March of the Cybrids-17

The Gathering Storm

The small light in the distance darted like a firefly between the twilight sky and the blackness of the horizon. Raul watched his ship’s RADAR as the light tracked across the heavens. He looked out of the pilothouse window at Gloria perched on the bow looking like a silver hood ornament.

Her meter long swim fins hung over the edge of the boat as she intertwined her arms above her head and stretched. She lowered her hands and clasped them behind her back, dropped her head to her knees, and lifted her arms exposing her round bottom gift wrapped in a Bare Necessities one piece bathing suit. Raul studied his siren in the ruching style black Miratex fabric with strategically placed mesh panels.

“By Zeus, she’s going to give me an aneurysm if she keeps that up,” Raul mumbled to himself as he strained to take in the erotic view on the bow of his ship.

Raul touched his throat mic and warned Gloria to get ready to jump into the ink-black water to find the payload dropped by the drone.

“Package inbound. Two minutes.”

“She can’t keep doing this to me, dammit. I’ve got to convince her to quit this relentless hunt for errant Cybrids and stay with me.” Raul’s mutterings were a hopeless encouragement to the figure framed in the glass of his pilothouse. He knew better than to ask Gloria for such a favor.

The light dipped down, and a dark shape raced toward the ship.  Fifty meters out, a splash behind the drone appeared as it flew over the top of the vessel, its thrust engines vibrating in Raul’s chest leaving the two Dragons in silence as it arched out over the sky.

“Touchdown. Give me a radio check before you go.”  Raul watched as Gloria gave him a thumbs up and then twisted to fall backward into the water. She held her mask with one hand and waved at Raul as she went over the side.

Raul walked to the bow where Gloria had slipped into the sea and looked down into the water. Her shimmering figure glowed under the rippled surface of the water.

“Come on in love, the water’s fine.” Gloria hung suspended in the water on her back and beckoned to Raul under the water.

“I will as soon as you bring my bon voyage package back to me, dear.  Be a sweetheart and keep warm for me and please hurry back.”

The bright image rolled over and darted away. Raul watched on his handheld viewer as Gloria’s sonar return closed on the dot drifting in the underwater currents of the sea.

“I’ve got it on my wrist viewer,”  Gloria reported as her faint light moved under the water’s surface toward the blip on Raul’s screen.

Raul tapped the screen on his viewer and instructed the ship to set a bearing toward a point 20 feet away from the intercept point. He watched the screen as the boat moved to the pick-up position to retrieve the package and Gloria.

“I’ve got it.” Gloria sounded relieved, her voice husky from her labored breath.

Raul halted the ship and ordered it to hold the position.

“Come on up and we’ll celebrate your find.”

“And what reward do I get from my captain for a job well done,” Gloria asked as she swam toward the surface next to the ship.”

“I think you earned your favorite treat with this accomplishment, my love,” Raul said with a hint of pleasure.

“Oh, you made coffee?”

“That too,” Raul replied.

There was a muffled laugh then Raul heard, “ your dirty talk is making me wet.”

“You appear completely soaked, my dear.” Raul chuckled.

Gloria’s teasing voice whispered promises in his earpiece and sent chills down his back, raising the hair on his arms.

Raul leaned over the ship’s side to throw the rope ladder over for Gloria. He watched as she swam just below the surface toward him. Her skin reflected the blue twilight and glowed in the darkness illuminating a halo around her body. Raul thought of the sirens of ancient mythology singing to a ship’s captain luring him and the crew to the hazards of the sea. In Gloria’s case, he shipwrecked himself in her arms without hesitation.

His Siren threw up the loose coils of a thin rope, which Raul wrapped in the friction wheel of his winch he used to bring pallets of cargo aboard. He started the winch motor and went to help Gloria climb on board.

Raul handed her a towel and forgot about the winch as she dried herself. Gloria leaned against him as he reached for her. Her lips closed over his as she pressed herself against his body. The towel dropped to the deck as the pod slammed into the winch.

“I think your winch is unhappy.” Gloria eased away from the aroused Dragon as his eyes followed her with the ravenous look that caught her breath and made her heart pound with anticipation.

“I’ll get cleaned up while you break down the package. Don’t keep me waiting too long.” Gloria turned and headed down the passageway to the door that led to the captain’s suite.

Raul hurried with the task of opening the pod and taking out all the gear. He put the container in the forward storage compartment and the fins, towel, and gear in a net bag. He threw the bag over his shoulder and hummed a salty sailor’s ditty as he made his way below decks.

A few minutes later, Raul dumped the contents of the bag on the table in the galley and sorted out the weapons, ammo, and other gear. He put the swim fins away and hung up the towel then went to work on making coffee just the way his Siren liked it.

Raul poured the coffee in an insulated decanter just as Gloria walked in wearing her favorite oversized t-shirt and merino wool thigh socks. Her damp hair hung in loose strands with lazy twists ending in needle sharp points. Her eyes glowed in the dull light of the galley matching the luminescence of the exposed skin of her upper thighs just before they disappeared under the shirt. Raul could not take his eyes off of her as he felt the ache in his loins increase, awakening the ferocious dragon that coursed in his blood and sinew.

“Oh, you are so good to me.” Gloria took the decanter of coffee from Raul’s hands and poured them each a cup.

Gloria sat down at the table and looked up into her Dragon’s hungry eyes. His face was fierce and rugged. His rawness was the antithesis of his gentleman’s behavior. He always gave her butterflies, and she felt like a young minx in heat when he looked at her with those ravenous eyes.

“How soon before landfall?”  Gloria’s voice wavered with anticipation.

Raul strained to regain control.

“We have a little over an hour,” He replied.

“Let’s check out our weapons and gear and get ready.” Gloria lacked the coldness in her tone she usually had before a mission.

Raul and Gloria worked together to function check their weapons and gear, fitting their powered armor suits, and strapping everything in place for easy access. They checked each other out to make sure everything was correctly installed and attached. Raul tuned his exoskeleton to his neural network. The suit made up for his decline from age. He honed his experience and cunning to a razor edge though he was not a young warrior anymore.

Satisfied everything was ready to go, Gloria helped her Dragon out of his suit touching him and caressing his skin with her fingers as she removed each piece. Raul took Gloria out of her protective cage of gear returning the favor of her attention with less tenderness and more passion. She eased the captain’s shirt over his head and undid his belt taking his pants off the galley floor as he stepped out of them.

Two bodies glowed from the galley light subdued by the impending black night outside the portals. Gloria saw the stallion of her past sculpted and thick, his beard and mane black and shiny, framing his stunning deep set eyes. She held her man’s thick fingers in her hands and tugged him to her as she sat on the edge of the table and lowered herself down on her back instinctively embracing the beguiled captain’s hips with the soft warmth of her thighs.

They made love like it was the last chance they had to feel the ecstasy of their enduring bond. Raul’s passion was as rugged as the man. Lips savored velvet skin as fingers and palms quested along the trade routes of pleasure. Aching melodies of desire spilled over the tip of tongues; tasting ears, nipples, and skin on their meandering way to the main course.

Gloria twined her fingers in her Dragon’s hair to hold him to her until she tensed every muscle and vibrated like a guitar string plucked to a hot Spanish tune. Later, Raul swore to the denizens of the deep as his Siren pleasured him in a tantalizing slowness in keeping with the rhythm of the sea and the gentle rock of the boat. When he could resist no longer, he took her slow and shallow. Gloria lifted her head to look at her lover’s face. Her lips curled back exposing a toothy grimace as he went deep. She touched his thighs; he retreated and Gloria released her held breath. A low moan filled the air as Gloria resigned to accept his girth feeling her lover’s passion race through her body.

Frantic ankles searched for each other and locked behind Raul’s back as Gloria lifted up from the table and clutched him round the neck; impaling herself, growling like a she-devil, biting his chest, neck, and ear. They joined in exquisite pain, the kind of pain Dragon Warriors are accustomed to when the lust for blood and sex fuses in the body and soul of the beast within. The song of unrepentant desire, as old as humankind, echoed across the water as the ship lifted and fell on a rolling sea.

* * *

Five kilometers away inside the treeline by the shore, Tamari dismounted her horse and took him and the other two over to a low hanging branch and looped the reins to keep the animals from wandering off.  She moved closer to the beach to keep watch for the Dragon Warriors.

A Cybrid watched through his night vision goggles as Tamari slipped through the forest to the beach. He looked over at the others and motioned for them to get ready to attack.

March of the Cybrids-16

The Mission

She felt the undulations in the captain’s bed. It was delicious revelry in between sleep and awake as the ship rose and fell like a galloping horse underneath her.  Gloria looked out the portal into the waning day, reflected on the broken surface of the sea. There was comfort in the isolation of seeing nothing but water as it stretched out toward the horizon. There was security in not knowing what lurked beneath or above.

The smell of coffee and bread warming in the galley roused her. Gloria stretched, inhaled the enticing aromas, and decided it was time to leave the comforting scent and feel of the bed. The captain’s T-shirt caught in the curve of her back, revealing her backside in the dim light that filtered through the portal. She made her way to the galley to find the captain of the ship and master of her sequestered heart.

“Ah, I see you are awake. Come on in and have the last dinner with an old sailor.”

Gloria slid across the cushion of the bench seat at the table as Raul lifted two loaves of bread from the oven and set the pan on top of the stove. He went back to fiddle with a glass globe with and alcohol burner under it.

“You certainly don’t act old in bed,” Gloria mused.

“Oh, that. The seas were a little rough last night. I was just trying to hold on and not get thrown onto the floor.”

Gloria laughed at Raul’s mischievous grin. His playfulness seemed out of place with his rugged features and usual scowl.

“What is that contraption you’re showing so much love to? I think I’m jealous of it.”

“The finest coffee maker the world has seen fit to provide,” Raul replied like a magician showing off his magic box.

“Oh, stop trying to woo me with all your sexy talk and pour me a cup,” Gloria scolded in a mock tone.  

Gloria feigned irritation in her voice, but her eyes glistened as she watched her lover attend his coffee maker like a mad scientist. She carefully considered asking him to join her on the mission. A twinge of regret went through her at the thought of leaving him again. His strength and cunning made him a valuable ally and kept her nights from being so lonely. Convincing Raul to leave his beloved ship would pit him against his love for her, the boat, and his desire for open water away from the confines of civilization.

Raul poured two cups of coffee and gave one to Gloria, then cut the loaves of bread and added the ingredients for a sandwich. He placed the sandwiches and bowls of soup on the table and sat across from Gloria, savoring the warmth and smell of the coffee.

“We should hit the coast in about three hours. Do you have a contact?”  Raul asked.

Gloria nodded and washed down her food with more coffee.

“Tamari is meeting me just inside the treeline if we manage to make landfall in the right spot.”

“Have no fear, my love. The nav-system takes its job seriously. It will deliver you right where you ask it to.” Raul winked and took another bite of his sandwich.

“Raul, what will you do after you drop me off?”

Raul looked for a long moment at the woman across the table. The look in her eyes questioned him with their pain, and the quiet suffering on her face was not the Dragon Warrior he knew. He had never known Gloria to show such unease before.

“I’ll go back to Romania. Constanta has a small harbor north of the port. I love Old Town and all its decay. The Hotel Ibis is nearby overlooking the beach area. I’ll wait there for the signal to pick you up.”

Gloria looked down at her cup, lifted it to her lips, and looked over the top at the only man she could trust. She took a long sip letting the warm liquid soothe her throat, giving her a moment to find her voice.

“I want you to come with me. I need you.”

“I’m not the gladiator I used to be. Hell, my knees hurt just climbing the stairs to the pilothouse.”

“We won’t be doing much stair climbing.” Gloria coaxed with pleading eyes.

“What about the ship?”  Raul’s concern was evident.

“You can send it to a spot outside the shipping lanes and have it wait until we call it back.”

“Very well. Tell me about what you’d have me do on this vacation. You can start by telling me where we’re going.” Raul did not sound at all like he was ready to leave his solitary life behind for a trip across hundreds of miles of rugged territory.

“We’re headed to Astana in Kazakhstan to meet Peter’s daughter, Val.  She will give us a dossier on our target.” Gloria’s demeanor switched instantly to the cold professional she always was when she focused on her job. It was time for business, and all her vulnerabilities were suddenly tucked away behind a facade of confidence.

Raul’s jovial nature evaporated as well. His penetrating stare fixed Gloria in place as he leaned closer. Gloria felt his intensity on her skin and paused to let the sensation pass before she continued.

“Tamari is our guide. She will escort us through Georgia and Azerbaijan to Baku. We’ll catch another vessel to cross the Caspian Sea to Aktau on the coast of Kazakhstan, pick up another escort team and make a series of hops across the open steppes to Astana.  We’ll avoid alerting the Cybrids by staying away from the main routes.”

“What information will the dossier provide us?” Raul’s question sounded like an interrogation. Gloria felt the deep rumble of his voice in the pit of her stomach. The rawness of her captain made her desire him even more.

“We’ll get all the intel on our target. Routes in, route out, and action in the areas of ingress and egress. Also, the dossier will have a list of safe houses, secondary roads, contacts, and steps to take if compromised. We won’t know much until we get there. That keeps us from giving up too much information if we’re caught and tortured.”

“I don’t hold up well under torture anymore, my love. As soon as they ask, I’m giving up your bra size, so they don’t beat me.”

“Then I’ll beat you.” Gloria mused.

“On second thought, I’ll just take it as the good sea captain I am and stay quiet.

 “That’s a good boy. I’ve trained you well.”

Raul laughed as Gloria sipped her coffee and smirked at him with wet lips.

“So, are we going after a single decapitation or a group?” Raul was serious again.

“The primary is the Cybrid leader of the rebel group that organized most of the resistance in the area. Kazakhstan has a limited number of Dragons, so they called me to do the hit to keep the focus off of them.”

“Who’s the secondary?”

“Members of the primary’s staff and support personnel.”

Satisfied, he knew enough for the moment Raul got up and signaled Gloria to follow. “Come, my love. Let us watch the sunset from the flying bridge before we prepare for landfall.”

Gloria looked at Raul. She saw the yearning in his eyes. Gloria felt drawn to his lips as his hands cupped her bottom and pressed her tight against him. The Praetorian couldn’t think of attack angles and weapon choices while Raul’s hands sent hot flashes through her skin, forcing her to inhale as her heart thumped against his chest. Gloria closed her eyes and let him have his way. She knew there were too few of these moments left in what remained of their lives.

Midnight Confessions

I like words because they can contain… fantasies.

James Lusarde, The Train of Arousal
Image Source: Pinterest
Confessionals and Currency
Sheer scarves cover
a bedside lamp
as night slips in on tiger paws
the swaying beams of a velvet
moon drift through veils of lilac tulle
Her eggshell limbs are caught
in binds, her breasts alert gazelles
she is the red of womanhood
her eyes the shade of currency
Her mind is his confessional
and there is no sin grave enough
By Holly Rene Hunter 

Bus Stop

A bobcat prowled in the shifting shadows between moonbeams of silver light. He stopped to watch the window where light glowed behind the lace curtains casting a lavender hue that interested him. Only here could he see such things. Ears twitched to locate the unwary mouse in the dry grass and he forgot the den of humans to seek out his meal on quiet paws. As the wildcat crept toward the rustling sound across the backyard of the house, the wind chanted like Tibetan Monks through the upper branches of tall pines giving the trees the look and sound of sentient beings lumbering down an illuminated path. Long shadows leapt forward and back to keep time with the changing wind.

Inside the bedroom, the lumbering giants outside cast ghostly shapes against the tulle curtains. A lamp in the opposite corner burned a single bulb under a faded red scarf thrown over the lampshade to paint the room in hues of sunrise and allay Kara’s fear of the dark. She rested on her side and watched the shadows dance across the curtains. 

Somewhere a bobcat growled setting the dogs on edge. 

Viktor placed his arm over Kara, moved closer and pressed his hips against her. She opened her legs to accommodate his thigh pressing between her legs. She felt safe now. She always felt safe with Viktor. She had practically grown up in his protective shadow. Sleep tried to intrude on her fantasy, a waking dream that begged Viktor to make love to her in wanton ways when she was barely out of school. Why had they waited? And, why had she pursued him all those years, especially when he went away to college? Obsessions die long hard deaths, she thought. Oh, what we won’t do for love? Whoever came up with that was someone that understood love’s obsessions.

“Can’t sleep, babe?” Viktor whispered against the back of her neck. A quivering chill raced down Kara’s shoulders and spine.

Kara arched her lower back to press harder against Viktor. “I was just thinking about when I first fell in love with you and how long it took you to wrestle my virginity away from me.”

“It’s 3:00 am Honey. How do you think about such things so early?”

Kara rolled over and slipped on top of his hips, covering him with long strands of hair spilling down from her head. She rested her forehead on his, staring deep in his amused eyes while teasing his lips with hers. “It’s easy when my husband gets so aroused by me. I can’t think of anything else.” Kara rocked her hips slowly while she watched his face. There, good boy. His, I want you, was direct, to the point, decisive, and she gave him what he wanted when he wanted it because, she wanted it too. Ha, my mind is full of giving in so carelessly. She often felt Viktor gave more than he got from her. Not now though. She was in charge of his wants.

The Bobcat screeched a warning and disappeared in the wood line.


Seven Years Earlier

It was bitter cold at the bus stop. Kara had left her coat for her mother to go on a job interview. They needed the money since her father died last spring. She wore a wool sweater and kept her hands in her jean pockets but the cold wind still cut through her. She shivered a few feet away from Viktor hoping he would block some of the wind. She also wanted to stay as far away from those other boys as possible. She was sick of them picking on her. She didn’t need them to remind her that she was sixteen and didn’t have boobs yet. She cringed when she thought about her legs being so thin and her knees looking like softballs perched on baseball bats. She wanted a full bust and round butt like her friend Becky and all she had was a bag of knobby bones to work with.

A snowball slammed into the side of Kara’s face and the gang of boys burst into laughter. It wouldn’t stop until she could lock herself in her room after school. From her glance through disheveled hair, she could see Viktor looking over at her as she shivered as much from the cold as from the shock of being hit in the face with ice. She tried to hide her shame and misery from him.

“You nitwits cut it out or I’ll nail your nuts to the tree.” 

No one argued with Viktor. He was a senior on the football team. He was also the team leader for the wrestling team and had never lost a match in three years. His threat instantly shut down the jovial mood Kara’s tormentors always enjoyed at her expense. He walked up to her and all she wanted was to keep to herself. She was at the bus stop every day and still, he didn’t know her name.

“Are you okay? You look like you are freezing to death.”

Kara, humiliated, could only look down and turn her head. She felt enveloped in Viktor’s jacket as his arm folded across her neck and pulled her against his chest. He zipped her skinny frame inside with only her face peeking out at the neck and oh, my god, frozen on her lips. Viktor brushed the snow out of her hair and then rubbed her back briskly. Kara’s legs felt weak. The stunned juvies turned away to avoid being witnesses to this strange act of cootie-girl rescue.

Warmth enveloped Kara and she instinctively wrapped her arms around Viktor and held herself as close as she could get. He smelled good. Something slithered in the saurian lake of her feminine subconscious. Urges came unbidden to her. She wanted to attach herself to Viktor and never leave his side.

“Thank you, Viktor, but why?” Kara said to his chin.

“In my country, we do not let girls get treated in such a way. You remind me of my Little Sparrow. I will not let these boys bother you anymore,” Viktor vowed.

Growing strangely comfortable with Viktor, Kara asked, “Who was Little Sparrow, your sister?”

“No. She was my neighbor’s daughter. I walked her to school each day until the war came. The anarchists came and took her away. They left only her bones for us to bury.” Viktor clenched his jaw and Kara felt him tense. She had no words. She could not imagine such things. “I’m sorry,” was all she could get out.

In the silence between the rise and fall of their breath and the beat of hearts, Kara heard herself ask, “Can I be your Little Sparrow?”

Viktor smiled with wet eyes glistening and cleared a dry throat to choke something down that threatened him with remembrances better forgotten. Kara placed her cheek against his chest and squeezed harder to comfort him. She felt his hand rub her back like one soothes a child. She accepted it. She would take whatever morsel of attention he would give her.

The bus roared up and slung open the door breaking the quiet moment between them. Viktor opened his jacket and followed Kara on the bus. She sat and looked up in his face and studied his dark eyes and mouth in a way she never had before. Her hand patted the seat cushion next to her to invite him to sit with her. Becky was waiting for Kara and slid in front of Viktor, looked up at him and said hi, before jumping in next to Kara.

“Kara, you are never going to guess who just asked me to prom. Go ahead just guess.” Becky’s fingernails dug into Kara’s arm and she shook the poor girl like a candy machine that took her money and didn’t deliver the treat. Kara looked past Becky for Viktor. He sat at the back of the bus looking at his notebook. Becky stared at Kara. “What’s wrong with you? I bring you the most important news in my entire life and you just look around like I’m not even here,” Becky huffed.

“I’m sorry Becky. I’m so dizzy, I can’t think.”

“Did you get yourself knocked up Kara?”

“Oh God no, Becky. Stop.”

“Jerry asked me to the Prom and he wants me to stay out all night at a barn party.”

“Jerry McKnight?”

“The one and only,” Becky cooed.

“You’re going to get knocked up long before I do if you are going out with him,” Kara said with barely veiled sarcasm before she put her head in her hands and willed herself to go deaf.

Becky tried to stifle a lewd grin and decided to leave Kara to her jealous misery.

To be continued. . .

March of the Cybrids-15

Part II Sojourn

Four Years Later.

A single figure cloaked in the long shadows of dying light watched from the bow of the Dragon Ship as twilight settled over the water. The Marmara Sea ushered Gloria and the ship’s captain passed the Maiden’s Tower islet and into the maw of the Bosphorus Strait. Their fate waited across the Black Sea thirty-two kilometers ahead. 

The region was well known to her captain; Raul, a Romanian man whose love she had never relinquished. She thought of him now up there in the blacked out bridge of the ship. The constant pain of self doubt vanished in his arms. Shivers raced across her chest and arms as she recalled his wild passion played out on her body like a virtuoso in his grand finale.

They set sail from A illa de Arousa located on the northwest coast of Spain. The distant port of embarkation was necessary to ensure their security and throw off anyone on their tail. The ship made way through the straits of Gibraltar; a giant sentinel of stone, and navigated the Alboran Sea passed Malta into Gloria’s beloved Mediterranean. They sailed north through the isles of Greece and the narrow Gallipoli channel and headed straight for the Bosphorus. Gloria couldn’t remember a mission that started off so romantic as this one. 

She hoped it was her last mission in the Cybrid War. She wanted to sail in her captain’s arms until her life’s energy was spent.

* * *

A faint glow hovered above the water. The ancient structures of Constantinople blended with more modern buildings of Istanbul in the distance. A growl drifted across the channel and echoed off the boats tugging at their anchors in the wake of a black ship with red trim snaking its way through the night. 

The moon and stars were hidden from view and failed to illuminate the sleek shape of the ship as it cut through the water throwing off a bioluminescent glow at the bow from the agitated plankton. The ink-black clouds above provided the shield of darkness the ship needed for its nefarious mission.

Up ahead, the Bosphorus bridge was all aglow with blue lighted towers and a roadway that glittered with gold from the streetlights. The captain held one hand on the joystick and the other on the control panel. The instrument panel lit up a bearded face with deep-set black eyes, a broad nose and lips scarred by countless fights. He looked out at the figure on the deck. The muted light shining out from the bridge above reflected off Gloria’s pale skin.

Gloria held on to the rail and looked out at the darkness, motioning to change speed or course to the captain, guiding him through the dark. His surface radar danced with noise reflections from the bluffs of the narrow strait and other vessels. The clutter on the display made his radar and sonar almost worthless. Years of experience kept him from turning them off even though he trusted the Praetorian on his bow.

Strict discipline ruled his life, but he’d be damned if he could keep the ghosts of memories from entering his mind. The captain thought about how Gloria looked and felt when they were young. Now, his hair was more grey than black. She didn’t look like she aged much since he made love to her years ago. How he missed those days. Now, here she was again. Getting reacquainted on the way reminded the captain how much he still loved her. Raul calculated in his mind how he could rekindle their affair as he watched for signals to go left or right, slow down, speed up. Damn, she was good on the bow of his ship and in the captain’s bed.

The breeze created by the ship’s progress toward the Black Sea chilled Gloria’s synthesized skin. She ignored the nip of night air and sought to gain a steady footing in the well of the bow instead. Gloria, sensing nothing to lose, had submitted herself to every genetic slice and endoskeleton improvement that came from the Dragon’s biomedical lab. She had created a body that kept her looking young. It wasn’t enough. It didn’t give back all she’d lost. It was an illusion that served her well.

The senior Dragon Sentinel watched the shipping lane and fumed at the thought she was more Cybrid than the ones she hunted. She had become one of them, an advanced copy. The irony of her fate wasn’t lost on her. If not for the technology that created the Cybrids, she would be dead, which she thought was a kinder fate than the one she lived.

The binoculars held to her eyes cast a white hue to everything she surveyed. The red laser dot from the lens floated in her vision as time and distance readings counted down in the viewer. The boat weaved its way through the channel passing military vessels, container ships, and fishing boats. Gloria continued to point and call for course corrections. Raul executed his orders without question. The same way he always had.

The rush of air across Gloria’s skin registered in her mind. It was freedom from the strange feel of heavy clothes and armor she frequently wore on such missions. She preferred the freedom of her bikini so feminine and sensual. Her synthetic skin flooded her with tactile feedback. She needed to feel that, she thought. Besides, she had to know her endo, as she called it, was working at optimum levels, and this was the best way to test it. Too bad she couldn’t go like this all the time, she mused with a sultry smile.

Gloria held her position through the night as they made their way across the Black Sea to Georgia looking for a stretch of wooded shore north of Poti. The sun came up illuminating the stern of the boat in a band of crimson like a splash of blood from the flailing wrist of the Titaness Eos, Goddess of the Dawn.

Raul watched with tired eyes as Gloria lifted a cushion and took out one of his old t-shirts from the storage bin and slipped it over her head. The tail hung just below the curve of her bottom filling his mind with an unforgotten hunger. The sunlight wafting through the clouds gave her skin a dark red hue with yellow-brown highlights like wheat reflecting the sun on a wind-blown field. He watched as she made her way to him with cat-like agility.

Raul opened the door to the pilot house and let her in. Gloria wrapped her arms around him and pressed her body against his. She nestled her face against his chest feeling his warmth after a long night in the chill air. The Sentinel inhaled a deep breath and purred like someone enjoying a long awaited meal. For a moment, he hesitated before he allowed the door to close. Raul ran his hands under the cotton t-shirt feeling the smooth skin of her back.

“Thank you, Raul. You did an excellent job.”

“It was your expert navigation that got us here so quick, my love. Normally it isn’t a good idea to navigate these waters at night.”

“That is why I wanted us to do it at night. The world sleeps, and we sneak past them.”

“Well, I think we are a great pair of sneakers.”

Gloria laughed at Raul’s play on words. He pulled her closer and kissed the top of her head.

“Why don’t you put the boat on autopilot and let’s grab a few hours of sleep. We’ll need to be fresh when we hit the coast tonight.” Gloria spoke in her smoky alto voice that made Raul forget his age.

“I’m going below to freshen up and go to bed. You should do the same; you smell like diesel oil, cigarettes, and day old sex.”

“Yes, my love. I guess too much time has passed. I’d forgotten what we smelled like together.”

“Gloria glanced over her shoulder and retorted, “hurry up and we can make some fresh memories.”

Raul programmed in the course and speed settings. He turned on the anti-collision system and made his way down the steps to the captain’s suite. He could hear the shower running and a faint melody as he undressed. She still sings in the shower like before; he chuckled. I must be doing something right.

March of the Cybrids-14

The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude.

Kate Chopin, The Awakening
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The Seduction

A year later, Mariah gazed out the window at the river below. The thought of how much of her life was spent daydreaming through glass amused her? It was these times her introspection found meaning in the visions that played out on the other side of the glass connecting her to her innermost thoughts.

Arms caressed her stomach as thoughts took Mariah back months before this day. Her breath played out in a whisper. She recalled when Peter first made love to her. She looked out through the window and let her imagination feel him again.

Mariah savored the thought of his body against her. She inhaled his scent and felt his warm breath on her neck. The feeling of his love and his attention to her most sensitive wells of pleasure created an upwelling flood of emotion, a feeling of tense need. A tingle cascaded from her neck to her back as she imagined what Peter did to her and brought her to climax. What a pang of hunger for his touch she had developed. Mariah floated in her muse with a fixed gaze through the pane of glass. The wildness of his passion for her made her feel alive with sensations she never experienced before. She adored her mountain hideaway with her Dragon lover.

She spied him walking up the path. His red and black plaid shirt with his jeans and boots accentuated his rugged good looks. Her heart raced when she heard him step up on the porch. The sound of heavy boots announced his arrival home and his return to her arms.

She waited impatiently and paced in the kitchen as he gathered firewood on the porch. She opened the door to let him walk in with the night’s firewood in his arms. He leaned over and kissed her while balancing the weight.  

“I’ll get things going on the stove while you shower, dear.” Mariah urged him along, her desire for him poorly concealed.

After dinner, Mariah joined him with her damp hair hanging loose on her shoulders. They lay on the sofa in front of the fire in each other’s arms and chatted about everything they wanted to together. They had a lot of plans to make.

“Are you ready for your massage?” He grinned and arched his eyebrows.

Mariah laughed and nodded in an exaggerated way to show her eagerness.

“I’ve been waiting all day. I had to change my panties twice.” She smiled as her eyes took in the man that looked at her like she was a delicious meal set for a hungry lumberjack.

“What about now?”

 “I’m not wearing any panties now.”  Her voice broke as she tried to control her excitement at the touch of his warm hands.

He opened her robe and caressed the large bump of her taut stomach. He lowered his ear to her and listened as Mariah stroked his hair.

She jumped and let out a laugh.

“She just kicked me.”

His face beamed as he lowered his head again.

“Hello Valeriya, Daddy loves you too.”

He reached for a small tub and dipped his fingers in, lifting out a creamy paste and rubbed it on Mariah’s stomach and swelling breasts in gentle strokes, careful to rub it into her tight, stretched skin.

Mariah threw her head back on the pillow and reveled in her pleasure.  She put her arms around his neck and held him to her.

“Oh, Peter, I love you.”

And he loved her as well. Mariah knew that Peter had committed to her completely because of his words and deed, his gaze into her eyes at the height of their passion. Their seduction was complete and the Dragons rejoiced. 


The screen flickered with the flashing of dialog boxes and tables of data. Graphics spun around in bright colors exposing the molecular changes forced by chemical and cellular doping. Mariah’s intense look melted into satisfaction, then a muted joy. The new DNA markers for her Cybrid breeders were approaching perfection. The new generation would have all of the historical human corruption removed. No more Neanderthal, Denosovian, Cro Magnon pollution that brought the worst of human suffering in its coded helix coils. Homo Sapien would be as intended before the crossbreeding with the dying species of ancient hominids. She and Jon had done it. Their experiments were finally ready to go to work.

Her watch confirmed what her stomach told her. Mariah got up slowly, letting the fatigue of hours in front of the screen drain from her and focused on fixing something to eat. Gosh, did I eat breakfast? When did I eat last, she thought.

Mariah assembled her favorite salad and added avocado spread to lightly toasted bread and arranged sliced mango on the green bedding. In the distance, she heard the report of rifles firing. Val would be 21 soon. Her training as a Praetorian Guard filled Mariah with pride and fear for Val. Peter and Mariah had done all they could to rear Valeriya with a noble purpose but ultimately, as she entered the age of majority and would leave to serve her duties in the Cybrid Dragon Forces as an officer and leader, it was up to Val to determine her own course in the conflicts that had cropped up across the globe. 

Mariah had kept close scrutiny on the Cybrid Dragon Alliances that met fierce resistance in the old east European regions. They were the last hold outs to the prophesied merger of Cybrid and human creating a Cybrid rebellion hell-bent on destroying the Dragons and the march toward a better world. Mariah was as determined to quell the rebellion as the old Dragons had been.

The Cybrid director of the biomedical development center had dedicated her life bringing Dragon and Cybrid together and enhancing the new breed with genetic slicing. That Valeriya would be the vanguard of the last battle was Mariah’s end game. She paused to let her throat relax so she could swallow. How many millions of mothers in history had sent their children to war with hope and were soon left with devastation. 

We all must sacrifice if we want to achieve our dream, Mariah thought. Val knew this and her youthful desire and ideological dreams compelled her to offer her breasts to the god of war’s sweet lips in the seduction of blood and lust. Mariah sniffed back a tear and continued to chew while watching the screen of her latest genetic model evolve.