Chapter 1

Caution: This Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Fa/Fa, Consensual, NonConsensual, Reluctant, Rape, Lesbian, Heterosexual, Science Fiction, Humiliation, Torture, Gang Bang, Interracial, Oral Sex, Anal Sex, Bestiality, Pregnancy, Slow, Violent, Transformation, .

Desc: Sex Story: Chapter 1 - The gallactic adventures and misadventures of Vishi Andarus, Science Officer, gallactic prostitute and finally Czarina of the planet Grok.

"Somebody shut off that bluking alarm!" roared the Captain.

The undulating whooping of red alert had been sounding ever since the Grok battle cruiser had come within sensor range and begun to close the distance. At last the sound abated to everyone's relief.

"DCC, what have you got?" demanded Captain Erott Darknok of his Data Control Center where the ships sensors were monitored.

"Grok cruiser, battle class at 7 lights and closing, sir," came the reply on the ship's intercom.

Captain Darknok knew that the Grok cruiser was still well out of range, but at the enormous mismatch in speed of the two ships it would not take the Grok long to overtake them. Seven lights ( the distance light travels in seven minutes) meant they would be in firing range within a single galactic hour.

"Any friendlies?" asked the imposing figure on the bridge.

"No sir. The nearest friendly is an Altarian space station orbiting Toondal 5 in the Belarius sector. The Grok will overtake us long before we can..."

"All right, I understand," grumbled the Captain and commander of the GAES (Galactic Alliance Expeditionary Scout) Regis, a small research vessel used for charting unexplored regions of space and diplomatic contact with newly discovered life forms when necessary. Their current mission was in the Altoid Cluster of ring planets in the Vagan region, far from the war, or so they thought.

"What in blazes are the Grok doing way out here? We have no military presence in this region?"

"No sir," answered Anserk Dontil, Earther, one of only three aboard the Regis, and second in command, "but the Ravic have had outposts in the outermost reaches for some time and now that they are allied with the Grok..."

"Yes, one more thing for the Alliance to worry about," mused the Nordqua, stroking the long facial hair characteristic of his species. The war with the Grok had been going badly before, but now with new allies helping their enemy, the Alliance would be hard pressed to stop the relentless advance of the Grok to whom war was not only a method of conquest, but a way of life. The Grok had been expanding their frontiers as long as anyone could remember and always by ruthless conquest.

The Nordqua Captain looked for a long moment at his first officer. Earth women were not considered particularly attractive by his race, but he knew of the stories of what the Grok did to Earth women. Their barbarity was infamous across the twelve inhabited galaxies.

"Helm, all ahead flank critical."

" Sir," came back the reply on the intercom, "at flank critical the masotronic generators will..."

"Yes, I am aware of the irreversible damage to the engines, Ensign. Our only hope is to prolong the chase and hope that help will arrive."

He turned to his communications officer.

"Sarwin, issue an emergency distress call on all channels. Indicate we are an unarmed vessel being pursued by a Grok battle cruiser and request immediate aid."

"Aye, sir," said the other female on the bridge, a Zarwinian, her bulging double lidded eyes blinking once as the seven long and slender fingers of each hand danced over the communication controls.

"Message being sent on all channels in all known languages and Galactic Universal," she replied.

Captain Darknok glanced at his communications officer. At least she would die quickly along with the rest of the crew. The earth women were another matter.

"Captain... permission to bring Ensigns Andarus and Clovis to the bridge," requested his first officer.

"Yes, Lieutenant, perhaps that would be a good idea."

The first officer clicked open the ship's intercom.

"Ensign Andarus and Ensign Clovis, report to the bridge immediately."

"Any ideas, Lieutenant?"

"I think they... we... should be given the choice Captain."

"Yes, you're right, of course, he sighed.

"Sir, do you intend to resist?" asked Lt. Dontil noticing the screen which revealed the Grok cruiser gaining on the small research vessel.

"What choice do we have, Lieutenant? The Grok take no prisoners... except..."

"Yes, Sir... except for Earth women. We haven't got much with which to put up much of a fight."

"We'll keep our stern to them and use the meteor blaster."

"Sir, that cannon is only fit to break up small meteors. It won't even make a dent in their shields.

"I know Lieutenant, but it's all we've got. We'll also issue hand blasters to all crew."

"Sir, the Grok body armor..."

He knew it was futile. Each Grok stood an imposing eight to nine feet tall with bulging muscular body. Their plated body armor could repel anything except a direct hit with a 7.2 Kryton rifle of which there were none aboard the Regis. The Alliance hand blasters would harmlessly bounce off the dense photogravataic plates. The only chance was to get a lucky shot under the plates where it would find unprotected flesh. Even then the charge was fatal only about half the time.

The Grok, on the other hand, used clumsy, but highly potent Cylenium dischargers which could cut through six inches of reinforced Dyburnimite. The meager body armor the Alliance wore offered about as much resistance to the Grok weapons as a sheet of tissue paper.

Darknok turned to find the two Earth ensigns had arrived on the bridge. Lieutenant Dontil joined them, the Captain relieving the other officers on the bridge so the four could talk privately.

"Ensign Clovis, Ensign Andarus -- I suppose you have heard by now that we are being pursued by a Grok battle cruiser. We are running at flank critical speed, but even so, the Grok will overtake us in less than an hour. We have no weapons to mount an effective defense of the ship, so the reality of the situation is that we can expect the ship to be attacked and boarded. As you know the Grok take no prisoners... but they do take prizes. I am sure you are aware of their fondness for Earth females."

He saw the fear in the eyes of the two Ensigns.

"I intend to blow up the ship as soon as our position becomes untenable, but if that plan fails, the Grok will have the ship... and you."

The two young Earth females looked at each other their eyes wide with shock.

"Lieutenant Dontil has a proposal. It has been offered before to Earth women aboard Alliance vessels in danger of falling into the hands of the Grok. Lieutenant," he said, Dontil stepping forward and addressing the two junior officers while the Captain retreated across the bridge.

"Hopefully, the Captain's plan will take a few Grok with us when the ship self destructs, but in the event that plan fails, I propose the following," she said, holding out two capsules. "You may swallow this Diantide pill now which is quick and painless and can absolutely rule out any possibility of your being captured by the Grok... or you may choose to help defend the ship, perhaps take out a Grok or two, then If capture is imminent you may turn the blaster on yourself."

She saw the doubt written on the faces of both women. One of Vishi's best friends at the academy had been aboard the Mirus when the Grok disabled, then boarded her. The young woman had held the blaster to her stomach as she pulled the trigger, but not before she and her fellow crew mates had accounted for at least a half dozen Grok.

"I... want to take out a Grok if I can before I'm done, Lieutenant," said the attractive Auburn haired Ensign Andarus. "If I can't for any reason pull the trigger myself, I want you to do it."

"I feel the same way," added Clovis. "Please Lieutenant, whatever happens, don't let the Grok take us."

"All right then, the three of us will stay together. I propose a pact -- that if for any reason any one of us is not able to turn the blaster on herself, the other will do it before taking her own life. Agreed?"

"Agreed," the two younger officers replied.

"We'll fight Captain," said Dontil, turning to the Captain.

"Very well. Lieutenant, assemble the crew."

"Aye, Captain," she responded walking to the intercom control.

"All hands assemble on the bridge immediately. I repeat, all hands to the bridge immediately."

Soon, all twenty-two officers and crew were assembled. Although the Regis was a comparatively small vessel, she still was over one hundred centons from bow to stern, but unlike the fanciful Earth science fiction television and motion pictures of a couple of centuries ago in which ships were fancied as carrying hundreds, even thousands of crew, the ships of the twenty-fourth century were almost totally automated and self regulating, thereby requiring a minimum of humanoids. The Grok battle cruiser, although ten times the size of the Regis would still have a crew of less than a hundred.

The Captain turned to the assortment of humanoids who crewed his vessel.

"By now you all know that a Grok battle cruiser is closing on us. They will be in firing range in less than thirty GM (galactic minutes). We will wait until the last moment to use the cannon. Brius?" he said, turning to the Lieutenant who manned the gun when it was necessary to destroy or deflect a meteor or asteroid. "You'll probably only get one shot, maybe two. When they approach, I'll try to take us under them. Their shields are damned good, but slightly weaker under her keel. Target their propulsion baffles."

"Aye, Captain," replied the Dovinian.

"Sir, what about assistance?" asked a female Willonian.

"We are transmitting distress calls constantly, but the chance of rescue is virtually nil. However, since there is a remote chance that someone might come to our aid, I have decided not to engage the self destruct program until the very last moment. It would be tragically ironic if help did arrive only moments after our atoms have been scattered across the sector. The ship itself is of virtually no use to the Grok and we are already erasing all data banks even though our mission here has been research and not military, but they will board to take anything they deem of value."

Despite their attempts to the contrary, several of the crew turned to look at the three Earth females who avoided their stares.

"Lieutenant Dontil, Ensign Clovis and Ensign Andarus could have opted otherwise but have decided to fight alongside the rest of us."

"Captain?"

"Yes, Lieutenant Dontil."

"Sir, the two ensigns and myself have formed a pact not to allow ourselves to fall into the hands of the Grok. I would ask of the rest of the crew that if you see we are about to be taken captive by the Grok use your blaster on us."

Her eyes scanned the faces of the twelve different alien species which made up the crew of the Regis.

"We've served together on Regis for almost two galactic years. We have all become close. More than friends, we have become like brother and sister. We, Ensigns Andarus and Clovis and myself ask that you honor us by making sure we do not have to submit to the barbarity of the Grok."

"So ordered," pronounced the Captain to the sad, but understanding acceptance of the crew.

They were quickly divided into teams, each team assigned an area of the ship to defend when the Grok boarded the small research vessel. The three Earthers were given the responsibility of guarding one of the three accesses to the bridge where Captain Darknok would eventually push the button obliterating the ship and all within it.

Hand blasters were distributed and the crew teams grimly dispersed to their positions.

"Any chance Brius could get in a damaging shot?" asked Clovis.

"Slim and none and Slim doesn't live here any more," answered Dontil. You'd have more luck bringing down a charging Lasarian Worsook with a dart gun."

"Then why... ?"

"Because it's all we have. We can't ram because of their repulsion fields. That leaves us with a pea shooter and some spit balls," she said, indicating the blaster in her holster. "We go down fighting and maybe we can take a few of them with us. Are either of you qualified on the J-21?" she asked, withdrawing the blaster and indicating they should do the same.

"Back at the academy," replied Vishi, examining the meson phaser pistol. "I haven't fired one in over four years."

Vishi Andarus had majored in alien environmental science at the academy back on Earth, graduating with honors, serving an internship aboard the Zerxes before transferring to the Regis for the five year mission to the Vegan region and the unusual cluster of ringed planets and their fascinating flora and fauna. The beautiful twenty five year old had just returned from a surface trip to one of the larger planets, discovering a new variety of subterranean ergomites when the red alert had sounded.

"Same here," replied Meena. The pretty blonde, four years younger than Vishi, was serving her extended internship in propulsive engineering aboard the Regis. Like all Earth female officers and crew, her hair was cut short in an attractive style which two centuries ago might have been called a wedge. She withdrew the weapon at the Lieutenant's nod.

"OK, a quick refresher course. Each charge pack gives you fifteen shots with a seventeen millisecond charge time between shots. The charge pack pops out here," she said, releasing the small energy pack. "Then just be sure the red end of the new pack goes up into the handle. Once it snaps in place, you've got a fresh fifteen. Check the safety and be sure the intensity is set to maximum."

"What part of their body should we go for?" asked Vishi, her vivid green eyes narrowing as she contemplated, for the first time, the killing of a sentient being.

"Don't waste your ammo on anything but bounce shots. Aim for the floor and try to bounce your shot up under the armor plates. It's a long shot, but the only one you have. There will be a great urge to shoot at their visors, especially when they get close, but these hand blasters will just bounce off. So keep your cool and keep bouncing your shots off the metal flooring. You might get lucky."

Vishi and Meena traded glances which expressed the hopelessness of their situation.

"And remember to save one for yourself, " said the attractive officer.

There was a meaningful exchange of looks as the reality of what they faced was finally beginning to sink in.

"Sir, Grok battle cruiser now within firing range and closing. His weapons are charged... and he's hailing us," the three heard through the open airlock leading to the bridge. The airlock would be sealed as soon as the firing began.

"This is Captain Erott Darknok of the Alliance Research Vessel Regis, " said the commander looking to his view screen.

The figure which appeared on the screen was indeed imposing. Virtually filling the screen, the Grok's massive, rock hard features were mildly reminiscent of the Klingons, a warlike race which had once been Earth's enemy when Earth was part of the old Federation of Planets, long since absorbed into the Alliance. The Klingons, as Alliance members, were now allies, but their fierceness and love of battle was still renowned across the galaxy. Yet the Klingons had twice met the Grok with disastrous results. Although fighting bravely, the Klingons had been no match for the Grok which decimated their fleet and in hand to hand combat the Klingons suffered an eighty percent casualty rate to only sixteen percent for the Grok. There was an unconfirmed rumor that the two races had evolved from a common ancestor in the remote past. Although the Grok stood at least two feet taller, their body structure did resemble the other. Massive muscular build with high forehead and heavy overhanging brow, broad, flat noses, thick lips, thick dark skin and pointed almost dagger-like teeth. But even the Klingons, as fierce as they were, had always been guided by a sense of warrior honor, making prisoners of their beaten enemies and treating their defeated foe as worthy of fair and decent treatment.

But the Grok exhibited no such characteristics. Besides their renowned tactics and rapaciousness, they exhibited no mercy whatsoever for those they defeated. The Grok took no prisoners, executing those who ceased to resist and wantonly defiling the enemy's women before selling them into sexual slavery. While they raped virtually all humanoid captive women, the Grok seemed to favor the Earth women, perhaps because Earth had been the first member of the Alliance to defeat the Grok in battle, but also because the Earth women's bodies were so very satisfying to the gigantic, over sexed, conscienceless beasts who often killed the Earthers simply by copulating with them, the defenseless females often hemorrhaging to death after their bodies had suffered impalement by a monstrous phallus three to four times the length and girth of a well endowed Earther. Those who did not die immediately, were sold to the highest bidder and lived very short lives thereafter as prostitutes and the sexual toys of the rich and perverted of the galaxy.

"Captain, surrender your ship and I will see you and your crew will die quickly and painlessly."

"And you can go to Snicktel," snorted Darknok.

The universal translators, now in common use, were not perfect, but from the Grok's reaction, Darknok could tell the translator, while perhaps not able to provide an exact translation for the word, had gotten close enough for the Grok to know he was not being invited to a pleasurable vacation spot.

With a wave of his hand the Grok transmission ended.

"Aft shields at maximum," ordered the Nordqua. "We'll probably be able to take a shot or two before the shields begin to buckle. Then when they think we're done for, we'll come hard about and see what Brius can do."

"The Grok are firing Captain," came the message from DCC.

"Brace for weapons impact!" he barked over the ship's intercom.

Another bit of misinformation from the past led one to believe that astute maneuvering could somehow avoid weapons fire. The truth was that in this day and age, there were no misses except at the most extreme ranges. Weapons were fired by computers which could accurately predict any and every possible evasive maneuver and adjust accordingly. The weapons officer only identified the target, the computer did the rest. When the time came, even Brius would simply tell the computer to target the baffles of the Grok ship, the electronics would then compute speeds, angles, and vector the photon plasma beam to the target. Hitting the target would not be a problem for Brius. Damaging it was something else.

The first impact was on the stern exhaust deflectors. Only the fact that the shields were at full intensity prevented the first shot from disabling the engines. As it was, the damage was extensive with propulsive power reduced to seventy-two percent while the port shields simply ceased to exist.

"Damn those Grok cannon!" grumbled Darknok. "Hard to starboard. Show them our starboard shields."

"Aye Captain, coming about."

"One more, then..."

"Grok firing again Captain!"

"Brace for weapons impact!" he shouted again.

The hit this time was even worse than before. Despite being buckled in, the whiplash on the crew was tremendous as the starboard shields were shredded and the hull ruptured on all three decks. Seven Regis crewmen were either vaporized, crushed by debris or sucked into the vacuum of space where their blood would boil and they would die a most horrible death.

"Enough of this Slok," cursed the Captain. Bring her about. Let's get under that Grok ship!"

"Aye, Captain!" came the reply from maneuvering as the ship began to come about.

"Captain, damage control. The port stern, and both starboard shields are gone. Propulsion is down to fifty-five percent. We have hull breaches on all three decks," said his first officer in her usual calm and matter of fact voice.

"Casualties?"

"At least six and we have two still unaccounted for."

"Very well. Reconstitute the defense teams affected with members from the other teams. Once we start firing, it's going to be over in a hurry."

"Aye, Captain," answered the Lieutenant.

"Brius?"

"Aye, Captain."

"We're coming about. Another fifteen sectons or so and we'll be under them."

"Aye, Captain."

"Brius, what if we..."

"Used emergency discharge on the plasma capacitors giving us three or four quick shots instead of one or two?"

"You read my mind, Brius."

"Already programmed in Captain."

"Let's make them count," responded Darknok, knowing the emergency discharge sequence would completely discharge the capacitors which would then take at least twenty minutes to recharge -- twenty minutes in which the lopsided battle would long be over, he thought to himself.

"Captain," reported Dontil, "we have fires on decks one and three, stern cargo bay and the infirmary. Automatic suppressors are not functioning. Shall I dispatch a fire crew? "

"Negative, Lieutenant. There are only a few samples of alien flora in the cargo bay and it's a bit late for the infirmary."

"Aye, Captain."

"Captain," Brius' voice came through with but a touch of excitement, "firing in four... three... two... one... firing plasma beams!"

The view screen, focused on the underbelly of the Grok ship, showed four quick bursts exploding on the baffles. They had hit the Grok ship in perhaps the only place in which its shields were not configured at one hundred percent. As a result, Darknok's heart was momentarily gladdened as he noted secondary explosions and significant debris being blown into space. But he also knew that the damage was relatively minor to the Grok ship and that they were about to suffer the rage of a Grok commander who had been caught unaware, his ship damaged by a much smaller and virtually unarmed Alliance vessel. The crew of the Regis had no way to know, but four Grok crewmen also would never see their home planet again.

"Time to get the Blog out of here!" shouted Darknok. "Helm, set course two-one-zero. Propulsion, what have you got left?"

"Down to thirty-six percent Captain. Shut down everything else and I might get it up to forty."

"Forget it. Just set it wide open and take your defensive positions."

"Aye, Captain," came the reply from the intercom.

"Brace yourselves, everyone, I think we've ursiled (Universal Translation -- pissed) them off!"

The answering volley was arriving within sectons. No less than five Grok cannon were targeting the Regis and the ship was being systematically blown apart. Brius had been at the cannon console when the first volley of return fire had vaporized him and the two ensigns in the next corridor. Yet, Darknok noted with initial puzzlement that the command center, including the bridge area was deliberately being avoided by the powerful Grok volleys. In an instant he realized why. The Grok sensors had picked up the three Earthers and the Grok did not want to destroy their prize. They would blow the rest of his ship apart, but leave the bridge area untouched so they could walk in and claim what they considered the only things of value aboard Regis.

Well, he thought, leaving the bridge undamaged also meant the Capalcitron detonators would be left in tact. He would have a nice surprise for them.

Several more volleys left the Regis a smoldering wreck. Fires raged until there was a hull breach and the vacuum of space extinguished them. Lieutenant Dontil reported that fourteen of the crew were dead leaving only eight of the original crew to defend the ship.

"Lieutenant, have the remainder of the crew fall back to the two main corridors to the bridge. If we can hold out long enough, the Grok may send in additional crew to assist in overpowering us. Then we can take them with us when I blow up the ship."

"Aye, Sir," said the attractive Earther, using her wrist communicator to convey the order since the ship communications were long since dead.

"Captain," came a voice on his communicator. "They are entering through what's left of the aft cargo bays."

"Can you tell how many?"

"At least two dozen, maybe more. Captain, no way are we going to be able to make it back to the bridge corridor. Ewani and I are going to make a stand here sir."

"Understood... good luck Ensign."

"You too sir. Take as many of them with you as you can sir."

"Will do Ensign."

There was the sound of movement as the two crewmen positioned themselves. The Ensign had left his communicator on.

"Here they co..." was all the Captain heard as the distinctive howling of the discharge of the Grok Cylenium rifle roared momentarily and the Ensign's communicator went dead.

Darknok wondered if the two young officers had even gotten off a shot.

"Raytus," ordered the Captain.

"Here Sir, B corridor."

"You're not going to be getting any help, so I want you to join the Lieutenant and the Ensigns in corridor A."

"But, Sir, that will leave this corridor..."

"Just do it ensign. I'm going to blow that corridor leaving the Grok with only one access to the bridge."

"Aye, Captain" came the reply on the communicator. "Sir, instead of retreating thought the bridge, suppose I use the air vents and crawl back to the main conduits. That way, when the Grok come through. I could drop down and hit them from behind."

The Captain knew it was a futile, but extremely brave act, as Raytus would be attacking the Grok alone.

"All right Ensign. Good luck."

"And to you as well Captain."

"Sarwin, think you can rig a couple of Retavon fusors in B corridor."

"My pleasure, Captain," replied the Zarwinian hurrying to jury-rig the devices which would implode the corridor leaving it a mass of twisted rubble that even the Grok would have trouble getting through.

"Lieutenant, did you read my conversation with Ensign Raytus?

"Yes Sir. It shouldn't be long now."

"No," he said sadly, "not long now at all."

He heard the door to corridor B closing again behind him, the Captain turning to meet Sarwin's lidless eyes.

"Well, blow it," he ordered.

"I have rigged a little surprise Captain. I used a thermal sensor as a detonator. If the Grok come that way it should take out a few of them as well as sealing the corridor."

"Yes," grinned the Captain, "Nice work Lieutenant."

They did not have long to wait as the blast resounded through the bridge, warping, but not breaching the door from corridor B. The Grok crew had just been depleted again as the fusors had vaporized two Grok troopers as they entered the corridor.

And now Lieutenant, thought Darknok, it's up to you.

Anserk Dontil looked into the fearful eyes of the two Ensigns. She wished there was something she could say, but there was nothing. Death... or worse were the only options open to them and nothing she could say could alter that fact or even make it easier to accept.

"Check your blasters. Make sure they're set to max and the safety is off," she intoned.

"We've checked them three times already Lieutenant," replied Vishi, her lovely green eyes reflecting the hopelessness they all felt.

Suddenly, from two passages down, they heard the muted "Phutt" "Phutt" of a hand blaster. Just as quickly were two Cylenium discharges and then all was silent. The battle had been brief and now Raytus, too, was gone.

Vishi thought about the young Ensign, Raytus, the Quarmoor, always smiling, the eternal optimist and friend. She remembered when the news had reached her of her mother's death, how it was Raytus who had been there to console her, to give her a shoulder to cry on, to listen as she poured out her grief. They had dated, growing so close that both had been contemplating sex even though sex between crew members and especially between species, while not actually forbidden, was not encouraged. Now she wished she had gone to bed with the Quamoor. She was still a Virgin at twenty-five and for the first time in her life, she regretted it. She wondered what it would have been like with Raytus, her body accepting his coil-like appendage.

"Ever been to bed with anyone, Lieutenant?" she asked quietly.

"Yeah, I was engaged briefly back on Earth, but he broke it off when he found out my assignment was to deep space." replied the brunette.

"You, Meena?"

"I joined with a Lenoi once. Does that count?"

The petite blonde's reply was serious. The Lenoi bonded metaphysically by exchanging life auras in a beautiful ritual of light, color and sound. The experience was unforgettable, but not really sexual, at least in the human sense, although it was how the Lenoi produced new life forces.

"What did it feel like?" asked Vishi.

"It was the most wonderful feeling I've ever experienced. I can't describe how powerful and overwhelming..."

"Sort of like an orgasm," smiled the Lieutenant.

They all smiled, both younger women looking away in embarrassment.

"I wish, I could have..." started Vishi.

"Heads up! Here they come. You two stay on this side. I'll take the other side of the corridor," whispered the Lieutenant, moving quickly and quietly into the alcove on the other side, much like the one behind which Vishi and Meena were now stationed.

The sounds of approaching Grok troopers were unmistakable. Two Grok appeared at the end of the corridor and began moving toward the waiting Earthers.

"Now!" yelled Dontil, her arm reaching out from hiding to fire. Vishi and Meena both also peered out from the alcove and were momentarily stunned by the sheer size and mass of the two creatures approaching them. Both were jolted into action as Anserk's blaster quickly dispatched four rounds, each aimed at the floor about halfway between the Grok and defenders. All four rounds bounced harmlessly off the Grok armor however and the two troopers continued toward the three Earth women. The fire of the two Ensigns quickly joined that of the lieutenant and the floor of the corridor quickly became scorched with plasma strikes. Still the two Grok proceeded apace, seemingly oblivious to the hail of plasma discharges glancing off their armor, but oddly, the three Earthers noticed, not returning fire. Suddenly Dontil, aimed her blaster toward the floor at the base of the corridor wall and fired three quick volleys. The double ricochet from floor to wall and then up created just the angle needed and the first trooper grunted, grabbed at his knee and went down. He wasn't dead, but he would not be walking again without an artificial limb.

The other trooper continued without hesitation, but now Vishi and Meena also began bouncing their shots off the opposite floor and wall and with the trooper only a few feet away from them, his body jerked as two charges simultaneously found the same entry under his body armor and the Grok fell to the floor, lifeless.

The three women, quickly reloaded.

At the far end, two more troopers appeared and began advancing toward the Earthers. Again with all three women firing as fast as they could the two troopers were soon lying in the corridor not having advanced even as far as the first two. Again reloading, the women realized they each had only one more charge pack and each also knew she must hold, in reserve, at least three shots.

Again two troopers rounded the corner and began advancing and again the hail of blaster fire brought down the first and finally the second when he was almost within reach of them. Suddenly from the far end of the corridor a single trooper appeared, a strange device in his hand, very unlike the massive Grok rifles which could blow a hole in a human as large as the ball once used to play an Earth game called basketball. Dontil leaned out slightly to get a better look as did Meena as Vishi was still back in the alcove, fumbling to get the new charge pack inserted. Anserk's eyes widened as the realization hit her.

"Get back! Stunner!" she cried an instant too late.

A small red beam appeared at the end of the device and seemed to explode outward in a brightness briefly rivaling a supernova, accompanied by the crackling of a high voltage discharge.

Caught in its force field, Anserk and Meena fell to the floor unconscious, Meena's dropped blaster skittering into the middle of the corridor. Vishi, having been shielded by the wall, had not been rendered unconscious as had her companions, but her nervous system had still received a tremendous jolt and she found it hard to think clearly or to coordinate her actions.

At the far end of the hall, a single trooper appeared carrying a hand held shield of portable armor which he held in front of him as he began advancing. Vishi, still trying to overcome the effects of the stun blast, jammed the last charge pack in place, stepped into the middle of the corridor and began firing.

But now the angled shots were being successfully deflected by the armor shield and as the trooper advanced, Vishi, in her confused state, panicked and began shooting wildly. The trooper had advanced to within three body lengths when Vishi's blaster fell silent. In shock she realized she had exhausted all fifteen shots from her last charge pack. She looked to her two unconscious comrades then back to the trooper. Other troopers had now appeared at the far end and were rapidly advancing. It was over. Her only thought now was to deny the Grok their prizes. Her eye caught Meena's blaster lying about half way between her and the Grok trooper. She lunged, her body still not recovered from the effects of the stunner, her hand reaching out, fingers closing on the blaster but strangely unable to lift it. It was then her glazed eyes discerned the massive foot atop her hand, pinning it and the blaster to the floor. She looked up, but never saw the swing of the arm, nor the open backhand which caught her flush on the side of the face knocking her into the corridor wall and into instant blackness.

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