while the cat walk is high up, so everyone can look up at a select few of the most beautiful female subspecies already walking across.
I so did not feel like I fit into any special category for good looks… yet I had no choice but to join that walk in a moment.
I see why I am running late, the line of females is already making its way off the walk at the very end, toward their planetary representatives.
I look up and I see the words CLUB HIVE, carved into the ceiling.
Below me, the stairs are dark but the air smells like a sweet perfume, just lightly fragranced to be alluring enough for you to step forward, I feel more relaxed breathing it in.
Before Iris ran off to do her supervising role, I had asked her where I had to go at the bottom… she helpfully said “I’d see” …eh…
It was not a very reassuring answer, as I was already so nervous, but it does give me a job to do. I take in a deep breath, I start to descend the stairs, while my eyes frantically scan for the Kors.
I had been in the dark the whole time – but the moment my bare feet land on the first steps below, the music in the place is hushed down, the lights all dim and one major spot light blasts over me.
My eyes burn and I can’t see a damn thing.
“The First Fey to be seen in five destinies – she can be considered the most valuable female in the universe since her capture. Her name is Diana. She is 21 Terra-years, she is fertile and mated to the 9 Kors of Dark Ninth.”
With the intimidating introduction boomed over me, I’ve lifted up my arm to shield my eyes.
I try to not freak out, but for some reason my life feels threatened.
I feel hunted like this.
With a rising panic and instinct to flea, I start to run down the stair case. Probably not the most sane thing to do but the steps themselves are not steep, so I can get down quickly if I just keep my gaze focused on my feet as I shield my eyes.
The harsh spotlight follows me and my semi-translucent skin starts to burn next. I guess I’m no longer used to harsh lights as a Fey.
When I reach the bottom, I stop running but my momentum is too fast, so I trip awkwardly, landing on my side.
The spotlight is immediately dimmed so my skin stops burning yet continues to heat up underneath with a blush from the humiliation I feel.
That stumble could have easily been avoided if I had just used my brain and slowed down more gradually. But fuck, those asshole Kors did not prepare me for this. They let me go into this completely clueless.
To top it all off, not only am I now over thinking but I am in pain from falling on a hard surface, tears running down my cheeks.
I know thousands of people are watching me, even in the dark.
“Come on, young Fey,” the host now has a reassuring tone, perhaps a total of three seconds had passed since the slip, but it felt like an eternity to me, “Get up, you can do it, slowly… Diana…”
I follow the calm instructions.
I get back up and I hold one arm over my tits, while my other is held out in front of me, to steady myself as I quickly power walk forward, trying to end this catwalk as soon as possible.
My heart is racing and I feel a lump in my throat. I feel like a kid at their first large birthday party, but the attention is overwhelming and I’m mortified.
I can’t even walk in a straight line perfectly, but eventually the dim spotlight is switched off, the music is turned back up and my eyes scan frantically around the room looking for the Kors.
Where are they, damn it!
I start to panic when I don’t immediately spot them.
I keep pausing and looking either side, but I can’t focus, I’m scared, I can’t think clearly and – up ahead. Oh, finally.
I see some hope.
Right in front of me, jogging down the walk is Mars, with a dark robe swaying over his large shoulders, I notice he is mostly naked underneath aside from a few leather accessories. His face is cleanly shaven, his black straight hair is combed back off his handsome yet sly face, which is entirely focused on my retrieval.
Mars is smiling with pity, but that smile turns to something more genuine when I start sprinting toward him.
I feel it.
Everyone else that is staring at me felt like the real threat.
But the Kor coming to me felt like home. It made no fucking sense but I trusted my gut.
When I reach Mars I slam myself into his front, clinging on to his powerful physique while he simultaneously sweeps me off the walk and turns to carry me away.
As he holds me close, Mars has an arm under my knees and another behind my back. I just stare up at him as my hero, while he is smiling and speaking through that dangerous smile, “You’re so skittish when you’re nervous Diana. I love it. You should be scared like that more often, it’s so fucking hot, I could hunt you for days and days,” Mars really didn’t have to add in that last bit, but at least he is honest… heh? But even so, his voice is so sexy and deep and devilish. He looks totally captivated by me after I looked like a lost lamb out there. I should be disturbed.
I mean, I am disturbed.
But more than that, I am grateful to be off that catwalk.
Mars jumps off the end of the catwalk and walks us down a secluded path.
When he drops me to my feet at their lounge, I am quickly mortified all over again.
The lounge is basic, sure, with a very comfortable curving couch, where all the Kors recline – but on the massive table in front of them… it’s… well it’s not a table, it’s a platform.
The platform is glow in the dark and reminds me of the fluorescent plants back on Dark Ninth, except it’s a flat rock with fluorescent veins.
On top of the platform is a translucent cage.
It’s not small, it’s huge.
It’s much too big for me, yet Mars is holding my hand, and that strong hand of his is now sliding to my wrist, lifting my arm, he swings me up and puts his other hand under my foot, basically hoisting me up onto the platform.
I step through the see-through cage, and the moment I’m inside on the platform, the cage buzzes with some kind of registration, and I feel it through the Krown around my neck.
The collar warms and feels weird. I grab it while I walk to the edge near their lounge and I place my hand on the solid bars, which are still mostly naked to the eye. I can’t get out.
Mars waltzes over to sit back with his fellow Kors, while I look out toward other similar platforms where I see other singled out girls.
It’s all the girls from the catwalk… but again, they look experienced, like they belonged – literally posing comfortable on their platforms, some are dancing slow and sexy, others just lie back and talk to their people.
“What is this,” I whisper to myself, as I turn toward the Kors, getting down on my knees and leaning down to them, inches from the cage, “What is this about…?” as I ask it, every member is staring at my naked tits.
I feel angry… or was it disappointment, but I’m not sure why.
I place an arm over my breasts, and immediately nine pairs of eyes quickly move up to my face. The darkness helps me see Neptune and Uranus more clearly – ironically.
Jupiter is reclined the most next to Saturn, watching me with narrowed eyes as he finishes a whole glass of Mist; alcoholic dense air. Saturn quickly stands up and grabs more from one of the staff running around with dishes filled with more Mist. I see the staff member has a distinct tattoo on the back of their hand of a red rose; the symbol of the Freed… it’s just something I notice for a moment before I focus back on my Kors.
Pluto, Mercury and Venus had been playing a game on a table in front of them via a screen. Gambling no doubt like the high rollers they were in the universe, comfortable in their earned position.
But in regards to me alone, I didn’t feel earned.
Terra stands up as Mars sits back.
Terra approaches me directly, his neon blue eyes so human – but he did represent Earth, so I guess that made sense.
“Do you feel at home yet?” Terra asks me, indeed as politely as Mars.
“In a cage?” I ask him, “Really?”
“With us,” Terra rephrases himself, “Don’t be scared, we voted in your favour, remember, Diana?”
“Are you referring to your vote not to eat me?” I ask.
“Correct,” Terra murmurs, nodding, stepping to the side and motioning to Mars, “I think Mars was the only one who voted in favour of… just keeping the status quo.”
Mars just watches me when Terra admits that.
Mars, you damn sexy predator. He looks content to listen to the other Kors, but he is also clearly content and proud with his first stance on my eventual fate, regardless of their majority vote.
“His venom,” I tell Terra, “Made me… very, I mean, insanely horny… to the point of terrible aggression… will all your kisses do the same? Drive me into my wildest instincts?”
Terra leans his elbow on the edge of the platform, leaning closer toward me, tilting his head closer too, while looking over the Kors and answering me honestly, “Yes.”
I place my hands on my knees, over the Plume’s soft cloth, as I wait for Terra to explain some more. There was so much I needed to learn.
He looks at me, as if he expects me to ask more.
When I don’t right away, hoping for him to just offer some more facts, Terra just smiles, stubborn, happy not to provide anything unless asked. Arrogant fuck –
“What kind of party is this, Terra?” I force myself to ask a question, “…why am I up here… I can’t chill out with everyone on the lounge? I have to be on a cold rock? Really?”
“We opted into the poly theatre,” Terra explains, “Everyone is going to watch as each alliance who opted in, fucks their most valuable female. You are ours, so there you are. When we get the green light, we’ll give everyone a show, it’s no big deal for us,” I purse my lips tightly as Terra looks comfortable with this… and I wait for him to notice my discomfort, “Tell me,” Terra prompts me to speak my mind. At least he somewhat cares.
I lean down closer to his ear.
“I’m a virgin, I’m pretty sure that means I can’t fuck nine men,” I explain to him, the fucking obvious, “It’s kind of… I mean, it sounds painful, doesn’t it. I’m untouched,” even as I explain it, Terra’s robe, which hangs over his naked skin – pitches a gigantic and morbidly huge tent, “Terra, this is not the time to get horny, I need some compassion.”
“We already agreed if you don’t want to fuck yet, we’ll let you off,” Terra explains, reluctantly, “But you have to trade off our pleasure for a price,” I raise a brow, hoping he explains, he does, for once, “Here is your second option. To lay down in your cage and stay still, then one by one, throughout the night, to help introduce you to our power… all you have to allow… is the simple permission… to be kissed by each of us. Not all at once but maybe, hmm, each hour that passes, a Kor will jump up and give you a taste of our venom,” he trails off, “Do you consider that compassion, Diana? Sweet and gentle kisses instead?”
“Venom, from all nine of you throughout the night,” I rephrase it, “In return for my purity to remain intact, for now at least?”
“Yes,” Terra looks quickly to Mars, who is all by his lonesome at the edge of the lounge, hung on every word between us – wanting to know what I’ll choose.
I sit back and consider my two options carefully.
Get fucked by all nine Kors. Virginity – ripped away, probably painfully.
Get kissed by all nine Kors. Venom, slowly driving me crazy throughout the night, to the point that if I beg them to take my virginity… option 1 happens anyway.
Is this just a trick? A game? A joke, even?
I glare at Terra, who is patiently waiting for my answer.
For the first time since meeting the Kors, I don’t feel scared, confused out of my wits or frightened.
For the first time, I see the game a little clearer.
“Are you scared of me?” I ask Terra. He says nothing, so I ask further, “Why am I in a cage if you’re not all utterly terrified of the first Fey you’re courting in fifty thousand Terra years.”
Terra looks away suddenly, his cheek twitching, his eyes darken and swirl with emotion and he holds out a hand for the cage, it passes through the bars that allow him through, and he opens his palm near my cheek, without touching me.
I softly press my cheek to his palm, feeling him, and with his touch, he can pull my face forward, through the translucent bars. So, with his contact, I can leave the cage.
I try to slowly crawl forward just a bit further but Terra moves his hand over my jaw, twisting his palm – my whole body twists with it, by some kind of magical force, it’s like he controls my limbs while we are in contact.
Gasping loudly with his magic, I end up on my back, with my head out of the cage, hanging off the edge of the platform, looking back up at Terra, as he takes his hand from me, and the cage solidifies back around my body.
I’m stuck, with the bars on either side of my neck, keeping my face out of the cage as I look up while on my back.
I’m at his mercy.
Two of Terra’s fingers trail over my pulse and he smiles wide, “So easy, even after fifty thousand years,” he throws my words back in my face, “You need to learn us before you throw out anymore insults, Diana,” he puts his hand under my hanging head, and he lifts it up to lay back on his flat palm, so he can lean down to hover his lips over my mouth, “…do you want to taste me, Fey?” he asks.
“Go to hell,” I hiss. Terra smiles and shrugs as he steps back to the couch and lets my head loll back.
Great, I have to stare at all of them upside down.
Terra sits next to Mars.
Mars is still watching.
The rest of the Kors are also glancing at my predicament with quiet amusement.
“I didn’t choose option 2,” I tell Terra, “You chose for me.”
“Then choose otherwise,” Mars smiles at me, “…what if we opt out of the display and go somewhere private?” he asks, “You can even play around on the couches for a few hours before we go. That way we can drink mist and pussy.”
“Fuck you, Mars, until I give my permission, you can’t take it, so I’m going to stay right here… option 2… I’ll live through a few kisses.”
Yup. I decide then and there.
All the Kors who had seemed ‘busy’ gambling or drinking and chatting – suddenly go quiet and all look up at me.
They all stare at my mouth.
Even Jupiter stops mid conversation to look at me like a prize.
Before they move to secure the first place, the one who had already been scheming moves faster.
Mars jumps up, comes close and puts his hand under my head, gathering up my hair into a bunch and holding me still while all the others look.
“You’re not hungry enough,” Mars mocks his fellow Kors. I try to tug out of his hold, just to annoy him, and Mars’ eyes focus on me as he moves downward, obsessing over the blush creeping up my neck and flooding into my cheeks, “Do you want to know a secret, little one?”
I still as Mars asks this closer and closer to my lips.
“Tell me,” I’ll take any information I can get.
“You already understand what this venom does to you, Diana. After my kiss, you’ll break, you won’t last one minute before you start to despise your resolve and see the value in you gifting your life to us.”
“Let’s make a bet, if you’re right, and I fold – I’m your bitch forever,” I whisper to him quickly, suddenly seeing my way forward.
Mars smiles with the thought of a challenge, “Or?” oh yeah, he definitely wants to bet.
“If I last a minute after your kiss, you free me of Dark Ninth forever –” as I say it, Mars had been smirking, and on the word forever – he tilted his head close and pressed his mouth to mine. He could barely wait to do it.
I expect a ravaging deep kiss with his tongue already all over mine, however, Mars is strategic.
He kisses me with one single soft depression against my mouth, then he leans up and blinks a few times while admitting, “I’ll kill for you, Fey Empress VI of Dark Ninth, I’ll give you anything you desire.”
“Empress?” I whisper. Now that’s valuable information.
“You like that?” Mars growls, showing off his sharp teeth.
“You didn’t give me any venom,” I say to him, furrowing my brows, “Why not?”
“Trust in my nature, Empress,” Mars lets my head fall back against the edge of the platform as he moves back. He sits down, “Now choose freedom or power. Go, but go where? Or stay.”
“And get fucked?” I ask, “…” I guess I look disappointed he didn’t give me any venom… I can’t hide it from my face –
“Oh, for fucks sake.”
The moment is intercepted as Jupiter jumps up from the other edge of the lounge and he stalks over aggressively, after discarding his robe and walking over with his huge cock on display.
Right before my face, I am faced with a real weapon for the first time.
A Kors’ hard and giant silver cock.
Holy fuck it’s gorgeous.
“Do you want to fuck this, little bitch?” Jupiter asks me, holding onto my neck, he squeezes it once while his cock hovers before me… I am breathless and wide eyed.
It’s inches from me.
It’s right above me.
“…hey asshole…” I throw an insult back at him, “…can I… at least feel it, first…?” I force out the suggestion, and Jupiter steps forward to rub the head of his cock, not along my face, or near my lips, but down my neck, following my pulse. His dick is so hot, “I meant with my hand,” I add, and Jupiter just glares at me, so I move quickly while his skin is touching mine.
I reach out and I grasp his shaft, unable to fit my hand all the way around it.
Mm, I feel down his shaft, stroking it once – by accident honestly, and Jupiter lets out a restrained and low toned growl, trying to keep his cool when I hold onto it at the head, entranced by it like a wand.
“Can I… taste it?” I ask, while seductively glancing up to his dark eyes.
Jupiter says nothing so I reach forward, flicking out my tongue before he can deny me.
That’s when he grabs the back of the chain attached to my collar and jerks me back an inch, “No,” Jupiter shakes his head, “You asked to feel, you felt it, so decide. Diana. We won’t hurt you,” those last four words are said with such firm and soft resolution.
There it is.
That’s all any of them had to say.
I make my decision.
I look over the cock head of Jupiter’s beautiful silver wand, straight to Mars’ irate expression on the couch.
He is pissed I was so easily swayed by Jupiter’s more explicit approach.
But Iris was right.
Terra and Mars were too charismatic and manipulative.
Jupiter and Saturn having the biggest egos and quickest tempers, had a silver lining – brutal truth, no hesitation, literally shoved right in front of my face.
“I don’t want options, I want whatever this feeling is,” I blurt it out as I reach for his cock with both hands, and Jupiter slowly grins and keeps his cock just out of reach.
He denies me anyway.
“Notorious whores,” Venus speaks up from the couch, eyes downcast, not even looking at me.
Jupiter puts both his hands on my cheeks and lifts me up, pulling me out of the cage, I kneel at the very edge of the platform as he kisses me instead.
I open my mouth and he opens his.
Jupiter’s venom hits hard.
I forget the kiss.
I taste it and it tastes like nothing… until Jupiter deepens the moment, lingering, so I have to swallow at least once, which means his venom is absorbed into my system.
I become… immobilised.
My whole body starts to go limp and Jupiter holds me up as he prolongs the kiss a little longer.
Until he finally takes his lips from mine and watches my eyes.
He let me go.
I fall over the platform, only saved by his arm reaching under me, quickly hoisting me up and tossing me onto the couch, so I land on Venus’ distraught lap, my legs lie over Mercury and Pluto is still next to Venus.
As I lie across the three of them, I start to twitch, Jupiter’s venom is surging through me. It knocked me out and now it was bringing me back, more alive than ever, even my intellect feels like it’s on fire.
They watch it happen.
It’s not painful.
It’s disabling my usual senses. It’s giving me Kor instinct. But Jupiter isn’t just horny, he is switched on, and now I feel switched on… I feel like I start to see more.
My senses feel dulled to pain.
But pleasure feels more prominent, because even lying across their laps, I feel like their skin being in contact with me is turning me on too.
“Don’t touch her, let her roam,” Jupiter suggests, looking over at me, as I start to turn myself around.
I want all of them.
I want all of them, undeniably.
I’m not scared of them anymore.
What stops me is a nagging little thought in the back of my head.
It was only 60 seconds.
Mars tried baiting me into it.
Jupiter gave me the venom.
And the luxury of feeling and taking in the size of his dick.
With all my strength, I use the aggressive lust curling through me – to twist and roll off their laps onto the floor.
I get up, while my thigh muscles keep wanting to press together and my hand wants to delve down to rub my clit.
I grab the belt with two hands as I stand up, and I realise this belt is a fucking life saver.
I hold it tight as I get to my feet, my body shivering, as if I’ve already reached a climax.
Except I hadn’t.
This was just the beginning of one.
I force my gaze past Venus, or E, and his narrowing suspicion, including Pluto’s movement forward, as if anticipating the twist in my resolve. Even Mercury seems to be reaching instinctively for a weapon, forgetting he does not wear any.
I saw what Jupiter, Terra and Mars had on underneath their cloaks – nothing.
They were all mostly naked.
I turn past Terra, his blue eyes look panicked.
Jupiter stands to the side, huge arms bulging as he crosses them, watching me with sudden neutrality.
Saturn had been lounging with Uranus and Neptune, but they also look fairly disturbed.
I look to Mars last of all.
I force out the words.
I start to turn, as my whole body is on fire with need and desire.
Sex could happen anytime.
But I just won my freedom for now.
Jupiter should not have kissed me, he gave me ideas with his venom.
I try to walk, when I hear Mars snarl, “Where will you go, come back here.”
“Diana,” Jupiter also calls out, “Think before you run.”
I had stumbled to the edge of their lounge.
I turn around, my cheeks flushed.
I focus on all nine of them.
I breathe in deeply with my new resolve.
“You’ve all become arrogant. I was handed to you on a platter,” I say through grit teeth, “You killed all the females on Dark Ninth and then expect me to be delivered from Our Tcno, then be happy about being your Empress… If I am Fey why not treat me like one, aren’t you hunters? You do not chase?” I scoff, “Well, you do now. Let me roam, Jupiter,” I repeat Jupiter’s words, “I’m free now. If any of you want to fuck me, and I do want to fuck you… you better catch me first,” I nod multiple times at Jupiter’s hard cock, “…trust me… Empress or breeding bitch… if you lie to me about love, I’ll know it. I’ll only accept you all when you take me in our most natural way. Everything else just feels wrong. I’m leaving. The next time we meet, I won’t be your clueless naïve guest. I’ll tell you what, you can have me if one day I wake up in my hide out and you’ve all managed to sneak in without me noticing. Then I’ll capitulate. I’m very good at hiding.”
At least I had time. There were too many eyes for them to make a scene with other members of the Universal Board.
“Why do you want it naturally?” Mars asks, now curious.
“Because,” I shrug, still fighting off Jupiter’s venom, but also using it to match their deepest needs with mine, “Mars, my deepest instincts say to run, how else will I gain your respect if you don’t see what I’m worth when I’m out scheming against you?” I ask, “My whole life I’ve lived under radars, we’ve met now, great, but that’s it – the expectation that I’m now yours, is bullshit,” I motion to the whole outfit, “You don’t deserve this. If I’m the most valuable female in the universe, you better do something about it. Prove it to me.”
With that, I turn and stumble away.
My gut was telling me the truth of things. They destroyed Dark Ninth.
If there were nine super villains in the universe it was these arrogant easy-going Kors.
How do you tame arrogant, lazy monsters?
Number one, I am fighting back.
Venus wasn’t altogether wrong.
Perhaps I did have a side that was equally horny as it was urging me to run, fucking hide and deny.
Luckily, I had somewhere to go. The Freed, roaming travellers of the universe. They were here.
Iris was supervising the temporary workers.
That’s where I was headed. To people who could help me.
I just escaped another system.
Even though sexually, I realised I wanted the Kors, I knew giving in to a lust engineered to be perfect in its power was futile for me.
They offered death by teeth or the promise of being an eternally revered breeding cow until they were through with me.
I knew the sex would be incredible, but fuck those terms.
If they even wanted a chance, they needed to show off, hunt me down and give me something to be proud about. And I needed to show them I was worth more than an amusing, lazy, dismissive smile.
I get a funny thought as I make my escape.
Perhaps as a Fey, I was just as cruel in my desires as they were. Afterall, Iris said I’d match them.
Well, I don’t know, but I was certainly trying my best to survive.
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|◦•●◉✿ DARK NINE CHAPTER 8 ✿◉●•◦ |
There were protected planets in the universe where you could not mine for resources, instead these planets were solely for camping, yup, entire planets – these were the homes of the Freed.
You couldn’t build major infrastructure; the biggest home you could have was a travel pod, dropped in from one of the intergalactic manufacturers of the pods that provided everything sustainably. Shelter, tools for making drinking water, hygiene facilities and they could even help with growing edible food.
The Freed were not as friendly as I first thought they would be at Club Hive.
When I tried to talk to the staff, even for a moment, most of them were too busy to pay me any attention.
The one who helped me, ironically, was Iris.
She handed me a copy of her ET Keys, and said I could borrow it since I was the Fey Empress and she couldn’t refuse, although she said it rather sarcastically I’d like to believe, and I hoped she was more a friend rather than a worried ‘employee’.
I had thought she worked for the Kors, but I hadn’t really thought that would mean she works for me too.
Her ET Key gave me free ET movement and access to over 10,000 habitable planets, but her bookmarked favourites were Planet Live where I am now for my temporary hide out, Planet Meda, her home planet, Planet Dark Ninth… and Planet Earth.
The jungle that spread across Planet Live was full of the living pods, beautifully designed and completely impenetrable – if they were empty you could use your blood to gain access to it for three months.
I sit on top of my free camping pod, with one neighbour – a fellow female traveller named Quarzina. She was from Planet Meda like Iris and had the distinct bright pink eyes, pale pink skin and she was currently in hiking gear, after hiking through some of the marked trails around our camp site.
She sits with me on top of my pod, on a flat surface, we eat cooked food provided by the pod. I had no idea what it was; iaek6gh. That was the name of the food, and I didn’t want to know what was in it, I just like that it tasted good and provided nutrition even though it was a green sludge in my bowl.
“It seems like it’ll rain soon, it’s only ever as heavy as a mist,” Quarzina explains, “You haven’t ventured far.”
“I’ve been here 24 hours and slept half of that time,” I explain, chuckling nervously, I’m just a runaway Empress, most valuable female in the universe, hunted by nine Kors who want to mate with me, have lots of babies, then devour me, no big deal! I don’t say that, but Zina does know I am running from the Kors, she just doesn’t know why.
I guess she assumes I am a fugitive or stole something from them, since I arrived wearing Kor finery, and still have it on currently – the Plum and Krown. I had just put on a basic yellow rain jacket I found in the pod as well.
“I wouldn’t rest too long if I were you, I’d keep moving, I’ve seen a Kor twice,” her eyes go wide as she recounts the story, “Both strange instances. I’ve seen one walking through a city, almost perfectly one with the crowd, if it wasn’t for their height or their sharp eyes. Only predators have eyes that focused – they barely blink. The other time I’ve seen a Kor hunt, I was camping on Planet Berry. That is when I first researched them….” she pales, “You realise they are intergalactic hunters, assassins, and bounty hunters, not just representatives of Dark Ninth? They are experienced in hunting throughout the universe. Not just their planet they destroyed,” she tapers off into a whisper, “The only reason I am talking to you now, is for your soul. I doubt you will live past two days. For that, I will speak with you. But even I am unsure why you remain so calm…” she finishes off her own bowl and puts it down, grabbing a glass of water and chugging that dry, she looks at me and waits for me, “So? Spill it all, Diana,” so she expects me to tell my story?
I guess since she is the last who will ever hear it, according to her.
I feel reluctant since she had little faith in my own abilities, but to be fair, she had witnessed Kors in action more than she knew anything about me.
And… I have no Freed friends.
The universe is terrifyingly huge.
My destiny is a matter of luck, at this point.
I have nothing to lose… so heck, I tell her everything.
I start with my simple life at home, but how I enjoyed caring for hurt animals no one else would try to save, especially those who were dangerous – like abused Terra creatures, tigers, lions, leopards, wolves – so many gorgeous predators were pets and so many were discarded and eventually killed. I had a habit of intervening, if I could, to at least attempt to calm the animal. It is as I explain this to Zina that I realise I had found a few missing pieces of the puzzle.
No one else could help a wounded predator in the way I could. Not in healing the physical wounds like a vet, but the mental scarring. I figure now it was only after I ingested the Jace herb that I had grown skills to help in more spiritual and soulful ways, connecting with the animal’s spirit to understand them at their deepest level.
So at least talking out loud had helped me realise I could connect those mysterious animal instincts to this weird ‘Fey’ ability.
When I am done with where I am from, where I have been, and why I am here now – Quarzina is truly dumbfounded. Which makes two of us.
“…the good news is you may live another day…” Zina smiles, “…wow… I do not envy you…”
“Iris said the same thing,” I laugh awkwardly, “Any… new ideas? About what could help me?”
“You’re not scared of death, that is a good thing, it means you know they will not harm you,” Zina answers me seriously, “If anything, you are anticipating them – I can tell you from what you’ve told me, they’re probably already here watching you. But since this is a courtship, it will be fun. I am certain of this as they voted in favour of your life and the fact you are their only female so far, who has successfully morphed into Fey. I only have one concern.”
“Which is?” I ask, already faithful in her wisdom.
“If their vote changes,” she murmurs, “That is something you can’t know, anticipate or navigate. And even if they were to change their vote, they would not tell you, you’d be lured in and the end of your young life will be near,” Zina shrugs, “I’ll tell you one thing, Empress of Dark Ninth… you should be doing something about your situation, not sitting here waiting. For that reason, I will leave you alone now. But knock on my door if you need assistance.”
“You’re not scared of the Kor?” I ask, curious by her seeming indifference.
“I hear we do not taste good,” she grits her teeth in a nervous grin, “Heh… well…” she murmurs something to herself as she turns around to leave my pod, sliding down the curved ladder, she lands on the soft earth and trudges back to her pod next to mine, “Good luck, Diana!” she waves at me, walks into her home, and leaves me to contemplate her last chilling piece of advice.
If they change their vote…
I would not know.
They would not tell me.
I… I am literally frozen to the spot, as my thoughts overrun my headspace, my senses outreach into the surroundings, listening, my nostrils flaring as I try to pick up any hint that they are here.
Nothing tangible alerts me.
But deep inside, I know they aren’t far away.
I quickly descend into my pod, closing off all exits and entries, turning up the dim lights and checking all ‘corners’ of the curved pod.
There was a bed, a self-washing rug, a metal cabinet with supplies, a sink, a few large windows to the outside, but I slid down the blinds.
In my private space, I realise I made myself my own prison in here.
They can’t get in, but what’s the point if I can’t go out, either?
What value did I bring to them, too? Aside from being the only Fey of Dark Ninth to be alive… what would stop them changing their minds about me?
I still enjoyed the thought of meeting the Kors again, under difference circumstances, preferably where they showed a little more respect for me.
I pace as I think, but my brain keeps tripping into the same thought, over and over.
I don’t like it, but I think I might have no choice but to try enhancing my superpower.
The only way to truly fall into Enhanced Instincts was to live like an animal.
But, literally… just for a bit… I’d have to do the unthinkable.
Go out into the jungle during the night, completely naked, it would lure them out.
I’d also be at my best.
Strength and speed were not going to help me against seven foot alien subspecies that had lived like gods for tens of thousands of years. My wisdom would not match theirs, my age of 21 was a hindrance. I had so many disadvantages aside from… well, two things I had to my advantage. Enhanced Instincts was one. The other advantage was something I had to acquire more of, to supplement all my other weaknesses.
It gave me them.
Their powers, their thoughts, their lusts, it helped me understand them.
How could I milk Kor Venom?
I’d need to lure them into a few kisses… but how did I extract it?
I look around the pod. I had no lab to replicate their venom, and I wasn’t a scientist.
“Damn it,” I continue to pace, feeling useless, but no amount of overthinking is going to save me.
I had to continue to experience and feel, this time with my freedom.
I set an alarm for nightfall.
I’d get in another nap, and I’d venture out into the dark.
For now, I had no other brilliant ideas.
I slipped out of my pod as the sun set, and I walked right onto one of the trails Zina had been hiking on. I covered my naked body in streaks of mud to keep away the insects.
Apparently, a small lake was a few kilometres away.
I trek toward it, muddy, naked and alone.
I didn’t alert Zina, I just moved with my instincts.
I walk without any incident of being stalked, and curiously, I feel nothing, I hear nothing and I sense nothing out of the ordinary.
My Enhanced Instincts were finetuned, I could see well in the dark, almost as clear as if the sun was up, but still, this is when I lose my ability to track and anticipate?
Strange. I guess I just wasn’t being hunted or something?
I make it to the lake, and with relief, it is not a dark reflection of the sky. It is clear, it is shallow, and it is absolutely gorgeous like the waterbody Neptune had swam through on Dark Ninth.
I see little fishes swimming around but nothing more.
I jump in and go for a night swim, heading out to the middle of the pristine lake.
Under the stars of the universe and with no light pollution, I feel the most free I’ve ever been as I gaze up.
I have an ET Key to all areas of this vast dimension.
Freedom in tact, soul mine… I only had one ‘problem’ – a ‘problem’ I found quietly exciting.
The Kors wanted me.
But I wanted them. On my terms.
Now, I wait.
I have washed off all the mud, and I feel like a water nymph as I just kneel in the centre of the shallow lake and look all around me to the beautiful dark green jungle.
No large predators roamed here, it’s one reason it was a great camping site.
It was safe.
The top of my ears wriggle.
Footsteps. Light ones.
Not a Kor.
Or a careful Kor.
I look up the way I had come, and I watch curiously as Zina walks out, for some strange reason she is smiling and in her nightwear…? Uh… she looks weird.
The smile looks… strange.
Zina finds me in the middle of the lake and she waves at me, “HELP!” she yells out at me, “Diana–” she screams as she hears something behind her and she runs forward toward the lake.
It’s then that I see she has pulled her second arm out of her pocket.
But her hand is missing.
She’s bleeding everywhere and now my heart is racing.
I stand up as I see movement in the trees – larger figures.
T-they were… t-they weren’t hunting me.
They were hunting Zina in some kind of display.
I want to scream out to her, I want her to come to me, but the moment I open my mouth, no sound comes out. I just don’t have the time.
Zina had stumbled into the water behind a boulder, looking faint, as her arm pours blood.
She has lost too much already.
I watch as she looks behind her, unsteady on her feet as a beautiful man walks out of the forest.
Terra, his light blue skin was pulsing with black veins underneath, as if he had been running.
He is quickly closing the distance to Zina.
“Come to me,” Terra talks normally to her, walking up behind her, he puts a hand on Zina’s woozy head, whispers something comforting into her ear – and snaps her neck with his magic.
I just stare as her neck cracks to the side.
She almost falls down but Terra catches her, lays her up on top of the boulder and looks all around at the edges of the nearby jungle.
I see Jupiter stride out from the trees, a severed hand behind his teeth.
He spits out the hand as he grins at the catch.
The others jump out from the jungle to inspect the kill.
All nine of them.
I feel intense grief combined with disgust.
But the Kors aren’t even looking at me, as they move in, so many of them, leaning down to take a bite.
I wince at every moment, hardly able to watch – but they don’t rip her apart.
They find a place to clamp down with their teeth and they drink her blood.
As they eat, her body starts to deflate.
Somehow their venom is breaking down everything, so there is more to consume.
When their teeth let go, Zina’s remaining blood is not red, it’s metallic.
Whatever is left of her shell, flakes apart into metallic dust.
It is then I realise the Kors don’t eat flesh. They consume entire souls.
What is left of my friend is star dust, glittering on the rock, luminescent.
So… that explained Dark Ninth. That beautiful luminescent planet was just a beautiful graveyard.
The nine alien Kors basically look like Gods, as they laugh and exchange words of encouragement for successfully eating their favoured food for the night.
But those murderers just killed my friend.
Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto – they stand with one another, communicating, Jupiter gives me one quick glance, looking rather smug.
Mercury and Venus sit down on the boulder Zina was hiding behind. Venus and Mercury quietly watch me but I don’t feel threatened.
Neptune and Uranus disappear into the jungle.
It takes me a second to realise Mars was never there in the first place.
Terra has left the group.
Terra is stalking along the edge of the lake, on my left, trying to catch up to… there he is.
My gaze swings left, where I had not sensed him.
Mars is deeply camouflaged into the vines, crouching down, just watching me. He is closest to me.
I see a blinking light up above him, in the trees.
Mars presses some kind of button – and before I know it, he’s shot something at me!
I scream and duck down, but thankfully I am mistaken.
Ah – ha – yeah, how do I feel about a net being shot at me and successfully wrapping around me. My arms get pinned to my body and I fall into the water, unable to swim!
I thrash about, even though it’s shallow – I still struggle.
Only for a second I am worried, when four invisible hands move around me and pull me up out of the water.
I gasp in fresh breathes dramatically as Neptune and Uranus stand at my front and back, holding me up, admiring the handwork of the net Mars weaved together himself.
“Get it off me!” I scream at them, while Neptune holds my arms and pulls me into his front, so we’re flush with one another. Uranus’s hands feel over my elbow at my back, looking for a latch.
His fingers tickle and I squirm, so Neptune holds me a little tighter.
When I look up at him, Neptune’s white teeth are completely red.
I gasp again and look down.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you,” Neptune apologises, while blood drips onto me.
“EW!” I scream but he holds me a little tighter.
Uranus finally finds some kind of latch, tugs on it, and the net finally loosens around me.
“Little Fey, you can relax now –” Uranus tries to scold me, sounding as smooth as Neptune, but he doesn’t get a chance to pull the net off. Not when a deep and dark growl of total overwhelming possession, resonates from the jungle to our left.
“Oh, come on,” Neptune growls to himself, as he glares behind him at the angry splashes of water.
“Hands off,” Mars snarls at both of them, as he approaches looking pissed and hungry. Neptune steps between us, keeping Mars at bay, “She’s mine, Neptune. You know the rules.”
“Just think before you bite,” Neptune growls in Mars’ ear as he steps aside to let him through and I panic.
“No!” I whimper out and try to hide behind Neptune, but he somehow increases his invisibility and disappears from view altogether.
I look back for Uranus but I can’t see him either.
Only Mars and I remain standing in the middle of the water.
Mars doesn’t have to chase when my own clumsiness with the heavy net over my head, still draped around me, causes me to slip and fall to one knee into the water, now at an even more ridiculous disadvantage.
Mars is completely naked and he drops to one knee with me, as his skin is covered in black stripes, mimicking Mercury’s pattern. This was clearly him on the hunt.
“What rules are they?” I gasp out, trying to tug off the net but it doesn’t slide well. I just get more tangled, so I stop moving as Mars reaches out a slow hand.
I still completely as he grabs a bunch of it tangled in front of me, and he pulls me closer.
I drag through the water, until I’m in front of him, looking up at him.
His dark eyes don’t blink, but he is watching my mouth for a few seconds, as my mouth quivers.
“What rules,” I repeat, begging him to talk.
“My net, my kill, my choice,” Mars drawls so deeply, he sounds totally switched from civil and polite – to his animal side only, “You’re at my mercy, little one.”
He explains no further.
Mars pulls one part of the net out and up, and it comes off me.
I breathe out a heavy exhale and intake a shakier breath, but I don’t move as Mars moves closer to my face, looking over my body and my neck and back up to my mouth.
“Why are you naked?” Mars blinks slow once, and his eyes dart up to mine. A curious question, also growled deep.
“…I’m… free to do… as I please…” I whisper out, a little nervous, but it’s a response. I half shrug, trying to lighten the mood. Mars doesn’t care. Although I notice his cock is awfully hard – and high. He doesn’t care to hide it. I try my best not to focus on it. When my eyes fall, I make sure they fall to the waterline instead. “Please don’t decide badly,” I add, “Please, Mars. I don’t want to die yet –”
Mars puts his hand over my mouth, but only for a second, his fingers trail down my lips and chin, and his hand falls over my skin, over my neck, down to my collar bone, down to my heart. He likes my heart.
He feels the beating rhythm, and I lean into his hand as I look up at his beautiful face.
Mars had just finished licking over his teeth. Yet, he quickly decides, “Go, Diana,” he growls it out, but with an amused smile – still that fucking… argh, “I’m not done hunting you yet,” he stands up abruptly, pulling his net back to his belt.
I turn around and stumble toward the edge of the lake, while he walks behind me but not too close.
I keep my gaze down, my body on fire when I should be running for my life.
When I reach the edge where the other Kors are, I look up to see if they’re also just as entertained.
However, they’re gone. Silently.
When I gather the courage to look back at Mars, he is also gone.
I stumble around in a circle and I see nothing.
Where the heck?
All I’m left with is a rock covered in glitter.
It shines on that boulder, but she’s dead because of me.
I don’t cry, I just look at the aftermath of having a friend and I feel rather numb.
It’s too late, I can’t bring her back.
One thing is certain… the Empress of Dark Ninth can’t have any friends.
The Kors consumed everything.
They weren’t carnivores. Or cannibals.
They were just a different kind of predator.
For the feminine kind.
I truly had no idea how to combat that. I only knew the Kors were now here, with me.
And anywhere I went, they would follow.
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|◦•●◉✿ DARK NINE CHAPTER 9 ✿◉●•◦ |
I returned to my pod and I have a choice to make, to take the ET Key and get off planet – or deal with the Kors on Planet Live.
I had 10,000 habitable planets to choose from, but they would follow my signature through space.
It took at least a few hours to do that kind of trace, however, so I had a head start if I wanted one.
I wait a few hours, in my pod, knowing I made a deal with them that was so… ridiculous… now that I had played it over, again and again in my head.
I’ll tell you what, you can have me if one day I wake up in my hide out and you’ve all managed to sneak in without me noticing. Then I’ll capitulate. I’m very good at hiding.
I sweat with embarrassment just replaying the memory.
Now that I had seen them kill, hunt and vanish with speed and silence, I had no choice but to return to Dark Ninth before them. My only two realistic options left were to traverse a landscape I knew so well, that being Earth… or the place they wouldn’t expect me to choose, Dark Ninth.
Earthlings would probably kill me for being a Dark Nine.
I had no choice but to choose the risky option and go back to their home planet.
They wouldn’t expect that, right?
My aim was clear anyway. I would look around for new information while they were gone, and try not to get eaten by giant spiders or Chonk in the process.
By the time a few hours had passed, if I still didn’t feel safe waiting for our next inevitable encounter, I’d leave before they could intercept me.
In my few hours on Dark Ninth alone, I’ve hit the jackpot of new info.
My risk paid off. Not only did I explore all their rooms on the top fourth floor of the prison without them noticing… I explored all the other levels. The third floor had guest rooms and lounges. The second floor had laboratories, it was a workplace and it belongs to one Kor specifically… E.
I stay on this level because it’s abandoned and full of files.
I spread them out on a damp work bench, where green moss crawls over everything.
Little glow bugs circle around helpfully as I read through the papers I found at the top of the pile.
What I find is an album of the last days of ‘feydom’, or Fey rule of Dark Ninth.
On one page is a photo of Empress V, named Cinta. She is decked out in a huge dress, with a hood that covers her face, and material that covers her arms and hands… the only visible skin on her face is covered by a metallic bronze mask. Behind her, in chains – crawl the shadowed Kors… they do not look strong, they look weak, underfed, too skinny, only crawling because they look starved to near death.
They are completely subjugated, some look covered in welts and bruises. All around the procession, hundreds of females stand with pregnant bellies, well fed and smiling as they see the Empress strut with her slaves.
When I flick through the album pages, I see many images of Cinta with one Kor in particular, always around, by her side.
Venus. Grey with gold stripes, he looks nothing like he does now; green.
He looks the most fed and most happy, although an ankle chain follows him in every image.
He seems to be working in this very lab most of the time, as vials and vials of… what I think is venom, is being produced, stored and shipped out. Plenty of cabinets are filled to the brim with Kor Venom.
It is the only thing that makes sense to me.
I hear footsteps, however – there is no way they’re back already!
But of course… they wouldn’t chase me forever, maybe they had decided to come back home for a small break?
Shit, I should have anticipated that.
I turn around, and I only see one of the Kors has come back.
Blushing from being caught in his abandoned laboratories, I just freeze up.
I had come to Dark Ninth wearing the Krown and Plume too, I just didn’t expect any of them to see me like this so soon.
Covered in shadows, Venus doesn’t stare at my tits, instead he looks straight at my exposed face, his eyes wide and furious.
“Why the hell are you in here, Diana?” he asks, loud and clear.
He walks over, and I step very far back, hiding behind a few tables, I keep my distance as Venus strides past to look over the albums I spread out… he stops breathing for a moment, then starts to breathe heavy.
His large shoulders are hunched over, as if in extreme pain.
Venus spins around, as if staring at the photos is too much for him, but his expression is blank as he leans back against the workbench, his dark eyes glazed over.
Stuck in a memory, he keeps thinking, his body tense, every muscle straining, every vein popping.
“E?” I whisper.
He doesn’t respond.
I shuffle a tiny bit closer, still keeping a large enough distance between us.
“Venus?” I call to him again.
His breathing had steadied, but his hands are clenching the workbench behind him a little too hard. He looks up, his only movement, but he doesn’t see me.
I step closer again, then I come to a stop.
My instincts tell me to halt.
Don’t get any closer.
It was dangerous to disturb him.
I wait, using the opportunity to look Venus over, and really take him in.
He was taller than I realised, he just walked everywhere behind others or looking down, his shoulders curved in, his movements shuffles rather than large normal strides… his green skin looks… dusty, or mouldy? The scars look mangled and raw, even though they must be old. I wonder if he picks at them?
This man looks… unhinged, but also unreachable.
In pain, but also wanting to be in that pain, with no desire to come out.
“Is it she, who hurt you?” I ask into the air, pointing to the picture I laid out of the ex-Empress.
Again, Venus doesn’t hear me.
“Diana,” Mercury’s here.
I didn’t hear anyone else approach.
I gasp but Mercury puts his hand over my mouth, to stop me screaming.
After a few seconds, he takes his hand away, but he keeps his heat close to my back, his hand resting on the top of mine, which I’ve laid out on the table next to me. I had been leaning on it, now Mercury leans on it with me.
I look to the exit of this workplace, but no one else seems to be around.
“The Empress before you, one day she realised she was in love with E,” Mercury explains softly, his mouth next to my ear as we watch Venus, “That to her, was her greatest weakness, and would eventually lead to her demise if she ever caved into her love for a Kor. To be a successful Empress, successful as in one who lives a long time… she had to kill him, before instincts took over and they could mate, which would lead to her submission, which could then lead to the fall of the Feydom. So, to combat her greatest weakness, Cinta sent Venus to an early execution,” Mercury explains the story with patience, helping me understand from an outside perspective, “…it’s that decision that would lead to the end of the Feydom… the female rule of Dark Ninth.”
“What happened, since the execution failed?” I murmur.
“Have you worked it out yet, that venom was extracted here? Why waste Kor Venom, when it can be extracted from bone marrow,” he explains, “E just had to live while it was done, until it was done, until the end.”
“They went for his bones?” I ask.
“Venom was never taken from bone marrow before,” Mercury explains, “So it was performed with inexperience… it was equivalent to torture, and Cinta watched it happen, never halting it once. But E didn’t die… he was meant to, and in his last breaths, or what should have been, he lay broken and bloodied, hoarse from screaming… I watched from my chains as Cinta had a moment of regret and tried to kiss him goodbye, apologising for the betrayal of their love.”
“…a little late for an apology,” I murmur.
“Not only that,” Mercury growls, agreeing with me, “The torture had changed his venom, it had evolved to fight for his survival, and the potency became toxic. When she kissed her beloved Kor that she sentenced to death, Cinta died instantly… an accident… and unceremonious… tragic for her… it was a delight for me to see, however… although, not for E. He still loved her.”
“So not only was Venus betrayed and tortured, his own venom killed the love of his life, just from a kiss,” I gulp.
“He had been tortured like that for three days, Kors are tough to kill, you must know,” Mercury adds, “But that also meant the venom was already distributing around the prison and Dark Ninth itself, and all those who tasted it, rather than experience their addiction to euphoria, they all died instantly,” Mercury points to a picture in the book of all the guardians of the prison, “They died first. We escaped our bonds because of this.”
“What about the other Kors?” I ask, “The men around Dark Ninth, were you nine the strongest or something?”
“We were the only Kors, since the start, we not only live forever but our DNA slowly reshuffles overtime, we change appearance, we can mate forever with the Fey, but while we live forever, they do not,” Mercury’s hand boldly touches my belly and I jerk away, out of his shadow.
I turn to face him, my heart racing.
“…you did not have sons?” I ask.
“Of course we did but none were pure Kor like us,” he explains slowly.
“Are you a different breed?” I ask, “To the Fey?”
“Something like that,” Mercury looks to Venus, who is stuck in a bind within the traumatic memories replaying in his head, “But we only love once. As Venus took to Cinta, it seems Mars has taken to you…” Mercury gulps and looks me over head to toe, “…but… he’s not the only one who feels that way…”
“Huh?” I whisper, “You also feel that way?”
“…all of us feel that way, maybe it’s a curse for going on a rampage and obliterating our captors… all of them… until nothing remained in our hearts…” Mercury shrugs, his expression cold when he speaks of their destruction of the planet.
“Who thought of bringing the Fey back?” I wonder.
“We all thought about it,” Mercury murmurs, “So one day Mars scouted out a human female leaning toward Dark Nine tendencies, which would make you a prime candidate for Dark Ninth life. E redesigned the Jace herb to rearrange human DNA… it works better on a young subspecies, hence we had to give it to you as a child, it worked, but no wonder, E never gets it wrong,” Mercury sees the fire of curiosity in my gaze.
“But why?” I wonder, “Why would Venus want to make me a Fey? Did you all become…” I dare ask it, “Lonely, or something?”
“As the universe expands, our life is prolonged, yes we were alone, but you’re not here because of loneliness, we have never been lonely…” Mercury seems reluctant to elaborate on that, “…but why not, Diana?”
“Why not? That is why you did it?” I ask, raising a brow, “Do any of you harbour hatred of Fey kind… even though I am the only one now,” I whisper, terrified of this answer, “…do you feel a need to… keep exacting revenge…?”
“No,” Mercury tries not to smile at my concern, “You are completely innocent to our crimes, and of past Feydom crimes… and it’s not that all Fey were bad, it’s that some were and by the time we were prisoners for destinies on end, we had a need to exact total vengeance. There was no mercy shown to us for so long, we gave that back when we broke out… from the Fey perspective, it made sense to keep us imprisoned forevermore,” Mercury further explains, “…it’s not for a lack of intelligence that we were shown such lack of mercy… even a moment of kindness, could lead to the death of a Fey and then all of them. And when we are hungry, it’s hard to foresee… but they were also addicts to our venom,” Mercury tapers off and seems curious if I’ll be confused about it. I’m not. It’s making more sense than ever. I take a seat on a carved stone stool, and I fold my hands in my lap instead, “Why did you come back to Dark Ninth, Diana?”
“Why not?” I ask, throwing the words back to Mercury, “I am curious too, I guess.”
We both hear Venus move then, and I turn to see him lean up off the bench, his eyes focused on the here and now, “Get out of here,” Venus tells me, his eyes stone cold, “Don’t come back in here without permission or an escort.”
“I’m sorry, I promise I’ll ask you directly next time –” I try to speak calmly, but Venus snaps.
“Don’t bother,” Venus’ sharp eyes look away from me back to the paper I spread across his moss covered work bench, “Don’t touch my stuff, don’t talk to me, and don’t even try,” he snarls at the end, looking over his shoulder at me with true aggression, to the point his younger brother steps between us and puts a hand on my shoulder, ushering me out quickly.
“Go,” Mercury walks behind and he doesn’t address Venus.
When we are out of there, I walk slowly with Mercury, and his fingers trail down my spine, it should tickle, but instead it sends electricity through my veins, a pleasant rush.
I curl away from his warm touch, only to look up at him and observe his intent, “What now?” I ask.
“Who do you want to take it,” Mercury asks me, seriously, “Who will you choose?”
Take what… my virginity? I’ll admit, I had fantasised about it a lot.
“Who do I prefer?” I ask, and I gulp, “…I want… um… I admit… it’s Mars… but I don’t trust him… after all, he hunts me and didn’t even vote to keep me around…” Mercury smiles handsomely at that, clearly thinking about some kind of inside joke.
“Would you like to feel more at home?” Mercury asks instead, “Or would you prefer to keep running away from us?”
“I’d like to feel more at home, with the ability to leave whenever I so desire,” I ask that instead, “That seems rather reasonable, it’s my human brain speaking… a compromise…”
“Due to the nature of risk, and the value of you, you can’t go anywhere without bodyguards, literally. I will happily flank you if you need to travel, even if you wish to visit your old planet,” Mercury is being very kind, but I’m not sure if I should be suspicious of that as I feel like we’re finally getting more comfortable with one another.
“Mercury, I hope you’re being plain with me. Please don’t ever lie to me,” I say, suddenly adding, “Trust is important for this relationship between me and you… and them, wouldn’t you agree?”
“Of course, Diana,” Mercury keeps pace with me as I walk a little aimlessly.
“Where is everyone?” I ask.
“Bathing,” Mercury explains, “I’ll show you to our natural spring baths, you’ll love it.”
“Why wasn’t Venus bathing?” I ask.
“He doesn’t,” Mercury looks a little embarrassed admitting that, “I don’t think he has bathed in a thousand years. That’s probably why he turned green.”
I look disgusted, and Mercury doesn’t blame me for looking grossed out.
“What appearance does he usually have?” I ask, “In the photos, he looked different then.”
“Exactly, like me, but his stripes are gold,” he explains, “Or they were…”
“Alright… well, let’s go to the others, then,” I toughen up, while my thighs feel heavy, at the thought… of maybe giving in a little… especially thinking about them all naked, in a Dark Ninth hot spring… bathing in nature… how delicious… argh, I had already put the thought of my friend Zina to the back of my head… that was bad, but even so, I had no choice but to communicate with the Kors, they were my destiny now, “I will try to stay calm, Mercury, and I’ll try not to run away again. Thank you for talking to me about Venus… and not… you know, putting me in a cage again…”
Mercury pats my head in approval.
I smile up at him, feeling cheeky, since his own smile seems genuine.
After the pats, Mercury’s hand slides down my head, to the nape of my neck, and as he holds me, his fingers suspiciously follow the veins along my neck.
I feel him searching for my pulse.
It freaks me out and my smile drops, “Why do you do that? You’re all obsessed with my neck.”
“It’s a beautiful neck,” Mercury explains quietly, “…it’s admiration for your beating heart…” like Mars putting his hand on my chest, he had done it twice on two different occasions, “…it’s hard to believe you’re real…” Mercury says that low, with honest vulnerability, it feels like a massive compliment.
“Do the others know I’m back?” I ask.
“No, none of us thought you’d return so soon – I just left the springs to check on my brother, he must have sensed a disturbance, nothing gets past E’s senses,” Mercury explains, “Before Venus went insane, he was the head Kor, the best at everything. We all looked up to him. Mars stepped up when he stepped down. They used to be best friends but… E is hard to reach now, even I have trouble and he trusts me the most.”
And who could blame E? He was only tortured in the most excruciating fashion, had his venom permanently altered to be lethal and had the love of his life, not only sentence him to such a horrendously failed execution, but then she died in his arms.
I do wonder how someone could heal from that, E had been shattered beyond belief, into something completely unrecognisable.
I’m already intrigued, however, with the impossible.
I want to help Venus.
But I know trying would even be dangerous. I knew he was volatile.
So, for now I’d keep my distance from him, and focus on the others.
Maybe new experiences would help, and I guess I counted as something brand new… so who knows, maybe I can help E come out of his shell and trust again?
I think of Mars too… maybe Mars could help me with that, since they used to be best buddies… well… that is, if he didn’t kill me first. I had to work on that too.
I feel kind of smug walking back to the Kors with Mercury flanking me.
Mars may have snuck up on me on Planet Live, hunted me down and scared me out of my wits, but I wonder how he would react when I walked right into the room?
I’m already anticipating all their reactions.
So far Mercury had been rather pleasant at my return, so maybe… hopefully… the others would be happy to see me as well. Heh, my main priority was staying out of a cage, after all.
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|◦•●◉✿ DARK NINE CHAPTER 10 ✿◉●•◦ |
Mercury makes me wait behind a few stone pillars, putting his finger to his handsome mouth, telling me to keep quiet and wait, while he re-enters the pool without me.
I watch as he steps into the still water, which ripples to welcome him within.
His grey skin, covered with black stripes, gets absorbed below the water line with each step he takes, as steam rises from the cloudy turquoise water.
I see the seven others, all lounging, most with their eyes closed, leaning back, just absorbing the heat.
The pool is naturally oval shaped, although the steps down are built in architecture, like the pillars holding the roof up.
This area was a part of the prison, but nestled away into the Dark Ninth Forest. The walls had been broken down so that the hot springs had become a natural feature of these ruins, half under cover, half bleeding out into nature.
Mercury seemed confident I wouldn’t run, since he did not look back to check if I would have second thoughts – and he does not alert the others.
He takes his position next to Saturn.
They murmur quietly to each other, but nothing I can particularly hear.
I slip off the Plume and Krown, silently placing it on the wet stones.
I peep around the pillar and my heart is as steady as my hand as I lean out to work out how I’ll approach them, what I’ll ask, say, and do.
Finally, my superpower doesn’t feel so useless.
It’s as clear as day, after witnessing some of their past in photographs with Empress V Cinta. What I had to do was simply everything opposite of her own actions.
And it helped that it did not feel like a forced decision.
I had always been naturally gentle, quiet and liked to avoid conflict. But I had always had a core that was unshakable, when needed I could be fierce and brave when it came to new challenges, or stepping into a zone that I wanted to be in, even when I had to overcome any fears of the unknown.
And I wanted to be here, with so many unknown risks, with all nine Kors.
Minus Venus, who did not come back with us from his old labratory in the prison.
I’d just have to do this without him for now.
I slowly slide around the pillar until I’m in full view, but I’ve made my breathing more smooth so it’s undetectable, and no eyes see me and no ears hear me, as I softly walk forward.
I have a plan.
I wasn’t going to say a word.
I approach the hot springs as swiftly as I can.
I make it to the first step without detection.
They had all been resting, eyes shut, heads back, steam simmering around them all. Mercury blended right in, pretending not to know.
My toe touches the water as I sink my bare foot onto the steps, and the first sound of my arrival echoes.
All eyes snap open, and I jump to dive bomb off the first step into the middle of the hot spring, before they can react.
I slam in and sink under the water.
My nerves feel tingly with so many ancient souls staring at me, combined with my recklessness.
I stay under the water, until it sinks into my hair, curling around my limbs, like a comforting veil. It’s as if nature approves of my decision to be so bold!
Feeling amazing and full of life, I feel satisfied. It’s like I’ve hunted them down, as I face upward, kick off the bottom and rise to the surface.
My head escapes the water line.
I breathe in deeply, then I open my eyes and slowly stand upright in the middle of the hot spring.
When I am stranding completely straight, the water laps at my nipples, while I reach up my hands and thread them through my blonde hair, stroking through the water as I spin in a circle, gazing every Kor in the eye.
I am gaining some kind of freshly forged bond with them, that is beyond naivety, once consumed by their memory.
Right now, I own this moment, bringing them firmly to the present, so they don’t have to think about how it’s so crazy that I am real, that I exist, that my heart beats. I am not hard to believe. I am real and I’m not the old Fey, I’m something else.
Born human, that will always stay with me, making me different even if my DNA had changed to become just like a Fey.
My veins throb with luminescence in the water, reacting to the hot spring.
I take my fingers out of my hair.
I had spun around clockwise, from Mercury, to Saturn, to Neptune, to Pluto, to Uranus, to Mars, to Terra, to Jupiter. They all had the exact same expression when I looked at them.
I was greeted with shock, turning to a different kind of euphoria that I see clearly in all their eyes.
It was the satisfaction and pleasure that came with knowing they finally ‘caught their prey’.
But it’s mixed with confusion.
They didn’t catch me.
And I didn’t come here to hurt them.
I just came here willingly.
I hum a little mischievous song to myself, as I duck back under the water and come up again.
I look to Mercury for affirmation.
He looks proud, frozen to the spot at my nakedness, but proud.
I lick my lips and turn in a 180 in the water to Mars.
I swim toward him, my arms pushing the water aside as I kick closer.
Mars’ eyes sharpen, suspicious.
I stop just before his stretched out legs, he sits on a rock, his arms out of the water, laid out on the edges.
I dive under the water and grab Mar’s right foot with my hand, kissing his toes, then tickling the sole as I kick back up, grinning when he pulled his leg back from the ‘assault’.
I laugh as I reach the surface and see Mar’s expression of disbelief at my audacity.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you,” I finally speak, telling Mars this directly, and then all of them, as I turn around once more, swimming back to the stairs.
As I swim back the length of the hot spring, I feel every eye on me, and I feel true power in that moment.
They don’t want me to leave, and they feel so much in this moment, they can’t even speak!
I pretend I’m exiting, swimming for the steps, without looking at any of them, I give them my naked back as I walk up two steps, the water only lapping at my knees by then.
I spin around, however, and sit on the third step, most of my body out of the water, but it still sits around my hips, as I hold my knees to my chest and cover my chest, hugging them close and popping my chin on the top of one knee.
As I look over each Kor, soaking up their silent attention… I feel like an Empress right now.
They’re waiting for my word. My voice.
“…before I tell you what I decided, I want to know why…” I begin, “I guess I just want to know why you hunted Zina.”
“Camping grounds are also hunting grounds, what we did was legal, and any person who camps on Protected Planets knows the risk of natural death,” Saturn speaks up, eager to get me to the part where I tell them what I decided, “Legally, Diana, we hunt, we do not murder. It is recognised as such at the highest levels of authority in the universe.”
“I thought as much,” I whisper, but still thinking that I learned that a little too late, but unfortunately, I couldn’t fix that mishap, “So, as for what I decided, I… ah… I willingly decided to capitulate to my instincts,” I answer, “Not from fear. But because… why not? I know what my body and soul tell me,” I look at Mercury, and he smiles softly, “…but I want to make it clear, I am human first, Fey secondary.”
“We’d love to make you feel right at home, sweetheart, but one of us is missing,” Jupiter speaks up now, looking annoyed, “Where’s E?”
“Not here,” Mars stands up, the water dripping from him as he focuses on me, as the unofficial designated head Kor, he walks toward me.
I stare at his nakedness.
I stare without shame.
His body is insanely magnificent to me. I think he is the most refined of them all. There was something about his skin, how it was one with nature on this planet completely. Like a perfect camouflage, without the invisibility. It was the way he moved with his confidence too, that lifted him above the others like a King. He never waited for anyone or anything, he just moved in for what he wanted.
The only reason this response took so long was the fact I ‘ambushed’ them while they were naked and vulnerable.
Now I’m finally getting some of Mars’ special attention.
As he closes the final gap between us, I make the decision at the last moment to stand up and meet him, using the steps to keep my eye level with his, since he is much taller than me.
I was five foot five, they were all at least seven feet tall.
Not to mention the width of them, built with predatory musculature.
While I was… well, I was just small, like a human.
Mars says nothing at first, his first move is to hold up his palm, an open invitation to step forward and press my cheek to it… inviting me up for some venom.
I look to his mouth, and I see over his sharp teeth, the venom already drips with a distinct glitter.
“Prove yourself,” Mars asks me to truly capitulate with this.
To master capitulation, I had to survive that kiss without freaking out. I had to trust them.
I grab his hand with two of mine, and I place it over my left breast, over my heart but with a distinct difference – so he can squeeze it if he wants. A more sexual offer, as I step down, but lean up at the same time, offering my mouth to accept the kiss.
I lick my lips by accident, a little thirsty for a virgin, but Mars’ eyes notice immediately – and he seems jealous of my own tongue.
His hand squeezes my breast, as his other hand reaches behind, spanks my ass once and doesn’t leave as he squeezes that too with renewed ownership, as his mouth crushes mine.
I keep my head up as he finally, truly kisses me.
Mars doesn’t lick my lips. He doesn’t peck me.
He truly, deeply, finally, tastes me – and in his expression of lust, I also feel a deep, warm love seep through. A long-term possession.
The kiss lures me in, I get on my tip toes, while Mars’ fingers dig and knead over my ass, his hand sliding to my other breast, down to my rib cage, causing a ripple of need down my spine.
I gasp into his mouth and push myself flush with Mars’ iron hard abdominals, until his giant dick is sliding across my waist.
I gasp and open my eyes when Mars’ saliva hits my blood.
I grab onto his shoulders, scared for the slamming aggression.
It’s different this time.
Mars feels different.
He… now my…
I glare with need at his shaft, a dark navy green.
I feel that there is zero need in Mars to hunt me. It’s gone. I obliterated it by coming to him.
But he does want to fuck, I already do too – but now I feel his need overwhelming my own.
I grab his hand which has slid along my rib cage to my waist, and I pull it over my stomach, trying to push his hand between my legs.
He stops his hand at my belly button, just to see the quick look of frustration grow in my green eyes, as his other hand kneads my ass still.
I plead with him, just by glaring.
“What is it, Diana?” Mars asks, pretending to be oblivious of how horny I am.
“MmmMm!” I moan out a complaint, while a blush creeps up my neck as I hear the others stand up in response to the animalistic and shameless noise I just let out.
“You want… something?” Mars asks again, looking straight at me, no blinking, as his warm, perfect, strong hand, slides off my ass – and he steps back into the water, stepping back again.
The entire time, I’m stepping forward in some natural dance, magnetised to step forward and close the gap he is artificially creating, luring me deeper.
I reach out with both hands, licking my lips again, tasting his sweet, sweet need in the lingering venom.
But as I reach out for Mars, my fingers stop a hairs breath from his torso, when two hands snap up my wrists, halting me.
Either side of me, Mercury had approached and grabbed my left wrist, while Jupiter apprehended my right.
Mars stands untouched, as if protected by his own personal security.
He seems delighted I am so eager for him.
I pull on Mercury and Jupiter’s hold to no avail, while the others keep circling closer – yet my eyes can only focus on Mars’ gorgeous mouth.
“Let me go?” I ask it, I whine it, I whimper it – all three at once, as my need overpowers my civility, “MmMm please, why?” I beg them, as Mercury and Jupiter still keep me from closing the miniscule distance left to Mars.
“You have yet to taste us all,” Jupiter explains simply.
“I’ve tasted you,” I whisper, biting my lip.
“…you have yet to taste all of us…” Jupiter repeats himself in an irate murmur, tinged with only a low level of amusement, “You’ll taste us all, then you can touch, touch, touch all you like, little one.”
“Then give it to me.”
I order it.
I want it so bad that I demand it.
Mars reaches for me.
He wraps his hand around my small neck, tight – but not too tight. But still…
Even though I can breathe, the grabbing of my throat gave me a slight shock, I didn’t expect it.
Holding my chin up, Mars looks offended.
“Know this, Diana,” Mars’ eyes travel down my face, as he drawls with a warning to take this seriously, “You give. We take. In return… you will live… however, we will take you whenever we desire. You’ll know nothing else. The price for our venom is death, it always has been. In place of death, it’ll be your complete and total obedience. A willing slave. A venom whore… we all get what we want.”
“Do you agree to those terms, little one?” Mercury has moved in slyly to my ear, nibbling on the top with his sharp teeth again.
Do I agree? Mars’ hand squeezes down my throat once and lets me go so I can decide.
I move instantly as I close my eyes, I turn my head toward Mercury’s sexy mouth and deep growl – and I open my lips for him.
I kiss Mercury.
He bites me, gently, on my bottom lip, wanting to tug on it just a little bit.
My wrists are released, and I bring both of them up to clasp Mercury’s face, wanting to prolong the kiss – when other hands grab my waist, pulling me back.
When I whimper in a breath and look over my shoulder – my heart starts to race.
Behind me, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, Neptune and Uranus wait, crowding in, blocking all escape.
The venom from Mars and Mercury is combining into a need so deep, I feel like I’m on the hunt for a deep, rough owning – from each one of them. Or altogether.
But first, I needed to taste all of them.
They wanted it that way.
I was going to capitulate.
I was going to give them everything.
Nothing else mattered.
I needed their touch.
My deepest Fey Enhanced Instincts wanted one thing above all else.
I wanted to be their venom whore.
Fey Empress VI, Diana.
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