Chapter 1: Omissions and Commissions
Caution: This Swarm Cycle Sci-Fi Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Fa/Fa, Science Fiction, Spanking, Rough, Harem, Oral Sex, Anal Sex, Swarm Cycle science fiction story.
Desc: Swarm Cycle Sci-Fi Story: Chapter 1: Omissions and Commissions - Lieutenant Stewart "rides along" with the Marines and meets the Sa'arm face-to-face. This story is a bit darker the the semi-comic tone of the other "Stewart" stories, as it deals with combat and the toll combat can take on those that survive.
I was waved into Commodore Roff's office by his stunning blond receptionist. He was, as I saw him last, standing with his hands behind his back, staring at a full-wall display of the swollen globe of Poseidon.
"Come in, Steward, come in." He didn't turn to see who had entered; he just knew that his receptionist wouldn't let in anyone unexpected. "A fine bit of work there on the George Vancouver. I've reviewed both your dictated report and viewed the raw recorded footage of several key events. A few minor discrepancies between them, but no fucking sunshine piped up my ass." He turned and looked me in the eye. "Try to imagine how grateful that makes me."
I was struck cold by the chance that Commodore Roff had viewed the record of my urging LeCroix to run away when we encountered the huge, unknown Sa'arm ship. I was starting to get a bad feeling about this meeting.
"I'm detaching you from the George Vancouver. I got what I wanted from that first cruise. Fleet is starting to see the value of the concept, and is freeing up more resources, in both ships and personnel. I've moved a lieutenant with Fleet experience into your old XO slot. Maybe we'll even get some real warships assigned to the missions."
He turned to look at me at last. "And I've gotten a read on you. Don't worry about that scene between you and LeCroix over whether to retreat or advance. There were merits to both positions and your job as XO was to provide him with alternatives. When the shit hit the fan, though, you came through." Somehow, I wasn't set at ease by his words.
He turned back to the view of Poseidon. "But that's not what I've called you here for. I've got another mission for you. This one is much more in your ballpark. I want you to ride along with the Third MEF's Fourth Regiment as they assault the Dickheads on Metek'at."
"What's the objective sir?"
"Besides killing Dickheads? Well, Earth'at Command is starting to brainstorm strategy and tactics for recovering Earth after it falls."
I was stunned. "So they are certain that they can't prevent the Sa'arm from landing?" I asked.
"They aren't admitting it, but everybody who has his head on the outside of his asshole is planning on a long hard scrap to kick them off the Earth. We'd rather use other planets to test our harebrained schemes out on."
I felt as if my insides had turned to liquid. "What do you expect of me, Sir?"
"I'm not expecting you to go all John Wayne on me, just ride with the Navy support group and give me an evaluation of the troop's effectiveness. I've read their after-action reports and they often smell a bit too fragrant. I want to know if the troops really can leap over tall buildings."
"How does the Marine command structure like you looking over their shoulders?" I asked.
"No more than I'd like them snooping in my pea patch, I imagine. But if they want Navy ships to support their operations, the Navy is going to want to have an occasional set of eyeballs on board." He waved a hand as though to dismiss an annoying thought. "Don't worry, were not sending you in under cover or unofficially. Your contact with S2 will be Regiment's Intel officer, Captain Jerry Sparks. The Marines are acting as if they'll be reasonable about this, so don't fuck up a good working relationship."
He gave me a searching look. "You've seen more combat than most of our Marines. But all your combat was against other humans. Humans have human motivations and human limitations. The Dickheads are different; they are like a force of nature." My uneasiness grew. "Most of the Marines that you are going to meet have seen action with the Dickheads. Follow their leads. Some are going to be newbies. Get a read on how they make it through their first firefight, if they make it through."
"Don't step on your own dick this time. You showed some style, you got lucky, and LeCroix stood up for you. Don't count on luck or favor this time. Dismissed."
"Aye aye, Sir." I saluted smartly, turned on my heel and left.
The uneasy feeling seemed to settle in the pit of my stomach. I tried to push it out of my mind and look forward to some leave time.
Back home I pushed away thoughts of what was ahead and I luxuriated in my favorite role, that of Daddy. While I had been away on my "Vancouver" deployment, Phyllis, Kellie, Yoo Jin, and Diane all had baby girls. They had named them, respectively, Rosita, Annabelle, Yeon Joo, and Lucy. Ruth broke my streak of six girls in a row (counting their older half-sisters) with a robust baby boy, whom I insisted naming "Beau."
And poor Rosita. When I first saw her she was hollering loud enough for any three babies. I picker her up and said, "Big talk for such a itsy-bitsy girl." At the sound of my male voice she stopped crying and gazed into my eyes. After that she was by everyone in the family, called "Bitsy."
All of them were at the stage where teething begins to make them squallers, and the mothers become tender-titted. Tough on the mommies, but it let me be the hero when I came in to cuddle them. The girls had recovered their figures within a couple of weeks, so I cuddled with them a lot, too.
Most days ended with each of the girls sitting down to nurse their child. It was a time of quiet gossip and daily catching up. They had started the ritual while I was gone, and I was charmed by it. I loved the image of pure maternal love that breastfeeding exemplified. Beau was a tit man, all right. He loved his mama's tits as much as I did, and that's saying a lot. In fact, he liked all of the girl's tits, just like his dad.
Because of their nanites, none of the girls had trouble nursing. Rather, they often had to place absorbent pads inside their tops. Even then it was common to see Ruth or Yoo Jin running in the front door with two large wet spots on their uniforms, from leakage. For Diane and Phyllis, though, it was often easiest to go bare on top. If their milk started to leak out, someone would volunteer to relieve the pressure. Honestly, it's heroic the things I did for those girls.
Often though, Bitsy would fill up on milk and then get mad because any more nursing would make her over-full and she would fuss and cry until she vomited. But when Daddy scooped her up and rocked her, walking to and fro, she quieted down. Since I didn't have any tits, Bitsy had no expectation of being fed and was content to relax and fall asleep. Ruth declared her as another 'Daddy's Girl.'
Sometimes at bedtime I would hold four, two in each arm and walk up and down the Nursery, singing, "Flee as a Bird," or, "Saint James Infirmary," or any song that was sad and slow. Little Bitsy was always the slowest to fall asleep. She loved to be rocked, but would look at me with a suspicious expression, until her eyes lost the will to stay open.
Most nights Amy would be holding the fifth baby, and most nights it was little Beau. He loved the ladies, did Beau. I didn't blame him. Amy and I would finally sit on a couch side-by-side and just enjoy the moment, our arms full of innocent life, and our joy being life's caregivers and protectors.
I grew fonder and fonder of Amy. She had such a sweet attitude. Perhaps being confined to a wheelchair for the first decade of her life had taught her patience, perhaps she just was a person who naturally looked on the bright side of things. She was still as thin as a rail, but she had shot up a shocking amount while I was gone. Her face had filled out and traded its gaunt look for an elfin appearance. She still was being closely monitored as she grew, but so far everything seemed to going well. She was growing like a vine twining around every domestic part of my life.
I was floating, drifting in mind and body in a real, honest-to-goodness, two meter-long claw-footed cast-iron bathtub. Steam floated up from the surface of the water and curlicued into arabesques of eucalyptus-scented vapor. I could feel all the tension of the day dissolving in the water.
Privacy was getting harder to find as the clan grew, so this had become my retreat into silence. I could feel all the knots in my muscles unwind.
I closed my eyes and let my head slip beneath the water, and then rose up again. Ahhhhhh. I opened my eyes.
Ruth and Yoo Jin, in their Civil Service uniforms, were standing beside of the tub. Damn. "Richard, we need to talk," said Ruth.
I considered just sinking back down in the water and drowning myself. "About what, sweethearts?"
"You've received three notices through Alfred that you were wanted at the Civil Service hostel," Yoo Jin said.
"Yeah, well, I've been busy. And I much prefer personal contact with Civil Service. Like, for instance, if you two took off those uniforms and got in the tub, I could personally contact your ladyparts."
"Richard," said Ruth, "We're both Sub-Decurions in the Civil Service. How do you think it makes us look when you ignore Service notifications?"
Steam was starting to drift up from their ears. Or maybe that was from the bathtub. In any case, I decided that the best response was to give in.
"I'm sorry. I see now that I wasn't funny. What can I do for the Civil Service?"
"You can do your duty. You have a CAP score of 8.1. The Confederacy has determined that you need to sire at least six more children this year. There are girls down their waiting for you to get them pregnant."
"You know that I have a problem with that."
"What problem, Richard? Are you afraid that a child you put in a whore's belly will be an orphan, cast out and unwanted? Trust us, there are families lined up and waiting for another child."
I twisted my washcloth. "Yeah, but that would be putting my responsibility on someone else." "So why don't you adopt the child?"
"Aren't the girls a little overloaded with child care now?"
"We are short three concubines. We are screening for excellent childcare givers."
"Poor Kyle. When I'm away, he'll have the labors of Hercules."
"Bring in another male concubine."
"Uh ... I'll drop by the hostel tomorrow."
I sank beneath the water.