Heirs to the Ancients
Caution: This Science Fiction Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa,
Desc: Science Fiction Sex Story: Chapter 1 - In a far future, the great civilizations of the past are a dim memory. Taima is a warrior who is forced to travel the land in search of a new destiny. He fears little except for young women with whom he is interested.
Gazing out over the steep, green valley, Taima tried to focus on the elk he knew were hiding in the trees just downhill from the rock upon which he was lying. The wind would not betray his scent. After remaining still for so long, the birds wouldn't mark his presence either. Still, concentration didn't come easy.
After weeks of procrastination, Taima had finally gathered enough courage to approach a young maid. The period of winnowing had begun, when the weak and deformed, upon reaching the age of first majority, were sent out from the tribe into the wilderness. If they survived the winnowing, it was a blessing from the gods and they would be welcomed back at the next winnowing. If they didn't, the gods had decided that as well.
Taima wasn't' worried about being winnowed. He wasn't the strongest like Nagur, but he was strong. He wasn't the best hunter like Gidede, but he was good enough, adding food to the larder most of the week. He could repeat the words the shaman taught at the mouth of the sacred cave. His father wasn't the highest of ranks but he ranked and was respected. Besides, Taima was the eldest child and the only son.
The winnowing was also the time when men of first majority asked women of first majority for bed rights. In his tribe, the man took the woman to be his wife but she had the say over the bed. Before going out to hunt this morning, he had formally asked Fivalee, second daughter of the goat master, the third ranking member of the tribe for her bed rights.
She was the second daughter, which meant she would inherit little from her father. Only the first daughter was considered a pass into the inner council of the tribe. Fivalee's older sister had the face of the moose as far as Taima was concerned; she took after her father. Fivalee was beautiful though with a round face and hazel eyes that seemed to dance in firelight. She was tall and shapely, but, best of all, she didn't have moose lips.
Taima had already canvassed his male competition and Targur, Gidede, and three others had no particular interest in Fivalee. She offered no immediate prestige, no weighty dowry, and, much to his confusion, no moose lips. Maybe she was a slight stretch because of his father's middling rank, but Taima and his mother didn't think so.
The glade next to the trees held the favorite plants of the elk. He could see the silkweed and brown nettle waving in the slight breeze, calling to the elk with their delicate flavors. The fresh shoots of the tougher wild grasses were also sticking up high in the wind and the elk always ate those. Still, the large beasts appeared to be otherwise occupied.
The shadow of his own head caught Taima's attention. The sun was moving towards the second half of the day, when the elk stopped feeding until the late afternoon. The morning was gone and Taima had nothing to show for it.
He debated climbing down to the stream at the bottom of the valley and spearing a few fish, but he was feeling a bit lazy, or anxious. Surely Fivalee had discussed Taima's offer with her parents by this time and she would have an answer.
When he had asked her this morning, her eyes had gone wide with surprise. She had given him a slight smile and she recited the formal words of acknowledgement. She hadn't turned him down flat. Of course she was going to say yes, wasn't she? Her long black hair that went halfway down her back flashed through his mind.
He sat up and scratched his belly. A black squirrel in a nearby tree immediately chastised him for sitting in his territory. The squirrel's alarm caused a slight commotion as birds and rodents scurried or flew into hiding.
"Annoying little shit," Taima called after the squirrel. He slid his bow over his shoulder and picked up his spear. The spear was actually his father's and had a metal head. Metal was a worthy find for the tribe and often the chief organized expeditions into the steep crags in the east to find the metal artifacts of the ancients. His father was on just such a trip which is why Taima had the spear. His father was due back any day for the great feast at the end of the winnowing.
A deer haunch was still smoking over the cooking fire at home, but fresh elk would have been a welcome feast for a young man about to get a wife. Sometimes things just don't seem to happen the way he would have wanted.
The village was over the ridge and down in the valley on the other side. This mountain range was long and steep with ridges across the top and gentle slopes only at the bottom. The ridges didn't rise much further than the tree line and there were many accessible trails over the ridges for three of the four seasons. As Taima climbed out of the hardwood forests into the evergreens, he breathed in the scents of pine needles under his feet. Brown bears also liked these mountainsides and Taima kept a quiet gait through the underbrush.
Pausing at the top of the pass, Taima gazed upon his village which was spread along the banks of Tippigiyoga River. The river was deep, and, even from this height, Taima could see that the current was swift. The river served as a barrier on their east, not that they had much to fear from that direction. The mountains further east were impassable and their deep crevasses were the haunts of madmen and evil spirits. To the east was the Wilderness as they called it.
Looking west, Taima followed the softer ridgeline of the next mountain. He couldn't see beyond but he knew there were two more valleys in their territory before the boundaries with their western neighbors who were sometimes allies and sometimes enemies depending on the occasion.
Back in the village, white smoke was rising from the cooking huts. Each clan within the tribe maintained a cooking hut and storage bins. They had small plots on which they grew grains, beans and vegetables. They hunted and harvested wild plants to add to their diets. They kept goats and sheep, though mostly for their milk and wool.
The shaman had read something new in the sacred books about using the scrapings from the inside of a pig's stomach to make a new food out of milk that kept well. Taima had spent three days trying to track down a wild pig. He returned a day late with two tiny piglets while Gidede wore a crown of ivy for his sow. He would have been better off returning empty-handed than having to endure the ribbing he got for snaring piglets. The goat master took them and gave them to his youngest as pets.
The afternoon sun felt good on his face as he hiked down the mountain. Taima spied some nut grass and he stopped to dig out the bulbs at their roots with his knife. Rubbing the last of the dirt off of the white, fleshy bulbs, he chewed the onion-like roots as he continued down the game trail.
Drawing near the riverbank, he sought out the rocks that were set just so on the short stone flat that ended at eastern shore of the river. Reaching underneath the rocks he pulled out the thick rope, which was hidden under the water and was anchored to the far bank. Taima slapped the rope across the water to call the waterkeeper.
Wither, the old waterkeeper came out from behind his favorite tree and raised the rope over a high branch. Balancing his feet in the footholds of the small bark canoe, Taima pulled himself hand over hand across the river until he reached the opposite shore. Wither gave him a grunt and returned the rope to its hiding place before settling back down for his now well earned nap.
Taima emerged from among the trees and made his way towards the clan cooking hut. Ducking in from the back, he snatched an herb-scented corn cake before one of the aunties spotted him and shackled him with some messy woman's chore like hauling out the ashes. He ran around the front of the building, shoving the cake in his mouth to hide the evidence. The cake was still warm and his mouth curled up in a smile.
Emerging into the middle of the village, Taima dodged the small children playing in the lane as he made his way to his family yurt. At least twice a year the tribe uprooted itself and moved to a summer or a winter pasture. When food was scarce, the tribe would divide by clans and range across their territory in search of game and edible plants. Taima could only remember one time from his childhood when drought had forced the tribe to seek out the corners of their land that way.
As Taima turned into his clan's collection of yurts, he pulled up short. A small contingent of warriors was posted at his family's dwelling. His only thought was that his father had died and the chief had sent a memorial guard to deliver the bad news.
His legs suddenly felt rubbery. With his heart thumping in his chest Taima walked slowly towards the yurt. The entire courtyard went silent as people noticed his presence. A warrior leaned into the entrance and barked out something. Taima was too far away to hear...
Taima got a second jolt when the tribal chief, the shaman, and the goat master stepped out of his mother's home and faced him wearing the headpieces of their offices. Something was not right. What in the name of the gods had happened to his father?
Taima stopped a respectful distance before his elders and bowed his head quickly in an all too brief formal acknowledgement.
"Taima," the chief said. "The time of choosing is upon us. The shaman has cast his runes and your name was written in the bones. The gods have chosen you for quest. You must leave us now to fulfill the destiny for which the gods have chosen you."
"What?" Taima gasped.
The shaman stepped up to Taima and dipped in finger in a small clay jar. He smeared the white paint across Taima's forehead and then down his nose. "You are marked by the gods," he said. "Go forth and bring good omens to our people."
Taima stood completely still, rigid with shock. He looked at all three men, disbelieving what they had just said and done. They had winnowed him.
His mother stepped out of the doorway and walked around the three men. In her hands was a small rucksack. Her face was red and puffy from crying but she said nothing. She couldn't say anything and she couldn't touch him either. The white paint made him untouchable.
Numbly, Taima took up his sack and turned to the northwest because he had no chance for survival in the east. As he walked out of the camp, the warriors shadowed his steps to make sure that he kept walking and didn't turn back.
The tears were flowing down his face. He never had gotten to say goodbye to his father. He never had gotten to hug his sisters and wish them well. Stepping into the trees of the forest, he followed the shortest game trail that led to the eastern flank of the western mountain. His eyes were dry and hurt, even though the tears continued down his face.
He put his legs one in front of the other, hoping that he didn't falter or fall. All that he was, all that he believed about himself and the world had been suddenly ripped from him. He was untouchable.
At some point the warriors had silently slipped away, leaving Taima alone to his humiliation. The sun was still shining and the birds were still twittering in the branches and swooping between the trees as if all was well in the world.
The shock was wearing off as he reached the top of the ridge. Smoldering anger took its place. Refusing to look back, Taima struck a northerly course once he had descended into the trees. The game trails led downhill or towards the south, but Taima was being cautious. He chanced the steeper slopes to avoid other hunters and perhaps even assassins.
This had been no common winnowing.
There would be repercussions within the clan and among the tribe, he told himself. He could think of no reason it except for Fivalee. She could have said no, and the matter would have been done. Except that the matter wouldn't have been done. His clan would have taken offense at the rejection from the goat master and his favored clan. Was winnowing a more palatable choice than rejecting bed rights?
Was he so ill favored by the tribe that they preferred to cut him out and let him go? Did Fivalee hate him and he had never seen the signs? The questions repeated themselves in his thoughts over and over. Only a lifetime of training kept Taima from tumbling down the slopes in his distraction.
The sun was dipping into the western horizon. His stomach rumbled, reminding him that he hadn't eaten a decent meal since the early morning. Late spring meant that the rabbits were grazing earlier and earlier in the evening to feed their broods. He dangled several snares at one end of a small mountain meadow, in the deepening shadows.
Rather than waiting, he circled around the meadow and appeared on the opposite side. Standing tall, he thumped the ground with the butt of his spear. The rabbits, ever wary, heard and ran for their burrows and hiding places on the other side. The gods smiled upon Taima and he snared two of them.
Later, sucking the last of the meat from the bones, Taima came to the first of his conclusions. He gathered the eight rabbit paws and bound them in a common thin-leafed vine. Rabbit paws were believed to have mystical properties, but Taima didn't want magic charms this night. Taking the eight paws, he threw them on the white ash of his fire and spoke aloud a curse and a promise of revenge.
His curse was long and convoluted, promising retribution on the doers of evil and the apathetic who had let his banishment happen. He cursed the petty who used the sacred rites to put their own personal whims before the needs of the tribe. He swore with his very life that he would exact vengeance on his enemies.
He felt the ancient forest confirm his pledge with its silence.