Ritual 2 - Birth of the Clan
Chapter 1

Caution: This Science Fiction Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Science Fiction, MaleDom, Light Bond,

Desc: Science Fiction Sex Story: Chapter 1 - A year ago, John Patrick Rogers got a new name, a new wife, and a new job. Nine months later, he got three new children. But now, as the new Craxill embassy goes on line, there's some unfinished business to deal with.

I woke slowly, snugged against something warm and soft, and with something warm and soft nestled in my hand. My palm was wet, for some reason.

As the fog of sleep faded away, I realized that I was spooned up against my wife, Priya, and that the moisture on my palm was her milk, because the warm soft thing in my hand was her milk-laden breast, and her nipple was leaking slightly under the pressure of my hand.

We'd had a night of pleasure last night, our first full-up session since the babies were born. We'd had quickies once she'd healed up from the C-section, but they'd been stolen moments compared to the long, intricate seductions and ravishments we'd enjoyed right after we'd bonded in the Craxill ritual.

Oh, yes. I should introduce myself, I suppose.

I'd been born John Patrick Rogers, human, on Earth. Somehow, when the First Contact with the Craxill happened (via an unmanned exploration ship) my influential mother had gotten herself an assignment on the first manned starship, and to compound the miracle, had gotten one for me as well. Since that had required me to be legally an adult, my fifteen-year-old ass had been promptly 'upgraded', leaving me the youngest adult, and in particular the youngest adult male, on board the ship.

When it came time to recruit the youngest male and female for a ceremonial (but quite real) marriage to two young Craxill, I'd been the only choice. Craxill bondings involved a sexual encounter, in private, to trigger the biological and psychological changes that bound the married couple together forever. Since humans couldn't trigger the change, we'd been expected to have each male "adopted" by the appropriate clan, so that human would mate with human, and Craxill with Craxill.

Renegade elements within the Craxill clans had conspired to prevent the young Craxill from being briefed, and to send an ancient document in an obscure dialect to the human diplomatic team, too late for them to translate it before the ceremony. I'd managed to meet the technical definition of mating with my Craxill counterpart, but the male Craxill hadn't been able to do the same with Priya, who'd been my female counterpart.

Faced with failure, I'd managed to fake up a 'Ritual of Joining' based on the legends of "blood brotherhood" among the Native Americans of the North American Great Plains. Tonrath and I had shared blood, and I'd announced that we had "joined souls" and that we had exchanged names. Then, I'd mated with Priya, and "John" had mated with Rillnam, the female Craxill I'd managed to 'mate' with.

It had been a childish trick, but the Craxill had to all appearances taken it very seriously indeed, to the point that when I'd returned to Earth I'd been issued new ID with my new name, and had had to have 'John' sign a lot of paperwork granting me access to 'his' assets. It had been a pain in the ass of the first order, but well worth it, since it was what had enabled my marriage to Priya, which I still considered the luckiest thing that had ever happened to me.

We'd gotten very pregnant, Priya and I, as a result of that ritual, and had enthusiastically repeated the passions we'd aroused getting that way, right up until Priya's growing pregnancy put an end to our playing. Fortunately, the intimacy we'd developed the first week of our marriage had survived the ensuing sexual drought, caused by the birth of our children, and by my intensive labors to get the new Craxill Embassy ready for occupancy.

I glanced over Priya's shoulder at the clock. Ten minutes before I had to get out of bed; no time for a rematch. Oh, well, the pay was absurdly good, even if the job sucked. "Herding Cats" was the ancient joke about managing software developers, but bureaucrats and diplomats were worse. The good news was that turnover was today, and I'd have an entirely new set of problems to deal with, as the Craxill settled into their new residence.

I lay there and snuggled with my sleeping wife for nearly a minute before the sounds of a crying, hungry baby filtered in from the nursery next door. The triplets were sleeping through the night, mostly, as long as we fed them right before our own bedtime and again when we got up. If it was just one, Jessica would take care of it, but the babies were pretty well synchronized, so I expected the other two to pop up within a few minutes, sooner if Tanya's crying woke them up.

I was still amazed that I could tell the babies apart by their cries, even at three months. Face to face, it was easy, since they were fraternal, and had very different hair and facial features, but even from across the house I could tell which one was crying, and frequently why. Magic of parenthood, I guess.

I pulled my hand from Priya's breast, licking the palm clean of her milk, then leaned down and kissed the nipple, cleaning her breast of the leakage, but not trying to draw any milk. I'd done it last night, to her screamed pleasure, but it wouldn't do to deprive the kids.

Priya's hand came up and stroked the back of my head, and I looked up into her still-sleepy eyes, and said, "Good morning, love. Tanya's looking for breakfast. I'll take a quick piss, and get her cleaned up for you, unless Jessica beats me to it."

Jessica Chan was our wet-nurse. When we'd discovered that Priya was carrying triplets, we'd asked the doctor if she'd be able to feed three babies, and the doctor had been dubious. Artificial formula had a bad name in India, the century-old grudge spawned by decades of exploitation by Western formula companies still carefully cared for and nurtured, so we'd decided to recruit outside help instead of resorting to chemistry. Priya was a minor celebrity in India, a symbol for young girls looking for a future other than 'baby factory', so the decision hadn't been entirely our own.

Jessica was the descendant of several of the old Communist Party refugees from the formation of the New Heavenly Empire in China, part of the aftermath of the Mideast War. Her father was descended from a British family with a similar history. The various refugee groups were well-integrated by now, and marriages between groups and with the general population had been going on for several generations. You'd be hard-pressed to tell Jessica from any of the other young women swarming around the open markets on the outskirts of the big cities.

I took care of my immediate needs, and got to the nursery, and Tanya, before she woke her siblings. I got to her just as a sleepy Jessica entered through the other doorway, and smiled at her before lifting my daughter from her crib.

"Daddy's got you, Tanya. He beat Auntie Jessica again. Let's check your diaper, and then Mommy can feed you while Auntie Jessica finishes waking up."

I moved Tanya to the changing pad, and checked her diaper. She hadn't pooped (oh, what kids did to your vocabulary) and the absorbent liner still had quite a bit of urine conversion capacity left, so I quickly drained the gray-water pouch on the bottom of the diaper, and sealed it back up, puffing in Tanya's face and nuzzling her tummy as I did so, keeping her happy but quiet.

I picked my daughter up, and smiled again at Jessica, telling her, "I'll cover the diaper watch for a moment while you get your morning cuppa, then I need to get showered and breakfasted, and off to work."

Jessica nodded, and said, "Nadiya's up already as well; she'll be chewing Cook's ear off by the time you get there."

Nadiya Surivasiya was Jessica's wife (and vice versa), our Household Manager, and Priya's distant cousin. Priya's fame, and my new importance as the living embodiment of the Bonding of Human and Craxill, and our need for a house large enough for five, had led to us occupying an obscenely vast house, set on an equally obscene estate. The only good part about it was the large number of people who managed to draw a living wage from the wealth that flowed through the estate, and that the jobs of wet nurse and household manager had been filled by Jessica and Nadiya, who both Priya and I had come to love as sisters. Nadiya had filled the bulk of the household and estate jobs with her and Priya's cousins, with my approval and gratitude. I dreaded the thought of having to run the place myself.

I delivered Tanya to Priya, who'd had time to take care of her own toilet needs, and kissed both wife and daughter as I left to shower, shave, and shit before heading to breakfast. By the time I walked into the bathroom, Jessica was on station, watching William and Savita as they slept.

Showered, and dressed, I gathered up a freshly burped Tanya as Priya prepared to feed William while Jessica took care of Savita. "My lovely daughter and I are going to the kitchen to play with Cook and Nadiya while you all lolly-gag around here," I joked. Priya and Jessica both stuck their tongues out at me, while the kids ignored my joke as always.

All three babies were well past their initial fussiness and we'd all settled into a nicely calm existence that would last until the next catastrophic change; either the triplets learning to crawl, or teething, or Nadiya giving birth to her and Jessica's daughter, Lisa. Tanya babbled happily as we walked down the hallway to the kitchen.

I plopped myself down in my seat at the kitchen table, and plopped Tanya into a high-chair next to me. A plate with my favorite breakfast was already sitting at my place, the steam still rising from the sausage and eggs, and the breakfast rolls nicely warm.

I sipped my coffee, then slipped a few bits of egg onto the tray of Tanya's high chair. She wasn't up to table foods just yet, but she loved to slide things around, and when she stuck her fingers in her mouth afterwards, she'd get a little taste to whet her interest. We didn't try that with things like Priya's favorite curries (spicier than even the Southern NA foods I'd sampled as a younger man) but she got traces of those flavors in Priya's breast milk.

Nadiya settled in beside me, and we traded greetings and random chit-chat while we ate. By the time I was done, Priya, William, Jessica, and Savita wandered in and the adults settled down to their own breakfast, while the babies babbled away happily in their high chairs.

I enjoyed the mayhem for a few minutes before I stood, kissed Priya on the lips, Jessica and Nadiya on the cheek, and the babies on their foreheads, before gathering my datapouch and heading out the door for the transit line. Even my exalted status didn't entitle me to a personal vehicle, but I did live on a semi-private, restricted-access branch line, and was exempt from the shared-ride requirements, unless another high-security player happened to summon a travel pod at the same time that I did.

Schedules being what they were, that happened more often than not, and today was no exception, as I ended up sharing the latter half of my journey with a senior manager from the Privacy Corps. He was a desk jockey, not a line officer, but he had the taciturn manner of all security types. Since I wanted to review my schedule for the turnover, I was more than happy to ride in silence.

We arrived at Earth Federation Central on schedule; it was too early for the transit lines to be backlogged. I left the pod, and my travel companion, and passed through security and up the elevators to my office. The morning went smoothly; I was reviewing the work of others, all of whom were heavily invested in having everything go right, so this was more of a make-work formality than a vital function. Since my team would share the blame if something went wrong, we did our jobs anyway.

Once the Craxill moved in, and we went from the airy heights of planning to the ground-grubbing depths of reality, I was sure that we would have actual work to do. We'd brainstormed a lot of contingencies, and I hoped we were prepared.

I had a moderately inspired lunch from the executive kitchens, delivered to my desk by a blushing young lady, and changed from my normal suit to formal diplomatic garb. My afternoon schedule included a quick meeting with the Ambassador, to be followed by the turnover ceremony. As befitting my 'honorary' status as a Craxill, I was also invited to attend and participate in the Ritual of Cleansing and Acceptance afterwards.

I was relaxing in my office when the word came up from Security that the Ambassador Monrill Sartotl of Poxrill and his party were here. I met them in the lobby of my office complex, greeting the Ambassador with the greeting of lesser-before-greater. He'd replied appropriately, then grasped my forearms and bowed again, saying, "I am proud of your accomplishments, my son."

I stammered out, "Thank you, Father" in the appropriate Craxill dialect, before inviting him to join me in my office.

I should have been better prepared. I'd known that the Ambassador was the father of the "real" Monrill Tonrath, and that the Craxill were still taking my swap-names-and-join-souls story at face value, but my studies of Craxill protocol had lead me to believe the Ambassador wouldn't refer to the relationship in a professional setting, even if it had been real. Either it was another case of each side 'not quite getting it' when it came to the other, or there was something else going on.

Once the Ambassador had settled into my Craxill-style guest seating, and had declined refreshment, we settled down to the business of the meeting, a final review of the time-line for the handover ceremony. That took rather less time than I'd scheduled, which I found slightly surprising. I would have been stunned to have any major problems come up at this stage, but I'd expected at least a few comments or suggestions or requests for clarification. Instead, I'd gotten quiet acceptance.

"Now that that is complete, I can tell you the actual reason I wished to speak to you," the Ambassador said. "Before we formally establish our mission here, I wish to thank you one more time for the way you saved your 'soul-brother' from disgrace, and by extension, saved myself and our clan. You had done what was required, and none would have criticized if you had allowed Tonrath to report failure. My clan would have been disgraced, and another clan would have brought forth a properly-briefed pair of youngsters, to meet and mate with a new pair of humans, leaving our allies in Clan Maltorl with the challenge of adequately providing for you, while another pair of clans gained in status for succeeding where we had failed."

I tried to deflect his praise, by pointing out that I'd had no way of knowing I was doing anything but trying to salvage what I thought was a joint failure, but he would have none of it.

"By all measures, you should have been the least mature person there. Your now-wife was four years older than you, and both of my people were just past puberty, which comes rather later for us than for you, in terms of mental outlook. And yet, you established leadership, with honor and without bluster, calmed Rillnam's fears, and choreographed the initial mating attempt beautifully. You succeeded in introducing your seed into Rillnam without damaging her, and when Tonrath failed to do likewise, you attempted to comfort him, then developed a plan to solve his problem.

"There is, perhaps, only one thing you failed to consider, and since I believe that no-one in the room had the necessary information, I would be surprised if you had managed to figure it out."

The Ambassador paused, and seemed hesitant, almost embarrassed. He cleared his throat, and continued.

"Did anything strike you as odd, when 'John' and Rillnam began the mating ritual?" he asked.

I considered, looking back on matters, but nothing came to mind. "No, not at the time, and not looking back at it," I told him, puzzled at the turn of the conversation.

"I see," said the Ambassador. "Since time is short, I will tell you some things now, and provide the rest of the information to you in written form, to review later. Suffice it to say that 'John' and Rillnam's relationship to you is not quite as you or they thought it to be, and that the reasons for that go back to the earliest days of our history in what you call the Centaurus system."

He handed me an Earth-standard data chip and said, "I suggest you read this, in private, before you meet with your soul-brother and his mate. It is double-encrypted, with a symmetric key of your mother's maiden name, surrounding a public key encryption using your personal key."

I accepted the chip, and slid it into my data pouch, before returning the pouch to my desk's security drawer. "Thank you, Ambassador, I will read it as soon as I can, and schedule a meeting with my brother."

"Very well," said the Ambassador. "For the record, what I said for the witnesses outside holds true in person as well. I do consider you my son, as much as I do the one who formerly bore the name you are know known by, and I do take great pride that you are willing to permit me to pretend to the relationship."

I stood, and bowed deeply to the 'man' who wished to be my father and said, "I never met or knew anything about the man who my mother used to create me, but I can only hope he is or was as honorable man as I have found you to be. I am greatly honored to be considered to be your son."

The Ambassador stood in turn, and we clasped forearms in the Craxill fashion before he pulled me into human-style hug.

"Come, my son, we have an Embassy to consecrate," he said, and we left the room, his socially-invisible honor guard forming up around us.

The ceremony was an interesting blend of Human and Craxill traditions, as sets of Craxill guards with their traditional weapons 'relieved' sets of Gorkha Regiment guards in their traditional uniforms. Each group of guards passed in review of the Ambassador and his staff, and the Earth Federation Premier and his party. The Gorkha had a martial tradition stretching centuries into the past, to the Eighteenth Century British Empire, and beyond, and they'd maintained their traditions to the present day.

Once the guard was changed, the Gorkha commander presented himself to the Craxill Ambassador, and formally relinquished control of the facility. The Ambassador accepted control, and the ceremony concluded.

I joined the Craxill for their Ritual of Consecration and Acceptance, spotting my soul-brother John at the other end of the room. Deep in the ceremony, we didn't acknowledge each other, but I'd caught his eye and he knew that I was there. It had been six months or more since we'd spoken last face-to-face, and nearly two since our last exchange of messages, shortly after the birth of my children, his "nieces" and "nephew".

After the Ritual, I took my leave, and returned to my home, data pouch in hand. Once there, Priya and I dressed for a white-tie reception in honor of the Ambassador and the opening of the new Embassy. Priya pumped some milk for the children, and I stole a few sips myself, before allowing her to dress.

I joined the reception line, with Priya at my side, downstream of the Ambassador and the Premier by quite a margin. An interminable sequence of diplomats and bureaucrats passed by me before I was snapped from my mindless sequence of greetings by a crushing grip, and a fierce hug from a man in full-dress Space Service uniform.

"Sargent Rollins!" I exclaimed, returning the hug, "It's good to see you again."

"Same to you, sir," he said, over my shoulder as he patted my back.

I looked behind him, and saw my mother, who for some unfathomable reason was blushing like a new bride. She waved hello, and I caught a flash of light from her left ring finger. A sudden shock rushed through me, and I released Sargent Rollins and stared at him. "Is that..." I stammered, then stalled.

"I'd offer to introduce my wife, but I believe you've already met?" said the Sargent with a smirk.

"Yes, I believe we have," I said with deliberate calm. "I have other duties at the moment, but I have a very large number of questions for the two of you, which we will address later. A very, very large number."

My mother smirked at me, greeted Priya warmly, and moved on down the receiving line. I was going to have a long talk with that woman. I wasn't at all upset that she'd married Sargent Rollins. Stunned, perhaps, but not upset. What I was wondering was how I'd come to find out about it in a diplomatic receiving line.

A short eternity later, I settled down with Priya at a table with my mother, and the man who had apparently become her husband. Mother looked nervous, which I had never seen before, and Rollins was having a bit of trouble meeting my eyes.

"OK, before anyone gets too upset," I said calmly, "I couldn't be more pleased that my mother has found someone to share her life with and to help her spoil her grandchildren. And I couldn't be happier with her choice of life mate, not that I believe that my approval is required."

I leaned back, and said, "But, having said that, I am quite surprised that I wasn't given advance notice, or at least told about it rather earlier than this."

My voice had risen slightly by the end of my speech, and even though it was nowhere near a shout, the two of them flinched none the less. My mother cleared her throat, and spoke quietly, but firmly.

Meeting my eyes, she said, "William and I became quite friendly after your accomplishments on the expedition, though we did not pursue that friendship any further. Once we returned to Earth, and we both retired, we followed different paths. When you informed each of us that you intended to name your son after him, I felt compelled to meet with him, to become more familiar with a man who could impress you so."

Rollins picked up the thread, saying, "And when I saw your mother again, the friendship we'd had was replaced by something different, something more intense."

Mother, again, "I'd never felt like this, never permitted myself to, and I wasn't sure what it was. So we explored it, together. By the time we were sure, it was too close to the Consecration, and I didn't want to distract you. So we had a simple ceremony a few days ago. We haven't announced it. You're the first to know."

Mollified, I leaned back, and said, "Well, I suppose my tender ego can stand the implied rejection and lack of confidence in my ability to manage my priorities, so I'll forgive you this time."

Everyone relaxed; even Priya had looked nervous. She rarely saw me upset or angry; our few disagreements over the not-quite year of our marriage had been relatively minor and free of emotional fireworks.

Apropos of which, I spoke again, "Since I have you both here, I can invite you in person to a small party we're giving next week in honor of our upcoming anniversary. It was a year ago this Tuesday, Earth calendar, and we're having a party on Sunday, with a few close friends and Priya's immediate family. You're each invited of course, and until now I would have said 'along with a guest, if you choose' but I rather doubt that will be relevant any longer."

I saw my soul brother and his mate standing nearby, and waved them over, indicating two of the open seats at the table. They settled down, and I asked John, somewhat diffidently, "I don't suppose our mother managed to inform you of her recent marriage?"

John swallowed, and said, "Er, I just learned of it today, before the Consecration, but had no time to speak to you. I beg forgiveness, My Lord."

Beside, him, Rillnam was blushing, and muttered a similar prayer for forgiveness.

Frowning, I said, "I have a reading assignment to complete, and then I think we're going to have to have a bit of a chat about this 'My Lord' thing. In case you're worried, I'm neither angry nor upset, about the 'My Lords' or the reporting or lack of reporting of our mother's marriage. But something is going on that I need to understand."

A year ago, I'd been quite mild-mannered, for my age, but I'd been forced by circumstance to adopt much of the public attitudes my mother had always presented. My age made it particularly important that I project authority, and as much as I tried to prevent it, the habit tended to slide into my family life as well.

Fortunately, Priya loved my dominant side in the bedroom, and her culture still encouraged wives to publicly submit to their husbands, despite the modernization of recent centuries. As a practical matter, in household matters her opinion mattered more than mine, since she had day-to-day authority, exercised through Nadiya. The two of them operated as Captain and First Officer with Nadiya taking most of the heat as the enforcer of discipline, while Priya basked in the authority of command.

In this instance, I found myself in Command Mode, and I noted with interest the way that John and Rillnam deferred to me, while Rollins and Mother looked on in surprise.

Waving the matter aside, I repeated my announcement of the anniversary party, and asked my Craxill friends to join me at the party. There being no conflicting duties, they agreed to do so.

"And be sure to bring my grandsons," my mother told them, speaking to John. I nodded, having nearly forgotten about my 'nephews'.

Priya hadn't been the only one to get a reproductive surprise as a result of our cross-species sexual contact. Priya had had an artificially accelerated ovulation, three-fold, resulting in the birth of our triplets, despite the fact that she hadn't been in the fertile part of her cycle when we'd made love. The male Craxill now named "John" had introduced a fair amount of his sexual lubrication into her vagina during their failed attempt to mate, and some component of it had turned out to be an effective fertility treatment, triggering the ripening and release of at least three eggs.

Rillnam, on the other hand, had fully expected to get pregnant, due to the nature of the Craxill reproductive process. What she hadn't expected, because it almost never happened, was that she gave birth to identical twins. Craxill custom forbade a couple from multiple impregnations, which resulted in what in humans would be called fraternal twins, but on very rare occasions, a single egg would split, resulting in two identical embryos. I'd managed to introduce at least a small quantity of sperm and seminal fluid, and we suspected (but did not wish to prove) that it had caused the egg to split.

Where fraternal twins met with disapproval, identical twins were nearly worshiped. In fact, they were treated as if they shared a single soul, which either explained the Craxill acceptance of John's 'Ritual of Joining' or made it even more remarkable, depending on your point of view. I had long since given up trying to make sense of the matter.

I left my various family members to chat with each other, and mingled for a while, variously presenting my respects to my social or work superiors, and delivering approving greetings to those few subordinates of high enough rank to attend the event, before leading my wife to a waiting transit pod for the journey home.

We were both too tired for sex, but we stripped down and cuddled briefly before fading off to sleep.

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