Tanj's Tales: Hostile Takeover
Stardate 2403.7

by Kittiara

Her nickname is "Tanj", and she's certainly living up to it. For her, it seems, "There Ain't No Justice." As a young engineer on a tramp space freighter, this Cheetah-morph found herself the victim of a scam, sold into slavery, and trained as a sex-slave. Sold to pirates, she finds herself as a pawn in a much larger struggle. This story contains bondage, non-consensual sex, and hopefully some humor, adventure and intrigue. Adults only, PLEASE!

This is a work-in-progress, and more will be added to it Later; please stay tuned and have patience!


Kath waited patiently until Wanda's breathing was smooth and even. It was difficult to stay awake, after the day they'd had, but she'd been learning more discipline than Imperial Intelligence had ever taught her. And her "tradecraft" skills had been honed to a much finer edge than she'd ever thought possible.

The lock pick was hidden in the frame of Wanda's bed. Even though her paws were bound behind her, she was still able to pick the mechanical lock in a matter of seconds. Moving carefully so the chain didn't rattle, she slipped from her place by the bed.

The door to their cabin was another matter; still, she'd managed to work out a system for that as well. The lights in the corridor outside would flicker occasionally. For some reason, maintenance had never managed to solve that, no matter how many times they changed the elements. This was probably due to the subroutine Kath had very covertly inserted into the software that controlled lighting in the Black Fleet's base. Picking up the remote from where she'd hidden it, the Mink pressed the button. This cut power to the door, opened all the locks and also caused the light in the corridor outside to go out. Pushing the door open, she slipped through, confident that Wanda wouldn't be awakened by a sudden bright light. Pushing the button again brought the door locks back on line, and the corridor lighting up to full. Smiling, she made her way down the corridor, oblivious to her nudity.

There were a number of different places she could use to fill her needs; she had "back door" programs installed in about a half dozen computers on the station. Tonight she'd use the one in accounting. Slipping through the door, she sat down in a cubicle well shielded from any late night or off-shift furrs that might come by, and booted up the terminal. Moments later she was hacking into Wanda's e-mail.

There was the usual junk mail, and Medical Department notices. It seemed that as computer systems became more and more sophisticated, the furrs who originated junk mail always seemed to keep one step ahead of the furrs that designed the filters. Wading through reams of breast enlargement, penile enlargement, weight loss, and home refinance junk, Kath sought what she was looking for. For a while she began to despair. It should be in by now, and the delay, she thought, was a harbinger of bad news.

Finally she found it, in the second to the last message in the in-box. Phoenix Subspace University. With trembling paws, she opened the message.

It took all her considerable self-control not to scream. In fact, she actually plastered one paw over her mouth to make sure she kept herself silent. After reading the message a second and then a third time, she forwarded the message to selected furrs, deleted the message, and then backed out of the e-mail program, making sure to erase any trace of her presence.

In one respect, she really didn't want to do it. It would only make things worse for her. And yet, it was inevitable. It had to be done. Just before slipping from accounting, the Mink found a communicator and dialed a number. A sleepy voice answered from the commconsole, the display blanked; "Whazzat? Whazwrong?" Kath sighed; "Its me. Its in. Looks like her days, and her nights are going to get longer. Much longer." The voice on the other end was now awake; "you deleted the message?" "Yes, Master." "Untraceable?" "Yes, Master, it should be. But we'll have to move fast. She'll get impatient soon, and check on her own. I can't block all her correspondence." "Understood. I'll make all the preparations here. Lets shoot for....1800 hours tomorrow." Kath nodded, and broke the connection. Then she erased the message from the phone logs.

Wanda's breathing paused for a moment when the lock clicked shut again. Then she rolled over and resumed snoring lightly. Kath smiled, and settled in to get what sleep she could, in what remained of the night.

Jenka listened to the caller, and nodded; "No, actually, I'm not going to tell her right now. For one thing, she's a little tied up, and for another thing, well...." The Jaguar grinned; "You know her; she can't keep a secret. Not one like this anyways." Breaking the connection Jenka turned to look at the bound Cheetah fem. Tanj was suspended from the ceiling of her quarters, legs widespread, cuffed wrists chained to the floor. A rather large vibrator was inserted in her pussy, and as the Jaguar watched, Tanj moved it up and down, exercising her "inner hand". The Cheetah's head was tightly encased in a leather discipline helmet and Jenka was certain she'd heard nothing of the comm call. "Plenty of time to tell her later" Jenka purred to herself, as she picked up her favorite feather.

Hinoki frowned at the e-mail; "Hmmmm. Yes, this will call for some very careful planning." Sashi wandered over; "What's that, Master?" The Cheetah looked up and smiled; "The end of Wanda's life. At least as she's known it."

Zassa grinnned as she read the e-mail; "Well, its about TIME!"

Dynotaku chuckled; "Got to think of something GOOD for this one..... Lessee, who can I call?"

Wanda sighed and looked at the bedpan. It was bright, shiny, and clean. The Elephant in 2B had somehow managed to miss the bedpan completely. And it was an Elephant sized bedpan too. She was tempted to whang it over his skull. With a sigh she went looking for a fresh set of sheets... and an orderly, no, make that orderlies, to help her move him while they changed the bed....

Dr. Sangfreid looked at the disheveled Wolverine lass. One of her patients, it would appear, was suffering from Denarian Flu, complete with the projectile diarrhea. She was a mess. Casting an eye at the clock, he grinned. He was just waiting for her to make her break for freedom. Sure enough as she logged out on the computer and rose to head for the door, he growled; "And where do you think YOU'RE going?"

Wanda turned, to stare at the Ringtail. Sometimes Doctors could be SUCH a pain. Biting back on what she'd fully intended to say, she pointed to the clock; "Doc, my shift's over. Hatherty has relieved me. She's charge nurse; if you need anything, you should see her." Again she turned towards the door.

"Bullshit. Your shift just started. You ain't going NOWHERE. If you don't believe me, CHECK THE SCHEDULE!"

Wanda turned to scowl at the Ringtail. The emergency room had suddenly gotten very quiet. It was as if the entire staff, and all the patients were waiting for the explosion they knew was coming. Wanda marched back to the Nurse's station, wondering why the doctor was being such an ass, called up the schedule and with a flourish pointed; "See? There. I'M OFF DUTY!"

The Ringtail was trying to scowl, but it wasn't quite working. "Wrong schedule." Reaching out, he flipped a couple of pages. Then HE pointed; "There. RIGHT THERE. Your shift JUST STARTED!"

Wanda's jaw dropped. There was her name, all right, and it showed her shift starting... now. Worse, it showed a 24 hour shift! Blinking she checked the tab on the page.....

The WHOOP could be heard three decks away.

Sangfreid managed to grunt out; "Yes... yes, congratulations. Now PLEASE put me down. Oh, and please have someone warm up the x-ray; I think you just broke my back....."

Suddenly the ER was full of furrs. Magically, streamers appeared in the air, and a banner reading "CONGRADULATIONS DR.WANDA" was unfurled.

Tanj watched from the doorway. She wasn't about to move into that crazy mass of furrs. Not yet. Let Wanda's friends in Medical finish their congratulations. As she watched, she reflected on all of Wanda's efforts. Putting up with the rather flaky connections to the Subspace-radio University. All the problems with their less than stellar accreditation. All the flak over her work experience in the medical section of, of all things, a Pirate organization. And everything else it had taken to get her to the point of her exams. The communications section had gone to great lengths to make sure that they had the required secure and encrypted connection, and that all their patchwork gear held together for the requisite exam period. And of course that no one back-traced the signal. Personnel had gone to great lengths to provide witnesses with the proper credentials, and operations had even kidnapped a specialist for the sole purpose of filling out that august roster. And now she'd passed. She'd passed all the exams, met all the criteria, cleared every hurdle. Except one. Her "Internship."

Kath yelped as the Wolverine lass grabbed her tail, jerking her so hard she almost dropped the bedpan full of canapes. "YOU! This MUST have been all YOUR doing!" Kath turned and knelt gracefully, the bedpan balanced between her paws. Her eyes were downcast, but she couldn't keep the smile from her face. "Yes, Mistress.... Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do." Behind her, somewhere in the crowd, Zassa laughed. Wanda, however, just harrumphed; "Well, don't think you're going to escape unscathed. Remember, no good deed goes unpunished!"

Kath's "rescue" came from an unexpected quarter. There was yelling at the edge of the crowd, and slowly the sea of furrs parted, to reveal a gurney, with a sheet-covered body, being pushed by a couple of furrs in maintenance coveralls. "Makeway! Gotta emergency here!" Sangfreid just pointed to Wanda; "She's the doctor on duty." Wanda's mouth opened and closed, but then her face hardened and she nodded. Stepping up to the gurney she flicked back the sheet.

Dynotaku lay sprawled there, completely naked, and with a massive hard-on. "Oh, HELP me, Doctor, I'm in a BAAAAAAAD way!" All around her, the crowd dissolved in laughter. Wanda smiled, perhaps a little coolly, and nodded; "Yes, looks like some serious swelling there all right." Reaching down, she took hold of the Stallion's shaft with one paw and squeezed. "Does it hurt when I do this?" Dynotaku let out a noise somewhere between a strangled grunt and a moan of pleasure. "how about this? This? How about here?" Between each utterance, the Stallion's voice wavered, and changed in pitch and volume. Wanda looked up at Sangfreid, winked and then turned to Hatherty, the charge nurse; "If we move fast, we may be able to save the, ah, appendage. I want ER-3 set up as follows......

Dynotaku blinked and squirmed a little; this just set him to rocking... things had happened SO fast... where had he lost control? One minute he was flat on his back in the gurney, with her paw around his turgid shaft, and then..... Then he was wrapped in gauze, like a poor furr's mummy, suspended upside-down from some sort of traction frame, with IV's sticking in him at various different places. One of the bottles was labled "Vy-agra", filled with a light blue fluid, and was about quart sized. And his cock was harder than ever. Throbbing. Worse, the curtains surrounding the emergency room cubicle hadn't been drawn, and he was in full view of everyone. And that was embarrasing. Kinda. Of course, it seemed as if every fem in the room had made her way by, to fondle him, stroke him, and tease him. Some had been by three or four times. Or more. Gauze covered one eye, but the other was able to track that flame-hued vixen as she approached. Naked as the day she was born, except for a collar, she turned and looked at a brown fox, and lightly inquired; "Master, May I?" At his nod, she dropped to all fours, to crawl under the suspended Stallion, to take off where Wanda had left off, stroking his shaft with both paws..... And then she added her tongue, for good measure.

Tanj chuckled; "That was a nasty thing to do." Wanda just laughed; "Yes, it was. But on the other hand, I think he got what he deserved, don't you?" The Cheetah chuckled; "That wasn't what I was talking about and you know it." The Wolverine lass nodded, grinned and shrugged; "I know, but I stand by my statement. And.... At least I'll know where to find him later." Tanj just laughed.

They both turned as a furr hurried up; "Wa... Um, Dr. Xylex, we have a problem. A real problem. Simmons seems to have lost a fight with a robot lathe, and I think you're gonna have to stitch her back together...." Wanda winced and nodded; "ER-6. And PLEASE don't call me Dr. Xylex; it sounds like a character from a bad Science Fiction novel." Tanj chuckled as the Wolverine lass hurried off. She almost seemed relieved to be out of the spotlight, to be doing something useful.....

The Raid: Planning

Tanj stood before the Leadership Council of the Black Fleet, laser pointer in hand, and wondered why these supposed scions of the pirate clan couldn't pay attention any better. Surely she hadn't exceeded their attention span already? Growling softly, she waited for the current argument between logistics and purchasing to run its course, from the item that had sparked the argument, to other related problems, to personal insults, to depredations on their ancestry, to blows, to medical evacuation. Maybe she'd be able to command more respect, if Jenka would let her wear a little more. Was it that hard to look beyond the naked and bound sex slave, and see the Director of Intelligence, that had given them so many choice and profitable targets? What could she do to get the meeting back on track?

Jenka smiled to herself, watching the Cheetah fume. She could almost read her mind. Ah, well, it was time, after all, to resume the meeting. Arguments like this seemed to be a better break for this group of pirates than adjourning the meeting for ten minutes. But the "break" was stretching out too long, and it was time she reasserted control.

Bragg turned his head calmly, and smiled at the Jaguar. Jenka stood at the head of the table, a rather large blaster held in both paws, its maw smoking slightly. At the far end of the conference room, a half-meter diameter spot glowed yellow-white. The walls of the conference room were hull metal, to protect the leadership council from everything from assassination attempts, to damage taken in combat, and this fact allowed Jenka her little "Demonstrations." As the air conditioning struggled to reduce the sudden increase in room temperature, Purchasing glanced at the Jaguar, and slowly released Logistics' collar, letting the Stoat slide back into his chair. Jenka looked from face to face, and then nodded; "All right. We'll settle that little discussion off-line. Now, as this is a particularly complex operation, I would appreciate it if you would return your attention to Tanj."

Someone in the back of the room chortled; "Shouldn't be THAT hard; she's better looking than either Purchasing OR Logistics!

Tanj forced a smile; "As I was saying, in six short days, there will be a convoy between Assegai and H'rak. If you know anything about them, you know that the Church of the Covenant controls Assegai, and the NeoFascists control H'rak. Both are military dictatorships. Both are ruthless, paranoid, and heavily armed. We can expect the convoy escort to be nothing short of a battle fleet."

Finance raised his hand; "If the convoy is that heavily guarded, then why bother? Surely if their warships are there, they, ah, can't be elsewhere. Something is probably being left undefended." Tanj smiled at the Badger and nodded; "That's true. But you have to consider the prize. The heavy escort is there because there's something worth stealing." Around the table, some heads nodded in agreement. "And in this case, Assegai is trading their rather coveted nanotechnology, to H'rak for certain rare minerals, along with a considerable amount of state-of-the-art artificial intelligence systems. It's a good trade for both parties."

Jenka nodded; "I take it the convoy goes one way, delivers the goods, and then loads the payment for the return trip." Tanj nodded; "It would be great if we could assault the port city, and get both shipments, but that's just not practical. It might not be practical for the Imperial fleet. So we get our choice. Nanotechnology, or valuable minerals and AI systems. Personally, I vote for the Nanites. The Church of the Covenant will be expecting a double-cross, anticipating the Neofascists will try and steal their own payment back from them, or welch on the deal once the cargo is delivered. It might be easier to hit the first convoy. And the AI systems might be useless until a certain code word was given. The nanites should be much more marketable." Again, around the table, heads nodded.

Tanj nodded; "OK, here's the plan we've come up with. It plays heavily on the personalities of the known officers in the two escorts." Looking up, she fixed Bullard with her best glare; "Bullard's Bastards will be the first decoy. His raiders will approach the convoy from their forward quarter, angling to intercept. There's no doubt that his group will be seen. Now the leader of the H'rak contingent is a noted hothead, so, with a few well-placed insults, we believe we can get him to break formation and go charging off after Bullard and Co. Bullard of course will retreat, taunting him all the way." The Minotaur stared back, his face neutral; finally he just nodded; "As long as we get an equal share in the booty, no problem." Tanj turned and looked at Sleigth. The Monitor Lizard's return stare was every bit as controlled as Bullard's had been; "We'll pull all of our cloaked ships together under Sleigth. They'll remain, powered down as far as possible, in the path of the convoy. With the lead escorts off chasing Bullard, they should be able to take up a position inside the convoy, where any chance of detecting their signature would be slight, if not impossible." Turning she looked at Bragg; "And finally, a second group of raiders, under Bragg, will attack the convoy from astern. Its not certain if he'll be able to draw off the defenders, but caught between Bragg and Sleigth, we should be able to defeat them in detail. Then, if the H'rak forces return to defend the convoy, they'll be caught between Sleigth and Bullard, with Bragg to act as reinforcements, if necessary. And we destroy them too."

The Cheetah swept the room with an even stare; "And that's just what we need to do. Defeat the convoy escort in detail. Once the escort is gone, we'll be able to take each and every merchantman as a prize. We'll take the whole enchilada."

"Its too complex. It depends on too many assumptions. It'll never work." Tanj turned to look at Bragg; "you have a better idea?" The Rabbit nodded; "Yeah, just the old "Smash and Grab." The systems concerned may have large, well-equipped militaries, but they're comparatively inexperienced. Neither system's fought a war in years. They're GREEN! We mass our ships, break through the escorts, seize the prime ships, and blow." Tanj shrugged; "That might work, if all you're after is just a little booty. But we're talking about a planet's ransom here." Bragg nodded; "And that's another thing. You expect Assegai and H'rak to just sit back and let us get away with it? As you point out it's a large prize; they're likely to want to try and take it back."

Jenka chuckled; "That's why we're here in the Brenoble Nebula. They could search here for years, and never find us." The Jaguar smiled and examined the claws of her left paw; "And if they did, well, we're not exactly defenseless."

The room proceeded to erupt in a half dozen different discussions and not a few vociferous arguments. Tanj took her place, kneeling by Jenka's feet. She'd presented her information, and the best plan Intelligence could come up with. Now, it was up to the Council to decide what to do.......

Jenka listened to the arguments go 'round once more, and decided she'd had enough. Growling, she rose to her feet; "I haven't heard a viable alternative to the plan. We need a decision on one thing and one thing only. Do we want to try and take the whole convoy?" Fixing the head of operations with a glare, she raised an eyebrow; "MacArthur? What do you say?" The old Tiger grinned; "If we pull this off, I'll be able to afford to retire to that tropical planet. Hell, I might be able to BUY that tropical planet. I say go for it." Jenka nodded and turned to the head of Finance; "Forbes?" The Badger pushed his glasses back up on his nose and nodded; "Yeah. We could use the money. Go." Jenka turned and looked at Logistics; "Phipps?" The stoat glared at Purchasing, and then nodded to Jenka; "Yeah. Go for it." Jenka nodded; "And I already know how Intelligence votes. Between us, we've got enough shares to override any objections. We do it, and we do it according to the plan. End of discussion!"

Tanj followed Jenka back to her quarters, at the end of her leash. As they walked she wondered if Jenka should have forced the issue like that. Some of the Council hadn't looked too happy......

The Raid: Plotting

"Ah, there you are, Thomas. How did the meeting go?"

"Hello, Bradford. It was.... Interesting. Our boy showed his usual form."

The Otter nodded; "That's good. Did he receive any encouragement?"

"Yes, there were several of the operations furrs that agreed openly with him. I suspect there were others that agreed, or tended to agree, that just stayed quiet, watching how things developed."

"So tell me" the Otter whispered; "Is this as big as I've heard?"

Thomas nodded; "Bigger, if anything. This one would definitely make the evening news all across the empire. If they can pull it off, their resources would be.... Considerable."

Bradford nodded; "Then we can't let it happen, of course."

Thomas chuckled; "Oh, I doubt we could effectively derail it... but we might be able to, ah, warp it to our own advantage. And I do believe Bragg is the key. Now here's just what I think we need to do......."

"Ah, good evening, Captain Bragg! How was the planning session?"

"Hello, Bradford. It... well.... It went. I suppose you could liken it to choreography. We're going to be waltzing quite a dance, according to the plan."

The Otter tilted his head to one side; "Sounds like you're not much in favor of it, Capt'n...."

Bragg sighed; "Well... I think its overly complex." The Rabbit grinned; "You know how difficult it is to get this bunch to pull together sometimes. I think its needlessly beyond our capabilities, and therefor rather risky."

The Otter nodded his head solemnly; "This group we've got running the Black Fleet these days... Strange they are. Sometimes they're so conservative, you'd think they were a bunch of old ladies. And then, then they do something so wild as to be stupid. Loosin' it, I think they are."

The Rabbit shrugged; "Oh, they're not so bad, some of 'em anyways. But...." The Rabbit looked around conspiratorially, and then leaned closer; "Sometimes I might just agree with you."

Bradford nodded; "Yessir, Capt'n. I think we might be getting due for some new leadership. Someone with more sense. Someone like you, Sir."

Bragg paused as the door to his cabin slid closed behind him. "Lead the Black Fleet." He chuckled to himself, shook his head, and turned for the shower. It'd been a long day.

Thomas put down the briefing papers and shook his head; "I don't like the idea of hanging back. What if the convoy escort folds? We'll be the last ones in, to grab some of the booty!"

Bragg sipped his coffee and shrugged; "We all split the booty equally, you know that, Thomas."

The Coyote scowled; "Yeah, that's the way its supposed to be, but sometimes I wonder. Look at the recent problems with the Property Department. Something fishy was going on there." The Coyote looked up and grinned, showing fangs; "Besides, where's the glory in letting someone else take the prizes? Where's the FUN? Nossir, I would rather be in the front. It's the only way to make a name for yourself in this outfit, and that's the only way to advance! Now if you ask me, we ought to make a few small changes in this plan of theirs."

Bradford looked at the marked up document and grinned; "This is brilliant, Captain Bragg!"

The Rabbit frowned; "That's actually Thomas' notes... well, most of them. I threw in a few ideas..."

The Otter shook his head; "No, I can recognize your work, Capt'n. I think this is a brilliant plan. Just what we need."

The Rabbit grinned; "Thanks, but, well, I doubt we'll ever know. We're SUPPOSED to do it by their plan!"

Bradford shook his head; "Well, Sir, if the plan goes south, we can always execute yours. And if it works, which I'm sure it will, everyone will laud you as a brilliant strategist. They'll be saying you're just the sort of leader this organization needs!"

Bragg sat in the command chair of his ship, and stared out into space. Maybe, just maybe if the formal "official" plan DID screw up (and what plan survived contact with the enemy?) he'd be able to put his plan into effect. Alright, Thomas' plan. And if they DID manage to pull it out, and salvage something, would that be such a bad thing? Maybe if he called it a "contingency plan"... yeah, maybe that'd work. Smiling, he imagined himself receiving the accolades of his associates....

The Raid: Execution

Thomas smiled; "Well, Bradford, is it all set up?"

The Otter chuckled; "Yup. Their tight schedule will work against them. All we have to do is fiddle with the timing a bit."

The Coyote nodded; "Changed the times in the operational order?"

The Otter sighed; "No, that's too closely guarded."

Thomas frowned; "Are you... going to going to put an agent in Communications? That... could be risky."

The Otter smiled and shook his head; "Got something better; I've got a "friend" in fleet maintenance. She'll be checking scrambler calibration on all the ships prior to launch. She's going to put in a small device that'll mess with the atomic clocks. Don't ask me how it works, but each clock should run at a slightly different speed, some slow, some fast. After the battle, she'll retrieve the gizmos and reset all the clocks."

Thomas nodded; "Sounds good. And for this....?"

The Otter grinned; "For this she'll be well paid... or so she thinks. Don't worry; there won't be any loose ends."

Roland looked at the orders and then shrugged at the Mouse; "Bragg's ship, eh?"

His superior nodded; "And believe it or not, Bragg said your metal monsters were Okay. Just do me a favor, eh? Leave enough of the ship that we can get a decent price for it?"

The Lady Badger looked up as Roland entered the armory; "Suit up, Cindy, we're to report to the Westfalia." Cindy swallowed and nodded; it was obvious that she wasn't too enthusiastic about what they were about to do. Roland just chuckled to himself as he climbed into his Thunderbolt, and brought up main power. He'd seen that look on the faces of dozens of furrs. When the shooting started, she'd calm down. He'd seen her fight in the tournament; what they were about to do might be a whole lot less honorable, but beyond that, it wasn't much different.

Hurry up and wait. Tanj paced the bridge of the command ship and went over in her mind the plan, checking every detail. The fleet was in position, everyone had been briefed, mission orders had been loaded into every ship's computer... what else could she do?

Jenka watched the Cheetah pace like a caged animal; "Tanj if you don't CALM DOWN, I'm going to hogtie you!" The Cheetah laughed; "Yeah, sorry." Sliding into a station chair at the communications console, the Cheetah picked up an earbud, and listened to the chatter between ships. Or rather, the lack of chatter. Everyone was observing good emissions control. Pushing a button she changed frequencies and listened to the chatter among the oncoming convoy.

Bullard chuckled to himself, as he listened. The Assegai and H'rak contingents were on separate frequencies, and on each, only the tersest of comments and orders were passing between ships. There wasn't much to listen to. It was... very professional. As if each force were trying to out-soldier the other. Flicking his gaze over to the chronograph, he watched things count down.....

Jenka frowned. Bullard was late. She'd anticipated he might jump the gun, but instead, his ships were immobile, when they should have started their approach. She was just about to signal the comm officer, when the tactical display showed them starting to move.

Tanj smiled as she listened. It hadn't taken long for the H'rak forces, out in front of the convoy, to notice the pirates. There were terse commands fired back and forth between ships, and their formation started to change, but there was no apparent movement to intercept. And then Bullard's voice came over the comm....

Standard-Leader VonKlept listened with increasing rage as the... the.... HERBIVORE continued to insult his World, his Government, his philosophy, his family, and his Glorious Leader! Finally, he could take it no longer; "Communications; signal the fleet; attack pattern Delta Three! All ships, ENGAGE!"

Tanj chuckled as she listened to Bradford's taunts; the insults, if anything, had only gotten worse, as the H'rak ships had accelerated away from the convoy. Likewise, the pirates had accelerated towards their foes. That, however, was just a ruse; shortly they'd reverse course. The smaller, lighter raider ships could out-accelerate and out-maneuver the heavier destroyers, and cruisers employed by the H'rak forces. As long as they turned soon enough, physics being what it was.....

Sleigth watched the tactical display closely. His stealthed ships were immobile, and largely powered down. All but invisible. As soon as the lead ships of the convoy passed his position, he'd fire up his engines and join the Van, hopefully unnoticed. It shouldn't be hard to match courses and put boarding parties on a few, even before the shooting started.....

Bullard frowned; "Say WHAT?" "Skipper, the computer says we're not yet due to reverse course." "But they're getting too close! The tactical computer says we have to turn NOW!" The Navigator just shrugged; "Your call, Skipper." Bullard looked from the tactical display to the computer and back.... "I hope to hell they know what they're doing...."

Jenka frowned; "What is that crazy Bullard doing?" Tanj shrugged; "I don't know; he should have veered off by now." Jenka shook her head and signaled the comm officer; "Tell him to break off. NOW."

Thomas smiled, and nudged Bragg; "See? You were right; the plan's starting to come apart already. Jenka's countermanding her own orders!" Frowning, the Rabbit nodded, his eyes fixed on the tactical display.

Bullard frowned; "Well, DO WHAT SHE SAYS! Lets get OUT of here! HELM! Come about to 227 Mark 43, all ahead emergency! Shift power to the aft shields. And someone kick out some mines!"

Tanj watched as the beams of energy weapons started to lick out from the H'rak ships. The Raiders were smaller, faster, more agile, but their weapons didn't have the range some of the warships did. They were starting to take losses.

Bullard chewed on a knuckle. The H'rak were using a standard semispherical envelopment tactic, trying to keep the pirates at the focal point of their formation, so that each ship's guns could bear. Bullard had to scatter his formation enough so that they weren't defeated en-masse, and yet not to let them get so far apart they couldn't support one another. It wasn't easy. It might not even be survivable. Still, their forward momentum had been canceled, and they were picking up speed on the reciprocal course... Shortly they'd be widening the gap. Or at least the survivors would be....

"Do it, Skipper. Things over there are coming apart. Bullard's got 'em decoyed off all right, but there's not going to be anything left of his group. If those H'rak ships come back to the Convoy we'll never get anything!" The Rabbit sighed and nodded; "Yeah... You're right. Signal the group to attack, full speed."

Sleigth hissed in fury; they'd been within seconds of the lead ships overrunning their positions, when the whole convoy had suddenly changed course. And then he saw it on his tactical display; Bragg's group was moving in early. WAY too early. He'd just spooked the whole convoy! Shouting orders, he tried to bring his group around, to pursue the rapidly escaping prey.

Bragg gestured at the tactical display; "There. That cruiser; the big one. We go RIGHT past him at full speed, firing everything we've got. By the time they pull the flanking destroyers in for support, we'll be behind them, and in among the convoy. Tell the Marines they're going to have to move fast; this just became a smash-and-grab."

Roland watched his HUD as the new orders came in. And he didn't like what he saw.

Cindy heard the growl, and raised an eyebrow; "What's wrong? Looks like we'll be in and out in a hurry; shouldn't that give them less time to shoot at us?"

Roland sighed; "Yeah, but if we could convince the freighter crews to surrender, there'd be less loss of life. Now we don't have time for that luxury. We're going to have to shoot our way in, and then get out with whatever we can grab, and pity anyone who gets in our way."

The Lady Badger just nodded and sighed. What HAD she gotten herself into?

Grand Admiral of the Western Reaches looked at his Chaplain and grinned; "The Lord is good to us; the Pirate scum charge our guns!"

The Chaplain nodded, one eye on the tactical display; "Or it may be a trial, Admiral. Why would they do that, if they didn't think it a prudent move?"

The Admiral chuckled; "Chaplain, this is the flagship of the Assegai fleet; surely we can defeat a few pirates!"

As the Admiral turned back to the tactical display, the Chaplain sighed to himself and thought "Pride goeth before a fall...."

Bragg watched the distance diminish, watched the Assegai Cruiser start to fire... and then chose his moment. At his command each raider ship launched its antiship torpedoes. Each raider was different, Each Captain had his own philosophy on what was the best weapon, and as a result there were a dozen different varieties and brands of torpedoes. The Electronic countermeasures officer on the Cruiser found that his efforts worked against only a small fraction of the incoming torpedoes; each one seemed to have a different seeker package! The Point Defense officer found his systems overwhelmed. As at least a half a dozen torpedoes struck the Cruiser's shields, the raiders flashed past, towards the convoy.

Sleigth groaned as the Cruiser took hits; half the remaining escorts had just started moving in that direction, to support their stricken comrades. And in the process four destroyers had turned right towards him. He could remain invisible, but only at a distance; at close range the probability of detection increased significantly!

Jenka watched as a fire blossomed to one side of the convoy; apparently a group of Assegai destroyers had run straight into Sleigth's group. The stealthed ships had gotten in the first round, probably just as they were detected, but it was turning into a nasty little firefight. And as soon as Sleigth had fired, he'd given away his position. Turning to MacArthur, she growled; "I think its time we sent in our reserves, if for no other reason than to let us disengage from this clusterfuck." The old Tiger, a scowl on his face, nodded, and turned to the communications officer.

Tanj watched the tactical display, frowning. How had the plan unraveled so badly? Yes, she knew "no plan survives contact with the enemy" and yet there was one exception to that rule; the first few seconds of any ambush. And that's just what they'd been trying to do here. Her scowl deepening, she went back over the logs, trying to figure out just where it'd gone wrong.

Roland's Raid

Roland felt the deck lurch below his feet; the raider hitting the prey vessel, and rather hard too. For a moment he'd thought they'd failed to grapple but then the deck lurched again. With the ship "below the horizon" for at least some of the freighter's defensive armament, it was safe to exit. Or at least comparatively safe.

Cindy watched the hatches open, sliding up into the overhead. The bay had already been evacuated. There was no puff of vapor to occlude her vision. There also wasn't much to see; just the hull of another ship. Then Roland was charging out through the hatch, and automatically, she followed. There had been drills, practices and simulations, and yet this was like none of them. This one was real.

Roland looked at the laser turret; it'd taken a hit from some large energy weapon and looked rather... melted. He hoped it was remote control, that there hadn't actually been anyone in there.... With the "local" defenses taken out before they'd even grappled, there wasn't much for him and Cindy to do, but wait while the sappers planted their charges.

Cindy felt the deck shudder beneath the feet of her Thunderbolt, and turned just in time to watch the Freighter's cargo lock fly away. They'd planted strip charges all around the outside of the outer lock door, and blown away the lock as one piece. The cargo bay had been pressurized, and as the lock vanished, a great exhalation of atmosphere occurred, water vapor freezing to ice crystals. Among the detritus was one flailing figure, and Cindy had to use her suit's optics to zoom in on it; fortunately the furr was wearing a space suit. But before she could ponder the odds of someone picking him, or her, up, Roland was charging through the hole in the side of the freighter, and she turned to follow.

Roland's HUD placed a carat on a shipping container, indicating that there was movement behind it. Not wanting to damage the contents of the crate, Roland cycled his weapons, until the Nerve Disruptor was active. He would have preferred to use the sonic stunner, but that might not be completely effective through a space suit, even if the bay still had atmosphere, and if the furrs defending the ship had anything heavier than he expected, it could be a fatal mistake. Side-stepping the container, he fired as soon as he had a clear target, but he fired low. The legs went out from under the Kangaroo, his gauss rifle clattering to the deck. Roland trod on the weapon, smashing it, as he turned and headed for the personnel lock.

Cindy watched the Badger move, and tried to cover his back. The spacesuited crew of the Freighter were no match for their armored might, but every once in a while, some fanatic would force them to kill him. The smart ones either fled, or surrendered. With a foul taste in her mouth, she watched Roland move through the cargo containers, systematically eliminating all resistance.

The Plasma weapon in the corridor was a real surprise. Roland hadn't expected to find something like that on a ship like this. In fact, it was rather suicidal to use a weapon that heavy on a freighter; the bolt, if it missed, would have punched clear through the hull, destroying almost everything in its path. The use of something like that bespoke extreme desperation, or, given the government that owned the ship, extreme fanaticism.

The first shot hit his plastron, knocking him back into the cargo bay. Cindy yelped in surprise and moving instinctively, threw a grenade down the corridor. The flimsy spacesuits the crew was wearing weren't sufficient protection against the shrapnel; when she stepped into the corridor, ready to eliminate any resistance with her own weapons, the corridor was silent. Turning, she looked at the Badger; there was a large silver crater in the center of his chest, but it didn't look as if it'd burned through...

Roland groaned. Suddenly it was hot in his suit. Why was it so hot? Oh... yeah. Rolling over, he got to hands and knees, and then stood up. His damage control panel was a sea of yellow light, but at least he was able to move. Turning, he beheld the carnage down the corridor and grunted. "Good work. Come on, we've got to take the Bridge." And then he was trotting down the corridor, in a semi-crouch. A Thunderbolt was just a little large for this kind of work, but if he'd been using anything less, he'd be dead right now.

Roland sighed as the blast doors closed. The crew of the freighter must have been stiffened with marines; freighters couldn't possibly carry this many furrs. Freighters shouldn't have this many infantry type weapons. The last ambush had actually been with a weapon that was probably some sort of modified anti-tank mine; if his computer was working correctly, it had detonated a miniature nuke, pumping an X-ray laser. The beam had missed him by centimeters, punching a hole clear through the ship to vacuum! Bloody Fanatics! And now, the pressure doors had closed. But not before he'd tossed a grenade through it. Motioning to Cindy, he stepped back, and brought up his plasma rifle. The Blast doors were designed to hold air against most normal shipboard disasters. An angry Badger in a Thunderbolt was not a normal shipboard emergency; the blast doors wouldn't last long. None of the others had.

Cindy watched as metal melted and flowed. They were slowly tearing the ship apart from the inside out. There might not be enough left to fly to the rendezvous point. But maybe that was the whole point of the fanatical defenders. With a sigh she tried to look down both cross corridors at once, trying to watch Roland's back.

Roland felt the ship lurch, and then lurch again. Frowning, he tongued his comm and growled; "Command, Roland. What's going on?" The reply didn't exactly please him; "Roland, this is Barker. They've decided its taken too long to take the ship; the group going to Engineering is completely bogged down in a cross fire. They've decided to off-load the cargo here; we're kicking shipping containers out the hole you guys made when you came in. Raider ships will tractor the containers to the rendezvous point. Your job is to hold off the crew for as long as you can."

Roland growled, cut the link and turned to Cindy; "Come on, we're heading back to the cargo bay." Cindy blinked; "But I thought he said....." Roland shook his head; "Barker isn't in our chain of command; I dunno where our unit went, and that worries me. I am NOT going to be left behind on this ship, not even by accident. Come on."

The Cargo hold was almost deserted; a crew was shoving the last four canisters out the hole when Roland and Cindy emerged from what was left of the ship's central corridor. Roland growled, fired his jump jets, and headed for space, exiting the ship just after the last of the canisters. Cindy watched, and did her best to emulate Roland, wobbling a little. Roland sailed past the canister, and hit the side of the Raider, probably faster than was prudent. "When you hit hull metal, engage your magnetic grapples!" Cindy heard him, but hit and bounced. Only Roland's hand, grabbing her right thigh, kept her from bouncing back towards the freighter. She saw the flare of blue light as the Raider engaged its tractor beam, as Roland pulled her against the side of the ship. Her magnetic grapple had just engaged when the raider started to move, and none too slowly either. Stars wheeled in her viewport, and she felt acceleration tug at her. And then the Raider was heading away from the Freighter.

Roland looked back at the Freighter; it was in sad shape. And it hadn't needed to be like that; if they'd been able to defeat the escorts they could have forced the surrender of all the cargo ships in the fleet. No one, or at least fewer furrs would have gotten hurt, or killed. No, it needn't have been like that at all....

Cindy watched lights flare in the distance. Someone was still shooting out there. at one point the Raider's guns flared, and something not too far away blew up, probably an incoming missile. At another point the raider emitted a huge cloud of "chaff", but what it might have been trying to decoy wasn't seen. Eventually, things got boring.

Roland sighed; "All right, if that's the way you want it, but I'm not very happy about it." "Don't sweat it. I'll make it up to you when we get home. Buy you a beer or something." Switching channels, Roland growled; "Cindy, the Raider crew says they're too full to let us inside. Seems they picked up the rest of our maniple, along with some loose booty; they say the inside of the ship is packed like a sardine can, and life support's running on the ragged edge. Looks like we ride back out here. At least to the Rendezvous point. Shouldn't be more than, oh, eighteen hours or so." After a moment's silence, Roland's voice came back; "Um.... You might want to weld yourself some supports; I wouldn't trust the magnetic grapples when we go to warp..."

Cindy sighed, and thought that most of the furrs in Tanj's crew would enjoy this. Following Roland's example, she'd used the welder built into the right glove of her Thunderbolt to tack-weld both legs, her torso, and one arm to the Raider's hull. Talk about bondage! She just hoped she could cut herself free when they got where they were going.....

Bullard heard the hiss of escaping atmosphere, and reached up to latch the faceplate of his helmet; "That does it; its time to GO. Signal the group; tell them to head straight for the approaching reserves; lets see if the H'rak forces feel like tangling with them as well!

Sleigth hissed in frustration; he'd gotten boarding parties on three of the convoy's ships, only to meet surprisingly stiff resistance. It seemed that, with the attack in disarray, the crews on the Freighters were heartened enough to fight. It had just taken them too long to deal with the Assegai destroyers. Dammit, they weren't supposed to have had to deal with any escorts; at least not like THAT. As Bullard started to withdraw, as Bragg's group was fleeing with what they'd managed to grab, his situation was becoming more and more tenuous. Finally, he could take it no more and growled out an order to recall the boarding parties, with what little they could carry. It was time for them too, to depart.

Bragg grinned as he counted the ships on the tactical display; "Looks like all of ours made it out." Bradford nodded; "Yes, and it looks like each of our ships got at least some booty. Looks like our losses were only a few marines." Bragg nodded; "It's a shame about the maniple off of the Sarnaganth. Shoddy planning, that they should get left behind like that." Thomas shrugged; "No plan survives contact with the enemy, and there were only a few of them left alive. Overall, our losses were quite reasonable." The Coyote grinned; "And I'd say we did better than anyone else in the Black Fleet. Just goes to show, you were right after all!

Jenka watched the various elements of her Fleet depart, each heading by a different route, to the rendezvous point. They'd gotten almost nothing. Of some sixty merchant ships in the convoy, they'd hit less than a dozen, and only gotten a fraction of the cargo from them. It was one of the worst screw-ups in her tenure as leader of the Black Fleet, and someone's head was going to roll for it!


Bullard growled; "I tell you, we went in ON TIME, and when your message came through, our computers said that it just wasn't time, ACCORDING TO YOUR PLAN, for us to withdraw! YES, I realize it was too late, that we should have changed course sooner, but WE WERE FOLLOWING YOUR PLAN!"

Tanj sook her head; "look at the logs from the flagship. Compare the times, against the movement plot. You were LATE. If you were following the prompts from your ship's computer correctly, and to tell the truth, I DO believe you can tell time, then something else was going on."

Jenka sighed; "Yes. Sabotage. I thought of that. Given the recent events against me, that was one of the first things that came to mind. But I've had all the ships checked, and no discrepancies were found. Chronographs agree within their accuracy limits. If it was sabotage, it was damned subtle sabotage.

Bragg shook his head and grinned; "Told you that plan was too complicated. It was doomed to failure from the start. I said so before, and events have proved me correct!" Around the table, heads nodded in agreement.

Jenka scowled at the Rabbit and shook her head; "We've pulled off more complicated maneuvers in the past; this should have been well within our capabilities AND YOU KNOW IT! No, I refuse to believe we're all a bunch of fumbling fools! And I promise you, I WILL get to the bottom of this!

Tanj studied the faces of those around the table. Some were obviously as furious as Jenka. Sleigth, for one. Bullard was too pissed at being blamed for starting the screw-up to side with anyone but Bragg. Others were somewhere in-between, and not a few were wearing their best poker faces, doing their best to make sure no one knew who they supported. And that wasn't a good sign.


Thomas smiled as he looked at the printout. The raid hadn't been exactly unprofitable. The nanotechnology they'd gotten had more than paid for the operation. Even after the damage was repaired, and the death benefits paid out, there would be a tidy sum for each furr involved. Of course, there'd be a little more for everyone in Bragg's group, as they were the ones that had actually seized the Lion's share of the booty, but that was just icing on the cake. For a moment he reflected on what it would have been like if the Black Fleet had pulled it off as they'd intended. Would he have been rich enough to have been able to hide from his Masters? Probably not. No, this was the better way. Printout in hand, he made his way to where Bragg sat.

Bragg smiled and nodded; "That's not too bad. More than I would have thought, actually, for the way things got screwed up."

Thomas chuckled; "Well, Sir, thanks to you, we got something for all our efforts, and all our pain. If it hadn't been for your vision, and daring, we wouldn't have gotten anything!" Leaning closer, Thomas whispered conspiratorily; "Actually, Capt'n, I think you're the one that should be running the Black Fleet. You're the one with the brains, and you'll pardon the expression, the balls. You owe it to the others, Sir, to take over the leadership of the fleet!"

Bragg mused for a moment and then gave Thomas a half smile; "Perhaps, but... well, Jenka's got the majority stockholders in her pocket. I'd never be able to win an election." Thomas grinned, showing fangs; "That's why you just have to TAKE power, Capt'n. The little folks are without a voice in the current administration. That's why the current bosses are able to pull bonehead stunts like the one we just went through! The current management is too concerned with their own well-being, and much too concerned with staying in power. They'll never allow themselves to be voted out! NOSSIR, you need to act, for the benefit of all!

Bullard'd had a few too many. Even he knew that. When the Rabbit slid into the seat across the table from him, it took him a moment before he realized that he didn't really have four ears, but that he was just seeing double. Hah! A rabbit with four ears!....

Bragg considered the Minotaur for a moment and then smiled softly; "Sorry about the problems you had in the recent fiasco."

Bullard scowled; "Yeah.... Tooo compicatled.. compli... too compflex... comf... too hard."

The rabbit nodded; "Yeah... I wanted to talk to you about how we got railroaded into doing that.... What do you think of Jenka's leadership?"

Bullard frowned, and found himself counting the Rabbit's ears again. It looked as if he'd grown another pair; he was up to six.... And when did he get four eyes? Shaking his head, the Minotaur growled; "Fuckin' bitch. Accusing me of screw'n up. Screw her." The Minotaur got a silly grin on his face; "now there's an Idea. Screw Jenka. Ah wouldn't mind doin that...."

Bragg nodded and grinned; "Yes, she always has seemed a mite... unapproachable. Unless you were one of her sex toys. Yes, sometimes it seems as if she treats all of us, the whole Black Fleet, as if we were her toys...."

Bullard took another slug of ale and nodded his head; "ThasRight!"

Bragg smiled and nodded and rose; "Thanks, Bullard. I assume I can count on you, when the time comes?"

Bullard watched the rabbits leave. Three? Four? As the rabbits walked off, he wondered just exactly what it was he'd just agreed to....

Pippyn watched Bragg closely; "you realize, of course, that what you're proposing could be considered mutiny. This IS a corporation. The shareholders have voted Jenka and her subordinates into office. There ARE procedures for a recall... ways to move for a vote of no confidence..." Bragg chuckled and waved a paw dismissively; "That's true... but that's merely the kind of corporate mentality that's gotten us where we are today. I have no doubt that when the minority stockholders see how much better we can run the Black Fleet, they'll confirm my actions with a unanimous vote!" Pippyn chuckled and raised her tankard; "Sounds good to me. I can't stand the current crowd. Just never could figure out how to get rid of 'em. Count me in!"

Bradford chuckled and leaned over to whisper in Thomas' ear; "I have no doubt the vote will be unanimous. If they won't vote for him voluntarily, we'll MAKE 'em vote for him!"

Thomas chuckled and took another sip from his drink. After a moment he turned back to Bradford; "By the way, have you "tied up" our loose end yet?"

Bradford smiled; "It'll be done when we make our move. Which should be in just a few hours."


"I tell you, its not going to be a problem. I know each door has its own security code, but we've got a furr in Security. He's rewriting all the passwords, at 2 AM, and then he'll do a "broadcast" and have all the doors all through the station open, and stay open."

Thomas frowned; "If... if something opens the station to space, we'll loose ALL the atmosphere!"

Bradford chuckled; "No one's going to be that stupid. Besides, there won't be any resistance. Our teams are all ready. It'll go like clockwork; don't worry!"

Jenka grunted with each thrust. The Minks were insatiable; that's what she liked about them. Sandwiched between the two brothers, she savored the sensations as the two of them fucked her, in pussy and ass. She never heard the door open.

Tanj trembled on the verge of yet another climax. Confined in a rather small trapezoidal shaped cage, designed to tightly incase her kneeling form, the cheetah stared out through the bars at the scene on the bed before her. Mounted in the floor of the cage, its contours designed to match her bottom, was a saddle-shape. And of course the saddle not only sported fully articulated dildoes for pussy and ass, but in itself, vibrated strongly, pressing against her in all the most, ah, "stimulating" places. The combined effects were more than enough to drive a girl wild. Although all three vibrators were running, when the door opened, she knew instantly something was terribly wrong, and that she was completely helpless to intervene.

Jenka realized what was happening, when she saw the armed furrs in her quarters. She had a blaster in the nightstand, another under her pillow, but entangled as she was with the Minks, she couldn't reach either, before they were on her. They didn't even bother to use the stunner they'd brought; a half dozen of them just overpowered her, pulling her arms behind her, and binding her tight.

Thomas grinned at the bound Jaguar. They had her. Whether they captured the others, or killed them, didn't much matter. They had the Pirate Queen. Their masters were going to be most pleased. At a shout from Bradford he raised his head; "Huh?" "I said, what do you want to do with the Minks?" Thomas waved a hand dismissively; "If they're here, they must be in league with her. Take them too. Take 'em all to the kennels!"

Wanda put down the endoscope as the three furrs pushed their way into the curtained cubicle. Turning to face them, she growled; "No visitors! Get out and let me work!" The leader of the three, a scarred Puma, growled; "We got orders to take you into custody." He grinned lopsidedly, the muscles on the left side of his face apparently not working very well; "Seems there's been a coup. There are new bosses now, and all of the old crowd are going to the kennels. And you're on the list!"

The Wolverine blinked, and then turned to look at the Groundhog on the gurney; "If you haul me off now, he'll die." She looked back at the Puma; "Is that what you want?"

One of the others, a red squirrel, squinted; "Hey, isn't that Chang? What happened?"

Wanda growled; "Hydraulic lift failure. He got pinched between the platform and the frame. He's got some pretty bad internal injuries and if he isn't stabilized NOW he'll die." Without waiting for a response, Wanda turned back to her patient.

The Puma frowned; "What about the other doctors?"

Wanda laughed; "you try and find 'em. So far I haven't been able to. They're "OFF DUTY" it seems."

As Wanda fiddled with some intravenous tubing, and a pump, the three toughs looked at each other. Finally the Puma growled; "Finish with him. Then you come with us. And no funny stuff; we'll be right out side."

When they'd left, Kath stepped closer, and whispered; "We could take them, Mistress".

Wanda laughed and nodded; "We could, but then what? If the whole station's going through a civil war, we'll be needed here more than ever. And if its already over, there isn't anyplace to run to. Besides, Chang might die while we took them out. Now get me a No.4 hemostat. I think we're going to have to go in.....

The station never slept. Even in the middle of the night, business was conducted. Sometimes business was best in the middle of the night..... Hinoki blinked as the door to his shop slid open. For a moment nothing happened, as if the system had glitched, but then a lady Thylacine stepped through. Curiously, the door remained open behind her.

She paused and looked around, and then nodded, to herself, as if in satisfaction. Moving over to Hinoki she looked him in the eye; "I'm thinking of taking a slave. A male slave. What have you got in restraints for males?"

Hinoki smiled back at her; "I've got all sorts of stuff, from the cute and cuddly to the... severe. Can you give me any more information as to what you're looking for?"

The Thylacine smiled coldly; "This slave is someone I used to know; someone who used to annoy me. Greatly. I want something "severe" as you put it. Something that'll let him know he's my slave, and that any chance of escape, that any hope at all, has fled."

Hinoki swallowed and nodded; "Yeah... I've got some stuff like that."

She grinned wider; "Show me."

Sashi watched from the front window. She was "On Display" again. Since they'd started her on the Vitamin E regime, she hadn't needed her latex panties, and all sorts of things had become possible. Right now, her paws were encased in soft, fingerless leather mitts, locked around her wrists, and tight enough that she couldn't possibly pick anything up, much less untie a knot. A muzzle, complete with a rather thick plug gag covered the lower half of her face, straps locked about her head. No one else could possibly know, but the plug gag tasted of cherries, one of her favorites. She stood in the window, a pole rising from the floor, its last ten inches buried in her snatch. She had a very limited amount of movement, but was otherwise unrestrained. Watching the tough looking Thylacine bitch, she slowly humped the pole, as if idly scratching an itch.

Pippyn examined the leather "pouch" and nodded. Part of the restraint harness, it was designed to cover a male's genitals. The inside of the soft leather was covered in pointy little pyramid shapes. If it was buckled on tightly, it could be quite... annoying. And it'd certainly prevent any erection. There just wasn't room. Nodding in satisfaction she looked up at the Cheetah; "I want you to demonstrate it for me."

Hinoki looked at her, his eyes narrowing to slits. There was something here that just wasn't quite right. And yet... he'd demonstrated gear like this for dozens of others. Deciding he was worrying over nothing, he shrugged, and picked up the harness, sliding one leg through the straps.

Pippyn smiled; "And now the hood. Lets see how this looks on you."

Obligingly, Hinoki opened his mouth. The Thylacine shoved the plug gag into his mouth and yanked on the straps for the head harness a little more roughly than he thought the situation warranted. The blindfold cut off sight and sound, and suddenly the world was reduced to tactile sensations.

Sashi watched the Thylacine bitch bind her master; there was something about the way she was doing it, something that made her feel this was personal in some way.... But whatever the reason, whatever the purpose, Hinoki was being bound so thoroughly, it was doubtful that even he would be able to escape.

Pippyn smiled and reached into a pocket. Extracting a handful of container freight seals, she started to thread them through the hasps, next to each of the locks Hinoki had so generously provided. Each one was made of a tough plastic, and required a special tool to remove. Even if the Cheetah had palmed a key, with the seals in place, he'd never get free. At least not by himself. When she'd finished, she turned her attentions to the straps holding the leather pouch over the Cheetah's genitals. "Good, sweetums, but not good enough." She purred, as her fingers found the fasteners and tightened the assemblage a few more notches.

Hinoki grunted into his gag as he felt the Thylacine tighten the crotch straps. It was uncomfortable, but no worse than many things he'd been through before. But what was the reason for her manipulations before that? Had she been checking the locks? Or..... squirming a little in his restraints, he tried to figure out just what was going on. What had she done to him?"

Sashi watched the Tylacine move about the shop, gathering additional bondage gear. She felt she knew what was coming. With the gag in her mouth she couldn't even protest as the bitch started to add to her restraints, binding her arms behind her back in a monoglove, and hobbling her ankles with a short chain.

Pippyn looked over the Chocolate Pantheress, and nodded; she'd heard this one was dangerous, but the way she'd tied her, it would be doubtful that she could either fight, or break free. Attaching a leash to her left nipple ring, she pushed the button to lower the pole, and then tugging harshly, led her back towards Hinoki.

Hinoki felt the leash snap to his collar. He'd figured out that she'd added additional locks of some sort to his restraints. And now he knew he was being taken somewhere. Just where, that was the question. Were some of his friends "kidnapping" him for a night of fun, or was something else going on? For a moment he thought about trying to escape his restraints, but then he decided not to. No point in letting this fem know his "demonstrator" gear was all subtly rigged to allow him to escape, if he needed to, and without the necessity to palm a key. He'd learned his lesson well, after the incident with the Giraffe, the Walrus and the Polar bear..... For the moment he'd play along, and see where this led.

Sashi knew where they were headed; she just didn't know why. The Thylacine was leading them towards the kennels; the slave quarters on the station used to house prisoners awaiting ransom, or sale. Why would they be going there? What was going on?

Zassa frowned as the sink backed up. She was making dinner for Chris Foxx, her "Master", but she hadn't run any water recently. Therefor, it probably wasn't the disposal. That suggested there was a plug further downstream in the system. With a groan, she padded out of the kitchen, wiping her paws on a dishtowel, headed for the comm.

Chris looked up as his "slave" came out of the kitchen. From the look on her face, he knew something was wrong, but he also knew that if it was anything serious, she'd bring it to his attention. And in the proper manner, if she knew what was good for her. As she walked towards the comm, he turned his attention back to the holovision cube, watching for the local stock report.

Zassa was almost to the comm when the door to Chris' quarters slid open. Before she could even think about it, she was backpedaling towards the kitchen.

Chris heard the door open, and wondered where in the world Zassa was going? Then he saw her moving backwards towards the kitchen, a cautious look on her face, and instinct kicked in. He dove towards the floor, doing a neat tuck and roll, his paw sliding under the cushion of the sofa, groping for the needler he kept there.

Zassa groaned; the sink was now overflowing onto the floor, dirty water full of the remains of someone else's dinner. The drain system must really be screwed up. Being careful not to slip, she pulled all the steak knives out of the butcher's block holder, and turned back towards the kitchen door, deftly flipping one of the knives so that she held it by the point.

Chris crouched behind the recliner, the needler lined up on the door. If this were an attack, something should have been happening by now, and he started to wonder just what in the hell was going on.

"Chris, you in there? Chris, its O.W.! Hey, are the drains backing up in your quarters? I've got a helluva mess over here! And what's with the doors?" Chris frowned. He had a new neighbor; someone from Scheduling. They'd nodded to each other once or twice, in the past couple of days, but.... Lifting his head a bit; Chris glanced at Zassa, who nodded and made a face. "Yeah, we've got problems over here too." "Well, my comm's shorted out. Have you reported it yet?" Chris growled back "No. Hang on a minute...." Turning, he looked at Zassa and inclined his head towards the comm; then he turned back to resume covering the door.

Zassa tried to keep from dropping one of the knives, as she shifted things around, to free up a paw. The carpet was starting to go squishy under her feet as she reached down to stab at the button.... There was a fat blue spark, and the next thing she knew she was flying backwards.

Chris heard the sound of an electrical discharge, smelt scorched furr, and saw Zassa fly backwards. He knew it was the wrong thing to do even as he did it, rising from cover, to run to her aid. As he knelt over her still form, he never saw the blackjack that came down on the back of his head.

Ralph frowned as the door to the Intelligence office slid open. Rising a bit from his desk chair he tried to see who was coming into the office at THIS time of night. But there wasn't anyone there. And the door wasn't closing, either. Sliding a paw under his desk, he picked up the Ambro Magnum, and keeping low, started to move through the maze of cubicles. Unexplained things like that always made the hairs at the back of his neck stand up....

Peering out of the corridor, the Tiger frowned. ALL the doors were open. That really wasn't right. Moving down the hall, he slid into one of the Operations offices. There was a cubicle there that couldn't be seen from the office door, and he slid into that, firing up the terminal, logging on with a password not his own. The first thing he did was to run a status check on his own quarters. As he feared, the sensors he'd installed there showed three furrs in HIS room. Then he heard footfalls in the corridor outside. Holding his breath, he listened until they were past, and then being as quiet as he could be, he called up the security profile for his cubicle. Sure enough that's where the three furrs had been headed. He watched them mill around for a minute, and then move out of range. They seemed to be searching the office. That might give him just enough time.....

Ralph moved down the corridor as if nothing were wrong. Yes, the station never slept; things were happening around the clock, and yet most furrs kept to a day/night schedule. And for Oh-three-hundred in the morning there sure were an awful lot of folks about, some of them moving with a bit of urgency. And some in groups. It wasn't until he saw four furrs, leading a fifth, bound furr, that he felt his fears were confirmed. Still, before he hit the panic button, he had to know. Moseying over to them, doing his best to look casual, he inquired; "What's up?" One of the furrs, a Mouse, chuckled; "Change in management. Go back to your quarters, it'll all be sorted out by morning. You'll hear all about it then." Ralph ah'ed and nodded, smiled and ambled off. Worse than he had feared...

The terminal was public, in one of the commons areas. Ralph logged on as someone who'd been killed in the convoy raid, and paged through a number of screens. As he worked, he muttered to himself; "If I'm not right about this, Tanj is gonna KILL me....." Finally, a screen came up, and he spent several agonizing minutes entering password after password. Behind him, he heard an increase in the background conversation, and then a sudden cessation in conversation, and again the hairs on the back of his neck started to rise. The big red "PANIC" symbol had just formed on the screen, when a paw came down on his shoulder. As he turned to see who it was, he made sure his elbow hit the center of the touch-sensitive screen....

"OK, buddy, you gonna come quietly, or do we have to rough you up?" Ralph blinked at the Chipmunk and sighed; "you have GOT to be kidding." He hadn't even gotten out of his chair when the cattle prod caught him in the side.

"Hey, Marvin... what was that, on the computer screen just before you zapped him?" The Chipmunk blinked; "Computer... Hell, I dunno, I was watching HIM, not the screen. Why?" "I dunno, it just looked..... It almost looked like, geez, Marvin, I dunno." The Chipmunk sighed; "Well, forget it. We got what we came for. Now, you gonna go get the float pallet or do you want we should carry him down to the kennels?"

Cindy looked up as the door to Roland's quarters slid open. Not expecting the Badger back anytime soon, she sat up in bed, sleepily, confused. After a moment she rose, wrapping the sheet around her, and strode to the doorway. Several furrs were milling about in the corridor, all talking excitedly. Stepping out, she approached one of the furrs; "What's going on? Is this some sort of a drill?"

The Marmoset turned and smiled at the lady Badger. She was a little too... "Zaftig" for his tastes, and yet she wasn't bad looking... "Yes, it's a drill of sorts. Um... aren't you with that Roland fellow?" For a moment Cindy was very aware of the circlet of metal around her throat. "Um, yea, something like that." The Marmoset nodded; "Then you'd better come with me."

Cindy followed him through the corridors, rapidly becoming lost. She just hadn't been on the station long enough yet to learn its full layout. However, as they walked they seemed to be joined by more and more groups of furrs, each seemingly escorting a prisoner. "Just what kind of a drill is this?" she inquired with a low rumble. The Marmoset smiled; "Security drill. Your, ah, friend, Roland is one of the designated "targets" of the exercise, and if you're with him, you're probably on the list too. Don't worry, you won't be hurt, and it'll all be over soon." Cindy nodded, clutched the sheet a little tighter around her and wondered about the strange ways of the Pirates.

It wasn't until she saw the furr obviously injured, injured beyond any faking, that she started to wonder. Compound fractures like that just weren't plastic and ketchup! However, by then, there were way too many toughs around her, for a break to be feasible. Slowly she tried to widen the distance between the Marmoset and herself.... Only to have a rather large Bison bump into her from behind. "Keep moving, you!" With a sigh, she let the flow of furrs carry her towards her fate.

Cindy looked from the Marmoset to the Jackal, to the low door in the wall, and frowned. The Jackal chuckled; "Look, bitch, you do it the easy way or we do it the hard way. Think you can take all of us?" Finally Cindy crouched, and started to crawl through the door. As she was half-way through, someone snatched the sheet from her. She'd been expecting that; everyone else she'd seen in this place of cages had been naked.... The door slamming behind her sounded awful final....

Andrea looked up at the Otter and smiled; "Ah, Bradford. I was wondering when I'd see you again. I trust you were satisfied with my work on the Chronographs? I trust no one picked up on what happened?

Bradford smiled; "No, no one did. And now, my dear, its time for your reward.

Andrea's eyes went wide as the Otter lifted a sonic stunner; before she could so much as let out a squeak, he fired. Bradford winced as she fell to the floor, her head thumping against the deck with a sickening sound. "No, my dear, no one's picked up on it, and no one ever will. I believe I have a way to keep you silent. Silent for the rest of your life."

Wanda looked up as the furrs pushed the float pallet into the Emergency room. There must have been a half a dozen furrs piled on it, and so much blood she couldn't tell what had happened to who. And all the rooms were full. "All right, lay 'em out over there. Give me about three feet between them. Kath, get compression bandages, and do what you can to stop the bleeding. Hawthorne! Triage. Figure out who's dead, who's going to live without immediate attention and who needs attention right now, in order to live!" Looking up at the crowd of furries just standing behind the float pallet, the Wolverine lass growled; "All right, what happened THIS time?"

A Brown Bear winced and then shrugged; "We were to, ah, detain MacArthur, the head of Operations. Somehow he was waiting for us."

Wanda bent over the first furr on the floor and felt for a pulse; without looking up, she growled; "And where's MacArthur?"

The Bear swallowed; "Ah... he won't be needing your professional services."

Roland rose to tiptoes, and managed to catch a glimpse of the group of furrs going past. He'd gotten word of what was going down, and just in case, had found himself a nice little hiding place. The space armor was designed for an ursoid considerably larger than himself. It stood in a recharging stand across the service bay from his Thunderbolt. By standing on tiptoes he could barely raise his head enough to see out of the faceplate. And as he'd feared, the group were examining the Thunderbolt, confirming that Roland wasn't in it. They WERE after him, too. Letting himself settle back down, to a more comfortable position, he prepared himself for a wait. The space armor was fully stocked with water, and food tablets, although using the "waste handling" facilities designed for a much larger furr might be a bit problematic. If the "round-up" parties would just leave, if he could just get to his Thunderbolt, maybe, just maybe, he could turn this thing around.....

Wanda frowned at the Otter; "You want me to WHAT?"

Bradford frowned; "Mind your tone, Missy! Remember who's in charge here. You heard me. I want her vocal cords cut. Not just severed, but a section taken out. Now, you can do it, or I can go find myself a coat hanger, and I can try and do it."

Wanda looked around the Emergency room; "There are furrs here that will die if they don't receive attention immediately...."

The Otter shook his head; "Don't care. Do this, NOW, or I'll have you hauled off to the kennels, where you won't be of any help to anyone!"

Growling, Wanda turned to Kath; "I'll need the Number three endoscope, equipped with the 02 forceps and a fiber optic laser scapel...."

Jenka obediently squirmed into the kennel. This was not easy, as her arms were bound behind her, her ankles were hobbled, and the door was built very low to the ground, forcing a slave to crawl through it. Somehow she managed to inchworm her way inside, the door slamming as soon as her feet were clear. Squirming around, she looked out through the bars at all the turmoil. Furrs were being led into the kennels in a constant stream. There was Chris Foxx, a look of pure murder on his face. Zassa was as limp as a ragdoll, in a Rhino's arms, and for a moment Jenka worried that she might be seriously injured. Forbes, from Finance was carried in by three toughs, and stuffed unceremoniously into a cage. Then Hinoki and Sashi were led in, following a female Thylacine meekly. Then Phipps, from Logistics was brought in, unconscious. Others were brought in as well, all confidants of hers, or those who supported her, in the council. Or, in the case of Sabina, merely associates of associates. With a sigh, she squirmed around, trying to make herself comfortable, but also visible to those being brought in. Perhaps her presence might give them some small comfort.

Tanj watched, from within her cage. Her captors had discovered that the cage was on wheels, and they'd just pushed her down to the Kennels. Of course, they'd found the power cord when they'd tried to move the cage, and unplugged it, and that had given her some small relief. Until she realized that every bump they hit along the way transmitted its effects straight to her filled pussy and ass. And of course, when they'd gotten to the kennels, with a laugh, they'd plugged it back in again, and turned the settings up high..... Even with the distractions, she hadn't missed Zassa's limp form, nor Ralph's arrival. The Tiger's surreptitious thumbs-up gave her some small measure of satisfaction.....

Andrea groaned and tried to open her eyes. She had the world's worst headache..... Had she had too much to drink? No.... no, she'd been at work. Then she remembered. Sitting up, she forced open one eye and looked around. She was in some sort of cell. Except it was tiny. Sitting up, her head almost touched the ceiling. It was about two meters long, one meter high and one meter wide, and one whole wall was just bars. Everything else was steel plate, including the bare floor. Turning, she squinted through the bars. That was when it hit her. They'd taken her to the slave kennels. Looking down, she gasped as she realized she was naked! Opening her mouth to shout, to shout that there'd been some mistake, that she wasn't supposed to be here, she found she couldn't make so much as a squeak! Her voice was gone!

Jenka watched the Bunny lady across the way from her, and wondered who she was. It seemed the mutineers were using the opportunity to eliminate personal enemies, or possibly those that stood in their way. For the life of her, she couldn't remember ever having seen that particular fem before..... And wasn't it curious that she appeared to be screaming, with nothing coming out....

Sabina watched Zassa with concern. What had they done to her? Was she all right? That bitch had better not die, not at least before she could try to prove to her once and for all who was the better sub!

Bragg looked at the PADD and nodded. "Shame about MacArthur. I'm sure he would have taken what he'd saved for retirement and just gone away, when presented with our fait acompli." Putting down the PADD, the Rabbit sighed; "But he always was a stubborn cuss." Turning to look at Thomas, he grinned wryly; "But at least no one could ever say he was a coward!" Thomas frowned; "True, but that's not the way we'll play it, if you'll pardon me, Sir. He was a fool for resisting us, and paid for his foolishness with his life. No point in making him a martyr to those that would oppose us." The Rabbit sighed; "I guess you're right...." Thomas nodded; "Now, Sir, why don't we go on down to the Kennels and see how things are going there. I'm sure the furrs there are somewhat frightened, and could use some reassurance....."

Jenka looked out through the bars and smiled; "I win."

Bragg had been about to say something, but he closed his mouth in surprise and just STARED at the Jaguar; "I beg your pardon?"

Jenka smiled; "I'd bet myself you'd try something like this."

Bragg shook his head; "If you thought.... Then why didn't you DO something?"

Jenka shrugged; "What makes you think I didn't?"

Bragg's frown deepened; "Madam, if you think you're still in control, I think you're sadly mistaken, if not delusional." Turning, Bragg's gaze swept the kennels. Some of his erstwhile comrades looked enraged; others appeared stupefied. Some were obviously still unconscious. "I want you all to know that this isn't personal. We simply believe that the Black Fleet will prosper with a change in management. And Yes, I know, being a corporation there should have been mechanisms to have effected that change peacefully. We believe that things had been skewed so that the will of the stockholders was being suborned. Hence our actions." The Rabbit clasped his paws behind his back, and smiled softly; "Those of you that can see your way clear to join our cause will be well treated. Those of you that can't will be.... Sent away, in a manner such that you won't be able to make trouble for us. And I'm sure that the stockholders will recognize, in short order, how much better things have become." Turning, Bragg strode from the Kennels.

Thomas looked at Bradford; "That go out OK?"

The Otter nodded; "Yes, much better than what he'd originally planned to say." He laughed; "Jenka appears to have set him off, just a little. With a bit of editing, it'll be suitable for broadcast to the, ah, "stockholders." Now.... What about our prisoners?"

Thomas smiled; "There's no reason why we can't have some fun, before we wholesale them out. Oh, admittedly there are some things we have to mind, with respect to some of them, but on the whole....."

Chris watched the Coyote and the Otter leave. The old saw about "if looks could kill" applied perfectly well to him. When the door had closed behind them, he looked over at Jenka's cage. Jenka sat there calmly, her legs folded under her. How could she be so CALM? Shifting his gaze, he looked over at the cage where Zassa lay. Had she moved since he'd last looked? Was she still breathing? He wished he could tell......

The Badger's War, Part 1

Roland stepped through the door as if he owned the place. Sometimes just looking as if you belonged was all it took. Fortunately, the medical storeroom was deserted. As drugs weren't kept there, its lock had been fairly easy to defeat. Humming tunelessly, he started sorting through the boxes and shelves, taking what he thought he might be able to use.

The next stop was a food services store-room. The main thing he was after there were the little ketchup packets....

The storeroom for janitorial supplies was the last stop. There were all SORTS of goodies there, including bleach, and ammonia. The bleach in particular, along with some hydrogen peroxide from the medical storeroom, he particularly needed.

The Fan plenum was a good place to hide, if a bit windy. It was off a maintenance corridor that looked as if no one had been down it in years. Taking the scalpel, he carefully slashed his jumpsuit in strategic places. Then, ketchup was applied, liberally. Then the gauze bandages. When he finished, he wished he had a mirror to examine the results. With luck, he'd look like the survivor of a vicious knife fight. But he was afraid he looked like an extra from "The Mummy's Revenge." Either way, he wouldn't be immediately identifiable as Roland. And that should buy him some time.


Bragg looked around the Council and smiled; "And there you have it. There'll be a short period of transition, and when things have stabilized, there will be an election of officers for the corporation. I've every confidence that when all is said and done, those that I've appointed will be confirmed by the stockholders." As his gaze swept the remaining members, he found only stony silence. "Well, then, if there's nothing else, this meeting is adjourned."

Towards the back, a paw went up. "Mr. Bragg, I'm Carbajal from Maintenance. What's to become of the, ah, previous leadership team?"

Bragg smiled; "Some of the lower level managers will be offered the chance to stay on, under the new leadership, but I'm afraid that the core group will have to go."

Carbajal frowned; "go? How? As in, ah, "out the airlock?""

Bragg laughed; "oh, nothing so severe. We'll have to send them away, in a manner that prevents them from returning and stirring up trouble."

Carbajal nodded, his face carefully neutral; "I take it you mean we'll wholesale them out as slaves."

Bragg laughed again; "Not all of them. Some of them, auctioned off individually, should bring a tidy sum. After all, some of those furrs have very high prices on their heads. And some of them have significant enemies that would just LOVE to have them in their power. No, I suspect their sale will be a significant profit center for the Corporation." What went unsaid was his concern about Jenka, and that she might have made arrangements to have an associate buy, and subsequently free her, if she was merely wholesaled out.

Around the room, several furrs laughed and applauded Bragg's announcement; others, however, kept their poker faces in place....

Cindy watched the Jackal stroll down the corridor between the cages; he had a bunch of leather thongs in one paw and a quirt in the other. And he had that look on his face that just screamed "Trouble"....

Sabina watched the Jackal; he was obviously out to exercise his new-found power. Out to have some fun with one of the slaves. But who would it be? And what did he have in mind? She grinned at him, as he paused in front of her cell, an "I can take anything you can dish out" look. He stared at her for a moment and then resumed his pacing. She nodded to herself; "just as I thought; he's out for the power, not the sex. He's looking for someone to intimidate, someone to terrify."

Andrea scowled up a the Jackal as he paused by her cage. He grinned at her for a moment, but then passed on. With relief, she sagged back against the far wall of her cell, certain it was only a temporary reprieve.

Cindy watched as the Jackal paced back to stand in front of her cell. He grinned at her and nodded; "Yeah. You. I think its time you were shown just how easy you've had it, Slave." Pulling the keyring from his belt, he stepped forward to unlock her cell door.

Her initial inclination was to burst from the cell's low door, and knock the Jackal down. She was sure she could take him in a fair fight... and she had no intention of fighting fair. But then, from the corner of her eye, she caught sight of the two guards at the end of the corridor. One had a truncheon and the other a shock-stick. And they were both looking her way. With a sigh, she did as she was bade, and shifted into the proper kneeling position. The Jackal positively smirked.

"I think we'll go for a "Frog" tie." He traced a finger over her jawline; "Badgers are notoriously powerful and mean-tempered, and I think that'll give us a good compromise between keeping you from doing anything... "rash", and letting you squirm."

Cindy did her best to keep herself passive, as the Jackal took a thong and tied her right wrist to her upper arm, folding her arm against itself. She caught Sabina looking at her, and the Kitten smiled and winked. Shifting her gaze, she caught Jenka watching; the Jaguar flashed her a quick "thumbs up". Cindy smiled to herself; she knew she had friends, and that gave her strength; she knew she wasn't alone, and she knew these clods couldn't beat her. Resolutely, she suffered the indignation as the Jackal bound her.

The Jackal hummed as he worked; having bound her other arm in a similar fashion, he then looped a thong around her left thumb, and tugged. Cindy was forced to lift her arm until it was perpendicular to her body, her thumb at the nape of her neck. The Jackal then forced her other arm up, and tied the other end of the thong around her other thumb. If she tried to lower her arms, it was going to hurt her thumbs....

The Jackal then similarly tied her ankles to her calves. The Badger lady now had four effectively "shortened" limbs.... The Jackal smiled as he walked around her, admiring his handiwork. "Now... only lacks one thing. Open your mouth."

Cindy complied. The Jackal moved around in front of her, and flipped his loincloth to one side; he'd placed a ring-gag over his turgid shaft, and taking her head in both hands, he shoved his cock into her mouth. As the Badger lady uttered a muffled howl of protest he grabbed the hanging straps and pulled them around the back of her head.

In a way, Cindy was glad for the ring gag; the sudden intrusion into her mouth had made her gag, and that had made her instinctively clamp down with her teeth. If the ring gag hadn't been there, she probably would have emasculated the Jackal, and while that wasn't, per se, an objectionable thing for her, she was sure it would have brought rather massive repercussions... Trying to keep from gagging, trying to keep from fighting too much she did her best to endure while the Jackal finished buckling the gag in place. When he'd finished, he pumped his shaft in and out of her mouth, its head poking the back of her throat rudely. She could feel him getting harder and harder with each thrust. "Go ahead, bitch, get my shaft good and wet; 'cause its going in your ass next!"

The Jackal pulled back, and grinning at the guards, who'd moved closer to watch, he gave her a shove. Cindy barely caught herself in time, moving her elbows forward; the position, on elbows and knees, wasn't initially uncomfortable, but she thought, on the hard steel floor, that it would rapidly become so. The Jackal laughed, and brought his open palm down on her ass; "there we go, a nice little bitch for fucking." So saying, he slapped her again, letting his paw trail down over the cleft of her ass. Fingers rudely poked at her asshole, and her cleft. The Jackal seemed disappointed that the latter wasn't wet. Using his fingers to spread her he bent and gave her a long, wet lick, laughing at how she growled and squirmed in return.

"Did that Rolland Fellow you used to belong to, treat you like this? No? Didn't think so. That idiot had no concept of how to treat a slave." The Jackal laughed and moved around behind her; "Did he tie you up every night? Did he make you suck him off three times a day? Did he pass you around to his friends? No? What a wimp! What an idiot! Tell me, Bitch, did he ever do THIS to you?" The Jackal presented the tip of his cock, still slick with her saliva, to her asshole, and pushed. As he sank his shaft into her back passage he reached forward to grab her hair, and pull her back towards him. Grinning he shot his friends a look; "Ah, nothing like a nice tight VIRGIN ass!"

Cindy groaned. Her asshole burned. She felt as if she was about to tear, to rip, to be split asunder. And when the Jackal started vigorously pumping his hips, driving his shaft in and out of her, it was more than she could stand. Bucking as best she was able, she howled out her displeasure. The Jackal only laughed.

Later, when they'd finished with her, Cindy lay in her cell, still tied in the "frog" tie, her thumbs throbbing, her ass burning, and thought about how Roland had treated her. They'd been speaking as if he were dead. Was he? She hoped not. He really hadn't treated her that badly. Oh, she still didn't think she deserved to be a slave, but, if she had to be a slave, she'd rather belong to him, than to any of those bastards. Staring out through the bars, she wondered what her future was to be, now.....

Thomas smiled and looked around. His new quarters were MUCH nicer; why, there was even a separate bedroom, his own private bathroom, and even a kitchen. Obviously moving up in the organization had its perks. Throwing his bags onto the bed, he moved into the kitchen, wondering what the previous occupant had left him to eat.

Bradford smiled; "Head of Marketing." The Otter's grin widened; "That means I get to handle ALL the loot! I've already put out feelers about selling our former leaders on the slave market. Working towards an auction that should be QUITE amusing!" After taking a sip of his drink, he looked at the Coyote; "I hear you got Head of Operations! Congratulations!"

Thomas nodded and poured the Otter another glass of wine. "I hear Maintenance is still open."

The Otter shrugged; "Not exactly a critical function. You know as well as I do that Operations is where its at. The Sharp End. They'll find someone for the drudge jobs."

Thomas took another sip and nodded. He was going to have to lay in a different selection of wines; the ones he'd found in the pantry were too dry for his tastes. Ah, well.....

Pippyn smiled, and savored the attention. With the Coup, she'd moved up several notches in the organization. Furrs were starting to treat her with the respect she so well deserved. It was nice to walk into the bar, and have someone give up their seat to her. Nice to have the bartender hurry over. Yes, she could get to like this.......

Bradford looked from the PADD to the Hyena; "OK, here's the drill. Some of these furrs have "special interests" interested in them. I suspect they'll do quite well at auction, and in order to preserve their value, we've got to keep them in at least decent condition." His gaze shifted to the Vixen, still unconscious in her cell; "That one, that Zassa. There are a couple of parties on Vehnice that have already expressed interest, but one of them has insisted that she be in "pristine" condition, whatever that is. No marks, no scars, no deformities. Other than that, you can do whatever you want with her." Shifting his gaze to Jenka, he grinned, showing fangs; "And you wouldn't believe who's expressed interests in that one."

The Hyena grinned; "I'd imagine every law enforcement agency from here to the Coal Sack, along with the Imperial Fleet."

Bradford nodded; "Well, yes. But there's also been an inquiry from the Crown Prince Himself."

The Hyena's jaw dropped; "Ruprect? How in the hell does HE know HER?"

Bradford shrugged; "Got me, but as near as we can tell, its legit. And that's one buyer we don't want to piss off. So, the same restrictions go for her. No visible damage."

The Hyena just grinned and nodded, his gaze sliding towards the Jaguar.

The Otter grinned; "And speaking of deep pockets....." Turning to Tanj, he smiled coldly; "Dr. Pangborne sends you his greetings. As you might expect, he's really more than a little upset with you. To the point where he's MOST interested in bidding on your worthless hide. Seems he has something special planned for you. Genetic modification experiments, I believe. Very unusual and lamentably, very painful." Turning back to the Hyena, Bradford smiled; "No special instructions for HER. Pangborne doesn't care what he gets, as long as its still breathing. In fact, he's made a few suggestions..... But we'll get to those in a bit."

Turning towards Sashi, Bradford pointed; "Now, Pangborne wants this one too, but he says we're to be VERY careful with her. He seems to feel that if we trip her combat responses, it could very well upset all our plans. She stays under lock and key, period. If you have to, fuck her through the bars, but she does NOT get out, does NOT get loose. Understand?"

The Hyena nodded, and turned to look at Bradford. "you've.... Been planning this for a while, haven't you? I mean... to have all this lined up, already...."

Bradford just smiled

Jenka smiled at Tanj. The Cheetah looked particularly worried. "Don't let his words frighten you, pet. That Dr. Pronghorn, or whatever his name was, won't get his paws on you. This whole thing'll never get that far."

Tanj turned her head to look at Jenka, her expression one of disbelief.

Jenka just laughed; "What? Do you think this has never happened to me before? This has to be the third... no, the fourth time." She grinned; "it'll fall apart real soon. Running this place is MUCH tougher than it looks!"

Reddick smiled; "Thanks, Boss, I appreciate that! I promise I'll do a bang-up job!"

Bradford watched the Jackal swagger off, and smiled. This was fun. And all these furrs would be beholden to him.... Looking down at his PADD, he scowled. "Accounting. Gah, how boring. Who can I stick with THAT job?"

Thomas looked at the ship captains. "You've got your orders? You understand the plan?"

Sleigth nodded; "Simple. Lightly escorted convoy of only a half dozen freighters. No military escorts of any size, just a bunch of deep space fighters."

Bullard nodded; "We charge in, scatter the escorts, take what ships we can, and return."

Thomas nodded, grinning; "Yup. Nice and simple."

Bullard frowned; "Any intelligence updates? Are there any fleet units in the area? Anything special we should be aware of?"

Thomas frowned; "you know, that reminds me; we need to appoint a new head of intelligence..." Looking up at the Minotaur he cleared his throat; "Um, no, nothing that we're aware of. You should have clear sailing."

Nodding, the Captains departed for their ships.

Zassa groaned, and rolled over. Her mouth was as dry as the great Kolfax desert. Sitting up, she looked around. Bars. Blinking she tried to remember.... Chris didn't have any bars in his quarters. Had he taken her somewhere, for some game? No, there had been water on the floor, and.... Suddenly it all came back.

Sabina saw the Vixen sit up and smiled. At least she still lived. Grinning, she stage whispered; " 'bout time you woke up, sleepyhead!"

Jenka yawned and did what she could to fill in the Vixen, whispering between the cells, when the guards weren't too close. "As I've been telling Tanj, don't worry about it. It'll all work out. Take it as a vacation from normal routine."

At that one, Zassa laughed; "Might be a vacation from normal routine for YOU, but.... well, yeah, we might have some fun, if you're sure..."

Jenka just chuckled; "Trust me...."

Tanj listened to the exchange, and fumed. She was still in the cage, and her muscles were starting to cramp bad; she couldn't shift her position more than a few inches in any direction, and the gag was starting to get REALLY old.... How could Jenka be so confident? How did she know the new bosses weren't just going to throw them all out the airlock when they were done with them? Sit back and ENJOY it? Not likely!

The arrival of the Hyena, who currently seemed to be running the kennels, was a mixed blessing. Extracted from her cage, Tanj stood, in what seemed like, the first time in days. In a businesslike manner, he bound her paws behind her back, and hobbled her, with the disposable plastic devices ubiquitous to the kennels, and then led her off to the showers. The gag, unfortunately, stayed in.

It was a delight to relieve herself, even if she had to do it with a couple of guards watching. The shower was rough, others using brushes to scrub her fur. And they didn't let her stay in the dryer long enough to get really dry. Then, she was being dragged, by a leash, to a cubicle off from the kennels.....

The kennels had its own medical staff; med techs that were capable of handling most minor problems. She didn't like the look of the Fennec vixen in the apron, however; she looked much too..... eager. Rough hands lifted her to the examining table, heavy straps threaded across her body to hold her in place, her feet lashed to stirrups, holding her legs widespread over her chest. She could hear the Jackal and the Fennec talking in low murmurs, the female giggling throatily. And then the Jackal was back; "It seems that you've upset many a furr's plans, while you've been here. There are a lot of people quite upset with you, and accordingly, you're going to be punished. In fact, you may come to look forward to the day you're auctioned off, even if it's to that Pangborne guy." The Jackal grinned wickedly; "From this point on, you are demoted. You've been a very clever furr, too clever by far. From this point on, you're just an animal. To be used, to be worked, as others see fit.

The Fennec Vixen lifted an old-fashioned hypodermic; "A gift from Dr. Pangborne." The injection stung. The Vixen chuckled and patted the sore spot; "It'll take a little while to take effect. Dr. Pangborne said that he put many things in that shot, and I'll leave you to figure out what most of them do, but I thought I'd pass on one thing.... It seems he's got a new, experimental, self-replicating nanite. Its designed for soldiers, to repair injuries sustained in combat. It needs testing, and apparently that in and of itself is fairly risky. We don't REALLY know what it'll do to you. But if you survive it, in your case, it means we'll be able to do absolutely anything we want to you, and as long as you're heart's still beating, you'll live. We can torture you to the edge of death again and again and again, and you'll still bounce back for more. Unfortunately, it'll take a few days for them to spread through your system; we can't start having our fun today. But in the meantime we have other things to do." She turned, laying out instruments; "I see you have a pair of labial piercings. We're going to expand on that. I've been told that you enjoy sex. Probably much too much. That'll end, now. Oh, I could just cut off your clitoris; that'd most likely keep you from ever having a climax again, but Dr. Pangborne says that he wants as many nerve endings as possible, kept intact, so we're just going to make sure you can't achieve any sort of vaginal penetration." She made a moue; "Oh, I know, that'll disappoint many a furr, but they'll still have your mouth and ass. And you'll still have your clitoris; good place to attach a leash, if you ask me. Or an electrode." She giggled maniacally.

Tanj felt fingers stroke over her sex; the Vixen applying a depilatory cream. Well, piercings she'd had before. She could survive a few more. But what had been in that injection?

The piercing needle stung, but she'd been through worse. six times she felt it run through her labia, three on each side. Then she felt fingers working on her tender flesh, tugging at her. That also hurt, and seemed to last forever, but eventually the Vixen was done. Rising, the Fennec smiled at her; "There you go. Clitoral piercing has been replaced with a nice heavy ring, and you've got four barbells through your outer labia, side to side, holding you closed. No more sex for you, my dear! Now, lets see about re-opening that nose piercing; I've got the most delightfully heavy nose-ring for you.....

Tanj lay back on the examining bed; her pussy hurt, her nose hurt, and her head was starting to feel funny. Then the face of the Fennec Vixen filled her sight; "starting to loose it? Well, before you fade out entirely, I thought I'd mention the last of our little "improvements". Animals, you see, walk on all fours. And as you're now officially an animal, that's just what you're going to do. But we're not going to do it with any fancy restraints. No, nothing so cumbersome. We have a more elegant, and permanent solution...." The Vixen grinned and held up a laser scalpel....

Tanj watched in horror as the Vixen cut into the back of her left leg, just above the heel, severing the Achilles tendon. It hurt like hell, but there was surprisingly little blood....... Before the Vixen could repeat the procedure on her right leg, Tanj passed out cold.

Jenka looked up as the Hyena stopped by her cell. "OK, bitch time to quit screwing around. Now the fun starts." Reaching down, he unlatched her cell door, and waved for her to come out.....

Dynotaku swiveled on his bar stool, and calmly regarded the little procession. Some of the new crowd were leading in Jenka. The Pirate Queen was nude, collared, and bound. They'd set up a set of stocks in the middle of the commons area, and it was to that, that they led her. Leaving her paws bound behind her back, they forced her to bend over, placing her head within the stocks, and locking the top board in place. While one of the group bent to use a spreader bar to hold her legs apart, a second tied the tip of her tail to the upper board of the stocks, and a third forced a leather-padded ring-gag into her mouth. Then, the one called Bradford, attached a pair of nipple clamps to her nipples, and then from them, a chain that supported a sign that said "Fuck Me." Then, smiling, they left. Sipping his drink quietly, the Unicorn watched as the line formed. It seemed that there were an awful lot of furrs that wanted to take advantage of the current situation.

Zassa crawled out of her cell, at the Jackal's behest. It was tempting, very tempting, but somehow she managed to restrain herself from decking him. She knew it would be counter-productive, but it still took every strain of her fiber to keep from doing it. Of course the fact that he'd pulled Sabina out of her cell just before her. The Kitten had shot the Vixen a smirk as if to say; "I'm going to out-do you. Again." Zassa allowed herself to be maneuvered into the line, and added to the coffle. She'd be darned if she was going to let the Kitten out-do HER!

Cindy watched Sabina, and then Zassa, and then it was her turn. She could see the tension in the Vixen's muscles, and figured that if Zassa had held herself in check, she could do no less. Meekly, she followed the Jackal's instructions, and very shortly found herself chained to the Vixen in front of her, by collar, and left ankle.

Andrea tried to complain, tried to object, but still, nothing was coming out; she couldn't make a sound! It took some tugging, and prodding, but finally the Jackal and one of his cohorts had managed to extract her from the cell, and chain her behind the Badger. Angrily she rattled her chains, the loudest protest she could make.

The Jackal looked along the line of slaves and smiled; should be quite a party indeed. Clipping a leash to the collar of the first girl in line he tugged hard.

It didn't take Zassa any time at all to fall into the old rhythm. However, there weren't many experienced slaves in the coffle, and a couple of times they almost all went over. As they stumbled along, she heard a whisper from behind her. Turning her head, she caught a glimpse of Roland's new slave, and had to stifle a chuckle. The look on her face was priceless. Grinning she whispered; "Don't worry about it, Cindy. They're just out to have some fun. Do what they want, and you probably won't get hurt." After a moment she chuckled; "Just watch Sabina and I, and play along. Heck, might even be fun!"

Cindy frowned. Fun? That Vixen was CRAZY!

Jenka smiled to herself as the Okapi came; he'd pulled out of her pussy and his cum sprayed all down her back. Warm, and wet. Somewhere along the line, they'd taken it into their minds to "humiliate" her by covering her in cum. Well, they could try. As her tongue worked over the cock in her mouth, she wondered what the next one would be like? Would he be hung, or small? Would he want her pussy or her ass? Would he make her cum before he did, or just take his pleasure and leave? And how long would it be, before they tired of this and moved on to something else?

Tanj moaned. She hurt. Cracking one eye open, she found herself looking out at bars again. They'd stuffed her into one of the cells in the kennels. At least she wasn't back in that form-fitting cage. Of course, if they'd closed her pussy, she wouldn't fit in that very well, anyways. Rolling over, she found her paws were free, and she levered herself into a sitting position. As she did so, she realized two things. First, her paws were encased in tight leather mitts that kept her paws balled into fists. Couldn't use her fingers. Secondly, her feet didn't seem to be working right... And then she remembered. Turning to look, she saw the sutures..... Bending over, she examined herself. Her pussy had been shaven and the bare pink skin looked obscene. Four silver barbell shapes held her outer labia together, and she didn't think she could get as much as a finger between them. At the top of her cleft, a bright, thick, gold ring partially protruded from her tightly clenched lips, and she was sure what THAT went through. All the pain, and probably none of the pleasures. Still, experimentally, she moved one gloved paw down to lightly rub at herself. Well, MAYBE there were possibilities. It wasn't going to be easy though.....

Pressing her face against the bars, she tried to see what was going on, in the kennels. The cells opposite her were empty. Someone, down the corridor was speaking, but although she could hear the sounds she couldn't make out what they were saying. With a sigh, she settled back to wait.

Sabina did her best to keep her eyes downcast, but still, she managed to surreptitiously sweep the room. It was full of furrs, apparently, the new elite. On one side of the room, a bar had been set up, and there was also food available. FOOD! Suddenly her stomach was rumbling....

Zassa watched as the Jackal unchained them. Most of the slaves just stood there, uncertain, trembling in fear. Sabina however, when she was released, took two steps, to kneel before a sportily dressed Tiger. Her purr of "How may I serve you, Master" made his eyebrows go up, and the crowd chuckle. Observing that the slave wasn't immediately punished for her impudence, Zassa picked out a Bull from the crowd, and repeated the Kitten's performance.

Cindy watched the Kitten, and then the Vixen, debase themselves, and wondered if she could POSSIBLY do something like that. Then she saw him. The Ocelot was looking just a little out of place, and possibly as nervous as the slaves. Moreover, he didn't look threatening. Moving as gracefully as she could, with her paws bound behind her back, she knelt before him, to repeat the words the Kitten had said. Around him, furrs laughed, and the Ocelot actually seemed to blush. But he didn't chase her away, either.....

Andrea shook her head and tried to growl. She'd be darned if SHE'D offer herself to someone. Dang it, she was supposed to be among the victors, not among the vanquished! If she could just TELL someone...! Suddenly something seemed to set her ass on fire, and turning she glared at the Jackal. The Jackal just laughed and brought the quirt down across her breasts; "What's wrong with you, Girly? Too good for us? They've shown you what to do! Behave, or you'll get more of my lash!" Before she could respond, strong arms encircled her from behind, as one of the new elite decided to claim her before anyone else could.

Sabina purrred, as the pirate popped another piece of shrimp into her mouth. He seemed to think it was so cute for her to take food from his fingers like that. 'bina couldn't care less as long as he kept feeding her. Especially when he used that sauce they had for it. She'd be happy if he just dipped his paw into it and let her lick it off.....

Zassa smiled as she watched the Kitten. Yeah, she was hungry too, but not nearly as hungry as she was horny. Sandwiched between the Bull and a Black Bear, one in her pussy, the other in her ass, she writhed in ecstasy, making happy little noises as they plowed her senseless.

Cindy licked the Ocelot slowly. She and Roland had "discussed" things like fellatio, and he'd taught her a few things. So far, however, she'd only put them into practice with him. Still, the Ocelot seemed to be enjoying it quite a bit, and while she was slowly teasing him towards an orgasm, no one else was bothering her. The only question was, how long could she keep it up before he lost his load, and what would happen then?

Amelia gagged as the Buck thrust his hips at her, fucking her face hard. Her discomfort didn't seem to matter at all; he was just after his own pleasure, the bastard. Bound as she was, with leather thongs thoughtfully provided by that damned Jackal, there just wasn't anything she could do to stop him, though. And with the ring gag he'd supplied, she couldn't even BITE. As the Buck worked his long, thin cock in and out of her mouth, her anger built to new heights.

Cindy caught sight of the struggling bunny, and nodded sagely to herself. Pausing to slide the Ocelot's shaft as far into her mouth as she could, perhaps a bit further than was comfortable, she sucked softly for a moment, before pulling her head back. Yes, the old, experienced hands at this, Sabina and Zassa, WERE right. Somehow, they'd taken near-control of the situation, and were escaping most of the unpleasantness..... Heck, the Kitten was even getting fed. Why, someone had even held up a glass of wine for her to drink! Maybe there were ways to work the system.....

Tanj watched the Rat as he came down the corridor. He was carrying a bucket, a bucket obviously full of something. Stopping before her cell, he set the bucket down, and then unlocked her door. "xiysybe" he growled at her. Tanj frowned, and shook her head; "dias uoy tahw dnatsrednu t'ndid ,yrros" <<sorry, didn't understand what you said>> The Rat chuckled; "Isibyycobw" and waved his paw at her, indicating she was to come out. Tanj shrugged and crawled from her kennel. Unable to stand, she shifted to a kneeling position in front of him. The Rat nodded, and pointed to the bucket; "iwobycoxztw" Again, Tanj frowned and shrugged. The Rat nodded, and muttered to himself "wogyxcokyoc bieytobdke cotchw cew". Bending over he pulled a bristle brush out of the bucket, and set it on the floor in front of Tanj. Then, squatting, he took both of her mitted paws in his, placed them on the brush, and moved it back and forth a little, along the floor. Then, releasing her, he pointed up and down the corridor in both directions. Tanj frowned; "?roolf eht hsaw ot em tnaw uoY" <<You want me to wash the floor?>>. The Rat frowned and just made scrubbing motions with his paws, and then pointed at the brush, the bucket and the floor. Tanj sighed and shrugged "os yas uoy ,KO" <<OK, if you say so>>

Maneuvering the brush without fingers wasn't easy, and she dropped it more than once, but eventually she fell into a pattern. As she worked, scrubbing the floor, she wondered just what in the world had been in that shot. It seemed to have scrambled the language center of her brain. She couldn't understand what the rat had been saying. Or maybe they were just playing mind-games with her... She seemed to be still capable of rational thought, but what good was that if she couldn't communicate? As she worked her way down one side of the corridor, she looked into each cell, to see if she recognized anyone.

Sashi sat up, as the Cheetah came into view. "Hello, Mistress! How are they treating you? What have you heard?"

Tanj frowned. The Chocolate pantheress had been about as intelligible as the Rat had been. "?em dnatsrednu uoy naC .uoy dnatsrednu t'nac I ,ihsaS" <<I'm sorry, Sashi, I can't understand you. Can you understand me?>>

Sashi blinked, and then frowned. What language had THAT been in? Looking at the Cheetah, she just shrugged.

Tanj sighed and put the brush down. Stealing a glance at the guards down the corridor, she made a motion as if she were unzipping her skull, and lifting out her brain. She then proceeded to mime tying it in knots, or maybe shredding it, and putting it back in her head. Looking at the startled Pantheress she just shrugged, sighed, and picked up her brush again.

Sashi watched Tanj work her way down the corridor. As she moved, she caught sight of the silver piercings between her legs. More worrisome were the sutures by her heels. She'd heard of that being done to slaves before, and it had always frightened her. As Tanj moved out of sight, she shifted to the back wall of her cell, knees drawn up against her chest. Hopefully things weren't as bad as they were beginning to seem......

Zassa winced as she watched three of the furrs force themselves on the Bunny. It seemed, the more she resisted, the more she fought, and the angrier she got, the more they went after her. She'd have to try and have a talk with her, before too long. Turning her attention back to the Panda she purrrred; "and how may I serve Master?"

Sabina squealed in delight as the Bull bounced her up and down on his thick shaft. The Bovine stood in the middle of the room, his paws around the Kitten's waist, and lifted her up and pushed her down, each stroke driving more and more of his cock into her pussy. As she felt him stretch her with each stroke, she grinned and vowed that if that Vixen could take him, so could she!

Cindy felt the Ocelot cum. Her first inclination was to pull back, but then, forcing herself, she shoved her head forward, taking almost all of his shaft in her mouth. She felt his cum splash the back of her throat, and swallowed hard. Doing it that way, she never really tasted it...... As the Ocelot all but collapsed back, his shaft sliding from her mouth, Cindy sat back on her heels and looked around..... If she were to keep control, she'd have to pick someone else, and quick. There. That Wolf. He'd already been with a couple of other slaves; maybe he'd be too tired to be aggressive.....

Dynotaku rose, and padded towards the stocks. It was nearing shift change, and a good number of the furrs had wandered off, to go prepare for work. Others had largely slaked their lusts on the Jaguar. For the moment, she was alone. Moving around by her front, he dropped his pants. As he moved closer, he used the movement to hide the motion, bringing his drink to Jenka's lips.

Jenka felt the cup touch her lips. Unfortunately there was so much spunk covering her face, she couldn't really open her eyes, but it didn't really matter; she drank greedily. Dynotaku chuckled; "I like to commit random acts of kindness occasionally." As she drank, Jenka cataloged that voice. "Yeah. Root beer. Its gotta be him." "Of course," Dynotaku went on, "No good deed goes unpunished...." As Jenka finished the drink, the Unicorn shifted some, presenting his cock to her muzzle; "And now, for a chaser....."

Jenka chuckled, and teased his shaft with the tip of her tongue. After all, one good deed DID deserve another. aNd she still thought she could teach him a thing or three. Purrring softly, she used all her skill to tease and delight him.

Hinoki had gotten out of his restraints, without problem. It was, after all, his demonstrator model. After a previous unfortunate incident, he'd learned, and learned well. The seemingly sturdy harness had its weak points, the locks would all spring open when tapped in certain locations, and sewn into the harness itself were all sorts of useful things. The only hitch had been the plastic seals the Thylacine bitch had put through the hasps. But when the hasps themselves weren't all that secure in the harness, it had been, all things considered, a minor obstacle. With the harness a heap of scrap, Hinoki had settled down to await developments. Tanj, coming along, scrubbing the floors, had NOT been one of the developments he'd expected.

"lnbe cxbv, umnk obgwbno wbuc?" <<Hey, Tanj, what's going on?>> Tanj looked up at the exclamation. There was Hinoki, pressed against the bars of his cell. Taking a quick glance, up and down the corridor, she dropped the brush and moved close, to give the male a kiss. Hinoki kissed back, fervently, and then pulled back to look at her; "Ecovcy is COBCWEO bocq?" Tanj sighed and shook her head. She pantomined preparing a hypodermic and then giving herself an injection and then made motions to suggest mental derangement. She wasn't sure Hinoki followed what she was trying to tell him. She sighed, turned around and bent way over, her ass thrust towards the bars, to show him her new piercings, and then straightening, pointed at the sutures behind her ankles. Hinoki, if anything looked more confused than ever. Tanj just sighed, shook her head, and whispered "em ot gnihtemos enod ev'yeht ;dootsrednu flesym ekam t'nac I yrroS" <<Sorry I can't make myself understood; they've done something to me>>. Then, as footfalls approached, she again took the scrubbrush in both paws, and started to scrub the floor again. Hinoki rapidly retreated to the back of his cell, and then reappeared again; he plopped something in the bucket, and whispered "cwob ccyow uebco buesc tof eqstpco". Then the guard was walking past, staring hard at the both of them. Tanj concentrated on her scrubbing, pushing the bucket ahead of her.

The guard, a rather mangy looking Ram, paused. He grinned down at the Cheetah male; "She used to be a friend of yours, didn't she?" Hinoki just stared back, not saying a word, trying hard not to betray his emotions. The Ram laughed, dropped a paw into the soapy water, and lifting his loincloth, ran a wet paw up and down over his shaft. Still grinning at Hinoki, he dropped to his knees behind Tanj, and guiding his shaft with one paw, presented it to her asshole. Grunting he shoved it forward, inch by inch, driving it deep into Tanj's bottom.

Tanj grunted, and tried to relax her anal ring. She'd been expecting this, ever since she'd arrived. The Ram put his hands on her hips, holding her to him, holding his shaft deep in her back passage. After a minute he turned and grinned at Hinoki; "I DO love a tight ass." Turning back, he slapped Tanj on the ass; "Who told you to stop working, Slave?" Tanj grunted at the slap. She didn't understand his words, but the intent was clear. Taking the brush in both mittened paws, she started to scrub the floor immediately in front of her.

Hinoki watched as they slowly moved off, the Ram's thrusts driving the Cheetah fem forward a little at a time. Sitting back in his cell he sighed. He knew better than to even vocalize his thoughts; you never knew who was listening in a place like this, especially after a provocation like that, but somebody was going to die for this.....

Pippyn smiled, and presented her chit to the guard on duty. The guard looked at it, and grinned; "Signed by Bradford himself, eh? Sure, I'll go get him for you."

John followed the Guard impassively. When the guard stopped, he knelt in the proper position. Pippyn grinned and stalked around him, examining his posture; "Very good, Pony Boy. You ready to take me for a ride?" John caught sight of the saddle, and just sighed to himself. No originality at all......

After tightening all the straps, Pippyn pulled a leather wrapped bundle from the saddle bag. Moving around behind the big horse, she bent, to strap on the spurs. She wanted them to be a surprise for him.....

The Jackal looked at Jenka, and laughed. "Oh, it DOES look as if you've had a good time. Not quite so high and mighty now, are you? Well, come on, lets go get you cleaned up. You've got another session tonight, and you want to look your best, don't you?

Bragg put his feet up on Jenka's desk, and looked at her "To do" list. Frowning, he wondered why she'd be concerned about maintenance schedules in Environmental. Surely she had someone to look after that for her. And personnel issues in Accounting? What was this about returning a call to.... Some minor government official on Dunstan? Crap. Shoving that aside, he called up the readiness reports for the raider ships, and started planning the next operation. There was a mining base that was getting ready to ship out its monthly production of semi-precious metal. It would make a great target for the fleet.....

Zassa yawned, and looked around the room. Most of the pirates had drunk themselves into a stupor. Others had gotten tired and left. A few were still awake. Things were quiet enough that she felt confident to rise, and padd quietly over to what was left of the buffet table. A gray squirrel raised his head and growled at her; "Hey, Slave; who said you could do that?"

Zassa bowed to him, a piece of bread in one hand and the jar of mustard in the other; "Master, Master Einos said I had pleased him, and that as a reward, I might have something to eat." She waved the mustard at a couch covered in sleeping furrs.

The Squirrel frowned, took another pull at his bottle of Ebrahim fire-water, and nodded; "OK, just so long as you have permission...."

The Vixen smiled, and piled the pastrami high."

Cindy chuckled to herself. The Vixen certainly was "masterful" at this. She wondered if she could pull it off. Unfortunately, the Moose had passed out on top of her, and she was kinda stuck. Squirming, she started to try and extract herself. As she moved, the moose opened his eyes and tried to focus on her; "Wha... where YOU goin'?"

Cindy blushed; "Um... Master, May I please... ah...." She winced and stage-whispered; "I gotta use the potty!"

The Moose blinked; "Oh. Yeah. Ah, OK, but you come back now, y'hear?"

By the time Cindy had relieved herself and freshened up a bit, the Moose was snoring softly. She padded over to the buffet, gave the Vixen a wink, and taking a spoon, dug into the potato salad.

Sabina sighed, and poured herself some Cognac. "What a bunch of party poopers."

Zassa chuckled; "I think you've fucked them all into submission, Slave."

Sabina chuckled and nodded. Yeah. Not half bad, if I say so myself."

Zassa nodded, and wiped her mouth; "Now, who's going to tie who?"

Cindy blinked; "Say WHAT?"

Sabina chuckled; "Well, when they come to collect the slaves, the last thing we want, is to be free. Who knows WHAT they'll blame on us. But if we're bound tight, we're ignored."

Zassa chuckled and nodded; "that Ringtail over there has a bunch of leather straps that'd do. Don't know what he was planning on doing with them, but he's got 'em.

Sabina nodded; "Yeah, and there's a Muskrat over towards the corner that has a coil of cotton clothesline."

Zassa nodded; "That should do. Bet I can tie myself up tighter than you can!"

Sabina adopted a skeptical look; "Bet you can't!"

Cindy looked from furr to furr; "Um... maybe you should tie me up first; not sure I can, ah, do it to myself."

Tied to a chair, the Badger watched in amazement. Sabina had hogtied herself with a series of nooses, and had managed to pull the cords tighter and tighter, pulling herself into a bow. Zassa had applauded softly, and then had run up a different series of loops. The interesting part was when she crouched, with loops around each leg, under her knees, she proceeded to thread her arms through them, until she was held with her knees to her chest. Loops around her ankles held her feet together, and she managed to thread the loose end of that through loops around her wrists, somehow pulling on loose ends to draw it all TIGHT.

Grinning at the Badger, Sabina chuckled; "The only problem with that tie, is that you're going to fall over sooner or later. Can't balance there like that, forever."

It seemed like hours, but was probably only a fraction thereof, when the door opened and the Jackal stepped in. He moved among the somnolent forms, rousting sleeping slaves, slapping them awake, forcing them into line and shackling them to each other. Scanning the devastation of the buffet, he looked critically at the coffled slaves; "All right, which of you ate something without permission? Heads up and down the line shook back and forth, and several voiced their innocence. The Jackal wielded his quirt, striking several on the ass; "Yeah, like I'd believe any of YOU. The only ones I KNOW didn't get into trouble are those three! Finally he turned to Sabina, Zassa and Cindy. "Well, it looks as if YOU three had a good time." Roughly he untied the Badger, and gestured; "Untie them, and be quick about it!" Cindy did her best to hide her smile as she loosed the kitten. If you knew just which strings to pull, it was amazing how quickly the hogtie came apart. Zassa's tie, however, obviously hadn't been made to be released easily, and it took the two of them some time to get her loose. Then they were all back in the coffle, headed back to the kennels.

Tanj took a quick look, and then fished the remains of the harness from the bucket and threw it in the trash can. Then she dumped the dirty water down the drain. This wasn't easy, from a kneeling position, but her feet just would NOT let her stand. She'd tried, when the guards weren't looking. With a sigh, pushing the bucket before her, she headed back for the cells.

Zassa literally purrred as she lowered herself into the hot water of the baths. THIS was the part of the day she looked forward to most. Allright, that wasn't completely true, but it was a favorite time.

Across the tub from her, Sabina grinned; "Yeah, Cindy, if you learn to work the system, learn to ignore certain things, it can be a lot of fun."

Zassa laughed quietly, shot a look at the closest guard and whispered; "Especially if you like being tied up."

The Badger girl just shook her head; "I can see how it can be less objectionable than otherwise, but I don't know if I'm EVER going to get into it like you two!"

Sabina just shrugged; "Well, I'll admit to a certain inclination, and not a little natural talent, but I think you'll come around. Play with it some, and see."

Zassa shifted her gaze to the Bunny. She was by herself against the left side of the tub. Sliding over, Zassa nudged her gently; "And you, you've got to quit fighting it so hard. That just draws all the bullies, and it'll definitely make your life rougher. Or do you LIKE that?"

The Bunny just stared back, opened her mouth and soundlessly, started to talk, a mile a minute. It was like watching a silent movie.

Zassa lifted a paw from the water and put a finger across her mouth; "Let me guess. Someone felt you were running your mouth too much, and they cut your vocal cords."

The Bunny looked at her in amazement, and nodded her head energetically. Cindy gaped in horror, and Sabina nodded sagely. Zassa chuckled; "Yeah, saw that happen a few times back at the academy. Some furrs just couldn't learn when to shut up. But don't worry. They'll grow back in time."

The Bunny shook her head negatively; she pantomined the cutting, with the center section being removed. Zassa frowned; "Now that was mean. Well, I'm sure it can be surgically restored."

Again, the Bunny went into a flurry of silent speech. Sabina sighed and looked at the Vixen; "She sure is upset about it."

Zassa watched the bunny and nodded; "Yeah; so upset I don't think she's figured out that she can still whisper, even without vocal cords."

The bunny stopped dead still, and just STARED at the Vixen. She swallowed a few times and then whispered; "Whisper? WHISPER! Why didn't I think of that?"

Jenka slid into the tub and smiled; ignoring the guard, she purred; "Hello, Girls; have a nice day?"

Amelia looked at the cum-covered Jaguar, eyes wide. Jenka. HERE! Swallowing again, she leaned forward and whispered; "Oh, have I got something to tell YOU!"

Jenka let the Bunny run her course, and when she'd wound down, she nodded; "Yeah, I figured it had to be something like that. Subtle. But it doesn't matter. If it hadn't been that, they would have found something else."

Zassa shook her head; "How can you be so CALM about this?"

Jenka smiled and leaned back in the water, idly scrubbing at her fur; "won't help to get all worked up. Besides, it'll all be over soon. This group is even more incompetent than the last. I give them four, maybe five days. Now, has anyone seen Tanj?"

At the guard's direction, Tanj put the bucket and the scrub brush back in the janitor's closet. The guard led the Cheetah to a corner, and grinned; "No baths for animals; they just get washed down. Having said so, he took a water hose, and drenched her. The water was cold, but not unbearably so. What was truly annoying was that the guard made no effort to dry her off. Dripping, she was led, crawling, back to her cell.

Jenka sighed; she'd known the stuff they fed the slaves down here wasn't very appetizing, but she really didn't think it was this bad. Then again, anything solid at this point, would have to help settle her stomach. She'd swallowed an awful lot of cum. Steeling herself, she started to eat.

Tanj looked at the bowl on the floor, and sighed. Dry kibble. They'd made great fun of feeding her, or at least she thought that was what they were saying.... More of the "animal" stuff, she guessed. Bending her head, she stuck her muzzle into the bowl and licked up some of the stuff. At least it had a nice crunch.....

Sashi ate the bland stuff, and grinned. She was a time bomb, and the clock was ticking. How long until the excess of vitamin E worked its way out of her system? Perhaps revenge would yet be hers......

Wanda frowned and tossed her scrubs into the hamper. The Emergency room had been working overtime, it seemed. Dr. Sangfreid had shown up, but Hoskins wasn't anywhere to be found. Foul play was suspected. Crippens had shown up, too, but he was so drunk he'd been put to sleep in room three. He was going to have a helluva hangover...... Pulling on a fresh set of scrubs, she headed for the nurses' station; maybe she could get some food sent up....

"OK, Doc, if you're done, lets head down towards the kennels." Wanda scowled; "What, are we still on that?" The Weasel shrugged; "Hey, orders are orders. Nothing personal, you understand." Wanda growled; "All right, as long as we can go by the cafeteria. I haven't had anything to eat in about sixteen hours. And you know how dangerous hungry Wolverines are...." The Weasel swallowed and nodded; "Sure, Doc, just don't give me any trouble." He brandished his cattle prod like it was a magic talisman....

Wanda had just sat down, with her tray in front of her when the intercom growled; "Dr. Xy... wha? Oh, yeah, right. Um, Dr. Wanda to the ER. Dr. Wanda to the ER, STAT!" The Wolverine lass just sighed, pushed her tray at the Weasel and growled; "Bring that. And don't eat any of it!" Then, turning, she dashed back the way she'd come.....

The Badger's War, Part 2

The reconnaissance was carefully conducted. As he'd feared, all the arms lockers were well guarded. Even some of the military storerooms were guarded, although it was doubtful if he'd be able to assemble some of the heavier weapons from their component parts. And the Kennels were well guarded too. He'd hoped to determine if Cindy was there, and if the opportunity had presented itself, maybe liberate a few allies, but that was, for the moment, well beyond him.

Now, Janet's beauty salon was unguarded, and the lock and security system fairly easy to defeat. Fur dye, a hand mirror, and several falls of suitable color all went into his waiting bag. It was a dirty thing to do to Janet, but he'd have to find a way to make it up to her; his need was the greater one.

Hesitant to return to the fan plenum chamber, he found an instrument room near the APU on deck 5. It was a little more public, but still the kind of place furrs visited infrequently. And it was a lot quieter. Pulling out the things he'd filched from the beauty salon, he looked at the bottle of fur dye, and with a sigh, opened the cap. It was going to be an interesting experiment with only a hand mirror, but.....

The face that looked back at him was his, and not his. It had the same shape as his face, but the colorations were now those of an African Honey Badger. Of course it would have been better if he'd gotten it a little more symmetrical, but he didn't intend to be in view that long. The worst part was standing in the middle of the room, waiting for everything to dry. Boring.

The electrical wire was not quite hair-thin, and wasn't particularly strong, but it had been easily available, was ubiquitous, with black insulation that made it fade into the shadows, and would do. There were many options open to him, from storming the control center, to trying to overload the main matter/antimatter reactor, but none of those would get him what he wanted. He MIGHT be able to find a way to blow up the station, or kill everyone, but that just didn't get him what he wanted. He wanted things back like they'd been, with his friends free, and safe. For that, the mutineers had to be overthrown. And for that, public opinion had to be turned against them. If he'd been a writer, or an orator, he might have tried persuasion, but he was neither of those things. What he was, was a Warrior. He'd have to try a different route. Hence the wire. It was strung, about ten centimeters off the floor, about a step and a half inside the door. There was another about a half a pace beyond that. Moving carefully, the Badger eased down the service corridor to the power distribution room, and after studying the panel for a moment, flipped three breakers. And then he jumped, his paws catching a conduit and the top of a cabinet. "I really need to do more pull-ups" he grumbled as he heaved himself up and onto a cable tray, and into the shadows.

It didn't take too long, all things considered. The grumbling voice suddenly let out an "OW!" just after a heavy thump, that HAD to be a body hitting the floor. Seconds later there was another exclamation as someone else obviously tripped over the first. It took a few minutes for them to sort themselves out, but then a Lynx in Pajamas came through the door. He studied the panel in the dim light for a moment and then flipped a breaker back on. Leaving the other two off, he turned, and grumbling about maintenance and trip hazards, headed out. Moments later a female Squirrel slid into the room, chuckling to herself and looking back the way she'd come. The Lynx must have still been half asleep as there was another thud and an exclamation on the way out. The Squirrel reset a breaker, and then reset the third one, committing a random act of kindness.

Roland waited just long enough for them to get back to wherever they'd come from, and dropped down from his hiding place. The trip wires were moved twenty feet down the corridor towards the power distribution room. He then climbed back into his hiding place, and using a piece of conduit brought just for that purpose, flipped the three breakers back to the "tripped" position.

This time, the Lynx missed the tripwires, but the squirrel didn't. Arriving one after the other, they wondered about overloaded electrical systems, and moving trip hazards, and reset the breakers. It hadn't dawned on them, yet. The Lynx left immediately, but the Squirrel stayed and watched the breaker for a few minutes, to make sure it didn't trip again.

Again, Roland waited until the Squirrel had enough time to get back to her quarters, before he flipped the breakers again.

The Lynx was so mad, he forgot about watching for trip hazards, and again hit the deck. Listening, Roland wondered if the Squirrel hadn't simply walked over him as he lay there, as she was smiling and he looked ready to kill when they entered the room. The Lynx was making general threats against the Maintenance department, housekeeping and anyone else he could think of, as he walked into the room, the remnants of the tripwires in his paw. The Squirrel growled at him to behave, and that she knew furrs in the new order, and would see to it that things got fixed. She claimed that she had pull with Bragg himself.

Worse, she'd brought some sort of handheld analyzer with her, and used it to check the circuits. Not finding anything, she reset the breakers, and scanned the system again. It was obvious she was beginning to suspect something, to the point where she looked behind all the control cabinets, to make sure no one was hiding there.

Roland nodded to himself. She'd have to be the one. When they'd left, he dropped down from his place of concealment, and using a screwdriver to hold the latch, he opened the cover to the breaker panel. Like most power distribution rooms, it had an insulated place to stand, while working on the equipment. He pulled up that piece of insulation. Replacing the tripwires, in slightly different positions came next. The rest would have to be done quickly. First he threw the same three breakers. Then, using a pair of insulated gloves, he undid the hot wire from the squirrel's breaker and grounded it against the cabinet frame. Moving quickly he closed the panel, and on his way out, unscrewed the light over the door. Then he was in the corridor, moving in the opposite direction.

The voices carried down the corridor like a wave-guide. Fortunately Roland had just ducked around a corner. He heard the Lynx and the Squirrel arguing. Then he heard one of them find the relocated tripwires the hard way. The voices moved on; the Lynx seemed to think that it was some wiring fault. The Squirrel felt it was sabotage, and had come prepared, vowing to blast whoever was interrupting her evening. He heard the door to the power distribution room open, and the muttered curse at the semi-darkness. Then he heard the near-simultaneous sounds of the breaker being closed, and it popping right back open. And then a body hit the floor, and the Lynx yelled in consternation.

Roland smiled; the Squirrel would have to be very unlucky to have been killed or even seriously injured by the housecurrent, but it undoubtedly knocked her on her ass, and left her with something she wouldn't soon forget. Round One to him.

Descent into Hell

Bullard sighed. The raid on the convoy had gone pretty much as he'd anticipated. Wrecked ships in their wake, holds crammed full of booty, the raid was a complete success. Except furrs that could have been taken prisoner, held for ransom, or sold as slaves, were dead. Except that ships that could have been taken intact, and sold were now so much scrap. Yeah, a complete success.

Bragg, ran a paw through his hair and sighed. The fleet was suddenly and rather surprisingly short of deuterium. He'd talked to the furrs in supply, but they merely pointed to Logistics, who'' pointed to Accounting, who'd pointed back at Supply. SOMEONE had dropped the ball, and the tanker that normally called every other week simply hadn't shown up. And that was going to put a major crimp in operations. Leaning towards the Comm, he tried to remember who he'd put in charge of Logistics.

Reddick closed his eyes and tried to will the hangover away. It'd been a helluva party, though. He squared his shoulders, stepped into the Intelligence offices and looked around. His own Department. His own private little kingdom! Grabbing the first furr he found, he growled; "I'm the new head of intelligence. Where's my office?"

Sanchez watched the look on the Jackal's face and tried not to laugh. Obviously she wasn't doing good enough, because when the Jackal wheeled to face her, his face darkened further; "is this some sort of a JOKE?" Sanchez shook her head; "NOSIR. Tanj sat there. Right there. See, her coffee mug's right by the comm!" The Jackal's head turned back; he stared at the mug for a moment and then turned back; "Well, this just won't do, not for me. What offices DO we have around here? Surely there's something better than THIS!"

Reddick sighed. He'd had them move a desk into a conference room. It was the only enclosed space in the whole office block. Efficiency? The Hell with that, he wanted an OFFICE. And his computer didn't even have a decent connection to the station's web. It was slow as molasses. With a groan he watched as it tried to open a connection to the intelligence department's database. Bragg wanted info on what they were going to do for their next operation. Was that indicator moving at all?

Tanj groaned and opened an eye. The lights were always on in the kennels, so she had no idea whether it was morning, or night. Except that her stomach was rumbling, so it was probably breakfast time, or somewhat thereafter. Still, the place was quiet. Shifting she tried to find a comfortable position, and get a little more sleep.

Reddick groaned as the computer came up with "File not found". Again. Rising, he stormed from his office. "Where the hell is the database? How can I plan any raids if I can't get into the database?" One of the analysts looked up over the edge of his cubicle. "Um.... Yeah. Well, Sir, I'm glad you're here, because none of the rest of us seem to be able to get in either. It, ah, seems to be gone." Reddick felt the blood drain from his face; "What do you mean... Gone?" The analyst shrugged; "Gone, as in no longer in the computer. Backup seems to be gone too."

Thomas shook his head, and then shrugged; "Reddick, I have no idea how they could have erased the database. But there's got to be a backup copy somewhere. I suggest you go have a talk with that Cheetah bitch. I'm sure, that with suitable persuasion, she'll tell you how to find it." Reddick nodded; "Yeah, good idea. I bet I can make her sing!"

Tanj heard the footfalls. Strident footfalls. Angry footfalls. And they stopped just outside her cell. Yeah, since Ralph had flashed her the "thumbs up" she'd been expecting something like this. She heard a key in the lock, and the door slide open. Looking out, she watched the guard motion her out. With a yawn, she rolled over onto paws and knees and low-crawled out to meet the day.

"Wcic thwwxkyno wnno? Mtfesg vdfre fwqcjki?"

Tanj looked blankly at the well-dressed Jackal. Who was THIS guy? And what in the world was he trying to say? She looked at the Guard, shrugged and replied; "!gniyas er'uoy drow a dnatsrednu t'nac I dna niarb ym fo retnec egaugnal eht pu dewercs tohs eht ,rekcuf-gip ylgu uoy netsiL" <<Listen you ugly pig-fucker, the shot screwed up the language center of my brain and I can't understand a word you're saying!>> Tanj looked from the baffled look on the Jackal's face, to the guard, and back, and smiled softly. "...tnatropmi gnihtemos tuoba em ksa ot detnaw uoy teb I" <<I bet you wanted to ask me about something important...>> The Cheetah's grin widened; "klat t'nac that lamina na ylno dnif uoy won dna" <<And now you find only an animal that can't talk>>

Reddick looked at the guard; "What in the hell is she saying?

The guard shrugged; "Got me. That Bradford character was down here just after the coup; he said she had been too clever for her own good and that she was being downgraded to "Animal". They gave her some sort of injection. She can't seem to understand what we say to her, and we can't understand a thing she says."

Reddick shot the Cheetah a dirty look, and then turned back to the Guard; "Well, UNDO whatever it is you did! I NEED to talk to her!"

The guard just shrugged; "Sorry. Wouldn't know how, or even IF it can be undone. Best talk to Bradford."

Tanj watched the Jackal storm off. "!daehtoh a tahw" <<What a hothead!>> The guard just nodded sagely; "you can say that again.

Roy looked at the Mink, aghast; "What do you mean we don't have any PN3 connectors?"

The Prairie dog shrugged, and turned the computer display to show him. "See. Inventory. See the line for PN3 connectors? What's it say for inventory?"

Roy spread his hands; "This is absurd. We must have burned out a half a dozen in the raid. It always happens when your shields get hit. How could you be out?"

The Prairie dog shrugged; "Handed out the last one an hour ago. Right now, with the Coup, things are all screwed up. Check back in a week. Or two."

Roy sighed; how could he take his ship out, without replacing the burned out connectors? They'd be fighting without shields! Suicide! And if he couldn't work until the connectors came in, he'd loose revenue. And if he didn't make the payments on his ship, he could loose that too! What in the HELL was going on here?

Sam nudged the Prairie dog; "you know, I was just down there an hour ago. We've got hundreds of PN3's."

The Prairie dog nodded and grinned. "But they don't show up in inventory, do they?"

Sam solemnly shook his head.

"So... if they're not in inventory, they don't really exist, at least not officially, do they?"

Sam slowly nodded, his brow furrowed in concentration... "And that means...."

The prairie dog positively beamed; "That means, in a few days, we offer Roy a handful, at ten times the price. Things we've scavenged, just for him. He'll pay, of course, and we get to pocket the proceeds."

Sam grinned; "I see! I love it!"

Thomas looked at the mess in his bathroom and winced. How could the toilet have backed up? They'd undone what they'd gimmicked when they took the place over; it shouldn't be doing that now! Scowling, he stalked over to the communicator, and punched in the number for maintenance. The line was busy. Dammit. Throwing on some clothes he headed down there; someone was going to join the crowd in the kennels!

Bragg frowned. Every number he'd tried on the Comm had been busy. Not just a few, but every one. That wasn't right. Sitting back in his desk chair, he tried to remember who he'd even talk to about a problem like that. Who was in charge of station communications?

Jenka smiled as the guard walked into the closed door. It should have opened as he approached, and he'd obviously been expecting it too, but it hadn't. The Guard rubbed his nose, and glared around, looking to see if anyone had been watching. Of course, almost every slave in view had been watching, and a few were even laughing. Someone was applauding. Growling, the Guard turned and tried to manually pry the doors open.

Tanj looked from the Guards to the janitor's closet and back. If she couldn't stand, she couldn't use a mop, so it was back to the brush and the bucket of soapy water. They'd also added a couple of bottles of disinfectant and a toilet brush. To the pile. But that had been where they'd stopped. The two guards were having an animated discussion, of which, Tanj couldn't understand a word. She just knelt in the proper position and waited. Somehow she didn't think she'd care much for what they'd come up with..... as she listened to the nonsense sounds they made, she wondered why her breasts ached. They felt a little swollen too. And yet again, she wondered just exactly what that shot was doing to her....

Pippyn sighed and pulled hard on the reins, pulling the horse's head around. It seemed that the doors in the corridor ahead of her were stuck closed. That'd been the third set so far today. Ah, well, at least she didn't have to walk to the next cross-corridor. Kicking her spurs into John's flanks she urged her mount to greater speed.

Hinoki smiled as the guards used a hydraulic jack to force the doors open. There was a release switch behind an access panel nearby, if you knew what to do. It was obvious that these guys didn't. With the doors braced open, a number of furrs came in, with chits in their hands, permission to use one of the slaves for a while, favors handed out by the new bosses....

Tanj grumbled to herself. She'd kinda expected it. They'd used thongs to tie the brush to her nipple and clitty rings. To scrub the floor she had to drag it back and forth with her tender bits. Getting the brush up and into the bucket of suds was QUITE objectionable. At least they hadn't tied her paws behind her back; that would have made the whole thing near impossible. And they'd drilled a hole in one of the disposable plug gags, and mounted the toilet brush there. The assemblage had been tightly strapped in her mouth. To scrub the toilets she was going to have to get REAL familiar with them. It didn't look like a very fun day. On the other hand, there were possibilities. The guards, having teased her for a bit, had grown tired of their sport, and had finally abandoned her to her work. It wasn't long after that, that she'd found the broken broom handle. It was only a little less than half a meter long, but she had plans for that piece of wood.....

The trio stopped in front of his cell. Hinoki looked through the bars and gulped.

"Is this the one?"

"Yes, I think he's the one Raquel was talking about."

One of the three waved over one of the guards; "We'll take spotty cat here." The guard took the chit, examined it, and nodded. And then the key was turning in the lock.....

The Lioness grinned at the Cheetah male. He looked a little frightened, and that was just fine. "Hello there, sweetcheeks, I'm Anna. This is Brigit, and that's Candy." The Lioness pointed in turn to a rather large Tigress, and an even larger Brown Bear fem. "We've got the day off, and we thought it would be nice to find someone to, ah, "pamper" us. You're elected. Do a good job, and you'll be rewarded; screw up, and you'll regret it." Hinoki just gulped and nodded energetically. The Lioness smiled, and produced a slender leash; this she attached to the collar around his neck, and then, without preamble, the trio strode off.

Hinoki just about had to trot to keep up. All three of the fems were wearing exercise togs, and he got the feeling they'd just come back from working out. Bench pressing shuttlecraft, no doubt. Each of them was fairly good looking, in a muscular sort of way, and he smiled to himself, thinking that maybe, just maybe, this could be an interesting day. If he survived.

Ziegler sat bolt-upright in his station chair. He stared at the sensor display for a moment and then brought his paw crashing down on the alarm. Throughout the station sirens howled, and furrs dropped whatever they were doing to scramble for their battlestations.

Jenka heard the battlestations alarm and just laughed. Across the corridor, Zassa looked at her as if she'd lost her mind.

Hoff dashed up, to look over Ziegler's shoulder; "What... WHAT?"

Ziegler shook his head; "Sir, a moment a go, I had a positive ID on an Imperial Dreadnought. Sector III."

"But there's nothing there!"

Ziegler shook his head; "There isn't now. It vanished in the distortion pattern typical of a warship cloaking."

Hoff frowned; "The Imperial fleet doesn't cloak Dreadnoughts. There's no reason to. What would something like THAT have to hide from?"

Ziegler shrugged; "Sir, if you don't believe me, replay the sensor logs!"

Bragg frowned as the recording played. It certainly looked like an Imperial Dreadnought.... There one minute, gone the next. "OK, I want the entire sensor suite run through a level four diagnostic. I want the software checked for viruses, worms and corruption. And I want patrols out, just in case."

Looking up at Bragg, the Coyote sighed; "I can't believe the Imperials would come after us. I can't believe they could even FIND us, in the nebula!"

Bragg shrugged; "Perhaps... perhaps they've heard of the coup and think we're, ah, weak and disorganized. That now would be a good time to try something." The Rabbit grinned; "But if that's what they think, we'll teach them the error of their ways!"

Bullard scowled; he didn't like the idea of burning what little deuterium he had left chasing sensor ghosts. He liked the idea of tangling with an Imperial Dreadnought even less, but at least if it dropped in the pot, he wouldn't be trapped on the station. He was beginning to think Bragg had brought them bad luck....

Roy grimaced. His raider wouldn't be able to do much to an Imperial Dreadnought, except keep them busy for the three or four milliseconds it would take for them to destroy his ship. Maybe less, as not all his shields were working. Calling up the local star charts, he started wondering about where he might flee to, if it really got bad.

Hinoki hit the end of the leash, and was almost pulled off his feet; "No ya don't, honey. We're OFF DUTY today. Let the others handle it. Besides, its probably just some stupid drill. Come on, you've got work to do."

Ziegler blinked; "There! Sector XII! Geez, there's TWO of 'em now!"

Hoff frowned and keyed his mike; "Patrol Beta, come left to... 119 mark 37. Patrol Gamma, come right to 047 mark 12. Let me know if you see anything.

Sleigth frowned at his scanner display. There wasn't ANYTHING there. Had Operations lost their collective minds? Opening a channel, he proceeded to tell them just what he thought of their little drill.

Bragg frowned; "None of the ships have seen anything?"

Thomas shook his head; "That's the good news. Apparently its just some very detailed sensor ghosts on the station's system. The bad news is that we now can't trust our own sensors. We'll have to keep patrols out."

Bragg nodded; "See to it. And let me know the moment they figure out what's wrong."

Bradford frowned at the image on his monitor; "But you've always handled our auctions before; what's the problem this time?"

The rather greasy looking Beaver in the monitor smiled; "My agreements hitherto have all been with Mistress Jenka. And now you expect me to assist in her sale? I'm afraid not, my friend. You'll have to find yourself another broker." With that, the connection was broken.

Bradford shook his head in amazement. He'd thought all these furrs would sell their mother, if there was a profit in it. Suddenly he was running into a brick wall everywhere he turned. He couldn't fence the loot from the most recent raid, because they all had arrangements with Jenka. Oh, they'd deal with him, but for pennies on the dollar. Said they didn't "know" him.... And the firm they'd been buying Deuterium through, they'd pulled up stakes and vanished as soon as they found out the management had changed. Now he was scrambling, talking to independent (and very high priced) dealers, trying to get a tanker. They were all acting as if they were going to seize the tanker and not pay for it!

Reddick's interruption was not what the Otter needed. He listened with increasing impatience to the story of how the intelligence database had vanished, and Reddick's demands that Tanj be restored to "sentient" status, so he could question her about where the backups might be. Finally he'd had enough; "Listen, Reddick, I've got my own problems. The, ah, "treatment" that Tanj was given was a request by one of her potential buyers. He's already offered a small fortune for her, and I didn't want to piss him off. As far as I know there IS no way to reverse it. Why don't you go talk to one of the department heads that worked for her?"

Reddick scowled; "Don't you think I've already tried that? The ones that aren't in the kennels didn't know the database could be made to vanish like that, and the ones in the kennels... well, they told me that as far as they knew, once it was gone, it was gone, and that was it. It would appear the only information now resides in that bitch's head, and you've managed to make THAT inaccessible!" Turning, the Jackal stormed off.

Zassa purrrred into her gag. Such delightful tension. The guards had set up an apparatus in one of the commons areas. It was a series of levers and weights that contrived to pull her arms and legs in different directions. Suspended vertically, her feet just off the floor, she could struggle to her heart's content against the forces of gravity, but when she relaxed, she was always pulled back into a spread-eagle position. And with the tip of her tail tied to the back of her collar, both pussy and ass were quite available. Of course there'd been no shortage of those willing to entertain her, to relieve the strain of her suffering..... Right now, a rather well endowed Antelope was plowing her ass, while a very energetic Ferret was making use of her pussy. Heaven.

Across the commons area, Sabina was in a similar predicament. She'd been keeping an eye on the Vixen, counting the number of furrs that flocked to make use of her. Keeping track of the furrs that had come to partake of her charms as well. So far they were about even. Oh, the Vixen might be slightly ahead on number, but she was certain she'd attracted the better quality lovers....

Cindy wasn't exactly happy. But she wasn't exactly distressed either. She stood off to one side of the commons room, feet slightly apart, arms folded behind her back, wrist to elbow, not uncomfortably. The Guards had mounted a pole, about four centimeters in diameter, to the floor, and she stood with the knobby, ridged end buried in her pussy. She'd been told to entertain the furrs in the commons area, by putting on a "stationary dance", basically fucking the pole, and truth be told, what movement she was capable of, was strangely stimulating. Occasionally someone would come up behind her, and make use of her ass, and while she wasn't all that thrilled about anal sex, she'd been stretched out enough that it wasn't really painful anymore. And unless someone had a ladder, or was amazingly tall, her mouth was out of reach. That was a plus. Mostly she just stood there, moving occasionally, swaying and dipping as gracefully as she could, as she watched the world go by. She'd long since gotten over the embarrassment of being nude; now the major problem was becoming boredom. And sore leg muscles.

Amelia watched the Vixen and the Kitten. She'd heard what they'd said, in the baths, the night before, and was trying hard to keep her anger under control. Still, it wasn't easy. She didn't like being naked in front of everyone. It was especially shaming when she'd see someone she knew. And she didn't like being "on display" like this. Ignoring the instructions to "entertain" the troops she just stood there, resolutely, trying not to scowl.

Zassa sagged; the Antelope had cum, and gone, and the Ferret likewise had finished with her. Looking around the commons area, she tried to find someone, attract someone's eye. And then she caught a flash of an unmistakable fur pattern. "Hey, DYNOTAKU! Come on over here, and show a girl a good time!"

Sabina scowled; it wasn't fair calling them over to you; you were supposed to be so sexy they couldn't stay away. "Points off for you, Zassa" she grumped.

Dynotaku looked the Vixen up and down, and grinned; "My, aren't YOU a sight!"

Within the confines of the device, the Vixen shrugged and grinned, making weights bounce, making her whole body waver in mid-air; "Eh, it's a living. How you doin' with the Coup and all?"

The Unicorn shrugged; "I'm making do." He looked her up and down and then grinned. Falling to his knees he dragged his tongue over her sex. "How's Tanj and all her crew holding up?"

The Vixen groaned, shuddering. She hadn't forgotten the Unicorn's mixed parentage, and while not exactly knowing how he'd wound up with a Girraffe's long tongue, was very thankful for the fact.

Sabina watched with envy as the funny looking Unicorn ate out the vixen. She was writhing, and screaming at the top of her lungs as the beast's immense tongue slithered in and out of her snatch. Almost everyone in the commons area had paused to watch the show. It was incredible!

The calico cat looked at Bragg and shrugged; "Oh, I couldn't call it a virus, or a worm. It appears to have been built into the basic programming. Intentionally. A fail-safe device designed to prevent exactly what you've tried to do."

Bragg scowled; "What we've DONE, Mister. Now, how do we get rid of it?"

The Cat laughed; "you rewrite the code that runs the whole station. I don't think anything less would work."

Thomas frowned; "you mean, until this password is given, everything run by the computer network will occasionally glitch, like the sensors did?"

The Cat shrugged again; "The Sensors, and the sewage control system, and the doors, and everything else. Me, personally, I'm worried about environmental." He looked at the command team; "you have to understand, there are millions of lines of code in the system that runs this station. Millions. I've read through a mere fraction. For all I know, the troubles have only just begun. It could get worse, and worse, until the airlocks all open and dump atmosphere to space! Hell, even the power reactors are run by that code!"

Bradford grinned; "So we beat the passwords out of the bitch, and get everything running again." The Cat shook his head; "Passwords are put in to keep this sequence of events from being triggered. I'm NOT sure that inputting any other passwords would stop it, once its started."

Bragg sighed; "There has to be SOME way of stopping it. She must hope to regain control somehow. And someone must know. After all, it is conceivable that she could be killed on an operation. Someone else must know too."

Thomas sighed; "And I don't think we dare mess her up too much, given who's expressed an interest in acquiring her...."

Bradford winced; "MacArthur. He.... Resisted much more strongly than I would have thought reasonable. I bet he knew."

Thomas chuckled; "Yes, but Forbes might know.... And then his face lit up; "and I bet Chris Foxx knows too!"

Bragg nodded; "Yes, he was one of Jenka's senior lieutenants. But, as with Jenka herself, I bet he's had the full gamut of treatments to make sure he doesn't talk.

Bradford nodded; "You know, there are ways to make someone resist chemical interrogation, but nothing works like good old fashioned torture. I bet I know someone who could make him talk...."

Chris looked up as the Thylacine stopped outside his cell. She grinned at him; "little Fox, I have some questions to ask you, and you're going to tell me the answers......."

Chris looked at the arrangement, and shook his head; "But I tell you, I don't know WHAT you're talking about. If Jenka had a secret self-destruct plan for the distributed computer control system, she never told ME!"

The Thylacine shook her head; "if that's true, we'll find out. In time. Pity it'll be rather uncomfortable for you, in the meantime." Gesturing, she directed the guards to place Chris between the sheets.

In one of the commons areas, a large vertical framework had been set up inside a small tank of water. The frames held sheets of black latex. It didn't look very threatening.... Chris didn't resist, as the guards held him, as the Thylacine threaded him with catheters, expertly threaded a feeding tube through his nose, and down his throat, and then pulled a heavy latex hood over his head. The hood had all the accessories. Fresh air was provided to his nose; he exhaled through his mouth. Padded earpieces would keep out any stray sounds, but miniature speakers were provided, as was a throat-microphone for any responses he might choose to make. With the hood locked in place, they added a pair of wristlets, to keep his paws away from his body, and then he was lowered between the two sheets of latex.

Chris felt the water press against him from all sides, but, trapped between the two sheets of latex, he was dry. And the water seemed to be at body temperature. It was form fitting, and largely immobilizing. He could move his arms up and down, his legs side to side, but any movement outside of the plane of the latex met with increasing resistance. In the end, he just wound up hanging there, as if standing in the middle of the tank of water. He couldn't hear a thing, couldn't see a thing.... Couldn't feel a thing. "But that was the purpose, wasn't it?" he thought to himself. Sensory deprivation. He was sure they thought he'd be so desperate for sensation, any sensation, in a few days, that he'd tell them anything they wanted to know. Well if that was what they thought, they certainly had the wrong Fox!

Pippyn admired the Fox's physique; he looked like a bas relief sculpture in ebony. Chuckling she mounted her steed and kicked him in the flanks; she'd be back later, when he'd had some time to realize just what he was in for.....

The guard paused, to regard the animal scrubbing floors. Someone had been rather mean to her, jamming an old length of broomstick up her ass. In fact, the end was broken off, and he idly wondered if that'd happened before or after it'd been shoved into her. Grinning he gave her a swat on the can, and moved on.

Hinoki smiled and worked his fingers into the Tigress' hair. They'd taken over one of the public baths, and he was acting as their body slave, preparing the water for them, adding oils and scents, and then washing them. It seemed, what they REALLY wanted, was to be pampered. He could do that. He could be attentive, and witty, and considerate. Thinking ahead, he was already planning what he might make them for dinner.....

Jenka balanced on tiptoes. They'd tried for more humiliations today, to show who was in charge. The plexiglass case was studded with sharp spikes, and she had to hold herself just so, to keep from poking herself. She'd wobbled a few times, and had gotten jabbed for her pains. Being blindfolded, she was learning just HOW to hold herself the hard way. But she was convinced that the arrangement of sharp pointy things was slowly rearranging itself. She could have sworn that there hadn't been a point by her left elbow a half an hour ago....

Cindy giggled, and squirmed. The Unicorn, the one they called Dynotaku, was having way too much fun with them. He'd driven the Vixen to a series of howling climaxes with his tongue, and at the kitten's lament, done the same to her. Just to be fair, he'd said. And then he'd turned to her, asked her what she was doing there, and when she'd told him it was something the guard had called a stationary dance, he'd decided she wasn't dancing hard enough. From somewhere he'd produced a feather, and was now tickling her to distraction. Of course, every motion made her ride the pole, every motion made her moan from the sensations it produced, and all her writhing and moaning and giggling was drawing the audience she'd been intended to draw, to entertain. As she giggled, bucked, swayed and writhed, she tried to decide if he was the most annoying, or the most delightful furr she'd ever run into.

Tanj looked both ways, reached back and extracted the broomstick from her ass. It was a little more difficult to wash it off, given the way the brush was secured to her, and the fact that she couldn't use her fingers, but she did have soap and water available. Sashi watched curiously through the bars, wondering what in the world the Cheetah was up to. When Tanj was done washing the old piece of wood, she slipped it through the bars of Sashi's cage. Then Tanj sat back, and started to pantomime. The first characture was obviously of a guard. Then the Cheetah pantomimed fucking herself with a dildo, and pointed to Sashi. She then wafted both mitted paws by her face and inhaled deeply as if savoring a delectable scent. Rising to her knees she thrust her hips back and forth, as if she were a male taking a female from behind. And then she pantomimed someone opening a cell door. Turning to look at Sashi, she cocked her head to one side, as if asking if Sashi understood.

Sashi smiled back and moved her paws, just so. After the incident at the club on Vehnice, the Cheetah had tried to teach them all a sign language, a way of communicating either silently, or in high noise areas. Sashi hadn't learned much, but she'd learned some. To be frank, she'd never envisioned the need for something like that; it seemed she'd been wrong.

Tanj watched the Chocolate Pantheress' paws move. To her amazement and delight she understood! Or at least the symbol based signing she understood; when the Pantheress tried to use hand motions to spell out a word, she lost it..... But then, she hadn't been able to read any of the labels stenciled on the walls, either. Gibberish. On the other hand, some animals with no language skills had successfully been taught signing.... Grinning, Tanj nodded to Sashi, and waving bye, returned to her scrubbing.

Sashi watched the Cheetah move off, and wondered what it had cost her, to sit up, with that scrub brush suspended from her nipple rings. She'd hoped it was worth it, that Tanj's plan would have some effect. Lord knew, she was willing to try. And about ready too.....

Hinoki chuckled to himself; it would have been better if he'd been able to learn to breathe through his ears, as Sashi seemed able to do. The Bear wanted him to lick her, WHILE she was sprawled back in the tub, and that necessitated him staying under water for what was really longer than he was comfortable with. It seemed he'd just get her to the point where she was about to climax, when he had to come up for air, and towards the end, she hadn't really wanted him to stop. And it had gotten really interesting when one of the felines had started to stroke his sheath while he was tonguing the Bear....

Bruno looked around the ER, curiously. Spotting Kath going by with an armload of supplies, he hurried over. "Hello, Kath, have you seen Momma?"

Kath stopped, eyes wide; she'd forgotten about Bruno! "Um, Hi, Bruno; yeah, she's in OR 3 doing some minor surgery. I'm afraid things here have been a little busy."

Bruno nodded; "Yeah, I can imagine. I heard about the Coup. As soon as I could find someone to relieve me, I came down to make sure you guys were all right." He looked at the Mink, concern writ large on his face; "They, ah, they didn't try and lump you guys in with the ones that were taken to the kennels, did they?"

Kath glanced involuntarily at the trio still waiting for them. One was sound asleep, and the other two were playing cards. Looking back at the Bear she sighed; "Well...."

Bruno's face hardened; "Yeah, that's what I was afraid of. Have they....?"

Kath smiled; "What, bothered Wanda? Not... exactly. So far they've realized she's needed where she is, and she's been too busy to, ah, annoy."

Bruno nodded; "But that could change at any time."

Kath sighed and nodded. "Yeah. We don't know what lies down the road."

Bruno nodded; "OK, well, I'm here to help. I'll stay out of the way, UNLESS something happens."

Kath nodded; "I'm not really sure what you might do, Dear, but I tell you what. If you're determined to stay, why don't you come over here; there's a lot of paperwork that needs to go into the computer and if you could help with that, it'd ease the load on all of us....."

Bruno sat down at the computer, and looked at the stack of paperwork. Sure, he could transcribe it all into the computer, but was that wise? If they got caught up, would the three clowns try and haul Wanda, the only one who'd ever really, truly seemed to care for him, off to the kennels? The SLAVE kennels? Well, maybe he'd just look busy......

Pippyn reigned in her mount, and stared at the Fox. Dismounting, she strode over to the corner of the framework, and flipped a switch. What she heard surprised her; "For I'm plucky and adventury, with military knowledge brought up to STAR WARS and the twenty-second century, I AM THE VERY MODEL OF A MODERN MAJOR GENERAL!......" Frowning, the Thylacine turned back to her mount; "if he's singing Gilbert and Sullivan, he's crazier than I thought." Looking back at him, she wondered if the sensory deprivation had already snapped his mind. Climbing into the saddle she pulled hard on the left rein, her steed obeying instantly. He'd gotten so much better behaved since she'd switched to a Spanish bit.... Kicking him into a trot, she headed back to her quarters. The Fox would still be there in the morning....

The Calico Cat shook his head; "Look, Boss, I'm not being obstructionist, I'm just telling you like it is. The place was never designed for independent control. It was built as a distributed control system. If you try and disconnect the main power reactors from the loop, they could lock up, and then this place could become REAL dangerous!"

Bragg shook his head; "I can't believe that. What if we took battle damage? What if the comm line was cut by enemy action?"

The Cat shrugged; "There are no less than fourteen lines in and out of that area, all heavily armored. Might loose half of them, but its unlikely you'd loose all. Its designed so that if the control nodes in the reactor are damaged, other elements throughout the network in the station can take over. Its actually safer in a battle that way."

Bragg sighed; "If we had the codes, could we reboot?" The Cat boggled; "you'd have to shut literally EVERYTHING in the station down. And even then, I'm not sure if it'd all come back up. And what if it wanted a different list of codes on reboot?"

Bragg nodded; "OK, so we need to force the solution out of Jenka, or one of her lieutenants. Looking over at the Coyote, Bragg growled; "So what else has gone wrong, since we met last?

Thomas fiddled with a stylus; "I .... Um.... Well, nothing really. Nothing we can't handle. We're OK.

Bragg looked at the Coyote skeptically, and then nodded; "Bradford, what do you have?"

The Otter shook his head; "Sleigth and his group didn't come back from patrol. No, there's no sign of hostile action. We think they just took off."

Bragg's fist came down on the table; "That's NOT fair. We haven't had a chance to show the stockholders what we can do yet!" He got up and paced; "if we could just get shed of these piddling little problems, we could SHOW them." Turning back to Thomas he growled; "You're head of Operations; what's our next objective?"

Thomas winced; he'd been afraid of this. "Well, there's the raid on the mining base. That's already in the works, but we don't have enough deuterium to do much else."

Bragg nodded; "All right, where can we steal some deuterium?

Dynotaku watched the Jaguar as she stood in the glass box. He didn't know how they got the spikes to move around inside it like they did, but it looked to be a devilish torture. One of them moved, incrementally, as the Jaguar exhaled, and when she inhaled its sharp point pressed against her right nipple. That caused her to flinch, a point jabbing her in the ass. The only solution was to stay as still as possible, and react with movements as small as possible. Not an easy task when you've been standing in the same place, for hours on end. Still, she was probably doing better than a lot of other furrs would have.....

It wasn't easy. To get the toilet brush affixed to the end of her prod gag into the bowl, Tanj had to rise up on her knees. This lifted the scrub brush from the floor, leaving it dangling from clitty and nipple rings. And if she had to "scrub" hard in the bowl, it set up the most annoying swaying of the scrub brush. In fact, it was the brush banging against one of the commodes that attracted the guard. He watched her for a while and then took her paws and bound them behind her back. Then, with her head still in the commode, he proceeded to take her in the ass, so energetically that Tanj thought the brush was going to shatter the porcelain.

Zassa paused to stare, and most of the rest of the coffle piled into her from behind. Sashi started to complain, but then followed where the Vixen was looking, and the words froze in her throat. Finally she muttered; "It does NOT look as if Tanj is having a good day...." The guard came up the line, using his quirt to get everyone moving again (and with all the intelligence exhibited by the current crop of overlords, he of course started at the back of the line). When he got to Zassa, he glanced at Tanj, waved at the other guard and laughed; "If you don't want to JOIN her, best get your ass moving, Slave!" Her face expressionless, the Vixen started moving, albeit slowly....

When the guard had left, Tanj stared at the squeeze bottle of toilet bowl cleaner and wondered how in the world she was going to use it on the next toilet.... This wasn't going to be easy.

Bradford himself watched, as Jenka was extracted from the plexiglass prison. There were several places where her hide was stained red, and he frowned. The punctures would probably heal before she was auctioned off, but... it might be prudent to have someone from medical see her, just to make sure they didn't get infected. As the Blindfold was removed, Bradford stepped forward. "You know, if the station goes down, you're likely to die too."

Jenka raised an eyebrow; "Having trouble with the station? Really? Gee, it never gave me any trouble."

The Otter scowled; "We may yet be able to change your tune." With that, he reached up to clip the leash to the Jaguar's collar. Turning, he dragged her off towards the kennels.

The form in the frame was obviously a male fox. The black latex made him look surreal, though. Occasionally it would move slightly, suggesting it was alive, but mostly it was motionless. Bradford flipped a switch on the box mounted to the frame; the speaker crackled to life; "... And so you see, Watson, Professor Moriority only had it half right...." Bradford frowned, and pushed a button; "Chris Foxx! Are you ready to tell us what we want to know?" The speaker issued a laugh; "There, you see, Watson, just as I was telling you! Look lively now, the Game's Afoot!" Bradford blinked and released the switch. The speaker went silent. Turning to Jenka, he grinned; "See what sensory deprivation has done to him? How would YOU like to spend some time in there?" Jenka looked at the fox-form and muttered; "Probably be better than the last place I was; at least it sounds as if he's having fun....."

Tanj lay on her back, on her bound arms. Her feet weren't working right, but she'd still managed to pick up the squeeze bottle of toilet bowl cleaner between her ankles and swing it over the toilet.....

"Well, it looks as if my Pet's having fun!"

Tanj gasped, and the bottle slipped from between her ankles, and fell, with a plop, into the toilet. She turned her head and shot the Jaguar a dirty look. Rolling over onto her stomach, she inchwormed to her knees; "?tou elttob that hsif ot gniog I ma who won ;sknahT" <<Thanks; now how am I going to fish that bottle out?>>

Jenka blinked at the Cheetah and turned to Bradford; "What did she say?"

Bradford grinned; "At the suggestion of some others, she's been demoted to "animal" status. No more language. Oh, and her achilles tendons have been cut; she walks on all fours now. No sex either. We all know that animals don't climax, so she's been, ah, modified so she can't enjoy sex. Of course that won't keep others from enjoying her...."

Jenka stared at the Cheetah, and then grinned; "Cool! Why didn't I think of that?" Turning to the Otter, she gave him a bright smile; "What else you got planned for her? By the way, I like the nose ring."

Bradford frowned; "you can't bluff through this. If you don't tell us what we need to know, it'll only go harder for her, and the others.."

Jenka just shrugged; "Tell you WHAT?"

Zassa watched as Jenka lowered herself into the hot water of the tub.

"Did you...."

"Yeah, I saw her. Don't worry. She's tough; she can take it. They haven't done anything that can't be undone, when we get out of here." The Jaguar raised her head, and looked from face to face. "I need all of you to hang tough. It won't take much longer. Promise."

Sabina sighed, and settled a little deeper into the water; "That's too bad, I was beginning to enjoy myself. I think I'm WAY ahead of Zassa, on points."

The Vixen looked at Sabina and shook her head; "no WAY!"

'Bina chuckled; "Yes, WAY! I had three more furrs than you did while we were on exhibition today! One of them did me twice!"

Zassa chuckled; "yeah, but I had the more interesting, and better hung furrs. Quality over Quantity. And Dynotaku came to ME first!"

Cindy chuckled; "Yeah, he was something wasn't he. Where in the world did you find HIM?"

Jenka looked at them and smiled They weren't beaten yet. Not if they were still running their silly competiton....

Sashi watched the guard walk by, and smiled to herself. He was male. Very male. She could smell his musk, even from this distance. Her eyes were riveted to the bulge in his loincloth. She followed him with her eyes as long as she could, watching the muscles move under his skin. Yeah, the overdose of vitamin E was wearing off; she was returning to what she used to be. A weapon. Except this time she was a weapon that SHE was going to wield....

Hinoki pulled the pan out of the refrigerator and frowned. The chicken had been in his special marinade for a couple of hours and should be ready to cook... but it felt warm. Frowning, he looked into the 'fridge. There was no condensation, but the light was on. Frowning, he checked the icemaker. Water. Straightening, he checked the temperature of the oven, moved the chicken breasts to the roasting pan, added some grated cheese, and popped them into the oven. After setting the timer, he uncorked the bottle of wine, and after filling three glasses, carried them into the living room. Using all his training, he served the three ladies. When he'd finished, he knelt before them, in the proper position, and just waited.

Anna picked up on it first; "Something wrong, boy-toy?"

Hinoki nodded; "Yes, Mistress; permission to speak?"

Anna nodded; "Go ahead."

Hinoki glanced towards the kitchen; "Mistress, I think the refrigerator isn't working correctly. Things are... warm."

Brigit growled; "Oh, DAMN, and rose, to go look. It was her quarters.

Tsuko kicked the pedal to open the door of the walk-in freezer, and then elbowed the door aside. Two steps into the interior, he stopped. Usually the place was bone-chilling cold, but now it was... almost room temperature. Setting down the box of cutlets, he walked over to the cooling coils. The fan was still on but the coils weren't cold. With a sigh, he left the freezer, closing the door out of habit, and made his way to the comm.


"Yeah, this is Tsuko in Kitchen Four. We've got a walk in freezer here that isn't working."

"Yeah, it doesn't surprise me. Something's wrong with every single freezer, every single refrigerator on the station."

"WHAT? How could..."

"Listen buddy, I don't know. The compressors all check out fine; its something in the control circuitry. And yeah, the command council knows about it. They should have some instructions coming through as to what to do soon."

The Marmoset was tying his apron on, behind his back as he came into the kitchen. "Heya, Tsuko, what's up... what in the HELL are you doing?"

Tsuko sighed; "Freezer's down. In fact ALL the freezers are down. We're moving all the frozen foods outside."

The Marmoset shook his head; "We're WHAT? What GENIUS came up with that one?"

Tsuko shrugged; "Well, it IS cold out there. And we're a long way from the nearest star, so its pretty cold all over the surface of the station... Why WOULDN'T it be a good idea to put the frozen food outside?"

The Marmoset lifted a box, and put it on the float pallet; "These guys ever hear of freezer burn? How much of the food is packaged to withstand not only a hard vacuum, but also about four degrees absolute?"

Tsuko just shrugged.

Hinoki served the Bear a chicken breast, and then spooned some of the rice pilaf onto her plate. "Indeed, Mistress. You might want to find as much prepackaged food as possible. If the rumors are true, a good meal could become very rare."

The Tigress chuckled; "So throw your diet to the wind, Candy, and eat up. No leftovers from this meal."

The Bear chuckled and speared a piece of chicken, to hold it up for Hinoki; "true....."

Bragg blinked as his computer display turned blue. "Fatal exception? Illegal opera... what the FUCK is this?"

The Calico Cat shrugged; "Boss, I don't have a clue. Its happening all over the station. The only computers that are working correctly are laptops not connected to any network. I'm told that some of the ships that are docked are having the same problem. Its got to be a virus of some sort."

The Rabbit threw up his hands; "Well FIX IT! Or you'll be down in the kennels with the other loosers!"

Braddock waited for the door to close behind him, before sidling up to Thomas; "This is getting out of hand."

Thomas nodded; "we have some problems, so me setbacks, but all is not lost yet. If we pull off the mining station raid, if we find a source of deuterium, we can pull this out yet."

The Otter nodded; "True. But all I'm saying is that in Jenka, and that Tanj, we have two highly marketable commodities. And that Vixen might auction for a pretty decent price too. If we have to, we can take the slaves and scoot."

The coyote turned to look at the Otter; "Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate the situation!

Bradford watched the Coyote walk off and sighed. Thomas was so enamored of his new position as head of Operations he couldn't read the handwriting on the wall. But maybe he was right. He could hang in there a little longer. Still, a good contingency plan never hurt.

Hinoki purrred. Dinner had of course, moved into desert. In this case, the Tigress, Brigit, had used a can of spray whipped cream, to decorate her pussy, and he, of course was to lick her clean. He was delighted to oblige, even if he knew he'd have to work hard to loose the extra calories. Then, from the corner of his eye, he caught what the Lioness was doing and knew it wouldn't be a problem. As the Tigress screamed out her pleasure, her hips bucking instinctively as she climaxed, the Cheetah licked furiously, already imagining what was to come....

Tanj frowned at the Guard; it was the most she could do. She'd been stuffed back into her cell, he paws still bound behind her, the toilet brush gag still fastened in her mouth. There was a bowl of water, and a bowl of dry kibble there, and she couldn't eat or drink. Grrr. Idly, she wondered how she could get a message out to the local Humane society. These guards needed to be reported, for cruelty to animals!

Hinoki smiled at the Lioness; "I'm to fuck Mistress Candy, while you use that on my ass? Oh, Mistress is TOO kind! But... couldn't you have found a bigger one? That one isn't going to give me much stimulation....."

Anna placed the head of the strap-on dong against the head of the Cheetah's asshole and pushed steadily. It sank into his bottom easier than she would have imagined, and as it bottomed out, she pushed HIM into Candy. As she pulled out, he waited until the head of the dong was just barely within him, and then he pulled back from the bear. Together they set up an oscillating rhythm, That seemed to delight both Candy and the slave.

Brigit leaned over and whispered to the Lioness; "I thought he was supposed to be terrified! He doesn't look terrified!"

Anna nodded; if anything, the Slave was having a great time. Looking at the Tigress she just smiled and shrugged; "must be a well trained slave. Heck, I dunno, but all things considered, I'm not complaining. Are you?"

The Tigress looked at Hinoki and shrugged; "Guess not. For one of the "ruling elite" he seems to be a pretty nice guy...."

Tsuko looked at the package of kosher non-morphic Zebra meat. It hadn't been outside more than a couple of hours, but even though it had been "vacuum packed" the packaging had ruptured. It was frozen harder than anything he'd ever seen, and it was kinda gray. Unable to cut it, he threw it in the broiling pan. Maybe he could make "pulled pork" barbecue for dinner. It didn't look very appetizing, though.

Hinoki listened to the Tigress snore, and smiled. Snuggling a little closer, between the Bear and the Tigress, he wondered if they'd remember he had to be returned to the kennels. He hoped not.....

The Badger's War, Part 3

The gallon bottle was empty. He smiled and tossed it casually into the trash receptacle. Not recycling, but the trash. The kind that had to be emptied by someone. Grinning the Badger left the executive offices. If anyone recognized him, or even remarked on his presence, it wasn't obvious. On the other hand, there WERE security cameras. He'd have to change appearances. That was all right; he'd looked like a Honey Badger for too long as it was. The bottle had contained pthenopthaline, a common chemical used as an indicator in acid/base titrations. He'd found it in a supply room in Environmental. But he'd used it down in Engineering, adding it to the water coming off of the condensers. And heading for the drinking water supply. Pthenopthaline was also the active ingredient in a wide range of over the counter laxatives. Now that phase one of his plan was complete, he was eager to get on to phase two.

It had taken a long time to weave the tail. He'd taken the falls, the hair pieces designed to lengthen a fem's hair, and bit by bit, had glued them to a metal rod. That, actually, had been the easy, if not somewhat tedious part. Building a harness to hold the rod behind him like the tail it was supposed to represent had been the hard part. The harness chafed in the most unlikely places. Still, after several bottles of fur dye, it DID look like a skunk's tail. And after several more bottles, so did he. Or at least his fur had all the markings of a skunk. "Damn heftiest skunk I've ever seen" he growled to himself as he stared into the hand-mirror. Shrugging, he picked up the sack and trudged out for Environmental. Now came the fun part.

One of the storerooms had held the disposable, absorbent "Adult Diapers" commonly used in the low-cost spacesuits. These things would hold many times their own weight in fluids, but swelled accordingly. In fact, in water, they swelled amazingly. In Environmental, there was a diagram that showed clean-out ports for the station's sewer system. Roland studied it carefully, tracing the piping, and finally tapping his finger on one particular port. One particular port in "officer country".....

In Maintenance coveralls, the bulky skunk was largely ignored by those who passed him by. Roland smiled to himself, and concentrated on stuffing diaper after diaper into the clean-out port, pushing them in with a length of broomhandle. After a dozen or so, he replaced the cap. In the morning, when most of the furrs that now inhabited these quarters got up, and went to the bathroom, they were in for a very interesting surprise.....

The food was more un-appetizing than usual. Roland looked at one of the cafeteria workers and growled; "What's WITH this gunk?" The Marmoset shrugged; "All the freezers and refridgerators are off-line. To keep the food from spoiling, they're storing it outside. Some of it doesn't do well in a hard vacuum. Sorry, but its all we've got." Roland sighed, tossed his tray in the recycler and stalked off, muttering to himself "Why didn't I think of that?"

Making the Best of a Bad Situation

Bullard checked the tactical display again. The system seemed to be empty. That was good. He didn't really want any interference. Too many of his ships had problems; problems Maintenance should have been able to fix, but for some reason or other, hadn't. They weren't exactly at peak performance.

The mine was on the inner moon of the second planet. Their beacon was coming through loud and strong, as if they weren't expecting any trouble. As his ships closed in, he scanned for defenses. There were a few ancient gun emplacements, but they didn't seem to be active. Something wasn't right.....

Harmon walked into the maintenance bay and nudged Barrow. "Hey boss, you won't believe what just blew into the system." The Wombat raised an eyebrow; "Now what?" Harmon chuckled; "Looks like Pirates." The Wombat snorted; "Really? HUH! Well, you know what to do."

Bullard hefted the blaster, and stabbed a thick finger at the lock control. The outer door opened with a scraping noise. Stepping into the lock, he made room for the furrs behind him. Combat armor made it a tight fit. The outer door scraped closed, and then the inner one opened. He'd half expected a hail of fire, but nothing happened. It was quiet. TOO quiet. Stalking forward, he looked around. The place seemed deserted.....

"Hey, Boss, I Found One!" Bullard turned towards the shout. Reeves was in something that must have been the operations center, as there were instruments on the wall, and several displays that showed schematics he didn't understand. Sitting at a desk was an elderly Wombat in a stained orange coverall. The Wombat took a sip of coffee from a chipped mug and regarded him with a smile. "you're late."

He couldn't help it; the Minotaur's eyes flashed to the chronograph on the wall, and then back to the Wombat; "Late?" The Wombat laughed; "Yeah. You see, we've had one of the most productive months on record. Nothing broke down. The ore was of excellent quality. We filled all the silos a good week early. The ore carrier left three days ago. Now, you can take what's in the silos now; I'd doubt we could stop you, but there ain't much there. Oh, and payroll is mostly direct deposit. Not many stores to spend your pay on out here. Sorry."

Harmon watched the blips move off the sensor screen; "Well, I suppose that could have gone worse."

Barrow nodded; "Yeah, but I wonder why they stripped us of all of our deuterium. There's got to be a story behind that."

Harmon nodded; "Ain't no big deal; the solar cells will keep us going until we can extract more from the overburden. Won't take but a day to refill the tanks."

The Wombat nodded; "I just don't understand why the home office won't consider selling that as a byproduct."

Harmon shrugged; "Shipping costs, probably. On the other hand, expecting logic out of that crowd has always been a mistake."

The Wombat sipped his coffee and nodded in agreement.

Braddock looked at the Rabbit and spread his paws wide; "Chief, I don't know WHY they won't deal with us, but no one wants to. I can't buy food, I can't buy deuterium, I can't by air, I CAN'T BUY ANYTHING! If I didn't know better, I'd SWEAR there was a conspiracy against us!"

Bragg looked at Reddick; "All right, they won't sell it, we're going to have to TAKE it. What have you come up with, with respect to Deuterium. That's our number one need right now."

The Jackal opened his mouth to speak... and the lights went out. There was the sound of chairs scraping the floor, and a few muttered curses. Reddick heard the door open, but the lights in the corridor outside were out as well. Glad for the reprieve, he waited impatiently.

Jenka blinked as the lights went out, and then frowned. That wasn't part of the program... She wondered just what these clowns were doing to HER station?

Reddick was just about to try and sneak out, when the lights came back on. Bragg waited a few minutes, for the furrs that had gone out, seeking the problem, to return, and then turned back to the Jackal; "OK, Reddick, what have you got for us?" The Jackal swallowed; "Well, there's a processing plant in the CYA391 system. Its in orbit around a gas giant. Among other things they sell deuterium, and run a refueling station. It should be a good place to hit."

Thomas frowned; it seemed he remembered something about that place... But whatever it was eluded him. He listened as Bragg authorized the mission, and started handing out assignments. When the meeting was over, he caught up with the Jackal; "Tell me, Reddick, how'd you find this target for us?" The Jackal shrugged; "With the database gone, I did the only thing I could. I looked in the yellow pages under "Deuterium" and picked an out-of-the-way location. Hell, I don't even know how many people live in that system!" Thomas nodded thoughtfully; "Might want to check with the computers on some of the raiders when we get back; they might have something..." The Jackal nodded, and hurried off.

Bradford listened to the exchange from a short distance away, and shook his head. Ludicrous. On the other hand, their masters had said that the destruction of the Black Fleet was a secondary objective, so.....

Tanj crawled from her cage, and kneeled in front of the guard, expecting to be led again to the janitor's closet. Crawling from her cage, especially with her paws bound behind her back was becoming a greater and greater ordeal; her breasts were getting remarkably tender, more tender than she would have expected from the strains of scrubbing the floor. And they seemed to be swelling a little, too. The guard seemed to notice as well, as he bent, to fondle her breasts roughly; "xotl c thocl wso abocw mocq. Pbvo wm cocd, wlc ztuw mbgu cbt jdrb aybehin xuech qm uvmnwucouch scuteg. Xoeb!" <<"Yeah, I think its about time. Come on, Slave, its time we took you down another notch on the evolutionary ladder. Heel!">> Without so much as a shrug, Tanj let him attach a leash to her nose ring and then followed where he led. The noises the guards made were becoming just that much more meaningless background noise.

The room looked like so many others on the station. This one was empty, just a metal floor, four walls and a ceiling. There were the usual power outlets and ventilation grills, and in the center of the floor, a small, strange device. The guard led her over to it, and lifted the top half of a set of stocks, and pulled on the leash until her head was through the hole. He then lowered the top half and locked it in place. The latch was in easy reach, but with the leather mitts covering her paws, without the use of her fingers, there was no way she'd be able to release herself.

She heard the Guard moving about. On paws and knees, she waited, like any other dumb animal. The stocks prevented her from looking around. She heard machinery start, and then the guard was pressing something up over her right breast. Vacuum pulled at her, holding the shape in place. Then a similar device was placed over her left breast. For a moment she wondered if they were trying to increase her bust size; vacuum was a clumsy way to do that; there were much better, much safer ways, and then she wondered if it was some arcane torture. And then it hit her. The injection she'd been given... had probably contained, among other things, hormones! The tenderness in her breasts, the swelling.... Good GOD, she was LACTATING, and they were MILKING HER! And there wasn't a thing she could do about it.

Bradford flipped the switch, and listened... "But you have to understand, Mrs. Foxworthy, I'm just the gardener, it wouldn't be right... and what would your husband say?" The Otter blinked, and then growled; "Foxx! Are you ready to tell me what I want yet?" From the speaker, a falsetto echoed; "Ack! My husband! Quick, Jake, get in the closet... no, no he might look there; get in the blanket chest! Quickly!" Bradford sighed and released the switch. It looked as if the sensory deprivation had driven Chris Foxx completely around the bend.....

Jenka stood calmly, paws tied behind her back, the slave pole buried deep within her sex. She didn't quite have to stand on tiptoes, to be comfortable, but she was glad the pole wasn't any longer. She watched as the slave coffle moved into the commons area, and stopped in her sight. Zassa, Sabina, and Hinoki, and a few others she didn't recognize. Then Bradford moved around into view. "Well, have you decided to talk yet?"

Jenka blinked; "Talk? What about?"

The Otter's face darkened with rage; "you KNOW what about, Bitch! How do we stop all these systems failures the station has been having? How do we get the distributed control system to behave? WHAT IS THE PASSWORD?""

Jenka just snorted; "Dear, there IS no password. There's no way to undo it, once its started." Locking eyes with him she smiled; "If I were you, I'd evacuate the station before things get even worse."

Bradford scoffed; "I don't believe you. But you'll talk. You'll talk or your friends will suffer." Turning, he gestured to the guard.

The Guard turned and looked at the slaves; "All right, slaves, who wants to be first?"

Zassa laughed; "I'll go."

Sabina shot the Vixen a dirty look, and then looked at the guard; "No, Me First!"

Hinoki chuckled; "What kind of a male would I be if I let the ladies go in harm's way. I volunteer."

The guard looked from furr to furr, and blinked; "Crazy. You're all Crazy!"

Behind him, Jenka just laughed.

Tanj heard the door open, heard the soft footfalls, and waited for the guard to move into her field of view. Or not. She didn't really care what he did, as long as he turned off the suction. Someone must have the breast pump set too high, as she felt as if the machine was trying to suck her tits from her body. The guard moved up by her side and tapped one of the cups encasing her breast; "Xigg vcytndw mexg pwcsat? Qd pbell, ebxtyxd fgpnwbt vhresz" <<Not getting much milk? Oh, well, there's always tomorrow.">> As he moved around the Machine, Tanj grimaced and thought as hard as she could "Turn the damned thing off, Goon!" Oblivious to the cheetah's discomfort however, the Guard moved around in front of her and knelt to look into her face; "eimt rof rehtna noitailimuh, nettik" <<Time for another humiliation, kitten>> Tanj watched cross-eyed as the Guard presented a ring-gag to her muzzle. For a moment she thought about resisting, but she knew in the end, it'd wind up in her mouth. She hurt bad enough as it was..... With a sigh she opened her mouth, and closed her eyes. The rubber coating on the ring tasted funny, and the strap bit into the back of her neck as the Guard tightened it. And then something sharp was pinching her tongue!

Tanj's eyes flew open and she howled as the Guard used a pair of pincers to pull her tongue as far out of her mouth as he could. And then the Fennec vixen was back in her sight. The Vixen grinned and showed Tanj another set of pincers, opening and closing them a few times while she watched. Then, turning to the guard she smiled; "I think we'll put it about.... Here." And suddenly her world exploded in pain.

Tanj's mouth felt dry, and her breasts ached. Her tongue throbbed viciously. She was still in the stocks, and the ring gag was still in her mouth. And her tongue was lolling out. Someone was talking.... "kool ta that; uoy nac ees ti gnilaeh!" "Sey, ti snaem eht setinan era gnikrow". Tanj frowned; the words almost made sense..... Concentrating, she listened to what had previously been only random sounds, trying desperately to figure out what they were saying. Trying to figure out if she COULD figure out what they were saying.... "seod taht neam I nac og daeha?" The Vixen nodded to the Guard, who stripped off his loincloth, and taking his cock in one paw, started to shove it through the ring gag..... That was when Tanj figured out just what they'd done. They'd pierced her tongue, with a barbell piercing. She'd heard piercings such as that were supposed to heighten oral sex..... The guard chuckled "maerc ni ereh, klim tuo ereht; looc!" The Vixen just laughed.

Hinoki hung from his wrists; his ankles had been spread wide by ropes tied off to either side. A leather hood had been pulled over his head, but he wasn't sure if it was to diminish sight and sound, or just to protect his eyes and face from mis-directed strokes. The first stroke of the whip struck high on his back, its tip whipping around to sting his chest. Grunting into the gag, he couldn't help but think "Amateur!"

Jenka watched the big Tiger whip the Cheetah, and pointedly yawned. She felt like calling out pointers to the Tiger; he really wasn't doing a very good job. Oh, his strokes were powerful, but the real terror of a bullwhip was the tip; when cracked correctly, the very tip of a bullwhip could exceed the speed of sound (hence the CRACK), and that was what did the real damage. Confident that Hinoki could withstand anything this novice was handing out, Jenka let her eyes wander over the crowd.

Anna paused half-way to the bar and just STARED. Brigit almost collided into her from behind. "Wha?" Anna pointed; "Isn't that OUR Cheetah?" Candy shrugged; "Dunno; all Cheetah males look alike to me." Brigit frowned; "Well, Tigers learn to recognize each other's stripe patterns, and looking at his spots, I THINK that's him." Anna nodded; "I wonder why they're punishing him?" The others just shrugged.

The Tiger looked at the Fennec Vixen, and then at Bradford. Bradford shrugged; "If she thinks she can do a better job, let her." The Tiger nodded and handed the whip to the Vixen. The Vixen judged her distance, swung the whip back, and struck.

Hinoki HOWLED into his gag; he knew immediately that someone who knew what they were doing had taken over, someone who knew how to do real damage with a bullwhip, and that didn't bode well for him.

Tanj winced as the guard attached the loop of wire to the barbell through her tongue. It pinched. Worse, it formed a perfect attachment point for the guard's leash. With her tongue hanging from her mouth, under the weight of the chain leash, the guard proceeded to remove the cups of the milking machine, and then undo the stocks. Then, taking the end of the leash, he led Tanj from the room.

Dynotaku watched as the guard lead the crawling Cheetah into the commons area. Being led by her tongue looked... uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable, and he winced in sympathy.

Bradford signaled the Vixen to stop; turning to Jenka he growled; "Ready to talk yet?" The Jaguar just yawned. Turning back to regard the Cheetah male, the Otter growled; "Take him down before you kill him. He's of no marketable value dead." Grinning, he turned to Tanj; "Here's some fresh meat; maybe you'll be more interested in saving her some pain." Looking over at the Fennec Vixen he smiled; "And what would our Mistress of Pain recommend?" The Vixen ruffled Tanj's hair and replied lightly; "Oh, I think she should ride the horse." Bradford frowned; "Ride the.... Huh?" The Vixen pointed; "That thing over there." She walked over to the construct of shining metal; "Now, you have to remember, her achilles tendons have been cut; she can't stand. That doesn't matter. In this device her feet would be off the floor anyways...."

Bradford looked at the device and frowned. It was a simple pole, topped with a thin U-shaped piece of metal. Near the base of the pole were two rings, similar to ankle cuffs, but a little larger. It didn't LOOK very threatening... again, he looked at the Vixen, confusion written on his face.

The Vixen laughed; "We lift her up, to sit in the U; the thin metal presses into her crotch. Trust me, its very painful for all your weight to be supported there. Her ankles go through the hoops; she can't move her feet, can't do anything to relieve the pressure on her crotch. She should be screaming in agony, in a few short minutes."

Bradford shuddered, and whispered; "you're sick...." Then he visibly steeled himself and turned to the Jaguar; "You want this? Are you going to let me do this to her? All you have to do to stop it is to TELL me."

And then the lights went out.

In the darkness, the Otter moaned; "Not AGAIN!"

Tanj knelt in the darkness, and waited. She'd seen the device and knew what it was for. And with Jenka standing there, impaled on the slave pole, she had an idea what was going on. The only hope was the fact that her tongue wasn't hurting, just throbbing a little. In fact, her nose piercing wasn't hurting anymore either. Nor were her breasts, although they were developing an annoying tendency to dribble a little.... The nanites the Otter had mentioned must have kicked in. Could they repair the terrible damage, from sitting on a "horse" like that? And... what else might they be doing to her?

Jenka heard the fire alarm and smiled. Something was happening, and from the shouted questions from the Otter, it was something HE didn't particularly like. He heard them move off, in the dark, and then heard the sound of furniture going over and a few muttered snarls, and curses and then everything was quiet.

Anna nudged Candy; "now's our chance." Candy blinked, turned in the general direction of the Lioness, and whispered "Chance for what?" Brigit chuckled; "Chance to grab our Cheetah Boytoy back, before they kill him." Anna nodded; "Yeah, he's much too good, ah, in the kitchen, to let them kill." Candy laughed; "OK, your night vision's better than mine, lead on!"

Tanj was still kneeling when the lights came back on. She didn't know how long it had been, but she thought it had been hours. And strangely, for all the time she'd been kneeling, immobile, she didn't feel the usual soreness, or cramps. Maybe these nanites weren't such a bad thing..... There were three guards, forming them into a coffle. The conclusion was that something had occurred to interrupt their fun. That was just FINE with Tanj.

Hinoki slowly floated back to consciousness. The first thing that hit him was the throbbing pain all down his back, from the back of his neck, to his ankles. The second thing that hit him, was that he was laying on something soft. Much too soft, and rather too clean, to be in the kennels. Then he felt someone daubing something on his back. Personal attention like that just didn't happen in the kennels. Forcing one eye open he tried to look around.

Anna smiled; "Lie still. You're a mess." Hinoki heard her voice and smiled; "Yes Mistress." It wouldn't be a difficult command to obey.

Brigit caught Candy's arm, and when the Bear was looking at her, she whispered; "I don't like the way he looks. I think he's got broken ribs and might have some internal injuries."

Candy nodded; "And he's lost a lot of blood. But if we take him to Medical, he'll wind up back in the kennels."

The Tigress nodded; "I'd rather have that, than have him die."

The Bear nodded in agreement.

Tanj licked the bowl clean. She'd eaten all the kibble, every morsel she could find, and she was still ravenous. Looking around to see if she'd missed anything, she thought to herself; "Gotta be the nanites."

The Badger's War, Part 4

Roland smiled; the sophisticated security system had already been demolished, and now a simple hasp, with a padlock kept the door closed. It opened on the third combination he tried. The housing office was a shambles. Obviously, when the Mutineers had taken over, they'd broken in, to assign themselves new quarters. Sitting down at the still-on, still-logged-on terminal, he called up the list of new inhabitants... and their door codes. Smiling, he changed half a dozen, and then changed the terminal's password. He then logged off, and shut it down. Some folks would find themselves locked out of their fancy new quarters; they'd be the lucky ones.....

Roland smiled; he could move VERY quietly when he wanted to. However, moving with that huge fake tail sticking out behind him had taken quite a bit of practice, and led to several very near misses. He listened for a moment; the Wolf's breathing was slow and steady, and the female Caracal was snoring lightly. He grinned. The cap came off the shampoo bottle, and the depilatory solution went in. He shook it softly, a time or two, to mix it in. The hypodermic let him inject more pthenopthaline into the tube of toothpaste. And of course the itching powder went all over the roll of toilet paper. Good thing it was white. Smiling, he emptied the hamper into the trash bag, and then, exiting the bathroom, made his way back to the bedroom. Anything that looked like underwear, went into the bag. More itching powder went over the clothes he couldn't carry off. When these furrs awoke, they'd find VERY little to wear in their quarters. The passcodes he'd filched from the housing office would let him into almost anyone's quarters, and in most cases, would deactivate the alarms as well. Only those furrs that had installed custom, or redundant alarms were a problem, and he was experienced enough to detect those before he tripped them. Slipping out as quietly as he'd come, the Badger... er.. Skunk... Roland made his way to the nearest recycler and dumped most of what he'd taken. The Caracal's very sexy thong, still strong with her scent, he left in partial view, in someone else's quarters, where the resident female was SURE to ask the resident male some very pointed questions about it.

Agatha looked up as the Caracal came into the office. She was sure the bitch had gotten her new position as head of the station's bars and recreational centers by sleeping with someone; it certainly hadn't been through any OTHER talent. But now, as much as she loathed her, professionally and personally, she found she was having trouble not smiling at her. Or maybe "keeping a straight face" would have been a better description. The Caracal's fur was.... Spotty. It looked like she'd been attacked by a half dozen fur trimmers. And lost. And the clothes she was wearing were obviously not hers. Way too baggy, in the most part. Not nearly as revealing as was her style. Something had happened, and she would have loved to have asked just what, but the look on the Caracal's face as she went into her office and slammed the door prevented anything like that.

Strike Two

Bullard looked down at the Coyote. "What in the heck are YOU doing here?

Thomas drew himself up to his full height; "I'm the director of operations; I'm here to oversee the operation!"

The Minotaur just frowned, but after a minute he nodded; "all right. Just.... Try not to screw anything up!"

The Coyote's eyes went wide; "Dammit you KNOW I'm an experienced ship Captain AND a seasoned group leader!"

The Minotaur turned back; "Yeah, but this is MY group. I don't want you getting 'em all killed for some "higher purpose. Now sit down and shut up!"

As with most missions of that nature, most of the Black Fleet Pirates found the experience "hours of boredom followed by minutes of sheer terror." The trip out was routine. The small flotilla didn't run across any traffic, civilian or military. As per the plan, they entered the CYA391 system from a multitude of different directions. They'd thought to approach the gas giant through the plane of the ecliptic, and thus use the system's asteroid belt to hide their approach for as long as possible. But it just didn't work out that way.

"Skipper, we're being painted!"

Bullard's jaw dropped; "We're WHAT? How? WHO?"

The sensor tech shrugged; "Dunno who, but it looks like a military system."

Bullard nodded, and growled; "Anyone else been detected yet? Maybe we can bluff our way out of this...."

The Comm officer shook her head; "Nope, Akazawa and Tsikofsky both say they've been detected. Singh just.... Ramon.... Aw, hell, everyone's checking in, saying they've been ping'ed.

Bullard sighed and waved to the comm officer; "Signal the group. Abandon all pretense. Everyone go to full throttle.

Thomas studied the tactical display; distances were still too great to get anything definitive, but it looked as if there were four ships at the processing plant. Ships too big to be related to the gas mining activity, ships too small to be cargo ships. And then he remembered. This place was an auxiliary refueling station for the Imperial Fleet. Turning to Bullard he sighed; "I think we're in trouble."

The Coyote shook his head; "No, we HAVE to go through with it! The station's just about out of deuterium! The whole damn Black Fleet's just about out of deuterium! If we don't pull this off, somehow, we're goin' out of business!"

The Minotaur shook his head; "That's a lot better than being DEAD!"

Thomas sighed; "look, we can get a little closer before we have to break off. Maybe those ships aren't what we think. Maybe they're all loading fuel and can't disconnect. Maybe they're sitting ducks!"

The Minotaur frowned; "Even docked, an Imperial Destroyer would be a handful. And its not like they're loading antimatter; they should be able to disconnect and come after us without too much trouble...." He turned to look at the tactical display; "Unless..... they've powered down for maintenance. It'd be a good time to take some systems off-line, while they were refueling. Maybe...... Just maybe...."

Thomas knew they were in for a rough time, when the first of the destroyers undocked, and turned towards them. Not just towards the pirates, towards THEIR ship. It was almost as if they knew that's where "command and control" was....

Bragg watched the ships approach on the sensors. They'd sent thirty-one, not because they figured they needed that many, not for a simple processing plant, but because they wanted the cargo capacity for the deuterium, and whatever other booty they might come up with. But now his sensors showed fifteen ships returning. He hoped the others had merely taken a different route, or that they'd stayed to continue loading deuterium. The way things had been going, however, he somehow didn't think so....

Tanj struggled with her new arrangement. She was now sweeping the floors, instead of scrubbing them, but it certainly wasn't an improvement. They'd bound her arms behind her back, and then they'd taken a long-handled floor broom, the kind with the horizontal bar of bristles, and stuck the handle down, along her back behind her neck, the handle passing under her collar at the back. This had been tied to her torso, loops of rope going over and under her breasts, around her waist and even around her hips. It had lashed the broom so that the bristles were about a foot over her head. They'd then tied her ankles to her thighs. Two of the guards had then taken her, one on each side; bending her so that her knees were on the floor, along with the head of the broom, they'd shown her that she was to inchworm her way down the corridors, sweeping the floor. It was deuced difficult. At first they encouraged her with the occasional swat on her upturned bottom, and at one point one of the guards had stopped her, to fuck her in the ass, but after a while, they tired of their sport and left her to her chores.

Bullard was limping. A pressure bandage covered most of his thigh. The Minotaur was filthy, his combat outfit stained, with smoke, with grease, and with what looked like someone else's blood. The tip of his left horn was missing as well.

Bradford looked past the Rabbit at the Minotaur and growled; "Well, did you get the deuterium? Where's the rest of your ships? And where's Thomas?"

The Minotaur's glare made the Otter take a step back; "In order, Yes, Destroyed, and Dead." Turning to look at Bragg, the Minotaur scowled; "Our marvelous director if Intelligence sent us into an Imperial Navy refueling station. Not just an auxiliary station, either. It seems they'd just won a contract or something. There were four FUCKIN' DESTROYERS there!" Turning to glare at the Otter, Bullard growled; "Yes, we got your Fuckin' Deuterium. We took the bloody place. We carried off everything we could cram into what's LEFT of my command! And we ran before the Imperial Fleet the whole way back! For some reason they seem to be a mite upset with us!" Turning back to Bragg, he growled; "As for your chief of Operations, he was leading a valiant "advance to the rear" in the processing plant when he bought it. Still, if he hadn't been running in that direction, the counterattack might have actually gotten through. As it was, the shooting to our rear alerted us in time, and we were able to set up an ambush that broke the back of their resistance. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got crew to get to Medical!" Without waiting for a response, the Minotaur turned and stalked off. As he vanished around a bend in the corridor, his voice was heard; "And WHEN did they say they were going to hold that referendum on leadership? I'd LOVE to know!"

Bragg stared down the corridor, and muttered; "We are going to have to do something, soon, or we'll loose control. And I fear the best we might hope for is a trip through the airlock in our underwear."

Bradford swallowed and nodded; "I'll get 'em to talk. That Jenka bitch has GOT to know how to get the station back under control."

Bragg nodded; "And Tanj. There has to be a way to get her to cooperate, and find us some targets. Just one target, one good target, would pull it all together again.... I ought to go down there and talk to her, try and make her see its for the benefit of all....

Bradford looked at the Rabbit and sighed to himself. There was no way Tanj would be able to help them. Not if she couldn't talk. And if the guards down in the kennels had been following his directions, well...... Shaking his head, he wondered who else, from Intelligence, might be able to help.

Tanj couldn't even raise her head; she'd heard the soft footfalls come her way, and then she'd heard the sounds of someone speaking. Then one set of footfalls had departed, while someone else reached down to attach a leash to the ring through her tongue. Then, there was a tug on the leash, and she was led, moving at an inchworm pace, back down the corridor....

Bragg looked at the display and shook his head; "That's all they got? That's ALL? ALL those ships lost for THAT? That'll barely run the station for two weeks!"

The Meerkat from accounting shrugged; "Deuterium is like water. Its heavy and takes up space. A LOT more space than antimatter. And raider ships are notorious for poor cargo capacity. We should have taken a freighter or something."

Bragg shook his head; "The Imperials would have shot it to pieces. OK, we're just going to have to do something, and do it soon, or we'll be right back where we started.

The Vixen grinned and turned her head from side to side, her eyes roving over the caged slaves. The kennels were such a FUN place, these days. She turned her attention back to the cage directly opposite her; Jenka's. The Jaguar was tied with her paws behind her back, and her ankles bound to her thighs. She kneeled, rather uncomfortably, just beyond the bars of her cell, as if trying to stay just out of reach. "Silly Feline" the Vixen gloated to herself; "Don't you think I can find something to reach between the bars, to touch you with? Pity they won't let me do that...." With a sigh she spoke, to the bound Jaguar; "I have here a hypodermic, loaded with something provided by a dear friend. A friend your pet here, has truly pissed off. He wants her, for "experimental purposes." It seems he goes through a lot of, ah, "lab animals"." The Vixen looked down at the bound and blindfolded Tanj; "Of course, she's only half an animal right now; she can't understand a word I'm saying. The first injection robbed her of all her language skills." The Vixen looked up, her eyes flashing at Jenka; "The second shot will rob her of all sentient thought. She WILL be just another animal, for the kind Doctor's experiments." The Vixen walked around Tanj, ruffling her headfur; "when she's had the injection, the most complicated thought she's going to have is "I'm hungry." She probably won't even be "housebroken"." The Vixen looked up at the Jaguar; "Now... are you going to tell my associate what he wants to know, or do I take her down a few notches on the evolutionary ladder?"

Jenka stared back at the Vixen cooly. After a moment she growled; "There's nothing to tell. There's no way to reverse what's been started."

The Vixen nodded; "No way to reverse this either, I'm told." And with that, she pressed the hypodermic to Tanj's left arm, and hit the button.

Tanj had heard the sounds, and thought that the Fennec Vixen was back again. And that didn't bode well. The sting of the injection was a shock, though, and she had a moment of panic; after the last injection, what would THIS one do to her? The pain rapidly fled, and as it did, she felt a wave of dizziness pass over her.

The Vixen sighed; "Have her milked and then throw her back in her cage. I doubt she'll even be capable of sweeping the floors now...."

Tanj tried to focus her eyes. It wasn't working very well. There was a furr standing there looking at her. Dark stripes marred her view. She didn't know who it was, or even what it was, or why she didn't have a clear view of it. She knew she should understand, should know, but she didn't. Giving up, she let herself sink back into a restless sleep.

Bradford stared at the Cheetah fem. Her arms were still bound behind her, but other than that, she wasn't restrained. And she was drooling. With a sigh, he turned away. He should have come down sooner; he might have found a way to get something out of her. Now, there was no hope.

The Badger's War, Part 5

Roland smiled; it was simply too good. The station's laundry got its water from the utility system in the station. And those pipes ran through the countless kilometers of service tunnels in the station. And here, the water line heading for the laundry passed within three feet of a sewage line. A sewage line right after a booster pump. The saddle clamp had been stolen from a maintenance storeroom. It went around the sewer line without a problem. The only problem was piercing the line at the nozzle in the side of the saddle clamp. He'd waited until the booster pump wasn't running, but even so, it had started again before he was completely finished. Now, that part of the corridor was rather a mess. So was he. Oh well, no pain, no gain. A hose now ran from the fitting on the sewer line to a fitting in the water line headed for the laundry. Roland looked at the valve for a minute, and decided about 1/3 open would do, for a start. Then, stepping back, he looked at his handiwork. What a mess. With a sigh, he went looking for a mop and bucket. Leaving it like that would be like a big neon arrow pointing right at his handiwork. Maybe he could find some of the bilious green everything else down here was painted. If he could paint his additions, they'd probably never find it.

The door had been guarded. Four of the Mutineers, each heavily armed, each with a foul temper. But no one had bothered to check the walls. Roland looked from the holographic blueprint to the bare metal wall and back, and grinned. If he was reading this thing right, an arms locker lay just on the other side of that partition. Pulling out the squeezebottle, he started spraying the wall. At first he'd thought about using a molecular acid, but then he decided the fumes might cause problems. Instead, he'd found something in Maintenance, something generally banned throughout the empire. LME, or Liquid Metal Embrittlement agent. It could subtly alter the composition of almost any metal, rendering it as fragile as glass. As he liberally sprayed the wall, he smiled; he could get twenty years in jail just for possessing this stuff. It was a terrorist's dream. And he found it VERY useful. But he couldn't help but wonder what Maintenance used it for?

The wall collapsed at the first blow. The hole was ragged, and egg-shaped, but large enough to easily step through. Expecting the guards to come see what was going on at any instant, the Ba... Skunk took a blaster rifle from the recharging rack and leveled it at the door. After a dozen minutes he flipped it back to "safe". Maybe the guards just weren't very bright. Or inquisitive. Maybe they were getting used to the sounds of the station disintegrating around them. Shrugging, Roland went to work.

All the power cells had been drained, and then shorted. All of the rechargers had been sabotaged. They SHOWED a green ready light, but that didn't mean they were actually recharging anything. With only a few easily concealed items, Roland slipped back into the service corridor. He'd brought a large sheet of rigid plastic, which he now stuck in place over the hole in the wall, using double-sided tape. And then, popping the top on the can of spray paint, he painted it to match the rest of the corridor. It wasn't TOO obvious....

Slave Revolt

As the voices, and the footfalls approached, Sashi knelt in the proper position. Knees wide apart, back straight, head down, paws palm up on her thighs. And yet, she watched, eager to see who it might be. She'd been waiting. Waiting for the right time. And when she saw the Rabbit, and the Otter, she knew it was time. A sly smile crossed her face.... Letting one paw slide down between her thighs she started to stroke herself. It'd been SO long, but for the sake of the others, she'd restrained herself. Eagerly, her flesh responded to her caresses, her juices flowing. The scent of cinnamon and sex assaulted her nostrils, and she inched closer to the bars, hoping the ventilation system would waft her pheromones towards the others.....

Ralph crawled from his cell. For a full grown Siberian Tiger, the place was awfully small, and he was stiff. For a moment he looked around, wondering if he could jump the Rabbit, or the Otter. A glance showed him that wouldn't be a good idea. Too many furrs with stunners and shock sticks. Reluctantly he knelt as he was supposed to.

Bragg stared down at the Tiger; "Ah... I understand you were one of the department heads for the Intelligence office."

Ralph tried, and failed to restrain a smile; "Yes, Master. I ran the recon drones and remote intelligence gathering systems. Technical, not FurrInt."

Bragg nodded; "We're trying to find a suitable target for the Fleet, and we're having some trouble. The Database seems to have disappeared. If you could help us out, we could get you out of here."

Ralph considered that for a moment; if he was out of the kennels, could he do anything for the others? Could he live with himself if he left them here? Then he thought about what they'd done to Tanj, and his blood ran cold. Any promises they made now, could just as easily be rescinded later. Turning to look pointedly at Andrea, the bunny, and then back at Bragg; "No thank you, Master."

Bradford's jaw dropped; after a moment he growled; "Do you KNOW what's going to happen to the slaves here? What will happen to YOU?"

The Tiger shrugged; "Wholesaled, I'd imagine. From what I've heard, we're the only profit you're likely to make. And yes, I know life won't be pleasant..."

He turned to look at Andrea again; "But I just don't trust you to keep any promises you might make. You, ah, don't have a very good track record in that regard."

Bradford followed the Tiger's gaze, spotted the Bunny fem, and scowled; how in the HELL did he learn about HER?"

Bragg looked from the Tiger to Bradford to the slave in the cell and back; "Something I should know about?"

Ralph smiled to himself. A strange odor was tickling his hind-brain. Something that was vaguely familiar..... Despite his best intentions, he found himself squirming as he knelt. And to his embarrassment, he felt himself starting to get aroused.

Bradford looked back at Bragg, and shook his head; "Nothing important. You know, if he doesn't want to talk, we could probably find a way to MAKE him talk...."

Ralph suddenly realized what was happening. It took all his self control to keep from grinning. And he realized that it was important, VERY important, to keep these furrs here for as long as possible.... Looking up, he smiled; "you know, as far as the Intelligence database goes, you could torture me till the end of time, and it just wouldn't change anything. From what I've been told, its just GONE. Erased. But most of that information is still in Tanj's head. Perhaps you should consider cutting a deal with her."

Bradford winced. He turned to look at the Cheetah fem. She was squirming a little, in her cell, as if she was trying to find a way to rub her crotch. Of course, with her paws bound behind her that wasn't easy. "Um, Boss, I don't think we'll get anything there...."

Bragg looked at the Otter; "it won't hurt to try, though." Turning, he walked over to the Cheetah fem's cell.

Sashi winked at the guard and worked the length of broomstick in and out of her pussy as lasciviously as possible. His eyes were bulging a little, his mouth hanging open as he watched the Chocolate Pantheress fuck herself... but he was just disciplined enough not to walk over and let her out.... Just barely.

Zassa sniffed the air, and smiled. She shot a glance across the way to Sabina, giving her a knowing wink, and then, moving close to the bars, she started grinding her crotch against one of them.

Sabina chuckled to herself and took the opposite tack; she backed up to the bars, bending over, to press her sex against the rough metal. Looking between her legs she winked at a guard, giving him her best come-hither look.

The Hyena felt as if his shirt collar was too tight.... Except he wasn't wearing a shirt. Panting lightly, his eyes swept over the slaves. Sexy slaves. Naked slaves. Caged slaves. Hmm. Couldn't do anything with them in there. Fumbling at his belt, he pulled out his keyring....

Bragg blinked, as if trying to wash away a fog that seemed to be creeping over his mind. The Cheetah wasn't responding. It was as if she didn't understand a word he said. Turning to Bradford, he asked; "She didn't get bonked in the head when she was captured did she?" But Bradford's attention was elsewhere; he was watching the Hyena, the furr in charge of the kennels, pull a white Kitten with black ears from her cell.... As the Hyena pushed her up against the wall, holding her paws over her head, the Otter realized several things. First, the Hyena had somehow lost his loincloth. Second, he had a truly massive erection, and third, why should HE get to have all the fun. Ignoring the rabbit, Bradford scooped up the dropped keyring and turned, to pace along the row of cells, bending to look into them, looking for just the right female....

Jenka did a quick headcount. In this section there was Zassa, Sabina, Cindy, Andrea, Ralph, Tanj, Sashi, a Zebra mare from Accounting, and an empty cell for Hinoki. Nine of them, to what must be a dozen guards. For her taste, it was too evenly matched, considering that most of them were bound in some way....

Bradford stopped in front of the brown Pantheress' cell and inhaled deeply. There was something about her scent, something that just screamed "I HAVE to have her!" Fumbling with the keys, he opened the door.

Ralph looked from the Mouse to the Elephant and back. The only two female guards in Bragg's party hadn't taken long to lay claim to him. Now the Mouse held a stunner on him while the Elephant tied his paws to the back of his collar. "Don't want you gettin' any ideas, Handsome" she chuckled..... Then the mouse was holstering her weapon, and pulling off her clothes.....

Cindy watched the Tiger, and winced. The Mouse lady had forced him down on his back, and now she was astride his hips, trying to shove his meat into her sex. Meanwhile, her partner was astride Ralph's face, pressing her crotch to his muzzle. She was afraid the Elephant lady was going to suffocate the poor guy!

Zassa giggled and knelt before the stallion, laying his thick cock between her breasts, her tongue teasing its head. Between licks she glanced over at Sashi and called out "Bet I get more cum than you do!" Sashi rode the Hyena's cock with increasing abandon and called back over her shoulder "you're ON!"

Sashi smiled as the Otter took her from behind. He'd been particularly eager to divest himself of his clothing, and Sashi had managed to toss his shirt over the blaster he'd carried. When the time was right, she was sure she could get to it, quickly.

Tanj moaned wordlessly as the German Shepherd took her in the ass. She vaguely remembered that this wasn't the best way to scratch that itch she'd been feeling. Still, it wasn't bad.... Panting hard, she moved underneath him, instinct taking over.

Jenka stood with legs widespread, bent at the waist. The brown Bear was taking her from behind as well, and rather roughly too, but at least it was vaginally. With her breasts swaying, she held tight to her ankles as he'd told her to, trying to watch everything at the same time.

Sashi caught sight of Jenka; there was something she had to do. Something dimly remembered. With each thrust of the Otter's hips she moved forward a bit, as if he were driving her across the floor.

Zassa laughed as the stallion came, spraying her head and shoulders with his seed. Giggling, licking what she could she stroked him rapidly, doing her best to keep him hard. Now that he'd gotten off, it was HER turn.

Sashi watched in amazement as the flame-hued Vixen impaled herself on the Horse's cock. She'd NEVER know how she managed to do that..... A slap on her rump brought her back to reality and shaking her head in amazement she started moving on the Otter's shaft again. Sashi waited until she was almost nose to nose with Jenka; then, she gave the Jaguar a quick kiss to get her attention, and when Jenka's eyes flashed her way, she whispered; "I bring a message from the Cabal. I'm to tell you that you're not alone in this, and that there are others also working to redress the problems. Watch for a liaison to present herself." Jenka's eyes widened, and she STARED at Sashi; "But.... dammit, I'm not TRYING to redress any problems. At least not beyond here! If anything, I'm just trying to escape them! Dang it, you've got to TELL them that!"

The Dingo chuckled; "Aw, come on, bitch, you can use that mouth for something better'n talking!" Jenka felt her ears grabbed, her head pulled up, and the next thing she knew, the Dingo's cock was buried in her muzzle, the Dingo pumping his hips energetically, fucking her face.

Cindy groaned; her jaws ached, and worse than that, there was this terrible, empty feeling in her sex. Kneeling, she was the center of attention of at least four guards; she'd just finish sucking one off, when the next would pull her head around and shove his meat into her mouth. The taste of semen filled her senses, their seed dripped from her mouth, to cover her breasts. She felt as if she had it up her nose, and that she'd swallowed so much it was starting to give her a stomach ache. And worst of all, none of them were doing anything to satisfy HER!

Sashi bided her time. The Otter was near exhaustion; most of the others were so lost in their lusts you could probably take their heads off and their hips would continue to thrust. She'd delivered the message she'd been programmed to deliver, and now she was free to act as she saw fit. Soon, she told herself, soon, she could rise up, and be the weapon she was.

Zassa looked down at the Horse and sighed; "Come on, Seabiscuit, don't give out on me NOW, I'm just getting Started!" The Horse just groaned.

Ralph panted hard; he was near the end of his endurance. Quite possibly the end of his existence. The lady Elephant was getting tired, and as a result, she was sitting down on his face a little further.... And he was having a hard time breathing. The mouse, however, seemed to be inexhaustible, and appeared to be bound and determined to erode what was left of his maleness, by shear frantic friction. LORD he was getting tender!

Sashi watched the Hyena slump away from Sabina, and knew it was time. For the last few minutes, the Otter had been laying, exhaustedly, over her hindquarters...... Bragg had been buried under some bunny lady who seemed bent on fucking him to death; he was out of the picture... and everyone else seemed near the end of their rope. It was time. Grinning, she reached down, between her legs, to grab the Otter's balls...

Bradford's shriek brought everyone's head up, including Tanj's. Well, not everyone's; Ralph may not even have heard the howl of pain, but that was understandable, given his situation. Sashi grinned at the surprised looks, Turned and threw the Otter into her cell, and slammed the door. The Hyena started to rise, a shock stick in his paws, his still rampant cock pointed threateningly at the Chocolate pantheress. It was debatable if he was planning on having his way with her, or trying to stop her from doing whatever she had planned, but Sashi was on her feet first, the Otter's blaster in her paws. The Hyena took one look and froze in his tracks. Sashi smiled in triumph.... And then the lights went out, and the sprinkler system came on.

Even on a space station, there are few things better for fighting a fire, than water. And as fire consumes oxygen, it's a much greater priority. The station had been built to withstand combat situations and every compartment had fire-suppression sprinklers, with the exceptions of some power management and computer control compartments. And now, a deluge was raining down, washing Sashi's pheromones from the air.

Bragg blinked, and stared up at the bunny lady sitting astride his hips. How in the world had he gotten here? Who was she? WHAT WAS GOING ON? Fumbling, he found his wrist comm and pushed the emergency button; "Emergency in Detention Block AA23!"

Jenka grunted as the furr behind her pulled out. Blinking, she shook her head, letting the water wash the scents from her nose, from her fur, from the compartment. When she could, she called out; "Don't risk it! You've lost the advantage! Don't get yourselves hurt for nothing!

Tanj whimpered when the male left her. She wanted more. But as sexually aroused as she was, she was also hungry. VERY hungry. And there was a bowl of food on the floor in her cell. Crawling slowly, feeling her way, she made her way towards the only source of food she could remember.

Sashi howled as something very large and very heavy crashed into her, knocking the blaster from her paw. And then the lights came back on. She found herself face to face with a rather large lady Elephant. They stared at each other for a second, and then both turned to look for the blaster.

Bradford watched the blaster slide across the floor. HIS blaster. If he could just reach it, he could turn the situation around...

Tanj watched curiously as the object slid across the floor, to bump into her food bowl. Bending, pushing her nose through the bars, she sniffed it curiously....

Bradford grunted, and stuck an arm through the bars. He was just barely able to touch the blaster, and then the Elephant-and-Pantheress slid towards him, knocking the blaster into his grasp. He howled with triumph!

Sashi blinked; the Elephant was partially on top of her, but worse, her face was pressed against the bars of her cage... and that darned Otter had the blaster, and it was pointed right at her! With a groan, she let herself collapse to the floor. They'd come so close, but they'd lost.

Bradford looked at the Hyena; "Dammit, I thought I told you about her!" The Hyena looked at Sashi, now more or less safely back in her cage, and quite securely bound, and then looked back at the Otter; "But you... Ah... No, you never told ME." Bradford sighed, and shook his head; "nevermind. This just proves that she's too dangerous. I want her in a stasis chamber as soon as possible. It'd be the safest way to ship her, anyways....."

Zassa stared through the bars of her cell, at the Cheetah. Tanj sat in her cell, quietly licking herself, grooming her fur. If she'd picked up the blaster, if she'd merely kept it from that Otter, they might have turned the whole thing around then. Was she, as that Fennec had said, now no more than an animal? Was it truly irreversible?

Bragg was soaking wet, and dead tired. He ached in places he hadn't realized he had. As he made his way back to his quarters, he heard the whispers. Heard the comments of those he'd passed. He was NOT acting just like the previous "Administration", holding private orgies! It hadn't been his idea! Dammit, it just wasn't fair! He'd show these know-nothings who was to blame....

Jenka knelt in the commons area, in a small, roped-off area. She was naked and "on display". In addition to a multitude of clothespins, and other clamps attached to various parts of her anatomy, she wore a rubber cup over her muzzle. The cup fit tightly at the base, but permitted a bit of motion within; and that was good, as she was struggling to hold her mouth as wide open as possible. For within the rubber cup, attached to its far end, was a sponge, that extended into her mouth. The sponge had been soaked in a noxious mixture of hot peppers, vinegar, castor oil, and quinine. Any pressure at all on the sponge would squeeze the devil's brew into her mouth, and down her throat. It hadn't taken long for her jaw muscles to start complaining.....

Tanj mewled in complaint, as she rolled. They'd taken her from her cell, and led her to this place. There, they'd put her ankles through something that resembled a circular set of stocks. Her feet weren't held too far apart; that wasn't the problem; the problem was that the stocks rotated. She had to constantly roll over, to release the tensions on her legs. And the floor was covered in short little pyramid shapes; they weren't particularly sharp, but they were uncomfortable to lay on, let alone roll around on. She didn't like it, not at all, and she'd expressed her displeasure the only way she knew how, snapping at one of the guards. This, of course had resulted in a muzzle, which only added to her misery. She didn't understand any of it.

Zassa held as still as she could; it didn't seem to be enough however. With her arms bound behind her, she'd been stuffed into a very narrow cage. The cage was supported from below on a gymbal and tended to tilt suddenly, at the least movement. And the inside of the cage was lined with short, and very sharp spikes. The least little movement tended to throw her into them. However, there was a phallic shape pointing down from the ceiling; if she rose to tiptoes, she could take that in her mouth, to try and stabilize herself. The problem was, it didn't take long before her feet, calves and jaw were aching from the strain. Across the commons area, Sabina stood in a similar cage. As she tried hard NOT to let the cage sway, she wondered how they'd score this one? Fewer punctures? She was afraid there wouldn't be a "winner" in this one....

Ralph balanced carefully on tiptoes. He seemed to be covered in all sorts of leather straps, chains going in a dozen different directions, and when he came down off his toes, or put too much tension on one of the chains, he got a nasty shock. And he could tell from his trembling muscles, it was going to be a LONG day...... He wondered if he could make it.

Dynotaku looked at the "exhibition" and sighed. He'd heard the "official" story of the slave revolt, and didn't really doubt it was true, having experienced Sashi himself. But this.... this wasn't necessary. What in the Hell had they expected? Quiet Acquiescence? Moving up to the bar, he got a drink from the bartender, and turned to the furr next to him; "So... whatcha think of our fearless leader's little exhibition? Me, personally, I would rather he'd tied 'em so they could be used. Like this, they ain't no use to anyone......"

Bradford flipped the switch to the off position, and turned away. The Fox had lost it. Opera. He'd been singing opera, and hadn't even responded to his voice. For a moment the Otter wondered if he should just turn off the pump that fed him. He certainly wasn't any use to anyone like he was now. His paw was reaching for the master power switch, when his comm went off; "Chief, you've got to come quick! All the toilets are backing up on D level again!" Bradford sighed, and withdrew his paw; "you can rot in there, Foxx. See if I care!"

Bragg shook his head, and stared down the Coon Cat; "You cannot blame ME for that. It was faulty intelligence that lead to our problems at the mining operation."

The Coon Cat nodded; "And I suppose it was poor intelligence that led to the massacre at the gas processing station?"

Bragg frowned; "well... yes. Yes, it was."

The Coon cat crossed his arms over his chest and growled; "And who does the head of intelligence report to? Who's responsibility is it that the Intelligence Department functions correctly?"

A female squirrel elbowed her way in; "And speaking of departments functioning correctly, my quarters are three inches deep in sewage! Who in the HELL did you put in charge of Station Maintenance?"

Bragg shook his head; "That's sabotage. Furrs are trying to discredit our administration...."

A Boar snorted; "And they're doing a pretty good job. I didn't get a paycheck yesterday, but Travis, he got a paycheck for thirteen billion credits! I suppose that's the work of saboteurs also! Face it, Mister, you do NOT have control of the operation!"

A Stag at the back of the crowd nodded; "And personnel can't seem to find any qualified replacements for my ship. I put in a requisition for a sensor operator and they sent me someone with just barely enough skills to sweep the deck."

Bragg waved his paws; "Just temporary setbacks; believe me, we'll have it all straightened out in a few days! Now PLEASE, let me through, I've got work to do!"

Bragg relaxed as the door hissed closed behind him. Turning he looked at the Otter, and sighed again. He missed Thomas. Bradford was... too greasy, too smarmy to be comfortable with. "All right, what's your story?"

Bradford shrugged; "None of the insurance companies will talk to me. They won't even TALK about a settlement for "returned goods". And when I go to the fences, well, they just don't want to give us a decent cut. All our former suppliers are trying to collect bills accounting has no recollection of, and any other suppliers we talk to, all want to gouge us. And I still haven't found an auction house for the slaves, reputable, or otherwise! We've got no revenue coming in, and the stockholders are getting VERY nervous."

Bragg shook his head, and flopped down in his desk chair. How did it all go so wrong? He'd never had problems like this, when he was leading his group. Somehow, going on a mission seemed a LOT easier than.... Dealing with personnel problems. Why should it be up to HIM to recruit qualified replacements? Looking up, he growled at the Otter; "well, you'd better sort out some of that stuff, and quickly too, or we'll all be breathing vacuum. Go, try and DO something! I've got to try and set up some sort of successful operation before this place explodes."

Bradford kept his face neutral, until the door closed behind him. He'd get something done all right. But it might not be what Bragg intended..... Smiling to himself, he headed down to traffic; he needed to make some arrangements, and refine a few backup plans.

The Badger's War, Part 6

Most of the station never slept. Furrs were on duty, or just moving about around the clock. As a result the bars never closed either. Roland watched the Panda push the float pallet down the corridor. He was a very popular guy, as he delivered fresh supplies to all the bars on level 17 and up. Very popular. And also an accomplished martial artist. No one got into the booze, until it had been signed for, by each bar's manager. And of course, previous successes had made the Panda rather complacent.... Roland had picked a quiet stretch of corridor; again his timing was superb. And it became apparent that no one had ever tried to pilfer from the Panda's pallet using a stunner, either. Roland hefted the unconscious Panda over the top of the cases of booze, and flipped a tarp over him. Then, happily humming, he pushed him in the direction of the maintenance bays.

The Panda was nude. And he was soaked in expensive scotch. Broken bottles littered the ground around him. It LOOKED as if he'd been having some target practice with them, as a small caliber gauss gun was in his paw. Roland looked over the scene and grinned; he didn't know if the pirates would be more enraged over the waste of good booze, or the Panda's dereliction of duty. Juggling the Panda's keyring, he turned and headed off for the storeroom, where the rest of the booze was kept. Very shortly, if he had his way, it was going to be a dry station....

Bragg frowned. The dry bar in his quarters now had an even two dozen assorted bottles of liquor sitting on it. Thinking some anonymous well-wisher had left them, he smiled, and headed out to start the day.

Ellie May yawned and stretched. Time to get up and head for work. Staggering from her bed, the somewhat plump Mouse dragged herself into the bathroom. Her own bathroom. Her own PRIVATE bathroom. Backing Bragg obviously had its rewards, all right. For a moment she paused to examine herself in the floor to ceiling wall. Pleasingly plump, if she stood just right. With a sigh she stepped into the shower. After luxuriating under the hot water for a while, she grabbed the shampoo, and lathered herself down. Wrinkling her nose, she sniffed at it; it smelled funny. It'd been left by the previous occupant, and maybe she just hadn't noticed the few other times she'd used it. Laughing at how the previous occupant was now occupying a cage in the kennels, she rinsed herself off, turned off the water, and reached for a towel.

Frowning, she waved her paw back and forth, not finding the towel. "maybe I dropped it on the floor yesterday" she grumbled to herself, and wiping the water from her eyes with one paw, she looked towards the towel rack. Nothing. Grumbling, wondering if she'd dropped it by the bed or something, she stalked, dripping wet, to the linen closet. It was empty. Stalking back to the fur dryer, she stabbed at the button.

The blast of frigid air drove her back into the warm confines of the shower. Something was DEFINITELY wrong here.....

She was standing there, in the shower, trying to drip-dry, when she noticed something strange. When she'd turned off the water, the bathroom had been full of steam; now things were clearing, and as she looked at herself she realized her fur was shocking pink! Grabbing the shampoo bottle she examined it carefully; it was a standard upscale brand, that said nothing about fur dye. And yet, as she examined herself, to one extent or another, she was, indeed, not her usual light gray, but shocking pink! Ooooooo, someone was gonna die for this! She had pull now, she could make things like that happen and she was gonna USE that power to make someone suffer!

She was still damp when she gave up trying to drip-dry, and went looking for something to wear. Drawer after drawer was empty. Totally, completely empty! It was now apparent that someone had stolen not only her towels, but her clothes as well! Pulling open the last drawer, she found two, and only two articles of clothing. If you could call them that. One was a bra, made of latex, with the inside of the cups covered in rubber fingers.... The panties were also latex, but they had built in vibrators for both pussy and ass. Unremovable vibrators. The only good thing was that the outside didn't really show much sign of the hidden intruders. With absolutely nothing else in the apartment to wear, aside from, perhaps, one of the silk sheets from the bed, or the shower curtain, she had the choice of wearing these.... Perversions, or going naked! And she was due at her new job in scant minutes!

Roland brushed his fake tail, and waited. It'd been longer than he would have thought, but.... Ah, there was the Mouse now. Ah, she'd gone for the "grope suit". That surprised him; he would have thought she'd go for the bedsheet. Watching the Mouse walk a little funny, he put down the hair brush, carefully arranged his "tail" behind him, and fished the remote out of a pocket. Just as the Mouse went through the door, he thumbed the button. Both vibrators in the panties hummed quietly to life. Yes, she was going to have a very interesting day at work... Smiling, he turned and headed for his next "attack".

Bragg was watching the Mouse squirm, and was just about to say something to her, something about paying attention, and sitting still, and quite possibly about "appropriate dress", although for the pirates, the latter was something of a nonsequitur. When the lights went out, he lost his train of though, however. The intercom speakers hissed to life, and a creepy voice, obviously altered electronically, intoned "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of furrs? The Shadow knows.... AhHAHAHAHAH!!" The speaker crackled off, and silence filled the room.

LeStraud looked at the Rabbit and nodded; "Yes, Boss, we'll find this prankster. We'll get him, and we'll make an example out of him!" Bragg looked at the Weasel and nodded; "See that you do, or I'll have to find someone else to run internal security."

Roland checked his papers again, and smiled. They should pass; he'd stolen them from a male skunk not twenty minutes ago. Of course, the height and weight didn't match, but he planned on telling them he'd been working out. Maybe that would work. If not, he still had that stunner. As he stood in line at the checkpoint, just outside the cafeteria, he looked at the furrs around him. Most were wearing dirty clothes, and starting to smell. And it seemed everyone was armed, and more than a few were eyeing their neighbors with suspicion. The guard barely glanced at his ID, and then waved him by. It was obvious that they were looking for a name, or a species.... Probably a certain Badger....

Roland showed the guard the stolen ID and the forged work order, and hefting the crate of replacement parts, walked into Environmental. As important as that place was, he couldn't imagine why it wasn't more heavily guarded. Putting the box down he pulled out the power wrench and started opening the access covers.

Hannity paused and looked down at the Skunk. BIG Skunk. The furr was wearing Maintenance department overalls, but he couldn't remember having seen him here before. "Um... Mind if I ask what you're doing?" Roland looked at the Leopard and shrugged; "Naw." He fished the crumpled work order out of a pocket and handed it to him, turning his attention back to a rather stubborn nut. Hannity read the work order and then read it again; "Gee, I could have sworn those cartridges were replaced not two months ago." The Skunk shrugged; "look, boss, I don't schedule these things, I just do the work orders they give me. 's all." Hannity nodded; "Oh, I'm not questioning you... and, well, I guess given the current change in, ah, "Management" I suppose it wouldn't be prudent to question them, either. Let me know if you have any trouble." Handing the work order back, the Leopard turned and headed for the control room.

It took a long time, but eventually, Roland had all the scrubber cartridges for the top five decks swapped out. The next part was a little more tricky.

The sensors were supposed to be unplugged before being unscrewed, but Roland found that by undoing some of the conduit first, there was a long enough run of wire that he could twist it enough to unscrew the sensors. A plug went in the duct, and the sensors went into a plastic bottle, with the wire emerging through a cork. They'd show the same value as they did now, no matter what happened to the air quality.... No alarms on the control panel.

Many things build up in a closed environment, like a space station, and strangely enough, alcohol is one of them. If left unchecked, it can actually build up to levels that cause "health" problems. The absorber cartridges Roland had replaced had all been emptied and refilled with just enough 7mm nuts to weigh about right. Now it was just a matter of time before everyone on the top five levels of the station, "officer's country", started getting a little tipsy.

On his way out, Roland dumped the absorbent material in the trash can of the new head of Maintenance. He then pushed the trash can far up under his desk. With luck, it wouldn't be found until they went looking for someone to blame.

It was a bit of a stretch, but..... It was time for the skunk to go. By now, the ID had been reported stolen. Looking over the selection of fur dye he had left, Roland decided he might, just MIGHT pass for a Panda. Maybe if he stuffed some stolen towels inside his jumpsuit... Setting out the bottles he prepared for yet another makeover. In a way, it was a shame; he'd become rather fond of the showy tail....

He knew things were working. He could listen to furrs gripe. Gripe about the food, gripe about the disappearance of most of the liquor, complain about how the toilets were constantly backing up, or the lack of clean clothes. Even complain about how the "current management" seemed to be a little drunk all the time. Well, only some seemed to mind about that.... It was all working, but it just wasn't working FAST enough. And now they were actively hunting him. There were random patrols through the service corridors, and twice he'd even heard furrs in the air ducts. There were still the sewers, but he was saving that as a last resort. And then he smiled. How could he decoy a patrol down into the sewers?

Bragg listened to the furr, and sighed. "Listen, I understand about impurities buildup in the atmosphere as well as any other ship captain. I don't need to hear the details, JUST FIX IT! And fix it SOON." With a motion he dismissed the furr from environmental. Turning to Bradford he growled; "And as soon as that idiot's fixed it, get rid of him. We can't tolerate incompetents." With a sigh, he realized that he should have deduced what had been happening himself. It'd seemed like he'd been waking up with a hangover every morning, and yet he just hadn't had that much to drink, of late.....

It hadn't been difficult to fill his bucket with sewage. There was enough of the stuff backing up all through the lower levels. He'd just had to volunteer to help someone clean up. One Panda helping another. Of course he'd lifted the poor sod's ID in the process, but.... Now, he sat on the access hatch. An access hatch that had fresh scratches on the handles, as if someone had used a wrench to assist in opening a sticking clamp. The pail was on the floor by his feet. With a sigh, he stuck first one foot into it and then the other. Dropping to the floor, he picked up the bucket and slopped a little more sewage on the floor. And then, he proceeded to walk out of the pump room.

The power distribution room wasn't too far away. Increasingly, these were becoming guarded, as he continued to cause sporadic power outages, but this one wasn't. Not yet, anyways. Still leaving footprints, he padded up to the main switch. One last thing to do. He made a face, and dipped both paws into the bucket. Reaching up, he pulled the switch. He then hotfooted it back to the pump room, making sure to leave plenty of footprints. There was a good hiding place in the pipes above, but first, he had to open the dogs on the sewage line.....

LeStraud looked at the footprints and grimaced; "You can't seriously expect me to believe that he's been evading us by.... Moving through the sewer lines!"

Baker shrugged; "Boss, you KNOW how, ah, plugged up the sewer system has been lately. What if its been plugged for a reason, but NOT the reason we've been thinking. What if he's plugging it to keep some areas, well, dry? Yeah, it'd be a, well, a shitty place to hide, but it MIGHT be possible."

The Weasel regarded him for a minute. "You really think so?"

Baker sighed, shrugged, and then nodded; "Yeah, I guess."

LeStraud's nod was decisive; "OK, then YOU go down there and look for him."

Baker's eyes went wide; "you have GOT to be kidding!"

LeStraud was chuckling as the wail followed him out of the pump room; "But... Don't we have a 'droid or something that can do it?"

Roland watched the team assemble. Environmental suits, rebreathers, flashlights, and of course the obligatory weapons. Somehow he STILL didn't think they'd manage to stay clean.... Three of them entered through the Maintenance hatch, with one left to stand guard. That was fewer than Roland had expected, but it seemed anyone not required to be there had long since left. The lone guard watched the opening, and seemed to be trying not to breathe. Roland gave them fifteen minutes, observing how the "away" team checked in via communicators every five minutes. Finally, he was convinced they were far enough down the pipeline...

The stunner dropped the lone guard just after the periodic check-in. Roland dropped from his hiding place, and using his bucket, scooped some fresh material from the open maintenance hatch. This he slopped all around, doing his best to make it look as if someone had come OUT of the pipe. He then closed the maintenance hatch, and fastened it closed with only one of the dogs. Fortunately it had handles for the dogs on both sides of the hatch, as if it had been built for some submersible craft, or possibly for the egress of roving maintenance teams. He couldn't imagine who'd want THAT job, but.... The main valve hadn't even been locked closed; he'd been prepared to have to cut locks away, but all he had to do was to start turning the valve wheel. Thirty turns later, the valve was fully open. He only had to throw the lever on the breaker and push a button to start the pump.

He could hear the screams over the stunned guard's comm from ten feet away.

Retrieving his box of handy-wipes, he started cleaning himself up. He didn't want to leave any footprints leading away from the pump room. It took a while, all the wipes going into a trash baggy. Finally, relieving the guard of his weapons, the Badger opened the door and stepped out into the service corridor as if he belonged there.

Holding two trash bags, one full of his used wipes, and the dirty bucket, and other full of assorted gear, he trudged up the corridor. Moments later, the Weasel, LeStraud, came charging around the corner, gun drawn. Roland blinked at him as he dashed past, shrugged, and continued on his way, just another faceless worker in a demeaning job....

"I tell you, it was a premeditated ambush!"

LeStraub looked at Baker and sighed "Perhaps, but it lends credence to your theory that they're hiding there. Besides, your gear saved you. No one drowned. No one even, really, got dirty!"

Baker scowled; "well, next time YOU try going down the pipes! I've had it; I QUIT."

LeStraub shook his head; "No, you don't. If you quit I'll have to take the damages out of your hide, and the only way I've got to do that is to sell your worthless hide. Did you HAVE to blow your way out, using blasters? There's a ten meter section of main line GONE now. I'm not sure Maintenance has got that much sewer line in stock!"

Baker sighed; "I'm going to have to think about that one....."

Bragg looked at the Weasel; "I don't care how many furrs it takes. If they're down there, do whatever it takes to flush them out! I'm TIRED of having to go all the way down to my ship to take a dump! Besides, its killing morale! Give me a victory, LeStraub, or else!

The Bottom Line

April looked from her pay stub to Heather's and back; "Aw, now this is TOO much." Heather giggled; "You're just jealous!" April growled; "You know neither of these are going to stand. In fact, I'm going down to accounting right now and get this straight." Heather chuckled; "Well, I'm going down to the bar in Commons 7, and see if I can't parlay this into something to drink, and maybe some decent food. Catch ya later."

April stopped and stared. There was a mob in front of Accounting, and as near as she could tell, the door was barricaded with desks and other office furniture. Grabbing the nearest furr, she growled; "What's going on? The Panther grinned; "Seems this week's pay was a negative number for an awful lot of us. Me, I'm wiped out completely, not a millicredit to my name. And you?" April sighed; "They only took out three thousand credits from my account." She looked up at the Accounting office door. "So what's going on? Are they fixing it?" The Panther shook his head; "I don't think so. Something about the records being corrupt, and they're having to reboot with the backup copies. They want us to come back tomorrow. Of course, not many furrs are going along with that." April nodded; "Yeah." She looked up at the Panther; he was kinda cute; "So... you staying?" He nodded; "I'm not going to let them off the hook for THIS one. I'll be right here when they do come out." Looking up at the barricade he chuckled; "They can't stay in there forever."

Bullard stalked through the airlock; anyone with any sense would have gotten out of his way, given the look on his face. Some, however, were either too daring, too desperate, or maybe, too stupid to do so.

"Hey, Skipper, how'd the sweep go?"

The Minotaur stopped and stared at the Chipmunk; "Oh, just DANDY. We only found two ships. One of them had 40,000 tons of light bulbs, and the other had 120,000 tons of roofing material. Neither ship was worth keeping." The Chipmunk winced; "Complete waste, then?" Bullard nodded; "Some of the busiest shipping lanes in the sector, they said. GOT to be ships there for the taking, they said. We swept the route from Habersham to Toomstadt to EMN1503 and back and only found TWO ships." His eyes narrowed; "Hey, don't you work for Bradford?"

The Chipmunk swallowed nervously and nodded; "He sent me to find out how you guys did."

The Minotaur's hands closed into fists almost convulsively; "You tell him we did a HELL of a lot better under Jenka. We NEVER had a dry spell like this under her! Now get outta here. I need something to eat, and then some sleep.

The glop on his tray looked about as appetizing as the sewage that seemed to have been tracked up and down the corridors. "I'd rather eat emergency rations" Bullard growled to himself. He'd wondered why the cafeteria was so empty, for this time of day. With a sigh, he rose and headed for his quarters. He thought he had a few bags of chips in the cupboard....

The Minotaur yelped and jumped back, as the door to his quarters slid open, and a brown wave emerged. Peering in, he winced, and wondered how long the toilets had been backing up. His imported feneshewa carpets were ruined, and it looked as if some of his furniture was trash also. Growling he turned back and headed for his ship. At least the toilets weren't backing up there!

The Badger's War, Part Seven

The Panda was going to have to go the way of the Honey Badger and the Skunk. Roland panted, his back to the corridor wall, waiting. He could hear the footsteps of those pursuing him. There were just too many random check points, too many roving patrols. It obviously meant that he was hurting them, but it might be prudent to lay low for a while, or this was going to get him killed. The first furr came around the corner, running flat out, convinced her quarry was still trying to get away. The second one came around the corner right behind her. When the leader slowed, to do a doubletake at the furr standing in the shadows, he plowed into her from behind. Roland smiled and stunned them both. Stripping them of everything, from weapons to ID's to papers, to cash, even to their clothes, he used the duct tape he'd been carrying to tie them together, in the most obscene way he could think of. Tanj, or better yet, Zassa might have come up with a better tie, but he was after all in a hurry; they'd probably reported his location, and reinforcements were probably on the way. Pulling the bundle of clothes and gear together as best he could, he slipped off down a side-corridor, listening for the sounds of pursuit.

The blaster bolt crackled over his head. He didn't know how they'd gotten on to his new disguise so quickly, but it seemed they had. And he thought he looked rather good as a brown bear. Maybe it was the ears. Or the shape of his muzzle. Or his size. There was, after all, only so much you could do with just furr dye..... Doing a tuck-and-roll, he fired back, a blaster in each hand. Someone yelped, but he didn't hang around to see who it'd been.

Strike Three

Reddick shuffled papers nervously as he talked; "OK, boss, I'm sure I've got it this time. A class A target; why no one's ever picked them off before is beyond me. See, they're on this agricultural world. Apparently the manufacturer chose to build there because that's where he's from. Sentimental reasons or something.... All their supplies have to be imported, and all their product has to be exported. Which means warehouses just FULL of stuff. And being an agricultural world, they don't have much in the way of defenses; we should be able to just waltz right in and load up everything they've got."

Bragg nodded, and looked at the briefing documents, trying to ignore the spelling mistakes. Couldn't these folks run a spell checker? Amigo computers. Apparently they sold into a niche market; they weren't widely used, but the folks that used them swore by them. Yeah, specialty electronics looked REAL good. And from Reddick's papers, the stuff was all insured; that gave them the option of dealing with the insurance company if all else failed. Looking up at Reddick, and then around the room he grinned; "OK, looks good. I'll lead this one myself, just to make sure nothing goes wrong." Turning towards Logistics he growled; "How soon before we can leave?"

Cindy moved her head back and forth with just enough enthusiasm to keep from being cuffed. The pirates were throwing a "pre-victory" party, just before departure. Bragg had been making speeches, making all sorts of promises, and everyone was in a good mood. Of course, the liquor flowing like water probably didn't hurt. Where they'd found it, she didn't know; she'd heard the station had run dry.

She'd been tied in a commons area, on her knees, leaning forward slightly, in a posture that just begged for her mouth to be used, and used it had been. Furr, after furr after furr. Nearby, Zassa and Sabina were happily sucking off every fur in reach, and teasing each other about it. She wished she could adopt their attitude, but it was just starting to get a little old..... And with the liquor, some furrs were having trouble getting it up, and you can imagine who got blamed for that. It got her reflecting on how much better Roland had been to her. All things considered, she couldn't WAIT until they all left on their raid. With luck, they'd never come back.

Bragg looked around and smiled. At least they weren't picking at him, accusing him of all the problems they'd been having. All he had to do was to get this crew into space, raid the planet, and make off with the booty, and all would be well. Leaning over and nudging Bradford he growled; "Come on, lets get them all to the ships before they start passing out."

Jenka sighed as she low-crawled back into her cell. Hopefully things would be a little more peaceful, for a day or two. She was about wore-out. And she'd need her strength for when those yo-yo's came back, of that she was certain.....

Ernst watched the white lines move diagonally down across the sky. He'd seen vapor trails like that when the occasional bulk freighter came to call, sending a lighter down to take on cargo, but he'd never seen so many at the same time! In a place where little happened, it was promising to be a VERY interesting day......

Bragg's ship grounded, and before the oleo struts had even returned to their normal position, he was out of the pilot's seat, sprinting for the lock. He was going to LEAD the pirates, dang it, and SHOW them just what he was capable of! Blaster in hand, he fumed while the airlock checked the air quality out side and cycled.

Bradford slowed to a walk. Something wasn't right. The factory was a large structure... but the vegetation around the building was rather... overgrown. And the guard shack was empty. And there were only a dozen ground-cars parked in the parking lot, that could have held hundreds. Yeah, something was really wrong here.....

Ernst stood outside the lobby door, with his paws in his pockets and just watched in amazement. It LOOKED like some sort of military exercise, but the ships were all different, and none of the furrs exiting them were dressed alike. Aside from that though, there were certainly enough weapons visible. Curiously, he tried to figure out just what might be going on.....

Bragg ran past the Squirrel in overalls, and shoved open the front door, his blaster leveled. The lobby was empty. "Hmmm. Receptionist must have fled." Signaling for the squad following him to spread out, he growled; "Find me the Manager. The rest of you, secure the factory floor, round up the workers and someone find out where the warehouse is!"

Ernst followed the running furrs, at a walking pace. Maybe it was for some movie or something. Still, if it was for something like that, you'd think someone would have asked him. And you'd think there'd be cameras about as well.

Bullard paused in the lobby, and looked around. Picking up a magazine from the seat of a rather faded couch, he scowled at the date. The magazine was twelve years old! That was when he noticed the Squirrel."

"Hey, Mister, what's going on?" The Minotaur stared at him as if he'd just grown a second head, and growled; "Pirate raid. Don't make any trouble and you won't be hurt!" Ernst grinned; "REALLY? HONEST? Oh, that is SO cool! Tell me, did Haversham send you? No, don't answer that! I shouldn't even think something like that!"

Bullard stared at the Squirrel, and then shook his head; "Who's in charge here?" The Squirrel shrugged; "I am. Manager. Chief Accountant. Personnel Director. Harvey's the Chief Engineer. Mabel's head of production. Ethel handles shipping. That's it." Bullard's scowl deepened; "That's it? FOUR employees?" He looked down a corridor that must have had a dozen offices opening off it; "Must be a highly automated plant...." The Squirrel just laughed.

Bragg watched while the automated loaders moved box after box from the warehouse to the holds of his ships. He couldn't believe how well this was going. Their security systems were all off-line, their jamming had prevented any messages from reaching any planetary police, and in the automated factory there weren't any mobs of furrs to try and keep under control. It was a snap!

Bullard used his vibroknife to cut open the vending machine. Reaching through the front, he pulled out a couple of cup-a-noodle containers and popped them into the microwave.

"About twenty-eight seconds works best for them".

He nodded to the Squirrel and punched in the time.

"you, ah, look kinda hungry."

Bullard nodded to the squirrel; "Yeah, food back home ain't what it used to be. In fact, you wouldn't believe what a treat finding barley flavor cup-A-noodles is, at this point."

The Squirrel just shrugged; "you know, I've got some macadamia nuts and some banana bread left over from lunch. If you'd like it, you're welcome to it."

The Minotaur grinned; "Yeah, that'd be real nice." Pulling the containers out of the microwave, he sat down at a table in the company lunchroom. The place could have held dozens, but there were only the four Amigo computer employees present, along with one security guard detailed by Bragg. Blowing across the surface of the noodles, the Minotaur smiled; "So how come you're being so.... Accommodating?"

The Squirrel shrugged; "Hey, I figure one good turn deserves another."

The Minotaur paused, spoon half-way to his mouth; "Say what?"

Wilson looked up as the Minotaur clomped up the ramp; "Ah, there you are, Skipper. We're all loaded and ready to leave."

Bullard paused, and looked back down the ramp; "you know, if it wasn't for some macadamia nuts and a half a loaf of banana bread, I'd say dump it all out but the Squirrel was right; one good turn deserves another. Lets get out of here. And as soon as we're in Warp, you and I have got to talk."

Wilson watched the Minotaur stomp towards the flight deck, and scratched his head; "Now what?"

Ernst watched the ships scream back towards space as if the Devil himself were after them. With a smile on his face, and a song in his heart, he headed back for his office. Once there, he put his feet up on his desk, and opened a comm directory. It took a moment to find the number he wanted, and a moment to key it in. After a moment an image materialized on the comm screen; "Central Constabulary, Please state the nature of your emergency." Ernst smiled; "I would like to report a robbery......"

The second call was a little less pleasant. "WHAT? I don't believe you. What LUNATIC would rob YOU?"

Ernst shrugged; "I don't have a clue who they were, but the whole thing was captured on the security cameras. Pirates. Hundreds of 'em. They cleaned the place out. Hell, they even stole everything from the snack machines in the lunchroom! All of my inventory is gone. All the raw materials, all the computers, hell, they even took all the software!"

The face on the other end shook its head; "if you think we're paying out a claim until this has been THOROUGHLY investigated, you're out of your mind! Lets start with the police report....."

Bragg waved triumphantly to the crowd in the docking bay; "it was a clean sweep; we got EVERYTHING. We'll corner the market!" To the shouts of the crowd, Bragg grabbed Bradford and headed towards HIS office. Now was the time to put the screws to those fences. They wouldn't be able to offer him pennies on the credit for THIS haul!

Bullard shook his head; "OK, Wilson, you know what to do?" Wilson nodded; "I talk to Reeves, T'snarka, Willis, Xiang, LaMancha and Connery. If I get their backing, we set things up for tonight."

Bullard nodded; "I don't think its going to take them long to figure out just how much trouble they're in, and I don't want them skipping out with what little's left. I'll keep an eye on things here, and make sure no one flies the coop." Wilson nodded, and turned to move off through the crowd.

Bragg stared at the laughing face on the Comm screen. "Fingers" McGonigle was one of the furrs who'd moved the booty from the Black Fleet for years. She was the first person marketing would call after a big haul. She was reputed to be able to move anything. And now the Raccoon was laughing like a maniac. When she'd finally run down, caught her breath, and climbed back into her desk chair, Fingers grinned at the video pickup; "Yeah, I heard about that raid. Thought you'd lost your mind. Now come on, tell me, what was it REALLY all about?"

Bragg growled; "It was about stealing the inventory of the only supplier to a niche electronics market. Anyone in that field wants the electronics, they'll have to deal with us!"

The Raccoon shook his head; "Yes, Amigo used to have a pretty good share of the market, until the neural net parallel processors were introduced by MicroTalon about four years ago. Since then they're only used in a small subsection of graphics design. And I'd say you just stole a thousand year supply. Now, come on, you couldn't possibly be that stupid! What's the scam?"

Bradford stared at the insurance agent; "For the last time, Haversham, whoever he is, did NOT put us up to this! Now, are you interested in getting your merchandise back, or not?"

The agent leaned forward in his chair; "Right now, if we have to pay off on this claim, and I STILL think we can prove fraud, we're on the hook for 220,000 units at a fair market value of.... 5.25 credits per unit. That's 1.155 million credits. Now, I might be able to talk the company into paying you a 10% fee, IF you deliver the units back to where they came from." Bradford's mouth fell open; "115,500 credits? THAT'S ALL? Good Lord, I couldn't buy the fuel to ship them all back for that!" The agent shrugged; "Take it or leave it."

Bragg looked around the conference room; most of the seats were empty. Fixing his eyes on Bradford, he growled; "Where's that wormy Reddick? I'm going to skin him alive!" Bradford shrugged; "I think you're too late. His body was found about twenty minutes ago. Word's getting out, Boss. I think its time we cut our losses." Bragg looked at the Otter; "What, run away? I will NOT! I WILL find a way to turn this situation around! I am NOT a quitter, Mister! Now, I want YOU to get down to the Intelligence offices, and FIND me a target, a GOOD target, something we can not only TAKE, but something we can SELL! MOVE IT!

Bradford turned left from the conference room. Right would have taken him to the Intelligence offices. Left was the way to the kennels. If Bragg didn't have enough sense to bug out, well, his momma didn't raise any fools. HE knew it was time to go. And his meal tickets were waiting for him down there. Something to sell indeed!


Jenka watched the float pallet curiously. It seemed to hold three... crates. As she watched two of the guards, under the supervision of that Fennec Vixen, wrestled one of the crates off the float pallet, and using a power driver, removed one of the sides. Unfortunately, the side was away from her and she couldn't see what they were extracting.

Bradford looked from the Hyena to the Vixen, to the Crate and back; "I have to agree with Ruprecht on this. Suspended animation would be MUCH too good for them." Raising his eyes to look across the corridor at Jenka's cell, he grinned; "This is going to be a trip they'll remember for the rest of their lives...."

Sashi watched with increasing concern and resignation. Somewhere, there was a dim memory of something like that crate, and she didn't like the way it sent chills up and down her spine...... The guards had removed the side of the crate, and pulled a metal cage from within it. The cage was comparatively small. The rest of the volume in the wooden crate seemed to contain tanks, power cells, and pumps and tubing.... It looked quite sinister.

The Fennec Vixen unlocked the door and waved Jenka out; "you first. You like to lead; well, we'll let you lead your friends here to their new lives." With a sigh, Jenka low-crawled from the cell. She wasn't half-way out when strong paws grabbed her from both sides, and pulled her towards the metal cage on the other side of the crate.

As the guards pulled leather mitts over her paws, and fastened restraints to wrists, ankles, waist and neck, she examined the cage. The doorway was small, but no smaller than the cross-section of the cage. The floor was comprised of the same bars as the sides, ends and top, and didn't look like it was going to be comfortable to kneel or lay on. And there were various protuberances at either end that didn't look comforting at all.... As the last guard locked the restraint around her left ankle, the Hyena pushed down on her head. As gracefully as she could, the Jaguar fell to her knees; the Hyena kept pushing on her head until her torso was horizontal, her breasts flattened against the tops of her thighs. Then furrs grabbed her unceremoniously from each side and stuffed her into the cage.

It must have been tailor-made; it just fit. Her nose was against the bars at the far end, and she could feel bars against her back, above her. Somehow she knew that when the door was closed, she'd feel it against her ass too. The guards fumbled for a bit, locking the wrist and ankle restraints to the sides of the cage, and the back of her collar to the roof. Other, longer clips were used to connect her waist restraint to floor, sides and top. Fingers fumbled at her sex, and she yelped as someone crudely threaded a catheter through her urethra. And then the door was closed behind her. As she'd expected, she could feel it against her ass, and the ends of her toes. Then, a large dong was pressing at her lips, forcing its way into her mouth. Vaginal and rectal probes followed suit, until she was about as filled, and immobilized as a furr could be. The cage was then shoved back into the crate; hoses were connected, obviously to feed the dong in her mouth with some sort of nutrient, to keep her alive, while others extracted bodily wastes. And she could feel fresh air flowing over her face; obviously the crate came with its own life support system. She saw, from the corner of her eye, the Vixen and the Otter check over all the connections, and then the side of the crate was fitted in place. In the dark, she listened to the power driver fastening it in place. And then, all was silent except for the hiss of air, and the quiet hum of electronics.

Sashi watched as they forced Tanj into a similar cage. As the guards manhandled her, the Otter chuckled; "You can skip the mittens; she wouldn't know what to do with fingers anyways." The Vixen laughed and nodded in agreement to the Hyena, who just shrugged and tossed the mitts to one side.. Tanj was moderately passive, throughout the procedure, although when they removed the muzzle, she did try and nip at one of the guards. But there were enough guards to ensure her compliance, and eventually she was secured in the cage as Jenka had been. And as the cage was inserted into the crate, and the crate closed, all the guards started putting on respirators, and she knew it was her turn next.

For a while the Chocolate Pantheress had held out hope that she might be able to break her restraints, but the cage they extracted from the third crate was of much heavier construction. It seemed they knew of her capabilities.... And then the Vixen stepped forward, grinned at her through the bars, raised a stunner, and fired. As consciousness fled, Sashi realized she wouldn't have any chance at all to resist....

Bradford watched as the last crate was closed, and smiled. Turning he nodded at the Vixen; "OK, lets get this shipment down to the docking bay. We're taking the Harmon's Pride. Its at YB32." The Vixen nodded, and gestured to the guards.

Dynotaku leaned against the column, and watched. The Otter led the way, with two of the Kennel Guards behind him. Then came the Vixen with the big ears. One more guard guided the float pallet, followed by another two guards, and the Hyena that ran the kennels brought up the rear. None of the Kennel guards seemed to be armed with more than a quirt or a shock stick, but that could be illusory. He'd picked up on what might be happening, when the Harmon's Pride had disconnected from dockside power. It'd been one of the ships he'd been watching for the last week, one of several ships that had been fully fueled, and armed, but hadn't been assigned any missions. And now it seemed to be fully crewed, seemed to be about to head out. He wondered about the timing.

Bullard watched the small procession and scowled. Bradford, and Bragg were the last two of the "inner circle" of the Coup, that weren't aboard the ship. Bragg was down in Maintenance, having a knock-down drag-out argument with the furrs down there over ship readiness issues, and morale, and showed no signs of jumping ship. However, all of his associates seemed about to leave without him. And if the crates contained what he thought they did, he wasn't about to let 'em go.

Bradford looked up, and swallowed hard as the Minotaur stepped out from behind the open airlock door. He was an imposing figure, tall, heavily muscled, and wearing his combat armor.

Bullard looked hard at him for a second, and then cocked an eyebrow upwards; "Going somewhere?"

The Otter nodded; "I've arranged a private sale for some of our prisoners. We need the cash, and Bragg's decided that there's no time to arrange an auction. I'm going to complete the deal."

The Minotaur leaned closer; "Tell me about it. I don't remember any of this being mentioned in any of the council meetings."

Bradford thought of a dozen things he could say, and then decided on a variant of the truth. He swallowed again; "Well, I've arranged the sale of Jenka to Crown Prince Ruprecht, for seven hundred million credits. Sashi and Tanj are going to the cartel on Gates' world, for a total of three hundred million credits. All I have to do is deliver them!"

The Minotaur straightened; "A billion credits? That's quite a fee for three furrs." Bullard looked over at Willis; "And what's the price on Jenka's head right now?"

Willis chuckled; "Last I looked, if you added it all up, from the different agencies, it would be something like a billion credits just for her.

The Minotaur raised his head, and looked at Xiang. The Siberian Tiger had come up silently, behind the party. "Xiang, do you remember how much we took in last quarter?"

The Tiger nodded; "It was, if I remember correctly, three point two billion credits."

The Minotaur looked off to the left; "Connery, was that gross, or net?"

The Wolverine chuckled dryly; "That was net. Gross was more like fourteen billion."

The Minotaur looked back at Bradford; "It seems to me, that we'd make more, in the long run, if we kept Jenka, and Tanj." Looking up, Bullard growled; "LaMancha, lets open those crates...."

Bradford spluttered; "You can't DO that! The bitch has been promised to the CROWN PRINCE Himself! Do you know what will happen if we don't deliver? And what about the Cartel? Don't you think they'll be after us as well? You Can't Do This!"

Bullard just chuckled; "I've got news for you, Bradford. We're pirates. Every police agency in the Empire and a few that aren't, are after us, along with thousands of individuals, corporations, and other organizations. The entire Imperial Fleet has shoot-to-kill orders. How much more "hunted" could we possibly get? Besides, I'd pit Jenka against that popinjay crown Prince any day of the week."

Dynotaku listened, from behind his column, and tried not to laugh. There was a comment he'd have to pass on......

The Otter looked from face to face. Reeves. T'snarka. Willis. Xiang. LaMancha. Connery. All he saw was resolution. He was tempted to pull his blaster now and wipe those smug looks off their faces, but... it wasn't quite time yet. Wait until they had Jenka out of her cage; then, while they were distracted, he'd make his move. Swallowing heavily, he looked back to the Minotaur; "you know.... You might as well get what you can for the Cheetah; she's not going to be of any use to you."

The Minotaur frowned, turned and leaned over the Otter; "And why not?"

The Vixen had edged back, away from the Minotaur and the Otter. Dynotaku watched her carefully. She didn't seem to be trying to get away, but instead seemed to be positioning herself carefully... but for what?

Bradford watched, from the corner of his eye as the pirates opened the crates and pulled out the cages.... Soon. As soon as they had the gag out of the Jaguar's mouth, she'd be bound to say something and they'd all turn towards her, and then he'd strike. If the Vixen was ready, they could catch most of them in the crossfire. If the furrs on the ship were sharp, they'd boil out of the airlock in support. This could still work.... "Um... her buyers insisted as a pre-condition, that she be given a series of injections. I think its affected her mind......."

Bullard's scowl deepened; "well, bucko, for your sake, I hope it hasn't. She's found us more lucrative targets in her time here than we ever had before. But I guess we'll find out soon enough, though. They should have her loose in a moment." With that, the Minotaur turned back to look at the caged females.

Jenka gasped with relief as the prod in her mouth was withdrawn. It'd been giving her a squirt of something truly noxious every few minutes; just enough to make her swallow. She didn't know what it was, but she hoped never to see the likes of it again. As her restraints were released, she caught movement in the corner of her eye... however, her voice was just a croak, from whatever it was the cage had been feeding her, and her "Look OUT" came out more like "urk gack".

Xiang shrugged; "Its locked." Standing up, he looked at the Minotaur; "See if the Otter's got the key."

Bullard nodded and turned, only to find Bradford standing there with a blaster leveled at his mid-section.

Dynotaku smiled and threw the 14mm bolt overhand with all of his strength. It sailed between Willis and LaMancha, and struck the Otter on the wrist. The Otter howled, and the blaster skidded across the floor.

The Unicorn made a face; "Damn! Missed!"

Bradford wheeled; he clutched his right wrist in his left paw, cradling it, certain it was broken.

Bullard tried to grab the Otter but he was bouncing around too much, howling in pain and frustration....

Bradford ducked the Minotaur's grasp, and looked for his blaster; it had slid across the floor, right up to the Cheetah's cage. The Cheetah looked at it curiously, with dull eyes, and the Otter grinned. Reaching around to the small of his back with his left paw, he went for his hold-out gun.

Bullard was certain that he'd had it; the Otter had pulled a small nerve disrupter, awkwardly, from behind him, and it was pointed straight at him.

The Blaster bolt made Jenka jerk inside her cage; it had passed close enough to singe her fur. However, it had cut diagonally across the Otter. What was left of Bradford was splashed across the Harmon's Pride's open airlock. Twisting as best she could to look, she caught a glimpse of Tanj's paw, stuck between the bars at an awkward angle, holding the blaster. The Cheetah had a very strange look on her face... and then everyone seemed to start shouting at once.

The snarl of the stunner made Jenka's head jerk the other way; she saw LaMancha collapse, and then she heard the swift padd of footfalls, as someone ran down the corridor. Then the shouting resumed. Letting her head sag against its restraints, she waited for them to release her.

"It's a pity she had to vaporize the key."

Jenka looked up at the Unicorn as best she could, and chuckled; "Oh, I don't know; I'd rather spend another hour in this cage, while someone finds a cutter, than the whole trip to Ruprecht's "harem". Besides, she didn't vaporize it; she just partially melted it."

Dynotaku chuckled; "its still useless. But I thought the Otter said they'd done something to her mind."

Jenka nodded; "Yeah, they did. And as soon as I get out of here, I'm going to ask her about that."

Dynotaku chuckled; "Why wait?" Hopping down and grabbing the bars of the cage, he heaved it around, until Jenka was more or less nose to nose with the Cheetah.

"Tanj, are you all right?"

The Cheetah blinked; her eyes still looked dull, but after a moment, she mumbled "no, bu.... Gett'n betta. I think."

Jenka found she couldn't even shake her head, in the confines of the cage; "But.... they said they'd given you something to reduce you to an animal..."

The Cheetah's body made a convulsive motion that might have been a shrug, or maybe a shudder; "Shot th'selves inna foot, I think. Shot also had nanites, exper-imen-tal nanites, to repair damage. Let 'em torture me forever; as long as they didn't kill me, I'd recover, an' they could do it again.. 'Cept I think the nanites 're undoing whatever thir shot did to ma brain. There are times when I seem to be myself, and other times, I just can't seem to think straight t' all. Dunno."

Jenka looked up at the smiling Unicorn. He seemed to think it cool to perch on top of her cage, and thus she had a great view of his rump.... "When we get her out, lets get her down to medical, first thing."

Dynotaku nodded; "All of you. You all look in grim shape."

Jenka did her best to nod, and muttered, mostly to herself; "you know, last time, it wasn't nearly this rough. I have got to work harder on getting better quality mutineers...."

Dynotaku helped Jenka stand; she hadn't been in the cage that long, but it had been trying on her muscles. As soon as she was vertical, she looked at Bullard; "Well?"

The Minotaur spread his hands; "Well, we screwed up. We never should have let Bragg take over. For all of us, I apologize, and ask that you resume your position."

Jenka nodded, and turned, her eyes sweeping all present; "Is he right on that? Do you want me back?"

All through the docking bay, heads nodded. Jenka smiled; "Very well, I accept." Tilting her head back she growled; "Computer!"

Willis sighed; "Ma'am, I'm afraid there's a glitch there; its not working."

Jenka just grinned at him; "Computer, if I am nominated, I will not run; if I'm elected, I will not serve! Resume normal functions. I want a damage assessment on my desk in fifteen minutes."

From overhead, a flat voice responded "Acknowledged."

The Hyena had been bound, but not gagged; he turned his head to glare at Jenka; "you lied! YOU SAID THERE WAS NO WAY TO REVERSE THE DAMAGE!"

Jenka grinned at him and nodded; "Of course I lied. You really are far too trusting...."

The Badger's War; Cease Fire

There was literally something in the air. The place smelled better. Roland sat up, careful not to bang his head on the low ceiling. The ventilation duct was small, and rather isolated, but that's what he'd wanted. A quiet place, to catch some sleep. Cocking an ear, he listened. Just the usual station sounds. Gathering up his weapons, he headed back, moving as quietly as he could. Something told him it was time for a reconnaissance.

He could hear them talking through the duct, and what they were saying was music to his ears, IF it was true. Counter-revolution. Bragg and his henchmen arrested, Jenka restored. Maybe it was a trap. Quietly, he moved on down the duct, searching for another listening post.....

Dynotaku looked up from his Latte as the grille fell to the floor not ten feet in front of him. Folding his newsfax, he stared as the oddest bear he'd ever seen dropped to the floor, following the grille. The bear was filthy, and rather heavily armed, although neither of those two things were particularly unusual amongst the pirates. For a moment he stared at the improbable figure, and then he smiled; "Ah. Yes, we'd been wondering where you'd gotten to. You just cost me fifteen credits."

Roland blinked at the unicorn; "What?"

Dynotaku shrugged; "I'd wagered that you were camped out on the outside of the station. You know, there are all SORTS of nooks and crannies out there, not to mention all the emergency shelters. Tons of places to hide, and all sorts of mischief you can make. Ah, well, easy come, easy go."

Roland just shook his head, sighed and headed for the armory. First things first; he wanted to see what the bloody mutineers had done to his 'mech. Then, he'd have to see about finding Cindy.


Wanda put down the scanner and shook her head; "Tanj, I've fixed your hamstrings; you've now got some synthetic tendons back there, that probably couldn't be cut with anything short of an industrial laser. And all those new labial piercings have been removed. If you choose not to put something in them, the piercings will close naturally, in time. And I gave you a shot to stop your lactating. Those were the easy parts. However, your brain's a mess. There are severe chemical imbalances, hormonal deficiencies, and there are all these, these NANITES swarming around in there, doing who-knows-what!"

The Cheetah blinked and after a long moment, nodded; "So, Doc-tor, what d' we do about it?"

The Wolverine sighed; "A brain surgeon I'm not. Unfortunately we don't even have one on staff. I can give you some shots to try and straighten out some of the hormonal deficiencies, but as for the rest, well, I think we're just going to have to sit back and hope the nanites know what they're doing."

The Cheetah nodded slowly; "riight. Um. Ah. Oh, Yeth... Coulth youth pleath get thith tongue ring outh?"

Kath watched with concern as Tanj's expression seemed to go blank again, as Wanda worked. The Cheetah was fading in and out much more than she was comfortable with. She was just about to follow Wanda to the next patient, when the Cheetah's head came up. "Wan-da? Thanks. Might be prud'nt to get a sample of the nanites. They're supposed to be self-repli-cat-ing, and if we put them in sta-sis, they might be... useful? Yeah, that's the word. Useful if someone else gets hurt."

Wanda looked at Kath, and then back; "Yes, that might be a good idea, although I'd really like to study them some before I turn them loose on an unsuspecting patient. They might have been, ah, "tuned" just for you. Or for a Cheetah." When Tanj didn't even nod in acknowledgement, the Wolverine lass slipped out, with the Mink close behind her. There were, unfortunately, too many other patients that needed her attention.

Ralph looked at what was left of the Intelligence department and sighed; there had been a "purge" when Bragg's group took over, a settling of old scores, and then, of course, there'd been a similar bout of vengeance when his coup had fallen apart. "No, the database really is gone. Can't be brought back, but it CAN be recreated. Now you all know there are case files for everything we've done, for years. I want you to pull the most recent case files and do a search for agent's names, contacts, and anything else you think might be useful. And if anyone's got any good ideas, right now we're so far in the red, well, if we're going to survive, we'll need to pull something off fairly soon. Lets get to work, folks!

Zassa stretched luxuriously; they were being released from the kennels, and it was about time. As she stretched, Sabina reached over to tickle her tummyfur. Zassa eeped and looked down at her; "Impudent slave!"

The Kitten laughed; "But of course, Mistress. Would you have it any other way?"

Zassa chuckled; "no, then I wouldn't have an excuse to punish you." And then her face sobered; "And as much as I'd love to do that, for you daring to challenge me during the recent troubles, we do have a more pressing task."

Sabina nodded; "That fennec Vixen."

Cindy crawled from the cell. She was dirty, hungry, and desperately wanted to get some sleep, but what the white Kitten said touched something within her. Or maybe it was the way she'd said it. Straightening, she growled; "I'm in."

Andrea sighed; she hadn't really expected to be let loose, but she'd kinda hoped she'd be forgotten in the confusion. They'd released the furrs on either side of her, and everyone across the way, but she was still locked up tight. Leaning back against the wall of her cell, her knees drawn up to her chest, she wondered what would happen next....

Anna listened to the furr on the other end of the comm, and sighed; "I suppose that means we'll have to let him go. OK, Thanks. Tomorrow at 0700. Right, we'll be there." Rising, the nude Lioness padded back towards the Bedroom. Hinoki was face-down on the bed, his back still a mess, but he was obviously showing signs of improvement. The fact that he was face down on Brigit, slowly, sensually fucking the Tigress, was ample demonstration of that.

"Um..... Got good news and bad news."

Brigit opened on eye and glared at the Lioness; "Can't it wait?"

Anna shrugged; "Maybe, maybe not. It seems there's been a, well, a counter-revolution. Bragg's out, Jenka's back."

The Tigress grunted, as Hinoki drove deep, his hips thrusting forward hard; " 'bout time; now maybe we can make some money!"

Anna nodded; "I agree, but.... all the furrs that were, ah, "detained" have been released, and, um, "reinstated."

The Tigress' eyes crossed as she looked between her breasts at Hinoki; "Awww.... That means we've got to let him go?"

Hinoki chuckled; "What's the saying about how if you truly love something, set it free, and if it returns to you, its yours forever?" He looked down at the Tigress and smiled; "But, before we get to that, there IS something I need to do. There's a certain Thylacine fem that I dearly need to see."

The Tigress clenched down hard with her vaginal muscles; "Not until you finish what you started, but yeah, I can imagine."

Anna nodded; "Something to do with payback, I'd suspect."

When Hinoki nodded, she smiled; "Let me call Candy. We'll come with you. You're not fully healed yet, and I'd hate to see all our hard work go for naught."

Andrea looked at the flame-hued Vixen through the bars; it was obvious that Zassa cleaned up nice. Her hair was pulled back, and secured with a leather thong. She wore what had to be custom-made armor, a back-and-breastplate assemblage that looked like it had been painted on, its coloration matching her own fur, the contours matching hers exactly, right down to the prominent nipples. Only at the edges; at her arms, neck, and waist, was it apparent that she wore something above the waist. She also wore a pair of BDU pants, in grays, also skintight. Except the patch pockets bulged with all sorts of lumpy shapes. A Revanthan style disintigrator was holstered at her right hip, and a rather wicked recurved dagger hung on her left hip. Black leather gloves over her paws were barely visible, but contributed to the overall air of menace. Behind Zassa, Sabina stood, looking off to one side. The Kitten wore a too-small bikini top, in black patent leather, the triangles barely covering her nipples, the cords so tight, that flesh bulged. A matching thong barely concealed her sex. Over that, she wore a mercenary's combat harness, the shoulder straps supporting a shoulder holster on one side, and a combat knife, handle down, on the other. Pouches lined the belt, and the odd grenade was clipped here and there. It looked as if the Kitten hadn't been able to decide between beach, boudoir, or the trenches. Looking from one to the other, the Bunny couldn't decide if they were merely putting on airs, or perhaps, just perhaps, they were as lethal as they thought they were, and the costumes were their own form of.... Mis-direction?

Zass stared through the bars at the Bunny, for a long moment. She'd been in on this, although she seemed to have been betrayed by her former associates. Perhaps she was mad enough to try for some payback, without promise of a reward....

"Here's the deal. You helped start all of this, with that job on the raiding force. OK, I can understand that. We're all a bunch of pirates, and just about anyone will do anything to get ahead, or to make a buck, even at the expense of their comrades. Unfortunately, it didn't work out for you, and vengeance is also something that comes with being a pirate. Now, I can't promise anything, but I will talk to Jenka, and the command group about you." The Vixen smirked; "Some of them still owe me favors..."

Sabina watched everything but the rabbit in the cell. There was still a lot of bloodletting going on, order not really re-established yet. As the door at the far end of the corridor slid open, she turned in that direction. Her right paw didn't quite twitch towards her sidearm... But she relaxed when she saw the Badger lady stalk into the corridor. Cindy was still nude, except for a thin circlet of bright metal that encircled her neck... and a rather wicked looking Senegalese machete in her right paw. And the Machete seemed to have blood on the blade.

"So, tell me, again, and in detail, about the conspiracy that started all this, and about those behind it, and I'll see what I can do." Andrea looked at the Vixen and chuckled to herself; in a husky whisper, she replied; "Yeah, you're right. Vengeance is a very Pirate thing to do, and there are some that I REALLY want to get back at. Bradford was my key contact, and one of his associates was a Coyote by the name of Thomas, although I thought I heard he'd died. Now, I'd also seen a few other furrs in their company......"

Sabina listened to the Bunny whisper, and wondered if her vocal cords could be repaired. In a way, she hoped not; the Bunny had a very sexy, husky whisper.... The Vixen seemed to be absorbing everything she said, not writing down a word, but nodding occasionally. Turning to Cindy, the Kitten grinned; "Thought you didn't like going around nude."

The Badger grinned; "Not nude. Got my collar back. You wouldn't believe how far it'd traveled, since it was taken from me."

Sabina looked down at the blade of the machete; "Did you...."

Cindy laughed; "no, didn't need to. I'd come across a rather recent exhibition of pirate justice, and just dipped the blade in a fresh puddle of blood. When the furr that had my collar saw it, he folded quickly. Unfortunately, I was NOT able to find my clothes, but I guess it doesn't matter." The Badger girl looked down the corridor, at the doors to the cells, at all the accoutrements of the Kennels and grinned lopsidedly; "It would appear I've learned a few things in this little affair, and one of them is how to go nude in public." She hefted the machete; "not naked; that implies defenselessness, but just nude."

The Kitten looked at her and then nodded slowly; "yeah, I think its been a learning experience for all of us...."

Hinoki grinned as the three fems came around the corner. When she caught sight of him, Zassa let out a whoop and dashed forward to give the Cheetah a big hug; Hinoki hugged back, winced, and muttered "Careful of my back!"

Zassa released him as if she'd been scalded; "Sorry! How are you coming? Have you seen Wanda? WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?" With the latter, the Vixen's eyes shifted to the three fems standing behind the Cheetah, her eyes suddenly going hard.

Hinoki picked up on the change; "Oh, I've been hiding out, in a most delightful place. Zassa, I want you to meet Anna, Brigit, and Candy." Zassa nodded politely, and then turned back to the Cheetah; "What are you up to?" Hinoki grinned, showing fangs; "We're looking for the fem that took me down, at the beginning of the, ah, "recent unpleasantness."

Zassa nodded; "Yeah, we're looking for that Fennec Vixen that gave us such trouble. By the way, if you hadn't heard, she's the one that took over with the Bullwhip....."

Hinoki nodded; "Yes, I heard. She seemed to be in tight with the mutineers; I'd recommend taking her alive if at all possible, for questioning."

Zassa laughed; "oh, but of course!" Then, with a more serious look on her face, she growled; "when you consider what she did to Tanj, death is definitely too good for her."

Jenka frowned. There was SO much to do. The mutineers had really made a hash of her operation. She'd established contact with a friend of hers, and arranged for a deuterium tanker to be dispatched, post-haste, and on credit. She'd dealt with a dozen other urgent details, but there was something she was forgetting......

Tanj looked at the data crystals. They were the records of all the operations she'd overseen as part of the intelligence organization, of both the Brethren and of the Black Fleet. One moment the tags were clear, and understandable, their importance, their relevance well defined. And the next moment they were so many pretty colored beads, and nothing more. Sighing, she fitted the first into the reader, and while she could, she set up the search string.....

Cindy heard the running feet, and turned to look from the corner of her eye. Yeah, she'd thought it was him. Waiting until he was almost upon her, she sank to her knees, the machete across her thighs, and smiled; "Welcome, Master!"

Roland skidded to a halt, and looked at the Badger Lady wide-eyed; his gaze shifted from her to Zassa, and Sabina, as if seeking explanation, and then back. "I've been looking for you. I'm glad to see you survived!" After a moment he muttered; "How... bad was it?"

Zassa chuckled; "Lets reminisce later; right now we're on a mission."

Roland looked up; "Oh? What kind of a mission."

The Vixen grimaced; "We're looking for the Fennec Vixen that was our chief torturer. The one that destroyed Tanj's mind."

Roland straightened; "The one that WHAT? Nevermind, tell me as we go...."

Tanj blinked. Glancing over at the screen, she found the search had long since been completed. Ejecting the data crystal, she popped another one into the reader, and told it to search, using the same string. She'd sort the results later. Looking at the data crystals on the desktop she wondered what she'd been doing while "out of it". She sincerely hoped she hadn't been trying to eat the pretty data crystals......

Jenka looked up from the screen and eeped! "OHMYGOD!" Jumping to her feet, she dashed from her office.

Zassa pulled the blindfold off the Stallion, and then worked at removing his gag. It was, of course, locked, but she'd picked up a Sinclair monomolecular chain cutter, and that made short work of the lock. "John, how long have you been here?" The bound Stallion shrugged; "Don't know. A LONG time, I think. At least it seemed like a long time." Zassa used the cutter to slice through the remainder of his restraints, not bothering to minimize the damage. When she was done, the Stallion staggered to his hooves; "If you'll excuse me, I've GOT to use the bathroom...."

It wasn't but a moment before the Stallion staggered back out; "ack; what happened in there?" Roland chuckled; "Um, that was probably me. I've been wreaking havoc... I'll tell you about it later. If you'll come with me, I know where there are some toilets that are still working.

As they walked, the Stallion's expression was pained; "Yes, I know exactly the Fennec Vixen you mean. I think I'm going to need stitches from her damn spurs." He shuddered; "And that Spannish bit... My mouth may never be the same! But no, I have no idea where she is now. But I'd be delighted in helping you find her!"

Jenka stood in front of the frame, and regarded the fox-shaped bulge in the black latex sheet. The water was draining from the tank; and when it got a little lower, she'd be able to use the ropes to his wrist cuffs to haul him out of there. Dynotaku watched with interest; "What do you think we'll find?"

Jenka shrugged; "I'm afraid to find out. He's been in sensory deprivation for how long? A week? Ten days?"

The Unicorn nodded; "Something like that. Still, the readouts on the "life support" show that he's not lost significant weight, and that bowel and kidney functions are normal...."

The image was near-perfect. The fur dye and the hair cut were the easy part. Hawes, of course, was a butcher, and the work on her ears had hurt like hell, but it had probably hurt less than dying. In the mirror was a red vixen. The "tiny" black ears were a little uneven, the stitches still visible if you looked closely, but then Hawes hadn't lost his medical license for incompetence, just for a nasty dreamweed habit. And she'd paid off in enough of the stuff to keep him high until he died, which probably wouldn't be too far in the future, considering what she'd laced the stuff with. Now, if she could just get used to the increased size of her breasts..... And to parading around in what amounted to little more than jewelry... Still, the ID's were perfect, issued by the Black Fleet's own computers, and the authorizations had Jenka's forged signature, and thumbprint, also taken from the Black Fleet's own computers, before their performance had gotten so flaky. Yes, she'd planned for every eventuality, or at least every one she could think of. Now, all she had to do was to march on down to the docking bay, check out the ship, and blow this pop stand.

The catcalls, lewd suggestions and the occasional grope were worse than she'd expected. Did everyone on the station know this Zassa? Could she really have slept with them all? Doing her best to keep a smile on her face, trying hard to ignore how her now-enhanced breasts bounced and bobbled, she hurried towards the docking bay.

Jenka watched as the limp body was pulled from between the latex sheets. Chris was still breathing, but so far he hadn't so much as twitched..... It was only because the motion was directly across the commons area from her, that she noticed at all; a bright red Vixen moving fast through the crowd... Her eyes drawn to the motion, Jenka turned, following the figure... It certainly LOOKED like Zassa; certainly dressed like Zassa, but... if it was Zassa, why would she go past, ignoring Chris Foxx like that? But then Chris was out of the device, and she had other things to occupy her attention...

Chris yelped as the earplugs were removed. He tried to move, but found his muscles strangely uncooperative. It seemed to take forever, before the plug gag was removed from his mouth. At first, his voice was only a croak, and it took several tries before he was able to say anything intelligible.

Jenka frowned; "Chris, take it easy! Its over, you're safe!"

The Fox squirmed and waved his arms clumsily; "na... naw.... Ack! No... gimme..... hearplug...."

Jenka stared at him for a moment, wondering if he'd lost his mind. Finally, to quiet him, she found one of the form fitting earplugs and put it in his paw. His motor control, however, wasn't up to the task of putting it into his ear. Afraid he was going to beat himself senseless, Jenka took the plug from his weak grasp and pushed it into his ear. The Fox groaned and shook his head; "Too late."

Jenka could only go "huh?"

Chris squinted; the lights were terribly bright. "I don't know who, or how, but shortly after that Bitch put me in there, the earplugs started picking up... I dunno, broadcasts. It was kinda scratchy, but..."

Jenka looked at the Fox; "what kind of broadcasts?"

The Fox shrugged, one shoulder moving better than the other; "Ancient broadcasts. Radio serials. Comic operas. Comedy shows." He turned his head and squinted at the Jaguar; "It was just coming to the conclusion of a four part series, something called "The Shadow". They were just telling how the Shadow had solved the crime, when you pulled the earplug out, AND NOW I'LL NEVER KNOW HOW IT ENDED!"

Jenka could only laugh.

Dynotaku chuckled to himself. HE knew how it ended. Maybe someday he'd find a way of getting that recording to Foxx, suitably anonymously.

Zassa did a doubletake and then grinned; "CHRIS!" Chris squinted at the Vixen, and grinned lopsidedly; "Hello, Slave. Who told you, you could wear that much? And shouldn't that have been "Master"?" Zassa chuckled; "We'll discuss that later, Master, but right now we're hunting that Fennec Vixen that did this to you. I don't suppose you've seen her?"

Jenka frowned; "You know, as a matter of fact, I just might have." Looking up, she caught Zassa's eye; "how many red Vixens like you are there on this station?"

Zassa shrugged; "Red Vixens? A dozen or so. Like me?" She grinned; "Not a one!"

Jenka nodded; "Just as we were getting Chris out, I saw a near-naked Red Vixen, wearing a collar, and wrist restraints, headed towards the docking bay. I THOUGHT it was you, and it struck me as odd, that no matter what task you might be about, that you wouldn't stop to see how Chris was."

Zassa nodded; "Yeah, that sounds awfully suspicious..."

She couldn't believe it. "But... I've GOT Authorization!" Clancey shrugged; "Yeah, I can see that, but that still doesn't help the fact that we don't have any deuterium to put IN the ship's tanks. Lady, we're on the dregs, just running the station! Now, Jenka's arranged for a tanker, but it won't be here until tomorrow. You're just going to have to wait!" The Rabbit leered at her: "Of course, Missy, I can think of a good way to kill the time...."

The Vixen shook her head, very aware of how that motion made her bare breasts move; "No.... Thanks, but no thanks. I'll be back tomorrow then. Make sure the ship is fueled as soon as possible."

Clancy watched the Vixen stalk off. "That was NOT Zassa" he muttered to himself. Turning, he reached for the comm.

Zassa shook her head; "I don't like it. Who knows what mischief she could be up to in the meantime?"

Jenka just shrugged; "We want her alive. This gives us the best shot. The ship won't go anywhere, even with its tanks full of deuterium slush; all she'll accomplish is to release the anesthetic gas."

Zassa sighed and shrugged; "Oh, I acknowledge the practicality of it... its just...."

The Jaguar laughed; "you wanted something a little more... confrontational?

Zassa thought for a minute and then grinned ruefully; "Yeah...."

Pippyn had evaded all those seeking her head. It hadn't been easy, but she'd found places to hide, and had used the last of her savings to bribe a few folks. The prices for cosmetic surgery had been well beyond her, as had been the price for setting up a new identity in the Black Fleet's computer. She didn't know how it was going to end, but she wasn't going to give up. No way. Still, it was wearing, being constantly on the move, never staying too long in one place.....

Hinoki heard the shout, and dashed ahead of the group. Unfortunately, it hadn't been her, just some other unlucky furr that had chosen the wrong side, and made a few enemies. He was turning, eyes scanning the crowd, when he saw her.

The shot was tricky, the corridor full of furrs. He brought the tube to his lips, took careful aim, and blew hard.

Pippyn yelped as something stabbed her ass. Turning around, she stared at the needle with the absurd little puffball attached to its end. Curiously she plucked it out, and looked at it. The next thing she knew, she was sitting on the floor. There were feet all around her. The feet were attached to legs, and she found herself comparing them idly. Stripes. Spots. Spots? She followed the legs upwards, to find herself staring at a spotty cat of some sort. He kinda looked familiar....

Hinoki nodded; "Yeah, that's her. Help me get her up; we'll take her down to the kennels."

Anna nodded and hefted the Thylacine up and over one shoulder; "I'd wondered why you were carrying that stick. What IS that?"

Hinoki chuckled; "A primitive weapon; its powered by your own breath, and shoots a poisoned dart."

Brigit took the tube from the Cheetah and examined it; "you could have fooled me. Doesn't LOOK like a weapon!"

Hinoki nodded; "That's why its perfect for something like this. They don't even know they're under attack until its too late. And the poison I used isn't fatal. Just enough to immobilize someone."

As Hinoki took the blowpipe back from the Tigress, he caught a flash of red in the crowd. Turning, he yelled out; "Hey, Zassa!" The statuesque Vixen turned and gave a half wave, before pushing through the crowd. Hinoki frowned, and then, pulling another dart from his pocket, pushed through the crowd after the Vixen, leaving three confused fems in his wake.

Something definitely wasn't right. Hinoki sprinted up behind the Vixen and growled; "Kneel, Slave!" in his best academy voice. The Vixen ignored him with a muttered; "Not now, I'm busy!" The voice wasn't right. Slipping the dart into the end of the blowpipe, he took a breath.

Zassa howled in frustration; "Dammit, I wanted to take her!"

Hinoki shrugged and grinned; "Target of opportunity. What can I say, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time!"

The Vixen growled and stomped, her paws balled into fists.

Jenka laughed; "Would it help if I let you assist in the interrogation?"

Zassa looked at Jenka; she crossed her arms under her breasts and sulked; "Maybe..."

Tanj coughed discreetly; "Ought to do this one care-fully. Don't dare make a mistake. Her. Bradford. They're the only ones left we're sure were part of the orig-inal con-spir-a-cy.

Zassa nodded; "Oh, we'll be careful.... AND thorough."

Chris looked at the Jaguar; "And what should we do with Bragg? Our initial interrogations show nothing more than someone duped into reaching further than they should."

Jenka sighed; "From everything I've heard, he REALLY thought he could do a better job leading the Black Fleet. Perhaps, if he'd moved up through the ranks with a little guidance, maybe someday he would have been able to do just that. And it would seem some of the viciousness that accompanied the mutiny was all due to those that'd been pushing him. I can't really get too upset with him."

Tanj nodded slowly; "Can't for-give either, though."

Jenka nodded; "For him, I think we'll strip him of all his shares, all his assets, and just banish him. Now, those that were behind him, them I think we nail to the wall."

Tanj muttered quietly to herself; "And the moral of the story is, never fail in a mutiny."

Behind her, Jenka laughed; "Amen to that!"

At Zassa's look, the Jaguar smiled; "Sometimes, you can profit even from something like this."

Zassa shook her head; "The place is a wreck, we've lost many key furrs, everything's a mess; how could there possibly be a bright side to this?"

Jenka laughed and hugged the Vixen; "A long time ago, a furr by the name of Howard Tayler taught me how. You see, I had the Black Fleet's computer programmed to purchase shares when the price fell below a certain minimum. With all the trouble we've had, the price of a share in the black fleet, well, it didn't exactly hit new lows, but it DID drop low enough for some automated trading...."

Zassa looked at the Jaguar, her eyes wide; "you mean...."

Jenka laughed "Yes! I've acquired enough shares that I am now the majority stockholder!" She grinned wickedly; "From now on, I don't have to build a consensus among the leadership council! NOW we do it MY WAY!"

As everyone else boggled, Tanj leaned against the wall, and just laughed.

A return to Normalcy

Tanj had to chuckle to herself. Such an obvious thing, and yet none of the mutineers had apparently thought of it. She'd been at her terminal for about fourteen hours, and still had a backlog of email. Most of it from the agents that the Mutineers would have LOVED to have contacted. Some of them even had promising targets, things she'd already passed on to Jenka. Unfortunately, they didn't have as many assets to throw at the targets as they'd used to. Some, like Sligth's group, had just vanished. Others had lost critical crew in the bloodletting, and too many were down with maintenance problems. They'd have to strip some ships to get others flying. It was going to take a LOT of work, but things were gradually getting back to normal....

Zassa leaned on her mop and sighed. She'd scrubbed the floor of Chris' quarters three times, and it still stank. The fine carpet had been ripped up, and sent to recycling, leaving just the hullmetal deck plates. Likewise the wall coverings had been stripped off to waist high, likewise revealing conduits, piping, ductwork, and more hullmetal. Looking over at Sabina, crouched on all fours scrubbing at the back of the couch, she chuckled; "you know, Slave, I think we had more fun during the Mutiny." Sabina smiled around her ballgag and nodded in agreement.

Chris Jumped a foot as the door opened behind him. He twisted and looked up into Jenka's smiling face.

"Still having trouble?"

The Fox nodded; "Dang near sensory overload. Everything from the air coming out of the grille, to the hum of the power reactors below deck, to a couple of furrs three compartments away talking about how they can't get the smell out." He grinned; "you'd be surprised how extended sensory deprivation heightens your senses."

Jenka nodded; "Well, I'm just glad you're OK. Now, how many ships can we assign to the next mission?"

The Fox sighed "Well, with the Ni'vatha Falls red-lined with that power converter failure....."

Roland groaned; the Lady Badger had him backed against the wall, one paw on his stomach, holding him there, the other fondling his balls as she aggressively sucked him off. He'd have to talk to her about her demeanor, the deportment of a proper slave with her master.... But he'd talk to her about it later. Right now, he was just enjoying the sensations, the touch of her tongue, the feel of her lips on his shaft..... Leaning back hard against the wall, he resisted the urge to buck his hips, to fuck her face; such motions weren't needed; she was doing admirably well by herself... Groaning, he muttered; "Oh, Gawd, I've missed you!"

Cindy laughed, and pulled her head back for a moment, to purr; "And I've missed you too, Master." Then her head darted forward again, taking all of him, until her nose pressed against his stomach, her mouth warm, and wet and sensual around his shaft.

Hinoki checked off another line on the PADD, and stepped back into the aisleway. Someone had been doing some midnight requisitioning, and the computer records of spare parts inventory was a mess. He'd been pressed into service to figure out what maintenance ACTUALLY had available. Hearing footsteps approaching, he turned.

"Heya, Spots!"

Hinoki grinned; "Ah, Mistress Brigit! Mistress Candy! Mistress Anna! What brings you three down here?"

The Lioness grinned; "We're heading out; our raider's been assigned to Group 3, and we're heading off after some fat prize."

The Tigress nodded; "Seems the Potentate of Ha'wass has taken his yacht out for a spin. Tanj thinks he's got his latest Mistress aboard, and as such he didn't want to attract too much notice, so he only took two gunboats as escorts."

The Bear chuckled; "Should be easy pickings; he's got an insurance policy that'll cover any ransom demands, AND the loss of his yacht."

Hinoki nodded; "Yeah, some much needed cash flow. Well, you three be careful!" He looked left and right, and then grinned; "How soon do you have to leave?"

Anna looked at the others and then grinned; "not TOO soon... Say, lotta dark nooks and crannies down here in the storage bays...."

Hinoki chuckled; "It's a regular labyrinth. Hmm. You know, there's a hidden little spot right over here....."

Roland panted. Hard. He lay flat on his back, in the middle of the floor, with Cindy partially on top of him. She was panting hard too. As he tried to recover from the wild sex, he idly wondered if anyone would ever wonder why HIS carpet hadn't been messed up, and grinned.

After a while, Cindy rolled over, and cuddled next to him; "Master?"

Roland smiled; he loved the way that sounded when she said it. "Yes, Slave?"

"Is it true that Bragg stole a load of Amigo computers?"

Roland frowned; "Yeah, think so. Junk from everything I've heard. Why?"

Cindy propped her head up on one elbow and looked at him. A serious look; "Master, you need to buy those computers. You can do that, can't you? Put in a bid for it?"

Roland shrugged; "I suppose, but even as valueless as it is, I'm not sure I've got enough cash. Why?"

Cindy sat up, leaned over him and looked him straight in the eye; "Sell the Thunderbolts if you have to. Beg money from Tanj, if you have to. Just buy it."

Roland stared at her; "WHY?"

Cindy sighed; "My family.... We... we were in a business related to that. I think I know where I can sell that stuff. All of it."

Roland frowned; "I thought it was only useful for animation. Stuff like that silly "Sabrina the Space Skunk" stuff."

Cindy smiled a knowing smile; "Yes.... That's what its currently used for. However, just before... well, before things happened, there was a university student that took two hundred Amigo computers and linked them together as a massively parallel processor. It achieved AI status, using the Turing Test."

Cindy watched the Badger think. Surely it would dawn on him any moment. At the Badger's continued confuzzled look, she explained; "Think about the price of the average AI. Then think about the unit price of the average Amigo computer."

Slowly the Badger's eyes widened; "They sell for about five credits apiece, don't they?"

Smiling, Cindy nodded...

"And.... Doesn't the cheapest AI sell for about twenty thousand credits?"

Again, Cindy nodded, her smile widening.

"And.... Bragg stole thousands of 'em?"

Again, Cindy nodded; "And I know where to find the furr that did the original work...."

Tanj looked up from her terminal as Roland, dressed only in a pair of shorts, dragged a nude Cindy into the intelligence offices. "Tanj, I need you to check something out, RIGHT AWAY!"

Tanj looked from Badger to Badger; "Oh?"

Roland nodded; "Cindy, Tell her."

It didn't take long to call up the article. It hadn't made the Imperial Journal of Computer Science, but it had made Popular Computing, and several of the news services. While it didn't give any of the details of the networking, it had been reported by enough different furrs, that it was likely to be at least mostly true.

"OK, so we may have a use for the Amigos. Profit margin is still dependent on assembly costs, but its likely to be better than just dumping them in space."

She looked up; "But I don't think it would be prudent to buy the computers and do it ourselves. Too many bad feelings about all of the "recent unpleasantness". Let me talk to Jenka and see if I can't get you two a "finders fee".

Roland sighed; he'd thought that's what she'd say. "Well, do what you can." Turning to Cindy, he smiled; "That was a very good idea you had, Slave. I'm proud of you. Lets go see if we can't figure out a suitable reward..."

As they went through the door, Cindy turned and winked at Tanj. Tanj chuckled and turned back to her work. She was glad that the Badger lady seemed to be loosening up a little, and fitting in.....

Jenka looked from the Print-out to the inventory list and back. "Yes, that's a good idea, but I'm not really wild about paying royalties to this guy. It could eat up our profit margin, and its likely to be thin enough as it is." Looking up, she smiled at the Cheetah; "See if you can't have one of your agents steal his notebook or something. If that's possible, we'll start producing them ourselves. And yes, if it works out, I'll see the Badger gets his cut."

Tanj nodded, and made a note.

"Now, you've found us some nice short-term targets, things that'll keep us running, but we're way too close to bankruptcy. We need something, something big. See what you can find. And at this point, I'm willing to relax the usual restrictions on risk. Understand?"

Tanj sighed and nodded; "Yes, Mistress. I'll see what I can find."

Sashi sighed and plucked at her latex panties. She really hated them. She'd been pushing the Vitamin E, but it would still take several days for it to get into her system, to the point where she could shed the hated things. Hinoki's shop was a mess; it had been looted, probably when he'd been thrown into the kennels. Still, the pirates didn't seem to have found Hinoki's storage area in the bowels of the station, and she'd been making trips back and forth, restocking. Not that she expected much business for a while. Wanda. Wanda was probably the one with all the business right now.....

Wanda passed the scanner over the rabbit's neck, and Hmmmed. The enigmatic Hmmm a doctor always makes. Amelia looked up and whispered "Well?" Wanda put the scanner down, and shrugged; "quite a bit had been cut out. I've done what I could, splicing in organics, but I'm not sure its going to work, let alone work right. But its all I can do." Looking at the rabbit, she smiled; "you're just going to have to try it, and see."

Amelia closed her eyes, and croaked; "Mary had a little..." Her eyes went wide open and she howled; "Is that my VOICE? OH NO! Aieeeeeee!"

Kath covered her ears and winced. The Bunny lady had a high-pitched falsetto that seemed about to break all the glass in the ER. Wanda stepped forward, and clamped a large paw over the Bunny's mouth, silencing her; "Take it easy. Everything's still tight. Give it a chance to stretch a little with use."

Amelia glared at her, but finally sighed and nodded; "I sound like a freaking cartoon character on helium! Grrrr. Just promise me that when you're done with them that did this to me, you'll let me have a go at them!"

The Fennec Vixen had been conditioned against hypnosis, and had an artificial allergy to the drugs. And nothing else seemed to be working. In the end, Tanj decided they were going to have to do it the hard way....

The Vixen glared at her; "I'm tougher than you. I can take anything you can dish out. You can kill me, but you can't make me talk."

Tanj laughed; "Perhaps. But there's only one way to find out, and I doubt it'll be pleasant."

The Vixen Hmphed; "How would you know. How do you know they haven't rewired my brain so that I feel pain as pleasure?"

Tanj smiled; "Who's "They"? From what you've just described, I can't help but wonder if you don't work for the furrs on Gates' World."

The Vixen just smiled; "Maybe. Maybe not. YOU'LL never know."

The Cheetah chuckled dryly; "Well, consider the challenge accepted."

Chris shuddered; "you wouldn't."

Tanj shrugged; "Jenka seems to be at risk from these clowns. Would you stick at this, knowing she probably has information we would need to even begin to defend Jenka?"

The Fox sighed; "No... I just don't like the idea."

Tanj nodded; "Neither do I, but I can't think of anything else." Staring off into space, the Cheetah murmured; "I tried the obvious. But I had Wanda do a brain scan while I worked on her. Pain registered as pleasure. Pleasure registered as pleasure. There wasn't any physical stimulus we could come up with that didn't have an unintended consequence."

Chris frowned; "I would have thought you might...."

The Cheetah laughed; "What? Overload her with pleasure until she became so addicted to it that threatening to withhold it might cause her to talk? Tried that. Heck, I turned Zassa, Sashi, Kath, AND Sabina loose on her. And you know Sashi's pheromones are still active; you KNOW what kind of a sexual frenzy that threw them all into. After three days, I hosed them all down, and tried to get her to talk. Zilch. So now, we do it the hard way."

The Fox nodded; "Might throw in one more thing. Did you try sleep deprivation?"

Tanj chuckled; "Yeah, that was one of the first things I tried. No joy. But it might work in conjunction with sensory deprivation....."

The Vixen started struggling hard, when she saw the tank. But there were many willing paws to hold her. Finally, Wanda had all the catheters in place, and John and Ralph lowered her between the latex sheets. The rising water held her in place, limiting her movements, negating her struggles. And then it was time to wait.

"You're sure no one's broadcasting to her?"

Chris nodded; "Yeah. Different earplugs. These have an encryption routine embedded in them. No one talks to her but you."

Tanj nodded and sipped her drink. "Think she sat out here like this, and watched, while you were in there?"

Behind them, John laughed wryly; "I know she did. For hours. She seemed to take great delight in it."

Tanj nodded; "Well, I'm taking no delight in it. But sometimes you have to do what you have to do."

Both Fox and Stallion nodded in agreement.

Wanda put the scanner down and sighed; "Well, she's not asleep, but she seems to be comatose. Her brainwaves are... very quiet."

Tanj nodded; "Thanks. I guess its time." Picking up the microphone, she thumbed the switch; "Care to talk to us now?"

For a moment there was silence, but then there was a muttered "is somebody there? Dr. Pangborne, is that you? Doctor, I've done everything you asked, everything you required. Its not my fault that it didn't work out! It was those clumsy oafs Ruprecht's group forced on us! You should never have agreed to work with them! Not a brain among them!"

There was silence for a moment, and Tanj murmured quietly, almost inaudibly; "go on..."

The Vixen shuddered, sending ripples across the surface of the tank; "Yes, Doctor. Report. My Report.... The operation was suborned exactly as planned. There are a lot of weak minds here that are easy to bend to your will, if you know how. The targets were all collected, and secured. I handled the Cheetah exactly as you instructed, but something seemed to have gone wrong. The..... The drug that was to degrade her brain, to reduce her intellect didn't last." At this point the Vixen's voice became shrill; "it wasn't my Fault! Oh, I'm not saying it was your fault, Doctor, not at all, but.... At a critical moment she was able to act rationally. I know, I should never have let that critical moment come, but I HAD TO WORK WITH THOSE IDIOTS! Its gotta be all their fault. PLEASE, Doctor, I've been punished enough, please have mercy!"

Tanj had a funny look on her face; as if she'd just stepped in something nasty. Steeling herself, she raised the microphone; "I know. I know it was the fault of the others, but if they're to be correctly punished, I need to make sure exactly who they are. Who, in Ruprecht's organization did you deal with. Who behaved competently, and who behaved incompetently? And how would you contrast their performance with those in our own organization? Cite specific examples, please."

The Speaker issued a sob, and then the Vixen's voice returned; "Yes, Doctor, of course Doctor.... Thank you, Doctor. The Chief Fault lay with Thomas, and Bradford. Thomas is dead now, and cannot confirm my report, but Bradford would be able to confirm it, under suitable methods of questioning.... I'd be glad to conduct that questioning for you, Doctor! But beyond that, it was T'sow's fault for assigning those two. She could have given me Brecht to work with, or even Ozama, but no, she had to assign those two clowns to this project! In comparison, I'd like to cite Xienfir's staffing of the Portal project as a classic example of how to put together a team. He used the principles of Psychological Calculus and mental engrams to pull together a team that was not only competent, but that would work well together as well....

Tanj shot a look at the others and then leaned closer; "Tell me more about how the Portal team works well together. Cite an example of a problem they've had and how they worked well together to overcome it. Contrast that with a problem you experienced and how your team handled it."

Wanda checked the Vixen's vitals, and nodded in satisfaction. Turning she flashed Tanj a Thumbs Up. The Cheetah was looking tired, and seemed to be zoning out a little more than usual, but she was still pumping the Vixen for all she was worth. Tanj had gotten many pieces of the puzzle, but it was still a puzzle, not a complete picture. The Vixen, while high up in the Gates' world cartel was only a field agent, not one of the ruling elite, and therefor not privy to all the information, merely hearsay and shop talk. Still, it was obvious that both the Cartel on Gates' world, and the Crown Prince's faction were allied against.... Against Jenka, and.... Herself? She couldn't say it was the Black Fleet; it seemed to be just those two. She could understand why the folks on Gates' World would have an interest in the research Tanj was backing, in her efforts to find Elysium, and the Brethren, but why would they be after Jenka? That was the direction Tanj's questions were currently probing.

Tanj smiled; "You know, of course, the reason the Crown Prince has such an interest in this Jenka person, don't you?"

The Vixen's form shuddered again, sending more ripples through the tank; "Of course, Doctor; well.... I wasn't formally briefed, but T'Sow did mention it."

The Cheetah nodded, and then realized the Fennec couldn't see the motion; "That was a breach of protocol. Did T'Sow tell Thomas or Bradford?"

Again the Fennec's body shuddered in the tank; "I have no way of knowing, Doctor. Of course, what I was told might have been mis-direction. That's not exactly uncommon in instances like this, is it?"

Tanj muttered; "no; that would... Better tell me what you were told, so I can correctly judge the seriousness of this incident."

"Yes, Doctor, I was told that....."

Wanda frowned; the Fennec's alpha, beta and theta brainwaves were increasing in amplitude, the pattern unusual. It was as if she were struggling to overcome some mental block. As the Vixen made inarticulate sounds, Wanda turned to Tanj; "Something's wrong. I think you'd better....."

Kath yelped; "Mistress! She's gone into Tachycardia! No, now she's.... I don't have a heartbeat!" Wanda cursed, something that would have made the Badger blush, and turned for the tank "We've got to get her out of there, NOW!"

Chris was reaching for the drain valve, when the blaster bolt struck the side of the tank; water surged forth, the plexiglass bending and shattering under the force. Knocked off his feet, washed halfway across the commons area, he stared as the Cheetah stalked forward, to use her claws to shred the latex sheet. A moment later, a vibroknife had appeared in her paw, and the ropes holding the Fennec's paws away from her body, now supporting her weight, were severed. She slumped to the floor lifelessly. Then Wanda was there, passing a sensor over her chest.

Tanj watched the Wolverine lass work. Kath had started CPR, while Wanda prepared an injection of something. The injection seemed to have no effect, and Wanda tried a second one. This too produced no result. Finally, the Wolverine lass motioned the Mink to stop. "I want to do an autopsy. This shouldn't have happened."

Dynotaku nodded; he'd been standing quietly at the back of the room, watching. And waiting. He'd expected something like this. "Take a look around the brainstem, and the pituitary gland. You might find a small golden capsule, with hair-thin electrodes. Its not uncommon in field agents like her. Press them too hard, try and force them to tell something they either don't want to tell, or have been conditioned not to talk about, and it releases a drug that'll kill them."

Tanj turned and looked at the Unicorn; "I've heard of things like that, but how would YOU know about them?"

The Unicorn shrugged; "I read a lot of spy novels."

Jenka looked at Tanj's report and nodded; "Nothing we hadn't suspected, given the events."

Tanj nodded; "True. Its just a little... daunting."

The Jaguar laughed; "Oh, I wouldn't worry about Ruprecht. He's a bumbler and he attracts bumblers, like Thomas and Bradford. He'll keep trying, but if we're clever, he won't be a significant problem. Now... these furrs from Gates' world. THEY might be more of a problem. I think the key there is to find a way to show them that there's no profit in it. They ARE, after all, mercenaries."

Tanj frowned; "Mistress, I think there's more to it than that. I think this has gotten personal. Personal on their part, and certainly personal on MY part. I'm going to have to think very carefully on what to do next." Without waiting for permission, or even looking up from her notes, the Cheetah turned, and left.

Jenka watched her go, and when the door closed, let out a long, deep sigh. THAT could be the biggest problem of them all.

Tanj examined herself in the mirror. She could swear she's lost ten pounds, not unreasonable considering the way they'd fed her. But her ass looked better, her breasts seemed higher and firmer, and her vision clearer. It was almost like she'd lost ten years as well as ten pounds. Her mind seemed to be gradually clearing as well, and there were times when she thought she was thinking sharper than she ever had in her life. Like when she was questioning the Fennec, dancing along the edges of her delusions, extracting information without the Fennec even knowing what was going on. Almost as if her brain was being "optimized". However, there were other times when she couldn't seem to remember anything, and found herself just staring out into space. The piercing in her tongue had healed, in days instead of months, as had Wanda's surgery on her hamstrings. She could now walk without pain, even if her coordination seemed a little off. But she couldn't help but wonder if eventually the nanites would have fixed her tendons too. Looking in the mirror, she wondered if they were still in there, still working on her, and if so, who knows what they might be doing? Or did they go quiescent when her body wasn't obviously damaged? Did they hibernate, or did they just "die" and leave her system? She certainly couldn't ask Pangborne. Still, maybe Wanda could answer a few of her questions.....

Jenka found the Unicorn at the end of a corridor, staring out through a viewport and into space. "I thought I might find you here."

Dynotaku nodded; "you know I'm going to have to tell him about this."

Jenka sighed; "I'd rather you didn't. Its really none of his business."

"Balony. Ruprecht's involved. And you know he's always interested in what that bastard is up to. And then there's that Scientific cartel. They're a danger if there ever was one. He needs to know."

Jenka growled; "he's not a bastard, at least not in the literal sense, and you know it." Turning she stalked off, back the way she'd come.

Dynotaku grinned at her retreating back; "you know, I'd think you'd be a little more grateful. I was hoping you'd show your appreciation..."

Jenka stopped and turned to grin back at him; "What, the root beer chaser wasn't enough?" The Unicorn just grinned. Jenka smiled and sighed; "you really ARE irrepressible, aren't you? Well, let me think about it."

As she moved off down the corridor, Dynotaku called out, at her retreating back; "Tomorrow night, my quarters, 7 PM!

John hesitated for a moment, watching as the Unicorn turned again to stare out the viewport. Then, he too turned and followed his Mistress. As he walked, he wondered what had just happened. Who was this Dynotaku? He didn't seem to have any set function with the Black fleet, just picking up odd jobs when the mood struck him. He'd worked in Logistics, in Maintenance, in Accounting, and was now doing something in Food Services. Furrs that couldn't hold down a job generally weren't tolerated in the Black Fleet, and yet, he'd been here for a long time. Just who the hell was he?

Meanwhile, back on Elysium:

Amelia Kennedy

The Skunkette smiled as she slipped across the border. Her chameleon cloak made her almost impossible to see, and the sensor array she wore like a pair of goggles let her see every tripwire, mine, and infra-red sensor. Childsplay. Toys like these made her job SUCH fun....

Of course, this mission hadn't seemed like fun when she'd started. It seemed, well, boring. Sneak into an agricultural region, and spread a white powder. The biggest danger had seemed to have been from sneezing. It wasn't until later, when she'd been sitting in a local bar, relaxing after a few days strenuous powder dispersal, that the full impact hit her. One of the local industries was a brewery, and the off-shift personnel were almost in a full-fledged panic. Local crops, used by the brewery were failing. They couldn't make a decent product without those crops. NO BEER! Oh, she'd known what she was doing had something to do with crops and morale, but it wasn't until that moment, when a lady squirrel grabbed the bartender by the lapels, hauled him half across the bar, and screamed in his face that it was the end of everything, that she truly understood. "Somebody back home is a bloody genius" she muttered to herself as she trudged through the woods, now safely on her side of the border.


The Minister of Agriculture was a worried furr. Very worried. The barley crop in the Tseudo province had some sort of strange blight. A blight that wasn't responding to any of the normal remedies. Normally this would be a comparatively minor problem; barely wasn't something that most furrs consumed. At least not directly. It WAS however, a mainstay in the manufacture of beer, and some other alcoholic beverages. Breweries all throughout the Reds territory were shutting down. Some were converting to a rice based beverage, but that wasn't being received very well.

Needless to say, morale was at an all-time low. The furr-in-the-street was demanding action. And the Central Committee was blaming him.

Meanwhile, his "agent" had managed to infiltrate the Blues Territory, with the covert help of the Director of the First Intelligence Directorate. And what he'd found was truly frightening. But how to tell the Committee? Especially given the cloud over him at the moment.... Still, somehow, he'd have to try.... No matter what the consequences.

The Muskrat was waiting for him, by the door to the conference room. "Hello, Alexi. Tell me, how can you look so calm, at a time like this?" The Muskrat shrugged; "Appearance is everything, No? You should not look so worried, my old friend, even if you are." The Minister of Agriculture muttered "Easy for you to say" and headed for his seat.

There was no question that his mind was elsewhere as the meeting started. Xyloff started by grilling the Minister of Defense, over the failure of several recent initiatives, and as they argued back and forth, The Minister of Agriculture thought about how his agent had uncovered evidence that the Blues were shipping coffee off-planet. Obviously it was being traded somewhere, for something. Perhaps something to do with all the recent reverses they'd encountered? Could someone purchase a blight for Barley from mysterious aliens? Or was that something more home-grown? And either way, what could he do about it?

The shouting distracted him from his thoughts. Turning, he watched as Zaitichan, the Party Theorist, rose from his chair to point his finger at Xyloff. What happened next was completely astounding..... Zaitichan ranted, growling about the Wolverine's failure to adhere to the tenets of the party, and the revolution's philosophy, how it had brought them to the precipice of the failure of the revolution, and how he must pay the penalty for that failure... And then the tip of his finger exploded.....

Xylexx felt the projectile whiz past his right ear. With surprising calm, he picked up his notebook, and calmly opened it to where the bookmark lay. Reaching in, he withdrew a small nerve scrambler from the concealed compartment. Zaitichan's eyes went wide, and he started to bring his other paw up, but Xyloff completed his motion first, and the nerve disruptor buzzed angrily. Zaitichan's body convulsed, his eyes rolled back in his head, and he arched over backwards. But as he collapsed the tip of the index finger of his other paw exploded. To Xyloff's left, the Minister of Defense screamed, his chair toppling over backwards. And then the conference room was full of guards, seemingly materializing out of nowhere, bustling the Wolverine away.

The Minister of Agriculture blinked. Zaitichan's body lay across the table, still twitching. The Defense Minister lay in an increasing pool of blood. In shock and surprise, he looked across the table at the Muskrat. The Chief of the First Intelligence Directorate sat as calmly as ever, as if assassination attempts and gunfights were routine occurances. Well, for him, perhaps they were. And then the Minister of Agriculture smiled; it seemed he'd live another day, perhaps more. It might be a while before there would be another central committee meeting, a while before he'd have to make his report. Now, what might he do with that time? Again, he found himself looking at the Muskrat....

On his way out of the party headquarters, he couldn't stop laughing; talk about "giving someone the finger"....

The Freighter

Montgomery looked at the e-mail, and frowned. Not that he had been looking forward, mind you, to what they were going to do to HIS ship, but he had to admit, it would have been interesting.....

The Blues had been building more and more robot antimatter factories, in solar orbit than ever before, but still wasn't enough for the growing warp freighter fleet. And as a result, they were going to attempt to convert HIS ship to be run on one of their direct conversion powerplants. He shuddered just to think of it. The beastie was easily ten times the size of his ship's tried and true matter/antimatter reactor. Admittedly it wouldn't require the dangerous antimatter, but there were all sorts of compatibility issues...

But now that was on hold. Instead, they were going to equip the Brethren's flagship, the Overlord, with one of their direct conversion powerplants. Well, that was fine by him. They probably had more room. And if anything went wrong, well, it wouldn't destroy HIS home. Still, it would have been an interesting challenge.

Now, this other memo, about not building any more warp-capable freighters, THAT one had him REALLY confused..... Antimatter wasn't in THAT short a supply, and it would only be a matter of time until they had more production facilities built. And the Brethren had even found some naturally occurring antimatter, although just where, and how, was very hush-hush. The rumors were simply unbelievable.

Maybe it had something to do with the Nuffin's continued attempts to destroy the antimatter production facilities. They'd tried sabotage, both covert and overt, and had even tried to hijack one of the other warp-capable freighters, but so far they'd been stopped at every turn. Or had they? Maybe something had happened that he just wasn't privy to....

Still, in the meantime they had a very tight sailing schedule. Business was good, and demands for his ship's services were incredible. In fact, they were due to depart soon. Shutting down the e-mail program, he rose to give his engine room a final check, before departure.

The Brou Machine

The Lion frowned, trying to concentrate, trying to maintain his focus. If communicating with the Brou machine had been difficult, listening in while one of the Alien "Adepts" communicated with it was even worse. He thought he got the gist of what they were discussing, and tried to make notes, mumbling softly into a recorder. The Aliens were talking to the Brou machine about how it worked. They obviously intended to duplicate it.

There had been a terrible row, when they'd opened their first portal, and sent a probe through. The Aliens had promptly accused the Brethren, the Blues and the Lion of having cheated them with the deal over the Warp drive. In some respects it may have actually increased their reputation. The Aliens were furious that something better, something MUCH better existed, and here they'd bought a (according to them) VERY expensive and completely inferior substitute.

This of course had lead to renewed negotiations, much screaming and yelling, threats, counter-threats, and so forth. Finally, they'd hammered out a far-ranging deal. The Aliens would get unrestricted access to the Brou machine. Anything they got from it, they'd have to share. In return, they would assist in getting the Brethren, and the Elysium system back to where it came from, and should any trade opportunities arise from that, the Brethren and the Blues would have the monopoly. In perpetuity. Beyond that, the Brethren, and the Blues would reap a fraction of a percentage of all profits made, using the Brou technology "locally". It should still be an astronomical number. All they had to do was duplicate the Brou device, as a transportation system. Simple, right?

The Brou device didn't care. ITS demand was that it get to go home. Back to the Brou. This the Brethren and the Aliens readily agreed to, as long as they could learn, and reproduce the HOW of the matter.

And thus the great project had been started. The Aliens really did seem to be able to communicate with the Brou machine more easily, and through them, they'd started opening portals, initially, to study how it was done, and to develop a "map" of known space. And then, as they'd gained more confidence, they'd started using the device to dispatch small courier ships. Some things absolutely, positively HAD to be there overnight, even if it was to the far side of known space. The Aliens had started taking contracts, for astronomical fees, but with whopping great penalty clauses, for the delivery of certain time-critical items. And then they'd used the Brou device to dispatch the courier essentially instantaneously.

The Brethren had taken just part of the proceeds from that business, and had started the long and painful business of retrofitting the Overlord with one of the Aliens' direct conversion powerplants. Parks, the Chief Engineer, was going crazy trying to handle all the interface and control problems. But progress was being made. Parks thought they'd be ready for low power trials in a month or two. And at that time, the Brou machine thought it would have enough power to search greater distances, to see if it could find "home".

And of course, the aliens were furiously working at trying to duplicate the whole Brou machine. But without success. Their first trial saw the AI dedicated to the device go insane in record time. And this, of course, was driving the Aliens to refine their own AI's, again under the Brou machine's tutelage....

Thus leading to another profit center.

The Lion blinked as the Alien broke the connection, rose, and left the room. For a moment he wondered what had happened? It was obvious that his mind had wandered, and that he'd missed something. Questioning the Brou machine brought little information, although he gathered the Alien had simply felt that it had grown tired to the point of unacceptable efficiency and had decided to stop and rest. Rising, the Lion padded from the Brou Machine's chamber. So many details to attend to. And when they were all satisfied, or near-satisfied, then he could turn to the stack of physics books that he was trying to get up to speed on, in an attempt to keep up with what the Brou machine was telling the aliens. Way too much to do.....


The slave was being punished. At the moment, the humiliation of menial servitude was the punishment. She knelt by the door, a flask of vintage wine on a silver serving tray, waiting for her master's bidding. Her knees were spread wide, her back straight, her head bowed, her gaze fastened on a spot between her knees. But her ears were up, not laid back. Obviously she was listening for the least clue that would indicate one of her Master's guests wished more wine, and yet the very fact that she was listening attentively seemed to enrage her Master. Lately she'd been doing that a lot to him. An exotic, once one of his favorites, she'd somehow found a way of doing everything exactly right and still prompting him to towering, irrational rages at her. Like now. Growling, he forced his attention back to his Chamberlain; "Yes, the mission wasn't successful, but it wasn't a complete loss either. The Black fleet's operations are still highly disrupted. Some key personnel are dead, and others have fled. There are lots of holes in their organizational chart, and we can exploit that." The Chamberlain nodded; "your Highness is still set on capturing her, then?"

The Jaguar nodded; "Of course. You know the reasons." He turned and regarded the kneeling slave once again. Why did he feel she was acting superior to him? Irrational. Turning back he scowled at the Chamberlain; "They're weakened now. Their third quarter profits are GRIM. They'll be looking for a lucrative target, and willing to take greater than normal risks. This should play right into our hands. We'll provide such a target for them." He smiled; "Tell me, how many of my doubles have survived?" The Chamberlain winced; "Three, your highness. One of them, is a remarkable likeness, although the personality could use some work." The Jaguar grinned; "That shouldn't matter. Inform him he'll be taking a small trip. Tell him, I need something handled covertly. Low profile. Very important. Tell him, he'll be dealing with some very important furrs for me. Entertaining them." He looked back at the slave and smiled; "Tell him, I'll send some of my favorites along with him, from my harem. That should keep him happy. Keep him from questioning the mission, or even thinking about it too much." The Chamberlain nodded; "And what else will your Highness be using for bait?" The Jaguar smiled; "As if "my own person wasn't enough?" At the look on the Chamberlain's face, he waved a paw; "Oh, I'll scrape up something. Something that would make any pirate drool." He glanced back at the slave. Had she moved without permission? How could she manage to hold that pose and look.... Impudent at the same time? Without looking away, he growled; "Find me a suitable ship. Something that could repulse any pirate attack without looking as if it was in the least bit dangerous. Find me some Fleet escorts that don't know their ass from a hole in the ground, and can be easily decoyed away." Waving his paw, he growled; "Go. Go and set it up. Make sure the right parties learn of the impending mission. I DO want word to filter down to the right ears. Now, leave me. I feel I need to relieve myself of some frustrations....."

The skunkette Watched in horror as the guards dropped the striped bundle of fur, and withdrew. When they were gone, she heaved herself out of the bath, and moved quietly to her friend; "Are you there? Can you hear me? What did he DO to you?"

"Oh.... oooh. Ouch. No, not there, here let me... I can make it into the bath by myself. Ah. There. Yes, that's better. Urrr, he had a new toy. Something that simulates the pain centers of the brain directly. But he got tired of it, and resorted to more tried and true methods."

"You mean the cane"


"So, I take it things didn't work out for him, as he would have liked."

"No. It flubbed. Again."

"you'd think he'd learn."

"Oh, not him. He has much too high an opinion of himself. That he might be over-reaching would never occur to him, and that he might be outmatched would be inconceivable."

The Skunkette nodded; "So what's the next grand plan?"

"Oh, you're going to love this. He knows they're in financial trouble, so he's going to dangle a prize in front of them that will absorb all their resources as they try and take it. But of course it's a trap. And if they fail one more time, the whole Black Fleet might disintegrate, and without them, she'd be a much easier target."

The Skunkette nodded; "let me guess. You're going to use it to get out of here, and to there, where you think you might be able to do some good."

"Wrong. I'm going to use it to get US out of here and to there, where we both might be able to do some good. Besides, you know you're not really suited for this place anyways. Talent wasted. And the others can handle what needs to be done here."

The Skunkette shook her head; "I just hope you know what you're doing."

"Oh, I think I do, and the Cabal agrees. But only time will tell."

Tying Up Loose Ends

Jenka sipped her wine, and smiled; this certainly was NOT what she'd expected when she'd presented herself at Dynotaku's quarters. She'd expected him to make use of her as if she were any other slave. Admittedly she DID owe him; she knew what he'd done to further the failure of the mutineers, and she appreciated what he'd done for Chris Foxx, during his "sensory deprivation" torture.

But instead of straps and gags, she'd found a candlelit table, and a truly remarkable dinner. The conversation had been light, and inconsequential, never coming close to the subjects that would have caused distress or argument. Desert had been heaven. Her host had been humorous, and gracious.

But now it was time to leave. Putting her glass down on the coffee table, she rose, and padded over to him. "Got a busy day tomorrow."

He smiled; "I understand."

He followed her to the door. She paused, half through the door, to turn and look at him; "One thing I don't understand..."

He grinned; "just one?"

She nodded; "When you knocked the blaster from Braddock's paw... Why throw something? Why not just stun him?"

The Unicorn smiled; "They had patrols going around searching for our Badger friend; I didn't want to get caught with an "unauthorized weapon." And as for knocking the blaster from his paw, well, I was TRYING to hit him between the eyes."

Jenka smiled, and nodded; "Yes, that would have been better; you might have knocked him out, and then he couldn't have gone for that backup weapon. Pity you missed. But I do thank you for the effort." Rising to tiptoes she kissed him lightly, and then was gone.

This story is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to any characters, living, dead or imaginary is purely a coincidence. Tanj is copyright Kittiara's player. Kittiara can be found on Furrymuck; telnet 8888. Jenka, Hinoki, Chris Fox, Roland, Sashi, Sabina, Dynotaku and Zassa are copyright their players (Jenka, Chris Foxx, Dynotaku, Sabina and Zassa can be found on FurryMuck, and Hinoki on Tapestries or on FurryMuck. Sashi is copyright her player. Chris Foxx is copyright Bondofox. Roland is copyright IronBadger. Hopefully I didn't miss anyone.... Copyright 2003. Comments, suggestions, or flames can be directed to ha_seng@hotmail.com.