"Crystal we are going to have so little time together over the next few days, can't I please keep him with me until after we have docked?" Dana asked with hope in her voice.
Such a simple request motivated out of love and tenderness, but one that would end in a day no one serving on the Crimson Claw would ever forget. The disastrous day that the human who had been with them such a short time gave his life to save his ship and the mink he loved.
The way Dana was acting reminded Crystal so much of a cub infatuated with her first lover, the mink using any little excuse she could to spend every moment possible with her new mate. O to be that young and in love again the jaguar thought, something she had not felt since the untimely death of her own mate so many years ago. Perhaps it was the fleeting memory of those early days with her lifemate or just the happiness she saw in her friends eyes when the 2 of them where together, but the doctor found herself relenting once again much to her own consternation. So with a deep sigh the jaguar muttered "I guess there is no harm in letting him stay with you a few more hours. But, I will have to insist on a few precautions given what happened this morning, not to mention his still overall fragile state."
"Yes, Yes of course." the happy mink murred with a smile on her muzzle as her tail reflexively curled around her slave once again.
With a nod Crystal retried the trauma kit that was never far from her side and started to prepare an injector with a mild dose of pain suppressor as she spoke " Then you may keep him with you until we dock on 2 conditions. Firstly, If or when he starts to hurt again you make sure he uses this and then you contact me."
As she handed the injector to Dana the jaguar looked down to nova as she added " And you, little human. I Will be checking the readings from your health monitor from time to time. Wile I suspect I know the reasons why you would hide the fact that you are in pain from your owners, I will not allow it to continue wile you are under my care. You will tell Dana the moment your pain returns so she can take care of you, Understand?"
"Yes, Mistress." The slave whispered, a small shiver running through him from the pure authority in the feline's voice.
"Good" she said as she returned her gaze to Dana, her voice retaining the unambiguous tone of an order as she flatly stated "Secondly, I want nova in my med bay no less then 2 hours after we dock. If you make me come looking for him you will not get him back until I'm finished with All of his treatments."
Dana just nodded as she took the injector with a smile on her muzzle, the implied threat barely seaming to make an impact as she murred " We will be there as soon as I finish locking down my baby, you have my word."
"I'll hold you to that Chief," Crystal said with a smile as Dana gently encouraged her boy to his feet with a single finger under his chin. With that the Mink took her slave by the hand and interlaced her fingers with his as she led him out the door, her tail affectionately curled around his middle in a gesture any Anthro would know was an unmistakable sign of love.
Once the door was closed Eshara turned to the doctor and dreamily sighed " O she is such a lucky girl, if only we could all find a male like that."
"Yes" the jaguar murred. "Lucky, young and in love. I can already tell she wants him as her Lifemate, even if that means keeping him as her slave for the rest of his life so they can be together."
A short lift ride later found the pair strolling into main engineering still holding hands, the gathered crew greeting them both as soon as they walked through the heavily reinforced doors. Of course the bunny twins and dear he had met the other day where there, along with five more females he had not seen before. Two of them where wolves, two more foxes and the last was a feline who's breed the slave was unfamiliar with. Based strictly on the fur pattern left visible by her uniform he would have guessed she was some sort of lion, except for the dark stripes on the sides of her neck and the bright red, almost flame orange of her hair.
To say this lady clad in the black and ash uniform of security was big would have been like describing an ocean as slightly damp or the surface of a sun as a little warm. This, this Amazon was a good nine and a half feet tall with the body of someone who must spend hours a day in the gym working on it. But what had the slave momentarily captivated was her more then ample breasts straining to brake free of her snugly fitted uniform, a bust that the term stacked would have been hard pressed to describe.
Wile having been trained and conditioned to be completely bi-sexual by his owners nova had never been able to shake himself of that very male attraction to large breasts. An attraction that was having yet another very male reaction on him as the largest pair he had ever seen turned toward him, each of them as big as the little humans head.
In that instant nova found himself thinking about how wonderful and how dangerous a hug from this female might be. That is if not for the fact she would most likely crush him, then for the fact that given how tall she was he would most likely be suffocated in her ample cleavage. But, what a way to go! Overall nova's impression of this feline Amazon was one that reminded him of that old earth saying normally attributed to males, but most surely fitting in this case. This Liger or perhaps Tigon was definitely "Built like a brick shit house."
Thankfully the thoughts that where causing the very uncomfortable stirring beneath the slave's loin cloth were quickly pushed from his mind as they reached the group, the slave almost instantly caught up in a hug by the bunny twins before he could even kneel. As they had the day before the female was the one who spoke first in a very excited squeal just after they both pressed a kiss to his cheeks "NOVA, its so good to see you up and around."
"We have both been very worried about our little helper." The male quickly added to finish there joint statement as twins tended to do.
Mic, the deer buck from the other day once again found himself having to restrain the over excited bunnies by pulling them off the helpless human by an ear as he admonished "Yes, yes we are all happy to see him alive and well. But both of you know if you brake the poor little thing and land him back in med bay Dana and the Doc are going to tan your hides, so behave."
Then he looked back to the slave who was now on his knees next to Dana and grinned " Sorry about that little guy, but in a way its kind of your own fault. They have been bouncing off the bulk heads like this all morning because of those pastries you sent us the other day. Toby made the mistake of scanning them into the dispensers as a breakfast food and these already hyper cotton tails have been snacking on them ever since they got here this morning."
"OOO YAY, the happy sugar cakes, the jelly ones are the best," The female bunny giggled already having shaken off the pain of her lover pulling on her ear.
"Naua, the cream ones are the best, I just cant get enough of them," The male bunny childishly countered as he stuck his tongue out at his sister.
At first nova did not have a clue what they where talking about until he turned it over and over in his head a few times "Cream and jelly pastries, what could they be talking abo...." that's when it clicked, "DONUTES! But when had he made them Donuts?"
Slightly confused about this nova half way looked up to the deer as he whispered "I don't remember making Donuts, but I apologize if they have caused you problems, Master."
Just as Mic was about to speak Dana's eyes widened in realization, the mink's ears instantly flicking rapidly in the Anthro equivalent of a head shake as she cut him off " Nova Sweetie, would you please fetch my tool kit out of the office, I will need it once we dock."
Wile still curious about this miner mystery it did not hold a candle to nova's deeply ingrained conditioning to obey, the slave nodding his head and whispering " Yes, Mistress" before quickly scampering off to her nearby office to do as he was told.
As soon as the door closed behind him Dana gave everyone a stern look as she said " No time to explain, But he made those the morning he got hurt and his mind has blocked it all out. Crystal and the Priestess feel it is dangerous to remind him of what happened until he is ready, so no more on this subject for now, Understand?"
As the Mink had expected she had barely finished speaking when the door opened again and nova returned carrying her tool kit, each of the gathered Anthros only giving a silent nod of confirmation as the slave handed it to his Mistress and kneeled at her side once again. As she took it Dana reached down to brush one of her paws over the side of his face as she grinned " Thank you sweetie, your just such a good boy."
Almost instinctually the slave closed his eyes and affectionately nuzzled her paw in return as he kissed her wrist and whispered "It is my joy to serve, Mistress."
That was when the male bunny gave his sister, Who was giving Dana a look that screamed you lucky bitch, a pinch on the tail as he teased "I swear sis I should have never lessoned to you when you said we should leave nova in that holding cell. Just think, If we had taken him back to our room like I wanted to he might be our slave now and we could be the ones teasing the chief like she's teasing us."
"Why, what ever do you mean?" The Mink said with a not so innocent grin as she added "It's not my fault I snatched up the perfect slave before anyone ells could."
Before either of them could respond Mic reached down and goosed them both as the deer chuckled " I told you both to behave." Then he looked up to Dana as he asked " Before I forget boss, we where just asking Sgt. Thunder over here if she would like to join us at the beach on the extra day off you promised us. Seams only fair if you and your slave joined us since he was the one who found the problem after all."
No sooner had the mink looked down to ask her boy if he would like to go with them, then he sneezed, it quickly fallowed by two more in rapid succession. Of course this earned a small round of chuckles from the group wile nova recovered, the small human lowering his eyes once again as he apologized " I'm sorry, Mistress."
" O no need for that silly, but what do you think about Mic's offer? Would you like to spend the day at the beach with me and this rowdy bunch?" Dana asked with a big grin on her muzzle.
This earned a big and excited smile from nova in return, as a child the few times his first owner had taken him to the beach he absolutely loved it. In those few precious hours he was allowed to play in the water and just be a kid it was the most fun he could ever remember, something he never again got to experience after Mistress Keegan bought him and took him to her lunar estate on earths only moon. So, hoping that his Mistress would allow him the chance to re-live that past joy, nova softly answered " I would greatly enjoy that, Mistress."
Then after another two sneezes the slave quickly added hoping to ingratiate himself with the deer who seamed to be the one in charge of this little outing "With your permission I can have a sample menu of snacks ready for your approval in about an hour, Master."
" No, you will not." Mic answered with a small frown forming on his muzzle. "We invited you as our guest because you helped us get the day off and we want to get to know you better, not to spend the whole day serving us."
"Yes, Master I understand" Nova whispered. Then he asked even more softly "May I at least request a guitar from the dispenser for after the meal is served, please?"
Dana blinked and looked down to her slave in amusement at having discovered yet another of his hidden talents as she started chuckling "Why doesn't it surprise me that my little blessing can play music?"
The human just smiled and whispered back "A good slave must be able to entertain his owners, Mistress."
Just as Mic was about to give his approval of the slave performing for them the ship's public address system crackled to life with Kayla's foxy voice yipping "To all stations, this is the captain speaking. We have just passed the inner marker and received clearance from gateway to dock. Prepare all systems for station keeping and see your department heads for shore leave assignments, Welcome home."
Before the com even cut off the staff threw up a cheer of joyful roars, yips and howls, a sound echoed throughout every corridor and passageway by the entire ships crew. After that everyone quickly scampered off to there stations as Dana took nova by the hand and led him over to the main status display, the mink softly tapping a few keys to switch it to the ships forward view.
The sight that met nova's eyes momentarily took his breath away, a beautiful blue and green planet half bathed in light, half shrouded in darkness as they quickly approached it along the line of it's horizon. From what he could see there appeared to be a single massive continent accentuated by literally hundreds of small island chains surrounding it, all of it afloat in an ocean of the most vibrant blue water he had ever seen. The top and bottom of this world where also covered by large polar ice caps much like earth, but they extended noticeably farther then the human was accustom to, this indicating a much colder climate then his home world.
Also, unlike earth's mega cities that could be seen from orbit, nova could not see any signs of civilization on the illuminated half of the continent. That seamed very odd given the fact that large smatterings of artificial light could clearly be seen on the still dark half even at this distance as they approached. Even with only the light of this worlds twin moons being reflected over the still night part of the planet he should be able to see something, it leaving the slave quite perplexed.
Just as nova was about to ask his Mistress about this his attention was drawn from the beautiful new world by an object in the distance, it growing in size very quickly to reveal a massive orbital space station. Dana as if sensing her slaves thoughts reached out to the screen as she traced a claw over it and explained " That's where we are heading, it's formally called Anthro Gateway Station, but everyone just calls it Gateway. Every ship arriving or departing our world must stop here for not only a security inspection, but to make sure they're not carrying anything dangerous such as alien plants that could damage the eco-system or worse, an unknown virus that could easily turn into a plague."
The mink stopped for a moment as she tapped a few more keys to change the view to that of several mountains beyond the station, that view only lasting a moment before zooming in on what looked like a birds eye view of a very peaceful village. "After we have docked and Crystal makes you all better this is where I'm going to take you, "Crystal Peak Village," my ancestral home. I'm just so excited to introduce you to my family, they're absolutely going to love you."
The first thing that struck nova about this new view was how clear it was, something that was simply impossible from his first Mistress's lunar estate even when using a very powerful telescope. Of course that was because over many generations the human race had managed to poison there world so badly it had nearly resulted in an environmental collapse more then once. To save there world the humans had been forced to nearly re-terraform from scratch in order to scrub the air, but still to this day there was an almost permanent layer of chemicals in the upper atmosphere making it hard to see any kind of detail from orbit.
But the air on this world was so clear that even as far away as they where nova could see enough detail to make out Anthros going about there early morning chores, even some children playing some kind of game in the village square. In fact as Dana reached out to touch a button that had started to beep nova could see the camera pulling back to show how the village was blended with large sections of forest, it giving the impression of being harmoniously blended with nature, not supplanting it.
As the camera reset to it's normal view the slave was slightly startled to see how big the space station had grown, only now nova comprehending the sheer scale of this .. This .. This Monster. It had to be two, maybe three times the size of his former home, Starbase Gamma, with star ships buzzing about it like bees protecting there hive. In fact nova could now clearly see several star freighters having there massive 200 Ton cargo containers loaded all at once by tractor beams as if they where nothing, even more containers being brought up from the planets surface 2 and 3 at a time. He could not even begin to comprehend the sheer power this station had to be producing in order to pull such heavy objects up from the planet, truly a level of technology humanity was a long way from achieving.
The very next thing to register was the fact that this city sized space station was blatantly armed to the teeth, large weapon arrays mounted all along it's super structure and looking as if the Anthros where not even trying to disguise them. Oddly the architecture of these weapons did not seam to match that of the rest of the station, the heavy beam cannons and multiple torpedo launchers giving the impression that they had been hastily installed with no regard for aesthetic appearance, only as a brute show of strength.
As the slave was thinking about this he noticed the ship now slowly changing course toward a string of docking ports along the base of the station, it holding 3 rows of identical looking ships in a tic-tac-toe board pattern with one empty slot on the bottom left side. Given that this appeared to be where the Crimson Claw was going to be docked nova surmised this is what his Mistress's ship must look like from the outside. Sort of horseshoe shaped crafts with twin engine pods on either side and a very aerodynamic look to them, tho he doubted they where ever meant to enter an atmosphere, let alone touch down on the surface of a planet.
The slave watched with keen interest as two smaller ships took up an escort position along side to guide them into there assigned bay, both of them reaching out with bright blue tractor beams to give the much larger ship a gentle nudge from time to time. Closer and closer they drew until the docking port and a set of large lobster claw like clamps filled the screen, both of them just passing by the sides of the ship before it came to a stop and a resounding thud could be herd echoing through the hull. That was when Dana spoke for the first time in almost five minutes, the mink tapping a few more keys on her control panel before announcing into her com "Chief engineer to the bridge! Docking clamps secured, Station umbilicals have been attached and the power flow is stable, preparing to power down engine core."
That was when nova released a breath he did not even realize he was holding and relaxed into his Mistress's leg, the slave about to complement her on such a smooth docking when without warning alarms started to sound all around them. Before either of them could react the computer started calling out in it's cold emotionless voice " Intruder alert, Intruder alert, all paws to tactical stations, Intruder alert." It instantly fallowed by the unmistakable sound of a teleporter beam and shrieks of pain from the engineering crew all around them. As nova tried to turn to see what was happening he to was struck by a wave of nearly unbearable pain, it causing him to fall to the deck beside his Mistress before lapsing into unconsciousness.
Some time Later
With a silent grown of pain nova felt the world slowly starting to return to him. For some reason he could not remember his mind felt very, very hazy as if he had been drugged once again, the only discernable sensation to reach his clouded mind being a still lingering feeling of pain across his back and down his legs. As he laid there just breathing to try and clear his head he could barely make out the sounds of voices off in the distance, voices that seamed somehow, Wrong, or more accurately out of place even though he could not make out what they where saying. It would be several minutes before the reason for this became clear, the voices, the deep, angry, male sounding voices did not have the noticeable Anthro accent left by the universal translator. Yes that was it, they where actually speaking Earth's common language, that meant the speakers had to be ..... human.
A small involuntary shutter ran through the slave as he just laid there trying to understand what he was hearing, nova not wanting anyone to realize he was awake before he had a chance to assess what was happening. The first voice to become clear instantly told him that he was in very deep trouble, it shouting in almost a snarl " What is taking so fucking long? Remember you and your friends are running out of time."
There was a reply to far away for nova to understand it, but that same human voice then shouted again " I don't care about your excuses Animal, I did not kill your friends in the cargo bay only to end up back in chains." There where more angry voices in the distance but nova just could not make them out, each of them shouting unintelligible obscenities much like the first one had. That was when the slave, with great effort, slowly opened his eyes hoping that things where not as bad as he feared, a hope that was quickly crushed as his vision cleared and an icy spike of terror shot up his spine. There on the other side of the room lay his Mistress and the rest of her staff, each of them stripped naked, gagged and bound in one way or another, some of them looking as if they had just gone ten rounds with a professional prize fighter.
With his eyes still slightly pulsing and his heart now thumping in his ears nova was horrified to see three human males standing over them in the uniforms they had obviously taken from there Anthro captives, each of them holding an energy weapon in there hands with a second smaller one tucked in to there belts. From what he could tell some of the Anthros where still unconscious, some where awake and if the blood staining the large Ligers muzzle was any indication the humans had not been gentle with them. Thankfully his mink Mistress looked to be unharmed, tho even she had not escaped having all of her clothing removed, even her intimate undergarments witch could only have been done strictly to humiliate her. "Unless the human who had taken his Mistress's uniform was also wearing her bra and panties," The slave could not help but think to himself with a much needed mental chuckle.
After seeing that nova just laid there for a few moments looking around the room and assessing the situation, the first thing to catch his attention being the fact that the heavy main doors where currently sealed by lethal red force fields. The next thing he noticed was that the three liquid filled cylinders surrounding the engine core no longer had there protective transparent casings around them, for some reason they had been retracted and some improvised looking devices had been attached to them. Even to his untrained eye they where obviously some kind of explosive devices, something that was very, very bad given that his Mistress had explained this liquid was the source of the ships power. Finally a glance around the room told him that there where nine, no ten humans in total, all of them similarly armed to the three he had first noticed guarding the engineering crew.
Two of them where standing guard over Mic, the deer buck, as he worked on the main status display nova had watched the planet on, it seaming as if he was trying to do something with the ship's computer. Four more humans where intently watching the force field covered door from the upper catwalk with there weapons trained as if they expected to have to open fire at any second, two of them with rifles, the other two with twin blasters in each hand. The last two where standing nearby quietly speaking in a very agitated tone, the bigger of the pair wearing the liger's blood stained uniform and the other in Dana's with a blaster in hand, 2 more tucked into his belt and a rifle of his own hanging down his back. As he watched those two he realized that the blood stained one was the human who he had heard shouting a few moments ago, this obviously the leader of the group based strictly on his command posture and overall air of Dominance / Confidence.
That was when it dawned on Nova for the first time that wile all the Anthros had been stripped of there clothing, there muzzles tied shut and there paws bound behind there backs, he had been allowed to keep his loin cloth and vest, his hands only lightly tied in front of him with some sort of cloth. Also wile there prisoners had been hearded together in one corner of the room he had been left close to where he had fallen, maybe they had separated him because they did not see him as a threat. Perhaps this was something he could use to his advantage, if he could just get to the com panel near his Mistress's office then he could call for help. So with a great deal of effort and a not so soft grown of pain nova first rolled to his side and then, with a deep breath to steady himself, slowly struggled up to his knees. "Dear goddess that was agonizing," nova thought to himself as he just tried to breath through the pain. "A blaster set to stun has never hurt this much before, not once it has worn off enough for me to wake up."
Of course nova was not taking into account his injuries from this morning or the lingering effects of the beating he did not remember, the slave just kneeling there for a few seconds until he felt something press to his forehead. Before he could even think a mans deep, angry and ominous voice spoke with an almost growl in his tone as he threatened "You have just one chance to convince me you are with us and not the animals, or I'll kill you where you stand."
"So much for making it to the com panel unnoticed," nova thought to himself as he fearfully looked up to find the human wearing the blood stained uniform glaring down at him with a look of pure hatred and contempt in his eyes, a look that showed he was very serious about his threat. This was a look that nova was very familiar with, he had seen it in all of his owners eyes at one time or another, mostly right before he was badly punished or beaten within an inch of his life. Instantly filled with a feeling of mortal terror all the slave could think to do was lower his eyes again and pathetically beg " I ... I ... I'm only a slave, P ... Please don't hurt me, Master." Goddess it even hurt to speak, the dryness of nova's throat leaving him to wonder just how long he had been unconscious.
The slave did not even have to see the new level of rage in the mans eyes to know that he had just said the wrong thing, the high pitched wine of the blaster buffering a more powerful charge telling him that the human had just switched it from stun to kill. Then as if adding the second blow of a one two punch the man snarled " You fucking spineless coward, you sold your soul to save your skin, so now you die."
Now seething with anger the human in the blood stained uniform raised his weapon to strike nova, who shrank back in fear, until the second man cautiously put a hand on his superiors shoulder and asked "Colonel just a second, don't you recognize him?"
At the officers confused look the second human took a gentle hold of nova's hair and forced him to lift his head so they could both see his face as he asked " You're that boy from the other ship aren't you? The one it's captain .... Um ... took a liking to?"
They could both see the visible shutter that ran through the boy's body as he fearfully whimpered with tears now dripping down his cheeks " I.. I don't know, I don't remember allot of that time, Master."
Realizing that this was in fact the same kid his second in command was talking about the colonel slowly lowered his weapon as the look in his eyes melted from one of rage, to one of a mix of pity and disgust as he mumbled " Ya, that doesn't surprise me."
Unlike the improvised holding cells on the Crimson Claw, wile on the slave transport they where held in dormitory style rooms that held 20 slaves each, this particular group having gotten the room closest to the crew's living quarters. After the third week on the Black Rock this kid had been unexpectedly dropped into there cell looking half dead, whip and claw marks covering most of his body. The few of them with medical training did what they could to clean his wounds and get him to eat something, a task that was not easy because the boy would start shaking and curl into a ball every time he was touched.
Nearly every day for the next five weeks the ships captain would come and take the boy away for several hours, then just drop him back in side the door looking more and more damaged when he was returned. They all knew that rape was the least of what was being inflicted on this kid in those few hours he was at the tigers mercy, or lack there of, was it any wonder that he had broken. In fact looking at him had led a lot of them to wonder if they would be able to hold out against that kind of mental and physical torcher day after day, it having led to more then a few quiet discussions about suffocating the kid in his sleep to put him out of his misery. Of course that would have meant the cat would be on the prowl for a new play thing, something none of them wanted to risk being picked for, so they would just do what they could for the kid at the end of each day.
Thankfully at the end of the third week a new crew member, a very tall and well build white tiger, had started taking the boy to treat the worst of his injuries, if not they had all thought for sure he would not have made it to there destination alive. Of course that did not stop the tiger from coming to claim his chosen toy each day, but at least now the ship's medic was supplementing the kid's daily injections with a strong pain suppresser to ease his "Discomfort" and help him to sleep. When the colonel had asked why she was bothering to help the kid at all she simply told them that she did not like what the tiger was doing anymore then they did, but as Captain he was within his rights and this was all she was allowed to do for him.
What no one on the ship knew, not even the medical officer treating nova, was that the tiger had a very good reason for what he was doing to this one slave, even more for not "wasting" medical resources on him right away. After searching his cargo for over five voyages Captain Carnes believed that he had finally found a slave to suit the rather particular requirements of a very rich and affluent female with a strong human fetish, one that was willing to pay quite handsomely for a young, well trained human male that would obey her every order and fulfill her every sexual kink without question. After a few weeks of " Evaluating " this slave the tiger had transmitted a few select samples of surveillance footage to his contact back home who would see if this is what the client was looking for and if so how much she was willing to offer for the slave.
Carnes had been ecstatic when 3 days later the client herself sent a transmission tentatively agreeing to pay more then he expected to get for all the other slaves combined. A small fortune in fact for what looked to be the slave she had been dreaming about, a nearly underage, obedient and subservient human male that did not resist at all wile Carnes preformed unspeakable acts of depravity on him. As part of this verbal contract Carnes would continue with "obedience training" until they arrived at Anthro prime as long as he did something about the humans appearance before she took delivery, the final price contingent on her new slave's overall condition.
Of course this left the greedy tiger with a problem on his paws, as was common even on human freighter ships the crew where entitled to a percentage of the price it's cargo brought in. That is why he weighted until they where less then a week from home before he instructed the medical officer to begin repairing his toy now that he was done with it, this meant to make the slave appear all but worthless so he could sell it on the side and cheat them out of there rightful shares.
As he expected the medical officer was so grateful that she was finally allowed to properly treat this slave that she was oblivious to what her captain was doing, the female tiger quickly taking nova to her med-bay for nearly three days of dermal regeneration. This time had also allowed nova's protective personality to bury most of what he had been through, tho not entirely as nova's reaction to Carnes in the Crimson Claw's med bay had demonstrated. Thankfully the black rock's medical officer had just finished a lengthy 6 hour session when there ship came under attack, the only reason she and nova had escaped being eradiated along with everyone else.
Turning his attention back to the young man still on his knees cowering before him the colonel slowly set his weapon a side and reached down to help nova up as he said in a tender voice " I'm sorry Lad. After what that animal did to you on the other ship I can understand why your afraid, but trust me it's almost over now."
With the threat of imminent death no longer hanging over his head nova could feel himself relax, the slave reflexively thanking the human who had been seconds from killing him when the man untied his hands " Thank you, Master. May I ask what is happening, I thought everyone else was still locked in the cargo bays."
Just for an instant the colonel's expression hardened at being called Master, the man taking a deep breath before sternly saying "Firstly, don't ever call me that again, I am not a Master and you are no one's slave, got it?"
" Yes, Sir." nova whispered as he lowered his eyes.
"Good, and to answer your question we are getting the hell out of here!" The man answered with a big grin on his face.
When nova just gave the man a confused look he elaborated " I'm not sure why, but somehow that cat that hurt you got himself arrested and ended up in the holding cell right next to us. The stupid animal thought he was being clever when he offered to have his people send us home if we helped him escape, all he expected from us was to be a distraction wile he was teleported off this ship. Of course we pretended to agree once he told us one of his people had bribed a guard to disable all the holding cells force fields at once, little did he know he was talking to not one, but two black ops teams."
The humans expression then grew very dark as he chuckled " The second those fields dropped we all rushed the guards and took there weapons, then killed the cat for his trouble before putting our own plan into action. The others had the bright idea to take the guards hostage and bargain for there freedom, but we knew better and headed for the shuttle bay to try and steal one of the tactical shuttles. Dammed amateurs must have been discovered before we could get the bay doors open because we got caught in a lock down, so we had no choice but to go to plan B, using the shuttle's teleporter to beam us all here so we could seize control of the ship."
The human wearing Dana's uniform then added " Thank god the animals forgot to lock down those shuttles with everything else or we would be back in chains by now."
" In deed major, indeed" The colonel chuckled as he picked up his blaster and pointed it at Mic. " We already have navigation control, so as soon as Bambi over there gets us free of this stations docking clamps all we have to do is make it to the edge of this solar system's anti-jump field and we're home free."
"So that was it" nova thought to himself, they did not have control of the whole ship, only main engineering. That meant that help was most likely right outside the doors and all he had to do was think of a way of opening them. A quick look to the com panel he had first thought to use showed it had been scorched black with blaster fire, similar damage in long arcs on the walls crossing other control panels and even the main doors controls. Darn it, so much for a quick and easy way to help his Mistress.
As upsetting as that was the thing that had nova very worried at the moment was the fact he had overheard at breakfast this morning the jump drive was broken, something these humans did not seam to realize just yet. He wondered if he should tell them since it looked like there plan required it, maybe if they knew it was not going to work they would surrender and let his Mistress go. On the other hand wile telling them would earn there trust, it might cause them to get angry and lash out at his owner or her friends, it might even get one or more of them killed. He needed time to think, time to figure out a way to either call for help or to at least get his Mistress out of danger.
So when the man in the blood stained uniform stopped speaking nova tentatively looked up to him as he asked " I understand Sir, so that is why I hurt so much, you shot me when you teleported in?"
The colonel just smiled and lightly slapped nova on the shoulder as he grinned "Sorry about that lad, there was no time to see if you where with us or the animals, so we just stunned everyone in the room. Honestly given that ridiculous outfit your wearing can you blame us for not stopping to ask if you where here willingly?"
Nova kind of lowered his head and blushed at that, wile personally he loved the outfit his Mistress and her friends had chosen for him, he knew that this man was using it to challenge his masculinity. Also he did not miss the extra little emphasis the human put on the word willingly, nova realizing that the colonel was using this as a test to see if he had complied of his own free will and as a result could not be trusted, or if he had resisted and the Anthros where forcing him to wear it. Quickly thinking of a reply that would not require him to lie or to show that he in fact loved his new owners nova softly licked his lips as he answered " Well it was not presented to me as an option, Sir. And to be honest given how cold this ship is I was quite happy for a full set of clothing of any kind, the leather is actually quite warm."
That got a laugh from most of the humans but at the same time it caused something to click in nova's mind, his new collar. Last night he had been told that his collar had a com unit so cleverly disguised into it that it was easy to overlook unless you knew it was there. Since none of the humans had taken it from / off of him yet they had indeed missed it, that meant he could use it to call for help, he just needed to find a way to be alone. But before that there was one more thing he needed to ask, something that he was afraid to know given how well he already knew the human military but it would dictate how he preceded from here.
"Sir?" Nova softly asked casting a concerned look to the bound Anthros before leaning in to whisper " May I ask what your going to do with your prisoners, I mean do you think it is safe to keep them around until we get back to earth?"
For a moment the man's eyes hardened thinking that was a little to Animal friendly a question to ask, then they softened as he misread nova's expression for one of fear, it causing him to jump to a very mistaken conclusion. .With a quick look to the Anthros himself the man whispered in nova's ear "Don't worry about them getting free and hurting you Lad, they won't be with us very long. As soon as we get clear I was going to toss the males out an air lock and take bets on how long they can hold there breath. As for the females........." The mans expression then grew very dark as he grinned " The females, I'm going to give to the men for a little fun, who knows if they're pleasant enough we might keep them for a few days before they meet there makers as well."
It took everything nova had not to cringe at hearing that, his fear for his owner safety instantly compounded with the horrible knowledge that this man intended to rape her before killing her. The slave could feel his heart being crushed as he once again looked over to his bound Mistress, the tears in her eyes as she looked back at him stabbing deeply into his soul. He knew in that instant that even if it cost him his life there was no way he would allow that, even if he had not been conditioned to always put his owners safety before his own, he would kill this man before allowing him to take his Mistress's honor, let alone her life.
As if the Goddess had heard his thoughts, or perhaps the man once again misread his expression the colonel set a blaster in nova's hand as he grinned " Maybe this will make you feel safer lad, I'll even let you kill the first animal if Bambi over there can't release the docking clamps before the dead line I set."
Instantly nova's eyes dropped to the blaster in his hand and went wide, never, never before in his life had he ever held a weapon of any kind, his first owner having made sure it would be all but impossible for him. Before he could even take a second breath the pain began, his Master having spent years with a pain rod in combination with a form of mental programming/brain washing to inflict sheer agony on him if he even thought of harming his owner. Of course there was a loop hole that was the only thing keeping nova from dropping to his knees and screaming in unbearable pain, that exception being that a slave was allowed to use any and all means necessary to protect his owner.
Currently that meant if he was to use this blaster to castrate the bastard that wanted to violate and kill his Mistress it would only hurt as much as receiving a light beating, but if he had ever even thought about using it on his owner he would be completely debilitated by unfathomable pain. As nova tightened his grip on the blaster and considered removing the colonels manhood in a fitting death for what he was going to do to the mink he loved, nova cast a quick look around the room and knew that even with luck on his side he would be dead before he could shoot a second human let alone all of them. Wile he was perfectly willing to give his life for his owner that would then leave 9 more humans that would only take up where this one left off, it making the slave's death completely pointless.
Goddess how he wished he had never gotten out of bed this morning, the slave wanting nothing more then to curl his arms around his mink Mistress and snuggle into her warm soft fur as he kissed her tears away. No, this was not the time to be having such thoughts, his Mistress needed him and he was going to do all he could to help her. So with a deep breath to fight back the building feeling of phantom pain now radiating up his arm nova slowly looked up to the human colonel as he whispered " Thank you, Mast.... "
At the flash of anger in the man's eyes nova corrected himself " Sorry, Sir. If you don't need me at the moment may I please use the bathroom, I kind of have to ... um ... you know?"
"Yes you may Lad, but be quick about it, we're on the clock." The human said more then a little annoyed at the boy's slip, but then again he realized this was not a strong person and that response had most likely been beaten into him.
"Thank you, Sir" nova reflexively replied before slowly turning to walk to the bathroom he had used in his Mistress's office the other day. As he did he slipped the blaster into his belt pouch to get it out of his hand and stop the pain at least for now, his hand brushing up against the injector of pain suppressor Crystal had put there earlier. Silently he whispered a thank you to the goddess as the bathroom door closed behind him and he used the injector on the side of his neck, it sending a soothing rush of relief through his aching body.
Now momentarily safe behind closed doors the slave just felt the strength drain out of him and he could not stop himself from collapsing to the floor, his legs pulling up to his chest and his arms curling around them as he desperately fought off the almost uncontrollable need to cry. With his hand now trembling with all the emotion he had pushed to the back of his mind until now nova softly touched the front of his collar as he pleaded in almost a whisper " nova to the Captain. Mistress? Please, please be there, I need your help!"
Some time earlier in the Crimson Claw's tactical command center
On deck 5, just off the main armory sat the ship's tactical command center, a multy purpose room designed to allow the tactical team commander to monitor, order and send up to the moment intelligence to there troops in the field. Perhaps the most high security room on the Crimson Claw it also doubled as the ship's back up bridge in the event that the main bridge was rendered unusable for any reason. Currently assembled in this room to discuss the current emergency was the ship's command staff, Lt Fire-tail, Gateway Station's Administress and the vixen in charge of Anthro gateway station's elite anti-terrorism unit.
They had just passed the 4 hour mark since the prisoners had broken free of there holding cells in the cargo bay and taken there guards hostage, the foolish humans having almost immediately called the bridge demanding to be released. Unfortunately wile the Mistress's of Mayhem had quickly put down that relatively minor rebellion and saved all of there crew mates no one had noticed the second group of humans that had seized control of main engineering until it was to late to stop them from pulling the main computer's interface crystals. With the computer down the first sign that trouble had escaped deck seven was when all of deck twelve had been locked down without warning and all bridge functions had been diverted to main engineering.
Thankfully Lt's Fire and Fang had been in a position to quickly encrypt access to the ships Weapons, Teleportors and Environmental systems before the humans could do any large scale damage, witch of course did not stop them from barricading themselves in and setting up a scattering field that prevented the teleportors from being used against them. Now with every other human off the ship this last group was threatening to start executing the engineering staff exactly one hour from now if the ship was not evacuated and the stations docking clamps released, the human in charge even going so far as to say he would detonate the ship's HD cores before allowing them to recapture him.
Unfortunately it had taken more then an hour to restore the ship's internal surveillance system and the slave collar control program, both of witch had somehow been locked into an hour long repeating loop just before the trouble had started. This was the reason things had gotten as far as they had before anyone knew what was happening and how the second group had been able to leave the cargo bay without there collars crippling them with pain. By the time this program had been reactivated it was to late for it to be useful, one of the humans having programmed the shuttle crafts teleportor to leave there collars behind when they beamed to main engineering.
The first thing Major Nightwind, a very well toned, tall, red furred vixen had done once arriving with her team had been to have the back up memory storage units pulled from the security substations on both effected decks, this allowing them to see what had happened in the time the real feeds had not made it to the main computer. The feed from the cargo bay had only been helpful in showing that this had been done deliberately, there was just no way every single holding cell force field had failed at the same time, someone had to have turned them all off remotely. The feed from main engineering had not been much more helpful, all they had been able to see before the humans started shooting out the surveillance cameras was them teleporting in and stunning everyone, there new ship's slave included. Thankfully one of the cameras with a more or less wide view of the room had only been half scorched but not destroyed in the humans haste, it showing everything through the crew being beaten, stripped and even stunned a second time when they tried to resist. The last thing of relevancy seen before switching back to the live feed had been one of the humans beating the female bunny and Mic apparently begging them to stop, it resulting in the cotton tail being cracked on the back of the head before the deer was dragged off screen.
Now caught up to the present found Sasha, Crystal and Major Nightwind attentively watching the live feed of the engine room on the command centers main view screen, it flanked by a dozen smaller monitors displaying other connected activities throughout the ship. O how they all wished the sound was still working on there only remaining camera, it would have been a pleasant diversion from there Captain who was furiously screaming at Drake just behind them. "I AM FEDUP WITH YOUR EXCUSES AND IMCOMPADENCE MALE, I SWARE THE ONLY REASON YOU ARE NOT ALREADY RELIEVED OF YOUR DUTIES IS THAT I DON'T HAVE TIME TO BRING YOUR REPLACEMENT UP TO SPEED."
Drake, with his paws held up in a stand off gesture, took a few steps back from his Captain to put some much needed distance between them, the wolf having to hold his own anger down since he knew that as the head of security this failure was ultimately his responsibility. In an attempt to calm the enraged vixen he licked his lips and spoke in a very soft tone " Captain, I understand your angry but please try to understand this was Captain Carnes and his crew's doing. I cut them out of the slave transfer operation as soon as he was arrested but I guess it was to late. Because they already knew the plan and somehow arranged for him to be transferred from the brig to that cargo bay so he could make his escape. I realize now that the prudent thing to do would have been to confine them all to quarters until there Captain was off this ship, it was an oversight on my part and I take full responsibility for it."
As Kayla's threatening growl slowly started to subside Drake lowered his paws, the black furred wolf hoping that he had gotten through to her. Indeed in some small way his words had made Kayla think, but not as drake had been hoping for. Wile at first she momentarily thought about how in some small way this was partly her fault for having Carnes arrested in the first place she quickly dismissed it, if anyone rightfully belonged in slave chains for what they had done it was that alley cat. No, what was currently going through the vixen's mind at the moment was actually a repeat of her thoughts from breakfast this morning, how Drake had so arrogantly tempted the goddess with his proclamation that nothing would go wrong this time. Well it looks like she got that disastrous failure on his part that she would need to get him off of her ship, but this is not how she would have wanted it, not when it put her crew in such danger. The priestess was right when she said the goddess had a twisted sense of humor at times.
Hoping that he had gotten through to her Drake opened his muzzle to speak again, the wolf never getting out the first word before Crystal exclaimed in an excited tone " O thank the Goddess, our boy is alive." Instantly all eyes turned to the main view screen just in time to see nova slowly staggering passed on his way to Dana's office, the little human looking very unsteady on his feet and in a great deal of pain as if he would fall over at any second. Needless to say the command staff was overjoyed to see he had survived since the last they had seen of him was getting shot in the back before the cameras where destroyed, the only remaining one not giving them a view of where he had fallen.
Unfortunately there joy was short lived as nova slipped a class 2 blaster into his belt pouch before stepping through the door, it getting the almost immediate reaction of Drake braking into a savage growl as he snarled "That filthy back stabbing human, I told you it would betray this ship the first chance it got."
In that moment Kayla found herself flashing back to the shuttle bay control room just a few days ago, to the test this wolf had so insisted on and his words when nova had apparently reached for the weapons case "See I told you, that slave is a spy, it stopped for the open weapons case just like i told you it would." Even though she hated to admit it to herself In the paw full of seconds it had taken for the slaves shaking hand to reach the com panel she to had doubted this sweet and innocent boy's loyalty, it only serving to compound her feelings of guilt when she discovered how he had been hurt. She had allowed this paranoid wolf's ranting to plant the seeds of doubt once, it would not happen again. This slave, her slave, the only one she would ever own had bled to earn her trust and she would not allow Drake to take that hard earned faith in him from her now.
With as much slack as she had cut Drake over the last few months it came as a shock to everyone in the room when Kayla snapped around and her fist connected with the bottom of Drakes muzzle, the force of her upper cut so hard that it sent the male flying back flat on his tail. Even more shocking was when she fallowed it up with a threateningly growled " I HAVE HAD ENOUGH. I WILL NOT HAVE AN HONORLESS MONGRAL LIKE YOU SERVING UNDER MY COMMAND ANOTHER SECOND, GET OFF MY SHIP."
She then snapped her attention to Fire who looked very much like he wished to be anywhere else but under her gaze as she announced " Lieutenant Firetail, until farther notice you are now my acting head of security. Please toss this wolf out the closest airlock, preferably one connected to the station unless he gives you any trouble."
"You can't do that." Drake shot back as he tried to get to his feet.
"I SAID OFF MY SHIP WOLF, NOW!!!!" The vixen snarled as she pulled back one leg as if to kick him, it causing Drake to jump up and right into Fire's weighting paws. For an instant the wolf looked as if he would continue to argue the point until he met Fire's eyes, the look in them one that simply said " only a fool out of his barking mind would keep fighting now, you lost, keep what little dignity you have left and don't make it any worse."
Indeed realizing he had lost this round Drake turned to leave wile rubbing the side of his muzzle, the midnight black wolf stopping at the door to growl over his shoulder " don't think this is over captain, you have not seen the last of me." With that the wolf left before she could reply, the seriousness of his thinly veiled threat belayed by the fact that his tail was tucked between his legs.
Now by the time someone reaches adulthood they should have learned when to speak and when they should keep there muzzle shut, but apparently major Nightwind failed to learn that particular lesson because she just could not help but snicker at Drakes actions. Unfortunately for her that childish act immediately made her the target of Kayla's anger, the vixen whirling around to deeply growl at her "AND YOU, I want control of my ship restored and my crew rescued before any fur loses there life. What are our available options, Gas? Teleporters? Can we cut through the bulk heads or force fields in that section to get a team in?
Instantly the red furred vixen dropped her ears in embarrassment at having been caught acting so unprofessionally by a superior officer, one that from the looks of what just happened was not shy about harshly punishing such behavior. Quickly she snapped to attention just from the force of her superior officers tone, her paw quickly reaching out to pick up a data pad as she answered " Um, Ua, Yes, Ma'am. Firstly Gas is out, we would have to decrypt access to the environmental systems in order to isolate engineering from the rest of the ship or we would be gassing every deck. Honestly I don't want to even consider the added complications of what the humans could have done if that system had not been locked down so quickly."
Even Kayla had to admit that was true, not that they could have just decompressed the whole ship and killed everyone, there where safe guards in place to prevent such disasters. But say, turning up the grav-plating to it's maximum 400% over normal could have popped internal organs or even crushed bones. Not to mention if they had increased the ships internal pressure to 3 or 4 atmospheres or used the thermal regulators to crank up the heat until it killed every Anthro on board. That thought sent a shiver down the Captains spine as she nodded " I understand major, and the teleporters?"
That got an irritated grumble out of the red vixen as she flipped pages on her data pad and sighed "The Teleporter is not even an option at this time, captain. As per regulations in this type of situation the first thing we tried to do was use the teleporter to drop a scanner drone in to engineering, not only to get a better idea of what was going on, but to make sure that everyone was still alive. It.... " She paused to draw a shuttering breath before almost whispering " it never materialized. Somehow the humans have altered the FTL core to create some kind of scattering field we have never seen before. All I can say is thank the goddess that we did not try to send a fur in place of that drone, it would be utter suicide to even attempt until we have a better understanding of how this jamming field works. Currently tactical command on gateway is studying the problem and running simulations but I don't expect a solution in time to be useful."
Then before Kayla could even respond to that grim announcement major Nightwind simply moved on to the last stated option, her tone a little more optimistic as she flatly stated " As for cutting through the bulk heads or breaching the containment fields that is doable, my only concern is the time it would take to breach shielding designed to contain radiation leaks or a minor core breach. Even using a class 9 heavy cutting beam it would take more then 2 minutes to short the containment fields or punch a whole large enough to fit a Taac through, more then enough time for them to execute all of the hostages or worse, detonate those devices they attached to the HD cores and blow this ship to the dark pit."
"So basically your telling me there's nothing you can do, Major? That I have to either give the humans what they want to save my crew or sacrifice there lives to regain control of my ship?" Kayla asked in a deeply threatening growl, one that all but told the red vixen either option was completely unacceptable.
Major Nightwind's long pink tongue darted out to lick her lips as she set down the data pad she had been holding and picked up a second one, her plans of last resorts as it where. She had really been hoping not to have to bring these scenarios into play, but at this point it was all that was left to her. So in as confident a tone as she could manage with the white furred captain's eyes burning into her she said " As I see it there are really only two options at the moment captain, one that was going to be my next suggestion before seeing your slave. I don't know how much that human means to you, but if you are willing to sacrifice it to save the rest of your crew we can evacuate the ship and flood it with plastazen vapor from the coolant system. Your crew will be very sick for a few weeks, but every human will be incapacitated within 10 seconds of inhaling it, dead 60 seconds after that. There is a small chance they could still set off the devices on the HD cores, but given the fact that the vapor is odorless, colorless and tasteless they will start dropping before they know what hit them, a risk I feel is worth taking."
Wile the red vixen had expected a negative reaction to this proposal from the captain after the way she had lashed out at Drake, she was completely unprepared for the audible growl that filled the room from the rest of the command staff, let alone the looks of burning anger directed at her for making such an outrageous suggestion. In fact most of them where giving her a look she could only compare to that of a pack who's cubs were being threatened, it evoking an instinctual reaction to back slowly away before she was mauled to death because of it. Despite her years of military training she had just been about to do exactly that when the sound of Kayla's claws dragging across the table caught her attention, the artic vixens teeth showing as she snarled " Any plan that involves the death of my slave is unacceptable. It is not your place to know why, but he has strategic military value to the alliance and getting him out alive is as important as saving the rest of my crew. What I want from you, major, is another option that ............"
Kayla never got to finish her statement, because as she stopped to draw a breath, her com badge emitted it's connection tone, it immediately fallowed by a soft and fearful voice whispering " nova to the captain. Mistress? Please, please be there, I need your help!"
Instantly the room fell silent as all eyes looked at the equally stunned vixen's chest, nova was calling them, But .... How? Kayla turned her gaze to Sasha and asked in an utterly confused and shocked tone " Commander, I thought you disabled the com system to keep the humans from hacking into the back up computer system?"
For a moment the white tiger just returned the confused look until her muzzle split into a wide grin as her eyes lit up with realization and she excitedly purred " O DEAR GODDESS, I completely forgot that I set nova's collar to it's own proprietary data channel. I designed It to always be able to direct connect to your, Dana's, and the rest of the command staff's com badges in an emergency. I didn't want what happened to us in the shuttle bay control room to ever happen to him if he needs us, Captain."
Kayla could have kicked herself at having forgotten that, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid the vixen thought, she could have remote activated there slave's collar all this time to hear what had been going on. She had just lifted her gaze to Major Nightwind to ask if there was a way to use the collar's embedded vital signs scanner when the boys voice came again, this time on the edge of panic "Dear goddess you have to be there Mistress. P - Please the ship, my Mistress is in danger, I, I, I need you!"
The sound of fear and panic in her slave's voice ripped at Kayla's heart no less painfully then a set of razor sharp claws, it driving her maternal instincts to comfort her little human, her slave, as she would any other child she had taken responsibility for. If only Gateway Station's Administress and major Nightwind had not been there that is exactly what she would have done, but she could not risk them putting in there reports that she had been that affectionate with him. No, it would undermine everything she had planned for keeping him on board and possibly even derail the next critical step in that process, so with a paw waving in a silence gesture, she reached up to touch her com badge as she responded " Nova, I'm here little one. What's your status, are you alone? "
More to come.....