I’ve previously used St. Clair’s story as the basis for my Flotsam series and Valley of the Domes, but this time I’ve stuck much more closely to St. Clair’s original plot. I found that I couldn’t just add erotic elements to the original story, though - I had to add lots of original touches as well.
Byrna had been riding for hours and she and her mount were exhausted, but her pursuers were still hard on her tail. The constant rain was making the ground treacherous, but she couldn’t afford to slow down. If Thazia’s family caught her they’d never let her get away. It would be a fate worse than death.
Honestly, she thought, all this fuss just because she’d had a little fling with a purple alien girl. It had been a lot of fun while it lasted, but she never expected the girl to take it seriously. Byrna knew she was a good lover and knew lots of techniques the purples didn’t, but the way Thazia went on anyone would think Byrna was some kind of love goddess.
How was Byrna to know that Thazia would go and tell her entire family about the affair? And as if that wasn’t enough, how was she to know the girl’s family would insist that Byrna must marry Thazia immediately?
And the thing was that the purples believed in extended marriages. She wouldn’t just be married to Thazia, but to all of her five sisters and her seven brothers - not to mention her thirty-eight cousins, and quite probably all of their cousins as well.
It wouldn’t be a marriage, it would be sexual slavery. She had even caught a glimpse of the chains the family were planning to shackle her with.
So she ran, stealing the first drok-beast she could find, hoping to cut across the eastern plain to the spaceport. She hadn’t counted on the family giving chase so swiftly. As far as she could tell all of Thazia’s siblings had joined her and her parents in hot pursuit.
Unfortunately Byrna had had no time to retrieve her compad, so she couldn’t call for help and had to rely on her limited knowledge of local geography to navigate, which wasn’t helped by the endless downpour. Then a fog had closed in, and by the time it had eased off Byrna was totally disoriented. She was cold, wet and fatigued, and desperate to find some kind of refuge before Thazia and her family caught her and dragged her back in a sack.
The eastern plain was blork territory. It was no use asking the blork for help. Neither hostile nor friendly, the blork just seemed totally indifferent to any species except their own. Their leathery bodies absorbed the constant rain, and they waddled around like mobile water balloons. Anyone unfortunate enough to stand in their way would just get dispassionately shoved aside. Byrna thought she had seen a few of them in the distance, but fortunately she hadn’t run into any.
Just when she thought she couldn’t ride any further she caught a glimpse of what looked like a structure standing on a low elevation nearby. Turning her mount toward it, she saw that it was a small shrine, of the kind that were fairly common hereabouts. They were made from a semi-transparent crystal that was found in abundance on and around the plains.
Byrna had passed by a few of the shrines when she first arrived. Some of them had been occupied by naked purples, sitting in attitudes of apparent meditation. When Byrna had called to them none of them had spoken or moved, although they had turned their eyes toward her, so she had decided they wanted to be left alone. It did seem a little odd that the purples should have built their meditation shrines in the middle of blork territory, but after all, despite their incredibly sexy humanoid bodies they were alien, so who could guess why they behaved the way they did?
It was a long shot, but if she behaved as if she were meditating it was possible that Thazia and her family might decide to leave her alone. All things considered it wasn’t much of a plan, but right now she didn’t have a better one, and she could hear pounding hoofbeats not far behind. If nothing else it might buy her some time.
By the time the purples arrived at the shrine Byrna had stripped naked and sat herself down in the centre of the shrine, placing her rain-soaked garments on the floor beside her pack and water flask. The floor felt soft and pliant. She might have thought it was soft mud, except that it felt perfectly dry and left no residue on her skin.
Well, never mind what it was made of as long as it was comfortable. She could sit here for days if she had to. As long as the purples respected the shrine’s sanctity, she was safe from matrimony, at least for the time being. With any luck they would leave before the rains made travelling conditions any worse.
Two of the siblings took charge of Byrna’s exhausted drok-beast and led it away to a pool to drink. The other purples made their way up to the shrine, but as she had hoped they made no attempt to enter. Thazia stood in the shrine’s broad archway and pleaded.
“Byrna, please come out. I admit we were a bit hasty chasing you like that, but if you come out we can try to make our marriage work. I know a lot of techniques we haven’t even tried yet, and so do all my brothers, and all my sisters, and all our cousins. You can’t really want to do this instead, can you? Byrna, my parents were only joking about chaining you up, can’t you see that? They really are great fun when you get to know them.”
Oh, yeah, thought Byrna. Freakin’ hilarious. They way her mother looked at me could have curdled drok-beast milk, if the heat and humility here hadn’t already done it. No, if I set foot inside that household they’ll never let me leave.
So as her alien ex-lover continued to beg she simply sat motionless and silent as the meditating purples she had seen. Moving only her eyes she gave Thazia one disdainful glance then looked away.
Thazia and her family looked puzzled. Drawing back from the shrine’s entrance they discussed the matter in voices too low for Byrna to hear.
“Do you think it’s already taken?” said one of her brothers.
“No, it can’t have done,” said Thazia’s mother. “It never works this quickly.”
“Don’t forget she’s an Outsider,” said one of Thazia’s sisters. “It might work differently on them.”
“From what I’ve seen of the Outsiders,” said the brother who had first spoken, “there’s not much difference between us, except for their skin colour.” Shooting a pointed glance at Thazia he repeated, “No... not very much difference at all.”
Thazia blushed a bright indigo.
Meanwhile Byrna sat, secure in her na´ve conviction that she could win her freedom by waiting in the shrine until the purples gave up on her.
She was blissfully unaware that concealed mechanisms built into the ancient structure had already begun to scan every cell and tissue in her body in anticipation of fulfilling their appointed tasks.
Thazia and her family made repeated attempts to persuade Byrna to leave the shrine, but all to no avail. Eventually they resigned themselves to wait, huddled in their cloaks against the constant, and strengthening, rainfall.
Night was beginning to fall, and Byrna was willing herself to stay awake in case the purples should snatch her while she slept.
In fact the purples had no such intentions. By now they were sure that Byrna was lost to them, and were merely awaiting the inevitable conclusion.
Shortly before dark the purples saw the roof of the shrine glow a dull red as its alien technology woke from its long slumber. Before Byrna realised what was happening her mind was invaded by an energy probe and her conscious mind became blank. That was the cue for other probes to set to work on her body. The probes altered some of her organs in ways that no surgeon would understand. Other organs they simply transplanted with alien equivalents. They even found room within her lean torso to insert brand new organs of a kind that no human had ever possessed.
The mind probe made sure that Byrna could neither think nor feel pain, yet her subconscious continued to register.
From outside, the purples heard the alien devices at work, but chose not to look inside. Thazia sighed, remembering Byrna’s lovemaking, and masturbated herself to sleep.
By the time the machines had finished it was mid-morning of the next day. The mind probe relaxed its grip and Byrna found herself aware once more. She felt perfectly comfortable; in fact, there was none of the stiffness she might have expected from spending the night cross-legged on the floor. Yet her subconscious mind retained the impression that something very strange and disturbing had happened to her.
Outside the hut the purples were making preparations to leave. The rain was beating down more fiercely than ever, and it wasn’t even the height of the season yet. It was hardly surprising the purples didn’t want to wait any longer.
Ah, well, thought Byrna. I won’t be staying much longer myself. Just a few days, by which time they’re sure to have given up on the idea of lying in ambush for me.
Byrna was feeling hot and dehydrated. Well, the water flask was right next to her. All she had to do was reach over and pick it up.
She sat still.
For a moment she couldn’t understand what had happened. She had given her body the command to pick up the water, and so she expected to find the flask in her hands, but the flask was still on the floor and her hands still lay by her sides.
Maybe she was just tired. She wasn’t properly awake and had only imagined herself picking up the flask. This time she made a determined effort to reach down and pick it up.
Her body remained still. Not a muscle moved.
Oh, Gods, no! she thought. Please don’t let it be true! Don’t let me be paralysed!
Straining herself to the limit, with every last grain of willpower, she commanded her body to stand up.
There was no response. Her muscles refused to obey her commands.
Again she tried to galvanise her limbs into action.
She might as well have been made of stone. It was impossible to make the slightest quiver of movement.
She could not weep. Her body was too dry.
Oh, dear Gods she thought. The purples knew this was going to happen. Thazia knew. She was trying to warn me, but I was just too stubborn to listen.
And all those other purples that I saw sitting in shrines - that’s why they didn’t answer me! They weren’t meditating - they were paralysed! And now I’m paralysed just like them! Oh, Gods, why couldn’t You have warned me? Why have You abandoned me to this fate? What have I ever done to offend You so?
Fortunately for Byrna’s sanity, her self-pitying reverie was interrupted by Thazia, who finally plucked up enough courage to enter the shrine despite her family’s misgivings.
Stepping over the threshold, Thazia bent down and kissed Byrna. “I think it’s very brave, what you’re doing,” she said. “It is very rare for any to accept this fate willingly.”
“Brave?” Byrna wanted to say. “I’m not brave! I didn’t know this was going to happen! How could I have known? I don’t want this! You have to help me!”
She remained silent. Not a muscle moved.
There were so many things she had wanted to say to Thazia, and now she never would.
Thazia said, “Your name will be honoured among my family as long as it endures,”
Given her family’s size and promiscuity, Byrna thought, it’s probably going to endure for a very long time.
Then she thought, Oh, Gods, what am I thinking? How can I possibly look for humour in this situation? Maybe I’m going crazy already.
Meanwhile Thazia was taking a small object out of her travel bag.
“Here,” she told Byrna. “This was to be my wedding gift to you. Mother wanted me to save it for another, but - oh, Byrna, I love you so much. It can still be our wedding gift, because as far as I am concerned our hearts will always be married.”
The object was a small translucent disc on a gold chain, perhaps one twentieth of a cubit in diameter. It seemed to be made of the same type of crystal as the shrine. Byrna could make no protest or resistance as Thazia slipped it about her neck and carefully adjusted the disc so that it hung exactly between Byrna’s naked breasts. And than Thazia began caressing and fondling those breasts as she had done so many times before, and Byrna could not lift a finger to resist. In spite of herself she started to become aroused. There was a tingling at her breasts where the crystal disc sat, and she guessed that it was some kind of sensory enhancer.
Soon, as Byrna had known she would, Thazia began to stroke, and then lick, Byrna’s vagina.
Byrna’s body remained still. Not a muscle moved... except for her pubic muscles, which were responding involuntarily to Thazia’s stimulation.
No, thought Byrna. Ohhhh, Goooods, make it stop!
If the Gods were listening, they chose not to grant Byrna’s prayer. Instead Byrna’s arousal grew unstoppably, enhanced and amplified by the pendant, until after a few minutes she experienced a blazing climax that briefly robbed her of conscious thought, followed by another, then another, then still more.
Eventually she blanked out from the intensity of her orgasms. When at last she came to her senses, Thazia was kneeling before her.
“It’s very curious,” said Thazia dreamily. “Your body has become smooth and dry, almost like soft leather rather than skin, and the whites of your eyes have turned orange. I did not realise how much the shrines changed people. If I stayed here with you I should be changed as well, and we would spend the rest of our lives together.”
Thazia sighed. A single tear rolled down her beautiful violet face as she leant forward to kiss Byrna’s lips.
“Forgive me, my beloved bride,” she whispered. “I do not have the courage to join you in this destiny. Farewell.”
No, wait, thought Byrna. Don’t leave me here! Take me with you! Take me back to the spaceport! The Navy’s surgical units will surely be able to cure my paralysis!
But it was no use. Byrna remained mute. Thazia stood, picked up Byrna’s discarded clothing, bags and water bottle and walked out of the shrine with them, leaving the shrine empty except for Byrna’s motionless naked body.
Byrna could only watch as her purple lover walked slowly away, packed all of Byrna’s possessions into her saddlebags, mounted her drok-beast and rode out of her life.
So that’s it, then, Byrna told herself. My life is over. No more sunsets, no more flowers, no more songs, no more lovers. Nothing but the pounding rain, while I sit here like a statue and go slowly insane for however long I’m fated to remain alive in this state. Oh, Gods, why have You forsaken me?
Byrna found herself becoming horny again, which reminded her of Thazia’s lovemaking, which only made her all the hornier. It was a vicious cycle, and there was nothing she could do to relieve herself. She wondered how long it would take her to go mad. Then she wondered whether she would notice when it happened.
The rain pounded the roof of the shrine ceaselessly. During the height of the season two years ago a daily rainfall of two point one cubits had been recorded at the spaceport, and the spaceport was, for obvious reasons, located in a relatively dry area.
Thinking about the rain at least gave Byrna a momentary respite from despair, but it seemed to be stirring other feelings as well. Unknown to Byrna, her brand new organs were beginning to awaken. Her body desired water as well as sex, and thanks to her altered biochemistry that desire was becoming as strong as a sexual arousal. She was becoming intensely hydrophilic.
For the moment her new organs were almost dormant. They could sense water nearby, but it was just out of reach. So they waited, more patiently than their unsuspecting owner, for the moment when their full potential would be awakened.
They did not have to wait very long.
Perhaps an hour before noon, Byrna saw a shape loom out of the rain. She wasn’t sure what it was, but she welcomed it as a distraction from her helpless arousal.
She only hoped it wasn’t some predator looking for easy meat. Then she wondered if being eaten might not be kinder than being helpless and alone for the rest of her life.
The figure approached unhurriedly, and soon she saw why. It was a blork, waterlogged by all the rain its skin had absorbed. blork were basically humanoid, although they were much taller than humans or purples, and their biology was closer to amphibian than mammalian. During the rainy season their bodies absorbed large quantities of water, expanding like leathery sacks. This particular blork was almost saturated, its torso distended into a broad pear-shape. Its weight gave it a slow, waddling gait, and its waistline was almost too broad to fit through the shrine’s entrance arch.
Byrna had a feeling she was about to discover why the shrines had been built in blork territory.
In fact she was labouring under a common misconception. The shrines had been built long ago and the blork had established their territory near them in order to take advantage of the valuable service the shrines provided, as Byrna’s visitor was about to do.
Once through the archway the blork filled most of the space in front of Byrna. Since her neck would not bend she had to roll her eyes upward as far as she could to see its face. She was glad she wasn’t claustrophobic. It uttered a number of low grunts, which Byrna supposed were a greeting of some kind, and inclined its torso in as much of a bow as it could manage.
Byrna watched and waited. She remained incapable of doing anything else.
The blork didn’t seem interested in eating her, and its body was so bloated it probably couldn’t even find its sex organs, so why had it decided to visit her?
A sudden sensation washed over Byrna’s body from head to foot. Although strange and unfamiliar it was not unpleasant. She had no idea what was causing it, but it couldn’t be a coincidence that it had begun just as the blork arrived.
Indeed it was not. Byrna’s new alien organs were awakening. Sensing the blork’s moisture, they were beginning to fulfil the function for which they were designed, and informing Byrna’s nervous system of the fact.
The blork waited for a moment, and then began to turn around slowly, making low rumbling noises in its throat that might have been its idea of a song. As it did so, her nervous system was inflamed by more of the strange sensations.
They were not unpleasant at all. Just the opposite, in fact. As the blork continued to rotate Byrna felt herself overtaken by a growing physical pleasure, which was enhanced and intensified by the pendant Thazia had given her. It wasn’t exactly sexual, although it was every bit as intense and pleasurable as sex if not more so. She didn’t know how to describe it.
That was hardly surprising, since no human being and only a few hundred purples had ever experienced it before. Like the unbreakable paralysis, it was an unexpected side-effect of alien technology attempting to interface with humanoid biology. It was strange and blissful, like an exotic new flavour she had never tasted before, and Thazia’s medallion was amplifying it enormously.
As Byrna watched the blork gyrate before her its body took on a misty appearance. At first Byrna thought the intense pleasure was making her vision blurred, until she realised that what she was seeing really was mist. The blork’s body was releasing its moisture as a cloud of water vapour.
A moment later, Byrna realised what was happening to the blork’s expelled moisture. The cloud was enveloping and being absorbed by her body. Whatever had paralysed her was also responsible for giving her body this startling new function.
The symbolism was not lost on her. The blork was making her body absorb its fluids, and there was nothing she could do about it but experience pleasure.
Although that pleasure was not overtly sexual, after a few minutes of it her genitals responded in sympathy, giving her the longest and hardest orgasm of her entire life...so far.
Combined with the alien pleasure she was already feeling, and enhanced along with it by Thazia’s pendant, it was the most beautiful and sensuous experience she had ever had, and although she didn’t know it, it was only just beginning. Very soon she came long and hard for a second time, then a third and fourth... and soon she lost count.
She couldn’t speak. She couldn’t moan in ecstasy.
When the ancient Xgjz had built what Byrna called the shrines, almost half a billion years before, their intention was to adapt the bodies of their slave races from the harsh desert conditions of their birth to the much damper climate of this planet. The process worked perfectly on the slaves, giving them increased strength, health and longevity as a bonus. When the slaves thanked their masters in the traditional manner - that is to say, by revolting - the irony was not lost on the intellectually-superior but physically puny and soon-to-be-extinct Xgjz.
The slaves took their former masters’ vessels and departed, leaving the shrines and their immortal machines behind. Those machines waited patiently for millions of centuries until the purples arrived and began to trigger them anew.
Byrna could not have guessed any of this. At the moment she could scarcely remember her name, so extreme were the sexual and non-sexual ecstasies coursing through her body. She thought they must have been going on for days. In fact less than an hour had passed since the blork had entered the shrine.
Through the cloud of vapour Byrna could see that the blork was looking a little thinner than before. Its torso was still a bloated water-sac, but it was visibly narrower than when the creature had arrived.
Meanwhile Byrna was beginning to feel a swelling in her own belly, thighs and breasts. If the blork was getting smaller through losing its water, she was getting bigger by gaining it. The implications of that were potentially alarming, but before she could worry about them all conscious thought was blown away by another blast of pleasure.
As the long, wet afternoon went on the blork continued to rotate slowly before Byrna, still singing in its basso profundo rumble. Byrna sat helplessly absorbing the blork’s moisture, unable to escape the alien ecstasies and all too human orgasms that the blork was unwittingly forcing her to experience. The blork slowly but surely grew slimmer, while Byrna slowly but surely grew fatter.
Outside the rain grew heavier and the sky grew darker, so that it was hard to tell when the darkness of twilight began to fall over the darkness of the clouds.
Dusk had only just begun when the blork, with a final rumbling note, stopped turning in front of Byrna. It had no more excess moisture to give.
Sensing that they were no longer needed, Byrna’s alien organs became dormant. The overpowering ecstasy they had been feeding her faded away, leaving her body tingling all over.
Byrna would have sighed if she could. One more hour of those alien sensations would probably have driven her insane.
The blork’s body had narrowed to an astonishing degree. Its torso, no longer bloated with water, was lean and muscular. Its belly no longer hung over its crotch, allowing Byrna to see that it was, quite unmistakably, male. Hastily turning her gaze upward, she saw that the blork’s face had also lost its jowls and folds, and was actually quite handsome in an amphibian sort of way.
As for Byrna, her entire body had expanded. Her growing thighs pushed her arms outward; her arms and legs had also become thicker, her face and torso had grown plump and her breasts had become bigger and more sensitive - as indeed had her buttocks.
Fortunately she didn’t feel heavy or bloated, any more than she felt cramped or stiff from sitting motionless for so long. In fact she felt perfectly comfortable. If she had been able to look at herself in a mirror she would probably have described her new appearance as Rubenesque.
The blork had probably never heard of Rubens, but it was studying Byrna’s body with a new interest. Now that it had shed its excess moisture it had also regained its libido, as Byrna could see only too clearly, and she had no doubt as to what the creature intended to do about it.
Sure enough, the blork knelt before Byrna, who could do nothing to stop it as it slowly brushed its leathery hands over and around her breasts. Blork females of course had no mammaries, since they did not suckle their young, and so Byrna’s were a source of considerable fascination to it. Even more so, in fact, because they had grown much bigger since the blork first entered the shrine. Eventually, though, the blork transferred its attention to her neck, then her face, her sides, her back, her legs...
Her entire body was now hypersensitive to touch, and so the blork’s caresses were making her uncontrollably aroused again, and every sensation was being amplified by Thazia’s pendant. This time, however, her new organs remained dormant. Her arousal was an entirely human sensation, and a huge relief from the overwhelming alien ecstasy.
In time the blork’s caresses reached her moist labia, and it spent quite some time exploring around and inside them, as if to make absolutely sure they were like a female blork’s. As its fingers invaded the most intimate parts of her body, Byrna was acutely aware of her inability to resist by even the slightest movement, and that awareness was enough to boost her arousal to the point of climax.
Byrna came long and hard with the blork’s fingers inside her. The blork emitted a grunt that might have meant surprise or ecstasy. Then while Byrna was still coming the blork carefully lowered her from her sitting position until her back was supine, then gently spread her plump limbs on the soft floor of the shrine and mounted her.
The blork’s penis, like its fingers, had a soft, leathery texture, and its impressive length and girth slipped into her effortlessly. The blork resumed its deep rumbling song and began thrusting unhurriedly, caressing Byrna’s arms, back and breasts, while she lay inanimate as a doll.
Byrna was astonished to realise just how much she was aroused by the thought of being the blork’s helpless toy. Of course her arousal was enormously intensified by Thazia’s pendant, which she could not remove or deactivate.
While day turned to night, the blork made love to the helpless Byrna, bringing her to six or seven delicious climaxes.
Sometime around midnight the blork departed, considerately raising Byrna back to her sitting position before it left. By that time it was absolutely pitch black. She couldn’t even make out the blork’s silhouette as it strode away into the rain. She wished there were some way she could thank it for all the pleasure it had given her.
Byrna slipped into a euphoric trance and dreamt of orgasms, and woke to find that she had made her dream come true. Reflexively she tried to move her hand to her vagina, only to be reminded that the paralysis still held her fast.
The entranceway was visible once more in the grey overcast, but it was impossible to tell the time of day. If anything the rain was heavier than ever.
Her lover of the previous night would not return for a while, she knew. It would take several weeks for him to become bloated with water again. But he was going to tell all of his waterlogged friends about her, and very soon they would begin visiting her. She was going to be their captive audience for a very long time to come.
Curiously enough, her own body no longer seemed to be waterlogged. Her limbs had shrunk back to their original thickness and her Rubenesque figure seemed to have melted away. What she didn’t know was that during the night the walls of the shrine had absorbed the excess moisture from her body, then sweated it back into the atmosphere, where it would soon precipitate out as rain once more, forming a cycle of sorts.
The blork had tried sitting in empty shrines, but that didn’t work for them. Something in their body chemistry prevented it. They could only surrender their moisture in shrines that already housed paralysed occupants.
That day Byrna did not receive a visitor. She spent the day feeling thirsty, her skin dry as dust, while just beyond the archway rain continued to flood down. She couldn’t so much as lick her lips. There was nothing she could do except try to keep her mind off her discomfort by remembering the previous day and hoping it wouldn’t be long before she had another one like it.
She did not have to wait long. The very next day two blork somehow managed to squeeze into her little shrine, though they were crammed in so closely that when they began rotating they were forced to turn in opposite directions like a pair of cogwheels.
Byrna would have taken a deep breath if she could. As it was, she could only brace herself mentally for the storm of ecstasy to come.
This time, though, it was different.
The implanted organs that had flooded her body with pleasure the first time could not cope with absorbing all of the moisture from two blork. Fortunately (at least from their point of view) the organs were quite compact, which had allowed the alien probes to implant several spare sets within Byrna’s torso just in case they were ever needed.
Therefore the moment the two blork began turning before her two sets of organs became active, bombarding her nervous system with two separate but equally intense streams of alien ecstasy.
There was no way she could have prepared for that. It was almost like having two continuous orgasms for hours and hours on end, and on top of that her body’s involuntary reaction was giving her continuous real orgasms for hours and hours on end, and all of her sensations were amplified tenfold by Thazia’s pendant.
If she could have moved, if she could have made a sound, she would have been dancing with the blork, howling with rapture and caressing every part of her own body until she collapsed from exhaustion.
Instead she continued to sit mute and rigid, her arms by her sides, helpless to prevent the human and alien ecstasies coursing through her body from growing stronger and more sensual by the minute.
It was more than any mortal could ever have deserved. It was more than any mortal could be capable of feeling.
Byrna understood this and accepted it. She was no longer mortal. She was a goddess... or rather, the idol of a goddess, living yet inanimate.
It was her destiny to be worshipped by these strange beings. In return for relieving them of their burdens, she had been relieved of all human burdens and anxieties, becoming a mere conduit for physical pleasure. Memories of her past life were already being washed away by sensation. She could scarcely remember her own name any more. She no longer needed to.
As the long hours passed the goddess that had once been Byrna joyfully accepted the worship of her waterlogged followers. When at last her body could absorb no more moisture and her alien bliss slowly faded, the blork showed her their gratitude together.
This time one was male and the other was a flat-chested female, and between them they demonstrated that however unsophisticated blork culture might have been, there was nothing crude or unimaginative about their sexual techniques.
After they had given the goddess ten or maybe twelve further orgasms the blork finally departed, leaving her in a trance of euphoric anticipation. In that state she found herself coming spontaneously three or four times an hour, until her trance was interrupted by the arrival of another two blork at dawn.
As the rainy season intensified the waterlogged blork needed to visit their goddess more and more often. Sometimes as many as four blork managed to cram themselves into the shrine, squeezing so tightly together than they could not turn around but could only sway from side to side in front of her.
The presence of so many blork caused all of her alien implants to activate simultaneously, bringing her to the ultimate peaks of physical rapture. In fact the sensations were so powerful they could no longer be contained by her sense of touch and began to spill over into her other senses. The goddess found herself hearing strange and beautiful music, experiencing marvellous and exotic tastes and scents, and watching amazing light-shows composed of colours no human eye had ever seen.
It was heaven, and she was its queen.
Her only regret was that she could not thank the blork for their worship, but they took their pleasure with her at the end of each day and seemed to consider it thanks enough.
Eventually, though, the rains began to slacken off. Worshippers came in twos and threes rather than fours. Fewer of the goddess’s alien implants were aroused by their presence, and her multiple ecstasies lessened, although they were still greater by far than any mere sexual pleasure.
Then there was only one blork at a time, and only one stream of pleasure. Still the goddess was content.
Finally, though, the rain began to peter out. Soon worshippers came every two or three days, and then none came for four, and after that there were none at all. The sun baked the ground for the first time in months. The blork had departed for the distant hill-caves, where they would enter trances for the duration of the long hot summer.
The goddess was alone. Her worshippers were gone, and so was her ecstasy. Mere weeks before she had been the queen of heaven. Now she was just a helpless girl, naked, hot, depressed, thirsty, and stiff from her long paralysis. She was completely dehydrated. All of her body fat was gone, giving her an almost skeletal appearance.
She seemed to remember a name: Byrna. It seemed familiar somehow, but try as she might she couldn’t remember who it had belonged to. There was another name too. Thazia. The girl who had been a goddess tried to remember who or what Thazia had been. There seemed to be pleasant associations connected with the name, and she felt it was somehow important to remember why, but no matter how hard she tried the memories kept slipping out of her reach.
This preoccupation with recovering her lost memories did at least take the girl’s mind off of her discomforts and her physical helplessness. They also prevented her from noticing that her mind was slowly losing its agility.
As the hot dry days passed the girl’s thoughts became slower and less acute. It grew harder and harder for her to concentrate on any subject.
Eventually it became impossible to think at all.
The girl sat in her shrine, staring blankly at the dusty ground beyond the entrance, seeing nothing, feeling nothing and thinking nothing. If any humans had found her in that state, rigid, emaciated and desiccated, they would have sworn she was a mummified corpse.
The blazing summer wore on. The muddy plain turned to desert. A colony of small, striped reptiles took shelter in the shrine, taking no notice of the body that shared their home.
Finally a breeze began to blow, and the first clouds moved in to obscure the sun. The first rains began to fall.
The reptiles drank heavily from rain puddles outside the shrine, yet no sooner had they returned inside than they felt thirsty once more, as if something in the shrine was drying them out again. They couldn’t figure out what was happening to them. There was nothing they could do but keep running out of the shrine to drink every time their bodies became dehydrated again, unaware that other small creatures were doing the same thing in countless other shrines across the plain.
The reptiles did not, of course, notice that the body in the shrine was slowly changing. It no longer appeared quite so skeletal and dehydrated. Naturally their tiny brains could not make the logical connection between the body’s alteration and the loss of their own moisture, and so they continued to drink and drink and drink, yet never succeeded in slaking their thirst.
The body began to acquire flesh on its bones. Its eyes blinked and began to look around. Thoughts stirred sluggishly in its brain.
The girl was alive. Like her worshippers, the goddess that was once Byrna had merely spent the summer in a state of dormancy.
Eventually the girl’s mind stirred to a state of consciousness. She had a vague memory of her surroundings, though she wasn’t quite sure what she was doing there.
She tried to stand up, and was surprised to discover that she couldn’t. She soon learnt that no matter how she tried, she could not make any kind of movement.
That was more puzzling than alarming. She couldn’t figure out what had happened to her.
After she had been trying to puzzle things out for a while a blork entered the shrine. She wondered what it wanted.
One morning, early in the season when blork were still only visiting her every two or three days, the goddess was startled to hear voices outside her shrine. Not deep, rumbling blork voices; these were much higher in pitch and raised in emotion. Though the goddess had no immediate recollection of whom the voices might belong to, she was somehow able to make out the language.
“Thazia, please come back!” cried one of the voices. “I didn’t mean to hit you so hard, honestly I didn’t. Please, Thazia, you can’t really intend to abandon me for this!”
Thazia, thought the goddess. Thaaa... ziii... aaa.
She was sure she had heard that word before. She couldn’t remember what it meant, but there was something she liked about it.
Another voice spoke from just outside the entrance: “Well, I’m very glad to hear you hit me that hard by accident. I’d really hate to think you’ll ever hit your next wife so hard on purpose!”
“Thazia, please,” cried the first voice. “I love you!”
The second voice replied, “I choose to reject your kind of love. I choose the burden instead. Goodbye, Jhevan.”
With that the speaker entered the shrine. It was not a blork, although it was two-legged. It was mostly covered in layers of cloth, but it soon removed them and threw them out of the shrine’s archway, revealing that its body was very like the goddess’s own, except that it was purple in colour and very mobile.
The creature knelt before the goddess. The goddess thought the creature was very beautiful, and struggled to recall where she might have seen it before.
The creature knelt to embrace the goddess and kiss her on the lips. The goddess liked the feel of its breasts against her own. Its skin was softer than a blork’s, and warmer, and of course blork females had no bosoms.
“I’m sorry, Byrna,” the creature whispered. “I should have stayed with you after all.”
The creature was now caressing the goddess like a horny blork, and despite the dryness of the shrine the goddess was becoming moist in anticipation.
The goddess was not sure what Byrna was, but like Thazia, there was something familiar and welcome about the sound.
“My family arranged a loveless marriage for me,” said the creature. “With a man, of all things! I tried to make the best of it for the sake of my family’s honour, but when he became violent and abusive and they did nothing to stop him I finally realised they have no honour. That’s when I ran away. He followed me all the way here, but not even he could stop me entering the shrine.”
The goddess could not figure out the meaning of the creature’s words, but it didn’t seem to matter. All that mattered was the touch of the creature’s hands, warm and gentle and sensuous, upon her torso and genitalia.
“I have come to join you, Byrna,” the creature said. “I realise now, Byrna, it is you that I love. I should not have left you before, but now I have come to make up for my mistake. My stupid husband may sit at the mouth of the shrine and wail as much as he likes, but I will never come out, and he will not dare enter to take me back. He’s too scared of being changed himself.”
The creature held up a small translucent disc that was hanging from a slender chain about its neck. “You see, Byrna? It’s the twin to your pendant. Now we are truly married, and soon we will be together forever.”
And with that the creature stopped talking and turned her attentions entirely to worshipping the goddess, which the goddess accepted gratefully. The creature’s lovemaking was slower and less urgent than a blork’s, and the goddess had four long, slow, sweet orgasms before the creature finally slumped exhausted at her feet.
After a while the creature stood and stretched, then sat beside the goddess in an imitation of her pose and waited.
At first the goddess wondered what the creature was doing. Then with a sudden pang of jealousy she realised that the creature was trying to become a goddess herself. The goddess felt a deep resentment at the idea of sharing her worshippers with another, especially since she was incapable of preventing it.
For a long time it seemed that nothing would happen, but then the interior of the shrine became suffused with a red glow and the creature stiffened. The goddess had a vague sense of deja vu, subconsciously remembering the transformations that had been wrought upon her own body.
Out of the corner of her eye the goddess could see strange devices at work on the creature’s body, changing and “improving” it according to long-forgotten alien blueprints. The goddess’s jealousy was tempered somewhat by the knowledge that the creature was undergoing the same kind of change that she had once endured.
At last the alien machines finished their work and withdrew. The creature sat next to the goddess, silent and unmoving as the goddess herself. The goddess supposed that the creature was now a goddess too, although there was only one way to find out.
She did not have to wait long. Soon a waterlogged blork entered the shrine. Seeing that there were now two goddesses within, the blork gave a rumble of surprise and delight and began to rotate before them.
One of the goddess’s alien organs woke and began to absorb the blork’s moisture, flooding her body with ecstasy as it did so. At the same time, one of the new goddess’s alien organs began to do the same for her.
But there was a strange and unexpected side effect of having alien organs in adjacent bodies. As well as the ecstasy her organ was giving her, the goddess could feel the new goddess’s ecstasy too.
Not only that, but the goddess soon realised she was able to hear the new goddess’s thoughts. The alien organs had intertwined their nervous systems to such an extent that their minds were now linked.
+Byrna?+ thought the new goddess. +Is that you?+
+Byr...Byrna,+ thought the goddess. +Yes... yes, that was my name. I forgot it for a long time, but you have made me remember. And you... you are the sound that I liked to hear... Thazia. Yes, Thazia. That was your name. You... you chose to become a goddess? For me? So that you could be with me?+
+Yes, Byrna,+ thought Thazia. +I’m sorry I abandoned you before. Now I have voluntarily sacrificed my freedom and mobility just to be with you. Whatever happens we will be together forever.+
+Forever,+ thought Byrna.
And then as their alien organs woke to their full potential the two goddesses were overcome by searing waves of bliss, and neither of them was able to form a coherent thought for a very long time.